Thursday, December 24, 2009

Finals MVP: Most Valuable Pharmacist

So I haven’t written in awhile, but that was mainly because I was busy studying for finals. Sort of. Actually, I was asleep for most of finals week. I actually had to set my alarm to make sure that I woke up for a 4:30 pm final.

Anyway, with most of the country either just finishing finals or beginning to take them, I think that we need to talk about a very important topic: recreational drug use before tests. Okay, so I used to be in favor of other students doing this, especially in classes with curves. It made me feel a lot better about my chances knowing that the idiot next to me was getting his answers from the talking waffle on his desk and laughed every time he saw the phrase “fallacious argument” on his philosophy test (okay so that last part was actually what I was doing, but that’s not important).

But now students have discovered that they can take these prescription drugs that actually help them take tests. Apparently, these drugs help them focus. This is alarming for several reasons. For one, it erodes the moral fabric of the American collegiate experience while trivializing the struggles of those who truly need medication for genuine mental problems. But more importantly, these people are getting better grades than me. This is a problem for me even without people taking mind steroids. But if these students are suddenly walking around with super-brains while I’m sitting here trying to figure out how long it takes to microwave nachos, I’m never going to make it out of here with a GPA higher than my BAC.

Now maybe there are some of you reading this who take part in this practice. I ask you this simple question: is it truly rewarding to achieve something through cheating as rewarding as achieving something through hard work and dedication? That is a stupid question; of course it is just as rewarding. In fact, it may be more rewarding, because while some of us are studying drug free, the druggies get to do other things with their free time, like watch Jersey Shore.

So some of you are simply saying, “Well Mitchell, why don’t you just take the drugs to help you take tests?” Well because I have higher moral standards than you, that’s why. Also, nobody will give me any. I don’t hang out with any people who take drugs. Or at least drugs that would help me study. Now if you want to find Narnia and laugh at centaurs, I’m sure my friends can help you there. And I don’t want to pay a drug dealer for them. Frankly, I think it’s more important to save your money for things like sushi rather than waste it on education. Besides, I’m paying thousands of dollars to come here, so I assumed that passing the class was included in that deal. With the amount I’m paying for out of state tuition I should be getting A’s for the classes I don’t even show up for.

Besides, I have serious doubts as to whether or not these drugs even actually help people take tests. It’s not like they make you smarter, it just helps you focus. So if I took these drugs, it simply means that I would go into the test and suddenly be very aware of the fact that I don’t know anything. This is not what I want. I would prefer to go in there and do what I do now, which is sit and smile blankly at the circles on my paper and then proceed to fill in bubbles randomly while “Macho Man” plays over and over again in my head. Sure, on a good day I get two questions right (name and date) but I leave that test stress free.

Unfortunately, this is not the norm. Most people come out of finals looking like they were just forced to watch puppies burned alive. Of course it helps that I am a journalism and philosophy major. My finals normally consist of the questions that have no right answer. In fact, normally you are rewarded for answers that make absolutely no sense. But for those people who were naïve enough to major in science, they don’t exactly have it as easy. I remember when I was in the dorms an upcoming chemistry test was a huge deal. For the entire week prior to the test, everybody would be locked in rooms trying to slit their wrists with their text book pages while studying for days at a time. Then of course there was the actual night of the test. I would be sitting in the lounge watching TV and over the course of the hour I would see people trickling in sobbing uncontrollably and muttering to themselves. I always made sure to lock my door on those nights, because I figured it was only a matter of time before one of them went ballistic and tried to choke sleeping people with their lab coats.

And that is why this new trend of using drugs in tests is alarming. Unlike me, most people take tests seriously and want to do well on them. With that kind of pressure, it won’t be long before everyone is using these drugs for everything. The day won’t be long before ESPN begins to reveal that Jeopardy contestants were juicing. And in that world full of lies and cheating, schools will not know who to trust. But then they will look to me, the last clean student on the campus; the last bastion of hope and honesty. A student whose mediocre grades and lackluster work ethic will lead the world into an era of righteous under-achievement. But they better hurry, cause normally when finals end I take off to Narnia for a couple of days.

Ad Nausea

I’m a huge sports fan, so I love this time of year, especially knowing that somewhere in the world Tim Tebow is crying alone in complete dejection. Unfortunately, watching sports means watching commercials. As with everything, sports in today’s world are highly sponsor driven. For instance, here’s a transcript from one of this weekend’s football games:

Announcer: “And the receiver broke loose, down past the Baskin Robbins 31 yard-line, now he’s at the Century 21, avoids a tackler at the Perfect 10, and finally down at the Jack Daniel’s No. 7.”
And it’s not just the number of commercials; because television executives think men are unable to remember things that happened more than ten minutes ago normally we are stuck watching the same commercials over and over again. Of course if you are a woman and have ever tried talking to a guy during sports, I can understand why you would think we have short term memory loss. The key is that you are asking the wrong questions. For instance, instead of asking “Did you take out the trash?” or “Did you remember our anniversary?” ask things like “Who won the first Superbowl?” We have limited brain space, and frankly we don’t waste it on petty things like whether or not we might have possibly left the toilet seat up.

Anyway, back to the commercials (which is funny cause that’s what the television announcers say every other two minutes). Obviously, ad people (we call them “people” despite the fact that most of them are humorless robots) target specific demographics, and with sports that means men. The only problem is that these people forgot to ask what men think about, because anyone watching commercials during sports would assume that men get together and talk about either their erectile dysfunction, penis enlargement, or troubles peeing. I’m going to clarify things for everybody: most men do not ever talk to each other about their genitals. It’s not a subject we like to talk about with our friends, much less our doctor (especially since at the moment my doctor is lunging at my crotch with latex gloves).

Medicine commercials are the stupidest commercials of all. They start off showing really depressed people, who are crying because they are sitting on a couch by themselves because of their (fill in the blank): arthritis, depression, sleep deprivation, herpes, premature balding, acne, etc. Then the happy music starts and we are introduced to the medicine, which always sounds like some kind of alien from Star Trek, like Zoltron or Zantog. Then we see the once depressed people happy and doing fun things, like rafting, hiking, sailing, and playing the trumpet; often at the same time.

But during these happy images, the announcer in a very soft, very quick voice, begins to read off the side effects:

“Lumasil should not be taken by women who are pregnant, may become pregnant, have ever thought about being pregnant, or whose mother at one time was pregnant. Talk to your doctor if you smoke, have liver disease, or enjoy Pop-Tarts as these may lead to complications. Side effects include jock itch, diarrhea, constipation, blindness in your left eye, random sex changes, suicidal thoughts, attraction to farm animals, and slow painful death. Do not drive, operate machinery, try to walk, or expose yourself to sunlight until you know how Lumasil affects you. Remember, if you have a runny nose, take Lumasil.”

So the basic message is that this medicine will most likely kill you or make your life miserable. But do you really want to live with a runny nose? Of course if you are like most people, the only medicine commercials you actually pay attention to are the beer commercials. And if you think that beer is not a cure all, then you are an idiot. For one thing, the only side effect beer has is making the world spin way to fast in its orbit, causing you to fall down.

But the most dangerous commercials out there are the jewelry ones. It’s coming up on the holiday season, so jewelry companies around the country are putting out those corny jewelry ads hoping in vain that normal men are actually considering spending that much money on something that isn’t even edible. I mean, have you seen how much these things cost? My neighbors were showing me some jewelry online that they liked, and these things were running into the five figures. Five, as in the number after three (which is my limit frankly). I complain about five dollar Chinese food; I’m not sure how I’m supposed to cope with what amounts to a thousand dollar rock that most people couldn’t tell apart from broken glass.

These ads are dangerous because they give women the impression that there are men out there who actually buy jewelry. Then the next thing you know they want a man who opens doors for them, picks up the check, gives foot massages, and remembers their mother’s name. These men are myths; kind of like unicorns. But when women see these commercials they tend to forget that.

I actually did a study on this in high school I showed men and women a collection of magazine ads for various products and then asked them to recall as many ads as they could. The men normally just drooled on the lingerie ads and then listed off the following ads: “Big Mac, something with that hot chick, and the beer one.” The women on the other hand, proceeded to rip out the jewelry ads and start rambling on about the “Four C’s.” Apparently women judge diamonds by the Four C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat. Notice that missing from that list is “cost,” which should always be at the top of any list regarding purchases. It’s okay, because I have my own four C’s that are guaranteed to make women happy: “cheap” “Christmas” “chocolates” from “Costco.”

Drinking On A Jet Plane

The great thing about having neighbors that you know really well is you can steal things from them all the time. For instance, I routinely steal the “New York Times” off the Mosher’s and Ariana’s doormat. In my defense, they are technically stealing it too. They didn’t subscribe to it; yet it randomly appears on the doorstep every day. Besides, they are women so they can’t read anyway; they just put it in their angry parrot’s cage (I’m assuming here that somehow the parrot does know how to read). I of course, do read the “Times” in order to enlighten myself to the goings on of the world around me. Or not. Actually, I just steal the papers for the crosswords.

Anyway, I was searching through one of the papers looking for the crosswords when I came upon an interesting and disturbing story. Apparently, a United Airlines pilot was recently arrested for trying to fly a plane drunk. Luckily, his copilot caught him before he was able to take off with 124 people on board. Of course, the signs were probably pretty obvious. For one thing, he kept singing Elton John’s “Take Me to the Pilot” to the control tower and kept asking why the man outside with the traffic cones was doing the Macarena.

Now, I’m not going to defend this guy. After all, I regularly fly on United, and they don’t let me get drunk on planes and if there is anything I don’t stand for, it is double standards. But let’s consider some of the facts. He was taking off from London (where there is nothing to do but drink because the weather outside sucks) and was going to land in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (which was designed by people clearly also under the influence of alcohol). Besides, what is he going to hit up there? It’s not like driving a car drunk, when evil trees and road signs can leap out at you and hit your car. Speaking of being in the air, do you think that the pilot was drinking Skyy Vodka? (If you were even slightly amused by that pun, you need to find the highest point near you and jump off of it now head first.)

According to the article, many people are now starting to really become concerned with what pilots are really doing during flights. I am not one of these people. I have way more important things to be worried about than what two men locked for hours alone in a small room called a “cock pit” are doing. For instance, my roommate and I are fairly confident that there is a pumpkin rotting somewhere in our house, but neither of us can remember for the life of us where we put it. Anyway, apparently last month, two pilots overshot Minneapolis by an hour because they were doing things on their laptop. I bet they were Twittering too.

Bob: “Kicking back in the cockpit. Almost to St. Louis.” (an hour ago)

Bob: “Wait, the flight is to Minneapolis?” (almost a minute ago)

Bob: “Oh s**t.” (five seconds ago)

Of course, there probably is an alternative explanation. For one, I’m pretty sure they just didn’t want to go to Minnesota. I bet when they announced that they overshot Minnesota over the loud speaker, the entire plane cheered. I mean, I have been on flights that have lasted for eight hours. That’s a lot of time to just sit in a chair and stare at the sky. And they don’t even get to watch the stupid in-flight movie (today’s movie: “Gigli”). I heard that these planes fly themselves anyway; the pilots could probably drink and sober up in time to greet the passengers leaving to take credit for staring at a computer doing all of the actual work.

But that is still no excuse for these pilots to drink. Thousands of people pay good money and get sexually harassed by airport security to put their lives in the hands of these people. When I fly, I don’t expect my final destination to be the scene of the crash. There are plenty of other jobs where drinking on the job is acceptable, like surgeons or prime minister of Russia.

Believe it or not, at one point I wanted to be a pilot. Of course by “I” I mean “my parents.” I frankly don’t like flying much. But my parents figured if I was a pilot that they could fly around the world for free. Or at least to Vegas. It’s not like they don’t go there now anyways; since I’ve been up here they’ve visited me once and gone to Las Vegas five times. But the less money they lose on plane tickets the more money they can lose at the crap tables. In fact, that is also the reason my parents wanted me to go to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, work as a dealer, or become a Vegas prostitute.

Anyways, back to my main point, which was… well I don’t really have a main point. I rarely do. But as far as planes, knowing my pilots are drunk is not going to stop me from flying. Mainly because I live on an island. If there was a boat I would take the boat. At least on the boat back home I could bask on the deck and stare at women in bikinis. Whereas normally wearing bikinis on a plane is frowned upon. Or at least it is when I do it; they might not be as opposed to it if I were a hot woman. Which is once again evidence of the sexist attitudes that make this country great. Speaking of which, I’m going to go steal wireless internet from the neighbors.

Walking in Winter Wonderland

So apparently its winter. I say apparently because I’m from Hawaii, so I’m not exactly familiar with the whole concept of “seasons.” But now that I am living in the beautiful town of Boulder, Colorado, I have a new-found appreciation for the changing of the seasons; the colors of the leaves, the sun shining off the snow, the flowers in the spring. Ahaha I’m joking of course. I hate seasons. I lived in Hawaii for almost 20 years and I didn’t spend one second thinking to myself “Boy, wouldn’t it be swell if the weather sucked half the year,” (for one thing, whenever I talk to myself I never use words like “swell”).

The reason I’m bringing this up is that this past Wednesday, Colorado had a bit of a snowstorm. Now Tuesday night, the forecast called for over a foot of snow, so the university considered cancelling school. This of course excited me, and for a moment of temporary insanity I was actually cheering for the snow. But of course when I woke up the next morning, there was not enough snow to cancel school. There was enough snow, however, to make it a pain to walk the 40 minutes to my class. Those of you that know me know that I hate class, hate walking, hate waking up before noon, hate being hungry, and hate putting on pants and shoes. Needless to say, I was not in a great mood that morning. If Megan Fox had walked up to me in a bikini that morning I would have head-butted her in the face.

So while I’m in my first class, the snow starts really picking up outside. That’s when my professor informs me that the school will be shutting down at 2 and that we are all supposed to go home. Now some of you may think that this was awesome. However, let’s analyze this for a second. I still had to walk into school in the snow, and I would still have to walk back home in the snow. I figured that since I was there already, I might as well get to go to class. I always assumed that snow days were supposed to cancel school for the entire day. In fact, the school really was kicking me out into a blizzard because all of their professors were bitching about not wanting to drive to Boulder. So with school officials poking me in the back with their skies trying to make me leave the building faster, I walked back out into two feet of snow to trudge back home.

So now that I realize even snow days suck, I really don’t see any positives about snow. Yet there are people up here who love snow and cheer for it to fall as if it cured AIDS (then again, maybe that’s why AIDS is such a big problem in Africa, it never snows). If you like snow, I have to inform you that you are going to hell. I ‘m sorry you had to find out this way. I’m just going to assume that if you like snow you have never known anything else, kind of like that argument that cows in slaughterhouses are happy because they don’t know anything else. (By the way, I don’t agree with that argument, but I do offer this: who gives a damn? They’re cows. They were put on this world for one purpose: beef.)

I’m going to be honest, I never saw it snow until I was in like middle school, and I grew up just fine. Before that, my only experience with snow was in cartoons like Pooh Bear’s Christmas. By the way, Winnie the Pooh is the greatest cartoon of all time. If you didn’t like Winnie the Pooh growing up I no longer want to talk to you (mainly because it has been scientifically proven kids who don’t watch Pooh growing up become serial killers). Anyway, in the cartoons snow always looked soft and fluffy and you could make perfect snowballs and snowmen and snow angels. Then I played in the snow for the first time and realized what snow truly was: frozen lies. Or at least frozen water. Seriously, my sister made a snowball and nailed me in the head with it and nearly knocked me out. Apparently the second humans touch snow it turns into ice. To this day I have never been able to make a round snowball or a snowman that doesn’t look like some sort of Guantanamo Bay torture victim (my most recent try on that snow day honestly looked more like a fish than Frosty, but in my defense when we found out school had been cancelled we hit the bottles at 3 in the afternoon).

Now every person I meet who finds out I go the University of Colorado always asks me if I ski or snowboard. I find this stupid; just because everyone else here does it doesn’t mean I do. Do you see me asking people who go the University of Florida if they engage in sodomy? No. Mainly because I have a strict policy against talking to people who went to the University of Florida. But anyway, whenever people find out I don’t ski or snowboard they always ask me why I would go the University of Colorado if I don’t. I guess it really is that hard to imagine me making a decision based solely on academics. I politely inform these people that growing up in Hawaii, I wasn’t exactly exposed to the ski and snowboarding culture. It’s like asking people from Nebraska why they don’t like reading.

Of course, these same people then follow up with “but it’s just like surfing.” Which is a great point, snowboarding is exactly like surfing. Except that one takes place on a beach in warm tropical waters surrounded by chicks in bikinis. The other takes place in the snow on a cold, lonely mountain with people in so many layers of clothes you can’t tell what species they are, much less their gender. Now, I have skied and snowboarded multiple times. Which is further evidence that I am a slow learner. For one, the boots are clearly designed for a different species of animal whose legs bend the other way, like horses. Because they are clearly not meant for humans, or at least me. The walk from the lift to the hill was twenty feet long, and it took me nearly an hour to get there. Then there is the whole matter of falling down. I suck at surfing, so I always fall down, but at least water is somewhat forgiving. Ice on the other hand does not give at all. Just ask Natasha Richardson.

So now that the snowy season has begun, you will probably see very little of me outside of the house. Now that I have a snuggie in fact, you will rarely see me off the couch.

House of Horrors

As I’m sure many of you have heard, the latest movie craze sweeping the nation is “Paranormal Activity,” which by some genius marketing ploy, is raking in millions of dollars even though the entire movie apparently cost 50 cents to make (and that’s only because the director wanted a pack of bubble gum). Supposedly this is the scariest movie ever made and is solely responsible for wet beds and sleep trouble around the nation.

Now I hate scary movies, so when I heard this, I was perfectly content to listen to the film critics and just assume it was scary, never see it, and live my life in peace. But anybody who knows how my life works and the people I hang out with of course know that this was never going to happen. About a week ago, Will and the Mosher’s decided they wanted to go see the movie. At the moment, I was enjoying the start of the weekend and drinking at 4:30, so I politely suggested that maybe they go and leave me in my happy place. Needless to say, an hour later I found myself sitting in the theater silently wondering to myself if anybody would notice if I closed my eyes the entire movie.

Once the movie started however I realized the only reason I would have to close my eyes is because I was going to fall asleep from boredom. This was maybe the least scary horror movie I have ever seen. The “Jonas Brother’s 3-D Concert Movie” was scarier than this movie (just don’t ask why I’ve watched a Jonas Brothers movie). The only thing that will be keeping me up at night is knowing I spent money to see this movie.

So of course, unsatisfied by that experience and still looking for a good scare, we decided to go to a haunted house this weekend (once again, by “we” I mean “not me”; I was perfectly content with not being scared). We went to a haunted house last year, but it wasn’t all that scary. The scariest part of that night was sitting in the front seat of a car while an Asian woman was driving. But this year we went to the 13th Floor Haunted House, which is supposedly the scariest haunted house in the state. So we proceeded to pack a Ford Focus with about ten people and rumbled down the highway listening to some song called “Stop, Stay Away From My Sister.” Seriously, listen to it. It may be the worst song I’ve ever heard, and let me remind you once again I watched “The Jonas Brothers 3-D Concert.” I’m pretty sure I’m now listed on the sex-offender registry just for listening to it.

Anyway, we finally got to the haunted house, and saw what may have been the scariest sight I have seen in my life: a huge ass line. Seriously, we stood in that line for two hours in the cold (and as it turns out it was the line to use the bathroom). Now, let me tell you a few things about going to haunted houses with women. You should always bring some, because even if the house is not scary, you will get some entertainment out of watching them freak out. Something will scare one, which will cause it to scream. This in turn will cause all the others to scream, which creates a sound that to this day is causing my ears to bleed. So it wasn’t a good sign when one of the women (cough, Maddie, cough), was scared by one of the cast members before we even got into the house. One second she’s standing there, the next she did some sort of football spin move and was fifty yards away. Needless to say, this did not bode well for the actual house.

Now I’ve been to several haunted houses, and this was a pretty scary one. The first thing we see is a large waiver sign. Now, I wanted to drink beforehand, but the rest of the group wouldn’t let me because there were supposedly empty elevator shafts, and for those of you who have seen me drunk, falling into holes and ditches is a recurring theme. Also, due to my walking speed, I’m normally last in the group. This means several things. For one, it means I can creep up behind other people in the group and scare them. Two, the actors always jump out at the people in front of me, so by the time I get to them we just sort of state at each other in a really awkward silence so it’s hard to get scared. Third, there is always some creepy lady in a costume trying to get me to hurry up in a creepy yet authoritative voice at which point I tell her I would hurry up if the women up front weren’t curled up in the fetal position on the ground. So normally going last isn’t too bad.

This time however me being last had some negative consequences: I got lost. Yep, at one point I became completely separated from the group, which meant for about ten minutes I was wandering through the haunted house alone. Now, you would think this is when the actors would really try and mess with you, but for some reason they didn’t. In fact, they looked more confused than me when they saw me wandering with my hands out in front of me asking props for directions. Then again, if I saw some guy going through a haunted house by himself, I would assume he has no friends and is probably really weird and might shoot me, so I probably wouldn’t scare him. Besides, I think they were too busy laughing at me because I was tripping over everything I possibly could and bumping into walls. You know how in horror movies we always mock the people because they always trip on something which allows the zombies to catch up with them and eat their brains? Well I will never do that again, because if I were in that horror movie I did everything that leads to people dying: I went last, I got lost, I tripped on things, and I’m a minority.

Anyway somehow I managed to catch up with my group (I’m assuming once again it had something to do with women in the fetal position on the floor) in time for the last room, which of course was a guy with a chainsaw (which was sort of anti-climactic seeing as we could hear the chainsaw from four rooms away). But overall it was a memorable experience that will stick with us for awhile. Mainly because we all got sick. Yeah, yesterday I wake up sick and later I find out the women who went all had the same symptoms as me. So if nothing else, the haunted house gave me an excuse to miss class. So in the end, I guess it was worth it.

The Gender War: The Women May Be Winning, But That's Cause They're Cheating

Sometimes I get the impression that some women are a little confusing. And by “sometimes” I mean “everyday.” And by “some women” I mean “all women.” And by “a little confusing” I mean “bat-shit crazy.”

Now before all of you women out there start freaking out and calling me a sexist pig, might I point out that if you have ever spent any time with me you should already know this and if you are especially offended by sexist stereo-types you should stop reading and go back to knitting. It’s definitely not that I don’t like women; it’s just that I, like every other honest man in the world will admit, understand women about as well as the British understand the concept of oral hygiene. And it’s not like this is a new problem. Men for centuries have tried to solve women, and most of them have died. To prove my point, we welcome back cavemen Wog and Oog.

Wog: Why are you sleeping outside the cave?

Oog: My wife is mad at me for something.

Wog: What could she be mad at you for? They haven’t invented sports so you could ignore her, there aren’t toilet seats to leave down, we don’t know how to make alcohol that we can abuse, and we don’t have computers so she can’t find your porn. So what did you do?

(Crickets chirping in background)

Oog: It must have something to do with emotions or communication or something.

Of course, since man still has yet to discover the concept of emotions, we still find ourselves facing the same problems as Wog and Oog. When you think about it, cavemen had it easy. If women got mad at them, the odds were good that they were just eaten by saber-toothed tigers or something and their pain ended right there. We men in modern times, however, are reduced to hoping that we get run over in our driveways by women drivers who are trying to back out of their garages while also drinking coffee, eating tofu, putting on makeup, texting on their phones, playing checkers and whatever else they are doing in their cars while they are ignoring road signs.

Now I’m not saying women are inferior to men (I’m simply implying it). There are many things that women do better than men, like yelling. What I’m saying is that women think… differently. Let’s face it, men are relatively uncomplicated. We feel three emotions: hunger, thirst, and sleepiness. If you don’t think those are true emotions that can tear at a man’s heart, than you are probably a woman. Also, when men want things, we tend to tell you we want things. We frankly are too busy to be inventing mind games to convey what we want. It always cracks me up when I see all these articles in women’s magazines that say things like “Figure out what your man wants” (if he’s not already eating it, you should just ask him) or “What turns men on” (answer: pretty much anything and everything). Don’t ask why I read women’s magazines; you're missing the point. If a man’s trail of thought were a road, it would be a one way straight lane.

A woman’s thought train on the other hand more closely resembles the US Interstate Highway system. It’s littered with all kinds of random exits, signs that don’t make sense, and dead animals. I’m going use my friends as an example. To protect their identities, I’m simply going to refer to them as “Baddie” and “Midget.” The other night, I was at their place when a friend of mine stole their phone. After several seconds of debating, they came up with a plan to get their phone back: they slapped me. Once again, let me make it clear that I had not stolen the phone. In fact, I had not moved from my spot on the couch the entire time. But somewhere in their twisted female minds, slapping me in the chest twenty times would somehow get the other guy to give them their phone.

Then last night, a group of us (and I have no interest in protecting their identities so I am just going to say it was Kyle, Chris, and Stephen) for some reason decided to let these same women put makeup on us. Now before you go and start reaching all sorts of conclusions and start buying me Zac Effron posters, let me establish that previous to this we had consumed a large amount of a certain beverage that tends to make you do stupid things like letting two giggling girls put make up on four grown men. Also, it was Chris’s idea. It was one of many bright ideas he had that night, some of which included stubbing his baby toe on a door, trying to fight a small parrot, and attaching a clothespin to his nipples (all of which is on video somewhere).

Now when we woke up this morning (or afternoon if you want to be picky), we began to realize the makeup was not necessarily coming off. Since we did not want to go out in public looking like tranny hookers/raccoons we began to panic and asked the girls how to remove the makeup. They then revealed that they had used waterproof makeup and suggested baby oil or makeup remover. Now as you could imagine, we didn’t exactly have those supplies with us. The only “supplies” we had in our apartment were beer and rum, which did not work by the way. I of course asked why they would need waterproof mascara and they answered “for when we go to water parks.” Because heaven forbid you go to a water park not looking like Marilyn Manson.

While I’m giving examples, I’m going to use my sister, who is a junior in high school. One day earlier this year, she decides to go to school in what appeared to me to be something Paris Hilton would wear to a club. I politely and tactfully informed her that the dress would never pass dress code and that she looked like a hooker. She explained that since she was going to wear a jacket over the dress, then nobody would see what she was wearing and she wouldn’t get written up for dress code. I then asked that since nobody was going to see what she was wearing, then WHY ARE YOU WEARING A DRESS THAT COSTS MORE THAN MY ENTIRE CLOSET TO STUDY ALGEBRA! At that point she resorted to trying to change the subject by swearing at me, which I find is a common theme with women talking to me.

Anyway, somebody eventually figured out how to land a man on the moon, so I’m sure one of these days some brave man will figure out women. Unfortunately, he will instantly be assassinated by said women, because keeping secrets is how they maintain power. Like secrets about how to remove waterproof mascara. If you have any ideas I’m listening. In the meantime, since my face is soaked in rum anyway I’m going to try to burn it off. It’s waterproof, but they never said anything about fireproof.

A Truly Nobel Gesture

So I stayed awake long enough in my political science class the other day to find out that apparently Barack Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now at the moment, I didn’t really see what was the big deal, so I went back to sleep. But when I woke up they were still talking about it, so I’m assuming that everybody else thinks this is a huge issue.

Now as always when I am about to examine a huge issue, I decided to do some research and deep soulful thinking. So I took a nap on my couch. Then I went on Wikipedia to find out what the hell a Nobel Prize was. Apparently the Nobel Prize is awarded by some committee of really old people with funny accents who live in one of those European countries that never have wars and just smoke and drink all day and harbor rich people’s money, like Sweden or Delaware or something. Apparently there are several different categories of Nobel Prizes: Peace, Science, Spelling, Best Evening Gown, and Cinematography.

So anyway, every year, this committee locks themselves in a church and they don’t leave until they decide the winner, when they send white smoke up the chimney. Wait… sorry my bad. I’m getting mixed up, that’s how they decide the pope. Anyway, somehow they decide who gets the Nobel Prize, and this year they decided to award it to Barack Obama. Which is completely understandable. I mean, he’s been doing some great in his first few months as the president. What was that? He was nominated in February? But that means he was nominated after being president for like a week?

Never the less, I think it’s a great decision on the part of the committee. I mean, not only did Obama unite the world in a captivating national campaign of hope, change, and inspiration, but he changed the Oval Office drapes on his fourth day in office and they go way better with the carpet now. And trust me; nothing encourages peace more than good feng-shui when you are negotiating treaties. The explanation given by the Nobel Committee was as follows: guggenheimen wienerschnitzel hamburgular hindenburgen doitshce baggattee. As it turns out they don’t speak English, but once everything was translated, their story was that Obama encouraged an atmosphere of peace. They also added that this year’s candidate pool was not exactly deep. The other nominees are not made public, but rumor has it that the runner-up for the award was the Geico gecko.

Besides, Obama is the not the only president to win a Nobel. I mean, Teddy Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize and he was famous for shooting a whole lot of people in the Spanish-American War and saying to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” The Dalai Lama won and to my knowledge he, unlike Obama, never threw out the first pitch at the MLB All-Star Game. I mean for goodness sakes, Al Gore won just because the Nobel committee cried every time they saw all those poor baby polar bears drowning.

So of course, Barack Obama made a very modest speech before he was interrupted by Kanye West, who attempted to give the award to Lady Gaga. But in the speech he said that the award really belonged to the American people. Which of course means that I can now add Nobel Peace Prize winner to my long list of accomplishments this week (like waking up before dinner every day and not getting hit by a car).

Of course the question now becomes, why didn’t they just give the award to me in the first place instead of doing it through Barack? I mean, I’m not undercutting the accomplishments (?) of Barack Obama, but I’ve done more to encourage peace today than he has in the last week, and I have not even left my couch. Everybody you talk to that knows me will tell you that I am a true champion of peace (if they say differently, than they obviously don’t know me). For instance, I often walk up to pure strangers and give them big hugs. Sure, I’m normally drunk and stumbling down the street at 3 in the morning when I do, but I bet Obama doesn’t go around giving homeless people hugs in the morning. Besides, and I don’t mean to brag here, but I have never watched an episode of “The Hills” or “John and Kate Plus 8”, and if that doesn’t earn me an award then I’m not exactly sure what does.

Of course, unlike me, Obama now has to bear the burden of this award in the public eye while I gracefully carry out my peace-bringing ways in unacknowledged secrecy. Kind of like Bono and Angelina Jolie. And I’m starting to see signs of the award getting to his head. For instance, did you know that we recently bombed the moon? That’s right, just after he gets an award for bringing about peace, he goes and lets NASA bomb the moon, which I’m pretty sure has never made a threatening move in its history. The only country to be less threatening military wise is Canada, and that’s only because the truck carrying the entire Canadian army broke down on a road somewhere in Quebec and all six soldiers got mad cow. And yet here we are, bombing the moon. Yeah sure, NASA is saying we’re “looking for water.” Right, the same way we were “looking for Osama bin Laden.” Anyways, I have to be going. As a Nobel Prize winner, I have to look after the children I adopted from Africa. I sent them to fetch me a pizza and they haven’t come back yet.

Going Green

So this morning (by morning I mean when we woke up, which was at noon), me and a couple friends decided to go someplace to eat breakfast. This was a harder task than you would think, mainly because every other normally functioning person by this time was eating lunch and doing many productive things with their day, while I was still wondering where I put my underwear (and I still am for that matter).

Anyway, we finally found a place called Turley’s that was still serving breakfast food so we decided to give it a try. Now, a more alert and awake person would have noticed several warning signs when we went to this place. First off, when we walked in the place there were maybe ten people in there, and I’m counting the three of us and the seven workers. The second warning was the menu. Anytime you see something called a Tofu Scramble on the first page of the menu, you should carefully set the menu down, back away slowly, and don’t make any sudden movements or loud sounds. If not, you will frighten the vegans and they will try to scamper back into the woods and get run over on the highway.

Okay, so there were some normal items on the menu, but even the meats supposedly had no anti-biotics or steroids or heroin or whatever they put into animals nowadays to make them taste good. But the food is not what we should have feared. For some reason (I would say a combination of low IQ’s, high testosterone, and the word “shot”) we decided to try something called a wheat grass shot. The menu said that one ounce of this stuff was equivalent to 2.5 pounds of leafy greens. Now, I’ve never been great with math, but I’m not exactly sure how that works. I bet it involves quantum physics or molecular biology or the alphabet or some other concept I don’t understand.

All I know is that I’m pretty sure even I’ve never eaten 2.5 pounds of anything in one sitting. Okay that’s a lie, but steaks don’t count. But I know I’ve never eaten more than a pound of green things before. Do you know why? Because the last time I checked, I am not a cow. I just look, smell and think like one. I’m pretty sure even cows don’t eat more than a pound of grass at a time, and they have four stomachs. I only have two, so I don’t stand a chance. All cows do anyway is eat like one bite and then keep throwing it up in their mouths and chewing it and swallowing it again all day, kind of like a frat president.

Anyway, the waitress finally brought us our shots. Now to be honest, I’ve eaten and drank a lot of disgusting things in my life. I’ve had bugs, cat food, live crabs, month-old beer, and dorm food. But after seeing and smelling this thing, it was the most scared I had ever been to drink something. This thing smelled like freshly mowed lawn and was the same color as Oscar the Grouch, but less friendly. I of course asked the waiter if I was going to like this and before I even finished my sentence she said “Absolutely not.”

After about five minutes of crying, we finally did chug it. I have to be honest, you know how there are some things that you are apprehensive about trying, but when you finally do you realize it actually tastes really good and you were ashamed to be afraid of it in the first place? This was not one of those things. It tasted like grass. Which we probably should have figured out earlier, but if we had decent reasoning skills we wouldn’t have ordered them in the first place. In reality it didn’t taste as bad as it smelled and looked, but by no means did it taste good.

After drinking them we took a look at the menu to see what benefits we would get from it aside from smelling like the garden section of Home Depot. Apparently it I supposed to help increase among other things our athletic potential, which would be useful if I was ever in the mood to be athletic, which I never am. And of course, we got enough fiber to unclog the Hoover Dam. I’m pretty sure everything we eat from now on will just slide through our body like a water slide and drop straight into our pants (which means I really need to get on finding my underwear). I feel like Snow White, I’m walking around and all these random animals are following me around because I smell like some kind of food trough. Every time I burp it tastes like I maintained an entire golf course with my teeth.

And if you think the wheat grass wasn’t sitting well with us, you should have felt what my stomach did when we got the bill. Each shot cost us $2, which is ridiculous. McDonald’s charges you a dollar for a burger, which actually tastes like food. But as with almost everything, this experience gave me a great business idea. If people actually pay to drink these things, I say why stop with grass? Tree bark cocktails, moss margaritas, fungus bombs, dirt daiquiris, the possibilities are endless. And since I can get all of the ingredients by walking around the woods, it’s 100% profit! Now all I need to do is herd the vegans away from the highway and into my bar. All I need is some of that Tofu Scramble as bait.

Next On the Agenda: Nap Time

So this past Tuesday I attended a City Council meeting as part of an assignment for my reporting class. And by attending I mean I didn’t go. I frankly had more important things to do, like sleep. If you think sleep is not important, you should try getting the swine flu, like I just recently did. I slept for two days straight, and I’m pretty sure the only reason I didn’t die is because I was too sleepy to die. Of course the day I finally get up the energy to go back to class, my reporting teacher decides to make us cover this City Council meeting. Unfortunately, the meeting started at 5 in the evening and is probably still going on. I, like many college students (including most of the others in the reporting class), have way too many things on our plates to be spending six hours sitting in a building that does not involve a bouncy castle.

I was however able to catch some of the meeting on television. Yes, they air these meetings on live television, bumping the Jonas Brothers to third on the list of the stupidest things on television (both are still chasing those TV priests who inspire people to give their money to them… er… God, via yelling and hair gel). Anyway, this is what I could gather from those five minutes: absolutely nothing. These meetings are run by trained politicians, who are well versed in the art of making nothing into something and making that something very boring. These people could sit there and argue about the proper spelling of the word “is.”

Anyway, the main agenda of the evening was a bill on reducing the size of houses in Boulder. As a person who does not currently live in a house and will probably never own a house in Boulder, this issue was about as interesting as a lecture on proper sod removal technique. But apparently to everybody else it was a huge issue. And by everybody else I mean the ten lonely wackos who showed up to the goddam meeting. I mean, these people got up to the podium and referenced emails they sent the council before hand. That’s right, this was my assignment and I still did less research than these people. Most of these people were mad that the character of the city was being compromised by these large buildings. Now, I’m not here to nitpick, but since when did Boulder have character? If by character you mean rich snobby businessmen surrounded by pot smoking vegan hippies, then yes, Boulder has tons of character.

Besides, who are we to tell rich people how big they can build their houses? Frankly, when I get rich, I’m not going to ask my neighbors for permission before I start building my mansion. Do you know why? I won’t have neighbors. I’m going to buy my own damn island. And yet here are these concerned (by concerned I mean filled with jealous hatred) citizens of Boulder who are insisting that large mansions are an eyesore upon their neighborhoods and corrupting the youth of America and solely responsible for decreasing literacy rates and inner city violence in Colorado (even though everyone knows the real culprit is Hannah Montana).

I think by now I’ve properly illustrated how stupid covering this City Council meeting would have been. Now, I’m not saying I haven’t covered stupid things as a reporter before. But do you know what made those meetings way more interesting and captivating? It was the fact that it was in my own community, and I could really connect with the issues at hand and feel like I had something at stake. Haha I’m just joking. It’s because I was getting paid. They should give ADD kids money to pay attention, because I’ve somehow been genuinely interested in things like duck habitats and solar panels where normally I would have fallen asleep so fast I would have fallen face first into the duck pond (by the way, I was at that duck habitat for three hours, and the only thing I never saw were ducks).

In my opinion, to make the reporting class truly representative of today’s journalistic environment, they should pay us very little money and then fire us so they have money to hire fifty new web design nerds who spent their college years creating viruses and spilling hot pocket cheese on their sweatpants. Forgive me if I’m a little mad about this, but it’s very frustrating when your chosen profession, your true passion (or in my case, the only thing I don’t completely suck at), is slowly disappearing in the real world. I swear, every journalism professor I have just sits there and tells me how much it sucks to be a journalism major. So to prepare us, these classes try to teach us diverse journalism skills, like web design, architecture, flipping burgers, pole dancing, prostitution, etc. Because the world will always need doctors and lawyers (to sue the doctors), but sometime in the future (like yesterday), people will no longer need journalists. Instead of paying for poor reporting and plagiarism, they can get it for free on Twitter. While we journalists are stuck with all of our morals and ethics of reporting, Twittering idiots can bypass all of that and just write “Obama calls Kanye West ‘jackass,’” even after Obama requested it be left off the record.

Now, there are probably some of you who are thinking to yourselves, “Mitchell, if you would just buckle down and do the stupid reporting assignment instead of writing stupid notes about it you would be done already and you would stop complaining and I could go back to mindlessly Twittering.” Well, unfortunately I have writers block, and when I have writers block I find that the best cure is to write about something else. So really, by reading this, you are all helping me to write my article for reporting class. As such, I feel I have the right to blame all of you when I get an F on this paper.

There's No Place Like Homepage

So I haven’t written one of these things in a while. Some of you out there are thinking to yourselves that this is because I’ve finally decided to buckle down on school work and stop spending all of my time writing random rants about things most people stopped caring about after first grade. Clearly some of you don’t know me. I haven’t been writing these because I haven’t had internet for the last three weeks I’ve been up here. Internet is one of those funny things that you never miss until you don’t have it, like cheese and cup holders.

Of course the big question is why I didn’t have internet. I mean, monkeys living in trees on the Amazon River have internet (as it turns out they run Twitter). Well, to be fair, we haven’t even lived in the apartment we’re in for a month. For those of you who don’t know, we actually had signed a lease on a five-bedroom house. Unfortunately, about a week after we toured the house and signed the lease, one of the tenants living in the house died of an opium tea overdose. On a side note, how embarrassing is it to OD on something called opium tea? At least the other OD victims can say they died of something a little more hard core sounding, like heroin. Opium tea sounds like something British children drink after their afternoon tutoring sessions. Anyway, apparently the dead guy was also the only tenant who cleaned, because when my roommates went to move in the house had (among other things): ripped carpets, broken doors, exposed wiring, moldy bathrooms, and a foam deer head with knives stuck in it. So trust me, learn from our mistake and walk right up to the previous tenants, and ask them, “Are you addicted to drugs?” It may seem rude, but trust me it is. But that’s better than having your landlord, John Bopp, fail to inform you that a drug addict has died in your house (by the way, “John Bopp and the Druggies” would be an awesome band name).

So anyway, that’s how we ended up living with three people in a two-bedroom apartment. Needless to say, having moved in at the last minute, our apartment didn’t have a lot of amenities, such as TV, internet, and most of our furniture. With almost nothing to do, my roommate Chris and I spent most of our time sitting on opposite couches and staring at each other in dark silence. At one point, we entertained ourselves by trying to throw an empty plastic bottle into a cardboard box. At that time we had just as many one-pound bags of cheese (one) as beds in the house (one), so we couldn’t even just sleep to pass time.

Since then of course we’ve upgraded considerably. For instance, we now have two one-pound bags of cheese. But for a long time the internet was the one thing we were unable to get working. We’re going to do a little exercise here. Close your eyes (make sure that you aren’t somewhere where this could be a problem, like in a room with a rapist). You didn’t close your eyes did you? How do I know that? Because you are still reading this you dumbass, which is hard to do with your eyes closed. So get someone next to you (the rapist is fine as long as he can read) to read this out loud to you. Anyway, now imagine you don’t have the internet. What’s the first thing you are going to miss?

Please don’t tell me you said Twitter. You said Twitter didn’t you? Or wait, no, you tweeted that you would miss Twitter. It just sounds dirty, like “and then the rapist tweeted his victim, who had their eyes closed while reading stupid blog posts.” And the horrible thing is that this whole Twittering phenomenon is spreading like Amy Winehouse’s diaper rash. What’s worse is that it’s infecting everything I used to love (Twitter, that is, not Amy’s diaper rash). Even ESPN and UFC stop every five minutes to inform me that I can log onto Twitter and read what they were supposed to tell me on the TV. That’s kind of why I tuned in, but the TV show wouldn’t dare waste their good information on something as trivial as viewers. No, they save it for their Twitter “followers” as they are called (I guess because empty-headed sheep isn’t as catchy). Even “Regis and Kelly Live” isn’t safe from Twitter (because stupid Ashton Kutcher went on the show and decided to spend the entire show tweeting instead of making the usual retarded sounds that he passes as jokes). As usual, I have been a little late catching on with this fad. I’m still not exactly sure what you do on Twitter, but if Ashton Kutcher uses it, it’s a safe bet that it is completely useless. I can honestly say that I rarely want to know what most celebrities think even on important issues, much less know what they are thinking every five minutes about random things like grapefruits.

Of course, if you didn’t say you would miss Twitter, I have a new respect for you. That is, as long as you didn’t say you would miss something stupid, like the ability to do your homework or something. I realized that what I missed most about the internet is the news. For instance, I honestly had no idea that DJ AM had died. But now that I have the internet, I can truly keep current on the news. Which is good, because I’m looking forward to Ted Kennedy helping to pass this health care reform.

Leaving A Theater Near You

So this past Thursday I went with a few of my friends to see the midnight premiere of the new movie “District 9.” Don’t ask me why; off the top of my head I can name about fifty things I would have rather done at midnight (most of which involve some form of sleeping). I’m pretty sure my friends knew this too, but they needed me to drive. Being the only reliable driver is one of the many side effects of hanging out with a lot of Asians (another is their tendency to talk about stupid Japanese cartoons and irritating music).

You see I’m not a huge movie guy, so the idea of staying up that late to see a movie perplexes me. The other thing is that when you go to the midnight premiere of a movie, the movie inevitably will always be disappointing. “District 9” was no different. For one thing, everyone in the movie had stupid British accents. The aliens spoke in weird little clicks but at least they had subtitles. I had no idea what any of the humans were saying. Also, all the action happens in five minutes and the end is disappointing (no, the movie; not your sex life).

I for one thought that “G.I Joe” was a much better movie, and no I am not ashamed to admit that I saw “G.I. Joe,” or to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Sure, all of my friends tried to pretend that they had class and were sophisticated and said that the movie was horrible because the acting stunk and the plot was so cliché a four-year-old could have written it while in a coma. My friend’s girlfriend stated several times that one of the actresses was horrible and her character seemed stupid and shallow. I argued that since that is how women are in real life that this actress deserved an Oscar (what I just said probably would have upset a lot of women, if women could read) and that Channing Tatum couldn’t play dead if you shot him in the face with a shotgun. But do you know what? I really don’t care, because there were awesome guns and planes and for some reason two hot women whose idea of appropriate fighting attire was made up tight leather pants, high heels and designer glasses. But my favorite part is that they spend the entire second half of the movie just blowing up France and hurting French people. So basically the entire movie was like my dreams every other night, except with Channing Tatum (and with a little less Dennis Quaid).

But of course we can’t talk about hit movies of the summer without talking about Harry Potter. Actually that was a lie, I could easily just talk about Megan Fox and Moon Bloodgood and whatever the names of the movies they were in were that escape me at the moment. Anyway, a friend decided she wanted us to go to see Harry Potter for her birthday. For one thing, I hate going to movies to hang out. My idea of fun is not sitting in a dark room and not knowing if anybody else is even awake (once again, I am not talking about your sex life).

So needless to say I wasn’t crazy about going to this movie, especially knowing I was once again going to have to listen to a bunch of people with British accents (one of whom was naked with a horse, which should definitely be illegal). What made it worse is that we were surrounded by what appeared to be an entire girl’s middle school. A preview came on for some movie called Twilight that is currently sweeping the nation (and by nation I mean everyone who shops at Old Navy and doesn’t puke upon hearing the words “Zac Effron”). Apparently it’s a movie about a boy and girl who grow up in Washington and as a result are very pale, which leads them to believe they are vampires one day while they were running around the forest smoking marijuana. When this preview came on, the entire row behind me made a shrieking sound that is making my ears bleed until this very day. This same row also critiqued the entire movie by pointing out areas where the movie strayed from the book. SPOILER ALERT: YOU SHOULD NOT READ PAST THIS POINT IF YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT DUMBLEDORE DIES IN THIS MOVIE. Wait… oh whoops. Back to my point; let’s say that Harry says “Hey look! My magic wand is infected!” the girls behind me would say “That’s wrong! In the book he said ‘Hey guys look! My magic wand is infected!” These people knew this book better than I know my alphabet.

While knowing the book can make the movie a bit anticlimactic, I don’t necessarily consider that a bad thing. I don’t like it when movies have complicated plots or sad storylines. I don’t like to be stressed or uncomfortable during movies. This is probably why I hate horror movies. I remember earlier this year we went to go see the movie “My Bloody Valentine.” Looking back on it now, considering the title of the movie and knowing I hated horror movies I should have decided to watch something a little less violent, like “Bambi.” I mean we’re not even five minutes into this movie and at least 20 people are dead. The villain killed this one girl in such a way that she resembled the Canadians in South Park, if you catch my drift (if you didn’t catch my drift, he chopped her head in half with a shovel). I spent most of the movie looking at my feet and curling into the fetal position in my chair. Frankly, I’m proud that I didn’t scream or grab onto anybody during the movie. What made it worse is that this movie was in 3-D. Making movies in 3-D has become the newest trend in the movie business, changing a truly horrible movie into a truly horrible movie that you have to watch through stupid glasses (and for those of us who already wear glasses, you have to wear these over your glasses, which makes you look like a complete retard).

Of course, not liking something has never stopped me from trying to figure out how to get easy fame and fortune from it. So I have decided to work on my own script for a summer blockbuster. Since the undead seem to be popular movie topics these days, my movie will be about a bunch of zombies who lifelessly wander around town. To spice up the movie I’ll insert a brainless bimbo to run around and scream, and to make sure the movie is diverse I’ll cast a gay guy as the lead actor. It’s perfect! I think I’ll call it “High School Musical.”

Remember the Days?

So my sister has started school again, which of course means she was scrambling at the last minute to finish a history project, which of course means her parents decide to ask me to help her. Of course all of you who actually know me already know why this is funny: I don’t know diddly-squat about anything that doesn’t involve food or football. But history is very important. Imagine how much better our lives would be if our world leaders paid attention in history classes instead of carving “Dick was here” into the back of other student’s heads. Because we’re always being told that if we study history, we will avoid those same mistakes today. This certainly makes sense, seeing as history is filled with wars, discrimination, bad wigs and other things we supposedly want to avoid today.

With all that said, I don’t know anything about history. The last US history class I had was my junior year with Mr. Backhaus. Now Mr. Backhaus was the type of teacher who clearly was very involved in certain parts of American history, mainly the parts where recreational drug use was widely practiced. He would say half of a sentence, make this strange sound and just kind of stare off into the distance. But Mr. Backhaus is not the only reason I know nothing about history. First off, history is very long and monotonous. Oh sure, history buffs can go on and on about things like foreign policy, but the only things I used to remember were funny sounding things like the “Hawley Smoot Tariff,” (and I’m not even sure what that is; it sounds like what someone from Utah would say if they were cut off in traffic). As it turns out, a lot of people participated in history, and most of them have the most ridiculous names with way too many intitials and nicknames in quotation marks, like Howard I. O. U. “Cookie Monster” Googleberry IV Jr.

Another difficult thing about learning history is that most of the people who experienced history first-hand are dead, and thus they don’t make the greatest teachers (but they probably tell better jokes than my professors). So we have to rely on history books for all of our information. Luckily for us, in a genuine effort to connect with young people and be “hip,” history books were written to be very boring. They cover wars (the only cool parts of history) in a page but they can spend entire chapters mumbling on about “culture,” (which apparently was everywhere in history). Also, have you ever noticed that at the end and beginning of chapters history books tend to start using a lot of metaphors to describe things? Like a typical end to a chapter will read something like: “But the tornado of immigration had just begun to stir up the dust clouds of discontent as the storm front of ignorance summoned the rainstorm of violence which was about the fall on the small island of peace and kill all the llamas of tranquility.”

I have always gone under the assumption that history starts with the formation of the US. Sure, stuff happens before then but none of it is interesting. There was a big bang, Littlefoot finally reached puberty and was hit by an asteroid, cavemen invented the first wheel and a day later was arrested for the first DUI, the Romans killed the Greeks for inventing math, and nobody had heard of Twitter. As you can see there’s nothing much to talk about, so let’s just start with us. It all started when the colonists decided they didn’t want to pay taxes and revolted. Back then it was patriotic but today we call it felony tax evasion, so don’t go thinking you can just declare your sofa its own country and stop paying taxes. Anyway, this started the Revolutionary War, pitting the English “lobster backs” (so called because their uniforms were similar to lobsters in that they had tails and eight legs) and the “minute men” (so called because that’s how long it took for them to load their stupid guns, during which time the British would walk right up to them and beat them to death with their claws). By the way, what kind of men would have taken pride in being called “minute men?”

As you can probably tell by the fact that we call ourselves Americans and not pompous snobs, we won the Revolutionary War on a last second touchdown run by Paul Revere in spite of the fact that the French were on our side. (The French losing is a common theme in history; a dozen kindergarteners and a group of circus chimps armed with bubble wrap could conquer France in a day). But now that we had our own country we needed to write a constitution, so we turned to Thomas Jefferson. He was actually given three weeks to write it, but he procrastinated and played Halo instead, which meant he had to do it all on the last night. This is probably why our Constitution has a lot of grammatical errors in it, like “we the people” and leaves out a lot of people, like blacks and women. He sort of made up for it by making the Louisiana Purchase from France, but of course when Lewis and Clark went to go check what they had bought all they found was dirt and bears. They tried to return it but they lost the receipt and France had blown all of the money at the Vegas slots anyway.

After that my recollection of history gets a bit blurry, which is kind of funny considering I can tell you who the MVP of the first Superbowl was (it was not Tom Brady as it turns out). Tons of Americans died in the Civil War, and if you asked them today most of them would say they should have just let the South secede. It's not like we'd miss them. I’m pretty sure there were some big wars in which the Germans tried to take over the world and France got raided like some kind of Detroit crack house and the US eventually got involved and saved the day by nuking half of Japan. There was the Iran-Contra Scandal, which is the kind of thing that happens when the US chain of command does not include the president. We invented the lightbulb (“hey we can stay up past 6!”), made advancements in labor rights (sweatshops began honoring employee of the month), and of course women’s suffrage (women now get to help choose which rich white men rule the world).

Anyway, I told my sister to remember these simple rules when you take history tests. First, you won’t remember any of the dates, so pick a date you can remember (your birthday for instance) and just use that date for every answer (unless of course the date is obvious, like “In what year did the War of 1812 begin?”). Second, look in the question for clues. For instance, “On which trail to Oregon did hundreds of settlers embark on in the hopes of becoming coyote food?” (Answer: The Mason-Dixon Line). And last but not least: it’s General Custer, not General Custard.

It's Raining Cats and Dogs

So this past week my mom recruited me to take her and one of our cats to the vet for his checkup. Like an idiot I of course said I would, mainly because I was so happy it wasn’t me going to the doctor for once. Then I got into the car with the cat and I suddenly remembered why I don’t like taking the cats to the vet. Somehow, the cats know where they are going, and they begin to make this loud, very irritating sound that resembles what a baby would sound like if you hung it by its nostrils. While my mom is trying to comfort Chewy (named because of his habit of gnawing on everything he sees including toes and the Chewbacca like sound he used to make when he was a kitten), I am driving as fast as I can to the vet. At least this one stays still; our other cat, Hawkins (I swear he already had that name at the shelter; I do not have some sort of unhealthy man crush on Cody Hawkins), will crawl around near the pedals and generally try as hard as he can to make me crash.

Of course, once I see what they go through at the vets I don’t blame them for preferring to crash. For one thing, they have to sit in the waiting room with a bunch of dogs. Oh sure, you may have to sit in the waiting room with some guy with the swine flu and a lady with boils or something, but you rarely have to sit next to someone who is trying to bite you (and if that has happened to you, I apologize, but the doctor said I’m cured of rabies now). When the vet finally does take Chewy in, she immediately wants to take his temperature. Unfortunately for animals, this doesn’t involve his mouth. He of course is sitting on his tail and scooting away from the vet with his butt pinned to the table like he was trying to scratch a bad itch. Eventually though the vet does grab his tail and gently says “It’s going to be okay.” I thought this was pretty stupid to be talking to the cat, but then I realized she was actually talking to me. I saw what she was doing and immediately looked away and suddenly became very interested in the heartworm poster on the wall (heartworms are another one of the really painful things that animals have to deal with that as far as I know humans don’t get, like hairballs). And don’t even get me started on the whole concept of neutering.

As if this all weren’t bad enough, the vet said that Chewy had to lose some weight and that I should feed him less. I of course mentioned to the doctor that since as far as I could tell all cats did was eat and sleep, it was a wonder all cats aren’t just round jiggly balls of fur. In fact, I like cats mainly because their lifestyle is very similar to mine. But the vet insisted that Chewy needed to lose weight (that’s the convenient thing about being a vet, the patients can’t complain about your diagnosis). So in addition to being taken to the vet, Chewy is now constantly complaining to me because I don’t feed him as often as before and has resorted to stealing Hawkins’ food (not that I blame him, I do the same thing with my family). Thankfully Chewy is not a dog, or the vet would have told me to walk him, which of course means I have to walk, which I don’t want to do. After all, the vet never said I had to lose weight.

That is just one of the reasons that I like cats way better than dogs. In fact, I have to be completely honest, but I hate dogs. Now I have made fun of people’s race, religion, and appearance, yet the statement I just wrote will probably get the most negative reaction of anything I’ve ever written. Dog people are very enthusiastic about their dogs, and whenever I admit I hate dogs they all say the same thing: “How can anybody hate dogs?” Well, if you hate large, stupid, slobbering, stink things that take dumps all over the place, then you can hate dogs (and hockey players for that matter). Oh sure, puppies are cute. But then again even I was a cute baby at one point and look how that turned out. Just like with me, they start out small and cute but then they get big and hairy and they start humping random things and defecating everywhere.

But dog people are like “But dogs are so smart.” For some reason these people think that dogs are geniuses and can do things like smell cancer and dial 911 and sense storms and take SATs for football players and write poetry or whatever. Oh sure there was Lassie, but she just seemed smart because she lived with a retarded kid who kept getting stuck in wells and lawn tractors and drowning in rivers. (By the way, did you know all the dogs that played Lassie were actually males? So why didn’t they just make the Lassie a male? Is it so unbelievable that there is such a thing as a smart male that they had to make it a female?)

So of course dog people are like “Well what about seeing eye dogs and drug sniffing dogs?” Well, I’m sure if cats were big enough you could have seeing eye cats since all seeing eye dogs have to do as far as I can tell is not lead their owners out into the middle of the street and fetch them beer. And yes, dogs can sniff out drugs in bags, but so can some of my high school classmates. Besides, pigs can find truffles, but you don’t see anybody talking about how smart pigs are. Now, I’m not saying my cats are Harvard material; in fact my two cats take after me and are pretty much retarded. When we first went to the shelter we saw Hawkins sleeping. In the litter box. Although to be fair to him, as we found out he didn’t know what a litter box was for. He would dig a hole in the box and take a dump on the hill of litter instead of in the hole.

Dog people respond by saying “Dog’s love is unconditional.” For instance, my sister told me a story about a dog in Japan that used to wait for its owner by a train stop. One day the owner died, but the dog refused to leave the train stop and eventually died there. Now, personally this just proves to me that dogs are stupid. Besides, I don’t want unconditional love and constant companionship in the form of something drooling on my feet. At least cats are independent and don’t have to be constantly doted on; I don’t think I would have the energy to keep up with a dog.

Of course every time my mom and sister see a puppy, they get those goo goo eyes and all they can think about is that dog. But where they see a puppy I see something that will eventually grow into a loud, barking, pooping machine. So I’ve come up with a business idea. Using genetic engineering, I’ll breed a puppy that doesn’t have a temperature slot (if you get my drift) so it can’t poop and thus dies after two weeks, about the attention span of most children nowadays when it comes to pets. I’ll sell them for $30 and become rich and famous, at which point I can hire a personal trainer. For Chewy that is.

Space Oddity

So apparently yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the U.S. landing on the moon. I know this because for some reason everybody thinks it’s big deal, which honestly surprised me; I mean brave souls risk their lives everyday going to places like North Dakota and we don’t make a big deal about that now do we? It’s not that I don’t think landing on the moon was important, but I mean Led Zeppelin debuted that same year and I don’t remember a big celebration for that (and don’t tell me that landing on the moon was more historically relevant; I still listen to Led Zeppelin, while I have never been to the moon as far as I can remember).

I’m sorry; you’ll have to forgive me. I’m just not one of those guys who just lie down and look at the stars and wonder about far-off galaxies and the meaning of life and all that other retarded mumbo jumbo emotional stuff. If you ever see me lying down at night and looking up at the stars, please call 911, because I definitely did not get there willingly (or knowingly). But I must admit I am the exception to the rule, because from the beginning of time, man has looked up into the sky and wondered about the vast mysteries of space. For an example, we once again call upon cavemen Oog and Wog:

Wog: What do you think those lights up in the sky are?

Oog: I would say it looks like a thousand light bulbs. Or maybe a thousand fires.

Wog: We haven’t invented light bulbs yet you idiot. In fact, I don’t know if we’ve even discovered fire yet.

Oog: Well we better, or else I’ll have to watch my TV in the dark.

Unfortunately, future civilizations didn’t know much more about how space worked than Wog and Oog. Space is one of the few things that even we humans may never fully understand (along with curling, AIDS, and women). I had an astronomy class last year, and the one thing that my professor kept emphasizing is that we find out new things about space every day, and even what we think is fact today may be proven wrong tomorrow. Of course this didn’t stop them from giving me tests on these so called “facts” and informing me that I had the “wrong” answer. I politely informed them that maybe if they waited until tomorrow new evidence would prove me right, but they never went for that. They constantly ridicule the Church for being close minded to new theories on space and exiling Galileo and yet here are these professors failing me for daring to think as no man has thunk before (see, my spell-check is being close-minded and telling me that thunk is not a word; but as a pioneer of thinking I am ignoring the squiggly red line).

The other thing they emphasized in my astronomy class is that space is very big. Every astronomy book will then insert a “space” and “spacious” joke, because humor is essential in textbooks. Of course it doesn’t help that textbooks get all of their jokes from people who aren’t very good at being funny, like scientists, professors, funeral undertakers, and everyone involved with “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” Anyways, if you want to feel like your life is small and insignificant and for some reason “Keeping up with the Kardashian’s” isn’t on TV, go to an astronomy lecture. Think about it: you are one small speck on a planet that is one small speck in a solar system that is one small speck in our galaxy that is one small speck in our universe. But of course instead of just saying that, scientists always for some reason decide they have to explain it to you with fruits and marbles as if you were some kind of chimp.

So I guess the fact that things in space are so far apart is one reason why going to the moon was such a big deal. But we all know the main thing is that we beat the Russians. Anytime we beat Russia at something they are supposed to be good at we should celebrate, which may be the only reason anyone in the U.S watched gymnastics in the 80’s (we still watch today so we can root against the Chinese). Russia is like that kid in the class that talks funny and has a unibrow but the teacher has to be nice to because he’s sort of smart and carries a shotgun everywhere. So to me, landing on the moon is no bigger an event than the Miracle on Ice, and if you are being compared to a hockey game that’s never a good thing.

Still, I guess landing on the moon is pretty impressive. It must have been neat to be a kid watching Neil Armstrong finally land on the moon. On a side note, we are kind of lucky that the first man to walk on the moon was Armstrong. For one thing he has a cool name; you know you’re a badass with a last name like Armstrong. I mean the letters in “Neil Armstrong” can be rearranged to spell “manlier strong” (of course they can also be rearranged to spell “girl ornaments”). Plus, he had the presence of mind to realize that his first words on the moon would be remembered forever and say something really cool and inspiring. Whereas if I had been the first man on the moon, my first words would have been something like this:

“Holy s**t dude, I’m walking on f**king moon. Hi mom!” (I would have then proceeded to sing “Walking On the Moon” by the Police even though technically the song debuted ten years later).

As you can see, that would have been disastrous; it’s hard to inspire children about the joys of space exploration when you have to bleep the first words on the moon. Although to be fair, Armstrong had months to think of what he was going to say; I thought of my speech in less than ten minutes.

Of course, once the initial thrill of landing on the moon went away, we realized that the moon is a pretty boring place. It looks like the Midwest, just with fewer cows and more hookers. In fact, that’s my main argument against those people who think that they faked the moon landing. If they faked it, they probably would have made it look worth all the hype and tossed in a Rolling Stones concert and fireworks or something. Astronauts were getting so bored that one of them brought golf equipment (you know NASA is filled with old white guys when they look at the moon and their first thought is “I’d like to see my wife stop me from golfing up there.”)

So sadly NASA decided to stop wasting money on trips to the moon and decided to waste money on different projects, like failing to launch shuttles. But maybe one day, we will return to the moon. Who knows, maybe the Russians will finally get up there, and instead of golf, they’ll play hockey up there. Lord knows nobody is paying attention to it down here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto

I have to be honest, there are a few times that I wish I was my sister. Like that one time I got caught with Hillary Duff on my search history… Anyway, right now is one of those times, because my sister is currently running around in Japan. That’s right, Japan: land of short pasty people with bad teeth and horrible weather. Wait, no that’s England. My bad, Japan is home to short pasty people with bad teeth and decent weather.

Okay, so I’m being a little bitter, I actually love Japan. I’ve been there three times, and I’ve had fun all three times. Japan truly combines all of the positives of traveling to a different country (exotic hotels, great food, lower drinking ages) with none of the drawbacks you often encounter on trips to other foreign countries (French people).

With that said, Japan is definitely a foreign country. It’s not like Canada, where the only real difference is that everybody adds an “eh” onto the end of their sentences and it’s suddenly okay to openly like Celine Dion. The second you step off the plane in Japan, you are instantly aware of the fact that, as Dorothy so eloquently put it, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in AHHHH!!!” At that point, Dorothy was run over by a mob of Japanese business men in a rush to get off of the plane. As you will quickly realize, people in Japan really want to get to wherever they are going. This becomes painfully obvious when you attempt to get around via public transportation, which takes pride in being on time. In Japan, when they say the train leaves at noon, the train will leave at noon, even if there are business men currently stuck in their doors because they were only at the stop for five seconds. Slow people like me spend most of their trip looking at the back of the trains they were supposed to catch (coincidentally, all of the English ads are on the back of buses in Japan).

Anyway, once you somehow figure out how to get around, you can get a feel for the Japanese people. The first thing you notice is that Japanese people are ridiculously polite and bow a lot. Of course, there is a certain etiquette to bowing, but as an ignorant American, the best you can hope to do is just keep randomly bowing like some kind of drunken weeble-wobble doll. But as polite as they are, it turns out that Japanese people (prepare yourself) speak Japanese. This is inconvenient, because Japanese is not English, which is what I supposedly speak most of the time. Luckily I took three years of Japanese in high school, so I was able to (with awestruck fellow Americans watching) order my food at a Japanese restaurant:

Me: “I’ll order THIS.” (Points randomly at Japanese words on menu.)

Okay, so I actually know absolutely nothing about Japanese. The only thing I learned from my three years of Japanese is that my Japanese teacher hates me. So to get past the language barrier I just speak slowly and pronounce key words really loud and gesture randomly a lot with my hands, which would work if they were deaf or retarded but doesn’t help much with Japanese. When it comes to ordering food at restaurants without pictures, we employed the strategy of pointing at random words and hoping the food was good. This is of course how we end up with a dinner consisting of five different types of ice cream, ten beers, and one actual entrée (which was liver). We also confused the waiter when we apparently were pointing at words that actually said “Breakfast served until 11 am.”

Speaking of which, another great thing about Japan is their vending machines. Japanese currency is very coin intensive, and by the end of the day your pants are around your heels because of all the coins you have to put in your pocket. So to alleviate you of all those pesky coins, the Japanese put vending machines every five feet everywhere in the country, and they sell everything from drinks to food to cameras. But I’ll give you three guesses as to what my favorite vending machines sell. I’ll give you a hint; it rhymes with “beer” (no, not deer, although there are numerous deer parks throughout Japan where you can be molested by overly aggressive and hungry deer).

Anyways, these machines are great, because they sell beer and can’t check IDs. The only thing is that they stop working after midnight, which is information that I probably could have used before my trip. I looked like some kind of degenerate gambler at the Vegas slots, just muttering to myself and trying to put coins into the slot until I got frustrated and just sat down on the ground and cried to myself. You also have to be careful, because they don’t let you wear shoes indoors and so they give you these little indoor slippers that never fit and fall off if you lift your feet. This means you will be hung over and shuffling your feet and leaving a winding trail of small fires on their tatami mats.

So most of you are saying to yourselves “Mitchell, you said Japan was great, yet you’ve done nothing but complain about Japan. The only positive you’ve written about is beer in vending machines.” In response, I would like to again reiterate, this is beer. In a vending machine. Yeah, there are other great things about Japan like culture, history, blah blah blah blah beer in vending machines. But if you insist on getting a feel for what the “natives” do there, go to a karaoke bar and convince the drunkest Japanese person there to sing Elvis Pressley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” What follows will inspire you to the point of tears (trust me; I’ve seen it in person):

“But I can’t herrup, farring in ruv, wiz YOUUUUU….”

Say "Aww S**t"

So instead of being on the beach today, I’m sitting here on my sofa wasting away on my computer. Why? Because I just recently had to have one of my wisdom teeth pulled, and per doctors orders I am stuck at home mumbling and drooling on myself even more than usual. Of course I pulled my first two wisdom teeth when I was in eighth grade, so it’s not like this is a new experience for me; but it doesn’t make it any more fun. As with many things in my life, I blame it on my dentist.

Now it’s nothing personal against dentists, but I hate them. There may be no activity in the world that I hate more than visits to the dentist (at least that doesn’t involve dysentery and/or the Jonas Brothers). At least with doctors, you go in when you see something is clearly wrong with you, such as your foot is facing the wrong direction or there’s a knife sticking out of your stomach. But with dentists, you have to go every six months so they can find something wrong with you. Oh and trust me, they will find something wrong with you. By golly, they didn’t pay all that money for grad school just so you could waltz out of there with no problems they could charge you ridiculous amounts of money to fix. They have to pay off all those grad school debts after all.

So the first thing they do is lean you back in a chair and shine a ridiculously irritating light in your face. You half expect Dick Cheney to show up with a bucket of water and a cattle prod. Then they grab everything they can get their hands on and shove it in your mouth. I bet they have bets in the back room on who can get the most and weirdest things into patients mouths. “Hey, did you hear Bob actually managed to put a putter and a shotgun in that kid’s mouth?” I particularly hate this part, because I don’t like people sticking things in my mouth. (You can give yourself a pat on the bat now for all the “she said jokes” you’ve just made.) Although to be honest, there are times when I feel sorry for them. I mean, mouths are disgusting places; I wouldn’t look in my mouth knowing all the things I’ve put in there. (Really? Again with the “she said?” If there was any other way to say this I would).

Anyways, they will then proceed to lecture you on the importance of flossing. If you were to listen to dentists, flossing would solve all of the world’s problems, including war and famine. Even though I don’t know any normal people that floss regularly (then again, I can’t say with any certainty I know any normal people period). Now I’ve been lucky enough to have pretty healthy teeth for most of my life, no braces and only a few cavities. But I just recently switched dentists, and apparently this guy has a very large grad school debt, because he was intent on finding things wrong with my mouth. They took out this thing they call a cavitron, which sounds more like a character from Transformers than something I would want to stick in my mouth. Speaking of characters from Transformers I would want to stick in my mouth, all of the critics need to stop criticizing Transformers 2 and Megan Fox. There was clearly a plot (robots fighting, Megan Fox, robots fighting, Megan Fox, guns) and character development (for instance, Megan Fox changed outfits several times).

Okay sorry, back to the point. My visit was almost over and I thought I was actually going to get out without something wrong with my teeth. I am clearly an idiot. Because my doctor said that I needed to remove another wisdom tooth, and frowned at my x-ray to show his level of concern. Having had multiple wisdom tooth surgeries, I still do not understand the whole concept. Apparently humans are filled with numerous body parts that we don’t actually need: appendixes, spleens, brains, etc. For some reason, we also have an extra pair of molars which we apparently evolved in order to eat trees. Or something like that; I could be mistaken with beavers. But apparently we stopped eating whatever we were eating because we stopped needing our third molars. So when these third molars come down from your brain or wherever teeth come from, they start messing up things in your jaw. But this is the part that still confuses me: not everyone has them. I’ve talked to people who have never had their wisdoms pulled, while others have all four pulled. For instance, the dentist said that my fourth tooth will probably never drop down so I don’t have to remove it. This concerns me, because that means it could be anywhere. For all I know I have a large hostile molar drifting around my brain, and one day I’m going to be talking and this tooth is going to stab my brain and I’m going to start seizing randomly.

So needless to say, I was a bit mad when I went in yesterday to have my surgery. Of course, it’s not the surgery I hate. The surgery in fact is awesome, thanks to the miracle of sedation. I just remember getting injected and the next thing I knew I was sitting on my couch at home feeling way happier than I should have considering there was a large bleeding hole in my mouth. It’s the recovery that isn’t too fun. First off, there is the aforementioned large bleeding hole in your mouth. You ever wonder why vampires are always so mean? It’s because blood does not taste good. And of course, that is all you will taste, because your dentist gives you a list of things that you can’t eat after surgery, which leaves you eating pudding for the next three days. They also told me to avoid strenuous activity, but that’s a personal policy I adhere to at all times anyway. On a positive note, they give you the tooth. I’m going to put it under my pillow and see what the tooth fairy gives me for it. I hope it’s a lot of money, because I needed the sedation mainly to deal with the bill.