Entries from: July 2007

Summer Tip for Staying Sober: Ignore Blog Tips for Staying Sober

Around this time last summer I suddenly decided to go 50 days without booze. It was truly an eye-opening experience. I’ve always been a weekend drinker, but I hadn’t really realized how long it had been since I’d given my liver something to swim in other than Bud Light and Absolute Vodka. After my 50-day hiatus I felt refreshed, was thinking more clearly, and had lost 8 pounds without even trying. It’s enough to make one wonder why I even started up again.

Fast-forward one year. I’ve decided to drink nothing but water and coffee until the Rage Against the Machine show in San Francisco in August – I mean, you can’t chill at an all-day music festival drinking Pepsi for God’s sake.

In the meantime, here are five very important tips for staying sober during the time of season known for weddings, bachelor trips, and BBQ’s.

  1. Music, music, music. Whether you are playing it, buying it at independent music stores, or listening to old albums you haven’t heard in years (Temple of the Dog? Sure, why not) music is a great escape.
  2. Exercise. Something has to take the place of the calories you were losing from raising the beer glass to your lips and the subsequent miles of running from the police after getting caught urinating in public. A local 10K is always a good place to start. Hell, if you do Bay to Breakers in SF, you can still be naked only this time without police dogs chasing you.
  3. Sex. If a partner isn’t available (or barnyard animals are scarce in your town) then there’s nothing wrong with loving ones’ self. Isn’t that what mom has always told us to do over the years?
  4. Read. I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Fantastic read that will really make you think differently about the world around you. Whether it’s the godfather of the English Language, Chaucer, or the gadget section of Maxim Magazine, filling your brain with knowledge of some kind is always better than vegging out in front of the TV.
  5. This is by far the most important tip of all: ignore all magazine, blog, and newspapers with “Top 5 Ways to Stay Sober” list. People are all different. What works for me is not going to work for you. If you currently have a broken ankle, then a list with exercising is useless. If you are illiterate, then I’ve just insulting your lack of education with tip #4. If you are a virgin, then the first portion of tip #3 is mocking you.

All jokes aside, the point is this: each of us is old enough to know what hobbies or distractions will work best. We don’t need Oprah Magazine or Men’s Health to tell us what’s right. We are smart enough to know that we shouldn’t start the day with a cup of sugar-laden coffee and a doughnut. Along those same lines, we all know what we need to do in order to stay healthy and sober. A list may spark some ideas, but by and by, they are the opinions of the author, and therefore I believe those ideas to be of little help to the reader.

So here’s the most important tip of all: do what you know is right for you.

Of MySpace and Girlfriends

There are a lot of things I like about MySpace. The increasingly popular social-networking Website – although Facebook is quickly gaining ground – has allowed me to rekindle friendships with old acquaintances from as far back as grade school. It allows me to keep in touch with friends from Sacramento to New York. Posting silly videos and comments on each other’s pages is as close as we can come to cracking jokes with each other over a cup of coffee.

There is one thing in particular that I don’t enjoy about MySpace: the ability to know the current status of former girlfriends. Although the solution is simple – don’t check out their profiles – I often find myself unable to do so. I have two former girlfriends who use MySpace quite regularly. The first one lives down in Southern California. She puts up photos of herself half-naked and constantly talks about her sexcapades. I find it somewhat sad and pathetic and generally don’t give two cents. The only time I was annoyed was when she blogged about me and the last Valentines we had together. She admitted to me afterwards that she had made the story up to be funny, but I didn’t find the negative light I was shadowed in to be amusing.

The second former girlfriend recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. Of late, I have found myself dreading her profile picture. I assume it’s only a matter of time before there’s a photo of her and the new boy in her life. I know when the day comes that I’ll be pretty bummed out. Although the relationship was emotionally tiring and frustrating at times, she is an amazing person. Her beauty was always enough to stop me in my tracks and her heart is filled with love. I should be so lucky to find someone like her again and I still have days where I’m frustrated that it didn’t work out. I wonder how I will feel inside when the day comes that I see a photo of her happy with someone else.

When a relationship ends, we know that eventually the other person will find someone else. For me, in my daily life I dread the thought of running into that girl and her new boy at the grocery story or at Starbucks. On the Internet, although Web 2.0 has brought us closer together, sometimes that ability to view each other’s lives isn’t such a positive thing.

NoPornNorthhampton: Google Sluts

As any blogger knows, keywords are everything. Popular search terms will increase the chances of a blog garnering attention. But what about Websites that don’t just use keywords, but domain names to increase Web traffic?

A pathetic attempt at attaining Web traffic at the very expense of the thing they wish to eliminate from American culture is NoPornNorthhampton. According to this site:

NoPornNorthampton aims to increase awareness about the impact of porn on people and communities. We support the reasonable regulation of sexually oriented businesses in Northampton, Massachusetts. We call on landlords to exercise sound judgment about whom they rent to.

First of all, never end a sentence with a preposition. Secondly, did they really need to have the word “porn” in the URL? By using the terms “no” and “porn,” they could achieve a Google hit for someone searching for something totally juxtaposed to their goal: “Porn, no lesbians;” “Porn, no animals;” or even worse “Porn, no Peter North.”

There is no reason the site couldn’t have a name like “NorthhamptonforDecency.” Now I’m certainly not against the site using search terms to help increase traffic, but if their goal is to eliminate porn then the name of their site is inexcusable.

Principal Throws Feces: Should Have Bragged About Accuracy

Last week, a Toronto elementary school principal admitted that she threw feces at a student.

Maria Pantalone, 49, was charged with two counts of assault – one against that child and one against another – but only admitted to one of the charges today.

“I couldn’t take it any more,” she testified, in describing the provocative circumstances leading up to the incident last June 30.

But she agreed it wasn’t in any way justified.

Let me be the first to say that I wholeheartedly disagree with Maria’s opinion. I commend her for taking matters into her own poo-stained hands. I think she should be applauded, with her actions a warning against future bratty students. Imagine if class clowns knew they ran the risk of dookie flying towards them by their teachers for inappropriate behavior? I know it would have certainly made me think twice before throwing those paper airplanes in 5th grade.

Maria, this future parent salutes you. If my child ever badmouths you or any other school figure, don’t’ be afraid to slingshot a few fudge dragons towards the little ragamuffin.

Source: The Star

True and Myspace Must Be Kidding, Right?

Advertising is a pathetic beast. Billboards and TV ads clamor for a blinking second of our attention, hoping to lure us in. The Internet has only exasperated the absurdity of advertising. Whether it’s pressing a blinking button on an ad to make a monkey outrun a hunter or a movie trailer that always seems to start when the volume is all the way up, these ads are intrusive, annoying, and fail to heighten the user experience. There is one ad, however, that puts the rest to shame.

Sites such as True.com and Match.com have recently poured thousands of advertising dollars into Myspace.com. On the surface it certainly makes sense: according to Quantcast, Myspace skews heavily towards a younger and less affluent crowd. If this is the case, then we simply must target this crowd with images of mildly cute girls lounging around in pajamas, pouting for their webcams in a desperate effort to land awkward 19 year-old boys who wouldn’t know what to do with them in bed anyways. It makes perfect sense, right?whore.jpg

No doubt you’ve seen this annoying whore-bag (pictured here at the right) on Myspace. It starts out innocently enough, with her singing along to a song. I was fine with that until she started to dance. What’s wrong with that? Don’t girls like to dance? Yes, but not with their laptop still in hand. Is True telling us that we should desire girls who dance while they chat online? Or are they promoting the fact that she can multi-task? If she can easily do two sexual things at once, then I recommend she move to Chatsworth down by L.A.

The anguishing ad ends with her doing some sort of retarded version of the Arsenio Hall “whoop whoop” with her right arm. True shouldn’t so much be ashamed for catering to the lowest of carnal desires, but for not doing it with class as others have done before.

Anatomy of a Crosswalk

Are humans idiots? I would like the answer to be no. Unfortunately, it’s not just the “news of the weird” that catches my attention.

pedestriansignal.jpgI was jogging towards the beach here in Santa Cruz last Saturday when I approached a busy intersection. There were already five people waiting for the crosswalk to show us the cute silhouette of a man, sans hands and feet. As I waited for the red hand to go away, a man in a tan jacket and jeans approached. He walked in-between a couple holding hands and myself just so he could press the crosswalk button.

My random rant is this: if there are already five people at a crosswalk, isn’t it somewhat safe to assume that someone there contains the knowledge to press the button? Did this man think that, without his assistance, we would still be standing at that street corner today, unsure of what to do? If each day, millions of Americans work together as a team in the workplace, school systems, and in the government, isn’t it safe to assume that the five random people he approached could find their way across the street.

If a chicken can do it without much of a motive, certainly those with an agenda can.

Chicken crossing the road

Jesus Loves Myspace

I got an invite a few days ago from Jesus to be friends on Myspace. Without taking time to check out His profile, I denied the request. As I drove through the fog on my way to work, I wondered if I had made a deadly mistake. What if this was truly His way of reaching out to the world? What if I am the medium through which He will finally return again to greet the masses? Could it be that, via a social networking site known best for stalking ex-lovers and posting embarrassing photos of friends, Jesus was making his triumphant return?

“Forget the masses,” I thought to myself as I pulled into the parking garage. I don’t have a ton of faith in humanity as it is; the important question here was “What does this mean to Andy.” After referring to myself aloud in third person, I pondered if my actions that morning had sealed my fate. How would I explain what I had done?

“My dear child. Welcome to heaven, where eternal peace and happiness await all who enter.”

“Thank you, keeper of the gates of Heaven. It truly is an honor to be standing here before thee,” I’d say while secretly wondering if sinful pleasures such as masturbation are allowed within the hallowed gates.

“Andrew, it fills my heart with great sadness to inform you that I cannot let you enter at this time.”

My mind would race: It is because of the cat I skinned when I was 8? Was it that double-anal scene I did in college to help pay for tuition? How was I supposed to know you weren’t supposed to jerk-off to the Golden Girls?

“My child, I must decline your entry into Heaven for, while you were more than happy to add ’69GoatFucker’ to your Myspace, you declined the friendship of the Lord and therefore, have declined all that is holy.”

As my body passed through infinite space, quickly falling into the arms of hell, I’d wish I could turn back time and hit the “accept” button. Choose your friends wisely and be careful who you decline to be a friend.

The Art of Chiefing

In my heart, I strongly believe that humans have been fucking with each other for pure amusement since man first learned to make fire. I can picture in my mind’s eye a caveman using buffalo blood to write “penis” on his friend’s face after consuming a few too many wine coolers. Using a Sharpie, covering a loved one in flour, and dressing your best male friend in your mother’s bra and panties are just a few of the ways to chief another person. Chiefing can also go by the name of “shaming.” There are even subcategories, such as antiquing (made famous by the kings of chiefing, Jackass) where it isn’t even necessary for the person to be asleep in order to fuck them up. Yes, nothing says “You’ve been there for me over the years” like throwing a fistful of generic Safeway flour into the unsuspecting retinas of your best friend.

Let us not forget the beauty of the Internet. The layman may think the Web as a useful place to purchase goods, make payments, and send Christmas-time newsletters to family members. To these kinds of ideas, I say “bullshit.” Any Mac-using human with DSL knows the Internet is good for two things: dirty photos of women putting household appliances into their vaginas and chiefing their friends via social networking sites like Myspace. Indeed, a Myspace page is akin to a best friend passed out on the floor after their seventh Irish car bomb. It’s right there before you, with infinite possibilities at the tips of your fingers. Take a simple photo of your friend, an easy-to-use parody site, place it on their Myspace page and watch the hilarity ensue. It’s just that simple.

Remember, chiefing has been around for ages. It’s creativity that matters the most. While some antics are still rather funny, it’s up to you, The Chief, to ensure that those you love shall never again pass out on your bathroom floor at 10:45PM on a Friday night.