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.