Category Archives: Things I Like

Things At The Bottom of the Ball Pit

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At one point in life, I might have said the ball pit was my happy place. To a kid, a ball pit seems like the funnest thing ever. I mean, there’s Disney World, Space Camp, and then Ball Pits on the hierarchy of FUN THINGS THAT THERE ARE. Not that I ever went to space camp or could even tell you what it’s like. I’m just fairly certain that space camp rules.

However, the ball pit, for all of its colorful plastic glory, has its limits. There is some magical age — a sort of threshold — that we all must cross in life. And once we cross it, we realize the ball pit is a seething, grimy cesspool of germs… and perhaps far worse.

And now I’m here to tell you, based on my own scientific research, just what lies in that “far worse” category. I’ve been to the depths of the ball pit. I’ve been to the edge of the earth. I’ve been where no man, woman, or child have ever ventured before.

These are things at the bottom of the ball pit:

– Dirty diaper
– Hypodermic needles
– Slice of pizza
– Loose coins
– Child on back of milk carton from 1983
– Goldfish, and I don’t mean the crackers
– Magnets
– (Have you ever noticed how menacing magnets seem when they’re not on refrigerators?)
– Stickers laced with drugs
– Holey socks
– Holy socks
– Whole sock
– Wedding ring
– Postcard addressed to someone in 1924
– Cookies and milk
– Amelia Earhart
– The Arc of the Covenant
– One melted Choco Taco
– One frozen Choco Taco, whoa, magic
– Car keys
– Wallet
– Phone
– Meaning of life
– The three minutes of your life spent reading this far down
– Missing glove
– Two useless members of the Jackson 5, not Michael, sorry
– Not Tito, either, damn
– God’s plans for you, He really can be an asshole sometimes
– Plastic pizzas from the Ninja Turtles Pizza Thrower
– Remote control
– Fake dog poo
– Real dog poo
– Something that resembles dog poo but isn’t
– Kombucha
– Five dollar bill
– Hershey bar
– Eric
– The answers to a particularly harrowing episode of Unsolved Mysteries
– Empty beer bottles
– Brie cheese
– One moist Kleenex
– Twenty-seven jelly beans, yes I counted each one
– Tube of lipstick
– Tuba
– Lips
– Stick
– Aged gouda — dude there’s like a whole cheese platter down here
– Fireworks
– Allergy pills
– Laffy Taffy wrappers torn so you can’t read the jokes anymore
– Gold Treasure
– Chex mix
– Fun size candy bars
– Grandma
– The fourteenth president of the US, don’t ask me who, I have no idea
– Spider rings
– Easter grass (it’s been three years and you still find this shit everywhere.)
– Tree tinsel (it’s been three years and you still find this shit everywhere.)
– Soup (clam chowder, I think)
– Lint
– Tiny ornate carving of Buddha
– Knives
– Drugs
– Blooooooooood
– Fingernails
– Toenails
– Nails
– Santa
– Easter Bunny
– Tooth Fairy
– Trix rabbit
– Pluto, the lost planet
– The letter C

And that’s it.

So It’s October

So. It’s October. And you may have noticed I’m not counting down to Halloween as I have in years past on the blog. I guess I’m a little depressed this year, given the one-year anniversary of my mom’s death coming up. I just don’t really feel like counting down to anything.

Last Halloween was shitty. I have to get this off my chest. I haven’t told this story to anyone. I spent the day at the hospital watching my mom on the dialysis machine as she drifted in and out of consciousness. And consciousness wouldn’t even be the word for it. More like in and out of context, whatever that means. I don’t even know what that means.

I had a terrible head cold. I stopped at Big Lots on the way home from the hospital to buy extra candy in case I didn’t have enough for the trick-or-treaters. I bought the world’s WORST EVER GENERIC bag of candy. It was the world’s cheapest, most rock-bottom, gutter crackhead candy. Seriously, it was personally hand-picked by Satan out of the dumpster. It was the only thing that was left.

I was also breaking down in Big Lots. Losing my mind. Fighting back tears, or really, it was beyond that. It was that point where you’re fighting back gigantic gulps of air. I was nearly shaking. I needed to cauterize it IMMEDIATELY. So I did what any reasonable person would do in this situation — I bought a ten-pound gingerbread man cookie.

Whoa. I know. Stay with me folks.

It worked. The fact that ten-pound gingerbread cookies existed shocked my brain enough to get it off the fact that my mom was dying. I just remember standing at the register with my bloodshot eyes, shaking hands, sniffling nose, a ten pound cookie, and Satan’s candy, knowing that I looked like the saddest human being ever that day in Big Lots.

The story gets worse. It rained. We barely got any trick-or-treaters. I did not need that crackhead candy at all. I had tons of candy leftover, like basically, all of it. I kept the chocolates and good stuff for myself, but man, I needed to get rid of that crackhead candy. Pronto. It felt like disposing of a body.

The next day I thought I might give the candy to my mom’s nurses. Except none of the nurses could even look me in the eye. They don’t look you in the eye when your mom is dying. They were all so cold and sterile. They just hope to go about their workday as quickly as possible.

So I pawned it off on my friend, casually, without really mentioning it. Like, hey man, I got all this extra candy. You want it? And he took it happily, until he got home and realized it was filled with ROCK HARD STALE Sugar Daddies and off-brand gum with the wrappers half hanging off. It was a terrible thing to do to a friend.

Then there was still that ten pound gingerbread man cookie, which ended up taunting me straight through December, when I finally worked up the nerve to toss it. Just… just fuck that cookie. I don’t have anything else to say about that.

Phew. That was last Halloween. Ugh. And now you know why I’m not counting down this year. I just can’t. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been hoarding and stocking up on Halloween stuff as usual. In fact, it’s the power of this crap that’s breaking through my depression.

For instance, this:

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Candy Corn Pebbles and TrueMoo Orange Scream. This is easily the most exciting thing to happen to me in months. I mean, after my son being born of course. My life happiness list currently looks like this:

1. Son born
2. Candy corn pebbles
3. Orange flavored milk

People, I don’t even like milk. I hate milk! But orange milk in October is somehow the greatest thing ever to me, enough to bust through my wall of depression. And the verdict? It’s actually very very tasty! And as for Candy Corn Pebbles, well, they taste like a failed cereal idea. DON’T CARE. I LOVE THEM.

So it’s October. And so that’s kind of how it’s going for me.

Dude, Lunchables Makes Breakfast Versions Now

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The label should say Peel Back Plastic, Hate Yourself Forever. Or, Peel Back Plastic, Smell Oddly Like Syrup For Rest of Day. Which is the worst feeling/smell/state of existing that there can possibly be. But before I knew all of this, I was just pretty damn excited. Dude, Lunchables makes breakfast versions now?

DUDE.

Hastily, I snapped up both varieties in the grocer section as though there were about to be a red light special announced on them, and a horde mob was about to descend. As though I were on the game show Supermarket Sweep, and these were worth as much as the big ticket hams. As though I was starving for more than food, but for the very meaning of life itself, which could be found in the tiny plastic compartments within.

Immediately, I decided I would be having them for lunch. And I did.

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First I had the cinnamon rolls. And like ten raisins. It’s the most pathetic little tray of raisins. I also hate raisins, but I ate them anyway for science. And for the slightly desperate hope that the raisins would somehow counteract the rest of the sugary awfulness I was about to put in my body.

The packaging says that you don’t need to heat the cinnamon rolls, but bear in mind that you will be eating cold, rock-hard cinnamon rolls. It’s one of the most unpleasant experiences known to man. Aside from the fact that they were rock-hard and ice-cold, they were also a little stale. They tasted like the generic Pecan Twirls you find in the sad bread aisle of dollar stores.

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The icing situation isn’t much better. It’s almost like a spackle, also rock-hard and ice cold.

Overall, I’d have to give the cinnamon rolls a rating of NEVER AGAIN.

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Next I had the Pancakes and Bacon. As you can see, the bacon is salad bacon bits. I’m pretty sure it’s child neglect in eight states to feed your kid salad bacon bits for breakfast. As a vegetarian, I fed the bacon to the dog.

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Her review of the bacon is:

BESSSSSSST
THING
EVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

So there you have it.

As for the pancakes, I actually liked them. I would rate this one as edible, except I’m still starving and felt like I haven’t even had lunch, even though I just ate nearly 600 calories in about two minutes.

Oh god. Raisins, I just hope you’re working your magical healing powers inside of me.

Babypalooza

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The wife had mentioned something called Babypalooza, and we were going to it. Saturday. Don’t forget. So I promptly forgot until a few days later when the wife mentioned it again. Babypalooza. Saturday.

Again, I didn’t really think much of it, except that it kind of stuck. Babypalooza. Babypalooza. What the hell is this thing she’s dragging me to? Oh well, whatever it is, it sounded kind of fun. Maybe not FUN fun, but neat. A neat word, at the very least.

I overheard that word again when she was talking to her mom on the phone about it. Something we’re going to and taking the baby. Saturday. Babypalooza.

It sounded like something that should involve trampolines and elephant rides. I started to feel excited about it. Maybe not EXCITED excited, but looking forward. Like maybe there was going to be free food.

“You’ll get to meet the moms in my mom group,” the wife said at dinner.

That sounded, well, not as fun as watching a fire-breathing Reptar riding a stuntbike while I shoved endless boxes of Cracker Jacks in my mouth. Never mind that I don’t even like Cracker Jacks. The thing is, I want to like Cracker Jacks. They taste so much better in the fantasy in my mind. But yeah, meeting the moms, that’s cool, too.

“And you’ll get to meet Brian’s bros. That’s what I call his friends in the group…”

She started naming his friends—I mean bros. And his girlfriends. Maybe there would be raffle prizes, prize wheels, and a dunking booth. They should totally have that at Babypalooza, if they don’t already. They should hire me as their consultant, if they want anyone to even come to this thing.

Babypalooza should have a ferris wheel, a petting farm with goats, a lazy river, a corn maze, a slushee stand, clowns, tacos, facepainting, apple cider, kettlecorn, and over one thousand ideas for crafts with beans and pipe cleaners, since moms are into that kind of thing.

“And Mr. Harrison might be there, too,” the wife went on. “Isn’t that funny? His mom always puts Mr. in front of his name when she says it.”

“That’s cute,” I said. Mr. Harrison and maybe a zipline, too.

So by Friday night, I was pretty pumped about it.

“I’m kind of looking forward to this Babypalooza thing tomorrow,” I said.

“Oh no,” she said, her voice full of dread.

My hopes instantly began to fade. She knows me too well.

“Whatever you’re picturing in your mind about Babypalooza, downgrade it by one hundred,” she said.

Okay. I’d get rid of the lazy river. But I was too stubborn to let her kill my hopes and dreams. I’d still be excited about this.

Except what she really meant was downgrade it by a thousand. There was no ferris wheel. There was however, a few tables set up with pamphlets about family activities provided in the county. There was no fire-breathing Reptar. There was however, a bored-looking man running the CPR class sign-up. There was no petting zoo. There was however, the wife’s OBGYN practice giving away free pens. There wasn’t even free food. There was however, samples of lactation cookies.

There wasn’t even MR. HARRISON. THEY DIDN’T COME. I mean, whatever, like I care, BUT COME ON.

But I’m still stubborn about this, determined to take something—anything away from this. I’m just going to write all my letters with my free OBGYN pen from now on. I don’t even write letters, but I’m going to start.

Today’s Post Will Have No Words

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