Freaking Angry Birds. Stop Ruining Our Nation

Let’s get real guys. America is a really weird place. We put sweaters on our pets, watch the Kardashian’s do absolutely nothing for hours upon hours, do the cha-cha slide and most of all, we fling stupid looking birds at round, green pigs.

Imagine if you were trying to explain the game Angry Birds to someone who had no idea what it was:

Angry Birds

Angry Birds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“What’s that game?”
“Oh. It’s Angry Birds.”
“What’s the point?”
“I’m trying to kill all those pigs because they took my eggs.”
“Those don’t look like birds….that one is triangular-shaped and that other one looks like a bomb.”
“Well, that’s because the bomb one explodes and blows up those wooden block and the triangle one can plow through the wood block.”
“But why do they need to?”
“To kill the pigs.”
“Those don’t look like pigs. Where are their legs?”
“I don’t know, I guess they’re obese and you can’t see their legs anymore.”
“But why are you trying to kill them?”
“Because they stole the bird eggs.”
“To do what with them?”
“Eat them I guess.”
“Pigs don’t eat eggs….”
“These do.”
“Why does killing the pigs get the eggs back? And why are they balanced so precariously on cliffs and blocks?”
“It just does. And because they hide the eggs there to keep the birds from getting them back.”
“Why do you have to use a slingshot? Don’t birds know how to fly?”
“Not these ones. They have tiny wings.”
“Why?”
“I don’t know. They just do.”
“This game is stupid….why are they in space now?”
“Oh. This is the new game Angry Birds Space.”
“……..”
“Leave me alone. I’m learning physics and the value of perseverance.”
“Sure….What are those stars for?”
“You get stars when you win.
“For what?”
“Just for winning.”
“How do you get 3 stars?”
“By getting a really high score.”
“How do you get a high score?”
“You have to kill all the pigs with as few birds as possible. Then you win.”
“……”

Seriously though guys. Why am I so obsessed with this game? It’s the world’s most ridiculous game and I can’t stop playing. I’ve spent approximately all day long, playing the same levels over and over trying to get all 3 stars. I have a problem. And apparently so does the rest of the world as it’s always the number one downloaded game in the app store. It’s a brain numbing game and we’re all playing it. We’re slowly getting dumber as a nation and this game is at fault. Kids aren’t studying anymore, they’re playing Angry Birds. College students aren’t going to class…because they’re playing angry birds. And numerous grown adults are missing work because, you guessed it, those darn Angry Birds. It’s no wonder we have a terrible economy. We can’t stop flinging birds at round green pigs. We’re all going to turn into bloated parodies of ourselves while we sit and stare at our smart phones for hours on end and not a single one of us cares. Because it has sucked us in and we can’t stop. Ever.

But I don’t really care. I’m not going to stop until I get 3 stars on every level, I’m not. Because I am part of the Angry Birds problem.

Help. Me.

Baseball: Reemerging America’s Pastime

I love baseball. I do. We all love it. Why wouldn’t we? It’s America’s pastime.  Unfortunately the start of baseball season has been eclipsed by the Stanley Cup playoffs this year for me. This is just terrible. I need to apologize to baseball for that. And as I tried to formulate how I would go about apologizing to an inanimate object, I started wondering, why is baseball America’s pastime?

And since I know every single one of you are wondering the same thing, I took the liberty to do the research for all of us…you’re welcome guys. And wouldn’t you know it, wikipedia had the answer right there for me. (I only use wikipedia for my research. I’d be a terrible investigative reporter.)

As it turns out baseball was originated from a very popular game in Great Britain and Ireland called “Rounders“, which, get this, has exactly the same rules as baseball. I know, I was surprised as well. But then I was a little confused as to how this tidbit of information answered my question about why baseball was America’s pastime, but stick with me here, wikipedia clarified it for me.

Turns out in the 19th and 20th centuries (apparently I’m not very well educated because I had to double check what years that would have been. It was the 1800-1900’s. I had terrible schooling) baseball aka “the sport formerly known as rounders”, was the most widely played sport in the country. So as far as I can tell the Brits and Irishmen came over to the good ol’ US of A and taught everyone the game. And it was pretty much the only game they knew how to play. According to my good pal, wikipedia, it says baseball was as popular then as video games and tv are today. Baseball was the way they, dare I say it, passed time. And because all Americans had for fun was playing and watching baseball that’s what they did.

They all shared the common bond of baseball, it united all humans. They talked about it while plowing the fields, waiting for the bus, after school, before school, while eating dinner, at the grocery store, buying new shoes, eating Chinese food, pretty much during any activity, the discussion was centered on baseball

And then wikipedia went on to be depressing and told me that there really is no national pastime anymore. Apparently America is just to ‘splintered’, whatever that means. Stupid internet age.

With my best college thinking skills I came to the conclusion that America needs to revive baseball as its pastime. The world is too sad without it. We need to discuss it at the water coolers and bus stops again. (Also maybe I should start hanging out at water coolers. Turns out a lot of conversations happen at those)

In my attempt to make baseball America’s pastime again I’ve come up with a handy list of conversation starters. If we all use this list then we’ll all be talking about baseball and then we’ll all be centering our lives on it again, thus, pastime. So ya, this plan is basically flawless.

  • So how ’bout those Yankees? They have really high payroll! And terrible fan base!
  • Hey, do you know how many stitches there are in an MLB regulation baseball? Me neither! Let’s count them together!
  • So…the allstar game is in Kansas City this year. There’ll probably be cows and stuff in the outfield, cause you know, Midwest.
  • Do you find the Cleveland Indians mascot to be slightly racist?
  • Guess who my favorite player is! And no, I won’t give you any hints! (This is a great one if you want your conversation to last hours, there are a lot of baseball players in the world)
  • So RBI’s. Runs batted ins? ha. They should just call it RBI. Ha!
  • What kind of wood do you prefer for your baseball bat to be made of?
  • You ever seen The Sandlot? That Squints! He’s a riot!
  • Would you rather take a 100 mph fastball to the thigh or the back?
  • Want to race around the bases? (This one only works if you are someone who just hangs out on baseball fields or an actual baseball player.)
  • Who’s your favorite baseball mascot? That green Phillies thing?
  • Would you rather lick the pitchers rosin bag, or run full speed into the Green Monster in Boston?
  • Who’s your least favorite Yankee: Jeter or A-Rod?

It’s pretty simple guys. Anytime there’s an awkward silence, just blurt out one of those things up there. And soon enough everyone will be talking about baseball again.

Bingo! Bango! Bongo! America’s pastime.

You’re welcome America.

The Madness of March

Well here we are. The month of March. Spring is just around the corner. Soon flowers will be emerging from the earth, tiny little birds will be hatching out of their eggs. And people all over the United States of America will be shouting at their TV.
That’s right. March Madness is almost here. Which means it’s time again for Amanda to jump on the NCAA Men’s Basketball bandwagon. I haven’t watched a single game all the way through all season and yet I will fill out a bracket. And I will do it in no logical manner whatsoever.

Pick the team with the higher seeding? Nah!
Pick the team with the best winning records? No thanks.
Have loyalties to the teams I pick? I don’t think so!
Does the college have a funny names? YES PLEASE!
Do they have a hilarious mascot? YUP!
Are they Gonzaga? UM ya they’ll be the National Champions!

Yearly I just hop right on the Gonzaga bandwagon. Why? I don’t know. Probably because #1: Gonzaga is hilarious sounding, #2: They have a bulldog as a mascot. Bulldogs are great. And #3 I like to root for the underdog. So ya. I want Gonzaga to win it all. So what? Maybe I’ve just gone ahead and completely lost it. I’m okay with this. I tell you what though. One year Gonzaga will win it all. And then I will be the richest person ever. I will win all the bracket contests I enter, which is roughly 1 billion.

So here it is guys. Amanda’s 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket:

As you can see, I’ve got Gonzaga going all the way, as per the usual. But you know what? This is their year. I feel it in my bones. I have no knowledge about their current skill level at basketball, but they’ll take it. They will be the 2012 national champions.

And when they are, I will fly all the way to Washington state to be in their victory parade. I will make a sign proclaiming myself their #1 fan. Isn’t this what everyone wants anyway? For me to be the real winner?


[Editors note: I just realized I left the winner of the Ohio St. / Loyola game blank. My bad. Obviously it doesn’t really matter because Gonzaga will beat the winner of that one anyway, but I choose Ohio St…cause I ain’t no dummy]

 

Daylight Savings Time? More Like “It’s All Germany’s Fault I Have To Reset My Clocks” Time!


Twice a year I have to spend minutes resetting all of the clocks in my possession. Which is only 3 but still, it’s an obnoxious task. And when I go to reset the clock in my car it leads me to question why there’s no am/pm on it. Then I remember that if I’m in my car, I probably know if it’s daytime or nighttime, therefore no am/pm setting is necessary. I don’t like to have that much thinking going through my head when I get in my car. I shouldn’t have to reset my clocks. I just shouldn’t.

If you’re anything like myself you’d like to know how this delightful little tradition of losing an hour of sleep every spring began. I got a little curious today and did some Wikipedia research. Turns out it all started with a guy we all know and love, named Benny Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin is hanging out in France and notices that they are using A LOT of candles so he decides to do something about it.

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise! I should tell that to the French. all they do is use candles. If they went to bed earlier they would have to deal with as much darkness and then they wouldn’t be wasting SO MUCH FREAKING WAX! Wax is a delicacy why do those darn French not get this??

Excuse me! People of France! I’ve noticed you guys are using a lot of candles so I have a plan to keep you from doing this. First I’m going to ring the church bells REALLY loud and REALLY early in the morning, right as the sun is rising in the East. If you wake up as the sun comes up and go to bed when it goes down you get all the daylight joy and don’t have to use any candles!

Secondly I’m going to make you pay taxes if you have shutters. I don’t want you sleeping when the sun is in the sky. You need to be up and productive when the sun is up. That way you’ll be good and tired by nightfall and won’t need to use candles at all!

Third. You only get one candle a month. USE IT WISELY GUYS!

So obviously these ideas don’t go over well with anyone. They world hates Benny at this point for his terrible ideas. But the world does agree with Ben’s thoughts on making the most use out of the daylight hours. They aren’t real sure what to do, but they do know that ringing the bells really loud at churches is not the answers.

So then we fly over to New Zealand where George Vernon Hudson, a bug guy, is making a living as a shift worker.

I really enjoy collecting bugs but my darn job is getting in the way. I obviously need to make a living and collecting bugs does not earn my money so I have to keep this shift job. But I REALLY want to collect bugs! UGH! This is the worst! I need daylight hours after I get off work so I can collect my bugs! What am I going to do?? I KNOW! I’ll write a letter proposing a 2 hours time shift in order to best utilize the daylight hours!

Dear Wellington Philosophical Society,
Hello. My name is G.V. Hudson. I am an avid bug collector, but due to my humanity I need food to survive. No body wants to buy my bug collections so I am forced to work a shift job. It is dark when I go to work and dark when I come home from work. Do you know how difficult it is to catch bugs in the dark? It’s really, really hard. So that is why I’d like to propose a two hour time shift. In the fall move the time back 2 hours and in the spring forward 2 hours. Then I have daylight to catch my bugs! I think that this is a simply fabulous idea! Let me know what you think!
Sincerely,
G.V. Hudson

That letter still didn’t really do much for conserving of the daylight hours. It wasn’t until Germany stepped in that changes were really made.

Germany WWI:
We need coal! But this silly war is using up all the coal we have. It’s really really cold here in our house. When it gets dark we need to use coal to war it up. BUT WE DON’T HAVE ANY COAL!! WE’RE GOING TO FREEZE TO DEATH! IF ONLY WE WERE AWAKE DURING THE HOURS OF THE DAY WHEN THE SUN IS UP WE COULD SAVE OUR COAL DURING THE DAYLIGHT HOURS!!

Perhaps if we shifted the clocks a few hours we could make it where the sun is up during waking hours and dark when we’re sleeping. Then we can get the best use out of the warmth of the sun! GREAT PLAN. I will tell the world to also shift their clocks and everyone will obey us. BECAUSE WE’RE GERMANY!!

And that’s how it happened. The Germans were short on coal and they needed more sun warmth. So they changed our clocks. And therefore I blame Germany for forcing me to reset my clocks twice a year.

Quite frankly I’m tired of this daylight savings nonsense. I’m not participating this year. I might be late to everything, but hey, I’ll be making a stand. I don’t need that extra hour of sun anyways.

Sports Fans 101

Americans as a general rule love sports. It could be the atmosphere, the players, or the air of competition, but there is something about sports that connects everyone. They serve as the great unifier. For the few hours during a sporting event everyone is united. Blue collar, white collar, it doesn’t matter. We’re all doing the same: yelling and hoping our team comes out victorious.

Now since my recent come-outtance as a sports fan I’ve noticed that there are about 5 basic schools of fan-hood at sporting events: (particularly Nashville Predators hockey games) There’s the shouter, the mutterer, the questioner, the crowd-coach and the groupie.

The “Shouter”
They are very passionate about the game. They are also very passionate about beer, drinking one every 15 minutes. They yell everything they say. However, it seems that the shouters don’t actually know how the game works. They just shout whatever is on their mind at the time. They yell at players like they’ll actually be heard. They yell at the referees as if they could do a better job. As the evening goes in their shouting becomes less coherent. Some people might even refer to the shouters as the ‘obnoxious drunks’ (some people = Amanda) .

The “Mutterer”
Unlike the shouters, most mutterers are actually knowledgeable about the game. They know the players and all their statistics. They know when a penalty needs to be called. They’re not boisterous about this information however. They just mumble things like, “Nope. Bad call”, “Guys, come on” or “Toots is on the ice” as if they have secret knowledge that they don’t want to share with anyone other than the person directly next to them. They might be more obnoxious than the shouters simply because when I want to eavesdrop on them it’s really hard.

The “Questioner”
Often attending the game with mutterers, the questioners do just as their name suggests; they ask lots of questions. Questions about how the game works and who the players are, often they are very stupid questions. For instance at the last game I attended the questioner behind me asked their mutterer friend what all the black things (they were hockey pucks) on the ice were and when the best time to go to the bathroom would be. (clearly the best time would be at the end of a period) They have a thirst for knowledge but a complete lack of logical reasoning. They also seem to have a case of voice immodulation disorder because they ask their stupid questions really loud, causing me to laugh at them.

The “Crowd Coach”
This is the person giving really intelligent advice to the players, unfortunately the players cannot hear them because they are up really high. They give helpful advice like, “GUYS! Defend the goal!”, “Shoot the puck!” or “Get a goal!” (FYI this is not actually helpful advice as the players know how to play and that’s why they are in the NHL) The crowd coach population tends to be mostly women, I assume because they feel like they should be mothering the players.

The “Groupies”
The groupies are solely teenage/college age females. They know absolutely nothing about sports. They don’t care to know anything about them either. But they like to look at the players and have chosen their particular love target. They come to the games armed with plenty of neon colored signs proposing marriage to their favorite players. They also get up a lot during the games as if the players will see them amongst the 17,000 other people and fall in love immediately. (this does not appear to be working for them) I find these ones highly obnoxious.

I reluctantly have to admit that I tend to float a little into each of these schools. I mutter things to my neighbors, but also shout at the players. I sometimes coach from my seat, saying things like “Come on Sergei! What are you doing? You need to score!” and “What are you doing Kevin Klein? Why do you always shoot from the blue line!” I’ve been known to ask a stupid question a time or two as well. I even have a players I would be willing to marry if they asked. (Hey Colin Wilson! I’m waiting) But I DO NOT make signs. I draw the line there. (Sidenote: If I made a sign it would not propose marriage. It would say “Hey Brandon Yip! We Want a Yip-Check!!”)

I’m willing to admit that I’m pretty obnoxious. But luckily for me I’m an American. It’s natural for me to do these things at sporting events. In fact I might even say it’s expected. I’ll just be okay with being a shouting, mumbling, questioning, crowd-coach who would marry a player if they asked.

Plus this is the only social setting in which it’s okay for me to shout, “Hey, you suck!” at someone. So I’m not going to argue with the rules.

Little Bunny Foo Foo *Remix*

Dear author of “Little Bunny Foo Foo”,

Not what children should imagine bunnies doing

Real quick question. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? This song is incredibly popular with the youngsters. But it’s also incredibly disturbing. Come on a little journey with me. Let’s do a little exploration of your song.

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest”

Seems nice enough. Bunnys hopping through the forest. what a lovely thought. So pleasant!

“Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head”

EXCUSE ME?? What is Foo Foo doing? Why is he scooping up the mice? Did the mice do something to him/her (is Foo Foo a boy or girl? I’m going boy).  AND WHY IS HE BOPPING THEM ON THE HEAD?? This is not okay.

“Down came the good fairy and she said
‘Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.'”

Oh good. A fairy. Fairies are pleasant. Surely the bunny will listen to the Fairy if she tells him not to bop the mice right? I would always listen to a fairy.

“I’ll give you three chances,
And if you don’t behave
I’ll turn you into a goon!”

I’m sorry? What?? Do fairies do these types of things? Tinkerbell has never ONCE turned anyone, especially a bunny, into a goon. Also WHAT IS A GOON??

“The next day:
Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest”

Alright. Surely Little Bunny Foo Foo doesn’t want to turn into a goon. He won’t bop the mice this time. I fully believe in this bunny. He will listen to the fairy and stop. Right?

Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head”

NO! Foo Foo! What are you doing?? Didn’t you hear the fairy? She’s going to turn you into a goon!!

“Down came the good fairy and she said
‘Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I’ll give you two more chances,
And if you don’t behave
I’ll turn you into a goon!'”

Oh shoot. That fairy has got her eye on Foo Foo. I hope he’s careful tomorrow and doesn’t scoop up the mice. SURELY he’s not that dumb, right? I mean, bunnies are real good at hidng so they must have common sense.

“The next day:
Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head”

OH NO FOO FOO! I hope that fairy didn’t see you! You’ve only got one chance left if she did.

“Down came the good fairy and she said”

AW shoot. She was watching Foo Foo.

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I’ll give you one more chance,
And if you don’t behave
I’ll turn you into a goon!”

Foo Foo! Don’t mess this up. I think she’s serious about this goon stuff!

“The next day:
Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head”

NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! FOO FOO!!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING??????

“Down came the good fairy and she said
‘Little Bunny Foo Foo!
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin’ ’em on the head.
I gave you three chances
And you didn’t behave
Now you’re a goon! POOF!!’
The moral of the story is:
HARE TODAY, GOON TOMORROW”

You know what Foo Foo? I don’t even feel sorry for you. The fairy gave you 3 chances, I tried to warn you. I’m glad you’ve become a goon. Now maybe no one will be bopping the mice on the head. You’re a terrible bunny. Bunnies are supposed to be nice. You’re the worst bunny in the world. Also, Fairy, what’s with the lame pun? My gosh. Have some respect for yourself. No one thinks that’s funny. The children who sing this song don’t even get the pun. Save yourself some time and be more fairyish and less comedienne. Alright?

Now do you see the problem here sir/madame who wrote this song? What should be a nice happy song about bunnies and fairies turns out to be about a sadist rabbit and a fairy who turns rodents into goons (whatever that is). You’re giving bunnies a bad name and teaching kids its ok to bop people if you go ahead and stop after the 2nd time. The 3rd time is a no-no.

If you don’t mind. I’ve taken some creative liberties and changed the song to fit the needs of the unhealthy/ADD/behavior challenged children of today’s society.

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them lots of candy]

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them lots of candy]
I’ll give you three chances,
And if you [keep giving them candy]
I’ll [tell Michelle Obama you’re contributing to the obesity epidemic of rodents in the USA]

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them lots of candy]

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them lots of candy]
I’ll give you two more chances,
And if you [keep giving them candy]
I’ll [tell Michelle Obama you’re contributing to the obesity epidemic of rodents in the USA]”

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them lots of candy]

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them lots of candy]
I’ll give you one more chance,
And if you [keep giving them candy]
I’ll [tell Michele Obama you’re contributing to the obesity epidemic of rodents in the USA]”

The next day:

Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And [giving them healthy snacks that fit into the new http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ nutrition pyramid]

Down came the good fairy and she said

“Little Bunny Foo Foo,
[I’m glad your making good decisions in your behavior by hopping rather than playing video games and also modeling good snack choices for those around you including the mice. I’ll make sure to mention this to Michelle at our next meeting.]

The moral of the story is:
[Eat healthy snacks and you won’t be the obese person from behind on the news story about obesity]”

Now see isn’t that better? Foo Foo maintains the kind, gentle persona that bunnies have come to be known by. He’s getting his daily cardio workout with all the hopping and making wise food decisions in the end by offering healthy options rather than candy. It’s culturally relevant and teaches children a valuable lesson about health.  I’ll be waiting for my royalty check to come in the mail.

All my best,
Amanda