Museum Artifact

I was recently doing some work at the Science Museum of Virginia.  Tucked away in a corner, near some side doors that we were bringing exhibits in, was a little sign with an attached shelf.  On the shelf was a zinc coated nut.  The sign said, "This artifact is from the collection of The Science Museum of Virginia. Please Be Kind & Do Not Touch."


I thought this was a very funny joke. The museum not taking itself very seriously. Very nice.

Then a few days later, I realized that this sign was next to a very obvious display of a model train and that the Do Not Touch was for the train and that the nut was just something that someone picked up off of the floor and put on the shelf that was attached to the sign.


I am not a smart man.

Dear HolyJuan: Can I remain friends with a Trump voter?

Dear HolyJuan,
I just found out that my friend is going to vote for Donald Trump. I really like this person and I would like to remain friends with them, but, I mean… they are going to vote for Donald Trump.  Any advice?

Signed,
Concerned Friend

Dear Concerned,
If there’s one thing I have, it’s advice. Except now.
There is no real good answer to this question because it really wasn’t a question.  Your only question was, “Any advice?” and I didn’t really even answer that question.
Let me turn your email into a question for you:

Dear HolyJuan,
Should I remain friends with my friend who is going to vote for Donald Trump?
Signed, Better Question Asking Concerned Friend

Dear Better Question Asking Concerned Friend,
The short answer is no. No, you cannot remain friends. Unfriend them from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Delete their email address. Rip up any photos. Avoid the same strip clubs you used to frequent together. Burn the digeridoo they gave you for your birthday. Format the area of your brain in which their memories are saved. Finally, delete the nudes from your phone that they accidentally sent you one drunken night and you never told them. One last look, then delete.

The longer answer is yes, of course you can still be friends. You can’t let silly things like political leanings ruin a friendship. Friends get through tough times. Friends have each other’s back, even when you start to doubt their sanity. You will still be friends… but you will be turd eating friends. What I mean by that is imagine that you caught your friend eating a turd… you accidently walk on them in the bathroom and they are knees down in front of the toilet with a turd half in their hand and half in their mouth, munching away. They turn and look at you, brown faced. You say you are sorry and back out. You never mention the turd eating again. You both pretend like it never happened… but it did. You saw it. And every time you look at that friend, you will think about the turd eating. About what kind of frame of mind they had to be in to eat a turd. About how many turds they’ve eaten since. And if they eat turds, what else will they eat? You will still be friends… but you are friends with a Trump voter. I mean, a turd eater.

Yes, you can remain friends with someone when they say they are going to vote for Trump. I just wouldn’t kiss them.

Love,
HolyJuan


Awesome Things to Keep In Your Car Trunk

This is not going to be a list about jumper cables, a wool blanket, toilet paper and kitty litter.  Your dad can tell you what items you should have in your trunk for an emergency.  This list is about the other things you should have in your trunk to be Awesome.

Reflective Vest, Hard Hat and Clipboard

At some point in your life, you will want to be somewhere where you are not supposed to be.  This could be a concert you don’t have tickets to or into an Apple Store when there is an iPhone released.  A hard hat alone will get you into 75% of places you are not supposed to be. You throw in a reflective vest and clipboard and you will most certainly be allowed to pass into any venue.  The key to sneaking around is to look like you belong. Gather these items from your trunk, put them on and go through a back door or access hallway. These items not only make you look like you should be there, but you might find yourself actually running the event or changing the architecture on a major bridge project. It also works as a great Halloween costume in a pinch.





Framed, Autographed Photo of Yourself with Double Sticky Tape
Self-respecting New York Delis and upstanding bars throughout the country fill their walls with autographed photos of their customers. Instead of wasting your time winning a Nobel Prize or directing a major motion film, just keep an autographed, framed photo in your trunk. Use very high bond, double sticky tape so that you don’t have to bother with nails or screws.  Walk in, add your face to their wall and then demand free food/drinks.  If you are like me, you keep several framed photos in the car with a sharpie so that the photo can be personalized to the location.

A Roll of Toilet Paper

OK. So I lied about the toilet paper. But I’m not talking about emergency craps on the side of the Interstate between the car door and your embarrassed spouse holding a jacket to hide your shame.  I’ve got something more nefarious in mind.
We all have an enemy. If you don’t, get one. It’s great to focus your own personal failings on someone else. Late at night, when you are driving past your enemy’s house, jump out and use that one roll of toilet paper to TP a tree/shrub. You don’t have to use the whole roll.  Just get a good foundation going and then leave the rest of roll.  The next morning, your enemy will walk out and see this attack upon their homestead.  They are going to think two things:

1. They have been attacked and they don’t know why.
2. The attack was halted, as only one roll was partially used, and the perpetrators will be back to finish the job.

You now have created a paranoid enemy.  They’ll constantly be looking over their shoulder. They’ll stay up late at night, hiding in the bushes with a shotgun, waiting to take out the next person who steps in their yard.  Over time, they’ll become exhausted, go crazy and get arrested for shooting the paper delivery girl.  Then it’s time for you to get another roll of toilet paper and a new enemy.  

Two Sets of Jumper Cables
OK. So I lied about the jumper cables.
Here’s the deal.  Anyone asking you for a jumpstart is really at the bottom of the barrel. They don’t have AAA. They knew their battery was shitty and they didn’t replace it. They don’t have friends because otherwise they wouldn’t be asking you.  On top of that… they don’t even have jumper cables. Their life sucks. But you are Awesome and you come to their rescue. You give them the jump they need to get their car started.  And on top of that… you GIVE them your 2nd set of jumper cables. Let’s be honest… if their car has died once, it’s going to die again.  They’ll need those jumper cables.  Plus, it will leave a lifelong impression on them, just like it did to me.



Choosing The Perfect Card

There is no perfect card that you can buy off the rack.  There are cards that are close, but perfect cards have to be created and not purchased.  But I don't have time to make my own card. Plus all the grammar and neatness... bleck.

So instead, I will buy a card that isn't even close and turn it into The Perfect Card:

First, buy a card. It really doesn't matter what card you buy. Words on the front usually work best. This card below was for Beth and Eric's wedding. As you can see, this has very little to do with a wedding. That's fine. If you are good, you can Photoshop your edits. If you are me, you use markers.



Next, get your tools. For this card, I'll be using blue and red sharpies and a huge carpenters L thingy for drawing straight lines.  I don't know what I was thinking.



Finally, make The Perfect Card edits. remove the words that don't work, replace them with words that do.


And that is how you Chose the Perfect Card. If you want, you can print this out and edit it for your Perfect Card.

Found: Flashlight

I found a flashlight in our yard as I was mowing. It was extremely nice. When I turned it on outside, it made the sun dim a little bit. Once inside, I looked it up online and it was worth about $150. A very nice flashlight.  My immediate thought was to sell it on eBay. But I knew that this flashlight was nice enough that the person who lost it would be looking for it.  I created a cryptic post on our neighborhood website.

Found: Flashlight
"Why are you making a post about a flashlight?"
I know. It sounds silly, but it looks really cool, it's about as bright as the sun and when I looked it up online, it had a value of $100 - $200 dollars. So I assume that someone's kid borrowed it for Halloween, dropped it in my yard and some mom or dad is really sad that it is missing. If you are missing this flashlight, describe it via private message and I'll get it back to you.



Within 20 minutes I got a reply. The guy knew exactly what it was, make and model. He just lived down the block and said he could pop by.  I never thought in my life that the person would be thankful enough to make up for the quick $75 I could have made on eBay. He was so thankful. It had been a treasured gift from his son. It's a tactical flashlight. He was so distraught when he found it was missing. He is a cancer survivor. He showed me how it clicked into the special holster it came with. He is 65. He took that flashlight on all the walks with his dog at night. We shook hands. He said thanks for the third time. And he left.

Annie said he walked really fast for someone who was that old.

How to Fake Being a Beer Connoisseur


If you are like me, you don’t know anything about craft beer or imports or even the pale yellow stuff that comes in a gimmicky bottle. For the adventurous, one way of learning about beer would be to take one of the various beer tasting class where they teach you how to order, look at and smell a beer before tasting. But if you don’t have the time, do what I do: fake it.

Most people don’t care what you know about beer.  Friendly beer drinkers find out what other beers you like and make suggestions. But there’s always going to be that guy at the office or the girl who’s dating your best friend who tries to win influence and gain respect by throwing around terms like hops and Lovibond and Parnesian Slow Drip Open Cask Fermentation Technique. If you find yourself backed in a corner and you have to fake beer knowledge, follow these steps.

Ordering
It’s best to ask your beer nemesis what they suggest.  Let them make the first move. No matter what they say, just reply, “Are you going to drink that out of a tall boy PBR can?” This will A) make them second guess their choice and B) wonder for the rest of the evening what the hell you were talking about. While they are still reeling, tell the bartender you’ll have the beer that has the most animals carved into the tap.

Color
Somehow the color of beer affects the taste or the taste of the beer affects the color.  I don’t know. What I do know is that you can stare at a beer for a good long time. Take a couple angles on it: over the top, through the glass, from the bottom. Then, without a taste or a smell, send it back and ask for something else. When your companion starts to question your actions, ignore them, look at their beer and say, “Are you really going to drink that poisonous swill?”

Waft and Tent
Once another brew shows up, make a big show of smelling the beer.  I like to set the beer on the table and use both hands to shovel the air over top the glass into my face.  It’s best to make questioning noises at first and then work your way into agreement mumblings and finally full out orgasmic grunts.   Then, put both hands over top of the glass like a tent and stick your nose in the opening. Turn your head and exhale then dive right back in.  Once you are finished, proclaim that the beer is slightly earthy with an acrid tooth.

Temperature
Hold the glass to your face.  Ask the beer connoisseur at the table if the beer feels too cold. If they touch the glass with their hand to test the temperature,  say, “Oh, you don’t use the Trappist Monk technique?” If they ask what the Trappist Monk technique is, smile and say, “I’m sorry, I've said too much already.”

Taste
Here’s where it gets tough.  By this time, your beer nemesis will be thrown off by your bizarre techniques and will want to step up with their knowledge of both taste and ingredients. Let them! Just reply back to anything they say with, “I can see where you would say that,” or “I’m sure that’s probably what you were taught.”  If they start to question your questioning, just gargle the beer while they are talking and then reply, “What did you say? I couldn't hear you during my Over Tasting procedure.”  If they start talking again, gargle louder.  After about three minutes of gargling, you should look down to see that they are gone.

Congratulations! You've won. Now order a tall boy PBR and let that cold, tasteless swill join the pride that fills your belly.  But not before you give it a good tent wafting!


Five Year Obituary Tradition


Obituaries are no fun if you can’t read them, especially when it’s your own. If everyone else is like me, people like to hear about themselves, both good and bad.  Most people have a yearly review at work to let them know how they are doing. As people, we only get one review and it’s after we die.

I have an idea called the Five Year Obituary.  Every five years, someone should write your obituary. Sum up what you’ve done with your awesome/miserable life. It will either be a tear jerking, reminiscent walk down a path paved with your successes or it will make you realize that you’ve got to get your shit together before you die.

While I have suggest in the past that you should write your own obituary, I think that this one should be written by a close friend that can drop the truth on you without you being too offended by it.  You should go into this with an open mind and allow your life summation to be both a pat on the back and a kick in the butt.

A yearly obituary would be tedious. If you only reflect on your life every ten years, you won’t have good opportunities to get your hearse pointed back in the right direction. 

Find a good friend and ask them to write your obituary. What causes have you donated your time to? Where have you explored? What lives have you changed? Who looks up to you? How many hot dogs can you eat in 10 minutes and how can we get that number up by the next Five Year Obituary?


Try it and let me know how it goes.  Mine currently just has a “born on” date, so I’ve got a bit of work to do with my life.

Ten Actual Han Solo Quotes That Sound Dirty

10. Thanks for coming after me. I owe you one.

9. No, no, no! This one goes there, that one goes there.

8. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.

7. Oh. I thought they smelled bad... on the outside!

6. Great, kid. Don't get cocky.

5. Besides, I know a few maneuvers.

4. Get in there, you big furry oaf! I don't care what you smell!

3. Great shot, kid, that was one in a million!

2. Now let's blow this thing and go home.

1. Sorry about the mess!

Crap that Shouldn’t Be Happening at a Wedding Reception

I was going to call this Top Ten Wedding Reception Pet Peeves, but I can’t stand people that have pet peeves. Instead, here is a list of ten items of which you should take note and try to avoid when planning a wedding reception. I apologize for making fun of you if you have already had your wedding reception and did one of these items.

Long Time Between the Service and Reception
I understand that you really wanted your service at Church X and that you couldn't have your reception anywhere but Place Y and that Photographer Z could only do the group shots after the wedding and to coordinate all those desires you have a three hour gap between the wedding and the reception. I know that you’ll be busy in that time, but I have absolutely nothing to do except to sit in a bar and drink. Now all of a sudden you got a reception full of people that have been angrily drinking for three hours. For your next marriage, (because there’s no way that anyone who planned that bullshit will ever keep a spouse) have both the wedding and the reception at the bingo hall. (Of course, there were two months between my wedding and the reception. Guilty as charged.)

Not Getting “The Business” Done
Once you realized that the wedding and reception should be back to back, you also need to understand that a wedding isn't a kid's birthday party where you need to spread out the activities through the whole event. In your planning, make sure you cram all that traditional crap all together in the first 30 minutes of the reception. I expect the Best Man / Chick of Honor speech to run right into the cake cutting and as you are wiping the cake off your face you should be having your first dance/dance with dad and then throw the bouquet. Then everyone can drink uninterrupted or leave as they see fit. Don’t be a prima donna and stretch out all the fluff and have everything perfectly staged and managed. Get in, get it done, get out.

Not Enough Bartenders
I am a big fan of open bar, but I understand that your friends are alcoholics and that a cash bar helps to slow them down. What I can’t stand is when a wedding of 200 has one bar with two bartenders. If I am stuck in line with an empty glass, that means that I’ll also be stuck talking with one of your spouse’s relatives. You don’t want me to talk to your spouse’s relatives because I might let the mountain goat story slide out and I don’t think the statute of limitations is up on that one, pal. A reception should have a minimum of two bartenders with one bartender for every 50 people. And while I think a cash bar is fine for wine and liquor, pony up the cash for a keg or two so that your poor friends that could only afford to get you a box of Tide as a gift can have something to drink.

BETH EDIT: I recently went to Beth's wedding and she had a great idea. As people moved from the wedding to the reception, (the wedding and reception were back to back, see the section "Long Time Between the Service and Reception"), servers made their way into the crowd with trays of wine and beer.  Everyone had a drink within five minutes. Absolutely brilliant.

The DJ Who Thinks He's Actually A DJ
Don’t trust your buddy with an iPod and two speakers to DJ your wedding. Hire a real DJ. But during your interview, make sure you tell them that 4/5th of their payment will be held back until after the event and possibly forfeited if they break any of the following rules:
#1 No Macarena
#2 Only ONE line dance
#3 Stick to the genres of music that will be provided to you before the event. Don’t stray.
#4 NO FUCKING CONGA LINE
#5 The DJ is allowed to give their phone number out to one pre-approved guest.
#6 No props.
#7 If I see a disco ball or a single multicolor rotating light, you will be beaten with a rental folding chair. Either come with a $35,000 lighting show or don’t bring anything.
#8 You get one drink when the wedding is ¾ done. You can drink any of the leftovers when the reception is over.
#9 Do you really need an assistant? You are hitting NEXT on an iPod for fucks sake.
#10 And most of all… don’t give color commentary on anything that any one is doing. You are to speak only when announcing events as they happen. Don’t tell us what song you are going to play next. Don’t tell us how lovely the bride looks. Don’t mention that Aunt Eleanor is really shaking it with that new hip. Just keep hitting play and you’ll get your check.

Release the Tables
If you can't afford the extra $15,000 to have servers bring the dry chicken and salty asparagus to your guests, you might decide to have a buffet. That’s fine because your guests aren’t really worth the extra money. But if you do have a buffet, don’t leave it up to your guests to decide when they should stand up to go stand in line. Release the tables by number or have a couple of family members do it for you. Just don’t pretend like your starving guests can regulate the line. Someone is going to ditch Aunt Elenaor and she has been pretty feisty since she got that hip replaced. I once attended a wedding where the father of the bride walked into a room with over 250+ people in it and said, “The buffet line is open,” and left. 250+ people looked at each other for six seconds and then stood up in unison to head towards the food. Miss Sally and I walked the fuck out.

Invite Guests at the Last Minute
Don’t invite last minute guests that you meet through the wedding process. It’s bad enough you have to invite the padre and the photographer. At a wedding recently, one of the guests asked about two of the scantily clad guests who were spending a lot of time grinding on relatives and each other. The reply was that the two girls were the strippers from the bachelor party and the groom took such a liking to them that he invited them to the wedding. TRUE STORY.

Cake Smash
Don’t smash the cake in each other’s faces. And if you do, plan it out ahead of time so you both do it to each other in some fun way that will make it to YouTube so that you can generate some ad revenue and pay for the third and fourth bartender.

People Not Dancing
This one has to do more with a combination of the DJ and the guests, but I clearly blame the guests for this one. Receptions must be successful. Even if the bride and groom do everything as instructed above, the reception can fail if you, the guest, don’t dance. Don’t make the bride pull you off your chair and on to the dance floor. Suck it up for one night and dance. If you see the floor is empty, tell your pals to get off their asses and at least sway out on the dance floor. This is the one opportunity for the DJ to use his “Line Dance” card. Make sure he doesn’t blow it in the first ten minutes of the reception. Come on… just dance. You saw Footloose, Willard… you know how to dance.

The “Kill You” Speech
I didn’t think this one was real, but I have witnessed it at three (yes, three) weddings. At some point during the Best Man speech, someone, either a family member or close female friend, will profess their family/friend love of the bride and then say something along the lines of, “…and if you ever hurt her, I (we) will hunt you down and kill you.” Are you fucking kidding me? You might be saying it in jest, but it makes you sound A) creepy and B) creepy. Just tell them how happy you are for them and sit down. And really, if you feel the need to say this, look at your own meaningless, empty life and try to figure out why you feel the need to say such things. There is still hope for you. Maybe.

Complainers
You are familiar with this list and understand that some people make mistakes in the planning of their receptions. Now keep it to yourself, asshole. There is a time and a place to complain about a reception and that is the day after. Don’t bitch about the DJ or the bartenders or how long shit is taking during the reception. You are a guest and you should act like one. Get off you ass and dance. Stand in the bar line and chat it up with Uncle Chris. Laugh at the DJs commentary about how the Bride and Groom will be (insert sexual innuendo here) later. No one is perfect. Especially the guy who had his reception in a bingo hall, with no DJ except for a crappy CD player, had volunteer bartenders, and will never ever ever be allowed to help plan with his wedding reception again. At some point I will, I mean, he will have to throw a second one to make up for the first.

Poly

I met Freckled Jenn and Eric at a brewery called Lineage. She suckered be in by telling me they had a Wheat beer infused with Sour Patch Kids.  I went through two sets of tires driving to the place as fast as I did.

I was the first to arrive, seeing as I drove there so fast that my car tires made the Earth rotate backwards and caused time to reverse. I ordered a Kimmy Gibbler and sat at the high table that faces the parking lot. I only had to wait as long as it took the Earth to catch up with itself for them to arrive.

Freckled Jenn was very interested to hear about my trip to Turkey. I probably talked for 30 minutes straight about salty cheese and feral cats and carpenters that didn’t know how to carpenter. Jenn is a good listener and asked good questions like, “You know that prostitution is cheating, even if you are in a different country,” and “why didn’t you just buy a new pair of underwear?”

Eric rejoined us after speaking with one of his buddies who runs the kitchen. We immediately started discussing the women of Turkey. I hadn’t  an opportunity to go looking for beautiful people, so I had not seen a whole lot. There were a few very pretty people we saw at out and about, but none that I thought were stunning. I was convinced that I wouldn’t see beautiful woman the whole time. But then on my last night, I met one of Metin’s friends. She owns a Nutella store. Holy smokes she was pretty and very nice.  She spoke english and was very interested in what we were doing in Turkey.  But Jenn was tired of hearing about other pretty girls, so we decided to have one more beer and Jenn and I went up to the bar to get a round.

At the bar, we ran into a couple who were sitting near the end. They looked like a couple, but then again, Jenn and I probably looked like a couple. We talked about Bloody Marys and buying liquor as we waiting for the bartender to take our order.  We somehow got into celery salt and Worcestershire when I made a joke about my wife and Jenn’s husband. The other couple questioned if we were a couple and then they got excited and said, “Are you poly?”

Poly. Polly? Poly!

Oh! Polyamorous. Like, we would all go back to your place and roll on the IKEA carpet? I did think it was odd that the guy kept mentioning how he was texting his girlfriend, but that the girl next to him kept affectionately rubbing his back. 

Before I had a chance to say, "yes," Jenn said no, but she heard there were poly couples in the area. Jenn had recently seen an article in 614 Magazine and was familiar. The couple didn’t act disappointed as much as they acted disappointed.  We got our drinks, said our goodbyes and went back over to Eric, telling him about our adventure.  We all stared at them sitting at the bar, waiting for them to try and absorb another couple, but instead they left to go roll on their carpet alone together.

I did end up drinking a Wheat beer infused with Sour Patch Kids. It wasn’t as good as it sounded. I'm wondering what a poly relationship of Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, vodka and wheat beer would be like. Sans the carpet.