Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | March 17, 2015

Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling

dbry002

I’ve been a pro wrestling fan my entire life and I’ve always been more than willing to admit as much.

As such, it probably won’t come as much of a shock to you that I’ve received more than my fair share of snark over the years from non-fans.

I’ve heard the following phrases probably eleven bajillionty times:

“You know it’s not real, right?”
“How can you watch that garbage, it’s all scripted.”
“That’s all so fake!”
“Dude, they’re not even really hitting each other!”
“They’d be dead if that was real.”

..and so on and so on.

The thing that non-fans rarely get is that it’s not about it being real. It’s about it feeling real.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It is plenty real in the sense that you can’t fake falling off a ladder through a table. You can plan it in advance. You can do everything to mitigate risk, but you can’t fake it.

…but that’s not why – and this is an old wrestling fan trope if ever there was one – it’s still real to me, dammit.

It’s real to me because it is long-form storytelling with compelling characters and plot twists that you’d see in any other entertainment format and never question. It’s fiction that exists in a cartoon world of legalized violence where bullies get the comeuppance, underdogs triumph, and everyone goes home happy.

The problem is, before you get more than ten seconds into trying to explain why you actually like wrestling – and not, like, ironically, but legitimately – the detractors’ eyes have glazed over and they’ve stopped listening and labeled me a total rube who is entertained by low-brow, fake violence.

Luckily, filmmaker Max Landis has done something that – if any non-fan will actually watch all 25 minutes – will do more to legitimize wrestling as “entertainment” than any single fan has been able to do in the last fifty years of defending their love of pro wrestling.

The short film “Wrestling Isn’t Real” chronicles the career of one wrestler, Triple H, and explains over the span of 25 minutes why loving pro wrestling isn’t about thinking that what you’re watching is “real,” it’s about loving that it’s not real and still allowing yourself to get lost in it the way we do with all forms of entertainment.

If you’ve got 25 minutes, sit back and enjoy the ride.

(Note: mildly NSFW because of language and because you may be embarrassed about your co-workers knowing you’re into pro wrestling)


I laughed. I cried. I geeked out over all the cameos. I fell in love with Chloe Dykstra.

..but that’s just me, please let me know what did y’all think?

Especially you non-fans.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 2, 2015

Viral Video: Taylor Swift Covers “Riptide”

Put this in your eyeballs and/or earholes immediately, y’all.

I think it’s pretty much common knowledge that Taylor Swift takes a metric ton of crap for her music.

Personally, I don’t get it, but I’m not the majority.

If you want to come at her for writing about failed relationships – you know, since she’s the only person who has ever done so – or because you think she writes music that appeals only to teenage girls…and tall, emotionally-stunted Iowans, fine…go for it.

Whatever floats your boat, Random Internet Person.

…but – after listening to this about 56,000 times on repeat – it’s safe to say that if you want to take shots at her singing ability, you’re shit outta luck.

Tay-Tay’s got some pipes, y’all.

Suck it, haters.

(Major props to Davia for hooking me up with this gem.)

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 1, 2015

My 2014 Reading List

2014-books

Well…crap.

In last year’s recap, I said that it was my worst-year since I’d started tracking my yearly reading as a way of incentivizing myself to read more.

As it turns out, I was a year too early on that decree.

I thought my nine books were pretty paltry last year, this year I only finished eight books. One of those books was about 30 pages from completion when the calendar rolled over to 2014 and one of them is a book I’ve read about 30,000 times already.

Much like last year, I read bits and pieces of a number of management books, but I rarely finish them. They’re like cookbooks, you flip around for what you need, read it, and move on until you have to come back somewhere down the road. Unfortunately, none of those bits and pieces count as – you know – actually reading a book.

Needless to say, 2014 was not my best year.

If you recall from last year’s post – and I’m sure you do – I’d set a goal of a book-a-month and was hoping to finish 12 by year’s end. Clearly, I whiffed in a big way.

I have a hard time imagining a world where I magically find more time for reading in 2015, so I’m going to set the bar very, very, very low and simply aim to match my 2014 total by reading a meager eight books this year.

If I don’t make it, I’d like y’all to take away my book privileges.

Without any further ado here are the – *sigh* – eight books I read in 2014:

Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King
Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos by Jonah Keri
Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea by Chris Jericho
The Death of WCW: 10th Anniversary Edition by RD Reynolds and Bryan Alvarez
Gerald’s Game by Stephen King
Revival by Stephen King

So there you have it: two quasi-self-help books, two wrestling books, a baseball book, and three Stephen King novels.

If you’re interested in following my reading progress all year long (and who isn’t?), you can add me as a friend or buddy or amigo or whatever the heck it is over at Goodreads.com.

Hit me up in the comments to let me know what you read last year. It doesn’t have to be your whole list if you’re not up for sharing the whole shebang. You can just tell me your favorite or least favorite book you read last year. You can recommend a good book or series for me to try out in 2015. You can tell me why you think reading is part of the “liberal agenda” and you won’t let your kids touch a damn book. You can really pretty much hit me with anything you’ve got.

Until next year, happy reading.

Previous Reading Lists
My 2013 Reading List
My 2012 Reading List
My 2011 Reading List
My 2010 Reading List
My 2009 Reading List

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | December 24, 2014

The 17 Greatest Christmas Songs by Famous Artists, Ranked

Christmas Music

I love Christmas music.

I’m not one of those people (read: lunatics) who can listen to it year ‘round or anything, but when I flip the calendar over from November to December, I’m more than ready to hear a few ditties about sentient snowmen, thinly-veiled date rape references, bullying and exploitation, a childhood scarred by suspected parental infidelity, and the magic of pretending to care about poor, starving people for a couple of weeks now that it’s cold out.

I’ve never really been into the “classical” Christmas carols that you can really only imagine being sung by large choirs of prepubescent boys anxiously awaiting “the change.” No, that’s not really in my wheelhouse; that’s more Grace’s jam than mine.

While she’s content to wrap presents and bake cookies to “Little Drummer Boy” or “Do You Hear What I Hear,” I’m just not having it.

I am all about famous artists covering old Christmas songs and making them their own or, in some cases, legitimately making a song their own by throwing a handful of cockamamie references to snow, bells, or presents into the chorus to make a “Christmas song” built for Top 40 radio.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a handful of the old classics and standbys that are part of my personal Christmas canon, but it’s mostly going to be big name acts cashing in on Christmas, the way Santa and Jesus intended when they signed on with Hallmark back in 1856 or whenever the hell Christmas started.

Without any further ado, let’s jump right into the 17 greatest Christmas songs by famous artists, ranked:

Read More…

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Side Dishes, Ranked

Canberry

Earlier this week the fine folks at Gawker Media published a top ten ranking of Thanksgiving side dishes.

Unfortunately, their ranking was erroneous on a number of counts and could easily be used to misinform and sway the uneducated masses about what they should and should not be prioritizing with their limited plate space this Thanksgiving.

Luckily, I’m here to fix things with the most scientifically-accurate, researched-based ranking of Thanksgiving side dishes you’ll find anywhere on the internet.

There’s limited time to start plotting your Thanksgiving game plan, so let’s get right into things.

01. Stuffing (Cooked Outside of the Turkey)
The reigning king and undisputed champion of the side dish game. It is imperative, however, that you get the stuff cooked outside the bird. Beyond that, I’m not picky. Stove Top is great. Homemade is great Stuffing is f’n great. That having been said, if you cook your stuffing inside the Turkey you’re not only proving that you’re a big fan of food-borne illnesses, but also soggy-ass stuffing. Just dip a loaf of Wonder Bread in some piping hot turkey broth if that’s your jam and then everyone else can avoid wasting their time and energy on your disgusting in-the-bird mess.

02. Mashed Potatoes
I couldn’t give mashed potatoes the top spot because they’re so unpredictable. What kind of mashed potatoes are you going to plop down on your plate: Lumpy? Creamy? Buttery? Dry? Garlic? No Garlic? Chives? No Chives? There are too many options. It’s too easy for them to be delivered to you in a manner that is not to your liking. What then? Seriously, if your potatoes aren’t the right kind, the whole day is pretty much shot. If you give me lumpy, chive-ridden mashed potatoes, I’d burn your f’n house down. True fact. I won’t even think twice. I’ll set it ablaze and walk out the door with your pan of stuffing. This is why mashed potatoes cannot occupy the top spot, they incite riot and tear families apart. You can’t hold down the top spot with that kind of liability attached to your name.

03. Green Bean Casserole
This is pretty much the only Thanksgiving side dish that I can make without burning down the kitchen or potentially poisoning my loved ones. It’s also one of the top five tastiest things on the planet. The key is to triple the recommended number of French fried onions. (Pro Tip: When preparing green bean casserole, buy an extra container of French fried onions to devour while you’re assembling this messy beast…you’ll be glad you did.)

Read More…

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | November 7, 2014

Taylor Swift’s “1989” Tracks, Ranked

Haters Gonna Hate

13. Bad Blood
12. Welcome To New York
11. Clean
10. I Know Places
09. This Love
08. Wildest Dreams
07. Out Of The Woods
06. I Wish You Would
05. Blank Space
04. All You Had To Do Was Stay
03. How You Get the Girl
02. Style
01. Shake It Off

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | October 7, 2014

Lucky Charms Marshmallows, Ranked

luckycharms

8. Horseshoe
7. Heart
6. Clover
5. Hourglass
4. Balloon
3. Shooting Star
2. Blue Moon
1. Rainbow

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | September 17, 2014

True Story: I am Willie Mays Hayes

71 Bus

I suck at public transportation.

It seems that my years living in Cambridge when my “commute” was all of a ten minute shuffle from door-to-door have finally caught up with me.

After years of not giving a rat’s ass about bus schedules…I’m now that guy who gets stuck in traffic on the bus for an hour, or misses the bus altogether, or watches empty buses fly right on by while he stands at the bus stop helplessly trying to flag them down.

Long story short: I’ve got bad bus luck.

As a result of my bad bus luck, I’ve reached a point where I no longer worry about how dumb and dorky I look trying to run down a bus.

When we first moved out of Cambridge, I refused to chase a bus. I was too proud. I’d been spoiled for too long and refused to let the bus have that kind of power over me.

Roughly three months and 10,000 missed buses later, I got over that feeling and turned into just another in the sad, huddled mass of commuters that will frantically check their MBTA app wondering where the bus is every 30 seconds.

I became one of those folks who will sprint for three blocks and end up pounding on the side of a bus as it’s pulling away from a stop, completely unfazed by my pathetic pleas to “open the door, please…please open the door!!”

All of that having been said, when there’s an opportunity to catch a bus, I rarely let it go. This is especially true at the Harvard bus terminal.

You see, My Faithful Readers, that’s because the Harvard bus terminal is some sort of black magic-laden pit of despair where buses have always juuuuuuuuust pulled out of the station when you walk in and they frequently disappear from the tracking app (and physical existence) mere seconds before their projected arrival, never to be seen again.

More specifically, it’s the freakin’ Bermuda Triangle for the 71 bus (aka: my method of transport between my home and Harvard).

As such, when I got off the train at Harvard yesterday and peered through the window separating the train turnstiles and the bus terminal, I saw the 71 sitting there, almost taunting me, and I knew that I’d have to run if I wanted to catch it.

I shuffled through a dense crowd of people, all of whom had seemingly forgotten how to move forward at precisely the same time, and I lumbered down the stairs into the bus terminal, weaving through more statue-like commuters.

I realized there was only one way I was going to make it before the bus took off and I threw caution (and many posted MBTA rules) to the wind.

I slipped past a small blockade of fellow commuters and I ran to catch the bus in the bus lane. This allowed me to avoid the large crowd of peeps waiting for other, obviously-less-important buses.

As my feet hit the pavement and I started to pick up some speed, I noticed that there was already a dude running in the bus lane with the exact same game plan.

Naturally, I took this as a challenge.

I did what any strapping young man (read: out of shape 30-year-old dude) would do. I turned up the volume on my iPod (Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”…obvi) and picked up my pace to show this chump who was boss of this bus lane.

Seconds later, I’d caught up to this dude.

A few steps later and we were in a footrace.

It only lasted mere seconds, just long enough for us to make eye contact. The kind of eye contact that says, “sorry bro…this bus is mine.”

And with that, I blew past him and jumped onto the bus just before they closed up the doors. I then proceeded to plop down in the back seat and fight the urge to vomit and/or simply die from physical exertion.

The moral of the story? Basically, I’m Willie Mays Hayes.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | August 28, 2014

#librarylife

books. are. hard.

I’ve got roughly eight hours until Grace and I embark on a mini-vacation (read: long weekend). This is our first “real” vacation of any sort in quite some time, so we’re pretty pumped. Needless to say, my attempts at productivity are going to be minimal at best today.

With that in mind, here’s an interaction I had with a fella on the desk this morning.

This dude walks in and hands me a sheet of paper with half of a book title and a call number.

Yes Man: “I want this book…”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay, do you know if it’s supposed to be on course reserves or in the stacks?”
Yes Man: “Yes.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Um…yes, course reserves or yes the stacks?”
Yes Man: “Yes, the book…”
Cap’n Charisma: “. . .”
Yes Man: “. . .”
Cap’n Charisma: “…how about I look it up.”
Yes Man: “No, it’s here. I saw it online.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay…but I need to know if it’s in course reserves or the stacks.”
Yes Man: “Yes…it is.”
Cap’n Charisma: *SIGH* “…I’m just going to look it up.”
Yes Man: “Fine, but it’s here.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay, I get that…but if we don’t know where it is that doesn’t help matters any, so I’ll look it up.”

**I look it up and the system says it’s in the stacks. I rely this information to the patron.**

Yes Man: “I told you it was here.”
Cap’n Charisma: “…yep, yep you did.”
Yes Man: “Now can I have it?”
Cap’n Charisma: “You’ll need to go upstairs and get it, because it’s up in the stacks. It’s up on the seventh floor. You can take the stairs or there is an elevator about halfway around the floor.”
Yes Man: “So I need to get it myself?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yes.”

**Five minutes pass and then the patron returns without the book.**

Yes Man: “So I need to go upstairs and get it myself?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yes.”
Yes Man: “Ugh…”

**The patron has now been gone for nearly half an hour.**

…at what point do I send in a search team to find this dude?!

Is it safe to assume he’s just hanging out near the elevator waiting for the library butler to fetch his books?!

Is it okay to just mentally checkout and assume he’ll figure it out himself?

Do I even care?

Is it 5pm yet?

VACATION!!!

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 25, 2014

Buy Me Things

Dreams Do Come True!!

There is an ice cream truck for sale.

Honestly, I thought I could end the post with just the first sentence, but in the interest of not being the laziest blogger of all-time, I’ll add some additional context. Not that it’s necessary, I mean, there’s a freakin’ ice cream truck for sale!!

This sucker looks like an insta-buy if ever there was one.

I mean for realsies, not only is it an ice cream truck – which, once again, is really the only selling point required – but it’s also an ice cream truck that’s in top-notch, ready-to-roll, kick-the-tires-and-light-the-fires condition.

Despite the fact that this majestic beauty is from 1990, it has received a lot of recent upgrades. What kinds of upgrades you ask? Well by-golly, let me tell you. It got a new engine, a new sink, a new freezer, and a new water heater in 2012.

It’s practically a brand-new ice cream truck, y’all.

With all those upgrades and improvements this is basically the “Pimp My Ride” of ice cream trucks.

True fact: if someone were to put me on “Pimp My Ride”…my lone request would be that my ride was, in fact, pimped it into a freakin’ ice cream truck (or the Batmobile). So this is basically a dream come true.

Plus, and this is the real kicker, they’re only asking $18,500 for this beauty.

They’re practically giving it away!!

So if you forgot to get me a birthday present (and you know you did) or you want to get me and Grace an early – and practical – wedding gift, this is your chance.

Hustle over to Craigslist and buy this sucker before someone else beats you (and, in turn, me) to it!

(hat tip to friend of the blog, Andrew Swayze for alerting me to this fantastic deal)

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 10, 2014

Cutest Pet Contest

A Vote for Fridge Kitty is a Vote for Freedom (to Play in the Veggie Crisper)!!
My Faithful Readers, do you remember how I asked you for a favor last week?

Okay, cool…I need you to forget that I did that, because – surprise, surprise – I need another favor.

Well, technically, I don’t need a favor. It’s actually my cat and the shelter that she called home before she moved in with us (to employ me as her butler) that are in need of the favor.

Honey’s previous home, the Gifford Cat Shelter, is currently in the midst of their annual Cutest Pet Contest and, as you may recall from last week’s post, I’ve entered Honey into the mix to see if she can out-cute a slew of other pets.

She’s off to a very strong start, but I’d like to see her blow the (insanely cute) competition out of the water and help raise some serious coin for the folks at Gifford.

In the interest of providing a bit of background before you go tossing money to strangers, I figured you should know that the Gifford Cat Shelter is the oldest cageless, no-kill cat shelter in the United States. Yes, you read that right. Not the oldest in Boston. Not the oldest in Massachusetts. Not the oldest in New England. Not the oldest in places that view chowder as a legitimate food group. The oldest in the entire freakin’ country.

Needless to say, they’ve been at this for a little while now.

One of the reasons that Gifford has been able to stay open and operating as long as they have is due to the donations of their wonderful supporters and now each and every one of you has a shot to join that club of very awesome people. You can do so by voting for Honey (or any of the other fantastic felines) in the Cutest Pet Contest.

Each vote costs one dollar and you can vote as few or as many times as you’d like (and/or can afford). So whether you received a big ole tax return and it’s burning a hole in your pocket or if you’ve just got a couple of bucks in change in the cup-holder of your Nissan Sentra, it’s all welcome and very much appreciated.

That’s right folks, not only do you have the chance to inflate my cat’s already ballooning ego, but you get to contribute to a great cause as well. That’s what the management books call a win-win. Toss in the fact that you’ll feel pretty good as a result and you’re looking at the oft-elusive win-win-win scenario. That’s the good stuff, y’all.

I’ve included step-by-step instructions for the voting process as it can be just a wee-bit confusing about where/when/how to enter the name of the pet you’re voting for in the contest.

I want to go ahead and say thank you in advance (from myself, the Gifford Shelter, and – especially – Honey) to anyone who is considering giving a donation.

Gifford Cat Shelter

Cutest Pet Contest Voting Instructions

Step One

Visit the Cutest Pet Contest website to vote.

The page can be found (and shared) at http://tinyurl.com/Gifford-Cutest-Pet-2014.

Step Two

Look at all of the pretty kitties!! Seriously, look at ‘em!! How freakin’ adorable are these fuzzy little buggers?!

Now choose which cat or cats you intend to vote for in the contest. It’s okay if it’s a hard decision for you.

Step Three

Click on the “Donate” button to vote.

donatebutton

Note: be sure that you’re clicking on the “Donate” button in the middle of the page, as it is directly linked to the contest. The “Donate” button in the upper right-hand corner is for general donations to the shelter (which are also a-okay, but not for our current ballot box stuffing purposes).

notthisdonatebutton

Step Four

Now you’re on the Paypal login page. From here you can enter the amount you want to donate (remember $1 = 1 vote) and sign in via Paypal to pay.

donationpage-enteramount

Note: If you don’t have Paypal or you’d prefer to pay with a credit card, you can do that by clicking the credit card option near the bottom left-hand side of the page. You’ll still fill in the amount at the top of the page and then you’ll submit your credit card information on the next page.

paybycreditcard

Step Five

This one is important; this is where you enter which cat your votes are backing. On the review donation page, under the amount you’re donating, you’ll see a link that reads “Add special instructions to the seller.” Click this link to open up a dialogue box.

opennote

Step Six

Enter the name of the cat who is receiving your vote(s). If you don’t fill this in, the votes won’t go to any of the cats. Even if you don’t vote for Honey, make sure you put a name in this box. I mean, honestly, do you want a dozen sad, unfunded cats haunting your dreams? I think not.

fillinthebox

Step Seven

Click the yellow “Donate $” button at the bottom of the page to complete the donation.

confirm

Step Eight

Shortly after you’ve submitted the donation, you’ll get the confirmation screen (and a confirmation email) and you’re done!

confirmationscreen

At this point you should feel free to pat yourself on the back. You’ve donated to a fantastic cause and – assuming Honey received your vote – you’ve made my cat’s day.

All-in-all, I’d call that a win.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 7, 2014

I MUST HAVE IT!!

I MUST HAVE IT!!

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 5, 2014

Crowdsourcing: Cutest Pet Contest

Honey!!

My Faithful Readers, I need your help.

I’m looking to enter Honey in the annual “Cutest Pet Contest” at the Gifford Cat Shelter – the same place where we adopted Honey – but I’m not sure which photo to use, so I’ve decided to go the crowdsourcing route.

I’ve gone through my (vast) archives and selected what I consider to be her sixteen best photos and put them all in one Facebook photo album. This is where all y’all come into the picture. In order to help me select which photo to enter into the contest, I’m going to base it on your input.

I need you to do two small things for me:

1) Go to the Facebook photo album.
2) “Like” the photos you dig the most.

That’s it.

I’ll enter the photo with the most “likes” into the contest and – undoubtedly – dominate the whole thing.

The contest runs for the month of February, so I’m already burning valuable voting time, so I’ll take whichever photo is the leader by the end of the day Friday, February 7, and enter that one into the contest.

Help me decide, y’all!!

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 3, 2014

Viral Video: Britney’s Wardrobe Malfunction

well...this is awkward

My Twitter feed has been blowing up throughout much of the last 24 hours or so with reference to Britney Spears’ recent “wardrobe malfunction” during a show as part of her residency in Las Vegas.

Naturally, as someone who was a wee-bit obsessed with Ms. Spears back in the early aughts, I had to investigate to see what all of the hype was about.

This is what I found:

 

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?!

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering what the hell constitutes a “wardrobe malfunction” anymore.

When Janet Jackson had her infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl there was some legit, PG-13 stuff going on there.

In this particular instance, we saw Britney’s back. She’s worn plenty of outfits far more revealing than that particular getup even with the “wardrobe malfunction” factored in.

Somewhere 17-year-old me is probably really disappointed about the rather tame nature of this incident.

Meanwhile, 30-year-old me remains largely apathetic about Britney Spears as a whole, although 30-year-old me does appreciate the blog fodder (yet again)…so there’s that.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 2, 2014

30(ish) Random Facts

HOLY BALLS I'M 30!!!

My Faithful Readers, I have failed you.

I intended to do some sort of countdown to my 30th birthday, playing off the “Five Good Years” post I wrote back in 2008. I also intended to post something on my birthday regaling you all with stories of what I’ve learned in my 30 years on this earth. I even intended to really get this blog up and running again with regular postings.

Clearly, none of those things happened.

Despite my best intentions, I’ve done a pretty crappy job of making writing the priority it deserves to be in my life over the last year and change. I’m hoping to right the ship in 2014, but that will likely prove easier said than done.

In the meantime—in lieu of any real writing—I’ve compiled a list of 30(ish) random facts about me now that I’m 30.

Full disclosure, I started writing this list over Thanksgiving weekend. Naturally, some of the things are a bit dated. Some were written after a few beers. Some were written when I was angry or sad or whatever. It may read a bit disjointed, but I think that pretty accurately describes where I’ve been at for a while now, so here it be in all of its random, rambling glory:

I am pretty much the worst video gamer in the world. I really like the idea of being a gamer, but I generally get distracted or busy with something else and only end up playing video games maybe half-a-dozen times or so a year. When I do play – especially if it’s a sports game – I spend hours manually updating all of the rosters before I ever actually play the game at all. Tangentially-related, I just recently finished the first season of my franchise on Madden ’04. It’s taken me roughly a decade to complete one season and the playoffs, but I won the Super Bowl. So there’s that.

I like my cat more than I like 91+% of the people in my life.

I legitimately contemplate the merits of quitting my job at least once a week, every week. Not because I don’t like my job, but because of the time and energy I put into it and the fear that I’ll end up doing it for the next forty years, only to regret not trying something I loved in lieu of something that I liked and happened to be good at instead.

I like deer jerky more than I like beef jerky. I think bacon jerky tastes like death; wet, soggy, dirty-sock-water-flavored death. Yep.
Pictured: My girlfriend if I had moved to NYC.
In addition to Minnesota State University, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa; I also applied to New York University as a senior in high school. This was when I still had high hopes of being some sort of writer or – quite briefly – a comedic actor and I assumed that living in New York would pretty much ensure my success. Also, I really liked Friends and wanted that kind of life (read: making out with Jennifer Aniston in between cups of coffee and never, EVER going to work…also, rent control!) and everyone knows that kind of life is automatically bestowed upon anyone who packs up and moves to New York City.

I ultimately ended up at Minnesota State where I earned a relatively unused degree in journalism (note: it’s still in mint condition, I’ll sell it to you for half the original price) and some minors in creative writing and communications.

I once asked my parents for “a little sister” as a Christmas present. In hindsight, that was a pretty ludicrous request. I believe I got a calculator and some white tube socks instead. This was a solid response on their part.

I’m not crazy tall or anything, but I am tall. As a result, I’d say I bash my head on something (ie: low doorway, low-hanging lights, droopy tree branches, etc.) at least three times a week. I’m basically a walking PSA for concussion awareness.

I once paid for a single Laffy Taffy with a credit card at a gas station.

I am more broke now – as a “legitimate professional” – than I was at any point in college or while working as support staff for the better part of the last decade. I am absolutely mystified by this phenomenon. The internet implies that this is probably Barack Obama’s fault.

I have never made it through Ken Burns’ documentary “Baseball” without crying at least a little bit. Not once. I’ve seen the series a bunch of times now and it always seems to vary when I’ll breakdown, but it’s guaranteed to happen.

I once ate five McRibs in one sitting. I felt tingly for hours afterward. Oddly enough, it was the same way I felt tingly when I was gobbling Vicodin every four hours after my lung surgery back in college.

I am still secretly holding out hope that some network will swoop in and save Happy Endings from cancellation. I hold this hope despite the fact that the show has been off the air for the better part of a year and most of the cast and crew have moved on to new jobs.

I keep a baseball on my desk at home and at work. It’s like a stress ball, but without the squish-factor.

I owned a Furby as a kid. It died within roughly a week. We sent it in for a replacement, but it was never the same. I think they have souls and I never really connected with the replacement Furby in the same way that I did the original. This saddens me.

True Fact: A Furby will spend 83% of its lifetime thinking fondly of cold-blooded murder.

True Fact: A Furby will spend 83% of its lifetime thinking fondly of cold-blooded murder.

I always want to be a better version of me. I will never be the version of me that I want to be. This also saddens me.

I’ve noticed that ever since we moved into our new apartment and put the litter box in the bathroom – as required in our lease – Honey and I seem to be on the same potty schedule. There’s been a lot of uncomfortable mid-poo eye contact.

I am a horrendous public speaker. When I was young, I won awards and a scholarship based on my public speaking skills. I’m not sure what the hell happened to me. I blame rock-n-roll music and violent video games.

I think I disappointed a lot of athletic coaches growing up. They’d often say “you’re going to be a monster when you fill out” and I get that. I’ve got a big frame and with some legit muscle, I’d be a pretty big dude. The problem is, I’m now 30 and still have the body of an anorexic 13-year-old Swedish ice dancer. I think I’m as “filled out” as I’m ever gonna get. My apologies to every coach ever.

I’ve never been a fan of caramel corn. Also, I pronounce it car-mul not care-uh-mul. Now you know.

I obsess over the number of Twitter followers I have, this despite the fact that asinine ramblings like these are all I provide, thus severely limiting any potential for building a large audience.

I often think that if I’d been more focused or tried just a little bit harder at the whole baseball writing thing, I could be Aaron Gleeman right now. (Blogger’s Note: Gleeman writes plenty of great, thoughtful non-baseball stuff too. Read it or you’re a square…people are still worried about being squares, right?!)

I care way more about people thinking that I’m funny than I do about people thinking I’m smart.

I’ve got an odd OCD(ish) affliction when it comes to toilets. I’d tell you more, but I’m busy scrubbing bleach on our toilet with a toothbrush right now.

I want to win the lottery very, very badly…but I have literally no idea what I’d do with that kind of financial freedom. Pay off student loans, buy a nice house, maybe get a few new ties, upgrade Honey to a fancier clumping litter, and start turning up the heat in the winter like a total boss?! Beyond that, I really don’t know. Maybe try to get Happy Endings back on the air…is that a thing you can do with loads of cash?!

Seriously, just put this show back on the air!!

Seriously, just put this f’n show back on the air already and no one gets hurt!!

I wanted very, very badly to get two cats instead of just one when we adopted Honey. I wanted to do this for two reasons: 1) so that a single cat wouldn’t be lonely while Grace and I were at work or out enjoying our bubbling social lives and 2) so that I could name them Turk and JD.

I don’t like leftovers. There is no legitimate reason for it, but I think it stems from when I was a kid and my family was pretty strapped for cash. Leftovers were mandatory, not an “if you’re feeling lazy” kind of option. I think subconsciously, I prefer not to think of things that way so I opt for new food whenever possible to avoid any lingering “we wuz poor folks” kinda feelings. I’m making it a point to eat more old and decomposing food leftovers in 2014.

I am completely obsessed with animated GIFs. I assume it’s because I’m turning into more and more of an online presence than I am a real human as I age and I find they are a palatable way to emote.

I’ve never beaten a single level of any “Grand Theft Auto” game. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever even tried. I generally just run around stealing cars, getting in gang fights, and avoiding the police. I assume this is because it’s as close as I’ll ever get to being a bad-ass in real life.

I use the same password for everything. It is “b00g3rbutt2002.”

I lie about my passwords to the internet.

I have over 500 Christmas cards. I buy them almost every year after the holidays when they’re on sale and I think to myself, “…next year I’m gonna be all over this. I’ll send out cards to everyone! I’ll get ‘em out over Thanksgiving weekend and it’ll be fantastic!!” Inevitably, I spend Thanksgiving weekend watching football, drinking beer, and giggling at cat videos online. I then realize that it’s December 22nd and I haven’t even thought about the cards since I purchased them and it’s too late to send ‘em. This has happened to me every year for the last half-decade.

I currently have 14 beers in my fridge and 14 Starbucks Doubleshots in my fridge. I’m oddly tempted to alternate them one after another until they’re all gone, just to see what would happen. Although I fear that experiments like that are how supervillains are created.

I’ve had a recurring dream for nearly two years now in which Honey is the size of a full-grown lion and she allows me to ride her around town in lieu of taking public transportation. In real life, there would be zero survivors if Honey were lion-sized. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Dead. Every last one of us. She can be quite cantankerous.

I’m probably going to outlive a lot of people who are way healthier than I am and I believe it’ll piss them off something fierce. If they choose to haunt me after their untimely passing while I’m gorging on cheeseburgers and churros, I’ll be miffed, but I’ll totally understand where they’re coming from.

I have watched the “PowerThirst” video on YouTube roughly 32,000 times since 2007. I don’t believe this is an exaggeration.

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that for nearly a year, I thought that “burning CDs” legitimately meant that people were burning CDs, like, putting a CD in a fire. I have no idea why I thought this, but I did. I was absolutely flabbergasted that people would pay $15-20 for a CD and then turn around and set the sucker on fire. It’s possible that I do not understand context clues. There may be a link between this and the “banging my head all the goddamn time” factoid from earlier in this post.

I once made parmesan-crusted chicken breasts and pasta for a romantic dinner Grace and I were having in college. The very next day, I burned the noodles for Mac and Cheese…twice. I am a cooking enigma.

I had my first legitimate celebrity crush on Leah Remini after she played “Stacey Carosi” on Saved by the Bell during the gang’s summer at the beach. I typed a lengthy letter professing my undying love on an old typewriter in hopes that it would win her over and we could would live happily ever after. I threw it away after I realized her address wasn’t in the phone book. Granted, I was looking for Stacey Carosi and not Leah Remini…not that either name figured to show up in the O’Brien County, Iowa yellow pages.

I believe my greatest fear is failure, more specifically, public failure. Or maybe squishy toilet seats…or wind chimes…or maybe hornets…or really all flying things; especially birds. Yeah, fuck birds.

I still have a second-generation iPod shuffle that was brand-spanking new in 2006. It holds all of my Taylor Swift and Glee cover songs with aplomb.

I have, on occasion, wondered what my life would be like if I hadn’t made the decision to move to Boston with Grace in 2006. The fine folks at Formal Sweatpants have been kind enough to answer that question for me with this comic strip:

Life without Grace

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