Thanks Dial!

I bought me a bottle of Dial brand shower gel. What an investment! Why Dial? It was on sale, and whatever shower gel is on sale when I go to the drug store has a leg up in being purchased. So much so that I buy 4 or 5 shower gels ahead of needing them just to get that sale price, but this isn’t about me being frugal or fiscally responsible, or anything like that. No. It’s about Dial. Dial has probably been sitting in a cupboard for a few months waiting for its chance, and it has arrived. So I reach into said cupboard, and pull out a very impressive looking bottle with a solution so blue I could only describe it as perfect. What’s on this impressive looking label I wonder? It says ‘sub zero’ and has a picture of a freezy kind of raindrop, but then in bigger, bolder letters it says ‘FRESH REACTION’. If you know me, you know I’m all about fresh reactions. In fact, I’ll bet I stood there in the store and looked at the different scents, and instead of smelling them, I judged them on the perfection of their colour, combined with the wow factor of their mission statements, and I don’t remember what the other ones said, but I can picture myself holding up this shower gel and thinking ‘hell yeah I want to cause some FRESH REACTIONs’, and then wasted no time in cashing out my purchases for the day.

Wanna know what else it says? ‘Micro-Infused Scent Technology’. What is that? Sounds impressive! The explanation below states ‘Specifically formulated to energize your senses and leave you feeling refreshed’. Cool! I’m buying this! Then it says ‘Non-Drying Formula’. What the hell is that forward thinking awesomeness??? Below it explains ‘Engineered with the right balance of moisturizers’. That’s fantastic. I don’t like to moisturize, and this will do it for me. Not only that, but it won’t OVER moisturize which I hate…. it is engineered with the right balance!! This is going to be the best $3 I ever spent. Then there are 2 more bullet points, but I realize they are just French versions of the first two. Slight downer, but I’m still pretty excited to get this thing home.

So today, just now in fact, I grab the bottle because it’s next in the queue, and I notice there are USAGE INSTRUCTIONS!! Oh, I better read these. Don’t want to fuck it up. This is just the best.
1. Squeeze out (of course, right?? I mean you would need to apply the gel, and you can’t do that if it’s in the bottle)
2. Lather up (ie you cannot just gel yourself up and become a ball of slime, that just won’t do. This unique product actually becomes soap sudsy if you move it around)
3. Rinse off (key final step, because how often do we forget, and just go to work with shower get STILL covering our bodies)

I think I do sarcasm well, but in case I don’t (or in case you’re in one of those countries that doesn’t understand that), I’m totally fucking kidding. In fact I find the audacity of Dial thinking I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to take a shower, upsetting and offensive. Honestly Dial, how desperate are you to find content for the front of your bottle, that you would actually try to instruct us how to use soap? Did your legal team make you do this? Were there too many instances of shower gel misuse? Was the customer service department flooded with calls from consumers who couldn’t navigate their way through using shower gel? It reminds me of those Disaronno commercials where that idiot bartender teaches you to make a Disaronno and Coke….’First you add the Disoronno……….’ I can figure out how to make a 2 ingredient drink asshole!!!!

But then, I’m of two minds about it. Maybe I should be thanking Dial. It is the responsible thing, right? I mean other than the super disgruntled like myself, who would really get offended by something like this? I know what you’re thinking…..just take a shower, man. You’re right. I’m just being difficult. I have a 2-year-old. Maybe he’d appreciate prominently displayed instructions. He’s never used shower gel before. People need reminders sometimes. We forget basic shit like the super obvious rules of the road, common courtesy, how to hold a knife, blah blah blah. I think it’s just time for me to clear my mind, and clean my body. Dial, I forgive you for being aggressively obvious, because you did give me some packaging thrills before that. I suppose if this Micro-Infused Scent Technology works the way you say it does, then you’re alright in my book.


WTF Toronto??? The Pan-Am/Kanye Edition

There is a petition in Toronto trying to stop Kanye West from performing at the closing ceremonies at the Pan-Am Games. Yes, the same city that voted in and tolerated Rob Ford for 4 years, can’t tolerate Kanye West for one night. Ughhhh, there is so much incredibly wrong with this, that it hurts my head, and I don’t even know where to start.

Let’s start with some background since my readers who don’t live in Toronto make up approximately half my audience according to WordPress statistics. The other half should already know the story…… The Pan-Am Games are currently being held in Toronto. Never heard of them? I wasn’t too familiar with them either. It sounds mean, but they are basically the red-headed step-child’ of the Olympics. Toronto very badly wanted to host the Summer Olympics, but were beat out by Beijing a few years ago, and we’re just not wintery enough for the Winter Olympics which are better off in other Canadian cities such as Calgary and Vancouver who have hosted in the past. So we got the Pan-Am Games. Cool! Why not, right? I think it’s good for the city, great for the athletes, and shitty for traffic, but not everybody can be a winner. Now you might have sensed that I’m not 100% into the Pan-Am Games as an institution, and the only reason for that is that it’s not the Olympics. In the Olympics, the top athletes in the world compete against each other, making it a must-see spectacle. The Pan-Am Games are a step or two down from that, and while some of the best athletes in the world are here, a lot of them aren’t. It even takes a backseat to the World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in some sports. Plus it’s just North and South America participating. That said, it’s still pretty cool I think. I mean every thing sucks if you compare it to the best thing in the world, right? It’s still a good event worth having.

The sports that I follow are a little disappointing in terms of athlete turn out. I’m a big baseball fan, but it’s baseball season, so the best players have to go to their day-jobs, and we get to watch a mixed bag of minor-league players play for a medal. I’m a big basketball fan. It’s the off-season, so we should be able to have dream teams from each country here, right? No. Pan-Am is not a priority for the basketball community. I only barely recognize 3 or 4 names on the American team who probably have 500 players better than any of the ones we’ll see here. They’re treating it like a game of pickup ball on the driveway. Tennis is a sport I’ve watched a lot of. The three Canadian Men’s tennis players we sent are ranked 308, 459 and 540 in the world. Great opportunity for those guys, don’t get me wrong, but there are about 10-15 professional tournaments held each week all over the world that can draw higher ranked players than that. Pan Am is probably better for gymnastics, swimming, track and field and other sports like that, but I wouldn’t know if the top athletes in those sports are here or not. I don’t want to sound spoiled. It is still a really cool thing, but if people outside of Toronto have no idea this is going on, I wouldn’t be that surprised either.

Now Kanye West….. It was announced yesterday that Kanye West was slated to perform at the closing ceremonies. Cool, right? He’s a global superstar (and sorry to be the one to say it, but as I touched on earlier, I don’t know how many of the athletes here are global superstars, at least in the sports I follow), so we should be happy, right? No. Apparently this is so distressing to Torontonians, that there’s a petition to remove him, and the number of signatures keeps changing, but as I type it was up to 22,000. The news of his performance was only confirmed yesterday. This is mind-boggling to me. That we care so much about this. At a time historically, when inclusion and acceptance seems to be at an all time high, and all eyes are back on Toronto for the first time since the Rob Ford scandal, THIS is what we want to make news about??? We’re so bent out of shape that an artist we don’t like is performing at the closing ceremonies, that we’ll all sign a petition to prevent it? This saddens me somehow, but I think to gain further perspective, we have to do the dirty deed of finding out why people don’t like Kanye West.

1. He’s not Canadian. This is not the real reason, but it was mentioned on the petition, so let’s delve. In an article, they suggested Drake, Walk Of The Earth (I honestly have never heard of this band until today), Feist and Deadmau5 among others. First of all, let’s give the organizers some credit. It probably wasn’t that easy to find someone as prominent as Kanye. Maybe some of these people weren’t available either. Also, Pitbull is not Canadian, but I’ve heard nothing about us wanting him to not perform, so let’s stop pretending it’s about that. It looks to me like they are getting artists from some of the different Pan-Am countries, and I see nothing wrong with that. Why does it have to be an all Canadian affair? So it can be a snooze fest like New Years Eve at Nathan Phillips Square every year? I don’t think that’s what’s bugging people.

2. Canadians like polite people. Kanye isn’t that. He’s as arrogant as they come. If you aren’t really into his music, then it’s easy to dislike him for his shenanigans. It’s all very calculated if you ask me. He’s extremely self-aware. Just for a second I’ll compare him to Muhammed Ali. Most won’t like this comparison, because in hind sight, we only like to remember Ali as being the most entertaining boxer of all time (some say the greatest), and for what he contributed to the Civil Rights movement. Kanye so far doesn’t seem to have the same redeeming features. Ali was the master of selling a fight though, and he went to some pretty crazy extremes to keep people talking and interested. If it seemed to make sense to Ali that he would need to behave like a complete asshole leading up to a fight, he had no problem doing that. He could be super arrogant too, and at the time, not everybody liked it, but they also may not have understood what he was doing which was generating excitement. He was definitely ahead of his time. I’m not sure Kanye will ever be looked back on with the same forgiveness and adoration despite his misdoings, but make no mistake, Kanye IS DOING ALL OF THIS ON PURPOSE, and it’s working. You hate it because you know it’s true.

3. As much as most of his other antics are forgivable, people get really mad when he cuts of an acceptance speech at award shows. I’m with the general public on this. It’s just too much. I choose to ignore it, but some can’t. I will say this though. Beck was not hurt by that in any way, and I would argue that some people unfamiliar with his music probably gave him a listen after that. Oh and Taylor Swift??? Yeah, things worked out OK for her.

4. His music. I’m not buying this argument either. I know a lot about Hip Hop music, and I also know a lot about other forms of music. The people that question Kanye’s talent and artistry are simply people who do not know Hip Hop music. I know he’s an easy guy to hate, and there’s a lot of crap you can bring up, but as Hip Hop artists go, he’s just about as good as they get. He’s a phenomenal producer, and a compelling rapper. Self made as well. He got into the game as a producer making other people look good before his own career took off. The general public attacks this guy way more than the manufactured American Idol pop music that everybody seems OK with. It’s wrong. Say what you want about him being a douche, but if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and say that you are a knowledgable Hip Hop fan, than you shouldn’t judge him because he doesn’t play a guitar or whatever. People need to talk about what they know about. Listen, I’m not a huge fan of Rush even though I’m Canadian. I’m just not that into Progressive Rock, but I would never bad mouth them, or question their talent, or dismissively say ‘they suck’, because I wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. Rush is awesome, they’re just not for me. Kanye is awesome, he just might not be for you.

5. He married Kim Kardashian. So you take the prime ego-maniac of our generation, and marry him with the queen of reality television. That bothers people. Why? I know almost nothing about the Kardashians. I hear a lot of people say ‘That show is so annoying’. I wouldn’t know. I’ve never seen it. If you’re tired of celebrity gossip, then maybe you need to stop watching and reading celebrity gossip. It’s a choice. If you know too much about Kimye, it’s because you’ve chosen to. You are the problem. When I think of Kanye West, I try to think of him as an artist only. I could care less if he punches paparazzi or not. I know very little about his wife. That’s also no reason to not let a guy into your city.

So now we understand why Torontonians seem to dislike Kanye, and I’m OK with all of these reasons, but where you get off trying to tell organizers who shouldn’t play at events in this city? This is going to sound bad, but 95% of Torontonians wouldn’t give a shit about the Pan-Am Games if they weren’t here at this exact moment. Will you watch again in 4 years in some other city? Nope. While it’s great that you passionately support amateur athletics for a couple of weeks every 4 years, you really only do it so that you can feel good about your country when they win a medal. When these games aren’t on, it’s business as usual for 95% of you unless you have a relative or friend who is an amateur athlete with dreams of competing in something like this. You’re just enjoying the good times in your city while they last, because someone else went and did all the hard work to organize something great, and all you have to do is sit there and enjoy it. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even go see an event, but what a privilege it is for you to be able to, and after all those people went through all that trouble, you’re going to sit there on your couch and criticize their choice about who’s going to entertain you at the big party they’re throwing for you? Get off your high horse people!!! You’re embarrassing yourself and your city!


Billy Ocean Confessional

I got an iTunes GC recently. I’m a music junkie. This is absolutely the best thing to get me always. My nephew knows this and he’s not even 2 years old yet. He slipped it into my Father’s Day card. So I did a bit of iTunes surfing to see if there was anything I wanted. There’s always something I want, but I have to prioritize my wants, because I can’t buy everything at once. Unless there’s some new album that just came out that I’ve been dying to pick up, then it’s anybody’s guess what I might download. I decided my first item should be a Billy Ocean greatest hits album. This decision provides more questions than answers. I told my wife, and she said “You’re so weird.”

Of all the things life can throw your way, what could have possibly transpired in my life that lead me to purchase a Billy Ocean album?

If I could get the money back that I spent on music, I’d have a serious head start on retirement. Music brings me joy, so its money well spent. I wondered about the Billy Ocean decision. It’s been on my mind for a while. Is it time? Could I get away with just ‘Caribbean Queen’ and maybe one or two others, without picking up the whole album? The album was only $10. 4 songs cost more than $5, so I might as well go all in. Plus I didn’t know he had a ‘Long and Winding Road’ cover from the Beatles, and I wondered if it was good.

Would people think I was ‘weird’ for having this? Like if it came up on random play in the car and there were other people in the car, would I skip it, and just secretly enjoy it when nobody was around? I decided while dancing in the kitchen with my earphones on that ‘who gives a shit what people think about Billy Ocean, or about me for that matter?’ Getting older sucks, but as my ‘I don’t give a shit’ factor increases exponentially, I start to think that it has its benefits.

Is it that ever since I was 10 years old I’ve secretly always wanted to have the suave confidence to tell a woman to ‘get out of my dreams and into my car’? Who wouldn’t want to pull a line like that? Do people still even use pick up lines? I haven’t heard any in a while. Maybe this is something lost on the newer generation. I think it’s been unfairly categorized as sleazy. I would argue that if I care enough about you to be that creative, then it’s a thoughtful gesture. Right? Oh well, it was the 80’s, and if it doesn’t fly now, it must have then.

Billy Ocean was way cooler than Lionel Ritchie if you ask me. I would be way more embarrassed to have a Lionel Ritchie greatest hits album (who am I kidding? I have that too….. I have everything).

I’m 40 now. I used to listen to Public Enemy and N.W.A. I still do like that stuff, but old friends might be surprised to know just how much Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Steve Winwood and Bee Gees I listen to these days. I used to think that stuff sucked. Now I quite enjoy it, not to the exclusion of underground Hip Hop or anything, I just like it ALL. Billy Ocean too. It is not the most embarrassing thing in my collection. You know what?? It’s not embarrassing at all. What’s embarrassing is that I just swallowed a fish oil pill sideways and had to go in and ask my wife if I’m going to be OK. I’m finishing this blog despite my throat injury, because ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’

I think I just had to talk myself through it here. It’s not high school. Nobody cares what kind of music I listen to. I only think that people care, but the older we get, the more people are just happy to listen to whatever bullshit happens to be on the radio. That’s sad to me, but you know what??? “There’ll be sad songs to make you cry….. love songs often do….they can touch the heart of someone new…..saying I love you…..” Haha. I forced that in. Sue me.


Please Don’t “Say Cheese”

People love taking their pictures. Since digital cameras and more recently, high quality phone cameras, it’s been happening a lot more. What’s interesting to me is that the pictures themselves have been de-valued since it’s no longer such a hassle to get them. Take a shitty photo? No problem. Take 17 more until you get it right. Even the most stubborn purist would have to admit that digital photography has made things way more convenient. A lot of times you can close your eyes and tell how old the ‘photographer’ is by the level of investment they have in setting up the shot, and the people in it. With younger people it’s snap snap snap snap snap. The older people remember having a roll of film with 24 photos on it, and the cost and time of having that film developed, and the harrowing disappointment of that family photo NOT turning out, and that memory lost FOREVER!!!! You could almost expect 4 or 5 of those pictures to not ‘turn out’, but if it was more than that, you would definitely feel like you wasted your money developing that film. That’s why whenever you took a picture of more than one person, you would always ask them to say ‘cheese’ right before you took the photo, to ensure everyone had their best smile, and just maybe that would be one for the photo album. (The what?? say younger people).

I didn’t know what ‘cheese’ meant, I have to admit. I never thought much about it, I just did what I was told. Probably from the time I could talk. My two-year old son says cheese when I ask him to. I’m sure he doesn’t know why either, but he doesn’t question it, he just does it. Same with me, I just did it. Only recently did I actually get in front of a mirror and say cheese to see what would happen. Yup, sure enough, it made my face contort into a ‘smile like’ position. Whoever first thought of that was a genius. Especially in those times where it really mattered that all look good during a photo.

Here was the problem for me. I have 2 smiles. A genuine smile, and a ‘cheese’ smile. I don’t smile just for the sake of it. I wish I did. I know there are people like that, and they’re my favourite people in the world. They smile because they’re happy, or it’s just their go-to face for various situations. My go-to face is not a happy face. It’s not because I’m not happy, or because I feel like I have something different to prove. Trust me, I’d love to be a smiley guy. I have dimples. When asked to say ‘cheese’ ahead of a photograph, I typically give a fake smile. The world might not know the difference, but my mom knows, and so do I. I tried not smiling, or ‘smiling with my eyes’ for pictures, and that sometimes works, but most people look their best with a smile on their face, and I would say I’m no different.

How do you make me smile?

You have to make me laugh. Easy, right?

I’m a funny guy. I know you’re not supposed to say stuff like that about yourself, but I’m 40. I’ve been told by other people very regularly for many years. I’m funny, get over it. Not just funny, but when I’m on, I’m really funny. It’s a schtick I’ve worked on since childhood. It’s how I tried to fit in. Sometimes the dimples weren’t enough. I worked on it for so many years, that I don’t have to try anymore. I instinctively almost always know what the funny thing is to say in just about every situation. Ironically at my age, the best thing I can do is not say it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it, EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Wait a minute, if I’m such a funny guy, I should be smiling all the time, right? That’s where it gets tricky. I’ve heard (or said) it all before with very few exceptions. I need something fresh and unique, or to be taken by surprise. A lot of times, the things that make me laugh hysterically are said by people who didn’t necessarily mean to be funny. It just happens that way. It would be a lot to ask of someone snapping a picture to have some witty banter just for me, because I’m the guy in the picture who won’t say cheese. It would also be a lot to ask for 75% of the population to have a sweet clue on how to operate a camera before getting a bunch of people together for a photo opportunity, and having us hold the pose for 30 seconds (aka 5 eternities) while they figured out if the flash was on or not, so………….

I’ve come up with a solution. It works for me every time, and if you don’t find it completely disgusting, you’re welcome to use it.

I’ve spent years brainstorming with friends, a list of words that could be quickly said in exchange for a genuine smile. The rule is that it’s got to be 2 words, said quickly as one. The first word is the name of an animal. Stick to something cute enough that it could be a stuffed animal. The second word is typically slang for genitalia. This is partially for shock value. Picture people posing for a picture, and then shout

HORSE-PUSSY

That was the first one we ever thought of. We realized that if the first word was 2 syllables, and the second word was one that it had greater impact. Plus we’re Canadian, so the most enduring one, and less offensive than the first (just in case grandma is in the picture), is

BEAVER-DICK

It never fails. Even when they’re expecting it, they still laugh. Or maybe it’s just my particular group of friends that have a weakness for that. I can’t say for sure if it’s in fact ‘universally appealing’ or not. I encourage you to make up your own. Try to stick to the syllable rules though. Even though ELEPHANT-BALLS is hilarious to me, it doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely. The animal can’t be too fierce either. TIGER-NUTS doesn’t tickle the same way say PANDA-NUTS would. Also, respect your elders. Someone in their 80’s probably prefers Dick over Cock, unless it’s BUNNY-COCK which is so deliciously absurd that I’m sure it gets a pass from the silver-haired crowd. Wait until you’ve used all the obvious ones before you get into BUTTERFLY-SCROTUM, and remember that it’s too many syllables to use for an actual photo.

If it didn’t gross you out, I hope this helps with your group photos going forward. Feel free to leave me your own creations in my comment section.


Thursday Dance of Madness

I entered a short story contest.
I lost.
Even though this is presented as fiction, every detail is true to the best of my memory.
Without further ado.

Total goofiness is greater than the sum of its parts. If the following events had happened on four different days, this story might not even be worth telling. Foolishness was in the air on this autumn Thursday. There was no escaping it.

I was a college student, and the first week of school was 60% in the bag. I had use of my mom’s car on this day, which was a refreshing reprieve from the convoluted public transit arrangement that I was normally subject to. This would allow me the time to actually make myself a proper breakfast. I had recently learned how to make bacon and eggs, and did so whenever I felt like I had some extra time in the morning. College was still very fresh and new for all first year students. Not only were we trying to make sense of our schedules, buying the right textbooks, and locating our classrooms in the myriad of buildings on campus, but there was also a sense of youthful optimism and general excitement surrounding the prospect of sharing space with the vast number of attractive females. It was to be a good time in our lives, and this was just the beginning. Was it these factors that affected our behaviour on this day?
Thursday was different from the rest of the days from a scheduling perspective in that it featured a common lunch break for everybody in the entire school. Honestly, I never liked this arrangement because from noon to 1 p.m., all students and faculty had one hour to purchase food if they hadn’t packed a lunch, and find a place to sit and eat, which was hard enough the rest of the week. It would take 45 minutes just to get food sometimes. Leaving class for this common break, I remember walking through the hallway of the ‘business building’, which was absolutely bumper to bumper with people trying to make their way to either the cafeteria or the student pub. The signage for the different rooms hung from the ceiling on small chains. While we moved slowly through this hallway, there was a student who was clearly filled with that annoying cocktail of testosterone, confidence and bad judgement, and was slapping these signs as he walked past, causing them to dangerously flap back and forth. I quietly judged his behaviour as I moved past. After all, this wasn’t high school anymore, right? Suddenly there was a snap and a yell, followed by a smattering of applause. This idiot actually knocked one of the signs down, and the chain managed to hit him in the face on the way. Perfect! In almost all other life scenarios, some innocent bystander gets hit with the sign, but on this day, justice was served. As the crowd swept me even further away, I noticed that he was getting lectured from a faculty member. What an idiot! I couldn’t wait to find my friends and tell them.

The one benefit to the common lunch break was that I was able to meet with friends that were in another program, who normally didn’t have a break at the same time. We had arranged to meet in the student pub. Looking back, I’m not sure that it’s such a great idea to have a pub inside of a college or university, which serves alcohol to students in the middle of the day. We were of legal drinking age, and surrounded by people with dumb ideas. My only saving grace was that I simply couldn’t afford to drink that much, so my days of sitting around in the pub, and getting smashed were a lot fewer than they could have been. When else could one possibly say that a lack of funds came in handy? Remembering I had my mom’s car, I stayed sober over this lunch break, and returned to the business building for a math class in the afternoon.

In math class, our teacher was using the overhead projector, which is always a great way to put me to sleep. The thing keeping me awake was a student on the other side of the class who JUST WOULDN’T SHUT UP. I’m no angel, but I don’t like to interrupt people when they’re talking, especially when they’re talking in front of a room full of people. I felt badly for the teacher, who kept requesting silence from the class, and wasn’t even singling this obnoxious guy out. I had spotted this disruptive student in the pub an hour earlier, and it seemed pretty obvious to me that he had consumed a fair bit of alcohol during the lunch break. Finally, the disruptions had proven too much. The teacher confronted the student and asked him to leave. The following reaction surprised me a little, because this loudmouth didn’t seem to want to be there or learn math, but when asked to leave, he refused. The teacher paused, considered, and decided to let him stay under the condition that he would be quiet. They agreed, and the lesson continued. Not a minute later, the student began chatting again, and the teacher immediately called security. The student shot up out of his seat and started screaming at the teacher. I do mean screaming! This profanity was unprecedented in the history of student/teacher interactions I had witnessed. Suggestions of what to do with certain body parts, F-bombs, derogatory references to family members….. It went on and on until security arrived. What made this outburst particularly riveting was the amount of anger this guy expressed in reaction to being told to be quiet. It seemed unprovoked otherwise. This was just our second class, so the guy couldn’t have hated the teacher yet. Maybe it was due to a liquid lunch, but how drunk could he have possibly gotten in the two hours that the pub was serving alcohol before this class began? Finally, security arrived, and this guy got in some parting shots before being whisked out of the door. We all looked at each other to see if anyone else was completely freaked out by this outburst. The teacher shrugged and got back into his lesson, trying to downplay the ambush. I was personally feeling a mix of appalled and stoked. Was the college experience going to continue to be this interesting?

After that class, my day was done, and I met up with a friend who I had offered to drive home. I couldn’t wait to tell him about my misadventures today, or rather the misadventures of others that I just happened to witness at close proximity. I finished telling my story as we approached the off-ramp of the highway. Just as we got to the stop light to make a right, a song that I loved came on the radio, and I turned the speakers up so I could do a little car dancing. Well into my rhythmic head-bobbing, shoulder-grooving, and whatever else, I looked to the left to see an attractive girl in the car beside us smiling. I was so embarrassed. I turned my head forward, and stilled. My face felt all shades of red. Was I the third idiot of the day? Isn’t there a rule about things happening in threes? I tried to explain to my buddy that she was ‘laughing with me’, but he assured me that she was ‘laughing at me’. I moved forward as traffic in front of me started to make their right hand turns. Shortly after I moved ahead of the girl who had witnessed my ‘Thursday Dance of Madness’, I heard a screech and a crash. Oh no! I looked back. It was the girl. She had been watching me, and when she saw that I started moving forward, she too took her foot off the break and crashed into the car in front of her. Her lane was going straight and the light was still red. Could it be? A pretty girl was so focused on checking me out that she crashed her car??? It was only a small fender bender to be sure, but I felt bad. Not bad enough that my buddy and I didn’t start giggling when we figured out what happened. I wanted to go back, but the off-ramp prevented that. I couldn’t just stop my car from where I was. Besides, what was I going to say? Should I have apologized for distracting her? That would have been presumptuous and wouldn’t have helped her cause any. She was in a stopped position before she got into the collision, so she wouldn’t have been hurt. I hope.

I dropped off my friend and headed home. What a crazy day. I couldn’t ever recall such random acts of goofiness all happening at once. I had a huge smile on my face as I got home, thinking about how this college life was going to provide endless days of entertainment. As I entered, I noticed that the house felt really warm. I went into the living room to have a look at the thermostat. Had my sister turned it way up again? The temperature displayed confirmed that it was really warm inside, but the settings didn’t look like they had been tampered with. It had been pretty sunny all day, but enough to make it this hot? I headed to the kitchen to get a snack, and when I turned the corner, I glimpsed a shock of orange to my left. The electric element for the stove was turned on high since this morning, by me. My heart jumped. I calmly walked over and turned off the element, and removed the (warm) towel hanging from the oven door. Wow!
Did I not just spend the better part of my day witnessing 3 people make complete fools of themselves, and was happy about the way in which I was entertained? Meanwhile I was doing everything in my power to burn my parents’ house to the ground? It seems so. I cracked a couple of windows open, and hoped the breeze would come in before my family did. I managed to get the temperature of the house down a few degrees before anybody else arrived home. In order for me to continue to enjoy certain privileges in my parents’ household, it would be wise if this story went untold.


Bloggiversary #3

So WordPress informed me that ‘Thoughts and Rants In Jogging Pants’ is 3 years old. It went from baby to toddler. Now ideally it is fully toilet trained, because there’s always lots of shit coming. I thought I should write a post about what I’ve learned in the last 3 years of blogging.

So what have I learned in the last 3 years of blogging?

Very little.

Let’s move on. Here’s a piece that I think I’ll call “Get It Together, People!”

So I saw this lady the other day walking past, and I couldn’t help but notice she had her button down shirt buttoned incorrectly. Do you know what I mean by that? She was off by a button so there was an extra button on top, and an extra hole on the bottom. Hey…. I’ve had days like that too. I don’t even need to mention how many times I’ve started doing up my shirt, and finished only to realize…. yeah, I did it wrong. The difference between her and I, and not to pat myself on the back, but in my example, I noticed that I did it wrong, and then I fix it before I go out. This lady didn’t fix it, and in all likelihood, still unaware that it was off. Am I being hard on her? Maybe. It’s just that you get 2 opportunities to figure it out. If you start buttoning from the bottom, you should see that it’s not lined up properly, but if you don’t, that’s okay, because when you get to the top, you get a second opportunity to notice that you screwed it up and make the appropriate changes! You might even do a little thing called looking in the mirror just as a third measure. Now bleeding hearts, before you start defending her, I know there are people in society that have a tough time with these things for whatever reason. She just didn’t seem to fall into that category. She seemed well put together and adjusted otherwise. Is she having a tough time that day? Maybe. Should I cut her some slack? Perhaps, but society is spiralling out of control, and there’s not a lot that the average person can do to fix it. You know what we can fix though? Our shirts.

Get it together.

On another note, I was stuck behind a driver yesterday that didn’t turn left at the amber light until well after he should have, leaving me to wait for another set of lights to go by at a busy intersection. I wasn’t in that much of a hurry. Who cares, right? The reason it happened is because this guy was flailing his arms about, trying to get his point across to the person he was on the phone with. Did he have bluetooth technology? Yeah, he did. So it’s legal, right? I’m not sooo against people talking on the phone while they drive. As long as they’re good at it. If you can talk to someone that’s in the car with you while you drive, then you should be able to talk to someone on a hands free set while you drive, IF you’re good at it. Some people just aren’t good at it. Some people cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Me? I had a job where I had to drive a truck through the city, and I would talk on the phone, AND eat lunch while driving as long as I was on a straight stretch of road with not a lot of cars around. There are times when you have to focus on the road, and shouldn’t be on the phone, and if you have to talk with your hands and picture the person you’re talking to in your mind in order to have a phone conversation, then PULL OVER!!!!

Get it together before you get us all killed.

If you’ve read the last 2 paragraphs and thought ‘hey man…. you seem kinda uptight’. I would just remind you that I’ve been blogging for 3 years. You can’t have a blog with ‘rant’ in the name, and not sound a bit crabby from time to time. 3 years is a long time to be ranting about stuff. I’m tired.

NOW, on a more positive note, here are a few things that are in the hopper, and might be coming down the pipe……

– I’m taking an online novel-writing course. It’s an accountability thing. I think by the end of the course, I’m supposed to have written a novel. I know I already told you I would write a book, and then gave you a couple of chapters, and then stopped because I hated it, so consider the source, but I plan to write a novel this year.

– I acted in a movie. I’ll probably let you know a little more as it becomes closer to being available for public consumption. All I will say at this point is that I’m in one scene, but my character is fairly significant in that scene. It’s an Independent Film that will be submitted to some festivals later this year. Cross your fingers that it gets into one or two. Even though I’m not an actor, I have big plans to segue this little opportunity into becoming the most in-demand leading man in all of Hollywood. By big plans I mean I really hope someone comes and asks me to do it again. There’s actually a far better chance that I will finish the aforementioned novel.

– My travel blog http://www.paymevegas.com has stalled. Not because I don’t love going to Vegas and then talking about it after, but I haven’t been in a while, and some of my recent plans and schemes to get back out there have not come to fruition as of yet. You can be sure that at some point I will fire up a few more posts there too, but……

– I think I want to do a music blog. I love music even more than I love ranting and Las Vegas put together. Maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s not time. We shall see.

– As far as Thoughts and Rants in Jogging Pants goes. Yeah, I’ll keep doing it. Sorry I can’t do it every week like I used to. I think becoming a father has really emptied out the old noggin. As I spend a significant amount of my brain space remembering all of the names of the different engines on Thomas and his Friends, I find myself less able to connect with the real world. I always hated the thought of that, but to be honest, when I’m sitting with my son watching the same movie we’ve watched 7,036 times, almost nothing makes me happier.

:)


Bad Things Come To Those Who Hate

There’s been a lot of talk about haters over the last 15-20 years. You almost can’t listen to urban or pop music without hearing about it. Haters. I can’t believe it’s even a word. Sure, it’s human nature to hate. Take me for example. I hate bad drivers. I hate any sort of spilled liquid. I hate myself for eating my son’s Easter chocolate without him knowing, and that’s just what I can think of in a 30 second brainstorm. I hate fairly consistently. Am I a hater though? Does passionately disliking a LOT of stuff fit me into a conveniently labelled package so that people can easily reference me with a one word description that doesn’t even begin to tell my story? I don’t think it should. I’d HATE to think that it would. I don’t want to be described as a hater. Everybody hates something, but nobody hates everything. I don’t even think there’s such a thing. Let’s explore.

Where did the notion of haters come from? To hear young people tell it, it’s almost like every person in the world knows a handful of people who exist only to hate them (or hate on them as it’s often described). How self-absorbed would you have to be to believe that’s the case? Like anybody that might have a differing opinion, or for whatever reason just happen to be in the way of you getting what you want is nothing but an anger fueled malcontent? Perpetually? Like the act of hating on you is so gratifying, that it could actually be enough to fulfill another human being? I don’t know. I kind of think that’s not true.

As I type, I pause several times to reflect upon my own life. Do I have haters in my life?? I don’t think so. I don’t think I ever did. Are there people I disagree with? You bet. Are there people I don’t get along with? Probably, but I don’t force myself to spend time with them. Is there anybody in my past that went out of their way to dislike me or really give me a hard time? Not that I can think of, but maybe. I’ve been accused by members of the less optimistic population of existing in a world full of lollipops and cotton candy with chocolate rivers and friendly puppy dogs, and ice cream, so it’s possible that I’m giving human beings the benefit of the doubt when I shouldn’t. I really think if anyone hated me up until now, they probably had a legitimate reason. Not everything that comes out of my mouth glistens with agree-ability or political correctness. That said, I just don’t think that anyone has purposely held anger toward me, or sabotaged me just for the sake of doing it. I think people are making it up.

A word of advice to people who think they have haters in their life……. You are far too wrapped up in your false perception of your importance to the rest of the world. When looking at you from an airplane, you are far less significant than an ant. I’m not trying to make you feel bad, I’m just suggesting that I don’t think there are other humans that dedicate their lives to making yours miserable. It could be true, but it probably isn’t. If you are dismissing the reasons behind conflicts that you are experiencing, and just writing off the situation as ‘everybody hatin’ on me’, you’ll probably never look inward to see if there’s something about yourself that you can alter to help alleviate some of these situations.

And if I’m wrong, and haters actually DO exist….

A word of advice to the haters….. What the fuck man???? I didn’t even think you existed. You really serve no other purpose than making someone else’s life shitty? That’s no kind of life. Go back to school or something. Learn something new. Start doing awesome stuff, and stop the hatin’. Don’t be so miserable.

“Blowing out another’s candle will not make yours shine brighter” – Unknown (since it’s unknown, I should’ve just taken credit for it).
“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong” – Abraham Lincoln.
“Hating people is like burning down your own house just to kill a rat” – Harry Emerson Fosdick

Stop it haters!!! Knock that shit off!!


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