A Nightmare On Vinnie Vitale Street

October 1st, 2013

http://alancook.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/62.jpg

I awoke Sunday morning from an awful nightmare in which I was unable to take a photo with almost the entire cast of Breaking Bad as a result of the IOS 7 update.  I still haven’t recovered.

In my dream, I had encountered the actors at the airport where apparently they all had also run into each other, so they took the opportunity to pose for a selfie that Aaron Paul took.  While doing so, I asked if he would mind taking one of me with everyone on my phone and he enthusiastically replied, “Sure.”

From here, a terrible chain of events unfolded.

I attempted to bring up the camera app, but for some reason it would not open. It kept leading me through other processes, my frustration building with opportunity fading.  Frantically, I continued to tap the icon on my phone, praying it would just execute the correct function, their patience waning.

“Aaron, I’m sorry, for some reason it’s not working right. Can you give me another second?”

He attempted to stall everyone, but it was too late.  Bryan Cranston stepped forward. “Aaron, we don’t have time for this.  Let’s go.”

Then, the Pinkman himself looked at me, with empathy in his eyes–like I was Gale and he was about to pull the trigger–and stated, “Sorry.”

And they walked off, never to be seen again.

At this point, I would have rather been shot through the eye socket.  He might as well have just called me a bitch; at least that’s what I felt like.  I felt more helpless and distraught over trying to operate this stupid phone than Walter watching Hank get murdered in the desert.  I hurled my worthless device against the wall and broke down crying.

Why IOS7?!  Why did you have to take this once in a lifetime opportunity away from me in an experience that completely never actually even happened to me?

But technically I would argue this is worse than if it really had; if a man can’t dream, then what does he have?  Nothing but an iPhone and his shitty reality.

In the weeks that followed in my dream (it was a long dream), I was sent into a whirlwind of crippling depression where I all I could do was recount the events of that day, wishing I could somehow go back and relive it prior to downloading the IOS7 update.

Unable to cope, I treated every friend I encountered like a therapist, gauging their opinion of the update and whether I was at fault in my experience.  I came to find I was not completely alone in my assertions, although no one had missed an opportunity like mine, nor had cried in relation to the update.

Of the interactions I had, I recall relentlessly bitching to a buddy of mine until he agreed merely to shut me up. Which is pretty much how issues I raise play out in real life: I complain, friend provides rationale, and I continue complaining until they just agree the world is, in fact, against me.

“Dude, this update sucks man! I can’t believe how shitty it is! I can’t do anything on it! How the fuck do you get an app to force close now?!! I’m holding down the icon and it’s not doing anything!!!”

“You just swipe the window up.  It’s actually easier.”

“Well, what the fuck?  It’s still stupid as hell.  And what’s with all the bright colors and cartoonish looking graphics and shit?  The phone looks crappy now.”

“The redesign is supposedly to increase functionality.”

“I read that it supposedly makes people dizzy and now I see what they are talking about.  I feel like I’m going to throw up.  Are they just trying to be a like Droid or something?  This phone sucks.”

“So get a Samsung like me and stop complaining.”

“See!  I knew you hated them too!”

(brief pause)

“Dude, what’s this girl’s problem?  I just texted her and all she wrote back was “hey”.  I’m probably the most awesome guy she will ever get, and she just writes “hey”?  What kind of response is that?  Is she retarded?”

“…”

If you’re an acquaintance, things play out a little different: I complain, you disagree, and the cycle continues until you decide to stop associating with me at the bar.  We don’t usually get to the point of me complaining about girls, unless I decide to lead with that, which usually I do.  And you’re the girl at the bar that I’m complaining to about.

“So remember like 3 weeks ago while we were out at dinner I was talking to you and then your eyes shifted mid conversation, as if something distracted you?  I mean, you looked back at me right away, but for a brief moment I felt like didn’t have your full attention… I was just wondering if you remember what it was?

“…”

“Maybe it was nothing…I mean, I’m sure it wasn’t anything.  I don’t even know why I am asking you this…Seriously, forget it.  It’s stupid.”

(rolls eyes)

“No, see, obviously that was directed towards me–I didn’t mean like that.  I meant I thought maybe something else caught your attention for a second that prevented you from being completely interested in what I had to say, but obviously you are because you are still hanging out with me right now.  I knew I shouldn’t have brought this up.”

(looking bored and around the room)

“No, listen, I know I’m awesome.  I’m one of the most confident guys you will ever meet, believe me.  This is clearly evidenced by the fact that I don’t refrain from asking ridiculously loaded questions that demonstrate what a neurotic lunatic I am for overanalyzing a trivial matter that means nothing in the grand scheme of things, yet I would dwell upon for the entire length of time it took for me to eventually bring it to your attention, because from the moment it occurred I convinced myself it was not worth saying anything since it would potentially make you think I am crazy, but I was unable to refrain from at this point due to my anxiety building up and the intoxicated feelings I have from the alcohol and every time I look at you, and my belief that in order for two people to build anything that that is truly genuine and real they have to be completely honest and open with each other at all times, even if it means sometimes looking foolish or vulnerable or delusional in front of that person, which is why I am telling you this right now rather than later.”

“…uh…can I go now?”

“…”

Where was I?

Without its once pioneering and stubborn leader at its helm, Apple is currently in a state of dysfunction.  Sure, the company continues to operate, but let’s face facts: the products it has put out since the loss of Steve Jobs have done little to remind us why we were so addicted to their brand in the first place.

As Google continues to innovate and create technology with advanced functionality that I am too lazy to learn, there exists the opportunity for Apple to do nothing and remain loved for it’s simple interface design and commands.

Yet, this is where they are beginning to lose their place.

It seems they are abandoning their trademark crystal blue meth and attempting to replace it with Google heroin. I have been a loyal customer to meth all these years, but I am not about to move up to heroin.  Especially inferior heroin.

My point is, I don’t have the time, patience, discipline, or desire to start learning a more complicated process to get my fix. I shouldn’t have to google “how to use an iPhone”. I’m not looking to start injecting my social life with a needle. Just let me snort or smoke your stuff, I’m completely content with the mediocre high your technology allows my life to give me.

So please, cut the shit Apple and just stick to the same drug you’ve been giving us all these years. We meth heads are all counting on you.

Breaking Bad Apples: A Comparison Between Management Styles Of Walter White & Steve Jobs

September 29th, 2013

One of the greatest shows ever will end tonight, and with it goes one of the greatest characters we will ever see displayed cinematically: Walter White.

As the final episode nears, I cannot help but assume Walt dies, and this realization has brought on some uncanny comparisons to another figure we lost in relatively recent times: Steve Jobs.

One fictionalized, the other real, there is no denying that Mr. White and Mr. Jobs were two of the most powerful and influential business tycoons of our time.  Sure, their areas of expertise may vary a bit; one dealt meth, the other not meth.  But whether you’re a drug kingpin or tech lynchpin, the one single fundamental principle that underlies your strategy will always remain the same: increase your bottom line.

Which has led me to consider what other factors might be the same for these two “polar opposite” businessmen; perhaps their management styles?  Hmmm…I smell something cooking…is it crystal meth?  Or do I smell a Heisenberg/Jobs face-off?

After a full measure analysis, here is how the “Breaking Bad Ass” & “Mac Daddy” would measure up if we compared apples to apples:

1. Both created products that drew mass amounts of addicts

Mmmm, pop rocks.

What is this? The nano? I don’t even know at this point, but it was blue, so deal with it.

2. Both had cancer

4dbiS4S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Why can’t you be more like Uncle Hank?”

“Shutup Jesse-I mean, Junior.”

“Pancreatic cancer? There’s an app for that–oh shit, there’s not.”

3. Both began operations in small, unfavorable settings and grew an empire

cymHvyk“Oh Jesse, I’m wearing nothing but an apron and my underwear right now… Come on in!”

“Shutup Mom & Dad! How many times do I have to tell you I’m not working on my car?! No–I’m doing important stuff in here. I’m gonna be somebody–oh wait, you’re not my real Mom & Dad? Then fuck off!”

4. Both brought death upon anyone who dared cross them

“I might have considered giving you CPR, had your mouth not been full of vomit. Ewwww.”

Heisenberg kill count: 150+ (includes Jane’s father and all flight passengers)

50 Chinese workers at Foxconn, threatened to commit suicide by leaping from their factory roof in protest at their working conditions

“Heya, fuck ah you ah Meester Jobs! We don wan no work for you no more. We sick of literarry working for apple a day. If you give us ah no raise, we gon-ah jump off this here-ah building!”
“Go ahead, jump! See if I care! There’s only a billion more of you I can get to do my work for free!”

Jobs kill count: 14 recorded deaths (also real people)

5. Both started businesses they were forced to leave

Those bastards at Gray Matter stole my idea? Oh, we’ll see who has the last laugh. We’ll see…ok class, so who’s familiar with chemical combustion? I’m just going to burn the school down now.”

“You think you can survive without me??! Didn’t you learn your lesson the first time? This time I’m not coming back!”

6. Both took advantage of handicapped people for their own self-betterment

“I’m just a poor old man who dings a bell and shits himself. And you want to strap a bomb to my chair because…?”

“Hey, I may park illegally in handicapped spaces, but I own Apple so I’m entitled, no? Oh wait, I have cancer. You can fuck off now.”

7. Both had to deal with more wealthy, highly respected businessmen who stole their ideas and threatened their existence

El Pollo Hermano, muy crispy.

“Come at me Steve! I’ve done time bro! You’re micro-SOFT bitch!”

(^^^^^^Ummmm, side note… Does anyone else find it insanely coincidental where Bill Gates served time in this mug shot????? I’m actually starting to reconsider my investigation into all of this.)

8. Both strived for perfection and refused to compromise integrity for an inferior product

“Jesse! There’s been a contamination! His name is Gale! I can tell by staring at this fly’s genitals!”

“I don’t need this stuff. And I don’t need you. I don’t need anything. Except this. And that’s the only thing I need is this. Just this rug… and this coffee cup. The rug and the coffee cup and that’s all I need… and this stereo. The rug, the coffee cup, and the stereo, and that’s all I need… and these magazines. The rug, and these magazines, and the coffee cup, and the stereo… And this lamp. The rug, this coffee cup, and the stereo, and the lamp, and that’s all I need.”

9. Both had sidekicks who continually screw up their business model

“I’m going to sell my own meth out of my RV! How do you like that bitch?!”
“I’m responsible for the death of both your girlfriends.”

“We should put out the iPhone 5C and vastly change the interface with the IOS7 update. People will love it!”
“Stop it asshole, you are ruining my company.”

10. Both were extremely charismatic and manipulative speakers

(^Clearly one of the crazy ones Jobs was referring to)

11. Both became products of their own environment.  They started with the best of intentions, but eventually were seen as potentially evil, power hungry monsters…and we still can’t help but wonder, were they?

“Sky-lerrrrrr, you bitch! It’s mah 52nd birffffday! Bacon and ehhh-uggs!”

“Here Mrs. Hill, I got you this apple. Enjoy it; one day I will own you.”

12. Both fathered children they refused to accept as their own

"Breaking Bad" Star, RJ Mitte, Celebrates 21st Birthday At Ghostbar Inside Palms Casino Resort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Hey Dad, you think you’re the only one whose alter ego leads a completely different life? Why else do you think I need a balanced breakfast every morning?”

Lisa Nicole Brennan-Jobs

“Um? I gave birth to you in 1978… shit, really??? I was on a lot of acid back then.”

13. Both used simple design as a trademark to enhance marketability

Crystal. Blue. Persuasion.

14. Just look at them:

AMC-Breaking_Bad-5_1437

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Say my name.”

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“Read my book. Or see my movie. The guy who plays me is currently banging Mila Kunis, so obviously his life is awesome enough to play mine.”

Have some comparisons of your own? Feel free to add them in the comments section!

How to prolong the time between haircuts

September 23rd, 2013

In this tough economy, we’ve had to spend more conservatively and come up with creative methods towards saving, some of those being related to simple everyday tasks.  Of these tasks, one is hygiene, particularly keeping yourself well-kempt.  Of course, I still recommend showering and changing your underwear on a regular basis, but there are some things we can get away with doing less frequently.  One of them is getting your haircut.

Haircuts are expensive.  They can range anywhere between $10 to $16.95.  If you go to a salon, they can cost as much as $4000 and your dignity.  Then, in the hood you have “barba” shops and these are rather pricey too.  The owners must be charging a premium for creating such fashionable looks as “the helmet” and “the chinstrap”.  Or maybe they just have really high insurance rates due to allowing Puerto Ricans to handle straight razors around your neck.

There is always the option to cut your own hair, but God knows you will wind up looking like Forrest Gump or Lloyd Christmas.  Take my word on this–don’t try it.  I know, from personal experience.  And multiple failed dates.

Sure, you’ll be thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ll ‘clean up’ a little before we meet up.”  Then 15 buzzer swipes later, you’re sitting at dinner going, “Hey, why’s she’s staring at me like I have just gotten a lobotomy? Shit, I wish I had before I decided to go through with this.”

Here is my advice; it’s pretty simple: stop getting your hair cut so often.  It might seem obvious enough, but for some of you it won’t be.  I’ll walk into the barber and see you in the waiting chair–looking like you just got out of the barber’s chair–fidgeting, and grimacing at the barber while he’s tending to his current customer.  It’s your third time this month!  What’s up with your obsession?  Is he giving you free handjobs under the cape?  I bet you love when he puts his hot cream on your neck.  Followed by the barbasol massage.

I never understood the anticipation of having those damned scissors near your head.  You could be seated with a potential psychopath.  But no, his name’s Jerry and he graduated from high school 50 years ago, and you trust him.  If you’re lucky, he might have even gone on to barber school!

Chances are more likely his traditional Italian father thought he was too much of a prissy for the mob and all these years rage has been building inside of him to the point that you get him on the day he snaps.  And now you’ve got scissors jammed in your forehead, all because you increased your odds of impending doom by going 42 times a year.  Do you really want that?

I don’t know, maybe it’s the sheer sound of the blades slicing through your hair that keeps you coming back like a Pavlov dog.  Don’t worry, the talc powder isn’t going anywhere.  You can always get your fix.  Just don’t ask Jerry about his father.

Start by weening yourself off slowly.  Instead of going once every two hours, try stretching it to like four weeks.  I promise, you’ll still be alive by the end of it.  You might even find yourself engaging in some more enjoyable activities that take your mind off letting your hair grow–like having a woman run her fingers through and pull the shit out of it while she’s riding you nasty in bed, her eyes rolled so far back in her head she doesn’t even give a damn that you have hair for any reason other than the fact that it’s something to hold onto.

Now, if that image still isn’t enough to convince you to stop the cutting–or your girlfriend insists you always do it missionary because she’s a piece of shit–then move on to your wrists.  Kidding.  I would never endorse suicide, on a public blog.  (Seriously, don’t do it.  It might get infected if you don’t succeed.)

All joking aside, you might still be wondering, “Vin, how on earth could I possibly take such risks with my personal image? I can’t having people looking at me like I’m some kind of hippie or something.”  And I don’t blame you–nobody wants that.

I have a solution for this too.  And it actually prolongs the length of time between haircuts even more, just in case long hair is what you’re going for, ya dirty hippie.

Solution 2: grow your sideburns and trim them every once in a while.  By doing so, you will give off the false bravado of getting haircuts.  And while you’re faking babes out with this technique, you’ll have more cash in your wallet it to fake ‘em out with being charming at dinner.

Unless you are horrible with rhetoric.  Then, you can just sit home all night writing at your computer, hidden behind the cloak of a blog that attempts to dupe others into thinking you’re “deep” and “insightful”, when really you’re too much of stuttering buffoon to be smooth when it matters.  But at least also happens to have great hair, am I right, ladies?

Don’t believe my trimming sideburns technique works?  Here’s evidence–I haven’t cut my hair since June.  Just look at my before and after pics!

Before trimming sideburns:

After trimming sideburns:

After Latin “barba” shop:

Vitale’s Theory of Relativity of Intelligence

July 1st, 2013

Photo on 7-1-13 at 9.15 AM #2

People are getting dumber; i.e. me.

In our endless quest for attention it’s no longer as much a concern to be smart as it is to look smart. I am basing this theory entirely on analysis of myself, which shows you how stupid and ignorant I am.

For example, I want to be a writer and sound intelligent, but instead I consider the easier task of posting a picture of myself reading a book so I simply look intelligent. And then everyone thinks, “Hey, this guy must be smart. Look at him, he’s reading a book.” And now I’ve accomplished the notion of being smart without actually having to do much of anything, other than pressing a button on my Iphone, if that counts as being smart. I don’t know, some people may think it does.

This is, in fact, how I fool people with my college degrees.

“Hey, look at this guy. He’s got 2 degrees. He must be smart.”

No, no–I’m not. That’s just a matter of perception. I got the 2 degrees so you would think I am smart. Society made it a requirement in order for me to get a job. And yet I still wonder why this has often been such a difficult task.

“Hi. I just invested about $200,000 in my future. Well, not I, per se. More so my parents did. And then I got a full-ride to grad school by making the university think they were making a wise investment in me. So no, technically I didn’t invest anything in my future. Absolutely nothing. I have no future. But I still somehow managed to get these 2 degrees. Will you employ me? I was told it should help.”

“Well, is this a job you actually want?”

“Yes.”

“Then no.”

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed college. I loved college. And I even felt smarter while I was there. The collegiate atmosphere is extremely conducive towards making one feel smart. But it doesn’t mean you actually are. I probably would have become smarter if I simply applied myself in anything at the time.

Like intently reading books and writing on my own, for the pure desire of doing it. Not because I had to cram for an exam in order to pass and soon forget about later. And then never have to remember for a career anyway because we just went over why. I think my point is, fuck college. I mean, I love it. But fuck it too.

We can really only be as smart as we think we are anyway, right?

Like someone could tell me, “Hey, you’re very smart.” And I won’t take it as a compliment. At all. And not because I don’t want to. But because in theory, this is impossible to believe. Let’s consider the logic.

In order to for someone to accept “you’re very smart” as a compliment, you must compare yourself relatively to that person.

In other words, if what they are saying is true, it would require that person be smart enough to assess your intellect. And in order for someone to be smart enough to assess if another person is “very smart”, they ought be smarter than the person of whom is being assessed.

So now the compliment “you’re very smart” becomes more like saying, “You’re very smart–but not quite as smart as me. How else would I know if you are very smart?”

And to me, that’s a rather arrogant thing to say. They might as well just tell you you’re dumb.

But if they themselves are dumber than you–which they likely will be if you are indeed very smart–and have taken the liberty of passing this judgment upon you, then why the hell would you listen to them?

What do they know? They aren’t intelligent enough to assess your intelligence. Tell them to go read a book and quit being an dummy. Only asses assess one another.

So next time you are about to compliment someone for being smart, think about what you’re about to say. Do you really want to come off like an asshole? Or just an ass?

This whole post is stupid. You have probably become relatively dumber from reading it–but if you tell people you read something today, they might think you’re smart. Just don’t tell them what it was.

Actually please do. I wouldn’t mind building traffic to my website. I don’t really care if people think you, or I, are dumb. According to my logic, smart or dumb, it doesn’t matter either way; we’re all the same. We’re all human. Just a bunch of moral immoral animals. Forget being the smartest guy in the room. I want to be the dumbest guy in the room and act solely on irrational instinct.

On that profound note, enjoy your day, ya stupid fuckin’ idiot.

Signed,

A smart-ass

The saddest phone call ever

June 24th, 2013

Sometimes I have phone convos with people I know I will never interact with again.  And not just sex hotlines.  Like recently when I got audited and I paid up front for audit protection because for only $40 extra I figured I might as well take the chance at being audited.  Who wouldn’t?  That’s a pretty good deal.  And I was.  So they were pretty good at guaranteeing that I needed to be protected.

tax-man-image-vacations

What I imagine Frank McClowan looks like, if he were a cartoon. Technically he could be, I have never met him. Maybe he is a robot. He did sound like one.

Now I’m on the phone with this guy named Frank McClowan we’ll say for the sake of identity protection, though if you knew who I am actually referring to you would know that I sure as hell am not masking his name very well.  Perhaps you will have the pleasure of speaking with him should you ever take the chance at being audited.  And he’s like, “Hi this Frank McClowan from taxblahblah.com.  I am officially the most boring person you will ever talk to.  But I am here to help you.” And he was very boring, but very helpful.

They are all in cahoots.  I think TurboTax and these other companies just pay the IRS to audit people so they get more money.  Or the other way around would probably make more sense– the IRS pays these companies for information on people who probably should be audited, like me.

Regardless, this guy Frank handled everything for me, which was fine. I even got him doing extra stuff, like he’s telling me I should amend my state return to be safe and I’ve got him looking up if I’m going to be penalized because I don’t want to do it.  Meanwhile I’m in this situation because of my carelessness and Frank is just calling me back going, “I think you’ll be alright.”

So now I’ve got no reason left to communicate with him ever again and I don’t know how to say goodbye.  I’m like, “Well Frank, uh, good luck with everything.  Have a great week.  Bye now.”

Is that good?  Because I really felt like I was abandoning someone who became a close companion to me.  He saved me $100 on my audit!  He didn’t have to do that.  He could have just said, “Yes, we checked and you do in fact owe this much money.”  Instead he spent several hours on the phone with me over the span of several weeks.  I told him where I live.  He knows how much money I make.  I know where he lives.  In many ways I became closer to this boring, helpful and presumably lonely guy than many women I’ve dated.  I will miss you, tax audit man.

On second thought, maybe I’m the boring, lonely and presumably helpless guy with abandonment issues.

A message I wrote on an online dating site to a girl who said she listens to Billy Joel and Phil Collins

December 2nd, 2012

Hey girl,

In the middle of the night, I go walking in my sleep because I’ve been looking for something so hard to find that it can only be seen by the eyes of the blind–until I saw her, for the longest time, I’d been in a NY State of mind, out of touch with the rhythm and blues.

I decided I’m gonna tell her about it, I’m gonna try for an uptown girl, don’t ask me why, I am an innocent man. She’s got a way about her profile that I’m keeping the faith in online dating. This is my life; at least that’s what I told my parents when movin’ out.

So whatdaya say, a bottle of red? Or a bottle of white? It all depends upon your appetite. We could just go take a ride on the Hudson River line–oh wait I stopped driving my car when I moved to Hoboken. Where do you live again? Allentown? I’ve forgotten since I started writing this message.

We all fall in love but we disregard the danger of a bad initial attempts to impress a stranger; but hell only the good die young. And I often consider myself the entertainer anyway.

Besides, when it comes to love, it’s just a matter of trust. Well, honesty helps too. And honestly I can tell I’d like you just the way you are. Though admittedly right now, it’s probably lust. But who knows, why not give this big shot a try and see if it’s a total bust? No pressure, darling, I don’t go to extremes. Though this message might tell you otherwise.

You may be right; I may be crazy–but I may just be the lunatic you are looking for! I can feel it coming in the air tonight–oh wait wrong song guy. Ah hell, I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life. I`d like to settle down, get married and maybe have a child someday. While the night is still young.

If the weather affects your voting, you are officially a retard

November 4th, 2012

http://www.weather.com/news/bad-weather-election-turnout-20120924

^Don’t watch the video. Just read the article.

Ok listen. I’m pretty drunk and partially high right now, but what I saw on the television before was kinda fucked up. It was the weather. Basically the gist of this weather report was “If weather is bad, you will vote for Romney. If weather is good, you will vote for Obama.” Since when the fuck does the weather have any correlation with Americans’ stance on a presidential candidate? Yet, with this report I can see how.
You see, if you vote for Romney, as per the bad weather, your opinion was based on the fact that you blame our current state of affairs related to the hurricane on Obama. If the weather is good and you thus vote for Obama, you’ve done this out of the overall complacent well-being you derive from the weather due to Obama. In other words, forget the issues. Forget who is actually the better candidate–if the weather sucks, it’s Obama’s fault. If it’s good, well then Obama must be doing a good job. Nothing else really matters.
I don’t know about you, but is that not the most fucked up weather report you’ve ever heard? We just had a hurricane and a goddamn Nor’easter is due to occur this week. Did Romney pay these bastards off to make these predictions?
Good luck voting Tuesday. For me, it will be a cloudy but sunny day in my mind. This way my vote is not impacted by any extraneous circumstances.
Eh, who am i kidding? I’m not voting! All that shit is rigged anyway. I’m just bummed the power is back. It means I gotta stop drinking and get back to reality. And by reality I mean not not showering and drinking at noon for 7 straight days.

The weather affected this guy’s voting stance.

Granny’s Biggest Fan

August 9th, 2012

My grandmother died last year. It was very upsetting for me. She hemmed a suit for me right before she passed away and it was the best tailoring job I’ve ever received. I don’t know where to get my pants stitched now. Aside from this, she was a pretty sweet lady too.

Do you know she left me one last gift on her way out? I was on a blind date that was not going very well, and by “not going very well” I mean even a copious amount of alcohol intake was not improving the situation, and I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it.

Two hours into sitting there awkwardly, pretending to be interested in what this delusional ditz had to say while I was trying to formulate an elaborate excuse to leave, I received the text from my Mom that my grandmother had passed away.

Now, that’s tragic, and I was very distraught… but you’ve got to admit she had pretty good timing. I didn’t even have to explain myself. All I had to do was hold my phone up and the date was over.

Which was my only option anyway, considering Ms. Oblivious Motor Mouth was still yapping away even as my eyes began to well up. Something tells me this wasn’t her first time on a date that she brought a guy to the verge of tears. Or suicide. Maybe my news didn’t phase her because some other sucker on a previous date had already wisely chosen to use his grandmother’s death as an excuse to escape?

So then I get up to leave and she still just sat there chatting incessantly! It was as if she didn’t even blink an eye.

After all this time, I’m now starting to wonder if maybe my date actually was blind? It might explain the sunglasses she was wearing at night. And she never did tell me what she was carrying that stick for? I just figured she brought it in case her dog wanted to play fetch.

Oh well, I don’t hope to ever see her again anyway.

On the other hand, seeing my grandma again would be nice. I got a pair of shorts that need to be stitched up at the seam down the back. I squatted too quickly and–R.I.P.

An Eerie Story about an Old Man

March 21st, 2011

My grandpa has stopped caring. He doesn’t give a shit. He gave up years ago. I went down to Florida to visit him for the first time in ages and it was quite an interesting experience. For starters, he stopped cleaning his house. Altogether. And not just stopped cleaning, but literally started creating garbage. He doesn’t throw anything away. He’s not like one of those hoarders—like I don’t think he would start crying if I tried to throw something out—he just doesn’t do it. His house is just a collection of used paper towels and old newspapers covering every square inch. Mind you, this is merely what I witnessed from a quick glance inside the front door; there was no way I setting foot in this house. The smell that hit me as soon as he opened the door was so fucking bad I almost threw up. But it wasn’t just the smell; it was the sight of him. The guy looked as if he hadn’t showered or changed his clothes for the past 20 years. Seriously, I would have been more inclined to hug some random homeless guy in New York than to even stand anywhere near this guy. And it wasn’t just his clothes and the smell. No, that was nowhere near the worst of it. Before flying down there, my parents had warned me that he’s got this problem with his ear that he refuses to go to the doctor about. This “problem” was way beyond a problem; it was a catastrophe. The guy’s ear wasn’t even an ear anymore; it was just this black mass of green-yellow goo oozing out of the side of his head—and it was about the size of my fist. No joke, it looked like a rotten tomato attached to the side of his head. To top everything off, he had the most bizarre haircut I have ever seen. His hair was all long on the side of his head with the ear-tastrophe, yet cut clean and short on the other. He honestly had a close resemblance to “Two-face”, only far older and more utterly-repulsive. As far as his hair was concerned, I thought he was attempting to cover the sight of his ear, but really the barber just won’t cut anywhere near that side of his head. And he’s complaining: “You know, I can’t seem to get a good haircut anymore, the barber just never does a good job.” And you want to be like, “Have you looked in the fucking mirror?! He’s actually doing you a favor!” So between the smell of his apartment, and the sight of him, and the smell emitting from his rotting, infected, tomato-ear on the side of his head, I’m fucking nauseous. I had to tell him my stomach was upset from some food I ate the night before and get the hell out of there. I went back down the block to my spend the rest of the weekend with my grandma, who normally I can’t stand, but right now was like visiting an angel. (Yeah, my grandparents have been separated for over 30 years, yet both live in Florida right down the street from one another. Don’t try to figure them out, my mother still can’t.) So now as I am leaving Two-face’s place, what’s with the way he’s waving goodbye? I’m backing out of the driveway and the guy is standing in the doorway, violently flailing both hands at me and grimacing and squinting his eyes like some decrepit, old, senile Asian man with down syndrome—all of which pertains to him, minus the Asian part. I mean, I think; this might explain a few things about me. Needless to say, I think he’s losing it. No, he’s way past losing it. He’s definitely lost it. Months later, we got the call…

Apparently, cops pulled him over on a highway 4 hours from his house and he has no clue where he is. It just so happens he is in like some red-light district outside of Orlando—some real ghetto location that is definitely not a normal place for a senior citizen to be visiting. My uncle thinks he was trying to get a blowjob. Something tells me he didn’t. In his state, I’m pretty sure even all the money in the world could not buy this man a blowjob. The cops can’t deal with him; they are so grossed out by his ear, they think it’s an infectious disease and call the fire department to transport him to the hospital, who show up wearing Hazmat uniforms—masks and everything. When they pulled him from his car, it was like a scene out of “Outbreak” or something, where they quarantine and transport the senile old man who was trying to get a blowjob from some hooker. To save you from any boring part of this story—which clearly there isn’t—we’ll skip over the next few weeks. Basically my mom went down there for a month to tend to him and drive him around until he finally got his cancerous ear removed—all the while sticking her head out the window while she’s driving—in what would culminate to be the absolute worst experience of her life. Could you imagine spending even more than one straight week with your demented father, never mind my mother’s demented father? We all felt pretty bad for her; but hey, it’s her father! She had to clean his house, which you could only imagine was the closest thing to hell on earth. It was so uninhabitable, I am surprised she didn’t go in there wearing a Hazmat uniform. She said his bed sheets looked like they had never once been changed and were just stained yellow and brown from all the fluids from his ear, and god only knows what else.  Needless to say, he can’t live on his own anymore; so she transported him up here. Yay! He now lives with my uncle, who is beyond ecstatic—everything a guy in his fifties who just recently moved in with girlfriend could ever wish for. There was no way my parents were taking him, that’s for sure. Having my brother and I, as well as temporarily my sister, her husband and their baby, was the perfect excuse for them to push grandpa off on him. And as much as simply having me around can surely be a burden for anyone, the ill effects of my company are imperceptible in comparison to good ol’ grandpa; my parents actually rejoice every time I enter the room since he’s been up here! So this is the current state until the old man does something so drastic—apparently even more drastic than he already has—that he gets pushed off into a nursing home, which I hope he doesn’t because honestly I don’t mind having the guy around, at least occasionally. It’s pretty entertaining. I’m sure my uncle would tell you otherwise.

When they removed his ear, it was so infected they had to take out like half of his head. Seriously, the area affected was so large they had to take a skin graft from his thigh and sew it to the side of head just to make up for how much skin they had to remove. So now he’s got no ear; he’s got stitches running down from the side of his head to his neck; and some pale, wrinkly thigh skin–some pubes on the side of his face–where his ear should be located. It’s kind of cool honestly. It’s like having Frankenstein around. He even walks like him too, more so shuffles. I’m not kidding, he scares the children. On their airplane ride back, my mom said kids started crying every time he got up to go the bathroom—which is a lot. I would know; he announces this every single time he has to at our house. Being his clothes are so ratty, my mom just gives him a bunch of my old clothes to wear, which is pretty much just all the clothing he had bought me over the years that I never wore. All these years he’s buying me clothes and now he’s just wearing all the clothes he bought me; isn’t it great how everything comes around full circle from birth to death? When he came to visit last Sunday, I was like, “Wow, that shirt looks familiar. Heyy, waaaait—that’s my shirt!”

The other day, he starts eating these cookies, he must have eaten like 6 of them—it was really disgusting to watch. The thing was, there was this post-it on these cookies, “Don’t Touch! Science Experiment”, except “experiment” was actually spelled “experient” and there was little arrow above the “i” and the “e” in which an “m” was ever-so haphazardly inserted. I wonder what kind of experiment this could be where  “experiment” is misspelled on a post-it labeling a batch of cookies sitting on the counter? The presentation of it all really couldn’t have been any more perfect. The guy who wrote it, i.e. my brother, has a certain habit that involves eating a lot of cookies when he’s done, so the creative thinker he is (or just the huge stoner) he decides to kill two birds with one stone in the name of science. I suppose this is how lazy you become when you have this habit. “I gotta’ smoke and chew my food???” Or he just wants to get really stoned, which anyone who has ever feasted on such delectables knows you will. So my grandpa can’t read, or can and just doesn’t give a shit because he’s old, and he eats like 6 of these cookies. And needless to say, within 45 minutes he’s totally baked. Now he won’t shut the fuck up. I had to tell him to quiet down. I’m like, “Grandpa, you’re talking my ear off!” And then I stopped myself realizing, “Oh wait, poor choice of words.” In retrospect, I felt bad, but it didn’t really matter anyway, because when I told him he was facing to the side and couldn’t hear a damn thing I was saying. That’s aside from the fact that the whole time I thought he was talking to me, but apparently he was communicating with his cousin Barbara.

On Christmas Eve, we had to watch him for a little while—which means instruct him to sit on the couch and watch TV—and before getting ready to go to my aunt’s, my mom tells him we are going to leave at 4:30. So as you might expect, that is the time he is expecting to leave; you cannot mess with old people and their schedules. Of course, my mother is running late. So now 4:25 hits and the guy is up, Frankenstein-shuffling to my parents’ bedroom, holding his shoes in one hand and knocking on their door with the other: “It’s almost 4:30, it’s time to leave.” And they’re not answering, so he comes to my room, and you know, I’m getting ready—I’m naked—and he starts knocking on mine. So I ignore him. Then, I hear him picking the lock: “It’s almost 4:30, it’s time to leave.” Fortunately, my father comes out and tells him to “sit down”. And he’s like, “Ok”, all somber, and Frankenstein-shuffles back to the couch with his tail between his legs, shoes still in hand. Really. This is how it is with him. He’s like a dog; whatever command you tell him, he’ll listen. I’m considering putting him on a leash: my very own Franken-grandpa-dog. So now my brother, father and I are standing in the kitchen and 4:30 hits, and my mom is still not ready, and the old man is up again, pointing to his watch: “It’s 4:30! We’ve got to go!” Meanwhile, he’s got nowhere to be! And again my dad’s like, “Sit!” Eventually, my dad can’t take it anymore and just goes outside and warms the car up. About ten minutes later, my mom finally comes out and he immediately sits up and shuffles back into the kitchen, holding his shoes, and she’s like, “Put your shoes on.” And he’s like, “I can’t find my slippers.” So we start looking for his slippers; it takes us about five more minutes to realize that they have been on his fucking feet this whole time, and now we help him get his shoes on and guide him out to the car–he’s now holding his slippers–and I realize something… this drive is the most exciting thing this guy had to look forward to all day. We are taking him back to my uncle’s, where for the rest of the night he will simply sit in his room with “the McLaughlin Group” blaring until he passes out, while my uncle struggles to ignore his presence and get some quality boning time in with the girlfriend.  Hell, the old geezer probably be better off if he were a dog; at least he’d get some attention—and we would have let him stick his head out the car window on the ride home. It’s a wonderful life being old, isn’t it?

Why “Thanksgiving Eve” is a shitty fucking party night.

November 24th, 2010

Being single and living with your parents in your hometown sucks ass around the holidays… and most other days for that matter. And by this, I literally mean “around” the holidays. The holidays themselves aren’t so bad–it’s a time I, and anyone else, should be grateful to be with our parents and/or family; it’s the days before and after the holidays that blow. I am 26. I am single. It’s Thanksgiving Eve, the “biggest party night of the year” or so I’ve been informed via Facebook (other than New Year’s Eve I presume, and my birthday of course), and I have not a thing to do. Is this really how lame life becomes “around” the holidays when you no longer have a girlfriend and still live with your parents? It appears so…

I mean, I could go out around town and see old familiar faces, but there’s a reason these faces are “old” and “familiar”– I stopped caring about seeing them after high school. Yes, I know, this sounds harsh, but let’s face it folks– most of you probably don’t really care about seeing my stupid mug either. Of course, there are those few I wouldn’t actually mind seeing, but let’s be honest– after a couple minutes of catching up, we’re both bound to be bored by each other, wishing in the back of our minds we had something better to do tonight than hanging around our bum-ass hometown talking to people about how pointless our lives have become.

Somebody I mildly care about seeing (or don’t and still talk to anyway): “Oooh, I’m working for such and such company. I’m just thankful to have a job in this economy.” Wow, this holiday must have a lot of meaning to you.

Me: “Oh, I’m back in school because I hated my job. I am just thankful that there is such a thing as school and I can use it help further procrastinate my life.” And then we look awkwardly at each other and the conversation ends.

Let’s be real here– if we were that important to each other, we would have otherwise made plans together tonight, wouldn’t we have? Instead, we heard through Facebook about this “awesome” party going on in our hometown and decided to go because we had nothing better to do. So let’s not lie ourselves people, neither you nor I was thoroughly looking forward to this shitty fucking party night in our hometowns the night before a holiday that no one really gives a shit about anyhow, if not for the food. I mean, c’mon; Thanksgiving needs a “biggest party night of the year (other than New Year’s Eve)” and Black Friday surrounding it in order for a majority of our country to even care about the holiday anymore! I’m sure the time-off from work helps too. Seriously though, do you know how many people I know who aren’t seeing their families, merely because they have Christmas coming up to do that? I’m pretty sure if you approached a lot of people and asked them what the actual purpose of Thanksgiving was they wouldn’t even be able to tell you. Especially now, with all these later generations and immigrants and dumb kids with ADD and stuff. Do they even teach about Thanksgiving in school anymore, or is it not allowed because it could considered biased and inappropriate in a school atmosphere (much like every other traditional American holiday has been ruled out)? We can’t have our children actually understanding our country’s history now, can we! I thought I recalled it having something to do with Pilgrims and Mayflowers, but dumbfounded, I decided to look it up– I can’t remember what Mrs. Kuntz taught me in 1st grade, though I’ll never forget her name! Here is what Answers.com gave me: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_purpose_of_Thanksgiving

Wow, thanks Answers.com! THANKS for GIVING me the most obvious answer ever. Now I can go out and drink in my hometown, with the most obvious of expectations for what this night will bring!