Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Meathead Moments

Do you remember the first time you saw Revenge of the Nerds? Remember the opening scene where the Alpha Betas are running around like idiots in their fraternity house, partying on the roof, lighting grain alcohol on fire as they shoot it out of their mouth, and stair diving? I remember seeing it and thinking how awful and ridiculous these guys were. A charicature of what the "bad guys" in college are...and then during the Summer break before my senior year in college, my buddy Ian and I were watching the movie again, and we both turn to each other with this epiphany...we had become the Alpha Betas.

During our years in school, we manhandled a couch onto our roof so we could drink up there and heckle anyone that walked by. We accidentally lit the American flag on fire during a party when one of our fraternity brothers lit his spit like a jackass, while we would also routinely light our couches on fire for absolutely no reason. And I was the moron who twice annually would fall down the library stairs with a stack of valuable library books to the cheers of around 40 of my friends congregated in the library lobby beneath. Hell, we even played book tag (you figure it out) in the quiet part of the library basement. I've told you before, I'm not proud of some of the things I've done.

So, here I am, 10 years later (yep, reunion is coming up this year). I've grown up a lot and obviously learned from the errors of my old ways. And this afternoon, I'm driving with my brother, ironically on our way to the gym. We get to the light to turn left off Rockville Pike and as we turn the corner, a rather dorky looking young man in a short sleeved button up shirt and tie, and thick glasses tries to cross the street in front of us, forcing us to slow down and nearly get hit in the back of my brother's car.

And what do we do?

Roll down the window and yell, "NEEERRRRDDDDD!!!!"

Some things never seem to change.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point in my life, I turned my life on autopilot. You can look back at these blogs and I'll even mention it. I get carried from one experience to the next, stuck in a long series of routines that basically control what I do. I never really realized it, or perhaps I just assumed it was normal. I wake up, I go to work, I make it through the day, hitting the speed bumps that come along with it, I go home, and until recently, I call Lisa, I eat dinner, I watch TV, and I go to bed.

Yes, there are a few select adventures that throw themselves in there, but for the most part it's the same. I've always chalked it up to the pressure and hours that I endure at work, shutting down and acting like a robot to deal with the stress. But here it is 6 AM, I've probably only slept about 4 hours off and on all night, and I finally realized it. I've lost my passion.

I watch movies like Click and Serendipity. I read books like A Perfect Day and The Choice. I hear songs by Tim McGraw. The lessons are staring me in the face, and yet I have continued to follow the routines. Maybe you have too. It's safe. It's predictable. It's logical. I am my father's son. The engineer mind, the planner...and I'm miserable.

A change is needed. I want to do what feels right, not what makes sense. I want to put myself out there, not safely hide my feelings for fear of getting hurt. I want to wake up each day, excited for new possibility it holds, not sleepwalking through the normal routines. I want to love again.

Some times you need to hit a low to make these observations. And it's that part of the story when the main character starts taking actions to change. You've read this story for over 3 years, let's see how it turns out.

I may fall flat on my face. I may hurt worse than I have before. But at least I'll have lived and I won't regret what might have been. Carpe diem...right?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is This Football??

So, Friday night rolled around and we were set to play the Fuel Rods in my indoor football league. They've been in and out of the league for the past couple years and they are most notorious for playing dirty and talking ALOT of shit. We already had played them once earlier in the season and I was matched up against a guy they call Skeeza who wears a jersey that says "Presidential" on the back Needless to say, I left that game having been shouldered, elbowed, and verbally abused and we lost by about 20 points.

Fast forward to this past Friday and things are looking to be headed down the same path as members of the Fuel Rods are talking shit in the parking lot before the game even starts. It's only a matter of plays before I receive my first dirty shot from Skeeza, a forearm to my jaw...right where it's cracked and I still have the bump from the repaired bone. A few plays later and he slammed me into the wall after the play was over. I returned the favor by kicking him in the thigh while on the ground and I'm sure my, "Fuck you, you dirty piece of shit" fell on deaf ears as the violence continued as he punched my teammate Shane in the back several times after an interception.

The refs are trying to control the escalating violence with calm words, but bad things are in store. And sure enough, we're up 8-0 late in the first half and they decide to throw our QB to the ground (did I mention this is a flag league). One of our WRs doesn't take too kindly to this and steps towards their lineman with some kind words. I told you these guys played dirty, but this ghetto punk takes it to a new level as he throws a right hook and connects with my teammate's face. A minor skirmish ensues, shit talking is running wild, and we're bordering on a riot. Their guy is ejected, breaks the gate to the field on his exit (which included some colorful words and the stereotypical removal of his jersey) and shit is only gonna get worse from here.

The rest of the game plays out with personal fouls flying left and right (I don't know why they didn't call the game earlier) and the jackass they ejected is hanging by the stands, brooding and seeking revenge. He refuses a hand shake to try and resolve the issue and as we celebrate our win (yep, they were undefeated and we handed them their first loss) it is apparent the violence hasn't ended with the final whistle.

The looks we're getting while we put on our normal shoes and clothes put everyone on guard that it's best we not leave any stragglers behind as we depart. Unfortunately, Shane didn't get the memo. We walk out the door, only to have my brother (who stayed to watch the game with my parents after his game) run out and tell us that Shane has been surrounded by their team inside.

I'm trying to distance myself from the whole fiasco, as I'm not looking to break my jaw again by someone's sucker punch, and it's already hurting after the "legal" sucker punch I received in the game, but both teams shuffle outside and the shit talking hasn't ended.

I get in my car but keep an eye on what's going down. Most of my team has left but Shane and Tio were still around and as Tio is walking to his car, I see the same now-jerseyless thug go running his way.

I'm not sure what's gonna happen so I swing my car around to the area, with the incoherent intent of hitting this punk with my car if need be. Thankfully, nothing has happened yet (probably wouldn't have turned out well if I had done that) but the two are squared up with their hands up, apparently intent on throwing down right there.

I turn on my brights and slam on my horn, hoping to disrupt whatever is being said, and this brings a large group over to the area. Thankfully Tio pulls away and gets into his truck, as Shane is informed by one of the calmer Fuel Rods, that we should probably get out of there since some of them carry guns and he doesn't know what they might do at this point. What the fuck!!??

Everything dies down at this point, I drive home and I realize that Kevin is scheduled to play these guys next week. Didn't I sign up to play football??

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Top 10: Best Action Movies

So, I've been getting a ton of hits and comments on my top Pump Up Songs list, so I figured it's been a while since I did a legitimate (as opposed to comedic) list. So, having just seen Dark Knight on Monday and seeing as this is my 300th post (I know...ridiculous), I bring to you:

Top 10 Best Action Movies
10) Robocop - There's something about revenge that makes a good action flick, and after the early scene of the guys shooting the cop to pieces, I just love it when Robocop starts plucking off the bad guys. Classic action moment: When the truck hits the guy who fell in the toxic waste and he explodes...brutal

9) Terminator 2 - I'm pretty sure this movie broke tons of records at the time it was made with regard to all the carnage involved in it. You can't have an action list without Arnold in it as well. Classic action moment: The semi and the pickup truck chase ending in giant explosions and the semi sliding for like 1/4 mile...awesome.

8) The Bourne Trilogy - I really couldn't pick just one of these flicks, because they're all equally solid in the level of action and ass kicking. It's like a Bond movie without all the gay British people. Classic action moment: I'm partial to the scene in the last movie when Bourne calls the head dude, asks him where he is, and when he says he's in his office, Bourne is like "then we'd be talking face to face"...money lines, necessary to all action.

7) Aliens - Are you kidding me?? This movie just never ends. Action upon action upon action. The scene when the whole army gets anhiliated and all the screens go out...ridiculous. Classic action moment: Sigourney's chillin, everything seems calm, and then, BAM, robot guy's split in half and here comes more action...ups and downs, keeps you guessing.

6) Dark Knight - This movie is exhausting there's so much action. I won't ruin it for any of you that haven't seen it yet...but man, it's a new classic.

5) Matrix - This was another record breaker, this time with the special effects. You can't overlook the impact the bullet angles have had on future action movies. Classic action moment: Where do you start? Gotta say it's the scene when they come to save Morpheus and walk through the security station before blowing the shit out of the place...silly.

4) Die Hard - With this trilogy, there was no problem picking a best...and it's the first. Another action must...one man versus a bunch of bad foreigners. Overcoming adversity, and taking names. Classic action moment: Yippee ki yay, mother fucker!!

3) Braveheart - Revenge and overcoming adversity...in one movie...sounds like a recipe for solid action. Add to that Mel Gibson's desire to show brutality to the utmost, and it's one of the best. Classic action moment: I kind of like the scene where he's on the horse, surrendering, and then swings his mace and smashes the guard's face before kicking some serious ass...that's straight primal!

2) Gladiator - It's like the writers saw Braveheart, took it to Rome, and added some extra ass-kicking scenes and a bigger douche of a bad guy. Works for me. On my signal...unleash hell. Classic action moment: The speech Maximus gives when he is face to face with Commodus again..."I will have my revenge, in this life or the next."...gives me chills every time.

1) 300 - Did you expect anything else? This is my 300th post! 300! Yep, that's a lot of writing. Oh, and this is the greatest action movie ever. I want to fight people after watching it every time. They make a wall out of dead people! Classic action moment: You apparently should not insult a Spartan is his home. When he kicks that messenger in the chest, I wanna stand up and break some shit...THIS IS SPARTA!!!

Go see Dark Knight, and enjoy my 300th post.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

J-Man: Professional Dumpee

So, for those of you that haven't heard, I am once again single. And in my typical fashion, I will choose to deal with the loss in the manner I most often fall back on...humor. You see with this most current breakup, I have now raised my number of times being dumped in a year up to a whopping three for 2008. This has greatly surpassed my previous annual high of one from 1999, and I would assume that this would likely put me at the professional level of being dumped...or shall I say, I am now a professional dumpee.

Some people aren't even lucky enough to have attained three girlfriends (I'm talking at least 10+ dates and intimate knowledge here) in a year, while I have not only achieved this feat, I have been discarded by each of them, and we're just past the Major League All-Star Break. You had to expect it was gonna be a bad year when I got dumped on New Years Day.

Perhaps, now that I've reach 30 years old, I no longer follow along with my past theory that women prefer to date a man that they can change. You see, when you're younger, you're still a work in progress, there's hope you can be molded (right, Amy...I know you still read this ;o) ) but perhaps at 30, I am viewed as a finished piece. And I would imagine I'm a bit more like a Dali than a Rembrandt at this point, and thus all the dumping.

Ha, ha, ha. Funny stuff...but actually, it sucks.

So as your internet blog guru, I feel it only my civic duty as a comedic writer of what passes my mind, to enlighten each of you to some of the warning signs that you're about to get dumped:

Change in the Status Quo
This one is a relatively easy one to pick up, and is usually the first sign indicator. Let's say, you and your girlfriend instant message each other each night, since she moved away and you're trying a long distance relationship. (This is purely hypothetical, of course) Then all of a sudden, you notice she's not online as often. While these facts may be completely innocent in their presence, the underlying problem is starting to bloom. You leave a message on the phone and don't hear back the same day like you used to. Saturday was always date night, but suddenly, other things pop up.

You're probably sitting there at your computer, and you're like...oh crap, J-Man, I too have seen these changes occurring. What shall I do?

And the answer is simple: Start doing weird shit. The status quo is a sense of routine, it's frightening to the other person, they are falling into a duldrom and are lulled into a sense of uneasiness as a result...so here's a few suggestions. Call them on a random night, when they answer, say hello, then say...woops, gotta go take a dump. Hang up and don't call them back. Or, while you're out at dinner, finish your meal very quickly and when you're done, grab their plate and throw it on the floor, stomp on it, and declare yourself the winner while dancing and calling them names. Or lastly, go onto their myspace or facebook (everyone's got this stuff now) and post comments like, "I am gonna chew your ankles tonight" or "Don't forget the mustard."

You see, the confusion and spontaneity of these actions will keep them guessing, the status quo will disappear, and without a pattern to break, the relationship will continue.

The Big Event
It goes without saying, that if a big event is coming up: New Years, Valentine's Day, a big party, night at the theater, you better be on guard. There's something about a large planned event that brings on the breakup bug. Having used this technique myself, it's sort of like, I don't want to ruin this event for them, so I won't say anything about the relationship beforehand. Then, once it's over...it's over. Tale as old as time. It seems, while Hallmark is cashing in on making all these extra worthless holidays, they should really hone in on that last market, the day after holiday sympathy cards for the newly single.

You're probably sitting there at your computer, and you're like...oh crap, J-Man, I got dumped the day after Labor Day. And my sister got dumped right after Martin Luther King Day. What the F? How can we stop this madness?

And the answer is simple: Make up your own Holidays. Everyone needs a Holiday. It's a way to relax and give yourself a break from your normal life...but why should I follow the Holidays set up by Hallmark, or Jesus, or George Washington? Make up your own Holidays. And don't tell your girlfriend/boyfriend when they're coming up. Just wake up one morning and be like...hey Honey, it's Skinned My Knee Day...I honor it to remember one of the days I skinned my knee as a kid (gotta encompass a bunch of days). We need to eat only bacon today and ride a bike everywhere. YEEEAAAHHH!!! If she tries to pull it again the following year, tell her it's only celebrated every other year, years ending in 8, etc. and shake your head in disgust for her not understanding the true meaning of Skinned My Knee Day.

But wait, J-Man, what about the most hallowed of all days...the anniversary? Aren't women always saying they should be treated like every day is their anniversary. Well, turn that shit around on them. Celebrate your anniversary on random days...not only does it eliminate this problem, it'll probably get you laid. Which leads me to the worst of all tell-tale signs you're gonna get dumped.

Kinky Sex
This one I just read about or something...not speaking from experience. But if you just had some crazy, kinky sex...I'm talking massages, bowtied lingerie, body oil, weird vibrating instruments, spanking, anal, or for the prudes...missionary...with the lights ON, you better enjoy it while you can, because you might be playing in the one man orchestra for a while...and you're sitting first chair on the pipe organ.

Perhaps it's a guilt thing, where a woman wants to do something special to hide the fact that they're about to end the relationship, or perhaps they'll do the crazy stuff because they know they'll never see you again. Or maybe they realize they're ending the relationship and won't be getting any for a while, so they act like a squirrel, storing away nuts (pun completely intended) for the long Winter. In either case, it's the most vicious of all backslaps. The calm before the storm. The hot bath before the cold shower. The eye before the tiger.

You're probably sitting there at your computer, and you're like...oh crap, J-Man, I too got dumped after a night of sex so hard, it hurt to pee. What can I do to stop this from happening?

And the answer is simple...stop it??? Are you on crack? Did you just read what I wrote...massages...bow-tied lingerie...body oil...weird vibrating shit...paddling...back door shenanigans...mormons with the lights on!!! Sometimes, you can't stop the inevitable. If she wants to go and she's gonna give you a parting gift of cash and prizes...you take that loot. Yeah, you didn't get to spin the big wheel and compete on the showcase showdown, but you got to come on...down.

Wow...this was probably one of my most offensive blogs to date...no wonder I don't have a girlfriend.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

J-Man gets a maid

It was bound to happen. I had put off the enevitable long enough. Yesterday, for the first time ever, a maid visited my house. You see, after living alone (well, Chloe's here, but she pretty much adds to the mess with all her shedding) for over two years, things had gotten a bit out of hand in the cleanliness department. My stairs were lined with dust balls that resembled small rodents. There's so much mildew in my shower that even the caulking has turned black. And there was probably some burned dried food on the burners in the kitchen that was made back in 2007.

And so, something needed to be done. My friends and family had commented on the untidyness, and my brother took action. He has a maid clean his condo, and since he lives just across the street, he brought her by a couple weeks ago to look at my place to evaluate it for cleaning.
She quoted me $85 to clean the whole house every other week, and without ever speaking or meeting her, a deal was struck and she was scheduled to come by yesterday.

So, of course, at 7 in the morning I'm frantically running around grabbing all my dirty clothes from my bedroom floor and throwing them in the closet, I'm grabbing all the empty beer cans (I know, it's been established...I have a problem) from my basement, and I took the lotion off my nightstand and put it back in the bathroom (errr, my hands get dry with all the chemicals at work). And then I headed off to work.

My brother called me around noon to say that the maid had finished his place and was heading over to start on my house. At 1 PM, my mom stopped by my house to let my dog out, and she was still there. At 5:30 PM, my brother stopped by my house for some reason, but I was still at work...and so was the maid. And then I arrived home at 6:30 PM, and she was still working.

Apparently she underestimated the amount of mess a 30-year old man and a dog can make over the course of two years. When I arrived home, however, the place smelled different. Instead of smelling like food and mildew (not sure how that happened), it smelled like lemons and pine.

The dust film under my living room furniture was gone. So was the food caked into the burners. As were the dust rodents on the stairs heading up to my second floor. And that's where I found Dinora...passed out on the floor. She was dead.

Nah, just kidding. She looked like hell though. Her hair was going in all directions, she was somewhat sweaty, and toting the vacuum out of the spare bedroom. I asked her how it was going, and she explained that she hadn't even gotten to the basement yet. Yep, 6 hours of cleaning and she had still only covered 2/3rds of my house. This confirms it, I definitely needed a maid.

I couldn't bear to have her work any longer, as I felt guilty for keeping her here this long. I gave her a little extra money, as she apparently is not so good on the estimating of time required. And I even thought I had picked up the place a bit. I didn't even pull the old "eat some Oreos before going to the dentist" routine, just to make her earn her keep.

Needless to say, I sit here now with dustfree (and lotion free) night stands. Mirrors in my bathroom I can actually see clearly into. And a refridgerator where I realized that the shelves are actually clear as opposed to translucent. Who knew?

I've sold out, I know. But apparently it was needed. I've got a maid now...just call me Mr. Drummond. (applause)

Now the world don't move, to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you, may not be right for some. A man is born, he's a man of means. Then along come two, they've got nothing but their jeans. But they've got Diff'rent Strokes. It takes Diff'rent Strokes. It takes Diff'rent Strokes to move the world.

Where's that lotion?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Favre from done

This isn't a story about me, as I haven't really been doing anything all that exciting (well, I have, but I don't feel like writing about it). Instead it's just my opinions about one of my favorite things, football.

For those of you that follow sports, the big story over the past 24 hours has been Green Bay Packers' quarterback Brett Favre's announcement that he wants to now come out of retirement to continue playing football.

The issue surrounding this exchange is that the Packers had, in essence, planned to move on and looked to put the team in the hands of new quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and here comes ol' Brett at the 11th hour trying to step back in. So here's the dilemma. Let Favre come back, alienate Rodgers once again (the last few years have had the same questions about retirement lingering) and risk that he'll leave the next chance he gets, thus possibly screwing up the future of the Packers. Or not bring Favre back, risk that all the fans of Green Bay will revolt, especially if Favre does well somewhere else and Rodgers falls on his face.

Definitely a sticky situation for the Packers front office, but here's my opinion. Let Brett Favre go. Yes, Brett Favre is an icon in the Packers organization and yes, he had a great year last year, showing he's still got something left. But the Packers didn't go to the Super Bowl last year. They went to the NFC Championship game. And they played it at home. And they were the favorite to win the game. And they LOST. You couldn't have a better scenario set up for you and yet no championship or even a trip to the Super Bowl. It's time to go a different direction.

Drew Bledsoe was considered one of the better NFL quarterbacks back in the 90s. He took New England to the Super Bowl and always put up good numbers. And then the organization decided that it needed to go a different direction and handed the ball to a guy named Tom Brady. Now, I'm not saying that Aaron Rodgers is gonna be the next Tom Brady, but sometimes letting an aging superstar move on, despite history being on his side, isn't a bad idea.

Last year was Brett Favre's last great chance to be a champion with the Green Bay Packers. The stars will not align so well again, so why not give the Packers and Brett Favre the chance to do something else. Perhaps one of them will be better without the other. Only time will tell.