Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Movin' Out

So after three years, on Sunday I moved out of the apartment complex where I have lived for the past three years. Now, I don' t mean to point fingers, but as in the breakup of any long-term relationship, someone is at fault. In this case it is my apartment complex.

Sure it was a nice enough place, but they were hiking up rent as if my unit was sitting on the last oil deposit in the western hemisphere. Plus they were kicking me out two days earlier than they initially told me, which meant all my arrangements with the moving company held as much water as a pasta strainer.

Now, making meat-headed jocks like the ones who made fun of me in high school carry boxes of my underwear wasn't the only reason I wanted to hire a moving company. Due to the early end of my lease, I will actually need to move things twice, and moving is the third most miserable activity ever after prostate exams and watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

And so for the past few weeks I had been preparing for the move, which for me means clearing out my fridge by eating and drinking everything in there. I was thinking of getting this app that tells you what to make with the things in your fridge, but I figured that was a waste of time since all I normally have in my fridge is beer.

Anyway once I drank all the beer (that took about three hours), I needed to recruit muscle. Getting people to help you move has been one of the hardest tasks since the dawn of man, and I’m almost positive it’s the reason nomads settled down and started society. It was just too much effort to move things, especially back then when they didn’t have six-packs of beer to trade off, as our long-lost cavemen Wog and Oog demonstrate.

Wog: “Hey man, my woman kicked me out of the cave. Think you could help me move some stuff?”
Oog: “I don’t know man, I’m pretty busy with…  uh, stuff.”
Wog: “C’mon, I’ve only got a bunch of clubs and loin cloths.”
Oog: “Yeah, but the Olympics are on. Bruce Jenner’s original face will be making an appearance.”

The only good thing about the move is that I loved driving the U-Haul around. It may have had the turning radius of the Titanic and the stopping time of a greasy fish on a slip-and-slide, but there is nothing more exhilarating than rumbling along the road in a two-ton hunk of steel. I especially enjoyed driving it in Boulder, which is ripe with bikers and Subarus that I was very tempted to run over and toss in the cargo space.

But I resisted because I needed that space for my stuff. Luckily I had very little in the way of worldly possessions, because as a Buddhist I believe attachment to material things only leads to suffering. Also I am a cheap bastard. Most of my things I threw away because it was all stuff I had I either stole, borrowed, got for free, or picked up off the side of the road. And that’s just my cutlery.

Anyway, once I cleared out all the wristbands and taxi cab and chicken wing receipts from under my bed I was done. After sticking a rotten fish and an angry raccoon in my bathroom to show the apartment managers there were no hard feelings, we set off for the storage unit.

Now, when I rented the U-Haul, they gave me a discounted storage unit that they said was “just outside of Boulder.” Unfortunately, the storage unit was no more “just outside of Boulder” than New York City is “just outside of North Korea.” I was certain that at one point we were in Kansas, driving along with our U-Haul truck across the Midwest like the modern-day Joad family. Also, for some reason the U-Haul radio played “Call Me Maybe” at least six times.

When we finally got to the storage unit, we were – geographically speaking – in the middle of nowhere. At that point I could have just tossed my crap on the ground rather than lock it up in a unit because the odds anyone would find it out there were low.

And once we met the guy in charge of the storage facility we wished we had just done that. To say he was as stupid as a cow would frankly be an insult to cows. It literally took him 30 minutes to process a form that had three lines on it, two of which were the time and date. Anytime he had to perform a new task, you could literally see his brain shut down and reboot.

Somehow he eventually managed to find the right color crayons to file the paperwork or whatever and we unloaded my stuff and got the hell out of there, with “Call Me Maybe” playing the whole way. It took longer than I had planned, but I was comforted by the fact that when we got back, a group of women in my apartment complex who had arrived in a U-Haul at the same time as us were still there four hours later still apparently trying to figure out how to open the cargo door.

All this gave me an idea, as usual, for a get-rich quick business. I am going to start a moving company called “Haul Me Maybe,” which will specialize in moving college women out of their apartments. Why college women? Because it would be way easier to get idiot frat boys to work for my company if they knew they were going to be working in cut-off shirts in front of coeds every day. I even have a theme song in mind:

“Hey I just moved out,
And this is heaaaavy.
So here’s my sofa,
Just Haul Me Maybe.”

It’s genius! You hear that Carly Rae Jepsen? You could be our spokeswoman when your one-hit career inevitably ends. So call me maybe.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Waiting in the Weeds

 As a romantic who believes in true love, I'm always looking for the magical ways in which the universe brings people together. Wait, that didn't sound right, let's try that again: As a jaded, cynical single person I often laugh at the desperate ways people try and meet their soul mate. Yeah that sounds more like me.

So you can imagine how hard I laughed when I saw this story. Apparently these people pay to pick weeds in a garden, thus meeting other people who have at least one thing in common with you: They were also stupid enough to pay to pick weeds.

Now, let us go over just a few of the many different reasons this is such a stupid idea. For one, picking weeds is not enjoyable. I grew up on a three-acre coffee farm and I was often assigned the task of picking weeds. I rarely did however, because it is hard work that takes place very low to the ground, which hurts. I normally just sat on my bucket and proceeded to pick all of the weeds within my reach, which resulted in a perfect circle of clean dirt surrounded by weeds. Actually, maybe that’s how crop circles are formed…

Also, I’m pretty sure dates shouldn’t involve more dirt than alcohol. I personally have no problem drinking while sitting in the dirt, but I’m going out on a limb and assuming most women don’t like to be sweaty and dirty. Heck, most of the girls I know freak out when they smudge their makeup.

Now you are probably saying to yourself, “But I haven’t found anyone by going to bars or going on conventional dates, so maybe this will work.” Nice try, but that if you are having trouble picking up women at bars full of drunk women, you might be pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

And yes, I’m sure all of you are hearing this and saying that me giving advice on dating is like Paris Hilton lecturing on the Higgs Boson particle. But it’s not that I haven’t been on dates, it’s just that I mess all of them up horribly. Women say they want a sense of humor, they just apparently don’t want that humor to be sexist, racist and religiously insensitive. And that leaves me with very little material, since I am not going to talk about my feelings.

In fact, half the time I never even make it to dinner. I used to work a night shift, which made dinner dates a bit of a challenge. On one particular occasion, I promised some girl I would meet her for food at ten, which is very late for dinner but was still cutting it close to the end of my shift. Sure enough, I got slammed with work and was still in my office at 11, when I had this text conversation:

Her: “Hey jerk, you’re late.”
Me: “Sorry, apparently my boss still owns my nuts until 11:30.
Her: “So what are we going to do? This place closes at 12.”
Me: “I hear the Burger King drive-thru is still open.”

OK, so I’m not exactly “Bachelor” material. Or even “Flavor of Love” material for that matter. But what I lack in suave and manners I more than make up for in my ability to come up with ideas for stupid reality shows based on my failings.

This one will be called, “Last Resort.” The general premise is that we take a bunch of singles who are so bad with the opposite gender and at finding love that even eHarmony and Match.com couldn’t find them a match. We stick these people in a beautiful, isolated tropical resort with each other and watch the awkwardness begin! 

Will any of them actually find love? Of course not! It will be pure carnage! But you will watch it for the same reason you watch the American Idol auditions: We love watching people getting their dignity stomped on like Dance Dance Revolution pads. Who knows, maybe in addition to making me filthy rich, my new show will inspire you to go out and give love a chance, maybe even pick some weeds. If you ask nicely I’ll make room on my bucket.

Friday, July 6, 2012

America the Beautiful

Like every true American patriot out there, it was with great joy that I celebrated the birth of this greatest of countries on the Fourth of July. Because I love this great country of ours, and every other country in the world frankly can go wallow in their untreated sewage.

Now, I have to say Boulder is not a very “American,” city. It doesn't eat much meat, it likes to drive high efficiency vehicles, and I'm pretty sure most of the residents here like trees more than people.

But never-the-less, Boulder does have a very American way of celebrating Independence Day. Every year, thousands of college-aged kids get together on the shores of the Boulder Reservoir, take their shirts off and get absolutely plastered.

Now, this being the first summer in Boulder I wasn't working on July 4, I was pretty excited for our trip to the Res. We were so excited in fact, that we started drinking the night before we were supposed to go up. We drank a large amount of very patriotically designed cans of cheap light beer to celebrate, except for one idiot who brought French beer. Now, Mexican's without papers are one thing, but anybody who brings French beer to a Fourth of July party deserves to be ghosted to Guantanamo and forced to listen to “Star Spangled Banner” on repeat until they die.

Anyway, as it turns out, drinking a lot of beer (French or not) the night before you are supposed to do something is not a good idea. Of the dozen or so people scheduled to go, only two of us showed up at the meeting spot on time at 8:30. So what did we do while the rest of the crew was working off hangovers? Why the most American thing there is to do: We drank more beer in the garage.

Eventually everyone else arose from the dead and we drove off to the Res, singing “God Bless America,” and generally being obnoxious Americans the whole way (which was highly ironic considering we were driving a Toyota).

We finally got to the reservoir and literally the first thing we see are four hot, drunk women in red, white and blue bikinis waving around a large American flag and screaming randomly. At that point I don't think I could have been prouder of my country, and I had a feeling it was going to be a great day.

You see I intended to embrace that oh so American tradition of ingesting large quantities of beer and then getting shot down by women way out of my league. And there were a lot of women there out of my league. There may have been homely ones there, but I didn't see them. They may have been turning them away at the gate.

After creating a pile of aluminum at my feet and offending several women with inappropriate jokes about flag poles, I decided to go into the water, since I could always mess up pickup lines later. Now, just to be clear, they call it a beach, but it’s not. This is not the ocean, it’s a man-made hole they filled with water. It’s no more an ocean than my toilet. It doesn’t have sand as much as it has cement mix and there are random roots and plants floating around in it.

But it did do one thing, and that was cool us down, which was very important. Because when we set out a list of things to bring, it sort of looked like this:

1.      Beer
2.      More beer
3.      Chips
4.      Things to sit in while we drink beer
5.      Beer

This list, while beautiful in its simplicity, left out a few things. Sunscreen for instance. Also, tents and water.  By the end of the day we looked like Hellboy extras.

But despite the fact that it currently hurts to move, I would consider the day an enormous success. Because Independence Day celebrates the day when a brave band of colonists revolted against tyranny for the right to shout “''Mmerica, F@$% YEAH!” at the top of our lungs while drinking beer and eating apple pie with our hands. Our forefathers would have been proud.