An unjust world

Have you ever heard the expression, “If life is fair, then why do roses have thorns?”

Well, I have. I also think that as far as the injustices go, roses having thorns is pretty unimportant.

First of all, roses don’t have thorns because life is unfair. They have thorns because the first roses with thorns were protected from predators which allowed them to survive and pass on the “thorn trait” to the next generation of roses, who passed it on to the next, and blah, blah, evolutionary, blah.

But don’t get me wrong. I believe the world we live in has more than its fair share of things that are unjust, unfair or just plain wrong. Here’s a list of some true injustices:

  • Separating darks and lights while doing  laundry is racist and promotes segregation and unfair biases.
  • People are totally diggin’ sand all day and night, but then, when people finally take sand home with them, they treat it like garbage.
  • Leaving a little bit of milk in the carton so that the next person can have some is a selfless act of generosity and yet it is never appreciated.
  • A girl can say “I only like tall guys” and that’s cool. But, if I say “I only fly first class” then I go broke.
  • We have no problem giving people, who already have food, a bite of our food. But when an ant, who has no food, wants a bite we fucking murder them.
  •  Just because bees are an essential part of the environment, we have to protect them, even though they are dicks, and they are willing to kill themselves in order to inflict a small amount of pain on innocent people. Yet, 10,000 years ago, there were peaceful elephant-sized sloths and humans hunted them to extinction without anyone saying ‘boo’.
  • We have the right to bear arms but not the right to arm bears… Although, on second thought, maybe that’s a good thing.
  • People always say, we should leave a better world for the generations after us, but the people before us managed to evolve from primates. Then they let themselves go generation, after generation, and now primates can beat the shit out of humans, are way better at climbing trees, and have way less debt from student loans.
  • Gangsters can wear Loony Toons shirts and look cool and I can’t even dress nice and look cool.
  • Weathermen, politicians and Siri are allowed to constantly be wrong and answer questions that are different than the one that was asked, and no one really thinks twice. But, if I do that, even only 1/4th of the time,  I get a C on my exam or get fired from my job.
  • You need a license to drive a car, but you don’t need a license to tell people that spiders can crawl in your mouth when you are sleeping.
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This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Throughout human history, there have been countless cases of a small minority of people ruining something great for everyone else. We see it all the time, but there was one recent example that compelled me to write this post. It came about when a full-size, one ton pickup truck pulled up next to me at a red light. The truck was comically large and probably had enough towing power to transport the Statue of Liberty. A passenger in my car, who shall remain nameless, said, in reference to the truck, “He must be compensating for something.”

We all laughed at this comment, but it sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Just because this man drove an enormous pick up truck did not mean that he was using it to compensate for his lack of size or girth in other areas of his life. Maybe he just needed it for work, or he rented it to move some furniture into his new house. I felt bad for the man, and any other large pickup truck drivers who have been the subject of presumptuous claims about the correlation between automobile size and shortcomings regarding male genitalia. Sure there have probably been more than a few cases of Ford F-350 drivers who were anything but well-endowed using the trucks as a method of compensation, but does that mean that they should ruin it for everyone else?

This got me thinking about some other examples of perfectly good products and activities that we can’t utilize because people get the wrong idea. Allow me to share a few that I came up with…

Ski Masks

The ski mask is a prime example of a practical invention being ruined by a few bad-apples. Growing up in Minnesota, I learned that cold weather is not something to be taken lightly. In December and January, THIS YEAR, I must have heard about 30 state-wide announcements warning citizens that if our skin is exposed outdoors for more than 14 seconds, the only way to save our lives is to immediately amputate our entire faces. Okay, kind of an exaggeration, but still, the winters here ain’t no joke. 

Personally, I trudge through the streets of St. Paul wearing a winter hat, a jacket, a sweatshirt, gloves, glove-liners, long underwear, the warmest jeans I can find, wool socks and winter boots. And guess what America? I am still freezing my face off. Not a figure of speech, literally freezing my face off. Now, I know what you are thinking. Why don’t you just wear something that covers your face, like a ski mask? Well maybe it’s because, in this day and age, anyone who wears a ski mask is immediately presumed to be in the process of committing some type of heinous crime. 

Think about it. When is the last time you saw a person wearing a full-face ski mask and they weren’t trying to rob, rape or murder somebody? I would love to have been able to wear one when I walked to class this winter, but unfortunately, the full-face ski mask’s reputation for protecting my skin from the violent Minnesota weather is preceded only by its reputation for effectively concealing my identity while I hold up a Super America. Don’t believe me? Wear a ski mask to work tomorrow and see what happens.

It is truly unfair that because of the choice of wardrobe in a few dozen bank robberies, I am faced with the choice of being profiled as a criminal, or stage-5 frostbite. I say during this winter’s polar vortex, we take back the full-face ski mask. Who’s with me, Midwest?

 

Conversion Vans

Conversion Vans are large vans, often used for commercial distribution, but are sometimes used by the public for standard transportation. The advantages of conversion vans include durability, seating capacity and ample room for cargo. You know them as rape vans. That’s all I am going to say about that. 

 

Clowns 

Clowns are yet another example of a nice idea, gone horribly, horribly wrong. Dating all the way back to 2400 BC, clowning was done for the simple purpose of introducing some humor and joy to the otherwise miserable medieval existence. They were invented to take peoples’ minds of the fact that they were poor, sick, starving, and didn’t have 4G wireless internet access. Their sole intention was to spread joy, but somewhere along the way, they changed from a source of comedy to giving off sort of a psychopathic serial killer/ nightmarish-evil-monster cannibal  type of vibe. I blame Stephen King. 

 

Chatroulette  

For those of you who do not know what Chatroulette is, it is a website that pairs two users at random for a webcam-based conversation. At any point in the conversation either user can simply click “next” and will be paired with another user at random. I like to belief the purpose of the website was to overcome geographical or socioeconomic barriers and create friendships and love connections that would otherwise be unlikely. The random nature of the video chats allowed for people from all woks of life to converse with anyone else, anywhere, at any time… It was beautiful. 

But, like most websites that are open to the public, Chatroulette was extremely susceptible to online sexual perversion. What was once an vitual melting pot of cultural diversity and social exploration, is now populated almost exclusively by deviant masturbaters. The result of this change in user base is that now, if you go on chatroulette, everyone automatically assumes you are a big weirdo.

 

Chainsaws

Chainsaws, at least within the city limits, have picked up somewhat of a bad rep. The innovation of chainsaws is undeniable. The power and functionality of a chainsaw deserves a profound respect, even from those who know almost nothing about them (like me). I am sure that chainsaws have revolutionized the construction and the Lumberjacking industry (I don’t actually know if lumberjacking is the name for that industry,I am a naive city kid, but you get it.). The problem is that I unintentionally overlook the marvelous engineering and innovation that went into the invention of chainsaws, and immediately jump to murder weapon. This may just be a personal issue for me, but when I happen upon a person using a chainsaw, no matter the context, I assess the situation using the following check-down process of elimination. 

1.  Is this a serial killer?   2. Is this a crazy redneck?   3. Is this a crazy redneck serial killer?   4. Am I in Texas, and is this a chainsaw massacre?   5. Something about Tony Montana from Scarface.   6.Is this a law-abiding, tax-paying American, who is simply doing some type of construction or yard work? 

See, the problem here is that despite all the good that chainsaws have done for the world, it only took a few bad apples to force me to reason passed five, dangerous, probably irrational, alternatives, before assuming the chainsaw user is just a regular, non-murderer, type person.

 

Father’s Day

To all the fathers and father figures out there, I wish you the happiest of Father’s Days. Becoming a dad is not always something you plan on, it’s not always something you want to be, and it’s certainly not the easiest of jobs. I was lucky enough to have been born to a father who is at the tippy-top of the A-list in the dad category… or dadegory. He has bestowed his wisdom, wonderful sense of humor and life savings onto me, and for that, I will spend my life trying to repay him.

I could write a loving, heart-felt essay about how my dad is exponentially cooler than your dad, but I think both of our time would be better spent elsewhere. Maybe you don’t feel as though your dad falls under that elite dadegory, but whether you have one dad, two dads… red dads or blue dads, I can assure you that you are luckier than a lot of children… both human or otherwise. So, in honor of the celebration of paternal love, I bring to you a list of the absolute worst dads in the business.

Cuckoo Birds

Cuckoo birds are some of the most immoral parental figures anyone could ask for. They have become famous for several reasons, one being those irritating cuckoo-clocks, and another being their bizarre and morally bankrupt breeding habits. Cuckoo birds are classified as brood parasites. For those of you who are not up on your zoology vocab words, brood parasites are organisms that manipulate hosts parents into raising their young. In even simpler terms, these sons-a-bitches lay their eggs in another bird’s nest, and then proceed to trick the other bird into raising their chicks as its own offspring. It seems like the other bird would quickly realize that one or more of its babies is an entirely different species, but I guess the Cuckoo birds bank on the fact that for the most part, birds are pretty dumb. Needless to say, Cuckoo birds do not make very good dads and they probably do not celebrate Father’s Day with the same enthusiasm as we do. Fun fact: The term cuckold, which refers to a man whose wife has taken a lover outside of the marriage, is actually derived from the nefarious breeding habits of the cuckoo bird.

 

Lions

With the exception of Mufasa, lions are some of the worst dads around. Once their cubs are born, male lions contribute basically nothing to their upbringing. They sit around in shaded areas while the mothers hunt, and provide for the family. If they were humans, they would be the kind of dads who sit in the garage drinking beer and watching sports center all day, while their wife works 3 jobs and goes to school in order to put food on the table, and once there is food there, he eats all the good stuff and leaves the scraps for mom and the kids. Most of us can probably agree that we wouldn’t want a lion as our father, but what you really, REALLY don’t want is a lion as your step-father. As worthless and lazy as daddy lions are, they are much worse when it comes to raising step-cubs. When a new lion takes over as head of the pride, (basically man of the house) he then proceeds to murder all the cubs who were born to the previous head of the pride. This is to avoid any potential competition, free up resources, and to allow him more opportunities to mate with the lionesses of the pride who no longer have to worry about their cubs. Despite the advantages of killing the step-children in cold blood, I think it’s safe to say that this is still kind of a dick-move by the King Of The Jungle.

 

Bears (Polar & Grizzly)

Despite being very solitary creatures, male bears will travel great lengths to mate and reproduce. However, once they impregnate a mamma bear, they get while the gettin’ is good. Abandoning your baby-mamma is pretty common among both the animal kingdom, and humans, but there is one major difference that makes papa-bear worse than your average absentee father. Not only does a Male bear skip out on child support payments, if it comes across a bear cub (even its own) it will kill and eat it. This violent, territorial, cannibalistic form of parenting is unanimously frowned-upon, and earns papa-bear a secure spot in the bad-dad-category… or badadegory (okay I might be reaching with that one). 

 

Assassin Bugs 

With such a good-natured name, it comes as a shock that Assassin Bugs are not up for the Father of the Year Award, but they too dabble in the art of killing and eating their own offspring. Assassin Bug dads are charged with the task of protecting their eggs from parasitic wasps, just as any good dad would, however they are known to snack on a few babies here and there. Protecting the nest can be exhausting work, and similar to carboloading before a marathon, Assassin Bugs will eat the eggs on the outer edges of the brood in order provide themselves with much needed nutrients. Eating the eggs on the outer edges of the brood is also a method of protecting the eggs in the center. And you thought your dad picked favorites…

 

With these dads in mind, I hope you have a greater appreciation for how great your dad is in comparison. Maybe your dad wasn’t there for you as much as you would hope for,  or he couldn’t afford to put you through college or buy you an Xbox, but hey… at least he didn’t kill you and eat you. Happy Father’s Day everyone!

College House

If you are planning on going to college, are currently in college, or went to college at some point in your life, I think you will be able to relate to this post. Throughout my higher education, I have lived in three different college houses, each one with varying degrees of mayhem. The first one I have extremely fond memories of. It was one of those houses where you have to wear shoes in the living room for fear of stepping on glass or dead bodies. It was, for all intents and purposes, a party house. It was complete with holes that were punched in the wall, a roof to sit on, and a wide assortment of couch people. Couch people, for the laymen, refers to a segment of people who chose not to live in their own house, but simply sleep on the couch at other people’s houses. They are typically male, and they typically like to party, but as long as you keep them fed they don’t cause much trouble.  But despite our running it into the ground, it was home and I had some of the best times of my life there.

The second house I lived at was about 15x nicer than the first one, probably due to the fact that I had two fewer roommates and we kept it very clean. It was fun, and I was able to impose my neat-freakiness onto the whole house, but it was quiet and a little boring. The house was very conducive to getting good grades, but we rarely went out and lived extremely far away from campus. All that being said, once I moved into my third college house, I would give anything to move back to that small quiet/boring house.

Some quick background on this house: It was likely built between 1814 and 1905. It is insulated about as well as swiss cheese. Its surrounding neighbors are primarily old ladies, who will not hesitate to alert the authorities when they see a car parked on the street after 8:30PM. The house’s floor-plan could be described as borderline insanity, featuring a bathroom that is the only entrance to the basement, as well as outlets that are strategically placed in useless locations and never where you would plug something in.  Now, that you have an idea of the background, allow me to walk you through a virtual tour of my third college house. ..

Let’s start with the upstairs bathroom. You will notice from this short video clip, that turning the doorknob does not actually turn the latch mechanism. This is a relatively new development in the post-apocalyptic wasteland I call home, and what it means is that nobody will be able to shut the bathroom door. I can already see good times ahead.

8sf4e

 

 

Now if you would kindly follow me downstairs to the living room you will find a wide assortment of strange and mysterious things. The first thing I would like to comment on are the objects in this photo. We have A) a belt B) some slippers C) an empty backpack (that doesn’t belong to any of the roommates) D) National Lampoons family Vacation (the case is empty) and E) a half drinkin’ Miller lite. And the winner for most concerning object on the living room floor goes to….. A) the belt.

photo 1

 

In addition to the strange and unexplainable objects, our living room is host to possibly the largest Red Dog shrine in the entire continental U.S. Now I can imagine what you are thinking, A) dope instagram filter and B) clearly that is about a decade’s worth of Red Dog consumption, but you are sadly mistaken. However, fear not Mom and future employers, it was a collection from a large gathering of which Red Dog was the unofficial sponsor, so its not like my three roommates and I casually threw back twelve hundred beers one afternoon.

 photo (6)

 

As we continue through the main level, you will find our spacious dining room. We have never actually eaten a meal at this table, although we have played a significant amount of beer-pong, which I actually prefer to eating dinner. This room is pretty standard for a college house other than one small detail. If you would direct your attention to the bottom left of this image, you will notice that there is a toaster oven on the floor. You may be wondering, why is there a toaster oven on the floor in the dining room? And to that, I will respond by saying, I have no fucking idea.

 photo 2

You may remember from the brief time we spent in the upstairs bathroom, that the door did not shut. Well, this is the other bathroom option in the house and the light has been burned out for the last month.This leaves me with two potty options, a door that doesn’t shut or doing my business while in total darkness. How many soon-to-be-graduated fully grown men does it take to screw in a light bulb? Apparently more than four.

photo 4

 

 

This door leads to the fourth bedroom, which is occupied by a fourth roommate. I have not seen, or heard from this fourth roommate in a few weeks and I am unsure if he is dead or alive. However, there isn’t any smell coming from under the door so I think that strongly supports the latter. In most houses, the occupants would know if any of their roommates had moved out, left the country or spontaneously combusted, but in a college house? Hey… Why not?

 photo (5)

 

I realize now that I made a mistake when I said my potty options were between the two previous bathrooms. There is in fact, a third toilet and this one is extra special. It lives in the basement and is surrounded by no barrier. This toilet is used almost exclusively by Samara, the evil demon/ghoul that lives in the basement. I typically do not try to use this toilet because Samara is kind of a territorial evil demon/ghoul and she gets upset when I use her toilet paper. She has yet to come upstairs and cast spells on us, or murder us, or whatever it is that evil demons/ghouls do, and I attribute that solely to the fact that I have not encroached on her personal restroom.

photo (4)

The moral of this story is that I am extremely excited to move out of this house and into a place with light bulbs, working doors and a general feeling of safety. For anyone reading this who has had experience with a college house, I hope you can relate somewhat to my every day life.  As for Samara, I hope she finds what she is looking for in the afterlife. Also, Samara, if you kidnapped my fourth roommate, then you should bring him back because he is probably falling behind in his schoolwork.

Personality Quiz

The entire time I have been posting on this blog, all I have been doing is rambling on and on about myself. Seeing as how I am the 15th least interesting person on the planet, and in the interest of being a team-player, I have decided to write about you. I’m not going to write any stories about any one person in particular because A, that’s no fun and B, people get left out and its a mess. Instead, I will give you the opportunity to learn a little more about who you really are. After decades of social experiments and psychological research, I have compiled a list of open-ended, multiple-choice and would-you-rather personality quiz questions that will allow the quizee to truly reflect on what it is that makes them who they are. *Disclaimer: if any of the following questions offend you, then your personality probably sucks anyways and I recommend you toughen up for the real world.*

1. If you were a naughty word, which one would you be?

 

2. If you could whisper one sexually suggestive remark in Oprah Winfrey’s ear, without consequence, what would it be?

 

3. If kitchen appliances were self-aware and could talk, think, feel and love, which one would you date?

 

4. Would you rather hold hands with your celebrity crush, or win a $15 gift card to Applebees?

 

5. If you were toast would you:

A) be covered in Jelly?

B) be covered in Jam?

C) be used to make some type of sandwich?

D) be burnt because your toaster is offended by your answer to Question 3?

 

6. Would you rather eat a used tampon or a half-pound of human hair?

 

7.If you were a hotdog, what percentage beef would you be?

 

8. If you met actor Michael Peña would you address him using Tù, or the formal Usted?

 

9. Do the words “The Plaza” mean anything special to you?

 

10. If you were an item on the McDonald’s dollar menu, which one would you be?

 

11. Would you rather have two wooden peg-legs or have both your hands be replaced with hooks?

 

12. If you could rewrite the english dictionary how would you spell the word that is defined:

       Noun. “An opaque white or blueish-white liquid secreted by the mammary glands of female mammals, serving for the nourishment of their young”

A) Malk

B) Milk

C) Melk

 

13. *For men* Would you rather have an extra nose where your penis is supposed to be, or an extra penis where your nose is supposed to be?

 

13. *For women* Would you rather date a guy who had an extra nose where his penis is supposed to be, or an extra penis where is nose is supposed to be?

 

14. Would you rather find out that your spouse of 20 years was a terrorist, or find out that he/she was a pedophile?

 

15. Have you ever referred to your relationship status as “between girlfriends/boyfriends”? 

 

 To Check out what your answers mean, follow the link   http://wp.me/P488Ce-i9

 

 

The Real World

T-minus two months until I graduate from St. Thomas with a B.A. and suddenly I am getting concerned. The whole time I’ve been here I have been warned about this “real world” and how different it will be from whatever world I currently live in, but I never really gave it much thought until I started comparing myself to what society would consider a “functioning adult”. After making these comparisons I came to the shocking realization that in order to succeed in the “real world”, I have to hit the switch and suddenly become an adult. Or in other words, “stop being a dinosaur and get a fucking job” So, here is the list of things I have to do in order to complete my metamorphosis into the adult version of myself.

Time to stop:

  1. Peeing outside
  2. Blasting music in the car
  3. Running up the stairs when I’m not in a hurry
  4. Pulling all-nighters
  5. Picking my nose
  6. Jagermeister
  7. Eating Kraft mac and cheese
  8. Playing slug-bug
  9. Playing video games
  10. Getting paid by the hour
  11. Drinking Mountain Dew
  12. Eating in bed
  13. Having a fast metabolism
  14. Saying “bro”
  15. Drinking out of the carton
  16. Squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube
  17. Playing beer pong
  18. Jumping on trampolines
  19. Drinking on my birthday
  20. Having bruises and scrapes
  21. Wearing backwards hats
  22. Cutting my own hair

 

And start: 

  1. Preferring expensive wine to Franzia
  2. Having more than one suit
  3. Thinking of vacations as an opportunity to read and hike and not binge-drink and get sunburned
  4. Having a 401K
  5. Thinking of the police as providing a useful service
  6. Talking about current events and having valuable opinions about them
  7. Going for walks as a form of exercise
  8. Being able to spell exercise on the first try
  9. Having actual accomplishments on my resume
  10. Using email as my primary communication channel
  11. Having the same signature every time
  12. Having bookshelves with books on them
  13. Going to the doctor when things are wrong with me
  14. Having “dress casual” mean a collared shirt under a sweater and not basketball shorts and a plain white tee
  15. Listening to talk radio
  16. Having a house phone
  17. Owning a briefcase
  18. Doing paperwork
  19. Paying for my own cellphone bill, Netflix account and health insurance
  20. Always having clean towels in the bathroom
  21. Becoming a Republican
  22.  Fixing things before they are broken instead of breaking things and fixing them just enough so the next person thinks they broke them.

Growing up I always thought of twenty two year olds as grown-ass-men, who were gainfully employed with mature interests. I always figured I would have my poop in a group a little more at this point, but in the process of writing this I realized I don’t want to rush to grow up. Who knows if I will change gradually or just wake up one day and be a well rounded adult member of the “real world”. Who knows if I will ever be able to resist the urge to shine people in the eyes with the reflection from my watch, or trip people when I walk up the stairs behind them. Who knows if I will ever wake up at 6am and eat breakfast at an actual kitchen table or tell someone I have to “move some money around”. What I do know is that I can’t waste my youth stressing about the future, we only get one chance at life and so I am going to make the most of my time in this world… real or otherwise.

Valentine’s Day

February 14th used to be a day to celebrate love. A day of card sending, of flower picking, of chocolate eating, of romantic gestures, of flying babies who arbitrarily shoot nubile tweens, teens and young adults with hormone-dipped arrows, of bloody sacrifices to Roman gods of agriculture, of Chicagoan mobsters massacring each other, of war-hungry emperors and secret illegal marriages, and of teddy bear giving… I almost forgot about teddy bears.

It seems strange to rant about the culture of my own generation, but I think someone my age needs to stand up for good old V-Day. Of course you all have heard it said that Valentine’s day is nothing more than a Hallmark holiday, and to some extent that is true. February 14th has been over-commercialized to an absurd degree, especially in the last decade or two. In fact, it seems as though my generation… the “Millennials”, are all but fed up with Valentine’s day. We feel pressured into spending our money on things like flowers and diamonds… and teddy bears, and we just don’t think this pressure is fair. We feel that the media is telling us how to put a price on our love and we should just be able to love each other every day for free.

“Valentine’s Day is a multi-million dollar industry” 

The media destroyed Valentine’s Day”

I love my wife/girlfriend the other 364 days a year… why should Valentines’s Day be so special?” 

I’m sure you have heard these things said before. Probably not direct quotes, but the essence is there right?. Now, I agree with all of these statements, at least on some level, but I am going to play a little devil’s advocate… wait… Cupid’s advocate.. yeah that’s better.

First off, let’s all back off the media, as well as the card manufactures, jewelers, restaurateurs, and flower shops for a second. They are simply supplying the demand that We have created. Maybe it is just because I plan on having a career in marketing one day, but I firmly believe the media and commerce are reflections of society and not the other way around. I also think that blaming the Valentine’s Day merch’ vendors, like Hallmark and Kay Jewelers, is nothing but a testament to how irrational of consumers We actually are. They are not forcing us to buy these things, they are simply giving us what we want. Maybe it’s our obsessive need to one-up each other, but there seems to be a somewhat competitive nature to V-day. We are competing against other couples to see who gets the best or most thoughtful gift for their Valentine and it has turned us all off to the true meaning of the holiday. I guess my point here is that we should stop blaming the media and Hallmark for ruining Valentine’s day, when we clearly did it ourselves.

Secondly, I am sick of the “I love my girlfriend every day so February 14th isn’t anything special” thing. IT’S A HOLIDAY… BRO… For the Christian’s in the crowd, you acknowledge every day, or at least you are supposed to, that Jesus Christ died for your sins. He is just as dead and his death is just as significant today as it was on Monday and maybe even last Thursday, right? Well allow me to introduce you to Good Friday. The single day you all celebrate and honor his martyrdom. Also what exactly is good about him being crucified? The name of the holiday just doesn’t make sense to me, but I’ll get back to the point. Just because you have one day a year where you actively commemorate the death of your lord and savior, doesn’t mean you forget about him and the other 364 days you don’t appreciate his sacrifice. This is the same case for Valentine’s day. We may love our lovers every single day, and that’s great, but is it so wrong to have one day a year that we go out of our way to express this to one another?

It doesn’t matter which Valentine’s Day origin you choose to go with, there are tons of them. Maybe you want to honor a Priest named Valentine illegally marrying people in direct defiance of Emperor Claudius II, who forbid marriage because single men made better soldiers. Maybe you want to commemorate the Pagan fertility festival, Lupercalia, where basically a bunch of Romans met in a cave and murdered a goat and a dog and then proceeded to smear blood on all the crops and women. I’m not sure why you would choose that one, but hey it’s an option. Either way, Valentine’s Day today does not have to be a religious thing, it doesn’t have to be a lucrative greeting-card opportunity, it doesn’t have to be a big ordeal, and hell, you don’t even have to have someone to call your Valentine. You don’t need reservations at a five star restaurant, just write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror when you’re done taking shower or something. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate V-Day, but don’t let some money or a weird hatred towards Hallmark cause you to lose sight of how important love really is.

This Valentine’s Day let’s all take a break from being cynical and simply set aside a day to celebrate the power of love.

The Neurotic Hopeless-Romantic Playbook

Play One-Receiving a text message from the girl you like:

  • Open it .4 seconds after your phone vibrates when you see its her.
  • Feel a rush of excitement as if she professed her love for you, even if the text only says, “hey.”
  • Immediately type out the response you actually want to say, which is probably sweet and romantic, but completely uncalled for and disproportionate.
  •  Debate whether or not you should send it because responding in 2.2 seconds makes it seem like you have no life.
  • Don’t send it.
  • Actively try not to send the response for as long as possible but then convince yourself that you HAVE TO.
  • Re-read the draft of your original response.
  • Decide that what you said makes you sound ridiculous.
  • Respond with, “hey.”
  • Several texts later, send the original romantic but misplaced text message.
  • Wallow in your stupidity.

Play Two-Seeing a cute girl walk past you:

  • Smile at her
  • She smiles back
  • Continue walking
  • Tell yourself you should have said something because if you had, you might have hit it off and it might have started raining and you might have had to take shelter in a near-by coffee shop or movie theater and you might have kissed each other and you might have had a wildly romantic afternoon with her and that might make one killer-ass story to tell your kids one day.
  • Continue walking until you see another cute girl.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Play Three-Getting dumped:

  • Cry, or try super hard not to cry.
  • Go home and read every text or letter you two had ever exchanged, in an attempt to figure out what went wrong.
  • When you finish reading the texts, send her something desperate or something you think makes you sound cool and indifferent but actually makes you sound like a douche-bag.
  • She doesn’t text you back.
  • Completely swear off girls.
  • Decide that swearing off girls was a dumb plan and decide to be a player instead because you think that girls like assholes and being nice didn’t work out for you.
  • Contact a bunch of girls you talked to before you were in a relationship.
  • Realize that they are no longer interested because you have been in a relationship and obviously they moved on.
  • Go to the bar to pick up girls but end up sitting with your friends and making up excuses as to why you did not make anything resembling an attempt to communicate with a female.
  • Go home and text your ex-girlfriend something stupid.
  • Tell her you were drunk the next day and you didn’t mean whatever you said.
  • Completely give up on ever finding love.
  • Fall in love with the next girl you see.          (see play two)

Play four- Going on a date: 

  • Try to fit the words “I have a date tonight” into at least four conversations with four different people.
  • Ask a female friend what to wear, but then end up wearing what you were going to wear anyway.
  • Spend a tremendous amount of time and energy getting your hair to look like you spent no time on your hair.
  • Make your bed and clean your room because she might be coming back there later.
  • Sweat through the shirt you had originally picked out.
  • Put on the shirt that your female friend told you to wear. (it was a better choice anyway)
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Gargle mouth wash.
  • Practice laughing and smiling and making other random conversational faces in the mirror.
  • Notice that what was once a tiny outline of a blemish is now an enormous white head.
  • Tell yourself that you are ugly and even your own mom probably is embarrassed by you.
  • Tell yourself that you didn’t mean it and that this girl and any girl would be lucky to have you because you are smart and funny and you can give a hell of a back massage.
  • Think of a perfect opening line.
  • Blast encouraging music in the car the whole way there.
  • Realize you forgot a condom and convince yourself that you totally would have needed it.
  • Pick up your date.
  • Say your perfect opening line perfectly.
  • Have to repeat your opening line because she asked “what?” and this time totally butcher it.
  • Go on date.
  • Convince yourself that it is probably not even a date and she just wanted to grab a bite to eat, but doesn’t actually like you.
  • Spill something on your shirt.
  • Awkwardly force a hug at the end of your not-date.
  • Get back in your car.
  • Realize that you like her ten times more than you originally did.
  • Go home and stalk her via social media.
  • End up friend requesting her boyfriend.
  • Ask your dog if he still loves you.
  • Your dog ignores you and goes downstairs and poops in the dining room.

Play Five-Hearing the words “I love you” for the first time:

  • Remove heart from stomach.
  • Stare at her studying her face to see if she really meant it.
  • Think about how cool it is that you didn’t say it first this time.
  • Pause for too long.
  • She tells you its okay if you are not ready to say it.
  • Tell her that you are ready.
  • She doesn’t believe you.
  • Continue doing what you were doing prior to hearing her say that.
  • Be as distant as possible because your mind and heart are in a Sharknado.
  • Half way home realize what a complete idiot you are.
  • Make a borderline life-threatening U-turn on a busy street.
  • Go back to her house.
  • Call her and tell her to come outside.
  • Kiss her with all you have.
  • Tell her you loved her the second you met her and that you are sorry you didn’t say it earlier.
  • Be in love for awhile.
  • Plan the rest of your life with her in it.
  • Break up.                                                                 (see play three)

How I Exist

Well this girl, the one that keeps reappearing in these posts, has done something for me that no one else ever has. She wrote about me and as far as I can tell that is the greatest gift a person can give you. Only when reading about yourself through the eyes of someone else, can you truly exist. I realize of course that sounds ridiculous but hear me out…

My theory, being the weird atheist or whatever I am, is that we only truly exist through the eyes of other people. I guess an example that would be easy to recognize is the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. In this movie the protagonist debates offing himself, when he is confronted by an angel who shows him what the world would be like if he had never been born. Through this angelic acid trip of an idea, he is able to truly understand who he is by understanding what it would be like without him.

My way of explaining it might be more subject to argument but it has far less Angels in it. I say that we can only exist through other people. Imagine for a second that you did not exist. I think it would be pretty reasonable to say that some things might be different (like in It’s a Wonderful Life) but things would still happen and nobody would really care because they never knew the world with you in it. But now imagine that you do exist, but nobody else does. You are the only one and only thing around… it’s harder to imagine isn’t it? If there is no one and nothing else there, do you really even exist at all? I believe that it doesn’t matter what you believe about yourself, because the way you exist and the way that you make your mark on the world is through the impressions you leave on other people.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I am very thankful that she wrote about me and I was able to see how I exist in the eyes of someone other than myself. I would also like to thank the rest of the people who help me exist  and say a little something about them. I know in my very first post I said I would leave the past out of it but here you might accidentally find some historical events. lo siento…

Jeff- You are first person I would have ever considered to be my brother. I know that you have an actual brother, but I think maybe you feel the same way about me. You have been there for me for as long as I can remember. I admire your competitive spirit and how smart you are. You have challenged me throughout my entire life to be a better person and I don’t think you even realized it. You are vastly smarter than me, but I think we can find common ground over the fact that we both over-intellectualize everything which has made for some great conversations.We have gone through some pretty awful things together, when your father got sick in 3rd grade I knew I was supposed to be the one to talk you through it and offer you advice and all that, but I knew that nothing I could say would ever change anything substantial, so I did the only thing I knew how to do. I just kept things normal. You came over every morning and we played video games and waited at the bus together. If I recall you were a lot more popular in elementary school than I was, so we ran with different crowds, but for all intents and purposes we were… we are family. You were the first person to ever just walk into my house without ringing a doorbell or calling ahead of time and I think that sums it up better than anything could. I will always think of you as family and I have a feeling I will die one day thinking of you as my brother.

Will- I think that you and I have one of the strongest bonds that two people can have. We both have almost identical senses of humor. Throughout our entire friendship you have made me laugh infinitely more than anyone I know. You are another person I consider to be a member of my family, like a brother or relative that I never want to lose touch with. You are honest with everyone you meet, including me and you are one of my personal heroes. I think that any amount of my personality that people would consider outgoing, I got from you. You taught me to not be so worried about what other people think, at least the people that aren’t so important to you. We are the greatest Concur’s Bad Fur Day players of all time, and that is not a bond that many people can say. I can say with certainty that you have my back, and that I have yours. We will be lifelong friends, whether you like it or not.

Ross- If you read the notes to Will and Jeff you will have probably noticed that I called them brothers and family, but you are my big brother. As a matter of fact, you are the only person I publicly call my brother. What I mean is that when people say, “who’s that guy?” I say, “that guy is my brother.” We haven’t been friends our whole lives like some of my other brothers but we didn’t need to be. Ever since you moved in, or at least slept over every single night during junior and senior year, you quickly became my big brother. Although you are less than a month older than me, I think of you as much wiser and much more experienced than me. I know that you have been the man of the house since you were just a kid, but no matter what happened you were always so motivated and so successful in everything that you did. Even playing baseball against you as a kid, I looked up to you. You were like Benny “the jet” Rodriguez (the sandlot), you were an in-house legend. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count how many times I heard the words, “oh shit… Ross is pitching.” But baseball seems trivial compared to the accomplishments you have made in your life. Every time I look at you I can’t help but feel a sense of pride, simply for the fact that you are who you are. You have always challenged me to be a better person, and I love you for it. I never worry for a second that you will stray from the path to greatness and I look forward to seeing how high the rocket can fly. (possible slogan opportunity)

Joe- I realized the second I typed your name that you would be a tough one to write about. I have known you for the better part of my life and I still wonder about what is going on in your mind. I think that you might take that in a negative way, but you shouldn’t. I mean it as high praise. You are truly one of a kind and the most loyal person I know, I doubt we would ever get into a situation like this but if we did I would take a bat to someones head for you and I think you would do the same for me. Over the years we have gotten even closer, and we have been bickering and arguing more, but if you ask me, I think that is a sign of a true friendship. We are comfortable enough to point out each other’s flaws and honest enough to tell the other person they are wrong. That is not something I could say about just anybody. I know I say it as a joke all the time, that we are hetero life partners, but we basically are. I was so happy when you chose St. Thomas, and although we argue, I would not want to live in a house without you. I think that I have not been as good a friend to you as you have to me and I will try to change that. I know you struggle with an addictive personality, but I know without any doubt that you will be fine. You are an ambitious person and I don’t think you realize how smart you actually are. You are the first person I felt comfortable sharing my writing with, and that is only because I knew you would not tell me you liked it if you didn’t. This became even more clear later on when you ripped multiple story pitches to shreds. I think that you just need to find the confidence in yourself and you will overcome any obstacle in your path. I will do my best to help you find that confidence, and at the same time try to figure out what is going on in your mind which goes infinitely inward. We are both dreamers and I know we will be lifelong friends.

David- You are easily the most genuine person I know. You always stand up for what is right and what you believe in. I think that whether you know it or not, you have what I call the IT FACTOR with girls, and nobody deserves it more than you. What I mean is that ever since we were kids all the girls loved you and I think it was because you are a good person down to your core. I know that’s why I love you. It seems like we will go months and months without talking, but I think we have the kind of friendship that does’t require talking because when I do see you, we can pick up right where we left off. I don’t think we were ever as close as you and Joe are, but I still consider you part of my family. We grew up together and I can’t wait to see what you do with your life, because I know whatever it is you will do it with more passion than I am even capable of. You are another exceedingly loyal person and we will always have each other’s backs. I know it’s just a video game, but we are the best zombies team in the world and hey, if a zombie apocalypse ever happens we should team up. I hope you believe me when I say that, coming from me, that is the most complimentary of requests.

Rachel- I doubt you expected to be on this list, because you ran over my heart with a big metaphorical lawn mower, but you are and always will be one of the most important people in my life. I know you always say you can’t forgive yourself for what happened, and I know I can’t change how you feel, but I want you to know that I forgive you. In fact, I am far past forgiveness I am thankful. I am thankful to have ever known you and to have had the privilege of being your boyfriend. We braved it though the awkward phases of high school together, and I think that you might know me better than anyone else in the world, including myself. We grew up together and raised each other. You were my first love, and I know everyone always says young love isn’t real love, but that’s bullshit because I know what we had was real. I know that because I can still feel you inside my heart and I think I will until the day I die. I know you get stressed out about money and the future, but I never worry about you. Whatever you choose to do in life you will be great at, and I know that with 100% certainty. I don’t think you realize the effect you have on people, how they look up to you and how easy you are to fall in love with. My wish for you is that one day you will realize how remarkable you really are, I did my best to try and  show you, but I failed. One day you will meet someone who will show that.

Wes- If you read the previous letters to my high school friends you will notice I called them brothers. I do not consider you to be my brother, but I do consider you to be one of my best friends, maybe the best, which is in no way a downgrade from brother. We met freshmen year… 3.5 years ago and I feel like I have known you my whole life. I can’t even begin to say how impressive what you have accomplished in life so far is, and I could not begin to imagine how far your charisma and intelligence will bring you. I’m sure you have noticed, but you make a great impression on everyone who is lucky enough to meet you. I admire how you are able to be so wise and mature and at the same time be just as goofy and childish as I am. I think we will be lifelong friends, and if not I will probably just move into you and Brooke’s garage and force you to be my friends, because I am not sure where I would be without you. Regarding you and Brooke, what can be said about you two that hasn’t already been said about Marshall and Lilly (how i met your mother)? It has been a wonderful experience for me being in the presence of true love and honestly until I met you two, I had all but given up on the notion of love. I think people search their entire lives to find what you two have, and I hope one day I can be a part of something so great. You are a truly great man and I see nothing but the best in your future.

100 things

List of things I don’t like.  (In no order) 
  1. The show “talking dead”
  2. Crows
  3. Black licorice 
  4. Flo from progressive commercials
  5. Playing hockey 
  6. The phrase “hate fuck” as a verb
  7. Bone thugs and harmony 
  8. Domesticated cats  
  9. The smell of artichokes 
  10. Being hungover 
  11. Hermit crabs 
  12. LinkedIn 
  13. FaceTime /skype 
  14. The movie “the blindside”
  15. Bees
  16. When people complain about being fat 
  17. Accidentally eating grape stems 
  18. That game where you can win a lobster with a crane 
  19. Car racing video games 
  20. Lacrosse players 
  21. The concept of social host tickets 
  22. Hats that make people look like animals 
  23. Parents who don’t let their kids read Harry potter. 
  24. Sticky mouse traps. 
  25. Michael Bay movies 
  26. Gerard Butler 
  27. People who keep tarantulas as pets
  28. Putting the bed cover back on my bed. 
  29. The book “Emma” by Jane Austin 
  30. Batman’s voice in the dark night trilogy 
  31. Watching sportscenter twice in a row
  32. Video clips where things jump out and startle you. 
  33. The San Antonio spurs 
  34. Jack from lost 
  35. Unnecessarily gluten-free people
  36. Driving in Minneapolis 
  37. People that work out in jeans 
  38. Diet Pepsi 
  39. Misusing there, their, they’re 
  40. Snorkeling in lakes 
  41. Tequila 
  42. The sound of loud electronics 
  43. Nuns 
  44. Tapioca pudding 
  45. Collaflower 
  46. Traffic
  47. Bike chains 
  48. Fortune tellers
  49. Siri 
  50. The human centipede two 
 
List of things I like (not comprehensive)
  1. Dimples 
  2. Jell-O
  3. Zombies
  4. Grand theft auto games 
  5. The color green 
  6. Brushing my teeth 
  7. Whiskey-7s 
  8. Beyonce’s voice 
  9. Trains 
  10. Windmills 
  11. The sound of cards being shuffled 
  12. Foreplay 
  13. Frank’s red hot 
  14. Walking home drunk 
  15. The name Rex for a dog 
  16. Snuggling 
  17. When people abbreviate words that don’t need to be abbreviated 
  18. Eating breakfast for dinner 
  19. Applesauce
  20. Seeing movies in theaters 
  21. Watching people eat spaghetti 
  22. Ninjas 
  23. When it’s warm in my bed but cold in my room. 
  24. The sound it makes when you create a peasant in age of empires 
  25. Catch phrase 
  26. Wolves 
  27. The word “sassy”
  28. Will Ferrell quotes 
  29. Yoga pants 
  30. Jude Law 
  31. Tinted windows 
  32. The song “baby I got your money” by Old Dirty Bastard 
  33. Softball 
  34. Giving back massages 
  35. Being drunk when nobody knows your drunk 
  36. Apple slices 
  37. My mom’s cooking
  38. Toy story 
  39. Beer pong and ping pong 
  40. Riding in boats 
  41. Moist towelettes  
  42. Cream cheese 
  43. The word razzmatazz (the drink at Jamba Juice)
  44. Harriet island 
  45. Goose down comforters 
  46. Betting one dollar at a time in roulette 
  47. Playing “would you rather”
  48. Catching flies 
  49. Dive bars 
  50. Swivel chairs