Saturday, February 06, 2010

Sure, he's hot, but he's also French and those two tend to negate each other. (Sweetie's Hunk of the Week, 48)

This week, to keep things interesting, and to get away from Sweetie's bland responses on why she likes the Hunks, I've decided to do the entire thing in Limerick form!

there once was a man from...


I once knew a guy who... Um.

Darn. I'm stumped. Okay, scrap that. This week's Hunk of the Week is:

Oliver Martinez!

You don't know him without you have seen the sex scene in Unfaithful, which should be remembered as "That movie that appeared to be advising couples to reinvigorate their marriage through murder," but instead is known as "That movie which made Diane Lane famous enough to give her a part in The Perfect Storm, even though her part in the Storm movie had her playing the fiance of Marky Mark, who is approximately 30 years younger than her." And also, it had Oliver Martinez in it.

Oliver Martinez played the character of "Sexy Guy Who Likes To Read And Also Finds Older Women Very Attractive." There are tons of those around, right? He thus joins the pantheon of entirely-fictional characters made up by, and for, women, including:

Sexy vampire who likes Goth girl for, instead of in spite of, her depression, and

Cool surfer guy who nevertheless develops responsibility while still maintaining great tan and killer abs, and

Guy in commercial whose wife uses all their credit card points on a dress for herself instead of a fabulous vacation for both of them, and yet he not only doesn't get mad, he loves her more for it. (Not pictured, but trust me, he exist

I'm going to write a movie starring all those guys, and make more money than Avatar and Titanic combined.

Speaking of which, here are two points I'd like to raise about Avatar:

1. Do you think that soon, James Cameron is going to make Titanic Avatar, in which Jack comes back from the dead, via an avatar, and meets Old Decrepit Rose and gives her an avatar and the two of them can live together forever, and, if so, do you think that movie would be awesome? Me, too.

2. Don't the avatars look a little like Thundercats?:

"Is it true, Zoe Saldana? Do we look like Thundercats?"

"Maybe just a little, guy who was also in Terminator.
Just a little. Plus, is it just me or do the two young
Thundercats appear to be missing pants in that picture?"

How am I the only one to notice that? Because I'm smarter than most everyone? Or better looking? (I think it's probably a little of both.)

Anyway, Oliver Martinez was probably also in other movies, but I only remember him as The Guy Who Raised The Bar For Me. Previously, I thought it was good enough to like reading and be a sensitive guy. (I'm not sensitive, but I can usually pretend that I know what Sweetie has been talking about and make some kind of comment that makes her think I was listening/caring.) Now, though, I've got to be a guy who likes reading, is sensitive, and who also doesn't ever eat pizza for both breakfast and dessert in the same day:

I bet he's sucking in his gut.

Thing That Makes You Go Hmmm About Him: He's French. Isn't that enough? Also, his dad was a Spanish professional boxer. And he first rose to fame in the movie "Un, Deux, Trois, Soleil," which I can only assume was a biopic about Soleil Moon Frye, who is beloved by the French, and probably also the Spanish, too.

Also, he placed 15th in something called The 101 Sexiest Celebrity Bodies, a show which aired on USA in 2005. Diane Lane, his co-star in Unfaithful, placed 96th. Richard Gere did not place on that list, but only because by then he was 113 years old, legally dead, but somehow still filming, with the Olsen Twins, a never-released romantic comedy tentatively titled Five Times As Old Equals Five Times As Romantic.

(While women create roles based on "The Men They Wished Existed," men create movies based on "Rules They Wished Applied In Real Life." That's how "Pretty Woman (Falls In Love With Older Guy)" gets made, as well as how other equally-improbable movies get made, movies like "Kevin James Has A Shot At A Supermodel" and "Rob Schneider Doesn't Work At Arby's As A Night Manager.")

Here's another thing that makes you go hmmm about Oliver Martinez: He was never in a Law & Order, ever. And yet, Sweetie still knows who he is! Strange but true! (I once thought about pasting my picture onto the TV set so that Sweetie would think I'd been in Law & Order. And also to cover up the spot where I let Mr Bunches draw on it one day.)

Reason I Assumed Sweetie Liked Him: He was really good at sex in Unfaithful. Really good. Like, I should be taking notes good. Here's some snippets:

He's like a Sex Professor (which is another job that men would create in the movies. "Richard Gere is The Sex Professor.")(That movie doesn't even need a plot. It'll be released in 3 months.)

Actual Reason Sweetie Likes Him: "He's so sexy."

More specific, please, Sweetie, you're getting kind of general with these reasons. "I like his face. It's very sexy."

Come on, Sweetie, saying I think he's hunky because he's sexy is like saying that's a circle because it circles things. Give me something to work with here. What is it about his face? "How many times do I have to tell you? It's beautiful. His eyes, his lips, his nose."

Point I'd Like To Make About Sweetie's Actual Reason For Liking Him:
Sweetie, he was really good at the sex. Really. Most people probably don't even realize he has a face...

...on the other hand, by pointing that out, I've unwittingly raised the bar further. Sorry, guys. Now we have to be sensitive and like reading and finds older women attractive and has a face that is magical and be good at sex.

At least I've got one of those things. And luckily for me, Sweetie is younger than me, so that counts as two. Which one should I work on next, I wonder?

I'd be like that guy in "The Jerk," only not a jerk... it's brilliant.

Have you ever stumbled across something and thought to yourself, "I could go into business selling those and make millions?" I have.

I first had that thought when I was going to get rich selling glowing neon necklaces at Summerfest in Milwaukee -- buy them for $0.25 each and sell them for $1.00 each, and sit back and count the profits all the way to Richville (Richville is located in California, in case you were wondering.)

That didn't work, but you know what might? Selling sunglasses. See, where people don't want neon glow necklaces, they do want sunglasses. They need sunglasses, to avoid sun glare and squinting and ... sun.

And I can sell them those sunglasses -- buy buying wholesale sunglasses from this site I found, and then reselling them at a profit. It's genius. It's like the neon glow necklaces idea all over again, but good.

The wholesale sunglasses I found are a great deal, too: A dozen for as low as $17 or so, which means that I could buy tons of them and myself up as the Sunglass King of Wisconsin. (Or, you know, they could be used in your business, whatever that might be. But don't do it! Don't compete with me!)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Paradise By The Dashboard Lights (From the Cheesecake Truck To The End Of The Line, 11)

Just before I got married to Sweetie, I made a mixtape to take on our honeymoon road trip to New York. The other day, I found that tape and decided to tell the story of our honeymoon through the songs on that tape. This is part 11; click here for the Table of Contents.

From every vacation I've ever taken, I've got photos hanging on the wall of our home or my office.

From our Las Vegas trip, I have a collage of all the casino signs. The Washington D.C. weekend getaway with Sweetie -- nothing says romance like a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court -- led to a couple of shots of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Statue Of Some Guy Outside Our Hotel being put up.

Our honeymoon was actually where I began that practice, and from our Honeymoon I hung up exactly five pictures. Four are in my office: Times Square, a statue of Atlas holding a globe, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Center.

The other picture is me, leaning against the empty locker Doug Flutie used in the Buffalo Bills' locker room. That picture isn't in my office; instead, it hangs in our family room, a position I picked because at the time I hung it, when we moved into our house back about 7 or 8 years ago, the spot where I hung the picture was a place where, I imagined, I'd see it a lot.

The spot where the Me-In-Front-Of-Flutie's Locker picture was originally hung was just above the bookshelf that served the dual purpose of holding books and blocking the electrical outlets the home inspector said never to use when he inspected our home. He'd gone through, room by room, looking things over and judging them and deciding whether or not we should buy the house, and then he took us through, room by room, too, and pointed out little things here and there, things like "You should get a railing for the front walk," and the like. When he got to the family room, he pointed to a grouping of electrical outlets, something like a power-strip only more home-made looking, jutting out from one molding, affixed to that area securely. It looked none-too-safe, even to my untrained eye.

"I don't know what that is supposed to be," he said, "But don't ever use it." I was, thereafter, afraid to even touch the outlets, even to remove them, so I just left them, leaving them there the way I'd left some of the more alarming-looking wiring in our garage alone. The people who owned the house before us apparently fancied themselves some sort of electricians, but they were obviously wrong about that, and obviously deranged, judging by their wiring.

Instead of hiring an electrician to fix it, or remove it, I hid the outlets behind a bookshelf, and put books and the downstairs phone on that shelf. And then I hung, above the bookshelf, the Flutie-Locker picture, doing so because the layout of the room, and how I had the room set up at the time, suggested that I'd be spending a lot of time in the reclining chair in that corner, reading and watching TV under the glow of the small lamp, looking up occasionally to remember the time that I stood in front of Doug Flutie's locker.

Things didn't work out that way. All these years later, the room has undergone several configurations as couches get replaced, chairs got wrecked by cats and thrown out, our old TV got replaced by the new big TV, our old coffee table with The Boy's name carved into it got taken by Oldest when she moved out and replaced by the new expensive coffee table that was subsequently wrecked by the Babies!. Through all that, plus even more new couches, playpens, the addition of satellite TV in our bedroom upstairs, and the purchase of a reclining chair for the bedroom when Sweetie was pregnant with the Babies! and needed a comfortable place to sit upstairs, the Flutie Locker picture hung above the bookshelf, even as the bookshelf ultimately got emptied of books (because the Babies! were throwing them at each other) and as the bookshelf got bolted to the wall (because the Babies! would knock it down and expose the Dangerous Outlets), and then the Flutie Locker picture got moved a couple of times, as furniture was rearranged and as the Babies! got tall enough to remove things from the wall, but not old enough to understand why they shouldn't do that...

... and now I don't know where it is.

Which is why it's not pictured here. But I still remember the picture, and my pose, and even what I was wearing in it. I remember telling Sweetie I'd be right back, and following our guide into the locker room, getting excited about maybe meeting some Buffalo Bills. (It was only later that it really sunk in that this was May, and that there would be no Buffalo Bills around.)

The Bills' guy led me through the locker room, which looked like every other locker room I'd ever been in except that it didn't have lockers with doors on them. Instead, the players had stalls, open to everyone, most of them empty. A few, including Doug Flutie's, had some shoes in them, or some other gear that I assumed had been left behind. Overall, though, the effect was less than impressive, and the impression I was left with was This is just like a high school locker room, really, which would have seemed disappointing except that at the time, I hadn't known what to expect, at all, so there were no expectations to crash. Looking back now is when I can see that it should have been disappointing: The locker room didn't look professional or glamorous or glitzy at all. It just looked like a locker room, and from this perspective later, I can see that I should have been let down, but I wasn't.

Instead, I was excited to be standing where all those Buffalo Bills I'd been watching on TV for so long had stood, had changed, had put on their shoulder pads and geared up to play football and go to the playoffs and get into those Super Bowls, standing where they'd consoled each other after Wide Right and the blowouts and the almost-wins, where they'd gathered to end up the season after each of the losses in the Super Bowls.

Standing in front of Doug Flutie's locker! I handed my camera to the guy showing me around and asked him to take a picture, as he'd done for Sweetie and I in the end zone out on the field. Then I had to struggle with how to stand, a question that arises anytime I'm in a picture. What's the best pose for this picture? Awkward and upright and arms hanging limply, like I'd done when I got my picture taken with Justice Scalia? Hands on my waist, arms akimbo, and brash?

I never know how to stand, not just in pictures, but anytime I have to stand, period. Standing is not something we instinctively know how to do, after all. That is, we know how to stand, but we stand unconsciously, unselfconsciously, just going ahead and standing up without thinking about it. But once we do think about it, standing becomes a task, and an awkward one at that. Think about it right now, as you sit reading this: think about standing, and it'll seem tiring and uneasy to you. I bet the first thing you thought of is my feet would get tired, and they would, because standing makes our feet tired, but we don't think about how tired our feet are until we begin thinking about standing. So it's actually thinking about standing that makes our feet tired.

And then think about where you'd be standing, hypothetically, and how you'd stand, and, if you're like me, suddenly you won't know what to do with all your limbs and your head and your posture. Lean against something? Look directly at people? Shift from foot to foot to keep your feet from getting too tired? Slouch? And what, for god's sake, do I do with my hands? I never know what to do, with those thoughts going through my head. Standing in line, for rides or the bank or the grocery store, causes me the same dilemma. Standing and waiting for anything poses those problems. Which is one reason why I'm lucky that my bank now has a TV behind the teller, so that I'm distracted during my wait -- not distracted from my boredom, but distracted from my thoughts of how to stand in line without seeming awkward, thinking all the while Where do I look? Should I chat with others?

I ran through all those options as I stood in front of Flutie's Locker, and ultimately chose as my pose a casual leaning up against the locker wall, one hand on my hip, the other holding me up on the wall of the locker. I'm wearing a gray sweatshirt -- a Parkersburg, West Virginia sweatshirt that I still have -- and my jeans and a goofy look on my face, the kind of look that says I don't know how to stand in front of Doug Flutie's locker but I'm very glad to be here in the presence of a locker Doug Flutie has also stood in front of.

And then, as so many things do in life, it ended, anticlimactically, with the picture being snapped, me walking back out of the locker room, meeting up with Sweetie again, and continuing our honeymoon, leaving as the two records of that moment only my memory and the picture.

We went from that unexpected highlight -- a weary, bleary trip to the Bills' stadium as a sideline to the rest of our day suddenly turning into a tour of the stadium and a photo-op -- on with the remainder of our day, which was uneventful but fun. We drove from the stadium back to Buffalo proper, and located a mall where Sweetie wanted to stop off and do some shopping. She wanted to look for some souvenirs for the kids, and maybe do some shopping herself. On vacations, I'd learn over time, Sweetie's preferred method of shopping is to browse malls and stores. She likes to shop on vacation, and I suspect that she likes to shop when not on vacation, too, but doesn't shop as often as she would like to out of financial concerns. I am of the opinion that Sweetie could shop more but doesn't, so that she can be fiscally responsible. On vacation, Sweetie cuts loose -- just a little-- and shops more, doing so (I believe) for the same reason that I eat even worse, nutritionally-speaking, on vacation: because that's the time to do it.

We spend so much of our life living within the rules, rules set by others, or society, or our own dictates of what is proper or right or fitting, that vacations are necessary. Bosses expect us to be at work, and to stay at work, and to work while we're there. We have to keep the car filled with gas and get dinner made and grocery shop and pay the mortgage. We impose on ourselves additional requirements, trying to eat healthy and work out and clean out the garage at least every so often, or mow the lawn as often as we absolutely have to (but not as often as our neighbors would like). Vacations are a time to break from all of that, to eat desserts at lunch as well as dinner, to eat out every day (one requirement I have of vacations is that I won't grocery shop or cook), to go to museums or tours or ride roller coasters, to stop at a gas station and get a snack even though it's pretty close to lunch. On vacations we can relax and do those things that we'd do all the time, except life won't let us.

A honeymoon as a vacation is a little different because while you're trying, on the one hand, to let down your guard and relax, have some fun and enjoy life, you're also still relatively new in the relationship (for most honeymoons, at least) and your relationship has just changed from pretty serious to So serious it takes a court to break you up, so there is on a honeymoon a feeling of I should try to put my best foot forward, and that tension makes a honeymoon both better and worse than other, regular vacations: It's better because you're learning to relax with your new husband or wife, but worse because you can't really relax, not the way you might if you just were on your own, or the way you will relax in a few years when you've been married long enough to stop sucking in your gut when she's around.

Sweetie was a little hesitant about wanting to shop after the trip to the Bills' stadium, but she need not have been. I'd tried to plan the honeymoon so that Sweetie could have fun, and enjoy it, and that included letting her go shopping if that's what she wanted to do. (Since Sweetie and I had never gone on vacation together before, outside of the trip to Parkersburg to visit her mom, I wasn't sure what she'd want to do on vacation.)

I assured her it was okay to go shopping, and in fact said I wouldn't mind because it'd give me a chance to go sightseeing, which is what I like to do on vacations. (In the back of my mind, I secretly also hoped that we'd run into one or more Buffalo Bills, now that it was more firmly on my mind. That kind of thing seemed possible to me, given that the city was small. Pro football players have to live somewhere, after all, and if they lived here they might well be at the mall, browsing through Pottery Barn at the same time as us, right?)

I didn't mind Sweetie going shopping, as I said, because I wanted her to have fun on our honeymoon, or as much fun as our limited funds allowed us, and also because I might see Buffalo Bills on the way, but beyond that, I didn't mind because another thing I've always liked about traveling is seeing new malls.

That sounds weird. But it's true. I love new malls. (Something I've remarked on before.) Heck, I just like malls, period.

There's something exciting to me about a mall -- the self-contained world of the mall, with dozens or more stores, all together, with food courts and shops I might never see otherwise (like luggage stores) and places to hang out (back when I was a kid, malls had arcades), has always been kind of an exciting place to me, going back to when I was a little kid and there were only a few malls that we ever went to.

There was Brookfield Square, which was about 20 miles from our house when I was a kid, a trip that was far enough away to make going "to the mall" an event that didn't happen all the time. That was the main mall we spent time at, as kids in the arcade and getting our back-to-school clothes at J.C. Penney's, which was, conveniently, just across from the arcade. There were other malls around, back then, but they were farther away and so we went to them less frequently. Those malls became more exciting and exotic seeming simply by virtue of their inaccessibility. (It didn't hurt that one of those far-away malls had an ice skating and a river, stocked with goldfish, in it.)

From early on, I was geared to like malls and see a trip to a mall as a fun and exciting thing, and it remains so to this day. The mall near where I live now, the mall I've been going to for years and years and years, still seems fun to me, so that when I take the Babies! there on weekends sometimes to play in the mall playground, I still get a little thrill as we go inside, entering usually at the food court so that I can ponder whether or not to get an Orange Julius. (I have always decided not to do so, so far, because I've only had one Orange Julius in my life, one I bought while Christmas shopping with Sweetie, and it seems to me that the second Orange Julius should be reserved for a special occasion, too. In that way, an Orange Julius can stay in the same category as Cadbury Creme Eggs, Egg Nog shakes, and trips to Sonic: something out-of-the-ordinary to celebrate a big occasion.) When I see new stores in "my" mall, I want to go in them just to look -- especially if they're new stores like the "educational" toy store that just replaced the book store in the mall, stores that are not only new but which have interesting new things in them.

The other malls in our city, malls I visit less frequently, are more exciting by comparison, even the World's Saddest Mall (which I wrote about here, and the fact that there are now three posts on this blog talking about malls should convince you I'm not just making all this up) has its share of excitement. The mall on the other side of town -- the East Towne Mall -- I go to about once a year, going there only that often so that the East mall retains its air of excitement and unusual stores.

It's the strange mixture of familiar stores, combined with the addition of stores I've never heard of before, combined with the unfamiliar layouts, that draws me in. The malls become something to experience, rather than just go through, and I wander through any new mall in any city I go to with the look and feel of a tourist, pausing to look at the candy store which, even though it sells the same candy as all other candy stores do, still seems interesting and unique.

It's with that in mind that I went shopping with Sweetie on our honeymoon, the first mall we stopped at being in Buffalo. We wandered through, with Sweetie stopping at some stores to browse, buying a copy of the Armageddon soundtrack on tape, and, I think, buying herself a shirt or two (but I might be wrong), and while Sweetie did those things, I looked at the new- and same-old stores, and took some pictures (I even had some people take a picture of Sweetie and I in front of a fountain in the mall) and mentally compared the Buffalo mall to the Madison malls. I try to imagine, when we take a trip and end up in a mall shopping, what it would be like to live there, to go to that mall to get my shoes or Christmas presents or take the Babies! to play. I wonder where I'd live, and what job I'd have, if we lived and shopped in that city. I try to picture this new strange mall -- so unfamiliar, but stocked with all-too-familiar stores and products, a mixture of new and old, same and different -- becoming my same old mall, becoming the mall I'd stop at on my way home from work, going quickly in to grab what I needed and scarcely noticing the fountain that I once had found so scenic that I'd had my picture taken in front of it.

Later on, after we left the mall, we took the rental car and drove to downtown Buffalo, to look around. It was getting dark, and we were getting tired, but I wanted to see as much of the city as we could, and so did Sweetie. My reasons were the same reasons I want to see anything: I want to see everything, and compare it with my life and imagine what it would be if that were my life. (I'm not sure why Sweetie wanted to see Buffalo. Maybe because I wanted to see it.)

The drive to Buffalo's downtown was the worst part of the day: A day that had begun with a fabulous and not-at-all-scary hotel room and then moved on to getting to walk onto the football field and see the Bills' locker room and then continued with shopping at an exciting new mall ended with a long, straight drive through what appeared to be a city made up entirely of abandoned buildings, and not just abandoned buildings, but buildings which appeared to have been abandoned only after a war had mostly destroyed them. My memory is of the light fading fast over buildings that appeared dirty and crumbling and sooty and scary, buildings where the bodies would be hidden.

Our perception of Buffalo's downtown was no doubt shaped by that drive in, coupled with exhaustion. We were not enthralled. We made it to the business-y section of Buffalo, demarcated by taller buildings and people in ties heading to warmly-lit restaurants, and we drove around a bit, but were disinclined to get out and look around. It was dark by then, and getting a little cold, and there wasn't anything we could see that we wanted to get out and look at or experience -- especially not anything in an area that was surrounded by a postapocalyptic wasteland of factories.

So we turned back around and headed out the way we'd come in, having concluded that "It's not a bad place, I suppose, but it's not much to look at." We made it back to our hotel by the airport, with our honeymoon suite sprawling out around us. I had my camera with the precious pictures of the Bills' stadium and locker room; Sweetie had her bags of stuff from the mall. We called the kids and said hi to them, and turned in for the night, ending day two of our honeymoon.

Also, I taught Mr F to say "Dirt" if he wants to play in the dirt. (3 Good Things From 2/4/10)

Last night, I spent a lot of time with Mr F, as Mr Bunches hadn't napped and so he spent the first part of the night sleeping instead of playing, and the second part of the night wanting to be left alone. But Mr F and I had some fun, like:

1. Accidentally playing catch. I was trying to teach Mr F how to play catch with a football. He had the right idea -- get the football and throw it-- but his aim was way off. Or was it? I couldn't tell if it was actually off and he was missing me by a mile, or if he just thought it was funny to send me running around the family room after the ball. He was able to throw it to me often enough that I suspect the latter -- but maybe those throws were the accidents?

2. Watching videos. We played on the 'puter for a while, including relaxing by watching some of Mr F's favorite videos. Then, when those got old, I tried to get him into some new ones. Of the ones I tried out, he liked best:

The Dinosaurs Song:

And, for some reason, he liked this re-enactment of the Star Wars Storybook using vintage action figures.

I liked it, too, except that I got distracted by the terrible error they made when they said that Luke didn't want to leave his uncle's farm. Everyone knows that Luke wanted to go to the academy but Uncle Owen wouldn't let him because he needed him here on the farm! Get it together, George Lucas!

But it wasn't all Mr F and footballs; I did other stuff, too, like eating dinner, which brings up Good Thing number three:

3. At least the vegetables weren't all disgusting. Sweetie, and The Boy, are still on their health kick, which meant that the hot dogs and noodles last night were joined by vegetables: green beans, and corn. I'm trying to put a positive spin on it; if I have to eat "healthy," at least I can have corn, instead of green beans, which are gross.

I then tried to get Mr F to eat a piece of corn, but he pulled it back out of his mouth and tried to wipe it off his hand, only to get it stuck on his face, where it stayed almost all the way through playtime. I just left it there; let kids be kids, I say, especially if the alternative is Taking that kid against his will to the kitchen to wipe the corn off his face, after which he'll get in a bad mood and throw a ball at you, like Mr Bunches did yesterday morning when I wouldn't put a new movie in for him because I was busy helping Mr F get his pants on.

Oh, and the picture today? That's the American Sign Language symbol for some kind of vegetable. Note the expression on her face. Even signing vegetables disgusts right-thinking people.

American Residential Law Group: Finally a blog with something useful to say.

I know I'm not supposed to like the competition, either law-wise or blog-wise, but I can't help but admire some of the smarter things that others say about topics I, too, am knowledgeable about.

That's why I wanted to mention the blog post titled Positives and Negatives of Doing a Loan Modification Yourself put out recently by the American Residential Law Group.

Loan modifications are hot topics right now, and everyone in the world is doing them, it seems -- and charging a bundle for it, when they can. There are ads and lawyers and pro bono groups, all rushing into the mix and saying that they can help you -- but do you need their help?

That depends, and the blog post by American Residential Law Group can help you decide. They do a good job of spelling out the parameters of the most popular program (The Home Affordable Modification Program) and of giving you plusses and minuses to use in deciding whether to hire a professional -- like, say, you'll save money doing it yourself, but it's very time consuming and you're already working a full-time job, right?

Information is one of the key things you need in making any big decision, and the blog post by American Residential Law Group -- in fact, their whole blog -- provides you a good foundation of info to begin to make the right choices.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

With so many TV shows featuring music, can a "Cop Rock" revival be far behind? (3 Good Things From 2/3/10)

I'm not going to do an intro to this one. I'm just not going to say anything before getting right to the 3 Good Things from yesterday...

1. The song "In The Moonlight" from Modern Family:
"Modern Family" is almost, but not quite, my favorite new TV show -- it hasn't replaced Better Off Ted, yet, but it stands a chance, especially if it keeps throwing in stuff like the song In The Moonlight, a song written by the band-member boyfriend of one of the teen girls on the show, and played for the Modern Family after he made a touching speech to win their hearts. He played the song sitting in their living room: But it turns out there's actually a video for it, too:

I love anything that combines uncomfortable moments with great music; it reminds me of my high school dances. (But I really liked the acoustic version on the show better.)

2. I won a pretty big case at work, in an unexpected way. I don't want to get all lawyer-y on this blog, so I won't discuss it in detail, but I'm 2-0 this week on a defense I invented.

Still, that wasn't as big or great as...

3. The Guts Ball:
A few weeks back, I picked up some super-discounted toys for the Babies! on a trip to Wal-Mart; these were the toys hidden way in the back of the toy department, the toys that hang on a wall, forgotten and ignored in favor of the Hannah Montana Play-Doh Hair Salon and the Zhu Zhu Guitar That Plays Itself. These were toys that were marked down to as low as twenty-five cents. I grabbed a bunch of them and gave them to Sweetie to use as treats for Mr F and Mr Bunches here and there when they behaved.

The other day, Sweetie gave them each one of those treats, little balls shaped like sharks. The trick to these toys, and probably the reason they were marked down to $0.25, is... well: I'll show you in pictures:

Here's the ball, as it appears when you pick it up:

But squeeze it, and:

There's miniature body parts in there! And blood!

Mr Bunches loves it:


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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World: Number Fifty-Six

56. Process EVERYTHING.

Sweetie probably saw this one coming today.

Some ideas are the product of years of hard work, inventive thought, careful study, and diligence.

Other ideas come to you when you hear your wife say the words "Fish garbage."

This morning, on CNN, I saw a teaser for the story about the garbage floating in the ocean, garbage that's not just floating in the ocean but getting into the fish people love to eat/proclaim the health benefits of.

Then, I got to work and found a list of "Fifteen Foods You Don't Have To Buy Organic" promoted on MSN.

Of course, organic foods will also kill you.

You know what doesn't have poison in it? Doritos. Nobody has ever died from eating Doritos, a fact I looked up on the site "Statistics That Sound About Right."

Okay, to be fair, one thing has died from eating Doritos: The Deacon, a plant that was used by the UW football strength coach to make a very ill-conceived point about nutrition; the coach took two plants and fed one only plant food; the other -- The Deacon-- the coach fed Doritos, DiGiorno pizza, and Oreo cookies (a/k/a "my lunch this Friday"), and also whiskey and beer. Unsurprisingly, the plant died; very surprisingly, 54 UW football players took this as an instruction that they were to eat only plant food, resulting in nearly the entire team winding up hospitalized and needing chelation.

Just kidding! Chelation wouldn't be used to cure that.

Anyway, the point is: Doritos don't kill people, if eaten in moderation. Neither do Raisinets, which now come with "antioxidants."

While I've been anti-antioxidant in the past, all this fish garbage and poisoned spinach has made me rethink my position, and I am now firmly in favor of putting antioxidants, and oxidants, and everything else that's beneficial, into our food. What we should be doing is processing the bejeezus out of our food -- running it through every Rube Goldberg contraption we can think of, mashing out the bad and injecting the good, and then reshaping it into the form of the original food, only sans poison and plus the stuff we need.

Forget eating peanuts; instead, you can eat P-Nutz, which would be processed peanuts ground up into fine powder, coated with a dose of fish oil (good for the brain, and may help prevent deterioration of schizophrenia), then reshaped into a genuine-looking peanut in the shell -- and, as an added bonus, the shell would be edible.

And the benefits go beyond that. Everyone always wants me to eat broccoli even though broccoli, based upon proof provided by two separate TV shows, is clearly not intended for human consumption. People want me to eat broccoli for its claimed health benefits, which include vitamins, calcium, prevention of cataracts, heart disease and cancer, and, I assume, the ability to fly if I can just get away from the rays of the red sun I've been living under.

Here's my solution: Forget eating a foul-tasting leafy plant. Take all those things out of the broccoli, bake them into a Funyun, and have me eat that.

Problem solved -- and deliciously so.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.

Harold had his purple crayon, Mr Bunches has his red one. (3 Good Things From 2/2/10)

Don't you hate when you finally get up and come downstairs and finish feeding the cats and only then realize that you didn't set your coffee maker up the night before and so you have no coffee? But don't you love, then, when you realize that The Boy is up and you can make him go get the paper? It's the yin-yang of life that gives it its spice, and the 3 Good Things from each day that keep me going despite all the yang.

1. I got through ALL of my work emails yesterday. I try everyday to get through all my emails and reply to them, but I get about 40 a day and have been so busy lately that they were backing up. So yesterday afternoon for two solid hours... okay, two hours that weren't quite solid because I periodically took small breaks to check out celebrity gossip and read comics online... but for two very-nearly-solid hours I read and replied to emails, knocking out 120 of them.

Now, today, I start on my personal emails... and I've still got the laptop to set up... sigh.

2. One of the comics I came across while almost totally focusing on emails was this:

Courtesy of Wondermark. That punchline kills. (Pun intended.)(Always intend the pun. Always.)

3. Mr Bunches got grounded off his crayons. I took Mr F and Mr Bunches grocery shopping last night as a break for Sweetie, and for the most part they behaved pretty well -- Mr F only tried to run off once, and he didn't go far, running only twenty feet back to stand in front of the hot dogs and laugh. Mr Bunches, though, got a little feisty towards the end, refusing to cooperate and keep up in three different aisles, including the salad dressing/condiment aisle.

Mr F likes to get a new pack of crayons each time we go to that store, and especially likes the red crayon from the pack, pulling it out and carrying it with him as we shop. So each time he got testy or naughty, I warned him that if he kept it up, he'd be grounded off his red crayon, and finally I had to pull the trigger on that threat: He was grounded off his crayon for a full aisle, all the way up to the register.

It doesn't sound like a good thing, but it is, because the alternative was me trying to push a giant overloaded grocery cart while carrying Mr Bunches and hanging on to Mr F, so my creative punishment worked to save me that.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

In non-Sweetie related news, I did, in fact, by ranch flavored corn nuts. (3 Good Things From 2/1/10)

Yesterday was a long day -- a 320 mile drive round trip for work, all in one day -- but a good one. In the multitude of good things that happened to me, though, I picked out 3 that were the best, and, as it happens, all three were Sweetie-related...

1. As I pulled into the driveway at 7 at night, Sweetie began heating up the leftover spaghetti for me so that it was warm by the time I got in the house. That is the definition of true love that I like most: True love is spaghetti warmed up at just the right time.

2. Sweetie didn't get mad that I inadvertently allowed Mr F and Mr Bunches to spill out her expensive shampoo while I ate that spaghetti. While Sweetie did get a little upset that I accused her of not-quite-closing the bathroom door, which I then said let Mr F and Mr Bunches get into the upstairs bathroom and play their new game (Splash each other from the toilet), she accepted my apology when, later, I learned that it wasn't her fault -- Mr F has learned how to get the door open despite child-proofing. Then, she didn't get upset when I ignored the boys' game while finishing dinner, only to go upstairs to clean up and realize that Mr Bunches had poured out about 2/3 of the shampoo onto the bathroom rug. Probably as a defense to Mr F's splashes. I don't know. I've given up trying to figure them out.

3. Sweetie didn't scare me when she asked me to scratch her back. Ordinarily, when Sweetie gets an itch, it's a terrifying experience: She asks you to scratch her back, but her directions are worse than unhelpful; they're mystifying. ("Over! No! Right! Around! Inside!") Then, as I try to follow those directions ("Yellow! 3.14!") she gets upset because I'm not doing it right, which scares me and makes it even harder to scratch correctly. But last night, Sweetie not only gave me good directions, she didn't make me nervous while doing it -- so we had the first successful back-scratch of our lives together.

Monday, February 01, 2010

It's true. You won't ever use it. (3 Good Things From Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)

First off, happy belated birthday to Petri Dish, and, Stanley Goodspeed, your copy of Eclipse is on its way even as we speak. (Want to win your own copy? Leave a comment on one of my blogs.)

Second off, here's 3 Good Things from the last couple of days to help me keep a cheerful outlook as I face the world on a Monday when I have scratches on my nose from Mr F, and potentially a 7-hour round-trip drive.

1. The movie
Edge of Darkness was pretty good. Sweetie and I went to see her choice of a movie this weekend, Edge of Darkness, or what I kept calling "Taken 2: Taking Boogaloo." I went wearing a Coat of Skepticism, and while there bought a Large Popcorn of Doubt. And a Diet Pepsi. But the movie turned out to be pretty good, and Sweetie was even able to explain [THIS ISN'T A SPOILER!] why the bad guys took a helicopter to nowhere to meet.

2. I learned that Mr F and Mr Bunches are afraid of heights, which isn't a good thing for them, but it is cute. I had to run to my office on Saturday, and took them with me. To get to my office, you have to go up a flight of stairs ending on a ledge with a railing along it. Mr F would only walk up the stairs on the wall side, holding my hand. Mr Bunches insisted on going it alone, but halfway up, switched to crawling and kept at that until we were inside.

3. I set a new World's Record for "farthest distance run in 2010 by me." I increased my running distance again, upping it to 4 1/2 miles on Saturday night, a route I completed in only 43 minutes -- and I did that without my iPod for the last mile and a half, running sans music because the battery wore down.

(Which just goes to show you that this should also be true for iPods, and why isn't it? I'd much rather have an iPod that never wears down than a tablet computer nobody is ever going to use.)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super Bowl Week: 7 Days Of Hype About 11 Minutes Of Action, And It All Begins With My Motivational Speech For You. (Nonsportsmanlike Conduct!)

I sit here on this extra-cold Sunday morning wondering what the loud thump! was on our roof last night -- a loud thump! that, it seemed to me, came about 11:15 p.m. a time which also, it seemed to me, was the exact time that the loud thump! came on Thursday night, which can only mean one thing:


That's the kind of crazy-sounding-but-spot-on-thinking that almost-consecutive, possibly-at-the-same-time loud thump! noises on your roof at night leads to: it's probably pterodactyls, landing on the roof, drawn by the smell of cookie crumbs and pizza crusts you threw outside onto the porch for the birds and squirrels to eat.

When else would you realize, with utter clarity, that science -- excuse me, "science"-- was wrong, and that pterodactyls still exist, and that they're landing on your roof, the loud thump being caused by the fact that they have only short legs and are more gliders than fliers, so their landing would be clumsy? Of course it would! Of course it would thump! like that! When else would you realize the truth about pterodactyls but at night, when everything's quiet and you've just been reading your electronic copy of The New Yorker, the article about the guy who wants to freeze himself when he dies, and has already frozen his mother and his two wives, in hopes that science someday would wake them up?

It's that absence of everything else -- the absence of television, of 3-year-olds running pantless around the room, of 17-year-olds insisting that going out every school night won't affect their grades even though it clearly has -- that leads to the kind of clarity of thought which lets one know about the pterodactyls.

Absence of information can be as important as access to information (I'm pretty good with a catch-phrase, right?). These days, in the miasma that is our information, it's necessary sometimes to unplug and turn off and just sit.

And think.

And in the sitting, and the thinking, one can put together some actual bits of information that
can help one catch on to some hidden truths, things that nobody else has been willing to say, or think, or talk about.

You know, like the pterodactyls.

Well, SOMETHING is making that noise!

See where I was leading with that intro? The pterodactyls, and the things like them, are the reason I don't like to sit and think. Nothing good comes of sitting and thinking. If God had wanted us to sit and think, he would never have created a world in which cars can be equipped with features to let you read your email. While driving. That way, I could get those funny jokes on the way to work! What could go wrong with that?

I couldn't help it. It was LOLCATZ!

But, today is NonSuperBowl Sunday, the cruelest day of the year for fans of football, because there's no football today, and really no football next week, and after that, there's no football for months and months and months, so if it wasn't for Brett Favre retiring and then not every few minutes, we'd have nothing to do but talk to our families and maybe go up on the roof and see if there's some pterodactyl tracks there. On NonSuperbowl Sunday, the Sunday before Super Bowl Sunday, there's nothing to do because there's no football.

That lack of football is worse on NonSuperbowl Sunday than on out-of-season Sundays because right now, football fans are in football mode. Our bodies, our minds, our radio stations, are set to football. We're used to having games on Sundays, and games on Mondays, and even games on Thursdays and Saturdays now, and so when this Sunday rolls around with its no football none of the time, it's jarring -- but we can't let go of football, because there's always the Super Bowl next week, so we have to keep in football shape, as it were.

As what were?

Keeping in football shape today is tough to do because in the week between Championship Sunday and NonSuperBowl Sunday, the sports news drifts a little, talking occasionally about other sports, something I find annoying when it happens during the football season. Don't you know there's football to talk about? I sometimes ask my radio, in the voice I usually reserve for the kinds of drivers who edge out into the road a little too far before deciding not to make the turn. Why are you talking about basketball? I demand to know, and then go to put on my iPod, only to find that I've left my iPod home, along with my lunch and cell phone, because I had to carry around Mr Bunches all morning, since he was sad and needed me to cheer him up. (Needed me to cheer him up, specifically, by carrying him nonstop, including carrying him while I tried to put on my pants.)

The lack of football talk bugs me even more when there's only one game of actual football left. It seems all the more urgent to talk about football now, to savor it while we still have it. Basketball, baseball, NASCAR... all those fake, boring sports will still be around when football ends. But football is only around for another week.

And yet, the best the media could do this week is briefly talk about Kurt Warner's retiring, mention in passing that the NFL is suing about the dumbest team phrase (yet), The Saints' Who Dat, and then move on to something about Gilbert Arenas. Whose name always sounds to me like it's a place to play basketball. Or, more accurately, several places to play basketball. And the media doesn't even try to do that little bit today, NonSuperBowl Sunday.

Which means it's up to me, again, to do things right, to get the hype going, and to gear me, and you, and everyone else who reads this (nobody else reads this; I'm surprised you're reading it, and got this far. Were you expecting more cheerleader pictures? Fine, here's one:

Happy now? I know Sweetie isn't. Sweetie takes it personally when I post pictures of cheerleaders, even though she shouldn't, because Sweetie is the only cheerleader for me.

When she gets upset about the cheerleaders, I defuse Sweetie by posting pictures like this:

Posting things like that puts Sweetie in a bind because Sweetie wants to complain about the cheerleaders, but she also wants to see Mark Sanchez recreating a scene from Baywatch, even though she will later say I don't even know who Mark Sanchez is.

I'm left to get the hype going because on NonSuperBowl Sunday, the rest of the media is gathering its breath and waiting for Super Bowl Week to begin; they're all sleeping in and leaving people like you and me high and dry and worrying about pterodactyls, or whatever it is you worry about when left with too much time and quiet on your hands. (See that brown spot on your tongue? It's probably the first sign of a deadly disease. Better go look that up.)

I'm going to get the hype going by focusing on me, and you, and what we need to get up for the game, which is an inspirational multimedia presentation featuring some guys and some music and a slogan and stuff.

I was, myself, inspired to create this Inspirational Moment by Saints' Coach Sean Payton's own inspirational moment last week, the one he gave the Saints before their game against the Vikings to pump them up for the game and, you know, really convince them to win.

I'm not sure why football players need motivational speeches and presentations. As I've said before, they should already be really, really motivated because, remember, this is their job. That and all we ever hear from football players is how they're in this to get to the Super Bowl, to get a ring, to win championships.

I mean, we know that's a lie -- none of the players are in it for anything other than money. That's why we all do our jobs: money. It's nice to get awards and win things, but we wouldn't be getting up and going to work because they gave us an award every now and then. We'd just go get the award, take some of the free coffee and maybe a few of those cookies the receptionist brought in, and then head back home. We probably wouldn't even take off our pajamas.

But since football players pretend that they're motivated by more than just money -- money they don't get paid (really) anymore once the playoffs start -- shouldn't they also pretend that they don't need to get motivated to play a game? Shouldn't they pretend that they're already motivated to win the second-to-last game of the season, the game that, if they win, they're in the Superbowl (a/k/a, "the reason they play?")

All valid questions, to which I'll add another one: If they do need motivation, why are they motivated by the smell of a locker room?

See, Saints' coach Sean Payton, to motivate his team, put together a multimedia presentation in which he showed clips of various athletes winning, or at least doing things, and also he played the Aerosmith song Dream On, and then, at the end of it, to (presumably) great flourish, he turned on the lights and there stood:

Ronnie Lott.

(Former all-pro defensive back/four time Superbowl winner/apparent motivational speaker Ronnie Lott, that is.)

And the first thing Ronnie Lott said, standing there in what I assume was the Saints' locker room?

"I smell greatness."

At which point, Sean Payton handed out t-shirts (I told you this was a multimedia presentation) with Smell Greatness on them.

I was going to put a picture of a dirty locker room, then a messy locker room, then a messy laundry room, then, finally, a pile of socks, but apparently there is nothing you can google on the internet that doesn't lead to porn scenarios, so instead, you get this picture:

Presumably, there were no arrows pointing towards the armpits of those shirts, but that would have been hilarious if there had been, and Payton missed a golden opportunity there.

All of that -- Aerosmith's song, the slide show, the not-quite-ironic t-shirts, Ronnie Lott, Motivational Speaker, and the scent of 53 large men -- added up to quite a motivational package for the Saints, as they barely eked out a victory in the NFC Championship Game (and by "eked out" I mean "were handed a victory by five turnovers and a boneheaded penalty.")

Imagine, though, the results if the Saints hadn't been motivated by the smell of greatness/the smell of Ronnie Lott. Imagine if Sean Payton had left it up to the players to motivate themselves, by, say, telling them "Look, it's your job, all right, so just go do it and do it well, and you'll make some money." Would the Saints have been motivated enough by that to not lose a game that the Vikings desperately didn't want to win?

I think not.

Reading that Sports Illustrated article about the Saints' motivational speech yesterday taught me the importance of motivational speeches -- motivational multimedia presentations -- because with Ronnie Lott, Motivational Speaker, telling the Saints that the odor in their locker room was greatness, the Saints never would have made it as far as Super Bowl week (when, I assume, Payton will largely stick with what works, and will hand out Taste Greatness! t-shirts soaked in the flavor of greatness. The taste of greatness can best be described as "a little like lemonade-flavored Powerade, only uncarbonated.")

Thus inspired by just the recounting of the multimedia presentation, I have undertaken today to outline my own motivational multimedia presentation elements, elements that you, the fan and my reader(s?) are free to assemble on your own into your own motivational multimedia presentation to get you, the fan/my reader(s?) pumped up for your part in Super Bowl week -- the part where you have to listen to even more stories about even more players and endure even more predictions about even more things that could happen.

This is the week we wait for and dread all year: the week when the entire world seems to be about football (because football is coming to an end again), the week when the football present- and past-greats come out of the woodwork/rodeo trailer they've been hiding in to talk football and think football and smell football/greatness, and to make critical comments about Tim Tebow, and do all of those things that we love so much during the football season, only more so.

It's a demanding week for a fan. There's so many shows, articles, blogs, pictures, and reporters that we may not be able to keep up with it. But this is what we're here for, right?

(That's the part where you say: Right!)

(And I say "What's that? This is what we're HERE FOR, right?")

(And you say "Right!" again, only louder.)

(And then I say "Why are you yelling at your computer?")

This is what we're here for, but like professional football players who make in one year what I'll make in 10, if I'm lucky, we may need a little more motivation to do what's expected of us, and without further ado (thank God!) I'm going to give you the tools you need to put together, this week, your own multimedia presentation that will serve to inspire you, to urge you on, to make you just a tiny little bit better, and, of course, to put a positive spin on that peculiar odor that you thought was stale graham crackers, but which is actually... greatness.

Here's what you'll need:

First, an inspirational song. Sean Payton chose Dream On by Aerosmith. I'm not sure that was the best message, because while that song does talk about how you've got to lose to know how to win, it also includes this refrain:
Sing with me, sing for the year Sing for the laugh, sing for the tears Sing with me, if it's just for today Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away, yeah

Which is kind of a grim philosophy, and also makes me think "If tomorrow the good Lord is going to take me away, I might not spend tonight playing football, but would probably rather spend some time with my family, or at least make amends for some of the things I've done, things that I'm certainly not going to detail in this blog, at least until the statute of limitations runs out."

The song you pick should be personal to you, a song that motivates you, but it should also have a broader appeal and should focus on your particular role in this week, that role being "a person who watches TV, and probably also eats snacks." (That's my role, at least.) And while everyone can choose their own song, you can also feel free to use one of the ones I'm considering. Here's the songs I'm thinking I might use:

After Hours, by We Are Scientists:

That song has the benefit of having a really good, driving beat, and the right kind of challenging tone: This door is always open/no one has the guts to shut us out. And, to make it perfect for fans, it's really about drinking: I guess there's always hope that/someplace will be serving after hours. So time means nothing when it comes to finding a place to go on drinking, is the message We Are Scientists is sending.

God Monkey Robot, by The Apparitions. "Monkeys make everybody happy," Sweetie once proclaimed, but monkeys, in the form of an allegorical song about human evolution followed by God wiping everything out in Armageddon, can also inspire people like you and me to new heights of fandom:

It's got that line: And the man and the monkey their minds went blank/they were both watching reruns the rating were great, which lets you know your role in the teledrama that will be hyped this week. You're going to watch. (Plus, one of my favorite things to do in Super Bowl week is watch those NFL replays of all the prior Super Bowls, watch and feel nostalgic about the times in the past when I watched those Super Bowls, live. How often does one get to watch a documentary about history, when the history is history that one watched unfold live? Not very often.)(So the point is, that the man and the monkey watching reruns is me.)

and, of course, Common People by William Shatner.

Because it's about common people and how great they are. Common people like you, and me. Not those high-falutin' rich folk like Saints' Coach Sean Payton, who, after winning the NFC Championship, celebrated via a quiet little dinner featuring family... and Jimmy Buffett.

After you have your song, you'll also need a collection of images to put to that song. This is where most of you are going to screw up: You're going to choose sports images, because the Super Bowl is a sport, but remember, this is for you, not for the Saints or the Colts. You're not trying to inspire them; that's for their coaches to do via phrases like Smell Greatness. (We'll get to your phrase in a moment.)

You're trying to inspire you, so you've got to choose images of the things that will motivate you to get ready for the Super Bowl and your role in it. Things like the snacks you'll eat:

Where you'll sit for the big game:

The commercials you'll watch:

And, of course, the cheerleaders:

Simmer down, Sweetie. I haven't forgotten you:

With images like that, you'll be more than motivated for the week ahead, and the game. You'll be motivat-est.

(Note to NFL: You may be ready to sue people over the Dumbest Team Nickname Yet, but back down on me, because Motivat-est is TM Thinking The Lions, 2010.)

Step three of your Motivational Multimedia Presentation is the Inspirational Person who will come in and tell you how great your life will be if you (a) listen to him or her and (b) do what he or she has already done. The Saints had Ronnie Lott, who was an excellent choice based on his ability to repurpose smells for his own motivational motives.

You'll need someone that suits you equally well, for your purposes, remember. The Saints wanted someone who's been to the big game to tell them how great it is to get to the big game. You, of course, have already watched many Super Bowls, so you may think Well, jeez, I know what it's like to watch a Super Bowl, and you'll be tempted to pass on the Inspirational Figure entirely.

That's a mistake -- a big one. You don't know what it's like to watch this Super Bowl, and you probably have never really given thought to how to watch any particular Super Bowl best, have you? I didn't think so. You've never analyzed when the best commercials are, who the best announcers are, how much actual football action takes place in any given football game (eleven minutes or so.) You don't know nothin' about no football.

Or something like that.

So get yourself someone who does. Someone who knows how to really watch stuff. Someone like this guy:

That's Suresh Joachim, and if you want to watch TV, you want to know Suresh. This year, Suresh annihilated the record for most consecutive hours watching TV. It had been only about 50 hours in a row. But Suresh sat and stared at the tube for 69 hours and 48 minutes.

You know what I want to know? What made him break? He'd already been there for 69 hours, 48 minutes, so family, bathroom breaks, boredom, a real job... all that stuff had already been put to the side, ignored, in service of record-breaking TV watching. So what finally made him throw in the towel, stand up, and turn off the TV? What was it, Suresh?

Was it Jenna Elfman? Because that'd do it for me.

Suresh also holds the record for longest time balancing on one foot -- 76 hours and 40 minutes. Which means he was able to stand on one foot longer than he was able to watch ABC television. (He also holds the record for bowling -- 100 hours straight.)

(But you know what that means? The time is ripe for someone to set the record for longest time standing on one foot watching bowling on TV. Ready... set...go.)

Another possible spokesperson? WALL-E. He really liked TV, too:

Now, you've got Suresh and WALL-E speaking to you (and your family.) You've got your song (if you invite WALL-E, I'd go with God Monkey Robot), you've got your inspirational images to set that all to:

So the last thing you need is your slogan. Like the Saints' Smell Greatness, only not stupid.

Ideally, your slogan is short enough to fit on a t-shirt or a hat to hand out to you and your family. (It could also be printed on the tiny purple baseball bats you hand out to your defense, to give them the entirely wrong idea about what it is you're looking for when they play. Gregg Williams, keep in mind: defensive players tackle people. They don't hit them with bats. You who uses baseball bats to make a point? Mobsters. When you hand out bats to your defense, this is the message you're sending:

Which may be what you wanted to send, but don't advertise it, okay?

Your slogan to inspire you for Super Bowl Week and the Super Bowl should follow the time-honored tradition of including a verb and an adjective, ideally both of them inspiring.

If you can't think of any inspirational words, you could always do what one enterprising but still somewhat saddening person did, and ask Yahoo Answers. That person wanted to jump-start a novella and needed some words of inspiration to get going on it -- not the most promising start for a writer, but everyone begins somewhere, and I bet that if Yahoo Answers had been around when F. Scott Fitzgerald got started, he'd have asked for some help getting going on The Great Gatsby (which is the only book Lauren Conrad could remember the name of when she was interviewed recently about her own writing, and so she said she'd read it over and over, even though the odds are that Lauren Conrad can't read.)(The odds are, also, that Lauren Conrad never read The Great Gatsby since she said "It's a fun story.")

That inspiration-seeking writer got these words of encouragement from a spell-check needing helper: "umm ya theres alot sori i dont feel lyk putting all of them." So I don't recommend taking that route for your own inspirational phrase. Instead, just do what I do:

When I want something I say to sound important or majestic or awe-inspiring, I just translate it into Latin. Everything sounds great in Latin:

quisnam ate totus funyuns (Who ate all the funyuns?)

Cheerleaders sceptrum (Cheerleaders rule!)

Dulcis , vos teneo vos reputo Vestigium Consecro est fervens (Sweetie, you know you think Mark Sanchez is hot)

I think, in fact, that est fervens would be an ideal slogan. So I'm going to go with that. But feel free to create your own slogan, if you want.

So there you go. That's how I'll be spending the rest of the day, this NonSuperBowl Sunday of no sports and nothing to do. Later on today, I'm going to go downstairs, dim the lights, put on my slide show of inspirational images:

(It's safe-- Sweetie NEVER reads this far in the sports post), start the inspirational music:

Have my speaker begin, and by the time he's done motivating me (Making me Motivat-est)(TM Thinking The Lions 2010), I won't even need the Est fervens t-shirts, which is good because Sweetie would probably have them printed with this on it: