Friday, January 28, 2011

Status Update

In case you guys wonder what my Facebook statuses are (except the few of you who know me personally), here's a sampling from the past month or so:

"I just realized today that I'm an English major who got laid off at an engineering firm and then got a job at a marketing firm through an IT-recruitment firm. That's weird. I wonder what I'll be when I grow up."

"My biggest fear is that someone will find out my biggest fear. (Uh-oh)"

"Being a parent means getting to say really weird things… 'I can't eat this fajita any more. Madeleine's tears dripped into it.'"

"My hamster would have been 22 today."

"My wife just informed me that she has the ability to determine an actress's age by studying the condition of their neck skin."

"Is this a rhetorical question?"

"What if there were no hypothetical situations?"

"Stereotypes are a real time saver."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Only In Dreams

My older brother called me during my lunch break today. And I was in the middle of a very intense dream sequence during my nap. So the only thing I remember him saying to me was, "Why are you breathing like that?" Then I mumbled something about naps and the line went dead. I went back to sleep and then back to work eventually.

But I just looked at my phone and it shows that I talked to him for five full minutes. So now I'm worried. I'm worried that I said something really weird or mean or insulting. And even if I didn't, I'm still worried. Because if I carried on a normal conversation with him without him noticing or me remembering, then there's no telling how many conversations I've had like that. Apparently, sleeping me is very convincing as a normal person.

I wonder if I've promised something or agreed to something in a sleep conversation. I bet I have. I bet I've told someone I'd meet them and then stood them up. I've probably lost friends while sleeping.  I'm such a jerk in my sleep.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In The News

I decided to try my hand at satire. And after writing a fake news story, I found out that The Onion does not accept, read, or appreciate user-submitted content. And I didn't want my efforts to go to waste.  So that means you get the pleasure of reading my first attempt at a mock news story. Enjoy:

Study Reveals Children among Dumbest Americans

MADISON — A new study from the University of Wisconsin has uncovered a shocking trend regarding education and intelligence. After a decades-long research study conducted by top minds, it has been found that over 20% of the least intelligent Americans are below the age of 12.

"We're as surprised as anyone at these results. We've been told for years that children are our future. And the numbers we're seeing make that future look a little scarier," lead Education researcher Tony Brandaroni told reporters at a press conference today. "To think… we're allowing this specific group of people to stay out of the workforce at the cost of billions of dollars by the government! And it's all under the idea that these little morons will be running our country one day!"

The study was based on standardized testing data available for all age groups. So scores on SATs and state-required exams were taken into account. Researchers had a difficult time finding certain data to begin with; causing wind of a conspiracy.

"Of the miniscule data we found, it was apparent that adolescents don't have a clue what's going on. 98% of children in elementary school scored below 800 on their SATs," continued Brandaroni. "And we were only able to find a handful of elementary students' scores. This astounding lack of test results only confirms our suspicion that there's been an attempted cover-up."

The statistics they do have are quite poignant. Only one in 1000 children below the age of 9 have even finished elementary school. The jobless rate among kids between the age of 5 and 14 is well over 78%. That staggering number is astronomical compared to the national average of 14%. And of the children with jobs, not one profession was deemed to be "intellectually challenging." The bulk of work done by children was limited to the fast food industry, grocery store sacking, and factory work.

But the study hasn't come without opposition, and certainly not without some controversy. Child equality advocacy groups are crying foul. And critics of the research dismiss the claims as blatant ageism.

"Well that's just another prejudice you can add to the list these days," famed Education blogger Glenda Frenski stated. "Obviously they didn't conduct the research correctly. I know plenty of intelligent children. It's clear that these researchers wanted some attention, so they fabricated their test results to match their preconceived ideas. Children have been fighting for years for equal rights."

But the researchers are standing by their findings.

"These numbers don't lie. If you're an American under the age of 12 (and realistically more like 15), you're an idiot," said Brandaroni. "And we can quantify that idiocy with telling statistics about your lack of intelligence. It's hard to argue with verifiable fact. Especially when you're an idiot."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Dead Language Of Love

My older brother gave me a Latin desk calendar for Christmas. It has phrases in Latin with phonetic spellings and translations. And no where on the box did it say it had a theme. It didn't say "Funny Latin Phrases" or "Weird Latin Phrases" or even "Conversational Latin Phrases." It just said "Latin Phrases." So I put it on my desk at work and didn't think anything of it. But now I'm beginning to think it was a prank. Because after 25 days with the calendar, I've only seen Latin phrases that are related to dating (or could be construed creepily as relating to dating).

The first few days, I didn't notice it. They were innocent enough… things like "I'm just looking." And without knowing the context of the other phrases, that wouldn't mean anything. But by the second week, they were turning into outright pickup lines. ("You come here often?") And now they're getting into creepy stalker phrases, like "I'm crazy about you" or "Look deep into my eyes." And I think it's starting to creep out my coworkers.

So when I go back to work tomorrow, I'm gonna thumb through the rest of the pages and see if they get any creepier. If they do ("Your hair smells like happiness"), then the Latin Phrase-A-Day calendar people have a weirdo on their staff. Of course, it's entirely possible that this has all been planned out by my brother. It would be just like him to spend a ton of time and money on a joke like this. And if he did, kudos to him. But if he didn't, then there's one really weird calendar employee out there, working on a gem for 2012.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Well Played, Indeed

One of my older brothers (no, not the weird one… no, not the angry one) really likes messing with people. I've probably mentioned this a few (37) times on this blog. But his latest Facebook exploits are priceless. This is what I saw yesterday:

Brother's status: "This is so cool! Facebook blocks you from typing your password when you comment! Check it out: ********* How awesome is that security feature?!"

I know my brother too well to believe that. Plus, I only make comments on Facebook when absolutely necessary (grammar mistakes by adults). So I didn't fall for it. But the first person to comment was the best. Because he really sold it:

Facebook Accomplice: "*******"
Facebook Accomplice: "That's awesome. It only changes after you click 'Post'."

And that's when other people started falling for it:

Facebook Victim 1: "whosthere"
Facebook Victim 2: "ilovecheesetoomuch"
Facebook Victim 2: "You jerk! Now I have to change my password!"
Facebook Victim 1: "Well played. Good thing my password isn't as embarrassing as his^^^."

I thought it was pretty clever. I might try it in a few months to see if I can trick anybody.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I Just Hope It Wasn't An Employee

My older brother was walking through Wal-Mart recently and saw an overweight guy walking towards him with a v-neck t-shirt on. (Hey! Three hyphenated words in one sentence!) And in case you didn't know, guys really shouldn't ever wear v-neck shirts by themselves. And overweight guys definitely shouldn't wear v-neck shirts (try not to think about hairy cleavage).

Anyway, my older brother (after mentally moving past the v-neck fiasco) saw what looked to be a medallion on the guy's chest. And he thought it strange that a fat guy with a v-neck would be wearing a medallion. Granted, it's a little less strange to see that kind of thing in a Wal-Mart. But still, it was weird. So as he walked closer, he chanced a few more glances at the guy. And at about 30 feet away he realized he couldn't see a chain holding up the medallion. So he thought maybe the guy was using fishing line or something like that. But then he got close enough to see the "medallion" and realized that it was actually a very large piece of food that was caught in the man's chest hair.

Okay, let me know when you're done vomiting, so I can continue….




You good? Okay, let's continue….

Actually, there's not a whole lot I can say about that. It's self-explanatory grossness. If you're so over-confident as a hairy fat guy to unabashedly wear a v-neck in public, that's one thing. But if you can't even feel a tortilla-sized piece of food clinging to your body, that's when you have a problem.

I like to imagine the moment when he realized there was food on his chest. Was it a courteous passerby who mentioned it to him? Was it when he got in his car and looked down? Was it when he reached down at the register to pick out a candy bar and saw it fall down to his feet? I hope it was the last one. Because I bet he thought someone had thrown some food at him, and I bet he jetted up really quick to see who it was.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Accidental Naps Are Fun Too

I took a nap in my car during my lunch break today. I've found I do that a lot more frequently when I stay up until 1:30 playing video games three nights a week. I'm such a child. But anyway, it was the best nap I can remember ever taking (well, purposely taking).

I found out today that the driver's seat in the Legend goes so far back that you're practically horizontal. It went so far back that I thought it was broken. And then I had the pure genius idea of removing the passenger headrest and using it as a pillow, which worked beautifully. And a light rain started as soon as I laid back. And it was about 50 degrees outside, meaning my car was about 65 degrees. So I used my jacket as a makeshift blanket and nodded off.

The reason I know it was the best nap ever is because I woke up and forgot where I was. I was like, "Oh, I'm awake. Wait, where am I? Am I in a bed? No, my pillow is leather. Oh, it's a car. Weird. What time is it? Oh, yeah… I'm at lunch. Man, that was good nap!" And I was totally okay with getting up and walking inside. It was the perfect amount of sleep for a nice power nap. I didn't even miss my Snooze button.

The only problem now is that I'm afraid that in reality I'm still in my car, and everything I'm experiencing right now is a dream. And I might spend days, months, or years in this dream without realizing it. And then I'll wake up in my car and realize I've woken up for real. And then I'll miss the dream world so much that I'll want to go back and I'll spend all my time sleeping. Okay, maybe I should stop watching The Matrix and Inception and The Chronicles of Narnia back-to-back-to-back every weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shh! It's A Secret!

So my older brother started a secret blog. It's basically where he rants about stupid people in his life. Family, friends, coworkers… you name it. He mocks people relentlessly and calls them names and stuff like that. I'm not sure he even cares about gaining a following. I think he just wants to vent. And I've read some of his posts. He's not really holding back. It's pretty intense. If you were the target of the post, you'd probably have to stop being friends with him because it would be obvious that he hates you.

Well, he forbade me from telling anyone we both know that he's doing it. He doesn't want to end friendships because of a blog post. He's intense, not crazy. (Okay, a little crazy… but not psychotic.) And I think I'm the only person he's personally given the URL to. And I'll honor his wishes on that. I don't want to essentially end his friendships with people by letting them read his angry diatribes about them.

But what I really learned about my older brother in all this is that he doesn't hate me. Because if you think about it, he would never give me access to the place he keeps all his personal angry rants if one of them was going to be about me. So I took pride in that. Of all his friends, family, and coworkers, he's absolutely positive that he won't be blogging about me. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy (like a Furby with a fever).

Of course the alternative explanation is that he has another blog entirely dedicated to how much he hates me, and the blog he gave me is just a misdirect to keep me from finding out how much he loathes me and what his plan is to murder me. So let's hope he just doesn't hate me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


When I can use technology to do something cool or fun, I feel really young. I can stream Netflix on my computer, my phone, my Wii, and my Xbox 360. That makes me feel young. But other times, it makes me feel old. Like today, I downloaded an app on my iPhone called "Stealth Tone" that only young people can hear. And I can only hear it when I put it right up to my ear. And I can only barely hear it. That makes me feel old.

But what I really dread is going home to my family and testing it on them. I know my kids will hear it. But I'm terrified that my wife will hear it way better than me because she's younger than me by a year and a half. I know that's ridiculous. But I can't help it. If she can hear it loud and clear and I have to hold it up to my ear like a grandpa, I'm gonna cry.

The only solace I take is that old people wouldn't understand the second sentence in this post. So I guess I'm not old. But I don't like those little instances where I feel my youth slipping away.

On a lighter note, we finally got Netflix! I watched Star Trek on my phone during lunch yesterday and then finished it on my laptop last night! And I'm also gonna watch Mythbusters and Man Vs. Food and Big Bang Theory and all the movies that I missed because my wife doesn't like nerdy stuff. It's gonna be awesome!

Monday, January 17, 2011

That's Supposed To Be Funny?

People often ask me, "Taylor, what made you want to become a writer?" And I tell them, "Nothing, stupid. Writing is dumb. I just like to blog." And that's usually when they tell me I didn't get the writing job for which I was interviewing. And then they ask me to leave.

Okay, that's obviously not true. I'd never say writing is dumb. And I'd certainly never interview for a writing job. But it is true that I like to blog. It's a creative outlet for me to spit out some humor without having the unwanted stigma of being a goofball for doing it so much in real life. (Plus, I can write run-on sentences like that last one without being graded on it.) And I've always enjoyed good humor writing.

I remember being introduced to the world of humor writing back in the fifth grade… bathrooms. Kids would write jokes and limericks on the wall for all to enjoy. And I learned a lot about what was funny and what wasn't funny. None of that is useable now due to the graphic nature of most elementary boys' wall musings. But what I really like is some good satire. For those of you unfamiliar with satire, it's basically The Daily Show and The Onion. They mock media by imitating the style and changing the content.

The first time someone told me about The Onion, I typed in the website and started reading. And I thought I was a complete moron because I didn't get any of the humor. It just seemed like a regular news site to me. And it wasn't until the 6th or 7th article that I realized I'd typed in instead of The Union is a local paper in California that does not publish satire. And I'm willing to bet they get a lot of their web traffic from idiots like me who can't type "onion" very well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Love Means Never Having To Say You're Wrong!

Three days ago, I posted about my And1 slip-on shoes and how I like them.  Well, I'm wearing them at work today as a testament to how functional they still can be.  And I remembered very suddenly this morning why I stopped wearing these shoes 10 years ago.  You see, when I walk on carpet, it feels like I'm walking on Crisco-coated glass.  And on linoleum, it sounds like I'm walking on latex.

So I almost fell down when I walked towards my desk at 8:00 this morning because there isn't any traction on my soles.  And when I walked through the breakroom to get coffee, it sounded like I had a terribly loud "gas leak."

But there was a reason I wore these today.  I'm proving to my wife that I should keep them.  And I will not accept that they're unwearable.  So no amount of falling down or perceived flatulence could deter me from proving my point.  Let my coworkers think I'm a big, farting klutz!  I don't care!  It's worth it to avoid being wrong again (and they probably already thought that).  So I'll keep wearing these ridiculous shoes.  And I'll keep standing for what I believe in (as long as I can keep my footing).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Because I'm Worth It!

I got in a ridiculous argument with my wife last night.  I'll explain it in a completely unbiased way so you can decide on your own whose side you're on.  We went to Target to pick up some household essentials (soap, shampoo, Double Stuf Oreos) and I remembered I was about to run out of deodorant.

Flashback Backstory!
Six months ago, in the name of saving money in every way to benefit my family's financial situation, I switched deodorant.  My wife found out I was spending about four dollars for each stick of deodorant and "we" decided that was too much.  So I switched from Gillette to Right Guard.  And I noticed during that time that the last few hours of the day are a little challenging for me, scent-wise.  I've had to mask my musk with cologne if we ever leave the house after 5:00pm because Right Guard seems to lack the staying power Gillette provides.

Flashforward Currentstory!
So I decided to start using Gillette again, and I figured my better half would agree that it was worth the extra $1.50 per month (that's $18 annually) to smell good all day, everyday.  But I was wrong.  My wife was absolutely furious when she looked at our receipt (I'm exaggerating).  She launched herself into a profanity-laced tirade that shook the very fiber of my being (I'm really exaggerating now).  She got so mad that she hit me with our car (Is anyone even reading this anymore?).

Okay, but really, she said, "Your deodorant costs four dollars?  That's ridiculous!"  And I thought it was strange that I was trying to convince my own wife that $1.50 per month (that's 37.5 cents per week) was worth a better smelling me.  Shouldn't she be trying to convince me to smell better?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Know You're Out There

This post is for all the people out there reading my blog secretly. Although you're not followers and you haven't told me you read my blog and you never leave comments (except when Anonymous), I'd like to thank you. Because you've recently become my greatest comedic challenge. Because of your secrecy, my goal has become to draw you out into the open. Every time I gain a follower or see a comment from someone who's never commented before or hear from my wife that her friend's husband's ex-roommate reads a post, I feel a little better about myself.

In fact, just this thing happened last week! I found out via a comment that two friends of mine have been "stalking this blog for a while" and finally admitted it publicly. That's why I do this stupid blog!

Okay, not really. I do it for the fame and fortune. But as of yet that remains an unrealized dream. So for now, my goal is thus: to be so funny or tell such funny stories that people choose to associate themselves with me and my humor without me having to beg them.

So keep stalking, blog stalkers. I'll draw you out eventually. I'll earn your trust and win you over with my subtle charm, rugged good looks, and ironic over-confidence. And you'll have no choice but to shout it from the virtual mountaintops… "I read your blog!" And then I can work on that whole fame and fortune thing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You're Killin' Me, Smalls!

I remember watching The Sandlot as a kid and hearing my Dad talk about how much he missed the PF Flyers he wore as a kid. (Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez was the man!) And I tried to tell him how ridiculous he would look wearing those today. He said that I just didn't understand. And I couldn't understand why he felt that way.

But today, I know how he felt. I put my 10-year old Doc Martins boots into our garage sale pile last night. And although I haven't worn them since high school, I don't want to let go. I felt so cool wearing them. (They had bouncing soles!) And now I'll be selling them to some weirdo for like five bucks in our Spring garage sale. That makes me sad. I'm going to miss them. I mentioned this to my wife, and she didn't really sympathize with me. In fact, her response was to tell me that my And1 slip-on shoes were going next.

For those of you unfamiliar with And1 slip-ons (pictured below), they were essentially tractionless slippers that had no function except to make you look like a complete tool. But because of my wife's little insult, I'm keeping them. And I've been wearing them out of the house every chance I get just to show her that they still have use.

As you'd expect, I look like a complete tool. That hasn't changed. But I feel better about myself when I wear them, like I'm still grasping firmly (delusionally) to my youth. And one day I'll see them in a movie about the 90s and I'll tell my son how much I like those shoes. But unlike my dad, I won't be saying that I miss them. And that's because I'll still be wearing them... in 2025.  As usual, my goal will be to embarrass my kids and further embarrass my wife.

Friday, January 7, 2011

FYI, Protractors And Contractors Are Not Opposites

My older brother parked next to me the other day in a parking lot and thought it would be funny to park six inches from my driver-side door. I decided I'd squeeze in anyway, thereby negating his lame prank and proving to myself that I could be temporarily thin if necessary. What I didn't decide to do was put my travel mug of coffee into the cupholder. So as I snaked my way into the car, I tilted my mug 91 degrees (yes, I measured with my protractor) and it poured a good 6 or 7 ounces of coffee (with French Vanilla creamer) directly onto my split-leather seats ("split-leather" means exactly what it sounds like it means). Then I had to go back inside to get a towel and realized my brother had watched the whole thing and was laughing heartily at me.

So now my Acura Legend has coffee in the leather and the seat is still a little sticky. The good news is that the whole car smells like French Vanilla coffee. Also, it was raining. Also, I missed a spot with the towel and accidentally mopped it up with my Dockers. Why, oh why, didn't I splurge for a pair with Stain Defender technology?!?!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Disproportion Control

I learned a valuable lesson last month. I learned that it's not polite to laugh at people who are disproportionate… even if you're only laughing internally. Tiny head, big body. Short arms, big head. Just accept people the way they are and don't find humor in their weirdly-shaped frames.

I was in a crowded department store doing some Christmas shopping. And in most cases, I try not to make eye contact with people in public. Some strangers are weird and think that eye contact is an invitation to an awkward conversation. So generally I don't raise my gaze above a person's elbows. Well, I was waiting at the edge of a walkway for my wife when I saw a guy close by out of the corner of my eye. So I glanced over quickly and saw it was an overweight guy wearing shorts (we can do that in December in Texas). He was about 50 or 60 pounds overweight, but it was all in his torso. He had tiny little legs and the thinnest ankles I've seen on a fat guy. I took in all of that in the half a second I glanced at him. And I shook my head and laughed internally at how ridiculous he looked. I couldn't believe someone with those proportions would wear shorts. How could he not know?

That's when I learned my lesson. I decided to chance another glance at him. And I noticed he had the exact same shoes as me. Then I looked up and saw that I was looking at my own reflection in one of the big department store mirrors.

It was an eye-opening experience. And it taught me not to judge people based on their proportionality. Because that giant guy with the mosquito ankles might be you. And I'll use this story to announce my New Year's resolution. I resolve to gain as much ankle and calf weight as I can so I can wear shorts and look proportional again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Okay, stay with me on this one. There are several seemingly unrelated facts at the beginning of this story that you need to know. First of all, I got my hair cut during lunch today. And I was seated at the far end of the room in the last barber chair next to the wall (with the wall on my right). And while the lady was trimming my right sideburn, I noticed she had a bit of a cold or maybe allergies or something (don't worry, this isn't a gross-out story). So she sniffled occasionally and she sounded a little congested. Then she realized she needed to sneeze. So she used the appropriate retail-service-employee-shoulder-sneeze method. Then she came around to the left side and started cutting my hair on that side.

Then she felt another sneeze coming on and decided the more polite thing to do would be to go around the wall into the next room and sneeze there. The problem was that she had to close her eyes before she made it around the corner. And her sneeze came faster than she anticipated. So as she came to the corner, she sneezed into the brick wall.

And I want to be clear here. I'm not telling you that her sneeze hit the wall. I'm telling you that her face hit the wall… hard. So hard, in fact, that she had to take a break from cutting my hair to regain her composure before resuming. And she had a big red mark on her cheek when she came back.

Now I'm assuming it was the slightest bit of pity for her that kept me from laughing out loud. But it was one of the funniest things I've seen in my entire life. I had to sit there for another 15 minutes with that scene replaying in my head over and over again and not laugh at her. If you want to see it, check my YouTube channel. Okay, not really. I don't have a YouTube channel, and I can only wish I had the incident on tape. But if you want to imagine it correctly, just envision someone sneezing while jogging. And then add a brick wall directly in front of their face. I can't describe it any better than that. Oh! Maybe I can call the manager and request the security tape!

(Now go ahead and look up the title of this post. You'll understand its appropriateness now.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Guess Who Sets The Clocks After A Power Outage

Last month my mom replaced her 1999 Chrysler 300M with a 2008 Mazda CX-9 (she apparently hates cars with actual words in the name). And since technology has changed quite a bit from 1999 ("It's got a CD changer!") to 2008 ("It's got a touchscreen!"), there's a bit of a learning curve with her and the car.

And like most parents with technology, it's not about learning how to do something. It's about learning how to undo something. It seems that if anyone born before 1964 configures a setting on an electronic device (computer, television, microwave), then that's the way it's gonna stay for eternity. And yes, my older blog followers, I know there are exceptions.  So don't flood my comments section with your defense of the greatest generation (actually, please do flood my comments section, it strokes my already large ego). Because the reality is the vast majority of people from that era are fairly predictable in this respect. That's why the clock in my father-in-law's truck will never celebrate Daylight Saving Time and why my Dad's ringtone will always be "AT&T Tone."

Well my older brother and I know this fact all too well. I once changed my mother-in-law's cell phone wallpaper to a picture of me wearing a child's fireman's helmet with my eyes crossed. And it stayed like that for almost two years (until she upgraded to a new phone).  I don't know how many times I heard her say to people, "I know.  But I don't know how to change it." And my older brother can make the outgoing message on my parent's answering machine say whatever he wants because they don't know how to re-record. ("Hi, we're home, but we're screening your call because we don't like you.  Please leave a message at the beep that we can immediately delete.")

So my brother was riding with our mom in her new car and helping her set up her Bluetooth speakerphone voice controls. He guided her through her contacts list, and she went through everyone's names and spoke them clearly and saved them to the system. But when she got to his name, she said "Landry" and he added "favorite son!" really fast to the end of it. So now, because my mother has no idea how to change it, she is forced to say "Landry favorite son!" whenever she wants to call him from her car. And you might think that would bother me since it implies that I'm not her favorite, but you're wrong. Because it's too funny to get upset about. (Plus, I know I'm her real favorite.)