Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Apologies for Lack of Blogging, Episode 2: Procrastination Strikes Back

I am very sorry for my lack of blogging lately. I’ve just arrived back in Florida, having been out of the country for a while now. I wanted to post my latest column before I left, but due to my rigid, strict schedule of procrastinating doing any sort of packing or preparing for my first-ever international trip until the night before I left (“Where do I apply for a passport at 3 am?”), I really had no time.

By the way, what a wonderful vacation! I can hear the pangs of jealousy whenever I tell people where I went. Everybody reacts with the same excited response:


Don't worry...they weren't fooling me by hiding their envy with confused looks.

Anyway, I went to Riga, Latvia. It is the capital city of the northernmost of the three Baltic States in Eastern Europe. I have a friend from there who invited me, and she was nice enough to be my tour guide for my entire stay. I have begun to write about my experiences there, so you’ll be able to read about my trip in an upcoming blog (estimated posting date: February 2008).

Okay, unlike a lot of bloggers, I have this thing called a “job” and I need to get there pronto. Look for an update within the next day or two.

Special note for my sister Lori: At last count, I still have two kidneys and one liver, and the only torture device I encountered during my trip was my hotel-room shower. So I guess I made it okay.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

To All the Naysayers Who Said I'd Never Find a Girlfriend (UPDATED!)

My latest attempt at dating Posted by Picasa

In case you are confused: no, I have not settled down yet. This picture was taken with a crappy cell phone camera, which is probably good since the "special effects" consisted of my sister holding a Barbie Doll with her hand as she was taking a picture of me on the couch.

All you ladies jealous yet?

UPDATE: I regret to announce that our relationship is over. While I definitely enjoyed the conversation (I noticed that I seemed to do most of the talking, which was fine with me), I found her to be too materialistic and plasticky for my tastes. I mean, come on, a pink Corvette with her name all over it? The real deal-breaker, though, was all the weird positions I'd find her in on my niece's bedroom floor. I'm thinking she needs to lay off the cosmopolitans a little.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Where Would I Be Without the Support of My Sister?

(I was on the phone recently with my sister Lori discussing, among other things, a new update for my blog. I’m struggling a little on my latest column, and this is definitely not it. However, I thought this conversation was too funny NOT to post. Oh, and bear in mind that my sister is a website designer with a incredibly expensive digital camera, whereas I wouldn’t know HTML unless it’s printed on the bottom of a Miller Lite bottle and I think I got my digital camera free with five proofs-of-purchase of Cap’n Crunch. Therefore, along with her world-renowned sarcasm, she is also an Internet elitist snob.)

Lori: That picture you posted of your bumper sticker is terrible. It isn’t properly cropped and the resolution is really poor.

Me: Could you make out what the bumper sticker said?

Lori: Well…yes.

Me: Then yeah, I'm sure there are people out there that are thinking, “Well, I would have laughed at the sticker, but the humor is just killed by the cropping”.

Lori: (Laughs)

Me: Face it: you’re jealous that I am a skyrocketing Internet star and you’re a piece of roadkill on the Information Superhighway.

Lori: Oh, yeah, sure you are. They might even make a movie about you. They could get Tattoo from Fantasy Island to star.

Me: Whatever. I think they’d have to have Keanu Reeves play the part of me, though I’m not sure he’s good-looking enough.

Lori: Plus, I don’t think he has the acting range to play someone that dumb.

Me: Whatever. They’d probably get Janeane Garofalo to play you, though I’m not sure she is sarcastic enough.

Lori: Whatever. They’d probably get Screech from Saved by the Bell to play you, but I’m not sure he’s ugly enough.

Me: Whatever. Maybe they’d try to get Jessica Simpson to play you, but she’s not airheaded enough.

Lori: Whatever! Maybe they’d get Tom Cruise to play you…oh, wait, he’s probably heterosexual.

Me: OHH! So we’re going to the gay jokes now? Okay, let’s see, they’d probably get Rosie O’Donnell to play you…

(In case you are wondering how this conversation ended, IT HASN’T. Verbal volleys have been going back and forth all day, most of it unprintable, and will recommence with the next phone call. Love ya, Sis.)

Friday, March 03, 2006

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up

I've been wracking my brains (I have more than one) trying to make up some humorous crap for a new column. Silly me...I forgot the best humor comes from real life:

You can’t make this stuff up (Part I): I knew today would be just a banner day from the moment I woke up all the way to the moment I yawned, stretched and threw out my back.

Yes. What a way to start the day. I apparently “slept wrong”. This is an amazing concept to me. I’ve screwed up a lot of things in my life, but I’ve always learned from my mistakes and moved on. So exactly how do you screw up sleeping? Is there a manual? Did I not follow the directions? And how am I supposed to learn a lesson from this? Am I supposed to never yawn again?

Anyway, I knew I was going to have to go get a chiropractic adjustment and some muscle treatment. My chiropractor is extremely competent and books up fast, and I also knew that on Wednesdays and Fridays he only works a half-day. His customer service motto is “never miss a tee time”. So I groped for my cell phone and called his office. They said he was already booked, but that they could squeeze me in if I got there in 10 minutes.

At this point, I should back up and mention that I had worked out at the gym the night before and immediately went to my parents’ house for dinner. I ended up staying the night and woke there the next morning. So I probably smelled like an old gym bag, had no time for a shower, brought no fresh clothes to change into, and had ten minutes to get to the chiropractor or else suffer excruciating back pain for an entire weekend. I had no choice. I had to go “as-is”.

So I lurched Frankenstein-like to the front door to grab my gym shoes, when suddenly I felt a warm wet sensation under my left foot.

“Oh,” my dad said. “ I think your damn dog peed on the carpet again.”

Now I was livid. I had no other socks to wear. I had to make a choice:

1. Have my chiropractor fix my back, while exposing him to a refreshing aromatic blend of bad B.O., old gym clothes, and dog urine, or
2. Stagger around for three days randomly yelping.

Well, let’s just say I’m glad my chiropractor didn’t charge me extra. He probably, however, took his adjustment table out back and burned it.

You can’t make this stuff up (Part II): This afternoon, I was working on a mortgage file when I received a phone call:

“Hi, this is so-and-so* from Collision Revision and Neal told me to call you.”

Not shocking so far. I have a friend named Neal that works for an auto-body shop. “Hi, how are you?” I replied.

“I’m great,” she said. “Listen, we’ve had a Ford Expedition here for a few days now, and we’d really like to begin working on it. However, there’s a problem. You see, the thing is, it is absolutely infested with cockroaches. And we can’t bring a vehicle like that into one of our bays, because they’ll crawl around and lay eggs in the other vehicles.”

“Um…okay,” I said, wondering where this was going.

“Can you believe it?" She asked. “A vehicle with roaches EVERYWHERE. I don’t know how these people live. Anyway, I don’t know if you handle automobiles, but we would like to use your services. We understand it is an unusual request.”

“Well,” I said. “It is definitely an unusual request of a mortgage broker. I rarely deal with extermination. Though I have been to some real estate closings that made humans want to die.”

“You’re WHAT? I’m sorry! I think Neal gave me the wrong Joe.”

“Yes, I think so. And tell him he still needs to repaint my front fender.”

You can’t make this stuff up (Part III): Here’s a tip for all you up-and-coming humor writers: Try not to piss off an entire gender. About a week ago I posted a column where I blamed all chain e-mails solely on women. Since then, I have received countless e-mails from women saying things like:

1. They receive chain e-mails from men all the time.
2. Their uncle sends them three chain e-mails a day.
3. They personally never forward chain e-mails.
4. I should do some research before I write anything.
5. I am very unfunny.
6. My work is comparable to excrement.

By way of sincere apology, let me announce to all of those who complained that everyone has a different view on this matter, and yours is wrong. REAL men would never send a chain e-mail. The only way you received a chain e-mail from a man is that he is a man hiding an “alternative” lifestyle. I also promise you that he took great care not to distribute the chain to any other men. (Really! Go check!)

One side benefit to that column is that I’ve now become a Fabulous Famous Internet Star…to a group of about 20,000 female scrapbookers. I am not making this up. (I KNOW this is a Dave Barry catchphrase, dammit. But what am I supposed to say? I’m really not making this up!) A fellow blogger announced on a scrapbooking message board called Two Peas in a Bucket (don't ask...I have NO idea what it means) that I had made fun of all women, and therefore she wanted to play a practical joke on me. She asked everyone to post comments on this blog claiming that they forwarded my column to all of their friends, wonderful things happened as a result and that chain letters really worked.

Well, as the old saying goes, "you have to get up pretty early in the morning to put all your eggs in one basket with your shoe on the other foot up a tree with the wool over my eyes". My site meter tells me where the referring website is that I get each visitor from. So I went to that message board, registered as a member, and let them know that they were busted. I was very friendly, and I have been posting there pretty regularly ever since. They seem like a group of wonderful caring women, and as a token of their sincere appreciation, they make sure to continue to bash me daily.

And finally, the most miraculous thing to happen today: I got my craptop computer back!

For those that haven’t been following this ongoing saga, I was pretty sure the Second Coming was going to happen before I would ever be stroking this keyboard again. However, I received an e-mail yesterday saying that my craptop was ready and being shipped. So when I heard the doorbell ring earlier today, the first thought through my mind (other than “I am almost positive I paid the electric this month”) was “Can this be?”

It was. Thank goodness. I can blog again. I’m BACK, baby!

*Obviously, her name wasn’t “so-and-so”. It was “what’s-her-face”.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Hopefully, My Final Laptop Update

Yes, yes, yes, I know that it has been a while since my last blog. I’m still working on my latest column, and this isn’t it. In fact, this is not an attempt at humor at all. I just absolutely had to post this wonderful piece I just received in my e-mail:

We are pleased to inform you the following product has shipped from our
service department:
Product: Portable 450ROG
Serial #: xxxxxxxxxx
Shipping address: xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Account: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Simmons, Joseph
I have been without my craptop computer for over three weeks, people. No matter how incompetent customer disservice has been and no matter how mad I should be about how I’ve been treated, I am just ecstatic to know I am finally getting it back. My life has been a disorganized mess without it. (It was also a disorganized mess with it, but that is not my point.)

For my attempts at turning my craptop nightmare into humor click here, here, and here.