Sunday, July 20, 2008

Really? Do 'flamers' really start fires?

Ignorance: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, education or awareness.

That's how Webster's dictionary defines the word. My goal is to find a way to apply that to all the morons who believe that the recent fires in California are in direct relation to the state's approval of same-sex marriage. Honestly, get a freaking life. I guess the common argument is that the fires are God's way of punishing the state for allowing a sinful union of same-sex couples.


I was under the impression that in the summertime, when temperatures are high, humidity is low, and grass and brush are dry that fires are much more common. In fact, there is an ENTIRE season dedicated to fighting fires! Let's go back 100 years, when it was fairly common for fires to ravage a million acres in a couple months. Same-sex marriage? Nope. Fires, certainly.

I don't discriminate anybody's beliefs. What I do discriminate against is the level of ignorance one must have in order to postulate such an absurd claim.

Let's be real; we, as a people, are always in a search for something to blame things on. Look at the government's crutch -- global warming.

Warmer temperatures? Global warming. Childhood obesity? Must be global warming. Erectile dysfunction? It's that doggon global warming I've been hearing so much about.

Taking it back to fires, its obvious that the majority of Christians feel it is sinful to marry somebody of the same sex. So now, this is a form of justification. Although, when I thought about it for a bit, it was kind of funny. Flamers - a derogatory name for gays - coincided with the act of their marriage starting fires...flamers starting's kind of funny. But it's still a stupid and completely unsubstantiated idea.

Case in point: If you need to jump to such extremes to validate your beliefs, you either have too much time on your hands or you don't fully understand what it is you believe. And in the case of the latter, do your homework before you go around raising questions that have no foundation to stand upon. As far as fire history is concerned, once again, do your homework. The very first fire I fought was Arizona's Rodeo-Chediski complex -- the state's largest fire -- raking in more than 450,000 acres in 2002. Fires are not uncommon. They are the result of lightning strikes, unattended campfires and arson. They are not the result of two dudes, or chicks, starting a legal life together. Marriage represents cohesion, unity. Why, then, is it tearing so many of us apart?

It must be that global warming...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ok, enough already

Really, it's getting old. And on a lighter note, you're just making me look bad.

Why can't star athletes make up their minds? Yes, for the 10 seasons they play they attract fans, dazzle the cameras and just make the entire sporting experince that much better.

And I'm cool with that.

What I'm not cool with is when, after years of dedicated service, they retire...and then come back from retirement. I don't like it because it's never the same after. NEVER.

Take Michael Jordan -- one of the greatest players of all time. Leaves the Bulls to go play baseball. We said our farewells, bade him adieu. But then he came back. No more #23. No, no no no. #45. And what happened? It wasn't the same. Then he switched teams and shit just went downhill.

And Barry Bonds...really? 762 career home runs. A one-year contract for $15.8 million in 2007. And you're telling me you don't want to just kick it from now on? I don't know if he took steroids and for this matter I don't really care. But, if he did take them, wouldn't it just be easier to take them, work out all day and not have to worry about the media or perjury charges?

Let's take a look at Brett Favre. The man is a surgeon with the football. A couple weeks ago I was at a park and saw Brett there just tossin the pigskin with some guy. A woman on the other side of the park was sitting on a bench breast-feeding her child. Brett got a little glare in his eye and chucked the football, knocked the baby clean off the teet and threw his hands up like he just won a prize. The mother started to get angry, but once she realized who threw the football, she threw her hands up and screamed, "That was AMAZING!", her bare bosm bouncing gently in the breeze.

To be honest with myself - and also you, my loyal readers - that story may or may not have happened. See, I've never been to Wisconsin. I've never seen Brett Favre in person. But my point is this: we get it. You were amazing athletes. This has been your goal in life since you were 13 years old. And that's admirable. Do us all a favor and take your bijilions of dollars, go buy an island in the Caribbean and play naked beach football with the Playboy bunnies. That sounds a little more enjoyable than being hit by a 300-pound lineman. I dunno, that's just me.

You'll always have your legend. But once you say you're done, then that's it. But stop making me look bad.

The only thing I've dreamed about since puberty is retirement, and now you rub it in my face. No more deceit. I can't take it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Californians are now required to be kooks, and I don't like it

Let's play a little game. I will write a word and you say the very first thing that comes to mind. Ready?


If your first thought was despicable, stupid, annoying or kookish, then, my friends, this is why we get along.

I have disliked these ear-penetrating devices of Satan's thoughts since their inception. For a while, everybody wanted to get one because they were new, cool, hip or any other teenage colloquialism you might imagine. Heck, at one point when I upgraded my phone I was given one for free! I tried to leave it with the salesman, but he kept shoving it down my throat--figuratively, of course. So I took it. And when I walked in the door of my house, I unwrapped it, pushed the button a couple times, placed it in my ear, then threw it away.

It felt very awkward, having only one ear meddled with. It was like a little BlueTooth leprechaun was swinging in my right ear, with no partner to balance out the left. Plus, there was at the time an air of superiority with those who partook in BlueToothy adventures. I saw them the same as the guys who wear their cell phones in the clip on their belt, everywhere they go. I never understood that, either. Are you waiting for a quick-draw challenge? I have never been in a situation where one phone call was so undeniably important that it couldn't ring just one more time. For Pete's sake, every phone on the market comes with caller ID. If you did miss a call, open that mother up and hit SEND twice. That simple. You don't even have to look at the number. But I digress.

Many of you may know that as of July 1, it became illegal to talk on a cellular device of communications while driving a car in California--though it is still legal to text message, which is a thousand times more dangerous. Let's thank the kooks in congress for that one. Needless to say, I was forced to get a BlueTooth.

I know, I know. You are probably saying, "Well, why not just call somebody back after you are done driving?" The reason is fairly simple, even though I haven't completely convinced myself that it is valid. I don't have a home telephone. My cell phone is it. And noting the fact that I have recently been given a lot more freelance work, I have used my phone more than I ever would have imagined. And at this point, if I can get a call when I am driving, I'll take it. My rent depends on it.

My greatest concern, though, is that I will some day look like this guy. This guy, for those unfamiliar with the term, is a kook. He's at the dang dinner table! Why, in all of God's creation is it necessary, not only to talk on the phone, but a BlueTooth nonetheless, while you eat? Even his wife there looks annoyed. Just read her eyes. She is thinking, "Sweet Jesus, he's one of them! He looks like a successful businessman, so I'm sure she's trying to calculate how much half really is. And if I were an assuming man--which I very much am--I would also postulate that this kook wears his phone on a belt clip, even at the dinner table.


But one thing that really urks my 'taters is yesterday, as I was driving down the freeway, I saw a police officer talking on his cell phone. It didn't seem business-like, either. He was laughing, talking, being happy. And this annoyed me, because had the tables been turned, I would be fighting a citation. So I drove next to him. Right next to him. I threw my arm up to flag him down. He looked, cell phone still in hand, and I threw my arms up like, Hey man, what the heck?

Like I said, we were driving on the freeway, and my car is 23 years old, so when my hands went up, my steering wheel went right, then left, and played a little dodgeball with my hands. After I regained control, and wet my pants no less than three times, the officer looked at me, cell phone still in hand, and gave me the look like, Haha, asshole, we're even now.

So thanks, California, for making me a kook.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Is growing up really necessary?

There comes a certain point in life in which you wake up (usually with whiskey still on your breath) and just say, "Man, I need to grow up."

But does it happen?

I had a long night last Saturday. I have been out of college for two years now. Though in the larger context of things I know that isn't that long, however right now it feels like an eternity since I have meandered the proverbial streets of all things careless.

I'm no longer able to say, "I'm broke, I'm a student." While I may be broke, the only thing I study is my monkey-worthy data processing job.

I can no longer claim that random hallucinogenic adventures are merely classified as "experimental." I can no longer, as a supposed productive man of society, go to a barbecue , have some beers, watch a UFC pay-per-view fight, have some more beers, go out for a night on the town with the boys, drink my bodyweight in Jack and Cokes, then, go to a bar I despise and dance with girls.

Let me rephrase that. I sneakily convinced a number of girls to dance with me, not because my words were smooth, but because it was loud and I was able to lean on a post. I pointed to the girl, then to the dance floor. Somehow, three girls were unintelligent enough to accept that offer. Until I started "dancing" with them. I'm very glad in my school days I had the mental presence to routinely develop bar aliases. The girls weren't dancing with me. They danced with Dr. Jacob Weinstein, professor of Ancient Jewish Literature. Otherwise the real me might be awaiting a [several] restraining orders.

Nights like that, much to my dismay, I cannot blame on being another "college night."

Two years after you graduate, doing these things are not simple young, stupid stunts. Some may refer to a person who indulges in such activities as an alcoholic, a waste of life. But yet once every couple months I decide I need to wreck myself and do such things.

At 24 years of age, I am wondering if I will ever grow up.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Telemarketers?

I don't recall any point in my life when I heard the words, "Golly, I want to be a telemarketer when I grow up" uttered from any set of lips. As a matter of fact, I am certain I never heard those words. But yet, we have them.

They come in all shapes and styles too. There are the cheery ones, the glum ones; those who are in their phone-sale prime, and those who work at the Post Office. And it takes a psychologically strong type of person to be successful at it. You make calls, knowing that 60% of the time you will have people slam the phone in your ear before you ever get to mention whatever penis-enhancing product or marriage-reconciling service you offer.

Have you ever called a complete stranger of a man, and tried to talk to him about potential erectile dysfunction? I have, and I wasn't even getting paid. Worst week of my life.

And to be on the other end of the line, whoooo-wheeeee. I'm gonna tells you what's up. I don't know anybody who has actually bought into a service of this nature. But the most interesting part to me is how the psychology of telemarketing has evolved. I am below illustrating a time line of the evolution of telemarketing.

Phone --> Telemarketer --> *69 --> Caller ID --> TME1 --> TME2.

TME1 (TeleMarketer Evolution #1) are those annoying calls you receive, when as soon as you pick it up, there is a slight pause before anybody says anything. Like the executives have become so wrapped up in the mind-boggling number-crunching of it all, that the computer now dials calls for you. Immediately. Allllll day.

TME2. This is the one that has a slight pause, but isn't even a person. It is a computer recording.

So, the other day I received a call. It went something like this:

me: Hello
comp: (slight pause) Hello! You need to hurry. Your vehicle's warranty is nearly expired. Press ONE to connect with a service agent who can extend your warranty right now.

The last two words, right now were announced like the Speed Boat races or Monster Truck rally guy, the one that screams "Sunday! Sunday Sunday!" in the most testosteroney voice you've ever heard.

After I heard the way he made it sound, I got excited, mostly to do with the bottle-point-five of wine i had.
"Oh crap, I need to extend my warranty!"
So I pressed ONE. After nearly a minute on hold, a [insert your choice: hick, hill-billy, oakie, redneck, goat humper, dung slinger]-voiced lady answered, in a voice much raspier than my own,
her: Make-n-model o'-yer car."
me: Uh, Toyota Ca--
her: I need the year!
me: Oh, well, it's uh, an '85. 1985 Toyota Camry.
me: Uh, hello. Can you extend my warranty please?
(more silence)
me: Ma'm, are you there?
her: How in God's green earth does a'eighty-fi' Camry still got a warranty on 'er?
me: Oh, but the man, the man before you told me I needed one. He--hello?

It needn't be said my '85 gem is no longer under warranty. And is also needn't be said that answering the phone when I darn well shouldn't have was a bad move. I fed myself my own spoonful of shut up.