Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm back, baby!

I’m learning that not getting sleep is a hell of a thing. I’ve been the head coach of my swim team for 3 months now, and in that time, I’ve been getting up at 4:45 am. Yes, there is a 4:45 in the morning. Not many people get to experience it, but it’s a glorious time of day. It’s still pitch black outside; you’ve never seen as beautiful a sky as the one that exists at that time in the morning. The blackness has a nice, bleak quality to it. It has the feeling of a vast, never-ending black hole. It’s a black hole that can suck anything into it – like the small amount of lucidity that exists in, say, a swim coach driving to work.

Don’t worry though; I manage to fight that beautiful black hole that begs me to follow it into a highway barrier. I blare horrible dance music in the morning (By the way, this is a trick my swimmers have taught me: dance music can destroy any level of sleepiness that exists). Listening to that kind of music at that time of the morning is like chugging a Monster after getting a massage – any amount of relaxation or feeling of ease is replaced by jittery muscles, fast twitching, and an inability to think about anything for longer than 1 second.  Play this and read these as fast as you can to get the effect:

“Am I driving straight?

“What’s the username for my computer at work?”

“How tall is Yao Ming?”

“It’s just emotions taking me over.”

“Dante Bichette, Dante Bichette, Dante Bichette.”

“Was that car next to me before?”

“Err… err… err.”

“That can’t be my wallet in my back pocket.”

“Dive straight… err… drive straight… drive straight.”

I imagine you get the drift at that point. Well, I’ve managed to make it to work every day, so I guess it’s working. Honestly, the weirdest part about going to work that early is being the first person in the school. I’m a paranoid person (read any of the other posts I’ve written), so I think about all the ways someone could kill me when I’m walking into the school. I keep waiting for an attacker to pop out from behind one of the building walls and come after me. I have my keys between my knuckles though; they’re ready every morning, so don’t try it. It’s probably hard for you to imagine, but it’s also nerve wracking for me to walk into the school when it’s pitch black. I hear weird noises every morning. I assure myself it’s the school settling and not zombies. Not the fast zombies from 28 Days Later at least. Only slow zombies would be inside the school at that time in the morning. The fast ones would never be awake.

Where was I?

Oh, so I had baked chicken from Kroger’s for lunch today. I think it was fried though. Way too greasy to be baked.

[All typos and errors can be blamed on sleep deprivation]

Friday, July 29, 2011

To the Mall!

I went to the mall the other day to do some back-to-school shopping. I decided to do it up because I really have nothing to do during the day, so I went to the Galleria. For those of you who are not from Houston, the Galleria is a huge, three story mall with high end stores as well as normal chains. As I wandered around the mall alone, I had plenty of time to get lost in thought – no, no, no, nothing of any importance or any higher level thinking – just mall thoughts.

First off, why the hell do escalators exist? What fat, lazy American invented this? I’m going to guarantee an American invented this without even looking it up because I don’t see any other culture that would have this demand. Do we really need stairs that move?

Well, when I was at the Galleria, I had to go up an escalator that was broken and my mood changed instantly. I could feel the anger and resentment building inside of me. What the hell? Am I supposed to walk up these stairs, I thought. I could really feel the frustration inside of me because it was out of order. I even looked around to see if there was another escalator around that I could ride upstairs. After calculating that it would take more steps to walk to the other one, I walked up with lifeless escalator, barely able to contain the little tantrum that was building inside of me. I wanted to lie on the ground and throw a full on 2 year old fit, complete with screaming, flailing arms and legs, and tears.

I didn’t though.

This trip to the mall also reinforced my hatred for kiosk people. I’m sorry if you’re a kiosk person and you’re just trying to make a living, but it’s like, come on. They are the equivalent of a telemarketer. When I was there, I got asked by no less that 10 kiosk people to try their lotion. Readers, you can’t see me, but I am not a candidate for lotion wearing. If I do wear lotion, it’s Lubriderm. It’s white, odorless, and masculine.

Normally, when I walk by these… people… I pretend to check my cell phone. That usually does the trick. These people are like mean dogs; you just don’t make eye contact with them, and they’ll leave you alone. Sometimes I just walk really fast, put my hand out like I’m stiff arming them, and say, no, thanks, before they can say anything to me.

Also, what is it like for these people when they get home? How much rejection can one take? I bet in a given day they suffer through an inordinate amount of rudeness. Furthermore, how much business can they be doing? How many small, remote controlled helicopters could they possibly sell in a week? Five?

Over Christmas, I actually stopped and indulged one of the lotion sales girls. She basically told me my hands were gross and that my wife couldn’t possibly be that attracted to me because of them. She then told me I had big ears and was a loser. She said, I’d be bald soon and was too fat to not take every step possible to be inoffensive to the senses. She rubbed some of the lotion on my hand and asked me if I was a construction worker or if I put up drywall (No joke, she said that to me).

I’m not sure how I got out of the situation, but, yeah, that’s why I hate you, kiosk workers of America.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Scatterbrain Tuesday

I’ve been working on a new smile lately. You know, just tinkering around the laboratory and trying to come up with something new. I’ve always had sort of a closed mouth, head tilted, kind of dipshit grin that I’ve always used. While said dipshit grin has been good enough for years, I have recently decided to change it up. I’ve come up with a mouth agape, mid-laugh kind of smile.

I came up with this new smile while I was at the gym – really the only place where I look at myself in the mirror. I was sitting on a bench and in between sets I’d try out new kind of smiles – big, wrinkly smiles, cocky half-smiles, and every tooth smiles (to name a few). I came up with the mid-laugh smile as I was laughing at myself doing this at the gym.

I doubt anyone noticed me doing this.

Does McDonalds have a predominately black consumer base? This isn’t meant to be racist or anything but why are their commercials urban/hip-hop oriented? Have they done some research that shows that more black people eat there? I eat there sometimes, and my wife buys coffee from McDonalds quite often. Maybe they should have some yuppie white people in their commercials, too. For that matter, my area of town is mostly Hispanic and there are always tons of Hispanics there. Let’s get some Mickey D’s commercials that have Latin stereotypes, too.

I’ve NEVER seen an Asian person there though.

They got their marketing campaign right with that one.

My introduction to higher level vocabulary began with old episodes of The Simpsons. In fact, most of my knowledge of American culture can be traced back to learning it first on The Simpsons.

Everything goes back to The Simpsons.

As most of you know, I am a high school teacher and coach. I also coach little kid swimming as well. That usually takes all of the first month of summer. That month is over and now I have nothing to do. I watch House Hunters on HGTV and play Words with Friends. I need to come up with a legit hobby. Maybe I could scrapbook – the female equivalent of Worlds of Warcraft. Maybe I could start making model airplanes or cars. Maybe I could start making garbage art; I could pick up cigarette butts around my neighborhood and make things with them. A cigarette butt cowboy riding a cigarette butt cow, anyone? Maybe I could cut out pictures of magazines and find something to do with that. I could have the foremost collection of Nick Nolte pictures in America; there is one with him holding a punch of pool noodles in this week’s Us Weekly. Sounds like a start.

Don’t all of those things sound like something someone does when they are waiting for something else to do? Like, I paint model airplanes because I’m waiting for my pot roast to finish in the oven. When my roast is out, I’ll put my toys away and eat.

Maybe I could write a blog.

A funny blog, this time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Benny Hinn vs. Benny Hill

Recently, my dear Grandma turned 80 years old. While her physical health has been steadily failing for the past 10 years or so, she has managed to ward of dementia and Alzheimer’s. She might not be certifiably mentally ill but she is crazy to some degree; she’s got the old person crazies. At some point, people just get to this point where logic becomes personal and not universal. In her mind, the things she does just make sense, and it doesn’t matter if it makes sense to anyone else on God’s green earth.

My grandma watches Benny Hinn obsessively. Side note: I thought Benny Hinn was the ass grabbing Benny Hill for most of my youth. It would have been much cooler if my grandma watched Benny Hill all the time. 

Benny Hill looking at some boobs.

Benny Hinn looking sincere.

How obsessively, do you ask? She has a library of composition notebooks filled with notes and diagrams – not unlike John Doe from Se7en. Her notes, however, aren’t filled with the psychotic ramblings of a serial killer; they are filled with the psychotic ramblings of an evangelist. By the way, if me calling him a psychotic evangelist bothers you, feel free to stop reading my blog. Back to my original point, I don’t get the logic in my grandma’s head that compels her to actually take notes. Does she do it so she can go back and reference what he said? Maybe if she’s not clear on a point, she can go back to make sure. “Man, what is God’s stance on homosexuals? I just can’t remember if he’s pro or con. Let me get over to the card catalog and figure out where Benny talked about that before. It should be under H for homosexual. Ah, here it is: Homosexuals will burn in Hell. Oh yeah, God hates gays. Duh.”

She also has become somewhat of a hoarder. Again, I don’t think this has anything to do with getting older because she’s always been a hoarder. She doesn’t quite reach the status of the people on the TV show Hoarders. Like when her cat died, she properly disposed of the body and didn’t let it rot under a stack of newspapers from 1939 (though she does have the newspapers for it). She holds onto magazines, newspapers and trinkets and protects them fiercely. My mom and aunt had to devise a scheme to get my Grandma out of the house so one of them could start throwing stuff away. I wish I saved the message my mom left me about what to get my grandma for her birthday. I went something like, “Nothing that goes inside of her house. She doesn’t need any more garbage.”

With all of that being said, I love my grandma, and while she’s in the twilight of her life, she should be able to do whatever she wants.

…except having towering stacks of old Houston Posts and Reader’s Digests in her house that could possibly create an physical avalanche of old information.

Both of these clips are hilarious

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I'm Back, baby!

I remember when I was a kid not really having access to a whole lot of information. We had encyclopedias, so I knew what the population of India was in 1985 and what a drawing of a lynx looks like. I know I sound lame and old, but anything and everything is accessible now. The other day I was lying on the couch watching one of those Saturday Night Live: Best of the 90’s things (or maybe the 00’s). There was a skit about Ted Kaczynski, and me being the curious person I am, read all about his background and his crimes. This isn’t a big deal, but it is typical of my actions and what got me thinking. If I get the slightest inkling to look something up, I do without thinking about what I’m really looking up. Once I heard that there were crime scene photos (or coronary photos, depending on how one looks at it) of Chris Farley when he died. I have absolutely compelled to search for them. I’m not interested in the macabre or turning into a goth kid, but I think that specific example is just morbid curiosity. I looked for Kurt Cobain’s crime photos right after so maybe not.

 Like, if I just typed in “blown up arm,” I bet I could get 1000 pictures of people with blown up arms. I could have also been searching for a photo of an arm that is blown up (as in a closer view). Maybe I’m a kid doing an anatomy project or something. I’m probably looking for mangled arms though.

I read the AV Club pretty avidly (it’s a division of The Onion). It focuses on all aspects of pop culture and makes slightly witty observations about whatever the story happens to be about – it’s not like The Onion in the sense that it is real life information. There was an article about the house where The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed. This got me thinking, I heard that it’s sort of based on a real story. I looked up “Leatherface real person” and got a Wikipedia page about Ed Gein. Apparently, several serial killer movie characters are based on this guy (think Leatherface, Buffalo Bill, and Norman Bates). I then proceeded to read all about the things that he did. I read about his childhood to his death. It was totally disturbing stuff and now I can’t un-know it. One of the words that came up throughout the piece was the word vulva. I am going to admit my ignorance right now: I didn’t know what that word means. There is an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry can’t remember the name of the lady he’s dating, but he does know that she got made fun of because it sounds like a lady’s body part. He thought her name was Mulva. That is the only time I remember hearing that word; though, I did probably hear it in science class during sex ed. week, but I was assuredly too busy drawing pictures of dragons fighting tanks. Who needs to know what a vulva is any way?

This brings me to my point. I’m going full circle here. I Wikipedia-ed vulva and guess what I got? A big freakin’ vulva staring me in the face like the Sarlacc for Return of the Jedi! I think it had tentacles, too. 

I didn’t want to see a picture! I just wanted to read about it.

I’ve learned my lesson. Stop looking things up.

Back to ignorance being bliss.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A lot of Maybes

I’m not sure I really know what OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) exactly includes. My basic knowledge of OCD comes from two things: the Jack Nicholson movie, As Good as it Gets, and an episode of MTV’s True Life called I have OCD. In the movie, Nicholson’s character washes his hands a bunch and he’s really angry. I don’t think the anger part has anything to do with OCD, so I guess it’s just obsessive hand washing. *One time, I met some friends for happy hour after an SAT class that I taught and I had dry eraser soot all over my hands. I washed my hands about five times in the bathroom to get it out from under my nails, and this drunk guy was apparently standing behind me for the entire time and eventually said, “Ready for surgery, doctor?” Top 10 funniest things someone has ever said to me in a bathroom. On True Life, the people had all sorts of weird rituals, as they call them. One guy laid out 30 pieces of toilet paper before he went number two. That just sounds smart to me. Get everything in order before you take care of business, especially if you plan on making a big mess like he was fixing to do. He also coughed a bunch. Maybe coughing is part of OCD. Also, there was a girl who tapped her food 3 times before she crammed it into her mouth. She was a woman of girth so maybe it was good that she did that. I’ve heard that the slower one eats, the less one will eat. If one eats fast, the body doesn’t process that it’s full until it’s too late. Maybe she should start tapping her food a hundred times.

My point of bringing this all up is that when I go to the gym, I always make sure to arrange the free weights in my area before I walk away – not just my weights, but what others before me left disorganized. Is this OCD? No, I know it’s not. I think people with OCD get anxiety when their rituals aren’t performed or are interrupted. I don’t feel anxious, but I do feel annoyed that I do it. I mentioned in a previous post that I get annoyed when people run the wrong way on the track. Well, the weight disarray thing is worse to me. I guess some people weren’t properly educated on gym etiquette. Maybe they’re just a-holes. Who knows?

I propose that gyms start color coding weights, like the 45 lb plates are red; the 35 lb plates are blue, etc. Maybe these people’s childhood instincts to put colors with other like colors will be tapped. Also, maybe the colors will create shame spirals in these people. The red colored weight will make then think of a baboon’s ass, which is also red. “I’m a red baboon’s ass for not putting this back.” Seriously, most people are stupid. I am, clearly, no rocket scientist. No, no, please, I’m not. But, most people in this world are stupid and inconsiderate. Maybe there should be more color coding for the stupid, I mean truly stupid, people. I imagine these people go to the grocery store and just buy things because they know it’s the right color. “I don’t drink the red canned cola; I drink the black canned cola.” Or, they know how to get home because their house is the light brown one, not the yellow one.

This color coding system is why we can drive without the constant fear of getting into a wreck. Someone made the wise decision back in the day to just have colors to tell us when to stop or go in the car. If stop signs where white and with black letters, I bet car wrecks would increase 3 fold.

Back to the point, I’m not a cynical person and I don’t suffer from OCD. I just want the weights to be put back in the right spot. I mean, come on, they’re different sizes!

That’s how I know where to put them.