Archive for February 2008

Wait, It’s Not March 1st Today?

February 29, 2008

Happy Leap Day everybody. The stupid calendar is once again doing what it does every four years … delaying my birthday by another God damn day. Even though my birthday isn’t until July, I notice these things. True story: when I was 16, I lobbied my parents to give me my birthday presents a day early due to the leap year. No dice on that one. I guess by then they had figured out that I was always trying to play the angles and cut corners for stuff like that. Oh well.

Was anyone out there born on February 29th? I have always wondered if they celebrate their birthday on February 28th or March 1st during non leap years. Can someone bring me up to speed on this? Do those people receive a non-stop assault of jokes about them actually being one-fourth their advertised age? So many questions, and only one day every four years to ask them. I tell you what, people born on February 29th were the only ones who, in elementary school, made me feel good about having a summer birthday because they were the only ones lower on the birthday totem pole. You remember those years right? On your birthday you get to bring treats for the rest of the class, everyone is nice to you, and the principal’s secretary wished you a happy birthday over the school intercom system right before the pledge of allegiance. Well I never got any of that!

Then when I got to about 5th grade, I realized that I had it made in the shade because I didn’t have to go to school on my birthday. I could wake up at 10:30, watch cartoons, eat corn dogs and go outside and play (not unlike a typical birthday for me now that I’m in my twenties).

A lot of exciting things are happening this calendar year. First, we had that lunar eclipse last week, which was cool for about 52 seconds until I realized it was 30-below zero outside and my eyes were frozen open from staring too long. Now today marks the leap year, which is cool if you’re into that sort of thing. We are just around the corner from the summer Olympics, which I much prefer over the winter version. Two words: table tennis. Just watch it, trust me. Then before you know it we’ll be electing a new president. Now if you’ll excuse me, my corn dogs are done and after I eat I am going to go outside and build a snow fort. Just kidding … Or am I? Have a good weekend everyone!

One love,

10

Life’s Little Moments

February 29, 2008

Life is really a great thing. Even if your life sucks, you can always find at least one or two things you like about it. I happen to be fortunate enough to really love my life. Besides the fact that I’ve got it pretty good in the grand scheme of things, I can always find humor in everyday things even when I’m feeling blue. I think if more people took the time to laugh at little things, the world would be a much better place. These little things happen to all of us, some people are just too narrow-minded to notice them from time to time. Well, this is where I come in. I’m going to do us all the service of pointing out some of life’s little quirks that we should paying attention to because, let’s face it … they’re hilarious. This list has been a brain child of mine for about a week now so it has actually grown to be quite extensive, so without further ado, here we go.

Do you ever go into a store or some other place with a large parking lot, and come back out and don’t see your car in the general vicinity in which you parked it? We all do this once in a while. What’s great is if we’re with someone when this is happening because we play it cool and just keep on walking down whatever aisle we’re in praying to God that our vehicle is down there somewhere. But inside we’re having that mini panic attack like something actually happened to our car. You start running through scenarios in your head faster than you ever thought you could process ideas before. “Was it towed? Did someone steal it? I knew I should have taken down that sticker of Calvin pissing on the Duke logo, some Duke fan saw it and flipped shit on my car, I know it!” Then you get past that enormous conversion van and realize your car is right behind it, safe and sound, and this immediately leads to feelings of general inadequacy and a lessened desire to live.

Have you ever been at work or in a public place and gotten a big-time wedgie? What’s the standard operating procedure for this one? Is there a clearly defined manual for different types of situations? No, there is not. We’re on our own for this one folks. So what are our options? Well we can either look like heathens and dig our undies out of our ass cracks with our hands or we can do that awkward, over exaggerated step where it looks like we’re skipping a little bit, hoping the underwear will just magically slide out. Here’s a hint, people know what the hell you’re doing when that goes on, you might as well save yourself the trouble and the time and just pick it. Either that, or do what I do – don’t wear underwear.

Ever look at your watch and look away, and within 2 seconds you forgot what time it is? So you look again, and you still don’t know. Then someone always asks you, “What time is it?” forcing you to look a third time. Now the pressure’s on, because this person is waiting and wants an answer now. So you look at your watch and sound out the time one piece at a time. “Alright … it iiiiiiiis … Seven … Forty … Two.” What’s the alternative? I’d rather look like an idiot to that one person who asked me for the time instead of every person that sees me wearing a big chunky Zack Morris digital watch, calculator included of course.

Ever find yourself standing in a room in your house, and you have no idea how you got there? Then you do about four consecutive 360s looking for some kind of clue to spark the memory. You become a detective up in that place, turning over couch cushions and looking behind the sugar bowl looking for something … only you have no idea what you’re looking for.

Ever been talking to yourself and have someone walk in and catch you, and then you pretend you were singing/humming? Why do we do this? Don’t we look just as insane if we’re singing or humming with no music playing? Suck it up, everyone talks to themselves. Just keep the personal stuff in your head, unless you think you can convince someone there is a song called “That Girl In The Green Dress is Hot as Hell.”

I did this one last week … I went to pick up a suitcase I thought was full, but it was empty. Pretty sure my shoulder almost flew out of the socket. The funniest part was, for about 0.4 seconds I thought I was really really strong.

Ever been going up the stairs in the dark, and you think there’s one more, so you go for it and you were already all the way up? I actually broke my big toe doing this in 9th grade, no joke. I don’t know which is worse, thinking there’s another step when you’re going up, or thinking there’s another step when you’re going down. You get down and do that foot sweep thing to try to feel out the general surroundings and solve the step mystery. Either that or you are sure there’s another one and just keep going down and then your knees end up in your mouth. Good times, good times.

Ever fall asleep late in the afternoon and wake up after dark – and have no clue what day it is? Why is this so confusing? How stupid are we? The clock says 11:09, but if it were AM, it wouldn’t be dark out. Snap out of it!

Guys: Ever been taking a piss and sneeze/cough and get piss everywhere? Why can’t our body just figure out that we can only handle one of these things at a time? Alternative = sitting down to pee. No thanks.

Ever been in a loud room talking to someone, and all of a sudden everyone shuts up at the same time? Now you’re the only moron talking and everyone just heard you tell your friend that you did in fact get crabs from that girl you met at Cold Stone. How does this happen? Not the crabs thing, I know how that happens. But seriously, it’s like everyone in the room got a memo but you. Sometimes I really think God does this stuff because he has an incredibly sick sense of humor.

Ever been walking in a public place and trip, then you gotta do those mandatory half-jogging steps and run it off like that makes you look more athletic? Seriously, next time try this instead: take the fall. Give in to the humility and just let it go. People are going to think you’re a doofus anyway, you might as well give them a laugh. I actually did this stuff on purpose in high school. True story: One day during my senior year, I watched a poor freshman kid take a tumble and send his books flying in the hallway. Everyone laughed at him and I actually felt bad for the kid because he was so embarrassed. So, I got someone to get me a huge stack of books and I stacked them from my waist to my chin and walked down the hall right by where the kid tripped. He was still hunched over picking up his books when I walked by. Well, I took a fall on purpose and absolutely launched the books. I think it made him feel a lot better, and everyone thought it was f’ing hilarious, so it was a win-win.

Ever been caught smelling your armpits for body odor? Why can’t we just go to the bathroom for this? Instead we do it in front of everyone, and then pretend like we’re stretching or scratching our shoulder when we get busted.

You know what’s the worst? When you’re walking toward someone, and they wave at you, and you wave back … only to realize that they were waving to the person walking behind you. Now you have to immediately make friends with someone walking behind the person you waved to so you don’t look like even more of a moron. Conversely, ever think someone wasn’t waving at you, and you just keep staring at them while they flail their arm about for 40 seconds? To avoid both of these situations, do what I do – don’t look at ANYONE when you’re walking in a public place. This will also prevent anyone from asking you for the time, because we know how hard that can be.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to life’s little moments. Look for these in your everyday life and just learn to laugh at them. Believe me, it’s a lot easier to avoid embarrassment if you truly don’t care about the things that don’t matter.

One love,

10

Could You Tell the Truth for $500,000?

February 27, 2008

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Have you seen this new show on Fox called “The Moment of Truth” yet? Now THIS is what I call television! I caught a little of it last night and it was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S. (Sorry, I couldn’t help it). For those who haven’t seen it, here’s the premise: before the show, a person is strapped to a polygraph and asked 50 personal questions varying from the mundane to the extremely personal. They are not given the results of their polygraph and then, for the show itself, the contestant is trotted up on stage in front of a live audience and their closest loved ones – usually immediate family and their spouse or boy/girlfriend.

Then Mark L. Walberg -no not the Mark Wahlberg from Boogie Nights, the dumbass host of PBS’s “Antiques Road Show” – is given a list of 21 questions out of the original 50 that will be asked and aired for the show. So one by one, the contestant is asked these revealing questions in front of their parents and loved ones en route to big time cash. If the contestant answers honestly as confirmed by the polygraph, he or she moves on to the next question. But, if a contestant were to lie or refuse to answer a question after it has been asked, the game ends and they lose all of the prize money. But here’s where it gets interesting. In front of the contestant’s fam is a button which, if pushed after a question, gives the contestant a pass on that particular question in lieu of a similar one; there is only one allowed per contestant.

So one by one, some poor shlub is picked apart by a guy who was creaming over a Wizard of Oz lunch box the week before on PBS. How demoralizing is that? Wouldn’t it be a better show if they got someone as a host people actually recognize and therefore would be embarrassed even more in front of? Picture these people telling Bob Barker that they steal money from work and order pornography in the hotel while their wives are in the shower. Can’t you just see Bob being completely disgusted for 2.8 seconds and then getting that I’ve-done-worse look on his face when he realizes how many of the “Price Is Right” girls he dipped into over the years? As it is, they’re getting off easy with Walberg and we’re getting screwed out of priceless Bob Barker stuff. It gets really interesting when they start asking married people questions like “Were you in love with someone else on the day of your wedding?” This is the kind of TV that I can’t get enough of, even if it is the reason every other nation on the planet hates our guts – not Switzerland though, they’re neutral. The show that aired on Monday was the most controversial yet because it is rumored to have broken up the marriage between the contestant and her husband. Apparently Fox higher-ups debated even airing the episode, but then they realized that they can only show “American Idol” a couple times a week and 30 million viewers is a lot of people … so they just went for it.

If you’re bored and/or curious, check out the Fox website where they have rundowns of some of the more recent shows. This is brilliant because it’s all the white meat of the show – the questions and answers – and none of the hulla balloo in between. Each clip is a couple minutes long and definitely worth the time. As it is, Fox has ordered another 13 shows to be aired for this season so set your TiVo! Next week’s episode is airing on Wednesday night at 8:00 Central time. You had best believe I’ll be watching.

So the whole time I’m watching these clips, I am putting myself in the contestant’s shoes, wondering what kind of dirt Fox could dig up on me and what my limit would be for the love of money. This is why it’s such a compelling show, because everyone has done at least one big thing they aren’t proud of and a few more things they would be ashamed to say in front of their parents, let alone 30 million other people. Could you tough it out for your shot at a half a million bucks or would you crumble like Britney Spears after the MTV awards? How long before someone gets to the $500,000 question and completely loses their mind about it? Only one person has even come close to the last question, and the second to last question was a doozie. I’m not ashamed to say that I wanna be there when the meltdown happens.

Seriously, someone I know needs to start watching this show so I have someone to talk to about it. What the hell else is there to do on a Wednesday at 8:00? For now, check out the clips I linked to a few paragraphs up and get yourself in the mood. Not that kind of mood, sicko. Gosh, get your mind out of the gutter.

One love,

10

The Eye of the Tiger

February 25, 2008

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Tiger Woods wrapped up another win Sunday with his victory over Stewart Cink at the Accenture Match Play Championship. This has been followed by an enormous wave of fans and sports writers talking about a possible perfect season for the ace. No doubt Tiger is playing out of his mind right now, that’s not even debatable; the guy has won five tournaments in a row dating back to last year. But wrapping my head around a perfect season is much easier said than done.

Let’s assume (as most golf insiders are) that Tiger plays 16-18 events this year. Can he really stay this poised and collected throughout an entire season to win every single tournament he enters? Granted, he’ll certainly be the favorite in each event but seeing that through to the end is going to be no easy feat. The U.S. Open could prove to be a thorn in Woods’ side as he has not hoisted that trophy since 2002, but then again it’s being played at Torrey Pines in San Diego, which he dominated just a few weeks ago at the Buick Invitational. Noteworthy though, is the fact that Torrey Pines is expected to be a totally different course when the field shows up for the U.S. Open in June. If Tiger does take the hardware in California though, be on the lookout for a clean sweep of all four majors. If he continues to play this way into early April, the Masters tournament is his for the taking, and he has always played well at the British Open and the PGA Championship.

Look, I’m not trying to doubt the man because I know he is the best in the game right now, and he’s certainly making it hard for people in the know to argue against him being the best player ever, I’m just saying it’s just not probable that he will win close to 20 tournaments in one year. I was poking around on golfweek.com and I checked out the Golfweek Performance Index ratings. This is a system used to rank golfers against one another. Here’s the gist of it, (note: the lower the number, the better the ranking): Tiger’s rating is currently 66.62 while second-ranked Justin Rose has a ranking of 68.81 – a discrepancy of 2.19. In order to see a gap that large between any other two golfers, you would have to go from number two ranked Rose all the way down to Rich Beem, number 108 on the list. That makes my head spin.

My personal prediction: I’ll look for Tiger to break himself off a win about 75% of the time this year. So, if he were to play 18 events, that would be about 13 wins, give or take a few tenths. I’m shooting low because if I shoot too high I am going to look like a moron if it doesn’t pan out that way. This way, I look conservative and level-headed, (how sick is it that me predicting a 75% win rate sounds conservative at this point?). Either way, this should be one hell of a season for those of us who enjoy watching golf. I just hope I don’t get sick of watching the same person win over and over again like I did with that son of a bitch Ken Jennings.

One love,

10

Timberwolves, Trains, and Burgers – Oh My!

February 24, 2008

Well I’m back from my weekend away. What’s that you say? You missed me? What a nice thing to say. I missed you too. The weekend was a success, despite the fact that JK didn’t have his ID and we had to keep it all PG-13 or lower. What’s that? You want a rundown of the weekend? Oh sure, why not. Let’s get after it …

The train was a new experience for me and I have plenty to say about the trip there as well as the trip back home. Let’s keep it chronological and start with the ride down to Minneapolis. It’s an overnight trip, which works for me cause I would probably sleep the whole time anyway, so that didn’t bother me. The train was scheduled to leave at 12:58 AM and get in at 6:58. So I go to the station at about 12:40 and pick up my ticket, only to be told that the train is “running late” and will be here “around 2:00 or so.” Normally, I would have just left and come back closer to 2:00 but the lady behind the counter was a couple sandwiches short of a picnic and I didn’t even wanna risk missing the train due to her inability to tell time … so I waited. No big deal, I’m a patient man. After a while of sitting around, I ventured into the bathroom, and here is where the problems started mounting up. That was hands down the most disgusting bathroom I’ve ever seen in my life. All I did was blow my nose while I was in there and I’m pretty sure I got at least two STD’s. There was a total of 11 people in the train station that night, and even if all of them went in and pissed all over the floor, I still don’t think that could have accounted for the filth I was surrounded by. Let’s move on, because I am feeling sick just talking about that bathroom. I am definitely throwing away the shoes I was wearing when I was in there.

So at 2:30 the train finally got in and I gathered my things and dragged my piss-soaked shoes aboard. So I get on, and I am walking around like a lost puppy. This is when I learned the first of many things I didn’t know about the Amtrak. I was completely unaware that these trains had two levels until some old lady checked my ticket and told me. She said, “you’ll have to go upstairs and find a seat up there.” Without blinking (or thinking) I reply with, “Alright, that’s okay … I like being on top.” Thank God I’ll never see her again in my life because that is just uncalled for. So I go up and get settled in. I didn’t have to sit next to anyone, which made me happier than you can even imagine. I sat down and started listening to my iPod, and just as I look over across the aisle, I see the guy across from me fiddling around with a portable tape player. Really? Even if you’re not down with the whole MP3 scene, can you at least spend the $19.99 and get a portable CD player? I’m sure you can get all your Peter Frampton tapes on CD, so that’s not the issue. I honestly haven’t even seen a portable tape player since about 1999.

So we get going and I quickly learn thing number two that I had no idea about: these trains shake like Rosie O’Donnell in an earthquake. I’ve never been so convinced that I was going to die in my entire life. Okay, that’s a little too dramatic, but it was unpleasant. I got maybe two hours of sleep through the whole ride. The only thing that kept me from killing someone was listening to John Mayer. Seriously, is there a better album than Continuum from start to finish? I fall asleep listening to it all the time because it’s just so smooth and relaxing. If you don’t own it, buy it. That’s the only thing I’m gonna say about that.

So I finally get in at about 8:30 and JK is at the station in St. Paul to pick me up. He tells me he has class at 9:30 and there’s no time to bring me all the way to his place and go back so I have no choice but to go to school with him. So while he had class for two hours, I slept in some kinda student lounge area on a leather couch. This was the highlight of my weekend up to that point. That night, we went to the beloved Target Center to watch the Timberwolves take on the Spurs. The game was amazing. I thought for sure the Wolves were going to lose by 20, but they kept it close all the way to the end and ended up losing when God damn Ginobili hit a 15 footer with about 6 seconds to go. The Wolves had time to get a shot off and Sebastian Telfair got a wide open look from 3 point range, but couldn’t seal the deal. Final score, San Antonio 100 – Minnesota 99. On a more positive note, seeing the game in person made me realize that this franchise is going to be okay as long as they keep Al Jefferson around for a while. That kid is a beast, and yes I can call him a kid because he is younger than me. If they can keep him around and bring in talent to develop around him, look out. Now when I say talent, I mean actual talent. Not another Sebastian Telfair taking shot after shot that he has no business taking and subsequently missing 70% of them. Not another Rashad McCants who can’t play defense and makes up for it by not passing the damn ball. TALENT. Let’s move on.

Since everyone knows what the Mall of America is, I am not going to overindulge you with details of our visit there. Instead, here are just a few random thoughts about the shopping haven:

  1. I don’t care how old you are, escalators fun.
  2. Miley Cyrus (better known as Hannah Montana) is EVERYWHERE.
  3. Is there a purpose for single-ply toilet paper? This stuff is torture. All in favor of permanently banning single-ply toilet paper raise your hands. Okay, looks like I’m not the only one.

One thing I love about going down to the cities is the food. There are literally hundreds of places unique to the area that are so much better than the large corporate chains you can visit anywhere. JK and I are both food lovers, so we decided that we were going to dedicate the weekend to eating at places we’ve never been before. Here are my recommendations:

  1. Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge – A cool little place that specializes in pizza but has salads and sandwiches, and plenty of appetizers for the late night crowd. They have an enormous alcohol selection and I could really see this being a place to start the night before heading downtown. Trust me, don’t let the name throw you. This isn’t a biker bar. When we were there, we really fit in. Definitely worth the visit, and it’s cheap too.
  2. Joe Senser’s – The ultimate sports bar. It was rated in the top 20 sports bars in America by both Sports Illustrated and ESPN’s Cold Pizza. JK and I went there to watch the Tennessee-Memphis game on Saturday night. They have about eight or nine hi-def TVs throughout the place, which doesn’t sound like much until you see them. They are 5 feet tall and 9 feet wide, no exaggeration. I could see the veins in Bruce Pearl’s head every time Tennessee turned the ball over. A great environment with excellent food.
  3. The Nook – I don’t even know where to start with this place. It’s a small joint in St. Paul just across from Cretin-Derham Hall High School. It’s owned and operated by a couple of 20-something local guys who bought it back in 2001 and are there cooking 14 hours a day, every single day of the week. It was recently featured on The Food Network’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” and between that and the reviews online (which are really something else) JK and I decided to check it out for ourselves. We got there at about 1:30 hoping the lunch crowd would be mostly gone and it wouldn’t be too busy, but we waited for about an hour to get our table. That is how busy this place is. We had high expectations for this food, and JK is hard to wow, but let me tell you this straight up … the food is worth every minute we waited and then some. It’s seriously the best burger and fries I’ve ever had in my life. The place is full of pictures of famous people who have eaten there as well as all their awards they have racked up over the years. They have won so many awards for the Twin Cities best burger it’s crazy. Next time you’re in town, go there. I don’t care how long you wait, just try it. If I could offer you one piece of advice, it would be this: don’t touch the ketchup or the mustard. They have both on the table for you, but trust me, this food does not need either. It’s perfect the way it comes out. Vegetarians can kiss my ass, this place is heaven.

I love being in Minneapolis because I get to say things like “I don’t feel like going into the city, let’s go catch a movie in Maple Grove,” or “I’m about to go into the tunnel, my phone might drop the call,” or “No mister homeless man, I don’t want to buy a copy of Rush Hour on VHS.” With regards to the first quote, JK and I did head into Maple Grove to catch a movie. We decided on Be Kind, Rewind because we both like Jack Black and neither of us wanted to think incredibly hard. The movie wasn’t really what I expected, but it wasn’t horrible. I think we agreed that it was in the C+ to B- range. It had its moments, but all in all, we laughed a lot harder at the shark scene from the Strange Wilderness trailer. That was maybe the funniest thing of the weekend. Seriously, take 31 seconds and watch that.

As interesting as the train ride down there was, the ride home was equally interesting. The train was actually on time so that’s good. Again I got a seat to myself, which is bliss. But my seat choice was limited, so I was stuck sitting right next to the stairs. This means two things: first, every time someone gets on or off the train, the walk right past me. Also, the bathroom is on the lower level, so that upped the traffic flow considerably. Second, the stairway remains lit throughout the trip while the rest of the car is mostly dark. This was unacceptable. It was bright enough for me to complete a Where’s Waldo? book from 15 feet away. Oh look, he’s behind the palm tree, now he’s in the row boat. I hate my life sometimes. So I did what I had to do, pulled my hoodie over my eyes and let John Mayer sing me to sleep. I actually slept fairly well on this ride, probably because I knew what to expect. I did wake up a couple times when new people boarded and were looking for seats. One of these people actually woke me up and asked me where the bathroom was. I wish I could taser people without the possibility of legal action being brought against me. Side note – one of the top ten worst things ever is when your body is at a comfortable temperature but your feet are freezing. Why does God do this to us? Despite the fact that we left on time, we got in an hour late. How did this happen? Did we take a detour to the strip club when I was sleeping? Would it have been bad manners to demand an explanation for this? It didn’t really bother me as much as it did my roommate who was sitting at the station for over an hour in his car waiting for me to get in.

All things considered, I had a great weekend. I really would have only changed minor things if I had it to do over, (one of them being JK not losing his ID). I’ll be going back down in June for the Kanye West concert. N.E.R.D., Lupe Fiasco, Rihanna, and Kanye … wow that is going to be one hell of a show. I fully expect to take the train again for that trip. Hell, now I’m a well-seasoned veteran. I know what to expect and what to look for. The weekend as a whole gave me some good ideas for future posts, so look forward to those. For now, I have written enough. I’ll more than likely be back tomorrow, so don’t go far.

One love,

10

A Brief Rant About the Weather

February 20, 2008

I have a beef I need to discuss. Now I don’t know where you’re from, but where I’m from, it’s cold this time of year. Last night was probably one of the coldest nights of the year, so in my curious state, I went to weather.com to check the temperature. The readings were as follows: Temperature: -20 F; Feels Like: -49 F.

Now aside from the fact that those are numbers I never want to see with regards to temperature, it really got me thinking about this whole wind chill debacle. Is there a more ridiculous concept than wind chill? The wind chill factor is defined as “effect that wind has on our perception of cold.” Simply put, it’s what the weather feels like when you take into account the temperature and the wind. Why in the hell would I want to know what the temperature is without the wind factored into the equation? I want to know what it feels like, not what science dictates. Are there people out there who are capable of deflecting all wind while they’re outside and thus only feeling the actual temperature? The National Weather Service needs to stop sugarcoating it for us and just give us the dirt. The only conceivable analogy I can come up with for this would be telling someone your body weight without adding in the weight from your major organs. It’s a package deal here. The wind is part of the weather, so why do we need a special category to define it? Maybe it’s just me, but this has always kind of bothered me.

On a lighter note, I am leaving town tonight to go and spend the weekend with my main man JK. He lives down in Minneapolis so we’re gonna go and have a big city guys weekend (only he lost his ID, so I don’t know what he hell we’re gonna do with our evenings). Thursday night I’ll be at the Target Center watching the T-Wolves take on the Spurs, so watch for me at the game. I decided that I really don’t want to drive down there overnight, so I am taking the train (yes, Amtrak still exists). I’m not really sure what to expect from this, but from what I hear there is a lounge car with a bar so if worst comes to worst I can always go get drunk with total strangers. I am sure I will have plenty to write about from the train ride alone, but you can expect a full rundown of the weekend when I get back. I’m not sure if I’ll have time or motivation to write anything while I’m there, so just in case, have a great weekend!

One love,

10

Gay Bashing: A Thing of the Past?

February 19, 2008

It’s 5:50 in the morning and I just can’t get back to sleep. Not only can I not get back to sleep, but I’ve already been up for the past hour or so tossing and turning. This is unacceptable. Oh well, at least in my misery I can still make my roommate happy, who won’t shut up about me writing something new. So instead of prepping for a presentation I have to give in a few hours, I think I am going to make a couple of Eggos and watch the same 30 minutes of ESPN News seven or eight times and call it a good morning.

We had our weekly pool league last night, which we dominated. I always have fun on Monday nights because I get to combine three of my favorite indoor things: pool, drinking, and a guys-night-out-ish environment. About midway through the night, I overheard a couple of the guys on the opposing team talking and what was being said was not music to my ears. One of the guys was telling the other about “these two fags” who had just moved in across the hall from him. Now since people my age are mostly just adolescents at heart for about another ten years, I didn’t think anything of it because fag is a word we’ve all been using since we were kids to describe just about anyone or anything with no harm intended. So for the time being, I blew it off. But then, a few minutes later I realized he wasn’t talking about a couple of people, but rather a couple of gay people.

Let me start off by saying that I am not gay myself (sorry, Eric). But still, it kind of irks me when I hear this kind of blatant stupidity. This kind of hatred is so passé. The gay basher went on to discuss how he doesn’t think gays should be allowed to live together, get married, and even though he didn’t come right out and say it, his undertones suggested that he doesn’t think they should be allowed to live. Well, let’s tackle this from a neutral perspective …

Why shouldn’t gays be allowed to live together? I wish a couple of gay guys lived across the hall from me instead of the trashy idiots I’m stuck with. Just think, instead of those morons having a bunch of fat chicks over to smoke weed, two gay guys would have their friends over to enjoy a well-cooked brisket and some homemade banana bread. The hallway would actually smell good! All stereotypes aside, there is no way that a gay couple living anywhere near you is going to affect your life in any serious way, so why raise such a stink about it? Just let them pay the rent and be gay.

I remember the first time I found out what gay was, and then subsequently hearing about a person I knew being gay. One of the lifeguards at the local swimming pool I went to as a kid was the first gay person I ever knew. I remember one of the other lifeguards telling me about it and trying to get me to make fun of him, which I wanted no part in. I was probably 10 or 11 at the time, and I remember very clearly how I reacted: I didn’t give a good God damn. I found out about it, and went right back to doing what I was doing … probably a cannonball or a jackknife. On a side note, I spent my youth at the swimming pool. I showed up EVERY SINGLE DAY. 105 degrees and sunny, I was there. 88 and cloudy, I was there. 65 and raining, I was there. I was the first person in line and I was always the one bitching if they didn’t let us in at exactly 1:30. Now I’m at this really awkward age where I’m too old to be at the pool and not be thought of as a creepy son of a bitch, but I don’t have kids yet so I don’t have a legit excuse to go act like a kid again and splash random people in the face if they don’t like the Minnesota Twins (yes, I used to do that).

Anyway, back to the lecture at hand. If you’re one of these people who has an incessant need to hate gay people, please keep that to yourself. It really makes you look ignorant. You don’t see a bunch of gays getting together to protest NASCAR fan marriages, but that scares me a whole hell of a lot more than gay marriage. Think about it, we’ll let any man marry any woman as long as no one can prove they are brother and sister. I can’t be the only person frightened by this thought. Take a pad and pencil with you and count how many idiots you encounter in just one day, you might be startled … I know I was. Seriously, there are tons of stupid people out there, and here’s the kicker: THEY CAN REPRODUCE! Gays adopt kids, which is wonderful. There are millions of children in foster homes that need loving parents, and don’t even start on me about gays not being good parents because I know a lot of straight parents who are doing one hell of a shitty job. Meanwhile, Billy Joe and Susie Lou are pumping out kids every 11 months that are going to grow up and be just as stupid and ignorant as they are. No wonder America is becoming one of the least intelligent nations in the world.

Look, let’s face it. Everyone has their beliefs and I’m not out to try and change that – I know that homophobes (and racists) are too ignorant to reason with. But this doesn’t mean you need to spout off at the mouth every time you don’t agree with something. Look at it from this perspective: 50 years ago, African Americans weren’t even allowed to use the same facilities as white people. If you had asked a racist back then, I’m sure there is no way he or she would have thought African Americans would ever enjoy the same rights as white people. Now I’m not saying there is racial equality, and that is an entirely different post, but we’ve come a hell of a long way. Eventually, the gay rights movement is going to be recognized and they are going to be granted equal rights. What’s going to happen as a result of that? Well 20 million Republicans will be pissed off for a week or two, and then once they realize that it really doesn’t matter, things will go back to normal and life can go on again. Until then, keep your ignorance to yourself. I’ll leave you with a quote from my 7th grade English teacher. Anytime someone would say something stupid she would tell us, “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool rather than opening your mouth and removing all doubt.”

One love,

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