Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This calls for a picture of Wil Wheaton collating.

So I got an email at work yesterday from a vendor who wanted me to drop about a thousand bucks on like 8 DVDs. It's relevant to point out that my email address at work includes my name, because the email began "Dear Jack Goodell." I have no idea who that is. Unless that's the name I use when I'm running around the country setting up fight clubs.

It continued, "Since we talked last year..." I didn't even work here last year, but apparently, during this prescient conversation, my alter ego requested that this guy touch base in late October. It's November. Twenty-first. The sale ended in October.

Also, "Remember Bob Barker and the Price is Right? Well we hope our prices are right" is the cheesiest sales pitch I've ever gotten. I do remember it. I used to watch it with my grandparents all the time. It was great. It's also completely irrelevant unless the DVDs you're selling are actually of The Price Is Right, and you think I'm 65. Even the penis pill spambots have better sales pitches than that because they don't go "hey, remember Andy Griffith? Click here for free Viagra!" Although, come to think of it, that would probably actually work because it's appropriate to their target demographic. So even if they did say that, they'd still have a better sales pitch than you.

And "We are aware of your recent budget cuts" is probably the worst way I could ever think of to get someone to buy something. "Hi. I know you're broke as shit, but here's something really expensive. I'm sure you'll be interested now that I've reminded you that you have absolutely no extra money to spend on stupid shit. Also, it was on sale last month, but that's over now. How many would you like?"

You get an F. And a picture of Wil Wheaton collating. How many would you like?

Courtesy of The Bloggess.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Apocalypse Not.

If you’re reading this, you didn’t get raptured yesterday. Again. Me neither. Actually, I don’t know anybody who did, which probably says something about the people I hang out with.

You may remember not getting raptured in May as well. It's like getting picked last in gym class all over again, but instead of playing right field in kickball, you have to fight zombies and live in that Metallica song.

If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Facebook (or if you didn't in May), you missed what was probably one of my most active social media days in quite a while. I’ll graciously recap to make it look like I put some effort into this post.
No traffic on my way to work this morning. Could have been due to Rapture. Was actually because it was 8AM on a Saturday.
Although, I saw exactly zero cars with Jesus fish in 40 miles in a Bible Belt state, so maybe.
Maybe the Rapture happened, but we’re all such assholes that everyone’s still here.
Seriously, how did Tim LaHaye write like 15 books about this? This is the most boring Rapture ever.
Just after midnight:
...From that, I conclude that God Almighty is not heavily into Numerology.
The last one is from the next morning:
I have a strong suspicion that if you turned on MTV today, you’d see Harold Camping pull off a mask to reveal that he’s Ashton Kutcher.
He did admit a couple days later that mistakes were made, but thank you for donating your entire life savings to my retirement fund this righteous cause and no you can't have it back because the real Rapture is actually October 21st, so I totally still need it. But in a fantastic cosmic coincidence, May 21st was still significant to the Apocalypse. Apparently it wasn't the Rapture, just Judgment Day. It was also completely invisible, which is why you didn't see Arnold Schwarzenegger or Robert Patrick. God just quietly called Santa and asked to borrow his naughty and nice lists so he would know who to save when he destroyed the universe yesterday.

I really wish I could track down all those people in high school who had all that crap that said “In case of Rapture, you can have my shirt/car/other material possessions” and put in a claim for it. I’d be like “dude, you’re still here? What happened?” And they’d be all embarrassed because they realized that their shirt probably should have said “Arrogant Fuck” or something. I’d also point out that they probably didn’t get picked just because they were wearing that shirt, because if you need to wear a t-shirt to prove something about yourself, it's probably not true anyway.

On a related note, Jesus has mutated from a tasteful fish icon into a giant, crappy, Photoshopped murder shark. I'm pretty sure this is exactly how the Apocalypse was supposed to happen.
You're gonna need a bigger crucifix.

Friday, October 21, 2011

UPDATED: You're welcome, Internet.

So, I warned you the other day that I had been planning to do this, and today I did it. I know. I'm surprised, too.

I've been quietly claiming little bits of the interwebs for myself lately, and now I'm forcing them upon sharing them with you! I'd meant to do this last week, but didn't. If you've stopped by since last Saturday, you already know that story.

Here's what you've been missing:

I have a Pinterest now. I've been collecting awesome stuff. You're welcome.

Also, Flickr.

And stuff that has nothing to do with me, but that you should check out anyway.
The Rejection of Anne Frank. This is exactly how it would happen today.
Reasoning with Vampires. It's really hard to go wrong when you're making fun of Twilight.
Vampire Moths. It's moderately terrifying until you realize they're basically just giant mosquitoes.

In case you haven't heard, the Rapturepocalypsequake happens again today, so you can probably expect to see more of this. Also, lots of recycled dinosaur jokes and REM lyrics. In case of Rapture, you can have this blog. Not because I expect to go, but because if it does happen, I'll be too busy dealing with the zombies and figuring out how to find food to update it. Plus, it probably wouldn't exist anymore anyway because if God really wanted to destroy the world, He'd probably start by shutting down the Internet. In the event that doesn't happen, I'll be back tomorrow.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Where everybody knows your name. Because it's probably Olson.

So, I had intended to do some kind of wrap-up for the week (read: collection of shit I found on the Internet while I was probably supposed to be doing something important) last weekend, but then my 96-year-old grandma's heart stopped while she was already in the hospital for something (surprisingly not heart-related), so instead I flew to Fargo, North Dakota. She's fine, BTW, because she's a total badass. When I called her hospital room that day, she referred to the fact that she was technically dead an hour earlier as "a little scare," and then proceeded to ask me how the weather was and congratulate me and my wife on our Master's degrees and new jobs, which is exactly the format of every conversation I've had with her in 30 years because all she cares about is how you're doing. (You can do your own "big heart" joke here if you want). They gave her a pacemaker, so she's part robot now. And part zombie, I guess, except instead of killing you, she just feeds you and tells stories about when you were four. I have the coolest grandma ever.

There are a few things you should know about flying to Fargo. First of all, if you're not already in Minneapolis, Chicago, Denver, or Winnipeg, you have to go to one of those cities, because noone else knows where it is. Then you and eight other people get into a Mini Cooper that's been painted to look like an airplane. If you're over 5'6", you'll need to duck your head to get in. As long as your carry-on is smaller than a paperback book, you can put it in the overhead bin; otherwise you'll have to check it at the gate. On the plus side, though, two-thirds of the seats are window seats, so you're pretty much guaranteed a great view of a wheat field.

Or just a million clouds.

Once you get off the plane in Fargo, all of the events and dialogue for the duration of your visit will be written by Garrison Keillor. Be prepared to have a lot of conversations about the weather and who wasn't in church that week. Also, farm equipment. One day while I was there, a radio station devoted an entire morning to discussing an important piece of legislation called the Church Lady Bill. I can't even make this shit up.

You may also discover that, improbably, Fargo is now filling up with hipsters. My guess is that it's obscure, so they can say "yeah, I live in Fargo. You've probably never heard of it. It's not mainstream."

When it's finally time to leave, here's what you'll need: the city you're flying to (from the previous list) and your last name. The end. No fucking ID required–but they'll confiscate a jar of salsa, because in North Dakota, that shit is dangerous. Next time I go, I'm seriously only paying for a one-way ticket, because there's got to be a Smith or a Johnson going to one of those cities.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This is why we don't buy flashy shit we don't understand.

So, my work week started with the following phone conversation:
Her: I need click-by-click help doing something annoyingly simple on a computer I have no fucking business owning.
Me: Do you have this specific program, which is the only one you could possibly use to do this?
Her: Oh, yes, of course. Probably. I don't know. Did I download that already? Yes.
Me: *twitch* OK, first you'll need to open that. *twitch*
Her: How do I do that?
Me: *violent seizure*
Her: Oh, I should tell you, I'm completely computer illiterate.
Me: Lovely. In that case, you need to promise to do exactly what I tell you to do, and absolutely nothing that I don't tell you to do.
Her: OK!
Me: You'll just need to find the icon for the program and double-click it.
Her: OK. Where's that?
Me: *sighseizurefacepalm* Look on your desktop–that's the main screen with all the little pictures that let you open things.
Her: It's not there. Where is it?
Me: Open up your Start Menu–that's the button in the lower-left-hand corner. It might say "Start" on it, or else have a picture of a rectangle that's red, green, blue, and yellow. If you have a Mac, I will punch you in the face.
Her: OK. So where do I find it on there?
Me: You have to read so you can find the name...you know what? Just find the box that says "search" and type in the name.
Her: It says "no results."
Me: Do you know how to spell? Did you actually do this before?
Her: I guess I must not've.
Me: *deep breath* OK...on the website you're already at, click on this link. Then keep clicking "Install," "Yes,"  and "OK" until it stops asking.
Her: Oh, it just opened the program that I actually did have already!
Me: *murderous rage zen meditation* Good. Now turn on your device and plug it into your computer. It should show up on the left side of the window.
Her: It's not there.
Me: OK, unplug it and try it again.
Her: It's still not there. Oh wait, is this it where it says exactly the name of my device?
Me: *mouth agape* I, um...yeah, you're doing it right. Just drag and dro...just click on the little picture and move it to your device and let go.
Her: I don't have the little picture because I did like eight things you didn't tell me to.
Me: Look on the left and click on "All." Then try it again.
Her: Oh, that was easy!
Me: *aneurysm*
Whoever started the myth that technology was going to make life easier is probably going to get bludgeoned someday by a tech support mob wielding iPads.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Naked pictures of our old apartment.

So, we moved last weekend. (Not yesterday. A week ago). Then, this week, we went back and cleaned and everything, and then back again to turn in the keys, and now we don't live there anymore. It's all very surreal, because so much of Life happened there.

This is how it feels right now:


As with any trying experience, we discovered that we'd learned some things afterward. Here are the ones you care about:
  • We own a surprising amount of stuff. Most of it seems to have been hewn from boulders. I'm fairly certain the Colossus of Rhodes was in there somewhere. Also, Maine.
  • I think I may have grown several new muscles. I didn't actually become any stronger from it; I just developed more places that could hurt. I'm pretty sure that, when this happened, I was supposed to get wings or claws or telekinesis. Evolution is an asshole.
  • Despite weighing eight million pounds, U-Hauls are unnaturally fragile. If you even look at the same spot for more than four seconds, you'll scratch the paint off. Ten and the whole fucking thing will explode. They're like the TIE fighters of moving trucks. Except they have the turning radius of a small planet.
As I've said several times before, we are never moving again. Except we don't plan on living in Texas forever, which means that, barring some wicked map-altering earthquake that noone could possible survive anyway, we'll have to. When that does happen, we're not fucking around with Planet U-Haul. We're hiring Superman, The Thing, and Dr. Bruce Banner. And Bruce doesn't get any pizza.

This is where we used to live.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An open letter to Everything That Is Bigger In Texas.

Dear Giant-Ass Truck In Front Of Me, et al.:

It has come to my attention—largely through your maniacal, potentially homicidal veering—that you are Unnecessarily Huge. If you are unable to make a turn at an angle wider than 90° without swerving a full lane's width out of your way (and into everyone else's), you are Too Damn Big. To be sure, the terrain in a city with a median household income of $93,000 is unforgiving, but after having outfitted my Ford Focus with a bit of technology that I call tires, I find that I am able to handle anything this Wild West town throws at me: lanes, speed bumps—even corners! You can get them at pretty much any store with the word "tire" in its name. There's probably one within a couple miles of you right now. I bet you can even see it from way the fuck up on the eighth floor of that monstrosity you're driving.

You're welcome,


P.S. My friend Sigmund Freud was wondering if you could get together with him to discuss some of his theories regarding your apparent obsession with size. However, even he thought the testicles dangling below your hitch made the metaphor too obvious.

Monday, September 19, 2011

This may be half-assed, but at least it's still in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Conversation I had with myself on Saturday:
Also Me: Oh shit, no I can't. Even if I had Dad overnight my Jack Jake Sparrow costume, it still wouldn't get here in time.
Me Again: Wait, I do have a couple of eye patches. And bandanas. And a Jolly-Roger-esque eyepatch-skull-and-crossed-swords shirt. And a skull necklace. And earrings. And tattoos. Just like everyone does.
Apparently, the line between "pirate costume" and "everyday clothes" is not particularly clear in my case.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blas for everybody in the room.

So, the other day, I was at home, cleaning and packing up the living room. I threw on Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill for some background noise. Also because it's awesome and hilarious and reminds me of how I said like three years ago that I was going to write some material and actually do stand-up, even once, ever. Also, we're moving. Surprise!

There's a bit right in the middle where Eddie is going on about Christmas and Easter. This is where I was when, for maybe the fifth time in the two years we've lived there, there was a knock at the door. Without pausing or muting the TV, I got up to see who it was. For once, it wasn't a locked out neighbor. Or a different locked out neighbor. It was an arbitrary middle-aged Korean couple.

I'm pretty sure the conversation went exactly like this:
Me: Can I help you?
Them: Hello! We're from the Church of Something I Wasn't Listening To, and we've come to bring you a special message about God.
Eddie: Forget peace on earth, I don't care.
Me: Um, ok.
Them: Something about God. Or Jesus, maybe. Either way, it's very special. And it's in the Bible. Can we come in and tell you more about it?
Me: This may not be the best time.
Them: Oh, are you busy?
Eddie: ...squadron of Spitfires, for fuck's sake!
Me: Yes, my living room is full of boxes. And blasphemy.
Actually, some of that may be completely made up slightly paraphrased. You didn't come here for hard news, anyway. I did feel sort of bad because they were so cheerful and not creepy. Except, y'know, for the trying to talk your way into total strangers' houses bit. There's probably a line of creepiness just on the other side of that.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's like they have some kind of animal vendetta.

A week ago, 1400 new laws went into effect in the state of Texas. First of all, you should be impressed that I'm even writing about it this soon. Secondly, I know that legislators often get a lot of crap for wasting everybody's time and money, but they've accomplished some really important things this session.

Thank God for HB 2189, which legalized hand-fishing, better known as "noodling," apparently. Finally. After nearly a century of waiting, Texans are now free to walk into a river, grab a catfish by the face, and drag it home with them. I predict we'll see a huge social impact as a result of this critical piece of legislation. Y'know, like a considerable decrease in the number of bears going to prison. Or an increase in replantation surgeries. And prosthetics.

Also, you can now pay someone to take you up in a helicopter so you can shoot feral hogs. I guess this is probably important for people who have no sense of morality population control or something like that. It was pretty unfair when the animals had weapons like running and hiding, and all we had was a gun. Now that we're allowed to use helicopters, the world makes sense again. Until feral hogs invent anti-aircraft tanks. Then we're just fucked.

Because usually, Frisco is the Aspen of Texas.

As North Texans celebrate the glorious "cold front" we've been experiencing, let's not forget how completely fucking normal terrible the skiing conditions were a month ago.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

They were probably out looking for shovels.

Dear TxDOT:

Although I know you probably receive thousands of these letters, I wanted to write to you and express my gratitude for the complete closure of State Highway 121 this morning. I understand that the world does not run on a strictly 9-to-5 schedule and that, even though today is Saturday, many people in the area still had to go to work this morning. While the construction crew for this segment of highway was not actually among our number, the hundred or so of us stopped on the convenient one-lane detour you provided knew that, for the half hour we spent practically motionless, unnecessarily burning up a limited and expensive resource, they were with us in spirit. I would also like to compliment you on your decision not to announce this closure in advance, as I am sure that the waves of commuters adjusting their routes would have caused an undue increase of literally dozens of vehicles on each of several nearby roads that would otherwise have gone nearly untraveled at that hour of the morning. It is precisely this kind of thoughtful planning that makes you one of the finest Departments of Transportation in all of Texas.

Again, thanks for making me late. You owe me like $7.50.



P.S. I don't mean to complain, but we could really use a few more medians around here. Yesterday, I saw at least two different vehicles attempting to make a left turn rather than simply driving several more blocks and making a U-turn.

Monday, August 22, 2011

His name is Dennis Harnden.

If you came here today looking to be entertained, you're going to be incredibly disappointed, so you should probably just come back tomorrow. Except don't, because then you'll miss what might end up being the one serious, real thing I ever write here, which is partly because this kind of thing is never, ever allowed to happen again, ever.

​Two days ago, a friend died very unexpectedly. I don’t really know what to say. I don’t know how to write an obituary. I am very not good at death. I ​am good at coming up with a bunch of words that sound really great in my head, then completely losing my shit when I go to say them out loud or write them down, forgetting everything, and blubbering something incoherent or inappropriate. Usually both. This is probably happening right now. I’m also really good at getting drunk, which is not happening right now, but I kind of wish it were. Like the rest of my family, I may not be well-equipped to deal with loss, but I can avoid the shit out of it.

​I’m not going to get all philosophical and try to manufacture some kind of meaning for something that makes no fucking sense. I don’t always know why shit happens, or if it even happens for a reason at all. If it does, it’s beyond me. What I do know is that the world is a little bit darker now, and it’s going to feel like a really shitty place for a while because, frankly, it kind of is. My heart goes out to everyone who knew him, and although anything I can possibly do seems hopelessly insignificant, I'm going to try anyway. He was one of the most hilarious people I've ever met, and a much better snark than I'll ever be. This isn't half as good a tribute as he deserves, but it's the best I know how to give.

Dennis, we miss the hell out of you already.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

All your spam are belong to us.

Sometimes I watch The Matrix see all the crazy technological advances we're making and worry that we're teaching the machines to enslave us. Then I read the comments in my spam filter and realize that that will probably never happen because the machines:
a) Are really stupid. They don't even understand syntax, which is kind of critical for artificial intelligence. Have we invented artificial stupid? Because we really don't need any more of that.
b) All work for pharmaceutical companies and don't want to enslave us so much as sell us boner pills and weight-loss drugs.
Pretty much, you have to read it because I don't even know how to begin to explain it. It's the kind of thing that would give the Turing test a stroke:
Acne is known as pimples, lumps, and plugged pores that be published on the false impression, neck, face, shoulders, and caddy areas.
There is not undivided major element that causes acne and it is stimulated during hormones, put under strain, nubility, sustenance, and other factors.
The ra can also commonplace old hat the outer layer of your hide encouraging your sebaceous glands to start producing more oil.
No one is unsusceptible to fell blemishes when the conditions are there.
Now you have a defense against acne with Proactiv.
There are easily understood things your can do to prevent your acne from occurring in the first place.
In perpetuity, be gentle with your face. Unstintingly that is too vehement or stone-cold can trigger your sebaceous glands to bring up grease and hamper up your skin.
You should wash your exterior at least twice a lifetime to save up the bacteria levels to a minimum.
Do not against refer to your face. The hands bear the most bacteria and you do not to abode the bacteria here.
You should also lave your hands numberless times a day. This settle upon pinch keep the bacteria levels not up to par in case you patch up your face.
Benefit of women who function makeup don lubricant sovereign or hypo-allergenic makeup by reason of susceptible skin.
Men should use antiseptic products in spite of razor long that are designed to empty remove the pores and moisturize the skin.
It's like a thesaurus threw up on me. I need to go wash my exterior. At least twice.

Friday, July 22, 2011

This kind of bullying will not be tolerated.

Tropical Storm Bret is kind of an asshole. Apparently, so are 2 other people.
I'm betting that they're sycophantic henchmen, like 
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Or Crabbe and Goyle.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I tried to get an owl to deliver this, but they *so* don't get the Internet.

Dear All of Texas, But Mostly Tarrant County:

If you have a car, you can be a wizard! There's a magic wand attached to the left side of your steering wheel. If you wave it, you can create a magical light show! If you wave it downward, flashing lights will appear on the left side of your car. The incantation for this spell is I'm going to turn left. If you wave it upward, they'll appear on the right side of your car (that spell is I'm going to turn right). You don't have to say the spells out loud when you wave the wand, but you can if you need to. Here's a picture of the spellbook I found them in:

It's totally the same as Hogwarts.

It doesn't matter what kind of vehicle you have, they all have this magic. Even the ones made in Texas.

P.S. If you don't believe in magic because it's evil, it's totally not a magic wand; it's a Satan repeller. But you still have to use it because it's the rules and you go to hell if you don't.

This is from Leviticus, probably.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

P.S. This is real.

So, this is happening. Again. It's like the Halley's Comet of social media hoaxes lucky breaks for everyone on the Internet:
"Its official. Signal at 12:20 it even passed on tv. Facebook will start charging this summer. If you copy this on your wall your icon will turn blue and Facebook will be free for you. Please pass this message if not your count will be deleted. P.s. this is real, the icon turns blue. Please put this as your status."
Also, in case you missed the last one, the Apocalypse is scheduled to happen again on October 21st. If you post this as your Facebook status, you will be teleported to heaven, and Bill Gates will send you a check for $144,000. This is totally real. I promise.

It's brilliant how Facebook saves all that money by not having a marketing team or any sort of communications department. It's a testament to the power of social media that they can put their message in the hands of just one orthographically-challenged tween and watch it spread, like the T-virus, until everyone has been exposed to it. Also, props to them for announcing the new charges mere days after the launch of Google+, which may be their first serious competitor. Well played, Facebook.

If I ever start a company, I'm totally copying Facebook's business plan:
1. Totally steal somebody else's idea, probably.
2. Get 600 million customers.
3. Send all important announcements as typo-laden chain messages. IMPORTANT: Remember to say "this is real" so people know it's not fake.
4. Make everybody pay, except if they post a message for you once, ever. Then it's free.

Until it suddenly isn't.

Friday, June 3, 2011

This isn't even "think horses, not zebras"; this is "think horses, not squid."

I went to the doctor yesterday because, after spending a week in North Dakota, I once again caught the Midwest Superfuck Bacteria, which is generally comparable to having your lungs, throat, and sinuses filled with homemade napalm. When I say "doctor," of course, I actually mean the broke people's version, the Hope-It's-Not-An-Emergency Room—Urgent Care.

Based on the fact that I've ever been sick before, I could say immediately that it was an upper respiratory infection (also based on the fact that it was my lungs and throat that were burning and full of shit), so I figured that it would be pretty quick—look in the ears, listen to the chest, prescribe some antibiotics, send me on my way. Based on the fact that I've ever been to Urgent Care before, I should have known better than to think it would be so simple.

Here's the rough timeline of my experience:

12:00 PM
Registered for web check-in, described symptoms of upper respiratory infection. Said I lived 10 minutes away.

12:15 PM
Received call saying I should come to Urgent Care because the doctor would be ready to see me in ten minutes.

12:25 PM
Arrived at Urgent Care. Filled out unnecessary number of forms, considering I'd been there before and also gave them all this information online ten minutes prior.

12:45 PM
Was called back. Temperature registered at 98.8°. Answered questions regarding symptoms I'd already described in web check-in. Said "no" to questions about fever.

1:30 PM
Doctor finally fucking shows up, looks in ears, listens to chest. Then she tells me she's going to order a chest x-ray and blood work because I have "all the symptoms." Of what? Apparently it's their policy to order all this unnecessary shit for patients who have a fever and chest pain, because they hate Occam's Razor.
Me: I've never had all that done in almost 30 years.
Her: Well, have you been here before?
Me: Like three times. For exactly this.
Her: Because it's actually our policy to do that for patients with a fever and chest pain.
Me: I don't have those.
Her: The nurse said you did.
Me: What? I was 98.8°. That's not a fever.
Her: Well, no, it's not by our standards, but you told her you had a fever.
Me: I said "no" when she asked that. Is that what "no" means? I'm pretty sure I just have an upper respiratory infection.
Her: Well, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to prescribe some antibiotics? Have you ever taken Amoxicillin?
Me: Um, yes.
Her: Is that what you want?
Me: I want the proper treatment that will make me get better.
Her: I'm going to put you on some Amoxicillin. Do you need a work note?
Me: Yes.
Her: Which kind?
Me: *has a stroke*
Her: Work or school?
I never realized that you could just go to the doctor and tell them what you think you have and what you want them to give you for it. Yeah, I have whatever it is that means you need morphine and medicinal marijuana. Thanks.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What the fuck ever happened to that whole "cup of sugar" thing?

Remember that time a couple months ago when I jumped across to our neighbor's balcony to let her into her apartment because she got locked out? We never saw her again after that. One day we came home and the door was wide open and all her shit was gone. Also, there was a new refrigerator sitting outside the door. We assumed she had moved because it required less effort on our part than if she had been robbed. By a Sears delivery person, apparently.

Anyway, some new people moved in a couple days ago. Most people find out they have new neighbors through a very brief conversation with a group of strangers carrying a sofa up some stairs, which is convenient because it has a built-in escape route. That conversation goes exactly like this:

You: "Hi, I'm _____. It's blatantly obvious you're moving in, so I'm trying to find something less clichéd to say."
New neighbor: "Nice to meet you. I'm carrying something really fucking heavy, so I don't really want to talk to you right now."
You: "I'd offer to help, but I'm afraid you'll accept and then I'll also have to carry heavy shit, and one beer is so not worth it. See you later."

This is the only conversation you're obligated to have with them, ever. Then you're free to ignore each other until one of you moves out. This is not how we met our new neighbors. Instead, we go out to our balcony, and on the very same balcony I jumped across to, we see a woman and her two daughters. The woman looks pretty pissed, and is alternately trying to talk to someone on the phone and muttering about how the hell this even happened. She tells us that she had followed her daughters onto the balcony, shut the door behind them, and then found it locked—even though it only locks from the inside. Even better, the deadbolt on the front door was locked, too. I'm pretty sure this apartment is haunted by the ghost of Houdini.

Of course, this story ends with a man we'd never met before coming through our apartment, jumping across to the other balcony, and using a piece of wire to break into his own apartment. Because this is the only way we can meet our neighbors.

Friday, March 11, 2011

There's an obvious Anne Rice joke here, but I'm pretending like I'm above that sort of thing.

Every once in a while, I get this unnatural urge to read one of the Twilight books. It usually happens because I hear someone gushing about them, or because another movie comes out and America's collective ADD goes "ooh, shiny!" Or because I go on a major rant about how stupid they are, and my pretend integrity is all like, "you shouldn't make fun of them if you haven't even read them," because my integrity is kind of a masochist. And an asshole.

Anyway, I hear about it, and I just go "that can't be real, can it?" I always find myself wondering how something that sounds that absolutely terrible could become that popular. Then I remember growing up in the '80s. I kind of expect that, 20 years from now, everyone will look back and go "Fuck. What the hell was I thinking?" WTF, 50 million Elvis Twilight fans? But inevitably, it occurs to me that, just by those sheer numbers, Stephenie Meyer has probably made more money off of this than I could even imagine. Then I just end up drinking until I forget about the whole thing.

It's sort of like when you first hear about sticking your tongue on the flagpole in the winter, and you're not sure whether or not to believe it. You know that it's probably just going to be painful and embarrassing–especially when somebody sees you doing it–but you're still like I have to know. I keep trying to talk to people who like the series so I can get around actually reading it, but so far, every single one of these conversation has gone like this:

Twilight Fan: Twilight!
Me: So they're vampires, but they're glittery? What's the plot?
TF: Team Edward!
Me: Aren't vampires horrible, undead creatures that need to drink human blood to survive?
TF: I just want someone like Edward to transform me into a vampire and love me for all eternity.
Me: You realize that's basically the same as dating a giant mosquito, right? Or maybe a wolverine.
TF: Nobody understands me.
Me: Maybe that's because you want to have sex with this:

There's no glitter on Team Christopher Lee, but I'd still
pick him over Edward. Plus, he also plays a wizard.
Wait, so does Robert Pattinson. Fuck.

Seriously, I'm going to buy you a wolverine. It's for your own good.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I wanna burn all of your cities to the ground.

This exchange happens almost every single day. I blame you.

Some day that people have to work, 8 AM:

Dear Jake: Someone you went to high school with, but haven't seen in ten years has started playing [insert any noun in the fucking English language]ville! We think that this is the most important and exciting part of your day! From now on, we will send you an update every time this asshole clicks, blinks, or breathes while using Facebook! You're welcome! Sincerely, Zynga, probably.

Me: X

Dear Jake: We've noticed that you clicked "X." However, it is not possible to hide this application at this time because we hate you. Please wait until we send you this exact same notification five minutes from now. Sincerely, Zynga again.

The same day, 12:30 PM:
Dear Jake: We've bought an unabridged dictionary, and are using every noun in the English language to expand the "-ville" series! In addition to classic games such as Mafiaville, Farmville, and Dumbville, you will soon be able to enjoy games such as Pilcrowville and Vibrissaville! And don't worry about missing a single update we're upgrading to new servers built on the ashes of 1000 acres of rainforest! These ultra-powerful servers run on unicorn blood, and we promise you won't ever have to see a single relevant item in your news feed again! Sincerely, the kind of people who would probably actually do this.

Still the same day, 2 PM:
Dear Jake: We're not entirely convinced that any of your friends have jobs. If they do, you should consider applying for a position wherever they work. You don't actually have to do stuff there. Ever. Also, here are four hundred more updates on Nounville. P.S. You can hide them, but tomorrow we're changing "-ville" to "City" and re-releasing every game you've ever hidden. You're welcome. Sincerely, the people who have made more money off of this than you will in earn your entire fucking life.

My favorite part is that Dumbville was actually a real game. You apparently start out as the village idiot, and try to eventually become the Mayor of Dumbville. I'm pretty sure you actually win just by playing. Then again, I'm into irony like that.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I don't think people are ready for the rifle I'm delivering...

Normally, I wouldn't get around to anything making fun of Charlie Sheen for several more months—until the trend was well past—but I had some kind of laughing seizure when I saw this, so I had to force it on you share. And anyway, if you're seeing it here, it can't be far from the meme graveyard ("I don't want to go on the cart!")

"I am on a drug. It's called Jake. If you try it once, you will spontaneously combust. Your pancreas will melt off, and your cousins will levitate over your disemboweled body ... I'm tired of pretending like I'm not hammerized—a total freaking librarian from Pluto. Yes, Pluto. It's a planet. Fuck you. I've got ferret blood, who was the Greek god of wanking? Him DNA! ... They picked a fight with a flying monkey. They're trying to take all my hernias and leave me with no means to vomit my family. It's not meteorology! They owe me an apology while humping my ankle ... I don't think people are ready for the rifle I'm delivering, and delivering with a sense of Republican love. I exposed litter boxes to magic! Here's your bile test! Next one goes in your nostril!"

I'm going to start using "with a sense of Republican love." Actually, I don't know what the hell that even means, but apparently it involves rifles, which sounds about right. Anyway, real content tomorrow. Maybe.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Paper bibs are *so* in right now.

I went to the dentist yesterday because…actually, I’m not sure. I guess because I’m kind of a masochist.
So I sit down in the chair and they put that little bib on me and all I can think about is how not cool I look in that moment. But then, they offered me sunglasses! Fuck yeah! Now I look awesome!

Actually, I just look like that asshole who wears sunglasses inside. At the dentist.

Like all dentists seem to, they hate that I have my lip pierced, and seem bent on making up horror stories to terrify me into getting rid of it, even though they said it hadn’t damaged my gums…yet. But it will. DUN DUN DUN! Then they told me all about gum grafting, and how they cut out your palate and stitch it to your teeth, which apparently feels like eating barb wire that is on fire while snorting a mixture of Tabasco sauce and sulfuric acid. Apparently this happens to everyone who gets their lip pierced, ever, and even after you get grafts, your teeth will still fall out when you’re like 30. And then your face will freeze that way. Because the calls are coming from your house.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

UPDATED: This is why noone uses the post office anymore.

About a month ago, I went to the post office to mail a Christmas present to my mom. I watched the woman behind the counter weigh the package herself on the magical post office scale that’s somehow better than the liar scale you have at home. Then she charged me ten bucks, which at first I thought was kind of high, but then I figured that it probably costs a lot to run the time machine, especially if they didn’t have any other packages that were going to last Christmas, so I just paid it and didn’t say anything.
When I got home, I went to their website to track the package, but it didn’t say “delivered like a month ago,” it just said “accepted.” That should have been my first clue that something was wrong. Other than the fact that I was at the post office at all. I just assumed it made it there because then I didn’t have to do stuff, like go back to their site again or actually call and ask my mom if she’d gotten it.
This is what I got in the mail yesterday:
It's only smiling on the outside.
You can see right in the middle where it says 12.40. It also says “POSTAGE DUE,” because apparently $12.40 a) is more than $10, and b) is what they would have charged to actually deliver it instead of just keeping it for a month. It’s like the worst ransom ever. They didn’t even cut out magazine letters or give me a creepy digitized phone call. It’s like they don’t even care. UPS can lose and break my shit much faster than that. And much cheaper. Also, apparently they don’t even have a time machine. And that’s why nobody uses the post office anymore.

So I brought it back to the post office the other day, and I was all "what the hell happened?" Postmaster Keith said that the $12.40 was actually return postage, because apparently after they beat the shit out of it, they charge you to bring it back to you. I told Keith that I wasn't going to pay a total of $22.40 for them to bring me something that I started with in the first place. And I didn't, but I did have to pay for them to try to ship it again. It got there in 2 days. Intact. Apparently "priority mail" means something.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

You can't make this shit up.

A couple weeks ago, before Texas decided to play dress-up and act like it was fucking North Dakota, we were sitting at home watching TV one night at maybe 11 o’clock, when we heard someone pounding on our neighbor’s door and shouting “police!” Why this has happened more than once in the past six months, I have no idea, but this time, the voice sounded less like it belonged to the SWAT team, and more like it belonged to a seven-year-old, which actually turned out to be true.
Up until this point, we weren’t really certain that we still had a neighbor, as we hadn’t seen her in several months. When we went outside to ask “what the fuck is going on, and could you please shut the hell up,” we found her standing out there with her younger brother, trying her key in the lock, and looking pretty pissed off. Apparently, she had her two younger brothers staying with her, one of whom was inside, and who had locked and deadbolted the door. This was before all the ice-and-snow-in-the-South bullshit started, but it was still pretty cold, so we invited them inside while they tried to figure out what to do.
They figured that the brother in the apartment was either being a bratty little shit, or that he was taking a bath, but either way, they still needed to get inside. They could have tried calling the courtesy officer, but even if he had keys to their apartment, the only way to get past the deadbolt was probably to kick the door in, so that wasn’t much help. After a few minutes, she realized that the sliding door to the balcony was unlocked, so we went out on our balcony and found ourselves looking about fifteen feet down at this:

That would totally break your legs fall.

We decided it would be fun to pretend we were in a British comedy, so our neighbor shakily climbed over the railing, with my wife holding on to one of her arms so she wouldn’t fall. She wrapped her feet through the bars and gripped the railing as tightly as she could. Then she closed her eyes and timidly tried to reach one foot across, pulled it back, put one hand on the side of the building, pulled that back, too, and said “um, shit.”
Neighbor: “It’s really far.”Us: “You can make it. Probably.”Neighbor: “I’m going to die in a bush.”
After several similar efforts, she asked my wife to hold her waist, and she somehow managed to get both hands onto the railing on her balcony, but then she pretty much froze, awkwardly bridging the gap with my wife still holding on to her. I suddenly realized that, since I was a lot taller than her, I could probably get across, so I just climbed over the railing and jumped…
Before anyone else realized what had happened, I was standing on my neighbor’s balcony, trying to figure out how I was going to walk through a dark, unfamiliar apartment and unlock the front door without scaring the shit out of an eleven-year-old. Actually, that might have been fun, but it was probably more likely that I would have had to fight off a screaming eleven-year-old who had just discovered a stranger in his apartment and grabbed a baseball bat or something. It turned out to be kind of anticlimactic, though, as he was asleep in the living room with the TV blaring. Incidentally, the deadbolt wasn’t even actually locked.
I’m not really sure how or why this shit always happens to me, but I’m totally adding this to my résumé, because it’s probably going to come up in an interview someday.