Saturday, May 28, 2011

Watching Sports is Easy

A comprehensive guide to watching sports with your friends, family, or significant other.

1. Feign Attention: Generally, not even avid sports fans have their eyes glued to the game at all times as they need to occasionally locate chips and beer. You can feign attention by looking up at the game in intervals. To increase effectiveness, listen for cheering or groaning/yelling type noises. These are indicators that something important has happened in the game.

2.  Participate in Sports Conversation: I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, “but I don’t know anything about sports. “ The great part of following my plan is that you don’t HAVE to know anything. Simply wait until the sports commentators say stuff, then repeat the last sentence. Allow me to demonstrate by turning my television to ESPN. Hang on.... okay, here we go, “If one of these guys find his game, the Bulls are in position to win.” See… I have no idea what that means.

3.  Choose appropriate clothing. Most people will show up dressed in attire and colors symbolizing the team they are screaming at. Since these colors and logos can vary, I suggest purchasing my ‘Go Team’ t-shirt. The black and white color and lack of logo mean overall support for any team or sport. As an added advantage, you will be more promptly notified when the game is over and it is time to leave.  Now you can catch up on your blog, or that book you’ve been trying to finish.

Friday, May 27, 2011

How to be Interesting

It has come to my attention recently that some of you may not know you are boring. As a public service, I have developed a watch list to alert you. Upon engaging a co-worker in conversation, watch for these signals:

  • Lack of eye contact – If I am not looking at you, it is a strong indicator I no longer want to you to exist in my personal space.
  • Attempts to complete work tasks – I hate typing things into this spreadsheet, but I would rather do that than complete this conversation.

If you do happen to notice signals that you are indeed boring, do not panic. You might be able to improve your conversational skill by considering that:

  • No one cares how smart you think you are. Prefacing the diatribe about the National Geographic special you saw last night with your distain for network television is not going to improve your discussion.
  • No one cares care how important you think you are. Telling everyone how many National Geographic experts you are in contact with via email does absolutely nothing to make you interesting.

Often, the problem lies in your delivery rather than the content of your conversation. I consulted a panel of experts to develop some pointers (and by panel of experts, I mean my Twitter feed):

@haircuter urges you to look to your home and family life for warning signals. For example, if the only being willing to converse with you is your house cat, you could indeed be boring. Also, you should probably avoid spending inordinate amounts of time starting at potted plants. It makes them uncomfortable.

@Ellie159 advises you to avoid loud discussions regarding cruise ships outside any office window. It can be annoying, and also, no one is impressed with your cruise ship. Go talk about it somewhere else.

@SidMILB suggests the use of hand puppets, which I have to agree, can add depth to any number of topics.

@Debihen brought up an excellent point that Johnny Depp reading a phone book would never be boring. I tend to agree. While the content does seem rather dry, he is not using the conversation as an excuse to try to impress us with how smart, or important he thinks he is. However, the fact that we may already perceive him as smart and/or important, could be a little distracting. I am attempting to get Johnny Depp into my office to read a phone book, but he has thus far been unresponsive. Some people have no sense of scientific curiosity.

In the unlikely event that you found none of these suggestions helpful, there is one last resort: drinking. Drinking tends to make other people seem more interesting. Providing your co-workers with alcoholic beverages throughout the day could potentially increase your standing in the office and well as make you temporarily interesting. Some business establishments frown on employees drinking during office hours, particularly before noon. Therefore, you will need to choose your beverages carefully. Drinks that are socially acceptable for morning consumption include mimosas, screwdrivers, bloody marys, and whiskey in coffee.

Have fun and enjoy being interesting!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Caffeinate Me: Now!

I have to admit to making this shirt for entirely selfish reasons. I need something to wear when visiting my mother-in-law. She… dramatic pause… tries to get me to drink decaffeinated coffee. Yeah, in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against other people drinking decaffeinated coffee. That is a lifestyle choice they prefer. However, just because they have chosen to be inane, doesn’t mean they can drag me down with them. 

Don’t try to force the issue by lying about it either. I can tell if there is caffeine in my coffee because I am still cranky and irritated by your presence.  I don’t appreciate the chicanery. Chicory, on the other hand… but I digress. I would never bring brownies into your home and tell you there is pot in them when there isn’t. Do me the same favor, please. 

Next time anyone offers me decaf, I am going to tell them that the only decaffeinated beverage I consume is beer. I will even drink one at breakfast if I have to, just to prove my point.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How to Win at Twitter

Social media is changing our information landscape. Use this to your advantage by implementing the following steps to win at Twitter. Be sure to check back next week for instructions and tips for winning at Facebook.

Step One: Take a high quality picture of yourself casually doing something unimportant. Drinking coffee seems popular.

Step Two: Create a username by combining a random verbs, adjectives, and nouns. Examples: FloaterDuck, HumorBacon

Step Three: Spill the contents of your brain directly into your computer or mobile device. See examples below: 

I’m eating a bagel right now and I hate it. Stupid Bagel. -- Posts about what you are eating or drinking at the moment are very popular.

Don’t kill the vegans, they didn’t do anything to you. #dontkillvegans  -- Note use of the ‘hashtag’ here. Hashtags make you look important. You should throw them in randomly whenever possible.

Quit poking my brain with sticks. I can feel that.  -- See, I can go on all day. Which is why I am going to win at Twitter.

Step Four Winning: Ultimately, you have to remember the final goal, which is gaining followers. The reason you have to get as many as possible is that the person with the most followers at the end wins. I don’t know when the deadline is, or what they are giving out as prizes, but you can Google that later. Just get a Twitter account and follow me.... Please.

Seriously, do it now.

Alternate Reality and Donuts

Wouldn’t it be funny if these t-shirts were real and people were wearing them in an alternate universe? However, it would be an alternate universe where everyone has telekinetic abilities, and no arms.

The lack of donuts continues to perplex me. Nothing clever to say here…. It just does.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Achieving Better Customer Service

I can't think of any reason why a person would not want to wear this shirt on a daily basis. Also available in gin, whiskey and single malt scotch.

See our children's catalog for limited edition junior and toddler sizes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Google: Pry Harder

Most people are going around these days fretting about their privacy, but I think we should take a closer look at how we can benefit from total intrusion. For example, how many times have you gotten stuck because Google has no link to crucial, personal information, like the name of that kid who lives across the street? Not the oldest one, but the younger one with the freckles. See… Google can’t help you with this. You are going to have to go over there and ask. Then, that kid’s dad is going to get ticked off because you can’t even remember his kid’s name. You were at the kid’s birthday party last week for Christ’s sake. It seems like you would remember the name. The name is part of the whole song. It was written right there on the cake. Maybe if you didn’t show up drunk because you think kid’s parties are loud and annoying, you might remember.

However, life does not have to be this complicated. If Google had taken a little more initiative when they took a picture of this guy’s house for their street finder, they would have knocked on the door and asked the kid’s name. Then you wouldn’t have to look like an asshole who doesn’t care about people.

Google could also be implemented to resolve difficult social situations. Let’s say you invited a friend to dinner. Let’s call him Bob and let’s say you asked him to bring over a bottle of wine. A bottle of wine is a completely reasonable request. However, there is a high possibility that Bob could arrive at your doorstep, late, angry, with no wine, and holding a rack of lamb. As perplexed as you are, you know asking any questions about this situation is going to lead to a long story. Rather than spend lots of time dealing with unresolved lamb issues, you would quickly Google “rack of lamb” and Bob’s name. Google would then reveal that Bob’s mom, who bought the rack of lamb, is his Bob’s dad’s second wife. Referencing Wikipedia, you find that Bob’s dad left his first wife to marry a much younger Tiffani who often buys expensive cuts of meat which she will have no idea how to prepare. You would have remembered this if you had less wine the last time Bob came over and told you his entire family history, but let’s face it, the wine is the only way you were able to sit through that conversation in the first place.

This t-shirt is the first step to an information revolution. We are on the cusp of a brave new world: one in which it is a lot easier to figure out the name of that guy at the office with the odd haircut who makes his own hot sauce.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Desk is Killing Me

A study recently released by the Mayo Clinic states that sitting for prolonged periods of time at work can be hazardous to your health, even if you are NOT operating heavy machinery. You thought that you were dying slowly because that guy in the cubicle next to you keeps talking about the Renaissance Fair he went to over the weekend, but this is not the case. Your desk is actively working to give you diabetes, hormonal imbalance and cardiovascular dysfunction. While there is no easy solution, at least you have identified the enemy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Treadmills Suck Contest Winners Announced!

Congratulations to the winners of the Treadmills Suck contest. Since I am not sure where this blog rates as the center of your existence, I will take a moment to remind everyone that the objective of the contest was to locate a gym with soft serve ice cream. There were two participants, so we have roughly two winners. Even though I still do not have a gym where I can find soft serve… I am a good sport and a person of my word, so here are the results.

Second Prize - Gym at a College

Tova said... The gym at my college had a "smoothie" bar with "smoothies" made of ice cream. I think that is the closest you will get to soft serve. :(

My Response:
While I can accept the fact that buying a smoothie from some aerobics addict working on her anthropology degree is likely be my best shot at getting anything near ice cream at a gym, you neglected to tell me the name of your college, or even the location of the gym. I tried to narrow it down… but you fail. You get the t-shirt anyway, but you must wear it in an attitude of defeat.

First Prize - Chico Sports Club:

who said... Chico Sports Club used to sell frozen yogurt at the fitness center across the street from Chico Community Hospital's rehabilitation center off of Cohasset Road.

My Response:
Chico Sports Club selling frozen yogurt seventeen years ago doesn’t really solve my soft serve problem, but you still get credit for the effort. At least you gave me a location more specific than ‘college gym.’

In Summary:
I am a little disappointed that my quest for soft serve ice cream served at a gym did not lead to better results. However, I do have to admit that the presence of soft serve still might not be enough to entice me to go to the gym. As I write this, I am imagining the gym experience. I am part of a long row of people, all of us attached to strange equipment, moving along miserably with our eyes glued to the local news. It is starting to freak me out.

It just came to my attention that the title of original post was "Treadmills are Stupid," but I am keeping the alternate name because I like it better. Anyway, thanks for playing!

I Lack Empathy

I don’t know if this shirt will get you out of a long conversation after your inept friend gets fired from his overpaid job and needs a shoulder to cry on...  but it might make it a little easier to suggest ordering pizza.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Geek Week

In honor of Geek Week, I have created a series of t-shirts to celebrate scientific concepts. Rather than research these concepts, I will either make them up or create elaborate statements based on stuff I saw once on the Discovery Channel.

They just do, not much explanation required. They are actually making some miniature black holes in a supercollider. This will most likely create a black hole that will suck up the earth. However, if that doesn’t happen, we should use them in vacuum cleaners. If this thing can suck up light, there is no chance for the dirt in my carpet. The very second that Dyson comes out with a black hole vacuum, I am ditching my old one.

Of course, if your parents did go to a parallel universe, the people returning might not be your real parents at all, but some alternate version of them. In fact, you might be living in an alternate universe right now.  Look around at your stuff. Is it really your stuff? How can you prove it is not exact duplicates of your stuff, altered slightly, but not enough to see with the naked eye? This could be precisely why we keep losing socks and car keys.

There is a theory of time where each second branches off into infinite possibilities as it passes. Every instant you make even the most trivial decision, reality divides into all possible paths. With each passing moment, infinite copies of you are darting off into new realities as time splits apart. It is entirely probable that you decided NOT to read a blog about virtual t-shirts right now. You will never know, because you have only the memories in your head to hold it all together. The problem is, according to this theory, that these memories aren’t even real. They are a loose construction of the past you are holding tightly within your brain to avoid slipping into an abyss of uncertainty. This is why I have been making up my own memories for quite some time. I will now leave you with your infinite paths into the future, as I take a moment to look back fondly on my years as a famous teen punk rocker.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Laundry Day Lost

Things I was picking up at the store while forgetting to buy laundry detergent.

You should probably keep several of these on hand, just in case.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Treadmills are Stupid

In order to promote a healthy lifestyle, I have decided to create some athletic wear. This athletic, sweat resistant, 100% virtual t-shirt is perfect either for going to the gym, or not going to the gym.

Before you head over to the gym, I feel obligated to tell you that there will be no soft serve ice cream. I have been to several gyms and there has never been soft serve ice cream. Other people (some I know personally) have gone to gyms and reported the lack of ice cream. However if, despite the almost certain absence of soft serve, you find yourself at the gym you will need this shirt. Mainly because it is hard to be ironic while you are sweating, particularly if you find are on a treadmill. Ironic people are highly regarded, and this shirt will do all the work for you.

If you are not at the gym because you do indeed fell that treadmills might be slightly ridiculous, wearing this shirt will vindicate your life choice.

NOTE: If you find a gym with a soft serve machine, please comment to this post immediately. I will promptly send you a free virtual ‘Treadmills are Stupid’ t-shirt. It won’t exist, but it is dryer safe.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Clothing Line

This is a clothing-based reminder of the things your mother will most likely expect you to accomplish for Mother’s Day. I have gathered this information through a lifetime of careful observation of my own mother. 

If you haven’t completed this list, you should probably start now. Sorry to spring it on you at the last minute. I realize it will be hard to complete all the steps before meeting Mom for brunch today, but you should at least give it a shot.

This t-shirt is for your mother to wear for brunch:

The question itself must be metaphorical. I have tried several times to explain to my own mother how calling her literally hastens my demise. While all my statements are backed by medical science linking phone waves to brain cancer, she continues to dismiss them.

Happy Mother's Day and enjoy your brunch.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Increasing Office Efficiency: Work Smarter, Not Harder

This is a great t-shirt to wear to work, especially if you intend on leaving early that day for happy hour. The real secret to this statement is the difficulty in actually proving someone is working smarter rather than harder. People working hard are coming in early, leaving late, finishing projects, etc. These are all observable behaviors. Providing evidence of working smarter is a trickier, but you can use this to your advantage.

For a limited time, I am providing free with this t-shirt some tips on implementing the work smarter plan.
1. Buy a lot of business books to place in your office space. This will impress people with illusion that you are reading. I recommend selecting books not by content, but by titles.

Here are some examples I pulled off Google of business books with good titles:
Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles J. Wheelan

(As a general rule, you should always choose books that include the word ‘naked’ in the title over those that don’t)

Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

(I would be happy with one hat that thinks, but SIX of them??? This guy is a genius. I might actually read this one.)

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie

(A hairball with gravitational force seems really interesting and makes me wonder if this guy works for NASA.)

2. Now that you have your impressive collection of books on display, you will need to develop efficiency methods that inconvenience other people rather than yourself. You will then state these methods throughout the day with a tone of self-importance. Feel free to use the situation below as a starting point.

Imaginary Situation: Colleague asks why you have not taken action on an email.

Your Response: In order to increase my efficiency, I will only be checking email at noon, and 3:00am on Tuesdays.

Most importantly, do not apologize. This will only give the impression that you might respond to said email at some point in the future. The more people perceive your time as valuable, the less you will be expected to do with it.

3. Fill your dry erase board with complex diagrams and to do lists. This will make you look both busy and important. I have included a photo of my own dry erase board as an example.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Look! I have BOOBS/MOOBS

It was brought to my attention recently that guys like boobs. I think some of us have been aware of this insight for quite some time, but do not always have the right clothing choices available to use it to our advantage. With my new 'Look! I have BOOBS' t-shirt, all of that will change. This shirt is guaranteed to bring attention to your boobs regardless of cup size. It is the perfect choice for flirting at the coffee shop, or a special date with your significant other. Quit wasting time searching through the laundry for the right pushup bra, when you can be nightclub ready in minutes!

NOTE: It is recommended to purchase this item a few sizes smaller than your normal fit in order to maximize the effect.

NOTE: Sorry guys... didn't mean to leave you out.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How to be a Success

This t-shirt will provide you, the wearer, with a constant reminder of the only two things you ever need to accomplish in order to be a success in life:

1. Think of stuff to do

2. Do it

The shirt is based on Stephen Covey’s bestseller, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. His book uses lots of pages to describe a number of habits you can develop in order to be highly effective. Unfortunately, I haven’t actually read the book, so I don’t have any specific information about the habits. However, even if I had all the habits ready at hand, they would most likely not all fit on one t-shirt. I thought about actually reading the book and making one t-shirt for each habit, but then if you had to waste a lot of time in the morning deciding which habit to wear for the day, you would probably make yourself late for work and thus no longer be highly effective.

These two habits are probably a summary of all the seven effective-people habits. Having not read the book, this is a highly uneducated guess, but on the other hand, I can’t imagine anything else an effective person would need to know.

If this shirt helps you become more effective, please remember those people less fortunate than you who either can’t think of stuff to do, or are too unmotivated to do the stuff they are thinking.

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Do you ever feel like people stare at you while purchasing plants because they can somehow tell that your petunia has a death sentence?  This is not your fault. Some people are highly sensitive and can actually hear the plants screaming.

This gardening shirt will let your plants know, in no uncertain terms, that there will be no special treatment. It may be true that this strange looking leafy thing they are telling you ‘no one can kill’ may very well end up a shred of dried up brown stalks. What is important to remember is that this occurrence, as tragic as it may seem, is in no way a reflection on you. It is clearly lack of motivation on the plant’s part.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to Find Meaning in your Life

I recommend wearing this shirt on a daily basis because you never know who could hold the answer to this deep existential question. Is there a homeless person throwing bouncy balls at you? He could be the key. You just never know.

However, once you have found the answer to this question, you may prefer to wear something a little more practical and less philosophical. In this case, I would recommend:

Again, wear on a daily basis because you never know who may hold the answer.