Mean People Suck

We meet and see mean people all the time. Or are they just temporarily mean? I myself get temporarily mean when I lose patience. I lose patience with those who lack simple manners. I don’t expect others to have impeccable politeness and social grace, but I think there is a basic code that needs to be followed. ‘Treat others the way you would like to be treated.’ Having contempt and to constantly complain about others actions will lead you down a hole of misery. Don’t be known as Mr. Crankypants or Ms. Bitchwitch.  If you call these people out on their sourpuss ways, they tend to tell you to go screw yourself. That strategy of telling the meanies about their behavior never works because they are overly defensive. The best strategy that always works, well at least 90% of the time is the love bomb. Laugh at their meanness and watch their head explode. Blow them a kiss. Imitate their behavior. Console their whimpers by asking them, “I heard about your problems, are you okay?” Flip it on them. Whatever you do don’t give them the reaction they want. This might make them meaner, but you can laugh harder. You can ask them if they need something, offer them a hug.  After they tell you to go F yourself, tell that maybe that is their problem. Maybe they need a little sex and you can suggest some support or direct them to go 1-800 phone sex number. 

Old Rock Singers Voices

A lot of our beloved classic rock singers are approaching seventy years old and some have even surpassed it.  The years of traveling and partying takes its toll. A lot of these performers check out before they even reach sixty.  This is the price they pay to the devil for living the rock n roll life.  The ones that make it into their sixties lose their singing voice to something that sounds like a cross between a cartoon character and a bag full of marbles.  Bob Dylan is uncipherable. There should be subtitles shown when he sings.  Van Morrison mostly talk sings and Mick Jagger is basically shouting into the mic.  Now that more recordings of our favorite bands are available on music streaming services you get to hear the evolution of our favorite singers.  You hear their youthful voices progress over years into deeper versions.  The cigarette smoke and fast living adds a little sandpaper to the vocal chords. I am not a doctor, but I think the amplified music petrifies their eardrums and this doesn’t allow the singers to hear what they are singing about.  For those who choose the rock n roll path, we love you for it and the sacrifice.  Next time you hear Neil Young singing on stage don’t cringe, just be thankful he’s standing there carrying on. Long Live Rock and Roll!



Conversation 101 Needs Updating

I was at a party recently and the majority of the group were people I have known for years. It has become quite apparent to me that over the past decades most of these same folks never ask me anything about myself. I might get a “how ya doin?”

I try to ask questions when I meet people (particularly new people) ... just general stuff about their career, life whatever, nothing too prying - I'd hope not to come across as being nosey. Just making general conversation.
You would expect people to reciprocate, when they don't ask questions back are, they being polite (trying not to snoop) or is it more likely they are self-obsessed? Or just not interested in me (I'm not boring!)
I just think a conversation should go like this...
General chat – “Hey great party, have you tried the artichoke dip?, It has a little spice”
Question from person 1 - “You still working at the factory?”
answer from person 2 -  “No , I quit that gig, now I’m a driver for Uber.”
general chat – “You’re right that dip is awesome but have you tasted the meatballs?”
question from person 2 – “You still selling those kitchen gadgets?”
answer from person 1 – “Yes, I am…I’m really trying to push these new Swiss Army Kitchen utensils
general chat – You like this IPA? It tastes like a bar rag
I know that sounds a bit prescriptive, I don't mean it to, but just think on the whole you should ask someone you are chatting to questions especially if they ask you some.

With all of this said, enough of this politeness. My next approach will be different but might yield the same results. From now on, I’m not going to inquire or ask anything from these afflicted people but I’m going to ramrod their brains with nothing but me.  When they try to interject and hijack the conversation back to themselves, I will steer it back to me. More me less you. When they are done yacking with me, they will mostly likely think, what a self-obsessed S-O-B I am. They will certainly have to tell somebody else about my behavior. But the reaction I hope they get is, “I don’t think he is like that, he is always listening to me.”  Maybe this will start some self-introspection for one of these conversation flunkies, but most likely it won’t. Lastly, this strategy could backfire and you might like talking about yourself more than listening and have now been indoctrinated into this group of self-awareness lackeys.

 

 

 

6

Fundraising and Charity Madness

Because of our current tax code, giving to charitable organizations is a write off that lowers your overall tax bill. That’s why rich people get their names on buildings and institutes. I try to give away some of my loot to worthwhile causes. The problem nowadays is that after you give to a lot of charities you open the door for continuing badgering for more. First, it’s the simple letters, then emails and phone calls, then comes the real pleading when you get a big envelope with a coin embedded in the package. They say that coin represents some one’s wages in another country. These charities will give you beautiful calendars and envelope stamps. Please stop with this nonsense, you just chopped down a forest of trees for these calendars. Everybody with half a brain knows what day it is. Trying to play the guilt card is not a good enough reason to be charitable. It’s kind of like politicians selling fear as their only message.  Being charitable comes from the heart first then all of the other emotions can come pouring out. Keep it simple charitable people, just ask once or twice a year and give me the lowdown on your work. 

Can You Fix My Face, Doc?

I was coaxed into watching the Golden Globe Awards the other night. I gave it a quick gander before I lost interest and dozed off. I couldn’t take any more of this spectacle of famous folk thanking everybody liked they just found the cure for an infectious disease. My takeaway from this show; Hollywood sells many dreams. One of these dreams is eternal beauty. Actors and actresses try to hang onto their looks as long as human nature allows them. Their face is their resume and if the resume is outdated, producers look elsewhere. Such is the reality, so either you have to deal with it or make some changes. The facelift has been around for decades and many of actors have gone this route. They don’t call them facelifts any more, its call cosmetic surgery. The trend is to get the cheekbones and wrinkles pumped with Botox or collagen. Then consider getting some work on the old schnozzolla (nose). Next have your lips pumped with goo as well and then have your face stretched like silly putty. Then you have the look, a cross between a Keebler elf and a troll. Sadly, you can spot the work and everybody knows it was done. It seems that those who choose to go forward with the procedures can’t stop with one. Once they remove the bags under your eyes then you must certainly have to have your skin lasered to remove all imperfections and don’t forget the extra chin. The doctors won’t stop until they perfect the ultimate facelift of putting a new face over your old face. It may be made of pigskin, but it will be smooth as a baby’s bottom. To eliminate waste, the pig snouts will get sold to Dim Sum restaurants. It’s a win win.

 

 

The Age of Humiliation

Since the old days of privacy and confidentiality are now officially gone with the invention of camera phones, doing stupid acts in public are best kept to a minimum.  The stupid things I am talking about are not the perverted or hideous but are more innocent like singing dreadful karaoke or dancing with your shirt off at a Journey concert. Shaming is right around the corner when you are exposed on social media.  We as people better grow some thick skin and learn to except a new level of humiliation in our lives. You either get immune to seeing your public embarrassment or don’t indulge in anything that resembles too much fun. My wife still likes to show our family and friends the time we were on vacation in Puerto Vallarta while I performed a tequila enhanced cha cha on stage at a resort. I have to sit there and laugh at my lack of rhythm while others chuckle at my expense. If that is all I have to worry about in my closet of secrets being exposed, then I feel fortunate. The problem is that this won’t be the last time I drop my guard and let loose with a series of off-beat dance moves. We as people of the modern world have to carry on like no one is watching or we will be doomed to act like controllable little robots. Don’t lose your sense of humor just because somebody wants to document your behavior. I say give them something to really look at. This doesn’t mean that you should go Sean Penn on them and break their camera then push them to the ground. We are now in the age of overt exhibitionism and endless selfies so no need to ever worry that you have something so shocking that it shouldn’t be seen. If you have skeletons in your closet just hope they were done before 1998, just to be safe. 

 

Dog Walking

There are a few types of dog walkers.  First is the dogwalker who has firm control of the dog leash and walks with a consistent pace. This pace is to keep the dog in exercise mode and less distracted from the usual hazards of cats and other dogs. I give these dogwalkers credit for getting their dog exercised and some exposure to the outside world.  I have an office window which allows me to look out at the sidewalk in front of our home. I see those walkers who are moving at a fast pace and will even drag their dog to keep them moving forwards. Dog walking is more about themselves and their own personal exercise and not the dogs. They just want the task to be over as fast as possible and no pooping or peeing is permitted. Sniffing is not allowed and absolutely no marking of bushes. Then you have those who let their dog mosey down the street and pee, poop and sniff to their hearts content. My front yard is lined with fresh pee everyday by these walkers. When my dogs get outside, they head for the fresh pee like they have new email. This is called socializing your dog and I think it has its limits. Now I have to stock poop bags in my yard for those who consider pooping part of this routine. There is nothing I can do about it unless I want to stand outside like a security guard watching for bad behavior. The trend is leaning more to this type of dog walking. I am sure in the near future there will be dog lounges set up along the routes for dog walkers.

Drinking No No’s

Everybody who likes to indulge with an alcoholic beverage now and then can name a type of booze or concoction they stay away from.  This drink, at one time or maybe more has sent them to the porcelain temple to make a deposit. I tend to shy away from drinks that come in tall glasses and look like a Slurpee. That’s a for sure headache along with being a lethal combination of sugar and alcohol which can make you do stupid things like sing Karaoke on a cruise ship.  You may think you sound good, but you really tortured everybody with your rendition of “Another One Bites the Dust.”  People will see you around the boat and make it a point to avoid interaction with you.  Stick to what you know unless you want to take a chance and have a Fuzzy Navel and see what happens to you.  You might start talking some gibberish about how you want to do more for mankind. Start by not having a second one. 

Old Man Strength

I heard about the phenomenon of “old man strength.” I tend to believe in it. As I get older, I know I am not as strong as my younger days. Old man strength is the wisdom that we obtain through the years. Old men can kick a younger man’s butt by throwing the right punch at the right time, like when the other guy isn’t looking. See… that is wisdom.  Old men can kick you in the balls when you aren’t expecting it. Old man can pretend they are enraged which can be scary for a younger person.  Old man strength is how “Jedi Mind Tricks” was thought up. Old man strength means you don’t have to fight fair.  It something that happens naturally to old men like getting up to pee in the middle of the night.  As you get older your reserves of patience begin to dwindle with the same old bullshit of bad behavior by the human race. When we lose our patience, it can spill over into a psychotic shit show and we our possible of anything.  We can throw our dinner plates across the room or slam the door off its hinges when we lose it. Don’t mess with an old man when he reaches this state of rage. God forbid if the guy is liquored up or didn’t take his meds. Old man strength is real.

 

Mailperson, We Like You

Is being a mail deliverer a good job? I want to think it is acceptable employment. Think about it, you’re outside, walking, you have thundersticks for legs and no bosses are around to hound you. Sure, it’s a far cry from the pay of an investment banker but who really inspires to be one when they are a kid. Yah you make some good dough, but it looks like a lot of the same crap every day. “Let’s make ten million dollars and call it a day.”  You do that all day long and it gets boring just like setting widgets on an assembly line. Just another mode for making money then you go home and talk to your loved ones about the exciting numbers you saw on the computer screen. Now, when you are a mail delivery person, you can see all kinds of new things all day long. You can fight off vicious dogs one day and next day sexy women want to invite you inside to discuss the Publishing Clearing House sweepstakes. People generally like you when you are the mailperson except when you keep bringing them bills and a boatload of catalogues.

 

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Black Stretchy Pants

Black stretchy pants have clearly overtaken jeans as the pant of choice for women. You won’t hear men complaining because of the obvious focus on the posterior. You won’t hear women complain because it seems like a quick and easy thing to throw on. Do you even have to iron those things? These pants could be laying on a bedroom floor for days and a female can put these on without anybody knowing the neglect they have been given. Of course, there are many colors to choose but black is the most popular. I even saw a flesh colored pair adorned by a tall blond woman which caused my neck to become wrenched for hours. Those should be outlawed because the havoc they can create. I just hope these pants never become men’s fashion go to. They cannot ever replace my scrubby cargo pants no matter how much my wife pleads to get rid of them.  Us men have always gotten away with quick and easy clothing, it’s called the “Tee Shirt.”  We can wear them everywhere; to work, for play and to dinner and we won’t be judged as much as a woman would if they started wearing them like us. They have their t shirts, but they always seemed to be much more fashionable and ironed. I guess the black stretchy pant thing is here to stay, unless loose and baggy makes some kind of comeback. Let’s hope not.

Bullshitting

On occasion, I do some construction work on the side with another fellow. We spend all day talking about subjects that women just wouldn’t understand. Some guys like to talk sports, some about women, some about politics and others just want to bitch about everything in between. Women gab with each other about family, parents, kids, food recipes, men and fashion. The bullshit is different, but the result is the same, knowledge and opinions are shared.  I like my bullshit delivered in story form and make it funny while you are at it. Don’t bore me. If it’s a bunch of halve truths at least you can do is entertain me. I will determine how much I want to believe of the heaping pile of dung you just told. I call it creative lying. When the person doing the fabricating thinks you believe the platter of poop you delivered is just what politicians have mastered. I have over the years have developed a good bull shit detector because I have also done my share spreading the bull. And …if you are reading this don’t be so high and mighty to think you haven’t embellished your stories over the years. Hey…. it’s okay, it goes on every day, every minute, every second and started when the caveman started writing on the walls. He always overexaggerated the boobs on the cavewomen and the animals he killed.

The Age of Humilation

Since the old days of privacy and confidentiality are now officially gone with the invention of camera phones, doing stupid acts in public are best kept to a minimum.  The stupid things I am talking about are not the perverted or hideous but are more innocent like singing dreadful karaoke or dancing with your shirt off at a Journey concert. Shaming is right around the corner when you are exposed on social media.  We as people better grow some thick skin and learn to except a new level of humiliation in our lives. You either get immune to seeing your public embarrassment or don’t indulge in anything that resembles too much fun.  My wife still likes to show our family and friends the time we were on vacation in Puerto Vallarta while I performed a tequila enhanced cha cha on stage at a resort. I have to sit there and laugh at my lack of rhythm while others chuckle at my expense. If that is all I have to worry about in my closet of secrets being exposed, then I feel fortunate. The problem is that this won’t be the last time I drop my guard and let loose with a series of off-beat dance moves. We as people of the modern world have to carry on like no one is watching or we will be doomed to act like controllable little robots. Don’t lose your sense of humor just because somebody wants to document your behavior. I say give them something to really look at. This doesn’t mean that you should go Sean Penn on them and break their camera then push them to the ground.  We are now in the edge of overt exhibitionism and endless selfies so no need to ever worry that you have something so shocking that it shouldn’t be see and if you have skeletons in your closet just hope they were done before 1998, just to be safe. 

 

Appetizers

They were once called appetizers and now called starters. I am not sure how other countries serve starters, but I see the trend of the starter selections growing larger and larger on restaurant menus.  It’s all based on math and profit making. If you order two or three appetizers or starters, that adds up to more than an entrée meal. A lot of diners will feel cheated that they didn’t’ order an entrée so they order one and bring it home. Americans like to eat until they explode and this trend fills the coffers of the restaurant owners. There will be a time when the starters outnumber the entrées. The minority will be the majority. The majority will have no more power hold on the menu and the likes of stuffed mushrooms will rule the day. The days of cocktail wieners is long gone and now you find things like burnt ends and roasted brussel sprouts. This sounds ingenious because the items that were once left in the garbage or dog food bowl have been dressed up as a starter.  I went out dining the other night and saw mac n cheese on the starter menu. Mac n cheese has grown up…no longer is it cheesy goo in a cardboard box. The starters are the entrees in some restaurants… so where do we go from here? Will the new starters be cocktail olives and celery sticks with pimento cheese?  The future is wide open.

Alternative Facts

These two words were never put together until a political pundit and government crony, Kellyanne Conway used them to describe the turnout for President Trumps inauguration. The press was certain the crowd was quite underwhelming compared to previous ceremonies and that is when the two words made their first appearance.  We can now thank the mass media for allowing this new term to survive catchy phrase extinction. The term has certainly been copyrighted and you need to pay someone to use it. I even found myself using the term when my wife had me cornered in a quarrel that was going nowhere. I threw out, “You just have alternative facts.”  She threw it back in my face, “It’s you with alternative facts.” She now uses “Alternative facts” against me by replacing it with “You have A-D-D.” as a last resort go-to in an argument.  I don’t really like either but until she finds a better one, I’m stuck with “alternative facts.” That is where we are at as a society. A couple of words can dismiss an argument by declaring, “alternative facts”, “altered reality” or “I don’t recall.”  I’m just waiting for the next set of words to come around that politicians, criminals and lawyers say that really mean a lie was just told. 

 

Body Hair, To Be or Not to Be

Sometimes I envy those fellows who have decided that body hair will never be an issue to worry about. They will let all of their hair that grows on the body go unattended until further notice. This includes all ear, nose, back, neck, face, pubic and chest hair. And how can I forget, eye brows. Most men don’t have to worry about eye brow hair, but I have seen plenty that could sure use a little manscaping.

I think if you let it all go unattended for a great length of time you will begin to look repulsive to most of the opposite sex. Unless of course you can find a partner who either has a fetish for this or is a natural person.

 I wonder about the men who grow their sideburns so long that they can comb it into their regular scalp hair. Don’t they know this look went out in the 1890’s. When I see nose hair that grows into a mustache I wonder if the guy owns scissors or a mirror. I myself have to fight ear hairs that can go undetected for weeks until they sprout out to a length that look like antennas.  Chest hair is usually the last thing that gets trimmed. Most guys don’t have enough to worry about.  But when it starts growing above your shirt collar it is time to put to rest the werewolf look.  Unless you like to undo the top buttons and wear gold chains then what is the point?  Back hair has its own classification. When a guy with a hairy back whips off his shirt at the pool…just wait a few seconds until the eyes of judgement reign upon him. Poor bastard must be given credit for the bold move. 

Lastly, we have the pubic area which is not as critical because it comes down to one thing.  Does the hair cover up your manhood so much it is missing in action?  If so, be careful not to rush too quickly into battle.  There are choices to be made, such as scissors, electric trimmers, wax, Nair and matches.  I don’t recommend matches because the smell of burning hair is horrendous.  I go with the electric trimmer until I feel safe enough that skin is nowhere near cutting blades. Like I said before, you can bypass all of the body hair correctness by going full manly manliness, but I warn of the consequences. 

 

Fast Food Menus

Fast food establishments are trying so hard to be all things to all people. When you walk into one of these chains the first thing you notice is the wall to wall menu. For Chrissakes, there are four hundred choices. Don’t they know the reason why we are here? It’s to get a damn meal and get the heck out of there and hopefully nobody sees us. When you tell somebody you ate there look how they judge you. So what, I like Big Macs… shoot me.

      Why do they serve all the different kinds of salads? This is just a waste of time and money.  Give the people what they want, a dollop of grease and fat with a healthy dose of salt. I don’t go to Jack in the Box for a limp looking salad containing a mealy orange tomato served in a plastic container. If I do order a salad at a burger joint, then I must be trying to ward off a guilt complex about my decision to order an extra-large offering of French fries. The secret phrase at McDonalds is, “Go Big.” This command allows you to get a bucket of soda and large shipment of fries for a fraction of the cost.

      Please, fast food management people, condense the menu. I don’t know why there needs to be fifteen different versions of an egg sandwich and twenty different hamburgers. Decide on the weight; a quarter pound, a third pound or two ounces. Make fast food easy, no math. And lastly, the menu at the drive-through is also too long. You don’t want to be sitting in your car waiting behind the mini-van with screaming kids who just want the toy. Then you see the parent trying to reason with them about their choices. “But honey, you should have a juice box instead of a chocolate shake.”  Hey, van mom! they get a darn chicken nugget meal and let’s get movin’.  I’m done with your exhaust fumes.” Let’s make fast food fast again. 

Coffee Madness

I was at Starbucks the other day, standing in line ready to order my usual, Vente (which means large in Starbuck code) and room for Half n Half. I noticed they raised the price to two dollars and seventy-five cents. As a society we have excepted that a simple cup of java has reached extortion level pricing. What should only cost twenty-five cents is now jacked up in cost by adding presentation and performance which increases our beverage price ten-fold. The proof of this presents itself when you buy their coffee at the grocery store and brew it at home. It turns out that the cost of two large cups of coffee bought at a Starbucks shop is equal to about fifty cups brewed at home. My point here is that, when you go into a Starbucks or some other chain, it’s not about coffee. You are paying for the surroundings, the sights, the smells and the sounds of patrons reeling off silly concoctions to a Barista.  Barista is a term that never existed before all of this nonsense began with chain coffee shops. You have to watch the all-mighty barista conjure up everybody’s beverage while you stand there asking yourself, “why do I always end up here?” I’d rather have a lady named Betsy wearing her waitress uniform pour me unlimited dollar coffee. Call me cheap or old fashioned but deep down you agree with me, but a mass of the population can’t help ordering a “Grande soy latte with a pump of caramel. That will be five fifty please!” 

Yes, a latte or a cappuccino cost you more than a gallon of gas and won’t get you as far. You see folks fueling up with enormous amounts of caffeine before they can get into traffic.  This mix of frustration and a stimulating liquid results in bad decisions made behind the wheel. Have you looked at the drivers in the diamond lane during commute time?  There are a lot of drivers giving the big middle finger to the requirements of the commuter lane.  There is the usual offering of electric and hybrid cars but when you see a truck with a camper shell come barreling down the road with one lone driver you figure either that guy is late for work or he really has to pee.

We love our coffee and along with all our prescription drugs, diet aids, sleeping tablets, boner pills and a vast array of mind-altering substances. Where is all this leading us?  Starbucks figured it out a long time ago. Give the public a place to meet with soft lighting, swanky music and have youngsters with nose rings serve you. It all seems so harmless while you get hooked on the whole show. That will be two bucks for your tall coffee which is really their smallest coffee. See how it works? Reality is distorted but you except it.