Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Day I Ended A Hamster's Life

The afternoon started off innocently enough. It was a hot summer afternoon (I actually have no recollection of the time of the year this occurred, but I wanted to provide a setting for the story). It was prior to my first year of kindergarten and I was being held at the local youth penitentiary, also known as preschool. These are some of my first memories, so they are a little vague. However, I will never forget the day my actions led to a hamster being sentenced to death.

I believe this occurred during nap time at the preschool. This when I usually got into the most amount of trouble, because I've always been a restless individual and never was interested in taking naps. Even during the first grade (yes, we still had nap time at my school in the first grade), I was lectured by my teacher because I would use that time to eat my soggy sandwich discretely. I'm not sure why I would hold off on eating my lunch until lunch had actually ended and we were "napping," but that's the kind of strange kid I was during that time.

Back to the topic at hand. As the other children were positioning themselves on the floor to nap, I was plotting a maneuver to taunt the class hamster in its cage. As I noticed children begin to nod off, I checked to see where the teacher was positioned. She was paying no attention to the actions of her students. This was my signal to begin mercilessly flaunting my outstretched finger at the hamster through its cage. As I wagged my finger at the innocent hamster through the cage, I could see its beady eyes tracing my every movement. Eventually it had enough of my taunts, and before I could react it made its retaliatory move. In one swift hamster motion it attacked my finger in an attempt to remove it from my body. I shrieked as it clenched its powerful jaw around my tiny little finger.

This attracted the attention of the teacher. She looked over to see that the hamster had maliciously attacked me. Instantly concern spread across her face. She picked me up and immediately took me to the front of the building. From there, they proceeded to take me to the hospital to be examined. I'm not even certain that blood was drawn by this monster, but I imagine there had to be something there for them to panic to such an extent. As I was hurriedly driven to the hospital the preschool phoned my mother at work. They informed her that I was bitten by an animal and being taken to the hospital where she could meet me. They conveniently left out an important detail that this animal was in fact a freaking hamster!

My mother rushed to the hospital where she was able to find me being examined by the doctor. She quickly noticed that they were placing a tiny bandage over my finger. Her expression turned to relief upon realizing that I had not lost a limb to some carnivorous beast. After they had placed some kind of concoction that reminded me of honey over the wound, they determined I would be just fine. The hamster, however, did not meet a similar fate.

It was learned upon my return to the preschool that the hamster had been received a capital punishment for its crime. Apparently the school was concerned that the animal may have rabies and would begin to attack all of the other students. Multiple observations about this line of thinking strike me as funny. For starters, if it is locked in a cage, how is this hamster going to unleash its fury upon the class? Secondly, how does a domesticated hamster that is constantly locked in a cage contract rabies? Needless to say, I learned that day that my actions did in fact have consequences. An innocent life was lost that day, because I was irresponsible. I vowed never to allow this to happen again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Celebrating My Birth

As you can tell, the older I become, the more often my stories include alcohol. Most of the poor decisions I make come along with the use of the sauce. This is probably why I don't drink very often. I feel that I'm happy enough as it is without needing the juice which only leads to this poor decision making. That being said, I'm not completely immune to its powers. Even I need to let loose every once in a while.

One of these times involved my previous birthday. Per usual, I did not plan it ahead of time. For starters, I am not one to plan my own party and invite people to it. That simply seems tacky to me, so if someone brings up going out then I'll see if some others would like to join. I believe this happened a day or so prior to this monumental evening, therefore nobody had advanced notice. As it turns out that doesn't allow many people to make it. Apparently other people actually make plans ahead of time. This seems like quite the silly notion to me, but I like to live by the seat of my pants. This night of going out would consist of I believe a group of 6 people.

I have a tradition with a good friend of mine, Donnell, that requires taking a shot of Bacardi 151 each time we meet up outside work. This tradition has continued to this day as it was once more celebrated just a few weeks ago. The reason I bring this up is because it usually stops at only one shot of 151. However, this evening it would not stop at 1, nor would it stop at 5. I believe the count we gathered after the fact put it at 6 or 7 shots of 151 to go along with the other drinks I had consumed that evening. Although I typically have a fairly high tolerance for alcohol, this proved to simply be too much. The rest of the story is based off stories I have heard from other attendees of the gathering.

After a certain point of the night I have no recollection of what occurred. Unfortunately there is documented evidence in the form of photographs however. Although I behaved fairly decently at the bars it was the drive home that finished me. I was in the back seat of a friend's car as she drove me back to my place. There were 3 of us in the car, and there was much discussion to be had. At one point she says she asked me, "Are you alright Chris?" She received no response, but slowly heard the window roll down. This could not be a good sign at all. As we drove down the highway I proceeded to attempt to vomit out of the window of the car. Needless to say, much of it did not make it very far. My shirt outer shirt was completely covered in vomit as was the side of her car and the interior. The car was pulled to the side of the road and I finished what needed to be done.

As we pulled back in to my apartment complex I was at least remorseful enough to offer to get paper towels from the apartment and clean everything up. I'm not sure that would have helped much, but it's the though that counts I suppose. Even in a drunken stupor, I am a proud individual and I hate to act like an embarrassment. I wanted to fix the problem however I could. She insisted it was OK, and that I should head up to apartment and pass out. I went upstairs to attempt to complete that task.

The next afternoon (yes, the afternoon) I awoke to a horrendous scene. I was pantsless lying face down on my bathroom floor. My t-shirt was covered in vomit and the bathroom was destroyed. As I stumbled out the bathroom I noticed that there was a very visible blood stain on my doorway that had not previously been there. I can't even begin to imagine how that occurred, and still don't know to this day. I may have murdered somebody as far as I am aware. If that is the case, I did a damn good job of hiding the body given my condition. I did see that I somehow managed to throw my pants and overshirt in the washer, so I still had some sense about me that evening.

It goes without saying that the next day was not a pleasant day for me. I had even lost my phone which luckily turned out to be in her car. Therefore nobody could contact me. I was unable to move from my couch the entire day. When I arrived at work that Monday I was shown the evidence from that evening. There were photographs taken after my unsuccessful attempt to heave out of the car window. I still cannot explain why I had a gigantic smile on my face and was flashing two thumbs up while being completely covered in my own filth. Thus concludes another sordid tale of drinking gone awry...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Welcome to College!

The day had finally arrived. I was an independent young man, with no rules and restrictions bogging me down. This was the day that I was to arrive at my dorm, just outside the campus of the wonderful University of Oregon. Nothing could bring me down from this exhilarating high that I was experiencing.

Prior to the move west, I had attempted to have a party at a friend's house. As I do not plan anything in advance, I had decided that very night that such a party should occur. I found the resources to purchase the alcohol and proceeded to try to call people to get a party going. Unfortunately, thirty minutes was not an ample amount of warning for people which caused this plan to fail miserably. Now I was left with a heap of beers, and nowhere to place them. Eventually it was decided that another friend of mine, Steve, would smuggle them, as if they were painkillers from Mexico, to college that very next week. This plan was surprisingly successful as the numerous bottles were hidden throughout his boxes and bags of clothes.

Now that the first part of the plan had been executed to perfection, the second part was simple. Our first mission as college students would be to consume all of these drinks that first night. There was no better way to bond with a new roommate than to take him to an oasis of alcohol and down bottle after bottle. My new roommate, we'll call him Ralph, Steve, and I made it our mission to down every last bottle. Once again, the plan was a raging success. However, that did not signify the end of the evening. Ralph and I abandoned Steve at his dorm and proceeded to return to ours off campus.

Upon our arrival back at the dorms, we met a pair of lovely ladies that lived down the hall from us. Coincidentally, they happened to have alcohol at their disposal as well. So, we proceeded to drink more liquor with the ladies and another guy. Much to our disdain, this tap eventually ran dry as well. At this point rational decision making had taken a backseat to the need for more alcohol. Located next door to our dorm was a 7-Eleven. We rationalized that it would be simple to convince someone outside the 7-Eleven to purchase us some more beer. The group discretely approached a dirty, homeless man situated outside the convenience store and supplied him cash in order to make the purchase. He agreed to our offer and bought us our materials.

Apparently we had figured that walking through the main entrance of the dorm with a brown bag consisting of beer bottles peering out the top was a good idea. As we approached the entrance to the stairwell I heard someone in a hushed voice say, "Go, go, go." I had no idea what was going on, but I am not one to question a hushed voice. I hurriedly ran up the stairs towards our floor. Although I still had no idea why I was running I continued to run towards our dorm door. From a distance I heard, "Stop!" At this point I had the inclination to run down the emergency exit that was next to our door room. This probably would have even been successful, but the group had decided to wave the white flag.

As I turned around, I saw a man in a uniform rapidly approaching us with a couple of RA's from the dorm. I soon discovered that the campus actually had a rag tag team of "officers" known as the DPS. These were not real cops, but they walked around with a badge and issued tickets. We were seemingly a very threatening bunch, because he proceeded to radio backup. Perhaps this was only because it made him feel more like a real police officer. Of this I cannot be sure.

We were each issued MIP's though they were apparently only warnings. The consequences of our actions led to meeting with an extremely obese head of the dorms. Ralph and I had to meet with him separately, so we made sure to get our stories straight beforehand. If he didn't hear what he deemed a proper answer there was always a chance that our reign in the dorms would end just as soon as they had started. We passed the exam, however, and were sentenced to the BUSTED class. This class simply consisted of former alcoholics informing us how we could become inebriated in a more efficient manner. I don't believe that I went into the class with an open mind considering that I was hungover from the night prior to the class. All in all it was quite the eventful first night of college for me. If anything, it certainly started out with a bang.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where's that gift? - Oops, it's her birthday!

One major flaw that I have always had when it comes to relationships has always involved the act of giving gifts. Now, this doesn't only pertain to relationships. Christmas gifts, wedding gifts, other's birthday gifts. I have always been a procrastinator by nature, and in the case of gift giving I am no different. This has led to some interesting situations that I have gotten myself while attempting to secure gifts at the last moment. Thus I have decided to make a series of posts labeled, "Where's that gift?"

The first installment of the series takes place in the summer following my sophomore year of college. I had stayed in Eugene to take summer classes while my lady friend had gone home to work for the State of Oregon. We would see each other every couple weekends or so during that summer. It was a very carefree lifestyle that I was living. I was only attending school a couple days a week, and mostly was spending the summer relaxing.

This debacle took place one evening in early July. It began innocently enough, as most days had that summer. I was working an 8 hour day at the dreary mall that I had mentioned once before, pretending to sell sports jerseys and hats. Suddenly, my lady friend strolled into the store. I had known that she was coming down for the weekend, but hadn't thought much of it. We spoke for a bit, and she proceeded to head to my apartment until my evening at work was through. Shortly after she left, I suddenly was struck with a frightening realization. I had just realized that it was already her birthday. This event had completely escaped my mind.

The situation was looking bleak. As I had mentioned before, this mall was a wasteland. I had already taken my lunch and break that evening. Target was all the way down the mall, and I didn't want to cause a ruckus by disappearing from work for 20 minutes. This left me only one option. Yes, it had indeed come to this. I would have to jaunt on over to the FYE next door and try to make something special happen. I scoured all 3 aisles of the store in hopes of finding the perfect gift. Desperation had set in, and anything I could piece together would have to work. The final solution consisted of a card, The Notebook DVD (easy way to a girl's heart) and a Tim McGraw CD. Yes, this was a patchwork gift to be sure.

I arrived at my abode that evening prepared to douse her with my lavish gifts. She proceeded to open them excitedly. A look of disappointment immediately spread across her face as she realized the gifts I had provided her. The Notebook was a movie we had seen in theaters. Therefore, I was giving her a gift that she had already seen. She also happened to own the Tim McGraw CD I had purchased her. This was disastrous, but she still played cool and pretended to be happy to see me.

The night went on, and we were hanging out. Suddenly she reached in my pocket for some reason. No, this was not in fact that kind of reach into the pocket. I could not possibly be that lucky. Instead, she pulled out the receipt from my purchase earlier in the evening. Cleverly, I had not thrown out the receipt or hidden it. She instantly noticed that the date of the purchase was marked for that very day, and the time of the purchase was shortly before I had left work. I was in fact nabbed red-handed. Needless to say, the night did not end well and this would be an incident that I would be able to learn from for the future. Only I did not...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Running for Office

This next story takes place in the fall of my 6th grade year. The leaves were falling from the trees, and the weather had begun to cool. The elementary school that I was attending at the time had only opened 2 years earlier. Therefore they had never held school elections, or had any class representatives. However, this year they had decided to open up the polls to the children in the 6th grade classes.

This seemed like quite the exciting opportunity for me. I had bold aspirations of being president, and what better start than to represent the 6th grade class in the school Congress. That weekend I sat down at my desk to hammer out the most amazing speech imaginable. I had a vision. I would change the face of the school altogether. As you recall, I took school and life far too seriously at this point in my life. This speech would be no different. I had never been a part of a class election, so I was uncertain of what to include in my proposal to the class. I spent the entire weekend working diligently on this eloquent speech that would blow the minds of my fellow classmates. There would be no possible scenario in which they would see my as unfit to represent the class. I made bold claims of making numerous donations to charities, doing volunteer work around the community, and making important changes around the school. These changes would forever revolutionize the way schools were run in our beautiful country. Along the way I made the mistake of taking input from my mother on items I should include in the speech. Needless to say, this speech was more fit for someone running for city mayor than it was for some kid in the 6th grade.

That following Monday the much anticipated elections were held in our classrooms. The teacher asked the classroom if anyone would like to present first. I eagerly raised my hand with the intention of blowing away the competition. I proceeded to give my five minute long speech about bettering the world around us. I did have a punch line at the end that I was certain would entertain the crowd. Afterall, it did involve a clever rhyme. "Vote for me, I'm Mr. Lee!" Oh yes, the audience was in tears at the end of riveting speech. Unfortunately, I believe these may have been tears of boredom.

As I took my seat, my opponent calmly raised his hand. This foe was actually a close friend of mine at the time. I was unaware that he had actually formulated such a brilliant speech that I had no chance to beat. This was a 30 second rant about how he would make sure the cafeteria would serve mashed potatoes and recesses would be extended. He may in fact have created the speech as the rest of the class slept through my monologue. I was no match for these guerilla warfare tactics. He would go on to win in a landslide victory. In fact, I am quite certain I received 0 votes. After this decisive loss, I decided politics were far too cutthroat. I proceeded to retire from the political scene altogether.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What's that on your shirt?

This next story takes place during my college years. At the time I was working for a retailer of licensed sports apparel. This was located in an extremely unsuccessful mall in the town adjacent to where I attended school. I lived approximately 5 minutes away from this place of employment, so I was always waiting until the last possible moment to leave my abode. This day would be no different. I do not recall what caused me to run behind that day, but I hurriedly found some clothes to throw on, ran out the door, and scampered to work. Upon arriving at work, I was greeted by my manager. This fellow was quite the goofy character. The first thing he asked, as I stood there on the floor ready to approach the 3 customers that would be in that day, was, "Did you have an accident on your shirt?" I looked down and noticed a large stain on my shirt. "Oh heavens," I thought to myself. What was this stain you ask? Well for that we will have to skip back a few days.

A couple days prior I had come home from classes and was greeted by my lady friend. She must have had a splendid day, because she was very eager to meet me. Apparently she had chosen to reward me for having been a wonderful individual. I will spare everyone the gritty details, but an important part of the story is that she had chosen not to consume the nectars of the gods. I could respect the decision, but this did end up causing some a fair amount to be splattered onto my T-shirt. "No big deal," I thought to myself. I proceeded to remove the shirt and place it in the washer where it would soon be joined by other clothes in need of cleaning.

A couple days passed, and the day had arrived in which I was hurriedly heading out the door for work. As I hurried around the house I was looking for a T-shirt to throw on and head out the door. Often when we removed clean clothes from the dryer, we would simply place the pile atop it. Thus, this was the first place I checked for a shirt. Luckily I was able to spot one resting innocently alone on top of the dryer. I quickly picked it up, placed it to my nose to smell it. This was necessary to determine that it was in fact clean. It passed my scientific sniff test, and I threw it on and ran out the door.

Once I had arrived at work, my manager had pointed out the stain on my shirt. Upon looking down, I noticed firmly entrenched below my shoulder sat a giant white splatter on this dark blue shirt. Instantly I knew what it was, and it was fairly obvious to everyone else as well. Apparently my lady friend had decided to complete a load of laundry. However, she had decided that my shirt would only get in the way. She had removed my shirt from the washer and placed it on top of the dryer. I'm not sure why my shirt was not qualified for a washing, but I feel I was sabotaged.

This was not good news whatsoever. I did not have a backup shirt lying around. It was the middle of the summer, so I hadn't brought a sweater or anything else to throw over the top of the shirt. I was stuck. I was aware that Foot Locker sold their blank T-shirts at 5 for $20. However, the Foot Locker was located on the other end of the mall. I decided that this was necessary rather than awkwardly approach customers the entire evening with this gigantic stain on my shoulder. One could imagine the stain talking to the customer as I approached them, much like a Tide commercial. So I chose to venture out to the Foot Locker.

As I walked down the corridor I attempted to cross my arms in a fashion that would potentially cover up this stain. It was in a place that this wasn't particularly successful. I went into the Foot Locker and chose 5 shirts in a variety of colors. I walked to the register and attempted to rest on my elbow in a manner that might hide the stain. Awkwardly I kept shifting around and looking down to see if I might be able to disguise this stain. The man working behind the counter was a middle-aged Foot Locker employee that took his job very seriously. He decided to ask me if I would like to purchase socks, shoe cleaner, the works. I just wanted to head out of there to place on my new t-shirt. This gentleman was having none of that however. He continued to probe me on all of their exciting products. Finally, he handed me the receipt, and I was able to escape from this man's rant.

I scurried back to the store and went into the back room to change. Quickly, I proceeded to place on the new shirt and bag up the stained shirt. I seemingly do not embarrass easily enough, because I actually forgot to take the shirt home that evening. I've been told that my manager proceeded to pull it out of the bag and show it to all the other employees at the store over the next day or so. I hadn't realized that my shirt would be turned into a Smithsonian exhibit. He seemed to have no qualms holding up my encrusted shirt. I told you he was an oddball. Thus concludes the story of how I wore a semen stained shirt to my place of employment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ouch, My Eyes!

Let's turn back the clock to my 8th grade year. During the Christmas Break I had moved from Kansas City to a small town in Central Oregon. I had become acclimated in the culture, and was participating in my usual activities. One of these activities happened to be Little League Baseball. Yes, this does become somewhat relevant in this story.

I underwent LASIK treatment a couple of years ago. Prior to that I did not wear any type of corrective lenses. Part of the reason was due to this incident that occurred in the 8th grade. The other part was because I wasn't a fan of glasses, so I simply chose not to wear them. Not terribly smart thinking, but I preferred to squint throughout the day and not see half of what was being discussed in classes. During the 7th and 8th grades I experimented with using contact lenses. It wasn't terribly successful as the contacts and I never got along well. Some days they would go in effortlessly, but others it would be a struggle. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was later diagnosed with astigmatism. Then again, that could not have been a factor at all. Perhaps I was just inept with contacts. The night before the incident I had worn the contact lenses to play in a baseball game. Supposedly this was a contributing factor to what was to happen the next day. The contacts were the type that were worn for 2 weeks, and removed each evening.

When I first put in my contact lenses that morning it felt a little strange, but that was a typical occurrence. I didn't think much of it, and continued on to school. However, once I reached school my eyes started to become irritated, and my vision was becoming cloudy. It appeared that I was walking in a constant mist. I couldn't see more than a couple feet ahead of me, and everything was incredibly blurry. I actually went through the entire school day not being able to see anything clearly. Honestly, I could not make out the faces of the people a couple feet in front of me.

On the bus ride home, despite the fact that my eyes were still in pain and my vision was not improving, I decided to go over to a friend's house. We exited the bus at his bus stop and proceeded to walk to his abode. Once reaching there it was apparently decided that porn would be viewed on his computer. Looking back, I don't understand why young boys like to get together and watch porn. Now that I think about it, it makes for quite the awkward situation. One cannot comfortably have an erection with another male sitting inches away looking at the same stuff. It all seems pointless. Yet, it happened. However, since I couldn't see very far I was even placing my face right next to the monitor. I was apparently hellbent on viewing this porn regardless of my condition. Eventually, I figured that if I took out the contact lenses perhaps I would have a more clear viewing of this cinematic production. Upon removing the lenses, a stinging pain shot from my eyes. When I shut them, it felt better, but each time I tried to open my eyes this shooting pain would radiate from them. At that point, I decided it might be time to return my home and inform my parents of the situation. I left my friend alone with these videos to do whatever it was he had to do.

Once I returned to my home, I informed my mother of the situation at hand. At this point I had decided to discontinue attempting to open my eyes. It had simply become too painful to continually do. As we went to the doctor's office and entered it, I looked like a young Ray Charles whom had his cane taken away. I held my hands out in front of me with my eyes closed and felt around for door handles and objects that might be in my way. Finally, the doctor was ready to see us. After some tests that involved me actually opening my eyes it was determined that both of my corneas had been scratched by my contact lenses. His theory was the contacts had gotten dirt in them from playing baseball in them the night prior. Then upon placing them back in my eyes the next day that had rubbed against my corneas and scratched them. I suppose that's not an entirely preposterous theory, and I don't have a better idea so I'll stick with that. All that was required was that I place a few eye drops in that evening and keep my eyes rested. Luckily, I was given drops to numb my eyes as well, and I simply went home and slept the night away. By daybreak everything felt normal again, but I don't believe I ever wore contacts again after that day. Thus ended the day in which I watched the cloudiest porn I have ever seen.

Debauchery in Espana - The Finale

I am going to combine the last couple evenings into one post, because quite frankly I'm ready to move on from this subject. Also, it kind of blurs together into one spectacular event. We had taken our journey to the Playa del Sol. This was supposedly going to have the nicest weather, and the most beautiful beach of all time. Instead what we received was torrential downpour. This weather pattern seems very consistent in my life. It certainly seems to rain often wherever my travels lead me.

The first night's schedule was formulated by Kirsten, our tour guide, and it was a delicious recipe on the menu. This night would consist of exploring the Spanish night life. That meant hitting up the clubs and bars around town. Our chaperons attended the first bar with us, though we still were not allowed to drink at this location. Of course, many of us were already in a drunken stupor at that point in the evening. At this bar the tables we were once sitting at were suddenly pushed aside and the dancing had begun. I do recall that at one point 50 Cent was requested as he had just hit the scene with "In da Club." The crowd of Americans got wild, and much dance floor grinding occurred. Then an event happened that I will always remember.

One of the 2 fellows I was with had gathered the courage to make possibly the boldest move of his life. About 10 feet from us there were 2 attractive Spanish mamasitas getting their groove on. One could see the confidence start to brim from him, and he tailored his dancing to swiftly move away from the boring American ladies towards these Spanish ladies. We speculate to this day that they were lesbians, but they may very well have simply been 2 ladies having a good time on the dance floor. As he approached them, the determination in his eyes shown brightly. He made a valiant attempt to squeeze between the two of them, doing so in a very smooth motion. However, they appeared to ignore him altogether and even made a move towards the left together to get him out from in between them. Dejected and with his pride shattered, he continued to dance but this time back towards our group. This has been dubbed the "Dance of Shame" by all those that witnessed it occur.

Upon leaving this bar, the chaperons returned to the hotel. The tour guide was expected to keep a good eye on us. She was suddenly open to us all purchasing drinks at the bars from that point. Perhaps it was because she was there to monitor us, but she seemed to encourage it. In fact, she drank right along with us. The club we went into was not terribly eventful. I believe that the entire crowd that evening consisted of members in the 50+ age bracket. I don't recall the night of the week, but this seemed quite unusual. The only memorable part of this evening that I can recall is asking the Danish bouncer what language they spoke in Denmark. Under normal circumstances I obviously know the answer, but I was a bit intoxicated at the time. The night culminated with us returning to the hotel. This is where my night got a bit more interesting.

For some reason or another many of us ended in the same hotel room. A couple beds were pushed together and we crowded in. The bed I was lying in consisted of me and a couple ladies. No, this did not get interesting in the manner you may be thinking of at the moment. I had chosen a nice comfortable spot on outside. Suddenly one of the ladies started complaining that I was taking up too much room, and she was squished in between the two of us. I found this outrageous since I was not a big guy to begin with, and I could feel the edge of the bed. However, she kept complaining. At that time I said, "Ok, let me roll over for you then." I knew what would occur, but I did it to get my point across. I rolled, and went tumbling out of the bed. This sent laughter throughout the room, though I still a bit annoyed by her complaints. I got crawled back in, but could not fall asleep. Eventually I heard much snoring around me, and that wasn't helping me fall asleep. I made a decision to exit the room and attempt to return to my room.

I had left my room key in the room, so I attempted knocking at the door. One of my buddies answered, but only opened the door a crack and peered out. I realized I had actually left my shoes in the room. I'm trying to recall at this point in time if I asked to come into the room, or if I simply asked for my shoes. Either way, he denied my entrance. I would later discover that he was partaking in sexual intercourse, and he didn't realize that I was actually locked out of all rooms now. Without shoes or a room, I decided to venture around the premises. As I walked through the lobby in my socks, the lady at the front desk politely stated, "Sir, we ask that you do wear shoes in the lobby!" Keep in mind this is a 5 star hotel, and I was some crazed American stumbling around in socks. "I'm sorry, I'm locked out of my room!" I yelled back and bolted out the front door. Now I was actually stuck outside without shoes at 4 AM. What was I to do? Obviously the answer was stroll down to the beach and walk along the water in my socks. No, I was not intelligent enough to actually remove the socks. I wore them the entire time.

There was a McDonalds that I had spotted at the end of beach at our arrival to the hotel. I decided perhaps I could take a jaunt over there and have an Egg McMuffin Spanish-style. I passed numerous homeless Spaniards along my journey that had set up shop along the beach. It turned out to be a much longer trip than I had anticipated. Eventually I reached the McDonalds to discover that it was of course closed at that hour. Dazed and reaching a sober state of mind I decided to simply park it at the beach for a while. I attempted to actually fall asleep on the sand. Probably not an entirely wise decision, but it seemed like a great idea at the time. An hour passed and that plan had also not succeeded. Eventually, defeated I decided it was time to return to the hotel. I was once more scolded from across the lobby by the front desk employee. I bolted to the elevators and returned upstairs. By this time it was about 7 or 8 AM.

Once I arrived back to the room, I was greeted by both of my roommates. They were concerned for my well being upon noticing that I was nowhere to be found. I told them the story of my travels along the Spanish coast. Laughs were shared, apologies were spread, and we all went our separate ways to gather rest for the evening ahead.

That evening would involved an intense karaoke session. The entire group came together to attend this event at a bar downtown. The first performance was chosen by the group. The group of males on the trip were to perform "Bye, Bye, Bye" by N-Sync. I feel that we performed admirably, and I even attempted to do the dance number to the best of my ability. My next performance was a terrible decision on the song choice. Two of us stood up to perform "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy. Now, I could only understand one of every 4-5 words that Shaggy utters in this song. This was also prior to my Lasik procedure so my vision was heavily impaired. I could not see the screen, so I was usually simply relying on memory to attempt to sing these songs. This song turned out to consist of me often muttering nonsensical lines in hopes that it vaguely sounded like Jamaican "rap." To compensate for this failure I attempted a dance move that likely should have never shown up at a Karaoke bar. I fell back onto one hand and proceeded to thrust my pelvis into the air multiple times. It seemed somewhat appropriate with the song at the time, and seemed fairly well received. However, it's not likely something that I should have brought out without proper notice to the audience. This move was a bit risque after all. Our final performance was a stirring rendition of Enrique Iglesias' "Hero." My voice quivered with each note, as I strived to achieve a perfect imitation. Between these performances a Spanish woman was bringing her A game to the table. After each one of our dreadful performances, she would proceed to get on stage and perform a heart-wrenching ballad that would bring tears to the bar patrons eyes. She even appeared to have a coach at her table that would critique her performances. It was a very odd sight, and she was taking it very seriously. Yet, we would immediately return to the stage and make a mockery of the entire process once more.

The next morning we boarded our flights to return to America. It was a glorious trip, and there are so many great memories that I was able to take from it. Honestly, there was so much more than I even shared here that simply happened in this one week's worth of time. It was truly an amazing experience, one that I will always cherish.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Debauchery in Espana Part Three - Lost in Sevilla

The common theme of this trip obviously involved getting into trouble due to the use of alcohol. This night was no different from the rest I assure you. The trip had moved forth to the city of Sevilla. The majority of the posse would be attending a party boat that evening. Sure that sounds like a boatload of fun (see what I did there?), but it is very deceiving. There would not be any alcohol involved, so basically it's just riding around on a boat. Where's the party in that? Therefore, the tantalizing trio decided once more to do some exploring on our own. This time we added a fourth member to the wolfpack. Seems one female had caught on to which group of people was having the greatest amount of fun on the trip.

There were drinks to be shared before we left for our voyage. This was done in a timely manner and we went downstairs to meet up with the rest of the group before they departed for their "party boat." As we all chatted about the upcoming events in the hotel lobby, our tour guide, Kirsten, approached the four us that were set to do our independent exploring. She pulled us to the side to have a very stern conversation with the quartet. She was German and had a very thick accent, which possibly makes this quote funnier for those of us that witnessed it than it would be reading it from a page. "You guys have been drinking and you are going to get more drinks aren't you?" she asked us. We responded that this was absolutely not the case. "Shut da fuck up!" she sternly stated. It caught us all off guard. She mentioned that she didn't feel comfortable letting us go out there, and would need to tell our chaperon. This is where my mastery of the German language paid off, or so I thought. I was born in Germany and speak fluent German so I decided to utilize this to my advantage. I began to speak to her in my native dialect, and assured her that I would watch out for everyone and we would be fine. Kirsten seemed to fine with that, and told me to make sure nothing went afoul. That was all the clearance we needed.

Off we went into the yonder with no apparent destination in mind. We went into the heart of the city, not keeping track of exactly which path we were taking. Eventually, we decided to sit down and enjoy some tapas. This was considered to be a necessity on a visit to Spain, and it was indeed magnificent. Once the tapas had been devoured, the four of us decided to return back to the hotel to finish what we had started. Only this was not going to be as easy as anticipated. As we attempted to navigate through the back alleys and roads to find our location we were becoming increasingly further lost in this city. We considered a taxi, however since we had just arrived at the hotel earlier that day, we could not recall the name of the hotel. Therefore we spent a solid hour and a half aimlessly walking the streets of Sevilla attempting to find our destination. Eventually we accidentally stumbled upon where we needed to be.

At that time we proceeded to return to the room and continue the party in our room. Shortly after Kirsten came to the room and joined us inside. Once more we were interrogated about our levels of sobriety, and whereabouts for the evening. After about 15 minutes she left the room. Shortly after we heard a knock at the door. I hurriedly cocked my head back and finished off the bottle of Tangueray, and stashed the bottle in the closet. I opened the door to find our Spanish teacher standing there. She requested that we come out into the hall so she could speak to us. Mrs. Wilkinson stated that she had heard concerns from the tour guide that we were skipping the party boat to go out drinking. We stated that this was simply not the case. I vehemently stated, "All we did was have some tapas. I had jamon serrano." Apparently I felt at that time that I needed to hammer that point home, because I would repeat the fact that I had jamon serrano at least 3 more times in the conversation. In my opinion, she did not believe our answer whatsoever, but she left seemingly content with what we had told her. Another bullet had been dodged by the daring trio. The night continued as every other night had, or so I believe. I honestly don't recall the end of that evening, but as far as I can recall nothing scandalous happened beyond that. Thus ends the story of my night lost in the city of Sevilla. I will attempt to conclude the Spain story in the near future with one last glorious post.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Debauchery in Espana - Part Deux

My second night in Spain was actually able to eclipse the greatness that was our first night in my eyes. Our tour guide, whom by the way will have a significant role in a later story, had suggested that the group attend a Flamingo dancing lesson. The ladies were all over this idea. The fellas, however, had other ideas in mind. We informed the group of leaders that we were worn out from all the traveling and were going to rest for the evening at the hotel. Shortly after the group had left on their journey to dance like Flamingos, our plan was set into motion.

The three musketeers had decided to tour Madrid on their own and experience all that the culture had to offer. Essentially, this meant consuming numerous alcoholic beverages and immersing ourselves in the Spanish nightlife. The plan was immediately put into fruition as we found ourselves a nice little dive bar, and began putting the wheels in motion. This was a small bar that consisted of only a few tables. They served pizza and of course the most important component, liquor. Granted 2 of us were actually not 18 years of age, but the bartender did not seem concerned with this so everything worked itself out. The pizza was consumed, many drinks were had, and the night was starting off with a bang. At that point we realized that none of us had brought any money to pay for these luxuries. I took it upon myself to retrieve the necessary funds to cover our expenses. When I have consumed the sauce, I suddenly gain bounds of energy and can often be found bouncing around. This time was no different. I sprinted the entire way back to the hotel only to realize that I hadn't brought a hotel key with me. Therefore, I needed to sprint back, and do it all over again. Eventually I was able to gain access to the dough in our room, and return to the scene of the crime.

Upon once again arriving at the bar, I was greeted with an odd sight. One of my buddies was playing soccer outside with the children of another bar patron. Keep in mind that we were clearly not in the right state of mind at the time. Apparently that did not matter to this man as he seemed perfectly fine with this occurring. Also, this was at about 11 in the evening, and it seemed odd to see small children playing soccer with drunk fools at a bar at that hour. Inside, my other buddy had started quite the banter with the bartender. I entered the door and joined in on the fun. It was an amazing experience. Suddenly, it seemed that we could speak fluent Spanish. Many topics were discussed with the Spaniards at this bar, including soccer, R.E.M., and America. It felt as if I had learned everything from the Rosetta Stone disks in a matter of an hour. Granted, we were drunk so it is very likely that we were actually butchering the language. However, the bartenders seemed to understand what we were saying, and it all felt natural.

At some point we realized that it was about time to head back to the hotel before the group returned from their excursion. Somehow we successfully returned to our hotel and at that point we had more plans in mind. One of the trio had mentioned our first day in Madrid that he had seen some very attractive "Belgian" girls arriving around the same time we had checked into the hotel. It seemed to be a similar student travel group to ours, but apparently made up of Belgian hooligans. We found it in our best interest to explore this further and bang on their door to see if we could attract their attention. After unsuccessfully attempting to make contact with them for about 20 minutes we found it fruitless and returned to our room where we passed out.

Wait, the story does not actually end there. The three of us had sunken into an apparent comatose state at that point. This was evident as when the girls returned from their dance of the Flamingos they had proceeded to pound on our door for many minutes. Panicked by the fact that we were not responding to their bludgeoning of our hotel door, they went downstairs to retrieve an extra key to our room. The front desk at the hotel must have been on high alert, because they simply handed an extra key to these ladies. They proceeded to storm into our room, and wake us all from our drunken stupor. I still have photos of that scene, as apparently the ladies decided to pick up our cameras and begin a photoshoot. One of the musketeers could barely open his eyes. The girls forced water down each of our throats despite our pleas that it was unnecessary. Therefore we were awakened, when in reality we could have had quite the peaceful sleep that evening.

The next day we met these exotic Belgian ladies that were down the hall from us. After speculating about these mysterious Belgians for the past couple of days, we learned that they were in fact high school students from Philly. Not much different than our initial observation of the situation in my opinion. We held an intellectual conversation amongst ourselves, and then proceeded outbound for the next city in our tour. That next day was not very kind to me, as I was still clearly liquored up that entire morning during bus ride to Sevilla. Upon arriving in Sevilla we explored many great landmarks in the town. Things had begun to turn for me as the alcohol was wearing off, and I was progressively becoming more nauseated. This day was apparently intended to torture me as it included climbing 100 floors of steps in a tower. The day was capped off with a visit to Christopher Columbus' tomb where I uttered a line to my friend that still lives in folklore whenever we see each other. "Dude, I think I'm about to vomit on Christopher Columbus' tomb." Luckily, this did not occur and I was able to maintain my cool. I continued to do so even when our Spanish teacher's husband lifted my hat and stared me dead in the eyes, as I sat slumped on the street while the class visited the markets around them. I was clearly still out of it at the time, and I think he suspected something was amiss. However, I played it cool and stared right back at him until he blinked and moved on. A very successful tactic had been employed. I had simply out-willed him. Thus concludes my second Spanish adventure. More installments to come in the near future...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Debauchery in Espana - Part 1

I think I can make this story into at least a trilogy, and I feel like I'm running out of stories so I need to draw this out as long as possible. During my senior year of high school a group of us took an epic trip to Spain that would forever change our lives. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. There are things that happened there that I'm not necessarily proud of, but I would not take back one moment of that trip. At least I don't believe I would since I can't remember one of the evenings. And so the story begins...

When I began high school I knew that I would like to accomplish was to learn another language. I found that Spanish would be the most useful. Plus French was the only other language offered at my school, and I sure as hell wasn't going to waste my time learning that garbage! There were 3 Spanish teachers at the school, but as I progressed through school I continually had the same teacher. Many of us that were in her class continued on, because she was such a great teacher. By our junior year we discovered that there was actually never a Spanish 4 class offered at the school. We talked to her and convinced her to create a Spanish 4 class so that we could all continue to learn under her tutelage. Essentially, she was our Mr. Feeny.

As our senior year began, we had a brilliant idea during one of our Spanish classes. The class should take an exhilarating trip to Spain! Mrs. Wilkinson, our wonderful teacher, said she would be more than happy to look into the prices and information regarding using a student travel agency for this trip. It all fell into place from there. Unfortunately, not everyone was able to make the trip from our class, but a great majority did. I believe the head count consisted of 3 males and about 20 females. This could only lead to good results one would assume. Mrs. Wilkinson and her husband were the only chaperons for this affair.

Once Spring Break approached we took off on our soon-to-be epic journey overseas. As we were on our flight, an event occurred that would make for a much more intense trip. That day was the day that Iraq was first attacked the the US. The reason I mention this detail is because it would lead to one of the craziest days of my life.

We arrived in Madrid early that next morning. Nobody from our group had an idea of the events that had transpired in Iraq, but we would soon discover this event had in fact occurred. As we exited the subway, and proceeded out the tunnel to downtown Madrid, the group saw a gigantic protest happening in the town square. Signs were held up by angry Spaniards. The one that I will always remember stated in Spanish "We hate Americans, I love Bin Laden." At that point I realized that this was a sticky situation to be in. There we were, with our baggy pants and New Era hats on. The Americans stuck out like sore thumbs. The outcasts took a seat outside at a restaurant and watched the madness ensue. Angry protesters would march by, and upon seeing us start chants that did not sound very friendly. Being the fool that I am, I attempted to join them in some of their hostile chants, though that did not seem to please members of the mob as they passed us.

Eventually we moved on to our hotel, which was amazing. All the hotels we stayed at during our time there were 4 or 5 star hotels. It was truly an amazing experience. That night the group ventured into downtown Madrid to explore the area. We split up into smaller groups and went our own ways. That is the point when things really began to get real. Since some of our crew consisted of the 18+ crowd we were able to secure some alcohol. We were told at the outset of the trip that drinking would not be allowed, but obviously that would not hold up. Quickly a small group of us downed a bottle of vodka. Then the fireworks began. Many of the smaller groups had combined to form a large pack now.

The two other males accompanying me on the trip had gone into a bar to utilize the facilities. While I waited outside with a herd of females I suddenly heard the sound of glass smashing everywhere. A riot had begun in downtown Madrid. People were racing around wildly and bottles were smashing everywhere. As I waited out there I began to hear the sound of police sirens, and the ladies huddled into a large doorway. By large I mean it was huge as there were a good 10-15 of us. Suddenly a brigade of policemen came around the corner and the ladies backed further into the doorway and I was actually gently shoved out into the road in front of them. It's always good to be amongst a group of friends you know will be there for you! As I stood in the road alone I stared at numerous policemen pointing their guns down the street at me. Now, I don't want to sound too dramatic, because I believe they were likely only shooting beanbags at individuals, but it's still not a comforting feeling. Drunk fool I am, I simply raised my hands in surrender. A few moments passed and they continued on their way to find the source of the riot.

Once the other fellows joined us outside, the crew decided it was time to reunite with the chaperons and company. Upon finding them we were all quickly ushered towards the taxis. Each male was assigned a group of ladies to ride in the cabs with back to the hotel. My cab ride back did not seem out of the ordinary though the taxi drivers are menaces to society out on the roads. However, another cab received quite the outspoken cab driver. I was informed they were told something to the extent of, "You OK, Bush..." and he proceeded to give the throat slashing gesture toward them. Luckily, we safely reached the hotel in one piece and our trip could continue. This was only the first night of one of the greatest weeks of my life. The rest is to follow...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Let's Talk About Banana Hammocks!

Where do I even start with this story? I will definitely have to provide a backstory in order to provide some perspective on the entire situation. I went to college to pursue a degree in Sports Business. It was my dream to work for a professional sports franchise, ideally a Major League Baseball team. Sports has always been my passion, and the opportunity to work with something I love was always my main objective. Immediately after graduating from college I partook in an internship with a professional baseball team.

Shortly after that ended I heard from the Arizona Diamondbacks, a major league baseball team, regarding a position I had applied for with their team. They wanted me to come down along with a group of other individuals from around the country to partake in a group interview. A good portion of these candidates would be chosen to work in the front office at various sales positions that were being added on the team. I had never been more excited for an opportunity than I was when I first received this invitation from them. This was a chance for me to live the dream I had always envisioned. There was no possible way that I would blow this opportunity.

Well that turned out to not be entirely true. I have a hypothesis that I intentionally sabotaged myself on this interview, but that's probably nothing more than an excuse. You see at the time of this interview I was in a relationship that was 4 years running. Well, this person was not entirely supportive of my endeavours into the real world. This job would take cause me to move 1500 miles away. This was made painfully clear to me during the few days leading up to the interview. I was out of town for 2 weeks prior to the interview, and had a quick layover back in town on my flight to Phoenix. We met up at the airport during this time, and here is the direct quote that was given to me. "I know you will get the job, because I don't want you to get it." This was not all that was said, but it basically sums up the rest of the discussion. Now, perhaps some may see this as a sign of support. After all, she did say that I would get the job! Needless to say the phone conversations before the interview weren't much more joyful, and were accompanied with tears from the other party. There's really nothing more demoralizing than knowing the person whose opinion means the most isn't supportive of you pursuing your dream. However, this blog is not intended to be sappy, so I will leave it at that and move on. The only reason I included this was to support my sabotage theory. I may have tossed away the job, because I didn't want to risk leaving somebody unhappy that I cared for so deeply. It's hard to put everything you have into something that is simultaneously tearing this person apart.

There were about 30 people that were invited to this group interview. Over half would be receiving offers in the weeks following this set of interviews. The first day of interviews would consist of the group being split into 3 smaller groups. These groups would each be interviewed by 3 heads of departments within the organization. It all began innocently enough, and I provided what I thought to be fairly witty commentary throughout the interview. When I am placed on the spot before a group I will usually resort to making a fool of myself, and utilizing corny wisecracks.

This interview was no different from the usual routine. I felt things were going fairly well at the time. I've always had decent success in interviews. I rarely stress out about situations, and my plan is to simply be myself during the process. I don't try to act the part of a model employee with what people deem to be the ideal attitude in an interview. The way I see it is that I can't go wrong with being myself at an interview. The interviewer will either find my personality a great fit for the position or worst case scenario they will not believe that is the case. In that case the job wasn't meant for me in the first place. It's best to know that ahead of time rather than after I've started the position, and find out that your personality isn't a match for what is expected in the company. I've diverted a bit from the story to mention this, because in this instance being myself most likely cost me my dream job. Though don't forget that whole sabotage thing had a large role in it as well. I don't want to hold myself completely accountable, thank you.

Back to the story at hand. The third department figure to come in to interview our group was the President of Human Resources. She spoke to us for a while about her background and various other subjects. The one thing she said that stuck out to me was that one should go into an interview feeling like they didn't need the job. If you are to do that, then you won't worry about trying to portray this perfect employee that doesn't allow the interviewer see the real you. The irony is that I would shortly attempt this tactic and it would completely backfire on me. However, it may be due to the fact that I took this advice a bit too literally and a little further than she likely intended.

The group interview began with the routine questions. Why do you want to be a part of the Diamondbacks? What would you think of moving to Phoenix? The works, essentially. Eventually, we reached a portion of the interview in which role playing would be involved. Any time I am involved in role playing, it's a dangerous scenario for all parties involved. As I mentioned earlier, I am out to make a fool of myself and try to elicit laughs. The role playing would take place with the person sitting next to us at this interview. The group had been formed into a wide circle in order to perform these scenarios. The first role playing scenario began innocently enough with one partner selling a strange product to their partner whom would play the role of a potential customer. One example of this would be selling a bathing suit to a customer in Alaska. This portion of the role play went off without a hitch. I was doing my thing, impressing the ladies with my incredible charm and wit. Then things quickly took a turn for the worse.

The next scenario involved a customer bringing back in the product they had purchased due to their being unhappy with the item. The "employee" would need to find a solution for them, and help them however they could. I happened to be the customer in this role play, so I would dictate the flow of the conversation. This did not bode well for my partner, and I most definitely threw him a curveball. I began the conversation with the following line, "Hello, I would like to return this banana hammock I purchased last week, please." Now, I'm not entirely sure where the use of the term banana hammock falls within the parameters of things you should not say during an interview. If I had to guess it probably ranks fairly high on that list. At least in the upper 30th percentile of terms that shouldn't be used. If only it had ended at that point. My partner quickly responded, "I'm sorry about that. What seems to be the problem." At this point I could have still recovered and gone about with a mature response that would have been deemed acceptable. As you may have guessed I did not choose this route. "Well, people at the pool have been laughing at me, because my bulge is too small," I informed him. Yes, it's true. I had started to discuss my "bulge" at a professional job interview. Things were turning sour very quickly. Inside my head I was telling myself to stop, however my mouth was working more quickly than my brain could process this mess I was creating. I could see the interview quickly sliding down a slippery slope but it seemed to be too late to turn back now. "I tried stuffing it, but that wasn't very effective either. So, I would just like to return this if at all possible." I'm sure that more dialogue was included during this discussion, but I believe I have touched on the major points involved. The group seemed to get a good laugh, and if I do recall I saw a smile on the interviewer's face as well. I'm still quite certain that this dialogue hurt me in the long run. The group interview continued from there as planned.

That evening I decided to inform friends and family of my blunder. I feel that I laugh at myself more than anyone I know. I believe that everyone needs to have this ability. Things aren't always going to go the way you plan. There's nothing you can do at that point. You can either dwell on a bad situation, or make light of it and move on with your life. I guarantee the latter will lead to a more joyful life. Sure, my dream was shot for the time being, but in that case it just wasn't meant to be. I knew that I would have plenty of other opportunities to fulfill this dream down the line. At least I had an entertaining story to share with the world to show for this blunder. Alright, enough with this preaching. Back to the point at hand. When word reached the ears of a certain significant other, one could instantly notice the tone in her voice change dramatically. Joy had once again filled her body, as she knew there was no possible way that I could recover from this disaster. In a sudden turn of events she was lending words of support. She was damn certain that I was done for, and she had fairly good reason to believe that.

I did go back the next day for the one on one interview. This only took place with one of the three department heads. The woman with whom I had shared my deepest insecurities, did not conduct my individual interview. Whether that can be seen as a positive or negative is debatable. I could have potentially recovered from my mishap, or it could have been incredibly awkward. As I see it, this very well could have gone in two entirely different directions. Once that day was complete, I returned to my paradise back home.

Once I arrived home, I decided to send the obligatory thank you to the interviewers. I literally sat over the keyboard for about an hour pondering whether I should make a comment regarding "the joke." I couldn't decide if there was any possible way to salvage what was left of my dignity. In the end I came to the conclusion that I should leave that portion out of the message. Needless to say I did not receive an invitation to join the organization. I suppose I was never directly told that this banana hammock incident was directly tied to my not having received an offer. However, I find it safe to assume that it played some role in the final decision. When placing two fairly similar candidates together, how often are you going to choose the guy that brought up banana hammocks and his small bulge in front of a group of strangers? I'm afraid that guy simply isn't going to win that battle very often.

The interview was not a complete waste. I received a call shortly after from a member of the Arizona State University Athletic Dept. stating that he had received a recommendation from the Diamondbacks for a position within the athletic department. Perhaps they had decided that I should be amongst my people: other immature fools that would like nothing better to do than discuss their genitalia at inappropriate times. What better place than a university!?! I did end up receiving the position at ASU. I chose not to accept it for certain reasons, but that is irrelevant to this story so I won't delve further into that. Thus ends the story of what may possibly the worst job interview ever conducted.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sneaky as an Elephant

This next story takes place during the summer after my 8th grade year. Big changes had occurred in my life. I was now living in Central Oregon, residing in a quaint town called Redmond. I was an entirely different person as well. That does not indicate that I received a sex change, but my personality was night and day from 6 months earlier. One could say that I had burst from my shell into the spotlight. School was taken less seriously, and I was a much more sociable human being.

The day started with my partaking in a young lady's birthday party. Yes, it's true! I was actually being invited to the parties of females, with numerous in attendance. I was pretty much a big shot at this point. Something had happened in my move from Kansas City to this small town in Oregon. I was the same dorky kid, so I don't think it had anything to do with me. It likely had more to do with the fact that I was seen as the cool kid coming from the big city to this town of about 12,000. Little did they know that I was not cool at all, but I put up a good facade I suppose. It must have had something to do with those amazing Jnco jeans I was rocking at the time. I hear those were a real chick magnet.

So, I attended this party full of ladies whom were having a sleepover as part of the festivities. For some reason the couple of us fellas were excluded from this 8th grade sleepover. I can't figure out a reason for this, but fair enough. I wandered home after an alright party. What can really be expected from an 8th grade birthday party? It was acceptable, but not all too rambunctious. I don't recall much of the actual party, because it was far from memorable. That evening, as I was at my home, I received phone calls from the ladies at the party. For some reason they still wanted to chatter with me about various random things. During the meantime my good friend and I were plotting a plan that was somewhere on par with Operation Valkyrie. It was a bold maneuver for us to sneak out in the depths of the night and scurry back over to this "party." My guess is that we never passed this information along to the ladies, but I'd still like to blame them for what would transpire that evening.

As midnight approached, I made my move to escape from the home. The parents were sound asleep, with their bedroom door open ajar. In order to secure my escape I would have to creep past their room and quietly journey down steps to reach the exit. I took my cordless phone with me on the trek, so that I could contact said friend once I had safely reached the outside perimeter. As I crept down the hall I was very careful to make any noise. It was very much Mission Impossible as I would catch my sweat beads before they hit the turf. I slowly made my motion for the steps. This was the tricky portion of the plan. There were a few steps that would creak when you would step on them. I had to be careful to avoid creating too much sound as I crept down the steps. After what seemed to be 20 minutes I had finally reached my destination at the back door. I slid it open to reveal the fresh scent of freedom. I quickly scurried into the backyard where I proceeded to call my companion, followed by sneakily stashing the phone behind a bush. From there I ran towards the bright lights of the neighborhood street lamps. We met outside his abode which was only a couple blocks away. That is where the journey would begin...

The final destination was a good jaunt from our homes. In approximation it would be about a 30 minute trip to reach the end. However, along the way we would stumble upon obstacles that would only prolong our trip. About 5 minutes in we encountered some other hooligans also wandering around in the midst of the night. They were 4 classmates of ours doing goodness knows what at that hour. One of them was being held up by two of the others. Apparently at some point during their outing 2 of them had somehow collided head first into one another. Well the one being held up was vomiting, and clearly out of it. There was rampant speculation that she had suffered a concussion, so we figured we would take a slight detour and assist them with taking her home. This would take us in a completely different direction than where we were headed, but we figured it was best to make sure she made it home alright. Once we had helped lift her into her bedroom window and gotten her safely inside my friend and I were assured that they would take it from there. So we continued onward. About 30 minutes later or so we finally saw the lights of the home for which we were searching. Once we reached the front of the home, he went around to the side to see if he could get the attention of the ladies while I stayed out front as a sort of spotter I suppose. Not sure what I spotting for, but I would certainly spot something in the next couple minutes. As I stood there waiting for him to return I saw a car approach in the yonder with the headlights trained on me. As they glared in my eyes, I felt a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I couldn't make out the car, yet I knew exactly who it would be...

Defeated, I approached the car with my head slumped. As I got closer my suspicions were quickly realized. Inside, both of my parents were sitting with penetrating stares in my direction. I simply got into the car, and my dad's first question was, "Where's Nick the Dick?" Yes, it's true, he affectionately gave all of my friends nicknames such as this one. "Nick the Dick" was his personal favorite I believe, and he knew that Nick was somehow involved in this. During this time, Nick had caught on to the fact that I had been apprehended. This is his story as to how he made his escape from the situation. How much of it is truth I cannot say, but I'll go ahead and trust his version of events because it sounds like a great adventure. As my parents circled the area searching for him, as my dad was looking to unleash a hell of fury, he did everything in his power to remain out of sight. He rolled across the dark road and hid behind bushes in order to remain hidden. He continued to dodge around the area in the dark, hiding behind whatever objects he could to remain out of the line of vision from this circling Jeep Wrangler. Eventually, he decided to simply make a run for it. From all accounts he made it home before my parents had finally decided to call off the dogs and head home. I say this because my dad still seething at the mouth actually called Nick's parents in order to try to get him nabbed. Turns out he was already chilling in his room by the time they got there. Well played sir.

How had they found out about my late night excursion you ask? Well, it turns out I didn't really cover all my bases before making my stealthy getaway. I actually had a second phone in my room. Yes, they had once again made the mistake of giving me my own phone line. Not only that, but I actually had 2 phones within 10 feet of each other! What a truly absurd notion, as there was absolutely no reason for such nonsense. In all fairness one of them was attached to my Acer (oh yes, top of the line) computer, so it was a pseudo-phone in my opinion. Well, I didn't exactly turn off the ringer on that phone. The ladies at this "party" had decided to continue to try to call back a few more times, not realizing that I had set out on my daring expedition. The ringer awoke my parents, and alerted them to the situation. Apparently my cleverly placed pillows under the blanket were not exactly fooling anybody. Especially since I would have supposedly been comatose as my phone rang off the hook. From there they were able to figure out where I had in all likelihood set out to go. Given our detour on the trip, it gave them an ample amount of time to meet us at the location.

Now to the aftermath. My dad quickly morphed into the Hulk. This is no exaggeration as he literally began throwing things around my bedroom. He picked up my TV and threw it, all of my CD's were snapped in half and flung at me, amongst other things. Needless to say the man did not appear pleased with the lack of thoroughness I had put into my plan. I have not seen him that angry in my life, and the guy has a bit of a temper. Things were getting ugly as I listened to venomous words spewed at me for a good couple hours. Eventually the jury had decided my sentencing and it was not an entirely pleasant one. Basically, the plan was to cut me off from civilization as a whole. Computer out, TV no longer, phone line was finally eradicated (that puppy would never come back), and the house would not be exited for the entire summer. For a week that was pretty awful. However, at that point I had luckily been booked to head to Germany to visit family for the summer. There couldn't have been any possible better timing. Essentially when I returned the summer was over, thereby the punishment had been lifted. The break gave him a couple of months to cool off, so I think at that point the anger had well subsided. Alarms were most certainly installed, and to this day any time a window or door is opened in the house a loud beep echoes throughout the building. I can be thanked for such innovations being brought in to modernize the home. I was just trying to make it a safer place to be. The night was a complete failure as I never even came in contact with the subjects that we had gone through all the work to meet with. Thus ends the story of my failure to rebel against the system.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Class Field Trips = Dangerous

Alright, I don't have the energy to go into a long story this fine day, so I will simply tell a short tale of a class field trip gone wrong. During the 3rd grade my class took a field trip to a farm. I do question why it seems like every class takes this trip to the farm. Honestly, how many kids are all over that stuff these days? As exciting as watching cows get milked can be for some, I personally never really cared for it. Nonetheless, one always welcomed a trip outside the classroom regardless of how boring the potential trip may have been.

Here we were wandering about this farm that was very reminiscent of the one featured in the movie Billy Madison. The class circled the farm like a herd of sheep looking at all the various exciting activities that go on at a farm! Finally it was time to see what seemed to be the main attraction. They did save it for last, and the tour guide was really talking it up. There was a lot of hype going into it, so the class was quite excited to experience this closing act. Well, it turned out to be a barn hayloft. Oh yes, it was terribly exciting. In order to get up to the hayloft the class had to climb up some steps and bales of hay to reach an area that was much like an attic of a barn filled with even more bales of hay. This was the Mt. Everest of barn haylofts. Once the class finally reached the peak, and was safely in the hayloft they asked us to all take a seat on a bale of hay. I saw a bale of hay unoccupied near the entrance that we had just come through. As I approached the bale I called out to my friend, "Hey Jay let's sit over he..." From there I have no recollection of the next 5 minutes or so. I had stepped over or next to the bale of hay and actually fallen out of the hayloft. True story.

I may very well have been unconscious for a few moments. My first memory after the moment right before I took the plunge, is of being slowly picked back up by the woman that was providing the tour. Everything around me was spinning and felt fuzzy for the rest of the field trip. My head was absolutely pounding as I was sat down on the exact same hay bale I had missed before falling from the loft. The more I think about it, it is very possible that I suffered a concussion from this fall. However, the teacher didn't seem terribly concerned about that, so if it did occur it remains undiagnosed to this day. The good news is that I did apparently make it home that day, and in what seemed to be a conscious state. Therefore I was able to turn a seemingly harmless field trip into near disaster.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Enter Awkward Teenage Years...

For this next story we will have to fast forward about 5 years or so. I had just entered junior high school in Kansas City. At that time I had an entirely different personality than I do today. I completely evolved within the span of about 2 years after I had moved to Oregon. This is critical to understanding why I would allow myself to be duped in such a manner.

At the time I was a very shy kid that was always immersed in a book. I had a very serious personality (complete 180 from today) and worked very hard in school. This was likely because I was worried about the consequences if I were to not receive A's down the board. As I would later find out they were not too severe, though getting straight A's was never much of a challenge at that level. Anyway, long story short I was an awkward young child. To go along with this charming personality, I stood at a sturdy 5 feet tall (might be a generous estimate) and was pushing a good 100 lbs. One can safely assume that most young ladies towered over me. Puberty was still somewhere on the horizon, and I'm quite certain 76% of the female population had a lower voice than I did. Needless to say the ladies weren't getting in line to be wooed by this young stallion. I feel it was entirely necessary to explain all of this in order to give some background into this story.

The evening began innocently enough. I was hanging out at home doing whatever it is that a 12 year old does on a school night. Suddenly my private phone line rang. Now why did I have my own phone line in my room? I'm not terribly sure why I had it, as the phone was certainly not blowing up with calls for me. I had a couple buddies that would call it every now and then, but certainly not anything that would require my own line. I've never really been one to talk on the phone much, so I would consider this an error in judgment by the parents. I have diverted a bit off topic, so let's get back to where I left off. I walked swiftly towards the phone and answered the call assuming it was a friend of mine. However, I was shocked to hear that it was in fact the sweet, lovely voice of a female. I was immediately taken aback as this was not a common occurrence for me at the time. "Who could this be?" I wondered.

She stated that her name was Sarah. This did not necessarily narrow down the possibilities much for me, as there seem to be a few Sarahs prancing around the world these days. I was still intrigued and quite frightened that I was on the phone with a female. What should I do in this situation? As my voice crackled into the phone, she explained that she was in my math class and had her very watchful eye on me. "Oh my," I thought to myself. After thinking things through for a few moments I realized there WAS in fact a Sarah in my math class. I had rarely, if ever, spoken to her however. Things were getting very real very quickly.

Panic quickly spread throughout my body as my mind continued to race. How was I to maintain this conversation? Should I bring up a comment about the weather? Perhaps she would have an interest in Goosebumps books as I had quite the wealth of knowledge on the subject. I can't honestly remember what exactly was discussed in the discussion. What I do recall is all this talk of this crush that "Sarah" supposedly had on me and what else. Eventually the banter ended and we parted ways on the telephone.

Later that night, I discussed with a friend this incident of mine that had occurred earlier. Word quickly reached another friend and that is where things turned south. They insisted that we find this girl's number (oh yes, I would not have thought twice to get that during the conversation...I was just focusing on formulating sentences thank you) and give her a call. Now this was all based on the assumption that it was the girl named Sarah from my math class. (Here comes a 90's flash back) We utilized the 3-way calling component on our land lines to contact a source that was friends with said female. He provided the number and we were one step closer. Now, why would I call this Sarah girl to confirm that it was in fact her that had called me earlier? I have no idea. I was a 12 year old with very little logic. I could have certainly waited for class in a couple days and allowed fate to run its course, but this was not the route I chose.

"Sarah's" number was dialed into the phone. My friends would listen on the other line as I spoke with the girl that would answer. I should probably have been suspicious that they were so anxious to listen in, but I suppose it never crept into my mind. They seemed quite supportive of my endeavours, possibly too supportive. A young lady answered the telephone, and immediately I was put to the test. How terribly awkward could I possibly make this call? "Are you the Sarah that called me earlier, and has a crush on me?" I uttered into the phone. It may not have been that exact line, but it might as well have been. "Who is this?" she asked of me in return. I passed along my credentials: name, math class, the works. Sarah seemed very unimpressed with this information, and gave me a big no on the answer. Oh yes, let the humiliation run rampant. I thanked her for her time, and let her be on her way.

I suppose the next time I attended math class could have been more awkward, but I don't see how that could be possible. As the bell rang and I exited the class room, I heard behind me, "Hey, are you the guy that called me this weekend?" Oh yes, it was Sarah amongst a group of her friends. Naturally, since I was not blessed with the ability to effectively lie, I told her it was and giggling was heard behind me as I had turned to walk down the hall.

Shortly after this incident, I moved away so luckily it did not haunt me for years to come. Although they would never confess to the crime, I am still absolutely certain that my ever loyal friends were behind this prank. Twelve year old kids are ruthless I tell you! Thus ends the story of the most awkward telephone conversation that I have ever partaken in, though certainly not the only awkward one I have endured in my day.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Trombone + Nose = Blood

Alright, I have chosen to go G-rated with this first story. We are turning back the clock to the 2nd grade. I had just moved to Kansas City late that summer and was attending my 4th elementary school in 2 years. Therefore I was not terribly familiar with the layout of the school which may have played some role in what would transpire in the upcoming moments, however, I'm not so sure that this would have helped one bit.

The bell had just rung and the class was hustling to get out the door and begin their journey back home. I do not recall what caused me to run a little behind that fateful afternoon, but for some reason I was the last one to exit the classroom. As I made my way out the door to head towards the school bus I did my due diligence to check both ways before entering the hallway. At this point I felt that it was clear for me to venture onward. As I took a step forward to enter the hallway I heard to my left the thunderous footsteps of someone rapidly approaching. I quickly turned to my left and my eyes instantly filled with horror.

Ok, let's take a quick break there to set this vision up. Now, when one is at a tender, young age older children appear to be mammoths in comparison to you. For instance, when I was in 2nd grade a 6th grade student would seem like a 6'2 behemoth whenever one would come around. Relatively speaking, they were much larger than I so it felt that way, but that may have also possibly stemmed from the fact that I was always one of the smaller kids in my classes. I didn't hit a growth spurt until the end of my junior year of high school, but that's a topic for another time. Now that this setup is complete perhaps you can envision the next part of the story.

As I turned to my left I saw a giant girl (we're not necessarily speaking of girth here as opposed to her general size in comparison to me) hurdling towards me at what seemed to be mach speed. The deer staring into headlights effect must have overtaken me, because I stood there motionless watching this all unfold in slow motion. In her right hand she held a very large instrument case. My theory is that she was bustling down the hall to reach her bus on time as she was certainly in quite the hurry. As I stood there she continued to rapidly approach apparently not noticing me in her peripheral vision. Granted, I did not likely see her for that long a period of time, but it seemed an eternity because the little memory I have etched in my brain of this event is all in slow motion as if it were some kind of Sportscenter Top 10 play. As I would shortly discover, inside this instrument case there sat a trombone. At full speed she continued charging forward and proceeded to place a world of hurt on my face. The trombone connected squarely on my nose and sent me sprawling on my back to the ground. There I would lie with blood gushing out of my nose until my teacher saw me from inside the classroom. I looked like 50 Cent as I laid there crumpled in the fetal position surrounded by a pool of blood. The only thing missing were numerous bullet holes. Once the teacher arrived she assured the girl she could continue home, and the giant was on her way.

From here on my memory is a little fuzzy, but from what I can recall our classroom was out of any Kleenex or anything that I could use to plug my nose. We wandered around the hallways trying to find a classroom that would have some Kleenex so I could stuff them up my nostrils and proceed on my way home. All the while the blood continued to seep from my nose. Finally, we discovered a room that contained the materials needed to stuff the nose and I was on my way. They had notified the bus driver of the situation, so they had waited around a bit longer in order for me to catch the bus. Thus the bus was the last to leave the lot and I boarded it with my nostrils stuffed to the brim with Kleenex as each child glanced curiously to the front. Finally, the bus left the station and took us on our way home, and thus concludes the story of how I had my clock cleaned by a trombone wielding maniac.

The beginning...

*warning* This will likely be the most boring, potentially serious post ever done on this blog. Feel free to pass by it unless you want to know the history behind it.

I suppose I will start out with detailing what this blog will be about, and why I have decided to create it in the first place. The current plan for this page is to essentially tell all the embarrassing and humorous tales of my life up to this point. Could it occasionally stray from this topic? Absolutely, but at this current juncture in time that is the plan. How many stories I can create basically decides how long I can continue down this route. I do have a fair share of humiliating stories to provide the world, so it is entirely possible that I will be able to provide a decent amount of fodder for the site.

Now you might wonder why I would want to create a site basically humiliating myself endlessly. That's a fair question. I have always enjoyed writing, and have tried to use various outlets to do so, even resorting to using work emails. Therefore I wanted to create something in which I could try to put my creativity to good use. A sports blog sounded like a good idea, but I didn't want to put in the constant effort of finding sports stories out there that would be required to make a quality sports blog. So I thought, "What can I write about in which the material would come easily and I could still have fun writing about it?" The easy answer is of course myself, but I didn't want it to be a boring page rambling on about my daily life and random subjects. I enjoy injecting humor into my writings, so I figured what's more funny than embarrassing childhood stories? Absolutely nothing if you ask me. Everyone has them and can relate to them. That being said mine may occasionally go over the top, in fact, I am not afraid to post any story which you will likely soon notice if you choose to continue reading these ramblings.

Another reason for this blog is that I'm hoping to give people a little glimpse inside me. Those that know me are aware that I'm a very outgoing person that really doesn't have much of a filter. However, when it comes to talking about myself or, even worse, emotions I pretty much shut down. I would compare it to the mysterious guy that shows up out of the blue on some kind of teen drama like 90210 and nobody knows about his past. They inquire about his past and he gives vague answers and of course shoots mysterious glances into the distance while providing these vague answers. That is basically how I react to these subjects. I might throw in a joke that leaves people wondering whether what I said actually happened or if it's all a joke. Now, on TV shows this shtick often works in the guy's favor as the ladies seem to dig the ultra mysterious persona, but it doesn't seem nearly as effective for me. I've always been able to express myself better on paper, so maybe this is a way to open up a bit to those that know me. We shall see if this truly has that kind of effect.

The final reason is that it seems like these kind of blog deals are making big blockbuster hits these days. I'm just saying...Hollywood writers are running out of solid movie/TV ideas, and they seem to find memoirs or a collection of writings a great movie script these days. Just think about it. Lately we've had Sex and the City, that Shopaholic movie, Marley and Me, that movie about the lady that blogged about cooking somebody else's recipes, amongst other movies and shows. Perhaps this collection of writings will be so eloquent and magnificent that a beautiful woman falls in love with the writer of such brilliant, inspirational words. She contacts the writer of these great stories and wonders if they could meet sometime over a cup of coffee. The blog writer informs her that he does not drink coffee, however he would be willing to speak over a nice glass of orange juice. It turns out they are a perfect match, their love blossoms, and the rest is history. The writer of this blog writes about this ever growing love and their funny stories together on his blog for the world to see. A prestigious Hollywood director stumbles upon the site after receiving someone's recommendation he check it out and reads about this great story of triumph. The director quickly realizes that this is an excellent idea for a movie and contacts Warner Bros. immediately about the idea. I'm just throwing it out there. This could be the beginning of an amazing movie script. I'm quite certain that Ashton Kutcher is already lining up to play the lead role of the charming, boyishly handsome blog writer with a cunning sense of humor. I'll let you decide whom should play the lead female character. Oh yes, this could most certainly be a big moneymaker. I am quite certain that is how this will all turn out. It is only a matter of time in my opinion.

Well that brings about an end to this first entry here. The stories will begin very shortly. I have many of them queued up in my mind, but I am still deciding which ones I want to throw out first. Don't want to go with the heavy hitters right off the bat and have them progressively get worse. Yet, I don't want to go too soft at the beginning either. So there is still much to be determined, but I assure you the madness will begin very shortly. If you actually hung in there for this entire somewhat boring post I salute you, and assure you that from here on out they will be much more interesting. Goodbye now...