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 match.com.
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).



Music
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.



Movies
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.



Books
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.


Family
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

Pros:
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.

Cons:
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.

Murderers
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 www.kmart.com/christmascountdown 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

Pros:
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.

Cons:
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.