Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Witz Pickz: Merry Christmases

Merry Christmas, everybody! Christmas is a time for gifts, celebration, and, as I understand it, having your parents threaten divorce, run down the thirty year backlog of familial grievances, and ultimately make up in time to give Grandma a hug at dinner. Well, this year, Christmas was in full effect, and you're not gonna believe how many I celebrated: FOUR. FUCKING. CHRISTMASES.

Yep, count 'em. One in the morning at my house that looked like a deleted scene from The Jersey Shore, followed by another at my Aunt and Uncle's house, followed by a stop at my Grandma's house, and capped off by Christmas round two at the Witz household, which nicely bookended the day, and, as far as I can tell, the cliche holiday movie my family starred in. Four.

Unfortunately, the Christmases didn't pack as much hilarity as the movie Four Christmases, which I actually saw, and while it wasn't as terrible as I expected, I did find myself surprisingly thinking, "Ya know what? I think they coulda used another Christmas." What WAS hilarious (read: shameful and sad) was the bounty under the Christmas tree for yours truly.

I knew something had gone horribly wrong in my life when I unwrapped a box and heard these words come out of my mouth: "Oh! I know what this is-- these are my bowls." I froze.


You see, I asked for a couple of useful kitchen items: two pans and a wooden spoon. With no other input, my parents took this theme and ran with it. This isn't to say I didn't get things that I like and will use, but when those four words came out of my mouth, everything suddenly came into focus. Panicking, I looked around at the my gifts: bowls, pans, spoons, strainer, steamer, tongs, spatulas, cheese grater...these weren't Christmas gifts-- this was a WEDDING REGISTRY.

When I was in junior high, and didn't have a girlfriend, my mom once told me, "You know, Witz, it's ok if you're gay, you know that, right?" and I had to explain, "I'm not gay, mom!* I'm just unlucky, awkward, and you've bought me an inordinate number of corduroy pants." (In addition, when I was five, my parents had furnished my bedroom like Willy Wonka's Gay Playhouse and decided I'd be better served leaving it that way through high school and college. Just take a look at the picture below from my family's recent tag sale.**) This was just like that-- my parents had given me the "Sad and Single Christmas Package," aka the "Better Learn to Cook, Hun" collection.

I turned and looked at the one remaining gift. Medium sized, heavy, contents unknown. I knew exactly what it was, but wasn't ready to turn that corner in life. "Why don't you guys finish opening your gifts?" I suggested, but they weren't having it. I turned back to the box; to my future. Guys don't buy rogaine because they don't want to admit that they're going bald. Middle-aged men wear their pants lower because they don't want to admit they've gained belt sizes. I didn't want to open my last gift, because it's just not the time in my life to own--

"A cuisinart."
"..." (read: expectant parental silence)
"Awesome!" (read: Oh god...Oh. God.)
"We thought you could use one." (read: You're not getting any younger. Or more employed.)
"Yeah, definitely. Thanks!" (I love you mom and dad and I do like the present, but what has happened to my life and what in the hell am I going to use a cuisinart for?
"Even if you don't know what to do with it now, you'll have it forever." (read: Get used to it, because cuisinarts are a useful, quality product and ours has lasted for about thirty years. This cuisinart will last longer than most of your pets, relationships, goals, and dreams.)
"Thank you, I really do like it." (read: I will glue on a mustache and chef hat and call it Sergio.)

So there it is. I own a cuisinart. I can pulse, blend, whip, chop, and puree almost anything. I am officially in my late-twenties. And when that time comes, when I get married and it's time to put things on the registry, William-Sonoma can get the hell out of the way, because you can bet your ass I'm going to Best Buy. Until then, I'll use my pans, my spoons, my bowls, and, yes, my cuisinart; and as I hold down the button to slice that onion, nobody will be able to tell which tears are real.

At Least Now I Can Use the Line, "Let's Put the "Sin" Back in Cuisinart,"

*"Not that there's anything wrong with that."


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Witz Pickz: Best Supporting Cousin

When I agreed to see my cousin's high school production of Romeo & Juliet, I assumed I would be playing the role of Supportive Cousin. In fact, the thought crossed my mind that I might even end up nominated for a Best Supporting Cousin award, which would be great, because while I probably wouldn't win, I'd get to say those magic words that I've dreamed about ever since I was an underachieving teenager: "It's just an honor to be nominated." Unfortunately, the director (i.e. Life) decided that, while my Supportive Cousin audition was decent, I was way better suited for the role of Creepy Potential Child Molester.*

As the play approached, I received an email from my aunt, telling me that she and my uncle would not be attending the play. This, coupled with the fact that my cousin was the Assistant Stage Manager, meant that I would be a twenty-seven year old guy, going to see a group of high school strangers perform Romeo & Juliet-- and I'd be all alone. Don't worry though, as my aunt pointed out, "a lot of the audience for today's 4pm show will be students." Perfect!

Thus, I found myself, at 3:45pm, in a high school hallway, waiting to be let into an auditorium, surrounded by high school kids, some teachers, and a few scattered parents, staring at me with confused, guarded frowns. I immediately thought about my clothing-- t-shirt, jeans, jacket. A child molestor wouldn't wear a ringer-tee would he?...After a couple of genuine attempts at self-delusion, I admitted that a ringer-tee is probably the number one item a child molester WOULD wear. Dammit.

That's the real problem: the more you try to NOT look like a child molester, the more you end up looking EXACTLY like a child molester. Realizing that I was just a guy standing in a room of high school kids, I tried to play it cool. I pretended to text on my phone and realized that it looked a lot like I was taking pictures of the kids around me. I attempted to look over the crowd as if I was searching for one person in particular, but soon acknowledged that I appeared to be scanning the crowd for the special someone I intended on molesting. I even talked on the phone for a few minutes, but as I stood in the corner, every sentence I spoke probably looked like, "Pull the van around," to anyone watching.

When the auditorium doors opened, I waited until most people had gone in and then looked for the least molesty place to sit. Most of the middle seats were taken, and sitting down in the lone open seat next to a high school student was out of the question. There were plenty of seats open in the front, but that seemed like a pretty flagrant place for a pedophile to sit. Should I sit in the front simply because it was so obviously creepy and therefore I couldn't possibly be a creeper? No, better to play it safe and sit towards the an open row...IN THE SHADOWS...shit. I took my seat and waited for the seats to fill in-- and fill in they did! Students and teachers continued to pour into the auditorium as 4pm approached. The middle filled up, the front filled up, and the back filled up-- except, of course for my row of ten seats, which remained COOOOMPLEEEETELY EEEEEMPTY! I was either creepy or very uncool, and neither seemed like a win.

Being alone in my row with a filled row behind me and across the aisle from me meant that I, too, had an audience. When the lights finally went down and the play started, a whole slew of new issues arose that I hadn't even considered: do I laugh at the sexual innuendos? How do I react when the teenagers kiss? Where would a not-child-molester look when the bare-chested boys and busty girls prance around on stage?** There's the problem: when you start to worry about these things, you are no longer NOT a child molester, you ARE a NOT-child-molester. The difference is subtle, but vast.

Now I know what you're thinking: "It could be worse. At least he doesn't have condoms in his jacket pocket,"...So, here's the thing about that: you know that whole thing about a butterfly flapping its wings in China and a tsunami destroys California? Well, it's like that. Remember my post on Trojan Ecstasy Condoms? After that post, I bought a pack to pass out to my friends, both to acquire multiple reactions to the product, and to further illuminate my sad sad life. My last weekend in SF, I placed two in my jacket pocket to give to Nitro and Turbo, only to fail at passing them out. The condoms then traveled to LA, San Diego, Austin, DC, Brooklyn, and finally, the 4pm high school performance of Romeo & Juliet. The tsunami had reached the shore.

I felt like I had a bomb on a plane; drugs at the border; a...Rapist Club Card in a high school auditorium. They knew. They all knew. I sat through the rest of the play, which was actually really well done, and waited for my cousin to appear at the front of the house. I realized that the longer I waited, the creepier I seemed, but that when she appeared, all would be explained and I would be vindicated. So I waited...and since I was waiting anyway, what harm was there in using the bathroom?

In elementary school, there was a short-lived, ill-advised period of time when they installed a stop light in the cafeteria to monitor noise-level. When the noise got too loud, the light would go to yellow, and then to red, which would set off a loud alarm. Every lunch, the light would inevitably turn yellow, and we would all start yelling to get the alarm to go off, which would, in turn, set off a round of cheers from all of us kids. All day at that play, the light had been yellow. Walking into that high school bathroom was like screaming at the yellow light.

The minute I walked in and discovered the under-sized urinal, I knew I'd made a mistake. The kids in the bathroom got quiet. A flood of kids walked in after me laughing, and the chatter stopped as they spotted me-- "Who's the old guy?" you could hear them think. I wanted to shout out, "Billy Madison 2!" or, "21 Jump Street, bitchessss!" but I knew they wouldn't even get the references. I finished up, washed my hands, and quickly walked out of the bathroom. The few remaining students and adults in the waiting area stared at me as I exited. I looked around, lost, not sure what to do to show that I wasn't Creepy Potential Child Molester-- that I was playing the role of Supportive Cousin. I grew flushed, started sweating, looked around desperately-- an innocent man only too aware of the circumstantial evidence against him.

That's when my cousin called my name and appeared out of the thinning crowd like the governor granting me a stay of execution. "That's right, people," I wanted to shout. "I'm not Ringer-Tee Boys Bathroom Guy, I'm WITZ! Respectable Twenty-something hugging--..." --well, just some teenage girl as far as they were concerned, but it didn't matter. The tension in the room eased, eyes were averted, and I was me again-- Supportive Cousin Witz.

"How are you?" my cousin asked.
"Great, how are you?" I replied, but what I was really thinking in my head, as she gave me a hug, and we began to chat about the play and life and being cousins was, "It's just an honor to be nominated."

High School Musical 4: Megan's Law,

*While debating how to spell molester/molestor, Jezter and I decided that Molestor sounds like a child molesting robot. As Jezter said, "Molestor: the child molesting robot. Nobody knows why Molestor was created, and even fewer know why we continue to manufacture them."

**And would a not-child molester use the word "prance"???

Monday, November 16, 2009

Witz Pickz: Goin' Nuts - Today's Project

Let me preface this by stating that the reason I haven't posted recently is because I have been doing a number of very cool things and seeing cool people in New York City, a cool place that I have moved to via a cool road trip. Having said that, let me explain what I have spent the last twenty minutes doing.

I have spent the last twenty minutes sorting through nuts and cranberries in an attempt to create a quality trek mix out of assorted materials from Trader Joe's. Don't worry-- it's worse than it sounds.

You see, I have one big ziplock bag which was filled with two bags of Trader Joe's "Just Almonds, Cashews, and Cranberries," which is so named because it doesn't have any fucking chocolate in it and they don't want you to have any misconception of what you are getting yourself into for $4.49. Over the last couple of weeks (read: over a couple of hours two weeks ago), I have eaten the contents of the ziplock bag to "Casual Completion." "Casual Completion" means that I have eaten enough of the cashews and almonds that they are not easily discovered in the overabundant sea of dried cranberries which are in the aforementioned abundance either because dried cranberries are really cheap or because Trader Joe's dramatically overestimated their appeal. In other words: There are too many fucking cranberries.

Having given up on my big ziplock bag, I bought ANOTHER bag of the same mix along with a bag of Trader Joe's chocolate chips so that I could make my own badass trek mix. I poured the mix and the chocolate into a smaller ziplock bag, and quickly realized that there was way too much chocolate in the mix to still refer to it as "trek mix" and not "dessert." In order to keep my self-delusion alive, something had to be done. This is when the other bag caught my eye.

Yep. For the past twenty minutes, I have been sifting through dried cranberries in order to salvage almonds and cashews that I can take from the larger ziplock bag and place into the smaller ziplock bag until the "Trek Mix" ratio is restored. I have been doing this to the point that my palm is now slightly red from the berries, a condition I call "Cran-Hand" which is not only sticky and annoying, but makes your hand look like you've been putting in overtime hours at the Fluffer Factory.*

It's important to note that I am not clinically insane, nor do I have OCD. At the same time, it's important to note that I'm partially color blind, especially red/brown/green, and so distinguishing an almond from multiple cranberries is not as easy as it might seem. I think the MOST important thing to note is that I have other things I could do to occupy my time, I have $4.49 to buy another bag of trek mix, and yet there isn't a particularly good reason not to do what I have been doing. At the end of the day, I have a pretty badass bag of trek mix and you don't...and that's pretty cool.

Wapner At Five,

*And I don't mean this place...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Witz Pickz: Drive-By-Numbers -- Days Nine through Eleven (DC to New Jersey and New York)

It took me eleven days, 3600 miles, two Days Inns, not enough Sonic milkshakes, one parking ticket, more Subway sandwiches than I'm comfortable with, one extremely informed drunken conversation about nuclear proliferation, and at least twelve instances of being caught dancing to Since U Been Gone while driving-- but I made it to New York City.

To be honest, I felt like the trip was over when I made it to DC. I mean, after all that driving from Austin to DC, I was only four hours from NYC, it felt like the northeast, the territory was familiar, and the odds of being deliveranced dropped off dramatically.

Days Nine through Eleven: Washington, D.C. to Brooklyn, NY

5 - Hours spent in a DC coffeehouse waiting for my friend to get off work. With all of DC to explore and the entire afternoon to do so in, I decided to kill the day writing a post, catching up on gchat, and sitting stationary in one downtown coffeehouse. They had free wi-fi, which led to me wondering what the proper etiquette is for length of stay compared to amount purchased. I think a dollar an hour makes sense, or one product per hour, but I have no real logic behind that. In my case, since my computer and bag were not able to be seen from the counter, I bought one frolatte (frozen latte-- oh how clever will we humans get) for 3 dollars and spent the entire damn day in their establishment.

8 - The numbers of pictures I ended up with on my camera at the end of the trip.

118811 - The palindrome on my odometer that I managed to capture with my digital camera. Apparently, that's the type of cross-country driving occurrence I wanted to share with you all. BUT, do note that there are TWO palindromes in the picture occurring simultaneously-- the odometer, and the trip meter...pretttttty cooooool:

12.5 - The percentage of pictures I took of a FUCKING PALINDROME!

3 - The number of songs I got stuck in my head that probably prove I'm a sociopath. Do normal people ever just get "Ba Ba Black Sheep," "If I Had A Hammer," or, "Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo" stuck in there head for no apparent reason???

"What's your favorite musical genre?"
"Oh, mostly Nursery Rhymes and American Folk Standards..."

35 - The percentage of foliage I appreciated or at least the percent I actually believe I am capable of enjoying. I like leaves, in the fall they are pretty, and I love the feeling of the Northeast in October, but I don't think I'll ever appreciate leaves to the extent that people call them FOLIAGE. My final four hours took me through some very nice, forested areas, as well as some delightful New Jersey tolls, and I remember thinking, "Well, this is all very nice-- I should take a picture or something so other people can appreciate it," but I guess it didn't look the same backwards and forwards, so I just kept on driving... New York City. Successfully. Alive.

If Reading My Blog Provided the Same Amount of Entertainment As Watching the Movie "Road Trip," Then I Think Someone Owes Me Some Money,

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Witz Pickz: Drive-By-Numbers -- Days Seven and Eight (Austin to DC)

You haven't lived if you haven't driven 1600 miles in two days, alone, in the rain, in traffic, with nothing but your ipod and the threat of getting pulled over to keep you awake. You also probably haven't contemplated road-trip suicide...

Days Seven and Eight: Austin to Washington, D.C.

Miles: 1583 (each and every one a gem)

3 - Signs asking, "If You Died Today, Where Would You Spend Eternity?" Each time I saw one of these signs, I had the same thoughts. 1) That's a fairly pessimistic sign to have on a highway when I'm driving 85mph in the rain next to a car with a guy who's eye fat appears to be covering his eye holes. 2) Probably wherever my body landed. 3) In a ditch in West Texas. 4) Given the choice, probably City Pizza in Hartford, Connecticut.

17 - Number of times I listened to my own band (A Victory Nonetheless) on my ipod. Just in case this blog wasn't narcissistic enough, I sang along to MYSELF, air drummed along with Turbo, and threw in some air guitar along with 24-Hour Jim for good measure. Fortunately, all of that only put a minor dent in the hours I had to drive.

6 - Both the number of times I went to Subway on the trip AND the number of teeth that the woman who worked at the Days Inn in west Nashville had!

2 - Terrifying people I met. The second one came in the form of a 20 something guy in a beat to hell van late at night at a Tennessee gas station. He looked like if a rat had traded his ability to sing for human legs and spat at my car while making eye contact with me as he got out of the passenger seat of the van. I didn't know if it was because my car was from California, because I am Jewish, or because he just had to spit at that exact moment, but he had Gas Station Stabbing written all over him, so I got the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

The FIRST creepy guy I met at Subway. I needed to use the outlets at his table to charge my phone, so he invited me to sit with him. After talking for a bit pleasantly, he randomly told me that Memphis is the murder capitol of the USA along with Detroit and that I should be careful. He then told me I was very brave to be going cross-country on my own, followed by asking, "Is that your little car out there with all the stuff in it?" Suddenly, I realized I'd told this guy quite a bit about my trip and myself. I thought back to what I knew about him. His name was Larry, he was recently divorced, he was eating dinner at Subway even though he lived nearby, and he was engaged to a woman he met on Christian Minglers dot com. I decided that yes, Larry probably WAS a serial killer, but he more than likely only killed women, so I was prooobably alright. "If you died today, where would you spend Eternity?" Certainly not in tiny pieces strewn across the Mid-Atlantic States, so I decided to get out of there and drive as quickly as possible past Memphis.

1 - Craziest shit I've seen-- I can only describe what I saw as a "Birdnado." As I drove through Arkansas (The Natural State, incidentally, which seems about right-- nothing about Arkansas looks like it's had plastic surgery of any kind...or braces...or a high school education), I saw something tearing around chaotically by a rundown house in a field. My initial thought was that it had to be a tornado or wind of some kind. It was a massive streaming, arching tunnel of movement. As I got closer, however, I saw that it was actually hundreds of birds, following each other and moving in a giant cluster, probably eating bugs (or, as I really thought in my head: battling the forces of good by taking on the form of demon birds). Basically, imagine someone asked you to picture the scariest bird related image you could-- that's what I saw. I drove away knowing that the world is a much more frightening place than I thought.

1 - Night sleeping in a giant king-sized bed with three pillows arranged in the form of another person next to me for company. You guys have done that, right? The road can be a lonely place.

Sonic Good,

P.S. I meant to post this the other day, but right before leaving SF, my friends and I watched an episode of Storm Stories (logically) and heard this magnificent quote: "The thing about Texas is that if you hang around anywhere very long, someone in a pickup truck is gonna come by with a chainsaw." Wow-- maybe I was brave to drive cross country by myself...

Friday, October 09, 2009

Witz Pickz: Drive-By-Numbers -- Day Four through Day Six (Las Cruces to Austin)

First off, yes, I'm alive! It occurred to me that not blogging might imply road-death, and was worried about the influx of emails I would get inquiring as to my safety. When that didn't happen, I realized that not posting regularly is probably an issue and that one day it might lead to my doom as I wither away with broken legs in a canyon or ditch somewhere while somewhere someone sits asking, "When the hell is Witz gonna post about how he embarassed himself this week?" So, for those of you passive worriers-- I'm alive. Meaning this scenario didn't happen:

"Oh no, my car broke down!"
"We're here to fix it."
"Really? I didn't even call anyone yet!
"We've been keeping tabs on you."
", you don't look like Triple A..."
"We're Triple K."

It turns out that while things might look scary on paper, I-10 is a major interstate and I wasn't the only person driving from Point A to Point B on it. It's what makes America great and what makes it terrible-- ubiquitous mainstream culture. At times it's depressing and awful, but during the stretch from San Diego to Austin, I fully appreciated the safety of the highway, the regularity of the gas stations, and the resources provided by chain stores. I bought a much needed shirt at Old Navy, got wifi at Starbucks, and found what I needed at a Radio Shack, all in one plaza in Nowhereville, New Mexico. To the numbers:

Days Four though Six: Las Cruces to Austin and The ATX

Miles: 670

Speed Limit: 80 - Ok, so 75mph was awesome, but there comes a point when a speed limit goes from being amazingly liberating to being condescending. Sure, if I was driving a Corvette or Mustang I'd have unleashed the need for speed on that open road, but when I'm driving a fully packed Subaru Outback that maxes out at about 87mph before shaking wildly, it's just mean-spirited taunting.

Balorhea: 1 - There's only one place named Balorhea, but that was enough to have me giggling like a five year old. If you haven't laughed already, no jokes I make will get you to, so I'll leave it at that.

Dead Armadillos: 14 - I counted no fewer that FOURTEEN dead armadillos on the side of the road as I drove through Texas...which was great, because I'd never seen an armadillo before and these were completely stationary and mostly intact. I know that should be kinda sad, but armadillos have the unfortunate case of looking like something out of Super Mario Brothers, and so they just leave me wondering who jumped on their head. The answer is that a multiple ton truck landed on their head at 80+ miles per hour. I bet most of them had a hemi.

Austin itself was a great time, and I got to see both The ATX (my friend, who's Witz Pickz nickname only now becomes an issue) and Dani Law, as well as a good friend from High School, Roy Shivers. I do have a few stats though:

4,305: The number of college kids I saw on east 6th Street aka Dirty Sixth that I felt the world could do without.

2: The number of Mesquite Smoked Beers I was able to drink before feeling completely grossed out. Shiner makes the beer and it basically tastes like you dumped some bbq chips into your mouth and then took a swig of beer. I'm pretty sure if you eat Bacon Chocolate while drinking Mesquite Beer, Willy Wonka shows up and grants you three wishes (one of which probably being to make your insides stop feeling like they want to be your outsides.)

1: The number of turtle races I saw at a bar. Nothing says, "Classy night out" like a bucket of turles being dumped out and watching as they haphazardly charge towards freedom in a race they have no concept of. I think this is what the Kings of Leon song, "The Bucket," is about. My only real thought was, "If someone drops some ooze in that bucket, shit is gonna get nuts!"

J. Dilla vs. 36 Armadillos - Who Wins?,

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Witz Pickz: Drive-By-Numbers -- Days Two and Three (Santa Monica to San Diego to Las Cruces)

Days two and three took me from Santa Monica through San Diego to my current residence at the Days Inn in Las Cruces, New Mexico. After ten hours in the car today and the last two nights on couches, I feel like a ten year old kid in a luxury hotel for the first time. TV, AC, heated pool, hot tub, and TWO queen beds!? I'm pretty sure if I push the two beds together, the sky is going to open up and a bright light is going to ask whether I want to wait a while or if I'd like to go to Heaven right then and there.

Day Two: Santa Monica to San Diego

Miles Driven: 135 miles

Number of Extremely Specific Parking Meters: 1 -- A quarter gets you 12 minutes, a dime gets you 4 minutes and 48 seconds, and a nickel gets you 2 minutes and 24 seconds. That seemed noteworthy.

Number of Attractive Exterior Sides at PETCO Park: 0

Number of Reasons I'm Ridiculous: +1 -- I was consciously attracted to and hungout in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego because I really like the band The GasLIGHT Anthem. What is wrong with me.

Hours Spent Smelling EFFING DELICIOUS Due to Use of Yogurt Vanilla Honey Body Wash I Found in My Friend M-Rob's Shower: 6

Rabbit Sightings: 4 -- In a shamefully desperate attempt to keep me from leaving, San Diego delivered no fewer than four bunnies (the real kind...which makes it even hard to type without feeling embarassed) to me while I was on the UCSD campus. This is how great southern california is-- NYC has a rat problem, but San Diego has a BUNNY infestation.

Day Three: San Diego to Las Cruces

Leaving San Diego this morning marked the beginning of my eastern progress, 690 miles of progress to where I am now, and thus began the official countdown of:

2 -- Days Until I'm on Fire in a Ditch in West Texas. I'm going to Austin, which means some quality time through the part of Texas known for high school football, poverty, and extreme conservatism and bigotry. All of my friends agree that the odds are pretty good that I'm going to be raped, murdered, and hate-crimed in no particular order. Two of my friends went so far as to predict that I will find my doom in a ditch (jinx, you owe each other cokes!). Let the countdown begin.

75 -- The speed limit for almost the entire drive. At least I'm rushing to my doom. My 16 year old self got extremely giddy when I saw the speed limit posted, and I immediately thought about driving 120 (I know that's not logical). Unfortunately, without my ID (which will make "Nameless" a nice touch to my Texas obituary), the amazingness of the 75mph speed limit ended up only making me feel completely safe going 80mph.

2 - Border Patrol Checkpoints. I was inspected twice by border patrol and both times they waved me through pretty quickly. I guess white-jewish guy wearing a Stanford t-shirt, listening to Cloud Cult, and eating a Subway sub (making that 3 subway lunches in 3 days, but improving my visits to bathroom voyeur ratio to 3:1) didn't set off any of their mental alerts. My second encounter did allow for a quick pleasant exchange of my plans, leading to the border patrol officer telling me to, "Have fun," and me horrifically responding, "You too!"

3 - Hypothetical Road Signs. New Mexico wants to inform us of everything, but commit to nothing. I repeatedly saw these three signs:

"Dust storms may exist"
"Zero visibility possible"
"Report possible drunk drivers"

The existence and uselessness of those signs baffles me, but also makes me with they put up signs like, "Tsunamis Impossible Here" or "Sasquatch is a Myth." These were only topped by other New Mexico signage. First, a sign saying, "State Penitentiary Nearby: PLEASE do not pickup hitchhikers." You know what, I bet it's ok just to say State Penitentiary nearby. If people pick up hitchikers there, they're idiots, and saying "please" is just plain absurd. If someone wants to pick up a Prison Hitchhiker, they're not gonna stop just because you asked nicely.

Finally, New Mexico has random 20 mile spans called "Safety Corridors." They're safe because they have signs telling you not to drink and drive and the speeding fines are doubled. Which means that in reality, they are Scary Corridors where I think I'm going to get a speeding ticket AND they make the rest of the highway TERRIFYING CORRIDORS. I was under the impression all major highways were more or less safe, but apparently, all but 20 miles of New Mexico is a goddamn death trap. Good thinking, people.

Oh yeah, and 1 -- My First Sonic of the Trip.

"Ok, you ordered a crispy chicken wrap, fries, and a chocolate shake?
"Will that be it?"
"Alright that'll--"
"And a grilled cheese."
"...A crispy chicken wrap, fries, a chocolate shake...and a grilled cheese."
"Anything else?"
"No thanks-- it's just me in the car."

Ten Hours to Austin Tomorrow...

"State Penitentiary Nearby: Please Do Not Invite Wanderers to Sleep in Your Extra Queen Bed,"

Monday, October 05, 2009

Witz Pickz: Drive-By-Numbers -- Day One (SF to Santa Monica)

It's official-- I've left San Francisco to drive across the country to the land of pizza, bagels, and more than likely, a combination of the two: New York City. Since I felt like making things interesting and instinctually foresaw a Donner Party death if I passed through the rockies, I decided to take a bit of a different route, which I have been referring to as the "Wrong Way, Asshole" route. Other people might call it the southern route, which is why I write this today from a cafe in San Diego after spending last night in Santa Monica, or as I call it, "The Place Where I Should Stop My Road Trop Because It's Beautiful and Fun and There's NO FUCKING WINTER EVER." Here are some stats from the first day:

Day One: SF to Santa Monica

Number of Driver's Licenses: 0
Because Life hates me (certainly not because I'm irresponsible) and because there wasn't a 100% chance that I am going to die nameless, in a ditch, on fire in West Texas (more on that later), I managed to lose my driver's license Saturday night, which was great, because it was pretty much the ONLY THING I COULDN'T AFFORD TO LOSE. Like, my car would be slightly worse, but otherwise, the thing that legally allows me to drive 3500 miles across the country the day before I am leaving to do so is number one on the list.* So, the trip already has an extra element of danger, which as we all know, only improves the plot.

Miles Driven: 385

Number of Songs on my iPod: 7155
Number of Songs I Listened To on Random Shuffle: 132
Number of Everclear Songs on My iPod: 12
Number of Everclear Songs Played on Random Shuffle: THREE. My iPod effing LOVES Everclear. Sure, they have a bunch of hits on that one album, but holy crap. I have 60 Blink-182 songs and I didn't hear a single one, but Father of Mine popped up only eight songs apart from Everything to Everyone? But you know what? It was awesome!

Number of Subway Sandwiches Eaten: 1
Number of Subway Female Bathroom Attendants That Don't Speak English Who Stayed In the Bathroom While I Peed at a Urinal: 1 -- That's a 1:1 ratio so far! I did everything in my communicative power to demonstrate my intentions and get the girl to leave for a minute, but she just smiled, nodded, said, "Ok," and pointed towards the urinals! Very few things are more awkward than standing at a urinal, with a subway bag around your wrist, a backpack on your back, and a Subway bathroom girl listening a few feet away-- but by deftly managing to not pee on my lunch and on account of the girl not leaving, this did prove my lifelong belief that I am spectacular at peeing and people both know and want to witness this fact. Either that or the girl was shocked and appalled when I actually peed with her there. I didn't stick around for a reaction.

Number of All-You-Can-Eat Sliders Consumed: 8 -- For dinner, my friend Peterageous and I found an amazing infinite sliders for 5 dollars bar. I know, I know, I should have done better, but coupled with the 2 for 1 beers, Peterageous and I went toe to toe on eight chicken sliders and called it a night. We probably would have done better if we hadn't also eaten rice that came with it and apparently was created by someone who once thought, "You know, rice is great, but you know what I wish I was eating at the EXACT same time? STRING BEANS."

That about sums up (heheh, that's, like, a road trip blog format math pun) the trip to Santa Monica. I'm sure in future posts I'll be accruing more things like, "Strands of H1N1," but for now, things are going alright.

Ya Know What Was A Stretch? Making People Spell "I Cup"...,

*This is obviously excluding necessary body parts. In this case, however, I'm referring to lost property, and although it would be both amusing and harrowing to call someone and say, "Dude, you're not gonna believe what I lost last night-- MY LEGS!" it's neither socially acceptable, nor remotely the appropriate way of spreading the driver's license wins.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Witz Pickz: The Mile High Club

It's 2009 and I started the day giddy because I finally own a laptop that I can viably use on an airplane. You see, I'm flying to Boston, and my previous laptop sounded more like a jet engine than the actual plane's engine. This made me vaguely nervous about actual plane engines, but also made it impossible to turn on while flying, especially when the battery life lasted about as long as it would take me to say, "No, it's not a bomb per se..." This video is a pretty good metaphor for my old computer's effectiveness in life:

Man Electrocuted On Train - Watch more Funny Videos

My new laptop, however, is sleak, has a great battery, and is incredibly silent. Whichs brings us to this:


For some people, The Mile High Club means having sex on an airplane. For me, it means blogging from 35,000 feet. We play with the cards that we're dealt. I'm currently on a plane, on the internet, blogging about being on a plane on the internet-- and it's awesome. In fact, everything is. I feel like Jon Stewart's character in Half Baked: "You ever look at the back of a one dollar bill...ON WEEED?" You ever talk on gchat...ON A PLAAAANE? You ever watch House...ON A PLANE!? You ever make longshot sportsbets...ON A PLANE? I HAVE.

I was talking to my sister, who just had oral surgery, when we had the idea:

Witz: How's your mouth?
Switz: I look like Tim Allen in The Santa Claus.
Witz: Hahahahaha
Switz: Not even exagerating. Skype?

Ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod-- can we do that?? Is it possible to Skype On A Plane?* I mean, it's a phone call, but it's not TECHNICALLY a phone call because it uses the internet. I'd be on a plane, on a computer, on the internet, on Skype, making a call back to the ground. I wanted to do it, but was concerned that the plane would explode, along with my mind. My face contained a combination of fear and endless possibility:

We both logged into Skype and attempted a call. As it tried to connect, I felt all powerful. If this worked, we'd be achieving things that astronauts have only dreamed of. More importantly, I'd be able to say, "Putting the SKY back in SKYPE," (which is waaay better than their poorly received niche marketing slogan "Putting the K-Y back in SKYPE."). Ultimately, the call failed. Maybe it was our connection, maybe it's still possible, but at that moment I remembered that we are not Gods, we are but humans. Even astronauts have dreams.

Having said that, here are some things that I would like to type, that I don't imagine anyone has ever typed from a plane:

Whoops a daisy

The bass tabs for the chorus of "Dammit" by Blink 182:

And finally, the lyrics to The Final Countdown by Europe:
"We're leaving together,
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back,
To earth, who can tell?
I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?
It's the final countdown...
We're heading for Venus and still we stand tall
Cause maybe they've seen us and welcome us all
With so many light years to go and things to be found
I'm sure that we'll all miss her so."

Ya know what, maybe I have joined the Mile High Club, because if this isn't masturbation, I don't know what is.**

We Fly High, No Lie, You Know This, Ballin,

*The dramatically underwhelming sequel to Snakes On A Plane.
**I do know what is.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Soy Sauce Disaster!

Life can change in an instant. One moment, you have all the soy sauce you could ever possibly need, and the next moment...just some empty, shattered glass.

What happened was this: I had opened the refrigerator to get almond butter for my toast and orange juice for my glass. As I lifted out the juice, the entire door shelf gave out and everything fell about 18 inches to the cold, lifeless tile. The salad dressings were ok. The parmesan cheese was ok. Unfortunately, the door also contained a bottle of soy sauce that would make Costco say, "Who would ever need that much soy sauce?" Which is why, as the absurdly brittle glass shattered on the tile, and an ocean of salty dipping sauce began taking over my kitchen floor, my first thought was, "I'm going to need a lot of sushi."

My second thought was more reasonable, and involved paper towels, so I put that thought into action and stopped the flow of soy sauce with a series of paper towel walls. I took pause as two thoughts went running through my mind. For the first time ever, I had the opportunity to think, "Holy shit, Bounty paper towels are just as effective and absorbent as they advertise," which is a real solace in this world of lies and uncertainty. My second thought was, "My toast is getting cold."

Now here's the thing about the toast-- ordinarily, I would just make more toast and not think twice about it, except these were my last two pieces of bread and if I didn't eat them, well, who knows where my next jail-themed breakfast would come from (You see, lately, my daily routine has been a lot like being in prison; I eat bread and drink water for breakfast, then I go to the gym for a while, and then I pray that I don't get raped in the shower-- and most days I don't. So, not getting to eat the toast for breakfast would really throw off my routine, and who knows what kind of chaos would then ensue). I went to my toast and felt the slight warmth still emenating from the grains. I looked back over my shoulder at the New Orleans-like disaster and my makeshift levees keeping the soy sauce from flooding the rest of the floor. In that instant, I knew what it must have felt like to be a Katrina Relief volunteer, and with a last glance at my toast, I turned to the soy sauce and headed once more into the breach.

It was crazy: paper towels, sponges, anything I could get my hands on to soak up some of the liquid (actually, it was just paper towels and sponges), salad dressing stranded in a sea of soy, waiting to be rescued, cleaned, and given proper care and shelter. Parmesan cheese, too far gone to be saved, given a proper burial (I threw it like a jump shot across the kitchen into the trash can-- made it!), news of its death passed along to its next of kin (there was another parmesan cheese container still in the fridge-- the first one was pretty much empty, so it wasn't that big a deal. It was like a really really old person with a terminal illness dying in a plane crash-- sad, but not exactly tragic, and just because there's an air-jet right above your head doesn't mean you can fart like you're doing yoga in your basement when in reality you're in the middle seat of a plane, Old Person-- it's called Karma). Glass was everywhere, danger lay just beneath the surface, a looter went by stealing clothes (either that or my roommate got his laundry out of the dryer), rioting a bare minimum. It was crazy.

Eventually, the mess was cleaned up and everything was as it appeared before. Except, the refrigerator shelf is still poorly built, glass bottles still exist, and while we might feel at ease for the moment, we all know it could happen again. As for me, well, I finally went and ate my toast, and you know what? It tasted even better because I had-- no, you know what, I can't do that. I can't. The toast was cold and awful and even after I slathered it with almond butter, it was still cold and hard and I'll be honest, I'm a little cranky because of it. That's usually how you know you've done the right thing.

I Can Never Predict the Impact Spilled Liquids Will Have On Grout, But I Am Always Terrified That the Impact Will Be Irreversible and DISASTROUS,

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Witz DOESN'T Pick: BBBFF (Best Buy Best Friends Forever)

Best Buy thinks we're friends. I bought a laptop from them online and immediately received an email saying, "Thank you for your purchase." Cool. You're welcome Best Buy. Forty-five minutes later they sent me another email saying my laptop was ready to be picked up. "Oh hey, thanks Best Buy, but I already knew that. I appreciate the head's up, though." A few minutes later I got another email: "Look What Else You Can Get At Best Buy!" Stop the push-- you look desperate.

Then, today: "Thanks for picking up your order." OH MY GOD, GET OFF MY TIP, BEST BUY! What else was I gonna do, just leave my new laptop sitting in your store? Please stop emailing me. We're not friends, alright? I'm just using you for your products. There, I said it. I'm sure you're a great store and have tons of camcorders and Wii accessories, and I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will appreciate and love you for those things, but I'm just not one of them. I needed a laptop, I'd had a few drinks and there you were, just hanging out in front of me with what I needed on sale. We're not friends. I'm not gonna call you, but if I do, it will be after 10pm, wondering if you're still open and yes, that is a booty call.

I always find it weird when businesses try and be your friend. First of all, friends are people, not companies. If someone asks me who I'm having over, I'll never say:

"Oh, you know, the usual: Nick, James, Ryan, Best Buy--"
"--Best Buy's coming?"
"Weird, what about Circuit City?"
"I don't want to talk about it."

And yet companies keep trying it. Radio Shack has an ad right now that says, "Our friends call us "The Shack." No, they don't. YOU call yourself "The Shack" and that's weird. There was a kid in my college who told people freshman year, "Call me Captain." It wasn't a nickname he'd had before, he just wanted to be called "Captain.".....
Besides, Radio Shack sounds outdated to begin with and calling yourself "The Shack" doesn't make you sound any cooler. "You want the top electronic items on the market? Come to the small, teetering, shoddily built hut." actually contains this entry:

shack –noun
1. a rough cabin; shanty.
2. Informal. Radio Shack.

That's not somewhere I want to shop, nevermind be friends with. You remember that game M.A.S.H.? You remember what happened when you got the "S?" Yeah, you were pissed, because you were living in a shack. Not to mention you were upset because you ended up marrying the girl who was only on the list in the first place because she was the one playing the game with you. You know, hypothetically. Anyway, nobody wants to associate themselves with shacks. That's like how Circuit City went out of business when they implemented the ill-advised and short lived advertisement, "Our friends call us "The C Word."

Blockbuster is a perfect example of what happens when a business tries to be your friend. They were like, "H-hi! W-want to watch a movie?" and we said, "Eh, maybe. Can I borrow this?" and they said, "Yeah! B-bring it back whenever, it doesn't matter, I won't charge you for it or anything if it's late..." and then they never had any movies in their stores. They tried to get us back with their movies in the mail, but at that point, Blockbuster just looked sad and pathetic and Netflix was standing in the corner acting cool, not caring what we did.

Netflix knows what's up-- they don't act like your friend, they act like a drug dealer:

"Yo, whatchu want?"
"Um, The Watchmen, Fighting, The Go-Getter--"
"Slow down man! Look-- just make a list for me, I'll get you what you need."
"Alright...hey, do you have Funny People?"
"Not yet man, but I'll get you some of that when I do. Cool?"
"Yeah, that sounds good."

Then, they get us into shit we never would have tried on our own. They're all, "Hey man, you liked 'Monsoon Wedding'? You're gonna effing LOVE 'Ashtanga, NY.'"* It's no different from, "Hey man, you liked cocaine? You're gonna effing LOVE crack!" They don't try and be your friend-- they keep it professional. And every now and then, Netflix leans in and whispers in your ear, "I might be your drug dealer, but I know you better than anyone else on this planet," and you don't say anything at the time, but you keep going back for more-- because you know that it's true.

I'm Not Gonna Call You Chuck**,

*Incidentally, there are an inordinate number of movies Netflix thinks I'll love based on my enjoyment of Monsoon Wedding years ago.

**You're in charge of my fucking money, dude! I don't want "Chuck" running my shit, I want Mr. Charles Schwab MANAGING my FINANCES.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Witz Pickz: On Twitter!

@WitzPickz is now on Twitter!!!...and I feel like an 80 year old man, because I don't have any clue what that means. You see, I swore I'd never use twitter-- when I asked someone what twitter was a while back, they described it by saying, "It's like a status message on facebook." Ohhhhh, so all the worst parts of humanity condensed and delivered right to my web browser-- excellent. I just don't need to share my every thought or movement, nor do I have any interest in knowing when every individual person I know eats a bagel, hates Mondays, or encountered someone they thought was hot. Nothing personal, I just don't care if you, "needs a new tube of toothpaste," or are having, "Lunch, YUM!" So I missed the whole introduction to Twitter when I was culturally supposed to get it and now don't understand a damn thing.

In order to get a better idea of what I should do, I talked to my friend The ATX (who helped start the company and if you think I know what they do, you're crazy) and a few other friends:

ME: So what should I twitter?
THEM: Tweet.
ME: Excuse me?
THEM: Not twitter-- tweet. It's called a tweet.
ME: That doesn't sound like anything I would ever want to be associated with.
THEM: Well, that's what it's called.
ME: I don't think I ever want to be accused of "tweeting."
THEM: Whatever. Just write about what you're doing.
ME: I'm sitting here naked except for a towel talking to you about twittering...
THEM: Why are you only wearing a towel?
ME: Can we please stay on topic??

ME: So how do I get people to read my stuff?
THEM: You write funny stuff and then, hopefully, they follow you.
ME: But not in the way that usually gets me arrested?
THEM: No...
ME: Ok. But how do people find me in the first place?
THEM: Start following some comedians and hopefully they'll follow you back.
ME: Right. Wait-- what?
THEM: What?
ME: Why the hell would anyone remotely famous follow me back? I'm just some dude who thinks they're funny and wants to know what they had for breakfast...or how they feel about Mondays...Aziz Ansari doesn't care what I'm up to.
THEM: Because you tweet and then you get retweets.

THEM: ...Yes...
ME: Tweets and retweets?
THEM: ...Yep...
ME: Is that some kind of joke? Like, "Tweet and Retweet went to the mall. Tweet got mauled at the Rainforest Cafe and died-- which one's left?"..."Retweet."..."Tweet and Retweet went to the mall..."
THEM: See, that's the type of thing you could tweet!
ME: Strictly twitter humor.
THEM: For a guy who thinks twitter is self-indulgent, you're doing a pretty good job right now.

That was yesterday. Since then, I've tried to figure out what to--...oh god, fine...what to TWEET-- but it's tough. I decided I needed to get into the right frame of mind, which meant going full tween (never go full tween). I threw on some candy jewelry and headed down to Starbucks where I got a caramel frappucino which I pronounced "carmel" because I wanted to really immerse myself in the character. The barista asked if I wanted my "Treat Receipt" which I thought was just a regular receipt with an unnecessarily specific adjective attached, but it turned out meant that I could get ANOTHER drink after 2pm for only two dollars. I told him, "LOL, totes!" and proceeded to drink my frappucino, whipped cream and all. As of right now, I still don't feel any more comfortable with Twitter, but I do feel a great deal of shame...and I guess that's somethin'.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Witz Pickz: Benching Awkward

It's taken many years and a lot of hard work, but I am proud to say that I can now bench my own weight in awkward. Conveniently, the gym provides plenty of opportunities to work my awkward out.

If you go to a gym, chances are your gym has mirrors all over the place. In any other location, these mirrors would serve to protect against things like rape or murder, but in the gym, the mirrors serve the opposite function and allow everyone to secretly stare at each other. Even if you don't want to, there are very few places to rest your eyes without ending up making eye contact with somebody. With everyone staring at each other most of the time, whether they want to or not, there is a very high chance for someone to see you staring at them, and that's where the awkward comes in.

There are two main ways to recover from being caught staring at someone, whether it was intentional or not. The first way is what a lot of people do-- simply blink and look at the person like you're seeing them for the first time. The intent is to look like you were just spacing out, AKA the "Oops, was I staring at you?" face, but in reality, everyone knows that's the "Shit, you caught me being creepy!" face.

The other recovery method is a little more involved, but tends to work-- while simultaneously making you appear creepier. When someone catches you staring at them in the mirror, in order to make it look less odd, turn and stare for too long at ANOTHER person nearby and then ANOTHER person after that. Both genders if possible. This way, the person is no longer worried that you are staring at THEM, simply freaked out by the fact that you are the type of person that stares at EVERYONE. Problem solved.

I go to the gym a lot though (it's no big deal), so I've started getting creative with it. One thing I like to do, which can also be used while walking late at night, is whisper, "I'm not coming for YOU!" when a girl sees me looking at her on a nearby machine. I whisper because I obviously don't want to startle her and make her scared and by letting her know she's not my target, all of her fears are alleviated.

It's about being direct. People fear the unknown, so I just try and make the unknown known. Occasionally, I'll just say, "You are the hot girl at the gym!" That way, they know why people are looking at them, but it also implies, "Outside of the gym, in a regular diverse social population, your stock would drop dramatically, but in this confined athletic environment, where motivation is key and testosterone runs high-- you are the one that is hot." That way they understand the situation, but also potentially develop eating disorders that might just help them reach their goals which have them working so hard at the gym in the first place. I'm not saying I'm a hero, but there has to be a medal or ribbon lying around somewhere.

If You're the Hot Person At the Gym You Can Stare As Much As You Want,

(Photo courtesy of Nitro. To contact him, email

P.S. So, two more bits of awkward as I left the gym recently. First, I was in Safeway and was standing next to a middle-aged woman in the bread aisle. We were both taking way too long, and made eye-contact, so I decided a good thing to say was, "There has to be one Whole Wheat bread on sale this week, right?" because if you buy bread, you know that there's ALWAYS one type of bread on sale, it just varies week to week. This woman gave me a look that said, "Not only do I have no idea what you're talking about, but I'd really feel safer if you didn't shop here anymore." Serves me right for trying to bond over bread purchases. So I just whispered, "I'm not coming for YOU!" and walked away.

Today, as I was leaving the parking lot, the truck in front of me had a bumper sticker that said, "Nobody Is Born A Bigot," which only struck me as odd because it seemed vague as to where this guy stood on the issue. Did it mean, "Nobody is born a bigot...we can all get along," or did it mean, "Nobody is born a bigot...I had to work hard to be the racist anti-semite that I am today."?? Couldn't he have just gotten a "Mean People Suck," bumper sticker?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Witz DOESN'T Pick: The Comfort Wipe

Continuing the low-brow humor, Turbo showed me this infomercial and I obviously had to post about it...

The Comfort Wipe:

First of all, I like how they qualify, "The first improvement to toilet paper, AS WE KNOW IT, since the 1880's." Like there might be some toilet paper out there that they know nothing about, but they still might get sued for not recognizing its existence. Next, they tell us that it's anatomically designed to fit the contours of my body. Listen-- it's a stick that curves slightly and it will be traversing the landscape from my balls to my anus-- how anatomically correct does it need to be? "It's as easy to use as a shower brush." Honestly, if you need a stick to wipe with, I think it's a giant assumption that people are already dextrous experts with a shower brush, even though they probably are your target audience.

"Being a big guy certainly has its advantages...and its disadvantages." REALLY? Name ONE advantage. Nothing against big people, but I'm guessing "not being able to wipe your own ass" pretty much knocks any advantages out of the park. "It's embarrassing to have someone help you with your personal matters. The comfort wipe allows you to maintain your dignity WHILE you maintain your personal hygiene." A) I'm confused. Does the comfort wipe do your taxes? B) Was the previous solution to maintaining your dignity NOT maintaining your hygiene? "You know what, I still have my pride-- I just won't use any toilet paper." I imagine your dignity doesn't stick around very long if your personal hygiene is taking that kind of vacation time.

If you're not already terrified of using the Comfort Wipe, here's something that might do the trick: while I was watching tv, I saw another infomercial that had me thinking, "Wait, why does this product look familiar??" and then I realized, it was the SAME AS THE COMFORT WIPE. Introducing, the Windshield Wonder:

Utilizing both alliteration and classic Stick Technology, the Windshield Wonder boldly asks the question, "Why stop at asses?" After all, this is America-- and these colors don't run...because they're morbidly obese, believe McDonald's fries are a vegetable, and need to buy two seats on the airplane when they travel to somewhere cooler in the summer, because when they sweat in the heat all the neighborhood animals think someone's frying chicken. If someone can't reach their own ass, they probably can't reach their own windshield to clean it. Well played, Windshield Wonder.

Here are a few quick notes about the informercial:

1) I love how difficult they make cleaning everything to be. The models actually put themselves in the most awkward, difficult positions possible. The women is seated in the passenger seat, practically with her seatbelt on. "Hard to reach interior glass" is the BACKSEAT WINDOW.
2) I love the Sci-Fi Future Technology font.
3) Peep the extended autistic child shot at 0:46.
4) How fucking high do you have to be to smile while dusting your home?
5) Did Julie B kill Simba and steal his mane?
6) "That's two Windshield Wonder kits! One for your car, and one for almost every other surface in your home." I think we both know the surface they're referring to.

If you need the Comfort Wipe, you might as well just get the Super Toilet.

Puttin' the "A-S-S" Back in "Classy,"

Read this transcript from a guy who tried to return The Comfort Wipe.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Witz Pickz: 2009: A Toilet Odyssey

I live in a world where toilets are like slot machines-- you put something in, pull a lever and it all goes down the drain. So, it's not surprising that when E-Funk All-Star told me, "I just went to a house that has an automatic ass washer and dryer built into the toilet," my initial response was, "A) Are you sure the toilet wasn't just broken and B) I'm not entirely convinced you know how to properly work a hair dryer."

Then I saw the keypad:

Someone, somewhere saw a washer and dryer in the basement of their first apartment and thought, "Someday, I'll have a washer/dryer of my own...FOR. MY. ASS."

Look at the options on this thing! The controls look like the ADT security system my parents have at their house, only this thing would probably be more terrifying-- and it's always armed. On that note, let's start with the "Cleansing" options. Apparently, this toilet has J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets Jets, and they're aimed at the business end of your business end.

There's a front cleansing button which is pink implying that is is for women, which seems reasonable, except that I promise you EVERY SINGLE GUY who has EVER used that toilet has pressed the front cleansing button. It's just way too hilarious an option. Then you have the "Rear Cleansing" options: Soft and Regular. "Soft" has a little image of a plume of water spraying the general vicinity of Our Man's undercarriage. "Regular" depicts a water cannon with a missile lock on your five hole. I can't even imagine the first time you decide you need the "regular strength" butt cleanse. Hygiene aside, that has to be like riding the flume at a theme park ass naked on your back.*

Butt wait, there's more! Take a gander at the "oscillating" and "pulsing" buttons. Now, as far as oscillating goes, I've spent one too many hot days in front of a fan to think that the jet of water doesn't go side to side. "No, no, no, ahhhh, no, no, no." I just don't understand why it would do that-- and even if it goes back and forth, there really isn't that much room to work with. What happens if you only select "Rear cleanse" and "oscillate?" Does it just blow up? Just, Boom. Dead. Toilet Death. Even David Carradine's like, "Man, that'd be embarrassing." As far as pulse goes, I can't imagine a time when "pulsing" would be any better than just a constant stream of water-- we're not makin' smoothies here. Actually, I can think of one reason, which is why between the oscillating and the pulsing, I think we can agree that whoever sold this product is basically saying, "If you've ever wanted to fuck the fountain at the Bellagio-- you're gonna love what we're selling!" I wonder if there's, like, a Mozart of the Washer/Drier toilet-- just playing that keypad like a baby grand...

The dryer button seems pretty self-explanatory, only if it's anything like those hand dryers in public bathrooms, you're going to be there for forty-five minutes, but let's be honest, if you've ever been in the guy's bathroom at a college dorm, this drier is pretty much just cutting out the thinly veiled charade.

Which leaves us with the "stop" button. I like how the "STOP" button is marked VERY CLEARLY on the keypad- it's capitalized, color coded, and includes the universal VCR symbol for "Stop!" It's like a safe word, and I'd have one finger on that at all times in case of technical malfunction or if I'm just ready to tap out. Because, while light shows are fun and we all enjoy spinning the roulette wheel, sometimes you're only at the casino to play the slots.

I Can't Believe I Went Through That Whole Casino Analogy and Didn't Make a Craps Joke-- Stayin' Classy,

*Similar to why someone would invent the front cleanse, someone had to said, "Wow, look at Old Faithful-- such an amazing natural geyser. If only it could be UP. MY. BUTT." (That was like Witz Pickz bonus footage-- it wouldn't fit in the original post, but you all are reading the director's cut).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Witz Pickz: Jews Kicking Ass

If you ever saw Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and thought, "Yeah, this movie is alright, but you know what would make it better? WAY MORE JEWS!" then you need to go watch Defiance. I watched it last night and despite my vague and sporadic Jewish identity, I got all pumped up from watching Daniel Craig and Liev Shrieber take on the nazis. And guess what? Daniel Craig isn't even Jewish-- he's just become an honorary Jew after being in Defiance, Munich and Fateless. Which does seem a little awkward:

Director: Alright, we're making a movie where some badass Jews kill the nazis.
Producer: Yeah, right now we're looking for someone who can play Jewish.
Director: Play Jewish?
Producer: Yeah, we need someone who looks like they could actually take on the nazis, but still be believable as a Jew.
Director:'s a true story-- this actually happened.
Producer: So?
Director: So, real badass Jews DID take on the nazis.
Producer: But that's not believable.
Director: Why can't we just get a real badass Jewish actor to play the role?
Producer: (sighs) Because Vin Diesel can barely speak English, nevermind speak with a Russian accent. Plus, he made The Pacifier.
Director: Fine, but there have to be more...
Producer: ...
Director: I see your point.
Producer: We can get Daniel Craig.
Director: Oh! Isn't he Jewish?
Producer: Exactly.

(Daniel Craig would be equally believable as a Jew or a Nazi)

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "No, but seriously, isn't Daniel Craig Jewish?" I wasn't sure until I searched online and came across the site "Jew or"* which appears to rate people's Jewishness on a scale of 1 to Steven Spielberg (and investigates whether or not fictional characters such as Gargamel were Jewish. They determined he's probably not, but somebody involved is probaby anti-semitic). Daniel Craig scored a 6 because he's become typecast as Jewish, but is not remotely Jewish. But that doesn't matter to me, because he kicked ass.

I determined that the "Jews kicking ass" film market is just waiting to explode. In fact, the entire "Oppressed peoples kicking ass" genre would be huge, and I don't understand why it doesn't exist. They use "based on a true story" to describe HORROR films (which is like a great big "FUCK YOU" to our intelligence-- "No,I mean The Mist didn't TECHNICALLY try to kill us, but it WAS difficult to drive in..."), so why not keep it going for more of these movies?

I'm not talking about the "oppressed overcoming adversity" movies either. Sure, black students being good at debate is great and all, and I'm super psyched Cuba Gooding, Jr. got to go scuba diving, but wouldn't it be way more exciting to see a successful slave uprising; killing the horribly racist plantation owners and creating a safe community in the backwoods of Georgia? Something like that PROBABLY happened. Shit, gimme ONE badass Harriet Tubman flick. JUST ONE. What about "Fully Cocked: The Prop 8 Rebellion -- This time equal rights brought rocket launchers." I'd even be fine if Pixar made "Cows" with the tagline, "They've got a beef with us," where a group of cows slaughter their cruel human overlords and escape to the wilderness of Canada where they learn that they're actually very very dull creatures and were better off on my plate with BBQ sauce, an onion ring, and a bun (Burger King Rodeo Cheeseburger whaaaaaaaat!).

I mean, they made Valkyrie and that's a movie about a FAILED ATTEMPT to kill Hitler-- but it was cool. I'm even pumped up for Dead Snow, the Norwegian movie where a bunch of skiiers have to battle Nazi Zombies. Basically, pick a group of bigotted assholes and show them getting their asses kicked. No, it won't reflect the difficulties and the tragedies, and the futility of the times necessarily, but most people ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THAT, and occasionally just want to see bad people get what's coming to them.

Anecdotal proof: In college, the nazis came to town. We all wanted to go see them because, "When else in our lives will we have a chance to kick a nazi in the nuts?" but both the news and our college proclaimed, "Don't go down to the protest and hit them. That's JUST what they want you to do!" EXACTLY! EVERYBODY loves seeing the nazis getting their asses kicked-- even the nazis. Go see Defiance**.


*Somehow I feel "black or not dot com" wouldn't go over as well.

**Remember when I used to actually provide opinions on things you should or shouldn't have in your life? Defiance was actually a very good movie and they did a great job of riding the line between action and um, THE HOLOCAUST. Daniel Craig, Liev Schrieber and the rest of the cast are great and the 2 hours 15 minutes doesn't drag at all. Plus, they're totally and completely badass. Definitely worth seeing.

This was me, fully engrossed in the film as the camp of Jewish refugees were fleeing the nazis in the forest and suddenly came upon a huge swamp and try and decide what to do:

They're like "Cross it!"
and I'm like, "Cross it!"
and they're like, "It's too far!"
and I'm like, "It's not!"
and they're like, "It's too deep!"
and I'm like, "It's not!"
and they're like, "The nazis are right behind us!"
and they're like, "There might be snakes!"

This is why I wouldn't have made it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Witz Pickz: Our Little Secrets

Today, for the first time in my life, I think I understood why men wear women's underwear. Eh, I guess I'll elaborate. You see, as I hobbled into Safeway today, I looked completely the same to everyone around me...BUT underneath my jeans, I was wearing a compression wrap on my pulled hamstring. Tight, safe, secure-- it felt like I was putting one over on the world-- it was my little secret, and it made me feel great. I had confidence...I also had extremely limited mobility and couldn't buy cheese because I couldn't reach down to pick it up...but also confidence. There's something empowering about tricking the world, even when they don't care they're being tricked.

That's why I've been wearing my Stanford University t-shirt as much as possible the last two months while I've been unemployed. Why am I free to shop and go to the gym or library or anywhere at all hours of the day? Don't ask me-- just read the t-shirt. That sucker gets in with every laundry load I run, and more than once I've encountered a respectable businessman, or a gym employee, or a cute girl at Safeway and thought, "Standford tee is saving your life right now, bro! (Paraphrasing Charlie as Green Man in It's Always Sunny...)" I'm not disheveled and lazy, I'm just obscenely intelligent. It's the same technique I used to use for how I let people know my opinions regarding Co-Ed Naked events or sports.

Anyway, the compression wrap/undergarment thing got me thinking about what makes other people feel good-- and thanks to Turbo, I was shown this As Seen On TV product that can only be sold to the very depressed to make them feel better.*

Doc Bottom's Aspray:
I honestly don't know if it's real or not. Too many years of comedy and parody have made me completely incapable of judging reality. A lot of me wants to say this is a joke, but I would have thought the same thing about the Mr. T cooker, and it's probably illegal to take credit card information for fake products. Take a look:

My Thoughts:

-I can't imagine people with "BEASTLY BUTT ODOR" would both know that they had said issue AND refer to it as "beastly." Ever. Equally notable: Why does Plumber A stick his face into the ass-crack of Plumber B while passing the wrench? If his location was Seattle, and he handed the wrench to New York City, his face took a detour to Houston.** No, this isn't on the GREs.

-Six words: "You can even A-Spray your privates."

-I love how he brings America into this. Like people have extreme body odor issues, but aren't dealing with them because they only buy American.

-I like that they made "Lanny F" the all purpose consumer. I don't know if it's a 55 year old man or a 70 year old lesbian.

-"Stops odor before it starts" sounds like a lifetime commitment to me. Once you buy Aspray and start using it for its 24 Hour Protection, you can't ever really stop without worrying that you'll revert back to a freakishly smelly sack of flesh.

-We're all on the same page that it's spelled like "Ass-spray" right?

-If I ever find Aspray in anyone's home, it's going to carry the same weight as finding out they are a convicted felon. Sure, maybe they're functional in society, but right below the surface or one poorly timed government holiday and the beast rears its odorous head and it's ass-crack city*** all over again.

I can't wait to get the, "Normally I'm not very sensitive to this type of thing, but I have a lot of friends with beastly butt odor, and if it wasn't for Aspray, they wouldn't be able to play in the deaf olympics!" comments.

I Would Have Called It, "I Can't Believe It's Not Beastly Butt Odor...Spray,"

*Ok, it didn't really make me think that-- in fact, Turbo gave me these links BEFORE I put on the compression wrap and went to the store...and I don't think in half-baked segues, which is a blessing and a curse. So I lied to you just now, but the important thing is that I always admit my lies, so you always can be sure that my life is just as ridiculous as it seems.

**I just managed to both make a geographical metaphor AND call Houston the ass-crack of America. I think this shows growth as a writer.

*** related news, I've been informed that Marseilles smells overwhelmingly of urine.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Witz Pickz: Weekend Happenings OR How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Blog

Last night, as I hobbled with a pulled hamstring from Walgreens to my car, a homeless woman in a wheelchair, rather than asking for money, simply said, "Take care of that leg." THAT'S where I'm at in life-- the crippled homeless are wishing ME well. In case you were wondering, I made things more uncomfortable with the worst reply possible: "You too."

In a job counseling interview recently, I was once again asked how I find things to write about. I'm beginning to think they find me.

After being in Seattle for the weekend, I flew back to San Francisco on Virgin America, and had a very unsettling experience. Instead of getting the "Thanks for flying Virgin" message from the flight crew or simply over the intercom, the pilot, who's name was allegedly Bill, stood in the center of the aisle, and asked everyone to look up front to where he was. He said that he had two important things to say and I immediately thought, "We're not going anywhere."

"Hi, my name is Bill and I am the pilot for your flight today on Virgin America. Boy, are we happy to have you with us-- how many of you have flown Virgin before?" My "Cool Kid" instincts were still secure from high school, so I totally DIDN'T raise my hand even though I HAVE flown Virgin before. "Well gosh, that's great, that's great. Thanks for coming back, and for the rest of you, we welcome you aboard!" He smiled that special smile that says, "I stab the homeless!" and prepared to deliver his next bit of information, which I had narrowed down to three options:

1) We were all about to child molested by our new friend Bill.
2) We were all about to be hacked to bits by our best buddy Billy.
3) Our plane wasn't going anywhere until we all prayed...or Pilot Bill would blow us all up.

Instead, Bill simply said, "Next, I want to tell all of you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight, which should be..." I prepared for the inevitable, "delayed for a mere five hours!" but got, "An hour and thirty minutes of actual flight time," from Bill. He then turned and went to fly the plane. Somehow telling us to sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight sounded a lot like a threat. I would have felt more at ease if he'd just told me which horrible death he had planned for me.

Witz: Why do I feel less comfortable now that he's spoken to us? (translation: Hi, let's be friends)
Middle Seat Guy: Definitely. That was creepy.
Witz: I thought we were going to have a delay. (translation: I have every intention of using your body as a human shield for any knives, bullets or explosions heading towards me via our cheery pilot.)
Middle Seat Guy: I don't know how I feel about that guy flying our plane.
Witz: Me either. (translation: furthermore, judging by your clothes, age, and general demeanor, I believe that you are expendable and I will not feel bad about using you and your western shirt as said human shield, nor will I hesitate in my action to transform you thus.)
Middle Seat Guy: Weird.
Witz: I guess that's why they give us tv's...(translation: and you'll never see it coming.)

To the detriment of this post, the flight went off without incident, but I did manage to see one of my favorite INSANE television commercials during the trip. The General is an Auto Insurance company-- the hook being that The General DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK. You can be a horrible accident prone drunk driver, and The General's gonna hook you up for around $59. These commercials have to be regional, so here's a great introductory example:

Now, as you'll see from this shitty line chart I made in paint, everything's going along fine right up until The General makes his first appearance at the 20 second mark.

That isn't the commercial I saw, however. The one I saw was this:

What the hell is going on in this commercial? Is there a big market for people who want to purchase car insurance late at night? "If you smoke meth...AND NEED AUTO INSURANCE...The General is for you." And if he's been in the other room for a while, why did he, "JUST log on to The" Porn city. If, "Logging onto The General" isn't a euphamism, then I don't know what is. Fortunately, once he clicks over, it only takes him a minute to buy his dirtbag auto insurance, so he can go back to the horrid disembodied voice who inexpicably requires CHEESE PUFFS.

"How should we end this commercial?"
"Ummm, have her demand something."
"Like what?"
"I dunno man, I'm really high right now."
"Me too, hand me some of those cheese puffs."

Watching this commerical reminded me of a commercial I'd heard on the radio earlier in the day while driving with Dolan Out the Pain. It was a Qdoba commercial for their "any two items" deal. You see, you could pick out ANY TWO items and make it a combo. The girl in the commercial starts naming combinations to see if the foods will work together: "Um, how about a cheese quesadilla and a taco?" DING! It's a good combination! "An enchilada and tortilla soup?" DING! "A burrito and nachos?" DING!
IT'S MEXICAN FOOD! IT'S ALL THE SAME STUFF! Rice, beans, cheese, meat, repeat! You know how the eskimos have, like, a thousand words for snow? Well, Mexico has a thousand words for taco. Do you want a hard taco, a soft taco, a flat taco, an enclosed taco, a soggy taco, taco triangles, taco salad, taco pie, or taco soup? It's all the same! I love every bit of it, but hooooly shit people, let's all take a second to acknowledge that we see the man behind the curtain. It doesn't matter which two items you pick, you ain't swinging by Qdoba on your way to go camping.

I Like My Beans the Way I Like My Pro Athletes-- Refried,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Witz DOESN'T KNOW IF HE Pickz: Revolutionary Condoms

Sometimes Witz Pickz provides it's own content. After posting my last column, I went to re-read it and look for typos-- because that's the type of classy operation I'm running here; the kind where I first publish AND THEN edit. Low and behold, the advertisement at the top of the page provided all the fodder I needed for a quick post today. It read:

"Trojan Condoms: New Ecstasy Condoms Have a Revolutionary New Design. Get Info!"

If you're anything like me, you saw the word "Revolutionary" and immediately thought, "BAYONETS!" but fortunately for everyone involved, that's not what they mean by a "Revolutionary New Design." What they do mean is even more baffling. Check it out:

Apparently, "Revolutionary New Design," roughly translates to, "Shaped like a billy club." Their tagline is, "TROJAN® Ultra Ribbed ECSTASY™ condoms feature a revolutionary new design that let’s you feel the pleasure, not the condom!" To be perfectly honest, I have no idea how making a condom look like a wiffleball bat changes anything beyond increasing the general rapey-ness of the encounter. One of two things is going to happen: either it's going to end up all wrinkled like you bought a condom way too big for you, OR it's going to be filled with air and make your penis feel like it's in a Bounce House. Neither one of those options has the guy "feeling the pleasure, not the condom." It just makes your dick look like it's living in Bio-Dome.

The good people at Trojan then list a bunch of bullet points they think it's important we know about their product. Two caught my eye:

"*Made from Premium Quality Latex – to help reduce the risk" -- WHAT THE HELL HAVE THE REST OF YOUR CONDOMS BEEN MADE OF?? "Made from sketchy reject latex: because if you have a kid, maybe he'll stay!"

"*Tapered at the base for a secure fit." Tapered? Really? I don't need my condoms and jeans to use the same terminology. "Trojan Boot Cut Condoms! They're completely ineffective!" OF COURSE they're tapered at the base. Otherwise, you just made a super girthy condom that only Grimace would wear:

Now, obviously this ad got me looking at their site. Interestingly, there is ALSO a "TROJAN® Her Pleasure™ ECSTASY™ condom," which looks like this:

I read the little description and the bullet point verbage, and if you look at the picture, you'll note that the ONLY difference is that the HER PLEASURE condoms DON'T HAVE the sporadic ribs at the Space Helmet End!....which HAS to mean...BY DEFINITION...that the regular Ecstasy Condoms include extraneous ribbing that makes sex LESS ENJOYABLE for the girl. That's like putting a rear spoiler on a Honda Civic-- some douchebag probably thinks it looks cool, but it's only making things worse.

The most amusing part of the whole Trojan Ecstasy Condoms line of products is their slogan: "Feels like nothing's there." Trojan. Listen to me. You have. To be. More specific. This is not the time or the place to get lazy with your pronouns. WHAT feels like nothing's WHERE? Otherwise, you're slogan might as well be, "Trojan Ecstasy Condoms: Just Because He Doesn't Have A Tiny Penis, Doesn't Mean It Can't Feel Like It." or on the flip-side, "Trojan Ecstasy Condoms: Like Banging the Vast Abyss."

I think it's fairly clear that Trojan's "Revolutionary Design" is far from revolutionary. Sure, they'll probably be more useful to drug mules, but for the rest of us, it's just going to look like our penises are wearing chef hats*. Having said that, I think it's fairly obvious I'm going to have to buy a pack of these....and watch them slowly expire....

You'd Be Surprised How Ineffective "Did You Read About These Condoms On My BLOG" Is As a Pick-Up Line,

*Picture of a dick wearing a chef hat:

P.S. For those of you playing Witz Pickz Bingo at home, you can now mark off "girthy," "rapey-ness," and "Bio-Dome." "Awkwardness" is the center square, and, as always, it's a freebie.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Witz Pickz: A Day of Errands and Awkwardness (or as I call it...Tuesday)

Well, my brain's getting dumber. I was checking out at Trader Joe's, and had "How's it going?" all queued up and ready to go when the guy at the register beats me to the punch with a, "How's it going?" of his own. So that of course set my brain on this joyous little mobius loop:

"How's it-- good-- How are going-- good it's-- how's are-- it's you-- going how-- how's it good-- how are going--...HOW ARE GOING? HOW ARE GOING??"

You know when you and someone else step in the same direction and then both correct and go the other way and then both correct and go the other way, etc, etc, until you both laugh awkwardly and admit that God hates people?* Well, it was like that, but my brain was playing both roles.

After babbling and then mumbling for more seconds than people find comfortable, I smiled and swiped my credit card. I knew that before the transaction was complete, I needed to prove I'm not a complete insane person, so I struck up conversation by inquiring,

"So is the Nutty American Trek Mix gone forever?"
"The American Trek Mix?"
"Nutty's the best trek mix." There. Now I'm just a person who's way into trek mixes.
"Uhh, I dunno. Cathy, Nutty American Trek Mix?" Cathy worked her magic on the computer and then reported,

Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry, I repeated to myself. "Ah, that sucks man," but what I wanted to say was, "THAT IS FUCKED! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? THE NUTTY AMERICAN TREK MIX IS THE SAME AS THE "Just Almonds, Cashews, and Cranberries" MIX ONLY THEY HAVE RAISINS INSTEAD OF CRANBERRIES AND DELICIOUS DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE CHUNKS!" I didn't see Cathy or My Register Guy making those kind of executive decisions, however, so I walked away.

Don't worry though, this wasn't the most awkward exchange of the day for me. Earlier, I was in Safeway, next in line at checkout, when I looked out into the indoor plaza and saw a guy with binoculars just staring into the store. I looked at him with a baffled expression on my face for a prolonged period of time, wondering what the hell was going on. The guy in front of me caught my expression and gave me a somewhat annoyed look back. "Oh sorry," I said, "That look wasn't for you-- there's a guy over there staring into the store with a pair of binoculars. Easily the creepiest thing I've seen all day," I informed him, but accidentally in such a way that implied I saw plenty of creepy things in my day. The man then turned to where I was looking, by which point (OF COURSE) the guy had put down the binoculars. The guy in front of me in line then looked back at me with a doubtful expression AND something else on his face. It was at this point that I realized this man had a huge awkward birthmark on the right side of his face (the side that had been facing away from me)**. I'm sure Birthmark Guy has dealt with this a lot in his life and I bet my "Creepy Binoculars Guy" expression looked a lot like a "What the Fuck Do You Have On Your Face" expression. Sometimes words only make things worse, and for one of the few times in my life, I made the decision simply not to say anything.

Here's the kicker. After I checked out and long after the guy in front of me had left, I wandered over to where I had seen the guy with the binoculars-- and do you know what I saw? A store named, "Scope City" with a large sign stating, "Telescopes, Microscopes, Binoculars!" WHAT??? HOW...IN THE HELLLLL...does a store selling telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars stay open with this economy?? Circuit City went under. Borders is shutting down. But somehow, Scope City is riding this one out? I don't care if they don't have major competitors-- who are the people spending money on making small things look bigger right now?? "Let's see, mortgage? Nah. Car payments? Nope. I want that far away star to look less far away!" or is it more like, "I can't afford to travel anymore, so I'll make things look closer!" or is everybody just opening up private investigator firms? I hope it's that last one. If movies and tv are any indication, everybody will start conversing with a whole lot more quips and snappy dialogue.

Is That An Absurdly Unfortunate Birthmark On Your Face or Are You Just Happy to See Me?,

*I actually had a fun one of these dances down in LA where I turned around and found a tall guy in a nice suit right behind me. We did the back and forth dance precariously off balance until I solved the situation by falling right at him and giving the man a BEAR HUG. It was so awkward afterward that I felt like I should have picked his pockets during the exchange just so we both felt a little more comfortable with what had transpired.

**Vaguely related, E-Funk All-Star and I were discussing face tattoos last night and the idea of getting a life sized face tattoo of SOMEONE ELSE'S FACE. After thinking about it, neither one of us were able to conceive what it would look like, and we realized the idea is actually very zen. I also like the conversation I assume would have to take place between myself and the tattoo artist: "What aren't you understanding here? You see her face? I want a tattoo of that. On my face. Life-sized."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Television Your DVR Would Refuse

The local news has lost its goddamn mind. Don't get me wrong, it's always been bad, but the news I've seen in the last couple weeks has been stunning. Even Lenny's like, "This isn't news, George!"

While watching the news back home in Connecticut, they warmed us up with this little tragedy: Bally Total Fitness gym closing in Hamden! BOOM! Write your local congressman. Not ALL the gyms, just this one club. Now, I know what you're thinking and YES, their memberships will be accepted at other Bally Total Fitness clubs, but NO, there is not a convenient location nearby.

Once they had us on the edge of seats, terrified of what mild inconvenience could next beset us, they dropped this doozie on the viewers: It's rainy outside. Furthermore, it HAS BEEN rainy recently. It's important to note this wasn't part of the weather report, but the actual NEWS. And it was part of the news because this rain led to things like The Strawberry Festival being moved inside.

"Do you think the change of location will hurt the festival?"
"What will happen if that is the case?"
"We will have a lot of leftover strawberries..."


The weather also led to people walking in the rain, as they so diligently showed us footage of not one, but three separate people walking hurriedly and without joy. One woman took a moment longer in the rain to inform the news that, "I was going to take my kids to the pool, but I guess we'll have to go shopping or something." A woman lost in this world. Another woman, though not an expert alleged that, "There are only so many days in the summer, and this rain has been going on for too long." The somber reporter needed add no more to the story. Instead, she simply declared, "From the Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, I'm Useless."

At the gym yesterday, I found that it's no longer just the local news bringing us the hard hitting stories. CNN couldn't help but tell me that, "Scary Giant Squids Off the Coast of California!" Listen CNN, why don't you go ahead and tell me that there are giant squids nearby, and I'll go ahead and decide to be scared or not. I bet Anderson Cooper wouldn't think they're scary. I bet Anderson Cooper would have given that story the headline, "Giant Squid Not As Badass As Anderson Cooper." Just because Wolf Blitzer's scared of giant squids doesn't mean I'm not going swimming. I'm scared of spiders, but I wouldn't tell people, "Scary Barely Distinguishable Petite Spider On Wall In Bathroom!" Just gimme the facts, I promise we don't have the same opinions.

It's not just the news, and it's not even just the shows (which we won't get into right now). Let's talk about this "Orphan" movie. I wrote a while back that you shouldn't make certain things scary. You shouldn't make Christmas scary. It's unnecessary to make Mist scary. I'm thinkin' orphans probably fall in that category as well. Who thought, "You know who doesn't have it bad enough? ORPHANS!" and went ahead to write a horror movie where an orphan child joins a family and then kills stuff? I'm sure orphans have a hard enough time getting adopted without unnecessary fear being instilled in our culture (also, when I first started writing this, I had no problem writing "orphan," but now that I'm writing it a lot, it sounds like it might be a derogatory word. "Familialy Deficient?" "Soloists?" Is there a better word or is this not a thing?)

As it turns out, other people share this thought process. Also on CNN the other day, I saw that a group of activists are "FURIOUS" over the film and what it could mean for the Oliver Twists. While my initial thought process is, "Don't make orphans scary," I was suddenly against this group making a huge deal out of the movie. It just suddenly occurred to me that the people going to see "Orphan" proooobably aren't the same people looking to adopt. AND, even if they were looking to adopt, they probably shouldn't be adopting a child, kitten, or highway, if they were scared off by a horror movie. "You know, honey, I was all for adopting, but did you see what that fictional child did? She pretended to be an orphan and then killed people! What if they happens to us? Anyway, something to think about while we drive within 5 miles of our home."

TV Might Be Dumb, But I'm Still the Idiot Watching,

Photo courtesy of Nitro