Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Best and Worst of Everything Else

Well, we hit a bit of a time crunch, so I didn’t get to address all the items I wanted (like R.I.P. transfats and the Slightest Touch orgasm maker). So we’ll finish off 2008 with a round up of some of the best and worst moment I’ve blogged about this year. It was hard choosing from the 25 or so posts I wrote (I know, I suck), but here it is – 2008 is all its awesome glory.

Best Argument for the Support of Dog Cloning
Best Day to Be Alive and Not Blind
Worst Attempt at Foreign Relations
Best Reason to Appreciate Not Working In An Office Anymore
Worst Prayer
Best Black President
Best Night to be Not Ugly and on a Reality TV Show
Worst Case for Brains Over Beauty
Best Reason to Hate General Tsao’s Shrimp
Best Example of Recycling
Worst Girlfriend Moment
Best Girlfriend Moment
Best Time Spent With an Armed Man in His Underwear
Best Decision of 2008

Happy New Year everyone. May 2009 bring you all the joy and prosperity that 2008 raped from you.

Best New Way to Avoid Talking to People: Facebook Status Updates

I’m not about to make fun of The Notebook, a.k.a The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, but there’s an important part of the film where Rachel McAdams (sigh) goes off to college and Ryan Gosling (sigh) writes her a love letter every single day for an entire year, totaling 365 letters. (Of course Rachel McAdams never gets these letters because her cunt of a mom hides them from her. Sorry, The Notebook gets me worked up.)

Point being that while 365 love letters may be a poignant symbol for a finite expression of infinite love, it’s a pretty impractical way to communicate. Taking into account the lag in travel time, inclement weather, bank holidays, and the general unpredictability of the postal service, those 365 letters, mailed back to back, would probably be delivered within the next 550 days. I mean, you’re writing letters on Sunday, which means that come, say, Wednesday she’ll be receiving two letters in one day – the one from Sunday and the one from Monday. And then you don’t know which to read first, and maybe there’s some sort of chronological reference which, if read out of order, would make all the outpouring of his soul very confusing.

Which is why it’s so much more awesome that these days we have Facebook. So even while Rachel McAdams cunt-whore of a mom (sorry, sorry) might be able to hoard her mail (which is a federal offense, by the way) she couldn’t prevent her from logging on and checking Ryan Gosling’s Facebook status. So it would be like:

And BAM! All the confusion and heartache is totally averted! She never gets engaged, he never shacks up with a common whore, and they both live happily ever after.

Of course, there is something romantic about how the whole thing plays out. Or as Brooke put it: “I wish I had overprotective parents and then you could build me a house and we could do it in the rain.” Well, sure. But how about

Ah, the beguiling dance of seduction.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Worst Fashion Statement* of 2008: CNN Shirts

Feeling pigeonholed by everyone’s expectations to merely receive news from around the globe, in 2008 CNN decided to branch out.

Their editors got together and said, “What else do people like besides the news?” The answer, of course, is drugs. And t-shirts. People love drugs and t-shirts. And being the stodgy company that they are, CNN decided to go with the shirts.

But wait! “How about,” the associate editor with a penchant for bragging of his proclivity for wordplay says, “- how about we put the headlines on the t-shirts. I mean, American Apparel doesn’t have any words on their shirts and they sell like hot cakes!”

And thus CNN Shirts was born. At first, CNN decided which particularly witty headlines went on the shirts, such as “Man refuses prostate exam; dies of embarrassment, cancer” or “Asian women seek white, groveling men.” But apparently the public demanded more control over their apparel’s slogans. CNN obliged by putting a little t-shirt icon next to several of their stories. Suddenly, you’re in the fashion driver’s seat: You choose the headline; you choose the color – YOU JUST MADE A T-SHIRT MY FRIEND.

File this under “Ideas that sounded good at the time,” because what the hell are you going to do with a t-shirt that says “Grieving mom gives sight to stranger”? Is that really a conversation starter? “Oh, I see you’re wearing a t-shirt about a women who presumably donated her dead child’s eyes to science. Tell me more.” In fact, I have decided to make it my mission for 2009 to bring an end to CNN Shirts. I don’t know how I’ll do it, trying to convince millions of people not to buy an preposterously lame product with what little money they have left in their savings, but dammit I’m up to the challenge.

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* Get it? Statement?

Best New Movie Announcement of 2008: Arrested Development

When Arrested Development went off the air in 2006, a little piece of me died. I didn’t fly off the handle and do anything rash like drive a truck into FOX corporate headquarters (couldn’t afford a truck) or go on a hunger strike, because deep down I knew that Jason Bateman would want me to eat. So I bought the DVDs and made everyone I know watch them. I spread the joy of the chicken dance, considered myself caught up on 27 years of charity work, and moved on.

Then came word that the fabled Arrested Development movie may actually happen. There was jubilation, but there was also backlash. Some critics say, Why have sex with the corpse of a former supermodel when you’ll just be disappointed? I say, You won’t know unless you try.

As it stands now, most of the show’s actors are signed on for the project, with the notable exception of Michael Cera who apparently is content to leave well enough alone. Well here’s a little history lesson for you, Michael: This country wasn’t founded on leaving well enough alone. When Lois and Clark made it to the Mississippi, did Clark look at Lois and say, “Hey honey, maybe we should turn back? The kids are waiting at home.” NO! They forged on, killed Indians, and took what was rightfully theirs, because as husband and wife, they understood that even though life gets worse and the sex gets boring and it’s all downhill after that first date, that doesn’t mean you stop trying.

Which, not uncoincidentally, is my motto for 2009: “2008 doesn’t mean you stop trying.”

Worst Bargain of 2008: Natalie Dylan’s Virginity

In a recession economy like this, it’s important to search for value buys. Money is stretched thin, job security is tenuous, and while in flush times you grew accustomed to certain extravagances, suddenly you find yourself sacrificing the $30 grass fed rib eye for the $5 cat fed butt loin. (Butt loin?)

Still, this doesn’t mean that you have to live like a pauper, nor does it mean you must give up the subtle joys of that fifth scotch. It does mean, however, that you must choose your purchases wisely. Which is why I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would buy what Natalie Dylan is selling.

What is it she’s selling, you ask? Well you probably already read the title, so you know it’s her vagina. Yes, Natalie Dylan is going on record as saying that her delicate flower is literally up for grabs to the highest bidder.

While she is looking for a purchase price in the range of (pause for dramatic effect) ONE MILLION DOLLARS, the latest news I’ve heard (which might not be the most current since I don’t subscribe to Whore Weekly) is that no suitor has sealed the deal.

And stop me if this sounds crazy, but someone not paying $1 million for a girl’s virginity sounds about right. First of all, there’s a reason they call it “taking” someone’s virginity. Not only because sex is the greatest free thing around (up there with “a crisp Autumn day” and NPR radio), but because there’s a name for girls who charge money for sex and it begins with a “pro” and ends with a “duct of a broken home.”

Second, I’m no economics major but last I heard the way a market economy works is that someone invents a product that everyone loves and wants and then customers pay money for it. WHO WANTS A VIRGINITY? If I wanted a totally unsexy, emotionally over-wrought five minutes of second-guessing my life’s decisions amidst conflicting pleas of “stop, go, no, yes,” I would have sex with a schizophrenic non-virgin because at least she’d know what she was doing.

Third, really?

Further complicating the issue is that other than her uncomfortable squirming, yelps of pain, and post-coital cry session, there’s no real way to determine if she is, in fact, a virgin. According to an article I read in Ottowa’s Metro News:

“The most popular idea that an intact hymen is proof of her virginity is completely false, says Hanne Blank, American historian and author of Virgin: The Untouched History.

Hymens run the gamut, says Blank, from thick and resilient to thin and fragile, making them easy to break in a myriad of ways and therefore lousy indicators of whether a young woman has had intercourse yet. In fact, medical research isn’t really sure why women even have a hymen.”

Hymens running the gamut may be the most disturbing image of my life, made all the more scary that medical research DOESN’T EVEN KNOW WHERE THEY COME FROM, but the fact remains that if you’re in the market for one, be prepared to pay up. Also, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. And it’s a real slut.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Best and Worst of 2008

Consensus says 2008 sucked. You know what else consensus says? That consensus is a whiny bitch.

You know what year sucked? 1812. It was so bad they named a war after it. Or how about 30 A.D. You know who would have led off the Academy Awards’ “In Memoriam” segment that year? A little guy named JESUS. Certainly the death of the son of God and savior of mankind trumps a boring, old financial collapse, no?

I say there was a lot to be happy about in 2008. If you look at the past year as the beginning of a relationship with a crazy girlfriend, then hey, good news: The worst is over. She’s already set your house on fire, drunk-dialed your mom, and in one particularly inspired bout of lunacy killed a neighborhood cat with her purse. But you know what? Many years from now when you’ve settled down and the meds have permanently altered her brain activity, you’ll both look back on 2008 and laugh through tears of joy.

So over the next three days, I plan on laying out the best and worst of 2008. This will in no way, shape or form be a comprehensive list. I’m working today, flying back to Miami tomorrow, and going to the beach (JK Awesome Employers!) working Wednesday. But we’re talking about posterity here. I’d be remiss to not make some time for posterity, because everyone knows that the only thing more important than posterity is hope. And dry socks. Always carry dry socks.

P.S. If there are any particular events from 2008 that you think deserve a shout out, let me know and I’ll consider their candidacy. Just note that most of mine involve female nudity and revenge-fueled acts of bravery, so keep your standards high.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Happens

In case anyone is wondering what not to buy me for a last minute holiday gift, this is it.*

Merry Christmas, everyone. May your day be filled with presents, egg nog, and satisfying bowel movements.

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* I love Wikipedia’s bullet points about what these statues represent, especially this one: “The idea that God will manifest her/himself when s/he is ready, without regard for whether we human beings are ready or not.”

Shepherd: “Jacob, where were you? You missed it!”
Jacob: “I was over there pooping. What happened?”
Shepherd: “The savior of man was born!”
Jacob: “Wow! Huh, I guess I should have held it.”
Shepherd: “Probably, yeah.”

Monday, December 22, 2008

It’s About Time, Asshole

Sure, I could sit here and tell you all that the reason I took a month off was because I got malaria or knocked up Brooke. But then when my mom called and was like, “You got Brooke pregnant?!” and I responded with, “Cough cough. Who’s this?” all my lies would eventually unravel and I would be forever known as the boy who cried malaria baby.

So instead, let me explain.

When I moved to Miami, I took a different job, although in truth I probably could have stayed on with the old law firm and maintained the same dedication to my paralegal job even from 1,300 miles away, the only difference being that I wouldn’t be able to make copies, which, in truth, I didn’t do even when I was there. I would leave stacks of documents on Crazy June’s desk with bold-faced post-it notes like, “COPY OR ELSE. TWO PLEASE.” I didn’t enjoy making these vague, though utterly polite threats. But June had been working there for many, many years and was very, very crazy and had come to the confused conclusion that the office was her second home, and clearly she didn’t do shit in her first home, because that was her modus operandi here: I don’t do shit.

So I took to strong-arming her, which many people will tell you isn’t the best way to deal with elderly women, but what I think they mean is that it isn’t the most humane way, because it definitely is the most effective way. The one time she mentioned something to me about how aggressive my notes were, I told her that it was legal speak I had picked up from a recent trip to London. I also told her that Brits are more sophisticated because they drink tea instead of coffee, and she was satisfied with this line of reasoning.

Why I would want to leave all that behind is beyond me, but when the time came to pick up and move, I made a clean break with New York. I quit my job, collected my last paycheck, stole a stapler and a mouse pad, and left.

Then was promptly offered a job writing for a New York company.

And while you may be saying, Well that’s the dream! You did it! It’s like Rudy meets The Princess Bride, THAT’S HOW FUCKING GOOD IT IS!, the truth is that writing for a living is no different than doing anything else for a living. (Except trafficking immigrants – it’s definitely different than that.) A job is a job is a job, and by and large if you have a hobby it’s probably different than your job. Like if you loved playing in garbage, and then grew up to be a garbage man, you probably don’t come home and play in more garbage. You do watercolors or make homemade beer. The same thing happened to me. For years, a blog post was the one thing I wrote everyday (besides my notes to Crazy June). Now, it’s the fifth or sixth. And when some free time to blog arises, I usually just want to drink scotch or take pictures of Puppy instead.

The holiday season (or what they call in my line of work “the busy season” or “the season that will make you wish you never learned to write, motherfucker!”) took this quandary to a whole new level. It didn’t help that I ate so much turkey (WILDERNESS SURVIVAL FACT: A 12-pound bird will feed two people for up to six days) that the tryptophan overload slowed my cognizant abilities by over 70%, but the fact remained that much like my high school girlfriend, I had to put blogging in the back seat.

Flash forward to last Thursday. In preparation for Christmas, Brooke and I flew up to New York, which is where we’ve been since last Thursday. The apartment we’re staying at here is a small one-bedroom, the kind of place a gypsy may use as her office for reading palms. It is, by all accounts, a standard New York City apartment: The bedroom door will hit you in the face if you’re too close to the edge of the bed, but there’s a coffee shop across the street and extra storage above the front door, so it’ll work just fine.

But then the other night, right before I drifted into slumber, I was awoken by noises from the apartment next door. In truth, I was awoken by lots of noises. I had forgotten this about New York, how when people complain that it is a “noisy” city, they don’t mean honking car horns or jack hammers – the mean that 10 million people living on a plot of land no bigger than most Midwestern industrial parks means that there is always someone no more than 20 feet away from you. They may be above you or below you or right on the other side of a comically thin wall, but they’re there, and they make noise. It’s why when New Yorkers see those scenes in futuristic end-of-days movies where Times Square is completely desolate they don’t say, “Oh my God, how creepy!” they say, “Oh my God, how peaceful!”

Which explains why, when I was jarred awake by strange sounds from the apartment next door, all I could think was “Armageddon, you tease.” All night long, the heater had been the main culprit of my sleeplessness, routinely unleashing a symphony of wheezes and farts like an old man playing cards, or me when I wheeze. The din was nearly unbearable. There was no use trying to fall asleep while the heat was coming up. Instead, you needed to time your sleep with the radiator’s off cycle, lest you drift off dreaming of tiny gnomes banging on the walls with tiny hammers or, during one particularly hefty outburst, a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo.

And just when I thought I had succeeded, here came this noise from the apartment next door. It was a woman, definitely Japanese or Mexican, and she was either writhing in a bout of sexual ecstasy or standing in firm agreement with her boyfriend about a matter in which she is very invested and jumping on the bed. Her manner of agreement got so aggressive that I couldn’t help but laugh and think to myself, “OK! We get it! We all get it. You like whatever it is he’s doing.” She must have said “Yes” over fifty times. Was she afraid he would misunderstand some other outburst such as “Oh yeah” or “Uh huh”? It had to be an unequivocal “Yes”?

I thought this and other things and chuckled to myself thinking, “I can’t wait to write about this!” But then I realized that The Job doesn’t care about my Japanese/Mexican neighbor having loud sex, though I’m sure it would make for some good Water Cooler chatter:

Mike: “Did you see the game last night?”
Me: “No, but is it unusual for a Japanese woman to climax in Spanish?”

The Job is the job, and multi-ethnic neighbor sex is why we all need hobbies (especially if multi-ethnic neighbor sex is your hobby). There has to be room for both in my life, because the alternative is scary. I don’t want to be just another nine-to-fiver. I don’t want to waste away grinding out a pay check. Most of all, I don’t just want the only other thing I write to be a post-it note.

Even if it does say “COLLATE, BITCH.”