Monday, February 28, 2005

Sparkle Moments

I’m not like most guys you probably know. When I get home from a long day at work I don’t go out with "the boys", or “talk” to my "kids". On the contrary, the thing that brings me the most joy is to spend special time with my special lady. That’s why I’ve always been a strong advocate for what I like to call “sparkle moments”. Sparkle moments are just those special times when you and your lady experience the full depth of your love for one another.

In my experience, creativity is the key to producing more sparkle moments in your relationship. That's why I've decided to publish a few ideas I've had for creative dates (you might even call them sparkle dates) that I think some of my male readers might be interested in. These dates will set you apart from the crowd. Trust me, women love them. I’ll just list a few.

  • If you’re feeling silly, try watching MTV together and playing along with all of the songs on kazoos. If you don’t know the tune, just make it up! Sometimes your mistakes will be the highlight of the whole evening!
  • If you’re feeling romantic, try spending the whole evening winking at each other. Don’t be afraid to mix things up a little either. Try the slow wink, the fast wink, or the double wink (also known as the “blink”).
  • Go outside and watch the skies for Haley’s comet. This activity is especially fun because it only flies by our planet once every 75 years. You just never know when you’re going to get lucky!
  • Put airline tickets to a romantic destination in a helium filled mylar balloon, then let it float away. You never know what adventures wait for you and your lady as you try to track it down.
  • Wake her up at 12AM on a normal weeknight and insist on singing every verse of Auld Lang Syne together. You’ll find that every day is New Years... when you’re in love.

Of course, I have other ideas that I might share at another time. But, for now feel free to try any one of those listed above. All I ask is that when you’re basking in the warm embrace of your sweetheart, you take a moment to whisper these words in her ear: “Thank you Crapples”. That’s all the payment I need.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Prom Days

Das Slug’s recent post about deciding whether or not to go to prom got me thinking about my own prom days. I didn't go to mine. The thing about me is, I was so attractive in high school that no girl ever dared to pay any attention to me at all in any context -- or so I reasoned.

But, I think the main thing that kept me from going was that I was too far ahead of my time for most of the girls at my school.

For example, I remember walking up to one girl to ask her to prom. I was wearing my sleeveless DEVO turtleneck at the time (click to enlarge). I handed her a hand made card that said:

Written Communication From Star Captain to Foxy Life Form

Nanoo Nanoo!

Join me for a prom night that will be out of this world! I'll show you the galaxy, but you can still assure your Dad that I won't try to be a Space Invader at the end of the night! So, unless you have a case of Asteroids, consider it a date!

Note: You must respond to Star Captain before Tuesday or offer expires.

PS: Just to make sure we understand each other - Star Captain = Me, Crapples

She didn't get back to me in time... or, well... ever.

... Anyhoo ... what was my point again?

Oh, I remember. My advice to Slug is: Don't worry too much about going to the prom. Whether you go or not, you can still grow up to have as many great memories of high school as I have.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

New Feature: CrapMail

This is where I respond to reader email.

Asian Queen asks:

Hey Crapples, where are you politically? I can’t tell from your blogroll.

Thanks for the question AQ. Crapples isn’t into politics, he’s into The People. Afterall, it’s People who put the “peop” in “politics”, so it will be over my dead body that those fat-cats in Washing...

... Wait, there is no “peop” in “politics”. … Maybe they just put the “P” in there. I swear, I was just reading about this the other day.

Back to my point: I’m pro wide-eyed baby deer. Note, however, that I don’t give a crap about adult deer. Also, I hate Sean Connery. I honestly do. I can’t even watch a movie with that guy in it. I’m not kidding at all.

But as for real politics, this really isn’t a political blog. The truth is, I wouldn’t have even responded to your email publicly except that I wanted to make that joke about “the people” (and I'm going to argue that it was worth it). I also wanted to find a way to mention my hatred for Sean Connery. I'm not joking at all about that part.

Stephen (last name omitted) asks:

Crap: What does “like a bee who gathered too much honey” mean?

Good question, Stephen. The “bee” quote is from the first chapter of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which is the namesake of this blog, by Friedrich Nietzsche. The book is about Zarathustra, who lived in the mountains for years but eventually decided to descend into the village to share his wisdom with the people. The main difference between Zarathustra and me is that he taught the people about the death of God and the rise of the Perfect Man, while I mostly talk about aliens and… well, you know – Brainball and stuff.

If I continue to get mail, I'll think about making this a semi-regular feature. But, only if I want to. Send all mail to, or click on the link in my profile.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I Could Have Been A Contender

The problem with High School P.E., as I saw it, was that all of the educational activities were physical in nature.

Well, thanks to the presumably uncoordinated fat guys at SmartStudio, it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Let me introduce you to Brainball. Brainball takes both of my favorite things (1: Sweet technology, 2: Sitting around doing nothing) and combines them into the ultimate sport of the future.

The object of Brainball is to defeat your opponent by using your brain to relax more quickly than he does. The more relaxed you become, the closer the ball gets to your opponent’s goal until finally, SCORE! You win! You can take that to the bank, you stressed out LOSER!

Oh man! Why couldn't they have had Brainball back when I was in school? I could have been the biggest jock on the whole campus! I can see it now: Cheerleaders on each of my soft, pasty she-arms; varsity letters all over my bath robe (the official Brainball uniform); stressed, atheletic nerds carrying my books for me; drool dripping from the side of my ultra-relaxed mouth as I accept my full-ride Brainball scholarship to UCLA. I so could have taken my school to the Brainball Nationals.

I swear, if I cared about anything at all, this development might really upset me.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Modern Valentines

I know it's late to talk about Valentine's Day, but I just had a conversation with one of my kids last night that sparked these thoughts:

When I was a kid we would buy Valentine cards with hilarious puns on them and give them to the people we liked, admired, or were trying to kiss-up to. This exercise was a crude, but probably very accurate, popularity rating tool. The more cards you received, the more kids liked you.

In fifth grade, for example, I bought one for my pal Armen because he introduced me to KISS, and we used to discuss The Six Million Dollar Man together at recess. I also bought one for Jana Anderson. I didn't understand why at the time. We weren't friends, I just knew that when I looked at her I forgot my own name.

I never worried much about the losers in the class because there was always a future Homeless Shelter Volunteer, usually a girl, who would provide Welfare Valentines for them. This was a win-win situation because the do-gooder gained a sense of satisfaction from helping one of the unfortunates, and the loser got someone to stalk for the next six months before the restraining order could be put into effect.

I never minded at all that I only got 4-5 cards because I knew they came from real friends. Once I even got one from Jana. I'm not kidding. It was a banner moment for me. I like to tell myself that it wasn't a welfare card either, but that she had Crapples Fever and was giving me the card hoping to find the cure.

Fast Foward to the present day: Those of you without kids may not know this, but now the whole system has changed. My kids were sent home with a class list and instructed to fill out Valentines for each person on the list regardless of their status as babes, trolls, studs, losers, stoners, wannabes, jocks or geeks. So in a class of 23 students, every kid gets exactly 22 cards.

This system stinks for obvious reasons. With the new system no one really gets to express Valentine wishes to anyone, and losers have to wait until 7th grade P.E. to find out that no one likes them.

Anyway, I'm a proud father because I found out last night that this year my kid signed crappy Walmart Valentines for every person in her class, but she gave nice cards and chocolate to the kids she actually likes. So, the system is back in place (at least in the Crapples home).

Stick it to The Man, kids!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Why I'll Never Be The Next Tolstoy

One reason I'll never be a great novelist or artist is because my life has been way too easy.

I remember volunteering at an old-folks home with my church when I was a teenager. I sat in a room with an old man who talked endlessly about how horrible every moment of his life had been since the day he was born. He had polio when he was a kid which made one leg something like two feet shorter than the other. I daydreamed a lot while he was talking, but I think I remember him saying something about having to walk to school with his short leg on the shoulder of a local midget, or some such thing. He lived on a farm during the depression and his family went without food for days on end.

The thing is, the story just never got better. He got divorced, his career was one disaster after another. I think he was actually a string salesman! I’m not kidding. Is that a career? Selling string?

All of his friends and family died before he did, and he finally ended up penniless and unloved in an old folks home trying to make conversation with a guy like me.

I sat there in my Psychedelic Furs concert T-Shirt trying to relate to him in any way I possibly could. I was like, “Right dude… I remember when they canceled Mork & Mindy. It was just sooo… permanent."

The truth is, I can only remember three lame things ever happening to me in my whole life:

1 – My ear got plugged up with ear-wax.
2 – My VCR broke.
3 – I felt really awkward while an old guy told me about walking to school with one foot on the shoulder of a village helper-midget.

That’s all I’ve got! I can't imagine the next War & Peace coming out of those experiences.

I’m not complaining about having a good life, mind you. The only point I'm trying to make is that, not having had any contact with genuine human suffering, I’ll probably never be a great artist.

However, if you don’t care about great art, tune in next week and I’ll continue to talk about robots, aliens, kung fu, and… oh, I don’t know… maybe cyborgs or something. You never know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


If you asked any of my friends about me they would tell you right away that I have a deep love for animals. In some ways, animals are my life and always have been.

I really love it when the shiny ones balance beach balls on their noses, for example. That is just classic.

Also, I think the vast majority of the hairy ones are absolutely delicious.

Knowing of my passion for the beasts, people sometimes come up to me and say, "Crapples! How can I win your affection by adopting some of the qualities of our animal siblings?" I usually answer by simply saying, "Friend, you've already taken the first step just by recognizing that all of us, including the shiny things, the hairy things, and even those smelly guys, are ultimately brothers and sisters."

But now I have an even better answer for you.

The Royal College of Art has developed a clothing line with electro-statically charged fur that stands on end when the wearer feels threatened. In this way, a human can respond to threat in a way that is similar to the response of a cat or raccoon.

Interestingly, if an offender ignores the warning signs and touches you, the fur will administer a 100,000 volt shock into his body!

I don't know which animal the 100,000 volt shock is modeled after, but whichever one it is I want to nominate it as the most awesome animal of all time. Also, if this animal doesn't have a nickname yet, I'd like to suggest Taze-o-shock! No wait... I mean Electrotaze!

Anyway, here's my point: When I finally find out where the presumably elusive Electrotaze lives, I am so going to get one for a pet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Pale Blue Dot

I was reminded yesterday of a few summers ago when I got really in to Carl Sagan. I read every book he ever wrote, fiction and non-fiction, in the course a few months. He was an amazing guy.

As I spent the summer contemplating the infinite expanses of the universe, the billions of stars in each of billions of galaxies, and the mysterious matter and activities of the cosmos, I couldn’t help but ask myself the big questions. Like, are aliens purple or are they green? Do they eat human brains, human flesh, or both? Do they have giant upside-down triangles on their shirts, or do they favor more minimalist one-piece silver jumpsuits?

Mankind may never know the answers to these riddles.

Sagan didn’t believe that aliens had ever visited the earth, but I disagree. The way I see it, there is some evidence that aliens exist and have visited us, and there is no evidence that they haven’t. Let me explain. On the pro-alien side we have:

  1. Countless eye-witness accounts from toothless Appalachian hill people,
  2. The fact that movie special-effects are so freakin’ realistic nowadays that it’s literally impossible for them to be fake, and
  3. The fact that two of our Apollo 11 astronauts were strangled to death by “moon monsters” soon after they returned to earth in 1969 (source: toothless Appalachian hillbilly and personal friend).

If I remember logic 101 correctly, it’s impossible to prove that something doesn’t exist; therefore, according to our time-honored, evidence based, system of jurisprudence I’m compelled to believe that aliens exist, live among us, and eat, in the best case scenarios, only human flesh.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Mirror From The Future

Accenture Technology has created a mirror that will monitor your behaviors and habits throughout the day, then reflect not what you look like now, but what you will look like in the distant future! So, if the mirror notices that you sneak a few Ding Dongs in the middle of the night, for example, it will begin to reflect your image as a big old Marlon Brando lookin' sack of lard.

While this mirror sounds pretty neat, what I would really like is a mirror that reflected the contents of my own brain. If I had a mirror that reflected my private thoughts, every time I looked into it, day or night, I would see Patrick Swayzy in a fight to the death with an alien robot. Then Swayzy would finally kill the robot with a graceful, even sexy, kick to the head; but then he would remove the robot's metal helmet and see his own father's lifeless face underneath. Then he'd look up to the heavens and scream, "NOOOOOOO! Not PAPA SWAYZY!!"

Now, I would pay good money for a mirror like that.

Friday, February 04, 2005

You Marry The In-Laws

You know how women sometimes say one thing but mean another? Well, one time my girlfriend in college went on and on, for hours, about how she couldn't believe she was "with someone like me", and about how all she needed was for someone to treat her with "a little kindness". She asked me to "please listen" to her, etc. This conversation lasted for about two hours and the whole time I sat there wondering, "What is she trying to say? What does she really mean?"

Then it dawned on me. "Oh, I get it!", I thought, "She wants me to play more practical jokes on her!"

So, that afternoon she fell asleep on the couch and I snuck up as quietly as I could and shaved off one of her eyebrows.

Oh man, You should have seen her that night as she was getting ready to act as the bride's maid in her sister's wedding. She was just totally...

... Well... I don't know. I guess I never actually saw her laughing now that I think about it, but I might have missed it while I was watching TV.

But, my point is, her brother and his friends ransacked my apartment that night while I was gone, so I had to break up with her. I'm not dating anyone with a crazy family.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Harvesting Coat Hangers

I’m pro-environment. I don’t mean that in the “I recycle and refrain from disposing of old tires in local streams” sense of the word. I mean it in the “I like folk music and think Earth First chicks are babes” sense of the word.

I just read an article, however, that's a good illustration of why environmentally friendly technologies will never really catch on as long as humans have Walmarts. Lois Walpole made botanical headlines by growing a coat hanger right out of the earth, proving that “functional products can be grown”. The hippies below are just finding out about this discovery.

The article goes on to say,

"The coat hanger was the first of the 36 products growing on site to be harvested. The majority of the remainder will be ready to harvest over the next three years.”

Not only is this process environmentally friendly, but it’s insanely cool. It’s so cool, in fact, that I figure if I started growing my own coat hangers I’d have Fiona Apple & Alanis Morrissette fighting over me within two weeks. I mean literally fighting, like with their fists, or maybe even with knives or other weapons. At least that's how I imagine it.

However, when you mention that it takes three years to not quite produce 36 hangers, most reasonable people will congratulate you, then go to Walmart. It’s inefficiencies like these that account for the fact that environmentalists always lose at everything that they do.

That and the fact that so many of them smell bad. That’s not helping the cause at all, seriously.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Street Cred

Ever since I revealed to my readers that I have a certain reputation in the hip-hop community, I've been stopped many times by people who say, "Hey! Crapples! How can I get more street cred with the rappers in my neighborhood?"

In response, I thought I'd publish a few useful tips. I'll start with the basics:

1 - Right from the beginning, let your hip hop associates know that you're there to keep it on the down-low. That tends to ease their nerves and it establishes your good intentions.

2 - Reach into their world. For example, if you're talking about music with a "playa" or "gangsta" (note: many times it's appropriate to delete or modify the last letter of a word when talking to members of the hip hop community) instead of talking about bands that you're interested in, try to open your mind to some of his artists. Drop the names of Vanilla Ice, Hootie, Blondie, Markie Mark, or some other popular rap musicians. You'll be surprised how often a little courtesy like this will lead you into a real nice heart-to-heart.

3 - The third suggestion might be the most powerful of all: Never underestimate the power of a home baked batch of cookies.

Finally, be sincere. If they start to suspect that you're insincere about your intentions, it can get crunk in the hizzle before you even know what happened.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fighting Strategies

I’ve never been in a fight with a human being before, but I have some pretty good ideas about how I would win one if I had to.

The first thing I would do in a fight would be to defeat my enemy with superior technology. I learned this technique from the Iraq war. For example, maybe I would start off by defeating him with radar. If I couldn’t figure out how to win a fight with radar, I would just look it up on the internet, which is an excellent example of using multiple technologies.

If my internet connection was out or something my backup plan would be to get totally Yoda on him. For example, if he was coming at me to punch me, maybe I’d look down at the ground and start thinking, or possibly concentrating. I don't know what this does exactly, but it works really well for Yoda, and probably for me.

The last idea I had is this: You know how some guys can throw their voices? Well, I’d bet anything that I can too. So, what I’d do is throw my voice right behind my enemy and I’d say something weird like, “Monkey Chow” so that the guy would figure that someone right behind him was saying “Monkey Chow” for no reason. When he turned around to figure out why something so weird was happening, that would be my chance to hammer-strike him right in the back of the head.

Warning: You shouldn’t think that you can defeat me now that you know my strategies, because I have a lot of others that I'm choosing not to reveal here.