Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Things I Think About During Songs. Volume 6.

'Rock and Roll Part 2' by Gary Glitter.

Three things about this song:

1)  Everybody on this great planet, especially when they're drinking, always has grand "You know what we should do someday?" ideas.  One of my favorites is one that Lane and I have talked about since I moved to Lawrence, but never pulled the trigger on:  we want to take Lane's trumpet and set of bongos, set up shop on a street corner downtown, and play this song on a loop, just to see how much money we'd make-- or more accurately, how much we could offset the cost of the amount of beer we'd have to drink before we were ready to actually do this.  To go along with our instruments (Lane on the trumpet, me on the bongos) we would take requests from the crowd on different categories, and yell out as many as we could name in the chorus before moving on to the next category.  For example, if the category was "Members of the 1991 Minnesota Twins" our chorus would sound like:

"Dah dah dahhhhhhhh dah duh, HEY!  KIRBY PUCKETT!  Dah dah dahhhhhhh dah duh, HEY!  SCOTT ERICKSON!  Dah dah dahhhhhh dah duh, HEY!  CHUCK KNOBLAUCH!"  And so on and so on.  We've always thought it would be a crowd pleaser, not to mention a welcome change from every other downtown Lawrence busker with his acoustic guitar and/or harmonica.  Alas, now Lane & family moved to Rhode Island, and I'll probably never realize this dream.

2)  You know what you're telling people when you tell them you don't like this song? You're telling them that you hate fun. I can't have you in my life if you can't appreciate this song on some level, and I don't think that's too unreasonable.  Listen, I've made concessions before with girls in my past. I dated a girl who didn't think that Anchorman was that funny, and definitely didn't like Chappelle's Show.  I've dated a Duke fan.  And in probably my worst offense, I was friendsies with bensies with a friggin' Yankees fan.  (We tried dating for real and it lasted like two weeks.  Either we didn't work well as an actual couple, or subconciously I was more pissed than I thought I was that the Yanks signed Mark Bellhorn away from the Red Sox that summer.)

However, everybody has a line in the sand, and mine happens to be drawn in front of this song.  I was at a party during my freshman year of college and met a girl. It was the classic tale of romance: boy meets girl at a party, girl finds boy charming and witty, boy thinks girl is cute in a hippie sort of way (and will make the current girl he's chasing after appropriately jealous), boy and girl do a couple rounds of whippits, boy and girl end up making out in the basement, Rock and Roll Part 2 comes on, girl says it's the dumbest song ever, boy extracts himself from the situation and never talks to her again.  The moral of this not-quite-Shakespearean love story?  You don't EVER talk bad about this song in front of me.

3)  So why was I thinking about my history with this song the other day?  Because of an epiphany I had: this song is called Rock and Roll PART 2.  It stands to reason, then, that there is a Part 1.  Why haven't I ever heard of Part 1?  Was there even really a Part 1, or is the title some kind of inside joke?  Why was Part 1 excluded from the Jock Jams and/or Jock Rock CDs?  Why do you never hear it during a sporting event, or any of the Mighty Ducks movies?  So I did some investigating.  And it was worth it:

Here's what makes me love Part 1 (besides the fact that instead of just three minutes of this glorious song, I now have six):  The chorus is absolutely hilarious.  I had never heard this version of the chorus in Part 2 before.

You know when you're at a karaoke bar, and you're about six beers past being capable of putting on a decent performance, but you go up there anyway?  And then you're too busy winking at some cougar in the second row and strolling around the stage, swirling your drink around in your glass like you're Frank Sinatra, so you forget the lyrics, and you don't know where you're at on the screen, so you completely melt down and have to make up some random lyrics on the spot?  And everyone quickly realizes what you're doing, so you start getting heckled, and now the cougar won't make eye contact with you anymore, and you're trying to laugh it off, but inside you're rattled, and you know that you're just dying up there, and the heckling gets worse, and you spill some of your drink on your shirt, and eventually you get booed off the stage?  That's what the chorus reminds me of: some drunk karaoke guy panicking and improvising lyrics.  "Rock and roooooooll!  Rock and roll!  Rock and roooooooooll!  Rock and roll!  Rock and rolllll, rock!  Rock and roll!" 

Just ridiculous.  If you played the instrumental version to an eight-year-old, told him the song was called Rock and Roll, and asked him to write the chorus using crayons and construction paper, that's what he would write.  Verbatim. 

Gary Glitter, don't ever let anybody tell you that you're not the man.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

After a few years of gellin' like a felon, I shaved my head the other day.  In "Drunk Slough at the Kentucky Derby" voice:  My reasons....for this.....are threefold:

1.  I'm married now, my personal appearance doesn't matter anymore.  I'm taking this one all the way, folks.  Since I tore my meniscus, I haven't been able to exercise for a couple months-- but instead of altering my diet to help offset this fact at least a tiny bit, I find myself having conversations with the employees at Yello Sub that include questions like "Wow, you already have enough stamps for another free sandwich?  Didn't you just turn one of these cards in?  How often are you eating here?"

2.  It's been a typical Kansas summer, meaning every single day for the last month or so, it's been right around Nick Lachey, with few exceptions.  It's effing hot, all the time, and it's nice to not have a lot of hair.  (Get it?  98 Degrees?  Nick Lachey?  Ahhh, you get it.)

3.  I needed to do an inventory on my hair.

To speak in generalities, there are two ways to go bald.  You can start with the receding hairline in the front, like Steve Carell in season 1 of The Office (before he got plugs or a transplant or whatever), or you can get a bald spot in the back like Manu Ginobili, and have it spread from there.  For the last year or so, I've been developing a tidy little Ginobili, and watching it slowly spread its tentacles of baldness across the rest of my dome.  So I needed to buzz the rest of my hair off and assess the exact damage here.

(Just to confirm, we are NOT talking about the small bald spot on the back of my head.  I've dealt with those questions since 1st grade, when I fell through a trap door in the school library, landed on my head, and killed the hair follicles in that spot forever.  A favorite game of mine when I was a douche younger was to wait until the hair stylist held up the mirror, pretend that she was the one who screwed up and took a chunk out of the back of my head, and get really angry for a few seconds before telling her I was joking.  Then one day I happened to catch a young lady on her first ever solo shift, and she instantly started crying before I could tell her I was kidding.  That was the end of that game.  But I digress.)

Anyway, all things considered, I'm not horribly concerned about going bald.  I would've thought that I would handle this much worse, but I'm not losing any sleep over it or anything.  I'm also not exactly doing the Happy Drunk Ron Swanson dance over the news either, but whatever.  It happens to something like 70% of men.  Such is life.  There are worse things.

Here's the only reason I'm pissed about it:  my entire life, all I've ever heard is that male pattern baldness is dependent upon your maternal grandfather.  If he doesn't go bald, then you're safe.  I've heard some version of that "rule" dozens of times, and never heard anything that refutes that statement.  And yet, my Mom's Dad is in his nineties, and he's running around with a full head of hair, slicking it back like he's Michael Fucking Coreleone.  So why exactly am I going bald?  Who's been lying to me here?  Why did you let me get my hopes up?  That's my main beef in all of this.

I've always been a big believer in "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst."  Actually, it's more like "Expect the worst, and distrust everything else until it becomes reality."  This is the same reason why I don't want to buy a new iPod, even though mine is almost eight years old and the screen is mostly shattered.  I'm convinced that with my luck with computers, if I plug a new (but unfamiliar) iPod into my computer, my iTunes will crash and I'll lose all my music in the blink of an eye.  It's the same reason why, when KU was up 40-12 in the Final Four against North Carolina a few years ago, and the entire bar was spraying beers and celebrating, I was standing on my chair and motioning for everyone to settle down because there was too much time left.  It's the same reason why, when I spray a tee shot near the water, the absolute worst thing you can say to me is "I'm sure it stayed dry- you're fine, dude."  Because if we drive up to that ball and it's in the lake, now I'm taking my anger out on you for telling me I was OK, when I was already prepared to take a penalty stroke.  On the flip side, it's the same reason why I can have such a good attitude if I lose money gambling (relative to most gamblers.)  To me, that money was spent the second I deposited it into my online account; in my head I'm expecting to lose every bet I make.  If I cash anything out, it's bonus.  Just let me assume the worst, and I'll be pleasantly surprised if that turns out not to be the case.

If I would've known that my potential baldness didn't rest entirely on the shoulders of my full-follicled Grandpa, I would've better prepared myself for the possibility of going bald.  But instead, I've been going along all these years, taking my hair for granted, not ever thinking I was living on a shortened timeline.  Now I feel like an asshole.  An asshole who will probably be bald in a few years, hooking tee shots into the water, crashing his iTunes, and wondering how it all slipped away.

I blame you, Grandpa.

Monday, July 22, 2013


As a sports fan, things were not a lot of fun for me in 2003.  (Although everything else in 2003 was the shiiiiiiit.  We had more rooftop Culligan parties than Picasso had paint.)  I was heavily scarred by all my teams coming close but never winning it all.  I'll admit that at least being in contention is preferable to cheering for teams who don't ever really come close at all-- you know, "Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" or whatever.   But still, all the near-misses were driving me literally insane.

First off, we have KU basketball.  After years of excruciating March Madness losses as a 1 seed, things were topped off by this game.

Then we have the Red Sox.  After years and years of decent but not great teams, and a couple of playoff disappointments, not to mention the Yankees getting championships like Rambo got bullets, things were topped off by this game.

The Oilers/Titans, among other disappointments, were busy coming up one yard short in the Super Bowl.

The Knicks spent the 90's alternating between thrilling playoff wins and devastating losses, but I won't dwell too much on those.  While they were crushing at the time, I can't look at myself in the mirror and call myself a true fan anymore.  (And I won't even mention the Philadelphia Flyers, since it's been a solid 12 years since I watched one of their games in its entirety.  The Eric Lindros era was pretty tough, though.)

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson was practically inventing new ways to finish second place in a major.

Add everything up, and I couldn't have been in much worse shape as a sports fan in November of 2003.

But I have to admit, everything's been coming up Milhouse since then.  The Red Sox won a couple of World Series-- the first one in the coolest way possible, coming back from 0-3 down to beat the Yankees, in New York, in seven games.  KU won a championship in the coolest way possible, overcoming the Roy Williams demons in a dominating Final Four win, then making an insane comeback, hitting a buzzer beater, and beating a John Calipari-coached Memphis team in OT.  The obscenely brutal March Madness losses certainly haven't stopped, though.  It's a good thing KU got that title in '08, or I may have burned down a few buildings or strangled a bunch of prostitutes or something by now.

And now, after winning the British Open yesterday, Phil has majors like Carl Sagan has turtlenecks.  (Sorry, I'm super tired today since the Sox game went 11 innings last night and I was too wired to sleep after the walk-off homer, so instead of coming up with my own metaphors, I've been stealing them from Beastie Boys songs.)

I've gone from being snake-bitten to being ridiculously spoiled.  And because of all the heart-breaking losses, nobody appreciates the wins more than me.  As Jason Lee so eloquently put it in Vanilla Sky, the sweet is never as sweet without the sour.  Being a sports fan is much more fun now.

I'm off to finish my lunch break.  Yo, I got more pizza rolls than JD's got Salinger.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Top 5. Volume 21.

My Top 5 Most Unstoppable Video Game Athletes.

A little preamble:

After years and years and years with a healthy obsession of the Madden video games, I haven't been a gigantic fan of Madden for PS3 compared to PS2, so I haven't bought the game in a few years now.  However, during those last few years, I've watched Lane play countless games of Madden, sitting alongside him on the couch, drinking beers and helping him run the offense (Finn runs the Special Teams.)  So if you're scoring at home, the dude who used to run through 6-7 full seasons every year for roughly fifteen years, now gets his kicks by playing Offensive Coordinator for his buddy while he shit-talks teenagers on an online headset.  I'm like the pothead who quits smoking weed, but still sits in the car with his buddies every time they decide to hotbox their 1991 Honda Civic with 38 bumper stickers on it.

A few months back we've got Madden fired up; Lane is the Giants, and he's playing the Redskins. And Robert Griffin III is just putting on a show.  Scrambling around in the pocket for 10 seconds, then either launching a 40-yard completion, or taking off and running for 15 yards.  Even when Lane had three defenders ready to wrap him up for a sack or miniscule gain, zip!  See ya.  20 yard gain.  Lane usually plays a grind-it-out, ball-control, you-better-score-every-time-you-touch-the-ball-because-you're-only-getting-four-possessions-bro-type of style.  And somehow this online kid hung 42 points on him.  There wasn't much that could be done.  RGIII was basically unstoppable.  And it got me to thinking about the biggest video game studs of my lifetime.

(Note:  this is a personal list.  These are the video game characters that have brought me the most success.  I outlawed players who the game was named after.  Playing as the Seattle Mariners isn't even fair or realistic in Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball; ditto for Charles Barkley, Frank Thomas, the list goes on and on.  Also outlawed from this list:  Bo Jackson.  It's not even an argument that Bo is the most unstoppable video game character of all-time; somebody should write a book about it, if they haven't already.  Starting with Tecmo Bowl for Nintendo, and continuing through every video game we ever played, we outlawed every team that Bo played for.  Even as elementary schoolers, we tried to keep it a Gentleman's Game.)

5.  Charlie Ward/Kordell Stewart, Bill Walsh College Football '93

College football has mostly fallen off the map for me now, and I've sorta become a KU fan only because I live here and I might as well be since the tailgates are fun.  However, when I was a kid, I was actually a diehard fan, and followed the sport as much as any other.  Florida St. was my team, and Charlie Ward my favorite college player of all time (even more than Deion Sanders, which is saying something.)  However, in the fall of '94 I went to Boulder with my Pops while he gave a presentation at the University of Colorado, and while we were walking on campus, I bumped into Kordell Stewart and got to talk to him, a couple weeks after this happened.  I was 11 years old, starstruck, already a sucker for black scrambling quarterbacks with accuracy issues, and boom:  I had a favorite player dilemma on my hands.  One that quickly carried over into Bill Walsh College Football on my Sega.

I was equally capable of putting up a 400 yard throwing/150 yard running/8 TD type of game with either one of them.  I probably had a little more success with Kordell, but that can be explained by the fact that he was throwing to Michael Westbrook and Charles Johnson, rather than Kez McCorvery and Tamarick Vanover.  I could never choose between them.  If this was a Beverly Hills 90210 ultimatum, and tiny digital Charlie Ward had asked me to marry him, and tiny digital Kordell Stewart asked me to go on a trip around the world with him (Kordell would definitely be the Dylan) I would have to pull a Kelly Taylor and say "I've made my choice, and I choose me."

4.  Reggie Miller, NBA Live '95

This list HAS to have a three-point shooting representative from NBA Live '95, and Reggie got the nod over Nick Van Exel, Dan Majerle, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, and others.  Few video game scoring binges were more fun than a good old fashioned NBA Live '95 three-point binge.  Also, there was this game.  Reggie Miller lookin' good.

3.  Koopa Troopa, Super Mario Kart

EVERYONE (or to be more specific, everyone that I'm interesting in being friends with) knows that Koopa and Toad were the two best Mario Kart characters for the Super Nintendo version.  Mario and Luigi's steering was too loose, and it took way too long for Bowser and Donkey Kong to get up to top speed.  I suppose Princess and Yoshi are decent in a pinch, but really they're just back-of-the-rotation starting pitchers: they'll eat up some innings, but you don't want them involved in Game 7 of the World Series if you can help it.  But Koopa and Toad: Cy Young winners.  Good acceleration, precision handling.  Their top speed left a little to be desired-- but you don't need to worry about anyone catching you from behind when you're hugging the inside lane perfectly on every turn and running through the track exactly how it's designed to be run.

2. Michael Vick, Madden '04

In my Madden heyday, I never liked to play seasons with amazing teams. Anybody can go 14-2 and win the Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2005-- you're not proving anything, bro. I would always take mediocre teams, or young teams who barely made the playoffs and were on the cusp of breaking out. Teams with sweet jerseys were always a plus. For all these reasons I was excited to start a season with the Falcons in 2003 (as well as the fact that Vick was a BLACKSCRAMBLINGQUARTERBACK.  With  ACCURACY ISSUES.)

Then I started the first game and realized that for some reason the game programmers made Michael Vick a god. In old school video games, you're supposed to rack up unbelievable stats; those games are only supposed to be difficult when you're a little kid. As you get older, you're supposed to dominate. But this is Madden we're talking about. There are higher difficulty settings, and it's supposed to be more realistic-- you're not supposed to be able to throw for 400 yards and run for 200, with 7 TDs. And yet, that's exactly what I did with Vick, virtually every game, all season long. Of course, in real life, Vick broke his leg and missed most the season, and the programmers brought his attributes back down to Earth the next year. But every Madden gamer will always remember Michael Vick in 2004.

1.  Steve Yzerman, NHL '94

Stevie Y was the pinnacle of my video game powers.  There was nothing I couldn't do with him.  You know those real-life stories of players like Jordan or Bird, who would get bored with their competition and start screwing around during games to make it more fun for themselves, like shooting left-handed, or telling their defender what play they were going to run and the exact spot on the floor where the game-winning shot was going to come from?  That was the kind of stuff I would do with Yzerman:  I'm not going to attempt a shot with him this game, but he is going to have 17 assists.  He's going to hold the puck for the entire second period without losing it, then he's going to give it to Dino Cicarelli, who will go down the right boards into the corner, then sling it back to Yzerman coming down the middle, and bury a one-timer.  I'm going to win this opening face-off, go right down the ice, and Yzerman is going to score, and exactly seven seconds will have run off the clock.  You just didn't fuck with me and Yzerman. 

I often used to play with my buddy Marcus and his older brother Chad, who was your typical older brother antagonist.  He'd mercilessly roll Marcus, wiping out his players with vicious checks, while chanting "GOON IT UP!  GOON IT UP!" and scoring 10 goals with Steve Larmer and yelling "SOUND THE ALARM-ER!!!!" after each one.  But when it was time for Chad to play me, he quickly quieted down and took the game seriously, since he knew he was about to run into Yzerman and me.  A player good enough to shut up a cocky older brother?  In the video game world, that might be the ultimate sign of respect.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


So the other night Twitter was ON FIRE with Sharknado references-- Sharknado being one of those ridiculous SyFy movies that feature physically impossible predators, laughable special effects, atrocious writing, worse acting, and at least one washed-up star from a previous decade-- in this case, you get a twofer:  Tara Reid AND Ian Zeiring, a.k.a. Steve Sanders from Beverly Hills 90210.  (Side note:  stuff like this is one of my favorite random things about Twitter, how a few funny or sarcastic tweets here and there start to snowball, and boom!  Something like Sharknado starts trending. Rush Sanders would be so proud of his boy.)

90% of the time, Teens and I can watch TV together.  Most of our favorite shows overlap, and we can usually tolerate the other person's crappy shows, too.  I can halfway pay attention to Teen Mom 2, since I have a liiiiiittle bit of a crushski on Chelsea.  Holler at me boo, Sioux Falls is right along my drive up to North Dakota!  My main exception is Grey's Anatomy; usually I'm in the room reading or something, and will only pop my head up from my book to make a bunch of jokes and try to ruin it for Teens.  In her case, there are two notable exceptions: 1)  She won't stick around for American Horror Story (she doesn't do scary, especially since I insist on watching in the basement with all the lights off) and 2)  If she walks in on me watching a SyFy original, all I get is a disgusted shake of the head and an immediate peace out.  But I love these movies, and I don't care who knows it.

Believe me, Sharknado has been DVR'd, and I'll definitely get around to watching it sooner rather than later (I celebrate Ian Ziering's entire collection)....but I just wanted to point out, Internet World, that if we're joyously celebrating so-crappy-they're-awesome SyFy shark movies, don't sleep on Two-Headed Shark Attack.  That movie is tremendous as well.  You've got Carmen Electra, Brooke Hogan, Not-Jerry O'Connell, nameless bimbos in bikinis, and a ton of gruesome deaths, even by SyFy movie standards.  Oh yeah, and a FUCKING TWO-HEADED SHARK.

Here's a top 5 list I never thought I'd get to do (who knew that shitty SyFy movies that I love so much would become topically relevant?)  My Top 5 Favorite SyFy Original Movies:

5.  Two-Headed Shark Attack

4.  Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon

3.  Dinocroc (Yes.......)

2.  Supergator (YES......)

1.  Dinocroc vs. Supergator (YES!!!!!!!!!!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Loss Of Innocence

 In this age of advanced statistics, sabermetrics, and unprecedented coverage of the inner workings of an entire baseball organization-- combined with the unrelenting inertia of growing older and (theoretically) wiser-- I've found that for me personally, following a baseball team is much, much different than it used to be. It's just as intense, but a lot of the romance and misguided passion has been lost.  In its place is a whole lot more sensibility and pragmatism.

I didn't totally realize that it had happened to me, that I was one of "these" kind of fans now, until a few days ago, when I heard that Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara was one of the five nominees for the All-Star Game Final Vote, and my instant reaction was "Oh no, I hope he doesn't get many votes, he needs some rest right now." That's nowhere near how I ever would've thought about the Red Sox and the All-Star Game, at any other point in my life....

Age 5: All-Star game? So all the best players in the entire sport play together in one game? That seems fun! I hope Roger Clemens makes it. He's my favorite player, mostly because I have a weird obsession with the letter 'R', and my stuffed animal that I sleep with every night is Ricky the Raccoon, and my imaginary friend's name is Roger Sanchelly-- but that's besides the point.

There were two things in this picture that applied to this post that I wanted you to see:  this random yellow hat with just an 'R' on it, which was my most prized possession as a little kid, and Roger Sanchelly.  Then I realized that the 'R' doesn't show up because of the lighting....and I'm the only one who can see Roger.  So I went 0-2.

Age 10: So pumped for the All-Star Game this year! Three Red Sox players in the game, not bad! Last year, I bet my dad one week's allowance on the game, and he tried to teach me a lesson about gambling by actually taking my money when I lost, no matter how much I begged him to let me off the hook. YEAH, I BET THAT WORKS. LESSON LEARNED.  I'LL PROBABLY NEVER GAMBLE AGAIN.

Age 15: I can't believe Pedro didn't get the start for the All-Star Game, he's by far the best pitcher in the American League. I'm perfectly willing to argue that fact with you for the next 45 minutes, and if you still don't agree with me, then I'll just tell you that you don't know anything about sports and end the conversation by walking away from the table and heading back up to the a la carte line to get another couple of Nutty Bars. Hey, have you heard of Smash Mouth? They have a song called 'All-Star', it's pretty legit!

Age 20: No Red Sox starters this year? Not even Manny? That's pretty fucking typical...lemme guess, the Yankees had at least half the team, right? Whatever, we'll still have an All-Star Game party at Culligan either way. Also, I hope the Red Sox and Yankees play in the ALCS this year, and that it goes seven games. If it does, I think a great plan for Game 7 will be to drink a case of beer during the game, then when the Red Sox lose to the Yankees on an extra-innings walk-off, I can go on a drunken destructive rampage and legitimately scare some of my friends. Yeah, that'll be sweet.

Age 25: So we can just text this phone number and submit our vote for one of the nominees, and the winner makes the All-Star Game? Damn, I love technology. Now we can get Okajima in the game like he deserves! He should've made it anyway. Fucking Yankees, bunch of goddamn assholes.

Age 30: Guys, we can't vote for Koji to make the All-Star team. Seriously, his velocity is down lately since he's been so over-worked, and now his peripheral statistics are starting to suffer. Have you seen how his WHIP is starting to tail off in June? And how about his BABIP? It's through the roof! With Hanrahan and Miller out for the year, Morales on the DL, and Bailey and Tazawa struggling, I'd rather Koji get a few days off than pitch in the All-Star Game. Maybe we need to make a move at the trading deadline. We're gonna have to leave prospects like Brentz and Almanzar unprotected for the Rule 5 draft in November anyway, why not ship a couple of them now for some bullpen help? And did you listen to Smash Mouth yet? They're still pretty sweet.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Naaaaaaaaature! Goulet.

So the other day Teens and I were driving home, and during a red light, a butterfly landed on her windshield wiper and stayed there, even after we started moving again.  Pretty soon, we were going almost 40mph, and this little guy was defying the laws of physics or gravity or inertia or something (Science was my worst subject in school) and still hanging on somehow.  It was some real Teen Wolf showing off on top of the van shit.  I'll be a sonofabitch if he didn't stay on the wiper for over a mile, all the way until we stopped again at the intersection pictured above, when he casually flew off like he was riding a bus and we just arrived at his stop.  I don't know if he panicked when we initially started moving and just froze, or if he takes rides like this all the time just for kicks, or if it was some sort of butterfly frat house initiation (Pi Butta Phli?  Sorry, had to) or what the deal was, but it was bizarre.

Anyway, it was a fun moment, made even more special by the fact that I desperately needed some positive interaction with animals and nature.  Others things that have happened within the last week or so:

1)  We had a bird's nest fall in front of our house, so we had three dead baby birds literally at our doorstep, and a fourth that survived for almost 24 hours (we were giving the parents a chance to rescue them) until I had to put it out of its misery with a friggin' snow shovel like I was the creepy neighbor from Home Alone

2)  During a round of golf, I was buried in the trees, and needed to hit a punch shot that stayed extremely low to the ground for about 60 yards- not an easy shot to hit.  I executed the shot well....except for the fact that there was a rabbit about 40 yards away, and I plugged him right in the side.  The rabbit was hobbling a bit, and his buddies will probably nickname him 'Titleist 3' since that is now branded into his fur forever, but he ultimately seemed OK.  But in the meantime, my ball ricocheted off him into the woods, and I ended up making a double bogey on the hole.  Can I get a ruling on this one?

3)  Our back yard runs into some woods, so we constantly have rabbits, possums, foxes, etc. running around our neighborhood.  However, they all (understandably) run away the instant a human comes near, so we never really get a lot of up-close interactions.  So I'm chilling in the driveway, enjoying a chew after mowing the lawn.  I see our neighbor and his young daughter transfixed in their yard, and I glance over to see that a little bunny has moseyed up to within five feet of them, not scared at all, just maxin' and relaxin'.  It's a magical moment for a little girl....until I walk over to within about 25 feet, spit, and the loud splatter of my chew on the driveway scares the rabbit and he takes off, back into the woods.  The daughter starts crying, the dad shoots daggers at me, and I slink away like an asshole.  Awesome.

I hate animals.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The 2Pac & Snoop Of Dinner Cuisine

Last week JDub and Ashlee took Teens and I out to dinner as a belated wedding present, since there was a death in the family and they had to bail on going to Florida at the last minute.  We went to a semi-classy downtown establishment-- not quite the kind of place where you need to be wearing a tie to feel like you belong, but the kind of place where the prices are listed in the menu as simply '14' or '24'-- no dollar signs, and certainly no cents, because fuck you and your broke ass if you think that extra 79 cents makes a difference on whether or not you order the Pappardelle Bolognese.

Something on the menu caught my eye immediately; a combination of words that I never knew could co-exist in the same sentence, unless it was as part of a list of my favorite foods:  Tuna Spaghetti.  Initially, I felt incredulous, like 2Pac must have felt before he was about to shoot a music video with Snoop Dogg.  You put two of America's most wanted in the SAME muthafuckin' place at the SAME muthafuckin' time???  After that, I went through a wide range of emotions in a short span of time:  confusion bordering on bewilderment; excitement; suspicion; trepidation; cautious optimism; and about 45 minutes later, ecstasy, and uncomfortably full.  Is 'full' an emotion?  (Judges: we'll allow it.)  But as a few days have gone by, a new emotion has been gnawing at me:  frustration, mixed with betrayal.

Guys, what the hell?  These two things exist together on the same plate and nobody thought to tell me?  I had to find this out for myself, 30 years into this crazy little thing we call life?  I don't know exactly how long you're supposed to eat baby food for, but I figure that's at least 28.5 years of potential tuna spaghetti time that has been completely wasted.

So let me get this straight.  I can spend my childhood getting mercilessly ripped on, because I didn't eat hot lunch until like 5th grade, and I brought raw tuna for lunch probably four out of every five days until then.  In addition, I'm so easily pleased by spaghetti that before I moved to Kansas, I asked Lindsey to give me the recipe for the delicious spaghetti she had been occasionally cooking me, only for her and Myshawn to bust out laughing and tell me "Uhhh, dude....it's Market Pantry Original sauce".....but yet, nobody comes across tuna spaghetti somewhere in the world, puts two and two together, thinks "Hey, maybe Jum would like to know that two of his favorite foods on the planet can be co-mingled together and enjoyed in the same forkful" and fires me off a quick texty?  NOBODY?  I see how it is.  No, no, really, don't apologize.  It's cool.

**Important note: the above picture is a Google image search result.  My actual dinner was much better looking, there were big hunks of mozzarella in it, and the presentation was tremendous....but I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of my plate in the restaurant.  I'm not gonna straight up hate on people who do that kind of thing, since I don't want to alienate a large portion of my friend group....but you'll probably never see me post a picture of what I'm having for dinner on any given night.  Probably because it would mostly be depressing; I wouldn't be a very valuable addition to the Instagram community.  Pictures with captions like "KFC again tonight-- who says four times in one week is too many??" or maybe "Here's a rule of thumb that's always served me well: for every additional pizza roll above the 18 you already have on your plate, just add another eight seconds to your total microwave time" would probably just bum people out.**