A Benjamin Button Birthday

I celebrated my 26th birthday recently. Hold the applause, and that’s a lie anyway. It seemed entirely appropriate that I woke up on my birthday with a zit on my face the size of the cupcake that no one bought me. Rest easy–I ended up finding that cupcake and buying it for myself. And then I bought another. And then I don’t want to talk about what happened next. Despite my advanced age, I nevertheless seem to retain the body of a hormone-riddled 15 year old who has just discovered junk food and, consequently, the obesity movement.

It also seemed appropriate that I did not enjoy my birthday. It’s not that I dislike birthdays. Actually, that’s exactly what it’s like. I simply despise getting older, because while I understand that aging is a fact of life, I nevertheless take it very personally. It’s something of a singular event to me, and every year I get older I respond by acting another year younger. Maybe that’s why my friends call me Benjamin Button. They don’t, but you get the point. This year, however, I am putting my foot down. Some changes are in order because I am growing weary of playing a professional on TV but moonlighting as Chris Brown. So I’ve pulled together some semi-attainable birthday resolutions, and am now endeavoring to not forget them with every passing second.     

Bday Chart

Drink less–Much like unlimited fries come with every Red Robin hamburger, so must this appear on every resolution list I create. Next. 

Lift weights–Word on the street is that I need some weight lifting in my life, because that’s what healthy adults do. The street of which I speak is Biggest Loser, and the word is that of Chris Powell and his ever-pregnant breeding champion Heidi. My search for two hours of inspiration a week brought me to this show, which has delivered in all ways except for personal weight loss. But now, I’m beginning to understand that the only thing standing between me and the rocking body that Fitness magazine tells me I can have is a huge tire that I can push around my front lawn, if only either existed. Fortunately, I have overfed my cat for one too many years now, and he is beginning to resemble the entire tractor–not just its tires. I figure I’ll start my personal training by lifting him up a few times.

Be more social–Don’t get me wrong, alienation can be an entertaining place. Despite its moments, it also happens to be lonely. For this reason, I have returned to social media, to embrace the always unfulfilling connection to sheer acquaintances. Find me on Instagram at @cats.in.your.pants or at the neighborhood bar. In either, I’ll be the one with no friends who is trying to figure out how to operate her phone.  

Grow up–Years of acting like a teenager have not served me well. Thanks to parents and peers who have become parents, I have been shamed into the realization that it’s time to get a job, land a man, and bake a baby. Sounds pretty complicated to me, but I guess there’s always alcohol.

Oh, and if you happen to be feeling bad that I didn’t get anything for my birthday, don’t worry, I did …

bday gift  

indignation, resignation, celebration!

I’ve spent the last five months drafting resignation letters in the cold, dark solitude of the closet that I call my man cave. Here are a few of the final contenders.

First Draft:

Dear Mr. Stevens,

Over the course of the last few months, I have witnessed an unprecedented shift in my job duties. What originally were my client accounts have now been subsumed by the gentleman that you recently brought in “to assist with the operational side of things.” I can only assume that the operational side of things is my asshole, and that the assisting of which you speak is totally screwing me in it. If not the intended effect, this is certainly how it is playing out, which is not to suggest this is a game in which I enjoy participating. Surely there is some S&M club that you crawl into after hours that you could also use to take out your aggression against successful women. But I guess the joke is on me because that club is my cubicle and that bitch in chains is me.

For the reasons detailed above and because I now have to dedicate well over 50 hours a week to plotting your demise, I must hereby submit my resignation.

Eleanor

Second Draft:

Dear Mr. Stevens,

When we first had the pleasure of meeting five years ago, I never would have guessed that you gain such pleasure from starving babies. Rest assured that is what you are doing by replacing me–literally taking the food out of my children’s mouths. Before I leave at the end of next week, should I put in a reorder on your business cards to take into account this change in role? I think “King Dick” more aptly describes your title at this company. Corporate would be impressed, of that I am sure.

I hope you eat well tonight, Eleanor Abernathy

Third Draft:

Dear Mr. Stevens,

This is my resignation letter. Stick it up your ass or choke on it–I trust you will make the prudent choice.

GFY

Fourth Draft:

Dear Mr. Stevens,

When Edward said goodbye to Bella in Twilight: New Moon, telling her he no longer loves her but only because he loved her too much to see her hurt, I couldn’t help but think about how much I hate my fucking job. I thought the same thing when the Stark family, or what’s left of it, was slaughtered at the hand of Lord Frey, except this time I also wondered why the hell I continue to work here. You can shove that spoiler alert up your ass and find someone else to work here, I’m leaving. Oh, and pay your debts like the evil sister-fucking Lannister that you are–you owe me last month’s commission.

Eleanor

Samwell Draft:  

Dear Mr. Stevens,samwell

I said, what what, in the butt. I said, what what, in the butt. I said, what what, in the butt. I said, what what, in the butt. You wanna do it in my butt, in my butt? You wanna do it in my butt, in my butt? You wanna do it in my butt, in my butt? Let’s do it in the butt, I quit.

 

 

 

stigmatic. stupid. stitches.

Jesus gave up on me long ago, and that’s only if—big if—he even had an interest in me after I defecated all over the doctor who delivered me some undisclosed number of years ago. I don’t think it gets any more ‘mark of the beast’ than that. So, there has never really been a religious connection within thirty feet of me at any given moment, which is why my colleagues were so surprised when, out of nowhere, I had a stigmatic moment and started bleeding through my blouse at an internal staff meeting. This was clearly far more interesting than my routine report on what I had obviously failed to accomplish the week prior.

But, of course, it was not out of nowhere. In fact, it was out of the sub-dermal chest piercing that had gotten snagged on my bath towel that morning and partially torn out of my chest. I tried, very quickly and without much thought (which is generally how I operate), to blame my stigmata on Jesus. That failed to impress most but succeeded to insult many. I then—even quicker and with no thought—tried explaining that I am related to St. Francis of Assisi. I had lost them by this point so I just resumed droning on about the menial tasks that I spend days at a time struggling with.

After the meeting, I was able to find some privacy in the communal restroom, at which time I had a come to Jesus moment (only in theory, of course) about needing medical attention for this very-attached-to-my-skin anchor that was also and unfortunately very attached to the rest of the piercing which was no longer at all attached to my skin. That’s a mouthful or, in this case, a chestful. Strangely enough, the medical profession does not have much of an appreciation for semi-professional young adults who need immediate and somewhat-surgical removal of a semi-permanent and non-surgically implanted mistake.

Upon rethinking the nurse call center’s suggestion that I cover up and keep clean in order to wait the two weeks necessary to see plastic surgery for an initial consultation, I called back and orchestrated a fairly clever lie, involving the requisite fever, swelling, and green pus that tend to expedite one’s position in the patient pack. Fortunately, it worked, and a short 8 hours later I found myself trying to answer a somewhat confused trauma doctor’s questions:

  • “What am I looking at?”  Something I would like removed from my chest.
  • “A sub what …?”  A sub-dermal piercing, which means … “Yes, I know what sub-dermal means.”
  • “Were you sober when you got this?”  That’s debatable, but let’s go with yes.
  • “What am I supposed to do with this?”  Well, I was thinking cut it out. Please?
  • “What’s underneath this and what is it attached to?”  I am presuming skin and more blood, but not necessarily in that order.
  • “Have you tried to take this out yourself?”  Yes, and that reminds me, if we have time can you check out the bump on the side of my head, here? I think I hit the side of my toilet when I fainted.
  • “Do you think I can just jiggle it and get it out?”  No.
  • “Hmm … it’s looking like I am going to have to cut this out.”  Yes.
  • “Are you comfortable with me cutting this out even though I don’t know what’s involved or what this thing looks like?”  Get it out.
  • “Ooh, has that Lidocaine worn off?”  Yes.
  • “Should we shoot a bit mmo …”  Just keep going!
  • “Alright, it’s out. Should we put a stitch or two in there?  I’m not sure I have the professional qualifications to answer that, aside from observing that there is a hole in my chest.
  • “Here it is, want to take it home with you?”  Gross.
  • “You want to see gross, come in when some lady with acrylic nails falls down and rips the top half of her fingers off.”  … OK.

 

 

Dear Sirs:

The only thing I hate more than working is looking for another place to work. I’m not 15 anymore, so my standards for employment are a bit higher than $5.50/hr, a plastic name tag, and two company aprons.  Specifically, I’m looking for at least $10 an hour and I’ll wear any company fringe required.

I am desperately in need of work, so naturally I have dedicated significant portions of my day to drafting cover letters for my friends who are equally desperate but lesser abled (and lesser qualified). I figure karma has to come back around once they land a job solely on the basis of the incredible and poignant cover letter I provided for them. Then again, from what I understand, the salary at Sears and the like doesn’t leave much room for rewarding your friends with extravagant gatherings and lavish gifts.

I guess I should really be focusing more on drafting my own cover letters, but that sounds like a really boring idea when I could be spending my free time writing something like this:

 

April 7, 2014

Dear XXX, XXXXX, and XXXX:

I am writing to respectfully ask—but in the most hardcore way—that you consider me for the part-time beer slinger position at XXXXXXXX Brewery.

I am not currently looking for employment, but I cannot pass up the opportunity to possibly work with you dudes a few nights a week.  From my first sip, I knew you guys were not the typical brewery, and that is such a relief from the generic microbrewpocalypse that has hit our city in recent years.  I would welcome the opportunity to help your beer, your brewery, and your nasty-but-in-a-cool-way vibe spread.  As to the job requirements, let me address each in turn:

Brews:  I’ve had every beer you’ve poured upon opening and, for the most part, have enjoyed every one of them.  Even the ones that weren’t my style, I still appreciated.  You all are pushing the envelope with your beers—and its one damn good (and wet) envelope.  Beyond what’s on tap, I’m always quick to buy your bottle releases.  I’ve even followed the progression of artwork on your XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXX Ale labels.  The XXXXXXXX label was righteous, but the art on the XXXXXXX XXXXXX, XXXXXXXX, XXX, and XXXXX XXXXX labels are looking killer on my TV stand.  

Tunes:  My perfect day involves waking up to Three Inches of Blood and brushing my teeth at night to Sleep.  If Johan Hegg were writing me a reference letter, he’d tell you to hire me in a throaty whisper but may also tell you he loves 90 Shilling.  But fuck 90 Shilling, am I right?!  Honestly, though, the music scene that XXXXXXXX puts off is icing on a tasty metal cake.  It’s so refreshing to find a place that’s more committed to being itself than catering to the Cross Fit crowd next door.  (By the way, in my perfect world, your brewery will take over that space and refuse service to anyone talking about WODs.)  I recently had the (dis)pleasure of being dragged to XXX XXXX Brewery, where I was forced to rub elbows—literally—with hundreds of the city’s fair-weather beer fans, while listening to the Goo Good Dolls’ greatest hits.  Knowing that I can come to XXXXXXXX and not have that experience is what keeps me coming back time and again.

Not being a prick:  I’m a nice guy, although every single one of my friends might tell you differently.  I would have no problem treating customers with the utmost respect.  But, I’ll tell you what, if they don’t treat you guys and the brewery with respect—I will still take their money for you.

Hustle:  I’ve never worked behind the bar before but I know my way around pouring a beer.  If there’s one thing I would appreciate more than pouring myself a beer, it would be pouring a XXXXXXXX beer for someone else.  If that’s the hustle you’re looking for, I’ve got it.

I do appreciate your consideration.  With the reputation XXXXXXXX has, I’m sure you’ll find yourself with a ton of qualified applicants.  While I can’t offer you an impressive employment history in bartending, if you hire me you can be sure that 1) I won’t be trying to take your job and 2) you will get someone who truly believes in what you are doing.  Feel free to contact me with any questions and or recommendations on how to be hardcore.  

With warmest metal wishes,

XXXXX

 

As you can see, I have redacted names and locations because–naturally–I am going to take this letter I crafted for my friend and use it myself when I apply for the position.  Wish me luck–I hope I can stay sober enough to hand it in.

Now call it a comeback.

Guess who’s back!  Fortunately it’s not Eminem despite MTV and local radio protests to the contrary. Much like the Razor Scooter on college campuses across the country, I have returned, which may not exactly be a top shelf news item but is potentially worthy of some attention nonetheless. I’ve spent the last few wintery months hibernating and generally not giving a shit, all the while fervently exploring new ways to make a name for myself and/or make a ton of money. I’d take the latter without the former, I’m not picky.

People say ‘third time’s a charm’ but those people are losers by definition, because only losers have to make a third attempt doing something they have failed to accomplish twice prior. And, at that point, I suspect that success is reached on the third try only because standards have been slashed substantially and even an inkling of achievement is blown epically out of proportion. Accordingly, here I am, back a third time pushing my little dream of worldwide success and a mansion full of cat condos constructed entirely of gold and ostrich feathers, all via this incredible blog on a mediocre social media platform. As you can tell, at least this time around, I am managing my expectations, and you will not find me crushed if this post, or one or two following it, don’t instantly land me a job at Gawker Media. I’m sure that third post will do the trick.

Lest you fear that I have been idle in my e-absence, I assure you this is not the case. I’ve been on a mission recently, thanks to a New Year’s Resolution that I intended to make a good college try fulfilling, to better my situation and—you guessed it—make a ton of money as a means through which to do so. Naturally, I first turned to the stock market which, along with the internet and traffic patterns, I have never quite gotten a handle on, or even remotely understand. But I have never let lack of knowledge or talent stop me from achieving utter failure.

While I may not understand the intricacies of investing, I do understand that people can make a lot of money from the stock market, and while those people may be few and far between, I am undoubtedly among them. Indeed, my market success to-date has looked something like this:

stock market

I know, I know—not bad for an amateur investor. I have been assured that the market will turn around. After all, consider what happened following the Great Depression, and don’t focus on the world war component. One day soon, I will make millions and when that happens I will expertly reinvest it and make billions and when that happens I will pay Justin Bieber to return to his home country and leave Selena Gomez alone.

In my free time between attending and dreaming of leaving two jobs, and obsessively refreshing my AmeriTrade homepage, I have over the last nine weeks engaged in an impressive cycle of drinking, inspired in part by Tyrion Lannister’s proclamation: “It’s not easy being drunk all the time. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” I am known among key segments of my city’s social scene (and its law enforcement arm) for excelling where others fail when it comes both to my expertise in local craft breweries and my indiscriminate consumption of anything containing yeast. Here, I have indeed made a name for myself but once you reach the top it can be a lonely place and I’m tired of drinking alone. In the dark. In my closet.

Which brings me back to the social and online media sensation that is this blog–or will be any day now. In the coming weeks, I’ll be rolling out a host of new and tried-and-true features. Here’s what you have to look forward to:

  • More pie charts! Keep your pants on if there are children around.
  • A travel and city review section! Watch out, Atlanta, this won’t be pretty for you.
  • Sports! Actually just beer-league dodge ball.
  • Investing tips! Forbes and MarketWatch have nothing on my spin-the-bottle stock selection method.
  • David Bowie! Because why the fuck not?

So stay tuned. And stay classy–someone’s gotta do it and clearly I don’t want to.

 

 

Merry Bitchmas!

Hello there!  You know what day it is … yep, it’s the day that America’s shitty humans forget how to operate their motor vehicles, but nevertheless take to the nation’s roads and highways in droves.  Oh, and it’s Christmas, too. Merry Christmas, but back to the point.

What is it about this time of year that causes people to forcibly evacuate all common sense and skill that they possessed prior to–and will presumably posses after–the holidays?  I’m not entirely sure, but I have some theories so I’ve taken to the pie chart to express my thoughts.  Like I said, Merry (Pie Chart) Christmas!

Holiday Drivers

Intoxication—I have a theory that at least ten percent of all drivers on the road are intoxicated.  I have no facts to back this up, but who needs facts when you have the intuition of someone who makes a living out of behaving badly.  Don’t get me wrong, I would never drive drunk, but only because I know that if I did I would be caught, and within seconds of setting foot in the car.  I also wouldn’t do it because killing or destroying someone’s life is something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone—at least anyone who goes through the trouble of driving sober.  I once wrote my Congressman proposing a Drunk Driving Highway that could only be accessed by people driving drunk.  I figured this would satisfy those obstinate fucks who are going to drive drunk no matter what common sense suggests, while also placating the occasional party goer who doesn’t mind a few wild rides.  Lawmakers didn’t seem to take to my idea—at least I would assume this is the case–but I would like to think that’s because it would require a replication of the entire national highway system, not because the merits of the proposal were questionable.

Family-Driven Depression—No one can drive you to want to end your life quite like the people to whom you owe your life, and because most everyone has a family, I suspect most everyone would agree with me on this.  As much as Hallmark and Lifetime want to beat into our heads the beauty of spending time with family—and no matter how much we ourselves want to agree—sometimes the orphan experience can look mighty attractive.  And, naturally, when stress with having to see your family for two days in a row gets too great, people take it out in the only way society deems acceptable—on people who are not your family. While I get this, and the underlying depression that is driving these folks to act like total assholes on the roads, I have a holiday message I’d like to pass along: fuck you and your family for raising such a douche.

New Lexus—Not many people have a Lexus December to Remember, but I have to think that at least one person in the United States got a Lexus for Christmas, and I do mean that I have to think this, because I desperately want to keep hope alive. You know, keep on keepin’ on. Anyway, if I got a Lexus for Christmas, I’d drive it like a dick, too, because if I got a Lexus for Christmas I would be a dick. It’s science—ask anyone who bought their kid or spouse a Lexus for Christmas.

Discomfort Caused by Overeating—Just because fat people have a bad rap for eating a lot, doesn’t mean that they are immune to the effects of overeating. I know firsthand how brutal this can be, and anytime I’m stuck in the car with a gluttony-induced stomach ache, the only thing keeping me from driving people off the road is knowing that if I were to be arrested I wouldn’t be able to button my pants. This is a fear that drives much of my behavior, including my frequent refusal to stand up and shake hands at a business meeting and my strange habit of keeping my coat on my lap during a dinner date. Whatever, don’t judge, I have a weak stomach but hungry eyes—and yes, I’m listening to Eric Carmen right now.

Sheer Stupidity—I’m probably severely underestimating here, but there is a certain segment of the population that is just stupid. Seriously stupid. Fear not, I am in no way a member of this not-so-exclusive club, at least as far as I know. Then again, a hallmark of being a stupid person is the inability to recognize that you are one–just ask any genuinely stupid person. I have long thought that we should make traffic signals and road signs more accessible to those who cannot access intelligence, and my suggestions would include: replacing red-light cameras with red-light shotguns; manufacturing all Nissans, Kias, and Hyundais with edible ignition keys; and allowing the more adept members of society to summarily execute idiots. I suffered additional failures when raising these policy issues with lawmakers, but if I ever ascend to a position of power—unlikely—I will make sure that the stupider segment of society has a free pass to the drunk driving highway.