Monday, June 25, 2012

High School: Things to Avoid

I'll preface this post by saying that I am an idiot, and was more so when I was in high school. However, Budding Academic, I'm here to guide you through your high school journey with some anecdotes I've collected first-hand from my high school days.

1. Don't Make Racist Comments in the Middle of a Speech

I've always felt that being in front of a crowd made me more witty and charming, probably due to the fact that I was hyper aware of everything I was doing. I liked being in front of people. So in speech class, I would generally just give myself a rough draft of what I wanted to say and fill in the gaps as I went along. I am an entertainer by heart and so I felt that this ad-lib style of speaking came off more organically than simply reciting the words in monotone.

The class was tasked with giving a speech about their families so I planned to talk about each of my family members in turn. My dad is a bit of a procrastinator so in my speech outline I quipped that my dad can't be that much of a procrastinator or else he'd lose his job and we'd have to move to the ghetto.

Only I didn't say "ghetto."

I went to an almost exclusively white school, which doesn't excuse my faux pas, but it does explain why I wasn't murdered after class. Part of my off-the-cuff speaking involved coming up with substitutions of the words I'd written in my rough draft, which was generally a good thing. Unfortunately, this method failed me as I instead said "... my dad would lose his job and we'd have to move to the black community."

Yes, my brain decided to substitute "ghetto" for "black community" in the middle of a speech in front of the class and the teacher. I blame all those catchy rap songs. As soon as I said it the whole class looked a bit shocked and the teacher suddenly got a stern look on her face and looked down, writing furiously through the rest of the speech. The class screw-off gave me an ovation.

2. Don't Make Fat Jokes about Your Girlfriend's Friends

I was far from a Casanova in high school so I wasn't quite sure how to talk to girls. My theory at the time was to just talk to them the exact same as I would my guy friends. So when I got one of my first girlfriends things were going fine, but with a theory like that floating around in my head things were bound to go wrong.

In the previous entry I mentioned my need to entertain people - mainly make them laugh. So one day I was hanging out with her at her locker when I noticed a picture of a particularly large classmate hanging in her locker as she was shutting it. Trying to make her laugh, I offhandedly said, "Wow, I'm surprised you got your locker shut with that picture hanging in there." She lowered her eyebrows at me and didn't say anything, let alone laugh. That joke would have killed with my friends, so I was slightly off-put by her silence. Keep in mind that I am/was an idiot.

Later that day I got a very long note explaining that that was one of her really good friends and that I should be nicer and that she couldn't be with someone who so recklessly made fun of others.

3. Don't Fall Asleep at the Wheel in Driver's Ed

I had an early morning driver's education class. That generally wasn't much of an issue, but the class was during summer so I often spent the night with friends. One particular night I stayed up late with a friend playing old NES games and watching Magic Bullet infomercials, so the next day I was pretty tired.

I'd been reprimanded for cutting through parking lots, using cruise control too much, and running over potholes and roadkill, but I hadn't done anything TOO stupid. In fact, I felt pretty confident. But that morning I was just really tired, so when I pulled up to a red light my body took advantage of the opportunity.

I was jolted awake by a few honks from behind me and was suddenly filled with anxiety as I realized I'd fallen asleep at the wheel in driver's ed. I had no idea how long I'd been out, but apparently I also forgot that I was at a red light so I looked over at my nearly-retired instructor to see if he'd noticed my little doze. Luckily, he must have been dreaming of retirement, because he just looked at me and said, in his high-pitched Southern accent, "Now don't look at me, Robert. It's not my fault he honked at you for not realizing it's green."

Phew. I'm just happy I don't kick my feet while I sleep.

So, Future Collegiate, follow these words and hopefully you will avoid a few awkward situations during your days in high school.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Euni the Cat Master

It's been a while since I've had a Thrift Store Pen Pal, so I was extra-excited when my Texan blog-friend, Euni, signed up! I dusted off my box of weird thrift store finds and shipped a pretty good one. Euni is pretty creative, so I'm not surprised at how entertained I was by her Pen Pal post. Plus, since she took pictures of her item at her work office, I get an extra dose of laughter thinking about her co-workers' reactions. Click below to read her awesome Thrift Store Pen Pal post! :)

If you'd like to entertain me (and the rest of the Internet) with your reaction to some odd thrift store purchases, sign up for Thrift Store Pen Pals here!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Kohler Numi Toilet

I got an email this morning from trying to peddle a particularly strange item. It's the Kohler Numi Toilet. The body of the email is an invitation to "like" a Facebook page for a chance to win the toilet they keep clamoring about. And then, this is the picture they attached to the email:

Before I get too far into this post, I'd like to illustrate why it's a good idea to double-check the email address you're sending to. I thought this was a funny email to get from Amazon, so I decided to email a few friends describing what I was looking at... except I accidentally sent the email to my friend's old work email address, which, since he left, is forwarded to everyone in his old team. Here's the conversation:

From: Robert Wood []
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 8:55 AM
To: Analytics; 'Lisa'
Subject: I don't even...

I got this email today about winning a toilet from, which is weird enough by itself, and then I looked at the picture to the right… Because attractive, dressed-up people and toilets go hand-in-hand..? And THEN I realized that that white thing in the background IS the toilet! There is a lot wrong with this picture – firstly, it’s in a room with all glass walls – you can see right inside from all directions. That’s awkward for everyone. Secondly, that doesn’t look like a bathroom; it looks like a living room or something. Are you supposed to have dinner or watch TV with your date when you nonchalantly get up and answer nature’s call in the (all glass) living room? I tell ya, nothing makes me more attracted to a girl than seeing her pooping into a white box in a room with transparent walls.

From: Analytics []
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 9:00 AM
To: 'Robert Wood'
Cc: Analytics
Subject: RE: I don't even...

Was this intended to go to Brian XYZ?  If so, he is no longer with Company Y, so his emails are now forwarded to his old team’s shared inbox.

Thanks for the entertainment, but you might want to check with him to get his new email address :)

From: Robert Wood []
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 9:08 AM
To: Analytics
Subject: RE: I don't even...

Oh no, this is almost as awkward as that toilet. I accidentally selected the wrong email. Sorry!

From: Analytics []
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 9:14 AM
To: 'Robert Wood'; Analytics
Subject: RE: I don't even...

No problem- good Monday morning laugh.

So that was the start of my Monday - accidentally sending poop jokes to a bunch of strangers. I should have just forged ahead and sent them the address to this blog. I already had "unobservant" in the bag; I should have just gone ahead with "shamelessly self-promoting." 

Unaffected by my mistake, I remained curious about these people in the glass house with a shitter in their living room so I went to Kohler's toilet website and found even more pieces to this confusing toilet puzzle. 

Apparently, the toilet has a remote control so you can operate its various functions such as internal lighting (so you can look back in and see how you did), a music player (so you can "sing" along with the music), a freaking bidet (so you can squirt water up your hoo and/or ha), a seat heater (which... would actually be pretty great), and user presets. Basically, if you own this toilet, you've officially "made it."

At first, I thought that in the very first picture the guy was holding flowers and bringing them to his female scat-loving counterpart. I thought it was a funny gesture for such an open and immodest couple. Then I saw that they had other pictures in the series:

Here, we see that those flowers are just sitting on a table, possibly so they can claim that their shit does, indeed, smell like roses. This picture also confirms that this is a living room or a lounge and that you can see inside from every angle. Judging by their change of clothes and the furniture, they spend a lot of time in this room, so they probably get to see each other drop their logs regularly. In the background, we see this:

A bottle of liquor. Anyone who has had the scoots after drinking the night before knows where this is going - you're not going to want to be confined in the same room with someone who is going through that violently personal experience, least of which being your significant other. I could be wrong in assuming they're dating; they could just be brother and sister, which would take this scenario from worst-ever to worst-ever-er. But he's giving her those eyes that say "Baby, I really wanna watch you drop a brown bear right about now," so I conclude that they're dating. Or... ugh, nevermind. For my own sanity's sake, they're not related.

Here's the last picture in their series. Another change of clothes. And then I realized... that toilet is not hooked up to any plumbing and they have no sinks! That's like having an outhouse inhouse. Not only is that unhygienic but also a living situation only fit for hostages! Giorgio Armani must have kidnapped these people, locked them in his uber-high-fashion prison, and forced them to pose and look sexy. The bastard! Look at how they attractively long for freedom.

But there's nothing we can do for the prisoners now - they've likely been sold off as runway slaves by now. 

I think I'm going to enter that sweepstakes so I can start my own fashion-prison!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Greater Kansas City's Successful Single Men

I found an interesting book at the thrift store the other day entitled "Greater Kansas City's Successful Single Men." I can't find much information about the book, but from what I can gather it is something for girls to browse through while fantasizing about these eligible bachelors. After flipping through the book I can't say I blame them! This book is chock full of the manliest, most single, and most eighties-est men in Kansas City.

There is no date anywhere in the book, but one guys is wearing a shirt that mentions the 1980 Kansas State Jr. Olympics Meet, so I'm guessing the book was published in 1980 or 1981. And boy that early 80s sheen sure shines! I've done the heavy lifting for you and picked out a few of my favorite bachelors, along with biographies I made up based on their pictures.

But first, a little treat I found among the men: a signed page!

I know, I know, how did I even notice a signature with all that tantalizing man-meat in front of me? 

There is a signature by Frank Szasz which simply states

Thinking of you with love, Frank Szasz

I did a little research on Mr. Szasz to learn that he was a Hungarian painter who moved to the states after being freed from a prison camp. He did portraits of iconic people, most famously Elvis. He died in 1995 due to somewhat uncertain causes, but a couple years before that he got remarried so I wonder if there was any foul play... Anyway, it's pretty awesome to randomly find his signature in a book I paid $1.00 for at a thrift store!

That's not the first time I've found signed items while thrifting, either. I once found a book signed by the author, which I wrote about here, and more recently I found an original signed painting for $10 that I had appraised for a whole lot more than $10. For some perspective, here is some work by the same artist.

Okay, enough blather. Here are my favorite Successful Single Men and their should-be biographies (yeah, I used their real names):

Michael Pack

Ever since he was a young boy, Michael knew he wanted to do something BIG. By the age of 11, he had grown a mustache so luxurious that it rivaled even his father's 'stache, which is saying something considering his father was given the nickname Ol' Crab-Stache within their community. This did not please Crab-Stache, and soon Michael was left homeless due to his father's combination of unbridled jealousy and meth addiction. Michael joined a small Indian tribe in Oklahoma where he learned to weave fine Indian welcome mats. He was lauded as somewhat of a prodigy at such, which gained him favor with his chief, Tall Bush. Tall Bush took Michael under his wing, raising him as his own child since he was infertile and had none of his own. Bush earned his namesake from his savage method of luring travelers into a cornfield and scalping them and proceeding to wear their scalps on top of his own, but he never removed a single scalp making his hair extremely tall-looking and multi-colored, not unlike a Bomb Pop. Michael learned everything he could from Tall Bush and was soon claiming scalps of his own. Fortunately for him, Michael wasn't satisfied with merely stacking scalps; he combined his love of scalping with his mastery of weaving to make the world's tallest wig, which he proudly displays in his picture above. Critics point out that that is, in fact, not a wig, but rather a second, larger "head mustache."

Ronald J. Levin

When Ronald graduated high school he soon landed a job as an apprentice for a custom jeweler, mainly focusing on his ring-making talents. He was once commissioned with creating class rings for a TV show pilot which was soon to air. The producers were so impressed with Ronald's skill that they asked to meet the man behind the rings, and when they did they realized that this was exactly the personality they needed for their new show; he was nerdy, quirky, and somehow lovable. They quickly asked him to join the show which Ronald excitedly accepted. The show was, of course, Saved by the Bell, and Ronald played the part of Screech. But before he left his apprenticeship, he made himself one last ring to remember where he came from.


Bob Griffle

Bob was always an enterprising and confident lad. He was very successful with women and seemed to only date girls who friends say were "out of his league." His libido was so healthy that he found himself needing "relief" all throughout the day, even when at work or on the bus. One account states, "Bob always had girls falling all over him, but they never seemed to satisfy him. He always wanted more, more more. I guess that's how he got where he is today." And where he is today is the founder and CEO of Bob's MagVag. The concept is simple: conceal a male pleasure device in a rolled-up magazine and you can have fun anytime, anywhere, without all the pesky jail time. Bob is seen here demonstrating how effective his design really is.

Charlie Johnson

Charlie started rather late in life as a full-grown man, though he wasn't always the Charlie you see here. He woke up on an operating table on a stormy night with a crazed scientist staring at him laughing madly. Frankenstein was his name. In a frightful stupor, Charlie proceeded to do what any newborn would do and try to figure out what the heck was going on, but it just so happened that he had all the strength of a man and so he was mistaken for something of a monster. He clearly wasn't though; he was just a full grown baby man who refused to call a lunatic scientist "Mom." Charlie went on to get his MBA and now runs his own hardware store, Charlie's Nuts and Bolts.

Jim Goss

Though slightly unorthodox, Jim makes the book due to his uncanny ability to coax children into his conversion van. You've likely heard the warnings about talking to strangers, accepting free candy, and checking out "these cute puppies in the back of the van." Well, Jim is who we can all thank for those warnings, and for good reason. Other community contributions include: razor blades in Halloween candy, the pedostache, creeper vans, To Catch a Predator, along with many others. He's currently working on his photography career, which the FBI says they are very interested to see.

Runners Up

I have a few more but don't feel like writing full biographies for them, so here they are along with some brief captions.

This guy is most certainly a pimp. I don't think that pole is used for the carousel horse.

He is by far the happiest-looking person in this book. I feel like there should be a rainbow in the background or something.

This guy is... Well, look at him. Successful, maybe. Single, I'm sure.

He looks like he didn't know they were about to take his picture. That, or they photographer tied him up and this is his ransom picture.

This dude totally has a boner. See?

That's not his thumb, unless his thumb is 6" long and shaped like a dong.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Jennifer Lawrence and Other Love Interests

The Hunger Games movie just came out and I think I have a crush on Jennifer Lawrence. We've all had our celebrity crushes, as irrational and unlikely as they may be. I'm not talking about times where you say, "I swear it, Selena Gomez wrote Love You Like a Love Song about ME!" or, "Oh, Steve Buscemi is so hot, I love him." No, I'm talking about actual crushes where, for whatever reason, you actually like someone. Someone very special. Today, I will go through my unabridged list of crushes through the years and then use an advanced scientific love calculator to find my one true love.

1. Princess Jasmine

That's not the tiger purring; it's me

Princess Jasmine was my first-ever crush. She was just plain hot. Although Aladdin came out in 1992 when I was 6, it wasn't until a couple years later when I had the VHS copy that I fell in love with her. I guess my prepubescent 6 year old self couldn't cope with the sultry princess. I clearly remember watching Aladdin with a friend - we would pause the tape and go up to the TV screen and "kiss" her. It was pure romance! That jerk Aladdin would always come on screen and cockblock me though. At least the genie was on my side. But how does the Love Calculator think this cartoon princess and I would match up?

Hey, not bad! And everyone knows that 69 is the number of love... which gives a very strange mental image considering I was like 8 years old when I was crushing on her.

Then I got really into horror movies.

2. Nancy Thompson

Those killer curly bangs really did it for me

The actress' real name is Heather Langenkamp, but I was only into the Nancy character from Nightmare on Elm Street. She must have had that girl-next-door vibe about her. When her boyfriend in the movie, Johnny Depp, died I figured she was all mine. I didn't consider that she would probably have a bunch of baggage considering her bf just got eaten and puked back up by his bed. I guess I wasn't the only one who wanted to be her new boyfriend, though, as is evidenced by this awesome gif:

Freddy turned into Nancy's phone and said, "I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy!" and licked her. Pure art. I definitely still love these movies! <3 Let's see how compatible Nancy and I are:

Wow, that's a solid B! I'd imagine our conversations over dinner would be a little one-sided though - she is constantly tormented by a guy who tries to kill her in her dreams, and I... like thrift stores and drive a Ford Focus.

3. Angie Everhart

I obviously didn't mind the age difference

Ms. Everhart was in a quaint little film called Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood in which she was the queen vampire who ran an entire whorehouse full of other well-endowed vampire hookers. I think it was nominated for an Oscar.

"Uhh... can we skip the foreplay tonight, honey?"

The movie came out in 1996 when I was but a wee 10 year old lad, so I don't know what I found so appealing about her. Probably that she was in a vampire whore movie and had boobs. Let's see how she and I match up:

Hmm. Well, I guess it was never meant to be. She IS 17 years older than me, about twice my age when I fell in one-side love with her. Oh well.

4. Neve Campbell

Everyone seemed to love Neve Campbell in the '90s, and I was no exception. I first fell in love when I saw her in the movies Scream and The Craft, both of which, incidentally, also came out in 1996 with Bordello of Blood. This leads me to two conclusions about myself: 1) I really like horror movie girls, and 2) 1996 was a very confusing year for me. Nevertheless, I was pretty into her. I even printed out a picture of her and taped it to my school Trapper Keeper; it was her in a bathtub with milk running down her and the caption said, "Got Neve?" It was pretty lame. I wanted to share the picture but I can't seem to find it. Apparently, after 1996 the Internet deemed the picture to be too stupid. Well, how does the faithful Love Calculator find the two of us?

Ouch. That's a kick right to the heart. And here I was thinking that she could be the one. The Love Calculator even gave "Sidney" and "Billy and Stuart" (her character in scream and her would-be killers) a 35%. If they had a 35% and they were trying to kill her, imagine what I would try to do to her! 

From there on, my celebrity crushes dried up a bit. Maybe because I started getting actual girlfriends. There were a few more, like Jessica Alba, but everyone was in love with her. I think she was my main celebrity crush throughout high school, but she's too obvious so I'll just skip right to the most recent girls.

4. Jillian Mayer

If any of you have ever questioned my level of weirdness, just keep reading. It's a bit of a stretch to include her on the celebrity crushes list, but here she is anyway, for the sake of comedy. Jillian and I only had about a week-long fling, but I was pretty into her during that week. Little was known about her at the time other than that she produced this amazing video:

There was a lot I liked about her: she was pretty cute and normal looking... on the surface. Then she gets in all sorts of insane costumes (which I have been known to do) and writes an insane song with super awesome electronic voice effects (which I have also been known to do). Not to mention, she had the cojones to put this video on YouTube! I saw the video when it had less than 1000 views so I felt that we bonded.

Then once the video got popular it turned out she was super pretentious about herself. Well, let's see how this odd duck and I would fare romantically!

Looks like we have about a 50/50 chance. Coincidentally, that's about the same as the divorce rate in the United States, so going with her would be a pretty risky maneuver. 

5. Emma Stone

Freckles? I'm for 'em

I first saw Emma Stone in a show with Louis C.K. Called Lucky Louie in 2006. She was a kind of a bitch in that show, and she had a very small part, but in sparked something inside me. Later, she was in Superbad,  which made the spark grow hotter. I understand why Jonah Hill wanted to draw so many penis pictures for her. Then, Zombieland finally set it in stone; I loved this girl. Some may say she has a weird voice and too many freckles, but she doesn't. She's perfect. I think Easy A is my favorite role she's been in, especially in this defining scene. Upon re-reading this paragraph, I may not be totally over this one... Well, let's see how she and I would match up!

It appears that even Princess Jasmine and I have a better chance of making it work. But hey 65% is a D, and that's still a passing grade, right?

6. Jennifer Lawrence

You won't Rue being with me (see what I did there?)

And this brings us up to speed! I first saw Jennifer Lawrence in a (great) movie called Winter's Bone, but she wasn't supposed to be super attractive in that one. In fact, she was really poor and lived in the methiest part of the Ozarks.

Eh, I'd still be down

Then, I found out she was going to star in the movie adaptation of one of my recent favorite books, The Hunger Games! The movie was good, and I didn't even realize I had a crush until I found myself browsing Google Images of her and watching interviews. In fact, the interviews are what really solidified it; she is very funny and witty, unlike the hardness of most of her characters, and she's super cute to boot. That being said, I am pretty excited to find out what the Love Calculator has in store for me and Jennifer Lawrence so we can finally start our life together.

Oh man... rejection hurts! :( Well, Jennifer, if you're reading this you know that these love calculators are a bunch of crap, right? Right??

Well it looks like Nancy Thompson from Nightmare on Elm Street is my number 1 love match by a long shot! In a strange turn of events, Princess Jasmine is my number 2, at 69%. ...And since neither of those two girls are real, I'm going to cheat and default to my number 3 match, Emma Stone! Woo hoo! We may not last long, but it'll be good while it lasts! :)


There is one celebrity that I can't stand. Well, I don't like the characters she plays, anyway, so let's go over my anti-crush.

-1. Michelle Rodriguez

I totally didn't just use MS Paint to give her a mustache and dead tooth...

Michelle Rodriguez always plays the "badass chick" in movies and TV shows. Incidentally, she usually dies in these shows. Such shows are a bittersweet experience for me. She's probably okay in real life, but man... I can't stand her in movies. As you can tell by all my crushes, I usually go for more of the girl-next-door, nice girl thing, and Ms. Rodriguez is the opposite of that. Well... Let's put her through the Love Calculator and see what happens:

I SWEAR TO GOD I did not fake that score! Haha! What a satisfying way to end this post. I imagine the calculator gives everyone a 1% with Michelle Rodriguez, though.

So, there you have it, folks. My main love interests throughout my life. Who have you had an irrational celebrity crush on? And what are Dr. Love's calculations for you two love birds?