Monthly Archives: October 2013

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“The Big Lebowski” saving marriges, lives and really my sanity since 1998

The wife came home from work today in a really foul mood. It was the kind of mood where it seemed like she’d happily slam-punch baby Jesus in the balls, travel back in time to set fire to George Washington and sit a 5-year old down for a reality check about Santa Clause.

She was so angry, in fact, that earlier in the day when I sent her a text raving

like this only with more, fuck you.

Like this only with more, “fuck you.”

about the lunch she’d fixed me (It was seriously great) she chastised me for a slip of the tongue I’d made about her cooking six Thanksgivings ago.

Me: Honey, that lunch was awesome, thank you!

Her: Oh, well shit, I must have gotten better since I fucked up that Thanksgiving dinner in 2006, huh? FUCK YOU very much!

Yeah, it was indisputable — she was in a very bad mood.

Now, for anyone married longer than a week, it’s clear she’s not mad at me. I’m merely a convenient and ever-present whipping boy. Which, OK, I know is part of the husband job.

I thought she would cool off by the time she got home, but I was wrong. From the moment she came through the door, the recitation of my past infractions continued. It was so relentless I was forced to execute the one-and-only surefire method of “unfunkifying” her foul temper  —  I texted her daughter and asked her to call her mom. That shit works every time. A few minutes on the phone with her kid is better than Prozac, I’ve discovered.

After sending a pleading text to the daughter and getting a reply that she was on board for operation, “Make Mom Nice Again,” I went downstairs for a cigarette and a beer.

And then I had an epiphany. The reason my bride was in a bad mood had to be because she finally concluded I’d been right all along in a decade-old disagreement we had.

You see, like any sane person, I believe the film The Big Lebowski is the greatest movie ever made. She thinks its the theatrical equivalent of a giant pile of wino poop (Although, how she reached that conclusion without watching the whole fucking glorious movie is beyond me)

I always knew that the day she would have to admit I was right, would be a foul one. This must be it.

I surmised that during the course of her day, she realized The Big Lebowski was in fact the best movie ever made, and with that realization came self-loathing because she hadn’t realized it sooner.

Look, I know that’s implausible but it’s not impossible. If I had the misfortune of making that mistake, you bet I would have spent the rest of my day in a funk.

Because, yes, The Big Lebowski is such a great movie, that deriding it for years before realizing what a gift it is to us all would send anyone into a depression.

Did you know a no-shit Zen Master (whatever the fuck that means) co-authored a book about the movie’s main character with the actor who portrayed him (Jeff Bridges) and titled it The Zen Master and the Dude*

No, you didn’t?

Well, you should have. Really, you’re worse than my wife at this stuff,

Really not that scary.

Really not that scary.

The movie does some eerie Nostradamus weird September 11, 2001 prediction shit too.

Among its many amazing qualities, The Dude (the movie’s main character) says the word “man” an astonishing 147 times. That’s almost every 1.5 minutes. Even more cool is the f-bomb is dropped nearly 300 times!

If the above facts aren’t enough to convince anyone retarded enough to still be reading this of it’s greatness, The Big Lebowski even has its own Chive thing. Now, I realize that most of us rightfully blame the Chive for that annoying “Keep calm and (blank) on,” meme that has invaded our nation’s T shirt industry, but that aside, they’re a cool website.

I rushed back inside to share with the wife what I’d just realized. I told her it was OK and that she wasn’t perfect, but no one expected her to be. I told her that now that she knew the Big Lebowski was life altering experience, there was still plenty of time to commit the dialogue to memory. I told her how excited I was because now all my “dude” references would be understood and hell, NOW, she’d toss a dude reference at me and we’d laugh and laugh at our wit and life would be magnificent.

She looked at me for a second before her foul mood cracked slightly.

“Are you stupid,” she asked.

Then, on cue, the phone rang. It was her daughter to finish the job. Our one-two punch destroyed that bad mood. We sliced through it like a ninja attacking an enemy made entirely of lemon flavored pudding

The Big Lebowski — saving marriages since 1998.

As an aside, I just took a peek at her in the living room and found her happily watching something called “Queer as Folk,” which if I understand the premise, is about men dancing topless in clubs or something. So yeah, shit’s going okay.

Anyway “The Dude abides man, the dude abides.”

* Yeah I want that shit for Christmas …

 

Geek-flag warning: PC gaming couldn’t be better and it sucks right now.

If you’ve ever had more than a passing interest in computer games you’re aware of the old internet, “You’re a dick, no you’re a dick,” argument about which is better console or computer games.

If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about that’s totally OK. There’s been a 100 year’s war among “gamers’ about which is better, games played on the computer or games played on a console (Xbox, Nintendo, Wii, etc).

I’m a PC gamer. I’m not saying in any way shape or form that console gamers are at all inferior, stupider, lacking devolved reproductive parts or have sex with ugly people (like they’re known to do) with that statement.

You console gamers are awesome in your own right. I own an Xbox 360 myself. It’s in my man cave connected to a giant flatscreen and I last used it like four months ago because I prefer to sit at the kitchen table when I commit my acts of nerdvana.

That said, I’m certain with 100 percent clarity that console gamers are at this moment much happier with their form of gaming than we computer gamers are.

Here’s why.

So, so, so sexy ...

So, so, sexy …

Back in the day, back when men clubbed women over the head with a “SoundBlaster 64 audio card” in order to have sex with them*, PC gamers installed games they had purchased on their “personal computers.” These PCs were monstrous devises that delivered striking 256 colors through their cancer causing monitors and heated a small room due to their 486 CPU speed awesomeness. I’m pretty sure using a mouse back then involved a system of pulleys and levers.

I have no idea what console gamers were doing during the early 1990’s. Crying, alone in a dark room is what I assumed at the time. (Any proficient console gamer knows we were playing Sonic the Hedgehog on Nintendo 64. Duh. ~ Fran)

But back then, and even until a few short years ago, console gamers and PC gamers had one very simple thing in common. We owned the games we played. We bought them. Well, a lot of fuckers just pirated them and I’m guilty as well, but as soon I realized that playing a decent computer game also meant I should shell out the dollars, I stopped pirating.

No matter how shitty the PC game was, you owned the physical disc. You could play it. It might fail to load, it might not save your game or hell it might shoot out electrical rays of death into your balls, but the fucker played.

Not anymore. (And I miss the electric rays of ball death honestly.)

Today all PC games are downloaded from a server, which is great, until it’s not.

rome-total-war

Oh shit.

Here’s an awesome example, I recently purchased Rome: Total War II because I love the Total War series. I’m a geek that way. I still play Rome: Total War which was released in 2004. I bought Rome: Total War II because I’m a huge fan. I bought it knowing full well it might suck.  The launch of the game totally sucks, but the game itself doesn’t suck. Shitty launch aside (Obamacare critics take note) it’s great.  My only bitch is that I can’t fucking play it at the moment because the game I bought, that I intend to play offline, is always updating.

Think about that. If I intend to play it online with friends, then OK, we all need to be operating off a common version of the code that runs the game. But I’m not planning on playing it online and don’t care what shitty rule set it fixes. I’ll gladly download your patch, but let me play the game I paid for. Yet, I can’t because more and more PC gaming is starting to suck, and that sucks.

Trust me, her boobs were big

Trust me, her boobs were big

When I was 25 years old $60 for a game was a discussion I had to have with my wife.

“Look honey, I need to buy Baldurs Gate because that druid chick has a really sweet rack,” I never said. This is because $60 was a ton of cash back then.

It’s still an important bit of moola today, I’m lucky I can just buy the goddamn game without having to ask permission, but it oddly seems like I’m still waiting for permission to play …

* I’d never actually club a woman over the head with the Sound Blast, because it would have damaged the audio card.

If facebooking while drunk is drunkbooking what’s drunken-retarded spending you have to hide from the wife called?

Drunkbooking’s a word right? To hell with you Microsoft word, it should be a proper word. Someone fire off a letter the people at Merriam Webster dictionary and I’ll contact the Had A Few Beers legal team* about the matter.

Point is, even if it’s not a word, it’s a thing. If you know me at all, you know it’s a thing. I’ve proven it’s a thing time and time again.

I’m pretty sure I’ve alienated many friends, coworkers, future bosses, family and most of the GOP with my late night ill-conceived FB rants. But really what fun would Facebook be without the occasional drunkbooker here or there?

While drunkbooking may be fun you know what’s not fun, drunk online shopping.  This is also the part where my wife and anyone with access to my financial records should stop reading.

Two people encouraged me, ages ago, to start this blog. By encouraged I mean one said, “Dude you should start a blog” and the other already had a blog and boobs. So by “encouraged me” I really mean they both had boobs. In my mind that’s all it took.

Step one start blog.

Step two boobs.

Or something.

I’m kind of fuzzy on how this whole thing started.

Oh yeah, going to need at least three packs of HAFB playing cards. That's obvious.

Oh yeah, going to need at least three packs of HAFB playing cards. That’s obvious.

Blogging is fun, even if the word blog sounds like the noise you make when you vomit, its fun.  But then this exercise in an inflated sense of self worth got a bit out of control and the next thing you know I’m drunk on a Friday night buying up Had A Few Beers items off the CafePress store like I’m planning on stocking my own boutique at a mall near you.

Seriously, by the time I was done drinking and ordering I had racked up $850 individual reasons that every online store should require a breathalyzer test before the “Place Order” button can be pushed.

Here have a look for yourself …

We all want milk Wal-Mart!

… but what the hell was I thinking when I ordered 10 packs of HAFBs stickers? Some sort of gorilla marketing campaign on a very limited budget in a country where English is the second language and everyone and their mother with access to Google would know it was me doing the … yeah that’s exactly what I was thinking.

Crap, I’m an idiot when drinking.

But even the fact that I’m an idiot doesn’t quite explain three pairs of boxer shorts, six pairs of panties, three hoodies and one woman’s v-neck. Unless it does, and of course it does.

* The HAFB legal team consists entirely of my cousin an attorney who wisely ignores my late night legal needs. I’m still waiting for your opinion about the legality of sex with a monkey in international waters and the tax ramifications of adopting a Ukrainian hooker cousin!

“People Behaving Badly” features man sexing it up with raft, girlfriend on fire and much, much more.

This is a really short update because I’m currently furloughed and want to spend as much of this unpaid vacation time as possible punishing my liver.  I mean I can’t punch an elected representative so this is the next best thing right?

What I’ve learned during the first four days of furlough is this — anything I promise anyone after 5 p.m. (or the fifth beer, whichever comes first) cannot be held up as legally binding in a court of law.

In other words, don’t ask.

My raging alcoholism and the ongoing furloughcation aside, this situation does give me a chance to talk about a new blog started by our very own FnRotton. If you aren’t already aware FnRotton edits this piece of … I mean this blog.  She’s even been a contributor from time to time.

People behaving badly, like this bitch

People behaving badly, like this bitch

Her new blog, People Behaving Badly, is just what it sounds like — and no I’m not featured on page one — yet. It’s a hilarious look at some of mankind’s more “interesting” people. Of course by interesting I mean fucking retarded. People Behaving Badly trolls the depths of the internet for stories of criminal, moronic or just plain crazy behavior and posts them in plain sight for all of us to enjoy.

Think of it as Fark.com if every entry on Fark dealt with someone having sex with an inflatable mattress.  OK, actually don’t think of it as being like Fark at all.

Like FnRotton hasn't make love to an inflatable raft

Like FnRotton hasn’t made love to an inflatable raft. Come on. Haven’t we all?

So I need you to go, read a few, comment and follow it up over there.

FnRotton, aka, Fran, already told me if at least 50 of my readers didn’t follow her new endeavor she’d leave entire paragraphs of my next Had a Few Beers entry entirely unedited.

No one wants that …

And if 100 HAFBs readers go there and sign up Fran totally promised to show me her boobs, which I think is a goal we can all get behind. (Are you insane? Don’t you remember how when you sent me that unsolicited cock shot I swore I’d never reciprocate?  ~Fran)

Finally, do me another favor, (remember I’m furloughed, have mercy) go and “like” the People Behaving Badly  FB page.

(Note: As I’ve previously mentioned we recently moved HAFB’s from the WordPress.com server onto a private server.  The transition went gone surprisingly well … except one thing — in the transition, I lost all the people who follow HAFB via email.  If you received updates from HAFB via subscription, first I apologize and second, I hope you’ll take a few moments to re-subscribe using the link up on the right side of the page.  Thanks!)

Look Iraq, stop being dicks. Get along

I fucked up once as a civil servant and my boss called me on the carpet for it.

I deserved it. The ass-chewing was spot on.

This fairly senior, nearly senior executive-level service (SES) Department of the Army civilian ended the talk with me in a direction I hadn’t ever thought through.

He said, “Look you’ve had a few tours down range. Have you talked to anyone about them?”

I hadn’t. Mainly because my second tour carried with it a risk factor slightly above “might get a paper cut today,” and my first tour was, in two words, totally fun.kirkuk

I was in Iraq from April of 2003 to March of 2004 and I was in Afghanistan for my entire life.

I think I was in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2006, but I forget the months I arrived and departed because that job was so boring I likely do need professional counseling.

In Afghanistan I worked in a combined joint tactical boring center. My days were spent hoping nothing happened or feverishly writing craptastic three-paragraph news releases about the things that did happen.

If you recall, the media’s focus during the years of 2005 and 2006 wasn’t exactly on Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan I built zero relationships with the local population.

In Iraq, however, the exact opposite was true.

I met many, many Iraqis who I then and now consider friends. In an admission that will likely keep me from ever obtaining a top secret clearance — I stay in touch, through social media, with most of them to this day.

Actually, on second thought, the NSA already knows about these relationships so that was kind of a pointless confession.

I can only speak to my experience. Someone serving in Iraq during those years might have an experience completely opposite mine. That’s OK. Hell, I’d love to hear about it.

We were stationed in the city of Kirkuk, a place populated largely by Kurds. During the invasion Kirkuk experienced very little violence.  While I wasn’t there, many members of the unit I was with, the storied and decorated 173rd Airborne Brigade, talked about how the Iraqi army dissolved before the 173rd even entered and secured the city.

I arrived a few days, maybe a few weeks, after the 173rd did. I honestly don’t recall how long they had been there.

It was after this photo was taken that I became independently wealthy.

It was after this photo was taken that I became independently wealthy.

I worked for two different officers there. Both were brilliant, energetic and dedicated. The first was reassigned fairly quickly. The events of September 11, 2001 had just happened and talented public affairs officers were in high demand.

The second officer was a former Ranger who came to the 173rd already sporting a combat jump on his airborne wings (which was incredibly rare back then) and he wasn’t trained in public affairs at all. He was an Infantryman through and through. He was assigned as the brigade’s personnel officer (or S1 in military terms), but that shop was basically running itself so he wanted to play in the Public Affairs kiddy pool.

We fought bitterly, at first. I capitulated when he told me the following: I don’t give a shit if the wives, parents, kids, or the American public back home are informed. I want the Iraqi people here to know we’re on their side. The American’s are already behind us, it’s the Iraqi people I want to talk to.

I spent a bitter night in my sleeping bag, but he was right.

Prior to his arrival, our detachment had already established a very good relationship with Kirkuk radio and TV stations. From that point forward we kicked all of those relationships into high gear.

Every day of the week, as guests we had Iraqi and our own educational specialists on the radio airwaves, we had Iraqi doctors and our own doctors on the airwaves, we had Iraqi and our own engineers on the airwaves.

The phones during those interviews never — even hours after the show was over — stopped ringing.

And that’s how I met my Iraqi friends with whom I still keep in contact. They were in our audience or worked at our station.

Some of them were Muslim — for all I know, all of them were. But they were just people at the end of the day.

We had a very young soldier with us, he couldn’t have been anymore than 19 or 20. The Iraqi people who worked for us knew he missed his family and asked what kind of food he liked. Because he was a kid and an idiot, he said pizza. A Muslim woman of perhaps 40 made him pizza from scratch. Think about that. She went out into the streets, dangerous as they were, to dig up the ingredients for pizza.

I’m proud to report it tasted awesome.

I once brought into the radio station a plate of food that our cooks had made. They were heated-up “T-rations,” something we ate two meals a day on the airbase. Because I’m an insensitive jerktard, the day I decided to do this on was a day when the cooks made ham.

The Iraqis gathered around. After I explained the meal contained pork, two ladies ventured in to taste. The more daring of the duo ate a piece of ham, while the the other, in a fit of giggles, couldn’t believe how brave her coworker was. I believe the Koran was mentioned, but only in a joking manner.

One time we traveled up north to the stable and safe city of Sulimanaia for some sort of conference. It became obvious very quickly that beer and other sorts of booze were being served. Because my job mainly revolved around setting the thing up once, it was underway I was free to enjoy my meal and chill out.

It was a well-known fact, even then, that I enjoyed beer. My Iraqi friends pointed out that no one was looking and that I could indeed enjoy a beer at the moment. I refused. Later that night, in my hotel room (which was on par with any top-of-the-line hotel room anywhere in the world) there was a knock at my door. One of the Iraqis brought me two beers, explaining that he knew I was embarrassed to drink in public.  Silly fucker.

If you’re reading this Iraqi friend, those two beers were the best I ever had.

To this day, 10 long years later, I still get emails and Facebook messages from those friends. Some happy, most are sad though.

Recently a series of bombs rocked the normally stable city of Irbil. Iraq, despite our half-hearted days-gone-by efforts, continues to consume itself with pointless violence.

When I got the news via Facebook from a friend in Iraq, I peppered him with questions like I always do.

“Is everyone OK?”

“How about so and so, doesn’t his family live near there?”

And then I send out message after message looking for responses from my other friends still there.

It’s always the same. There’s nothing America can do, there’s not much of anything I can do.  It just sucks to have friends in Iraq.

I don’t know if I have PTSD or not. I doubt honestly that I do. But I do know leaving friends behind to live in hell while I blog and drink beer doesn’t feel very good.

I pray the people of Iraq unite soon, I hope I don’t ever get another text like yesterday’s that leaves me wondering if everyone is OK, and I hope, hope, hope that America’s next exercise in foreign intervention ends better.