Thursday, February 23, 2006

Setting the Bar

I am well aware it often seems to the casual observer that I am simply drifting through life. I have – I am well aware – a vast reserve of talent and potential. Well-educated and creative, the world should be my oyster. However, this does not appear to be the case. From the outside, I appear happy to slide by living well beneath my potential. It appears as though I have no guide for my life, no goals.

This is – believe it or not – absolutely not the case. I do have goals. I have a lot of goals. My life is adhering strictly the plan I have laid out for it. It is a bit of an odd plan. Esoteric in its details, I am well aware that my life’s arc will not make sense until it is over. Then, everyone will gather at my funeral, review my life, and everything will snap into sharp focus. “By Jove,” everyone will gasp, “Surely, James has lived one of the most extraordinary lives in the history of extraordinary lives.” Just wait for it. You will be astounded.

Now, I know everyone is desperate to hear of my plan, of my goals. Everyone wants just a taste of the astonishment that is sure to await them upon my death. Well, I will not – dare not – be too liberal with my details. My life depends upon secrecy and surprise. I will give you just a taste. I will tell you one – just one – of the myriad goals I have set up before me. I will tell of only one of the Herculean tasks I shall accomplish that will etch my names among the immortals.

I will sneak into Dollywood.

Yes, I am well aware this seems a fool’s errand. Dollywood is a fortress. Its perimeter is locked down tight. Guard towers, rabid dogs, barbed wire, turnstiles all lay betwixt me and my prize. Rest assured this is not a undertaking I intend embarking upon lightly. I shall not venture into the heart of the great Smokey Mountains without the most intricate and fool-proof of plans – and a back up plan in the event of the first plan’s failure. I am – as I write this – intently studying the plans and blueprints of Dollywood. I know of its subterranean levels. I know the shape and nuance of its exterior perimeter. I know of the Trapper and Baxter Bear the so-called friendly roving characters who bring laughter and smiles to guests throughout the park. Oh, yes, the perils of this mission are well known to me. Rest assured, I do not plan on being a simple gate crasher. Such brashness is sure to fail in such a situation. I must rely on calm, cold deliberation and execution. Of my plan I must say no more. I dare not compromise the integrity of the mission.

While the perils are many, the prizes are more than worth it. Once inside Dollywood, I will be in a wonderland of rides, live shows, and rustic Appalachian charm. I will gorge my self on the cornucopia of hard earned themed treasures. Most of all, I will achieve immortality. Forever, I will be known as the man who looked fate in the eye and laughed. I will be known as the man who dared attempt the impossible, and lived to speak of it. I will be the man who scaled the insurmountable peak of life. I shall be, forever, the man who snuck into Dollywood. When I am through, even Ms. Parton herself will speak of me in the hushed reverential tone reserved only for those who have accomplished the impossible. I shall be legend.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Phrases Harrison Ford Could Say Before Punching Someone

Get off my boat!
I'm going to neuter this dog!
Pimento on Rye... hold the mustard!
I'm the president of my junior class!
I ate your father!
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
Get off my plane of existence!
Try a free sample!
Virginia is for lovers!
Three's a crowd!
Your participle is dangling!
Get off my foot!

Monday, February 13, 2006

I am so happy; I think I’ll flip a car!

You, you with the noisemaker and the face paint, won't you help me? I just gotta show the greater metropolitan area how delighted I am by flipping a car.

Hmm....This car, here. Lets see. Is it in a natural, right-side-up position? CHECK! This will do! Lets make it so this automobile is festively upside-down!

And you, with the lady friend whose eyes are half-closed. She's either overcome by happiness vapors, or that celebratory black and yellow hair glitter got in her gleefully tearing lady-eye. Both of you, help me flip this car!!

There, that man jumping and saying Woooo! The one wearing no shirt, no shirt at all. I am positive he would want to be in on this car flipping.

I can see near the curb there is a woman. Her hair is as big and beautiful as my bursting heart feels now; her baby slightly bundled for this freezing, midnight near-riot. I put it to you that they would thoroughly enjoy the spectacle of a Nissan Sentra going tires-up.

We have been waiting so long to feel this much positive emotion! Waiting but not actually working hard in any way that actually brought this triumph about. Hey, did someone say TRIUMPH! I must now echo that shirtless man: Woooo!

We may need more assistance, as this is not only a difficult physical task, but it is one that will be a turning point, a milestone, a measuring stick in countless lives. What do you think of that young man over there with bad grammar and a misdirected sense of pride? Indeed! Oh, car- oh, comrades- our proceedings this day are extraordinary!

I shall wait for you to pour that beverage over your head. Done? Ok, let's do it!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My Favorite Part of the Super Bowl

Sure I'm glad that the Steelers won.

But the best part of this Super Bowl was, by far, the MacGyver Mastercard Commercial! I never expected to see my favorite television character of all time back in action... and yet there he was, cutting himself loose with an air freshener. Of course, using the powers of our DVR, I rewound it and watched it again... then recorded it.

Then James called me and I started screaming over the phone in excitement.

In an interview on Mastercard's website Anderson said, “While I've had offers to bring the MacGyver character back to life, MasterCard had the sense of humor I felt was needed to bring the character back,” said Anderson. 'The commercial really speaks to how oftentimes everyday items are truly 'priceless' and can serve as life savers.'"

Mastercard's "Priceless" website features a whole slew of interviews with Anderson, including a making-of!

Congrats Steelers... but more importantly, congrats Richard Dean Anderson!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

somebody sh*t on my front step

A friend of mine is in the beginning stages of a relationship, the part where everything is magical and great and you still notice little things (like how they bite their lip or check the mirrors when they drive, not the little things like how freaking loudly they chew.) The woman my friend is interested in actually poetically noted the "angle of his jaw" or something sweet like that in a post bursting with the iambic energy of a blogger in love.

The same day I read that I received an email from my friend who is 5 months pregnant and couldnt be more excited. All the lovely details were shared ("the ultrasound showed him kicking and flipping all over the place") and I am unspeakably happy for her.

Now, onto my day: somebody sh*t on my front step.

No, I am not making this up. Yes, it was most definitely human feces, unless bears poop unnoticed through the streets of Pittsburgh, although in commercials bears politely use toilet paper that hangs on branches. But you know I never saw a bear's excrement and could not attest to its similarity (or dissimilarity) to that of a human so this bear theory could be even more radical.

I will remind the reader: somebody sh*t on my front step.

We live above a chiropractor's office-- you walk through the chiropractor's waiting room to get to the apartment. To get into the building, you have to walk up a handicap ramp (unless you're handicap) then you are on the porch. You walk up on step to get in the door.

It was on this very step. Now, I have considered the possibility that it was thrown. However, it was perfectly in tact, no splat factor, and there was no residue on the door, which is to say, it couldn't really have bounced off.

I had been outside earlier and it wasn't there, so it happened while i was in the building. I do not take this as a personal insult, and have considered that perhaps Dr. Smith downstairs relaxed a patient just so. I have considered it could be a sign of good luck. Perhaps, it just missed me and like the lost dog in that movie where Michael J. Fox was his voice, found its way back. I will not go into that theory.

When I left for work, I just kinda looked at it more, stepped over it, and left. Irresponsible. I should have done something to clean it up, but I didn't. It was gone by time we came home a few hours later. So, perhaps I should approach more of my life's perplexing issues like I did today: assess situation, make a story, emit sounds like "heh," completely side-step a solution, and wait for someone else to clean it up. It worked today, when somebody sh*t on my front step. I learned a lot from the sh*tt*ng someone did on my front step. The extra asterisk there was extravagant.

Reader, I hope someone sh*ts on your front step. It just might do you good. And it just might be me.