Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Holiday Hijinks

I was originally going to release the story below in several parts, but I have been swayed otherwise. You win Ben. Now, here it is in its entierity....

Holiday Hijinks
A Story For Everyone's Favorite Time Of Year

The sun slid through the shades and pounded my eyelids, slowly coaxing me into cognizance. I sat up and stretched. Something was off. Where was the incessant cackle of the alarm clock that always accompanied my departure from the swirling realms of dreaming? Then I remembered it was the first day of Christmas vacation and that meant only one thing: it was time for the reindeer games. My friends and I invented the game while we were still in high school, driving around our subdivision, Sun Lake Forest, late at night with nothing to do. We noticed the numerous pairs lighted reindeer that filled the yards of so many people and, in a fit of genius, developed a most enjoyable pastime. The reindeer are constructed so that, should one take one of the reindeer and put its front legs around the hindquarters of the other, it creates the illusion that the reindeer are making love. Not long after we discovered the game, the neighborhood experienced a reindeer orgy like none had ever seen before. Dubbing ourselves the Randy Rudolphs, it was decided that the reindeer mischief would continue every year on the first day of Christmas and, once again, that time had come. It was time to rally the troops.

The first gentleman on my call list was Tommy Derigan. Tommy was the shortest member of the group but he made up for it with a most malicious sense of humor. He made at least seven girls cry during high school and he was banned from the nursing home after offending the majority of its tenants during his bid there for community service hours. As much as Tommy was truculent and just downright mean spirited, he was also fiercely loyal. If Satan himself came up from the bowels of Hell to claim one of Tommy’s friends, Tommy would’ve spit in the devil’s face and told him to piss off. Tommy was many things, most importantly for the night, he was the wheelman. “Tommy, you in for tonight?”

“Was there ever any doubt? I’ll clear the dead hooker out of the trunk to free up space.”

“Good to hear. You know how I feel about the dead hooker smell. I’ll see you at nine tonight for the pre-shenanigans tennis match.”

Next on my list of fellow miscreants was the Stiger. In truth, his name was Alan, but we had decided a long time ago that “the Stiger” was much more appropriate. The Stiger was the exact opposite of Tommy in almost every way except loyalty. A well-meaning gentle giant, the Stiger was the kind of person no one could ever be angry with because he would never do anything to spite anyone. “Stiger, do we have a runner for the pressing matters of the night?”

“I absolutely guarantee the runner’s presence.”

“Fan-frigging-tastic. You down for a Jake-Stiger team up in tennis?”

“It’d be unnatural if there wasn’t.”

Two members lined up, I had only one call left and it was usually the most challenging. Rick Stouffman was a great guy but his pesky sense of morality could get in the way of fun. We had to really lay the pressure on him to come in years past and I was braced for the battle. Besides, Rick had an undeniable gift that would have languished for all eternity had we not coaxed him into employing it. While the rest of us would struggle to get the reindeer into correct mounting position, Rick could effortlessly persuade the reindeer to make love on his first attempt. When we first saw him do it, we knew we had our mounter.
“Rick, you know what day it is?”

“How could I forget?”

“Good point. I came up with an incredible idea for this year. How about you skip your protestations and holier-than-thou speech because we both know you’re coming?”

“Alright, but I have a condition. The Stiger is on my team for the tennis match.”

“I’d agree but…well, there’s no easy way to tell you this. The Stiger hates you. I mean really just plain hates you. He said he’d rather crawl through three miles of broken glass naked and be kicked in the trachea before he would be on your team.”

“You know, even though our pranks our harmless, they’re still wrong…”

“Fine, you get the Stiger. Save your brimstone for someone else you eulogizing bastard.”

After being soundly walloped by Rick and the Stiger and going home to shower and throw on the black suit, white shirt, black tie combo that was our uniform, I waited for Tommy to pull up to my house in his mother’s Chevy Astro. Dubbed the Marshmallow as a result of its white hue, the van was our vehicle of choice because its suburban unobtrusiveness. Tommy arrived, having picked the other two up. Being the last member of the war party to be gathered, it was time to strike. As the navigator for our task, I had taken a tour of the subdivision earlier and had mapped out the most efficient route for our task. Unfortunately, I had chosen an almost too efficient route. We cleared out the subdivision in gloriously quick fashion. Reindeers were humping on every corner and several Santa Claus statues were in on the action. It was a beautiful sight and well worth our efforts. We were unstoppable. Buoyed by our success, a bold plan was put forth by the Stiger. “Gentlemen, that was a most impressive display of shenanigan can do. But are you tired? I know I’m not. There’s more to be done. Much more. The night is still young my loyal companions and I suggest we strike out into new subdivisions and make this a county-wide hit. Randy Rudolphs unite!”

None of us, not even Rick, could protest such an impassioned plea and so we left the safety of Sun Lake Forest for territory unknown. We decided to start with Crest Hills, a nearby subdivision renown for its Christmas decorations. Entering the brightly lit rows of houses, we saw we had chosen well. Crest Hills was a veritable utopia for those of the reindeer humping persuasion. Rolling through several streets, we made quick work of the reindeer population. It wasn’t until we reached the fourth street in the maze of cookie cutter dwellings that something caught us completely off guard. Tommy was the first to react. “Well damn, we knew this day would come sooner or later. It was only a matter of time before someone started to emulate the cheeky tomfoolery of the Randy Rudolphs.”

“I guess you’re right,” I replied. “It does console me that though these reindeer are unquestionably in the midst of making a beast of two backs, the angle of the left hoof is off. Novices I tell you. Novices!”

“It’s not funny. We’ve set a bad example for others and who knows what they’ll do now? We may have stopped at the reindeer but they might start tagging houses or worse.”

“You’re right, Rick,” Tommy cut in. “When we all die and get up to the pearly gates, don’t be surprised if Saint Peter shakes his finger and says ‘You’ve all led exemplary lives…except for those reindeer hijinks. You’ll pay dearly for such a grave sin!’ You hear me Rick? We’re going to burn for this! Burn!”

“Well, if we’re going to burn for this, we might as well go for the gusto,” the Stiger said. “Let’s go find some untampered reindeer and have at it.”

Turning the car around, we found ourselves on a pristine street chockfull of reindeer. Pulling up behind a parked car, Tommy cut the lights off. We saw our quarry standing stoically in front of a house painted in a gaudy salmon. Taking one last look around to see if the coast was clear, the back door slid open and the Stiger and Rick jumped out. Running up to the unsuspecting reindeer, the Stiger held the bottom one in place as Rick gently convinced the other reindeer to mount his friend. The deed done, the two began to run back to the van. That was when everything began to go awry. The doors of the gray Civic we had parked in front of swung open, revealing four beefy and none-too-pleased gentlemen. “What the hell are you doing? This is Plowing Prancer territory.”

“Excuse me?” a befuddled Stiger said.

“Everyone knows that the Plowing Prancers own Crest Hills. No one hits the reindeer here but us,” the tallest of the Prancers replied. They all seemed to be wearing matching black and blue sweat suits and each had a golden chain around his neck with his name dangling from it. It would seem we were facing a Steve, Cameron, Pete, and Alphonso. Alphonso had been the one who spoke.

Tommy got out of the van. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to accuse you a gerrymandering. We were not consulted when these lines were drawn and I personally feel disenfranchised. I think the rest of the Randy Rudolphs would agree.”

“I think you should tell the funny man to be quiet before he says something we make him regret,” Alphonso said.

“What are you going to do about it, wop? Are you going to have us iced?”

“All right, Tommy, that’s enough,” the Stiger said. I was relieved to see the Stiger taking control of the situation as pulled myself out the passenger seat of the Marshmallow. “We’re all out tonight for a bit of fun and I don’t see why it can’t continue. We’ll just…”

“Stuff it, shorty. We were staking out that reindeer and you just came in and swiped it right in front of our eyes. Swiped it like I swiped your mom last night,” Alphonso’s eyes lit up as he brandished a set of brass knuckles.
The Stiger shrugged. “Oooh, you’re going to pay for that. If that’s the way it’s going to be, this will be the last time the Plowing Prancers ever challenges the Randy Rudolphs. The time for diplomacy is over.” With that, the Stiger threw himself headlong into Alphonso, quickly taking him to the ground.

“You heard the Stiger,” I said. “Charge!” By the time I had finished my impassioned cry, Tommy had already jumped into the remaining Prancers, throwing elbows left and right. I quickly joined him in the fray, doing my best to deal out some holiday carnage of my own before being blindsided by Cameron. Just as I was hitting the ground, I caught an odd sight out of the corner of my eye. I could have sworn that an elf dressed in traditional Christmas garb down to the little pointed slippers was watching the ensuing melee. Cameron must have really socked me.

“You cheap bastard!” Rick yelled as he grabbed Cameron by the sweat suit and threw him to the curb. “I’ll beat you so badly, you’ll look like Alan Thicke!”

“Enough! You will all look like Alan Thicke before this night is through!” the elf roared. The elfin apparition was real. I should have known Cameron didn’t hit me that hard. How could he with a name like Cameron? “All of you are guilty of perverting the Christmas spirit through what you have done to this fair township’s reindeer decorations!”

We all paused and looked up. After staring for a stunned thirty seconds, Tommy spoke up, “Wait. Assuming you are what we think you are, you came all the way down from the North Pole to condemn our harmless shenanigans?”

“Oh, I came to do more than condemn. I came to punish. You have committed terrible crimes for which there will be a terrible price.” With that, the elf snapped his fingers and we found ourselves being surrounded from all sides with a menagerie of sharp-toothed elves foaming at the mouth. They swayed back and forth eerily with their little pointed hats swinging in odd directions as they slowly came closer.

Circling up with the Prancers in the center of the yard next to the entwined reindeer, we spun around looking at the bizarre fate that had come upon us.

“We’re going to die,” Rick said.

“We can get out of this somehow,” Alphonso said.

“I don’t see how,” Rick replied. “Look, that one’s wielding a mace. There’s one with a sword. And over there, that one’s got…is that a whisk?”

“It’s a very sharp whisk,” the elf angrily retorted.

“Since we’re about to be waist deep in death, I think its time we put our differences aside and fight for the good of reindeer mounting types everywhere,” I said.

“Damn right,” Cameron chimed in. “Let’s show them what the Plowing Prancers and Randy Rudolphs are all about. Aim low and we’ll have the Lollypop Guild begging for mercy in no time”

Seeing no other recourse, we lashed out at our aggressors. The Stiger took three down with one mighty swing, blood spurting from their tiny little mouths as I wrangled the mace from another’s small fingers. Alphonso administered a devastating blow to one of the swordselves and threw the vanquished foe’s weapon to Rick who quickly began to hack through rows of Santa’s possessed little helpers as they gnawed at his ankles. Tommy was having a tougher time being closer in height to the red-eyed munchkins of doom and would likely have fallen if not for Peter’s swift intervention. Grabbing Tommy by the arms, he began to swing him viscously into the bearded children as Steve and Cameron beat the group of elves in a way that make even a blind man cringe.

We continued to fight valiantly but our foe was slowly wearing us down. Their casualties were great but there were just too many of them. Just when we thought the fight was lost, we could hear sirens wailing in the distance. “Damn it, it’s the fuzz. I fear we must disperse, my elf brethren,” the elf who had condemned us yelled. “But not before I give you malefactors a parting gift.” Opening his little green vest, the elf somehow produced what looked to be a bazooka.

“Hit the ground!” Tommy shouted as we all tasted the cold winter dirt feeling an explosion rumble behind us. The police cars arrived just as we were pulling ourselves from the ground. We looked around and saw that the elf had taken out the salmon-hued house with his excessive firepower and that no other trace of the elves remained. “Well this is going to be hard to explain to the be-badge-ed gentlemen pulling up.”

After spending two weeks in jail, our court date finally arrived and we found ourselves sitting at a table facing a judge with menacing jowls as the prosecutor was explaining in very explicit detail what kind of punishment such heinous cretins deserved for destroying a vacationing family’s house and putting all of those reindeer in such sick and revolting positions. The others looked at me.
“Are you sure it’s a good idea for you to defend us, Jake?”

“Are you kidding? I’ve seen so many episodes of Matlock it isn’t even funny. I got this one on lockdown. I’m money in the bank.”

“Is the defense ready to give opening statements?”

“Yes your honor. May it please the court.” I got up and made my way to the podium and adjusted the microphone. “I want to begin by saying that before all of this began, we had a Jello eating contest and each ate nine packages and…”

“Nine packages?” the judge asked.

“That is correct your honor.”

“Well hell, I ate three one time and the next thing I knew I was greased down and naked in a back alley in Shanghai. You’ve got to be careful with Jello, that shit will fuck you up. Case dismissed.”

With that the Randy Rudolphs and the Plowing Prancers were vindicated and went to celebrate with a dinner of the highest order at McDonald’s. “Well I’m glad that’s over,” the Stiger said.

“No kidding,” said Rick. “I thought we were going to get the death penalty. I’m glad the justice system came through for us.”

“Of course it was going to come through for us. Everyone knows that the purpose of the court is to protect the rights of the perpetrators from the victims,” I said. “If the owner of the house really wanted justice, he would have gone to the mob.”

“Good point,” everyone said in unison as they nodded.

“And I think we’ve all learned something from this. I know I’ve learned not to be greedy with my reindeer monkeyshines. It’s good to be courteous and leave some reindeer unfettered for others to enjoy,” I said.

“Indeed,” Alphonso said. “The Prancers have learned that no one owns the reindeer. Anyone should be allowed to put them into compromising positions anywhere they want. Even Crest Hills.”

With that, we all held our cups high. The battle had been won but we knew that someday, the elf would once again raise his ugly face and we would be ready for him.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Last Fortnight Or So

Realized I haven't posted in a bit. I actually have motives behind this but I'm going to leave you in the dark about it unless I've already told you. Anyhoo, I'm no longer apologizing for being slow with these things. I'm not sorry? Wait...I'm not sorry. Yes, I'm not. Moving on, I have a few things to intimate since my last post and I hope that they're interesting (if not, busy yourself with the first two seasons of Smallville for twenty bucks a pop at Wal-Mart. I know I did and 17-20 hours later, I can honestly say it's worth it).

There's no better way to kick off this post than with the story of what kicked off the month. That's right ladies and gents, the battle of the century, Joe v. the Vermonster! (**Warning to parents: Due to the graphic nature of the bout, it is recommended that those under 14 be sent to bed without dinner and possibly a spanking if not a black eye IMMEDIATELY**) The story of this illustrious battle begins at Jessie, Angela, Katie, and Rachel's appartment (aka Team JAKRabbit) for Angela's birthday. Whilst we were sitting discussing pressing issues, Joe, with a wild look in his eye, stated his intenion to challenge the Vermonster in man to bucket combat if any brave souls were willing to pony up the necessary funds needed to grease the axles of the Ben and Jerry machine and coax a battle. Four of us rose to his impassioned plea and the game was afoot. Who were those brave enough to stand by Joe in this life defining moment? Counted among the war party were Brummitt, Bozeman, Broady, and myself. The team gathered, we made our way to our destiny, be it victory of the highest order or fairly failure which could rob us of our very manhood. Arriving at Ben and Jerry's, the challenge was announced. A hush fell over the room as mothers covered their children's ears and a tumbleweed blew by behind us. The employees nodded and asked for our offering to the ice cream deities Ben and Jerry. Once it had been presented, the construction of the beast began. A Vermonster consists of the following: 20 scoops of ice cream, 3 cookies, 4 bananas, a brownie, 10 scoops of nuts, 10 scoops of other toppings, and whipped cream. Joe, not a fan of bananas, replaced his with 4 additional brownies, a decision which will play a pivotal role later on. The Vermonster assembled, it was time for battle. The challenge of the Vermonster is as follows: If the Vermonster can be fully consumed in under an hour by one solitary individual, then it is free of charge. Joe sat down, spoon and stomach ready, and began. Right off the bat, we realized a problem. The spoon which Joe had been furnished was very small and in no way useful in consuming such a beast in under an hour. What were we to do? That's when Broady, shrewd as ever, spied a shovel spoon on the novelty shelf. Forking out the necessary funds, he obtain the shovel spoon and the battle began in earnest. Joe ate furiously, devouring browie, cookie, and ice cream indiscriminately. For a time, it seemed as though the battle was his. But, much to our woe, the substitution of four extra brownies began to take its toll. Joe's consumption rate began to drop most precariously and the furious gleam in his eye began to dull. An hour and about half to 3/4 of tub later, Joe was defeated and a lesson was learned by all. Take this to heart all of you: Never, ever, substitute brownies for bananas under any circumstances for it will be the death of you. Or it least it could be. Joe was lucky and he survived to tell the tale but you may not be so fortuneate. It is best not to tempt the fates. So doth ends the battle of Joe v. the Vermonster.

Several days later, inspired by Joe's bravery and the acquiring of a Vermonster tub, Bozeman decided to challenge the Jellomonster. That's right, a Vermonster tub filled with approximately a gallon of jello. I think we should take to moment just to think about how brave Boze was to challenge the Jellomonster. First, he has our respect and needs not prove himself. Second, jello is a dangerous substance to mess with and lesser men have paid the ultimate price for thinking themselves above the chilled dessert. Third, there was no tangible reward for conquering the Jellomonster except for knowing that songs of a such a feat would be sung generations after one has passed. When thinking about all this, it makes Bozeman's challenge all the more awe-inspiring. Bozeman began strong, finishing nearly half within fifteen minutes of starting, a feat in itself. Victory seemed imminent as time wore on and the Jellomonster gradually became smaller and smaller. But then a snag was hit. Not only was Boze dangerously over the full point, but making such an excessive amount of jello led to all the sugar settling in the bottom of the solution, making the bottom layer sweet to a disgusting degree. This unfortunate occurrence led to Boze demise in the challenge but he still will be remembered, for he was nearly finished. I would even say he was 7/8ths of the way there. Such a deed will not go unforgotten.

Skipping a bit, I'm going to jump ahead from two weeks or so ago to yesterday, when I went with my brother and sister to see Anna Nalick live at the Freebird Cafe. I realize I have probably hyped Nalick enough in this blog but damn if she doesn't deserve it. Not only did she create one of my favorite albums of all time, she also put on an amazing show despite having laringeitis (I'd be more surprised if I spelled that right but its that illness where you can barely speak let alone sing). Somehow, even with the illness, she sounded much the way an angel should sound. She was friendly, graceful, funny, charming, and, just to continue with such a string of cliched compliments (so funny how they're typically true), drop dead gorgeous. Did I mentioned she did an acoustic set with one other guitarist? I can't even begin to descripe my passion for acoustic sets. She even played guitar on several songs (not necessarily a requirement but certainly an impetus to getting into my heart), including personal favorites of mine, Catalyst and Wreck of the Day. I'm going to be honest though, I can't really think of a song of hers that isn't a personal favorite. Many of you who know me will recall my penchant for giving flowers to female singers at shows. Finally realizing how silly it was, I decided not to this time. Of course, someone else did and you know what happened? He got a friggin' kiss on the cheek from Nalick! Needless to say, I was chagrined. Some of you will also recall my habit of providing my phone number for female singers (who are, of course, desperate to get it). I wimped out of that too and in the car ride home, realized I had a great set-up to do it. You see, Nalick felt bad that she had to do a stripped down show and cut out the the rougher songs as a result of her illness so she went to the back of the venue to meet everyone. I had upon my person a scratch lotto ticket (a winner!) and a pen. Thinking back, I realized that that combination gave me a perfect line. "Hey, ( a little small talk)...Here's my number and if you never call it, hey, you still get a winning lotto ticket." Or something like that. It seemed smoother at two o'clock yesterday morning (as opposed to 1 o'clock in the morning now). I'm also happy to report that I worked for Nalick for ten minutes. My good friend Mikey was working the Merch booth but needed someone to sell stuff while he was changing the stage from the opening act (I'll get to them in a bit) and, as I was the only person there he knew, he asked me to sell whilst (is that my second whilst? I'm on fire) he was hauling equipment. Needless to say, I helped him and, in the process, worked for Nalick for ten minutes. Does it mean anything? No. Did I really need to tell you then? No, but nothing else I ever say really means anything either (except the Basket Story). Anyways, awesome show. Buy the album, go to a show if you can. (Sidenote: I just reread that paragraph and I think I may have to clarify something: I'm really not that creepily obsessed, I swear.)

Speaking of album recommendations, I've gots a couple new ones. First, Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine. It's not for everyone, but it has some really out there instrumentation that I really dig and the lyrics and vocals are rock solid. Next up, Jamie Cullum's Chasing Tales. Did you like Twentysomething? It doesn't really matter either way, you'll still dig this album. Great instrumentation, great lyrics, great vocals, cool vibe. After hearing Photograph, I realized that Cullum's album was really what I needed at that point. It hits the spot. My final recommendation happens to be the band who opened for Anna Nalick (I know you were wondering when I was going to come around to that). Blue Merle not only puts on an amazing performance, they also created a slick album, Burning in the Sun. The thing about Blue Merle is that the band uses very traditional instruments that are closely identified with Bluegrass music (ie, acoustic guitar, mandolin, upright bass, and fiddle) and use them to create straight ahead rock that sounds really progressive and cutting edge. How do they do this? Buy the album and find out (you knew it was coming).

Well kids, that's it for now. I hope that was enough to keep all three of you content...stupid flowers, argh I can't believe it! I mean seriously the one time I don't...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Apology! Injury! Schoolery! Musicology! McCarty! Bikini! Witchery!

I'd like to start off by saying that I'm really sorry for slacking on this blog thing, especially to Ben since I think he's the only one who really reads with any sort of regularity. When thinking about what I've done since the last post I see why I haven't posted. I lead a very dull life. That's not to say that people who interact with me on a regular to semi-regular basis lead a dull life, it's just to say that they probably do or most certainly do when hanging out with me. This may sound depressing but it's really not. I think the worst thing that's happened this month is I dropped a steak knife on my toe and that didn't really even hurt, it was just kind of embarrassing. Even that had a silver lining to as I was able to use the Batman Band-Aids that were so graciously given to me. I'm fairly certain I would have bled to death without them.

In terms of school, I feel overworked and under...well paid would be cliche so I'm going to go with undermotivated. I mean, I do the work and I try...kind of, but in the end, I just don't really care. I don't see how theories about the effects of television will help me as I currently consume an hour at best a week or what the planets would look like if they were set up at a millionth scale in Washington, DC. Who paid for that anyways? Government waste! Gah! Moving along, last week I found myself saddled with three tests, a two-page story about characters from a painting (confession: I didn't look at a painting, I just made it up), and the crown jewel of a six-page essay critiquing an eight-page story. I'm sure you realize that that paper was free of any extraneous detail. Am I burnt out from such a week? Well, sadly, I haven't had time to contemplate this due to the fact that I have a ten-page story and six one-page character sketches due Wednesday for Creative Writing. There may be no rest for the weary but there's no rest for me either. But that's a enough complaining as anyone who reads this has probably heard me wailing about such matters already.

Besides, how could I really be upset with the release of a Paul McCartney album and a Blues Traveler album (not to mention a John Mayer single) on the same day. September 13 may quite possibly be the best release day I can remember in terms of strength and number of releases. And these releases were strong. As much as I liked Truth Be Told, !Bastardos! is an amazing collection of Blues Traveler songs done in a way only Blues Traveler could pull off. The new single, "Amber Awaits", is a fantastic. But don't hold your breath waiting for it to come on the radio. It sounds too much like there's real instruments on the track for it to be accessible to the thirteen-year-old crowd radio caters to. My advice is to BUY IT NOW! Paul McCartney also has an exceptional release, Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. The songs are solid and McCartney plays almost all of the instruments, which is really worth the price of admission alone. Buy it too, but I say it with less urgency since it will sell no matter what and McCartney's currently the richest musician in the world so it's not like he needs the support.

Speaking of bands that need support, I was saddened to hear to day that Phil of the beloved Chris McCarty Band recently had a collapsed lung. He's all right now, but I fear it may somehow force him to leave the band. Of course, I'm probably worrying about nothing. Speaking of the Chris McCarty Band, Ben, Chrissie, Brummitt, Mike, and I caught them at Scooterpoolza down at the Venue. It was quite a show. They did a cover of a song that I hate from a band that I hate (*Cough* Mr. Brightside *Cough* Killers *Cough*) and really made it rock which is really a testament to how awesome the band is (and how much the other band which twill not be named sucks). The event was kicked off with a Hawaiin Tropic Bikini Contest. I know that some of you may be jealous at this point, but, at the risk of sounding gay, I'm going to be honest. The contest bore me to tears. I mean, I like girls in bikinis as much as the next guy but watching a bunch of scantily clad women trying to impress a bunch of drunk while prancing around a stage while a banshee screams out unintelligible phrases which may or may not pertain to what was taking place, it just kind of wears on me. Chrissie also displayed her Nostradamus-like powers and called the winner of the competition long before it was over. She claims she just picked the one with the least amount of clothing on, but we all know it's a cover for her mystical powers. A witch I tell you! She's a good witch though so be careful with water around her as it wouldn't be the first time I've had a witch friend evaporate before my eyes, but I don't really want to talk about it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

What Would Jason Statham Do?

Since I left you last, my time has been quite jampacked. Not only did I survive my classes (barely I tell you, barely) but I also managed to leave my apartment on a fairly regular basis and brave the cruel world that waits outside my door. By cruel world I mean occaisionally rainy and noticeably hot and muggy. Can you think of anything more evil?

Anyways...I closed off my first week of school in the best conceivable way. It's at this point you're asking, "But Jared, how'd you get tickets to the Fab Four concert?" The answer to that is, my dad, being the sly dog he is, managed to pick up five tickets which happens to be exactly the number needed for my family to go. The Fab Four were an eerily accurate tribute band, they had the motions down and the sound was really close, especially in the earlier tunes. If you squinted your eyes really hard and dampened your ears, it was, for intents and purposes, the Beatles. A good time was had by all.

Returning to school, I struggled to retain conciousness through another week of classes with a sparkling prize at the end of the tunnel, the release of the slam-bang action-thriller the Transporter 2. It order to clearly ready myself for it, I watched the original film not once but twice. It's one of those few gems that just gets better with every viewing. Properly psyched for the movie, I knew there was only one thing that could make the experience perfect, so the fellas and I took in a UF volleyball game before going. It was loads of fun as always and UF won in straight sets. Arriving back from the volleyball game, I pulled my suit from the closet, clothed myself and was ready to go.

The movie was everything I had hoped for and more with Statham turning the action and the charm up to 11. The man can act. The scene with the fire hose is worth the price of admission. Go see it now. In fact, go see both of them. They were so good they inspired Chrissie to come up with a saying, nay, a way of life drawn from them. Whenever you're in trouble, whenever you don't know what to do, just ask yourself, "What would Jason Statham do?" and all will be alright.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Back With A Mouth-Foaming Fury!

After such a long hiatus, one may wonder what I've been doing. The answer is I've been living life my man and now that summer's over, I'll be able to maintain this thing and give it the love it deserves. Since I last left you, I've traveled to Vermont, had two cousins come and spend a most excellent July with me, spent way too much money, and kneed a back-talking, 70-year-old midget in the jaw. Rather than tell you anymore about these events and others, I give all of you a challenge. Post stories of the "Lost Month(s)" in the comments section of this post and I'll pick my favorites and compile them for another post and I will never deny doing any of the things mentioned.

Moving on...Class started yesterday and that blew. Luckily, I had devised a way to ease the pain. That's right, I threw a Strawberry Shortcake Bonanza. I must admit that it was a smashing success and all left happy and full...or you're all a bunch of liars that decided to humor me. Regardless, I'm almost certain that it was the best strawberry shortcake party ever thrown. A bold statement, I know, but an exaggeration? Not in the least. I recommend throwing strawberry shortcake parties to everyone as they're fun and amazingly affordable.

Speaking of affordable, my new toaster oven was one of the best purchases ever and part of a huge body of evidence that shows that moving into my apartment has made me way too domestic. It's the only way I can explain the excitement involved in purchasing a mixer and a wisk set. At the same time, I'm not really worried that moving into an apartment means I'm growing up. Anyone who's seen my apartment knows why.

I guess that's it for now. I promise that after this entry, the entries will become exceedingly more entertaining as hopefully they'll be less about me and more about the people I interact with and/or made up.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Basket Story

Before telling the story of all stories, I must first delve into it's history. Our story of how the story was found begins with a young but restless Edward Kurht, genius and unparalled athlete. After many years of dominating in everything imaginable, our dear friend Edward began to question the meaning behind his life. After much searching, Edward found himself in South-Central Asia, where he heard rumors of a wise old man on top of a mountain.

Unfortunately, the half-coherent old sailor Kurht interrogated gave him innaccurate directions and our hero found himself imprisoned in the Bastille. Though it is known that no one escapes from the Bastille, Cap'n Kurht (as he has become known these days) trained with the best escape artists in the world when he was bored on a three-day weekend and quickly freed himself of his shackles and, dispatching of several snooty frenchmen and a mime, continued on his search. He once again found himself hot on the trail of the elusive man on the mountain after a tip from a sheep hearder who's flock lay in the oasis hidden in the arid hell of the Sahara led him to a one-legged, former member of the KGB who claimed to know of the location and where "the bodies were buried." Sadly, the KGB agent was struck dead by the hoof of an errant cow before he could divulge the informantion that our dear Cap'n so desperately needed. Though dead, the KGB agent still had much to tell. Kurht was a master frisker and discovered a cartograph hidden in the hollowed out stump which passed for the wretched man's leg.

Using the map, Kurht found a treasure ship hidden in a cave and was forced to eliminate a rag-tag team of children and a gang of thugs who were also vying for the treasure, as well as a hideous creature who cried, "You have killed Sloth!!!!" before breathing his last as Kurht's dagger sunk into his burly chest. After feasting upon the remains, Kurht then searched the ship, finding not only riches beyond his wildest dreams but also a manuscript describing a journey to the far ends of the earth. After pouring over the exciting tome for several hours, Kurht turned to page 376 and found what he had been looking for for what seemed to be a lifetime.

Investing his riches in the Beta video format, Kurht charted a plane to the mysterious location of the man on the mountain. Parachuting at the base, and climbing up, Kurht had to dispatch of several Yettis before reaching the hallowed temple of the man.Entering through an old moaning door, Kurht found himself in the most beautiful room he had ever seen. After several moments of taking the room in, Kurht suddenly realized a man was sitting across from him on a jewel-encrusted throne in far reaches of the vast temple. Walking to him, the man asked, "What do you want of me?"

Kurht answered, "Sir, I have traveled the world and done many great deeds in search of you and I have come hear only to ask one question: What, oh great wise one, is the meaning of life?"

The man answered, "If you can defeat me in hand to hand combat, I will tell you." With that, the man flung himself at Kurht with a flurry of kicks and jabs and the most glorious battle the world has ever seen ensued. After many days of bloody and vicious bare-knuckle brawling, Kurht finally gained the upper hand, using a technique he once learned when babysitting for the third top box-office seller in the nation. After submitting, the decrepit old man divulged his secret and Kurht left, triumphant, determined to share his new found wisdom with others.

Flashforward several years, and we find our hero has decided that becoming a teacher at the prestigious Clay High School under the command of general P-Mac was the best way to share the life- shattering utterances of the wise old man. It was there that he passed down this story to me, and now I share it with you. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

The Basket Story
So there was this lady with a basket full of money, living in Germany in between World War I and World War II. She decided to purchase a loaf of bread and so she entered the bakery and, taking an armload of money, left the basket on the stoop. When she returned, she discovered that someone had dumped out the money and taken the basket because the basket was worth more than the money. You see, at that time in Germany, the exchange rate was 4.1 billion marks to the dollar. Now that's a bad economy.
You can obviously see the great importance of this story. I implore you to share it with everyone you know. Enrich their lives with this story as I have enriched yours and how our hero, Mr. Kurht, has enriched mine. Go now! Spread the word!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Am I Really Supposed To Put That In My Eye?

I've sadly already become somewhat lackadaisical about posting and whole-heartedly apologize. It's sadly going to set the launch of this blog back unless I get my act together. I must argue though that not much of interest has happened since the last post and I'll be damned if there's any filler. Nonetheless, I am still culpable as if I went out in search of adventure then I wouldn't be complaining about the idleness of my days. Moving on...

I saw Batman Begins on the Wednesday it was released (not to mention two other times after that and counting) and enjoyed it immensely. It had alot of the mythos down and played the character straight, as he should be played. A couple minor quibbles were the finding of the killer (he was never found in current continuity), Jim Gordon being a longtime member of the GCPD (he came in from Chicago around the same time Bruce Wayne returned from his training in the comics), and a lack of Harvey Dent. Those don't really reflect poorly on the movie though, they really just show how much of a nerd I am. See the movie now (and if you don't want to go alone, call me. I'll more'n likely be in.)

Continuing on to a subject where I'm on more shakey (but less nerdy) ground, I procured my first set of contact lenses yesterday. No big deal for most people, but unfortunately, when anything comes within in a seventeen foot radius of my eyes, I immediately dive to the nearest corner and huddle in a fetal position, sucking my thumb and covering my eyes. The slightest breeze has been known to cause this before. Fulling knowing this fact, why I went for contacts is beyond me as well as the numerous assistants at the optimetrist's office who tried to aid me in my battle against my inner-school girl. It started with one assistant taking me back to a darkened room and attempting to put them in. It wasn't going to happen. In my defense, she had long fingernails that bordered upon being classified as talons. My brother, who witnessed the ordeal, told me he was impressed by how quickly I curled myself into a ball and found the furthest end of the chair. When it was discovered that I would let no mortal hands near my eyes, it was decided that I should put them in myself. I was taken back out to the front of the office, which doubles as a glasses store and waiting room so I "could put them on in the light." In reality, I think the assistant really just wanted me to suffer through this in the presence of others as I think she was miffed that I didn't trust her cornia-piercing, cuticle-covered daggers with the safety of my window to the world. When I say I think she was miffed, I mean that I know she was, as she promptly deserted me after escorting me to a table and promptly turning tail, leaving me with no clue how to put these little pieces of whoknowswhat into my eyes. Luckily, another assistant came to my rescue and she had the compassion and patience of a saint (when she passes, which is hopefully a long way off, I'll be petitioning to have her canonized). After twenty minutes, half a bottle of solution, and more encouragement than a self-help books, I finally got one in. All it took was for her to grab my top eyelash while I restrained the bottom and while staring at the Blue Meanie on my brother's shirt, slide the little bugger in. The second one came in a lightning fast ten minutes and only several decades of the Rosary. After completing such a bold and daring task, I as ushered back into the dark room where I couldn't gloat to all of the bystanders who had witness my conquering of the contacts. After the exam, the doctor gave me to the ok to leave only to quickly retract his blessing as he realized that I had not yet been instructed on how to remove the contacts. That's right, it turns out you have to take the stupid things off on a daily basis. Heartbroken, I was taken back to my table where a third assistant (the second passed out, bless her heart) taught me how to remove the contacts. She too possesed great patience and knowledge of the contact and I soon (by soon I mean a fortnight) learned how to remove my contacts and was sent on my way. The rest of the day was enjoyable but as it came to a close, I began to dread what was to come. I knew I would have to remove my contacts without the help of the saints of optometry. On my own, the removal of contacts seemed much harder than when Nicole (the third assistant gave me her name and when given a name, I use it) held my hand through it. The good news was that it only took till the crack of down and I retained my right eye.

Today was my mom's birthday, so we celebrated with by making her breakfast, taking her to the beach, out to dinner, etc. It was a nice day and I hope she enjoyed it. So if anyone didn't get a hold of me today, you now understand why you couldn't. I would apologize, but I'm not sorry (unless you happen to be a supermodel and/or accomplished musician of the opposite sex, then you receive my most sincere and lugubrious of apologies).

As a sidenote, I recommend Anna Nalick and her album Wreck of the Day to anyone and everyone. It's mellow and nuanced with great lyrics and Nalick has a beautiful voice.

Well, that's all I gots for now. This one's for Benny, who's bored out of his mind. I hope this eases your pain.

Monday, June 13, 2005

What's Worse Than a Male Chauvanist Pig?

Are you tired of chicks tearing down men all they want with no represcussions? Are you sick of biting your tongue when you hear them b#$%ing and moaning about how evil and inconsiderate we are? If so, read on, for below are jokes to be used in such a situation. It's time to take the world back, one dike at a time.

  • Why don't women have drivers licenses? There's no road between the bedroom and the kitchen!
  • God told Adam " I could create you a partner that will always adore you, serve you, never be angry and treat you as a King, the only problem is that you must give up an arn or an leg for it." Adam "No way - what can I get for a rib!"
  • The perfect man and the perfect woman are driving down the road and see Santa Clause hitchhiking the decide to pick him up. They are driving down the road when a semi cuts them off. In a brutal accident all die except for one person. Who survived? The man, because just like santa clause the perfect women doesnt exist.
  • Three women are standing on one side of a river. A magic genie is there to help them across, and can grant each woman one wish. The first one says, "Genie, make me one thousand times smarter." The genie grants her her wish and she then takes off her shoes and swims across. The second woman says, "Genie, make me a million times smarter." After the wishes is granted she takes some wood, makes a boat, and rows across the river. The last woman says "Genie, make me a billion times smarter." The genie grants her wish and she turns into a man and walks across the bridge.
  • Why was knitting invented? To give women something to think about while they're talking.
  • How many lesbian vegetarians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three; one to screw it in and two to write a folk song about it.
  • How many men does it take to change a light bulb? None - she can cook in the dark.
  • Why'd the woman cross the road? Who cares? Why was she out of the kitchen?
  • What's the best way to fix the dish washer? Slap her
  • How do you turn your dishwasher into a snowblower?? Slap her on the rear and hand her a shovel.
  • Why don't women need watches? There's a clock on the stove.
  • What's strong enough for a man, but made for a woman? A back hand.
  • Have you heard about the new divorced Barbie doll? It comes with all Ken's stuff!
  • Whats worse than a male chauvanist pig? A woman who doesn't know her f#$%ing place!
  • Why was the shopping cart invented? To teach women to walk on their hind legs!
  • A man is walking along the beach when God comes down and offers him one wish. The man thinks for a moment and says, "I would love for you to build a bridge from Califonia to Hawaii so whenever I want to visit, I can drive on over." God responds by telling the man, "Do you know how many of the worlds resources I would have to use to build a bridge of that magnitude? All the steel and's next to impossible, even for me. Do you have another wish?" The man thinks for a moment and says, "You know, I really would like to be able to understand my wife more. Her emotions, her feelings, what she is thinking..." God looks puzzled then asks the man, "So, you want that bridge to be four lanes or six?"
  • Why haven't any women gone to the moon? It dosen't need cleaning yet.
  • A guy with a black eye boards his plane bound for Pittsburgh and sits down in his seat. He immediately notices that the guy next to him also has a black eye. He says to him, "Hey this is a coincidence: we both have black eyes. Mind if I ask how you got yours?" So the guy tells him: "Well, it just happened. It was a tongue twister accident, sort of. See, I was at the ticket counter and this gorgeous blonde with the biggest breasts in the world was there. So, instead of saying: I'd like a ticket to Pittsburgh, I said: I'd like a picket to Tittsburgh. So she socked me one." The first guy responded, "Mine was a tongue twister too. I was at the breakfast table and I wanted to say to my wife: Please pour me a bowl of Corn Flakes, but I accidentally said: You ruined my life, you lousy b#$%.''
  • What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, you done told her twice already.
  • Why are women so bad at poker? Cause they're stupid

Learn to Love the Sasquatch

Tonight was a momentous night, as I witnessed cinematic genius unfold before my very eyes. For on this night, we watched Sasquatch Hunters. I can’t really say much more than “See it now!” as the plot is very intricate and telling anything could possibly ruin an experience that will not only enrich your life, but also make you a better person. Unfortunately, not all people are as enlightened.

As of late, I fear I haven’t done anything terribly of note (I know some of you will say, “Well the fight with the old lady is something I’d call ‘of note,’” but listen, she started it and I’ll be damned if let some putrid old bag cut me in line at Dillard’s) so I’ve decided to recommend several albums that have come out recently for summer listening.

The first album on the list has to be Rebel, Sweetheart by the Wallflowers. It’s lyrically and musically deep without being overproduced. Like previous Wallflowers offers, it has some dark overtones but they never get in the way or drag the listener down. A solid offering that has repeated listening written all over it.

The next album I’d recommend is Ben Folds’ latest release, Songs For Silverman. This album is Ben Folds being Ben Folds, so if you don’t like his previous work (if that’s possible), you probably won’t find much here. On the other hand, fans (non-evil people who have taste) will love this album. Folds and his band cut the album live, giving it a fresh and energetic feel, especially during the solos. All in all, it’s a great album that was worth the 5-year wait.

Moving on, I come to Jack Johnson’s soundtrack of the summer, In Between Dreams. If you need an album to lounge out at the beach and listen to, this is it. It’s mellow, unobtrusive and beautiful. Buy it now.
Well, those are all the albums that have come out so far that I feel are worth a listen. I’m probably missing some and I’ll either throw them in another post or I’ll purposefully never mention them just to be aggravating. On an unrelated note, I discovered today that the classic Nickelodeon show Pete and Pete has found its way to DVD. Not only does this excite me because Pete and Pete was a great show but because it implies that other classic Nick shows could be coming to DVD soon. I’m not ashamed to admit I’d crawl a mile naked through broken shards of glass to get a copy of Doug on DVD. In fact, I’d be ashamed if I wasn’t willing to do that for such an integral piece of my childhood. Without Doug teaching me lessons of morality and the fun in chasing the platonic woman, I’d probably be face down in a ditch somewhere or going down in a hail of gunfire in a talent show gone horribly awry.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Things We've Learned

Early in May, Brummitt and I ventured to Boca Raton to see a Kelly Clarkson concert. We decided that it would be a good idea to write down everything we had learned and when the trip was finished, found we had quite an extensive list with many valuable points which we feel must be shared with the world. So without further ado...
What We've Learned
A Children's Story
  • Avoid Exit 129 like the plague
  • Search harder for really small signs that delay you checking into your hotel by a half hour
  • People should dress their age
  • Orange shirts good, gray shirts bad
  • Use a large woman as a battering ram to get to the front of the stage
  • Don’t settle for conditioner
  • It’s not MTV’s fault, it’s negligent parenting
  • Bring earplugs for pre-concert music
  • Take the price tag off roses as it’s tacky
  • It’s virtually impossible to reinsert a rose
  • Boca Raton = Giant U-Turn
  • Boca Raton = Geriatric Ward
  • Boca McDonald’s = Blasphemy
  • Matching t-shirts get noticed but are creepy. Really creepy.
  • Double check and look further into directions
  • Exit 48B exists only when traveling north
  • Boca Raton is “too good” for Steak and Shake
  • Kelly Clarkson is a nice person in a non-fake (as in genuine) way.
  • Kelly Clarkson performs for an hour and 15 minutes.
  • Alcohol should not be served at a concert of an artist whose fan base is predominately fifteen and under
  • Mosh pits are as common as jackalopes at a Kelly Clarkson concert.
  • There’s no Subway on Exit 172
  • Exit 173 is a recommended stop.
  • On the whole, people are generally good
  • Driving a net total of over 12 hours, traveling over 600 miles, and spending over $300 was completely worth it.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Batbombs, BBs, Bone Saws, and Bands

I was dealt a devastating blow yesterday. After weeks of anticipation, it was revealed to me that Batman Begins won't be appearing at the World Golf Village IMAX theater. Not only does this depress me because I was greatly looking forward to see the Dark Knight dole out vigilante justice on an eight-story screen but I've hyped it to just about every I interact with, making me look like a fool and just incompetent in general. The good thing is that I was informed of this foolhardy move by the World Golf Village (curse you for all eternity!) when Jason and I were shooting my little brother's high powered BB gun. For all intents and purposes, the thing might as well be a rifle as it has a scope and can buy a BB several inches deep into a block of wood. It's the kind of BB gun that can shoot your eye out. Anyways, we were looking for a spot to shoot it and decided to look in an area that's currently being developed by Eagle Harbor. We found the perfect spot for our amazing display of sharpshooting. Unfortuneately, it was right next to the community pool. In our vast wisdom, we for some reason ignored this fact and carried on with our plan. The problem is that to people driving by, it looks like to shady gentlemen wielding a rifle right next to a pool. They could not have known our intentions and their concern was evident. Needless to say, we left quickly, but not before exacting the crime of the century. Ask me about it sometime.

Before embarking on our expedition, we made a stop to the Army surplus store, a place where you feign a southern accent for fear of retribution because of the northern victory in the Civil War. In this amazing store, we found loads of ridiculuous stuff, everything from bazookas to dutch ovens. After much careful consideration, I decided to purchase a throwing star. Any caped vigilante worth his salt has to be proficient with a throwing star. Jason, on the other hand, decided upon some wire saw, which is really quite sharp. If I can't be believed, then I can quote from the box, "Can cut wood, plastic, bone, and ice." Who the hell puts that on their box? Needless to say, the wire saw was quickly dubbed the bone saw and as of yet, the box's claim has not been proved. In conclusion, yesterday was an exciting day with its ups and its downs (curse you World Golf Village!).

Today, though not as odd, was a day of note as well. It started out typically enough, I went shopping with my mom, swam laps, read comics but then I got a call from my compatriot Ben, who urged me to join him in his quest to see Forever Changed at Murray Hill. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to join him. Though not my kind of music, I immensely enjoyed the show, find the band to be more than competent and to be a bunch of nice guys with a good message. Check out for more info.

Well that's it for now. Take it easy and remember to never, ever trust the World Golf Village, for it will crush your dreams.

PS- Proofreading's for women, so don't judge me!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hit The Ground Running

A couple of weeks ago (maybe a week even as I have no sense of time), I was vacationing with my family and some friends on the gulf coast. Our condo (I hate the sound of that word, it's just so ugly) faced a beautiful view of the water, and I found myself two feet away from a dolphin who seemed to be content making a group of people follow him as he swam from one side of the sound to the other. The dolphin was amazing sight to see but I feel like he dragged me out of the condo so I could see how amazing the sunset was as it spread so many subtle hues over the vast body of water before me. It was a life-affirming moment for me, the kind of moment where the big questions (you know, like "Why are we here? What should I do with my life? Why do they call it the funny bone?") didn't really matter. What mattered was that I was there, experiencing something so beautiful. Later, it occurred to me that I had a mini-epiphany. I wouldn't call it a full-on epiphany, so mini-epiphany works. That's when I began to realize that epiphanies don't actually work like they do in books and cinema (big surprise, right?). My conjecture is that there never is one big epiphany but just many little epiphanies that may or may not even be recognized as anything significant that are gathered through life. Slowly but surely, these puzzle pieces form a picture until there's only one piece missing. That final piece is the one that is usually recognized as the epiphany, but really it just the final step in a arduous and slow process. The problem is, it's much more convient to assume that it hit all at once and that event will forever be remembered as the epiphany. But what about the other pieces which were just as important in forming the picture but just had the misfortune of not being the final piece acquired? They are lost forever, cast in the shadow of that final piece, when they very well could have been more helpful than what came later. My fear of losing these other pieces is what has spurred me to start this diary/journal/place where I put down my thoughts and the reason you're reading this entry right now. And now that my intentions have been exposed, I shall retire until the next entry, leaving with a challenge to count how many times I said epiphany.