Note: The bulk of this was written almost a year ago, but the people, places and things listed then have done nothing in the past 12 months to alleviate my disdain, and thus must be publicly shamed again. Except for you, Jim Bulleit, you've been adequately shamed. Don't mess with me, world.
I'm generally a pretty upbeat person. If you look through my family's old photo albums, you won't find a single picture of me as a baby where I'm not smiling. It's a disposition I've successfully tried to carry with me as I've grown older, save for a couple of puberty-fueled years of awkward rage.
When something is bothering me, I'm an enormous fan of taking those thoughts and/or emotions, locking them somewhere dark and distant, and tossing the key in my duodenum. I believe this to be the best way to handle problems because A) The bad feeling goes away (duh), and B) It's been medically proven to be extremely healthy.
The lone downside to this otherwise watertight technique is that once every 60 days or so I absolutely explode and make everyone I come in contact with feel the way Van Gogh did every day.
Today is one of those days.
I'm fully aware that none of what you're about to read has any business being on this blog, but when I rage I enjoy reaching the absolute greatest number of people possible. That said, here are 15 things I do not care for at the moment.
1. Exclamation points
This is a war I've been waging since my introduction to punctuation.
If you're a girl and you're using seven exclamation points in a two sentence email or text message, whatever, I can let it slide. Am I going to make fun of you? Absolutely, but we can still be seen in public together. If you're a guy exhibiting similar behavior ("Did you see that game!" "Let's go to the bar!" "I heard you don't have chlamydia!"), we will not be speaking again until you make the drastic adjustments your life so desperately needs.
Exclamation points should only be used three ways: 1) Ironically. 2) For comedic effect. 3) In dialogue.
If you wouldn't scream, jump up and down and clap hysterically simply because it's one of your casual friends' birthdays, then don't give that impression electronically. You're ruining language for the rest of us.
2. My bank account
How this was bested by exclamation points I'm not entirely sure.
The worst five seconds in my life have become the ones that occupy the time it takes for my account to load after I type my user name and password in on the Chase website. Dirty looks and obscenities are hurled in the direction of the ATM every time it asks me whether or not I'd like a receipt to conclude my transaction.
If someone out there feels like paying me a lot of money to do nothing, I'll definitely make up stories about how cool you are and post them on here. I have blue eyes, I know all the words to "Party in the USA," and I'm quite charming for about three hours every week. Take all that and mold it however you like.
3. Putting smiley faces at the end of comments
When did typing a colon and closing a parentheses one space after calling me a dick absolve you from any wrong doing? It's like the TV news stations putting question marks at the end of misleading headlines.
In real life, if you refer to a female member of my family as a whore and then follow it up with a grin, I'm even more likely to walk away angrily and get someone I know who's big to make you wish you'd chosen your words more carefully.
If any of you ever employ this "style," I'm going to f$%#ing ban you, and then send you five threatening emails every day for a year. :) We cool?
Is it just me or are they getting really bad about NEVER LETTING ME HOLD THE REMOTE CONTROL?
5. Morning shows
Where the hell did this notion that morning shows need to be unbearably annoying come from? Is there anyone out there who actually wants to be seeing and hearing this less than an hour after they've started their day? If you're trying to blatantly piss me off then why don't you just show me 30 minutes of someone who looks sort of like me sleeping amazingly well in an enormous white bed?
6. College football
This isn't partly about my hatred for the sport's postseason, it's entirely about my hatred for the sport's postseason.
I am so sick of hearing about the sanctity of college football's regular season. If I go to the theater and the movie I see is amazing for an hour and-a-half and then mind-bogglingly awful for the last 25 minutes, I'm not going to come out of there raving about the character development in the first hour. If people ask me if it's worth their money, I'm going to tell them no.
The 2007 season was amazing...until the games that are supposed to be the most important. Ohio State/LSU was an absolute joke, and I doubt 1/5 of the people reading this can remember the final score without looking it up. Every athletic team's goal should be to win their sport's championship, and when you have a system in place that almost ensures ambiguity even after all the games have been played, it taints the entire process.
It makes absolutely no sense, and it's putting an increasingly large dent in my love for the sport every year.
7. Christmas activities before Thanksgiving
I'm tackling this one earlier and earlier every year.
Christmas is the only thing that can compete with March college basketball in my world, but if you push it on me before I'm ready, I will respond violently. Decorated house before Thanksgiving: black paint all over your windows. Humming Christmas songs before Thanksgiving: two-handed shove into something that will make a loud noise the next time we're out in public. Singing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving: utensil to the eye.
Do not test me on this.
8. Getting older
The temperature drops below 50 now and all of the sudden my skin burns, the joints in my hands ache and my left knee throbs.
Also, I'm pissing everywhere.
9. Being helpless when computer issues come about
I suppose this is why you don't spend your 45 minutes of weekly computer class chasing a pipe-dream of having the top score in Number Munchers on every unit in the room by the end of the year.
10. Not using your blinkers
Why do people think not letting the cars behind them know that they're about to turn is cool? Is this the adult version of skipping third period and smoking cigarettes in the parking lot?
Please execute a simple flip of the wrist either up or down so I can be fully aware of how much pressure I need to apply on my brakes and/or so I know whether or not I have ample time to execute the turn I've been patiently waiting to make.
And if you do make this mistake don't you ever look me in the eyes while making your heedless turn because I doubt you're going to like the face of pure hatred staring back at you.
11. Blog humor
If college taught me anything, it's that the number of un-funny people who think they're funny is considerably higher than it should be. If you ever responded to a teacher or professor postponing a test with an "aw, but I was really looking forward to taking that" joke, you are not funny. You actually suck and are going to be making everyone around you miserable without knowing it for the rest of your life.
When I first started to spend a sizable amount of time reading some of the more well-known, snarky sports blogs, I was blown away by just how hilarious it all was. It was fantastic and refreshing to know that other people watched Nickelodeon in the early '90s and could quote some of the more subtle lines from Swingers when appropriate.
But there's an individual saturation point for just about everything, and I have the sneaking suspicion that I could reach out and touch mine. More and more sports blogs are popping up every day and they all seem to think everyone at ESPN and everyone who works for their local paper is a douchebag. It's the opposite of funny. It's depressing.
Maybe if we all get serious for a year then the humor will return. Says the guy who referenced Number Munchers eight paragraphs ago.
(Note: I don't want this to sound like it encompasses everyone, there are some truly funny people with blogs out there, it just takes more effort to find them now)
12. People who stop liking bands once more than five people have heard of them
I get it, every band you've mentioned tonight that I haven't heard of is awesome. You're totally right, Bloc Party sucks now. Lupe Fiasco's old stuff was amazing, but he has completely fallen off in the last couple of years.
Let's not hang out anymore.
15. No one dressing up as an astronaut on Halloween
The single greatest indicator of NASA's steady decline in the public eye.
Also, if you're nine and you're reading this, nobody is going to think your Wolverine costume is cool. We're going to give you candy like the rest of the kids, but inside we're going to be hoping that you misspell something really easy in front of your entire class on Monday.
Again, I apologize, but this had to be done.