Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Coming Undone

Back in early January, I had a problem. To be more specific, I had a problem with my pants. Let me crank it yet another, seemingly uncrankable notch and say that I had a problem with the belt that holds my pants up. In what will soon be considered the most specific instance in the history of the Shuck N Jive, let me also state that it was the belt buckle itself that broke. In the past 29 years, I’ve been paying close attention to the social morays of my hometown as it compares to those of all the other places I’ve visited. And while many things vary, one thing remains fairly constant amongst the pants wearing sects (and they are a plenty): It is paramount that those pants stay up around the waist. (I use the term waist loosely because I’m no longer sure where it is on the human body. It’s somewhere below the armpit and above the knee, but that’s all I’ve got so far. I’ll continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated on any knew findings I may have.)

That’s where my belt comes into play. While not every pair of pants that I own require the use of my belt, some do, and some really do. With the aid of my belt, I can wear anything from a 31 to a 34 inch waist comfortably. Most of the time I try on these pants to make sure they fit, but every once in awhile I like to live dangerously and just buy them based on what the manufacturer says the waist size is. As some of you may know, I’ve been in the habit of bedazzling my clothes for some time now. I recently purchased a pair of pants with the specific intent of breaking the Guinness World Record for sequins on a single pair of pants. (The current record at the time was (and notice that I’m using the term “was”) 1,236,215. I tripled it. But in order to create such a beautiful masterpiece, I needed to make sure I had a little extra room, so I bought some size 82 extra long jeans. I REALLY need the belt when I wear those. Particularly when I go clubbing. Most bouncers, while they respect my pants, will not allow me to let them just sag there around my ankles. This doesn’t go completely against what I believe, so the majority of the time, I try to accommodate.

I’ve grown accustom to wearing my belt. We’ve been through a lot together. When my belt buckle broke in early January, I felt like a part of me broke with it. And before I continue, let me just clarify that it did not break because I have gained an unfathomable amount of weight in the past couple of months. I think it had something to do with a rupture in the space time continuum, or possibly it was just old. At any rate, I’ve clarified, you are no longer unclear.

I’m not one to just let broken things sit there and be broken. No, I like to fix broken things. (As an unnecessary side note, I also like to fix unbroken things too. My motto is, “You gotta break it to learn how to fix it! But sometimes, when it won’t break, you can try to pretend that it is and fix it betterer anyway!” It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but I don’t come up with mottos professionally, so I think you should get off my back.) I’ve been fixing things for years, and in my many years of fixing, there’s one thing you can count on to put things back together: Duct Tape. In this situation, it was pretty much a no brainer. Duct Tape was the most obvious choice for repair. I used a special wrapping technique I learned in the Philippines in the mid eighties. It only took three rolls of duct tape before I had it back up to factory standards.

I’m going to be honest with you, I was pretty pleased with the end result. I wore it out proudly. In fact, I went so far as to put on a belly shirt just to make sure everyone could see the belt in all it’s duct tapped glory. I was going along pretty smoothly until around noon, when it was time for my first bathroom break. I consider all of my readers to be of above average intelligence, so I’m pretty sure you can see where the problem is. Duct tape is pretty much a one use item. It doesn’t re-tape all that well. So what I discovered is that each time I make a restroom stop, I’d have to re-tape after I was finished. At 3 rolls per re-tape, and an average of 4 “pit stops” per day, I’d have to keep a minimum of 12 rolls of duct tape on my person at all times. And to make matters worse, I recently started drinking approximately 3 gallons of water a day. I’ve been making several extra trips per day now, bringing the minimum number of tape rolls up to 36. 36 rolls of duct tape can be a bit cumbersome.

I was three clicks away from ordering a well trained mountain goat online to carry around my extra rolls of duct tape when my girlfriend, who is much smarter than I’ll ever be, showed me a way to fix it using just a paper clip. Zero duct tape, just one, small paperclip. I’ve been happily buckling ever since.

You are jealous of my sweet belt buckle, and you don't even know why.
Last thing, if anyone is interested, I know exactly where you can get 3 tons of lichens on the cheap. And the sooner you want it, the better.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

From the bottom of my heart (not a Valentine's Day post)

I had a close call the other day. I’m not even sure if I can properly convey into words exactly what happened, but suffice to say that coin flips going the other way could have drastically changed the outcome of the days events. It’s the kind of thing that makes a person sit back and reflect on what’s important in life.

I was almost productive on Saturday. I know. You never really see it coming. You think to yourself, “it’s the weekend! Ain’t no way I’m getting stuff done today. Ain’t gonna try to do something. Ain’t gonna even think about doing nothing. And I sure as pudding ain’t gonna use no proper grammar!” But then, almost inexplicably, you find yourself doing something, and that something turns out to be productive!! Few things frustrate me more in life than this.

That’s why I thank my lucky stars (Canopus and Vega, AKA Brighty bright bright and Twinkly McCtwinkles-alot (he was the son of a first marriage where his mom’s new husband, now his new step dad, adopted him. Seriously, you can’t make that stuff up)) for Video Hits 1 being available for my mindless consumption.

Let me tell you how this whole thing played out. I’m known to party like the proverbial “Rock Star” (what you’re thinking – “Wait, they have proverbs about Rock Stars?”

what I’m thinking in response to what you’re thinking – “Um, yeah. When you translate the Bible from it’s original German…”

You interrupting me – “Dude, I don’t think the Bible was originally written in German.”

Me, slightly agitated – “I have an online degree from the university of Phoenix in Criminal Justice, I think I know what I’m talking about.”

You again, as if we haven’t heard from you enough already, I mean, whose blog is this anyway? – “I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean anything when it comes to the Bible’s linguistic origins.”

Me, glad to see you’re finally getting it – “My point exactly! We’re not talking about the linguistic origins, we’re talking about the language that the bible was FIRST written in. So my point is, in the original GERMAN text, Proverbs 20:13 is most commonly and most incorrectly translated, ‘Love not sleep, lest poverty oppress thee: open they eyes, and be filled with bread.’ But if you’re familiar with the German slang of 1922, you would know that “filled with bread” is actually the slang for “a Rock Star.” So in using this proverb to describe myself, you should all be aware that I’m known for staying up late and not sleeping. So, are we all on the same page?”

You, arms crossed, weight shifted on your right leg and blankly staring back at me – “Not even close.”

Me – “Well, I really don’t have time for this, so I’m just going to move on anyway.”) on Friday nights. Traditionally, this leads to me sleeping in until around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, virtually eliminating half of the day that I could potentially be productive. But this past Friday, well, let’s just say I didn’t bring my A game and I found myself dreaming of French Poodles operating miniature fork lifts in an inconvenience factory that produces large quantities of used mouthwash for orphaned kids in Beverly Hills (I’m currently working on what that all means with my therapist right now, but frankly, we’re both stumped. Any suggestions would be welcome.) again before the clock struck 12:23 (manufacturing defect, but I got the clock at half price). Going to bed so early on Friday night meant that around 9 am, I was fully rested and ready to do stuff. I had a mini panic attack.

I think that sometimes, like in this case, something too horrific for the mind to actually think about occurs and as some sort of defense mechanism, you’re body just reacts without first consulting the mind. I think this is what happened to me. I was feeling a tightness in my chest, then things got blurry, and when they finally focused properly again, the TV was on and I was just starting the countdown on the top 100 one hit wonders hosted by Billy Shatner (more commonly known as William Shatner, but The Shat (he hates it when I call him that) and I have a very distant relationship that allows me to call him whatever I see fit). Five hours later I had killed of an exceptional chunk of the day and I was ready for a nap.

I just wanted to say thank you, VH1. Thank you for keeping me from doing anything meaningful. I’m a lesser person for it. It's been a few days since watching all 100 one hit wonders and I've almost completely forgotten every single one of them, virtually insuring that I'll have to watch this special again and again until I can name them all by heart and in order. Also, I’ve found that if the satellite goes out for any reason, of if they are having broadcast problems, Youtube can kill the living bajesus out of time too. Little FYI for anyone that cares.

It occurs to me that my posts might have that kind of effect on people... I'm going to go ponder that for a bit.

And now, this thing here is just for Jam. I haven’t forgotten about it. Perhaps you have. Perhaps this is so vague that no one but myself with know what it’s about, but that’s ok, because I know, and I think that’s worth something. It's at the end. You have to wait for it.