Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Things I've learned from Being Married

If there's one thing I constantly get questions about from people who read this site, it's about my marriage. YOU'RE married? What are you married to? Who in the hell would marry someone like you? These are all questions that I have received. I can assure you that I am married to a real human woman, without valves to inflate her. She's intelligent and incredibly attractive. And I have no idea how I ended up being lucky enough to be married to her.

If you read this website, you know what my personality is like. Physically, it's much worse in person than it seems over the internet. And yet somehow, I have been married for almost two whole years. And she does at least a semi-decent job of pretending to be happy, although this may be related to our dogs. I can't be 100% sure on that.

Because so many people are in awe that someone would marry me, I thought I would share some of the important things I have learned about marriage:

Communication is the DEVIL - Marriage counselors and therapists will cringe about this fact, but if there's one thing I've learned about being married, it's that communication can completely ruin your day and any chances you might have of having sex with your spouse. I have found the best strategy is to ignore most of what your spouse says, with the exception of issues which are absolutely essential for survival, such as food, water, shelter, sex and beer.

Find someone smarter, better looking, and more motivated than your are - In my case, the candidate pool of ladies that met this criterion was quite large. Despite that fact, marrying up, as some have described it, is the only way to go. You need someone with the intellectual capacity to solve the jigsaw puzzle with lots of missing and warped pieces that is you.

Wives hate video games - When my wife and I were dating many years ago, she actually purchased a PS2 for me. Nowadays, she gets annoyed that I am trying to take Indiana State to the Rose Bowl for an entire weekend on NCAA Football 06 or try to beat Halo 2 on Deity. Maybe he distaste for video games because I suggested that we use Fight Night 2 Boxing as a medium to settle our most difficult arguments? Who knows.

No amount of housework will satisfy the beast...I mean wife - When I lived alone, I did only enough housekeeping to ensure that the Health Department or Housing Authority wouldn't show up to condemn my apartment. I do slightly more than that now, but I think all married men will agree that no matter how much work you do around the house, that amount will not be sufficient to save you from your wife's scorn and dismay. As a result, make a list of everything that you do, and when she starts in on how lazy you are, start reading it at the top.

Find your wife a hobby - Most of my male friends have no shortage of hobbies. Video games, golf, drinking beer, watching sports, working on cars, and the list could go on for years. For whatever reason, women have a hell of a time finding ways to waste time. I like the idea of Roller Derby or brewing beer as two possible hobbies for my wife. Consider ideas like these that will merge your interests together (watching sports and drinking beer, in this case).

I am sure those of you who are married or similarly committed can add to the list as well.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Addiction, thy name is 'Guitar Hero.'

If you own a Playstation 2, do yourself a favor. Do NOT buy 'Guitar Hero.' Do not PLAY 'Guitar Hero.' If a co-worker starts talking about it, leave the room immediately. Trust me, you do NOT want what I have. And for once, that sentence doesn't deal with my sexual history.

I can't stop thinking about this game. Neither can a lot of people who play it. One try, and you're hooked. All you have to do is put on this controller (that comes with the game):

Looks like a Fisher Price reject, doesn't it? That's what I thought when I first saw it. I made fun of my friends who played it. Then, when no one was around, I tried it. Played 'Thunderkiss '65' on Easy. And that was all it took. If they ever do a redesign on the controller, they should just make it look like this:

Now I wake up every morning, and whatever song I'm currently stuck on is in my head, tormenting me, until I beat it, and then it's the next one. This is a vicious, never-ending cycle. For almost a week straight, it was Queen's 'Killer Queen.' I already hated the song to begin with, but being stuck on it, and having it play in my head repeatedly was pure torture. Now, it's Cream's 'Crossroads.'

My biggest problem is that I get stuck on songs I don't like, or don't know very well. I couldn't be lucky enough to get stuck on Helmet's 'Unsung' or Hendrix's 'Spanish Castle Magic,' although now that I'm on the Hard level, I'm sure I'll get stuck on Pantera's 'Cowboys from Hell' and Ozzy's 'Bark at the Moon', for weeks on end. But every time I think I've hit a wall, I go back and play other songs to get higher scores, and the practice helps me get past wherever I was stuck.

Some of my friends aren't very good at it, and some of them are good enough to require a real guitar, or a life, or maybe both. I don't think any of us will ever get to THIS point though. But that hardly matters. A bunch of us had Monday off, so I had everyone over to play some multiplayer, and when the last person left almost eight hours later, I continued to play for about two more. That's not a video game. That's an addiction. I've accepted this fact, but I don't want help, so the road to recovery is a long ways off for me.

Don't even walk past a video game store right now. Someone in there is talking about this game, at this very moment, and you don't want to get sucked in.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Notice anything different?

You might be noticing as you read this that the color and layout of the website have changed completely. You might also recall my post from last week where I told people who wanted me to change the color and layout of my website to go jerk off a mule. After that posting, I received a number of emails from people who read the website, giving me lots of reasons why I should change it and that it wasn't all that difficult to do so.

I also got a request from a hearing impaired friend of mine, who said that my website format was not compatible with the equipment he uses to browse the net. This particular format apparently is. So there you go.

There were a number of problems with the previous layout, I was just too lazy to give a crap about changing them. Blogger has a number of very easy templates to use, but I like the website the way it was. And when you make the sort of changes that I made today, it applies them to all the archives, as well.

All previous comments have been erased, so if you could go back and re-comment on everything that you commented on in the past, that would be great.

I have said from the beginning that my point here is not to have a cool looking website. I'll leave that to all the people that win awards for their websites. I am more interested in content, which is also severely lacking, but I at least have the skills to work on that.

Memory Makers

For a very long time, I have had an idea for a business. Some people have called it brilliant, others unethical or disgusting, but either way I think I'm on to something. Dead grandparents are a huge problem in this country. And, frankly, the problem is only going to get worse as the average age people have children increases, and the likelihood decreases that old grandma and grandpa are still going to be alive when kids graduate from college, get married and have other similarly important life events. Grandparents are supposed to be there for those kind of events.

When my wife and I got married almost 2 years ago, for example, none of our grandparents were alive to participate. I only had one grandparent alive when I graduated from high school. Aside from what this means for me genetically in terms of longevity, the other depressing part was not having our grandparents there to celebrate with us.

Which got me thinking: All over the country, we have thousands of elderly people who live in maximum security nursing homes for people with Alzheimer's Disease. Many of these people rarely get to have a night out on the town. Why couldn't their lack of ability to create new memories be a benefit to those of us without living grandparents.

Here's the business part: You're getting married, graduate, you don't have living grandparents. You call my company, Memory Makers. We rent you:
1) An elderly person or couple to act as your grandparent(s) during your event.
2) We provide costumes and accessories.
3) A gift that you select prior to the event.
4) We provide a security escort who we call "Uncle Bob from Toledo", who supervises your stand-in during the event to prevent "incidents".
5) We also spend a week before the event briefing your substitute relatives about who they "really" are, in order to enhance the authenticity of the experience.

I know what you're thinking: "Why didn't I think of this?" Probably because you're not completely insane and ethically challenged, as I am.

People's reactions when I have told them about this range from laughter to outrage. Most people think I'm kidding. Those who understand that I'm not kidding obviously have some ethical objection to "using" Alzheimer's patients as substitute relatives for the deceased. To those naysayers, I reply that people probably had ethical objections to automobiles (think of all the trees and animals we'll have to destroy for all those roads!), personal computers (think of all the pornography and subpar political commentary people will have access to!) and even the DVD (think of all those obsolete VHS tapes!). Those ideas turned out just fine.

Watch for Memory Makers coming soon to your city!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Urbandead.com: Carnage and wasting zombies

Well, I have not posted for a VERY long time, and I'm going to diverge from the usual political or satirical commentary one usually finds on this site. In fact, what follows could pretty much be interpreted as "self-serving", but for once, I don't care. It all began a couple of months ago when I stumbled across (don't ask me to remember how) a site called The Zombie Survival Guide. From there, I was lead, via link, to something called Urbandead. It's a low-tech MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) in which you choose to be either a human survivor or an undead zombie in a quarantined fictional city called Malton. Because it is low-tech, at first I thought, "what a waste". However, after I played a while, I started having a little fun with it. Of course, you start out at a low level and gradually collect things and build skills and become more badass over time. One of the features common in this game is that players form groups or gangs that work together to do various puerile things. Well, I've been playing for a few weeks, and I'm ready to start my own group. It occurred to me that perhaps I could recruit from the regular followers of this website. It would give us a chance to virtually act out our violent fantasies and wreak havoc on a bunch of 11-year-olds from Akron, or, if we're lucky, on a bunch of Republicans.

Because I lack creativity, and because I'd like to get some folks from this blog to join me, I've taken the liberty of "creatively" borrowing from Ryan and named my group "The Angry Midget Pirates". I'd like to invite anyone who reads this to join the game. Should you accept the invitation,you will initially get plopped down in a random suburb of the city, but we can find a place to rendevous and begin a reign of terror. I arbitrarily appointed Ryan and myself leaders of the group for the time being: Ryan because he IS our leader and me because I was a cadet at West Point once and have a modicum of military leadership experience. If you decide to join, you'll find it take a MINIMAL amount of time and effort to play and every now and then it's good for some laughs. There are some pretty humorous and creative folks playing who like to poke fun at almost anything. So, take a look and see what you think. You get to make up crazy names for yourself, and you can NEVER be permanently killed. There are lots of guides and help files, so it's easy to learn. Remember, The Angry Midget Pirates are looking for a few good Democrats to raise hell in Malton. And who wouldn't want to be a pirate?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Stop or the Vice President will Shoot

I bet you think I'm going to write about Dick Cheney shooting his "friend" in the face with a shotgun while hunting captive game, but you would be wrong. I would love to wax philosophical about how this is not the least bit surprising. I grew up in Wyoming, Dick Cheney Country, and I can tell you that I've been hunting with some drunk and crazy assholes, and no one ever got shot. With friends like Dick, Terri Schaivo might have never been in that whole moral conundrum situation.

I've gotten a lot of comments recently about the color of my website. If someone wants to design a better webpage for me, for free, I would gladly accept. But seeing as how I want to focus on writing, and not what color my links and background are, I don't see that changing anytime soon. If you're having a hard time reading this, I'm sorry, but get a bigger monitor or paste it into word or something. Seriously. Visual researchers will actually tell you it's better for your eyes to read this than something in a white background, but I am sure, eventually, something will change here. In the meantime, there are plenty of other webistes with better designs and color schemes for those of you with visual impairments.

What I really wanted to write about was the SPORTSTRAVAGANZA that I am going to be participating in on Saturday. You might recall my trip to Green Bay on New Years Day after 2 hours of sleep, on a bus with the elderly, in a permanent drunken haze. Saturday will feature more sporting events in less time, and fewer miles, but I am sure the drunken debauchery will be just as intense.

The fun starts Saturday at Noon, when I will leave Omaha for Lincoln. In Lincoln, my friend Shane and I will proceed to drink massive quantities of alcohol at area bars including but not limited to The Watering Hole, Cliff's, Woody's and quite possibly The Spigot. At approximately 3 pm Central Time, we will attend the Nebraska vs. Texas Tech Men's Basketball game at the Bob Devaney Center. I want to see Bobby Knight kill a cheerleader. And I don't care which team the cheerleader is playing for.

After the game, we will trek back to Omaha for a night of bonus sports. We will attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks vs. Michigan Men's Hockey game at the Omaha Civic Auditorium followed by the Creighton Blue Jays vs. Fresno State Bracket Buster basketball game at the Qwest Center, only a few blocks away. The Creighton game starts at 11 pm Central Time, by which time, I figure to be one very intoxicated midget.

I will post some updates, and possibly some photos to the website on Sunday or Monday, pending my release for a local correctional facility.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


So I haven't posted in a while, mainly because I've been busy at work. They laid off about 200 people in our office last week, and while I made the cut, they've decided to move me from home video to games. I could go on and on about this, but I'll just say that I'm excited about the future, and I'm sad about leaving the past. I've been in the film industry for almost nine years now, and it's been great. In fact, it's the only industry I've been working in since before I graduated from college. But I've been due for a change, and the timing couldn't be much better, as the home video industry is about to eat itself alive.

Otherwise, I don't have much to add right now. I mainly came to post this. If you get it, you're cool. If not, correct that shit PRONTO.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cartoon Controversy

The controversy surrounding Muslim protests against a Danish Cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad as a terrorist keeps getting more and more interesting. You've all heard that people are being killed in violent protests, Muslims are very pissed off, and Denmark is experiencing various forms of outrage including economic boycotts and violence against their interests abroad.

Now, it appears that the entire controversy was manufactured at the hands of some radical Muslim Clerics, who wished to incite anti-Western sentiment among Muslims. Mission Accomplished, as our fake cowboy President would say. In an interview with NPR yesterday, an Egyptian Cleric at the heart of the issue refused to take responsibility for the violence and death that has resulted from inciting these people.

I have two things to say about this, one for Muslims and one for Americans, particularly those who are critical of Muslims' response in this case.

Muslims already have a huge public image problem. You constantly hear people officials in Iraq and other countries pleading the case that Muslims are not violent people, and it's only a radical few that make the news. The problem is that their actions keep reinforcing the stereotype that Muslims use terrorism to further their cause. Violence and terror are not core values in the Muslim faith, but it's hard to demonstrate that when the collective response in multiple countries is to kill people and burn buildings because of a political cartoon or worse, because your Cleric manipulated you into reacting violently. If you don't want Muhammad to be portrayed at all, let alone as a terrorist, maybe you shouldn't react in violence every time you get pissed off about something. Buddha doesn't seem to have this same problem.

The other issue that gets me about this situation are all the Americans who fail to see the parallel between Muslim Clerics inciting violence based on a political cartoon, and our President inciting our country into war against a foreign nation with lies and false intelligence. Before you start making generalities about Muslims and their propensity for violence, perhaps you should look in the mirror, America. We have no room to talk about being violent, particularly when our President has made comments that his invasion of Iraq is part of God's devine plan for his Administration. Like Oprah, you were all duped, and you're still too stupid to see the connection between these two situations.

Even if Saddam isn't ruling the country, it's apparent from other Middle East democratic elections that after dumping billions of US dollars (remember when the oil revenue was going to pay for the war! HA!), we might end up with a legitimately elected terrorist group like Hamas or Hezzbollah running the government of Iraq.

For those of you who like history, I want to give you a quick reminder about a little communist stronghold that I like to call Cuba. There aren't a lot of us still alive who are old enough to remember Cuba from the time immediately after the Spanish-American War around the turn of the 20th Century and our good friend Fidel Castro.

You see, Iraq isn't the first country where we've tried to install Democracy 2.0 for Mac OS X. After the Spanish-American War, the United States made feeble attempt after feeble attempt to install and prop up pro-American government officials in Cuba. To summarize a 60-year struggle briefly, installing a pro-American democratic government in Cuba never worked. Some might even say that it backfired, when you consider that in 1962, we nearly became nuclear fodder because of our imperial hubris.

Iraq has all of the same complexities as Cuba did at the turn of the 20th Century, except that instead of oil, we wanted Cuba's sugar. Iraq also has the added issues of complete regional chaos, and a long history of civil war. Hang on folks. The next 60 years could be a pretty damned wild ride.