How to Volunteer at a Food Bank

Volunteering at a food bank is a great way to touch a lot of food and meet celebrities. Of course, if the celebrities are there, they are going to get to touch all high profile food, like the tomato juice. Don’t expect to get  your hands on any tomato juice.

I was in charge of this milk. ALL of it!

Because I am NOT a celebrity, all I got to touch was boxes of milk that don’t need to be refrigerated. Did you have ANY idea that there is milk that comes in boxes? I must live a terribly sheltered life, because apparently this is a thing.

Jesse Metcalfe holding tomato juice

This is a photo of Jesse Metcalfe holding tomato juice. At first, I didn’t recognize him because they said he was currently on the remake of Dallas. But then, someone told me that he was the guy who mowed the lawns on Desperate Housewives. That is when it all clicked together. Instead of holding tomato juice, imagine this person shirtless with a lawn mower. I met a CELEBRITY! Yea, me!

Look… this is Jesse Metcalfe’s tomato juice!

Of course, by ‘meet’ a celebrity, what I mean is touch the tomato juice of a celebrity with my boxes of non-refrigerated milk. But that STILL COUNTS!

Here I am packing milk into boxes and taking pictures at the same time. I’m a multi-tasker.

Non refrigerated milk is a lot harder to pack than it looks like. See how streamlined these boxes are? This is an arduous task. Plus, everyone got mad at me when I kept falling behind because I stopped to take pictures. I have a BLOG TO WRITE, PEOPLE!

Random picture I felt compelled to take. I’m an ARTIST. I have VISION.

Another advantage of volunteering at a food bank is that you can get pictures of celebrities holding random food items that you can then send to The Bloggess.

I have ALWAYS wanted to send a picture of a celebrity holding a random item to The Bloggess, because in return, you get a picture of… Wil Wheaton Collating Paper. Which I did, and which made  me FURIOUSLY HAPPY.

So… here are some helpful t-shirts for those of you who will be volunteering at food banks in the near future…

I can’t guarantee this shirt will get you near the tomato juice, but it’s worth a shot.

This will help explain why you are continually taking pictures of random things while you are supposed to be packing milk into boxes.

Also… one last picture. I would hate to feel like I held up the line taking all these pictures for no reason.

The final box of food. It’s important to get all the pictures of food while you have the chance.

Running out of True

Amy (Lucy’s Football) has written a book of poems which I suggest you do NOT read unless you want to find yourself crying because the moon leaves the sun notes to buy milk. Reading Amy’s book has left me feeling poetic and sentimental. So today, rather than producing a sarcastic tirade, I will write ramblings based on Amy’s poems. This is okay, however. Ken said once that I know how to forget my blog voice for a post or two and alienate my readers. I’m pretty sure he meant it as a compliment.

Because this post is dedicated to (and partially lifted from) Amy’s book, Out of True, those of you who DID NOT read the book will be totally confused. That is what you get for not buying and reading a perfectly good book.

Actually, I’m not even sticking to the same poem. I picked random parts from the book and tossed them in with absolutely no forethought or logic. Therefore those of you that DID read the book will be totally confused. That is what you get for buying and reading books.

At any rate… here you go… happy alienation…

Running out of True

There is magic somewhere in the hush of an early pink morning, but we cycle through days never noticing. We hurry underneath the magic of wispy clouds moving across the sky, lit by early morning sun. Children will be late for school if we look at clouds. Somewhere there is magic in five quiet saints frozen in time, but the world would surely crumble if we took the time to listen to their hushed voices. Frozen saints talk very slow, most likely.

Frozen saints are way too quiet to get my attention. The radio blasts loud in my car as it races along its path to work. Always heading to some other place to be, there is limited time available to notice the edge of a woman’s skirt dragging in the grass.

The moon and the sun keep spinning, just missing each other in their long distance romance. Their dance of unfulfilled yearning is what marks my days. Just as the moon leaves its note for the sun, I wake up to an alarm, check the weather on my iPhone, and drop a frozen waffle in a toaster. Somewhere, there are angels scraping stars from their shoes. They must be far from here. I look up to see scattered stars, but there is only a clock ticking down the minutes until I am late and failing. Must move faster.

One day, when the time seems right, Amy will give back her icy saints. Shivering, one of them will raise a hand to speak. Most likely we will rush right past them, eager to embrace the futility of another day.

Or… maybe things will be different. Amy will catch the angels dancing on ink and box up the scattered stars from their shoes. The moon and sun will find a way to be together and get a nice house in the suburbs. The saints will warm their hands in the spring sun and tell their secrets. Your heart can quit lurching forward. You can rest.

Other people posting random things about Amy’s work:

travelling with Out of True as it was intended – LAHIKMAJOE

Magpie heart –

That is what you get for writing a book, Amy.

A Dollar Make Me Holler

What happened to TV while I wasn’t paying attention?

This all started when the person I share a cubicle with at work asked me, “Do you know Bon Qui Qui?” To which I said, “I dunno. Does she work here?” This happens a lot actually. Because I am not watching YouTube, apparently I have no idea what is going on in the world. So, he directs me to this rather amusing video and we all have a nice laugh.

Bon Qui Qui at King Burger

I particularly like the part how the dude at the end states he is no longer under house arrest. I don’t know about you, but that is how I pick my men.

So, later on in the week, this same individual asks if I have seen, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. “No,” I innocently reply. So… a brief Google search reveals what people are watching on television these days:

Here is the TLC Promo Trailer:

That was only the trailer. If you look a little below this paragraph, you will notice another YouTube link. This will fully explain the whole disturbing thing. DON’T click it yet! Before you proceed, I must warn you that once you watch this on YouTube, you can never un-see it. Never. Remember that time  you were reading and suddenly people’s torsos were burning up and you were looking at a bunch of legs sitting there? This is EXACTLY like that. Only with a strange little child that can’t enunciate. And no one spontaneously catches on fire.
“A dollar make me holler, BABY.” Really? You are going to train your kid to say that and then send her out on stage with a halter top and a pair of daisy dukes? Also, is a dollar even a respectful price point for hollering? You’d think it would be more than that.

Worst of all, this is on TLC…. The LEARNING Channel! At least, I think TLC still stands for The Learning Channel. What am I supposed to be learning from all of this? Granted, it is almost a reference guide for turning a six-year-old into a stripper, but I don’t think this is anything I need to know. I don’t even have a little girl, much less one that I want to train to be a stripper. I’m sure I could start some sort of outreach program or something, but I really don’t have time for all that. So, let’s just say I DON’T want to start a stripper training outreach program for six-year olds. Thank you anyway, TLC. Maybe next time you can have a show about how to get started with the meth labs, because THAT is something worth looking into.


A shirt for all the self-respecting six-year-olds. I tried to make it into a halter top but the words wouldn’t fit.

New Zealand Snack Food

Today I will critique the snack foods of New Zealand. I know you are thinking that I have little or no qualifications to be a snack food critic, much less a New Zealand snack food critic. However, just because I have no food critiquing experience, have never been to New Zealand, and have done absolutely no research on this topic whatsoever, does not mean I can’t be an expert.

All you have to do to be an expert is talk a lot and eventually someone will believe something you say. For example, Amy (AKA Lucy’s Football), once went on a tour with this tour guide who knew absolutely NOTHING about the history from the historical tour. If you ever find yourself in this situation, all you have to do is ask rhetorical questions about miniscule beds and strange wallpaper. Done.

So… who is ready for an elaborate critique of New Zealand snack food?*

*Don’t answer that, Amy. It is RHETORICAL.

First, I would like to thank @sleepsinhats for the generous donation of New Zealand snack foods which she mailed from New Zealand to my house. Unfortunately, I forgot that everyone on Twitter is an assassin. Wait… is EVERYONE on Twitter an assassin, or just @lahikmajoe? I need to ask Amy to clarify that with her dad.

The selection of treats that will most likely cause my untimely demise.

Now that @sleepsinhats has my address, she can drop by and kill me at any time. However, she will have to come all the way from New Zealand first. And, she will also need a place to stay, so she will probably ask if she can crash on my sofa before she kills me, and then I will be totally on to her. So, if anyone else would like to send me snack food from foreign places and then kill me, that would be great. Just make sure I get the snack food items first. I would hate to be killed for no reason.

Wait… what was it I supposed to be writing here? –death by assassin? -strange wallpaper? oh… yeah… New Zealand snack food.

First, let’s start with the peanut butter chocolate. This stuff is to die for. If you have to be killed for snacks, this one is the way to go… literally the creamiest chocolate thing I have ever had. If you are having New Zealand assassins mail you snacks anyway, I highly recommend the peanut butter chocolate.

Next, chocolate covered kiwi. I would classify this treat as green goo encased in a chocolate shell. They remind me of chocolate covered cherries, except with kiwi. I assume there is actually kiwi in there someplace. I had three of these, and it was difficult to locate the kiwi. I may have to step up the research.

The next snack food item is the chicken chips. This was actually the main point of the entire endeavor as I needed strange chip bags to display at work. What else do people do at work besides collect chip bags?

Notice the bag states the chips are chicken flavored, but they are clearly made of penguin. Look… the penguin is RIGHT THERE on the potato chip. Of course, he is a lot less killed and ground up in the picture than he is while settling in on your crisps, but you get the point.

I tried the chicken chips, and they aren’t bad. They actually taste a bit like you are eating potato chips and chicken soup all at the same time. I wonder if people could eat these chips if they have a cold. It might be easier than having an entire bowl of chicken soup. You could actually market these chips in the cold and flu aisle, right next to the TheraFlu and the echinacea. Of course, you would have to take the penguin off. No one ever heard of eating penguin soup when you are under the weather.

As a special thanks to @sleepsinhats for the New Zealand snack food items, I am creating this special t-shirt. You can wear it when you come to visit so I will recognize you.

On further reflection, if you are on Twitter at all you should be wearing this t-shirt. We all might be assassins. Don’t think you aren’t just because you haven’t assassinated anyone yet. It is only Tuesday.

Just eat the cupcakes

There is a person in the office who has a doctor’s appointment today. They are worried that the doctor may be upset at them because they ate two chocolate cupcakes yesterday. Someone asked this person if they were going to confess to the doctor about consumption of the cupcakes. Confess… really?

This entire conversation astounds me. I am going to email my doctor right this minute to inform him of the fact that last night I had two glasses of wine and an obscenely large bowl of spaghetti. Then, I will scoff openly at triglycerides. Then, I will tell him that if there were two cupcakes in front of me, that I would eat those cupcakes RIGHT NOW. I hope this doesn’t make him cry. Maybe I shouldn’t email my doctor and make him cry so early in the morning. I feel bad about it now. Perhaps I should compose the email and sent it later on.

Anyone have a doctor’s appointment today? Here is your t-shirt.

How successful people do NOT start their mornings

Today, I felt like a success. I started the day early, dropped my kid off at school (on time, I might add), then took a few minutes to tune into Twitter. That is when I saw that @RageMichelle had posted a link to “11 Ways Successful People Start Their Morning.”

I thought, “What a great link to follow! I’m successful. I can now see how other successful people like me start the day.” Here is a link to the article:

Marc and Angel Hack Life: Practical Tips for Productive Living
11 Ways Successful People Start Their Morning

To facilitate your morning success, I will review each item, then give you a quick summary of how it should be implemented. You will get started a lot faster than the people who are reading the entire article, thus maintaining your competitive edge. If there is anything I am all about, it is the competitive edge.

Disclaimer: I only actually make it through seven of the steps, because, to be honest, success is exhausting. I don’t know who these people are, walking around with productive lives, but they must be tired as hell.

1. Get an early start. The more time you’ve had to digest the day’s news and obstacles ahead, the greater advantage you’ll have over your competition.

Done. I got up early, got my kid to school and gave myself time to get caught up on the day’s news and obstacles. Like most people, I accomplish my news and obstacle awareness via Twitter. Today’s news from Carl‏@CarlRzo had me worried about stripper tips. He states, “Why do strippers give themselves fake names? You’re showing your asshole for $1, nobody cares if your real name is Jen.” Really, the going rate is a dollar? On considering a stipper career, I thought I would get lots of dollars. Also, strippers will be showing other parts of anatomy, not just that one particular area, so they deserve way more than a dollar. I don’t know what kinds of stripper bars you are going to, Carl, but they sound really weird.

2. Review your Focus list. What is your number one goal right now?  

Well, it was going to be picking out a stripper name, but according to Carl, that is totally useless. You don’t even need one because you can just go by ‘Jen.’ My other long term goal is to win the lottery, but you need to buy a ticket for that. If only I could figure out an easy way to get a dollar.

3. Review your TO-DON’T list. A ‘TO-DON’T list’ is a list of things not to do. It’s an incredibly useful tool for keeping track of unproductive habits, like checking Facebook and Twitter.

Well, damn. Major fail on this one already. Twitter was the only reason I am even reading this article on how to be successful. Now I am caught in some type of vortex where I can’t read the article on being successful because I wrote down on a list somewhere not to read the thing that caused me to read the other thing. I will NEVER be successful.

4. Exercise. Movement increases brain function and decreases stress levels. Apple CEO, Tim Cook, is in the gym by 5 A.M. every morning.

Well, bueno for that guy. You know what ELSE increases brain function? COFFEE.

I bet Tim Cook, CEO, wasn’t up at 12am writing his blog, was he? I am going to write my own article about being successful, and it is going to suggest that you stay away from ALL people who get up at 5 A.M. to run on a treadmill. Because you know who else does that? Hamsters, that’s who. Everyone knows that hamsters cannot be trusted.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your brain and body speed are a function of what you intake. Try a spinach omelet one morning and let me know how much better you feel.

Who the hell has time in the morning to make a spinach omelette? Not even Apple CEO, Tim Cook is making spinach omelettes. I wonder if people are really making spinach omelettes and writing in to tell the author of this article how they feel. If you are getting up at 5 A.M. to run on treadmills and make spinach omelettes , don’t even tell me about it. I don’t want to hear it.

6. Kiss your partner goodbye. Most truly successful people have a great home life.

Okay, I know some of you are thinking, “But, I don’t HAVE a partner.” I am here to tell you that making these types of excuses is EXACTLY what is holding you back from having a successful start in the morning. If you don’t have a partner, then find someone else to kiss. It is probably the kissing part that counts anyway. That crazy man on the subway should be up to the task.

7. Connect with the right people. Connecting with positive people in the morning can set you up for a positive day.

I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but positive people are really hard to deal with in the morning. I have been around these people and they are going to be loud and cheerful and very talky. There is a high probability that if you are under-caffeinated, they will suck your soul right out of your body. The last thing you need is to be spending the rest of the day looking around for your damn soul.

8. Throw away all steps listed above. Because I’m not sure how successful this list will actually make you.

By the time you get up early to read on Twitter that your stripper career is entirely unsuccessful, then go through your focus list while somehow managing to avoid the vortex you create by telling yourself not to read Twitter once you already have, you still have get on the treadmill and make an omelette. You are going to be totally exhausted. You won’t even have enough energy to kiss strangers on subways and talk to positive people.

For a successful morning start, you should get up, eat whatever, kiss someone if you want to, and avoid treadmills and positive people until at least noon. Also, I don’t care what Carl says, you need a stripper name that is something besides just ‘Jen.’ At least go with Candi or Bambi. Some people know nothing about managing stripper careers. They are probably too busy making spinach omelettes to see the bigger picture.

Lastly, this t-shirt is for Mark and Angel, the life hackers. I have a feeling they are going to need it.

It will also help anyone who would just rather not hear from people who are making, or have had made spinach omelettes.

How to be an Extrovert

Are you worried about dying alone with hoarded magazines and cats? You may be an introvert.

In order to be happy, it is well documented that you have to be an extrovert. Well, in order to be the happiest person, according to the New York Times, you have to be Alvin Wong (Discovered: The Happiest Man in America).

The problem is that we can’t all be Alvin Wong. No amount of blog posts I can write can even get you close to being Alvin Wong, so don’t even ask me about it. Of course, if you already are Alvin Wong, you don’t even have to keep reading this. Just go back to being an Asian-American Jewish man living in Hawaii, if that is what makes you happy (Apparently, that is EXACTLY what makes people happy).

Of course, the other thing that makes people happy, according to Fox News and Professor Randy J. Larsen, is being an extrovert.

Why Extroverts Are Happier Than Introverts – Fox News

Being Extroverted: Key to Happiness – Washington University in St. Louis Magazine

I know you are thinking, “I’m not an extrovert, and I’m totally happy.” Well, that is not true. According to Fox News and Professor Randy J. Larsen, all introverts are miserable and living with hoarded magazines and lots of cats. Extroverts, on the other hand, are happily prancing around with their many friends through their magnificent lives.

No one ever argues with Fox News or people with the word ‘Professor’ ahead of their name, so I will give you a minute to allow your introverted misery to sink in.

Miserable yet? Great.

Don’t worry, I would not have written a blog post telling you that you are miserable without a plan to do something about it.  The good news is that while we can’t all be Asian-American Jewish men, we can all be extroverts! I guarantee that by the end of this blog post, you will be an extrovert.* Soon, you will be joining the millions of happily converted extroverts in their extraordinary lives**

*Guaranteed in a way that is neither measurable nor refundable.
**I don’t actually know where these people are. Also, there may not be millions of them.

Time to Become an Extrovert

wikiHow (How to do anything) has a very practical article on becoming an extrovert. They even include pictures of extroverts so you can spot them in the wild.

Look at this guy. He’s an extrovert!

Seeing as how you probably want to start being an extrovert right away, I will summarize some of the more relevant steps. After all, reading is for introverts.

Step 1. Talk to people.

And by talking to people, I mean REAL people. It is well established that people who are introverts often communicate online through social media, like Twitter. It is also well established that the people on Twitter aren’t real. I know you are shocked. You would think these people are real. After all, they have pictures of their dogs, and very convicting anecdotes about their jobs and what they are making for lunch. However, these people and their amusing anecdotes are totally fabricated. You know, like the people in the Matrix. They may even THINK they are real, but they are not. Ask anyone who is not on Twitter, and they will tell you that Twitter isn’t real.

Warning: Don’t attempt question the people on Twitter regarding the fact they are not real. They are so deluded they will earnestly insist on their own reality and you do NOT have time to argue with people who don’t exist.

In the interest of talking to real people, you should find two of them to talk to every day. I know the people who are actually around you are not as high-quality as the fake ones you can generate on the Internet. As an extrovert, these are sacrifices you will have to make. It is statistically impossible that extroverts are even remotely satisfied conversing with the people they are talking to, so buck up. Enjoy your conversation at Wal-Mart with the woman in the halter top sitting in the electric shopping cart. She has a riveting story about kicking her boyfriend out of her trailer that I KNOW you haven’t heard.

Step 2. Give yourself permission to act without reflecting beforehand.

According to wikiHow, “Thinking before you act is an introverted trait.” The reason you are going to die alone with cats is because thinking is for introverts.

You are wasting so much time considering the consequences of your actions when you could be plowing ahead forward with no repercussions. Extroverts never worry about the outcome of a situation. For example, I once had an extrovert explain to me in detail the concepts of ‘planking’ and ‘owling.’ Upon request, he even squatted into an owl-like pose with absolutely NO reflection beforehand that this would be a completely ridiculous thing to do. This is how you should be conversing with people, by making owl poses.

Step 3. Talk more and listen less.

Listening is for introverts. You should be spending most of your energy blurting out whatever it is you are going to say next. Don’t worry if it is pertinent to the conversation at all.

Also, if the conversation starts to bore you, change the subject. There is no need to waste your time listening to people droning on and on about their kid’s soccer game. I recommend bringing up trivial stuff people do on the internet, like ‘planking’ and ‘owling.’ This will give you a great opportunity to try out your new owl poses.

Step 4: Give up on the whole thing and wear my t-shirts

I realize all of this seems like a lot of trouble just to avoid dying alone in a pool of your own vomit. However, I may have an easier solution. Feel free to skip all of the steps outlined above in lieu of wearing one of the following t-shirts.

By the time people figure out you are not an Asian-American Jewish man, you will be long gone.

This way you can be an extrovert without even talking to anybody.

At least people will THINK you are happy. Sometimes that is good enough.

For Further Research

A different perspective on whether extroverts are happier than introverts:
Are Extroverts Happier Than Introverts? Yes, But…There are many different ways to define happiness.

Are you happy? Not if you live in West Virginia. Check the Gallup Poll:
Hawaii No. 1 in U.S. for Wellbeing, and West Virginia Last