Archive for February, 2009

Storytellers Unite!

February 28, 2009 5 comments

Generally speaking, parents are the absolute worst storytellers in the world.  Sure, they can put together a fine sentence, but the problem is that parents don’t have any good material.  When you have kids, the rest of your life revolves around them, unless of course you are a bad parent and neglect your kids.  This makes for very tedious and tiresome storytelling.

In the defense of the parents, they can’t help telling painfully idiotic stories.  Kids are so BORING!  I wouldn’t think so, what with all the different ways children are destructive and/or hurt themselves within the home.  Maybe it’s just that parents won’t tell the stories about their kids that make them look like bad parents (for instance, if their kids do poorly in school, start using mind-altering narcotics, or join the Peace Corps).

Here’s what I would call an interesting story:

“So little Vernon got himself all caught up in the curling iron again while I was watching General Hospital.  Third degree burns all over his neck and face.  Had to take him to the emergency room.  After GH, that is.  Then, while he was at the hospital, he put his hands in his bedpan and finger-painted a picture on the wall . . . what, you’re just going to make a phone call in front of me? . . . Oh, I see.  You’re calling Family Services.  Should’ve seen that coming.”

This is the type of story I hear all the time:

“My little boy, Gerald, did the most amazing thing today!  He . . . (wait for it) . . . pulled himself up on the coffee table!”

Wow, that is amazing!  I’ll tell you what’s even more amazing!  I took actual steps while your child rolled around on the carpet in his own filth!  Amazing!  Before I get all sorts of backlash (angry comments, letter bombs, and electric eel singing telegrams, just to name a few), I want you to know I sympathize with you.  If your child means everything to you, then it makes sense that your thoughts, time, and energy are consumed with your child.  Thus, the only things you talk about are every mundane detail about your kid.

Before you beat me to it, I want to let you know I realize I talk about my cats the same way people would talk about their kids.  You might be yelling at the computer screen, “Hey, you hypocrite!  That’s a double standard when you talk about your cats all the time, then lecture me for talking about my spawn!”  The main difference, though, is that my anecdotes are interesting.

I’m sorry, but your child is boring.  If your child produced the same kind of shenanigans my cats do, then you would always be at the hospital or taking the child to see a licensed, professional mental health specialist.

If I were to tell the types of stories about my cats that you tell about your kids, you would walk away from me, cursing my name and spitting on the ground in disgust.  I’m going to take stories people have told me about the “amazing” things their kids do, and insert my cats’ names into the story.  Imagine Louie and Rocco doing all the “amazing” things kids do!  Here are a few such stories:

“Louie stood up on two feet today!”  (Big whoop.  He was doing that when he was 4 weeks old.  It’s taken your kid a year to do that?  What’s wrong with him?)

“Rocco rolled over all by himself today!”  (My cat rolls over in his sleep.  What kind of accomplishment is this for a child that it should be celebrated?  “Oh good, you rolled over!  Now get a job.”  That’s how it should be.)

Today, Louie said, “Da-da!”  (Okay, in all fairness, if my cat were to actually do that, it would be pretty amazing.  I could probably even make a little money off of it.  But talking is about the only interesting thing your kid probably does.)

So we can tell from this that the things kids do really aren’t really that noteworthy.

Let’s say again that your children’s names are Vernon and Gerald.  They’re nice names, and it’s unlikely that they are your child’s name, making them perfect for examples.  I’m going to tell you a few stories about Louie and Rocco (also good example story names), my cats.  But instead of using my cats’ names, I will instead write the names Vernon and Gerald.  Imagine human children living through these stories, and tell me if my cats’ lives are about a quadrillion times more interesting than your kids’.  For instance:

“Vernon did the funniest thing today!  He tried to jump up onto the upstairs railing, but he overshot it, fell onto the stairs, landed on his back, and ran off!”  (If your kid really does like to sit in the raling, you should be worried about him.  But seriously, if your child took a spill like that, you would have to take him to the emergency room.)

“I keep having to pull Gerald out of the bathtub, because he likes to lick the water off the tub floor.  I always get concerned he’s eating soap, too.”  (Really, how would you react if you saw your child drinking water off the bottom of the bathtub?  That’s right, another trip to the hospital, or at least a visit to a psychiatrist.)

“Sometime I just can’t believe Vernon.  He ate 3 feet of ribbon this morning!  I can’t keep him away from the stuff.  He didn’t eat anything else the rest of the day!  After he threw it up, I found him 5 minutes later eating ribbon again!”  (As a parent, what can you really do if your kid was like this?  Again, you’d be with your child in the hospital while trying to explain to the doctors why you should be allowed to keep your kids.  As a cat owner, you just try to hide the ribbon in a better place.)

“When Vernon poops in the litter box, he never covers it up.  A few minutes later, after it’s really starting to stink, Gerald comes along and scrapes some litter to cover the indiscretion.  Vernon won’t even clean himself with his tongue after making Number 2.”  (Enough said.)

You don’t have to tell me; I know I’ve successfully proven that my cats are more interesting than your children.  If I put my cats into your kid stories, it makes my cats look like boring zombies.  That’s how painfully monotonous your children are.  Yet, if I put your kids into my cat stories, it would be too much for you, as a parent, to handle.

So if you must tell me stories, at least tell me interesting stories (i.e., not about your kids).  Maybe you should take up a hobby so you’ll have something relevant to say.  Then you’ll be able to tell me all about something more interesting than kids, like model trains, stamp collecting, or watching carpet grow.


The Holidays!

February 25, 2009 5 comments

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to gloat to you about all the junk food I have.  I went to a work-sponsored trade show this week, and at this show, we get to see all the exciting candies coming out this year, as well as some holiday goods we’ll see by year’s end.  At the beginning of the show, they gave us a reusable ugly bag (you know how I feel about those), and a handful of papers to peruse and promptly throw in the bag, never to be seen again.

Long story short, after seeing (and drooling over) all the wonderful candy all day long, the show came to a close.  This is when the real looting begins.  You see mild-mannered manager-types throwing elbows to be the first to get their mitts on 4.5 pound bags of gummy bears.  Being that I have sharp elbows, I secured one of these for myself.  Let me run through a list of what I got home with:

–4.5 pound bag of gummy bears
–Hot Tamales cotton candy (it’s gross; don’t buy it when it comes on the market)
–Mike & Ike cotton candy
–2 sample bags of chocolate covered pretzels
–Sample bag of gummy bears
–2 packs of 60-piece containers of Orbit gum
–Pop Rocks
–A 1.2 pound tub of chocolate protein powder
–4 sample pouches of the same protein powder (I told you I was greedy)
–Small bag of Coconut M&Ms (actually pretty good)
–A banana Moon Pie
–Mint Chocolate protein bar
–Small bag of gummy worms
–Four 4-ounce bags of gummy brains (they have liquid centers; it’s very “Fear Factor”)
–A Salted Nut Roll
–A grape-flavored wax mustache
–2 Fanny May mint-covered chocolate treats
–Small box of Good & Plenty
–2 new flavors on Wrigley 5 gum
–A Pop Rocks chocolate bar (yes, you read that right.  I’m saving it for a special occasion)

I know it sounds like I was overly-zealous in procuring sweet treats, but I was the least of the vendors’ problems.  As soon as the last speaker gave his closing statements, chairs hit the floor like ugly white guys in suits at a Benny Hinn conference as show patrons made the mad dash.  I saw women in heels and skirts hurdling over tables and swinging that reusable bag like a broadsword.

If you saw the L.A. riots on TV and thought, “That looks like a lot of people could get hurt”, you didn’t see anything compared to sugar-crazed trade show goers.  They were rushing like people at Wal-Mart on the day after Thanksgiving.  We had to have greeters specially flown in so someone could get trampled in the stampede.

Here’s the insider information you REALLY came here for!

I know it seems a little early, but are you ready for Christmas yet?  You may not know this, but retailers have already been placing orders for the holidays.  Heck, I think Wal-Mart is already planning for Christmas 2011.  Just think: as you were opening presents on Christmas day, a small Filipino boy was busy behind a sewing machine, making ugly sweatshirts that say, “Christmas 2009” in goofy candy cane-shaped letters.  I wonder what foreigners think of the merchandise they produce for us?  My guess is they are thinking, “I love the working conditions here.  They don’t beat me as often, and I get a full 5 minutes for lunch now!” 

I’ve always thought other languages look goofy.  I mean, if I can’t read it, how can a small-town migrant worker read it?  That’s preposterous!  (I realize they MIGHT be able to read it because it’s the language they grew up reading.  I’m just saying.)

As a professional retailer, I am privy to the inside scoop I receive at trade shows about what is “hot” for the holidays this year.  I hate to give away all the secrets, but I wanted to fill you in so you would know how to behave as a customer this holiday season and buy everything the stores tell you to.

Believe it or not, the holidays actually start with Halloween.  With candy, costumes, and other assorted merchandise, retailers can find many ways to get a ton of money out of you.  At the trade show, they told us the “hot colors for Halloween”.  They are:



Really?  I wouldn’t have guessed that.  Not in a million years.  Since when is black a Halloween color?  Here’s my long-shot prediction: we might see a little orange sprinkled in there, too!

Also for Halloween, the market is seeing a trend toward “Halloween trees”.  It’s like a Christmas tree, but instead of being green or white, it’s black with purple (or orange) Christmas Halloween lights.  Add presents and a family dinner, and you can fully celebrate the birth of your dark lord.

Thanksgiving is pretty much a non-holiday at the retail level.  Sure, we’ll try to sell you some turkeys and roasting pans, but it’s not really where the money’s at.  We pretty well skipped over it at the show.

Christmas was the last holiday we saw.  As retailers, we get a wide selection of really hideous wrapping paper to choose from.  Really godawful.  Hearing some statistics about Christmas shoppers really opened my eyes to a few things, though.  Apparently, the demographic of people shopping for their pets is really underrepresented by the amount of merchandise available.  It’s a growing market (!), or so they tell me.

Did you know that 70% of pet owners spent at least $10 on their pet for Christmas?  That’s shocking!  So, we are going to go after that growing market this year by putting out bags filled with treats and toys, and Christmas stockings for your cat, dog, gerbil, or cougar.  I must admit I bought stockings for my cats last year.  It didn’t really work, though, because they wouldn’t keep their garters on.  On top of that, it took me almost two weeks just to get them to walk in heels.  They’re not getting anything for Christmas this year.

T-Shirt Ordering Info

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment


I want to order the first (and so far, only) round of Kyle Baxter Project t-shirts in 2 weeks. That’s Sunday, March 8th. I need your help in streamlining this process!

Your final cost for the tees will be $10, regardless of size or style. This simplifies it for everyone and covers shipping. Since I, despite my best attempts, am still not made of money, this will be a pre-pay situation. When I order on or around March 8th, I will order shirts for which I have received $10 each.

Now on to the good news! You will have your choice of styles and colors! Your color options (as I control them) are “Brown shirt/Green logo” and “Pink shirt/White logo”.  Of course, the logo can be seen in a previous post titled, “Vote for the New KBP T-Shirt Slogan!”  It’s awesome!  The shirts will now include the winning slogan!

To see what the shirt styles look like, go to On the left, click “shirts”. From there, you can click on different tabs (Unisex or Women) to look at the style you want. For simplicity’s sake, I have limited the choices to 3 styles.

Unisex, AmerApp2001X–Does not come in pink, perfect for guys who like a little more form-fitting shirt. Brown shirt/green logo only. Comes in Adult Small-XXXL.

Women, AmerApp2102X–You can get it in Pink or Brown. These shirts are a more youthful style, form-fitting, as you will see on the website. In my experience buying from this company, the American Apparel Women’s shirts run small, and you might want to buy a size larger than you normally wear. It’s up to you. Sizes Adult Small-XL.

Unisex, Unisex Plain Tees–These are really comfortable, come in Pink or Brown, and are perfect for anyone who prefers a more relaxed fit, guy or gal. They are sized very accurately, doesn’t seem to run too large or small. Sized Youth Large to Adult XXXXL.

I am now taking orders!!! Simply e-mail me at, and give me your t-shirt order (ordering multiple shirts is welcome and encouraged). That should include (for each shirt):

-Style (Unisex Plain Tee, Unisex 2001, Women 2102)
-Color (Brown or pink)
-Size (may vary, depending on style)

I will be compiling an Excel spreadsheet that will help me keep it organized by name, style, color, size, paid/unpaid, etc.


If you live in town, and would see me at work or church, please pay in person by check or cash. $10 per shirt. I would prefer not to take orders in person, if at all avoidable. Please e-mail orders. If you live in town, but would not see me at work or church, e-mail me, and we can arrange for payment and pickup of final delivered goods. If you live out of town and don’t want to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, please e-mail me, and we can work something out for payment and delivery.

You have until march 8th to get ordered and paid! Thanks, everybody! I know this is going to be HUGE! Make sure all your friends know so they won’t miss out. That’s 2 weeks from now!  Make sure to tell all your friends about this awesome chance to be a part of history!  Own a custom shirt you won’t find in any store!

Make sure to ask everyone in your family (young or old) if they want shirts.  Remind everyone who might be interested in a shirt to act quickly so they don’t get left behind!  Again, e-mail orders to

Thanks for reading, and I can hardly wait to receive your order (and $10/shirt)!  MARCH 8TH!!!

UPDATE: Here are basic representations of what the shirts would look like.  The final product will have greater detail and the slogan inserted into that empty space in the middle.  These pictures are only to give you an idea of what they might look like.  The shirt styles will also be different, as I made these on a different site than we are printing the shirts.  But you get the idea!


Hurk Goes the Cat

February 18, 2009 10 comments

I slept ever so well last night, with my cats sleeping on my lap.  They slept very soundly, purring from time to time.  How peaceful.

I awoke this morning to the sound of internal fluids swishing around in my cat.  I popped out of bed with all the grace of a drunken gorilla and watched Louie hunched over, heaving with all the force in his body.  He said, and I quote:

“hurk . . . hurk . . . Hurk . . . HURK . . . HURK! . . . HURK! . . . (pause for effect) . . . PLEGH-AKKK-UUKKK”

An unholy concoction of tapeworm and hollandaise sauce erupted from Louie’s throat (take a second and imagine what that would look like; I’m really proud of the mental tapestry I’ve created here).  Claire had fortunately went into action by placing a piece of cardboard under Louie’s face to catch the odious fulmination.  In the process of throwing the vomit into the trash, I accidentally got some of the juice on my finger.  Oh, I almost lost my head.  I washed and scrubbed my hands with soap like I was preparing to perform heart surgery.  Finally, I made sure he was okay, and went back to bed.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 9 AM or 3 AM, when you hear that first “HURK”, there’s no going back to sleep for the rest of the day.  Any swishing of liquid anywhere in the house (a toilet flushing, a shower running, a goldfish leaping out of his bowl and into the sink) causes another panic-induced myocardial infarction, so it’s best just to get up for the rest of the day.

After further investigation of the juicy mess, I noticed it looked like the drawstring from a hooded sweatshirt with cat food mush around it.  I should’ve expected him to do what he did, being that he had not eaten much yesterday.  His stomach spent all day gnawing on that string, and never felt any desire for actual food.

I told you all that to tell you this: I have stumbled upon a new diet plan, guaranteed to help you shed those unwanted pounds without ever feeling hungry!  Just do what Louie does.  In the morning, swallow several feet of string, and you will not experience any cravings for the entire day, because your body won’t be able to digest it.  Then, the following morning, just HURK and PLEGH, and start the process over!  (If you plan on using the same piece of string, I would recommend at least washing it off first.)

I’ll call it “HURK Yourself Healthy”

Did someone say international diet sensation?

Taking care of cats is easy enough.  If they throw up, you just grab the carpet cleaner and (I wish I had thought to do this) gloves, then wipe up the mess.  The cat is usually fine, and you need not worry any longer.  If you have a human child, though, forget about it.  After HURKing on the carpet, a child would want to climb in bed and be comforted (no way do I want someone who already has a penchant for spewing to be IN my bed).

I’ll definitely stick with cats for now, as children not only make me uneasy, they downright scare me.  I know my father-in-law wants a bouncing baby grandchild, so he should be happy he has 5 other kids on which to place this heavy burden called parenting.  I’m good friends with a little something we call Math (if Math were a person, he’d be a wiry Japanese exchange student that wrecks the grading curve in trigonometry).  I crunched the numbers, and after all my research, I conclude that having children is not worth the trouble.

What?  Of course I have the number readily available.  Basically, you take all the pros and cons of having kids, and assign it a numerical value.  There are many ways to derive mathematically sound numerical values for these, but I have chosen the method used in Math every day called “arbitrary numbers”.  You add up the “pros”, subtract the “cons“, and you have a final number.  If that number is positive, it is worth having kids.  If that number is negative, the opposite is true.  Let’s take a look at my figures:


Seeing my lineage passed on into future generations–20
Getting a place to stay after I become too feeble to take care of myself in my later years–5
My wife won’t cry herself to sleep every night because we don’t have a baby yet–100,000
Seeing all those “first moments” like first step, first word, etc.–30
Making embarrassing videos of my child–200
Seeing someone I helped create become a productive member of society–50
Tax breaks for having kids–1,800/child
The love of another human being–2

Total: 102,107


Changing diapers–20
Dealing with when my child has crashed my car–10
When the child is HURKing–50
Child going through puberty–100
Paying for my child’s college–18,000/yr
When my child starts dating–200
Child’s whining (age 0-30)–1,000,000

Total: 1,072,380

When we subtract “cons” from the “pros”, you can clearly see a final number of -900,000, give or take. I didn’t figure it completely, because once you get beyond -500,000, you don’t really need to be very accurate.

Final analysis: I really shouldn’t be having kids right now, but you probably could have guessed that already.

My Distaste for Music Videos and Re-Usable Bags

February 15, 2009 16 comments

I heartily dislike music videos.  And that’s “heartily” with a capital “HEARTIL”.  I guess that doesn’t make sense, because then it would be HEARTILy.  That’s stupid.  Never mind.  Though I’m not easily offended, I’d rather rappers keep their shirts on when they tell me about how many women they are currently wooing, for lack of a better word.  And Britney Spears, forget it.  I’d rather she just fall off the face of the earth entirely.

Music videos should be as they once were: devoted entirely to interpretive dance.  I submit to you that music videos have strayed oh so far away from their roots.  I promise you that I will do everything in my power to restore music videos to their former glory.  I warn you now, though, that I have no power to restore said music videos to any glory, let alone former glory.

On a very much related note, I also do not like re-usable grocery bags.  I’m all for saving waste, whether it be paper or plastic, but re-usable bags are just going too far.  A couple of weeks in, re-usable bags are a great idea!  A few months later, not so much.  When I am shopping at any given grocery establishment, I see people with their “ecologically-responsible bags” in their shopping carts.  The most obvious traits of these bags are that they:

–Have “mystery stains” on them

–Are covered with hair (sometimes human, sometimes “miscellaneous”)

–Probably smell funny (like goat cheese left in a car in the month of July with the windows rolled up)

There’s no way that these unsanitary bags are good for the environment.  If you own one (or many) of these bags, and they are in this condition, congratulations, you’ve just been duped (punk’d).  Someone made a quick buck off your sincere effort to save the planet, and you’re left holding the bag (figuratively speaking).  Do that poor bagboy a favor and wash those things every once in a while.  Anyone who works at a grocery store, say AMEN!

As promised, here is a proper music video, complete with interpretive dance.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making a complete fool of myself.  I’m getting better at these, so expect more.  If you like it, let me know.  If you dislike it, also let me know, and I will cease and desist (per court order).  God bless my cat, Louie.

The One Thing I Know Most About

February 13, 2009 10 comments

In my college Composition class, my professor always told us (her students) the easiest way to write is to write about something you know.  I searched the depths of my brain for a truly unique and thought-provoking topic.  I wanted to find something so intertwined with humanity that you would be overcome with emotion and possibly thoughts of baking me homemade banana bread.  There’s only one truly deep topic I know anything about, and that is:

Being Handsome

This may sound a little elementary, but if you get the choice between being handsome and being ugly, choose handsome.  It offers way more perks.  I’m still surprised at how many people, in this day and age, still choose ill-fitting pants, goofy haircuts, and American Eagle.  I rest my case.  Fortunately, my readers are all on the same page with me.  I boast daily to anyone who will listen that my readership is among the best-dressed in all of cyberspace.  Look at me, getting off on a tangent.  Back to the perks and drawbacks of being unreasonably handsome.


–People will treat you well
–People won’t walk away when you sit down at a lunch table
–I will quit personally sending you hate letters filled with rancid bacon.

That last one isn’t really my fault.  I just have a lot of stamps I’m trying to use up before the postage goes up in May.  I knew I should’ve gotten “forever stamps” instead of giving in to the pressure from that pushy stamp counter lady to buy those 42-cent collectible “Dancing With the Stars” stamps.

As with anything that has perks, there are drawbacks to being incredibly good-looking.  I just can’t think of any right now.

Some might say that you can increase your attractiveness by getting tattoos and piercings.  When it comes to altering your body (tattoos and piercings), who can really say what looks good?  I can, for one.  And I will, come to think of it.  Right now, as a matter of fact.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?  You see, that’s a common misconception.  I aim to disband this convocation of free-wheeling ideas right now.

In my youth, I went out,  had my ear pierced, and had two tattoos inked into my skin.  I do not regret any of them for a minute.  Let’s discuss these two options as beauty enhancers.


A well-placed earring, tongue stud, or butt zipper can enhance anyone’s natural beauty.  There is something called “too much of a good thing”, though.  A misplaced piercing can look horrific, while a simple classy piercing can be both trendy and elegant.  (The elegant one is the neck ring.)  My mother always told me she would kick me out of the house if I ever had any piercings.  In my ever-vigilant attempts to test my mother’s love, I had my ear pierced on my 18th birthday.  I kept it in until last Wednesday.  I almost let it go by without any fanfare, but it was a big step for me.  I have had it out for over a week, and I can’t say I really miss it.  I took it out for professional reasons, fully intending to put it back in at the end of the day.  I never did.  It was just time.  *sigh*  But seriously, nose piercings kind of freak me out.  (You didn’t really think I was going to show you a picture of a butt zipper, did you?)


I am definitely FOR tattoos.  As I said before, I have two of them.  They are both on my right arm.  There are still some people I work with who probably don’t know I have a tattoo, let alone two on my right arm.  I think everyone ought to have at least one, just to try it.  Something small, like a flaming skull sitting on top of a baby dolphin vomiting into a bathtub filled with electric eels smothered in tartar sauce that is a few months past the expiration date because some pimply-faced teenager working at your local supermarket did check the expiration dates when he was specifically asked to.  Small.  Like that.

With my earring, I was able to take it out and leave it on the bathroom counter.  With my tattoo, I’ll probably wait until I’m 30 to take it out, but it probably won’t fit on the bathroom counter.  I’ll probably fold it up nicely, wrap it in newspaper, and put it in a box in my attic (so I can show my child 15 years from now).

Slogan for the KBP T-Shirt

Thanks, everyone who voted on the t-shirt slogan for the Kyle Baxter Project!  The winning phrase is “Help Save the World: Support the Kyle Baxter Project”.  It may get modified slightly (make it shorter), but the spirit of the phrase will remain.  You are all really awesome to participate in this!  I have already received a few e-mails, FB messages, and texts asking me about when and where shirts will be available.  Claire and I need to hammer out the details of the shirts, but I want to have pricing available soon.  We’ll make sure that you have plenty of options in terms of trendy shirt styles for the gals (of course, trendy shirts will cost a tiny bit more).  Not sure if having more than one color option will change the price.  I will look into that and post the info to the Facebook group, Fans of the Kyle Baxter Project.  If you have not already joined, then go do it!

Vote for the New KBP T-Shirt Slogan!

February 12, 2009 8 comments

My friends, you have the opportunity vote on the slogan for the upcoming Kyle Baxter Project t-shirts!  The actual design of the shirt will be:


Depending on the size of your screen (a laptop, for instance), the logo may be cut off on the right side.  No matter; I’m sure you get the spirit of it.

Since global warming is really “in” right now, I want to capitalize on a shirt design and slogan inspired by nature lovers.  The idea of this design is to catch the eye of people who are easily drawn to crazy causes, like the environment, Snake Handlers churches, Michael Jackson fanclubs, or healthcare reform.  I want to take a poll from you, my reading audience, to find out what slogan you like best.  First, ask yourself a few questions:

–What would catch the eye of someone walking by me in the mall so much that they would ask me how they could support such a worthwhile cause?

–Which slogan would I be proudest to wear?

–Did I remember to close the garage door?

Now answer away!

Thanks for voting!  I’ll have the results of this poll after I feel everyone who matters has gotten a chance to get their vote.