Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide by Stephen

Every child's dream
Christmas simply is not as easy as it used to be. Back in the good ol' days, the Industrial Revolution kept children away in textile factories for a magical 15+ hours per day. These tired 4-year-olds would then drag their sluggish feet through the garbage filled streets, past the sleeping, blackened bodies of chimney sweep children - while hoping to arrive home and have an open spot on their crammed, cruddy housing floor and not wake up with typhus. For Christmas, these children would have gladly taken a used napkin and a promise that they wouldn't die of cholera by morning because of the poop water they drank with dinner. Sadly, all that has changed.

We now live in a society where kids are "too young to work" and should be in "school." The once hardened chimney sweep children are now eating Cheetos out of a bag with one hand while spreading boogers all over their iPod Touch screen with the other and secretly kissing their American Girl Dolls behind the sofa before father returns from his yacht trip. And these spoiled, obesity-developing monsters are impossible to please when it comes to Christmas gifts. They all want the newest Oprah Winfrey action figure, One Direction Sega CD game or some other toy I made up to make you laugh. Shopping has only become increasingly difficult as gift demand rises.

That's where I can help.

Through work and personal ambitions, I've become VERY up-to-date on what's hip in the technology, toy and fashion trends - I know what are the MUST HAVES of the shopping world. By nearly completing three seasons of "The Hills" and one episode of "Ice Road Truckers," I can confidentially recommend and aid you in your last minute holiday purchases. I'm also assuming all your friends and families are bratty, little, fat children.

Stephen's Holiday Gift Guide:

Fur sure

Griz Coat

 I actually own this't buy it, because then the phenomenal griz coat won't be cool. Instead get the stylish coat this posh monkey is wearing for that loving immigrant in your family.

Sienna Miller or Ann Romney?

A Horse

Believe it or not, horses are in this year. What type of horse should you purchase? Any will do, but the hottest horse in Hollywood (where 89% of fashionable horse breeding occurs) is this Bavarian Blueblood horse mounted by English Actress Sienna Miller on the left. If you don't know your horse breeds - just go by color. The workers at Big Lots are extremely helpful. Horses also make GREAT stocking stuffers if you cut them up.*

One fresh father

Skinny Jeans

One of the hottest items out there for the "dad on the go" - skinny jeans. I know pants sizes can be difficult to purchase for others - however - there is only one size for male adults - appropriately called "Dad Size." Now your dad can watch his favorite sporting match in style with "Team Colors" skinny jeans by!

Uncle Buck had the right idea

Gift Card to Toast Mountain

Well, you will have to talk to my intern Jennifer about this, because Toast Mountain hasn't opened for business yet....but in time...Toast Mountain is a restaurant I'm opening with a few friends where we will only sell toast - only wheat - no jam or butter - just plain toast. Sometimes we will advertise we have other types of toast, but when you ask we will say we actually ran out and only have wheat. Get your gift cards by following me on Twitta and tweetin' at meh - @StephenSchu - following me on Twitta is like a plate of tater tots with extra gravy on top (not available at Toast Mountain).

He's on his way through!
An Old Fisherman

Do you become inappropriately angry when grandma or grandpa won't shut the fuck up with their boring stories about their childhood when they only ate baked beans for 11 years and how the only thing they had to do for fun was WWII? Not anymore! There is NOTHING more wise and full of depressing stories than an old fisherman! Bring a swirly, old fisherman to your grandparents house for Christmas and see how they like it! He also will be very damp (towels and tarps not provided).

Look out, Juicy J!
Any Kidz Bop Album

Hate Bruno Mars? Think Ke$ha is a poop pile? Well, Kidz Bop is at it again to take your least favorite songs and have them screamed by mildly talented children! Why is this good? Because, arguably, these kids have made any Bruno Mars song better by simply making the recording shorter. Seriously, the producers legit cut out at least one minute from every song. So, instead of having to listen to the full version of "Moves Like Jagger," you can shine bright like a diamond with any Kidz Bop album this holiday season!

I hope this list was helpful for you. In fact, if you don't follow my of your family members or significant others will likely hate you for the rest of your life or murder you Christmas morning - so buy these items while they're still in stock!!


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Short Story 2: All the pretty girls get off at Southport

All the pretty girls get off at Southport
By Stephen Schumacher

A little Hispanic man boards the Brown Line train in Chicago heading downtown slightly after 3:15 p.m. He's wearing a pair of faded blue jeans exhausted by the afternoon and a navy blue t-shirt with respect in the tags. He is like another little Hispanic man who boarded the train earlier. Neither very tall, neither in tuxedos and no matter how young and zestful they actually are - their demeanors are matured and worn.

He boards in clumsy steps carrying a small, plastic bag with a such a focused look on his face his enduring eyes twitch until they drag him to the end of the train car where he hopes to grab one of the two single seats facing one another. He goes about this train seat acquisition with such determination the train's structure begins to wonder if someone once told this man in secret, "Hey, you know those two single seats at the end of the train car that face each other? Those are the best."

Although several other seats are available, these two spots are of top priority for the non-tuxedo caballero. The man succeeds to grab the remaining spot on the left. His personality and burdens sink into and fuse with the plastic, metal and fabric.

He stays on board a few stops - only a few minutes - resting with his eyes shut the entire trip. Yet, he wisely feels the air change from stop to stop and knows when the train arrives at his destination. He can also hear the automated voice howling from its speakers like a urologist, Paulina is next, doors open on the right at Paulina.”

He quickly jumps from his seat, dragging his bag behind him like a sweaty sack of pancakes as he walks a few steps and gives a postpartum look back at his vacated spot. Nearing the door while the train decelerates, the Hispanic cavalier grabs onto the railing and takes one last glance at his Brown Line thrown before exiting. It's like a sad little game of musical chairs.

Grief does strange things to us.

All the pretty girls get off at Southport.

*Follow me on Twitta - @StephenSchu

Monday, November 26, 2012

Short Story: Exit Through the Sofa

I wrote a short story, and it's below.

Exit Through the Sofa
by Stephen Schumacher

I was sitting in my leather recliner watching my Samsung television. A flat-screen plasma. Its trim dark like a horse and sleek like Samsung television. I could tell the lamp in the corner disliked the television since its light reflected on the TV's screen, lowering the picture quality. The television never seemed to mind.

My television decided to put on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which isn't my favorite unit. However, I never was one to actually watch shows. I enjoy listening to the pictures, closing my eyes and feeling the screen's light on my skin. I'm often in the sun during the day, which is too warm, and the television light is much cooler and soothes my sun sores.

I could feel the earth tilt slightly off axis as I noticed something emerging from the sofa like a scarecrow from a corn field. First the feet, then the torso, then the head and hands. The man stood up tall and looked less like a scarecrow. I studied his grey, button down shirt tucked accurately into his horse black suit pants, which were held up efficiently with pride. I couldn't tell if he was wearing shadows or shoes on his feet; the lamp had turned away leaving only the Samsung to shine on him. Either way, his feet looked kind.

I realized the man was Christopher Meloni, because he told me this.

"I'm Christopher Meloni, the actor," he reported. His cheekbones were wise, forehead healthy and his nose nodded at me with approval, "Thank you."

"For what?" I questioned both him and his nose.

"You looked away long enough from the screen to allow me to get out of the TV, but I left through your sofa instead." This made sense to me. The sofa looked like it would serve as a decent door.

"Have you been trying to get out for a while?" I asked.

"For years. But people always watch my show."

"Is it harder to exit televisions when they have glass on them?"


He may have just been a scarecrow.

*Follow me on Twitta - @StephenSchu*

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Political Social Media Updates and Honey Boo Boo Commentary: Which is Worse?

Theo from The Cosby Show (aka Sir Waka Flocka)
I avoid submitting politically themed posts through Twitter and Facebook. Not only is this a safe call, but also I'm not very smart. I'm middle ground or average when it comes to intelligence. The one, true gift God has given me is the ability to quickly memorize information and sound like I am more intelligent than I really am. This "knowledge hoax" doesn't get past the Intelligent Elite (a legitimate, professional group of academics who gather twice a month at Yale University to snootily share chili recipes and braid each other's ponytails), but my ploy tricks more than it should. I'm also very loud and enthusiastic, which helps me manipulate and intimidate others with much higher IQs. As Sir Waka Flocka Flame once said, "Play your strengths."

This is why I don't generally comment on things political. Such an action would make me crumble like a dry turd in a deep political discussion. I do, however, have a decent political knowledge. I know the three branches of government (House of Congress, Executionary, Green Day), but I am not a wizard on the subject matter. Now, if we discussed owl jokes, Old Navy commercials, running and my amazing hair - I would be Debate King (same thing as Prom King and Scorpion King). Regardless, my self-kept political "intelligence" and lack of desire to vocalize it doesn't mean political posts aren't justified. A friend of mine recently posted the following statement, which got me thinking:

The only picture ever seen of the Intelligent Elite at Yale
"HI HATERS. You're instantly getting blocked if you post how much you hate political commentary on FB. I'm sure one day your knowledge of Honey Boo Boo and Taco Bell's new, upscale menu will pay off." (@jpollitt)

This gentleman is hysterically right, but I can't agree completely. You have to look at this argument on two ends: 

1. Individuals should subject themselves to material to increase their knowledge on topics of real life importance.
2. People enjoy Facebook and Twitter for its entertainment value - not educational benefits.

The fact is most people are stupid with a big helping of ignorance - and they go back for another plate full of ignorance every meal....especially when it comes to politics. One sided banter gets old quick - and the majority of the general public completely ignores anything that isn't supporting their beliefs. 

Ready for combat
What's more interesting than these ignorant individuals are those I know who are very politically intelligent. So informed on every topic that when they are running full speed you feel like a turd sewn to a garbage can lid. These Political Wizards (Grade 2C in the Intelligent Elite Officer Rankings) are the ones who DO read the oppositional pieces. They may completely disagree, but they utilize their time to put biased thoughts aside and read to become more informed - even if it's garbage. Undoubtedly, coming out of your comfort zone of beliefs is tough, but hiding behind a self-created barrier doesn't help you grow as a person.

However, I've never viewed Facebook and Twitter as mediums to be particularly serious. If you looked at my profile on Facebook right now, you would see a cover photo of the main female cast of The Hills, a picture of me in tiny shorts and nonsense updates about owl and owl related combat. I've written PLENTY on the idea of not taking social media too seriously, but I'm not the same as everyone else. Many people do use Twitter and Facebook to stay informed on issues, and both mediums are legitimentally used by business with great success. Sadly, sometimes seeing a person's adoration for a poopy show like American Pickers is much more fun to be judgmental about than any politically driven comment.

The Real Housewives of Miami
I become more irritated with comments complaining about everyone talking about a trending issue - whether politics, football or horse dentists. What's super crazy is social media sites provide you with ways of ignoring specific topics - you can "hide" updates; "unsubscribe" from specific people; "unfollow" users; and the ever-so favorable "rid yourself of your Facebook/Twitter account and shut the fuck up" option. These are your choices for having any attempt at finding a happy medium between economic solution discussions and Real Housewives of Miami commentary. 

My suggestion? Only "Like" Facebook pages about pizza and only follow Twitter accounts which link you to Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp videos.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Come See the Theater Debut of "Roseannkenstein!"

I'm not usually into self-promotion....Ha, who am I kidding? I sell trading cards of myself at Hispanic thrifts stores on weekends, but that's beside the point. I wanted to let you lovely people know about something BIG that's happening in the Greater Chicago Area. Something SO BIG, you have to buy tickets to see it...

It is.....

Roseannkenstein: The Ballad of Roseanne, As Told By Frankenstein's Monster

And here's the hook...I'M IN THE PLAY! "What's it about," you ask? "What kind of play," you wonder? "Can I bring my pet owl or owl family," you ponder?? Then read below!!

First off, yes; it's that Roseanne...The lovable, snarky comedy queen from that hit TV show you either really like or have barely seen. As Roseanne prepares for her favorite holiday of all, Halloween, something mysterious is happening in a far away country of old - Geneva, Switzerland - where Dr. Frankenstein* is finishing his preparations to bring his creation to life when suddenly Roseanne and Frankenstein's monster switch places, Freaky Friday style (minus the Lohan).

By now I'm sure you're thinking this is definitely a romance/drama - well, you're wrong. This is an original sitcomy, dark comedy written by Seth Wanta, and "Roseannkenstein" is making it's theater debut this weekend. The best part is you don't have to have ever seen "Roseanne" or read Mary Shelley's epic tale to fall in love with the play - you can sit back and enjoy the HILARIOUS comedic situations that ensue. You must provide your own owl tamer but you may trade-in your owl poop after the show for cash**

More reasons to go:

1. I'll be barefoot.
2. You get to sit down.
3. Laughing prevents foot bunions.
4. If you're cute I'll wink at you not four*** but five**** times during the show.
5. You'll be in an audience, so it will seem like you have friends even though you don't.

Maybe you know one of these way funnier and more talented people in the cast:

Victor Frankenstein - Richard Anderson
Elizabeth Frankenstein - Erin Thorn
Agatha / Kid - Haylee Coburn
The Creature - Stephen Schumacher
Igor/ Kid - Jodi McGrath
Roseanne Conner - Charlie Irving
Dan Conner - Kevin O'Connell
Kathy Loveless - Jules Reid

Directed by: Marla Jacob
Written by: Seth Wanta

Tweet the deets: 

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. from Oct. 19-27
Gorilla Tango Theater - 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, IL
$15/ticket - visit the website or buy at the door.

Please come, because if you don't I'll find you lazy, sweaty sack of pancakes and cut off your big toes. lolz. See you there!


*You may feed your owl while Dr. Frankenstein is on stage - he throws owl feed into the audience and has a very calming presence, which owls like.
** Owl poop trade-in scale: 1 mouse skeleton = 1 paper moneys, 2 mouse skeletons = 1.78 paper moneys etc.
*** If I give you four winks, I still will kiss you out by your car after the show, but you aren't cute and won't get my number.
**** If I give you five winks, you'll get to make love to me after the show and help me finish eating my post-play oatmeal.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Sites, Sounds and Abnormal People of Chicago

Wendy's eating gear, now on sale at Target.
If "people watching" was a sport, I would for sure have played D-II in college. Oh, and don't you dare judge myself or others for doing so, because gawking at the number weirdos you see every day is an impossible hobby to avoid.

After moving to Chicago, it took me very little time to realize how much better the art of observing others had improved. It was like I upgraded from diapers to Pull-Ups. I've had way too much fun taking pictures and commenting on the people I see via social media. In Chicago, it's almost intense how many weirdos are around you at work, on the train or out in public -- owning a few pairs of sunglasses is a must.

If you don't follow me on Twitter (@StephenSchu), then you've missed out on some of the greatest reporting of the actions and individuals I've seen in Chi during my four months here. Likewise, since I'm only followed by the director of "Baby's Day Out" and my parents on Twitter, I feel it's appropriate to share these pictures and comments from yours truly with my blogging community. Enjoy:

Call me maybe - Tabasco Sauce Queen?
Sept. 20 - "No need to apologize for violently burping outloud, ma'am. Your casual wear of water aerobic shoes screamed weird well before the acid reflux."

June 25 - "Fairly ideal running weather outside today in Chicago. And according to the woman by the liquor store, also a good day to spit on people."

Aug. 15- "I'm kind of a fan of this weird guy at the office. I'm pretty sure he only gets paid to sneeze and drink Big Gulps, but I like him."

Sept. 19 - "No, sir. I didn't make that face at you because you smell of cigs. It was, because, you know, you were eating things out of your fingernails."

Aug. 18 - "The dude in the Disney shirt kissing his girlfriend's neck and back on the train really gave me hope that I will find love some day."

Ey, gurl. Wat's yo name? Wat's yo sign?
Sept. 12 - "Someone was playing "Heart of Gold" out loud on their phone in the bathroom, followed by "Bad to the Bone." 70-80s rock has GREAT fiber."

Sept. 17 - "Mystery Bathroom Stall DJ continues today with "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper & "Can't Get You Out of My Head" by Kylie Minogue #MusicFiber"

July 31- "Absolutely convinced the large woman sitting next to me on the train used Funfetti Cake Mix as her perfume this morning."

Sept. 11- "As kind of you as it was to sneeze on the sports section of your paper and then offer it to me to read on the train, no thank you, sir."

Sept. 7 - "The guy casually walking around and shaving with an electric razor at our office should be beaten to a bloody pulp and thrown out the window."

Aug. 23 - "Whoever is habitually urinating all over the floor by the urinals at work- I promise I will find you and mop the pee up with your hair."

Sept. 3 - "I was just going to complain about how no one was blasting Gucci Mane at our apartment complex! Thanks, 37-year-old single woman!"

I have the same hat...
Sept. 18 - "Oh, no worries, dude. We all really wanted to listen to your Papa Roach ringtone on our way to work this morning."

Aug. 31 - "To the dude eating Chick-fil-a with gloves on: Let's hang out later!"

Sept. 12 - "I missed a great photo opportunity: Nothing says productive like a suite coat and snow pants."

Aug. 27 - "I was absolutely certain I just saw the real life Bilbo Baggins, but, alas, it was a woman."

Aug. 23 - "To the dude wearing a Lolla wristband on the Brown Line - It's time to move on."

Aug. 15 - "Unrealistic how bad everyone smells on the train right now. Has all of Chicago completely thrown the act of hygiene out the window?"

June 4 - "At least 15 hipsters just boarded the Red Line. What do I do? I'm surrounded and wearing a suite. Do I offer them PBR as a peace offering?"

On the verge of tears...while reading a Batman comic.

Aug. 11 - "Two clowns just drove by in a Camry."

Aug. 5 - "If one more fat person with a coffee obstructs my walking path by woddling into it today, I'm stealing the mini-fan out of their other hand."

Aug. 30 - "I'm not sure if I want to embrace this guy with a hug I can see looking at Muppet memes or punch him in the head."

July 30 - "A large woman yelled at my for getting too close to her bag of McDonald's while I was walking to lunch."

July 2 - "Something about the people purchasing Chicago souvenir items from Walgreens is innately depressing."

June 24 - "I thought I saw an unattractive pregnant girl, but it was a fat gross man."

Aug. 29 - "I like this guy at the office who wears floral shirts and gets paid to meander around in old running shoes and eat almonds."

June 19 - "Why are the loudest people on the 'L' always also the most obese?"

Sept. 4 - "And seeing that fat woman on an adult tricycle has officially completed my day."

Best seat in the whole city.
Another stumper.

Friday, September 7, 2012

First trip out to Montana + Winter Traveling Update


Sam's Tap Room at Red Lodge Ales
At the end of August, I got to go to Montana for the first time on business. The excitement around the trip stemmed from the fact that I picked up fly fishing earlier in the summer. Packing up my fly rod and gear I was beside myself. Fly fisherman around the country save up money to go on trips to Montana and I was going for free and was going to be situated on the Yellowstone River - one of the most renown fly fishing rivers in North America.

Beartooth Pass
The night before I departed I was staring up at the ceiling in bed until midnight. It was as if Santa was coming. Upon arrival and completing my work day I set off to Red Lodge, MT - a town about 50 minutes west of Billings. I set up outside of town along the Rock Creek river, a tributary of the Yellowstone that flows out of the Beartooth Mountains. The first night I was fish-less. Red Lodge is a nice, quant town that has a great brewery on the outskirts. Their double IPA is killer and you can't beat their prices.
Rock Creek River

Overall, the fishing was great. I only reeled in two fish for the four nights I spent there but wading on the Yellowstone and Rock Creek was unbelievably peaceful and rewarding. I'm looking forward to my next trip out there.

Baby Brown Trout

Winter Travel Plans

My January and February months are going to fly by. Here are my travel plans so far:

  • A 7 day ski trip to Denver
  • A 5 day ski trip to Utah
  • A 6 day trip to Hawaii. (hopefully learning how to surf and getting in some bone fishing with the fly rod)

Round 2 coming up this winter!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Let me serenade you with a poem

Sometimes after I have a bucket full of coffee and red wine (I call it "colon pepper"), I indulge in the finer things...eggs, chemistry, scented candles, horse tails...and even literature. Often times, after reading Little Critter's First Shave, I feel provocative enough to write something of my own. And, since I've already written several short stories about me shaving myself, I've branched off into other artistic mediums. Recently, I wrote a poem, and I would like to share it with you:

You Are My Crypt, Inflame My Soul

Don't decay, darling.
Live on like the embalmed Latino women
in my neighborhood.
Absorb my rapture and let me dine
in your coffin.
If our love is paradise then my heart is satin.
And if we don't make it to heaven,
let us shock the souls of Limbo.
Sinless infants will dance
above Purgatory,
shaking the chandeliers of coping families,
so they won't forget us
like the embalmed Latino women in my neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Hate Your Excessively Peppy Facebook and Twitter Statuses

This is exactly what I look like.
I suppose my view of Facebook and Twitter is fairly pessimistic. I don't enjoy most posts I read - in fact, I probably hate 93% of the status updates I see on Facebook. I use both social media sites as sources of entertainment. Sadly, the majority of the population sees tweeting and status updates as a personal journal of ramblings - which can be incredibly intriguing....but usually not. As I once stated in an earlier blog, "You never realize how unclever and uninteresting people are until they begin tweeting. It's like accidentally hopping on Locomotive Nincompoop on its way to Fartville, USA powered by someone's deficient inner monologue." So, yes, I likely really don't enjoy almost everything you post. However, my friend tweeted this, which I did enjoy:

"People who are not motivated at all bug me. But people who act super motivated all the time bug me more. Settle down."

How true, how simple but true. Being positive, enthusiastic and motivated about everything in life is admirable...but not realistic. We all know someone like this. Their energy level is as if ten teams of cheerleaders fused into one person. The individuals are super nice, likely super respectable but also super in your face ABOUT EVERYTHING. You can rightly assume these balls of mobilized firecrackers are either on excessive amounts of drugs or so far out of touch with reality they are doomed to an epic awakening of depression when they realize the world isn't all sunshine and farts.

Furthermore, these intensely positive individuals are hard to legitimately hate but so easy to be bothered by. There's a happy medium you wish these people could find - but to each their own. As nice as you can try to look at their constant, amped-up bliss, consistent contact with these individuals forces even the most courteous of us to begin avoiding general conversations with them, because sometimes at 7:15 a.m. on a Monday the last thing you need is a yelling fuck of kindness in your ear. Likewise, hiding no longer works as physical avoidance now becomes not enough, because social media is a sure-fire way to let everyone know everything you're thinking.

So, often times the tweets and posts I hate are idealistic, motivational phrases from one of these individuals - because they don't come in single form. They are delivered in packages of 19/day. Although I never have been one to be incredibly inspired by random motivational posters or quotes, I believe writing is one of the greatest ways to communicate thoughts, beliefs and experiences - sometimes more than any other mode of communication. The power words have is unending. From books to essays to poetry -- writing has the ability to prompt you to think and feel in new, complex ways you never would have been introduced to otherwise. My respect for great writers of all genres is immense. However, this doesn't mean everything is worth writing...or communicating....

What makes me more annoyed than motivational quotes, by far, are over peppy updates of people's current and future life events. Let me try to give you an example:

"What a great day! After seven years of school, I will finally be an official employee at [insert generic corporation]! I am truly blessed and thank all those people who have supported my dream of becoming an Assistant Financial Advisory Managing Team Leader since childhood to put me in a position to succeed! Love to all! Don't let troubles stand in your way! Starting my week on a cloud of bliss!"

I feel so awkward when I read these. I don't want to downplay someone's accomplishments, but announcing these events and feelings in an over dramatic, shot-out-of-a-glitter-gun positive fashion with a hint of failed poetic elegance just doesn't hit me the right way. I don't see Facebook and Twitter as correct mediums to communicate over-the-top messages. When I read one of these immensely high spirited updates, I throw it on the on the same level as a 13-year-old girl announcing she will never love again. You want to respect their feelings but can't take the comment seriously. I mean, come on, it's Facebook.

Take it down a notch.
I once brought up this topic to a few people and was criticized for lacking the "spirituality" to appreciate the posts.......what? They followed my response of a confused eyebrow raise and head tilt with, "You just don't get it. She/he is really spiritual now." I've had multiple college courses on spirituality, and I wouldn't say "lacking spirituality" is correct phrasing. I would say I'm more realistic, and, by being realistic, when you rub your lifestyle and peppy to the point of puke thoughts in my face, I tend to not enjoy it. These people have the Tim Tibow mentality. I love hearing friends and family success stories, but not when they're consistently in my face about it - like a child forcing a chew toy into a dog's face. The bulk number of these tweets and posts takes away the significance of the situation - to the point where I will no longer read these, even when they are of importance.

We are all guilty of using these mediums as opportunities to assume the world cares about our train of thought, actions and lifestyles. My suggestion for these excessively positive people is to take it down a few notches, for everyone's sake. I want what I read through both Twitter and Facebook to evoke some emotions that don't include annoyance and the wish for a "despise" button.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

USA Women's Gymnastics Coach...A Spy??

One of my cousins brought up a very good point after witnessing the United States Women's Gymnastics Team win gold last night at the 2012 London Olympics...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Is it hot in here, or is it just SSX Tricky?

A basic tricky move
When revenue flat lines, like my post views, one must innovate. You don't focus on what once worked; you change the playing field! More importantly, you attempt to figure out what will drive your female readers wild. As always, I'm fairly certain I found the answer....a video game review.

I'm aware, SSX Tricky is a throwback game to evaluate. However, you must realize back in the early 2000s we didn't have the same video game reviewing technology and ways of thinking as we do now (i.e. elaborate prostate exams and the ability to TiVo "Wizards of Waverly Place"). Likewise, I have a feeling some of the younger crowd requires a little refreshing on the background of SSX Tricky.

SSX Tricky is a snowboarding video game released in November of 2001 by EA Sports as the sequel to SSX. Rumors that the game's initial name was "Tricky Sex," but switched to "SSX Tricky" due to a drunk, dyslexic copyeditor are true. The game's overall theme, plot and switch from a low budget porno to a video game had to be completely reworked. The game originally was playable on PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. For my purposes, I tested the game out on PS2. Somehow, this game is still $30.00 on Amazon. Here's what I found out...

Pretty good for eating eggs off of

With a new apartment and lack of essentials with the correlating move, we are often very low on plates. I found SSX Tricky's plate-like shape served fairly well. The game's platform could only hold three omelets but was easy to clean post hash browns.

Just so-so for applying sunscreen

I live pretty close to a beach and make frequent visits. With that being said, sunscreen is a must, because UV Rays mean sunscreen AND plenty of women who need sunscreen to be applied. I found SSX Tricky kind of works for lathering on sun protective lotion. Furthermore, the game works about as well as rubbing it on with a your cell phone. I recommend asking women for approval before applying sunscreen to their backs with an old video game as you're about to go through with what's thought to be a "romantic" move that's ultimately "embarrassing and illegal."

Too tricky for SSX Tricky
Terrible for cleaning your fingernails

Since fingernail clippers have have been made obsolete by the iPhone, and I don't have an iPhone -- you have to get creative. SSX Tricky's disc design with the shiny bottom resembles the outter appearance of a fingernail clipper but with much worse services. The game has zero corners or edges to clean out the inside of a pumpkin from under your nails. Oh, and I know what you are thinking...yes, the game case has corners...however, I lost the game case at the beach -- so this feature wasn't available.

Sadly, I was only able to try out the game through these three tests, because by the time I put the disc into my PS2 the game was covered in pumpkin-screen-egg matter. The disc ruined my PS2, which was just a VCR, which was hooked up to my microwave but somehow charged my iPod.

Overall, I give SSX Tricky a B-.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How much I hate Skip Bayless

I don't understand Skip Bayless and his vendetta against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Way too bias for my taste. He really takes the enjoyment out of watching ESPN nowadays, especially with the NFL season right around the corner. I dislike him SO MUCH.

Not this much,

or this much,

but 'dis MUCH!

The Growing Acceptance in Lack of Pride in Work and Life

Outside of my humor and puppet focused posts, I've wrote on life goals and professional careers. I've recently felt compelled to return to the topic as I've become increasingly troubled by the answers I receive when I ask post-college graduates what their future plans or current goals are. Their answers are a too often and troubling, "Not sure," or an unmotivated, "I don't know."

I understand, TRUST ME, I UNDERSTAND, leaving college or even having decided an ultimate goal a few years down the road may be problematic -- especially with the current job market. The economy validates the uncertainty in the answer to some extent. My issue isn't the unknown, clueless answer; the growing trend of acceptance to the lack of motivation and pride is what bothers me.

I had a conversation with a friend recently and asked them where they wanted to climactically be in their career as an achievement of true success. The individual said they had attended grad school, received their Master's, found a very good job and are looking to return to school for a Ph.D. within two years. I instantly explained to my friend my extreme adoration for their success and aspirations. I went on to explain how commonplace it's become for a person to answer the same question with a simple, "Whatever." A "whatever" aimlessly preserved in airless atmosphere, which the entire world is supposed to see as irreproachable. You aren't to question that they are unsure, not to make any recommendations, not to help, but rather applaud and encourage the lack of pride, because there really is no pride.

Clint and Ron Howard

One way people go about making up for their lack of success is gluing themselves to the coattails of those they have relationships with, both intimate and as friends or family. I see such an innate problem with clinging onto someone else's achievements in order to give off the impression you're doing well by association. Isn't this growing standard concerning for everyone else? 

You should be able to look yourself in the mirror with your chin up and say, "Look at what I've done." Instead, people avoid the mirror and throw a towel over it. They live off the sensual feeling and grossly existing pride and satisfaction in what the person their married to has accomplished or what the people they've slept with have done.

It's sickening; it's disturbing; it makes you wonder, "When are these people going to wake up? Will they go on the rest of their lives gloating and proudly pissing in a pond of gold filled by another's accomplishments?"

Of course, discussing your goals or successes is uneasy and awkward, but at some point you need to be able to remove the towel you tossed over the mirror. Whether your goal is to just get a decent job or raise a great family, you have to draft some blue prints! Did your family not raise you to succeed? If they didn't, don't you see others who are driven and have some small desire to be like them?

"Stop being a fucking dinosaur and get a job".

What holds people back from questioning their friend's or family member's lack of path and ambition is the fear we will "hurt their feelings." We think questioning someone's lack of motivation as "mean" and "not polite" -- and to some extent it is. But I rather have a repeated kick in the balls to send some reality to my brain than have a rotting virus in my head make excuses for my lack of self-sufficiency.

My advice to those who are unsure on their life goals is to at least have something in line (even if it's short term). Without goals you have no backbone, and the lack of supportive structure has become terrifyingly "okay" with everyone. I understand too, it's whatever makes you happy. However, living your life with little self-accomplishment and fueling your own sense of pride with other's successes is inherently sickening.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Supplementary Series of Play and Musical Ideas

I'm going to write a play about a struggling Russian entertainer, Borya Gutemovskii, who performs Trans-Siberian puppet shows at a local Pizza Ranch in Salt Lake City. He lives in the shadow of Clem Penny, regional famous puppeteer who brings to life Mad Men inspired shows. Gutemovskii's life soon changes when he schemes to bring down Clem Penny by becoming a Mad Men puppet himself and sabotage Penny's show after meeting a magical, Boston witch at Hobby Lobby. Gutemovskii instantly falls in love with the Trudy Campbell puppet, realizes she can't be brought to life and stalks the real life Trudy Campbell (Alison Brie) for all of Act II. He has trouble traveling because he is a puppet.

Lindsey Buckingham
I'm going to write a play about a female airline pilot who has lived in the cockpit of an Airbus A300 commercial aircraft since her childhood, never leaving after her parents died in a freak, pacemaker malfunction at 4,000 ft. One day, while descending into Detroit, the woman pilot writes the song "Landslide," which is overheard by Lindsey Buckingham in 1st class. The two form the band Fleetwood Mac, living on the plane and surviving off of Sutter Home Wine samples and infant size bags of pretzels for the rest of their lives. The couple conceives and gives birth to all the members of the band Jefferson Airplane, who later become Jefferson Starship and eventually My Chemical Romance, respectively.

Captain Troy Tempest

I'm going to write and compose a musical about the puppets used by the Von Trapp children for the marionette show from "The Sound of Music." The plot follows the puppet's rise to fame in "The Lonely Goatherd" performance to their fall as back-up puppets for the 1960's children marionette puppet television series, Stingray. Several of the Von Trapp puppets, especially the small band's tuba player, have affairs with Captain Troy Tempest (main character from Stingray), producing the following puppet children:

Pepe the King Prawn / Steve Buscemi

Gorg / Bruce Vilanch

Dr. Bunsen / Al Roker

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Moving to Chicago: A Hipster's Tale

I recently made a move to Chicago for hopes the proximity switch would create a larger window of opportunity. I could carve paragraph after paragraph about the Chicago job market into the hard wood floor under the throw rug in the living room of the apartment I'm staying in with a spoon; but I'll save that for Friday.

Chicago has been remarkable so far. The endless, niche options of bars, restaurants and dental offices speaks wonders of the complexity of a big city. I've already withheld my true professional sport team preferences and saw a Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field; I've seen bits and pieces of the night life and ice cream salesmen on the beaches; and I've noticed there are not enough places to get coffee.  

One of the most confusing and intriguing observations I've came across is the similarity of appearance between the female population around my age. All the girls I know from Chicago look like every girl in Chicago. This "Chicago look" includes big sunglasses, free flowing clothes, longer hair tagged with a bit of new wave/ indie upper-class sophistication. Every day I think I see someone I know from college, and it's just another random Chicago girl mixed amongst the increasing number of hipsters escaping their home in Wicker Park. Seriously, the superior status of hipsters in Chicago and bohemian urge makes me feel like I'm living in 1960s Greenwich Village -- but that's a whole different blog I'll carve into the wooden cabinets while everyone else here is sleeping before I move into my own place.

In my free time I've told a few friends about my move down here or have been approached by others about it (apparently word travels fast when you look exactly like a male Keira Knightley). I'm obviously fairly naive about getting around the city and am fortunate to be staying with friends who know the area very well. Likewise, I'm fascinated by how many of my friends who I thought were from the real city of Chicago are actually from the suburbs and have equal or less knowledge on how to get around the actual city or where specific locations are.

One of my favorite traits of the city is the convenient utilization of public transit and walking. Whether we're riding the "L" or walking around, I'm a huge fan of not using a car and saving money. Many jobs will pay for your commuter costs as well -- making these rides all the better. In addition to the public transit's financial advantages, every trip has a tank full of hilarity and awkwardness. The train rides are often packed to the brim full of business professionals, overweight travelers and whatever blew in from the circus. My personal favorite are the individuals refusing to grab onto the railings while the trains is moving when no seats are available -- as if they are too good for them -- which results in the person constantly almost tipping over.

Big cities have boundless features to love or hate -- and this Keira is hitting the "love" button a lot on his dashboard of discovery. Chicago is an exciting place to be, full of opportunity, enjoyment and terrifying mannequins at H&M.