Thursday, November 17, 2011

Don't Do This

When I was in high school, I had a few low-grade crushes.  I wasn't obsessed with any particular girl, but there were a few female friends I wished I could impress into liking me.  And in case you haven't ever read my blog, let me give you some insight.  I am not charming, handsome, athletic, or outgoing in any way.  And I was even less of those things when I was in high school.  I was also way too self-aware when it came to interacting with people. ("Do I always breathe like this?!" "What are my arms supposed to be doing right now?")  So I didn't have a lot going for me.  You throw in the fact that I was driving a 1994 Geo Prism, and my prospects were limited ("limited" = nonexistent).

So one day, I was driving past a park near my house.  And I saw a girl from school that I thought was cute.  She was jogging on the path near the road.  And I thought to myself, "Taylor, this is your chance!  You can come across as friendly and slightly interested without embarrassing yourself!"  So I rolled down the passenger window (manually) and honked as I passed her.  I think my original plan was just to honk, wave, and move on.  And at some point I decided to call out her name in case she didn't know I was addressing her.  So as I leaned toward the window to yell, "Hey Sarah!" I stopped paying very close attention to the road.  In fact, I pretty much forgot I was driving.

So as I waved and yelled her name, I let go of the steering wheel.  Lucky for her, I only hopped the curb and skidded to a stop in the grass (no physical harm done).  Unlucky for me, I skidded to a stop about 10 feet from her (tons of emotional harm done).  And thanks to the proximity, she got a good look at my face (meaning I couldn't hide and stay anonymous).  She stopped jogging long enough to stare at me with her eyes wide and her mouth shut.  Then she slowly turned and continued jogging (a lot faster).  And we never spoke again.

So if you're looking for advice on how to impress a girl you like, I've got some for you.  If at all possible, try to avoid almost killing her with your car.  I'm sure there's more to it than that, but that's pretty much all I learned about girls while I was in high school.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Adventures In House Hunting

Today, I'd like to give a few tips to any home sellers out there.  First, if you want to sell your home (ever) then don't let lots of animals live in it.  You may not smell the soaked pet urine that permeates your abode, but every person who comes in your house will smell it.  So that appointment from 1:30 to 2:30 will only last until 1:35.  I'm not sure if there's an exact guideline I can offer for how many pets to keep in the house.  But I know it's somewhere below seven (three cats and four dogs).

One house we looked at had three cats roaming freely and all four dogs shut in the utility room (barking and clawing at the door trying to escape and eat us).  That's not exactly endearing to potential buyers.  And it scares the children.

Speaking of scaring children, don't put a dirty, naked baby doll on the bed in the guest room.  Especially if it's facing the door with its cold, dead eyes.  And especially if it's clear by the rest of your possessions that you live alone and have no children there who own said baby doll.  My nightmares are haunted by that doll.

And one last tip.  If you know people are coming to your house... leave.  Don't do yard work while they look through your house.  And don't sit in your spacious master bedroom in a sports bra and look at your laptop.  I'll never know how big that walk-in closet was because I felt awkward opening it with that lady sitting there.  And if she couldn't find a shirt to throw on while we were there, who knows what was in that closet!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Snooze, You Lose Your Cool

One of the things my older brother always does at a new job is find a place for his lunchtime naps.  A lot of people would suggest his car as the only appropriate place.  But because he lives in Texas and doesn't want to waste gas running his air conditioner, that's not a viable option for him (except for the two or three days of cool weather per year).  So at his last few jobs, he's found empty cubicles or offices to nap in.

Disclaimer for anyone wanting to hire him: He only does this during lunch.  He doesn't nap during work hours.

Well at his newest job, he has his own office.  So he decided recently that he was going to take a nap in the privacy of that office.  He closed the door, turned off the light, and made a pillow out of a roll of paper towels covered by his gym towel (pre-workout).  Then he set an alarm and fell asleep.  About 40 minutes later (five minutes before his alarm), he woke up.  And as he reached for his phone to look at the time, he noticed that a few inches from his phone was a mouse... scurrying towards his face.

(Please take a moment to gasp at this out loud and clap your hand over your mouth.)

Needless to say, he didn't go back to sleep.  He jumped up faster than the kid at my high school who accidentally sat on his English teacher's lap during a power outage (me).  He got up so fast that he scraped his elbow on the floor.  And I'm guessing if there had been a camera on him, everyone in the country would be able to enjoy the clip on America's Funniest Videos (or YouTube for you youngsters).

The embarrassing part was explaining to his coworkers why he was so worked up about it (and why his elbow was bleeding).  Because normal men don't panic about a tiny little mouse.  So he had to explain that the only reason his heart was racing and he was acting all frantic was because he had awoken to the mouse directly in front of his face.  Then he had to explain why he was lying on the floor in his office in the first place.  And I don't think it's very easy to explain all that.  So his coworkers either think he's a weirdo who lies on the floor to take naps during work, or he's a weirdo who's terrified of mice and lies about it to save face.  So either way he's a weirdo who lies. (Homonym wordplay! Hooray!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Just Laziness I Guess

People still blog, right?  This hasn't become a thing of the past like AIM away messages and dial-up, has it?  I hope not, because so much has happened since I last posted on here.  I joined Twitter (@thats_so_taylor), my wife and I started shopping for houses, we found out she was pregnant with our third child, and most importantly... I started working out!  So in theory, I should have a lot to blog about now that I have so many new sources for stories.  But that's just a theory.  You can't hold me to that expectation (I'll get a lawyer).

So I won't share everything in one post.  I'll start with the most surprising news I have.  It's not my pregnant wife.  We've experienced that twice already.  And it's not the Twitter thing (@thats_so_taylor) because I've mentioned before that I wanted to do that.  And it's not the home-shopping.  We have a kid going into school next year, and we need him in a good district.  No, in fact, the biggest news is the fact that I started working out!  (Okay, not the most interesting news, but the most likely to provide my much-needed avenue for bragging.)

So far my favorite thing about working out is my ability to flex my pecs on command.  You may have seen musclebound dudes bouncing their pectoral muscles and laughing about it.  I've always found that disturbing.  But the interesting thing is that just a few chest workouts and it's pretty easy to do the bouncy trick.  The only problem is that instead of a bouncing muscle, I have incredible bouncing man-boobs.  And it's not as disturbing as it is hilarious and embarrassing (hilarious for onlookers, embarrassing for me).  So for the time being, I'll stick to doing it while I type (a.k.a. - right now).

So now I'm looking for ways to get rid of the piggyback effect of the chest flab.  As disturbing as it would be to be able to do the pec dance for others, I'd still like to have that talent.  It's similar to my desire to cry on command.  It's not that people will think it's cool, it's that it's rare and makes people feel awkward.

Oh yeah, also... my Twitter "handle" (username? address? call sign?) is @thats_so_taylor.  Check it out and tell your friends.  So far I have one follower.  And chances are... it's not you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm In Shape On The Inside

My older brother is overweight, but not grotesquely overweight. And he doesn't really have any horribly bad habits. He doesn't smoke or drink. He exercises occasionally. He doesn't overeat very often. But he's still overweight. But he's always had this theory about himself that I thought was crazy. He thinks that he's in relatively good shape, but it's hidden or "insulated" under a layer of fat. A specific example is when he said, "I think I actually have a six-pack of abs under here. But you just can't see it because I've got a belly on top of them." And while I give him credit for coming up with a better excuse than being "big-boned," that doesn't seem to me to be sound reasoning. It seems outright ridiculous.

And I have trouble arguing with him because I don't have any evidence to point to except his weight. He's never had major health issues, he doesn't sweat or breathe heavily, and he's played sports on occasion without incident. So if I didn't think his theory was total malarkey, I would see his reasoning.

But the other reason I can't argue with him is that he's never gotten a physical or any medical screenings done. So there have never been any numbers I can point to and say, "Ha! I knew you were pre-diabetic!" And I think he's avoided testing on purpose. Because if you look at him, you'd assume he has high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, high glucose, and all the other stuff we overweight people have that goes along with our physique.

Well, he got a free screening done at work this week, and he shared the results with me. And I'll tell you, when someone realizes that they've been wrong about something, their shock at the reality of the situation is kinda funny. Just ask my brother. Because his numbers came back perfect. He was in an acceptable range for every test they threw at him. His good cholesterol was high, his bad cholesterol was low, his glucose was in the "desirable" range, and his blood pressure was "normal." So his theory, as stupid as it sounds, seems to be correct. In fact, I was so shocked by his results that I almost checked to see if he'd been wearing a fat suit for 12 years.

So naturally, I have to go get my numbers checked. Because while I like being right, I like winning even more. And this has obviously turned into a competition.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Did You Say Tiny?

I sat in my first department meeting this morning at the new job. And not knowing anybody, I kept my head down as everyone filed in. I didn't want any introductions, and I wanted to allow people to stare at me without making awkward eye contact. Then I heard a lady beside me start talking about getting measured for a dress. And while I didn't see her walk in, I thought I'd seen her out of the corner of my eye. Anyway, this is what I heard from her, word-for-word:

"Well, she measured me and said, 'Ugh, your waist is just so tiny!' And I said, 'Oh please, nothing about me is tiny.' But she kept talking about how little my waist was. She must have meant by comparison. But I guess that's what they mean when they talk about an hourglass figure!"

She didn't say this with a hint of sarcasm or self-deprecation, and she didn't laugh at the last part like it was a joke. It was a positive thing that she was sharing with a coworker. And I didn't immediately look over at her. I would look like a total creeper if I started staring at someone who just described herself as having an hourglass figure. But the next chance I got to look that direction, I looked at her. And I'll try not to be mean here. But she did not have an hourglass figure. But if I compare her to a shape, it'll come off as mean. So the best I can do is to compare her to a famous person. She was built like John Goodman (circa 1991).

Now I don't usually make fun of fat people. It's totally mean. And since I'm fat, it's quite hypocritical. But I'm not making fun of a fat person here. I'm simply pointing out the ridiculousness of her statement. First of all, I know what an hourglass looks like, and that ain't it. Second of all, I know that nobody could call her waist "tiny" without being sarcastic or mean. So my conclusion is that she made it up. And that makes her a liar. And it's okay to make fun of liars.

And if you're a fat person who wants to lie about something, lie about something vague or unverifiable. You can say, "I lost seven pounds this week!" and nobody will doubt you. Or you can lie about your diet. ("All I've had today was a stick of celery and four steamed grape skins.") Because nobody will be able to call you out on that stuff. But don't try to tell me that a person who measures people for a living told you that you had a tiny waist. That's not believable. And I will judge you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"It Has Its Ups And Downs"

There's a second part to the elevator/flyer/email chain story I posted yesterday, and it's awesome. You'll have to forgive me for lying to you yesterday. My brother did not sustain any injuries to his brain. I made that up for humorous effect. I hope you can forgive me.

After getting word that he had to remove all of the flyers from the elevators, my older brother went to the elevator bay and pressed the button. And the first two elevators were easy. He took the first one to the top floor, removed the flyer and then sent it back down so he could summon a second elevator. That worked fine. But then he got on and right back off the second one and sent it back down the same way. The problem was that the elevator he sent down first came right back up. And he kept trying to send them both down at the same time. But they kept alternating and coming right back up. So he just had to keep jumping on and off of two of the elevators.

And that would be frustrating in its own right. But making matters worse was the fact that people kept walking up to use the elevator. And my brother had already pressed the button. So when the new person got on, my brother had to stay on that floor. And given the strange circumstances and limited time available, he couldn't explain himself. It was something you'd expect to see in a sitcom.

He couldn't say, "Go ahead. I'm waiting on a specific elevator." Because then he'd look like a lunatic. And he couldn't say, "I'll just wait for the next one." Because you only say that when an elevator is full. And he didn't have enough time to explain about the posters. So he came off as weird.

But then it got worse. Because the one time he hit the button, and a group of people (of a different ethnicity than he is) came to wait for the elevator too. And when he refused to get on the elevator, they held the door and said "Come on in, there's room." And he only had a few seconds' time to succinctly explain his weird actions. So he said, "That's okay. This is the wrong elevator for me. I have to wait for a different one."

So now there is a small group of people at his office who think he's one of three things: really weird, really racist, or weirdly racist.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How Mental Breakdowns Happen

So my older brother was in charge of putting up some signs for a charity drive at his office. And he emailed the building supervisor, let's call him "Richard" (because that's his name), and asked permission to post the signs in the elevators. Here's the exact wording of the email:

"Would it be okay to hang some 8.5 x 11 signs in the elevators? I wouldn't cover over any wording that's already there on the elevator wall, I was thinking I could put the signs in the black space above the buttons on the left side."

A reasonable question in my opinion. Richard quickly emailed back:

"Not a problem. Just try and keep them neat. Thanks"

So my brother went and posted the signs, one in each of the four elevators in his building. Then he got a call from someone saying that Richard wanted the signs removed from the elevators. So here's what he sent to Richard:

"Susan just called me and told me that you said the flyers in the elevators need to be taken down. I'm confused, you replied to me last time that it was okay. Could you please clear this up for me?"

Still very reasonable. And frankly, very logical. But here's what he got from Richard:

"I am talking about the ones that are posted on the inside of the elevators. They need to be placed like we discussed. Thanks"

When my brother read that email, his brain imploded. I know that sounds far-fetched, but it happened. He realized that the rule that Richard was implementing was basically this: "You're allowed to have posters in the elevators, just as long as they're not in the elevators." The physiological effect that statement had on him was the equivalent of his brain thinking it was drowning in its own confusion. So he collapsed and his brain shut down. The doctors are calling it "Unintentional Mental Waterboarding, Hemorrhaging, and Trauma" or "UMWHAT." He'll survive and recover fully, but he can't ride elevators anymore.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Office

So I got a new job.  But don't worry, I don't have four now.  I quit my other one because it was stupid.  And the 20% pay increase I got for coming here means I'm quitting one of my side jobs.  So I'll only have two jobs as of next week!  And I like both of them!  Isn't that exciting?! (Hint: Yes it is.)

It all happened very fast.  I quit the last job on some pretty bad terms.  I burned a very large bridge on the way out (metaphorically... I'm not even suspected in the bridge arson they're investigating).  In fact, I quit and only gave a one-day notice.  So I left the following day.  That was rather satisfying because of how perturbed I was with management there.

Anyway, the cool thing about my new job is that I have my very own office.  It actually has walls that go to the ceiling.  And there's even a door!  So I'm pretty excited about that.  I've never had an office.  In fact, the last two jobs I've had were in open-cubicle floors where the cubicle wall is only about 4 feet high, making it difficult to do anything that's frowned upon (like blogging or nose-picking) without everyone seeing it.

My concern is that my new-found privacy (and perceived superiority) will go to my head.  It's common practice for the people here to close their office doors during lunch.  That means I could take a nap without walking out to my car (or I could play with my son's Hot Wheels on the floor without the judgmental stares).  But then my fear is that I'll oversleep (or make "Vroom!" noises too loudly).  So I think I'll err on the side of caution here.  I don't want anyone knowing thinking I'm a weirdo.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We're A Loving Family, Really

My older brother emailed me a list today.  The subject line said "Things I Hate."

-Low trucks with running boards
-Songs that directly address the audience
-People who use their blinkers in "Exit Only" lanes
-Songs where you need more than one word to determine the gender of the singer
-The Fox network's NFL robot
-Songs that say "I can't hear you!" even though they're recorded
-Emo jeans

He's such a nice man.

P.S. - He wants credit for this list, so just know that this was from my actual brother.

Monday, August 29, 2011


So a major reason for my break from blogging is the fact that I currently have three jobs. I work full-time with my current employer, part-time from home for my previous employer, and part-time for another employer (mostly on weekends). So when you add that in with my desire to be a good father and husband, it doesn't leave a lot of time for writing blog posts. But I feel like I owe it to myself to keep blogging, because there's a point to all of this. And the point is not just to try to be funny. And I won't pretend that it's a way to work on my writing skills (because I don't care about my writing skills). A big reason for blogging is that I'm essentially keeping my memories somewhere to review later. It's a twisted, altered record of my life, but it's important. So it would be a shame to stop that completely.

Even with that in mind, a lot of these stories are not important to me. I don't care if I remember the Ford Mustang I saw last week with three queen-sized mattresses strapped to its roof (pictured below for proof). But I do care to remember how I felt during different parts of my family's lives. My kids growing up, my wife and I getting older, my crazy job-hopping. All of that is important to me. And I'll forget the little things if I don't make them bigger things via this blog.

So if you think I'm embellishing, you're right. I do that often. And if you think I make something out of nothing, you're also right. Because the little nothings are what I'm afraid of forgetting. And that's the reason I'll continue. And that's the reason this is important. Because my internal memory is terrible (as my beautiful wife would confirm). But if I write this stuff down, even if I alter it to make it more humorous, then I don't have to rely on my memory as much. And that's a good enough reason to continue.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Things My Older Brother Has Learned While Working His New Concert Job

- If you walk into a venue with a laptop bag and a pair of big headphones around your neck, nobody asks for credentials or a ticket.

- People with eyebrow piercings rarely say the word "yes." They prefer to say "For sure, man," or "Oh, totally."

- Some guys wear eyeliner.

- Some girls wear neckties.

- Every singer is shorter than you'd expect them to be.

- Even the most skilled accordion player is not talented enough to make you forget how lame accordions are.

- If your favorite band says goodnight and you haven't heard their most popular song, you should probably hang around and cheer for about 3 more minutes.

- Music is loud in person.

- The older you are, the more ridiculous you look dressed like a member of the band.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bueno, No Bueno

One of my older brothers has a really cool job. He goes to concerts and uploads song lists and band pictures to the iPhone app for the company that books the venues. So he parks in the "gold" parking lot (for free), sits in the booth behind the audience (for free), and then eats the catered food that the band gets (for free) while doing minimal work. And on top of that, he gets $150 per show, and he gets reimbursed for mileage!

Now before you get too jealous, there are some drawbacks. For starters, he doesn't just get to pick his favorite bands and go to their shows. He gets assigned to shows at random. So he may get to work the sold out show of a major artist or… he may have to work a local Tejano concert where he can't understand a word of what's going on. And that happened to him last week.

My brother can say two things in Spanish: "gracias" and "por favor." Other than that, he can barely pronounce the names of foods at Mexican restaurants. So he is grossly ill-prepared for an all-Spanish concert. In fact, during the two-hour accordion-filled show, he was able to identify exactly two songs. And he was only about 50% sure those were correct. So anyone looking to find out what songs were played that night was pretty much out of luck.

And the funniest part is that he didn't have the faintest idea when the show was ending. Because he didn't know the Spanish version of "you've been great tonight" or "this is our last song." So he had to wait until the main singer waved and said "Gracias!" and the audience got up to leave. So that meant he couldn't cut out early and avoid the crowd. So imagine my brother, the only dorky-looking dude holding a laptop bag, jostling for position to the exit. He must have looked really out of place.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Soup Klutzy

Today I realized that the physical comedy used in movies and TV shows is not nearly as funny when it's happening to you in real life. So next time you laugh at a prat fall or a giant mess on TV, remember how terrible it would be if it happened to you.

(Wouldn't it be weird if I didn't have an example story to share right now?)

So I was getting ready to fix my lunch today at work. And I have a can of soup. So I started to pour it into my Styrofoam bowl when I realized the bowl was too small for the amount of soup. So I picked up the half-full bowl and attempted to pour the soup back into the can. In the process, I broke the flimsy bowl, spilled soup all over the counter and floor, and nearly died by slipping on the soup puddle at my feet. So I mopped up what I could, soaked to the forearms with soup shrapnel (celery, tomatoes, etc.).

Naturally, this is when the previously empty kitchen filled with people waiting to use the microwave next to me. So they got to see the rest of the ordeal, wondering how in the world I managed to spill soup when the only things involved were a bowl and a can. So I scooped, scraped, and mopped up the spill and went on my way.

And if this had been on Friends back in the 90s or on 30Rock this year, I would laugh at whoever was acting it out. But in real life, it's not all that funny. It's quite embarrassing. Especially embarrassing if you keep mumbling "broken bowl" and "didn't know my own strength" between bursts of your own nervous laughter while people watch you slide around the area in vegetable-flavored puddles.

The good news is that I got to eat McDonald's for lunch today. The bad news is that the only reason I got McDonald's is because I'm underqualified to microwave a bowl of soup.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Age/Old Questions

I realize I'm getting older. I realize my hair is falling out faster than I'm comfortable with. And I'm starting to think I've passed the age where I could conceivably dunk a basketball. And I'm okay with all of that for the most part. I think I'll be able to avoid a midlife crisis when the time comes. But every once in a while I'll get a stinging reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be. And let me preface this with a little disclaimer: I do not think I'm old, and I'm not lamenting anything about my age. I'm just sharing a few recent reminders that things are changing.

One thing that hit me recently was the fact that in a decade, people will look at pictures of me now and say, "Wow, look at all the hair you had!" or "Hey, here's one from when you still had hair!" I felt physical pain when that notion entered my consciousness. And the kicker is that I have a giant (probably lumpy) head. So I can't even jump the gun and shave it off. I'd look like a total weirdo.

The other thing that happened recently was worse (maybe). The job I have now is at the same company as my oldest brother. And while we don't share a resemblance (luckily), we share a last name. So people I haven't met will often come to me and say, "Are you, by chance, related to Mike?" And when I say yes, they inevitably over-share about their work experiences with him. But last week, a guy I'd never met threw in one little accidental jab while over-sharing. He said, "Yeah, Mike and I go way back. I knew he had a brother in his thirties, but I didn't realize you worked here." And I didn't correct him, because I was shell-shocked. But I'll be honest. That stung. I'm not thirty yet. And while I'm fairly close, it's important to note that I'm not thirty yet!

What really hurt is that he didn't say "around thirty." He said "in his thirties." And the age range where I am willing to tell someone I think they're "in their thirties" is between 34 and 43 (you know, to be nice). They have to be old enough so you know you're not overshooting, but young enough that you're not obviously trying to compliment them.

So my conclusion is that he thinks I'm at least 34 years old. That's older than I was prepared to hear from a stranger. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't tan, and I've never done meth or tried boxing. So there's nothing I've done to my face over the years that would age me enough to warrant that.

And I bet now, people will look back at this blog post in a decade and say, "Hey, here's one where you were upset about getting older! And now you're bald and in your fifties!"

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Donut Is A Lie!

My older brother started a new job last week. And he's not too happy about his commute. At his last position, he was 6 miles from the office, so he only spent about 20 minutes in his car each day. But now, he drives 35 to 40 minutes each way. Which means he puts almost 250 miles on his car each week. So with the extended hours and longer commute, he's away from home about 12 hours a day. So considering what he had, he's unhappy about it.

Well, I encouraged him to try to find the silver lining for the new job. There's always some perk that you can focus on that makes it worthwhile. Well, he didn't get a pay raise, he spends an extra $200 per month on gas, he spends an extra $100 per month on toll roads, and the area he works in smells like a poot (sorry, that's what my kids call flatulence). So it's hard to find the silver lining. But he's a generally positive person, so I figured he could do it.

Well, on his first day he saw boxes of donuts everywhere. It seemed there was some kind of unspoken Donut Monday rule, and he was thrilled about that. There were about 6 boxes of donuts throughout the office and there were still some left over at the end of the day. Obviously, he was excited. So much so, that all the other stuff that he found out during the week (broken vending machines, slow elevators, disgusting coffee, invasive cavity searches), he dismissed as trivial. Because, hey… Donut Mondays!

Well he found out today that there is no such thing as Donut Monday. It was just a fluke that all the donuts appeared last week. So despite his frantic searching this morning (with the fervor of Indiana Jones during that scene in the Temple of Doom when he's trying to get to the antidote), there was nary a donut in the office. So now, all that stuff that he ignored last week as trivial in comparison to Donut Monday has come rushing back in a wave of devastation and despair.

It's actually quite sad. Imagine if you put up with a lot of hassles because you knew there was a big payoff, only to find out that the payoff was a lie. You keep telling yourself, "I can put up with this, because there's a long term benefit." But Santa's not real, your investment broker is running a Ponzi scheme, your meticulously-built Beanie Baby collection is worthless, and Donut Monday doesn't exist.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Precocious Moments

I've found that there's usually a fine line between something being awesome and something being annoying. Examples:

(My apologies for the quality.  I'll try to get a better copy up later.)

And the difference almost always comes down to quality and circumstance. And that is definitely true of my content today. Because one thing that can be either very awesome or very annoying is kids acting like adults. If my four-year old tells me he's ready to be a castaway on Survivor, that's adorable. But if he corrects my grammar, that's irritating.

So I'm usually pretty careful about sharing moments like that, in case I come off as one of those braggy parents who think their kid is going to be the first toddler president. And most of those moments are just my kids figuring out the context of their parents' words and using them correctly the next opportunity they have.

So in the interest of avoiding the perception of bragginess, please read the following precocious anecdotes without judging me for thinking they're precious.

Story 1 - My daughter has heard me say a few phrases for 2 and a half years. So it shouldn't surprise me that she can use them correctly. But last week, she said the following: "Mommy, I want to go play. And we have two options. We can go upstairs and play in my room. Or… I can go get some toys and bring them down here. So which do you want to do?"

Now re-read that quote and imagine it coming from a two-year old who's holding down fingers for each option. Precious, right?!

Story 2 - That same sweet girl that understands playing options, does not at all understand knock-knock jokes. The only one she knows is the one where the person at the door is named "Boo." And the joke ends with "Don't cry. It's just a joke." But she doesn't remember the setup. So every knock-knock joke she tells ends with "Don't cry. It's just a joke." Example:

Madeleine: "Knock, knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Madeleine: "A bird."
Me: "A bird who?"
Madeleine: "Don't cry. It's just a joke."

Very cute and very funny because she requires the listener to laugh along with her "joke." But the other day, she decided to mix it up a bit. And I think she got the punch line from me (the guy who always loses stuff).

Madeleine: "Knock, knock."
Me: "Who's there?"
Madeleine: "Where's my debit card?!"

I don't get it, but I laughed for real at that one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fine. I'll Start Blogging Again.

So here's my defense....

You know when your brakes need to be replaced and they start to do that light squealing thing when you stop? And they build that into the brakes so you know it's time to change them. But then, after three weeks of ignoring it, it goes away. So instead of realizing the truth (you're about to ruin your car), you pretend you never heard the original squealing and you bask in the relief of the self-fixing brakes. But in the back of your mind (along with the knowledge that you should be flossing daily) is the knowledge that brakes don't magically fix themselves. So one day, instead of lightly squealing, your brakes begin to crunch. And after you check to make sure a coffee can is not lodged in your wheel-well, you remember the squealing. And after you pay $450 for new brakes, pads, shoes, rotors, and labor… you really start to miss the squealing.

Okay, I think somewhere during that analogy I lost my train of thought. But the point is, I blogged occasionally and that was enough to make me feel better about not blogging. And then I realized that I was doing what all those other (stupid) people do when they blog. I was putting it off and then apologizing, so that every post was an apology for not blogging enough. So I ignored this blog altogether. And then one day, I heard the aforementioned "crunch." And it was in my brain. It was the realization that I had family, friends, and followers that I had essentially ignored. And perhaps more honestly, I had the realization that something funny must have happened to my older brothers (or me) in the past two months and I really should write about it.

In summary, I'm back. And I'm sorry. Wait, no. I'm not sorry. I'm just back. Okay, maybe a little bit sorry. I'm like 10% sorry… but still… 90% back.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Losing It

Things I've lost:
-My bowling ball (yes, seriously)
-My copy of Iron Man 2 on Blu-ray (I've looked everywhere!)
-The desire (and possibly the physical ability) to watch MTV
-Sleep over which seat to take (thanks to Rebecca Black) and which reality I'm in (thanks to Inception)

Things I wish I could lose:
-My crippling fears of public speaking, spiders, and Willem Defoe
-These last pesky 85 pounds
-A game of Trivial Pursuit (to prove I'm human)

Things I'm losing:
-My hair
-My dignity (because of the hair)
-Ground in my battle to lose weight
-My patience with the lack of response from President Obama to my letters (asking him to bring back Arrested Development)
-The ability to write good blog posts (as evidenced here)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Penny Saved

My older brother likes to brag about how good he is at finding deals. He claims that he doesn't buy anything at regular price unless it comes with something better for free. He even jokes that MSRP stands for "Management Suckering Rich People" (he's frugal, not funny). And because of all that, he's part of every free membership you can imagine, from Best Buy Reward Zone to So even when he buys something at a huge discount (or occasionally free), he gets points towards another purchase later. There's really no telling how much money he's saved. Actually, there is telling. He tells people all the time how much money he saves. In fact, he doesn't stop talking about how much money he's saved.

And I'm not knocking that at all. If you can keep all that straight and remember where and when to buy what, then good for you. But that doesn't mean I won't give him a hard time about it if given the opportunity.

Last year, my brother wanted to buy a converter cable for his computer that could turn his HDTV into a large monitor. And without doing much research, he bought one for about $12 online. And he happened to buy it from a retailer whose email newsletter I subscribe to. And he also happened to buy it the one week it wasn't on sale. So I keep getting these emails with sale items, and about half the time, the exact cable he bought is on sale for $5.99. So every time I get the email, I forward it to him and say, "Hey, weren't you looking for a converter cable like that? Can't beat 6 bucks." And he never responds.

He responds to all of my other emails. But he never responds to that one. And I know it just eats him up that he paid twice as much as he should have for something like that. I like to imagine that he reads my email, realizes he failed for once and then starts silently weeping. And I hope that every time he uses his overpriced cable, he remembers that he could have done about 5 minutes of research and saved himself six dollars.

Also, this post is a lie. It's all about me. I bought the stupid cable and didn't look for a sale. Now it goes on sale all the time and I hate myself for not getting it cheaper. And by the time I realized it, it was too late to return it. Why do bad things happen to good people?!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Seen And Unseen

Things I wish I could see more often:
-People falling asleep where they're not supposed to (conference calls, church, driver's seat)
-My dad "proving" he can still dance
-Watching golf with my grandmother, who's never even touched a golf club ("Are you kidding? I could have made that shot!")
-My golf ball after I hit it
-The face of the drive-thru worker when I order in an accent
-People getting hit in the face by projectiles on reality television (see below)

Things I wish I didn't have to see so often:
-Guys wearing skinny jeans or capri pants (a.k.a. Old Navy commercials)
-Facebook statuses that are just copy/pastes of lyrics (you know who you are)
-Wal-Mart bathrooms
-The face my wife makes when I order food in an accent

Things I've never seen (and therefore must not exist):
-Aurora Borealis
-The interior of a Smart car
-A shiny new Dairy Queen
-A clean public bathroom
-Someone who thinks the movie was better than the book
-A better reality television moment than this one:

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Get Off On The Wrong Foot

I know it's been a while since I blogged. I can't pretend that three weeks is normal. But on top of being really busy and a good bit lazy, I just couldn't find a good spin on some of the funny stories I'd heard. So instead of spewing out mediocre to low-level blog posts, I figured I'd just wait until some good inspiration came to me naturally. And lucky for you, that was today!

Driving back to the office today after my lunch break, I saw a van in the parking lot of an abandoned Smoothie King with homemade sticker lettering on the windows. In block letters, it said "Foot Massages - $15." And directly below that, in all caps was "Cash Only." And I thought it was worth sharing this with you.

I didn't get a picture, so you'll have to take my word for it. And you'll have to believe me when I tell you that there was no phone number, business name or website URL on the van. And the windows were very heavily tinted. And it was in the back of the parking lot.

So, my question is this: Is there any possible way that was not a portable future crime scene? Is there anyone in their right mind who would get a foot massage from a stranger that only takes cash in a van in a secluded, easily-ignored parking lot? Because anyone who would do that deserves the CSI episode that will be dedicated to them when they get killed in that van.

Which brings me to my next question. Do these "foot massagers" (you're welcome to read that the way I meant it, which is "serial murderers") get any business? I know that 1983 GMC Vandura's are fairly cheap, even with the A-Team nostalgia they elicit. But I can't imagine that you'd get enough business rubbing people in a parking lot at $7.50 per foot to make a living. I must only assume they are criminals. And even if they're not murderers, they're drug dealers, at the very least. Right?

Which brings me to my next question. Do you think they'd attempt to murder me if they saw me taking a picture of their van on the way home?  Because I need proof or no one will believe me that this death van exists.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another Reason Nelson Mandela Is Cool

I really like talking to people with accents (with one specific exception). I can't really explain it, but a person with a good foreign accent is just awesome. A radio station in town has an Irish traffic lady, and I catch myself listening to her in the mornings even though I only travel on two streets to get to work. It just puts me in a good mood when I hear an Irish person say "three-car pileup" or "expects delays."

And I found out today that one of the prompts on our help desk 800 number switches to a recording of a Scottish guy explaining the different options. I've called it four times today even though I don't need help with anything.

So you may wonder what the one exception is to this (unless you have ADD and already forgot the first parenthetical of this post). Well, it's South African. But don't get me wrong. It's an amazing accent. I think it sounds really cool. But I'm completely unable to imitate it. All the other major ones I can impersonate to some degree. English, Irish, Indian, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Australian… no problem. In fact, even though you can't tell, I'm actually writing this post with a Scottish accent (not joking).  And I occasionally order at the drive-thru window with a weird accent just because it's fun (and because my wife hates it).

But for the life of me, I can't pin down the South African thing. But it's not for lack of trying.  I've seen Invictus like 150 times.  And I made friends with South African people just to study their dialect.  But I make no progress.  And it haunts me. I just know that I'll be "discovered" one day for my dialectical talents (like a male Meryl Streep) and they'll offer me a part in a big-budget Hollywood film. But they'll fire me and laugh me out of my expensive trailer when I'm told the movie is based in South Africa. And my dreams will be crushed.

If you want to know how this feels, try saying "mama" with your mouth wide open. Don't let your lips touch. It sounds like nGa-nGa, doesn't it?  See how frustrating that is?  You know you can do it, but no matter how hard you try, you can't get it to sound the same. That is my curse.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Just A Cup, But I'm Neurotic

Everyday, there is a paper coffee cup on the counter in the men's bathroom. But there is never a potential owner of said cup in the bathroom with it. And the cup is dry, inside and out. And it doesn't have any trace that it's been used to hold coffee. And everyday, I pick up the cup, and look inside to find it utterly empty and unused. Then I throw it in the trash, shaking my head.

One day I decided that it was probably just weird timing. Maybe someone brought it in there and the few days I found it, they were about to waltz back in to grab the forgotten cup. So I left it there. And it sat there in the same spot for two days. So I threw it away again. And the next morning, a new cup was on the counter.

I've also paid attention to where it sits on the counter, thinking it might be to catch a leak from the ceiling that starts after I leave for the day. But the cup is in a different spot every time I go in there. And one day I saw it at 8:15 in the morning. So I threw it away. And lo and behold, when I went back in at 10:00, another cup was there.

And I've come to a conclusion that you must have come to while reading this post. I am steadily going insane. "It's just a cup, what do you care?" you might ask me. But it's not just a cup. It's a series of cups with no perceivable purpose. And someone who doesn't know me (because nobody in this office knows me) is doing this simply to mess with me. And they're destroying my slowly unraveling mind.

I don't think I can win this one. They have an unlimited supply of cups, and I can't stand in the bathroom and wait to catch them because that's frowned on (it's in the handbook). But if I leave the cup in the bathroom, my brain will explode. So short of leaving an ill-received passive-aggressive note, I'm not sure what to do.  I think I have to quit.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Preventing Daddy Issues

I have this fear as a parent that I'm going to miss a big event in one of my children's lives. I'm not sure why I have this fear. Oh wait… yes I do. It's because there are so many movies where parents miss important events because they're selfish or career-driven. And if you need proof, go watch the movies listed below; because of each of them has a plot element where the parent misses something and the child is hurt by it. And in most cases, the relationship between the parent and the child has been damaged almost beyond repair.

The Sixth Sense
Austin Power 3
Despicable Me
Save the Last Dance
Liar, Liar
Man of the House (1995 Chevy Chase/J.T.T. film)

And since I believe any theory that's present in at least seven movies must be irrefutably true, I know that I can't miss a single important event in my kids' lives. So I can't miss any ballet recital, no matter how lame, or any school play, no matter how laughably boring. And I certainly can't miss a sporting event, because there will be last-second heroics that I won't be there to enjoy. And if I do miss an event, the only valid excuse for it is a near-fatal car accident.

So anyway, my son's last soccer game of the season was Saturday. And I had a tee time to play golf across town that required me to leave halfway through his game. So my big fear (given the examples above) was that Andrew would score his first goal 30 seconds after I drove off. Then he would look to the crowd with his hands raised and try to make eye contact with me for that perfect moment of paternal validation. And all he would find would be an empty chair next to my wife (who would be silently weeping).

But that didn't happen. He did score his first goal, but I was still there to see it. And he was wholly unaware that he had even scored due to the fact that he's four years old. So there was no meaningful eye contact. He was too busy sliding on his shin-guards for the fun of it. But I'm very glad I didn't miss it.  When he gets older, I have to start planning better. I don't want to ruin his life over a round of golf.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Let The Good Times Roll

If you ever want to feel like an idiot, do what I did today. Drop a roll of toilet paper when there's someone else in the bathroom at work. And make sure it hits your foot and rolls under the stall door and goes 15 feet to the other side of the bathroom and stops at the paper towels. But be sure it rolls so that it rolls off the roll as it travels, leaving a 15 foot train of toilet paper as it goes. Then, instead of just leaving it there, try to pull it back by end you're still holding. It won't come back to you, but it'll roll in place while you collect a giant wad of paper. That'll ensure that it rolls right on out the door.

Then, just to make sure you've thoroughly embarrassed yourself, make sure to speak to the person that now thinks you're a moron. And don't just say, "Sorry." Begin a ridiculous conversation with your unnecessary explanation. In fact, say exactly what I said, "Sorry. That got away from me. It bounced right off my foot!" And then, when it dawns on you that they might try to return it, say, "But don't worry about it.  I'll pick it up when I get out. There's another roll in here, so I don't need that one."

Also, make sure your voice cracks when you nervously say all that. And make sure one of your legs is asleep so when you try to stand up a minute later, you almost fall down. And be certain that your name badge is clipped to your belt during the entire episode so it's visible under the wall when this goes down.

There you go. That should be all you need to know.  Now you're guaranteed to be completely humiliated. Just trust me on this one.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm Lazy And You Probably Haven't Read This Post From August 2009

I think someone should write a list of elevator etiquette rules. Because sometimes I don't know what to do. Like if you're on the elevator with an old guy on a Segway. Do you offer to hit the button because he's old and he's on a motorized vehicle? Or do you warn him to watch his head on the way out? I did the former. But he said, "I got it" and zipped up to the buttons and pressed his floor, then zoomed right back to the wall next to me. So I felt really weird standing next to a towering man on a glorified scooter who I'd just implied was impaired. I guess that's a pretty rare scenario, though. But there are plenty of situations that happen all the time where I don't know what to do.

There are some rules that are unwritten, but universally understood. For example, if you're waiting for the elevator and someone you don't know walks up to wait with you, you are required to look at each other and give a half-smile while raising your eyebrows. No need to make small talk or say hello. That's just protocol. It's an unspoken agreement that basically says, "We're about to ride for an undetermined amount of time in a closet-sized space where we are required to look forward the entire time. Let's not make it awkward by interacting before we even get in there." And if you want to see me squirm, turn around and face the wrong way in the elevator. Nothing makes that ride more awkward than trying to avoid eye contact with someone who's facing you from two feet away. It's just unnatural.
But where I really need help is repositioning after someone exits. I was on an elevator the other day with four other people and we were all lined up against the back wall. We stopped once and the three people on the right got off. So that left me and the other guy standing really close on one side of the elevator. I wanted to move over so I didn't have to stand so close to him, but I didn't want to make it seem like I had to get away as fast as possible. I didn't know what to do to convey, "I don't think you smell bad, but I don't want people thinking I'm purposely standing right next to you." So I had to kinda shimmy down a little, leaving enough room so we weren't almost holding hands, but not moving so far as to imply that he had cooties. I think I did the right thing, but I still felt weird.

The only thing I've found to be a concrete rule (for me anyway) is to wait until the doors open before making your exit move. I can't tell you how many times I've made the mistake of taking the preparation step towards the door only to wait 10 more seconds for the doors to open. So I look like I'm trying to sniff the doors while everyone else just stares at me. If I weren't so lazy and overweight, I'd just take the stairs.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Two Things

There are two things I know for sure about my milk allergy. First, I know that as soon as I say it, people think I mean lactose intolerance. But that's not the same thing. Second, I know that after I explain the difference between the two, people will simply file away in their brains the memory that Taylor is lactose intolerant. The problem I have with that is they will inevitably see me eating cheese or the occasional bowl of ice cream and they'll say, "I thought you said you were lactose intolerant." And the fact that they didn't listen to me will somehow turn into me being a liar.

No, I am not lactose intolerant. There are no digestive consequences involved with my consumption of dairy products.  I have an allergy to milk, specifically a protein in milk called sodium caseinate (thank you, Google, for teaching me about this). What that means is that if I have too much milk and/or ice cream, my throat starts to hurt and my nose starts to run, and I get sick slowly. And the really sad part about that is that I'm a sucker for cereal. I have yet to try a cereal that I didn't like. I could literally eat cereal everyday and not get sick of it. I would get sick from it, but not of it.

I tried soy milk a few years back and decided it would be better to die of my milk allergy than drink soy milk ever again. I hated it. And it contains the protein I'm allergic to, so it's useless in my fight against my condition. But a fortnight ago (that's two weeks), I tried almond milk for the first time. I put it in some Raisin Bran, and gave it a shot. And I was surprised to find that it tasted good. There is no perceivable difference between regular milk and vanilla-flavored almond milk when added to a bowl of cereal (except my lack of an allergic reaction). It's like I've been reborn. So I've gone a little crazy on the cereal since then. I'm eating two very large bowls a day. In the past week and a half, I've gone through four boxes of cereal by myself.

And I realize two things now. First, anyone reading this is going to think I'm a weirdo for loving cereal so much. But I don't care, because it's awesome. And second, everyone reading this is only going to remember that I'm lactose intolerant.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just Sayin'

Things You Won't Hear Me Say:
- "Sixths" - (it's too difficult to say unless you say it in slow-mo)
- Any words with "th" in the middle of them, like "mythic," "method," or "lethal" - (they make me think I have a lisp)
- "I'm a hugger."
- "I think just a salad this time."
- "Extra mustard and pickles."
- "I'm buying."
- "I just finished the Twilight series."

Things I Regret Ever Saying:
- "My kids will never do that."
- "It's okay, I don't think the mold got on the other end of the loaf."
- "I think it'll be easier to lose weight once I get married."
- "I can't wait to see King Kong."

Things I Regret NOT Saying:
- "Wait, are there free refills on this mango juice?"
- "Dude, you have a booger."
- "Dude, your fly's open."
- "Dude, you have something in your teeth."
- "No, that's okay. I'm full."
- "Andrew, do you need to go potty before we get in the car for 3 hours?"

Monday, May 9, 2011


My older brother decided at a party once that he needed to impress a girl. He thought she was cute, he wanted to take a chance, so he talked to her. And he decided he'd try his hand at lying.

Sidenote, here. My brother is not a liar. He's a very truthful, albeit somewhat boring, person. So this was out of character for him.

So to try to impress this girl, he told her that he played football. And being about 6-foot 5 with the build of a lineman, that's not a stretch. He's definitely got the physique of a football player. So he told the girl that he was on the offensive line for the University of Houston Cougars. He figured it was a safe lie because most girls don't follow collegiate sports enough to call him on it. And in this case, he was wrong.

Her response was excitement, as he had hoped. But her excitement was that she had met one of her boyfriend's teammates. She said, "No way! My boyfriend plays left tackle for the Cougars! So you must be a friend of his!"

I wasn't at this party, but I wish I had been just to see my brother's face. He realized immediately that this was a bad idea. She has a boyfriend - strike one. He plays football and you just pretended to do what he does in order to impress his girlfriend - strike two and three.

So my brother had to try to quickly explain his intentions before the boyfriend showed up again. And he thoroughly embarrassed himself by explaining that he'd never played football, and he was just trying to impress her. I don't think she even responded out loud. She just looked at him in disgust and then walked away.

I assume he left pretty quickly in case of retribution from a giant boyfriend was coming. And I honestly feel a little sorry for him. The one time he decided to lie. But I also have to give him credit. He at least picked a persona that she'd like.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How To Make Other Parents Mad

There's a moment in the life of every parent when they realize that no matter how careful they are and how pure their intentions, they just can't win. This moment came for my mother when my older brother was a little kid (maybe 5 or 6). He invited a whole bunch of friends to his birthday party, and he was getting excited about getting gifts. And he wondered aloud what each kid would be bringing him. But my mother, being a well-intentioned woman who's always looking out for the feelings of others, gave him a little heads-up. She told him that some of the kids who were coming may not bring a gift, and that he shouldn't be upset if they didn't bring one. And when he asked why, she explained nicely that some people don't have a lot of money to spend on birthday gifts for other kids, but that was okay because the party was about having fun, not having money. And she left it at that.

But come time for the party, my brother got a gift from every kid there. And he opened one gift to find that it had cash in it. And instead of thanking the person like he'd done for every other present, he looked right at my mom with a confused look and said, "But Mom… I thought you said they didn't have any money."

So that was the day my mom learned that you just can't win sometimes. And I'm not sure we ever saw that family again.

Well, my day to learn that lesson was this week at my son's soccer practice. I was trying to help Andrew learn to be a little more aggressive on the field. And kicking the ball away from people and putting your hand out to get around them is against all the stuff we've taught him outside of sports. So I explained to him on the way to practice, as best you can to a four-year old, that he needed to be a tad more aggressive in his attempt to get to the ball. I didn't tell him to be mean or hurt anyone. But I thought it would be more fun for him if he really committed to playing the right way. And while my intention was for him to improve, it blew up in my face. Here's how it went at practice:

Andrew (yelling to me from the field): "Daddy, I pushed that boy like you said!"
Me: "Let's not push anybody, pal."
Andrew: "But you said in the car that…"
Me: "Okay buddy! Go kick the ball!"

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: