Friday, May 13, 2011

Scott gets a pedicure, sustains injury

One night just after I’d turned 18, my Mom, the nurse, was examining my foot while I sat on the floor in our living room. I don’t exactly remember what it was she was checking out, but I think it was either an ingrown toenail or some form of a blister.

Before she bothered to examine the injury, the thing that actually mattered, she decided to have a fit over how disgusting my feet were. They were very calloused from the abuse they were constantly taking from me lumbering around playing too much basketball and not sitting still reading enough. There was also a section on the arch of my left foot where an entire layer of skin had painfully ripped off, for reasons I’ve never figured out.

“You should get a pedicure,” she said, and I laughed, because, well, I thought she was joking. Dudes don’t get pedicures. She wasn’t joking, at all. And, when my Mom gets a notion, she immediately develops tunnel vision and can talk about nothing else. For the next few months, she would continuously mention in passing how nasty my feet were, and she’d then try to sell me on the merits of getting a pedicure.

“It feels awesome, really” she’d say. “And your feet are so smooth when they’re finished.”

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So long, Michael Scott

[In reference to the title: That is a “That’s what she said” if you read it in broken English (see: Engrish)]

I’m not going to say I was ever a big Michael Scott fan, because if I did, anyone who I’ve ever talked with for more than five minutes about “The Office” would be able to instantly label me a liar. I’ve loved the show since it first came out, but his character always kind of irritated me. And yes, I know that’s kind of the point, but I just couldn’t get into it. Whenever he would do all of the stupid things he did, I’d get that feeling you get when you feel true embarrassment for someone else,and that’s my most-hated non-deep emotion. (Deep= when you feel legitimate sadness, depression, loneliness, etc.; Non-Deep=when you feel awkward, realize you forgot your lunch AGAIN, have a love interest halt all communication for no reason and without warning, etc.)

So, it might surprise you when I say I cried during Scott’s farewell episode last Thursday. Granted, if you look at me the wrong way, I’ll burst into tears (it’s just the way I am; Mom says I’m sensitive, but I don’t know, because sometimes I’m also a borderline sociopath), but man, I don’t even like the guy. I started crying during the part of the episode when Dwight Schrute reads a letter of recommendation Scott gave him as a parting gift. He started tearing up, so I started tearing up, and before I knew it I was biting my lip like how when any pretty girl does you instantly decide you would go bankrupt if you could make out with her for 10 seconds. I tried to hold back the tears but I was alone in my apartment, so I was like “fuck it, let’s make it rain in here.”

I wasn’t alone in this. Two of my friends -- who will remain unnamed, especially the male one -- told me they were crying at that point, via text message, and shortly after my Mom told me she began crying as well, even though she doesn’t really even watch the show that often. I’d texted her and told her it was a good thing I’d come home to watch it (my family was visiting, staying in a hotel down the street), because as much as I cry in comparison to normal guy standards, I for some reason hate doing it around other people. I'm also this way with singing and masturbating, though one of the two is negotiable. This is one of the reasons I love text messaging: you can connect with people over something without them seeing you do so, while also concentrating on something else entirely. It's a perfect medium of communication for someone who is both a talker and a coward, like I am.

I was able to hold myself together after my brief crying spell, until the scene where Scott and Jim Halpert have their final discussion. It was a beautiful television moment that they made seem very genuine, which I found to be amazing, because who knew Steve Carrell could actually act in a legitimately sappy scene? When Scott and Halpert talked about Scott’s departure that day, a full 24 hours before everyone else at Dunder Mifflin thought he was going to leave, I lost it. I think this was the first time in the entire series I could empathize with Michael Scott. This is something I would do. I hate goodbyes, so I’d at least consider leaving without having to have one big goodbye with all the people I’d grown so close to. I often thought of doing this at the end of college, when I cried while hugging males more often individually than most people worldwide did during the original “Rent” cast’s closing week on Broadway. I couldn’t ultimately do that, though, because my friends knew where I lived, and I was only moving 40 minutes away from our college town, so.

I knew initially I’d cry, just because of my sentimentality. (I’ve just now realized that next time I cry in front of a girl, it’ll seem much less significant if she’s read this. Also, I just wrote “next time” like this always happens. It’s been a while, okay?) I’ll probably cry during the last episode of “Robot Chicken,” just because I don’t like things that end after I’ve become used to having them in my life. I can find melodrama in anything. This is why I hate break-ups, and probably why I don’t date all that often. If you don’t start it, you can’t end it. But, I get attached to television shows, since I spend all those nights watching them instead of trying my damndest to go out and get laid. But, this wasn’t even a series finale (though it may as well be, this show will not go on much longer without Scott, just like X-Files when David Duchovny left), so I found myself wondering why I was so emotionally affected.

Then, it came to me. I don’t like Michael Scott, but I do like what he has contributed to society, and that is the most popular catchphrase to come from a sitcom since “Friends.” I think we can all agree that “That’s what she said” is much more hilarious than “How youuuuu doin’?” Joey Tribbiani can’t even grill Michael Scott’s bacon in the morning.

I’ve laughed at “That’s what she said” jokes more times than I can even accurately estimate, because I suck at math and because I’ve laughed at them lots. They’re great anytime anybody says them (my little brother has even begun to grasp them, and has produced some pretty solid ones despite having almost no understanding of sarcasm), but they’re best when Michael Scott says them. At the end of the show, I cried and laughed simultaneously. I craughed. Because during his last scene on the show forever as a regular cast member, as he took his mic out of his suit, he said, “I can’t wait to get this off my chest.” Then, you could barely make out a “That’s what she said.”

That’s a hell of a lot better than eating onion rings, or simply laying in some dense foliage and closing your eyes. Michael Scott made a hell of an exit.

So, tonight a new episode of “The Office” will be on, without Michael Scott, and I’m sure it’ll be pretty funny. So, I guess I’m already over the emotions I was feeling last Thursday. Like a girl shunning you, his leaving was a non-deep emotion.

I’m happy with the way he left “The Office.”

I don’t think it came too soon.

...That’s what she said.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

President Obama's climactic Sunday Funday

President Barack Obama had one hell of a weekend. Not, like, one of those I-got-hammered-with-my-friends-and-went-to-a-stripclub weekend, either. It was a weekend, in fact, that probably blows pretty much everyone else’s out of the water. And when I write “everyone,” I include myself and Prince William, even though we both had pretty nice weekends. I haven’t talked to the British Slick Willy, but he got married (ehhh...) and is now sharing a bed with the former Kate Middleton (MY MAN!), so I’m estimating his weekend was cool. I got to hang out with most of my family, and spontaneously heard Nas’s seminal classic “Oochie Wally” on Saturday night at a bar, so mine was good. I bet those guys who got drafted by NFL franchises had good ones, too. They at least had me beat -- barely, though. It’s a catchy song (though very, very vulgar).

But then Obama decided to clandestinely give the go-ahead for a military operation that would, if it went as planned, result in the killing or capture of Osama Bin Laden, a guy who I think we can all agree is one of few in history whose death has actually warranted maniacal celebration. After that, he snagged his wife and daughters and jetted to Alabama, where he attempted to comfort some of the victims of the recent devastating tornados that ravaged the area. After that, he stopped in Florida, where he was initially going to watch a NASA launch that was delayed. He still decided to go, though, so he could hang out privately for a few minutes with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona, who was recently shot by a guy who, much like Bin Laden, sucks.

After that, he gave a commencement speech at Miami Wade College (see what I did there?! Ha!) before heading back to Washington, where he dressed up like James Bond for the White House Correspondents’ Association annual black tie dinner. It was here that he busted on Donald Trump and countless others in a stand-up routine that was even supplemented by a clip from "The Lion King," if you can believe it. His time at the podium lasted 18 minutes. He spent the first 16 being hilarious, and then the last two were spent thanking the armed forces, some of whom were at that time gearing up to merck the world's biggest douchebag.

Trump balked at being cut up on so badly, and took to Fox News Sunday morning to lament that he was the butt of so many jokes. "It was almost like, is there anyone else they could talk about?" he asked, which is kind of a peculiar thing for someone to say who had spent the previous weeks talking about pretty much nothing except a piece of paper. (Also it should be noted here that Trump was recently roasted on Comedy Central. By that dude from "Jersey Shore." Voluntarily.)

So, Obama found someone else to talk about. Sunday night, Navy Seals raided the compound where Bin Laden was hiding, and one of them shot him in the head, twice -- leading me to believe he'd seen "Zombieland" and is an advocate of the "double-tap." The timing couldn't have been better for a few reasons. Of course, all of these are very, very insignificant when compared to Bin Laden actually being killed, and I acknowledge that, but still, the timing of it all was pretty cool. Since I’ve always been painfully awful with good timing, it really resonated. (Read: I always used to have to pee sometime in the two minutes before a basketball game I was playing in was to tip off. Also, my life’s romantic relationship experience is best described as something like a kid playing game after game of musical chairs and always losing because he was either in the wrong place at the wrong time or momentarily quit paying attention.)

-The announcement was made toward the end of "Celebrity Apprentice," shortly after every station went to a live news feed. I doubt this was intentional, but it's nice to think it was. I'm sure Trump, in his arrogance, thinks so, anyway. I'm still not sure who got fired that week, but I hope it wasn't Meatloaf.

-The NFL draft was finished.

-Bin Laden was killed at the end of a weekend that started with the aforementioned royal wedding. The U.S. really stole the thunder. I mean, think about it: England's taxpayers just shelled out $39 million to wed two people who have done just about as much as Paris Hilton to become famous. American taxpayers had the notion reinforced that the taxes they're spending to fund the military are at least partially being used to kill terrorists. This was done by killing the most sought after terrorist in the entire world.

I guess it's a good thing Obama hadn't been at the wedding that took place Friday -- he’d not been invited. He may not have been able to green light the military action if he was in England wearing a penguin suit. It seems like something you don’t do over Skype, like breaking up. (You break up through a text message, obviously.) Again, I'm sure the timing of all this wasn't planned for purposes of vanity, but how nice is it to picture Obama sitting in a hot tub early Monday morning, smoking a cigar, chuckling and saying "haters gonna hate" over and over again while he watches the news coverage of what has easily been one of the best moments of his presidency? I like to picture it with a little audio in the background. Some “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” by Young Gunz. You’d better tuck your girl, if she hot, fam; ‘Cause I’m pretty sure she’s a Barack fan. When he gets out, he dons a robe and starts to either crip walk or to do this dance.

I wonder what Aaron Sorkin and Oliver Stone are doing. This sequence of events might make a pretty good movie.


When I first started writing this, I was hesitant about making Obama the focal point. I realize what happened to Bin Laden is a huge victory, and one that was carried out physically and tactically by the military, who deserve mad props. But, I don't think it's too crazy to boo love on Obama right now a little bit, too. Because he's a symbolic entity. On Team America, the dude is equal parts coach and quarterback, the two who always get the majority of the love and hate. You don't hear much about the guys behind the scenes, unless they screw it up. You don't hear about the linemen all that much until the quarterback gets sacked a bunch of times. That's just the way it is, and it's the same thing on the other side of sanity. Bin Laden was once the Taliban big man on campus. He called the shots, and remained the face of the misguided franchise after they learned to operate without him, while he hid in the mountains. Kind of like how Joe Montana is still kind of the face of the 49ers (terrible analogy). It's vastly important to remember that terrorism is still out there, and may not have lost that much strength with Bin Laden's death, and it's just as important to try and recognize the people in the military and the tough work they're still going to have to do. It’s got to be scary and emotionally taxing, and I’m pretty confident I don’t have the fortitude to do some of the things some of them end up having to do.

But, anyway: What a Sunday Funday, am i right? Kids at Penn State took to the streets and partially destroyed the town, which is how they let America know they're really happy with something. Though I still don't understand the compulsion to destroy things in the place you live to celebrate a positive occurrence, I guess I'm glad they're doing it for something so significant that has not one thing to do with football.