Friday, December 31, 2010


New Year’s resolutions are stupid.  There.  I said it.

On the heels of the holiday season gluttony, everyone tries to come up with ways to improve themselves.  A new year means a new me?  No.  I am a firm believe that at this point in my life, I’m pretty much the best version of me I’m ever gonna be.  Not great.  Definitely not perfect.  Let's call it 'good enough.'

Could I watch less TV, spend less money on useless crap, and/or stop using ‘the C word” when driving in traffic with such relish and fervor?  Probably. Will I?  Most. Definitely. Not.

Making up resolutions is just an annual exercise in guilt, shame, and hating yourself every February.  If you haven’t lost the weight, kicked the habit, or learned something new by now based solely on your ability to self-motivate, do you really think a new year will instantly make you want to be a better person?  I doubt it.

This my be really cynical, but I have very little faith in the common person's ability to better themselves, especially if they are merely doing it as part of a yearly craze that sweeps the nation like the Cupid Shuffle at wedding receptions.  The best time to be a better person is when you are ready to nut up and do it, not January 1st, Lent, or any other self-control based tradition.

So, to all of you who make New Year's resolutions, you get my blessing, a ‘good luck,’ and (in 5-7 weeks) a well-intentioned ‘I told ya so!’

Everyone have a wonderful New Year and don't change anything about who you are!

PS - on a somewhat related note, resolutions are also stupid small talk fodder and/or an excuse for backdoor bragging.  The latter you think I would be OK with...

UPDATE - Come February, I'm gonna make a YouTube video with my 'toldyaso' dance so you can send it to everyone you know who reneged on their resolutions.  Keep an eye out.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


If you haven’t heard or paid attention to my banner, I want to defeat the Internet.  This has been a dream of mine since the 8th grade when AOL was awesome, I had a email address, and the dial-up connection was about as fast as a geriatric 100 meter three-legged race.

It was the fall of 1999 and the Y2K craze was sweeping the nation.  Crazies storing up canned pork and beans, religious extremist groups more crazy than usual, and one curious/devious 8th grader was making his first strides towards world domination/destruction.

I haven’t done any retroactive research on the issue, but wasn’t everyone freaked out that computers would go all Courtney Love and not work with the ‘00’ year?  I guess I don’t really remember, but my 8th grade self understood it this way…

So, I sat down at the family computer and set the fake date and time to December 31st, 1999 11:59 PM.  I waited for what felt like forever for my computer to explode, destroy the Internet, and/or turn into a Transformer and battle axe me.  




I sat back and was rest assured that my Armageddon dry run would make the new millennium smiles times all around.  While a part of me was relieved, a bigger part of me was disappointed that I didn't end it all...

Coming up on 2011, I still have a deep, burning desire to defeat the Internet.  If you haven’t checked out the ‘About Me’ section above and are too lazy to see it I’ll say it here.  I want to defeat the Internet.  See picture:

Hopefully, by the end of 2011, I’ll hope to be a famous writer/blogger who can work from home in my underpants and eat bacon all day.

Or my Plan B is winning Top Chef regardless of the fact I have never had any formal culinary training…

Monday, December 27, 2010

Childhood Trauma: Part V - Scapegoat

When I look back on my terribly traumatic childhood, I don’t know how I don’t spend half of my income on therapy or the rest of my life incarcerated due to an emotional string of serious crimes… I guess there’s still plenty of time for both.

Anyway, I was the youngest of five jack wagons of varying levels of intelligence, big personalities, and their own emotional scaring from our parents’ laissez-faire child-rearing practices.  I’m kidding (sort of)…  They were great parents.  But with the five of us, my parents' primary goal in raising us was ‘don’t have more children.’

So, being the youngest, I didn’t get the full experience of being spoiled until I was in high school because I’m pretty sure we were borderline destitute.  I was only spoiled with blame for anything and everything that went wrong in our lives. 

I mean, in reality, I was probably only 80% responsible… (I was a real A-hole growing up).  Nevertheless, my adopted German family reverted to their 1940s ancestors and made me the scapegoat for the full 100%.

This cruel truth was never more apparent to my parents than one fateful day when I was displeased with something, and I ran to the living room to pout while they continued to ignore me in the kitchen.  In true John form, I threw myself down on the couch with a dramatic slump.  The next thing I know, the ceiling is falling in on me like an avalanche.  Cheap popcorn texture, insulation, and probably a lot of other random carcinogens came crashing down on my 5 year old body.

I immediately bolted for the kitchen screaming “I DIDN’T DO IT!  I DIDN’T DO IT! I DIDN’T DO IT.”

As they washed my eyes out with water in the bathroom sink, I hoped they would be overcome with guilt and reevaluate their parenting that led me to believe I involuntarily destroyed our house!  But in reality, my dad was probably just excited to get to remodel the living room…

This stuff is real.  If I could make it up, I would be a fiction writer, not a blogger.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Leggo My Ego

When you have strong opinions, or more specifically strong opinions about your strong opinions, or even more specifically very strong opinions about the strong opinions you have about yourself, you tend to get a little bit of a distorted view of yourself that is disproportionate to your actual abilities.

I am guilty of this from time to time.

This is never more apparent than with my perception of my ability to sing and dance.  In my head, I am the next big thing and/or cast member of Glee, when in reality, I have a reasonable amount of rhythm and can carry a tune (not very far, mind you, but carried none the less). 

People (sometimes drunk... usually stupid) will compliment my singing, dancing, or sense of humor, and say outlandish things like ‘have you ever had professional dance training?’ or ‘you should be a stand-up comedian!’  I feel sorry that these people clearly have a devastatingly inaccurate definition of the word ‘professional’ and that they haven’t been around me long enough to find my humor repetitive, annoying, and usually a quote from 30 Rock. 

Regardless of how horribly misguided/uninformed these compliments may be, I am usually drunk when I hear them and take them to heart.  Then, my ego gets too inflated, and I have to think of my glaring deficiencies to get it ego back to slightly narcissistic.  The two most easily noticeable and tragic would be my knowledge of geography and math.

True (sad) story: My friend/coworker were having a ‘I am smarter than you’ moment where we challenged each other to see if we could label a blank map of the US with all 50 states in under 5 minutes.  I lost.

I REALLY wish this was an exaggeration.  Why Idaho is on there twice and there is ‘X’ where Kansas should be?  I’ll never know.  This stupidity is real, y’all.  I also got into an argument that the continental US had 5 time zones...

Another true (possibly sadder) story: I was so bad in my high school pre-calculus class, I had a friend calculate what I would have to make on my final to PASS the class.  I think I needed a 50, and I was still stressing out about that!  When I went in to ask my teacher what I made, fearing I would be a 20 year old high school senior in one of the most horrible educational institutions in West Texas, he informed me I got a 52 and I was elated.  The bar was set incredibly low and I was never more proud of myself for marginally surpassing it!

PS - I was well into my teenage years before I could fully tell time on analog clocks...

UPDATE: I don't have the world's firmest grasp on the understanding of Daylight Savings Time either... I just got into a heated verbal argument with a coworker about this... I was wrong.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Childhood Trauma: Part IV - A Christmas Story

I’m not sure how this traumatic childhood experience is actually manifesting itself (other than a 4th post in a fantastically pointless series), but I have a scar on my forehead from a ‘mystery’ accident when I was in Kindergarten (I think… memories are hazy due to the screaming, blood, ER visit, and stitches).

Anyway, I used to tell people that I was attacked by an evil wizard named Voldemort. (Yeah, I said it… I ain’t scared.)  But actually, I was sleeping under the Christmas tree ready to catch Santa in the act, and a giant log fell off our fireplace area and it smashed my head in.  Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. = mortal wounds / near death experiences..

(I promise, it's much more intense/manly/awesome in person.  Blame BlackBerry for not being able to capture the true horror.) 

The real trauma is that my parents boiled this down to an act of God. Yes, as far as my parents were concerned, God in His infinite wisdom was trying to send a message to one young John Boerger: “Santa doesn’t exist and thou must be smoten (smited? smoted?) due to thine heathen beliefs.” What kind of message does that send to a young, impressionable little boy?  

Cut to decades later and I come to find that my brother was playing around the fire and he knocked it off on ‘accident.’  (Clearly, our parents were all hands on deck when it came to supervision).  Granted we were in our early and late twenties when the truth was revealed, but I am even more upset there wasn’t even any sort of retroactive punishment or monetary compensation for my brother’s clear lack of respect for my life. 

Sure I have a cool scar that I’m sure people assume has an awesome back story and I am still fairly above average when it comes to intelligence, but I’m more than certain it did sum sert uv damaag tu my entuhleckt.  

Friday, December 17, 2010

Childhood Trauma: Part III - abandonment is a dish best served with Cream of Mushroom Soup.

I’m two posts (1 + 2) into what I shall call “Free Therapy” that helps me work out my traumatic childhood memories that currently manifest in my quirky personality.  (Quirky is better and more accurate because it means your eccentricities are cute.  Weird is just weird because you wear jorts and have no friends.)

Anyway, I’m an attention monger.  I love getting attention more than I like TV and bacon. My need for attention makes me do things like this:

You see, in my mind, everyone at the bar is looking at me in awe... Perception is a funny thing, isn't it?!

Anyway, I boil this need down to being the youngest of five, constantly craving the approval of my older siblings’ friends, and the following incident:

I was left in a Walmart.  Well, almost left...

So, I may or may not have wandered off while my mom went around buying Cream of Mushroom soup in bulk.  (Seriously, I think almost all of her recipes included at least one of these).  I found myself lost and alone, but this wasn’t my first rodeo, y'all.  

For anyone who has been in a grocery and separated from their legal guardian/shopping partner, you know the drill, run up and down the primary aisles so you can see into al the aisles and above all else, do not leave!  

I finally gave up after about 20 back and forths.  I walked outside and saw my mom happily loading up our minivan blithely unaware that she had left her favorite child alone in the store.  I was shocked and ran up in full-on tantrum mode and shouted “you almost left me!”  Her simple and uninterested reply was: “Well, I didn’t.”

I then realized the key to never being forgotten was to be a constant annoyance.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil, right?!  I’m sure Baby Jessica would have been just fine if she would have just spoken up a little more.  Although, she did get all that attention by pretty much doing practically nothing…

How can I make this happen for me?!?!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cats v. Dogs

QUESTION: Why is it completely socially acceptable for people to constantly express their fervent hatred for cats, but I say I don’t really care for dogs and suddenly I’m Hitler at Passover?!  I mean if you really think about it, they are the superior animal.  Let’s break this down in terms of boyfriends/girlfriends, and we'll see who wins this pet-off.

Cats.  They are self sufficient, clean, just friendly/ affectionate enough without being overbearing or annoying, and moderately playful given the right stimulation.  Also, they keep to themselves and other than feeding them and occasionally rubbing their adorable furry bellies, cats don’t expect a lot from you.  A lot of the time, they don’t even care if you’re around.  Sure you have to deal with litter boxes, but at least all of their unpleasant mess is localized and easy dealt with.

That's what professionals like to call "marriage material."

Dogs.  These are creatures of unadulterated and almost unparalleled neediness.  (I suppose having an actual child would be more, but they eventually become self-sufficient.  So, they are off the table).  They are pretty stupid, extremely messy, and more high maintenance than a used Range Rover bought on Craigslist.  Their breath is absolutely appalling, they ruin your personal belongings, bark at the TV, and ruin hardwood floors.  They require walking and near constant attention, feeding, petting, and loving.  You can’t even leave them alone/unsupervised for a long weekend.

Literally and figuratively (hopefully), having a dog is a lot like having a Stage 5 clinger boyfriend/girlfriend with serious daddy issues whose crap you have to constantly pick up in public. 

In closing and for future reference, dating me is probably A LOT like owning a dog.

EPILOGUE: I owned a cat from the 2nd grade all the way through my Sophomore year of college.  When she died, it was very Marley & Me. I then got a dog, I named him Cooper, and  4 years alter, I gave it away to one of my friends because she was much more capable of keeping such a needy animal alive.  Look how happy he is:

Here he is getting simultaneously owned and served by his new owner's awesome (and morbidly obese) cat, Hank.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Follow me...

Right off a cliff or directly into a wall.  That's right, y'all.  I'm on Twitter.  Actually, I have been on Twitter for a very long time, but I have actually never used it because it confused and intimidated me.  Actually, it still confuses me.  Seriously, what is the "#" for, and why have they renamed it?!

I figured this would be a good way for me to send tweets about general musings of mine that are funny but don't constitute an entire post... or you'll simply be aware of when I am eating bacon.

Either way, follow me

Monday, December 13, 2010

a lesson in psychology.

If my college degree in psychology and Wikipedia require any more proof that I know what I’m talking about, I don’t know where to find it.  Anyway, there’s this thing called the bystander effect. It basically means that the more people that are present when an emergency situation arises, the less likely it is that people will actually help.  I think this can also be described as “laziness.”  You just assume someone else will help.  So, if you hilariously fall down the stairs and drop all your personal belongings, you better hope there are like 2 people around and not an entire crowd.

This brings me to a very dark place and repeated exercise in my own personal hell: my office.  I honestly don’t know how a group of (mostly college educated) professionals can be so stupid/lazy/inconsiderate.  I suppose this psychological phenomenon could explain it roundaboutly, but I tend to assume they are just a bunch of slapdash jack-wagons.

Our break room features an array of wonderful amenities:

A toaster oven that looks like it is experiencing its own localized nuclear winter,

A dishwasher that has never been run and looks like it was loaded with a slingshot,

And two perpetually empty stainless steel urns that don’t magically refill themselves with our sub-standard coffee!

I can imagine my coworkers have kitchens at home that may or may not resemble landfills.  Is it because they assume someone else will clean up their mess that they so rudely disregard all of these menial cleaning tasks?

More offensively, in all my life, I have never seen a non-public bathroom treated with such disrespect.  Those outhouses in Slumdog Millionaire were probably cleaner than those at my office.  There are constantly paper towels strewn about, the mirror is covered in water spots, and the toilet seats have dribble.  Really?  Yeah, we have a janitorial staff that comes through, but it is NOT their job to clean up stuff like that. 

I’m not sure if they are lazy or ‘being green,’ but if at first flush you don’t succeed, FLUSH AGAIN!  I don’t wanna see your leftovers.  I need a clean workspace if I’m gonna go lay some cable, ok?  

Luckily for y’all, there will be no picture provided (only because I have a BlackBerry and no matter what you do, it makes a noise when you take a picture and that’s just a level of gross I’m gonna reserve for my coworkers who refuse to wash their hands).

Moral of the story, if you see someone fall down and they are in need of help, laugh, take a picture/video, send it to me, and help them!  Also, clean up as if you are the ONLY PERSON on the planet.  I don’t care if you are in a sea of Merry Maids, if you spill something wipe it up as if your life depended on it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Childhood Trauma: Part II - Stalkers

Other than the two Anonymous commenters that think I am either a liar or completely retarded, I think my previous post about my childhood oddities went over like gangbusters.  (For the record, Anonymous, on most days, I am a charming mixture of both.) 

This might require a lot of quality couch time with a bona fide expert or some kind of full frontal lobotomy, but am I the only person who kind of wants a stalker?  Stalker might be a little extreme, so we'll call him/her an "intense admirer."

Ok, like a drunk girl dancing at a frat party, I’m gonna back it up… 

As a small child, I grew up out in the country and unless my older brothers were just trying to mess with my head, someone was murdered in, near, around our house or most definitely on the small country (dead end) road we lived on… That’s a lot of scary information for an incorrigible 2nd grader to process.

Emotional scaring aside, I was able to find a coping mechanism: exhibitionism.  I don’t mean in the dirty way, so I may not be using the right word here.  Anyway… in order to get over the fact that there may or may not be axe murderers in the fields behind our house, I would simply act like I could see them.  

I mean, what person is going to come in and murder a cute little kid skipping past open windows?  I would even occasionally smile and wave at the would-be onlookers to let them know I “saw” them and didn’t really care that they were about to go all Jason on my ass.

Fast forward 15 years later, and when I’m at home doing menial tasks or getting ready, in the back of my mind I always act as if someone were watching me!  I'm insane.  I know.  Why someone would want to watch me cook dinner whilst dancing to the more upbeat selections of the Glee in my bacon pajama pants? I don’t. 

I just think it would be incredibly flattering to have someone devote their time to watching and admiring me.  I mean, I wouldn’t blame them.  Yeah, I might get a FedEx delivery with a beaver corpse in it, or they may bake me a bunny, or it all might end with my dead body in the trunk of a Kia Sorento.  But you know, every “relationship” has it’s pros and cons and give and take.  

Grownups call it compromise.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Perfect World

SPOILER ALERT: We don’t live in a perfect world. So, why do so many people find it necessary to salt the wound and make it that much worse? I can put up with dispute in the Middle East, alleged global warming, people starving in third world countries, and the persistent existence of Ke$ha’s music career. These are mountains that take a lot of consolidated effort and extended commitment to solve. Here are a few the things that seem solvable overnight if people would just stop sucking at life and use a little common sense.

Pregnant women, we get it, you’re body is expanding in weird ways (aka you are fat now). If only someone could invent a specific clothing line to cater to your stretch-marked belly and giant cankles. Wait. They do! It’s called maternity clothes. That’s right! You don’t have to go to the grocery store wearing a K-Mart Blue Light Special halter and/or tube top that has your popped out belly button exposed like a Lindsay Lohan red carpet nipple slip.

Someone a long time ago sat down and thought, “I bet someday John Boerger will be in the middle of baking a cake, and he’ll forget that he is out of eggs! There should be a way for him to get in and out of the grocery store since he has to only get one or two things.” Well, sir/madam, you are correct. So, the Express Lane came to be! Like HOV lanes and immigration, these things only work when everyone follows the rules! So, when it says “15 Items Or Fewer,” do NOT get in line with your overflowing cart surrounded by your unruly and screaming ethnic spawnlings.

Easiest of all, I think this would be quite the Marshmallow World if people would just STFU and quite complaining. Be a little more positive, look on the bright side, find the silver lining, and all that crap! There isn't anything people hate more than a whiny, self-involved know-it-all. I present to you, Exhibit J:

UPDATE: My friend recently experienced a traumatizing trip to the grocery where some idiot tried to self-checkout with an overflowing cart of groceries and a void of brain cells.  She facebooked about it, and one of her friends said that she one time paid a $12 bill at self-checkout with dimes.  DIMES!  1) kill yourself, and 2) why would you share your horribleness with the world like that?!?!  It's like saying, "Hi, my name is John, and I love dog fighting and hate fat babies!"

Monday, December 6, 2010

water bored-ing

Being bored is like a lot like being water-boarded. I mean they’re almost homophones (homonyms?), so even though I’ve never experienced the latter, I can attest to the idea that they are similar.

I get bored a lot. Some solutions involve blogging, trolling facebook, Sudoku, or more self-destructive practices like eating, blogging or trolling facebook. If I were socially inept, I would definitely be morbidly obese. I would sit at home and eat salt and vinegar chips until my tongue shrivels into an old lady ear or something.

Sometimes, I get so bored I just literally go crazy. My friend hates it when people use ‘literally’ when they mean ‘figuratively.’ I never gave it much thought, but tend to agree to an extent now.

However, from time to time I get so incredibly bored, I literally wish I had some sort of socially crippling ADHD so I could always be distracted/entertained. I mean, that’s how it works, right?

Anyway, this is just a small amuse bouche sized sampling of my boredom crazy spells:

So, the next time you text me during working hours and get a response in a disturbingly fast time or wonder why I literally own facebook from Monday through Friday 8-5, remember this…

UPDATE: Apparently, the craziness in this friendship is a two-way road...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

i hate your stupid face.

I have friends who are lawyers in labor and employment or something or other. Anyway, I haven’t consulted them, and I have learned how not NSFW I am. But, I think I have negotiated a good enough way to disguise this. So, without getting into super-specifics, genders, ethnicities, or job descriptions, I feel fairly confident in saying that I can safely say express my absolute disgust about everything about a specific individual at my office. We’ll call shim Terry.

For starters, my company adopts a very lax but still moderately professional dress code. His abuse of it is the like throwing a three-legged puppy down a spiral staircase and then unloading a truckload of tire irons on said puppy. I don’t believe this person owns an iron. And his description of a dry cleaner is probably about as accurate as my description of Stephen Hawking’s theory of quantum gravity. I’m 99% certain Terry pulls up to work and pulls a shirt out of a NASA-esque vacuum preserved container and strolls onto the elevator as if it doesn’t look like a homeless person robbed a JC Penny’s and made away with their finest poly-blends.

The hair is borderline ridiculous. Without getting into specifics, Terry looks like a cartoon character whose illustrator lacks even my MS Paint skills… I’m not sure if Terry’s barber has Parkinson’s or some sick sense of humor, but I could chew a better looking hairstyle.

On a confessional note, there is a part of me that is jealous of Terry. Shim somehow snagged a promotion into a department above me. Believe me, I am not the only person who is completely baffled by this random act of chaos. Terry also has a spouse. Not like I can or want to take a stroll down the aisle, but I would like to think I am charming enough for someone at some point to want to try to roofie me. But here I am, 25 without as much a living-in-sin significant other, and Terry has managed to become legally bound to some recently lobotomized, no doubt equally socially inept individual.

Ultimately, the reason I despise Terry is shis complete lack of pin-pointable hate-worthy qualities. Shim is moderately competent at performing in shis work duties and has never done anything directly offensive to me. Literally looking in Terry’s general vicinity forces me to internalize my predilection for saber-wielding violence.

This may seem particularly and unnecessarily hateful, but I am not the only person in my office who is likely minded. There are many of my coworkers who feel rivaling levels of disdain for Terry. There have been long discussions and/or group rants about everything mentioned above. Luckily for you, unless you frequent SuperCuts, go to awkward smilers’ conventions, participate in any number of universally lame hobbies I’m assuming shim enjoys, or work in my office, you will never meet Terry and will never fully grasp this palpable abhorrence.

In the efforts of not being just a rant, I recommend using "I hate your stupid face" as a justification for unjustified disdain for people. It's a pretty solid argument.

Want more? Check out my "Dear Coworker" tumblr:

UPDATED: Childhood Trauma: Part I - Un-Sweet Sixteen

I just turned 25. I had my first big birthday party of ever, enjoyed a weekend in New Orleans, and have been in the best place in my life thus far. I have good feelings about this year. It only took me NINE YEARS to recover from what could be described as the worst birthday ever. (25-9=16… right?)… Anyway, My 16th birthday was one of the most devastating day of my life!!!

Background: If my blog, predilection for attention, and my overall personality weren’t a huge indicator, I was a particularly strange child/teenager. As if my surname wasn’t a big enough big hint either, I am adopted. I have also always had a deep connection with most things fantasy, sci-fi, and television in general. And, finally, since I grew up outside San Antonio in the country and my siblings' love for me was feigned tolerance (at best), I spent a lot of time alone with my imagination and myself.

So, if you watched some of the same television shows I did as a kid, you know that when you turn 16, something BIG is supposed to happen in your life! No. Not a brand new car with a big red bow on it. No. Not some lavish over-the-top party where Lil Wayne comes and raps for you and all of your friends.

You are supposed to be told that you have magical powers, are from another planet, or something of equivalent magnitude/awesomeness!

PS - The fact that I am adopted cemented the idea of my guaranteed 16th birdthday super hero status! I even had a preemptive discussion with myself on whether I should use my new found super-ness for good or evil… As you can assume, evil won.
The night before, I was beaming with anticipation about which of the above referenced revelations would be revealed to me come daybreak. The next morning, I got ready and did my pre-magical/alien morning routine. As I passed my parents during this ordinary AM walk-around, I was just waiting for them to sit me down at our kitchen table and spill the proverbial beans.
I was even prepared to act shocked and not know what to do with my new powers, but secretly I was pretty sure I was gonna be a kick-ass teen witch/alien/vampire slayer/generally awesome something. Didn’t happen! So, I went to school where all day I was waiting to accidently use my powers and have to run home to my parents so they could explain to me why I could shoot lasers out of my eyes, freeze time, and/or crap gold. 


Anyway, we went out to dinner that night and I thought, “Ok, now is the time! They were saving it all along. Get ready for your life to change, John Boerger!” Nope. I spent the rest of the evening devastated, shocked, and still not superhuman. As I brushed my ordinary teeth and got ready to walk (not fly/levitate/transport) to my bed that evening, I honestly felt wronged in some way by the universe. I even stayed up until midnight to see if it was one of those sort of BS reverse-Cinderella addendums to me getting my powers, but no.

I cried myself to sleep and woke up the next day exhausted from staying up late, emotionally drained, with puffy eyes, and the acidic, stinging taste of disappointment in my mouth.

Happy Birthday to me!

PS - I didn't get a car until the February or so after my November birthday. So, yeah, I couldn't drive my own car OR fly!

UPDATE: I was recently sent this picture from 1997.

I don't remember this at all, but it's like I was totally meant to be a super hero of some kind. Granted, a semi-colorblind one, but super nonetheless! 

To answer your lingering questions: 

YES, I did make the costume all by myself! (I was very crafty).

NO, I did not have a lot of friends.

And, YES, shortly after this picture was taken, I turned tastefully draped that cape/sheet into some sort of sheet-dress.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why I should be allowed to drink at work…

Everyone once and I while I go out to eat for lunch and have a few beers. Rest assured, this is completely ok with our corporate policy. One afternoon, I came back with a particularly pleasant feeling rushing through my bloodstream and thought to myself, “this would be totally awesome... like... all the time!”

Now, I’m not talking about tying one on all day every day, but maintaining a quality buzz throughout the day would exponentially increase my job satisfaction. I haven’t proven this (yet) but I’m sure someone is commissioning a work-study just as vigourously trying to figure out which breath freshener will successfully mask tequila breath… Binaca v Altoids?

My argument (like most good brochures) is tri-fold.

1) I guess the obvious would be my overall demeanor. I’m a pretty high-strung individual. Usually the slightest level of incompetence or rudeness makes me want to throw my computer through our building’s cheap drywall. Put a few drinks in me, and I’m as docile as a dead deer. You know how beer goggles make people more attractive? With the right amount of malt liquor, I get a sort of crap force field that filters out most of people’s unpleasant qualities which allows me to NOT Kill Bill people.

2) I recently saw a news blurb about how it is impossible to maintain focus or perform the same task for more than 90 minutes at a time. (Forwarding said article to my bosses did not convince them to convert our conference into a nap room FYI). That disappointment aside, just the right amount of liquor makes me relaxed to the point of pleasantly tired. Afternoon naps would make it possible for me to break up the afternoon with a booze snooze. I also remembered reading how a drink or 5 a day help fight off heart disease. Naps = reduced stress + lowered risks for heart disease + increased productivity. Latin cultures call these ‘siestas.’

Sure the leading causes of death in these countries are burro stampedes and decapitations by angry cartel thugs, but I’m sure strokes and myocardial infarctions are nowhere near the Top 10.

3) In four simple words: I’m a fun drunk (see left). I mean, I already like to consider myself a NSFW breath of fresh in our otherwise drab office. Kick that up a notch and what do you get? A super fun coworker who will make you laugh, give you an impromptu cubicle dance, and occasionally throw up in your recycle bin. Sounds like we're all winners to me!

In closing, I have forwarded this to my HR department and managers and deposited about 50 copies of this in our company suggestion box. In the event I do not get fired but they do not adopt my plan, I do have one serious question that has been rescued from this otherwise hopeful trainwreck: does anyone have a good suggestion for how properly mask tequila breath?

UPDATE: I am currently participating in a corporate training that NO AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL, other abuse-able substance, or midget-tranny ninjas could make better!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

hate letter.

Thanksgiving is upon us. Big dinners, more food than physically necessary, and, in my case, enough red wine to shut down a mule’s liver. Speaking of cooking, I want to hit Sandra Lee in the back of the head with a shovel. Not really… But sometimes, really.

I don’t consider myself an amazing cook or five-star chef by any stretch of the imagination, but I can to cook. Look, I even blog about it. Getting a little messy, following a recipe, and having your hard work pay off in the form of deliciousness? Yes please! Sandra Lee is a cheater and doesn’t deserve a show. Maybe a one hit wonder cook book that offers a smattering cooking tips, but NOT A SHOW.

I guess my initial hate stemmed from the fact that I confused her with Sarah Lee. I was under the impression that I was tuning in for a half hour show completely dedicated to cup cakes. Imagine my surprise…

The motifs. THE MOTIFS! How in the hell are you supposed to be preaching about cutting corners and making cooking easy for the mom on the go and dedicate an entire segment of your show to your tacky place settings? Look! This little number almost made me hate the most sacred gay holiday: Halloween.

Also, I’m pretty sure 99% of her recipes include pre-chopped onions or that jarred garlic crap. Knife work is probably the awesomest part of prep and you’re taking it away from me? Not on my watch. My food is delicious and slightly over-salted because I cried the tears of hard work into my onions. Most people who cook for themselves on a regular basis do so to be economical. Buying precut vegetables/ingredients is more expensive than if you take the few minutes to cut your own damn celery/carrots!

I’m all for a few tips to helpful tips that are included with cookbooks and appreciate a time-saver here and there. But Sandra Lee is perverse. I can’t believe she is even on the same network as the Barefoot Contessa or my favorite giant-headed, overly enthusiastic bombshell: Giada De Laurentiis.

Also she is way too skinny. Never trust a skinny chef… not even me. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

CONFESSION: In efforts of full disclosure, I don’t mince/chop/peel garlic because I am lazy and this is a task I'm totally ok with never doing. Solution: a garlic press aka the best $15 I ever spent since my Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill album.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the most wonderful sounds of the year.

Christmas music might be the best thing of ever. Regardless of the time of year, it makes me smile. To all the Grinches and people who think Christmas music should be heard solely during the holiday season, I say ‘no.’

Listening to Christmas music is like being naked under a Snuggie™ made of rainbows that was loomed by the delicate hands of gnomes while Care Bears serve you Sour Patch Kids and Shiner Bock. In case you needed help picturing that, here you go!

I detest the commercial qualities of Christmas, and it isn’t even my favorite holiday. (Thanksgiving is where it’s at, y’all.) But, the music is amazing. There are few things you can be doing that can’t be better with the addition of Christmas music. I mean, who hasn’t danced around their house in their underwear to “All I Want For Christmas Is You” while tidying up or folding laundry?! Who hasn’t almost driven off the road hitting the high note to “O Holy Night” while cruising down I35 with the radio on full blast?!

I’ve said it once, I’ll say it 1,000 times, you can only have 2 favorite Christmas songs (one religious/traditional and one secular.) What are mine? I’m glad you asked!

TRADITIONAL: “Do You Hear What I Hear?” By Carrie Underwood

SECULAR: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” By Sarah MacLachlan (or pretty much any version).

If loving Christmas music this much is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. It is happiness musicified. (Wow. Spell-check did NOT like that one…) But it’s the truth. It’s the birth of the Baby Jesus, and I am crowning with excitement.

UPDATE: The Glee Cast's Christmas Album is ho-hum and probably not worth an entire purchase. HOWEVER, do buy the Lea Michele "O Holy Night." Tis amazing, and on top of that she does the 2nd verse that so many people overlook when they record it. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

machete rampage

Other than the fact that this place pulls me away from the warm, inviting, delicious bed every morning, there are a few things about working in an office that make me feel like I am the perfect candidate for anger management courses!

Coffee. If you finish a pot, you make another. It’s not rocket science. It’s common courtesy and/or the rules of any organized society that doesn’t want me to go on a machete rampage with Chinese throwing stars to boot.

(Actually, this isn’t true, we don’t have water coolers…)

A few days ago, I wore the same color shirt as one or two people in the office. If have happen to work in an office with comic geniuses like I do, you can guess what I heard quite a few times that day. That’s right Banana Republic sells more than one of these!!!

Instead of going with my first instinct of immediately pulling my hair out in a fit of rage (see right), I exercised restraint. Do people really find it necessary and/or funny to say these things? Their lame attempts at humor are the gateway to forced small talk where my feigned interest dwindles with each passing story about their children. I am too lazy to put a link to my previous post about how much I detest small talk in general. Feel free to find it.

My father has firsthand experience with this next one. I would literally scream like an irate ethnic woman at the grocery store who has expired coupons when he would leave the microwave LED with a flashing :23 seconds or something queer bait like that. What is so hard about letting a microwave run all the way out? Or is it impossible to just manually type in the time you want?! This is just one of a few things that will be a contributing factor to my heart attack at 34 and/or explanation for my new D&G eye patch since stabbing myself with a fork is the only logical course of action.

A lot of my job involves phone work with client’s who are well aware of our location in Dallas. Phone small talk is probably worse than water boarding or a pap smear from Edward Scissor-Hands. If you want to know about the weather, the Cowboys, or the Rangers, google someone who cares. I am more than happy to help you with my job responsibilities, but caring about any of the above is not one of them!

And, yes. I use a rotary phone at work...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

much ado about nothing.

I’m usually a high-energy, Johnny-on-the-spot kind of guy, but everyone once and a while, I want to be a fat, lazy, shell of person who accomplishes nothing in a big way. So, Tuesday, I had regulatory training that required me to go to some sad, all-grey, no smiles testing centers off 75 to make FINRA know I still know that money-laundering is a no-no. Anyway, I finished it in an hour and as I walked back to my car, I saw something beautiful: the rest of the day before me.

This day is sort of an exception because I actually did get up, showered, and completed a work-related accomplishment. However, on random weekdays, I use some vacation hours to redefine the word ‘sloth.’ This brand of doing nothing is usually best reserved for either the morbidly obese or models in living art paintings. I like to call these weekday non-adventures ‘Staycations.’

I have perfected this to an art. I have even found ways to include enough ‘fake accomplishments’ throughout my days that require very little energy, but keep me guilt free, because I can say I did things. Well… things other than eat Chef Boyardee directly from the can or my weight in popcorn. Case in point: laundry. It is quite possibly the most passive and least involved of all household chores, and therefore my favorite. The dishwasher comes in a close second, but you only unload once and load it up in small increments throughout the use of your dishes.

The moment I start a load, I feel completely justified, albeit required, to just stop everything. Social engagements? No, I can’t. I’m being a responsible human adult. Plus, it’s a white’s load! I can’t come to brunch. Any other household chore? Sorry. That dryer is going to go off at any moment and I’ll have to reset it and give myself enough time to finish ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.’ Sometimes I’ll even throw in an extra rinse for those Lord Of The Rings: Return of the King Extended Version days.

If you’re laundry is done, or you hate doing it for some strange reason, the real trick is to just do enough without having to do anything. If you muster up the will power to actually operate a motor vehicle, I find driving past the oil change place fills me with enough accomplishment because I ‘tried’ but didn’t successfully change my oil. Sometimes I’ll go to the grocery store or Eatzis and hit up the prepared food section because cooking is out of the question on these days usually. But, to alleviate the sloth-guilt I buy milk or some sort of food staple like corn starch so it can be deemed ‘grocery shopping.’

The key is to do as absolutely as little as possible (I’m talking, stare at a DVD menu replaying itself multiple times because you don’t want to reach for the remote), but still have little spurts of somethings that are still practically nothing (oil change drive-by, washing one towel over and over, etc). That way you can enjoy your sloth guilt-free.

PS – these are also days I usually my saddest movies, so I can cry in peace without my roommate or friends making fun of me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

daylight savings time + genghis grill

We are four days into the emotional and physical hell that is Daylight Savings Time. I don’t know who invented this, I think Nicolas Cage said that Benjamin Franklin is the responsible party, but regardless, I hate them both. Anyway, when I was a kid, I was under the impression that the Boerger Family (and possibly our close friends) were the ONLY people who practiced DST. This is also coming from the mind of a child who couldn’t tell time on an analog clock until he was a teenager.

Anyway, I was so set on the fact that the rest of the world was had fallen into a different space time continuum, I stressed about what time my favorite TV shows would come on. I didn’t think the good people at whatever network Star Trek aired on got them memo that I was now in my very own time zone. For some reason, I never worried about the school’s ‘new hours’ or play dates with friends (from my Star Trek reference, you can probably guess I wasn’t Mr. Congeniality or very bright).

After a conversation with my nemesis and some revelations about myself I have stumbled upon, I’m still pretty stupid. Let’s start with my friend though. She, like me, is extremely intimidated by new experiences. True story: Nemesis and her brother went to Panda Express. I’m not sure if the ‘ORDER HERE’ signs were out of order, but they were so intimidated by figuring out if it were a buffet or whatever, they gave up and left. This is the same girl who couldn’t successfully navigate herself out of a Blockbuster video store. Nemesis just waited patiently, surreptitiously behind a rack of videos waiting to observe someone escaping the labyrinth of the Blockbuster.

Others when hearing these stories, also confessed that they had walked out of Genghis Grills due to overwhelming stupidity. My other very intelligent friend who is my resource for all things cooking, baking, and general common sense, cannot work iTunes. Yeah. I have her an iPod shuffle full of music for running, and in a year’s time, she has never updated it…

The truly sad thing about this is the fact that I would have done the same (well not in the iTunes scenario... I get computers). But, I hate asking stupid questions. Seriously, can you imagine going up to a Blockbuster clerk and asking ‘how do I get out of here?’ I can’t even wrap my mind around how to even phrase the question to the servers at Panda Express… perhaps a mildly retarded groan that simply utters ‘me want food!’ No one likes to feel stupid. Let's flashback to my tear-filled experience with getting my oil changed...

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is “will someone come with me to Genghis Grill and show me what to do?”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the F word

A few nights ago I stumbled upon a really weird conversation with my friends. Who knows where the conversation started, possibly Glee or something stupid my friend who speaks English as a second language said, but it somehow got to how knives helped alleviate fear.

A couple stories came up about feeling insecure or unsafe at home or someone else’s home another friend was house-sitting and how having multiple knives around hidden in various locations made them sleep easier. I cannot stress this enough, WORST. IDEA. EVER. I’m usually opposed to the Caps Lock button, because it’s the written equivalent of yelling, but in full disclosure I said “I cannot stress this enough.”

Anyway, I would like to say that if someone were to break into my house I would be able to defend myself to safety at the very least, but who am I kidding? I don’t have fight or flight skills. I flop. You can ask anyone who has successfully scared me. That’s right, I do not engage danger, and I can’t really think enough to maneuver an escape, but I believe if I look/act pathetic enough I will survive the danger. (PS – the pathetic is so not an act. I am 100% pathetic).

However, in a hypothetical world where I can make conscious decisions and not be a puddle of fear (and some pee), the knife is the LAST thing I want to use to defend myself. Seriously, I would rather have a wooden spoon. Think about, if someone is bad ass enough to break into your home, chances are they know their way around a shiv. Why not save yourself the embarrassment and simply turn on the lamp, give them the code to your wall safe, and start stabbing yourself the moment they kick down the door?

If someone is desperate enough to go to the trouble to break in during the middle of the night, by all means take whatever you want. I simply ask that you not seriously wound me to the point of handicap, you allow me to backup my computer before you take it, and that you take a picture with me so I can tell people the awesome story of how I was robbed. (Of course, I would allow the robber to cover his/her face for legal reasons).

Finally, if anyone reading this is concerned about my personal home safety or you wish to have my roommate accidently shot in the face (the more likely scenario), please buy me this:

Monday, November 8, 2010

the morning after feel.

The time is 8:50 AM on a Saturday morning and I am a pitiful mess of a person staring at my computer screen with no product in my hair, sunglasses still on, and all the lights are out. Did I mention I was at work? That’s right. This dream of a job I have forces me, on occasion, to work on the day deemed for nothing. I kind of wish I was dead right now. Oh, did I mention I went out last night? I know this is all making sense in bits and pieces, but that’s where my head’s at right now…

Once I got over the emotional shock of seeing that picture and my heart started beating again, I was in the process of updating my status to something like ‘John Boerger has a four-alarm hangover at work. FML!’ to elicit some pity from anyone on facebook at this wretched hour. Then I realized that 1) Jason was never going to sign onto Google chat and I could close the browser and 2) the status was stupid and I started writing, still stupid, but it sure beats trying to figure out if my building has roof access to see if a six-story jump would make this all stop.

Then I thought, what is a four-alarm? What alarm is going off? Why are there four? And who is responding to said alarm? Unless the person responding has a time machine who can take pitiful now me to talk some sense into last night’s excited, gave into peer pressure me, I doubt said alarm would do much good. How did this saying come to be? Did one loser say it and I just caught on? It’s like ‘tardy for the party’ but lacks even less practical application, and it doesn’t rhyme… So thank goodness I didn’t make it my status, rather I dedicated two paragraphs to my crappiest post to date to this damned saying.

Speaking of sayings, I have learned that the ‘just a drink’ doesn’t exist. Also I learned I will never turn down a shot of tequila and setting any sort of deadline of when you have to go home is setting yourself up for a lot of self hate. I am seriously sucking at life right now. Sarah McLachlan’s public service announcement to her most depressing song about my morning is soon to air any minute now.

Hopefully something really greasy and fattening and a disco nap will make me up for the adventures left in store once I escape the death grip of adult responsibilities. If only if I could nap under my desk…

It’s 10:58 AM and I have successfully rammed my hips against every corner in my office, almost fell over in my cube (twice), and threw my coffee mug into the trashcan in the break room (in my mind, it was an empty bottle of coffee creamer). Boerger out.

UPDATE – 6 or 7 homemade brisket sandwiches, a family-sized bag of Cheetos, and a never-ending keg of Shiner Bock were the cure! Thanks, Emily!

Friday, November 5, 2010

cry me a river.

Unfortunately, I think in college somewhere, something inside me snapped. When I say “snapped,’ I mean “went completely wrong and made me into the pitiful mess of a person you see today.” I mean, I would still like to classify myself as in the ‘functional’ category… to some extent. Whatever horribly dark and twisted world my soul has fallen into is heavy like iron and there is probably no escaping it.

I suppose a little background may justify/explain how I ended up being this way. I was a very angry child. I mean, not Macaulay Culkin in “The Good Son” bad, but my adorability didn’t quite make up for my manifested inner turmoil. Through many, many days spent in In-School Suspension and more spankings than all of siblings combined, I put a lid on my tantrums. Instead of emotional outbreaks of anger, I would sulk and usually cry tears of anger. In lieu of getting angry I would just get pathetic…

I thought I had cried all of my tears allotted for my life to such an extent, I rarely ever cried through my tween years. Actually, things in real life rarely make me cry. There definitely are times I have uncontrollable cried because of real, personal things. But, most sad things, I internalize and deal with sans some emotional cutting ritual. However, the tears were still there… waiting… and they found a way to escape!

At one point in my life, I could watch TV, go to the movies, and listen to my iPod without a worry in world. It was just sheer, unadulterated entertainment. Now, I can barely sit through any movie without breaking down. Of course the traditional criers (‘Beaches,’ ‘Steel Magnolias,’ etc.) make me cry so hard, I just want to stop living. But with a mouth full of shame, I have to admit I have cried in movies that writers/producers never intended a tear be shed (‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,’ ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days,’ and ‘Finding Nemo’). In fact, I have decided those a-holes at Disney/Pixar have it in for one John Boerger. Every single one of their movies has made me bawl uncontrollably (multiple times). I’m talking hiding underneath a blanket pouring out salty, self-hating ‘Notebook’ tears.

If I had a dollar for every tear shed during ABC’s ‘Brothers & Sisters,’ we would all be partying on my yacht like it was 1999… again. Even shows that have nothing to do with any sort of melancholy emotion have brought me tears. I have cried in episodes of ‘Star Trek: Voyager,’ ‘Desperate Housewives,’ and even ‘Modern Family.’

There isn’t enough room on this post for me to list out or explain the number of songs that have broken me. I think, ‘oh, this Taylor Swift song is catchy.’ Then, BAM, cut to me driving down the North Dallas Tollway hysterically calling my friend because I’m crying so hard.

Maybe I feel that being brought to a pathetic state by these ‘fake’ things is a safer emotional outlet than actually being a mess all the time. I think it’s healthier, because in an actual emotionally charged situation, I can function and solve the problem as opposed to being a physically non-functioning emotional bed-wetter who helplessly makes any situation worse.

UPDATE - This past Sunday I watched Toy Story 3 with my friend, Jason. While he cooked and busied himself in the kitchen, I completely fell apart. Like Jenga + Parkinsons fell apart. SPOILER ALERT! Even on parts (the junk yard incinerator) that I knew were going to be OK, I bawled. When Andy pulled up to the little girl's house, all bets were off. I started uncontrollably crying. Mind you, I have seen this movie before... But this time it was personal. Literally, I wasn't at the theater surrounded by friends who would laugh at me.