Monday, October 20, 2014

Garage sale people are out of their minds

My friend Ronny is moving soon and he decided to get rid of some stuff with a good ol' fashioned garage sale. I wanted to support my friend and Ronny is a musician who has had a long and very interesting career, so I attended with the intention of getting some cool stuff and maybe snapping some photos of even cooler stuff that might have been out of my budget. Specifically, I anticipated being able to look at some very cool guitars. I got there just after 9AM, the scheduled start time. There was very little on display on the tables outside and I thought that he really wasn't getting rid of all that much. I saw him and told him I wanted to take the guitar tour and he said they were basically all gone. "Yeah, they pretty much cleaned me out at 7:30". I had made the crucial mistake of forgetting that garage sale people are out of their minds.

I had a garage sale once, when I lived in Sarasota. I remember that people showed up hours before the advertised start time. I remember people passing on what I thought was good stuff and instead snatching up the things I figured I would end up throwing away. I also remember that they paid no attention whatsoever to the price tags or even a price quote.
GARAGE SALE GUY: How much are these?
ME: They're a quarter each.
GARAGE SALE GUY: How much really?
ME: A quarter.
GARAGE SALE GUY: Yeah, but how much will you actually take for them?
ME: Only because I want to see where you're going with this, how much are you offering?
GARAGE SALE GUY: I'll give you a dime each.
ME: That's crazy. I don't even have anything smaller than quarters here to make change.
GARAGE SALE GUY: All right, but you have to throw some in for free.
I didn't sell him anything and he wasn't even insulted. Just shrugged his shoulders and left. Onward to the next sale, I presume. He didn't want what I was selling (these were books, by the way), he just wanted a deal beyond the considerable bargain already being offered. He wanted to negotiate as a form of recreational competition. "I didn't just buy these books, I beat somebody out of them!" That's because he was a crazy person, like most garage sale people.
I think beyond feeding that level of psychosis, the other thing that people find appealing about garage sales is the opportunity to judge people based on their stuff and feel superior to them. You get to walk around and scrutinize people and the way they lead their lives based on what they set out for sale. "Look at that! Who in the world would ever buy that in the first place? God only knows what they're keeping!". Think about it: we don't really get a lot of legal opportunities to look inside of people's houses. And sure, you can make fun of stuff you might see at Target but that stuff doesn't belong to anyone yet. It's just waiting to be picked up by someone displaying bad taste or making a poor decision. That's not nearly as much fun. You want to see the tacky item juxtaposed with the individual who cared enough about it at some point to have spent heard-earned money on it so you can form an opinion of what a laughably sorry person they are.

Of course those assholes were there at 7:30 in the morning. As a result, I didn't get to see any cool guitars or even most of the stuff that Ronny had for sale. I did score this sweet poster from a show he did that happened to be on my birthday...

Also, I bought two books and a microphone stand (note: I do not own a microphone).
That, plus a very sweet lady recognized me as the writer of this thing we call a blog and said several nice things about me to me. I love it when that happens!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stranger in the night

This happened to me last Friday night...

It was 3:47AM (Okay, technically Saturday morning) and I was at home, sleeping, like a good boy. I woke up suddenly and unpleasantly when I saw headlights shining through my bedroom window. I thought somebody was lost and was turning around in my driveway. I was half-right. Some (presumably inebriated) boob started pounding on my door and yelling, "WHERE'S BONNIE?". How annoying. This is the kind of thing that would not have been uncommon when I lived in the shittiest apartment complex in Tampa but I've grown accustomed to not having to put up with it over the past year.
I went to the door, cowering to the side of it, because, yeah, I'm a big guy but I live in Florida and I know how bullets work. I yelled, "What do you want?", even though I knew what he wanted, I just wanted to hear him yell, "WHERE'S BONNIE?" one more time.
"There's nobody named Bonnie here. You're at the wrong house."
"Do you see Bonnie's car in the driveway?"
(silence for a couple of minutes...followed by the sound of his car backing out of the driveway.)
I just thought it was a good idea to give him some additional data he had not previously considered in arriving at his otherwise perfectly sound theory regarding how Bonnie had come to take up at least temporary residence at my house. An alternative viewpoint on the matter based on the fact that he was an idiot, if you will. I also think it's a good for you, Bonnie, if you're out there, to keep moving. Somebody willing to bang on a stranger's door and scream your name at four in the morning probably doesn't have good intentions.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Well, apparently we (in Florida) are doomed.

CRIST: "Are we really gonna debate about a fan, or are we gonna talk about education and the environment and the future of our state? It's just a fan, folks! (chuckles) No big deal!"
(Crowd whoops and cheers)
SCOTT: (from behind the curtain) "If it's no big deal, why don't you remove it?"
CRIST: "Maybe I don't wanna remove it."
SCOTT: "Well, maybe you have to because the rules say you can't have any electrics down there."
CRIST: "This is the only electrics I got. One fan."
SCOTT: "You say that, but how do I...more importantly, how do the voters know that's true?"
(Crowd whoops and cheers)
CRIST: "There's a camera right there. It can totally see what's behind my podium. There's one behind yours too. Technically, that's electric too. I suppose you want to remove all the cameras? Typical!"
SCOTT: "That's great for the people watching on live television, but we both know that nobody is watching this on live television. Also, cameras are not technically electric because nobody really knows how they work."
CRIST: "Both of those two things are true. I'll give you that."
SCOTT: "I mean, how do I know you don't have a George Foreman Grill under there and that I won't be making some kind of point on economics or something and you won't reach down and pull out some hot, crisp, delicious bacon and just start snacking on it while I'm talking?"
CRIST: "That'd be okay because I'm not aware of the rules of the debate saying I can't have one of those too. I mean they might say that. They might specifically state in bold print "NO GEORGE FOREMAN GRILLS UNDER THE PODIUMS". The point is that I'm not aware of it."
SCOTT: "What if I want some bacon during the debate?"
CRIST: "Do you honestly believe that I wouldn't share my bacon with you if you asked me nicely for some?"
SCOTT: "I really don't know. You have a fan and I don't. It seems like you only think about yourself. Plus, I've seen those grills and they aren't all that big. You might not be able to even make enough to share."
CRIST: "Dude, I can make another batch in like, less than five minutes."
SCOTT: "Seriously?"
CRIST: "Oh yeah! I brought soooo much bacon with me tonight. Have you ever seen one of these babies work?"
SCOTT: "Actually, no."
CRIST: "Come over here and check it out. These things are pretty amazing!"
SCOTT: "Hell yeah! I'll be right out!"
CRIST: "Don't touch my fan."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let Subway help you whore it up, ladies

Halloween is coming and Subway wants you ladies to not ruin things for everyone by not wearing the skimpiest, sluttiest costumes possible. So stop being such a fat cow (aka, normal-sized human woman person) and start pounding those foot-longs. Because it's important to eat well if you expect to showcase the goods in something satin-ish and fishnetty, rather than the clothes you normally wear when we objectify you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"This Life should be awesome"

Behold Alyssa Schoenberg...
She's perky.
She wears a Superman cape.
She eats spinach by the fistful (literally).
She's REALLY perky.
She speaks in simple terms that I can easily understand.
She has some skewed views of who Iron Man is, but that's all right.
She might be my new favorite.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Then there's THIS waste of space

Even though I've mellowed, even though I make a concerted effort not to judge others, even though I have worked very hard to control my temper in situations where I have no control, there will always be a reason why it's impossible for me to achieve a state of true peace. Like this...

On behalf of those of us who don't feel entitled to free shit every time something doesn't go our way, who don't have time to get upset about goddamned candles or how unfair it is to live in a world with stores where employees don't occasionally make an honest mistake (or, for that matter, those of us who know you don't watch videos on a camera), please do us all a huge favor and jump feet-first into a nearby sausage grinder.

Honestly, if I won the Powerball, I'd go to Wisconsin, visit every Bath and Body Works in the state, buy every single candle they have (at retail, so the staff all get nice bonuses) and make you watch me dump every one of them into Lake Michigan.

Stop being horrible, you great, gaping void, you worthless, omni-repulsive, yawning deficit of a human being.

Also, fuck you and your fucking air quotes.

PS: The Packers blow.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Whose homecoming is it anyway?

When I worked at the Sun Dome on the campus of the University of South Florida, one of our biggest challenges was trying to engage the students in doing some big things and helping them try to establish some kind of unique culture. USF was established in 1956 and remains saddled with a reputation of a charmless commuter school, lacking in many of the traditions found on most college campuses. The University hasn't done a lot to help itself shed this not-totally-undeserved regard. "Midnight Madness", a celebration of the opening of basketball season and a staple at most universities was never observed consistently. Sometimes, they'd do it, sometimes they would try to turn it into something else, sometimes they wouldn't have anything at all. I don't know if there's a word that means the opposite of tradition, but that's what that is.
Worse, when it came to booking an act for the annual homecoming show, in spite of grand desires, they'd be extremely timid with their budget, apparently not understanding what a budget is for. Every year, there'd be talk of booking Chris Rock and every year we'd end up with Randy Watson.
"Welcome students, alumni and honored guests!"
It was frustrating but ultimately you can't blame the students; they're kids, after all. Sure, old enough to legally vote, drink and serve in the military, but still kids taking a final childhood victory lap. There should have been an adult in a position of authority to explain the importance of consistency in trying to establish tradition. Someone who could tell them that when you're given a discretionary budget to spend on something, that it's not a savings account. There should have been someone there to help them do things the right way.

I left there in 2004 and sad to say, it looks like things haven't changed much. 

This is a promotional t-shirt produced and distributed by a student organization called the Campus Traditions Board to promote this year's homecoming activities:

Nice, huh? One problem, though. This is what USF's football team looks like...

And this is what USF's homecoming opponent, the East Carolina University football team, looks like...
'Purchased with $5,600 from student Activity and Service (A&S) fees, 1,200 shirts on campus share the same purple color with the East Carolina Pirates — the Bulls’ Homecoming opponent.
“We really want to be in green,” Center for Student Involvement Director Monica Miranda said. “The opposing team’s color is purple, so we don’t want to be in purple.”
The shirt’s primary color is grape with white letters advertising the list of the week’s events on the back and the Homecoming Superbull XVIII logo on the front.
About 200 of the purple shirts were passed out to promote Homecoming week. By Friday, Miranda said someone brought up the oversight to the Campus Traditions Board.
“It’s a student committee,” she said. “They didn’t realize purple was the color of the opposing school.” ' - Wesley Higgins, The Oracle (USF student newspaper)
I could say something snarky and sad like, "Oh USF, please never change" but it appears there's no threat of that happening. On the bright side, maybe screwing up at establishing tradition IS a tradition.