Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Entry 119: Interview With Wayne Dyer

One of my favorite authors/speakers is a man named Wayne Dyer.  Listen to his tapes- they're pretty awesome.  Here's how I imagine a conversation between us would go:

Me: "So, uh... yeah.  I like, like your books and stuff."

Wayne: "Thank you.  It's such a blessing to be able to fulfill your calling and feel so on purpose."

Me: "Right... anyway.  So you say that we're all like, one and stuff.  That we're all born out of the same source and that separateness is an illusion and we should all be loving and compassionate towards each other."

Wayne: "That's correct.   I call it feeling "good" which, of course, is synonymous with feeling "God."  We were all created in perfect harmony and it's only our egos that tell us that we're separate and different from each other."

Me: "Yeah, got that.  But there's this dude at work who's totally like... not cool.  He looks and smells funny, he works for a company that has him here doing- literally- nothing, and he just walks around all day looking stupid and pushing buttons on his blackberry.  Plus, I hear he's a dick."

Wayne: "::laughs:: well, remember Caleb- when you judge someone you don't define them, you only define yourself as a person who needs to judge."

Me: "That's lame.  I heard that on your tapes years ago and I was like 'what? that's crazy talk.'" 

Wayne: "It's true though.  Maybe this person- who you label so negatively- has a purpose to teach you about compassion.  About how to see people with acceptance instead of judgment- and help you to be a better person."

Me: "That sounds nice and all, but is it cool if I just sort of do that in my head?  Like, not have to be around him or anything?  Seriously- he stinks.  That's not even a judgment- he just smells awful."

Wayne: "Well, technically, a smell is just a smell.  There are no good or bad smells, only judgments we create for ourselves.  I may love the smell of cooked asparagus, where the same smell would be horrible to another person."

Me: "So you're admitting that it's possible that this guy stinks rotten."

Wayne: "I'm saying you might think that.  But maybe he's in a place in his life where he's far from his God-realized purpose and simply by showing him compassion you could lead him towards a more fulfilling path."

Me: "Just tell me what's the least I can do to get him to shower."

Wayne: "The point isn't to-"

Me: "No- just tell me.  What do I have to do."

Wayne: "Well Caleb, you need to-"

Me: "Look, Talky McTalkerton, gurus are supposed to be able to perform miraculous feats.  Walking on water, creating bread out of dirt- all I"m asking is for an air freshener for the Stinkbomb."

Wayne: "..."

Me: "Well?"

Wayne: "..."

Me: "Anyway.  So how's Maui?  I love that you just loaf around, writing and swimming, and enjoy living in Hawaii.  That's got to be really cool."

Wayne: "It is.  I love Maui.  There's just a great sense of peace and calm there that allows me to do some of my best writing.  The weather doesn't hurt, either."

Me: "Yeeah, dat's cool.  Have you seen The Ladies Man?  Never mind.  So you have 8 kids, right?"

Wayne: "Yes, 8 beautiful children.  6 girls and 2 boys; though my oldest daughter is quite a bit older than the rest."

Me: "Hmm.  And they're about my age, right?"

Wayne: "Yes- Sands is in his early 20's and I think Skye is a year or two older than you."

Me: "So about those daughters..."

Wayne: "Caleb...!"

Me: "Fair enough.  But I saw Skye singing with you when I took my mom to see you in Chicago- great talk, by the way- and she looks kind of hot."

Wayne: "She's a beautiful girl.  Did your mother enjoy my speaking?"

Me: "Don't change the subject.  Is she seeing anyone?"

Wayne: "Well, you'd probably have to ask her.  I'm not sure if you would be her kind of guy, though.  She normally likes handsome men."

Me: "Ouch!  Sick burn, Wayne!  

Wayne: "I was only kidding!  I'm not sure if she's seeing anyone, but I'll ask her next time I see her."

Me: "Super."

Wayne: "Did you have anything else you wanted to talk about?"

Me: "What?  Sorry.  Got lost in thought there.   Uh...  no.  I read most of what you have to say in your books.  How's that Deepak guy?  He seems kind of funny."

Wayne: "Oh he's hilarious.  You know, just the other day he was-"

Me: "Oh hey- my phone.  Hold on a sec.  ::answers:: Hello?  Yes.  Yes.  No, I just paid you last month.  Yup.  Check it again- I gotta go- I'm talking to Wayne Dyer!"

Wayne: "..."

Me: "Anyway.  Starsky's bored.  Have you seen Starsky and Hutch? Never mind.  I gotta run.  Let me know about Skye."

Wayne: "All right.  It was good to talk to- Caleb? Well then... guess he was done.  What a weirdo.  Can't imagine having a son-in-law like that... cripes.  Not without some serious ADD meds anyway.  Hmm.  Guess I'll meditate."

Me: "::eats sandwich::"

Not the Earth-shattering talk I would like, I suppose, but still.  It's Wayne Dyer.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Entry 118: Christmas Irony!

My (ex)step-mom is a pretty cool lady.  I still think of her as mom-like and talk to her pretty regularly.  She's short and pretty with a fiery temper that flares up violently on occasion (some good blog stories there).  When my (ex) steb-brother and I were younger and growing up I think we did everything in our power to finally push her over the edge. 

One thing she really didn't like was when we wrestled.  Which was a bad thing to not like, since we wrestled pretty much from morning till night.  As is standard with brother-wrestling, each bout ended with someone (read: him) crying and running to mom.  I think this, coupled with the loud banging and crashing of furniture, was what really set my step-mom off. 

One fine Christmas eve morning she was upstairs cooking and getting ready for family to come over and open gifts.  Already stressed, my brother and I added to the stress by wrestling loudly in the downstairs living room.  Probably a little louder than usual.  She screamed down at us:

"You two cut it OUT! I'm SERIOUS!"

Which produced approximately 5 seconds of silence.  Then, wrestling resumed. 

She would yell again:

"It's Christmas!  Cut it out!  Family's coming over!!!"

Maybe 8 seconds this time.  Then more wrestling.  Finally she hit some sort of snapping point and came marching through the kitchen, down the stairs, and screamed at us the following heartwarming Christmas message:


A phrase that is as awesome to say today as it was awesome to first hear.

Now you all go put some love in YOUR damn hearts and have a Merry Christmas!

Caleb out!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Entry 117.5: Guest Post From Melanie!

Peeps- I've turned the reins over to a cute Cali-girl/accountant (didn't know they had those, did ya?) with a great blog you should check out here.  It's part of a blog-swap, which is both dirty sounding and fun, and if you want to read my post on her site it's here.  Enjoy!

Hi! I'm Melanie. I get to hi-jack Caleb's blog for one post (Many many thanks, Caleb!)  You'll find my blog to consist of the random happenings of my life. Some of those happenings are self-inflicted don't let connotation fool you, those are not always painful self-inflictions. Some of those happenings tend to be random perfect time-perfect place situations. Albeit, my blog started as a documentary of the accomplishments in my bucket list, it has now become Melanie's random posts from the past to the present. The following will be another random post.
I love participating in prank calls. In college, I called a random guy’s room and asked him to be my date for a school event we had. Background info: There were two showings of the event; both my roommates had already gone to the first showing.
 I didn’t think the guy was going to show but my roommate did. She was eager to meet this random fellow and don him as her date felt badly for the guy (she didn’t know) and drafted herself to meet him. (BTW, she already went to the earlier event) (Mind you, roommate didn’t know what the guy looked like because I, the prankster didn’t ask for characteristics) Roommate waited outside the event for random guy.
Roommate returns after the event.
Me: Hi! How’d it go?
Roommate: He didn’t show or I couldn’t find him. Thanks to you I had to see it twice!
Me: Oh no. You volunteered yourself! I didn’t force you.
Roommate: I couldn’t let him get stood up!
Me: Oh please! You didn’t even know if he was going to show up. You didn’t even know what he looked like!
Roommate: He could’ve been cute!  
Me: Ok, next time, I’ll find a cute one for you, for sure!

Another time, we received Valentine’s cards from random guys. Yup! You guessed it. I called them. I talked on the phone with them and set-up my roommate on a date! (She agreed to the set-up. We looked in the yearbook and she picked out the guy, LAME, I know)
My roommate ended up crushing on random Valentine guy (big time) but he didn’t return the sentiments.
One of these days, I will randomly dial a phone number and ask for a blind date since no one is able to set me up on one.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Entry 117: Juanita And Bert: Part III

Breakups are rarely pretty.  Whether it's one side agonizing over what was lost or a long series of "it's complicated" hookups after the breakup, these things are rarely amicable, peaceful, or fun. 

That being said, in the world of pathetic breakups, I nominate for the "lamest breakup behavior of 2010" award the saga of Juanita and Bert.  I wrote the story back in April (yes, fucking APRIL) but a shitstorm of new happenings have pushed this saga into 'epic' territory.  You can read the original stories HERE (part 1) and HERE (part 2) , but the basic story is as follows:

They date for 10 years, live together, she's miserable, he cheats, they break it off, he gets all mopey, he sends volumes of emails and texts that put the 1,100 page health care bill to shame.

Since then, he has sent a sporadic email or text (especially if it's raining- the guy seems to really get reflective when it rains) but nothing major.  It is now 8 months (read: FUCKING 8 MONTHS) later and this weekend must have been a monsoon somewhere, because he sent a metric shit-ton of communication to Juanita recently. 

First, you might be wondering if Juanita blocked his number and email address. Yes and yes.  Somehow he found a way through the filters this weekend and got his sob-storm through to her.

Second, you might be wondering what she's been up to.  Well, about 4 months (or so- I don't pay attention well) ago she met a guy on a dating site and they've been ridiculously (read: annoyingly) happy together.  It probably deserves it's own post for two reasons: 1) they met online where successes are rare and douches abound, and 2) their first month or so together involved going to two events where they both went ballz-to-the-wall on costumes.  Yes, as in dressing up as movie characters for nerd events.  Sigh.

Juanita had pretty much forgotten about Bert when he found his way through the filters and launched a Blitzkrieg attack on her media devices.  Over one weekend Bert sent more than 6 lengthy emails, 20 texts, and called numerous times- leaving 5 or 6 voicemails.  Yes.  You read that right.  I've read through many of the emails and texts myself (to my chagrin).  

What's odd about this is that she has never responded.  Not once.  So in most of his emails, there is a sentence like this: [actual examples]
"Obviously, you didn't choose to respond to my other email..."
"I know you want to be left alone, but I'm finding this very hard."
"You obviously aren't going to respond, so I'm making this my last chance to be as clear as possible..."

*Note about that last quote- no, it was far from the last thing he sent

On the one hand it seems extra torturous to ignore this whining and pleading without ever acknowledging that it's been read or noticed, but on the other hand: fuck it.  Juanita is moved-on and living, and distractions like this- while hilarious- can get annoying quickly.  

If you read the original story, you'll see that I noted how narcisistic Bert is in his writing.  I even counted up the number of times he uses "I" or "Me" as compared to "You or "us" just to give an example of his self-centered worldview.  I randomly grabbed the first email I saw of his and counted the number of "I"s in the first paragraph: 23.  I don't even know if it's possible to write about yourself that much on purpose, let alone if you were trying to convince someone to talk to you. 

Since I have so much material I was planning on putting a few bits and pieces out there for you to see as examples, but I'm sure you can imagine what kind of whiny ex-crap it is.  We've all probably  seen (or written) some of it ourselves.  Though, one particular beginning of an email caught my eye:

"At this point, I have absolutely no chance at being cool about this..."

Which I thought was funny since I'm pretty sure "that point" waved bye-bye to Bert a long time ago.  

Yes, Bert is dragging down the manliness of men everywhere through his shemanigans, but rather than continuing to mock him for this (not that he doesn't deserve it) I thought it might be better to reflect. 

Many of us have experienced loss, experienced heartache, and know what it feels like to have inconsolable grief in our hearts.  It's experiences like that where we learn empathy and pity, and learn to value the emotions of others rather than simply only what we ourselves experience.  There's nothing wrong with that, and perhaps it's okay to feel a little bad for Bert and what he's going through.  

But at what point does the credit line for pity run out?  This has been nearly a year now with no talks, no interactions, nothing.  Juanita is happier than ever and living her life well, though she went through her share of grief getting to this point.  What's holding Bert back from moving forward in life?

Without going into any sort of a psycho-analysis here, I think I have the beginnings of an answer.  When we listen to our self-centered impulses and think of ourselves as deserving of everything we want, it's hard to deal with a situation where we can't have what we want.  No matter what.  We all have a bit of this ego in us, so try to imagine for yourself something you want terribly and with more passion than anything else- and now imagine that you can't have it.  No matter what you do, say, change about yourself; no matter how you try and atone, no matter who you talk to or what actions you take- all your powers are useless and you're left not getting what you want. 

Frustrating.   Especially if you were raised to always get everything you want because you were just that darn special.  Can you imagine what it's like the first time in your entire life you are denied what you want?  It sounds ridiculous to most of us who have learned to be happy with what we have, or learn from mistakes and move on, or how to not paralyze ourselves with self-defeating behavior- but take a small piece of empathy for this situation and expand it out to its extreme edges.   When I do this I see that in an abstract and distant way, I can almost relate.  I find that I have a "if I really wanted it, I could have it" attitude and have mostly lived my life without testing that theory.  Maybe "I just didn't want it that bad" is my main excuse.

Who knows what will happen when I (or any of you) perhaps one day face that situation.  I'd like to assume that I would act with more grace and dignity than Bert, but predicting something like that is like predicting how scared you'll be skydiving- you just don't know. 

In the meantime, perhaps we can learn some lessons from Bert.  Maybe he's really doing us all a favor by going through this first, that we might see him and empathize with him just enough to get a fair warning on future frustrations in our own lives. 

Or maybe he's just a whiny crybaby who is throwing a fit because he can't get what he wants. 

Either way, hope you enjoy reading about this story! 

Caleb "hope it stops raining and snowing for J and B's sake" Shreves

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Entry 116: One Ridiculous Reason To Smoke

Someone once told me a major reason they started smoking was to have an escape for anxious social situations.  To paraphrase, "I liked being out at parties and with friends, but sometimes I would just need an escape and smoking was a perfect excuse to get away for a minute."

For a moment set aside your position for/against smoking, and instead focus on a hidden level of ridiculous truth in this reasoning.  I, for one, related to this person's explanation and feel that 'escaping' is a benefit to cigarettes.  Even if we broaden this rationale to say that "it's just cool to step outside with other cool people and be cool" -or whatever- I think that most people could understand the argument and it would make sense.  Sort of.

But, if you look again, it doesn't.  And it doesn't have anything to do with smoking!

Take a girl, for instance, who wants to be able to escape a party when she starts to feel a bit crowded.  Maybe some lacrosse player, hopped up on family money and Mountain Dew, decides to convince her repeatedly that she is, in fact, meant for him.  Or maybe some guy gets momentarily bored when he becomes not-the-center-of-attention and wants to sneak out a bit before he's spotted not being the king.

If either of these people were to say "Excuse me please, I'm awkward right now and I'd like to stand outside alone or in a small group and be away from this area for a brief time" the people around them would think they were crazy!  If, however, they decide to step out for a smoke? Well that's perfectly normal.  Regrettable, you might think- given the health concerns- but normal nonetheless.

So let's review.  Standing outside for a few minutes to escape? Weird. Going outside to purposefully inject your body with dangerous chemicals that have been linked to diseases as wide-ranging as cancer and malaria (made that second one up)? Normal.  Poor choice, perhaps, but normal.

Something's wrong with that. Not wrong enough that I'm going to not step outside in approximately 3 minutes and smoke, but still- kinda wrong.

Caleb out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Entry 115: Caleb Comments Part II

As I've stated before, there are numerous blogs out there (on the inter-webs) that are awesome.  Whatever your particular interests may be, I guarantee that if you search around for a while you will be amazed and surprised at the outstanding quality of authors out there who blog.  I've seen blogs about topics ranging from random hilarity to dating (mis)adventures to overcoming personal addictions and problems.  I've learned about music, about love, about law, and about the pains of infertility just to name a few subjects.  Whenever I come across a new blog I like to leave a comment of some sort, if nothing else simply to show support and say "Hey, yeah, someone appreciated your time and effort!"

I like to follow-up with comments I leave and often create online relationships with fellow bloggers because of this.  Also because of this I generally have an inbox filled with emails from automated comment trackers.  For your interest and enjoyment, and also to show that my less-frequent posting is in no way an abdication of my internet obsession, I once again present to you 10 famous* Caleb comments.

*"famous" is used here according to my own personal definition, and in no way represents actual fame or popularity

1. "Pants are overrated."
[http://michellecountrygirl-citygirl.blogspot.com/    start simple, right?]

2. "I know of the emptiness of which you speak. Luckily for me I spread my
addictions out so no single one becomes all consuming. It's strange, but
I feel I set them on each other to keep them from attacking me!

I mentioned my favorite guy in a different comment (Wayne Dyer), and he
has a great quote about addiction that I really like:

"Addictions are never getting enough of what you don't want!"

True story.
[from the blog of a friend working on health and weight loss issues: http://hosshornlife.blogspot.com/]

3.  "What a Vag! I have friends like this and love toughening them up. I
would have volunteered a free re-write:

Yo Fuckers,

I be outta this hizzy fo sho. Goin' to make Mad Bank at a new firm- hope
y'all are jealous! If you want to get sloppy drunk and chase skanks with
me tonight, meet me at the bar.

25 cent."

[http://lastdayemails.blogspot.com/    Funny site compiling emails of departing employees]

4. "You're my kind of crazy.

My gift to nature is to litter. That way, people who want to walk along
ditches and pick shit up have something to do. When they do it, it
increases their awareness and commitment to the planet.

So: Me littering= people thinking about and helping nature= me helping

Also, white on black text makes me want to stab forks in trees.
[http://chunkyknubbynavel.blogspot.com/   funny site that vastly abuses the 'strike-thru' feature]

5. Ha!

Live a life of bravery. As you shop for condoms (assuming you're a
sailor), ask people around you what their opinions are. Take several
boxes to the checkout and ask if you can "mix and match."

Maybe even pay for them with loose change that takes forever to count

Why not? Not like everyone isn't doing it!


6. "Wow... guess I'm the lone voice of dissent here!

We all have an image of that 16 year old girl, swerving on the road as
she texts her BFF about nothing at all. We've all seen her- she's
everywhere. Also, like the author, we've all probably sent texts in our
cars before and been safe enough doing it.

Do we really want a law that bans texting? How do you enforce it? How do
you prove someone was texting? What about other habits that are
dangerous while driving? Do we have to create a law for each and every
possible dangerous activity? Laws against eating, drinking, looking out
the window, driving tired, driving distracted, driving past your
bedtime, driving while looking in your glove box, driving while
listening to the radio; etc., etc.

How about we all just say, "the law says you have to be responsible and
in control while driving." Wouldn't that cover it all?

Next you're going to want to force me to wear a helmet and seatbelt
because its "the safe thing to do." Oh wait.

"If you don't have the freedom to make stupid choices, then you have no
freedom at all." - Either my dad or some guy he heard it from"

[http://ks-waiting.blogspot.com/   funny chick about to embark on a legal career!]

7.  Don't be afraid of going on one date with a guy you're not sure
about. Free meal and maybe he's better than his profile would suggest. I
can go out and get ladies all week long, but transferring my coolness to
a profile and instigating something totally takes away my mojo. And I
needs my mojo.

PS swear to god- my verification word was 'putout'

[http://lifebeginsat30ty.blogspot.com/   funny and thoughtful gal, recently moved to London]

8.  "Love the picture. This guy rocks.

You're right though- with this kind of creativity and snarkiness, I
would have liked to have seen more.

Guess I'll have to go to the Rhino."

[not sure what the hell I was referring to...  http://lastdayemails.blogspot.com/]

9.  "Well wroted, Matt. Did anyone else wonder what they would do if they
were super-talented, super-famous, super-rich athletes? I mean,
"veritable mountain of stripper flesh" sounds a lot more interesting
than "committed husband and father of two strapping lads not named after
himself." I'd like to think that I wouldn't eat hot-dog buns full of
cocaine and put a 5% spike in world condom sales, but who knows?"

[http://www.mensjournal.com/a-field-guide-to-sports-egos#comment-10683   mens journal- great stuff!]

10.  "Local buffet has a giant sign outside that says:

"Cherry Buffet"

I know, right?"

[my own  http://imtellingyourmom.blogspot.com   seriously- you need to be checking this out.  Probably better organized and more funny than this blog, with monthly updates on anything 'that's what she said' related] 

Well there you have it.  This is a small fraction of both my comments and the blogs I find, but it's long enough as it is (TWSS).  Hopefully you take the time to find some blogs out there that interest you!

Oh, and it must be pointed out that you DEFINITELY have to check out: http://www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/ 
Allie, the author, is an enormously funny and witty chick who writes funny stories with hilariously 5th-grade style drawings.

And for those of you who think a comment-post like this is a cheap substitute for substantive writing, F off.  This is a pain in the butt to put together.


PS retook the LSAT this last weekend and once again pillaged the local community.  


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Entry 114: R.I.P. Ron Santo

Forgive me my departure from the usual irreverent hyperbole of this blog, but I wanted to honor one of my great heroes and friends who died last week, Ron Santo.  [If you're missing your dose of craziness, I recommend a quick peek at my blog friend Andrew's post where he found a pornographic instruction note of his roommate/amateur-gay-porn-director in the basement. LINK]

Ron was a Cubs baseball player for years in the 60's and 70's, and spent the last 21 seasons as an announcer for the Cubs with the incomparably awesome Pat Hughes. Ron was definitely a fan first and announcer second, and one of the rare broadcasters of our day who was willing to put his emotions out there in place of the detached observance that is common amongst many modern broadcasters.

I was sad- almost surprisingly so- when I heard Ron had died.  As some of you know, I am an avid Cubs fan who very much prefers to listen to Pat and Ron call a game than to watch it on TV.  Over the last 20 years, and especially the last decade, it has been a rare Cub game that I didn't hear on the radio.  When you spend that many hours sharing in the passion of your favorite sports team with a guy who loves the team as much as you do, a special bond forms.  I know I'm not alone, either, as the reaction to his death has been met with extreme sadness, remembrance, and a celebration of Ron's life by Cub fans throughout the nation. 

When I was researching reasons why Santo was never inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (which many people agree should have happened a long time ago) I came across an article that, while respectful, disparaged Santo's broadcasting work . There were the usual vitriolic comments either supporting or attacking the article, but after digesting the criticism the author presented I decided to leave a comment of my own.  You can find the article here, but I wanted to post my comment as it contained much of what I feel about Mr. Ron Santo.

*NOTE the original article was written July 1, 2009.  Here is the salient paragraph of the article, and the essence of what motivated my comment:

Whereas he used to be a foolish, sentimental clown who couldn’t get out of his own way to Cooperstown, he now has become an annoying, whiny pain in the ass that perpetuates the worst stereotype of Cub fans as fatalistic boobs who are at the mercy of the fates. Every time an opposing team hits a pop fly that falls for a hit, Santo opines “Those things always happen to us.” (of course, you’ll never see him express gratitutde every time it happens for the Cubs). When a reliever comes in and puts a few baserunners on, Santo bleatingly wonders, “What is going ON?” And that’s not even counting the myriad times he just yells “Gah!” “Jeez!” “Ahh!” completely trampling over the dutiful description of the action by his partner—the outstanding Pat Hughes who, unfortunately, has been relegated to the role of babysitter for a grown man.

Here is my comment:

    Well, for those of you who didn’t care for Ron, he’s passed now. And for those of us who loved him- for whatever reasons- we get to mourn his passing and remember all the great memories we had with him.

    I suppose I can see how some people didn’t like Ron’s style of broadcasting. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, though! When WGN played clips during a day-long tribute, I recognized every single one of them and could transport myself back to when I first heard it and remember what I was doing.

    The “hairpiece” conversation? Loved it! Or when he was yelling at fans to “sit down, please!” He was an emotional guy, but that’s why I loved him. I am an emotional Cub fan, and I never felt like I missed anything by having Ron’s emotional outbursts pouring out my speakers.

    Baseball is more than just a sport; more than just a calculated game involving athletes and rules and skills. Sports are a mode of human expression, and Ron was a model of living a life dedicated to helping others and following your passion.

    Obstacles? You bet- and more than most, too. Charity? Did you know he has helped raise over 40 million dollars for diabetes research? He was close to his family, close to his friends, and I haven’t even gotten into his stellar career as a player.

    I respect a person’s right to have an opinion on things, and even to use their own opinions and attitudes to shape an article. I’m likely to do the same myself! I won’t critique or harass you for your article- which I disagree with- but I would like to mention just one thing that I think bears correcting.

    Pat Hughes, as you said, is an absolutely marvelous broadcaster. In fact, he’s my favorite (I made a Cubs jersey with “Hughes” on the back and ’720′ for the number, since he never gets enough credit for his work!).
But to call Pat a “babysitter” for Ron is to completely misunderstand the nature of the Pat/Ron relationship. Pat was never disparaging, never disrespectful, and never once in all their years together did he show anything that could be considered scornful or pitying.

    Yes, this is partly because Pat is a professional. But mostly- and this is the point I want to make- Pat had a profound respect and admiration for Ron. He truly valued Ron’s contributions to the booth, and his affection and appreciation for Ron’s work were evident in every broadcast they did together.

    The idea that Pat deserved better or that Ron was somehow a burden to him is profoundly mistaken. The camaraderie, the fun, and the respect that these men had for each other in the booth was an inspiration to all of us. Playing on each others strengths and personality, they created one of the most entertaining and enjoyable broadcast experiences in history.

    Ron leaves a void larger than any person could hope to fill. Cub fans everywhere will have to contend with a future devoid of any of the gaffes and outbursts that you mentioned in this article.

    While there are those out there- like yourself- who I’m sure respect Ron and mourn his passing but aren’t sorry to see him out of the booth, I know that there is no price I wouldn’t pay next season and all the seasons after to hear just one more “Aww geez!” or “What’s going ON!?” from one of my personal heroes, Ron Santo.

Caleb "Aw, Geez, ya gotta score more runs if you want to win!" Shreves

Monday, December 6, 2010

Entry 113: Don't Taze Me, Bro!

After two days of good snowmobiling, I found myself exhausted and hungry this past Sunday.  Cledus, of Sunday Funday fame, and his girlfriend "Babbles"(so named because of her near-incoherence after drinking boxed-wine all day) were at the local bar and had called me to come up and visit.  Kimmie had called, too, and probably wanted to make sure I was still alive after snowmobiling so much (she's a worrier). 

You know how some nights you don't expect anything interesting to happen, and then BAM! and someone ends up naked on a roof or a bus full of Hooters girls show up?  That's what happened Sunday. 

Cledus and Babbles and been drinking all day, and he was in rare form as far as comments were concerned.  In fact, he said some things that I will not be typing in any of these entries if that tells you anything.

Anyway, turns out that the local bar had "acquired" a taser.  You, as I do, probably think this is a terrible idea, but one destined for awesomeness.  We would be right.  The taser was out for all of 30 seconds before Cledus decides that he, in fact, wants to see what it's like to get tazed.

For moral support, another guy celebrating his 40th birthday decides that he, too, would like to be tazed.  Who gets reluctantly dragged into doing the tazing?  Kimmie.  Now she has as much urge to hurt people as anyone I know, but tazing people?  Even she was a bit hesitant.  And she once famously said, "Violence is the only appropriate form of touching."

She was a good sport though and promptly fired the taser up.  She gave it a few test runs, which produced a satisfying "crack" sound and a cool lightning show.  Cledus turns his arm and starts goading Kimmie into tazing him.  So she does.

Pretty damn awesome!  Those things really put out a bite!  He leaped back, yelping, a few feet before coming back for another one.  The other guy "Ed" not only takes a shot in the arm like Cledus, but ups the ante by saying that "The ass is the best place to get it!" [indeed...].  It must be, because each of them 'turned the other cheek' (so to speak) and took one in the ass.  Ed was the first to go and leaped so high that his glasses actually shot off and broke on the floor.

Did I mention that the other people in the bar were recording this and crying themselves laughing?  I'm not sure if any videos are up yet, but I'll try and link to them when they show up.

What lessons are there to be learned here?  I don't know.  What I DO know is that I won't be getting tazed anytime soon. I hate electric shocks.  Remember the suspense post where I talked about the game where 4 players hold metal grips and press a button when a light stops?  Last person to press gets shocked?  I used to lock myself in my room when my drunken roommates had that game out.  Not for me!

Other than that, I was a bit worried to see Kimmie getting practice using a taser.  She's far too violent to have that kind of proficiency with a dangerous weapon. 

I suppose the last point is that, even though they were manic and drunk, neither of these guys were willing to strip down and taze their taints.  And the gauntlet was thrown, too.  So you KNOW it had to hurt!

So yeah, don't taze me bro!

Caleb "Fox: fill in my sign-off please" Shreves

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Entry 112: Pizza, Pizza!

Bear with me, I've got two pizza-related stories to share with you.  If there had only been one I might have said "nope- keep this under my hat," but since there were two: well, I had to share.

Pizza story #1:  Last night I visit a gal to eat some pizza and watch some Modern Family.  Good show, there.  The pizza guy is supposed to be there at 7:11 on the dot.  Says so on the website.  7:15, 7:30, 7:45, still no pizza guy.  We're looking out the window occasionally, thinking "how could this guy get lost?"  Like, literally, this is the easiest place to find on the planet.

Finally at 7:48 we see a truck with a delivery sign pull up.  Not all the way to the house, but close- like he knows that he's in the area and he's just looking around.  I figure I'll run down- I already have my shoes on- and go look hungry and surely he'll know that the pizza is for me. I do, and this truck starts rolling towards me.  He doesn't stop though, and instead of getting out to give me delicious pizza he turns up the side street and drives around the block.

I'm thinking, "What a moron!  I'm obviously the only person standing out here in the cold and wind, on a sidewalk, staring hungrily at your truck, with a credit card in my hand for you to verify my identity and all that, what else could I be doing other than trying to get that pizza?"

I wait and sure enough this guy pulls out a block away and starts heading towards me again.  This time I actually stand out in the street and wave my arms.  I'm not proud- I'm hungry.  He heads towards me again
but, like last time, turns up a side street and doesn't stop. Unbelievable!  I look up at my friend watching all this from the window, and she's laughing her ass off.  Well I'm not letting anything stop me, so I start marching down the street to where I know his truck is going to pop out again, planning on standing in front of the truck in hunger-induced protest if necessary.

I see his truck pull out again, turn the other way, and park.  He gets out with his delivery bag and starts heading up to some strange house. I'm not close enough to yell yet, but I'm thinking, "This guy is going to get frustrated, give up, and just give this pizza away and say fuck it!"  I'm intent on not letting that happen so I hustle up to catch up to him.

I reach him as he's headed back to his truck- delivery bag in hand- and I say something to him like, "hey! It's me- I'm the guy you're looking for!" And he's kind of like, "oh hey..." and I'm excited and I say "Yeah, you were close- I was just one house down and trying to flag you down!" and he's like "right... well, I gotta go." And I'm like "But what about my pizza?" and he's like, "What pizza?"

So I look at his truck.  It turns out that this story- which should have starred just 1 moron- actually starred 2. Because while he might have been the idiot that can't find an address, I was the idiot who didn't know the difference between a Pizza-Hut sign and a Good-2-Go sign.

The Pizza guy finally DID show up (20 minutes later) but forgot the soda that was supposed to come with the food.  My friend wanted to call and complain, but I pleaded to let this pizza-related drama end.  "Call later!" I plead.  Turns out she doesn't have to, because an hour later the pizza delivery guy shows back up, soda in hand, and says, "Did you call the store and say I was driving around the block lost?"

I didn't, but I think I know who did.

Rather than being the end of pizza drama, the next day I had yet another "run-in."

Pizza Story #2

A girl I work with has a favorite type of pizza.  Brags about it all the time.  She brought some in one day, but complained that it wasn't up to par and didn't have enough sauce.  I accused her of making excuses (it was still okay, but not great) but she wouldn't let it rest and kept ordering it at home until she got what she considered a "perfect sample."  Then she brought it in.

I say to her, "Pizza in the fridge, right?" and she says yup.  And something else, but I couldn't hear her well because I was already zipping off to the fridge and she lost most of her voice with bronchitis.  I get to the fridge and look down and see 1 slice of cheese pizza in a blue 1-gallon Ziploc bag.

It's hard to explain thought processes as they happen in concurrence with actions, but I'll do my best. Initially I think, "It's odd that she brought in only 1 slice, but maybe she just saved this one to bring to me and prove her pizza is the best."  By this time I have the slice on a plate and in the microwave.  Then I think, "Maybe I should check and see if there is more."

I look in the fridge, and there in a grocery bag are two more blue 1-gallon Ziploc-bags full of pizza.  Hmm. By this point I've taken 2 slices out of these new bags and added them to my plate to microwave.  But then I get thinking about why this 1 slice is out and separate from its friends.  Maybe there were more in the bag but she already ate all but 1? I'm starting to get suspicious.  I go and ask my friend, who has no idea what I'm talking about, and she comes over to check it out.

By this time I have 3 slices of pizza, fully microwaved, on a plate. And as soon as you look at the slices you can tell what happened.  It's like a game of "where's Waldo" but the only 2 people in the picture are Waldo and Barack Obama.  This one slice is definitely different.  Which means, someone who also likes cheese pizza and also likes blue 1-gallon Ziploc bags decided to bring in just 1 slice of pizza for lunch and set it next to my friend's many slices of a different cheese pizza.

What do you do now?  I panic.  First I think, "well, maybe I'll put the slice back in and they'll never know!" But I look down and see all the cheese melted to the plate.  That plans not going to work.  My friend is freaking out, too.  She says put up a sign explaining everything but I tell her no, that's a cop-out, and way too much work.  Think of how much explanation this would require! So instead I decide to take one of her slices of cheese pizza, put it in the other 1-gallon blue Ziploc bag, and set it right where I found it.

All day my friend and I kept vigil on who was going to the fridge and for what.  Never identified the owner of the single slice, or even knew that they were aware of the switch.  I tried a bit of the stranger's pizza (a bit gross, I know) and it was definitely inferior to my friends'.  So I say, whoever this was got a pizza-upgrade, courtesy of my friend and I.  Happy Thanksgiving and all that.

Caleb "I'm probably done with pizza for a bit" Shreves

Monday, November 29, 2010

Entry 111: The Mystical Journey

The phone rings and I pick it up.  It's my dad.

"You ready for some Hawkeye action?  Yeah, baby! I'll be up there to pick you up at 11:45.  We have a lot of grilling work to do. Be ready."

"Yeah! I don't know if I'll quite be ready... I'm currently playing Halo and haven't showered or anything."

"Hmm.  Anyway, be ready.  See you at 11:45."


He picks me up and tells me to grab a coat.  But I heard it was supposed to be warm, so I'm pretty sure that a sweatshirt will do. I grab my light jacket and throw it in the truck, and after grabbing the moon flower seeds I bought online I hop in and we had off to the local bar (technically a saloon and general store).

Oh, right, the moonflower seeds.  I read on the Wikipedia main page that these common, pretty flowers have seeds that can make one trip out in a similar way to LSD.  Since I've never done LSD, and these are cheap and obviously legal and common, I decide that it's a good idea to buy them and give them I try.  I didn't expect much.

I chew up a couple handful of seeds on the drive to get grilling stuff from the house of Big Gay.  Dad and I arrive at the bar and setup our grilling station.  Chicken legs, burgers, brats, and steak are all on the menu.  We start with the fire way too hot and burn a half dozen burgers or so.

Dad says, "Well, looks like these are toast.  Good for the dogs I suppose."

I says, "Wait- what if we cover them in this shitty BBQ sauce and say they're 'blackened-cajun BBQ burgers'?"

We do, and sure enough we see later on that they were eaten.  Some people will eat anything, right?

After a couple of hours grilling, I'm freezing.  Turns out that reality is a much better forecaster of weather than day-before internet weather reports. 

I'm shivering and I head inside to feast on the grilled deliciousness we had created.  Before I get there I stop on a bench outside the bar and remember that I still had the rest of my moon flower seeds.  Since it had been over 2 hours since I ate the first few, I decide to finish them off and really give this a try.  The entire amount that I bought is less than online-people had recommended to trip anyway, so I was probably going to be fine.

Inside, I start to warm up.  But the shivering won't stop.  I panic; what if these seeds really did  do something?  What if I just took the equivalent of a bunch of LSD and I'm about to go on some crazy trip and freak out?  No. I'm cool.  It's in my head- like a placebo effect.

Wait.  No, it's not.  This is happening.  What's happening?  I don't know, but a lot of it.  Yup.  Definitely happening. Uh oh. And wait a minute- this is just hitting from the first batch I took; I just doubled that! Am I going to start tripping double in another couple of hours?

I feel the nausea that the website said I would.  I want to puke or something, but I never puke.  And besides, then people might suspect that I'm tripping ballz. Did I just admit I'm tripping balls?  Then I definitely must be.  Time to escape outside for a smoke; I just need to collect myself and act normal.

I go inside and someone says something to me about the food.  I scramble to come up with a 'typical Caleb' funny response. I say, "You taste the sauces on those brats?  There's probably one you might not recognize: the spice of love.  Dad and I sprinkled a generous amount on all the food we cooked."

They laugh, I'm off.  It worked.

For the next few hours I settle into a pattern that alternates between freaking out that I'm way messed up and feeling an awesome sense of peace and calmness.  Okay-ness, really. Regardless, for safety reasons I decided to take an emergency xanax (yes I brought one just in case) and rush to get as drunk as I can so as to disguise myself in an alcoholic haze.

I find a lady that I can talk to and not feel strange.  She was an older woman who is on every prescription known to man, including 12 (yes, 12) full 1mg doses of xanax per day.  There's no way she can think I'm tripping.  This plan is pretty good until the bright bar light that I'm under becomes unbearable.  I realize: lights and ambiance have a very significant effect on your immediate mood and contentment.  Why have I never realized this before?

The first time I go to the bathroom I stop and examine myself in the mirror.  Do I look all weird?  Let me check. Nope, fine, I'm just- oh wait a minute.  My eyes.  Holy shit. I have no irises!  I'm all pupil! Whoa. I look like Mr. Burns on the Simpsons when they dope him up and people think he's an alien.

Hours pass, I try to stomach a bite of food unsuccessfully, and I call The Nerv to leave a funny message.  At this point I've still kept my seed-experience to myself; something tells me that if I divulge my secret before I'm ready that it's going to cause me to panic.  Don't want that.  So I leave Nerv a long message that I can paraphrase for you now: "I like boobs."

Each time I had stepped outside to smoke I was freezing.  This got worse when the sun went down, which in winter apparently happens around noon.  That was hyperbole.  At about 7 I sit outside on a bench, smoking, talking to The Bear on the phone for a while.  We plan a fun trip (no pun intended) after I realize that I had usually only hung out with him in relation to other friends.  Time for just us to hang out.  Why had I never realized this?

As I'm sitting there, freezing, I try my hardest to not feel the cold.  To only feel it as an effect, and not be miserable or shivering.  Shamans and yogis can do it, right?  Apparently so can I.  My dad comes out and I finally tell him that, "you remember those seeds?  Yeah.  They're, uh, working."  I explain my ability to withstand cold and the connection I feel with the universe.  He calls me "The Mystical One."

Finally enough alcohol kicked in that I could just act drunk. And it wasn't that I wasn't drunk; only that I was a tripping, all-knowing mystical shaman who happened to be drunk.  I paid attention to stories and found I could actually place myself in another person's shoes.  Or memories, as it were.  Did you know that they used to have large outdoor music fests in small towns throughout Iowa where people would shoot off guns and ride their horses?  That was only like 25 years ago!  Crazy.

I was dropped off at another bar closer to home and think I talked to some people there.  I think.  I walked home later (2 blocks) and woke up the next day still feeling a little off. 

I wish I could better explain to you the effects of these seeds, but I mostly have to relate it to other drugs because they're all I know.  It was like a mix of everything I'd ever done, plus some new effects thrown in for good measure. There were a lot of things that I realized that night that have stuck with me.  Even throughout this week I've felt more calm and peaceful about life.  Weird.

Oddly enough, when I asked my dad about it he said I seemed perfectly normal.  I'm not sure I know exactly how to interpret that.

I won't say I recommend them for everyone, but I will say I am probably going to try them again. 

Caleb "The Mystical One" Shreves

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Entry 110: The FDA Drives Me Loko!

Today I'm getting on my stump to defend Four Loko.  More importantly, I'm here to call out the FDA for bureaucratic shenanigannery, hypocrisy, and poor logic.

Four Loko is a brand of flavored, caffeinated beer.  It comes in tall cans with about the same amount of caffeine that's in a cup of coffee and a high alcohol content.  It also tastes like horse piss.
Story: In Nov. '09 the FDA heard reports that people were having fun drinking Four Loko, and promptly issued a warning letter to the maker of Four Loko (Phusion Projects) warning them that caffeine and alcohol
mixed was dangerous and not approved by the FDA.  Phusion sent a response back in June of '10 to the FDA while 4 states individually banned the drink. Now, the FDA sent a warning notice to Phusion again saying that they had not proved their product to be safe and would be subject to penalties and enforcements under [code section sub-heading paragraph blah blah blah].  Four Loko is caving and discontinuing their product.


The FDA cites Phusion for not proving that FL is "generally regarded as safe (GRAS)." They also say, and I quote, that "a food additive is unsafe unless a regulation is in effect that prescribes the conditions under which the additive may be safely used..."  If you read that as "everything is banned until we say otherwise" you're on the right track.

They go on to say that "safe" is defined as "reasonable certainty in the minds of competent scientists that the substance is not harmful under the intended conditions of use." [What, exactly, is NOT harmful about trans-fats, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.?]

3 safety concerns the FDA cites:

"Reports in the scientific literature have described behavioral effects that may occur in young adults when energy drinks are consumed along with alcoholic beverages" [I think alcohol by itself pretty much covers this one]

"Studies suggest that the combined ingestion of caffeine and alcohol may lead to hazardous and life-threatening situations because caffeine counteracts some, but not all, of alcohol's adverse effects. In one study, a mixture of an energy drink and alcohol reduced subjects' subjective perception of intoxication but did not improve diminished motor coordination or slower visual reaction times using objective measures" [So?]

"Because caffeine alters the perception of alcohol intoxication, the consumption of pre-mixed products containing added caffeine and alcohol may result in higher amounts of alcohol consumed per drinking occasion, a situation that is particularly dangerous for naive drinkers" [So?]

Reading through the entire letter will give you some idea of how this system is set up with so many regulations and crap that they can basically approve or deny any product they want and create some sort of justification for their cowardice.  I call it cowardice because they (Joann Givens) don't have the cajones to come out and say: 

"Look, this shit will f8ck you up way faster than you realize.  Young adults are too dumb to behave themselves. Even if 99% of people were to safely use this, I don't want to allow the remaining 1% to get even more hammered than they're probably already going to get and go crash cars and puke their guts out."  
That to me is at least a sound opinion.  I can disagree, but it's honest.

So you can't package alcohol and caffeine together, but you can mix Grey goose and red bull or Captain and Coke.  It's like toys for children at Christmas; you can buy the toy and you can buy the battery, but the
batteries can't be included. Or, to provide a more apt (and damaging) analogy, is it similar to how you can't buy a loaded gun?

And when you start down a road of banning things that have "behavioral effects" or that people are presumed to be too dumb to handle responsibly, where does it end?

It doesn't.  That's why I take up issues such as this.  I hate Four Loko- it literally tastes like the fruity urine of the dragon that Satan rode to the North Pole to stab Rudolph in the eye with his pitchfork. But I defend the right for people to have Four Loko if they want.  I defend the right of people to choose whether to wear a helmet, or use drugs, or smoke cigarettes in their own house. I don't presume to direct people on what they should do, or abdicate responsibility to defend those who can't defend themselves from gross harm and negligence, I only fight for the responsibility of personal welfare to sit squarely on the shoulders of the individual rather than an impersonal and distant government.

You know, shit like this is going to get me recruited in the Tea Party. Crap.

What I ask of you is to see how easy it is for our rights to be attacked when they are broken up piecemeal. When you see an issue come up and you have no dog in the race, realize that maybe the next issue under attack will be one you do care about and you'll wish you had idealistic people who will rally to your flag.  That's how I find myself here today, defending the shittiest beer ever made on the Earth.

Caleb "seriously don't drink that shit" Shreves

Monday, November 15, 2010

Entry 109: Christmas Shopping In Anal-Town

This is one of my favorite stories, and since it's just about that time for everyone to go Christmas-crazy I thought this an appropriate time to share.

I have an uncle.  He's handy and hard-working, but not exactly what you'd call a charmer.  He doesn't have a lot of what you might call "people skills."  He works hard all day, everyday, no sick leave, no vacation, and feels that everyone ought to do the same.  I can't imagine him hugging.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think in all the years I've been alive that I've seen him wear anything but his slightly grease-stained jean shirt and jeans.  He has a low, grumbling voice and a long ponytail.

A couple of years ago he asked my mom to take over his Christmas shopping, which he claimed was so stressful that he couldn't handle it.  My mom agreed and he gave her money and a list.

Now let me clarify what I mean by "list."  He gave my mom an excel spreadsheet that had dozens of names of people that he gave gifts.  And, he had recorded every single thing he had ever bought going all the way back to the 80's!

What did I get in Christmas of '92?  A He-man action figure.  '96? $15 Blockbuster gift card.  Crazy.  Who keeps a list like that?  Plus, he bought for people who would stretch anyone's definition of "extended family."

People are strange and I love their little quirks.  I love the surprises people give you when you get a glimpse into their lives.  Forgo 'normal' people, my friends, and surround yourself with the interesting and bizarre.  You'll be much happier when you do!

Good luck shopping.

Caleb "I only shop for kids" Shreves

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Entry 108: What. The. Fuck.

True story.

I'm looking up snowmobiles on Craigslist under the "RV" section.  I see this headline:

"To the guy for the Tri-Z"

And I'm like, "huh?"

So I read the post:

"Tried to get ahold of you but couldnt. Would you be willing to trade for Garbanzo Chickens? Would be willing to throw in some Meat Rabbits to sweeten the deal if needed." 

Um.  WTF.

He's going to throw in some "meat rabbits."  Oh wait, sorry, those are capitalized.  "Meat Rabbits."

I think I'm going to have to email this guy.

Caleb "No seriously WTF" Shreves




Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Entry 107: Just A Little Sodomy, Right?

Canada just got awesomer. 

Say that you and your partner thought it would be fun to engage in a little erotic asphyxiation.  You're pretty sure that she said a little dildo-anal action was okay, but now she kind of... passed out.  You can't wake her up and have her officially consent to anal fun-time, so do you go ahead with it anyway?

Sure you do.

And everything's fine.  But then you have a fight with her 2 months later and, you guessed it, now she says it was non-consensual.  You go to court; lose.  You appeal; win.  Now the case is before the Supreme Court of Canada!  (How 'bout that, eh?)

The court is now going to have to decide whether a passed-out woman from voluntary erotic asphyxiation could have given consent to having a dildo shoved up her butt. 

Who says the law is boring?

How do you rule?  I'm going with innocent here; they were dating, they were having sex, she agreed to be choked out.  I'm sorry- you're saying that she had a "line" somewhere that was crossed?  Huh?

Shreves out. 

PS Article

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Entry 106: Why I'm Not Voting Today

Is there a nefarious plan to make people think that all candidates suck and to not vote? Maybe that's part of how the people on top of the political heap stay in power.  If so, it's fairly brilliant because it has worked on me and I'm ideological opposed to not-voting.

When I hear an attack ad, I immediately go all LSAT-y on it and pick it apart for its logical fallacies, out-of-context quotes, and general ass-ishness.  I think to myself "I'm going to vote for the other guy simply because this guy is willing to make and ad like this." 

But then I hear an ad for the other guy, and it's just another attack ad on the first guy.


Then who do I vote for?  Some fringe candidate who wants to [insert radical proposal here]?  No, no... that's not good.  There's no alternative, and there is no lesser evil.  Just two equal evils and a system designed to keep out reasonable and sensible candidates. 

So I stay home.

Some of you will probably know me enough to also assume that I'm probably just lazy, and don't know where to vote or know what I need to vote or have the research done ahead of time to know specific candidate's policies.  And you would be right (mostly).

But I say that there is a difference between not voting because you're lazy when you should vote, and not voting because you're lazy when it's not worth voting in the first place. 

Sadly in this midterm election it seems like I'm facing the second option.  Oh well- more time to finish the Halo Reach campaign on legendary.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Entry 105: Lessons From A Fictional Trans-Gender

Hey there, peeps.

I finished a book by Gary Mathews titled "Little Red Rooster."  Good book, sort of a first-person coming of age story for a young smart-ass in a small town.  In a bizarre twist, the main character (Burris Weems- great name!) befriends a guy at his summer job whose girlfriend has a trans-gender father (mother?)... sort of.

Apparently the girl's father, "Gene," was married for years and occasionally dressed up in his wife's clothes (who doesn't?)  While not gay in the catcher/pitcher sense, Gene decides to pursue his true self by having surgery done to become a woman.  Like, all the surgery.  As in, doctors removed his wang and replaced it with... a vagina-like thing.  (don't even want to think about that.)  His doctors made him wait a year to perform the surgery, as they wanted to make sure he was certain as the surgery was irreversible. 

Gene was smart enough to tell the doctors what they wanted to hear and went through with the surgery.  Then he regretted it in every sense of the word and lived a miserable and depressed life, dependent on his daughter to take care of him and provide minimal emotional support to keep him from killing himself.  Which, in the end, he does anyway (and Burris packs him in the trunk of a car with icebags as part of a crazy scheme to get with the daughter.  Yeah, weird.).

So Gene was smart enough to get his way and what he thought he wanted, but dumb enough that he had no idea of what he really wanted in life.  Think about it: had he been smarter he would have realized that the surgery was a terrible idea and not gone through with it.  Had he been dumber he wouldn't have been able to convince the doctors to perform the surgery.

Putting the sex-change them aside, how many of you feel like you live in a gray zone somewhere between too dumb and too smart?  I think I do.  I've asked some of my friends if they could choose to be dumb but happy would they do it.  They all say no.  Why?  Would you make that trade?  Peace and contentment at the low price of your self-awareness and wits. 

I still feel most of you wouldn't trade your smarts for peace, but what if I threw in another bone: say, a great sense of humor?  Better looks?  What would it take?

I for one think I'm close enough to the boundary to just work on my smarts some and get out of the gray zone.  I know a few people who could stand to be just a bit dumber, too.

Smart or dumb, however, I ain't cuttin' off my wiener. 


PS did you read about the dude that hooked up with Christine O'Donnell?