Sunday, June 26, 2005

Judges, take note:

Well, it’s after 11 pm, and I’ll be moving everything I own tomorrow. Let me take a quick glance around the room… yup, not one single thing packed. Impressed? You should be.

As is my custom when I have anything even remotely important to do, I am now searching for literally any excuse not to do it. This is a special time, a time when it becomes absolutely necessary to clean all the dust out from between each individual key on my keyboard. I can’t possibly be expected to move my keyboard in this condition, can I? I’m not a dog. I have to maintain my civility somehow!

I also have an immediate need to work out some kinks in my golf swing. I may not have take a trip to the links in several months, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to get that hitch out of my back swing. For God’s sake, it’s almost 11 pm on a Saturday night the day before I move everything I own, if there’s a better time to practice my swing, please tell me. And while you’re at it, find me a better time not to test all the random batteries I find lying around with my voltmeter.

I’ve also been meaning to take apart some various R/C cars I have lying around in my room. I’m sure you can understand that though, I mean, you should see them… just lying around in my room… they were just begging to be disassembled… That was of course followed by an impromptu jam/dance session involving me performing a 2 hour sing along to my favorite songs while feigning guitar with my tennis racket … it was spectacular. Not the least noteworthy thing about it was the fact that I was dancing. I must really be avoiding something if I’m willing to dance. I started off the show with my trademark rendition of the Jackson Five’s “ABC.” The show went all over the place, lots of different styles… at one point I went into a 15 minute drum solo… And I brought the show to a conclusion with my show-stopping version of Counting Crows’ “Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby.” I think Adam would have been proud. I even made some dreadlocks out of some yarn I found. (ok, I didn’t just “find” the yarn, I knew it was there… I used to like to crochet stuff. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a totally acceptable form of masculine entertainment. Lots of guys do it.)

I think you know where this is heading… yup, I had to stage a complete recreation of every single battle in the Civil War using only Q-tips and Toothpicks… I didn’t know how it was going to turn out, but I filmed the whole thing in wide screen format and I’ve only seen a few of the dailies, but I think this could be epic. I’ve said that before, but I was just trying to hype things up those times, this time I really mean it.

Ok, it’s about midnight now, and I should really be going to bed because, well, I haven’t packed anything, so I’m going to have a lot of work to do tomorrow. Not much left to do but post this because posting this is a very important part of moving…

I’ve learned a few things about myself today. I had one thing to do all day. One simple, little thing. So far, I have done everything else I could think of but that one thing.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

True Confessions of an English Major (or as I like to call it, the Book Meme)

Of all the posts I’ve written, this one is sure to get me in the most trouble. As you all know, in one of my more foolish decisions in life, I went after an English major in college. As such, I’m supposed to know a lot about books. Well, prepare to be disappointed, outraged, disillusioned, scared, saddened, itchy and most of all, bored.

So begins my list…

The Number Of Books I Own: 183. That’s a rough estimate though, the exact count remains a mystery as I have neither the time nor the desire to actually count them. Who does though? I’ll bet that person doesn’t have a lot of friends. Not that I have a lot of friends, but that’s due to other reasons besides my compulsion to count every book I own.

The Last Books I Bought: Five minute mysteries. This was a mistake. I like things that make me think, and I like to solve riddles or puzzles. I went to the book store last week to see if they had anything that fit that description. The selection was decidedly sparse. This was the best I could come up with, but the sale tag of $3.99 should have been a dead give away. There are 40 five minute mysteries in this book, after getting through the first too with minor difficulties, I realized that the key was to be an idiot. This book turned into an exercise of finding the most vague and circumstantial evidence in the story and then using that to solve the crime. Let’s just say Mrs. Marple would be disappointed, as would Coco and Yum Yum.

Last Book I Read: How to play poker like the pros. This is the Phil Helmuth Jr, edition of poker strategy. It’s actually helped my game a fair amount. It is of course my goal to become a professional gambler, so I thought I’d read one book and then go take down Vegas. I’m pretty sure it’s just a matter of time before all of Vegas grovels for mercy at my feet, but as of yet I haven’t had the time to make a trip out there. It’s been too long, Vegas is calling… maybe Vegas just wants my money, but this time, Vegas is going to get a little surprise…

Five Books That Mean A Lot: This is where it’s all going to hell in a proverbial handbasket…

1. Journey to Ixland by Carlos Castaneda. I haven’t been able to convince too many of my friends to read this book because when they look it up at the book store, it shows up under “New Age Religion.” And their Christian upbringing prevents them from even considering reading it. This is just fiction people. I also like the perspective it gave me. That’s all I really have to say about it if you haven’t read it. I underlined a lot in this one… I don’t normally do that.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This book makes the list because I didn’t really read it until I was in college and had a British lit class with it on the syllabus. I had grown up with the horrifically misguided view of Frankenstein’s monster. When I read this, not only did I find it well written, but I became fascinated with the monster as Shelley had written him. Fast, Athletic, Strong and above all, extremely intelligent. I like books that make me think, and this one made me rethink a lot of preconceived misconceptions that I had.

3. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Truth be told, I could have listed any number of books by Hesse here. He’s easily my favorite author. I like his approach and how he always shows the journey of life and it’s constant change. How a person can move through life, remain the same person, but change their outlook and their priorities. The process of individuation is one that fascinates me, and no one shows it better than Hesse.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by (seriously, you don’t know by now?). Again, could have listed any of her books, but this one happens to be my favorite so far. I was a skeptic for quite some time like so many others, then I actually read the books. They are not to be ignored. There’s something very universal about them that really appeals. I’m also getting pretty sick of the church complaining about how they advocate witchcraft. Get over it, these books are about good Vs. evil, they just happen to use witchcraft and wizardry as a backdrop. I also hate how the same critics of HP, loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy… same thing. Just because J.R.R. is widely accepted as a Christian doesn’t mean he didn’t use magic too. Am I crazy?

5. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. This is another one of those books that made me take pause and think about things for awhile. While it’s true that I don’t believe in God, I definitely believe in the effect we have on other peoples lives even if we don’t realize it at the time. I never saw the TV version of this, and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. I have a very specific idea in my head of what this book looks like in my imagination and I like that picture. I won’t let that be ruined. (not like Jurassic Park. I really liked that book and thought the movie did such a poor job with it that it made me sick.)

I could go on, but right now most people have probably passed out and are repeatedly hitting the “b” hey with their forehead on the keyboard. That should make for some fantastic comments on this post.

One Book That Meant A Lot to Burn: The Pioneers by James Fennimore Cooper. I seriously wanted to slit my wrists after I got nearly 85 pages into this one and approximately 12 minutes of time had passed in the story. Sometimes, it’s hard being an English major.

People I think deserve this kind of agonizing torture…

I think I’ve proven to pretty much everyone out there that I’m nothing if not a thief. So I’m going to steal a line from Jasmine here and say if you want to do this, go ahead, if not, smack me in the face and call me jerk just like everyone else. Besides, I think almost everyone else has I know has been tagged by one of these meme things…

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

It’s a fine line between being in a rut and being in a groove.

The sun was going down and the wind was blowing heavily back at me. I stood there on the edge of the bluff with a tempting view of the ocean and nice piece of caution in my right hand. In the blink of an eye I followed my natural instincts, reared back and threw that caution as hard as I could into the oncoming wind. The results have yet to be determined, but what I can tell you is that several things transpired in a very short period of time.

First of all, I dug into my closet and pulled out some equipment that had not seen the light of day in nearly a month. Within a matter of minutes, I had bedazzled every item of clothing in my wardrobe. I’ve always been fond of dolphins and rainbows; so I thought to myself, why not bedazzle some designs on every item of clothing that I own to show this great love affair I have with dolphins/rainbows. On a few of my nicer muumuus that I only wear on special occasions, I made some beautiful designs that incorporated dolphins swimming inside of rainbows. I can’t wait for my next formal dinner party to bust those suckers out. You might also think that my work with the bedazzler ended with my shirts, pants, socks and underwear, but you’d be wrong. I also bedazzled my shoes and hats as well. All in all, I think I added a good 40 lbs to every outfit that I own. Yes, that’s correct, I have “outfits.”

Once my work with the bedazzler was done, I felt like the creativity was just beginning to flow. I was in no mood to question my motives, so I immediately painted a life size mural of the A-Team on the living room wall. It featured Mr. T in the middle holding a suspicious looking glass of milk with Murdoch in the background putting on some pilots goggles, Hannibal lighting up a cigar on the right and Face on the left disposing of a syringe. If I could take a moment to be honest about my own work, it’s arguably the greatest single thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. It’s just too bad that I’ll only be living here for another week. I’m pretty sure once the landlord sees it, she is going to demand to pay me cash money for it. It’s that good.

Now I felt like my creativity was at quarter strength. In my case, that’s really quite powerful and not something you should mess with unless you have some sort of degree in messing with the awesome power of my creativity. To my knowledge, no such degree exists, so my original point of not messing with me remains true. Having bedazzled my entire wardrobe and painted the greatest A-Team mural of all time, I took the next logical step. I made a movie.

I decided to do a period piece. I chose 2005 as my period. It seems like everyone is doing a period piece these days, but they tend to focus on either the past or the future. I took the road less traveled and went with the present. I wrote it, directed it, starred in it, performed the musical score for it and edited it, although, it was so amazingly brilliant that almost none of the movie made it to the cutting room floor. I walked it straight down to the theater myself and they immediately put it in every theater they had. Not surprisingly, the theater sold out within minutes. Every show was packed. Most of the movie consists of musical montages. A film device I am single handedly going to bring back into the forefront of American film making today. It’s an epic tale of good and evil, pitting the refrigerator against the oven. One is hot, one is cold, who will win? You’ll have to watch the movie to find that out. The critics described the film as, “Wildly entertaining!” and “Easily one of the afternoons top 100!” (by the way, has anyone else ever been able to use the phrase ‘wildly entertaining’ in a normal conversation? I’ve been trying unsuccessfully for the past 23 years. I’m pretty sure this is only an acceptable phrase in the world of movie critiques.) The crowd response was even more favorable. Several people demanded to pay again because they thought the movie was simply that good.

After that, I sat down and wrote the great American novel, which I have titled, “The New York Times Best Seller!” It’s suspense novel, with lots of international espionage, black market dealings, terrorist threats, a love story and a comedic hero. It’s based loosely on my life working as a government employee in the Dodgers minor league farm system back in the early 80’s. Enough time has passed for me to adequately tell the story and not offend any parties that were involved at the time. Also, the perspective I have gained on the situation as a whole with all the time that has passed allows me to give a more equal and unbiased account. It hits bookstores tomorrow, so go check it out.

Shortly after all of that, I mistakenly thought I still had some creativity left in me, so I wrote this post. Oh well, they can’t all be good, right?

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Simi Valley, CA. At approximately 2:23 pm this afternoon, in a manner remarkable only in the fact that it was completely unremarkable, it was determined that I officially lost my mind. Few witnessed this tragic (that’s my personal opinion) event. Had I not dropped to my knees and cried out, “For the love of all that is holy and good, what have I done to deserve this?!!?” and then began to weep openly, probably no one would have even noticed. The general consensus is that I’m a little on the wacky side anyways. It’s not uncommon to see me walking around the office with my helmet on and one of those fancy kid harness leashes on. Sometimes I feel like I get paid to be baby sat. Whatever, a job is a job.

The loss of my mind was officially diagnosed by five of our onsite medical doctors and also corroborated by WebMD. When you work for the fastest growing title company in Simi Valley, you have things like onsite medical doctors and vending machines. Perks of the job I guess. But I digress. Once all five doctors nodded in agreement with what they saw onscreen at WebMD, they turned to me and said the problem was my mind, it was gone.

What triggered the investigation into the whereabouts of my mind? That is a fair question and I will answer it. At approximately 2:23, for a period of time I care not to disclose, I discovered myself still searching for the “-“ key on the dial pad of my phone. You see, I needed to make a phone call and I had gotten through the area code and the area code alone because I was desperately (maybe even frantically) looking for the “-“ key so I could move on to the prefix. Once I made that woeful discovery, I hung my head in shame, the phone cut out to the busy signal because I had taken too long and the doctors strolled in. My minds escape obviously left some sort of blood trail behind in the air and the doctors, sharks that they are, picked up the scent immediately and made haste over to my desk.

From there, the doctors proceeded to ask me several questions about myself, like what my name was, where I lived, if I knew my social security number and if I knew the way to San Jose. I slapped the second doctor square on the mouth, made farting noises at the fourth doctor, repeatedly winked at the first doctor and ignored the third and fifth doctors all together. After that brief examination, all the doctors felt they had enough to go on for my diagnosis.

I’m currently in a straightjacket right now. Lucky for me I practice nose typing everyday. Not so foolish after all, is it? (that comment is directed at my father, who for years criticized my relentless practicing of nose typing. He said it would never get me anywhere, well, guess who’s laughing now? I’ll give you three guesses. Come on, I know you can do it! Ok I’ll give you a hint… this man is responsible for getting my mother pregnant with me… any guesses… any at all?)

I don’t know if anyone is going to believe this, but that’s all I’ve got in me right now. I’m all tuckered out and it’s only 12:24am. Looks like I might get a full six hours of sleep tonight. By the way, I didn’t even proof read this one, so you don’t need to point out in the comments how much it sucks. I already know this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Hopscotch of Life Continues…

Well, moving day is approaching faster than I’d like to admit. (No, I’m not really sure why I have trouble admitting the pace with which moving day heads towards me.) I have to be out of here by the 26th because the next weekend I’ll be leaving to New York for a much needed vacation. I’ve alerted the judges to this fact so they can all sit back and watch as I procrastinate longer than any other human being on the face of the planet has ever procrastinated when it comes to moving all of their earthly possessions from one place to another. I imagine some sort of gathering will happen late Sunday night where in a few unlucky souls, who will no doubt reevaluate their stance on being my “friend” when this is all over, will show up at my apartment, find me sitting on the couch, eating some sort of snack food item, without a single thing packed and ready to go. I expect high marks from the judges all around.

In the past few weeks, I have frequently been bombarded with the question, “What will you miss the most about the apartment when you move back home?” Truth be told, I could literally go on for 3 or possibly even 4 minutes about all the things I’m going to miss. I won’t waste everyone’s valuable time with all that though. Instead, I have chosen to tell you about the one thing that I will definitely not miss. As hard to believe as this is going to be for about 95% of my readers (statcounter will confirm this, much like it confirmed the 15 hits on my blog when people googled “Dakota Fanning’s teeth.”) the thing I’m going to miss the least is the community laundry room.

Blasphemous, I know. I’ll give you all a minute to scream in your pillow, punch a hole in the wall, break dishes, or whatever else it is you do when confronted with such rage inspiring comments like the ones I wrote above. It’s ok… get it all out… I’ve got time… I mean, I’ve certainly got enough time to drag this joke out way too long…

It’s not that I don’t like paying $5.00 to do two loads of laundry; I love that. With all my heart and all my soul, I love paying money to wash my clothes. And above that, I love the hunt for quarters that a laundry day ignites. I’m certainly glad no one had the audacity to put a coin machine in the laundry room itself! That would take the thrill out of the hunt. No, I much prefer to sift through my quarter eating coin jar or look under the seat of my car for those last two quarters I need to maintain my pampered “I like dry clothes” lifestyle that I’ve become so accustomed to.

You’d also be a fool for a horse* if you think I don’t like sharing a washing machine with several dozen strangers. The thought of that only exhilarates me all the more when preparing to do my laundry. Every day it’s a new game of, “Did they use bleach and leave some trace amounts in the machine or didn’t they?” (I still maintain that would make one of the greatest board games of all time for children ages 6-11. Think of it… a whole game centered around the action adventure that is laundry!! Oh it gives me goose bumps!!) No my friends, when I think of putting my clothes in a machine that may have contained an entire load of vomit covered “party” outfits, well, it’s hard to keep the grin off my face.

I am also going to miss those frequent times when I came back to a pile of my wet clothes on the ground because I took 31 minutes to get back to the machine instead of 30. Those were grand times indeed. I wish I had photos of the happy and surprised look on my face when I opened the door to that fortuitous scene. In conjunction with that, I’m also going to miss that awesome gift of four quarters and a dryer sheet that screams “Hey neighbor! I don’t know if you knew this, but I’m kind of a big deal around here, so I don’t have to put my own clothes in the dryer myself. Would you be a lamb and toss them in there for me? Thanks, you’re a peach!” Which reminds me of another one of my favorite treats… I will always remember feeling like a kid in a candy store when I walked into the laundry room, saw my clothes half dried and on the floor because what I didn’t see was the hidden dryer sheet and quarters gift left from you to me. Whoever you were, you were totally in the right when you left your clothes in the machine for four hours, and then when I got fed up and just put my stuff in the dryer ahead of yours, I was the one that was way out of line. The only true injustice would have been if you had let me dry my clothes first. Thanks to people like you, I feel like I live in a better world, even though I’m not the one that makes it that way. (I need a moment to dry the tears from my eye… it’s just the left one. The left one always tears up during moments of intense joy.)

What of the hike you say? It is true; I’m quite fond of the quarter mile hike to and from the laundry room. Who knows what kind of terrible shape I’d be in if I didn’t have that hike. My favorite days will always be the rainy days. Oh how I loved to just stroll down to the laundry room in the pouring rain. It’s weird, it doesn’t rain here often, but when I first moved in, the rain would start the afternoon I’d realize I needed to do laundry, and it wouldn’t let up for several days. I count my blessings every day people, make no mistake about it.

No, I’ll miss it all because I’ve clearly been beaten in the head several times. I’m pretty sure I was dropped a lot as a child, but my mother will not confirm this. Of course, why would she? It doesn’t make her look very good, does it? But I can see her point. I mean, she had 3 other kids. 3 out of 4 isn’t bad. You find me a success rate of 75% anywhere in the world and I guarantee you most people would find that well above satisfactory. Plus, I was the only boy; the girls clearly needed more pampering. I imagine I was often tossed across the room (in the general direction of the couch mind you, my parents aren’t completely heartless) when one of the princesses needed tending to. I’ll bet most of the time I even hit the cushioned couch first, but the rebound no doubt sent me flying onto the living room floor. I’m sure I just flipped over onto my stomach and took off crawling again. According to mom, I didn’t start walking at an early age, but I was a terror at the 2 C’s, crawling and climbing. At 9 months, I taught my sister how to climb up and get the cookies from the cupboard. She was almost 3 at the time and had been wildly unsuccessful at this feat. (that’s actually a true story. Unlike most of the nonsense found within these mad ramblings, I didn’t make that climbing thing up. How could I? I’m not THAT creative!)

*yeah… got me, I don’t know what that means either.

Friday, June 10, 2005

One ponders the tragic reality of youth sometimes…

I’d like to take a moment to diverge from my usual nonsense and chicanery. I do this from time to time and I think that’s what makes me both annoying and insufferable. Today is one of those days. I have witnessed something so unbelievably tragic in the realm of humanity that I cannot help but address it. It’s usually not in my nature to work out these matters of the heart in a public blog forum with friendly strangers, but like I said, this struck a chord so deep in my heart that I could not forgive myself if I didn’t bring it up here and now.

It’s Dakota Fanning’s teeth. I watched the MTV Movie Awards tonight, and most of the show is a blur because I was unable to focus once I caught a glimpse of Dakota’s grill. They flashed to her in the audience quickly near the beginning of the awards show and I saw something that disturbed me. I passed it off as a moment of quick camera panning and thought, “my eyes have played tricks on me in the past, perhaps this is yet another cruel jest on their behalf. Oh eyes, how I both love and hate!! It is a tenuous relationship we have. A fine line we walk indeed!!”

When Dakota won the award for best frightened performance, (it amazes me why they don’t have some of these categories at the Oscar’s… we may never know why.) her acceptance speech confirmed that my eyes were not, in fact, messing with me. I spent the rest of the show with my head cocked to the right, eyes glazed, mouth slightly open, fighting feverishly with my brain to try and process the horror that was now etched in my mind. The great battle culminated in a large puddle of drool on my right shoulder. That’s not a detail I would normally share, but I feel that the power of that image far outweighs any personal image degradation that may take place due to the public knowledge of said puddle.

I realize that the MTV Movie Awards are only going to be aired 7 times a day for the next 3 months straight, so the chances of anyone getting to see what I’m talking about are virtually non existent. The window of opportunity is so remarkably small that I can hardly expect anyone to know what I’m talking about. I guess it will go down as one of those infamous, “you had to be there,” moments. It is not my intention to tease my readers so much, but as I have stated numerous times already, this picture tube moment in my life has had a profound effect on me this day.

I thought the worst was passed me, but once again, my feeble brain could never have predicted what was to come. Dakota and Tom Cruise presented the last award of the evening, meaning that the end of the show, often the most memorable part, was going to involve that terrifying smile.

Midway through the presentation speech from Dakota and Tom, it hit me: Dakota must have absolutely no idea how hideous her teeth are. She simply won’t stop smiling. It’s like she doesn’t even know that babies everywhere are crying, hoards of children are putting down their candy, parents are desperately trying to locate the remote control to change the channel (Don’t even think for one second that they would consider manually changing the channel on the TV, that is the pinnacle of crazy talk! and I will not make any attempt to even insinuate such a ludicrous action would ever take place in any home inside THESE United States of America!) to prevent those same children from being scarred for life by this visual, vomit inducing display of uncensored oral hell.

Side note: It also gives me the creeps to see child actors talk like they are in their mid 30’s. I can only imagine that the interactions with kids her own age are filled with moments of awkwardness to horrific to even legitimately think about.

Also, it has been said in the past that on rare occasions, I have a slight tendency to “embellish,” or “over exaggerate” in the most minuscule way, certain things that I write about. I hardly think that applies here, but both my lawyers and my editors thought I should note it nonetheless. I initially dismissed them all with my customary, “Oh pish posh! Why don’t you little scallywags run off and bother a hungry wolf or something, hmm?” To which they responded with their usual blend of narcotics and jelly beans in order to get me lucid enough to sign a binding legal agreement to put this bit of nonsense in my post. I hate when they do that.

From what I was able to gather based loosely on my own memory and the notes that my Chinese monkey took, (he didn’t have a problem with the teeth, he actually thought they were sexy, but he’s a Chinese monkey that was raised in the public school system, so he has low standards anyway.) the other highlights of the awards show are as follows:

Best Acceptance Speech: Hands down, this one goes to Dustin Hoffman.

Most of Jimmy Fallon’s sketches were pretty good. In fact, the only thing that I thought he did that was lame was the pathetic movie jokes stand-up he attempted after the Batman Intro. (It should be noted that I’m really not a big fan of puns, so that had a lot to do with why I didn’t like his jokes.)

Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn doing their party crashing class, with a brilliant supporting performance from Justin Long. (It should be noted that ED was one of my favorite shows and I’ve been a fan of Justin (Warren) for quite some time.)

The Breakfast Club Tribute. This reminded me of the crush I used to have on Ally Sheedy. I was excited when they said Yellowcard was going to perform a remake of “Don’t you forget about me” but was extremely disappointed when they actually did perform it. I didn’t like their version at all. I like Yellowcard, I have their album. I like covers of 80’s songs… this had winner written all over it for me, but it somehow still managed to kind of suck. At least for me anyway.

Katie Holmes helped me realize that I have watched a very large quantity of Tom Cruise movies. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Also not sure how I feel about Katie Holmes anymore either. I believe Tom Cruise is a scientologist… those scientologists are crafty, I’ll give them that.

The Rock’s description of his wildest fight… I thought it was funny.

Quentin Tarantino is really not cool. He seemed to be on some sort of a mission to prove that to the whole MTV watching world. I think he was amazingly successful.

I’m officially completely sick of Rachel McAdams.

Hardest award to watch? Best musical performance in a movie. Jon Heder won for Napoleon Dynamite. I don’t have a problem with this, I just feel bad for the channel 4 news team. I thought their rendition of “Afternoon Delight” was also exceptional. It’s hard when you’re up against Napoleon Dynamite though…

Ok, this concludes another waste of everyone’s time.

*****Ok, I found some pics on the teeth online. These are some of the best I could find. Not that great, but I suppose it would be a little unfair to expect someone to magnify her teeth for me. I think she does have braces, but what I also found out is that she lacks some sort of enzyme that allows her baby teeth to fall out naturally to make room for the adult teeth. Consequently, all of her teeth have to be pulled out by a dentist, although I bet if she really wanted to, she could do it herself. All this really goes to show you is that I’m an insensitive ass. But you already knew that. Also, I would like to mention that I really did like her in "I Am Sam," Even though that movie also had Creepy Sean Penn.*****

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Stair Master! (not yet, but maybe someday… long dramatic sigh)

That last post was awfully long, emphasis on the awful. I’m going to try and keep this one short today. We’ll start of with the number one most important thing I learned today.

After numerous attempts with lots of trial and error, a distinguished panel of experts unequivocally determined that there is no possible way for me to fall down a flight of stairs gracefully.

My first attempt was weak. I wasn’t loosened up and I hadn’t found a rhythm yet, so I didn’t beat myself up too bad when the judges declared my first effort, “the work of a blind, clumsy fool.” I deserved that, the way I fell down those stairs was nothing short of amateurish. I was so embarrassed I didn’t even properly acknowledge the judges table after I landed on my side. Sure, it’s a points deduction, but there was no way I was getting anything above a 3 anyway, so no big loss.

For my second attempt of the day, I thought I’d try and make up some ground, so I began the tumble starting off on the wrong foot. I’m naturally goofy foot, so traditionally I begin my fall down the stairs by misjudging the second step with my right foot. The judges know this, so I thought they would appreciate the effort I was putting forth when I instead used my left foot, precariously planting just the last quarter inch of my heal on the tip of that first step and then letting my body weight combined with the awesome force of gravity do the rest. In the end, it came out looking decidedly un-athletic and contrived, which it was. Still, the judges were being generous when they handed me an average score of 6.7.

My last attempt I had to lay it all on the line if I wanted to have any shot at a medal. I couldn’t hold back. Like the kids say, “Go big, or go home.” I figured my only chance was to attempt a move I’ve named, “The Paid Vacation.” I call it that because when executed properly, any witnesses or video camera footage should confirm to a judge and jury that the “victim” that fell down the stairs is entitled to no less than 6 months of workman’s comp. I carried two large boxes that almost completely obscured my vision of the stairs. This move is all about timing, and truth be told, I’ve only landed it once in practice, never in a competition. The key is to convince your body that the step is about 4 inches higher than it really is. This makes your overall body form give the impression of true commitment. You want to convince the judges that you really didn’t mean to fall. It’s much harder than it sounds. These are expert judges that have spent years watching people fall down stairs. Many of them were Olympic alternates back in 1970’s, the “Golden Days” of stair falling, so they know all the tricks of the trade and it’s hard to get anything by their keen eyes.

Like the previous two, my third attempt was an utter disaster. The Australian judge totally nailed me eyeballing my mark (the place where I was pretending the step was) and all but screamed it out to the other judges. And the Finland judge (the Fins are world renowned for their ability to recreate the true herky jerky motion of an actual fall down the stairs) said I moved my hips like an oversized aardvark after a heavy night of drinking, which is true, I do. Then, to add insult to injury, the Argentinean judge told me my cries for help sounded rehearsed and monotone. I heard myself on the replay and I can’t argue, but he didn’t have to call me out like that. I knew it, the judges knew it, hell, even the casual fans in the audience who know nothing about the sport of stair falling knew it. I didn’t need to be insulted on national television like that.

My final fall resulted in a very disappointing 5.8. I didn’t even make the top 5 which means that I’ll have to compete in several of the other less prestigious competitions in order to qualify for the Olympic trials which are set to begin in November of 2007. I’m going to have to train hard. I won’t be happy until the judges acknowledge me as the most graceful stair faller the world has ever seen. I know it’s an ambitious goal, but if you fought through the dry eyes and blurred vision that my last post undoubtedly created, then you’d know that I have ambitious goals that I’m afraid to go after. Well it’s high time I stared (pun totally intended) fear in the eyes and find out if it really will make me wet my pants. There’s only 3 1/2 ways to find out. I’ll keep you posted. (yeah, I intended that pun too. What are you going to do about it?)

Hmm… so much for a short post. There’s a lot of wind in this bag people.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Not another list? (sigh, it’s another list…)

Yeah, this is going to be a list post. I’m neither for nor against such things like some people. I won’t say that I hate them, but I won’t say that I love them either. Basically I like to think I lack creativity all together, so to perform a post such as this only solidifies that fact. I figure, if everyone else is doing it, then maybe I should too. I mean, if you read my very first post, you’ll understand why I’m a trend follower, not a trendsetter.

A few notes before we get started, I’m going for the marathon “100” list, only, I’m going to attempt to do it without cheating, i.e. I’m not going to comment on a previous item and give that comment an entire number all to itself. Don’t be surprised if this list only gets to like 14 though. Also, the order in which the items on the following list are in a VERY particular order. So particular in fact, that if you are good at quantum mechanics and chaos theory, by item # 99 you should have developed a formula that will totally allow you to completely and fully predict item #100. And that should be a level of fun on par with going to the doctor to investigate that weird lump in that spot we don’t like to talk about.

Well, here we go! Don’t worry, this should be totally uninteresting to about 98.3% of the people that visit this nonsense I call a blog. And I promise that at least 44% of this stuff is true. Maybe more, we’ll see though, I’m not very interesting, so I may need to “spice it up” a little bit. I think I’ll use everyone’s favorite spice, Paprika.

1. I like to take walks in the rain, but only when I know that as soon as I get home I can take a nice hot shower.

2. My ethnic background is 95% German, 5% special ingredients. That’s probably why I have no sense of humor.

3. I have won the lottery several times, but never for more than $11.00.

4. No one is harder on myself than I am.

5. I’m an absolute trivia nut. I love being asked questions and knowing the answers.

6. I was born on Halloween. I think that’s one of the best holidays to be born on if you have to be born on a holiday.

7. A good conversation is invaluable to me. I will take a good conversation over anything.

8. I’ve been told that I have a very quick wit, to which I have no response.

9. It’s very hard to make me laugh out loud.

10. From 1st through 5th grade, I was the kid that always ruined the class picture.

11. When you look at pictures of my father when he was my age, we look exactly alike. It’s kind of creepy.

12. I carry a spare yo-yo string in my wallet instead of the traditional condom, because the chances of me breaking a yo-yo string are far greater than me needing a condom.

13. I’m kind of addicted to Chapstick.

14. I’m a huge sports fan and I support my favorite teams vehemently. Loyalty is very important to me.

15. I have ambitious dreams that I’m afraid to go after.

16. I love the fact that I have a little community of bloggers that I chat with and that they are all over the world.

17. I once got a call from my best friend at 1am. He needed me to pick him up from a bar. The bar was about an hour away. I picked him up and never once complained about having to drive so far, nor have I ever told him that he owed me for it. Best friends can’t incur that kind of debt. That’s just how I feel about it.

18. When I was in high school, my family had a local family reunion. I didn’t go because I didn’t feel like it. Some idiot there (now my uncle) let my sister get on a mo-ped. She crashed into a car, had a collapsed lung and spent three days in the hospital. It’s not my fault, but I’ve never forgiven myself for not being there to stop it.

19. I did a lot of hiking when I was high school. We used to blaze our own trails. If my parents only knew how many times I almost fell off a cliff…

20. One of my favorite things to do is take a drive down the coast and play music as loud as I can stand it.

21. I hate not being prepared for something.

22. I don’t like to drink. I’ve only been drunk twice in my life. It wasn’t worth it either time.

23. I’ve never tried any drugs.

24. My favorite football player of all time is Henry Ellard, but it’s very rare that I meet anyone that knows who he is.

25. I am fiercely competitive, but I’m not a sore loser. I can accept being beaten, what I can’t stand is when I make mistakes so that I beat myself.

26. The most exhilarating thing for me to do in any sport is to make a play knowing that the only reason I made it was because I was going flat out and holding nothing back. Like making a diving catch on a dead run in the outfield. Knowing that anything less than maximum effort would have resulted in failure… it gives me goose bumps.

27. I remember the first time I visited the Jersey Shore. I was shocked and amazed that you had to pay money just to walk on the beach. I still think it’s ridiculous.

28. I still like to watch cartoons.

29. I love gadgets, gizmos and toys… oh how I love toys.

30. I have a special suitcase for all my different yo-yos.

31. I have a strange obsession with the romantic idea of being a pirate or an outlaw. Not the reality of it, but the romanticized Hollywood version of it.

32. I will not kill bugs or spiders. If they are inside the house, I will simply relocate them outside. I think life is very precious, but I’m a hypocrite because I love meat.

33. Some say my biggest fault is that I’m too honest.

34. In my opinion, my greatest achievement to date is a short 10-minute film I made at college with my friend over a thanksgiving holiday weekend while we were both stuck on campus. I particularly like the credits, but you would have to see it to know what I’m talking about. Good luck with that. I don’t think blockbuster carries it anymore.

35. My dream car is a 1969 Dodge Charger R/T.

36. I’ve only seen my father cry twice, once when his mother died, and once when my sister got married.

37. One of my biggest pet peeves is people who don’t wash their hands after they use the restroom.

38. I have never broken a single bone in my body, at least not that I know of.

39. I practice some intense amateur chiropractic care. I don’t think there’s a joint on my body that I don’t pop on a regular basis. I have 3 or 4 techniques for almost every joint. It doesn’t surprise me that some people think it’s disturbing.

40. I can’t stand to be barefoot. Ever. Only when I’m in the shower, otherwise, I have to at least have socks on.

41. I have no problem at all putting together any kind of electronic equipment. It just naturally makes sense to me and I don’t know why.

42. I’m in love with the feeling of freefall. I desperately want to go skydiving.

43. When I used to deliver pizza, I never looked at a map. I knew where every street in our delivery area was. It scares me, but I think I might have been an amazing delivery driver. I really hope that’s not the one thing in the world that I was destined to be truly great at.

44. I enjoy turbulence when flying in a plane.

45. I have a hard time falling asleep at night because I can never seem to turn my mind off.

46. I don’t drink caffeine.

47. I have my degree in English, but I made it through 1 year of calculus and 2 years of physics in college.

48. I think I’m going to watch the movie “Drum Line” tonight, even though I’m positive it will be horrible. There is nothing cool about the marching band, and anyone who tries to say or do otherwise is living in a sad, delusional world.

49. I’m pro-choice, but very much against abortion.

50. I despise politics. No one really has the people’s welfare in mind. It’s corrupt, and I fear that if I were in their position, I might be corrupted too.

51. My favorite food is PB & J. Not because it’s the most delicious thing I’ve ever had, but because if I could eat only one thing for an extended period of time, that’s the only thing I wouldn’t get sick of.

52. I think that Calvin and Hobbes is hands down the greatest comic strip ever written.

53. I think Brian Regan is the funniest comedian I have ever heard.

54. I like the idea that there is someone out there for everyone, but I hate the fact that I haven’t found that someone yet.

55. I wear a Lance Armstrong “Live Strong” wristband because I have taken that bold stance against cancer. That’s right, I’m anti-cancer. I know it’s not a very popular point of view, but I just think cancer sucks. Also, I’ve been wearing it since long before it became popular and trendy. I wear the youth size, because I have dainty wrists.

56. Last year for Christmas, my sister got me this flashlight that you wear on your head, and I thought it was one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever gotten.

57. I don’t like making Christmas or Birthday lists because I want people to get me something that they think I will like. Making a list feels like I’m creating a checklist of items that I want, and that’s not what I think Christmas is about. I also go out of my way to find things for my friends and family that aren’t on their lists. I take much more joy in seeing the look of surprise and happiness on their faces than I do in receiving something anyway.

58. I “lost my faith” when I was in middle school, but didn’t have the guts to admit it until I went away to college. I think that most people don’t really know what faith is, they just do what they’re told. There are those that truly do have faith and I envy that.

59. I love watching movies. I’m kind of a movie whore. I’ll watch anything, chick flicks, action/adventure flicks, dramas, sci-fi, foreign films, (subtitles do not scare me) comedies, romantic comedies, kids movies, suspense and documentaries. Pretty much the only kind of movies I won’t watch is horror movies.

60. I turned 18 at the beginning of my senior year in HS and I didn’t miss one day of class. In 5+ years of college (when I transferred from my junior college to the 4 year, not all my credits came with me. That’s the disadvantage to leaving the state.) I think I missed a total of 4 days of classes. I hate not being there.

Intermission. Ok so what you guys wouldn’t know if I didn’t tell you is that for the last hour, I’ve been fighting with my computer. It doesn’t want to play nice. My video card on my main monitor died. That sucks. Do I have a back up? You bet I do, so I’m still rocking the dual monitors. Also, my wireless card seems to have acquired narcolepsy. It keeps going in and out intermittently. Why am I taking the time to tell you this? Well, these problems have made it almost impossible for me to finish this post AND watch Drum Line. I just wanted to give everyone the heads up so that tomorrow, I don’t walk into well over 100 questions about my thoughts on Drum Line. I’ll have to watch that terrible movie tomorrow night.

61. I hate dealing with computer problems. Fortunately, I can, so I’m not completely screwed when things don’t quite work like they should.

**I know why people start to pad their lists with commentary. That doesn’t mean I’m going to. Not yet anyway. **

62. For the most part, I type with the correct form. Except for maybe my pointer fingers, that’s kind of a gray area, basically, it’s whichever finger gets there first. I can type about 60 words per minute.

63. I have some of the worst handwriting known to man. Half the time, even I can’t read it. It’s a good thing I can type fast, that’s all I’m saying.

64. I am most definitely anti-war. But I support our troops wholeheartedly. A good army is an army that follows orders. The soldiers don’t order themselves around, there are elected officials that order them to do what they do. If you have a problem with what the army is doing, then you have no one to blame but yourself for electing the wrong people into office.

65. I recently had a realization that I watch a lot of TV. I keep pulling things out of my head that I didn’t even know where there. It’s both cool and scary.

67. My grandmother recently broke both of her legs when she tripped on a small step as she was walking down the isle to the altar so she could kneel down and pray for the less fortunate and the suffering. I don’t know what that means.

68. I often think about things way too much.

69. I am fascinated by pens. I can go inside a Staples or any office supply store and spend hours looking at all the different pens available. Currently, I’m using the F-402 by Zebra.

70. I don’t lose things very often and when I do, it drives me insane. I’ve had the above mentioned pen since 1998 if that’s any indication.

71. I like miniaturization. It doesn’t matter what it is. If it’s normally big and you can somehow make a tiny version of it, I’ll think it’s super cool.

72. I appreciate the fact that Seinfeld never took anything seriously. No sappy moments ever.

73. I think News Radio is one of the most underrated sit-coms of all time.

74. I often find myself using a deck of cards to make simple decisions, like where I want to go for lunch.

75. I think that there are so many excellent and valid reasons to dislike a person that resorting to the color of their skin shows a complete lack of creativity and ignorance.

76. I have self esteem issues and I know the exact moment in my life when it all started. But still I can’t seem to get around it.

77. When I had my wisdom teeth pulled, I missed half a day of work and I had them taken out on Monday afternoon. The worst part was not the teeth being pulled, but the fact that I had the surgery in the late afternoon and I wasn’t allowed to eat starting at midnight the night before.

78. I think I have a very high pain tolerance, but I’m the first to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever had to endure a lot of pain in the first place.

79. I often have dreams about getting shot. I don’t know what that’s all about.

80. I would like to go to a phrenologist, an acupuncturist and a palm reader at least once.

81. When I get stressed out, I develop a huge knot right underneath my left shoulder blade.

82. I played the trumpet in the marching band when I was in high school. I hated being in the band but I regret putting down the trumpet. It’s still my favorite instrument to listen to though.

83. The only thing I ever truly get a craving for is cinnamon graham crackers. I don’t know why that is.

84. I have no fear whatsoever of lions or tigers. I think if one attacked me and ripped my arm off, I’d be like, “It’s ok, he’s just playing.”

85. When I spend too much time writing, I start to punctuate the thoughts in my head. It’s completely unnecessary.

86. I think tanning salons are evil and that fake tans look horrible anyway.

87. I had a fantasy and fairytales class when I was in college and we had to apply 1 of 4 different critical analyses. I chose my least favorite, the sexual perspective, just because I wanted to write a paper entitled, “I say potato, you say penis. I say tomato, you say vagina.” The paper was crap and my teacher was right to give me a “C,” but deep down, I always thought the title alone should have put me in the “B+” range.

88. When I’m not feeling so happy, I think of the time I was waiting for one of my classes to start and I had my head down on the desk. I was wearing a beanie because it was cold outside. My friend came in and sat down next to me. She said hi. I said hello back. She was eating some Pringles. She took one of the chips, shoved it under my hat and smashed it. That was over 5 years ago, and to this day, every time I think about it, it brings a smile to my face.

89. I drove from Staten Island, NY all the way to Ventura, CA by myself without ever looking at a map. I made stops at my aunt’s house in Naperville, my great aunt’s house in Kansas City and the Bally’s in Las Vegas. I wish I had another reason to drive cross-country again. It was awesome.

90. In all my years of school, I’ve only had 2 real teachers.

91. I’m allergic to shellfish, dairy products and sulfa drugs. I have no idea what sulfa drugs are, I just know that when I see a doctor, I’m suppose to tell them that.

92. I’m absolutely positive I want to have kids. Unfortunately, it’s not entirely up to me.

93. I’m the last male in the family right now, it’s up to me if the family name continues on or not. It’s not looking so good right now.

94. I come off as much more pessimistic than I really am. Inside, hope springs eternal.

95. I love comments on my blog not because I like the numbers, I like the conversations I have with other people in the comments.

96. I like to learn, but I don’t like school, if that makes any sense.

97. I never pay to have my oil changed or my engine tuned up. It’s too easy to do it myself.

98. I haven’t paid for a haircut since my sophomore year in high school. Again, it’s just to easy to do it myself. I also don’t care at all what my hair looks like and I refuse to put any kind of “product” in it.

99. I’m having a hard time deciding right now whether I want to keep my motorcycle or sell it.

100. I think that if a band isn’t good live, then they probably don’t have that much talent.

Whew! Much like my viewing of “The English Patient,” I’ll never do that again. How did I ever let myself talk myself into doing this? I must be one persuasive SOB. As usual, I apologize to anyone that read all of that. Most of what I do here is uncalled for and even more so, unnecessary. That was also a little more serious than I’m used to being. It was all true though, I didn’t have to make any of it up. Maybe someday I’ll look back at this and be proud, but most likely I’ll get 1/3 of the way though it and pass out from a combination of exhaustion and boredom.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Jon The Braggart

I know I’m always out here throwing my successes in your face like I’m some kind of super awesome guy. It’s not polite, but I can’t help it. When I tell you facts about my life like, I delivered pizza for 5 years; I say it because it’s true, not because I want you to feel less adequate around me. Or when I say that I graduated college with a staggering 2.73 GPA, I’m not trying to make you feel intellectually inferior, I’m just telling you a verifiable fact.

I’m sure you guys are like, “We get it Jon, you have the Midas touch, everything you do, you do at a championship level.” I cannot emphasize this enough: I do not do this on purpose and I know it comes off as pretentious. So again, I apologize for any ego bruises I may have incurred, or any self-esteem I may have personally deflated. This was not my intention.

With all of that in mind, I have some more exciting news about my life. Please do not throw rocks or rotten fruit at me out of jealousy or rage. As of July 1, 2005, I, Jonathan Henry (censured) will once again be living at my parent’s house. I know what your thinking. How can one man be so lucky? How can one guy catch every break? The answer: I don’t know. Clearly I am not a pawn in the great game of life, I’m like a knight or maybe a bishop… oh oh oh or a rook! Yeah, I always wanted to be a rook!

Somehow, at the mere age of 27, I seem to have found myself on the top of the world. I have a mountain of debt, a job where I’m underpaid, I’m blessed with the body of a 12 year old AND I get to live with my parents!! (Soon I’ll be holding my annual, “Win a date with Jon!” contest where in one lucky lady will win the chance to join me for an evening with dinner and a movie. Last years highlights included me getting kicked out of the restaurant for not having any parental supervision and then being denied access to a rated “R” movie and having my ID confiscated by the theater only to be returned several hours later when my mother arrived with my original birth certificate accompanied by my passport, social security card and my high school yearbook and, of course, the usual 45 minute explanation as to why I look like a little boy. Very romantic.)

It’s also worth noting that right now, at this very moment, and probably for the next several moments, I am listening to my new favorite album, Americano! By Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers. I have officially declared Roger Clyne my all-time favorite musician. Starting with the Refreshments, and now with the Peacemakers, I have 4 albums. Of the four albums, I love every song on every one of them. Not like, love. I won’t skip any song for any reason because they are all fantastic to me. Still don’t believe me? Check out these survey questions I answered just the other day:

If you could chose one musician as your favorite, who would it be?

Answer: Roger Clyne

Do you like every song this musician has ever written?

Answer: Yes

I think that’s pretty conclusive, so I’ll just leave it at that. I know I’ve said in the past that the only thing that really matters to me in a band is the voice of the lead singer, and I still stand by that, but the thing about Roger is that he also has amazing lyrics combined with fantastic music. I listen to a fair amount of punk and ska, and he is nowhere near that. In fact, I’ve often seen them classified under Alt Country… for whatever that’s worth. I’m also pretty sure that he’s not for most people, but for me, it just doesn’t get any better.