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  • The best stuff ever! Part one….

    cute cat

    Stuff! Stuff is cool! Stuff is good! Stuff is awesome! Well, maybe not all stuff. But a lot of stuff is cool and awesome and good! And some stuff is cooler and awesome-er and uhhh good-er. Wait, that’s not how you say that! Better! Better! Holy crap better! But I digress. Some stuff is better than other stuff. So what’s the best stuff though? What’s the cream of the crop as far as stuff goes? Well, I’ll tell you darnit! I’ll tell you right now!!!!! Sit down, because sonny boy or girl, you’re about to get schooled with the best stuff ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Coast Yes, the coast! It’s calming, it’s full of salty air, and dangit, it’s just awesome! I love the coast and wouldn’t want to be anywhere that I can’t get to the coast in less than three hours. Seriously. Don’t make me move to Colorado or Texas or Chicago, or Saskatchewan. I ain’t gonna do it! Why? Because the coast! And not just any coast…..the Oregon Coast! Yes, the Oregon coast is the best coast ever. We rule! We have the best sunsets when the clouds cooperate, and dangit, we have pretty pretty rock formations everywhere!

    Heavy Metal Music Come on, whom among you doesn’t love a loud, guitar ridden, heavy metal song! Who doesn’t love AC/DC pumped up to 11? Who doesn’t like Hair Metal? Who doesn’t like ten minute drum solos? Seriously, long live Rock and Roll! I remember at my Grandpa’s retirement party, I had my headphones on. My Grandma’s sister asked me what I was listening to. I said, in the most bad ass, eighth grade voice I could muster, TO HELL WITH THE DEVIL!!! Yeah, yeah, It was Stryper…..Soooooo Bad ass (sarcasm). But I mean, maybe in my adolescent mind, I thought they were girls. Seriously….look at them!!! They look like girls!!!!

    Interestingly enough, the only one that still looks like a girl is the one with the chest hair.
    Interestingly enough, the only one that still looks like a girl is the one with the chest hair.

    Regardless, I still love heavy metal. And I still even like Stryper! Although I like a lot of other bands too! Don’t judge me just because I grew up listening to Christian Rock!!!

    Chai Tea I’m enjoying a pot of it right now!!! Seriously, it’s spicy, it’s smooth, it’s got caffeine, it’s got a hint of sweetness! What the heck is better than chai tea? Especially when served with milk. mmmmmm. I think I’ll go get myself another pot! Seriously. Mmmmmmmm.

    Glasses I think about this all the time – how if I didn’t have my glasses I would be royally screwed! I mean, I would get amazingly bad headaches. I wouldn’t be able to legally drive. That sign 30 feet away? It says exit. How do I know that? Because freaking glasses of course!!!!!!! All hail the mighty glasses! Now, I just wish I could keep mine a bit cleaner. Seriously. There’s always smudges on them. It’s almost impossible to see out of them.

    A good pair of headphones So much of my life was squandered on crappy headphones. And then I woke up! Holy crap, if you’re paying 20 bucks for your headphones, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!! Seriously, there’s no sound coming from those pieces of crimminy! None! Go get yourself some senheisers. NOW!

    Cats If you don’t like cats, you can’t be trusted! That is a scientific fact! And don’t give me that whole allergy excuse – I have allergies to cats too, but it doesn’t stop me from cuddling with my scnookiee wookums! In fact, the only thing that keeps me from snuggling with him is the fact that he hates it and eventually claws me up. Seriously, my arms have so many cat scratch scars on them, it looks like I’ve been doing heroin! But I still snuggle with him! And I’m happy to clean his litter box. I’m happy to feed him when he’s hungry, even if it’s in the middle of the freaking night. Seriously – there’s nothing I won’t do for my master! All hail the cat! All hail the true ruler of the world!

    Seriously - who can say no to this face? I mean, you'd have to be a monster!!!
    Seriously – who can say no to this face? I mean, you’d have to be a monster!!!

    Water Yes, Water. It makes plants grow and it makes me less thirsty. It’s really a miracle thing! But watch out! I hear someone’s been putting chemicals in water! Seriously, some sicko has been putting dihydrogen monoxide in our water! It can be found in dangerous levels all over the world! Seriously, two ounces of this poison can kill you. And yet you can find this chemical in our water! Keep our water chemical free dangit!!!!

    Sharks Ooooo, yes, sharks. Sharks are awesome! Sharks are Awesome! I told you before that sharks are awesome! Why won’t you believe me? Oh, I know….you’re one of those fin eaters, aren’t you? Well guess what? That’s based on freaking psuedoscience and you need to get some science in you STAT! I mean, I do like eating shark tacos. There’s something about eating apex predators that make you feel superior! Bow to me, for I will eat you if you don’t! OK, ok, just kidding – don’t eat the sharks. They’re awesome! Seriously, look at this guy and tell me he isn’t awesome!!!!

    Awwww yeah, the hammerhead is sooooo Awesome!!!
    Awwww yeah, the hammerhead is sooooo Awesome!!!

    Video Games Yeah! Ain’t nothing better than laying in bed after a hard day at work, killing people in GTA. Or maybe I’m working on my latest murder coaster in Roller Coaster Tycoon. Or maybe I’m finding a way to torture villagers in my dungeon on minecraft. Or maybe…..umm…..maybe I need to seek professional help. I seem to be a psychopath!

    Showers Ever gone a week without a shower? Let me tell you, it’s not fun! Seriously, by the end of the week, you have barnacles attached to your ears. BARNACLES! It’s really gross! In my defense, I wasn’t able to take a shower because I was on a trip. About 30 of us all camping in Mexico, and that’s why I didn’t shower. But ohmygosh. It was BAD! BAAAAAAAAD. EWWWWW GROSS BAD! At least everyone I was with was in the same boat. But GROSS! Gross! So always take showers and never take showers for granted! See what I did there?

    Grammer Grammer rules. Always use proper grammer or I’ll whip you with a wet noodle. its inscrutable to me how some don’t know how to use proper grammer. I know its though. I know you have better things too due. I know their are dying children and proppar grammer seams stupid. But its not! USE PROPER GRAMMER!

    Coffee How can you live without coffee? You can’t! That’s how! If you don’t like coffee, you don’t like to live! You don’t like being awake! You don’t like anything I like because you don’t like coffee! Seriously though – coffee is amazing. And I’m not at all addicted to caffeine. Now where’s my trucker’s choice stay awake pills?

    Mmmmm......look at that crema!
    Mmmmm……look at that crema!

    Walking around in the middle of the night, yelling like a madman while swinging a cleaver back and forth What. you’ve never done this? Ummm…..why not? Come to think of it, this is pretty creepy. Hmmm, maybe I should call for that professional help even sooner. Yeah….I’m definitely a psychopath.


    So why didn’t I name any people? I mean, Jesus, my girlfriend, a band, or anything like that? Well – read the title! It says the best STUFF ever. Stuff are things, and people are not things. I thought we learned this lesson after the Civil war. Geez. People are not things. People are not your own personal property. The very fact that I had to right this makes me sick. Yeah. I’m so sick of you! Go away! Goodbye! Gosh!

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  • What should one wear to the hospital?

    what-should-i-wear-today

    As many of my readers know, my mom has been in the hospital and at one point it didn’t look like she was going to make it. While she’s on the up now, she’s got a long road ahead – even now. If that wasn’t stressful enough, I’ve found myself putting a lot more stock in an everyday question. Every time I’ve gone to visit her, I’ve asked myself “what do I wear?” Let me step back….I have a lot of t-shirts, and unless I’m working – I tend to default to said t-shirts. I love my polos I wear to work, but they all seem so plain when I could wear a band t shirt or maybe something a little geeky. I think it goes back to my childhood – I went to a private grade school which didn’t allow for much. Boys were allowed to wear plain t-shirts, but shirts with any kind of printing were prohibited. An extreme example….I had this green and white shirt with an “Ocean Pacific” logo on the back. I decided to wear it that day and cover it up with a jacket. I started to get hot at recess, but the playground attendant wouldn’t let me take my jacket off because it was against the dress code. Never mind, the dress code was to prevent distraction during lessons and this was recess. Rules were rules, even if you’re drenching in sweat! Sidenote, the girls had it worse as dress code was pretty much a literal phrase….they had to wear dresses (or skirts). But getting back to my love for t-shirts, let’s just say when I switched schools in eighth grade, I wore printed t-shirts almost everyday. Just because I could.

    So…back to the hospital. The question that arose about what to wear vs what t-shirt I could or could not wear was the very real fact that my t-shirt could be the last thing my mom saw if she did pass away. Of course, it wasn’t just her – ICU in general is usually full of people who are on the brink of this life and the next. Of course it wasn’t just that – it was also the way I looked to family. My grandma hadn’t seen me with my beard until the day my mom was rushed to the hospital. I was wearing a dark green polo, and the combination really didn’t jive with her. She said I looked kind of scary! A few days later, she warmed up to the beard and told me it was the shirt. While this may or may not have been her overreaction – I still have not worn that green shirt since that day. And of course, that shirt is on the “do not wear to the hospital” list.

    Imagine this being the last thing you saw….

    But again, that’s a polo. What about the t-shirts? Of course, there’s some very obvious shirts one should never wear to a hospital (or, maybe anywhere, but oh well). A classic example is a Def Leppard “Hysteria” T shirt. Anyone that would wear this design to an ICU, ER (or even anywhere small children frequent) needs to get professional help; they’re obviously a full blown psychopath – no further testing needed! I can picture someone as they’re breathing their last… and seeing the two demonic faces in obvious eternal torment, and thinking – Oh crap, I’m entering hell, aren’t I? Another example: my “Spinal tap, None more black,” shirt. Probably less sinister than the Hysteria shirt, but still…a spinal tap t-shirt in a hospital? Yeah….probably not a good idea.

    The hordes of Hell have been replaced with Muppets!
    The hordes of Hell have been replaced with Muppets!

    Of course most of my t shirts were probably fine, but I decided if it was at all questionable, I probably shouldn’t wear it. I didn’t wear my Flogging Molly shirt because there was a skeleton on it – let’s not remind the sick what’s inside of them. I didn’t wear my Dead Kennedy’s t-shirt due to the fact that the word “dead” was in it. I didn’t wear my other Def Leppard shirt, the “Pyromania” shirt, because, well, I actually don’t remember. I guess I just felt it was a little too graphic. An explosion as seen through the scope of a rifle…..again….better be safe then sorry. I didn’t wear my Princess Bride shirt because it says “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, PREPARE TO DIE!” And I didn’t wear my Electric Mayhem shirt for the same reason I didn’t wear my Hysteria t-shirt – one look at Animal in chains, and they might have thought…I’m in hell and the demons are muppets!!! I didn’t even wear my deadpool shirts because….DEADpool. If the shirt had any macabre implications, real or imagined, said shirt was on the do not wear list.

    Going past the comfort of anyone in ICU, I had a selfish reason for not wearing certain shirts – I didn’t want the last thoughts of my mom to be – what a dork. I’m currently wearing a shirt that says “There are four lights!” with four dots over the text. If you’re clueless, it’s a Star Trek: TNG reference to when that Cardasians held Picard prisoner – snort. While it certainly isn’t my geekiest shirt ever, it does require a bit of geekiness to get the reference.

    RIP dude...RIP
    RIP dude…RIP

    And while another person might not have thought anything of it, my mind said “don’t wear this shirt! Your mom will think you’re a dork!” There’s a myriad of more obvious pop culture reference shirts. There were transformers t-shirts, several Star trek and Star wars shirts. There was Firefly in a bottle, and of course, there’s the Hodor quote shirt. It says “Hodor” – Hodor. Granted, my mom wouldn’t even get the reference…..but I was still worried. Almost all my geek shirts had to be put on the “do not wear” list.

    Finally, there was one more category I had to consider. If I wore a shirt that I really love, and my mom died while I was wearing that shirt, would I be able to wear that shirt ever again? Honestly, most of the shirts I love were already covered in the do not wear category – but I have a couple that had to be included on the do not wear list for this reason. I’ve got a “Pink Floyd – wish you were here” shirt that I love dearly. I’ve got a Cure shirt my girlfriend got me. I’ve got a couple U2 shirts. I felt shirts in this category had to be put on the DNW list as they’re really not shirts I want attached to tragedy.

    After all this I felt like I had one choice when visiting my mom (especially in the ICU). I wore plain, every workday polos. They’re comfortable, they’re ok looking, they’re non-offensive, and they’re forgettable. The biggest effect they might have on anyone around (aside from allegedly making me look scary with my beard) is that a lot of them have pretty, soothing colors. Purples, royal blues, lavender, and the like. I do admit…I avoided wearing any of my black polos – but that might be my own superstition. Then again….maybe all of this is superstition. They had us wear gowns when visiting her in the ICU, just as a precaution against microbes. So….seeing what we were wearing wasn’t all that possible. Maybe I just needed to control this….this one little thing in a time where so much was out of control.

    I did, the other day, break down and wear a t-shirt when I saw her. It was a “star wars coffee” parody of Starbucks. I kind of regretted it, not because the design. Not because I thought it might be scary or demonic or insensitive. I didn’t even care that it was a little dorky – I did, however, care that it was a little short. This is why I always get a tall size in shirts if I have the choice!

    I thought I ordered a TALL Americano with cream!
    I thought I ordered a TALL Americano with cream!
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  • The ten most awesome sharks ever!

    Sharks. Holy crap, they’re cool. Fish that are often times huge, evolved to kill anything and everything in their paths with their teeth of justice! Ok, ok, some of them are actually pretty tame, but I think it says a lot about them that their gentle cousins, the Rays, actually killed Steve Irwin. I mean, the dude wrestled freaking crocodiles, and yet a freaking sting ray killed him. Yeah….ok, ok, maybe that’s just circular logic, but dangit, sharks are cool and it’s shark week darnit!!! So to honor this festive time, here’s my list of the ten most awesome sharks ever!

    great-white-shark-720x480

    10. Great White Shark – This is, without a doubt, the king of the sharks. No other shark brings as much fear to us as the Great White. Jaws is coming to get us and we need a bigger boat! Yes! And they’re everywhere man, they’re everywhere. They’re in your bed at night! Ok, ok, maybe not in your bed….but they might as well be! They’re in every ocean except for the Artic and the Northern Antlantic. And they will get up into the Northern Atlantic….Jaws did happen in Nantucket after all…..

    sm_nostomach

    9.  Australian Ghost Shark / Elephant Shark – Look back at the great White shark. Now look at the Elephant Shark – yeah, they don’t even look like they’re both from the same Class – and yet they are. The Great White shark is the epitome of the natural born killing machine – but the elephant shark? Well, it’s just one of those fish that flops around, all chill doing it’s Dumbo imitation with its faux trunk. Yeah. This shark has a faux trunk – you want to make something of it? I didn’t think so – because he might be a dumbo looking shark, but dumbo will mess you up because he’s still a shark! Respect the freaking shark!

    mk77615_241648_330005.jpg4-saw-shark

    8. Saw Shark – How would you like a chainsaw for a freaking nose? Huh? Well, that’s what the saw shark has – a long nose with long, sharp teeth lining the right and left of it’s freaking snout. Yeah…..that’s what you call a nightmare. But unlike a chainsaw, it can’t run out of gas. It just thrashes it’s snout until its freaking prey is dead and it’s gobbling the mutilated flesh. Yeah….don’t mess with this bastard. You’ll end up an amputee!

    80-Million-Year-Old-Shark-Fossil-Defies-Darwinism

    7. Frilled Shark – look at this shark. Isn’t he evil looking? He’s like a demon from the deeps, coming to eat your soul!!! If you see this, run for your life, because Lucifer himself has sent this sucker to consume you! Ooooo, but it’s so much worse than that…..this shark’s teeth are even more nightmarish! It’s got rows upon rows of needle-like teeth lining it’s long jaws. Stick your hand in one of these, and you might as well stick your hand in a meat grinder powered by about 100 pissed off cats. That’ll hurt!

    137590322843814126703601197_Alien_Sharks_Megamouth

    6.  Megamouth – this thing claims it only eats plankton, but look at it….does that look like something that only eats plankton? That mouth is huge. It could probably fit a Volkswagen bug in it’s mouth if it wanted to – not that anything would want to eat a Volkswagen beetle. But it could if it wanted to darn it!!! More-so, this thing looks like the godfather. Yes, maybe it isn’t lying about it’s diet, but it’s hands, err….fins aren’t clean, that’s for sure. It’s the one running the show from behind the scenese. It’s the one telling all of the other sharks to eat everything else……Your only hope is to ask for a favor on this, the day of it’s daughter’s wedding….or it’ll have an offer you can’t refuse.

    whorl

    5. Whorl Shark – This shark has a normal shark body, but a freaking circular saw blade for a lower jaw. Seriously, it’s jaw just kind of winds up. I’m not sure which is worse, this or the saw shark, but this shark certainly looks way more awesome than any damned chainsaw wannabe shark. This will do more than make you an amputee, this will cut you in half like a 2×4!!! Yeah! Aren’t you afraid to go into the water now? Well….maybe you shouldn’t be actually. This guy hasn’t swam in the oceans of earth for over 200 million years. Still…you never know….one might have survived in the depths of the ocean. Maybe it’s just waiting to make its resurgence back into the world. First it’ll conquer the oceans, and then the world.

    whale-shark_2

    4. Whale Shark – Finally, a shark that doesn’t pose any threat to our well being. Well, unless your name is Jonah! Yes….some biblical scholars believe it was not a whale that ate Jonah, but a whale shark. And you can see why. They’re huge. Oh, and they know it too. Google Whale shark attacks diver. Yeah…..they might not have any teeth, but if they feel threatened, they’ll use their size against you – in a deadly way. It’s like they’re the hippos of the sea! So even if you’re not supposed to go to Nineveh, be wary of this dude.

    prehistoric4-NEW3-550x350

    3. Megladon – What happens when a Great White Shark takes steroids? You get a huge ass shark that’s not afraid of anything. Seriously, when these suckers were around, they would eat whales. Freaking whales I tell you! The world hasn’t seen these creatures in 2.5 million years, which means one thing – Australopithecus must have hunted these suckers to extinction because they knew if they didn’t, the sharks would adapt to life on land and eat all our proto-human, ape like ancestors!!! Oh, but just as we know the Whorl shark is lurking about the depths of the ocean, so is Megladon. Just waiting to make its appearance once more…..sooooooooon.

    goblin

    2. Goblin Shark – The Goblin shark is often called a living fossil – but I call it a living nightmare! Seriously, it looks like that nerd from your chemistry class mated with a fish. This sucker is soooo ugly. Still, it’s the kind of so ugly that it’s cute type of thing. Awww, maybe I’ll just cuddle with him for a bit. He looks like he needs a hug. Then again, that nose of his might spear me. That would hurt. Also, he smells like fish. So… I guess he smells a little better than the nerd in chemistry class. Oh yeah…did I mention those teeth are like serrated blades? Nerd or not..might want to let him sit with the cool kids. That bite will hurt!

    hammerhead-sharks-pictures1

    1. HammerHead – This! This is the best shark ever! Awww yeah, the hammerhead. He’s got a hammer for a head! He’s like a great white with a lot more smarts and a lot more awesome! That’s really all there is to say about this awesome shark – other than it can kick all other sharks in the buttox because it’s so awesome! Awesome! Awesome! Still, don’t get too close to this awesome shark, because he is a shark and he could mess up your day royally. Just admire it from a distance….Salute it like a flag. Looking up, but never touching. And singing to it. I’m not sure what to sing to it – but we should sing to it. I pledge allegiance to the hammerhead.

    Disclaimer:
    This is a piece of comedy, and while one should always realize sharks are wild animals with the ability to mess up your day (well, a lot of sharks at least), they are also not as big of a threat to humans as we tend to portray them in the media. Yes, you should keep your distance – yes, you should make sure you’re aware of your surroundings when they’re around, but you should also admire them and respect them – don’t just fear them. Sharks really are awesome!

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  • The best April Fool’s gag ever played on me

    image

    I love April Fool’s day.  And it’s only gotten better with the rise of the internet. You have Think Geek’s phony products, reddit’s annual prank, Google, Netflix….they all seem to be in on the April Fool’s merriment. There’s also the individual pranks. This year in Dead Memories Portland, I convinced a good portion of the group that they would discontinue selling Best Food’s Mayonaise in favor of selling Hellman’s nationwide. Some were exhuberant, some not so. I’m pretty sure there’s some that still don’t know it’s a joke. There’s also the string of silly pranks – tape on the bottom of a coworker’s optical mouse, or maybe a fake roach on their desk. And of course, there’s the “I’m pregnant / engaged / coming out of the closet / quitting the internet and ecetera. Some feel those are over the top, and in poor taste, but as someone who has pulled three of the four, I love them. Of course – when I pulled “I’m pregnant,” no one believed me, but that’s an entirely diffferent story.

    image

    But this is not a story about the best pranks I’ve pulled – this is the story about the best prank pulled on me. It was April 1, 1998, and it was done by my biology instructor in college. To understand the dynamics of this particular prank, I need to tell the reader about the PCC Biology department. Most people taking biology at PCC were not science majors, and therefore got to take the dumbed down biology lab. This lab was, for the most part, at the student’s own pace. We would walk into the biology lab, to the back counter, and ask for the lesson we needed. We would then recieve a box with an audio cassette, and everything we needed to complete the lesson. When we were finished with the lesson, we would finish up the worksheet, show it to the instructor at the front of the lab, and they would grade the worksheet on the spot. We could then go take the quiz for the unit at our leasure. Mind you, this sounds easy enough – but oh, oh it was not. The tests were grueling, and often times would rely you knowing the biology textbook backwards and forwards. They would have questions that were not covered in the material, which you would then have to answer throguh the process of elimination: I know the answer could not be A, B, or D, so I guess the answer is C. Probably a great way to teach those who study science, for a liberal arts major like myself – well, let’s just say I did a lot of extra credit in that class to maintain my GPA.

    But I digress – you want to know about the prank! It was the first week of Spring quarter, and I was taking my first unit of 103.  I remember it had to do with human reproduction, though to be honest, I don’t remember much more about the unit. The instructor was a very sciency looking older, plump woman wiht short hair. She looked very serious and no nosence, but did at times let her human side show up. Example, in this same unit I had to show her a human sperm (on a pre-prepared slide mind you). She seemed to be very excited to see it up close: “Oh, there’s the little guy!” She said with a raspy voice as she looked at a very uncomfortable me.

    I had finished my worksheet, and I needed her to sign off on it. I was satisfied with it, and even figured it was one of the easier units. I handed her my paper, she looked at it, gasped, and then  looked strait at me and said in her most serious tone: “Do you really expect me to accept this?” She obviously knew my deer in a headlights look, as I had just – maybe a day before – showed her a sperm. Silence. Other students gathered around the table, looking at me, me looking at her…..finally I asked: “What’s wrong with this?” She, with the same tone she had after seeing the sperm, said: “Well, for one thing, it’s April First.” She then smirked, and stamped my paper. I realiized I had just been pranked by my biology professor. She later said that she had been waiting all day for a 103 student to finish a lesson, just so she could pull this prank. It obviously gave her joy, made me laugh,  and even made those aorund me laugh.

    I guess that’s what made this specific joke so much fun. Yes, it was a simple joke, and my readers probably expected a more complex joke – but sometimes the simple jokes are in fact the best. It also came from a source I didn’t expect – a collegiate instructor. Someone who had power over me. Someone who could basically ruin my GPAand make me take the class over again if I looked at them the wrong way. And while it made a fool out of me, it really did make everyone involve laugh. This is the most important thing one can hope for in any joke. The pranker, the victim, and the bystanders all enjoyed the joke. This is truly a successful joke. Happy April Fool’s everyone. By the way, there’s a big huge bug on your shoulder. Made you look!

    I just came to say hello.....
    I just came to say hello…..

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  • Larry the Happy, Homicidal Squirrel

    As with the tradition of the last few years, I’ve once more written a story in the spirit of Halloween. So, without further adiue, I bring you the adventures of Larry the Happy Squirrel in Happyville. Happy Halloween, and enjoy.

    ——————————–

    It was a peaceful day in Happyville. The sun was shining, the flowers were singing, the trees were swaying, and everyone was happy. After all, this was Happyville. Wait, wait, there is no such place as Happyville! Well, there isn’t now…for on that very day Happyville ceased to exist.
    Like I was saying, Happyville was a happy place for happy people with happy lives and happy jobs, happy families,….even the cows they slaughtered for their evening meals were happy! To be unhappy in Happyville was just impossibility until that day. A couple weeks before, Larry the happy squirrel ventured back from his happy journey from the lands south of Happyville. No one is sure what happened, but Larry the happy squirrel somehow lost his happiness on the happy journey. Larry decided to fake happiness for awhile, thinking no one would notice. For the most part, no one did. The residents of Happyville were rather simple and a little dumb. Besides, they had no concept of unhappiness – it was almost like gibberish to their brains.
    Larry, feigning happiness, walked to the diner like he always did, and ordered happy eggs with happy toast and happy coffee. As the waitress, Lisa the gazelle, poured the happy coffee into Larry’s happy cup, she accidently poured scolding happy coffee on Larry’s unhappy hand. Those two weeks of feigning happiness were taking their toll on Larry – faking it usually does. This, unfortunately for Lisa and everyone else in the diner, was the last straw. Larry couldn’t hold his happiness in. In his cute, cartoony squirrel voice, Larry wailed…
    YOU BITCH! YOU STUPID MORON! YOU GOOD FOR NOTHING IDIOT OF A STUPID….
    Larry stopped and realizing everyone else was staring at him. No doubt, their small brains could not figure out exactly what was happening. No doubt they felt something terrible had happened, but couldn’t decipher what….but they knew Larry was no longer something Happyville could have in its happy borders. Farrah the Earthworm squirmed towards the door. She had to inform the happy mayor that Happyville needed to do something about Larry. But Farrah, poor Farrah, she couldn’t move too fast. Larry saw her slithering to, so he took his happy boot and smashed her. Farrah’s happy guts squished out of her, all over the happy floor. Some of the happy diner patrons let out a happy gasp, some even let out a happy vomit. Larry, on the other hand, felt a rush of euphoria…Larry liked it. Larry belted out, almost in celebration….
    Farrah is in a happier place!
    As he laughed psychotically, he grabbed a happy knife from behind the happy counter, and happily sliced and diced the rest of the diner patrons and staff. There was Ester the Moose, Eli, the Emu, Roger the Mouse, Bella the Cow…Larry carved all of them up and threw their guts into the middle of the happy room.
    When everyone was dead, Larry screamed in pleasure….I am no longer Larry the Happy Squirrel, I am now Larry the Homicidal squirrel!
    Of course no one else in Happyville knew what had happened in the Happyville Diner, so when Larry emerged from the Happyville diner, no one expected him to bring a happy Automatic rifle to the town.
    Larry didn’t just start shooting the happy people of Happyville though – nooooo, that would be too obvious, and not enough collateral damage. Larry decided to start with the happy town square. But as he started walking towards the happy town s quare, the happy flowers saw the happy rifle behind Larry’s back.
    What’s that strange, but happy, tree behind your back Larry?
    Larry, silently looked at the flowers with a murderous grin. The flowers, innocent of murder, thought Larry was just extra happy with his odd, big, and in retrospect, creepy grin. After a few seconds, Larry replied — It’s a flower pal generator. Let me show you…
    Larry open fired on the happy flowers as they’re once happy songs turned into unhappy screams of terror.
    Of course, with the unhappy screams, and what was left of the once happy flowers, the citizens of Happyville were not quite sure what to do. The happy constable of Happyville, Marvin the Happy Basset Hound, strolled up to Larry and casually said….
    Larry, you’re not making us happy. What’s wrong big fella?
    Larry did not say a word. Larry just took his happy cleaver and stabbed Marvin repeatedly.
    With that, Larry happily hopped down Happy Avenue, killing the citizens of Happyville one by one. Linda the happy skunk got a shotgun to the gut, while Henry the happy leopard got ripped to shreds with a chainsaw. Wayne the happy Elephant got force fed a trunkful of night shade. And Sarah the happy lemur, well she just got thrown off a happy cliff. The streets of Happyville were bathed in happy blood. The happy survivors decided it was time to take action.
    Rachel, the happy centipede drove a happy tank down Happy Avenue, looking to bring happy justice to Larry. Meanwhile, Annie the happy gorilla started handing out happy AK-47s to the happy townspeople. The happy Militia searched high and low for Larry – but Larry was good. Larry was the Happyville hide and seek champion. Larry ran behind a happy building and then into a happy alley, where he squatted behind a happy trashcan. Larry took a happy bazooka and made both Rachel and her tank blow up into a happy explosion of happy fire and happy smoke. A happy tree saw the whole thing, and yelled to the happy militia…..he’s over there, tear his happy limbs apart!
    What happened next is not important, and much too gruesome to mention. Needless to say, Larry paid for his happy crimes with his unhappy life. A couple days later, at a happy town meeting, the survivors of the happy massacre decided that the victims died because of blind happiness. They vowed to rid Happyville of its happiness plague once and for all. From that point on, Happyville would be a happy free zone. Or should I say the town once called Happyville. For that day, as I mentioned before, Happyville ceased to exist. That day, the residents of Happyville renamed their city to the unhappy thing they could think of. And that, that is how we got the city of Houston.

    Not a happy place
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  • The Slug Bug is dead! Long live the Smug Bug!

    Back in the 80s, the Volkswagen beetle was as common as a can of new Coke, the phrase “totally radical” or a pair of Esprit jeans. Combine the VW Bug’s popularity with the iconic and easily spotted shape, and it was the perfect car for a road game. The rules of this game varied from family to family – some played “slug bug” (or punch buggy), where siblings were encouraged to punch each other as hard as they could whenever they spotted a VW Bug. My family liked to play “Herbie,” where it was a contest to see who could spot the most. I suspect this was because I was an only child, and my parents didn’t want me to punch them as hard as I could – but I digress. smug-alert

    The days of slug bugs and herbies seems to have died – as there just aren’t that many 40 year old cars on the road anymore. Sure, there was the New Beetle, and supposedly was a special “slug” you were supposed to use, but that never caught on and really even those aren’t as prevalent as their ancestor beetles. There’s a huge void in the “spot the car while abusing your siblings and friends” style of game! So what do we do? The answer is simple: SmugBugs!

    The name “SmugBug” is my nickname for the Toyota Prius. I can’t claim credit for the word, so don’t say that I coined the phrase. I gained inspiration for the phrase “smug bug” from the South Park episode “Smug Alert,” where people droves of South Park residence decided to drive Prii and felt like they were some sort of environmental hero – when really they were just smug idiots. From the episode…

    …although emission levels are down, people who drive hybrids spew “self-satisfied garbage” into the air, an emission called “smug”, and South Park now has the second-highest levels in the country, after San Francisco.

    To be fair, not all who drive hybrids, particularly those who drive Prii (I swear that’s really the plural), are by far from smug. In fact, my one experience riding in a Prius involved the driver pressing the start button several times, cussing, and calling their beloved vehicle a damned piece of junk. Having said that, there are plenty of people who drive a Prius with a smug self-satisfaction of being a hero. One can often times recognize these people by their bumper stickers. Phrases like “There is no planet B” or “My other car is a bicycle,” or “Vegans do it in the dirt…” These smug addicts often times litter their cars with multitudes of these bumper stickers. You’ll also notice a distinct sound coming from their speakers. It’s a song you may or may not have heard but sounds like it’s trying way too hard to not sound like every other piece of indie rock that’s been produced in the last three or four years.

    At what point did this car become a parody of itself?
    At what point did this car become a parody of itself?

    But back to the game already…how does one play “SmugBug?” The rules of SmugBug are quite simple – when you see a Prius, yell “SmugBug (color of the car)” and punch the person next to you as hard as you can – or at least as hard as the law allows without an attempted assault and battery charge. Once someone “calls” a specific car, that car cannot be called again. It’s literally the same rules as Slug Bug – only instead of a car designed for Nazi Germany, you’ve got a vehicle designed for Nazi tree-huggers.

    So, mourn not the death of VW Beatle. Mourn not the fact that you will never have to drive your kids to the hospital because Tommy slugged Tammy a little too hard. Mourn not that a demonically possessed car piloted by Dean Jones will never again get a movie! Hit your sister as hard as you can! You jut saw a Toyota with the number 53 on its silver finish parked in the Whole Foods parking lot! Herbie Rides again!

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  • American (Voting) Horror Story

    Note: This is a fictional account of voting in North Carolina. The state was chosen as a state that is far away from Oregon and does not have the vote by mail system we have in Oregon. The author has not, nor does he ever, have plans on moving to North Carolina. I also want to add, if anyone from North Carolina reads this and finds my portrayal of your state offensive, perhaps we can open a dialogue about it. Really, I played a lot of stereotypes here, and I don’t know how many are actually true. So yeah – let’s chat!

    electionmailIt was a foggy October morning. I had just moved to North Carolina a few months ago and was excited about voting in my first election in my new home state. I made sure to register on time, with my correct address and my political party of choice. All my t’s were crossed, all my I’s were dotted. I just needed to sit back, relax, and wait for the postal carrier to bring my ballot, along with the junk mail and bills they usually bring. I waited for a few weeks. By October 25th, I started to worry. What if I filled out my voter registration wrong? What if my address was wrong? What if the post office accidentally sent it to my previous residence in Oregon? My hands began to sweat, my body began to shake. I decided I needed to call someone.
    After I got home from work, I called the county voting office, which gave me a polite message saying they were only open from 10-3, Tuesday through Friday. Stupid government agencies! Oh well, I’ll call tomorrow during my lunch break. The next morning, sandwich in one hand, and phone in another I called again, only to be put on hold. I consumed my lunch and listened to the Muzak – patiently waiting for someone to answer my call. I waited 30 minutes and my lunch break was over. I decided to wait for a few minutes more, when finally someone answered.
    “Eeeyello, Mecklenburg County votin’, ow might I elp ya’ll?” – a male voice with a distinct, southern accent rang out.
    “Umm,” I said sheepishly, “I never received my ballot. What do I do?”
    “Son, what r ya’ll talkin’ bout?”
    “In the mail, I never got my ballot in the mail. Shouldn’t I have gotten it by now?”
    “Yer not from these parts, are you?”
    “No – I’m from Oregon. Why?”
    “Oreeegone? Shoot. Well I don’t know what they do up there, but ‘round here we don’t send no ballots in the mail.”
    “Umm….how do you vote then?”
    “Boy – you don’t even know how to vote? You gotta go to a polin’ place from 9 AM to 5 PM.”
    “Umm…that’s odd, but when in Rome I guess. Where are the poling places?”
    After a short interchange of information, he directed me to a school near my house. I vaguely, back in the 80s, remember standing in line with my mom at a school. Maybe this is what she was doing.
    I made arrangements with my boss to vote before work. He insisted I be in by 11, I figured that would be plenty of time. I figured wrong. When I arrived on Election Day at 8:45, there was a massive line. It was like the lines I saw in Portland, waiting to get into concerts. Strike that – these were not concertgoers. These were people from all walks of life, different ages, different ethnicities, different politics – way more diverse than a crowd waiting for a New Pornographers show.
    At 9 AM sharp, the doors opened. They let a few people in at a time. There was probably around 150 people in front of me…I had no idea how long my wait was going to be. I sat on the ground, but an officer came up to me and barked “NO SITTING!” So I rolled my eyes and got up to my feet once more. Meanwhile a slow drizzle of people walked into the school. Finally after an hour and a half, it was my turn. Voting Booths
    I walked into the door and to a table. A lady asked a few questions, glanced at my ID, and handed me my ballot. I was instructed to silently walk into a nearby booth. I felt more like I was taking a driver’s test at the DMV, and less like I was exercising my constitutional right to vote.
    As I reached my booth, I got my cheat sheet out and realized there were things on this ballot that I hadn’t even thought about! Geez, how do they expect you to know every little item, every little race, and every little measure on the ballot? I wanted to say to the next booth – hey, what did you get for number 8? I mean, I was in a school, and I felt like I was taking a test after all! Then I looked over my shoulder – the officer who barked at me earlier was staring straight at me, almost wanting an excuse to throw me out. I decided I better play by their rules for the time being.
    After I turned in my ballot, it was nearly 10:50, and I was supposed to be into work by 11. I was not going to make it. I raced to work and arrived ten minutes late. My boss, angry at my tardiness walks in and says “This is why I don’t vote – my time is too precious.”
    I miss a lot of things about Oregon. I miss the coast, I miss sunsets over the Pacific, I miss the weather, I miss the people, and I miss recycling. Today, I learned of one more thing I miss – I miss voting by mail. I miss the convenience of filling out my ballot at my leisure, and dropping it off whenever I had a moment to do so. I miss not having to stand in line like it was the 80s and we were voting for Regan. I miss not being barked at by officers who were overly stimulated on equal parts power and, I’m guessing caffeine. I miss not getting ridiculed or hassled, all because I want to cast my voice. All the pain and horror experienced casting my vote in North Carolina, could have been easily avoided by implementing a vote by mail system. This truly was an American Voting Horror Story.

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  • Caesar commands you to laugh!

    Spend as much time on the Internet as I do, and you’ll notice that the planet has a bunch of bored people pretending they’re Caesar. They sit on their thrones stoically. They look down at their art and/or entertainment choices as though said choices were Gladiator matches. After they’re done with said A&E choices, these quasi-Roman emperors either give a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.

    The average internet commentator
    The average internet commentator

    Before I get too far into this metaphor, I will say that everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. However, in the information age (do we still use that phrase?) our opinions, especially shared on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, et al, can make or break our A&E choices. Our friends and acquaintances who share similar tastes to ours, might very well base their choices on our opinions. More so, the professional critics – those who are paid to rip apart every inconsistency, every terrible acting job, and every joke have this power to make or break a piece of A&E. Again, I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but with great power comes great responsibility. If Augustus or Nero gives the Gladiator a thumbs down, that Gladiator is destroyed. If the critics hated say, The Office or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, those series ratings probably would have dropped and the networks would have canceled them before their time.

    Perhaps you’re saying big deal. Critics have the power of Caesar over movies, television etcetera. Big deal, some terribly made movie or a rushed and clichéd show get canceled because the critics are telling it as it is. This wouldn’t bother me so much, except I often wonder if said critics, both professional and amateur, are actually looking for an excuse to hate whatever they happen to be reviewing. If this is truly happening, this has to change. There is a time to be snarky, sure, but there’s a time to just be entertained already!

    Let’s look at a couple of movies the critics hated. On Rotten Tomatoes, Skyline earned a 15%; The Starvation Game got a 0%. I’ll admit, Skyline sucked. Skyline might very well be the worst movie I’ve ever seen, and is certainly the worst movie I’ve seen in the last five years. The Starving Games, however, was seriously funny. It might not have been the funniest movie I’ve seen even in the last two years, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and at the very least, it was better than Skyline! Skyline was painful to watch, while The Starving Games was, if you let yourself be entertained, very funny. While both movies were admittedly about making money first and foremost, one actually tried to make people happy for 70 minutes. One actually tried to make the world a little better. But Caesar was not entertained. Why? Because Caesar is a snob! Caesar wants absolute perfection or else the chopping block! Caesar will not allow him or herself to laugh at something so banal as a spoof.

    Take Joe Leydon’s (of Variety) review of The Starving games:
    “The Starving Games” might inspire punny put-downs like “malnourished script” or “unappetizing gags.” But, really, a movie as lame as this one doesn’t merit the expenditure of snark.”

    Caesar Leydon
    Caesar Leydon

    I don’t know what Leydon looks like, but by that comment alone, I’m going to assume he runs a comic book shop frequented by Bart Simpson. One wonders if he’s ever laughed in his life. One must wonder if he’s actually learned to laugh or even if he is even qualified to critique humor. I will point out that during Leydon’s review, he didn’t once mention WHY The Starving Games wasn’t funny – he just said it wasn’t funny. ALL HAIL THE WORD OF Caesar!

    Again, why does this matter? Because laughter is fun. Period. I realize there are those who are really serious, but there are also those of us really like to laugh and view laughter as an extremely important part of life. If I sit down and watch a comedy, I’m going to try my best to laugh. I do realize everyone has a different view of what humor might be, but I for one believe our standards for humor should be pretty low. Again, laughing is fun! Laughing makes life a little better. Laughing may even have medicinal value!

    So…what about those of us who are intelligent and educated? Are we not entitled to demand smarter comedy? I’m going to admit that I love smart comedy more than “low” comedy. I will even admit that sometimes I’m in the mood for comedy that’s of a higher standard than say, The Starvation Games. I’ve also learned that if I’m going to survive this world, I need to laugh at things which I would normally consider below my otherwise high standards. In fact, to NOT laugh at things makes my life a little more miserable. Say I write about how “stupid” a comedy is because the humor was a lower caliber than I would prefer. If people care about my opinion on the matter, I’m actually depriving people a bit of happiness! They’re passing up on said comedy because of my snark, and therefore my snark is denying them the chance to laugh. My snark, in this situation, makes the world a little worse. Sure, I get a bit of smug satisfaction for ripping apart someone’s jokes, but is that really worth the cost? Is my smug satisfaction going to bring joy to my readers?

    I’m not saying laugh at everything. We’ve all got our different filters of what is funny. Some things are totally offensive. Some things are gross. Some things probably shouldn’t be laughed about. Some jokes are stale, and some jokes just don’t work. Heck, sometimes snark in itself is funny! I will also recognize that lowering humor standards too far will spread stupidity – that’s not the results I’m after here and I encourage you to guard yourself from this very thing. But for the sake of humanity! Of all mankind! Try to keep an open mind when it comes to comedy. Your life will be richer and happier, and so will the lives of those around you.

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  • Oh rotten banana, you are my bane!

    3338581895_beeec14944Yesterday, I went to the store and bought some nice, yellowish green bananas. Just the way I like them – they should be nice and tasty. I usually take a few to work with me and leave them on my desk, but I forgot my damned bananas this morning.

    As if matters couldn’t get any worse, the bananas I brought with me yesterday were sitting on my desk,rotting and brown. I knew they were rotten and this is precisely why I bought bananas last night to begin with! What sane person actually buys bananas when they already have perfectly good bananas? But I digress… The point is the brown bananas were on my desk! I know I threw them out, so this means the bananas were so ripe, they grew legs, walked from the kitchen garbage, unlocked my office door, opened said door, and planted themselves right back on my desk. Oh, the legs are gone too, so they must have shed those. I wonder if I’m going to find them somewhere — maybe that’s how my office door got closed again. No, that would involve hands and we all know that bananas can’t grow hands! That’s crazy talk!

    bad enough that every frigging banana you get in the states is a clone of other bananas. I mean, yes, you can get baby bananas and red bananas, and if you’re lucky enough, you might….just might…find plantains. But my brown bananas that I threw away are taunting me!

    OK, so maybe I just forgot to throw away the bananas last night (although the lack of ants in my office would suggest otherwise). The very fact that bananas can turn brown to begin with is, without a doubt, the worst problem facing us in the 21st century. Genocide? Starvation? Climate change? All nothing when it comes to the banana problem. Where, oh where, is the social justice? Why do my freaking bananas have to be so brown and gross that I cannot eat them on the day I wanted bananas the most?

    I’m a simple man and I like simple things. I like my bananas greenish yellow, I like my TV and movies to have meaning that’s not evidence to the surface viewer, and I like my coffee with four shots, cream, no foam, no whip, sugar free syrup and — what did I saw about liking simple things? OK, I’m a complex man and I like complex things.

    But back to the bananas, because it gets so much worse! We can actually fix the banana-browning problem! GMOs baby! I mean, provided the pseudo-science crowd doesn’t get GMOs banned before they really have the chance to do the proper research. Yes, we could just like splice a yellow jacket gene into the cloned bananas! Or better yet…banana slug genes! That should keep the bananas looking like bananas, right? Now that’s how you science! I’m going to call Monsanto right now!

    WHY ARE YOU MOUSING OVER THIS PICTURE? YOU SHOULD BE READING THE ARTICLE, NOT SEEING WHAT THE ALT TEXT SAYS!
    Oh — sorry, you’re still reading this — I kind of left in a hurry there and left you hanging. To make a long story short, after two weeks of going back and forth with Monsanto, I’ve got a restraining order against me because they didn’t like my idea. Sigh. Maybe we can find another GMO company to do my banana slug hybrid bananas.

    Regardless, I’m over my rotten bananas now. I’ve switched my passion to blackberries. Oh, but weirdness! I fond some blackberries that weren’t black! They were red! WTF? They had a different texture and even a different name! Yeah, they were called Raspberries. I wonder if the blackberry company knows that their copyrights and trademarks are being infringed upon. I’m going to call their legal department and squeal on the usurpers! Better yet! I’m calling my congressman! Raspberries are NOT blackberries! Forget starvation! Forget child labor! Hell, forget about the browning banana issue! This, my friends, is where we as a society should shine to show that there really is social justice in this world!

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  • Coffee Lost numbers: Buffy vs Twilight

    sm_monkeyIf you read the title for this post and said “What a bunch of foolish gibberish!” while throwing your device of choice out the window because you thought that aaronjedwards.com was supposed to actually make sense, well…I’ve got news. Firstly, you’ve got some issues: I mean, when has ANYTHING on aaronjedwards.com ever made sense? Secondly – that title IS gibberish – kind of. The terms “coffee,” “lost numbers,” and “Buffy vs Twilight” are the top three terms of all time that direct google users to aaronjedwards.com. This has inspired me to write a post which does nothing but capitalize on every search term that has ever directed people to this website…..far be it from me to not use an already proven method! So here goes nothing:

    Coffee – social mercy in Buffy Session 8 and Bob Dylan’s drug of choice. The lost number, lost humor, and Einstein Lost explain what happened to Starbucks in 2007. Overlooked movies of 2010, How to make a Dutch Bros Annihilator, and burning books not withstanding, Aaron James Edwards coffee pic made Hulk bubbles. Meanwhile, Spike and Buffy Fanfiction and radiohead decline makes one ask “Is REM Anti Christian?”

    Excuses are bad decisions. What is mean of life? Sparkly vampire T-shirts and coffee cups. Not to mention songs about alternative lifestyles.

    Man sipping coffee, 5 overlooked movies, censorship burning, and кофе фото made pro wrestler’s political beliefs look like Transformers 3: Sunshine Cleaning. I write fanfiction Jinx. Think about this: Einstein – Nazi Germany, Hitler meeting an Alien. Weird Al and stumptown comics.

    Buffy spike, angel, Buffy kils Edward. Buffy stakes Edward. Twilight sucks, Buffy rules, Joss Wheddon knows an Einstein comic. JJ Abrams and Star Trek will stump other bands. Buffy Buffy Buffy, willow Buffy Buffy.

    So, with Dylan’s house of the rising sun, coffee and smoke,” I leave you with this thought: Other bands hate Radiohead.


    My brain officially hurts, but maybe this post shall bring in new readers to aaronjedwards.com. Maybe the new viewers will tell all their friends about the exciting and wonderful posts they read here. Or maybe they’ll see this post as a troll to get hits, and hit their browser’s “back” button. Regardless, to the person searching for Aaron J Edwards in Colorado, I hope you find them.

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