Monday, July 9, 2007

NewAge is for Butt Plugs

So a couple of days ago I decided it might be a good idea to waste about 2 and 1/2 hours of Company time taking a "Real Age" test. In case you can't guess this test is designed to take your past life, your predicted future life, and the regression line of the lies/answers you've given regarding both and meld them together to give you some sort of crude estimate of what your "real" age is, or more accurately, what you've done right and what you've done wrong if your goal is to live well past that pleasant geriatric state and into the can't-do-anything-for-myself-and-everyone-wishes-I-would-die-even-the-people-that-love-me-most stage.

Holy F where do I begin?

Just to shake things up (and to totally piss off the gods of consecutivism) I think I'll start at the end and take a look at the age that this all-knowing test gave me: 22

Well, first of all, I must have accidentally checked the box for "Use a beer bong to ingest all fluids that I choose to consume," and I guess I picked Nickelback as my favorite band. I guess I also listed "Casual sex with multiple partners without protection or remorse" as a favorite pasttime, and "Never asked questions before snorting foreign substances up my nose" as one of the things I feel guilty about. I don't remember answering any questions about my career goals or life ambitions, but I must have answered something along the lines of "Change the frickin' world Man, and tell the F'n machine to ride my knob!"

If you know me you know that I'm actually 27 years old, and that my life doesn't much resemle that of a 22 year old . I drink a little bit, and I have fun, but I can't even remember the last time I contracted an STD, and my only vices now are gummy bears and staying up late to watch the 9:30 episode of Frasier.

I know what you're thinking. "That test was based on physical factors, not social abnormalties, you bastard!" First of all, calm down, you nutcase. Second, my point is not that this test cannot be accurate because it's entire system is currupt (not to mention designed by some greedy internet marketing dick-licker hell bent on finding something that I was interested in receiving email about). My point is "Who Gives a Good God Damn?!"

If anything, this "test" just goes to reinforce the fact that age is just a number. The laundry list of factors involved in factoring the difference between your nominal age and your "true" age is long indeed.

I've got a better idea. How about the True Happiness Test. Please list the last 5 times you laughed uncontrollably at something a good friend said. Name the last time you did something crazy with someone you've known since you were 7 years old. When was the last time you did something just for yourself, even though everyone else thought you were out of your mind? The last time you blew off work. The last time you swam naked in the moonlight. The last time you kissed someone who was not your girl/boyfriend, and who your parents would definitley NOT approve of.

Haven't done some of these things? There's still time, and you don't have to be 22 to get started. These things have more to do with life than all of the social standards and normalities that say "Graduate from a good school," and "Get married by 30."
"Have two or three kids, and send them to the best schools"
"Drive a Lexus LS or a Mercedes E Class; nothing else will really do."
"Join a country club, for that's where you'll find quality people to befriend."

And so on. You can live your whole life by the numbers and the standards, or you can spend some time examining what it is you really want out of life, devising a plan to acheive it, and then enacting that plan until you've either acheived your goal or until you're dead.

The point is that life, much like most of the things in it, cannot be quantified in terms of numbers. The amount of years you've lived and the amount of years you have left to live mean nothing without a little spritz of that thing we call "quality of life".

Friday, July 6, 2007

Fearlessly into the blogosphere I tiptoe

Before I get started I must make a small confession. Until very recently I regarded "blogging" as, well, retarded for lack of a better word. I wanted nothing to do with it or anyone who practiced it. As far as I was concerned, all bloggers could just go ahead and keep typing away in the spare room of their mother's house where they've been living since they got laid off from Best Buy. I went to lengths to avoid exposure to the presumptuous opining and unsolicited pontification of this inexplicably pompous group of folks.

It's nothing personal, I just don't make a habit of hanging on every word prattled out by lonely, socially inept middle-aged men with Cool Ranch Dorito crumbs crusted to their Star Wars t-shirts. I don't care to know their religious beliefs or their political views. I don't really give a holy dingle-berry about the hidden tracks on the new Dirt Ticklers album, and I can certainly live my whole life and never need to know the hilarious details about the time they stayed up for 72 hours straight playing Everquest because they lost a bet to their best friend Stinky.

I guess my point is that if you have something worthwhile to say, maybe you should try saying it out loud to actual people. Like so people can hear it with their ears. Remember talking? Remember listening? Remember conversations that were real and couldn't be backspaced and revised into comfortable perfection before hitting "Send"? Real-time talking?! Wtf?!

In addition, I could never quite convince myself that anyone really needed to concern themselves with whatever dribble I might decide to slap up on my "blogspot". I mean seriously, it's my life and it's barely interesting to me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm a fairly opinionated cat. I've just never been able to get past that log in the road that might mistakenly be classified as humbleness if I weren't such an arrogant prick. I'm just not convinced that anyone out there would need to pencil out a portion of their busy day that’s no doubt filled with neopolitan ice cream, Mad About You reruns, and ignoring their children to read my post describing the extra thick coating of peanut butter that I put on my toast this morning. Don't get me wrong, it was super tasty and all and I could probably weave one helluva good yarn around all the nutty, delicious details of this part of my morning routine, but seriously.

But then something weird happened (sweet zombie jesus in a hand basket, this entry is getting really long. I guess this is how it starts..). I got an email from my sister asking me to "check out my blog!!"
_____ I'm sorry?
Please hold while I re-read that 8 times to make sure I haven't gone totally Charter Lakeside. Is my sister really joining a realm that has been reserved exclusively for deuchebags? My sister? The one who would probably think Tivo was a teletubbie if she didn't know the names and extended biographies of every children's character created in the last 9 years? (Give her a break, she has 4 kids) My own flesh and blood? I fight through the cold sweats and remain lucid enough to focus on coming up with excuses for not joining her at the next annual Star Trek convention and think of the most tactful way to say that "No sis, I have the utmost respect for Dungeons & Dragons competitions, it's just that I have this pale-weak-person phobia thing that I'm trying to work through. Otherwise I'd be all over that shit."

I mean really, where did I go wrong? If the G man really felt the need to smite me because I like to step on puppies couldn't he have just sent locusts or some flesh eating bacteria or something like any decent god-fearing deity? I mean whatever happened to taking your first-born or making you sacrifice a few virgins or something? Anyway, this all just reinforces my belief that a benevolent God is about as likely as beer-rain or an M.C. Hammer comeback. In other words, pretty F'n slim. (You hear me god!? Yeah, and if you’re listening, tell your buddy Claus that a plastic pistol is NOT the same as a Red Ryder BB gun – GOSH, that Christmas Sucked!)

Anyway, after spending the next three days in a haze of whiskey, unprescribed painkillers, and loose women, I decided to shake off my self pity and really analyze this situation. I weighed the pros and I weighed the cons. I pondered and I explored. And finally I realized.

People don't really blog for others, they blog for themselves. The act of taking your thoughts, sorting them, structuring them, and putting them down on paper (sort of, just go with it…) is not only very therapeutic, it's a way for people to document themselves. Not for the benefit of others, but for themselves. Writing is the best medium for one's thoughts to be extracted from that abstract, byzantine mess of neurons and channels that is our minds and put into something that can be looked at and focused on. Thoughts are fleeting and very easy to manipulate, but written words, while they can be erased, must be consciously reckoned with. Put more simply, changing my thoughts to chocolate chip cookies or Jennifer Love Hewitt's unbelievably perky little sweater bunnies will not change written words.

Another funny thing about writing is that it's nearly impossible to physically write down something you don't truly believe. For instance, I just tried to type out the sentence, “My luscious lever leaves lively ladies longing left and right long after I’ve left.” While this may be one mad-man of a tongue twister, it’s not remotely true. That’s why I could not type it myself and had to get Peter North in here to help me out (with the writing you sickos, geez…) But you guys get my point. Pick something dark out of your life and try to explain it away on paper and you will find that it’s nearly impossible.

For this reason, I believe documenting oneself, or “blogging,” may be one of the most honest things one can do. And I believe that it's for this reason that people share their blogs with each other, and why people actually take interest in reading the blogs of others. It's an intimate, almost voyeuristic look into someone's life. Not to mention your own.

Having said that, I think we all can agree that there are still a lot of ass-clown bloggers out there. But, it sure as hell beats watching television.