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.