Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crushes are Hard to Break

Today, I received about the 10th email from Lifetime asking me to reconsider the cancellation of my membership. As I find this almost as annoying as paying the membership fees without going to the club, I decided to respond. Here it is for your viewing pleasure. I sure hope they don't make a voodoo doll of me with a stray hair I left in the locker room.

Hi Kevin,

While I can appreciate the persistence, I am not Lifetime's unrequited high school crush. I spent roughly two years not going to the club and still paid the $65 a month to belong. I know what Lifetime can offer and it frankly, does not do it for me. I'm simply not attracted to it. No matter how you sell the club to me, I won't resume the relationship. Perhaps, If I'm alone at 40, we can revisit this. However, the circumstances would have to be just right, so please don't settle on this dream. Go after someone else, someone new and exciting who will use your weights and cardio equipment, maybe get a massage here and there. The possibilities are endless. I'm just not the right one for Lifetime. I'm sorry if this seems harsh, but it's what Lifetime needs to hear. It's for the best. Don't worry, your club will find that special someone one day. The kind of person that always wipes down the machines and maybe when bored - just hangs out in the lobby drinking the free coffee and water. Keep on keeping on, dig that garden of life, and so on and so forth.



Friday, September 23, 2011

Elizabeth Shue Would Be Proud

I'm coming to America! This has nothing to do with the post, but Neil Diamond's classic song is currently on my iPod and I am loving it. I once saw a Neil Diamond tribute act and the fake Neil sang this song 6 times over the course of 3 "sets." It was a glorious, yet befuddling experience.

Do you think Elizabeth Shue would have liked it? I bet she doesn't like Neil and that's why she had to play drunken prostitute with Nicholas Cage. He's incredibly demanding. I think he has babsitter fantasies too, like Mark Chmura and Ryan Phillippe. And that's my segue into what I actually want to write about.

When I was 17 I babysat for some neighbors. They have three kids and at the time the oldest was a freshman in high school, but was out of town. The middle son was maybe 5th grade and the youngest daughter was first grade maybe. I don't remember exactly. Anyway, I was watching the youngest two kids.

I arrived at their house around 6 or 7pm. Found out they just ordered a pizza for us. A Big Foot one from Pizza Hut or Little Caesar's. I can't remember which one had that pizza. Anyway, I started the evening off successfully by not hearing the doorbell ring and waiting an extra hour for the pizza. It arrived finally and was fairly cold, but it's pizza, so who really cares about that.

After calling the pizza place back, I received a call from my best friend. However, I didn't know it was my best friend as the family didn't have caller ID and he disguised his voice in order to play a prank on me. I also was not expecting to receive a personal call while babysitting.

The phone rang and in my friend's typical fashion of going all out with things the phone call went as such.

Me: Hello.
Friend: I'm going to kill you.
Me: .... (hanging up)

After I hung up, friend called back to explain his ruse, but not before I walked around and made sure all of the doors were locked, the windows were sealed, and having armed myself with a whisk and an oven mitt.

To give you an idea of my friend's mindset, he once "pranked" my mother by calling her, impersonating a police officer, and informing her that I died while riding my bike. I will have to write something about this in a future post, but he didn't always think before he pranked.

Once I disarmed, my nerves settled, and my appetite was sated with Pepperoni pizza my misadventure in babysitting resumed.

The boy went downstairs to play video games on their Sega Saturn. The girl and I decided to watch Thumbelina upstairs. If you know me at all, you know I have always had a difficult time staying up late if my brain doesn't want to be up late. Sure enough about a half hour into the movie and I'm out cold.

I wake up to the end song and the credits. I don't remember, but there's a good chance the girl didn't even know I fell asleep, since she was so engrossed in the fairy tale.

Anyway, movie over and I'm awake. I hear the garage door open and assume it's the parents home early and I don't have the kids in bed, nor have they taken their vitamins like I was supposed to make sure happened.

In a panic, I tried to bargain with the kids to at least run up to their rooms and get ready for bed. They refused. I ended up being somewhat successful by promising no teeth brushing and no vitamins. They started upstairs as I pocketed their vitamins and dispensed some of them around the house. Their voyage upstairs was short lived and luckily it was just the older brother coming home from out of town.

Perfect, I thought. He would be able to help me convince the younger ones to go to bed. He wasn't much help, he just went downstairs and played video games.

Soon after that the parents came home - I somehow still got paid despite not doing a single thing right that evening. Kids were still up, not even in their pajamas, teeth weren't brushed, and vitamins were hidden under couch cushions, but I was well rested.

I took my evening's wages and walked up the street to my house all while on alert for some crazy stalker to jump out of the reeds and slash me to bits. This was my first and last time ever baby sitting. I'm just not very good at it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Lesson is to Never Try

*This is an essay thingy I wrote for a contest. It was not chosen as a finalist. Probably because it isn't very good or that I didn't adhere to the rules. They asked for a short story with the theme of sex. I guess this isn't really a story, so that's the reason for it not being picked. At least, that's the reason I'm going with. Otherwise, I'm left with the judges not having a sense of humor. Also, I took at least one liberty with the definition of a word and I might have made up another one. Hope you like it or at least don't hate it.*

Can't Spell Lonely Without One

Sex is best when performed alone. There is no one to think, “I wish he would stop doing that” or “Why is she just laying there?” No one to care if you fall asleep after your carefully handcrafted accomplishment. Fall asleep during if you want – you’ll still be there in the morning. Well rested and completely alone to please yourself in whatever manner seems appropriate.

A solitary soul with dirty, dirty thoughts and a camcorder on top of the television prepared to capture your oeuvre. All alone - aside from God and a feline companion and the cat doesn’t really care what you do. “Pssh, I can lick my own ass,” mutters Mr. Whiskers. “Let’s see you do that, then I’ll be impressed.”

God is the only cause for alarm. If he is watching, which is probably the case, because religion makes the Almighty seem to be a voyeuristic child amusing himself with peeping and plagues. “Billy just touched himself, I shall smite ten kittens now,” says God. His animosity towards kittens is terribly vexing.

They are cute, cuddly and all over the Internet doing silly things, like hanging in there. My best theory is that God is allergic. Allergies must be the cause for all of the smitten kittens. I speculate that a god-sized dose of Claritin doesn’t exist.

Heaven’s lack of an Atlasian amount of anti-histamines is causing a problem for us. A mountain of cat dander obscures God’s already dodgy omniscience. Churchgoers - stampeded by nuns, children - orphaned due to alien abduction, and mimes still existing. Bad things are happening and to make it worse, Dairy Queen doesn’t offer a Twix Blizzard.

Chopped up bits of a knowing cookie finger lying with a caramel paramour, wrapped in a sheet of smooth chocolate and embedded in the creamiest, most satisfying soft serve ice cream available to be picked up while in the driver’s seat. Assuredly an image worthy of the finishing line and best enjoyed in bed - with a damp cloth on the nightstand for any necessary clean up.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

There are lovely little gifts down at the Foo-tique.

On my way home from softball (a 25-0 win for the squad, by the way) this evening, the Current's weekly episode of Musicheads was airing. Jade chose the Foo Fighters' new album, Wasting Light to be opined and dissected.

I have spent the last two weeks or so with this album and every listen changes my opinion of it. My first run through, the opening few songs blew me away. I knew the guitars were going to be featured, but they really pull out your tongue to make a clear path down your throat. And I think it's a detriment to the album. The bass is practically non-existent and the usually beyond capable drumming of Taylor Hawkins takes not just a back seat, but is relegated to the spare row. Hell, it might even be stuffed in the stow-and-go section of our musical mini-van forgotten with all of the loose Cheetos and dried skin.

Lyrically, it is not the group's finest work. There's but one lyric that really stands out in my mind and it's probably the simplest line of the whole album. It comes from the track Dear Rosemary and is the last line. "You got a way/got a way/got a way from me/now get away/get away/get away from me." It's a simple line and not all that good by my admittance, but it stays with me for some reason. It's catchy, I suppose.

Following Dear Rosemary is an atrocity called, White Limo. Easily the worst song on the album and possibly the worst Foo Fighters song ever recorded in my opinion. Musically, it's adequate, but the singing is not Grohl's best effort. Instead of being his usual Foo-self, he seems to channel more of the Nirvana Bleach era, which just does not work for me. However, a pleasant surprise follows White Limo.

Arlandria to me is a song about missed chances to no fault of the narrator's. Perhaps it is a tale of regret or at least a case of the what could have beens and most likely an "I'll show you" anthem. "And when you said I couldn't give you enough/I started giving you up."

The rest of the album reverts to the Foo Fighters that I enjoy the most. Easily on par with the previous album Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace, but a great distance from the Colour and the Shape (my personal favorite).

As a whole, the album is good. I would grade it a B-. Butch Vig adds a steady element to the band's recording, which is something I have come to expect from him. While the albums he produces achieve excellence in sound quality, I feel they tend to run short on creativity in a diverse mix of sound. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I like to hear albums that have the commonalities among songs, but still push the envelope in each one to bring a new tone to an album from track to track.

Every song on Wasting Light seems to showcase one guitar riff. The first three songs especially feature this concept. I certainly don't have the ear to explain this, but it seems to me that the Foos took a sweet lick and changed a quarter note here or added a bend there to make it different. Again, this is not a bad thing, it's just a little detour from what I hoped this album would be about.

As I said, I give this effort a B- and can only say that if this album were a first offering from a new band, it would be highly praised. Considering it's a 7th or 8th album from a collective group of talented musicians, I can only say it's lacking. In what exactly, I'm unable to say at this point. It's worth a listen or two though and be sure to skip White Limo, at least anytime after the first listen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Suck it, Oprah

As some of you may know, I have a special place in my heart for Oprah. It’s that dark, somewhat rounded corner of my heart where all of the trans-fats and heart disease causing agents gather for their Axis of Evil meetings. My biggest problem with Oprah isn’t necessarily her fault, it’s this image projected on her by her viewers as the best person in the world. I simply think she is just as big of a piece of shit as the rest of us.

My observations tell me that the number one reason people like Oprah so much is that she gives people “free” stuff. Well, when you give people “free” stuff in that sort of setting – they have to pay taxes on it. I’m guessing most of the people in her audience cannot afford the “free” stuff they are given on their own, which most likely means these “free” things significantly raise their income and bump them into a new tax bracket. Great gift Oprah, Pontiac G6s, you really screwed the pooch on that one.

Tax implications aside, it is not like Oprah is taking her personal credit card and purchasing all of her favorite things for her audience members. Her show has a budget, which is paid for by advertising and other things, such as deals with the devil. In this satanically funded budget is a line item for the crap she likes that just about everyone else in America likes too. For all of those people that complain about the rich not paying enough (or any) taxes; Oprah is probably one of those people. Gasp!

The last Oprah complaint I will share with you is in regard to her “Book Club.” First of all, her choices aren’t very good. Million Little Pieces and 3 Faulkner books in 2005, quite the banner year for the OBC. Last year, she (see her staffers) picked A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Way to go on picking Dickens, I have never heard of the guy. If you are going to use your influence to recommend books to people, why not find some relatively unknown book and help the author out. It appears to me that “she” just selects books off the Bestseller lists. I could do that.

Despite having written four paragraphs on Oprah this post really has nothing to do with her. I want to share some of my current favorite things and rarely ever pass up an opportunity to mention my distaste of all things Oprah. In fear of any further digressions, here are some of my current favorite things. They are in no particular order, except numbered, but the numbers are for no reason other than numbering. Don’t think that I like #1 any more than I like #6. Shit, I better have a #6 now, because I’m not going back to edit.

1. The Reluctant Graveyard – I am a little late on this, but the Current’s birthday party (back in January) fully introduced me to the brilliance that is Jeremy Messersmith. His most recent album, The Reluctant Graveyard is a dimly lit beacon of joy overshadowed by a gigantic lighthouse of morbidity and despair. A must listen for all music fans. If you don’t like it, you’re probably too happy.

2. Lean Cuisine Spring Rolls – They come in three flavors: Fajita-style Chicken, Thai-style Chicken, and Garlic Chicken. All three are good, but I did list them in order of preference. The Garlic ones smell a bit too much of garlic for me, but taste good. Nothing wrong with the Thai ones, but the Fajita styled rolls are great. All of them are 200 calories, but while the Thai and Garlic have 10 grams of Protein, Fajita ones have 15 grams. They make for an absolutely perfect snack, especially with a little Duck sauce for dipping.


3. It's Not a Match – Several months ago I started to write about my gripes with online dating. One of the reasons I stopped is this blog. It’s Not a Match is written by a guy who claims to have gone on over 100 first online dates. He has way better stories than I do and plus I’m lazy, so why do something if there is already someone doing it better and in story form.

4. Bob’s Burgers – This is one of my favorite shows on TV and possibly my favorite cartoon. The writing is spectacular and this particularly scene (that I will horribly describe for you) sealed the deal. Louise (voiced by Kristen Schaal) is sent to the school guidance counselor/psychologist. The GC introduces Louise to a doll named “Repressed Memory Emily.” Louise gets upset and throws RME across the room, the GC says, “Don’t throw Repressed Memory Emily” to which Louise replies with just a touch of disdain, “She won’t remember it.” Acting! At the very least this show makes me wonder how/why The Cleveland Show, American Dad, and to a lesser extent Family Guy are still on air. Check out this little introduction to Louise.

5. Doggie Daycare – This is quite possibly the best innovation in pet care ever. The formula is simple. You take one super energetic, won’t leave you alone type dog. Then you drop him off at Doggie Daycare in the morning. He runs around and plays with other dogs, you get to take a nap, clean the house, get caught up on your stories, or maybe just waste the day playing video games. At the end of the day, you pick up a tired, borderline waste of space dog that no longer cares what you do and if you do it without him. Pure genius.

I have decided not to go to #6, because I will come back with a new list. A list of my current least favorite things and it will start with #6. I will give you a hint – one of the items will be meetings, specifically meetings on how we should recognize one another’s work performance. Total snoozefest, Quaid.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Not Khalid's Huskies

Congratulations to the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team(s). Your streak of 89 wins and counting is impressive and you deserve to be lauded and put in the record books. However, I have a slight issue. My problem is not with you or your coach or even your sport, it’s with the media that covers you.

To the media, will you please stop comparing apples to oranges in regard to all sporting feats? Brett Favre’s streak is not the same as Cal Ripken’s. Arguments can be made for both as to which is better and the same goes for the basketball win streak. The UCLA Men’s Basketball teams won 88 straight games and the UConn Women’s team has won 89 now. Yes, 89 is a larger number than 88. However, men’s basketball is not the same as women’s basketball. Sure, the rules are mostly the same and the object of the game is not changed, but there are plenty of differences. The biggest differences are in the style of play and in the athletes that allow for that style of play.

This year’s UConn team has players ranging in height from 5’4” to 6’5”. The 1974 UCLA team featured one of the greatest collegiate basketball players ever in Bill Walton, who was 6’11” and 210 pounds. From the limited research I just did, I couldn’t find a player shorter than 6’3” on that 1974 team. If there was some mystical dimension where these two teams would be able to play against each other, I would be very surprised if the women would score more than 20 points. The two teams are not comparable, so why should their streaks be?

As I said, the media should stop comparing apples to oranges or to be more genitally comparable – bananas to, um, warm-apple pies. I keep seeing articles and commentators saying that the UConn women have beaten the Men’s Basketball record. No, they haven’t, because they aren’t men. They are women; they have a Women’s Basketball record. If you want to compare the two, then just say basketball record. I have no problem with that.

It is not my intention of taking anything away from the Huskies, nor do I mean to belittle their accomplishments. They have achieved basketball greatness over the past 3 seasons. They deserve all of the attention and to get phone calls from the President and to go on the Late Show or Oprah for all I care. Well not Oprah, I don’t like her. Everything else though, go for it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You sit on a throne of lies.

As some of you may know it is one of my career dreams to be an advice columnist for some trashy women’s magazine. I would ease minds and soothe ailing hearts while delivering truths of the male mind. I came to have this dream after too many years of women complaining about all men are pigs and jerks and blah, blah, blah. You know why you think this? It’s because you read sensational articles on men that only cover a small percentage of the gender. That small percentage just happens to be the percentage of men that are the pigs and jerks. When I came across this unreasonable article claiming to inform women all about the 5 Secrets All Guys Keep From You, I could stand idly by no longer. Roger Bennett and Glamour are giving us all a bad name and preying on your need to trash men. They need to be stopped. Before I turn into the Hulk with rage, here are the alleged secrets and my opinion of them.

5. Hooters’ wings stop tasting good when we have a daughter.

- Hooters’ wings stop tasting good when they hit your tongue. Anyone who believes this either has no taste buds or has never had any hot wings other than Hooters'. I’m sorry, but no guy goes to Hooters for the first time or the second or the 152nd to have the wings. He goes because there are scantily clad, buxom women willing to bring him beer and deep fried food when he asks for it. If having a daughter really made the wings stop tasting good, then fathers would not frequent strip clubs, view pornography, ogle cheerleaders/dance teams at sporting events, or have impure thoughts about their college-aged daughter’s barely legal friends. Only the tasteless give a damn about the wings.

4. Sex and the City was a hit with men, too, because we saw it as a wildlife doc on how women behave.

- Sex and the City was not a hit with men and it is not an accurate reflection on how women behave. If all women behave like this, then I want absolutely nothing to do with them. The main characters are nothing but stereotypes. They’re all self-obsessed, gold digging, vapid strumpets. Enjoy the show/movies for the humor or whatever, but any man who thinks this is how women behave is delusional. I cannot name one friend of mine that would watch this show if a wife/girlfriend didn’t insist on watching it. As a side note, it is almost impossible for us to not look at a television if it is on.

3. There’s no correlation between how happy our sex life is and how much we use the Western grip in private.

- You have to be effing kidding me. If our sex life is happy and we get it on the “reg” (to quote Kenny Powers), yet we still need to take care of business often, then something is amiss. Yes, we will still practice this art, because sometimes the urge hits us and you aren’t around/in the mood. Damn those headaches. The only guys this applies to are the creeps that can’t practice self-control long enough, so they rub one out in rest stop bathrooms and during breaks at work. Note – I have no proof of that happening, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Some of us are fairly base creatures.

2. We hear only the first half of what you say. It’s a medical condition.

- Why is it necessary to continue the proliferation of the ideology that men are incapable of listening. Sure, we don’t pay attention when you talk sometimes. This is generally when we are watching TV and you start talking about shoes or what your friend Becky did the other day. If you want us to listen, then make sure we are engaged in you. Try waiting for commercials or when we’re eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner with you. The truth is that we hear absolutely everything you say, we just don’t remember it all, because there is too much information coming at us all at once. I know women that tell stories in the following fashion. They give the setting, the temperature inside and outside, everyone who was there and what they were wearing (Everyone had on red sweaters, no wait, they were blue. The sweaters were blue. Or were they red? Yes, red, definitely red, because I remember liking them and I don’t like blue sweaters, so they had to be red.), who they spoke to on the phone before the event happened, and then about an hour later will finally get to the point. Enough with the red herrings - be succinct. Tell us what’s important and if we need more info, we will ask questions. It’s not nagging that kills us, it’s drowning in useless information. We are functional beings – if we can’t put our heads on the throw pillows, then why are they on the bed? Please get to the point already.

1. Any feelings we harbor for an ex are eclipsed by the love of our first Playboy.

- If this were true, then I would still have my first Playboy and it wouldn’t have degraded in a landfill somewhere, ruining the water table with its smutty, smutty ink. Any real life girl that has allowed us the privilege of seeing them naked automatically takes up more memory capacity than a magazine. This isn’t even true for the exes that cheat on us or break our Playstations and throw our clothes out on the lawn. (I will admit if this happens, it was probably deserved.) Even in this situation though, we still have more feelings for our ex. The feelings might be an intense, gonorrhea style burning hatred, but feelings nonetheless.

Aside from these secrets being almost entirely false, they aren’t even secrets. If you want to know about our first Playboy or our opinion on Hooters, then ask us. Don’t hint or tip-toe around the subject. Be straightforward, tell us what you want to know and we’ll answer. Only the jerks will lie.