Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Robot Chicken : Star Wars Special : A New Hope

The Robot Chicken creators - including Seth Green - said they first thought up a ton of creative ideas, threw those out, then thought up more because they wanted the comedy to be fresh, creative and funny. I think they suceeded with this one.

I see London. I see France.

My neighbor stopped by yesterday to drop off some tomatoes.
That’s the cool thing about living in the country. Everybody’s growing produce. We get tomatoes, green peppers, banana peppers and potatoes handed to us on a daily basis.

Anyhow, I said my thanks to her and we started to talk about life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Then, the conversation started to dwindle. Most of the time when I hit a conversation pothole, I always have this little rabbit that I pull out of my pocket. It's called the “So-what-are-you-doing-for-vacation" question.

“So, what are you doing for vacation?”

“Oh, Sam and I are heading over to Europe. We’re going to go to see the Eiffel Tower. It’s the most beautiful place in the world, hands down.”

“Oh really?” I asked. “Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?”




“New York City?”


“Great Lakes?”


“New Orleans?”


“Biggest ball of twine?”


“Yellowstone National Park?”


You get the drift.

Now, how can you say someplace overseas is the most beautiful place in the world when you haven’t even checked out the whole United States? Personally, I think it’s bullshit, but that’s me. I also think waaaayyyy to many people visit Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks then they get their little fucking bumper stickers with OBX on them like they’re in some fucking private club. Fuck that shit. But I digress,

I have a theory about people traveling overseas and I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the hit movie European Vacation. You remember? The successful sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation, where Clark Griswold and company win a European Vacation on a game show dressed like pigs. The Griswolds then go visit London, Paris, Germany and Rome. NOTE: You even get to see some nice German titties! Drool!

In any event, I think all of the United States went to see that film and Tyler Durden spliced some subliminal messages a la’ Fight Club that said “VISIT EUROPE” and “EIFFEL TOWER IS RAD” and “LONDON IS THE TOPS”. Then all of the little lemmings went out, got their passport, bought their little carry-on luggage with wheels and flew off to Europe so they could rent a car in England and say "Look kids! Big Ben. Parliament" over and over and over again.

Hey, people! We’ve got 50 fucking beautiful states to check out here! You want tropical? Go to Hawaii. You want cold? Go to Alaska. You want beauty? There’s Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, Colorado and Utah. You want fucking amusement parks? Come to Ohio, the Roller Coaster Capital of the World!

Again, you get my point.

If I had my way, I’d make it a requirement that you MUST visit all 50 states (including Washington D.C.) before you’re allowed to go overseas, and that includes our neighbors Mexico and Canada. Basically, when you’re born you’ll get a little tiny microchip implanted into your forearm. For the hell of it, let’s just call it the Number of the Beast:

As you cross a state, the Number of the Beast microchip will record each state you’ve been in. It's almost like one of those tracking devices you wear when you run the 5k Race for the Cure. Finally, when you pass into your final 50th state (and let's not forget Washington D.C.), a passport will arrive in the mail in 7-10 business days.

Voila! You’ve seen the United States. Now go see the fucking world!

You’ve earned it.

Monday, July 30, 2007

You Down With No T.P.?

It was 1992, I was a sophomore in college living with six other guys in a house near Ohio State University’s campus - 306 E. 16th Avenue, to be exact. Check it out on Google Maps.

I was on the toilet taking a crap and mindlessly reading my Entertainment Weekly. After I finished my business, I tossed the mag, reached for the toilet paper and all I saw was this circular tube of cardboard.


I stood up and, with my pants still around my ankles, like some deranged Easter bunny I hopped towards the kitchen in search of a couple paper towels. All I saw was this circular tube of cardboard.

Pants still around my ankles, I hopped over to the cabinets and opened the cabinet door. A fleeting roach. A can of Green Giant corn. A bag of coffee filters.

"Fuck. No wait! I mean Eureka!"

I grabbed the coffee filters, hopped to the bathroom, wiped my ass and vowed I would always have toilet paper handy no matter the cost.

Yeah right.

Since BROWN MONDAY (as I like to call it) I’ve wiped by bum with: paper towels, snow, old socks, wash cloths, pages from a phone book, pages from a magazine, pages from a bible (sorry God), fallen leaves, green leaves plucked from a tree, a t-shirt (while running), a bandanna (while running) and, of course, coffee filters. Whew! I think that’s all.

Thinking back, I've been a strictly-toilet-paper-type-of-guy for the past 10 years or so. But, if hard times come around again, I know I'll be prepared by any means necessary.

Or should I say my ass will be prepared?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Football Bucks #2 in the past decade.

This past week, I've been counting down the top NCAA football teams of the past decade on ESPN.com.

Fifteen college football experts and analysts ranked all 119 Division I-A programs, taking into account record, traditions, recruiting, facilities, coaches, attendance and support, among other criteria. It's a fairly big task, but I think they pretty much hit it on the nose.

Plus, you gotta love the retro-Donkey Kong graphics on the lead-in page.

Count 'em down right here.

I'm not surprised that Ohio State is second. Check out their win percentage. It's insane. Even higher than USCs win%.
One surprise, to me, is Boise State at #19? Who would have thought that?

Another cool thing is that five Big Ten teams made the top 25: Iowa, Penn State, The Buckeyes, Michigan and Wisconsin. Purdue was 33rd.
Nice representation. Easy conference my ass.

Raiders of the Lost Vista - Adirondacks Day #2

I’ve hiked about 200 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia. I’ve hiked trails in Kentucky, Colorado, Arizona and West Virginia. I even hiked the El Yunque rain forest in Puerto Rico. After all that, I can honestly say nothing was as physical or strenuous as the peaks I've hiked in the Adirondacks in New York.

Our second day in the wilderness started off a bit rough. Two of my friends burnt their hiking shoes in an attempt to dry them by the fire. Cha-ching. Another trip to the Lake Placid wilderness store.

While we're on the subject, Lake Placid is a pretty kick-ass little town. The 1980 Winter Olympics took place up there. So you can load up on a bevy of USA beat USSR hockey shirts. We drove by the historic arena where, arguably, the finest moment in the history of Olympic sports took place. It's very small compared to the 20,000-seat arena you see nowadays. But, nevertheless, you could feel the history seeping out if its concrete walls.

Oh, and to my disappointment, we didn’t see any huge crocodiles.

After purchasing some rather pricey new kicks and other supplies (including a water-proof map), it was noon by the time we headed back to our campsite at the Adirondack Loj.

We tightened up our shoes, grabbed our hiking sticks, walked right out of our campsite and hopped on the trail towards Algonquin Mountain - a 5,114 foot peak with an almost 3,000 foot ascent in under 2.5 miles. It’s the second highest of the Adirondack High Peaks behind Marcy and makes up a majority of what is considered the MacIntyre Range (with Wright and Iroquois both, of which, we didn’t summit).
As we headed up the rocky trail, the temperature hovered around 75 degrees and it was partly cloudy. We passed a number of rock faces, virtually zero people and a couple waterfalls (real ones). We even got to climb a couple 80-degree slaps of rock along the way. I kept scanning the sky for rain clouds. Surprisingly, it was clear. It appeared like we had fantastic chance of seeing a beautiful vista rather than another patch of fog.

Boy were we wrong.

Halfway up the mountain the clouds rolled in and it started to rain. This wasn’t that warm summer rain you saw in movies like Dirty Dancing and Say Anything. It was cold rain. Saving Private Ryan rain. The type of rain you feel when your storming the beaches of Normandy. The type of rain that saturates your bones. That type of cold rain.

I had a rain-soaked t-shirt on. To my surprise, I had brought along a long-sleeve Under Armor shirt and a rain jacket. It kept me warm for a while. Also, I was getting hungry, but we needed to reach the summit before lunch.
The hike was strenuous and long. I mean, we were climbing up steep rock faces that were in some places mossy and extremely slick. Out of the four hikers, two of us are joggers, two lift weights and another plays rugby. But, we were huffing and puffing like 60-year-old overweight smokers walking to the refrigerator.
We passed a makeshift ranger station with a cute park ranger eating a delicious-looking turkey-bagel sandwich. My mouth began to water. Not sure if it was for the park ranger or the turkey sandwich. Did it really matter? She gave us a brief lecture about staying on the designated path at the top and taking care not to mess up the fauna on the peak. Blah, blah, blah. I thought my mom was lecturing me.

Finally, something worthwhile shot out of her pretty lips "Only a mile to go. Hopefully you’ll get a nice few."

Yeah sweetie-pie. So do we.

Now the temperature was closer to 45 degrees as we breached the summit of Algonquin. With the fog, the rain and the cool air, the peak had an overall eerie feel to it. I almost felt like I was a character in that Stephen King short story The Mist (soon to be a major motion picture). At any moment, I was convinced a crazy tentacle was going to shoot out and suck me into the fog. It was surreal.
Visibility was about 15 yards. Sadly we did not see a view. But, to be honest, I didn’t fucking care. It was another day of adventure. Another day OUT of the fluorescent lights. Another day of living for this lowly copywriter.
Sleet began to pound as I opened up a can of tuna and crackers. I ate it like a fat kid eating cake. The winds picked up and the rain/sleet began to fall harder. Two of my friends succumbed to Mother Nature and zipped downhill. Nick and myself mulled over whether or not to press on and go down the other side of the mountain. It would have added an extra mile onto the trip, but it could have also been an easier way down. In the end, we opted to return the same way we went up, which was going to be challenge considering how hard it was.
I was sweaty, cold and wet as we started to descend. Within a 10-minute time span, I lost almost all feeling in my hands and toes. Not sure, but I assumed it was a small sign of hypothermia. So I shuffled down the peak about 300 feet down, shielded myself from the wind. pulled out my cooking stove, started it and warmed up my hands. Ahhhhhhhh. "And this is fucking July," I kept thinking to myself. With feeling once again in my hands and toes. I continued down the peak.

We were close to the end of the trail and came to a fork in the road. Coming down the Marcy peak trail was this guy who introduced himself as Matt, I believe. He and his wife lived in Saranac Lake, about 10 miles East of Lake Placid and the High Peaks region. We talked about the Adirondacks and hiking. He hiked most of the 46 High Peaks and then some. In general, he seemed like a pretty honest guy. So I took him as a good source of information.
"Soooo, lets say you had one more day left of a three-day trip and you knew it was going to be a sunny day," I asked. "Where would go to get a great view?"

Without hesitation he answered, "Dude, you’ve got climb Noonmark Mountain. It has the best view. Hands down."

After eating Fish and Chips and drinking numerous beers at a local BBQ joint, I decided to toss tomorrow's planned hiking trip to Mount Marcy.

Tomorrow we would climb Noonmark Mountain.
But would we finally get a view? Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goodbye Bat Child.

Yesterday, Publisher American Media Inc. announced it will cease publication of the Weekly World News on August 27.

So long Alien Babies. So long Elvis Sightings. So long Sea Creatures in Lake Erie. And, of course, so long Bat Child.

My mom used to buy Weekly World News when I was a kid. I fucking loved it. Like Mad Magazine, Cracked and Richie Rich comic books, I wouldn't have been the creative specimen you see in front of you today if it wasn't for this newspaper. I shit you not.

There were a couple issues that piqued my interest one, in particular, being a blurry photo of Big Foot. I remember reading the article and looking at that photo over and over again. Thinking and dreaming about this crazy planet we call Earth. And wondering if I'd ever get to see a Big Foot like the one on the cover of WWW.

Then, of course, there was Bat Child. Now unlike the other mystical creatures I read about in WWW, I had my doubts about this character right off the bat (no pun intended). When it was reported that they found this little bat creature in a cave, my curiosity was piqued. I read the article and, afterwards, I sort of believed it. I wanted to believe it. I mean it was reported, by a journalist, in this fine publication and it was on cheap newsprint. So it had to be true. Right? Right? Who was I to judge? This was, after all, The World's Only Reliable Newspaper.

I decided to believe. Bat Child was real.

One fine day back in the early 90's, I was flipping through the pages of WWW when I came across a great offer - Weekly World News was selling t-shirts of its most popular covers! FUCK YEAH! I plopped a $15.95 check into the mail on the Bat Child photo you see above. Then I impatiently played the waiting game.

Flashforward 4 weeks later. I was heading up to Cedar Point with my girlfriend at-the-time. Lo and behold, the t-shirt arrived in the mail just before we were about to leave. Proudly, I wore my new Bat Child t-shirt up to Cedar Point for the whole world to see. As we waited in hour-long line for various rides, the t-shirt went off like gangbusters. People would point, laugh and giggle. I think a couple people even threw up. Shortly after, I bought a couple more WWW t-shirts - "Farmer catches 50-pound grasshopper" and "Elvis is Alive".

I'm not sure what happened to those shirts, but the memories will live on.

With YouTube, Coast to Coast AM and other web sites publishing crazy alien photos, big foot sightings and, of course, dead celebrities - I'm sure this little niche of pop culture will go on. (In fact, Weekly World News plans to report strange stories from its Web site.)

But, nothing will compare to reading one of those crazy articles in my bed, drifting off to sleep, and letting my imagination soar.

On August 27, we're going to lose a piece of American Pop Culture.

Goodbye Weekly World News. Goodbye.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Adirondacks Day #1 – Giant Mountain.

We arrived at the Giant Mountain trailhead in the Adirondacks around noon on Thursday, July 19.

Giant is one of the taller peaks in the Adirondacks, stretching more than 4,600 feet above sea level. The 3,050 foot ascent takes you up to the top of the mountain in roughly 2.5 miles. That said, the overall hike from beginning to end was 8.6 miles and took, roughly, 5 ½ hours to complete.

And, unlike the Appalachian Trail, there are no switchbacks. It’s straight up and down, baby. If there’s a boulder, you climb over it. If there’s a rock face, you go straight up. Sometimes you even hit a rough 80-degree climb, sans climbing gear.

Oh yeah, did I mention the rain?

From the moment we stepped foot on Giant’s trailhead until the moment we reached the car, the rain came down in buckets. We were literally climbing up waterfalls. Gallons of water poured down the mountain and saturated our clothes. It was like some sort of water ride that you'd find at Wet and Wild Amusement park.

Plus the hike was intense. Heavy breathing. Frequent stops. And no pee. In fact, I didn't pee until I reached the bottom. That's about 1.5 gallons of water and no urination for 5+ hours. You literally couldn't tell what was sweat and what was rain. So, even though water was flowing all around us, it was very important to stay hydrated.

About halfway up, we ran into a husband and wife couple who looked to be about 50+ years or older. Armed with walking sticks, rain gear and big smiles on their face, they slowly shuffled down a 65-degree rock face as streams of water poured around their boots.

“How’s it going?” the man asked my friend.
“We would be a lot better if it was sunny,” my friend replied.
“Well,” the man said with a pause. “It’s all relative.”

The perfect answer.

Who fucking cared if it was raining! We were out of the office. Not thinking about paperwork, spread sheets, mortgages or whether or not we were supposed to pick up grape or strawberry jelly at the store on the way home from work. Simply put, we were fucking living. And our one focus at this point in time was tackling this mountain while at the same time making sure we didn't crack our heads open on the rock.

When we reached the summit – the only thing visible was a gray mist, a heavy downpour and four wet hikers with tired faces and content hearts.

One peak down. Many more to go.

As the downpour intensified, we slipped, slid and careened down the cliffs of the mountain. On the 2-hour downhill trek, my mind was thinking of three things: whiskey, dry clothes and pizza. All of which came true as we headed to Lake Placid to celebrate our insane climb.

Had it been sunny, I’m not sure what my impression of Giant Mountain would have been. But, the rain, the sleet, the wind, the slick rock faces, the waterfalls and the two old folks we saw on the trail - definitely made this a day to remember.

I hear there are peaks that are rougher, tougher, steeper and more strenuous than Giant (this was a 5 out of 7 difficulty hike). I say bring ‘em on. But, hands down, this was definitely one of the most exciting, and satisfying, hikes I've ever experienced.

That was, at least, until we headed up Algonquin Mountain on Day #2.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trick 'r Treat Trailer

I'm a sucker for a good Halloween movie. That said, check out the new trailer for "Trick R' Treat" - a new flick from the writer of Superman Returns and X-Men 2.

It reminds me a bit like Creepshow and Creepshow 2.

An added plus - Anna Paquin is in it. Mmmmm. I loved her dance scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman in the 25th Hour.

Fake Pregnancy Test

I was trying to think up a fun practical joke to pull on a friend and thought up a great idea.

Why not sell fake positive pregnancy tests?

It would be just like those fake lottery tickets, but reverse.

I’ll sell the fake pregnancy tests via a Web site (perhaps fakepregnancytests.com?) and have women video tape the responses of the guys whom they are fooling.

And, much like the hit TV-series Punk’d, I’d have the ladies upload the videos onto my Web site for the whole world to enjoy and laugh.

Maybe there already is one of these fun practical jokes out there. If there is please send me to the Web site so I can buy some stock.

Something tells me this is going to be a gold mine. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Michael Vick Cartoon.

As a cartoonist - sometimes I get a bit jealous when I'm flipping through a newspaper or online and come across a cartoon that just hits it out of the park.

That said, I came across this awesome political cartoon by Times-Picayune cartoonist Steve Kelley in Friday's USA Today:

It's a cartoon like this, a perfect mix of topical news and sarcastic satire, that makes me kick myself in the ass for not creating more cartoons this past year.

I showed it to my friends in the car heading back from the Adirondacks and they laughed out loud - which is the greatest compliment a cartoonist can ever receive.

The Day After Vacation.

Just got back from a kick-ass hiking trip to the Adirondack Mountains in New York state.

Very few people. Lots of wilderness. And no fucking skyscrapers.

But that's not what I want to talk about right now.

Vacations are peculiar animals. You start out all giddy and excited and, as the week springs along, you start to get this feeling of dread. Then Sunday comes along and you start to feel like total shit. You realize, eventually, that you have to leave this fake fa├žade you've created for yourself - by the beach, in the mountains, on a lake, etc. – and return to the concrete jungle to work for the man. Hey, someone's got to pay for your new I-tunes phone and it's not going to be me.

And, of course, when you go back to work, you have to tell the same fucking vacation stories over and over again to every single person in your office.

OFFICE WORKER: Soooooooo how was your trip? Tell me all the details.
YOU: Well, it was pretty cool, we…
OFFICE WORKER: Mmm Hmm. Mmm Hmm. Oh look someone brought donuts! Save me a custard one!

And, by that time, it becomes a faded memory. Back to fucking reality. Sigh.

At least I can look on the bright side - I got to bang a bear on my trip [see picture above].

Oh yeah. I almost forgot. I killed someone too.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who loves college football? I fucking do!

Out of the four seasons we have on this Earth, I love Autumn the best.

In my mind nothing beats warm days, cool nights, Halloween, Thanksgiving, postseason baseball, orange leaves falling on the ground and the smell of bratwurst in the air.

Yep, it's almost college football season.


I already checked out The Ohio State Buckeyes. Not sure how fantastic they'll be this year. I'm sure they'll go to a bowl game and, hopefully, kick Michigan's ass. This year, Lloyd and company including Quarterback Henne and Running Back Hart are back again to try and beat the Bucks and win a National Championship. They've definitely got the edge to beat Ohio State this especially since it's up North. But, wouldn't it be crazy if OSU went up there and pulled out another win? You know Carr's ass would be on the line then.

I'm sure other people will check out various other Big Ten teams and size up the competition. I betcha' some of my fag friends will even check out Toledo as well. Pfffffft. Losers!

So, on that note, enjoy the previews. I'll return on Monday with a new, exciting entry. I may even chronicle my four days in the Adirondacks. Who knows?

While you're here, click around some of my previous entries. Feel free to comment as well. I like smart-ass comments.

Later fuckers.

The Deadliest Copywriter

I work at an ad agency as a copywriter. No, I’m not bragging, I’m making a point here. The typical work-day is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Plus count 1 hour to and from work. I’m not bitching about that. That’s par for the fucking course if you’re working for the man. Wake up, go to work, think, write then do it all again.

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

I'm heading to the Adirondacks tomorrow on a bonafide four-day hiking adventure. Usually on my trek to the office, I play a game called BALLING. But, today, as I was trudging to work, I started to glance at people's faces instead of women's asses. Everyone - males, females, kids, black, white, yellow, purple - looked beat down by the man. It was a pathetic sight. Then, all of a sudden, I felt pathetic. Then I thought about the Adirondacks and and was pretty excited to get the fuck out of dodge for a week.

Last night, I was watching this documentary/TV show on Discovery Channel called The Deadliest Catch. It’s about these boating crews dropping traps in the middle of the frigid Alaskan waters. They're attempting to hit the lottery in the form of King Crabs.

It’s a cool show and a brutal show. People die out on those fishing boats.

Then I was thinking about dangerous jobs such as crab fishing, being a cop, firefighter or even an underwater welder. The fact that some people wake up in the morning knowing full well they could die at work today.

For some reason, I think that’s cool.

The most dangerous thing that could happen to me on my way to work is a major car accident. I could also get a wrist injury or carpal tunnel from typing too much, but that’s about it.

You read about people that come into work with a gun and start popping people in the head. BLAM! MOTHER FUCKER. BLAM! MOTHER FUCKER. BLAM! Then they blow their own brains out. Now that would definitely mix it up a little bit not to mention spark at least five weeks of conversations at the coffee machine (we don’t have a water cooler). But it’s just not the same as waking up in 20-degree weather and tossing cages off a boat. Knowing that if you get a rope twisted around your ankle and tossed in those frigid waters - you’re going to come out dead.

Fucking cool.

When I was dirt, dirt poor (I still am, but I’ve got a little bit of wiggle room) I always flirted with the idea of switching jobs. In a matter of two months I wanted to be an EMT and drive an ambulance around the city. I wanted to be a firefighter (24 hours on. Two days off). I also wanted to be a park ranger (busting pot growers) and I even considered joining the Army Reserves to pay off bills.

Simply put, I wanted to do something exciting. I wanted to be like those fishing dudes out on the boat. I wanted to be a modern-day cowboy.

But before I could actually pursue one of these professions, I got a call for a copywriting position in Columbus. I was hired. It was good money. The job beat being a sports reporter/photographer (Great job. Shitty Pay). And it was a career, sort of.

But now, I just can’t get my mind off of those fishermen on The Deadliest Catch. They wake up, have a cup of coffee, walk out of their cabin and spit obscenities to the ocean. Some of those guys don't really know – or care - how much money they’ll make at the end of the fishing season. (It all depends on the weight of the catch how much they get paid.) They're just working hard hoping they they stay alive one more day to see if they bring in the big haul.

You know what? I’m going to make a TV series called The Deadliest Copywriter.

A crew will follow me around as I wake up, walk my dog, change my daughter's diaper, eat a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast, then drive to work to tackle the world of grammar, headline writing and selling products to you, the consumer. Then they’ll follow me home as I go on a run, make some fucking dinner and floss my teeth and get ready for bed.

Yeah man. The Deadliest FUCKING Copywriter.

Now that's fucking cowboy!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Money. GOING, Going, gone.

During my freshman year at Ohio State University, my parents and I made a deal. I didn’t have to get a job. Instead they would send me $40 a week and I would get one of those cafeteria passes where, basically, you have a number of meal passes. After that, I was on my own.

Unlike a lot of current college freshman in 2007, a majority of freshmen (at least the poor ones) in the early 90's didn’t have a credit card (until, of course they filled out an application on campus). Maybe, possibly, a savings account (for spring break). But definitely a checking account (to bounce checks). I had a checking account.

Usually I would receive my $40 check in the mail on Friday afternoon. I considered it a personal challenge to extend that money almost all the way to next Friday. Most of the time I failed. But, sometimes I would have a couple extra dollars left over. And I went out and drank almost every night, ate a bunch of fast food and went to see a number of movies! Basically, it averages out to $5 bucks and some change per day. It's like a weird episode of Twilight Zone how I was able to do that. It still racks my brain to this day.

But, you know what I’d like to know? When was the exact time, year or date when everything started to cost either $100 or $1,000?

It's funny because I really don’t buy anything anymore for myself. I buy stuff, but it's not for me personally - if you get my drift. I mean, I’m still wearing some of the same Old Navy clothes that I bought six years ago.

But when it comes to everyday things, the money just pours out of my ass like a bas case of the runs. I went to get the oil changed on my car. It turned out all four tires were bald so I had to get 4 new tires. BAM! $1,000. I had to buy a riding lawn mower because the used one my dad got for me broke down. BAM! $1,000.

Rent/Mortgage is $1,000. Car payment for two cars is $1,000. Car insurance is $100($1000 for the year). When I go out to dinner, it costs $100. (It doesn’t matter how much or little I order – after the tip it’s always $100.) When we go to the grocery to pick up diapers, even if we have some small candles, a box of spaghetti and a box of cereal and diapers – it somehow costs $100. Doctor’s appointment... $100. Computer supplies...$100. Everything is either $100 or $1,000. And that’s it!

In the future, I’m going to think back on those $40 weeks in the dorms and bitch to my future grandkids.

"You know what," I’ll tell them. "Your granddaddy used to live off of $40 a week in college."

"Oooooh." and "Aaaaahh" will escape from their mouths as they huddle around the living room in my assisted living facility waiting, with bated breath, for me to say something else poetic.

Then the nurse pumps me full of morphine and a trickle of slobber runs down my lip. Before I drift off to sleep, the nurse puts her hand down the back of my pants, takes out my wallet and pulls out $100.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Buffets. Gluttony or tasty goodness?

My girlfriend and I were driving through Akron, Ohio, this past weekend. We were both hungry and wanted to get something to eat.

I noticed a Golden Corral at the Fairlawn exit on Route 18. "Wanna eat there?" I asked as I pointed to the sign.

She was silent and gave me a terse look. "No fucking way!"

"Really?" I said. "You sound pissed?"

As she stared out the window, she grimaced. "I fucking hate buffets."

You know what? After thinking about it. My girlfriend’s right. Buffet's fucking suck!

On a personal level, when I go to a buffet I always think I’m not getting my money’s worth if I only eat one plate full of slop. So, I force myself to go back and eat at least one more plate, if not more. Then, of course, you have to go to the sundae bar. By the time you get out, your belly is tight, you feel like shit from all the crappy food and you just want to go lie down – or shoot yourself in the face.

TRUE STORY: My buddy told me this story about a fat guy at Golden Corral buffet. He said he noticed this extremely overweight guy loading up on the special – Salisbury Steak. He had, like, ten of them on his plate. "Now," my buddy starts with a look of disgust. "This guy starts walking back to his table, which is only 8 feet away max. He pulls one of the slabs of beef up by his index finger and thumb and manages to insert into his mouth like a dolphin eating a fish at Sea World."

If you want to glamorize gluttony – or are just looking for a freakshow, go to a buffet. It’s freaking hilarious – or sad. I’m still not sure.

Then I got to thinking. You know how kids go to summer camp or parent’s buy their kid’s season passes to the pool or to the ski slope? Well, Golden Corral – or any buffet for that matter - should sell season passes to their buffet. That way you can go to the buffet whenever you want and eat. And eat. And eat.

And, much like summer camp, they should have different eating events. You know that Japanese guy that can eat all those hot dogs? Bring him in as a guest speaker to talk to the kids – via an interpreter – about what a great career you can have from eating.

They’ll have Sundae-eating contests on Sunday. An all you can eat Meat Buffet competition on Monday. And a FIND-THE-VEGETABLE-IN-THE-BEEF-GRAVY contest on Tuesday. You could also invite eating teams from other buffets around the area and have an eating competition.

I mean, the possibilities are like a Golden Corral buffet...literally endless!

In the summertime, parent’s can drop their kids off at the buffet and come pick them up after work. It’s like the buffet can be your personal nanny.

What do you guys think? I’m all ears…oops I mean stomach.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The games men play ... in their minds.

Sometimes when I drive home from work and it's a nice, sunny day I like to play this game I thought up...it's called BALLING.

Here's the premise: From the time you pull out of your work parking lot to the time you pull into your driveway at home, you have to pick three women to have sex with along the way.


  • ALL WOMEN COUNT, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE WITHIN YOUR SIGHT RANGE. They can be walking outside or in a car next to you or even nibbling on a little sandwich at the local coffee shop, but you can only pick three.

  • NO MEMORY PICKS. Even though you might want to , you can't be thinking disgusting, filthy thoughts of a fellow office worker and count that as one of your picks. Imagination is not an option in this game.

  • THEY HAVE TO BE LIVING AND BREATHING. You can't pick women that are on billboards, ads or on the side of a bus. But say you stop by the funeral home on your way home? I say go for it. But do you really want to spend one of your picks on a dead corpse?

  • YOU CAN'T TRADE IN YOUR PICKS. The beauty of this game is that, once you pick a woman, your stuck with that pick. You can't choose two ladies while you're driving through downtown and then 'accidentally' drive through a college campus and just happen to drive by the women's cross country team. You can't toss those first two picks and then pick three girls from the team, that's reneging on your picks and your disqualified! Maybe you shouldn't have been so greedy downtown. Hmmm?

  • YOU MUST PICK THREE WOMEN BEFORE YOU GET IN YOUR DRIVEWAY. This is the most important rule of the game because if you don't pick three women - all previous picks are disqualified and you have to fuck the first guy you see after you get out of your car.

Have fun gaming! And remember, the cool thing about BALLING is that YOU WIN every time.

Adirondacks, here I come!

This time next week, I'll be hiking up a mountain in the Adirondacks? Yep, it's that time of year - hiking week.

Every year, around February or March - I send out an e-mail asking people if they want to go hiking. I get 15 e-mails from people saying they're in. Then as they months go bye, people trail off for one reason or another: "I've got an in-grown toenail." "I gotta go to a wedding." "My wife doesn't want me to go." "We're going to the mall that week to shop for furniture."

And every year the same thing happens. The list goes down to two people. Then, a couple people jump on at the last minute. And everything works out fine because, truthfully, you really only want five people max. Any more people, and you might as well rent a beach house and have a fucking orgy. Plus, you don't want any lazy asses in the bunch who try to convince other people to go to an amusement park or a mall. So, I'd say about 3-5 dedicated hikers is the right number, for me.

There's this one friend of mine who has been onboard for every crazy fucking trip I think up. I call him up, tell him about the trip and he basically says, "I'm there. Tell me the date." I try to oblige on some of his kick-ass outdoor ideas - i.e. a week-long Grand Canyon trip, a trip to Banff National Park in Canada, etc. But time and a couple kids can get in the way of a good plan. But somehow, he's always onboard. (I tend to think it's the 7 weeks of vacation he gets at work, but that's just me. Yep. You heard me. Seven weeks of vacation!)

Since, 1999 most of the hikes have been bits and pieces of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia [NOTE: the above pic was taken on the AT close to Damascus,Virginia]. Last year, we hiked through Red River Gorge in Kentucky. In 1999 and 2000, I even ventured up to Isle Royale - a 13-mile island on the North side of Lake Superior - for some hiking, fishing, canoeing and portaging. As a matter of fact, two of the guys I went to Isle Royale with are going to the Adirondacks with me on this trip.

So, "Why the Adirondacks?" you ask?

Well, I had planned to hike the Delaware Water Gap part of the Appalachian Trail this year, but a fellow co-worker/hiker at my previous employment said, "Fuck the Pennsylvania AT. If you want to walk on rocks the whole time be my guest. I'd head out to the Adirondacks." Then with a slight pause and a nostalgic look on his face he blurted, "It's awesome."

That sealed it. I had to go.

I ordered the maps, which should be arriving today or tomorrow. I'm checking out my packs, buying food and basically, counting down the days.

The one thing about this particular trip is that I have no freaking idea what we're going to to do. Most of the time, after checking out the topographic maps and reading shit online, I have an outline in my head of what would be fun, where we're going to stay and where we're going to eat. But besides climbing Mount Marcy - the highest point in New York state - on Thursday - that's about it.

After I check out the maps, I'm sure I'll feel a little more comfortable. This is unknown, virgin territory to my fellow hikers and myself. Maybe that's the way it supposed be for this trip.

I just want to get the biggest bang for the amount of time we're investing.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Christopher Reeve Pay-Per-View Special

I was riding my bike through the beautiful town of Bath, Ohio, when I came across a pasture of horses. For some reason my mind reverted back to Christopher Reeve and his equestrian mishap, where his horse threw him, Reeve broke his neck and, eventually, died.

In interviews, he always said he wasn't upset at the horse or didn't want to do anything to the horse. I have my doubts. If you put me in the same situation, I would have been pissed off for life at the horse. And, in one way or another, I would get some sort of revenge.

Then I got to thinking.

Wouldn't it have been cool if Christopher Reeve put on a pay-per-view special where he killed the horse live on television? Producers could pimp his wheelchair up with missles, a machine gun and a sharp joust, which he could use to 'finish off' the horse. Then, after the kill, you could make "Official Christopher Reeve horse glue!" and sell it.

I can see the marketing campaign. And it would be fantastic. Posters with Reeve and the horse looking each other in the eye. Contests to see how long the killing would take and let's not forget about T-shirts, hats, baby onesies, motion picture rights. The possibilities would be endless.

Plus, the publicity and build-up for the event could have even rivaled the Superbowl.

ANOTHER PLUS: All the money generated would have gone to stem-cell research, which would be a plus for everyone in the world.

It would have been a win-win situation for everyone invovled. Well, everyone except the horse.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I want to live in Deadwood.

Last night, I was flipping through my 15 channels of HBO and landed on Deadwood – that popular western series where everyone cusses, even the hot women.

I got to thinking about these men. Real men. Who did real blue-collar work and handled everything with their fists and their guns, sometimes both.

Not only that, but they stood by their woman and stood by their beliefs and didn’t fold like an old lady in a hand of Texas Hold Em. Plus, they drank whiskey like a man – with no fruity chasers.

That’s what I need to be more like. I need to be a Deadwood Man - a man with convictions who sticks to his guns (no pun intended).

Person: Hey how’s it going?
Me: Hey, Fuck You. That’s how it’s going.
Person: Err. What do you think about the weather we're having?
Me: You want to know about the fucking weather? [I spit on person] It's raining spit. That's how the fucking weather is.

We then proceed to fight and I gouge him in the neck with a knife.

The Deadwood Eimer would have a conversation like this on a daily basis.

You know what? That sealed it. Tonight I’m going out and buying a 40-ounce of Mickey’s Malt Liqour.

And, who knows? I may even punch some fucker in the face.