Tag Archives: iTunes

Damn you jailbroke Apple TV: I have few morals, I have fewer morals now

Broken iPhone 4

Turns out this is not what jailbroke means (Photo credit: DaveOnFlickr)

One of the joys of being in Europe, besides all the castles and shit, was the military-run American Forces Network.   AFN offers troops overseas American television.

Everyone likes to make fun of AFN commercials because they suck. But I find  AFN’s programming hysterical. It’s a collection of the “most popular” shows on television in the U.S, and if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noted that most of the popular TV sucks. The fact that it all sucks was never truer than right now. It’s all Survivor, American Idol and Two and a Half Men (Two and a Half Men makes my skin crawl, not that anyone asked. – Editor).  Sure AFN has its moments, but those moments only come on Sunday afternoon when the news talk shows air, or in the early morning when I’m getting a look at yesterday’s evening news cast (made completely irrelevant by the internet).

But AFN’s one redeeming quality was that is distracted my wife. It allure was so strong it could draw her fine ass onto the couch (and out of my face) because, “Oh my God, The Voice is about to come on!”

When that happened I wasn’t required participate in anyting. Not a damned thing! She would watch, “shit TV for $400, Alex,” and I was free to do whatever I wanted.

I used this time of course to earn my first of many master’s degrees in “fuckoffery.” I achieved like level 40 million in “World of Wardork”, surfed every porn site that has ever existed, and started this blog.

Time well spent, in other words.

All that was only achievable because AFN aired everything I had no desire to watch. I would not be watching any of it with my wife and she knew it. Hell, I think AFN knew it – or should have because I sent them weekly emails thanking them for their fine lineup.

There are television shows on the planet I will watch, but they just aren’t on AFN. (Every time I return to the U.S., that harlot, “On Demand,” calls to me like the filthy vixen she is. Nazi Germany’s Lost Treasures, is on? Sign me up! Nova’s latest special about planets?  Let’s watch that!) I can be a TV junkie, I just don’t want to be, and here in Europe it used to be very easy to just say no.

This “agreement” between the wife and I was rock solid for 10 years. That’s like a decade or something.

I now consider that the “Golden Age” of our TV relationship.

Because along came an evil, vile, disgusting device by Apple known as Apple TV. I know, I know — all Apple products are fucking vile — but Apple TV is a special kind of hell. It has tons of shows on it that my wife knows I’ll watch. All she has to do is buy them and bam, my ass is on the couch with her. That damned TV was preventing me from doing really awesome things like internet-boobie surfing, and turned me into a banana slug on the couch. There is no way out. I’m screwed.

And then, Apple TV and its seemingly endless programs revealed its silver lining — it costs money.

You see, for years I’ve been grilled about my unapproved purchases (because those fucking things show up on the goddamn secret-spilling credit card statement).

Shortly after Apple TV’s introduction into the house, and after hours of balls-to-the-wall marathon TV viewing, the bill came in. The wife was mortified.

This was a gift of immeasurable worth.

Potato Head - Couch Potato : )

Potato Head – Couch Potato : ) (Photo credit: oddsock)

That little detail meant I would only occasionally be sucked onto the couch. AND, if she was willy nilly spending our cash on TV programs, then what leg did she have to stand on when an unapproved .99 cent purchase of “California Gurls” showed up on the credit card statement? IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!.

Until some fucker at her office got a bright idea and told her about jailbreaking.

I’m sure some greasy co-worker, wearing only a trench coat, approached her in the parking lot as she left one evening.

“Psst! Hey you want free TV? I can get you free TV. It’s good too. Don’t worry you won’t get addicted. Just try it. It’s OK. It’s not stealing because we’re in Germany.  Just try it…  Take a gander at my willy.”

When she told me about it, my heart sank. I was back to being screwed.

And then I had a brilliant idea. We all know I’m basically a piece of shit. I swill beer, make shitty jokes about women, smoke like a fiend and have the kind of morals a real-life pirate would question. But when I take a stand on an issue, I pretend it’s something I really believe in. One of those issues is piracy. (No, I don’t mean the pirates two sentences back, I mean stealing intellectual property on the internet – but real pirates are also bad.)

When the suggestion that we get a jailbroken Apple TV was made we had friends  over, so what better time to get out the moral soap box, right?

Break out the soap box I did.

“Piracy is bad because blah, and artists deserve blah, blah and further NPR has said blah and then there is blah!” I ranted like only a drunken, albeit morally corrupt drunk, can.

I went on an antipiracy tirade that would have made Madonna and Metallica weep tears of joy.  Our guests had befuddled looks on their faces that said, “This is what you hang your moral hat on? You told me personally that you’d kick a puppy for $20.”

Yet, take a stand I did, until my shitty morals were kicked in the nuts by a jailbroke Apple TV and I crumpled like a 3-year old presented with candy.

One of my wife’s criminal cock-blocking co-workers, between flashing his weiner and robbing little-old ladies, loaned her a jailbroke Apple TV for a week.

I haven’t seen a fucking Apple TV bill at all this week. I have seen “The Hobbit” (a clearly pirated copy I might add) and mostly my wife has shut the fuck up.

So besides folding on my bendy-straw flimsy, moral high ground, I’ve lost something else. I’ve lost the ability to say, “No this program on TV doesn’t interest me at all, honey, please enjoy it while I surf the breasts, er ‘net.”

Because everything in the universe is on this device, she’s guaranteed to find something that will make me go, “Yes! Yes I DO want to watch that with you. Cue that shit up honey, I’ll get the popcorn,” and I’m not very happy about it.

I should write something for the blog but, “HOLY FUCK EVERY EPISODE OF TOP GEAR IS HERE RIGHT NOW” or, as it actually happened this weekend, “Todd, do you want to watch The Hobbit?”

Yes, yes I do. More than I want to do anything else ever in my life, honey!

If I’m not back in a few days someone, someone PLEASE call the police because even if a jailbroke Apple TV is not illegal I need Frodo Baggins to take ours and toss that shit into Mount Doom.

I’d write more, but fuck, there’s a lot of TV to watch.

Why did I buy that song and why is the Showtime series Californication still pissing me off?

Well, as you might recall from the “10,000 hit’s, holy crap where’s my music” update a few weeks back, Steve Jobs literally engineered things so that all my iTunes purchased music would be robbed from me at about the time I did that update.

No idea why he chose then, he just did.

Now some of you apple savvy folks I can only assume read what I wrote back then and laughed your faces off, cause you realized I’m an idiot.   Some of the emails you sent me were uncalled for though, why bring my mom into it!

Some of you less savvy folks signed and thought, well that sucks.

But as a public service I will now tell you how to restore ALL your purchases on iTunes.

Literally every purchase you ever made on iTunes.  You’re welcome, I’d do anything for you.

Step one:

Approach the computer sober.

Step two:

Follow the very easy to find, very easy to use directions on iTunes.

Step three:

Wait for the downloads to download.

Of all the steps I recommend step one above the others because as it turns out apple DOES have an “I fucked up button”.   They just don’t call it the “I fucked up” button, oddly.

Now when faced with years and years of drunken iTunes purchases I’m realizing that my ‘HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT SONG’ desire to ‘BUY IT NOW’, even at .99 cents, when added together is the GDP of Guatemala.

Actually I just did the real math, even if every song literally cost .99 cents (and they don’t cause albums are less, I think) it’s only like $239 or so and hell I’ve been buying crap off of iTunes since at least 2007 or so.

But the list is funny to look at it.  The first iTunes purchase for reasons that prove I’m still 16 and cry at night because I’m a special sensitive flower, or something, was The Cure.   I literally haven’t listened to the Cure for more than five minutes in a row since 1993.

That was a purchase made while drinking.

The next few iTunes purchases are pretty boring, Spoon cause I like them and the CD was scratched beyond use (they make crappy beer coasters) and a few others that yeah, I’d totally see me buying that sober.

Then there’s a weird purchase by something called ‘Teagan and Sara” which I’m listening to now and it’s not bad.   But have NO memory of buying it.

Honey look I have an apple AND a snake, take me back PLEASE

Honey look I have an apple AND a snake, take me back PLEASE

Here’s a good one, guaranteed to have been a purchase made after many beers.   The entire soundtrack to season one of the Showtime series, “Californication”.    You remember that show right?  It’s the one where agent Mulder solves alien crimes and whores his way through a series of totally hot LA chicks in an effort to, well, win back his ex-wife.

Basically this was the show’s entire theme …

Honey, I banged a hot blonde, will you take me back now?

No?

Well I banged a hot chick with tattoos, will you take me back now?

No?  Crap.

Look I just banged two totally hot brunettes, at the same time, will you take me back now?

No?  Look you’re being unreasonable here.

Look the series had a lot of hot naked chicks in it, like in every scene and my wife was deployed.  You do the math.

What killed that series for me (besides that fact that I want to retroactively abort the person that wrote in the daughter) is the scene in season two where he goes down on the wrong woman in a dark room during a party.   Look, take it from me there is no <deleted — legal dept.   See me! – Ed.> and that’s how I know that scene was a bunch of crap.

Shit where was I?

Oh yeah.  Californication, umm season one good, season two bad.  Also purchasing the soundtrack put like a crap ton of artists I don’t know, all of whom have one song listed, into my selection of artist lists on my iPhone.

Fuck you Mulder you asshole, alien encounter that.

I guarantee I was reading SOMETHING by Hunter S. Thompson when I purchased this next song, and NO it didn’t have to be (but likely was) Fear and

I was digging Ralph Steadman before most people knew who Johnny Depp was.  I even had a this on a Tee (and still do) in like 1994

I was digging Ralph Steadman before most people knew who Johnny Depp was. I even had a this on a Tee (and still do) in like 1994

Loathing in Las Vegas.   That song was, White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.  And no matter how tanked I was when I bought that song, I stand behind it because the dormouse said damn it, that’s why.

Here’s one I cannot explain and I fall on my sword begging your forgiveness.  I don’t have a clue why I bought California Girls by Katy Perry, I just did.   I should have to give everyone that just read that a .99 cent refund.

But holy shit the Pogues, I missed the Pogues, and then I played them and I wondered if I could just make iTunes forget that little mistake?   The Pogues are okay, I’ve listened to them (sometimes A LOT) but the burn out on the Pogues hasn’t expired yet, back into the vault you go angry drunk Irishmen, you haven’t served your time yet.

I have no clue who the street dogs are, why I would pay money to down load them or even what they sound like.   Chances are I heard one song, liked it and bought the album.  They’re in the download queue and are expected to be next in the year 2044.

Seems I had a ‘rap’ phase.  I did.  In between Skyrim, Star Trek conventions and … Okay I like some Jay-Z.  Screw you he’s cool.

While everyone, sadly including myself, was flogging their penis (peni?) about what a genius Kurt Corbain was Sublime’s, with Bradley Nowell, was doing awesome stuff.    Bradley Nowell died chasing the dragon, I always thought it was a car crash – but you know you learn things here at had a few beers, it was the smack– , and I’m still convinced he was under rated by everyone.   Had they not broke up after his death I think they would have been as influential as the Pixies are thought to be today.  The surviving members I now know, from writing this, have released a new album.

I’m checking it out.

There’s a lot of comedy, which is awesome.

At the age of 14 learning all the dirty words, and HOW to use them, is awesome.

At the age of 14 learning all the dirty words, and HOW to use them, is awesome.

At about the age of about 12 or something I was watching HBO late at night, which was verboten.    But my parents slept well and if I was quiet and had the volume down low, they’d never know.   Then George Carlin came on, and I couldn’t help myself.  I was holding my sides on the couch in the living room laughing.   Mom of course woke up and instead of beating my ass, like I deserved, she sat on the couch with me and laughed a few times, Carlin wasn’t her thing but she appreciated the fun I was having with it.

It’s been a life-long love affair.  I was heart broke when Bobcat Goldthwait took his fatal, fire induced, career suicide on a late night show.   Oddly he was on NPR’s Wait, wait don’t tell me last week and is still just as funny.

I’m now addicted to Lewis Black, he’s funny.  Check him out.

Back to music, there’s a lot of ‘Clash’, good.  A lot of’ Buzzcocks’ which don’t suck and a shit-ton of Dave ‘god I’m so over that’ Matthews.

I’m not at all sure why Sugar’s “that’s a good idea” keeps popping up on every device I own but I can only assume it’s because I want to kill my wife or I just like the song.

Whichever, I’m cool with both.

And who the fuck are the Tune-yards?   Oh yeah that was that band I heard on NPR, what the fuck was I thinking buying that album.

Back to comedy, Jeanne Robertson should be held down while I poo … okay she’s kind of funny.  My mom would have liked her and dad would approve.

Rated G comedy, I have ONE thing they would approve of …

Go me!

Vampire weekend is there and if I didn’t like boobs so much even I would assume I was gay.

When the fuck did I find “Bowling for soup” that great band of suck, to be a great band of non-suck?  They had like two maybe three songs that didn’t suck.   Three albums Todd, what the fuck?

I also have a lot of before mentioned pixies, wait for it, tribute bands.

But no Pixies.  Fuck.

What the hell?  Most of the tribute bands are better than the original Pixies but not as good as the original Pixies, if that makes sense.  Back when I started this, a shocking and ancient 6 months ago, my first update was (going to be) about how the Pixies were a really influential band and I could back that up if research wasn’t hard.  Research IS hard let me tell you, trust me the Pixies were influential, to me at least.

Ten THOUSAND views thank you all so … crap where’s my stuff iTunes, I hate you iTunes!

So we’ve hit a milestone, 10,000 hits, which I’m pretty sure, considering I started this crap started on a day I don’t remember back in like February , means that there have been (had a few beers math) like a million hits a day over the course of all those days.

Okay no jokes, but still it’s like 250 hits over all those days.

Most of you coming here, admittedly, are looking for sauna boners but still an impressive number.  Also the big joke there is that yes, sauna boners is still the hottest (get it?) search term here.

I want this update to be about thanking all of you, everyone that reads this.  I mean it, thanks.   The stuff I type here is, while fun, sometimes …

FUCKING ITUNES ATE MY SHIT AND I HATE MY FUCKING IPHONE.

Steve Jobs I curse you sir.

Yeah, no I don’t really curse Mr. Jobs but yeah really I hate iTunes right now.

My iPhone has exactly one band’s album on it and one song by another band on it.    I have an entire album by Mariachi El Bronx and one song by Alexandra Stan (Mr. Saxobeat).

Why, why do you hate me iTunes?   Why?

Why, why do you hate me iTunes? Why?

Both of which I bought while drunk.

Everything else has evaporated into so many digital ghosts.

So, fuck you Apple.

To add insult to injury, Apple kindly provides you with a list of every fucking purchase you ever made on iTunes and HOLY shit there a lot of stuff that never made it off my old iPod to my iTouch to my iPhone 3 to my iPhone 4 and FUCK YOU want that stuff damn it!

While on a business trip  a few months ago, while tanked, I purchased  from my iPhone mind you, three episodes of Futurama and they have been stuck in my download cue since I was born.

Can’t download them, can’t delete them from the queue, can’t stab Steve in the eye with a bar straw.

Just stuck looking at them, never deleted, never watched, never downloaded.

Everything else downloads, not them.   A constant reminder of a night-time decision to watch a video on my iPhone, forever I guess.   Stop judging my night-time video choices Steve!  You’re being a dick!

Also protip kids, never purchase video downloads like this from your iPhone while drunk in Eastern European countries, it throws your credit card into anti-fraud hysterics.

You’ll have to talk the credit card help line lady off the ledge, literally.

“Stay with me, Fatima, I was in the Ukraine on business, I bought a funny video from iTunes, no one stole anything, don’t jump please!”

Some of you Mactarded fanatics are rolling your eyes right now and closing your browsers.   Don’t hit that little ‘x’ or whatever it is you elitist freaks select to close a ‘window’ (yeah a WINDOW, as in WINDOWS based).

It is likely my fault I lost my copy of the songs, “little black backpack” and “I’m popular”.  I’m also an idiot for downloading them I freely admit.   It is my fault though; I did this to myself, somehow.   You see back in the sane and rational world of non-Apple shit you have to manage your content, and I’m VERY comfortable doing that.

Download all your photos to this folder, all your videos to that folder.   Put all your important documents into another folder and hide your porn in a folder called, “totally not porn honey, never look in this folder, only boring shit is in here.”

Then, when you have to change computers you … wait for it … COPY THOSE FUCKING FOLDERS TO YOUR NEW COMPUTER.

Meaning you still HAVE them, computer after computer after computer after …

Retardedly too simple for iTunes it seems.

Which leads me to, Apple hates America.

They do!

They hate property rights too, those assholes.    They want to punch George Washington in the balls, They hate my copy of Lord of two boobs and return of the boobs too, fuckers.

In short they hate freedom.

Why can’t I just go into iTunes and tell it re-download all the shit I ever downloaded and be quick about it?   Because of piracy I know but why isn’t there an “I fucked up” button.

My life needs an “I fucked up” button on SO many levels (shout out to you Dagmar, love you baby!) but shit how hard would this one be?

Assholes.

Sure I know ‘kind of’ how it happened.  My iPhone was full of like a million gigs of “other” which when googled told me that all I had to do was connect to iTunes, do a factory reset, resynch and LOSE ALL MY SHIT.

They left the ‘lose all my shit’ off that helpful recommendation and fuck if I know where my shit is on the old computer.   I have a lot of searching to do in C:\windowsprogramsfuckifIknowshitisitinhere searching to do if I ever want to hear another Pogues song soon.

So once more, fuck you iTunes, fuck you Apple, fuck you Macintosh and Steve, I’m sorry you’re dead but the shit you did pisses me off.

Fuck you my iPhone, really fuck you.

But mostly, really mostly, thanks for reading, assuming you got down here, down this far I mean.   Some of you put up with REALLY low quality, non-entertaining cat videos, plastic toys on a BMW’s hoods, photos of beer cans, rants about the Catholic church and posts about why I … well if you read this far you read it all likely.

Thanks for stopping me in the hallway and telling me you liked what I wrote, thanks for calling me and telling me you liked what I wrote, thanks for emailing me and telling me you liked what I wrote.  Thank you to ever complete stranger, and there are many of you, that reached out.   That’s the coolest, people out of the blue saying “wow I just laughed cause of what you wrote.”  You folks are flattering and scary, I mean I thought I was funny, I thought my friends thought I was funny but … STOP STALKING ME.   I kid, thanks man it’s ALWAYS flattering.

Thanks, honestly.  I’m flattered and shocked you all read, participate and come back.

Thanks.

No bad words, no rants, no jokes.  Thanks, you reading this, sharing it (always share it)  or telling me you laughed is why I will do it again tomorrow.  Maybe it will be popular, maybe it will fall flat, I don’t care.  I’m just glad you’re here and, I hope, having fun.

A few shout outs.   Special thanks to Val Henderson of course, for kicking me in the ass to do this and putting up with my juvenile shouts of joy when a post early on broke 100 reads.   Thanks to Dagmar for calling me out (here and in private – SAUNA BONERS HONEY!).   Thanks to Marni Sandberg for always reading.

moar of these!

Moar of these! Really I need like a million more if the way ahead is going to work.

Thanks to GG for always coming through, well mostly coming through, with the twins.  Thanks to  Lynn Davis for putting up with me.  Thanks to Maggie for telling me, years ago, YEARS AGO, “wow you can really write”.  Thanks to Alex for suggesting I do this 8 million years ago (I should have listened to you dude) and …

Finally, sauna boner hopefuls, I’m sorry there are no sauna boners.  But I’m glad you’re here.

Another plea for a hero … support for Sgt. 1st Class Taylor starts with us.

First things first, thanks for reading. The last 24 hours have seen more traffic here than any other period in this blogs short history. More as in thousands more. Thanks for the hits, thanks for the shares and thanks for giving. Sadly that’s where we’ve come up short badly. Today his fund has almost double yesterday’s amount but it’s still far, far short of it’s goal.

We’re talking of course about Sgt. 1st Class Walter Taylor’s legal defense fund and efforts that are underway to help him raise $35,000.

This update is all about how you can donate (hint: that’s the link) and why you should donate. There will be, sadly, none of this blogs usual shenanigans – Taylor’s situation is far too dire for jokes. I mean that, its tough for me to say, I think almost anything can be a joke. Not this time though …

The good news is that even if you live overseas and have an APO mailing address you can STILL donate. In the address line where it asks for your city type in APO AE and in the line where they ask for your state, select New York and viola, donate away!

Pretty painless really, easier than purchasing on Amazon or iTunes so please, I beg you, head there now and donate whatever you can. Also again, repost this on Facebook and twitter and where ever else you find an audience because as you know or will soon know the recipient of this money is an American hero.

Why should you donate?

In an effort to fight out what appears to be politically motivated criminal charges SFC Taylor, wisely, hired a civilian attorney. Rather than risk it with a U.S. Army appointed defense lawyer, who may or may not be up to the job, SFC Taylor in an effort to save himself, his family and his career sought out and employed a civilian attorney well versed in military law.

This is an excellent move because, as you know, he did nothing wrong on July 21, 2011.

SFC Taylor, a combat engineer, and his platoon, set out on a road-clearing patrol that day to ensure that the roads in his area of operation were free of roadside bombs. They literally went out looking for bombs that day and every other day during their tour of duty. It was their job. They found the largest roadside bomb any of them had ever had the misfortune of encountering. Seconds after the devastating blast they were engaged by small-arms fire and during the course of that fire fight a black sedan, unbelievably, drove into the middle of it all. To the seasoned vets of his platoon this alone warranted serious suspicion that the vehicle’s occupants were enemy forces. Civilian vehicles just don’t drive into an ongoing fire fight.

This bizarre twist of events, coupled with the fact that during the ‘fog of battle’ several members of the platoon reported seeing shots coming from the sedan led to some of the platoon’s vehicle mounted heavy weapons engaging the vehicle.

After the firefight Taylor and three other members of the platoon followed a wire that had been used to detonate the road-side bomb – insanely the wire seemed to lead directly to the now silent black sedan.

SFC Taylor’s Platoon leader, just moments before he started following the wire, warned him that there were reports of insurgents using vehicles as bombs. The black sedan, he and everyone else thought, was obviously another bomb intent on taking his life and the life of his men.

As he followed the wire he came as close as 10 to 25 meters from the vehicle something else inexplicable happened. A figure dressed in black exited the vehicle from the rear-passenger door and ran toward the vehicle’s trunk. Reports differ but, by all estimates, Taylor has between 3 and 10 seconds to make a decision. Was the person friend or foe?

Think about that … 3 to 10 seconds. I imagine it’s something akin to this:

1 second: The door flies open.

2 seconds: A foot emerges from the door

3 seconds: A person’s lower torso emerges

4 seconds: The person is out of the vehicle, facing you and they are covered in black

5 seconds: The person begins in your direction and toward the trunk of the car

6 seconds …

You get the idea. Fearing for his life and more importantly fearing for the lives of his Soldiers Taylor shot and killed the cloaked figure only to discover, to his horror, he’d killed an innocent person. That in and of itself is more punishment they he deserves. It’s very unfortunate that it occurred but that it occurred is neither criminal nor careless – protecting yourself and your platoon from what would to any sane mind appear to be a suicide bomber is clearly the correct thing to do.

Here’s that link again, just in case you missed it. Any little bit, $5, $20 whatever amount you feel comfortable giving will help. If it’s $30 or more they’ll send you a bumber sticker that says I support SFC Taylor, how cool is that?

This isn’t going to be the last update as you can likely guess but I hope it’s the one that pushes his defense fund over the $10,000 mark. Finally, post this, reblog this, link this far and wide.

One final thing, I feel like I need to add a disclaimer. While I am retired from the U.S. Army and am currently employed as a Department of the Army Civilian the words here and my urging you to donate in no way reflect an official position by anyone or any entity besides me. This blog, and the updates regarding this case, are my opinion and should by no means be construed as endorsment by the U.S. Army or the U.S. government.

You know just in case you were wondering.

Thanks.

Suicide or Ikea, Suicide or Ikea, Suicide or Ikea … crap, it’s Ikea

I have some bad news friends.  

I’m going to have to kill myself before Saturday.   Okay maybe kill myself is a bit strong but I’m talking totally believable suicidal gestures.   You know the kind, I’ll eat a bottle of Flintstone vitamins and post a suicide note here, or I’ll cut my wrists with a dull butter knife (but it’ll totally hurt) while listening to whatever Goth song is currently number one on iTunes or I’ll …

Okay never mind I’m not going to kill myself before Saturday but at some point this Saturday I’ll wish I had.

The first hint that I was about to be forced into doing something I consider equal to a colonoscopy on the ‘scale of fun’ came yesterday morning when Dagmar noted she hated the curtains in the guest bedroom.

We’ve been married a while.   I knew what this meant.  It didn’t mean she’d go find new ones more on her lunch

Ikea, we destory men's souls

Ikea, we destory men's souls

break.   It didn’t mean she’d surf the web looking for the type and color she wanted.   No it meant something more ominous, something darker.  It meant I was going, with her, to Ikea.

I did the math in my head and quickly guessed that there was five percent chance that I could get out of going with her and a 95% chance I would be craving the sweet sweet kiss of death at about one p.m. this Saturday afternoon.

I did the smart thing, I kept my mouth shut and simply muttered something like “I like them but if you want new ones okay.”

It was ‘May Day’ a holiday for labors across the world (except for us non-commie ‘Mericans) and spring has sprung here in Europe.   Point is what should have been a quick (no traffic) and pleasant drive on a fine spring morning was ruined.   

My mind raced with thought about how to get out of the dreadful Ikea experience.

As I said Spring has sprung here in Deutchland.   The sun is out, there are bee’s in the flowers we planted last weekend and Dagmar has that insane’ let’s rip the house apart in a maniacal desire to remove the dirt’ look in her eye.

I get spring cleaning, I do.  It makes sense and while I’m not a fan of it (check my Facebook ‘likes’ I’m not) I understand it and don’t enjoy living in filth anymore than anyone does.   I’ll participate, if given detailed instructions I might even do the chore slightly better than ‘halfassed’.   I’m a man though I’m best turned loose in the garage with ‘clean this crap up’ as guidance.

But this, this Ikea trip, I did not see coming.   We’ve been in this house a few years, Ikea trips are what you do when you move in … this one was out of the left field.

I had to see Dagmar right before a meeting I had yesterday afternoon.   That’s when she dropped the bomb officially while we were discussing what we were going to do that weekend.    “We’re”.  Crap she used the word we’re (death sentence right at the sentence’s start.  “We’re going to Ikea.”   

I now calculated my chances of getting out of this at less than one percent.  Newt Gingrich’s moon colony and presidential nomination are more likely.  

I did what any other trapped animal does in this situation, I panicked.   I think I even started to gnaw off my own legs.

“I was going to hang that picture in the living room like you wanted,” I volunteered before realizing that would take about 15 minutes if I took a smoke break in the middle.  I needed something of substance.   I seriously considered ordering a hot tub from my iPhone (which how cool is that, we can do that today) with a hopeful Saturday delivery date.   I considered enrolling in one more college courses right that minute so that you know, “the weekends are when I study honey”.  

I had nothing, in fact I had added to my misery.   I was going to clean the garage I said which was met with, you ARE going to clean the garage but you’re still going to Ikea.

I know, I screwed that up royally.

If you’re a guy reading this you know exactly what I mean.   If you’re a girl reading this you’re saying what is the big deal it’s just a trip to a store.  

I’m going to break it down for you ladies …

We’ve seen this movie a thousand times before.  It’s a good movie to be sure and when we first watched it we loved it, but now we know that it’s the same movie.   The purchases change but the lead up the purchase is exactly the same, every time.

Every man, ever, eventually turns over these kinds of purchases to his wife, significant other, long time girlfriend whatever.   We do and we do it because you’re right and we have long ago conceded that.  When we turned those decisions over to you ladies, our input, in our minds at least, became irrelevant.   It’s not that we don’t care about the curtains in the guest bedroom it’s that we’ve learned from long and hard experience that you’re smarter about what shade of, insert trendy color here, goes with, other trendy color here, better than we do.

Thus we don’t care anymore.   If our opinion is generally, and I admit it is, wrong we stop caring about giving it.  

We’re just there as a cheer leader toward whatever side you seem to be leaning toward during the decision regarding what kind of throw pillow you should buy.  Mentally we’re going “well she seems to like that one at the moment, encourage that one.”  It becomes all about hurrying the process along so we can leave the goddamn aisle and maybe someday, before we’re old and senile, check out, go home and drink beer.

I’m pretty sure you can trace all this back to evolution or at least the study of primitive hunter-gather societies.  Studies have shown the gathers, typically woman, worked a whole lot harder than the men’s hunter role.    While women were out debating which berry was yummy and which berry would turn you into a dead person men were at the village wondering if they could ferment rocks to make booze and drawing crude stick figure porn in nearby caves.   

But when word came that the elk, buffalo, whatever herd was near the hunters of the tribe “saddled up and rode” bitches!    Meaning I can go to Ikea alongside Dagmar (and yes this is basically the same as the vacuum analogy) but I’m going to dart in, find the curtain that comes closest to the one you described to me and then get out.

You women though are going there to gather.   “Oh that shiny thing would be great in the hallway” and “Oh that would be fun to put in the bathroom” and “My cousin (twice removed and never met in person) would love this,” will be uttered countless times and the dreadful question, “what do you think” will be asked.  I’ll try to process the question but the “you’re not right, she is” gene will kick in and I’ll again boil it down to I don’t care at all.

Ikea is the worst of all the shopping trips.    The store is designed like one of those rat and cheese mazes making the possibility that even after we finally move forward three feet after an agonizing 30 minutes of looking at a

There is only one way in and one way out ...

There is only one way in and one way out ...

picture frame we’ll stop again to see which vanity set for the bathroom would look ‘cute’.    The Ikea here even has a small restaurant/bar thingy in the middle of it (I think for asshole husbands like me) but I can’t even work up enthusiasm for it because there’s BEER at the goddamned house.

I even asked for suggestions on how to get out of this on facebook but honestly that compounded my misery is all as Adrian Schulte reminded me that Saturday Ikea trips were worse than ALL OTHER Ikea trips.   Cameron Christianson alluded to the mythical shortcut through the store but this kind of exploration isn’t authorized during our trips and Jerry O’Hara suggests a badly timed “gas” incident that just might work but in the end I resigned myself. 

I’m going to Ikea.

Sex, booze and vacuum cleaners … life in the middle lane

It seems I broke the vacuum cleaner and, in so much as I was the one using it when it broke, it’s true. Broken vacuum cleaners aren’t, in and of themselves, very interesting or funny outside of vacuum cleaner repair crowds (hint: This update is going to ROCK to vacuum cleaner repair fans!). What is funny to me at least is that according to my lovely wife, I did this on purpose.

When I asked her why she thought I broke it on purpose and because any answer she gave had a 100% chance of being blogged about here, I discovered the following:

  1. I broke it so I wouldn’t have to vacuum anymore
  2. I broke it so I could go buy a new one and get out of grocery shopping
  3. It could be fixed if only I knew more about how to replace small, lost plastic pieces that snapped off of a larger plastic piece
  4. Also I’m a dick for taking notes while she answers me.

Actually she’s right. I love buying new household appliances and enjoy in ways you cannot imagine, tormenting them. That’s right refrigerator, I’m looking at you and you’re next!

My confession follows. I viciously and with great malice in my heart snapped its thin metal telescoping handle of a neck with glee. “Take that you time sucking beast, never again will you keep me from video games, beer drinking or sitting on my ass watching TV!”

You can picture me doing a victory dance around the broken machine in my boxers if you’d like. I know I am.

In reality the vacuum cleaner is about 10 years old and that’s about three more than I expected of it. It was held together during its last few months with duct tape, hope and prayers. It had the intake power of a lung cancer victim and finding replacement bags was becoming so difficult that I was starting to wonder if you could just empty the old bag. Also yeah, it had bags unlike the new modern kind.

It was time for a new vacuum.

When it did break Dagmar was off shopping and I was allowed to stay home during one of those, “okay you can stay here if you do x, y and z chores arrangements.

The dearly departed is on the right.

(Hint: to any male reading this that is newly married. Always take these deals. You’ll win with more free time in the end, basically because men usually do a half-assed job at house cleaning)

When it broke I did think, “aww crap she’s totally going to think I did this on purpose.” As if tossing a few hundred dollars on a vacuum cleaner was something I found “fun”. Meaning, I can predict her reaction, but I cannot explain it.

So basically there are three ways the Oliver household is getting a new vacuum cleaner, assuming the German equivalent of a Kirby salesman doesn’t show up in the next hour.

I go to the store and buy it (most preferred method)

She goes to the store and buys it (second most preferred method)

We go together to buy it (unmitigated disaster ensues)

The first two options are about as close to a tie as they can get in my opinion.

The “I go to the store and buy it” will be the most cost effective of the three options, note I didn’t say cheapest, I said most cost effective. If I go alone I’m going to straight up throw money at this problem. Do they have optional beer holders on this model? Great, add that to the bill please. What’s that, the vacuum will synch with my iTunes’s library for an extra $50, sure add that too. It can answer the phone via your blender, shit we need that! How have we lived without that? Point is I don’t want to ever have to do this again so if I spend big on it, in my mind, the damn thing can be used to clean up after my wake, and you fucker’s better make a mess at my wake. I totally wanna see, cause I’ll be watching, vomit and crap!

The second option has its own appeal in that I don’t have to have to get off my ass and continue in my duties as Judge “boobieprofessor69” at ratemyrack.com … I kid but I cannot describe to you how little interest I have in buying a vacuum. Does it plug and suck up dirt? Great I’ll take it. The downside of Dagmar buying it is easy. First she’s cheap sometimes and vacuum buying would be one of those times. She’d return home with 8 million other purchases besides the vacuum cause all of you girls do that.

The biggest lie of any marriage or partnership is when you ladies tell us men, I’m only going into the store for one thing … you are all filthy, filthy liars and you know it. Confess, I demand it.

So if she goes to buy it, the vacuum itself won’t cost much – I mean it will actively shock you while you use it but it only costs like $20 – but she’ll come home with four U-haul trailers full of crap I didn’t know we wanted let alone needed.

The third and final (as in it feels like death final) option is that we go buy it together. Oddly the purchase of the actual item was pretty straightforward. A decent, yet sans beer can holder, model that I’m relatively sure our dearly departed vacuum would approve of was had without much debate. But then it starts. The endless gathering, the wandering the aisles of the store, examining this Rachel Ray egg yolk separator or fingering that Martha Stewart ‘stick-up-your-butt floral display guide’.

Look honey we don’t need new towels. I know because you shoved them all in those decorative baskets that, while look good I admit, ensure we only use the same towels over and over again. The towels at the bottom of the baskets have never touched human skin for Christ’s sake. Screw it if we get new towels can we leave? No? If we get the towels can we at least leave this aisle?

All department stores should have waiter service that serve drinks. That would solve these crisis moments.

So in addition to a new vacuum holder we have a new trash can even though I thought our old one was just fine in that it well … held trash! I also have to now remember a new trashcan bag size when shopping.

Oh the humanity.

There are things you can, after a certain number of years as a couple, predict about your significant other yet still not explain. I could, and did predict her reaction to the broken vacuum cleaner but I could not explain it, not for a million dollars could I do that. Her bizarre attachment to the device defies any logical explanation I can come up with. I mean sexual vacuum cleaner relationships are, if Google is to be believed, mainly a male phenomenon. And that sucks.

Certain things are just given preferential treatment here.

For instance when we lived in Italy we bought a very nice, very high-quality Italian leather sofa – mainly cause I was a huge fan of the band Cake back then but also because they’re known to last a lifetime. What did Mrs. Dagmar “I loved that vacuum more than you” Oliver do with great condition couch only seven years into its existence? Did you say she replaced it with some run-of-the-mill mass produced crap from Lazy-boy that will be lucky if it survives seven years let along a lifetime?

You’d of course be right.

So why is the death of the vacuum treated as if a dear family member has passed on and the couch is carelessly tossed into a room we never use? Hell if I know. Though oddly the vacuum did break in that room so maybe there’s a connection I’m not getting. Couch hates vacuum conspiracy theories aren’t as plentiful on the net as you’d hope.

Another example is it’s only in the last year or so that Dagmar’s relented and actually used the, brace yourself, dishwasher. That’s right for years Dagmar chose to wash every single glass, pot, pan, knife, fork and plate by hand.

I’d like to say I stood my ground and maintained that with a fully-functional dishwasher literally inches away I never washed dishes but we all know that truth … I washed me some fucking dishes. But the argument drove me nearly insane.

Gina and Dagmar maintain I take shitty photos of them.   I maintain they are cute no matter what, provided they are doing chick chores.

Gina and Dagmar maintain I take shitty photos of them. I maintain they had hot sexy bubble fights after this photo ...

They went like this.

Me: Just use the fucking dishwasher, its right there, fully-functioning and meant to free you of your domestic shackles.

Dagmar: No I don’t want to!

Me: They even have crap that makes sure the glasses don’t have spots on them. You just load it and press some buttons, magic happens, and presto-chango clean dishes …

Dagmar: Washing dishes relaxes me.

Me: If that’s true why are we arguing? Look maybe you should start doing the laundry by hand? Hell we can eliminate the electric bill if we just follow this to its natural conclusion.

Dagmar: I like to wash the dishes by hand!

I took to taking photos of her washing dishes in all kinds of situations. I have photos of her and GG washing dishes in Italy together because it became funny as hell to me to see her washing dishes when poor Josephine Cochran went through all that fucking trouble of inventing the first dishwasher.

did I mention I like boobs?

This photo would have been a 9.9 and not a 9.8 at ratemyrack.com but I couldn't draw a set of boobs using her moles ... that kind of stuff counts.

GG … btw I want to be clear I voted you a solid 9.8 (because we all know a straight 10 is a kids vote) on ratemyrack.com despite what rival judge tits4life may have told you.

He’s such a hater.

Then magically in this house the dishwasher joined such modern devices as the television, the iron the FUCKING CLOTHES WASHER which is basically the same kind of thing.

I can’t explain it other than I just said fuck it, buy some dishwashing detergent and just do it yourself Todd.

No matter how well you know someone, no matter the level of your understanding, you can predict but you cannot always explain.

So explain that to me …