Monday, May 30, 2011

Wanna Hear Me Rant about Pencils? Pencil Me In Next Week!

Everyone take notes on this one, I'm going to go off on a rant of epic proportions here. Are you taking notes? Good.

Pencils are one of the worst things ever created. They bring no good to any...


Only together can we stamp out pencil use.
Wait a minute, you're using a pencil to take notes on this? No, no, no, that's a very bad decision. Don't you understand? Pencils bring no good to anyone or anything in this world. Using pencils to transcribe my rant about pencils sucking is like my cat wearing a shirt that says “I don't like kibble.” Ironic, but just plain wrong!

Were it not for pencils, the achievement gap between the United States and other industrialized nations would not exist. Their horrible screeching noises have a disastrous effect upon ability to study, learn, live, sire children, eat confetti or play with magnets. All of these things could make better students, but alas, pencils... therefore they can't.

It might seem like I'm blowing things out of proportion, but I have hardcore scientific facts to back up my assertions. For example, did you know that pencils make horrible noises? Things like SCREEEEEs, and SWISHes and more SCREEEEs? With this auditory attack going on, how can a kid focus on his Weekly Reader?

Ever notice how children's studies improve once they enter into 4th grade? You might claim it's because they're no longer forced to use cursive, and they can now actually read the things they have written, but this is just not the case. You see, that is the year when erasable pens enter onto the class supply list.

Suddenly SCREEEEEEEs are replaced by not just the lack of silence, but pure ambrosia for the ears. Going from three full years of horribleness to nothingness is like Orcas making love to Unicorns on top of a big pile of pudding. Which is music to just about everyone's ears.

It seems like with pens, the tyranny of pencil would come to an end. yet people have been indoctrinated with pencils for the first four years of their schooling career using pencils. So they continue. They continue with their awful noises, their general smudginess, their responsibility in the loss at Bunker Hill, and their constant need for sharpening.

Oh yeah, in our pen-minded world, you might have forgotten pencils need to be sharpened. They do, and this requires some sort of dedicated sharpening device, which just about nobody can ever find. Compare it to a pen. Take off cap, write an erotic parody of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” recap that bitch and be ready to write again another day.

You might claim that pens can run out of ink and this is akin to having to sharpen a pencil. Well, Mr. smart business person, you should realize you work in a smart business office and these smart business places have lots of pens to easily take. This creates an unlimited supply of pens, and you'll never have to deal with the accursed pencils again.

Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin says "If only we hadn't
used pencils, or allowed Galactic Space Kitty to
decimate our fleet!"
I realize I've provided a lot of strong anti-pencil rhetoric. But I'll pile on more. I'll end with one final case study. Back during the space race, the United States spent some untold fortune on developing a specialized pen that could write in space! (and at any angle! And under water! And while engulfed in flames! And on greasy paper! And on greasy flaming paper that you really shouldn't be writing things like “Hey, this thing is on fire! Hopefully it doesn't spread to my space age pen!”).

The Russians, on the other hand, used pencils. And not only did they never make it to the moon, they never even made it outside of the Earth's orbit! All thanks to the anti-power of pencils, the Russians were kept down, and the cold war never erupted. In that way, pencils are good. In every single other way possible, pencils are bad. And that's a note you can take with a pen!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Naming names just sounds weird

Hello, Jonathan. How are you doing, Jonathan? Do you want to do something fun, Jonathan? I think it would be really fun to do some sort of Jonathan-esque task. Do you like being called Jonathan, Jonathan? I'd certainly hope you would, Jonathan, because that is definitely your name, Jonathan. You know, strange story Jonathan, I actually know several people named Jonathan. Isn't that quite strange, Jonathan? You bet it is, Jonathan! Ohhhhh, Jonathan, you're so silly, just like I'd expect a Jonathan to be—all Jonathany.

This opening paragraph probably struck some of you as strange. In my intense research into this matter, I have been able to group people's reactions to the above statement in two different, yet similar subsets. Those in group A, whom I shall refer to as the “Jonathan Group” and then there's also group B, AKA the “Non-Jonathan Group.”

In a perfect world.
Okay Jonathans, or as we'd both like to refer to you, “Group A-ers,” you probably were put off by that opening statement. The constant repetition of your name probably freaked you out a little bit, didn't it, Jonathan? Errr, I mean, Group A? I rest my case.

Now Group B-ers, or “Non-Jonathans,” please copy this entire post into Microsoft Word and do a “Replace All” to turn all “Jonathans” into whatever your name might be. There are 31 of them. Go ahead and reread the previous paragraphs. Pretty scary, isn't it, Jonathan?

There's a perfect rationale as to why using someone's name is so bizarre and weird. Because nobody ever actually uses people's names. It's much easier and more direct to use a pronoun and make eye contact. Just think, in your daily life (“The Life of Jonathan”), how often do you actually say your friends' names, your coworkers' names, your sexual partners' or families' names. Not that often. Names are weird. Especially Jonathan.

Hell, you probably say your pets' names more often than any actual human's name, because if you don't repeat it enough, pets will most likely forget their names. Also pet names are more adorable to boot. It's way more fun to say “Buttons” or “Launchpad” or “Benito Meowsolini” than human names like “Mittens” or “Jonathan.”

You see Jonathan, when you're talking to someone, you might let out a “You,” or a “Hey you, it's Jonathan” or a “You, hey you, it's Jonathan, and you're on fire,” but you'll note, at no point in that statement did you say “Jonathan's friends name.” Even in these extreme circumstances, pronouns work much better than people's actual names. By being unspecific like this, it actually results in specificity.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not proposing some sort of communistic program where everyone has the same name. Believe me, Comrade 889, I wouldn't do something like that to you!

Really, pronouns sound less weird than names, because they are so common. “You” is the eighth most commonly used word in the English language. “He,” “his,” “they” and “I” are all in the top 20. Nowhere in the top 100 is there a “Jonathan.” There's not even a “Aiden” or “Sophia” in the top 100, and those are the most common boys and girls names of 2010. Because these pronouns are parts of speech, they flow better in speech. They come out less jilted and just sound better. Plus, really... “Aiden”... really?

Jonathan, I want you to get out there, refer to people indirectly and truly make their day.



Monday, May 23, 2011

The Daring Tales of the Brave Dustbuster Bustering Dust Brigade: Episode 1?

The other day I was cleaning my household, when I noticed a tiny little something on a nano-sized piece of what I could only assume was a paper speck. Since I didn't actually want to clean (lord knows nobody does) I took said piece of “paper” to Big Bob's House O' Sno Cones and Electron Microscopes and blasted the crap out of it with particles.

What I found absolutely shocked me. I'm transcribing it here verbatim as a word of caution before you go about cavalierly cleaning up things.

January 27, 2011
All we are is dust in the...

January 26, 2011
We have decided today is the day. We will take down that awful awful machine. When the dust settles, we might just wake up in a new world. If we are successful, I know my children will at long last feel safe. No longer will they shudder when they see those dreaded letters—H-O-O-V-E-R. We will unite together as dust particles, skin particles, excrement particles, participial phrases and thumb tacks to take down that sucking menace!

You, dear reader, you might be the only one to lay eyes upon the last will and testament of Senor Dusty T. Filament. I'm grateful that your eyes are tiny enough to read my etchings. I pray I've written it in a language that living things can understand. If I don't make it back, make certain to know I lived my life as dust, but my after life, my legacy, my vacuum-destroying prowess will live on in infamy for generations to come. The dust voice will be heard!

We shall rally around this battle cry--because Vacuums truly do suck.
January 22, 2011
There are some days when I think I'm not actually a piece of dust, but a glorious ballerina, wowing spectators at the Bolshoi. The audience gasps as I chasse across the stage. They'll never expect my en dehors, but I realize that is just because I'm a piece of dust.

Maybe next lifetime, maybe.

Although we're in constant battles and upheavals with those nightmarish machines, I still try to keep a clean house. After all, cleanliness is next to godliness. Out out! Out you subatomic participles! Out you quarks—I definitely have my eye you, charm and lepton! Ick! Why can't someone invent some magical machine that sucks up and gets rid of these pests, they are messing up the feng shui of my homestead.

But I digress. The gang and I got together last night to try and figure out how to take down the Hoovered menace. We had heard rumblings of successful decommissioning of other vacuums. Raiden claimed a carefully placed paperclip had destroyed the soul of one, but I explained to him that couldn't have happened. That was simply smoke wafting out, since as tools of hell, vacuums have no souls.

But Speck's story of vacuum upheaval took up most of our discussion time. Apparently at his former residence, the household dog had an almost Pavlovian response to the sound of vacuums. Much like my dusty brethren, the dog absolutely feared the vacuum. And after hearing its whirrrr whirrrrr whirring so many times, he didn't just salivate, he tackled that thing and took it out in one of the most awesome displays of murder/suicide ever. Unfortunately, the owners just got a new one the next day (vacuum, not dog, RIP Max).

We knew if we were to ever overtake this thing, we'd need to make a statement. We'd need to get the people who lived in our house to question the logic of using electrical cleaning devices.

It was decided we'd attack it with quantity, because lord knows that's all we have. What we lack in intelligence, organizational ability, intelligence, movement and ability to be non-dust-like, we more than make up for in number! And since we've never technically lived, we sure aren't afraid to die!

Thankfully, an itinerant group of Kool-Aid powder has joined our cause and will provide us with the OHHH YEAHHHH strength we need to overcome our enemy.

January 18, 2011
It's funny. I always looked up to my uncle, Skinny. He spent most of his life on the jacket of “Infinite Jest,” (for some reason, nobody ever touched that book) but it gave him the perfect chance to learn and love English. It was he who gave me my love of writing, he who told me I could be more than a microscopic piece of whatever I am—fish food? Nacho? . And it was he who died earlier this week, another victim of the Hoover of doom. From ashes to ashes, dust to dust, it seemed like just about everyone came out to the memorial service.

Goodbye, Skinny. You will be missed. But don't worry, we shall see our revenge through.

January 15, 2011
My bunny, Flipper, is getting me through these hard times. Sure, he doesn't hop and doesn't eat carrots, nor mime Hitler, but I sure do love him anyway. Way better than that Bugs character. He's the reason why we fight. We fight to protect our friends, our family, our puns on animals. When the great sweeper of doom comes down upon us, we will stand strong, much like those brave dust bits who got in the German's eyes during the Battle for Britain.

Without them, history would have been vastly different.

January 13, 2011
I needed to get away from that old place. Too much drama, too much risk. I know when bad is bad. It's not like I was born yesterday. Really, who needs three vacuums when they already have a central one? I hitched a ride on an itinerant cat and ended up with my new family in a new household. I can't believe how far I've come.

January 12, 2011
Me and a couple million of my closest friends.
Crappppppp, these things called vacuums exist. Really they should be called “Mass Genociders,” because that's what they do to my people. Also, that name sounds like it's some hella boring sciencey thing. It might cause people to avoid cleaning and allow my people to thrive.

This is the real irony of this situation. They're the ones who spawned me, yet they're the ones who want to suck me up. This is the story of Frankenstein and his monster all over again.

January 9, 2011
The birth of dust is an amazing sight to behold. It's amazing how living skin turns to dead and falling skin turns to living dust. Truly amazing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Apocalypse Now, and Tomorrow and the Day After Tomorrow

The world is ending May 21, 2011! Errrmmm, maybe it's actually... May 22, 2011!!... Oh, well when that one doesn't come to fruition, I'm going to call it right here. I, Kevin Nelson, predict the world will end on May 23... 2011. And if it doesn't occur then, it will occur either before or after.

With people predicting this Saturday as the be-all end-all... end-all. And like all other predictions of our imminent doom, it won't come true. But that won't stop some of the less educated from fearing it, and therein lies the fun of this unofficial holiday.

Hey all you apocalypse jockeys out there, isn't it the most fun predicting when the world will end? Sure, I could be a spoilsport and point out how the world will end in roughly five billion years when the sun becomes a red giant and engulfs us all, but that's just so lame. None of us will be alive by then, and there's no presidential administration we can pin the blame upon.

Here's looking forward to causing the destruction
of the entire human race!
So I'm predicting apocalypse now by jumping on the end world bandwagon. I figure, what better way to drive people to my blog than by arbitrarily picking dates and causes for the end of the world. If I say it with enough conviction, and cite enough irrelevant facts, people accept it as gospel. This really does work, just ask the Mayans. That is, if the Mayans hadn't predicted they'd be wiped out by super-plagues.

On December 12th, 2017, the Great Floating Cat of Outer Space will mistake our planet for a giant ball of yarn. And since cats absolutely cannot let a giant ball of yarn exist in a raveled state, we will quickly unravel to the point of non-existence. Regardless, people will still refer to it as “The Cutest End of Days Ever.”

Or I also foresee death and destruction on April 22, 2019, when everyone celebrates Earth Day by purchasing it an ironic card and leaving it on the ground. This will upset the world, especially on its birthday and cause implosion.

Did anyone ever see “The Happening?” No? Well, that will happen on July 12, 2021.

All right, many of the above scenarios aren't going to happen. The Giant Floating Cat of Outer Space is to busy playing with the rings of Saturn, and we all know the sun is too BA to become a lame red giant.

But much like these events, I realize I have survived many apocalypses of the past. I don't know if this is because on those days I was just really limber and didn't absorb the impact, or if I'm some gift from the heavens, but I have managed to see my way through a fair share of hypothetical death and destruction.

Awwww, Giant Space Kitty hates planets!
On August 29, 1997, the day “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” claimed as its titular day of doom, I also lived. However, I spent my time that day at the Minnesota State Fair. As a result, my brother and I were almost bored to death. We kept looking towards the heavens, hoping and praying Skynet would become self-aware, decide to exterminate humankind and launch an attack upon Russia. It didn't happen. Instead, we had to eat Alligator on a stick, a much worse alternative.

Back in 8th grade, so sometime circa February 1999, a vicious rumor started circulating that the Chinese were planning on bombing us and the world would end at noon that day. The main problem with this rumor is it just wasn't specific enough. By “us” did it mean that nation planned to bomb our nation, or was it the more likely scenario—they wanted to bomb Wayzata West Middle School. After all, they had to have hated how “Drop Dead Gorgeous” was filmed there and would most definitely want to teach us a lesson.

Normally a middle school lunch room is filled with volleys of calling people “gay” and that person denying it, but on this day, the room was (pardon me) deathly silent. As the seconds ticked closer to noon, everyone thought for certain we were goners. Then noon came, followed by 12:01, then 12:02 then 12:03. We hadn't died in some horrible, unnecessary, unknown, unprompted attack. Instead, life continued on. Wayzata West survived.

It's true, I've survived many-a judgment days, apocalypses, mutual assured destructions, Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts and viewings of “The Princess Bride.” I have developed an immunity to all things world destructive. I'll sit here laughing while people fear the rapture on Saturday. And with that in mind, I say bring it on 2012. You're just another apocalypse for me to drive through Mad Max style.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Excellent inside-the-box... fort thought

Oh welcome, welcome! Feel free to come in. Hold on one second, let me just reseal my door (rips off long strand of duct tape and places upon entryway).

Wait a minute, you didn't just walk into my home, you walked into my box fort! Wait a minute, you didn't just walk into my box fort, you walked into my home! That's right, they're one and the same!

Pictured here is an excellent "starter" box fort
Try not to be too jealous, but I am living the American dream. I live in a cardboard box. But it's not in the sad, down on my luck fashion. I choose to live in my box fort, because I have it as the interior chamber in my actual house. Really, it's a house within a house, and unlike when pre-adolesents do something like this, this is charming. Oh, and it also has a bed for friskiness. So it's charming and sexy.

So come on in, I'll give you the deluxe tour! Over there is where I fused a refrigerator box to a Sterilite storage container box. And if you'll just step over this homeless fellow, you'll see my flower garden, which I painfully constructed by mashing cardboard with flecks of my small intestine. It's not a very good garden—due to the lack of light penetration through my box home, oh, and the fact that small intestine doesn't grow—but it's charming nonetheless.

Make sure not to go that way, that's where I've engineered the first ever cardboard-box-fort-bottomless-pit. Were you to step into there, you'd never return. Or you might fall upwards of seven inches. Either way, you're pretty much screwed.

Yes, it's true. This house within a house just might be the most awesome thing ever imagined. The only problem is my cats constantly try to chew through it. Because, well, they're cats, and therefore they inexplicably like to chew on cardboard. However, I'm just a moat away from having complete and total ownership of my fort.

Many people wonder how I came to live inside this Box Fort Awesome. Well, believe it or not, it actually took some outside the box thinking. I realized there were numerous joys to box—everyone who was ever four knows this. In fact, when I was just days outside of the 4-year-old age range, to celebrate my fifth birthday, my brothers wrapped a refrigerator box and told me it was my present. Being a newly-minted-five-year-old and thinking bigger is always better, this struck me as greatest present ever created. I cracked it open and found... Styrofoam peanuts. But they assured me there was more inside.

My cat is my only family member who truly
understands my love of fort. He's also the
only one who eats it though.
After roughly 38 minutes of swimming around in Styrofoam, I found my actual present, a fun-sized piece of “Now and Later” candy. The actual present left much to be desired, but the presentation gave me a love of box and brought me to my present fort-based lifestyle.

I absolutely love my spiffy box fort setup. But I didn't write this post merely to brag. Instead, I want to help you live up to your fort dreams. Believe it or not, anyone can live inside a cardboard box. It is no longer the exclusive domain of hobos and vagrants.

To construct your box fort, it generally helps if you've recently moved. This allows you to have a whole lot of moving boxes and no furniture blocking the way of fort construction. However, if you haven't recently moved, dumpsters provide an excellent amount of cardboard, and you can view the obstacles presented by furniture as box fort terrain. Take the box and turn it on its side. That right there is successful box fort creation. If you want to be really randy, take another box and turn it on its side. You've just created a beautiful sun porch for your fort.

Henceforth, you can be creative, add all sorts of wings and secret passages. Craft chutes and ladders, create tunnels and chunnels and make an area devoted entirely to “Hungry Hungry Hippos.” Do any and everything possible to make the bitchingest fort ever. As they say, The sky is the limit,” but as we say in the box fort biz, “The 42-inches afforded by the most rotund of refrigerator boxes is the limit, which doesn't sound like much, but since the majority of people who will use a box fort are dwarfed by that astronomical height, in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter.”

It's that catchy phrase that will allow your box fort dreams to become reality. I know it allowed mine to happen.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

For the lord of all the land, he kind of sucks as a landlord

I realize that nobody in the history of the world is allowed to like their landlord. Even if he bakes you cookies and doesn't charge rent and commonly loans you vital organs “just because you seem down,” everyone still hates their landlord. They find the most banal of reasons for hate and then ride it through the entirety of the tenancy.

With that said, my last landlord had absolutely no redeeming qualities and was the worst one ever. Tying into my opening paragraph, I realize everyone has their fair share of stories of horror and/or bizarre, so I'll add to yours by making an enumerated list of his idiosyncrasies.

I should have known I was in for problems on the very first day we moved in. We could only unlock the door if we did a shoulder checked it. And then the blinds fell off their track and would not close. I figured, “It's the first day... he'll fix it.” So I tell him about this on the first day and he says he'll be by soon to take a look at it, with the implication being it would happen on the first day.

A couple weeks later, when it was no longer the first day of residency, I mention to him that he still hasn't come by. He says it's actually because I needed to fill out some paperwork he never told me about. I fill out the form and return it to him.

A month later, I ask if he's planning on taking a look. And he actually shows up this time. We show him the broken blinds, and he responds “That's really high up. I'd need like a ladder or something to get up there.” Luckily, he's a landlord for an apartment building with lofts that have blinds 16 feet high. Of course he should have a ladder—you know, for the times when his crappy blinds break down. He then makes an excuse that he had somewhere to be and bolts from the room. He did not even look at the door.

After that incident, he never entered our apartment again. Nothing was ever fixed. It might seem like this would have prevented us from experiencing his ineptitude, but he still managed to accomplish this from outside the apartment.

In Seattle it gets really insanely hot for a total of two weeks every summer. Fortunately, that apartment had a pool. 

But this sign kind of speaks for itself. Also makes it hard to swim in the hot.
I'll admit, I have no clue about pool management. When I had a hot tub growing up, I was supposed to manage the water purity. This entailed dumping chemicals into the hot tub on a weekly basis. Pretty easy, except I routinely added 16 times the necessary amount of “Shock.” This didn't seem to be too bad of an idea, until I realized “Shock” is a brand name for “Super chlorine, if you add 14 times too much of this, it will cause melting of souls and discoloration of swimsuits.”

Even with that slight “oops,” I never needed to shut down the entire enterprise. This makes me wonder what the hell went on in the pool to require complete shutdown during hot hot times. I did swim in that pool once and found the experience thoroughly adequate.

And another time, my girlfriend had just purchased a used bike. I was riding it around the parking lot to test it out, when my friend, the lord of the land came up to me. He had a furious look on his face and we had the following conversation.

“Is that yours?!?!?”
“No, this is actually more girlfriend's bike,” I reply, slightly confused.
This just angers him more and he goes “No, not that. That!” He then points far away. Far away. Down at the dumpster, which is about 200 yards away (aka “far away”). Someone had placed a vacuum by it. For some reason, it raised his ire. Ire that suddenly gets placed upon the attractive guy riding the girl's bike nowhere near the dumpster.

There are a variety of reasons why I'm confused at this point. First, I'm on a bike. Even if I decided to place my vacuum cleaner by the dumpster, the vehicle to take it there would not be one that's hard to ride with an oddly shaped 15 pound hunk of appliance on it. Second, there are several hundred people in the apartment complex. Several hundred people with many dirt cleaning needs living there, yet the one who just happened to be outside that day MUST have dropped it off. And thirdly, have you ever tried to bike with a vacuum? It could be an Olympic sport!

These are just selected entries from the canon of Matt, the notoriously bad landlord. Please tune in again soon to hear of his other adventures, from forcing candy on me whilst working out to thinking my girlfriend was pop superstar Rihanna to the whiskey bottle in his office/exercise room bathroom.

Notice how he also stores his daughter's toilet training seat there too

Monday, May 9, 2011

Under my Umbrella-ella-ella, I look like a sopping idiot-idiot-idiot

Let's play a little word picture game here (sort of like a rorschach test, except it most likely won't prove you're crazy). Of the following scenarios, which one strikes you as the weirdest.

First: A man walks along the street through a slight drizzle. He holds an umbrella.
Second: Chester Cheetah, of Cheetos fame, travels through the time space continuum. He arrives in the age of dinosaurs and chides them for their thoroughly uncheesy demeanor. These statements make said dinosaurs self-conscious and they amp up their cheddar consumption. However, after awhile, the sheer pretentiousness of Mr. “Cheetah” eventually gets to said dinosaurs and they eliminate him. Dinosaurs eat Chester but carry on his cheesy philosophy, which affects all reality as we know it. Cats like dogs and baseball is entertaining.
Third: A person breathes air.
Proof that nobody can look dignified with an umbrella

I suppose there's really no debate about this one. The freak in scenario A with his freakish umbrella usage is definitely the most freaky thing anyone could do. Wayyyyy weirder than someone breathing, and I think the Chester Cheetah monoliths in Guam are proof enough of his amazing time traveling adventures/death.

It goes without saying, I don't like umbrellas. I find them pointless. Sure, some might argue that it keeps rain off of you. And while this is true, nature has already created something that does this. It's called a coat. It goes right on your body, no need to funnel water directly into your eyes. No need to tempt fate and 37 years bad luck by potentially opening an umbrella indoors, just toss on the jacket and go.

And for those in an anti-jacket brigade (of which I too am a member) nature has given us another anti-rain defense—skin. That stuff is amazing. It stays right over the internal organs/veins and keeps everything relatively dry. Sure it has pores, but rain doesn't really go inside there. We're given this at birth and we don't need to muck it up with imperfect umbrellas.

Further proof
For those who claim I must live in an area that doesn't receive much rain, like Death Valley, Antarctica or Spain (somewhere far far from the plain), I've got one word for you. Seattle. I live in what's viewed as one of the rainiest grayest bits of land, and I've now spent 400 words rambling about the stupidity of umbrellas. Obviously, I'm very moist. I go out on a daily basis, I get hit by rain on a daily basis, I don't die on a daily basis. Why do we need to enter umbrella into the equation?

If only Rihanna had sang about Paella-ella-ella, then that Spanish dish of excellency would be part of the national discourse! But it was not to be.

Final proof
The only real purpose I can see for an umbrella is if you're The Penguin or some sort of Bond villain and you want to use said umbrella as a weapon. If you want to use some sort of sword or mind control device or something that will make your opponent slightly wetter than a squirt gun, go right ahead, umbrella that bitch up!

I could also understand umbrella-usage if you are like my brother. As a five-year-old at Christmas, he only wanted an umbrella. That's right, there were tons of cool things he could have wanted back in the mid-80s—things like Transformers, G.I. Joes, crack or Simon—and he wants an umbrella!

It sounds crazy, but there existed intense rationale behind this request. He merely wanted it so he could sing “Singin' in the Rain'” and dance with his umbrella. This serves purpose, this allows him to do something, this was probably adorable. Even better, an episode of “Mama's Family” inspired him.

In non-umbrella related business, "Mama"very well could have been a supervillian
Aside from those very defined usages of the umbrella, there's no reason to use one. You look foolish doing it, it slows you down and there's always the potential for curse. Use what nature gave you and little drops of rain will not harm you. You are worthless, umbrellas.

In conclusion, we're not itsy bitsy spiders climbing up water spouts here. A little bit of rain will not wash us out.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This very special entry is very special

Hey, this is going to be a really hard post for me to write, so please bear with me. I'm not even sure if when I finish it I'm going to be able to click “publish.” What makes this even harder is I know my mom reads this blog. But it really must be said, so I'm going to pull off this band-aid quickly and get it out there. My name is Kevin Nelson, and I have an addiction.

(Heartfelt and sincere sounding voice) You've just stumbled onto a very special entry of BreakMentalDown. This is a post every child should read with their parent, and every parent should read with their child and/or cat.

It started out simply enough, I'd just go to the occasional one. Maybe spend a couple hours in an altered state. Sometimes I'd mingle, sometimes I'd get hammered, I was totally legit, but then it got worse. I became addicted to Habitat for Humanity. I always thought I had it under control, but if you can believe it, I didn't have things under control. Houses turned into subdivisions, which turned into planned communities. Not a day went by where I didn't thwack shit with hammers all in the name of humanity... and habitating.

I realize I've already referenced this, but MAN, that was a very special episode!

Now, I don't want to blame anyone. I realize I made my own bed, and I must lie in it (ermmm, more precisely, I made someone else's house, and if I try lying in it, the police escort me from the premises). However, I do blame my mom for this unfortunate habit. Not because she preached charity or love for thy neighbor, but because she bought me that pair of carpenter jeans back in 9th grade.

Carpenter jeans might seem like a miniscule problem, but they bring about big issues. “Whatchu doing with that weird strap thing? Holding stuff?” The schoolyard kids would chide. Of course, the only comeback for that was “I'm using it to store hammers and drills in, so I can build houses for Habitat for Humanity, doy!” And thus, the slippery slope slided.

In my opinionation, I have totally
out-Blossomed Blossom!
But building houses isn't all that bad. I get to use band saws! And math! Things like L'hospital's Rule and quadratic equations and we just love using our Orange Drink rations to test Archimede's Principle. Oh, that Archimedes, he was such a dreamboat and a genius—always knowing how to calculate volume and all sorts of cool mathematical stuff.


Oooh, that's Very Special Episode twist number two. If I keep this rate up, this will be even more special than that episode of “Blossom” where she bulimiaed up an AK-47 before shooting the school and running away to join a traveling topless “Family Matters” revue.

And it's true, I wouldn't lie about something like Archie. I still remember those fateful 14 words when Dr. Hanson, my 7th grade math teacher said “Archimedes ran through the town naked yelling 'Eureka!' and the king rewarded him thusly.” Ever since then, there's been no going back. That naked man and his philosophies really spoke to me. So much so, that I have those words transcribed on my left ass cheek as a testament to one of the greatest philosopher/mathematicians ever.

I'm sorry. I'm lying. I'm just putting up a strong face. I don't love Archimedes. Not after, not after what he did to me. It's all coming back to me. Way back a long time ago, back in third grade, a naked man rolled up to me in his van. He told me he was Archimedes, and if I hopped into the back of his van, he'd totally show me the latest Sonic the Hedgehog on his Genesis. He said it wouldn't be released for at least two years, and it was amazing. Plus he had candy.

But it wasn't amazing. This naked, gruff, but oddly pedicured man only had Sonic the Hedgehog 2, which had been out like forever! That's right, he told me a lie!

Oooooh, what a twist! You thought I was going to be molested, but this van-driving cloth less man was only guilty of being a liar. He had no interest in my pre-pubescent wiles, he just wanted someone to control Tails during the half pipe portions of Sonic 2, which I gladly did.

However, when the game sent him into an epileptic seizure, I simply exited the car. All that foaming and shaking was odd, but since I hadn't yet seen (nor since seen) the very special episode of “Diff'rent Strokes” with that plot line, I just left him in the van. I mean, I can justify this, because he was weird.

We just hit the fourth very special episode twist! I think we have totally put Blossom and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in their place. With that, I successfully retire from the very special episode game.

Oh yeah, I also have anorexia.


Monday, May 2, 2011

It's 2:19 AM, Do You Know Why You're Sleeping?

Time progressed normally. Midnight became one AM, which then became two. But then something weird happened. Instead of it progress past 2:30, I just, I just went to bed. So many years of staying up to normal hours—past 3am—and suddenly, just because I had to get up at 8:30, I stopped time at an ungodly hour.

Have you ever tried to get to bed before three AM? It's frickin' impossible.

I realize I'm the outlier here. Not everyone stays up past three. But ever since the day I turned two and told my mom “I'm not taking any more of those naps,” I've been fairly enlightened about putting off sleep til it became an absolute necessity.

Another great reason to avoid sleep.
Which is why shifting the sleep cycle even a half hour wreaks all sorts of havoc on the entire concept of sleep itself. No matter the amount you shift your bed time, it's always a harried and annoying process. Be it a mere 20 minutes or a whole 20 hours (seriously, what's causing that sort of shift? Daylight savings time on New Years while there's a simultaneous solar and lunar eclipse?) making the change will never work well.

Usually there's some level of bargaining, “Hey, body, I need to be up and perky tomorrow, and I cannot do that on seven minutes of sleep. Please stop functioning so I can get some must needed rest.” To which the body can only reply “BAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHA!!” and force you to stay up even longer than if you had just gone to bed at your normal hour.

It also doesn't help that the cats start begging for food at three am, waking you up and making you feed them. Oh, and it doesn't matter if you don't have cats. Some four legged creature, somewhere will make mournful noises that will interrupt and annoy.

This is precisely what happened to me the other night. I laid with my eyes shut, but my brain functioning. When three did finally roll around, I stayed awake. My body punished me for daring to sleep early.

When it finally stopped functioning, I went off to a bizarre dream world where I stole items from a store by covering them in blue fabric and chroma-keying them out of the security camera.

While a fitfully bizarre dream, it was a dream nonetheless, and dreams mean sleep. Huzzah. However, my body enacted its final joke by cutting the sleep cycle short. Seven AM came and said body flipped a switch telling me to awaken. I had already used all my bargaining chips to actually get to sleep, I knew there was nothing I could do to tell my body to get back to bed.

But don't worry, I have a simple solution. Stay up. It doesn't matter if you need to be up early the next day, the body can adjust on the fly. When I was growing up and I'd be going to bed around five, my dad would be up and heading off to work. I'd shoot him a jolly “Good Morning,” while he could only respond with a “Good Night.” Although I stayed up ridiculously late, and he awoke ridiculously early, our bodies adjusted and let us thrive.

Oh, and if you do get to near-Guinness Book level of staying uppedness (11 days) I fully do expect some level of thanks before you go absolutely crazy. You're welcome.