25 steps to becoming a grown-ass man: See the damn world!

August 27, 2013 § 5 Comments

In an effort to see what it is like to spend some time as an adult after 30 years as a minor, I’m taking steps in my life to see if they improve the quality or bore the shit out of me. This is not a step that has any chance of boring me, but it is an important one.

I come from a family of “travelers.”

Misfits? Check.

Miscreants? Check.

Traveler? Checks!

My father was never around when I was growing up. (You take a moment to say “That explains a lot.”)  He worked for a company that builds major structures around the world and after my parents divorced in 1985/86, took permanent residence in Brisbane, Australia. At one point I asked him how many countries he had been to and the number was well over a hundred, though my terrible 12-year-old memory always wanted me to believe he had counted over 250, even though current estimates would say there are only 196 countries in the world.

He would spend a couple months in China, a couple months in England, or anywhere else that they asked him to go. I have a picture of myself as a baby, before my parents divorced, giving bunny ears to some Buddha statue (or Buddha like)  that I think was taken in Papua, New Guinea. He would usually be anywhere in the world at any given time, but rarely in Washington where i live.

I’ll give you a moment to bawl your eyes out over this heartbreaking tale of woe that is only shared by at least half of Americans.

But that always wanted me to also have a job that took me all over the world. I wouldn’t care what it paid, just as long as i could see everything that Earth had to offer. My dad’s job actually paid pretty well in addition to getting free travel. As a kid I would incorrectly tell my friends that he was a “contractor” as if he was overseeing the build sites and wearing a hardhat, but it wasn’t until much later in life that I learned he was a “contracts manager,” meaning that he oversaw the actual paper contracts between his company and the customer.

I was only off by about six degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Despite how little I saw (or have seen to this day) my dad, that doesn’t make a son want to emulate him any less. If anything, it’s the fathers that are in your face 24/7 that drive kids away from wanting to be like them. All I know is that I wanted to be in Australia, or Austria, or Aus..tin, Texas? Just see the world.

I’m about 247 countries short.

I went to see my dad in New Zealand when I was very young. I would say I was probably 6 or 7.  The only memory I really have was that it was Christmas time and i got a Batman toy car as a present.  I went to Australia when I was around 11 or 12 with my sister to see him again, but he had actually contracted malaria just before and after much complaining from my sister about rather being back in America where her friends were, the month-long trip was reduced to two weeks.

My third trip came when I was 20, when I was between community college and transferring to Washington State. I spent most of the time there alone, but really enjoyed getting to travel around Brisbane and Sydney and to just be my own person in another country. I met some great and interesting characters and really experienced the differences in culture, legalities, personalities, and climates. I loved it and have raved about how wonderful Australia is ever since.

I want to feel the same way about other countries. I want to know how people really live elsewhere in the world. You can’t possibly ever get the perspective from television, whether its a National Geographic Channel special in Brazil or Fast Five when Vin Diesel screams out “This is BRAZIL!”

Media only fucks up reality.

But my father isn’t the only traveler in my family. I mean, that would have been false advertising if I had said “I come from a family of travelers” and then only mention my father, the one guy I’ve seen the least in the last 30 years, and if there’s one thing you can trust about me, it’s that I DON’T FALSE ADVERTISE!

(By the way, you can catch me and my band The Rolling Stones at Wimbledon next month and then I’ll be on the cover of PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive issue fairly soon after.)

My half-sister Vikki is also someone i have not seen much of in my life, someone else that has spent more of her time out of the country in the last 30 years than inside of it. Since graduating from the University of Washington roughly 20 years ago, Vikki has spent the majority of that time in third world countries as a member (and now active manager) in the Peace Corps. She spent a lot of time in South America and then moved over to places like Egypt (and was there during the 2011 riots) and is currently in the Sudan.

As she told me: “I sure know how to pick ‘em!”

Vikki speaks at least five languages, last I asked her. Doesn’t that seem like such a more fulfilling life than wasting away in an office cubicle eating Del Taco? Which is totally not I’m doing right now as I right this at 2:06 on a Tuesday.

My full sister hasn’t quite seen as much as my father and half-sister, but did make it a point to see all 50 states before she turned 30, even North Dakota. She also had a “destination wedding” in St. Lucia, Caribbean, which happens to also be one of the few times I’ve traveled overseas.

The other would be Canada, just as long as you call the border at Bellingham, Washington a “sea” as I surely do.

I need to go. I need to see. I need to experience. I need perspective. Nobody in this world can fully start to realize what it is, this world we live in, if you’ve only seen one side of it. Could you possibly know what it is to be “a Picasso” if you had only seen one of his paintings? Especially if that painting had come before his Cubism period? How could you know what “love” is if you stopped seeking it after your first puppy love broke your heart? Could you ever understand what it was to be a “Pauly Shore movie” if you had only seen Bio-dome?

Of course not. That’s not enough perspective. There’s no depth perception on Earth if you’re looking at it with one eye. And with so many sides, with so many people, with so many cities, and countries, and climates, and landscapes, and beers, and women (or men), and music, and foods, and shows, and customs, and styles, and political parties, and systems of government, and did I say beer, you would need 1,000 sets of eyes from 1,000 spiders to even being to get a fraction of what it is to be a human on Earth.

You’ll never get there, you’ll never see it all, but the journey itself is the destination.

That’s why one week from today I will be on a plane. That plane will take off from Los Angeles, California and it will land in Taipei, where I will only be for 45 minutes until I take another plane that will take me to Bangkok, Thailand. After long being my most desired travel destination on the planet, I will finally be in Southeast Asia and i will finally be in Thailand. What was the point of waiting any longer? I am so sick and tired of waiting for the moments that make life worth living, sometimes you have to make them happen on your own.

I will be there for only a week and I wish I could stay longer. I wish i never had to commit to coming back at all, but unfortunately I will need a job for at least a little while longer. My friend that I am traveling with does not/does have that luxury. We had spoken at length about a worldwide trip but while he eventually was laid off from his job, I kept mine. He will be in Thailand for a month and then Europe for a month. I will have to come back and go to work.

On the downside, it’s only one shot of travel whereas I would much rather get drunk on seeing the world.

On the upside, my friend has already turned down a job and recently had his unemployment stopped, and will have to immediately find work in a bad economy when he returns.

But honestly, risk doesn’t worry me. You have to take risks and they often pay off so much better than playing it safe. It’s just that for me I’m not quite in that position yet, I will put it off for moment, up until I simply can’t wait any longer. That day could come sooner than I could possibly imagine.

It has to.

5 Greatest Backstreet Boys Videos Ever

July 28, 2013 § 7 Comments

Some might say that I have geared the topics on this blog towards women.  That I pander to a female audience because I want girls to like me since they never really have before.  Well, that’s just ridiculous you guys.

Anyways, let’s talk about the Backstreet Boys.

Actually, in many ways the Backstreet Boys are not gender-dependent.  Even though boys made fun of groups like New Kids on the Block, BSB, and N’Sync at the times they were popular, the truth of the matter is that they are just as much a part of male culture as they are female culture.  Though young girls may make up the majority of their concerts, it’s not like I didn’t have MTV.  It’s not like I wasn’t paying attention to what girls like.  We made fun of Backstreet Boys, but in actuality the music was catchy as hell, the videos were ridiculous, and really you might as well do the “can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” thing and see if that gets you anywhere with the ladies.

Because I’m certain that at least a million guys across the country in 1999 performed “I Want It That Way” in their high school gymnasium.

And the truth of that matter is that I do want it that way.  I do want to tell Kevin the meaning of being lonely, since I’m sure he never is and I’m an expert.  And I will show Nick the shape of my heart.  (It’s just a regular heart shape.  No no no, Nick, not like the box that candy comes in, that’s not very accurate.)

The only “problem” with being in a boy band is that you have a guaranteed shelf life of only a few years.  Your target demographic is age-dependent, and when they grow up they’re starting to get sick of you.  I mean, they’ll still go to your concerts when they’re 35 out of nostalgia, but no self-respecting experimental college girl is gonna hang up BSB posters in her dorm room.  However, at this time the Backstreet Boys are back again and it’s not just for girls anymore.

A recent comedy geared towards 25-35 year old males had a surprise (I won’t say the movie and spoil the surprise) appearance by the Backstreet Boys and it was fucking great.

I was browsing YouTube today, wasting more and more of the few precious seconds of life I have left, and saw that Backstreet Boys had debuted a new music video for the song “In a World Like This.”

It’s not like it used to be.

A.J. has gone full-blown hipster:

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 3.59.47 PM

 

Brian’s got a funny hat:

Nick's checking for dandruff

Nick’s checking for dandruff

Nick cut his trademark bangs:

But he's still emphasizing all his words with serious lip movement.

But he’s still emphasizing all his words with serious lip movement.

Kevin may or may not be 60:

Actually yeah, he is.

Actually yeah, he is.

And Howie is… actually, Classic Howie breakin’ it down after the second verse:

I'll debate the videos but I won't debate that Howie isn't the best BSB. He is.

I’ll debate the videos but I won’t debate that Howie isn’t the best BSB. He is.

The video has been up for a week and it has 1.2 million views.  WTF?  1.2 million?  Imagine if this was 1998 and we had YouTube, the Boys would get 1.2 million views while Brian was taking a shit.

(But of course Brian is notorious for his long shits, as noted in their hit song “Brian’s Shit”)

Brian’s Shit isn’t on the list of Best 5 Backstreet Boys Videos Ever, but we have plenty others to choose from.  It’s amazing to think how many times these guys struck a chord with an international audience.  I don’t think you can look back on many bands, singers, or artists of the 90s and say that they had this many impactful hits.

These are the 5 greatest from Howie, AJ, Nick, Brian, and Kevin.  (Howie first.  Howie always first.)

5. Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely (1999, Millenium, 10.39 million views)

220px-BSB_ShowMeTheMeaning

The video for “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” represents the groups serious and emotional side, while touching upon many real life situations that they were dealing with; including the opening frames of the video:

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.13.20 PM

Denniz POP was a Swedish DJ that had basically worked with the group from the very beginning of their success, but had recently died of stomach cancer.  Not to be confused with Denniz Franz, who had recently shown his butt on tv.

This is basically their “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday” ballad, even if it falls way short of that song.  (And Boyz II Men in general, since they are the greatest group of all-time.  No joke.)

It also meant that the group had to literally go from boys to men because the subject matter was so serious.  For example, here’s Howie in a turtleneck:

And apparently in a 1950s coffee shop.  Not "Theme 1950s" but actually 1950.

And apparently in a 1950s coffee shop. Not “Theme 1950s” but actually 1950.

Howie turns around and “Oh shit, Kevin looks serious”

Hey, someone just got a little less lonely. Two someones. Hashtag: Friendship.

Hey, someone just got a little less lonely. Two someones. Hashtag: Friendship.

Turtleneck sighting number two:

Nick Carter? More like "Thick Cardigan"

Nick Carter? More like “Thick Cardigan”

Each member has their own storyline, opening with Brian Littrell watching Brian Littrell die on an operating table.  Which was probably really weird for him, since Brian himself had heart surgery the year prior and definitely could have died big time.  If that would’ve happened, these dudes would’ve been a little more lonely to discover the meaning of it all, but nooooo Brian had to live.

"It looks like he's suffering from... sexiness. Get me 50 CCs of turtleneck!"

“It looks like he’s suffering from… sexiness. Get me 50 CCs of turtleneck!”

Kevin is watching actual footage of him and his late father.  Just the fact that it’s on 8MM proves indeed that Kevin Richardson is 60.

I mean, are you the same age as Chevy Chase?

I mean, are you the same age as Chevy Chase?

For Howie, he’s waiting for a girl in that 50s coffee shop, hotel bar or whatever it is and that girl represents his sister who had passed away a year earlier.  Even for BSB, times can get rough.  (As we would later see in the 2000s and so on.)

The five members of the group are by themselves and lonely but eventually meet up by the end of the video.  The only problem is that now AJ is a ghost?

"More smoke! I can still kind of see AJ!"

“More smoke! I can still kind of see AJ!”

But the number one reason that “Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely” makes it into the top five is this:

AJ McLean in a dog collar, leather pants, and a leather cowboy hat on a bus:

"Who told AJ that he could be the edgy one? I didn't tell AJ that he could be the edgy one."

“Who told AJ that he could be the edgy one? I didn’t tell AJ that he could be the edgy one.”

 

4. As Long As You Love Me (1997, Backstreets Back, 15.44 million views)

220px-ALAYLM1

“As Long As You Love Me” is one of the signature breakout US hits for the Boys.  Though they had become a huge success in Europe already, they hadn’t found their chops in America until the release of Backstreets Back, which is actually just titled “Backstreet Boys” for the US release.

Whereas “Show Me The Meaning” showed the serious side, “As Long As You Love Me” shows that, “You know what, these guys know how to have fun too!”

We set the stage in an empty gym where auditions are going on. It’s unclear what they are auditioning for, whether they are auditioning as a group or separate, and if they’re auditioning for a group where are all the other people trying to audition?

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.52.54 PM

Bouncy, bouncy, nothing to see here…

Sorry, I’ve got an important phone call!

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.53.04 PM

 

And then these guys shuffle in looking like a wreck (and the audio sped up to a comical speed) and then they serve zero purpose for the rest of the video.

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.53.15 PM

 

And then the door opens again and “Hey now what’s this?!”

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.53.46 PM

“G-g-g-girls!!!!”

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.53.57 PM

This isn’t the first time that A.J. is gonna look super creepy.  But then Nick is all like “Say whaaaat”

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.54.10 PM

 

So then the auditions begin and it’s actually the GIRLS auditioning BOYS!!! Oh no they din’t!!!  Nick is first up, and he’s absolutely SHOCKED that they want him to go up for the audition and the audition that he came to.

But all AJ can think about is  that baseball bat Nick is holding.  "If he goes up now, that bat is mine!" he thinks.

But all AJ can think about is that baseball bat Nick is holding. “If he goes up now, that bat is mine!” he thinks.

“You’re gonna do fine, guy I’m competing against or maybe not”

"Are we auditioning for a boy band? The lead role in Titanic? A Supercuts commercial?"

“Are we auditioning for a boy band? The lead role in Titanic? A Supercuts commercial?”

Oh shit, it’s about to get goofy up in this motherfucker

Is that Nick Carter or Steve Martin?

Is that Nick Carter or Steve Martin?

Hey dicks, there’s an audition going on while you talk on your phone, walk around, and dribble that basketball!

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.09.38 PM

Oh, and then come the chairs…

"And let's put a fire hydrant over there" "But wh-" "JUST FUCKING DO IT"

“And let’s put a fire hydrant over there” “But wh-” “JUST FUCKING DO IT”

And then Brian auditions and one lady says to the other lady, “Look this is the guy up there right now just in case you’re not watching.”

"So that's him?" "No, that's a picture of him."

“So that’s him?” “No, that’s a picture of him.”

Oh, Howie

"Are you going to drill that headlight? You would do so bad in the real world."

“Are you going to drill that headlight? You would do so bad in the real world.”

And then AJ grabs a remote and pulls his sunglasses down (as he is legally required to do every 15 minutes) and flips the script on these girls.  Now they will do the auditioning!  I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING!

I don't know Howie does it (with sunglasses on)

I don’t know Howie does it (with sunglasses on)

Fun fact: Brian liked this one so much that he married her:

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.56.55 PM

 

I'm glad they're friends in real life.

I’m glad they’re friends in real life.

And then the video wraps up and they all get the part… or they don’t.  It’s impossible to tell.  I told you though that Howie wasn’t done being creepy:

 

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 4.57.21 PM

3. Larger Than Life (1999, Millenium, 1.9 million views)

220px-Largerthenlifebsbsinglecover

Michael and Janet Jackson had “Scream.”  Jamiroquai had his one song.  Even Jason Voorhees and Leprechaun went into space.  Everybody’s gotta have either a “space” or “futuristic” or some sort of Sci-Fi moment in their career.  BSB had “Larger Than Life.”

The video opens up with a countdown to midnight and then a Star Wars homage as a space ship passes over and their previous hits (which was already a pretty significant catalog) start to play in the background.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.37.25 PM

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.37.45 PM

It’s the year 3000 and humanity has decided that the best possible use of technology is to preserve the Backstreet Boys.  Even AJ.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.38.51 PM

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.39.13 PM

But these dudes are having fun in space.  They all appear to play multiple roles on the ship but none of them are as valuable as Nick Carter and the robots.  This happens:

Attack of the Clones: Dance Off

Attack of the Clones: Dance Off

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.42.31 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.42.21 PM

Brian Littrell is a robot but also one of the universes top “hover craft ball tube” players.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.42.04 PM

Pretty cocky for a guy with no body.

Pretty cocky for a guy with no body.

Weeeeeee!!!!

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.48.02 PM

Even for AJ, this shirt was a poor choice.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 5.50.51 PM

But the video hardly featured Howie at all, so for that reason he can’t be any higher than third.

2. I Want It That Way (1999, Millenium, 71.79 million views)

Iwantitthatwaycd

“I Want It That Way” is by far their most-watched video on YouTube and it helped launch the much-anticipated album “Millenium” into the stratosphere.  My favorite thing about the song itself is this little snippet from Wikipedia:

When Max came up with the original idea for the song, it already had the line ‘you are my fire, the one desire’. We tried a million different variations on the second verse, and finally we had to go back to what was sounding so great, ‘you are my fire, the one desire’. And then we changed it to ‘am I your fire, your one desire’, which made absolutely no sense in combination with the chorus – but everybody loved it!”

If that doesn’t sum up popular music (or popular anything) perfectly, I don’t know what does.  “This is stupid… but it sells! Fuck the free world!”

The video takes place at LAX and if you have ever flown in and out of LAX, you might be asking yourself “What god damn day were they there?” because there is plenty of space for them to walk around and it’s clean.

And where the fuck is TMZ?

And where the fuck is TMZ?

Why are these guys CONSTANTLY looking away and walking away from each other?  Seems pretty rude.

"AJ, I was talking..."

“AJ, I was talking…”

Lips Carter:

I'm not gonna say what that looks like.

I’m not gonna say what that looks like.

You can genuinely tell that Nick Carter isn’t acting here after he says “Tell me why-ee!”

Something doesn't compute with Nick Carter? Shocking.

Something doesn’t compute with Nick Carter? Shocking.

You can tell that the special effects were not done by James Cameron.

"It's totally not a green screen."

“It’s totally not a green screen.”

Okay, here is how Im going to explain AJ McLean.  You ever create a character in like The Sims or Tiger Woods Golf?  You ever have that one time where you just went too far while you were creating the character, and gave him or her way too many accessories and other features?  Just because “pencil thin beard” is an option doesn’t mean you need to go for that and three other kinds of facial hair.

AJ is the over-abundant video game character you created once and immediately deleted.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.08.51 PM

And this 90-degree-arms robot move is something that has stuck with me for almost 15 years.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.11.50 PM

Sometimes I like to think that Howie is Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.16.46 PM

But the good thing is that the Backstreet Boys haven’t let success get to their heads.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.18.01 PM

So the guys start to perform in front of a crowd of their (I’m assuming) real fans and sure enough it seems like these girls are freakin’ out.  Even over AJ.

 

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.18.25 PM

No, to the left. Read the sign idiot.

Nick Carter saying “Oh no you din’t!”

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.20.41 PM

In fact they all do the Dikembe throughout as they’re saying “Ain’t nothin” and “I never wanna hear you say…” something something.  I can’t remember.

And now let’s debut the number one Backstreet Boys music video, MTV Making The Video 1999 style…

In 5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

And now, the World Premiere of the new Backstreet Boys video…

1. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) (1997, Backstreet Boys, 11.36 million views)

220px-Ebo1

Oh my god, they’re back again.

The thing that I never understood about the song “Everybody” is that I didn’t know that Backstreet had gone anywhere.  This seems like a song you would release in 2013 if you were the Boys, not in 1997.  There weren’t a lot of people saying “I miss the Backstreet Boys, where’d they go?” in 1997 but either way they “returned” and gave us their best music video ever.

My favorite thing about the video is that it’s nothing like that single cover you see above.  In fact, holy shit look at that single cover!!!  At first I had to ask myself if several members of the original Backstreet Boys had been replaced.

Nick Carter looks like he’s 10 and he bleached his hair with bleach.  Brian Littrell looks like the hardest 15-year-old kid in his private school.  And I don’t even see AJ.  Where’s AJ?  That’s not AJ.

The video though is just like you would assume it would be about a song called “Everybody (Backstreets Back)”… it takes place in a haunted house?

“Everybody” is basically their “Thriller.”  It has a storyline and several moments where the boys are acting before and after the video.  The tour bus breaks down and the driver lets them into the house.

“What house?”

I don’t know.

“His house?”

That doesn’t seem very likely, because he’s a bus driver.  I mean, I guess he’s the Backstreet Boys bus driver, but still, this is an old mansion.  How did he… nevermind, maybe there’s a twist.

Even for the Buccaneers this is embarrassing.

Even for the Buccaneers this is embarrassing.

And then the boys decide to just go sleep in strange beds.  Uhhh… Brian… whatcha doin?

"I hate my dick!"

“I hate my dick!”

And these special effects were provided by Dark Castle Entertainment, apparently.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.36.14 PM

Oh shit, Ballroom Dance tonight?!  How lucky that the biggest boy band in the world happened to show up!

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.38.17 PM

I mean, they REALLY wanted this to be Thriller.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.39.55 PM

But as soon as these boys get in character, it is on like Donkey Kong Brian Littrell singing to the moon while dressed like a werewolf?

"owwwwwwant it that way!"

“owwwwwwant it that way!”

Thank you, Jesus

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.43.39 PM

Euuwwwwwww

There is no way that a coffin is sanitary.

Nor is AJ, but that's for another story.

Nor is AJ, but that’s for another story.

Here is the most toned down AJ McLean has ever been in a music video:

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.45.22 PM

I’d love to see him try to actually sing with these teeth in:

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.46.51 PM

I wouldn’t like to see Nick Carters teeth at all.

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.47.02 PM

He’s literally saying “Am I sexual?” at this moment.

Oh, by the way:

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.48.38 PM

And what I love about the lyrics of the song is that the group is saying:

“Am I original?”

“Yeah”

“Am I the only one?”

“Yeah”

“Am I sexual?”

“Yeah”

 

They are the ones saying “Yeah” every time.  So it’s like the individual members are going up to the bandmates and saying “Hey, do you guys think I’m sexual?”

“Of course, Nick!”

If I were to direct the video, though the lyrics are so diabolical that only a haunted house music video (in the same house that Casper was filmed in, by the way) would serve it right, I might have just had it as the guys sitting around talking to each other and affirming each other that they’re all original and sexual.

Yeah, I think that would’ve also made a great video.

But then again…

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.54.32 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.54.04 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.53.41 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.53.16 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.53.01 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.52.52 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.52.44 PM Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.52.36 PM

At the end of the video, the boys realize that it was all a dream and they start to leave the haunted mansion.

"Overalls, flashy jackets, backwards cap, football jersey. Yep, story checks out, it's the quintessential boy band."

“Overalls, flashy jackets, backwards cap, football jersey. Yep, story checks out, it’s the quintessential boy band.”

But then they realize (TWIST!) that the bus driver had set them up!  (Maybe, it’s not clear really.)

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 6.57.56 PM

And then they end it with perhaps the best shot in BSB Music Video history, or possibly it’s from Are You Afraid of the Dark?

"That's it guys, perfect. Now this time, let's try acting."

“That’s it guys, perfect. Now this time, let’s try acting.”

The Backstreet Boys are the perfect boy band.  That’s not to say that they belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which is a joke anyway) but that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between them and 2Gether, a fake boy band that parodied groups like Backstreet Boys.

You thought that 2Gether was over doing it?  They might not have gone far enough.  How much further can they go?

We will find out.  Backstreet’s back you guys.

 

 

 

Ask Kenneth ♥-Thur: Whirlwind and Fired, Does Early Sex Kill Hopes of Any Relationship?

June 13, 2013 § 4 Comments

We’re back!  It’s time for another edition of me answering questions from ladies that are looking for the perspective of a dude.  Not just any dude though, but me, a guy that’s been on no less than ten dates and had sex before.  It was cool.

Speaking of sex, here’s today’s question.  It comes to us from Accidentally Racy:

I’m enjoying reading your advice and figure getting a guy’s prospective is going to be way more efficient than my girlfriends’. So, here goes. I had a first date with this guy that lasted 7 hours because we had this amazing connection and couldn’t stop talking with each other about everything from the little things to the deeper subjects; we also ate dinner and bowled. We kissed a lot at the end, and I went home. The next day, he invited me to his place to ride his motorcycle, listen to him serenade me with his guitar and voice, and “watch a movie”. Watching a movie led to kissing which led to sex.

Having sex on a 2nd date is a big no-no in my book, but it just happened as these things do. We talked on the phone for an hour the next day and all seemed well. I went over there again on Wednesday, and he seemed distant. I haven’t heard from him today, and I am afraid that now that I have “given the milk for free” way too soon, I may have screwed up my chance at something real. So, my question is, if you as a guy share a deep connection with a girl and then sleep with her on the 2nd date, is the girl no longer relationship material? Is there anything that I can do to turn the odds in my favor at this point? Any insight would be appreciated. 

————————————-

Dear Accidentally Racy,

Let me first say that in general, each gender views casual sex in a different light:

Men – “Had sex, all is well.”

Women – “Had sex, now what?”

That is definitely not a hard and fast (hehe. pun.) rule.  There are a lot of dudes out there that attach emotions to each sexual encounter (sheepishly raises hand) and a lot of women that don’t (slyly peeks to see if any girls raise their hand) but on the broad spectrum, men can walk away from sex and women want to know “What’s next?”  Why?

Because you are the gatekeeper, am I the keymaster?

Basically, the penis is Indiana Jones and the vagina is the Holy Grail.  Men spend 24.5 hours a day trying to have sex and women are constantly fighting off dicks like they’re being swarmed by bats, so when you finally let one into your cave, you want to know that it’s the right one.  Or at least, a decent one.  And sometimes it can be really hard to tell, because like I said, guys can get really good at getting sex.

I’m a firm believer in the 10,000 hour rule.  That with 10,000 hours of practice, you can be an expert at something.  Well with guys trying to have sex, they’ve spent like 100,000 hours doing that.  But only during the times that they are awake, or most of the time that they are having REM sleep.  Every once in awhile we’ll dream about death, but that’s honestly about sex too.

But we are all different creatures.  I don’t think any women want to be thought of as a set of stereotypes to which everyone and abides, and we have to recognize that while each gender certainly has characteristics that would be true with the majority of individuals, we’re all still different.  So I wouldn’t want to give the impression that men are lying this way and that way in order to have sex, nor am I saying that your beau was lying to you or pretending to be something so that you’d sleep with him, but it’s certainly possible.  Frankly, and this is why I probably have had less success with women than most men, I’d be in your shoes more often than I would be in his.  I’ve had very similar encounters, and while I wasn’t super upset about it because of the absolute shortness of those relationships, it certainly makes a person feel like they’re less than.

But you’re not less than.  And he might not have been using for sex.  Look at it from a macro level and remove sex from the equation and what do you have:

A really good first and second date over a period of no more than 36 hours that simply fizzled out before the carbonation bubbles even hit the surface.  Which is ridiculously common.

It’s mostly the sex that’s messing with your head.  The idea that you gave up the Holy Grail “for nothing.”  That you may have been duped or bamboozled or took a hit to your self-esteem because you thought he was so perfect for you and might have actually found someone worth holding onto for awhile but he possibly doesn’t feel the same way about you.  “What’s wrong with me?”  “What did I do wrong?” “Why can’t he see me how I see him?”

If this is how you’re feeling, if you’re feeling low and used, let me please urge you to cut that out right now.  There’s nothing wrong with you, or what you did, or that the time you spent with one-and-done was less-than-fun.  You chose to sleep with a guy on the second date because you felt certain in your heart that there would be a third date.  A fourth.  Hell, a fifth even!  And now he’s gone MIA and you wish you could take it all back.

Don’t wish that.  Embrace it.

Embrace the two or three days that you could live inside of a Richard Linklater movie.  The last time that I really thought I might have found a relationship, rather than just a date or two or someone to makeout with, she turned cold before I did.  The texts became short and finally stopped.  If we had been out a few times and had always had a good time with each other, then why wouldn’t she want to continue to do that just like I did?  What was wrong with me?

Nothing.  Nothing was wrong with me.  The reasons that other people have for not wanting to see other people just one more time can be many, and it doesn’t mean that there was something wrong with the party that got ditched.  That’s like saying that there’s something wrong with the square peg that doesn’t fit in the round hole.

There’s nothing wrong with square pegs.  They hold most IKEA furniture together.  They’re great!

And if that doesn’t make you feel better, then I can only offer one more piece of advice.  A line from John Steinbeck to his son that I keep pounding home over and over again, because whenever I think about the one that got away, I remember this mantra:

“And don’t worry about losing.  The important thing is not to hurry- Nothing good ever gets away.”

If this one got away, if he hasn’t returned your calls and has fallen off the map, then he wasn’t the right one.  Let him be the right one for a couple of days, let yourself experience the experience, and then learn from it and move on.  Every time I think of that last person that “totally should have been a relationship” I remember that nothing good gets away, so therefore she was never going to be more than what we were.  That if it was good, then it would be.

But it’s not.  And that’s okay too.  Let yourself identify with the male gender for a moment and simply take it as a casual encounter and remember that there’s nothing you can do to “turn this in your favor” other than to live today as happy as you can be.

Without him.

“hey subway, I can afford sandwiches”: the worst kind of customer service

April 6, 2013 § 6 Comments

Last time on Sub-Standard: After a less-than-pleasurable experience at two different Subways awhile back, I wrote this letter to Denise in customer service.  It was fun and funny.  I was hardly upset with the sandwich conglomerate, just a minor setback in our decades old relationship, but now I’ve got to say…

I’m a little perturbed.

I never did hear from Denise again.  I imagine her sitting on a beach somewhere, maybe Cancun, and she’s just happy.  Living the life I had always dreamed for her to live.  I really wish I had though, because Subway pulled the absolute worst move that a food chain can pull when they’re trying to make up for mistakes gone by; a phone call and an appointment for me to pick up a free sub.

“But Kenny, you’re getting a free sub!”

“But reader, I asked for redemption, not an errand that I have to run!”

The “come in and ask for the manager” move is the absolute dregs of customer service in this society we live in.  If it were in the Brat Pack, it would be Judd Nelson.  What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to a manager at the Subway that I complained about trying to get something for free?  What if, and I know this is impossible for you to believe Subway, but what if I don’t even want Subway for the next month or two?  Oh, and by the way, what if they don’t believe me?

Bingo!  Now you know why I couldn’t drop this complaint, a minor setback that would have been better solved by silence than by giving me a chore to do.  You’ll be hard-pressed to get me to go to an appointment at the doctor or the dentist, let alone a fast food chain for a free $5 footlong.  But that’s what they did when I got a call from some guy telling me that I could come in and ask for the manager (whose name I don’t recall because it’s not my job to recall names when you fu*k up my order.  I have cousins whose names I don’t know) and that I would get a free sub of my choosing.

I took them up on their stupid offer anyway.  That was a mistake.

It’s time for another edition of “My complaint to Subway”!  By the way, I love that above the box on their “message customer service” box on the website are these words: This is where you write your message

Thanks.  I would have never figured that one out.  It’s a wonder that I ever managed to interact with society long enough to order a sandwich without shitting my pants and stripping off my clothes.

Here we go:

Dear Subway,
First off, I want to congratulate you. After years of escaping custody or detection it appears you are finally on to me. Yes, it is I, the Sandwich Bandit! Also known as the Sandit! All I have to do is go into any of your 1,000,000 locations across these grand United States and tell your employees that I received a phone call from a manager telling me to come in and get a free sub after they had screwed up, and they would give it to me. Unbelievable! I mean, we aren’t talking about just any free item here, we’re talking about a sandwich. Thanks to this scam, I haven’t had to work for 13 years.
But that’s not why I do it. It’s not about the tens of dollars I save on sandwiches, though it is nice to know what Donald Trump must feel like. No, I do it for the thrill. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have adrenaline rushing through my veins as they are unwittingly toasting a sub that I will get for free even though I am totally fooling them.
It was all as my dad taught me to do from the time I was a little kid. You see, Curly Sue wasn’t only based on a true story but it was based on me and they changed it from a boy to a girl because Alisan Porter was too cute for words. I didn’t mind though, and I got a free signed six-inch meatball sub from Jim Belushi. He was kind enough to give me a free sub, and so to have you been doing for all of these years.
Huzzah!
But today was perhaps the final day for me. I walked into your Subway on National Blvd and told them what I’ve been telling thousands of artists for years, that I had an issue with my last visit and was told I could get a free sub. As I waited for them to apologize and work it out, you can imagine my surprise when they didn’t comply.
“Look, I would have much preferred just a coupon but I was told to just come in and say what I am saying right now.”
She looked back at me deeply, silent, speechless. I wondered what her life must be like, what her hopes are, what she dreams of, and for that moment we weren’t a customer and a sandwich artist; we were one. We were friends, soulmates, lovers, dreamers, children, animals, we were wind and water and fire and stone. But only for a fleeting moment did we hold this glance of perfect understanding.
And then she told me that she couldn’t help me because she didn’t know what I was talking about, and so I paid regular price for a sub. Regular price?! I guess I’ll have to get a job again. I took out a loan just today to make up for buying a whole sub.

I’ll try again tomorrow and see if perhaps the dream isn’t dead. I just pray that never the day comes when a person makes a minor complaint and you simply send them a coupon, not much different than the millions of coupons you send out in the Daily, rather than make them go talk to a manager to make up for their last unpleasant experience at one of your 1,000,000 Subway restaurants in these grand United States. Please, don’t ever ever ever do that. It would be too sensible. I’ll just be here, finishing my full price sub and waiting for the day when Prince Charming comes along and simply buys my subs for me.

Sincerely,
The Sandit

And now, we wait.

Here is a little bit more to the story, because that wasn’t detailed enough.  I walked up to the Subway nervous because I felt like maybe they wouldn’t believe me because why would they?  But that’s what I was told to do.  I leaned in closely to the sandwich artist and whispered softly, “Yeah, I had a minor issue last time I was here and they told me I could come in and get a free sub?”

Then she sort of stared back at me like, “What the heck are you talking about?”  Then she asked the other girl making a sandwich for someone else and when she stopped making the sandwich for the other customer, I was like “no no no, go back to her sandwich it’s no big deal.”  I was embarrassed that I had to go into a Subway and ask for a free sandwich but THAT’S WHAT I WAS TOLD TO DO.  After minor quibbling, I told her to just make me a sandwich (that sounds so misogynistic even if you’re AT Subway) and if it didn’t get worked out I would just pay for it.  Because here’s the secret that I dare never tell anyone but I’ll reveal it to you just this one time.

I can afford sandwiches.

I don’t go around trying to screw over major corporations by stealing all of their sandwiches.  But as a company providing something to a customer, when you fuck up, make up for it.  Have make-up sex with me, in the metaphorical sense.  Bang me hard with your cold cut combo and tell me it’s free and I’ve been a bad boy.  Don’t give me a chore to do and then when I do it, make me pay for another sub.  Which is exactly what I did because I felt like a FOOL in the first place.  You do this to us because you know that a large percentage of people that complain will never take you up on your offer.  The right thing to do would be to send me a coupon and tell me to go to hell if I don’t like it.  Want to save paper?  Great, you had someone email me in the first place so have her email me a one-time coupon.  It’s so easy to do, even a moron like me that wouldn’t know “Where the message goes durr duh duh duh” would be able to do it and figure it out.

What could have been ended weeks ago rages on.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go tell a wealthy widow that I’ve got a great investment for her and that I love her.

Sincerely,

The Sandit

“boys have a penis, girls have a vagina”: the simplest, yet most effective joke ever told

March 18, 2013 § 1 Comment

I don’t have much to say today.  If you’re wondering what Subway’s response to my complaint was, so am I.  Denise apparently did not take my email very seriously, which is bullcrap because what if the world is completely robbed of Sub-Standard?  All I’m asking for is one chance, lady-who-responds-to-Subway-customer-complaints.

I just want to point out a quick observance of something we are all probably familiar with but something I also have never put much thought into.  For the purpose of… there is no purpose.  Appreciate it with me because I’m lonely?  Yeah, I guess that’ll do.

I was seven when Kindergarten Cop (1990) was released.  When you think about it, Kindergarten Cop is a great movie because it’s one of those movies that should transcend at least a couple of generations.  I enjoyed it when I was 7 or 8 and saw it.  I feel like it should also appeal to someone that was in high school at the time, or older, but then again this is completely untrue for me to claim because I am totally biased.  I will never be able to see Kindergarten Cop in the way that someone born in 1960 is able to see Kindergarten Cop.  I watch it now and I still love it, so that’s why I feel like it’s something for adults, but a lot of that is based in nostalgia.

Yet I have no idea how an Arnold Schwarzenegger-Penelope Ann Miller vehicle would be anything but a hit.  Not to mention Miko f***ing Hughes, the most child actor of my generation.  And it was Hughes that stole the show by delivering the line of the movie, the quote that should bring down the house whether it’s full of 7-year-old’s like me, or older people like my mommy and daddy.

>>>>>>>>>>>>

I was sitting here today thinking of stand-up comedy and joke-telling and came back to one of the classics: The differences between men and women.  Of course, “Women be shoppin’!” is one of my all-time favorites, with Dave Chappelle delivering the classic line in The Nutty Professor.  It’s simple comedy (terrible comedy when not done ironically, which obviously it was here) that gets to the base of “what’s the joke about the differences between men and women?”

Women like to shop and men don’t!

Not much different than “black people walk like this…. but white people walk like this!”  We laugh at our differences and that’s all observational humor is meant to do, laugh at who we are and what we can relate to, but “Women be shoppin!” was very, very simple.  But you can get even more shallow than that.

I never thought about the joke in Kindergarten Cop as anything more than that, just a joke, and perhaps it could be said that it’s even a “lazy” attempt at humor, but now I see it as more than that.  It’s more like the most perfect joke there is, because it points out the differences between men and women.  No, it points out the difference between men and women.  It’s exactly, to a tee, who a kindergarten student would do for observational humor if he was giving a stand-up routing to his class.  And now I love it more than ever.

Never forget:

Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina.

Indeed they do, Miko.  Indeed they do.

 

My complaint email to Subway

March 4, 2013 § 15 Comments

On Saturday morning I got up at around 8 AM in a bad way.  (I don’t see this phrase “in a bad way” used a lot so here it is with my first usage of it.)  We got superbly hammered on Friday night and I didn’t eat very much so the hangover was especially worse and my cure for any hangover is usually “way too much food” because how much more damage could I do to my body?

I decided on Subway.  I went to a Subway that I don’t usually go to because when I started driving I didn’t know where I was going then I said, “Subway b-fast is pretty good actually” and I probably actually said “breakfast” and not the shorter version in my head but I said it shorter there to save time. See how much time I saved?  I decided on a six-inch something on flatbread.  I don’t remember exactly what but it had egg (yellow) and other things.  Use your imagination! I paid for it and left.  No, I paid for it and also spend over $4 on a frappacino at the next door Coffee Bean.  I’m not good with money or eating habits or drinking habits. So far this story is incredibly unflattering.

It gets worse.

After I demolished that six-inch sub  (the size choice of six inches because I decided “I don’t need a whole damn foot of breakfast sub”) I went to a different Subway and ordered another six-inch breakfast sub.  Damn it damn it damn it damn it.  The first sub was okay, but mostly I was still not feeling well and just wanted to eat more things.  I went to the other Subway and ordered a different six-inch breakfast sub.  After we were wrapping up (pun) the order, the woman asked me if I wanted coffee or soda.  “No, I’m good” (which is code for, “I would love some more stuff but I’ve spent like $14 already on this random morning breakfast outing”) ’twas my reply.  But there’s more she explained:

“Oh but it’s the same price.”

“BWAH!?!?!” because I probably did have an audible freakout over free soda or coffee.  But mostly I was concerned that either A) The first Subway did not inform me of a free soda or coffee or B) that one of the Subways was just giving shit away without rhyme or reason.  (Or maybe C) Different store policies because this is a franchise, but I just doubt that explanation.)  I’m not mad at the first Subway, but I was curious as hell as to what was happened.  I had to contact Subway and keep them abreast about the situation and what’s going on with some of their Los Angeles area Subways.

(by the fucking way, when I did a location search for Subways near my zip code, the below image is my result.  There are more Subways than there are McDonalds, and holy shit that must be true. This is maybe an example of one square mile…)

Subway

 

It sort of reminds me of what maps will look like when a zombie invasion or virus outbreak happens in the world.  “This is what the country will look like after one hour.  /next slide.  After 1 day.” and then it keeps growing except in this case it’s just more and more Subways until the whole world is covered in Subways except for the oceans, in which only about 15% are covered with floating Subways.

I sent Subway an email through their website, which I sadly do not have anymore.  It was kinda funny but I basically just wanted to know which Subway was right and that the woman at the second Subway did an excellent job of informing me of this free soda, unless there wasn’t supposed to be a free soda in which case reprimand her I guess?  I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble!

Oh, the flatbread at both places was also stale and I did not even finish the second sub. This was 75% because it turns out I only need 2 more inches (lol!) of sub to satisfy myself but 25% because the flatbread was so stale that it was sort of like eating a sandwich in which you’ve used cardboard as the slices, which I guess you would call a “Hobo Sandwich” trademark.

Denise at Customer Care sent me this response:

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us.

In order to better assist you, I will need to know the exact location of the SUBWAY® restaurant that you have visited so that our regional office can investigate this properly. Would you please reply by e-mail or by calling me at 1-800-888-4848 ext. 8201 to provide me with a complete address of the location you visited or a nearby landmark. Please refer to the Customer ID listed below when replying.

I appreciate that you took the time and effort to contact us and am looking forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,

Denise S

 

Fair enough!  I was honestly wondering if Subway was going to respond because it had been two days and conglomerates usually have an entire nation of customer care people but then I realize now that it was the weekend and they also get a lot of complaints.  I guess I’ve been soured too because I sent Apple an honest-to-God “this is Bullshit!” complaint a little while ago and they ignored me… twice!

I am actually a pretty sweet man to customer service people.  Their jobs suck and they’re doing the best they can and it’s not their fault and they can only do so much.  So on the phone or whatever I will try and make their day and be a fun-loving customer that’s had a rough interaction with their company.  I am not mad at Subway, their reputation for stale bread precedes them anyway, but I decided to have fun with this one.  I ended up having maybe too much fun, but could also have an Emmy-award winning show on our hands.  Here is my response to Denise:

Hi Denise (that’s my mothers name too!)
I looked up the locations on your handy website.  Man, you guys have a lot of locations!  Not a problem, everybody needs sandwiches and that kind of convenience certainly doesn’t sub me the wrong way.
Subway #13028 was the second location. That girl should be given a raise, but I don’t know her name so I guess give all the girls there raises.  They’ve always been nice to me.  Oh wait, except the flatbread was so hard that I didn’t finish half of it.  Keep everyone at the same payscale actually.
Subway #13477 was the first location.  I think that they should just know “Hey, free drinks!” if there really are free drinks when you order a certain breakfast sub, because that’s a great deal.  If it really is a deal, you should be advertising it more.  It could go, “Free.  Free dollars.  Free dollars driiinkkkss!  Come on down to Subway and get a free coffee or soda with every sub sandwich purchase before 9 am!  Can you believe we’re just giving this stuff away?  Tell ‘em Jared” and then Jared comes on and says, “You guys should really just be getting water anyway.”  And then McKayla Maroney is all “I’m not impressed, get me a diet coke!” and then the two of them, Jared and McKayla Maroney stand back-to-back with their arms folded and a look like “This guy!” Maybe it could even be a sitcom this fall on NBC?  The show could be called “Sub-Standard” and it’s about Jared from Subway and he’s dating McKayla Maroney and he’s always trying to lose weight or gain muscle and do better for her but always falling short and her catchphrase could be like, “Oh brother!” and his catch phrase after she burns him with another mean look will be “I didn’t ask if you wanted it toasted or untoasted!”  Is she 18 though?  Look, I haven’t thought this all the way through yet, I’m just spitballing.  Tell me if you think that will work Denise.
Also get back to me about the stale bread I guess, but mostly your thoughts on “Sub-Standard”.
Thanks and have a wonderful day!
Kenny (writer and creator of Sub-Standard.  Also plays the whacky neighbor “Mr Fundek”)
I just hit send on this so we don’t know yet about the fate of Sub-Standard (crossing fingers!) but hopefully Denise has connections at the top and also at NBC!   I think this show is right up their alley.  Also, my mom’s name is not Denise but you gotta start off on a high-note and Denise is a good name anyway.
I’ll let you know if there is any further good followup to this and my concerns with (or appreciation of) free soda.
Also, the bread was kinda stale.

i believe in the unbelievable. i believe that there is more. i believe that anything is possible.

December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

To understand a person and how they came to be the person that they are today (though you never truly understand a person) you have to trace back to every day of their existence.  Every day is a brick, a chair, a room with a trampoline as a floor since my lifehouse can have that, its my lifehouse metaphor.  You may not understand the theme of this article by me only giving you a little bit of background into my upbringing, it simply will not suffice, but I can try.

I was raised by a single mother from the time I was 3, though I am sure she was always raising me alone from the time I was born, since my father had other places to be.  I have one sister, four years older, and she was cursed with a curse that all sisters have: She is a girl, and girls, especially ones that are four years older, do not want to hang out with their brothers.  When my sister was 10 and I was 6, she wanted to be 16 and I wanted to be 6.  That’s just the routine for young boys and girls and so I did not play with my sister very often.

In fact, I can’t recall a single time that I did so without her feeling forced to do so.

So what is a boy left to do during his formative years without anyone telling him how to form?  Watch movies.  And when there is no television, as we canceled cable several times for financial purposes, make shit up!  I spent countless hours jumping around the couch shooting imaginary bad guys with my imaginary guns.  I put my action figures into action.  I will never forget the time that I was having a funeral for one of my toys, a G.I. Joe lost in battle that was being given an epic send-off, and humming Taps as the other action figures carry his body to the grave, except for one fatal error: It turns out that I did not know Taps, or at least I had gotten confused, because my mother came by and asked why I was humming the wedding song.

*pulls tight collar away from neck and says ‘oh. boy.’*

But that was my childhood.  Not the part where I accidentally passed a gay marriage bill for my action figures, but the part where I was living in a reality made up of either movies and television half of the time, or whatever war, adventure, or game-winning sports play that I deemed to be possible for the rest of the time.  It’s not that I, at the age of 4 or 8 or 16 or I-should-probably-stop-now, actually believed that I hit the game-winning shot for the Seattle SuperSonics in Game 7 of the NBA Finals (or that they actually allowed me nine attempts to hit the shot) because I am not a psychopath or completely delusional, but I did live with the idea that the world is whatever I want it to be.

I did not choose the reality as we know it.  I did not create the Earth, the Sun, the Oceans or the iPod.  Those realities are out of my hand.  But whenever I want to, I can create a different world, a world where anything is possible and I can be anybody.  Who would not want to live in that world?

In movies like Pan’s Labyrinth or The Science of Sleep, these imaginary dreamscapes are better described than what I could explain, but it’s something like that except without really seeing these worlds, settings, or characters.  You just have to believe it.  And so when I had time to myself as a kid, which was plenty often, I could be whoever I wanted to be and live where ever I wanted to live and the rules of science and math and physics only exist as I allowed them to exist.  I don’t live in these worlds much anymore (I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t caught a few game-winning Seahawks touchdowns in my bed over the last couple of years) but that does not mean that I don’t still believe.  Whereas I created these Universes* as a child for the purposes of entertainment and passing the time, now I use these same principles as a means of coping with the many unanswered questions that turn the Sun and our very existence into an enigmatic Rubik’s cube for which I will likely die before solving.

I am a logical and rational human being.  I don’t want you to think that I have completely lost my shit.  I know that the laws of physics seem rather legit.  I don’t doubt that E does equal MC squared, even though I could not tell you how Einstein got there or how it makes my popcorn pop in the microwave, but I have no reason to think it’s bullshit.  (I mean, I heard that nutrinos could fuck that up, but once again, not my field of expertise.)  However, why do we, as people, have to stop there?  Why do we have to accept anything and everything that has been told to us?  You once told me motherfucking Santa Claus was real and THAT was bullshit, so why should I just bend over, look over my shoulder, and say “Sure, shove the laws of gravity up my butt, I’ll take it.”?

Yeah, gravity seems VERY legit.  But what if I told you that tomorrow, there would be no gravity?  Or that it would be like Moon gravity and we raised the NBA hoops to 25 feet?  You can tell me that it won’t happen, but I will reply, “Why not?”  And you would give me a verifiable 100% scientific answer as to why it wouldn’t, but that’s not really the point of what I’m trying to convey.

Here are some questions I would pose to you:

- What if time travel is real?  How could you ever really know for certain?  The life that you are living right now, what if it didn’t exist until a second ago?  What if before that second, someone from the future went back in time and shot Abraham Lincoln and so now you’re Tim Carter instead of Tina Leone?  What if Marty McFly was a real person?

- What if the Matrix is real?  Fuck, how should I know??

- What if tomorrow you are eating Haagen-Dazs and watching Family Guy and then all of a sudden a vortex pops up behind your couch that leads to God knows where?  Would you go through it?  You most certainly would at least throw in the ice cream first or eat it all first.

- What if you weren’t even you until this very moment?  What if you were transported into this body at this second and implanted with all of your memories that you think are real?  What if you’re Quantum Leap but if Quantum Leap didn’t know he was Quantum Leap and what am I trying to stop from happening?  Who do I have to stop from getting married or killed?

I am not trying to say that I necessarily believe all of the above because I pretty much don’t.  I know that tomorrow I will wake up and go through my regular routine.  The sky will be there, the Earth will be there, episodes of Sweet Valley High will still be around somewhere.  I know this.  But damn it, it doesn’t mean that I am absolutely and utterly against the idea that anything is possible.  Please, for the love of Sweet Valley High, tell me that anything is possible.

Tell me that we will all be able to fly tomorrow.  Tell me that one day I will get to jump in John Malkovich’s head.  Tell me that I can be Limitless like Bradley Cooper in Limitless.  Don’t we all sort of get by on hope?  Don’t we all sort of get out of bed for a reason and not only because we have to (because hey, you don’t have to do anything), not only because we want to, not only because of what already is, but we also get out of bed because of the things that don’t exist.

“I don’t have a girlfriend.”

GET OUT OF BED!

“I need to pay my bills.”

GET OUT OF BED!

“I can’t walk.”

SOMEBODY HELP HIM OUT OF BED!

Everything we do in life should at least hinge somewhat on the idea that we are going to get something today that we did not have yesterday.  Is today the day you fall ass-backwards into a windfall of cash?  Is today the day that you look in the mirror and are satisfied with your physique?  Is today the day that new episodes of Arrested Development are released?  We need a little something to motivate us to go on.  We need a little something to believe in.  Maybe for me, that little something is the ability to fly, to find a vortex, or to travel back to the day when stock in Microsoft was like $10 a share.

Maybe when I was a bored little boy whose sister wouldn’t play with him I created these worlds and beliefs to pass the time and make the day a little better, but even as an adult I still hold out hope that anything is possible- so that I may pass the time and make the day a little better.  It makes the morning more palatable.  It makes existence more fruitful.  It doesn’t make the Universe more understandable, but perhaps easier to cope with since we know we don’t know very much about it anyway.

For me, that’s all I need to wake up.  That, and an action figure wedding.

 

*Side-Bar About Creativity, Writing, and Comedy

People often attribute creativity to some inherent attribute that never had to be worked on or molded.  Many people think that if you are an adult writer, director, painter, musician, or likewise, then you are just one of the “lucky” ones.  I have told people that I write and they immediately say “Well shit, maybe I should write too!”

Fuck. You.

I can probably weave a quick tale, story, subplot, or narrative together for you right now but it’s not because that shit is easy to do.  If everybody was a good writer, then 99% of screenplays wouldn’t wind up in a: Fireplace, waste basket, shredder, Recycle Bin on your desktop, or turn into emergency toilet paper.  And guess what?  If I turned in a screenplay to Hollyweird right now, best be sure that it would wind up in the same place.  Maybe if I keep working on it for 8 or 10 or 15 more years, we will see what happens, but where I am today at 30 wasn’t because the writing fairy tickled my nutsack when I was 2 days old and said “You get to be a writer!”  No, do you want to know how people become creative?  They were really fucking bored for a really fucking long time and so every single fucking day they worked that muscle.  For me, I did not work it with the purposes of turning it into anything; it was a means of survival.  I watched 1-4 movies every single day.  I made up shit every single day.  I spent all day in class scribbling and doodling and making up villains, heroes, space battles, and monsters on paper because the I was more interested in that than I was in math.  (Maybe an occasional pair of boobs.)

What did a scientist do in class?  Probably spent all day in the lab because he or she couldn’t get enough of the beakers and such.

What did a philosopher do in class?  Wondered what the fuck he or she was doing there.

What did LeBron James do in class?  Probably jack shit because he was great at basketball, but hey, he was/is great at basketball!

Everybody everywhere gets something out of something.  You are where you are at least partly because of the shit you enjoyed when you were a kid and how you spent your days.  You: Perhaps a musician that picked up a guitar when you were 5 or 9 or 14.  Me: Kind of a loser actually.  I always had A friend, but I never had like 30 friends.  So I coped with my childhood by making shit up and watching TV.  You know how funny people are funny?  They coped with the society of bullies or feeling that they needed attention or not feeling like they were good at anything else.  I was a child that thrived, no thirsted, no hungered, no needed-or-i’m-going-to-have-a-fucking-fit on laughter.  Nothing makes ME feel as good as when YOU are having a laugh.  Comedians can go through 10+ years of stand-up before making any kind of names for themselves.  The first few years are even rougher because you bomb a lot and frankly that’s no different than a classroom.  You have to re-live the days when your first *fartnoise* joke causes rolling in the aisles, but dead silence because “Hey we’ve heard that one before, Kenny.  Say some shit about crayons!”  

I know a lot of people that read blogs, especially on WP, are writers or bloggers themselves.  I’m not saying you, yes YOU /reaches through Laura’s computer screen/ are a person that would say that writing is something that comes natural to people, but a lot of people seem to have that inclination.  Fuck no it does not come natural and neither does comedy.  This is something you live with.  This is how you cope.  This is something I have been working on before I knew you needed to work on shit to get good at it.

It just so happens that writing for 40+ hours per week has only happened in the last two years.  But there was a pretense of over two decades in which I fine-tuned and worked and molded that muscle.  In retrospect, I should have been a doctor.  But instead, I am a person that likes to write and make jokes.  It was not natural.

*Side-Bar Over*  *Overruled*

 

 

did i blackout and change my okcupid profile?

December 12, 2012 § 5 Comments

Yes.  Or at least I think so.  That or some weird genius has hacked my OkCupid and made my profile 100x better.  Let’s start from the beginning…

I was not much of a drinker as a teenager.  I wouldn’t say it’s because I was a “good” kid but I wasn’t really a bad kid either.  Sure, I wound up in the principal’s office about once a week, but for a person that thrives off of making people laugh with witty interruptions, Sex Ed class is basically entrapment.  Other than that, my weekends basically consisted of trips to Hollywood Video with friends, popcorn and snacks, me eating most of the snacks, very tame stuff really.

This was not always the case though and at one particular party I had shown up late and decided to “catch up” with a bottle of whiskey.  (I can’t pinpoint the exact age I was when this occurred, but I believe it would have actually been around 18 or 19, after graduation.  I don’t know why I am adding this tidbit, except that my mom will probably read this and she worries.  Even about things that happened years ago.  She probably believes that I will still get an MIP ticket in the mail for even writing it now, ten years later.  #Moms.)  Moral of the story: Don’t play catch up with a bottle of Black Label whiskey if you aren’t a qualified drinker, or ever really.

Next and last thing I know, I’m running around the backyard with my shirt off and spinning it around over my head like I’m Petey Pablo.  I raise up the following day, sitting in a lawn chair the next day, a total mess, and I’m hungover but fine.  Until the psychological mind-fuck of being told that I did things that I do not remember doing.  “What is this concept of ‘blacking out’?  You mean that alcohol erases memories???”  It’s a pretty scary situation to think that you can do things and not remember, but I honestly had no idea that I had fallen down that chasm of having too much to drink.  It scared me to the point of never wanting to drink again.

And then I went to a school notorious for over-consumption of alcohol and blacking out became activity du jour.  I don’t want to sound like an alcoholic that anybody should be concerned about, I gave up drinking for 3 years without even having a necessary intention to do so but only because I was in a relationship with someone that rarely drank.  It was not hard.  What is hard is ‘H.A.M.’ and that’s how I drink.  I’m not ashamed of this and I won’t sugarcoat it.

Flash-forward to this week when I check in on my OkCupid profile and realize that everything has been changed.  I have a vague recollection of going onto the site a few weeks ago and perhaps thinking that I would “mix it up” but that is all I remember.  The words that I read though were not ones that I recognized.  I don’t remember writing any of this, really, but holy shit do I love it.  Either some very funny person has written over my profile and hacked into my account (for what purpose, I could not even fathom) or when I black out I become some weird genius.

Let me begin by saying that I no longer associate OkCupid with finding a girlfriend.  The site is a joke if you are looking for an honest relationship.  It is a free site aimed at under-30s (of which I am dangerously close to not qualifying for anymore anyway) and as I’ve written here before, it is mostly for people looking to sex one another.  Not being the most attractive guy, needless to say that my success rate wasn’t that high and therefore I run ramshod on my answers.  There is no need to be genuine on that site about who you are, what your desires are, and what you’re looking for in a girl or guy.  In recent months I’ve changed it from normal into one that I purposefully designed to be “the worst profile on OkCupid” (a la ‘I love pooping my pants, etc’) to a site that said “I want to meet girls that absolutely hate my fucking guts only” and the like.  Guess which two of those three profile themes were the most successful?

The site is a joke.

Thankfully my profile is the best joke I’ve ever read and if I really wrote this when I was drunk, I should only be writing when I’m drunk.  Be forewarned that weird, nonsensical, anti-humor is my favorite kind of humor right now.  Maybe you do not find it funny.

But I think I’m drunk-fucking-hilarious and if I really did this, I can’t believe how clever and coherent most of the writing is.  I really think I must have been hacked by Odd Future or something.

1

I do not know who Jerry Osguando is, but he actually seems pretty insightful.  A modern day Yogi Berra.

2

A couple of typos help support my blackout theory, as does any Pauly Shore reference, but were the typos intentional?

3

Let’s just get this out of the way: That last line is better than anything I’ve ever written sober.  Which makes me question if I did write it.

4

Not the best but weird as shit.

Some of the following though is amazing:

5

Tonto: More like Pronto is definitely my style.  I’m actually working on Sky Scrapers 6.  We Make It Hot: Best Hot Mixes is in my CD player.

6

Two suspicions here: I absolutely love this song by Brian McKnight.  Not kidding.  2. ‘Buck’ is actually a term my friends use for drinking.  “Getting buck” aka “Get buck wild.”  Did my friends screw with me?  Not likely, they don’t know that Brian McKnight song.  I possibly used the term buck here and I could understand why.  My case for me writing this is getting very strong.

7

Again, the thing about NASA going on a team building trip and trampolines is also better than anything I’ve ever written.  That’s next-level weird shit.

8

That thing about babies is just weird, but also kind of sweet because it implies perhaps that I am a cancer doctor for babies.  Then I continue to talk about doctors here, this time a dumb doctor that believed my theory on the world, but then improperly use the word “hear” instead of “here.”

And here is the grand finale:

9

No, I don’t REALLY want someone that is into beastiality.  But that joke is fucking great.

I am going to go ahead and take credit for this profile unless someone dares to stop me and say that they did it instead.  If you did, great, please step forward because I’d like to meet you.  Most of these jokes are right up my alley though, I just didn’t know what I was capable of until I turned into a blacked out monster.  As far as getting any responses from it?

No.  But if any girl found this to be as hilarious as I do, I need to put a ring on her dazzlefinger.

My 99 Problems: Small Talk, Big Problem

October 2, 2012 § 11 Comments

Enough with the small talk.

That’s it.  That’s all I mean.  I don’t mean, “Let’s get down to business.”  What I mean to say is, can we just stop having small talk ever?  As a race, as Americans, as human beings… The last thing that I put on my “To-Do List” this morning when I woke up and cried in the shower was: “Must run into Cathy and find out what she thinks about rain.”

I remember high school.  It was not my favorite four years and so that’s all I ever want to do with high school: REMEMBER IT.  Leave it in the past.  I will never be able to forget it, so instead I’m fine with keeping it right where it is, which is stashed between my first rejection in the seventh grade and my first rejection in community college.  So when I run into somebody that I “know” from school in public, there’s no reason for us to re-live any of it.

In fact, is that even what we’re doing?  Are we re-living it or are we holding onto it while you tell me what you did after you graduated and where you’re working now because this is something I need to know since you dated Jim for three weeks.  Or because we had English together and were in the same group once.  I’m not trying to be a dick about it and act like my experiences and life are better than yours, because they’re not and that’s the point.

My life is boring to everyone except me and my closest inner-circle.  Everybody’s life is really fucking boring.  EVERYBODY.  Why do you think that when a network sets up a reality show with celebrities, rich people, or the flavor of the month (Hi, Honey Boo Boo) they all of a sudden have to sign up for a “blow job class” or go to a haunted house?  Why do you think that after a couple of seasons of the Real World they made them get  jobs and take a trip to Fiji?

Because this shit (life) is boring.  

Oh sure, we have our moments.  That’s why we have stories.  We have.. like… four stories.  Each. By law.  Those four stories take up about 3.5 hours of our lives and then the rest of it is: wake-up, shower, go to work, go home, eat something, sleep.  Maybe you do stuff for entertainment on the weekends and go see a movie but then what story are you left with?

“Yeah, I saw What To Expect When You’re Expecting this weekend!”

“Oh wow.  Tell me more!”

“There isn’t anything more!”

“OH! COOL!” /collapses /dies

Years ago I was walking through the mall and on my way into Nordstrom’s when I saw some girl from high school walking out.  I don’t remember her name or face at this point but I’ll never forget that moment.  We recognized each other but our only acquaintanceship was that I had a crush on one of her best friends and we all went to lunch a couple of times.  You feel this gross magnetic force pulling you into a person when you make eye contact and realize that you “know” them but I did everything in my power to stop it except that I couldn’t.  This was happening.

“Hey, how are you?!”

“I’m good.”

There was about two seconds of silence as we stared shallowly into each others eyes and I realized that this was as far as I was willing to take it.  I said “fuck it” and decided that this was my chance to man-up and finally say what we all want to say in this very moment.  I literally threw my hands up in the air and said, “Well, that’s it.  See ya.”

Just end it, rip the band-aid off, let go of this need to all of a sudden “catch up” and make small talk with a person you haven’t seen in four years.  What’s the worst that could happen?  They’ll hate you?  That could get really awkward when you run into them again in 2016 and still have nothing to say to each other.

The final point in the matter that I want to bring up is the technological elephant in the room that actually managed to capture this awkward moment and stretch it out forever: Facebook.

Holy shit, fuck facebook!

In the beginning, I accepted all friend requests.  “A FRIEND?!  OH BOY I DON’T HAVE MANY OF THOSE SO YES I WILL ACCEPT BECAUSE RIGHT NOW I’M ONLY AT 101 :(  BUT NOW I AM AT 102!!!!”

Over time you realize that all Facebook has done is sully the reputation of what it means to be a friend.  “We saw each other in the hallway once during junior year.  You dropped your apple.  I saw you pick it up and continue eating it without wiping it off and despite the fact that the open side of the apple had touched the floor.  We made eye contact and I rolled my eyes at you but decided not to ever tell another soul.  This is our moment.  This is our only moment.  ACCEPT FRIEND REQUEST?”

When you started to realize that the number of “friends” you had on your Facebook account was nothing more than a status symbol, it should have been the moment you started to realize that the whole site is a sham.  A lie we tell ourselves and then relay to other people, even in silent, knowing that they’ll know how many “friends” you have when they check your page.  I have not deleted my Facebook account but I did do one thing: I looked at all my “friends” and realized that I could get rid of at least 60% just by unfriending anyone who I hadn’t physically spoken to in five years.

WHY THE FUCK ARE WE FRIENDS?!  SHIT AT LEAST I WOULD HAVE FELT BAD ABOUT THIS IF YOU AND I HAD EVEN HAD FACEBOOK CONTACT LIKE A ‘LIKE’ OR COMMENT IN THE LAST THREE YEARS SINCE YOU ADDED ME BUT THAT NEVER HAPPENED SO FUCK YOU AND FUCK OFF.

I don’t need that awkward moment stretched out until the day that I die, even if it’s as a lonely friendless loser lying in a fetal position in my bathtub full of tears, blood and human waste because one thing I’ll know is that I didn’t die with 350 faux friends or having spent 713 hours of my life locked in an uncomfortable laser beam of conversation that included such hot topics as “What Tiffany had for breakfast this morning” and “Where Jason gets his pants.”

It’s useless.  It’s dumb.  It will not advance you in life one iota.  Since that moment in the mall, one of the most freeing moments of my life, all I have left to say is:

/shrugs. walks away.

 

 

8 Things Horribly Wrong With The Bagel Bites Jingle

September 22, 2012 § 10 Comments

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time.  When pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza any time. 

We are all familiar with the jingle.  If you want a refresher course, here is the commercial.  It first starts with “Now you can give them pizza WHENEVER they want.” This is only about the song, so let’s just get this first part out of the way…

Parents have no interest in how they can give their kids pizza whenever they want.  It’s very low on their list of priorities.  Right below “How can I get them to run around the house yelling and screaming more?”

Let’s talk a little bit about what’s wrong with the jingle:

Pizza in the morning STOP

People are already eating pizza in the morning.

Pizza in the morning STOP

I have never actually had a bagel bite in the morning, as I can recall it, but I feel that I’d be about 10,000 times less likely to have a bagel bite in the morning than a slice of pizza.  I don’t usually wake up and say, “Hmmm… the roof of my mouth feels fine. How can I fuck that up?”

Pizza in the evening STOP

There was not a shortage of people having pizza in the evening.

Pizza in the evening STOP

Bagel bites are really a snack or maybe a lunch.  I’m not going to lie to you and act like I’m all high and mighty and haven’t eaten 10 bagel bites in the evening or in the middle of the night, but my honest opinion is that MOST people eat a bagel bite in the middle of the day.  Afternoon, noon, lunch time… it’s never mentioned.

Pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time STOP

Now, I have never lived in an area where “supper” was a term that anyone used, but as I understand it and as Wikipedia explains it, supper is an evening meal.  It seems to me that supper has ALWAYS been an evening meal.  Is this line not redundant?  That’s like saying, “Pizza is some pizza, eaty eaty pizza, did you know that pizza is pizza?”

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time STOP

So when it comes down to it, we’ve named just two times that you can eat pizza when it is on a bagel.

When pizza’s on a bagel STOP

This is more of a pet peeve maybe, but can we please not compare this:

 

To fucking pizza?

Pizza is not on a bagel.  It looks more to me like four to seven tiny cubes of fake pepperoni, 10-20 tiny cubes of fake cheese and maybe a few cubes of fake sauce.  And then I have to ask myself what the hell constitutes something actually qualifying as a bagel.

When pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza any time STOP

Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.

When I was a kid, this made some sense to me.  The size makes it portable, the way it’s kept makes it accesible at any time, as a child I’m saying to myself “Fool proof.”

As an adult, here is how the song should go instead:

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time.  When you’re a fucking adult you can eat pizza any time.  

There is nothing about a bagel bite that actually makes it more okay to eat at any given time, and in fact, there are probably less times to eat pizza on a bagel than just regular pizza.  I’m also just dumbfounded and confused as to why the company is selling the idea to parents that they can now give their kids pizza any time.  When did parents start a national letter writing campaign to congress that there weren’t enough ways to give their kids pizza?

I’m not better than bagel bites.  I’ve had plenty of them in my lifetime.  But I think we’re all better than this completely confusing, terrible, non-sensical, and incredibly catchy jingle.

I’ll give the song that, it’s catchy.  I can listen to it at any time, both in the evening AND at supper time.

 

 

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with comedy at KENNETH AUTHOR.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,824 other followers