Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Batman Identification Guide

Last night, I had a "coming-home-from-college reunion" with one of my high school buddies. We watched Pretty Woman, then (for lack of anything better to do), we starting watching the 1943 Batman series. Oh yes, check this out. 

All I can say is "Holy shit." I had no idea The Batman came from such humble cinematic beginnings. The whole series was quite entertaining, not for it's film quality, but because we could MST3K it the whole time. I felt like I had a wedgie just looking at The Batman's outfit, his belt was basically all the way up to his man-nipples! 

The only other Batman movies I've seen are with bad mother--shut-yo-mouth Christian Bale in The Dark Knight (2008) and Batman Begins (2005). Seeing the 1943 Batman as such a loser who gets beat up all the time was shocking. Little man-child Robin saves his ass at least once per episode. It got me wondering how Batman has changed (other than dropping the "The") throughout his cinematic career. His enemies as well.

1943: The Batman
What they were wearing...
Who they were fighting...
Dr. Daka 
(Most definitely a white dude. 
Terrible makeup. Terrible accent.)

1949: Batman and Robin
What they were wearing...
Who they were fighting...
The Wizard
(Just weird.)

1966-1968: Batman (TV Series)
What they were wearing...
(Ambiguously Gay Duo!)
Who they were fighting...

Most recurring villains: Joker, Riddler, and Penguin
 But also Catwoman,
King Tut,
Marsha: Queen of Diamonds
(who is wearing what I can only assume is a giraffe suit)
and many more!

1989: Batman
What he was wearing...
(Michael Keaton)
Who he was fighting...
 The Joker (Jack Nicholson)

1992: Batman Returns
(Still Keaton!)
Who he was fighting...
Penguin (Danny Devito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer)

1995: Batman Forever
What he was wearing... 
(Val Kilmer)
Who he was fighting...
Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey)

1997: Batman & Robin
What they were wearing...
(George Clooney & Chris O'Donnell)
Who they were fighting...
 Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Mr. Freeze (Schwarzenegger)

2005: Batman Begins & 2008: The Dark Knight
What he was wearing...

(Christian Bale)
Who he was fighting...
The Scarecrow (Cillian Murphy) and The Joker (Heath Ledger)

This list is in no way comprehensive. I didn't even get into the animations, Batwoman, Batgirl, Bat-mite, or Bat Hound. 

Now I must go clear my web-browsing history because my computer feels like a dirty little nerdlet. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How to Ruin a Dog in 12 Easy Steps

With my time spent owning dogs, I've come up with the perfect owner's manual entitled:
How NOT to Raise Your Dog.

Despite my overwhelming sense of embarrassment and shame, I will now relate the horrible tale of the one and only dog I've ever had so you can learn from my mistakes.
Do whatever is closest to opposite for each step and you should turn out fine.

1. Be in 5th grade. Be completely obsessed about getting a dog. Make sure that the only thing you think, talk about, and dream about is getting a dog. Nag your parents relentlessly until they submit. Success in this step will ensure that it will be easy to complete the following steps.

2. Don't do any research. Don't look at breeds, don't read about training techniques, and certainly don't go meet any dogs to see what traits you're interested in.

3. As soon as you hear of a litter of accidental puppies in your area, go meet the puppies when they're a week old and haven't developed any personality traits yet. Also, while you're there, get really attached to a specific color of puppy. (It's important that this litter was unexpected by the "breeder" because that will ensure that they have the largest possible chance of not being well cared for. For example: being raised in the garage rather than a family room. Another good sign to look for is that the breeder has no idea what mix the puppies are. Responsibility at work!)

4. Take your puppy home when she's four weeks old. This won't cause any developmental retardations or issues later in life. Things like bite inhibition aren't important anyway. She probably doesn't even know she's a dog!

5. Whenever the puppy whines at night, make sure you go coddle it for hours. Eventually move from your bed to sleeping on the floor so you can always be with the puppy.

6. When you start losing too much sleep from sharing a bed with a puppy, put her in the cold downstairs bathroom. This won't shock her, going from human contact 24/7 to being alone for over 8 hours at a time. Cover the entire floor with newspapers, thereby relieving yourself from any blame for potty "accidents" and forgoing the need for any actual house breaking. (This step is important because it will seal your dog's fate of living outside for the rest of her life.)

7. When your family gets angry about not being able to use the bathroom, move the dog outside. At this point, note that the strange mix of breeds your mutt is must've included St. Bernard or something, because she's about 70 pounds already, and still growing!
Good thing you did your homework!

(Step 7 1/2 - Get her spayed at some point during this period. Vaccinations too. This will be the only responsible thing you'll do for her whole life!)

8. Move the dog, since she's far outgrown her puppy-kennel, onto a running lead strung between two trees. Also make sure that she will have access to your mom's flower beds for convenient digging sites. Since you haven't taught her any proper chew-preferences and probably haven't given her any toys, boredom will set in. This boredom will lead to problem digging everywhere in her reach (which your parents will love, especially when the dog uproots your mom's prized peony for the umpteenth time). This boredom will also force her poor canine mind to command her to chew on trees for entertainment. That's normal!

9. When you get home from school and she is jumping and getting her huge muddy paws all over you, don't make her sit and be calm before you let her off her lead. Unclip her quick and run away before she gets you again, thus teaching her it's okay to behave like an imbecile. (Also, when it's time for her to come back, yell at her and run after her. If you ever catch her, immediately put her back on the runner. This series of steps will ensure that she learns never to come when called.)

10. Once all these behaviors have been set, around 6-8 months, try to start training her. TRY being the key word here. At this point, from being alone for so long, she will have developed no human bonds, therefore she won't consider praise and petting as reinforcement during training session. You will have to use food rewards, and find out that she is completely driven by food. So much so that, since you taught her it was okay, she will be only too happy to mug you for treats and kibble alike. A great trait for a 90 pound dog.

11. You can try other types of training, but at this point, since you're 11 years old, there's not much use. You've pretty much ruined the dog. You're scared of her. You don't have a relationship with her. (And years to come, when you try to write down all the things you did wrong, you won't remember half the time you spent with her.)

12. Fib on the online classifieds, using weasel-words like "enthusiastic", "food-oriented", and "energetic" to con a young couple into buying her. (Just for shiggles, check the same classifieds a week later and find her for sale again, with the ad being the same as yours verbatim.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stuck Between a Sock and a Cold Place

Did you know, women get colder faster than men do because, apparently, our only purpose in life is to be a baby oven? All our body heat goes to our core, to protect an organ that won't be used more than two or three times in our lives, if that, leaving our hands and feet freezing.

A limiting factor to your warmth, is budget. If, for example, you are a poor college student and are trying to save money because you have a supernatural addiction to chocolate and coffee, it is natural to turn the thermostat down. (Chocolate is very important.) Unfortunately, being poor causes the house to hover at less than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. (Funny story though, I used to hate how cold my house was when I still lived with my parents. But when I went back for Thanksgiving this year, I went into a state of shock because it was so hot. Yay for acclimating to frigid conditions!)

Combatting the bone-chilling temperatures that accompany winter in the Pacific Northwest, one has many options, whether you have a uterus or not. Here are some plausible options:

You can kill two birds with one stone by brewing up a molten-hot mug of hot cocoa. Hold on to this mug until you're almost certain your palms have melted, then chug the cocoa. Repeat until you fall into a sugar coma and forget about being cold.

Curl up and pile blankets on yourself. Bribe your roommates to put on a movie for you, then promptly fall asleep. Wake up and realize your hungry, but know that the 10 second stroll to the kitchen isn't worth losing the body heat. Go back to sleep.

Another option is learning the art of layering. If you weren't fortunate enough to be born into a geographical region that only occasionally goes above freezing in the winter, then I will learn you the ways henceforth.

You will need the following: undergarments (optional), a long-sleeved shirt, fleece pull-over sweatshirt, cotton hoodie, fleece pants, wool socks, a scarf, slippers, and a warm beanie.
1. When you get back from classes, or work, or whatever you've been forced to squander your day on, place all the aforementioned items in your bathroom.
2. Take a steaming hot shower and dry yourself as quickly as humanly possible.
3. Undergarment yourself, quickly jump into your fleece pants, and pull on the base layer shirt. Doing these two primary layers first will result in minimal heat loss. Tuck your shirt into your pants. If you're one of those rich kids who own a hairdryer, this is the appropriate time to use it.
4. Then put on the wool socks. Now you have the option of either tucking the socks into your pants, or tucking your pants into your socks. If you're 100% sure that you will not see another human being for the rest of the day, go with the latter option.
5. Put on the beanie. If you're a poor kid without a hair dryer, omit this step until your hair is dry.
6. Put on the fleece pullover, the scarf, then the cotton hoodie. Make sure the hood is up and pull the strings to make sure not heat can escape from your head.
7. Then put on your slippers and huddle with your roommates.

Remarkably, this exact process, minus step seven, is how I get dressed for bed now too.
Just as remarkable: as soon as you complete the process, you almost always have to pee.

After I drew this, I realized that my inspiration came from A Christmas Story...
If you can't put your arms down, you're doing it right!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NyQuil Crazy Party Fun Night

As per usual for this time of the year, a multitude of bacterial cells have commandeered my body and are running rampant causing a full on illness attack. Compounding this horrendous incident is that, unfortunately, last night, the love of my life ran out on me.
His name is NyQuil.
And I miss him.

But it's cool, because today I went to Safeway to get some more.

Little did I expect, as a serious college student with no real history of doing anything illegal, to get carded for so simple a purchase as a box of NyQuil Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquicaps® and a pack of minty gum.

Not only did I get carded, but so did my roommate who was with me, who had to go out to the car to get her ID.

What the hell!?!

First off, to begin the transaction, the check-out lady started yelling at me for getting out my OSU ID instead of my driver's license.
To that I say:
JESUS CHRIST WOMAN! Hold onto your brassiere! I have more than one form of identification. Sorry I'm not perfect, but obviously neither are you because you're 60 and still working at a shitty grocery store chain.
And take off that pink cowboy hat. You look ridiculous.

What, does Safeway really think I'm going to try to get high off of it? I know more than a dozen people who would be more than willing and able to supply some herb for that sort of stuff. And it would definitely be a healthier alternative in any case. Or maybe the issue is getting "drunk"? Maybe you should check my handbag because, much like my homie Ke$ha, I keep a water bottle full of whiskey in there.

Obviously I enjoy looking shitty and causing suspicion when I go out to get my drugs, wearing sweatpants and glasses. I'm not really sick, you can tell because of the coughing and constant sniffling. I'm really a junky! A junky who can afford glasses, leather boots, and to keep French-tipping her nails, but can't afford real drugs.

Yeah, lady at Safeway with the pink cowboy hat, thank God you're so damn clever. You totally busted me. I was planning on having a crazy Sunday night getting high off of NyQuil starting at 7:30 pm. Since you carded me and wasted my time, I decided against it and will only use this medication for good! And that took a lot of brains on your part because anyone who knows me can tell you, I'm a hardcore rager!

But in all seriousness, you have to card my roommate too? We are college students, we aren't that dumb as to have the person we're illegally buying controlled substances for standing next to us in line. For reals. Riddle me this, if a mother is buying NyQuil for her teenage son or daughter there, do you card him or her? What if the underage person waited in the car? If you need to hassle me and my roomie this much, why not go all out? Maybe you should go check everyone in line. Or in the store for that matter. Heaven forbid! This policy really doesn't make any sense.


Dear Safeway,
Stop being a fucking a-hole and let me have my meds already.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rooting Around

So here's my attempt to bridge the gap between the horribly depressing post I wrote last and a new more upbeat one.

Since last we met, I repeated the phrase, "It's all part of the circle of life" several dozen times, put the past behind me, and moved back to school to start my second year at college. A big epiphany hit when I was planting bulbs at my new residence in Corvallis.

I was so excited about the life that each bulb held, the fact that these seemingly ugly little root things would, come spring, grow glorious daffodils, alliums, and grape hyacinths. They were just embryos of life, waiting for some good soil, rain, and sunshine to start growing. I was amazed when my brain made a connection between this instant, and the last time I knelt by a hole in the ground and placed something in it.

I've discovered a few things in this new state of mind.
I've found that, cliche but true, death is just another part of life. And I've come further in accepting that fact.
I've also realized how weird roots are.

(On that note... Mission Control: The gap has been bridged! Here we go...)

Who pulled up a root and thought, "Oooh, check out this nasty looking thing I just dug up! Let's eat it." in the first place?

I've been on a soup streak. Yesterday's variation was a winter root soup, whose modified recipe I will take you through now. This recipe forced me to deal with a bunch of ingredients I've never touched before. Including:

All I knew about parsnips before is from this Home Star Runner video. Clearly, from such an education, I didn't know much. And I was hesitant to use them. They smelled suspiciously like carrots. But white. So basically, they're like albino carrots. Creepy right?

(If the video doesn't work, go here
If you want to know what/who Home Star Runner is, go here.)

Or rutabagas, or whateverthefuck they're really called. I wasn't really aware that there was any other kind of turnip than the classically pictured red ones. But that was incredibly naïve, because there are. Red ones, white one, purpley white ones, et cetera. Nevertheless, they're still pretty boring. 

This word sounds like a disease. Celiac maybe? I don't know, but it sure as hell doesn't sound delicious. Upon discovering that another name for this revolting looking vegetable was "celery root", it managed to maintain its spot on the recipe card, even though it reminded me of the Mandrake roots from Harry Potter...

Butternut Squash (not a root, but still considered "wintery")
I've probably eaten this one before, but I've never dealt with it cooking-wise. It's name is actually kind of confusing. I wasn't sure if I should be expecting something buttery, nutty, or squashy. Or a combination. What I got in the end was none of these, but actually something more pumpkiny. 

Anywhoo, the recipe was those aforementioned vegetables plus sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped, drizzled in EVOO and tossed in an oven approximately the temperature of hell. Every time I opened the oven my eyebrows singed a little. But at least the oven smelled delicious.

Meanwhile... butter, celery, and a sweet onion were having a party on the stove top (I'm glad someone was, because it was Saturday night after all). Then came a quart of chicken broth. Whilst that was sittin' and a-simmerin', the roots and squash in the oven were ready for their debut. The oven veggies were commingled into the pot, and  everybody chilled together while I added some half-and half.

Then I got to take out the tiniest bit of "I can't believe I have a midterm already next week" aggression using the potato masher on the chunky vegetables.

Potato masher, because I don't have an immersion blender. Early Christmas gift to myself...? Maybe.
Although I did just buy myself a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Except the mixer's a little messed up because the box may or may not have fallen out of my car when I first got it. It makes a high pitched squealing noise now, but still mixes things fine. I registered it, so it has a one year warranty. I think it will explode before a year goes by if it has a mind to do so.

The finished product was interesting, like nothing I've had before, but good in its own right. My roomies seemed to like it too.

I've found a cool website that you can enter all the ingredients from a recipe and it'll analyze the vitamins, calories, and other nutritional aspects of that recipe.
Turns out that if one butternut squash, two sweet potatoes, one celery root, two parsnips, three turnips, two stalks of celery, three carrots, one sweet onion, a quart of chicken broth (low sodium of course), three tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 cup of half and half make 12 servings (which it did), then you'll get about 45% of your daily vitamin C, and a shocking 300% of your daily vitamin A.

So yeah, we're pretty much set on that front.
Until the soup is gone...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bright Eyes

I can't remember ever not loving animals.

I've basically known what I've wanted to do with my life since I was five years old. As soon as I found out that you could take care of animals for a living, the word "veterinarian" became part of my everyday vocabulary.

Now I'm in college.
Studying Animal Sciences with a Pre-Vet option.
It's funny how that worked out.

If I think back through all the animals I've raised throughout the years, there have been some truly great friendships forged; there have also been some terrible disasters and heartbreaking pitfalls. But despite all the laughter and tears shed, there's always been an underlying need for me to keep myself surrounded by animals.

I've never questioned this need, although I'm sure my parents have on more than once occasion.
But I am questioning it now.
Why on earth do people, because I know there are others like me out there, feel the need to take care of animals?
Why do we continually immerse ourselves in relationships where there are no words spoken and no material rewards?
Why do we keep coming back to these simple relationships despite the hurt of loss, and despite telling ourselves we'll never do it again?

Is it the promise of blind love? That animals don't care who you are, where you come from, or what you look like?
Is it the satisfaction you get, knowing that some living being is dependent on you?
Or is it simply to befriend another soul on this chaos-ridden spinning rock, another warm being to share bits of your life with?

Two days ago I was driving my mom and sister over to our farm. I pulled out of our driveway and almost immediately saw a dead cat on the side of the road, a fairly common occurrence. No sooner had the words, "poor kitty" left my lips, when I recognized the body.

I don't think I've ever cried so much at the loss of an animal before. Perhaps it was the shock of seeing the limp body, perhaps it was the stinging memory of the first time I saw him as a newborn kitten, or maybe it was the years between, but one thing I know is that burying him is one of the saddest memories I possess.

And it's true, how losing a pet is just like losing a part of your family. In most cases, you're there from the beginning to the end, creating a long string of memories that you can look back on like snapshots.

My cat's name was Jasper and I keep thinking he's still around somewhere. Maybe lurking in the tall grass. Maybe he's hidden, stalking some subterranean rodent or even a wild turkey. Perhaps taking a nap under the Japanese maple, making the ground look as comfy as any bed could possibly be. Or maybe I'll be able to find him prowling his territory like a lion on the savannah.

It all should be in past tense, but it hasn't quite sunk in yet.

Trying to find pictures to do him justice reminds me how he was always the worst photography subject. He'd be posed perfectly, so you'd try to sneak a good picture of him, but before you knew it he'd bound over to you and rub his face all over the camera. Over the half-decade that he was in my life I only have a handful of pictures of him. Most of them blurry close-ups of his face...

... but a few decent ones survived. If you really did ever capture a sneak shot, or hold him still long enough to capture an image, it always turned out gorgeous. He had brilliant blue eyes with black cheetah-like facial markings and a beautiful fluffy white coat.

But he really did have the absolute worst fur possible for what he loved to do. A super long cotton-soft coat that was always full of burrs and other clingy seeds in the summer, when he wandered, and full of dreadlocks in the winter, when he became lethargic and never moved off the cat bed on our front porch. This summer was the first I decided to forgo the constant dreadlock trimming by having him shaved before he started to mat. It was truly comical how much he resembled a small lion, a long and lanky hunter with a mane.

I'll never remember exactly how many toes he had, but he was freakishly polydactyl. At least 25 toes in all, when a normal cat should have 18. I am sure he had an odd number though. My dad used to call him Johnny Bench, after the famous baseball catcher.

He and my other cat, Sweet Pea, had the weirdest relationship. Every day he'd rub up against her to say "hello" and she'd immediately hiss and often take a swipe at his face with her claws. The body language always said it all...

Once I was lucky enough to capture one of Jasper's secret little "shitster" moments.

Cue Sweet Pea, minding her own business in the Japanese garden, probably meditating on something deeply profound...

Enter Jasper with his sneaky, surprise attack, ass-bite!

Sweet Pea, clearly disturbed by the chain of events, quickly retaliates...

Then Jasper looks around, wondering who would commit such a terrible act, while Sweet Pea gravely acknowledges the camera, glad that her side of the story has been caught for once in her life. 

Despite his endless wandering through the woods and up the mountain side, Jasper could always be found when I needed him. He let me cry all over him during terrible high school break-ups, family fights, when I was stressed, and when I just needed someone to hear me out. He always knew and he was always there.

It seems like we always take things for granted until something goes wrong and it suddenly disappears.

I guess, in short, the meaning of this post was to pay my respects to a beloved friend. And also in a small way to remind everyone that this time we have on earth is so temporary, you never know when your number will be up.

Jasper taught me many lessons over the years, but his final one was to live each day like it's your last. There is so much we can learn from each other, animals, and nature if we're patient and just listen.
I'm sure Jasper had no regrets about his life as he took his last breath.

Rest in Peace Jasper
March 4th, 2006 ~ September 4th 2011

Is it a kind of dream
Floating out on the tide
Following the river of death downstream
Oh is it a dream?
There's a fog along the horizon
A strange glow in the sky
And nobody seems to know where it goes
And what does it mean?
Oh is it a dream?

Bright eyes, burning like fire
Bright eyes, how can you close and fail?
How can the light that burned so brightly, 
Suddenly burn so pale?
Bright eyes. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Why I'll Never Be One of the "Cool Kids"

No matter the era, there are always trends and fads you can watch people participate in that make no sense. For instance: white lipstick, shake weights, zubaz, sea monkeys, heeled tennis shoes, the clapper, popped collars, the word "like", pet rocks, and the snuggie. This is my list of modern trends that are not only ridiculous, but are irritating too.

Under the Table Lights, Blue-Tooth, and Abrvtns.
I love texting and the way it can be used, quick notes and conversations, but some people seem to have switched over to texting as their preferred means of communication. People date and break up through texting. Maybe it's because written words are easier to communicate with than verbalizing in a real face-to-face conversation.

Half the things I say in "real-life" come out as awkward combinations of words and other phrases that make no sense. Chapstick tube becomes "chube" and outside a very small specific group of friends, the word sounds rather disgusting.

However, when it comes to being in a social environment, like at dinner with friends for example, phones should not be part of the equation. No, you're not being sneaky hiding the phone under the table and texting. The light is hitting the underside of your face and you look like a gremlin.

If I have to text you across the table to say, "Bitch, I'm going to snap your phone in half in like three seconds", there's something really wrong with that. And you know I will follow through...

God forbid you answer a call at the table and don't excuse yourself. No one wants to hear half of your lame conversation about a geriatric dog with your Aunt Nellie. Please stop. Equally as bad are those blue tooth headsets that people seem to love. I understand having one in the car, good for you, but stop talking to people on it when your in the grocery store. I keep thinking you're a crazy person.

OMG! LOL! 98.753% of the time someone types LOL they don't really laugh out loud. Saying it in a real verbal conversation makes you sound really stupid. Obviously you aren't laughing if you're spelling an acronym. Even more stupid is abbreviating words using letters that aren't even in the proper spelling of the word. Things like this. All of that is stupid. Spell the words out, I swear it's not that hard, and you'll instantly sound more intelligent.

Shuffle Shuffle Buns
It's blog-reader challenge time! Finish the lyrics, "Giddyup jingle horse..."
Okay that wasn't hard. Next time it will be harder...

It's a well known fact that shuffling your feet wears down your shoes. But people around you aren't concerned for your welfare because they're to busy being annoyed by the constant scraping sound. Unless you're Igor, you really have no excuse.

"It takes less energy though."
Well that's nice, but if you don't have enough energy to pick up your feet while you're walking maybe you should get them amputated. At least donate them to someone who can use them properly. The ten extra calories it takes to pick your feet up an extra inch will be good for you. I promise.

This can actually happen. For reals. 

Pants on the Ground, Pants on the Ground...
My father was at an airport behind a young couple going through security. The woman could only watch as her boyfriend (soon to be ex) took off his belt, then tried to proceed though the x-ray holding his pants up, which is not allowed. TSA requires you to keep your hands off your person, so with this new requirement, the man walked to the x-ray took his hands off his jeans and scooted though the machine as his pants swiftly dropped to the ground. Nice.

I don't understand how this became fashionable in the first place. Guys, here's a hint, girls do appreciate gluteals too. But you've begun to amble along that fine line of jean manipulation that results in "flat ass" or showing us way too much, you're just grossing us out. Get some jeans that fit. Please.

Fun fact! Did you know that there are some places in the US that have made it illegal for men to wear their trousers in that ridiculous fashion. These sagging drawers are considered a public indecency in a growing number of American cities.
Hallelujah, we might all be saved!

Bald-Head Dreads
Dreadlocks are a significant symbol to the Rastafari movement in Jamaica, a way of life and religion for many. White people are basically seen as the devil, they've tried to enslave and control Jamaicans for centuries. So when white people (who genetically don't have the capacity to form dreads naturally anyway) wear dreads, it's like a slap in the face to their whole culture. I could say it no better than this guy when he writes that being a white person with dreads is like saying, "Look what I can do! I can adopt your culture and still have white privilege! I can cut them off and get even more white privilege!"

On top of that, there's the stench that seems to come with white-people dreads only. Damn hippie, go cut your hair. Little things get caught all up in that, get all janky, and make everyone around you want to gag.

Jersey Bore
I watched Jersey Shore once. It's so amazingly fake that it hurts my brain.

The worst part about it is how people my age tend to idolize the "people" on the show. And yes I will put quotations on that, because they sure as hell aren't real people, they're characters. Real people have skills and can speak whatever their native language is without sounding like a complete idiot. They don't live to shop, and drink, and party, and... "smush". There is not a single value in that show that I feel is socially redeeming in any way.

And a quote from Snooki, just to show how idiotic this all really is, "I got kicked out of Chili's last time I was here. I had too many of these and I got up on the bar and knocked over all the bottles of Chili's liquor. They kicked me out for two days until they realized who I was and brought me back. It was Sunday Funday. Where you say, 'It's Sunday, I'm going to get drunk.' Is today Sunday?"

Thank God there are still a few people out there who realize how dumb this is. I love you SNL.

Buddy Bathroom System
This needs to come to an end.
Ladies, please.
I try not to partake in this social habit, unless there's an obvious reason for me to. It just doesn't make any sense. Like, why do women have to pair up to go to the restroom in the first place? What in the world do they do in there that needs two people? It's a very concerning habit and it's popularity is starting to make me wonder if I'm doing something wrong.

My theory is that there's some alternate world in the ladies' room that the rest of us non-pairers don't know about. It's probably friggen awesome.

Gauges and Other Holes in Yo Face
Yikes. This is definitely a decision you will look back on with regret.
I can understand ear piercings. I have two on each lobe. But the ear is the only place you should ever get pierced.
And please limit your ear piercings, don't get too crazy and get those nasty industrial piercings.
No tongue (ruining your tooth enamel),
no lips (when you take your piercings out you drool through the hole),
and definitely no subdermals (that keep catching on things in your environment).
On a whole 'nother level of nastiness is: lacing, subdermal implants, and (dare I say it) genital piercings.
Aaack! Why!?!

I'll let you in on a little secret, no one takes you seriously.
And once you take those huge gauges out of your ears you have an earlobe that's become a gross floppy loop of skin. There's no reason you should be able to do this.

Now That's What I Call Music...?
Maybe I'm just weird, or does what my generation listen to and call "music" these days bear no resemblance to the word? Back me up here.
Nevermind, I'll back myself up.

There's far too much swearing. I believe in the use of cuss words, far more than most, to express a point or to embellish a comedic anecdote, but this new use of profanity is just rude. It adds nothing to society.
"Bitch, I'm a monster, no-good blood sucker
Fat motherfucker, now looks who's in trouble
As you run through my jungle all you hear is rumbles
Kanye West samples, here's one for example"
Wow. Not to even mention all the atrocious grammatical errors in that little gem of a stanza.

Why must they always say their name in every song? (I'm looking at you Jason Derülo, Sean Kingston, Usher, and Sean Paul. And Jason, since when did you decide to put umlauts on your last name? Dumb.)

All the songs I'm bombarded with today are full of crude coitus references too. I suppose it's been a popular topic for many a decade now, being such an intrinsic part of life. Lyrics in general have gone downhill since the 90s. Most topics have become so poetically deprived that they're hard to listen to, making me nostalgic for an era I wasn't even alive in. To honor some olden goldies, let's play a little game I like to call...

"Then & Now!" 

On Making Love...
Then (SOS Band, 1980):
"Baby we can do it, take the time, do it right
We can do it baby, do it tonight
The love I feel for you, you feel for me
One life is all we have to live
Our love is all we have to give."

Now (Bloodhound Gang, 2000):
"Love, the kind you clean up
with a mop and bucket
Like the lost catacombs of Egypt
Only God knows where we stuck it."

On Dancing...
Then (Earth, Wind & Fire, 1981):
"Move yourself, and glide like a 747
and lose yourself, in the sky, among the clouds in the heavens.
Let this groove, light up your fuse, alright
Let this groove, set in your shoes..."

Now (Ciara, 2005):
"Rock it, don't stop it
Everybody get on the floor
Crank the party up
We about to get it on.
Let me see ya 1, 2 step
I love it when ya 1, 2 step
Everybody, 1, 2 step
We about to get it on."

On Love...
Then (Elvis Presley, 1961):
"Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
Somethings are meant to be
Take my hand, take my whole life too
For I can't help falling in love with you."

Now (Usher, 2010):
"'Cause baby tonight, the DJ got us fallin' in love again
Yeah, baby tonight, the DJ got us fallin' in love again
So dance, dance like it's the last, last night of your life, life
Gon' get you right
'Cause baby tonight, the DJ got us falling in love again."

Even instrumental music has gone to crap. Go listen to Herb Albert's 1962 "Lonely Bull" and Darude's 2001 "Sandstorm" and tell me that we haven't regressed.

I don't know if we'll ever get out of this funk and get back to stuff that's good to listen to, more stuff like that of Talking Heads, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Chris Isaak, Santana, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan's lyrics, Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, U2, Smokey Robinson, Simon & Garfunkel, and ELO.
Of course there are exceptions in both categories. There are some really shitty older bands, and some modern bands are doing well to come up with interesting new work, like OK Go, Barenaked Ladies, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, and Mumford & Sons to name a few.

Thankfully, most country music has remained unscathed.
(I love you Reba!)

Flat Billed Hats
Here's another trend I simply cannot understand. There's a reason that you are supposed to bend the bill. It involves the sun primarily, but also a great deal of it is to ensure that you don't look like a complete idiot. And who decided that refraining from peeling the stickers off the hat is considered cool? I need to have a word with him...

I'm not sure when this "resistance" started, but it's high-time it stops. By not bending the bill on your hat, it makes it clear that you are lazy. If the bill has that lovely curve to it, it shows that the wearer works and has common sense. Farming, baseball, and countless other activities occur outside, generally when the sun is shining, sometimes you can be out there all day, so the sun changes it's position in the sky. I know, weird right? The bend in the bill is to protect your eyes from the sun, no matter the angle.

To combine this with another trend, who would you rather date...
A ripped hunky man with jeans that fit and who's been out working on the ranch all day,
or some pudgy idiot boy who has his pantalones draped around his knees and still has the stickers on his flat-billed hat?
I think we all know the answer to this one.

But then again, I guess we live in a time where most people have no need to even be outside. You can go your whole life from college to cubicle without needing to shelter your eyes from the sun. So go ahead and keep buying those stupid "gangster" hats, or whatever you kids call them nowadays.
Stupidity is not a crime, you're free to go.

Keep Your Hands Where I Can See Them
This is a really recent thing. Young men now have the idea that there's nothing wrong with, in any everyday situation, to stick their hands down their pants.
This is disgusting in so many ways... I simply cannot find a word to express it, so I will make up a new word: blarf!

Many men, confronted with the issue, excuse themselves with a laugh and by saying, "Well I had an itch."
That doesn't change the fact that it's revolting. If it is a commonly recurring issue, you need to change your chachies more often and get that shit checked out, especially if you feel anything like this. I don't want you handling your equipment and then touching anything that I come in contact with.
(Will Ferrel will give you a lesson on what a proper chachi looks like at 0:35 of this video.)

Do you know how the rest of the world deals with itches in inappropriate places? DISCREETLY. You excuse yourself to the restroom or at least try to be sneaky about it. Don't just go (excuse the expression) balls out, and throw your hands down there whenever you feel like it. It freaks normal people out.

I mean, you guys already have all the good things in life. You can pee in the woods standing up, you don't have a bitchy uterus that ruins a week out of every month, you don't have to go through childbirth, and there are no expectations for you to cook, clean, or do any form laundry. So don't push it. If this habit becomes socially acceptable then I'm going to freak out and think of something really ridiculous to instate that women can do. There will be consequences, and I can promise you it won't be fun for one of us.

Gloves for Your Feet
This is like going barefoot for pussies. When I was growing up, you went barefoot every summer, all summer, despite pitch, bark dust, bees, gravel, thistles, animal feces, and whatever else happened to be in your yard. You dealt with it all and by the end of the summer, your feet could handle anything. They were like tough old leather, like Keith Richards's face, and you were damn proud of it.

(Not a) Small price to pay to look like a complete fool. 

Now there's Vibram Five Fingered shoes. Aaaaahh!
First of all, why the hell aren't they called "Toed" shoes? I don't have fingers on my feet. That's just messed up. (On another note, what if you're missing a toe...?)
They cost like $100, while good ol' fashioned naked feet are free.
If you want to go barefoot, just do it. If you want protection for your dogs, put some shoes on for Pete's sake. You can't do both. You look ridiculous. You're getting the worst of both worlds, like motorsailing.

Again, thankfully SNL and I share the same viewpoint...

JJ Casuals, shoes that look like feet!

Free the Leashed Children
Holy shit. In a country where we can't teach our dogs to have proper leash skills, what in the world makes us think we should put our children on leads?

People are using leashes as a mean to forgo actual parenting. Instead of holding your child's hand when you're in public and keeping an eye on their activities, you put them on a leash like a dog. 

This is absolutely terrible and I'm upset to see that the US has fallen to this level. The fact that this Google search yielded more than a handful of different "leashed children" pictures makes me want to throw up. Or write a letter to my congressman. 

I guess no matter how bad things get though, it can always be worse. Thank you Cyanide & Happiness for this little gem...