Not quite pop culture, not quite political, not quite pure comedy - it's just a bit outside what you're used to seeing.

Monday, September 05, 2005

I Stink on Ice

Well, I certainly lost interest quickly, didn't I?

Perhaps it was asking a bit much of myself to keep up with daily posts, but surely even I can be counted on to contribute to an unread blog a couple of times a week...right?

Here’s the new deal, FDR (and yes, I realize I’m talking to myself, but bear with me): I resolve to post to this board regularly – not on any regular schedule, but I will keep active barring unforeseen circumstances (like getting a job). Hopefully, I’ll have enough to say to post twice a week. In good times, I may write three of four entries; in bad times, perhaps only one. The deal is that I’ve been writing, and if the underwhelming feedback I’ve received is any indication, that should please at least one other person out there.

In the meantime, I leave you with The Rawker…rock on Rawker!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

And on the Seventh Day He Rested

Not that I've got a God Complex or anything, but it's Sunday and I'm tired.

This photo actually answers one of the more interesting Simpsons trivia questions out there: who is the only character with five fingers?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Why are Greeting Cards so...Gay?

Don’t let the title fool you – this post is no homosexual slur. Rather, I need to state a simple fact: it’s impossible to find a greeting card that doesn’t make you want to go the way of Officer June Lo.

How can any man feel good about himself when buying a greeting card? I realize that cards should appeal to the givee, but shouldn’t they also serve as expressions of the men who buy and give them? I don’t know too many guys who need to express their love – and I’m talking about genuine love here – with a six by nine card printed on pink paper, with a pink bow, lavender scent and an 18-line sonnet. Am I wrong, or is that a bit much?

I’m sure there is a market for the overly flamboyant card because there must be some women who appreciate (expect?) such a ridiculous gesture. But I know I’m not the only man sick of the choices (or lack thereof) that are out there.

This issue was brought to a point for me this week as I searched for a birthday card for my mom. Now I know that my mom *expects* a card from me – no gift, just a card. Simple, right? But here’s the thing: my mom doesn’t want or care about what poem Hallmark has written inside – she won’t read the print or acknowledge the embellishments. The card is important to my mom because of what I write and what that means to her.

So what are my choices? Well, the only cards in the “Birthday, Mother” section under $4.99 are a six-fold monstrosity with a pop-up lace heart or another containing a 250-word essay on the importance of mothers. If I wanted to step up to the $7.99 plateau, I could have purchased an oversized card with rhinestones…and who doesn’t love rhinestones? They’re the international pseudo-stone of birthday well-wishing. Am I the only one who thinks $7.99 is a bit excessive for a birthday card? Apparently I must be; there were more cards priced over six dollars than under three.

I soon found the store’s only other “Happy Birthday Mom” cards in the so-called Humor section – “so-called” because all of the “jokes” were spin offs of the old you’re-so-old-we-have-to-use-a-fire-extinguisher-to-blow-out-all-the-candles-on-your-cake gag. Yeesh. Obviously, these cards weren’t right for me, nor were they right for my mom.

Can’t there be a happy medium? Why must every card be so disgustingly over the top or atrociously unfunny that I want to puke in my own mouth? Is it too much to ask for some industrious card company executive to design a card that doesn’t require me to check my masculinity at the door? Here’s an idea (Hallmark, feel free to steal this one – I promise I won’t sue):

Plain white stock, four by six inches. Front of the card has a single daisy with the words “Happy Birthday” printed in an attractive font on the bottom. The inside left of the card is blank while the inside right says “Wishing you the happiest of birthdays”.

There, that’s fairly simple, right? Now, sell that card for $1.99 and I guarantee you won’t be able to keep enough on the shelves. Men of this millennium know that we’re expected to personalize cards to the women in our lives and actually want to write our own messages; you can trust us to adequately adapt this card for our wives, moms, sisters, etc.

It shouldn’t be this difficult, yet it is. Someone has to speak up before another man is forced to castrate himself in order to purchase a simple greeting card, and someone needs to speak up soon – I’ve grown quite attached to my testicles and would hate to part company when we have so much left to do together.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Best Japanese Import Since Nintendo

My name is Matt and I’m an addict.

OK, perhaps I’m being a bit dramatic. It’s not like my vice is heroin, crank or even booze (though I have been known to get a bit saucy from time to time). No, my drug is the addictively beautiful and symmetrical game of So Doku.

The Times offers some free So Doku puzzles and pointers, and manages to explain the game in fairly simple terms:

To solve a Su Doku puzzle, every digit from 1 to 9 must appear in each of the nine vertical columns, in each of the nine horizontal rows, and in each of the nine boxes. They range in difficulty from easy to very hard, depending on the positioning of the numbers you’re given to start with.

Sure, that description doesn’t make it sound like Hungry Hungry Hippos (or any of the other great games of our age) and sure, you seem a bit nerdy when hovering over a So Doku page, penciling, erasing then penciling in again numbers into tiny squares, and sure, playing it does make you look like one of those crazies on the train (I always feel like a Russell-Crowe-Beautiful-Mind Freak – but that’s just me). However, there is something almost lyrical about the bizarre simplicity of So Doku, about getting something “right”, about catching that elusive “a-ha” feeling.

Don’t believe me? I dare you to try one of the Mensa-like puzzles, defy you to keep a smile off your face when you successfully complete it (or defy you not to tear it up when your feeble mind proves incapable).

I’m sure you’re now thinking, “This dumbass doesn’t have a job, of course he can afford to spend hours each day on a stupid game.” To such an argument, I say TAKE THAT BACK! SO DOKU IS NOT A STUPID GAME! SHE IS MY MISTRESS, MY TEMPTRESS! SHE UNDERSTANDS ME LIKE NONE OTHER! I KNEW YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND!

Besides, I really don’t have as much time to devote to So Doku as you would think (or I would like), what with fantasy baseball season entering its stretch drive and fantasy football season draft just days away. No, friends, I am a busy man.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Importance of Being Prolific

I suppose that if one starts a blog he is obliged to actually post to it on a daily basis…at least at first. Is it a bad sign that I’m making today’s deadline by one minute?

Anyway, there will be more tomorrow, but as I’m the only one reading this crap I’m sure no one will mind.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate

So I guess I have a blog. I mean, if I can't find gainful employment, at least I can find a non-porn way to waste hours on the computer each day, right?

So what's this space going to be about? Well, since I never planned to post a blog until eight minutes ago, I'm going to have to say, uhh...I dunno...stuff. That's right -- stuff. And you can quote me on that.

My blog's name comes from a quote by the late, great Bob Uecker in the immortal film "Major League"(Bob Uecker's not dead? "Major League" is hardly an immortal film? You'll find that Just a Bit Outside is long on prose, but short on researched facts. You know, kind of like Bill O'Reilly).

That's it for now. Word to your mother.