Monday, April 20, 2015

Hit The Road

Kids, right now I'm heading south on I-15, somewhere in between Mesquite and mile marker 127. I've got a bowl of Cap'n Crunch in my belly, a pair of fancy schmancy sunglasses on my face, listening to Matthew White elegantly serenade profanity to me as I use my left thigh to navigate past truckers, trailers, and Priuses while I write down my memoirs on what will be the last road trip I will ever take as a recruiter for Dixie State University.

For full effect, download "Holy Moly" by the above-mentioned artist and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Life on the road has taught me a thing or two, I will say that. Things like how you should never break the speed limit in Idaho, or that Best Westerns are a very undervalued hotel chain nationwide, or that the state of California needs more money to fund their drivers education programs, or how sunflower seeds are the best therapy to keep your eyes open when you have a few hundred miles to go and it's just after midnight. I sure have picked up a few “life lessons on the road” over the years. Geez, that sounds like a roll your eyes premise for an ugly Nicholas Sparks novel or something. What is wrong with me?

I've been around kids, I really have. And yeah, go ahead and smirk a dirty thought or two about that last sentence, we all do. I've logged miles from Newport Beach to Spokane, from Boise to Phoenix, from Logan to Vegas and every single small town in between, I kid you not. Duchesne? Check. Lyman? Been there. Pioche? Done that. I've got a few hundred thousand miles logged on to my tailbone at this point in my life, and it hasn't even been five years yet. Damn, life on the road goes by too fast sometimes.

It's a little screwed up to think this will be the last time I sit behind this steering wheel on a trek paying my dues to the institution that raised me. Going 80 on a freeway by yourself sure does makes you think about the hypothetical direction you're headed. Kids, the next three months of my life are without question going to be some of the most path-hinging moments I will ever experience. And as I'm nearing the California border, I can't help but wonder what crazy tales will be spun in the next 90 days. Things are going to get batshit crazy, that's for sure. But at least for right now, the things that haven't happened yet, the things that will happen, the lunatic/WTF-is he thinking things, they don't matter yet. All that matters now is I've got my seeds, my tunes, and a full tank of gas, ready to tackle the last long road trip of my young recruiting life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

This Is How I Met A Girl

"So you really need to tone the blog down. I mean, just quit telling all these stories and stuff. You're making us look bad." Said one of the brothers.

"Totally man. I mean, you need to just stop blogging altogether. That way you'll be more likable." Said another.

"Wait, so I need to stop telling my future kids this story of how I potentially met their Mother?" I ask.

"Absolutely." They agreed. "I swear your stock will shoot through the roof if you do."

For full effect, download "Fell In Love With A Girl" by The White Stripes, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Now there may or may not have been a slight influence of sarcasm on both sides in that conversation, but that's neither here nor there. The words we tossed back and forth did in fact get me thinking about the picture I'm painting to a bunch of paint-covered boogers that aren't even close to be conceived at least for another decade. Yes, I have told quite a number of stories on this blog. 584 to be exact. And perhaps there may have been a few of these stories that have been slightly exaggerated for a more dramatic effect, but hey, that's the beauty of telling a damn fine story. You have to keep the audience entertained. And sometimes the details need to be stretched for full effect.

I say these words because based off my experience with hearing my married friends tell the stories of how they met each other, I kind of want to put my head in a vice and pluck my eyeballs out with a pair of rusty tweezers. Yes, that's how pathetic your tales are when it comes to how you met your soul mates. Now dear brothers, I'm not saying that's the story you are both telling of how you met your own wonderful wives, but seriously, I have heard some awful narrations of how it was "love at first sight" between two people, a.k.a. she didn't mind when I farted, so I guess she was the one.

Anonymous Friend: Well, we hooked up at a rodeo, and at first, I was a little ashamed to call her my girlfriend. Like, I didn't want anyone to know that we had made out. But then one thing led to another, and now we've been married for eleven years.

Anonymous Uncle: We dated for like six years. And neither of us could really make up our minds. I mean, we both kinda thought getting married was good, but neither of us really had that 'push'. Anyway, I was almost 40, and she couldn't really find any other guys to date, so we just decided to get married. And uh, yeah. It's been uh…good, I think.

Anonymous Student: So it was late, and I had been on Tinder for a while. I swiped right for a good time. And after the booty was…eh…mediocre, we decided to tie the knot. It's been six months and uh…well, I guess I'm happy...

What do you want me to say? That I created this fake profile on BlackFarmersOnly.com and sent her a stalker message asking her to meet me at Zupa's for dinner? Or that I had taken her best friend out and when I got dumped, I thought I would handle sloppy seconds? Or that I got bored one time at a family reunion and decided to hit on my cousin? Come on people, I need a story that will sell millions as a best-selling novel and make the author of The Best of Me look like an incompetent chump! Damn you Nicholas Sparks!

No! You want a story that will trigger a whir in your heart and make you have a bunch of flutterbys get stirred in your stomach realizing that maybe this is True L-word. You want juicy details about eight-year hiatuses in between our first and second dates. You want me to tell you about that one time where I spent $150 on a second date with a different girl, and ten minutes in I was already missing the one girl I shared sushi with the night prior. You want the rose-colored stage being set for a grand ol' showing of two people making a connection at the right place and at the right time in both of their lives.

And that's what I'll tell them. Whether or not this girl ends up being the Mother of my future #awesome offspring, I'm going to tell one Hell of a story about this chapter of my life. Because that's what life is anyway. It's dramatic, full of twists and turns, it makes you laugh, makes you cry, puts Nicholas Sparks to shame, and makes you feel happy that the good guy wins in the end.

And that's the story I'm going to tell. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why, Thank You!

“I never send an after date text.” Brooke says to me last Friday night.

“Come again for Big Fudge?”

“If a guy is interested, he’ll fight to take me out again. Since when is that text a mandatory thing every girl MUST do once the date is over?”

Um, why does anyone spend money on another person and not get a thank you in return? Since when is the dating world we’re all playing in a figurative version of a strip club?

For full effect, download “Electric Love” by BøRNS and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Kids, when it comes to the messed up world of modern dating that all of us single people have been condemned to wander around in for years at a time, there are a number of rules that get set in place in order to keep things somewhat structured. It’s not like there is a formal monarch enforcing these rules to make sure we all have the best experience, because lets face it; everyone has been the victim of a bad date. But regardless, there are a certain number of rules and regulations that all of us have subconsciously vowed to abide while we’re out looking for the next Mr. or Mrs. who will share last names with us.

For example, men have been handed the following rules to live by:

1. The rule of the gentleman. A man is required to open all doors, drive all vehicles, and pay for all meals. No halvsies or going Dutch is allowed whatsoever.

2. The rule of the tool. A man shall not wear any shade of pink on their upper body. If wearing a collared shirt, they are not allowed to pop the collar and/or tuck the front of the shirt into their belt buckle. A side addendum to this rule is the Corey Hart decree that a man shall not be allowed to wear sunglasses indoors, or 30 minutes after the sun has set below the horizon. 

3. The 60-40 rule. On a first date, a man will allow things relating to the woman’s life to make up at least 60% of the conversation, where he will make up the remaining difference. In the future, the 60-40 ratio will substantially grow in the favor of the woman’s life to the point where if both sides agree to be married, it then becomes the 90-10 rule. 

There are of course many other rules and stipulations that we as a male gender have been asked to abide by, but those are all contingent on circumstances and context. With that being said, there are a few rules the female gender have been asked to abide by when a stranger asks for their digits and takes them out to a night on the town.

1. The Dress Your Doll rule: A girl is required to wear clothes that are above average for social settings. Never on a first date may she wear sweat pants and an un-matching hoodie. (Okay, maybe there’s a little biased bitterness behind this one, but I think you all agree.

2. The PT rule: On a first date, a girl shall not bring up any information, whether positive or negative, that has anything to do with a previous relationship. You have no idea the disqualification it does to a man to hear about a previous douchebag’s Dodge Ram and the size of his biceps.

3. The Text of Chivalry rule: Following a first date, depending on the time it takes for a man to return to his own dwelling, a girl is REQUIRED to send an after date text, thanking the gentleman for his kind efforts in courting her on that lovely evening. 

“Out of all of the rules that girls are handed down, why do you have to disregard the after date text rule?” I rant to Brooke in hysterics. “Why can’t you just send a tiny blip of 1’s and 0’s to space and back, letting them know you appreciate the amount of time, money, and courage they mustered up to take you out? I know you want to make a guy chase you, but for the sake of common courtesy, why can’t you just send a text message with the two simple words of ‘thank you’?!”

“Well I didn’t send the after date text to you, and look what happened! You sure came chasing after me, didn’t you?” She says.

Valid point. Maybe women really do know everything.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

What The Hell Is This?

“So you kind of stirred the pot with your latest blogpost.” My boss says to me this morning in the middle of our Title IX training.

“Stirred the pot with my blogpost? Uh-oh, with who?”

“People think you’re getting married.” He says back.

For full effect, download, “No Way In Hell” by the Bomfunk MC’s and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Historically speaking, these blogposts are primarily written for my children who have yet to vacate and/or book a 9-month stay in the nearest available womb. I want them to know about the crazy adventures their dimwit Dad took before they ever decided to grace me with their presence. However, every once in a while there perhaps may be a few other couple hundred bystanders who click on this link for some witty entertainment on a bi-weekly basis, and are secretly living their single lives vicariously through my personalized/humorous adventures in the dating world.

With that being said, I must say I have been a little taken back as to how many people have socially assaulted me with point blank questions about the pretty girl with the rusty voice who I was buying groceries for at Wal-Mart at 3 in the morning.

“Is this blog post telling me what I think it's telling me?????????????!!!!!” Asks my old college roommate’s wife.

“Word on the street is that you might be making some ‘big plans’ in the future with someone.” Yells a co-worker from down the hall, with an overdramatic “wink-wink” gesture and embellished smile tossed my direction.

“Who’s this girl everyone’s buzzing about?” Says a lovely imitation of my Grandma who praises my blog like it’s her adopted child.

“9-11 Emergency Meeting through a text. Brockasaurus, are you in L-word??” Writes my honorary little sister who I haven’t seen in person since Obama’s reelection.  

People, people, get a hold of yourselves! All I did was compare two chick-flick stories between my high school football coach and my almost dead Great Uncle about how they met their significant others in dramatic fashions. Who’s to say that I was referencing anything similar happening in my life at all? I haven’t been to a stake dance since I still had pimples. I have never attended Utah State University. And I sure as Shirley have never had the crowds part in a large social setting, seen a pretty face standing in front of me and knew without a sliver of doubt she was the girl I was going to marry. Sorry to be the cynical pin bursting your romantic bubbles, but that’s just not me.

There are a number of assumptions being tossed back and forth about why I was in Wal-Mart at three o’clock in the morning holding an armful of groceries, many of them including the potential of a small ring and a future selection of groomsmen. Who’s to say I wasn’t just on some daydreaming kick and this entire event didn’t happen years ago? Who’s to say the pretty girl with a rusty voice wasn’t some kind of fictional character I made up, a character I hypothetically hope exists somewhere in the world. Who’s to say I wasn’t just buying breakfast for a chain smoker standing outside in the parking lot? There are an infinite number of possibilities that could explain my last blogpost, with me falling victim to the disease of twitterpation absolutely last on the list.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that no, I am not getting married. No, there aren’t any big plans in the future. No, the Brockasaurus is not in L-word. He will not pass go, he will not collect $200. Come on people, falling head over heels for a girl is one of the last things I would ever expect to happen at this exact point. I’m quitting my job, selling my house, and moving clear across the country for school in a few months. A bowl of cake batter has better odds of surviving a woman going through menopause than I do of finding the mother of my future children at this stage of my life.

“I miss you.” A pretty girl with a rusty voice says in a text message at 6:54 am Monday morning, automatically spurring a small rush of emotions that puts a smile on my face. 

Meh…To Hell with the odds. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

That Spark

You wouldn’t think that a Wal-Mart at 2:30 in the morning would be the place that gives you some of the most divine inspiration about the meaning of life, but every once in a while, crazy stuff happens.

For full effect, download “Hey” by The Pixies and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

A while back it was a Thursday afternoon in October and I was in Anaheim, California, sitting in a living room that hasn’t been touched since the Chia Pet was a best-selling toy. To my right was a ruthless old woman flirting with Alzheimer's, having a hard time trying to understand how a remote control does its job. To my left, her 89-year old, 100-pound, sopping wet husband sat in his La-Z-Boy and mouthed the instructions back to her, shaking his head as this odd couple pondered in the back of their minds how they had stuck with each other for almost three quarters of a century.

“You dating anyone, boy?” The old man said. And the answer is yes, when you have been born before the stock market actually crashed, and your parents crossed the plains in a handcart, you are still going to care about the romantic lives of your posterity. That kids, is a cold hard fact.

“Not really Uncle Lavar.” I said back.

The old geezer nodded his head to me and looked over at his totes adorbs geriatric molding of a wife who was still trying to understand the dimensions of a small piece of black plastic in her hands.

“Have I ever told you about when I met your Aunt Afton?”

For the record kids, I have heard this story almost a dozen times over the course of my now, ‘gasp’, 30-year existence, but due to the fact that I had time to kill on a Thursday afternoon, and statistically speaking this might be the last time I would actually hear this story from his own mouth thanks to old age and a bad liver, I thought I would entertain the old man once again and hear his own Ted Mosby version of how he met the mother of his children.

“I remember standing in the middle of the ballroom at Utah State my freshman year, and I turned around and looked in the doorway and saw your Aunt Afton standing next to the girl I was going steady with. And as she walked in, I knew right then that she was the girl I was going to marry.” He said.

“You just knew?”

“I just knew.”

“But how did you know?” I asked him.

“There was a spark about her, boy. Something inside me just went off when I saw her face in that doorway. I took her home that night, and the rest was history.”

Flashback to the fall of 2001, where my high school football coach, Brian Berrong said the same thing to me during a weightlifting class my senior year. And yes, I know a story about twitterpated romance while you’re bench pressing does not seem like a normal combination, but hey, Berrong was a hell of a coach and taught me more lessons about life than just a bunch of X’s and O’s on a chalkboard.

“We were sitting at a stake dance and I saw this beautiful girl walk into the gymnasium.” He said. “Right at that moment I turned to my buddy standing next to me, pointed at her and said, ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry.’”

“You knew? Just like that?”

“Just like that.”

“But how? That’s crazy.”

“I don’t know how to explain it. But sometimes you just know.”

The similarities between these two conversations are a bit eerie, I will admit. A, because there is a 13-year gap between their existence, and B, because of the stark contrast in the characters that gave them; one being a very simple, nearly 90-year old Navy vet who is on his last dying leg, the other from a very brilliant offensive coordinator who walked me through my own spiritual awakening. How these two men share the same viewpoint about relationships is undeniably alarming.

But as the clock ticks past 3 am, and I’m walking through an empty Wal-Mart that’s as deathly silent as a funeral home, holding an armful of groceries so I can cook breakfast for a pretty girl with a rusty voice in a few hours, I can’t help but wonder if maybe these two wise old men are on to something.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

It's Just Money

“Tickets! You need tickets? I got two of ‘em! Left corner in da Gonzaga section, $175 a piece. Come on man, take ‘em off my hands.” A fat man with French fries for hair says to us before we even get out of our car.

For full effect, download “Holy Moly” by Matthew E. White and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Kids, I have seen some great sporting events in my lifetime. I sat courtside at the Delta Center to watch my beloved Utah Jazz dozens of times. I saw Big Papi go yard on the first pitch in the most beautiful baseball park in the West. I’ve had beer thrown on me while watching two of the greatest college basketball teams ever duke it out at the Final Four in San Antonio. I cheered with 108,000 other loyal Buckeyes and watched the best team in the country beat the tar out of the Bearcats. I have scalped and stubhubbed, finagled and fibbed to watch what I think God put on this Earth to make sure I wouldn’t lose my sanity; sports. And last night as we got out of the parking lot and had a fat man with beer on his breath breathing cheap seats down our throats, I added another story to my memoirs.

For the record I would like to make it very clear that I have no affiliation with the University that is associated with Brigham Young, a.k.a. The Provo Bubble’s Mecca, a.k.a. The Holy Land for Sheltered Idiots. With that being said, whenever they decide to play in the West Coast Conference Championship Basketball game against one of the most Bandwagoned teams in the country, you’re dang right I’m going to throw on a blue shirt and get in a car with my best friend and his Dad to go cheer for the Cougars. Somewhere in Northern Utah my Grandma fist bumped the air in elation at that last sentence.  

For the record, I would also like my children to know that I am anti-Gonzaga. Yeah, I’ll say that too. I flat out don’t like the Bulldogs. First of all have any of you been to the piece of belly button lint known as Spokane, Washington? On a scale of 1 to Cher, Spokane is as hideous as 80’s fashion on Meth. Second, any team that invokes a bandwagon/cult following because of a few upset wins over a decade ago does not deserve the national respect their rose-colored glasses are figmenting in their Jack Daniels-soaked, delusional minds. Third, they have a lousy long distance ed. program that purposefully gave my best friend 9K of debt and forced him to withdraw from their school because of piss-poor communication. Ironic that it was their Comm. program too! Fourth, have I mentioned that Spokane was ugly? Oh. I did? First reason? Well yeah, Spokane is the phlegm that a two-legged pug coughs up before breakfast.

Flashback to the parking lot of a second-tier Vegas casino where fattie fat fats with Boston accents were roaming around like mosquitos trying to pawn off tickets to foolish tourists holding red solo cups with watered-down beer in their hands.

“So 175 each. I’m tellin’ ya, it’s only gonna go up from ‘ere. Ya can’t fahnd a bettuh deal dan dat!” The balding French Fry wearing Miller High Life as cologne said to us. I looked at my best friend with the same face a little kid wears when he’s trying to protect an alibi for sneaking out of the house, and with that we shrugged him off and continued our quest for official places to plant our butts in the Orleans Arena.

“How much we looking to spend?” My best friend’s Dad asked. Which by the way, have I mentioned yet that this man’s name is Ivan? He sounds like a Polish monarch who just conquered Mongolia in a chariot with that kind of title.

“I don’t know? Are we wanting to dish out that kind of cash? I mean, I’m a fan of sports and all, but is it worth $150 bucks a ticket? I don’t know if I want to spend that kind of money.” I said. Which at that point in our deliberations, standing in a parking lot in the crust of Sodom and Gomorrah, Ivan the Brilliant said one of the most profound statements I have heard in my adult life.

“But it’s just money. I mean, you can’t take it with you.”

The three of us looked at each other, almost in a trance-like state as if the clouds had parted and some deeper meaning of life had just been wiped across our foreheads and the Scrooge McDucks inside our wallets had been shot in the chest. Without saying anything we found the nearest French Fry smelling like beer and shelled out $375 for fifth row tickets behind the bench. And you know what kids, it was glorious. One of the most entertaining sporting events I have ever had the privilege of witnessing.

Cut to three hours later where three men wearing blue shirts are running down the stairs to escape the drunken mob of Gonzaga fans wanting to revel in their victory. Yeah kids, it was THEIR victory. All 6,500 of them who made the pilgrimage in a drunken stupor to the city of sin to support their Bulldogs. Every single one of them had won they game! (Cue sarcastic font). Escaping into the Vegas night, Ivan looked at me.

“Well that was fun wasn’t it?” He said.

“Yep. $125 a piece fun!” Scrooge McDuck said back to him.

“Well hey, it’s just money. We’ll remember this game tonight for years to come. We sure as heck won’t remember our money.”

With those words, Ivan the Brilliant took a penny-pinching cartoon character out behind the woodshed and shot him right in the head. He was right, it was just money. And that game, regardless of the fact that the holy team from Utah County lost to a horde of drunken slobs, the three of us will talk about it for years.