Thursday, March 20, 2014

Practical Advice From Guys Named Jim

"If you are not willing to risk the unusual,
you will have to settle for the ordinary."
~  Jim Rohn, businessman

"Avoid fruits and nuts.
You are what you eat."
~  Jim Davis, cartoonist

"Expose yourself to your deepest fear;
after that, fear has no power, 
and the fear of freedom shrinks 
and vanishes. You are free."
~  Jim Morrison, musician

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot
keep to gain what he cannot lose."
~  Jim Elliot, missionary

"If you aren't in the moment, you are 
either looking forward to uncertainty,
or back to pain and regret."
~  Jim Carrey, actor

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full
day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days
a week, you're going to have something special."
~  Jim Valvano, basketball coach

"Life's like a movie; write your own ending.
Keep believing, keep pretending."
~  Jim Henson, puppeteer

"Motivation is what gets you started.
Habit is what keeps you going."
~  Jim Ryun, athlete

"Be thankful for problems. If they 
were less difficult, someone with 
less ability might have your job."
~  Jim Lovell, astronaut

"Losing is no disgrace if
you've given your best."
~  Jim Palmer, athlete

"You cannot learn anything from 
success, you only learn from failure."
~  Jim Dale, actor

"Good judgment comes from experience.
Experience comes from bad judgment."
~  Jim Horning, scientist

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

36 People Who Are Already More Successful At My Age Than I Will Ever Be

I know it's self-defeating to compare yourself to other people, because everyone is different, and what truly defines success is completely subjective. But it's my birthday and I feel like deflating my already flimsy ego a bit, so here goes nothing. Don't take it too seriously – my tongue is planted firmly in cheek as I write this – but still...  ~  JH

Karina Smirnoff:  She was the 
Season 13 winner on Dancing With
The Stars. I wasn't. And never will be.

File:Chad Ochocinco.JPG
Chad Johnson (aka Chad Ocho Cinco):  
He's a six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.
I'm not. And I never will be.

Ashton Kutcher:  He's starred in not one
but two successful TV sitcoms as well as countless
movies. I haven't even visited Hollywood.

File:James Franco 4, 2013.jpg
James Franco:  He's won a Golden
Globe and been nominated for an
Oscar. In his spare time, he teaches 
courses on short film production 
and screenwriting. I write 
about clothes for a living.

File:Erin Andrews 2012 Shankbone.JPG
Erin Andrews:  She's been a sportscaster,
journalist, and TV personality who's worked
for ESPN, Fox Sports, and Good Morning
America. I just watch SportsCenter every day.

File:Shawn Marion Mavs.jpg
Shawn Marion:  He won an NBA
championship with the Dallas Mavericks
in 2011. I've flown into the Dallas/
Fort Worth airport a couple of times.

File:CASTA Laetitia-24x30-2005b.jpg
Laetitia Casta:  She's regarded 
as one of the most beautiful 
supermodels in the world. I'm not.

File:Barry Zito 2008-08-02.jpg
Barry Zito:  He parlayed a Cy
Young award into a 7-year, 
$126 million contract. I...
don't make nearly that much.

File:Brian Urlacher crop2.jpg
Brian Urlacher:  He played for 13 years
in the NFL, winning Rookie of the Year, 
Defensive Player of the Year, and was
elected to Pro Bowls. I've watched him
play on television. That's about it.

Benji Gregory:  He was on ALF. I would
have given my right eye to be on ALF.

File:Bill Hader by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Bill Hader:  He was a regular cast member
of Saturday Night Live. He's been in a string of
successful comedies. I crack lame jokes on my blogs.

Joshua Jackson & Anna Torv:  The stars of
TV's über-fascinating sci-fi drama, Fringe.
Watching it on Netflix is about as close as I'll
ever get to experiencing that level of cool.

Dirk Nowitzki:  He's a 12-time
All-Star, former MVP, and one-
time NBA champ. He's considered
one of the greatest power forwards
in NBA history. I shoot bricks. A lot.

Zoe Saldana:  She's been in two 
Star Trek films, as well as in 
Avatar. I've...seen those films.

File:Champ Bailey 2010.JPG
Champ Bailey:  A 12-time Pro Bowler
who's widely regarded as one of the
best pass defenders in NFL history. 
I'm widely regarded as one of the
best gas passers in my household.

File:Aramis Ramírez - 2008 - cropped.jpg
Aramis Ramírez:  He's hit over
350 homeruns and driven in
more than 1,200 runs in his
MLB career. I was 0 for 8 in
my high school baseball "career."

Nicole Scherzinger:  She's very
attractive and sings quite well.
I sing okay, and – well, you 
know what I look like. Ugh!

File:Topher Grace Giant Mechanical Man premiere 2 - Copy.jpg
Topher Grace:  Along with Ashton Kutcher,
he was one of the lead actors on That '70s
Show. I...watched that show a fair bit.

File:MG 9800 Ben Sheets.jpg
Ben Sheets:  He was a four-time
MLB All-Star and Summer Olympic
gold medalist. Even though he 
blew out his arm at a relatively 
young age, he still had a better 
career than I ever will.

Josh Hartnett:  He's starred in blockbuster
hits such as Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, and
Sin City. I used to have a Blockbuster membership.

File:Kurt Busch 54 2012 Road America Sargento 200.jpg
Kurt Busch:  Winner of 24 NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series races and the 2004 champion,
Busch gets paid to drive very fast. When 
I do that, all I get are speeding tickets.

File:Kobe Bryant Washington.jpg
Kobe Bryant:  He's a 16-time All-Star,
15-time All-NBA Team, and 12-time
member of the All-Defensive Team.
He's a 5-time NBA champion, 2-time
Finals MVP, a regular-season MVP,
and a surefire future Hall of Famer. I
used to play NBA Jam on my Sega Genesis.

File:Ed Reed 2008-08-13.jpg
Ed Reed:  A nine-time Pro Bowler,
former NFL Defensive Player of the Year,
and one-time Super Bowl champion, Reed
is considered one of the greatest safeties
of all time in the NFL. I always wear my
safety belt when driving or riding in a car.

File:Usher speech.jpg
Usher:  He's won 8 American Music
Awards, 20 Billboard Music Awards,
8 Grammys, and 2 MTV Video Music
Awards, among countless other honors.
I once served as an usher for the
Summer Theatre program at ECU.

File:20110426-1018 John Lackey.jpg
John Lackey:  Despite being infamous
for his surly demeanor and his habit
of drinking beer and eating fried
chicken during his own team's games,
this guy has won 138 games in the big
leagues and has two World Series rings
to show for it. I've never won anything.

Matthew Morrison:  He portrays the
charismatic glee club teacher on the
hit TV series, Glee. He's appeared in 
numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway
productions. I sing in the shower.

Bubba Watson:  One of the few
left-handed golfers on the PGA
Tour, Bubba won the Masters 
Tournament in 2012. I have never
played a round of golf in my life.
But I am left-handed.

File:Reggie Wayne.JPG
Reggie Wayne:  A six-time Pro Bowl
selection and member of the Colts'
Super Bowl XLI championship team,
Wayne has amassed over 1,000 receptions
and more than 13,500 receiving yards 
during his career. I once worked in the
Receiving Department at Barnes & Noble.

File:Rachel McAdams, TIFF 2012 (bright crop).jpg
Rachel McAdams:  She's starred in a
number of hit movies such as Mean Girls,
The Notebook, Wedding Crashers,
Sherlock Holmes, and The Vow. I've
seen a lot of hit movies such as these.

File:Katherine Heigl LF adjust.jpg
Katherine Heigl:  She's starred in
the hit medical drama, Grey's Anatomy,
for which we won a Primetime Emmy.
She's been in a string of hit movies,
most of them romantic comedies.
Let's face it – I can't compete with that.

File:Mat Kearney.jpg
Mat Kearney:  He's one of the more
talented singer-songwriters in the biz
today. He's won a GMA Dove Award 
and scored 5 top-20 hits on the Adult
Top 40 Chart. I've written a bunch of 
songs I've never sung for anyone
anywhere and probably never will.

File:Nelly Furtado 2010.jpg
Nelly Furtado:  She's an 8-time
Grammy nominee and 2-time
Grammy winner. I'm like a bird.

File:Vernon Wells on May 20, 2013.jpg
Vernon Wells:  Despite fizzling
out late in his career (he's still
an active player), Wells has been
a 3-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove
winner, and 1-time Silver Slugger
Award winner. He's hit nearly 300
homeruns and driven in almost 1,000
runs over his 14-year career. I have both 
Gold and Silver strands in my beard hair.

File:Katie Holmes, 2009.jpg
Katie Holmes:  She starred in Dawson's
Creek, had a key role in Batman Begins,
and has appeared on Broadway in an
Arthur Miller play. She was also married
to a talented yet insane fellow actor.
I married a talented yet not insane person.
Now this is a comparison that I'm okay with.

Manny Pacquiao:  He's the first and only
eight-division world champion in boxing, in
which he was won ten world titles. He holds an
impressive record of 55 wins (38 by TKO) and 
only 5 losses. He's also served in the House 
of Representatives in his home country 
of The Philippines. I get knocked down, 
but I don't usually get up again.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Per Your Suggestion: "Pet Rock Meets Count Chocula"

This story, suggested by my friend Angela Mageau, was by far the most challenging "crazy title" that's come to life thus far. In point of fact, a fair bit of research was necessary. The brief, yet über-popular "Pet Rock" phenomenon was slightly before my time, and I hadn't seen a Count Chocula TV commercial (or eaten the cereal) in many, many years. So a bit of memory refreshing, as well as some first-time knowledge acquisition, was essential to this story even happening. That being said, it's not actually a "story," per se. More like a dialogue, or perhaps a skit. Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy it, Angela. I hope everyone else does, too.  ~  JH


Therapist's office

Pet Rock (PR):  Think Woody Allen, inanimately speaking
Count Chocula (CC):  One-track mind, speaks in a Transylvanian accent

CC: So, vhat seems to be de problem?

PR:  I don't know exactly. Sometimes I feel like everyone has forgotten about me.

CC: Don't be scared…to tell me more.

PR:  I just feel like I'm being taken for granted.

CC:  Ah, ah, taken for granite! Dat is a super-sweet joke, my friend!

PR: "Granted," not "granite." Sheesh! For someone who's paid to listen to people, you sure don't do a very good job of it.

CC:  My apologies. You are correct. Please continue.

PR:  The thing is, when I was first adopted, back in '75, I thought life as I knew it would forever change. I mean, one minute I was by the creek bed, the next I was in a cardboard box with straw and breathing holes, sitting on a shelf in Woolworth's. And then…

CC:  Yes, go on, please. I am listening.

PR:  It's hard to talk when you're crunching like that.

CC:  Sorry, I vas trying to satisfy de chocolate monster in me, vith a vitamin-charged bowl of double-chocolatey delight, de delicious super-sweet cereal dat I like to call Count Chocula. Named after me, of course. Ah, ah!

PR:  I didn't know these sessions had commercial breaks.

CC:  Dey don't. I am sorry. Please continue.

PR:  As I was saying, then I was adopted by a wonderful little boy whose name was Frank.

CC:  Franken Berry? Dat rascal always tries to find a way to one-up me! Not dis time! Count Chocula vill show him who is de boss!

PR:  Not Franken Berry, you schmuck! Frank. Johnson, if you must know. Now, can I please finish my story?

CC:  I vill not stop you from telling de story. Please, go on.

PR: Well, things were great at first. Frank adopted me, put me right on top of his toy box. Didn't feed me, didn't walk me, didn't bathe me, didn't groom me. Because I didn't need it. I was, as advertised, "the perfect pet."

CC:  Please hold on, just one moment if you vill. I find that I am craving another bowl of delicious chocolate sweeties vith de goblin-good, chocolate-flavored marshmallows. I vill be right back.

PR:  Fine, but I'm deducting this out of your hourly rate.

CC:  Okay, vhere vere we? Oh yes, you…dis Frank kid…perfect pet. Continue, please.

PR:  Anyway, things were going great. He had taught me how to sit, to stay, and even how to roll over – though I had to have a little bit of help with that one. Next he was going to train me to attack, which he said was very much a "team effort." But then one day, about six months after he'd adopted me, Frank just totally lost interest in me.

CC:  Vhat makes you say dat?

PR:  My first clue was when he traded me to his friend, Scooter, for a mood ring and fifty cents.

CC: Ah, de mood rings. I remember dem vell.

PR:  Really? That's all you got out of that?

CC:  I'm sorry. Continue.

PR:  Well, that's about it. Ever since then, I've been traded, sold, stored in an attic – you name it. Last week, I was taken to the landfill and dropped off, after a thrift store couldn't even get rid of me.

CC:  Dat's very sad.

PR:  Tell me about it. What do you think I should do?

CC:  About vhat, exactly?

PR:  If you'd get your face out of your cereal bowl for one second, you might know about "vhat". What am I supposed to do about my feelings of abandonment, about the loneliness that consumes me?

CC:  Do you really vant my honest opinion?

PR:  That's what I'm paying you for, isn't it?

CC:  Presumably, yes.

PR:  Okay, what is your honest opinion? What should I do?

CC:  I think you should kick back…

PR:  Yes…

CC:  Roll up de sleeves…

PR:  Uh-huh…

CC:  And sink your spoon into a monstrously large bowl of de world's super-sweet cereal: Count Chocula!

PR:  Are you kidding me?

CC:  Vhat do you mean, "kidding"? It's a double-chocolatey part of your complete breakfast! How can you go wrong?

PR:  This is hopeless!

CC:  Dere is no hopeless, but dere is chocolate-flavored marshmallows.

PR:  Thank you for your "advice," but I'm going to go jump off a bridge and drown myself now.

CC:  How 'bout a monster for breakfast today?

PR:  No, thank you, I'd rather die.

CC:  But rocks can't die!

PR:  Send me the bill, alright?

CC:  Don't forget, dere's a Mini-Monster toy inside every box. Collect dem all!

PR:  My address is "The Bottom Of The Lake." Goodbye!

CC:  Oh vell, you vin some, you lose some! Now vhere did I put dat box of Count Chocula?