Friday, February 27, 2009

Favorite Things

Nitrous Oxide

I was at the dentist again the other day. I think I am one of the few people that actually gets excited about the dentist because I love the laughing gas. I really don't use many state altering substances (and don't give me the whole "anything you eat alters you" know what I mean). So laughing gas is one of the only times that I totally get high. And it is awesome.

I just love feeling totally relaxed and having my mind make random connections. I feel numb and yet hypersensitive at the same time if I focus on any one part of my body. I can feel each pore and each nerve ending, I can feel my hair. I must focus to try not to let my mouth turn into a foolish grin for no good reason - I usually fail.

Through the use of laughing gas and listening to horrible lite music, my mind has come to the conclusion that indeed all music has the same hidden rhythm underneath it all. Sure I can't tell you what it is now, but every time I am at the dentist my mind is like "Aha! There it is...the sound of the universe!".

Sometimes when I close my eyes, I often feel that the chair starts moving...maybe slightly turning in circles (not in a sickening way but a good relaxing way). I often feel that it starts elevating. I know it is doing neither of these things and I know that I can open my eyes to make it stop but I love the feeling. Sometimes the dentist is out of the room long enough that I feel like the chair must have raised a mile above it's original position. I can almost feel the breeze on my face even though I don't remember breaking through the roof.

I love the feel of the cool metal on the underside of the chair's arms against my finger tips. I often find myself moving my fingers very minutely to confirm that I can still move...because my body is so heavy and the cool, slick metal sends a zap of reassuring sensation through my arms. I can almost feel the impulses travel from my fingertips, through my arm and to my brain.

Nothing has interested me more in other drugs...illegal drugs like marijuana, LSD, heroin...more than Nitrous Oxide. Not your typical gateway drug story, that's for sure. If nitrous makes me feel this good, I can only imagine how good those would make me feel. But that is what scares me and why I have never tried them. Not because I don't think I will like them but because I will...a lot. Some day maybe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Hot Dog Quandary

The Hot Dog Quandary and The Law of Diminishing Returns

I run into this issue all the time...especially with food. I think you can tell a lot about a person by their choices in such a situation. Lets take my following real world example -

I haven't eaten anything all day. By the time I get home and am able to make something to eat, I am starving. Hot dogs sound delicious. I love a good hot dog from time to time and this day they sound awesome. I am hungry enough to eat two hot dogs, so I throw a couple on the grill. One hot dog comes out perfectly cooked, slightly crispy but still intact and juicy, the bun perfectly toasted, just the right amount of mustard, a pickle spear, a touch of diced tomatoes and onions, a jalapeno pepper, and finally a light sprinkling of celery salt. It is the Chicago Dog of your dreams, the Cadillac of hot dogs. It is the perfect hot dog. The second hot dog is prepared the exact same way but maybe the bun and the dog were cooked a little too long and will have a slight burn, the proportions of toppings are slightly off making it sloppy and messy to eat. It is an edible but mediocre hot dog which would stand fine on its own but when pales in comparison when next to the other Perfect Hot Dog.

Here is the problem - the first hot dog you eat will have its taste enhanced by your hunger, while the second hot dog will be dimmed by lessen appetite.

  • Do you eat the Perfect Hot Dog first, knowing that since you are starving that it will taste even better? But the second not great hot dog will be that much worse because your appetite has been partially fulfilled.

  • Do you eat the Bad Hot Dog first, because its faults will not be as evident in your hunger? Plus the Perfect Hot Dog will still taste good (being perfect) but just not as good as it could have.

I have always been the eat the bad hot dog first type person...because it gives a more consistent overall experience I think. The bad dog is elevated and the perfect dog is diminished leaving both in the middle ground area.

I hate myself for this. I think it is the safe way to live. It is the boring, risk-free way to live. Sure you don't get the lows but you also don't get the extraordinary highs. I am trying harder to reach for perfect dog first to experience the more ultimate life experience.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two Minutes Hate


I used to like vampire books and, I was never one to dress up and pretend to drink blood (this is the truest article I have ever seen on that subject), but I enjoyed the stories when they came along. Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Hamilton, Kikuchi, etc... I've read tons of books and have seen many movies (yes I even watched Lost Boys 2 a couple months ago). My problem is that there is nothing really imaginative happening in the vampire world for the past 50 years (at least...could be 100 years). I remember first reading vampire novels and being intrigued with the immortals and their struggles with their with who their nature and their past. That seemed all fascinating to me. Not anymore, now when I see a story or a movie, I usually just groan and bear it. Not only are they no longer intriguing but they seem SO generic to me anymore. Seriously, if I read one more book where the vampire falls for a human, I think my brain my shrivel and die from boredom. Oh and why do 60% of the modern stories now take place in New Orleans? Really? You are so unoriginal that you have to copy Anne Rice THAT much? I would love to see some new ideas injected into this genre (besides the fact that they sparkle in sunlight...which really isn't all that new either, as many stories have claimed that they avoid sunlight because it reveals their true natures, not because it hurts them). Maybe I will have to try to dig up (ha ha pun!) some of the short stories I wrote when I was in high school and expand them into books...they were more original that the current slop making its way through the market place.

End Hate

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thank Goodness

Although I don't get particularly excited about deodorent, I am very excited that Mitchum seems to be dropping their dumb advertising campaign.

I like Mitchum because it is one of the few brands that offers an unscented clear gel deodorant. Amazingly enough, I really don't want my armpits to smell like an ocean breeze or "sport". I by deodorant to get rid of smells not replace them. Their old advertising slogan was good - something like "So strong you can skip a day." It tells you that the product works so well, that even if you skipped a day you probably wouldn't smell...and it did work, I don't know about skipping a day but as far as deodorants go it is one of the better ones. But I can see how some company exec probably thought that the slogan was encouraging people to skip a day consequently they were only selling half as much as they could be.

So the advertising started to morph into Mitchum Man stuff. It started off with slogans that sounded somewhat similar to the old slogan like "Go ahead Mitchum Man wear the same shirt you did two days ago." But the idea of the Mitchum Man being the ultimate man soon took over and they started putting "You're a Mitchum Man if..." type slogans on each stick of deordorant. This is wear I really had a problem with it...they made me feel stupid for buying their deodorant because I most definitely was not a Mitchum Man. From what I can tell from these slogans a Mitchum Man was a dumb, arrogant, slobby, unhealthy, redneck asshole. Examples (from memory over the past 3 years, so they may not be exact):

  • If Corn Dogs are your favorite're a Mitchum Man

  • If you ever convinced her that the photos were for your private're a Mithcum Man

  • If you ever urinated for more than 60 seconds're a Mitchum Man

  • If your socks almost're a Mitchum Man

  • If you flex in the mirror while everyone is're a Mitchum Man

  • If mowing the lawn is your idea of're a Mitchum Man

  • If the hardware store is your idea of're a Mitchum Man

  • If you've ever had a one night're a Mitchum Man

  • If you've ever been the Wingman and The Man in the same're a Mitchum Man
  • If you're not sure you own an're a Mitchum Man
  • If your singles ever helped pay a young woman's're a Mitchum Man.

I just hated waking up every morning and seeing one of those stupid sayings. It was a bad way to start every day. However there were a few that I have seen that I did like:

  • (on the side of a city bus) If you could totally parallel park this're a Mitchum Man.

  • (in a subway) If you ever hurdled anything while running for the're a Mitchum Man

  • (the one on a stick that I liked) If you order your coffee is small, medium, or're a Mitchum Man (I hate having to learn a new language to buy coffee. The scene in Role Models was brilliant, that is exactly how I feel.)

I was very happy when I bought Mitchum the other day and instead of a stupid saying, they had a sticker that said something like "New Great Look, Same Great Product." Thank you Mitchum for finally coming to your senses because you almost lost me as a customer. Glad you stopped trying to copy Axe for the manliest man competition.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Introductions are Necessary

Introducing...Vick Fyre

This is Victor Fyre. Vick is the lead singer in the lounge act Vick Fyre and the Pyrophonics (their music is so hot the lounge is on fire!). He has a distinguished career in lounge music. Vick was a founding member of The Floyd Kolton Experience but left the band after several years due to artistic difference. He has also performed in many other influential acts throughout the Midwest. Vick has been immersed in lounge music since birth with father being a featured player in super-group Gubby Town Express and his mother being the biggest groupie of GTE. Vick spent his youth honing his crooning to perfection while surviving on the mean streets of Des Moines, Iowa. Now a successful musical artist, Vick uses his street smarts to woo the audience and especially the ladies. Pictured below, Vick is trying to shut me up after a particularly late night of womanizing and drinking martinis because my singing was throwing him off key. Vick Fyre and the Pyrophonics will probably be touring an airport lounge near you in the future.

Thanks so much to GF-Unit for getting me Vick for Valentines Day. It is way too much of a gift for such a crappy holiday, but I enjoy muppets so much that I couldn't really refuse. Now I just need to practice my puppetry skills...which are worse than terrible.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

Valentine's Day

Some may people may claim that I hate Valentine's Day because I have only had a girlfriend 2 of the 34 Valentine's Days that I have experienced. They may be partially right. I did kind of like Valentine's back in grade school when you had to give everyone a valentine...or maybe I just liked getting candy and Scooby Doo Valentines.

But as I grew older (and angrier?), I have come to view VD as a terrible holiday:
  • It is a holiday that is mainly propagated by the greeting card and candy companies. Obviously they only care about profits.

  • It is a holiday designed to make you feel like crap if you don't have a significant other on this one stupid are somehow a misfit in society. Seriously, single people do not have a good option on this day...either you stay home and everyone thinks you are a loser or you go to a bar and everyone thinks your just trying to pick someone up so you don't feel like a loser.

  • It has become very generic where men are supposed to buy their loves flowers (oh but not any flowers, roses), candy, cards, and take them out for a romantic dinner and evening...variation to this routine is not encouraged.

  • Since this is so much of a tradition, everything costs way more than it usually does and all restaurants are packed.

  • Really? Only one day to celebrate your love, one day that is supposed to amend for you being an idiot to your significant other for the rest of the year?

  • If you plan a big romantic Valentine's, it is almost always a disappointment...there is just no way that reality can ever live up to the hype created.

Personally, I have always felt you should be nice to your significant other all year round, not squeeze it all into one day. Now give me one day a year where I can treat someone like shit and not have any future repercussions because it was St Gubby's Day and I would sign up for that...I'd even buy a card. Or let's go back to Scooby Doo and A-Team valentines and drop all the uber-romance crap.

I think these cleavers by Elizabeth McGrath would be perfect for Gubby Day as well as Valentine's Day.

End Hate

PS...Although I tend to boycott as much of the tradition as possible, I can not be the guy that completely ignores Valentine's Day. GF-Unit and I spent a nice day going to Coraline, with her son-unit, and America (human). We then proceeded to go out for a late lunch and headed to the Chops hockey game...definitely not your traditional Valentine's Day (for some reason hockey games don't come across as romantic) but nice enough.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Favorite Things

Chick-O-Stick Candy

I love candy...all kinds - chocolates, caramels, taffies, gummis, hard candies, sweets, sours, nuts, nougat, schnazberries (they taste like schnazberries!). I am a big fan of anything in the candy aisle (except Good & Plenty which are deadly poison disguised as candy). You name it, I have probably tried it a couple times. I am getting a little disappointed in all the gas stations around here that do not rotate their candy on a regular basis. Yes keep all the old favorites, but try new things too...there is room because you have 3 different sizes of each candy bar, whittle it down to 2 and you have tons of room to experiment.

Chick-O-Stick holds a special place in my heart...the very taste of which always takes me back to swimming lessons when I was in kindergarten. I would get one out of the vending machine after swimming lessons whenever I had the money and eat it on the bus ride home. What is a Chick-O-Stick you ask? It is basically crunchy peanut buttery goodness (like the center of a Butterfinger) in tube form and then lightly sprinkled with toasted coconut. It is a good classic combination that is delicious, but it has always had one downfall - the shape. It is a cylinder of brittle candy covered in a plastic sleeve, even if you didn't get one that was already smashed (or smashed in the fall inside the vending machine), it was a total disaster to eat. Chunks would fly everywhere, posing significant eye damage and leaving you with a lap full of orange dust and debris. Another issue was that a Chick-O-Stick was just large enough that you usually didn't want to finish it in one sitting and yet it never stored well because of the plastic sleeve and crushability factor. These things have often prevented me from buying a Chick-O-Stick even when I thought they looked really good.

I was delighted to discover Chick-O-Stick Bites the other day. I guess they have existed for years...but no store that I regularly stop at has ever carried them. I feel a little stupid because I have long lamented that this is what they need but never did the research to realize it already exists. All the deliciousness of Chick-O-Stick in convenient, individually wrapped goodness. It does throw the toasted coconut/peanut butter flavor ratios off slightly but the lack of a mess makes it all worth it. I just wish the cowboy chicken was still on the label, but at least he is still available on a t-shirt from the company store.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two Minute Hate

Jane Seymour - Open Hearts Design

I am not a big fan of Kay Jewelers in general because I think their stuff is pretty generic and they push it so hard around the holidays that I can't see how anyone who receives one of their necklaces would feel special or that the buyer really took some time to think about the person that they are buying the gift for. It seems such an easy cop-out. I find the Jane Seymour Open Hearts Collection particularly repulsive. Mostly because of the commercial.

y wish is that my Open Heart design becomes a universal symbol of hope and love..." Really? That is all you want?
To create a universal symbol? Well why didn't you say so, I mean creating a symbol that conveys its exact meaning to people from different countries, cultures, religions, etc... upon sight can't be that hard right? Jane Seymour, I am sure you are the perfect person to create a representation of love for everyone...because I know when I think of love, I think Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman. This isn't saying that you are not a good person or anything but you sound a little naive when talking about creating a universal symbol. Plus I think it is kind of ugly. Looks more snake-like to me than a heart.
Open Heart Collection by Jane Seymour (left)
Poor Heart Shaped Snake photo by FlgCEH / Casey Horan (right)
BTW - I love this snake photo and encourage you to check out some more of Casey's work. I don't know her or anything but came across her photos on flickr a while ago and liked them...and when I first saw the above commercial I laughed and laughed.
End Hate
(Note - edited layout to make it look a little prettier Wed - 2/16 11:15am)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Behold the Mighty Pegacorn!

At my favorite hang out,(soon to be defunct) Billy Joe's, they have had a clock hanging on the wall for years. The clock was tucked in a corner and most people didn't even notice it, which was a good thing because it was not just any run of the mill clock.

This was a clock that was such a train wreck of odd and beautiful items that it struck horror into your heart upon first viewing. Your mind screamed "Who would do that? Who would want that abortion? It is against nature!" and your mind would be correct. This clock had a dark power though, once you saw it, you could not un-see it and it was forever etched in your brain. You would be sitting having a drink and find your gaze drawn to it again and again for no reason. Strong willed people may have been able to resist the draw of that clock, but I was not one of them. The clock had its roots in my brain and they sunk deep and tangled throughout my entire being.

When BJs announced they were closing a few months ago a panic spread within me...I must have that clock! I offered cash bribes to no avail. Evidently a customer had made the clock and so it wasn't for sale. I had hoped that the customer would not claim his clock and I would be able to pick it up at the business liquidation auction. Thanks to my hetero life pal CT, I didn't have to wait and worry. CT brokered a top secret, behind closed doors deal...which may or may not have involved souls and contracts signed in blood. CT then surprised me with the clock as an early birthday present. How awesome is that? Thanks CT!

Behold the Mighty Pegacorn! Tremble in its terrible presence.

I hoped to have a high resolution version for you but I wasn't able to get it off GF-Unit's camera before leaving for work. So until I am able to update later, you will have to cry at the loss of beauty on this crappy camera phone picture.

  • Pegacorn (or flying unicorn or horned Pegasus if you will) rearing triumphantly and majestically - check out the definition at Urban Dictionary. "Strong enough to beat sasquatch." Enough said.

  • A graceful butterfly on the second hand

  • A beautiful arrangement of silk flowers (for the butterfly to visit once a minute)

  • Diamond-like reflective tape used for the hour markers

  • Ornately crafted of silvery-gold painted plastic

  • Pegacorn! (it needs to be emphasized)

Yep. This clock has everything but is extra special to me because it has been part of my weekly routine for the past 5+ years. I am not sure when BJs actually got the clock but I am sure it was there for a while before I noticed it....or maybe it is like the one true ring and was hiding from my eyes, not wanting to be in my keeping.

Now, I sort of feel like a character from Friday the 13th: The Series (CT is probably the only person who knows what I am talking about)...I feel like the keeper of this cursed object and must keep it from falling in the wrong hands and used for evil. I will try my best to keep this hellish artifact, this clock of doom, in its place while listening to the tortured souls howl with each butterfly tick.

BTW-if you really love this clock, you can get a double pegacorn version here...but everyone knows that is fake. Pegacorns are like matter and anti-matter, you just can't have more than one in the same spot without something exploding.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two Minutes Hate

"Tear Here" Bags

You know when you buy food and they have a dotted line printed across the package and it says something like "Tear Here for easy opening". In theory this is a great idea but in experience this never works for me. I start off tearing on the line just fine but as soon as I am an inch away from the edge of the package it all goes horribly wrong. Either it rips up and away from the line so that I have to start tearing from the other side (with the same result) or it tears down and often ruins the bag for any chance of re-closure. I have tried going fast, I have tried going slow...unless the package is perforated the entire length it does not work. It just makes me angry because it should be such and easy thing...and if it didn't have "Tear Here" I would have just used the scissors and all would have been awesome. I want my beef jerky damn it! And I want it in a bag that is not destroyed in the opening process.

End Hate

Monday, February 2, 2009

Madness...Takes its Toll.

My bro Ryan, sis-in-law Hedda, GF-Unit, and I decided to attend the second to last showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at our soon to be defunct hang out Billy Joe's.

I've been a fan of Rocky Horror since about fifth grade (1985-ish) when I stole the bootleg soundtrack cassette from my older brother. Still to this day when I think Rocky Horror, the first thing I picture in my mind is that white cassette with "Rocky Horror" scrawled in red magic marker. It was not what I thought. I was looking for some kind of heavy metal (hey, it said Rocky Horror - what would you think it was if you had no idea? Sounded metal to me.) Even though it wasn't even close to what I was expecting, it was still damn fine music...a subversive retro pop mix that has a little something for all types and a group dance much better than the horrible country line dancing that was to pop up a few years later. I listened to the music and played the crappy Apple II video game (which I didn't understand at all at the time - you can download an emulator here and play yourself although both look better quality than the Apple version I remember) for years before finally seeing the film.

I remember the first night I went to see Rocky Horror. I had just gotten my license (1990) and so was finally able to get to Billy Joe's for a showing. It wasn't that my parents would have had an issue with me going before that, but we lived a ways away and getting a ride was often next to impossible. So after years of waiting - I show up prepared for this amazing experience. Admittedly, I was a little naive. I knew people shouted at the screen, I had seen a few clips on various TV shows, I knew a little bit of the interactions - throwing rice, newspaper on head, etc... I was not prepared for how much the actual movie sucked. It is atrocious...but the music is so good. It is one of those movies that you can not imagine how it actually came about. you wonder to yourself "someone thought this was a good idea?" But I guess that is part of its Plan 9 From Outer Space, the awfulness is what makes it so good.

Upon first viewing, I was disappointed. The crowd didn't help. I just wanted to sit and watch the movie and sing along with all the songs...but of course the crowd is walking around, talking, yelling at the screen and just generally being annoying. I wanted to scream "Shut the f*** up!" at all the guys in their late 20s who were hitting on the 14 year old girls. There was way too much smoke in the air and the place just smelled bad. (ha ha nothing has changed much right Thursday night crew?)

I was never a die-hard. I always wanted to watch the movie and sing along instead of yelling back at the screen and for me it always seemed like way too much work to dress up, but I did end up going 3 or 4 times a year throughout high school. Usually I would be by myself and just kind of hang out shyly in the corner - a misfit among the misfits (hey just like high school!), but still it was a good enough time that I have a few fond memories of it. The last time I had been there was around 1997 when I came back from college...nothing had changed, it was still the same Rocky, the same type of crowd (actually I am pretty sure some of the late 20s guys were the same just now they were mid-30s guys hitting on 14 year-olds).

Hedda had never been to Rocky Horror (Ryan, GF-Unit, and myself had varying levels of experience). So when we heard that Billy Joe's was closing, we told her that she had to go before it was gone forever. Unfortunately, I don't think we did a good job explaining what it was...I think she was expecting a GOOD movie and underestimated how annoying the Rocky people could be if you didn't know what to expect. I had a good time though, it was good to relive that one more time. Was I now the creepy old guy hitting on the young girls in corsets and fishnets? GF-Unit took some pictures that will probably be up here before the end of the week...I may post one here later.

When GF-Unit was getting people to pose for one of these pictures, someone yelled "The original Rocky family!" But she busted them on that going "Original? I was coming here 12 years ago." Which made me laugh because I was about to interrupt saying that I had probably been there before they were born...and even that time it wasn't even close to the "original" Rocky group that always came.

For me, high school wouldn't have been the same without it. I will miss knowing that there is a guaranteed place to see all the tattooed freaks and goth kids when I am feeling lonely and alienated from normal society.

One more Rocky left...this Friday (2/6/09) at 11:45pm. I'm not sure if I will be there or not but if you have never seen Rocky or haven't seen Rocky in years, you should check it out before the chance is gone. I can guarantee an interesting time.