Thursday, September 18, 2008

This Isn't Really Happening, Is It?

Last night the Cubs lost to the Brewers, the second-place, division-rival, on-the-cusp-of-the-wild-card Milwaukee Brewers.

Any other season, this would be a time to panic. There would be screaming, crying, and trips to Cost Plus to stock up on bottled water and battery-operated emergency radios. If this were last year, last night’s game would have caused pharmaceutical-like side effects: vomit, diarrhea, weight loss, and bleeding from the eyes.

If this were any other time in the history of the Chicago Cubs, I would be worried that the Cubs were on the verge of another 2004, when they lost the wild card spot in the final weeks of the regular season. After all, the Cubs have to play these Brewers four more times, including the last three games.

But this isn’t any other year. Last night, I simply shrugged, and thought, “How cute. The Brewers won a game.”

Part of my laissez-faire attitude towards the Brewers is that I don’t think they are a very good team beyond their two aces, Sheets and Sabathia, and I’m as confident as a Cubs fan can possibly be that the Cubs would take the Brewers in a seven game series. Another reason is that I have tickets to the Dodgers first home playoff game, and if Milwaukee wins the wild card, then the Cubs will be playing in LA.

But the main reason I don’t care about last night’s game is because, for the first time in my life, I don’t have to. That’s right. There is a little over two weeks left in the season, and I’m not agonizing over the Cubs.

This year, the Cubs have taken the division without much adversity, and they’ve been the dominant National League team. At no time this year was there any real panic. Sure, the Cubs recently went through a slump and faced the possibility of losing their two best pitchers for the season, but that scare lasted only a matter of days. Cubs fans are used to suffering for months, years, even centuries.

The whole situation is almost anti-climatic. I’m sure Mets, Phillies, and especially Brewers fans are dying right now. Baseball is a frustrating sport.
Not for me. Not this year. It’s a very strange time to be a Cubs fan. There’s no worry to go along with the whole thing. This must be what it feels like to be a Yankees or Braves fan.

Of course, being a Cubs fan, I’m sure it will all fall apart rather quickly. We still have to actually win in the playoffs, something we couldn’t do last year. Plus, I’ve already cursed them by buying playoff tickets, not to mention writing this blog. But at least I didn’t buy Angels/Cubs World Series tickets. At least not yet.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Life Is All About Balance Too. 'Cause I'm a Gymnast.

Yesterday it was brought to my attention that Cameron Diaz has a long list of demands that any potential partner must meet before they achieve official boyfriend status.

She told InStyle, "My list is all about balance. You can have smart but not funny. You can have funny but not very smart. You can have intellectual but not social. But I want it all! I love big brains, I love to eat, I love to be outdoors, I love to have conversations, I love to make love. I don't do anything half-assed, and I want someone who can keep up with all that."

Funny. I have my own list of demands that a potential girlfriend must meet. Here it is:

1. Must brush teeth. And hers as well.

2. Must be willing to observe Weird Al Yankovic Day on the 23rd of every month, at which time she will dress up as Weird Al and sing “I Want a New Duck” three consecutive times while I do sit-ups.

3. Must agree to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that she will never disclose to anyone at anytime my obsession with Gossip Girl star Chase Crawford.

4. Must never say the word “guacamole” in my presence.

5. Every time she tells me she misses me, she must immediately follow that statement with “like the deserts miss the rain.”

6. Must be able to cook human flesh, just in case.

7. Must like the outdoors and sleep there.

8. When a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, she must let me know.

9. Must be willing to sign a prenuptial prenup stating that if we ever get married she will then sign a prenuptial agreement offering me all of her money in case of divorce.

10. Must start returning my phone calls. I’m only going to call, like, seven more times before I start sending threatening letters.

(Thanks to Cameron Diaz beat reporter Brendan Muldoon for additional reporting.)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Reality of One's Own

You may not know me, but I am currently starring in my own reality television series. Some may argue that since there are no actual cameras following me and since there are no current plans in place for my show to be filmed, that I’m not technically a reality-television star. Those people are just haters, all up in my Jello, and they don’t even know the flavor.

What is unique about my reality show, besides being the first reality show not actually on television, is my use of the Tire Screech! sound effect. This is employed whenever something unexpected happens. For example, the other day I arrived at my car to find a parking ticket. Tire Screech! Originally, I was going to go with the Record Needle Scratch! But that was done to death by The Simple Life. Thanks a lot Nicole and Paris.

People often ask me what it is like being on reality television. They don’t actually, but if they did I would tell them how wonderful it is to have the most banal moments of your life condensed into montage and set to the most obvious music available for licensing. For instance, the past three days I’ve been waiting by the phone for a call from my mechanic telling me that my car is ready. These three days will be edited down to a 10 second clip set to “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

I also get to re-shoot any scenes of my life that I don’t think play well on the first take. The other day I ate a donut. “Can we do that one more time for the cameras?” I asked no one in particular. By the time we got it right there were eleven more takes. And then I threw up, a scene that will be available only on the special-edition DVD.

Being on a reality show also helps me delay any important decisions I may have to make. The other night my girlfriend asked me, “Do you want to eat Thai food tonight or Mexican?” I was about to answer, but then I paused, dramatic music was cued, and I cut to commercial. Two minutes and two seconds later, I told her that I didn’t care.

Admittedly, my reality show isn’t very good right now. I think what my life needs is more contrived dramatic set-ups. I’m going to go home tonight and have my girlfriend insist that I take harmonica lessons so that I can perform a medley on her birthday. This should provide ample opportunity to employ the Tire Screech! sound effect while my exasperated harmonica instructor tries to teach me rhythm.

Of course, the exposure I’ve gotten from my reality television show has really given a boost to my career. But, like those people on The Hills, I know that life after reality television can be tough, so I’m hoping to use the momentum and exposure to start my own restaurant. It's a sushi restaurant where the sushi is served by hamsters wearing tiny backpacks. If anyone is interested in investing, let me know. The producer of my reality show isn’t returning my calls, most likely because he doesn’t exist.