Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday Funday: Take Back Your WHOLE Weekend

Weekend lovers of the World Unite! Take back Sunday, I say!

It no longer needs to be the second worst day of the week behind Monday. You all know what I mean. That dark shadow that begins to set in on Sunday afternoon sometime, and grows darker as the sun goes down. The dread of the impending Monday. The end of another weekend.

But it doesn't HAVE to be that way. Introducing a revolutionary way to stretch your weekend to the limits: Sunday Funday.

What is Sunday Funday, you ask? Well, let me tell you. It's pure awesomeness packed neatly into the twilight of your respite from work. The idea is quite simple, really, and makes me wonder why it didn't exist during my childhood, when Sundays involved a pot roast dinner with the entire family, and sometimes neighbors as well.

Don't get me wrong. I loved those Sunday afternoon/evenings with my family. But since I have the typical nuclear family lifestyle these days, Sundays spent at large family gatherings isn't the norm.

So, a few months ago, I was introduced to the Sunday Funday. And I'm not looking back.

The basic rules of Sunday Funday are simple. There are no rules. Other than you can't talk about work. Or school.

It seems that having a few cocktails on a Sunday afternoon can lead to some benefits. As Tammy, one of the founders of our particular Sunday Funday gang says, the best part is how brutally we honest we all are with each other. Rena, another original member of our group, said that it's not completely different from a family gathering on a Sunday. "We get to hang out and be ourselves with the people we love." 

Or, put in a less delicate by another founding member (who wishes to remain anonymous), "Sex talk." I don't know HOW it happens, but every Sunday Funday the conversation goes into this normally taboo Sunday subject in most Midwestern towns. But with our group, it's just become a chance to share information that may prove useful someday, if any of us ever are lucky enough to get lucky, if you're picking up what I'm dropping down. It's like a support group, really, for sex-deprived drunks.

Yes, if you hang out with MY Sunday Funday gang, you usually end up having conversations that would make your mother blush. Or in my case, send me The Text. Luckily for us, these conversations don't leave the group, other than the wait staff or bartenders in ear shot, and they're usually either laughing, joining in our risque conversation, or both. Many times we even receive a thanks from our servers for making their Sunday at work less boring.

Our group has also become fond of a particular shot as our signature Sunday Funday drink, which was introduced to me by my friend, Jean. Pancakes & Syrup, aka Pancake Batter. For those of you who'd like to play along at home, the shot is 1/2 Jamison, 1/2 Butterscotch Schnapps, with an Orange Juice chaser. Trust me. Try it on a Sunday afternoon. If you want to spice it up a little, add a bacon strip at the end. No that's not a shot. I mean a strip of bacon. You're welcome.

When I miss a Sunday Funday, I always feel bad. And I usually receive a bajillion text messages from the participants asking me where I'm at and when I'll be there. And I'm usually receiving play-by-plays from multiple attendees, which makes for an interesting game of "piece these texts together into a story that makes any sense."

Now I need to remind you...there are no rules. So whether you create a Sunday Funday group that would prefer coffee and board games, or a Sunday Funday group that does Jaegerbombs and goes to the strip club, create whatever it is that makes you happy and find others who want to join you. And stop letting Sunday slowly take your weekend soul away.

Fight back! Find your own version of Sunday Funday!

Because let's face it, most times Monday mornings really suck, so does it really matter if you deal with it hungover? Or, for that matter, with the faint smell of cheap stripper perfume?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Interwebzless in Inver Grove Heights

I dare you to shut off your interwebz.

Pull the plug for a day. Or two. Or deal with it like I did for 8 days in a row.

It's hard for me to explain the withdrawal I experienced. Considering the fact that 20 years ago, I didn't even know what email or cell phones were. Ok, well cell phones existed, but they were the size of a small puppy, and caused you to grow tumors the size of grapefuits in your head.

But I digress. The point is, for the last week, I felt like I was forced to not wear underwear, deodorant, or wash my privies. And sport a unibrow.

Life without interwebz, and by interwebz I mean on a machine that is bigger than 3 x 5 inches, is rough, yo. I feel like I just pretty much went through the equivalent, technology-wise, of growing up in Compton, CA with a mom who insisted I wear red, white and blue to school every day.

My battle with Comcast was far from epic, but I won. I refused to pay them for coming out to fix my internal line. Whatever that meant.

When the Comcast technician arrived today, he figured it out within seconds. "You have loose connections to your modem, which led them to put a filter on your line that kept you from accessing the internet."


"They detected a leakage on your line from loose connections, so they put a filter on your line that shut off those leaks, and made it necessary for me to come out and visit you."

My only question was basic. Why didn't the 18 customer service reps I dealt with so far know this fact?

"Sometimes our maintenance guys are bad about logging their work in the system."


So someone at your company didn't follow through on their job, and therefore I got to try and guess for over a week why I didn't have internet access?

There was even a tag on my cable hookup that told the technician that was what happened.

"Why didn't the maintenance guy tell the customer service rep this information, which would have saved me a wasted trip to switch out cable modems?" I asked.

"Um...let's check your connection speed now that I have it set back up," he replied.


I live by it in my daily life. With my sons not doing their homework. With my employees not doing their jobs (which fortunately is much more rare than my sons not doing their homework). With my own self. I do hold myself accountable these days. Wasn't always the case, but something happens when you get over the age of 40, you start to realize you're the one to blame, nobody else.

So, me, the guy who refused to have a cell phone when it was cool, and the guy who still refuses to cave to the notion that the only good TV is a flat one, is now saying quite definitively that living without the interwebz is not a good thing. It's counter-productive.

And it's not just my Facebook addiction saying that. I couldn't manage my bank account like I wanted to. I couldn't reply as easily to important emails. I couldn't easily write a blog, unless it was a haiku.

I was ready to throw my phone against the wall every day for not performing like my laptop, and a home interwebz connection could.

So imagine my delight tonight when I had an awesome Comcast technician finally fix my interwebz.

It was only sullied by the fact that my phone decided to stop taking a power charge from any of my three chargers. Goodbye mobile interwebz, hello real interwebz.

So, while the last week has meant you could easily find me via text message, now you'll have to switch to commenting on my Facebook statii (plural of status, no?) to get my attention. I don't think I'll get another text message for at least 31 days, given my history with corporate technology giants.

So, just remember this when you're trying to contact me. Try text/email/phone/smoke signals. Or else I may just miss your message.

Oh and morse code on telegraph works too.

--. ..-. -.-- /  ...- . .-. .. --.. --- -.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Swift Kick to the Balls, and a Wake Up Call

"But if you wanna leave, take good care. Hope you have a lot of nice things to wear. There's a lot of nice things that turn bad out there." _ Cat Stevens

What a wild world it can be, this life of dating and relationships. The hardest part after the initial ending of a relationship is finding out that your ex has found someone new. And that she is enjoying it.

It's the emotional equivalent of having someone take over your job and doing it better than you did. "Johnson, we miss you, but our productivity and profits are up since we hired two offshore employees to do your job at half the salary!"

Perhaps a better analogy is a swift and hard kick to the balls. 

This weekend I had that moment. My phone began blowing up Sunday morning, with friends telling me that the Now Ex-Lady Friend® had posted a picture on Facebook of her and her new man friend.

I wasn't prepared for this moment. Fortunately for me, I am no longer Facebook friends with the Now Ex-Lady Friend®, so I didn't have to see this photo myself. (Of course it was only a matter of time until someone kindly sent me the picture). 

Now perhaps at this point you're like any one of my friends or family members who tell me to ignore it. To move on. To let it, and the memory of the Now Ex-Lady Friend®, go. And I agree in principle. I should not let this bother me in the least.

But principle and practice are two very different beasts. One is the theory, the other is reality, and unfortunately, my reality just couldn't stomach seeing her smiling face, his arm around her, and her hand grabbing at his abs, pulling him closer into her.

This was the woman who just two months ago was in San Diego with me, saying goodbye.

And now she was kicking me in the nuts, though not intentionally, I'd imagine, via Facebook.

She had only posted one or two pictures of us on Facebook in the 16 months we were together. She always said she wanted to remain private about her private life.

And here the Now Ex-Lady Friend® was, proclaiming to her Facebook friends that she had found someone new. Someone better. Someone worth posting a picture of on Facebook. Someone worth proclaiming "Here is my awesome man."

I was never that awesome man. I was never the one she bragged about to her friends for all the flowers I sent for no special occasion. I was never the one she said "I have to be with him." I was never the one who made her think about changing her life path over. I was never "HIM."

And after the dull ache in my stomach dissipated, I realized something else. She wasn't "HER."

Sure I may have thought she was the one for me. I may have thought that we'd grow old together, listening to music, laughing at inside jokes, making meals together, and making fun of one another's silly little quirks.

But as I looked at the picture, I didn't see "HER" anymore. I saw someone I didn't recognize. Someone who wasn't the woman I knew. Someone who had found a different path in life to make her happy, and was happy enough to proclaim it to the Facebook world.

And I realized that someone who could do that was either 1) not being honest with me in the first place, 2) not being honest to themselves now, or 3) both. It was my wake up call, FINALLY!

It's a bittersweet feeling, knowing that she is not "HER." On one hand, I get sad trying to figure out if I even knew the real Now Ex-Lady Friend®. And on the other hand, I get joy knowing that at least I've moved on, closed that door, and am slowing beginning my journey to find "HER" all over again. 

It's a slow journey though, which is why in the interim I find dates with midgets and 80's music lovers to pass the time. Since becoming single, I have yet to even kiss a woman good night. I'll go slowly, and deliberately, and hopefully she will make herself known.

She's out there. I know it. And I look forward to the day I find HER.