Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flight 666 to Hell, Pt. 2

So this is the second part of my story of how I managed to get home despite the best efforts of the airline companies. (Read Part One here).

So now I’m checking into my hotel, which is called the Sleep Inn. I now realize that the reason they call it the Sleep Inn is that sleeping is literally the only thing you can do there. It was not exactly Caesars Palace (or even Caesar’s outhouse for that matter). So I’m checking in at the front desk with the concierge, who is clearly upset that some idiot had the nerve to actually stay at her hotel. I’m pretty sure the only reason this hotel exists is because of the incompetency of Phoenix International Airport. It’s like a love motel, except instead of going there to get screwed by your mistress, you go there to get screwed by US Airways. The only people I ever saw in the building were the workers and one of the other travelers who had missed the Kona flight.

Of course, it was barely past noon at this point, and I was stuck in this place until 11:30 the next morning, so I figured I would make the most of it. Instead of moping around in my hotel room, I was going to go explore an area that I might never come back to, absorb the culture and sights and experience what made this city truly unique. So I went to the hotel bar.

You see, I had no car and my toe still hurt so I didn’t want to walk very far (and even if I did want to walk, apparently nobody in Phoenix has ever heard of sidewalks). So I was restricted to the tourist attractions that were in the immediate vicinity of my hotel bed. As far as I could tell, that consisted of lots of cactuses and dirt. I was sort of hoping to catch a cop in action enforcing one of Arizona’s many racist immigration laws, but I wasn’t that lucky.

So after a drinking for a while, I realized that it was still barely even 3 p.m. Then I tried the hot tub before realizing scalding chlorinated water was probably not the best thing for my bloody toe, and eventually settled for watching TV in my room. Luckily at that moment, Avatar was on HBO, which meant I had a diversion for at least the next four hours. Speaking of which, falling asleep while watching Avatar after drinking is going to lead to some very strange dreams. And for your sake that is as much as I’m going to say about that particular subject.

Anyway, when I woke up I suddenly realized that I hadn’t eaten anything for almost ten hours. Planes don’t give away food for free anymore, even if you are flying at lunch time, as I was. In fact, planes charge you for everything these days. There are now coin slots where the emergency oxygen masks come out. So I looked at the room service menu before quickly deciding that I was not going to pay $25 for a hotel sandwich.

Unfortunately, the only place to eat within walking distance was a Denny’s. Now, I had been at Denny’s only two nights before to say goodbye to a friend. Human beings are not designed to eat at Denny’s more than twice a month, and here I was eating it twice in one week. What made it worse is that I was the only guy in the entire restaurant the whole time I was eating. It was so depressing at one point I just slammed my forehead into my plate of Moons Over My Hammy.

I was so tired from my ordeal that I got home from dinner at 7 and was asleep by 7:30. That is, until my alarm went off one hour later, because I had accidentally set my alarm for 8:30 p.m. instead of a.m., which meant I was running around in a dark hotel room trying to get ready for a shuttle that was not going to leave for another twelve hours. I think it was around this point that what little sanity I had flew out the window (when of course Phoenix air traffic control told it to wait on the runway for another hour).

The next morning I headed down to the lobby to eat the continental breakfast. I love how hotels always brag that they have free continental breakfast. Of course it should be free; all it consists of is stale bagels, generic cereal and a waffle maker that never quite cooks the waffles enough. Plus, considering I was paying $65 for a hotel room I should never have had to rent in the first place, I hardly considered it free.

Finally, I hopped into the shuttle and once again arrived at Phoenix airport to see how they could possibly mess up my travel plans today. Thankfully, aside from some confusion about seating and a last-minute gate change, my plane left without any further problems. Six hours later I finally landed in Kona, where I proceeded to French kiss the tarmac. Sure, I looked like hell since I hadn’t been able to shave or change my clothes in a day, but I was home. But next time I want to travel, I’m riding a donkey. After all, if I have to deal with asses when I travel, it might as well be one that doesn’t talk.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Flight 666 to Hell, Pt. 1

Now, my friends always used to tell me that one day karma would catch up to me for all the horrible things I’ve done and I would end up being struck by lightning, hit by a bus and eaten by a bear at the same time while suffering from syphilis. Unfortunately, this past weekend karma had an even crueler fate in store for me: airline travel.

Now, let’s start off this story where all stories begin: with drunken French people. I was at a party the night before I flew home when one of them accidentally kicked my one healthy big toe and ripped my toenail off. Now, just as a refresher, the same exact thing had already happened to my other toe. So now, I had two gimpy toes and I was about as mobile as a truck with square wheels.

On top of that, the weather, which had been nice all week, decided to turn on me and start snowing. So I’m sitting at a bus stop by myself crying in the snow at 4 in the morning in shorts and slippers with toilet paper wrapped around my toe. You couldn’t have taken a sadder picture unless you threw kittens into a pot of boiling water.

Anyway, I finally get on my US Airways 8 a.m. flight to Phoenix and we begin taxiing to the runway. But while we are sitting on the runway, our pilot comes over the intercom. I’ve been flying often enough to know that it is never a good thing when the pilot comes over the intercom. He never announces anything good, like the flight attendants are giving out free backrubs. No, he is always announcing in the most soothing voice he can muster that something is wrong with the plane, but don’t worry, it is a minor problem. It is always a minor problem. The right engine could be on fire and the left wing could have fallen off over the Pacific Ocean and they would say it was a minor problem.

Anyway, the pilot came on and announced that due to fog in Phoenix, we were not allowed to take off. Instead, we sat on the plane for two hours, and the flight attendants wouldn’t let us recline our chairs or put down our tray tables, because that would upset the airline gods. Now, my connecting flight was supposed to leave Phoenix at 11:45, so with the delay I was cutting it very close. Luckily, or so I thought, we finally took off and it appeared I would still be able to make my flight.

Now, you experienced travelers are laughing heartily to yourself. “Haha,” they are saying. “Nothing ever works out during holiday travel. What a cretin.” Sure enough, we land in Phoenix at 11:30, and it seems like I can still make it. Then, the pilot came on the speakers and announced that they could not find somebody to drive the rampway. After 15 more minutes, the pilot announced that they had found a driver, but the rampway was not working. This is why I like Kona airport, where there is no rampway. They just toss you out of the cabin and onto the tarmac. Sure, you are left on your own to dodge planes and baggage carts, but at least you never get stuck on the plane for 45 minutes, like I was in Phoenix. I swear, if Leslie Nielsen wasn't dead I would have bet money that I was in some sort of bad "Airplane" sequel.

I finally get off the plane, and even though I realized I have a better chance of catching a cold in hell than this flight, I decided to try and make a run for my flight. But whoever designed Phoenix International Airport needs to be stranded on an isolated island with an irritating person, like Robin Williams or Fran Drescher. To get to a different gate area, you have to leave security. And even though my connecting flight was on the same airline, I had to change gate areas. Add to this the fact my toe was limiting my movement, and by the time I get to the gate, the flight had been gone for about an hour.

In a show of maturity and manners, I proceeded to spew strings of expletives and gobs of spittle at the gate attendant while gesturing at them with my bloody slipper, which I still had in my hand because I had not bothered to put it back on since I got molested at the security checkpoint. The gate attendant then told me there wasn’t another flight to Kona until the next day, and told me to call a hotel. Then, as I was walking away, she remarked in a sarcastic tone, “and try to show up on time this time.”

At that point I lost it. What follows is a rough estimation of what I said to her, minus several words that I omitted to keep this post family-friendly:

“Listen up, it’s not like I overslept in my soft bed and waltzed over here an hour late hoping you would make the plane wait for me. I’m late because your airline doesn’t know how to land planes in a little fog and this airport doesn’t have people to drive rampways or organize your gates. I would rather swim all the way to Kona and get eaten by sharks than ride your goddam airline ever again.”

Sure, I’m not proud of this moment. I’m normally a pretty calm guy, but traveling could make Mother Teresa shake a baby. Thankfully, my tirade scared her or something, because she gave me a slip and told me to call the number on it to get a discounted room. So I booked my room, and walked out of the airport when I realized that I had a bigger problem on my hand. I was now going to have to spend the day in… Phoenix.

DUN DUN DUN

To be continued…

Monday, December 13, 2010

Canadian Chicken

I’m all done with finals but I’m still here and I’m a bit bored. So I figured I would refer to the suggestion board and write about some of the things you unstable creative people have come up with when you stop taking your pills reflect on important issues. The last time I did this, I got some positive reaction from the person who put the suggestion up about the Old Spice guy. Or at least I think she liked it. She was telling me this when I was inebriated, so I can never remember the whole conversation.

Speaking of things people like to do drunk, the first suggestion is hockey played with samurai swords. Now, I’m not sure if the hockey season has started, but for our purposes let’s assume it has. Whoever wrote this suggestion also thought that this would somehow solve unemployment. I’m not sure exactly how this would work. I’m assuming they were referring specifically to the sword making industry. I mean, I’m assuming that it’s a dead profession these days, like print journalism.

Now, the addition of swords to any activity tends to do several things. Sure, it does make things more exciting, and lord knows hockey can use all the help it can get. But the problem is that swords are, brace yourself here, sharp. Hockey players hurt each other enough with their skates, I don’t think we need to help them by giving them swords.

While we’re on the subject of Canadian things, the next suggestion is: rainbow Canadian socks. Now, normally I frown upon anything Canadian, but I actually own rainbow Canadian socks. No seriously, I do. About seven years ago, my family went to Canada to visit some family friends who lived on a chicken farm in a tiny little town in British Columbia called Abbotsford. By the way, if you have never been to a chicken farm, they are actually pretty cool. You just stand next to this conveyor belt and pick up the eggs as they go by. At one point, my mother got so into the whole egg conveyor belt thing that I’m almost certain she was going to quit her job and move us to Canada to start our own egg farm. You think I’m joking. Clearly you have never met my mother.

Anyway, the family sewed us some socks out of this colorful fabric. They were maybe the warmest things in the world, and I loved them, which is saying a lot coming from a guy who wears socks maybe once a month. I used to always wear them to my high school swim meets, which brings us to the next topic, the old guy with a beard and a white van full of malevolent, giggling girls. Now, this suggestion requires a bit of background. When I was in high school, I served as a team manager for the girls water polo team along with a few other guys. We all played water polo, but our school didn’t have a boys team, so instead we just helped the girls practice and kept stats and took care of equipment. It kept us involved in the game, plus we got to skip out of school for games.

The only problem is that in order to get to the game, the eight or so girls and the four managers would pile into a fifteen-passenger van with our coach to head to the games. Now, a van is no place to coop up a whole bunch of teenagers for three hours, and apparently the guy who wrote this suggestion down agreed (and yes, I know exactly who this person is).

Now, I personally was in various states of unconsciousness for most of these rides, so I don’t remember many specific cases of malevolence. I do, however, remember one particularly odd moment. On the drive back from one game, one of the girls decided to try and put makeup on one of the guys. I have no idea why she wanted to do this and I have no idea why he let her do this, but I do know that it didn’t turn out well. For one thing, she was trying to apply it in a moving van on a windy road, plus the guy kept giggling and couldn’t keep still. Let’s just say the end result was not something you are going to see in the next issue of Vogue. I used to tease him about this, until I had a similarly unfortunate incident happen to me last year.

Finally, I have an email here from Siam that I need to address:

“Hi....I googled the word 'pitchy' as in 'the voices were a bit pitchy' and, your May 2010 blog post came up.... Although I have sung, mainly in Asia, in opera, mainly, I have never heard this term. I can sort of guess what it means, but can you tell me what it specifically means?

Thank you, Siam”

First off, I think I need to put a disclaimer at the top of the site that clearly indicates I never have any idea what I’m talking about, so facts are not my forte. But to answer your question Siam, it basically means that somebody can’t hit the right notes, i.e. “Justin Bieber is pitchy.”

If anybody else has suggestions or questions that they want me to halfheartedly answer, feel free to put them on the suggestion board or send me an email. And as for the suggestions I didn't get to, I'm writing a whole article about those, so I'm getting to it. But they need more "research."

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Shakespeare In Love

So I had my only final of the semester yesterday, but before you get jealous of me, let me tell you that the final was on Shakespeare. And frankly, after one semester of studying this brilliant author’s plays, I have just one thing to say: “Kisseth mine sizable behindeth.”

First, a little background on how the hell I even got into a Shakespeare class. In order to graduate, I had to take an elective class this semester. I began asking around if anybody knew of any good elective classes when Baddie and Midget suggested I take Shakespeare with them. Figuring that since I was taking this class as a pass/fail anyway, I would just show up, fall asleep, Google the plot and then take the multiple choice test. Piece of cake.

This just proves that in four years of college, I have learned nothing. I had forgotten a key flaw in Shakespeare’s writing that made his plays so hard for me to grasp: nobody ever taught Shakespeare actual English. For such a supposedly brilliant guy he sure did make up a ton of words. For instance, I found all of these words in one passage of King Lear, and I’m certain all of them are made up: “parricides,” “alarumed,” and “ghasted.” Although some of his words do sound cool, like “exeunt.” It sounds like an inappropriate body function.

Some books have the translation, but the book we are using for this class just has footnotes, which is irritating. Do you know what my professors would call my writing if somebody had to go back over it years later and insert an explanation for every other word? “Crappy.” Plus, I don’t even understand the footnotes most of the time.

All of this means that most of the time, I have no idea what is actually going on in the play. It’s like watching Lost all over again. It’s really hard to appear intelligent during a discussion about Romeo and Juliet when you are unaware of key plot developments.

Teacher: “So what do we think about Juliet’s suicide?”

Me: “She died?”

Teacher: “Yes Mitchell, because she couldn’t stand to be without Romeo.”

Me: “Oh, she liked that guy?”

Teacher: “Do you have any idea what is going on?”

Me: “Well, the princess poked her finger on a sewing machine but then she woke up after the guy killed a dragon.”

Teacher: “Mitchell, that’s the plot to Sleeping Beauty.”

In fact, to this day the only plot I understand is the one from Twelfth Night, and that is only because the movie She’s the Man is based off of it. Don’t ask me why I have seen that movie. It’s none of your darn business. But it was a very manly reason.

As you can see, I know as much about Shakespeare as Paris Hilton knows about underwear. But then there are some people who know a lot about Shakespeare and choose to quote it constantly. And they always say the passage and line that it came from, as if this will somehow make their point that much better. And they find any occasion they can to do this, and it almost never even made sense. I could ask them a simple question and they will respond by saying something like, “Well, as Ophelia said in Hamlet, act two, scene three, line twenty, ‘Where is thine horse?’” I mean, you don’t see me constantly quoting The Door’s songs when I talk to people even though Jim Morrison was way cooler than Shakespeare, in the sense that he did way more recreational drugs.

Anyway, luckily for us this class didn’t really require you to actually read the books. Instead of testing us on what happened in the book, our professor just gave us a passage and asked us to say what it meant. I mean, this isn’t much easier. If you could dig Shakespeare out of his grave today even he would probably have no idea what he meant. But as a journalism major, I am used to writing a lot about things I know absolutely nothing apart. This site is a very good example.

I actually got a perfect score on an entry I did where I basically said that Shakespeare was writing about some guy’s balls. Of course, when the professor tried to get me to explain my revelation to the entire class, I pretended I had no idea what she was talking about. I’m not going to stand in front of a room and say that the first thing that popped into my mind when I read a passage was nuts.

Anyway, none of us are really sure how we did in that class. Continents drift faster than our teacher grades work. So in the meantime, we had to get creative with how to occupy ourselves, and thankfully that’s when Pumpkin showed up. Now, this guy’s wardrobe was ridiculous. He would always wear a hat that matched his outfit, and often in ridiculously bright colors like green and orange (hence the nickname). Even Maddie was impressed by how well his clothes matched, and this is coming from someone who chose to freeze in the cold because her winter jacket didn’t match her shirt. So we started trying to guess the color of his outfit every class and totaling points. As far as who won? Well, to quote Iago from Othello, act three, scene one, line 55, “I don’t remember.”

Exeunt.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fantasy Island

Sports-wise, I’m a little depressed today. My fantasy football team lost.

Fantasy sports, particularly fantasy football, have taken off in the past few years to the point where they might be bigger than the actual games themselves. “Fantasy football” used to just mean you sat there on the couch and fantasized about the Detroit Lions ever winning a game again. Now, it is a billion dollar industry that tons of Americans waste their afternoons playing.

Now, I’m upset that I lost this past week, because it was a very important game. I’m in a league with a bunch of my friends, so of course, as with anything I do with my friends, I want to crush them. I want to be able to do an exotic victory dance in front of them at parties to both embarrass them and alert nearby females as to what a classy stud-muffin I am (although since I am Irish, I prefer “stud-scone”).

Unfortunately, the women will have to wait, because my fantasy football team laid an egg this week. It’s actually a little more humiliating when your fantasy team loses as opposed to the real teams. When the real football team you root for loses, you technically had nothing to do with it. You instead get to blame the people that actually contributed to the defeat: the players, the coaches, Tim Tebow, the referees, Obama and God (hey, if He gets credit for wins He has to take the blame for losses; it’s only fair big guy). Whereas you assembled your fantasy team, so you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Thankfully, even though I lost, I’m still in the playoffs. This is actually unusual because I tend to suck at fantasy football. The only time I ever won a league was a fantasy baseball one this summer, and I think that was mainly because the fantasy baseball season is really long and everybody else just stopped playing or died.

Anyway, there are several reasons that I am not good at fantasy sports. For one, I know a lot about sports, but I am not a big numbers guy. Some fans see a player and can rattle off important stats and information. My evaluations of players tend to be more general. For instance “that guy sucks,” or “He couldn’t catch crabs at a Red Lobster.” Numbers are very important in fantasy sports. In fact, there are countless number crunching nerds that we real sports fans use to make fun of in high school that are now making lots of money telling fantasy players what to do on ESPN.

The other reason is that I tend to let my emotions get in the way. For instance, I am a big Jacksonville Jaguars fan, so I tend to draft Jaguars players even though scientific studies have proven that Jaguars players were never actually taught how to play football. I also tend to skip over players that I personally do not like. Unfortunately, as a jealous non-athlete, I tend to dislike all fast, strong, successful athletes. I tend to root for the slow underdogs, which is how my fantasy team ends up being 75% kickers.

Some people take days to prepare their drafts, getting together with their friends and organizing comprehensive lists of players and back-up options. I tend to forget when my drafts are taking place. Take my last few drafts. My baseball league was filled with people primarily in Hawaii, and was scheduled for 6 pm Hawaii Time. Four time zones away though, I was soundly asleep. Then I was in a basketball league, but the draft took place after I came back from the bars. So in my drunken haze, I drafted ten centers and used my first round pick on J.J. Redick, who is 6’4”, white, scores about 4 points a game and is about as athletic as a pile of Play-Doh. I was completely awake and sober for my football draft, but I was too busy talking smack on the chat room smack-board to actually draft players to back up my smack-talk.

But I’m in the playoffs anyway, and I’m guaranteeing a victory right here. I even have my victory speech ready:

“I’d like to thank my CPA, who handled all the number crunching. I have to give credit to my internet connection, which allowed me to make several key pickups before anybody else noticed. Oh, and God.”

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Beer!

So about a week ago I wrote something on the Harry Potter phenomenon. (By the way, I went to see the movie, and while it was good overall, there were several things that confused me, namely the fact that these kids are looking for these magical things in the weirdest places, like the tops of mountains and in the middle of the woods. Also, there are random high pitched noises that appear throughout the movie for no apparent reason.)

Anyway, I wrote something about butter beer, which is a drink in the series that is supposed to taste really good. Now, they apparently serve this drink at a Harry Potter theme park in Florida, where my two friends Bridget and Maddie went over the summer to take a break from torturing small animals with forks. They tried butter beer and apparently it was good because, being the great friends they are, they of course proceeded to laugh at me and constantly point out that I couldn’t have any.

So while I was sitting at home one day over break, I decided that I was going to look up a recipe for butter beer. I figured that Harry Potter fans are so crazy dedicated, there must be someone out there who came up with a recipe. As it turns out, there actually were several, so I of course decided that I was going to make some butter beer.

Of course, being a non-baking male, I had almost none of the ingredients required to make butter beer. I thought I did, but ironically enough there is not much butter and even less actual beer in butter beer, and those are really the only two items I have in my fridge.

So I made a trip to the supermarket to pick up some ingredients. This was an adventure in itself, since apparently those wacky Harry Potter fans are a few owls short of a magical post office because some of the ingredients were clearly fictional. What the hell is cider vinegar anyway? Also, I wanted to buy a little bit of powdered sugar, but apparently in addition to looking similar, cocaine and powdered sugar are both only sold in kilos. So on a related note, if anybody wants to borrow some (sugar, not cocaine) feel free to stop by.

Now I had all the ingredients, and I had just one problem: I had no idea what the hell butter beer looked or tasted like. So, grudgingly, I had to invite Maddie and Bridget over to help. Having the twins in a kitchen is bad for several reasons. For one, it puts them in the vicinity of sharp knives. Two, Maddie (by her own admission) has all the cooking savvy of a baboon.

Anyway, my research (believe it or not, I actually did research) showed that this is the most authentic and popular recipe. But it looked hard, so we went with an easier one. It ended up tasting awesome, and the twins both gave it two (four?) thumbs up for authenticity, so by all accounts we succeeded. So in case you have ever wanted to try butter beer but don’t want to risk running into alligators and/or the twins in Florida, I have included step-by-step instructions, including some problems that we encountered and how to solve them (don’t involve women).

Butter Beer

And yes, this drink does contain butter and sugar and lots of other wonderfully fattening things. So if you are trying to lose weight, you might want to split one with a friend. Then again, you might not have friends, so just give me the rest. I’m trying to gain weight before I vow to lose weight at New Years.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz cream soda or root beer
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • butterscotch schnapps* (In case you want some extra kick, I’ve heard from others that this works. I’m actually not being coy; I’ve never tried it, odd now that I think about it. For one thing, I can’t find any).

Whisk the cream and the powdered sugar together, in a small bowl. I say small because we used a bowl so big that the cream barely covered the bottom, which is ironic since the twins brought over fifteen different mixing bowls and we still chose the biggest one. Also, do not be like me and spill the powdered sugar everywhere. My stove still looks like Lindsay Lohan’s night stand. Anyway, the mixture should end up looking like a foam. Don’t ask me how it happens, it just does. It’s probably magic.

In a separate bowl, mix some butter and a drop or two of the vanilla extract. I have no idea how much butter, because Bridget wasn’t exactly using exact measurements as much as she was just stabbing repeatedly at the tub of butter with a knife (probably about a teaspoon). Take that mixture and melt it in the microwave. Do not, as Maddie suggested, nuke it for 60 seconds, unless you are on a diet and you want your butter to be butter-free. 15 seconds should be good.

Mix the butter mixture with the cream soda. The recipe online calls for a chilled mug, much like the one they sell at the theme park in Florida. You should buy several in case you are worried J.K. Rowling needs another mansion. But if not, a regular cup is fine.

Spoon the mixture on top of the soda. It is supposed to rest on the top of the drink to make it look sort of like the head on a beer, so do it slowly and gently. Bridget tried, but her foam sank to the bottom faster than the Titanic. But it’s mostly for visual purposes, so if you are similarly uncoordinated, it doesn’t matter.

And you’re done. Now invite me over. What? You think I gave you this recipe for free?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Holiday Feast

A lot of people ask me, “Mitchell, what is Thanksgiving truly about?” I think that sometimes we can lose sight of what this great holiday is all about. Sure, there are huge sales at Wal-Mart that kill people and football games featuring the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions every year even though a comprehensive survey of the country (conducted in my living room) shows that nobody likes either of those teams. But let’s not forget what is truly important about Thanksgiving: food.

Oh sure, some of you saps out there are blabbing on about family, but that only happens in Hallmark commercials. Trust me, I haven’t seen my family for four straight Thanksgivings, and I’m no worse for the wear. But I couldn’t imagine not eating Thanksgiving food on Thanksgiving.

Take football announcer John Madden for instance. Now, for years Madden announced the Thanksgiving Day football game, yet he spent maybe four seconds talking about actual football during those games. He spent the rest of the time talking about a monstrous creation he loves called a turducken, and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. It is chicken meat, stuffed inside a duck, which is then stuffed inside a turkey. It’s like a Russian nesting doll made of poultry. Madden would talk about this turducken with way more passion than he ever did when he talked about blitzes or blocking (in fact, I’ve heard couples at their own wedding say their vows with less emotion in their voice than Madden has when he talks about turduckens).

Madden: “But if you wanna go bigger, you take the turducken and then BOOM!, you stuff that inside a pig and then BOOM!, you stuff that inside a cow and BOOM!, you stuff that inside a camel…”

Other announcer: "And the Cowboys lose another fumble!"

Madden: "…but the real problem is finding an elephant, since they’re technically endangered…"

Other announcer: "Huge mistake by the Cowboys. They don’t get any bigger than that John."

Madden: “Well, you could put it in a whale. BOOM!”

Now, I am not suggesting that you cook a turducken, or a whacamacowpiturducken for that matter. I think it’s a little ridiculous that a family can eat an entire flock of birds by themselves while children in Africa are digging up roots. However, cooking a turkey is important for tradition’s sake. Of course, my tradition is different, cause I use a live turkey. I live alone and I don’t even really like turkey, but I stick one in my oven anyway just to piss PETA off. Some people suggest deep-frying your turkey, but dunking a live turkey in hot oil is just cruel. I have my limits okay?

Anyway, with your turkey now running around in your oven (or swimming around in your pot, depending on the route you took), it’s time to get the rest of the meal prepared. That’s where all the good stuff is. You have stuffing and casserole and pies and potatoes and all sorts of other awesome stuff. The only problem is, I’m lazy so I don’t want to cook all of this. But I’ve found a way around it, so I’m going to share my method with you fellow lazy peoples.

But first, a warning. Shopping close to Thanksgiving can get a bit dicey. For one thing, a lot of elderly people suddenly appear. This means that nobody in the parking lot will be driving normally and they will be moving through the aisles very slowly. Also, a lot of people go Thanksgiving shopping with their families. The only problem with this is that families hate each other, and there is no time that they argue with each other more than Thanksgiving. Holidays like Thanksgiving are meant to bring families back together once every few months to remind them why they don’t live with each other the rest of the year. So expect that the store will be filled with large clusters of angry family members blocking the “oriental foods” aisle (what the hell are people doing in the oriental foods aisle on Thanksgiving anyway?).

With that said, here is the shopping list:

  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of French-fried onions
  • 1 can of sweet potatoes
  • 1 can of green beans
  • 1 can of cranberry sauce
  • 1 box of stuffing
  • 1 jar of gravy
  • 1 pre-made pumpkin pie
  • 2 six-packs of beer

Once you’ve left the store with all of your ingredients (allow four to six weeks), it’s time to get started! Luckily, it’s a easy recipe with only five easy steps. So get started, and Happy Thanksgiving.

Mitchell’s Thanksgiving Day Dinner Recipe:

  1. Take the cans of mushroom soup, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce and donate it to some charity for the children in Africa. If they have hot soccer players working the food drive, like the one I saw today at Safeway, you get bonus points. (No, I have no idea what you are supposed to do with the bonus points. This is a recipe, not a video game.)
  2. Drink first six-pack of beer.
  3. While sitting on couch, eat entire pumpkin pie straight out of the pie dish without cutting it while eating stuffing and French-fried onions straight out of the box.
  4. Crack open second six-pack of beer.
  5. Turn on TV and watch Cowboys lose. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crowd Control

So yesterday, over 340 people just died in a massive stampede in Cambodia. Apparently they were having some sort of water festival when people began to notice the bridge they were on was swaying. Panic quickly broke out, with many people getting trampled to death while police began firing water cannons to try and get the crowd to move.

This story brings up several questions that we must ponder. What could have been done to prevent this catastrophe? Why did the Cambodian government try to cover up the death count? Where the hell is Cambodia? Where can I buy a water cannon? And the answers are: who knows?, who cares?, probably Brazil and Toys Backward 'R' Us.

But all kidding aside (at least for a sentence; this is after all a humor blog so kidding is sort of required); I could have seen this coming. Reports have the head counts of this festival at somewhere between two to four million people. That is waaaaay too many people. Nothing ever good comes from putting millions of people in the same crowded area. New York for instance.

I can’t think of a worse way to die than getting trampled in a crowd stampede. Just ask Mufasa. Now personally, I sort of have a fear of crowds. Normally I’m a calm guy, but then I get in a crowded area where a lot of people are standing and I tend to tense up and get very irritable and I start to hyperventilate and then I get nervous AND THEN I START YELLING AND FREAKING OUT SO GIVE ME SOME ROOM! OKAY! Sorry, I got a little unnerved just thinking about it. To this day I avoid lecture halls, dance clubs, crowded parties, shopping malls on Black Friday and the entire country of Japan.

Let me share a specific incident. I went to a 3OH3! and Cobra Starship concert over the summer, and while I for the most part liked the bands, I was not a big fan of the venue. There weren’t any seats, just a big empty area where we were supposed to apparently arrange ourselves in an orderly fashion. Of course, since much of the crowd consisted of deranged middle schoolers, who are biologically incapable of doing anything in an orderly fashion, this did not happen. What did happen was the entire crowd just sort of sloshed around, which meant I was bumped into by people on all sides of me.

As if this wasn’t pissing me off enough, some little middle school boy was on my right, but he desperately wanted to stand next to the girls in my group on my left. Now, as I said, middle schoolers are the stupidest and horniest beings ever to awkwardly shuffle across the face of the Earth, so he just sort of kept trying to walk through me and shove me out of the way until I snapped and just started yelling at him and he ran away crying. That and some drunken idiots spilled beer on me. By the end of the concert I was so on edge that one of my friends tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention and I almost swung around and tried to punch her.

I’m not sure why I have this fear. Part of it could be that I grew up on a farm in a small town on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. To say I was used to having my own space is a bit of an understatement. That and because of my tendency to wear slippers I am constantly worried somebody will step on my toe (especially these days).

And it’s not just with crowds. I also can’t stand people who have no sense of personal space. Yeah, you know who I am talking about. I’m talking about that one guy who feels like when he talks to you he needs to be so close to you that if you sneezed you would break his nose with your forehead. Hey buddy, if you’re listening, I want to hear what you are saying, not get to first base. I tend to notice that people on the mainland tend to pop my bubble more than people from Hawaii. Of course, it helps that people from Hawaii are much more comfortable shouting everything, including very intimate hygiene facts in crowded areas.

Speaking of which, I have a genius idea for solving my fear of crowds: dried cuttlefish. It’s actually a popular snack back in Hawaii, but it has a smell that is… well, we’ll call it “interesting.” On the mainland it causes people to make a really nauseated face and run away as if I had just offered them a bag of removed warts. So I have decided that when I come back to Colorado from break I will bring back enough dried cuttlefish to create a fifteen foot radius of emptiness around me. The only problem is I might cause stampedes of people running away from me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Sobbing Fans

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the last Harry Potter movie comes out tonight. That was sarcastic of course. Everyone has heard about this last movie, because nobody will shut up about it. Mainly because this last movie allows us to sit back and properly reflect upon what young Harry and his band of merry magicians have meant to American culture.

And make no bones about it, these books and movies have meant a lot. I grew up in this weird little Harry Potter world, so as with most things, I consider myself an unrivaled expert. Okay, so I haven’t seen a few of the movies and I read all the books but I don’t quite remember anything about them. I liked the books, but I didn’t piss my pants every time a new book came out.

I mean, there are the fair-weather fans like me, and then there are the psycho serial killers. Haha that was a joke! Please don’t kill me. Of course these hardcore fans are harmless. Sure, they would probably point there wands at me and yell some sort of Latin sounding mumbo jumbo at me that is supposed to paralyze me or give me syphilis or something. My point is that there are some people who take Harry Potter very seriously. I’m talking about people who dress up, go to midnight book and movie premieres dressed up, and regularly quiz their friends on the book. Heck, I was in class the other day with a girl who said she cried when she didn’t receive a letter from Hogwarts. Might I remind you, this is a college class.

I’m assuming here that this series was popular mainly because people wished that they could cast spells and go to a place like Hogwarts. Me personally, the only parts I wished were true were the flying on a broom and drinking butterbeer. My friends Baddie and Midget went to a Hogwarts theme park in Florida, and they said they actually served butterbeer. Let me just tell you, it was the most jealous I have been since I found out Megan Fox was getting married. When they told me it tasted like cream soda on steroids I almost hit them over the head with the Nimbus 1000 I was using to sweep my floor.

But if you think Harry Potter changed our lives, just imagine how it changed the author’s life. Before she so famously scribbled Harry Potter’s story on a napkin, nobody cared who J.K. Rowling was. Now, I’m sure people still don’t really care, but she’s loaded now so neither does she. She has entered a rare and elite group that few authors have been able to crack: the league of writers who are too good to use their first names and instead use weird little initials, like T.S. Elliot and J.J. Abrams.

Of course, I would have preferred if she just limited the book to what she wrote down on that napkin. Instead, she decided to keep writing until each one of her books was the size and shape of a Chevrolet Suburban. There are poor children in Africa who would die trying to lift up one of these books (so it’s a good thing nobody ever taught them to read). Believe it or not, Alaska actually used to be one huge rain forest, but then they needed paper for all her books. Luckily, carrying around her books temporarily curbed childhood obesity. (Think I’ve made enough jokes about how big her book is? Yeah, me too.)

As far as the movies, they have been just as big a success. Sure, there will always be people who say “the book was way better,” and I will continue to spill hot coffee on these people. Okay, so maybe it doesn’t follow the book exactly, but which is better: paying money to go see a movie sort of get close to the book, or paying to go see the other crap Hollywood is putting out these days, like Charlie St.Cloud?

Now, I haven’t really been paying attention to the movies up until recently. What changed? Well for one thing, I don’t know when it happened, but all of a sudden Hermione started looking like this. Also, the last few books and movies took on a different tone than the first few. People start dying everywhere, everybody starts fighting, and all of the characters finally get past puberty. By the way, was anybody else super confused when Rowling kept referring to the make-out sessions in weird British terms I had never heard of? Half the time I didn’t know if they were kissing or hitting each other with dead eels. You can never tell with those wacky British.

Regardless of whether you liked the books, you can’t argue the impact they have had on us. It truly was a phenomenon the likes of which we will probably never see again. At least until some other lady writes a series of fantasy books that get turned into million dollar movies, the last of which will be split into two movies, possibly involving vampires. And I think we all know that will never happen…

Monday, November 15, 2010

My Toe Hurts

People always told me that wearing rubber slippers in the winter would one day come back to haunt me. Of course, I always thought that they meant I would get frostbite and my toe would fall off or something. But on Wednesday I found out that wasn’t what they meant.

I was minding my own business, walking out of the bathroom when somebody decided that they would blast open the bathroom door. The bottom of the door then proceeded to rip off my big toenail. Now, it is still attached at the base, but just at the very base. I looked down at my toe and said several eloquent words that out of politeness I will not repeat here, but to summarize, it was something along the lines of, “Owwie.”

For the first few seconds I didn’t realize exactly what had happened. I thought I had just scraped my toe. Then I touched my toenail and it began to gush blood like some sort of B-movie horror flick. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really do too much about it, because I was in between classes. I wrapped a napkin around it, put some tape on it, and limped into my writing class, where I probably proceeded to gross out every one in my group.

So for the next two days, I walked around with my toe wrapped. Or at least I thought it was wrapped. Baddie and Midget informed me that they had seen untrained monkeys do a better job of wrapping up toes. They of course had come over as soon as they heard about my unfortunate incident, since they take great enjoyment out of seeing me in various types of physical and mental anguish.

Anyway, I finally went to the doctor on Friday, since I was slightly worried that my toe had still not stopped leaking blood. I figured that the doctor would give me a better idea of what I did to my toe, maybe give me some pain medication and maybe teach me how to properly wrap my toe (or get the monkey to at least).

This just shows how stupid and na├»ve I am. Every time I go the doctor I never get what I want. You think that after my last visit I would have learned my lesson. You might as well just sit at home and save yourself the trip, because the doctor is never going to tell you anything that you don’t already know. He informed me that I had two choices: I could leave the nail on and hope it didn’t get infected and it fell off on its own, or get it surgically removed. Being the little weenie that I am, I heard the word surgery and said “Hell no,” and tried to run out of the room before I realized that it hurt to run.

Since I was not getting my nail removed, he prescribed me some antibiotics. But he was not done yet. You see, doctors follow something called the Hippocratic Oath, which states that they are not allowed to let a patient leave until they have stabbed them with a needle of some sort. Just as I was about to leave, my doctor realized that he had not done this yet, and was at risk of getting his medical degree stolen by the needle fairy.

Doctor: I think I need to give you a tetanus shot.

Me: I’m not sure what this has to do with my toe, but I already had my tetanus shot anyway.

Doctor: But this tetanus shot is different. It treats whooping cough.

Me: So it’s not a tetanus shot. It’s a shot for whooping cough?

Doctor: Shhh…

Now, I don’t want to sound like I don’t believe him. I mean, I only have an undergraduate degree in journalism, while he probably spent ten years and lots of his parents’ money in medical school. But I don’t see how a shot for whooping cough is supposed to help my toe stop bleeding. But before I could object, some random lady comes in, stabs me in the arm with a needle and walks off.

Now, they told me that the shot might make my arm a bit sore. At first I didn’t notice anything. Then I woke up Saturday morning and it hurt to even move my arm. So to recap: I went to the doctor with a sore toe, and left with a sore toe and a sore arm. I somehow left the doctor’s office with more things wrong with me than I went in with.

Thankfully my toe for the most part has stopped bleeding and the pain and the swelling are going down. But the plus is that he told me that I should wear slippers to let my toe breathe, so now I have a medical excuse not to wear shoes. Sure, my toe is now a strange shade of purple and now my back hurts because I’m walking off balance. As it turns out, your big toe is an important part of walking. Oh well. At least I won’t get the whooping cough.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

WARNING: Reading This May Cause Retardation

I have finally figured out a way to get rich quickly by taking advantage of my one God-given talent: clumsiness. As a lazy person I am constantly on the lookout for ways to make loads of money without doing any work, so you can imagine just how excited I got when I read this story.

$15 million? That is just a little ridiculous. I mean, how was she awarded $4.5 million for economic losses? I mean, I know she couldn’t return to work for three years, but she was driving a truck, not mining unobtainium. That’s right, Avatar reference, BOO-YA! (although I’m not certain if that is how you spell boo-yah).

Now what will most likely happen is that Wal-Mart will appeal the decision and the judge will probably reduce her award slightly. After all, Wal-Mart hasn’t been underpaying their employees and neglecting their grease covered walkways to lose money. And speaking of that, what the hell is a “grease interceptor?” Is it some guy running around in the sewer lines with a bucket? By the way, Gary and the Grease Interceptors would be a great name for a band (assuming you know somebody named Gary).

Anyway, what makes me most upset is not that this woman is being awarded all of this money. What pisses me off is that most of that money will be going to (cue ominous music): lawyers, the second lowest life form on planet earth after the Kardashians. I mean, this lady is the one who actually suffered. I imagine spinal injuries can’t be fun, so she deserves some money. Is it her fault that the jury was stupid and gave her way too much money? But the lawyer did nothing except sit there in his fancy office with his fancy law degree hanging on his wall with its fancy Latin writing. Besides, it was the lawyers who probably wrote up the lawsuit and decided how much money they would try to weasel out of the deal. In fact, I can almost guarantee that this lady barely had time to get up from her fall before seventy lawyers were standing over her drooling.

Lawyers have the extraordinary ability to find the stupidest people alive, get them to do something stupid to hurt themselves, and then get these stupid people a stupid amount of money. They say America is the “land of opportunity,” and lawyers have taken that statement to mean “land of potential lawsuits.” Because of this, companies have to put labels on everything detailing even the most basic things. For instance, I was looking at a jar of peanuts the other day when something struck me as odd. For one thing, I don’t eat peanuts, so why do I have a jar of peanuts? Ask my mother, who sent them to me in a care package for some weird reason, as if she thought that jars of peanuts were only available in Hawaii.

Anyway, the weirder thing I noticed was the label, which said INGRIDIENTS: PEANUTS. Right under that, it said the following: WARNING: CONTAINS PEANUTS. Now, most of us with an IQ above that of a tumble weed would already know that there were peanuts in our jar of peanuts. But you just know that somewhere, some idiot allergic to peanuts would pick up a jar of them without that warning and eat them and go into anaphylactic shock. When they ask him in the hospital what he was thinking, he of course will say that he thought his jar of peanuts contained something else, like plums.

And so now our coffee must be labeled hot, our plastic bags labeled choking hazards and Paris Hilton’s vagina labeled a toxic wasteland. And yet, lawyers and idiots find a way around these labels to find ever creative means of making easy money. If a toaster has the instructions “DON’T STICK A FORK IN THIS TOASTER YOU BUMBLING RETARD,” the idiot will of course stick a spoon in there, at which point the lawyer will insist that the company should have included all forms of silverware in their warning.

As you can tell I think that civil suits are the most detestable thing in the world. With that said, I plan on using this trend to get filthy rich. I plan on making these companies hire me to think of warnings. That’s right; you need a truly clumsy idiot to figure out the ways in which clumsy idiots can hurt themselves. For instance, you look at a soda can and think “well, that is a soda can.” I, however, think, “hey, some idiot could possibly take that soda can to the beach, and have his friend throw it to him while he is jumping off of a twenty-foot cliff and cut himself on the forehead.” How did I think this up? Because I was that idiot. So now, thanks to me, nobody can sue Coke because there will be a WARNING DO NOT TOSS THIS CAN TO YOUR IDIOT FRIEND WHILE HE IS JUMPING OFF A CLIFF on the side of the can. Companies will be clamoring over my services.

Or if that doesn’t work I plan on jumping in front of cars and then suing the drivers. So if you are driving today, be on the lookout. Especially if you own a Lexus.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

California Says Pass on Grass

It has just been brought to my attention that in addition to deciding which rich white males would be serving in Congress, this past midterm election also covered several other issues. Namely, whether or not people in California should be allowed to get stoned out of their minds whenever they want.

Proposition 19 would have allowed adults over 21 to legally smoke marijuana, but the measure lost 56% to 44%. Political experts say that the bill most likely lost because young voters didn’t show up on election day. Well duh. They were in their basements smoking pot watching election coverage. Now, I wouldn’t know this for certain, but I’m pretty sure all those funky graphics CNN uses during their coverage must look awesome high. Now, frankly I think the bill failed because the good, moral people of California did not want pot to be legal. They would prefer to keep getting stoned illegally. "It's cheaper," is probably what they said.

The main reason behind the bill is that the state of California apparently has built up a massive debt paying for Lindsay Lohan’s rehab stints, so they figured that by taxing marijuana, they could make lots of money. They also figured they could make some money off of tourism when the entire state of Colorado visits.

Unfortunately I think that thinking is flawed. Whatever money they would make in taxing marijuana would be lost when the California state legislature decides to order 2,500 Big Macs during a lunch break. Also, pot smokers are not the type of people that are going to spend a whole lot of money shopping on Rodeo Drive. Also, I’m pretty sure the economy would tank as a result of every worker in California quitting their jobs and becoming full time poet-musicians.

Now, I don’t really care about this particular bill. For one thing, I don’t live in California. But as a current resident of Colorado, I am well versed in the argument over marijuana. Now, I'm not a stoner, but in Colorado that puts me in the minority. Smoking pot in Boulder is one of those things that is technically illegal but the cops don’t really enforce, sort of like polygamy in Utah and incest in Alabama. I mean, every year 10,000 people gather on a field to publicly get high and create a smoke cloud so thick Sarah Palin can see it from her house in Alaska (she gets mad because it obscures her view of Russia). Just today, a Colorado woman was caught crossing the border with enough pot to get the entire republic of China high for the next week.

The thing is, Colorado’s medical marijuana laws make legalizing pot here a moot point. All you have to do is get a prescription for it. Okay, actually you just need to know somebody who has a prescription for it. And it’s not like it’s all that hard to get a prescription. It’s not like the old days where you had to get a really bummer disease, like cancer or glaucoma. Now even the most innocent of ailments will get you a prescription, including (but not limited to): joint pain, back aches, migraines, eating disorders, problems focusing, acne, gout, ingrown toe nails and an irrepressible urge to smoke pot.

There are a lot of people who argue that marijuana should be legal because it is less harmful than alcohol, and yet alcohol is legal. Other people say that crime would be reduced if marijuana was taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco. Now, I don’t know if marijuana is safer than alcohol. I guess in a way it is, since drunk people tend to get the urge to go out and do very stupid and often dangerous activities, such as lighting things on fire and flirting with women. Whereas people who are high typically don’t want to do anything more rigorous than ordering Chinese food and putting on their Strange Wilderness DVD (don’t tell me that the makers of that movie didn’t have stoners in mind when they put in this scene).

But health wise, I tend to believe marijuana is worse. I drink alcohol and I’m fine, but I’ve been around stoners and there is definitely something wrong with them. For instance, I’m convinced it creates large holes in the section of the brain that would normally be dedicated to speaking in complete sentences. Also, most people have a part of the brain that typically limits the amount of snowboarding and skiing movies a person can stand. Stoners are missing this part of their brain. They will sit there for hours watching clips of more talented and active stoners going down a hill. After about the fifth clip as far as I can tell they are just replaying the same damn thing over and over again.

So actually, I hope that they do pass this bill in California next election. Maybe then all of the stoners here will move there, and I can finally take out this darn skiing DVD.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Midterm Madness

It’s been an exciting week politically with all of these midterm elections finally coming to a close. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t wait for them to be over with. For one thing, all these people kept knocking on my door and trying to get me to vote for their candidate. I am a busy guy; I can’t have my naps constantly being interrupted by some doofus who actually cares about the democratic process. So I started to answer the door in only my underwear, which worked well enough until one of the people at my door turned out to be some guy trying to check my dryer ducts (and no that was not a sexual innuendo you perverts).

Now, one reason I don’t listen to these people at my door is that I am not registered to vote here in Colorado. I am actually still registered in my home state of Hawaii, so I normally could not care less who gets elected in Colorado. The only reason I normally regret this is that a lot of restaurants give out free food to people who have proof they voted here. Whereas I just fill out a ballot and send it off in the mail, where it will inevitably get lost and arrive in some rural town in Indonesia and never in any way affect the election.

But this is the one election that I almost wish I had voted in Colorado for. First, a little background on this midterm. When our forefathers founded our government, in order to keep anybody from gaining too much power, they invented democracy. Democracy ensures that nobody becomes too powerful by making sure that nobody in Washington is ever able to get anything done.

This of course means that elections follow a very predictable pattern. Voters become frustrated with Party A because they have not gotten anything done. Enraged, they then elect a president and legislators from Party B, who campaign on the failures of Party A. But then, Party B of course also fails to get anything done in the first term, because democracy is a very stagnant process. Voters of course become frustrated, and in the next midterm, they elect a whole bunch of legislators from Party A. This means that Party B’s president now has an even harder time getting anything done, so the next election, everybody elects a president and legislators from Party A and we start the vicious cycle all over again.

At the moment, the Democrats have lost America’s faith after only two years, which is funny when you consider that America had the patience to stick with Lost for seven years. Republican senators and representatives around the country thus dropped their golf clubs and hunting rifles and began their surge to retake the Hill. Except of course in Hawaii, where a democrat could admit their hobbies included electrocuting cats and cross-dressing and they would still win by a landslide.

In Colorado however, the race was much closer. The race pitted incumbent democrat Sen. Michael Bennett against the republican challenger Ken Buck, who was formerly the District Attorney. Now, I don’t like to flaunt my political opinions on this site, and I have no idea whether or not Michael Bennett is any good as a senator. But oh boy was I sure glad that he pulled out the narrow victory over Buck. Just a bit of a background on this guy. He says the types of things that guys would say if they knew they never had to speak to a woman again for the rest of their lives. He wanted to outlaw abortion and birth control, didn’t charge an admitted rapist because he felt the woman was simply experiencing “buyers remorse,” and basically said that women have no place in politics.

Speaking of women who have no place in politics, Buck wasn’t the only wacka doodle that actually made a run at Congress this midterm. There is Christine O’Donnell, who basically was a witch as a kid, a whore as a college student, and then became a God-fearing, bible-toting, sinner-smiting politician. She was running for senate in Delaware, which is suspcicious in itself. Why would you want to be a senator for Delaware? Is Delaware even part of the U.S? Somebody should check on that.

Anyway, while she lost, the fact she was even in this race showed the power of a new and rising force in politics: the Tea Party. I to this day have no idea what the Tea Party is or does. I have no idea what their views are, nor do I plan on finding out. I looked up their Wikipedia page, but it was really long. I’m just assuming that they like to dress up as Indians and dump stuff into the ocean. Whatever they are, they have replaced the Green party as the new pain-in-the-behind for politicians. Democrats like to have somebody to blame when their womanizing, pot-smoking, radical loony bins don’t get elected; Republicans don’t like people who don’t own their own oil companies.

At the end of the day, Democrats were able to keep the senate but lost the house. This got me to thinking that I really need to stop wasting my immense talents on a readerless blog and start my political career. I will start my own party based on being flexible, not letting anything go to waste, and keeping things fresh. It will be called the Tupperware Party.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Fashion Forward

So yesterday I was pretty excited to go to one of my journalism classes because we were having a guest speaker. I really couldn’t care less about the guest speaker, but this meant we were getting pizza. I am an out-of-state college student so I live on free food. I often make entire meals out of complimentary mints and fortune cookies.

So there I was, happily munching away at my free pizza when the guest speaker came in. Okay, that verb wasn’t really strong enough to describe how this lady walked into the room. It was more like she majestically glided in. Her name is CeCe Coffinn, and she is some sort of big executive at some sort of big fashion company. She is so big that it is only a matter of time before she abandons her last name and simply goes by CeCe. Or maybe even just a symbol.

Now I was trying my darndest to pay attention in class, but there were several things making this very hard. First off, one of the students in the lecture sitting in front of me is also a Denver Broncos cheerleader, so needless to say I was a bit distracted. Secondly, I am not a big fashion person. She was wearing a nice coat with designer sunglasses and jewelry that matched her outfit and shiny shoes. I was wearing shorts I bought from Wal-Mart, a firefighter T-shirt my dad got for free, and a pair of $2 rubber slippers with holes in their soles. Coffman’s wardrobe that day probably cost more than my entire closet (and I’m including the cost of the now-defunct printer I keep in my closet).

Regardless, I had to try and follow along because we are going to have a quiz on her presentation. But the whole time she refused to speak English. I think she was speaking French or something. One second I was sitting there following along, the next she spits out some sort of sentence that sounded like “Coco Chanel Vogue Gucci Elle Vogue Escargot Sang real Essence of Effervescence with hints of Ryan Seacrest.” At one point, she described how she worked for Este Lauder. The entire class (which, by the way, was 90 percent female) let out a gasp, at which point I asked the girl next to me if Este Lauder was contagious. When she informed me that Este Lauder was not, in fact, a disease, I then asked it could be eaten with mustard (most likely Grey Poupon, because I am a classy guy).

Anyways, the talk (as it always is in the journalism department) was about how to get a job in the fashion writing and public relations industry (known affectionately in journalism circles as the “Realm of Angry Career Women”). Now, I personally had absolutely no interest in the types of jobs that she had, because they required knowing more about feminine products than I would ever care to admit knowing. Of course, I considered changing my mind when our professor showed us pictures of her on the job, which (as far as I could tell from the photos) consisted solely of drinking a lot of alcohol with rich people.

But, my desire to get drunk and dance in my underwear on marble tables in mansions aside, I was not nearly as desperate to get a job from this lady as some of the women in the class. There was one grad student in the class who sounded particularly desperate. If the corporate world were a bar, she was the drunken girl going up to every single guy in the bar and telling them how lonely she was and how she was ugly and nobody wanted her and she was up for anything, flashing her resume at anyone that would look. What’s funny is that she at one point did actually sort of make an underhanded comment about fashion companies discriminating against her because of her looks (or lack-therof). I’m assuming this in some way was a jab at the very attractive Broncos cheerleader, who every guy in the room at that moment probably would have hired on the spot for any job, no questions asked (except for maybe “are you single?”).

Still, as sad as it was, it was also sort of entertaining to watch these young women throw themselves at this lady in the hopes of getting hired. I’ve never been good at the whole networking part of getting a job, which explains why I will one day be homeless. But these girls were pros; they had noses so brown that you could have sworn they were in a mud pie eating contest. They were constantly giving her compliments, dropping in factoids about the numerous things they’ve done with their remarkably boring lives, and chatting to her about the perfume and makeup industry.

I would have talked to her too, but I don’t know anything about makeup and perfume. My only experience was the time I got drunk and I let Baddie and Midget put makeup on me. When she realized how completely unaware of fashion and perfume trends and brands I was, my professor asked what kind of gifts I ever got for women. I told her that I normally get them a Macy’s gift card, drop them off at the store, and then get the hell out of the way. Besides, K-Mart is across the street from Macy’s, and my encounter with a fashion mogul makes me think I need new shorts.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blowin' In the Wind

It’s weeks like this that I wish that I had never gone to college and just danced for tips at some bar in Tijuana. I complain about the weather in Boulder often, mainly because it sucks a lot of the time. People up here are always like “We have great weather 3oo days of the year.” That’s great and everything, except there are 365 days in a year. Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but let’s do the math. Let’s see, subtract that… carry the one… divide by pi… and that means the weather in Boulder is miserable for almost three months of the year (or if you want specific numbers, 3.75 liters per acre squared).

Normally the weather phenomenon I’m complaining about is snow. But this week, it’s the wind that I’m bothered by. To say it has been a little windy this week would be like saying that Lindsay Lohan might have had a few drinks in her lifetime. The winds were clocked at 69 miles an hour the other day. 69 mph. It’s not even legal to drive that fast in the entire state of Hawaii. There are squirrels dropping out of the sky as far away as Saudi Arabia (by the way, the “Skydiving Squirrels” is the new name of my fictional band). I was trying to walk from my car to my workplace ten feet away, and I struggled, and I am by no means a small guy.

Boulder has bad winds every now and then, but this was crazy. I half expected to see Dorothy chasing Toto while being followed by a pack of stoners listening to Pink Floyd. As any well trained journalist with an insatiable desire for the truth and a need to investigate the unknown would do, I locked myself in my bedroom and hid under the blankets. I eventually deemed it safe to emerge, and I picked up the newspaper on my front doorstep. This itself showed how bad the wind was, because I don’t have a newspaper subscription. Also, the newspaper was the “Albuquerque Tribune.”

Anyway, the cause of these strong winds is something called La Nina, which is further proof that everything bad in the world can somehow be traced back to women. That was as far as I got in reading before my paper blew away, so I’m assuming that La Nina is some sort of mystical, magical entity that somehow affects the weather, like the Bermuda Triangle or Newt Gingrich. Regardless, this thing is going to be around for a while, so we can expect lots of wind over the winter.

This just depressed me. The only thing I hate more than snow falling is snow falling sideways. Now, to be honest, I would probably be able to deal with adverse weather much more effectively if I didn’t stubbornly insist on wearing shorts and slippers everywhere I went. But that is not the point. Just for once, I wish that this whole global warming thing would hurry up. Frankly, I was always confused by the X-Men character Storm, who could change the weater. She always made the weather depressing; like she would kill people with lightning bolts or summon fog. If I had that power, all you would ever see was me walking shirtless in my own little circle of sunshine. Also, it would be constantly hailing in China. Or I could just move back to Hawaii.

Not that I haven’t had my fair share of windy days in Hawaii. There is a place on the southern point of the Big Island creatively named (brace yourself): South Point. Anyway, when I say that Hawaii is beautiful, I generally am not including South Point in that statement. It is always windy and sandy and dirty, so you get all sorts of sand and dust and dirt in your eyes and hair. I remember I went down there on a camping trip once in the scouts, and one of the campers tried to move a cot and made the mistake of turning it on its side. The wind proceeded to pick him and the cot off the ground and fly him ten feet straight into the side of a car. Of course, being Boy Scouts and trained in first aid and medical response, we sat there laughing for the better part of an hour.

So if nobody sees me for awhile, it is because I am taking shelter from this vicious wind. Also, if any of you live in Iowa, be on the lookout for my editing textbook. It should be dropping out of the sky soon.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Back in the Day

Today I was driving home from class when I was forced to pass through Boulder High School just after school ended for them that day. Now as I’m sure all of you know, you have about as much luck navigating roads near a high school as starting a wildfire in Antarctica. For some reason, high schoolers have a magical ability to completely ignore oncoming traffic. And this isn’t just in Boulder, where pedestrians tend to think even busy highways are yellow brick roads they are supposed to skip along. This applies to high schools all over America. I know it was that way at my high school on the Big Island.

These kids will bravely walk right out into traffic completely unaware of the fact that a two-ton piece of metal (my car) is speeding down the highway (at two mph), driven by an unstable person (me) who happens to have a very influential friend in the justice department (we’ll call her “Helga). Why do they walk recklessly into the streets? It could be the sense of invincibility that comes with youth and stupidity; it could be the pressure from peers to appear immune to fear; it could be severe mental retardation.

More likely it is because they have iPods in their ears while texting on their cell phones with their right hand while trying to hold up their saggy pants with their left. With all those distractions it’s no wonder these kids don’t realize there is a car coming at them; they probably wouldn’t notice if the Hindenburg crashed next to them. I remember things were different when I went to high school. Now it’s not like I went to high school in the Stone Age; I was there less than four years ago. But things have changed a lot since then. I remember as a freshman, I didn’t have a cell phone, a laptop, or an iPod. Whereas now elementary school kids bring these things to school with them.

And yet as I looked on at these kids gathering in their awkward little circles outside the school, no doubt discussing the things that seemed so important back then (acne, crushes, grades, acne, rumors, prom, figuring out how to look cool at prom with your parents chaperoning, etc), I realized that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This of course caused me to go into a fit of nostalgic reminiscence, which then of course meant I had to go look up the words “nostalgic” and “reminiscence.”

I was talking to some friends the other day that apparently had an awkward high school careers and say the words “high school” with the same tone and facial expression someone might make when they were discussing genital warts. On the other hand, I was talking to a former high school quarterback who dated the head cheerleader and is still convinced that the high point of his life came in high school (his words: “to be more specific, in the back seat of a Volvo”).

Anyway, I guess my high school career fell in between. I was never the most popular guy, but I was still well-liked enough to be elected class president (due mainly to voter apathy). If you had to put me into a group, I was probably a nerd, which is funny in itself since there may have been no student in the school that enraged more teachers and put as little effort into their schoolwork as I did.

That is not to say that I did not have some awkward moments. The main objective in high school was being cool. But as I was sitting in traffic watching those kids trying to look as badass as possible while loitering outside a 7-11 waiting for their mom to pick them up, I remembered just how few high schoolers managed to pull that off. I mean, it’s pretty hard to be cool when you still rely on your parents to go anywhere, have no money, can’t buy alcohol, have no idea what your hormones are doing on any given day, and have no idea what the opposite sex is thinking (although men tend to have this problem for their entire lives).

I had my fair share of those moments, which I am going to discuss despite the fact that many of the people involved in those moments are reading this. I can do this because I am confident enough to own up to the embarrassing things I have done in my life. Also, it is now legal for me to purchase and consume large quantities of alcohol, so I have a coping mechanism.

When it came to the other gender (women, in case you were wondering), I was as smooth as sandpaper. Normally when women would approach me and talk to me, I would have a mature and intelligent conversation - with my feet. Then I would try to fall back on my humor, but of course the joke would come out way worse than it went over in my head, at which point I would laugh and then run off in the other direction. I’m confident that there are girls who went to high school with me who till this day are convinced I am retarded. The low-light came when I asked some girl to the prom in my junior year. But we were in a computer class, and I mumbled “wanna go to prom?” so badly that I’m pretty sure she heard “can I have a CD-ROM," because she never answered me. She just sort of nodded and then started looking in the computer drawer. Or at least that is the story I am sticking with.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot better. Now, I confidently stride up to women, say one or two very inappropriate lines, get slapped, and watch them run away, which frankly I think is an improvement. I have the restraining orders to prove it. Anyway, feel free to share your embarrassing stories in the comments section for our amusement, under an anonymous name of course. But if you’re most embarrassing moment was that time some weirdo asked you to the prom in 2006, I might know who you are.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"I'm On a High Horse"

I consider myself a man of the people, which is pretty ironic since anybody who is just another guy never refers to the general population as “the people.” Anyway, my false modesty notwithstanding, I decided to just write story about you: all five of you who read this.

Just recently, I asked you to follow the blog to help get me extra credit for a class so I could continue to not ever show up. Many of you did sign up, so I thank you for that and just want to know that you are all enablers (and the tally will come at the end of the semester, so you are more than welcome to still sign up if you haven’t already). So as my way of thanking you, I’m going to address the suggestions that were made in the suggestion box that I was actually planning on completely ignoring. Think of it as my way of thanking you. Also, I got really bored and I have nothing to write about.

Now normally the world is filled with enough stupid people that I never run out of things to talk about, but I do like getting ideas. From now on I promise to write about whatever you suggest in there, unless your suggestion is “smoke weed in the bushes.” I’m asking for suggestions about what to write, not how to spend my Friday night. I also am not going to respond to “how awesome your sister is : )” because emoticons make me angry and I don’t think my sister can read anyway. Also, the “terd sandwich vs. douchebag” has already been covered by South Park. If you haven’t seen the episode, you should definitely watch it because a whole lot of PETA people die horrible deaths.

So that leaves us with “Chuck Norris vs. The Old Spice Guy.” Now I’m assuming this is a question of who is cooler as opposed to who would win in a fight. Because the Old Spice Guy is a lover not a fighter, not unlike me. Whereas Chuck Norris loves fighting, at least when he isn’t toning his ridiculous abs on a Total Gym. So I’m going to be honest, I don’t know who would win in a fight, especially since Chuck would have to catch up to the horse, and the one thing I have always been taught is that you should never approach them from behind. (Okay, all of you who just said “that’s what she said,” go take a lap. Now. I’ll wait.)

Now I don’t know who came up with this line of Old Spice commercials, but they need to hang on to him (and yes, I guarantee it is a him). Then on the other hand, we have Chuck Norris. Now, as much as I want to wave the “Fear the Beard” flag as much as the next guy, I have no idea when Chuck Norris became a cult icon. He used to just be the star of a really cheesy show. I mean Walker Texas Ranger was just some guy who smoked a little too much weed and apparently watched Clint Eastwood and Bruce Lee right next to each other and tried to mate them.

Then all of a sudden, the Chuck Norris jokes started appearing. I don’t really remember when it started, but one day I turned around in my junior year of high school and everyone was making them. I swear that is all the other guys on the swim team ever said, and to be honest it irritated the hell out of me. And since swimming involved walking around in tight shorts, I was very irritated to begin with. So to be honest, I don’t like Chuck Norris. He’s another one of those people who is cool because of how uncool they are, like David Hasselhoff. So in the battle between the Old Spice Guy and Chuck Norris, the Old Spice Guy wins in the third round via sultry staring. So keep the suggestions coming, and I will try to answer them via stupid rambling as soon as I can.

Now I need a favor from all of you who have somehow managed to make it this far. I am currently having a debate with some friends over what color the cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich is: orange or yellow (we’re talking American cheese here). So in the comments, please leave your vote. You don’t need to leave your name if you don’t want to, but at least include your gender. Thank you; your work will save lives.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

War of the Words

I have grammar on my mind. Mainly because for some reason it seems that is all I’ve been doing lately. I edit at my job, I have an editing class, I’ve been taking editing tests in another class, editing essays in another class and reading Shakespeare in another (if you don’t see how this is related, then you have never seen a journalism major trying to read the retarded babble that is ye olde english).

Then last night I edited admission essays for students trying to get into CU’s journalism school. I still have no idea why they asked me to do this; I never actually wrote an admission essay. Due probably to a clerical error, they let me straight in so I had no idea what I was doing in this workshop. This of course was not what the students wanted to hear; most of them picked up their essays and ran to somebody else. But the point is I still showed up.

Believe it or not I showed up mainly because I actually enjoy editing. Of course, this is mainly because writing is one of the few things I don’t regularly mess up. I’m sure many of you find this highly amusing. “Mitchell,” you are probably saying, “I see more spelling, grammatical, factual and ethical errors on your site than on an episode of Jersey Shore.” To witch I reply its nun of you’re business or there business.

I’m going to be honest, I don’t really bother to look over these rants for errors; that would upset the very strict deadlines I work with. My strict schedule is as follows: 20 minutes brainstorming ideas (and by that I mean sleeping on the couch). 40 minutes of research (as in watching Golden Girls reruns). 10 minutes writing the actual thing (as in spewing verbal sewage all over computer screen). 25 minutes confirming facts (by eating a sandwich). So as you can see, this leaves little time for any actual proofreading. Besides, that sounds like a lot of work for a stupid blog that nobody pays me to write.

But I honestly do like editing good writing. Notice how I say good writing. Editing good writing is fun and easy. Editing essays written by people with the IQ’s of gerbils who were dropped on their heads at birth is not as fun. In those cases it’s easier to crumple up their essay and throw it in the trash (oh wait, sorry we are in Boulder, so you have to throw it in the recycle bin). Do you want to figure out if you have good grammar or have gerbil poop for brains? Here’s a quick and easy little test. What is wrong with the following passage:

Justin Bieber, the teen age singer who’s prepubescent, angle-like voice has captured the hearts of girls worldwide, was arrested for cocaine possession yesterday after cops found five kilograms in Biebers bedroom.

A. Teenage is one word; it’s whose not who’s; it’s angel, not angle; and there is an apostrophe in Bieber’s.

B. Ain’t none nothing wrong with this their sentence. ‘Cept prepubescent ain’t a real word. Might be sum sorta fish.

C. Justin Bieber is my favorite singer in the world and he would never do cocaine.

D. Justin Bieber is not a singer; he is a whining abomination. And we don’t use kilograms. We’re Americans dammit, not Canadians.

If you said A, congratulations! You are correct and you have what it takes to work in writing (By the way, you may think the angle-angel is a pretty obvious mistake, but I know at least one person who doesn’t know the difference, and she knows exactly who she is). If you said B, you should just go back to whatever part of Alabama you came from and never touch a pen or pencil again in your life. If you said C, I hate you and isn’t it past your bedtime? If you said D, you may not be grammatically correct but I like you, so I’ll give you a pass.

The one thing I admit I still have no clue about is active versus passive sentence structure. My editors always tell me about this. So I’m assuming active structure goes something like “Bob ran around a lot,” while passive would be “Bob went to sleep.” Speaking of sleeping, I’m going to go brainstorm my next article.