Tuesday, February 24, 2009

work it out!

hi friends.
recently i've been a little lax in adding new posts, and for that i apologize. i came down with a bad case of 'the staples blues,' a fleeting illness marked by late night paper ream anxiety and something only described as the 'three hole punch sweats.'

luckily i have fully recovered, thanks to a night of drinking with old friends and a new membership to kent state's wellness center. while it is a bit pricey, it's been a great cabin fever reducer. plus i think all of the new year's resolutions are long gone so midday the place is relatively unoccupied.

today was my first day, and thankfully everyone in the sauna had shorts on. one guy, however, did keep making occasional glances over my way. i'm not sure why but after the third time i greeted his eyes with mine, hoping that it would put an end to all this profuse sweating awkwardness. it did not. his stare was unwavering and i was the one that eventually had to pull away. it was really weird.

i also saw a bunch of old naked men. something i haven't seen in a while and had almost forgotten exist. but lo, dear reader, there was unstoppable force of wrinkles and loose skin at hand in the wellness center today. i just did my best to avert my eyes and not breathe in the gold bond a smallish older man was slapping all about his naked body. gross.

it did remind me of a column i wrote for my college paper, though. years of suffering through a gross rec center were over as everyone was excited to get a brand new facility. everyone but me, i guess. i was that asshole who vocalized completely fabricated negative traits of the new facility. some fabricated, i guess. others were far too real.


Critically Cocksure
By Jeff Miller

Here’s your advance warning: join the YMCA. Find a Bally’s. Go look around for an empty warehouse somewhere that you can throw a stationary bike and a treadmill in, because that’s the only way you’ll be getting your workout in come February 5.

Yes, that day that’s been on the tip of everyone’s tongue for years: the opening of UC’s new Rec Center. Finally, days of sweating it out in a small, white drywall prison are over. Expansive glass walls welcome students new and old, along with new dining options, a rock wall, a swimming pool and a lazy river. A lazy river!

But hold on there, cowboy, it may all sound like ginger snaps and crinkle cut French fries now, but just wait when it opens.

What I expect to see is something parallel to a Michael Jackson concert in the early 90’s or a Michael Jackson trial earlier last year – unadulterated mayhem, no pun intended. Come Monday, plan on seeing girls wearing ugg boots wounding, pouncing and eventually maiming other girls wearing other pairs of said uggs in attempts to get first dibs on a new stairmaster or elliptical machine. No holds barred, no mercy, no more tubby thighs.

For guys, the weakest and the smallest will be pushed into trash cans or pool filters as a race for the dumbbells breaks out. Once those weights get occupied, then those smaller guys will be pulled out and used as free weights and punching bags. It’s like prison, just with not as many poorly-crafted tattoos – I also did see some freshmen being sold for cigarettes in a racquetball court once.

In short, don’t plan on finding free time in the Rec Center for about the next five quarters, you’ll either have to pull a fire alarm or just be OK with standing on top of someone on a stairclimber or sharing a treadmill with a guy named 8-Ball who smells oddly enough like long-cut Skoal and trucker speed.

It doesn’t stop there, though. I’ve seen what this Rec Center does to people, I’ve been down this road my friends.

A long time ago in a world where gas was under $2.00 and the Y2K virus was still plausible, I saw what a new Rec Center does to people: it makes them stop being lazy.
People who have no business putting physical strain on their body take this as a wake-up call, so they lace up tennis shoes that haven’t seen the light of day for the better part of a decade, slip on some jogging pants and put down their greasy handful of spare ribs.

It gets worse. It’s not just college students that do this, it’s old people. Old people! Spider veins will be out in full force as memberships to the new gym will be selling like hotcakes. Have you ever brushed the naked thigh of a 60-year old man in a lazy river? Doing it just once made my cousin go mute for seven whole years.

What’s even worse is what happens after these oldies get their workout in. After years of wearing clothes at all times bashfulness is no longer an issue-be prepared. Get ready for when you change in those locker rooms, co-eds. Full on geriatric nudity will soon be at hand. They don’t care if you look, they don’t care what they look like and they definitely don’t care that gravity is great for physics but the cruelest of jokes on the human physique.
It’s best to just avoid eye contact and make sure not to brush into anyone, lord knows when the last time that back hair was shaved or conditioned.

So bonne chance, my friends. If you’re one of the lucky ones that can find an open space to work up a sweat more power to you; if not, there’s always binge drinking.
E-mail Jeff at givemepizzaorgivemedeath@hotmail.com.

Monday, February 16, 2009

can you guarantee it?

"i bought a chairmat from you but a year ago and it's already broken."
"now i need one that's not going to break."
"this is the best quality chairmat we have."
"can you guarantee that this won't break in two years?"
"well...i mean...it's covered by warranty."
"that's not what i'm asking. can you guarantee this won't break in two years."
"because if this break's in less than two years i'm comin after ya. i just want you to know, i'll be on ya."
"sir, if you come here in two years and i'm still working here i want you to take me into the parking lot and end it. i'll be numb already so just make it quick."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


sometimes you just have to accept things. at an early age i had to accept that while i am exceedingly tall, i have little to no athletic prowess.

at a later age i had to accept the cruel truth that despite my wishes, i could not wear solely elastic band pants for the rest of my life. i can still feel the expansive void at my ankles of my first pair of real jeans, a place i had normally kept cinched with the unforgiving strangle of rubber-lined sweatpants.

at an even later age i was forced to accept the fact that man boobs were going to be with me for life and jumping around in gym class was something i could no longer do with reckless abandon.

even later still found me accepting the fact that while i may not be cool, i will surely be more happy and successful later in life.

now i sit in my bedroom of 22 years typing on a blog about ticks in buttholes during my day off from staples.

now i am accepting the fact that success/happiness has it's price. that or i'm just not accepting the fact that the cool kids are probably doing pretty well for themselves. this is entirely too much to think about on a wednesday afternoon.

but what i have accepted today is the fact that i am never ever ever going to exude any amount of professionalism in my life. now i know that i've talked about this inability to work in a professional environment before, but this right now is more about basic things. like voicemail messages or email addresses.

for about the last eight years or so my voicemail has been dedicated to the memory of one of the nation's worst villains, assassin j.w.booth.

for the last 5 years my email has been a severe bastardization of true patriotism. (writing this all down makes me really feel like an asshole, too.)

i say this because as i've been looking for jobs, i've been getting my resume in order. aside from small layout critiques, what most people say is that i should probably get a professional email account.
mainly to portray the idea that i'm a competent adult and not someone who just really really likes pizza. also because givemepizzaorgivemedeath is long as shit to spell out. do you know how many forms i've had to use more than the allotted spacing for an email account? it's borderline embarrassing.

so today i sat down to finally procure myself a legitimate email address. something that is short, straightforward and really instills confidence. a powerful name to splatter across the top of my resume.

after trying what i would believe to be any combination of my name, i began trying to see any other possible things that could be associated with me. 'mrmillersoffice,' hadn't been taken, but i didn't really feel comfortable using possessive grammar in an email account.

then i started getting dumb.

'secretpizzaparty' had sadly been taken, same as 'pancakemix.' after typing a few more ideas i caught myself.

'jeff, this is supposed to be professional. like, for jobs. who the hell is going to respond to 'mrmillersoffice.'

i breathed a defeated breath and went back to the jumbled forms of my name, about to submit to the hand of gmail persuasion.

then i stopped, typed, and hit submit. signing up to not only a new address but accepting the fact that jeff miller is never to have a professional email. i think it's just meant to be.

so, at least for now, you can still leave all messages for me on john's machine. he's pretty good at relaying the information.
you can also now send all electronic mail to 'professionaltransient@gmail.com,' because that's about as legitimate as things are going to get around here.