Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moment From Work

Are you wearing a T-Shirt to work?

Shut up.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lauryn Hill

An urban legend from my personal life finds a friend of a friend meeting Lauryn Hill backstage after a show in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He approached her, handed her a slip of paper with his ten numbers scrawled across the top and said, “you can call me, but I might be busy.”

I never met the man whose brain conjured such a scheme. I can’t even testify to the veracity of this anecdote. It may have just been a passing thought this person had on his way to or from the Fugee’s performance at Eastern Michigan University, a thought that became a memory through boastful conversations with friends in the following days.

But more than 10 years later I remember the story.

The absurd confidence displayed by such a gesture may also be described as hubris. Clearly, there isn’t a man breathing who doesn’t have time for a chat with Lauryn Hill. And this, of course, is where we discover the slight-chuckle-worthy humor in my little story.

I wonder now why I’ve retained this anecdote for so long, why it’s been sitting there in the back of my mind, collecting dust in my rolodex of stories to tell at parties or dinners with friends, waiting to be pulled out when any number of relevant topics are breached.

Perhaps the most notable reason, or the one that’s made the most sense to me, is that I’ve never understood that sort of confidence to begin with. I’ve never, not for one moment in my life, felt wanted. I consider this story and only see the failure of this quality that I struggle to attain.

So maybe I need this story to end differently. Maybe Lauryn Hill needed to laugh at the arrogance and smile at the young man who held out a torn up flyer with smeared ball point numbers scribbled on the back. Maybe she needed to take that man’s hand and fulfill whatever it was he sought to accomplish that day. Because in my mind, she simply rolled her eyes. She may have taken the number with a careless grip, but released it when he turned his back. It floated to the ground. It was trampled in the hall then swept up with the trash.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moment From Work!

Michael and Bryan sit at the long table. Michael reads from a "yelp" review.

This guy says the burgers are actually too big.

How can that be?

It can't.

Who wrote that? That man is a bitch!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hip Hop Show

I went to a large hip hop show this weekend, the Rock the Bells Tour, and I plan on sharing more of my thoughts on that a little later. For now, a brief story...

I was attending this show alone. My ticket was labeled "artist comp" and I was disappointed by how unavailable my friend was. I just wanted to say hello and catch up for a moment, but instead I was watching the Knux try to elicit excitement from a sparse and uninterested crowd.

I took a walk in search of a drinking fountain. I had been desperately thirsty since I entered the place, but $6 for a bottle of water was highway robbery no matter how hot it was. I must have had a frown on my face, or been doing that distinct "lip thing" that my coworkers claim I do when I'm frustrated, because as I stomped toward the bathrooms, a large, tree trunk of an arm extended across my chest and grabbed my shoulder. I was twisted in my path and found myself face to face with a grinning giant wearing an A Tribe Called Quest T-shirt.

"Come on, man, smile, this is Hip Hop!"

He shook my hand and hugged me before moving on.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Moment From Work

Michael and Bryan walk from the kitchen to their desks.

I think next year me and Luke should have a donut eating contest.

It would be more competitive.

They could be Krispy Kremes-

Well, we both know who would win that.


No, it's just you and Luke competing.

Oh Bryan, you can take part. It will be a three-way.


I hope no one overheard that.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Contest

So it began last year. I had a passing conversation with one Emily Price in which we related our common nostalgia for the Cadbury Creme Egg. Having sworn off sugar, she expressed a slight, almost negligible longing for the confection. Me being the little bastard that I am, I showed up a week later and magically presented her with one of the delicious eggs - a candy she found irresistible.

As payback, Emily gave me two of the coma-inducing eggs this winter when they became available for their annual, three-month presence at drug stores everywhere. After Bryan and I consumed and lamented the overpowering sweetness of these chocolate abominations, I was struck with an idea. It wasn't even an idea, really, it was a mere phrase:

Cadbury Creme Egg Eating Contest

A quick google search yielded a video of a single young man attempting to see how many he could eat, and it wasn't that exciting. No, I had envisioned something better. Two men sitting face to face with nothing but a pile of the "creme" filled eggs between them, stuffing their faces with chocolate and getting seriously ill in the aftermath.

This thought made me giggle for the rest of the afternoon. I contacted my cousin Luke, widely renowned for his eating ability, and ran the idea past him. He found it hilarious, and immediately agreed to take part.

Here was the problem: I didn't want to do this crap, but from an ethical point of view, I couldn't ask people to do something I wasn't prepared to do myself. I had shot myself in the foot. If I wanted to see Luke - who spends his Sundays eating Jewel chocolate frosted donuts by the dozen - eat a stupid amount of Cadbury eggs, I would have to be his opponent.

The next call went to my Uncle Mark, who giggled with delight for our entire conversation, and designated Saturday, April 11th as the day the contest would go down. I also mentioned to him that we would only be allowed to wash down the eggs with warm coke, a stipulation he was careful to ammend as "the warm soda of your choice."

After the months passed, I had hoped that everyone had just simply forgotten about my hair-brained Cadbury egg contest idea, but earlier this week I got a call from an excited Uncle Mark - "you guys are on for Saturday."

Uncle Mark called me four times that day, the excitement growing in his voice with each subsequent call as he told me that Luke expected to beat me by "seven eggs." Then my brother called, asking to be my coach, and ensuring that I had everything I needed in order to compete at the peak of my abilities.

Apparently, the Cadbury eggs were getting scarce during this week before Easter. Fortunately (in a manner of speaking), Target had plenty. We arrived at my grandmother's house with 48 Cadbury creme eggs to be consumed by two wildly idiotic young men.

A bit of math about the Cadbury Creme Egg: Each one weighs 34 grams, 22 of which are sugar. For those unfamiliar with metric conversions, there are 454 grams in a pound, that means that if one were to eat 10 eggs, they would consume 220 grams of sugar, or roughly half a pound.

The "creme" inside these eggs is actually "fondant," which is most common in it's "rolled" form as a maliable topping for cakes. In it's "poured" form, it is basically a syrup of water and sugar that has been heated to enable an unnatural saturation of sugar into the water, and then vigorously stirred in order to create the "creamy" texture. I have no idea how the thicker, yellow "yolk" is created, and I honestly don't want to think about it at the moment.

I will share the details of the contest at a later date - when I have the video to post - but for now I will say that it was among the stupidest things I've done. In all, I ate 10 eggs. I felt hyper for about twenty minutes and then suffered a meteoric crash that has evolved into a killer headache this morning.

As I suffer here in my bed with a throbbing skull, sore throat, and foul taste in my mouth I have only one person to blame: Emily Price. Had she never brought me those two eggs, my immature and filterless brain would have never even considered the possibility of such a contest, let alone share it with my friends and family who are all prone to encouraging humorous and self destructive behavior. So it couldn't possibly be my fault.