Humor

Open Letter to the Mysterious Animal Hiding in My Apartment

Dear Mysterious Creature,

Welcome. Out of all the windows in Rochester, you chose mine to climb through, and that is an honor. Thank you. My wife heard your ruckus in the living room, the other afternoon, during her day off. I’m sure you weren’t expecting us home. Anyway, the next day, I came across your marking on the window screen which revealed your entry and exit point.

Monster Screen-2

I guess you could say the gig is up.

Nevertheless, since we now share living space there are some ground rules to cover.

1. My wife is not a fan of mysterious creatures. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t like you; it just means she doesn’t know you, and that you two should avoid each other for the time being.

2. I, on the other hand, am a HUGE fan of mysterious creatures, proven—of course—by the sweet hum of The X-Files theme song, sweeping out of my bedroom nightly, and—no doubt—into your ears as you watched us from outside, below our bedroom window.

3. Label your food. Don’t eat mine, and I won’t eat yours.

4. If you want to borrow any of my books, please ask. It is polite. Also, I’m weird about the aesthetics and order of my bookcase, so don’t just return titles willie-nilly.

5. The bed is off limits. Though if you prove yourself, we can revisit this rule in time.

I’m curious, monster, where do you come from? Are you a cousin of El Chupacabra? Friends with the Jersey Devil? Are you on your way to visit Champ, the lake monster of Lake Champlain?

And I wonder what you normally eat. I found no food missing from the kitchen, which adds to the mystery. Can I get you anything from Wegmans? No doubt, we are almost out of Ben & Jerry’s; I can pick up your favorite ice-cream pint. Let me guess, Late Night Snack(more…)

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How I Met Your Coffee Maker

*Kids, back in 2013 when your mom and I moved to Rochester, I had to immediately address a problem of epic proportions. So big, in fact, that the word “epic” is indeed applicable, but not entirely accurate. Rather, let’s use a better word. Let’s call it “legendary.”

The problem, kids, was the how the hell I would make my morning coffee.

See, we got rid of everything when we moved—everything that wouldn’t fit in the car. And in a blind rage of yard sales and give aways, my french press was lost and forgotten in the hubbub. As we drove across the continent, stopping at gas stations for dollar “coffee,” I prayed for a brighter future. A bolder future. An acidic future. One that involved coffee.

You know, the one.

Season 1

But I’m getting ahead of myself. It all started in Idaho when I was in my early twenties. I worked at a Natural Foods store in Coeur d’Alene where local roasters would come to teach—as monks enlighten—and they would also come to replenish their store bins. It was through these vendors (Doma, Evans Bros, and Equal Exchange) that I learned to sip, spit, and smell my coffee.

And coffee became more than just a warm liquidated caffeine which instigated BMs. Coffee became everything. I had learned the secrets of the bean. I began to taste subtle notes. I researched and learned growing and roasting techniques. My lips began to automatically scowl at shelves with Folgers and hands holding Starbucks.

I preached about Fair Trade and just wages (annoying everyone I talked to).

Before long, I couldn’t depend on work coffee. I had to make the “plunge” and buy a home maker, something my coffee monk friends would approve of. The french press, of course. It was a single cup beauty, and she served it hot, gritty, and frighteningly strong. (more…)

Rochester, NY: Halfway Point (& Beyond)

That’s right, Constant Reader. My wife and I are halfway through our stay in Rochester, NY. Can you believe it? Time flies, I suppose. Junior year at the University of Rochester was no picnic, but I made it nonetheless, Dean’s List, might I add.

According to the muggy thunderstorm that kept me up all night, we’re heading into summer. I hear Rochester is a great place to live in the non-winter months (some people argue it’s a great place to live year-round, but that is neither here nor there). I’m not a big fan of humidity, nor am I a big fan of really hot weather. As it turns out, I’m a baby who was spoiled with a constant breeze of 60 degree, California ocean weather.

SIDE NOTE: We Californians consistently do one thing, and that one thing is complaining about any non-60 degree ocean breeze weather. I’m sorry, but I’m helpless about it. I’m a weather snob.

So what do we do after Rochester? After college? Good questions! Even if they are slightly personal, I don’t mind you asking them. I suppose. Before we know it the next year will be over and it will be time to leave. I really, really need to think seriously about my future. Here are my options, friend, as I see them.

Kevin’s List of Future Possibillitude

1. Apply for financial aid as a “student of life”

2. Launch a new political party and/or morning TV talk show: Kevin & Friends

3. Partner with Applebees for a 30 day food documentary: “Appetizer Me”

4. Solve California’s water crisis by releasing snakes everywhere (people will leave)

5. Publish my passion-project novel, Band Names: Called It!

6. Revolutionize the beverage coaster business

7. Freelance as an evangelical pastor (weekend gig)

8. Protest cat bloggers

9. Discover a cure for cow-licks (more…)

Proof My Life is a Movie and That I’m On To You

My favorite all-time movie is The Truman Show. I think its Jim Carrey’s finest hour on screen (Eternal Sunshine, of course, is a very close second). As a child (1998!), I remember exiting the movie theatre convinced that my life was one big TV show and everybody was in on it. There has since surfaced a mental delusion called Truman Syndrome or The Truman Show Delusion where people believe their lives are really staged plays, TV shows, or films.

I’m proud to say that I am not a sufferer of Truman Syndrome. However, I am on to you bastards. Some strange things have been happening this last week, and the only logical explanation is that I’m trapped inside a hilarious, yet tragically poignant, reality television program and/or movie. (more…)

Years Later, My Favorite Wedding Gift

You twist, you spin, I pull you apart; you are my favorite wedding gift. Years have passed. The avocado colored bowls, plates, and cups have cracked, chipped, and splattered–thrown out in the garbage can, also since replaced. How do you throw away a garbage can?

You are my favorite wedding gift.

You are dependable and full of life, easy to convince. At your best you come through when I need you. Paper airplanes and renegade shoes have flown across rooms to kill visiting spiders; picture frames were hit and dented the floors. They didn’t last. (more…)

Saturday Skit: Roll With It

“Smell it,” he says.

“I don’t want to smell it.” Davey lifts up the plate and pushes it towards my face. I jerk my head back, saving my nose from shame.

“Piss, right?”

“It does not smell like piss.”

“My sushi is drenched in piss, here—“ he lifts the plate higher. “Brian, I’m telling you, my rainbow roll is absolutely radiating of piss.” We stare at each other, and Davey doesn’t budge: “Smell it!”

“Get your sushi out of my face.” One by one, surrounding tables pick up our conversation and begin eating their edamame like popcorn. One skinny Japanese waitress—the one who isn’t fooling anyone with that accent—she walks by and finds us arguing.

“Ever-ting arright?” She twirls her pointer in a curl. Her name tag says Sarah.

“Fine, thanks.”

“It’s not fine,” Davey fires. “Ma’m, my rainbow roll… it…”

“Uh-huuh”

“It smells like pee.” The quick sound of a half-popped edamame shell plopping into a bowl of soy sauce is heard. Even the fish have stopped swimming. (more…)