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Posts from the ‘People’ Category

20 reasons why my wife is the most ridiculous person alive

Let’s get right to it, OK?

1. My wife is on the verge of drooling most of the day. Sometimes she’ll laugh and then quickly close her mouth – a humiliation-preventing move to keep saliva from dribbling down her chin and onto her feet.

2. My wife takes my phone when I’m out of the room and sends my brother text messages — in my name — that say stuff like, “Some days I just wish I were a pretty little girl.”

3. My wife constantly picks at her fingernails, making a sound that grates on my nerves so badly that I might someday put her fingers in a paper shredder.

4. My wife would probably sell our child for a side of sour cream.

5. My wife sautés kale for breakfast every morning. Sautéed kale smells awful. The worst part? After she “cleans” the skillet, there are still little bits of kale chillin’ there, like floaties in the toilet.

6. My wife is one of those deranged humans who thinks a cast iron skillet should never be washed because “it retains all the flavors from previous meals.” So there’s essentially a garbage can sitting on our stove, and we cook with it.

7. My wife introduced my friends to a game called Sneaky Snake, wherein you surprise someone by poking them in the butt with your finger. She was the only one who ever played the game.

8. My wife recently bought a new, expensive curling iron because she thought the old one damaged her hair so badly that it was falling out by the handful. Truth is I cut off a chunk while she was napping.

9. My wife once ripped off the petals of a bunch of carnations, wadded them into a ball and threw them at a stranger’s crotch as he walked toward us. She laughed hysterically, and he just kept walking because what else do you do when someone throws flower petals at your crotch?

10. My wife recently spilled coffee in the car, and when I asked her if the brown, very visible stains on the door were from coffee she spilled, she said, “Oh yeah, I wondered where the rest of it went…”

11. My wife loads the dishwasher with the organizational skills of a blind gorilla.

Spry Mug


12. My wife uses a “mineral salt deodorant” and buys only one stick per year. The instructions say to get the stick wet and rub it in — meaning she just rubs water on her armpits every morning and calls it good.

13. My wife wakes up early to do a workout and go on a jog while I sleep an extra hour.

14. My wife believes me when I tell her that she doesn’t snore as loudly as the dog.

15. My wife once wanted the words “Practice patience” tattooed on her wrist. Other general life reminders she considered: “Take out the trash” and “Wipe after you go pee.”

16. My wife once said the words, “I love being someone’s mom more than anything.” And then she grabbed her glass of wine, turned on “Vampire Diaries” and handed me the baby monitor.

17. My wife read all 591,434 words in the Twilight book series.

18. My wife doesn’t have a favorite alcoholic beverage. Her only preference is that she can open the bottle and drink whatever’s inside.

19. My wife’s Instagram is filled with pictures of our son, and her bio reads, “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” That’s a line from the movie “Psycho” about a guy who lives with his mom’s rotting corpse. So that’s super creepy.

20. My wife became my wife 10 years ago today. She’s the best, and it ain’t even close.


Life is easy once you stop trying so hard to ruin it

Three things about me are undeniable: I’m not very smart, I have virtually no skills and my life is devoid of any major accomplishments. That’s all etched in stone.

Somehow, though, I’m not a complete failure and I’ve managed to become a happy person along the way. I don’t know how this happened. The only goals I ever set were to win the school spelling bee in sixth and seventh grades. (Check and check.)

So it’s either dumb luck or life is actually pretty easy. I say life is easy.

I began to realize this when I was 15, the age at which all boys are rotten and should be beaten with a sack full of staplers. One night I was causing unnecessary tension at home when my brother, Jake, told me in a very sincere and kind way that people wouldn’t like me if I remained an annoying assface.

Lesson learned: Don’t be an annoying assface who no one likes. Simple, right?

Honestly, it was perhaps the best advice anyone’s ever given me. Without it, I’d probably be homeless and living inside a recycling bin in Guatemala.

Shouldn’t life be this simple for everyone? I assure you I’m not doing anything special. Why are so many people made miserable by their friendships, relationships, marriages and family members?

I’ve had the same group of best friends for 17 years, and we all get along as well as we ever have. Everyone enjoys everyone. Do you know how much of a collective effort that takes? Absolutely none whatsoever.

The truest sign of a good friendship.

A friendship is one of life’s purest sources of happiness, but many people screw that up by expecting more out of it than they should. These people will find a reason to be unhappy about anything. They could win the lottery and be pissed that they didn’t win it while also making out with Katy Perry at Disneyland.

Instead, here’s the perfect way to approach all your friendships: Sally is my friend. Sally is not perfect, but she is enjoyable. The end.

Another helpful tip is to wisely pick your battles instead of always picking the worthless ones. Quarrels begin over the most insignificant matters, and they typically end, for example, with you telling your boyfriend that he humps like a dying giraffe. Or you telling your brother that you’re gonna drown him in his own blood.

You can easily trade that life of drama for one of contentment. Conan O’Brien – a happy and successful man – once said that if you work hard and treat people well, good things will happen to you. It is a simple truth, even if you don’t really work that hard.

My wife and I have been married for almost seven years, and we have no formula for being happy. Someone asked her recently how we’ve managed it, and she just shrugged. That’s the same answer I would’ve given.

But now I think I have a better answer: You have to care, but only sometimes. If you care about every little thing, you’ll eventually want to blow yourself up. Realizing that you’re occasionally a moron helps you care less and admit you’re wrong, and that eliminates a lot of would-be conflicts.

Don’t make music a life-or-death matter like Radio Raheem did.

Take last Saturday, for example. We’re driving to Portland, and she’s fiddling with the iPod adapter and trying to eliminate all the static noise. She wasn’t doing it properly, though, so I turned off the music entirely.

She asks me what my problem is. I tell her she’s lame. She tells me I’m ridiculous, and then we sit in silence for five minutes.

Finally, I apologize for being rude and kindly ask her to stop ruining my life all the time. And like that, everything was OK again. One minute, I wanted to kick her out of the car at 75 mph, and the next she’s my sweet ol’ wifey. Piece of cake.

Life isn’t really easy, of course. Lots of bad things happen to good people for no reason, and jobs suck and money is tight and Arizona State still exists. Sadly, those things will never change.

But if you want a happier life, simply stop being a terrible human being. Don’t be the kind of person your girlfriend would like to feed to an alligator. And don’t be the kind of hate-filled son that your parents hope gets locked in a Mexican prison.

Now you stick with that, and everything else is cream cheese.

How Oregon turned my wife into a hippie

I saw the warning signs and chose to ignore them. Only now do I realize how much blood is on my hands.

Two years ago my wife was a (mostly) normal person, but I didn’t mind her abnormal traits. Those made her enjoyable, specifically her groundbreaking work as the choreographer who spawned the “What? Dance” — a shimmy that involves bizarre gyrations, shrugged shoulders and a puzzled look on your face similar to this.

Then we moved to Oregon, the Home of the Hippies. Guess which club my wife now belongs to?

She doesn’t have dreadlocks that are a nesting place for squirrels, nor does she smell like she just emerged from inside a homeless man’s corpse, but her actions over the past year lead me to believe that she might someday suggest we wash and reuse our toilet paper.

I desperately wanted to believe it was a fleeting phase, one that would pass as quickly as her foray into knitting (total time: 19 minutes). But there’s something in the water in Oregon that, at least partially, forces a person to wrap their arms around hippiedom.

My wife and me in 50 years, if this trend continues.

Let me make a quick clarification: I know the difference between a) the original hippies of the 1960s, who protested global injustice while dropping acid and having sex with everyone whose name starts with a letter, b) the modern hippie, who rails against the ills of plastic bags while eating an algae-and-tofu sandwich on gluten-free cardboard, and c) the pseudo-hippie, who is mentally unstable and randomly declares that nearly all mainstream food and manufactured goods are agents of death.

My wife is a rising star in the pseudo-hippie culture. The past few weeks have been especially alarming, and one incident in particular is causing me notable anguish.

Here’s a curious question: Am I able to amend my marriage license to include the clause, “Both parties must use real deodorant for human beings and not a stick of chalk that a group of chimpanzees stuck in a plastic container and miraculously sold to the local hippie store” … ? Is that legal? Because that’s the No. 1 thought in my brain today.

Last week, my wife read an article on the dangers of anti-perspirants because they contain aluminum that may lead to breast cancer. So the natural solution, she thought, was to find an aluminum-free deodorant. I understand her concerns, but deodorants don’t really deodorize anything, especially not the brands made by people who drink tree bark-and-dirt smoothies.

Everyone needs anti-perspirant. This is non-negotiable. If you merely wear deodorant, you’re trying to mask an unmaskable problem. It’s like chopping off all your fingers and then saying, “I’m going to wear this new wristwatch to divert your attention from the pool of blood gathering at my feet.”

I should state clearly that my wife doesn’t stink, at least not to non-husbands. She’s well aware of how ineffective her salt crystal deodorant is at close range. The sticker on the bottle says it’s “cruelty free,” but I assure you that I’m suffering.

Sadly, she’ll use this deodorant for the rest of her life.

This is just the latest of the many changes to our lives since moving to Oregon. We now make our own laundry detergent, a painstaking process that requires you to grate bars of soap into a fine powder that results in about 1 cup of detergent.

But, lucky us, we only need to use a tablespoon of soap for each load of wash. (I’m gonna go out on a limb and say your clothes are cleaner than mine.)

Mmmm, stomach bile. Bottoms up!

We have a juice maker the size of a small car, but it has only been used to make healthy (nasty) vegetable smoothies. These are all the rage in Oregon. My wife blends kale, chard, broccoli, apples, celery, spinach and water into the most horrid-looking concoction the world has ever seen.

Have you seen the fluid that comes out of a woman when she gives birth? That’s what our juicer produces, only the birth goo probably tastes better.

There’s also been a switch from normal milk to almond milk; the purchase of environmentally friendly light bulbs that require an act of God to emit any light; an effort to recycle everything that enters our home, including used Q-tips; and a desire to conserve water by her peeing outside on the grass instead of in the toilet. (OK, so I made up a couple of those things, but you get the point.)

You might say all this makes her a healthier person and one who has less of a harmful impact on the planet. I agree. It also makes her a weirdo. In fact, Merriam-Webster’s definition of hippie is exactly that:

hippie [hip·pie] n. a weirdo

I could have done more to prevent her brain from malfunctioning on such a severe level, but I was in a state of denial. And I blame Oregon. Surely you understand. I hope you do, because I’m probably gonna need to come to your house soon and borrow some toilet paper.

A list of people who are trying to kill you

Hey, kid. Wanna know what heaven looks like?

The world is filled with fearmongers, people who will have you believe that terrorists and criminals sit next to us on the bus or stand behind us in line at the grocery store.

But I can’t live with that much mistrust in my life, so — to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling — I prefer to believe the best in everyone.

There are a few major exceptions, though.

The following types of people are the scum of the Earth and are actively trying to kill you. You’ve been warned:

Adults who no longer like kids’ cereals: At what age do you murder your own soul and decide that you dislike Lucky Charms or Cookie Crisp? If you don’t want to start your day with a bowl full of mini chocolate chip cookies, then you don’t deserve happiness. Worse than that, you thrive on being unhappy, and you want to see other people suffer.

If you see someone sleeping like this, the world might soon explode.

People who can fall asleep anytime, anywhere: Think about it like this: If the world were about to end, what would you do? Call your loved ones? Say a prayer? Not me. I’d take a nap. That way, when the meteor hits Earth, I’m dreamin’ about Cookie Crisp and won’t feel a thing. People who can fall asleep at will are aware of this, and they are hardwired to know when Armageddon is coming. So every time I see someone just randomly nod off, I run to the nearest bomb shelter. You should, too.

People who don’t drink water with their meals: How is it possible that someone eats an entire meal without drinking liquids? My wife does this three times a day, and it’s completely unnatural. If you don’t drink something, you will choke. If you choke, you can’t breathe. Clearly, people who don’t drink with their meals cannot breathe and are lifeless zombies who should be destroyed.

People who don’t own a VCR: If you grew up before the year 2000, you had your home movies filmed on a VHS cassette tape. But most of you don’t own VCRs anymore, which means you don’t want any part of your past and obviously have something to hide. How many puppies did you kill in the third grade, jerkface? God sees your sins.

People who have no idea what a cassette tape is: I’m looking at you, youth of America. You have no redeeming qualities, and this is Exhibit A.

People who don’t wear socks with their shoes: Women do this with slip-on shoes in the dead of winter, willing to let their feet freeze as part of a fashion statement. Men do it with loafers in the summer and let pools of sweat gather under their toes. If you don’t wear socks with your shoes, something is clearly wrong with your brain and you’d probably shank me if you had the chance.

Guys who wear skinny jeans: ‘Cause anyone who walks out of the house looking that ridiculous doesn’t give a f*** about anything.

“Look, Dolores. This is where we’re gonna drop the nukes!”

Elderly ladies: They all smell the same. It’s a good smell, but it’s like they belong to a secret society in which they share the same lotions, perfumes and detergents. And those items are all filled with chemicals. So let’s add it up: A group of women no one would suspect of any wrongdoing + a secret society + chemical agents = the world’s most dangerous terrorist group. But, hey, at least the bombs they drop will smell like lavender.

People who don’t like movies: Even at their worst, movies provide a nice escape from the everyday rigors of life. People who don’t like movies obviously revel in life’s misery and want to be best friends with Satan.

People who don’t like dogs: There is not a single redeeming quality about someone who doesn’t like dogs. You can be more of a “cat person,” but if you don’t like dogs, then you’re on a bullet train to hell.

People who eat mushrooms: Let’s ignore for a moment that they grow in poop. Just kidding, because it’s impossible to ignore the fact that mushrooms grow in poop. If I gave you a T-bone steak and said, “This was created in a big pile of manure,” would you still eat it? If so, you’re probably a murderer.

Living in a fantasy world of nerds

Three guys walk into a bar.

One is wearing wizard’s robe, a fake white beard and introduces himself as Gandalf’s cousin, Blargonzodorf.

One has a bowl cut reminiscent of Lloyd Christmas and a button pinned to his Dance Dance Revolution T-shirt that says, “Math is radical!”

And one looks like Bradley Cooper, dresses like George Clooney and spends his free time managing four fantasy football rosters and worrying if a shoulder injury to Tom Brady will prevent his team, Mayor of Pimpville, from beating his friend’s squad, LadiesLoveMy6Pack, to win the fantasy league trophy made of empty Keystone Light cans.

Tell me: Which of these three is the biggest dork of all?

I don’t think the average person fully understands the severity of dorkiness that resides deep in the souls of people who play fantasy football. Because it is associated with the NFL (America’s most popular sport) and is based on the real-life actions of world-class athletes, its participants are mostly given a reprieve from being what they are: a monstrous collection of nerds.

You cannot deny your place among the village of nerds just because you’re a fan of a manly sport like football, or because you otherwise look like you belong to the “in” crowd. You are a weirdo who does weird things in a fake football league. There’s no way around it.

Today, I’m sad to admit that I am a fantasy football dork of the highest order. I don’t dress like Clooney, look like Cooper (he’s no Gosling, anyway), nor do I have a team nickname that instantly identifies me as The World’s Biggest Tool, but I must acknowledge that I have a problem.

I spent nearly the entire weekend thinking and worrying about my place in Sunday’s fantasy league championship. It wasn’t unlike the anxiety a regular sports fan feels before a favorite team plays — except for the fact that my team doesn’t really exist.

Here is fantasy football explained to the layman: Take 10 green army men, give them names, and give each “player” points for their actions during the course of a battle against another team that is being controlled by someone else in another state. Agonize over the fact that you used one player instead of another, thereby costing your team valuable points, and then sacrifice precious hours of sleep doing Internet research in order to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

Then go call your parents and apologize to them for disgracing the family name by being such an enormous dweeb.

That’s how I felt yesterday when I realized what a loser I am. I was a nervous wreck all day. I ignored my wife for a handful of hours (oddly, she didn’t seem to mind) and contemplated suicide every time the tide appeared to turn against me. I flipped back and forth between the day’s four TV games, and I had three games on at once on my laptop.

I cherished every point I accrued as though they directly benefited the life of my unborn son, Indiana Jones. No one in the history of nerddom was as pathetic as I was yesterday. I made George McFly look like the prom king.

In defense of fantasy football players, there is money on the line — and sometimes it’s a nice chunk of change. Nonetheless, it’s amazing and humiliating the things we fantasy team owners do to put ourselves in the right competitive mind-set and in a position to win money.

I am not admitting that I have done any of the following, but I guarantee you there is a substantial number of fantasy football players who have:

  • Given their team a pregame pep talk to encourage maximum effort
  • Staged a press conference in their delusional minds to answer questions about their team’s performance
  • Discussed (out loud and to themselves) their reasons for using or not using certain players, as though they were real NFL analysts
  • Prayed incessantly for God’s help to beat Da Bone Crushers in order to make the playoffs
  • Refused to brush their teeth because their current winning streak began one Sunday four weeks ago when they were hungover and forgot about basic hygiene

This is the community I belong to. If I were still in high school, I’d be getting swirlies all day long. Fantasy football dorks were made to have their heads dunked in toilet water.

My kid’s name could kick your kid’s ass

Nothing is more personal or sacred than the act of naming your own child. I know this because I have zero children and boast none of the first-hand experience to make such a statement.

Actually, I know this because various friends who recently became parents have ferociously protected the secrecy of their kids’ names during the pregnancy period. It’s a trend my former editor popularized (among my circle of friends, at least) in order to make sure no one stole the badass names she and her husband thought of for their two kids.

It was a clandestine operation that added intrigue to a guessing game that everyone loves to play. And the privacy undoubtedly added a touch of pride in their kid’s name. The more you protect something, the more you treasure it. Just ask Gollum.

My Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

I’m not that interested in secrecy, though. I named my unborn child about a quarter century ago, and I intend to share that name with you today — if only to get the inevitable mockery out of the way.

Some parents want their kids to have a “strong” name, something that gives a kid confidence in who they are, something like Jack or Faith.

Others name children after their own parents or siblings (or themselves) in order to pay homage to their loved ones. Example: William J. Peabody VIII (because the first seven of you were so damn great).

And others go the unique route in an effort to give a kid a name that no one else in history will ever duplicate. The result is usually something horrid like Starshine Glitterbeauty Roberts or Baxter Bluebonanza Boyd.

I don’t subscribe to any of those philosophies. My son will be given a name based purely on my selfish desires.

I want my kid to remind me of greatness every time I say his name. I want a theme song to play every time a teacher calls his name during roll. I want him to be a constant source of entertainment. (Not in the circus-performer sense, but in a way that makes me think he could, in thrilling-yet-humorous fashion, thwart Hitler’s goal of world domination using a whip, a wicked right hook and a keen sense of history.)

So when Indiana Jones Hansen is brought into this world — whenever that day arrives — my life will become infinitely more enjoyable. We’ll call him Indy for short, and he’ll leave the maternity ward with eight girlfriends and a world-class suntan.

If you’re looking for a more defensible reason to name a child Indiana Jones, then consider the fact that the boy will need a good role model. And no one is a better example of a man than Indiana Effing Jones. I won’t pretend that I can outperform him in that role because the movie trilogy serves as indisputable proof that I cannot.

Anyone seen the other sleeve to this shirt?

The most surprising element of this scenario is that my wife is fully on board with the name. I mentioned it about a decade ago when we started dating and she brushed it off, certain that it was a joke. In reality, it was always a pipe dream. It stood no chance against the popular Coopers and Aidens of the day.

I persisted, though, and always included it at the top of my wish list. Now she’s sold. Deep down she probably wishes her name were Indiana, too. And that probably makes me love her even more.

You might feel inclined to mock this name selection and taunt my unborn son. Keep in mind, however, that the last person who thought he could get the better of Indiana Jones met a not-so-happy end.

Choose wisely, my friends. I know I have.

Attention, short people: You’re unwanted

In a perfect world, I wouldn’t be wasting my time writing a blog that approximately eight people will read.

No, my perfect world involves me hitting .330 for the Yankees, or singing to a sold-out audience at Madison Square Garden, or – above all else – floating amid the weightlessness of space as a NASA-trained astronaut.

Sadly, this world crapped on my grandest dreams by giving me limited athletic ability, the singing talents of Enrico Pallazzo and the intellectual capacity of a decapitated goat.

Some people simply can’t perform certain jobs. I’m OK with that. But I realized on my flights from Oregon to Tucson on Saturday that even seemingly normal occupations are quite exclusive.

Exhibit A: You can’t be a flight attendant if you’re too short.

I’ve been on hundreds of flights in my lifetime, but it didn’t really occur to me until the weekend that virtually all the stewardesses are notably taller than average.

Curious, I asked one of the Southwest Airlines flight attendants if there was a height requirement for folks like her.

“There are certain requirements, yes,” said the 5-foot-10-inch lady.

I didn’t ask her to explain the rationale behind the you-must-be-this-tall-to-work-here mandate because the reasons are obvious to me. Here they are:

No one respects a pipsqueak. You have to enforce a lot of federal regulations as a flight attendant, and everyone is annoyed by most of the rules. So if you’re 5-0 and you tell someone to turn off their electronic device, they’ll probably kick you in your little legs and stuff you in an overhead compartment.

Speaking of overhead compartments, you can’t reach them. If the Federal Aviation Administration left you and a bunch of hobbits in charge, you would be of no help to the socially accepted short people who need to safely stow their luggage.

The pre-flight safety demonstration would go unnoticed. You can’t properly instruct passengers how to put on an oxygen mask if they can’t see you over the seats in front of them.

In the event of a water landing, passengers likely will sacrifice your livelihood and use your seat-cushion-sized body as a flotation device.

You are not an adequate food source. If you crash in a very remote location (a la the plane in the film “Alive”) and the survivors start eating one another to stay alive, you’d likely only provide a small snack, leaving the others hungry. So you’d be dead, eaten and hated.

Why vegetarians hate the world

One of the best skills you can attain in life is learning how to wisely choose your words while saying something that, for all intents and purposes, disparages another person. It’s what I call The But Rule.

Here’s an example of it:

“I’m sorry I set all your clothes on fire, BUT you shouldn’t have insulted me for wearing ‘Smurfs’ pajamas.”

You aren’t really that sorry if the last words out of your mouth place blame on the other person, right?

Here’s the better tactic:

“You ruined my day by eating all the Fruity Pebbles, BUT I’m sorry I responded by calling the police and falsely reporting you for animal cruelty.”

Always finish the conversation with an attempt to smooth things over. It works in a variety of situations and can help you successfully navigate a tricky scenario. Best of all, it allows you to air your grievance while also showing that you see things from their perspective. Win-win, yeah?

Today, I’m going to apply The But Rule to talk about vegetarians and why they are such miserable people who are perpetually angry at the world. (This is mostly tongue-in-cheek, but allow me to proceed, please…)

I ate at a quaint breakfast cafe in Eugene, Ore., last Friday, a locally owned eatery that oozes charm and has a lot of character. If you ignore the fact that everyone there hates you, it’s really an enjoyable place to eat your first meal of the day.

I’ve recently noticed a pattern of hatred at the vegetarian- and vegan-friendly places in my area. At first I thought I merely imagined it all, that I was dying a little inside and everyone around me was just sad to see me go and, therefore, became angry in their sadness. But that’s not the case.

The people (and I’m generalizing) who work at these restaurants have all the personality of a dead rabbit. They take your order and bring your food (tasks that — all kidding aside — I am truly grateful for) and treat you with as much indifference as is humanly possible.

Why is this the case? How come non-vegetarian restaurants are predominantly filled with servers and workers who, at least superficially, make you feel welcome? I don’t need to be treated like I’m a special boy on his birthday, but at least let me believe there’s some joy put into the crappy vegetarian food you’re making me.

And therein lies the problem. The food vegetarians eat is, for the most part, awful. They have subjected themselves to (or are sometimes forced to live) a life filled with unsatisfying meals. The most horrific example of what these people consume is tofu, which looks and tastes like a block of Play-Doh that missed the dye machine. It’s sad, really.

Nonetheless, I will continue to eat at these establishments filled with crabby employees because I can invariably find one or two items that appeal to me. And I’ll have even more compassion in my heart because I fully understand that the only reason they treat me like a festering turd is due to the fact that I enjoy the fine delicacies they will not or cannot.

In summary, vegetarians are grouchy, unpleasant people who are incredibly angry at the world for their horrible culinary preferences or their biological inability to eat good food, BUT it’s not always their fault and there are more pretty animals alive as a result of their unique eating habits.

The But Rule wins again.