Merry Christmas!

Dear Diary …

OK everyone … don’t freak out. Don’t go crazy. Don’t get all mad. But I am here to tell you … Merry Christmas!

OK OK … it’s not exactly that, but I am here to talk you off the ledge when you go to the store this week and you see … GASP … Christmas stuff for sale! Oh heavens to Betsy!

What I need you to do is resist the temptation to get all mad and immediately take a picture and run to your social media and post it and say “I can’t believe they already have Christmas stuff out at the store! It’s too early!”

Alright … just stop. Let it go.

Cuz here’s the deal … it’s not too early.

Yeah … it’s too early to put your tree up or start decorating your yard, but it’s not too early to start buying stuff. Why? Because it’s never too early to buy stuff. Because when you want stuff … just buy it!

Ain’t nobody freaking out in February when they’re selling shorts at the Gap. “I can’t believe they’re already selling shorts! It’s not even spring!”

Look … they put it out there because sometimes you wanna buy shorts in February and sometimes you wanna buy Christmas stuff in September. They got winter coats for sale right now. Ain’t nobody lighting torches and marching the streets in protest over that.

You don’t wanna buy Christmas stuff right now? Fine. Don’t. But maybe somebody else does.

I just bought a refrigerator over the weekend. So now I have no need to shop for one for hopefully a REALLY long time. But I’m not mad if they’re still out there for somebody else to buy. The universe doesn’t revolve around just you. Some people wanna get that stuff out of the way … or maybe they’re excited for the holidays. Who really cares the reason? If that’s not for you .. then don’t bother.

I think pumpkin spice is nasty. But … some basic person with their autumn knit cap on is super excited about it. Great! Have at it!

There’s Christmas-themed stores that are open year round. And if you don’t like it … then don’t go there. Nobody’s forcing you. Do your own thing and move on!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Bring Baby Powder

Bring Baby Powder

Dear Diary …

I like to think I provide halfway decent advice. At the very least, I hope somebody out there at least realizes that they’re doing something dumb and stops doing it after I point it out. (Though you know how it is with dumb people … they dumb.) It’s like a wise man once said … “If you can change just one idiot’s ways, you’ve done your job.” Or maybe it was Oprah. Or maybe I read it on a shirt in Myrtle Beach.

Anyway … I’m here to help. So today I’ve got some helpful pieces of life advice.

Life advice #1: Bring Baby Powder

This is one that must evolve as you get older, because when I was a kid this issue never came up, but now? Man there’s chafing. I don’t know when that butt to sweat to pant ratio changes, but boy does it change! I just got back from this big ol’ food festival, and let me tell you right now, if I didn’t have my trustly bottle of baby powder on me at all times, you’d probably find my red and irritated corpse laying on the streets of Greenville, South Carolina.

Any when I was at FloydFest? Oh you can forget about it. They might as well change the name of that whole festival to Chafe-O-Rama. And if Johnson and Johnson ain’t a sponsor of that thing, it should be. At the very least, I’m gonna buy me a bunch of those little travel size bottles of baby powder, set up a booth, and then sell them for $500 each as the night goes on. Heck at one point I woulda paid twice that, and I HAD my own supply!

Life advice #2: Don’t Talk to Me

Here’s where we go back to the whole, “change just one idiot’s mind” thing from earlier. If you don’t know me, and we’re around each other, resist the temptation to speak to me. Now I don’t mean ALL talking. You wanna tell me my shoes are cool or my face looks awesome? Go for it!

I’m more talking about if you’ve got some sort of complaint or general whininess going on … I don’t want to hear about it.

If we are both standing in a line. And it’s long. I’m aware that it’s long. I don’t need you to start telling me, “boy this line is long!” Then go into your whole rant about how there aren’t enough registers open or nobody wants to work or whatever other “angry AM radio agenda” you have on your mind. I don’t care! Nobody cares! Don’t talk!

I know exactly what this is … this is a person who’s already worn out everybody in their life. Friends don’t call them anymore. Family ignores them. So now they’re just looking for someone … ANYONE … to listen to their boring topics. This is why Facebook is the billion dollar company that it is … they tapped into these noodnicks and gave them a platform to complain about the line for the WHOLE world to hear. Thanks Zuckerberg!

Till next Time Diary .. I say … Goodbye

Eat Drink and Sit

Eat Drink and Sit

Dear Diary …

I enjoy me a beach vacation. Granted … sand is kinda just … awful and sandy … but it’s all part of the experience. The sun … the surf … the smell of the ocean air … I’m cool with all that. However, there is one thing that is totally ruining the beach going experience. And it doesn’t even have to be a thing.

I mean I don’t know about you, but I go to the beach to eat, drink, and sit. That’s what you’re supposed to do, right? It’s a time to leave everyday hassles behind and just enjoy a different life for a couple days. Which is why I don’t need you people who are doing all kinds of exercisin’ at the beach. What is wrong with you? I thought the whole point was to get AWAY from everyday life? I mean do you go inside and open your mail and pay bills while you’re at it?

I was just at the beach recently and in the morning I’m on my way to the store … and to be clear I’m on my way to the store because I have leftover mac and cheese and pulled pork BBQ and I need to buy tortillas so I can make awesomely ooey gooey BBQ pork and mac and cheese quesadillas. And beer. Needed more beer.

So what I don’t need is to look up and see some guy standing on the deck of his beach house doing all sorts of exercises. He’s got those rubber band tension band thingies and he’s just standing there with his arms pushed all the way out … and just holdin’ it. Not to mention he’s dressed like a fluorescent green traffic cone so he’s REALLY going out of his way to be all, “Look at ME! I’m exercising at the BEACH!”

Alright look here Mr. Universe … you’re not better than me just because you’re still “gettin’ a workout in” while you’re on vacation. Truth is you’re probably better than me for a lot of reasons because I’m awful … but this isn’t one of them!!!

And for as bad as that person in, the people who go running on the actual beach are even worse. Because now I’m sittin’ there doing my … you know … eat drink and sit like I’m supposed to go … I got them all right in front of me runnin’ around with their little fanny pack water bottles … keep looking at their watch like they’re timing themselves for a race or something.

Get outta here with this! I don’t come to the gym and sit down next to you and eat a pizza because that’s your “workout zone.” So I don’t need to see you doing a bunch of lunges here in the “eat drink and sit zone.”

C’mon people! Somtimes it’s OK to just … be BAD and have some fun. Stupid work and chores and the gym will be there when you get back. Eat drink and sit!!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

The Streak Is Over

The Streak Is Over

Dear Diary …

I hate technology!

OK, it’s not that I hate ALL technology … I mean it’s pretty dang sweet to be able to watch every single scoring play on a football Sunday without ever changing the channel, but what I hate is technology that is just meant to control us and mess with us.

I hate streaks!

And curse the gaming and social media world for figuring out that the human brain is obsessed with “streaks” even when they are completely meaningless. Like why am I over here all mad and depressed just because I forgot to do the Wordle ONE TIME. It’s not that I even got it wrong, I just happened to have REAL LIFE things go on so I didn’t have time to roll around in word play fantasy land.

But now I gotta wear the scarlet letter of shame because my streak is done and there’s no going back. And yeah, you can start over, but who the heck wants to start over?

And you see how stupid this whole thing is? This streak is completely meaningless!

I’m a dork that plays Candy Crush … and every time I don’t play for a day I get bonked all the way back down the ladder to day one. And really, I should be PROUD of myself that I didn’t play Candy Crush for a day because … let’s be honest … I’m a loser that I’m playing it this often in the first place!

Stupid streaks!

I also hate apps. And mainly the fact that every single thing out there thinks they gotta have an app now. I don’t need a million apps on my phone … some things can be perfectly fine just using a regular ol’ browser. Or how about this? How about using nothing at all?

I had to put together a TV stand recently and instead of it coming with a piece of paper with the instructions … I had to go download an app, find my TV stand in a list of 7 billion products, and sit there staring at my phone to go thru every step.

Uhh … hello? Piece of paper? Piece of paper is cheap. You didn’t need to spend a million dollars on some stupid app that I don’t even want and will delete as soon as I’m done. And God forbid these people figure out that if they set some sort of streak option for “number of days in a row you’ve assembled a TV stand,” well now I’m gonna be totally hooked and angry about it.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

New Clothes Season

New Clothes Season

Dear Diary …

Now that we’re all knee deep in Back to School I can say this … there is never a good time to wear new clothes. Especially as an adult.

We recently did a little outlet mall run for some Back to School shopping, but I of course did a little shoppin’ for myself to celebrate back to … uh … Tuesday or wherever. Look … when you go to the outlet malls sometimes you’re just legally obligated to buy certain things.

We went into Old Navy to look for some stuff for my son and there right in front of me was a pair of shorts … in my size … for $8. And maybe you don’t agree, but I believe you HAVE to buy $8 shorts when they are presented to you. That’s like practically free. For $8 they’re borderline disposable shorts that you could wear for a week and then throw in the garbage.

Anyway … I buy the $8 shorts and a pile of other stuff at a couple different stores and then I immediately face the dilemma … When do you actually wear this stuff?

The temptation is to just wear it the very next day. It’s new. You’re excited to have new stuff. It’s … CLEAN and you probably don’t wanna do laundry. But I always feel like the biggest dork in the world if I wear it the next day. To me, I feel no different than “Concert T-shirt Guy” who goes to a concert, buys a t-shirt at the merch counter, and then IMMEDIATELY puts it on and walks around. Yup … here at the concert … provin’ that I’m at the concert!

And when you have new clothes, the next day everybody you see makes you feel like a dork too … “Oh look at you! Somebody got new clothes!” Oh Lord.

But … if I wait … well then I feel stupid too. I got these new clothes I’m all excited about and they’re just sittin’ there while I wear some dumb polo that’s a couple years old. And I blame other people. One …. Because as we’ve all learned in society and social media … nobody actually blames THEMSELVES for anything. Blah! That’s just dumb! And two … it is everyone else’s fault because now they say, “Oh did you just get new clothes?”

Nah … I got ‘em a while back but this is my first time wearing them.

“First time?? What’s wrong with you??? What are you waitin’ for???”

And that brings up the real lesson of today … other people are annoying. They’re just the worst. Always around … doin’ stuff and talkin’ or just … you know … existing.

Now I of course don’t mean YOU, person listening to this right now. I mean OTHER people. Man I love that loophole. “Well you don’t mean ME right?”

NOOOO!!! Other people!!! Never you!!!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Curious Story of Apple Guy

Dear Diary …

So this past week I went to FloydFest. You know … the festival in … well … Floyd. And whether that’s your vibe or your kind of music or whatever, I can promise you that we can all agree that one thing FloydFest is absolutely fantastic for is … people watching.

First of all … there’s lots of people. Second … there’s lots of weird people. Actually I don’t wanna say “weird” because what the heck is “normal” anyway? And on top of that … what FUN is “normal?” None! So let’s just say we got a lot of unique people celebrating their individuality. And I applaud that and support that. And I also reap the side benefit that it makes for excellent people watching.

I’m so intrigued in life by people’s stories. Meaning … you just look at them and think, “Ok, what exactly is your deal?” And sometimes there’s certain people I see and I become obsessed with the possibilities of their story. Like Apple Guy. I saw Apple Guy at the festival and I still can’t get him out of my mind because his story just confuses me so.

I see Apple Guy while I’m walking around and he’s this big dude … all bald and muscular. (I should probably add here that I 1,000% support and appreciate Apple Guy … and I say this because Apple Guy could no doubt beat me up if he wanted to. So shout out to you Apple Guy … please don’t hurt me!)

Anyway … this dude’s built like Captain America, and while he’s walking … he’s eating an apple. But he’s eating it in the most nibbly way I have ever seen a human eat an apple. He’s taking these TINY little bites and just nibbling the skin off the outer edge of the apple and leaving all the while apple-ness behind. So now I need to know his story … like does he only like the skin because it has all the fiber and nutrients and he’s gonna throw away the rest? Or does he REALLY love the crispy white inside of an apple and he saves that for the end so he can savor every juicy bite? I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!

Now … fast forward a couple hours … and guess who I see walking in the other direction again? Apple Guy! And lo and behold … he is eating ANOTHER apple! But this time … he’s eating it COMPLETELY normally like any other person would eat an apple.

So now my mind is BLOWN! Why is he eating this apple normal while nibbling away at the previous apple like a chipmunk? Was that one just a special apple? Or was he in a really weird and nibbly mood and just felt like trying it that way once? And furthermore … How many apples did this man bring with him to a music festival anyway???? WHY SO MANY APPLES??

This guy is gonna haunt me forever! I need to know people’s stories!!!!

Musicians are another for me where their story just fasis fascinating. Especially when it comes to fashion. Look … they’re up on stage … so just about anything goes and you can make some crazy decisions. There was this one singer … dude had this HUGE necklace on with all these dangly little chains hanging down.

So I start wondering … like when this dude is putting together his outfit for the stage, does he say, “Man … you know what I need is like a REALLY huge necklace with all these dangly things on it. That’s gonna POP when I’m up there on stage!” And is that what he thought when he went to the necklace store and just randomly saw it? Or did he get on Amazon and search “big dangly necklace thingie” because he already knew that’s what he needed?

And … is this like only his “stage clothes?” Or will he also wear this same big dangly necklace on Tuesday when he’s working as the manager at a Zaxby’s?

I NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS!

These are life’s real mysteries. You can get all caught up on “Is there life after death?” or “Are there aliens out there?” but I just wanna know what Apple Guy and Dangly Necklace Dude are up to right now.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

How to Tell If You’re a Bad Person

The Bad Person Test

Dear Diary …

It’s good to be able to know if somebody is a good person or a bad person. I mean … we wanna know that, right? We wanna know who’s gonna look out for us, and we DEFINITELY wanna know who’s going to try to screw us over when we least expect it. And the problem is, you can’t just ask somebody, “Hey are you a bad person?”

Because NOBODY thinks they’re a bad person. Even the bad people. It’s just like how nobody thinks they’re the one who drives slowly in the left hand lane, or they’re the one who causes drama on Facebook, or whatever else. It’s always somebody else. Never them.

So because of this … we need little secret tests. And these tests will help show you who’s a good person, and who’s a bad person.

Here’s one you can do the next time you’re in your car … you’re in a left hand turn lane … and the light turns green. Start watching the cars in front of you. Specifically … start watching the space in between each car as they head thru the intersection.

If you see someone who is right behind the car in front of them … that’s a good person. They are moving thru the intersection with some hustle, because they want as many cars behind them as possible to also make it thru the light. But when you see a decent sized gap between two cars? BAD PERSON! TERRIBLE PERSON!

This person doesn’t care about anyone or anything. They just care about themselves. As long as THEY make it thru the light, they don’t care one bit about the cars behind them. As far as they’re concerned, the whole line of cars could just catch fire, explode and die. THEY made it thru the light … sorry losers!

Sam goes for when the light is green and you are simply just drivin’ along … normal humans drive with a purpose. You go the speed limit … you maybe go a LITTLE bit more than the speed limit. That’s because you’re a good person.

Bad people just … slowwwwly tool along the intersection. Bunk-a-dunk-a-dunk. “Oh look … that light is now turning yellow. Better slowwwwwwly coast thru and be the last car.”

Bad person!

You know how they say, “Not all heroes wear capes?” Yeah, well “Not all monsters have big fangs or look like Frankenstein.” Sometimes they’re just in the Kia Sorrento in front of you not caring whether you live or die.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

The Big Wakeup Call

Dear Diary …

Hey everyone!!! How’s it going? Remember me … your old friend Zack Jackson? Yup I’m still here … and still angry … but I’m also learning so much about the world.

Did you know that people are actually awake at two o’clock in the afternoon? And awake in a way where they don’t feel like their face is melting off because they haven’t been awake since 3:30 in the morning? Amazing!

And you know what? Let’s just get this whole thing out in the open because I have BREAKING NEWS! Yup … hit the breaking news sound effect [[breaking news sound effect]]]

I … Zack Jackson … woke up at 6:30 this morning.

And I’ll be honest … I have no idea why this is breaking news, but it is, because it’s the question EVERY … SINGLE … HUMAN asks me when I see them.

“Hey … Zack … great to see you! What time did you get up this morning?”

Never in my life have I asked about another person’s bedtime or wake-up. Ok … I take that back … never in my life have I asked it about a person over the age of four. When there’s babies involved, that’s pretty much all you ever talk about …

“Well we put him down at 7, and then it takes 13 minutes with his ba-ba and then another 11 of rocking him, and then he’ll sleep for 3 hours and 14 minutes, and then he’s up for 42, then back down.”

But again … he’s one. Also … that topic is really boring.

Actually … can we all just be really honest with each other for a second? People with really little kids are the worst people on Earth to talk to.

Don’t get me wrong … they’re not bad people at all … they probably used to be fun. And there’s a decent chance they’ll be fun again some day. But right now? Man they suuuuuuck.

All they ever talk about is naptime, dirty diapers, and Cocomelon. Bo-RING! This is why they always hang out in Mom groups and play dates and stuff … because ain’t nobody else on earth that wants to listen to these things.

And let me be clear … I an FULLY aware that when I had kids that age, I also sucked. Good Lord, I think back to some of the things I would say and do, and even I hate myself.

But look at me now … all awesome again!

And to recap … so I can hopefully never have this conversation again …

Yes … I wake up at 6:30 now.

And no … your body doesn’t “get used to” waking up at 3:30 in the morning. I dunno … does your body “get used to” if somebody kicks you in the privates every morning? I bet it doesn’t! So no … I don’t just magically wake up at that God Awful time just for the heck of it.

So now we gotta find a new topic for small talk people … Cuz Uncle Zack’s bedtime is now off the table.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Your WiFi Stinks!

Your WiFi Stinks!

Dear Diary …

I’mma tell you right now, we are at a point in society where certain things are just flat out unacceptable. Writin’ checks … there’s just no need for ‘em anymore. You got 247,000 other payment options that are way better than a random piece of blue paper with a bunch of lines on it.

Ice cube makers that suck at making ice. I mean what the heck is going on here? You’ve developed a product who’s sole purpose in life is to make ice, and it you don’t even do that properly? You have like one job … no … you have ONE job … MAKE ICE.

And why in the world are we still accepting that it will take 24-48 hours to fill that tray up all the way? Takin’ like 3 hours of the water freezing to [[clunk]] have 4 ice cubes get tossed into the tray. 20 minutes. Full tray. End of story.

But the one that gets me the most is that we are to a point in technology where it is absolutely, positively, unacceptable to have sucky wifi. If you’re gonna offer wifi, and especially if you DARE charge for it, it better be halfway decent wifi.

Ever pay for wifi on an airplane? Don’t. It stinks! And the free wifi is even worse … my Dad recently rode the train and their free “wifi” is like … 3. You know … like … mbps’s or whatever. Whatchoo gonna do with three? That ain’t even fast enough to properly tell you that you’re “unable to connect to the internet,” let alone do anything.

“Hey stay at our hotel … we have free wifi!”

Again … three.

That ain’t wifi! Heck … that ain’t even dial up AOL.

I can to the store and buy me a cheap ol’ router and have perfect good wifi. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same. And if you can’t … then don’t offer it!

Here’s another thing that’s flat out unacceptable … lawns.

Who’s stupid idea was it to have lawns?

If I could have access to a time machine, I wanna go back and find the guy that decided we had to all have perfectly manicured and hard to maintain grass as our lawns and just eliminate him before he could come up with the idea.

Because here’s the deal … you spend all your time trying to keep that stuff alive … seed it, water it, mow it … and the biggest annoyance … keep out the weeds. Because man … no matter what you do … those weeds will come back.

Which leads me to my point … why didn’t we make the weeds the lawn in the first place?

You never have to take care of them at all and they grow perfectly fine. You don’t even have to water them, and they still figure out a way to grow over and over and over again.

So why isn’t that what we choose for the lawn in the first place? See… we do it my way and I just gave everybody their weekend back of mowin’ … you’re welcome!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way

There’s Gotta Be a Better Way

Dear Diary …

There’s gotta be a better way.

We have ALL sorts of innovations and technological advances in this world. We’re always figuring out ways to make things easier, faster, and more efficient. But the problem is … we only do that for some things. Other things? Nah … we’ll just leave ‘em that way they are even though they’re horrible.

This is probably TMI. OK … this is definitely TMI … but oh well … sucks for you … I get to have a colonoscopy soon. Yup … TMI … but you’re here now so you might as well see this one thru.

Ugh … and see … that’s the first problem with a colonoscopy … EVERYTHING gets turned into a pun or a joke or whatever. I say, “we might as well see this one thru,” and you say … “Hang on, not so sure I wanna do THAT!”

Alright alright alright … ha ha ha … I get it.

So that’s problem number one … problem number two )yup … see .. there you go again) is that the worst part about a colonoscopy isn’t actually the colonoscopy. I mean, it’s not on my summer bucket list or anything, but it is what it is.

The problem is the preparation for the thing. Because despite all the technological advances in modern medicine in the past 50 years, the only way to apparently have a proper colonoscopy is to be stricken with diarrhea for 24 hours to prepare for it.

Really? This is the only way to do this?

I gotta drink some gigantic jug of terrible tasting poop juice … and then I gotta basically either live on the toilet for a day or play underwear roulette and pray I can make it there in time.

OK … I ain’t no doctor … but I did drive by a hospital the other day … and you mean to tell me there’s no possible better way to do this?

Can’t there be like a laser beam or photon torpedo or microscopic poop robot that can go in and take care of all of this. Hell … I’d even settle for some kind of jacked up vacuum cleaner extension that gets the job done quickly … like you’re putting gas into a NASCAR car … just goin’ in the other direction.

But you know why there isn’t a better way? Because they don’t care if there’s a better way. As long as you show up for your appointment and you’re ready for the procedure, they don’t really care how unpleasant things were for you yesterday. You’re there now and ready for takeoff … that’s all they care about.

Oh and the best part … you’re the one that gets to go buy all the stuff to prepare for this. Lucky you!

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.