Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Carolina Thrift

Hi!  I'm Jake!

I'm in High Point, North Carolina, hanging out with my fianceé and her family.  Next month, we're getting married here. Yay! This week, Callie is also taking me to one of her best friends's wedding.  Yesterday, I found out that in addition to the dress up clothes I already brought out here, I need a second set of dress-up clothes for the rehearsal dinner. Fantastic.  They're doing a dress rehearsal dinner- only I am not allowed to wear the same dress clothes twice.  Lame.

This is how I like to dress,
wearing a vest, a John Deere hat,
and a puking snowman t-shirt.
Assuming I get the cheap kind of dress clothes Men's Wearhouse markets to my squalid demographic, a new set of clothes, complete with dress shirt, tie, suit, et cetera could cost me $300! That's about $350 more than I want to spend on dress clothes!

This is a problem for several reasons:
  • I hate dressing up. 
  • I hate being forced to dress up.
  • I hate trying on clothes- especially clothes I don't want to wear and that I will never wear again! 
  • I hate paying for clothes I don't want and that I will never wear again!
  • After paying for my wedding ring, my suit, the honeymoon, countless meals, flights, hotel rooms, all the times I have traveled out here regardless of the work I can add on to the trip, car repairs, et cetera, ad nauseam, I am broke!  I am literally broke.  I can't afford dress clothes.
  • I really hate dressing up.
Fortunately, we went to Carolina Thrift, High Point's main thrift store. Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because Carolina Thrift!

1. The total for our purchases was significantly less than $300.
Did I tell you how much I hate dressing up? Did I tell you how much I hate paying to dress up? Well good news: After a grueling hour picking out clothes, taking back the suit that we liked (but we found out it was a tux), wearing 10 different pairs of pants that didn't fit for 10 different reasons, we found something.  We found dress slacks, a nice shirt, and a blue, Republican blazer.

Based on the price tags, "we" only had to spend about $20.  At least it wasn't $300!  I'm thankful for that- kind of.

2. Okay, so I had a little fun- begrudgingly.
Turns out, trying on all the super-short pants and too tiny coats was fun.  It was fun finding out just how many articles of clothing had weird, inexplicable stains.  

My fianceé has often complained about my "bad taste in clothes."  However, back when I did college forensics (speech competitions, not dead people) I dressed up every weekend.  Despite my dislike for dressing nicely, I was pretty good at it. 

Yesterday, my fiancee picked out several shirts that I knew would not go with the solid blue blazer.  She picked out stripes, wrong colors, patterns, etc.  Some of these shirts were nice in their own right, but I knew they wouldn't go with the shirt and blazer we picked out.  I'm getting to the point.  The point is I knew a light blue dress shirt would look sharp with that combo.  She didn't believe me til I tried it on and put the combination together.  It was fun being right.

So, somehow, using my ego, she tricked me into having fun and taking pride in my appearance!  Tricky woman!  I am thankful for her.

3. I got a big surprise!
Usually, I get up to the register and I am surprised how much everything costs. However, as the cashier was ringing up my pants, jacket, and shirt, I noticed after every transaction, a number with a negative sign would appear too.

"$9.00.  -$4.50.  $5.00. -$2.50."

I asked what the hey was going on.  The cashier said "Everything with an orange tag is half-off today."  Incroyable!  I had no idea!  I was expecting to pay $20 and "we" only had to pay $10.59. Not bad!

See that, fancy North Carolinans?  I can come to your high societé functions dressed to the nines, but I'll also be dress to the $9.99s!  I look hoity-toity, but for a fraction of the price! I'm thankful for that!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rep. Todd Akin Legitimate Raped His Own Career!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

If you have access to the internet- since you're reading this, I postulate that you do- then you are aware that Representative Todd Akin (R, Missouri) spoke some very unwise words this week. He said “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare.... If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” -Talking Points Memo Magazine.

Watch this awesome video:

Wow!  Wow!  Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because Rep. Todd Akin Legitimate Raped His Own Career!

1. Twitter has been a bunch of fun today!
After Akin's ridiculous remarks, Twitter exploded as  comedian/ Twitter star Rob Delaney (@robdelaney) popularized a twitter trend/ hashtag, #legitimaterape. Thousands of people are using this hashtag to discuss the issue.  Even Facebook is getting in on the fun -as well as they can.  But yeah, I have been reading tweets and laughing all day!

Here's one of my favorites that @robdelaney wrote:
I’m glad GOP Congress members have excellent gov’t healthcare so they can get the ulcer medication they’ll need after this@RepToddAkin news

Here's one from Comedian Lizz Winstead) (@LizzWinstead):
Where on the doll did he legitimize you? #LegitimateRape #BurningStupidity

Here's a tweet I wrote (@jakeisfantastic):
@RepToddAkin knows what he's talking about. His #legitimaterape studies are thorough, based on the legitimate rapes he conducted.

Anyway, it has been a lot of fun.  Rape is not a super funny topic, but watching an idiot ruin his career with a dumb comment about it is funny!  I'm thankful for that.

2. Akin is a pariah- even amongst the Republican Party!
With the rapid spread of this Twitter hashtag, the GOP has distanced themselves from Akin.  Today, they pulled his funding from his upcoming Missouri House of Representatives race. Yay!  I'm thankful for that!  

That's what you get for being stupid on TV! I am glad we live in a country where we are theoretically free to say whatever we want. I am just glad that this comment reached enough people so they can see who is- and has been- "representing them" this whole time.  I am thankful for that!

3. I am a loudmouthed idiot, but I am smarter than a Congressman!
I have said some super-dumb things in my life.  I accidentally made a joke about my fianceè's grandma today that landed me in the dog house.  I wasn't jokin about her actual grandma, but I used the word grandma inappropriately (I will not repeat the joke for fear of repercussions) and it made her super mad/ sad. Fortunately, I sad that comment to her.  I didn't air my stupid comment on TV.  I said it in her kitchen.   I was then able to apologize directly to all parties affected.  

Todd Akin, on the other hand, is just screwed.  Americans like a show.  They like to be fickle.  They don't really have any ide who their representatives really are.  We just know our reps are rich and taking advantage of us.  But when one of them screws up like this, at least we get a show.  At least now, we know that this guy needs to get fired.  I'm thankful for that!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Hi!  I'm Jake!

Yesterday was awesome.  I have lived in Texas for most of the past year.  Yet, yesterday, I finally went to one of the biggest water parks in Texas- nay, the world!  I went to Schlitterbahn, in New Braunfels, Texas.  It was a fun-filled day!

So here are 3 Things I am Thankful For about Schlitterbahn!

1. We had fun in the sun (and water) for over 10 hours!
Because the price of admission is so expensive ($45 for a day pass), Matt Golightly & I made a day of it. We got there at 10:15, right after it opened.  We left at 8:45- 45 minutes after they closed!  They were pretty cool about it. Aside from standing in line, we spent most of the day wetter than pus.

The best ride was Master Blaster. Of course, that also had about an hour-long wait in line each time we did it.  But Master Blaster was awesome. You basically drop straight down then the water pressure shoots you up almost as quickly. This happens several times.  The ride only lasts about 50 seconds, but it's pretty sweet.

I also liked The Falls, a lazy river that loops around and around the park.  You can get off at several exits and enjoy rides near those exits. The Falls also has occasional rapids.  It's fun.  There aren't really any actual falls, though.  That's kind of misleading.  It's basically just a lazy river that is not so lazy.

I think it was a good deal. Since they let us bring in food and beverages, we didn't have to buy their pricey foods and beverages.  The main cost was the $45 admission.  Considering we rode rides for about 10.5 hours, that's about $4 per hour.

2. Schlitterbahn is fun to say!
There are several scenarios when it's fun to say Schlitterbahn. By the way, try saying that sentence 3 times fast! "There are sheveral schenarios when it's fun to shay Schlitterbahn."  

Here are some examples of when it's fun to say Schlitterbahn:
  • If you have even the slightest lisp, say Schlitterbahn, and you'll sound like a giant dork. It's great!  Do it at parties! "I shell Schlitterbahn sheason pashes down by the theashore."
  • Schlitterbahn sounds like a poo joke.  "I need to get some New Braunfels.  I just Schlitterbahned myself!"
  • Schlitterbahn is a great innuendo. Instead of saying you drove up the Hershey Highway, say "Francine is great. She let me drive up her Schlitterbahn!"
  • I look pinker than the
    hot dogs my gut eats.
  • The next time your friend gets on a scary water park ride, tell them "Schlitter-Bon Voyage!"
See? Schlitterbahn is just fun to say. I'm thankful for that.  You are probably not.

3. I got a great tan.
You'd be surprised how dark you get after 10 hours of uninterrupted Texas sunshine.  Look at my beautiful skin!  A tan can help protect your body against harmful radioactive sun rays. Well, imagine how much protection my body has after this great, sexy dark tan! I'm thankful for that!

As always, I am thankful you read my blog.
Bye!  I'm Jake!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tao Te Ching 16-We're all Going To Die!

Hi!  I'm Jake!

My mind has been a crumbly scramble the past few weeks. Delayed flights, my hernia, awesome shows, bad news, performing near the mass graves lining the Mexican border.  I even missed a gig due to Southwest Airlines's broken planes.  My reputation suffered.  I've also had some of my most favorite shows ever in the past 2 weeks.  Money coming and going, being surrounded by cokeheads. Ups and downs like crazy.

I've gotten a lot of useful and comforting advice from my dad, my roommate, and my fianceè.  ¡Fantastico!  However, when I was on the plane to and from the gig Southwest caused me to miss, and when I was within 15 miles of mass murders that regularly happen across the border, it was great just to read and re-read and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read chapters 12, 13, and 16 of Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.  Here's Chapter 16:

"ATTAIN to utmost Emptiness.
Cling single-heartedly to interior peace.
While all things are stirring together,
I only contemplate the Return.
For flourishing as they do,
Each of them will return to its root.
To return to the root is to find peace.
To find peace is to fulfill one's destiny.
To fulfill one's destiny is to be constant.
To know the Constant is called Insight.
If one does not know the Constant,
One runs blindly into disasters.
If one knows the Constant,
One can understand and embrace all.
If one understands and embraces all,
One is capable of doing justice.
To be just is to be kingly;
To be kingly is to be heavenly;
To be heavenly is to be one with the Tao;
To be one with the Tao is to abide forever.
Such a one will be safe and whole
Even after the dissolution of his body." -Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
Okay, there is a lot to read and re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read here. To break it down, though, Tao Te Ching is telling is to constantly contemplate "the Return", or our deaths.  It says we will all return to our "root"- or the dirt.  That's our destiny.  If we don't know our destiny, we run blindly into disasters.  But, if you know you're going to die, you can stop worrying about all that crap in life that is pretty meaningless.  You can put that stuff aside, be just, kingly, heavenly, safe and whole- even after your body rots and you return to the dirt.

To break it down further, Tao Te Ching says "we're all going to die so chill out and don't scurry around screwing up people's lives like an insane dickface."

Here are 3 Things I Am Thankful For because of Tao Te Ching Chapter 16- We're All Going To Die!

1. Tao Te Ching Chapter 16 rhymes.
If something rhymes, it makes it way easier for me to look it up again. "What chapter was that?  Oh yeah: it rhymes with 'Ching' so it must be 16.  ¡Fantastico!"

I'm thankful for that.

2. Chapter 16 relieves my stress.
Especially these days with information overload, it is really easy for my attention deficit brain to overload. It's really easy for me to short circuit myself into a jerk.  When I realized I was missing a really important gig due to Southwest Airlines's shortcomings, my first response was to quickly unravel and spin out of control into panic mode.  I was leaving frantic voicemails and texts.  I basically did a lot of things that the sane, rational version of myself regrets.

When I finally got on a plane, though, Tao Te Ching reminded me there will always be a bunch of things stirring around, but one day I will be back in the dirt.  So, the fact that Southwest Airlines kind of  dorked me out of a gig might suck today- and it might even screw up my reputation with this booker I was supposed to work for- none of that matters when I'm in the dirt.  The only thing I can do is calm my mind and experience the situation.  That's way more productive.

After reading this passage, I was way less of a douche.  You're thankful for that.

3. Chapter 16 is only one page.
That's one cool thing about Tao Te Ching.  Each chapter is only one page- max!  A lot of the chapters are only half page- or even just a quarter page!  So, I can bang out a whole chapter in minutes. That feels pretty good. "I need to read this chapter.  Ok. Done!  What's next on my queue?"

Also, I'm really glad each chapter is only one page. I have been reading this book for about 7 years. I read each chapter over and over and over. The more I read this book, the more it blows my mind.  Every time I read a chapter, I have to stop.  I need to soak that message in before I get my mind blown again.  My mind is like my body.  It can only be blown once before it needs to recharge for a bit.  Yep. That's a sexual epiphany. Enjoy!  You;re thankful for that.  Me too.