John Legend Proves There Is No God

It’s been a crazy busy summer.  You’d think that after being fired from my midday radio gig that I’d be lounging around with nothing to do.

Not so.

In addition to searching constantly for the right gig, I’ve been playing daddy day-care for my two amazing (and yet sometimes very high-maintenance) boys.  I also served a two-day stint as a juror for a case involving five different felony counts.  Oh, and I’m going on vacation with my family next week.  (Hell, we made our rental deposit back when I had a full-time job.  Might as well use it.)  But during the crazy roller-coaster ride that marked the last month-and-a-half, I did find time to make the following observations.  Nothing too great, just a little something to keep the ol’ SEO chugging along.  (The interwebs are filled with folks searching for things like…)

 

John Legend Proves There Is No God

It’s not just a snappy, click-bait title.  In fact, I should’ve titled this thing “John Legend Did Something Amazing to This Toddler.  You’ll Never Believe What Happened Next”  or perhaps “Doctors Hate John Legend, Because He Discovered This One Trick To Reducing Belly Fat.”  I mean, that’d start a virtual STAMPEDE to my blog.  Sadly, the simple truth is this:  I’ve come to the conclusion that if there is a God in the traditional sense, then he/she is a sadist.  Forget about the AIDS and Ebola running rampant through Africa.  Pay no attention to the clear-cutting of rainforests in the Amazon to make way for superhighways and World Cup stadiums.  Don’t fret about the changing salinity of our oceans and the unsettled nature of the over-fished and finned shark population.  No.  None of that matters.  God hates you.  I know this.  It’s the only possible explanation for hearing that GODDAM “ALL OF ME LOVES ALL OF YOU” or WHATEVER THE HELL IT’S CALLED EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR FROM THE TIME I WAKE UP UNTIL THE TIME I GO TO BED.  Seriously, I have a ska-punk station on Pandora.  Motherfucking John Legend shows up there.  Scanning your terrestrial radio dial?  Good fuckin’ luck.  And for the sake of all that is good and kind in this world, do NOT step foot into a department store or mall.  It’ll find you.  HE will find you.  John Legend.  He’s waiting.  He knows.  He’s coming for you.  For all of us.  And it’s all God’s fault.

Behold...Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

Behold…Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.

 

New Parking Lot Idea

Speaking of the tween-filled over-air-conditioned halls of the local mall(s), I had the greatest idea the other day.  Automakers need to add a new indicator, much like turn signals and brake lights, that would tell other motorists “I’m just straightening up, not leaving.”  Think about it: busy holiday shopping season, you’ve cruised around the entire sixty-acre parking lot with no viable parking results, when suddenly you see the flash of back-up lights and think “HALLELUJIA!!  BUILD-A-BEAR, HERE I COME!” Only to have your hopes dashed against the rocks of commerce as you realize that the silver mini-van was simply trying not to crowd the maroon Durango in the next parking stall.  Now, what if there were a pulsing blue light right below the third brake light?  A serene, lovely lamp that would tell passers-by “Move along, friend.  This spot ain’t available.”  Everyone would be much better off.  When your kids screamed “There’s one!  There’s a spot!” you could sadly shake your head and say “No, hon.  They’re just flashing blue.”  Maybe one day the technology for such an improvement in our fine American-made automobiles will exist.  Our lives will be much improved, despite the continued presence of John Legend and his death-anthem.

Sorry about the epilepsy, BTW...

Sorry about the epilepsy, BTW…

 

Sturridge.

Been watching a lot of World Cup footy, and as a Liverpool supporter was sadly not terribly shocked to see Luis Suarez go all “28 Days Later” during the tournament, as this ain’t his first buffet. His subsequent departure to Barcelona was almost a relief, although I harbored fear for the Pride of Merseyside’s continued attacking dominance.  Then I remembered that we still have Daniel Sturridge, and he started the season without Ol’ Bitey and was a forced to shoulder the goal-scoring burden pretty much all by his lonesome.  During this soccer-related reverie, it occurred to me that “Sturridge” is exactly how Charles Barkley would describe the passengers belowdecks in “Titanic.”  See, like this: “Man, all them folks wouldn’t have drowned if they hadn’t locked up them doors to sturridge.”

[INSERT "BITE TO EAT AFTER THE MATCH" JOKE HERE]

[INSERT “BITE TO EAT AFTER THE MATCH” JOKE HERE]

Chap Stick.  Hee Hee.

I emptied my pockets the other day and found my Strawberry (a somewhat rare flavor) Chap Stick.  I giggled, because for some reason my brain decided to say “Chap Stick” with an old-school stereotypical  Cockney accent.  See, I think that maybe in olden days, maybe during the Industrial Revolution, the term “Chap Stick” might’ve been a good slang for the male member.  “Ow, g’wan wi’ ye.  She ain’t got naught on below them petticoats.  Just wait, love, I’ll be showing ‘er me Chap Stick straight away!”  Oh, how I laugh and laugh.

 

Thank you, internet.   Thank you.

Thank you, internet.
Thank you.

 

 

Beatin’ Them Wintertime Blues.

Look, I don’t just like wintertime:  I LOVE it.  I really do.  The brisk air, the clothes that cover my fat, the snow…it’s all really awesome.  It is.  But here’s the thing:  for the last nine years I’ve lived in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and our winters can be trying.  I know, I know, there are worse places.  A friend of mine hails from Fort McMurray, Alberta.  It starts snowing there in goddam SEPTEMBER.  In my defense I’ll point out that for the three years before living in Da Fort (as it is sometimes called) I lived in New Bern, North Carolina.  Carolina ain’t Florida or Hawaii, but one story sticks with me about my time in NC.  My lovely wife Heidi and I were at the gym, using side-by-side treadmills or something, watching the television.  The local news was reporting that there was a two-hour school delay the following morning…for snow.  The thing is, and this is what caused Heidi and myself to look at each other and giggle at these poor Carolinians in raw, Midwestern condescension was that NOT A SINGLE FLAKE HAD FALLEN.  They were delaying school over a forecast…FORECAST…two inches of snow.  Possibly.  We guffawed until a friend native to the area remarked that they literally had no salt trucks in the county and probably no more than a handful of snowplows in the entire state. It made sense.  Indiana does not post hurricane evacuation routes, and I’ll bet most people in New Mexico don’t carry flood insurance, so…yeah.

My Sweet Baby.  On a boat.  In the Caribbean. I feel better now.

My Sweet Baby. On a boat. In the Caribbean. I feel better now.

The point of this whole intro is to underscore how different the snowy tundra of Northern Indiana is to the mild barely-frost-covered winters of North Carolina.  And while I was very grateful for the prospect of a White Christmas again, I’m afraid that this winter has been harder than most to bear, probably because it’s been so damn mild.  “Wait…WHAT?” you ask, all perplexed by my contradictory statement.  It’s true.  A few weeks ago it was 60 degrees in Ft. Wayne.  I’ve used my snowblower maybe twice this season.  There wasn’t any hockey for the first half.  It just hasn’t felt like winter, and the motto I like shouting at my friends and family is “shit or get off the pot,” usually yelled as I sit reading on the toilet, not actually defecating.  (Makes your legs fall asleep, so it does.)  So I’m ready for this “season” to be over.  No snow?  Fine, then.  Turn up the sunshine, baby.  Break out the shorts.  And if that ain’t happening just yet (fuck you, Punxsutawney Phil!  YOU LIED TO ME!!) then allow me to offer these tips for getting through the mid-winter hump.  They work.  Trust me.

Video Therapy

This encompasses all manner of stimuli.  The go-to, easy method is to browse Netflix for shows and movies that are set in a warmer, preferably tropical, location.  This winter the wife and I have begun watching Burn Notice, and love it.  Not just because the characters and story are fun and smart (and Bruce Campbell.  ‘Nuff said, baby) but because all the transitions/cutscenes are footage of Miami.  People on Wave Runners, beach umbrellas to the horizon, and tons of eye-candy.  I mean, they oughtta call it “Butt Notice,” amirite? And for the ladies, well…Michael Westen is often shirtless.  But I’d also recommend “Point Break” or “The Endless Summer” along with episodes of BAywatch or even that one show where Hulk Hogan had a powerboat.  But don’t stop with the TV and movies.  I have played the holy hell out of “Far Cry 3” not only because it’s fun and immersive, but let’s face it…you’re on a tropical island that could be anywhere between Hawaii and Papua New Guinea.  Gorgeous, and you can imagine you’re actually swimming in warm azure waters (while trying not to get shot.)

Hi, ladies!  Want some yogurt?

Hi, ladies! Want some yogurt?

Audio Therapy

This is easy.  Got some Bob Marley on your iPod or Pandora channel?  Crank that shit up, mon.  Now, personally, I try to avoid this when it is the absolute dead of winter with the sun going down at 4:30 in the afternoon and a foot of snow on the ground.  When I do chance it,  I hear a voice made of cold, frozen tears tell me “Your magic will not work here.”  There definitely has to be a proper setting.  Daytime, perhaps.  Or when the first snowmelt begins.  Then, the music is a catalyst.  It’s a power-up of epic proportions.  And if there’s an unusually mild and sunny day, one where you briefly consider cracking the window on your ride, and you just happen to throw on anything by Sublime or Jimmy Buffett, then no power in the ‘Verse can stop you.  Feels good, man.  Let it flow.

Of course, listening to Marley or Sublime sometimes makes me want to, uh...what were we talking about?

Of course, listening to Marley or Sublime sometimes makes me want to, uh…what were we talking about?

Aroma Therapy

Perhaps the most powerful of these methods is the one most closely connected to memory.  Scent.  Smells. Aroma.  A long time ago, I even blogged about how powerful your olfactory senses are and how a whiff of perfume can send you right back to the night you lost your virginity, or how sniffing a roll of cloth tape can transport you to the hockey locker room.  For me, the smell of a bar of surf wax is magical.  It is EVERYTHING that I love about the beach.  Likewise, when I go by the Yankee Candle display and smell their line of summer/tropical candles..holy shit. Makes me wanna cry.  Coconut?  Coconut/Lime?  Beach Walk?  Seaside Resort? Surf’s Up?  Coral Sand?  Tropical Mango?  Coconut and Lime?  GAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Even the old-school, simply named “Ocean Water” makes me swoon. And in fairness, there’s not much better during the month of December than all the spice/mint/pine/cookie/pumpkin/hearth fire scents.  But after, oh, let’s say January tenth, THAT SHIT HAS GOT TO GO!!!  SO LONG, CRANBERRY CHUTNEY!!  HELLO, BEACH PARTY!!  There’s one more bit of therapy I have for you, and it’s not really a good idea, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.  We’re all adults here, right?  So let’s just get this elephant out of the room already…
Like actual summertime, many Yankee Candles apparently smell like booze.  Awesome!

Like actual summertime, many Yankee Candles apparently smell like booze. Awesome!

Tanning Therapy

I might as well call this “cancer therapy.”  You know this, right?  You know that there’s a decent chance that not only is your skin going to dry up like a stale pork rind, but you stand a better-than-average chance of melanomas and other potentially hazardous/deadly health concerns, right?  We’re clear on this?  Okay.  Okay, I thought so.  Just wanted to make sure.  But here’s the dirty little secret: sometimes that ultraviolet light is good for you.  Or at least “not so goddam terrible for you.”  Quick story: I worked the overnight shift at 103GBF, a radio station in Evansville, Indiana for about a year or so.  It was dark when I got home around 6:30 every morning.  I wouldn’t leave the house until at least three in the afternoon, meaning that in the winter months I had maybe…maybe…two hours of sunlight.  I fought depression.  I felt like a vampire.  And then someone mentioned the “Light Therapy” that doctors have recommended for people in places like Alaska or Siberia that are affected by the appropriately-named SADs.  Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It’s a real thing, and part of the treatment is basically putting your head under an ultraviolet light, tricking your brain into believing that it’s being bathed in lovely sunshine and kicking in some seratonin or whatever and making the “blahs” go away.  Another friend in the conversation mentioned “sounds like a tanning bed for your head!” And BINGO!!  GREAT IDEA TIME!!  I booked myself a couple of sessions in the ol’ cancer closet at a local gym and…now, bear with me here…I felt 100% better after one session.  It was sort of a revelation.  I’m also willing to consider that maybe the “treatment” was all placebo:  I thought I would feel better, so I did!  Whatever.  It’s like people with colitis learning that nicotine can help keep their symptoms at bay and then have to wrestle with the idea of either smoking cigarettes or spending a fortune on (and becoming addicted to) nicotine gum.  Not an easy choice.  Another motto I love to scream out at passers-by is “Everything in moderation.”  A glass of wine a day is beneficial.  A box of Franzia is not.  I’ve read articles about how kids today are vitamin-D deficient because over-protective parents slather 100-SPF sunblock all over their kids.  As a result, NONE of the sun’s rays penetrate, resulting in deficiency.  Like Ramirez sang to Connor MacLeod, B-A-L-A-N-C-E.
But aren't seals already sort of, um...brown?

But aren’t seals already sort of, um…brown?

That being said, I think we’ve had enough of you, Winter.  Thanks for coming by.  Four months is plenty.  Buh-bye.  Good seeing you, old friend.  Don’t forget your hat. (Of course, everyone is invited back to check out my forthcoming blog entitled “Jesus, Summer…Why You SO HOT?!?” to be published sometime in July.  Balance.)