Thursday, March 21, 2013

I'm The Scoutmaster or: How I Learned God Doesn't Like Me

I've always lived under the premise that God loves me.  Truth be told, I still basically believe that.  But that He likes me? Mmmmm, can't say that I'm so sure and I'm going to express why. 

'Bout a year ago, I was called in to my LDS Bishop's office and was asked to be a teacher of 8-11 year-old Mormon children.  This was satisfactory on many levels: It basically required a small amount of preparation, I like kids of that age and it kind of made me get out of bed and go to church every week.

When I got called in to the Bishop's office and given the assignment, I told the Bishop, whose name I will not put on this Internet (See? I am growing up. A year ago I'd have totally put him on blast!)that I had been very nervous that he was going to make me the Scoutmaster. He kind of laughed and asked me why I would be nervous about that. I explained that I, although an Eagle Scout, do not see the huge value in the Scouting program, that my Scout skills have eroded if they ever existed, that I can't sleep without a CPAP Maching that requires electricity to run, and that I drive a VW Beetle that not only has everyone thinking I'm gay but also only fits the cargo of 1/2 of a grown male. The Bishop kind of laughed and assured me that I had nothing to worry about. I breathed easy and left the office, happy enough with my new calling.

I believe that at that exact moment there is a 70 percent chance the Bishop let Satan into his heart and into his mind. That's the only way I can come to grips with what happened about 4 months later.

The Bishop called me again and said: "I'm calling you to be Scoutmaster."

My family has taught me enough about the guilt trip to know that I basically had to say yes.  I gotta go home so I'm gonna finish this reeeeeally quickly:

Being the Scoutmaster has mostly sucked, but has had a few good moments.  I like the kids, and that's about it. 

I guess the moral is that which we run from, we run to. 

If a Blog Post Is Written and a Bear Craps in the Woods, Can the Pope Hear It?

I forgot that I even ever had a blog for I'm guessing an entire year.  I literally had not thought of or checked this blog since maybe October 2011.  But I'm not one to give up on something okay?

Let's see, what could be interesting and maybe damage some people's self-esteem......?

Oh, I don't have anything.  The new fluffier Boyd doesn't say the first thing that comes to mind.  I think maybe what I'll do is write about my job as the scoutmaster.  I'm going to post it under a new article so it looks like I was hella active.  Bye.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Great Season of Loneliness

It's time I embraced and spoke about a sad, sad time in my life. Was it a time that made me a better human? Almost certainly not. Was it a time upon which I reflected later, realizing that I had learned life's lessons and come out stronger? No. Was it a pile of dung with flies on it? Yes, it was.

My parents got called on a mission that overlapped mine and subsequently, I lived in their home with my brother and his wife who were supposed to be there to support me, give me guidance, help me get back to living a regular life again, and keep me away from porno.

They were there for about a year, I was doing fine except for the porno (joking, we didn't have internet) and then they got offered the chance to move back east for a job opportunity for my sister-in-law that they couldn't pass up. This left me alone in my parent's house. For some 22 year-olds, that would have been a boon from on high. For me, not so much.

Instead of living alone I invited Derek Wessman to live with me. That first month with little Derek living with me was joyous, indeed. We drank so much soda pop and played so much Nintendo that methinks the Gods on high were jealous. I had my tonsils taken out and so the soda ended. With it ended the chance of living an even below-average life for awhile.

The year was 2002. The month February. Some of you, even those of you who are featured prominently in this tale of woe, look back on this period with great fondness, I'm sure. Some of you think "I loved it when that French guy asked me to go with him to the bobsled" or something like that. I believe the time is thought of as the "2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics" or some crock of shit like that. To me, it will always be my Great Season of Loneliness.

As stated, I had recently had the tonsils torn surgically from my body when the world arrived in Salt Lake. While this ended the nearly year long string of colds I had, it began the six week period of only being apple to drink f-king apple juice. I'm not one to use the f word all willy-nilly on this blog, but that's how much apple juice I drank. It was 5 years before I could touch another swig of it. As a man who loves his food, being put on an apple juice diet put me in a very dour mood.

What really killed me, however, were those damned Olympics. See, they robbed me of the only thing I had going for me at the time: friends. My family was gone. I was off work. I couldn't eat. What else did I have but friends? Here's a rundown:

Derek: My little friend has an aptitude for the Japanese language matched by very few, and because of this, he was in high demand during the Olympics. Japanese visitors needed translators to explain to them why they didn't win any gold medals, and apparently they needed them 22 hours a day since I only saw Derek when he came home to complain about the conditions and go to sleep briefly. He would have to sit for days at a time, or so it seemed, in a car, waiting for the Japanese people to have him drive them around and amuse them (in their defense he is very amusing). I don't blame Derek for my loneliness. He tried and I think he was as lonely as I was during this time.

Aja: Aja and I have been great friends since the age of about 16. At this point I was modestly obsessed with her on several levels, including the one where I thought she had a great body. She was and is very beautiful, thin, fun, and loving. She's smart and she thinks I'm funny. How could I not love her, right? At this time, she was also a jet-setter, living one year in Europe, one in Hawaii, a month in Utah, and who knows where else. In other words, when she was here, I wanted to be with her because I never knew if she'd be in Turkey the next week. Alas, this was not my lot during the Olympics. I don't know what she was doing besides not calling me, but it sure seemed a lot more fun than sitting on a crappy blue and white checkered couch watching cable TV trying to recuperate from Tonsil surgery and drinking Apple juice. Thanks for the visits, Aja. Oh wait, you didn't make any, like everyone else.

Aaronee: Aaronee is a girl who I'd had an odd crush on for most of the time between my 16-24th years. If she reads this, I'm sure she'll pretend like she didn't know this, but that would be a complete lie. If you didn't know it Aaronee, you aren't very bright because everyone else on the planet knew. Aaronee was strikingly beautiful and I must say I really thought she looked good in a sweater. See, February is sweater weather, but did I get to see my little friend in a sweater? No. She was off with of all people, Aja, I think, having fun and probably having French dudes hit on her and invite her to watch downhill skiing or bobsled or some crap like that.

Kristie and Kelsey: These were my two good friends at work. Kristie would later become my wife and even later become my ex-wife and Kelsey was a good friend. Both were and I'm sure are (I haven't seen Kelsey in a few years) very easy on the eyes and I thought we were good friends. Guess how many times good friends come to visit you while you're out of work for 6 weeks recovering from tonsil surgery? If you guessed none then you know how these two roll. Bad job, guys.

Phil: I can't blame Phil. Sometimes when this subject comes up, Phil says something like "you could have called me." This is true, Phil. This is true. The only problem is Phil was in a six month funk at the time and I felt that having him around might actually make me feel more lonely. I was wrong, but that was how loneliness had clouded my thought process. Forgive me Phil, forgive me.

Jim and Shelley: Way to pull the ripcord, and oop, bail out on me. They moved away for a chance at more money and to not have to live with Jim's loser brother in his parent's house. Do I blame them for my loneliness? Yes, I do, although less than others.

Mom and Dad: I know that you, like Jim and Shelley, were doing what you had to do, but it doesn't change the fact that I was lonely.

Grant: You made a good effort. I will give you that. My only good night during the Olympics was with you. Thank you.

I would say that getting that all off my chest makes me feel better. But it doesn't. I hope you can all sleep at night. Just kidding. Of course, time passed and I was able to share time and have experiences with each of you in the future. What mad me sad during these months was having some of my favorite people within miles of me, and being unable to see them. There is no moral to this story, just that I learned that loneliness and I are not good friends, and that I am grateful for the friends I have, imperfect as they are.

Monday, April 12, 2010

That Sad Morning

Never trust your friends.

I learned that lesson 9 years ago on a warm summer's eve.

This insanity had been brewing for awhile. Little Derek, eyes aglow, had finally badgered, cajoled, prodded, and begged me enough that I agreed to go with him on a drive to witness what he called the Astronomical Observation Tunnels.

You must know that at this time, I was quite wary of going anywhere with Little Derek. See, I'd heard the tales of him inviting Big Phil on a drive, only to accost Big Phil and make him drive for 16 hours into Idaho and Wyoming. I knew that acquiescing to Little Derek's requests would have consequences. I knew that some of them would be catastrophic, and that some of them would be as majestic as the 4 majestic things spoken of in Proverbs chapter 30, verse 28-31:

29 There are three things which are majestic in pace,

Yes, four which are stately in walk:

30 A lion, which is mighty among beasts

And does not turn away from any;

31 A greyhound, A male goat also,

And a king whose troops are with him.

Despite my reservations, Little Derek, Big Phil, and I went to the local grocery store where we bought supplies for our trip. The supplies were these:

1. A cluster of ripe bananas
2. A chocolate bar
3. A Kielbasa sausage

Little D had the necessary wood and accouterments to start and sustain a fire in the back of his Jeep. (The Jeeth Of Deeth )We therefore did not need to purchase any supplies for the building or sustaining of a fire.

Little Derek explained that the Astronomical Observation Tunnels were found in a remote desert area in Box Elder County, Utah. For those who are not familiar with the geography of North-Western Utah, it should be explained that directly to the west of Salt Lake City is an arid desert where there is very little development . The land is not without a certain beauty, although the beauty is perhaps not apparent at first glance as one might have a propensity to think of this area as a bit of a wasteland. Shrubs, salt flats, and rolling hills and mountains are the norm. Very little water is to be seen west of the Great Salt Lake herself.

After buying our supplies, we left the Salt Lake Valley at roughly 6 in the evening, with plenty of daylight still at our disposal. We headed west until Little Derek pulled us onto a road I had never seen nor heard of, nor have I traveled since, which we rode upon without incident for a substantial period of time. We then came to a place where the road was intersected by train tracks. Although it seemed insane to me at the time, Little Derek pulled off the road and started to drive parallel with the train tracks. There was a very small dirt path along the side of tracks which made driving possible, although I feared that if an actual train came, there would not be enough room for the two of us to co-exist on the tracks. Little Derek, as is his way, assured me there would be no incident and insisted that if a train did come, we would be given room to continue living our lives rather than dying. He insisted that the train would give us quarter.

After driving a good distance on the fairly uncomfortable side of the tracks, we did, in fact, come upon a stationary train. Little Derek was correct in his previous assessment and we found that the dirt path upon which we drove was just wide enough for the train and for our vehicle. When we got to the head car of the train, we decided to stop the Jeep and to get out and try to talk to men running the train. This proved to be very fruitful.

We got out and were immediately greeted by the main captain or conductor or whatever you call the guy in charge of the train. I apologize to the reader for my ignorance of train terminology, but I digress from my story. He explained that they were a cargo train carrying coal and other minerals. They had stopped to let the train rest for awhile. (that is an embellishment, by the way. I have absolutely no recollection of why the train had stopped.)

I don't know who asked the question, or how things came about, but the conductor allowed us up into the main chamber of the train, where we were able to live out the fantasy of every child who has ever lived on a continent where trains exist: We got to pull the chord that makes the train say "Choo! Choo!" If that isn't cool to you, you have probably suffered severe brain damage. After 20 or so minutes of train chat with the conductor, we had to get back on the dirt path to continue our voyage.

At this point, clearly excited about our run-in with the train, I felt certain that this trip was going to turn out to be great. How could it not? The darkness started to fall around us as we continued to venture deeper into a land that was unfamiliar to me, despite being less than 100 miles from my home.

Soon, total darkness was upon us. The stars shone above us, and looking out of the window, I was reminded that city life often robs us of moments like those: moments when we look at the stars and the galaxies and remember that we are....oh shit I almost turned this into a Steinbeck story. Back to the action.

It came to pass that we were nearing our destination. It should be noted that Little Derek had assured us pre-departure that he knew the exact location of the Tunnels, and that he would have no issue guiding us there safely. Truer words were spoken a lot of times, like every time someone didn't lie. Derek did, in fact, have a general knowledge of the location of the Tunnels, but that general knowledge served us poorly in the intense black desert which would soon force the Jeep to become our own private vehicular mosh pit.

See, Little Derek had never mentioned that we would be going off road. Soon, the Jeep was shaking back and forth with the force of an earthquake. My large head was nearly hitting the ceiling as the Jeep entered craters and crevasses in the desert floor. Several times Little Derek nearly plunged the Jeep into a river or crack in the earth that would have meant the doom of the Jeep. After what seemed like an eternity, and felt like I had been in a Prize Fight with a young Iron Mike Tyson, we finally, and luckily, stumbled upon the Astronomical Observation Tunnels.

Not to ruin the anticipation, but they were just 4 giant concrete tubes in an X formation with some holes cut in the top, possibly for Astronomical Observation. See that picture ? You make sense of it. Those two dudes on the Tunnels are not from our party. They were some other fools who somehow found out about the Tunnels. Now they know how damn disappointing they are. I'm sure some people will think they are cool, but to me, they are the work of an insane person and the sight of one of the worst nights of sleep I have ever had.

We walked up, in, and around the tunnels and surveyed the land briefly. We then agreed that it would be time to prepare a fire and cook our victuals. After Big Phil and Little Derek got the fire cracking, we prepared and ate the kielbasa sausage, which was, of course, delicious. Little Derek then entertained Big Phil and I by preparing a culinary favorite of his: Bananass.

If you've never had Bananass, the concept is simple. Take a ripe Banana, split it open without removing it from it's peel. Then gently place pieces of chocolate bar into the peel, shut the peel over the banana and chocolate, and cook over an open flame. The chocolate inside the peel melts beautifully and when eaten with the banana, make a special dessert. There is, of course a downside to Bananass. See, when the bananass is placed over the open flame, the outer part of the peel burns, creating a highly unpleasant odor, which can probably be smelled from space. That's the ass part of bananass.

After our humble meal, we sat around and enjoyed nature and each other, regaling ourselves with tales of past heroic deeds, mishaps, and blunders. A good time was had by all. As the embers of the fire burned dim, we decided it would be time to take our slumber.

I don't know which genius decided we should sleep in the tunnels that night, but I'm going to blame it on Little Derek. I'm going to state this simply: Picture a giant tube. Picture that tube is made out of cement. Now picture sleeping on the rounded bottom of that tube, without a pillow or blanket. Needless to say, it was not a pleasant sleeping experience.

Big Phil and Little Derek awoke with the sun the next morning. I, having never properly slept, greeted them. After small talk we killed the fire with our urine streams and got in the Jeep. Not wanting our adventure to end, we decided to drive the short distance to that Mecca of Evil, West Wendover, Nevada.

For those who are not familiar with North-Western Utah, West Wendover is a city approximately 120 miles west of Salt Lake City. It shares the border of Utah and Nevada with it's brother city, Wendover, Utah. West Wendover is a very small town with nothing of note other than 5 casinos where games of chance are offered. In case you're stupid, that means gambling.

Little Derek and I had at this point started to develop the nasty little habit of driving out to West Wendover periodically to partake in Blackjack. Up to this point in life, we would drive out, wager a relatively meager sum of money like $40 dollars, and come home. Sometimes we would win, usually we would lose. It didn't matter because we would have the greatest of times on the way to and from West Wendover, mostly by passing the time with freestyle gangsta rapfests. Sure, halfway through the trip home the raps would nearly always devolve into insults hurled at the other person's mother, but up until that point, many a funny thing would be said. (let's not kid ourselves, many a funny thing would be said after that as well, sorry Gyorge Ann.)

So on this morning, as we were so close, we decided to swing over and see if we could have a good time. There are some relatively nice casinos in West Wendover, but for some reason, probably because we are insane, we usually decided to gamble at the worst of them all, the Red Garter Hotel and Casino. The Red Garter looks like a whore-house from the late 1800's and smells like 1 trillion people all decided to smoke a cigarette and use the carpet for an ashtray. The dealers are usually the grumpiest, crotchety old Cubans who wear 10 pounds of cheap gold jewelry. It's just our kind of place. The Red Garter was also the only place in West Wendover that offered $2 Blackjack, or BJ as we call it.

We arrived, went to the ATM's and got out some cash with which to play. Even Big Phil decided to play this time, something that he rarely did at this point in our gambling careers. We sat down together and the massacre soon began. Hand after hand of Dealer 21's, Boyd 19's. Nothing went the way it should. Soon, I was out of money and had to make a Walk of Shame to the ATM. The same thing occurred. Walk of Shame after Walk of Shame I returned to the tables, only to be quickly dealt with by the Evil Lord of Gambling, Gamblor .

Little Derek had long since ran out of money, while Phil had wisely won 40 dollars and gotten out of the game. After several hours had passed, I dropped my final f-bomb on the dealer who gave me a 19, only to have him make a 20, and left in shame. We sat on the curb of the Red Garter where I sadly sat in silence for a few minutes.

Big Phil was the one to ask the question: "How much did you lose?" The response:

"My whole tuition for next semester. I don't know what I'm going to do."

Little Derek was in no happy mood, having made a walk of shame or two himself, but even he lamented this turn of events asking what I would do.

"I don't know."

We walked to the car with heavy hearts. We piled in and started to drive. Just before we left the city, Big Phil expressed that he was hungry. Little Derek and I agreed, but I angrily reminded them that I had no money left in life. Little Derek echoed that he was broke as well. Big Phil munificently offered to buy. At this point, there was but one restaurant left in the city, and it was called Taco Burger. We all like Tacos, and we all like Burgers, so we decided to not make the drive back to the other end of the city where there is an Arby's and a McDonald's. Taco Burger would do just fine.

After looking at the menu, we all agreed that we had to each purchase a Taco Burger. Nothing else would do. We decided to eat outside in the front of the little restaurant. I tell you that on that day God showed no mercy to us. Not only had I lost over $1000, but when I bit into the Taco Burger, nothing could have prepared me for the unholy concoction of spices which got crapped into my mouth. After one bite, we all spit out the Taco Burger and agreed on one thing as we got back into the car and headed home: Taco Burgers effing suck.

And that, my friends, is the tale of That Sad Morning.

(PS) I didn't really lose anywhere near $1000 dollars or my whole tuition, but somehow over the years that is what the story grew to be in Little Derek and Big Phil's minds, and maybe even my own, until one day last year when the story was re-hashed and I remember that I really only lost like 200 bucks. No small chunk of change mind you, and definitely a bit of money I could have used towards tuition, but not my whole tuition. Time really does make stories better, doesn't it?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rating Some Famous Songs

I am so bored with music right now. So I decided that I would Google search "Best Songs of All Time." The first link on the page was Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Please, all 4 of you who check this blog periodically, spare me the "Rolling Stone is lame" talk. I know. I just want some music to listen to, and after perusing the list, there are several that I've never heard. So, I'm going to listen to all of them, and then give them a rating. I may or may not make a comment about a song. This could take a long time, and some may say I'm crazy, but I don't give a damn, that's my prerogative. I may put a video in if I find something I find worth watching.

Rating System:
5 Stars-Excellent, usually a classic
4 Stars-Great
3 Stars-Average
2 Stars- Poor
1 Star- Bad (or if Bad is too difficult of a concept for you, just listen to any Rush album.)

500. More Than A Feeling-Boston 5 STARS

Not the best singing job here, but a pretty sweet video.

499. The Boys Are Back in Town-Thin Lizzy 2 and 1/2 stars.
There is something about this song that I just don't like. Maybe it's the fact that I usually don't like the usage of the term "the boys."

498. Rainy Night in Geo-Oh screw it.

I just realized how asinine it would be for me to do this and there is just no way that I am going to tackle a project of this magnitude.

What am I doing with my life that I would even contemplate taking the time to listen to 500 songs and giving an opinion on them for the 4 people who read this blog?

By the way, #498-Rainy Night in Georgia sucks balls.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What Would Jesus Do? Probably the Exact Opposite of What My Friend Did

When I was a child in the late 80's, people started thinking it was very cute to smugly ask the question "What would Jesus do?", as if that was going to make people stop doing what they were doing and take a new course of action for the better. I think for the most part, people now hate that question. See, whenever the mainstream society takes a good thing (Most people would not argue that doing what Jesus would do is a bad thing) and starts making it the popular thing, then that thing can start to suck and/or backfire. (see Coldplay)

Regardless of the backlash from WWJD (as the saying has annoyingly come to be known), I would still say that it is a good rule of thumb to try to do right by those with whom you come in contact. Now, I am as guilty at times of not doing what is right as much or more than the next man. But for the most part though, my errors are minor and I try to do the right thing.

Like Sir Paul McCartney, I have a general creed when it comes to dealing with other people: Live and Let Die. I don't care what you do as long as it doesn't hurt me or other people. I try not to be too judgemental. I try to stay out of other people's business. Sometimes however, it cannot be avoided. Sometimes people bring you into their business and you are forced to make a judgement call. Today was one of those days.

I have a close friend, let's call him Chas for anonymity's sake. One day a few weeks ago, Chas decided to surprise his wife with what she'd been begging for. No, I'm not talking about surprising her when she comes home from work, finding Chas in a man-thong with his chest hair shaved into a Byzantine Cross, silly. That can happen on any old day. No, I'm talking about what it seems all women want, even more than Hot Man Meat: A puppy.

So Chas and his wife, let's call her Liz, went down to the animal shelter to find a puppy. They settled on a cute little pup, went through the animal adoption process, and took him home to meet their older dog. This is where things started to go sour. See, what Chas and Liz didn't think of, or perhaps even know about, was how shitty it is to own a puppy. They get into everything, never stop barking, use the house as a bathroom, annoy the other dogs, and are generally quite bothersome until they are 2 years old or older, depending on the breed.

Of course, that is exactly what happened to Chas and Liz. The puppy was messing up their sleep schedules, bothering the other dog, and just generally being a nuisance. Puppy had Mom and Dad at their wit's end. What were they going to do? What would Jesus do?

Probably the exact opposite of what they did.

Chas and Liz finally had enough with little puppy. Should they have been patient with puppy? Should they have followed through with the commitment they took on when they originally adopted puppy? Of course they should. Did they? Of course they didn't. I guess in the minds of Chas and Liz, "adoption" is a term used very loosely. Although little puppy didn't come with a return policy, he was returned nonetheless. And were was he returned? To the scary pound. I can only imagine what puppy thought when he entered the doors to the shelter and heard the all too familiar barking and whining of the other dogs.

I sat in my seat of judgement when I heard this story and I told Chas that I thought what they had done was wrong. Not on any huge scale, but wrong nonetheless. He understood my point, but disagreed. He assured me that the reason they had gotten rid of puppy was because it was fighting with their other older dog, and they figured that because puppy was so young and cute, it would have no problem being adopted by a family with whom it would be a better fit. Perhaps he was right. He then told me he knew for a fact that the puppy was adopted very quickly. I momentarily felt good for Chas, and thought that maybe he had kept up with the whereabouts of the puppy and felt bad for it after casting it away, but no. How did he know the puppy had been adopted? Because the shelter had sent him a refund check less than two weeks after they turned puppy in, and they only send refunds if the puppy is adopted out.

Chas, Liz, I hope you cash that check and put the cash into your pillow cases so you can sleep on a bed of lies tonight. I worry for your souls, but not for puppy, because as Don Bluth and Disney taught us, All Dogs Go To Heaven. I don't know if the same can be said for all people.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Levels Of Geekdom

Sometimes life gives you a glimpse into the secret chambers of another man's heart, and that glimpse is usually one which makes you glad to be yourself. I have recently had one such experience.

There is a new guy who started working at my office a few weeks ago. He is a jolly soul, and while not pushing 3 bills like myself, is quite stout and girthy with a big laugh and a quirky sense of humor. He has come by my office several times to discuss "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" (which I strongly recommend) and other comedies of that ilk. Needless to say, I've taken a wee bit of a shine to him and dare say that he has done the same with me.

Anyway, the other day I went over to his office to see what he was doing and I noticed that he had a number of oddities hanging on his wall and sitting on his shelves, namely: Action figures of Optimus Prime, He-Man and Battle Cat in full armour, several GI Joe figurines as well as a tank or some sort of vehicle, and a poster with Sergeant Slaughter. Initially I thought this was pretty cool and asked him why he had these relics of childhood. He replied that he likes to collect 80's toys and memorabilia.

This lead to a 3 hour discussion where I came to learn that my friend has every Star Wars toy from the original series, something like 80% of the GI Joe toys, and several other toys from that time period. Indeed, he has taken his toys up to the mountains and taken action photography with them and posted them on a website, this website, in fact. Now, we looked around and found that my friend was just the tip of the iceberg for GI Joe photography, with some even photo shopping fake missiles and fire and such coming from the toy planes.

At this point, I asked my friend if he owned any swords and if so did he know that the next logical step would be for him to go to the park, dress up in chain mail armor, get some 20 sided dice and act some shit out. He couldn't even believe that I would suggest that as a course of action, letting me know that what he did and what the people who dress up in chain mail do aren't even remotely comparable. He claims it is like comparing apples and oranges. They are "totally different levels of Geekdom." Are they, friend? Are they? He offered some explanation about how collecting Military Toys is nothing like getting dressed up in Knights armor and chanting in Latin, but to me, they are quite similar. Not in theme, but in obsession and mania.

After some good natured ribbing, a trip to my Mom's house to get my old toys, and a back rub with scented oils, minus the back rub with scented oils, my friend went home and left me thinking. I have a few beliefs in life, (one of them being that every man craps his pants at least once a year. Now, it might not be a full-on crapping, but he at least sharts once per year and if he denies it, he's lying.) And now, after my discussion with my cohort, I've decided that I have a new belief: Everyone has at least a little geek in them. But not everyone is prepared to learn Elf languages or Klingon and not all Geeks are dangerous, so to help you sort out who is who, here is a brief run-down of my 3 Levels Of Geekdom:

Level 1: General Geek
Most people fall into this level. Level One includes any of your basically acceptable nerdiness: lower level collections, obsessions with video games/sports/fashion/television, basically anything that you don't want other people to find out about unless you trust them. This may include the eating of boogers, making an NBA Live Team out of all Old Testament Characters (i.e. Habakkuk and Moses) having pictures of cars or half-naked women on your garage walls, really just the usual things that are geeky, but overall socially acceptable. It is important to know that there are sub-levels included in the major levels, but I'll let some geek with more time than I have fill you in on what those are. Derek. Level 1 Geeks can generally be trusted, and are not dangerous.

Level 2: Fantasy Geek
Level Two is really just the taking of a healthy enjoyment of a hobby and raising it to a whole other, scarier level. Collecting baseball cards is one thing, and is certainly geeky, but then pulling the cards out, getting 6 dice and trying to come up with a formula that will, in tandem with said cards, calculate how many strikeouts Ed Johnson had in his eighth season, and then having debates with yourself over if he would make the Hall of Fame after his career ends (Yes, he would), is an entirely different thing. Level 2's collect things and never remove them from the original packaging, buy special computers to run their video games they play for hours on end, and have thought about going to a Star Trek Convention, but have never done so. Level 2's are usually safe, but when they are on the verge of becoming Level 3 or are displaying Level 3 type behaviors, they should be avoided as they may have just bought a Ninja Star and are certainly on the edge of using it.

Level 3: Get Out and Do It Geek
This is by far the most disturbing and subsequently most humorous level of Geekdom. This is when you decide that just knowing all the facts about the French and Indian War aren't enough, no, you need to collect some black powder muskets, the pelts of animals, and go to a re-enactment of said war. And when you are out roughing it, you certainly can't use toilet paper, pussy. You need to use leaves and shrubs to get your arse clean. Of course there is a lot of variation in this level, with your Low-Level 3's being Trekkies and people who dress up as Albus Dumbledore for the premier of the new Harry Potter movies, and your Upper-Level 3's who are usually just multiple offenders or Double Dippers in Geekdom(trekkies mixed with civil-war re-enactment, World of Warcraft players who also actually like the last 2 hours of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy etc.) Be very cautious when speaking to and especially mocking Upper-Level 3's as you must remember they probably have a Katana and iron breastplate at home and they are definitely closer to using them in real life than you would imagine.

Well, now that you are armed with this knowledge, I hope you can diagnose yourself honestly, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harm.
Live Long and Prosper.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Useless Trivia

I love to talk. Those who know me know this is an understatement. I can chat it up with the best of them. In fact, I am the best of them, so I can chat it up with myself, and often do. In my car. Loudly. To myself. I then turn with crazy eyes to the soccer mom in the car next to me and mouth "You're Next!" while pointing at her. Ok. That got wierd. I don't actually do that very often.

Now, in my many conversations, I have noticed that something seems to happen quite frequently. A topic comes up, and I am able to adroitly give a factiod or snippet of information about said topic. Sometimes this is done to humerous effect, and sometimes it is done solely for information's sake. Either way, the reaction often goes something like this: "Ha ha. Man, you know a lot of useless trivia."
Excusez-moi? Did you just call what I said useless? Cuz I just used it, biatch. I used it to make our conversation more fulfilling and interesting. I just made myself appear smarter, which I am, because I know more than you. I proved it by making that excellent point I just barely made 2 seconds ago.

You know what's useless to me? All that calculus and chemistry that's up in your brain. You work in sales, bro. You waste brain space on the atomic mass of plutonium (244.0 amu), or the freezing point of alcohol (-117 degrees farenheit.) Now I know those 2 facts as well, because I Googled them. Booyah.

So don't tell me it's useless trivia to know who the last player to legally throw the spitball in baseball was, because not only have I had several opportunities to share that tidbit, one time my boy Cheeth was at a Mariners game when that exact question came up on the scoreboard, and you can only imagine how impressed the 50 people around him were when he stood and shouted "Burleigh Grimes" and the scoreboard revealed that same answer. And he wouldn't even have known that if I hadn't told him.

So think twice before you call my trivia useless again, because I just used it.

(and FYI that is a picture of Cliff Clavin, who used trivia to make the show Cheers waaay more awesome than it would have been without him. I suggest you take the time to watch this.)