Monday, November 30, 2009

A Roomful of Kermits With Advanced Cataracts?

I would not, by any means, consider myself an emotional person - or as I call them "morons". It takes a lot to pull a genuine emotion out of me as I am a master of apathy. Some emotions I'm really good at faking - like concern. Some emotions I just don't care enough to fake - like excitement.

I have them all, they're just buried in the depths of my mind by sarcasm and sardonicism.

"What can elicit a genuine emotional response from you, Chad?" one might ask

Well, if someone were to mess with one of my friends (or boneless chicken wings) you'd see a blind, seething rage.
The elephants at the zoo trigger exultant joy.
Contempt is visible at the end of a relationship.
Sadness? You're gonna have to break out the big guns for this bad boy. That's right. I'm talking Muppets people. Muppets.

What will bring a tear to my eye faster than last call? This little snippet.

Now, since my house is regretably elephant-free, I totally need to watch a muppet movie to cheer me up.

P.S. The old school muppet movies (Muppets Take Manhattan, Great Muppet Caper) are totally the best ones
P.P.S. But I totally love the new ones too . . . even Muppets From Space.
P.P.P.S. Shame

My Best Friends-In-Law

Technically I have a best friend-in-law already. Gina. Matty’s wife. But she is an unusual circumstance because while she did marry my best friend I knew her before that. In fact, I’ve known Gina longer than anyone else (well, outside of family). Gina has seen me go from fat and pre-pubescent to young and crazy to wild and trampy and now, finally- super cool in the nerdiest of ways! Gina is like my Stonehenge – know one knows how she got there, only that she’s always been there. (Oh Gina! You’re my rock!)

I actually knew Matt and Gina separately in their early days without knowing it. I knew Matt was dating a Gina and vice versa. Actually - before I met Matt - I met Matt in a tattoo parlor. We got our first tattoos next to each other (with a short wall between us) while Gina, my sister, and my mother talked behind us. Then when Matt and I met again it didn’t click with either one of us.


Anyway – I’m getting a new best friend-in-law. Joshy. Josh is engaged to my other bff, Natalie. I’ve known Josh for years and like Gina, he’s a friend in his own right – but with pending nuptuals it’s clear that Josh is totally here for the long haul. This should be interesting because Josh, well . . .

Josh is fucking nuts.

My friend Zahra convinced me to go to their house in the sticks to talk wedding stuff instead of doing what I had my heart set on- drink until I can justify eating my body weight in fried food.[1]

At Josh and Natalie’s house I found a mouse in a bucket in their garage

“Run and tell Josh!” Natalie said.

Zahra told Josh and soon he came skipping outside with unadulterated glee. He grabbed the bucket-o-mouse and went to the side of the house to fill it up with water. Then he timed how long it would take for the mouse to drown while I stood back HORRIFIED.[2] It made me realize that this would be the scene where the Mad Hatter and March Hare shove the Dormouse in a teapot if Lewis Carroll had written Alice's Adventures in Backwoods West Virginia

Later, while I’m fighting both the urge to pass out on Natalie’s couch and the even stronger urge to eat her entire pan of pumpkin bars[3], Josh showed me his arsenal of gun ammo. While he’s playing with a 1911 .45 that weighs more than one of my legs I’m having flashbacks to the mouse and realizing “Torturing small animals? What is that an early sign of? Serial killer? Serial killer with the basement of a postal worker? Aaaaaaahhh!”

When I went back upstairs[4] we eventually found ourselves in the garage again (yes, it’s where the beer is) this time Josh shows up with this telescope thingy that I was using to look at passengers of low flying planes. It didn’t take long for it to click in my head. Guns & ammo? Telescope thingy? Sadistic homicidal tendencies? Of course Josh is my friend! Because I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if he were my enemy!

Now – Natalie has a recurring night terror where she can swear she sees someone on their upstairs landing from her bed and this person is just standing in the shadows watching her. While she’s lying next to Josh, who is laying on top of the amount of protection that can only be rivaled by 40 armed Pinkerton guards.

I think that in some alternate plane of existence, there is a man, standing in his house – unable to sleep because he has a recurring night terror that Josh is waiting in that dark bedroom.

[1] It doesn’t take much people. Two sips of 3.2 beer and I’m set!

[2] About 5 minutes

[3] Picture an orgy of pumpkin pie, yellow cake, and brownie and you get to eat the offspring!!!! Squeeeeeeee!!!

[4] Ran

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tit for Tat

One of my favorite expressions is "tit for tat" - the dictionary defines it as "retaliation in kind" and lets face facts, people . . . I'm all about retaliation. Sometimes the "in kind" part gets blurry for me and I tend to get carried away. You know - if someone sticks their tongue out at me maybe I'll punch them in the nutsack.

What I absolutely love about retaliations is that you can get started on them immediately, unlike flat-out revenge, which I find is best to wait out as long as possible. This way, not only is not not seen coming, but you can plan out your revenge perfectly and wait for the absolute best time to strike! I'm still waiting for the right time to exact revenge on my ex-roommate, Kitch. But I'm very patient and that bitch? is a whole new topic.

I've digressed, haven't I? Now where was I? Oh right!

Retaliation in kind.

I think I'm getting totally better at it, and I have the BEST example. But we have to go back a year . . .

Matt's creepy, creeeeeepy boss (who just LOVED getting fisted in the ass by his leather-clad girlfriend, again - a whole new topic) wanted Matt to come see him play in his "band" at some back woods shindig. Matt, knowing that his boss was super creepy didn't want to go alone so he asked if I'd go too.
He said he'd owe me one and the next time I had some awful obligation he'd accompany me. Little did he know that all he had to say was "wanna come watch my boss . . . " Yes! I don't care what it is. The man gets fisted for fun- I'm not missing this trainwreck! Wooooooooo!!! (but I totally played it cool)

We found ourselves driving to the middle of nowhere in Northeastern Colorado and pulling up to this creepy old farm. Now, I love doing new things and meeting new people and going strange places - but I remember promising myself that if I heard banjo music I was going to lock myself in the car. I saw Deliverance!
It was so awkward. I've been caught performing lewd acts in the front seat of a moving vehicle by a Denver cop and I remember thinking "At least I'm not back at that farm!"
There isn't really a series of events that I can string into a story, so I'll just say picture the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and replace the killing with bad folk music. I was really uncomfortable and jumpier than a virgin at a prison rodeo. But I'm still here! Squeeeee!!!

Anyway - my retaliation came shortly after. But first - some backstory!

I grew up on a farm until the age of 7. We had horses and dirty water and a white trash hick lifestyle - but no money. So when we lost our farm the horses were all sold off except Embar, who we sent to live in North Dakota, where my Grampa lived. Embar had a foal and my Grampa named him Joker and put him in my name (I'm still suspicious as to why . . .)

Okay - up to speed? Glad you're still with me.

Last year, shortly after Matt's boss didn't kill us and make gimp masks from our skin - I got my Embar and Joker out of North Dakota and back in Colorado. By now Embar was old for a horse and the trip gave her nasty colic. Because sweet little Chad can't afford a very expensive surgery for a horse who may or may not die soon anyway - I set up a time to have her put down. (Here comes my retaliation!) I called Matt and made him drive to Longmont with me at 4 in the morning so we could meet the vet and do our business at our scheduled time of 5. That's 5 am. I don't know what the hell this guy's problem was - you have to be one sick bastard to get out of bed at 5 just so you can kill something. Anyway, he was late . . . like 2 hours late. It's now 7 am and I've already been up and waiting in a cold barn in November for 2 hours. And Matt is right there with me. (What a trooper!)
Eventually the vet
got there. We stood back while he walked up to Embar with an injection of Drano or whatever and we watched as she eventually collapsed to the floor.
Now, I've never even seen a cat put to sleep - so equine euthanasia was a bit much for me. She's standing - and now she's on the floor of her stable. Dead. Very sad day for Chaddy.

I think what I made Matt deal with was worse than what he made me endure - but Matt had a good time playing with this creepy cat while we were waiting for the vet. So I figure - tit for tat.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Go [Away] Team, Go!

Sports. Not my strong point. I classify sports along with activities like the theatre. It's fun and happy if I'm participating - but why the hell would I want to have someone else have a good time while I'm stuck as a spectator?

For those of you who don't quite get where I'm coming from - lets bring up old school
Nintendo. Remember Super Mario Bros.? Remember how agonizing it was when it wasn't your turn? If you were like me you've never wanted someone to die so fast in your life! Every time the other player had to jump over a hole or a man-eating plant you were thinking "miss it, you fucker!". Then, when they finally died and it was your turn again, you come back to life. Suddenly yyou're erect, alert, and having a great time! You were NOT like this when they were playing, were you?!
So sports - to me - are like watching some asshole play a video game where its never my turn.

. . . with the exception of football. I can't stand football (for those of you that thought - "he'd look good with pads"). I don't get it, I don't play it, and I'll be damned if I ever watch that shit!

Football has a place of its own because it has the ability to flamboyantly parade itself around wherever I go.

Professional sports just fucking piss me off. "oooh! lets all cheer for this asshole, because not only can he catch a fucking ball, but he just now made more money than I'll ever make! Now excuse me . . . I have to go home and get some rest so I can work myself to fucking death and live paycheck to paycheck." Fuck you, asshole. Am I the only one that sees it?!

But football - that damn sport - is always in my face. On television its there, on the radio its there, in the bar it's reeeeeally there. No other activity will bring out the annoying pricks like a football game. You've never been at a bar, talking with your friends or date or whoever, when you spill your drink all over your lap because an entire table of tools next to you just erupted in screams and air fists because David Beckham scored from a free kick in the 59th minute of a second round match against Ecuador, have you?

People screaming at a television in public, to me, is the most nerve shatte
ring thing ever. I don't know why its acceptable for football. You can't tell me that it's okay in any other setting. You can't! Imagine - you're in an office, working on your own thing, when some asshole starts screaming because he got crisp, clear copies from the xerox machine. He'd start punching the air and then, hopefully, someone would stand up, walk over and start punching his neck.
My advice to the screaming, overweight monkeys who insist on cheering as the paycheck of professional sports players goes from obnoxious to offensive? Go watch at the stadium, or a sports bar, or your own fucking house - because if I have to collect my shattered thought after one more "GET 'IM!" I may start slashing tires.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I wish life gave me lemons - then I would at least have lemonade or a business selling lemons...


The people, who know me, know me as quite the pessimistic, sarcastic type, who always seems to be down on his luck. I mean the grass is always greener, when you live where there isn’t any grass to begin with.

Well I’ll let you decide. Let me tell you about my 2009.My 2009 story starts with the end of 2008. Not only did my boss decide to not give me a much anticipated Christmas bonus, but my mother-in-law was visiting. Recently my MIL (not “MILF” - sickos) moved to Mexico. She got in her car and drove the 40+ hours to island paradise, all the while racking up over $15,000 on my wife’s credit card. So, while she was visiting at the end of 2008 a giant argument ensued about this money and the $350+ per month in payments and interest accruing at an astonishing 25%. Sure you may think “oh who cares? A stupid argument…” – True, a stupid argument, to the untrained eye.
See I was supposed to graduate college in the Spring of 2009. Green grass, flowers blooming, sun shining – ever shining emitting its’ ultraviolet and gamma radiation – beautiful in its’ way. But no, my stupid department head for the Industrial Design department wouldn’t work with me on a schedule. I explained to him that I was no longer eligible for financial aid and that only taking one class in the Fall 2009 semester would be very difficult, with student loans coming due. (You have to take at least 6 credit hours to defer the loans). He made it exceedingly clear that the college would not be setting any sort of precedent for me, seeing as I would be taking the class as an independent study. I pleaded with him explaining the recent credit card snafu and the fact that the last 3 jobs I have held were Industrial Design related and that I couldn’t quit my job at the time as is will be providing internship credit. Nope, would not budge. So, here I am taking my last class with the loans coming due next week, with no real job prospects – since I can’t work full-time – because I am taking this stupid class! And if that’s not bad enough, the class is so easy with no attendance policy. I am building a model flashlight and giving a brief presentation. I suppose that’s what you get when the school you are attending gives scholarships to students who think cars are made of wood and you must put molten steel in the freezer to solidify, and that aluminum will melt at 500F!!

So back to my 2009…. For 15 years I have played the drums. I was given formal lessons, played in the school band, marching band, jazz band, as well of my fair share of rock bands and punk bands. I owned a professional level drum set and was recently playing in a rock/pop group with people from my wife’s high school. We were pretty good. We gigged all over Denver and were set to record. Let me clarify – not just record, but record at one of the most famous recording studios in the business. The kind of studio where the Beach Boys and John Mayer recorded. You might ask: “how did you get that opportunity Matt?” well, let me tell you that a former friend, roommate and co-worker had struck it rich playing in a very successful band: OneRepublic.

This person decided to help produce a record. We were practicing easily 30 hours per week plus playing about 2 shows per month. That’s a lot of work and commitment for not getting paid a dime! We decided to have a sit down meeting about the recording schedule – since we had to fly/drive to Los Angeles and pay for our own room and board. At this meeting I was told that a session drummer would be playing my part - WHAT! Oh not just that, I was supposed to come along as a cheerleader. So let me get this straight, I am not recording, but just taking a vacation with 4 pothead kids who live with their parents and work at grocery stores. That seems worth the $1,000+ to me. (did I mention the credit card – oh yeah, I did) Assholes. Needless to say they wanted me to quit the band but were too pussy to actually let me know like adults. Oh well, with my luck we will see them on Saturday Night Live next week on “What Up With That?”.
I sold the drums, cymbals, stands, cases, sticks, everything for $2,000 (assuming $5,000+ brand new).

Which leads me to my next set of shenanigans from 2009.

As many of you already know I am re-restoring my 1972 VW Beetle standard. Due to a hasty novice restoration, hard driving and a Maaco paint job I had discovered too much rust on the heater channels and rear quarter panels to let go. I took the car up to Longmont in December 2007 to a “VW Specialist” in Longmont, CO. It was going to be a ‘spare time’, fill-in work for the shop and for the extended time schedule I would be getting the repairs for a discount. (I had gotten estimates for $7,500-$14,000 to restore a car that was $2,000 new from the dealer in 1972) I told the guy that I wanted a daily driver. I needed to mitigate all of the rust and repair a broken Bakelite heater piece that was near impossible to access without lifting the body off of the chassis. He told me that I showered too much love and sentimental value on the car and that I should just take it back to Maaco and drive the car. Asshole. Maaco is what got me into the rusty pickle in the first place. I picked the car up early 2009 (yeah the car was there over 13 months) and the repairs were awful! I think he was learning how to weld on my car. Body panels weren’t lined up properly and welds were not treated with etching primer and/or seam sealer. He took the liberty to remove a portion of my wiring harness and left important bolts loose or missing. He had to cut a new shock absorber off of the front spindle. (I was able to remove the stuck bushing with WD-40 and wiggling.) I saw his booth at a recent car show where he had patched a hole in a late model Beetle with liquid nails and self-drilling, zinc-plated sheet metal screws. I towed the car home and began fixing the new set of problems that he had installed on my beloved Phyllis. Now thanks to the douchebag band people, my car is at a reputable body shop that has gone above and beyond to help repair all of the cosmetic things that I am unable. With my luck, the body shop will burn down with my car inside.

Other winners of 2009:

-Getting 7 fillings in one day – 4 had to be repaired

-Horrible permanent joint pain from playing the drums – Like Van Gogh, I want to cut my hand off.

-Ongoing adult acne

-My parents thinking that I go to a community college and thinking that I will be a Mechanical Engineer…WTF?

-Un-sellable PT Cruiser due to 2 accidents

-Dropping my knoedel at Oktoberfest

-Dumb renters trashing the $2,500 wood floor that my wife and I laid by hand.

-My sister getting a 2nd college degree before I got my 1st college degree.

-Woody’s closing down

-Crazy dramatic neighbors who can’t control their kids.

-My wife getting laid-off 2 weeks after I quit my job.

-Getting in the middle of a riot at a rap show where DMX didn’t show up.

I figured out why the grass is always greener - because it is covered in toxic manure and chemicals. It looks better but when you get there, you are worse off than where you started.

So here we are at the end of November 2009. Sure a couple of good things have happened. I am finally graduating, which is pretty scary. My birthday was pretty fun, going indoor skydiving, gambling and winning, and going to the Bug-In. Getting a car for nearly free. After all this, will 2010 be better or worse?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Quick, Frostbitten Rant

Before I run out to revel in the fact that I have no class today I have to get this out of my system . . . otherwise I've hit the point where 1 beer will make me explode on someone - and not in the hot way.

Flip flops, people. Flip flops. No fucking more.

Today I was at the mall and I saw a girl in FLIP FLOPS! This? is fucking Colorado people and we happen to be experiencing what I call NOVEMBER. How is it possible that some one - some people - can realize "shit, it's cold enough for me to need a coat, but Goddamn, I'm still wearing flip flops."

If you're one of these people, then I'm sorry - but either your mother was a big fan of pixie dust when you were in the womb and you need psychiatric care - or you're trying to say to the rest of the world "I've given up, shitheads"

These are the only two explanations. #1 I'm a moron. #2 I am going out of my way to dump-up my appearance.

What is so hard about shoes that you need these instead? I reiterate. We do not live on the beach. This is fucking Colorado. We have SEASONS! Even in the summer I get irritated with people that insist on wearing them every second of the day. "But it's 80 degrees!" I don't care- this isn't a boardwalk, dickhead.

Why did this bitch in the mall even have her flip flops accessible? We've already had like 2 blizzards! What the fuck is the matter with you?

I think she's trying to advertise that she has sunk lower than people who leave the house in sweat suits. Those that have given up on trying to look presentable.

Flip flop douchebags actually have to put effort into specifically wearing flip flops and then dealing with frostbite throughout the day. There are other shoes that are just as easy to put on (like my gunpowder merrills!) that are WARM!!!

I'm hoping that this is part of some kind of scientific study. Like ear tags on bears or tranceivers on shark fins - the flip flop is science's way of tracking and observing the complete fool with ease. You hear some asshole falpping down the street. Be very quiet. Lets see what it does. "ooooh look! it's going into a 7eleven. Five bucks says it comes out with a slurpee and tromps through the snow back to its cave."

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Letter to 19 year old Chad

So with the end of my undergrad schooling rapidly approaching I've been thinking about my long road to get here. I'd be throwing a parade right now . . . but I have to turn around and take another bazillion years of classes! Who thought this shit up?! I think that when I started school there should have been the option to go through a battery of tests - you have to anyway - you know, to make sure that you can do 4th grade math. At least I did. I'm not sure if everyone else does because every day on campus I see or hear someone do something so stupid I have to restart my brain just so I can wonder how they were able to fill out the little spaces in their application with crayon!
Anyway - my battery of tests. They would be designed by top minds in academics to determine exactly how far the test taker can reasonably expected to go. If they score low (I'm talking to you, Associate Degree seekers) then give them the general classes and a couple specialized ones to make them feel special if they score higher and can reach for that Bachelor's. If they score higher and could pursue a Master's or Doctorate - skip the bullshit and let them get down to business. How many brilliant potential doctors are there in the world that didn't give it a chance because they didn't want to be in school - and I'm talking POINTLESS classes people- for 10 damn years. Multicultural Studies requirement? Kiss my dick! I want to know that someone prescribing ME medication was able to focus solely on their clinicals without also having to stay up late working on a paper about the great Chihuahua revolt or some crap like that.

I feel very strongly about this because it was the hurdle of these bullshit classes that's caused me to be the oldest guy in my classes today.

Well - that and the fact that school was a very low priority for me until my early 20s. With that in mind I'm taking responsibility for my irresponsibility and I'm writing a strongly worded letter - to my 19 year old self.


Dear 19 year old Chad,

Hey, hows it goin'?
I'm just writing to let you know that, thanks to you, I'm a poor college student at 28 years old. What the hell are you doing right now? Let's see, its nearly midnight on a Friday night so you're probably at some club, or fooling around with god knows what kind of venereal infested swamp sow, or there's a good chance you're at Denny's or Perkins - chainsmoking and drinking coffee. Let me tell you right now, 19 year old Chad, that this is a habit that your teeth will
totally pay for. Trust me.

That being said, here's my advice for you. Enjoy yourself. Have fun with your friends. Work your hilarious little jobs. But please, whatever you do - don't enroll in school until you are ready. Even if you don't take your first class until you're 22 - that's okay. We won't be any worse off than we are now, in fact we'll be better off because we won't have wasted - that's the optimum word, 19 year old Chad,
wasted - an amount of money that I don't even want to calculate, valuable time (it's your youth! Savor it), and an academic track record that will make your future self cringe when you're asked to submit "ALL COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS".

These classes that you should not sign up for are meaningless and no one should have to take them. But the sad reality is - you have to anyway. Go to school when you're ready. It'll be better for us both. You can enjoy yourself and I won't be burned out.

Well, have a nice day!
Love you!
28 year old Chad

That was kind of fun!

Should I write I letter to 19 year old Matt?

Dear 19 year old Matt,
Any day now, Chad is going to sing the incorrect lyrics to
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Just go with it. After all, "the girl with colitis goes by" is WAY funnier than "the girl with kaleidescope eyes", isn't it? Ooooooh, also - when he laughs at you for putting a porsche engine in a VW Bus (I believe his exact words were "putting syrup on shit don't make it a pancake") just smack him and tell him he'll understand why you did that in a few years. Yeah, He'll get one in 5 years or so.
Talk to you later!
28 year old Chad

Haha! While I'm at it, why don't I send a letter to Chad two years ago!

Dear Chad two years ago,
You may be enjoying the freedom to fix up your little house - but I warn you - save your energy and get out of the suburbs now. Flee! Flee! You'll thank me later!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Baby mine (on loan)

Somewhere in Manhattan a woman is strolling through Central Park explaining to admirers that she doesn't breast feed her baby because it's already ruined her vagina, it's NOT doing the same to her boobs - she just finished paying them off!

She may be doing this because I told her to . . .

Lindsey is baby sitting her friend's 6 month old today. She told me that the baby is freaking adorable, which it must be - Lindsey doesn't mess around with the baby=cute myth. She'll see an ugly kid (and there are A LOT of them out there) and suck her teeth while wearing an expression that can only mean "it's a wrinkly, incoherent, bald, pooping thing. WHAT is cute about that?! People pay to have adults with these traits locked up so no one has to deal with them."

Anyway, I've digressed.

When Lindsey told me she gets the jibblies when someone thinks it's her kid I said "just have fun with it!". When someone asks how old she is, maybe pause in thought for an uncomfortably long time before giving a vague answer . . .

"Well, my episiotomy site isn't sore or itchy anymore . . . so . . . she's older than two months. Maybe 1ish?"

Haha. I've been in her situation once in my life. Well, almost. It was in Boulder with my cousin Melissa and her adorable baby Clayton (who, by the way, is like 8 or 13 or something now). People thought he was ours. "Look at the new parents!", their looks said. I must admit, I was more jarred by the thought of knocking up my own cousin than I was being mistaken for a parent.

Melissa was in school when Clayton was a baby, so on my days off I would watch him. I said it was to help her out, but really it was because he was one of the few babies I loved and I felt it my duty to give him a break from being a coddled baby and let him run amuck my apartment.

It was amazing! I would feed him cream cheese on EVERYTHING because he was starting to lose his fat, baby limbs. Not okay with me. I was obsessed with how he looked like a stay-puft marshmallow baby.

And this, people? Is why I should not be a parent. Probably ever. But I AM determined to be that "cool uncle" that everyone has (well . . . I guess I don't, but I've seen them on TV) and not that "creepy uncle" that no one admits to (THIS I got).

I already practice on Matt and Gina's dogs. When they're not home I spoil the hell out of those dogs every chance I get. Be that as it may, no one has ever mistaken me for their father. It could be that there's little family resemblance, but I prefer to imagine that word has got out that people like me eat their young . . .

Still - it would be fun to mess with people just to teach them a lesson in assumptions.

Matty's Guide to Obtaining Vehicles

Many of you are the types of people who go through life driving your new/newish cars with few problems. Sure you have to take them to the mechanic for the occasional tune-up and oil change, but other than that, nothing major. Me (and Chad) on the other hand, will only get a vehicle if it is brand new or near death. In both cases, it is many trips to the mechanic, calling AAA for towing assistance and a continual spree of locating car parts and pulling engines.

We are cursed.

Take for example my 1972 Beetle ("Phyllis"). The car was purchased in 2001 in a dirt lot in Aurora. My first car. I got what I paid for and I only paid $250. Phyllis needed everything. Literally. She got all new paint, door and window seals, new seats, bumpers, radio, dash, switches, etc. etc. Over the course of 6 years I spent over $15,000 fixing up and restoring Phyllis. Phyllis broke down a lot in the first years. I quickly learned how to nurse her back to health, and she became a reliable daily driver. Then came the rust.

The thing about a Maaco paint job is that they don't do any preparation. The heater channels and rear quarter panels totally rusted out. I decided to re-restore her. Here is a picture of some of the rust.


I decided to take Phyllis out of comission and get a VW shop to do some of these rust restorations for me. It took an entire year and $2,500 more to get these repairs done. Poorly. I went through the repairs and had to re-repair. Phyllis is now at the body shop getting a full makeover. Here is a picture of her bad repair.


Here is Phyllis at the body shop almost ready for primer.


One thing about having an older unreliable car is that you can eventually get fed up and go overboard and purchase a brand new car. Never buy a new car. They depreciate too fast! I made this mistake a few times. I purchased a brand new 2006 VW Passat. The price was around $18K. Hmm, who thought a college student who works gluing rocks together can afford that kind of payment? Stupid! So I accidentally totaled that car and decided: hey, I should buy another NEW CAR! Let's go for the 2007 VW Passat! And while we're at it get a 2007 Jetta! Stupid. Traded all that crap back in and got a used 2003 Passat and a PT Cruiser! The Passat does okay, but is now nickel and diming us to death. dang it! I know - I'll get a new car....

I recently just made a deal with our neighbor friend to aquire their old 1991 Nissan Pathfinder. Sure the car has 270,500 miles, but she runs great. I'm sure this will end well. Beggars can't be choosers. We are happy to have the wheels. Actually the owner took really great care of the vehicle. Starts, runs and shifts great, and everything works. Try to find that in any car older than 1995!

Part of the problem living in the suburbs of Denver (listen to: Styrofoam Plates by Death Cab for Cutie) is that you absolutely need your own vehicle, if not two vehicles, when the other is in the shop. My wife recently tried to take the bus. Not only does the bus drive past you when the surly drivers don't feel like picking you up, but the bus costs more than driving your car to and from work. And way more inconvenient. Eff the bus.

Chad on the other hand, has 4 cars (and 1 scooter). We frantically try to get things fixed, but with fixing anything, boats, houses, cars, planes, you need to throw enough money at the problem until it goes away. We are putting an engine together for the 1975 VW Bus and he is collecting parts and putting together an engine for the 1967 Ford Mustang. The Poor 1996 BMW is near death and the 1972 VW Super Beetle was a donor car for the Bus. Maybe when Phyllis is fixed I can sell Chad the Nissan....

What is it about older cars (say 1998 and older) having 25 ashtrays and no cup holders? I guess people figured that as long as you were smoking you wouldn't be thirsty. And since everyone smoked back through the '40's through 'till the '90's nobody was thirsty. Maybe that's what archaologists will discover in 200 years. People smoked to avoid dehydration. Wait, that makes no sense - why does my chain-smoking great aunt look like beef jerky?


P.S. this isn't my great aunt, but doesn't she look like she's in Flavor Country?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Green Eyes are Showing

So, I've been passively looking for a new place to live and I've stood my ground with my insistance that I only require two things. A big bed and a big closet. Anything else is either a bonus or something I can do without . . .

That being said, while searching LoDo all day yesterday for the perfect place for Matty to begin his new college-graduate life with a bang, I realized that the thought of me enjoying some of the amazing views was making me giddy in a way that I usually only reserve for old cars and new shoes! (Did that sound as gay as I feel it did?)

Don't get me wrong - I've always appreciated a good view of the city, but I think that because I've been exiled to the suburbs for an ungodly amount of time I'm starving for one.

Take this picture, for example. I took it from the 14th floor of The Curtis, a retro comic style hotel on the bottom with cheap housing for students on top. It's on the edge of Denver's theatre district and sports a pretty nice view.

Can't you totally picture yourself lounging around your apartment at night, perhaps wandering to your window with a cup of green tea in your bathrobe and exposing yourself to the rich pricks living in The Four Seasons across the street? I know - I can too!

And if I work on my throw I'll bet I could pelt people coming out of Hotel Teatro with snowballs from my window ledge. (By the way, I realize that Teatro is one of LoDo's nicest hotels, but does it remind anyone else of the firehouse from Ghostbusters??)

It's a nice thought, but I'm not going to limit myself to a LoDo highrise - suicidal heights or not, I'll continue my search in Wash Park, Baker, or maybe Capital Hill - Denvers neighborhoods known for their unparalleled views of terrible street parking and public drunkeness . . .

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Bearded Debacle

I came across this random picture and I couldn't stop laughing. Yes, I'm aware that it must be from a long, long, loooooong time ago - but come on! The French Fork?! Haha. If the French weren't already known for being a little . . . strange, this would've done it!
The Chin Curtain? If I overheard someone talking about a "chin curtain" I would've thought it was some random sex act that may have involved a droopy vagina all up in your face.

MY facial hair type isn't on here. I guess technically I don't have one. I LOATHE facial hair. I can go a few days without shaving but eventually I start to itch to the point where I scratch my neck so much that people must think I have scabies.

If I were to let my facial hair grow out though - it's shape would resemble something along the lines of Canada. Big patches, small patches, completely uneven. When you add in that I have a mixture of brown AND blonde hairs I look like a calico cat gone hideously wrong. Or, if you prefer my friend Gina's take on my beard - I look just plain "homely".

I know this because 2 years ago I had a contest with Matt. "Who can go the longest without shaving?!" I don't really remember what the prize was - or what would happen to the loser. I'm just all about having a laugh at our own expense.

I think we lasted about 3 weeks. 3 weeks of utter agony. People's reactions slowly went from "Ooh! Are you growing a beard?" to "So . . . gonna shave soon? Please?!"

Eventually I took all the abuse I could handle (I think it was when a homeless guy with a sign told me to "keep on moving bucko" instead of asking if I had a dollar, a quarter, anything)

Matt and I came to an agreement. We'll both shave - but so it wasn't all for nothing we'll shave our grotesque beards into hilarious horseshoe mustaches!! WOOOOOO! Wal-Mart job fair, here I come!!

I shaved my beard into the little strips going down my chin and loved that I could at least wear a scarf without getting wool pills stuck on my neck like I'm "Chad, The Hideous Velcro Man". I went through all of my classes that day - totally acting like I was ALL ABOUT my new look. I also enjoy watching people try to compliment me when I look like a fool.

When I saw Matt later that day I had completely forgotten about my mustache. I'm sure I would have been instantly reminded of it when I saw Matt's - but I never saw Matt's. Because he never fucking did it. The little bastard just shaved himself clean while I'm walking around looking like a grease monkey trawling the town for a high school girl that I can lure into my old buick with promises of beeeeeer. It was like showing up to a costume party where you're the back end of a horse, but at the last minute your front end decided not to dress up.

I was totally that horse's ass all day.

Oh well, if nothing else at least I know beforehand that I'll never be able to pull off the "Hulihee" and can save myself the embarassment.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Try Something New People!

I have always been an advocate for new things. Movies, restaurants, travel destinations, whatever. What have you got to lose? You gotta mix it up with a little variety. If your friend takes you to their favorite restaurant, don't get the same fried chicken - try something new. If you can't decide, a good rule of thumb is to order the item on the menu with the most hilarious name (assuming you won't go into anaphylactic shock consuming shellfish or peanuts or something) and to say the name with a complete straight face. "I'll have the 'Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity'...".Instead of taking the same boring way driving home from work, try a new route - it's safer too, keeps you on your toes. I just can't stand to watch people droning through life taking the same vacation every year, ordering the same food at the same restaurant, running out the clock until they die.

For example, on my last birthday we went indoor skydiving. I had only seen a commercial for the venture and boom, I was interested. It proved to be a very fun experience, without the risk of jumping out of an airplane.

I am not bashing tradition, don't get me wrong people, in fact discovering Oktoberfest (a delightful weekend of dressing up in lederhosen, eating delicious food and swilling about a gallon of beer) and the Bug-In (classic VW drag races, where slow little VW Beetles are souped-up to run 10 seconds in the quarter mile) as new things, and are some of my favorite annual traditions. And if the Bug-In gets boring, go gambling. Throw $30 into a video poker machine and see what happens. You win, that's what happens.

I'm not saying that all of your new experiences will be good ones. Take for example last winter when it dumped a bunch of snow. I decided that it would be a greaty idea to go sledding down some of the steepest hills in the area. Yeah I know I'm 25 whay am I sledding? But I fugured what the hey? I got on my little plastic saucer and headed down a 65-yard long, 45-degree incline. One thing about that incline is that the snow likes to slide down, not keeping a protective layer of snow on the sledding surface itself. On the 3rd run, I hit a rock the size of a bowling ball with my ass bone. I couldn't sit for a week. The impact ripped a hole clean out of my newly purchased purple saucer sled. Watch the video...

My "try new things" caveat also has applied to my employment life. As of this year I have had about 26 different jobs, and never been fired. But I think that is a post for another day.

Summary: Life is short people - live it up.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chad's Guide to Raising Children

This, you would think, is a very easy guide to follow. There's only one major rule. Are you ready? Here it is:

Do it.

Yup, that's it. Do it.
Fucking do it, and do it yourself dickheads.

Perhaps I should elaborate?

When you decided to bring your little bundle of joy into the world you were also assuming responsibility for your screaming, sticky, little brat. Do you know who didn't assume responsibility for raising your kids? The rest of the fucking world.

I have a list of examples of situations where people have decided that they have a break from raising their children. And by "raising" I mean making sure that they are obtaining the necessary skills to make it through life without having the crap beat out of them. Skills like clean up after yourself, don't disrupt happy and balanced environments, and basically don't be a gaggle of tantrum throwing little pricks.

I have a proposal. I've given it a lot of thought and I think it's a really good one. It may even launch me into politics.

If parents insist on relinquishing their responsibilities for their children in public settings to those employed by the establishment they visit - then those employees also get the benefits. I'm not talking about tax breaks, or crappy drawings for the refrigerator. I'm talking the simple, enjoyable ones. Like smacking little kids across the face when they have it coming.

You know you've wanted to.

The screaming children in the grocery store. The kids making a huge mess of the table, chair, and floor of any restaurant without a playland. The kids running around your favorite shoe store, misplacing things and acting like a couple of baboons hopped up on speed. If you haven't wanted to slap the children, you've definately wanted to smack the crap out the the parents who are trying to pretend that they don't have a care in the world. If you see a kid creating a scene in public without any form of discipline you absolutely want to wrap your hands around the parents neck and squeeze until you hear something pop. If you don't, then you should be taken out for an afternoon of electroshock.

So I say we make it all very official.

Parents bring their rugrats to your store or restaurant or wherever you work - those kids are legally under your care. While the parents skip along merrily you can refuse the children of their dinner, make them clean up their messes before they go anywhere, and spank the shit out of them if a tantrum ensues. Then, when Child Services takes them out of your care - they can give them back to their parents. The kids finally got some discipline, the parents got a break, and you got your aggression out and had fun while doing it!

Of course, there's the alternative - my own guide to raising your kids.

Just fucking do it yourself. Consider it your punishment for making the rest of the world put up with strollers, minivans, and Dora the Explorer.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm ALL Kinds of Spicy!!

I could have titles this "Chad's Guide to Not Being Vanilla" - but I made the declaration "I'm ALL kinds of spicy!" tonight, and I was so pleased with myself that I thought I either owe it to the world to have t-shirts made up or use it as my new blog title.

So just a quick thought on what I call "vanilla". Vanilla is the adjective I assign to something that is generic, dime-a-dozen, nothing special, etc.
I'll bet you get my meeting by now. Vanilla= lacking in character. It's the anti-conversation piece!

That being said, I
should say that vanilla is necessary in everyones life. Without the vanilla your spicier things won't have as much pop. It's like clothes! Have a shirt with a wild pattern to go with your plain pants.
Too much wild pattern and you aren't that much more amazing, you look like a douche. (unless you're extremely funny - then you're Rodney Dangerfield from Caddyshack. And that is a best case scenario)

So kiddos - here's my list of things that I suggest you try to add some flavor to.

1. Your car. This is my most important one. It doesn't have be super awesome and sexy like a vintage muscle car. Look at VWs! Classic beetles, buses, karmann ghias, etc. Their cheap, fun to tinker with and everyone on the face of the Earth will take notice of it and probably talk to you about it (sometimes that can get annoying. Just because you had a VW at some point in your life doesn't mean we are new best friends. Ah, the burden of having a car with character)
2. Your house. Before anyone calls me out - I TOTALLY live in a vanilla house. Even worse - it's in an extremely vanilla neighborhood. I'll remedy this soon, my friends, I just have to get some of my to-do list accomplished first. Anyway - you can never go wrong with a vintage house. Hardwood floors, skeleton keys, lead paint?! Hell-o!!!
3. A quarter of your wardrobe. Like I said before - any more than that and you could end up looking like a lion ate a parrot and threw it up - - - all over you. Lets face it, no one wants to have sex with someone that they can't look at for more than 10 seconds without getting dizzy. Also - loud does not equal fab. Small subtle things can turn vanilla into mint chocolate chip! Just ask my favorite accessory - a silk black tie with a little spider embroidered on it. That little guy has some panache!

Now go out there, my friends, and be your caramel mocha selves!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What I've Learned from My Spideys

For my 28th birthday I got an array of unconventional gifts (which I totally loved!). My bestest friends in the world must have had a meeting where the topic of discussion was "What in the Hell do we get that little prick?! If he wants something he gets it! Even worse, if you get the little bastard something he doesn't like he may throw it at you."

This being said - Natalie got me a hilarious voodoo doll. It came with instructions from her sassy fiance, Josh about what/who I could and could not use it on. Fine print be damned, I'm using it on who needs it most (anyone I catch wearing flip-flops in Denver anytime between October and April)

Matty, knowing me better than most, took me to Breckenridge for Oktoberfest. Commemorative beer steins, public drunkenness, and more spätzel, knödel, and bratwurst than I can shake a schnitzel at!

Little Zahra, my craziest Persian friend, took the high road and got me a set of tattoo flash glassware instead of the standard rug I'm sure she weaves for less than intimate friends. Woo hoo!

Then there's my . . . unique friend, Patrick. Patrick surprised me with an infestation. 4 Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, and 2 Tarantulas. The tarantulas are little baby spiderlings still. There's a Rose hair named Ghia and a Tucson blonde named Cronos. I've taken quite a shine to these little guys because they've helped me realize that my life isn't so bad. They're actually quite good little teachers - and here's what I've learned from them!

1. It's absolutely okay to demand a warm environment at all times. Warm is good! That's why people take vacations to the Caribbean. You never here anyone say "I have some vacation time coming up. I can't wait to see Minneapolis-St. Paul!"

2. Eat when you're hungry! I'm really good at this one. I'm a big fan of eating myself into a food coma only t
o follow it up with going for a month on coffee alone. My metabolism may hate my guts, but it just doesn't understand that I'm following nature's path. Take THAT waistline!!

3. Being docile is okay, but reserve the right to bite. Hehe - especially to potential mates. Another skill I'm pretty good at.

4. Don't do Physics homework. Okay - this one may be a stretch. But I challenge you - when was the last time you saw a spider trying to figure out a protractor. (That's right. Score
one for Chad)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Job Searching and Carburetors

Why is it that I can rebuild a 40-year-old carburetor in 20 minutes with no instructions from parts laying around my house, but I can't seem to get a call back from Home Depot, or one of the countless other jobs I've applied for in the past month? Maybe people can sense that I have the tenacity to trade items hidden in black garbage bags, out of the trunk of my car. I mean, fair's fare. I quit a job in one of the worst economic recessions this country has known because of my "morals".

Oh well, here is a picture of that carburetor, in case you thought I was exaggerating.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Things I NEED to be Reminded of Next Time I Enjoy Mixed Drinks

1. People can easily hear me talking about them. It seems even my quietest voice can be heard over Michael Jackson dance mixes exploding from speakers right next to me . . .
2. Do not laugh at friends getting hit on by short, awkward Asian guys. This is a surefire way to ensure that you will be hit on/molested by a fat queen of hearts, a ninja turtle, a banana, and a genderless individual wearing platform shoes and a unicorn head . . .
3. Don't ask someone with an enormous cookie, if that's the only sweet thing they have to offer. It is. It really is.
4. Don't crowd a sexy witch when she's on her way to the bar. She will go Courtney Love crazy on you for bending her hat. You will seriously be lucky if she doesn't cut you. I'm just sayin' . . .
5. Photo booths are generally not a good idea, but are just plain necessary when you're drunk and looking your worst. Want proof?
(Zahra matched me drink for drink - why does she still look cute? Must be the lips . . . )
6. Don't get in a photo booth with someone hotter than you. This will lead to your being known as the "less hot" one for all eternity. Archeologists will probably uncover these and say "Look at the hot flapper! That must be her senile grandfather she's with"
7 . If you need a conversation starter - wear a long tail. The only downside? The conversations started will be about how someone can get a piece of that tail.
8. Skimpy outfits DO NOT make you sexy. They only show off the sexiness you may or may not possess under normal clothes. i.e. if you're over the hill and generally gross to look at, going to a party as Malibu Ken will do you no favors.
9. Chicken Nachos are always a good idea. Waistline be damned!
10. Early morning McDonalds, on the other hand . . .