Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Shouldn't Have To Explain It, He Should Just Know

One of the more frustrating things about trying to be a nice person is the amount of weird stuff you have to completely ignore. And if I could develop a program to help people increase their self-awareness, I'd be a rich man. Because while it might be funny on The Office for Michael to push the barriers of awkwardness and ignorance, it's not as funny in real life.


One of my older brothers thinks it's normal to clip his fingernails at any time… and in any place… in the presence of anyone. He actually carries nail clippers with him and isn't shy about pulling them out during dinners, meetings, or even weddings (yes, weddings). I understand that a person should be well-groomed. But I would much rather see a semi-unacceptable fingernail length than hear that clicking noise over a bride's vows. Especially when I'm sitting right next to him while he does it.


Another one of my older brothers doesn't seem to understand proper phone etiquette. He calls from elevators and concerts, he hangs up on me without any signal that the conversation is ending, and he puts me on speakerphone while brushing his teeth. Utter ridiculousness. But there's a new leader atop the list of infuriating phone etiquette breaches: eating fruit while on the phone. I know he's not messing with me, because he's totally oblivious to anything he does that might annoy other people. So somehow in his brain, it makes sense to chomp on a pear while he tries to tell me about the weather. It's like listening to Hooch drink from a bucket of pudding while a concussed person speaks in the background. And that's usually when I pretend I'm in an elevator and I "lose service" long enough for him to finish what is apparently an amazing pear.

(And in case you don't know who Hooch is, he's the one in the picture below that's not Tom Hanks.  Now imagine him drinking from a bucket of pudding.  Now you know what I hear in Example #2.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

All The Right Reasons

This is my 400th blog post.  And since I've reposted so much stuff and borrowed so much other stuff, 400 means absolutely nothing.  Except maybe that I've spent a lot of time posting to this blog.

So let me assure you, my purest desires for this blog are still here.  And in case you're wondering what those desires might be, here they are, each with an explanation:

1. Money.  Lots and lots of money. - I'm not entirely sure how this works yet.  Maybe some sort of benefactor.  Maybe a rich cyberstalker with little to do with his/her money.  Time will tell.

2. Fame.  Lots and lots of fame.  - Again, not sure how that works.  I'm pushing two years on this thing and I'm not sure my parents even know I still post here.  And if you make a graph of my followers by date (which I have), you can see a noticeable plateau since I stopped putting my link on craiglist under the title "need to sell this car quick before moving overseas - $300".

3. Creative Outlet.  Lots and lots of outlet. - This one I'm feeling successful on.  I rarely even share anecdotal stories with my friends anymore.  When they ask me what's been going on, I just shake my head and hand them a napkin with my blog URL scribbled on it.

I'd like to pretend that I'd still write here if people weren't following me or actively/occasionally reading it.  But we both know that's a lie.  I do it for the people.  I do it for the tens of followers I've amassed (only 6 of which are dummy accounts I created out of self-pity).  Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go write my URL on a bunch more napkins.  My supply is running low.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Had To Google "Non Sequitur" For The Correct Spelling

I'm not gonna lie. I recycle my jokes. I'm not funny enough to come up with something new all the time. So if I say something that I think is funny on Facebook, I usually use it here at some point. So it's time again to reimagine some of my Facebook statuses as a non sequitur blog post. Again, I apologize for the two of you who are my Facebook friends who also read this blog.

It's okay to be jealous of your children, right? I sure hope it is. Because my son sat up in his sleep a couple of nights ago (eyes still closed) and excitedly asked, "You have puppies?!" And considering my last dream involved finding a five dollar coupon for raisins, I'm really jealous. I want to dream about puppies, too.

Note to the people who make Banquet frozen entrees: If your instructions include the phrase "stir the lasagna," then it's not lasagna. Worst 84 cents I've ever spent.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. Unless it's insulin.

I never know when it's appropriate to say "apropos."

Conan O'Brien says he got this for his birthday. Now I want one too.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


A few weeks ago I told you about my older brother picking up golf. I can now reveal that this was one of the many times that the "older brother" was really me. So all that stuff I said about how bad it was going to be and how funny it was going to be to see my older brother fail, was really all the stuff I was most fearful would happen to me.

So, anyway, I played my first real round of golf this past weekend, and everyone who expected me to fail miserably (perhaps just me) was pleasantly surprised. Because it seems that I'm picking up on the game quite nicely. I mean, I'm not a prodigy by any means. I shot a 132 (that's 60 over par in case you're curious), but all-in-all I could have done a lot worse. And I mean, a LOT worse.

The group I'm playing with determined as part of the rules that your score can never be more than five strokes over par. So the highest score you can get on a par 5 would be a 10 (9 on a par 4, 8 on a par 3). This means if you hit it into the woods on your 10th shot when the par is 5, you just move on to the next hole and take a 10 for your score (let's call that "maxing out"). And I'm happy to say, that I didn't max out a single time during the 18 holes. I mean, I did take 10 shots on a par 5 a few times, but the 10th shot was always when my ball actually went into the cup. The 132 swings I took accurately reflect my score.  And most importantly I didn't fall down, sprain a muscle, fall into a water hazard, or hit anyone.

I even got par on one of the holes. In fact, I got about 6 inches away from birdying that one. And that made me think that I could probably start playing on the PGA in a few months. All I have to do now is practice and get used to tucking in my shirt and having a tan exclusively on the bottom half of my face. Because if there's one thing I learned Saturday, it's that golfers look stupid when they don't wear a hat.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nostalgia Just Ain't What It Used To Be

Okay, this is gonna sound weird, but I just remembered Binaca. I hadn't seen it, heard about it, or even thought about it in a really long time (like as long as it's been since I called someone collect). And I don't know what triggered it, but I just remembered it. Isn't that weird?

Well, maybe you don't think it's weird, but I was curious to see if Binaca was still being made. I figured it went away like a lot of other things from that era (baggy carpenter's jeans, cell phones with antennas, decent alternative rock, etc.). But lo and behold, it still exists! And that's not all. They actually have a Facebook fanpage and a Twitter feed! And you can't argue that that's weird. Okay, maybe you still don't think it's weird. But let me explain why you're wrong.

Binaca is from the 1990s. Period. That's when Jim Carrey asked someone (via his Canadian booty) if they had any Binaca in the heartwarming 1994 drama, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. And now the Binaca people are doing all the new social media advertising that's become so popular for companies these days. But they're from the 90s! See? Weird! It's something nostalgic trying to be modern!

Still don't agree? Fine, it's analogy time. It's like Ralph Macchio (aka The Karate Kid) at age 50, on Dancing with the Stars. Or it's like finding out that the little kid you babysat when you were in junior high is married and has a couple of children and builds websites in his spare time. Or it would be like realizing that not only do slap bracelets still exist, but there's an iPhone app to design your own (I wish).

Still don't see how Binaca being on Twitter is weird? Fine, I give up.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Can't Commit To One Spelling For That Color

There seems to be some sort of struggle going on at the top of my head.  Because all the hair on the sides of my head is turning grey (or gray). But the hair in the middle seems to hate the very idea of changing color.  So they're going out, seppuku-style instead of facing the shame of the gray (grey) movement.  So all the hair from my forehead to the tip-top of my head is making a grand exodus. What that means is that pretty soon I'll be mostly brown with a giant forehead, mostly grey/gray with a semi-full head of hair, or some horrible combination of the two.  In other words I'll be one of the following:

A) George Castanza

B) Anderson Cooper

or C) Dick Cheney

If I had a choice, I'd choose gray (or grey). I would rather have a full head of radiant silver locks than a brunette comb-over. In fact, I'd rather be born with gray/grey hair than lose all of it.  But I have a very strong feeling that it'll be option C before I'm 35.

And that brings me to option D; buzzing/shaving my head.  I can throw up the white flag and skip all this nonsense by grabbing my clippers and choosing my own destiny.  But due to my pale skin and the dark bags under my eyes, I'm really afraid that option D would look something like this:

Monday, April 11, 2011


Whenever I go a long time without blogging, I feel guilty. And I always feel like I should explain why I took an impromptu hiatus. Because I've tried relatively hard not to become one of those bloggers who disappears and only returns to apologize for disappearing. So in lieu of an apology or a valid explanation, I will simply continue as if I had never disappeared.

My son started soccer last week. He's four and his instructor (me) has never played before. So given that combination, this was bound to be an interesting first team sport experience for him. And my goal was to teach him a few things that I thought would come in handy to help him perform better than the other less-athletic four-year olds. So I taught him one basic thing. And that was to use little kicks on the way to the goal and a big kick when he gets close to the goal. Brilliant advice if you ask me. Most kids that age just get in a big group and kick it as hard as they can. So that was the only insight I shared with him.

And we took him to practice and he performed wonderfully. I stood on the field with him and instructed him when to use big kicks and when to use little kicks. And my over-confident adult brain could not conceive of any possible problem with this strategy. Then came the first game.

What I failed to prepare him for was the fact that there was a completely separate team that was coming to the game. And they were going to attempt to kick the ball away from him at every opportunity. And needless to say, that was a shocker to him. And in hindsight, I should have predicted that. Because as far as he knew, soccer was just playing around with your friends and sharing. But the game started, and it was a rude awakening for him.

I imagine it was something akin to picking up golf with the impression that it was a no impact sport, only to be tackled as you take your first swing. He would do nothing but stand near the sideline and well up with tears. And that was completely my fault.

The happy ending to this story is that he got to play goalie for the last five minutes of the game. And he loves playing goalie. There's no fear of impact, he gets to purposely fall to the ground when he goes for the ball, and he gets to throw the ball over everyone else's heads. That was the saving grace for game day. And the other good news was that he had no less than 14 people there to cheer him on. So no matter what apprehension he felt during the game, it was quickly erased by the congratulations and high-fives he received afterwards.  So all we have to do now is get him ready for next week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bad With Faces... And Names

My wife's hometown is about 3 hours away from us. And we've visited there enough times for me to have met some of her old friends and some of her mom's acquaintances. But I don't usually run into anyone I know when we go there. So I turn off my "do-I-know-that-person?" radar when I go out in public while we're there.

As is my custom on these visits, I usually go to Best Buy to kill some time while my wife goes shopping with her family. And a few months ago, I was doing just that. I took my son into Best Buy and we just wandered around. And as we passed the laptop section, I glanced over and saw another customer staring at me. And I was about to look away when he said, "Hey!" and pointed at me. I turned around to make sure he was actually pointing at me and then returned a confused "Hey" right back to him.

And he said, "Don't I know you?" But I could honestly say I'd never seen this man before in my life. But before I answered I ran through the very short list of people I knew from that city. And when his face didn't match any of the faces I knew, I told him that I didn't think so. But he wouldn't let it go. He said, "Are you sure? I know I've seen you before. What's your name?" So I told him my name was Taylor and explained that he must be mistaken because "I don't know you and I'm not from here." I explained further that I was just visiting my in-laws and I needed to be on my way. So we cut our Best Buy time short to escape the crazy guy who thought he knew me.

Then the next morning, I saw the same guy! And I would have thought it was a weird coincidence if it hadn't been while we were walking into church together. And that's when I recognized him (because people look different in dress clothes). So I embarrassedly shook my head and tried to avoid eye contact. But he held the door for me and mumbled as I passed, "I told you I knew you."

So now, every time we visit, I have to make a point to say hi to him as we walk into church or as I pass his seat. But for the life of me, I can never remember his name! So I just say generic stuff like, "How ya doin', man?" or "Hey! Good to see ya!" Apparently I can only remember a face and a name if people never change clothes and always wear name tags. What is wrong with me?