Sunday, August 17, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
“This seems like a pretty nice place. Do you come here a lot?” I say.
“Not really, only when I want to take advantage of good-looking guys with deep wallets on first dates.” She says.
For full effect, download “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
Kids, before I delve into that one night with that one girl in that one place that I’m going to be very vague about for the sake of liability issues, I just want to tell you that I have had some funny stories happen to me over the years, stories that have pushed me to fits of tears and upchuckles of laughter. This one however, well, this one was an instant classic the moment I made a pretty girl turn an angry shade of embarrassment by a philosophical reference to a slang term about male genitalia.
For the record, I would also like to add that I only fit one of the three prior qualifications that she stated she was taking advantage of. I do not own more than one motor vehicle, I have not posed for GQ magazine as a side gig, I was simply the next twig and berries in line as a suitor. A blind suitor I might add.
“So do you enjoy this part of the neighborhood? I mean, what the heck keeps you entertained in these parts?” I say.
“Oh there are all sorts of things that keep me busy. But I must say that when I’m feeling like I need a break, I just go dancing. That fixes everything.”
For the record, I would also like to add that this was a very pretty, very flexible, very stereotyped girl in her mid-twenties who was chewing on some fancy pants $12 appetizer in between sentences. Think about it, what girl has never said the words “Sometimes I come home from work, I turn on the music, and I…I just gotta dance!” I know. My point exactly.
“Dancing can be addicting. I wouldn’t know because I’m a heterosexual Caucasian male over six feet tall, but I’m sure it does wonders for anyone else who isn’t in that demographic concoction. What do you do in the meantime to pay the bills?” I say.
This is the part where I tell you that in order to have a successful conversation on a blind date between any man and woman, 61% of the dialogue must come from the side who is wearing makeup. True story. If you, the male, think it’s your job to tell her about that one time when you were in high school and you hit a home run in 6th period P.E., or about that one stalker ex-girlfriend who burned a hole in your apartment, well sorry son, this might not be your night. Shut your mouth and let her talk. That’s a fundamental of dating.
“Anyway, I’ve been blathering on about myself for too long. What are your plans for the next few years? What’s the next big thing you want to tackle?” She asks.
Brace yourself kids, this just might be the moneymaker.
“Well, I’ve got plans as far as what I want to do for my career, and my schooling, but one thing I’ve come to learn is that things never really go according to plan. One day we’re on cloud nine living the dream, the next day life decides to throw a wrench in our plans and theoretically kick us in the nuts.”
She brings her left hand to cover her mouth and looks down at the $900 freshly shaved wooden table. Raising up the pointer finger on her right hand like a third grade girl scout begging for the teacher's attention, she swallows back what appears to be a mouthful of tears and embarrassment.
“Pants.” She says.
“Kick in the pants. I have dated many projects before in my life, but one thing I will never allow is to be courted by a man who has a foul mouth.”
This is the part where I bring my lips back inside my mouth and bite a hole in the left side of my cheek trying to hold back my vomited response of laughter in this sweet young dancer’s face. Yes kids, she said pants. That line was verbatim. Our meal would go on, but only with an awkward asterisk hanging over our heads because of my foul language. Things weren’t the same. We didn’t click. We didn’t mesh. I didn’t care anymore about her obsession with dancing, and she could tell. Which led her to probe deeper into my character about ten minutes after her rebuking of my spirituality.
“What would you say is a dealbreaker when it comes to dating a girl.” She asks.
“Hmm…that’s a very layered question. I mean you’ve got the basics, like if they have a kid, or have been married three times before we met. But then there are the smaller things, like girls who lie on a repetitive basis, or girls who have a hard time saying the word nuts.”
She looks up from her $19 plate of carrot cake and begins to turn pink like a sunburnt ginger.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
For full effect, download "Black Betty", by RamJam and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Go ahead, you can thank Rick Palmer for that one.
You have all heard my rants on things that I just do not understand whatsoever. Water bottles, Guys in pink shirts, Spongebob Squarepants, you know the gist. Golf however, holds a feeling in my heart as to something I used to abhor like a Michael Bay film, but now adore like my Mom's thanksgiving Jell-o.
Growing up my Dad was an insane golfer. Insane kids, I promise you that. This was a man who would snowplow the fairway in December to get a few extra sessions in. A man who had the Royal Greens clubhouse as the only phone number on his speed dial. A man who was late for his own funeral simply because he had a tee time that morning and was trying to squeeze in the back nine before the eulogy was read. Yeah, he loved golf that much.
Now coming from my 6-and-a-half foot tall perspective, golf just isn't my thing. I never understood how people got enjoyment from hitting things all over the place and then walking to hit them again. I couldn’t figure out how to “read greens” or how to use a pitching wedge 30 yards out. I didn’t really know why a bunch of old guys liked to play with their little balls all day long (no pun intended.)
Don’t ask me what I was thinking the first time I teed up a shot. Maybe it was because I was trying to be part of my college X-Club golfing extravaganza, or that I owed my BFF at the time Holland a favor for a few things that I’m not proud of. Heck, I had probably been smoking pot that morning for all I know, which in turn motivated me to lace up and tee off.
Three hours, nine lost balls, and a broken axle on the golf cart later, I confirmed my abhorrence for the Tiger Woods pastime. And no, I am not referring to unnamed prostitutes and a beat up Escalade.
I was Tin Cup plus Happy Gilmore. The Dwight Howard of the 19th hole. A man who confused golfing with croquet. I was a maniac. I thought I did pretty well out there. I think I shot a 36? 37? And then on the second hole I shot a 31? Something like that. It was such a catastrophe that by the 5th hole, I simply started using nothing but the six iron. To tee off, chip, putt, wave around in madness, and smack myself in the face with. Well, that and my hand wedge…
The way I was looking at it, I was looking for a bowling score out there, and trying to get the highest score. And I did. I shot so well I broke 100. On 9 holes. Which in golfing terms is something viewed at in almost a reverse perspective. Either way, I was on fire. Holland put it best when he said if I was going to pay the 19 bucks to be out there, I might as well try and take as many shots as possible.
At the time I didn't think I was bred for the sport of golf. But things have changed. Golf is my addiction. It's my release. I'm no pro, or amateur, or novice, or person with any type of experience in this sport whatsoever, but I still L-word it. I know my 96-year old three-fingered dead great grandpa could a tee shot with a putter further than I probably will ever drive period. Maybe it's that I haven't bought into golf apparel and still wear basketball shorts when I tee off. Yeah, that has to be it. The fashion. My lack of nipple high slacks and plaid collared shirts with a goofy beret ensure I will never fit into the golf world. The fashion could my Achilles heel in this whole thing.
Somewhere, my Dad is shaking his head.
Thursday, August 7, 2014
I had a hook line that was going to relate with the concept of farting, however I didn’t want back-to-back posts starting off with a theme of unpredictable bowel movements.
For full effect, download “Renegade” by Styx, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
The past seven days have been…well, (cue long exhale and dropped shoulders) well they’ve been, uh…you know? Yeah, that sentence probably sums it up perfectly. The past seven days have been everywhere. They have been raucous. They have been clinging on to $20K in a satchel, sitting next to drug addicts on a bus. They have been on rollercoasters that have lost their rose-colored, immature appeal. They have been at wedding receptions, on long distance road trips, in movie theater La-Z-Boys, in hotel basements, and in living rooms where 95-year old Great Grandmothers turn to me and whisper underneath their breath, “Hell, I’m ready to just die!”
For the record, if you actually were in the basement of the Daniels Summit lodge yesterday morning and heard my ode to the meaning of life, go ahead and return to your browsing of social media stories and liking pictures that really don’t have much value on the grand board game of life, I won’t be offended. You have already heard my discourse in person.
Sweaty pits and all.
In the winter of 1990 my parents got married and I moved to the frozen wasteland of Cache County, Utah. I was cold, I was scared, and I was five. On the first day of class two kids, Tosha Welch and Chuck Burtis, came and sat next to me and made me feel like I wasn’t going to get beat up and eaten by our geriatric teacher Mrs. Falk. These two made my five-year old life make sense. We were BFF’s before the acronym had ever been coined. Heck, we even invented a climbing club that only select members of Millville Elementary were allowed to join. For the four years I lived in the arctic tundra of Hyrum, they kept me sane.
Flash forward to the summer of 2002 just following my freshman year of college. I was 18 years old at the time and I took a job in Albuquerque, New Mexico. No, I wasn’t selling meth like the majority of you Heisenberg loyalists are probably assuming, I was selling pest control plans instead, taking on the role of one of the countless victims of summer sales pyramid schemes. As I burned myself out walking the desert I met a kid. A tall, lurpy, Dr. Pepper junkie named Niels Hendrickson, who was as addicted to the game of basketball as I was. We beat each other up underneath the hoops of Albuquerque all summer long and have been best friends ever since.
Take a few more steps further to the fall of 2012, where I wandered the streets of Seattle Washington with another 27-year old named Jo Olsen, who was just as perplexed about life as I was trying to figure out the crazy thing that everyone else calls the L-word. We walked, and laughed, and ate expensive seafood dinners on the pier. It was a bromance people, a bromance! In the years since, we have shared hotel rooms on recruiting trips, cheap Mexican food in gas stations, heartbreaking football games, and F-bombs over midnight voicemails when girls decide they “just want to be friends”.
Now, I mention these previous friendships I have forged over the course of my travels to tie in the deeper meaning of life that I have somewhat unraveled over the past seven days while sitting on midnight bus rides and in wedding ceremonies. I tell you about these people because they in fact are some of the most valuable objects that I will ever be able to claim. The relationship that we have had, for whatever amount of time it existed, that is what means the most when you think about it.
Kids, we care about things in this life that absolutely do not matter whatsoever. We waste our lives fighting for things like new cars, new wardrobes, or Blu-ray copies of Duck Dynasty Season 6. We long for physical objects that once the dust has settled and we are six feet under are about as valuable as the human excrement we will eventually become. As the great Tyler Durden once said, “We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”
None of those things matter. They really don’t. Material things that have actual blue-book value and can be whittled down to dollars and cents, those objects in the grand scheme of things aren’t worth a single penny. But relationships, those connections we have with people from first grade recesses, to summer nights in Albuquerque, to afternoon strolls in the Pacific Northwest, those moments in our lives you cannot assign a price tag. The relationships we have with the people we bump into for certain periods of our own stories, those are the most important items we will ever own. As the brilliant marketing team for Mastercard so eloquently put:
There are some things money just can’t buy.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
For full effect, download "First Day Of My Life" by Bright Eyes and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
Five years people. That sometimes seems too good to be true, I must say. Five years since I totaled an ex-girlfriend's Nissan Altima on the side of the road. Five years since I laid on the bottom of Baker reservoir for four and a half minutes. Five years since I walked to the podium of a collegiate graduation and lifted 1,500 diplomas in an unconscious frenzy while a Utah State Congressman thought I was possessed by Harry Reid. Five years since a chewed up tongue, a dented fender, a pair of shorts soaked in pee, a broken shoulder, a torn suit, a bad date, a face full of pasta, a shattered laptop, and a mouth full of drool.
Five years since an extension cord was unplugged from the left side of my head. And I have never been more happy.
For the record, if you haven't been keeping track of my life, which by the way and I say this in all seriousness, I don't blame you seeing as how you are much more important in the grand scheme of things than I am, it's been five years since a witch doctor holding a scalpel decided to slice a giant question mark into the left side of my head and take out the part of my brain that was corrupt, that was damaged. Five years since a man decided to remove the piece of my life that was the instigator for so many late night stories about that one time when Brock Bybee had a seizure.
Jake Schroeder: "So we're in the middle of the game and all of a sudden, you take off in a dead run, and I mean a full on sprint across the gym and you run headfirst into the glass window of the intramural office. And then you dusted yourself off and went back to playing 3-on-3. I never saw anything more funny."
Logan Bentley: "Dixon Downs was towing your truck and you turned the wheel and sideswiped two girls' vehicles in front of Evans Hairstyling College and crashed into a fire hydrant across the street. Why the heck couldn't you have hit my sister's car instead? She could have made money on a totaled vehicle!"
Eric Young: "I remember at graduation you started running down the sidewalk while everyone else was walking past us, and I started running after you in my robe. I had a dozen paces on you, but you split like a track star. Talk about a run for my money. I have to say that I did pretty good for a fat man in a Master's robe to catch you."
Jason Fotheringham: "That one where you took your pants off in my car and I kept telling you to put your head down."
D.J. Schmutz: "It was at the stake center in La Verkin. We were all there to see Elder Richard G. Scott speak and when I walked into the gym looking for seats I see this really big guy in the front just freaking out and knocking over chairs and everything. I didn't know what was going on until some people just said, 'Oh, that's Brock Bybee, he has seizures for attention.'"
Funny how everyone has their own memory of when I lost control of both active brain function and occasionally my bowels and did something stupid. Probably all of you reading this are leaning back in your chairs, turning your heads slightly to the left and reminiscing about that one time when I face planted into a parking lot, or walked on to a basketball court mid warm-up and was almost assessed a technical foul for disorderly conduct, or peed my pants in art class on the day before Homecoming my Senior Year.
But all of those memories are fading fast. Fading because I haven't been able to conjure up any new stories that keep you shaking your head, wrestling me to a chokehold, and repeating the phrase to the general public, "Sorry, sorry, this kid has seizures. Just give him a few minutes and he'll be back to normal." The times when I was stereotyped as seizure man are a thing of the past. They are flashbacks continuing to collect layers of dust because five years ago a doctor knew exactly what part of my brain he wanted to slice up and remove. Those memories are gone because that part of my life was shut down.
Some things will never change over the course of time. You will forever have those stories of when I lost consciousness and caused a giant catastrophe at church, or on a date, or playing football. I will forever be a drug addict and have second thoughts about driving a vehicle if I get less than four hours sleep the previous night. But those are just habits, mannerisms that define who we are. Life will go on in the years to come, things will change, new nostalgia will be forged, and the character I played for the majority of my life may one day be lost and forgotten. However, I will never forget the moment five years ago when I became a new person, when I abandoned my brain injury, when I was finally unplugged.
I will never forget when I realized that seizure man was dead.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Yeah, that will keep you more entertained than some ode over the last 103,675 miles I have logged with my ex-wife.
For full effect, download "Bus Stop" by The Hollies and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
Currently, it's just after 1:38 in the morning and I'm somewhere in between Primm, Nevada, and Barstow, California. On a bus. Next to a sleeping nose ring. On guard so I also don't become a date raped chicken. I've done some crazy things in my life, everyone knows that. But this, this just might rank as one of the all-time nuttiest. Rather than bore you with the details of a wasted backstory, here are 24 words that explain how I got to this point over the last 24 hours: Sold my car on impulse, researched a California dealer, had a friend bail as my taxi, and hitchhiked my way on to a Greyhound. Go ahead, count them up. I know you don't believe me.
Now, back to the nose ring in the middle of the California desert.
I have ridden the Greyhound bus plenty of times. As a kid. Heck, this dump hole on wheels that smells like fermented urine used to be my personal chauffeur from SG to SLC when I was in college and experimenting with EEG's and psychoanalytic brain testing for epilepsy. Back then I used to fit on this mess of a vehicle. Back then I didn't have a semi-broken coccyx and had a hard time fitting into three cubic feet of space. But that was five years ago. This is now. Things are different. I'm a man. I file my own taxes. I have my own dental plan. I have no reason to be nervous, right?
Oh and for the record, might I add that I'm holding $20,128 in unmarked bills in a man purse, yes a man purse, forgot to add that little trinket in there.
Homeless man/potential drug addict at the bus station: "Hey man, you got a dollar?"
Me: "Not on me, sorry."
What? Is honesty REALLY the best policy in EVERY situation? I can't pull out a rubber banned stack of Ben Franklins and look to get change so this fella can get his fix and expect to make it ten more steps down the road fully conscious. I feel like Marshall Erickson in that one HIMYM episode that you never saw where he walked around Manhattan fearing that he was going to get date raped like a chicken by the public while holding on to $18,000 in his suit pocket.
Marshall Erickson: "$60, $80, $100, $18,000 in cash. It's nothing. I'll bring it home and put it in a safe place. Ok, I'm walking down the street with money in my pocket. DONT TOUCH THE MONEY! It's so obvious. Be natural. The baby is looking at me. Babies can smell money. He knows. THEY ALL KNOW! I AM CARRYING A LOT OF MONEY!!!"
That's exactly how I felt with my man purse full of moolah, which also goes to explain why I used that pic of some grunt falling asleep at the wheel. I expect this to be me somewhere off the side of I-15 tomorrow evening. Anyway, this is where I stand. Sitting on a broken bus with a bruised coccyx at nearly 2 in the morning about to be date raped like a chicken for 20 grand.
If I don't make it out alive from this kerfuffle, give my house to Trisha.