Sunday, April 28, 2013

West Wing Boyz

I had trouble falling asleep the other night. That doesn't happen to me very often, so I'm not really sure how you're supposed to deal with it.

Word on the street is that you're supposed to count sheep, but that ended up getting me all flustered. Are you supposed to count them as a big herd in a pen? Or are you supposed to count them as they walk by one by one? I tried the latter, but then I got distracted by the ones that had already walked by and gathered off to the side. I wanted to know what they were up to.

So I finally said fuck it. Instead I came up with frat house nicknames for all of the U.S. Presidents. They are terrible. And I am going to share them with you. You're welcome.

George Washington  -  G Dubs
John Adams  -  Number Two
Thomas Jefferson  -  TJ
James Madison  -  Mad Man
James Monroe  -  Five Spot
John Quincy Adams  -  Q Tip
Andrew Jackson  -  Ajax
Martin Van Buren  -  Eight Ball
William Henry Harrison  -  Scary Harry
John Tyler  -  JT
James K. Polk  -  Poker Face
Zachary Taylor  -  Zack Attack
Millard Fillmore  -  Milli Vanilli
Franklin Pierce  -  Frankie P
James Buchanan  -  Bucky
Abraham Lincoln  -  Abelicious
Andrew Johnson  -  AJ
Ulysses S. Grant  -  U Boat
Rutherford B. Hayes  -  Ruthie
James Garfield  -  Slim
Chester A. Arthur  -  Chestnuts
Grover Cleavland  -  Ohio
Benjamin Harrison  -  Big Ben
William McKinley  -  Mack
Theodore Roosevelt  -  Papa Bear
William Taft  -  T Train
Woodrow Wilson  -  Woodie
Warren G. Harding  -  G Unit
Calvin Coolidge  -  Cool Cal
Franklin Roosevelt  -  Rosie
Harry Truman  -  H Bomb
Dwight D. Eisenhower  -  Double Ds
John F. Kennedy  -  Fritz
Lyndon B. Johnson  -  BJ
Richard Nixon  -  Slick Dick
Gerald Ford - Model T
Jimmy Carter  -  JC
Ronald Reagan  -  Four-O
George Bush  -  Bushwacker
Bill Clinton  -  Spanky
George W. Bush  -  Junior
Barack Obama  -  Beezy

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Practically a Sequel to "Deliverance"

There's a stretch of river back home that my dad and I like to canoe every chance we get. We park a car at the river's edge and have Mom drop us off a few miles upstream. I love that little trip because in just a few hours we paddle through woods, reedy swamps, a calm lake, and over a beaver dam.

Getting over that beaver dam is a bitch. It's basically a small waterfall with a bunch of logs and scraggly tree branches on each side. Your only hope is to shoot right down the middle. But you have almost no time to line up your canoe because the dam is just after a sharp bend in the river, and it comes as an abrupt surprise every time.

A couple of years ago, my dad and I were making that trip after a rainy stretch of weather. The river was high and fast, and we were having fun maneuvering around the rocks and various river debris. Then we came up on that f-ing beaver dam.

We took the bend way too wide and couldn't get our canoe straightened out. Going over the dam sideways would definitely capsize us, so we paddled as hard as we could, trying to reach a bit of clear shore nearby. Instead, we smashed into a fallen a tree. The river was pushing us deeper into the tangled branches and I was about to take a branch to the eye, so I ducked violently out the way. This made the canoe sort of halfway tip over and my dad fell out.

"Dad!" I screamed.

He grabbed the side of the canoe to keep his head above water and to keep from being swept downstream. The water was rushing over his shoulders and I was sure this was going to be the end of him.

Oh my God! Oh my God. My dad is going to drown right in front of me. How am I going to keep his corpse from floating away without falling in too? Holy shit, this is awful. It's all happening so fast.

But then Dad got his feet under himself and stood up. And I remembered that the river was, like, two feet deep. And then I felt really embarrassed inside for immediately making the leap to planning my father's funeral after witnessing what amounted to a minor inconvenience. It's like sometimes my brain forgets that my life is not an award winning AMC drama.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Girl Can Dream

Remember when Crystal Clear Pepsi was a thing? How awesome was that? Granted, I was nine when it came out, but I was totally in awe with the entire campaign. I'm not saying for surely, but clear cola might have been one of the greatest technological advancements of the 90s.

But then it went away. Sad face. I've noticed that sometimes they have Pepsi Throwback, where they use the old recipe or something. My dream is that someday I'll walk into a store and see Crystal Pepsi on the shelves.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Call of the Wild

Today they sounded the tornado sirens in Minneapolis to raise attention for Severe Weather Awareness Week. It was weird because Minneapolis also got a snow storm today. The juxtaposition made my brain hurt a little bit. It also made me imagine some seriously f-ed up weather possibilities. And if snow-tornados ever become a thing, I'm done. With everything.


Today's tornado sirens also reminded me of the first time my dog ever heard them:

He did that the whole time. Adorably stupid.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Day My Boss Realized What He Was In For

Not long after I started my current job, the boss offered to take me out for lunch. On the way over to the restaurant, we drove past a homeless man. He was standing on the corner, holding a cardboard sign, and he had a scruffy dog next to him.

I turned to the boss and said, "I almost always give money to homeless people when I see them, but I wouldn't give any to that guy."

"Why not?"

"Because he has that dog."

"Really?" he asked. "I thought you liked dogs."

"I do. But how hungry can that guy be if he hasn't even eaten his dog yet?"

And then the rest of the ride was pretty quiet.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

And Peace Be With You

Nuns are kind of a dying breed. In the last 50 years, the number of Catholic nuns in the United States has decreased by about 70%. It's probably because, overall, they are f-ing terrifying.

I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic elementary school. There were still a few nuns who taught some classes there, and I had one of them for first grade. She was about a hundred years old and either forgot or ignored the professional and legal shift toward not abusing students.

One time she made one of my classmates sit at the back of the class wearing a dunce cap. She also pulled my friend's pigtails in an effort to teach her a lesson about penmanship. And like cranky old nuns the world over, she busted out the ruler from time to time, sharp side down of course. It was more like boot camp than first grade.

But luckily, my generation came in at the tail end of the light version of Catholic violence (as long as you don't count the sex stuff). I mean, we didn't have to deal with anything like the Crusades, or the Inquisitions, or the Thirty Year War, or the European witch hunts.

Now that I think about it, I guess I can see what old people mean; kids today are kind of pussies.

P.S. Catholicism, don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes, from certain angles, you come across as a little... harsh. Maybe work on softening the edges a little?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Updated: Part Time Maniac

Updated: I have something to add to this list. This morning a bird flew really close to my face. Like, really close. One of its feathers touched my hair, I think. So... bird flu.

I'm obviously a very stable person and totally have it together (please ignore all previous posts), but I have a confession to make. I think I have a little bit of hypochondria*. But only about three things.

1.) For a really long time, I was worried that I was kind of mentally retarded and nobody ever told me. I finally asked my dad about it a couple of years ago and he assured me that I am not. But sometimes I still wonder.

2.) This one comes and goes, but sometimes I get really worried that I have AIDS. I don't think I've ever touched another human being's blood, but I'm not 100% certain. And I always have hang nails. So if I did indeed touch someone's blood at some point in my life and I just don't remember it, and that person had AIDS, then I probably have it too. I'm just saying it's a possibility. And sometimes that possibility consumes me.

3.) I'm pretty sure I have a brain tumor. This is strictly a hunch, as I don't really have any symptoms, but I often get this abstract feeling that there is a tumor growing in my brain. But you can't go to the doctor and say, "Can you check if I have a brain tumor? I just have a very strong feeling that I do." Insurance would never cover the scans.

* I totally just got stuck in a chicken-and-egg style black hole wondering if thinking you are a hypochondriac is a sure fire symptom of hypochondria.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Wind Began to Switch...

So, I've mentioned that my sister and I were a little high strung when we were younger. Among our biggest concerns were thunderstorms and tornados. Even the slightest turn in the weather led us to wringing our hands as we watched the skies. We'd flip between the local channels to keep a vigilant eye on the radar, and one time we gathered supplies in case our family got trapped in the basement (the supplies consisted of an orange, a beach towel, and some mis-matched batteries).

Then, when we were in sixth grade, the movie "Twister" came out. And it fucked. my. sister. up. For, like, a solid four months, she had the exact same conversation with one or both of our parents.

Amy: Mom/Dad, is there going to be a tornado today?

Parent(s): No.

Amy: But how do you know for sure?

Parent(s): ...

Just a near-constant anxiety, every day, until winter. Eventually, we both grew out of our fear of bad weather. Mostly. We still call to check on each other during really bad storms.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Sardonic Fortune Cookie

Best fortune I ever got

P.S. Did you know that fortune cookies are not really Chinese? Like, not at all. They were invented in the U.S. and the recipe was actually based on a Japanese cracker. In fact, during the 90s they were sold in China as "genuine American fortune cookies." 

I know. Mind = Blown.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Real World: Geriatric Unit

Damn fool kids need to go home and go to bed.
MTV recently started airing yet another season of The Real World. And for the first time ever, I have absolutely no interest in watching it. For a while there, it was one of my favorite shows, but now it mostly just makes me feel old.

When I watched it back in the day, I'd find myself thinking things like, "That would be so much fun," and "New Orleans looks like an awesome place to get drunk." But now it's mostly things like, "Wasn't that technically sexual assault?" and "That girl is going to wind up with HPV if she isn't careful."

Growing up feels weird.