Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The String Cheese Experiment

So I was having an off-hand discussion with someone earlier and the phrase "string cheese experiment" came up. Instantly, I said "That would be a great name for a movie about a washed-up ska band!"

And so it begins... I will instantly make up a movie name, and then come up with a fake synopsis just as quickly!

Movie: "The String Cheese Experiment"

This is a rags-to-riches-to-rags story about four thirtysomething college washouts who find sudden fame on the college music circuit when they form an ironic retro ska band!
Tom, Rick, Jerry and Jones (affectionately called "Wobbs" by his friends) are part of the local community college's janitorial staff; the college that they were all expelled from in senior year due to a toilet-paper-and-petroleum-jelly prank gone horribly wrong; a freshman died, and did not die well. These four misfits have one last chance to make good!

Movie: "'Talkin' 'Bout Willis"

Willis Rashburn is a down-on-his-luck Bible salesman with a secret- his pet chihuahua can talk! Watch as Willis and Chauncy try to find financial stability in the Deep South in the digital age! Deliverance country never seems as lonely and rape-y when you've got a friend by your side... Who wags! And farts! And licks himself in inappropriate places!

Movie: "When My Heart Finds Windex"

When you've got a high-flying job like being a window-washer on the Empire State Building, romance is sure to find you! And then, so will a serial killer!
Jack Priestly is a window-washer with a plan: witness someone rich doing something stupid from his unique "viewpoint", and then blackmail the heck out of them! Little does he know that he will find true love through a 50th floor window- only to see her be killed in front of his eyes. And when the motor on his cleaning scaffold goes on the fritz, Jack will subjected to 50 floors of terror as he tries to beat the killer to the bottom!

Movie: "Once Upon A Ficus"

Mike Regent is a normal guy who discovers an amazing secret- the ficus tree in his office is actually a four-hundred-year-old gypsy princess!
At night, the ficus turns into Jezel, a smooth-talking, strikingly beautiful modern art sculptor who is taking the art world by storm! After a particularly hard day at the office, Mike falls asleep at his desk. Little does he know that the ficus in his law firm's lobby will change his life forever. Will Mike find true love with a shrubbery? Will Jezel finally make her masterwork? Will the night janitorial staff's growing suspicions be shared with the world? Get ready for a "tree"-ring circus of hilarity!!

That's enough for now, but hey... I could do this allllll day.

UPDATE: There is already a band out there called The String Cheese Incident. Check them out. I was speechless for ten minutes. I swear I had no idea!


Listening to:
Artist: Matthew Mayfield
Album: Banquet of Ghosts
This man knows how to layer a song until something truly amazing sneaks up on you. The sound is stripped-back acoustic with strong Southern roots, and the voice is fragile, vulnerable, wavery yet measured, and the man hits every single note without fail. It has been a awhile since I heard someone laid so bare in each song. Get this.

P.S. Don't be afraid to leave comments! I can guarantee I will respond.

Monday, 25 March 2013

The Bachelor Chronicles

Oy. I was going to leave this until tomorrow at least, but sleep eludes me, and now YOU, faithful reader (I think the singular there is all too accurate), reap the benefit.

Last fall, My Beautiful Wife (henceforth known in this blog as MBW) and her sister took a vacation without me, to a place I love going. I was not happy about this fact. I told my family that I was going to chronicle the downward spiral of the week without MBW, and these are the stream of consciousness fever dreams that came from that five-day period. This series is also what gave a couple people the idea that I should continue writing! So thanks to K, T, and Mom for your encouragement! I wouldn't be up here, accepting this award without your unconditional love and support! *sniff* I promised I wouldn't cry...


Day 1 of bachelor captivity:
I have lost the will to use the toilet separately... I now pee exclusively in the shower. On a related note, I no longer shower, as the tub is inhospitable. I believe the next to go will be written language. As the week progresses, I will be experimenting with communicating only with guttural grunts and an insulting, made-up sign language that involves waving a single finger in various condescending ways...

Day 2 of bachelor captivity:
I just ate something unidentifiable from the back of the fridge. I woke up this morning with the cruel sunlight beating down on my sweat-soaked sheets, thinking that maybe the nachos-and-cheese binge at 3am previous might have been ill advised. A shame no one was around to tell me that this was not a smart plan.

I am currently wandering the stacks at the local Home Depot, lost and mewling pitifully. Strangers slow down as they approach, but cautiously edge around me as I beg for help from everyone I see to lead me to the sink repair supplies. I wipe away my freely-running nose and decide that the only way to get an employee's (ARE there employees? I swear I saw someone in an orange smock as I entered this cattle corral) attention is to start climbing the shelves, monkey-style. This approach does not yield the results I expected, so in the grand monkey tradition, I start to throw my own dung at passerby. This brings management out rather quickly. It also brings about my quick ejection from the premises and several nasty bruises, no richer in the sink-stopper department than I was prior to my doomed excursion...

Day 3 of bachelor captivity:
I have ceased breathing through my nose. I was on the couch in my underwear earlier in a heap that can only be described as "awkwardly revealing", and realized that breathing through my nose is simply too much effort. I have been testing an obscure type of Kung fu that is aptly named "Gaping Maw" style, and have discover that I am lethally efficient in this technique. It requires extreme focus, staggering endurance, and the ability to inhabit a corner couch for so long that your limbs become actually fused to the fabric, making it more difficult to raise chip and dip to mouth. Gaping Maw's basic tenets involve marathon chip consumption sessions, mouth breathing, and convincing the easily-creeped-out girl who works at the pharmacy to hand-deliver the antibiotics necessary to counteract the compounding infections spreading from my exposed uvula. I haven't closed my mouth for fourteen hours. The steady stream of snack food occasionally shoos away the horseflies that seem to have found a new perch on my exposed tongue, but I may have to seriously consider getting the proper gear for this new hobby.

Can't... quite... reach... the remote... *WHEEEEZE*

Day 4 of bachelor captivity:
Navels are fascinating. I am not kidding. It seems like the study of navels should have an official name... "navelology"... "navelmetrics"... Somebody help me out here...

I was just watching two ants from what must be battling neighbor colonies (those queens and their drama) fighting over a very large crumb, and after a while, it became embarrassingly clear that their hearts were just not in it. You can only gnash your pincers and menacingly swoop your antennae a certain amount of times before it is obvious that you aren't really going to follow through on your pheromonal threats, and the two of you should maybe think about what you have in common, and go get a beer (or the ant colony equivalent) and talk about how Queens be crazy... A drone bromance.

My teeth hurt. Like, at a "deep down in the gums" level. These Sour Patch Kids bags do not come with any warning about consuming more than one club-pack bag in a sitting, though, so I am going to keep on tossing them in and puckering, 'cause there is no one here to tell me different. I think the Kids have dug a hole in my tongue. Right down to China.

Can beef jerky ever REALLY go bad? I know that bag was purchased on a road trip two years ago, but I can't take my eyes off of it...

Day 5 of Bachelor captivity:
You have to believe me, I had no idea that events would spiral so far out of control. Regardless of my intentions, however, the seemingly benign series of incidents that happened directly after I got out of bed in the early afternoon that day led to tragedy, and here is why:

I was left alone with a schnauzer.

The pooch in question appeared in my bedroom around 1:45 in the afternoon and stuck his wet nose in a rather uncomfortable place, causing my startled girlish squeal. I am going to choose to believe that he could not have known the suggestive nature of his chosen area of attack. Immediately following this unfortunate interruption of a Cheetos-induced fever dream, two things happened; a South American security guard of 55 years of age was shot and killed in his home in Bogota, Colombia, and the small, puckish schnauzer in question grabbed a hold of my ankle with his teeth and would not let go. Make no mistake; I do not now, nor have I ever owned a dog, much less a plucky schnauzer whose eyes betrayed an adventurous yet lonely existence, and who abruptly and with great satisfaction dropped a "present" on my duvet.

How was I to know that the schnauzer (whom I would later come to know as Pablito) was on the run from the cartel where his master had used him to sniff out car bombs and C4? How could I have known that his collar contained a micro-SD card with 14 GBs of inside information that the Cartel would kill the population of a small country to have back? How Pablito ever found the wherewithal to sneak on board the cargo plane, stow away until he reached these shores, evade airport staff, and wander into my neighborhood I will never know, but I know this: if he had not waddled into my life on that fateful day (possibly gaining entrance through the back door that I had opened to facilitate my urinating on the lawn around 2am), I would not be the man I am today...


And that's all for my first "creative writing" experiment since high school! Oh, and I said last time that I would post about what I am listening to, so here it is:

Artist: Sandra McCracken
Album: Desire Like Dynamite
Sandra is married to Derek Webb, another amazing musician, but is her own woman stylistically, despite some natural collaboration with her husband. This album is at times boisterous, melancholy, uplifting, and haunting, and is able to sound nothing like her older work, but still fit like it belongs in her catalog. She grows and changes it up on every album, with increasingly rewarding results!

Talk again soon,


Sunday, 24 March 2013


Finally, I will be first in the comments section! Undisputed, uncontested... and largely ignored.

I don't know what this obsession is that we have with being the first to comment on a story we have read on Ain't It Cool News or any number of other movie, music, etc websites.


So my sister has been bugging me to create a blog for a while now (occasionally my mom, too) and largely because of a series of emails I sent to the family called "The Bachelor Chronicles"- an augmented-reality version of the days that my beautiful wife spent away from home, and how quickly my situation without her at home devolved into abject chaos. We'll be getting to those, but first...
An introduction: (should that have been a colon or a semi? I got nothing.)

I am Jared.
I am overly opinionated on just about everything. I am trying to get better. And those opinions are not unshakeable when contrary facts are introduced.

I occasionally admit when I am wrong.

I need to lose some weight.

I love music. I have been told by "experts" that comparatively, I have a more than average interest in the minutiae of music and movies, their enjoyment, and their technical production.

I love to sing like I love to breathe, and I write original music, all for or about Christ because He has done a lot for me. My ability to write is directly linked to my faith.

I love to read. (Yeah, everyone loves to read, you say, but that's not quite true anymore, is it? A lot of people are filling in the blanks with Netflix instead of books these days) I read graphic novels and NOVEL novels a LOT. I am currently splitting my time between four graphic novel series and three books.

I run a cell phone store for a prominent national company, and unlike a lot of people, I really like my job and my company. My company's got style, and a great vision for telecommunications. There are good and bad days, but I like that my job challenges me so I don't stagnate. I probably won't talk a ton about work, because its, y'know, work. I like my job, but my life isn't my job.

I have been happily married for over 13 years, and my wife is amazing. Just amazing. I still need to discuss with her what level of exposure she wants to have on this blog, so I will hold back certain details for now, until we have that discussion. Not that I think anyone but four family members will be reading this. (And maybe four is optimistic.)

More details to come.

I will be updating this semi-regularly, and I cannot promise to have any rhyme or reason as to why some things will make the blog, and some will not. You can't tell me what to do! ;)

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the parties who really, truly made me want to start this blog tonight of all nights: the two college freshmen girls who were lounging in the comfortable leather seats next to my wife and I at Starbucks this evening from roughly 8:15 to 9:45 and having the single dumbest conversation I have ever been subjected to in my life. Seriously, I have witnessed some ridiculously inane conversations in my time, and none have driven me to creating a blog just to have somewhere to complain about it.

Girl 1:
So I went to church with (names deleted) this morning, and I, like, was really sad because I'm like, leaving soon, and (deleted) came up to me and was like, "you will always have a place with us", and I was like "Aaaaaaaw?!?"

Girl 2:
Aaaaaaaaaw?!? That is soooo, like, sweet!

Girl 1:
I know, right? I was like, "Aaaaaw?!?"

(This would have actually been semi-heartwarming, and I would have written off the speech patterns that bugged me to my being unreasonable... if it had stopped there) (but it did not)

More snippets:

Girl 1:
I was scrolling through Facebook, and I saw that (name deleted) was commenting on (name deleted)'s photos AGAIN? Like, he is always commenting on her photos like, the instant that they post? And that has NOTHING to do with the fact that she, like, posts enough cleavage shots, right?

Girl 2:
Ugh. Skank.

Even more:

*complete silence while they ignore each other for a full 8 minutes while one of them plays with her phone, and the other one stares at a particular spot on the ceiling*
*ceiling proves boring, and one speaks*

Girl 1:
Y'know, sometimes it's nice to just sit and be comfortable with a friend, y'know?

Girl 2:
*startled, almost drops her phone*

Even more:

Girl 1:
I don't think anyone in our graduating class was really, like, really hot, you know? Like, nobody was over a six! And I include myself. I am at best a solid six.

Girl 2:
Oh, please, you are like, TOTALLY a solid eight, eight-point-nine!

Girl 1:
Oh, stop. I am at best a SOLID six.

Girl 2:
I am totally serious! You are SO hot, and (name deleted) would be SO lucky to have you!!! You are a CATCH, girl!


And here we are. I put on my beautiful new wireless, lossless Bluetooth earphones, put on the random song selection, and loaded up Google, figuring they probably would make this easy. Turns out there's an app for that, for my trusty Galaxy S3 and my Beloved IPad 2!

So thanks in advance for reading and following! I will endeavor to make it a regular thing, and make it interesting. The Bachelor Chronicles will be next up, I think.

I will also be posting what I am listening to, with a brief descriptor. Because... that's what I want to do.