hilarious

Jury Duty and The Stenographer

A month ago I got a summons in the mail stating that I would have to go to the local courthouse for jury duty. Two days ago, I went.

For that month long wait, I probably thought about the upcomming date at least twice a day. I wasn't pumped about missing a day of work, and I definitely wasn't excited about the possibility of being selected for a case.

The night before I went, I found out that they were actively trying to select the jury for the Tyler Clementi case.

I got more nervous.

I asked my girlfriend, Allie, if she would drop me off at the courthouse, and on the way there, we listened to the radio, when, amazingly enough, an NPR reporter brought up the case! He said that they were having a difficult time assembling a jury for the case, because many of the potential juror's had a viewpoint that got them instantly dismissed.

While Allie and I stared at each other in amazement, the reporter elaborated that many of the jurors believe that the existence of the trial itself suggests that the defendant must be guilty of something. Why would they have a trial unless he did something to warrant it?

There it was. The key to my freedom.

We pulled up to the courthouse where a line of half-awake zombies wrapped around the block, and I could see several Court TV news vans gearing up to report on the big trial.

A little more confident of my dismissal, I hopped on the line.

15 minutes later, I sat in a huge room watching a quick instructional video about how we are serving our country by appearing for jury duty. It looked exactly like every dystopian future I've ever seen in a movie. Just footage of a man's head explaining to us how lucky we are for living where we do, and how we must give back to our country.

Another 15 minutes later, a few of us, split off from the massive pool of jurors, are stuffed into an elevator, on the way to a court room to learn what case we'll be interviewed for. I rehersed my story. I practiced the lines in my head.

"Well why are we here unless some of the charges are true?"

The moment I entered the room, everything changed.

First, we weren't being interviewed for the Tyler Clementi case, which made me breath a sigh of relief, and then realize that I would have to come up with a new excuse.

Second, I almost instantly stopped worrying about that the moment I noticed the court stenographer.

She was fascinating.

Either superhuman or subhuman.

Possibly a ghost.

More likely a zombie.

Sunken eyes, sallow skin, long spindly Nosferatu fingers.

I have no idea why her typewriter thing had such a small keyboard, but her frightening goblin fingers flew over the little keys, while paper the width of a standard receipt spewed out of the back. Why don't they use regular paper? Do they have teeny filing cabinets?

As she typed, her empty eyes fluttered around in her hollow skull. They found me, and stayed. She had chosen me.

To be fair I was staring right at her, likely with a mask of horror on my face, so I can't blame her for staring back.

I still don't know what I was really looking at, though.

Her life is based on converting the sounds she hears into words on a page. Without a break. For hours. There's no way that she has a mind. It would get in the way!

She's just a funnel. Sound goes in her ears and becomes an electrical impulse which flows down her arms and out of her fingertips. She can't possibly process all the legal bullshit that's being hurled at her without end.

Why don't they just use a recorder? She's basically a modern equivalent of the birds in The Flintsones movie that are meant to "record" conversations just by remembering everything everyone said!

She's not real! She's an animal who serves a singular purpose.

Speaking of being an animal, she must be completely wild outside of that courthouse, right?!

From 5:00 in the afternoon until 7:00 the next morning, I bet she's chugging whiskey, joy riding, and hitting mailboxes with a baseball bat.

She must have SO much pent up energy.

It's either that, or she's just as hollow outside of work and she walks around staring at everybody, listening in on conversations and reflexively moving her fingers in the air, phantom-typing.

Maybe they roll her chair into a closet at the end of the work day, and she sleeps in there.

Maybe I'm just wrong and that's not a person. She's a very sophisticated machine used to transcribe conversations, and they wanted it to look human.

They almost got it right.

I kind of hope that she has some sort of effect on what she writes. I hope she's able to add something personal. I hope the transcription of my interview went something like this:

"Judge: Can you think of any reason why you would not be right for this case?"

"Fat Moron: I can't afford to miss work."

"Judge: Fair enough, you're dismissed."

"Fat Moron lumbers out of the room."

"Someday I will absorb his soul."

Welcome to the New Site!

Hey guys, thanks for making the jump from my previous blog! I always wanted to buy the rights to my own website, and now I've got it!

Over here, I still have every single post I'd previously written. Everything was imported over, including typos and comments. Every Scary Story Time, every rant about types of people I'm annoyed by. So forget the old site, it's been swallowed up by the new one.

You'll notice that it's easier to navigate my posts now. Over on the right hand side bar, you'll see a section called "Categories." There I list the different types of posts you'll find here.

If you want to have an easy list of only scary stuff, click on the "Scary Story Time" category. For posts about my podcast, Will and Bobby Know Everything, click on exactly that! To avoid those common types of posts, click on "Uncatagorized," and you'll get just the posts that I wrote about anything else. It's simple.

Along with the new WillRogers2000 site, Bobby and I started www.WillAndBobby.com where you can go to get content not only about our podcast, but also additional posts from both of us about whatever we think of, as well as exciting upcoming new projects!

Bookmark both sites, because why not?

WBKE - Episode 6: Crazy People Part 1

This week on Will and Bobby Know Everything, Bobby and I welcome my sister Kristen Rogers onto the show to discuss Crazy People!

In Part One of the show (which is also our first two-parter) Bobby, Kristen, and I discuss a toothless sandwich maker, a dangerous "pregnant" woman, and a professor Bobby and I had who may have been a ghost!
How can you resist!?
This episode is also a big deal because it's being posted on Bobby Koester's birthday! So give Bobby the gift of listening to this show!
Look for the show on iTunes by clicking here!
Stream it on your iPhone or Android phone by searching for it in the free Stitcher app!
Please subscribe to the show, and please leave any feedback you'd like. You can also get involved in the show by emailing us at WillAndBobby@gmail.com! We're always open to new hosts with new topics.
Also, because the show is free, and because it's just for fun, all Bobby and I ask is that, if you like it, please tell 3 people! No money, no nothing, just tell 3 people if you like the show!
Thanks a lot guys, take it easy, and remember that Part 2 of Crazy People will be online in a week!
And again, happy birthday to Bobby!

WBKE - Episode 5: The Supernatural

Turn on the lights.

Make sure the door is locked.
This week Will and Bobby Know Everything is delving into the topic of the supernatural.
Death.
Ghosts.
Abandoned factories.
This week's host Alex Silverii brings to Bobby and me tales of the disturbing things left behind by the previous owners of his family's house.
I tell one of the most terrifying stories known to man.
And Bobby is too masculine and rational to entertain such bullshit.
Listen to it, it's a fucking hoot. And a holler. And a SCREAM!!!
Will and Bobby Know Everything - Episode 5: The Supernatural is now available on iTunes (click here) and Stitcher. Load it up in your phone for later, or stream it through your browser right now (by clicking here)!
Please enjoy, please subscribe, and please tell your friends!
And don't forget to leave comments here or send feedback to WillAndBobby@gmail.com
Also don't remember that Bobby and I are always welcome to new hosts for new topics. We don't care who you are, everybody has something interesting to say, and everybody has a topic they care about. Please send all requests to us at that same email address: WillAndBobby@gmail.com.
It doesn't matter where you are, because through the magic of Skype, it'll sound like you're right here in the room with us!
Episode 6 will be online in a week. We recorded it just a few nights ago, and it's fucking magic.
Here are direct links to past episodes:

WBKE - Episode 4: Dating

Let me get this out of the way:

On Episode 4 of Will and Bobby Know Everything, Sara Mercadante joins Bobby and me via Skype. The topic this week is Dating.

Listen as Bobby and I go out of our fucking minds.

Maybe it's because the host isn't with us in person, or maybe it's because Bobby and I had more coffee than usual, but regardless of reason, Bobby and I are out of control this week. It's awesome. Listen close.

Now this is important:

We're all adults here, right? Well in the show this week, we discuss something that might be considered immature and gross, but I say suck it up and let go, and have fun. Yes it's gross, but it's also fucking hilarious.

Look for it on iTunes and Stitcher!

Click here to go directly to the show on iTunes!

Or click here to listen within your browser!

It's a fucking good one, tell your friends, because everyone should hear this horse shit.

Send any comments or questions to WillAndBobby@gmail.com

Bobby and I are always looking for new hosts for the show! You can tell it's pretty laid back and stupid, and this episode is a good example that you don't need to be with us in person, we'll take hosts from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a strong internet connection. So please let us know if you're interested, I don't give a fuck who you are or what the fuck you want to talk about, it's just for fun, so email us!

Episode 5 next week!

WBKE - Episode 2: Crime

Boom.

Episode 2 of Will and Bobby Know Everything is online!

In this episode, Bobby and I are joined by special guest host Tommy Becker, who comes by to discuss the state of crime in the world today. Specifically, we try to figure out the best way to murder each other.

It's a lot of fun! I hope you guys like it.

Same rules as last time, find it on:

iTunes for you Mac or PC

The iTunes app for your iPhone, by searching the show's title.

The free Stitcher (podcast directory) app for your iPhone or Android phone, by searching the show's title.

Or just listen through your browser!

No matter what, just enjoy the show!

You can make any comments of love or hate, or send any questions or requests to this blog or to WillAndBobby@gmail.com

Episode 3 in a week!

Sneak Peek: WBKE - Episode 1: Public Speaking

Hey guys, yesterday all I did was basically announce that Will and Bobby Know Everything exists. Tonight I have the first few minutes of the show online for you to check out!

Right now I have the show out for review by iTunes and a great app called Stitcher, so while you'll be able to get episode one on either of those services, for now you can only listen to this clip via the hosting site, Libsyn.

Basically, just play this file and check out the first few minutes of Episode 1: Public Speaking, with guest host Michael Costa!

I hope you guys like(d) it, and if you want to ask any questions or give any feedback, feel free to do it on this blog or e-mail Bobby and me at WillAndBobby@gmail.com!

Episode 1 goes live on Monday, January 16th! Stay tuned!

Announcing Will and Bobby Know Everything

I'm really goddamn excited to announce a new project my friend Bobby Koester and I have been working on: our new comedy podcast which will begin ONE WEEK FROM TODAY!

A huge thanks to Kevin Townsend who created this logo! You should check out his blog to see not only his work, but also the incredible things he finds: http://blog.sevenknotwind.com/

On WBKE, every week we will have a new episode with a guest host who brings a topic to Bobby and me, which we all then dissect. While embarrassing ourselves.

The show will be free of charge and easily available online.You'll be able to get it on iTunes, Stitcher (more another time) and Libsyn, which is where the podcast itself is hosted online.

The podcast is essentially just a talk radio show available whenever you want it to be. You can download it to your phone or stream it on your computer. Honestly, it'll be so easily accessible that you can listen to it at your house while you're getting ready for work, continue it during your commute, and finish it at your desk.

I should suggest you wear headphones if you listen to it in public, though. The subject matter is safe, but I curse a lot.

A lot.

Maybe too much, but I also don't care.

It's a weird funny show that I think you'll really be able to get into. And potentially involved in, but I'll explain that at some other time.

I'll actually explain a lot at some other time, I just want you to know that Will and Bobby Know Everything is coming.

Whether you want it to or not.

It'll be kind of weird if you explicitly don't want it to, though, because you could always just ignore it.

But, come on, don't do that.

Has anyone ever told you you're kind of a jerk?

Kaboom. More very soon.

The Buddy System

On October 6th, 2011 (I give the year because it's almost over), my dog Daisy died. If you have any concept of who I am, you likely know that because I haven't stopped talking about it. Based on the past couple of months, I don't think I ever will. I've written previously about how talking has helped me cope with her death. And I have to take that previous point of view for what it's worth, because now I'm a month and a half removed from saying it, and I can tell you now, on December 6th, 2011, that I can hardly stand to think about my girl, let alone talk about her.

I'm still very upset. And I'm very angry. Not in general, I should say. In general, I think I'm pretty okay, but when it comes to my dog, I'm very, very angry.

Being that I aspire to someday have a career based on my writing, I usually try to revel in ANY extreme emotion, and given how extreme I become when thinking about Daisy, I've tried to write from this mindset. I can't do it. It's too much. I'm so overwhelmed by how much I'm hurt. If that weren't enough, I'm actually annoyed at myself for letting my hurt turn into anger.

We adopted a new dog, partly because the house was too empty without my big goofy girl, partly because we needed someone new to focus on, and partly because of our OTHER dog, Harley.

Lately, out of the blue, I've begun to slip. I'm calling people by the wrong name. More specifically I've been calling our new dog Daisy. Her name is Penny. I slip and call her Daisy. Somethings wrong. I've lost a girl who should have been a long term family member. She was my pet, my friend, and my family. And my brain is trying to reintroduce her, because I can't quite stand life without that stupid fucking dog pouncing on me.

Worse than my interpretation of her death, which is inherently more informed because of my human brain (and because I was there), is what seems to be happening to poor Harley.

Harley is approximately 12 years old. And I have to approximate that age, because, just like all of our pets, he was a rescue. I don't intend to get on a high horse here, but I kind of do, because I'm proud of my family for always adopting a pet who NEEDS our help. There will always be people who buy from breeders, and there will always be people who just shop at puppy stores, but not as many people will welcome an older, potentially abused dog into their house. But those are the dogs who need a home. Daisy was one of them. Harley is one. We don't know what happened to him, but when we got him, he was approximately 3 years old, and was very nervous around men. I have to assume that he was hit by a man.

To take a quick tangent: If you are a human, and you are reading this, and you have EVER abused an animal, you are actually an inhuman fucking monster. One time I was at a party with my friend Bobby, where we saw a guy put his foot down on his cat's neck in some bizarre joking/frustrated manner, and we were inches from fucking killing him. Don't abuse animals. I'm going to turn into a real-life Batman who defends animals. My story parallels Bruce Wayne's: His parents were murdered in front of him. I had a doggy who died and I found out later. Chilling similarity.

Anyway, Harley has been in our family for 9 years, and in that time, he has seen many animals come and go. And he's always been a great dog, but he's been aging. When Daisy showed up 3 years ago, he suddenly got a good burst of speed, and somehow he seemed to be really interested in that girl. He kept step and pace with her, running around in the backyard, despite the fact that Daisy was 4 times his size. She kept him young. Now that she's gone, he's slow, sluggish, and man does he look old.

With any luck:

We're born into a world where we have an established family. We're born into a world where we have parents, siblings, and extended family, all of whom have a distinct love and interest in us. We're coddled as babies (because there's no such thing as some weird, self-sufficient baby), and then during our formative years, our families take care of everything for us. We have homes, clothes, food, an education, and in the unfortunate circumstance that a member of our family dies, magically a funeral has been planned, and all we have to do is show up. Maybe. If we're too young, we probably don't even have to go. Basically, we're accounted for.

At some point, though, we start to expand our interest outside of our families. And I should say that I don't limit "family" to blood. Our family is whoever takes care of us. At some point, we expand our interest outside of those who take care of us out of a sense of duty. And if we're lucky, we meet someone who will take care of us because they want to.

Think about it for a couple minutes, and you'll realize that your parents are nothing more, and have never been anything more than two people who like each other. It's a basic analysis, but it's true. Our parents are two people who like each other so much they wanted to spend most of their time with each other. They liked each other so much that they had children. They maybe liked each other so much that they decided to live in the same house, and forever sleep in the same bed.

Our parents are not obligated to each other necessarily. They just really really like each other. They're what we aspire to not only because they are our reference point for how we're meant to structure our lives, but because family can only go so far.

I love and respect my family. Every member. And in my family, each and every member is particularly interesting (or I'm bullshitting), but the world we're born into is limited. Most of the people we meet the moment we're born are already adults. As we grow up, they're getting older. I don't mean to be grim (which is to say that I'm not being grim for the sake of being grim, I'm being grim because the concept I want to explore is inherently grim), but these people are likely going to die before we do. It happens generation after generation. We should know that. I've tried to. It's fascinating and inescapable, and the fact that it can truly happen at any moment is major bullshit.

When we get to the point that we are expanding our interests outside of our family, we're met with absurd trepidation and apprehension, and rejection. We accidentally make new friends and form complex relationships, and we stumble into traditions and layers of responsibility toward each other. We date a lot, and we try each other out. And it's awkward and dramatic and fun, but eventually we get to the point where we truly want/need to settle down. We build a group of people with whom we hope to share our time in the future, and it's because the world we've always known inevitably has to fall away at some point. In all of these relationships though, most of us obviously hope to have a relationship with somebody that we can create a family with. We want to have children who can one day theorize that their parents are just really tight friends. It's nature. It's ethereal and spiritual. It's evolution. It's done out of love and fear. I can safely say that without the woman I love and without the family and friends I love, I'm an old man. I'm an old man yelling at you to get off my lawn.

Everybody who I care about and who cares back keeps me young and sane. I've seen what happens when you lose your anchor.

It can ruin you. It can turn you into a shell of who you were because you were so invested in their life, and they were so invested in yours. It's disheartening to watch. It's heart breaking. But it's a true testament to the power we can create and share with each other. And it should be comforting to know that people can be so capable of loving one another. I can love all my friends as much as I can stand to, but no matter how much I pour out, I'll still be a shadow if I lose it all.

Have a big satisfying meal. But in a few hours, you're still going to need breakfast. Does it cheapen the meal you enjoyed?

I hope not. But I'm feeling differently. I've mentioned that when I walked my girl, I made her pause and sit at each intersection. The truth is that I really hoped she would connect the street corner with the sound a car makes. I hoped that when those two pieces of stimuli occurred at once, she would respond by sitting and waiting, as I made her do. I was invested in her future. I enjoyed her at the time. I loved her without end at the time. But here two months later I feel less than empty. I feel vacuous. It isn't that there is "nothingness" in my heart as a result of her loss, it's that the space in which she once resided is actively yearning and trying to fill the space. It can't be filled.

I come back to Harley. I am able to intellectualize my loss. I am able to question why my pain is here. I can write a repulsively long blog post dedicated to the feeling. But my poor old Harley is simply vaguely aware that there used to be another animal around. Maybe. Who knows how a dog's mind works, let alone that sad abused boy. Maybe he doesn't remember feeling so happy running through the grass with Daisy. Maybe he doesn't remember rolling and playing with her, but I'll bet that the opposite of those feelings is registering heavily with him.

Daisy was a dog. And she was a good one. But she was a dog. And as hurt as I am, I can reason out the pain. I can riddle out the reasons. I can think. But for Harley, she was there when he woke up and went to sleep. She focused on him. She loved him. She played with him. And he loved her. And without her, he's reeling. Harley lost his buddy.

It's all just some kindergarten buddy system on a global scale. Harley needed Daisy and without her, he's falling. I loved her, and I wanted her forever, but she was always going to get away from me. If life had played out the ideal way, Harley would never have to know a future without his friend.

I don't know where this is going. I can't cap off this theory in a nice clean way. I'm 25 years old, which is a short span of time when gauged against the time of the people around me. I'm inexperienced. I'm a child. But simultaneously these 25 years have been an enternity, because they're all I have known. I'm lucky. I love my family. And I've picked my friends carefully. But I'm still trying to stand up after having been sucker punched by the car that hit my Daisy.

We all need our buddy. We need someone to check in with. No one is obligated to care for us, and I'm one of those who has been lucky enough to find someone who is invested in my happiness and in my health. I hope I don't take it for granted.

I'm sorry that I'm not being very funny right now. But this is a massive side of my personality that I don't want to shelf in favor of writing quippy, sarcastic posts about people I hate. I'll get back to that soon enough. I haven't written a single blog post in over a month, but it's about time that I should try to "speak" again. This is what I have to say right now.

I wish I could say that this is the last time I'll talk about Daisy, but I know for a fact that isn't true. Someday I still have to tell the full story of the night she died. It's a story that I need to tell and which needs to be told for how shocking, horrible and FUNNY it was. It was all those things. But I will say here that I owe a significant debt of gratitude to Bobby Koester, Michael Costa, Allie, and my whole family for helping me to survive it.

I'll put that off for a while.

I guess if there's anything I truly want to say with this post, it's that I think it's okay to need someone's help. And it's okay to talk. And that as much as I talk about how you need the people in your life, the flip side of the coin is that those same people will likely need you one day.

I also want to say that, across the board, I think women are stronger than men.

Coming soon: jokes.

Sorry guys.

Sweeney Todd

I'm jumping right in. So Allie found out that the local theater is putting on a production of Sweeney Todd. The only background you need for this, essentially, is that Allie and I were in plays together in high school. Once she found out that they were doing this, she immediately told me that I should audition.

That I NEED to audition.

It was said with that very specific urgency, that makes it clear that that this isn't a suggestion. But it's not an order, either. It's something else. It's a strongly encouraged opportunity that, if you don't take it, you're making a big fucking mistake.

I'm not auditioning.

Not out of some look-at-how-cool-I-am bullshit. I think. But I'm definitely not auditioning for the show. Why should I?

My viewpoint on the matter is that, yeah, I was in TWO WHOLE SHOWS in HIGH SCHOOL. Who cares? I enjoyed them, sure. They were a really big deal at the time, but now it's not something I'm interested in.

(Full disclosure: I'm pretty intensely interested in performance and storytelling and stuff. So I definitely understand the reasoning behind the strong suggestion. For example, I recently auditioned for an acting agency. I'm irrational, but nonetheless...)

Sweeney Todd is a really really entertaining play. I'm a fan. Not a huge fan, but I like that show. I've always thought it would be funny if I could produce a version of the play expressly based on the movie. From memory. For the sole purpose of having the audience think, "why are they adapting the movie into a play? Are they stupid?" That's what I want.

I bought the soundtrack to the movie on iTunes. It's not because I think it's superior to any play version, but just because the movie is my main exposure to the show and I like it. I sing the songs. Even when I'm not actually playing the songs from my iPod. I like this show.

Allie knows ALL of this. I still don't want to be in the damn show. But I have very specific, very valid reasons.

I'm 24 years old and fat. Those are the facts. The plot of this show revolves around a barber who was young and married a young beautiful woman, but the town's judge (the villain) cooked up a reason to have this barber exported so that he could steal the wife. The man returns at least 18 years later as Sweeney Todd, and along with woman who owns his old house, he plans to kill the judge. Sweeney Todd and the woman are insane, and now he'll pose a barber to practice killing people so he's ready for the judge, and she'll repurpose the bodies by making pies out of them to keep her business going. Win-win. Great show. But again. I'm a fat 24 year old.

This show is comprised almost exclusively of middle aged men. Who aren't fat. Specifically. Very specifically.

I brought this point up. It was waved away.

I enjoy singing. I personally think I'm a decent singer, but I'm also socially conscious. It doesn't happen much, but when it happens, I pay attention: if I happen to be singing, anybody nearby turns away, politely. It's no big deal, I don't care, I sing for no reason other than fun, but clearly other people aren't impressed. Sweeney Todd is a musical.

Again, this argument is nothing.

I can't do a British accent. Non-issue.

I don't want to do this fucking play. I'm perfectly happy to be on stage or talk in public, but I don't know how well I can act for a couple of hours. I'd LOVE to get up in front of people to say whatever I want, but acting? Being dramatic and singing? I'm not interested.

The way I see it, even if I audition for the experience, the best case scenario is that I have another story to tell. At best. The most likely, most boring scenario is that I audition, it's generally fine, but there's no place in the show for an "actor" of my caliber and age/physique.

What I would LOVE would be for them to watch me act and sing, and have to acknowledge amongst themselves (producer and director) that I have no place in the show, but to somehow really covet my talent and wish they could get me in somehow. They'd fruitlessly argue to each other that I look old...maybe I could be Sweeney Todd. Maybe Sweeney can be fat...no...no...Yeah, you're probably right, no good...The judge. Maybe...yeah! Maybe the town judge can be 24 years old....Right? Yeah! Ugh...no. No. Shit, where can we put this guy...?

Here's where you put me. This is what I want. I say this without a shred of comedy:

It's local theater. It's a local playhouse. Create a new character for me. But not a good character. What I want is for the producer to be so enchanted by me that they're willing to remodel the script to accept a new character. But oddly enough, the character they create to accommodate me is a village-idiot type.

Fatso the Village Asshole. That's my character. With a throwaway line of dialogue it's explained that I'm American. They write it so that I don't have to work for it at all. So I'm American and stupid and rude and fat. I barely have to act. They just want me in the show. I don't even sing. I'm just Sweeney Todd's idiot sidekick. And even though the role is written for me, because they love me, it's totally offensive. I'm constantly tripping over myself and farting and eating and shit. That's all I want. That's what I'm asking for.

Allie didn't seem interested. More than that, I'm pretty sure she stopped paying attention once I started laughing at my own jokes.

Doesn't she get it? Listen man, this blog has several readers from foreign countries. Several from Russia!

I'm a big shot.

So local theater? Not for me. Although I think the real reason is that I just don't like acting. I like writing or performing the crap I write.

Also, I can confirm that my Russian readers come here because of a weird mistake result on a Russian search engine.

C'est la vie.

I'm sorry.

EDIT:

I thought more about my created role. In addition to having to play a total slob, I also want to be some sort of sidekick to Sweeney Todd. I'm totally involved in the murder and involved in using the bodies for pies. But every now and then, my character will stupidly pick up one of the pies and take a bite as if oblivious to what's going on and mention to Sweeney how good the pies are. Sweeney rolls his eyes at me, and the play moves on.

A Couple of Stupid Dates

I’m going to very quickly tell you what the worst date I ever went on was. And since I’m already being a dick by posting this online, I won’t use the girl’s name.  I’ll just call her Barf. Or not, because that’s also really mean, so I’ll just go with Girl X.
This is at least maybe 5 years ago, and Girl X and I were not really dating. I also wouldn’t say we were really friends, but we did have one of those stupid and tense sorta-relationships that teenagers have. That being the case, we were fighting around the time that we went on this date. I don’t remember what we were fighting about, because I couldn’t care less, but I guess she was trying to make nice with me, because she told me that she wanted me to go out for dinner with her in the city. I was working at TGI Fridays when she texted me that, and even though I was grumpy with her for whatever reason, and even though I generally find going to New York to be a pain in the ass, I agreed. Because who knows, maybe it would be nice or maybe even romantic. She said she knew a great little place, and that I would love it.
                I picked her up that night, and we took a train into the city. Let me quickly say that even now, at 24, I can’t navigate NY very well, but especially then, I had NO idea where anything was, or how to use the subway. So Girl X is taking me on the subway and we’re just talking and having a good, if somewhat tense, conversation. Eventually we made it to the cute little place she knew of.
She took me to the Chevys near Time Square.
Chevys.I worked at a TGI Fridays at the time, basically the exact same kind of place. I felt like I was at work.

I smiled as well as I could, while internalizing “the fuck?” This is a nice little place?
Dinner was ok I guess. Frankly I don’t really remember any of it, because of what happened afterward. For the sake of the story, let me quickly suggest that it was 10:40, and that there was a train back to Jersey leaving at 11:00. It was the equivalent of that. Girl X checked her watch and look at me worried. She told me that we needed to catch that 11:00 train, so we’ll have to run. I’m fat now, I was fat then, I didn’t want to run. I asked her if we could just catch a later train, because the trains generally run for a couple more hours. With no explanation, she said no. So we ran through New York like idiots. Dodging and weaving through the other people who are walking like normal people usually do. We barely caught the train, got back to Jersey, and I was ready to split off from Girl X, but then I remembered I had driven her to the train station, so I had to drive her back.
This isn’t horrible of me, but I’m still not proud of it. I was so fed up with Girl X that for the drive home, I cranked my iPod and sang, just so that there wouldn’t be a chance for conversation. That was probably the worst date I've ever been on.
Now here’s a story about me being a total loser and idiot. Around when I was 18, my family had six pets: three dogs and three cats. That being the case, every year there were a good few weeks in a row where I’d have to take the pets to the vet for their checkups. At the vet’s office, there was a really cute nurse who I always got along with. Now, I generally try not to be too presumptuous, so even though she and I would chat and laugh, I assumed that it was just friendly banter. I was mostly making fun of dogs for being afraid of her, and she would laugh and say she was used to it. On maybe the third visit that year, the nurse asked me if I’d like to maybe meet up with her at the local dog park on Friday.
All of a sudden, I realized that we weren’t just making small talk, we were flirting! I would have been disappointed by my fucking stupidity if I wasn’t so stoked that a nurse was asking me out, so:
"Yes. I would like to go to the park with you."
I was so caught up in the magic of love that I was back at my house before I realized that:
       1.) I never got her phone number
And
2.) I didn’t even know her name
Obviously I couldn’t call the vet’s office and ask what her name was, so I just started using the code name Mulva in my head while waiting for Friday to come.
That day I made it to the dog park early, which was no mean feat considering that I took my fat lazy dog Jewel. She was half basset hound and really slug-like, so the fact that I managed to get her out the door to the park early meant that I was way over-eager.
I may as well have been wearing a suit with a flower in the lapel. I may as well have had my hair slicked. I looked like I was trying to look nice. So I was there, all the other dog people were put off by me, and I waited. I waited a realllly long time.
She stood me up.
At this point, I realized that it really isn’t worth it to get so goofy about a date, I was actually glad she stood me up, because I was about to embarrass myself. I considered it a freebie and a lesson, so I went home feeling semi-okay.
Unfortunately, because of how many damn pets we have, I had to go to the vet the very next day. On the drive over, I learned another lesson: dating sucks. I didn’t want to have to see the girl that stood me up! Not because I was in pain or something, but because I didn’t want to have to have her looking at me awkwardly. I’d just as soon pretend it never happened, but I was certain she wouldn’t. I wasn’t looking forward to the appointment.
Incredibly, the moment that I stepped through the door, Mulva ran up to me to apologize. She said that her friend had been attacked by her dog, so she couldn’t come. That took me by surprise. At first I was going to assume that she was lying, but let on that I believed the lie just to make everything okay again. Then I was going to pretend that none of this had ever happened. But I was taken aback, as she looked legitimately apologetic, and that's a crazy thing to lie about, so I believed her. Even still, I wasn’t about to ask her out or anything. The appointment went like normal, we still flirted, and then I was walking to the door, thinking that clearly nothing was going to happen, and I was a little bummed. Just then, she called out my name, I turned around, she put a little note in my hand, said, “I have to go assist the doctor, but call me!” and ran away. The note had her name and phone number on it. But I’m still going to call her Mulva.
Now we jump to one year later.
It was again time for me to start taking all those stinkin’ animals to the vet, and on the drive over, I started thinking about Mulva, and wondering if she still worked there. She did, and we joked and flirted a little bit, even though it was awkward after all that time. But it was cool.
On the drive back, I thought about all the events of the previous year and about how I was actually kind of cool back then. This older hot nurse was asking me out, and even when she stood me up, I never begged her to give me another shot, which I probably should have. She was definitely too good for me, and I started thinking that if she and I still flirt and stuff, I should just flat out ask her to dinner. Because of all the animals I have, I figured I’d just do it on my next appointment. I psyched myself up to do just that.
Then I started wondering why things never really took shape between me and Mulva the previous year. I couldn’t remember how it all ended…And then…I did. She gave me her number on that piece of paper, and that was it.
I never called her! What the fuck, why didn’t I call her?
Suddenly I didn’t feel like a cool badass about to ask out a nurse. Instead, I felt like an asshole who never called this girl who kept asking me out! At the vet’s, it wasn’t awkward because it had been a year since we’d seen each other, it was awkward because she thought I was a dick!
Well, I calmed myself down, and I reasoned out that since I still had her phone number, and since I couldn’t really change the past, maybe I would just wait a day, call her, and ask her out. I figured I could just come up with some reason why I didn’t call or something. I didn’t really know, but I figured it would be okay.
The next day, I scrolled to her name on my phone, steeled my nerves, and called.
The phone rang. And rang. And rang. I started getting nervous that maybe she didn’t have the same number anymore. Finally, someone answered,
Man: “Hola”
Me: “Hi, is [Mulva] there?”
Man: “¿Que?”
Me: “I’m trying to reach [Mulva].”
Man: “Uh, sorry. No hablo inglés
That’s when I realized…
Me: “Sorry, thank you.”
I hung up. And my heart sank. I remembered. I DID call her last year…but THAT guy answered the phone! I must have put the wrong number in my phone!
So…I’m pretty sure I made my sister go back to the vet’s in my place, the next week. I never saw Mulva again. And thank god for that, because that would have been really uncomfortable.
The end…
Now tell me the worst date you’ve ever been on.

An Afternoon at the Museum/Zoo

Last weekend, Allie, Krissy, and I went to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia. It's the museum of medical oddities, and I was really excited about it.

They have a wall of skulls, and each skull has a brief description under them of whose skull it is, sometimes it says how they died, but it always says what makes their skull unique. They have the skeleton of a man whose muscles became calcified, they have leather made from human skin, and they have the skeletons of a man who had gigantism next to the skeleton of a woman who had dwarfism.
The best/worst part of these displays were the goddamn people standing around me, talking about each skull, or skeleton.
I was reading about the guy who had gigantism, and why his spine was bent, when some idiot walked up behind me and said, "Oh gross, look at that guy's spine! Ew, and his ribs are all messed up, wow!" Christ. I'm not saying that I'm a genius or anything, but I'm going to go ahead and take pride in the fact that I wasn't just running from display to display looking at "freaks." Idiot.
I was enjoying the museum until we hit the gift shop.

http://www.muttermuseumstore.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=MutterMuseumStore&Product_Code=000048&Category_Code=

Didn't click the link? It shows you this:
They sell that. It's a best seller. Come on.
They know EXACTLY who their customers are.So that was pretty great, but what was probably the best people listening to/watching experience I've had in years was at the zoo. It was unbelievable.

I went to the zoo with my friends Bobby Koester and Matt Van Auken. Matt was there for school, so he had to actually seriously study the animals, but Bobby and I didn't have anything legitimate to do, so we were just screwing around and looking at animals. We weren't there long before we realized the people are way more interesting.While we were looking at lemurs, standing in a pretty big group of people, we heard a *beep* come from the ceiling. Just a brief tone. I barely would have noticed it if the the woman in front of me hadn't reacted the way she did. She stared up at the ceiling, looking concerned.

I figured she was just curious about what it was, so whatever, I looked back at the lemurs.
Then the ceiling beeped again. The woman, still staring at the ceiling, nervously said, "hello?"
Her husband/brother/boyfriend/guy with a ponytail grunted his theory, "I think a monkey got out."
A monkey.
One of those monkeys we were looking at (lemurs).
I'm pretty sure the zoo sounds off a light beep whenever a fucking monkey gets loose.
Dammit.
About a half hour later, Bobby and I were checking out some seals, because seals are great. After about three seconds of looking at them, I learned something interesting. Seals don't so much make that barking sound that everybody thinks. The sound they DO make is this (Warning: it might be hard to explain this sound if you're reading this at work):

If you didn't feel like clicking the YouTube "video," it's me making barfing sounds. Because that's the sound these seals were making.
So even though the seals were exclusively making this sound, little kids standing near me and Bobby kept doing that "arf, arf" seal impression. Weird. One kid even made the joke, "They're saying 'art!' They want art!" The other kid cracked up. So did Bobby and I.
Also near us was a family who though it was cute and nice to bring a loaf of bread to the zoo. They're the obnoxious group of people who toss little shreads of white bread to all the animals, even though most of the animals at the zoo don't eat white bread.
If that weren't enough, they were were tossing the bread into the water, because not only do seals LOVE bread, they REALLY love DISGUSTING SOGGY WHITE BREAD DISINTEGRATING IN THE WATER WHERE THEY LIVE! It was unbelievable.
It made me so angry.
I honestly can't wait to go back.

This is a very important story. It's also an experiment.

I'm going to go ahead and write out a story of something that really bugged me. When you're finished reading it, I want you to think about what you would have done, and how you would have felt if it had happened to you. Or maybe just how you would respond to me telling you this. Then I'll tell you the correct response.

It all started last November when I got a job temping at Johnson & Johnson. I was the hot new kid on the campus, and obviously people took notice of me. And the people I'm talking about...is actually just one lady who makes sandwiches in the cafeteria.

I mostly kept my head down and worked, but it seems that she just took a shine to me.

It started out small, like asking how my day was. That was already pushing the threshold of my friendliness, but I'd tell her, "fine."

Now, I'm a vegetarian and a creature of habit, by the way, so I was pretty much getting the same damn cheese sandwich whenever I went to her station. Sometimes I might get a veggie burger from the guy across the room, though.

Obviously, I wasn't even safe from her then. She'd shout, "What, are you cheating on me?"

I'd look back and smile/grimace.

Then she started trying to memorize what sandwich I usually got. I'd walk up to her and start ordering, but she'd cut me off, look like she was thinking hard, and just sort of randomly blurt, "provolone...tomato...uhh...and [I'd try to jump in] Wait! Pickle? Then I'd say, "lettuce," and she'd start apologizing to me for not memorizing what I like. Loudly. While other people wait on line. I felt as though it looked like I expected her to know what I get. To other people, I just looked like a prick.

So whatever, that temp job ended, and I went on to better things (such as having Quick Chek sandwiches made by a woman I call Eyebrows Lady). About a month later, I got hired for a different job at the same J&J site.

On my first day back, the damn sandwich lady, who I had mostly forgotten about, asked me where I'd been. I told her that my last job had ended a month earlier. She looked offended and said, "and you didn't say goodbye to me?"

Christ. WE AREN'T FRIENDS!

Okay, so all that to explain this:

The other day I was on the line for a sandwich, because I don't learn. With about 5 people ahead of me, the sandwich woman notices me waiting on line. AS A BUSINESS WOMAN IS ACTIVELY ORDERING FOOD, the sandwich lady holds her finger out to silence the her, turns to me, and holds up one of the rolls I usually get my sandwich on,

"Hey! Here, take this, just in case I run out of it by the time you get up to me."

She said it with urgency that suggested there'd be hell to pay if I didn't get my fucking olive bread, with a twist of doing me a huge favor. So I had to walk through the 5 people ahead of me to take the roll. It was just strange enough to attract the attention of all the bored/boring office people.

A sweaty guy joked, "Hey, no cuts! Heh...heh..."

Some giant went, "Well! I guess we know what YOU'RE ordering!"

A lady, speaking WAY too loud says, "Hey, always good to have someone in the cafeteria looking out for you!" Her voice actually echoed.

And the last guy gives me a fucking pat on the back as I walk back to my place in line.

The worst part is that I could easily see a whole stack of that type of roll.

Office jokes are so stupid and irritating. They're not even jokes, they're mostly just basic observations, spoken through a smirk.

So that's it. I know it's not a big deal or anything, but it is annoying. It's as annoying as any brief interaction can be. Wouldn't you hate that?

And now here's the correct response to me telling you this story:

"What the hell is wrong with you?"

That's what my girlfriend said. And unfortunately, she's right.

"So that woman just tries to talk to you and asks you how you are, and you hate her? She tried to do you a favor and make sure you got the bread you like, and that pisses you off? I don't know why you tell me these things."

"..."

"And then those people tried to be friendly and joke around with you, but you just frown like a weirdo?"

I think I stammered here. Or grunted like a caveman.

"Honestly I think you're a little agoraphobic."

"What, no, you're crazy."

"No, Will, you always tell me these stupid stories about something that freaked you out and it's always like 'someone smiled at me,' and they always end with you talking about how horrible that was. Seriously, I don't know how I'm supposed to respond to this."

"Well, I thought it was funny."

"What are you going to do when we have kids? What are you going to do if you have to go to a parent-teacher meeting, and I can't go? Are you just going to sit next to the other parents and frown?"

I was about to answer, but -

"And then you're going to come home and I'll have to hear all about it?"

Jesus.

To be fair, I'm completely aware of the fact that it's irrational for me to freak out in situations like this, and I usually neglect to mention the part where I contributed to the stupid office humor and got along with everyone. But I can't divorce myself from finding these little teeny interactions worthless and annoying. I feel like it should really be acceptable to say to people,

"I don't mean to be rude, but, oh god...you're really weird. You're being weird toward me. Stop it."

So that's how you should have responded, but I really hope you relate to me about all of this.

I've got some work to do. For starters, no more sandwiches.

Up and Running

I’m not 100% on what blogs are for. Are they really just to go over the bullshit that you do from day to
day, or should they be like a book of essays? Should I be working hard to craft a little story that has a
beginning, middle, and end? Should I just be blurting out what a think, even if it’s a rambling mess,
as long as it’s what I feel?
Who cares? Who reads this shit? The blogs that I know and like are the ones centered on a topic. I read
a lot of nerdy blogs like Gizmodo, which, at this point, I’m hesitant to refer to as a true blog. Sites like that are more like a digital magazines, I guess.
So now I’m going to try having a blog again. I’ve done it before, and I’m pretty sure the result was that
I had long rambling posts about the crap that used to upset me. That was years ago though, and I'm not so angry anymore. I'm mostly confused. What’s the point of all this? Am I supposed to be writing
clever, witty little things for people to read and relate to? Should my goal to get people to comment on
what I write?
Admittedly, I don’t have much experience with reading peoples’ personal blogs, but from what I gather,
most people write about private things, or stuff that pisses them off, and it’s always vaguely written
enough that, as a reader, you’re left not really understanding exactly what the person is referring to:
“At this point, I’m just sick of all this shit. I don’t need a bunch of fake friends telling me what to do.”
What does that mean? Who are you writing about? It’s got you angry enough that you felt like writing it,
but you were careful to make sure you didn’t include names or specific situations. All anyone can do is
wonder, and probably comment asking if you’re talking about them.
To be fair, I guess it’s difficult to specifically name names in a blog where you’re putting a person down.
I’ll be talking about this woman who makes me sandwiches at work (who is SO fucking uncomfortable to
talk to), and while I really think it’s a funny/strange situation, I can’t help but think about the possibility
of her stumbling across this blog (I don’t mean this will be a popular blog, I mean that it’s technically
possible that she COULD see it).
Are blogs personal? I can’t imagine they are because you’re posting what you write on the internet. I
know that’s a common thing to say, but it’s absolutely true. If you don’t want people to dissect what you write, don’t put it out in a public forum. The internet is a billboard.
So I don’t really know what to do here. I definitely do want to have a blog, to have a place where I can
write about stuff that I’m thinking about. But it’s probably not going to be focused on any simple topic like the successful blogs I know of. I HOPE it won’t be a place where I come to vent a bunch of bullshit without
explaining who, what, when, where, or why. And I really don’t want to just treat this like a place where
I advertise how clever and enjoyable I am.
What I’d like this blog to be is a combination of all these things. I want to do whatever I want, basically.
I want to talk about funny shit I imagined, I want to talk about things that piss me off, and maybe I want
to review movies when I see them.
Last of all, I'm thinking of posting old things I've written. Maybe scans of bullshit I thought of in high school or drawings I drew when I was a kid. Just whenever it makes sense to.
Hopefully I'll keep this up. If not, oh well!