Thursday, April 23, 2009

to be young

i love it when my friends get all gay and gush over something that i've written. you guys are priceless.

i love it even more when other friends call out the friends who get carried away with comments by questioning their sexuality.

so this weekend's a pretty big deal. surprise birthday party for me. i can't wait to be surprised. i hope that, even though i know everything that is happening, i still get to walk into a place and have everyone yell "surprise!" i've always wanted that.

heidi almost gave it to me. you should have seen the look on her face when i found out what she was up to. you would have thought that i murdered her family and urinated on all the clothes in her closet. i felt awful. she's a sweet girl and doesn't deserve to ever be disappointed. EVER.

i spent some time on swings at a park today with one of my clients. as i swung back and forth i quickly became sick. motion sickness or something like that. i became nauseous from swinging on a swing! when i was a kid i would swing so high that the chains would lose tension as i reached the pinnacle and jolt my spine as tension returned. and today, while nonchalantly swaying back and forth i had to stop because i thought i might vomit. this is terrible. summer is coming, and my carnival-attending is going to be severely compromised due to this new weakness of my stomach - no zipper or gravitron for me. i used to get on those tire swings on the park and have my idiot friends spin me around until i couldn't feel my face, and upon dismounting i would attempt to run around and fall all over the place... those were good times. i don't want this to become another "i'm getting old and you should feel sorry for me" post, but i have to say that i am getting old and you should feel sorry for me. the following is a list of things that indicate that i am not the young man that i used to be.

+ when i was a kid i used to crawl in the mud and get all dirty and slimy. if i saw a snake, i grabbed it with my bare hands and held it up within a half inch of my face to see if i could feel it's forked tongue brush against my nose. fast forward to modern day and observe the following scene: i'm visiting another one of my clients who happens to have several large snakes in an aquarium. in his excitement to introduce his snakes to me, he grabs a three-foot specimen and hands it to me... like i'm going to grab that thing. i believe i took about 14 steps back and screamed "put that thing away!"

what did i think is going to happen? in that moment, i believe that i envisioned the snake slithering up my shirt and biting my nipple with it's poisonous fangs (it was not a poisonous snake) and never letting go. can you imagine a snake crawling up your shirt? it's a horrible thought. apply the same principal to all small animals that look at you with beady eyes: spiders, lizards, frogs, fish, squirrels and mice, etc...

+ i can't drink any more. i drink still - don't get me wrong. but if i have any more than two beers i spend the entire next day trying to exercise demons from my head. what is up with that? i've never been a big drinker, per se, and i've never drank to get intoxicated, but i can't handle my stuff any longer. last weekend we spent some time with friends on friday night, and all saturday my thighs (quadriceps) were burning and stinging. it was terrible i thought about taking myself to the emergency room after informed me that i might, possibly, unlikely but probably, have blod clots in both of my legs. one of these blood clots could have broken loose and went straight to my heart, giving me a heart attack and probably killing me on the spot. i couldn't say if the leg pain was drinking-related, but i'm pretty sure it had something to do with being slightly dehydrated and unrested due to a night of sleep less than seven hours.

+ aches and pains are commonplace in everyday life. i have this strange pulled muscle pain in the back of my knee. it flares up throughout the day, especially after my morning run. my grandpa used to complain about pain.

+ when watching march madness last month, i constantly had to ask heidi, "what's the score in the upper left-hand corner?" and heidi would have to look up from whatever important thing she was doing to inform me that unc was beating gonzaga by 22 points. this happened about 26 times during the course of the tournament, and happens very often to this day. i miss being able to see things clearly,.. those were the days.

+ i can't remember anything. i've never been able to remember anything, so i guess this isn't as much as a sign of getting old, as it is memory dysfunction. i wonder if there is a medical diagnosis for how poor my memory is. perhaps i suffer from some rare memory-loss disease wherein i can't remember things that any normal person could recall with ease...

after typing that last paragraph, i realized that there is a little thing called amnesia. no joke. i have nothing else to say (and even if i did, i probably forgot because i was just distracted by a commercial for burger king featuring spongebob squarepants and a sir-mix-a-lot song. is that even real? is that appropriate?)

+ the office is on now. i can't concentrate on this anymore.

i think i've said enough.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


i thought i could take some time to allow you, the reader, the opportunity to ask me some questions. since i don't have the time, patience or desire to request that you submit questions that i could answer in this space, i figured that i would just post some FAQs that i typically hear in a given week from family, friends, co-workers and strangers. so without further hesitation, here is the first (and probably only) installment of FAQs:

"how tall are you?"

i'm somwhere between 6'4" and 6'5". i honestly haven't had myself measured since i was 16 and i lost track. yeah, i'm tall. get over it. i have.

"what's the best sport?"

i'm going to assume you mean which sport is the best to watch, since i find myself watching much more than playing these days, so i will say that the answer is baseball. football is the most dramatic and exciting, and for those fall and winter months it is just great. basketball has some merits, and is pretty smooth (which i relate to) but overall it leaves much to be desired.

but baseball is perfect. the start of baseball season means the start of spring, which is the end of snow and cold, the start of long nights on porches and decks, and the release of bell's oberon beer for the duration of the summer. while football is like a big-budget, action feature film that blows you away, baseball is like that soap opera that you have been watching for 17 years. you know the characters and you follow the slow-moving drama. baseball games are the best to attend, and having a game on television in the background is always a good idea.

and yes, i did not mention hockey on purpose.

"what is your dream job?"

in all seriousness, i want to be an actor in a soap opera or a fourth-rate lifetime movie. in fact, i think i could do both. i know that i'm not attractive enough, and that i couldn't act to save my life, but something about being a part of one of these ridiculously contrived plots just makes me happy. i think i could play a dark and mysterious drifter who comes into a small town and seems to be a hero, but behind it all, is the "thought-to-be-deceased" brother of a man who stole my first love and i have come back to get her back... at any cost. little known fact, i was named after a soap opera character. some dream-boat doctor must have been stealing the heart of my mother as she carried my 10-lb frame around in her womb for an extra month.

"what's the worst thing you have ever done?"

i didn't go to my uncle's funeral when he died. i'm serious about this one. it kills me that i did not go to this. two things were happening that caused me not to go: 1) i was in denial. my uncle doug was the quintessential uncle that everyone refers to "my crazy uncle..." and he was the first person that i was close to that died. i didn't know how to handle it. and 2) i was selfish. if memory serves me correctly, i had a great weekend planned and was extremely inconvenienced to go out of town to this funeral. i know - i'm a jerk.

"what's the best thing you have ever done?

i moved to kentucky for a girl.

"what was it like to predict the rise of the tampa bay rays in the 2008 baseball season?"

it was awesome. i've never been so proud. if only i were a gambling man...

"who is your darkhorse for the 2009 season?"

the oakland A's, and i'm feeling a bit nauseous about that pick. it;s a good thing i'm not a gambling man.

"is it true that you once ate 23 tacos in one sitting?"

this is true. i was in mexico during my senior year in high school with my church youth group on a mission trip. long stood the record of 22 tacos, and on one magical evening i was blessed with an incredible gift of consumption and the walls of my stomach and intestines stretched to the point that i thought i might com bust spontaneously. i could feel the food stacked up in my esophagus, all the way to the base of my mouth. it was terrible. i felt like rocky at the end of every rocky movie except the first - bloodied and bruised, but not broken. and some advice to the reader: poor mexican villages don't have the most sanitary of restrooms, so consider that before you decide to eat 47 lbs of greasy meet, cheese and tortillas.

i will add that i am incredible when it comes to eating and drinking large quantities of material. it's a gift and a curse.

"what is the best meal of the day?"

breakfast. going to a diner and eating some grease-soaked egg/potato/bread/pork product meal while drinking bitter instant coffee is an experience that i wish i could enjoy every day. fortunately for me, i live with a woman who attempts to recreate this for me every single morning. i'm not kidding. heidi wants to make me an omelet and hash browns or biscuits and gravy every single morning. it's like we're on the farm and she needs to fill me up with a big "farmer's" feast before i set out to tend the cattle and harvest the crop. except drive in a car instead of a tractor, and i play uno with underprivileged kids instead of herding sheep.

while breakfast is the best meal of the day, mexican food is the best genre of food.

"why don't you twitter?"

i don't know what twitter is. i mean, i understand the concept, but i fail to see the function or purpose. i have no desire to know that kevin is "editing some copy and listening to dan patrick," or that brian or ethan are "calling it a day after 5 hours!" i don't need to know from nate or brandon that, "it's raining so i'm reading another book." i love all these guys, but i don't need to keep tabs on them all day.

*twitter update: "justin is typing a blog on his computer after a nice meal of leftover beef and a conversation with my father-in-law about the evolution of the wild boar and the decline of trout in rock creek."

is that what twitter is? i don't even know.

"when are you going to have kids?"

as soon as i trick heidi into letting me impregnate her. (is that wrong? it feels wrong to say that. i shouldn't have said that. i take it back).

"have you ever killed an animal?"

yes. several. the largest animal i ever killed was a buck (that's a male deer). i shot it with a rifle. i felt like a man, but then never did it again.

"what is your view on the economic crisis that faces this country?"

in this economy... i don't care about the economy. i didn't have money before everything went to hell, and guess what, i don't have any now.

"what's the worst job you have ever had?"

i worked at this terrible office job for one month. to this day i have no idea what i was supposed to be doing. i know that i had clients in southern texas that i had to talk to via email and phone, and was attempting to gather some information for these clients, but i couldn't tell you what information i was trying to gather or what function it served for said clients. one morning, when my alarm clock started beeping, i pulled an "office space" and turned it off and went back to sleep. when i woke up several hours later, my phone was full of missed calls and voicemails from my worried and angry employer. several days later i called them back and told them where to send my final paycheck.

"can you 'slam dunk'?"

i can. i did it today. i just like the fact that i can do this. and take every opportunity i can to share this information. it feels as good as you think it would. i can only do it about 1 out of every 8 attempts, but when it works, it's just so good. and the crowd goes wild!

"who will win the nba championship?"

i want it to be the cavs, i really do, but it's the lakers year. i thought it was their year last year, but obviously, the celtics had destiny on their side. but this year, it's all about kobe going all "serial killer" and tearing apart helpless animals with his bare hands and biting the heads off of innocent bunnies (i have a low opinion of kobe as a person, but a very high opinion of him as an athlete).

"do you support the death penalty?"

sure. why not. in the words of jerry seinfeld, "just let me finish my coffee... then we'll go watch them slice this fat bastard up" (it applies... somehow).

yeah, i'm watching seinfeld right now.

"is seinfeld the greatest show ever?"

that's a stupid question. of course it is. and anybody who says differently is obviously an idiot.

do you remember when you were in elementary school and teachers would always say, "there's no such thing as a stupid question..." that's the stupidist thing i have ever heard. i ask heidi at least three stupid questions every day.

"what's the funniest joke you have ever heard?"

here's a good one: what do you call a cold hot dog?

a chili dog.

for some reason this is the only joke that i have ever remembered. you could tell me the world's funniest joke and i will think to myself, "that's the funniest joke i have ever heard, i can't wait to tell it to someone else," and five minutes later i have no recollection of the joke. why do i remember that terrible hot dog joke that i read on a "fruit stripes" wrapper when i was 9?

"how long can you keep this up?"

i assume you mean, "how long can i keep thinking of ridiculous questions and fictitiously answer them in clever and witty ways..." and the answer is i can't. i'm all out.

eeey-o-uhh (sound it out).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

april showers

these are my thoughts for the day/week:

opening day tomorrow. it's raining and the forecast calls for some snow. it's going to be miserable, but it's going to be great. i told my boss last week that i was "feeling a cold coming on this coming monday..." and he completely understood and stated that he felt the very same cold coming on. sports are great. if you have sports in common with someone, you could run over their dog and cat and they'd forgive you.

first homerun of 2009 just hit by brian mccann of the atlanta braves. i'm happy to have witnessed it. did i mention that i love baseball?

i went for a run the other day that was magical. i typically don't really like running, but i do it every day because if i didn't, i would not be able to drink my beer and eat my cheese and fried foods. during this run, i was able to see the sun rise over some rolling farmland hills as the fog broke. i chased three white tail deer down the road, and watched a couple of horses play in the field. it was great. i am completely convinced that God gives us some simple pleasures like this to let us know that he made created the world and we get to live in and enjoy it.

for those of you who were wondering (brian), i saved hundreds of dollars by working on my truck myself. of course, if you take into account the dozens of hours i spent under the truck, perhaps the savings are not so significant and impressive.

heidi and i went down to big bone lick this afternoon with the dogs. it was great. on the way back we stopped at sonic to get a drink and could not figure out how to order. there is no inside and no walk-up window to place your order. we stood there for several minutes trying to figure out how to place an order for a pop and a root beer float. heidi commented that this must be what it's like to be old - to be frustrated and belittled because you can't figure out what the hell is going on. i'm going to be nicer to old people from now on.

i talked to a girl at speedway gas station last night. she commented that she was not going to go home after work because her husband is drunk and "he's really mean when he's drunk." i told her that i was sorry and that she deserved much better than this. she looked at me with a look of sadness and appreciation. i don't know this girl, and i'm sure that she's not perfect herself, but it enfuriates me that there are guys out there that treat their wives/girlfriends like this. i told her that i hope her husband wakes up with a big hangover and thinks about what a jerk he is, apologizes, asks for her forgiveness for being a loser, and changes his ways. she replied, "that's not going to happen." i feel bad for her, and i want to punch her husband in the teeth.

the real world "brooklyn" was quite an experience. someday i am going to collect my thoughts on shows like this and lay down a fascinating book about humanity and reality. 'taking the stage," also on mtv, is the latest pleasure for heidi and i. tons of talent, high school drama and shots of the lovely cincinnati... what more can you ask for? i'd like to be a hip hop dancer. i think i could turn some heads if i ever found a way to be smooth.

i'm not smooth. i'm clumsy. i feel bad for heidi because she loves to dance and i love to not make a complete fool of myself. i should learn how to dance for her. she'd like that.

the braves are crushing the phillies. some kid from the braves just hit a homerun in his first major league at-bat. good for him. i hit a homerun in little league baseball and it still ranks as one of the greatest moments of my life. hitting a homerun is magical and impossible to describe to anyone who has never done it. do yoruself a favor and get a bat and ball, go down to your local park and see if you can make it happen... you'll be glad you did.

i'm running out of thoughts for a this blog. i can't remember the last time i talked about something that i was really proud of in this space. my apologies to the reader. stick with me. i'm constantly searching for the next great idea that i can pass along to you.