Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Which I Cease My Incessant Bitching

OK. I know I complain a lot. But in fairness, it isn't like there is any shortage of stuff to bitch about.

Now, however, I flip the script. Today, readers, not only will I prolifically and profusely use commas, I will find things to be plus-side about. Plus-side is a new word I have come up with. The meaning is obvious. If it isn't, sound it out.

Without further ado, though there is much ado about plus-siding (VERB!), my

List Of Happies
1. Lifting weights
2. Next weekend
3. Vintage friends
4. The Browns
5. Colin Cowherd
6. Dance Moves

*Honorable mention: my flawless comma usage. (It's almost sexual.)

How come the happiness, or, if you will, plus-sides? Alas, I divulge.

1. It has been a few months of steady lifting so far, and despite my general hatred for exercise, I am enjoying it. A lot. I am noticing very nice results, blowing off some steam, and there is something other than eating and boozing to fill my spare time, however little I may get. Plus, when my brother goes along, it is a nice chance to hang out one on one. Plus-sides galore.

2. My best friend, who shall remain nameless to protect his innocence and potentially his reputation, lives just outside of Columbus in Dublin. I haven't seen him in a couple of months, and I work like crazy, so I requested a weekend off of work to go see him and some other friends. What will we do? Booze, mainly. But also catch up, maybe be athletic, go to dinner, and enjoy some good old fashioned time together. It is going to be amazing. Perhaps post-worthy.

3. Sort of piggy-backing on 2 here. Some of the old friends I will see there are people I was never particularly close with, but have recently reconnected with. It's nice to see them and hang out and do some catching up. Also, I have rekindled a bromance with a friend from a few years ago that, for no good reason, I fell out of touch with. All in all, a very positive experience. I love that we all just pick up where we left off. Only guys can do this. Ladies, take note.

4. For some reason, it brings me great joy when the Cleveland Browns are as bad as they are. And folks, they may be HISTORICALLY bad. I mean like, 2-14 bad. Browns fans have a tendency to be obnoxiously optimistic every year, and most of them are delusionally defensive of their group of sorries. Plus, the Unintentional Comedy Scale is on the verge of having to be redefined every Sunday. Open letter to Browns fans:

Dear Depressed Browns Nation,
0 playmakers + 0 coaching + good division + tough schedule = FAIL FAIL FAIL PUNT!
The Guy That Tried To Tell You This Two Months Ago

I feel better.

5. The single best guy in radio. Do yourself a favor and youtube "Colin Cowherd Purdue Fan". Even if you don't care about sports, do it. The sports part is irrelevant and not the point I am making here. You're welcome. Keep in mind it is a radio show, so none of the visual stuff is actually part of the show. He is, unapologetically, ruthless. He tells it like it is, calls people out for being myopic, biased, and delusional (Browns fans). He is practical, open about his personal life, and doesn't take himself or sports too seriously. I listen to his show, which airs M-F from 10-1 in the afternoon on ESPN Radio, before bed on my computer. It is a breath of fresh air.

6. Oh my god, dance moves. I have several. My nimbleness borders on stupid, that's how impeccable it is. They have names such as, but not limited to: Get That Bug, Glass Cutters, Windmill, Stuck Right Here, and my personal favorite, Just The Hips AKA I'll have a G&T. I execute them regardless of the presence of any music, anyone else dancing, where I am, or who is watching. I don't care. I have also recently re-visited the slow dance. I have taken it upon myself to attempt to dance with my mother any time there is cheese, or a cheeselike food present. I call it "Cheese Dance". Usually it goes like this:

JARED: Is that cheese?
MOM: Sigh, Yes, Jared. This is cheese.
JARED: Alright, stop right there. Cheese Dance.
MOM: Again? Jared...
JARED: Don't fight it, Mom.

I recently convinced a woman at a bar that she had better slow dance with me during a Journey song. A particularly LOOOONG Journey song. She obliged, and was subsequently swept away into a world she had not likely known heretofore. Legitimately, she was enjoying herself. About four minutes in I gave her an out by saying ,"We don't have to dance the whole song if you don't want to". Her response? "No, that's fine. It's fun." Damn skippy it is. The catch? Married Woman. I had no way of knowing.
Open Letter:
Dear Betrothed Woman Upon Whom I Recently Bestowed The Pleasure Of A Spontaneous Slow Dance,
Did you enjoy the plus-side that was our slow dance?
You're welcome.
The Greatest And Best Dancer Ever, Who Took You To Dancing Heights You Had Previously Only Thought Of In Movies But Never Even Dreamed Of, As The Human Mind Is Incapable Of Dreaming Of Such Wonder

So, what are your plus-sides? Or, better than that, what are your dance moves called? And please, don't act like you A) don't dance, or B) don't name your moves.



Friday, September 18, 2009

Yeah, Yeah, I Know It's A Movie, But That Isn't My Concept Here

Ten Things I Hate About You

1. You have a big dog and let it jump on me when I come over.
2. You pronounce the initial "S" as an "SH" sound in words like "straight" and "street."
3. You listen to and believe Rush Limbaugh.
4. You keep saying "nucUlar."
5. You ask me about my vacation or weekend, then say "Wow. It must be nice."
6. You pull up next to me in traffic and keep your music blasting at arrhythmia-inducing levels.
7. You won't pull up your pants.
8. You let your children run around in a restaurant.
9. You let your dog bark and bark and bark and bark and bark and bark and bark and bark.
10. You don't care about anything and act amused that I do.

Thank goodness that this doesn't describe any one person, or I'd probably have to shoot myself that I actually know A person like this! But sadly, don't we all know people who bug the crap out of us and, on days when we just can't take it anymore, can send us to the moon if we don't take special care to avoid them?

Go on. Vent. We care; we really do.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How Come Everyone Thinks I Need This Stuff?

People, there comes a time in everyone's life where it is time to re-evaluate basic needs relative to the amount of things that he (or she) has. For me, I try to do this once every couple of months and sort of systematically weed out things that everyone thinks that I need. Upon further review, here's a list of

Stuff I Don't Need Anymore

1. Spoons.
2. Beer cozies.
3. Strainers for the disposal.
4. 98% of TV channels.
5. Daily news.

In order to streamline your life, I have taken all of the thinking out of the equation for you. You're welcome.

1. A few summers ago, I decided to renounce the spoon. For several months, I simply did not use a spoon. I mean, seriously, what real use do they provide. Soup? Sip it. Ice cream? It'll stay on your fork. Trust me. Mashed potatoes? Please. Even rice. If it is made properly, it will be dense and moist enough not only to pack a flavor punch, but also to sit proudly atop your fork, remaining atop it for the duration of its ride from plate to mouth. It became fun to annoy girlfriends, friends, parents, and especially my brother by strutting my forking self over to lay the spoon to rest where it belonged before a meal. (In the garbage? Tempting, but in this case, I am referring to the drawer.)

2. Where the hell are all these people that sit on a beer so long that they need to find a way to keep it cool for more than 10 or 15 minutes? I mean, really. Just. Drink. It. I'm not saying that one should pound one's drinks. Not at all. Enjoy them. Relax with them. Just do it in a timely manner. I swear on all things sacred, if it takes you longer than 15 minutes to drink a beer, you probably didn't want it in the first place. In this case, you are basically stealing. That's right. You are stealing that beer from someone who not only might have actually wanted the beer, but also knows that beer is only useful if one drinks it. Cold. And promptly.

3. My mother is particularly fond of our sink strainer. Nobody knows why. For the rest of us, it gets in the way. Of everything. Of me rinsing out or wiping out the sink after a meal, for starters. But most egregiously, it stops food from entering the bowels of the disposal. Also, if you forget to remove said impediment, you then have to rinse the disgusting meal remnants out of the beast to get it to the...yep, the very thing the strainer is designed to keep it from, the spinning, whirling, all-consuming blades of the disposal. Silly, really. Isn't it?

4. Does anyone need C-SPAN? No. How about MTV2? Doubtful. Fox News? Please. Even I will admit that there are too many sports channels. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, Fox Sports...the list is really endless and rivaled only by the number of 24-hour news channels all telling the same story. People, find one you like and trust, roll with it, erase the rest. I promise you that, one way or another, you will be able to hear approximately 92,567 different opinions on the price of oil from one channel. Try it. It is liberating, really. For example, the television in our livingroom skips from channel 15 directly to 26, courtesy Yours Truly. Once you erase one channel, you'll think "Holy shit, that felt great. Book C-SPAN, you're next!"

5. We get it. The economy sucks, Cash for Clunkers was a rousing success, California is dealing with their Crisis Of The Week, and it is still baseball season. Everyday, it is the same crap. Over and over again. You know how when you lift weights they tell you to go every other day so that your muscles don't treat your workout with a sense of "ho-hum, fuck this?" Let's apply this to the news. It may actually have an interesting effect...THINKING FOR OURSELVES. Imagine if there was news on Monday and they gave you Tuesday to reflect on what you learned; come back to it with fresh eyes on Wednesday, get some new stuff, and think about that in time for Friday. Colleges do this with class schedules. It is a system that is tried and true in every regard. Let's make this happen.

So, readers, what do you think? Challenge yourselves! Live without some things. In current economic times, people often talk about tightening financial belts and making sacrifices. Who the hell wants to do that? What fun can be had there? Instead, tighten your frivolity belts in terms of daily usage and viewing. Just a suggestion. Keep fun stuff, eliminate boring unnecessary stuff, and see if it makes each day just a little more interesting. I like to say that we should always try to be fantastic. However, if you can't be fantastic, at least be interesting. One thing is for sure, eating Jell-O with a fork, while perhaps not fantastic, is ALWAYS interesting.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Stuff That Needs To Be Straightened Out...For Me, Anyway

Our world is a confusing place, and even though I'm pretty damn smart, there are a few things that I have to admit I just don't get. Oh, I'm not talking about the usual Big Stuff, like republicans and geometry and why some hysterical Wrinklies are all steamed up about Health Care and a Public Option when they have been happily subscribing to Medicare and riding free scooters from Wilford Brimley all this time. No, I'm talking about

Random Stuff I Just Don't Get

1. The Emphasis On Women's Feet
2. The Bathtubs In The Cialis Commercials
3. Shelf Paper
4. The Big Deal About Breakfast
5. People Doing A Lot Of Stuff Outdoors

So, after I work 'em, maybe you can help me out.

1. First of all, what is up with all these (primarily male) photographers in magazines like Vanity Fair and Entertainment Weekly and whatnot taking photos of female celebs in frou-frou gowns and bare feet? Or the Sally Field commercials where she hawks Boniva and she and the little "granddaughter" are both barefoot? And all these products like a Ped-Egg where you grate off your dead skin into a receptacle? Holy crap. We're talking about FEET, people. Yikes. If I have to read one more Super Feminine Piece Of Bullshit in a magazine somewhere with the cutesy word "pedi" in it, I'll slit my wrist. For the record, I have never pumiced, Egged, had a pedicure, or any of that baloney. My heels are not cracked; my toenails are not polished. Leave my feet alone.

2. If Cialis is a medication to correct male erectile dysfunction, how is sitting in separate, clawfoot bathtubs out in the great wide-open an immediate product reference? Personally, I enjoy a nice, hot 45-minute soaker with a good book, a beverage, and dim lighting. ALONE. Sex in a regulation bathtub full of water is one of those "sounds romantic until you actually try it" things. The goofy thing here is that Cialis doesn't even try that metaphor. The couples are each in their own little tubs, barricaded from one another by enamel coated cast iron and some airspace. Huh?

3. I currently have this much shelf paper in my house: zero. Does anyone even use this stuff anymore? When I first moved into my house 25 years ago, I was all about it. It was the thing to do. I'm not sure I understood why, but my mother and my mother-in-law and my grandmother-in-law were pretty damn firm regarding shelf paper. WTF? Wipe down the shelves, stack up your stuff, the end. Those of you that do have it, how often have you replaced it? If you have, why?

4. I hope all of you are sitting down. I do not eat breakfast. EVER. And guess what? I live. OMG. Here is another Shocking Fact. No one in my home eats it. I come from a long line of Breakfast Shunners. I think all that Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day crap is bullshit. I struggled to eat breakfast my entire life, and all it did was frustrate the hell out of my poor mother and make me nauseated for the first few hours of each day. She finally gave up and so did I. I went on to excel in school, reach my goals, attain my chosen career, and vote Democrat. Also, to marry a nice guy. So there.

5. Ladies and gentlemen, we have evolved as a civilized society to the point of creating shelters with roofs to protect us from the elements. This includes our conveyances, such as cars. Why then do people persist in having outdoor parties and weddings? Why do they choose to pay to eat outdoors at restaurants? Why do they fling themselves down super-heated asphalt roadways at the mercy of the elements? Why not take advantage of the science and technology that our intelligence and evolution have wrought? No. Instead, we must contend with wind, bugs, heat, humidity, and other natural inconveniences for...I can think of no good reason. NOT ONE.

What Stuff don't you get? Or...can you help me to understand any of this Stuff?


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