Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Waiting on a bitch with change...

I make decisions quickly. I like to think that my brain quickly processes the information given to it and can rationalize the move I should make before it's too late. For instance, I study patterns of driving when I'm on the road so that I can effectively switch lanes in order to get somewhere faster and not be stuck behind some slow asshole who has deluded himself/herself into thinking that no one will notice a change in their driving if they text their best friend, change the radio station, and apply makeup at the same time.

I also hate when what I end up deciding ends up being wrong based on variables I did not foresee. First, variables are unfair and are generally douchebags. Secondly, I hate being wrong as a general rule.

So you can imagine my absolute frustration while shopping for vinegar, Gatorade, and distilled water (you know, for my sixth-grade science fair entry) at my friendly neighborhood Shaw's the other night (which, by the way, is the smaller, trailer park bastard-child of the two legitimate Shaw's supermarkets in Saugus and Stoneham) when I decided to forgo the line with 3 people in it and opt instead for the line with one lady buying only two greeting cards and a pack of gum...and it ended up being the craziest five minutes of my life.

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The Shaw's in Wakefield (artist's rendering).

Why, you ask? Andy, how could it have taken you five minutes to buy four items behind a lady only buying three items? Were you inadvertently rendered blind and stupefied by the image of Oprah on the tabloid rag your eyes grazed? Did you attempt to converse with the cashier in Arabic, only to have her douse you with a fire extinguisher before shoving a stake through your heart? Maybe the medication Robin Williams gave you finally wore off?

No, easily-amused readership; I was fooled by a simple bag. A plain old knit bag which I mistook for a run-of-the-mill "old lady" purse which I presumed to be filled to the brim with pictures of grandchildren, Werther's Originals, and holy water for shooing those damn devil-teens off her lawn. A bag that was in reality filled with a shoebox-sized Tupperware container overflowing with every coin-like currency denomination known to man...except for a single goddamn quarter. Not one.

So now I'm sitting behind a lady who is counting out $5.04 in nickels, dimes, and *shudder* pennies. At about the $2.55 mark she decides that instead of counting the coins herself, she would just toss handfuls of change onto the still-moving conveyor belt (which only kept moving because this goddamn Social Security sinkhole continued to move her change-box down the belt until the sensor was unblocked, starting the motor again) and have the cashier count it.

So why didn't I just move into another line, you ask? First of all, shut the fuck up; don't interrupt my story again or I swear to CHRIST I will cut you. Second, in the time it took for me to truly grasp the situation I was watching unfold (my brain was threatening to fold in on itself like a collapsing star) two of the remaining cashiers on registers had left to go on break and the lone free cashier had come over to fish change out of the conveyor belt, which was eating the loose coins every time the belt moved.

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Andy's head exploded, waiting in the Shaw's liiiiiiiine, in a shopping supernova...

So, to recap the scene in front of me:
1) lady paying for cards and gum completely with non-quarter change
2) two cashiers frantically digging said change out of the hold at the end of the conveyor belt
3) unassuming, mid-twenties male hanging from the ceiling of Shaw's by a noose fashioned by every remaining National Inquirer in the checkout area

Finally (finally!), once the change had been collected, my Gatorade had evaporated while still in the bottle, and the Snickers bars had become sentient I was able to pay for my items. With cash. Treasury-approved, mint-printed, can-get-ruined-in-the-wash-if-not-careful, honest-to-In-God-We-Trust paper money. Hallelujah! Holy shit!

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Where's the Tylenol?

So that was it; my harrowing escape through a river of Shaw's-filled shit. It's my firm belief that the end of the world is coming, for the stupids are breeding and I fear their multiplication may never slow. Just do me a favor: buy your canned goods and batteries at Stop & Shop.

Good night, everyone.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I can't relate and that's a problem that I'm feeling...

My mind is all over the place so bear with me. Or bare yourself...with me. Or something.

I didn't expect the Olympics to be this entertaining. That's probably the sixth or seventh time I've ever said that. Every time the Olympics come around I assume I won't care about how some burly woman from Uruguay won the gold medal in some sport that I didn't even know was a sport. I usually end up being wrong.

I watch obsessively; not only do I root for the Americans but I watch contests between countries that I either a) didn't know existed; or b) didn't care existed, with such fervor that you'd think I was competing. I want Michael Phelps to win eight golds, the Redeem Team to dunk over Pau Gasol over and over again, and use the wonderful magic of DVR to watch and re-watch the womens' gymnastics events without violating my parole. Do I feel bad that the Games are being played in a cesspool of a country known for its cheap labor, pollution woes, and atrocities against humanity? Absolutely. Will I watch all sixteen glorious days and then go back to pretending China doesn't exist? You betcha.

America, Fuck Yeah!

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Sometimes I think I know too much.

Not that I honestly believe that I have vast, nearly unquantifiable amounts of information in my head; I think it's more along the lines of having an almost superhuman sense of context. I find myself tuning people out halfway through their stories/sentences, already knowing how they're going to end. There's just something about context, cause-and-effect, and body language that I just "get". I should preface that it's not that I consciously do this most of the time.

This has been both bad and good for me. It's good in the fact that I can dive into my own mind and play around while someone is talking and I'll still know what they've said afterwards; not because I was listening but because I've gathered from the way they're standing, talking, sighing, etc what the gist of the story is and what my reaction should be. It's good because I can listen to someone talk and know what to say to them in order to solve their problem, or at least cheer them up a bit.

The bad thing about all this is that I'm pretty sure that this ability had led to the near-complete draining of my empathy. I wouldn't call the feeling "depression" per se, nor would I say that the feeling is extreme enough for people to consider me a sociopath; for the most part, unless I really am invested in the outcome or if you're a very important part of my life, I just don't care. I'm not trying to be mean about it; in fact, sometimes it's a sad feeling. Someone could be pouring their hearts out or telling me the funniest story they've ever heard and I could really not care less.

I'm not sure what the reasoning behind it is, or why I have such a heightened sense of what people are feeling and thinking. What I do know is that I have a hard time relating to most people. To me, their problems aren't hard to fix or deal with because I've already decided what I would do in their situation to cope or fix it by the time they've finished talking. How am I supposed to be sympathetic when I've already figured out how I would deal with it?

Does it sound as crazy while you read it as it does to me while I'm typing it? It sounds crazy but it makes perfect sense to me. It explains why I tend to become everyone's therapist; by the end of the tale(s) I've become so removed emotionally from the outcome that my advice tends to be blunt and incontrovertible.

I don't want you to get the impression that I don't care about anything or anyone; of course I do. I have loved ones just like everyone else. I have passions that make me feel such great joy that I want to cry sometimes. I can feel for family and friends. I'll donate time and money to causes I care deeply about. I could just care less about most things.

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What brought this on tonight were the actions of an asshole on my morning train. I was sitting in a seat with my iPod on; I was doing the crossword at the time. When the album playing finally ended (Matchbox Twenty's Mad Season...from a time when they didn't suck) my ears picked up the words of the man sitting next to me. He was a black man, about 30 years old, and he was talking softly enough for the closest of us to hear. He was talking about how all of us around him sit on the train and read their papers, listen to their iPods, talk to each other about work while we "tune out the sorrow of the people who don't look like you; who suffer while you drink your coffee and live your lives." He mock-yawned in our directions to imitate out uncaring natures for those less-fortunate than the people he knows.

I was honestly too pissed to answer him. That, and I didn't want to get stabbed (and I'm not saying that because he was black; he was muttering to himself on a train full of people and being hostile). The nerve of this guy to babble on and on like an asshole about how uncaring I am because I'm minding my own business on the way to work while he lectures us "uneducated folk" on the train is hysterical. I just wanted to knock him the fuck out and start screaming at him. What the fuck is he doing to help? Is he doing non-profit scolding on the train for Amnesty International? Who the fuck is he to tell me what I care about? He doesn't even know me! he's doing the same thing I'm doing: sitting on a train, heading somewhere. He wasn't serving soup to homeless people on the train. He wasn't volunteering at the Special Olympics. He wasn't tutoring at-risk youth. I've done all that stuff with no regard for how it looks to other people; who is this asshole to judge me?

Obviously, I feel very strongly that people who have no idea what they're talking about should just shut the fuck up.

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I'm talking to you two fuckfaces in particular.

Unfortunately, we're all headed for a real-life Idiocracy where the dumbest and most ignorant among us will soon have the largest voice, volume-wise. I hope to blow my brains out before that day comes.

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...well, someone ready my pistol because we're heading towards the End of Days at warp speed.

I know this may seem like a backpedal from a previous post, but there is something that's been bothering the FUCK out of me for a week now: Veggie Monster.

What's Veggie Monster? Good question. If you've ever watched Sesame Street then you probably already know who he is. You may know him by his slave name, Cookie Monster.

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Also the 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll.

Apparently, the idea of a lovable puppet that couldn't get enough cookies was a diabolical plot solely responsible for the rise in childhood obesity (see: mini-marshmallows) and just had to be stopped. I mean, it would just be too hard to regulate a child's weight using conventional methods such as exercise, eating right, proper education, and appropriate television and video game restriction. Instead, let's neuter a beloved and iconic children's television character and make him a shell of himself.

What's next? Does he sing "V is for Veggie"? Is Oscar just "misunderstood"? Does Telly go to AA?

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How is this "thing" NOT a drunk?

I know I've said before that there's only so much parents can do, that there are just too many voices reaching kids' ears these days, yada yada yada. However, a child's weight and level of activity is something of which a parent or guardian has direct control. A guardian feeds their child in most cases; a guardian monitors their level of exercise. In other words, the only reason to blame for a child's utter fatassery is the adult who takes care of him or her. Success in bludgeoning PBS long enough to begin the pussification of the last bastion of educational television does not make you a good parent; it makes you a complete asshat.

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Instrumental in making Cookie Monster suck.

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Sorry for going all Andy Rooney on you tonight. I really did have a great weekend but I'm just tired from 300 miles of driving and continued feats of stupidity from my underlings at work. I love life and I love the people in it; it's the rest of you fuckers I can't stand.

Good night!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm no fucking Elvis.

So I've been in a little bit of a funk the last two days or so. I'm not really sure why. If I had to manage a guess, I'd have to say:

1) I haven't seen Kristen in a while because she's been so busy.
2) I realized after having dinner with Lisa on Tuesday that I really miss the "Wakefield crowd" that, for the most part, I haven't seen in years.
3) The weather has sucked big floppy donkey dick.

Don't get me wrong; I love my life. I really do. While I wouldn't change anything, I would have liked to have added to it. Change, no; additions, yes.

So yeah, that's about it. I'm not very motivated to be funny today.

Oh, and one last thing: I'm pretty sure that being a music star (no matter what the genre) is a pretty sweet fucking gig. I know you don't believe me, but it's true. Having said that, I feel like most musicians have the obligation when showered with money by concert-goers and royalties from music-and-merchandise buyers to actually play their shows SOBER. You know, so that people can actually enjoy the music they listen to on a regular basis?

I'm all about experimentation through music and whatnot. I understand that playing the same songs over and over again when the only variable is which town to thank at the end of the night can get pretty monotonous. But c'mon, rockers...don't be dicks. I didn't pay good money (for overpriced tickets and Ticketmaster "convenience fees"...don't get me started on that) to watch you stumble around on stage, mumble the lyrics to your songs, nearly puke on your mic/instruments, and generally look like you're about to die onstage.

I'm talking to you, Adam-ay Uritz-Day. Spraining your ankle while drunkenly and awkwardly jumping around on stage wasn't very smart. Mumbling the words to a couple of my favorite songs before you went backstage, presumably puked, and then came back out and rocked my cock off for the last few numbers might make for a good story on the bus trip to New York that night but it makes me hate you a little. I mean, fuck, MAROON5 outshone you. The band had pink lights in the background and their fanbase is nearly completely comprised of desperate female and gay 'tweeners who want nothing more than to lose their parents in the crowd and give Adam Levine a blowjob after the show. Maroon5's music isn't bad, but you guys have been together since the early 90's and have put out some of the best music I've ever heard; have a little fucking PRIDE! Just a little.

Wow, even when I don't feel like typing I can pull off a rant. Awesome.

Alright, I'm going to go sit on the back porch with a glass of scotch and try to enjoy the little bit of today that hasn't been rained on. Be good.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A boat? A boat! Just keep swimming...

Sometimes (most times) I can't control my brain. On an average evening you're likely to find me after work sitting in a room by myself, staring at an object (tv, computer monitor, Real Doll) without paying attention to it, and there is no way in the world you're snapping me out of it. If you see the Boncoddus Distractus in its natural habitat, DO NOT try and snap him out of it; most likely the result will be a blank stare, mumbling, and a slightly perturbed Andy wondering why you derailed his completely insane train of thought.

Some say it's ADD; others like to think it's a fear of dealing with reality. I like to think that my mind is so advanced that it plays games with itself to stay sharp. Yeah, that's it.

I don't really know why I do it, but my mind is always working, finding connections between two or more seemingly unrelated ideas and making them fit as though they were peanut butter and jelly, or Elvis and Costello (what?). This usually leads to me making comments or jokes in which one equally-crazy person with borderline personality disorder laughs hysterically while five others reach for the nearest emergency button on their touch tone phones. Or slowly spin the numbers on a rotary phone while loudly fake-laughing so that I don't hear the clicking.

"HAHAHAHA, that's so funny Andy! HAHAHAHA!"
::click click click::
"Uh, what's that sound?"
"HAHAHA, I'm just laughing so hard at your joke, I have no idea what that clicking sound you're hearing is over at 100 WEST WYOMING STREET IN MELROSE, MASSACHUSETTS! HAHAHA!"

I think I like the fact that not everyone gets my humor. I'm pretty sure that a good amount of what makes me funny is cultivated in my coma-like state; trying to explain that to someone would be like trying to explain what that noise is coming from my trunk. (Really, it's nothing. Move along.) I'm also pretty sure that if I only associated myself with people like me that our day (not days, DAY) together would go something like this:

1) Stare off into space for hours
2) Make each other laugh uncontrollably
3) Die of said laughter
4) Be the focus of a funeral no one attends, since everyone I hang out with would also be dead from said laughter

That being said, the one day of uncontrollable laughter might be worth it.

Or not.

So, the ADD/coma/connect-the-dots-in-my-head playtime is why I rarely nap; why I seem to zone out at times; why I'm convinced that I'm the smartest mofo you know, whether you get the joke or not. My mind is just always at work. In the end, I guess I could care less if you get the joke; it's less about you getting it and more about cracking myself up/seeing if the connections I've made make any sense to me.

Also, in addition to explaining one of my many dysfunctions, I'm trying to break the record for most semi-colons used in a single blog post. Someday I will have the largest quantity of semi-colons per capita in Blogfrica! Kneel before Zod!

I'm cutting this short here because, ironically, I'm beginning to zone out a bit. Prepare yourselves for a joke in three hours' time concerning 3-ring notebooks, cell phone bills, Chapstick, air quality, and the Foo Fighters. It'll be killer, I promise.

Good night, folks.

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