Issue #107 – “The Small Stuff” – April 16th, 2007

-My powers of observation are both a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, they allow me to document and mock some of life’s more obscure moments.  On the other hand, I tend to notice and overanalyze the tiniest inconveniences, often sending me into a blind rage.  But I can’t be the only one out there who pays attention to these things.  If you’ve ever wondered why the faucets in restaurant bathrooms always seem to have only two settings – “off” and “splatter everywhere” – then you, like me, may be doomed to a lifetime of sweating the small stuff.

-When a certain friend of mine counts on her hand, she does it backwards.  She starts with her pinky for “one,” ring finger for “two,” and so on.  This drives me fucking crazy.  She says it’s normal.  I say she can forget a career as a boxing referee.

-It’s a great feeling when a buddy and I go out boozing, pick up two girls, and head to another bar with them.  It’s often ruined, however, when I get stuck sitting shotgun in the cab and have to awkwardly kick game to a girl in the back seat through the money slot in the glass partition.

-I’m staunchly pro-seat belt, except when they suddenly cinch tightly around me for no apparent reason, cutting off oxygen to my extremities.  I wonder how many accidents are caused by people yanking wildly on a seat belt that’s gone anaconda on them.

-Met this girl at a party a few weeks ago.  She clearly had fake breasts.  Later, my friend told me she was a virgin.  This annoyed me.  Virgins shouldn’t have fake breasts.  In fact, if you have implants before intercourse, I think you should get an asterisk on your v-card.

-My online grocery store always ties my plastic bag of apples too tight.  But after I struggle with the knot for twenty minutes, then finally open it and select an apple, I find that I proceed to re-tie the bag with as much vigor as had previously angered me.  Which just goes to show, an apple a day will fucking kill you.

-Here’s what I’d like to see on the runways of Milan and Paris next fashion season:  t-shirts that aren’t a foot too long.  Who designs these things?  There’s no reason t-shirts should fit me perfectly in the shoulders but then reach down to mid-thigh.  The fourth grade look went out in fourth grade.

-When characters on TV go to the grocery store, they always exit with a single, generic brown paper bag packed to the brim, complete with a stalk of celery sticking out of the top.  I always wonder: One, who the fuck shops like that?  And, two, why isn’t the celery in a frustratingly difficult-to-open plastic bag?

-I’ve pretty much given up on trying not to sweat the small stuff.  It’s just a part of who I am.  Besides, sometimes I feel like I can’t escape it.  For instance, I only use a cell phone, but I also have a landline phone solely to connect to the intercom at the entrance of my apartment building.  No one has the number, so unless someone is buzzing up (which is rare), when the phone rings it’s always a wrong number or a stray fax machine.  This happens so often that now merely the sound of the landline ringing enrages me.  Sometimes I have to count to five just to calm down – but of course I start with my index finger first.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Text messaging has made hitting on girls more fun and efficient, unless the girl texts “i m with my bf” and you have no idea if she means “best friend” or “boyfriend.”

-Apparently, being a good person actually pays dividends.   Everyone seems to love my buddy Chi – compared to me, I guess he’s just a generally nice and friendly person.  One time, he asked me to lend him some money and I obliged.  Later, I was talking to another friend of mine, and when the transaction with Chi came up, she remarked, “Chi’s such a good guy.”  I was like, “Wait a minute, I’m the one who fucking lent HIM the money!”

-Using email and texting so much has led to the side effect of me barely being able to write by hand anymore.  If I try to write anything longer than a shopping list manually, I can barely hold the pen and my wrist cramps up – the real world equivalent of my instant messenger crashing.

-My old roommate Brian visited me in LA last month and we went out for lunch.  When I returned from the bathroom (soaked by the faucet, of course), I found Brian studying the menu intently.  Soon, he looked up and declared that if you ordered the chicken Caesar, it was five cents more expensive than if you ordered the plain Caesar and then just added chicken.  I was perplexed.  Finally he proclaimed proudly, “Don’t you understand, Karo?  I found an arbitrage opportunity in the appetizers!”

-It’s always bothered me that I can’t whistle.  I shudder to think about how many cabs and construction site catcalls I’ve missed out on over the years.

-It’s no secret that I’ve got a thing for chicks in wife-beaters.  But I thought it was common knowledge that wife-beaters are inherently white.  This is clearly not the case, judging by what some of the girls that I meet after my shows try to pass off as a beater.  If you’re wearing anything but white, or anything with rhinestones or designs of any kind, that’s not a wife-beater, it’s a fucking tank top.

-It’s gonna be a long five months waiting for Prison Break to come back.  For you hardcore fans like me, have you ever noticed that Michael has some pretty unnecessary tattoos?  I mean, he named the getaway boat after his mom and then tattooed his mom’s name in code onto himself.  Why?  Was he gonna forget his mom’s name?  I know the guy escaped from prison then outran the authorities for months, but what an idiot.

-And, finally, probably the bit of small stuff that bothers me the most is the phrase “Don’t worry about it.”  I can’t stand when people say that to me in response to a question.  I never said I was worried, asshole!  But the truth is, in private, I do worry a lot.  About weird shit, too.  I worry that Steve Bartman might never get to see another Cubs game (poor guy).  When I see an elderly person running to catch a bus, it makes me depressed.  About three years ago, I was working out at this gym that had an in-house daycare center for members, and there was this one little kid I saw who no one was playing with.  To this day, I still wonder if he’s OK.  So yeah, I spend my days getting pissed off about little things, while at the same time worrying about shit I can’t possibly control.  I guess you could say I’m simultaneously frustrated and overcompensating.  Sort of like a virgin with fake breasts screaming, “Fuck me!”