Friday, 27 February 2009

Phone it in Friday: Five Best-est

Happy Friday, friends! What d'ya say you make a list for us of the five best anything you want. Five best movies, breakup songs, beers, vacation destinations, comic books, blogs, zoo animals, ANTM contestants, female book heroines, Firefox add-ons, TV theme songs, breakfast foods, ways to spend a rainy day. Anything you want! Teach us something good.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Show me that smile again (oooh, show me that smile)

A few weeks ago, I had the stomach flu and spent all of Sunday in bed watching America's Next Top Model. The next day, I moved to the sofa and spent much of the day watching Very Special Episodes of The Biggest Loser and emailing Heidi to tell her I was recording them. Because that was something she NEEDED to know ASAP.

This week, I've come down with The Ohio Crud, which is what an actual doctor called it a couple of years ago. It's a cold, really, but comes as a result Ohio's ever-changing weather. For you see, it may be 20 degrees one day, but the very next day could be a balmy 60. That's just how we roll here in Ohio. Learn it, live it, love it. Buy some tissues.

A few of my coworkers had it last week, and so I was all, "WHY DO THEY KEEP COMING TO WORK IF THEY'RE SICK? I'M GONNA GET SICK, I JUST KNOW IT AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Ahem. And then this week, I was all, "I don't have enough PTO to be taking time off just because I feel like my head might explode from THE PRESSURE THE PRESSURE OH GOD THE PRESSURE," and so I tried to go to work but that sucked so I went home sick.

Anyway. Since a lot of you probably have some version of The Crud yourself and you MAY have even taken a couple days off work, you're probably in need of some entertainment. Never fear, for now I shall give you: The Five Best TV Show Marathons to Have When You're Sick.

1. Reality Show Jackpot

This happens when you're flipping channels, only to come across a marathon of some sort of reality show. It can't be too stimulating -- stay away from things like The Amazing Race that might raise your heartrate too much. Stick with things like America's Next Top Model, Top Chef, Jon and Kate Plus 8, What Not to Wear, or The Biggest Loser. These are all good options because when Bravo or whatever is showing one episode, chances are they're showing about 15 more right afterward. Plus, The Biggest Loser is way inspirational and may even motivate you to make that long trek to the kitchen for more hot tea.

2. 80s Show/TGIF Nostalgia Time!

Perfect Strangers. The Wonder Years. Cheers. Growing Pains. Mr. Belvedere. Full House. Family Matters. Who's the Boss? Charles in Charge.

I mean, come on. Watch this and tell me you don't feel better already:

3. Lost

Even if you weren't all hopped up on cold meds, it STILL wouldn't make sense, so why NOT watch it? Other confusing options: The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4. Arrested Development

There's nothing quite like watching the Bluths to make you feel better about yourself, even if you're unshowered and unbra-ed, smell like Vicks Vapor Rub, and have dried chicken noodle soup broth caked all over your shirt. At least you're not this guy:

5. Pride & Prejudice

I'm not talking about Kiera Knightley, here, I'm talking about the A&E Pride & Prejudice miniseries starring none other than: Colin Firth. In fact, when I told my mom I was home sick and that it was OK because I needed to do research for this list ANYWAY, she was all, "Well, you know what the best TV show to watch when you're sick is, don't you?" and I was all, "What?" and she was like, "Pride & Prejudice DUH." It's true. The best part is, it's five hours long so you won't have to move from the sofa unless you need more 7-UP.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

5 Best Cartoons I Watched After School.

My intention was to write you a thoughtful analysis of the effect each of these 5 best cartoons I watched after school had on my development as a woman, lawyer, and all-around human being, but work is nomming me alive. So no thoughtful analysis for you.


5. DuckTales

4. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers

3. Animaniacs

2. Tiny Toon Adventures

1. The Powerpuff Girls

Your turn! What were your favorite after-school cartoons?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Five Best Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors

Recently, I received an email in my work inbox inviting me to a national conference. I get a lot of these because national conference is code word for trade show where lots of people try to sell me things and I string them along in true Schilbo fashion getting as much free stuff as I can before peacing out. Good fun. But this "national conference" was different. See, Ben and Jerry are headlining it. I actually want to meet them and not just their free stuff!

Of course, I want the free stuff too because Ben and Jerry (or B and J if you're feeling dirty) make my favoritest ice creams. Without further ado, the Five Best Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Flavors:

Half Baked
Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with Fudge Brownies & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Phish Food
Chocolate Ice Cream with Gooey Marshmallow, a Caramel Swirl & Fudge Fish

Coffee Heath Bar Crunch
Coffee Ice Cream with Chunks of HEATH® Bar Crunch (made with Fair Trade Certified™ coffee)

Karamel Sutra
A Core of Soft Caramel Encircled by Chocolate & Caramel Ice Creams & Fudge Chips
One time, I tried to recreate the caramel core. With the help of several very creative friends, we melted and drizzled and drilled the caramel at least three different ways and still were unable to replicate the genius consistency of the caramel core of this ice cream. Do not take it for granted.

Stephen Colbert's AmeriCone Dream

Vanilla Ice Cream with Fudge Covered Waffle Cone Pieces & a Caramel Swirl

I sadly haven't tried every Ben and Jerry flavor (because I can't help but buy the ones I already love so much), but I think I might try a few more. And since we're on the general topic, my favorite ice cream flavor is coffee and my favorite ice cream toppings are fudge, caramel, marshmallow goo, and cookie dough. (And I'm not a big fan of fruit in my ice cream.) Also, I LOVE LOVE LOVE those by-the-ounce yogurt places because I can add as many favorite toppings AS I WANT.

If you're as passionate as you should be as I am, you might want to consider joining Ben and Jerry's ChunkSpelunker Club. Perks include:

  • You’ll receive ChunkMail, our version of an email newsletter. We
    only send ChunkMail when we have something flavorful to say, about once
    a month.

  • You will be the first to know about new flavor avenues we’re traveling.

  • You’ll receive invitations to special events if they’re happening in your area.

  • You’ll gain “back stage pass” access to web site chats, games, and contests.

  • If you get selected, we’ll even look to you as an Honorary Flavor
    Judicator or Flavor Cultivator to help us concoct some crazy ice cream

  • We’ll have a monthly drawing for a chance to win a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

A year's supply!! Now, sign up. I'll just be over here convincing my boss that I need to go to this conference.

Monday, 23 February 2009

5 Best Junk Foods

heather I'm phoning it in so hard today. Forgive me. I'm up to my eyeballs in paperwork and I'm still not over the Strep Throat From Hell.

5) Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
4) Tom's Hot Fries (I think you can only get these things if you live in the southeast, but mmm... boy.)
3) Coca-Cola Classic
2) Fresh chocolate chip cookies from Tesco. (UK only)
1) Honey-Bun cupcakes, 2 pack (Jamaica only)

List your favorite junk foods? Go!

Friday, 20 February 2009

Phone it In Friday: Whatcha readin'?

We feel pretty proud of ourselves this week on account of we've reviewed books spanning several centuries and artistic mediums, and we've done it even though we're jet-lagged, and being eaten alive by our jobs, and laid up with the fucking flu.

Now it's your turn to review: Tell us what you've been reading!

Also, you can be our friends on GoodReads if you want reviews in real-time. (Jennie! Kat! Abigail! Heather! Anne!)

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Jennie I have this problem. Well, I have several problems, but only one of them is pertinent to this week's topic. I have a book addiction. In a perfect world, I would be reading all the time. ALL THE TIME. This isn't so much, what's the word, REALISTIC, but it's my wish nonetheless. I would still want to be doing other things, but if I could read while doing them (and pay attention to both equally, of course), that'd be awesome. Awesome, I say.

My book addiction means I often find myself in a bookstore with an armful of books, even though I know I have a stack of unread books at home. I'm not allowed to go to the library anymore, because I have too many books at home I'm already not reading, and I don't get fined for those. I'm also not allowed to buy any more books at the bookstore until I've finished the books I have at home. This means I haven't really been going to the bookstore, because I'm incapable of entering a bookstore and NOT buying a book. That would be crazy.

You know when you go to the pet store? And all the puppies are staring at you from inside their tiny, sad little cages? And you think, "I'll just get one out to play with. I can't get a dog, though. I can't. But it's nice of me to play with the puppies, yes? Yes." And you play with the puppy for a while and you think, "I'm going to have to take this dog home now," and then you take the dog home and live happily ever after? That's like me and books at the bookstore. Although, you really shouldn't be buying your puppies from pet stores, but I understand the impulse. Pet stores are bad for puppies, but it's not the puppy's fault, so BY ALL MEANS, take the puppy home. DO IT. I mean, I try to buy all my books from used bookstores, but it doesn't always happen. Sometimes I find myself in a Borders and pay full price because those books deserve homes, too, ya know?

Where was I? OK. Yes. I'm not allowed to buy anymore books. But sometimes I don't want to read the books I have at home because I'm not in the mood for those books. You can't just read a book that will make you cry until you can't see the words on the page when you really want to read a book that will make your sides ache with laughter. It just wouldn't be right. So if I don't feel like reading my own books and I'm not allowed to buy any new books, that leaves me with one option: borrow them from other people. Or steal them, but I'm not really all about going to prison. Although. I'd probably have lots of time to read in prison. BUT I DIGRESS.

Back when I first started dating Joe, Heather Anne made me a comic book starter kit and IN SAID KIT, she included an issue of Owly. Owly is the cutest little owl you'll ever see in your life. See? Told you. Owly is totally adorable and sweet and BEST OF ALL, there are no words, just pictures, so you can blow through an issue in like 5.5 minutes. Or longer, if you're a slow looker. Anyway. A couple of weeks ago, Joe was getting a box of books together to sell and I was all, "HOLD ON LET ME LOOK AT THOSE," because getting rid of books makes my heart sad, even when they're not my books. I stole some books from the box and then Joe was all, "Hang on, I need to give you something else!" and he dug through a bookshelf to produce: an Owly book. A whole book! I thought it only fitting that my review of the book include no words (these words and all the other words I just spewed all over the place don't count), so, with Joe's help (meaning: he drew this), here is my (wordless) review of Owly:


Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Heights isn't just a crappy 90s television series.*

Borrowing from a quote that I will most likely incorrectly attribute to Green Day, I am a walking contradiction. Despite the fact that I will judge everyone and everything at all times, I do like to keep an open mind. And so it is that though I might hate a person, place, or thing, I'll always give it another go. Eventually.

Now, I know this is beyond many people's realm of comprehension; I know a fair number of people who know what they do not like and stick to their guns No. Matter. What. But I was once the girl who hated cheese, and now by golly just you try to get between me and that hunk of Jarlsberg. Up until I met my boyfriend nearly a decade ago I swore I'd never drink brown liquor, and now by golly just you try to get between me and that bottle of whiskey. And just until a year or two ago I hated lamb, but the day before we left for London I made lamb sliders for dinner, and the day after we returned from London I made lamb chops for dinner.

But there are some things that have not gotten any better with age. My disdain for celery, for instance, remains intact no matter how many times I sneak a stalk with my buffalo wings. And Wuthering Heights is another. Because make no mistake about it, I LOATHE this book.

I'm twice as old and (at least) thrice as experienced as I was when first I read this, and so it seemed as good a time as any to give Miss Bronte her second chance. I know her life was short and sheltered, and how in her own limited way she struggled against the conventions that presumed to define her and the role in both family and society at large she could play. I get that. Moreso, I APPRECIATE that. So with that in mind I began this book fully prepared to have a change of heart, but three chapters in I realized that despite my best efforts if anything I hated it even more. Without going in to further details because (1) you've all probably already read it in high school, and (2) I swear to God my head will explode from THE RAGE if I think about it too much, I truly and honestly believe more than I ever believed in anything in this or any universe that every single character got what they sowed throughout their lives and died far too sweetly than they deserved. Detestable, one and all.

So, out of a possible five stars this book gets a whopping ONE. And I just want to be clear: the only reason that I am giving Wuthering Heights one star is so that you know I've read it and wholeheartedly condemned it. Think of it as leaving the Worst Waitress in the World a 5-cent tip; you just want to make sure she knows that you didn't just forget.

(And no, I'm not judging you for liking it.)**

*My apologies to anyone who has already read this review on Goodreads. But if I have to read your status messages on both Facebook and Twitter, you can bear with me both here and there. Alas, such is the nature of social networking.

** Okay, yes I am.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

i'm a cheater

So. I haven't read any books in a while. I can definitely blame this on two things. One, I've been working a lot. Two, I've been playing a lot of video games in the time I haven't been working. So unless you want a review of the Nintendo Wii Quick Set-up Guide or Jacob's TwoP American Idol Recaps, I don't have anything to give you. So, I'm going to do the next best thing. I'm going to give you a pre-review!

I haven't read this book. But I beat all the odds and successfully checked it out from the library. And when it is due on Friday, I will log on and renew it! And someday soon I just might read it! Please, hold your breath.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

I'm going to read this because Peefer, Ashley, AND Lindsay rated it four stars or higher on Goodreads. Peefer said:

When you know the Titanic is going to sink, but you still crave for the lovers to live happily ever after (even if they're silly teens), what's that called? It's some sort of denial or delusion, anyways. Or romance. Same thing I suppose.

ANYWAYS ... Ann Patchett pushed my D button so much it started feeling nice and tingly, so I just let her push it more. She was even so bold as to get meta on us and expand on convincing ourselves to believe that which is foreknown to be impossible. Or something. So, for engaging me from end to beginning to end, kudos to Ann!

My only complaint was the occasional surreality in ambiance (e.g. singing for one's life? Singing? SINGING?!), but I'm no expert on being held hostage so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt. Also, too many characters, but please, take that with a grain of salt: the introvert in me does not like crowds."

Peefer, I love stuff with too many characters! Also, thanks for writing my post for me!

Monday, 16 February 2009

That is vodka and I mixed it with orange juice. I call it an orange-vod-juice-ka!

heather My nightstand these days is littered with books about foreign policy and the sociology of war on account of some policy papers I've been commissioned to write, and see how you went to sleep just there when I was talking about it? Yeah, well we're getting our book review on this week at The Collective, and I realized the only way you can sit through a review of any of those books is if: a) You are a geek like me. Or b) You are completelytrolleyed . And then I thought: Dude, of course; review a book about liquor! Which works out well because I've been practicing liquor anyway!

There is a little talked about secret at the Collective called: I am not particularly well-versed in the ways of alcohol. It's never been an issue, really, until I got a super huge crush on every-liberal's girlfriend, Rachel Maddow. See, because one time she told New York Magazine that if she could have any job in the world, she'd try to find a way to professionally bully people about what they drink. She's kind of the go-to drink mixer among the media liberal elite.


So, just in case I ever have to try to impress Rachel Maddow, I bought Bartending for Dummies. Don't be embarrassed for me; I own shelves of those For Dummies books. (The yoga and guitar ones work; the one about training Beagles does not.)

The thing I like about For Dummies is that it assumes you won't be insulted if it takes you by the hand and explains stuff like you are an actual moron. I mean, you obviously don't care if people treat you like an idiot, right? You bought a bright yellow book basically admitting as much.

It's like: "This is what a wine glass. Wine goes in here." Plus, it has all these tables about how much whatever you should buy to serve however many people, and charts about what liquors mix well together. Also, there's trivia so you can impress your friends with how smart you are about rum, and a tip that's like, "And when you share these fun facts pretend you learned them in Jamaica, instead of in a book for imbeciles."

Bartending for Dummies gets five stars from me because it's a good teacher, plus also it serves as a reminder that there has been mass failure of American economic institutions before, and the whole country got through it with booze.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Phone It In Friday: Of course we'll be your Valentine!

What? Oh, you weren't asking us to be your Valentine? Just as well, I guess. Our hearts belong to puppies (and kittens) anyway.

Who would you like to ask to be your Valentine? Go on. Don't be shy. Do it in the comments. (Heh. Do it.)

Also, don't forget: Half-price chocolates on Sunday!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

You choo-choo-choose me?

Jennie You know how some women talk a lot about their biological clocks ticking? I don't mean real women because I've never heard a real woman say anything like that. I mean, romantic comedy women. And I suppose there are some real women out there who might say it. Sad women who hang Cathy comics on their refrigerators and think about their womb vacancy all day long. I don't know any of these women, do you? Anyway, MY POINT IS (yes, I have one), I have never understood that whole biological clock thing. My thing is, I like babies that I know, and I'm assuming I'll like my own baby when and if I ever have one, but babies as a group? Assholes. All the screaming and the pooping and the constant need for attention? No, thank you. You guys. When my sister was a baby, she woke up with a dirty diaper one morning and wiped poo on the walls! Do I feel a deep, biological need to clean poo off the walls? No. No, I do not.

But I digress. It's almost Valentine's Day and we're supposed to be talking about the love, not the poo. While I don't understand wanting a baby NOW-NOW-NOW (this is not to say I never will, I just don't, you know, NOW), I do understand the need to have something small around to cuddle every now and then. My cat will not let me cuddle her because she is eeeeevil. Like the fru-its. Of the deviiiiil. Seriously, she is spawn of Satan, you guys.

This is why I chose the following for my Valentine(s):


My need (yes, NEED) for a puppy is growing stronger and stronger, and I could blame it on The Puppy Bowl:

but I won't, or I could blame it on the head-tilting pugs:

but I won't, or I could blame it on The Daily Puppy:

OMG Mugsey the pug!

but I won't, or I could blame it on puppies who love elephants:

but I won't, and I also won't blame it on my aunt for breeding her Labs 80 bajillion times when I was in high school and letting me come over to play with them and OH MY GOD YOU GUYS have you ever played with 11 tiny puppies at once? I highly recommend it.

We aren't allowed to have dogs in our apartment, which is probably good because otherwise I would have tried to adopt all the dogs on Petfinder by now. I'm trying to talk Joe into fostering dogs from SICSA but he's afraid he'll get too attached and want to keep the dog and I'm all, "is that really the worst thing in the world?" So until he gives in, he'll just have to deal with me screaming, "PUPPY!" every time I see a dog anywhere ever.

So, yes, puppies of the world. I choo-choo-choose you.

you choo choo choose me?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Congratulation. For what? I don't know. Happy Valentine!

I thought long and hard (twss) (also, lies) about whom I should ask to be my Valentine, which is riDONKulous because I happen to live with my long-term live-in boyfriend and look, isn't he handsome?

Speaking of handsome, I also live with a cat who would make a damn fine Valentine.

STILL speaking of handsome, check out Tom Poti. He's my favorite Washington Capital and an excellent Valentine's candidate. He's also already dressed in red, which is totally convenient.


Heck, you know what? I'd ask the entire sold-out crowd at the Verizon Center if it didn't make me a complete slut. 19,000 Valentines is a little much, even for me, but oh do I love those crazy bastards.

rock the red

Hell, who am I kidding? I am a total slut (more lies). AND I leave for London tonight. I think I'm gonna snog the whole damn city.


Happy VD!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

You've Lost That Loving Feeling

Last year I swore my love
to that burrito from above

and while I still can't get enough
of chicken and rice and guac fluff
I must admit to another sweetheart
The latest, greatest version of tart
Oh, Pinkberry Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt
I can't help but gush and flirt
You're so delicate with your pink swirls
You could never make me hurl
I love you for breakfast and even lunch
I love you for dinner, I love you a whole bunch
If I'm too full for Chipotle, you are where I dine,
Pomegranate, will you be my valentine?

Monday, 9 February 2009

A Double Shot at Hope

heather This week at the Collective we're supposed to be asking someone special to be our Valentine. It should be a snap for me because my very best gift is that I fall in love all the time -- with people and TV shows and movies and vacation destinations and books and writers and basketball players and secret agents and noisy puppies and tiny pigs and cheeses and little kids and television recaps. Only, this year, things are a little different. See, well...


Happy Love Day anyway.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Phone it in Friday: Punch it. Punch it good.

It's a pretty good day here at The Collective. FRIDAY. Also, we all got the week off, which is good because Kat! was getting ready for London and Abigail! was working 14 hour days and Heather! Anne! was busy watching Pat Summit win her 1000th game IN PERSON and Jennie! was . . . well, Jennie! filled up her free time this week with reading disturbing books and catching up on Lost and The Office. Very important, that.

Best of all, we got to read all about who some of you would like to punch. And some of you would like to punch a lot of people. Today, we'd like to hear who the rest of you would like to punch. OR, if you're the gentler type, who would you like to give a stern talking-to?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

The Five People You Punch in Heaven

Jennie Here's the thing. I knew I had to ask someone to guest post for me (more than) a week ago. But I kept putting it off (standard) and then I put it off some more (even more standard) and then, by the time I absolutely HAD to ask someone, I put it off again (most standard of all). It got to the point where I was sort of embarrassed to ask anyone because then they'd be all, "when do you need me to have this written?" and I would have been, "um, tomorrow, please," and I would have felt bad BECAUSE if I did that to someone, they'd probably punch me in the face. So. I was faced with a dilemma. I briefly considered making up a fake blog by a fake person and then spending lots of real hours faking it all up with fake posts fakety fake fake fake and then having the FAKE blogger "guest post" for me, and then I thought about BEGGING someone to guest post last minute, but in the end, I decided to just make my boyfriend do it. He is so my bitch, you guys.


In Heaven, you can do whatever you want. You can eat candy all day and never gain weight. You can read all of the books you have ever wanted to read and still have more books to read when you’re done. But most importantly, you can take revenge on people. You can take revenge on your enemies and you can exact justice upon those that you feel deserve it. There’s a special room that you go into once a day, and every day there’s a different person in that room for you to punch. So who would be in this room during my first week there? These are...

The Five People You Punch in Heaven

1. Bill O’Reilly. Bill, I blame you for everything that is wrong with America. Sure, it may not all be your fault, but you sure as Hell aren’t doing anything to make it any better. If nothing else, you’re exacerbating the situation just by continuing to exist. While I may not have the power to stop you and your crusade to dumb down the American people, I can at least hit you as hard as I can, just once, and hope that I do some lasting damage to your smug, douchebag face. I’m sure that your Lake Michigan-sized ego will cushion you from the power of my mighty blow, but I will at least feel better about myself for having done it.

2. Dane Cook. Dane. Really. Your name is Dane. Is that short for something, or are you just a giant douche? You’re not funny. You’re not insightful. You’re not attractive. You are nothing. Remember those movies that you were in? Yeah, neither do I, because they were terrible. You remind me of dozens of guys with whom I went to high school and college. I don’t know whatever happened to those people because I didn’t care to follow their lives. If only I could ignore you as easily, Dane Cook, but you have a way of popping up out of nowhere like some kind of evil leprechaun. You know who you are, Dane Cook? You’re The Great Gazoo. Or worse, you’re Scrappy Doo. Fuck you, Dane Cook. I cannot wait to punch you in the face.

3. Delilah. Where do I start with you, you mistress of the lowest common denominator? Many an evening I’ve returned to my apartment building to hear your annoying voice on the radio in the lobby, doling out your ‘advice’ to the hapless souls who listen to and buy into your disgusting tripe. I’ve tried to change the station, imagining that someone would see me do it and hail me as a hero, but it seems that no other station comes in on that radio, at least not at that time of night. Do you reach out with your demonic powers into every public radio that you can find and force it to fix on your show? When I was younger I thought that you were just a local personality. You bugged me, but I let you slide. But when I found out that yours was, in fact, a syndicated program? That was when you made the list. I don’t like to hit women, but you, Delilah, are not a woman. You are a cancer on the air waves. You deserve every bite of my knuckle sandwich.

4. Scott Stapp. Creed is the worst band ever, man. You must realize this. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you’re so in love with yourself and your apparent success, maybe you’re so busy singing on mountain tops with your shirt unbuttoned and blowing in the wind, revealing your wife beater and lack of physical fitness, both of which tell me more about you as a human being than any of your supposed ‘lyrics’ ever will, that you just don’t get the fact that you suck. But you do suck, Scott Stapp, and your apparent popularity, however fleeting it was, still mystifies me to this day. My roommate during my freshman year of college was a big fan of yours. I know this not because he told me about it, but because he listened to your ‘songs’ over and over again. And it wasn’t really ‘songs’ as much as it was ‘song’. Over. And over. And over. I don’t blame my roommate for this, Scott Stapp. I blame you. Taste my fist, you no-talent ass-clown.

5. The "Comedians" of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. You might be a redneck if you’re one of these guys. Did I say ‘might be’? Because I meant ‘are definitely’. And did I say ‘redneck’? Because I meant ‘imbecile’. Why do you do this? When there was just one of you, and it was Jeff Foxworthy, I tolerated you. I could easily ignore just one bad comedian (unlike Dane Cook, who, as detailed above, has demonic, extra-dimensional powers). But then, suddenly, Jeff Foxworthy multiplied, and there were three more of him. There was you, Bill Engvall, and you, Ron White. And then there was you, Daniel Lawrence Whitney. The rest of you guys might know him better as Larry the Cable Guy. You didn’t know his real name, did you? He seems a lot less blue collar with a middle name like Lawrence, doesn’t he? Of the four of you, no one has done more to dumb down America than Larry has. I am in favor of accomplishing tasks, but I will never, EVER condone the actions of anyone who is attempting to ‘Git R Done’. That’s not a sentence, Larry. That’s just stupid sounds that only resemble words to idiots like yourself. And the thing that makes me the angriest is how that ‘phrase’ has permeated society. Alex Trebek says it on Jeopardy! occasionally. Alex Trebek! You have infiltrated the smartest game show on television with your asinine crap. The rest of your buddies here get one punch each, but you, my friend, get an ass-kicking. Enjoy your teeth, if you have any left, because soon you will not. Because I’m going to punch them all out of your mouth, is what I’m saying. Idiot.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

This, as far as I can tell, is not a letter to the French.

Matt and I have been bloggy buddies for quite a while now, for such a while in fact that when we first became acquainted we both had different blogs at different blog spots. Oh, look how far we've come.

I think far too few of you have had the chance to read such fabulous writing as his, so when I had the chance to dole out my share of Collective Guest Post the first person I thought of was Matt. Because despite the fact that he now spends his days encouraging me to run, and I spend mine encouraging him to drink, one thing remains constant: He punches people in the face like it's nobody's business.


Let's be frank: I don't like people. Picking only five to punch in the face? That sounds hard. I've never been much for rules, and as much as I love you, I'd rather cheat. So instead of five people, you get five groups of people. The more black eyes the better, right? And because really, I rather like breaking rules.

First, over-friendly / familiar service workers: you do your job and get my coffee or food or whatever it is you're serving; I'll do my job and give you money. Any interaction beyond that is unnecessary. Even if you're cute. Maybe especially if you're cute. Really, I'd rather like to some day be a damn good mountain man recluse, and most days I prefer to practice. On the other days I'm either intoxicated or wishing I was, so I'm pretty sure that doesn't count. Or, if it does, it shouldn't. Diminished capacities and all.

Second, jackass students: at least pretend to take your education seriously; just once in a while, humor me. I understand you have no hope of ever graduating, or you'd rather be high, or are high, or whatever reason for your shenanigans – but most of your classmates really do want to get their credit, and really do want to graduate, and you're being a dick. Maybe you haven't noticed, but no one appreciates it. If i didn't know it would cost me my teaching license (and the only job my worthless degree qualifies me for), I would have already punched you, and encourage your peers to do the same. Peace and patience have their limits, and you push them every day. Instead I laugh, because it's the only way I know to keep from cussing you out, and ask you to 'try it again tomorrow.'

Third, all you weekend warriors who take yourself so goddamn seriously: have you ever done any of this because you enjoyed it? Ever run without all the proper gear, without checking your splits, without figuring out how many calories you burned? Ever run without a training program, without consulting your Runner's World or the letsrun forums? Ever stop talking about that damned 'runner's high?' (Hint: if you're really running, it doesn't exist. Running hurts.) Even if you did qualify for Boston or win your local 5k, whoopee flying fuck. No one cares. How about admitting you suck, your life is completely unbalanced, and the only reason you do any of this is because it helps you ignore how much you loathe yourself (and with good reason). Everyone else is already thinking it. Having had my ass handed to me a few weeks ago in a DI meet, I have to admit, sucking isn't so bad once you learn to embrace it.

Fourth, conservative religious folks: have you ever imagined what your dream world would look like? God, how boring. Also, don't you ever get sick of telling people how to live their lives? And seriously, since you're the only ones going to heaven, why haven't you just figured out how to all drink the Kool-Aid and get to your heaven a little sooner, and let us have earth, alright? Just keep shoving your bullshit beliefs down my throat, please. I'd love nothing more than to give you a black eye.

Fifth, anyone who's ever tried to tell me how to take care of myself: don't. Don't tell me I drink too much or sleep too little or run too much or eat too little, or that it's too cold to be outside or too humid, or that I cuss too much, or... you know what, eff you. So you're an expert on living until you're ninety and you're responsible and mature and make good choices and all that. Congratulations. I'm not, and I don't, and surprise! I prefer it that way. I prefer my fuck-ups and misadventures. They're interesting and entertaining and eventually they usually make me laugh, whether I actually remember them or not.

Of course, looking back at the five, I could have just said previous incarnations of myself. Damn.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

I'm a Mac. And I'm a PC.

AbsGravesland has a lot of rage. Gravesland has a lot of technology-related rage. Gravesland is a lot like me. You know who I'm not like? Un-lazy Peefer. I love guest post week! All I have to do is copy and paste! Here's Gravesland's five people he would like to punch.


Dear Collective fans.

Hey there...I’m honored to be asked to post for you today.

I’m not quite the literary genius the Collective Ladies are...but I do have lots of opinions. So I jumped at the chance to expand on the topic of 5 people I’d like to punch.

You’ll notice a theme for the first three...but they deserved separate recognition.

Enjoy! (cue the deer)


Mr. “Gotta-Check-My-Text-Messages-During-the-Movie” Boy

You know this kid. The one that thinks if he spends 90 minutes without checking his email/text messages his life will end. That guy?

*BAM, Right in the mouth!

That little blazing light that has me screaming “MY EYES, MY EYES” and then reaching for the seizure medicine, interrupts a perfectly good movie. Hell, it interrupts a perfectly bad movie!

Side Note: I had no problem with this.

Miss “Texting-Smoking-PuttingOnMyMakeup-While-Driving-Goofy Foot” Lady

Yes, all 4!

I was driving behind above mentioned lady one day and wondering what the heck was going on. Speed up, slow down, look up, look down. She was all over the road.

So, being Mr. Patient, I did a slingshot around her to see that she had a lit cigarette hanging out of her mouth. With her left eye she was checking her phone while using her left hand to text. With her right eye she was looking in the rear-view mirror while using her right hand to apply Drew Carey Asst. Mimi style makeup. All while gently resting her left foot on the brake (see never ending brake lights) and using her right foot to somehow regulate her speed.

*POW, Right between the eyes!

Not sure I want to know how she was steering.

Mr. “I-Think-I’m-Important-So-I-Use-My-Cell-Phone-On-The-Plane” Man

I travel a lot via the friendly skies. And nothing bugs me more than the guy that uses his cell phone all the way through “A” Boarding (I Fly SWA), to his seat, after the door is closed and your seat back and tray table are in their upright and locked position.

*BANG, Both fists on the side of his temples!

This is the same guy that gets his phone out on landing and promptly calls someone that is unimportant to announce, “I’ve landed.” Not that Unimportant Person can do anything different now that Mr. Important has landed. Cause Unimportant Person should already be at the airport to pick up Mr. Important and be there to greet him when he gets past security! (That’s an entirely different post.)

Mr./Mrs. “Do-I-Have-to-be-Connected-to-the-Internet-to-do-that” People

(Tech people will understand the frustration level that comes over you when this happens..if this doesn’t relate to you, my apologies.)

I’m a trainer. Corporate Trainer of all things technical and job related.

Being a trainer I have to be patient, kind, caring, a good listener and basically overly approachable. For those that know me...these are not personality traits I carry around with me all day.

So imagine my patience level when training people on the pleasures of Vista (Hello, I’m a Mac.) and we are simply opening Internet Explorer and accessing a web page. When from the back of the room comes the familiar clueless voice to ask a No-Question-Is-A-Dumb-Question question like this: “What’s Internet Explorer?” or “Where’s the Start Button?” or “Where’s the ‘ANY’ key?”

*UMPH, Round House to the Head!


(Ed. Note: OH MY GOD I hate these people.)

Celine Dion

I’m sorry Heather Anne, but you knew it was coming.

*BAM, POW, BANG, UMPH and every other punching type noise you can dream up. She bugs the crap out of me!

Lose the accent for cryin’ out loud. Sing something without a string arrangement. STOP can’t dance. No amount flyin’ Cirque De Soleil fairies can make your show any more appealing.

*sigh. There I said it.

Monday, 2 February 2009

He is the Lorax. He speaks for the trees.

heather We're super lucky this week to be joined at Collective HQ by some of our favorite writers. We asked them all following question: What five people would you most like to punch in the face? This is how Collective BFF Peefer answered:

I'm walking south down University Avenue in downtown Toronto. It's Sunday night, the streets are empty, and I'm alone. As the dark sky is about to burst with rain, I carry my umbrella at my side, unopened. No, that's wrong. I wield this umbrella, this incredible accessory which shoots RPG's and fireballs with tremendous power and scientific precision. I aim high and wipe out the 23rd floor of the Royal Bank tower. I fire low and char the mailbox across the street. Deftly, I spin my weapon as I return it to its holster, then draw it repeatedly with lightning speed to ward the city of evil.

Half a block away is a man, staggering toward me. I mind to my business of death and destruction and assume he will keep to his own. But as we close in on one another, he glares at me with wide dark eyes.

"Issamoa! Issamoa!" he yells.

"What?" I ask, wondering what language he's speaking.

"ISSAMOA!" he yells again, agitated as ever, then without warning, his large first flies up and clocks me one in the cheekbone. I feel the sting immediately.

My first instinct is to retaliate, but I suddenly realize that my umbrella is out of ammo. I consider that the man may be a crazy with a knife at the ready or he may be tripping on acid. Or, he may be upset that I shot him with my umbrella, which is entirely possible given the chaos which ensued while I was slaying villainous elements. Sadly, I retreat.

It's amazing—now, years later, while I sit at my laptop with a glass of merlot in the comforts of my home, I feel a sense of impulsive courage that I never experienced back then. So dear Mr. Crazy Trippin' Collateral Umbrella Damage (Maybe) Victim, take this on your left cheekbone: WHACK!


Forty-five minutes before my morning alarm is by far the worst imaginable time for you to do this:

It makes me experience intense feelings of what some may call anger. Dear Pre-Dawn Gagging Cat, I hate you, and I hate myself for hating you. I punch you in your pukey little face.


The evening is warm and humid. It's June. The sun is burning hot and will stay up for another two hours. As usual, I've come early, knowing I always take a little longer to warm up than the others. I sit myself in the grass—it was cut earlier in the day—unzip my bag, and pull out my cleats. I love the routine of lacing up my shoes. 'Gives me time to think about the game, time to smell the grass. But what? No laces? Why are there no laces in my shoes?! Others are arriving—Jason, Dan, Willie, Joe, our coach and his son. Someone I don't know drags the large mesh bag of balls.

I tell my coach my problem. I ask sheepishly for help, but it's no use. Dejected, I walk back to the parking lot to see what I might find in the big metal trash drum. Yes, it's a long shot, but I need to play. While I pick through orange peels and empty pop cans, the ref arrives. The game is about to start. Lying in the gravel behind the bin, something purple catches my eye. It's a girl's hair elastic, and I think it might work. I just need to find a way to cut it. The starting whistle blows and I look up. My coach is in the distance, facing me, yelling at me to hurry back to the field.

I haven't played competitive soccer for over a decade. Dear Recurring Soccer Anxiety Dream, I formally punch you in the face.


Dear Haters Of The Collective, you are evil and pathetic. I cannot believe anyone would spend a millisecond holding anything against these awesome women, much less an hour and ten minutes building a crappy website. I punch you in your stupid small collective face.


When I set a goal, I stick to it. It might be a 10K race time, and months of dedicated consistent training will follow. Maybe it's a 4pm Friday work deadline, and what's needed is a keen focus and a smart work ethic. I always succeed. It's just a matter of discipline.

I like to wake up at the crack of dawn and start my day with a routine of calisthenics, followed by breakfast and 25 minutes of reading, 15 minutes fiction, 10 minutes non-fiction. On work days, I'm the guy who parks in the best spot because I always get to the office first. On weekends, I never fail to accomplish something around the house—not just maintenance activities, but improvement. It's always about improvement for me. Never a leaky faucet in my home, I always say.

If there existed a polar opposite to this person, it would be me. Dear Wasted Potential, SMACK!!! I punch you in the face. Had I the will, this would be the hardest punch of all.