Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm Going to Fail.

You guys... I'm sorry.  12 blog posts in one month was a lofty goal, and I have fallen short.  Fuck.

My dilemma is this:  I have only lived so long, and done so many interesting things, and I'm afraid that I will use them all up too soon and my blog will have to take a hiatus.  I don't want that!  Some of you may want that!  I'm assuming at least four and a half other people agree with me and want the blog to go forever, so in order for that plan to work, I must lose the battle of 12 days of christmas.

It's not fair to you, and I'm sure all you kids out there are crying with disappointment, so I'm doing a very special last minute christmas deal from me.

LETTERS.

Send an email to barger.rob@gmail.com or send me a facebook message with the following information:

-Address
-Favorite Animal
-Favorite Illicit Drug --optional, for all you mom's out there
-Favorite Cartoon Character

And in return, you will receive either a picture, a dirty joke, or something ELSE!

I love you all, Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why Nausea Exists

My favorite professor in college was Dr. Eric Cooper.  He didn't have many people skills, and often asked students to take any questions regarding their grades or other administrative problems to the class TA instead of going straight to him.


But the dude was a goldmine of information.  If a student had a question about the class material, Dr. Cooper would have the answer backed up by thousands of scientific sources, all of which he had memorized.  I took three college courses with Dr. Cooper, and I doubt he ever even knew my name, but he changed my life and perspective, and this article is my homage to his lessons.


I'm not a germaphobe.  I probably should be.  In fact, I get sick often enough that a doctor would probably advise that I live in a plastic bubble for the rest of my days.  So it comes as no surprise that I've become sort of an expert of Nausea.  Sure, I know all about hangover nausea, but there are plenty of other kinds too!  Like being in a car or plane after a night of drinking.  Or having the stomach flu after a night of drinking!  Or even-- and I think it might be a rumor-- you can be nauseous even if you didn't drink anything the night before!


Meet most of your Vestibular Organs:


These guys live in your inner ear.  Their job is to tell you what direction you are facing as well as register how fast you are moving.  They can do this because they are connect neurologically with our eyes.  When you feel dizzy, your vestibular organs are actually telling you that what you see and what you feel do NOT add up.

Lots of stuff can fuck with your vestibular organs.  Alcohol.  Spinning around in circles.  Playing certain types of video games.  Riding in cars.  Riding in airplanes.  Riding in any vehicle.

So motion sickness and hangovers are caused by these organs and here's the interesting tidbit:  It is scientifically possible to remove these organs all together and live.  So why wouldn't you want to?!


It's because nausea and vomiting are occasionally good for you.  Granted, motion sickness is stupid and annoying.  And hangovers are awful.  But when you have food poisoning, you do a fuckload of puking.  Because the food you ingested is POISONED.  Our vestibular organs pick up that our bodies should not have ingested poison, and they do all the natural puking for us!

Your body is ousting poison so it doesn't do any other bodily damage.  Pretty sweet, huh?  And you're losing weight!  BOMB.COM!

So the next time you are puking your brains out and wishing for death, remember that your vestibular organs are doing their job, and if you feel a little risky, just get those fuckers removed and live the rest of your life gambling on what you'll eat next!


*****DISCLAIMER*****
This entire lesson contains factual material to the extent that I learned it correctly.  I might have mixed up a few names or functions, but I fact-checked every now and then with some of the information.  Are you a super secret genius or Dr. Cooper himself--- how did you know some of my facts may be incorrect?!

...Actually, if you are Dr. Cooper, here is a message:  You sir, are of my greatest esteem.  I'm sorry I didn't learn all of science like you tried to engrain in me.  It's just SO MUCH, and some it it blends in my brain.  But I learned the bigger stuff!  About the nausea and the organs!  And then something about the moon size effect on the horizon... Weird cool facts though!  Anyway, I just want you to know that you are the coolest person I know.  Thanks for all of the inspiration and cool ways to think about things.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I Have Sensitive Eyes

How people with normal light sensitivity see the world:



How people with highly light sensitive eyes see the world:


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

In Defense of Karaoke

In my younger and more rum-sodden days, my friends and I would frequent the karaoke nights at Capones bar in Ames, Iowa.  We would go and sing and drink and I would pee more often in this bar than any other because the bathroom had a harry potter deathly hallows symbol in it.

Yes, I took this picture while peeing in a urinal, and I now realize what that might have looked/sounded like to another person in that bathroom.

Also, I have to pee a lot when I get nervous, and I always get nervous before I sing karaoke.  I can't help it.  I love to sing and have a good time in front of a crowd, but I get so much anxiety beforehand!  So after I signed myself up for karaoke with the only song I ever sing: "Semi Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind, I designated my spot next to the bathroom, so I could frequent before my name got called.


Like all things inevitable, my name was eventually called.  My nerves were so high, my hands were literally shaking as I took the microphone.  "God, I should have been drinking doubles," I thought to myself.



But the song started playing, and I immediately felt better.  For me, the truly worst part about being in front of a crowd is the wait period beforehand where my mind creates all types of humiliating scenarios, but once I get up on stage, all of that goes away, and I have nothing but fun!

I starting singing Semi-Charmed Life and dancing on stage and just being a drunken fool.  My friends were laughing with me, the crowd was laughing at me, and I didn't care.


But because this was a college town, there are always going to be assholes.  This night, the assholes manifested at a table near the stage.  The was a small group of people, two of which I knew personally. The assholes were with my two friends, and they started throwing ice at me.  At first, I ignored it.  The ice cubes were bouncing harmlessly off of my clothes.  But it still hurt on the inside.

Then an ice cube whipped me across the face.  I am the world's biggest pacifist, you guys.  I wanted so badly to kick a speaker off the side of the stage onto their table.



But instead, I quit mid-song, and rejoined my friends, all of whom had witnessed what had happened.  Some of my group wanted to go talk to the asshole-table, but I just asked if we could leave and go to a different bar.  We did.

To this day, I have no idea why I was the target for ice throwing.  Maybe they hated my singing voice. Maybe they hated my flamboyant dancing on stage.  Maybe their parents beat them as children and their lasting trauma cause them to inflict pain on strangers for fun.

And I just have one big message in this article that I hope you all take away.  If you are this person, this Ice-Throwing Dick: It's really easy to go through life and throw ice from the group, and it's really hard to get up in front of a crowd and act like an idiot for their benefit.  In the end, we know who's tougher.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Have Always Been the Coolest Guy.

When I was a freshman in high school, and reaching the peak of how cool one can be in life, my mom wrote "R"s on all of my socks so she could tell them apart from my dad's and brother's socks.

So I got to walk around my high school halls looking like a mentally retarded kid who wore two "right-footed" socks every day.



I have since forgiven my mother.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Poor Kid

In the dawn of my youth, my family moved to a small town in Iowa named Adel.  Adel is a really special town.  And it's special in the way that small town Iowa smells like shit for the first 400 yards of town, and then smells like flowers everywhere else.  My house was stationed directly in the center of shit smell due to the proximity of the Raccoon River.

Even the raccoons won't touch the water.
My parents used to keep our playing area our block which looked a little something like this:



So my friends and social circle consisted of Allison and Hillary, who's mom ran a daycare and liked to parent both her kids and my family's kids.  When Allison and Hillary couldn't play, I moved down to the 2nd tier of the social circle.  (Okay, I get that the description just made some sort of 3D shape so... think of it like a very small parking garage of friend tiers.)  On the 2nd Tier, there was a small boy named Todd.  Todd lived in the achingly small house with a sign on the front that said "Adel Apartments".  The amount of apartments in that tiny shack, I will never know.  Because I was scared of it.  And you at 7 years old would be afraid of it too:


Todd was a hillbilly kid who had the IQ of a spinach omelet.  At first, he was cool and we got along, but then I realized that I was hanging out with someone who couldn't recite the pledge of allegiance without spitting out a blackened tooth.



Our favorite activity was to come to my house and play Super Nintendo.  To be specific, we played Speedy Gonzales Los Gatos Badidos. For hours and hours.




Before long, I started to realize that Todd was using me for my Speedy Gonzales game.  Isn't that always the way?  I began to resent Todd and his awful, poor, and stupid situation.  He didn't care about me.  He once told me that I sounded too much like a grown-up and that I needed to shut up when he was playing my video game because he couldn't concentrate (on the very racist things Speedy says).


I told my parents that I didn't like Todd anymore, and they were more than happy to discourage my friendship with the boy.


But our friendship break up did not go as smoothly as one would hope.  It was a fight of logical statements, argued with unintelligible anger.




Even my dad got involved.



--literally, the smartest thing he had ever said.  ever.  And undoubtedly, he probably learned this fact in a very white trash way, like his mom arguing with her latest ex-boyfriend who had a restraining order against her.  Or something.  I'm just spewing out white trash possibilities here.

If someone made this stamp for me, I would love them forever.
Eventually, Todd went home.  I like to think that he cried about my lost friendship, but let's face it: I'm just not an entertaining person for white trash kids with the word "challenged" written across his IQ test where a number is supposed to go. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I Don't Know How to Appropriately Date

This one time I asked a guy out on a date to go on a walk in the woods at midnight with flashlights.



He's alive and well.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Forever Lazy

On December 1, 2012, my life changed forever.  And like a Lite-Brite that helped shape my childhood, this was also due to a commercial product.


I went shopping at Big Lots on this fateful Saturday and walked away $119.00 poorer.  Ten of those dollars went into the purchase of a Forever Lazy, which is essentially a Snuggie that you wear.  BUT it's a wearable Snuggie that has a butt flap and pee zipper, so YOU NEVER HAVE TO TAKE IT OFF.



I'm writing this on December 3rd, after work, because for some god forsaken reason, Forever Lazys are not work appropriate attire.  But just two days after I purchased it, I am fully endorsing the Forever Lazy as a golden investment.

Forewarning: the commercials are a bit tacky:



But the forever lazy outstrips the Snuggie ten fold.  Not only is it a blanket you can use your arms in, but it is a blanket that you can move your whole body in!  Amazing!


I do wish I would be on the Marketing team though.  Obviously, the makers of Forever Lazy do not use it correctly.  In every picture I see in which a model is wearing a forever lazy, they are wearing clothes as well.  This is the wrong way to wear a Forever Lazy.  The correct way is to strip off as many clothes as humanly possible and jump into your Adult-Onezie and feel as much of the pre-washed fleece on your genitals as possible.  Trust me you guys.


I've also started to come up with excuses to wear a Forever Lazy at any time of the day, regardless of the fact that wearing a Forever Lazy will render your image to look like the demon spawn of an Oompa Loompa and a Smurf.  Feel free to use these at your will:

  • "Well, it's noon, which means it's 5 hours until it's dark out.  Better get ready."
  • "Well, it's before noon, so I better wear my Forever Lazy until it's time to get dressed."
  • "Well, it's night time, so I better wear my Forever Lazy just in case I get too tired to wear pajamas."
  • "My forever lazy has mustard stains all over it... but it'll be ok, it's not like I'm out in public."
  • "People keep staring at my mustard stains, but maybe that's just in my head and they are all secretly jealous of how warm and comfortable my genitals are right now."


Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Huge Fantastic Amazing Thanksgiving Day Announcement 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Enjoying that parade?  Seeing Santa on the television and quickly making a secret wish towards his sparkly eyelashes for a Playstation 3 Assassin's Creed Bundle?  I know I am.

I have not updated in forever, and I have probably lost all my friends in the process.  But THIS is something I have been working on for a while.  In fact, it deserved the longest, most idiotic and in your face kind of title.  THIS is:



You guys.  I haven't talked vicariously through my computer to you in a while.  I bet you're all feeling a little hurt and betrayed.  And it's all true.  I'm being a bad friend by not showing you my love and creativity.



But I'm going to make it up to you, and it's going to be super hard for me, and super easy for you!



This year, for christmas 2012, I am giving everyone out there...



That's right dear amigos!  I will be updating my blog 12 DAYS IN DECEMBER!  Will the days be really nice and spread out throughout the month?!  MAYBE!  Is it more likely that I will get stuck after 7 good-to-mediocre blog ideas and have 5 really cramped days of bullshit?!  WITHOUT A DOUBT!

So merry christmas, people!  This next month, I will do back breaking blogging and update more than I've ever updated before!  And if that wasn't enough, I have an even more special surprise for you on Christmas Day itself.  But because no one should be on the internet on Christmas, I will make it apparent what the gift is on the 26th of December too.


DISCLAIMER:  As preparation for this idea, I have written about 50% of one article, and about 25% of two additional articles.  I have 9 remaining blog ideas, but that's it.  No pictures drawn, no concrete storylines... nothing.  Any lackluster blog articles are bound to happen.  I hope they don't, but that doesn't do a lot.

P.P.S. I took no time off this holiday season, so if you're thinking that I will have plenty of time to update closer to Christmas, you're very wrong as I only have the 25th off of work.  Please send cookies to help me through this Hitler-esque vacation time problem.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Floor Salami

In my lifetime, I have had a lot of jobs.  Almost all of them have been shitty.  In fact, the only time I’ve ever been happy with doing anything responsible was when I was in one of my favorite classes.  (Please god, have some grad school representative read that and automatically make me a student.)




Now that you know, it won’t be shocking to hear that I was one of the concentration camp victims who was forced to work in a college dining hall.  In case you’ve never worked one of these shifts, let me break it down for you:

  1. You walk in.  Your boss writes down that you did not come 15 minutes early and therefore, should be dismissed from any University related job.  Ever.


  1. You clock in, talk to some of your coworkers and see what responsibility they ended up getting stuck with.  If you’re the luckiest, your job is to cut vegetables, meats, cheeses, and fruits into bite-size please-don’t-sue-the-university chunks.  

If you’re the unluckiest, your job will be to decompose the great structures of compost, used cups, bowls, and milk-sodden-goulash that freshman assholes create on dining room trays and send to the dish room.  (To this day, I still cannot drink milk)


  1. It didn’t really matter what job you had because you would leave at the end of the day sweaty, tired, and murder-the-freshman-y.

There were high points, of course.  Our supervisor was Charlotte, and she was about 63 years old and had been doing dining hall shifts for about 60 of them.  It was Charlotte’s job to give us really condescending commands that didn’t make sense, followed by a 15-minute conversation with herself.


One time, I accidentally/purposefully squirted a bystander with dirty burrito water, and she screamed.  Charlotte came over and scolded me, but then slipped a lollypop into my back pocket.  Only a few things in this world will make me love you forever.  That is one of them.


So, here our story begins:  It was my sophomore year in college, and I was flat broke.  Flat broke enough to volunteer to work in the dining hall at 7 AM on a Friday morning.  I had class at 10, and that was literally the only rule I laid down to my manager:  I refused to be late for class.  She had agreed.

So Friday mornings usually went like this: 

  1. Rob would stop drinking on Thursday around 11:59PM.
  2. Wake at 6:49AM. Feel Awesome.
  3. Walk to work and be exactly on time.
  4. Start working the omelet bar, give death glare to all of the weird assholes who spent the last night bible-thumping instead of getting hammered like any self-respecting youth.
  5. Finish omelet making, clean station.
  6. Get station ready and stocked for lunch-sandwich station.

Well, this fateful Friday morning, things had been going exactly as they had been.  I was still too angry at all of my customers for breathing to say any words, I wasn’t cleaning the omelet pans quickly enough to be deemed sanitary, and my body was reeking of recently ingested tequila.



But something was different.  It took me a while to realize what was off, but then I realized—I was running late.

My world came crashing apart.  I literally looked at the customer I was making an omelet for, felt the tiniest ounce of sorrow, said, “Go eat some goddamn cereal like a goddamn human being,” and dumped his half finished egg mess on a plate and thrust it into his hands.


As quick as I could, I started pulling out pans of egg, vegetables, meats, and sauces and threw them into my trolley to take back to the cooks.

I unloaded my breakfast ingredients and loaded my lunch ingredients with lightning speed.  I was actually causing a little bit of a commotion.  Even my manager came out of her office to see what the hell was going on.  When she asked, I screamed, “I’M LATE.”



She looked nonplussed, but then she said, “That’s not the first time this has happened to me, but it’s the first time it’s been from a male.”  And with that, she retreated into her office.  All the while, I was piling sandwich entre after sandwich entre onto my food trolley.  It had built into a veritable food mountain. I really had to get out of there.



Soon, all of my ingredients were on the cart, and it was time for me to put them in the omelet/sandwich station.  I jogged my trolley about 80% of the way to the goal when one of the most popular meats slipped.

The container of salami clattered to the floor and the meaty interior exploded everywhere.  It was like a Quentin Terentino movie.



I stood and debated.  I had to.  My least favorite thing in this world is the feeling of “being late”-- Somewhere up the list from that is “hurting my fellow man”.






I hurt my very soul, but it hurt my soul more to be late for class.  I had to get there.  I quickly scooped up the entrails of the salami container and shoved them back into their new, contaminated home.

I put the soiled meat container back on my cart and did a quick glance around me.  It seemed like no one had seen or heard the incident.  I slowly walked back to my station and guardedly put my ingredients in their correct places.  I was almost finished when someone startled me from behind.



It was my coworker, who was taking over the station next.  I was so relieved that I could have cried.  I handed her my apron and dining room swipe card.



My facebook status:

That was my last morning shift.