Complaints, Likes and Dislikes

We recently moved from my mother-in-law’s house into a short-term furnished rental in the downtown Linden Hills area of Minneapolis, which allows me to walk to my temporary office at my sister-in-law’s house (can you tell how f-ing homeless we are?) Before that, I rode a “Nice Ride” bike.

You see, Minneapolis is kind of like the Netherlands in that bikes are simply available for the taking. But, unlike the Dutch, Americans (even the agreeable, liberal Midwestern kind) cannot be trusted with the honor system, nor can a municipality thrive fiscally by providing free bikes. As such, there is a smattering of Nice Ride stations throughout the city where people can swipe a credit card, and on a keypad where the numbers are frequently offset, enter their phone number and zip code to unlock a bike. Continue…

Most of the comments I get on my blog and writing on other sites are very nice and I love them. But a very small percentage are just impossibly ridiculous and annoying. I think if we all followed these rules, everyone would be better off and I could cut my Prozac dose in half.

1. Don’t Brag

It’s cool that you taught your non hearing impaired kid sign language (just for kicks), but please, for the love of Christ, Muhammed, and any Moon Diety I’ve forgotten, keep it to yourself. Oh, your son was born knowing how to do long division? Continue…

I recently saw someone preface a Facebook post with, “Hey, sorry for the sincerity, but”… [insert important and personal message about the dangers of texting and driving].

That’s odd, I thought; aren’t we all supposed to be sincere — that is, to be true to ourselves and effectively communicate that which we deem personally or culturally relevant and important?

I don’t place any blame on the Facebook user here; in fact, I appreciate the honesty of her disclaimer. It was as if she’d grown so tired of wrapping her passion in irony that she simply stopped trying. I imagine what she wanted to write was, “Hey hipsters, I’m about to say something serious, so now might be a good time to put on that hat you stole from your grandpa, kick back, and judge me while petting your rescue dog.”

Can anything good happen if sincerity is “lame”? Continue…

I just read this article and now I can’t feed my kids crackers without experiencing crippling guilt. Apparently, “everything we know about obesity and heart disease is wrong.” It feels like we hear that every four months. Medicine has more controversial paradigm shifts than Facebook. It’s frustrating at first, then everyone adjusts, only to have it change again. Eventually, we give up and eat Geno’s Pizza Rolls while staring at our timeline and wondering what day it is.

Because being a hypochondriac comes with an honorary medical degree, I’ll summarize the argument for you. Heart disease is caused predominantly by inflammation of the arteries, not saturated fat and cholesterol as previously preached by everyone ever. Continue…

We’re so over-fed in this country that pockets of wierdos have started brewing sauces with the sole intention of causing oral and intestinal discomfort. Hot sauce makers compete over who can scare their customers more. It’s a redneck poetry slam where the name with the most alliteration wins. I don’t care how clever it is (not very), I’m not putting “Birmingham Butt Burner” on my eggs.

Usually we plop comfort food on top of comfort food. Sheppard’s pie is the gastronomic equivalent of a Lazy-boy recliner.  It’s the opposite with hot sauce; we use that stuff to torture ourselves because we’re also a country of macho gluttons who spend Sundays in the parking lots of football stadiums combining over-eating with pain endurance. Continue…

When we lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn we bought a $100 Christmas tree outside the CVS pharmacy just like everyone else.  I carried it on my shoulder down 5th avenue trying not to slip on greasy Quizzno’s wrappers or snag a branch on a fellow pedestrian’s sweater.  On December 26th, the Jewish dude in apt. 3a wrote a snippy note complaining about all the pine needles in the hallway and then, sometime around February, we tossed the tree out onto the frozen exhaust-colored curb for dogs and drunk hipsters to pee on. Happy Holidays from the million dollar ghetto! On a positive note, there was an honesty about it that I respected. Continue…

My parents arrived yesterday, but my dad’s juicer got here nearly three weeks ago. He mailed it way in advance to make absolutely sure he would have his juicer because, well, he “be juicin’” (his words).

This morning I drank a pint of liquified  chard, kale, apple, grape and some other healthy stuff (ginger maybe?). I’m usually annoyed when people claim food gives them energy because, after I eat, I want to fall asleep in the bath and wake up when it’s time to eat again. Such claims of food-based vitality only nurse the guilt I carry about my excessive caramel eating.  Continue…

Dunkin Donuts – 8am and I’m going on 3 hours of sleep.

The tile in the bathroom of this Dunkin Donuts is the same as the rest of the floor. Nothing says “I don’t care about ambiance”  more than continuing the tile flooring straight from the eating area to the defecation zone. Actually, is that common? Now I feel like I don’t know if that’s normal or not. Shouldn’t it at least be a different color, so we can separate ourselves emotionally from the two places? I have a certain mood while I’m eating, and I need that mood to morph quite a bit when I visit the facilities. Continue…

With the exception of Labor Day, Veterans Day, and the other federally sanctioned times of remembrance, holidays are for kids, right? I’m talking about the big ones like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Halloween – any holiday that has a Charlie Brown special. So why make Halloween so terrifying? It’s 3 weeks away, and my 4 year-old is already swamped with images of ghouls and zombies. He’s waking up in the middle of the night and my wife thinks it’s just something we have to endure until Halloween is over. So, you’ll have to excuse me if, due to fatigue, I’m unable to adequately celebrate Rocktober this year. Continue…

Dear Pandora,

You took the idea of the human genome project and applied it to music, right? Songs have a certain genetic code that allows you to group them together in various ways based on their attributes. Say I put in “Manic Monday” by The Bangles. Your algorithm will search the DNA of all the songs ever recorded, find the other ones annoying enough to fuel a genocidal dictator, and create a radio station containing just those songs. Then if you play “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” by Wang Chung on that station, and I click the thumbs down icon, you’ll adjust your math so it doesn’t play any more songs by bands with fans who drive Fieros and carry nunchucks. Continue…