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Archive for October, 2012

Our local Chipotle is running a gimmick where you got a free burrito if you dressed up as said burrito for Halloween. If you are unfamiliar with Chipotle or its wacky step brother Qdoba, they are both restaurants which masquerade as Mexican. I know its hard to believe they aren’t completely authentic Mexican, what with the tacos, and the dark red color pallet that makes the cactus in the corner seem less out of place.

I once saw an actual Mexican working at Chipotle and was tempted to ask if he was trying to inspire someone to write Mexico’s version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Of course, when I say that he was “Mexican,” I mean that his family originated somewhere between the U.S.-Mexico border and the Southern most tip of South America. Possibly from certain parts of Asia. He could have been Mongolian or something. There’s no way to know.

The rules for this burrito give away were stated simply, but left many questions unanswered. Exactly how accurate a depiction of a burrito do you have to turn yourself into to warrant free food? They can’t exactly be sticklers on the costume requirements. Surely if I approach the counter wrapped in a blanket and a sign that states “I’m a burrito,” they would be obligated to give me a greasy, delicious burrito immediately, right?

It’s not like they gave any actual criteria. There aren’t panels that appoint burrito costume judges. It would be absurd, not to mention a logistical nightmare.

Forget the blanket. Next time they run this promotion I’m going for my burrito in jeans and a t-shirt and holding my hands in the air as I walk in as if to say “here I am!” When they inquire as to why I am raising my hands in the aforementioned fashion I will look at them slightly confused. “Um…I’m a burrito. Hello!” Would they dare question a sincere effort to pass off your street clothes as a burrito costume? I can’t honestly say that I think they would.

They clearly didn’t think through this promotion very well.

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Pete, did you know that birthdays are known to have been celebrated as far back as 4236 B.C.? A recent study suggests that there have been 108 billion humans born on earth. All of them having, by necessity, at least one birthday. There have literally been trillions of birthdays celebrated.

The idea that etiquette dictates that I recognize this day as unique in some way is, frankly, offensive.

It’s particularly egregious when people tell you to “enjoy your special day.” Special day?!?!? Seriously?

Shouldn’t we be celebrating actual accomplishments or things that make you slightly different than everyone else? Even the most minor accomplishment is more note worthy than a birthday.

“Congratulations on your lack of chronic back pain!”

“Congratulations for not developing a degenerative gambling addiction!”

Ridiculous you say? Both those things are far more unique to you than your possession of a birthday. Your uniqueness as a person is actually diminished by having a birthday.

I haven’t even gotten into the arbitrary weight that we give calendars when celebrating birthdays. A specific date means nothing, and has no more real correlation to any previous date than any other previous date. Calendars are just a way for us to comprehend the incessant, unstoppable, depressing passing of time. Nothing more.

All you are really saying is that “the earth made one more revolution around the sun since I was born.”

Who cares, Pete? Who cares?

While my desire to be a rational person dictates that I cannot offer you a meaningless, rote “happy birthday,” I do consider you a friend, and I find your recognition of specific dates as unique because of what previously happened on said date endearing.

So…

October 27th is the day Turkmenistan first celebrated independence from the USSR in 1991. It was a triumph for human liberty.

Happy Turkmenistan Independence Day, buddy! Better dead than Red!

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In the early part of the 17th century, Rene Descartes began a quest to find something he could believe in with absolute certainty. He began as the epitome of skepticism, doubting everything. He eventually concluded that, though it was certainly not a given, he did in fact exist. He then penned what is possibly the most recognized philosophical quote of all time; “I think therefore I am.”

Serious philosophers are just that. Thomas Hobbes said that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Sure, you’ve heard many a college professor laud Nietzsche’s “God is dead” as ground breaking. Yet our pal Friedrich was severely depressed and died paralyzed and with severe dementia brought on by syphillis. Take that hedonism.

The history of philosophy and those who claim it’s name is filled with depressed, depraved, suicidal, mentally ill, nut jobs. In fact, in all areas of life it would seem that the more intelligent you are the more depressed you are. The two are nearly synonymous. Without proper guidance, understanding what your philosophy professor is telling you will leave you a depressed and confused mess. Just stay away. Ignorance is bliss. Just ask your dog.

With that said, I would like to introduce a new series of posts entitled Basement Philosophy.

I was thinking about different directions I could go with my writing, when it hit me. The unexamined life is not worth living. That’s good I thought to myself. I should write that down and share it with the world.

We will take a look various philosophers and their ideas to see which of them hold up and which we can laugh at. Because as I always say, we should laugh at those who disagree with us. Write that down.

By taking even this whimsical look at the history of philosophy we can only hope that  our depression will increase, as it will probably mean that we are getting smarter. Which is all that matters.

Hold it you say? That’s not true? Someone once said “Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? What great philosopher said that you ask? Plato? Aristotle? Kant? No, it was Alan Alda and should be disregarded entirely.

See? We’re learning things already. The sky is already a little less blue, and the flowers aroma has lost a tiny bit of it’s sweetness.

I hope I have sufficiently whetted your appetite.

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Unsolicited opinions are an epidemic.

This wouldn’t be wholly intolerable if it weren’t for the fact that most people’s ability to think seems to be approximately on par with a slightly above average dolphin. No disrespect to dolphins intended.

(I like to start off on an upbeat note. Sets the tone. Draws the reader in. I did that on porpoise. See what I did there? Porpoise…purpose…dolphins. That’s gold. This is going well.)

Whoever foolishly invented the internet only exacerbated the problem. Suddenly every girl who knows how to use the black and white setting on a digital camera thinks they are Annie Leibovitz, and worse, people now have a platform to publicly display their crazy ideas. They always had them but only the lucky few who could get on TV or in the newspaper could share them. This new reality is dangerous.

Now, has my opinion been solicited? No. No, I cannot say it has, and frankly I’m tired of waiting for all you people to realize that within the menagerie of uninformed opinions that make no sense and untrained people masquerading as professionals, I offer untrained, semi-informed opinions that occasionally make sense. Which given the current market means that my thoughts should be a hot commodity. Yet, to date, nobody has even vetted me.

I’m not bitter. Just confused.

So instead of waiting around any further for independent sources to seek out my services, I will once again attempt to carve out my piece of the unsolicited opinion pie. You might not have known that said pie existed, but it does. 
And my piece is going to be the best piece. Like the one with extra filling and lots of whip cream, and your grandma saved it for you because you fell off your bike on your 6th birthday. Maybe I’m getting too specific. Listen, it doesn’t matter what kind of pie it is, or if your 6th birthday was as hellish an experience as mine. The point is it’s a pie, and I’m claiming a chunk of it, and I love pie. I hope you enjoy my pie as much as I do.

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