Thursday, December 31, 2009

Predictions for 2010

It’s my last post of 2009.  Congratulations for reading.  You’re part of a special club of about 12 people.  You’re like the Apostles only with more swearing and sex and less fishing (though I’m sure there’s some fishing).  The point is, you’re special.  But not so special that it changes your life in any positive way.  Enough about you; my predictions for 2010.

  • Dee will fall asleep 30 minutes into every movie we watch at home.
  • I will be teased with idea of an office all to myself (possibly with a window) but it will never happen.
  • There will be elections in 2010.
  • Michael Jackson will remain dead.
  • His family will not, unfortunately.
  • ”Shoeless” Joe Jackson will not be reinstated.  He will also remain dead.
  • The CTA’s customer service policy will continue to consist of simply apologizing for shitty service.
  • Someone reading this will go fishing.
  • People will continue to be surprised when they find out I’m a performer.
  • I will be excited and then disappointed by the Notre Dame football team.
  • I will get angry at several TV commercials for their flawed logic.
  • Taylor Swift will release another poorly-written, poorly-sung album that people will buy like crazy.
  • You will gasp and call me a monster for daring to pick on Taylor Swift (okay, that might happen in 2009).
  • People in my neighborhood will deposit large amounts of uneaten food on the sidewalk.
  • The “Mindsilt Apostles” will have a great 2010 filled with swearing, sex (consensual, of course), very little fishing and only as much religion as you can tolerate.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What To Do While Realizing You Wasted Another Year

1) Make a donation to a qualifying charity.
2) Treat yourself to a brand new pair of sweatpants.
3) Finally break down and join
4) Walk the dog.
5) Decide that it’s never too early for a mid-life crisis.
6) Declare that the fourth quarter of your personal year ends January 31st.
7) Make a list of goals for next year.
8) Immediately shred the list of goals so that your children never have physical proof you are a failure.
9) Hastily make major financial decisions.
10) Seize the day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Best of 2009

2009 is coming to a close and it has been taking a lot of heat as a crappy year in one of the crappiest decades.  I won’t make the claim that 2009 was a great year, but I do know there were still some things that I was able to enjoy.  What follows is a relatively random selection of those things.  This list is made up of things I enjoyed in 2009, not things that were new in 2009 (although some were).

White Rabbits — I finally found an indie band that doesn’t mess around with whiny, boring, angst-y shit for the majority of their albums.  They start off high-energy and keep up the intensity through to the end.  I saw them live and it was one of the most intense live shows I’ve ever seen.

The Whigs — Much like the White Rabbits, they are definitely high-energy.  Different feel than WR, though.

Jonathan Coulton — Hilarious nerd-rock.  Maybe not rock as much as pop, but he sings songs about zombies and Shop Vacs.

Up — I don’t care how many special effects James Cameron jammed into Avatar (which I haven’t seen), Up is the best film of the year and should be awarded as such.  You’ll laugh and cry.  Moviemaking at its best.

District 9 — I saw this when I was in Florida for my uncle’s Space Shuttle launch.  A movie that makes sure its special effects are there to enhance the story, not the other way around.
Does it seem like I’m taking a lot of shots at Avatar?  I am.  I don’t have to see it to know it’s overrated.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson — Time travel, multiple universes, jet packs, undiscovered science and monasteries.  In Stephenson’s style it’s long and detailed and he creates a fantastic and believable world along with fantastic and believable characters.

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway — Man develops a new weapon of mass destruction that unleashes unintended consequences.  Sounds like it has been done before, right?  Not like this.  I can’t go into too much detail without ruining it for you.  I can tell you that this new weapon simply makes matter disappear but leaves a nasty cloud of monsters in its wake and that’s not even the most interesting part of the book.

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore — I’ve read most of this guy’s books because I love his sense of humor.  In this book, he puts an interesting spin on death’s job of collecting and redistributing souls.  A pawn shop owner is suddenly put into service as a soul collector and subsequently needs to save the world by leading an army of six-inch tall creatures armed with sporks into the San Francisco sewers.  Funny, dark and delightful.

iPhone Apps
What is this App? — A puzzle game where you have to figure out what the app does.  Clever.

Eliss — A crazy game that could only exist on the iPhone.  You have to play it to see how cool it is.

Air Mouse —  An app that lets me control my Mac with my iPhone.  In fact, I’m typing this through my iPhone right now.

STS-128 — The Space Shuttle mission that my uncle piloted.  Remember that week when every single one of my Facebook posts mentioned that my uncle was in space?  Annoying to you, sure.  Fun as hell for me.

Sexual Intercourse — with my wife.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Being a Christmas Grinch

1) No Christmas lights means a lower electric bill.
2) You don’t get glitter on your hands from all those Christmas cards.
3) No Christmas shopping.

1) The undersized heart means you spend a lot of time at the doctor.
2) People look at you funny when you don’t speak in rhyme.
3) You get tired of explaining to people that a religious/commercial concept can’t be stolen.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Letter To Santa

We all know that Santa Claus gets lots of letters from kids during the holiday season, but have you ever wondered what kind of letters Santa receives during the rest of the year?  I have.  In fact, I’ve managed to get my hands on a letter that Santa received this past July.

July 14, 2009

Dear Mr. Claus,
I appreciate our unique living conditions here at the North Pole and I know that we’re all trying our best.  However, I’m at the end of my rope.  I don’t want to solidify my reputation as a grumpy neighbor, but not even you, Mr. Claus, are without fault.  We both know we can’t really landscape the frozen tundra, but I’ve tried my best to make my own yard unique and interesting.  I respect the fact that you leave up your Christmas lights year-round even though they cast a terrible glare on my TV if I leave my windows open.  I simply close my windows.  That’s me being a good neighbor.  I would hope that you could be a good neighbor, too.  And yet, I consistently go out into my yard to see my series of decorative sun dials tipped over into a sea of reindeer hoof prints.  Yes, I know sun dials don’t make any sense on the North Pole, but you’ve got to have a sense of humor when you’re faced with months of darkness, as you well know.  We all have our quirks.  Unfortunately, mine doesn’t garner the same good will as flying around the world delivering toys to children which is why writing this is so hard for me.

All I ask is that you reign in your reindeer.  I would hate to have to erect a fence between our properties, not simply because it’s nearly impossible to drive a steak in the tundra, but because it would ruin the neighborly feel of our little burg.  Unfortunately, I will be forced to do just that if you can’t keep your reindeer from destroying my sun dials.  I know they must run and practice their flying (and don’t think I don’t realize that they can leap/fly over any fence ever created) but do they need to do it in my yard?  You have no neighbor to your south (the other south).  Let them practice there.
I’ve tried to be patient, but I don’t know what else to do.

Your neighbor,
Sven Klaumper

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What I Want for Christmas

Now that I’ve given you my shopping tips for the holiday season, I thought I’d share with you what I want for Christmas so you can put those tips to work.  My Christmas wish list for 2009:

1) Judaism for Dummies.
2) To be able to play the piano like Ben Folds.
3) For Glenn Beck to pull a Plaxico Burress.
4) A national law banning pot-luck lunches.
5) Someone to explain to me why Mary J. Blige is so popular.
6) Another Colts Super Bowl.  You can be late with this one, I’ll understand.
7) Three sizes added to my heart.
8) Inspiration.
9) Someone to explain to Jennifer Lopez that no one cares anymore.
10) New socks.  Seriously.  I need new socks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…if you start a sentence with “no offense,” you’re already lying.

…your skinny jeans paired with your knee-high boots makes me think you just rode in on your horse, ladies.  Is that really what you’re going for?

…if the thing you’re most fired up about right now is Facebook’s new security policies, you need to rethink your life.

…you’ll never get to reap the benefits of that life insurance you’re paying for.

…just because it’s hard to do doesn’t mean it’s more fulfilling.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Random Updatery

Random thoughts and updates from my life.

Keep It Simple
I’ve recently discovered that compared to most people, I like to keep my food simple.  I don’t mean that I don’t like fancy food or expensive dinners.  I’m talking about condiments.  When it comes to food that is often served with a wide selection of condiments, I prefer to keep it simple.  Hamburger?  Mayo and tomato.  Hotdog?  Mustard.  Sandwich?  Mustard, maybe mayo but never both.  Everyone else likes to load up on condiments.  I like to taste what I eat, not the accessories to what I eat.

If You Don’t Like Football, Skip This Section
Last time I wrote about football, I predicted the Irish would be just good enough to let Charlie keep his job.  I was wrong.  Charlie lost his job and Notre Dame hired Brian Kelly, the former head coach of undefeated Cincinnati.  I think Notre Dame made the right choice.  Brian Kelly is the right guy for Notre Dame right now.

The Colts are 13-0.  We’ve been here before, though.  Every time the Colts start strong, they do something to screw it up in the playoffs.  I don’t expect them to blow it, but I’m not getting myself too jacked up just yet.  However, they have been there to save my football weekends every time the Irish blew it on Saturday.  So, thanks for that.

Expiration Dates
If I went back in time and purchased a carton of milk two days before its expiration date and then brought it back with me past its expiration date, would it still be good?

Hectic Holidays
The holidays are always busy for everyone, but they’ve been especially so for me.  Usually things slow down for me at work around this time, but it has only been getting busier and busier.  I’m completely exhausted.  It doesn’t help that I haven’t even begun my Christmas shopping.  Thank god for the Internet.

Speaking of…
Guys, it’s almost 2010.  Man, did the year fly by or what?  It’s been a good ‘round here on the old blog.  I rededicated myself to the blog and I’ve kept my promise.  I’ve missed a couple posts in that time and tweaked some of my original ideas, but I think we can all say that things around here are better than they ever have been.  Thanks for reading, everyone.  Now I just need to figure out how to write posts that get you guys fired up enough to post comments.

Also, I heard James Brown on the CBS NFL show say the words, “…in the oh ten draft.”  Oh ten?  Nope.  It’s two-thousand ten.

Why do people only specify the type of murderer you are if you are an axe murderer?  Nobody is ever called a “handgun murderer” or “vehicle murderer” or “spoon murderer.”  Only axe murderers get the modifier.  If I was a different type of murderer I’d be pissed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You Can't Fool Me, Microsoft

What if I went to my boss and said, "Remember how I haven't done anything you wanted for the last ten years?  Remember how I never even tried to change all of the things you asked me to change?  Well, isn't it great that I've finally changed the way I work so I finally do all those things that I should have always been doing?  I want more money."

My boss would laugh me out of the room.  In fact, it would be shocking that he put up with me for so long.  Ridiculous, right?

Well, that's exactly what Microsoft is doing with its Windows 7 ads.  Those ads open with someone dreaming about something really simple that their PC should do and then go on to tell you how Windows 7 now does that really simple thing that everyone knows it should have done all along.  The sad thing is that it's going to work.  They'll sell millions of copies of their operating system because PCs are cheap and they all come with Windows.  Most people don't give a shit that Microsoft is comparing these great new computers with their new software to those crappy older computers running the old version of their software.

I wish my boss was that dumb.

Look at What I Did!
Last month I wrote a little skit and it ended up on the Kmart website.  Pretty awesome, huh?  If you want to see it, go to and click on “North Pole” and then “Sounds of Santa’s Workshop.”  Audio will start playing.  You may have to listen to a few before you get to mine — it’s the one about saws.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What To Do While Dancing to the Song "Shout" By the Isley Brothers

1) Kick your heels up.
2) Throw your hands up.
3) Throw your head back.
4) Remember how you creepily fell in love with a nine year old.
5) Say you will.
6) Think about being better to yourself.
7) Come on now.
8) Get softer.
9) Then get loud again.
10) Shout.
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Monday, December 07, 2009

Holiday Shopping Tips

It’s already December 7th.  Can you believe it?  If you can’t then you’re probably behind on your Christmas shopping.  If you can believe it you’re probably still behind on your Christmas shopping.  I know I am.  I’m here to help, though.  I’ve compiled a list of time-tested shopping tips to help you finish your shopping in time for your chosen holiday.

1) Go shopping during a recession, or ideally, during a depression.  The crowds are much smaller.

2) If you can’t shop during a recession, ensure you have plenty of room to navigate the crowds by refusing to bathe or shower for at least a week before your planned shopping trip.

3) Be sure to clean out the trunk of your car.  You’ll need a place to stash the bodies of the shoppers you’ve trampled to death trying to get the hot item of the season.

4) Instead of real gifts give your friends and family homemade coupons offering discounts on your love.

5) When shopping online use only cash so that hackers don’t steal your credit card information.

6) If you’re a guy, leave the shopping to the experts — have your wife do it all.  If you don’t have a wife, don’t worry.  Single men aren’t expected to be organized enough to give Christmas gifts.

7) Shop after the stores have closed.  It’s harder to get in, but everything is free.

8) Don’t waste your money on boxes and wrapping paper.  Bags are the trendy way to present your gift.  Recycle your old grocery bags by coloring over the logo with a marker and drop your gift in there.

9) Trying to shop for that person that has everything?  You can never go wrong with cheese.  Everyone loves it and they always need more.

10) Order a bunch of gift cards and let people shop for themselves.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Things I Can Do Without

It’s been a rough week and things have been getting on my nerves.  Time to let off a little steam.  The following is a list of things I can do without.

1) The dude who whistles in the bathroom.
2) People who constantly point out insignificant flaws in the hopes of covering up their major ones.
3) AT&T’s lame attempt to combat the completely true Verizon “there’s a map for that” ads.
4) Christmas specials on TV already.
5) Two hour dance shows.
6) The fact I sometimes think of turning my Zone Bar into a sandwich.
7) The laughably short expiration dates on most food.
8) Choosing an outfit every morning.
9) My constant craving for new iPhone apps.
10) Waking up in the morning.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Being Charlie Weis

1) You get to sleep in for the next few weeks.
2) You’ll have plenty of time to polish your Super Bowl rings.
3) You’ll never have to use Twitter again.

1) You’ll be unemployed for Christmas.
2) Your alma mater has been ruined for you.
3) You probably won’t get your own statue outside Notre Dame Stadium.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Things I'm Thankful For

Better late than never, right?

-Pumpkin pie.
-Pumpkin flavored cheesecake pie.
-Playlists that last throughout five-hour drives.
-My ability to translate my brother’s cryptic statements for the rest of the family.
-Opportunities to sleep in.
-Chick-fil-a while I’m eating it (but not after).
-The Colts’ ability to pull out a victory every week.
-Golden Tate’s ability to make amazing plays — even in defeat.
-The Comcast customer service rep who claimed her name was Joseph.
-Getting to talk to my uncle about life in the International Space Station.
-People who are reading this right now.
-People who are reading this some other time.
-People who can read.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…you don’t have to be smart to be famous, so why should we care about what famous people think?

…everyone needs to stop saying “independently wealthy.”  Everyone who is wealthy is dependent upon someone else for the money they have.  No one just finds huge piles of cash laying around.

…killing wrong-headed Christians is illegal in real life, so I play Assassin’s Creed II instead.

…based on my criteria, world peace won’t be achieved until someone figures out how to stop the battle between the conflicting thoughts in my mind.

…if you are illiterate you can’t read this.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Palin vs. Fey

During her many television appearances promoting her book, I heard Sarah Palin talk about Tina Fey’s impression of her on Saturday Night Live (SNL). While she admitted that Fey was funny, she specifically mentioned Tina’s “I can see Russia from my house” line. Palin replied, “I never said that and now people think I said that.”

That, my friends, is why you don’t want Palin to be your President.

That one quote sums up the conservative mentality perfectly. Palin actually thinks that people are too dumb to understand that when Tina Fey plays her as a character on SNL Fey is not actually quoting Palin but simply saying things that captures Palin’s mentality. Palin doesn’t think people can separate her from Fey’s depiction of her. Palin thinks you are stupid. In fact, she wrote a whole book that explains to you how stupid you are for misinterpreting everything that has happened to her since she became famous. She doesn’t believe in the American people. Do you want a President who thinks you are stupid?

I don’t even need to mention the irony in the fact that Sarah Palin thinks everyone else is stupid.

What scares me the most is the people across the country who are using Palin as a role model for their daughters. They think that she has been a successful, strong mother who has been unfairly criticized and they tell their children to look up to her. They’re teaching their children that all criticism is unfair and unwarranted. They’re teaching their children that quitting on people that depend upon you is okay. They’re teaching their children that everyone else is stupid.

They should be teaching their children to look up to Tina Fey.

Tina Fey worked her ass off to become a head writer on SNL. She refused to write and play the typical roles that women play on TV. She created and writes one of the funniest and smartest shows on TV, 30 Rock. Why was she able to accomplish these things? She trusts her audience to understand her jokes and characters. She knows she doesn’t have to explain anything to you because you’ll get it. She thinks you’re smart. She believes in the American people.

Would Tina Fey be a good President? Probably not. Would she be a better President than Sarah Palin? Definitely.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What To Do While Your Wife Goes to the Bulls Game Without You

1) Make sure you still have your testicles.
2) Marvel at the fact that it took your wife 45 minutes to get ready for a basketball game.
3) Watch Notre Dame get killed by Pitt.
4) Walk the dog.
5) Remember the time when the NBA was still relevant.
6) Practice your turns and leaps so that you can someday hang out with your wife and her dancer friends.
7) Roll up your t-shirts and launch them across the condo.
8) Fart freely and loudly.  Not that you don’t do that all the time.
9) Call Larry Bird and see if there’s still a team in Indianapolis.
10) Stop checking your testicles, already.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I've Found My Family, Thankyouverymuch

I saw an ad for a new TV show called “Find My Family.”  Based on the preview, I’ve surmised that this show attempts to reunite adoptees with their biological parents.  I’m sure this show will be right up there with “Extreme Home Makeover” on the crying scale.  However, I have a problem with this show.  As someone who is adopted, I don’t like the name of the show.  You see, I’ve already found my family.  In fact, I found them the day I was born.  By name, my family is David Ford, Joyce Ford, and Matthew, Andrew and Kelly Ford.  The people who adopted me are my family, and I know exactly where to find them.

I need help finding my biological parents.  They are not my family.  Sure, they are my parents but they are not my family.  Family is more than just people who gave you life.  Your family is the people who have been with you through everything you’ve experienced.  You don’t need a TV show to find them.  You know exactly where they are — for better or worse.

Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate what my biological parents did for me.  They had a choice.  They chose nine months of inconvenience so that I could have a home — so that I could live.  They’re just not my family.  That’s another sacrifice they made (assuming that being my parents is desirable).  Maybe someday they could be a part of my life and they would certainly occupy a special place, but they wouldn’t replace my family.

Of course, I understand that “Find My DNA Donors” is not nearly as catchy as “Find My Family” but I thought someone on the adopted side of the coin should mention that they’re not really finding anyone’s family on that show.

I love you Mom and Dad and Matt, Drew and Kelly.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Old Me vs. The New Me

Whenever I look back at the person I used to be, I laugh and scoff at the things I used to do and think (and wear).  I’m shocked that I ever let myself think the thoughts of a young, brash youngster and I marvel at my recklessness.  I was a different person then.  The old Jeff (the young Jeff) is nothing like the new Jeff (the old Jeff).  If I hadn’t changed and learned from my younger years, I’d have a much different life now.  In fact, I probably wouldn’t be married to my wife.  Hell, I probably wouldn’t be married at all.

When I was younger I used to think things like, “I can’t be with someone who likes Britney Spears.  Hell, I can’t even be friends with someone who likes Britney Spears.”  My wife likes Britney Spears.  Twenty-three year old Jeff would look at me and say something like, “Dude.  Really?  Did it get that bad?  You couldn’t find any girls that like Wilco?”  I (thirty-three year old Jeff) would just smile, shake my head and say something like, “Dude.  She invented a new kind of sex,” and watch as I blow my twenty-three year old mind.

Just last night I caught myself thinking like the old Jeff (the young Jeff) when I glanced over at the book Dee was reading and read the following sentence:
    “I can’t stop thinking about what Hilly said to me today at bridge club.”
 I thought, “What person in their right mind decides to keep reading after that sentence?  The only logical thing to do is start a fire in the trash can and purge that book from the face of the Earth.”  I then realized that the person I married keeps reading a book where plot lines revolve around gossip and bridge club.  Before I could make a smartass comment, I thought about some of the sentences found in my books, like this one:
    “And so Charlie Asher, in the service of life and light and all sentient beings, and in the hope rescuing the soul of the love of his life, led an army of fourteen-inch-tall bundles of animal bits, armed with everything from knitting needles to a spork, into the storm sewers of San Francisco.”
And so Jeff Ford, in the service of life and love and understanding, called off the fourteen-inch-tall demons that sit on his shoulders and construct all sorts of smartass things for him to say, kissed his wife and went to sleep.

I realized at some point in my life that those things aren’t that big of a deal to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have strong opinions on music and books, it’s just that they aren’t deal breakers for me anymore.  Plus, who is a big enough douchebag to actually believe that they can’t be friends with someone who likes crappy music like Britney Spears or Nickelback?  I realized that I could deal with some crappy music because Dee makes me laugh and lets me fart.  That trumps Britney Spears (but not Nickelback — we’re united in our hatred of Nickelback).  I may have lost my youth, but I gained perspective.

I know that my under twenty-five readers1 are shaking your head and thinking, “Bro, you didn’t gain perspective, you just lowered your standards.”  To you I say, “One: Don’t call me bro.  Two: I’m going to punch you on the face the next time I see you.  That’s my wife you’re talking about.  And three: Have you seen my wife?  Have you listened to her be hilarious and awesome?  Obviously not.”  That’s the difference between you and me.  I now know that change is a good thing and I’m not afraid of it.  It doesn’t make me weaker.  It makes me stronger — which is why that punch on the face2 is going to really hurt.

You’re still wondering if Dee actually did invent a new kind of sex, aren’t you?

1. Look at me acting like I have readers under twenty-five.

2. Yeah, I wrote “punch on the face,” it seems more accurate to me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Being a Notre Dame Grad

1) Half of the people you meet like you immediately.
2) That pesky sun never came out to distract you from studying.
3) Guaranteed tickets to football games.

1) Half of the people you meet hate you immediately.
2) Vitamin D deficiency.
3) A bunch of 18-21 year-old kids can ruin a perfectly good fall weekend.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Random Updatery

The Notre Dame Blues
Notre Dame got beat by Navy.  Believe it or not, that’s worse than it sounds.  It basically means the sky is falling on Notre Dame fandom, but not just any sky — a big concrete sky.  We Notre Dame fans are pissed, and sad, and frustrated, and disappointed, and — to bring my analogy to a conclusion — squished.  You know, by the falling concrete sky.  We’re despondent.  Not even good porn can help.

Thank God the Colts won.

I didn’t realize my wife was having a mid-life crisis until she appeared today in an all pink sweatsuit with red lightning bolts on it.  I smiled and asked her if that was what she was planning on wearing to the Sadie Hawkins dance.

Contest Winner
I forgot to announce the winner of the Truth and Fiction contest from October 29th.  The winner is Katie and/or Brian Fulton.  He or she guessed correctly — after about seven tries — that all of those 50-word stories were true.  I know it’s hard to believe that my mom would say such things, but she did.  She’s a mom, after all.  A mom will do what it takes to get to the truth when it involves her children.  Saying “ass face donkey fucker” is nothing to a determined mom.

Administrative Note
What’s this?  Me sneaking in an administrative announcement?  Yep.  I’m sure that some of you saw my post way back in June that announced the new posting schedule.  I’ve decided that I’m going to make some changes to that schedule.  The Thursday posts will not strictly be Truth or Fiction anymore.  There will still be some of that, but there will also be more free form posts like this.  I may also skip a Thursday post in favor of a Friday Fun post from time to time as well.  If you’re worried about keeping up, follow me on Twitter or watch Facebook.  I always announce new posts in both places.  Or you could add my blog to your RSS feed.  Don’t know what that is?  If you don’t, your life is harder than it needs to be.

Robot Pirate Monkey Bacon Zombies
Everyone loves robots, pirates and monkeys.  At the very least, popular culture never seems to get sick of those three things and everyone seems to think that anything that is robot, pirate or monkey based is better than that thing sans robot, pirate or monkey.  We need to officially add bacon and zombies to that list.  I would also add vampires, but they have gone mainstream.  So let’s agree that zombies and bacon are now in the overused hipster jokes canon.  Thanks.

Speaking of… 
Professional football players are probably the closest thing we have to actual robots.  Especially when they’re wearing one of those new helmet designs with the crazy facemasks.

This is the 444th post on this blog.  Fours are wild, bitches!  I'm playing the lottery and no one can stop me.  Except for that guy with the gun.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Fun

Sometimes I find cool shit on the web.  Unfortunately, I’m not very good at sharing that shit when I find it.  Well, sometimes I am but only if you follow me on Google Reader.  Anyway, I thought I’d share some fun shit that I’ve stumbled across on the web.  Here you go:

Ice Cream
Do you like ice cream?  Do you like making your own ice cream?  Do you like making your own ice cream out of one ingredient?  Do you like making your own ice cream out of one ingredient that is bananas?  You do?  That’s great because you can:

Banana Ice Cream

It works.  I’ve made it twice and it’s delicious.

Play a Game
If you are a human around my age, you probably remember playing Excitebike on your Nintendo.  If so, you’ll love this game.  If not, you’ll still love this game.  It’s the only way I’ve made it through all those dancing shows Dee watches.


It’s Time to Get Real
Not everything is fun and games.  I’ve never seen the American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial.  It’s one of the most amazing and powerful memorials I’ve ever seen.  Check it out.

Scouting New York — American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial

Art that Moves You

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…of all the things that disappoint me about Americans, reality TV is at the top of that list.

…none of the ideas in Windows 7 came from regular people.  All of the ideas came from the Mac operating system that has been doing all of those things for years.

…everyone is sick.  That’s it.  Everyone is sick.  It’s getting weird.

…my shoes have been wet for three weeks straight.  It’s time for the rain to stop.

…screw the guilt.  Sometimes a Five Guys burger is exactly what you need.

Monday, November 02, 2009

On Halloween

It’s no secret that Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  It never has been.  I’ve never liked thinking up a costume and spending the ridiculous amounts of time it takes to put the costume together.  For what?  A few hours before the costume falls apart and maybe, if you’re lucky, some chuckles and nods.  No thanks.  It’s always a let down.  Plus, I’ve never really had a sweet tooth.

Most people assume I don't like Halloween for more the more popular reason of “it’s just an excuse for people to dress slutty.”  I don’t actually hate Halloween for that reason because it’s not really true anymore.  If you take a look around Wrigleyville on any given weekend night, you see plenty of people dressed slutty.  Plus, when do straight people ever get together and get sexy all at once?  Halloween.  It’s the gay pride parade for straight people.  In a society that’s wound way too tight, a little sexyness is needed.

My Halloween
I spent most of Halloween night watching the Notre Dame game.  Thank God for late starts, huh?  Eventually, the game ended and I ran out of excuses for avoiding Halloween parties.  I dressed as “warm and comfortable” and met my wife at a bar.  I was one of the few people not wearing a costume, but I didn’t feel out of place.  I was comfortable with my decision about not wearing a costume.  However, I made a few observations about the crowd while I was out:

If you’re costume requires a sign explaining your costume, you have a crappy costume.

If you’re costume is a sexy dress that you just added fake wings to, you have a crappy costume.

The most important feature of a truly brilliant costume is an easy way to use the bathroom.

If your costume involves a modifier — as in “Zombie Tom Brady” — you’re trying too hard.

If you wear a rainbow wig and street clothes, you’re a genius.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Truth & Fiction: Four 50-word Stories

There are four stories below.  They may be truth or they may be fiction.  The first person to guess each story correctly gets an invite to Google Wave or the satisfaction of being the winner.  Leave your guesses in the comments. 

The Fall
I saw her swaying and wondered what song she was hearing.  She wasn’t swaying but falling.  I dropped my glass and ran.  Suddenly, her head was in my palm.  I called her name.  She looked at me and asked, “Is that the ceiling?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Where are my tacos?”

Bad Names
I came in from the bus stop crying.  My mom met me at the door and asked what was wrong.  I told her that the older kids on the bus were calling me names.
“Like what,” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I cried.
“Son, was it ass face donkey fucker?”

The Cab
“No, he’s too drunk.  He’ll puke in my cab.”  My friend assured him that I wouldn’t.  We got in.  Everything had stopped spinning.  I burped.
“Is he going to puke?”
Without drawing the cabbie’s attention, I rolled down the window and quietly puked down the side of his door.

The Manager
We sat in the conference room waiting for our long-winded boss to arrive.  It was his meeting; we couldn’t start without him.  We would wait ten minutes before we returned to our desks.
“Isn’t it just like Tom to hold up our meeting?”
“Wait until he actually gets here.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What To Do While Your Wife Opens Her Birthday Gift

1) Pretend you didn’t pick it up on the way home and wrap it on the train.
2) Scream, “SURPRISE!”
3) Get into the kitchen and start doing dishes.
4) Walk the dog.
5) Pretend she hasn’t already seen the charge on the bank account.
6) Tell her you’re going to the bathroom but actually sneak in there to sign the card you forgot to put with the gift.
7) Act really excited and hope that it rubs off on her.
8) Tell her that whatever gift she’s opening is from you, too.
9) Get a confused look on your face and say, “Hmmm, that’s not what I ordered at all.”
10) Hope that the bow hasn’t cut off circulation long enough to do any permanent damage.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dee's Birthday

Today is my wife’s birthday.  She looks pretty good for sixty, huh?

Don’t forget to post on her Facebook page today because it’s the only way that everyone can know that you’ve done your duty as her friend.

Dee and I took the day off work so that we could do all sorts of marginally fun stuff in the city.  We’ll probably go stand in the glass boxes at Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower).  After I change my underpants, I’ll take her to dinner somewhere downtown.  If you have any suggestions, shoot me an email, tweet me or send me a text.  I’m thinking Quizno’s, but that will go right out the window if I can find one of those Dairy Queens that serve food.  I’ll probably even spring for a cab to get us down there and back unless she really, really wants to ride the train.  She loves choo-choo trains.

At some point — I’ll know the right time — I’ll present her with her birthday gift.  I got her a two year warranty on our dishwasher and a vacuum cleaner.  I also made a birthday card out of a piece of computer paper folded into quarters.  On the outside I wrote “Happy Birthday, Wife” in big, block letters.  Inside, I wrote “I love you” and drew a picture of a rose because she loves roses.

It will be an early night since we have to work tomorrow.  We’ll make out a little bit before Monday Night Football begins.  Sounds like a pretty sweet birthday, huh?  I know, I’m a pretty great husband.

Happy Birthday, Dee.  I love you.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fiction: The Final Journal Entry of a Ninja

November 7, 2008

I swore in my oath to the Society of the Timeless Voice that I would never speak, write or communicate in any way about the Society with anyone outside the Society.  I am breaking my oath, which is punishable by death.  This isn’t nearly as scary as it may sound.  Every oath and rule within the Timeless Voice Society is punishable by death.  Very rarely do they actually punish someone by death, though.  It’s hard to kill a ninja — even if you are another ninja.  This may turn out to be my suicide note, so let me start from the beginning.

As a young child, I was fascinated by Kung Fu movies.  Like any child who grew up in the suburbs, my parents then encouraged me to find a local martial arts school and enroll.  I did and I excelled.  From the very beginning I was the fastest learner in my class.  My Master recognized my talent and realized that I was special.  He sent me to another dojo for individual study under the Master of the Timeless Voice.  I thought that sounded super cool.  I thought I’d be like Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris.

I received individual training for five years before I was introduced to the other students.  Actually, I wasn’t introduced.  We all arrived wearing masks that completely covered our faces.  You know, like ninjas.  However, it didn’t occur to any of us that we were dressed like ninjas.  We were good fighters, but we weren’t exceptionally bright.  During our training we had been taught that we had to sacrifice ourselves to the Timeless Voice to reach our potential.  Our individual selves were a part of the Timeless Voice.  The masks were our reminder — and we bought it.

I studied for five more years with the Society of the Timeless Voice.  The group exercises focused on one-on-one and group combat.  We did not know faces or names but we knew each other by style.  We didn’t think it was strange.  It was just how the Timeless Voice worked.  During that time we were also trained in various arts and crafts.  I was assigned painting as it was supposed to teach me patience.

Eventually, the Master of the Timeless Voice asked me to lead a team on what he called a “rescue” mission.  I was lead to believe that one of our own was kidnapped by a rival group, and that we need to rescue him.  I accepted and my small team successfully completed the mission.  Shortly thereafter, I sold a large number of paintings on the arts and crafts site — $10,000 worth.  After this happened several times, I figured out what was going on.  I had become a mercenary who received his blood money via bogus arts and crafts sales on

I had been secretly trained as a ninja and I was executing the agenda of the Master of the Timeless Voice.  I do not know the extent of his intentions, but I know enough of it to know that they are not noble.  It is the way of the Timeless Voice that I am not to question the judgement of the Master.  The Master hears the Timeless Voice and it guides him.  The Master only relinquishes his title when he dies or is killed.

Tomorrow I will become the Master or I will die.  Plus, all my paintings are 75% off for one day only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Being Named Jeff Ford

1) People never mispronounce your name.
2) If you say it with a sly look on your face, people think you’re using an alias.
3) You only have to remember six letters.

1) Sometimes people mishear your name as Jefford.
2) Everyone thinks they are the first one to call you Chevy.
3) Some other dude takes  I bet his name is Jeff Ford.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Health Care Solutions

The problem with the health care debate is that no one is talking about the real problem with health care in America: sick people.  If there weren’t so many sick people, we wouldn’t need to spend nearly as much money on health care.  Unfortunately, reducing the number of sick people isn’t easy.  Most people tout the effectiveness of preventative medicine, but preventative medicine costs money, too.  Doctor visits, vaccinations, pills and gym memberships all cost money.  It’s a vicious cycle.  The only true way to reduce the amount of money spent on health care is to reduce the number of who might get sick.  How do we know who will get sick?  We don’t.  That’s why we need to reduce the number of total people in America.  I have a plan.

1) Have dumb people spayed and neutered.
This serves two purposes.  First, it keeps people from procreating (if you don’t know what that means, you’ll be spayed or neutered) thereby reducing the number of people who might get sick and it reduces the amount of dumb people.  It’s important to reduce the number of dumb people because dumb people don’t know how to properly take care of themselves which puts them at a higher risk of getting sick.  Of course, we need to find a way to determine which people are dumb.  Fortunately, everyone in America has taken a standardized test at some point.  We gather up those scores and spay or neuter anyone in the bottom third of the scoring.  Or we could just spay and neuter anyone who liked Transformers 2.

2) Implement child quotas.
Limit the number of children people can have to two.  That’s it.  If you get pregnant again, you get a free abortion.  If you’re not willing to get an abortion, we take your child and give it to a loving family in Canada.  The second option is ideal since it would reduce the number of potential sick people in America and the child would get government sponsored health care in Canada.  It’s a win-win.  Also, no more fertility drugs.  If you can’t get pregnant, get a dog.

3) Abortions, abortions, abortions.
Let’s not let our “morals” and “religious beliefs” get in the way.  Get over to the abortion store and buy yourself an abortion.  Do your part to bring down America’s potential number of sick people by reducing your own output.  Each family gets a coupon for one free abortion at the abortion store.

4) More wars.
What’s the easiest legal way to kill people?  War.  The more people we send over to engage in war, the more dead people we will have in America.  The best part about dead people is that they don’t need health care.  Anyone that pisses off America gets war’d.  In true American fashion, we’ll also be helping other countries reduce their health care costs by introducing more dead people into their health care system.

In a health care debate where we seem to be hearing more of the same partisan bickering and very few actual solutions, I’ve offered four realistic solutions in one short blog post.  Feel free to call your congressperson and pass these ideas along.  I’ve emailed them to Obama, so we’ve already got the Executive branch covered.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…if Michael Jackson was still alive we wouldn’t be subjected to seeing his crazy family on TV all the time.

…let’s stop pretending that the majority of America is a bunch of heathens that are destroying the moral fabric of our society.  The majority of Americans are Christians.  If there’s anyone to blame for destroying the moral fabric of our society it’s you.

…the best actor on TV is that lady in the AT&T commercials that is constantly hounding her kids about wasting their minutes.

…there’s a fine line between running for your life and running for your health.

…if you’re going to show up to the movie one minute before it starts, don’t expect me to move over so that you can have two seats together.  I got here early so that I could choose my seats.  I will not sacrifice those seats because you’re late.

Monday, October 12, 2009

25 Reasons Why I'm the Luckiest S.O.B. in the World

1) My wife.
2) My parents.  In the lottery that was my adoption, I was the big winner.
3) I get to go on stage and make people laugh every Thursday and Friday night.
4) I’ve never been without a job since I graduated college.
5) I’ve never had to wear the Broncos’ throwback uniforms.
6) My dog is pretty freakin’ adorable.
7) I’ve never had a serious illness.
8) My in-laws are crazy but the good kind of crazy.
9) I know someone who has Google Wave and I’ve been assured that I’m on his invite list when he gets them.
10) I met a bunch of really great people at Notre Dame who are still good friends to this day.
11) Despite my propensity to break stuff, we still have nice things.
12) I live in one of the coolest cities in America.
13) I went gray early instead of going bald early.
14) I can eat all the peanut butter I want because I’m not allergic to peanuts.
15) My life is about 60% nonsense and 40% no nonsense — and that’s a conservative estimate.
16) I’m lucky enough to be a part of the awesome group of people that call themselves pH Productions.
17) I got to hear my Dad give a speech at my wedding.
18) I’ve yet to be caught up in a convoluted time travel scenario that puts my life at risk.
19) Dee’s friends are awesome and treat me like one of their own.
20) I’ve had the opportunity to pilot an airplane.
21) I received multiple emails from space.
22) I have all my teeth.
23) I got to play football in the old Hoosier Dome.
24) I’m the same age as both Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning but I don’t have to deal with the pressures of fame and wealth.
25) Everyone who consistently reads my blog and comments.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Fiction: Stolen Idea

“Did you see John’s story in The New Yorker?”

“Yeah, I did.  It was good.”

“Of course it was good.  He stole your idea.”

“Not really.”

“What do you mean?  Remember when we were talking about this very thing on the way to Dave’s wedding?”

“Yeah, I remember.  I threw the idea out there, but I couldn’t put anything together.  He did.”

“But he doesn’t give you credit or anything.”

“What is he supposed to do?  Have The New Yorker to run a special note that cites everything or everyone that influenced everything in the story?”

“Well, he could have submitted it with your name in the byline.”

“I didn’t write it.”

“But it was your idea!”

“Who’s to say he wouldn’t have come up with it on his own if I hadn’t mentioned it.  It’s not like we weren’t already headed in that direction.”

“But he didn’t.  You did.”

“Right, but he did something with it.”

“But it was yours to do something with.”

“I didn’t do anything with it, though.  I’m just glad something came of it.”

“It’s dishonest.”

“No, it’s life.  The doers get the credit.”

“What about the idea guys?”

“They’re great, but ideas aren’t worth anything if no one does anything about them.”

“But still, you should get some credit.”

“If you ask him, I’m sure he’ll give me credit for the idea.  Besides, Steve Jobs didn’t come up with the  idea for the portable music player or cell phone or touch screen or camera phone or portable email device.  He just put them all together and made them cool.”

“But that was the idea - to put them all together.”

“It’s not a very original idea, but it sure is a good one.  All John did was take my idea and a bunch of other ones and put them together into a great story.”

“So you’re not pissed?  Not even a little bit?”

“No, I’m happy for him.  I may be a little bit pissed but only at myself for not doing anything with the idea.”

“I’d be pissed.”

“Seems like you’re plenty pissed for the both of us.”

“You should ask for a cut of his royalties.”

“C’mon.  You think he got paid more than a few hundred bucks for that story?  How much should I ask for?  Twenty bucks?  Forty bucks?  It’s not like that’s paying his mortgage for the next twenty years.  He’ll probably use it to get a new iPhone.”

“I’m never talking about any of my good ideas around him.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard.”

“Why is that?”

“You never have any good ideas.”

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

What To Do While Being Assaulted by a Cadre of of Wedding Photographers

1) Tell them you had your moment during “Billie Jean” and that everyone else can do “Thriller.”
2) Give them the finger so none of their photos are usable.
3) Fake an ankle sprain.
4) Run like you’re being attacked by a bear.
5) Pretend you don’t know they want you do to the “Thriller” dance, look into the video camera and start congratulating the couple.
6) Stare intently at your phone and pretend you don’t see them swarming around you.
7) Turn into an actual zombie.
8) Start flipping tables and throwing chairs. (This can also be done in conjunction with #7)
9) Grab the nearest napkin, sign your autograph and hand it to them.
10) Just give in and do the damn “Thriller” dance like the monkey you are.

Monday, October 05, 2009

An Email to You

To: You
From: Me
Everyone Else
Subject: It’s been a while…

What is going on my long lost friend?  It took me forever to find your freakin’ email address.  I searched for you all over Facebook but I guess you don’t have an account.  Actually, I didn’t really search all over Facebook, I just used the search box.  I guess that’s the same thing, though.  You should sign up for Facebook, it’s a great way to get in touch with old friends.  It’s also a great way to be totally annoyed by people you barely know.  So, you decide.  I’m pretty sure you could use more annoyance in your life, you seem way too chipper.

I’d ask you all sorts of questions about your life but you’re not on Facebook or anything like that so I can’t tell you that your vaguely attractive wife is beautiful and that your children (if you have them) are strong and fleet of foot — or whatever it is that you use to properly compliment children.  Plus, all that crap sounds phony so I probably wouldn’t say it anyway.  Well, maybe I would because it would seem cold and selfish if I didn’t mention something about your wife and children.  So, how’s your life?

Things have been crazy with me.  Have I talked to you since I got married?  No?  Well, I’m married now.  She’s a real live hot girl — not one of those that are vaguely attractive but people say she’s beautiful anyway.  You know, like your wife (if you have one).  So, that happened.  She’s not perfect, though.  She talked me in to getting a dog.  Now I’ve got dog hair on most of my possessions.  See, I told you my life was crazy.

You know what made me decide to write you?  I was thinking about that time on the playground in elementary school where we were playing keep away and we crashed into each other and your head knocked my three bottom front teeth loose.  Remember how I went into the bathroom and straightened the crooked one?  Yeah, you were the best dentist I ever had.

Seriously.  Email me back, or Facebook me.

I don’t use salutations,
Jeff Ford

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Truth: The Little Dude

Payton breaks Jim Brown's career rushing recordImage via Wikipedia
The first thing Coach Shroyer made us do at our first Pee Wee Football practice was line up and run sprints.  We weren’t being punished, we were being sized up.  Coach blew the whistle and we took off.

“Man, this equipment is heavy but I can still outrun all of these guys.  I’m the next Walter Payton.”

I crossed the finish line neck-and-neck with Scott.  We looked at each other and then looked toward Coach.  He was busy writing something down on his clipboard.  I imagined he was assigning me number 34 and adding a note that read, “The next Walter Payton.”  I imagined he was writing something like, “The next Matt Suhey,” next to Scott’s name.  I couldn’t remember Matt Suhey’s number.

“If I’m the next Walter Payton and Scott is the next Matt Suhey, will he make my buddy Carl the next Jim McMahon?”

At the next practice, Coach Shroyer started dividing us up into positions.  He put both me and Scott at running back.  I didn’t know if I was Matt Suhey or Walter Payton.  Then Coach Shroyer did something that blew my mind.  He lined me and Scott up side-by-side in the backfield.  We were both Walter Payton.  He called it the Veer.  We learned how to take handoffs and became pros at running our plays between tackling dummies.  Dive Right was the first play we learned — a quick handoff between the right guard and tackle.  It was simple and fast and my new favorite play.

“Keep your shoulders low and your legs moving.  Always keep your legs moving, Jeff.”

On defense we spent the first few weeks learning how to tackle.  Our defensive coach was Tom Shade.  Tom was a big, excitable guy who loved the emotion of the game.  He was the kind of coach that would get into drills with us with no pads on.  He’d dare us to tackle him, but nobody could.  Then he told us why.  “Wrap the legs, fellas!  If you wrap up their legs they can’t move and they’ll go down.  Get low!  Get low!”  We got low.  We made tackles.  When I took someone down he would laugh and the ground would shake, “Yes!  Light ‘em up, Little Dude!  Light ‘em up.”

“Remember how you wrap the legs, Little Dude?  If they don’t wrap your legs, keep ‘em moving and they’ll never take you down.”

I wasn’t nervous for the first game because I didn’t know any better.  We won the coin toss and Coach Shroyer decided that we would start with the ball.  I ran out to the field with the rest of the team and waited for Coach Shroyer to call the play.  On the sidelines, Coach Shade was clapping and firing up the crowd.  I heard him shout, “Little Dude!”  I looked to the sideline.  “Stay low and keep moving!”  I smiled through my mouthpiece and turned back to the huddle.  Coach Shroyer looked around the huddle and said, “Okay, guys.  Dive Right on one.  Ready, break!”

“This is my favorite play.  We’re going to score a touchdown.”

We broke the huddle and I lined up between the guard and tackle.  I looked at the defense and saw the linebacker standing right in the hole.  No matter, I just had to stay low and keep my legs moving.  Just like Walter Payton.  I glanced over at the quarterback and then returned my focus to the hole.  He snapped the ball and I burst forward out of my stance.  I felt the ball hit my stomach and I clamped down.  I kept my shoulders low and plowed into the hole.  There was just enough space for me to fit through.  I made a cut to the right and I felt the linebacker grab me by the shoulders.  I kept my legs moving.  I felt another hit.  I kept my legs moving.  Another defender piled on.  I kept my legs moving.  I was trudging slowly under the weight of the tacklers, but I was still moving.  I could feel the weight pulling me down as I slowed.  Suddenly, I heard Coach Shade’s voice shouting over the crowd, “Ha, ha!  Look at that Little Dude run!  Look at that Little Dude run!  Keep going Little Dude!”  I bared down and pushed a little more and managed about four more yards before the weight of the tacklers pulled me down.  I pulled myself from under the pile and stood up to hear the crowd laughing at Tom Shade on the sideline jumping up and down, “Look at the Little Dude run!  It takes a whole team to stop him!  Look at the Little Dude ruuuuuuun!”

“I didn’t score a touchdown.  I think that’s okay, though.  I’m Walter Payton.”

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Listening to Your Wife Give You Suggestions for Pros and Cons

1) She’s a lot more fun to stare at than the blank computer screen.
2) I get to judge and I love to judge.
3) She eventually inspires an idea.


1) She shouts out whatever she sees on TV.
2) She thinks “The Pros and Cons of Having Burning Hands” is hilarious.
3) It feels like cheating.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I Could Never Be President

1. Campaigning.
2. I couldn't resist making jokes at inappropriate times - I also couldn’t resist making inappropriate jokes at all times.
3. Traveling is annoying.
4. My paranoia.
5. I'm old and tired.
6. My house would have a bowling alley in it.  I'd never get anything done.
7. They would take away my iPhone and my laptop and the technology in White House is notoriously bad.
8. I say "dude" way too much.
9. There is videotape of me saying "fuck you" to a large crowd.  They laughed, though.
10. I'm not smart enough.
11. I don't like baseball.
12. I don't think they'd let me put a Directv dish on the roof so that I could see the Colts games.
13. I'd have to explain my Lapsed Catholicism.
14. I'd have to explain what happened at all those Phish shows I went to.
15. I couldn't have my dad as an advisor.
16. My McSweeney's book delivery always comes in a sketchy package that White House security would definitely think is a bomb.
17. Because I just used the name of the residence of the our nation's leader in the same sentence with the general term for an explosive device.
18. Because that last sentence probably wouldn't pass muster, either.
19. I would waste a lot of taxpayer time and money outlawing bad commercials.
20. I'm pretty sure my campaign would be wiped out by a quick check of my Internet history.
21. I don’t think religion (of any type) has any place in our legal system.
22. Nothing would get done on Saturdays and Sundays during football season.
23. I’m proud of my gay friends and the people who vote aren’t cool with that.
24. The White House is pretty old; I prefer new construction.
25. I’m pretty sure everyone would confuse me with this guy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fiction: In the Window

Jacob never liked TV much.  He liked true stories, real life.  That’s why all of his furniture was turned towards the windows.  Every evening for the last thirty years Jacob sat down in his chair after dinner.  He watched his street corner from 7:00 o’clock until he went to bed at 11:00 o’clock.  His routine never changed.  Much like the scene on the street never changed.

This is what he saw every night: Outside of the Walgreen’s a Streetwise vendor stands selling his papers by shouting, “Streetwise!  We don’t want it all, just one dollar!”  In the Walgreen’s parking lot a tow truck sits waits barely hidden in the alley waiting to spring like a trapdoor spider.  Across from the Walgreen’s, Mr. Jin lingers in the doorway smoking a cigarette and suspiciously eyeing anyone who enters his store.  A True-Value Hardware store stood next to Mr. Jin’s convenience store.  It looked closed, but it was always open.  Early in the evening, groups of young professionals would file through the intersection every ten minutes from the ‘L’ stop.  As the night wore on, those young professionals would become drunk young professionals stumbling home from the neighborhood bars.  Occasionally, Jacob would see a drunken scuffle on the street.  Usually, he’d just see a few cars get towed and watch the Streetwise vendor make a few new friends.

On this night, Jacob was relieved that everything was proceeding as usual; he was distracted.  He had been having trouble concentrating all day.  It felt good to sit in his chair and watch familiar things happen on his familiar intersection.  He smiled down at the Streetwise vendor turning people’s heads with his clever slogan.  He checked his watch at 7:45 and wondered why he hadn’t yet seen Mr. Jin take a smoke break.  He noticed the True-Value had new lights on the street, it now looked like it was actually open.  Jacob laughed to himself.  Sometimes things do change.  Then he fell asleep.

When Jacob woke up, he checked his watch.  It was 12:17.  He looked out at the street.  Things had changed.  Mr. Jin was in the Walgreen’s parking lot with a cop.  They exchanged a few words and Mr. Jin handed the cop something from his (Mr. Jin’s) pocket.  The cop turned towards the street just as the tow truck was pulling up with his cruiser on the back.  The truck bed tilted and lowered the police cruiser back onto the street.  Once the car was detached from the wench, the cop tipped his hat to the tow truck driver and drove off to the north.  Mr. Jin nodded to the tow truck driver.  As the driver crossed the parking lot, Mr. Jin produced an envelope from his pocket and held it out to the driver.  The driver took it without a word and walked back to his truck.

Jacob noticed that one of the new lights was out over the True-Value.  It had clearly been broken.  He checked his watch again.  He’d never watched the parking lot this late before.  He didn’t know if this was standard procedure for his intersection after midnight or if this was a one time thing.  Everyone in the parking lot seemed familiar with each other and the process.  He wondered how they were able to consistently tow a cop car.  Jacob grabbed a notepad and pencil from the table next to him and jotted down what he saw.  He made a note to stay up later tomorrow night.  When he looked up, he saw Mr. Jin standing in the doorway of his store smoking.  As Mr. Jin put out his cigarette, he paused and seemed to look directly at Jacob in the window.  He held his gaze and Jacob froze.  When Mr. Jin turned and walked into the store, Jacob knew that he wouldn’t sleep.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…if your big cause simply consists of being against something, you are part of the problem.

…just because I work with computers doesn’t mean that I’m an expert on all things computer related.  For example, I don’t know squat about the kind of paper you should use in your printer.

…Coldplay sucks.

…spelling your name in an unconventional way does not make you special.  It makes you a pain in the ass.

…Dancing With the Stars is the the most unwatchable show on television.  It’s a bunch of D-list celebrities tying to learn how to dance.  If that’s not enough to convince you this show is crap, they have a crappy band play crappy versions of already crappy songs for the D-list celebrities’ routines.  After the routines are over, the crappy host makes crappy jokes that would embarrass Jay Leno.  If you watch and enjoy this show I think less of you as a person and I seriously question your intelligence.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Other Projects

You may be surprised, but I do more than just write this blog.  In fact, I have several projects I’m working on at any given time.  Mostly I spend my extra time working on new books.  Below is a selection of the working titles of all of the books I am currently writing.

How to Keep All Those Weddings From Ruining Your Summer
My Uncle the Spaceman
My Dad Is Smarter Than Your Dad (Nicer, Too): True Stories From the Life of David C. Ford
There are No Accidental Stabbings: Why Guns are Stupid
Why I Hate You Because You Made the Easy Joke
Why I Hate the People That Laughed at You Even More (The much anticipated sequel to WIHYBYMTEJ)
Yes, That is My Real Name
Thirty-three Years Without a Raincoat: My Life Story
Don’t Be Offended, Everyone Else Bores Me Too

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Truth: The Third Date

Michelle picked the restaurant.  It was a place that she always wanted to try.  It was our third date.

My stomach was churning.  It was easily the most nervous I’d been for a third date.  Michelle was everything you want in a girl.  She was everything I wanted in a girl.  Unfortunately, a restaurant was the last place I wanted to be with her.  I’d rather be doing anything else.

Michelle had a habit of biting down and scraping her teeth across her fork when she ate.  I couldn’t stand it.  The sound gave me chills and it made my teeth hurt.  It made dinner conversation nearly impossible.

“Are you cold,” she asked.

“No.  I just…  I’m…”

“Is everything okay,” she asked as she took another bite of her salmon and sent shivers down my spine.

“Yeah.  I’m just not very hungry.”

“Can I ask you a personal question?”

“Um.  Sure.”

“Do you have an eating disorder?”

“What?  No.  What are you talking about?”

“Well, you’ve been weird at dinner every time we go out, but you’re fine once we leave.”

“Oh.  That,” I said sheepishly.  “This is going to sound really stupid and I don’t want to offend you, but I’m really bothered by the way you eat.”

“I’m trying really hard to not be offended,” she said as she mercifully put her fork down.

“No, listen.  I have this thing with teeth on silverware.  I can’t stand the sound.  It gives me the chills and I can’t concentrate on anything else.”

“Oh.  Do I scrape my teeth on the sliverware,” she asked adorably.

“Yeah.  Every time you take a bite.  I’ve been hoping that I would just get used to it, but I haven’t.”

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t know I did that.  I didn’t know it bothered you so much.”

“Not your fault.  I’m weird,” I said as she picked up her fork again.

“Maybe I can eat without using my teeth.”

I thought, “She is the perfect girl.  She’s going to change the way she eats because of my strange pet-peeve.”

She raised the fork to her mouth.  I held my breath.  If she could do this, all would be well.  I’d be able to have dinner with this wonderful girl and be my regular, slightly charming self.  She took a bite.  No teeth, the budding relationship was saved.

“There.  Was that better,” she asked.

“Yes.  That was perfect.  I’m sorry about all this.”

“No, don’t be.  It’s not a big deal.  I’m glad you told me,” she said and I could hear the Perfect Girl Meter straining to measure her perfectness.

“Okay, let’s eat and have engaging conversation.”  She laughed and I melted.  Then she took another bite, this time with teeth.  I shivered.

“Oh, sorry.  Did I do it again?”

“Yeah.  It’s fine, I’m sure it will take some getting used to,” I said.

“Yeah.  Sorry.”

We sat quietly for a while and ate.  It was clear that she needed to concentrate on eating without scraping her teeth on the fork.  I let her concentrate and enjoyed my first full meal in three dates.

“Listen, Jeff.  I don’t know if I can do this.  I have to work really hard to not scrape my teeth, I’ve done it all my life,” she said, suddenly sad.

“Well, this is the first time you’ve ever tried.”

“Yes, but we’re not talking.  We’re just sitting here eating in silence.  I like you because you’re funny and fun to talk to but we can’t do that if I have to eat this way.”

“Are you saying you can’t change the way you eat?”


“Then I guess this isn’t going to work is it?”

She looked shocked, “We can do other things.”

I smiled sadly and said, “Yes, but at some point we’re going to need to eat together.  Would you want me to be weird through a whole dinner with your parents?”

“No,” she looked down.

“I’m very sorry.  I can’t tell you how much I want this to work.  You’re great, but I’ve got this stupid involuntary reaction to that sound.”

“I can’t believe that this is why we’re not going to keep going out,” I could see her starting to get angry.

“Blame me.  Tell everyone what a dick I am.  It’s my fault.”

“I know.  I will blame you,” now she was clearly angry.

“At least you’ll have a good story to tell your friends,” I said.  She glared at me.  She didn’t need to speak for me to know what she was thinking.  I had gone from exciting new potential boyfriend to complete jackass in just a few strange seconds.  I knew there was nothing I could say to put out the fire burning in her eyes.  She grabbed her purse and walked out.  I watched her go.  I hadn’t even had a chance to compliment her on her dress.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What To Do While You Are Being Attacked by a Bear

1) Run, run, run and then run some more.
2) Offer him a granola bar — preferably one with honey.
3) Do your best bear cub impression and hope he accepts you as his son.
4) Kick him in the nuts.
5) Hug him tightly and gently kiss his neck in the hopes that his anger turns to love.
6) Freak out and hope that he thinks he’ll catch crazy if he eats you.
7) Why in the hell did you put yourself in a situation where you could get attacked by a bear?  Seriously.  You deserve to die.
8) Take off your Aaron Rodgers jersey.
9) Play him some soothing music from your iPod and then rub his shoulders, he’s probably just stressed.
10) Die.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My TV Preview

The new fall TV season is starting and I realized that I have a ton of shows that I’ll be watching.  I thought I’d share those shows with you and tell you a little bit about why I like them.  This list only includes shows that I personally choose to watch, not any shows that Dee picks that I might also watch.  I make the distinction because I wouldn’t set the TiVo to watch those shows if I was a single man and this is about my choices, not someone else’s.

New Show I’ll Watch:
Flash Forward (ABC)
This is the only new show I’ve seen previews for that’s got me interested in any way*.  I like the concept of the entire world blacking out for two minutes and 17 seconds (you can bet there will be major significance to those numbers, much like the numbers in Lost) and seeing into their future.  Intrigue, unexplained phenomenon, flashbacks?  Count me in.  Also, I’m pretty sure that there is some sort of mysterious web puzzle related to the show that I’ve already been missing.

Old Shows I’ll Continue Watching:
Lost (ABC)
Intrigue, unexplained phenomenon and flashbacks at its best.  Most of the time.  This show has been close to losing me a couple times, but I’m so invested that it makes no sense to bail before the final season.  Besides, I quite enjoyed last season.

Fringe (Fox)
I might as well keep the whole intrigue, unexplained phenomenon and flashbacks theme going.  This show — I’m just beginning to realize — is basically the X-Files.  I never got into the X-Files, but I’m into this show.  I like that each episode stands on its own and still manages to push forward the overarching conspiracy story.  It’s both more fun and darker than Lost, which I like.  Plus, those strange images they flash before commercials are cool.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)
I love this show.  I feel like it was written specifically for me.  It hits every single one of my laugh buttons.  It’s dark and twisted, frantic, ridiculous and goofy all at once.  This is definitely not for everyone.  If you are even slightly offended by anything that is on mainstream TV, you will definitely be offended by this.  And that’s exactly why it’s awesome.

House (Fox)
Another show that makes me laugh.  Hugh Laurie plays a fantastic jackass and because of all of the medical stuff, I can’t predict what’s going to happen next like I can with almost every other TV show (with the exceptions of the ones listed above). 

Bones (Fox)
Quirky and fun.  I like the two lead characters (Bones and Booth) and their interplay.  It’s certainly not mind-blowing, but I’m pretty much a sucker for any kind of crime drama.

Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Every now and then I’ll tune in to USA or some similar channel to catch re-runs of one of these shows and they’ll play one I’ve never seen before.  That’s shocking because this is what I turn on when there is nothing else to watch.  Again, I’m a sucker for crime drama.

The Office (NBC)
I was sure the American version would fail but boy am I glad it didn’t.  Hilarious and ridiculous.  Great characters and subtle comedy.  Plus it made “that’s what she said” funny again.

30 Rock (NBC)
I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they don’t get this show, but it’s the only show on TV that makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it.  I’ll say it: Funniest show on TV.  You’re welcome, Tina Fey.  Thank you, Tina Fey.

Family Guy (Fox)
It’s dropped off a bit from its early years, but still pumps out a great episode from time to time.  I’ll keep watching simply for the interaction between Stewie and Brian.  Cool Whhhip.

South Park (Comedy Central)
These guys are brilliant.  One of the smartest comedies on TV.  No, it is the smartest comedy on TV.  When they find something to riff on, they are pure genius.  If you have any doubts, watch the Scientology episode.

Saturday Night Live (NBC)
As an improviser and comedian, it’s required television.  Thank god for TiVo.

Nip/Tuck (FX)
Dee got me sucked in to this one.  At first I thought it was a cheesy, over-the-top drama and I was right.  However, they go so far over-the-top that it becomes clear that they are making fun of the whole soap opera genre.  I love seeing what sick new thing they’ll do next.

Entourage (HBO)
Every time this show ended Dee used to say, “It’s not long enough,” which is the highest compliment you can pay any kind of entertainment.  Unfortunately, this season has been a series of disappointments.  It’s almost become unwatchable and it may soon fall off of my list.

Man, that’s one long list of shows and that doesn’t even include the hours of football I plan to watch on the weekends.  I never used to watch this much TV, but TiVo has allowed me to watch nearly everything I want.  Unfortunately, I haven’t restrained myself until recently.  I’ve made a resolution that I can’t add a new TV show unless I drop off an old one**.  Lost is the only show that I know is ending after this season, which means that I’ll only get to add one new one next season.  I was thinking of making that show Mad Men since I’ve heard such good things, but I’ll probably just wait for Mad Men to end and then rent all the DVDs.

*Sorry Glee fans but I’m not interested in another lame high school drama that takes already cheesy rock music and makes it even more cheesy.
**Flash Forward is replacing Prison Break.  I know, I know, I’m the only one who watched that show to the very end.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fiction: The Train Car

Tom is the winner from last week's Truth or Fiction challenge.  He correctly guessed that "Breakup" and "Thanksgiving" were true and "Cats" and "First Date" are fiction.  Tom, you now get to choose if you want a feature written about you or if you want to choose the topic for a week.  Congrats.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

My commute is typically the least memorable part of my day.  I get on the train, sit for an hour, get off the train and walk to work.  It’s the same every day and I try to waste as little brain space on it as possible.  This morning is different.  Someone new is waiting on the platform.  A girl.  I only notice her because she’s standing in my usual spot.  I walk a little farther to the north so that I can pretend to watch for the train.  I’m really looking at her.  She stands there dressed for work.  Business casual.  It’s a warm day, so she’s wearing black pants with a pink sweater set minus the sweater.  She holds a paperback, alternating between reading it and checking for the train.  With her head down, her dark hair falls into her face and obscures her from my view.  I wait patiently.  I know what comes next.  She looks up and flips her hair out of her face with a quick turn of her head.  She glances towards the train and then glances in my direction.  Her warm blue eyes don’t quite find mine, but I’m not looking for recognition.  I turn away so as not to stare.  It’s probably too late.  I’ve been staring.  Somehow I feel safe when listening to my iPod.  It’s like I don’t quite exist in the world because I have my own soundtrack that no one else can hear.  Unfortunately, I still exist. 

I’m startled by a loud rumbling as the train approaches.  I look up and she is tucking her book into her handbag.  She confidently looks up and moves toward the nearest door.  I slowly follow.  As she rises to the first step, I fall in behind her.  The train’s brakes give and it suddenly lurches forward.  She falls back.  I reach up and put my hand on the small of her back to steady her.  She flails backwards with her hands and finds my shoulder.  The train stops again.  We hold this pose for a few brief seconds so that the judges can admire our perfect form.  I gently push her back up onto the first step.  She looks over her shoulder, smiles and says, “Thank you.” 

“You’re welcome,” I say as I gently push her back onto her feet and follow her up the stairs.

“Nice catch, that could have been a nasty fall.”

I immediately regret saying, “You can thank my ninja-like reflexes.”

She laughs and motions for me to sit down next to her.  As I take my seat, she offers her hand and says, “I’m Cecilia.  Thanks for catching me.”

“I’m James.  You’re welcome, Cecilia.”

“Also, no jokes about how I’m breaking your heart or shaking your confidence.”

“Okay, but just as long as you remember I like my martini shaken, not stirred,” I say as another wave of regret strikes.

She’s kind enough to laugh and we’re suddenly distracted by a scruffy looking man who has decided to begin preaching to the train car.  He shouts, “Impure!  I feel the impurity on this train.”  He begins walking in our direction and Cecilia and I exchange a worried glance.  He continues, “All of you are impure and you must seek purity.  Find something pure and use it to guide you.”  He points at us and declares, “Like the love of this young couple.  Pure, new, real.”

I interrupt him, “Actually, we’re not in love.  We just met so we’re probably not the best example.”

“Even better,” he replies, “This young couple who just met is starting from a place of purity.  Nothing has transpired between them to taint their views.  They’re optimistic.  Hopeful.  Pure.  Use this as your guide.”

“Where is the Conductor,” I asked to no one and everyone.

“This couple is possibility.  They have the possibility to remain pure and pursue true pureness in their lives,” he announces to the train.

At this point, I’ll try anything to interrupt him, “I’m pretty sure that pureness is not a word.”

“I think it is a word,” Cecilia says.

I look at her incredulously and she smiles back, very pleased with herself.  Before I can say anything more the preacher replies, “Of course pureness is a word.  It’s the state you’re living in right now with that beautiful young lady and it’s what we’re all striving for.”

“I like this guy,” Cecilia says, trying not to laugh.

I stand, turn to the preacher and say, “Listen, I appreciate you using our pureness as an example but now that everyone on this car has something to shoot for, maybe you should move on to another car that doesn’t have as much purity as we do.”

“I think we should hear him out,” Cecilia chimed in.

The preacher looked shocked, “The arrogance!  Any purity you might have had earlier is gone!  It has been replaced by hubris and arrogance!  Repent!”

“Hubris.  Good word,” Cecilia added.

I could feel my face turning red with anger and shouted at the man, “I don’t care about purity, I just want you to leave so I can flirt with this girl!”

The train car got suddenly quiet as I realized what I had just said.  A few people chuckled behind me.  I looked at Cecilia and she smiled broadly, clearly enjoying the moment.  The silence broken by the Conductor rushing up to me and the preacher and asking, “Is there a problem here?”

“No, sir.  Just having a conversation with this young man on my way to the next car,” the preacher responded as he walked away.

I sat down.  I couldn’t bring myself to look at Cecilia.  When I did she was still smiling, “Does that mean you’re going to ask me for my number?”

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Sitting Next to a Michigan Fan at the ND-Nevada Game

1) He asks you the name of every ND player and makes you feel smart.
2) When asked why he’s there he says, “I wanted to see a good team play this year.”
3) He leaves after the first quarter.

1) He asks you the name of several players twice.  Including Clausen.
2) He and his girlfriend are larger than the allocated bench space.
3) He’s a Michigan fan.

Monday, September 07, 2009


It’s football season — the greatest time of the year.  I just got back from South Bend, Indiana where I watched the Irish pound Nevada in impressive fashion.

See?  Impressive.

Next Sunday the Colts take on Jacksonville in their season opener.  I’m expecting another impressive win.  And now you’re expecting an impressive prediction-type column.  I’ve never been one to live up to expectations, so I’m going to deliver a little advice to both college and pro football fans across the country instead.

Beware the Irish
Notre Dame fans, don’t start talking BCS just yet but don’t start shopping around for new coaches, either.  These guys are going to have a season that is just good enough to keep Charlie running the show, but not satisfy the haters.  Try to enjoy the wins.  Sing the fight song when they score, scream like crazy for the defense on 3rd and 1 and hope to hell they beat USC.  Also, relax.  Good shit still happens if ND doesn’t win the National Championship.

Insecurity Complex
Listen folks, I know you haven’t had a good quarterback in over 20 years and you can’t quite believe that you have one now, but you do.  Jay Cutler is a good quarterback.  There are going to be exciting comebacks and consistent conversions on 3rd and long.  Your defense will be rested.  Just imagine what will happen once you get a star receiver.  Trust me on this.  The Colts had terrible QBs since they moved to Indy and then Peyton Manning happened.  It’s been fun.

Tebow for World Savior
This isn’t advice for fans as much as it is for the media.  Yeah, we know Tebow is a great football player.  We also know that he’s a good kid.  Let’s just lay off of him a bit and let him be a football player and college student.  There will be backlash if we keep getting a steady diet of Tebow-worship.

Changing of the Guard
Quick, name the top three teams in the AFC this year.  You probably mentioned three of the following four teams: Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Chargers.  If you mentioned any three of those, you’re right.  Unfortunately, Colts fans, the Colts don’t make that list.  Get used to it.  Dungy’s gone, the offensive line is struggling and Harrison isn’t there to pull attention off Wayne.  Hell, they didn’t even win the division last year.  There’s going to be a couple years of rebuilding.  Don’t turn on this team.  They’ll be back.  When you have Manning, you’ll always have a chance.

Why the Chip?
Quick question for Pats fans: Why the hate for Manning?  You’ve got one hell of a QB and your team has dominated the last decade.  What’s up with the chip on your shoulder regarding Manning?  There can be two Hall of Fame quarterbacks playing the game at the same time.  Also, buy your coach a new sweatshirt — his is broken.

Go Army!  Beat America’s Enemies!
Hey Army fans, thanks for defending our country. 

I’m Serious
Titans fans, take a shower.  You stink.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Truth & Fiction: Four 50-word Stories

There are four stories below.  Two are true and two are fiction.  The first person to guess them all correctly gets a special feature story written about them or the winner can choose the topic that all three of my posts will be for a week -- whichever you like.  Leave your guesses in the comments.

"It's over," I said.

Crying, she handed me a story.  It was beautiful and touching, written from a place of true love.  She thought I had written it for her.  I didn't know the author.

How could she think something so beautiful had come from me? 

I am a monster.   

Thanksgiving with his ex-girlfriend's family sounded better than Thanksgiving alone. We could pretend to be happy one last time.

She ran to him at full speed and leapt into his arms. He realized his mistake. How do you explain to a two-year-old that you'll never see her again?

It was a black cat with white splotches on its face and paws.  She named him Boots.  I smiled when I saw how relaxed they both were when he sat in her lap and purred.  In the end, it was only he who got to stay.  I hate cats.

First Date
Feeling dehydrated and disoriented, I looked up from the toilet, wiping my mouth.  I opened the stall door.

She was looking at me in the mirror.  "Damn. I'm in the ladies room," I thought. 

"I think we'll be skipping the good night kiss," she said.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Here's the Thing...

…no one gives a shit about your fantasy football team.  Especially me.

…your behavior is not excused simply because you admit to being a pain in the ass.

…aside from being completely wrong, it seems like cheating on your spouse takes way more effort than it is worth.

…i love my wife.

…if you’re on a large email chain where people are firing jokes back and forth you don’t need to respond with, “Oh my god, this is so funny.  You guys are making me laugh so hard.”  We know.  We’re all hilarious.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Conversational Bits

Here are some bits of actual conversations I’ve had or overheard recently:

Dee: “You can’t be claustrophobic or afraid of heights if you want to be an astronaut.”
Me: “Right.”
Dee: “That’s why I’m not an astronaut.”
Me: “Yeah, that’s why you’re not an astronaut.”

Kid 1: “I got this swing up pretty high!”
Kid 2: “Not super high, though.”
Kid 1: “It won’t go up super high.”
Kid 2: “That’s why you suck!”

Me: “We have to leave in about ten minutes.”
Drew: “Okay.”
Me: “Are you going to shower?”
Drew: “Yeah, but probably later.”
Me: “Are you going to put on some clothes?”
Drew: “For what?”
Me: “We have to leave in ten minutes for the Space Center.”
Drew: “Oh, I didn’t know we were on a time schedule.”

Dee’s World
Dee: “If you got a job writing for a TV show, I’d move to LA.”
Me: “It’s that easy, huh?”
Dee: “Then I could work at the gym of the lesbian that has the TV show.”
Me: “Yeah.”
Dee: “And then I’d be on that TV show.  And I’d go on tour with Janet in my free time.”
Me: “Sounds like a plan.”
Dee: “Dee’s world.  Dee’s world.  Dee’s world.  Doo dee doo.”

Stalactites and Stalagmites
Dee: “What’s the difference?”
Me: “A stalactite hangs from the roof of the cave, a stalagmite grows from the floor.
Dee: “Oh.”
Me: “Do you know what it’s called when a stalactite meets a stalagmite?”
Dee: “Combustion?”