Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Lies from Cartoons

The first lie that cartoons taught me was that men bring flowers on the first date. I ask, why would a guy bring flowers on the first date? I bet most women would think that’s too forward rather than a sweet gesture. They’d think, what am I supposed to do with these? Do I carry them around with me?

Well, if The Simpsons, Bugs Bunny, and Family Guy have taught me anything, it’s that guys bring flowers on the first date.  Obviously, a first date is an important thing – you want to make a good impression, show the girl you like her, and, hopefully, trick her into thinking there is something to you. Well, flowers are more of an anniversary thing and not a first date thing – or better yet a making up thing. If you give a girl flowers on the first date, she’s going to think, what did this jerk off already do? Did he run over my cat? Did he already date one of my other friends? An overall sense of suspicion will occur.

Also, the cartoons always go to really nice places. Uh, where do you go from there? I accidentally took a girl to a fancy steakhouse on our first date thinking it was a hamburger place once. Needless to say, I ultimately had to end the budding relationship because I had nowhere else to go from there. Applebee’s would have seemed like a dump… err… well, it is.

Secondly, cartoons lied to me about showing a sexy leg around a corner. Here is a picture to demonstrate:

Bugs Bunny and the wolf from the Tom and Jerry cartoons did it all the time to lure their enemy to some TNT. Well, I did the sexy leg showing to my wife and she laughed at me. That’s right, she laughed – at ME!!! I have nice, tan legs and she didn’t respond in a turned on way. It was more of a laughing kind of way.  

Maybe I’m watching the wrong cartoons. Maybe Sponge Bob has better advice for women.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Feast of Epiphany!

James Joyce is essentially credited with coining the word epiphany, in a secular sense. For example, in the short story The Dead, the main character, Gabriel, has an epiphany when he realizes there is more to his wife than he previously thought. I know, the story is more complex than that, but that summary is basically the meat and potatoes of it. I can’t think of many moments in my life where meaning and substance had an iridescent glow that just spoke to me. Well, it probably happened, but I was too obtuse to notice. Is it an epiphany when I realized my then girlfriend would be the woman I would marry? It’s arguable that is not an epiphany but culmination of feelings that built over time. Epiphanies seem to have more of an instantaneous nature.

 I’m not writing to argue the semantics of the word but to share an epiphany I know I DID have recently. This moment has had a profound effect on how I view life and how I’m going to live mine from this point forward. I realized just because I’ve been doing something, I don’t always have to do that thing. Part of the beauty of being an adult is the ability to make life changes and independent decisions. So, from this point forward, I will no longer be constrained by the shackles of Right Guard deodorant. Right Guard has ruined the underarms of many of my shirts, made embarrassing stains on the fronts of t-shirts, and felt just icky and cold.

When I was at the grocery store the other day, I experienced a feeling of paralysis in my arm as I went to grab the Right Guard from the shelf to put it in my shopping cart. It’s like an unknown force was holding my arm doing, whispering in my ear, “No, Right Guard sucks. Get something else. Right Guard is gross.”

As I reached for the Degree, I knew my life was headed in the right direction.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lone Star Jam!

I have run into a couple of celebrities in my lifetime. Actually for the longest time, they were all athletes of some sort – I live in Houston for God’s sake! It’s not like I’m going to run into George Clooney at El Gallo or Warwick Davis at The Galleria. For example, while I was at the University of Texas, I ran into Major Applewhite at a college party once. People were almost lined up to meet him and shake his hand. When it came to me, he shook my hand and introduced me to his girlfriend. I thought that was weird (In case you don’t know, he was the quarterback for the UT football team at that time. He was kind of a big deal then). I don’t know why I was introduced to his girlfriend. Maybe he was trying to get rid of her and by introducing her to every guy, the odds of her leaving with someone else were greater. Probably not though.

I saw Regis Philbin in an airport when I was coming back from Las Vegas once. He looked SUPER old, like he was wearing a rubber mask – kind of like an older Muammar Gaddafi. I saw Shawn Kemp (ex-Seattle Sonics star) at a restaurant once. He had hoard of children with him. I saw Flo Rida in Vegas the last time I was there. That’s it. I just saw him walk by me.

Ultimately, I have no real interest in ever meeting any celebrities. I kind of don’t get why it’s cool to meet them. In fact, it would pain me to stroke their egos! And, why would they give two shits about meeting other non-celebrities? I know I wouldn’t if I were a celebrity. “Sweet, some chick from Salem, Ohio, thinks I’m awesome.” People who suck up to celebrities are sad, hopeless people.

This all brings me to my main point. I went to the Lone Star Jam, a festival that showcases several small, Texas country bands, in Austin last weekend. One of my favorite bands right now, Turnpike Troubadours, played at 1:30 or so and put on a fantastic show. They only have one album so there was no worry of them playing songs I don’t know. If you haven’t figured this out already, they are not a hugely popular band, but they were just great live.

 This isn't from the concert but it's a pretty sweet song.

Well, after they finished playing and the crowd had dispersed, my wife and I happened to walk by the stage on the way to the port-o-potties. As I’m sure you could predict with all of my simple foreshadowing, we ran into the band. We talked to the bassist and the lead guitarist until I basically excused us. They were nice, normal people who seemed happy that anyone cared about their music. I was giddy as a school girl, and I ended up getting a picture of them and my wife.

Later, we walked by their merchandise stand and we saw the lead singer. I patiently waited my turn (still giddy like a school girl) and got a picture with him. After the initial euphoria wore off, I felt like a complete idiot. My whole life I had decried the idea of jocking a celebrity and there I was jocking a celebrity. I might of well have asked him to sign my breasts.

Oh well, I guess I am just a sad and hopeless person now.

Maybe he’ll remember me and spot me in the crowd the next time I go to one of their concerts.

Yeah, sad and hopeless stalker sounds much better to me.

Just kidding. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I’m officially old. My mom has always told me that old is a state of mind. Well, my mind focuses on the pain in my lower back most of the time, and I’m pretty sure youngins don’t think about their lower back hurting constantly. In fact, this has consumed my mind for about 3 weeks now. I literally slide out of the bed every morning because I can’t make my body bend into a 90 degree angle. When I get dressed, I have to use my abnormally dexterous toes to pick up the clothes I need from the ground (because, yeah, my clothes are on the ground). Luckily, I possess an extra long second toe, which makes for superior grabbing and pinching; I’m like an armed, armless wonder.

I’ve often wondered if I should just wear a weight belt at all times. It seems like it would do the trick: back support with a bad ass look. Just think about it, I could be anywhere and look like I just left the gym. Wendy’s: just left the gym. Work: just left the gym. Court: just left the gym. Gym: just left the gym. If that’s too overtly awesome, I could wear it under my clothes and leave people guessing what I have under my shirt/pants. I’d be the mysterious guy with the lumpy, bumpy midsection.

All joking aside, my wife set up a chiropractor appointment for me for tomorrow. I’m actually kind of nervous about it because if cartoons have taught me anything, it’s that chiropractor’s want to inflict pain and… are cartoon wolves. They want to drop some ‘bows on my back and crack my neck like they’re Steven Segal. Furthermore, I’m pretty big so what if he can’t pop my back with his body weight? Will he use a machine? Are there chiropractor machines? Is it a giant robot with boxing gloves for hands that will pound my back? These are all questions I would have asked if I knew how to set up the appointment myself. Instead, I have to resort to looking it up on the internet, and somehow I typed in “horror stories” after “chiropractor.”Needless to say, I’m a tad concerned with being paralyzed or having a stroke. In my mind, this is what is going to happen: I’m too big for him to pop my neck; he’s going to put all of his weight into it; my head is going to twist around like a Coca-Cola bottle top.

Everyone will call me “Coca-Cola Bottle Top” Johnny.

“Oh, there’s ‘Coca-Cola Bottle Top’ Johnny, it’s okay to look at him now but don’t look when he passes by you; his head’s on backwards.”

***Update: This is what a weight lifting belt looks like for anyone who is unfamiliar. It basically provides support for the lower back for exercises like squats and deadlifts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Love Letter to My Parents

Mom and Dad, I am always thinking about you. I love you.

Everyone else watch this and think of your family.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Anti-Social Me! Part II

I’ve talked about being anti-social before, so if you read my blog, you know that I will do whatever it takes to avoid talking to someone… actually, everyone. I’ll walk the long way to avoid certain colleagues at work. I will change my work out schedule because someone I know goes there at the same time. I even stopped going to the close Subway because someone I know works there. I will do whatever it takes to not partake in chit-chat. It really isn’t the other person’s fault (most of the time) but I’m just an awkward, possibly inconsiderate guy to mild acquaintances. But again, if you read my blog regularly, you already know this about me.

I reached my all time low the other day, which has made me rethink my whole perspective when it comes to avoidance. The grocery store I go to has two entrances: lately one side has had a pack of girl scouts guarding it like the bridge troll from The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the other entrance was wide open.  Obviously, I enter through the open side. Last time, I entered and strolled through the store undisturbed, without a care in the world. On a side note, I like going to the store because I find it relaxing. My wife finds it to be the opposite; she can’t stand the crowd and the ensuing stress. My only stress comes from the possibility of running into someone who isn’t a close friend.

After I made my purchases, I casually strolled through the exit, forgetting what was waiting for me on the side I choose – the OTHER side! There they were, harassing everyone that dared to pass them. This required a quick reaction and some evasive maneuvers on my part. I noticed the plant section to my right. I knew if I just made a sharp right I could duck into the bushed and then scurry out of there without being seen. Right as my mind made the decision to take action but before my body reacted, I heard, “Sir, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” Unfortunately, my body reacted after I heard those words, so as she was finishing, my body darted away from her into the bushes. I was avoiding a sweet, innocent little girl – probably – she could be one of those kids that pulls the wings off mosquito hawks. Who knows. I was able to hide behind the shelves of hydrangea bushes when I made my most critical mistake: I looked back. I looked over my shoulder and she was looking at me with a distraught, pathetic face. It melted me. I lost.

“Oh, I didn’t hear you. I just saw this decorative, ceramic, sunglass-wearing armadillo that I just had to have,” I stammered.

I used all of the cash in my wallet to buy cookies.

The very cash I was going to use at Wendy’s.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sucky Sunday

Today has been an overall extremely crappy day. First off, my wife is out of town, so I naturally let the dogs sleep in bed with me. They are a poor substitute for her but I’m accustomed to the bed being hogged. Unfortunately, one of them had an upset stomach last night and full on crapped all over the bed (that’s what I get for letting the dogs on the bed). I felt bad for him because he was obviously sick and too small (or fat) to jump off the bed in order to crap on the carper – that’s better I promise you. I woke up in a blind stupor an accidentally put my hand down in it. Just horrible. That kind of shit happens (you have to read that line imagining I have some sort of smug smile as I deliver that semi-obvious pun).

One of the worst problems is that I couldn’t find a dry cleaner in all of Houston open on a Sunday. Seriously people (I’m including everyone here, Chickfila, El Gallo, etc.), let’s stop with the closed Sunday thing. Go to church and then get your lazy ass back to work. Also, how can that be good for business when you are closed 1/7 of the year!?! Literally, 52 days of business that you are choosing not to make money. Can you all be making so much money that you don’t need more? Sunday is one of the good days of the week, too – almost everyone is off! You could be making more money, Service Industry. Geez.

Anyhow, back to the story, I had to clean the dog poop off by hand and leave it in the laundry room for the rest of the day. The thought of this sickens me, and I have drive heaved several times today as a result. After that morning’s fiasco, Earl, my pug, was acting weird and skittish, like one would expect from a sick dog. Well, he had poop – cliffhangers, as my friend, Paul, calls them – still stuck to his fur, so I had to give him a bath. Earl, who is fat like a pig, also shares the “hard to catch” trait of a pig. He runs around snorting, changing directions, and hiding under things, while I lumber slowly after him. I eventually tricked him with a treat – the fat dog’s hypnotic.

After all of that, I watched Shawshank Redemption on AMC all the while trying to muster up the strength to go to the grocery store. I finally got out of bed, got ready, and sat down in my car, and I noticed that I tracked dog crap onto my car’s floor carpet. I stepped in the very dog poo that I cleaned off the comforter earlier. Sigh.

Finally, after I cleaned my car and shoes, I went to the store and bought many delicious items, like meatballs for meatball sandwiches, Red Diamond Sweet Tea, and ice cream sandwiches. This all lead to the high point of my day: eating hot dogs for dinner.

I also bought some Tylnol PM so I can get out of this day as soon as possible.