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...