Thursday, July 30, 2009

NeNe's Back, Y'all!

Okay everyone...get excited...

The Real Housewives of Atlanta are BACK! TONIGHT!

I think I just peed a little...

It's been a Looooong wait, but I'm sure it will have been worth it. I can't wait to see what shenanigans these ladies are getting themselves into now!

And NeNe...oh, how I've missed you!

You know you love her too...In all her delicious awesomeness! The one with a big, caring heart, but also tells it like it is...a Perfect balance!

If you've watched the previous season of RHofATL, you know what I'm talking about.
If you haven't seen the show, tonight is the night for you to jump on board! Please...come along and take this exciting journey with me!

(...and if you are one of my co-workers, you BETTER be watching this season, as I expect you to come into work and talk about the episodes with me around the water cooler...)

A big change this year: They got rid of the boring girl. (See...she was so boring that I can't even remember her name right now...) In her place, they added Kandi Burruss, a singer/songwriter who used to perform in the 90's R&B group Xscape. She has written songs for Alicia Keys, Destiny's Child, Faith Evans, Mariah Carey, etc...


According to the preview, it looks like she clashes with NeNe. OH HELL NAH! DON'T MESS WITH MY GIRL!

I'm sure it will make for great television.
Did i ever tell you how much I love NeNe? :)

And then there's Kim...good ol' gold-digging, 'I want a music career' Kim. Apparently, she splits up with Big Papa this year, so it will be interesting to see if she can keep up with her fine-living, luxurious lifestyle without him.

Ooh...I'm getting excited!

There's also Sheree and Lisa, who are supposed to get into a tiff as well, over dueling fashion lines. Don't tease me with a good catfight!

Of all the 'RH' series that Bravo likes to mass produce, Atlanta has to be my favorite! Probably because these ladies know who they are, know where they came from, and then put on a show! They know how to have a good time and live it up!

Hey Bravo...can we get a Chicago series yet? Thanks.

So...if you are ready for some fun, mindless, entertaining television (...and an hour of amazingness!) then tune in to the season premiere tonight!

Yes, i will always be here to discuss with you tomorrow! :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

...And That's When The Fight Started!

My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary. She said, 'I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 200 in about 3 seconds.'

I bought her a scale.
And that's when the fight started...


I tried to talk my wife into buying a 24case of Miller Lite for $14.95. Instead, she bought a jar of cold cream for $7.95.

I told her the beer would make her look better at night than the cold cream.
And that's when the fight started...


A woman is looking in the bedroom mirror. She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'

The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's damn near perfect.'
And that's when the fight started...


My wife walked into the den and asked, "What's on the TV?"

I replied, 'Dust.'
And that's when the fight started...

One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetary plot as a Christmas gift. The next year, he didn't buy her a gift.

When she asked him why, he replied, "Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"
And that's when the fight started...


I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first. 'I'll have the strip steak, medium rare, please.'

He said, 'Aren't you worried about the mad cow?'

'Nah, she can order for herself.'
And that's when the fight started...


I rear-ended a car this morning. So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car.

You know how sometimes you just get so stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah, well I couldn't believe it. He was a Dwarf!

He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, "I AM NOT HAPPY!!!"

So, I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'
And that's when the fight started...


My wife and I are watching 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?'

'No,' she answered.

I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'

She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying 'Yes.'

So I said, 'Then I'd like to phone a friend.'
And that's when the fight started...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Please, Tell Me I Don't Weigh 137 lbs!

Last night at the gym, I stepped up to the scale...and I was hoping for a number in the 150s.

First of all...I am NOT trying to lose weight!

You see, Since I am training for the upcoming Chicago Marathon, it's a given that I am going to lose some weight...but this year I am trying to counter attack by keeping the weight loss to a minimum.


Last year, during the week of the marathon I was down to 137 pounds.

Yeah...I'm not kidding.

I got small. The nice thing is that my body was completely "cut up" and toned; the bad thing is that I was emaciated...and gaunt...and at times could barely lift a fork to my mouth...

Kidding! (sort of...)

So, as I step on the scale, I am hoping for a nice, respectable, solid number. I would say 155 would be about perfect...

Over the winter, I gained back all of my weight...on purpose. After the marathon in October (when I was a svelte 137 lbs), I ended up putting the weight back on, and by February of this year I was back to just under 170 lbs.

Now, I may have taken some liberties in my diet (but let's pretend like it was all muscle!) LOL!

You know...It was winter, you get to cover up with big sweaters and coats...
It was nice. I enjoy having extra poundage on me.

Fine...I enjoy eating...a lot! There, I said it! Peanut Butter. I won't even tell you how many jars of Peanut Butter I go through in a month. I literally could sit there with a spoon and just work my way through a jar!

I don't know if it's healthy or not, but my body weight fluctuates heavily with the seasons. It is very important for my closet to be stacked with both "Smalls" and "Mediums."

For example, when I was playing rugby I was definitely one of the smaller guys on the team. In fact, my coach would BEG me to try to gain weight.

One time, at a team BBQ, coach told me that I needed to eat 2 burgers instead of 1, and to double up what everyone else was eating. Don't tease me!

God, that was one of the greatest seasons of my life! :)


So, I am on the comes the number...


NO!!!!!! 149?
Quick, get me to a Chipotle!....or a Pizza Hut!!!

After downing about a gallon of water, that should put me back at 150, right? I'm OK with 150.

But...I know that it's inevitable. Over the next couple of months, I will slowly chip through the 140s as the mileage on my training runs increases.

That's Ok...I will have all winter to stockpile it back on.

Look...As long as I don't lose my ga-dunk-a-dunk, I will be just fine...

Monday, July 27, 2009


If you haven't seen this video yet, Take 5 minutes and enjoy. It will put a big smile on your face! The wedding takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota.

If you have already seen this video, then take another 5 minutes and enjoy once again! It will be a great start to your week!

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance TOP 6!

Melissa, Look at you still STICKING AROUND! WOO HOO!!!

SYTYCD is down to the Final 6, and I am happy to say that 3 of my favorite dancers are STILL in the competition.

Melissa, Ade and Jeanine!

First of all, I thought Melissa might be a goner this week. but THANK YOU Tyce Diorio for giving her the most amazing dance to perform. After a couple weeks of getting stuck with sub-par choreography, she finally got a chance to perform one of the most memorable dances of the season!

It was such a powerful, beautiful piece drawing attention to the turmoil of a woman struggling with breast cancer and its effects on her partner.

She was definitely the best dancer to perform that number, as her age and style of dance made it much more believable.

AND...when you put Melissa & Ade back together, they are unstoppable!

Together, they are the perfect pairing of strength and grace, and I wish they could dance together for the entire season.

They definitely bring the best out of each other! other favorite is little 'hot tamale' Jeanine! Hello!

This girl is a force to be reckoned with every single week! God...everything she performs, she does it so well...

Who am I this point they are all talented, and so amazing...whoever wins will definitely deserve it!

I am so proud of Melissa, everyone's favorite geriatric dancer, for making it this far! (hee hee!) I honestly thought she would only survive a couple of weeks, but CLEARLY the rest of America reads my blog and agrees with me... :)

So...check out this week's 2 best performances below:

The first video is the STUNNING Melissa & ade routine...and then for a REAL TREAT, you have to check out the hard-hitting, hip-hop routine that Jeanine performs. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10,000 Visitors???...Hell Yeah!

I know! I can't believe it either!
Within the last couple of months, this little ol' blog has seen 10,000 unique visitors.

I remember when I first started and I was excited to get 8 of you to read my postings. :)

Now that I am up to 400-600 readers a day, I do not take any of you for granted. Thank you greatly!

So, today will be a little different...a hodgepodge of things, if you will...

First of all, I have to say
Congratulations to my dear friend NATE who smoked the competition last night in the Bud Boyz Contest! (Nate is the one in the pic who does not look like me...)

It wasn't even a close contest, as Nate clearly stood out among the other contestants! So, if you are out and about in Chicago at a Budweiser-sponsored event, there's a good chance you'll run into Natey-pie...

AND...Shout out to my boys Mario & Brad who also were impressive, scoring the two alternate positions. WAY TO GO!

More cool news:

Take a look at this AWESOME email I received this week:

First I must commend you on your heroic behavior this weekend. nicely
done. What I am about to say might come as a shock but eveyone loves a
good surprise! Remember that blog you wrote about Mrs (Mariah)
Carey? Of course you do, well just recently I transitioned working for her
team...and your blog (well just the part about her) fell into her hands and
management team and after the album drops and the schedule dies down a tad there is going to be a handful of intimate meet and greets or there were talks of a
few other ideas. Anyway, you are on the list my man, to get those
questions answered. Hope all is well and if you have any questions please
let me know. Take Care. -KU

WHAT??? Amazing! Meeting the great Mariah?
Seriously...I need to start writing about more of my favorite artists if it leads to perks like this! HAHA...Thanks Kevin!

Also, I want to say "gracias" to blog reader Jacob for the extra tickets to the Midwest Film Festival. I had a great time at the event, and it was great to finally meet you in person!

Now...last week's blog that I wrote, commenting about the "Orange Crowd" blog was my biggest readership day so far, as just under 1000 of you decided to click on the link. (Thank you for that!)

I received a lot of feedback that day...some good, some bad...But i say, Keep it coming! It's nice to hear all types of views, and makes things much more interesting.

So...Thanks again to all of you who randomly read 'Dangling Carrots.' I am honored, and you all keep me inspired!

Much Love,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Please, Don't Make Me Look At Your Trashy Tattoo!"

Last week, I went out for dinner/drinks with a couple of girls that I've known for a while. As we were sitting there eating, one of the girls made the comment, "I am thinking of getting a tattoo."

Immediately, the other girl said something to the effect of, "Why would you want to get something so trashy on your skin?"

I think my mouth dropped...

I was slightly taken back. Come on now...One of the main rules of conversation: Know Your Audience.

Did she completely forget that I have tattoos?
I mean...I had just come from work, so I had long sleeves on...and pants...but I've know her for a while now. Geesh!

Exhibit #2: A few months back, some friends and I went on a small road trip. As we were driving we passed a trailer park, where some individuals were hanging out in front of their homes.

Well, later on the trip we passed a tattoo parlor, in which someone lightly made the comment, "We should all get tattoos to commemorate this trip." That's when one of my other friends blurted out, "Great...then we would fit right in with the people at that trailer park."

I took that comment as insinuating that having tattoos automatically makes you white trash.


Once again... Know Your Audience!

Hello! I have tattoos, so I am a little surprised that people who know me are so quick to make these types of remarks.

I mean...we all have our opinions, but there is a time and a place for them.

I got my first one way back in 1999. This was back when getting tattoos was still associated mainly with bikers and rockers.

But body art has gone mainstream, and now everyone from Frat Boys to Pop Stars have them.

Depending on who you talk to, they are either a great way to express your individuality/uniqueness, or just another way for you to do what's popular (join the crowd...) It depends on what you actually decide to get.

However, for many people that stigma is still there, that tattoos = trashy.
Well, NEWSFLASH: Times are changing. order for that way of thinking to go away, we all need to help do our part. Therefore, if you are thinking about getting a tattoo in the future, here are a few simple rules to follow:

First, if you are getting a tattoo, MAKE SURE you get it on an area of your body that is fairly toned up! Tattoos do not look good on flabby skin! Nobody wants to see a huge tattoo of Jesus' face on your big flabby arms. However, his face does look amazing on a nice, ripped bicep!

Second, if you are in shape and get tattoos, you MUST remain in shape late into your elder years! Or...cover up! Remember that huge tattoo you got across your ribcage that looked incredible when you had flat, six pack abs? Well, it doesn't look so wonderful on your big flabby gut, now does it?

And are not immune, because that pretty little rose you got on your ankle doesn't look so hot when it is expanded across your entire cankle.

Third, please take some time to design your tattoos to be aesthetically pleasing. Don't just slap something on your skin in just any old place! The coolest, most original tattoos are usually thought out and placed strategically on the body.

My buddy Jason has amazing script across his chest and upper looks unbelievably cool. Another friend of mine, AK, has a really nice design that runs up and down his arms. Clearly, very well thought out...

Hey...this advice is free. I'm only here to help... :)

And a word for the haters: Keep this in mind. Most of the time, tattoos are a very personal, powerful thing for the people who have them. They usually display something, or someone, very meaningful for them. Or...they represent a specific moment or time in life. Please think about that before knocking someone's tattoo, or judging them.

My next tattoo will come after I complete this year's Chicago Marathon.
Now, where exactly will I put it? What will be the exact design? How big?

So many options!...Luckily, i still have plenty of time to think about it...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Crack is Whack...but that Voice isn't!

Are you excited for new Whitney?

Let me take an entire blog post here to indulge myself: I. LOVE. WHITNEY!

I realize that this is just another example, reminding me of how old I really am getting...but I seriously love this diva!

Whitney is a 7-time Grammy winner!...and has scored 11 #1 hits. Amazing.

I mean...What a set of pipes!

Is it possible that Whitney Houston was blessed with the greatest voice ever? Debatable...

Many of today's top Divas split the public's opinion. For example, some people love Madonna, Mariah, Britney, Lada Gaga...and then others completely can't stand them!

Not Whitney! Nobody hates Whitney, right? Even people who don't necessarily think she's their cup of tea don't go to the other extreme where they downright detest her.

Even when she was down and out, you know you were still sort of pulling for her, right? :)

Do you prefer the Superstar Whitney from "The Bodyguard" days, who was on top of the world? Or do you prefer the "Crack is Whack/Being Bobby Brown" Whitney?

I admit...I kind of like both!
The cracked out Whitney...for entertainment purposes, of course... (How could we ever forget her famous, "KISS MY ASS!")

But that voice...Oh my god...that voice!

Look...Whitney can open up the dictionary and just start singing definitions at me, i might orgasm!

So many memorable hits...
'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'
'I'm Your Baby Tonight'
'I Will Always Love You'
'Heartbreak Hotel'

Oh My Goodness...Just too many to choose a favorite from!

And who can forget her performance of the 'Star Spangled Banner' at the Super Bowl in 1991. Hands down, it was the BEST National Anthem I've heard, still to this day...

Whitney's career is just another sad story of fame & celebrity overtaking the person. I can only imagine how many more #1 songs and albums, Grammy awards, and other accolades she would've racked up by now if she had somehow kept control of her life.

But the point is...She has cleaned herself up and is BACK to doing what she does best: Using that VOICE!

She just released a new single from her upcoming album, being released on September 1st. Sure, the single most likely won't get much radio airplay, as it really isn't teen-pop friendly...but in my opinion it's still worth a download.

I'm amazed at how strong she is sounding, even after years of ruining her 'gift' by not taking care of herself. No, her voice is not what it used to be, but it still sounds good enough to make me fall back in love with her!

Oh Whitney!

If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to the new single...and the return of the "Voice" below. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You Want A Piece of Me?...

What do you do when you see someone being attacked? Should you get involved? Do you pretend like you don't see what is going on?

I gotta tell you...

People who start fights with others for no good reason are douchebags...plain and simple! I can say this because I know from experience.

Can't we all just get along? Geez Louise!!!

Don't get me wrong...I'm not talking about people who defend themselves or their friends. I am speaking of the "instigators." You know who I am talking about: The ones who usually do it in front of their pals to prove how manly they are, or just simply get a kick out of bullying people around.

**The random guy who cuts you off with his car, and then when you smack into him he verbally attacks you for f*cking up his vehicle.

**The girl in the bar who will bitch you out because you accidentally looked in her direction.

**The insecure guy with such low-self esteem that will punch you because his girlfriend shows interest in you.

...and no, being drunk is not an excuse!

Saturday night, I was faced with a choice...and I chose to defend an acquaintance of mine. I could not sit back and watch a bully attack him.

Now... in order to not sound like a hypocrite, I need to let you know that, unfortunately, I have gotten into a few tiffs in the past. My friends who have known me for quite some time have seen me lose my temper and go after people who (at the time) I felt deserved it.

(Sorry Brian, Mike, Curtis, Chris, Terry...etc....) LOL!

Hey, at least many of those people that I've fought with, I have now befriended and we are on good terms. :)

Age and wisdom are good things: You learn to take an extra breath or two when someone pisses you off, and you understand that walking away from a situation can be the best solution, allowing you to rationally confront the other person at another time.

But any instigator out there who tries to pick a fight with me or any of my friends, and it comes to the point of having to defend myself physically, you bet your ass I will!

As much as I can't stand jerks who start ridiculous, unwarranted fights, I cannot allow myself or the ones I love to become victims.

So...I am walking home from a bar on Saturday night(well..Sunday morning...) and about half a block in front of me, I see an acquaintance of mine walking alongside another guy that I didn't know.

For story purposes, I will call my acquaintance "B."

Everything seemed fine, until a couple minutes later when I see the other guy reach over and slap 'B'. Then, 'B' sat down on the ground and put his hands over his head, as if he is shielding himself from another blow.

I was shocked! How do you react to seeing something like that?

Well, I caught up to them within seconds and couldn't ignore the fact that someone I knew had just been hit, so I asked, "What's going on?"

I was basically told to 'mind my own business' by the other guy. If both of them had said that to me, then I would've gladly continued on my way home to get to the delicious chicken nuggets in my freezer. :)

However, 'B' had that look on his face as if he didn't want me to leave. So, i told the other guy to leave him alone, still politely at this point.

That's when the other guy decides he was going to kick 'B', and started yelling some things. (Talk about kick someone when they are down...)

All of a sudden...I don't know what got into me, but I went into, "OH HELL NAH!" mode, and pushed that guy up against the building. I held him there for a second (while he was able to 'sort-of' land a very light swipe to my head...bastard!) and then told him to "get the f*ck out of here!"

Now, I know I'm not the biggest guy in the world...but he must've realized that I was serious, because he ended up yelling a couple more things, but then walked away. Or...maybe he realized that he was outnumbered 2 to 1.

Look...I hate violence as much as the next person, but I can't stand bullies even more!

I don't have a clue what started the fight between them, or the details of how they knew each other; All I know is that someone that I happen to know was getting hit. And the funny thing...I don't even know 'B' very well!

Hopefully 'B' didn't instigate the fight, or I would feel real stupid defending him.
(Although NO ONE should hit another person! Talk it out, y'all!)

So...would you have done the same thing? Should I have continued walking?

I don't know...but i did what I felt was right at the time.

Next time, I'm taking a cab home...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hey Kelly Clarkson...I DO Hook Up!


It's just about time to take off the work cap and put on the dancing shoes!

Whether you're on your way to a swanky Cocktail party, or just hitting the town with friends tonight, one thing's for sure:

Many of you will be trying to hook up! :) your game ready? Or are you hoping to get a little action while using the same old ultra-cheesy pickup lines?

Well...have no fear!

Your amazing friend PaulBenjamin is always here to help! And...I've got some great sure-to-work pickup lines that will turn you into Don Juan in no time...

So, if you are really looking to score tonight, try one of these...

Sure-Fire Pickup Lines

"You're so hot, you melt the plastic in my underwear..."

"The word of the day is 'legs.' Let's go back to my place and spread the word."

"I like every muscle in your body, especially mine."

"Yeah, it's big and if you pet it, it spits."

"How about you sit on my lap and we'll talk about the first thing that pops up?"

"Do you sleep on your stomach? Can I?"

"That shirt is very becoming on you. If I were on you, I'd be coming too."

"Hey baby, as long as I have a face, you'll have a place to sit."

"My love for you is like diarrhea. I just can't hold it in."

"I'm gonna have sex with you tonight, so you might as well be there."

Happy Friday!
Good luck gettin' some!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The 'Orange' Crowd


There's a new blog that I've found recently called The Orange Crowd, which is based here in Chicago. Have you seen it yet?

If not, you have to check it out!

Basically, someone posts photos of people taken at random GLBT bars here in Chicago. The 'subjects' in the pictures are all very "orange," or heavily tan.

If you look at some of the photos, you will see that these people must've purchased the cheapest version of Self-Bronzer possible! Not a good look...

First let me say...I am neither endorsing or bashing the site. I don't know who the blog owner is, but in many ways I understand his/her point of view.

Haven't we ALL met super-obnoxious people and have wanted to call them out on it? That's basically what this blog does...

However, one of my rules here at Dangling Carrots, is to never call out someone that I dislike by name, unless it's for good or positive reasons. (or...unless it's a celebrity or politician in the public spotlight...They are fair game!) IF for some reason I ever change this rule, at least you all know who I am, and I will have no choice but to be accountable for my words.


I have to say, I know some of the people whose pics are posted on the Orange Crowd, or at least know of them.

And although there are a couple of people who I actually like and would call friends/acquaintances, there are also many on there who I would consider to be major douchebags!

In my opinion, many of these people are the gay equivalent to a Lincoln Park Trixie! (And you all know how much I LOVE them!...ha ha)

***Stop trying so hard! You will never be 'Regina George' from Mean Girls! DEFINITELY shouldn't want to emulate being someone like her! She is NOT a good person. This is REAL LIFE...not a movie!***

After looking through most of the site, I've noticed that many of the people in the pics are not necessarily 'orange,' but rather really tan...which I don't consider to be a bad thing.

I mean, with all the running I do in the summer, I have no choice but to get pretty tan myself. God forbid that I ever show up on this site for merely exercising outdoors...

Therefore, I believe that the blog writer doesn't ONLY think of 'Orange' as being really tan. I could be wrong, but he/she is using the term 'orange' symbolically.

It's a metaphor meaning, "superficial" or "fake"...
Or even to stretch it a bit....shallow?

Which explains why many of the pics are taken at the local establishment called Minibar. Personally, I don't mind going to Minibar, as they've done a really nice job on the place.

However, when many people think of Minibar, it conjures up the same feelings; that lots of superficial, 'douchebaggy' people go there to be seen.

Yes, it is a 'Stand and Model' type bar, and the drinks are more expensive than they really need to be, but if you don't like it, then it's your choice not to go there. There is a FINE establishment right next door called Sidetrack, where the bar staff & patrons are more laid back and very friendly, and the drinks are more reasonably priced.

Depending on your preference, you'll have fun at either...

So, the Orange Crowd blog...Funny or Cruel?

My answer: A little bit of both.

Yes...cruel to the people who show up in the pictures, but funny to the rest of us...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

4 Minutes? That's it???

I went online to pay my cell phone bill, and when looking at my stats I realized that I had only used 4 minutes of calltime last month.

4 Minutes? That's it???

Then I looked at my stats from last month to see if a trend was occurring, and for all of that month I only used 23 minutes.

What the heck?

Now, i usually keep my blackberry with me all day long, as I use it for email and texts. I knew that I wasn't actually "talking" on the phone as much, but I had no idea that it was THAT low!

Well...that's it! Since I haven't been coming anywhere CLOSE to my allotted 500 out-of-network monthly minutes, I am going to change my Cellphone plan then.

Problem: I can't.

Because of the type of phone I have, I am required to at least hold the monthly calling plan that I currently have.


Wouldn't it be nice to be able to pay for only internet, and then purchase an unlimited texting plan for your phone? Ok...and maybe a very basic number of calling minutes, because apparently that's all I need...
Hey Verizon...I am not an obnoxious TRIXIE, chat-chat-chatting away all day long!

Oh well...I guess I have no choice but to keep my current calling plan, but it would really be great to be able to pay for only the services I choose.

Case in point #2: Cable Television Companies

My current cable plan gives me a PLETHORA of channels...way more than I have ever clicked on.

I think I might watch 10 of them on a regular basis, yet I pay a substantial price in order to have a bunch of channels that I never watch at all.

I mean...the Jewelry TV channel? Really?

But here's where they get you: In order to watch something like the BBC America channel,(which I don't currently have AND which I would really enjoy watching) or the ALL DAY 'Real Housewives of Wherever!' channel, I am not able to purchase just those channels; I have to upgrade to the next package with a ton of other channels and pay even MORE $$ monthly.



Wouldn't it be great to have an 'a la carte' way of ordering, where you can pick and choose which stations you want, and then pay for a certain amount monthly?

For example: I would choose 10 stations I want to purchase, because up to 10 stations would be a set price... And then 10-15 stations would be a slightly higher price, 15-20 etc....

But no...they like to make things difficult for us, don't they.

Like Gym memberships... Most gyms make you sign a contract for a set amount of time, like a 2 year membership. That's where they get you... You may move 6 months into the contract, but because you signed up you are stuck paying monthly membership fees for a gym you no longer go to!

Really, I don't understand why you just can't pay monthly...I'm sure there's a reason behind this, but i have no idea what it is; but i will heavily bet that it is to benefit the corporation, and not the customer...

Gotta love Corporate America!

Now if you will excuse me, I need to text someone, to tell them to watch the Bravo cable channel tonight after they get home from the gym... :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Sir, Don't mind me..."

I always knew the day would come...

Yesterday, I fell asleep on somebody...
On my commute home.

I was tired. I couldn't help it!

I'm not going to lie...I fall asleep on my way home from work almost every day. In fact, I look forward to my little "nap" session on the CTA. (Chicago Transit Authority, for those of you who aren't in the know...)

And you, Judgy McJudgerton...Don't act like you've never fallen asleep on mass transit before! ( least WANTED to!)

If i try to read a book on my way home, I am conked out within a couple of page turns.
So, that definitely won't help.

Look...My sleep pattern has been awful lately. I try to get a decent amount of sleep, but for some reason I have been waking up multiple times throughout the night. Maybe it's stress...who knows...

Therefore, I NEED this refresher on my commute home. A good 15-20 minute cat nap is just what I need to get me through the rest of the evening!

And just like our bodies seem to have an automatic internal alarm clock that will wake us up at our normal time, even on our days off...I feel like I have my own CTA alarm clock that wakes me up within a couple of stops from where I need to get off.

Only ONCE did i miss my stop.

A couple of years ago, I was riding the Purple Line train, planning to get off at my stop. I snoozed through it, and ended up WAY far north, due to the train going Express! That sucked hard...

But that was a while ago, and it hasn't happened again since.

So, I sleep in peace...

And...I don't try to hide it either. I sit there in full "shut-eye" glory! Yes, I'm the guy whose head may bob up and down. Sometimes, i may lean towards my seat mate, but I've never actually fallen on them.

Until now.

Yesterday, on my way home, I woke up suddenly with a cushion underneath my head...which startled me for a second. That cushion was the shoulder of the guy next to me.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!"

The guy looked bigger than me, so i sized him up for a quick second. If he was really mad at me, and tried to start a fight, could I take him? I was preparing myself...

And then he chuckled lightly, "Don't worry about it."

Phew! I Lucked out! I dozed off on a nice person...

Hopefully, i wasn't sleeping on him for a long time. I hope it was an ' head bobbed and hit your shoulder, but then i lifted it right away' moment.

I imagine it would be way more awkward if I was actually resting my head on him for a while...
Although, if I did he seemed to be ok with it. Weird.

SO, I got lucky this time, but I can imagine what it would've been like if I fell asleep on someone different! I mean...what if it was some bitchy Lincoln Park trixie? That would've been the WORST!

What if the tables were reversed? I've never actually had someone fall asleep onto me before. I wonder how I would react...

I guess I would let them...especially if they were really cute. :)
And as long as they don't drool...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'll Always Have Chipotle...

Burrito, please!

Ten years ago, when I lived in Denver, Colorado, there was this little restaurant called Chipotle. I had never been there before, but one day my buddy Shaun and I went for lunch.

From the first bite of my burrito, I was an addict!

In fact, I don't know if I had a smaller stomach back then, or if I'm just a fat cow now...but I used to only be able to eat half a burrito and would save the rest for later.

Now, I always eat the whole thing in one sitting, of course. In fact, I could probably even eat 2!

While in Denver, I remember having an emotional night, comtemplating what I was doing with my life...over a Chipotle burrito, of course! You see, I was in Denver for a ministry internship, seriously thinking about becoming a Missionary overseas.

As I sat there in the restaurant, alone, I was wrestling with some feelings...and it was there that I decided that I was going to come home and go back to college. Do you see the clarity of mind that a good Chipotle burrito can give you? (hee hee...)

Well, upon moving back to Illinois, there were no Chipotle restaurants. Whenever I would be out for Mexican food or having a burrito, I would randomly remember Chipotle and how much I missed it.

But then the most wonderful thing happened...McDonalds Corp. bought Chipotle and expanded, bringing the deliciousness all the way out here to the Midwest.

And even luckier for me...
There's a Chipotle just a couple of blocks from my house!


Oh, the memories I have built up with Chipotle...

In fact, I've probably spent more money there than I have on actual groceries from the grocery store!

When first moving here to Chicago, my ex and I went to look at apartments together, and immediately after signing the papers for our first place in the city, where did we go for lunch? You guessed it...

The past couple of years, for our Secret Santa gift exchange at work, what do you think I request each time? None other than a delightful gift card from Chipotle itself!

The Sunday afternoon that I was talking to my father on the phone, as he informed me that my mom had lost sight in both eyes, I was balling my eyes out while chewing on my tortilla...

When someone breaks up with me, a good vacation to the Chipotle is usually in order.

In fact, whenever I hear bad news I have a tendency to just throw on my shoes and walk down the street to the Chipotle. It's almost like a knee-jerk reaction now!

( ...and where do you think I was when I came up with the topic for this blog posting!)

The best thing about marathon training season is that I can eat a Chipotle burrito and not even bat an eyelash at how many calories I may be consuming. If running a marathon means that I can eat a few more burritos, then I will keep on trotting!

The main message that I love the delicious flavors of a hearty Chipotle burrito. So if you are ever stumped on what to get me for a birthday or Christmas gift, be stumped no more! :)

I may not ever fulfill my life's biggest goals...
I may not ever get to Paris to find the cafe of my dreams...
I may not ever fall in love again...
But...God-willing...I'll always have Chipotle to make it all better!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Elevator.

Hello and Happy Friday to you!

I hope you all had a great week. For me, personally, it was quite busy and a bit stressful...and it probably was for many of you as well. So, I've got a great way for you to relieve some of that tension and have a little fun. :)

When living in a larger city, it is impossible to escape elevators. Every day when I walk into my work building, I take an elevator up to my office space. When I go home, I have to take an elevator up to my residence.

Since it's the end of another long, busy week, and because so much of our time is spent riding in elevators, try this lovely list of things to do when you are riding in an elevator with other people:

Things To Do In An Elevator

1. When there's only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn't you.

2. Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock! Smile, and go back for more...

3. Move your desk into the elevator and whenever anyone gets on, ask if they have an appointment.

4. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside, ask, "Got enough air in there?"

5. Listen to the elevator walls with your stethoscope.

6. When the doors close, announce to the others, "It's okay, Don't panic, they open again!"

7. Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets on, ask them if they can hear ticking...

8. Lay down a Twister mat and ask people if they would like to play.

9. Pretend you are a Flight Attendant and review emergency procedures and exits with the passengers.

10. Stand silently and motionless in the corner, facing the wall, without getting off.

11. Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the others, "This is MY personal space!"
12. Call the Psychic hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you are on.

13. Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering, "Shut up, all of you, just shut up!"

Have a good one y'all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hey BRAVO...this show SUCKS!

NYC Prep? More like NYC Huge piece of crap!

Hey've REALLY outdone yourself this time! Congratulations on creating this pile of sh*t!

I mean...seriously...this program has to be one of the worst things I've come across in a looooooong time...and for ME of all people to say KNOW its bad!

"But PaulBenjamin, how could you say that? You are majorly in love with the Real Housewives series..."

Yes. That's true. I love those ladies. I also love my good share of trash television. Rock of Love Bus? Charm School? Basically, if it's on Bravo or VH1, I'm there....

"So then, how could you say that this show is worse than those?"

Because this show is about a bunch of priviledged kids who think they own the world just because they were born into wealth on the Upper East side of Manhattan. These are spoiled rotten brats who are not ashamed to let you know how much better they are than you...

If you haven't seen the show yet, don't aren't missing anything!

"Well, the Real Housewives' programs are also about wealthy people who spend money frivolously..."

True, but that is not what disgusts me about NYC Prep. I am not bothered at all by watching people with a lot of money. (I mean...isn't that the American dream?...) The Housewives and other similar shows are about adults, in which many of them have worked hard to earn their own money. And if they haven' least they have some life experience under their belt to know that some of their actions will lead to consequences.

And shows like 'Rock of Love' are so ridiculous, and feature many people who are considered to be 'trashy,' but at least the cast members sort of understand that they are 'in on the joke' and doing it somewhat for the viewer's entertainment.

Also...the other shows usually balance their cast out; a really ridiculous person with a nice person who you root for. That way you get a protagonist and an antagonist. But on 'Prep', all you get are terrible people with NO ONE to root for...

SO what is so annoying about NYC Prep? Where do I start?!?

First, getting involved with charity is not done out of a desire to get involved, it is done out of obligation in order to get into the desired college. In fact, Camille even befriends someone that she can't stand in order to become a Board Member of the charity she works for. A board member? You're 17 years old!

Second, there is a character named Taylor, who is not a part of the New York City prep school scene. She goes to public school, so I think she is supposed to come across as "the good one." However, she dumps her nice, down-to-earth boyfriend in order to date the richer and more high-society friendly Sebastian because, "I've always wanted to just, like, marry rich, and maybe I should just, like think about things with Sebastian."

And by the way, Sebastian's main goal is to hook up with as many girls as possible, which is his prerogative. But we must sit and watch Taylor and Kelli get asked out on dates with him right in front of each other! Pathetic. No shame at all, that Sebastian.

But the biggest douchebag of all is PC. This "straight" guy who loves fashion and breeds more drama than the entire rest of the cast put together is really the only interesting character on the program. (And i say interesting because he is the only one doing anything worth watching...) He treats everyone around him like shit, he is not afraid to tell you what he thinks of you...and DO NOT ever buy him a "JagerBomb" because that is "so Jersey..." And God forbid he ever get offered a seat in the 2nd row of a fashion show, because anything but the 1st row is "so low-class."

With the exception of PC, this show is a HUGE Snoozefest...

In fact, the show is SO bad that Bravo even resorts to misleading the viewers in their "Coming Up Next" teasers, scamming us into believing that next's week's episode is going to feature a death that rocks one character's world, or have one character admit to being bisexual. (Both being really overblown situations...) Good job, Bravo...way to stoop so low...

I hate to be the person who says that these kids are "Everything that is wrong with America," but honestly...they contribute greatly to everything that is wrong with America!

I have removed the series from my TiVo, because I can't bear to watch another episode. However, I will try to catch the Reunion special at the end of the season, just to see if any of these kids have any regrets about the way they acted. (Which I'm sure they won't...)

And PC, it's only a matter of time before he gets his own spin-off right?

Or...maybe in a few years he will join the cast of the Real Housewives of NYC...after marrying his new "life partner"....

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mariah...The Legend Without A Title!

By now, you may have heard of a little singer named Mariah Carey... :)

Diva. Superstar. Legend...all have been used to describe Mimi, but in a musical world that is so quick to give out titles to their biggest stars, Mariah has seemed to go without.

For example:

Queen of Pop: Madonna
King of Pop: Michael Jackson
Queen of Soul: Aretha Franklin
Pop Princess: Britney Spears
Prince of Pop: Justin Timberlake
R&B Princess: Rihanna

How is it possible that Mariah can be the Greatest Selling Female Recording Artist of all time, yet escape without a title of musical royalty?

Could it possibly be because sometimes she is RIDICULOUS?

Whether you love her or hate her, Mariah sure knows how to craft a pop ditty, and the girl knows how to sell records, that's for sure!
Have you heard the new single, "Obsessed?"

It was just released to itunes yesterday. It took me a couple of listens to get into it, but the song is so damn catchy that I can't stop singing it now! Talk about a summer jam...!

It is highly likely that this song will go to #1, and if it does it would be her 19th #1 single. 19th??? That's only 1 short of the record held by the Beatles.

That's's a feat that no other current recording artist has even come CLOSE to. Not even Madonna, or Whitney...

So then...why isn't she called the "Queen" or "Princess" or even "Dutchess" of something...

Could it be that Mariah is one of those artists that people either really love or really can't stand? Although she has a HUGE & loyal fan base, she also is a very easy punching bag for the media and the critics...

I remember back in the day, when she released her very first single, "Vision of Love." I was like, "Who is this girl with the amazing voice?" The song is still one of my favorite Mariah songs ever. From there she went on to a string of 7 or 8 #1 songs in a row, a feat that is unheard of these days...


Mariah is the type of person that I would love to sit down with and pick her brain (cuz really i am not sure what is going on inside her head...) For someone who seems to have it all (fame, money, looks, and those legs...Yum!), she sure does have a way of messing things up at times...

So, if I could have dinner with the great Mariah Carey, I would say: STOP BEING SO RIDICULOUS!!!

I would tell her to stop dressing like a 12 year old. Or a hooker...
Or simply put...a 12 year old hooker!

I would tell her that her Hello Kitty collection may be unhealthy for someone of her age!

I would tell her to get a better vocal coach, because as good as her songs are on the radio or on disc, her live performances just plain SUCK!

But then I would tell her that many of her songs are some of my favorite songs of all time...
('We Belong Together' is still on heavy rotation on my itunes!)

I would also tell her that I am pulling for her, and that I've always pulled for her, even through the Glitter and Charmbracelet days...knowing the whole time that she was just one big hit away from a comeback!

And I would tell her that I hope she goes on to write many more hit songs, because I really enjoy her entire body of work.

So love her or hate have to respect the fact that Mimi knows how to churn out the hits! And even more impressive is that she writes her own songs. Mad props for that!'s just a matter of time now before she gets the record for all-time #1 songs.

And if that is the only title she receives, I'm sure she would be JUST FINE with that!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

To all my pun'kins...

Instead of writing an incredibly funny, awesome, wonderful and amazing blog post like I normally do (hehe...), I decided that I just wanted to give my gratitude to such beautiful people I know.

I don't know what I've done to deserve them, but I am so happy with the great people I have in my life.

Today, we will be inundated with the videos and pictures of the great Michael Jackson's memorial service, and it makes you realize how important it is to tell the people you care about how much you love them before it's too late.

So to all of you who I am honored to call my friends, thank you for the fun times, the laughter, the meaningful talks, and for helping to shape me into who I am today.

This post is dedicated to you. Love you all!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Nice Cankles!

"Ooh...look at them Cankles!"

You know you've seen them! With the summer celebrations upon us (Taste of Chicago, 4th of July, etc.), an influx of suburbanites have entered the city and brought their delicious cankles with them!

It's quite a mesmerizing sight, really...

Probably because living in the city, we don't see as many cankles...It's hard to get them when you're used to walking a lot. I call it a suburban phenomena because most people who don't live in a city area usually drive everywhere they go.

But what exactly is a cankle, PaulBenjamin? Well...a cankle happens when a person's calf blends into their ankle, just like the picture above. Basically, there is no narrowing of the ankle.

Cankles are the true sign of someone who doesn't exercise...

Seriously. It's easy to be quite active and still have love handles or bigger thighs, but cankles...they are in a class of their own!

Now sure, I will go ahead and make the qualifying statement...that some people have certain medical conditions or are victims of terrible genetics, blah blah...

I remember living in the suburbs, though. It is SO easy to get in the car and drive right up the street to run an errand, when you could've easily walked there in 5 minutes. At one point in my life, I became dangerously close to having cankles myself! So I understand this mentality and will be sensitive to it.

However, now that I run marathons, I know that cankles do not have to be a permanent condition, and anyone can get rid of them! Don't believe me? Then watch 'The Biggest Loser!'

"Well, what should I do if I have cankles?" Easy. Start walking...

Put down the Big Mac and go for a walk! In fact...if you exercise enough to burn many more calories, you don't even have to put down the burger! (It's a beautiful thing, I'm tellin' ya....)

I know, I's summer and you don't want to wear jeans everywhere, even though they cover the cankles. What should you do?

Too bad. Wear Jeans.

That is the best option...for ALL involved. You. Me. All of us...

Or...wear boots. Long, sexy boots that go up to the calf or higher. That way you can wear a nice, summery dress or skirt. :)

And if you do suffer from cankles, DO NOT get a tattoo on your ankle! That is like a guy with a big belly getting a long tattoo down his doesn't have quite the same effect as it does on someone with a nice body.

*In fact, here's a public service announcement: Tattoos really should never go on body parts that are flabby.*

And also...if you have cankles please do not wear ankle jewelry of any kind... Or Capri pants. You do not want to draw more attention to this region.

Hey...I'm only here to help.

Since July has been named Cankles Awareness Month (by Gold's Gym), we should all reach down and pinch our ankles. Go ahead...I am doing it too. Can you pinch more than a normal layer of skin? No? Then you are just fine...

If you can, let's go for a walk. Or do a few calf raises.

We can go out for pie to reward ourselves. :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Aren't You Too Old To Be Wearing That???

Yes...I'm talking to YOU in the Abercrombie shirt!

This past weekend here in Chicago, we celebrated Pride, capped off on Sunday with the Pride parade. I was standing there watching the parade with a bunch of friends, and just a few groups of people down from us was a gaggle of men, all who looked to be in their early 40s/late 30s

...and yes, they were wearing a variety of t-shirts with (...GASP!..) Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch logos plastered across the front.

Here's my public service announcement: If you are 25 or older, you might be too old to shop there. If you're 30, you SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF!

Stores like A&F and Hollister and known for their advertising to younger, attractive college & high school-aged youth. In fact, they get blasted constantly for only hiring attractive people to work in their stores. (you know..good-looking people attract other good looking people...blah, blah...) They DO NOT want ugly people or old people wearing their stuff!

I remember being around age 25 and walking into the A&F at the mall. That's when I started feeling guilty, as if I was a FRAUD, trying to pass off like I was just entering college. By the time I was 27, I threw away my last remaining A&F hat from my closet.

Yes...I am A&F free!

I also remember buying an Abercrombie polo once, and the next day I was asked how long I've had that shirt... "No, it's new. It's just intentionally made with the holes & is supposed to look worn down..."

Some of you younger kids probably don't understand this, but don't will!
(At least I hope you will...)

An older guy wearing this stuff comes across a little creepy...almost in a pedophile type of way, right? But here's my main problem with it: You look Desperate!

That's right, you look like you're trying WAY too hard to fit in.

Now, anyone who knows me understands that I am all for having 'personal style,' no matter what age you are. If you are 45 and still rockin' a pair of yellow jeans, or a bright orange belt...I'm all for it if you do it well!

However, A&F and Hollister is NOT personal style! It is CONFORMING...conforming to a way of life that you no longer fit into! Maybe the problem is that you never fit in when you were younger, and now you're trying to make up for it... It's not working.

Maybe it's the whole A&F mentality, but Men who go from classically handsome become cartoon-like weirdos...usually accompanied by dyed hair, botoxed faces, too-dark golden tans, etc...

In my (very humble) opinion, It is more effective to wear fashionable clothing that is appropriate for your age...

I guess i need to throw away my hoodie sweatshirt from The Children's Place then... (hee hee!)

So look...I'm just trying to help you out to avoid being "that guy" at the party.

Now if we can only get women to stop wearing those damn tight shirts that show off their muffin tops!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Best Freakout EVER!

Ok, I don't usually just post videos here on the blog, but this one was TOO good to be missed! I STILL can't stop laughing and had to share it with y'all! Some kid goes BANANAS when his mom cancels his World of Warcraft account.

You know what though...I would probably react the same way if I found out Wendy's stopped making Frostys!

Thanks to my buddy Chris Overby for sending me this delicious Wednesday treat!

Please enjoy below:

From One Musical Legend to Another...

I have nothing to add...Dolly says it all below...