Why I Blog

Posted by Brandon |

All of the drama going on lately over at I Talk Too Much and Karl's adventures at BlogHer this weekend got me thinking about why it is that I continue to blog on a near daily basis. The simple answer is, it's fun. It has become my hobby over the past two and a half years and I still enjoy doing it, unlike most every other hobby I thought I would enjoy.

I basically do this for myself. Sure, I enjoy the fact that I have a few fans and it is nice to get comments and I will promote my blog whenever and wherever I go. And I will admit, I am a bit bipolar, I get a little neurotic when the comments and traffic are low and cocky when things are going great. But when you boil it down, I don't blog for anybody else's approval, I just write about what I feel like writing about. Does it lead to randomness and inconsistent quality? Yes, without question. But that's a pretty good reflection of me, random and inconsistent.

When I read people complaining about their blogs, I get irritated. Like I said, I do this as a hobby and when it isn't fun, I don't do it. I don't feel the same obligation to put something out there when I don't feel like it or have nothing to share that a lot of people seem to do. A hobby shouldn't be an obligation, it should be relaxing and fun. If you see me go a few days without blogging, it is because I am having fun in other ways or I just don't have anything to share, plain and simple. Sometimes I let you know about that fact, but it is never in a complaining kind of way, just a little status update.

I see a lot of people complaining about costs associated with blogging or software issues or whatever. I usually tune this stuff out because I don't have any of these same problems. I have spent, maybe, $25 on blogging total. I paid for a podcasting service at one point and I spent a little tiny bit of money on advertising once. Sure, my blog doesn't look as beautiful as someone who paid a couple hundred dollars for a whole bunch of skins and I don't have my own dot com, but that's what I like about it. All of the improvements that you see on this blog I taught myself how to do. I started with a blogger template and have tweaked it by learning some HTML basics, stealing code from others, and experimenting. I'm proud of what I have accomplished and what I have learned. That has been half the fun.

I have heard horror stories about these classes and seminars that you can take on how to become a successful blogger where some of the students have meltdowns and freakouts because of the stress of blogging. I don't even know how to quantify success as a blogger. Is it the number of comments, or the traffic or how much money your AdSense has made? I don't know, but I know none of these things are a reason to have a breakdown. If it's not fun or it is stressing you out, stop blogging. Find something else to do that you might enjoy.

When blogging stops being fun for me or I find a new hobby to occupy my time, you will know. I won't subject you to long-winded posts about how much blogging sucks or fill my blog up with, "I don't know what to write about" posts. I'll just ride off into the sunset one day, pants around my ankles, and you will remember this post.

But I don't anticipate that day will come anytime soon. I live in California, just some of the dumb things I see and hear day-to-day could keep me going for years. I'm having a great time and if you would like to come along for the ride, please be my guest, just don't be surprised when you find my writing inconsistent and random. You have already been warned.


Grocery Fun Bags

Posted by Brandon |

I'm not sure if this is a sign that I am growing up, I have gotten old or I'm a devoted husband, but yesterday while I was in line at the grocery store, I saw me some titties and it just made me feel bad.

With a basket in one hand and a case of soda in the other, I chose myself the shortest line of the bunch. It was late, it was strangely busy and there were only two checkers working. When standing in line to check out, the mind and the eyes have a tendency to wander.

I couldn't help but notice that the seemingly normal, average, early 30's woman standing in front of me wasn't wearing a bra under her sheer, white tank top. Being a man, an alarm sounded in my brain. "Oh my god, we might see boobs!" But this is where Brandon, the grown, married man came in. I suddenly realized, I didn't want to see her boobs, not even a little bit. So I tried to divert my attention, look elsewhere, read the tabloids, anything to make sure that I didn't see her breasts.

Then, she did something that even the woman behind me couldn't help but watch in both wonder and horror. She pulled her cart behind her when she entered the checkout lane and proceeded to bend straight over the cart letting her tank top fall exposing her breasts for everybody to see. I didn't mean to look, but there was nothing I could do not to look.

I must have looked hilarious because when I saw them hanging I nearly did a 360 degree spin so that I couldn't see them anymore. The lady behind me stood there slack-jawed only pausing to give me a quick joking smile when I snapped around. It felt like I was looking at a really bad cut. You pull the bandage back, get a quick peek and then quickly, out of horror, cover it back up only to go back for another look out of morbid curiosity.

Afterwards, I felt horrible about the whole thing. I felt bad that I couldn't stop myself from looking. I felt bad that this woman exposed herself to all of the world without even noticing or, at least, caring. I felt bad that the poor checker couldn't take her eyes off of the woman's nipples poking out from behind her shirt. I felt bad that she couldn't find her Von's card and I was too embarrassed to just let her use mine.

Seeing titties at the grocery store is a big surprise. Reacting negatively to said titties came as an even bigger surprise to me. Perhaps I have grown up. Perhaps I am getting old. Perhaps I do only want to see my wife's breasts. Perhaps nothing, it took seeing random tits to make me completely realize that these are facts, and I couldn't be happier.


Last Comic Standing

Posted by Brandon |

Oh my god, I can't believe what I just did. I, for the first time ever, participated in the voting process for a reality TV show. I couldn't help myself. Three of the comics pissed me off, so I had to make sure that I at least threw my vote behind the one that didn't. You can't complain if you don't exercise your rights, right?

So I voted for Josh Blue all five times. He was the only one that brought anything funny or original to the party. Michelle Balan wasn't funny, she never has been. Chris Porter said a few things that just didn't make any sense. And Ty Barnett was actually really funny and I was going to give him at least a couple votes, but then he ripped off The Daily Show with a joke about bum-vertising. It was a funny joke, but the idea was so far from original that I was shocked.

What I like about Josh is that when he performs it sounds like he is out there having an unrehearsed conversation with the audience rather than doing a routine. All of the others sound like they took Comic 101. It feels like Olympic ice skating where you know what elements they have to do and you know they are going to do them, you just have to wait to see how they pull them off.

Josh does a few too many Cerebral Palsey jokes, he could be funny without relying on those. But he always leaves me wanting to hear more. He's off-the-cuff and interesting, the others are not at all. Plus he got his start while attending The Evergreen State College doing open-mic nights in Olympia. I'll vote for any non-embarrassing former Olympia resident for the sake of community pride.

I just wrote a blog post about a reality show that I swore off a month ago. I think I need a shower.

It's fucking hot, it's fucking humid and none of us have air conditioning. That means that every single person in this neighborhood has their doors and windows wide open hoping to get a little bit of a breeze. Since it isn't at all windy either, most of us are cranky, especially me.

The last thing we need to hear is a high decibel concert by some crappy country band and your white trash ass having a high decibel argument with your shirtless boyfriend on your patio. I don't care one bit about how all you need "is what I have here....nothing", or how asswipe and his friends "spend money like water" or "I LOVE YOU! NO, NO, I FUCKING LOVE YOOOOUUUU!!!!!" I also don't think that the little kids that run around our driveway need to hear the F-Word ten times per minute (I counted).

Either go inside and close all of your doors to have your psycho-babble, alcohol fueled bitchfest or shut the fuck up! It is too hot to have to hear your arguing, followed by a country karaoke duet, followed by more arguing, all the while smelling your smoke wafting through my open windows. You're lucky that I am exhausted from sweating my balls off all day, or else this letter would have been vocalized to your face. Your arguing nearly made me do it, I was so close to snapping.

Also, if you are going to have loud, disgusting makeup sex, for god's sake, close some windows. At least you had the courtesy to do that inside, although, it was so loud that you easily could have been outside on the patio again. Yuck!

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go curl up like a sweat soaked baby and try to sleep despite that gross, satanic moaning running through my head. Between that and this heat, I think I may have a long night ahead of me.

Have a great week, you ugly, ear-splitting whore,


Wexler Loves Cocaine and Prostitutes

Posted by Brandon |

Florida congressman Robert Wexler admitted on the Colbert Report tonight that he "loves cocaine because it's a fun thing to do" and that he "loves prostitutes for the following reasons...they are fun to do" and that together, they would really be fun to do.

Update: the shocking video proof is here!


A Slippery Subject

Posted by Brandon |

I keep seeing ads for KY Sensual Mist Personal Lubricant and I keep making the same bad joke, just a little bit different each time...

"I like to be personally lubricated."
"I, personally, like to be lubricated."
"Personally, I like to be lubricated."

Any other combinations? I need to be ready with one so I can bring the funny when the ad comes on again.


In Your Face, Kevin

Posted by Brandon |

A while back Kevin challenged me to live blog myself downing a whole bottle of tequila, shot by shot. I decided I would do him one better and video myself downing a whole bottle of tequila, shot by shot. Please excuse my man boobs...

Yeah! How do you like me now? Oh man, does anybody have a lime?


Circle The Wagons

Posted by Brandon |

The wife and I found ourselves in Downtown Oxnard with an hour to kill before we saw Pirates of the Caribbean (AWESOME!!!) last night. It was too hot for a coffee, we were too full for an ice cream and we were too early to just go in and enjoy the air conditioning. So we drove around a bit to see some of the, ahem, "sights"

We ended up at Heritage Square, a downtown city block where they have relocated a bunch of historic Victorian and craftsmen homes, a church and an old watertower that now house a few businesses, a theater and a restaurant. They are all centered around some nice landscaping and a red bricked square smack dab in the middle. It's a nice little place and the houses are very fancy and it is obvious that the people who take care of the square are very proud.

But we couldn't shake the strange and unsettling feeling that the square really should have been called White Center. When you stand in the middle of Heritage Square, you are hard pressed to know that you are still in Oxnard. It feels like the whites saw all the Mexicans coming and decided to circle the wagons and take this one block in the city for their own and are now defending it by making it whiter than white.

So if you ever find yourself in Oxnard and start to feel threatened because suddenly you are a minority in your own country, remember that there is a white embassy downtown that will help you feel superior again. As for me, Heritage Square made me want to run away as fast as possible. I find whites who long for the good old Victorian days much scarier than even the biggest gang banging Mexican.


Smacked, And It Feels So Good

Posted by Brandon |

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. Didn't I say that I was about to get smacked? Sassy Sadie gave me two smacks "for not sucking as bad as the other two", which I'm actually pretty happy with. Like I predicted, she reviewed the site while it was totally messed up. As bad as it looked, I'm surprised that I didn't just get the boot.

Yes, I do have the Black Template Of Death. I like it like that, and I like the background too. Have you ever run across a blog that looks like this? You have to give it up, it's definitely unique.

Shit brown? That is obviously orange. The colors come from the original blogger dots template that I started with and it has always worked for me. The sidebar links are underlined because they looked awful un-underlined. Trust me, it looks way better this way.

The blogroll and links are long, I will admit, but I want people to click on them and enjoy some of my favorite sites, so that's why they are there. I always click on people's blogrolls, but I rarely click on their drop down boxes. I guess this is just a difference in blogging theory.

Overall, I'm very glad to be reviewed. I really enjoy I Talk Too Much and I think it is only fair that if I'm going to comment and rip on other blogs, that they should be able to rip on mine. That being said, I think it is lame that the reviewers don't post their own personal blogs. It's cowardly. If someone says my blog is "crap-a-diddly-crap crap crap" I would love to see what they are doing that is so great.

The only opinions that I truly respect are the people who comment and open themselves up to criticism too. To all of them, good or bad, I thank you, and keep up the good work.



Posted by Brandon |

MC over at Culture Kills... has got me hooked on The Strip Generator. Here is my first attempt in which I imagine what my inauguration day speech will be like once I'm elected president. Note that when I saved the strip, it goofed up the first frame a bit...

Yeah, like after writing all of this crap I could ever be president, I shot that straight out of the water. This blog may preclude me from any elected office. That and my lack of a college degree or the motivation to run.

You know what I am looking forward to? In 30 years, someone will run for president or major office that had a MySpace page full of pictures of them doing beer bongs and keg stands from when they were a teenager. Somebody will dig up an archive of the page and it will bring down their entire campaign. It will be the funniest scandal ever.


Your Weekend Harold and Kumar Fix

Posted by Brandon |

I hesitate to post anything from YouTube today because I was just checking my stats and found a referral from I Talk Too Much that may or may not have come from someone reviewing my site. The address looked suspiciously like a post preview, so judgment day could be coming soon and they seem to hate people who post YouTube videos. But I love this clip, so what the hell.

I just hope that they reviewed the site after I found massive problems in how the page displayed in IE. It worked fine before, but sometime recently it went haywire. I couldn't fix it, so I scrapped the three column format and we are back to a two column layout. I'm not finished updating and fixing, so please bear with me. I have nothing else to do this weekend, so hopefully I can get this place looking spiffy again soon.

Goddamn, they are going to tear me a new one, aren't they?


Olympia Murals: Star Wars

Posted by Brandon |

First of all, go check out my new renter, Recommended. You'll find a bunch of really cool stuff and if we do good, maybe Down With Pants! will get recommended. One can only hope.

Continuing on in my two (or three, or four) part series of Olympia Murals that I photographed during my trip home last weekend, I bring to you my favorite downtown mural. On the old Old School Pizzeria building near the corner of 4th Ave and West Bay Drive, this wicked Star Wars mural encompasses the entire side of this two story building, windows and all.

Painted in 1995, almost exclusively done graffiti style with spray paint, this mural stands as a tribute to the mix of hipness and nerdiness that typifies Olympians and makes the city great.

Admittedly, the artwork on this one isn't totally up to par. Princess Leia looks awful. She has one humongous eye and doesn't appear to have a second. And the either Lando or Hans frozen in carbonite looks more like Sammy Davis Jr. But you gotta love how badass Boba Fett and the Jawa look. And a huge Yoda head just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even if he looks disturbingly like Mickey Rooney.

The other thing that I love about this mural is that it is almost completely unknown. It sits near a major intersection in downtown, but because it is on the wrong way side of a one way street, hardly anybody has ever seen it. I only saw it because I turn around a lot farther than most when I check my blindspot before changing lanes, one day I just happened to make a lane change there and it caught my eye.

I'm glad it did, because now whenever I make it home to Oly, I make a point to visit this mural. It's one of my favorite places in one of my favorite towns.


Olympia Murals: Marvel Comics

Posted by Brandon |

I love Downtown Olympia. It's a vibrant, happening kind of place full of cool shops, fun bars, tasty restaurants, interesting architecture and random art. It has had it's ups and downs but right now, Downtown Oly looks incredible. Almost all of the buildings are occupied, new businesses are moving in, old buildings are being renovated and the mural painters have taken over.

Some cities have murals, usually depicting boring scenes of their heritage. Olympia has some of these too, but there is also a place for more adventurous and interesting murals that better represent what Olympia is all about now.

Old School Pizzeria has played host to two of these murals, one on their old building and one on their new building. Tonight's mural (above), a detailed tribute to Marvel Comics, is on their new building on Franklin between State Street and Fourth Ave in the heart of downtown. It covers the entire side of the building standing nearly 20 feet tall and is filled to the brim with superheroes.

I'm always amazed at the amount of detail in this mural. I'm not a comic book geek, so I don't know every single character displayed, but I'm sure that they are all there. Every time I see it I find more and more heads, I never even noticed Spiderman until this time and he is huge.

I'll admit that it isn't the most original piece of artwork, neither is the other Old School mural (my personal favorite that you will see tomorrow) but it perfectly fits in with the vibe of Olympia and is so striking and so detailed that it demands your attention. It's a very unique piece of Olympia and is just another reason that I love that town.

Plus the pizza next door is really, damn good and the pinball machines are really, damn old. Pizza, pinball and superheroes, does it get any better than that?


The Return of the Best Man

Posted by Brandon |

I'm back. I have been in my hometown for the past week so I could be the best man in my best friend's wedding. It was a simple, Lutheran wedding followed by a slow-to-get-going but eventually wild reception. Once the DJ started playing some good tunes people got excited and there ended up being more dancing than at my wedding, which was kind of a surprise. We had a great time and I couldn't be happier for my buddy and his new wife. I hope they are enjoying Cabo.

At the reception, I gave a toast for the first time. I was really happy with it. It seemed to get a lot of laughs and was well received around the room and luckily, the bride and groom both enjoyed it. So in lieu of real content, I bring my first toast to you, in all of it's glory (names truncated for some reason or another)...

Hi Everybody. I'm the best man Brandon. I have known J (the groom) since the 7th grade when we were both in "C" hall at Chinook Middle School and we have been best friends ever since. J has been such a great friend. I have moved around the country quite a bit and have been kind of a flake from time to time, I'm not very good about making phone calls, I'm not the best candidate for a best friend. But through it all, there have only been a couple of people who have put up with me: my parents, my wife and J. So thank you for being such a great friend.

I just have to say how relieved I am that J made it here today. Throughout the years there have been many, many injuries. The first injury I remember was when somebody fell on top of him and broke his arm. It was just foreshadowing things to come. Let's see, we've had a broken arm, a torn groin, a dislocated kneecap, a torn ACL, he ran over his hand with the dough mixer at the Pizza Place, a ruptured appendix. In fact, I asked him if he wanted to go play basketball earlier this week and he said that he couldn't run the risk of breaking something this close to the wedding.

But I'm very happy that the surgeons and doctors were able to put him back together so he could meet his match in C (the bride). I'm not totally sure when I first met C officially, although I do know that these two met while golfing in high school. But my first memory of C was a night in Pullman when a group of us, including J and C, wandered around town crashing parties. The night was innocent enough, just good clean fun, but somehow or another it ended in a wrestling match. J was fighting for C's honor, years before they were to become an item. Despite the fact that the match ended with J in a sleeper hold, immobilized, covered with rug burns and bruises, I knew right then that J was serious about this girl. An embarrassing display like that was destined to lead somewhere, eventually. In fact, I heard that when J proposed to C, her first words after "Yes" were "You had me at OUCH! YOU'RE BREAKING MY NECK!"

So when J told me that he was dating C a couple of years ago I was very, very happy because I knew that it was meant to be. I knew this day was coming and now that it is here, I just have to say that you guys make a great couple and I know that you will be very happy together. A girl with a single digit handicap and a guy who is lucky to not be handicapped, how could it get any better than that. (I missed that last line, I got a little choked up and forgot it and mumbled something else)

So let's raise our glasses up and toast two things. First, N and L's (groom's parents) health insurance and the miracle of modern health care. And to J and C. May married life always be straight drives and fairways and if not, may you always chip out of the rough. Cheers!


Greetings From Olympia

Posted by Brandon |

First of all, don't take Amtrak anywhere unless you have a ton of time and patience. I spent 36 hours on the train over the weekend (we had six hours of delays). It was relaxing and all, but still, when you are sitting there barely creeping along drinking a $1.75 soda watching cars zoom by you, you start to question your decision.

Anyway, I'm back in my hometown of Olympia, Washington for the week. I'm the best man in my best friend's wedding. I have a Van Dyke, Wyatt Earp mustache kind of thing going that I doubt his wife is going to like that I might have to shave, I'm sleeping on the couch because my brother and his girlfriend have moved back in before he moves to California too, and Italy is in the World Cup finals. I couldn't be friggin' happier.

Just kidding, I love to be home no matter the problems. It's just so much more down to earth and laid back than Southern California. I started to think that there really wasn't any difference, but over the past two days it has become obvious that the chasm is deep and wide. For god sakes, people here use there blinkers, and not just on accident.

But I'm rambling. Just wanted to let you know that posting will be sporadic on both Down With Pants! and The Sports Logo Pundit until I return on Monday afternoon. But I'm sure I will have a full weeks worth of posts just about this trip once I get back, I could write a book alone about my grandparents.