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Strive to Survive

April 28, 2009 6 comments

This last weekend, Claire left to do a wedding photo shoot in Manhattan, KS (“The Little Apple”; the nickname should probably be “Why is New York Even Called ‘The Big Apple’?”)  This left me to my own devices, which is mostly foraging, growing a thin beard, and subsisting off of any food that can be dug from, scraped off, and picked out of surfaces around my home.  To date, I have consumed:

–6 ounces of burnt crumbs from the stove burners (which are very high in carbs; my blood sugar is off the charts)

–1.5 eggs worth of scrapings from the fridge, leaving me with a very small omelet

–Most depressing of all . . . Ramen Noodles (the literal Japanese translation is “The Noodles That Give you Diarrhea”.)

My G.I. tract (a religious pamphlet you give to Army guys) will never be the same.  I can only hope that my wife returns to me soon to cook me a decent meal and make sure I shave, because I have a 2 o’clock shadow.  God bless my wife for taking care of me these last 2 years (on June 2nd), making sure I do not survive solely on Ramen Noodles (Korean for “intestinal water”) and Totino’s Pizza Rolls (American for “colon grenades”).  Thus far, I have a net loss of weight, proving that I can eat vegetables without turning green and dying of “vegetitis”.  (“Vegetitis”; would make a great band name; also “Cauliflower Flu”.)

When Claire is out of town, my life changes entirely.  The cats even treat me differently.  I suppose I haven’t spoken of them for a while.  For those of you who are new to the “Kyle Baxter Project”, I have two cats.  One is named Louie:

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He’s the fat one.  Click HERE for the post that explains Louie.

I also have another, smaller cat named Rocco:

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He’s my “baby one”.  For more info, please CLICK HERE.

Worst of all I decided to stay up all night Saturday into Sunday.  I promise it made sense to me when I first thought to do it.  Now I’m kicking myself directly in the butt for even considering such a thing.  It’s my belief that for every hour you stay up beyond 24, you lose 5% of your soul.  I was just about a monster by the time I went to bed Sunday night.  And slept 12 hours.

Here are actual pictures of my experience staying awake.  As with anything I do on here, I document it and post it here for all to see (and lead me to much embarrassment).  If you watch carefully, you can see my soul slipping away.

11:00 PM–Everything’s going great!  I’m just updating my Twitter about how I plan on staying up all night, and how great of an idea it is.

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1:00 AM–Getting a little tired.  It’s two hours later, and 10% of my soul has leaked out onto my shirt.  I think a little club soda will get that out.

pre-exit

3:00 AM–After resting my eyes, 20% of my soul has evaporated and is trying to make a Taco Bell run.

soul-exit

5:00 AM–I’ve finally caught my second wind!  I feel very refreshed and obsolutely NOT tired at all!  I’m sure no one will able to tell I’ve been up all night (and lost 30% of my soul).

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9:00 PM–At the time of writing this post, 90% of my soul has left.  From what I gathered from the note it left me, it’s out buying new throw pillows at Target.  I hate when it does this.  Let me just rest my head on this comfortable-looking pillow. . .

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UPDATE–My wife has returned home to me, expecting the worst for my health.  She knew I would be a little dehydrated and malnourished, but she’s actively working to make me all better.

She’s making me return the pillows.

Categories: Most Everything

“Crazy” is a 4-Letter Word

April 24, 2009 1 comment

The word “crazy” can mean many different things, from very negative to extremely complimentary.  For instance:

–“Jim Carrey is so CRAZY!”  This is of course a good thing, because the manic comical genius of Jim Carrey cannot be denied.

–“Don’t mess with Ricky; he’s CRAZY!”  Someone with a short fuse could be this kind of “crazy”.

–“My ex-girlfriend is CRAZY!”  This usually denotes someone who will not stop calling long after the relationship is over.  Also, the speaker of this sentence probably still gets poems in the mail written in blood.

–“Man, that 1080 inverted triple tail-grab was CRAZY!”  When talking snowboarding, this is “crazy” in a good way.  When talking wedgie removal, it’s probably a bad thing.

Mental disorders are no laughing matter.  At least, not in front of the person.  You don’t want to set them off, because you never know what crazy people will do.  Sadly, those with mental disorders may have a hard time living a “normal” life.  Keeping a job, having a family, or not getting mocked by me can seem almost impossible to a crazy person.  If you are a crazy person, and have not been offended already, please read on!  I have some ingenious tips on how you can live a more normal and productive life.  At least, I have some employment suggestions for you.  After that, you’re on your own.

Bi-Polar (Manic-Depressive)

Happy, sad, happy, sad; which is it?  I either see you laughing or crying, but it doesn’t have to be a disability!  Between the exuberant laughing and the horrifying sorrowful pain, you probably can’t hold yourself together enough to be still for more than a few seconds.  Thus, you would not do well helping people learn CPR.  “Teacher, this practice dummy smells like tears and laughter.  I quit.”  Instead, I suggest you be an entrepreneur with PMS training classes, teaching husbands what to expect when living with a woman.  I’m not saying you’d be able to help them deal with it (may God help us all), but at least they could learn the warning signs.  And exit strategies.  (Remember: a window is just a small door when Pre-Monster Syndrome rears its ugly head.)

Anything that mirrors PMS is a “dangerous” crazy.

Depression

I know this is a touchy subject, as many people have once had or know someone who has signs of depression.  I do not make these quips lightly, because I would not want to make you sad (pun intended).  I am offering real solutions to an increasing problem.  You can very easily become a lifelong Quintiles participant, receiving as much as $3,000 for a 6-week study, requiring only a few overnight stays.  Travel expenses are also reimbursed.  And hey, free medication.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personalities)  (Super Crazy)

The employment opportunities are endless for someone with DID.  You can be your own boss!  Literally.

Let that last one soak in for a minute.  I really liked it.  Moving on . . .

As someone with DID, you could always work the counter at the DMV.  The whole counter.  Assuming, of course, that every one of your personalities is mean, unhelpful, and likes to take long breaks.  DID and DMV rhyme . . . coincidence?  I think not.

Think of the possibilities!  You could be a pit crew member in NASCAR!  If you worked at McDonald’s, you could take the money at the first window, and give me my food at the second!  I guess the only change you’d have to make is a 2-sided name tag.  Also, if you could put on glasses, a different hat, or fake lips while sprinting from Window 1 to Window 2, I’d really appreciate it.  You could probably get two paychecks that way, you crazy sly devil!

Just think about it, that’s all I’m asking.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

With OCD, it’s all about ritual (obsessive cleaning, certain habits, etc.).  For some, it’s as simple as having to walk around their car 3 times to make sure lights are off, windows are rolled up, and that a maniac is not hiding under the car waiting to jump out and butcher them like a hog.  (See: “My ex-girlfriend is CRAZY!”)  For others, this kind of crazy can be much more socially crippling, like putting on gloves before handling money or dog feces.

Again, just let that soak in.

Like I said, OCD is about doing things a very particular way.  One option is to become a car detailer.  You’d be so thorough, your supervisor wouldn’t know what to think of you!

“Sure, the cars come back spotless.  He goes over everything 12 times.  It takes him two hours!”

Some jobs want you to do nearly the same thing every time, which is perfect for the routine of someone living with OCD.  How about joining the ranks of the clergy?  Parishioners would love you!

“Yep, Mass lasted exactly 26 minutes and 17 seconds again.  This guy’s good.”

Schizophrenia

Though often mislabeled as someone having multiple personalities, schizophrenia is actually a state of being disconnected from reality.  Often, you may see a schizophrenic walking around muttering to him or herself.  I have no real occupational advice for someone who wanders around and mutters.  The most important thing a schizophrenic can do to resemble normal is to wear a Bluetooth headset everywhere.  Everyone around you will have no idea that you’re crazy.

“I don’t know who he’s talking to, but he’s going to make them all pay.”

or,

“Maybe he has a great talent, because he told the person on the other end of the call that he’s going to ‘show the world’, and that ‘no one messes with Ricky because Ricky’s CRAZY!'”

Bang the Eardrum Slowly

April 22, 2009 Leave a comment

My ears are ringing like crazy this morning.  Last night, I went to a very loud place to hear some music and, of course, I’d like to tell you about it.

This first part may not be very hilarious, but it will give you much needed background. It all started when Claire (my wife) had a conversation on the telephone with another photographer named Josh Solar (not my wife).  Somehow, the conversation got around to the topic of Josh being on his way to attend a “rock concert” (the kids still call them “concerts”, right?) in downtown KC.  Most serendipitous of all is that the band Josh was going to see is “My Only Danger” (also not my wife).  It just so happens that my brother-in-law plays wicked sweet guitar for My Only Danger, and I was unaware of said show!  Forthwith, Claire and I made plans to be at that concert!

Okay, so we’re driving along in the car, through assorted burgs and slums.  Driving to the venue involves passing through the seediest areas of town, many of which have a laundromat on every corner, and in some cases, two are built side-by-side.  Also indicative of the scarier parts of town are businesses with misspelled names.  This can often lead to confusion, as it becomes more difficult to identify what kind of business it is.  For instance, if you see a restaurant named “Git Sum Chicken”, there’s no way to be sure if they serve friend chicken or Chinese food.  (Well, one way to be sure is to go inside.)

There must be a shortage of glass downtown, because most buildings had wooden windows, which I’ve heard don’t let a whole lot of light in.  The shops that had glass windows showcase the classic Post-Absconder architecture period, wherein the owner installs metal bars over windows that had been previously broken by thieves to gain access to valuables, such as cash, electronics, or “Git Sum Chicken” t-shirts.  I think I even passed by several buildings with windows made entirely of eviction notices held together by “Condemned” stickers.

I’ve not really been one to notice homeless people before.  I mostly try to close my eyes and pretend they don’t exist.  Or if I must have my eyes open (say, while I’m driving), I just pretend they’re on their way to a shopping cart race.  I’m still not sure yet if the shopping cart race is a speed contest, or if it’s to see how many wool coats each hobo can put on and still push a shopping cart full of empty beer cans without falling over.  One homeless person drew my attention in particular last night.  Most homeless people have to settle for rusted old carts without even the little plastic handlebar cover.  His shopping cart was really shiny.  Like, brand-new shiny.  He’s really lucky to have something nice like that.  Some people get all the breaks in life, and here I am with no shopping cart at all.

I should probably get to the part about the music, right?  We arrived safely at our destination, and could hear bass coming out of the joint from a block away.  Thankfully, we walked in to hear the musical stylings of “Paramedics” (not re-using the same joke).  Everything sounded really good, and was not overpowering to the ears at all.  It is at this moment that I officially met Josh Solar, who in my opinion, needs super powers that somehow involve harnessing the energy of the sun.  God help me if he hears lame cracks like that all the time.

Following Paramedics was (or should I say “were”, because of the band containing multiple members?) My Only Danger, who cranked the sound system up much louder, and turned their guitars to “faster”.  I trembled at the sounds of MOD, mostly because the bass was causing my shirt to vibrate right off my body.  Fortunately, I was wearing a belted top, so I was able to skip being de-shirted in public.  With the delicate, pounding intricacies of MOD’s music, there was much to appreciate in the way of sound, complex time signatures, and long hair.

One thing I noticed about truly appreciating anything, especially music, is that it’s hard to look happy doing it.  Most everyone at the show looked disaffected, if not downright depressed.  And standing completely still.  It’s been so long, I forgot how quiet and motionless everyone gets.  Sort of a “Children of the Corn” moment.  It was by no fault of their own!  To really take in the profundity of brilliant musicians, you pretty well have to stand still and focus entirely on what you hear.  Like this:

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Notice the glassy eyes and non-specific facial emotion.  This conveys real appreciation, as nothing but music is obviously going through this head.  Try as you may, the best happy emotion you can forcibly extend beyond the music is:

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Emotional neophytes will tire quickly, though, and revert back farther than the original expression.

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As soon as the final note is played, and the house music comes back up, you will regain full use of your senses (as they are now not all devoted to appreciation) and become:

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Insane.

One Man Band, Part U2

April 20, 2009 3 comments

This requires no explanation. I hope it can hold you over until the next big post. Enjoy it!

Sadly, I missed some of the words later on, because I was just testing my timing theory (and had not listened to the song in years). The drums turned out 10 times better! Be patient until my One Man Band magnum opus . . . it will be worth the wait!

PS I’m still proud of this, because it took 1/3 as long to make, and it’s 3 times better. Yeah!

One Man Band, Part 1

April 17, 2009 6 comments

It took me HOURS to do, but I did it.  It’s really rough-looking on the drums, but I did it.  I hope you’ll appreciate my effort and share it with friends, family, and send off a Tweet to the Pope. (@PopeBenny16, just an fyi.)  Seeing myself exist twice was pretty stinking cool, I admit.

Fortunately, I call tell myself apart because I am obviously wearing different shirts (and glasses in one instance).  If you knew what kind of hell I went through to get the drums even near the same measure, you would stand up and applaud (feel free; it’s not too late).  There are some pretty great embellishments from the me in the orange (and the drumming me, too, had it been in time with the track), so I personally recommend watching it through to the end.

And before you remind me about it in the comments, I realize that my hands move the wrong way up and down the neck from time to time during the solo.  Guitar players, please keep it to yourself.

My favorite part of the whole video is when I stare at myself from the drums in disbelief during the guitar solo.  It’s like I’m saying to myself, “Whoa!  Look at that guy shred!”  I rest my case.  I will probably try this again at some time in the near future.  There has GOT to be a better way to get me in time with myself!  More One Man Band videos to follow!

How-Not-To, Part 1

April 13, 2009 3 comments

I’m known most for my incredulously good looks, but because of your numerous e-mails, I’ve also become a “how-to” guru.  I would like to take this time to respond to some of these e-mails publicly.  Daily, I receive e-mails like the following:

To: Dr. Baxter (kylebaxterproject@yahoo.com)
From: Franklin D. Feldman (FDF2154@gmail.com)
Subject: When is it OK to start a diet plan?

Dear Dr. Baxter,

I know you mostly for your incredulously good looks, but I have a question that needs answering.  Surely someone as good-looking and obviously semi-omnipotent as yourself has said answers.  How long can my beard get before officially becoming “disgusting”?

Sincerely,

FF

Franklin, your beard can reach a length of no longer than 6 inches before becoming universally accepted as “disgusting”.  This does not account, however, for cultural differences.  Certain groups like Hasidic Jews, biker gangs, and ZZ Top may allow for lengths of beard greater than 6 inches.  Of course, these are only in cases of religious practice, motorcycle gang affiliation, or existing in the state of being a Sharp-Dressed Man.

Let’s move on to a more pressing question:

To: Colonel Kyle, Esquire (kylebaxterproject@yahoo.com)
From: Archibald E. Worthington (Archieworth@aol.whydoesanyonestilluseaol.com)
Subject: What’s that smell

Honorable Kyle,

Your devilish handsomeness has beguiled me, and I must seek every bit of information contained in your pulchritudinous cranium.  I have a strange smell coming from my kitchen sink.  What in the world could it be?

XOXO,
A.E.W.

Mr. Worthington, it appears as if you have accidentally let your gerbil play in the garbage disposal again.  We talked about this last time, didn’t we?  There’s no reason why Mr. Cuddles’ life had to end so suddenly.  I pray you use more caution next time, dear friend.

And another:

To: Baxter, Kyle (kylebaxterproject@yahoo.com)
From: Wilma Ellen Raines
Subject: Subatomic Matter Question

I am a science teacher in the state of New Hampshire, and one of my students was wondering if your body is actually handsome at the subatomic level.  Are the neurons, electrons, and protons contained in your atoms actually better looking than the average biped’s?

With utmost regard and ever-living respect,
Ms. Raines
Millard Fillmore Jr. High
Fulton, NH

Ms. Raines, I do not have a logical answer to your question, as I am not a scientist by occupation.  It’s a hobby, sure, but not my job or anything.  Therefore, my nearest guess is that my atoms differ slightly from the average individual’s, in that they (my atoms) bear an uncanny resemblance to the chiseled features of Rock Hudson.  I hope this helps.

Yet again:

To: the Kyle Baxter Project (kylebaxterproject@yahoo.com)
From: Kyle Baxter
Subject: Awesome name, lol

My name is also Kyle Baxter, lol!  I think that’s great!  Through greater research, I see that your name is not actually Kyle Baxter.  This confuses me.  It also leads me to this question.  What are women thinking?

In the meantime, please visit my website.

With the utmost respect for your prepossessing comeliness,
Also Kyle Baxter (LOL)

Kyle, I can sum that up in three simple words: “I Don’t Know”.  Who could possibly understand the way women think?  Kidding!  The real three words that sum up how women think are:

1: Shoes

2: Shopping

3: Clothes

Anything beyond that is a fluke and/or aneurism.  On to the final e-mail:

To: Paul Ryser (kylebaxterproject@yahoo.com)
From: Paul Ryser (kylebaxterproject@yahoo.com)
Subject: Moving Boxes

Me,

People never tire of looking at your gorgeous face, but also seek your advice, because you are a sage in these uncertain times.  I’ve heard from my chiropractor and other medical “experts” that you should crouch and use the strength from your legs when lifting heavy objects.  Is this true?

Love,
Me

PS Any instructional video you may have in your vast library would help me immensely.

That’s the best question I’ve received all day!  Your thoughtful question leads me to this purposeful response.  Do not listen to any medical doctor, as they are only out to make money!  Holistic medicines, like herbs, organic tinctures, and snake venom have been known to cure (or cause paralysis in) people for centuries!  At your request, I have dug deep into my video library to bring you my instructional video, “How to Lift a Box”.  Simply watching his video will save you needless trips to the chiropractor/acupuncturist/cellist.

Side note: Did you recognize Yo-Yo Ma?

Secondary side note: Did you just think I was talking about yo-yos?

Disclaimer: The author of this piece is not a medical doctor.  Do not listen to him.  Not just about this.  Pretty much everything.

Exercise, Day 5

April 9, 2009 2 comments

Go figure: I am actually enjoying daily exercise!  It’s like a surprise every day.  Every night as I go to bed, I can hardly sleep, because I think to myself in excitement, “Oh, boy!  I wonder what part of me is going to hurt tomorrow!”  Sure enough, the next morning, I get the answer to my question.  “Joy upon joys!  My duodenum is absolutely ruptured!  I don’t think I’ll be able to walk!  I love exercise!”

Mostly, exercise helps me feel that I’m repaying my debt to society.  It’s like I’m punishing myself for every bad thing I’ve ever done.  So far, I’ve atoned through age 6.  That’s when the real evil started.  I should probably be running 20 miles a day.

I have absolutely no idea why I continue to subject myself to such anguish (exercise), but I do it anyway.  It’s becoming a bad habit that causes me such discomfort, then remorse for my poor decisions.  It’s the kind of habit that could destroy me, like not wearing a seat belt, kicking myself in the head, or watching American Idol.  (Paula always seems to be simultaneously on crack cocaine and elephant tranquilizers.)  Even right now, my arms feel like they’re about to fall off, which is strange, because they actually fell off a half hour ago.  Honestly, I’m surprised they’re still typing.  Don’t worry; I wear my seat belt.

Against my better judgment, I went running again tonight.  This time, I waited until the sun went down, so I wouldn’t have to share the track with everyone who moves faster and more gracefully than me (everyone).  I couldn’t see the track 2 feet in front of me, but at least I didn’t have to worry about being lapped by a woman pushing a stroller sipping on a diet chai latte in her designer tracksuit and Coach brand Joss sneakers.  That’s right, ladies.  Men know about Coach and how much that junk actually costs, despite what you tell us.  We just let it slide so we can feel more comfortable stretching the truth when it comes to the actual price of our luxury items.  I’d better just come clean here that my new set of golf clubs did not only cost me “$50 and a childhood memory”.  I feel better already, having gotten that off my conscience.

When I can home, I poured into my living room, congealed up the stairs, melted into this chair, and when I’m done here, I am going to evaporate into the shower for a very long time.  At least until my legs regain enough strength to get me back out again.  If I don’t show up for work, call 9-1-1, and tell them to bring the Jaws of Life.

Most puzzling to me is the hermit who lives beneath the track on which I do my running.  I haven’t found him yet, but I’m positive there’s a crazed man underneath the track (probably under the long jump pit) who slowly extends the track as I run.  By the time I make my 10th time around, the track is three times as long as when I started.  And for some reason unexplainable by me, it’s also completely uphill.  In addition, it also becomes speckled with red flashes and black spots.  Sometimes, the man under the track would entirely black out the track, and I could nary see a thing.  That could also be the blood rushing from my head to my legs in a feeble attempt to keep me upright.  I’m still running the tests.

Well, I guess I’m off for now!  I’ve got a shovel in hand, ready to dig out the hermit (eh, close enough) from beneath the long jump sandpit.  I’ll quit when I either find him, or the police are dragging me away in handcuffs, screaming, “I know where you live!  You can’t hide from me forever!”  I don’t know why, but that’s always what I’m screaming when I’m taken away in handcuffs.  Funny coincidence, that one.

Until next time, my friends, be safe.

And beware of track hermits.