10 WAYS TO SPEND YOUR NEXT POLAR VORTEX

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Until this year nobody except Meteorological nerds knew what a polar vortex was or how they worked.  Now, everybody knows what a polar vortex is, and it will quickly make the top 10 most hated words/phrases of 2014 (quickly joining such favorite hated words/sayings like hashtaging your hashtag, fiscal cliff, Obamacare, and oldies but goodies like WMDs and Gen X.)  Frankly, I’ve gotten sort of use to it being below zero, and have resigned myself to a forever winter – we haven’t seen a temperature above 32 in the last two weeks, and have an average of about 7 degrees so far in February.  So, as we embark on the frigid waning weeks of February I have compiled a list of 10 fun activities for everyone to tackle during their next polar vortex, vortexes, vortacies? 

10.  Flip your mattress!  According to mattress.com, which is apparently a real thing for all things mattress related, “New mattresses should be rotated, on average, every 3 months. But use your best judgment and if you feel a bit of a sag or can see one with the naked eye, it might be best to rotate your mattress more often. And make sure you don’t forget your foundation! Your nightly slumber can weigh heavily on a box spring as well, so rotate your box spring every 6 months, but be sure to never, EVER flip it.”  There’s nothing like wrestling with a 50lb mattress so old that it bends in half like soft shell taco.  What’s even better is you can rope others into helping you with this fun an often over looked task.  

9.  Friend and stalk former girlfriend/boyfriend that really pissed you off in the past on Facebook.  Comment on everything they’ve ever posted, and use lol even (or especially) where inappropriate.   As an added bonus friend their current partner/spouse and hope they blindly accept the friend request – repeat annoying behavior.  Unfriend once polar vortex has concluded.

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8.  Download and play Flappy Bird.  The addiction that is Flappy Bird will have you tossing your smart phone across room rather quickly.  Flappy Bird is about the most basic game in the market place and requires you only be able to rhythmically tap the screen to make a little bird flap its wings and navigate obstacles.  Heather Kelly of CNN writes, “The game’s fluttering rise to the top has been a viral mystery. Its addictiveness and absurd level of difficulty have driven many to the brink of madness and spawned a number of online rants and hysterical reviews.”  Give it a go, and don’t forget to pen a suicide note before hand.  

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7.    Begin reading War and Peace, the proverbial greatest (and longest fucking) book ever written.  Many have tried, yours included, and failed – I’m certain I purposefully left it one apartment or another during some move while living in closets and coatrooms in Chicago.  I tried reading that book when I was in my 20’s living the Hemingwayian writer’s lifestyle, with very little writing and a whole bunch of drinking.  It was very seedy, often dirty, and totally unproductive – at least that’s what the 40 year old me tells myself.  Reading the 1400+ page book isn’t necessarily a literary accomplishment, but you certainly do earn some bragging rights in your book club. 

6.  Watch The Shining, because nothing says I love being trapped inside my house like Jack Nicholson.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…

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5.  Figure out what Twitter is for.  This is primarily for those over 35 who have Twitter accounts, but are uncertain of just why the hell they only have 140 characters to say something.  These people are also addicted to Facebook, and frequently debase themselves for the amount of time they spend clicking like and not actually reading the article. #wtfistwitter

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4.  Watch reruns of Bay Watch, because who doesn’t love David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson running around on the beach saving lives.  I’m pretty sure the show got a little out of hand when they got abducted by aliens – but that was just Tommy Lee, and that’s a different video anyway.  This epic show certainly didn’t inspire me to run off to California and become a life guard, but knowing that Hasselhof dies an epic death on stage in Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical makes a body happy.

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3.  MINECRAFT – while not personally addicted to this video game, if my daughter is any indication it must possess an addictive drug that makes it nearly impossible to stop playing, watching YouTube videos about, and talking incessantly.  I can tell you there about 1000 different mods, and a entire dictionary to understand exactly what the hell a mod is and the rest of the language you have to speak in order to play this game.

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2.  Read Apple’s Eula – or better yet, let Richard Dreyfus read it for you!  Yes, Academy Award winner Mr. Holland lent his baritones to this epic reading.  Pay close attention to the “Effective Until” recording – priceless.

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1.  Make list of things to do during a polar vortex that you will never actually do, but believe are just witty enough to share with the rest of the world or the 17 people that casually follow your blog.

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Happy Overplayed Cliche’ Day 2014

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Let’s face it, 2014 has no other choice than be amazing; it starts on hump day!!!  Okay, that’s the first and last time I will use this overplayed, albeit it initially hilarious, turn of phrase/commercial/idiom in 2014 – it should be retroized in about 5 years (seeing as the cycle to get to retro spins faster and faster year by year.)  The snow is falling, I’ve had 3/4 of a pot of coffee, and I’ve played Crash Drive 2 for my son, played crash drive too on the floor with Hot Wheels and Tonka trucks.  We are now in a lull; he’s got tornado videos going on the pad, wife is scrolling Facebook, and I’m hammering out these words.  Life is good.  I am curious as to how many people made New Year’s resolutions that A) They don’t remember making, B) Have already broken or C) Have made in the past and have no plans on keeping this year or any year, they just needed to save face in front of some friends at a party.  I rarely make resolutions, mainly because I don’t keep them; however, I am entering year 3 of being physically fit and tobacco free – which all things considered is a lifetime of resolutions.  Frankly, new year, new day, it doesn’t really matter.  It’s just an opportunity to write the wrong year on a bevy of different forms and papers; I’d say checks, but who the hell writes a check anymore.  I’d like to start the year off with the appropriate level of gratitude it deserves – I am grateful for my job; it’s great to be employed w/ health benefits and to work around the amazing professionals in my building – I have a level of security that very few can claim.  I am grateful for my struggles; they teach me about what is important in my life (even when I don’t want to learn a lesson.)  Well, boy-wonder is eating oatmeal, struggling through the fact that he has another cold – he’s been sick since before Thanksgiving, on two courses of antibiotics, and I’m not ready to call for another round.  Please don’t bring up eating or sleeping – he eats amazing, and sleeps average (could be better.)  My brain is saying it’s time for a nap, there will be no workout today, and hopefully the day will get better than the Rachael Ray show that’s on our TV (but how could it really, it’s Rachael Ray.)  That’s all from this side of the frontal lobe; as always, be kind to each other, we’re all we’ve got!

Happy Monday or Is it?

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Good morning and a happy Monday to you all.  The coffee’s warm, the kids are occupied, and the wife is, well, laughing – so that’s good.  It’s negative, oh hell, it’s less than zero degrees right now, which is absurd and makes me very non-grateful and not want to leave the house today – which fortunately I don’t have to unless I want to.  Yes, I’m staring at the computer asking myself what they hell am I going to write about today.  I suppose I need to workout at some point today, only as a response to the caloric gorging I did over the weekend.  I’m fairly certain this need to abuse myself as a response to my perceived failings comes from my Catholic upbringing – while cliche’ to even think, let alone write, I’m confident I can say this at least once a day in response to something.  This is absolutely not religion bashing; frankly my childhood Catholicism served as wonderful foundation for my spiritual life today, which is far more fulfilling and helpful than anything I experienced previously.  Yesterday the Bears failed, and I suspect that this is a good thing – at least they won’t be a patsy for a real playoff team.  That’s all I will say about the Bears until next season.  Frankly, every year I get less and less enamored with professional sports and sports in general – I suppose being mediocre, ie. Bears or truly awful like the Sox plays into the ability to let it all go.  Maybe I’ve just found better things to do with my time.  I have a hard time sitting still for that long of a period of time anyway.  I’m looking forward to making soap in the new year, and if anyone who stumbles across this blog has some advice for a novice soap maker, feel free to chime in – especially if you know of a place to get materials cheap.  Well, I’ve babbled about nothing for long enough this morning.  I know I bagged pretty hard on the weather today, but if you do live where I live, step outside and (carefully) breathe in this icy air and find an appreciation for just how amazing this cold really is – then get back in and appreciate your heat and security of whatever shelter you have.  Well, that’s all from this side of the frontal lobe; remember, be kind to each other, we’re all we’ve got.