Friday, November 29, 2013

Whiskey Tango Fuckwad

This is the NATO phonetic alphabet:

If you're not familiar with the phonetic alphabet, it's something soldiers use when they're trying to spell a word out over a static-ey phone line or when they're trying to impress women.

Chicks dig uniforms and phonetics
It's a pretty useful tool, especially when you're trying to spell your name to a salesperson.
"No, that's Matthew.  Two Ts.  One T spells 'Math, EW!'  No, it's not that hard.  Listen.  M-A-T-T...  *SIGH* Mike.  Alfa.  Tango.  TANGO..."
The problem is, you're likely to get your merchandise sent to Mike Tangotango.  Since the holiday shopping season is starting, you're likely to have a lot of presents that get lost or mixed up.  Face it, telephone salespeople are as dumb as sidewalk chalk.  You'd like to swear at them, but they'd just hang up and you'd have to call back and start over.

My solution?  The Matthew Phonetic Alphabet:
Telephony for Salespeople
C-Word (like I'm going to go there)
Eat Me
Lindsay Lohan
Trickle Down Economics
Trust me, just use this a few times and you'll see miraculous results.  You'll also spend a lot less this holiday season as retailers will suddenly refuse to take your money.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sleeping Games

I've had the flu for the past couple weeks.

YES I had a flu shot.  I've had four flu shots in my life.  50% of the time I got the flu anyway.  Sometimes I wonder if doctors come up with new reasons to poke people with needles because they're jealous of acupuncturists.
Anyway, there are two strange side effects of the flu I had this time:
  1. I want to eat everything not tied down.
  2. I have serious bouts of fatigue.
The fatigue thing has been odd.  I've had days when I've taken five naps, gone to bed early, and woken exhausted.  The problem is, I don't have one of those jobs you can sleep through (air traffic controller, preschool teacher, Senate Minority Leader, etc).  I take care of my children.  If you fall asleep while watching my kids, you tend to wake up with a Lego Star Destroyer super-glued to your forehead.
To solve the fatigue/childrearing problem, I devised a few games.  Feel free to use them whenever you are suffering from CRE (Child Rearing Enervation):
Bear Under the MountainDaddy is an angry bear.  Pile couch cushions over him to make a cave to sleep in.  If he sticks his hands out of any holes, put pillows in them until his cave is completely dark.  When you hear snoring noises, you win!
Dark PictureDaddy lies on a bed in a dark room.  While he's "waiting," make the darkest picture you can.  Black crayons on black paper is best.  If Daddy can't see your picture in the dark (signified by keeping his eyes closed), you win!
Fun Time KitchenDaddy has hidden various nonperishable foodstuffs around the house (none are in the bedroom).  Find them all, bring them to the kitchen, and use the plasticware he's laid out to make yourself lunch.
Fun Time CleanersDaddy has hidden various cleaning tools around the house (again, don't look in the bedroom).  Clean up the kitchen!  It's a mess in there.
Magic RectangleYou know that big, black rectangle on the wall in the play room that Daddy never lets you turn on?  It shows movies and games!  Watch as many movies and play as many games as you want.  Seriously, just have fun.  I'll be taking a nap.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Death Dreams

Dreams are a veil, a blindfold, a brainwash.  Dreams fill your head with random images so you don't remember the truth.
When you sleep, you meet the impossible.
You meet the doctor who aborted you.  You meet your killer (who apologizes profusely).  You meet the thousands of children you could have had, and have to explain to every one why they weren't made.  You have dinner with God, His husband, and His only begotten daughter.  You play with the mechanical dogs who hold up the world, and fight off the soldiers of Entropy, who lust to devour the universe.
Each of these fascinating meetings are wiped away from your mind, and filled with a mishmash of adolescent sexual fantasies and absurdist fears.  When you wake, you remember none of it, until the next night's meeting.
Every decade or so, you meet Death, and she offers you a deal.
The first time happened when you were still very young; Death took you to the bed of a dying man.  He's ancient, and lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
"He's about to die," Death said as the sound of his heart monitor fills the room, "but I can take you instead.  Choose who dies tonight: you or him."
You might scream and cry.  You might curse Death and her cold heart, but, in the end, you chose to be selfish.  If you hadn't, you wouldn't alive now.  You woke that morning with the sound of a heart monitor wailing in a long, constant tone.
Years later, Death came to you again.  This time, she showed you a woman on death row for poisoning her whole family and dismembering their corpses to cover up her crime.  You watch as they screw her into a chair and tape her eyes shut.
"Do you want to take her place?" Death said.
You're obviously still alive, reading this, so you chose to watch as they burned her alive from the inside out.
Over the years, Death showed you many people on the verge of dying.  Each time, they are younger, more innocent, more important than before: future Nobel laureates, pregnant women, and soldiers.  You're given the chance to save the lives of artists, teachers, and children.  You've always picked your own life, in the end, or you wouldn't be here.
One night, Death will finally find the one person you can't stand to see taken from the world: a child, your spouse, that boy you loved but never had the guts to ask out.
"Enough," you'll say.  "Enough.  You win.  Take me."
And Death will bow.
"So, you've finally become selfless.  I was worried you'd be immortal."
Just like every other night, you'll waken with no memory of the night, except for meaningless dreams.  Maybe you'll get up, eat, play, work, whatever you'd normally do.  This time, however, you'll have a strange feeling you can't explain.  Somewhere, deep inside, you know you've done something noble.
That will be the last day of your life.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pros and Cons of Becoming Vegetarian

I'm an omnivore; I grew up eating meat.  Almost all of us did.
Con of Being Vegetarian: Humans have been eating meat for millions of years.

When I was young, my class went on a field trip to the back of a grocery store (yes, that is considered an appropriate field trip in East Central Illinois).  We got to see the meat they brought in before the butchers cut it into palatable bits for consumers.
Our guide gleefully pointed out the different organs and anatomical features in half a cow hanging from the ceiling.  When I got home, I told my parents I was a vegetarian.
"And this is where it's children nuzzled it for warmth..."
Pro of Being Vegetarian: Meat is gross.
They were okay with my being vegetarian, but I would have to eat a lot of beans and cheese.  I hated both.  I gave up being a vegetarian.

Con: Vegetarian food is gross.
When I grew up, I took a moral stand.  If you can live without being cruel to animals, you should.  I was a vegetarian.

Pro: Meat is cruel.
Eating a diet of beans and vegetables, having an allergy towards underarm deodorant, and working in a small, poorly-ventilated room proved to be a bad combination.  All my coworkers got desk fans and pointed them at me.  It took me years to figure out why.

Er, something you want to tell me?

Con: Vegetarians smell bad.
I went back to being an omnivore.

I was a bird owner for thirteen years.  Owning a pet bird changes the way you look at animals.  Birds seem alien, cold, unfeeling.  Once you live with one, you realize they really aren't all that different from cats and dogs.  They look you in the eye when you talk to them.  They like it when you pet them and turn so you can get their itchy spots.  They have a (bad) sense of humor.  They get sad and angry and scared.  Mine used to show concern when I cried and kiss the tears off my face.
One day, I went to the supermarket and bought a Cornish game hen.  As I prepared it and put it in the oven, I realized how much it looked like my own little bird.

Imagine looking down at your half-eaten steak and seeing a flea collar still attached.
Pro: After you realize all animals share the qualities we love in pets it's heartbreaking to eat them.

I became an omnivore who didn't eat birds.
Vegetarianism hadn't worked for me in the past, so I took a more moderated approach.  Instead of going cold turkey (Get it?  Cold Turkey.  GET IT?), I'd just stop eating birds.  No more fried chicken, chicken pot pie, duck a l'orange, chicken noodle soup, etc.  With the exception of Thanksgiving (during which I make sure to get the happiest, healthiest, heritage-iest turkey around), I was bird free.
Still, it's hard to resist some times.

Con: Meat tastes good.
Then I had a cholesterol test.

"Cut back on red meat and fried foods," my doctor said.
Pro: Vegetarians are healthier.

No birds.  No cows, pigs, or sheep.
That left me with ocean creatures, cats and dogs, and zoo animals.  I became a pescaterian.
Being a pescaterian, however, is about as untenable for me as being a full-on vgetarian.  I love restaurants and, let's face it, vegetarian food in restaurants is disgusting.  Seriously, there's only so much grilled eggplant, slimy grilled peppers, and beans I can take.  There's only so much seafood I can take, too.

Con: Most restaurants have terrible vegetarian options.
So, I'm a pescaterian who eats red meat in restaurants.

If you have children and don't come from a third-world country, you have a pile of leftovers in your refrigerator.  Kids just never eat a consistent amount, so you prepare a lot and expect to have extra.  What does a vegetarian do when perfectly good meat is about to be thrown away?
"Sorry, I can't read your blog.  I have all this food to eat."
If you think about it, throwing away meat is pretty awful.  All living things {birds, cows, bugs, plants, whatever} share the fact that they want to live.  They might not be conscious of it, but they all want it on some level or they wouldn't be alive.
When you throw meat away, you're essentially saying "Yeah, maybe it died so I could eat it and live, but I don't give a crap about its suffering."
So I'm a vegetarian who eats seafood and leftovers and meat at restaurants that have yucky vegetarian choices.

Life is confusing.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Obama Is the Worst President Ever

You may not realize it, but our current president (Obama, in case you missed it) is the worst president in US history.  No really!  No, REALLY!  NO!  REALLY!!  It seems by enacting Obamacare and refusing to negotiate with the GOP, he's destroyed our country in a way none of the other presidents managed.

However, this is a cause for rejoicing (No!  REALLY!) for three reasons:
1.      Future Contrast
The next president has to be better.  I mean, what are the chances that we have the worst president of all 43 and then the 44th was even worse?  That guy would have to force all women to have swastikas tattooed on their uteruses or sell our children for space aliens to eat or try to feed the hungry or something.

2.      Late-Night Ghost Stories
Imagine future spooky stories over the campfire.  It's late.  The fire sparkles in the eyes of your grandchildren as they wait for you to creep them out.
"Kids," you say, "I lived through two terms of President Obama, the worst president ever!"
They all gasp in horror and huddle close to each other.
"Really?" Little Billy says.  "Worse than Harrison, whose only achievement in office was to die?"
"Worse than Harrison!" you say, and they all gasp again.
"Did he try to rig the election?" Little Sally says.
"Er, no.  That was Nixon."
"Did he invite his cronies plunder the government like Harding and Grant?" Little Jamal says.
"Did he let slavery expand like Taylor, Pierce, Buchanan and Fillmore?" Little Akira says.
The kids are whimpering with anticipation now.  Little Vijay raises his hand.
"What did Obama do, grandpa?  What did he do?"
You drop your voice to a low whisper.
"He tried to create a universal healthcare system to care for the millions of Americans who couldn't afford it."
"No!" they shriek.  "A government take-over?  Single Payer!?"
"Not really.  There was this patchwork of ideas that was stolen from the Republicans.  Then the GOP tried to stop it by shutting down the government but, get this, HE WOULDN'T COMPROMISE THE HEALTHCARE PLAN!!!"
You dry their tears of horror and put them to sleep, knowing they're be too scared to get up and bug you all night.
3.      I got a blog post out of it
      Hey, it's tough for me to even come up with one a week, now.