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 Parking Lot Waltz

The Parking Lot Waltz

Dear Diary …

I don’t mind a little singin’ and dancin’ … granted I can’t even figure out how to properly Floss, but if you can pull it off … more power to ya. That said … there’s a time and a place for singin’ and dancin’ … especially dancin’ … and that place is NOT the parking lot at the grocery store.

And I know what you’re thinking … “Who’s twerking in the parking lot at the grocery store?” First of all … nobody. Second … that one I’d probably be OK with … because what I’m not OK with is the parking lot waltz.

You know the parking lot waltz … even if you don’t think you do.

It’s when you’re trying to drive to a parking space, and the person walking in front of your car in your way is [[music]] … doing a long … slow … diagonal waltz thru the parking lot. Not a care in the world. And clearly not in a hurry to get anywhere.

You JUST saw me one second ago when you walked in front of my car … but now … [[music]] … that car must’ve just disappeared behind me.

Look … I don’t advocate for running anybody over … but somebody like this at least deserves a light tap to remind them that they are on foot and may want to get out of the way of the giant car. I’m just looking for a little hustle, man. Well … that and a straight line. Walk in it.

Moving on Diary …

I understand this is irrational anger … OK … everything in the Anger Diary is irrational anger … so too bad … we’re here now … I hate “mug cake.” That’s right … mug cake! Really I hate any time the kids discover some sort of food and drink concoction online and then start trashing my kitchen with it, but mug cake is the WORST. Because now they basically just dump some flour, sugar, and chocolate into a mug … and onto the counter … and onto the floor. And then heat it up in the microwave to explode everywhere and make a giant mess.

And somehow they think mug cake also defies the laws of snacks and desserts. Two o’clock in the afternoon …

“What are you doing?”

“Making mug cake.”

“It’s two o’clock in the afternoon. That’s not a snack. That’s a dessert.”

“Yeah but it’s mug cake.”

Hate you mug cake! And especially hate you afterward because that black, over-microwaved chocolate never wants to come off any of the mugs. And yes … I know the kids should clean it themselves, but they conveniently “forget” every single time.

If I told them, I’ll give you $20 if you remind me at exactly 8:47 two weeks from next Thursday … oh they got that one memorized … but “rinse your dishes” … [charlie brown mumbles]

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

First Come, First Served

Dear Diary …

There’s no doubt that our society and existence as humans is very complex, but at the same time you can also simplify things down to just a small handful of basic, instinctive human rules. For example … “I called it first” is pretty much the fabric of our existence when it comes to getting things. First come, first served.

If you show up before anybody else … you get to go first. You show up second … you go second. Think about it … most of the things you get in your life are simply because you got it before somebody else did.

So I understand that, but I am also thoroughly frustrated by that, particularly when it comes to the person who gets control of the TV in a bar. Now … if that person has good judgement. We don’t have a problem here. But … when have you known most people to have GOOD judgement? Yeah … exactly.

So that ended up being my problem recently as I sat in a bar, and the TV was on a football game that … let’s just say … was a blowout. I think Alabama was playing some sort of girls’ middle school in a game … and … yeah … it was over. Meanwhile … I knew there was another game going on where the score was something like … I don’t know … 85 to 84 or something with about 200 lead changes, 7 million touchdowns, and I’m pretty sure fireworks and dinosaurs running all around the field. That’s how exciting this game was.

So I asked the bartender … “Hey … can we change this TV to the other game?”

“Sorry … but somebody asked to have this game on.”

Where? I’m here at the bar. Nobody else sittin’ here.

“Yeah … it’s that table over there behind you.”

So I look behind me and I see a table … where not a SINGLE person is looking at the television. Zero!

Furthermore … there are TWO other televisions in the vantage point of that table … and guess what both of them are currently showing? Blank screens!!! Put the game on over there if they want it so bad.

Why are they gettin’ control of this TV? Their game is dumb and boring, and THEY’RE EVEN WATCHIN’ IT!!! But she still won’t change the channel!

And yes … I could’ve gone over there and asked them myself. BUT I DON’T WANNA! I just want this to be easier than it is! Why I gotta be the police of the whole world all the time? It’s exhausting!

I mean … just cuz they got there first? I get it … that’s how the rule works in the beginning, but that should eventually be overridden by the excitement level of the game. What if I get there first and I tell them I really wanna watch that NCIS marathon? Do I get to hog that TV all day? Probably not! And really … I shouldn’t.

First come, first served. I get it, and I agree with it. But I’d like to add “till boring” when it specifically deals with controlling a TV in a bar. We should all be able to agree on this, right?

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye.

Zack’s Valedictorian Speech

Dear Diary …

Graduation season is here once again as a bunch of fresh-faced new grads head out into the world. And when you’re at your graduation ceremony, you get to hear a nice little speech from your Valedictorian. And that’s all well and good … but really … what the heck do they know?

OK … they know a lot because they’re wicked smart, but when it comes to LIFE, they don’t know any more than you do. Sure … they kicked your butt in math, but in actual life experience you both have a long way to go.

Lucky for you … I’m here. Your grizzled old King Zack. I’ve done stuff and seen stuff. And most importantly, I have a microphone so you have to listen to me.

To be clear … I’m dumb. That’s one thing I’ve figured out for sure over the years. You know how you think you know everything right now and have your life totally figured out? Yeah … none of that is actually gonna turn out that way.

And you know what? Let’s go ahead and make that lesson on here in King Zack’s Valedictorian speech …

1. Stuff is gonna go sideways.

A lot.

Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out … you’re gonna get fired, or dumped, or a tree’s gonna fall on part of your roof, or whatever. The point is … crap’s gonna go down.

But here’s the kicker … that’s the stuff that’s gonna make you turn into the successful badass you wanna be. Have you ever heard a success story from a really rich or famous person and heard them say, “Yeah I’ve never really had to face any kind of adversity and just got really successful very easily?” No. No you have not.

So when the stuff goes sideways, don’t sit there and whine about how it’s “not fair” and “I never win anything.” Because I promise you this … if you talk like that, they you will never win anything. But if you use your failure as an inspiration for the next success, you’ll become the person you wanna be.

2. Right now … you are the least busy you’ll ever be again in your entire life

Now I know you’re gonna disagree with me right now and you’re gonna say, “But I’m so busy with graduation, and family stuff, and my summer job, and blah blah blah.” I get it. I didn’t say you WEREN’T busy, but the simple fact is … at every new phase in your life you’re gonna be even busier.

Five years from now it’s gonna be a big project at work, and planning a wedding, and trying to buy a new house.

And five years from then it’s gonna be dealing with a new baby, and trying to sell your house, and your Mom keeps asking when you’re coming to visit, and boss needs you to go to St. Louis.

And five years from then it’s t-ball practice, and dance recitals, and church, and family, and that business you started, etc etc etc.

You get the point.

I just know that every single time I look back on my life five years ago I think, “Man I had so much more free time back then compared to today.” And i know again, five years from now I’m gonna think the same thing about today.

So what does that mean? That means enjoy today and live in the moment, cuz it’s actually not as crazy as you think.

And finally Diary …

3. Live life

And when I say this, I mean live it thru your actual eyeballs, and not the camera on your phone. Far too many times when I go to a concert or an event or something do I see people watching the entire thing through the camera lens of their phone.

What’s the point?

“Oh but I wanna remember this for the future.”

OK fine, but if you weren’t really paying attention to it in the present, were you REALLY ever actually there?

If you’re gonna watch it thru a screen, then you might as well stay home and watch somebody else film it on YouTube. It’s a lot cheaper that way anyway.

OK grads … that’s it. Now go out there and make me proud. Or at the very least don’t embarrass me. JEEZ!!!!

Till next time Diary, I say goodbye.

So … Many … MEETINGS

Dear Diary …

Every day is one step closer to me taking over the Kingdom of Zackmerica. OK … at least I hope every day is one step closer, because I swear to you, you’re gonna love a lot of the new laws. And yes … there will be a LOT of new laws.

But don’t worry, we’re gonna throw out a bunch of old stupid ones too, and the new ones are gonna be really awesome.

Like this one … a swift and across the board ban of all meetings at work. Gone. All of them. And anybody caught uttering such horrible hate-filled phrases like, “Hey can we have a meeting at 10:30?” … They are instantly deported to Craptown.

And originally I would’ve been able to compromise on this issue, and maybe just limit the amount of meetings, but I am forced to go to … so … many … meetings. All day meetings, out of town meetings, middle of the afternoon meetings … my life is becoming a non-stop parade of days where I’m sitting at a table staring at a bunch of other people who don’t wanna be there either.

Look … I get it. I’m awesome. You like having me around, but I’m about to lose my mind.

Because you know what’s pretty much always the first thing discussed at the meeting? The stuff from the previous meeting. After that? The stuff we need to do for the next meeting.

What did we even do here?

We just need to stop talking about the meeting, and the virus that is the meeting will simply die off, since it’s not actually accomplishing anything.

Here’s another thing that will be banned … when people make things stupidly inconvenient for no good reason.

For example … recently my wife had to give me some money for household expenses. Now, to her credit, she at least respects my hatred of being handed the responsibility of a cashing a check. You want a helpful hint if you owe Zack Jackson money and don’t really wanna pay me? Just write me a check. Half the time I just lose the thing or forget to cash it for a year.

Now I accept plenty of other forms of payment … cash, PayPal, or the fact that your name is also on the account and you can just put money in there, but my wife returns with …

“I sent you $300 thru Zelle.”

Zelle? What the hell is Zelle?

“It’s like PayPal, but different.”

Well then why didn’t you just use PayPal? I have a PayPal. I don’t have Zelle.

“I don’t have a PayPal. I have Zelle.”

Why is that my problem?

I mean … if somebody owes you $20 and they say to you, “Well all I have is pesos, can I pay you in pesos?” You say … no … get your butt to the bank and get me some ‘Murican money!

And again … we live in the same house! Why is this so much harder than it needs to be?

Sorry Zellers … King Zack is shuttin’ ya down. There’s too many different sites out there… we’re crunching ‘em all down into one. The one I have. (I am King after all.)

Till next time Diary … I say …. Goodbye.

Zack’s Guide to Throwing a Good Party

Dear Diary …

This time of year there’s a lot going on, especially when it comes to parties. You get invited to a bunch of ‘em. People host ‘em at their house. It’s basically “Party Season.”

Here’s the problem … most people have no idea how to throw a good party, and instead you’re stuck at some lame get together with a bunch of people you may or may not even like, and you’re just sitting there trying to figure out how early you can leave without looking rude.

But do not panic lame party people, I have GREAT news … I’m really good at throwing parties. So I’m gonna try to help the rest of you so you don’t have to hear things like “how nobody’s dancing?” or maybe “you guys are leaving already?”

Basically there are three keys to a good party. They aren’t even that hard to pull off. And yet people keep screwing ‘em up left and right and the result is just another boring get together at Maureen’s house.

[[Side note: There is no “Maureen’s House” … I made it up. So don’t be sittn’ there panicking that I’m talking about your parties, Maureen.]]

Key number one … food.

You would think I wouldn’t even have to say this, since eating is pretty much the most basic human primal instinct, but I’ve been to far too many parties where “food” consists of two sad bowls of chips and a plate with a bunch of burned hot dogs on it.

I’m sorry, but if you’re having people at your house, you gotta feed ‘em. And you gotta feed ‘em better than a 5 year-old’s birthday party.

And if you can’t cook … don’t try. Order stuff.

Or hey it’s totally fine to do the potluck thing and have everybody bring something to share, but if you do that, you also gotta tell them what to bring in advance. Don’t just say … “oh anything’s fine,” cuz then your lazy moochy friends are all gonna show up with the same box of store bought chocolate chip cookies nobody wants to eat.

Key to a good party number two … alcohol. Specifically … having enough of it on hand and not running out.

Ain’t nothin’ sadder than a halfway decent party crashing into the side of a mountain because the host only bothered to buy a 12 pack and 2 bottles of wine.

You want your friends to have fun at your party, right? So then plan in your optimistic little mind that you’re gonna throw the best stinkin’ party they’ve EVER been at, so stock the bar like that’s gonna happen.

And furthermore … stock the bar with variety. Everybody’s got different tastes. So just because you only drink Bud Light Lime-a-Rita’s doesn’t mean anybody else on earth does, so make sure you got a little something for everybody.

I went to a party once and there was a lot of great stuff going on … and there was lots of booze. Problem was the only drinks being offered were bourbon and IPA beers. OK … maybe YOU love choosing between that really burny alcohol or this super bitter beer, but for the love of God man, ain’t no shame in throwing a few Miller Lite’s in that cooler for people that don’t.

And one final thing on alcohol … you’re a grownup now … stop trying to throw a BYOB party. You’re an adult. You have a job. Quit acting like you’re throwing a party in your junior year dorm room in 1997.

And here’s a crazy little thing about having a grownup party with grownup friends … most people will bring you something anyway as a gift. So now you’ve got even more drinks on hand!

Finally … key to a good party number three … music. For the love of God you gotta have music at your party.

It blows my mind when I show up at somebody’s “party” and there’s NO music playing. Nothing. Just boring small talk and … awkward silent pauses. Look … don’t have to pay Major Lazer to come to your house … but you gotta at least have something going in the background … anything!

Oh and when it comes to your music … get a real speaker! Your tiny little $15 bluetooth speaker is fine when it’s just you in the kitchen on a Tuesday night, but you throw 40-50 people in that room and you ain’t gonna hear jack squat on your sad little sound tube.

“How come nobody’s dancing?”


What am I dancin’ too? The pretend music in my head? The volume control I wish I had?

This is why it’s 8:30 and everybody’s leaving … cuz your party game is lame.

But look … I just gave you the keys to success. Follow them, Young Jedi, and people will finally look like they’re having fun at your house once and for all.

Till next time Diary … I say … Goodbye

Let the Robots Win

Dear Diary …

You know me … I’m totally prepared that someday we are gonna have to deal with the robot revolution. Or the zombie revolution. Or the zombie robot revolution. Whatever it is … I’m ready for the fight.

That said, there are certain things that I am ready to give up to the other side. And when it comes to robots, I am here to tell you … It is time for us humans to STOP driving. No more! It’s time to embrace the robot car and move forward a happier race of people.

And the reason is simple … we suck at it! No candy coating … we as a people are terrible at driving.

“Oh yeah … well that’s everybody else. I’m a good driver.”

No you aren’t!! You stink just like everybody else.

I’ve never met a human that actually admit to being the dodo that hangs out in the left hand lane driving 64 miles an hour. So clearly … we suck at driving and we don’t even notice it.

I had to drive for the holiday weekend, and it was flat out brutal. Accident … after accident … after idiot … after accident.

Plain and simple … we are just not good at driving. And even worse, we are like those people back in the day on American Idol who didn’t know how to sing, but still stood up there and made idiots out of themselves because we THINK we know what we’re doing.

And we absolutely do not.

It’s time to turn it over to the robots. Let them do the driving and the world will be a better place.

“But I like the FEEL of driving!”

Oh whatever. When you don’t know how to cook, you let somebody else make food for you. Nobody says, “but I like the FEEL of holding the pan myself,” when they know darn well they aren’t that good at cooking.

And here’s the insane part … we have robot cars … and people have ZERO tolerance for them. The robot cars get in ONE accident in an entire year and people scream, “That is UNACCEPTABLE! We cannot take a chance with these machines!!!!”

Meanwhile I had to navigate my way around SIX human accidents in one three hour trip over the weekend. And that’s on ONE road in ONE duration of time. Lord knows how many accidents happened all over the country at exactly the same time. Meanwhile, ONE robot car has ONE incident in it’s entire history and we are ready to shut them down.

I’m sorry, fellow humans, but you don’t know what you’re doing, and it’s time to let go of the driving. It’s like when you had to wrestle away the keys from Grandpa when he got too old, except we’re ALL grandpa. So give up the keys, Old Man!

And what the heck are you fighting for anyway?

Just sit there in the robot car and watch Netflix while somebody else does the driving. What’s not to love about that?

Till next time Diary … I say … goodbye

The Answer Is NO

Dear Diary …

I was under the weather the past few days. Actually it was like a week and I was a whiny little baby about the entire thing … [[breathe]] … but nobody cares about that. There’s nothing worse than having to listen to other people ramble on about their sinuses, or their phlegm, or their butt or whatever it is that’s bothering them.

So I will spare you the details. You’re welcome. But at the same time, I want you to go ahead and spare ME the details as well on your snooty side of health and awesomeness.

Let me explain …

Every time I’m sick, and somebody who’s not sick finds out, they proceed to tell me ALL about how well they are and all the awesome fantastical things that they do to become some sort of wizard who’s above the laws of the rules of health.

My wife drinks some shake every day … one of those ones for protein or vitamins or whatever. And I know this because every time I get so much as a sniffle, I gotta hear ALL about the magical, mythical shake. And I guess it must have dragon’s blood and elf boogers in it or something, because apparently it heals every woe of the world

“You know, every since I started drinking this shake, I NEVER get sick.”

OK … thank you … there’s not much I can do about it now …

“Yup … never get sick. All because of the shake!”

Great … thanks! I’m a little past the point of magic now … so wouldya just pass me the dang Sudafed?

Or the other one I get from people …

“Oh you’re sick? I NEVER get sick.”

And what exactly are you implying here? Because basically what I hear is …

“Too bad you’re such a weak humanoid who’s not as awesome as me. Must be something dumb you’re doing to bring this on yourself.”

Kiss my butt you snooty cyborg!

OK … moving on Diary …

The answer is, “no.”

Plain and simple. No. Yes I understand that we are all supposed to come together as a common people and help each other out and share our resources when we can, but no … you cannot “print some stuff” on my printer anymore!

It used to be back in the day, everybody had a computer, and everybody had a printer. And that was that. You needed to print something? You printed it. Plain and simple.

But what I believe happened about 2 years ago is everybody on earth stopped buying printer ink. Hey I get it … It’s ridiculously overpriced. So now, they’ve just been going house to house, looking for those survivors left that still have ink in their precious printers. It’s like the printer ink version of “The Walking Dead,” and instead of going car to car to find some gas, we’re just hopping house to house for a place to print our airline boarding pass.

So yes … I have ink. And no … you can’t have any! That crap is expensive! You wanna print something? BUY MORE FOR YOURSELF!!!

Or do what most normal humans do … print it out at work when nobody is looking.

But from me … the answer is, “NO!”

Till next time Diary … I say … goodbye.