Category Archives: Funny

There is no future: the ironic peace of learned hopelessness (#zenofdoc)

We must be prepared to laugh with the universe at the banality of our own immolation.

Full moon. Snowfield, vast
beneath the mountain:

	to understand the 
truth of people, study
their contradictions.

This morning I posted this little koan (minus graphic) to Facebook:

It’s easier to live in the now once you accept there is no future.

I’m hardly the first to trot out a “there is no future” Zen meme. My grasp of Zen philosophy is minimal, at best, but it seems conceptions of the future are perhaps related to the ever-corrosive want, which is an impediment to the ability to live in the now – and the now is all that truly exists.

My friends took the observation in different ways, with roughly an equal distribution of Likes, HaHas and Sads. One friend clearly identified with the trap of indulging in helplessness while others I think invested wholly in a subtle gallows humor that these days accompanies more and more of everything I say.

Was I attempting profundity? Was I being ironic and hopefully funny? A bit of both, honestly.

Many of us are dealing with DTSD. Some cope with anger and resistance. Others are overwhelmed. And there are those for whom that gallows humor thing seems useful for safeguarding sanity.

In my case, the last few years of my life have seen things go every which way except the way I wanted, and I can’t really see an end to it. It’s tempting to give up. The worse things go the more energy is required to maintain hope.

But an odd thing has happened. If you have spent massive energy in keeping goal X alive, and if you have lived with massive stress over the possibility of failing at X, as it becomes clearer over time that X is less and less likely to happen … the stress relents.

The stress has resulted from obsession with the future and with want. If I accept there’s no future, I am liberated from want and stress.

It doesn’t mean the consequences of failing at goals go away, but perhaps letting all that pressure go affords me more emotional and spiritual energy to deal with the evolving now and to invest in the things that bring joy to the now.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” I won’t assert that my intelligence is especially first-rate, but I am at ease when my mind is filled with contradiction and ambivalence.

My koan was intended as dark humor, but it also springs from a place of self-searching and a belief that the truth can be conflicted and brutally ironic. We must be prepared to laugh with the universe at the banality of our own immolation.

I accidentally scared the hell out of my new landlord last night


No cause for alarm…

So, your new tenants have just moved into one of your rental properties in another state. Around 8pm on Thursday you get a brief email from one of the tenants – the man, whom by now you have pegged as the less responsible one – asking:

Hi. Can you tell us where the water shutoff valve is located?

Five minutes later he follows up with this:

With the smoke alarms, do we need to verify that they’re green or is there more?

What do you make of these emails?

Here’s what my landlord replied:

These are questions that are leading me to believe there is an issue I need to be made aware of. Has something happened in the home?

What was happening was we were trying to complete the move-in checklist, which is due today, and finding the shut-off valve and checking the smoke detectors were the last two items on the list. Couldn’t find the valve and wasn’t sure about the detectors because they’re a little different from what I’m used to.

I didn’t really consider it at the time, but yeah, from her perspective those emails might have raised a red flag or two.

If I were trying to be an asshole (and wanted to get evicted three days in) I guess I could have followed up a couple minutes later with:

Sorry to bother you again, but is there a fire extinguisher here?

I’m passionate about job hunting

You can’t make this stuff up. Fortunately, you don’t have to.

I once sat in a meeting and listened as one of our veeps said, and I quote: “I have a real passion for process enhancement.”

I’m trying to imagine what it’s like being in bed with a woman whose passions run toward process enhancement.

Anyhow, I’ve been doing some job hunting lately. And marveling at the things you find in these ads. Some are simply clumsy or overwrought. Like these:

With ______’s signature process, we extract and create highly compelling content, then skillfully package and distribute it in the form of in-person and digital experiences, cross-platform writings, and media coverage of such innate value that influencers, prospective and current customers, and other stakeholders willingly exchange their support, engagement and/or patronage in return.

Well, okay. As long as they do it willingly.

The Copy Writer, needs a flair for partnering to translate inputs into impeccably organized and well- conceived creative solutions.

I applaud them for understanding that they do, in fact, need a copywriter.

There are also some … themes … that make me worry about our nation’s HR professionals. 

Our client is passionate about building smart property insurance solutions that help adjusters and contractors confidently assess inspection data and automate repair scope…


You’re passionate about the power of the marketplace to connect people and you’re fluent in the technologies and strategies that define and shape the modern marketing world.

Passionate? I get wood over the power of the marketplace to connect people.

Do you have a passion for enterprise cloud technology?

My nipples get stiff just thinking about it.

Got a burning desire to sell barbells?

Ummm. You might want to get that burning looked at.

Are you passionate about crafting customer-centric integrated marketing strategies that drive revenue?

For passionate people looking for autonomy and exciting career opportunities, _______ truly has something special inside.

________ is a high growth, Denver-based startup that is redefining vacation rental management and we’re looking for a smart, passionate, and entrepreneurial individual to join us.

We’re currently looking for a relationship-driven, deadline-juggling, PR genius brimming with creative energy and passion to lead our burgeoning internal PR efforts.

Are you marketing automation guru, with a passion for data, looking to make a direct impact on the success of a company?

I second what Inigo said.

Once more, into the breach….

S&R’s 2017 Word of the Year: “re-accommodation”

Is it too early to name something the ______ of the Year? Heck no. Let’s call it.

You probably saw where United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz lamented the need to “re-accommodate” that uncooperative passenger.

What a word, that: “re-accommodation.” It doesn’t just apply to airlines – it’s application is nearly limitless.

Every night in bars across America bouncers re-accommodate unruly guests.

The US government re-accommodated the Japanese during WW2.

The US also re-accommodated the Native Americans. For example, they re-accommodated the Cherokees from NC to Oklahoma (although we have to come up with something better than “Trail of Tears”).

There’s some re-accommodation going on right now at Standing Rock. Read more

Boaty McBoatface, Footy McFooty Face and Trumpkin: WHY do people keep asking the Internet for help?

San Diego’s MLS hopefuls and Crayola ought to have learned from history. 

It started innocently enough in 2012, when the geniuses at Mountain Dew decided to ask the Internet’s help in naming their new “green apple with attitude” flavor. The results included “Hitler Did Nothing Wrong,” “Diabeetus” and “Moist Nugget.”

Shortly thereafter the Slovaks staged an Internet campaign to name a cycling and pedestrian bridge near the capital. Logically enough, voters wanted to name it for … Chuck Norris.

Then, of course, there was the famous 2016 case of the British government soliciting the Internet’s advice on what to name a new research ship. Which of the suggested dignified names would be chosen? Shackleton, perhaps – hard to get more worthy than that, right? Read more

Of courier bags and man-purses: women have been right all along

I don’t care if you stuff your pockets until it looks like you’re smuggling carburetors. If you’re too macho to carry a bag, that’s your issue.

Timbuk2 Courier Bag

I can imagine how the conversation would go. My father is still alive and it’s Thanksgiving. We’re having dinner at his place. I walk in, say hello to everyone, and he draws a bead on my latest purchase.

“Nice purse,” he says. Read more

Big Bang Theory band names, pt 4 (Saturday Video Roundup)

Thor and Dr. Jones LIVE!

And we arrive at the final installation in our series of lines from The Big Bang Theory that would make good band names. I love the first one.

Liquor and Poor Judgment

The Unified Theory of Comedy

Malibu Koothrappali and His Totally Bitchin’ Dream House

The Wolowitz Coefficient

Tangy Bowl of Cheerios Read more

My Memoir: Dodgeball

It was the greatest moment of my life.

dodgeballI attended a high school in rural North Carolina that was probably typical of rural high schools in every way, up to and including the sadistic coach/science teacher archetype. At our school it was Coach Kelly. He ran the wrestling program, was an assistant football coach, and, of course, an educator specializing in the lower division sciences. Side note: my high school has never produced a Nobel winner.

Anyhow, it was either my freshman or sophomore year and I had Mr. Kelly for PE. One day, when it was either too wet or too cold to go outside, the activity was Dodgeball. Read more

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