Sunday, February 12, 2017

Signed Sealed Delivered in America

Signed, sealed, delivered....and it's yours....
Tom has been my mailman for 5 years. He took over his route from Robert post man before him. I see him every week. And every week he has the same joke....

Signed, sealed, delivered, it's yours...

I sign the form and take possession of my 8X10 box. With a sigh as the door closes Tom goes on his merry way...I put my box down....next to the others...stacked neatly getting higher and higher...

## Years ago I won a lifetime supply of Combo's these hard salty crunchy pretzel niblet thing's with a mystery "cheese" ingredient inside.

Never in my life did I think that something so harmless as church charity raffle would turn my life into a living hell...

The donator was some exec with the company. I get a box of Combo's every week for the rest of my life.

I've never eaten a single one. I didn't eat them before and I don't ever plan to start. I didn't even win the raffle technically because the first two #'s called didn't come forward to claim the prizes. I used to donate the boxes to the food banks, but after a few years they started to refuse them based on "Spacing issues."

 Every week I get more and more combo's, the birds and wildlife won't even eat them. They just stand in a bowl outside untouched. A sad bowl of rejected dog food. I realized something.

These combo's are America.

I'm being force fed a product I don't want, need or even use.

If I die I'm likely to be buried with combos. 
I complained once to the company to PLEASE STOP SENDING THEM.  The only only thing that wound up happening was them sending me more Combos. Now in multiple different flavors!

The GI's were given SPAM as a military ration during WW2. They traded the mystery meat to the Pacific Islanders, unwittingly creating a national dietary staple.

As long as a market exists the product will be foisted on you. Whether you like it, need it, use it, or want it your out of luck. 

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. It's yours.

Sigh another box is coming on tues...

Sure 40 beers no problem

TIFU By believing I could drink 40 beers

The SO (f/25) surprised me (m/25) with a weekend getaway trip to Vegas.

After touring the strip we stopped to grab a bite and got to talking. Out of the blue she wagered that I couldn't drink 40 beers. I insisted that I not only could but I would! She was so confident I couldn't do it she said that if/when I couldn't finish and claim defeat at my beer challenge we'd get married. She was seriously thinking I would back down.

Initially I ordered 40 tall ones from the bar. They basically refused to serve me that many and cut me off at 6. Facists.

We wound up going up the strip going to every bar and there were A LOT on the strip.

By beer 10 loving life.

Beer 13 I started regretting my life choices in High School.

Beer 16 I started confessing to shit I couldn't remember doing sober.

Pee Break because By that point I was about to explode and drunk me learned that McDonald's does not serve beer or Whoppers who knew?! Side note broke the seal... All my beer is rented from now on.

I kept ordering beers and scientifically recording my tally with a sharpie on my shirt.

Beer 19: I am now best friends with a guy dancing on the streets for tips. We even improvised some dance moves to fountain music. My sharpie shirt somehow comes off I get some tips in my waistband my fiancé seems to shy from the spotlight...odd...

Beer 21: my improvised hip hop moves to Kriss Kross's jump around/Celine Dion fountain medley has exacerbated my broken seal problem from McDonald's.

The fountain show may be over but I'm a one man Fountainhead...the seal is still broken.

My girlfriend I should say fiancé at this point is inexplicably fuming and refusing to assist with helping me to find my sharpied shirt.  How am I to  keep track? Luckily my IQ rises at beer 25 and I realize I need no shirt only the sharpie and my bare chest.

Beer 27: I begin suspecting my fiancé is not as excited about this challenge as I am.
Her irritation seems to advance with every beer.

Beer 28: CVS sells beer! And phone chargers and gummi bears and Vegas spoons and furry dice aand t shirts! All these things I need as evidenced by my reciepts... The details of where all these things went aside from a pink womans one size too small t shirt I found myself in remains a mystery....

I got beer #30 at CVS but fingers no longer operate correctly... I solve this by expertly shotgunning it with a poorly aimed stab at the can. My fiancé is wearing my 30th beer...

She seems displeased...



She begins stomping off back to the hotel with me drunkenly protesting that  I am still short 10 beers and that we'd have to get married if I couldn't find more!

She was highly unsympathetic to my plight.

I am no longer capable of walking in forward motions. Caesars palace has a zen garden... Who knew.

I have failed at my 40 beer challenge.

I'm still waiting for the fiancé to get back to me to make the wedding plans. She wasn't in the hotel room when I returned odd... Probably went dress shopping and got lost... Women.

TIFU having a one man matrimonial bachelor party vegas pub crawl, just to be left at the altar....I felt so used!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tips For Surviving Comic-Con

Ever wanted to go to Comic-Con?
One word…
 
DON'T. 

Its an insanely crazy four and half day long event. Did I say event? I meant marathon. You will be shoved, kicked, pushed, yelled at, disappointed, angry, and all together exhausted by the sheer process alone. And that's just to get the ticket. Getting there is a whole other story…

Comic-Con started as a fun little 1 day convention for hardcore comic book collectors way back in 1970. With an attendance just under 150 people at a dilapidated hotel in San Diego. 

Today it's a monstrous 4 1/2 day 100,000+ attendee, brouha of an event that stretched the San Diego Convention center to it's near breaking point. 

Myth: Comic-Con is for only geeks and nerds crazy about comics.
Fact: Comic-Con has slowly been subverted from a sole comic venue to an Entertainment Venue, Comic books comprise less that 1/5th of the actual Events/Panels/Sales involved. In fact the presence of actual comics has diminished and is getting smaller every year. One day Comic-Con will only have Comic in the actual name.

Myth: You have to dress up in a costume.
Fact: You can if you want to, you don't have to. Some of the best costume designers and unique ideas come out to the Con's and it's fun to play around but your not required to by any means.

Myth: Comic-Con is fun.
Fact: Comic-Con is fun if you have patience, if you have self control, if you have time, money, can handle disappointment and you have have a general and complete hatred of humanity. Although I have none of these traits I still have a ball.

Basics; To get a ticket to Comic-Con will run you about 200+ dollars for a four day pass. You can also buy an individual day pass for about $75. First time con goers should really just buy a single day pass, Its an overwhelming experience and its a waste of time and money to buy a four day pass if your not planning to go all four days.
To purchase a ticket you must first register. You go to the Comic-Con site register and they will email you the Time/Date to go online to purchase. You cannot purchase a ticket the day off or on site. These tickets sell extremely fast, last year they went in under 93 minutes. So its intrinsically important that you be ready on hand to buy. Demand for this event is high and your odds of getting a pass every year is low. Buddy up and do your best to get a ticket. 
Once you get a ticket you need to find a place to stay. You can garuntee that every hotel in the area will sell out and you will be paying upwards of on average an extra $200 a night for a room. 
Comic-Con is EXPENSIVE. So if you have a plan on going on a budget you should probably forget it. Food, lodging, parking, will all cost you a pretty penny no matter what you do. 
Provided you've purchased a ticket, provided you've found a place affordable and provided you know how to navigate the actual event to get your ticket. You will be met by throngs and throngs of people. Thousands line up sometimes everyday. Sometimes overnight just to get a chance to see some of the big name panels.
Panels are the major draw to Comic-Con, your typically in attendance in a huge hall with seats where you view special sneak previews see the casts, have Q+A's and receive fresh details and giveaways. A lot of people typically come for this purpose alone. These panels are notoriously hard to get into and you can expect to be waiting in line for hours to see one. You have to document your time and determine just when/where the event starts then typically wait in line for 2+hours on the chance CHANCE that you might get in. 
Its good to have a buddy, a crew of networking like-minded individuals is invaluable and will be a great benefit to you if you know when something cool is going to happen. Comic-Con is all about spontaneity you never know when you might run into something or someone that you weren't expecting. Be ready with your camera.
Your cellphone is vital. Don't waste your energy trying to play with your phone while you wait in line. You never know when the perfect photo opportunity arrises or you need to make that phone call to meet with your ride. Your phone dies faster and more frequently on Comic-Con time.
You cannot see everything. You just can't. The schedule overlaps, the lines are too long, the rooms are required to meet a fire code standard so your not allowed to just stand in the aisle. There are multiple rooms with multiple venues happening simultaneously. Chances are if you see something that looks more interesting than the other, everyone else will be going for it also. Be ready to wait in line for a very very long time. 90% of Comic-Con is waiting in line. 
The sales floor is the staple of the Con a giant monster of a sales floor packed to the ceiling and covering every square inch with Toys, Games, Movie props, Exhibits, Cars, Interview stages, Celebrity signings, Comics, Posters, Trinkets, Artists, Writers, You name it. Your money will disappear fast here. This is where you could stay for a majority of the 4 days and you still wouldn't see everything. 
Comic-Con is fun but it is exhausting, Food inside the venue is expensive and terrible but you need to keep your energy up. People fall out all the time from exhaustion, heat stroke, blisters, its an overwhelming experience and you will be very exhausted just from a single day. Hydration is key. 
Its not for everyone, its getting bigger and bigger every year, and the simple fact is that the mainstream has supplanted the original audience of hardcore comic geeks. The Con is an even that you have to see to believe but if you think you have the patience the endurance and most importantly the $. You should try to go at least once.

The ten commandments of Comic-Con

1.       I don’t care how blatantly right you are, you are completely wrong to question me during Comic-Con

2.       You will hate me. Humanity. Lines. Pompous security guards. Crowds. Street Preachers. Stuck-Up celebrities. Vendors charging  $5 for a soda and pretty much anyone who wants to see the same things you do.

3.       You will spend more money than you thought was possible.

4.       You will not understand where your money was spent and on what exactly. You were not robbed (DO NOT PANIC)

5.       Explaining to the security guards you were robbed, groped, beaten, or harassed in any way shape or form will be met with a silent blank stare. It’s not they're fault apparently the only English they know is in barring you from walking through a completely open door and yelling at you to stay inside a line. 

6.       You will spend hours on your feet and hours standing in line and hours sitting down. Best not to complain. (See 1)

7.       You will probably not have time to eat, you will probably not get enough sleep, you will probably not be able to sit or walk or feel anything but pain from the waist down for the majority of the con.

8.       You will be in direct competition with everyone and there mother for something that you want. You must not show any weakness for they will crush you and take it.

9. Using your friend as a human battering ram to plow through a crowd of slow moving people so you can get to a panel/event/sales item or/Celebrity signing is a sign of affection be appreciative that your being taken along and utilized in a productive manner and not left lost in a corner somewhere with no way to get home.

10. If you are not useful in any way and your complaining that your feet hurt that your hungry, sore or sick expect to be left in a corner somewhere with no way to get home. The weak and the feeble are the first to go.

Last note…remember HAVE FUN!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Men are From Mars Women are from....Somewhere I stopped paying attention when it stopped being about me...

I love relationships. No really I do. I completely suck at them and I'm pretty sure I will be 90 before I ever get married and have kids but that's primarily because I'm stuck in a state of delayed adolescence while my hair slowly falls out.

The whole reason I ever even really get into relationships is because I instantly want to get out of them as soon as possible. Preferably by causing a ton of damage (emotional not physical) leaving a scorched and angry wake of destruction in my path as I go. I think that's why in retrospect my worst relationships are the ones I was in the longest. While my best were the ones that flamed out spectacularly in a blinding flash of a comet fueled by scorn disdain infidelity and a destructive force powerful enough to make one girl swear off men entirely and rent office space above her therapist so she wouldn't have to deal with the traffic and parking from her now daily visits.

I'm sure my therapist would have a field day trying to understand the inner workings of a textbook narccist with an inner core of self loathing, self destructive tendencies and an inability to let someone in that might actually be good for me. I'd care but...things like self-realization, self-actualization, and preventable bad life choices get in the way of all that.

Some people are just not meant for healthy stable relationships. Its sad but true. It's like I told Grandma "not everyone should wear a thong"...True Story.

Being a self-involved smart ass is not only a huge detriment to any relationship in some ways it's a huge hindrence in just waking up in the morning. But the world is what it is regardless.

Why do I keep trying and bombing all my relationships? It's one of life's little mysteries. Like how pimentos get into olives and why we have a steady market of people still purchasing Spam mystery meat products in mass quantities...real mystery.

I have that really rare really bad combination of being a smart-ass and with a high level of sarcasm. While it makes for really good exchanges it also results in many a slap to the face as well.

As my last date helpfully pointed out: "There's a difference between being sarcastic/smart ass vs rude ass and that I should learn the difference." Ohhh sweetie you just walked into a mindfield you didn't even think possible before you stepped. She wanted me to buy her a drink, and oh you best believe I was going to make her pay for it in my own special way.

After explaining to my 10 minute companion that knowing the difference of the above mentioned qualities is nice it would require a few things. Such as: care....tact...common sense....empathy...attentiveness...positivity...social skills...optimism...and really who has time for all that?

Why cloud a perfect moment of cheap watered down vodka in a gray goose bottle with an emotionally self-immolating personality cloud the moment with warmth and civility?

When questioned about "why can't I be nice?" I'm quick to reply if I wanted to be nice I wouldn't even want to sleep with you!

She then helpfully responds with "If you wanna talk to me, being nice and respectful is a must! I won't get my feelings hurt if you wanna stop talking to me!"

Can't argue with her logic there!

And finally... we end in one true and universal truth when it comes to me. If your panties are going to be permanently wedged up your butt, the likelihood of you getting stuck with a surprisingly large bar bill while I make a "quick trip to the bathroom" is remarkably high!

Not everyone is made for thongs...sad reality.







Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Rose On Her Shoulder

A pretty girl sits across from me at the coffee bar,

 I love her. 

Sitting on the stool perched with utter elegance, a macbook in front of her. Well manicured fingers are delicately typing out deliberate keystrokes as her eyes stare pensively at the screen she subconsciously bites her lip. Hair in a perfectly suited elegant style that compliments her features perfectly, this is a face that would set sail a thousand ships. A raven haired beauty with classical good looks. a tattoo of a sparrow on her thumb and a prominent rose on her shoulder. She switches her legs as she sits at the stool still staring down at her computer. For a moment she looks up noticing my gaze for an uncomfortable moment our eyes meet. Both pretending we didn't notice I bring my gaze back down to my computer. This is the moment when I wish that I was more charismatic, more handsome, more interesting, braver….

Sighing at the realization I am none of these things I slowly grip my coffee and close my own laptop…heading towards the door. The image of the rose on her well tanned arm still beckons to me.
In a universe of infinite possibilities, I walked up to her, In another universe I spoke with her, shook her hand, felt her smile on my face, her hand in mine as I walked out the door. But these are mere possibilities, not reality. The reality is that fortune favors the bold. Sometimes this is as good as it gets. Swigging from my cold cup of coffee I grimace before tossing it.
I don't even like coffee.

I stare at the window of my endless possibilities one last time, her eyes look up she sees mine. Almost casually she waves before returning to her computer. She misses my hurried yet delayed return wave. I turn back to the streets of Los Angeles, to the urban decay the blight with its smoggy air and distant sirens. Almost as if its welcoming to join in its destruction seeking to take me with it. The destruction embraces me as I begin my walk down a cracked sidewalk. There is a light shining from above, closing my eyes for a moment I embrace it letting the waves and the aromatic stink and decay that permeates this city sink in. Suddenly it disappears and then... just for a moment, in this state of silence and almost from behind... I detect the smell…of roses.

When Humanity Became Entertainment

I was in Akron last weekend, went to a rather dinky convention with some big names. Normally that type of venue I wouldn't hit with a 10 foot pole but this time I was in town to meet some big names in my book. I'll get to that event another time. Something happened while I was there that really made me sick.

A guy selling his normal run of the mill booth had a huge stack of B/W photos of the old serialized Batman investigating crime scenes. If you've never seen it don't bother it's a huge bore of a serial it doesn't even have the camp value of Adam West's series. This batman doesn't drive a batmobile and his pointy ears don't even stand up. It's all rather forgettable but again I digress. As I was rummaging through the stacks of photos I was struck with the strangest sense of deja vu, thinking I'd seen these pictures before.
Typical Comic Book guy seeing my interest saunters over and helpfully explains that these images weren't from the Serial but actual super-imposed pictures of the Serial Batman in crime scenes from Chicago in the 1940's.
Looking at them more closely I saw that all of the images were from the crime scene of the Lipstick Murders. I found this to be in incredibly poor taste and I told the seller as much. He was mostly taken aback mostly because he obviously had no clue what he was selling. He was just proud of his cheap photoshop hack job and selling his "stack" for $20 bucks a pop.
Lipstick Murders 1945 Frances Brown a single woman was found murdered and stylistically butchered in a bathtub in her Chicago apartment. Above her body crudely written in lipstick were the words: "For Heavens sake catch me before I kill again I cannot control myself." This was the supposed killers second victim the first being Josephine Ross also killed and left in a bathtub with no message. The third and final victim a six year old girl strangled and dismembered with her body disposed of in the sewers.
Setting aside the absolutely repugnant act of selling real crime scene photos with photoshopped Batman in them and seemingly proud of the "accomplishment." You have to ask just where did humanity go? These women had names, they were people and this man made a crass attempt to capitalize off of something he knew next to nothing about.
Going back to the nature of the crime a man was eventually found and convicted of the Murders under duress. A petty thief by the name of William Heiren's who recently died. Was he the killer? Most likely not. He was interrogated and tortured into confessing and recanted his involvement for the remainder of his life to no avail. Few things to consider in short detail in regards to the Lipstick Murder case. 1. The MO's for all of the murders are so radically different it's hard to believe that they were all committed by the same person. The first victim was shot then stabbed afterwards and left in a bathtub, no message was left behind at the scene. The second victim was stabbed with no other weapon involved, and the cryptically sensationalistic message scrawled in lipstick on the wall. Lipstick? Not Blood? Odd considering how much there was at the scene. Third victim a pre-pubescent child strangled and dismembered and disposed of in the sewers. Again no message and no matching MO. The victims didn't match the crime scene's didn't match and the kills and bodies bore very little similarities that makes it highly unlikely that this was the work of one man. Let alone a petty thief who could barely do that right. The message was likely written by a newspaper photographer eager to make a headline. Lipstick Killer sounded good and they needed to sell papers. Heinlen looked good for a patsy and they set him up for it. Clear 3 unrelated murders off the books with one fell swoop.
(Sigh)
Comic Book Guy selling crime scene photos with Batman pasted on the front knew nothing about this. Woefully in his ignorance he continued hawking his wares completely unaware that these things even though they were old mattered to someone. Everything mattered at one point or another otherwise it wouldn't have existed in the first place. When we blur the lines between entertainment and reality we lose a bit of what makes us human. I wish comic book guy understood that. I wish I'd bought his whole "stack" and chucked them in the nearest garbage bin.

In the end he's out there blissfully making his buck and I'm left shaking my head...


Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Time For Firsts...

My first beer…

Every man has a rite of passage. First girl he ever kisses, first beer, first cigarette, first time he got a bra off successfully without the girl helping...

I still remember my first beer. Fittingly it was during my “exile” period when my family sent me back to Canada. Out in the boonies with my Uncles and cousin, knocking back my first beer and working on a shelled out corvette I still remember it to this day. Labatt’s Blue Label beer. Still cold in my shaky 16 year old hands…Saluting my good cousin Travis James with his worldly 14 year old cocksure attitude as he knocked back 2 to my 1. The kid could and still can drink with the best of them.

My virgin mouth slowly savoring the amber liquor of the Gods, as they say in some cultures. The immediate rush of aroma and faint watered down flavor. The cold beer hit my virgin tongue and virgin stomach like a freight train through an avalanche. It’s always amazing when that first drink is sufficient enough to not only put you on your ass but to put you on your back as well. (I’ve gotten better at it since then) I still recall the rest of that day as a blur. My head spinning, my body turning and my young-self doing his best to remember to stand up straight. To call myself a lightweight would be an insult to lightweights. I still remember my attempt at downing a second laughably ending up down the front of my shirt…I’m sure no one noticed…

Looking back at that particular rite of passage I remember the feeling of floating, of the dizzying heights the forbidden fruit could provide in a single bottle. Understanding that these feelings can cause problems if we allow them to overtake us. That self imposed realization that limits still need to be set.

I think that’s the way most habits (good and bad start) I still drink because none of my beers since then has ever had that same effect. I want to recreate and remember that first time. Like that girl smiling forever young and vibrant innocent of life’s unkind virtue. Or that first smoke curling in those pink unpolluted lungs, or that look of complete horror when you “accidentally” ripped a $200 bra in your young innocent haste…I mean honestly who spends $200 on underwear!? No second date…shame.


No second beer ever tasted quite the same, no kiss every quite as innocent, no guilty pleasure ever quite matched up to the first…
we chase those first experiences for the remainder of our lives.
Hoping that just one time we will find ourselves magically transported back to that one day, one moment, one time…

when we had that first cold beer in our hands.