Star Wars: The Dork Awakens

Everyone kept saying "Nice costume!" WTF? I dress like this every day…

A photo posted by Daddy Scratches (@daddyscratches) on

My daughter is begging me to not dress like this when we go see “Star Wars” tomorrow morning. I’m not making any promises. (She’s lucky I’m not threatening to go full-on Vader like I did that one time.)

UPDATE: Hey, let’s vote on it!

In related news: WE’RE GOING TO SEE STAR WARS TOMORROW MORNING!

I am several-thousand times more excited about seeing this movie than a middle-aged man should be about anything that he can do while still fully clothed.

In other (significantly more hilarious) related news:

Now that’s funny.

OK, time to slip back into my no-“Star Wars”-spoilers cocoon. Enjoy your weekend, and May the Force Be With You! (Either that, or a good, stiff drink … or both. Yeah, let’s go with “both” … because nothing screams “It’s the weekend!” like a drunken, light-saber-wielding, Jedi-wannabe, amiright?)

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Posted in Geek, Life | Tagged | 3 Responses

I was going to be a successful writer but then A.D.D. and Facebook and what the fuck were we just talking about?

I’ve been meaning to write something awesome … but then this porcupine ate a pumpkin:

I think we can all agree that that is some critically important shit right there, people … and if not for Facebook, I might have missed it while squandering my time in pursuit of my greatest dreams and ambitions.

Fortunately, I have access to Facebook at all hours of the day—on my phone, my computer and my iPad … which, granted, is pretty kick-ass, but still … I’m hoping that Mark Zuckerberg soon will unveil plans to install Facebook directly onto my optic nerve so that a news-feed overlay will appear in my field of vision at all times. And when that magical day arrives, I shall never again risk missing video footage of a pumpkin-eating porcupine … or a guinea-pig tug-of-war … or a recipe for something I shall neither prepare nor eat, ever, posted by someone of whom I have absolutely no recollection, but with whom I apparently attended grade school several decades ago … or the terrifyingly ignorant/bigoted/moronic/misguided political musings of friends and/or family members whom I previously thought were at least semi-sane and semi-rational human beings … or pictures of the kids. Like, all of them. In the world.

But here’s the thing: I’M DYING. I AM GOING TO DIE.

No, really. I’m serious. I mean, hopefully that’s not gonna happen any time soon … but still … you never know. Point being: I have a finite amount of hours left before the lights go out … and given the precious and fleeting nature of those hours, and the extent to which I still have many unrealized dreams that I’m delusional enough to believe still might be attainable, you’d think that, instead of watching a porcupine eating a pumpkin, I’d be using my limited number of remaining breaths in pursuit of said dreams.

UPDATE: (And you might be asking yourself, “Update? Did I miss something? I don’t recall ever seeing this post before.” And you’re right: I wrote everything above, like, four weeks ago, but never got around to actually finishing this piece (probably because I was too busy watching some dumbfuck video on Facebook). I finally came back to it today, and I now have an UPDATE to this previously unpublished post. Basically, it’s like you’re getting two posts for the price of one! Hot damn!) About a week ago, I deleted the Facebook app from my iPhone. This has given me my life back. I am free. Hello, world. So nice to see you again. In person, I mean. Instead of on Facebook.

Listen, I still check Facebook on my computer and my iPad [Another UPDATE (12.08.2015): I’ve since deleted it from my iPad as well!] … but I only do so for relatively short periods of time. The majority of the time that I used to spend giving myself a Facebook lobotomy occurred with my iPhone in hand. Like, first thing in the morning … and last thing at night … and if I had a dime for every morning I got out of bed later than I’d originally planned or went to sleep later than I should have because I was consumed with scrolling through Facebook’s ever-rising sea of superfluous bullshit, I’d have a pile of coins so impressively large that I could post a picture of it on Facebook and it would go viral and become one more thing wasting the time of millions of Facebook users whose friends post things like pictures of impressively large piles of dimes.

Christ, I’m so glad I’ve broken that cycle. And you know what? I’d strongly encourage you to do the same. Surely you have other things you’d like to accomplish. So go on … delete that Facebook app. You know, right after you “Like” and “Share” this post, that is.

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Posted in Life | 4 Responses

Dear Interstate 95: Please stop being an asshole.

I know you’ll find this hard to believe coming from a guy who often goes to bed prior to his 12-year-old son, but I am not much of a party animal these days. I mean, listen, I enjoy the occasional get-together, and I can even kick it into full-on Life of the Party mode when called for … but I generally don’t yearn for opportunities to plant myself in the midst of a large group of people whose intention is to make merry until well after I’m normally drooling on my pillow, even if that large group of people is comprised entirely of folks I already know — some of whom I might even like — and they are partying within a stone’s throw of my home.

So you can imagine, then, how completely out of character it would be for me to get in my car and drive 500 miles to attend a major rager in North Carolina this weekend that currently boasts a guest list of 333 people, roughly 330 of whom I don’t actually know. And yet, I’m planning to do just that.

Here’s the catch: The party? It’s a celebration in honor of my friend Sam, a tribute to whom I recently posted here after he lost his battle with cancer (and let us all pause for a moment so that we can tell cancer to fuck right off, shall we?). That tribute, it turns out, touched a lot of people who knew and loved Sam, and it meant a great deal to me when many of them made a point of saying so. Most of those people live in Sam’s neck of the woods down South, so that tribute ended up being a way for me to connect and grieve with them despite the distance between us and the fact that we don’t actually know each other. And under normal circumstances, “Friend”-ing those people on Facebook would likely be the closest I’d get to meeting them in person … but matters pertaining to Sam shall forever fall well outside the realm of “normal circumstances.”

A couple of months ago, while attending a benefit for Sam, I, through a serendipitous string of events, ended up connecting with Sam’s best friend, Robert. Quite unsurprisingly, I discovered that, much like Sam himself, Robert is a kind, warm, funny, friendly, class-act dude. He’s the kind of guy with whom I’d like to hang at an ocean-side establishment and raise a glass of something potent in honor of our friend Sam. And since it just so happens that Robert has invited me to a celebration this weekend where we, along with a few hundred other members of Sam’s friends and family, can do exactly that, I’m hopping in my car after work tomorrow and heading south.

Which brings me to the title of this post:

Today, while mapping out my 1,000-mile round-trip journey, I discovered that all of the construction on planet earth is confined to the stretch of Interstate 95 that runs between Philadelphia and Richmond, Virginia:

northeast-95-google

Meanwhile, did you guys know that southern Virginia and North Carolina apparently have outlawed highway construction?

southeast-95-google

This explains: a.) why I’ve decided to break the trip into two legs on my way down, and b.) why it’s entirely possible that, rather than return home Sunday, I’ll remain in North Carolina and send for my family.

***

Road-trip Footnote: One of the many things that flooded onto Facebook in the immediate wake of Sam’s passing was a compilation video he made featuring footage and photos from a ski trip he once took with Robert and some other friends. Sam scored that video with a Jane’s Addiction tune that I had not listened to in years, featured on an album I had not listened to in years. I have been listening to that album quite regularly ever since, and I plan to launch tomorrow’s road trip with that tune … because you can’t really find a better way to kick off an epic, one-man road trip than by having Perry Farrell shout “Here we go!” just before his band begins to kick much ass.

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I have many important updates for you … minus “many” and “important.”

First, regarding last month’s mirror-smashing mailbox debacle: The owner of said mailbox never responded to the letter I wrote to him/her … presumably because he/she figured that the less contact he/she had with that letter’s obviously unstable author, the better. And we can’t blame him/her for that, now, can we? No, we can not.

Thankfully, it appears that the mailbox’s owner instead chose to exert the relatively minimal amount of effort needed to knock out the relatively minor dent in his/her relatively sturdy mailbox … that sturdiness being relative, of course, to the sturdiness of my car’s passenger-side mirror … which, as you may recall, exploded upon impact with said mailbox.

In an effort to minimize the financial damage created by the mirror-smashing mailbox debacle, and because my always-do-it-yourself-to-save-a-buck father’s voice still lives in my head, I ordered online the replacement parts needed to return the mirror assembly to its original state of glory … which was a great idea right up until the part where I don’t actually have the tools, experience and technical know-how to replace a 2014 Ford Fusion heated mirror and mirror assembly, and therefore managed during my attempted installation to crack the shit out of the incredibly flimsy replacement mirror, the strength and thickness of which I discovered is roughly on par with that of an underdeveloped eggshell, only thinner and weaker.

And so I have once again proven that, by doing myself that for which I should have just paid a professional in the first place, I can get the more expensive, less rewarding experience of first fucking up the repair myself, and then paying a professional to do it the right way. So, you know … nice going, me!

At any rate, my beautiful car is beautiful once again, and I will be doing my damnedest to avoid getting run off of the road from here on out, so if you could all please help by putting your fucking phones down while you’re driving — especially those of you in the suburban-Philadelphia area — that’d be really swell, m’kay?

Second, regarding my open letter to KISS’s Gene Simmons, whom I hypothesized had either accidentally blocked me from following his Twitter account or is an overly sensitive dick: I’ve not heard from Gene, and I still am blocked from viewing and following his Twitter account, so let’s just assume that he’s an overly sensitive dick. Either that, or he’s completely unaware that I wrote him a letter. (Actually, let’s assume both of those things.)

Third & lastly, regarding my rapidly advancing age: I shall now share with you something I posted on my personal Facebook page yesterday:

fb-daughters

Yes, that really happened. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go clean my dentures before my shuttle to the Senior Center arrives.

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Dear Gene Simmons of KISS, a.k.a. My Childhood Hero: I think there’s been a terrible misunderstanding. Either that, or you’re an overly sensitive dick. I’m hoping it’s the former.

Dear Gene,

I’m not sure if you remember me. It’s been a while since I last wrote to you. Thirty-six years, in fact. Here, let me refresh your memory:

KISS letter

Nine years old, Gene! And a boy! (Even at that tender age, I was wise enough to inform you that I was male, because I knew what an incorrigible poon-hound you were, and I didn’t want you to waste your time seeking me out when I turned 18 … or 16, even. Like that Christine chick you banged.)

If that doesn’t jog your memory, maybe this will:

It was Halloween night, 1998, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. You guys were a little over halfway through the set when the lights dimmed and that rumbling bass of yours filled the darkness.

“‘GOD OF THUNDER’!” I screamed like a mental patient. (“God of Thunder” is your signature song, Gene. Yes, I’m well aware that you already know this, but I’m clarifying it here on the off chance that someone other than you might be reading this letter. You never know.)

“‘GOD OF THUNDER’!!!” I screamed again, a man unhinged. “WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!! YEAAAAHHH!! ‘GOOOOOOOD OOOOOOF THUUUUUUUNDERRRRRRR‘!!!!”

And then, instead of launching into “God of Thunder,” you played a new song called “Within” … the opening to which, when one is located in the cheap seats at Dodger Stadium, sounds a lot like “God of Thunder” … to me, anyway … but not, apparently, to anyone else seated around me, whose eardrums I had ruptured from screaming at the top of my lungs the wrong song title, over and over again. So that was sort of embarrassing.

But I didn’t care about embarrassing myself, Gene. Not much, anyway. Mostly because I knew I’d never see any of those people again, but partly because you had taught me from an early age to not give a fuck what anyone else thinks. You were like the honey badger before honey badgers were cool.

You might not have heard me above the rest of the Dodger Stadium crowd, though, so perhaps this will ring a bell:

March 11, 2000. Opening night of KISS’s so-called “Farewell Tour” in Phoenix, Arizona. There I was, leaning against the front edge of your side of the stage. What luck! I mean, listen, it was cool seeing Ace, Paul and Peter … but the dude I was most excited about photographing was you! Gene Simmons! Of KISS!

Behold:

Gene Simmons of KISS
Gene's Tongue

I tried not to read too much into it, Gene, but when you came right over to me and stuck out that famous tongue, I felt like we had a moment. Like we bonded. I felt like we were bros, dude.

So imagine my sorrow when I recently visited your Twitter page to see how my bro was doing … and found this:

gene-blocked

Wait a minute, what the fuck does that say??

gene-blockeda

You blocked me? You, Gene Simmons … my bro … my childhood idol … blocked me from following you and reading your tweets? … thafuck Gene?

I was dismayed. What could I, a faithful KISS fan of almost four decades, possibly have done to offend the God of Thunder so badly that you had gone and done something as petty as to block me on Twitter?

Think, Jon, think. Was it that Gene Simmons Easter egg I made a couple years back?

No, that couldn’t be it. Hmmmmm.

I continued to scour my Twitter history … and then I found it. August of last year. The same week during which comedy legend Robin Williams took his own life and a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. While trying to distract myself from those gloomy headlines, I came across a picture of you and KISS bandmate Paul Stanley holding an outdoor press conference to discuss your indoor-arena football team, L.A. KISS. And then, in a noble attempt to heal with laughter the wounds our weary nation was nursing, I made a joke at your expense:

Really, Gene? After all the shit people have said and written about you, you’ve dishonorably discharged a lifelong member of the KISS Army over a harmless hair joke?

Look, I get it: no one likes to be made fun of. But, in my defense … please look at your hair.

Also, to be fair: I didn’t make you go out in public looking like that. You did so of your own free will, knowing full well that people would be photographing you.

Actually, Gene, I’ve figured out what happened: You, being the good-humored, self-effacing guy I know you are, laughed so heartily at my little hair joke that your vision became blurred from laughter-induced tears … so much so that, when you attempted to “Favorite” my tweet and then “Follow” me on Twitter, you inadvertently hit the “Block” button. Yes, I’m sure it was all just one big misunderstanding.

You, no doubt, are relieved that I’ve brought all of this to your attention, as I’m sure you’ve been wondering, lo these many months, why my tweets haven’t been showing up in your Twitter feed. It’s a shame that you’ve unintentionally denied yourself the pleasure my 140-character musings, and that I’ve been denied access to yours. Thankfully, our mutual nightmare is now over.

I’m glad we’ve sorted this out, and I look forward to you unblocking me soon so that we can get back to being bros.

Sincerely,

Jon
(I am 45 years old, and a boy.)

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