Monday, November 27, 2006

Better Living Through Chemistry

Last night, after tiring of hearing me talk about how tired I am, one of my guardian angels recommended Tylenol's Simply Sleep. I don't like to use this space to plug things, especially when I have nothing to gain by doing so (in fact, I've only done that once before: Ten At the Top), but this stuff worked like a charm last night. The box says it's non-habit forming, which I guess is nice, since virtually all over-the-counter sleep aids carry at least a slight risk of dependency. Not that it matters, since if I can count on it providing me 6+ hours of coma-like stasis every time I use it, then I plan to do so every night for the rest of my life, thereby making me, for all intents and purposes, an addict. Without an actual addiction. Like telling the owner of beachfront property that they're going to get sand in their house, I think that's a pretty small price to pay.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's fun to stay at the...

Clark's Guide To Non-Traditional Holiday Dining

Welcome and happy Thanksgiving! Contrary to what you may believe, you are not required by law to sit down with your family and eat the traditional holiday feast of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and assortments of various casseroles, which is good news for those of us who don't have that option available to them and might have been nervous about being rounded up by the authorities and thrown into a festive autumnal gulag. No, my friends, you don't have to worry about that because there is a variety of alternatives available to you. Okay, it's a small variety, since almost everything is closed. Basically here are all of your options. Enjoy! And feel free to refer back to this guide at Christmas time!

UPSIDE: Free!!
DOWNSIDE: You don't really need a free meal, do you? Honestly?

Every city has at least one church that provides service to the homeless and really goes all out during the holidays. Here in Tampa, it's Metropolitan Ministries. WARNING: One thing Christians and Atheists agree on is that taking free food from a church when you're not in need is an automatic ticket to hell. Even Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths who don't believe in hell agree as well.

UPSIDE: They're open
DOWNSIDE: It's Denny's

Denny's offers a traditional style roast turkey dinner for $9.99 with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad and a slice of pumpkin pie. After dinner, feel free to stay for hours and hours, drinking coffee and muttering to yourself.

UPSIDE: Virtually limitless
DOWNSIDE: There is no downside to the Waffle House

Ok, a slight quibble, if not a total drawback is that Waffle House's holiday special is country ham & eggs. I know some weirdos eat ham instead of turkey on the holidays so okay. But everybody knows that eggs are only holiday fare during Easter. Compensating for this is the fact that it's only $6.49. You go, Waffle House!

UPSIDE: You know what you're getting and you know they'll be open
DOWNSIDE: Not exactly standard holiday atmosphere

Like snowflakes, no two Chinese restaurants are identical, yet they are all exactly the same. Same menu, same prices (very few items on the menu over $10), same paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. That's why we love them so much; they're incredibly dependable. McDonalds and Chinese restaurants are the only places in the world where you can go in and order your meal and know exactly what it is going to taste like before you get it. The other day, I saw a banner over a the door of a Chinese restaurant that said "NEW!". Impossible. There is no such thing as "new" Chinese food. What, did they fry the rice? Did they mix the sweet and the sour together? Did they come up with some crazy new zodiac with monkeys, dogs and dragons instead of scorpios and cancers? Please. Like cures for diseases, all the Chinese dishes there will ever be have already been invented.

PS: I know someone who refers to a nearby strip mall as "The Tampa Bay Asian Cultural Center" because there's a Chinese restaurant, a dry cleaner and a nail salon. That isn't very nice and he does not deserve delicious Crab Rangoons.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Prodigal son

Tonight, I returned (briefly, very briefly) to the place where I had worked for seven years prior to the job I have now. I didn't make a big deal about going back because I actually don't care much for a lot of fanfare in situations like that. Also, because there are people there who would take the opportunity to remind me how much I suck, how great they are and how much I suck, which is really not the kind of affirmation I'm looking for right now. But I did take a short tour; it's been eight months and the place has changed. Basically, it was a lot like visiting Cheers...except nobody knew my name and nobody was glad I came.
It was awesome.

I guess I shouldn't complain...

After all, I'm not Michael Richards.

Holy smokes!

If you've never seen a human being completely self destruct (from America's lovable doofus neighbor to hate mongering pariah in 2:47), I think you should, just once. Not for entertainment exactly, but maybe for some enlightenment. We do indeed see what's buried beneath! Certainly safer to do so here than in the audience when it actually happened, where you can hear the collective "Ha ha ha ha h- uh-oh!". I can guarantee you would not have wanted to be the last one to stop laughing and trying to explain that to everybody else in the club: "Well, know...actually, I wasn't really laughing. I was horrified. Horrifed! And that's a defense mechanism. Yeah, see, when I'm in uncomfortable situations like that and I get all horrified, I laugh inappropriately as a defense know, the horror and all."

About the "Cyanide And Happiness" cartoon at the bottom of the page

I haven't updated it in a long time because I like that one.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Call To Action

Listen! Do you hear that? It sounds god in heaven above, it is!
It's a car alarm!!
Right outside this very restaurant, within earshot, a crime is being committed. A fellow motorist's vehicle is in some sort of peril. It could be being vandalized, burglarized or even stolen outright. There's no telling at this point. Alright, this isn't the time to panic but there's not a moment to lose. Men, pick up a makeshift weapon and arm yourselves. You, grab that candle and make a torch. You there, gather and distribute some steak knives. Women, stay here and try not to panic. We shall return to finish our salads and bread sticks when these outlaws have been thwarted. Follow meeeeeeee...!
What...what are you people doing?!? I don't think you understand; Someone parked their car nearby and armed it with an audio alarm for the express purpose of alerting us if some harm were to come to it. This is a tremendous unasked-for responsibility and you're shirking it! It's almost as though...why, as though the "Honk honk honk beep beep beep beep beep wooooooooooop woooooooooop wooooooooooop" is nothing to you other than an annoyance that is keeping you from enjoying your meals! I don't think you understand what's at stake: a CD collection, personalized license plate, maybe an AM/FM tuner with cassette player, marginally irreplacable items will need to be replaced if we don't do something!! Well, you can do what you will. I, however, will not shy away from this challenge. If I must meet this threat alone, so be it. But I am ashamed of each and every one of you. When I walked into this Olive Garden today, it was to enjoy a nice plate of pasta primavera, not to witness the crumbling of a society too apathetic to stop the spread of anarchy and lawlessness literally right outside it's own front door. This is a sad, sad day in America, I tell you.
Oh wait a minute. I think that's actually my car. I guess I hit the remote by accident. May I have some more iced tea please?

Hey, do you think...

...not being able to sleep, (and I don't mean garden variety tossing and turning and waking up every couple of hours, I'm talking about spending the entire night awake), panic attacks punctuated by uncontrollable hyperventilating and having knots in my shoulders the size of hand grenades is something I should be concerned about?
Nah, me neither.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Potential Parrothead?

I attended my first Jimmy Buffett concert the other night, something I never thought I would do. To me, Jimmy Buffett concerts were among those things, like country music, the NBA, pro wrestling, NASCAR or organized religion, that I'm just not into although I understand why other people are.
It started with getting off work at 6, being picked up in a limo at 6:30 (I have truly amazing friends, for which I am eternally grateful, limos or no limos) and having downed at least three margaritas by 6:45. They say that you should not drink as a means of dealing with stress. "They" being those who don't drink for any reason whatsoever and look down on you for doing so. Because I'm here to tell you that I was severly stressed at 5:59 and completely relaxed by 6:46. Okay, that may have had more than a little to do with whose company I was in by that time but still. The margaritas were delicious. In fact, I believe that getting drunk with close friends and attending an event with other drunks is not only far more socially acceptable than just normal every day getting drunk, it can actually be downright therapeutic in certain circumstances. I am living testimony thereof.
Now, before you ask, "did he play (insert the name of any Jimmy Buffett song you have ever heard here)?", the answer is well...yeah! he played it. He played all of 'em. There are some things you just know without having ever experiencing them first-hand. Such as the fact that giving birth must be an utterly horriffic experience or that Jimmy Buffett is going to play all his hits. Jimy Buffett music is like funk for white people in that the music had everybody dancing, or at least kind of moving around somewhat rythmically, and nobody cared. Not that the music even matters. It's all about the atmosphere and the experience of going. Who knew 20,000 people wasted out of their gourds on some substance or another could be so much fun? It probably wouldn't be if not for the fact that every single one of them (us) had the same agenda; to relax and forget about the mundane-yet-stressful, tedious-yet-harrowing, day-to-day crap for a little while, which is what entertainment at it's best should do for people. Well, except for the guy who took exception to me inviting myself aboard his party bus to use his restroom facilities after the show. Whatever, tightass.
At any rate, I don't know if I qualify as a full-fledged Parrothead, since I doubt that I'll ever spend money on a Jimmy Buffett album, but I will be in line the next time concert tickets go on sale.

Cool breeze on a Sunday evening

Here in Tampa, we get stretches of cool weather where you can leave your windows open without roasting to death that add up to, oh, say, a combined total of about three weeks out of the year. We are currently smack in the middle of one of those pleasant stretches so my windows are wide open. Unfortunately, my downstairs neighbors are barbecuing ribs outside on their patio and they smell amazing. But since I'm sitting here, eating leftover spaghetti, the whole experience is ruined. Don't get me wrong, as far as spaghetti goes, this is some damn good spaghetti. In fact, it's downright excellent spaghetti. But the best spaghetti in the world is not on a par with ribs cooked outside on a barbecue. And the worst part is I just remembered I was saving that spaghetti for Thanksgiving dinner.
Damn neighbors.

Friday, November 17, 2006

More about me...

...because I'm fascinating. This is one of those personal email surveys we all get ("Answer the questions and send it to everyone you know, including the person who sent it to you").

1. What time is it? 9:10pm
2. Name: Clark Brooks
3. What are you most afraid of? Ducklings
4. What do you drive? ’98 Piece
5. Have you ever seen a ghost? Nope
6. Where were you born? Benton Harbor , MI
7. Ever been to Alaska ? Nope
8. Ever been toilet papering rolling in decorating trees? Nope. Yes. Wait. Um, Huh? May I have the question repeated in English, please?
9. Croutons or Bacon bits? Bacrons
10. Favorite day of the week? Friday
11. Favorite restaurant: McDonalds
12. Favorite Flower: Raisins
13. Favorite sport to watch: Curling
14. Favorite Drink: Orange juice
15. Favorite Ice cream: Jalapeanut Toffee Mocha Berry Crunch Swirl
16. Disney or Warner Brothers: Warner…but I’m warming up to Disney
17. Favorite fast food restaurant: McDonald’s RULES ALL!!
18. What color is your bedroom carpet? Grey
19. How many times you failed your driver's test? None
20. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail from? Some Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars
21. What do you do most often when you are bored? Ferment
22. Bedtime: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
23. Who will respond to email first? The Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars, if he’s serious about wanting my PIN number
24. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond? The Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars. Those guys never write back.
25. Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses: The Nigerian who is trying to give me $20 million dollars. I could use that money.
26. Favorite TV show : The Office, The Daily Show
27. Ford or chevy? Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford
28. What are you listening to right now? The voices who tell me it’s a good night to pick up hitchhikers
29. What are your favorite colors? I don’t ‘do’ colors, man. I’m more of a textural person.
30. How many tattoos do you have? Nope
31. Do you have any pets? I own a vast collection of giraffes, which I keep in various zoos, preserves and free range areas around the world.
32. How many people are you sending this e-mail to? 10

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Some lists

Top 5 Fictional Characters Who Are Funny Because They Have Funny Accents

  1. Latka Gravas (Andy Kaufman)
  2. Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers)
  3. Borat (Sacha Baron Cohen)
  4. Austin Powers (Mike Myers)
  5. The Festrunk Brothers (Steve Martin & Dan Aykroyd)

Top Five Major League Sports Team Names That Sound Like They Were Invented For Some Shitty Movie About Sports

  1. Houston Texans
  2. Washington Nationals
  3. Tennessee Titans
  4. Baltimore Ravens
  5. Washington Wizards

(Note: Anaheim Ducks [nee Mighty Ducks of Anaheim] is not included because it was invented for a shitty movie about sports)

Top 5 Names Most Likely To Belong To Jerks

  1. Gary
  2. Larry
  3. Barry
  4. Gary
  5. Gary

(I have only ever met, like, two guys named Gary who are not jerks)

Top 5 Formerly Huge Movie Stars Who Are Now Considered, At Best, Clowns, Because Of Things They Have Said And/Or Done In Their Personal Lives

  1. Tom Cruise
  2. Mel Gibson
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  4. Kevin Costner
  5. Sylvester Stallone

Top 5 Celebrities I'd Be Willing To Bet Are Surlier In Real Life Than They Seem On TV

  1. John Madden
  2. Jay Leno
  3. George Foreman
  4. John Travolta
  5. Adam Sandler

Top 5 Celebrities I'd Be Willing To Bet Are Just As Surly In Real Life As They Seem On TV

  1. Harrison Ford
  2. David Letterman
  3. Barbra Streisand
  4. Mike Tyson
  5. Prince

Top 5 Celebrities Who Have Absolutely No Business Being Famous

  1. Paris Hilton
  2. Jimmy Fallon
  3. Simon Cowell
  4. Anna Kournikova
  5. Kathy Griffith

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Back to school

Today I attended T.E.A.M. training at work. Anybody who works in an establishment that sells alcohol knows that T.E.A.M. is an acronym for Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management. But anybody who has ever attended a class of any kind as an adult knows that when you put yourself in that environment, at least to some degree you revert to the kid you were in school.
Here's what happened at T.E.A.M. training tonight...

TEACHER: Ok, class we're just about to wrap up and I think it's gone really well. I hope you all are able to take something from this two hours that you will remember for many, many years. I want to thank those of you who took part in T.E.A.M. extracurricular activities, such as T.E.A.M. student senate, the T.E.A.M. yearbook staff, T.E.A.M. model UN and of course the T.E.A.M. basketball team. Go team! Err, I mean T.E.A.M. If you didn't you're just cheating yourself. Anyway, before we begin the final exam, let me remind you of the story I told you earlier about the little girl who was injured by the drunk driver and how it cost the establishment where that driver was overserved $135 million.
KEVIN: Daaaaaaamn!
TEACHER: Yes, it's a tragic story, Kevin.
KEVIN: I wanna get hit by a drunk driver too!
TEACHER: Well, it is a lot of money, but she'll never grow up to be the dancer she dreamed she would.
KEVIN: Sheeit, neither will I. But I don't have $135 million either.
TEACHER: Yes. Well. Ok, that's nice. Does anybody want to review anything else before we begin? Like some of the visual signs that someone is inebriated?
CARL: Like laughin' at shit?
TEACHER: Well, yes, sometimes. But laughter on it's own doesn't necessarily indicate...
TEACHER: Ok, that's enough, Carl. That's enough, everyone. Turn your test booklets over and write your name in the blank box at the top. Below that, use your number 2 pencil to fill in the corresponsing bubbles with letters in them. Then, turn to the inside...
LINDA: Teacher, I filled in the word "TEAM" in the little letter bubbles. Do I get a A and can I go now?
TEACHER: No, Linda, that's not what you're supposed to do. And besides, you spelled "TEAM" wrong. There's no R in it.
LINDA: That's not a R. That's a F.
TEACHER: Here's another test booklet, Linda.
WAYNE: Teacher, I don't got to take this test. I'm in a wheelchair.
KEVIN: Aw, you just mad 'cause you didn't get $135 million and you ain't gonna grow up to be a dancer too.
TEACHER: Now, hold on every...
LINDA: That little girl should go get her some bionics with that money. Then she could be the best dancer ever and also run 60 miles an hour and be incredibly strong.
WAYNE: Yeah, but they wouldn't let her in the Olympics because it's illegal to use special effects and shit.
CARL: You're so stupid. Damn!
WAYNE: I will cut you, Carl. I swear for God!
TEACHER: Damn it, I hate teaching classes to the executive team.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Much, much, much too tired

I was at work this morning at 7:00 and I just got home. Yesterday, I was there from 8:30 in the morning until midnight. It's crazy that I work that many hours and crazier still that I'm not going to bed right this minutes, considering I have to be back at work by 8:30 tomorrow...excuse me, later today. Craziest of all is what my salary is when calculated as an hourly rate. That just makes me sad and I don't want to dwell on that right now.
With working the hours I have been, and what little spare time I have left being spent opening all the unsolicited naked pictures that women keep sending me (I guess they're using this site to reach me, which you can too, if you're a woman who wants to send me your naked pictures. Unsolicited, of course), I've just been too damn busy to write. But it's been two week since I posted anything and I'm feeling a little pent-up, so I thought I'd better put something up here....just to see if it still works. I'll post more soon.
Further complicating things is my inability to come home from work and just jump into bed and go to sleep. Can't do it. Too fidgety, too wired, too amped up to do that. I guess that's why everybody says I should do cocaine! Oh wait, that's why everybody tells me I shouldn't do cocaine. DON'T do cocaine, Clark. Right! That's what they always tell me. Drug free is the way to be, kids. You know it's true because it rhymes. A sure way to tell if advice is good is if it rhymes.
School is cool.
Guns are no fun.
Sex is bad.
See? In the pudding is the proof, Ruth.
Anyway, I'm exhausted, a little loopy and too wired to sleep. What are you doing? Give me a call and we can talk about these naked pictures you sent me.