Category Archives: Nonsense

Pointless observations about things that currently have my attention.

My First Mullet: Along Came a Man Bun

(A Tale Told in Three Acts)

Narrator:

From the dawn of time,
To the dusk of the present,
Man has warred internal
Over matters of many,
From the depths of his wallet,
To the tip-tops of his very head,
Raging against new horrors,
Nitpicking at the mundane,
Yet feeling lost at all points
Here and in between.

This personal strife
Has not abated quietly,
For the man must fight daily
With those demented elements
That come hotly against him,
Designed to inconvenience,
Or simply to put him out
Into the cold, dark world
Of vanity.

This war internal
Has not been a lone battle,
But a war of singularity’s parts,
A test of will against the pieces,
The pieces that define him,
And the bits that form him,
Internal and external,
Of blood and mullet alike.

This war has raged
Since the beginning of time.
But today, perhaps,
Man shall, at last, see its end.
Today, perhaps,
He may put his strife to rest.
Given that nothing happens
To compromise the peace he seeks
With those pieces of himself
That have remained at war.
Perhaps, today, if all bodes well,
Man will be at peace with his mullet.

Man:

Will our madness ever cease,
This perversion of taste,
Such antithesis to peace?

Or, are we destined to skirmish,
All day, into night
Like some confused dervish?

Uncomfortable with our sight,
Steadfast in identity,
Clashing over who’s right?

We fight with the mirror,
You and me, against sanity;
O’ the results couldn’t be clearer.

Our war is attrition,
Where neither is a winner;
We both deserve admonition.

Yea, a mullet you may be,
But my hair you still are,
And baldness escapes we.

In a world where image reigns,
And respect is found in covering,
We must take our salt in grains.

Peace between us must be found.
Shall we truce then, dear mullet?
Shall we reach our common ground?

Mullet:

Oh, you wacky simpleton,
I never wanted to fight.
My job was to protect you,
From birds, bugs, and light.
It was you who hated me,
Not I who hated you.
I just wanted a chance to live,
To claim my right as hairdo.

Dear confused man, you,
So short of your seeing,
Your scalp is my dwelling place,
A canvas for my being.
Why shall I battle
Against my very home?
What purpose is it for me
To strip myself off the dome?

Man of vanity, sir of strife,
Our war is doth misplaced.
Much else demands your attention,
My aggression is but chaste.
Riots, speech, and bloodshed,
True problems in need of release.
Shouldn’t those be your sadness?
Can’t you grant me peace?

Man Bun:

Ooh, a quarrel among soulmates,
How juicy, how saucy!

I must scrutinize this drama
As one swirls a fine wine.

Analyzing the players of this story,
Shall grant me a great pleasure.

Oh, yes, the play-by-play, sublime!
How may I capture this event forever?

Behold! One of you is a vessel,
Designed to carry the other.

The other of you, a passenger,
Designed to ride like a leech.

You fight! You make up!
A narcissistic fever dream.

The spitting image of my own battle,
A battle you’ve also fought with me!

Man:

Oh, no! What interloper is this?
Has horror visited me twofold?
Has decency gone amiss?

I lie speechless at this entrance,
At this, intrusion, at this mess—

Narrator:

The mullet interjects!

Mullet:

You! Cross-pollinated monster!
Who invited you to our party?
This battle has kept sacred
Our intimate anger quarte!
The man duels. I duel.
A gentleman’s war with image.
But you, oh foul beast!
You have no place within our scrimmage!

Be gone! Be gone,
Horrid golem of insanity!
You are perversion of style,
Man’s folly for vanity!
How dare you infect it,
The sacred image of man?
How dare you supplant me,
Hair most foul in all the land?

Man Bun:

My, my, somebody’s testy today!
You say to me I’m unwelcome?

Have you the right to tell me off,
Infamous “Do” of the eighties?

I think that I think not, dear un-sir!
Cast a stone at me at your peril.

I am no pushover to hairbound justice!
I can tangle with the best of you!

The night is young and so am I.
With a twist and a pop, I exist!

Listen to me, yesterday’s news,
My physique needs no shears to shine!

All I need is a rubber band and a will,
And maybe arched shoulders and pride.

The best of men wear me, you hear me?
The best of men wear me for truth!

Man:

Oh, no! This interloper is man bun!
It has its grips set upon me.
Save me, mullet, for I am done!

Mullet:

They say the enemy of my enemy
Is my friend, ice cream scoop head!
But man is no longer my enemy,
And you, top knot, are not my friend.
I know your game and what you seek,
And this peace you shall not invade.
Reconciliation is my order of business,
Not a threat from a twisted man braid!

Man Bun:

Dear Mullet, you misinterpret me;
I do not seek to invade your space.

You see, I am the new kid on the block,
Observing a world in which to fit in.

The places around me abound in wonder,
And the joys I bring are geometrically sound.

I come to satisfy the hunger of man,
To shape into anything he shall imagine.

But that is not all that I am, Mullet, I hope you see.
No, there is more to me than meets the eye.

So, please listen, intently, to what I wish to share,
As early judgment against me will fulfill no victory.

This message, I insist, benefits us both,
And you shall know why our peace must exist.

Now, look me in the bulb, dear Mullet.
Take hold of my ponytail and see!

Do you not understand where I come from,
Or the ignorance of your lambast against me?

I have not come here to start a war with you.
No, friend, that is not the goal I keep.

The imperativeness of my clarity, I hope you know,
Is paramount to our mutual trust.

So, please understand my message, friend Mullet.
Please listen, as I do not wish to enrage you again.

Yes, I choose not to pull you into aggression, my pal;
No, no, no! An engagement of battle I do not seek.

We shall have no beef on this or any other day,
For you and I were born of the same place.

Yes, dear Mullet, we are brothers,
Like fraternal twins, but better.

Do not fight against me, or the future.
Instead, join me, and let us make this world of men stronger together.

Narrator:

Oh dear, what do we see,
But the internal war
That hair has among itself?
Is it true then, dear humanity,
That vanity is a vicious circle,
Set to fight all who oppose it,
Even when the source of vanity
Is just another victim of vanity?

Shake your heads, men.
Shake your heads in shame!
For the man bun is upon you,
The man bun has come to stay!

(To be continued…)

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Pokes and Mons: The Pros and Cons of Playing Pokemon GO

July 19, 2016

Just under two decades ago, Nintendo introduced the world to the Pocket Monsters, or Pokemon for short, in the form of a handheld adventure game where kids could go around pitting monsters against monsters in an effort to catch them, collect them, domesticate them, and then turn them into vicious fighters—kind of like underground dogfighting, but for kids.

Well, now they’re back, and this time they’ve migrated from the handheld Nintendo market to the handheld cellphone market, shedding their colors and jewels for the greatest action word ever, GO. And rather than walking around a scripted video game, hoping that your version of the game has the monster you’re trying to catch—when the alternative version is the one that actually has it—players can walk around the real world and seek out the Pokemon via GPS, in businesses, schools, bus stops, and wherever Pokemon decide to call a habitat. It sounds like my childhood exploration fantasy.

But is it worth it?  Let’s find out together.

Here are the Pros and Cons to Playing Pokemon GO.

Pros:

  • Once upon a time, video games were accused of making kids antisocial and keeping them away from sunshine. Oh how the tables have turned.
  • Playing Pokemon GO can teach you your local geography.
  • When playing Pokemon GO, you get to test your cellphone’s battery longevity and decide if you need an upgrade.
  • Playing Pokemon GO can prevent media poisoning whenever something bad happens in the world and someone undeserving takes the blame.
  • Playing Pokemon GO may just cure people of ADHD.
  • Pokemon GO can be enjoyed by any age and any culture, and is popular around the world.
  • When you play Pokemon GO, you support the evolution of the Pokemon culture and ensure the property sticks around another 20 years.

Cons:

  • Kids may more likely get sunburned if they hunt Pokemon too long, and they’ll undoubtedly start talking to strangers, including the ones with blue vans and candy.
  • Even though you might discover new and exciting places, you’ll never know it because you’ll still be looking at your cellphone.
  • If your cellphone battery runs out while you’re hunting Pokemon and your search for Charmander has led you to find yourself walking through a fiery downtown riot, you won’t have any means to call for help.
  • Playing Pokemon GO may inadvertently numb the populace from knowing what’s happening to the world around them, and history will eventually repeat itself, and stupider games may become the result.
  • Pokemon GO may cure people of ADHD by shifting focus from something dangerous (like oncoming traffic) to something meaningless (like catching Pokemon).
  • Any age and any culture are still populated by legions of careless idiots who don’t watch where they’re going.
  • If you play Pokemon for the next 20 years, there’s a good chance you’ll lose track of reality, and you’ll wake up one day, probably after catching the final Pokemon (by then there will be 1000 of them), wondering where your life went off track, and you’ll numb your pain by dusting off your old Gameboy and returning to the Pokemon game that started it all, and you’ll die sad and alone. But at least you caught them all!

Probably a lot more cons than pros, come to think of it, but seven’s plenty for this list. Hopefully that’ll give you a better idea whether playing Pokemon GO is smart for you.

If you’re a Pokemon GO player (I’m not), tell us your pros and cons in the comments below. Do you agree with this list? Did I forget anything important? I suppose it would make sense if I’ve forgotten something important. It’s the only thing about Pokemon GO that does make sense.

Bonus Pro:

If you play Pokemon GO, you can be like Morgan Freeman.

Bonus Con:

Playing Pokemon GO may teach you to become like someone you aren’t.

If you like my joke pros and cons lists, check out these other subjects that got the ringer:

The Pros and Cons of Riding a Hoverboard

The Pros and Cons of Using a Lightsaber

The Pros and Cons of Valentine’s Day

The Pros and Cons of Using a Lightsaber

December 18, 2015

So, now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been officially released, and now that I have spent my entire day editing my gargantuan epic novel (part one!) for the e-book format—which means I haven’t seen the movie yet—it’s time to unleash my final blog dedicated to Star Wars culture:

Yes, it’s a Pros/Cons list!

We all know what a lightsaber is, right? It’s that flashlight-looking handheld device that produces a colorful stick of death when pressed and makes a whoosh sound when swung. You’ve seen it. It’s a giant ice pop that doesn’t melt in your mouth—it melts your mouth! Little boys between the ages of 6 and 79 want one. It’ll probably be the number one requested Christmas gift of the year.

But should you get one for that man in your life? If you are a man, should you get one for yourself?

Here are the pros and cons of using a lightsaber.

Pros:

  • It looks cool when you wield it.
  • It makes that really awesome whoosh sound pretty much always, which girls love.
  • You can use it to power dead electronics in a pinch.
  • Your friends will envy you for having it.
  • Your enemies will be afraid of you when they see it.
  • Your cat will chase it when you fling it around for a cheap laugh.
  • You can use it to create pathways anywhere you want.
  • Lightsabers make mock sword-fighting super flashy.
  • Knowing how to use one makes getting into a Star Wars movie easier.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t look as cool if you cut your arm off.
  • It’s not a popsicle, so it can’t be eaten.
  • It’s not a flashlight, either, and can make things awkward when turned on in tight quarters during a power outage.
  • Your mom will ground you if she catches you using it.
  • Once grounded, your dad will confiscate it and use it for himself.
  • Your cat might blow up if she catches it.
  • Using it in most public places might get you arrested, especially if you keep it concealed.
  • If you aren’t that good at sword-fighting, then a lightsaber will really make that clear.
  • Most of the lightsabers in the Star Wars movies are effects-driven and fake, so bringing in your real one could cause some issues.

So, that concludes Star Wars week at Drinking Café Latte at 1pm.

Stay tuned for news about my upcoming e-book surprise. (My opening statement gives a clue about what’s coming soon.)

 

How to Pet a Wookie

December 17, 2015

Wookie: An eight-foot-tall hairy man-beast that walks, grunts, and navigates spaceships like a normal human being. Can often be seen traveling with rogues. Best known for being a part of the Star Wars universe.

So, you’ve got your eyes on a wookie that you want to pet? I’ll give you some good tips on how to do this, but I must also encourage you to question whether this is a good idea.

Step 1: Find your wookie. It’s difficult to pet a wookie if you can’t find it.

Step 2: Take caution when approaching a wookie. Wookies are temperamental creatures that can tear off your limbs if you disrespect them.

Step 3: Ask the wookie if you can pet him/her/it. They are sentient creatures; they will let you know if you ask.

Step 3a: Wookies don’t actually speak, they grunt. Listen closely to make sure you’re clear on their answer.

Step 4: If the wookie says yes, then go ahead and pet him/her/it. If the answer says no, then refrain from petting this wookie and find yourself another wookie.

Warning: Remember, petting a wookie when he/she/it says no is very dangerous. Wookies can rip arms, legs, and other body parts off your body without much trouble. They are as powerful as bears. It is very difficult to pet anything, much less a wookie, if you’re missing your hands. Don’t let a wookie rip off your hands. Be respectful of his/her/its wishes. If the wookie says no, don’t pet its furry hide.

Notes: Because wookies don’t speak, they grunt, it’s helpful to know the difference between their yesses and nos.

Yes: A “yes” in the wookie language is any grunt that lasts for 2 exact seconds.

No: A “no” in the wookie language is any grunt that lasts for 1.98 seconds.

Keep this in mind before you ask the wookie if you can pet him/her/it. It might not only allow you to fulfill your dream of petting a wookie, but it could also save your life.

Step 5: In the event that you do get to pet a wookie, please go see your licensed therapist for a checkup. Wookies are imaginary creatures that exist only in movies and costume shops.

 

How to Train Your Droid

December 16, 2015

So, in honor of the world getting a new Star Wars movie in a few days (and hopefully it’ll be a good one), I wanted to discuss the idea of training our droids to do our bidding.

And to be clear, I’m not talking about this type of droid:

cellphone clipart (small droid)

No, as much as that would be cool (and maybe relevant? I don’t know), that is neither the focus of this blog, nor the focus of my wheelhouse. I’m sure there are people out there who can train their phone droids to do what they want, like teaching them to call people and to connect to the Internet and crazy things like that. If that’s what you’re looking for, check YouTube. There’s probably a video about it. No, I wanted to talk about this kind of droid:

droid joke 2

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering, “How in the world could I get that thing to do my bidding?” Well, it’s simpler than you might think. It all comes down to psychology. You have to tell your droid what you want. Until you acknowledge the fact that droids can’t read minds, you won’t actually pass this step. You must use the straightforward tenants of psychology to get your droid doing the things you want. But more importantly, it comes down to patience.

Droids are basically machines. Machines can be told what to do. Think of them like parrots: You tell them the same thing over and over and over again, and eventually they automate, freely speaking whatever offensive thing you told them to say, and no one can stop them because they’ve been “programmed” to say that awful thing.

That’s how droids learn, too. Get them into a small room, lower all the lights, throw a blanket over them if you have to. Then lock-on to their eyes. Smile; droids learn faster when you smile. Then slowly and calmly tell them what you want them to do. You may find resistance at first. But keep telling them what you want from them. Eventually they’ll do what you ask just to shut you up.

You train them basically the same way you train your marital partner. Sooner or later, you’ll program that new action into their susceptibly robotic little minds and they’ll do it without you having to ask them in the future.

So, there you go.

 

How to Build a Droid

December 15, 2015

So, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens coming to theaters this week, I think it’s about time we spend a week talking about it. And what better way to kick it off than to write a fake review, which I did last night and you should totally read it if you want to laugh, cringe, cry, or pull your hair out by the roots because it’s that fun. But I digress. Today I want to talk about droids.

No, not the cellphone that plays games and hacks your Facebook while you’re asleep. The original droids, the ones found in the Star Wars universe. You know, “These are not the droids you are looking for,” yet, they totally are the ones you’re looking for (unless you’re looking for the dang cellphone droid, in which case, these are not the droids you are looking for).

In honor of good people in Hollywood deciding it’s time to bring back Han Solo and friends, I want to talk about building a droid. You all remember how Anakin Skywalker built C3PO in Episode I and abandoned him, right? Well, we are going to do the same!

First, you need to find the right materials. If you get some screws, a screwdriver, a bunch of metal pipes, some wires, a couple of flashlights, batteries, sheet metal, paper, chewing gum, uranium, some bobby pins, a second screwdriver, a bottle of scotch, magnets, an old calculator, and something that looks like a USB jack, even if it’s actually a gem clip, then you should have most of everything you need.

Second, you want to put it all together. How? Well, first you bend the sheet metal into a trapezoidal shape, and then bend it again. Then you put your flashlights in the middle—or wherever you left a hole big enough to hold them. Then you run some wires down the back of the flashlight through however many metal pipes you found. Then you want to join the pipes and sheet metal together with some magnets and secure them with the chewing gum.

Now’s a good time to down a fifth of scotch.

Next you fix the “USB jack” to the sheet metal with your second screwdriver. Or you can use your first. Doesn’t matter. Then you want to open the back of the calculator and store its guts in the center of the sheet metal and secure it with the bobby pin. Stick a battery in it, throw out any uranium you didn’t use, and viola! You have your droid:

droid joke 2

Tomorrow we’ll talk about getting it to work. You’ll probably need more scotch for that.

Seven Quotes that Sound Awkward Anywhere but at the Beach

November 19, 2015

This is just for fun. About three years ago I was at the beach and this list came to mind. I originally wrote it for Facebook, but I thought it should be part of the blogosphere. Enjoy.

Seven things overheard at the beach that would sound awkward anywhere else:
1. “Ow, everything’s burning me!”
2. “There’s sand in my shorts.”
3. “Ick, I got salt up my nose.”
4. “I think I just stepped on a sea creature.”
5. “Have you seen where I put my shirt?”
6. “Wow, you dig a nice moat.”
7. “I can’t believe I finally got the shower to myself.”

Feel free to add your own awkward phrases in the comments below.

My First Mullet – The Bonus Mullet

July 17, 2014

Wrote a new poem today. This one is the 9th installment of my infamous “My First Mullet” series (the other eight are not yet on WordPress). This follows the conclusion to the epic struggle between man and mullet and serves as the first of four postscripts to that tale. This one in particular summarizes the conflict that a man has with his most awful of haircuts.

Note: It’s supposed to be ridiculous.

My First Mullet – The Bonus Mullet

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing, I thought.
It’s not like it was a disease I’d caught.
Perhaps fine fashion is what I’d sought:
My endeavors, clearly, were all for naught.

My first mullet, a mistake, to be certain.
Wearing my hair like a nape-neck curtain,
Cause for the cursin’ I’d been blurtin’,
No dignity, no composure, just shame I was spurtin’.

Living with it longer than sophistication allowed,
May as well’ve made me hopelessly disavowed,
From any sense that one could be wowed,
By the devoid brilliance of the trailer crowd.

I must’ve been duped by a crafty lie,
Perhaps on the whims of a saboteur or spy,
Employed by the ranks of the fashionably spry,
Eager to watch a man’s dreams die.

I could no longer stand the sight of my blindness,
My complete ignorance to fashionable kindness.
I should’ve considered my stylist’s guidance,
Rather than stare at him blankly and mindless.

He told me my mullet would cause me trouble,
Said I’d be better off with baldness or stubble.
Perhaps I was just living in a fashion bubble.
My stupidity sure left me with emotional rubble.

I was willing to give it a fair chance,
As all things deserve their time to dance,
But mullets eschew the great expanse
Of wisdom employed; that is my stance.

The results, I thought, were expectedly disappointing.
A mullet, for shame, for my heart, was disjointing.
A prayer I would need, or a stylist’s anointing,
To end the humiliation, the laughing, the pointing.

In truth, I’d had enough of that insufferable blight,
Hair so bad that I’d go out only at night.
My sense of style had not been right:
A provocative mess I had to fight.

I told my stylist to cut it or pay;
I would not suffer indignity today.
He brought out the clippers without delay,
And shaved that dastardly thing away.

Now I wonder if I’d done the wrong thing,
Since no haircut is truly that disgusting.
But, I digress, with much understanding,
That to some atrocities I should not cling.

Maybe I’d feel bad about my heartless trimming,
Over a disturbance in which I’d been wading or swimming,
Where my anger or dread had been brimming,
And hope for a reprieve had quickly been dimming.

But perspective is a powerful force,
As I’d once read in a wise man’s discourse.
Plenty of tragedies had been worse
Than my urgent need for a mullet divorce.

Maybe it’s not such a bad thing, I thought.
It’s not like it was a disease I’d caught.
Perhaps fine fashion is what I’d sought:
My first mullet, I’d bought, I’d fought.

My choice, my bad haircut, today is gone.
Mullet zero; me one.

–Jeremy

Rock N’ Roll Rubber Duckie

Originally posted to Blogspot on:

April 8, 2010:

A few life-related things have happened since my last blog. And judging by all the comments I’ve received since my absence, I’m guessing that there are many upset people who haven’t been in the know. So, let me first apologize for not keeping you up-to-date.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s fast forward to the present.

Last November, I started a new job as a writing tutor for a local community college. In that time, the community college became a state college, the coworkers I’ve met had since become friends, and a few of those friends had since become bad influences.

Now, the fact is, the reason I took up writing as a hobby to begin with had less to do with my creativity and more to do with my wallflowerish tendencies. I still like to go out whenever a hot new movie is playing (incidentally, I still haven’t seen Clash of the Titans, but I will), and I enjoy a good public meal (I had a fine, average meal at Chipotle’s a few hours ago). But I’m not what one would consider a “wild man.” I don’t do the bar scene. I don’t particularly enjoy nightclubs, even if I do kinda like the lights and the music. And the last rock concert I went to felt a little lame to me.

And yet, these friends—no, these bad influences—found a way to crack my shell. They got me interested in public displays of karaoke.

It seems that the latest craze among professionals and professional couch potatoes is to go out to restaurants and sing alternative versions of popular songs that range from the time of dinosaurs to the present. Whether one wants to “bang on his drum all night,” or nurse some “red, red wine,” he or she will find that there’s a song for that. And what better way to express these latent desires than to sing one’s heart out to a bunch of strangers and receive cheers and high-fives when the mission to inform or entertain through lyrics is over? All it costs is some time, guts, and a random digital photo that will eventually make its way onto some ubiquitous karaoke website that you may or may not ever find (and maybe a dinner if you’re feeling guilty about taking up some server’s table without ordering anything).

The Applebee’s by the railroad tracks in southern Palm Beach County is one such restaurant to host a karaoke night.

The first week I went, I silently vowed to watch my friends (aka bad influences) sing, and to remain the ever-present observer to their madness. My logic was to get a feel for the whole karaoke environment and to decide whether this was something I wanted to be a part of. In short, my plan involved me not singing. It also involved me checking whether or not these people had any singing talent. Turns out, they did have singing talent, and I realized I was hanging out with some expert karaokicians, and now I thought I had to compete with them if I were to gain respect for myself. After all, there is no competition greater than pitting one’s singing voice against his or her friends’.

The second week, I sang my first song. In public, I mean. Before we left the restaurant the week before, my group decided to choose each other’s songs. They chose “Desire” by U2 for me. Now, “Desire” is a rocky song that requires some kind of lung capacity to pull off effectively, and I was a little nervous to stand there in front of a whole restaurant and show them just how small my lungs really are. But when the magic moment arrived, I got up there and took the microphone anyway. And the first thing I realized when the karaoke version of the song began was that I had no idea what I was doing. I don’t think I even held the microphone the proper way.

I had spent the night before listening to Youtube videos of the song, trying to get a feel for it. Then, with another window displaying the lyrics open, I sang along with Bono in all his rock n’ roll glory. And it was fun—probably because no one could hear me. When it came time to stand before the crowd, however, I discovered how quickly I had used the boxed band as a crutch, and how unready I was to carry the song with my voice alone. I nearly stumbled over my voice right out of the gate.

But my friends still cheered when it was over. They claimed I did a “good job.” Did I really do a good job, or were they just humoring me? It was hard to tell; we had a larger crowd than usual that night, and our table was in the far back. It was hard enough to hear anything back there.

We ended up singing two songs that night, though I only prepared for one. My second song, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds did not go over so well. It was after eleven o’clock, I had been up since the night before, and I was exhausted. Having not prepared for the song at all, I had to wing it, and it felt like garbage (and probably sounded as much). Fortunately, everyone was too tired to comment.

But I realized something when I drove home that night. I enjoyed the experience. In fact, I found myself looking forward to the next outing.

And thus, the next outing came just a little over 24 hours ago. My mission this week was to sing “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” by the Police. And it went pretty awful (again, by my own evaluation). But I promised everyone I had a surprise in store for them, and I wasn’t about to let the experience with the first song deter that. I figured, if I’m gonna embarrass myself, I might as well go all out. My secret: I was going to perform the lounge lizard version of the Sesame Street classic “Rubber Duckie” by Ernie.

The turnout was tamer than the one last week, but I still had an audience. And when the time came for the karaoke machine to display the title, I could hear the murmurs in the room sound a little bit like: “What? Rubber Duckie?” Clearly, all the strangers were confused at first. But then the song began. And as usual, I forgot that karaoke in real life feels differently than karaoke in my bedroom. Those first words did not come out in the style I had intended, and I had to make an adjustment quickly. I now understood the pressures that contestants on American Idol felt every week. Impressing people with song was a tough gig, and making that first note count was the hardest part about it. One screw-up and you’re finished. I had to do something fast to save myself before I let this song crash and burn at my feet.

I abandoned the lounge lizard act and went right for the rock star.

Yes, I turned “Rubber Duckie” into a Sesame Street rock anthem. It was the only way to make it work.

The end result?

I think I’m no longer a wallflower, and my bad influences are to blame.

Shallow Water: A Journal that Reads Like a Survey

This one is kind of ridiculous, but I’m reposting anyway because it does share a few facts about me you may or may not find interesting. Originally posted to Facebook during the notes and surveys craze of 2008-2009:

April 22, 2009:

Not long ago I decided I was gonna stop leaving notes on Facebook. It seemed no one ever read what I wrote anyway. And this was the same reason why I stopped writing journals on MySpace. Yet, for some reason I’m not able to stick to that. Call it dissatisfaction if you want. There’s no other reason for it. Maybe I just need to write and not care what ends up being said.

It seems that surveys are more effective ways to communicate these days than actual letters or conversations. Short sentences seem to go a lot further than essays or heart-to-heart talks. It’s harder to misinterpret them. It’s harder to skim them or tune them out. The best a reader can do to a survey is to skip them, which is a blatant ignorance to the person who’s trying to communicate.

So I’m gonna leave some questions here. If you want to answer them, fine. If you don’t care, fine. But this is designed to elicit discussion. It’s designed to prevent shallowness. If you like being shallow, fine. But pretend I’d like to know what’s going on with you.

I’ll admit that I’m bad about asking questions face-to-face (probably because I always feel like everyone’s in a rush and they don’t have time to answer anyway), so I’ll ask them here.

You can be as brief as you want, but I find that depth is better.

I hope you’re not too busy to answer these.

I’ll go first.

1. What’s most important? Internet, cellphone, or dinner table?

Dinner table is the obvious answer, but I have maybe three family dinners a year (including holidays). I’m often (not always) turned down invitations to eat with friends so I tend to eat meals in front of my computer, either while I’m working or reading. So Internet (while least important) seems to be the most important social outlet right now, which sucks. I loathe busyness, by the way. There’s no excuse for it. If I’m overtaxing myself, it’s because I’ve got nothing else to do.

2. Would you rather swim in the ocean, a lake, or a swimming pool? What do you take with you when you swim?

I like sitting by the ocean the most, but fish creep me out, so I’d rather swim in a pool. I don’t generally take anything into the pool, but as a kid I loved a good raft and those games where you had to push your friends off the raft. One friend had a metal wash bucket by the pool and we’d sometimes put the cat in the wash bucket and turn the bucket into a boat. That was funny. I used to enjoy bringing action figures into the pool and make them play survivor. I don’t know—childhood was fun. Adulthood is kinda lame for that kind of thing. And I feel too old whenever I go to water parks now, or I did the last time I went…ten years ago.

3. How fast do you drive and why?

Depends where I’m driving, obviously. On average, I push the needle about five miles over the limit and rarely slow down on turns (unless there’s someone in front of me or coming at me in the intersection). I’m not a sports guy or abusive, so I have to get my adrenaline somewhere. Speedy cars and rock music tend to satisfy that for me.

4. Television, movie, book, or magazine?

I can enjoy a little of each. For television, it has to be Thursday night and it has to be tuned into NBC. If I’m not laughing or sitting on the edge of my seat, it’s wasting my time. It’s kinda the same for movies, but I tend to be more lenient with those since I can watch them on my own time, not on some network’s. Books I’m obligated to like because I’m a writer. But I’m not a fan of “literature.” Again, if it’s boring, it’s wasting my time. I usually keep that in mind when I write, so I do what I can to avoid writing boring stories. Magazines I really don’t care for, but every once in awhile I’ll open one up for the research. I find that none of it’s that great if I can’t talk about it at some point.

5. Any regrets?

I try to tell myself “no” most of the time. But the truth is that I regret almost every decision I made during my twenties. I don’t know if life would’ve taken a better turn if I’d chosen to work more and socialize less, if I would’ve gone to a town other than Orlando for college, if I’d been more serious about learning the basics of writing and less about the creativity behind it, but I haven’t been happy with the end result of the decisions I did make. And that sucks because I thought I made the right ones at the time. I suppose decisions catch up no matter where or how they were made. But I think I can put the original blame on my decision to fix an automobile that should’ve been junked. That’s about where the avalanche started.

(Note: I’m probably gonna stop here. No one’s gonna answer these.)