15 Ways to Keep The Bachelorette Real

Yep....

They are all my one true love. I’m a sultan.

I like watching The Bachelorette for the same reasons that people probably watch COPS. People on a collision course with disaster created from their own poor life choices are entertainment. At least with COPS, there is a sense of honesty. The bad boys never really involve themselves in the illusion of reality like on The Bachelorette. Shows like The Bachelor and Ette use the premise of finding one true love as the driving factor of the show. Dating twenty five guys at the same time while going on dates most people can’t afford is the natural way to find true love. If we really wanted to make the show more realistic, I can think of plenty of ways.

1. Denny’s Dates – Let’s face it. Most of America can’t afford rooftop dining in Paris. Usually, ordering off the dollar menu is an extravagance.  So why not treat a lady real nice and get her a skillet?

2. Boring People – While Ette does usually gets this one down, it usually filters out the painfully boring. Where’s the tax consultant guy who thinks exciting news is a change in the tax code?

3. Gay People – I remember this girl from college who had almost every boyfriend come out of the closet after dating her. She didn’t know which was worse: being bad a girlfriend or a bad therapist. Where’s her man?

4. Travel to the Lake – They always travel to these really expensive out of reach for most of us places. What about completely in reach travel? Like the lake, with a folding chairs, and a six pack tied to string. You know… the lake!

5. Racist People – Where are all the people you thought were pretty cool then they opened their mouth?

6. Creepy Internet Guy – They really need a guy that sounds amazing on paper and then you meet him and you feel unclean for months. I think it’s more accurate to today’s dating world.

7. Backyard Pool – They always make it to a private island on some picturesque beach. A pool for toddlers is about as close as most people get. Of course a public pool that was a recently urinated by some kid will also suffice.

8. Clingy Guy – True story: A friend of mine had a guy drive her up to the mountains and threaten to throw himself from the cliff if she didn’t profess her love. Where’s that guy?

9. Psychotic Ex – They are always way amicable on the show. Where’s the ex that you later find has a shrine to you with a thousand photographs of you taken without your knowledge?

10. Boring Movie – If they really wanted to simulate reality, they should sit you down in a movie where you have to feign interest while your partner is going through an life changing transformation.

11. Awkward Blind Date – Another true story: I was on a blind date that was going so poorly, I had to call for a bale out in the bathroom. I swear we had like twenty-five trail off conversations.

12. Uncontrolled Drug Use – Heroin addicts share the needles of love.

13. Rollin Dice with the Homies – Most people can’t afford spontaneous trips to Vegas in private jets. So be it craps or slaying goblins, the producers should add more realistic dice activities.

14. Awkward Family Dates – Why wait for the final four? They should bring the families in on the third week.

15. Back Seat of Mom’s Car – Nothing beats the classics. So long as you get her home by 10 and don’t look her dad in the eye. Never look him in the eye.

5 B-Rated Valentines Day Ideas

Love is in the air. Birds sing. Bees make honey. The population of America curls up with their loved one and hands them a special note. All this can only mean one thing, a big fat payday for Hallmark. I now present to you, “5 Ideas That Won’t Change Your Valentines Day” inspired by B-Rated Cinema:

1. Birds – Why do something sappy like unleash doves? Why not condors or vultures? I’m sure you’ll never forget this Valentines as you watch your loved one run down the street in terror.

2. Bees – Liven the bedroom with a hive of killer bees.

3. Teddy Bear – This year, breathe life into the stuffed fur bucket. Find satanic cultists, have them perform a ritual possession on the bear, and watch as the bear’s head slowly spins, completely around, while spewing profanities.

4. Chocolates – Life is like a box of chocolates. You’ll never know when out of control nanites unleashed from a Russell Stover will turn your partner into goo.

5. Flowers – Do they eat people? Are they a mind controlling Alien species in disguise? Unleash toxic gas? After the last four gifts, even normal flowers will be suspicious.

10 Tax Return Ideas

Tax season is here again and we all know what that means. Weeping in fear from being attacked as a kid by the Statue of Liberty. Aside from disturbing roadside dances, taxes mean big money. A giant check of money is very tempting to blow entirely on silly things such as creating an army of Barry Bonds Bobble Heads. However, there are smarter uses for gobs of money that will offer more long-term satisfaction. And what better way to spend tax money, than on the advice from some random idiot on the Internet:

1. Give your tax return to me. Really, I’m not joking! As a humor writer, I often envy such high paid business sharks like Bob Cratchit. If you give your money to me for writing humor, you’ll be an official Patron of the Arts. You’ll be the toast of any party. Just don’t tell them what arts you patron.

2. Twinkies. Spend the entire return on Twinkies. I know food is often not a long term investment. Trust me when I say, Twinkies will last longer than you do.

3. Adopt fifty cats. This is a win for everybody involved. The animal shelters are over crowded and the cats need a home. Some people spend all their lives becoming the Cat Lady (or Man), you can do it in a weekend!

4. Keep buying the same pair of egregious pants from Goodwill and donate the pants back anonymously. Watch with pleasure as you confound the staff. The pants will become legend.

5. Use the entire wad on stamps and thank you cards. Thank random people listed in the phone book for strange things. “Ted, love the chinchilla!”

6. Buy everyone at a bar a drink… of warm milk. Sing lullabies until you are kicked out.

7. Buy a head mask of Eric Stoltz and attempt to pick up on women. Don’t try to hide your feminine parts if you are a woman.

8. Try to cheat at a mafia poker game with Magic The Gathering cards. Threaten to cast Force of Will if they try anything.

9. Hire a bodyguard to follow you around work. When co-workers inquire, look around, tell them the location of your last vacation, touch your nose, and scamper away. Then use all your vacation and sick time to disappear for a while. Let one of your co-workers “discover” you in the parking lot, disheveled and in tattered clothing.

10. Married by Elvis in Vegas. Sometimes, memories are worth more than money.

Vegas Baby

My wife and I decided to take our unofficial honeymoon in Vegas. The official will be in Europe but that’s a little ways off and we wanted to do something relatively close after our wedding. So we packed the car, my sister, and headed to Vegas. My sister was a stow away. Before any of you think we are a wild and crazy couple prone crazy spur of the moment trips, my whole family was there.

Vegas, somehow the Las is always removed, has the allure of the place to party, America’s adult playground, and of course the movie Swingers. Vegas has a myth built around the city. Most people think going to the City of Sin involves partying so crazy that the phrase “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” truly applies. Telling your co-workers you are going to Vegas is like saying “I’m going to bungy jump from an airplane, then skydive to an small platform on the ocean during a hurricane this weekend.”

For me, Vegas has always been a different experience. As New Mexican, I must always explain Las Vegas, Nevada not New Mexico. Most New Mexicans look at you inquisitively when you excitedly say “I’m going to Las Vegas this weekend!”

Las Vegas, New Mexico is a small town in up north of Santa Fe. Youths escape the town to the giant metropolis of Albuquerque. Grandpa on his porch is why the youths are trying to escape. He pokes at them with his cane. At least in Albuquerque, the grandpa’s are packing. No that is not a joke. A lady was being stabbed to death at a Wal-mart (when they rollback, they really rollback) and a 72 year old man shot her assailant.

The confusion slowly recedes from our co-workers when we explain Nevada is the intended destination. Then they think of hurricanes and skydiving. However, for me, Vegas reminds me of being young, family vacations, and road trips. I’ve been going to Vegas my entire life. My grandparents lived out there when I was a kid. I can remember winning a giant armload of stuffed animals from Circus Circus (back in days before a winner at Circus Circus would get an giant armload of crack and hookers).

My grandparents lived in this small apartment complex with a outdoor, unheated pool. I swam on Christmas Day for the first and only time in my life at the desert city of Vegas. When the Excalibur was being built, my brother and I anxiously awaited the hotel themed after our Dungeons and Dragons adventures. Imagine our delight to watch jousting and eat with our fingers.

I grew older and Vegas didn’t fade into childhood memories. In my early twenties, I hung with the goths, cyber punk, and hacker crowd.  Defcon, the yearly hacker convention, happened in Vegas so we went to Vegas year after year. Although my friends weren’t really hackers, just geeks that liked the atmosphere. We would get a kick out of yelling, “Hack the planet!” in line for the New York, New York roller coaster to a cheering crowd.

This weekend was yet another chapter in the Vegas years. Some hotels stayed solid and unchanged, like the Flamingo and Harrah’s. Others expanded to a size that could be an entire city, like Cesar’s Palace. New hotels, like the Aria, filled the concrete and metal landscape. But somehow amidst the constant change, the city stayed the same.

Vegas is a manufactured reality. Ancient tombs, ripe for exploration are at the Luxor. But really the tombs were just a marginal hotel far from everything else and our feet at least, wished we stayed closer to the middle. The Venetian has canals with boat rides down a European like city for simple wait in line for an hour, with a bored looking attendant at the mall. Paris is almost like the city or at least what American’s expect from France. “Ya’ll got some craps! I want craps!” That’s crepes sir. Crepes.

Despite the best efforts to convince the wandering crowds about the “culture” in the hotel, the experience is almost totally American. Endless stretches of shopping malls, bars, shows, and of course gambling make the entertainment maze of Vegas. There is plenty of free trams but only between hotels owned by the same company. The real New York is easier to navigate than ten square blocks of the Vegas Strip.

One night, while we were hanging out with some friends at the New York, New York, I said sarcastically, “It’s like being in the real New York!”

My friend, Phil, said with the same sense of sarcasm, “Almost indistinguishable.”

He and his fiancé lived in Brooklyn for a while. They know the real New York, yet we decided to hang out in the manufactured version. American’s place a high value on authenticity. I’m going to “keep it real” in the equivalent of a photocopy of another place. Yet we go back. I will probably always go back.

For most people Vegas is the memories of hangovers, shotgun weddings, and other crazy times. For me, Vegas is candy canes, Christmas presents, early twenties road trips at midnight, and now my unofficial honeymoon. My wife, my family, and my friends are all connected Vegas. The people around me is the important part of Vegas, the reason I’ll go back. And before I get too sentimental, here’s link my wife sent me: how to gift wrap a cat.

Wedding Week

The Wedding Week is finally here! Hannibal probably didn’t plan half as much for crossing the Alps as we did for our wedding (thus why Hannibal is dead and we are going to have a wonderful wedding). I only have one thought on a week as important as this.

I love Felicia very much and am very happy to spend the rest of my life with her.