Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Witz DOESN'T Pick:Dream Vomiting, Brunch Alone, Mike Piazza Retiring From Baseball

You'll never guess who just pedalled past me: Taj Finger. We all assume I'm stalking him, but what if he's actually stalking me? Just something to think about. Here's something else to think about:

Dream Vomiting:
Yep. Don't worry I didn't do it, but I sure did come close. Who knew this little gem of life existed? I, for one, did not. I mean, I've slept on this Earth for 25+ years and not once did I almost vomit in real life based on something in a dream. Not once. And that's why the world is magical and new each and every day. Because Sunday morning (after NOT drinking the night before), I woke myself up by gagging. My girlfriend was staring with a baffled smirk on her face, not sure whether to laugh or race me to the emergency room (I'm pretty sure each and every day she wakes thinking, "I wonder if today is the day we rush Witz to the emergency room). At the time, I recalled vividly some dream involving a party and breaking and entering, and a karaoke contest, and sewage, and so I immediately asked (suspicious of my body), "Did I wake up gagging?" She confirmed my theory so I continued, "Like I was about to throw up?" Yep, she nodded. I knew that I was about to throw up in my dream, but I didn't think that was allowed to translate into real life. That same morning, however, I found out that my earache had gone away-- so it was kind of like the scales of life realigning themselves for me: earache gone/dream vomiting exists. L'chaim.

Brunch Alone:
Thankfully, I've never actually gone to brunch alone, but while joking around the other day, I said that fine, my girlfriend might have work to do, but I'm going to brunch. That got me thinking about brunch and eating alone at a restaurant in general. Eating at a restaurant alone is borderline unacceptable and certainly frowned upon. It means that you absolutely must go out to a restaurant for sustenance, but that absolutely nobody is available to go with you-- and yet you still choose to do it over getting fast good, pizza, a sandwhich, visiting the supermarket, or simply sucking down ketchup packets you have in your car. Instead, you choose to sit at a table, by yourself, and eat food that takes a while to get to you. Forgetting Sarah Marshall actually has a good couple of jokes about this.

Now, of all the meals, brunch is probably the least acceptable. You need those other three meals, but brunch means that you skipped breakfast (or worse, had breakfast), and that you can't hold out until lunch. It means that you are so out of touch with your own body and appetite, that you want food from BOTH meals, no questions asked. You also prooobably intend on stuffing yourself stupid. Eating alone at a restaurant for breakfast is bearable with a paper, eating lunch is acceptable because people need to leave the office, and eating out for dinner alone is awkward and depressing. But eating at a restaurant alone for BRUNCH is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Nobody, and I mean nobody, should have the gall or self-confidence to sit down at 11am on a Sunday, drop $30 for entry, and strap on a feed bag of pancakes, waffles, toast, eggs, bacon, shrimp, fish, salad, fruit salad, yogurt, and anything else the place had left over. Brunch is off limits to parties of one.

Mike Piazza Retires From Baseball:
Here's a philosophical question: can you retire from baseball if you are not signed by any club and you are currently not playing baseball? Mike Piazza thinks so. After 19 years in the majors, he announced that he is retiring. His team didn't get mad at him, because he is currently not on a team and not playing any baseball. Mike Piazza retiring from baseball is like if I was fired from my job and then yelled at them that I quit. No, I didn't. Baseball retired Mike Piazza. Otherwise, I guess I retired from baseball too. "Yeah, I mean, I was doing pretty well at JV in high school, but, I just thought it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life-- beyond pro ball." I just hope he finds something else useful to do and doesn't sit by himself thinking, "Maybe I'll go get some brunch alone."

It's A Tuesday, Gimme A Break,

Monday, May 19, 2008

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Bionic Olympian

Perhaps you've heard of 21 year old South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius, or maybe you've heard of him by his sprinting nickname, The Blade Runner. A few days ago, the Olympic Committee overturned a previous decision and will allow Oscar the opportunity to compete (if he manages to qualify) in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The big deal about this is that Oscar had his lower legs amputated when he was only 11 months old and now uses carbon fibre blades as legs when he races.

When I first thought about writing this post, I was going to go with the old, "Witz Isn't Sure If He Pickz..." format, but in my heart I knew the truth of the potentially bad person that I am. I don't think that Oscar should be allowed to race in the Olympics. I WANT to say that he should, because it's such a good story and all that, but I think it's important to go back to the part where THE GUY HAS BIONIC LEGS!

The man's nickname is THE BLADE RUNNER. Like, the movie-- like, where some people were human and some people weren't and-- ok, so I never actually made it through all of Blade Runner-- but machines were involved. They call him The Blade Runner because the man races using these carbon blades that are called CHEETAH (cheater, perhaps, hmmm) BLADES. They are specifically designed like the back legs of a cheetah, are lightweight, and restore 95% of the energy they exert. Last time I checked, my legs are heavy, have muscles and bones and blood, and restore 0% of the energy I exert. And that's my problem with this. The guy just simply doesn't have to deal with all the crap that people with lower legs have to deal with-- cramps, tears, muscle fatigue, lack of cheetah legs...and while I realize that not having lower legs is a problem that I personally don't have, it's not like he's replaced them with umbrellas-- they're blades specifically designed for the task he is undertaking. The only argument I've read from the other side is that the blades are more susceptible to wind and rain than regular legs, so he exerts more energy to start running. So what's a good measure of they're effectiveness vs. their deffectiveness?

Well, how about the fact that Oscar is competing for a spot in the Olympics? A UK article states,

"Despite his ill fortune, he was a keen athlete at school and took part in rugby, water polo, tennis and wrestling. Pistorius took up competitive running in January 2004, aided by his special limbs. Within eight months he had won gold in the 200 metres at the Athens Paralympics."

I think it's probably accurate that Oscar's dedication and ability to rise above his disability helped him become the athlete that he was and that he is, but isn't it a little possible that the opposite is true? That he was and is such a competitive and successful athlete because he has robot limbs? Everyone's all, "It's amazing how good he is!" at the same time they're saying, "His Cheetah robot legs have NOTHING to do with it!" It's tough to think they're entirely unrelated.

So here's what I think: I think he should be allowed to compete-- only take another look at the picture above and note what's standing next to him-- Put your legs on, sir. Not your bionic cheetah legs, but your bulky crap-legs, which are not unlike the bulky crap-legs that millions of people on this planet surely have. We don't let Iron Man play center field for the Brewers, Robo Cop is not part of any biathlon teams, and Stephen Hawking isn't racing in the Indy 500.

Finally, I think it's important to note that this Olympic Committee ruling is a major step in the direction of our ultimate doom versus the robots. There is a decision on the books where a part machine man is competing against others. This will be used as precedent for other partial and eventually total robots to infiltrate our social networks, our athletic networks, and finally, our government. From Robot Head Alarm Clock to Bionic Athlete to world domination. Robotic Dictator. That's what the D stood for in R2D2. Robot2Dictator2. Doomed.

I'd Give My Left Leg for a Cheetah Leg...and My Right Leg for a Tiger Leg, and My Two Arms For Rocket Launchers/Grappling Hooks, and My Left Eye For A Bionic Eye and-- and-- and...,

Friday, May 16, 2008

Witz Pickz: Chance Encounters with Taj Finger

They say we're all connected, six degrees of separation and all that. Occasionally, someone will emerge from the masses and a series of chance encounters will draw two fates together-- maybe you run into an old college roommate after twenty years and renew a great friendship. Maybe you go to the bank one day to cash your last paycheck after being fired and run into an ex who has finally gotten their act together and sets you up with a job. Maybe you innocently eat one end of a noodle and when you get to the middle, you find yourself nose to nose with the one you're meant to be with. Well, if we are all connected, then I think through a series of chance encounters, I have found my connection-- and that connection is with Stanford Basketball Senior Forward Taj Finger.

I've run into Taj numerous times since the NCAA Tournament, and while I've never said anything, I'm beginning to think that I'm supposed to say or do something, not unlike in Field of Dreams. Perhaps I'm supposed to, "Ease his pain," which would make sense, given that Stanford lost to Texas and his basketball career has most likely come to an end. But what am I supposed to do? I mean, whenever I watch Friday Night Lights, I'm nostalgic for the days of my youth when playing soccer meant five practices a week, two games a weekend, a championship on the line, but state level travel soccer and high school Varsity hardly qualify me to talk about what it must be like to play D1 college ball and then be cut loose from the game that you worked so hard to play. Perhaps my chance encounters will give me some clues.

The first time I ran into Taj Finger, I was at Whole Foods. Wandering the prepared foods section, I noticed a tall guy who looked somewhat familiar. When I say tall, I mean 6'8'' and so it wasn't long before I thought the words that would soon become quite familiar to me: "That's Taj Finger..." We both circled the various options for a while, and I thought, "Maybe Taj Finger and I will end up getting the same food..." but then he went for Thai and I wasn't really feelin' it with my heartburn and all, so I got a panini. Meh.

A week or so later, I was standing in line for lunch, midday, middle of the week, at work. And who am I behind in line? Taj flippin' Finger. There was an odd moment of vague recognition, and I knew that he was trying to figure out why I looked familiar the way he had for me. I quickly took out my phone and made a fake phone call to jog his memory:

"Hey, it's Witz...yeah, I know, sorry I took so long to get back to you, I've been researching a role here at Stanford....I know I'm a big movie star, you don't have to tell ME that! Ok, ok, I'll read the script, but you know how these pilots are...but I don't NEEEED that much money...fine, if it's with Natalie then I'll consider it. Cool-- and tell Scarlett to stop calling me, she's coming off as desperate." Click.

Now Taj and I could be friends. Instead, we stood silently in line, ordered our food and went our separate ways. Since then, I have run into him two more times at the same eatery. So what does this mean?

Well, the one thing I seem to be learning from my experiences is that "Taj Finger and I eat similarly." That's not too much to go on. But maybe I'm supposed to ease his pain by simply letting him know that he's not the only one eating crappy food several times a week. Maybe he is super paranoid about ordering a grilled cheese and fries, and when he hears ME do it, he'll suddenly be free to live his culinary dreams. Or what if he's gluten intolerant and doesn't know it? Maybe he was actually supposed to be really short, but his body tried to flee upward from all the gluten and he grew taller? Maybe he's getting taller and taller freakishly, and only stopping eating gluten will make him normal again. What the hell do I know about gluten, though?

In the end, I think I'll probably just ride it out and remember this as one of those awkward connections in life-- I mean sure, maybe his blood contains the anti-bodies necessary to cure all my ailmentss and I must pursue a friendship in order to find this out-- but it's easier just to make awkward eye contact, turn away, and order a grilled cheese.

This Is Amusing Right Up Until Taj Finger Googles Himself and Slaps My Ass (Basketball Style) With A Restraining Order,

Witz Pickz: Friday (May 16, 2008 -- I Can Only Assume There Will Be More Fridays I Pick...)

If you could see me right now, you'd see the wild look of a man who has three DVD's overdue from the library-- and just doesn't care. It's a look you may or may not recognize, but it's there all the same, two parts nothing to lose, one part other things to worry about. I've renewed them once. I've renewed them twice. Now I'm at my limit. I'm at the edge.

And it's not even like it's difficult to return the DVD's. They're sitting on my half-stack bookcase, piled up, just sitting there. Moonlighting. That's not what they're doing, that's what they are. Moonlighting, with Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepperd. If you could see my eyes right NOW, you'd see the wild look of a man who doesn't really care how to properly spell "Cybil Shepperd" and isn't going to take the time to look it up. What's sad is that I never truly intended on WATCHING Moonlighting, at least not while I had the DVD's rented. No, I intended to copy them, to actually take a free product from the library (a product that is almost ALWAYS on the shelf, incidentally) and illegally reproduce it on my computer to watch at a later date-- because clearly I want to watch this show enough to copy and own it, but there just wasn't time in THREE WEEKS to sit down and watch even one minute of the show. And in my heart of hearts, I already know that I won't even copy them before I eventually return them overdue. So what am I left with? Fines.

Ya know that Johnny Cash song about where he's been? "I've Been Everywhere?" It goes, "I been to: Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota....etc, etc." Well, that's like me with library fines. "I've got fines in: Simsbury, Palo Alto, West Hartford, and Seattle, Avon, Lewiston, Bates College, Austin...I've got fines everwhere..." It's not intentional, it's just that I somehow never make one last trip to the library I'm leaving to pay off my fines. And yet this time, I know I'll need to. I know I'll need to go back, and pay for these DVD's, and look the person in the eye as they read off my fines for "Moonlighting," and just hope that nothing embarassing was overdue. It's like at blockbuster. The last thing you need the checkout person saying to you is, "I have here that you owe 12 dollars for MXP: Most Extreme Primate." Then everyone in the line gets to mock you a little until you remind the clerk that Blockbuster no longer has late fees and that's why there's NEVER ANYTHING IN THE FREAKING STORE TO RENT.

And yet, staring at the barrel of a scanner gun, I don't care. My eyes are wild, my spirits high, and my stance resolute. Because it's Friday. Nothing can hurt me now because the weekend is here (well, actually, my ear is hurting quite a bit, but that effs up the hyperbole), and I am ready for it. So bone out, fines, Bruce and Cybil have a new home now.

Keep An Eye Out For Another Post Today To Make Up For None Yesterday,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Witz Pickz: Economic Stimulus Packages and The Magic Bullet

The goverment gave me $300 and after doing the math, I'm pretty sure it's just enough to pay for a a few tanks of gas on my way to Canada. Don't get me wrong, I'm loving the extra money that the government is throwing our way, and more than likely you got twice as much as I did because you, "Worked a socially appropriate amount of time last all of it." But somehow, an "economic stimulus package" feels a lot like when my parents would give me a few bucks to go see a movie with my friends so I wasn't being obnoxious around the house in the hot summer heat.

I mean, what is an economic stimulus package if not simply the government throwing money at a problem in the hopes that it will sort itself out? They're basically saying, "Our economy is struggling, let's give them back some of the money we took from them and watch as they buy all our crazy crap!" The thing is, $300 directly deposited into my bank account doesn't register as "$300 more dollars to blow on Iron Man." It translates into, "$300 more dollars in my bank account that I will use to pay off the car work that I already had done. Or, $300 more dollars to pay off my co-pays, cable, etc." If I had received $600 dollars like most people, I probably would go out and buy a new tv. It'd be interesting to see if there wasn't a threshold like that that people have-- I'm guessing their is and the govt did a lot of research about it beforehand.

But let's say I'm planning on spending my $300 on crazy crap. What would I spend it on??

The Magic Bullet:
Widely known, vaguely trusted, this magic infomercial blender has the chopping attachment as the screw on top as opposed to the other way around. While the infomercial is hilarious and as magical as one could hope, it also seems to have a high level of prep that they don't tell you about, and potentially an graduate degree entitled, "Order of Ingredients: Life Beyond the Blades." You see, after reading a ton of reviews, it sounds like order is everything. While it only takes three or four ingredients to make pesto, load them incorrectly and the blade will jam, your pine nuts will remain intact, and your Pesto Party will be totally fucked.

Yesterday, however, I had my first opportunity to use the Magic Bullet. It wasn't mine, but I was given all the attachments and all of the cups and accessories, so I was able to pretend. Lemme backup and explain how this came about. You see, as noted, the informercial is great. This was proven when at lunch someone was asked, "If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?" I wasn't paying too much attention, because in my head I was already answering the obvious question with, "Pizza," because that's my answer to everything, food related or not. "What do you want for dinner/lunch/breakfast/brunch/fourth meal?" My answer: Pizza. "How are we going to stimulate our economy?" My answer: Pizza. So I was a bit surprised when I heard, "Chocolate mousse," as the answer. Something immediately clicked and I shouted, "I can make chocolate mousse in the magic bullet!" And an advertiser somewhere got another royalty check.

So I bought the two ingredients that the bullet says you need: heavy cream and chocolate syrup. I tried it once and failed miserably-- I made the fattest chocolate milk ever. Then I tried again...and again...and again. It was during this time that I learned that "magic" smells a lot like an overheating motor. Eventually, I ended up with what resembled curdled chunks. Hello Leslie stepped up and like the first guy to suck from a cow's teet or the first person to decide eating chicken fetuses was probably a good move, she dipped her finger in and tried it-- discovering that they were actually what I would call mousse bits (hehehe). There was a weird liquid at the bottom, but I knew we were close.

I thought back to all of my chemistry knowledge and promptly remembered that I didn't pay ANY attention in chemistry, but instead chose to build make shift battleship boards out of notebook paper that My Friend Formerly With A Pool and I would use to play games during class. I then remembered that I didn't take any useful science classes in college (unless I'm near an exploding star or trapped on the ocean floor). Shit. So I winged it and went with the assumption that I had used too much syrup. Adding more cream to the bullet chamber, and a very little bit of chocolate syrup, I screwed back on the Whipping Blade-- which sounds like a gay 80's glam-rock band-- and started blending. And oh was I ever rewarded. Opening up the lid, I found rings of whipped chocolate mousse-- and it was delicious. In this action, I proved two things: that the magic bullet truly works, and that I really DON'T need chemistry. Guess and Check STILL WORKS.

So if you need something to spend your "buy shit quickly" money on, I suggest the Magic Bullet. At least if you spend over $100 on chocolate mousse annually.

Fire Up the Magic Bullet And Ride That Thing To Glory,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Witz Pickz: Miniature Guide Horses!!

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. I want one-- no, no-- I NEED one. A mini-horse. But not just any mini-horse, because I've known about those for years (although to be honest I thought them a myth and assumed that mirrors were somehow involved), no, I want a guide-mini-horse.

As this amazing website for The Guide Horse Foundation explains, there are now miniature horses available to act as seeing eye guides for the blind. Blam-- your world just changed. Combining classic "seeing-eye" training with exciting mini-horse technology, these guides are able to serve blind people who are either unable to handle dog dander, or simply want to flaunt their blindness to the world. This also confirms my life-long hunch that blind people FUCKING LOVE MINI HORSES! The horses lead the blind around (just like dogs), guide them indoors and on escalators (just like dogs), and sleep in beds (just like-- wait).

Take this picture, for example. Look as the super happy blind guy walks through the mall or potentially an airport concourse, sipping at his coffee and walking like a champ on the tiles. My favorite part about the picture, however, is the dude with his dog staring at them. There's no doubt in my mind that he's thinking, "Look at this joker!" Then again, he might be blind too, because what's he doing with a dog indoors?

As you'll also notice in the picture, and the absolute best part about these mini-horses, is that they're wearing HIGH TOPS. Probably as a way to mute the clacking that horses make, these horses wear two pairs of high tops when they walk. This opens limitless possibilities. If I (which is to say "WHEN I") own a mini-guide-horse, I would take full advantage of the situation. I'd buy one set (4 shoes) of Nike Pumps for the horse, and would make sure to give each shoe a few pumps before we set out on any adventure. That way he would both feel comfortable on the journey, and know that he's a balla. The other set I would reserve for nighttime excursions (let's be honest, I'm mostly riding this mini-horse home drunk-- he's essentially a cute taxi-- frankly, any mobile pack-animal that knows the way home is ultimately just a drunk time taxi). This night set would be LA Lights-- let's all say "Hell yeah" together-- that would light up and bling out everytime he clomped down on the pavement and sidewalk. That's right, my mini-horse would have street fx. The only downside about the shoes is that if you take a look, it doesn't exactly look like they're all on properly or necessarily the right feet-- which is probably the one negative aspect of having a BLIND PERSON dressing the horse.

The other great thing about owning a mini-horse would be the ability to constantly say "mini-horse" in ridiculous situations. Like, when on a plane, you'd get to say, "Pardon me, but would you slide over so I can sit next to my mini-horse?" or if they didn't allow the horse on the actual plane, and someone said, "Man, this flight sure is bumpy!" I could respond, "Tell me about it! And I've got my mini-horse down below to worry about!" At movies, "Now does my mini-horse need a ticket?" RSVP-ing for events, "I'll be attending the luncheon, as will my mini-horse," and in hotels, "You haven't ridden an elevator until you've ridden an elevator with a mini-horse." The options are endless and the scenarios infinite.

Unfortunately, it appears you have to be blind to acquire a miniature guide horse. While I could buy a regular ass miniature horse all by myself (and not all that expensive really, $1500+), why would I want a horse without training when I know what's available on the market? That's like hiring the GED candidate when the PhD candidate is also sending out resumes. Which means that if you see me over the next six months or so, don't be shocked if I'm walking around with sunglasses on, holding out a retractable stick, and pretending that I'm blind. I'm gettin' me a mini-guide-horse, one way or the other.

Add "With My Mini-Horse" To The End Of Every Fortune Cookie Fortune You Get,

Monday, May 12, 2008

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Mastercard Losing Touch, Smoothies without Straws, and Bagel Conundrums

I know, I know, we're all excited to get to the "conundrum" aspect of the post, but settle down and let's ease into it with some talk about the latest Mastercard ads.

Mastercard Losing Touch:
I sort of stopped paying attention to the mastercard ads when they come on tv. I mean, they've been doing the same schtick for years now, and while I'm all for the "priceless" campaign, I just don't pay as much attention as I used to. Plus, the last commercial I watched of theirs involved those confusing knives from the kitchen, and that was just odd.

Over the weekend, however, I heard a snippet of one which drew my attention to the tv. They said, "a burger and fries...four dollars." Four dollars? Try eight dude, and that's only if you're getting fast food! Is mastercard really shopping the dollar menu on this commercial? I don't think so. What I think is that they have finally lost touch with what things cost and have started phoning in their commercials. I started thinking back over previous commercials. "Two tickets to the game...fifty dollars." At the time, I hadn't thought twice about it, but now, that Dad and kid were sitting like twenty rows off first base! At a near sold out baseball game, in a major market stadium! There's no way he got those tickets for less than 80 dollars. On the other side of the spectrum is this commercial where they say, "Lasagna noodles, ground beef, cheese, vegetables...forty-seven dollars. Having a backup plan...priceless," and the lady's buying a Stouffer's frozen lasagna. First of all, she only buys like 8 items, and the most expensive one is probably a 5 dollar thing of ground beef. HOW THE HELL IS SHE SPENDING FORTY-SEVEN DOLLARS? Is she asking for a case of cigarettes from behind the counter? Is she the least thrifty shopper ever and purchasing her groceries at "Triple Mark Up Mart?" In this case, Mastercard showed that it might be clever, but it doesn't cook for a family of four. Another thing about this specific commercial that I don't get is that she buys a frozen lasagna as a backup plan-- like from the "lunch in your cubicle" aisle. So if her lasagna, which it's five simple ingredients somehow goes horribly wrong (presumably this woman doesn't have her shit together and her children and husband are constantly demanding she be in other rooms out of ear-shot from the oven timer), she plans on busting out a flavorless, dry and wet in all the wrong places, monstrosity for her family to eat instead? That commercial should be those lasagna ingredients and the phone number for the local pizza place. And when the checkout guy asked why I'd put down a phone number, I'd say I didn't know, why did the other woman in the commercial place the frozen lasagna several feet behind her other ingredients on the converyor belt?

Am I off topic? I never know. I'll just summarize here by saying that Mastercard needs to get its head back in the game. There. Fin.

Smoothies without Straws:
Have you ever tried to "drink" a smoothie without a straw? Because I was forced to the other day, and holy crap is it a terrible idea. When smoothies are coming at you through a straw, you feel in control, you feel healthy, and you feel socially at ease. When you try and drink smoothies without a straw, things change dramatically. Instead of feeling healthy, you feel like the laziest, fattest beast on the planet-- gripping your glass of food sludge and tilting it so it oozes into your awaiting maw. Sure, ordering a drink consisting of peanut butter, bananas, yogurt, soy milk, and maybe some chocolate seems totally ok, but try WATCHING IT as the thick conglomerate of bulk descends from the bottom of your cup towards your face and all you'll be able to think is, "ME WANT FOOD SLUDGE NOOOOW!" It's gross. The next thing that changes is your control of the situation. Instead of being able to suck at your straw, you have that cascade of semi-solids. When that cascade hits the breaking point (and you won't know when it is), the whole mass rushes at you like a protein avalanche, landing in your mouth, but also your eyes, you cheeks, your nose, and if you have facial hair, there to. None of this contributes especially well to the socially acceptable aspect of the experience. Once you are sans straw, you've broken the social contract, and others will invariably stare, gape, and mock you. "Look at that fatty, suckin' at the bottom of his drink! He needs more of it than a straw permits all at once!" Branded.

Bagel Conundrum:
My world changed this morning when I bit into my bagel, thinking it was the bottom half, only to learn that it was the top. Now maybe this isn't a big deal to you, but after years of experience, I simply fell into the routine of eating the bottom half first and the top half second. This is because the top half has most of the crap on it and I want to save that for the end. It's not rocket science--

(incidentally, I was talking about rocket science with someone yesterday, or more accurately, talking about the phrase "he's no rocket scientist" and mentioned that I'm surprised the phrase still has the same gravity as it's always had. I mean, our most public rocket scientists, those who work at NASA for outter space rockets, have been batting somewhere around Andruw Jones' 2007 numbers. Yeah, they hit a few home runs along the way, but overall, they're hitting abotu .200 and having trouble getting on base. Unfortunately for NASA, every year is a contract year when it comes to their budget. So I'm surprised that we haven't started saying things like, "Yeah, that guy's a rocket scientist-- he's had a few good ideas, but he's just not reliable." Or something like, "Yeah, we fired him-- he was a total rocket scientist.")

--and so I felt confident in my bagel eating ways. This morning, however, I bit into the "wrong" half of a bagel and was completely rewarded with immediate deliciousness. By the time I got to the bottom half, I was so saited from the top half that I didn't even notice the difference. So my question to you is, "WHICH HALF?" Which half do you eat first? How do you justify it? Have your tastes and routines adjusted over the years? And don't be one of those a-holes that says, "I eat my bagels cut in half width-wise, so I get both at once," because that's just asinine and I won't stand for it. Help me in my hour of need.

That Witz Makes Rocket Scientists Look Good,

Friday, May 09, 2008

Witz Pickz: Friday Array

Consider this the assorted chocolates box of the Witz Pickz world:

Stereotype Fulfilment: The other day as I was waiting for the elevator, the doors opened and a friendly black man walked out carrying a large watermelon and humming joyfully. I was so shocked by the stereotype fulfilment that I tried to think of something very white that I could do to balance things back out. At the time all I could think of was to start diligently doing my taxes, or to start oppressing him, but after long, drawn out deliberation with my friend Hello Leslie, we determined that what I should have done was purchase a bottle of 1000 Island Salad Dressing.

Tax Evasion: Speaking of doing taxes, what the hell is up with Wesley Snipes not paying his?? I'm twenty-five and broke and I pay my taxes, why didn't Wesley Snipes suck it up and pay his? I guess while he was going around, "always bet(ting) on black," he never reported his winnings. Now he's going to jail for several years because of it, and while I'm positive that "Blade" would have a safe, protected jail experience, I'm not so sure I can say the same thing for "Willie Mays Hayes." Pay your damn taxes! We all do.

Stamp Rate Increase: I'm not sure there is any other business in the world that comes across so blatantly as dicks. The USPS continues to increase stamp prices, but not in a way that allows them to make dramatic increases in money or to make it simple for the few people who still use the USPS to use their old stamps. No, they increase their cost ONE FRIGGEN CENT. So those of us who have 41 cent stamps, need to spot up the extra CENT to send mail, or buy a package of 1 cent stamps. I find it hard to believe that 1 cent stamps cost LESS THAN 1 CENT to produce. The USPS needs a new gig, because there isn't about to be a snail mail explosion (metaphorically).

Charging the Mound: I haven't seen someone charge the mound in years, so it was very refreshing to see Richie Sexson charge the mound against the Rangers last night. He ran straight for the pitcher after almost getting hit by the pitch, chucked his helmet right at the guy and then tackled him and started punching while the rest of the players from both sides charged into the ruckus. The best part was watching the pitcher realize that 6'8, 240 lbs Sexson was actually running at him and just duck to prepare for the damage. On the downside for Mariner fans, with a .208 AVG. this year, that was the biggest hit Sexson has had all season.

I'm Not There (this one's kind of like the fruity nougat chocolate): The Dylan bio-pic like never before had some great acting, but it occurred to me about 15 minutes in that I neither know much about, nor really care much about Bob Dylan. All the references were pretty much lost on me, and I ended up being pretty confused on a lot of the story threads, but I did love the acting and seeing the unique vision into who Bob Dylan really is...besides a sixty-something year old man who looks and dresses like a pirate...

Hi Fives & Dives,

P.S. I don't know what that means either...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Food Shopping While Hungry, and Wyclef Telling Us When He's Playing Guitar

I would have posted yesterday or the day before, but since I've already posted FIFTEEN TIMES about my shit-tastic immune system and how often I get sick, I didn't think it'd be worth it. But when the sick passes, the appetite comes back, and that's when bad things happen, because there's nothing left in the house and it's time to go:

Shopping Hungry: They say you should NEVER go food shopping hungry and they are absolutely right. I find that almost every time I go food shopping, it's when I'm hungry. Bad things always happen. I'll go in expecting to buy one sandwhich from the deli, or one package of ravioli and some sauce, but then those aisles call to me, and the next thing I know, I have all sorts of ridiculous stuff overflowing my hand basket. And it never occurs to me that these items are bad ideas until I get home, have some food in me, and unpack the veggie burger patties, roasted tomatoes, whole deli pickles, super-sized box of Cracklin' Oat Bran, etc.

Then all of a sudden, I wonder what I ever intended to do with a specialty glass bottle of marinated artichoke hearts?? Did I really expect to start drinking vast amounts of juice? Because I usually end up with a half gallon of strawberry-banana juice, pineapple-juice, orange-strawberry-banana-pineapple juice, and maybe even a mango-guava if the price was right. Because that's really what it is-- on a lot of items, high prices seem more reasonable when you're hungry. I won't buy a box of Triscuits for 5 dollars until I'm hungry and shopping and I WANT that box of Triscuits for 5 dollars.

Then there's what I like to call the "Delusions of Food Construction." This is where I'm so hungry that I see separate items and assume that THIS IS THE TIME I will take the leap to use these items together to create something tremendous. Hell yeah, it's definitely worth buying yogurt, peanut butter, bananas, frozen strawberries, and soy milk for 20 dollars so I can make maybe one semi-tasty smoothie that I could get at Jamba Juice for 4 bucks. Or my personal favorite: The Veggie Sandwhich. When I go in to the store and get a special kind of motivation and confidence, truly believing that it's worth spending the money to get all the ingredients to make an actually tasty and healthy vegetable sandwhich. Cucumbers, onions, mushrooms, sprouts, cream cheese, italian dressing, tomatoes, rolls, and on and on until I've suddenly dropped FORTY DOLLARS on ingredients that I will maybe use once, store improperly, realize I don't really want to eat, and leave hidden in the vegetable "crisper" until they are rotten and the farthest thing from crispy possible. Yet, no matter how many times I learn my lesson, I keep shopping hungry.

Wyclef Telling Us When He's Playing His Guitar:
I noticed it in the past, but never has it been as prevalent and obvious as on Wyclef Jean's newest (and fantastic) album, "The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant." I guess maybe he didn't know which song people would end up hearing on the radio so he felt the need to do it on every song, but Wyclef constantly feels it's necessary to tell us that he's gonna play his guitar. "Gimme my guitar," he says, or, "Where's my guitar at?" or "I'm gonna play something for you," he feels the need to bring to our attention. It makes me want to tell him, "Thanks, Wyclef, we got it-- you play guitar. How about you just play it, and since we're listening to YOUR ALBUM and since we all know by now that YOU PLAY GUITAR, we'll just assume it's you!" That's like if everytime I posted I felt the need to say, "Now lemme crack a joke for a second." You'll know when it happens, I don't need to announce it. Or maybe he's just trying to show how he's different than other people in hip-hop. Like, maybe when he says, "Check this out on guitar," what he really means is, "Fifty-Cent couldn't do this!" and he's probably right. I couldn't see Fitty taking guitar lessons so he could work one mean riff into his songs. "Magic Stick" is not about his flute that he breaks out at the end of his album. I don't see Kanye West jammin' on a saxaphone, although I think it might add to his sound. Maybe Lupe Fiasco will start playing the trumpet. Maybe we'll hear Jay-Z say, "I'm gonna play a little something for ya...on my french horn," on his next album. If so, Wyclef has done some good. If not, please, Wyclef, we know, please just do it.

This Is Me Saying Bye,