Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Closed for the Holidays?

Many businesses take a few days off for the holiday season. Some take a full week.

It seems that we at The Writings feel the length of such breaks is not nearly sufficient. As a result, it's been over two weeks since the last blog update. Never fear, dear readers, updates are on the horizon; exciting updates involving topics like:

- A look back at 2009.

- The emergence of the K-State men's basketball team.

- The folks one encounters at games for the aforementioned team.

- The manipulative minds of one-year-olds.

- And, of course, yet another update from the neighborhood Burger King.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Lesson of the Day

During the course of tonight's Monday Night Football game I have experienced a laundry list of feelings, including:
- confidence;
- discouragement;
- joy;
- outrage;
- insecurity;
- denial;
- acceptance;
- exuberance;
- fear; and finally,
- relief.

All aforementioned feelings took place because the semi-finals of my fantasy football league hinged on this game.

The lesson, as always: I really have no life.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Attention Shoppers

Christmas is just around the corner (figuratively) and I've still got holiday shopping to complete. Luckily for this guy, we live in the age of online shopping, meaning I can buy gifts from the comfort of my couch, rather than doing something as physically taxing as walking in a store. The web contains a bevy of options for shoppers who enjoy avoiding human interaction at all costs, with one of the most popular being the online auction site, ebay. As a service to you, the reader*, I'm scouring ebay to find the best deals this holiday season. Sit tight, because you'll be in a bidding-war in no time.

*Replace "reader" with any of the following, as necessary: indifferent observer, lovesick stalker, bloodlusting stalker, confused person looking for something with literary value, individual researching different ways to whiff on jokes in a blog.

Want to show someone how much they truly mean to you this Christmas. Perhaps you should get them a gift that they'll have for the rest of their lives... and beyond. Imagine how surprised your loved one will be when they unwrap a granite headstone on Christmas morning. For the price of the stone, the seller will even engrave the full name, year of birth, and year of passing. Note: If you purchase one and attempt to predict your loved one's year of passing so that you wouldn't need to have it engraved again later, you may want to go ahead and purchase a stone for yourself - dated 2009 - as well.

Do you have someone with a sweet tooth on your shopping list? Have no fear, 21 packs of Japanese Candy are waiting for your bid. Where else but Japan can you get fruity gummy candy shaped like rice, tuna, octopus, salmon eggs, and broiled eel? I'm not sure what logic went into deciding that the tuna and salmon egg-shaped pieces should be strawberry-flavored, but I'm truly intrigued.

Perhaps you know someone that is very comfortable with their personal body odor, enjoys dressing up in costumes outside of Halloween, and gains unfathomable joy from scaring small children. If so, this Frosty costume is just for you. Oddly, this item currently has no bids. Who wouldn't want to pay nearly $400 to look like a snowman?

For the entertainment buff on your shopping list, what could be better than a hand-signed 8x10* of Kevin Sorbo. Mr. Sorbo not only starred in the epic television series "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys"**, but he showed his acting range by moving on to projects like "Kull the Conquerer" and "Hercules and Xena - The Animated Movie." $17.99 for this item? Hello, bargain.

*Am I the only one that would be more impressed to get a signature that had not been scrawled via hand? Give me a foot-signed photo anyday.

**See? Even the title tells you that the show was legendary.

Are you the cheap sort? The type that doesn't want to buy any gifts for anyone? Believe it or not, ebay can suit your needs, as well. Check out this listing for nothing. Unfortunately for you, it seems that even nothing costs something these days.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Future, Conan?

News came out recently that Kansas City is a finalist on the list of cities being considered as potential World Cup soccer match hosts in 2018 or 2022. In speaking about the possibility, Mayor Mark Funkhouser mentioned that feels soccer is the "sport of the future." Such a proclamation brought forth immediate concern in my mind. After all, in my 27 years as a functioning (mostly) human, the only soccer games I have watched from start to finish were those that involved writing a game story afterward and receiving a (meager) paycheck down the road.

The sport known as football everywhere but in America is one that I have never been able to develop an appreciation of. Frankly, it bores me. Even when I was being paid to attend the games, the "action" often had me pondering more entertaining ways to spend my time before even 10 minutes had passed. Could I teach myself to balance my pen on my chin by the time the game wrapped up? Should I record my own play-by-play commentary on my electronic voice recorder?* If someone plotted my text messaging tendencies in 2006 on a graph, odds are that one would notice considerable peaks during the periods of time I spent watching soccer.

*"There's a kick... another kick... a kick to the fullback... Holy rotunda, another kick!"

Alas, the point of this Writing is not ridicule a sport so many around the world hold dear. The point is to express concern about our future. As a child, television, film, and video games taught me that nearly everything in the future would involve some combination of hoverboards, flying cars, rocket boosters, robots, space colonies, nearly invincible clones, lightweight body armor, meals in pill form, teleportation, and scary-smart artificial intelligence. Childhood Derek would be giddy at the mere thought of a sport that combined even half of those items listed. Now Adult* Derek has learned that - in at least one authority figure's opinion - the sport of the future involves running, kicking, and... more running.

*Term used loosely.

Is this really the best the future can offer? And does it really make sense to call something that has been around for ages the "(blank) of the future"? By this logic, we can say the Geo Metro is the car of the future, ABBA is the band of the future, and Burger Time is the video game of the future. It's my personal thinking that any and all "... of the future" should refer to things that have not yet been created (otterball* is the sport of the future), things that just recently hit the market (Droid is the phone of the future), or things that have yet to gain popularity (The Writings is the blog of the future**).

*What's otterball? Your guess is as good as mine.

**Checking to see if you're paying attention. If the blog of the future involves continual references to professional wrestling, we may all be in trouble.

Will Kansas City host World Cup Soccer in nine and/or 13 years? Only time will tell.

Will soccer be the hottest ticket in town in nine and/or 13 years? Is it the "sport of the future"? With this, I must disagree. Recent Major League Soccer attendance figures for KC seem to indicate that I'm not the only one who feels that way.