Hiccups Will Be The Death Of Me

Via medicalnewstoday.comIt isn’t easy being a neurotic mess. Sure, Woody Allen made it look effortless in every single one of his movies. Larry David has made a career out of making neurosis appear easy. As a self-proclaimed high-strung nutjob, though, I can tell you that some days your mind has to go miles out of its way to accomplish the required hysterical behavior you have become accustomed to.

Fortunately, the internet is always there to simplify that process.

There I was, minding my own business today when a news story comes across my computer screen.

The Scary Thing Your Hiccups Could Mean

Now, as a person who has downloaded the WebMD app on my phone just so I can get to the symptom checker quickly, I know for a fact I should not click on this. In fact, my brain actually said that exact thing.

“Hey, dummy. Don’t click on that article,” it said.

“But the Huffington Post… They know something,” I replied.

After several more minutes of internal bickering, my brain gave up. “Enjoy the next two hours of worrying!” it said, and then silently allowed me to seal my fate. I clicked the headline and up came a photo of a person holding their breath. I assume this was to dissuade their hiccups. Or maybe it was demonstrating that hiccups could cause you to NEVER BE ABLE TO BREATH AGAIN! I would just have to read to find out.

So you gulped down your beer a little too fast. Those hiccups are pretty annoying, maybe a little embarrassing, but hey, we’re not judging. They’re also usually harmless.

So far, so good. I was not even remotely worried. All that had been said is gulping drinks will give you the hiccups. I learned that when I watched “Pinocchio” as a child. Great hard hitting news, Huffington Post.

Usually. Hiccups may also be a sign you’re having a stroke.

I reread this paragraph a couple of times.* I found myself thinking back through all of the times I have had hiccups recently. There was a time just a couple of weeks ago where I seemingly had hiccups out of nowhere. I attributed it to the glass of water I had just finished and my logical half was telling me that this was, without a doubt, the cause.

On the other hand… they did come out of nowhere. Maybe it was a stroke. Maybe every single time I have ever had hiccups in my entire life, I was just experiencing stroke after stroke after stroke. I’m just a ticking time bomb and with each hiccup I am one second closer to death.

If I had continued reading, I would have seen that the next paragraph said not to freak out and explained in greater detail what sort of hiccup they were referring to. By that time, though, it was a lost cause. I know that I have never had a stroke hiccup (stroccup?), but from now on, every single time I have hiccups, I will just be thinking that this might be the issue. At least until the next scare comes around and I find myself examining my earwax for signs of congestive heart failure or wondering if my sniffles are a sign that I have a bad case of ultra-cancer.

I should have listened to my stupid brain.




*I’m using the word “paragraph” very loosely. Maybe paragraphlet would be more appropriate? Not that my paragraphs are any more paragrapharicious than those of the Huffington Post. From now on, maybe I should just call them tidbits.

My Server Ruined My Life

“Chips on plates” by Yannick Bammert

It was late this afternoon. I had been standing outside waiting for a table. I’m not a big fan of hyperbole, so you know I am telling the truth when I say it had to have been at least five or six hours of waiting for a table. After all of the pacing and standing and gazing longingly at the food the people on the patio were eating, I was famished.

Finally, we were seated. After a look at the menu, I ordered something called a “Redneck Burrito,” a lovely dish containing pulled pork, baked beans, and cole slaw all in a tortilla. Apparently, this particular establishment does not believe that rednecks know what a traditional burrito is. I think that’s pretty judgy on their part, but of course by saying that I am being judgy about their judginess. I’m fairly certain that’s the worst kind of judginess.

Nevertheless, I ordered this non-burrito burrito. Knowing full well that this was not the healthiest meal I had ever eaten, I decided that I would pay the extra $0.80 for steamed vegetables instead of French fries. For some reason, I seemed to believe that this would make this meal much healthier. It’s as if I assumed for a brief second that having one healthy item on your plate cancels out the rest of the garbage that will soon be destroying you from the inside out.

I waited for a bit longer. I would have a lot more free time in my life if I stopped going to restaurants. Or stopped eating in general. That would open up hours every day where I could take up a hobby like whittling or spelunking.

Finally the food arrived and was set in front of me. The first thing I did was look at the burrito. It was not a burrito which, as previously mentioned, is exactly how a burrito meant for a redneck would be presented. Maybe the logic is that many rednecks tend to be rife with racial prejudices, so the last thing they would want is for their food to be taken over by our neighbors down south. The less burritoy their burrito is, the better. The bigger issue was not this confusing entrée. Next to this non-burrito, though, set a large pile of French fried potatoes. Not a single steamed vegetable was to be found.

I kept my cool, though. I was very hungry at this point and did not want to deal with the whole “you gave me the wrong food” hullaballoo. Not that it’s a big deal. I just began to put some sauce on my non-burrito and go to town.

Out of the corner of my eye, I kept seeing my wife’s salad. It was a very nutritious salad with strawberries and grilled chicken. Then I would look back at my fries and non-burrito. I could imagine the things people were saying at tables nearby.

“Look at that salad,” they would say. “It looks so healthy and nutritious. It looks so much better than the food that guy is shoving in his fat, stupid mouth. I mean, it looks like he’s eating something a redneck would try to pass off as a burrito.”

Of course, it wouldn’t look nearly as bad if I had steamed vegetables instead of fries. My waitress, though, decided that listening to my order was not an important part of her job. Not that I’m bitter about it or anything. I just wish I had gotten the thing I ordered. Not that it’s a big deal.

I started to try to slide fries into my wife’s bowl hoping that maybe they would counteract the nutrition she had. That did no good. The judgy looks continued on. The only option would be to devour the food as quickly as possible. That way, when I was done the people would have no idea whether I had just finished eating garbage or whether my plate had once been filled with something good.

There I was, shoveling fistfuls of greasy fries in my mouth over and over all because my server did NOT want to allow me the delicious and/or nutritious vegetables that were originally ordered. If ONLY she had done her ONE SINGLE SOLITARY JOB CORRECTLY, THEN MAYBE THAT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED! THEN I WOULDN’T BE HERE REGRETTING EVERY FOOD DECISION I MADE TODAY AND WONDERING EXACTLY HOW MUCH SOONER I WILL BE HAVING A HEART ATTACK BECAUSE OF THE MASSIVE QUANTITIES OF FRIED POTATOES THAT ARE AT THIS MOMENT PASSING THROUGH MY DIGESTIVE TRACK! So thank you so very much, server! You have just monumentally added to my neuroticism! I appreciate it SOOOOOOOOOOOO much!

Not that it’s a big deal.

Cake: The Driving Force Behind Corporate America

"ACJziegfeld cake". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ACJziegfeld_cake.jpg#/media/File:ACJziegfeld_cake.jpg

“ACJziegfeld cake”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

In the office world, there are only a handful of things to look forward to. You might get an entertaining email or two. There is the day when the cleaning people come and remove that two-week old salad and its stench from your break room refrigerator.  There is the chance of finding a fresh(ish) pot of coffee.

Mostly, though, office workers want one thing: cake.

When people find a new job, there are cupcakes. For birthdays, there will be some sort of cake. The knowledge of this has caused my current company to provide small bundt cakes every Christmas. I assume the message they are trying to get across is “You have done exactly one bundt cake worth of work this year. Congratulations.”

Today, in honor of the anniversary of the office opening, we were notified that there would be a full buffet featuring filet mignon and poached asparagus with a light hollandaise sauce. Of course I’m kidding. They emailed us yesterday and said that there would be cake. The entire office was abuzz with the promise of frosted baked goods. Another email went out today announcing that not only would there be cake, but there would be THREE KINDS OF CAKE! Suddenly, people were in a near panic. I’m pretty certain I heard a coworker start hyperventilating at this promise.

I have a rule that I like to use in situations like this. I call it the vulture rule. Whenever food is placed into an office environment, you will see a dozen or so people circling the food’s location, waiting for a chance to swoop down and gobble it up. I like to wait for the scavenger dozen to make their way back to their seats before I partake. This will allow me clear access to the food without having to wait in any sort of line. This was the exact tactic I employed today.

It was not a great decision.

When I made my way to the cake, there was a single person there. She is new to the office and, I assume, has not been made aware of the important role cake plays in today’s corporate America. She was standing there, staring at the cake, her brain moving at double speed as she tried to determine what she should get.

“That one looks like chocolate,” she said to me. She was right. It was very brown, so either it was chocolate cake or someone was very bad at making some other kind of cake. “But I wonder what the frosting is. If it’s buttercream, I want that. If it isn’t, though…” She trailed off. I stood there patiently.

“Hey!” she called to a coworker. “What kind of frosting is on that cake?” The answer was something along the lines of “it’s good.” That, of course, was not the answer she was looking for. We needed a specific frosting type. I mean, who knows what sort of heinous evil could be opened up by selecting the wrong cake. I’m no history buff, but I’m pretty sure incorrect cake frosting is what caused World War I.

“I know this one is buttercream for sure,” she said, gesturing to the white cake. I’m not sure how she knew that for sure. Maybe she had sent it for lab analysis before I got there and had already received the results. “It’s white cake, though, and I don’t really like white cake.”

What a cake racist.

At one point, I thought we had made a decision. She picked up a plate with red velvet and I prepared myself to swoop in and at long last immerse myself in a pile of sugar and carbs. I would then crash half an hour later and complain about how tired I was, but for that 30 minutes it would be pure bliss. Of course, as these things go, she sat the cake back down in its resting place and began the whole process all over again.

In my mind, cake is a gamble. If you are offered a piece, you take it and hope you like the frosting. The worst case scenario is it goes from being a great piece of cake to being a good piece of cake. There are no losers at the game of cake.

I don’t know what she decided on. I waited until she had turned to ask someone else what type of icing it was, then I grabbed the chocolate and left. As far as I know, she may still be there right this second debating the pros and cons of mystery frosting.

Oh, and it was buttercream. It was pretty good.

Trump’s Right. Let’s Make America Great Again!

Dateline: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776. After a great deal of tea-related bickering and the subsequent beginning of a war, a group of men have had enough.

“I do say that these British brutes must be dealt with!” declared a chubby bespectacled man named Benjamin Franklin. In 1745, Franklin had authored a letter entitled “Advice to a Friend on Choosing a Mistress.” This is not directly relevant to this story. It is just a reminder that Benjamin very much loved the ladies, so something had to be very important for him to stop thinking about the fairer sex for one minute. The war against the British was that important thing.

“I agree. That is why I have authored this document,” said Thomas Jefferson. He then rifled through his knapsack, for a second being worried that he had forgotten the paper in question at home. His wife Martha had a bad habit of throwing out papers she did not view to be important. Fortunately, he found it under his Clif Bar and bottle of Smart Water.

He then read aloud what would be the foundation of the greatest country in the entire history of the world. It was a letter declaring independence from the British. You might call it a declaration of independence. In fact, that’s exactly what Jefferson called it. It may have been boring, but it was better than his working title of “Dear King… Leave us alone now, please!”

With a few strokes of a pen, America was born. And it was good, nay, great.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, America stopped being so great. If I were to guess, it would probably be around the time Rocky V came out. I mean, an American boxing hero had life-threatening brain trauma. There was decidedly nothing great about that. Just ask the NFL.

Since then, we have been trying to be great again. We’ve hovered around pretty good, dipped down to okay. At one point we were decent and even respectable. Not great, though. That’s for sure.

Finally, though, a great American hero has stepped out to save us from our future as a sub-par lackluster dull dreary uninspiring dismal boring bland insipid waste of 3.806 million square miles.  It seems that everyone has an idea of how to improve America, but only one man has the gall to plan on making it great again.

That man is the one, the only, Donald John Trump.


Yes, Trump has teased us with a presidential run before. This time, though, Trump is the real deal. He has found an America begging to be great again, so he has thrown his diamond encrusted luxurious and extra-classy hat into the ring with a slogan responding to these wishes: “Make America Great Again” or “MAGA” for short. This is a big promise for a person to make. How can Trump possibly step up where so many have fallen short?

He does has some big ideas. That’s how.

For starters, Trump knows exactly how to fix the struggling Healthcare.gov website:

“We have a $5 billion website. I have so many websites… I hire people. They do a website. It costs me $3.”

That is brilliant and, quite frankly, very simple. Why the government never thought of hiring a person to do the website for $3 is a mystery. It just shows how incompetent and nonsensical the United States Government is. I bet they have never had a website for that price, but under Trump the US would have so many cheap websites. Just so many of them.

Then there is the issue with the illegal immigration south of the border. Trump is really worried about this because “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” No one wants drug pushing criminal rapists running throughout our once great land. The answer for this is simple:

“I will build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

It sounds like a pretty big order, but he said that we could mark his words. He wouldn’t say that we could mark his words if he didn’t know for a fact that Mexico would be willing to build a great wall at their expense, right? Right?

“But what about jobs?” you may be asking. Don’t worry about that at all:

“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

See? Trump has that under control.

So yes, Trump has some great ideas. In fact, his ideas are so great that these are all just from his speech declaring his run for president. Imagine how many more ideas he has cooking in that head of his! It must be an idea typhoon, blowing ideas here and there inside his skull. If elected, I would expect nothing less than 10 amazing ideas a day. People must be thinking the same thing as me which explains how Donald Trump has a 7% lead in the latest GOP polls.

That is an actual statistic. This is not made up.

Sure, there are going to be some detractors. Some people will say things like Donald Trump has no experience governing and is a bigoted nut job and has some pretty bad hair. They may say he doesn’t have the best interest of all Americans in mind, but rather will be more focused on the wealthy. They might say “The Apprentice” was bad.

Yeah, well you know who else didn’t have any experience governing and were bigoted with pretty bad hair? Our forefathers, that’s who. Maybe Donald Trump is crazy, but maybe crazy is what it will take to make America great again. If it is, the Donald is exactly what America needs.

If not, at least he will make our imminent destruction fun to watch.

Congratulations! You’re The Best At Lasering Eyeballs!

The other day I was listening to the radio.

This is a fairly novel idea these days. Most people tend to have forsaken their terrestrial radios for Pandora and podcasts. Long gone are the days of people crowding around the radio to hear “The Lone Ranger” and “Little Orphan Annie” and the likes.  I could complain about the imminent death of radio for a bit longer, but my old man rants hardly ever seem productive.

As I was listening, a commercial came on for a local Lasik eye service. For those unaware, Lasik is a surgery where your vision is corrected by a doctor with a laser. The reason there are commercials for these doctors, I assume, is it can be difficult to convince people to let doctors point lasers into their eyeballs. The commercial tried its best to sell me on it. They threw their usual selling points at me hoping one would stick, only to have me deflect them away with unbelievable efficiency.

“Are you tired of wearing glasses?”

No. I quite like my glasses. According to every TV show ever, people with glasses look smart. I imagine that if I took them off, people would spend all day talking about how much of an idiot I must be.

“Is the daily grind of contact usage becoming too much to bare?”

Well, as I said previously, commercial, I wear glasses. I refuse to put tiny pieces of plastic on my eyeball. If my eye was meant to be touched daily, it wouldn’t hurt so much when you do it.

“Well, come to the Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center for a free evaluation.”

Only the company was not called the Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center. I do not remember what it was called. Clearly the commercial’s effectiveness is in question. Perhaps they knew this, because at this point, they made a pretty lofty claim.

“Voted Nashville’s best Lasik eye center….”

Wait. Let’s pause for a second. They were VOTED Nashville’s best Lasik eye center? By whom? Is there some sort of Lasik committee that gets together once a year? They vote and then hold some sort of Lasik Oscar’s where a room full of laser wielding optometrist get together to acknowledge the most accomplished laser wielding optometrist of the year?

It does not seem like there is a way to vote subjectively on this sort of thing. It’s not like you can have a Lasik sampler from all of the local Lasik providers to figure out which one was the best. Once you have done Lasik, you’re pretty much committed to that doctor for the foreseeable future.

This would be like me claiming that I was voted Best Husband in the world. My wife would most likely vote for me as she has no other husband to compare me too. Or she might vote for Jim Halpert from “The Office.” She is very big fan of him.

This was a very terrible example.

I guess kudos are in order to the Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center for all they have accomplished. Maybe someday I will be tired of my glasses. Then I will certainly seek out the best and, apparently, that is them. We will have a glorious time, them lasering my eyes, me hoping they don’t slip and somehow destroy my brain with said laser.

If only I could remember their name. They really ought to switch it to Lasiky Lasikness Lasik center. It’s pretty catchy.

Being Healthy Will Be The Death Of Me

This is Quinoa. No, it is not more delicious than it looks.

I am falling apart. My body is crumbling into nothing more than a pile of human dust. Granted, it is ruggedly handsome human dust, but human dust nonetheless. What is to blame for this human disintegration?

Why, of course it would be my attempts at health.

Months ago, I decided to get into shape. I don’t know what brought it on, honestly. Maybe I decided I didn’t like the way I felt. Maybe it was the fact that every time I called People Magazine to submit my name for “Sexiest Man Alive,” they would abruptly and quite rudely hang up on me.

No matter the reason, I did it. I exercised and ate healthy and soon I had lost the weight of a small child or, if you would prefer, a very large ham. Or, for that matter, an incredibly small child holding a moderately sized ham. Really, there are dozens of ham/child combinations to compare my weight loss to. I had become a fraction of the person I previously was.

According to everyone in the world, this should make me feel good. People will spout off things like “I bet you feel like you have more energy.” Well, I do not. I do not feel good at all. In fact, I feel tired and, quite frankly, a bit sore. I have spent the better part of the day walking like an old man desperately in need of a hip transplant because apparently running is a thing healthy people are supposed to do.

Yes, now I am obligated to exercise and eat healthy every day. If I don’t, the last few months of work will be all for naught. I will have to replace my new clothing with much bigger and less flattering clothing. It has become a daily torture that I must endure.

To make things even worse, apparently all healthy people want to do is discuss being healthy. As I am now forced into the group, I must endure this daily. The other day, a girl I know was talking about her new workout regimen.

“I just feel so great!” she declared with the gusto that people who love to workout often have. She looked towards me for reassurance that this is the proper emotion. I just scoffed, shook my head, then slowly limped away. Another coworker decided to suggest a new workout for me. It’s called “Insanity.” Apparently he missed the memo that I refuse to do any sort of physical activity that implies the user must be mentally ill to participate. If it was called “Sane and Fairly Realistic,” then I might give it a shot.

Then there is the food. All I have wanted for the last few months is pizza. I want a pizza so badly that if I were to find a magical wish granting genie, I would blow through all of my wishes by asking for some Papa John’s.

“No, but you can make the crust out of cauliflower,” someone told me. Then they proceeded to tell me how it was an okay substitute for an actual pizza. I feel incredibly certain that if I were to eat this magical cauliflower crust pizza, the only result would be me still wanting pizza and me despising the person who suggested this as a substitute. There is a reason pizza crust is made the way it is. That would be because it is delicious. Cauliflower is decidedly not delicious.

While we’re at it, I would like to set a ground rule. If you have something interesting to tell me about healthy foods and that interesting thing is a way to prepare quinoa, you are now no longer to be in my presence. If I wanted to eat something that was the texture of very dry soil, I would just go dig up my backyard. It would be a lot cheaper than quinoa and I wouldn’t be forced into a trip to Whole Foods for whatever bizarre ingredient is used to soup up a dreary pile of whole grains.

Quinoa. Bleh.

Maybe I should just give up and drift into a joyous sea of pizza and TV until the day that my body, filled with saturated fats and cholesterol, cries “uncle.” Sure, my life would be much shorter, but imagine how happy I would be with greasy cheese all over my dopey pizza-infused grin.

Besides, apparently my body is going to fall apart either way. I’m pretty sure I would rather it was pizza that killed me than a treadmill.

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Every Detail You Could Possibly Need to Know About the Game


Once a year, the biggest and best warriors face off against each other. I should clarify. By “the biggest and best warriors,” I mean the two American football teams that were able to make it into the playoffs and then were able to make it past the wildcard round, divisional round, and the conference championship round face off against each other. They are not ACTUAL warriors. They are sporting warriors which involves a lot more padding and a lot fewer deaths than a battle of actual warriors would.

Tonight was that great American holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday.

For Super Bowl XLIX, these two teams were clearly two of the best: The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Now, just hearing that, you would not expect much of a battle. I mean, some sort of hawk fighting people who are proud of their country does not seem extraordinary, but when it comes to football, this is an entirely different thing. Under quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots have made it to six Super Bowls. The Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII which, if I’m reading my Roman Numerals correctly, means they won last year. I’ll have to speak to a Roman to confirm that.

Of course, only 1 out of every 10 people at any Super Bowl party really care about the game. You can identify them because they are the people who try to talk during the commercials and refuse to participate in conversation whilst actual football action is happening. The more important part of any Super Bowl party is the food. That is why I decided to do something very special for this year’s Super Bowl.

After much debate, I decided to bring about regional dishes representing each team. For New England, the decision was very easy. I made Lobster Rolls, a dish that seems neither that difficult nor that impressive. It does have lobster in it, though, so that’s a big win.

Seattle was much trickier. What dish represents Seattle? When I think of Seattle, only a few things come to mind. The first thing that pops into my head is 90’s alternative music. There was no food associated with bands like Nirvana and Mudhoney as they seemed to exist solely on cheap beer and drugs, though. After a lot of research, I determined there was no recipe for food that combined these two things. Seattle also has coffee, but bringing coffee to a party seems weird. Because of this, I settled on Salmon Dip reasoning that they eat salmon in Seattle. Also, Trader Joe’s sells it premade and I am lazy, so that really helped my decision-making.

After crafting my Lobster Rolls complete with a mayonnaise disaster (“We’re out of mayonnaise?! Oh no!!!! Wait, here’s a recipe online for how to make mayonnaise… I did it wrong?! Oh no!!!!”), I had missed several hours of pregame show. I arrived at my friend’s house just in the nick of time.

For those who missed the Super Bowl, here is a brief recap of all of the important things that took place. It was a big night, so I’m happy to provide this service for you.

(Note: All times are in Central Standard Time unless otherwise noted. Second note: At no point in time will I be using another time zone, so every single thing here is in Central Standard Time.)


4:55: I leave my house, headed to my friend’s house.

4:56: I have a moment of paranoia wondering if I left the stove on. I had been toasting the buns for my world-famous Lobster Rolls and I thought that there was a very good chance my house was burning to the ground at that second. I turn back around. My house was not burning to the ground and the stove was off. I leave again.

5:13: John Legend goes all John Legend on “America the Beautiful.” Scenes of the majestic wonder of America flash on-screen while this is happening. It was very patriotic. I could not help but notice that places like the once great city of Detroit were very much left out of the graphics for this song. I imagine that if John Legend had been singing “America the Sad and Dilapidated,” Detroit would not feel so left out.

5:16: Idina Menzel sings the National Anthem. I hear she is known for the song from the movie “Frozen.” Judging by the looks on the player’s faces, they also have not seen the movie “Frozen” and are therefore not overwhelmingly impressed.

5:18: Thunderbirds fly overhead. For the next couple of minutes, I think about how great of a name this is for a flying squadron. It’s the perfect name for a group of planes. Actually, it’s the perfect name for anything. I may name my first son Thunderbird, though I’m pretty sure that would mean his only future career choice would be as a professional wrestler.

5:22: The coin flip happens. It’s Tails.

5:23: A sideline reporter interviews Pete Carroll. Her jacket is nearly the same color as her skin, so at first glance she looks like she is naked and very wrinkly. It is just the jacket that is wrinkly, though. I shouldn’t say that. I am just assuming that her jacket is wrinklier than her. It is PROBABLY just her jacket that is very wrinkly.

5:26: A commercial featuring Lindsay Lohan as a crazy irresponsible driver airs. Judging by this, I assume that she is actually a method actor and her behavior for the last decade was just her preparing for this role.

5:29: The game starts! Football! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

5:31: My friend finishes one of my world famous Lobster Rolls. According to the label to my faux lobster (fauxbster?), it actually does contain 2% lobster. He is allergic to shellfish, so he might die sometime during the game. I decide I should check to make sure he is breathing periodically.

5:37: My wife attempts to explain football to someone else who doesn’t understand football. Surprisingly, everything she says is correct. I felt proud, but I don’t think she will be hosting an NFL pregame show anytime soon.

5:42: My friends try to get their young child to say “football.” I try to get him to say “Lagarrette Blount.” He doesn’t say either. Instead, he chooses to say “dog.” Kids aren’t always great at repeating things, I learned.

5:50: The Seahawks intercept the ball in the end zone, thwarting the Patriots’ scoring chances. Then that player who intercepted the ball leaves the game with an injury. I’m very concerned about it for a second, but then a Snickers commercial starring Danny Trejo as Marsha from the Brady Bunch comes on and I forget all about it.

6:09: Touchdown throw from Tom Brady to Brandon LaFell. After the extra point, the score is 7-0. I contemplate creating a dance to celebrate my daily accomplishments like a football player. I might do it, but my hips don’t move so well. It would really be more of a line dance to celebrate my accomplishments. That would not be very cool at all, so I decide that I will never dance under any circumstances. It is better for the world this way.

6:19: A commercial plays “Cats In The Cradle.” It is very sad, but I don’t cry. I’m so tough.

6:23: A commercial airs showing a child doing amazing things. Then we find out the kid did none these things. Why? Well, it is because that kid died due to an accident. The kid is dead. He is very, very, very dead. I’m not sure, but I think that may be the first dead kid commercial in the history of the Super Bowl.

6:30: Touchdown Seahawks. Now it’s tied with the second quarter almost over.

6:33: Esurance airs a commercial featuring Walter White of “Breaking Bad” fame. It didn’t convince me to buy their insurance, but it was the first reference to meth that I have ever seen during a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl was really breaking new ground tonight.

6:45: The Patriots score. 14-7 New England.

6:48: I check. My friend is still alive.

6:57: Now the Seahawks score with only a couple of second left in the half. It’s tied at 14. More importantly, Katy Perry is about to sing! Katy Perry! Katy Perry!

7:08: NBC advertises a special about a very white Jesus. They play Phil Collins in the background. It seems like it will be incredibly historically accurate.

7:09: Katy Perry rides in on a giant robot tiger while wearing a dress that looks like flames. I’m concerned for her safety, but she manages to survive so that she can dance with people dressed up like chess pieces.

7:12: My wife says Lenny Kravitz is hot while he plays guitar. I suddenly am wishing that the Rolling Stones were playing the halftime show again. She did not talk about how hot Keith Richards was when they played.

7:13: Now Katy Perry is dancing with giant beach balls and sharks and palm trees. They all have moving mouths.

7:16: Missy Elliott shows up and a song plays that I vaguely recognize.

7:19: During the song “Firework,” fireworks shoot everywhere. Whoever designed the show took the song very literally.

7:35: On the first drive of the second half, the Seahawks kick a field goal and take the lead 17-14.

7:39: My friend is still breathing.

7:51: After an interception, the Seahawks score another touchdown. 24-14.

8:19: We have been talking about podcasts for the last 15 minutes and I realize I have not been watching the game. I did learn, though, that I am not the only person who has not listened to “Serial.”

8:25: Patriots score. 24-21 Seahawks.

8:45: The Patriots score with 2:02 left in the game. They are now ahead 28-24. The Seahawks don’t look happy. I wonder if a team would perform better if there was a person on the sidelines during situations like this that would hug each player and tell them that it’s all going to be okay. That person would probably get punched a lot, though, so I wouldn’t want that job.

8:57: The single most amazing catch happens. It’s very good. Even those who don’t care about football react very dramatically.

8:58: The Seahawks waste one of the single most amazing catches in history by throwing an interception to give the ball back to the Patriots with only 20 second left in the game on the two yard line. Then they get a penalty.

9:01: There’s a fight! A big fight with pushing and shoving and tackling. I would be concerned that someone would get hurt, but they are each wearing a large amount of padding. Also, I probably wouldn’t really be that concerned.

And with that, the game ended. The Patriots came out on top 28-24 giving Tom Brady his fourth Super Bowl ring and another Super Bowl MVP award. In my book, though, the MVP should be given to that giant robot tiger that carried Katy Perry into the halftime show. Without him, the halftime show would have never happened.

My “Least Valuable Player” award goes to Lenny Kravitz. YOU STAY AWAY FROM MY WIFE, LENNY! YOU STAY AWAY!

I Just May Be A Cat Person


For those unfamiliar, this is what a cat looks like.

It has recently come to my attention that my entire attitude involving animals has been completely misguided and wildly incorrect. For as long as I can remember, I have considered myself a dog person. The reasoning behind this was simple: I liked animals that at least pretended to care whether I was alive or not. Dogs are very good at pretending in this way.

Then I found myself with a tiny kitten. I gave the kitten medicine and fed the kitten and did all of the things a person with a kitten is supposed to do. That’s when the shocking revelation came out. All of this time, I was not a dog person at all. In fact, I am a cat person. This cat and I have so much in common that it is unbelievable. I mean, look at this list of commonalities we share:



  1. I like to see people once every so often for a very short period of time. Then I want to pretend I don’t even know them and move along on my way.


Okay, so the list is just one thing. Still, though, that is a pretty big thing. Cats are self-sufficient, so much so that they really have no need for us humans at all. As I write this, my dog is desperately trying to get my attention. This is because I have not touched her in over 10 minutes and it’s killing her. She doesn’t know if I have stopped liking her. In her mind, there is a very strong likelihood that I may never pet her again. I may just ignore her forever until the day that one of us dies. Or maybe I’m plotting against her, hatching some sort of heinous conspiracy with her enemies like the people who knock on our door and that barking hell-hound that lives two yards over. Dogs are very insecure.

On the other hand, my cat is somewhere in the house doing something. She is probably lying on something soft, but I have no idea nor do I feel like I need to know. In a bit, she will come out to spend five minutes with me, and then she will have gotten her fill of human interaction and will dart off, leaping over the nervous, apprehensive dog and going on her next adventure elsewhere. Odds are that adventure will be lying on something else soft, but like I said, I have no need to know what she is doing. As long as I give her food, water, and scoop her litter box, she is happy.

Actually, she might not even want me to do the litter box thing. I mean, think about it. She goes in there and does her business, then fulfills her cat obligations by dutifully covering the mess with a pile of litter. Then later, I come along and dig the whole thing up, scoop it into a bag, and throw it away. It almost seems like an insult, like I am telling the cat that she did not do an adequate job in the poop-covering arena. That would be like someone following me around and reflushing every toilet I use. I would be very insulted by that.

Regardless of this, my main point is still true. She needs very little from me and isn’t that what you want from a pet?

Of course, as I type this, my dog is staring right at me. It’s like she knows what I am saying. She looks so sad. “How could he betray me like this?” she seems to be asking herself. “After all this time I have spent with him, he is just going to ditch me for the first adorable fuzzball he finds.” I’m pretty sure that if dogs could cry, she would be now.

So maybe I am still a dog person. Clearly I am empathizing on a dog level. But I do really like the whole independent cat thing…

I think I’m just going to say I’m a goldfish person from now on. It seems to carry a lot less baggage.

The Wacky World of Coke

The commercial was like countless others before it. Person after person sharing a Coke under the guise of making someone happy. In fact, in many ways it was less subtle as the song playing in the background spelled it out time and time again.

Make Someone Happy

There is nothing wrong with this message. The stranger bringing joy to another person has, in many ways, become a cliché in holiday commercials, but I do think it is a good thing to make people happy. I’m not a complete and total monster, after all.

I do, though, question what the Coca Cola company pictures when they imagine making someone happy.

We open on Sophia, a young child, bringing a piece of artwork to an adult, presumably a relative. Sure, the art isn’t great, but she’s only eight. We shouldn’t be expecting Claude Monet. The next scene shows a man handing an umbrella to a woman on a snowy night. Aside from the fact that I have not once ever seen a person use an umbrella in snow, I am okay with this as well. There is also nothing wrong with the doctor bringing the nurses food after a long shift. All of these things are sufficient when it comes to providing happiness.

Then it gets weird.

A bunch of youths spend their time crafting the snow on stranger’s cars into faces in hopes that the cleaning lady inside of an upper floor of an office building will look down and, at the sight of those faces, smile in joy, a joy they will not be witness to as they are several stories below this woman. This seems like a strange choice to make someone happy. While the cleaning woman may or may not get a chuckle out of this, the drivers of those cars are probably curious as to why a group of youths are skulking about their parking lot and using their cars for their strange pranks.

Kids these days.

Then an old man surprises his wife. He has installed a new light in the living room. As it turns out, this light is actually a disco ball. Based on experiences in my life, I feel that this sort of discofication would not be looked upon favorably. Through the filter of a commercial, though, the woman is so thrilled the two of them dance and laugh and dance some more. Nowhere in their laughing dancefest does the wife stop to ask what happened to the real light, can the damage done by putting this light in be repaired, or what possessed the man to replace a perfectly good light with a spinning globe.

I doubt that this would really make her happy.

Then two people are sitting on a bench at a bus stop. Or maybe a train station. A transportation depot of some type. As the two sit there, their backs to each other, the man jumps over the bench to sit next to the female. Already, this is something that would not spread happiness. Most women do not like strange men to approach them in a startling and sudden manner.

As if that were not bad enough, the man then proceeds to look at her intensely as he pulls his hat off, places it over his hand, then through the art of magic, pulls a bottle of Coke out for her. Instead of being concerned that a stranger who seems to think he is a magician is trying to give her a drink, the woman laughs and accepts the bottle. Apparently in the magical world Coke has created, women are eager to ignore creepy first impressions and see nothing wrong with taking drinks from strangers at bus stops. Or train stations. Or transportation depots of some kind.

We close on a family dinner as everyone happily eats their Christmas dinner, acting as if none of the abnormalities of their day have happened. Then Santa laughs like a maniacal fiend at the sight of the joy. In the world of Coke, this is all very normal.

I guess I see why there are Pepsi people in the world.

The Sweet Siren Song of Asiago Cheese

Being healthy is the worst.

I should really clarify, I suppose. Behaving in a healthy manner is the worst. Having physical health is an okay thing, I suppose, though if behaving in a healthy manner is what it takes to achieve it, I fear it may be highly overrated.

Recently, I decided to be a healthier person in an effort to, you know, not die. I began to watch what I was eating more and I started exercising every day. While my intentions are good, the issue I run face-first into every single day is that I hate it. Scratch that. I loathe it. With every fiber of my being, I despise it. I hate running, I hate lifting weights. I’m not even really all that fond of moving so the exercise part is a huge bummer. I had also carefully cultivated a diet consisting of the four most important food groups: cheese, grease, carbs, and a second but even meltier layer of cheese. This meant that all of my favorite foods were to be replaced with things like vegetables and whole grains.

Despite my hatred, I have stuck with it. After all, my body is a temple, or at the very least it is temple-like. It is not always easy, though.

Today, I walked into work and what greeted me was not the usual aroma of stale coffee or the stench of that one coworker who loves essential oils, but a fresh-baked smell. There, on the break room table, sat bagels. Dozens and dozens of bagels. Small tubs of cream cheese were laid about the bagels in an inviting pattern, one tub per every two boxes of bagels. I glanced, but as I am now a very healthy person, I continued on. Then, past the throngs of people groping and grasping for cinnamon bagels, I saw it.

The crumbles of cheese reflected the unnatural fluorescent lighting giving it the appearance of a halo, very appropriate in this case. If you listened closely, I am fairly certain you would have heard a chorus of angels singing in honor of this blessed object. See, what set before was the most perfect thing man has ever created, a perfect opus penned in dough and cheese.

There sat the Asiago cheese bagel.

There are few things I like as much as Asiago cheese bagels. I like them so much that there was a chance at my wedding that I would say “I take thee Asiago Cheese Bagel…” If a doctor told me I could live another 70 years by giving up Asiago cheese bagels, it would not be an easy decision. When I reproduce someday, my son’s name will be Asiago Bagel Badley. Unless I have a daughter. Then she will be Asiaga Bagel Badley. When I die, I want to be buried in a pile of Asiago cheese bagels inside of a casket made of Asiago cheese bagel with a giant Asiago cheese bagel as a tombstone.

I did what I knew I should do, though, and I swallowed my strong Asiago feelings. I remained strong and headed to my desk far away from the siren’s song of crisp Asiago goodness. Every so often, someone would come by and speak to me while eating a bagel. We received an email from the department administrative assistant reminding us of the looming threat of bagels in break room.

As one does when they become healthy, I began to try to justify eating a bagel. Cheese is dairy which has calcium, so that’s good…

That was all I could come up with. Not a strong pro-bagel case.

I turned to my coworker. He is a much healthier individual then me, so I was hoping to hear him explain that bagels really aren’t that bad.

“What I like to do,” he said, “is skip the cream cheese. Then I take a spoon and scoop out the middle of the bagel so I don’t eat all of the extra bread. I just get the good part on the outside. It’s still not great for you, but it isn’t as bad.”

That sounded like a lot of work. I really should have stopped listening at “skip the cream cheese.”

After a few more minutes of wavering, I gave up my bagel dreams. I pulled my chocolate flavored protein bar out for a snack. It was as good as a chocolate flavored protein bar can be, but it was no Asiago cheese bagel. I swallowed the dry chalky bar, satisfied with the idea that instead of a terrible bagel full of empty carbs, I was consuming 180 calories of protein and other vitamins. 180 calories of something resembling chocolate. Yum.

I continued to work, but eventually I had to go to the printer. In my office, the printer is right next to the break room. I would be thrown back into the lion’s den and there was nothing I could do about it.

I walked past the bagels, glaring at them. I had found my new mortal enemy and I would not become a victim. I went to the printer and grabbed my piece of paper, then went back through the break room. I passed by them, then I remembered a very important thing a person once said.

The great Oscar Wilde once said, “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.” I wanted to be successful! If Oscar Wilde said it, it must be true. And that is why I ate a bagel with cream cheese. And I left the middle of the bagel intact.

Did I have any regrets? Sure. Namely that protein bar. I will never, though, regret an Asiago cheese bagel. Never.