Thursday, December 21, 2006

Public Service Announcement

I’m in the middle of all-nighter number two right now. This one is a little worse than the last one because I don’t have tomorrow off. Instead two hours after this shift is over I work a ten hour shift. In addition, I have been up since roughly 4am already.

Now that you’re all caught up on the semantics of the situation it’s time to let you in on the biggest event that has taken place during this all-nighter thus far…

Here I am, sitting in a library in the middle of the night and what epiphany am I struck with? What earth-shattering, conscious-rattling, life-altering realization have I come to?

My iTunes playlist contains two songs by La Bouche.

Now, for anyone who has forgotten the rhythmic power and indelible song writing that made up such mid-90s fare like "Be My Lover" and "Sweet Dreams"
you are definitely one of a delicate few who can safely hear the name La Bouche and assume it is some sort of feminine hygiene product, a French carpet cleaning solution or some sort of pastry...but those of us who have images of strobe lights and glow sticks burned into our subconscious will never forget La Bouche, no matter how hard we try.

La Bouche struck down upon the American airwaves with thunderous fury at roughly the same time as many of the other bands whose music is defined in one of two genres:

1) Shitty Music from the ‘90s


2) Generic Shitty Music

If you need a reference point to conjure up thoughts of music that could be described as La Bouchian examples would include: “This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan or Just About Anything Ever Performed by Ace of Base.

I know what the question you’re asking yourself is right now. “Why am I reading this crap?” But the next question that’s probably floating somewhere in your subconscious is...”why the hell does he have two songs from La Bouche?”

Well the answer is simple, I was duped. Yes, yours truly is willing to put his ego aside and admit that I fell victim to some sort of mystical internet trickery. You see…here’s how it went down. I am new to the world of “torrents” and downloading entire CDs in one shot. My music piracy background consists of a few quick hits of Napster, a dash of Morpheus and a nice dose of LimeWire.

The difference between those methods and this new “torrent” system is that with the old platforms I would choose one song I really wanted and start downloading it, roughly a week-and-a-half later I’d get said song and either listen to it on repeat for a month or find out that it was a faulty download and I’d wasted the better part of a week. In the world of torrents, I merely click on an entire CD or someone else’s entire playlist and within a much more reasonable time (ie: 10 minutes), I’ve got the whole thing.

Now that I’ve briefed all of you on how lame I am, here’s how I got La Bouched. Someone had a gigantic pack of songs labeled “Best Songs from 1970-2000.”

“Wow,” I thought, “the best songs from the last thirty years. Well hot-diggity dog there’s got to be some good shizzle up in there!”

And there was. I ended up with many a fine song from music legends like Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Garth Brooks and apparently…musical demi-gods La Bouche?!

Upon further inspection I realized that not only had I’d been swindled into downloading La Bouche, but I’d also gotten a bunch of other mid-90’s tag-alongs such as: Dishwalla, Crash Test Dummies, The Real McCoy, the Spice Girls and a whole host of other bands that should be left doing the county fair circuit in Kentucky.

So my closing statement to you—the three readers of my blog—is this: we must never forget the musical suffering we endured in the ‘90s, because if we allow ourselves to forget—we also allow that awful crap to sneak back up and strike that fatal blow to our collective musical well-being.

--This Public Service Announcement was Paid for by the “I F’n Hate La Bouche Association of America” the Boston Chapter--

Sunday, December 17, 2006

3am (EST)

So here's how things went down...

Jeremiah wanted to go home for about a week around Christmas to see his family. He was only going to get a couple of days off and with flying across the country, it was going to amount to roughly a day and a half at home. So, what did Jeremiah do? Well he volunteered to work whatever God-awful, bottom of the ladder, blow-your-brains-from-boredom shifts the library could dream up.

Nothing came up initially. Instead Jeremiah was given a wonderful reassurance that he could indeed have the time off because family is important and Boston, as it turns out, is quite a distance from Hartley, Iowa. Then about a week and a half ago Jeremiah gets an email saying that they'd really like him to help out and take some extra shifts during finals week. Of course, Jeremiah gave an answer that was something along the lines of, "well by-golly that would be swell."

Now, a week and a half later, after working a five and a half hour shift earlier in the day that was so boring Jeremiah spent his time on Yahoo! Answers solving the incredible quandaries that keep us all up at night, such as this little ditty from Yahoo! user and future professor of English at Oxford, "gotzhoz" who asks: "wut do u do if ur gf b chetn?" Which I'm assuming, roughly translates to "What would a man do if he were to learn that his girlfriend was having an affair?"

After five and a half hours of answering these insightful questions, I hurried home where I spent roughly 27 minutes. Just long enough to take a quick pee-break and pop a B-vitamin. Why would I want to pop a B-vitamin you ask? Well B-vitamins give you energy, more or less, and this brings us back to where this all started. Why would I need energy...well because the first of the two shifts I've been asked to cover during finals week is an overnight shift. 10pm until 10am (that's Eastern Standard Time, ladies and gentlemen).

My first thought was..."well come on, how hard can this shizzle be, I'm 23-years-old I've done a ton of all-nighters this'll be a piece of cake!!"


I am an old, old man. By 7:45pm my eyes were droopy and I looked like that sad little dwarf, the one I always thought was autistic, but it turns out he was just tired. So we are and it's currently 3:04am (again...Eastern Standard Time) and I'm staring a very large, very quiet, very bright and very empty library. Yes, that's right my services this evening have been rendered to watch over the 16 nerds who are still here in the library.

Nerds one through five are all in a study room together giggling and drinking from the same jug of, what I can only assume is now sour, orange juice. Maybe they spiked it with a little vodka for a study-time screwdriver, but if that's the case aren't there a lot cooler places one could get hammered than in the study room at the library.

Nerds six and seven appear to be a couple because they have been giving each other hump me eyes since I got here. This isn't normally a big deal, but they are sitting pretty much directly to the right of my computer screen and they are constantly in my peripheral vision. Now, that's all great and fine, except I didn't come here with the intent of watching soft-core pornography. If I wanted to watch that crap I'd open 75% of the junk mail in my inbox.

Nerds nine, fourteen and sixteen are passed out in various nooks and crannies of the library. All three with laptops sitting there for picking. Which reminds me...Mom....if you're reading this stop now and forget what I said about the laptops...I'd hate to giveaway your Christmas present.

Nerd eleven and nerd thirteen, who came in separately and have been studying in their own respective nerd bubbles for the past five hours have now joined up at the randomly placed chess board, for what I can only assume is some sort of weird new mating ritual....wait...upon double-checking both nerd thirteen and nerd eleven have vanished. It would seem obvious to me at this juncture that they are now making weird little nerd offspring somewhere on the premises.

Nerd ten is sitting in the computer bay to my far right and appears to be watching videos of Asians doing faux-rock videos with far too many bright lights and star-wipes to be legit, or so I'd hope. Nerd twelve hasn't broken eye contact with the same piece of paper for about two and a half hours now. I think we can safely go ahead and call the time of death on nerd twelve as 3:13am...Eastern Standard Time.

Finally, my favorite of all the nerds...nerd fifteen. Nerd fifteen was here before I was, which is scary if you think about. Nerd fifteen is sitting up in the loft and constantly staring at all of the other nerds, not in a normal "gee what are they doing?" kind of way, but in one of those rather awkward "I'd like to skin you and wear you as suit coat" sort of ways.

So now here I sit. Tired and begging for either the sweet, sweet release of death or an incredible second wind...that will carry me through the better part of the next seven and a half hours of sitting here doing nothing and then finally dragging my ass all the way to the subway and finally walking the mile to my apartment where I will have to climb the equivalent of a stage three rock formation just to get to our door.

Oh...and I just saw a mouse...wait, strike that. I just saw a gigantic mutated rat. Not like Master Splinter, but like a mouse that wandered into some weird radioactive goo that was just lying around MIT and has now turned into a flesh-eating, blood-seeking, Hall & Oates-loving killer rat.

...more to come.

(unless the rat or nerd fifteen get to me first)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Orgasmic Mello Yello

Come one...come all. Gather round and I'll tell you the story of Orgasmic Mello Yello. Some of you have been witness to the power and sweet, sweet delight that is Orgasmic Mello Yello. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the heavenly delight that is Mello Yello let me get you cued up with a little diddy from the world's most reputable source...Wikipedia.

"Mello Yello is a caffeinated, citrus flavored soft drink produced and distributed by the Coca-Cola Company. It was introduced in 1979 to compete with PepsiCo's Mountain Dew. While it is greatly outsold by Mountain Dew, the product nonetheless allows Coca-Cola to have a presence in the citrus soft drink market segment."

Basically the best way to picture it is this. Close your eyes and imagine The Rolling Stones making love to a bottle a of Kristal and the offspring that would be produced is a combination of wonderfullness and sweet, sugary yummers all mashed together with crack-cocaine and a Hydrox (not Oreo) McFlurry*'s that f'n good.

Now, don't get me wrong. You can't just drink any Mello Yello and have it declared "Orgasmic." In fact, there is only one place on planet Earth that you can go to find Orgasmic Mello Yello and that is the Pizza Ranch in Spencer, Iowa.

Every year approximately 65 million** people make the trek to the Pizza Ranch in Spencer to sample the sweet, sweet ambrosia that is Orgasmic Mello Yello. Many rumors persist surrounding the source of this once-in-a-lifetime beveraging experience here are some of the most common...

-The soda fountain at Pizza Ranch was once owned by Zeus, before he switched to a low-sugar diet and sold it on ebay where it was then purchased by store manager Gene O'Dell for $245...$100 cheaper than retail.

-Every night Mello Yello gnomes emerge from the basement of Pizza Ranch and create the magical beverage by getting blitzed on Jagermeister and urinating into the machine.

-Crystal-meth...enough said.

-The Mello Yello distributed from the Spencer Pizza Ranch is all from the first batch of Mello Yello created in a lab 500 feet below the Arizona dessert in 1964. It was meant to be a mind-controlling drug to use against the Russians, but somewhere along it's route to Russia it wound up in the hands of the afformentioned Gene O'Dell and the history.

Although all of these rumors are completely unsubstantiated, one thing is a proven fact. If you drink the Mello Yello at the Spencer Pizza Ranch you will gain a super power, but only for as long as the beverage is still in your system.***

There is one unfortunate circumstance that goes along with enjoying this nectar of the Gods...that being the after effects. Now to this day no one is really sure whether it is the food or the Mello Yello that causes the incredible digestive pyrotechnics. But...long story, poop. You poop a lot.

Many a time after I was done dominating my friends in various sports at the YMCA in Spencer we'd head to Pizza Ranch and think we were about to get a great deal. Buffett for $4.95 and Orgasmic Mello Yello. Unfortunately, each one of these trips ended with the same mad scramble for the one unisex restroom the Pizza Ranch has. Often times it would result in a violent scrum where one of us would use our powers to summon drags to beseech the others or another would attack his foe with a lightning bolt from his eyes.****

However, much like in the Highlander, there can be only one...who makes it to the restroom. The rest usually choose not to follow for obvious reasons. It makes for a long, uncomfortable, often rather odiforous car ride home. At the end of the night there are no goodbyes, just young men rushing to their houses and trying to make it to the restroom before tragedy strikes.

But back to the moral of the story...Mello Yello.

Mello Yello, on its own, is probably in the top 28 beverages of all-time, however, ORGASMIC MELLO YELLO is easily in the top 2, the only thing standing between it and the top is a Chocolate Malt from Dairy Dandy...but that my friends is a tale for another time and place.

* Yep, this is true.

** Also true...seriously, look it up...I dare you!

*** Okay...this one's bullshit.

**** Honestly, I think this was in a Harry Potter movie or something.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Trip to Family Dollar

Do you ever have one of those days where you're not really in the mood to buy anything, but you start to feel guilty for just walking around a you buy stuff anyway?

I had that today. I was wandering home from the subway stop and for whatever reason I felt compelled to saunter into "Family Dollar." So I walked up and down each and every aisle, meticulously looking at each and every little trinket and bobble on the shelf, not a one of them really drawing my interest.

I looked at a blanket and thought to myself…

This would be kind of nice to have. We do have company this weekend and it has been cold, I’m sure they’d appreciate a blanket to fend off hypothermia. But no…no I don’t feel like spending $8 on a blanket right now. I’m sure I’ll find something better if I keep looking. Plus if they were really worried about hypothermia they’d bring a sleeping bag or something.

After my little almost-purchase of the blanket, I came around a corner to find these tiny little area rugs…

Wow one of these would be perfect for covering up the Ethernet cord that is draped across the floor. Let’s see if it’s roughly 92 inches of exposed cord then that’s how many feet…hmmmmmmm let’s see sixteen times five is, what like eighty? Wait…wait, that’s not right at all. Sixteen that’s ounces in a pound…twelve, twelve inches in a foot and this thing is seventy-two inches? Oh hell no. I’m out. Too much math for this guy!

Upon tossing the area rug back to the floor, I continued my path of quasi-interest to the clocks. There was a very generic wall clock. The kind you see in little children’s playrooms with the bright, colorful plastic exterior surrounding the freakishly white face of the clock and its letters that are just a little too big…

Well this is kind of nice. This would look pretty bad-ass in my cube at work. That way I would know what time it is, whenever I wanted to know what time it was. Well wait, couldn’t I just use the little clock on my computer? Well yeah, but if I do that then I have to turn off my bitchin’ screen-saver and it’s really fun to watch my screen-saver. Yeah…that’s a good point. I’ll think about it.

As everyone does in one of these “I’ll think about it…” situations, I tucked the clock behind some other things so that no one would notice it and it’d still be there waiting for me if I decided I wanted it later. What I didn’t really do was put any thought into the fact that there were six identical clocks behind it on the shelf. I suppose in my mind I’d grown some sort of special attachment to that particular clock? Either way…it still waits for me behind some dish towels.

After the clock fiasco, yes that does indeed qualify as a fiasco…I stumbled into the electronics department where I found a cable splitter…

This is perfect. I was just talking about one of these the other day. We can use this bad-boy during the Super Bowl. We can set up the big TV and the little TV in the living room and use the cable splitter to ensure they both get the game in great quality. This is genius…but, wait…the Super Bowl is still like a month and a half away. Is this too soon? What if I lose it between now and then? What if we decide not to throw a Super Bowl party and then it’s just me sitting there watching the Super Bowl with a stupid cable splitter that I don’t need…………but there are only two left…

The cable splitter has now joined the clock…

Two aisles over I am stopped by what appears to be a two-foot tall Christmas tree that has been mangled. The price tag on the box says $5 but it has been crossed out in Sharpie and replaced with $3. The top of the tree is sticking out of the box which reads: pre-decorated Christmas tree…perfect for any office or home. So I think to myself…

Man…how bad-ass would a mini-Christmas tree look in my office? It’d be super bad-ass. I think I’ll check this thing out some more. Let’s see here, according to the box…20 multi-color lights, 10 hanging ornaments and a Christmas bow, all included…SWEET!! I guess I’ll just pull this bad-boy out and take a peek. Wait, where’s the bow? Or the ornaments? Where the hell are the lights? What is this bull? Pre-decorated my ass, I’m outta here.

I plunked the tree back down on the shelf and headed for the door, but in my rush to leave I suddenly feel an urge to make the twenty-five minutes I’ve spent here worthwhile, but I have no real desire to purchase anything. So I stand in line and wait until I get up to the register where I look around and grab some gum and chap-stick…

Hmmmm I think my lips are chapped and man, do I love Orbit gum.

Then I went home.

….ever done that?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dwarf Punting

Do you ever wonder what it'd be like if you were to get in a serious fight with a dwarf?

Think about it for a second. You're just hanging out at the mall or something and you are waiting in line at the Chinese place because you really want to take advantage of that 2 entree deal for $3.95. While you're waiting in line and trying to figure out whether you want to get orange chicken or beef and broccoli with your egg-roll you suddenly feel your bag from TJ Maxx bump into something, you spin around and what do you see...well by-golly you've knocked a dwarf flat on his ass. He's spilled his Dairy Queen chicken fingers platter all over the front of his child-sized white tshirt. The worst part...he had taken the mashed potatoes with gravy as the side dish. Uh-oh.

Suddenly the dwarf is struggling to get to his feet, kinda like a turtle on his back...but with chicken and gravy involved...and at this point he's made enough noise in dropping the tray that everyone in the food court is staring at the two of you now. You make the obligatory apology and offer to help him pick his stuff up, when he shoves you a little, his tiny little face turning bright-red.

"What the hell was that?" he shouts at you, pointing one, bite-sized Twix-like finger at you.

"What?" you ask, before stammering, "it was an accident."

"Accident or no're buying me a new meal," he screams.

"Whatever dude, maybe you should watch where you're walking," is your witty retort.

Suddenly the dwarf lashes out with anger and start flailing wildly at your knees. Part of you is tempted to kick him...kinda like the way you'd punt a football, but you resist. Suddenly you realize that the entire place is watching and some are starting to snicker.

Holy crap...they think this dwarf is kicking my ass! You think as you see the faces all beaming at you like headlights.

Now it decision time and we're talking a far more crucial decision than chicken or beef. We're talking about dwarf punting. There are two schools of thought on this subject. First we have the group of people who believe that in this situation it is best to be the bigger man (no pun intended) and walk away from the fight as a way to avoid embarrassment to yourself and the other individual. Then there is the school that thinks it is best to punt this little bastard as far as you can and get back to figuring out which entree you want to go with your egg-roll, before he has time to regroup and come back at you with all the fury his little soda can-sized fists can muster.

So the real question ladies and gentlemen is this...

Do You Punt the Dwarf?

(Please Comment Openly and Honestly As This Is A Very Important Issue For Millions Of Americans Each And Every Holiday Season)