The top five ways I maintain my dignity

These don't go in any particular order, but I thought they would be good to share anyway. We're all humans, after all! (Koko the gorilla, this post is not for you.)

• Refusing to add the Snowball Fight application on Facebook.
I've added my fair share of screwy applications, but for some reason, Snowball Fight strikes me as a level of depravity that's just too deep for me to sanction. I hate getting the little red flag in the corner of my screen, which raises my hopes up so high that it probably indicates a severe mental imbalance on my part, only to find out that some dork I went to high school with threw a snowball at me, and if I add this suck ass application, I can annoy all my friends in the same way I was just annoyed. No. No way. Not me. Not Jack Lawrence.

• Only playing "cool" SNES games on my SNES emulator during lectures.
Even though I maybe do have Final Fantasy III, Chrono Trigger, and Tiny Toon Adventures: Wacky Sports Challenge squirreled away somewhere on my laptop's hard drive, the only games I play when pretty girls could be looking over my shoulder are Mario Kart and Tetris.

• Refusing to take a multivitamin if there's a stupid picture on the label.
Sure, I may have gotten a little anemic last month from living on nothing but bags of microwave rice, PB&J sandwiches, and bowls of raisin bran cereal, but at least I didn't open up a bottle of "Active Kids Complete," take out a bright green capsule shaped like a bicycle, and put it in my mouth like some kind of wussy.

• Avoiding Best Buy employees who clearly want to help me find something.
I know exactly where the Pete and Pete box set is, thanks.

• When someone walks into the room, changing the channel just in time for them to not notice I had been watching Gilmore Girls.
Uh. Sorry, what? I was just flipping channels here... oh, monster trucks, that looks good. Okay, now what were you saying?


Old stuff was the best stuff

Turntables. Spider-man. Sean Connery as James Bond. Game Boy. What do all these things have in common?

They're old, and they still melt face.

How come stuff has to constantly be updated? I mean, seriously, are there seriously that many improvements that truly, honestly needed to be made to the '60s-'90s? Rap rock improved neither rap nor rock, and, in fact, made both of them quite a bit worse. Virtual Boy was lame, and I heard it caused headaches or cancer or something like that. Stradivarius violins were the best ever, and those bad boys were from the 1700s. Zelda is still the best video game. The Beatles are still the best band. David Bowie is still the best person to cast for any role in any movie. Some things have gotten better, like medical technology, but that also indirectly leads to overpopulation, which is not as good as normalpopulation.

One of my professors told me last semester that he hates everyone's current fashion because it's just the '70s again, and since that's sort of true, I suppose there is a silver lining to new stuff--it's sometimes the old stuff. However, if we're going to be in the '70s, I want the full '70s. Big mutton chops. Bad wigs. Plaid suits. Plaid pants. Golf clubs as accessories. And when the '80s make their big comeback, which is already starting (evidence of this can be seen in current releases like Keane's "Perfect Symmetry" and the movie Watchmen), I hope everyone's hair puffs back up again. I was only four when the '80s ended, but that hair was hilariawesome. My mom had that hair. Big, permed curls that added a solid three inches to her height. Alright, so maybe the Garbage Pail Kids were the opposite of awesome (and in fact may have subtracted from the awesomeness of other, completely unrelated, things around them), but that was just one tiny part of the '80s. And they're easily canceled out by such dominant things as Regular Nintendo, the movie Labyrinth, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

If they ever invent time travel, I'm for sure going to spend the fortune it will have taken me my whole life to earn on a chance to relive the banning of slap bracelets and the theatrical release of Mortal Kombat.


Asshole '90s Guy Just Having A Goof

MIAMI, FL -- An asshole from the 1990s approached you in a cemetery late last week with the intention of scaring you, and when your reaction was unfavorable, he attempted to justify his actions by referring to them as "just a goof," witnesses reported.

The asshole, dressed in a baggy blue t-shirt with no visible logos or brands and a pair of lame kakhi shorts, allegedly jumped out from behind a large tombstone and shouted, "Boo!" at you before grinning like a complete moron and then mockingly asking you what you were doing in a cemetery.

As if this weren't enough, the asshole's more down-to-earth best friend then stopped you from leaving so that the asshole could continue to act bothersome toward you. "Maybe," the asshole remarked sarcastically when you claimed to have been putting flowers on a grave. "Or maybe you were ghost hunting," he added, almost supernaturally oblivious to your grief.

Apparently not aware that berating a female for mourning a loved one is not typically considered an acceptable method of starting a conversation, the asshole and his friend then attempted to proposition you for a date. "C'mon," the asshole was heard to say.

The asshole and his friend, both clearly in their late twenties, then remarked that their high school's prom was approaching and proceeded to relate to you the story of the murdered prom queen said to haunt this cemetery.

As of press time, the asshole was not available for comment. Sources report that he lost his mind and has been shrieking continuously since learning that you were, in fact, the ghost of said prom queen, and that it was actually you who was having a goof with him the entire time.


The girls at the office would like a word with you, Harvey

I don't think there's much explanation needed once you've watched this totally awesome Folgers commercial from the early days of TV. Hey man, we may have a bad economy, stupid celebrity drama that gets more coverage than important political issues, and the creation of Grand Theft Auto video games on our collective conscience, but at least we modern humans wouldn't never have run this ad.

Well, I guess maybe I could see Hugh Hefner giving it the green light, but he hardly qualifies as a modern human anyway.


College would be so much better without classes

So I have a class this semester called "Intro to Logical Thinking," and I can't quite decide what to make of it. On one hand, there's the fact that it's actually very vaguely interesting to me in an "I feel like Aristotle when I think about this stuff" kind of way. On the other hand, it starts at 9:40am, which is clearly illogical. And like I said, it's only vaguely interesting. In fact, I'm avoiding the logic homework that's due tomorrow morning right at this very moment in order to waste impressive amounts of time on the internet and poking around my room for books and video games and other things that are more interesting than logic. I spend most of my time in that class on Facebook or Wikipedia'ing string theory (because when abstract thinking gets me in the mood for deeper abstract thinking, Wikipedia is always my first stop), and then when the teacher calls on me (who calls on people in a lecture, anyway?), I look up very slowly because I'm not sure he's really talking to me.

Why? Because he calls me Jake Pendergast. That's right, Jake Pendergast. He got both my first and last names incredibly wrong but sticks to his guns every time I try to politely correct him.

"Oh, right, Jack, sorry. Okay, everyone, let's listen up to Jake here, because he's got the answer. Go ahead, Mr. Pendergast."

I don't even know where he got "Pendergast" from. I think there's actually another Jack in the same class that might have that last name, which might be what tripped him up, but I'm almost positive there aren't any Jakes. And not that I don't appreciate the move to get to know his students, but if he's going to forget my name literally two seconds after I tell it to him day after day after day, why even bother trying to learn names? I wouldn't be at all offended if he referred to me as Piano Scarf or Big Shoes Guy. I think tomorrow, when he calls on Jake Pendergast while staring me down with his rheumy marble eyes and one open palm clapped against dry erase board next to the illegibly scribbled problem he wants someone to solve, I'll just belch really loud. That'll show him.

Another dummy class I have this semester is "Digital Premedia File Creation." I still haven't finished deciphering the course title, but what it boils down to is playing Super Mario Bros. 3 on my computer while the teacher rambles on about not traveling to Mexico because of drug lords or something. He gave us a giant assignment about scanning various things and putting them in a big document to print and some other garbage, but all it left me with was the following burning question: who the heck scans anything anymore? The last time I saw a physical photo album was in an episode of Buffy that definitely hadn't been on the air since 1996. Plus, all the pictures and junk we had to scan came out of a dusty cardboard box labeled "IMPORTANT!" even though it was clearly not that. And neither were the creepy awkward family pictures or photographs of breakfast sausage still lifes sitting inside that we ended up scanning.

Once again: man, college would be so much better without classes.


I could sure go for a heart container right about now

This will probably reveal me as the total nerd that I usually pretend not to be, but man, if my day-to-day life was more like playing a Zelda game, I would get so much more done. I mean, yeah, I'd have to stop every few minutes to beat some skeleton ass and most of the doors I encountered probably wouldn't open until I shot some spiders down off the ceiling with my slingshot, but the sheer convenience of having a magic mirror shield or a hammer forged from a fire god's skull at my constant disposal would make nearly all of my dirty work go a whole lot smoother.

For instance, I just returned from the horrible university processes lab (where they keep the table saw). If you've read the post at the other end of that link, you'll know why I hate that place so much. Every morning that I wake up knowing I have to go in there to cut some wood or do some other stupid thing that involves unnecessarily complex and dangerous tools, I think, How much would it rock to be able to build this canvas stretcher myself, here, in my apartment, using something as natural and intuitive as a magical laser sword? The answer, I think, is "way too freakin' much." In fact, that must be why Master Swords and mystic ice rods aren't purchasable in all major retail outlets yet. That would just rule too much for anyone to wrap their mind around it, and everyone's work days would be so much more manageable that we'd all have time to take three or four naps throughout the day, which would make people with unsafe-to-nap-through careers, like ambulance drivers, super jealous.

Crossing the street would be another good one. I hate crossing streets. It seems like they're all empty until you get right up to the edge of the sidewalk, and suddenly the whole thing is full of miles of speeding cars from both directions. Why the hell are there so many people passing through this single road that separates my apartment from campus in Menomonie? This town can't have a population of more than 5000 or so, and yet there almost always seems to be an unlimited number of vehicles just dying to get in everyone's way. What would be so problematic about them setting up wooden posts for us to hookshot to on both sides of the street? It probably wouldn't even be that dangerous, especially after most people had completed the Water Temple and got the longshot, which was just like the hookshot but with a longer chain.

Plus, instead of having exams, we could just have battles with giant amoeboids or ghostly horsemen that have some silly gimmick that involves using the item we got that day to great effect. Man, Zelda is so dece.