Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No. 136 "Living At Home."

A few weeks ago, my friend Bre inspired me to write a blog about living at home after she went on what could only be described as the funniest fucking rant my ears have ever had the pleasure to hear. So I will give credit where credit is due.

Many recent (and not-so-recent) college grads have had the misfortune of moving back in with their parents after completing their degree. Blame it on the shitty economy, the growing number of college educated young people, or the government; it's hard to find a career in your field nowadays. Personally, I blame it on the economy. I also use the economy as an excuse for just about everything else in my life. I get pulled over for speeding: economy. I forget to visit my grandparents: economy. I still act like a 19-year-old: economy. It's a catch-all excuse that I will exercise until that well has run dry.

Anyway, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post about something that many people my age (myself included) are currently having to undergo: living at home. Moving back in with the parents after being away at college for several years is a bit acculturating. Instead of calling your folks once a week to tell them that you are still alive, constant contact is unavoidable. You may no longer live by "your rules" and thus are reverted back to your teenage years instead of making the customary transition to mature adult. Per usual, I have highlighted a couple themes that make living at home after college a bit of a drag.

Waking Up:
Not having a 9-5 job means that many college grads will procure jobs in the restaurant or hospitality industry. Which equals not having to wake up until noon some days. As nice as it is to be able to sleep in, this is rendered impossible due to restless mothers. A peaceful slumber is almost always halted by our lovely birth givers. I'm not exactly sure if my mom is intentionally trying to be loud, but every morning I am awoken to banging pots and pans, even if she isn't cooking. Sometimes she changes it up and vacuums while mowing the lawn synchronously to create a cataclysm of noise to assure I can never go back to sleep. If somehow I am able to fend off her gallant efforts to wake me, I am treated to a SWAT team-esque door kick down. I do not remember my mom taking kickboxing lessons, but eventually my door became so scared of her dropkick wrath that it would unhinge itself and fall down on it's own intimidation after a few weeks.

Pots and pans make great instruments of torture.

Job Hunting:
Our doting mothers' hearts are in the right place, but they have not entirely accepted the internet as a vital resource in finding a career. Instead, many of us are treated to archaic advice that may have worked in the 1950's, but now is best labeled under: No, mom. That will not work. The "best" advice I received from my mom was to "just drive down to the corporate office and ask for the CEO. Tell him that you learn fast and will try your darnedest and I'm sure you will get the job." If I were to take her advice and actually go down to a business I was attempting to acquire a job at, it would not play out the way she saw it in her disconnected head. I would spend thirty minutes driving in traffic, demand to speak to the CEO of said Fortune 500 company, be told that he lives in New York, then hand my resume to the receptionist. In that two hour span I could have emailed my resume and cover letter to the hiring department and spent the next hour and fifty five minutes watching a Sandra Bullock rom-com UFC fights. Maybe my mom is just trying to be helpful, but "pounding the pavement" is ineffective in the 21st century; although it will help me land a job in the fast food industry; which would be a great way to use my bachelor's degree.

Somehow, we all revert back to our formative years as soon as we move back home. It is customary to be yelled at for leaving a plate in the sink; a problem that did not exist in college as you would be looked at as a raging dickhead if you told your roommate to clean up anything that did not involve their bodily fluids from the previous evening. I find it interesting how my mom will exaggerate messes that I had left. A single cup in the sink = "the entire kitchen is a disaster." Not making my bed = "your room is a pig pen." And so on. I half-expect to be grounded; which would work if I didn't have the ability to kick my dad's ass.

I see no problem here.

Bringing Over A Girl/Guy:
This task is impossible unless you are an unabashed individual who can casually deal with repressed embarrassment from said party and an awkward breakfast wherein your mom not-so-slyly hints at whether or not you used contraception and then requests your presence at the next Sunday mass service. As far as self-administered sexual activities go, all moms have caught onto the "door closed means open very, very slowly and ask if we're 'changing'." Everyone's sex life has been dramatically truncated due to their "home field" being occupied by their wellspring. It makes you want to finance a vacation for your parents so you can get a handy from a fat chick without stainless steel cookware hindering your che.

Although your diet has been ameliorated from your college days filled with microwavable concoctions and 3 AM burritos, the selection of your parents' newly healthy-option fridge is less than appealing. Soy milk, sugar-free ice cream and Boca burgers are a bit of a culture shock for most recent college grads. When one tries to prepare a midnight snack, it's hard to accommodate your needs for a PB&J out of cardboard gluten-free flatbread, organic almond butter and free-range jelly. An intermediate omnibus of food and drink would make the step to healthy living a bit more reasonable and taste less like bark. And the worst part: your dad now drinks Bud Select 55, so even his beer selection has been pussified.

Why drink beer when you can drink disgusting water that doesn't get you drunk?

Late Night Activities:
Every twentysomething has moved past the idea of inviting friends over for a social gathering and firmly planted their flag into the bar scene as the destination of choice. But, for some reason unbeknownst to me, mothers across America will still ask why "you don't have some friends over instead of going to bars all the time." Although this is probably a precursor for her not wanting you to drive around the city drunk, it is still annoying. They must still see us as 15-year old kids and expect a night with friends to resemble a couple games of Uno over Sunny D instead of a reenactment of The Hangover. I would have no problem throwing a party with a bunch of my friends, but it's not my house, or as Snoop Dogg would call it: Hizzouse. I would rather not replace your lladro collection that will certainly be destroyed by an impromptu whiskey-induced wrestling match. Also, I am fairly certain you and dad are not die-hard fans of dub step blaring until 5 am. We're really just looking out for you, moms.

Those are just a few experiences every recent diploma wielding individual will be forced to endure as they use their parent's home as a launching pad into their own fateful ascension descent to adulthood. Some other issues may arise when living in the same domicile as your forebearers. This may include but is not limited to:
-DVR recording priority
-Helping set-up and break-down bunko night events
-Having your arm broken for attempting to adjust the air conditioning
-Cleaning up dog poop
-Inability to take the lord's name in vain
-Feigning interest in your dad's newly acquired mid-life crisis hobbies
-Using a land line phone
-Sleeping on a futon when your aunt is in town
-Being made fun of by your successful friends

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No. 135 "Back To School List."

It's that time of the year again, back to school season. Before the summer comes to a consecrated close remember to frantically work out for three days to attain that six pack you told everyone you would attain, break up with that clingy girlfriend who you met at Applebees and to sign up for the remaining available classes at the last minute (Women's Studies? Sounds like a great way to meet hostile lesbians chicks!) But, before you pack up and head back to College Town, USA, you must purchase back to school items. Here are a few ingredients to assure a great new semester:

Credit Card:
Otherwise known as free money. So what if your mom cancelled her card that you would "accidentally" borrow whenever you made a trip back home? It's about time you grow up and obtain a credit card of your own. 39% interest rate? What a deal! Having a credit card allows you to buy necessary items every college student requires; like slip-and-slides and remote control helicopters.

Useful for making sex less pleasurable and preventing babies from coming out of your long term girlfriend that fat girl you banged in your Prius. For those not good at sex; just scatter a handful of these jizz balloons across your desk to hoodwink guests into believing you're a Casanova.

Duct Tape:
You can use duct tape to fix just about everything, as long as you want it to look like shit. When not repairing broken lamps or limbs, you can use it to wrap your passed out roommate to his bed before you leave for the weekend.

Hunting Knife:
You don't have to live in the wild or attend Montana University (like Montana has a University, ha!) to brandish a hunting knife. Carrying a knife on you will establish a "tough guy" demeanor and persuade your professor into giving you an extension on your term paper. Also, to "kill" time between classes, you can stab hobos.

Expensive Electronics:
Use that newly minted credit card to treat yourself to some fancy integrated circuitry. These are perfect to show off to your friends until they are broken or stolen a week later.

I bet you can't wait to throw your remote control into me!

It can get quite cold in many apartments and dorms during the fall, so being able to curl up, find your most comfortable chair and use your many leather bound books to fuel a bonfire will prove very propitious come November. Until then, you can display your "nerd magazines" on your DVD rack to impress girls with glasses.

A Bunch Of Shit From IKEA:
Those user-friendly directions will be useful when you decide to put together your coffee table while knee deep in a plastic bottle of vodka. Also, your peers will think you are stylish and utopian since you decided not to adorn your living room with "gently used" furniture from The Salvation Army this year.

Attempt originality and buy posters that will make your bare walls stand out. Bob Marley, Salvador Dali, and Victoria's Secret model #762 will assure visitors of your unique and refined tastes.

AXE Body Spray:
This is a multi-tool in a spray bottle. It can be used as: Cologne, Insect Repellant, Deodorant, Burrito Induced Fart Concealer, Mace, or Flamethrower. It's a regular college Swiss Army Knife.

Also works as an attractive woman repellant!

Draw ironic mustaches on your hand so you can look like a fucking moron in pictures. Also, they can be used to draw dicks on people. Tons and tons of dicks.

Not for taking notes or printing out essays. That's what computers and free library access are for. Rather, the majority of paper you use will be for passive aggressive notes to your roommates about missing Hot Pockets and eleventh-hour toilet paper.

Running Shoes:
These will be used during your first week back until you realize that drinking beer and playing Xbox is much more fun than inclined jogging next to hot girls who give you dirty looks for looking at their finely sculpted asses. Instead, spray paint your cross-fit sneakers black and use them as dress shoes for job interviews you'll never go to.

Having Tylenol, Emergen-C and your Valtrex prescription on hand will be vital when all of the stores in your area have closed and you are in dire need. As for illegal drugs: It's college, do whatever you want! Do not smoke, snort or anally inject anything into your body, as it will create irreversible damage to you and disappoint your parents who love you dearly. Live above the influence.

Bike Lock:
Commuting to class can be a hassle with smelly public transportation and near nonexistent parking spots. A bike is an environmentally friendly way to get to and fro class without looking like a tool on a longboard. But, to make sure your $70 Huffy doesn't get jacked by a gang of troubled middle schoolers, a bike lock is necessary. Although in my experience, a bike lock is just an auxiliary strap to hold your your bicycle in place while it is beaten with large rocks.

My bike, Freshman year.

You're another year older, and even though you haven't given up on your binge drinking, you want to take a step in the mature direction and drink out of fine glassware instead of beer pong cups. Have fun stepping on broken glass every week and eventually returning to the unbreakable and indispensable red Dixie plastic cup after all of your pint glasses and champagne flutes have been destroyed.

Now you're ready to get back in the swing of things at your university/community college/trade school. Remember that school comes first, and to always show up for your classes at least five minutes early to have a brief conversation with your professor. If he refuses to let you retake the midterm, show your hunting knife as well as a few well rehearsed stabbing motions. Be creative, and see how many different shapes and sizes you can draw phalli on your fellow students' faces. And, always pay the minimum payment on your credit card.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No. 134 "Everyday Items."

Look around your house, apartment or shanty and you'll find a myriad of items dispersed across your place. Most of these items are used just about every day. But, their uses change when you transition from childhood to adulthood to mid-life crisis. Here are a few examples of such:

Age 8: Daddy's punching juice.
Age 19: Virginity remover.
Age 40: Suicide prevent-er.

Van With No Windows
Age 8: Stranger Danger.
Age 19: Clam-bake mobile.
Age 40: Vehicle to pick up unsuspecting children.

Each 1994 Ford E-250 comes with three pounds of individually wrapped candy.

Tabasco Sauce
Age 8: Tummy ache inducer.
Age 19: Mace.
Age 40: Taken with a Zantac 75.

Age 8: Cook/Maid/Boo boo healer.
Age 19: Blow job machine.
Age 40: The devil.

Age 8: Untimely death.
Age 19: Awesome bedazzled t-shirt destroyer.
Age 40: Dead hooker crime scene cleaning agent.

Shower Head
Age 8: Microphone/light saber.
Age 19: Masturbation aid.
Age 40: Provisional power washer.

Canola Oil
Age 8: Gross Canadian drink.
Age 19: Makeshift sexual lubricant.
Age 40: Flammable liquid used to burn ex-wife's house down.

75% cheaper than Astroglide!

Age 8: Slumber party weapon of choice.
Age 19: Remove pillow case to create slapdash suitcase.
Age 40: Mother-in-law smother-er/inheritance subsidizer.

Vacuum Cleaner
Age 8: Pet terrorize-er.
Age 19: Not Applicable.
Age 40: Girlfriend.

Disposable Shaving Razor
Age 8: Mommy's mustache remover.
Age 19: Accidental throat cutter.
Age 40: Hobo beard prevent-er.

Age 8: Fun toy.
Age 19: Everyday apparatus/item lost almost daily.
Age 40: Temporary flashlight.

Cardboard Box
Age 8: Spaceship/race car/fort.
Age 19: Porn collection storage unit.
Age 40: Eviction/pink slip container.

This can turn into a spaceship at any age with the use of hallucinogenics.

Age 8: Sword.
Age 19: Drunken baton.
Age 40: Burglar beater.

Age 8: Useful tool for shoddy arts and crafts.
Age 19: Pubic hair sculptor.
Age 40: Creepy mustache trimmer.

Age 8: Something a woman makes for you.
Age 19: Something a woman makes for you.
Age 40: Something you make yourself.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

No. 133 "The Worst Day (Part 3)."

If the scrolly thing on your mouse is broken or you're just plain lazy, you can find part 1 here, and part 2 here.

So far my day had been a steaming pile of shit topped off with a hearty ladle of "I'm Fucked" au jus. I decided that a few potent potables would be just what the doctor ordered (if my physician was a drunk) and got ready to meet up with Jenny at her boyfriend Joe's house a few miles from my dorm.

Andre Young, M.D. wants your ass to get drunk.

I informed my roommate Jim that I would be back around 1 AM; which would give him a four hour masturbation window. More than enough for the average college-aged male with a broadband connection. I joked that if he had a girl over, to put a tie on the door as a signal of preoccupation. We both laughed at the notion of him even speaking to the opposite sex without going into anaphylaxic shock, and I was on my way.

While driving, I saw my arch-nemesis Gideon riding his fixie bike listening to his iPod. I wished I had a water balloon filled with urine to throw at him, but a conventional middle finger had to suffice. My day was already getting better.

Per usual, I got lost on my way there and had to make several phone calls to figure out if Jenny meant "second left" or "third right, first left past the cemetery, U-turn at dead end and E-brake out of frustration." Perhaps a writing utensil or short-term memory would have proven valuable, but I after a couple increasingly annoyed phone calls I was able to find the place and walked up to the door.

It was a very big house, and as soon as Joe let me inside, it was reminiscent of a Hoarders episode; if the hoarder only collected totally awesome shit that appealed solely to twentysomething college students. The entire house was filled with vintage rock posters and neon beer signs with no sign of cat skeletons. According to Joe, his aunt died recently and left him the house and a bunch of money; which I'm sure she specifically insisted be spent on high quality marijuana and kegerators.

Joe was an amalgam of every stoner/slacker you'd see in teen comedies from the 90's. He even had his own catchphrase. I would compare him to that friend everyone had in elementary school whose parents always got the best toys. I wasn't sure if I wanted to be actual friends with him, but he had a lot of cool shit I wanted to play with.

(Pictured: Joe)

After he gave me the tour of his sanctuary de hesherdom, we all sat down and listened to music on his record player. Joe offered me a beer, which I blissfully accepted. Instead of a Bud Light or Sierra Nevada, I was handed an unlabeled bottle. He informed me that he recently became a home-brewer and just finished a new batch earlier in the week. I figured beer was beer and took a big gulp.

Surprisingly, it tasted just like regular beer (if that beer had been sitting in an abandoned lot for six months). I feigned enjoyment of his gag-worthy concoction, but spit the gelatinous liquid back into the bottle as slyly as I could, like grandma Mema's mutton. As soon as Joe got up to use the bathroom, Jenny and I exchanged disparaging remarks about Joe's fermented fuck up.

Jenny asked how life had been treating me lately. Instead of going off on a self-demoralizing tangent about how my youth was about to abruptly end due to my girlfriend's overzealous uterus; not to mention the fact that I was probably going to fail out of college, I told her it was "alright."

After a few more drinks and harebrained theories from Joe about artificial intelligence, I was ready to call it a night and get six full hours of sleep before my alarm woke me up for a class that I would eventually skip in order to watch The Price Is Right. I made the obligatory female friend chest-to-boob-hug maneuver with Jenny and "nice to meet ya" bro handshake with Joe.

I insinuated that I wanted to be invited back to Joe's fortress of awesome by attempting to exchange phone numbers. This was not to be since he did not own a cell phone because of "the government." I decided that asking questions would only lead to a proselytising tirade and likely Power Point presentation on various conspiracy theories, so I let myself out.

It was just past midnight and I was the only car on the road as I rocked out to some popular song from 2006 that I probably make fun of now. I looked at my speedometer and realized I was only going 25 in a 35 MPH zone. Just as I was about to speed up, a beautiful kaleidoscope of blue and red peered into my rear-view mirror. It was not a discotheque on wheels, but rather a cop ready to bust my ass.

I pulled over into the McDonald's parking lot to get some cheap drive-thru snacks; as cops are associated with taking their damn time, and I was quite famished. I figured I could present the officer with one of my baked apple pies as a peace offering since they're two for a dollar and fucking delicious. I decided that this was probably not a good idea, and instead pulled over into an empty parking spot.

Nothing good ever happens at a McDonald's parking lot after midnight.

As I waited for the officer to walk to my car I realized that I was under 21 and definitively had alcohol in my system. I immediately searched my car for anything that could get me in trouble: illicit drugs, communism propaganda, dead hookers. After realizing that A) I didn't do drugs, B) Communism was so 1967, and C) I had buried that hooker in a shallow grave last week, I began a hurried quest for gum or mints to disguise my breath.

I could find no such winter-fresh savior and instead took a long draw from a Coca Cola bottle sitting at the foot of the passenger side seat. The taste was not that of the refreshing sweetness I had known as Coca Cola, but rather chewing tobacco spit that my buddy had left as some sort of cruel joke. Just as I was about to discharge it all over my front dash, the officer knocked on my window with his criminal beating stick baton. I swallowed the disgusting tobacco spit like an averse 18 year-old girl at a seedy porn audition.

I thought about booking it and leading a car chase, but I really didn't want to add prison time and broken ribs to my worst day ever. So, I did what anyone would in that situation: try not to say or do anything idiotic.

The officer went through the generic questions about how fast I was going and where I was coming from. He then requested my insurance, license and registration. Since I'm an unorganized moron, I only had my license with me. But, I four-flushed my way through Del Taco bags and notes scattered throughout my hobo-ridden vehicle for several minutes until I gave up on the hunt. He took my license and went back to his patrol car.

I'm entirely dubious to what police officers do back at their car while you're tweaking out due to the anxiety. Maybe they're just fucking with you. Perhaps they have some sweet video games built into their on-board computer. Or, it really does take 28 minutes to run a warrant check. Whatever it may be, laying in wait at 12:30 on a Tuesday night while you ponder about whether you will be driving home safely and snuggling in your warm bed or sharing a concrete cell with a pantheon of cockeyed transients is quite a daunting task.

Officer Refusetosmile came back to my car and asked if I had been drinking previously in the evening. This was my moment to shine. Usually, I am a terrible lair with many discernible tells. But, when it comes down to brass tacks, I'm a regular Titus Oates. I cleared my throat in order to use my indomitable deceit timbre and sternly, but calmly, gave him an auricular: "No, officer. I have not." He took a second to stare into my unflinching eyes and delivered a "You better not be lying to me, boy" look before he handed my license over and told me to get my tail light fixed. And just like that, he sped off to a 24-hour doughnut shop or ongoing bank heist or wherever cops go when they're not harassing taxpayers.

As soon as I saw his headlights dim into the night I screamed out an impassioned "FUCK YEAH!" then cautiously drove back to my dorm while bumping the eclectic rhymes of N.W.A. My day had been a roller coaster ride of infelicitous incidents that continued to descend until my dumb Irish luck got me out of a near certain DUI. I was on top of the world, and even though I knew I'd wake up the next morning to realize that my life was presumably fucked; I had won this moment and I was going to savor it.

This "moment" lasted a total of eight minutes, until I opened the door to my dorm and saw Jim raping his hand once again. Oh, well. At least I wasn't getting raped in jail.

Over the next few weeks, I found out that Ly Inghoe was not pregnant, but actually a lying hoe. So I continued my relationship with her for several months since I had no balls dumped that bitch. After a few extra credit assignments and genuine studying, I was able to secure a "C" in my Electronic Media class without the disobliging tutoring of Gideon. And, I never drove drunk again. Instead, I coerced friends into driving or passed out on vomit-stained sofas.
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