Monday, October 20, 2008

Memo to the Youth: Let 80's Style Be

I recently spotted a young teenage girl walking through a parking lot wearing acid washed jeans. They even had holes torn in the thigh and knee area. She was one Bon Jovi t-shirt and some blue eyeliner away from looking like she used a time machine to warp two decades ahead from 1988.

If some of your youth was spent in the over-the-top, hairspray-filled decade known as the 1980s, you too have likely seen this resurgence of its style on today's youth. Whether it's the big hoop earrings, big hair, jelly shoes or skinny jeans, it's almost inescapable.

What's next? Shoulder pads? Punky Brewster hairdos? The resurgence of Terrance Trent D'Arby? It's all so very...frightening. Why? Because as we who grew up in the 1980s can attest--and have the photo albums to prove--the 80s style turned us into portraits of a toxic, electric shock, color spewed, proportion-warping trend zombies that made us all look really, really bad.

It is our obligation--nay, our duty--to today's youth to prevent them from becoming victims of this bad style resurgence. We were not forewarned, nor did we have the Internet to help spread the world that wearing 132 bracelets on one arm looked ridiculous. We subjected ourselves to hair-spraying our hair to mimic the Berlin Wall so that future generations would not be subjected to such absurdities.

Yes, the children of the 80's were the pioneers of bad taste, paving a way and shedding a light on how rolling ones jeans would have a severe negative effect on the attractiveness scale. (We looked at the style of the 70's and said "that's all you got?") Don't let this generation repeat our mistakes! Get the word out. When you see a teen on the street wearing leg warmers and a giant belt, tell them they look like they escaped from the nearest mental health facility.

If you spot a kid wearing anything fluorescent, tell them that they look like the result of a construction worker and a clown getting together to formulate their fashion choices. If anything, sign the petition to stop 80's style resurgence by replying to this post and signing your name and/or even sharing a fashion nightmare.

Stop the madness! Save the youth of this country before they decide to wear sweatshirts with the collar cut out (so one side hangs off of a shoulder)! Stop them before they give Aqua Net back its ozone-killing empire! Sign the petition today! Tell the tale of your 80s fashion nightmare!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Four More Things That Annoy Me

To keep the topic rolling, I give to you another four things that suck with one bonus thing that sucks from reader Andrew:

1. Loud Motorcycles
There should be a law passed that outlaws those extremely loud motorcycles. You know which ones I'm talking about. The motorcycles that wake you up when the drive by your home at 3 AM. The ones that have the decibel load of giant 777 Boeing Jet. The ones usually driven by some guy wearing leather chaps and a headband who things he looks really, really tough (though, in all reality, he looks really, really gay). Those motorcycles. They suck.

2. Merged Celebrity Couple Names
Bennifer. Bragelina. Come on people. These are actors. Not amoebas that eventually bind and permanently merge with one another. Lay off the stupid name shortcuts. And while you're at it, stop talking about them all together. Because none of us really cares! I have a name for all the people who create and use these celebrity couple names: dumbiot.

3. Guys Who Wear Their Sunglasses Backwards on their Head
Nothing says "I'm a douche bag" more than wearing your sunglasses backwards on your head when you go indoors. Plus, it's quite confusing. I can't tell if you're coming or going, but just the site of this ridiculously placed accessory makes me wish for the later.

4. Road Construction (by Andrew)
Why does it seem like the roads are always under construction? I understand there are a lot of roads and they have to get old eventually, but why does it seem like the same stretches of highway are constantly under construction? In this modern time of hybrid vehicles and nuclear power plants we have yet to figure out the road making technology that lasts more than 3 years?

Do you have a thing that sucks that you'd like to share? If so, reply to this post and it will make the next list.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seven More Things That Suck

To add to the previous entry, another seven things that annoy me for some reason or another:

1. Potato Salad
Mmmm, overcooked potatoes stewing in gobs and gobs of mayonnaise sitting out in the hot summer sun at a cookout. It's a stomach virus waiting to happen. Yet you can't escape potato salad at any cookout to which you go. Can you remember every having a craving for potato salad? Me neither.

2. Sitcoms that Use Stale 90's Style
Sure, a group of young, good-looking people dropping sarcastic quips and pausing for laugh tracks worked in the 1990's. But much like the VHS tape, it's format is now outdated and stale. Why? Because sarcasm isn't very funny without creativity. It just makes you feel like you're watching a bunch of dysfunctional jerks. Yes, I'm looking right at you "Two and a Half Men."

3. Cadillacs
Remember when people used the term "it's the Cadillac of (insert product here)" to describe the high-level of quality of something. Not anymore. That's because the only people who drive them are senior-citizens and guys who leave the top four buttons of their shirt unbuttoned to show of their chest hair. Either creepy or old.

4. Mustard Containers
Has there been no advancement in mustard container technology in the last 30 years? Why must you always have to first clean off a crusty film over the spout and--no matter if you shake the bottle or not--squirt the 1st tablespoon out of the bottle into the sink to avoid soaking your sandwich bread in a watery mustard juice?

5. Glass Ketchup Bottles
You find them at every restaurant and it's likely you will always get the brand new, unopened bottle of ketchup. This requires you to use a myriad of tricks to get the ketchup to loosen its gravity-defying grip from the bottle and pour out. You hit the "57" or pound the bottom of the bottle with your palm. You may tip the bottle upside-down and leave it be for 10 minutes. Or, you dig your knife into the bottle and scoop it out. Why do we still use these things when the squirt bottles do just fine?

6. Renee Zelwegger's Squint
She always looks like she's just eaten a bag full of lemons. Or like she's staring into the sun while sucking on a cough drop. Regardless, it's just annoying. You know why she does it. Because she's better than you.

7. Eardrum-destroying Ring Tones
Nothing like standing in a public place and feeling like you've been magically transported to an Usher concert because somebody has apparently set their ringtone volume to the "deafening arena blast" decibel level.

There's seven more. Feel free to add to the list by responding to this post. I will add it to the next blog post.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

10 Random Things That Suck

I thought today's entry would just be a basic assembly of rants on stuff that bug me. For the sake of time, I will limit the following list to 10 rants:

1. Movie Theatre Prices
Not the ticket prices so much. I understand that the money has to come from somewhere in order to pay celebrities enough money to afford makeup artists for their lapdogs. I'm talking about concessions. Popcorn is just corn that's heated up isn't it? How is it that it costs $6 a bag? And, isn't it amazing that a 16 ounce fountain soda costs $79 cents at a gas station and $5 at the movie theatre? My last trip to the movies, I had to fill out a credit application just for a box of Junior Mints and a Sprite.

2. The Word "Movie"
Why do we still use it? Doesn't it sound old fashioned to you? We don't call cars "motorees" do we? We call them cars. Motored carriage hasn't been used for decades. Yet we still use the shortened term for "moving pictures" when we talk about films: movies. I'm surprised we don't call televisions "magic picture boxes." I think we can all agree that the pictures don't actually move. These days, the digital zeros and ones do all of the moving.

3. Crocs
I don't care if you're wearing an Armani suit with them, if you're wearing Crocs you look like a bum. Inevitably, if you tell somebody who has Crocs that they make them look like a Swedish nutjob, the always say the same thing: "oh, but they're soooo comfortable." You know what else is comfortable? Walking around in a robe. But the only people who do it are Hugh Hefner and mental patients.

4. Windshield Cleaners at Gas Stations
What happened to those handy dandy rubber squeegee things at gas stations that has made them suck so much? Every time I use one, it leaves a rainbow-colored grease streak on my windshield. Did they replace the windshield cleaning fluid with ocean water gathered after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster? It's bad enough they're taking $50+ dollars from you each tank, now they give you low grade perks.

5. Candy Canes
Lets' face it. Candy canes are the worst candy of all time. There's a reason that you don't find them in the candy aisle or near the checkout in the candy bins unless it's Christmas time. Because it's like eating your toothpaste. Chalky, an off sweet taste and a minty overload.

6. People Who Can't Make Up Their Mind at the Soda Machine
These people always stand directly in front of the soda machine and ponder all five selections that are the same five selections that have been there since 1991. Meanwhile, a line forms behind the person of several people holding empty cups. Every machine has the same items: brown soda, clear soda, fruit-based soda, root beer, low-cal soda and that little water tab. Yet these people stand there like they're being asked to determine the fate of their lives.

7. Store Clerks that Ask If They Can Help You Find Something
I'm in a specific aisle, looking at specific products in that aisle. I am not confused. Yet, a sales clerk--or associate, team member, or whatever they're called--feels obligated to come over and interrupt me to ask if I need help locating something. "Um, I'm not wandering the aisles in a daze wondering where a certain product is. Clearly, I'm looking straight at what I'm going to purchase. So, No, I don't need help." They must have a minimum quota of can-I-help-you-find-somethings that they have to ask each day.

8. Radio Commercials
Every one of them tries to be funny and none in the history of all time have ever succeeded. Exhibit A: A commercial where a man says to his wife "honey, this memo says I have to see Paige. Who's Paige?" The wife responds: "No, Frank. Seepage. We have seepage in our basement." And I'm thinking, who just writes the word "seepage" all by itself on a memo and expects anybody to get it's meaning?

9. Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee
If you watch Food Network, you know who I'm talking about. If you don't, let me explain: imagine a soulless, Stepford-wife-like, Martha Stewart wanna-be lady telling you how to cook the stuff you buy from a grocery store. "Let's make macaroni and cheese. First, buy a box of Kraft Mac-n-cheese and boil some water. Now add the noodles, Add a dash of garlic salt. That way it's homemade!"

10. Frozen Food Packaging
On the cover of the box, the baked chicken lasagna you just bought looks like it was made by a world-renowned Italian chef using ingredients fresh from the farm and garden. When you pull the lasagna out of the box, it looks like it comes predigested: a pile of slop in a small plastic bowl that lets you know just what it was like to get prison food in the 1940's.

There's my list of ten. Have one to add? Please do and respond to this posting.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Seasoning Salt

We have four seasons every year here in the Midwest, if we're lucky (as sometimes winter consumes spring altogether). With this proverbial changing of the guard, I thought it'd be fun to rank each of the seasons on a 1 to 10 scale, with 10 being a "this weather is way better than sliced bread" and 1 being "May the great hand of Zeus smite you, wretched season!" So, here you go, in order from best to worst:

Rating: 8.7
* Weather is usually always moderate. It comes after the unbearable heat of Summer to comfort us like that euphoric feeling you get when you finally break a fever.
* It provides us perfect opportunity to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or hot apple cider. They're drinks that give your stomach a hug.
* Halloween: It's the only holiday that allows you to walk around dressed as a bumble bee without ending up in a mental hospital.
* Football season starts. Sunday afternoons regain a purpose and facilitate prerequisite lazy day-edness.
* Trees offer an endless palette of colors. And that smell of the leaves burning seems to bring comfort with each inhale.

* Always ends up becoming Winter's b*tch. It's the snooze button of seasons.
* Days get shorter and shorter. The Sun begins its annual vacation to the Southern hemisphere where it inevitably eats one too many steak tacos and gets food poisoning.

Rating: 7.5


* Let's winter know that Spring is it's daddy. It crushes the icy grip winter has on us and rids us of all the snow. (Chicago is an exception.)
* Birds chirp and greenery grows. All that winter has smothered rebounds and reminds us that things are going to get better.
* Baseball season begins. Optimism reigns for at least 30 days.
* Cabin Fever no more. A walk outdoors no longer requires wrapping yourself in 19 layers of clothing.

* Rain and mud. Carpet cleaner manufacturers rejoice everywhere. The rest of us wonder why umbrellas aren't designed to handle a slight breeze without inverting.
* Spring schizophrenia. Cold and rainy one minute, sunny the next, gusty the minute after that. You have to wear a sweater, bring a jacket and wear those pants that convert into shorts to get by.

Rating: 7.1

* Long days. Even the sun partakes in the lazy days of summer, staying up past 9 p.m.
* Cook outs. Nothing beats the smell of meat products sizzling on the grill.
* Everybody looks better with a tan. You can lay around in a recumbent tan pose. Your legs might be spread a little wider than they ought to be, but it's okay: it's just tanned you being tanned you.
* Farmers Markets. Vegetables without curious mass-production virus risks.

* Too hot. Car seats that could char a slab of ribs. Literally sweating while you are sitting idle is common. The heat overwhelms many into submission, keeping them indoors hugging their air conditioners.
* Kids on vacation. They're everywhere and their parents are driving them everywhere, which means more traffic for all.
* Tornadoes, hurricanes and violent storms visit...and they never offer to help clean up when they leave.
* Baseball season continues....and continues. Hope is gone for many a fan.
* Road construction. Usually exclusively on just the roads you need to use daily.
* 4th of July. Celebrations and picnics are fun. Your neighbors lighting off bottle rockets at 4 a.m. Not so fun.
* Bugs. Everywhere. Including those icky gigantic insects you've never seen before that appear to have 7 wings and opposable thumbs.

Rating: 0.3

* It eventually goes away.
* Big snows make trees look really cool when the snow coats their branches.

* Lets see, perhaps the cold? The frigid, finger-numbing, shiver-inducing and skin burning bitter cold. It's so cold, your eyes cry, even though you're not sad.
* Snow: winters B.M. It dumps on you and swirls around with the mud to become a slushy mess just waiting to penetrate your shoes and freeze your toes.
* Driving. Not so enjoyable when you must worry about your car spinning like Nancy Kerrigan on the ice.
* Kills all things colorful. Grass, leaves, plants and the rest of nature get buried by snow. Birds fly away. It all becomes a white, grey and black muck.
* Sunshine for about 5 hours a day. Vampires rejoice. The rest of us get depressed.

So that's my rating of the seasons. Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Let me know.