Consider the following

For ages, the thing that most noticeably separated mankind from the animals has been his participation in the Olympic Games. Animals simply do not possess the mental agility to understand what the meaning of true competition is, nor the discipline to begin training their offspring at a ridiculously young age for timeless events like gymnastics, the 400 meter hurdle, or the shot put.

Another category that animals fall tragically short in is mental cognizance. An animal couldn't, for instance, describe in an abstract but all-encompassing manor the physical appearance of a person, including the vibes he or she gives off. It is for this reason that I believe the "completely describe someone using just one sentence" game should be inducted into the Olympic Games as an official event in the year 2012.

Since not everyone is familiar with this game, I'll give a brief description and explanation for how it came to be. See, by my house, there's a PDQ that has several kooky characters working at it. There's Army Guy, Jesus, Old Guy, "The Guy," the Angry Lady, and finally, Looks Like He Just Watched Every American Pie Movie Five Minutes Ago Guy. That last one, LLHJWEAPMFMAG, was previously known as Enthusiastic Blonde Guy until I realized one night while kickin' it with Willy that I could completely describe the part-time convenience store clerk using exactly one sentence. The new name I gave to LLHJWEAPMFMAG is mathematically flawless in describing his physical features, personality traits, and the overall impression he leaves on customers, covering everything from his slightly outdated front-spiked hairdo to his cheesy, eternal grin, to the way he looks like he's just dying to quote Stiffler but has no opportunity to do so in an comedically appropriate way.

The game isn't even very difficult, and would therefor be just the chance the average American with aspirations of Olympic glory has been waiting for. It can be done in as few as a couple words, or it can be accomplished with a massive runon that ties together all sorts of disjointed pop culture references. For instance, one could say that James Brolin "looks like an obsessive, pill-popping fugitive with chopped up bodies in his fridge and tar in his eyebrows" and receive a series of near perfect marks. Of course, the quality of the descriptions given by players can sometimes be subjective, so the highest and lowest score given by the panel of judges would be thrown out.

I know new games and events are probably suggested for inclusion in the Olympics every other day, but I think this one has real merit. You wouldn't have to extensively train for it, nor be in peak physical condition. You probably would have to be up to speed on the vast majority of famous people, but any idiot with an internet connection could have that under control. So please: consider the preceding and show your support for the completely describe someone using just one sentence game in 2012. Thank you.


Weird music to clean your apartment to

Since I'm a big fan of music and the finding of new music, I've decided to list some dece songs that I'm into right now so that my loyal readers (both of you) may YouTube them if you felt so inclined. Besides, posting playlists is a classic "must have" for any college kid's blog.

1. "Boring Fountain"
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

2. "Chrissy Kiss the Corpse"
Of Montreal
Satanic Panic In the Attic

3. "War On War"
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

4. "If Looks Could Kill"
Camera Obscura
Let's Get Out of This Country

5. "For the Price of a Cup of Tea"
Belle & Sebastian
The Life Pursuit

6. "I Was Made for You"
She & Him
Volume One

7. "Stardust Hotel"
Jaga Jazzist
What We Must

Some of it might agree with you better than the rest, but I would say it's decent 25-minute soundtrack for tossing the empty beer bottles on your kitchen table into the recycling bin and figuring out where that horrible smell is coming from.

A sizable portion of my financial aid refund will be spent ironically

It just hit me that at least 25% of the total money I've spent in the last year was spent on things that I only like because they're stupid. This includes movies starring David Bowie, a ton of junk from the dollar store, weird products with broken English on the box, and posters of Speed Racer and the Brady Bunch. My next intended purchase is a Crossfire board game, because the other night I was thinking that even though I'm not a huge drinking aficionado, I would totally go to every party within 50 miles of me that had Beer Crossfire.

I think I've always tended to dump a lot of money into inadvertent comedy because, in my opinion, it's the purest, best kind of funny. Steven King movies like Sleepwalkers and The Langoliers are easily, easily more laugh worthy than many intentionally funny movies of the modern day, and I challenge you to find even one person on earth who doesn't wish Billy Mays did birthday parties. I don't even mind the fact that because of all this hilarious stuff in my apartment and car, I probably won't be able to afford more than one meal a day for the next couple of months. It's worth it.

I guess there might someday come a day when I'll no longer be amused by horrible acting and old '90s commercials, but until that day arrives, I'll be drooling over the Wikipedia page for the Found Footage Festival.


The Best Times of My Life


High School. What do those words mean to you? Whenever you talk to someone with pants up to their nipples, they will say that those are the best years of your life. "Cherish them!" they say, implying that we will never live in a time quite as grand. High School is where we grow up in to fine young adults and build life long friendships we will adhere to for the rest of our lives.

Oh wait, High School sucked ass.

Im not sure about the rest of the people on earth, but High School was probably one of the WORST times of my life so far. I think I would rather go through a mid life crisis than spend another week in that dump. Lets break down the grade levels with as much attention as they deserve (a paragraph each) to truly reflect on what it meant for me to be in High School.

Freshman year. Having just graduated from Middle School, the world was our oyster! With a chipper attitude and larger than life mentality, we burst through the double wide doors with confidence and vigor, only to be met with endless hallways and towering adults with peach fuzz. Thinking that we were invincible, we went off to class with our heads held high, which meant still several inches below the upper class men. All of the sudden we find ourselves lost in a sea of busy work, teachers incommunicado with one another. No longer do we have the confines of our cluster of teachers who talk to each other like they did in Middle School. There was no use arguing with our teachers, they did not care how much homework we already had. We quickly make our friends this year who are in the same classes as us, simply as someone to bitch about the workload to. I hope you chose your comrades wisely, because the choices you made then defined the lines of your place in the social networking system that was High School. Freshman year was still the second best year, because it was one of the fastest. I think it was over before I finished my report on the constitution. Oops!

Sophomore year, the only year that you had to stop to think how to spell what year you were in. Man did this year suck out loud. Now we walk through the same double wide doors, only this time fully aware of the shit storm we are embarking on for the second time. We quickly seek out the same people we knew last year, praying with everything we had that we again shared the same lunch period, lest we eat with the nerds. We again sink in to our busy work, only this time without enthusiasm as we now know that we can bypass the system by taking Ceramics and Foods 1 to lighten our load. We begin to take our job as student less seriously, forgoing nightly homework to play video games or search for a job. But alas, without a drivers license or car, we are again confined to our small cluster of friends. If we were lucky, our moms would chauffeur us to our destination of choice. Which, since we were still awkward was Ultrazone. That place kicked ass. But even with the new lessons learned, the year dragged on and on as we realized we were only half way through the shit storm.

And now it was time for Junior year, starting along the downhill trend. Our acquaintances from freshman year are now our BFFs, and we wouldn't dare break out of our social order. After our worst year so far, we now enter the double wide doors with our heads lower than ever before. Our previous experiences have left us bitter to the world. We now feel the hatred for incoming freshman, all of which seem to want to walk directly in front of you going half your speed. Their false sense of enthusiasm is sickening to you now, because for the first time, you feel better than them simply because you are older. You quickly forget how scared shitless you were of bigger people a mere two years ago. But now we are bitter, having done sort of poorly the last year due to our over confidence of being able to beat the system. Now with Physics and Chemistry at hand, we are again horrified at the work load. The school pounds the fact that college is around the corner in to your head, just to laugh as you squirm in your seat. Now instead of kick ass trips to Ultrazone, we have ACT tests and jobs and all that crap. God, what a terrible year. But before you know it, it is behind you, and summer break means more job hours. Now that 6 bucks an hour starts to REALLY add up!

And finally, we walk through the double wide doors to embrace a new year for the last time as we enter Senior year. By this point, our academic marks do not matter in the slightest. Our applications to the colleges of our choice have been sent off, and all we have to do is survive another 9 months. Our grades decline in to a dismal average as we now try to spend the last of our days in the high school community with those people we hardly knew Freshman year. We say our tearful goodbyes and plan for the future, shopping for dorm rooms and visiting schools. But after all of that, you realize there are still about 7 months to go. But fear not, no one cares what you do this year, for you are just a skid mark on the underwear of the school at this point. Your only point of existence is to do as little as possible, while still wasting as much time as is allowed.

When the time finally comes to snag your diploma, you cant help but look back at what you have and haven't done and accomplished. If you were anything like me, you probably still had every single piece of paper from all four years in your now 30 pound backpack, which you might have the strong urge to burn. You look back at the 3 or 4 true good friends you have made, and hope those people wont find better people to hang out with in college.

Yes, there is a lot more information to cover and awkward corners of awkwardness to explore, but you get the general point. There was nothing fun about those years except for the friends you have made who, lets face it, you will see 10 times a year at most after high school. But I guess it wasn't all bad. At least Ultrazone is still sweet.

Bear Alert Level Raised To Orange

While watching the news just now (as I do each night, for I am an informed and responsible young adult), I saw a story about how the number of bears found in Wisconsin has grown considerably in recent years. Then they showed a short video clip of a bear climbing a tree.

That's right.

A bear climbing a tree.

Now, don't think I'm unappreciative of the fact that the news is running stories that aren't about the economy, Iraq, murder-suicides, or whatever else is thought to be good storytelling these days. In fact, I'm a huge fan of bears in general, and am pretty stoked that they're getting a little media coverage. However, some people still don't know that bears kick ass, and as such, I think it's horribly unethical to suggest that the idea of a bear climbing a tree, especially an adorable black bear, is in any way less than completely dominant.

I remember having the same thoughts back in the mid-1990s, when there was something in the news every other night about how Mortal Kombat was too violent. It was especially annoying to me because they always did stupid stuff like calling characters the wrong names, proving that they didn't even really know what they were talking about. Same thing with bears, man. I mean, yeah, bears can be vicious and bite joggers' faces off and stuff, but is that all anyone sees when they look at these gorgeous creatures? Bears are also kind, gentle, majestic, attractive, generous, witty, and creative. And a photo of a bear climbing a tree, heroically struggling against society's preconceived notions of where a bear should typically hang out, should be a required picture in the wallet of every man, woman, and child. We could all learn a little something from these Christ-like beings that have come to Wisconsin not to take, but to give. Bears exist only to give, be it in the form of in hilarious mascot costumes, YouTube videos of vicious grizzly attacks, or providing people who go to the zoo something to look at.

I think Bus Driver Stu from The Adventures of Pete and Pete said it best: "Nobody wants to be a bus driver when they could be a bear!"


Amped Guy's fantastic voyage and why I hate The Rave

Have you ever thought consciously about the many, many times you nearly died? Everyone has stories. Moments in history you've since pushed to the back of your mind or can laugh about now, but back when they actually happened, back when you came eye to eye with the Grim Reaper because you tripped and fell next to something long and sharp that would have neatly impaled your neck had it been an inch to the right, you were scared. Everyone remembers these close calls from time to time and shivers a little thinking about all the stuff they've done since that they would have missed had that long, sharp thing been an inch to the right. I'd like to tell you about several such times, none quite so dangerous as to be deadly, but nonetheless are were-scary-then-and-are-funny-now moments that all occurred within about an hour of one another.

A few months ago, I drove to Milwaukee to see dredg at The Rave with a friend of mine. dredg is pretty dece for sure, but they're a little heavier than a lot of the stuff I listen to, and particularly a lot of the shows I've been to, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the crowd. It didn't help matters that on the way up I overshot the exit and ended up lost in the ghetto for a little while, but that's a hilarious story (which happens to involve me stopping at a convenience store to use the single-toilet bathroom and accidentally walking in on a large, angry-looking man who was very, very busy) for another time.

After we got inside the venue and chose not to disobey the "once you leave, you're out" sign, even though it meant we wouldn't be able to go watch the Half-Pint Brawlers (midget wrestling) while we waited for dredg to set up, we had to wait for at least two eternities. There were two opening bands, one of which was some kind of death classical or something, and the sound checks seemed endless. Eventually we started wondering whether we were watching a band or some type of weird performance art where three guys would hold guitars, do an hour-long sound check, and then just walk off the stage. I guess we weren't the only ones getting a little antsy, because a big guy with long, greasy hair, baggy pants, and the most amped look on his face that I have ever seen decided it was time to drop a little E before things really got moving.

A bit later, once dredg had finally started their face melting set with "Same Ol' Road," I saw the people ahead of me in the crowd start to slowly fall over backwards like dominoes. I thought someone had tried to body surf and ended up with disasterous results, but as it turned out, the greasy-haired guy had just thrown himself into the person behind him while grinning like a madman. When everyone had managed to climb back up and look around at one another wondering what the heck had just happened, he did it again. Everyone fell over again, I caught the 100 lb. girl that had been standing in front of me, and the greasy guy ended up on the floor. When he stumbled to his feet, still looking amped as shit and starting to dance with all the grace of a pregnant cow, someone grabbed him and pushed him away from the center of the crowd, out toward the edge. He clearly didn't know what was going on, but the one who had picked him up was shouting some inaudible message while repeatedly throwing his pointer finger sternly in the amped guy's face. The amped guy nodded ampedly and stumbled away. A few minutes later, he was back, knocking everyone over again. I think a security guard or someone finally pulled him out of the crowd and made him stand away, by the side of the stage, because I later saw him holding onto a bar for support while weakly throwing up the horns. Ten minutes later his pants were down around his ankles.

What's the moral here? I guess it's something along the lines of don't red rover the people behind you at a concert. Or if you have no choice, the very least you can do is to not follow it up by taking off your size-42 jeans. Also, sound checks suck.


I miss the '90s

Last semester, one of my assignments was to form a group and design some materials for an imaginary conference. Since the conference was imaginary, there were very few restrictions on the types of things you could produce for it. If you could make it happen in Illustrator, it was pretty much a green light. "Finally," I thought to myself, "I can introduce the much-needed element of pogs into this class."

Why did pogs fall out of favor with the American youth? If pogs came out tomorrow for the first time in recorded history, would they be eaten up as eagerly as they were in the early '90s? I don't think so, and I have no qualms about placing all the blame for this horrible truth squarely on the advent of the internet. If you think about it, pogs were truly the original social networking sites. You slammed your slammer (friend request) down on your friend's pog stack (buddy list), and kept the ones that came up heads for yourself. And much like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and all the services like them, nobody really knew the rules to pogs. Everybody kind of had a blurry, kinda-maybe-sorta idea of what should be going on, but it was very unclear whether or not you were supposed to actually trade pogs when it was all over, just how hard slammers could be ethically slammed, and what exactly the point was in having these weird little circular pictures of things like skeletons, endangered species, and Johnny Cage. Was anyone really made better by having the most pogs? But still, pogs was a common element that just about every kid could use to plug into his or her social sphere, just like Facebook pages are today. And just like pogs, people are still kind of confused about what exactly Facebook should be for. Endless poke wars? Posting drunken pictures of yourself to make sure that you never betray your young idealism and end up running for public office later in life? Damned if I know. The only reason I have mine is because I'm addicted to seeing a little red flag in the lower right corner of my screen, just like I was addicted to thowing slammers at pogs.

But unlike Facebook, pogs were totally sweet. It wasn't just about addiction, social interaction, or wasting time. Sure, they went down in history as a goofy '90s fad, not totally unlike slap bracelets, Boy Meets World, and the Backstreet Boys, but pogs was somehow greater than the sum of its parts. It wasn't just little cirley things you hit really hard in order to get more little circley things. It was all of pop culture condensed into a weird little game with mysterious rules and no tangible purpose.

What am I getting at with all this? Basically, I'm saying that if you still have pogs, you should come over to my apartment and we should Wikipedia the rules and play a few games. I think this came on when someone linked me to a YouTube video of some band called the XYZ Affair that was composed of grown up Nickelodeon personalities like Fergusen from Clarissa Explains it All, Marc Summers from Double Dare, and Bobby Budnick from Salute Your Shorts. I bet those guys all still play pogs together.