Wednesday, May 28, 2014

How Much Does An Affair Cost?

Men love other men’s wives. True story. Why do you think we spend so much money on women that we will never ever settle down with?

For full effect, download “Going Up The Country” by Canned Heat, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

If you were to look at this from a research perspective, which is what most nerds who have fetishes for Star Trek do, you could actually calculate the amount of money spent per bachelor on women they never settle down with.

And trust me people, it’s more than you are thinking.

Let’s take 28-year old John Doe as our example for this study: an above average height, below average weight male who ranks a solid 6.7 out of 10 when polled by 100 random women. Say we use him as the example. Let’s estimate that John begins officially dating women at the ripe young age of 16 years old. Because John is slightly better looking than most young men are, he is able to establish a fairly decent rapport with the girls around him and proceeds to go on an average of 2.6 dates per month.

Now, if we are going to calculate the average cost of a date, we will be able to do this by going off of the cliché and ridiculously overused “dinner and a movie” scheme. Yes, there are the extravagant meals which he buys for ladies that are more expensive than your habitual Applebee’s 2 for $20 deal, but on the contrary, there are meals where he mooches off what is in his parents pantry and doesn’t spend a dime on the food she shovels in her own face.

With these numbers being considered, the average date for a 16-year old boy is going to cost an estimated $39.50. $22.50 for dinner at an average three-star restaurant, and $17 for two movie tickets. And no, we are not including drinks and popcorn in this calculation. Those are variables that would completely blow up our calculations. The same goes for the amount of gasoline he would buy to fill his old pickup truck, the cologne he purchases in hopes the fragrance will entice her in a romantic fashion, higher class restaurants that may be used for anniversaries/birthdays and the like, and any other odds and ends that can be classified as tactics/fees spent solely for dating purposes.
There must also be a few adjustments thrown into the calculation to make up for inflation costs, the increase in number of dates per monthly basis, as well as the quality of dates John Doe decides to go on. For example, as he matures and begins to take dating more seriously, he is going to increase the value of food that he purchases. Wendy’s for a 16-year old male is fine, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is not. However, for a 28-year old male, Wendy’s is not and shall not be accepted as a place to grab food before a movie. Unless of course the couple is in a serious relationship for longer than six months, but we are not taking those variables into consideration for this study either.
Therefore, to cater the numbers for this study and make it as accurate as possible, we need to adjust the number of dates that John Doe goes on by .1 for every year that he is in the dating pool. At the same time, a fair adjustment for the quality of dates would be on average $.50 per year.  We are also under the assumption that John is a true gentleman, and never ever allows the woman to pay for a formal evening that he plans, which actually is rule number 58 of the bro code.
I know your foreheads are hurting people, but hear me out on this. The results make me sick to my stomach.
Taking these figures into consideration, the number of dates he goes on, the amount of money he spends per date, and the number of years that he is in the dating pool, we are able to calculate that John Doe would be spending on average, $21,325.20 over the course of his natural adult life on other men’s wives until he finds the girl of his dreams.
At this point, you would think this guy would have had an affair once or twice.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Must See TV

Guys, I don’t know what to do. I am lost. I am forsaken. All of my favorite TV shows have reached the end of their lives.

For full effect, download “The Funeral” by Band Of Horses and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of these few paragraphs.

When I say I am lost in my life, it simply means I have nothing left to keep me entertained. Walter White has shot his last bullet, Dexter has now become a lumberjack, the students at Greendale lost their accreditation, and Ted Mosby finally found the girl with the yellow umbrella. For the record, if you think I have ruined an era by revealing some of the secrets of these shows, well that’s your own fault. Go back and read the hashtags.

Usually when shows end, replacements are dropped into our laps that will keep our TV’s in action. But sadly, I can’t seem to jump on any of the trending bandwagons that are trashing our channels. I’m not a criminal justice major, therefore I don’t give a rats backside about every single NCIS spinoff. I don’t have a fairy tale fetish, therefore Once Upon A Time isn’t really doing it for me. And no, I don’t want to watch a giant medieval porno featuring midget kings, so please don’t tell me Game of Thrones is a hidden gem.

Now I know I usually ask you rhetorically humorous questions that make you ponder over the mysteries of life, and that’s what keeps you coming back to this blog every Wednesday and Sunday morning. But for the sake of my pure entertainment purposes that will keep me from losing my sanity, I ask, nay, I beg of you, to tell me where do I turn? What stories in cinema do you recommend?

What do I watch next?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

No, I'm Not Drunk

I never thought I would make this statement in my entire adult life, but here goes: I am now a fan of baseball.

For full effect, download “Satellite” by Dave Mathews Band, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I would like to state that my opinions on this sport are not being influenced by the 10-day road trip I have just endured that included late night runs to Red Lobster, Root beer and Horchata concoctions, midnight showings of Godzirra, romantic dreams staring off into the moonlight, and 27 hours in a car with the great C.J. Ferguson. This is my life as a college recruiter, and it’s ending one registered student at a time.

Road trips like these do some screwy things to your head, however I would like to make it perfectly clear that I was not influenced by any type of hallucinogens, narcotics, alcohol binges, seizure aftermaths, or reruns of Breaking Bad that have changed the way I view the sport of baseball. Never mind the fact that my internal clock is operating on the same time zone as Fiji, I was 100% completely stone cold coherent when I adjusted my stance.

Now I know I have ripped this sport to shreds in the past. I know I have compared it to getting a canker while eating Captain Crunch. I know I have hated this sport for dragging on so long that it doesn’t seem there is ever an offseason. Yes Drew, I know, there are still 118 more games to go. But what I didn’t know is that baseball on TV, is completely different from baseball four rows up on the first base line at Angels Stadium.

That my fellow FB colleagues, that is a whole different ballpark.

When you’re watching a baseball game on TV all you see is two guys playing catch with each other, with some steroid-induced monster swinging away every so often. You see shots of managers nodding their heads, designated hitters spitting their chew, and relief pitchers scratching their crotch. Baseball on TV is a sport where if your brain cells move slower than the bowel movements of a constipated sloth, you will still be able to keep pace, that’s how piss-poor awful it is.

But when you’re watching baseball live in-person, suddenly everything gets a little rose-colored tint glossed over the top of it. You don’t care about 18 guys in uniforms that look like pajamas throwing a ball around a field, you care about the real show going on. You get excited when a foul ball gets hit your direction, and what lucky lottery winner will get the chance to grab it out of the air. You make friends with a quartet of drunks who intoxicatingly make fun of the church you signed up for. You stuff yourself silly with an 18-dollar dump of dirty nachos served to you in an upside down batter’s helmet. You make fun of the Asian couple who pop up on the kiss cam and refuse to slobber over one another.

That my friends, that right there is baseball. Two and a half hours of bench seats, pop flies, four-dollar churros, sunflower seeds, double plays, and random people in the upper bleachers waving their arms up and down in the bottom of the ninth recreating the dramatic scene from Angels in the Outfield. Yeah, so what if there was a bunch of millionaires playing catch with each other for nine innings. We didn’t care. The 5-2 loss to the Astros was just background noise to the rest of the entertainment going on all around us.

I never thought I would say that I appreciate the sport of baseball. Keep in mind I am still going to make fun of it to no end, and often use it as a hypnotic rhythm to shut my brain down into a massive coma. I will still never care who wins the World Series, and I will never get a tattoo with my team’s logo embedded in to my pecs. I will still hold this sport in the same category as daytime talk shows and chocolate-covered cinnamon bears, but for those few hours on Monday night, one thing was certain.

I was in L-word. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

When I Am An Old Woman

I'm sitting in church and there's a 12-year old kid on the stand who can't keep his eyes open. He's nodding and blinking heavily, his head drooping on a cycle because the man at the podium isn't talking about anything entertaining like Transformers or Legos.

17 years ago, that was me.

For full effect, download "The Times They Are Changing" by Bob Dylan and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

At this moment I'm sitting next to an aged, wrinkled, crazy old woman. A screwball who’s been asking me since 1997 if I grew two feet since the last time I saw her, and who was also born right after World War I ended. She is old, content with life, and the highlights of her day include frozen yogurt, a glass of Metamucil and a Lifetime movie about the true meaning of Christmas.

Yes, sometimes there are days when I wish I were an old woman.

The 12-year old on the stand is wearing a Loony Tunes tie and has yet to be taught the concept of having a part in his hair. He is at the point where all the girls in his classroom have a massive case of “the cooties” meanwhile the highlights of his life include Saturday morning cartoon sessions, and sugary snacks his Mom leaves out after school. This is a kid who has been diagnosed with a hefty case of A.D.O.P.

You: “What the heck is A.D.O.P.?”
My Clever Mom: “It’s Attention Deficit, Oh Pretty!”

These two characters are at the polar opposite sides of life’s calendar, yet they are almost duplicate copies of one another. The only real difference being the century in which they were born, and a truckload of wrinkles. They are the same because their lives are so simple, so basic. They have one job to do: make it from sun up to sun down without dying a horrible death. That's it. Who cares about responsibility, goals, or tax deadlines? They don't. All they want to do is just make it through the day without getting hit by a train or having their pacemaker crash.

Vanessa: "He has a five year plan."

Big Daddy: "What is it, don't die?"

When you’re on opposite sides of puberty and menopause, you simply don't have to worry. Worry about budget cuts, worry about vegan diets, worry about work deadlines or presentations. When the concept of a driver’s license means nothing to you, life is great. You don't have to worry about how much is in your 401k plan, or how many calories is in that double ice cream sundae from Dairy Queen, or whether your bowel movement schedule is regular. The word worry isn't even in your own vocabulary at this point. When you can literally take a dump in your pants in open public, and people will just smile at the look on the face you give them in return, you know you're in the golden years of your life.

The meeting is just about wrapped up now. Both of their heads are nodding up and down. One by complete and total boredom from the bag of hot air at the pulpit, the other by minor stages of Alzheimer's. They are in their own little worlds and they don't care about anything else, life is good. I know I can never go back to being a 12-year old kid sitting on the stand in church, but one thing is for sure:

I can’t wait to turn into an old woman.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

This Is The Part...

This is the part where you want me to write about some thought-provoking epiphany relating to marriage that I had yesterday while running after midnight.

Or where I jokingly make fun of how social media has blunted the growth of our culture and humanity and hypocritically postmark my words with the hashtag #firstworldproblems in order to gain more traffic to my website.

Or how I was able to understand the joy of life itself after going on a long drive with a car full of groupies that had inside jokes about higher education that none of you will think are funny and religiously belted out the words to "Africa" by Toto throughout the duration of our road trip.

This is the part where none of that will happen because I'm sitting in an audience full of helicopter parents about to stand up and broadcast the academic highlights of their child's life and hand them a sheet of paper that now grants them access to the world of big kids.

This is also the part where I don't like being a grown up, with responsibilities that wear me out so much I begin dozing off in the middle of swimming laps. Please excuse me, I've got some new carpet to install.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dear Mom,

A few years back for a research project I polled a few of my friends and asked them to tell me what their Mother meant to them. Last night while in retro mode, I found these words on an old website I put together for an undergrad project. I thought it fitting to share these sentiments once again while we herald the women who raised us. 

For full effect, download "Dear Mama" by Tupac, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. 

For all of the mothers out there who put band-aids on our scrapes. Who made chocolate milk for us every day so that when we came home from school we had our snack waiting for us. Who would let us stay out on summer nights “another 5 minutes” so that we could play night games with our friends. Who would get up at 5:40 in the morning all winter to drive us to basketball practice in junior high. Who hugged, cried, worked, cooked, fed, cleaned, smiled, loved, and gave everything that you had in your life. Here is a simple note to let you know how much we care.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for always being my loudest fan in the crowd.
Brett S.

Dear Mom,
You are the pillars of my life.
Jonathan M.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for not telling Dad I got arrested that night.

Dear Mom,
You are my sunshine.  I can’t imagine my life without you.
Megan H.

Dear Mom,
I couldn’t ask for a better mother than you!
Jordan B.

Dear Mom,
I’ve never met someone so hardworking for her children’s sake.  No matter what you’ll make sure that we succeed first.  You are the bomb!
Taylor S.

Dear Mom,
I’m glad that they have a day when people can appreciate you for for the pain that I put you through.  Happy Mothers Day!
Your smart ass son, Jeremiah

Dear Mom,
Thanks for the circumcision.

Dear Mom,
I don’t have the words to tell you how important you are to me in just two sentences.  I could fill up novels that would put J.K. Rowling to shame.  Know and never forget that I love you.
Sarah H.

Dear Mom,
I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.
Kari B.

Dear Mom,
To my battery mate, my design partner, my best of friends, and most of all, my Mom.  I love you.
Marcus M.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for never giving up on me.  Throughout my entire mission, and all of the surgeries I’ve had over the years.
Ben F.

Dear Mom,
I miss you more than you know.  I hope you are proud of the woman and mother I have become.
Laura H.

Dear Mom,
I’m thankful for everything that you have done.  You have always been there for me when I needed you, no matter what the situation.
Bryan U.

Dear Mom,
You are the woman that I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to be like.
Jennifer S.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for raising me to be independent and self-reliant.
Anne W.

Dear Mom,
I will always remember the day that you dropped the F-bomb in “the Happiest Place on Earth.”

Dear Mom,
I think you’re real neat.  I love you all the way to the moon and stars.
Laura W.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for having dance parties with me to cheer me up even though we are both terrible dancers.
McCall P.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for putting everything back together.
Joe L.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for teaching me as a boy, how to be a man.  For your unconditional love, wisdom, and devotion to my success I owe you and am eternally grateful.
Derek L.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for sending me money that you never told Dad about.
Morgan P.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for adopting me.

Dear Mom,
We often imagine our lives turning out a certain way.  I’m not sure if you imagined being where you’re at.  But my dreams wouldn’t come true without you doing what you do.
Ryan R.

Dear Mom,
You taught me how to believe, you showed me how to love, you helped me become who I am today.  I am so proud to be your daughter and so lucky to have you as my best friend.
Lauren G.

Dear Mom,
I heart you more than I heart chocolate.
Ashley H.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for your genes

Dear Mom,
Thank you for monitoring your language while watching Jazz games when we have company.
Maddie M.

Dear Mom,
I love your determination with exercising and that you always love me no matter what.
Megan J.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for being a miracle in my life.
Scott W.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for not saying no to Dad the night that I was conceived.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for always being there for me every time that I call, and loving me despite all of my mistakes.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for the support and trust you have given me in my life.  I may not have listened all the time, but I have always valued and appreciated your opinion.
Holland O.

Dear Mom,
Thanks for being the grace, wisdom, faith, and guidance which has mapped out a course for my life.
John O.

Dear Mom,
I’ll love you forever.  I’ll like you for always.  As long as you’re living.  My baby you’ll be. 
Brock B. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

What Heaven Feels Like

People may think that completing an Ironman is solely an individual achievement. But the thing is, it's really not.

It's much more than that.

For full effect, download "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

You see kids it's not about the 800+miles I've logged over the last three months on my bike, on my shoes, or in the pool that makes a difference. It's not about sneaking into the fitness center after hours to swim laps, or doing a set of 2-mile stadiums after they shut the lights off. You want me to tell you that all of the slow motion black and white B-roll footage they shove into a motivational 60-second Nike commercial is what helps you become an Ironman. Well, that's not it at all.

Nor is it the dietary restrictions you place on yourself that turn you into practically a Vegan for a quarter of the year, relying solely on protein shakes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as your nourishment. When your friends ask where everyone is getting grub this Friday night, you politely decline because you have a hefty bowl of strawberry yogurt mixed with coconut granola waiting patiently back at home. No, those 15 pounds you unload off your belly and thighs to shave a few extra minutes off your bike splits, those aren't what make you complete an Ironman either.

A blue-blooded snoot would say the key to being an Ironman is the money you are willing to burn for the sake of better gear. You want a 2014 2XU Men’s G:2 TR Compression Wetsuit? Or what about a Cervelo P5 Six Dura Ace 9000 triathlon road bike with carbon wheels? Surely the $249.99 you are willing to spend on Zoot Ali’i 6.0 running shoes will get you from the opening gun to the finish line that much quicker.

The thing is, it’s really none of that stuff at all.

When you are out swimming and biking and running around for six plus hours you play mental battles with yourself. You think. About yourself, about your life, about the direction everyone is headed, about deep junk that normally gets published in philosophy 101 textbooks. You think about the meaning of life, true story. And yesterday after wandering around St. George like a drunken lunatic on wheels the one thing I came to understand in between aid stations full of Powerade, pretzels, and pissboxes is that being an Ironman is not an individual accomplishment. Rather, being an Ironman is something shared by everyone.

Now I know that not everyone has the chance to get accidentally fondled in a lake by a 61-year old woman mid stroke, or scream obscenities to the sky at the creator of the known universe for making the “Hill from Hell” in Snow Canyon so bloody steep, or look funny as they run down Diagonal with their toes up only to keep their calves from cramping mid-stride. I know everyone does not have the chance to cross the finish line in spectacular glory with some unknown broadcaster blasting their name into the air proclaiming their athletic achievement. But the reason people put themselves through all of this physical torture is because they are surrounded by people who love them. People who care for them. People who cheer them on. And that is what makes them become an Ironman.

I discovered this yesterday as I came out of the water and saw a college roommate I haven’t talked to in over a decade yelling for me. Or when I biked up Highland Parkway and heard a buddy and his girlfriend screaming their guts out with homemade Ninja Turtle posters. Or how about when I came in to the second transition about to take off on a 13-mile run and four generations of women and a throng of my closest friends are chanting my name from the sidelines? You think nutrition, gear, or after hours workouts are the difference makers at that point?

Those are the moments where your switch from the bike to the run goes a little bit longer than normal because after gulping down GU packets and tying your shoes, all you can do at Transition 2 is sit on the grass for three minutes and wipe tears from your eyes.

I am lucky to have these people. You are lucky to have these people. We are all so freaking lucky to have good people placed in our lives. People that cheer for us. Lift us up. Motivate us to be better. People who sit out in the sun for six hours just to scream our names for a whopping 20 seconds. As stated earlier, being an Ironman is not an individual honor and accomplishment. It is something that is shared and earned by the hundreds and thousands of fans who work just as hard supporting each other.   

Running around for six hours does some crazy things to your head, believe me. And as I came to the end of the road yesterday I don’t know if it was because I was delirious or euphoric, but all I could do was cry. Mentally, physically, emotionally drained, surrounded by people who I love more than my own life itself welcoming me back home after a long and tumultuous journey, standing there in one of the most surreal moments in my entire adult life I held my face in my hands and wept like a child.

This, I thought to myself, this must be what heaven feels like.