31 January, 2008

Fat Tuesday Week

We all know there’s no pity in piety, and so I ask for none; however, I must admit that Lent has taken me by surprise this year. Ash Wednesday, less than a week away, will begin the mourning preparation process for Good Friday (also absurdly early this year!) and then the celebratory feasting at Easter.

I’m excited for Easter and more than willing to practice the Lenten season, but I am a little more skeptical of this whole Fat (Shrove) Tuesday thing.

“Eric…” you chime in.

I’m glad you’re here today, dear reader!

“Oh, thanks… I was wondering if you meant that you are for or against Fat Tuesday - or as most people refer to it: Mardi Gras? I’m almost afraid to ask this, but what are you thinking?”

Wonderful, dear reader! I knew you’d come around to asking nicely. Perhaps this tale from my second year at Cal Poly will elucidate my position:

I was at home with several of my roommates, a couple friends, and a van with a portable power supply. It was Mardi Gras weekend (a phenomenon created Frat boys and kegs of Natty Ice), and we decided that we wanted nothing to do with the anarchy we thought would ensue, as it had the year before. With a brilliant suggestion, a few calculations, and the decision to borrow our friends’ van, we set about to watch a movie at the beach.

We had the projector, we had a possible screen, we had the chutzpah, but what would we hold the screen up with?

A roommate, who’s name I will leave out, so as not to incriminate him the court of law, informed me that we could use the no parking sign in front of our house because it had been knocked down by some drunken Mardi Gras partier. I thought this was a fine suggestion! A couple of minutes later I walked outside to see if my roommate had secured the knocked over pole to find his with a saw cutting the pole down himself! I yelled, "Camel-Nose" (not really, but I’m trying to protect his identity, remember?), and then he turned to me with his impish smile and gave me a shrug of his shoulders that made everything better.

We never ended up using the cut-down pole.

As you can see, dear reader, Mardi Gras is a good time when handled responsibly, and I love good times! I think Fat Tuesday is worthy of a weeklong celebration; worthy of celebrating life to the fullest before we begin reflecting on death.

So, dear reader, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear much from me this week – I have a tea-induced hangover to suffer from.

27 January, 2008

Fountain of Youth - Conclusion

Since I seem to be the worst explorer since Columbus, I have not gone very far in my search for the fountain of youth. I mean, what gives! America has taught me that all of my desires ought to be instantly gratified… not to mention all of the misinformation my dear readers have been leaving in the comments’ section. Is the fountain in Iowa, Washington, Colorado? I don’t know anymore. In fact, I think all of this uncertainty has added about seven years.

Perhaps the fountain of youth is not some glorified hot tub, but rather the search for that glorified hot tub! Maybe the youth sought is not a physical but spiritual in nature? Aside from feeling a little cheated by that thought, I still don’t really know what it means.

Fortunately I remembered something Jason Schwartzman once told me: “Find something you love and do it for the rest of your life.” Thank you Jason. But what is my Rushmore? What could give me the drive to stalwartly move forward, accepting each new day and challenge with grace and poise?

“Eric, that’s really sweet,” you somewhat confuse me, “I didn’t realize how much my being your audience meant to you.”

This is a slightly more awkward position than I hoped to be in. Dear reader, I think you’re great and all, but I just don’t feel that way about you… I hope we can still be friends.

“Yeah, I understand,” I think I hear a muffled sob, “that’s what I meant too.”

Let’s move on then!

I don’t need fast cars, loose women, or plentiful cash to make me feel young, but what I do need is the internet! No-no, hear me out here! Maybe you, dear reader are actually part of my youth – namely if I’m stalking you.

Something that I discovered in college is that there are so many great tools online for invading people’s lives! This act was given an appropriate verb by Joey, the very model of masculinity, namely: ‘creeping.’ One might say, “Sorry, I can’t go out tonight because I’ve got to creep the ‘Space.”

Bearded Glory

“Eric,” you sound a little confused, “what in the world does stalking people have to do with staying young?”

Well, dear reader, stalking people used to be a very difficult and involved task. I once wrote a song about it, parodying Nancy Sinatra’s little ditty:

These shoes are made for stalking,
And that’s what they’re gonna do,
So baby, you’re not careful,
And they’ll be stalking you!

Strangely it never took a number one spot on any charts.

Fortunately, stalking no longer requires leaving the convenience of your home. You could stalk people at age sixty better than you did in your physical prime!

The Devil?

Also, it saves a great deal of time when it comes to investing in relationships. I no longer need to ask a person their thoughts on art, music, love, sexuality, religion, politics, and favorite quotes – all of this is now readily available on the web. What’s more, people appreciate this sort of voyeurism because they would rather not waste their time talking about themselves with you so they can get to the main issue of… well, themselves. I know it doesn’t make sense, but they really do appreciate your not wasting their time.

I can simulate a three-year relationship with a person in twenty minutes simply by cutting and pasting.

Where does this leave me? I can have multiple romances and careers over the internet in the amount of it takes to hand out the Academy Awards. Really, it comes down to essentially living in dog years.

So, do you actually find youth? No. But you do get to experience more things without actually experiencing them. What a great life I have ahead of me!

Who needs Sweden, Alaska, or any other physical fountain of youth? Everything has switched from analog to digital anyways! The internet has plenty of beautiful people, fishes, limitless ads for health care (in your pants), and hipsters - else could the fountain of youth need?

So make your myspace only available to your friends because the youngest guy on the internet block is coming to see who is in your top eight!

24 January, 2008

Fountain of Youth - Part II

After my shocking conclusion the other day that I am unable to pursue my wildest dreams (and they’re pretty wild) in Sweden, I decided to do some extensive research into America’s Sweden…

“Solvang, CA?” you’ll ignorantly cut in.

No, dear reader, that would be America’s quaint Danish town. I am speaking about the land we swindled from the Russians, our land we continue to rape and pillage, the land patrolled by cruise liners. Yes, my dear reader, I am singing the tune of “Alaska Ho!”

Alaska truly parallel’s my Scandinavian homeland, it has people (some of which I think may possibly be considered beautiful), fresh salmon, oil dividends (that I could use for healthcare), and I think there is hipster potential.

Alaska has people in it, about 670,000 to be more precise. And while the entire state has less people than some of the cities I’ve lived in, these people are the salt of the earth! Well, it is not really wise to salt Alaskan earth because it would require a lot to melt the snow, and it would make for very acidic water. This point aside, there are people in Alaska, and I think they might be healthy. So, maybe I could be healthy too!

One thing Alaska certainly has going for it is its ample supply of fresh fish – particularly salmon. Last night I had a tea-based salmon dish that was exquisite! Think of all the tea and salmon I could eat together? And while it could cost you a fortune to eat the amount of fish I’d like here in the contiguous states, in Alaska they practically give it away! I would have more essential fatty acids than you could shake a frost-covered stick at!

Alaska is rich in natural resources, and this means we have a duty to ravage the land until there are none left. However, this means some hippies might get a little bent out of shape, so rather than actually address the issue of a destroyed environment, the US Government simply buys people off. “What, you don’t want us clubbing those baby seals for giggles and ess’s, well how about several thousand a year? That sounds about even, right?” Well, I don’t support paying off hippies, but I do support a quick buck in my pocket, so sign me up!

Lastly and most importantly, I want to live in a land where you can tell a hipster just by looking at them. Here in Santa Cruz, any given person walking down the street might be a hipster with their ostentatious garb and asymmetrical haircuts, but if you were to look at their myspace music interests, there’d be more crap than a dung beetle could handle. Some how being a hipster became popular, and thus hipsterness is destroyed! I mean what’s the point of looking a certain way if I can’t instantly judge a person? Some people call it stereotyping – I call it saving time. Fortunately, there are still lands unexplored by hipster-kind. These are the natural resources I want to extort! If I could be the hipster king of Alaska, then my name could be immortalized, and I would in a sense be forever young. If the Scandinavian countries can bring us Junior Senior, then Alaska can produce something at least two fifths as cool!

A Nameless Hipster

So, dear reader, perhaps I need not flee my fair country to achieve youngness, but it doesn’t seem like I can stick around in California for much longer. Everything here gets old far too quickly.

Tune in next time for the dramatic conclusion!...

22 January, 2008

The Fountain of Youth - Part I

Until recently I was unaware of the fact that I am getting old. I am fortunate enough to have an older friend who informed me that life is pretty much over at the age of 23, making my life on earth very short indeed. And like so many in the reliquary, I have decided to pursue the fabled fountain of youth!

“Now, Eric,” my dear reader, you will undoubtedly worry, “I know you’ve been out of the blogging scene for a while…” to which I’m sure you’re heart broken about. “Please don’t put words in my mouth – but could you have missed that you’re admonition of the fountain of youth being fabled means that you will have quite some difficulty finding it?”

Alas my dear reader, it is true that the fountain of youth sought by Juan Ponce de León in Florida is little more than myth (or at least as transitory as Aunt Sylvie from Housekeeping), and so I do not intend to head south to the home of my brother’s family, but rather I am heading north to one of my many European, ancestral homelands!

Yes, dear reader, I am returning to Sweden with all of its beautiful people, gelatinized fish, socialized health care, and rampant hipsters. Actually, those four things are exactly what I’m placing my hope in!

If you ever meet a beautiful Swede on the street and strike up conversation with them, you might think about asking them out to dinner, but I highly recommend you first find out their age, as it is not uncommon for a seventy-six year old to look like she’s twenty-six. This doesn’t mean that a fifty-six year old would look like a six year old, but probably somewhere in her early twenties… it’s not an exact science. You see, some combination of the environment and resources in Sweden have led to its people being nigh-immortal, super geniuses! While you do not receive the full benefits of this strange land’s transformative powers if you enter its bourn after your birth, it can prolong your trek on this earth for several lifetimes.

Perhaps the most important natural resource of Sweden is found swimming off shores: the Lutfisk. Lutfisk is a gelatinized fish that after being caught transmutes into a Jello-giggler shaped like one of the various pagan gods of the Nordic lands. It is said that eating three Lutfisks a week can give you the strength of twelve men! Not to mention all of the fish oils do wonders for your hair.

In the off chance that you have medical problems while visiting the veritable paradise that is Sweden, fear not! The socialized health care in Sweden is fast and efficient, and it even bends the laws of thermodynamics for the sake of aiding its patients. It is able to provide these exceptional services by having three hyper-intelligent robot doctors per patient. And fear not a robot rebellion, for Sweden also has genetic engineered telekinetic humans who are each responsible for controlling twenty robots; however no problems have ever arose due to robot/human intermarriages which have been available since 1982 (making Sweden the second country in the world to allow a machine/animal union).

Lastly, there are enough hipsters in Sweden to put California to shame. According to a reliable source, Sweden has more trendy haircuts and sweet-ace bicycles than Tyr could hold in his hand (no, his other hand). While hipsters are known to be rampant smokers, thus in the states have shorter life expectancy, in Sweden the heat from the tip of a cigarette helps keep blood circulating in their frigid climate. If these Swedish hipsters are anything like me, they are dancing all the time, and thus have cardiovascular exercise on a semi-weekly basis. Oh, and good music makes you live longer.

Yes, Sweden would be a fine place to go; however, I can’t afford airfare. I’m afraid I may just need to look somewhere else for my fountain of youth…

06 January, 2008

Rockus Caucus

The other day I was enjoying the blogging of an esteemed colleague, and he noted a trip through JFK airport; however, in keeping with the stylistic choices of his blog, everything is written in lower case. Now, competent individuals could have easily deduced that “jfk” meant “JFK,” but as you may have guessed, dear reader, I am not the brightest spool of yarn in the batch. I took “jfk” to be some new dirty internet lingo – you know, if you didn’t want someone to think that you were merely kidding. No! Let’s add some flipping emphasis here!

Needless to say, I’ve been thinking a good deal about the presidency as of late. Actually, this came up while sharing the exact same thought above with two dear friends of mine:

The Most-Married Ryan Burnham

The Most-Engaged Adam Rechenmacher

Amidst my witty remarks the conversation somehow turned to the then-up-coming-but-now-past Iowa Caucus. One of the two them remarked that they didn’t think it was fair that Iowa got to have a caucus but we didn’t. Some first class grumbling of approval followed. Eventually Adam came up with the last great idea of 2007: A Rockus Caucus.

Granted, when Adam said this it was really nothing more than a silly phrase, but I have decided that we must indeed throw a California Rockus Caucus!

“Okay, Eric,” you’ve been pretty good so far, dear reader, but I imagined you’d poke your nose in here somewhere, “you apparently enjoy using the phrase ‘Rockus Caucus’ quite a bit, but what exactly does it entail?”

I’m glad you asked, my dear reader. A Rockus Caucus is not about candidates telling us what we want to hear, but rather showing us what we (namely I) want to see: partying. Sure, maybe some curmudgeonly old fart has a plan to end national debt, but if that person (be them man or woman) can’t shake it on the dance floor, then you can best bet that I’ll print and sport a t-shirt with their likeness and reading “Not My President”.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. A Rockus Caucus would consist of three categories of measurement:

Category the first) how much liquor does it take for a candidate to party. Now, I would personally think higher of a president who required less. I know that I can dance pretty hard without a drop, and why would I want to vote someone my inferior to one of the most powerful positions in the world?

Category the second) how good are they at dancing? Granted, we all have different interpretations of dancing, but I would fight to keep all bumping and/or grinding out of a presidential race. After all, a president good on their feet means a president good in foreign policy… it’s a direct correlation.

Lastly, category the third) how good is the candidate at getting other people to party too? Just about anyone can have fun dancing if they’ll just let themselves, but in order to make for a truly good party, other people need to get pulled in. Isn’t inclusively what America is supposed to be all about? Let’s get the whole party going, not just one dance!

There you have it my friends, I lay the invitation to all candidates of all parties. Do you want California’s endorsement to the highest office of the land? Meet me in Santa Cruz on January 26 and we will party to the presidency!