Friday, January 04, 2008

...Finally Having Something Interesting to Post

About 14 years ago I was hired by a friend to do the announcing for a pro wrestling show he was promoting in San Jose, CA. This included holding the microphone when the performers were being interviewed. In doing a youtube search recently to see if I could find any material on one of the performers from that show, I was surprised to discover... myself (just after the 5:00 minute mark).

(Some off color language is used, so careful if you are looking at work)


Thursday, February 08, 2007

...The Object of Her Affection

It’s interesting how our own personal experiences tend to shape our perspective of events. Everyone is buzzing these days about the wild story of the astronaut who traveled 900 miles in a diaper to confront a romantic rival.

And all I could think when I heard the story was, “Why hasn’t anything like this ever happened because of *ME*?”

Seriously, I can think of all of one time in my life where two women actively competed for my affection. I was 14 years old on an overnight Jewish youth group retreat. Late Saturday night I was sitting on a couch with Debbie, a not all that bright (she was in the slow learners classes) but very cute blond, when I found myself flanked on the other side by Gabby, who wasn’t as traditionally attractive as Debbie but far more intelligent (she had skipped a grade), who made it clear she was there to fight for me. After a couple hours of this delicate balancing act, Gabby finally whispered to me, “I’m going to get up now. One of us has to go…one of us has to”, effectively removing herself from the competition. Probably a good thing too because Debbie let me kiss her with tongue and go under her shirt later that night, which seemed far less likely to happen with Gabby.

That was nearly 20 years ago. To date, nothing like this has ever happened to me again. Sure, I’ve dated a number women over the years, even had long-term relationships with a few. But nobody has ever deemed me a prestigious enough catch to really be worth going crazy over.

Nobody I’ve broken up with has ever seemed to find the event to be all that traumatic. None of my exes have ever come to the realization after we were finished that I was a prize worth treasuring and actively fought to get me back. No one has ever had such an obsessive crush on me as to do anything to cause embarrassment to herself. Heck, even Gabby, from the story above, seemed to more or less be over it by the next morning.

When I heard the story of the love-crazed astronaut, I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous of the guy who was the impetus for her behavior. Sure, we can laugh at some details of the story – her traveling the whole way in Depends undergarments, her ridiculous “I just wanted to talk with her” alibi, etc. But it must be a huge ego boost to know that an otherwise intelligent, decorated, professional woman was perfectly willing to degrade and humiliate herself and throw away a brilliant career all for the chance just to be with you.

But aside for one isolated event from before I even needed to shave, I wouldn’t know. As Rod Stewart once said, Some Guys Have All the Luck

Sunday, January 28, 2007

...Toilet Training


Friday, January 19, 2007

...Leaving the World a Little Better Place Than I Found It

Early on in my career, a veteran sales rep from my industry advised me never to let the job become too stressful. After all, he reminded me, “It’s not like we’re doctors. We’re not saving lives here.”

Fundamentally this was sound advice. A gentle admonition to always keep things in perspective.

Still, I couldn’t help but find his advice a little depressing. It served as a confirmation that what I do for a living really isn’t all that important. There is a part of me who really envies doctors, firemen, policemen and teachers. Or anyone else who has a job where they can honestly claim to make a positive contribution to society every time they clock in. Selling expensive audio-visual toys, by comparison, simply doesn't seem as noble.

On the other hand, I could be grossly underestimating the value of my profession to the world at large.

Yesterday my phone rang off the hook as I was called incessantly by various people from various companies, all of who were depending on me to facilitate an emergency rush order. If I hadn’t been successful in making the proper arrangements for a particular piece of gear to arrive in Las Vegas by early this morning, the Justin Timberlake concert may not have gone on as scheduled.

Others may save lives, fight crime or stimulate young minds. But how many can claim to have helped bring sexy back?

Monday, January 15, 2007

...My Cheating Heart

One of the funniest scenes in the movie Election comes when the Matthew Broderick character, a married high school teacher, shows up at the home of his best friend’s ex-wife with the intent of starting an affair, but instead finds himself attacked by a swarm of angry bees. In the context of the movie this was supposed to demonstrate the type of luck this character was used to experiencing, however, it seems to me you could just as easily call it karmic payback for attempting to cheat on his wife.

I’ve had a couple experiences like that myself. When I moved down to Southern California I was still involved in a serious relationship with my college sweetheart, going on 3 years. Even though it was never said outright, I think we both assumed once our lives were a little more settled (she had a semester left before she graduated, I was just starting out my career) we’d get married and start a life together.

This didn’t stop me from messing around on her just a couple weeks after I moved (discussed previously here). I was out with a group of friends from work, bar hopping in Long Beach. I hit it off with a friend one of my co-workers had brought along and in short order we were making out pretty heavily. When the group I drove out with was ready to head back home, this woman requested I instead stick around with her. When you let your ride home for the night take off so you can spend additional time with a woman you’ve been tongue-kissing for the previous few hours, I think it’s pretty obvious what you’re intending.

Walking back to this woman’s apartment, she came up with the ill-fated idea that we should first stop in at another bar for “one more drink”. No sooner had we sat down than this woman struck up a conversation with the guy sitting on the other side of her, who she eventually determined to be more to her liking. It was obvious I was going to get screwed in an entirely different way than I had originally anticipated.

On the SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLAR, 40 mile cab ride back to my apartment, I comforted myself with the idea cosmic forces had intervened to prevent me from cheating on my girlfriend. Because that’s a lot easier to digest than “I just got totally rejected, degraded and humiliated”.

I had an eerily similar feeling yesterday watching the playoff game between the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots. After a lifetime as a 49ers fan, I recently changed my allegiance to the Chargers (discussed previously here). Unceremoniously dumping the team I’ve been rooting for since I was 7 years old, the team I was such a big fan of as a kid it became an annual tradition for my dad to take me to a live game at Candlestick the Sunday closest to my birthday, the team I watched win 5 Super Bowls throughout the 80s and 90s, all because I didn’t have the patience for them to go through their current “rebuilding” process.

I don’t remember exactly which point in the game yesterday – maybe when Eric Parker fumbled a punt return, perhaps when Drayton Florence inexplicably headbutted a Patriots player after 3rd down, resulting in a 15 yard penalty and fresh set of downs, or possibly when Marlon McCree intercepted a Tom Brady 4th down pass only to fumble the ball, returning possession and better field position to the Patriots – I got to thinking maybe this was my karmic punishment for being disloyal to the team I grew up with. How else do you explain how a team who was so dominant throughout the regular season essentially hands a victory to the opposition?

Maybe it’s time to take that old 49ers sweatshirt out of mothballs.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

...High School Redux

I’ve had this fantasy lately about getting the chance to do high school all over again.

I was one of those classic underachievers: The type of student who had the intelligence to prosper in the classroom, but due to a complete lack of interest in homework or studying, consistently found myself on the brink of failure. I exasperated my parents and an infinite number of teachers over the years, all of who could see I had the potential to thrive in school if only I would put forth the effort.

Part of me wants to blame it on the school system which, as designed, seems set up to kill any desire anyone could possibly have in learning. Seriously, who in their right mind decided it was logical to expect teenagers to spend 7 hours a day stuck in a classroom, only to be told to then spend several *more* hours at home working on the same material?

The hole in that theory, of course, is that there are many students who do just fine in a traditional school setting, which points the finger back in my direction.

Part of my problem, and this is something I still struggle with, was that I had the bad habit of being a “pleasure first, responsibility later” type. Regardless of how much homework I came home with or whether or not a big test was coming up, if a new issue of “Pro Wrestling Illustrated” came in the mail or a good episode of “Three’s Company” was on, that came first. If there was time left over for schoolwork, so be it, but it was never my top priority.

It also took me a long time (well after high school) to understand that challenging myself, doing something that was difficult for me and overcoming the obstacle, could be a pleasurable experience. Instead of buckling down and putting extra effort into the classes I struggled with like math and science, I instead focused my energy on the subjects that came naturally to me, like English. If I sat down to work on my math homework and didn’t understand how to do the problems at first glance, I just wouldn’t do them, period. It never occurred to me that if I just persisted and didn’t give up I would eventually get the concept.

Then there were the normal teenage issues that distracted me from my schoolwork. Namely, obsessing over when I would finally get to see a girl naked somewhere other than Cinemax at Night.

It just seems like I completely wasted my high school years by not putting forth the effort I was capable of. I suppose things turned out ok for me anyway, but it would have been nice to have been in the position of choosing between a variety of prestigious colleges to attend instead of having my choice limited to the few where I barely met the minimum entrance requirements.

Part of the reason I’ve been consumed with this is because my company focuses heavily on the K-12 education market, meaning I often find myself on sales calls at various high school campuses, which always seems to serve as a reminder of my own high school failures.

I wish I had the chance to give high school another shot with the maturity and diligence I’ve developed as an adult. I’m convinced I could be an “A” –student, even in the subject that are tough for me like science and math, if I put forth the effort, stayed focused and remained persistent.

Or I could just be deluding myself.

A couple days ago I arrived early for an appointment with a math teacher at a local high school. Seeing me outside, this teacher was kind enough to invite me in while he finished teaching his class.

I thought it might be fun to try to follow along with his lesson. The problem he had written on the screen didn’t look so hard at first glance, but in short order I was totally confused by the numerous variables, a graph with lines I couldn’t comprehend, positive and negative numbers being subtracted and added to each other according to rules I didn’t understand.

I didn’t feel too bad though, because I knew this instructor taught classes of varying levels of difficulty. I figured I must have wondered in during an advanced class like Trigonometry or Calculus. To confirm, I inquired after the bell rang what class I had just witnessed.

“Those were my freshman. That was Algebra I.”

Monday, January 01, 2007


Only one so far for 2007:

No More Buying "Some Assembly Required" Gifts for Christmas

Such as this:

Vital Statistics:

Day Project Started: December 30th

Day Project Completed: January 1st

Number of times during assembly process I wanted to curl up into a ball and cry like a baby: More than I'd care to admit

Number of times during assembly process I was convinced my marriage was not going to survive the assembly process: Same as above

Event most responsible for delay in assembly time: My putting two pieces together backwards which caused final pieces to not fit together properly, requiring a massive de- and re-installation process that added several hours to the project

Upon project completion, amount of time my stepkids spent playing basketball before returning to Guitar Hero 2: 15 minutes tops
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