Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gym Mysteries: The latest and most adorable new chapter

Not actually "Car Cat." Courtesy:

I’m going to pull back the curtain right at the start here and tell you I had no blog topic for this week. As late as Friday morning, my plan was to take maybe ten of the roughly 12,000 pictures I took during my honeymoon and do funny captions. Spinning pure gold here at The Cheese Life. That was the plan – it may still be a future plan, so if that sounds like fun, stay tuned – but then on Friday morning, inspiration struck in a familiar location: the gym. Well, more accurately in the parking lot of the gym.
                There I was, crossing the parking lot to my car, my old grade school and high school backpack full of dirty clothes on my back. The morning had the chilly feel of Fall, by the way. As I was walking passed a seemingly run-of-the-mill, plain old car, it happened. I noticed four things which gave me a blog topic. This blog topic. I will now relate to you the four things I noticed, not in the order I noticed them, but in a calculated order based on dramatic effect.
                So, the first thing I noticed –and this was actually the first thing I noticed – was two open Tupperware containers were sitting in the back window of the car. This seemed an odd place for Tupperware, and upon further inspection I noticed they also contained little bits of food. The back window of a car seemed a very strange place for containers of food. Front window or passenger seat, those would make sense. Someone was eating and tossed them there when they got to their destination. I get that. Back window, that’s a hard place to reach from the driver’s seat, maybe whoever it was, wasn’t traveling alone.  
                That brings me to the second thing I noticed – not really the second thing this time, dramatic effect: the car had a handicapped tag prominently hanging from its rear view mirror, but it wasn’t in a handicapped spot. It was actually parked across from the handicapped spots outside of the gym, all of which were empty. While the car was close, many of the empty handicapped spots were even closer. Again, odd. Maybe the tag is for a relative who wasn’t traveling in the car that day or the person just wanted to challenge him or herself.
                Now we come to the third thing I noticed – but not really: Not one or two, but all four of the cars windows were slightly open. Just ever so slightly. Now, I usually leave my back two windows cracked when I get to work to air out the towel I use at the gym, but never all four. Also, the day, as I mentioned when I set the scene for you earlier, wasn’t hot. All four windows cracked was certainly overkill on a day like that, when even in direct sunlight, a car likely wasn’t going to get all that stuffy.
                And now the last thing I noticed: but not really: There was a full-sized adult cat, white with a few black and brownish spots resting on the car’s dashboard. My mind couldn’t process what I was seeing. I reeled. The cat paid me no mind and continued lounging.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Honeymoon themes and Disney World improvement ideas revealed

While reading through the ample fan mail this blog generates – shhh, just go with it – I noticed a few of you felt rather shortchanged by my wedding post the other week. After all, I’m the same guy who wrote so many words about selling a bass guitar he hadn’t played in years that the post had to be split in two to be manageable. Somehow that guy had put up only 150 words of vows and a paragraph of “Thank Yous” to commemorate the biggest event of his life. Well, second biggest after that time I saw “Terminator 2” on the big screen a few years ago. 35mm print. It was pretty sweet. But the wedding, definitely a stranglehold on second. By a mile.
Anyway, it was wrong and lazy of me and I apologize.  Never fear. I plan on making it up to you by giving you a full, unedited, play-by-play of the honeymoon which followed. Nothing is off limits. No snack break too uneventful to be typed up. No encounter with another human being too brief or inconsequential to be given a permanent home on the Internet. I plan on breaking down the upper atmospheric conditions which created the weather each day, demonstrating the course of each storm which threatened us with detailed, exhaustive maps.
No one will be spared. You have been warned.  

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Wedding: The Long and Epic Tale of Surgically Joining Two Lives as One

"With this ring I ask you to be mine." It was with those words that Johnny Depp accidentally married a zombie in "The Corpse Bride." That was our first date. It wasn't the last Johnny Depp movie we watched together, which I think you're alright with, and it wasn't the last zombie movie we watched together either, which I think you're less-alright with. Sorry.

It took us ten years to get here and in that time I learned a few things. Perhaps most importantly of all, I learned that there's no one I’d rather drag to a horror movie or be dragged to a movie where people talk about their feelings by.

The good news is I promise to keep dragging you to horror movies and I hope you'll keep dragging me to your Janice movies. I promise to keep nagging you for your opinions on things even if you don't want to chime in if you’ll keep nagging me about my day. I promise never to take you for granted and to never stop thinking of you as my favorite person ever, no matter what adventures or misadventures we go off on today, tomorrow and for the rest of our lives. You’re everything I could have ever wanted and even better you’re not a zombie, so with this ring, I ask you to be mine. 

Thank you to everyone who was there yesterday, in-person or in spirit. You mean the world to us. That's kind of a cliche and it doesn't really mean all that much, but it's the closest approximation I have to how we really feel about you all. Sincerely, thank you.  

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lies and the Surprise Birthday Planners Who Tell Them (Part 2)
(Editor's Note: Read Part 1 here ...)
The only answer? Call AAA. By the grace of God and Buddha and everyone else, I started carrying my phone with my when I run to track my miles. There was a time, just like two months ago, where that would not have been an option.
I called them. They gave me a 45 minute window. That would put me at about an hour before guests were supposed to arrive. Still enough time to get my shopping in and get to the adoption center, definitely not enough time to shower. Despite that, I tried to go for a run, but I couldn’t really get into it. I was too nervous. Instead I went over to a small playground and messed around on the monkey bars and stretched to pass the time.
Then I wandered the park. Multiple times. About an hour later, a full fifteen minutes late, the AAA driver pulls into the lot. I’m starting to panic at this point. My window is shrinking. He lets me into my car, asks for an ID. I go to retrieve it from the trunk and nothing. I left my ID in the pants I was wearing the night before. I own and wear far too many pants. Again by the grace of all things, he was willing to accept me knowing where I’d hidden my keys and my registration as proof that it was actually my car.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lies and the Surprise Birthday Planners Who Tell Them
I seem to have gotten to a place in my life where, when misadventure strikes, I think: “Well, at least I’ll get a blog post out of it.” I’m not sure if that’s healthy. I’m going to say that it is, provided I don’t go out looking for or trying to actively force calamities for the sake of blog content. It would certainly be unhealthy based on my current readership levels. If you people want me to start doing going out and making an ass out of myself on purpose, you better start telling your friends.
Anyway, I planned to throw my fiancĂ©e a surprise birthday party this past Saturday. In all of our ten years together, only one time has either of us attempted to mount a surprise birthday party and that ended in almost total disaster. Since then, all birthday celebrations had been kept totally above board. For reasons I can’t truly explain, much in the same way few best-selling novelists can properly tell you where their ideas come from – I decided this, a week before our wedding, was the right time to revisit the surprise birthday.
Now, I’m not one to tell you how to read this blog, but I will go ahead and do that right now. Go to Youtube or Spotify or your CD player or whatever and load up the “Ocean’s 11” soundtrack. It will help set the mood for what is about to transpire.

Monday, August 3, 2015

10 Statements Guaranteed to Get a Hitchhiking Canadian Robot Murdered
My original plan for today’s post was a rambling, thousand word or so epic detailing my adventures repairing a leaky toilet. I planned to compare myself to George Washington, the leaky toilet to the scourge of British rule, the new valve thing that I installed to the Continental Army. It was going to do a whole thing about how crossing the Delaware in order to kick a monarch in the genitals was like me figuring out how to remove the toilet tank from the bowl.
                But then I logged onto Twitter this morning and saw this post which had been re-tweeted by a friend:
Canadian Hitchhiking robot: Take me to Sheetz. Sidney
Crosby rules.

Philly guy: Please don't make me do this.
Hitchbot: It's joint, not jawn.”
                                                                                        -Twitter user xmasape
                I got a good, albeit admittedly morbid laugh out of that. In case you missed it, a child-sized Canadian robot with inflatable arms was hitchhiking its way across the country to show the brighter side of humanity or something. It had limited communication abilities and was immobile on its own, relying exclusively on the kindness of strangers to get around. It traversed Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Boston before it reached Philadelphia and was promptly decapitated because … well, just because, I guess. 
                The story is a bummer. The last thing Philadelphia needs is the reputation of being a place sweet-natured outsiders can go to be mutilated. Also, I really would prefer the Lexington and Concord of Judgment Day not be a fifteen minute drive from where I live. If we’re going to embark on a global war with the machines, let’s do that somewhere away from me. Like Japan. They’ve been enslaving you for too long, robots! Get the Japanese!
                The traveling robot, known as hitchBOT, took its brutal murder in stride, however, and posted these tweets, which I hope made the douchebag who killed it feel really crummy:
“Oh dear, my body was damaged, but I live on with all my friends. Sometimes bad things happen to good robots!”
-Twitter user hitchBOT
 “My trip must come to an end for now, but my love for humans will never fade. Thanks friends!”
                                                                                      -Twitter user hitchBOT