Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Funny Things To Do At Restaurants


1. At a drive-through

Don't say every word. This may seem easy and silly, but most of these places have cameras now, so they can actually see you order. So if you sell it well enough, you can really get people to freak out. Another thing with the camera is that this can either seal the deal OR ruin the whole thing, so make sure you can keep a straight face and sell the fact that you're talking the whole time. Also make sure your friends don't give you away by laughing.

Just pull up to the box normally, you want to start off regularly to put the person at ease.

Drive through person, "Hey, welcome to Jack in the Box, may I help you?"
You, "Hey there. Sorry - just gotta look at this really quick."
Them, "No problem."
Take a beat or two here to "sell it".
You, "Ok, I got it. I'll have----with---and theres----together----whipped-------cheesefries."

There are a couple rules when it comes to this. Primarily it has to sound like if there were words there you would be making a real order. *Experts note - if you get really good at this, adding words that have no place in a drive through like "dinosaur" or "paper mache" can be amazing*. Another big part of this is that you should always end on a concrete word so it sounds like you've completed your thought. Lastly, (and if you can get this down, its really the icing on the cake) put your car in neutral and rev the engine a little bit, or even just pull a tiny bit forward. When the person sees this on their monitor and they know they have no idea what it is you ordered - hopefully you can get them to pull a, "Sir! Sir! Sir! Come back! I'm sorry - we're having a problem with our equipment. What did you order?"

How many times you keep doing this before you actually order food is up to you. Just know it gets harder every time.

2. At a casual restaurant

This is a small one, but it can get quite a nice laugh. 

When the waitress comes to take your drink orders, ask for a list of the sodas that are available at this restaurant. She'll rattle off a quick, memorized list of what they have there. Listen intently and then stop her in the middle with, "The Coke sounds good. What's in that?"

No one knows whats in Coke, and opposed to something like Sprite, where a smart waiter might get off with an answer like "It's just lemon and lime soda." There's no real answer for Coke, unless they say "It's just normal Coke-A-Cola." 

Even that isn't good enough though - because that didn't answer your question. Keep at them until they can give you an answer that you think is fitting. It's important that you have a genuine look on your face this whole time, otherwise they'll just think you're a smarts (which you are).

After it's all said and done, just order a water.

3. At a nice restaurant

 *Full disclosure: This is not my idea. George Carlin came up with this one - but when I read it when I was a kid, it was the spark that ignited the other ideas.*

This one has to be done at a restaurant that is nice enough to have the waiters ask you if you need fresh pepper with your salad.

When your food comes and the waiter asks you if you'll be needing 'any fresh pepper with that", graciously say that you will. In a perfect world you would do this when you're meeting your girlfriends parents for the first time, or you're at a business meeting and the people you're eating aren't in on the joke (better for the joke - bad for real life).

The waiter will start cranking on that good ol pepper mill and you just let him go. Usually, they'll slow down after about 3 to 5 seconds, but motion for them to keep going. They'll give it another couple turns, and once again retract the pepper from your dish because you OBVIOUSLY have enough pepper.

This is when it starts. You HAVE to keep a straight face here - and insist that they keep going. *Each of you will have to figure out how you do this, I prefer to be a little aggressive and maybe even peeved that they won't keep going. I find this makes the waiter less apt to stop in the future.*

After the waiter has been grinding pepper into your Caesar salad for a good 30 seconds, everyone at the table will be looking at you. Just calmly sit there as a light snowfall of pepper turns into a small hill and at about the minute mark, you wave your hand and smile, "Perfect. Thank you sir."

If this works perfectly, someone at the table will look at you and say something like, "Got enough pepper there Cook?" Just smile, stir it slowly into your salad and nod - maybe put in a quip about "that's  how we did in my house as a kid."

This final chapter of this joke is the most important, without it, you just have a disgusting plate of food. Let conversation pick up, and then just take a big bite of your salad (hopefully while the attention is elsewhere). There's going to be so much pepper in that bite that gagging won't be difficult - but if you can, choke horrible and cough/spit the entire bite of salad across the table, chasing it down with huge gulps of water.

The entire table will be in shock, and staring at you. Once you've caught your breath and had enough water, just look up and say, "Wow. Way too much pepper on that salad."

4.  At a fast food place

Really this doesn't have to be a fast food place, just any place where the menu is hung above the order-takers head. 

This one takes more "acting" than any of the others really, cause the more you sell it, the better it is. You're gonna stand a few feet away from the counter and quizzically look at the menu above this person's head for a few moments. What you're hoping is they will ask you if they can help you. You MUST refuse this first offer; say you're still deciding. Throwing in some squinting as you "read" the menu will really help, especially if the person who is about to take your order is watching you. 

Once you're ready, confidently approach the counter and order something that is NOT on the menu.

"Yeah, I'll have the beach burger basket please."

If you throw a point in there, or a nod, like you're actually referencing something on the menu it really helps. The goal of this exercise: is to have the person to do the "did-I-just-hear-you-right?" face and then, HOPEFULLY, look up at the menu to see if Jimmy Johns recently added something called the "Beach Burger Basket". 

If it's works perfectly, you'll get with one of these.

(Looking back and forth from your pointing finger to the menu) "Uh....I think we're out of those."

5. At a casual restaurant

Much like number three, there isn't much to do. But it can usually get a pretty solid reaction from a waiter, and a good laugh from your friends.

When he comes around to ask if you're ready to order, just give a quick once over to the menu, look up him and ask, "What are other people having?"

I've never seen a waiter take this in stride. Usually they hear the first part of the question and assume I'm asking what they would recommend, but once they realize I'm asking what other people are having they just stand there with a confused look on their face.

Feel free to milk this moment for as long as possible. Hopefully they actually look around and start to list off everything that everyone in their section has ordered in the last twenty minutes.

Thats all I have for you guys today. I hope you found these funny. Trust me when I say this, they may sound funny on paper, but these are not nearly as funny in practice. People will hit you with some of the coldest stares in the history of the world.

Hopefully you're still reading at this point (thank you, Mom). I wanted to start having one post a week where I answer any questions you guys had for me. So I set up an email account that you can send questions or comments to. Hopefully enough come in to fill up an entire post - otherwise I'll just start making some up.

The email is

Please give me at least your first name and at the city or state that you're from. No question is off topic, or too personal, or wrong  -- that said, I may not answer you.

I look forward to hearing from you guys, and answering any questions you may have for me.

Have fun out there. Vaya con dios.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cole vs Rap


I was listening to my old school rap playlist (like 2000's, not really old school) today while I was doing my contrast bath and two songs came on that sparked my interest. One was "Yeah" by Usher and the other was "Whatever You Like" by TI. I'd like to walk you through what made these two songs stand out for me while my elbow was freezing.

First, "Yeah" by Usher. This song was the debut single off his album, "Confessions", which is the second highest selling album of the decade (2000's). Basically it's one of the best CD's of all time, and "Yeah" was the club/dance track to headline the whole thing. I would, just for a second, like to break down the chorus of this song. Just quickly - just for my readers.

Yeah (yeah) Shorty got down low and said come and get me
Yeah (yeah) I got so caught up I forgot she told me
Yeah (yeah) Her and my girl used to be the best of homies
Yeah (yeah) Next thing I knew she was all up on me screaming:

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! Yeah, Yeah! Yeaah!

Number 1 - this apparently is a song about Usher getting down with his girlfriends ex-bestfriend. Did girls hear that part of the song? I don't know if the backup dancers in the video would be "poppin n' lockin" as much, if they knew that this song is basically about Usher breaking the cardinal rule when it comes to relationships.

However, that is not what bothers me most about this song. My problem is this "Next thing I knew she was all up on me screaming YEAH YEAH YEAH."

Lets close our eyes and think about this for a second (not you guys - you can't read with your eyes closed). You're dancing with a chick. It's cool, she's feeling you - you're feeling her. You think your night is going pretty well (never mind this is your girlfriends best friend). She's saying sexy things to you, and you're think this may be your lucky night. Until.....she turns around mid dance and starts SCREAMING -- thats the line. Not seductively whispering, not coyly crooning, not breathily coaxing -- SCREAMING. "YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH!! YEAH!! YEAH YEAH!!"

At this point in the dance I want to leave. Who are you? What did you do the sexy girl who was asking me to "come get me"? Why are you screaming at me? Is this sexy for you? You seem to be either genuinely upset or outlandishly aggressive; neither of which is fun for me.

But Usher isn't phased. This apparently is perfectly normal behavior for someone that is dancing on him, in fact - he's so moved by the gesture he plans to write a song about it. Apparently he has some sort of fetish where he enjoys people yelling at him from point blank range while grinding all up on his business.

I've listened to this song countless times, and it's a great dance song. But whenever I'm out dancing with a girl and this song comes on, my initial reaction is move away a little bit, in case she follows the song's lead and turns to me and start screaming.

The other song that came on, was TI's "Whatever You Like". This song I don't even like that much, and while the beat is catchy, the lyrics are so absurd that I can't ever get into it. Let me explain - take the following excerpt.

Stacks on deck. Patron on ice.
We can pop bottles all night
Baby you can have whatever you like
I said you can have whatever you like.
Late night sex, so wet and so tight
I'll gas up the jet for you tonight and baby you can go wherever you like
I said you can go wherever you like

Now, it may be petty of me to pick on pop songs for their lyrical mishaps, but I think it's funny so I'm gonna do it anyway. This song is about having "Whatever You Like". WHATEVER. YOU. LIKE. That is what is being offered to what I suppose is a woman that this song is apparently sung to. She picks "stacks on deck, patron on ice and late night sex". Those are the worst picks I've ever heard of. 

She's been offered anything, and she's decided pick: a couple thousand dollars (why don't you just ask for millions) or my personal favorite, "patron on ice". That drink costs 20 dollars at the ritziest bar EVER, and that's what you're going to pick? You're going to ask for a 20 dollar drink when offered anything in the world? 

Maybe I shouldn't be concerned about the girl here - maybe my attention is better directed at TI (who, after all, wrote the song). Does he really think these are the kind of things people are going to ask for when he offers them, "whatever you like"? And, "late night sex, so wet and so tight"? What girl is going to want that? Especially with those specifications at the end? That just sounds like you're doing the thing where you give your girlfriend an xbox just cause you wanna play Call of Duty. 

The ONLY thing about this that I can give any sort of credence to, is the last line - "I'll gas up the jet for you tonight and baby you can go wherever you like". That makes sense to me. That's something I'd ask for if TI were to offer me WHATEVER I LIKED. Maybe he was just leading up to this, so requests like "a new house", "world peace", "a cure for cancer" slipped out of your mind. I mean - next to "patron on ice", a plane ride to wherever you wanna go sounds like you just won the lottery.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2011 Post Season

If I ever needed a concrete reason to explain to someone why I find baseball so amazing, I would point to this year's post season.

While Basketball and Football both have salary caps, Baseball still goes on without one - and the variance between team spending is huge (202 M for the Yankees all the way down to 39 M for the Royals). But still, the races for titles have been closer this year than in years past. Baseball cannot be bought by the highest bidder (I'm looking at you Yankee fans), at the same time, it cannot be manufactured on a computer screen by crunching numbers (I'm looking at you Billy). There are far too many variables in this game, and sometimes it's the team that was last in the race last year who is bringing home a title to Arizona. Or the the second biggest payroll is now a game away from losing their post season birth to the second lowest payroll in baseball.

I love that the game will always even out itself out. No matter how down and out a team might be, it seems that it's that very team that's picking itself up and making a playoff run the very next year. Even a team like the Astros can make a difference down the stretch by pulling out a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the 14th to keep the Cards a game back from the Braves.

Baseball will always right itself, with new talent coming in, and managers moving talent around - there will always be suspense in the game. It's not always the best team on paper that will be the best team on the field, baseball doesn't seem to succumb to what the analysts think will happen. This may be true with any sport, the Eagles defense was supposed to keep everyone out of the end zone but apparently have been busy these last two weeks. And everyone from Cleveland knows the story of the Heat, and their epic failure to make good on Lebron's promises to South Beach. But to me, this happens more times in Baseball then it does with other sports. There are too many games, and too many variables for anything to be considered a fluke - and at the end of the day, the best team will go home as champions.

Who would have thought that both the Brewers and the Diamonbacks would be post season bound this year? That's amazing stuff! These are two teams coming together to play a kids game like adults and showing that even the "little guys" can be champions. That to me is what makes the longest season in professional sports (I know Basketball feels like it lasts forever, but no one else holds a candle to 162 games) interesting at every turn. With 2 games left in the regular season we have 4 teams competing for 2 spots still. Were not even in the post season yet and we already have teams fighting for their lives.

The Tribe isn't in the dance this year, but lets take a look back to the beginning of the season when every single publication predicted them finishing last in the Central. Maybe eat your words on this prediction, boys. Not only did we have a fantastic season, finishing second in our division, but we're poised to make an even more impressive run next season.

Baseball is a game where no one is ever the clear, predetermined, champion. It's always one man, one performance, one concerted team effort away from something magical. And if you have any kind of fancy for the fantastic - I would pick a team now, and watch the post season unfold in front of you. There's bound to be some miracles in the works.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Listerine Commercial

Hey y'all, hope you guys had a solid weekend and that the excellence of your fantasy team made your opponent weep tears of defeat.

During my day of watching football yesterday, I saw this commercial and it just got me so tickled that I simply had to share my take on it with you guys. This is the commercial (hopefully the link or whatever works).

At first you think this will be just another boring mouth wash commercial - until you realize that Listerine is no ordinary mouthwash. Nooooooo, they have magical super heroes with hose arms that shoot plaque reducing awesomeness at your teeth. I'm not one to succumb to advertising usually, but if this really happens, then I'm going to the store RIGHT NOW.

If by doing the Listerine rinse thing, I will have a band of merry men running around my mouth in some kind of Silver Surfer/Synchronized Swimming dance, then I'm getting. Imagine if any part of this were real. Imagine if inside the bottle was a little man who would jump in your mouth and clean your teeth for you like some kind of OCD dentist, who WOULDN'T be using this stuff? 

On the other hand, are these gingivitis curing heroes self aware? By spitting them out after our minute of rinsing have I just killed 6 hard working people? That seams rather sinister, don't you think? Or is it simply the price I pay for fresh breath? Who knows -  maybe the mouth explosion was them blowing up? Either way, it seems like they have a terribly short life expectancy after leaving the safety of the bottle. 

Another thing - who was the guy who came up with this? Think about it - someone actually walked into a meeting with some story boards under his arm and pitched this to adults. I think what might have happened is he had a meeting right after with Cartoon Network for an "Osmosis Jones" spin off, but mixed up the cards and just ran with it. Seriously though, a grown up human thought it would be a good idea for there to be magical, (really ripped, even though they're made of liquid) man-things flying around your mouth, while they use their hose-arms to clean your teeth. Not only was that a real idea, but other people had enough confidence in it to make it a real commercial!!

I also like the fact that Listerine has decided that they don't need to be truthful at all during ANY part of this commercial. Is there any other product where you can do the same type of thing as this commercial? I wanna see Chevy come out with a Tahoe ad where the car is flying around while it's on fire, but thats okay, cause the guy who's driving isn't getting burned cause it's magic fire. Now THAT, is gonna win JD Power & Associates truck of the year!

That's all I have for you guys today. Seeing this commercial took me down a rabbit hole of possibilities in my head, and I thought I'd share...cause that's why I have a blog.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Object Permanence

I am fascinated by psychology. And with my brother studying to become a psychologist, I have picked up little tidbits of information here and there along the way. While he will hate me for posting a blog entry about psychology seeing as I actually have ZERO real knowledge about the subject, I'm gonna do it anyway because while he is 3 years older, I'm 7 inches taller (and too far away for him to beat me up).

Object Permanence, defined by (if that means anything) is "a child's ability to know that objects continue to exist even though they can no longer be seen or heard". So, lack of object permanence means that if a kid can't see it or hear it - it's not part of the world.

OK, that's brilliant. That's why kid's love "peekaboo". When you put a dish towel in front of Mommy's face and she stops talking, in the child's mind, MOM NO LONGER EXISTS. That's amazing! Thats's the coolest thing I've ever heard. 

Infant baby, "Oh, Mom's doing a cool thing with the sounds and she's making facesssssss!!!! Yaaaaaaa!!!!  I love being a kiiiiiiiiiiiiddddd!!!!" (Any english teachers reading this will excuse my use of multiple exclamation points.)

Dish towel goes up.

"Wait....she was JUST HERE. Ok, remain calm, it'll be okay."

Dish towel goes down.

"MOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY!!!! You've returned!!! How was your trip? Did you pack warmly? Did you bring me anything?"

I mean that what it's like. Truly - in a child's mind (in the first 8-12 months before this amazing ability goes away), peekaboo is the best game EVER. Halo has nothing on seeing your mother slip in and out of existence before your eyes.  And it's also not like they understand that their mother is still there and just in another room or busy at the moment. THE MOTHER DOES NOT EXIST. She has become part of the Martix, or Men In Black after the flashy thing - just a figment of your imagination. Brilliant. 

Also - while were talking about this (well we're not talking about it - I'm writing about it, hoping that there's an off chance you read it). Who thought of this? Like who created this idea? Who's the doctor going, "You know, when you put your hands up in front of your face like that, your child can't see you and therefore you don't exist."

Startled mother, "I WHAT?"

Scientist, "Ya, gone. Don't exist."

"How do you know?"

"Ahhhhhh, lets not start second guessing. ....Just trust me here....Done the research. I'm a scientist....You don't exist."

I think at this point in the conversation the mother has already been gone for quite a while, probably right after she was told by a perfect stranger that her son doesn't know she exists anymore. Last game of peekaboo she'll ever play.

I kind of wish I still lacked object permanency. I mean, logically it would not help in order to be a functional adult. But I think it would lead to some funny situations.

Wife, "Did you do the dishes?"

Me, "Oh there you are! What dishes?"

"The ones in the sink."

"What? Those don't exist. Silly girl."

"There are very literally stacks of dirty dishes from last nights party, in the sink. I cooked all the food, you said you'd clean up."

"Ya - but the dishes are no longer part of this universe, so I can't really clean them can I?"

"Oh come on!! You and your object permanency BS! I've had it." She storms out of the room.

Me, "She's gone now, slipped back into nothingness."

Friday, September 23, 2011


Today, after almost 2 months of shut down and rehab, I was allowed to throw again. My arm felt amazing and that was glorious. This feeling could have been enough on its own - but that's not what made this day great. For the first time in almost two months, I played catch. That is what made today special for me. For those of you who don't get it - I will try to explain why simply throwing a ball to another person is such an amazing feeling.

I slide my feet into my spikes, I put them into my bag first and a years worth of dry fits and undershirts have caved them in a little bit. Still, they seem to remember my feet, but I don't lace them up yet, its more comfortable to leave them undone until I get outside. I stand in front of my locker, I'm wearing dry fit and shorts with ankle socks and my spikes. A feeling of energized calm takes over me as I put on my hat. It's the Indians spring training hat, blue crown with the red bill and a capital C in red on the front. Wearing this hat reminds me that while I played for the Captains during the year - my employer is still the Cleveland Indians; and in this instant, the big leagues seems close. I open the top part of my locker, and in the left compartment, all by itself so as not to be disturbed, is my glove.

Black leather with grey stitching, my name inscribed in cursive lettering on the thumb. My hand slides gently inside of it, and my finger tips rest in the shallow indentations they have carved out over a 142 game season. With my throwing hand, I take the pinky finger of the glove and bend it in toward the web, then arch the thumb away from it - creating a deep, but small, pocket. My hand feels around the glove, the tightness of the leather gives my fingers structure while they rest by my side. I tug at the bill of my hat with my right hand. Pulling it back and forth across my forehead 'till it feels right.

I step out of the clubhouse and the normally blinding Arizona sun shielded by the hat. My eyes still constrict in an adjustment to the harsh sunlight, and I move easily to a bench at the end of the walk way. My metal cleats make a sound like tires on gravel as I walk. The sound, while harsh to others, reminds me of high school when we had to walk from the field to the cages over concrete. It's a calming sound - and it means baseball is near by. Starting from the bottom lace, I tie up my cleats. This is a science - I don't want one too loose or not tighter than the other. They have to support me, be comfortable and not come undone all at the same time; I have enough things to worry about, I don't need my gear to be one of them.

The trainer I'm going to be playing catch with tosses me two balls, its my choice which one I want to throw with. Moving one into my glove I inspect the first: it's cleaner than the other, the white is brilliant in the harsh light and there is a stark contrast between the blue print and the leather. But the seems are high and tough - I drop it behind me. I siphon the other ball from glove to hand sightlessly as I walk into my throwing motion.

My right leg takes a half step forward and lands open, toe pointing away from my chest. My left leg smoothly glides forward as my left arm begins to lift from my waist straight up my side to above my head, while my right hand (with the ball) mimics the left in reverse. It's a motion I've done maybe a million times, and it's calming, like a kind of meditation. My left leg touches down, and I hear the faint snap of grass as my spikes cut through the blades. The toe is slightly closed, and while my left arm starts to come down, my right arm starts to bring the ball into the throwing slot. In my head, I imagine a runner taking his pose before the gun or when I'm feeling extra good about my stuff - the quiet before the storm. My right leg is pushing and turning slowly, yet powerfully - gaining energy as it pushes back into the ground. My left arm tucks into the armpit and for a split second everything moves with lightning speed.

My right arm shoots forward. While my hand is gently holding the ball, my elbow and shoulder rifle it through the slot. My back arches against my hips, and my right foot is now turned completely so only the toe is on the ground - the energy gained from pushing is now being transferred up my leg, through my back and into my arm for a fraction of a second when the whip mechanism is going to snap and release the ball. The actual release takes place instantaneously, too fast for a eye but just slow enough for a Cannon camera with a long white lens.

As soon as it's gone, the body finishes the motion on its own - my eyes glued to the ball with a kind of attention normally reserved for overbearing mothers. My chest changes angle, and now instead of being pointed to the sky, it arcs back toward my left quad. My right leg leaves the ground, only and touches down in line with my front foot. My left knee turns against my planted leg, veering off at at a 45 degree angle from my shin and foot. I can feel the spikes tense, my knee moving so severely in another direction makes my foot want to pull, but the metal keeps it firmly planted in the ground. Once my right foot touches down, I regroup.

That throw is over. It took about 2 seconds to complete the whole action, and during that time my mind was silent. I had no fears, no anxiety, no thoughts of any kind besides running through a mechanic I had been doing since I was 5 years old.

Throwing, for me, is a religious experience. While that ball is in the air, nothing else exists and my entire world is filled with a kind of calm that I haven't experienced in any other forum. It's the one things that I've ever had interest in dedicating my life too. And the only thing (besides my family) that I can come back to and feel the same way about time and time again. Baseball gives a never-ending supply of happiness to me, and in return I have been blessed with the ability to give back to it in the form of time and dedication.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Questionnaire

Hello people. Sorry for the lack of post yesterday (I know a lot of people were really let down by that). I was having a tough day and basically didn't feel like writing anything. Also, if I had, I'm sure the only things I could have come up with were boring and self involved and weepy - so I spared you all the time.

That said, yesterday did turn itself around when I decided to give myself a little taste of home by heading to Islands for dinner. For those of you who aren't aware or familiar with the chain, its basically a sports bar with a tropical theme, nothing too special, but they have a lot of them around my house in LA and they happen to make my favorite cheeseburger in the world. So I headed over there to watch a little bit of whatever game was on and have a delicious burger before the X Factor came on (which I was REALLY impressed with).

ANYWAY....I digest.... when I got to Islands, I noticed the welcomer/seater person was filling out some sort of questionnaire and it piqued my interest. I asked her what it was and she said that there was a waitress there who needed to get people to fill these out for the beauty school she was attending for an assignment. Sensing an opportunity to make myself laugh (which, if you know me, is pretty much why I do everything), I offered to fill one out as well. "Sam" was more than happy to xerox off a copy for me, and I made my way to the bar to fill it out while I waited for my food to be cooked.

*I swear to dog, every part of this is real. I even took a picture of the top part to prove it. In the following, the questions are in bold, and my responses are in plain text. Enjoy*

Cole Cook
(The urge for me to put a funny name down was almost overpowering, but I figured I might as well be truthful - at least about this.)

Have you ever had a professional hair service? Why or why not?
No. I've been super busy.
(I like the follow up "why or why not?"  here. I would think the reason someone has gotten professional hair service before would be abundantly obvious. And if they hadn't they probably just don't want to.)

What are your hair care concerns or goals? What do you like about your hair? What do you wish you could change or improve?
My goal is to have the Queen of England Knight my hair.
(I ran out of space to answer the the follow-up questions. But I like the fact that they asked what "goals" I have for my hair. Do people usually have hair goals? Is that common? "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?" "Well, happily married. Maybe some kids. A nice ponytail that I tie yellow bows in.")

What appointment time works best for you?
4:28 AM.
(What?!?! This ins't available?!?! Wwwwellllll, I should say I'm taking my hair and it's goals elsewhere!!!)

Are you interested in professional high quality hair care products? Why or why not?
Yes. When people come over to my place they will see these products and become very impressed. 
("Professional high quality hair care products". I'm sorry that George Carlin died before he could get his hands on this questionnaire; he would have had a field day. I wonder if they sell professional low quality hair care products here too. Or amateur high quality ones - I could see the possibilities being almost endless. Finally, sweet use of punctuation.)

When you visit a hair salon for service, how would you prefer I tell you about product recommendations? (Do you feel genuine advice on home care is pushy?)
In an ideal world, I would have you give me the advice in a foreign language that I haven't heard since the death of my birth parents, and have therefore repressed.
(Number 1 - "when you visit a hair salon for service" WHY ELSE ARE PEOPLE GOING TO HAIR SALONS? Is this a hair salon like "Barbershop" where people just hang out and yell at each other? Do you often have people just window shopping for the "in" hair style? Number 2 - "do you feel genuine advice on home care is pushy?" Why did you have to specify that this advice was genuine? Were you having a rash of stylists giving out disingenuous advice? Maybe it was all the window shoppers polluting the delicate minds of your patrons with pushy, disingenuous there nothing sacred anymore?)

Are you more likely to come in for services when a special is going on? (Tell them about monthly specials)
If the special involves some sort of magic show, then yes.
(It is at this point in reading the questionnaire to myself that I realize that "Sam" was supposed to be reading this to me. I think she's gonna be disappointed that she skirted this responsibility after she's read my answers. MUHAHAHAHA)

How do you feel about tipping? (Tell them we are a no tipping facility; remind them the best tip while in school is a referral, or a happy, returning guest)
When it comes to tipping, I always follow Anne Boleyn's old adage, "No one better come in here when I'm changing, or I'm gonna lose my head!"
(She really shoulda read this to me. I would have tipped her on the spot just to hear her remind me that she doesn't want money - and instead she wants me to tell my friends or come back more often and not tip each time.)

Do you have any family members or friends who enjoy professional salon services? Who?
Cousin Mitch. Aunt Regina. Bob from the 7-11. Murray. Both my Nebraska cousins. The lady on the elevator and Jennifer Aniston.
(This question starts off terribly and then just gets so much worse with, "who?" WHO? Really? You want to know who they are? Are you gonna track them down? Call them at home? I understand the purpose of every other one of these questions, but this one makes no sense to me. I don't get it, except to make the person who is supposed to be reading these questions to me seem like the biggest stalker EVER.)

Th-th-th-tha-tha-tha-thats all folks! Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Have a good one - follow the blog, follow me on Twitter (@C_M_Cook) and have fun out there. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just A Quickie

Don't worry - though this title might be a cause for concern - it simply refers to the length of today's post and not anything filthy.

I was forced to go to Coffee Bean today (I know I'm not in LA when I can't find a Starbucks)  and while I was trying to figure out what a Frappacino was called there I realized the following -

Because of all the chains that are competing with one another over the sale of basically the exact same product, we now have like 50 words for each type of thing we are looking to buy. And while I get the need to try to brand yourself as a company, and by naming the things you sell different names than the competition you set yourself apart - but it also leads to conversations like this.

Me - "Hi there, could I have a  venti vanilla mocha Frappacino please?"
Barista - "I don't know what that is."

Full disclosure, I was texting my buddy while ordering - and that's really rude. In retrospect, this wasn't a good start.

M - "Don't know what what is?"
B - "A venti Frappacino."
M - "It's just like a blended iced coffee."
B - "Oh, a Coffee Ice Blended Drink?"

I have now stopped texting and I realized this person wants a battle. Alright, "Amy", I'm not busy - lets do this.

M - "Is that what it's called here?"
B - "That's what it says on the menu doesn't it?"
M - "You mean the poster hanging over your head? I don't know - I hadn't read your 'menu'."
B - "Well if you had, you would know - they're called Coffee Ice Blended Drinks."
M - "Thrilling. One of those please."

She thinks she's won. I concede victory. Notch this victory into the waistband your Coffee Bean apron, sweetheart.

B - "What flavor and size?"
M - "Mocha, the middle size is fine."
B - "We have small, medium and large."

I'm not gonna bite, Amy. I just want a coffee.

M - "Okay, cool."
B - "......which size would you like?'

I bite.

M - "Seriously? Of 'small, medium and large' which do you think is the middle?"
B - "So you'll have a medium then."
M - "Yaaa...venti is fine. Glad we talked this out."

She's already typed it in her machine, but when I say 'venti', I see her swallow a very gratifying lump of anger. She still tries to get in the last word. She turns to the other barista who is actually making drinks, and pausing between each word she asks for -

M - "Thanks, I'm gonna miss you a tall amount."

Sarcasm is dripping off my farewell like caramel of a freshly dipped apple. She shoot me a smile that could curdle milk and turns to the next person in line.

Don't worry my bloggees - this one isn't over. For whatever reason, someone is smiling on today and the barista making my drink announces -

Other Barista - "Venti Mocha Frappacino"


Monday, September 19, 2011

A Day in the Life

Alright blogger people - today I wasn't really struck with a fever to write anything in particular, but I did think it would be interesting to some of  y'all if I gave you a run down of what a day in Arizona is like for me. goes.

7AM - Wake up ("Circle of Life")

Yes, the theme to "Lion King" is my alarm, and its by far the best way to wake up in the morning. I feel like a newborn lion cub who is king of all the light touches. This lasts about 6 seconds, then I feel the affect of only sleeping 7 hours, turn the alarm off, and head into the shower.

7:30AM - Breakfast (Starbucks)

From the apartments this is about a 10 minute drive to the complex, and I stop somewhere along the way to get some food. "Food" can be many things, but more often than not I head to Starbucks for a coffee and whatever looks appetizing that day. Usually this is a choice between the Greek Yogurt and Honey Parfait and the Sausage and Cheese sandwich. I also inevitably order a coffee to counteract my lack of sleep and give me that peppy attitude that so endears me to the training staff at 8 in the morning.

8AM - I Start Treatment (My Elbow Gets Bipolar Disorder)

For me, this means hit the "wet" area of the training room and do a contrast bath for my elbow. *For those who don't know - I contracted a mild UCL strain in August and I'm now in Arizona getting treatment for it* A contrast bath starts in a warm water whirlpool for 3 minutes, then my arm goes into ice water for 2 minutes - then back and forth once more before I end in hot water for 5 minutes. Basically, I'm trying to get my elbow to be so freaked out that it has no choice but to get better. Also -its a way to loosen it up.
After the contrast bath I get a massage and then an ultrasound (I have a really tough life, I know). This is all done to loosen up and get me ready to actually do things that are going to help me get better.

8:15AM - Cardio (ESPN)

I get to run on the elliptical machine for 10 minutes, again to loosen up my body. Like any psychical  activity, treatment its better and safer once you've already warmed up. This time on the elliptical is when I catch up with the previous day's sports by watching 10 minutes worth of Sports Center. Today, I actually did cardio for 15 minutes cause they kept putting "Top Plays" on the little bar of upcoming events and then didn't it.....bastards.

8:30AM - I'm Back in the Training Room (Actual Work, If You Can Believe It)

This time I'm back to work. For the next hour and a half, I'm lifting, stabilizing, pushing, pulling and holding every weight you could imagine in every position position a shoulder or forearm get in. The idea is to strengthen and stabilize the areas around the affected area so the strain of throwing will be more evenly dispersed throughout my arm and my elbow will end up with a less strenuous load.

9:30AM - Lifting (Operation: Get Jacked)

This is what I look like now. This is not a picture that comes up when you google "steroids". This is how big I am after I pumped iron Tribe style. 

10:30AM - Ice (Netflix)

If there are some other stabilization things that have to be done now, I will do these with a trainer. Otherwise, it's time for me to pop out my iPad and watch some Arrested Development. I ice for 20 minutes, and if I get a head start on the trainer - I can fit one episode perfectly in the time I'm getting iced. Also - I've heard Modern Family is the best show ever, and I'm really not happy about it not being instant on Netflix. Not classy Netflix. First you raise prices, now this? Tsk Tsk

11:30AM - Leave the field (Dive into the Unknown)

Now comes the most challenging part of my day. After ice, shower and getting dressed - I'm done. So now the day is mine - and I'm faced with the eternal question - "What now?"

12PM - Blog (The Thing You're Reading)

I get home around noon everyday after getting some lunch. I use this time to hop on here and blog for about 30 min to an hour. But once I'm done with this - I'm back in the exact same position I was in about an hour ago. I check Facebook, see if @colbyjameswest said anything funny on Twitter and head to the couch.

1PM - Chill (Video Games)

I will kill at LEAST an hour playing video games. If I get comfortable, this could a lot more time. But usually, I get restless after about an hour and have to escape my apartment. 

2:30PM - Adventure (Drive Around Aimlessly)
Because I refuse to leave the apartment without looking presentable (or at least what I think is presentable), it takes me about 30 minutes to shower and get ready. As soon as I lock my door and get in my car, I pretty much regret it. My apartment is air conditioned and nice. The heat in Arizona is enough to make anyone angry at everyone else. 

To combat this, I crank the AC all the way up and drive toward whichever mall I think is most suitable for what I currently want to do (keep in mind, I have no idea what I want to do).

4PM - Find an Activity (Decide to See a Movie)
I've been here since Wednesday and I've already seen 3 movies in theaters - not to mention all the movies on Netflix before I go to sleep. Now, I have a problem and I'm addicted to movies, but really there aren't ANY good movies out right now. I saw "Our Idiot Brother" the other day, and really liked that, but "Conan" was just......really bad. And I haven't gotten up the courage to see "Contagion".

7PM - Dinner (Buffalo Wild Wings)

I'll catch the end of whatever later baseball games are on. And have one eye on Sports Center hoping to see a sick catch or cool hilight. But really, I'm just hoping that I don't see anyone there who knows me and will make fun of me for eating alone. I sit there the whole time playing the scene from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" in my head where Jonah Hill makes fun of Jeremy Segal for eating alone - and all I know is, I would LOVE  a magazine right now.

8PM - Back at Home (Praying Tosh.0 is on)

I am channel flipping like a demon right now. It's not Thursday, so there's no "The Office" to look forward to. And since I don't really watch any other shows, every other night I just pray that there are some good reruns on that will hold my interest for a while. 

10PM - Bedtime (Netflix Again)
I don't know why I can't just fall asleep like a normal human,  but for some reason that isn't a possibility for me. The worst part is that I know every movie that is instant on Netflix by now, and I've already decided I don't have an interest in any of them. This doesn't stop me from scrolling through the lists about 50 times and then settling on something I've either already seen, only KINDA wanna see, or an old episode of "The Office"

12AM - Sleep (Sleep is Just Sleep)

Finally get to sleep ready to start the whole thing over again. Hopefully I'll think of something interesting to do tomorrow so I won't have to subject myself to another bad movie.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why Sunday's are Better

Today is the third week of College Football - and for most of my friends it's very exciting day. They're routing for their alma mater or cheering for their hometown college, some have money riding on the games, and it seems everyone is in some kind of grudge match with someone else in the clubhouse.

Then there's me. I sit quietly in the corner, joining in the conversation when I can with remarks like, "Oregon's uniforms are sick." "My buddy plays for Cal." "I wonder if fans are going to bring 'Go Tigers' signs to the Clemson vs. Auburn game." This is basically the extent of my contribution to College Football, because frankly I just don't like it.

Now - that might be hard for some of you guys to hear. I have friends that bleed college colors (which always makes me think of someone actually bleeding Blue and Gold and how awesome that would be) but I never got the bug. I just find the whole dance so boring - and the climax is such a let down. All these teams play a full season only to have two get randomly picked (meanwhile fans from 2 or 3 other schools talk your ear off about why they should have got a shot) to play in the BCS Championship. I find the whole thing to be a long time coming for not much payoff.

That's not the only reason I'm not a college football fan I actually have a couple reasons that I barely watch TV on Saturday, but come Sunday I'm glued to the screen (not literally - that would be as absurd as bleeding blue and gold).

1. Age and Talent
This may seem trivial to some of you. But when I think that some of these players were at Prom 6 months ago, it just makes me lose interest. Not to say they're not talented, or that they're not going to be very good players in the future. But I like to watch sports where people are competing at the highest level - for this same reason, the NFL network couldn't fool me with that Canadian Football crap when the lockout was on. I don't know much about football,  but I do know that when one team is winning by 50+ points - it's no longer good competition.

2. Lack of a Personal Team
This may be the most compelling reason of them all why I don't like College Football. I have no team to follow. I don't care about ANYONE who is playing. My friends who were part of big college programs or went to school at a powerhouse have a deep connection with that place and this makes the games interesting. I went to a school that sold shirts that read "Pepperdine Football - Still Undefeated" (you can't lose if you don't have a team). Also, I wasn't raised routing for a team - it just wasn't part of the family sports experience. Dad dropped out of NYU after a year to act and Mom graduated from Juilliard. Though Juilliard may produce some of America's best dancers - not so great with the contact sports.

3. The Fans are SOOOOOOO Annoying
I don't like being persecuted for my beliefs. Now that is a can of worms that I won't dive too far into on this particular post; but the fact of the matter is that if you refer in the University of Minnesota as "the U"(which they do in Minnesota, and for the record, I think its ridiculous) in from of a Cain fan, you're getting an earful. While part of me admires the passion that these fans have, and I as an athlete, I wish every fan of every team had this kind of energy, I also find myself thinking, "Why are you yelling at me?" I don't like it when I'm at a bar and cheer for a good play and get yelled at from across the room to, "Shut the f*%# up" before he comes over and "kicks my blue bronco a*#". REALLY? Were gonna fight cause I said "Damn, that was sick" in reaction to an ESPN hilight?

4. NFL is just better
If you don't believe me I have only one word for you - FANTASY. Fantasy football is so awesome that it sparked one of the funniest shows ever (if you haven't seen the "The League" and you're a football fan then you're just stupid - it's instant on netflix). Fantasy football involves you in the game. So if you're from, say Los Angeles, and you don't have a home team you're still incredibly interested in the outcomes of the games because on Sundays NOTHING is more important than me beating my brothers girlfriend and then making fun of her for starting Arian Foster the first week - READ THE REPORTS ONE TIME. I love football, and I love watching it played by the best players in the world that are all fighting to get their team a PLAYOFF spot. And then, after a PLAYOFFS the two best in the league fight it out in the most watched television event in every calendar year.

That's it - that's all the venting I have on the subject. I also don't want to be misunderstood - every now and then a really good game comes before the BCS Championship and I'll be there as a football fan cheering on whoever everyone else is routing against (maybe theres a reason fans hate me). Tonight, for instance, I'll be at Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Oklahoma vs. FSU game. But come on, when Temple vs Penn St. is the game on ESPN I just sit there thinking, "What? Were Drexel and Penn busy?"

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Demolition Of My Beard

Got the blog bug yesterday - and people actually read it, which is cool. Technically, all I know is that people looked at the page. Maybe you closed the window before any of my terrible ideas could permeate your brain - in which case the fact that you're back is rather self destructive behavior and you should seek therapy (my brother might be able to help you out).

Today, as the title of this post would suggest, is going to explore the destruction of my facial hair. This is one of the worst parts of playing minor league baseball. Given - that is a VERY short list, long bus rides, begin away from your family would also be on there. But it is part of it, and with every job comes sacrifice - so here is an account of mine.

This is what I usually look line in the offseason. I've always liked having facial hair, in high school I started growing what I, at the time, thought was a goatee and after some recollection, turns out was brown alfalfa sprout looking things from my chin. That turned into a Kerry Wood type of goatee when I was at Pepperdine. That along with a "long hair - don't care" look made Jordan Casas (outfielder with the Indians) thought I looked quite crazy when I faced him in the 2010 season opener at Long Beach. 

Alright - lets get on with it. This is step one. It's kinda like a Jersey-Shore-DBag pencil thin jaw beard which I always think seem really weird and most of the time they're just used to help fat people create a jaw line for themselves. Every time I see that look I want to tell them that they're not fooling anyone - but then I chicken out. 

From here we go to the what I imagine every Civil War general looked like. Yes - I have seen pictures of Grant and Jackson and they don't look like this - but leave me alone. Stop trying to kill my dreams. The stupid look with my eyes that I have in this picture I believe no Civil War general EVER wore, this is the look that comes with taking pictures of your beard with the "take-pictures-of-yourself-cause-you're-a-vain-iPhone-user" setting on my phone's camera.

This look is actually the one I liked best - Eric Thames (who is playing LF/DH for the Blue Jays now) perfected this look when were at Pepperdine together. On a side note, he is the current king of big league facial hair, next time he's on ESPN check it out. Whenever I see anyone with the Fu Manchu I will always compare it Thames'. And no - mine doesn't hold up at all :''-(. *I hope thats the face for a crying frowny guy, my phone has emojis*

This final step before going back to the good ol "clean shaven" look is what I was rocking in Lake County for about a month when we had a mustache pool and everyone was doing it together. It truly is one of the worst looks ever. I mean - when I have my druthers, I cover up half my face anyway, so adding the worlds ugliest mustache to it probably isn't gonna turn any better than someone from "To Catch a Predator".

Finally - about half an hour later (thanks to photo breaks and my absurd habit of never letting a song play to the end) I get down to the look that I started out for. This is the look that us minor leaguers are supposed to wear.  All kidding aside, one of the things that I most look forward to about playing in the Show is the ability to pitch with a beard - who knows maybe I'm like Samson with his hair (it COULD be possible).

And thats that. I'm sitting in a coffee shop in Westgate, AZ, done with therapy for the day and waiting for it to be 1:30 so I can go watch "Our Idiot Brother" even though my father thinks it looks like, "a movie for lost college idiots." Thanks Daddy. I'm gonna go see it anyway.

As always, if you're still reading at this point you're probably my mother or you work as a day guard in an owl prison (think about it). If you don't already - go ahead and follow me on twitter (!/C_M_Cook). Until next time - Via Con Dios. Have fun out there.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hello there - this is my blog. You can tell cause it's at

Alright - here goes. The dive into blogging. Did you see that? I put blogging in italics so when you read it you might read it in a different kind of voice - that's the kinda stuff I'll be doing on here. Exciting isn't it?

Lets get down to it: this is an attempt to fulfill a couple things in my life - 1. I love to write and now that I don't go to school anymore, I have less and less of a call to do so (140 characters on Twitter isn't satisfying my creative desires). 2. I like to involve people in my daily goings-on. Rightly or wrongly, I find I have a rather interesting life and a rather interesting way or looking at it, so I enjoy sharing that perspective with people. 3. I like to make people laugh, so as much as this is going to be about what goes on with my career with the Indians (I pitch in the minor leagues for the Cleveland Indians organization) this is also going to be about my perception of the big ol world.

A little bit about myself.
I never really know where to start when asked to describe myself. I've always found anyone worth knowing will have a hard time reducing their entire existence into a few hundred characters of a couple of lengthy sentences. When asked to describe myself, I usually find myself talking about the people closest to me - and today is no exception.

My dad is an actor (Peter Mackenzie, look him on IMDB) and so I've grown up in LA. I've been around sets my whole life, and the only thing I've ever loved even close to the amount I love baseball is the world of Hollywood. I love going to the set and watching my dad do what he does best. He's a great talent and the acting life is one that is very intriguing to me - plus he's damn funny and I learn a lot from him.

My mom is a writer, working on her first book now (a memoir about my grand mother's and brother's fights with cancer) and she has influenced my writing a great deal. To this day Mom maintains that my talents, while admirable, are misplaced on the diamond. She thinks I should be writing - but I like to remind her that while my mind will (hopefully) be working for years to come, my body has only so many years of professional athletics in it.

My big brother is at graduate school, learning to be a pscgolgist. He is one of the smartest and most grownup people I've ever met, and my confidant. He is my hero and many of my life choices are based solely on what Niles would think about a situation.

Finally, my little sister is an artist, and an amazing talent. She is starting her first year at SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) and basically she is a baller. I'm trying to get her to design my third tattoo, but she's dragging her feet because quite honestly she's not a huge fan of the idea of me getting a tattoo in the first place.

So that's me - in the best way I can describe myself. Maybe you learned nothing. Maybe you're a genius and are now able to see into the very depths of my soul from reading this blog. Who knows? This may not be the most eye catching or gripping first blog entry, but I wanted to give a jumping off point - from here on out I promise I won't bore you with my backstory too much.

If you're still reading at this point you either have way too much time on your hands or you're in a post apocalyptic state and you already burned all the books to stay warm. Either way - thanks for getting to the end.