This blog explores the breadth and depth of just how truly horrible I am at being an adult.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

I am burying 'That's what she said.'

Hello, readers.

Today we come to put behind us a phrase that has hurt us too much for too long. A group of words that have caused us too much pain.

Tonight we come to bury 'that's what she said.' This phrase is not a racist or derogatory one; it does not see color or creed. It simply sees tons and tons of double entrendres.

How many times have we regretted asking our neighbor, “Please, give it to me?” for fear of someone saying, “That's what she said?” When eating McDonald's french fries, how often have we been too scared to admit we like the biggest ones best? And how many times have we overpaid for groceries, afraid to tell the butcher we wanted him to give us more meat?

But today we come here to look at the future, not at the past.

So now, come together parents and children and feel free to talk about how long and hard the work or school week was. Even if at any point you had to quote “stay up all night.” Now, whenever we are done with leg workouts at the gym, we will have no fear of saying how sore our butts are. Starting today, when we come in from the rain, we need not be afraid to describe how wet we are. And from now on, we shall no longer be scared to talk about how many of anything we can fit into our mouths. Anything at all, whether it be a dozen cocktail wienies or a pair of sweet ding dongs.

So join me, proud to laboriously detail how you'd love to spend a few hours lathering your minivan's drive shaft with hot oil. It's routine auto maintenance, people, and now we will be free to discuss it without fear.

Freedom from fear. Nothing has ever tasted so sweet.

Don't say it. Don't say, “That's what she said.”

For JS

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I'm really bad at sports.

My middle sister is awesome. Let's call her 'A'. She's a smart, kind, fun person. But I submit to you today that she is a thief. A thief of my athletic ability.

You see, I have absolutely, positively no sports skills whatsoever. I am god awful at any and every sport ever invented. The only sport I am even good at watching is baseball. I think if you were to hand me a football, I would spontaneously vomit.

My sister, however, is supremely talented at sports. As far as I can tell, she can play literally every known sport with supernatural ease and grace. She was blessed with the athletic ability of at least three average people.

Three people! You'll understand why I suspect she stole our skills, then, when I tell you that my one other sister is just as deplorable at athletics as I am. (But a wonderful person, nonetheless.)

'A' somehow stole our skills. She took whatever chance we had at being normal and hoarded it all for herself. She was a four-year starter on her basketball team in high school. They easily went undefeated in their league and won the state championship her senior year. And this wasn't no weak-ass state like Delaware or Nebraska. THIS WAS CALIFORNIA!

I, meanwhile, somehow managed to earn our cross-country team's 'Most Improved' award three years running. (We, by the way, were the worst team in the league.)

'A' went on to play Division I college ball, where in her Junior year the team won the Patriot League (a minor league, admittedly, but what have you ever done?).

What made 'A' such a basketball ace? Was it genetics? No. A goal-driven, competitive home life? No. Was it wizardry and magic used to drain whatever natural talent might have been bestowed on me? Probably.

I remember being on my town's CYO basketball team when I was in fourth grade. If you've ever played youth basketball, you probably recall the 'A' team and the 'B' team. The A's were stars and the B's were everybody else. But I wasn't on either of those.

Do you recall the 'C' team? Probably not, since not many towns had them. My town did. Thank God I wasn't on that one.

No, no. I was on the 'D' team. Ever heard of it? If you say yes, you're either a liar or you were one of the eight other kids on the team with me.

We were a team so definitively bad that there never was before and never will be again another 'D' team.

We were a ragtag group of shapeless, weak misfits, the kind Emilio Estevez would turn into a bunch of winners if this were a feel good family film. But we had no 'rise-to-glory' storyline; we had only weekend after weekend of crushing defeat.

We were ten boys who consistently lost to every team we faced. We regularly lost to girls team. It happened so often it eventually stopped being humiliating.

There was a retarded kid on my team. Let's call him 'M.' Now, I know fourth-graders will call anyone who's different 'retarded'. The kid who wore mismatched socks? Retarded. The kid whose parents didn't have cable? Retarded. Hell, I got called retarded for four years because I bought "Magic the Gathering" cards once.

'M,' however, was the more classical description of retarded. Learning disabilities, total lack of coordination, emotional and psychological impairment. Real 'D' team material. And we his teammates, being the horrible little snots we were, took advantage of his fragile state whenever we could.

Imagine an elementary-school gymnasium. There are the two main basketball hoops at either end of the court, but along the sides are auxiliary hoops that can be raised or lowered so more kids can practice at once. Someone (me?) convinced 'M' that those hoops were bonus hoops worth three points.

When he would shoot at them in games, believing he was a hero to our constantly-losing team, he did so with such horrible aim, such utter lack of precision and control, that it looked as though he were intentionally hurling the ball at the spectators in the stands.

If we were to get extra points every time the other team's parents were frightened that a kid with severe learning disabilities was trying to injure them, we would have made it to the playoffs. We could have gone all the way.

I write this anecdote now not to gloat about how mean someone (me?) was to a kid who obviously had it bad enough as it was, but rather to illustrate how rotten yours truly is at basketball. 'M' STARTED ABOVE ME IN THE LINEUP.

The coach would have rather endangered the crowd's welfare than put me in the game. He thought to himself 'Do I want 'M,' the kid who literally cannot tie his own shoes, or do I want Tony?' and he didn't choose me.

It was around this same time that I played my first (and only) Little League season. In one year, I did not make it to base one time. I only made playable contact at bat once; I grounded out to shortstop. Yet in that very same year I got hit in the face with a baseball... wait for it... twice. My face was hit by the ball more than my bat was.

With my limited knowledge of statistics, I could predict that every time my bat hit a ball, my face would be hit infinity times. From then on, I decided to stay home and read Shel Silverstein.

During the year all this was happening, my sister 'A' was playing and excelling on traveling soccer, softball, and basketball teams simultaneously. Coincidence? I think not.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I am a satisfied customer.

Click on them to see them larger.

Too much of a good thing

Half Hour of Evil


A lesson learned quickly.

It prevents your blood from clotting.

Keep It Simple, Stupid

I resolve to not eat cauliflower.

Ok. First, Feliz Año Nuevo! And a word of warning : Be sure to put that curly thing, that '˜' over your 'n' when you say that. Because though año means year, ano without the '˜' means 'anus.' People who speak Spanish will be offended if you wish them a happy new butthole. Unless that's what you really mean.

Now that that's over with, I want to talk about my resolution. I resolve to not eat cauliflower anymore.

This isn't really a new goal for me. Allow me to explain.

I remember being fairly young, maybe seven or eight and a teacher was talking about cauliflower. I thought, 'I've never had cauliflower... And I never will.' I decided that day to never eat cauliflower.

You see, other kids had dreams of being baseball players or astronauts or doctors. My thinking was that those are all pretty hard to achieve, but not eating cauliflower ever? Perfectly attainable. From that day on, I successfully avoided it. It was pretty easy.

Until college, when a girl peer convinced me into eating some since she had so much left over. She made cauliflower soup. It was alright.

College is a time of experimentation.

But this started me down a path of casual cauliflower eating. I just kept eating it whenever it was presented to me. I even have a bag of mixed vegetables in my freezer with cauliflower mixed in.

So as people talked to me about their resolutions these past few weeks, I thought, "Wow, exercising more or reading more books seem like really hard resolutions." I decided this morning to no longer eat cauliflower. I knew I could do that; I did it for twenty-one years.

I knew if I set my goals low, I would succeed. I encourage you to aim to underachieve just like me! You'll let yourself down far less.

Feliz Ano Nuevo!