J. C. Mogensen

Reality with a Healthy Dose of Humor

Ramblings


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The Gambler

Posted on April 27, 2012 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Actor, poet, prophet - Kenny Rogers really does do it all. What makes him especially impressive is the fact that, even with skin stretched tighter than Saran Wrap over last night's casserole, his words are truer now than they were back when he uttered them to a Muppet in a train car.

 


 He's smiling. Or surprised. Or made of wax.


 

"You gotta know when to hold 'em,

Know when to fold 'em,

Know when to walk away

And know when to run."


I never count my money when I'm sitting at the table, not because of my unflappable manners, but because I have a debit card. Foldin' money? What am I, a caveman? The thing is, as Kenny so eloquently pointed out, there are times when a person has to fight (possibly for their right to party) and times when it's better to just let the current take you along. This isn't so easy when the unmovable object is, well, unmovable, and your unstoppable force is getting winded.


You can counter, "Nothing worth doing is easy," or "The key of persistence opens all door closed by resistance" or "There is no life without struggle" or "If wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak right now." All valid points and I applaud your encyclopedic knowledge of platitudes, but sometimes that silver lining is just the radioactive sheen dancing in the light on the edge of a mushroom cloud. The line between perseverance and stupidity is razor thin and we all do the foxtrot on it from time to time.


 

 You totally got this

 

You can usually tell it's time to quit pissin' against the wind because you've finally reached your goal. But, because human nature seems not to have gotten the evolutionary memo, it isn't always so cut and dried. Maybe a person needs to leave a corrosive work environment, a toxic relationship, or something as basic as a system of belief that doesn't make as much sense as it used to. No matter what the specifics are, it's crucial to remember that there are some unwinnable wars and there is no shame in giving up and living to fight another day.


So, to all the quitters out there: Don’t hang your head in shame, throw those shoulders back, stand up straight, and let everyone know that you're not weak, you're just pragmatic.



 And that's an ace you can keep.

 

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Church of the Money-Back Guarantee

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Oh religious zealots, you never cease to amaze me.


I went on a little eBay spending spree the other day - by spree I mean I spent like $20 on a router and cellphone parts. It was exhilarating. The only thing more fun than hitting the "Buy It Now" button is waiting for the Chinese treats to get delivered. What follows is me racing to the mailbox every day at precisely 11:30 to check if it's stuffed with cheap goodness. My brain tells me it's going to be two to four weeks before my "winnings" show up, but my heart says maybe, just maybe, they made the trip halfway around the world over night. They never do, stupid retarded heart.


Now, before you feel too sorry for me, you should know that the good people of Saint Matthew's Churches of Tulsa, OK did manage to sneak in a little something special just for me. The envelope looked pretty official so I didn't make the mistake of automatically round-filing it. Whew, close call, because what was inside the plain white envelope promised to change my life forever. These modern day wizards had managed to stuff an entire rug inside a standard-sized letter envelope. This wasn't the kind of rug you wipe your feet on, mostly because it was made of paper, but also because it was a magical wish granting rug with the finest artistic rendition of Jesus "I'm gonna go ahead and moonwalk across this lake" Christ on it that I have seen outside of the Raptor Jesus meme.


 

 Cool hat Brah

 

How does it work, you ask? Well, they included a handy little cheat-sheet with a list of wishes to choose from including True Love, Protection From Evil, Miracle Healing, Wisdom, and probably the most dangerous of all, Return Of A Loved One (this is obviously how the zombie apocalypse starts). They also give you the option to pick a completely original wish of your very own if you absolutely must insist on ordering off the menu, but they were smart enough to limit a person to only one wish, otherwise the right combination (Strength, Miracle Healing, and Protection From Evil) would have us awash in Wolverine-like super heroes.


 

 17 Acres of land!?! Praise the Lord, mother fucker!

 

After you pick your wish, you kneel on it and pray real hard until rug-Jesus opens his eyes – that's how you know you did it right. Afterwards, you put the rug and your wish card, along with an optional monetary token of appreciation, in the S.A.S.E. and mail it back. The St. Matt's folks then enter into their Audio-Telly-o-Tally-o Count (I'm assuming the last part. They don't really say how the magic happens other than some bit about how the rug has been anointed in God's Holy Blessing Power, but I bet there's a Dr. Seussian/Steampunk machine under a plexiglass dome located on a mountain somewhere between Reno and Rome).


 

 I like my mail pre-highlighted, thank you very much

 

So far I have my doubts about the effectiveness of the rug, but you'll know it worked once the Kardashians and the cast of Jersey Shore are filmed playing tug-o-war over an active volcano. Full disclosure: I didn't wait for rug-Jesus to stare at me – I've been questioning my sanity enough lately as it is. I also didn't send any cashy-money because I don't think I should have to offer a down payment when making requests to a supernatural hotline.


 

 One wish... and ixnay on wishing for more wishes! That's it! Three! Uno. No substitutions, exchanges or refunds!

 

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Last Call for Alcohol

Posted on March 25, 2012 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (2)

I should have been working on a project last night, but decided instead to accompany a friend and a friend of said friend to a local tavern for a cocktail or two. Now I'm not much of a drinker – one beer makes me nappish, but from time to time I do enjoy an adult beverage or two. I've never been a fan of dance clubs, even when I was of clubbin' age, mostly because I can't dance  but also because music that consists entirely of "BOOM-TSS, BOOM-TSS, BOOM-TSS" makes me want to break a bottle and stab myself in the ears. No, when I'm at a bar I like to sit and chat with the people I came with. The place we went to was a bar we'd been to before, but it was under new ownership and recently remodeled to resemble a biker/cowboy joint. It'll probably be a fun dive in a few months, but since it's still new it was wall-to-wall people last night.


I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that every college student within 500 miles was there last night. Being the old person that I am, I secretly hoped that the Fire Marshall would show up. "It couldn't have been that bad" I hear you say. Oh really? I got to second base 32 times walking from our table to the bathroom – with both sexes, so it's good that I'm a Democrat. The friend of my friend's who we were there with was bouncing around like her ass was built entirely out of Mexican jumping beans and she apparently was on a first name basis with everyone. When did drinking start requiring so much activity? It's also never a good idea to go to a bar at 11:00 PM on a Saturday night completely sober since even the pretty drunks look like they've taken a few licks from the stupid stick.


 

 You guys are gonna have all the sex


 

When I turned 21 a decade and a half ago I lived in a town with 600 residents which was 10 miles from the local metropolis - a town with a whopping 5,000 people in it. This means that after two nights of drinking you would know every person of legal "let's get pissed" age in the county. Folks would get into fights and then find themselves sharing a pitcher of beer an hour later. I once saw a guy pick a fight with his roommate, punch himself in the face to prove how willing he was to take a beating, exchange shoves and end everything minutes later with I-love-you-man's all around. It was all a bit rednecky, but not nearly as exhausting as watching the people last night try to get laid without looking like they're trying to get laid.


It was too loud to talk to anyone so I let my mind wander and came to a frightening realization: If the zombie apocalypse started right then and there, my chances of survival would not be good. This bothered me since I consider my odds of making it successfully through the inevitable rise of the dead much better than average, not because I have any special survival skills, but because I will be the first to recognize a zombie when I see one. When I come across my first corpsified person trying to gnaw on a passerby, it'll be on like Donkey Kong – no wondering what's wrong with them or if there's a cure, just looting and kill or be eaten. The flipside to this is that if I ever encounter a rabies victim while out for a stroll there's a chance I could be responsible for some serious collateral damage, but them's the breaks.


 

 Let's DO THIS!


 

 

 

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Women Scorn

Posted on March 7, 2012 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Despite being raised partially by a woman (I have a dad too, you know), growing up with a sister, having two daughters, and one ex-wife, I don't have any better understanding of the fairer sex than the next person with outie genitals. In fact, everything I know about women could be summed up by the response a (mildly insane) Vietnam Vet gave to a coworker of ours when he heard the man talking about how much he wanted to talk his wife into some threesome action: "It's almost impossible to keep one woman happy, why in the hell do you wanna piss off two of 'em?"


 

 She seems upset, but who knows for sure - women are so hard to read


 

It's with frame of reference in mind that I want to talk about the dumbfuckery that has been the Republican Party of late. In what I can only assume is an effort to prove that they can win the White House without the support of half the population, they have done everything they can to try and talk the ladies of this country into a threesome. Metaphorically, of course. Their fumbling of some recent women's rights issues is so bad, it makes fish tacos at Perkins seem like a good idea. It could also be a case of Obama being the evil genius that the GOP thinks he is, but after the clown car that has been the Republican Primary, that seems unlikely.


So Rick Santorum hates birth control. OK, I get that his faith makes him believe that every time you pull out, baby Jesus cries. The problem with getting pissy about how the government shouldn't use our tax dollars to fund fetus-free sexy-time fun is that the government wasn't going to. Insurance coverage is not a gift that a company gives its employees because they are so damn big-hearted, it's part of a benefits package provided in lieu of more money. The other problem with this line of reasoning is that even when we're talking about government provided health care, it already covers boner pills.  If women have to put up with four hour erections, they should at least have the option of not getting knocked up if they don't want to. Not to mention the fact that the pill has a lot more medical benefits beyond shagging than the previously mentioned bottled erector set.


 

 We're entitled to hard-ons


 

After convening a sausage fest to talk about whether women were smart enough to handle their own reproductive systems, the GOP was understandably miffed when the Democrats had the nerve to ask an actual female about it. Rush Limbaugh responded by calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute" because any unmarried female who takes contraceptives is clearly unable to keep her legs together. The idea that contraceptive use could be part of responsible adult behavior is unthinkable, forget about considering the actual fiscal benefits of it. I'd like to think that I would have been upset by it no matter what, but having two daughters and being married to an especially strong-willed woman made me wonder if El-Rushbo had had his mouth surgically replaced with his anus. Even worse than the prescription strength bullshit that Rushie was spewing was the tepid reaction from the GOP candidates who said it was the fault of the liberal media (Newt Gingrich), just being absurd (Rick Santorum), and not the language he should have used (Mitt Romney). Only John McCain came out strongly opposed to Rush's assbaggery.


The real issue comes from the fact that the GOP, steered by the religious right, bases most of its policy and almost all of its rhetoric on patriarchal religious beliefs. Most religions, with a few notable pagan exceptions, hold that women just aren't as awesome as men and need to be told what they can and can't do with their bodies. From Muslim extremists to the modern Quiverfull movement, this kind of thinking does nothing but hold back the progress of women because the men just know better. I want my daughters to grow up wanting to be Buffy, not Bella Swan.


 

 Being kick-ass Vs Being a Doormat


 

Mr. Obama, I think this election just became yours to lose.

 

 

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Facebook Rules

Posted on February 8, 2012 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (2)

 


This whole social networking thing is getting out of control. 800 million people on Facebook?! That means that we are dangerously close to having one out of every seven people on the planet posting pictures of what they're having for dinner. I'm impressed that there 800 million people in the world who know how to turn a computer on. By my experience, only about 10% of the population understands that mailing back the excess funds after receiving a check from a Nigerian prince is a bad idea, maybe less.


Social networking is here to stay and why shouldn't it? Who doesn't want to see which of their classmates got fat or went bald? There are probably other pros to having a presence on the intertubes too, but I can't think of them right now. Unfortunately, there is also the risk of developing narcissistic tendencies, psychological disorders, antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies. A report in The Guardian says that Twitter is harder to resist than cigarettes and alcohol. As someone who has succumbed to the siren song of nicotine, I would have gladly set an old lady on fire for a single drag on a heater, but I've almost never felt pyromaniacal because I couldn't read a tweet.


 

 I need to tweet, dammit!


 

If we're going to survive the profound cultural shift caused by all this interconnectivity, we need to clearly establish what is and what is not acceptable.


Chain Posts


You know what I'm talking about. How many times have you logged in to tell the world about your day only to find that someone on your friends list has made the bold move of declaring themselves against something bad. "I believe that bad things are not good. Repost if you agree. I know most of you won't, but my real friends will." This kind of bullshit might as well be followed with, "If you don't send this to ten people in the next twenty four hours you will be cursed with bad luck for seven years." Posts like this not only prey on the guilt of your friends, who are afraid of being seen as in favor of something bad (OMG, if I don't repost, everyone will think I love cancer), it is the ultimate in empty gestures. If you really want to stand up for AIDS research, campaign for equal rights, put an end to childhood obesity or whatever your pet cause is, make a donation. Last time I checked, war widows couldn't deposit Facebook posts in their checking accounts.


Purposefully Vague Posts


I swear to Vishnu, one of my friends posted a frowny face. Nothing more, just colon, hyphen, open parenthesis. Then they sat back and waited for people to ask what the problem was. I can't think of a single more narcissistic thing to do and that includes a rapper naming himself after a deity. I hate to sound like a grade school teacher, but either share with the entire class or shut the hell up. A post like that could just as easily say, "Everyone! Hey! Pay attention to me!" Social networking sites are also the wrong place to make thinly veiled threats or insults to someone you are too chicken shit to name. "You know who you are and what you did." Awesome, the person the post was actually about is either so vain that they think every post is about them or they'll just assume that's directed towards someone else. Meanwhile, the only thing the rest of us will take away from it is that you're a pissy little drama queen who's already on the hunt for the next thing to get upset about.


Airing Dirty Laundry


I have actually seen posts where person A outs person B for giving them an STD. While that may be a worst case scenario, it's not that uncommon to find someone sharing a little too much information. I get that everyone needs to vent from time to time, but I know a great place for that exact purpose. A blog. See, unlike a news feed, which dumps the most recent information in front of someone, whether they want to see it or not, your blog is a place where people have to choose to go so that they can get the latest insights into your life. If you absolutely have to bitch about what an assbag your ex is, why not spare the rest of us from having to filter you out of our page? There is also the option of just keeping it to yourself, but that's pretty unrealistic.


 

 Must. Share. With. EVERYONE.

 


Declaring Your Undying Devotion


Within the last two years I have seen five people wax poetic about how much they loved their significant other. Without fail, every one of those relationships ended within two months. There's nothing wrong with telling that special someone that you love them, but I'm talking about sonnets declaring a love that is like no other. I get why this happens. As a relationship dies, one person is almost always desperate to keep it from ending. They will claw and scratch at anything to keep from being alone. Unfortunately, these posts are a sure sign that a coupling is in its last gasps. Maybe you can live with pouring your heart out in front of people who don't give a damn, but the real problem comes later when the inevitable bitterness sets in. Of those five people I mentioned earlier, three went on to post things like, "Why can't a man appreciate a good woman when one's right in front of him? I'm over it," or, "Never trust a woman, that's what I've learned." Again, everyone needs to vent, but don't assume that the people on your friends list want to moonlight as amateur therapists.


Sneaky Bragging


There is a phenomenon known as "humblebragging" where a person let's people know how amazing their life is seemingly without realizing that they're doing it. This might involve a girl making a post about how she isn't sure if her new hairdo is any good while including a picture of said 'do taken in nothing but a bra. It's like the old saying, "You can lead your friends to your page, but you can't make them compliment you. Unless you show some cleavage." Humblebragging is basically any boast disguised as a complaint or concern. "The chiropractor says my back problems come from sitting on a wallet that's overstuffed with money." An example of someone who understands that subtlety is the name of the game when it comes to bragging is this post that showed up in my "What's Hot" feed in Google+:


 

It's impossible to appreciate the natural splendor of a California sunset without a Mercedes in the foreground.

 

 

I know we're all guilty of being a bad internet neighbor now and then, but we can at least try to be better. I say go ahead and share those pics of your dog, recommend a great video, link to an interesting story, promote yourself if that's what you're into, but remember that not every single thought that stomps through your brain needs to be broadcast.


Now that I've thoroughly denounced everyone, don't forget to click the Facebook "Like" button on the right, visit me on G+, Stumble this post and follow me on Twitter. Shameless, hypocritical self-promotion makes me feel dirty. If anyone needs me I'll be in the shower, crying in the fetal position.

 

 

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The Greatest Joke Ever

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)


There are good jokes and then there are great jokes. Then there's this one. I heard it in 6th grade and it remains the best joke I have ever heard. I take no credit for coming up with this, I just wrote it down. Enjoy.


Purple Gum Wrappers


Little Johnny has just finished his breakfast and is getting his things together before heading out to the bus when his mother notices that he has a strange look on his face


"What's the matter?" she asks.


"I'm just wondering what the deal is with purple gum wrappers," he answers.


"No child of mine will speak such filth! I have no son, you leave and never come back," she screams at him while shoving him out the door.


Shocked, Johnny does as he's told and, having nowhere else to go, gets on the school bus. Shortly before arriving at school, the bus driver notices the sad look on the boy's face and asks what's wrong.


"I asked my mom about purple gum wrappers and she threw me out of the house," the boy replies.


The bus driver slams on the brakes and yells, "Out! Get out of the bus! You can just walk your disgusting self the rest of the way and don't bother trying to get back on after school because you are banned from this bus."


Little Johnny finally arrives at school, but he is late for class, having had to walk part of the way to school.


"Why are you late, Johnny?" his teacher asks.


"The bus driver made me get off the bus after I told him that my mom threw me out of the house for asking about purple gum wrappers."


The teacher is appalled. "And for good reason. March yourself down to the principal's office right this second. I won't have that kind nastiness polluting my class."


Again, Johnny does as he's told and goes to meet with the principal. The principal, a kind older man, asks Johnny why a normally good student such as himself would be sent down to the office first thing in the morning.


"Well, I asked my mom about purple gum wrappers and she kicked me out of the house, then I asked the bus driver and he kicked me off the bus. The teacher asked why I was late and I told her it was because the bus driver kicked me off the bus for mentioning purple gum wrappers and she sent me here."


"And now your filthy mouth has gotten you banished from school," the principal adds. He ushers the boy outside and tells him to never come back.


Johnny wanders aimlessly for a while until a policeman pulls over, wondering what a young boy is doing walking around town during school hours. Johnny explains the events of the morning and, like the other adults, the policeman is revolted by the boy. He tells him to get in the squad car, drives him to the city limits and tells the boy that he will be shot on site if he ever returns.


After waking away from his home town for hours, a limousine pulls alongside and a tinted window rolls down. "Young man, what are you doing walking all alone out here in the middle of nowhere?"


"Well, I asked my mom about purple gum wrappers and she kicked me out of the house. Then, the bus driver threw me off the bus for mentioning it. My teacher asked why I was late for class and, when I told her about it, she told me to see the principal. The principal kicked me out of school when I brought up purple gum wrappers and a policeman that stopped to see why I was out of school told me I would be shot if I ever came back to town after I said something about purple gum wrappers to him. I have nowhere to go and I don't know why what I did was wrong," he said, sobbing. "Please mister, why is purple gum wrappers such a bad thing to talk about?"


"Son, I'm the governor and I can see that you didn't mean to do anything wrong. Unfortunately, I'm up for re-election and my opponent would have a field day if he found out that I was talking to you about purple gum wrappers. It pains me to do it, but I'm going to have to escort you to the state border and banish you forever."


After walking for days, Johnny hears the sound of a helicopter. When it lands, a group of men in dark sunglasses and nice suits step out and Johnny can see a person he recognizes form TV inside. One of the men walks over to Johnny, gets his full story and relays the info over a walkie-talkie. "Are you sure, Mister President?" he asks, the man nods.


"Step in to the chopper," the man tells him and Johnny does. Inside he takes a seat next to the important man.


"You've been making quite a fuss with this filth of yours," The President tells him. "After convening a special session of Congress, we, as a nation, have decided that there is no place for you here. You will be put on a cargo plane and flown to China. May God have mercy on your disgusting soul." No one says anything else to the boy. He is given an injection that makes him pass out.


He wakes sometime later on a busy street loaded with shops selling items he doesn't recognize. He wanders for a while, trying to get information from the locals, but none speak English. Finally a shopkeeper asks him, "Rittle boy, why you ahh arone?" in an offensively stereotypical accent.


"My mom, the bus driver, my teacher, the principal, a policeman, the governor and the President all kicked me out for asking about purple gum wrappers. Do you know what the deal is, sir? If I could just find out, maybe they would let me come home," Johnny pleads.


The shopkeeper is quiet for a moment, then says, "Across street is very wise man. He tell you ancient truth about gum wrapper."


Johnny sees the old man that the shopkeeper is referring to and rushes towards him. But, before he can reach the old man, BAM!, he's hit by a bus.


The moral of the story is: Look both ways before you cross the street.

 

 

 

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Good Question, Tina

Posted on January 28, 2012 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (2)

What's love got to do with it, indeed?  Quite a lot, really.


 

 Artistic Twitterpation

 

Spend any amount of time watching anyone of the countless, brain-etching reality shows peppered across the TV landscape and you will inevitably come to the point where some sap gets kicked off (or evicted or not given a rose or has their torch snuffed out). Afterward there will be one of those confessionals where the other contestants, who just voted their co-schmuck out of the show, testify one on one in front of a camera how much the departed will be missed and I promise you that at least one of these jackasses will say, "I love (him/her) so much, and I miss (him/her) already." Bullshit. You don't love them; you just lied and backstabbed your way to a better shot at winning whatever the prize is by getting them booted. That's not love. That's not even in love's time zone. When used in that kind of shallow, self-serving context, the word "love" becomes an empty, hollowed-out husk. What an overused and underappreciated, not to mention misunderstood, word. So what is "love?" I've got some thoughts, but you knew that, didn't you?


Men in Pajamas


Ah, the ancient Greeks. Funny how much gets traced back to them. They were, after all, like the world's first college kids - all insightful and ponderous and pompous philosophizing and complicated just for the sake of being complicated. I would imagine that, just like the over-earnest college kids of today, the Greeks must have been unbelievably annoying to be within earshot of in a restaurant. But, when it comes to love, they had some interesting ideas. They had not one, but four words for it.


There was agape, which meant general affection, such as for one's children or spouse. Its biblical use referred to self-sacrificial or giving love, such as the love of God for humanity (minus the genocide). Reciprocation is not in any way required for agape love. In modern day Greek, agape simply means "love". So this is our "I'd die for you" love.


Next there was philia. Philia means "friendship or fondness" in modern Greek and meant friendship a couple thousand years ago, more or less, but could include the feelings for fellow soldiers and fellow travelers, political or business associates, members of the same religious group or tribe, lifelong friends, or even a merchant and his customers. It's a pretty broad word but usually requires that the emotion be returned unless, of course, it's attached to a word like "necro" in which case it almost certainly will not be reciprocated. Here we have our "just friends" love.


Storge means "affection" and is used more in modern times than in ancient works, but almost always denotes a family relationship. Or "I love you cuz we're related and I have to" love.


And finally there was eros. Eros is a sensual, passionate, longing love. The Greek word erotas means "romantic love". But eros does not always have to be sexual, it can mean the love you have for someone which is stronger than the friendship love (philia). Of course without the sex, eros seems kind of empty; it is where we get the word "erotic", after all. So, finally, we have "I wanna get bouncy with you" love.


The Swiss Army Knife of Words


So there you have some definitions. But why is that word tossed around so loosely? Probably because it frames the very core of humanity. Without it our families would fall apart, there would be no friendships, hell, children would never get raised (they would still get made, however, because love is not necessary for a good shag). But it gets used without ever thinking about what it really means to "love" someone because no one wants to second guess the genuineness of the love that's being proclaimed, it's a loaded word and we let its trivial declaration go unchallenged. A co-worker says "I love this sandwich." and we don't say, "No you don't. You like it, you enjoy it, and you may even favor it over all other sandwiches. But, you don't love it." And so the real power behind the word "love" gets watered down.


 

 You've never felt like this before!


Now don't get me wrong, love can seriously screw things up. Wars have been fought over it, opportunities lost, lives ruined. And that is because love can make the most intelligent and rational mind go functionally retarded. Oh, sure, you'll still be able to operate machinery, but you'll make a fool of yourself and irritate your friends. Love can make you forgiving to a fault. You'll let things slide that, were they done by any other than the object of your affection, you would be cutting brake lines. And, if its unrequited love, well, may God (or your favorite deity) have mercy on your soul, 'cause that is gonna be a spirit grinding experience. But, when it's good, it's hot-chocolate-on-a-cold-winter-day good. I guess if you're smart, you won't let it happen to you because, like Willow said, "Love makes you do the wacky." Unfortunately, if you're human, it'll probably happen no matter what.


I guess the real question is: what do you really mean when you say "I love you"? Have you ever thought about it? There is a lot going on in that statement, and it should never be uttered lightly, or as an instinctive reflex to having had it said to you.


Some Thoughts for Your V.D. Sweetie

(V.D. for Valentine's Day, not Venereal Disease)


Now, every poet, songwriter, playwright, philosopher, and dip in love has droned on doe-eyed about love and any quick search on the internet will reward you with hundreds of quotes about it, but here are a few to get you going Let's start with what is easily the best definition. Not to get all Bible-thumpery on you, but I think this is probably what we all want it to mean:


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." ~I Corinthians 13:4-8~


"Love is friendship set to music." ~E. Joseph Crossmann~


"Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit." ~Peter Ustinov~


"Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell." ~Joan Crawford~


"Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence." ~Erich Fromm~


"One word frees us of all the weight and pain in life. That word is love." ~Sophocles~


"According to film logic, you are the antagonist in your significant other's love story." ~Soren Bowie~


I think Dr. Hibbert summed it up the best when he asked, "Is that the love between a man and a woman? Or the love of a man for a cuban cigar?"

 

 


 

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The Pants Conundrum

Posted on January 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (5)

If you're reading this then you're probably sitting comfortably in front of a computer. Unless you're reading this in the future using some kind of implanted virtual reality chip while suspended in a vat of man-made amniotic fluid, waiting for the atmosphere to reform so that your human/chimp species can retake the surface of a battered, blistered and burned world. Good luck with that. Those of you reading this who are part of the group still actively trying to murder the planet are likely either at the office (get back to work) or at home. If you're at home then, unlike your work-shirking counterparts, I'm willing to bet you've already taken the necessary steps to get as comfortable as possible. That means that the pizza rolls are next to the diet soda and you've already shed those itchy 'going-out clothes.' Nothing wrong with that.


But, what if you need to leave home after you've gotten comfy? Do you get all dressed up just to make a gas station run to replenish your stash of FRITOS® Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Dip? Not unless you're incredibly vain you don't. You just march yourself right out the door in that stained hoodie and ill-fitting sweatpants like a boss. You're not out to impress anyone, you just need all 18 servings of that coagulated cheese-ish goodness and you need it now, pride be damned. See, as a society we have a kind of unspoken agreement that what happens at gas stations, stays there. This works well for all of us, whether we're a loving husband making a midnight run to satisfy a pregnant wife's weird cravings, a frazzled mom in her rollers getting a pack of Virginia Slims because that's the only thing kepping her from committing infanticide or a stoner who just needs some Ho-Ho's and Twizzlers to fuel hour twelve of a Skyrim marathon. We all win. For the record, I'm not talking about what happens in truck stop bathrooms because that definitely needs to be reported.

 


 The love notes that promise a magical evening



Just because it's OK to go out in your sweats once in a while doesn't mean you can toss out those low rise jeans or fancy slacks in favor of elastic bands and sweatshirt material. There's a phenomenon in the town I live in where otherwise attractive young people, especially ladies, wear workout clothes to the mall, nice restaurants, funerals (probably) and anywhere else that doesn't have a strict wardrobe policy. I want to point out that I'm not talking about yoga pants because those are awesome. You don't have to get all dudded up to go out, but you're walk of shame doesn't have to last all day either. There's got to be a middle ground that doesn't include baggy cotton pantaloons with words across the ass.


 

 

 

I take the whole sweatpants thing kind of personally because I was traumatized by my father and his love of sweats. My Dad, a hard working man if there ever was one, deserved to be comfortable when he wasn't slaving away late into the night or before even the farmers were up in the morning. To this day, I still don't think my Dad understands exactly what weekends are for. My Dad treated his sweats like they were just another pair of pants and would wear them shopping, while working on the car or anytime my Mom didn't force him to dress up.

 

The problem was that sweats, at least the ones he wore, didn't have pockets so my Dad would just keep his wallet around his ankle, freely flopping around, held back only by the strength of the elastic at the bottom of the leg. It was bad enough when he would throw his leg up on the shopping cart in order to retrieve his billfold from just above his foot, but it was excruciating for me as a teenager to watch him grab his sweats at the waist band, pull them out and drop his wallet right down the front, past his personal bits, allowing it to freefall to its final resting place at the bottom of his leg before letting the elastic snap back into place at his midsection after the transaction was done. This would invariably happen before the mortified eyes of a cute, my-age check-out girl.

 

Thanks Dad.

 

My point is that if you're going out in sweats, you probably don't really need to go out. Unless you're getting the previously mentioned cheese sauce, then, by all means, go.  Exercising your right to be gross might be the only exercise you get.

 

 Canned Heaven

 

This rant brought to you by the letters W,I,M and P. As in, "Written In My Pajamas."

 

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My Best Craigslist Friend

Posted on December 31, 2011 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (4)

 

 


Ahh, Craigslist, the internet's flea market. Where else can you find people willing to buy or trade your worthless crap for theirs? eBay? Sure, you could use them or any other online auction site, but you'll miss out on coming into contact with some really interesting folks. I've used Craigslist a few times and, aside from a Nigerian who insisted on trying to overpay me for a '67 Yamaha YG5-T, each transaction has been successful. The fun of Craigslist comes, not from the item you're buying, selling or trading, but from what you have to do to get it. There's the email exchanges that lead to text messages, the clandestine meetings in the parking lot of Famous Dave's and the crapshoot that is any purchase made from a digital garage sale.


Early in 2011 I had a smart phone that I wanted to get rid off so I put an ad on Craigslist. It was in good shape, had lots of extras and, based on the going rate on eBay, I asked a fair price for it followed by the requisite OBO. Then, I sat back and let the suckers start rolling in. There were a few emails from interested parties and I did end up selling it for what I was asking, but there was one guy in particular who just didn’t seem to get it. The following is the conversation I had with him via Gmail over the course of a few days.


Interested Buyer: Do you still have the Samsung Omnia II for sale?


Me: Sure do


Interested Buyer: What's your lowest price on it?


Me: Make me an offer.


Crotchety Asshole (Formerly Interested Buyer): I'm too old to play this game. We both know you already have a lowest price in mind that you're willing to take. Why don't you tell me what it is so I can decide if it's worth it?


Me: Well, the price is $75 OBO so if you don't have an offer to make then I guess my lowest price is $75.


Increasingly Crotchety Asshole: Look, I don't haggle. Just give me your bottom dollar so we can get this over with.


Me: You do realize this is Craigslist right?


Insufferable Crotchety Asshole: Are you going to keep horsing around or are you going to give me a price. I can take my money somewhere else.


Me: The price is $75 Or Best Offer, hence the "OBO." You'll notice that it's not $75 OJAMWMLPICYFOMCRYCSOAB (Or Just Ask Me What My Lowest Price Is 'Cause You've Figured Out My Cunning Ruse You Clever Son Of A Bitch).


Just as I was starting to enjoy our conversation, he up and disappeared. At the opposite end of the spectrum was the lady at Wal-Mart last summer who made a counter offer on every item as it rang up on the register (No, I am not making that up. I was as horrified as the poor checkout girl). What I'm trying to say is this – there is a time and place to negotiate.


Sometimes when I'm all alone I wonder what Insufferable Crotchety Asshole is up to these days and what he finally paid for his new used phone.

 

 

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Don't Do It......

Posted on December 31, 2011 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (2)

Until recently I didn't have a huge problem with the whole hipster subculture. At best I didn't notice them and at worst they were a passing curiosity. I think I've made it pretty clear that I don't have what it takes to be the person anyone turns to in order to get a better idea of what's cool and what's not. This means that I definitely don't have it in me to like anything ironically. It's important to keep this in mind because something happened recently that made me change my opinion of hipsters from casual dismissal to outright hatred.


I didn't say anything when hip young people started wearing thick glasses just for the look even when they didn't need them and I held my tongue when twenty something guys began showing up at my favorite bars in skinny jeans, deep-V t-shirts and scarves. I even resisted the urge to use my keys to shank the guy at the Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers concert who I overheard telling his friend that he liked them before they were popular. (For the record: Before he led RCPM, Roger Clyne was the front man for The Refreshments, a band that hit it big with the song "Banditos" off of their major label debut album "Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big and Buzzy" back in '96. So, unless you bought their independent album, "Wheelie," back when they were playing bars in Tempe, you did not like them before they were "mainstream" you trendy, clove cigarette smoking, Pabst Blue Ribbon sipping mother fucker.)


Like I said, everything changed the other day when I spotted one of these assbags wearing a fishing hat. They can have beanies, bowlers, berets and even fedoras, but I draw the line at fishing hats. I fucking love fishing hats. I wear a fishing hat all the time. I also happen to have a small fortune in fishing gear and exactly zero interest in how attractive  my hat makes me to members of the opposite sex – all qualifications that MUST be met in order to wear one of these glorious pieces of headgear in public. You don't get laid because of a fishing hat, you get laid in spite of it. This makes it the exact wrong choice for hat-wearing hipsters since the their whole M.O. is designed to attract girls who spent their formative years in black-painted bedrooms writing shitty, crybaby poetry. A fishing hat is something you earn, not something you wear to make a statement, you narcissistic pretty boy.


 

 This is what fishing hats are for

 


Is there nothing sacred left? Are they going to start wearing house slippers out in public next? If this becomes a trend rather than the actions of a single misguided liberal arts student, the next time I wear my fishing hat to the elementary school to pick up my first grader I run the risk of being considered a sad mid-thirties man trying desperately to fit in with the younger crowd of hepcats rather than someone who has earned the right to wear the world's most comfortable skull cover by being married for well over a decade, reading the same Dr. Seuss book to a demanding rug monkey for the millionth time and getting thoroughly skunked at the ole fishing hole on a regular basis.


 

 My hat and slippers - I've earned them


 

Hipsters be warned. Put a stop to this now or I swear on the nearest holy book to whatever deity it belongs to that I will rob a bank, use the money to build a clock tower in the center of town, fortify it with Shasta and Lil' Smokies, and use a high powered rifle to pick off every organic shampoo using, greasy headed shithead that wanders within my sights. Your choice.*



 

 Put down the iPhone, pick up a tackle box


 


*This threat is completely empty, I mean how am I going to build a clock tower? What am I, a carpenter?



 

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