Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marketing Slogans For Individuals

I work in advertising and marketing, so I am always challenged to come up with slogans for marketing and advertisements.  It is one of my favorite parts of my job, using creativity and wordplay.  It's also one of my favorite things to do in my personal life to.  I like words.

Recently, I've been thinking how funny it would be if we used slogans for ourselves, much like companies and products use them.  So if you're looking for work, you have a slogan on your resume.  Or if you are looking for a date, you could use a slogan to market yourselves.  It could be a really great way to sell people on yourself.

Obviously, politicians have caught on to this.  They have learned to brand themselves very well.  Maybe some day they will all learn to live up to their brands.

I was thinking about some different people, and what their slogans could be.  For example, Mrs. Stickman could use the old Gillette slogan, "the best a man can get."  However, I wouldn't want her using that one on her resume or anything... potential employers might have thoughts that would make me have to kill them. 

Here are some others that I came up with using well known taglines:

Bill Clinton:  Takes a licking and keeps on (poli)ticking.

RuPaul:  Where's the beef?

Octomom:  Got milk?

Rosie O'Donnell:  It keeps going, and going, and going.

Michael Jordan:  Fly the friendly skies.

Mel Gibson:  Friends don't let friends drive drunk.

Britney Spears:  I've fallen and I can't get up.

Dwayne Johnson:  Get a piece of the rock.

Michael Jackson:  Reach out and touch someone.

Michael Jackson:  For those who think young.

Joaquin Phoenix:  The mind is a terrible thing to waste.

There are so many combinations that could be funny.  Because there are so many funny people out there.

I think if I had to use one of those slogans for myself, it would be "the relentless pursuit of perfection."  I am such a perfectionist.  If I wrote my own though, it would be something like "Tall, Dork, and Then Some."

What would your slogan be?  Leave a comment and let me know.  Make up your own, or use one that's already out there.  Explain if necessary.  Or, leave a celebrity one like the ones above.

Stickman out!

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Humor Blogs Here I Come - Or Am, Actually

I am so proud to announce that my blog is now officially a member of Humor Blogs.  Thank you to Diesel for all of his great help.  I, being the inconvenient person that I am, decided to join on the exact day that the site goes though a major reconstruction.  So, of course, I bugged the crap out of Diesel with questions.  Good thing he's a good guy.

I have been in this blogging world for a bit over a month now, and am having a good time carving out my little niche on this world wide web, information superhighway thing.  One of the first places that I found on the web to use as a resource for finding other great blogs to read was Humor Blogs.  Now I get to be someone that others find.  How cool is that, really?

Next phase in my plan to take over the blogosphere is mass smiley domination!  Wow, that doesn't really sound menacing at all now, does it?  Even if I inserted an evil laugh, it would just be kinda doofy.

In other news, this has been quite a day for meetings.  I got invited to lunch with some of the big dogs at work, so I figured I was either getting a promotion or getting fired.  Turns out that I was just getting a free lunch and some rather boring conversation.  So I guess the lunch wasn't really free... I paid for it with my tolerance.

I have such a high tolerance level.  Or, at least, I am great at projecting a high tolerance level, even though on the inside I am dying.  I did have some great internal jokes that I had a great chuckle about on the inside.  Thank goodness I can amuse myself.

On the other hand, I did wow them and dazzle them with my incredible genius.  I was spitting marketing ideas out faster than Eminem can spit rhymes.  It was like 8 Mile goes corporate!

I'm pretty w0rn out from 8 hours of meetings today.  So I'm gonna leave it at that.

I look forward to becoming more familiar with my fellow Humor Bloggers.  Thanks for the welcome into your community!  Stickman Out!

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Diner Dash Addiction Spreads

For years now, Mrs. Stickman has been addicted to computer games designed for 3-5 year olds. I have always mocked pointed out to her that these games seemed designed for a slightly younger crowd than her. Though I have always enjoyed watching her play them. She gets so excited, and its so cute.

One of her most favorite games has always been some various form of the game, Diner Dash. The most recent variation being the Sponge Bob: Diner Dash 2 version. It's one thing to play Diner Dash, but Sponge Bob?

Well, yesterday morning I was on the computer, and I was bored. I checked for a good poker tournament to play in, but nothing was starting for a few hours. So, I decided to try to cure my boredom by playing her game.

It took much coaxing to convince her to let me play it - promising that I wouldn't ruin her score or pass the next level for her. Which I would never do because I love to watch her after she passes a level. Such a big smile. She gets so proud.

I'll tell you this right now, though. That game is addicting!! I totally see how she can just play and play for hours. Did I feel like a five year old? Sure. Did I care? Not one bit. I was dashing around that diner like The Flash. But I still kind of sucked at it.

Does this mean that I will stop "mocking" her, as she believes that I am doing - which I'm not? Of course not! I will continue to mock point out that the game is designed for children. I will also continue to tell her that I was only playing it so that she would stop thinking I was mocking her, and see that I support her in her baby games.

In reality though, I loved playing that game thought it was a retarded game. I will definitely get up in the middle of the night and sneak downstairs to a computer so I can play it without her knowing it never play that game again.

Moral of the story: Don't mock it till you try it. Moral of the story 2: Don't try it so you can keep mocking it.

Stickman Out!

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

P.S. I Love You, Jackass

The recent post on The Nemsing One's blog has really got me thinking about "the end." It was pretty cool that he posted a blog from the other side. That shows great foresight. It reminds me of one of Mrs. Stickman's favorite movies, P.S. I Love You.

Over the last couple of years, I have been forced to, out of the extreme love that I have for my wife, watched this movie approximately 25 gazillion times. I'm not proud of this fact, but I think I can recite this entire movie along with the characters. Please, someone, shoot me right now.

The only good that comes from this movie is that every time we watch it Mrs. Stickman gets weepy and sentimental. That's not the good part though. The good part is that after she watches it, she thinks about how much she loves me, and then she is sorta nice to me the rest of the night. And sorta nice means NO MOCKING! Well, at least minimal mocking. OK, let's be real, still a lot of mocking, but in a little bit sweeter way.

If you haven't seen this gem of a movie, it's about this dude that dies, and then over the course of the next year his widowed wife receives letters from him to help her through her grief. Each letter ends with the phrase "P.S. I love you."

I told Mrs. S that if she died, and I got a letter in the mail that was supposedly from her, and it ended in "P.S. I love you" then I would know for certain that it wasn't really from her. So we agreed that if she sends me letters from the grave, then she will be sure to write "P.S. I love you, Jackass" so that I would recognize it as being from her.

As part of our prenup, I made Mrs. S promise that I could die first because I absolutely do not want to live without her. So, knowing that I will go first, I have laid down some groundrules for what she should do after I die. First of all, I will be cremated, and my ashes are to be placed in an urn. This urn is to be placed on the bedside table. This is just in case she ever decides to try to bring another man into our bed, then the guilt of seeing my ashes there watching would make her think again.

More of my ashes will be placed in a capsule and inserted into a necklace so that I will be with her at all times. (I got this idea from a keychain I had as a kid that contained ashes from Mt. Saint Helens) This may also help scare off guys trying to hit on my widow. You may think I don't want her to be happy. That's not true. I just don't want her to be happier than she was with me. That would suck.

I truly hope that we both live to ripe old ages, and that we die together in bed holding hands. Just like the ending of The Notebook. Yes, that's right, I've seen that movie about 32 gazillion times too - another of Mrs. Stickman's favorite weepy movies. Lucky me.

I gotta go now. I think we are having a Marley & Me cryfest marathon today. Stickman Out!

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Faustian Bargains And Meetings From Hell

Yesterday I wanted to kill a little girl devil, and today I wanted to make a deal with the devil(faustian bargain) just to get me out of the longest, stupidest meeting ever to be held.  I was already in hell, so I figured trading my soul for a way out of the meeting wouldn't really matter.  I had nothing to lose!

I just lost 2.5 hours of my life - that I will never get back - listening to the two biggest egos I have ever seen fight for control of a meeting that was done 30 minutes in.  Literally... everything that needed to be said was said in the first 30 minutes.  The next two hours was just two narcissistic assholes trying to seem like they were smarter, more important, and better than the other one.

I am so thankful that this meeting was with a vendor and not with a client!  After the first 30 minutes I think I said two words, and the vendor said maybe 10.  It was so ridiculous it could be an SNL skit, where two guys just try to one-up each other for 2 hours about totally off-topic things while everyone else just looks on.  Except that there was nothing funny about it.

I wanted to just tell them, in an effort to speed this thing along, could they both just stand up, drop trow, and lay their junk on the conference table so that they could compare, settle the matter, and we could all just get on with our lives!  Morons!

So then, the meeting gets over, and within the next 20 minutes BOTH of them pull me aside separately to ask me what the deal was with the other one.  "Do you think it's just insecurity that makes him try to prove how smart he is?"  "Didn't you agree with me?"  "Wasn't the point I was trying to make obvious?"  

I would have told them both to shut the hell up and never act like that again, but they both  kinda outrank me.  One was the President/CEO and the other was the VP/General Manager.  So I just zipped my trap.  But I do think I am going to recommend them both for Assification.

I am glad that I am secure enough in my own intelligence and importance that I don't need to go around trying to prove it to everyone.  Although I'm sure Mrs.  Stickman would disagree!  She always calls me a know-it-all.  I tell her I can't help it that I am so smart and have a high knowledge retention level.  And she says, "see".

I once read a book called The Know-It-All, thinking that someone had written it about me.  I was mildly disappointed to find out it wasn't about me, but I still enjoyed the book.  It was about a guy that decided to read every volume of the encyclopedia from cover to cover.  I recommend it.

I'm so glad it's Friday and I have a whole weekend of drinking ahead of me.  That's the only thought that carried me through that meeting.  I can't wait!  Stickman out!

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Second Grade Girls Are The Devil

Is it wrong to want to physically harm a 2nd grade girl that you don't even know?  I'm sure it is, but I'm not sure if I care.  Because I am quite certain that this spawn of satan young child was placed in my path for the sole purpose of ruining my day.

Here's the deal.  For the last few days I have been carpooling to work with one of my coworkers.  This due to an unfortunate problem with my vehicle deciding it didn't like hauling my fat flat ass around any more.  So, the dude that I am driving with (who happens to be the one that is too lazy to win the lottery himself) picks me up at home, and then we go and drop his kids off at school on the way in to work.

Today, we are dropping his second grade son off in front of his school.  My chauffeur gets out to help his son out of the car.  When he gets back in, he is laughing.  So me, being extra curious this morning, ask him what's so funny.  And that is where my day went downhill.  If only I could take the question back.

What was soooo funny?  When he was helping his son with his backpack, this devil-child girl says to the son.... wait for it... "Is that your grandpa in the car?"  OMG! WTF?!

I begged him to pull over so that I could assist this demonic spirit child with the removal of her remaining baby teeth.  She needed to learn a valuable lesson in how young and hip I am.  Although, my anger began to turn when my coworker says, "Maybe it's time to get some Just For Men."  Now, granted, I have some gray hair... but I was wearing a hat!

Then it dawns on me.  I have this one sweatshirt that Mrs. Stickman insists makes me look like a grandpa.  And guess what I was wearing today?  But then again, I had that sweatshirt covered up with the jacket that gained me entrance into the Cool Coat Gang.  So, I don't know that the little poltergeist girl could have seen the sweatshirt.

It only got worse when I arrive at work, and the coworker insists on telling the entire office the story.  I am mortified.  And apparently old. 

I'm off to mope now.  Stickman out!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jack Bauer: Proof He Is Based On Me

It seems almost everybody knows who Jack Bauer is.  Even people that don't watch the totally awesome show, 24, know who he is.  I even saw a Jack Bauer for President t-shirt at Target one time.

As I watch 24, I become more and more convinced that they have based the character of Jack Bauer on some of my still classified history from the CIA.  It seems quite obvious to me.  Others not so much.  But that's just because I'm not authorized to tell them everything about me.  Duh!

So here are the top 5 reasons why I believe Jack Bauer is based on me:

1.  He's a badass.  The comparison here, I believe, is obvious.

2.  He always has a great idea.  Whenever I get in a pinch, or things aren't going right, I can always come up with an idea to move things along.

3.  He is good with technology.  I am awesome with technology.  There's not an electronic device out there that I can't figure out.

4.  He's good with a comeback.  The is one of the best things about Jack.  Once a suspect asked for a lawyer and Jack said, "I am your lawyer!"  This is also one of the best things about me.  I always have a comeback.  Once Mrs. Stickman asked for a banana, and I said, "I am your banana!"  See.

5.  He always saves the planet.  I recycle.

I think it should be clear to everyone now that the similarities are just too numerous to deny that Jack Bauer is based on my life.  But please don't tell anyone.  I don't want to get in trouble with the government for giving out too much classified information!

Speaking of 24... I have a little game that I like to play when we watch the show.  I see how many different ways I can say "jack off."  Here are some examples...
They'll never get Jack off the case.

Why don't they let Jack offer him immunity.

Jack often tortures his suspects.

Looks like they got Jack officially in trouble.

I think Jack offended that guy.
It's really great fun.  It's even more fun when Mrs. Stickman joins in, with winners like this one.
"Jack doesn't often mess up."  At least she knew it as soon as she said it!

In other news... I have been in the blogosphere for one whole month today!  It has gone by quick.  I'm still learning and trying to improve.  I haven't quite found my rhythm yet, but I think I may be getting there.  All I need now are some more people to read it!  So if you actually ARE reading this, pass along your favorite post to a friend.  Maybe we can make it not so lonely here.  Thanks!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Extra Cheese Please

I love cheese.  You can put cheese on anything that I eat, and you can never put enough.  When we go out to eat and they ask if I would like fresh grated cheese on my food, Mrs. Stickman always has to warn the server that they could be there for a while, and that they might need to go and get MORE cheese.  That's right, the mockery goes public... it's not merely confined to the privacy of our house.

But even more than the curdled milk kind of cheese, I like the proverbial cheese.  I am known around the house as a bit of a cheeseball.  I can always come up with some kind of cheesy line to deliver.

An example... Yesterday, one of the entries in the family dictionary was AFB, which means "always and forever, baby."  The backstory is as follows:  We were sitting on the beach in Florida.  There was a military base nearby that was having an air show.  A plane was doing skywriting and wrote AFB up in the air.  Mrs. Stickman sees it and points it out.  I say, "I know.  I hired them to do that just for you.  It stands for always and forever, baby"

Here's one from last night.  Mrs. Stickman is working on a puzzle. (The woman LOVES puzzles)  I come in from work, and I go in and lean over her table to say hello to her, and to tell her how much I love her and how much I missed her so badly while I was at work.  She looks up at me, and so lovingly says, "You're in my light."  I look back at her and say, "You ARE my light."

And again last night.  Mrs. Stickman makes a comment about my post from a few days ago about having no friends.  She says to me, "Do you think you'd like me as much if you had other friends?"  I say, "Of course.  You are my best friend, and besides,  you do such a good job I don't need any other friends."  Good cheese, right?  But then she says, "As long as you recognize its a job."  Wow!

I think sometimes I lay the cheesy comments on so thick that she doesn't think I mean them.  That I'm just trying to be funny.  While I know that I am frickin' hilarious, I don't just say these things to be funny.  I do, of course, mean them 110%.  I am so unbelievably in love with this woman, and I think she is so perfect.  I kinda can't help but be cheesy - and it can be fun.

For instance, a couple nights ago we were laying in bed watching TV.  I just turn to her and say, "You are the wind beneath my wings."  She looks back at me and laughs.  It is such a win-win.  Or as Michael from "The Office" would say, a win-win-win.  Win #1:  I get to tell her how I feel about her.  Win #2:  I get to make her laugh - one of my favorite things in the world.  Win #3:  She gets to mock me - her absolute favorite thing in the world.

I highly recommend pouring on the cheese.  You won't regret it!  Stickman out!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Stickman Family Dictionary

Over the years, our family has developed it's own language. Well, at least its own set of words and phrases that fit loosely within the confounds of the English language. I thought today I would post an abbreviated dictionary of some of these phrases.

AFB. I will love you always and forever, baby.

Anut. Your parents female sibling.

Birmingham. To remember a memory.

Bumbrella. Something that keeps the homeless from getting wet. (See also A Piece of Cardboard)

Deona. The owner of something.

Group Sex. Fruit snacks.

Huh. I have no comeback. (See also Your Mom)

Identidiff. Same difference

I'm Just Saying. 1. I know I'm wrong, and I don't care. 2. My point has been proven.

Just Kidding. I was wrong.

Lyrics. A group of randomly made up words set to any music playing.

Meamie. Some one who is not nice, and also, may be hard of hearing.

Opidiff. Not the same. (see also Diffdiff)

Padiddle. A car with one headlight out. (see also Half Padiddle, Quadiddle, and Octididdle)

Pony. Cool.

Souvie. An item purchased on Vacay Breaky Break.

Storybook. A steering wheel.

Sweatness. That is cool.

Underwater Bridge. A tunnel.

Vacay Breaky Break. To lay on the beach for a minimum of one week.

These are just the ones that I can even think of at the moment. I have a feeling there may be a Stickman Family Dictionary: Part II post coming soon. I know there are more, but my old brain is farting big time!

I love words. And I love word play. So I am always making up words or using double meanings to liven up conversation. Although, as I've posted here before, my conversation isn't too lively. But I sure do love to hear myself talk!

Leave a comment with your personal dictionary entries! Stickman out!

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tetris Tetris Tetris!

Kids can be such plan ruiners. They are so horrible at making plans that everything ends up being convoluted and last minute. So with two teenagers - that can't yet drive - we spend a lot of time running kids here and there, and often having to change our own plans to accommodate their ever changing plans. That's what parents are for, right?

Well, last night we actually were to have both kids out of the house on the same night. So we planned a special date night. And, for once, both kids plans actually held up and they were both gone! Date night was on.

So we decided to start the night off with dinner. We have had a gift card that someone gave us to the Olive Garden for a few months, so we decided to use that. Now, we know that OG isn't the place for a nice, quiet and romantic dinner, but we didn't expect to be eating in the middle of a day care for unruly children.

We sat next to a table with a large group of WT (white trash) people. They had about a baker's dozen of kids with them. Obviously, before they left the house they reminded the kids to each grab a toy to keep them entertained, and the only rule was that it had to be the loudest toy that they owned.

So, as the rest of us patrons are trying to eat our meals in peace, these "children" are pushing on the buttons on their loud electronic toys. However, a few of the kids didn't think everyone was quite hearing it clear enough. So, they decide to be so kind and actually walk around the restaurant, pausing at each table to push all the buttons to make sure that we all got the full experience.

And not once did a single adult at the table even NOTICE that the kids were using this public restaurant as their own personal playground. People are asswipes. And they should be shot.

Once we finished dinner at the Rompus Room Olive Garden, we stopped at the pub for a couple drinks, and then we headed home for the good part of the evening. The part of the date that every guy dreams of, and the only reason we can make it through all the other parts. You know what I'm talking about. The Tetris tournament!

Mrs. Stickman is obsessed with Tetris. We have owned it for every gaming system we have ever had in our house. She becomes so addicted to it, that I will typically have to hide the disc to control her use. Unfortunately, this latest version is a Wii download, so there's no disc to hide! I try to limit her to 30 minutes of Tetris-ing a day, but it doesn't work.

So, besides a little break to hang out in the hot tub for a little bit, I think we played about 4 hours of Tetris last night. Thankfully, I did not have my typical post Tetris nightmares last night where I can't sleep because my mind is trying to put odd shaped blocks in order. Those suck!

Mrs. Stickman's love for Tetris is pretty out of this world though. It's one of those things that drives me to say stuff like, "I wish you loved me as much as you love Tetris." Or, "I wish I was that game controller and you wanted to hold me for that long."

She is so cute when she plays, though. And she takes it all so seriously. You just got to love her. I could play that game with her for hours. Wait, I DO play that game with her for hours. And it's worth every second!
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Have No Friends

I am a smart, funny, not hideous looking, OK dressing guy. There is nothing blatantly wrong with me that I know of. I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, but gosh darn it people don't like me!

Well, that's not actually true. I guess people like me OK - if I give them a chance to. I just don't make friends well. I guess I just don't connect with people well. And I know that most of that is my fault.

When I meet (or even just see somebody) they quickly fall in to one of 3 categories. 1. Too Cool For Me. 2. Not Cool Enough For Me. 3. Let's Be BFF's.

Group 1: I am never comfortable around them because I know that they are better than me in some way. Better looking. Better dressed. Smarter. Wealthier. In some way they make me a loser, and I don't think I'm good enough to waste their time with me.

Group 2: I feel like if I spent time with them, the people in group one would definitely never like me. Or these may be people who are stupid, weird looking, or generally annoy the living crap out me. Even though this seems like egotism, I guess it is really insecurity that group one people won' t like me if they see me with group two people.

Group 3: These are people that I find well balanced with me. These are people that I could connect with maybe.

The problem is that so many people go into the first two groups due to my extreme insecurity, that it is a very rare occurrence when I meet someone like this. And when I do, I usually become so socially inept that I usually screw up any chance of a friendship.

I would say that most people think I come off as a snob. But it is mostly insecurity. I know I may seem all outgoing here on the blog, but as I've said before - in person, that only happens if I am very comfortable around you. And I don't get comfortable around many people.

Another problem, is that I hate small talk and typically find it to be a waste of time. And I am not a typical "guy's guy." I know nothing about sports, or cars, and I'm not the guy that sits and talks about women. So, most guys, I could care less about anything they talk about. And, likewise, they could care less about anything I talk about. The only thing I can ever connect to other guys on is Poker.

If I didn't have my very best friend in the whole wide world, Mrs. Stickman, I would be a very lonely man. But she is my absolute bestest friend, and about the only person I want to spend time with. The only exception is, of course, the kids and some family that we love to be around.

I know this may sound like a whiny, woe is me type blog. But it's not. I don't have any friends. But I don't really want any either. I have my wife, and my family, and that is all that I need. They keep me happy, and they keep me entertained for sure. And - most of the time - the make me feel loved and valued. What more could anyone want?

Now, I need to go. Mrs. Stickman wants to use this computer to play her Sponge Bob Diner Dash game go out to eat. Stickman out!
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Political Correctness Sucks

I can't believe how much political correctness has taken away American citizen's right to say anything.  Well, anything that is considered politically incorrect.  Which is pretty much everything.  So I guess I stand by my original statement that we can't say anything.

All the news stations (and morons at my work) this morning are harping over the President's comment on Leno last night, in which he said that he bowled so poorly that he could qualify for the Special Olympics.  If you haven't heard this yet, he said his average bowling score on the White House bowling alley is 129, which "was like the Special Olympics or something."

Now call me what you will, but I think that is rude frickin' hilarious!  It's nothing that any person I know wouldn't say.  And if 129  is Special Olympics' level, the I might qualify for the Quadriplegic Olympics!

But does this somehow belittle those that are in the Special Olympics?  I don't see how.  If I was in the Special Olympics, and I found out that I could kick the Presidential ass at bowling, then I would be feeling pretty damn good about myself!

Yet, the White House press people felt the need to issue a statement before the sentence was barely out of his mouth.  They said, "[Obama] things that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world."  And, also, that he only meant it to be a funny joke about his poor bowling skills.  DUH!  Did anyone really think that his true motive was to put down retards Special Olympians.  Like maybe the whole reason he ran for President to begin with was because he had some kind of vendetta against them?

This ads to a personal run in with being politically correct earlier this week.  At work, I was doing a project for a presentation to a customer.  The initials of the customer's company are VC.  So in a column on a pricing sheet, I used this abbreviation.  The VP who was doing the presentation gets it and comes back to me and says, "you need to change this VC.  It is way too politically incorrect. I can't believe you missed that."

So I sat at my desk racking my brain, trying to figure out why in the world VC would be politically incorrect.  What does VC mean that would piss this customer off so bad that we would lose their business?  Venture Capital? Viscous Children?  Violent Criminals?  Velvet Coolats?  Viking Cunts? Venereal Cock?  I had no idea!

I finally decided he must mean VietCong.  That was the best thing I could think of.  Although I can't imagine our customer would have ever thought anything other than their company name.  And it's not like they were a Vietnamese company or anything.

The problem with people always having to be "PC" is just too far out of hand.  We are such a litigious country, that everyone is always worried about saying and doing the wrong thing.  Everyone is always worried about how will that be construed, and what will these people think, and blah blah blah.  

We're just a bunch of sissy fairies!  Oh wait, that's not PC.  We are just a bunch of manliness-challenged, size-challenged mythological beings.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paula Abdul - A Waste Of Vocal Chords

I know it's not just me, and I know that thousands of people have written about this, but WTF is Paula Abdul talking about??  Ever!

I am a great listener, and I think I am exceptionally gifted at getting the gist of what someone is trying to say.  I find that many times I know what the person is saying halfway through what they are saying, and if they would just SAY it, then I wouldn't have to waste so much time listening to them.

But even with my super listening powers, even I don't know what the hell Paula Abdul is trying to say.  And it's probably because SHE doesn't know what the hell she is trying to say.  I believe that she literally things one syllable at a time.  She can't even come up with one whole WORD at a time.  That is how pathetic this little, soggy brain is.  Perhaps too much bouncing around while dancing has permanently damaged her brain.

I found this quote by Paula:
"Constructive criticism is about finding something good and positive to soften the blow to the real critique of what really went on."
That would  be GREAT if she ever actually got the real critique.  Instead of just all of the "good and positive" ramblings and general nonsense.  I swear this woman makes up more words that Dubya Bush, and that's saying something.

And besides the fact the everything that comes out of her mouth is pointless, there is the constant standing up, the dancing, the ridiculous outfits, the underarm fat that is always highlighted by the ridiculous outfits, and her general - to use one of her favorite terms - essence.

It would have been nice if the 4th judge they got would have been decent, then they could get rid of Paula next season.  She is better than Paula and Randy though.  Randy is pretty pointless too.  He is just Mr. Cliche, and he seems to really try to hard.  Dawg, just relax and tell us what you think.  When you do, it's usually pretty good.  But cut out all of the catchphrases, and slang, and attempts to be humorous.  And when you say something and don't get a laugh, no need to say it again... we heard you, it just wasn't funny!

All Hail King Simon!  Why don't they just have a Uni-Judge?

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

They Prefer It When I Don't Talk

Let me start by saying that I am normally a pretty shy and quiet guy.  It is only as I get to know someone, and become very comfortable around them, that I begin to loosen up and actually speak.   So the more comfortable I am, the more I talk and open up.

So if I talk - or even better - make a joke around you, then you can rest assured that I am comfortable with you, and most likely like you as a person.  Aren't you lucky.

With all that being said, it seems obvious that I would be most comfortable at home with my loving family.  It is my safe haven, where I can really open up and release my inner dork.  And trust me, I do!!  The inner dork isn't so inner at home... he is loud and proud!

So, as you know, I was sick on Monday and was very tired and quiet.  Last night, I was feeling much better, so I was more myself.  So American Idol is on, and I'm singing and enjoying life, and am so excited to spend time with my family and my loving, amazing wife.  And as I'm belting out whatever song was on, Mrs. Stickman so lovingly tells me, "I wish you would get sick again."  I was shocked!  But then, as I continued singing, I pondered this and realized that I indeed could believe she said it. 

But that's not all!  There's more!  As I am sitting on the couch - minding my own business - girl child comes in to the room.  And she decides to do a cheer for me.  Sounds sweet, right?  Wrong!  Here is the cheer that she did... "My name is Stickman, And I am balding, And I am weird, And I'm annoying!"  Oh my gosh!  Why can't people just love me?

But wait!  There's still more!!  Later, we are laying in bed and I am telling her how thankful I am to her for taking care of me when I was sick.  And I tell her that she was such a sweetheart.  And she says to me, "I prefer it when you don't talk."  What?!?!?

Now you have to understand, while most wives would be upset if you called them a jerk or a meanie, Mrs. Stickman finds those things to be compliments.  BUT... if you call her a sweetheart or a sweetie, then you better run for cover!  I often call her a "closet sweetheart" because she just doesn't want anyone to know that she is the nicest person ever!

These are just a few small examples of the abuse that I put up with.  And, of course, I just try to kill them with kindness.  I just be nice, and quiet, and mind my own business.  (anyone buying this?)  I can't think of anything I ever did to deserve such harshness.  If I do think of anything, I'll be sure to do it again!

By the way, be sure to check out my top ways to embarrass kids to learn more on this cheerleading thing.  Unfortunately, they eventually use it against you - obviously.  Damn kids!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pig-Headed, Close-Minded Morons

I am back at work today, feeling somewhat better, but being extremely annoyed by my co-workers.  Which is nothing new.  They are some of the most ridiculously close-minded people I have ever met.

I live in one of the most conservative areas in the country.  And I work at the most conservative company ever.  Even if I got a job working for the RNC, it would feel like working with a bunch of flaming liberals compared to this place.

So being conservative is fine.  I have no problem with that.  Being liberal is fine, too.  No problem with that either.  What drives me absolutely insane is people that absolutely refuse to acknowledge that anything the other side does might be OK.

I don't understand anyone that could go into a voting booth and just vote the party line - no matter what.  I'm kind of under the idea that you want to vote for the best person for the job.  Is that insane?  And yet people at my work have said, "I don't care who the Republicans put on the ticket, they are getting my vote."

This morning, one person here was bitching about how Obama travels places, and how much money that costs for the President to travel - with all of the planes and helicopters and all that it takes.  Now granted, it is very expensive for the President to go anyplace, but it's not like Obama invented Presidential travel!  Yet the disgust on this person's voice, how they couldn't believe that Obama would have the audacity to go anywhere, was purely amazing.

It also never ceases to amaze me how someone here can hear a rumor or someone's "opinion" on a radio show, and then begin to formulate a speculative back story from what they heard.  And then after repeating their complete speculation a few times to various people, they begin to forget that it is speculation and it begins to turn into fact.  So now they are telling everyone this "rumor" as if it is completely true.  It's awful!

As far as politics go, I would say that I am the truest definition of an independent or swing-voter.  I often say politics is like an airplane.  You need a left wing, and you need a right wing... but most importantly you need a smart, level-headed person in the middle to fly the thing.  If you've got somebody out on one of the wings trying to fly, you're going to have a big mess.

That's just my opinion.  For what it's worth.  Which isn't much.

In other news... as I said, I am feeling better today.  I went to bed very early and got much sleep.  I haven't thrown up today, but I haven't eaten anything either.  I'm a bit nervous to do that.  The good news is, however, that I lost 5.2 pounds yesterday!  How amazing is that?!  Perhaps I should just stay sick for a few more days.  Or become bulimic.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

If You're Gonna Spew - Spew Into This

So this morning I wake up not feeling so hot. Got that strange feeling like I could totally hurl. Not cool. But me, being Mr. Perfect Attendance that I am, sucked it up and headed out to work.

As long as I have worked at my current employer, I have never taken a single sick day. The only exception is that I took 3 days off after I had my gall bladder removed a few years back. But the doctor made me do that. I just hardly ever get sick, and now here I've been sick twice in the last three weeks.

I happen to have a long record of perfect attendance. I am truly the ultimate nerd. My entire school career, I had perfect attendance every year except two. One year my grandma died, and we had to go out of town to her funeral. And one year I missed one day of school for some other family trip. Pretty pathetic, right? You don't even want to know about my church attendance record! Oh my, mega nerd here.

So, I'm at work this morning and I am sitting in my Monday morning manager's meeting, and the entire time I am on the edge of my seat because I know that at any second I am going to have to go running for the bathroom to spew. I was pretty sure that what was in me wasn't going to fit into my coffee cup.

Finally, the manager's meeting ends, I go in the bathroom and spew, and I am sweating like a beer bottle on a humid summer day. This is not cool. Blowing chunks at work sucks. And I don't exactly leave a toothbrush in my desk....perhaps I should from now on.

So about noon I take off from work and head home. It's pretty much been an afternoon of major discomfort and some serious, serious upchucking.

As I'm trying to figure out where this came from, the only thing I can think of is that Mrs. Stickman went to the corner ice cream shop last night and got us all ice cream. And I ate a big old Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard type thing. So I'm thinking that this must be the culprit. Maybe it's that whole peanut butter salmonella thing? But then I think that the girl child got the same thing as me (she is always copycatting me, it's so sad) and she didn't get sick.

But then a better reason comes into my head. It's too convenient. Yesterday we were watching a 48 Hours Mystery show about this lady that killed her husband by continually poisoning him with small doses of rat poison. And I think that it took Mrs. S. a longer amount of time than it should have to get the ice cream last night. Sure she said there was a 5 car line, so it went slow. But what a weak alibi. The timing is perfect for her to run into the store across the street from the ice cream store and buy some rat poison!

Once I feel good enough to move, I'm totally busting out my super sleuth, CIA skills and getting to the bottom of this! Until then, I'll just keep tossing the old cookies.

The suckiest part is that it is just an absolutely awesome spring day out, and we were planning on grilling for the first time this year. I love to grill. I am known worldwide as the grillmeister. Perhaps you have heard of me? I am working on a little grill cookbook called Grilling With Awesomeness™ that will be in stores near you soon. Or not.

I hope and pray to all higher powers that I will feel better tomorrow. Throwing up sucks! My whole body aches. I would mention that it might be some sort of tumor, but I know everyone in my house would simulateneously yell, "It's NOT a tumor!"

Stickman Out! But hopefully not forever!
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Smack Down The Kids

We recently got a wrestling game for the Wii called Smack Down. I absolutely love this game. It is a lot of fun, and I tell you, it's a great workout.

So yesterday I spent a bit of the day beating the crap out of my son. On the game, of course! I was having so much fun, that I'm pretty sure at one point I was giggling. I was able to keep doing this same move on him where I pick him up and then drop him on my leg, busting his balls. I was laughing, and he kept saying, "put me down...put me down." Apparently, to those that were elsewhere in the house, but could here us, it sounded quite funny.

The best thing about the game, though, is the fact that you can make your own characters that wrestle. I managed to make a character that looks exactly like me. It is kinda creepy how much it looks like me actually - right down to the clothes, the moobs, and the beer belly. And, of course, his name is Stickman.

So yesterday my son asks me to use my mad character making skills to make one of him. The details that the game lets you adjust are practically infinite. From eyebrow arch and bushiness, to the distance between the eyes, to muscle (or lack of) definition. So I am going through this whole process, as he sits in front of the TV as a comparison and model for me.

The best part, however, came when it was time for his clothes. I put a camouflage thong on him. He is a 15 year old, and he was not particularly impressed by my choice. But, oh my god, did I laugh. Mrs. Stickman even came down to watch and join in the laughing. He decided that I was gay because I put him in a thong. I pointed out, of course, that I was not the one wearing a thong to wrestle guys in. Good times!

The Wii is great fun to play. But it has led to a new injury diagnosis. Today I am suffering from Wii Shoulder. It's very similar to Tennis Elbow. But probably closer to Shuffleboard Shoulder. Quite a bit different from Darts Wrist, and no where near similar to Bowling Thumb.

These are all various injuries that I have actually been self-diagnosed and suffered from on several occasions. The worst, however, is Badminton Belly - which is the pain I get in my belly from laughing at how bad Mrs. Stickman and the girl child are at playing that game. I always take on both of them by myself and beat them like infiniti to two.

So, if you've ever dreamed of beating the crap out of your kids, definitely give Smack Down a try. As long as you are careful to avoid Wii Shoulder, you will most assuredly have a good time.
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Mrs. Stickman!

Today is Mrs. Stickman's birthday! I won't tell you how old she is (that would be rude), but I would like to dedicate today's blog to her. I will use today's entry to tell the world just how wonderful she is, and how much I truly love her.

There is not another person on this planet - now, in the past, or in the future - that could ever possibly come half as close to being as perfect for me as she is. It's like the gods took one whole person, cracked it in half, and made it into two people. And now the fates have brought those two pieces back together - and what do you know, they're still a perfect fit.

Before I met her, I honestly thought the idea of a soulmate was preposterous. Just something that happened in the movies. But from the second this amazing woman walked into my life, I knew that it really did happen in real life. . . although life didn't seem real anymore once she was in it. It was like I was living a dream. Still am.

I know...this all sounds quite sappy, and even though I have been known to be a cheeseball (I love cheese!), this isn't any more than the straight truth. I love this woman. She has changed my life more than I could have ever imagined. She made me a better man, just by loving me. I want to be the absolute best that I can be for her. Every day.

No one has ever made me laugh more than she does. No one has ever understood me more than she does - although she would probably say she doesn't get me at all. And no one has ever let me truly be me, and yet still love me, like she does.

If I were to make a list of everything that I ever wanted in a wife, and then the boys on Wierd Science were to take that list and create the perfect woman on their super computer . . . the computer would spit out Mrs. Stickman. Perfect perfection!

So Mrs. S....thank you! Thank you for loving me. Thank you for encouraging me to be the best. Thank you for taking my crazy messed up life and straightening it all out. Thank you for choosing me. And thank you for loving me unconditionally, even though sometimes I know I can be the stupidest human being on the planet.

Dare I say it? Yes, I dare. You complete me. Without you I am a shell of a man. With you I feel like I could take on the world.

You are one of a kind. A true original. And I love every square centimeter of you. Head to toe. Inside and out. You are funny, smart, sexy, loving, a great mother, and the best wife money can buy. Not that I bought you. I could never afford you. Not that you are for sale. OK, I'll shut up now.

Just know that I love you. Always and forever, baby!

Happy Birthday!!
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Friday, March 13, 2009

Brave or Stupid?

Last night I caught a story on TV, and the host was talking about how brave the person in the story was.  Here's what this "brave" person does.  He flies above the ocean in a helicopter and looks down into the water trying to spot Marlin.  Once a fish is located, he opens the door to the helicopter as it follows this fish.  And then he jumps out of the helicopter, lands on the fish, and wrestles it.  This is brave?  If you ask me, it is stupid!

The way I see it, if you voluntarily risk your life for a thrill, or any other reason that is not life-and-death for you or another person, it is not brave.  It may be adventuresome, or it may be thrill-seeking, it may take the biggest steel balls known to man, but it is definitely not brave.

I like a thrill as much as the next person.  I have bungee jumped several times. I would love to sky dive, although so far I've only done the indoor wind tower kind.  Heights are cool.  Scuba diving is cool.  Jumping out of a helicopter into the ocean sounds cool.  But if I did all of those things, would I deserve some kind of medal for bravery.  Hardly.

To show bravery, you would have to be courageous in the face of death - whether your death or someone else's.  If a house is burning down, and you run into the fire in order to save someone - that's brave.  If a crazed gunman is going nuts and you acted to stop him - that's brave.  If you release a toxic gas in the bedroom even though your wife has repeatedly told you not to - that's brave.  No wait, that's stupid...now I'm confusing myself!

If we start going around calling every extreme sport junky brave, doesn't that take away from our true heroes.  People who really do something exceptional that makes someone's continued life possible.  Someone who stops criminal activity.  Someone who gives their life for something that matters.  These people are brave - not alligator wrestlers.

It just goes to show how sensationalized the world has become.  Nothing can just be what it is.  
With that said, it was so brave of me to write this blog.  I risked hangnails and carpel tunnel as I manipulated the keyboard.  I could have sprained a finger clicking on the publish button.  I should win an award of some sort!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Feeling Lightheaded

After one month of not shaving, I finally could not take it anymore!  Last night I had to take the razor and shave off the tangled bird's nest of a beard that had overtaken my face.  I thought I was going to need a weed whacker to get it all off. 

Once it was off, I was so overcome with joy that I decided to keep going and I buzzed all the hair off my head too.  So I instantly went from looking like a walking, talking Chia pet to looking like a NeoNazi.  

It is taking some getting used to.  I keep looking in the mirror and thinking, who's that dork?  Of course, that's nothing new.  I always think that when I look in the mirror.

My head just feels so light though.  And it feels like my hair is all poofy without product in it, even though there is hardly any hair there.  I'm sure that's what it feels like for people who lose a limb or something.  Not that I am comparing buzzing my hair to losing a limb.  My apologies to Bob, Art, and Mat.

So I have shaved, but I still haven't lost the 10 pounds.  Even with all my treadmill, weight machine, exercise ball, and general fidgeting regiments, I have still not made it there.  I swear the last time I did this, I lost 10 pounds in one hour, but this time it's been like 10 days and I haven't even lost 5 pounds.

I think I'm just getting to old.  I'm destined to be an old bald guy with a big gut and moobs.  My destiny can suck it....because I refuse to be that guy.  Two out of three I could take.  Bald with a gut...sign me up.  Moobs and a gut....sounds fun.  But all three?!  No way!

At least I'm so tall that you can only see the bald spot on the back of my head when I sit down.  So I try to avoid sitting at all costs.  I may have to start wearing a hat full time like Ron Howard and Bruce Willis.

Those are the random thoughts from a Stickman's head today.  Sorry it's so dull.   I'll try to be more inspired tomorrow!

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Legalese - Who Talks Like That?

I don't know if any of you do much reading of legal documents or not, but if you do then you will understand what I'm talking about.  These things are just ridiculously written.  No one talks like this.

This morning, I have been reading through a couple patent applications.  These are for products that I know and understand, yet I still have to stop and try to figure out what in the world the thing is trying to say.  How sick is that?

So where does this "legalese" come from? Well, I assume that way back in the day, when blokes talked formal, it was pretty standard operating procedure.  But since no one actually talks like that anymore, why do they insist on writing that way still?  Perhaps it's just because those lawyer assholes think they can fool us lay people into signing things that we don't understand so that their clients can stick it to us.

I think I read one sentence that was two pages long.  By the time you get done with it, you forget the point.  So you have to start over.  It's like an endless loop.  Like the old Polish joke where you have the piece of paper that says "see other side" and you turn it over and it says "see other side" and you turn it over and it says "see other side" and it just keeps going and going and going until someone slaps you upside the head and tells you to stop.

Maybe the lawyers think that by sticking multiple words together (hereto, hereby, wherefore, heretofore, etc) makes them sound smarter, and thereby worthy of the astronomical sums of money that they choose to charge.  Which reminds me of the old 3 Stooges joke about the law firm Dewey, Cheatem, & How.

I found this example from Ohio Traffic Code on The Legalese Hall of Shame:

No vehicle shall be turned so as to proceed in the opposite direction within an intersection, or upon any street in a business district, or upon a freeway, expressway or controlled-access highway, or where authorized signs are erected to prohibit such movement, or at any other locations unless such movement can be made with reasonable safety to other users of the street and without interfering with the safe operation of any traffic that may be affected by such movement.

All this says is that you can't make a U-turn where there isn't room to or where a sign says you can't.  Duh!  Could have just said that.

For some reason I don't think this legalese will ever change.  At least they let lawyers in the United States quit wearing those stupid wigs though.  Those poor Brits still have to wear them.

I'll end with some lawyer jokes.  You might be a lawyer if...

You are charging someone for reading this.

The shortest sentence you have ever written was more that eighty words long.

You have a daughter named Sue and a son named Bill.

When your wife says "I love you," you cross-examine her.

OK...back to reading!  Crossing eyes now.

No lawyers were hurt in the writing of this blog.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hobbies - They're Great but Shut Up About Them

A few days ago I talked about my lack of ability to pick a hobby and stick with it.  I mean, I talked about my desire to broaden my horizons by experiencing a vast amount of activities.  Yeah, that sounds better.

But I tell you this, I would rather be one of those people with no hobby to speak of than one of those people with one hobby that they never shut up about.  Everybody knows somebody who is in to something that they never stop talking about - even though it may be the most boring thing in the world to everyone else.

Just in my office alone I can think of many such cases.  I have a bowler, a motorcycle enthusiast, a softball player, and a hunter.  I can tell you more than I care too about each of these person's hobby.  I know about bowling ball spin, I know about bullet spin, I know about tire spin, and I know about pitching spin.  I know about knocking down pins, I know about knocking down bikes, I know about knocking down deer, and I know about knocking down cold one's after the game.

But none of these compare to the things that I know about ski patrol!  That's right, I have one coworker who is a ski patroller at a local ski spot.  I have never heard anyone talk more about a hobby in my life.  Now granted, being a ski patroller is a noble hobby.  He helps a lot of people who have injured themselves.  But do we need to talk about it so much?

There is a lot of medical training that goes into being a ski patroller.  And apparently this guy has learned so much that he is now one of the trainers for new patrollers.  However, contrary to what he and others in the office may believe, he is not a doctor.  Yet, he takes it upon himself to diagnose everybody in the office.  If someone one stumbles and stubs their toe, he is there with his first aid kit, snapping on the latex gloves, faster than you can say Ow!  Picture Dwight from The Office.

He also somehow manages to bring up ski patrol in every meeting with vendors, customers, anyone.  It gets to a point about 20 minutes into the ski patrol lecture that you see people's eyes gloss over and they go into a social coma.  They are thinking of anything they can besides ski patrol, just to keep from becoming a permanent vegetable.

The best (or worst) of all, is that every time he gets in a vehicle he has to take along his ski patrol vest and first aid kit.  Why? Because every time he sees an accident (or a vehicle slide off - which we get a lot of in the winter here) he has to stop.  He says this is required by "first responders", but I think he just likes to use his ski patrol powers.

But if it's me sitting in a vehicle after an accident, and I see a guy run up with a bright orange vest that says "Ski Patrol" on it, I would be so pissed.  I can see him running up.  "Have no fear, Ski Patrol here."  And the person in the car saying, "Do you see any frickin skis on my feet?  Does it look like I'm out for a little recreation here?"

If you have a hobby, I'm happy for you.  I may even be interested in knowing what it is.  But if I was interested enough to listen to you talk about it for hours and hours, then I would be interested enough to go do it myself and then you wouldn't have to tell me about it.  So SHUT UP!

With that being said, please feel free to post comments and share your hobbies, or the hobbies of others that they have told you so much about.

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Fever - I Need A Cure

I live in the frozen tundra of the Midwest, and we have been having a brutal winter.  We had ridiculous amounts of record setting snow this year.  And I'm not talking the record for least amount of snow.

The second week of February, Mrs. Stickman and I were able to get out of the winter for a while and head to the Caribbean.  It was so nice to have some decent weather.  But it made coming back really, really suck.  Especially since we came back to a snow storm and a car in the airport parking lot completely covered in ice and snow.

Last week, however, we finally caught a break.  We had three days in a row over 50!  People were busting out shorts, standing in their yards staring in amazement at the big round glowy thing in the sky, and coming up with any reason to go out.  Of course, in a stupid place like this, everyone's idea of getting out of the house is to go to the mall.  How retarded is that?  It's so nice outside....let's go inside someplace else!

Despite a gloomy, rainy weekend (I'll take rain over snow anytime), we are having another lovely day.  As I sit in my office (ok, it's a cubicle...but it has one whole wall of windows) and stare out at the beautiful blue sky with the sun shining, it really makes me not want to be here.  I want to be out there.  If it were only 20 degrees warmer, and everything was green instead of brown and dead, then I wouldn't spend every day wishing I lived someplace different!

This weather is at least giving me hope.  And it's helping me hold out for the few more weeks until Spring Break when we can take the kids and go someplace warm.  Even though I'm sure that we will come back to another snow storm, these little escapes make it tolerable. 

Soon it will be summer, and we can spend all day every day out by the pool.  Once the weather breaks, we live outside.  If we aren't at work or in bed, we are out on the deck or in the pool.  All else is forgotten.  That's what life is all about!

Until then, I'll keep hope alive.  Keep depression at bay...because depression hurts...everywhere!

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Sunday, March 8, 2009

The World's Best Biography

Throughout daily life we see and hear a lot of things. I like to make things personal for the kids, so I will relate what we see or hear to a personal story for them. It really brings history alive for them... yeah, that's why I do it. For some reason I don't think they believe most of my stories, but I keep telling them nonetheless.

The following is a list of some of the things that I have told my family I have done in the past:

I am a CIA Spy. This is my favorite story. I can relate almost all of my other stories back to this one. I love saying things like, "if you ever see a yellow umbrella open and sitting in our yard, get out of the house immediately!" Being a spy has taught me most of my skills, like how to fix any household problem with a shoe, a butter knife, and a spatula.

My love of spydom is no secret and has even caused Mrs. Stickman some great stress. The in-laws bought me a "how to be a spy" book once, that was full of things like how to make small bombs out of household products. Well, I decided to take this book with us on one of our trips to New York. She was so nervous when we were going through airport security! Especially when they took me into a little plexiglass room for more detailed searching. Good times!

I was Elvis during the 60's. This one is closely related to the CIA stuff. Elvis was really a secret agent for the CIA and after his military duty he went into the agency full time, performing various acts of a lethal nature around the world. I was the CIA agent that was assigned as an Elvis look-alike during the 60's. That's why Elvis only did movies and no live performances in that time-period. I'm good, but not THAT good. Duh! I'm going to write a book about this one some day.

I have won 64 Olympic Medals. I have won Olympic gold medals in nearly every competition that they have. I am such a good competitor that I even won a Sychronized Swimming medal all by myself. It's true! Ask my kids! Other sports include: swimming, gymnastics, track and field, fencing, weight lifting, basketball, rowing, luge, skiing, bicycling, and many many more.

I have fought in every major war. I mean every war. The War for Independance, The Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam. All of them. I have quite a history, and have led a lot of troops and won a lot of medals. Occasionally, I have flashbacks and have to jump behind walls or drop on the ground and crawl.

I have been President. My name doesn't show up in the history books because I was undercover. The story is so top secret that I am not authorized to tell anyone which president I was.

I am an American Idol. I'm sure that this is one they definately believe. My singing is that good! The whole family just loves to hear me sing. They say things like, "Oh great. He's singing again." And lot's of times they just say, "Wow." I render them speachless with my voice. The daughter even says, "that was like half Jesus and half Fergie." It's angelic.

These are just a few of my moments of greatness. The list is far too long to put it all down here.

It's like I'm a real-life Forrest Gump! It's amazing all of the different moments in history that I have stumbled into. (In fact the movie Forrest Gump was based on me.) But I'm happy to have played such an important role in history, and glad that I can be a role model for my children - and yours too!

Just imagine if they would unclassify my entire story so that I could tell everything. That will be a great day!
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Artifacts of LIfe

Isn't it amazing how many hobbies and interests we go through in a lifetime. Especially if you are one of those people that have even a slightly addictive personality. Or if you are one of those people that just happen to really like to try new things, but refuse to do it half-assed. But, definitely, if you are both of those people!

If I see something that looks fun or cool, then I love to dive in and try it. And if I try something, I need to know everything about. I'll read every webpage, buy the magazines, get all the equipment, take the lessons, and then do the activity maybe once.

Here are some of my life artifacts you can find around our house from my many short-lived hobbies:

Skateboard Gear. While I was actually into skateboarding for an extended period of time in Junior High, a few years ago I decided to get back into it. I did this in one of those efforts to find an activity to do with my son when he was really getting into skateboarding. So I went out and got all the gear with pads, a helmet... the whole works. I looked good! We went to the skate park, and I rode around a bit. Did some ollies. And then....on my first drop in on the ramp, I bit it hard! My elbow got all swollen and bruised and nasty. And that was the last time I skateboarded.

Snowboard Gear. Again, in an effort to hang out with the son, I thought I would try out another extreme sport. I read everything I could find about how to board. I went and bought a nice new board, bindings, and boots. And I went one time. I'm pretty sure I broke my tailbone. In my defense, I probably would have kept at it, but due to an injury the week after I went, my son had to give up the sport too.

Golf Clubs. This is one that I phase in and out of. Every 5 years or so, I'll decide to play. So I buy the newest cool shoes and some snazzy golf clothes, and then I hit the links. I always suck, but it is always fun. The biggest problem that I have hear is having someone to go with. I don't have many friends, and there are not too many people that I care to spend that much time with! The son took golf lessons, but he did not have the patience for it, and doesn't care for it. So the clubs sit and collect dust.

Scuba Gear. I first tried scuba on a vacation a few years back and fell in love with it. I came back and took all of the certification classes. I took the son along to take all the classes with me. He loved it when we did the dives in the pool at the training facility, but once we went out into the open water (and had to wear the wetsuit, etc.) he wasn't such a fan. I think the wetsuit made him claustrophobic. So scuba has also fallen by the way side.

These are just a few things from the last few years. Imagine all of the things gone through in a lifetime. I could start my very own ebay type site - or stickmanslist, if you prefer.

So what are my current obsessions?

1. I'm always obsessed with Mrs. Stickman.

2. The only consistent love and hobby throughout my entire life has been movies. I'm what they like to call a "celebrity" at our local theatre. Oh yeah!

3. I have very much enjoyed poker since I started playing a few years back. Although, I'm not as obsessed with it as I was for a while.

There are also a couple of new things that I am beginning to build obsessions for.

My Excerise Ball. This thing is amazing. And so much fun. Instead of sitting on the couch to watch tv - now I can sit on my exercise ball. It is like a constant workout. I'm so going to be able to shave this beard soon! And I can't wait! But seriously the exercise ball is genius!

Kite Surfing. This is going to be my new hobby. Of course, I can't really do it much right now in the dead of winter. But this summer, watch out! And then once I know what I'm doing, I suppose next winter I could use it with my snowboard to do kiteboarding. See how perfect that is? I wonder if I could invent kitegolfing?

Flying. This is always on my list. I want to get my pilot's license. One day I will do it. Of course, once that hobby is over, I don't think a plane will fit in the attic!

Hobbies are good. They make life interesting. They keep you from being bored. And they expand your knowledge. I guess that's why I'm a know-it-all, cause I've had some many different hobbies.
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Friday, March 6, 2009

Reality Show Overproduction

There are so many reality shows that start on television, and in the first season they are wonderful.  You really get a raw sense of the reality that is going on, whether it is a competition or a social experiment.  But then - once they get an ounce of success - the next season is this big entirely over-produced monstrosity, barely resembling the original.  And with a product placement every where you look.

There can be no better example of this than The Real World.  The first season (or two) of the show were legitimately real.  They got different types of people with JOBS and outside lives to live together in a house - and they filmed what happens.  A few years later, they are getting groups of kids who were kinda real to live in outrageously unreal houses that they could never afford, and do give them made-up jobs that they could never get.  There is nothing real about it!

Who doesn't remember the first season with Eric and Kevin fighting over race around the pool table?  And no one will ever forget Puck in season two.  No one could shoot a snot rocket like that guy!  And, my god, he ate someone else's peanut butter!  Now THAT'S reality!

Now I look at American Idol this year.  They are entirely over-producing this year.  No way, no how does Tatiana make it for a chance at a wild card slot in reality.  Only in the mind of a producer looking to generate some drama for ratings does her face ever show up on that show again.  And Danny Gokey, while I really like this guy, could the show possibly announce who they would like to win any more than this?  

I think next year Idol shouldn't show us the preliminary rounds.  Start with 36 and let America vote based on what they see and hear in the performances, not what the producers force feed us for 4 weeks ahead of time.  And then as it progresses they can show us some of the back stories.  That way the drama wouldn't affect us choosing the best performer, instead of the best storyline.   I say us, as if I have ever voted!

Anyways, I'm moderately happy with the top 12 on the show this year.  (Make that 13...Anoop?  Really?  OK, whatever.)  It should be interesting from this point on.  I'll tell you my choice from the second he appeared on screen in early auditions was Adam Lambert.  And I think he's got a shot.  Mrs. Stickman is rooting for Matt Giraud.  He's pretty good too, and I think once instruments come into play he will get better.

I just look forward to not having to flip off the television every time Tatiana comes on the screen anymore.  Talk about people trying to hard.  Last night she adopts an accent to try to play up on the Jorge thing, she resurrects "the laugh" and feels the need to point it out, she does the overly emotional thing....she was doing EVERYTHING that she thought is what got her this far.  Including singing the same song for the THIRD time.  Hate isn't a strong enough word here.

The one great thing about Idol though, is that it overcomes generational boundries.  I don't think there is another show on television that entire families can watch together and enjoy it.  I guess that is why they get so many viewers every week.

OK...that's enough.  Stickman out!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Embarrassing Kids - And the Future of Parenting

I'll start by saying that the word "embarrassing" in the title is not an adjective, it is a verb.  I'm not going to talk about the fact that kids can be embarrassing.  Instead, I will talk about the pleasure that can be found in embarrassing your kids!  

If you haven't tried this yet, I highly recommend it.  It is so fun.  And so easy!  All you have to do is get around your kids and their friends, and then do something weird.  Here are some of my favorite weird activities:
  • Odd Dancing.  This works great everywhere.  Some of my best work is in the car, however.  You can really get the hand and head motions going.  And they HAVE to sit behind you and watch.
  • Outrageous Singing.  This one is fun, and my wife and I are able to get in on this one together with some wonderful duets.  You can just sing off key and loud, but to really amp it up try making up your own words and adding funny background vocal parts.
  • Overuse Slang.  I love this one!  You can ad an "izzle" to any word for a guaranteed eye roll.  Also, using outdated slang like "groovy" is appropriate.  But if you are really feeling brave, just make up your own slang words!  My father-in-law did this, and the whole family still uses the word "pony" for things that are cool.
  • Be Rude to Their Friends.  It's pretty rare that one of the kid's friends come over when I don't say something like, "Oh.  You're here again.  Hunh."   Let their friends know what an inconvenience it is to have them there and that you're whole day is now ruined.  Then pout and stomp off.  Which brings me to the next point...
  • Be Pathetic.  Nothing is as embarrassing as having a big baby for a parent.  Act like everything they say hurts your feelings more than you can bare.  Hang your head, slump your shoulders, hide your face, or anything you can think of to look extra, extra sad.
  • Be More Excited Than Them.  This one is fun.  Whatever they are into, be MORE into it.  You should here me yell and scream about the Jonas Brothers around my daughter and her friends.  No one was awaiting their new movie more than me, or so everyone thought!
  • Use Nicknames.  Make up nicknames for them and all their friends.  But really amp it up by constantly changing the nicknames while still keeping it related.  Like Allycat to Allygator to Bowling Ally to I'd Hate To Meet You In A Dark Ally.  It keeps them on the edge of their seat!
  • Be a Cheerleader.  You can come up with a cheer for anything.  Mostly it's just the "Ready.  Ready, OK!" stuff.  But ad in some cool cheerleader arm motions, a little clapping, and a bit of stomping and it's enough to get by without knowing any real cheers.
  • Play Matchmaker.  It is always fun to try to hook kids up into couples.  Sometimes the fun is by matching them with someone embarrassing, but sometimes it's fun to really play up someone they may have a crush on.  Talk about the wedding, and the grandkids, and how you'll live with them when you're too old to take care of yourself.  And always refer to them as your future son-in-law or future daughter-in-law.
  • Say Things Wrong.  I'm not so good at this one myself, but my wife really excels at it.  Instead of calling a tunnel a tunnel, call it something like "an underwater bridge."  It also helps to "pretend" to mishear stuff.  If someone says to you that they want fruit snacks, say "no I don't want group sex!"
Those are just a few of the things that we do as parents to stick it to the kids.  And don't let the kids fool you, they LOVE it!  And so do their friends.  They must right?  Or else they wouldn't  keep coming back.   And they wouldn't ask their teacher if it would be OK to have a parent as a backup dancer for their N'SYNC karaoke performance at school.  (yeah...that one was a little embarrassing!)

After you have practiced these enough to feel comfortable, then you can step up to more advanced things like flipping off other parents in the school parking lot.  That one reaches far beyond your kids and their friends and gets the whole school buzzing!

Seriously though, in today's society with facebook and myspace and all the instant social networking, it's important to stay a part of your kids lives in every way that you can.  And if they and their friends find you fun enough to be a part of their circle, then that can only be a good thing.

So, go out there and embarrass the hell out of them!  They'll love every minute of it!

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Trust Me" - My New Favorite Television Show

I work in advertising and marketing, so I love all things advertising.  So much so, that sometimes I feel guilty flying through commercials at 4X speed on the Tivo!  However, if there is a movie, or a TV show, or a book that I come across on the subject, you better believe that I'll be diving into it.

I love reading biographies and books written by great advertising giants of the past.  People like David Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, and many others.  I like reading about the current guys - like Donnie Deutsch - too.  These are some of the books that my family deems "boooorrriiinnggggg!"  There seem to be a lot of books that I read that get this reaction from them.

I have really enjoyed watching Mad Men for the last two seasons.  It is a great show, and set in a time period when the ad business was really taking off and coming into its own.  It is a very well made - and well acted - show with some great advertising principals and history mixed in.  But it's not necessarily a fun show to watch.  It can be kind of slow at times.

But new to TV last month on TNT is the show Trust Me.  So far, I absolutely love this show!  It takes place in a modern advertising agency, so it is more current and relevant.  They are dealing with new forms of advertising, via the internet, etc.  You feel like you really are getting a sense of the agency experience.  

The cast is great, also.  The stars are Eric McCormick (of Will & Grace fame) and one of my favorite actors, Tom Cavanagh.  Cavanagh is best know for his role as the title character in the TV show, Ed, which is one of my favorite shows of all time.  These two have a great chemistry on screen as best friends and two halves of an agency creative team (a copywriter and an art director).

I hope that this show makes it on the air for a long time.  I'm not holding my breath, though.  I seem to have a knack for really getting into shows that don't even make it a whole season.  And some of them are great shows.  A good example being Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  That was a very smart, funny show from the creators of West Wing, which also is one of my all time favorites.  (Notice that I like shows that make me feel like I'm getting a behind-the-scenes look at real life work places?  Hunh?)

So I will keep watching Trust Me faithfully in hopes that it will make it.  And I encourage all of you to watch it too.  Tuesday nights on TNT at 10pm.  I guarantee you'll like it, or your money back!

In other news.....still sick (worse today), I can feel my metabolism rising as I type, and this beard is already driving me insane.  Thanks for reading!

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