Monday, December 28, 2009

Holiday Thoughts

They say that the holidays are a time for food, family, and hating the holidays. I don’t know who 'they' are, but I suspect 'they' are some of the same people who celebrate Christmas Eve with push-up contests.

When I was a sophomore in college, I wrote an essay about how Coca-Cola killed Jesus.

I’m not big on gifts, but when I do give something, you can be sure that it’ll have quantifiable educational value. That’s why this year I got my 2-year-old nephew a toy Hummer that plays “U Can’t Touch This.”

I wonder if Hammer celebrates Can’t-touch-mas.

For those of you studying for the Miller Analogies Test, know that peas are to Shawn Kemp as corn is to Gary Payton.

My mom triggered a 2-hour discussion about binary oppositions when she asked me who my favorite superhero was. Mom, you should know better.

A lot of these holidays happen every year. I think we would be better off celebrating these days once every four years. Madonna would probably disagree, but she probably doesn’t even like the Olympics.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Snuggie Hate Explained

A recent study shows that animosity toward the Snuggie is up nearly 7000 percent from three minutes ago. It’s even bumped religion and sports out of the number one and two spots of things not to bring up at the dinner table. So what’s the deal? Why do we hate on the Snuggie?
  • We hate because we’re jealous. We want to be a Snuggie, but we can’t, so we hate. We did the same thing with 2Pac.

  • We hate because we don’t understand. The Snuggie is the Interweb of this generation--we can’t even begin to comprehend how it will change the way we communicate, conduct business, or get our music.

  • We hate because we like to dislike whatever the current decade will be remembered for. Hence, we hate on the Snuggie whenever we aren’t hating on skinny jeans, auto-tune, chicken, or hair cuts.

  • We hate because we aren’t happy with Obama. Maybe he should stop wearing the Snuggie.
Now, if learning has taught me anything, it’s that we need to embrace some stuff. And the Snuggie is one of those stuffs. Plus, unisex fashion that encourages lots of couch time is very U.S. of A. Still wanna hate? Fine, be inpatriotic.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time Management for Dumbies

Have you ever missed your morning train because you stayed up really late to finish a book on time management? I have. So trust me when I tell you that the secret of effective time management is having stuff to do. Once you have stuff to do, you can plan out your day by creating a timetable. For example, here is what my tomorrow looks like.

    9:50 am: wake up in panic over whether I can still get Hotcakes

    9:51 am: nap

    11:00 am: watch Max & Ruby while monitoring Facebook for paranormal activities

    12:00 Noon: eat breakfast

    12:15 pm: shower

    12:17 pm: affirm self through self-affirmations

    1:17 pm: drive to work/eat

    2:00 pm: hustle dairy products/eat x 6

    11:30 pm: hit playground

    12:30 am: approve ten-dollar deals from my jPhone/eat

    1:00 am: mindstorm ideas like “Mini Bagel Bites” and “Bagel Bites, Now 25% Bigger!”

    2:00 am: ghostwrite Too $hort proverbs

    3:00 am: eat/eat

    3:67 am: fall asleep promising self tomorrow is the day for Hotcakes

If your day isn’t organized like this, I suggest you miss a train.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Univercell Upgrade

I got a new phone this week. It was like buying a pair of jeans but twice as hard and reversed. Finding the right jeans is hard because there are buku options. Finding the right cell phone is hard because they only make them for business types and 12-year-old girls. So, unless you happen to be an iPerson, you’re stuck choosing between a device that looks like a cracked-out calculator that invited too many buttons to the party and accidentally shrunk itself with the company ray gun or the cutesy neon square thing that Hello Kitty uses to stay in touch with Goodbye Mouse.

I went with a knockoff iPhone. I call it my jPhone.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Life Code

Livin’ the dream. Livin’ large. Livin’ and let livin’. These are the responses I give to those who ask how I am. But what do these phrases really mean? Are they just empty words? Conversation filler? Arbitrary vowels surrounding by lots of Ls and apostrophes? No, no, and maybe. But on the serious tip, when I say these things, I’m communicating my life code. Let me break it down for you.

  • Livin’ the dream. If I don’t live the dream, the dream lives me. If this happens, I might as well forget my dream of taking over the family dream catcher business.

  • Livin’ large. It’s the only way. Large is the new moderate. Forget the Greeks. I live in a world ruled by Hip hop and Starbucks, not right triangles and reason.

  • Livin’ and let livin’, aka the Goldenrod Rule. I treat others like their endings mean something, not as robots.

These ideas have helped me through the most challenging of times. Give them a shot.

Soon to be available on shower curtains.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Power of Theo

TheosoFest was a bit different than I expected. Get this. It was NOT a celebration of Theo Huxtable. Apparently, Theo is not short for Theoso. Still, despite the initial disappointment, I had an awesome time.

I started out my day at the Fest by attending a lecture on magic. And since I'm pretty smart, I know that the talk itself was a demonstration of magic. The speaker's use of terms like “astral” and “ethereal” to silicate oohs and aahs from the audience totally gave it away. I mean, that’s like, straight black magic. Trust me, I went to a high school in a suburb that had two Hot Topics.

After the lecture, I visited booths filled with healing crystal vendors, New Age chiropractors, and representatives from the religion of the Light and Sound of God. I wanted to get a toe reading, but the line was toe long. Instead, I got a psychic reading from a chain smoker named Linda. According to Linda, I’m an old-souled silent warrior who fought along side the Native Americans in many great battles and my life will really come together in 2014 once I’ve completed an online degree in spiritual facilitation. I know, she's good.

Once Linda and I returned to our respective realities, I almost drowned in a whirlpool of COEXIST stickers and Madame Blavatsky shrines. I didn’t drown though, because I two-wayed my spirit animal—a flying version of Grimace from McDonaldland—and he rescued me.

Grimace needed to refuel, so I fed him some plastic Indian food before piggybacking a flight to the most anticipated event of the Fest, the presentation “Bees: Why Are They Leaving? What Does It Mean?” Unfortunately, this presentation didn't have anything to do with the fate of the Wu-Tang Clan. That’s okay though, because the guy sitting next to me was a medium, and he channeled Malcolm-Jamal Warner’s future great grandchild—who then signed my 8 x 10 glossy of Theo with a zero energy Sharpie. Nice guy too, he only charged me 26 bucks. Oddly enough, that’s all the cash I had left.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

i jus wanna b, i jus wanna b success-filled

With my 10-year high school reunion coming up in less than two weeks, I’m beginning to question this whole idea of success. What is it? Can I buy it online? And most importantly, does it come in periwinkle?

Yes, I’ll admit it, I’m a little concerned with how I’ll measure up to people I never cared for, got along with, and haven’t seen or talked to in a decade. I mean, don’t get it twisted, I think I’ve already lived a pretty full life. At 28 years young, I’ve held the Northern Illinois University Department of Communication Graduate Teaching Assistant NBA Jam Championship title, tried exotic foods like spinach, and posted “life is good” as my Facebook status. But I feel something is missing. Even my LinkedIn profile is only 90% complete.

So the challenge presents itself: How do I appear 100% for my reunion?

Here’s my plan. First, I’m going to merge two of the most popular schools of thought on life, the “Live, Love, Laugh” school and the “Love to Live Life” school. Once I’ve created this new life philosophy (a la Jeet Kune Do), I’ll self-publish it as an e-manual and skim a chapter each night before bed. Then, I’ll wake up really early to meet up with my MADE coach so we can decide what size long sleeve shirt I should get before we submit my late registration to the Rat Race. I’ll probably pick up a Nike + iPod as well.

That’s phase one. That’s the easy part. Phase two will consist of the difficult stuff: business cards and women. I’m not sure exactly what card design I’m gonna go with, but the current front-runner is a shrunken version of my vision board (“Meta Physics” in platinum on a jet black background with “Model-Millionaire-Movie Star” underneath).

As for the better/worse halves, I’ll be sending out a casting call on Twitter. This will be a great opportunity for a few lucky ladies to play my wife, my ex-wife, my second baby’s mama, and my current mistress. And please, don’t be offended if I ask you to audition for another role because you’re clearly more ex-wife than you are second baby’s mama.

Well, seeing that I don't have much time to do all this, I better get started the day after tomorrow. Hopefully, by September 19, I’ll be able to proudly introduce myself as “Meta Physics, now 10% better.” Won't nobody beat that with a stick a gum.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Butterfly in the Sky (A Memorial Rap for Reading Rainbow)"

I'm sure you've heard the devastating news. Reading Rainbow has been canceled after a 26-year run. If you're anything like me, this show helped learn you not hate books as much. Anyway, I just got off the iPhone with Jay and, over our tears, we co-wrote "Butterfly in the Sky (A Memorial Rap for Reading Rainbow)." Check it out.

La da da da, hey hey hey, goodbye

Only author to rewrite history with a robot dolphin pen
Time for the greatest story of all stories to begin
Howard Zinn, Howard Zinn

This is anti-colorful stuff, death of the Rainbo
This ain’t for libraries, this ain’t for the book sto
This is Seal at the Garden, scarred for-ev-oh
This morning I’m in mourning
I know it sounds corny but
All I wanna do is take a look in a book
Those who canceled the show be straight crooked crooks
I know we facing a forward recession
But the loss of this homie just make me depressed, maaaan
The downfall of lit apprecia-shaaan
How much will these kidz hafta face, maaaan?
This writer gets reminiscent
The death of double R, I already miss it
The rainbow gone, who done killed it?
The love for books suffers, now let’s rebuild it
We all need hugz, that’s what the deal iz
So put the book down and take time to feel it
My heart is the beat of this beating
Damn it feels good to rap about reading
I’ll return to the book one day again
But I guess I’ll have to watch Nick Jr. 'til then

La da da da, hey hey hey, goodbye

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Experimental Job Tip: Downplay Yourself

After attending a series of career and networking events (such as this one), I've decided to try something different with my resume. Instead of highlighting stuff like accomplishments and details, I'm going to downplay myself. Because let's face it, the real reasons I'm not finding high-paying, benefit-rich, ultra-satisfying, flexible work are that (a) my celebrity status attracts unwanted attention at prospective employers, and (b) I'm dangerously overqualified.

Below is a draft of my downplayed resume. Do I still come off as too amazing? Let me know what you think. It's hard to downplay yourself when you're me.

Meta Physics
413 North Evanston Avenue, PO Box 10, Planet Earth

Objective: Employment

Skills: Proficient use of 3-hole punch, click pens, and one-sided tape

More Skills
  • reading abilities
  • strong spellor and grammerician
  • excellent attendance, punctuational
  • telephone communication experience
  • proven bullet pointer

Work History
Inventor, BestDateEvar (2009-Present)
Tutor, Wu-Tang Learning Center (1997-2003)
Birthday Party Attender (1985-1992)
Dinosaur Farmer (seasonal)

Discount of Arts (expected 2012), Eddie's Online University Outlet
  • Major: Calendar Studies
  • Minor: Medicinal Living
  • Activities: Treasurer, Anti-Family Movement; Cardmaster, Diners Club

Computer Training: on/off, electronic mails, space bar, HMO

Hobbies: treasure hunting, telescoping

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dream Girl

The other night I had this amazing dream. In it, I was taking an online quiz to determine what type of online quiz-maker I was. Then I had another dream. This one was about a girl. When I woke up that afternoon, I hopped online. Because you know what they say: if it happens or exists in a dream, then robot dolphin can think it.

Maaaaan, you should have seen this girl. But you can’t. Because it was my dream. And unless we crossover-link dream world memory drives, that’s not gonna happen. So, since you can’t see her, I’ll describe her.

Okay, here we go. She likes to have fun and live life. Her job and family are important to her. She is looking for that someone special. Her ideal mate is compatible. She doesn’t like games. Um, what else? Like me, her interests include conversation and she’s never been married. She doesn’t have any pets but likes birds. Her favorite hot spots include a mix of college Spring Break destinations and shopping. And oh yeah, I almost forgot, her attitude toward online dating is something along the line of “I can’t believe I’m doing this!” I mean, really, she just wants to see what happens.

Now, you may be thinking that this girl sounds like every other girl--but that’s where you’re wrong. This girl possesses a unique quality nobody else has. Something that separates her from all the other girls in Dream Land. Something that makes her irresistible. This girl likes to listen to music, watch movies, and hang out with her friends.

Please let me know if you see this girl in your dream or in your robot dolphin’s thought bubble. And try to get her number for me. Thanks in advance.

Dream Girl, if you’re reading this, I’ve secured a Visa for you. Come join me in the waking world and let’s see what happens! My Maxwell records await.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freaky Friday: My Mom Likes OutKast

The other day I had the car radio dial set to NPR. I was listening to the story of the first black quarterback in the NFL. My mom turned to me and asked, “What is this?”

It was obvious she didn’t care for my listening selection. “It’s public radio, Ma.” I said this in my most grown-up-do-your-homework-turn-that-TV-down-and-eat-your-vegetables voice.

Since I wasn't too invested in the program, I started to scan other stations. After all, it was her birthday. “Oh, I like this song!” my mom said. And for the next three minutes, she bopped her head and slapped her thigh to OutKast’s ‘Hey Ya!'

Have the roles of mother and son been reversed? Is my mom cooler than me?

I like public radio. She likes Andre 3000. I have a beat-up Samsung flip phone. She has a sleek touch screen device. She goes out with “the girls.” I go out “to work.” I think it’s only a matter of time before I stumble across her reality TV gossip blog. Just this morning she sent out a mass text of her predictions for this season's ABDC. Looks like I’ll be joining the “what your kid is really up to” parenting group on Facebook sooner than I thought.

That's okay. Next year, for her present, I'll be making a donation to NPR in her name.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Hiker's Rough Draft to the Galaxy

This weekend I went hiking at Starved Rock State Park. We got lost on the way there. This totally makes sense because Starved Rock sounds like a really skinny rock, which probably makes it hard to see.

Immersing myself into nature changed my life. I got to experience things that only happen in the wild. I laughed at an abandoned recliner in the Illinois River. I became friends with a fish named Roger. I smeared mud on my face to signify my regression into noble savagehood. I karate-chopped a waterfall. And I vandalized a bridge by writing “vandalizm not permitted” on it.

While I was busy challenging the limitations of the human spirit, Marj (my hiking partner) was busy tumbling down the side of a jagged canyon. “Golly,” I said under my breath. “Maybe I should start taking this time as a serious opportunity to learn more about myself.”

And that’s exactly what I did. Marj cleaned up her wounds with a mapkin (*1) and I began a hardcore soul search. I searched, and searched, and searched, but to no avail, I returned to civilization still unable to understand Tyler Perry movies.

*map-kin (n.)
1: a wet map used as a napkin.
2: a map drawn on a cloth or towel.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Anti-Family Movement

Due to the overwhelming support I’ve received in response to The Family Deception, I’ve decided to start the Anti-Family Movement.

As previously discussed, families are granted all types of privileges. This is not only dangerous (notice the "lies" in family), it is also unjust. Established groups have organizations that advocate for their rights. Family rights. Gay rights. Warrior rights. That’s cool and all, but where does this leave non-gays, non-warriors, and non-gay warriors?

This is where the Anti-Family Movement comes in. We fight for:
  • Logical tax breaks. Parents can claim dependents because they have children. That’s fine, but family-sized refunds should be issued to those without kids.

  • Tighter airport security. Families get to go through a special security line. This is almost right. But it needs to be “on ice.”

  • Improved public health. If you arrive in public with more than 3 blood relatives, you should pay a toll for sidewalk damage and space pollution.

  • New rules of the road. Drivers without family passengers should have higher speed limits and the right to flying cars.

  • Fair access to smaller, cheaper (and often better) meals. Maybe I don’t want a steak. Maybe I want four taco nuggets, a grape juice box, and an applesauce cup.

Please support the Anti-Family Movement by wearing a button, designing a float for the upcoming parade, or taking interest in summer work for students that pays $1500 a month.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why I Blog

Blogosphere custom dictates that bloggers explain why they blog. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

I blog because:
  1. I want to find “my voice.” I don’t know where it might be or what it might sound like, but I am determined to find it. I’ve even been putting out ‘missed connections’ in the Chicago Reader. “You: sound like me but have no body. Me: guy who enjoys Keith Sweat jokes. Nooo-baaaaah-dee.”

  2. It's therapeutic. Between the death of auto-tune and finding out that Gucci don’t love me, it’s been a rough year. Blogging about the start of my nonprofit escort service and informing the public that children control our minds helps me in these times of despair.

  3. Something about self-reflection. Vampires can’t see their reflection—and I’m not a vampire.

There it is. Three good reasons why I blog. If you don’t blog, you should. It would be a shame if I accidentally shanked you in the heart with a sharp piece of wood.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Become a Warrior

For the past 3 months, I’ve been training for the Warrior Dash, a 6K obstacle course which will have me swimming through mud pits, scrambling over mangled cars, and leaping over fire. But training to become a warrior has required more than just preparing to complete dangerously awesome physical feats. I've also been living by the Warrior Code of Honor. Here is a list of things you can do if you hope to one day become a warrior like me:
  • Crawl up hills. If it’s one you’ve crawled before, try to beat your previous time. If for some reason you can’t crawl up the hill (like if you’re on your way to a job interview where you need to be especially clean), you should at least predict how fast you could crawl up it.

  • Visualize often. Like a lot. Suck at visualization? No prob. Visualize about visualizing (also known as meta-visualization).

  • Take risks when you play softball. Run fast and slide hard. A 9-inning game should result in at least 3 bloody wounds on your own body.

  • Climb ropes. Ropes are like hills, except it’s more difficult to run up a rope. Be careful to use proper hand protection if sliding down a rope. Rope burn is embarrassing (but on the plus slide, it allows you to make up badass stories about how you beat up a tiger shark after it repeatedly made passes at a lady who wasn’t interested).

  • Get a Mohawk. Having one is the equivalent of sliding into every base just because you can. True warriors give themselves Mohawks by lining their heads with medical tape so they don’t shave the wrong parts.

  • Eat salmon for breakfast and yogurt at least twice a day. On the warrior diet, three veggie dogs equal one serving.

  • Train like your ancestors. Warriors don’t life weights at the gym—they use playgrounds to build natural upper body strength.

  • Blog. Great warriors keep the warrior spirit alive by blogging about warrior tradition and lifestyle. They also name their blogs after things that 6-year-old girls like.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Family Deception--aka The Truth

Kids. Wow. They're really coming out this summer. Seems like more now than ever. But while kids may look cute, these pint-sized people are not all toys and stickers. Kids need to be fed and taken care of. They are like really expensive pets--but that's nothing compared to their true deceptive nature.

Let me lay it out for you. With kids usually come parents, and that's were the problem begins. Overcrowded roads. Overcrowded schools. An overcrowded planet. These are all the result of people imitating what they see on the Discovery Channel.

Do you know who's behind the Discovery Channel? The Family Party--the original political machine. The Family Party controls all the major media outlets in the world. They even control the New World Order. Don't believe me? Check the Internet. The facts don't lie--and somebody's been lying.

Do you think it's a coincidence that families get all these breaks? Tax breaks. Cheaper admission to theme parks. Access to special locker rooms. Do you know what goes on in family locker rooms? Secret meetings. Secret meetings that only families can attend. And the real trip is that the parents are not the ones in charge. The parents are just the foot soldiers and spokespeople for the Family Party. The rulers of the Family Party are the kids. The younger the kid, the higher their power and status in the Original World Order.

If you see a toddler, you do what I do--run. If you see an infant, pretend it's a bear and play dead. The less physical mobility a kid has, the more powerful their mental magic and mind control.

Wake up! You didn't vote for Obama--you voted for his kids.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A History of the Future of Oral Communication

For the past two years, I taught public speaking to college freshman. The official number for the course was COMS 100, but I always referred to it as COMS 1000.

Why COMS 1000? Simply put, this course could not be contained to three place values. Solid speaking requires critical thought, the ability to relate to others, and a mastering of the present. You may be brilliant, but if you can't effectively communicate your ideas, you're finished. On the flip side, if you can communicate effectively, you can help the person with stale ideas and poor communication skills make way more money than you.

Calling the course COMS 1000 communicated significance, value, and a multidimensional theme that allowed me to work in lesson plans on the crucial issues facing young people today. Issues like time travel, reptilian humanoid invasion, the banana crisis, and the controversial hierarchy of Wu-Tang Clan membership.

COMS 1000 was different like that. Other instructors used famous speeches as examples. I used Snuggie infomercials. Other instructors played Barak Obama audio clips. I performed DMX impersonations. Other instructors had their students practice debate. I tried to hypnotize my class.

Though my hypnosis demonstrations always failed, along with my invisibility and levitation attempts, they are moments that I will always keep in my heart. Sometimes, I sit down with a cup of hot tea and reflect on my days as an educator.

Two Thursdays ago, I thought about the time when I wanted to tell my class that an audience is a living organism. Instead, I said, "An audience is a living orgasm." I played this off by telling them, "No, really. Your audience is like an orgasm. You want to keep them really engaged and excited throughout your speech."

Then I thought about the time when I held up three fingers and asked my students to tell me the three criteria for evaluating the credibility of a source. When they answered "authorship," I put my ring finger down. When they answered "sponsorship," I put my index finger down. When this left me giving my class the finger, I attempted to save face by saying, "At least this isn't as bad as my orgasm."

Teaching COMS 1000 was full of rewards. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had to wake up twice a week to teach a class that had only two zeros in its name.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Risky Business

Free wine, fancy cupcakes, and an excuse to dance like a stripper. These are some of the perks I received my first night out as an escort. That's right, escort. As a recent graduate in a tough job market, I've decided to flex some entrepreneurial muscle.

My idea to start an escort organization came in response to a text message I received from a friend in need of a last-minute date to a wedding. She needed help, and this was a great opportunity for me to try my hand at one of those superhero/businessperson mashups I've been reading so much about. And just like that, BestDateEvar, Chicagoland's first nonprofit escort service, was born.

With less than a 24-hour notice, I prepared for the wedding by watching Rocky Balboa twice and asking my 'escortee' what color dress she was going to wear. This is how BestDateEvar is different and better than all those services listed in the Yellow Pages or on craigslist. I bring the eye of the tiger and get the important details almost right.

Though photos may suggest otherwise, I take my role as an escort seriously. Sure, I may have been seven minutes late picking up my date. And sure, I may not have been able to wear my suit jacket because of noticeable pudding stains. But did I park in the 'no parking' zone like I usually do? No way. As a role model and future icon for my community and yours, I can't be doing stuff like that--on the clock.

My escortee said I exceeded her expectations--I think. I can't remember exactly. Drinking eight glasses of wine before sunset, though escort credo, does not guarantee successful memory bank deposits. Regardless, she did post, "You da bomb like tick...tick..." on my Facebook wall.

With my first client in the books, I have high hopes for BestDateEvar. I want to make it one of the premier escort services in the world. And eventually, I want to get the pudding stains removed from my suit.