Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sorry He Hijacked Your Party

Ever meet one of those people who just tries way too hard? A social Sisyphus, struggling mightily against the forces of his own uncoolness?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting The King of That Person. He was loud. Very, very loud. Not as funny as he is loud. In fact, not really funny. At all. But that didn't stop him from making "jokes" for hours on end, and interpreting the pained smiles of others as ample encouragement. If you were going to host a wedding in Hell, this man would be your DJ. This man is the Electric Slide and the Chicken Dance rolled into one epically unfunny package. He was, in a word, oneofthemostdreadfulpeopleIhaveevermetinmylife.

He hit on the host's date, in front of the host. He was punched in the arm for his efforts (by the girl...and while I don't condone violence, this was exactly the sort of person who deserves to be punched by a girl). He also nearly took a sock in the face from another guest. He badgered us incessantly about going to a bar, while the rest of us were quite cozy and quite happy to stay in for the night. Luckily, we were able to tune him out enough to keep the evening enjoyable and pleasant, but it made me wonder...how do you avoid becoming That Guy?

Think about it. If you're a little less than self-aware, and you believe that you're funny, there is almost nothing stopping you from holding your fellow man hostage to your lectures and roundabout, amplified, yet limp flavor of humor. We've all been that person who droned on a little too long, or mistook politeness for interest, or made friends sit through eleventy billion vacation slides. Or we've been that person who felt awkward in a group of new people, and overcompensated by cracking too many jokes. How do you tell when you've crossed the line?

Easily. When you are threatened with bodily harm by more than one person in the course of an evening, you should probably cool it.

In the comments, tell me about the last time you were witness to a party hijack situation.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

In Which I Have Feelings. Which May or Not Have Something to Do With Tea Leoni's Legs.

I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately.

This is due to several forms of maturity converging all at once. My job, which is one like a grownup would have, has been very busy lately. My impending marriage/wedding planning/upcoming installation of an in-house fiance have all conspired to keep my stress levels high. The worst part is that all this maturity means that I am no longer 22, which means I don't have the energy to keep up with it all.

So, woe is me. Life is hard. I have a great job and a fiance who loves me enough to endure repeated listenings of "The Promise" by When in Rome forever and ever, amen. And, when I get tired of that, I can always rock out to the Xanadu soundtrack. Also, my diamond shoes are too tight, my ruby crown is too heavy, and it's so inconvenient when I have to drive the Maserati instead of the Bentley. I know. My life is fantastic. I could really use a little more perspective and learn to appreciate everything that I have.

But I still can't get past that feeling of being overwhelmed. I feel sort of like that scene in Deep Impact where Tea Leoni is standing on the beach with her dad, waiting for the end via ginormous CGI tidal wave. Except the movie of my life wouldn't have such a porny title (unless 21 Hump Street is still available.) And I will never, ever have Tea Leoni's legs. Seriously, those things look like they were sculpted from the tears of angels and poured down straight from heaven. Thinking about Tea Leoni's legs have gotten me through many a difficult time in my life, and I'm not even into women. I just appreciate them as a work of art.

I'll leave you with a final thought: it's kind of awesome that can get from stress to porn to Tea Leoni's legs in four paragraphs or less. However, it's less awesome that my state of mind these days makes that a typical chain of thought, vs. anything out of the ordinary. It implies a certain amount of scatter-brainedness.

In the comments, tell me how you deal with stress. Or tell me if anyone has better legs than Tea Leoni.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Everybody Dance Now. Because Emperor Marky Mark Wants Us to Swing It.

You know that point, right in the beginning of "Sweet Home Alabama," when the singer says, "Turn it up!" I always respond, "Why, of course!" (out loud, no less, and in a very chipper voice). And then I crank the volume. This does not endear me to my colleagues, but it has led to some interesting conversations with the mailman.

I've realized that I am highly prone to suggestion. I've also realized how much more fun the world would be if we all obeyed the imperative sentences within pop songs.

Picture it: C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)," comes up on a speaker, and the whole street just starts rocking out. That is pretty much utopia!
Of course, there are dangers. The Funky Bunch tells us to "swing it" on a rainy day, and we all start swinging our umbrellas and poking each other in the eye. Then again, we'll have racial harmony in Washington, as "Black, white, red brown feel the vibration!" And then, as a racially united America, we'd fight the obesity epidemic together with "Jump Around."

In the comments, link to the song you think we should all follow for an Awesome New World Order. Or tell me I've lost my marbles, but never mind, the marbles are in your pocket.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Have a Blessed Day. I'll Wait.

First of all, how did my blog surpass 200,000 hits without my noticing? At the very least, I should have thrown myself a parade.

Anywhosits, longtime readers know that I have a talent for encounters with the differently sane. But a few weeks back, I experienced a true winner. Naturally, it was on the Metro, Washington's repository for the mentally overheated.

I trundled onto my train and took a seat. Between stations, my seatmate turned to me and said, "Have a blessed day." Assuming this was a farewell, I said, "You too!" I returned my attention to the Washington Post's Weird Disease of the Week Section (er, Health and Science).

This is where it gets weird. Instead of getting up at the next stop, she remained in her seat and stared at me. For the next three stations.

After a few slugs of my purse bourbon, I was able to formulate some theories. Perhaps she was a guardian angel, and wanted to remain with me to ensure that I had a blessed day. Maybe she was an elaborate social experiment. Or, maybe, she was so intent on my stunning new shade of lipstick that she found herself distracted and she missed her stop.

Or, she was just a loon. What do you think?

Friday, August 06, 2010

Trolley Tours: Because I'd Always Wanted to Be Nearly Squished by Someone Argumentative and Rude

I'm not one of those bloggers whose fingers fly to the keyboard every time I have a consumer ax to grind.

However, since Trolley Tours made it completely impossible to find a live human being to discuss this issue, I have to take it to the blogverse. Enjoy the sputtering fury.

Thursday, August 5. About 5:25 pm. 10th and F NW. Last digit of the DC license plate was 9, second to last was most likely a 4. Hard to tell, what with all the adrenaline.

I approached the intersection, and saw a tour bus to my right with its blinker on. I had about ten seconds left on the Walk signal, so I looked for traffic and stepped into the crosswalk. The Trolley Tours driver proceeded to turn right, even though I was in the crosswalk, and very nearly ran me over. I scurried across and did the raised arm "What the hell?" signal that Washingtonians have to master during tour bus "Pedestrian as Prey" season.

Most drivers shrug or apologize (if they apologize, they get a pass - if they shrug, I report them to their employer).

This Trolley Tours driver (mid to late 30s, African American, heavyset), argued with me. He claimed that I had crossed against the light (I had not, I had a Walk signal - it turned red while I was blocked and then dodging for my life). Moreover, shouldn't he have looked both ways for pedestrians before turning? I pointed out that I would have made it across before the light changed, had he not blocked me from crossing. Then he yelled at me a little more, made some angry hand gestures, and drove off.

When I got home, I tried to call Trolley Tours. Oh, how I tried. The number is unlisted (I also tried to call right after it happened), the website sends you to a phone number, the phone number sends you to the website, and pressing 0 sends you to some woman in Key West who tells you to call back another time. Requesting "representative" gets you dumbfounded silence, followed by a continued spiel on why I should really just get back to the Trolley Tours website already.

So, Trolley Tours. Breaking the law, wholly inadequate with the service, and argumentatively homicidal. Have I mentioned the company name is Trolley Tours? Trolley Tours, folks. Trolley Tours.

In the comments, tell your friends to use anyone but Trolley Tours.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Weekend in Maine, or, What Happens When You Mix Microbrews with Floor Tequila

Opening sentences I contemplated using for this blog post:

1. If I had a bucket list of items guaranteed to shoot me straight to Hades, I would have crossed off at least half of them last weekend.

2. Have you ever vomited hot coffee by the side of a road in New Gloucester, Maine?

3. Hallmark does not make an apology card stylish enough to express the regret, "I'm sorry I got sick in your tent."

4. Maine is the South of the North: everyone is terribly nice, they like their trucks and their dogs, and most of all, they love their beer.

5. Keep a close eye on your camera when your drunk tablemate is wearing a kilt. You may get a nasty surprise.

6. He went into that tent a NASCAR boy, he came out of that tent a NASCAR man.

7. When I feel a little low, when I feel a little ashamed, I just have to remind myself that I have never motorboated a pregnant woman. I'm also a little ashamed that I didn't think of that one myself.

8. I did, however, apparently get in a catfight over blankets while both I and my opponent were completely asleep.

9. When the tiny private plane hits turbulence over a graveyard, and there's a funeral going on, there's only one lesson you can learn: turn around! Unfortunately for the state of Maine, we kept on going.

10. I always thought of myself as an impressive drinker. Then I went to Maine.

Since any and all of those sentences give you the gist of the most awesome weekend I've had since the last time I went to a wedding where the groom and one of the guests went joyriding in a golfcart using a cellphone as a flashlight, and people played volleyball in formalwear, and one of the guests showered while drinking a beer, and this sentence is a glorious run-on as it is, I will instead close this post with a song:

Toddy, by Black Taxi. No song better encapuslates my weekend. NSFW due to the fact that most of the comprehensible lyrics are f-bombs, aside from a reference to scratching a truck, and because such unrelenting awesomeness cannot be confined to a cubicle.