An Ode to Steve the Llama Who Was Llamanapped on Saturday

Captain Francis Drake. One will note the stuffed Llama, Steve on the perched on the front of his hat.

Commissioned by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I upon hearing of the unfortunate llamanapping of Steve the Llama at the 26th annual Renaissance Autumn Festival on Saturday. A sonnet by Christopher Marlow’s brother, Bart!

 

Ode to Steve, the Llama

O Steve, who on Sir Drake’s broad hat did sit,

Though small in size and silent on thy perch,

Methinks thou droll and full of fluffy wit.

O that we could for Drakes companion search,

we would the whole of Wilson Park so scour

In search of Steve who has been llamanapped.

Why hast thou gone? Return this very hour!

So that thou on Drake’s head again be capped

Our kingdom weeps for now we are bereft,

O fuzzy llama thou art truly gone!

To some Italian scoundrel thou hast left

And now thy time with Captain Drake is done.

We only hope that Drake would deem her cute

So that O Steve, thy home may deign to suit!

A close- up of Steve with the inscription “Ne’er Forget” which is translated as “never forget” for those who do not speak pirate.

 

The Plot to Every Romantic Comedy Ever Concieved

So here I am watching my one of my wife’s favorite movies, “The Proposal” when it hits me… All romantic comedies are basically the same movie. Only the characters and the setting gets changed. So without further ado… The plot to every romantic comedy ever concieved:

1 . We start off with a  Beautiful and very successful woman (often Julia Roberts)  who has trouble with relationships due to some personality flaw. Or we’ll have a woman (often Sandra Bullock) who is perfect in every way except that she has a unibrow. The unibrow or the personality quirk is there to make us believe she is invisible, sexually, to all the men in her life. In either case, we have a diamond in the rough.  The woman will usually have some unattainable love interest. A musical montage  depicting the woman’s mundane daily life and how much it sucks will be included. The song will likely be “Iko, Iko” by the Dixie Cups

2. While we are watching this montage we will notice  a male figure (often Hugh Grant) who gradually falls in love with the woman for exactly that personality/physical flaw, or despite that personality/physical flaw. The man will probably start out as the best male friend unless the best male friend is gay. If the best friend is gay, then the man will be a character which pops into the woman’s life multiple times seemingly at random, and may actually be initially seen as the antagonist. Usually some slap- stick is involved.

At this point there will be a change in the status quo which could occur in these four ways.

a. The woman with the unibrow will get her eyebrows plucked and her hair will receive salon treatment. Then the woman, now actually perfect in every way, will  pursue the previously unattainable love interest, rejecting the best friend/random guy. This love interest may notice her since she no longer has a unibrow or he may not.

b. Random guy or best friend will attempt some underhanded plot to win the heart of the woman, or sabotage the wedding of woman and previously unattainable love interest.

c. Woman will use her personality quirk in an underhanded plot to win the heart of the previously unattainable love interest.

d. Both woman and best friend (straight or gay) (usually not random guy) will come up with some underhanded plot to win the heart of the previously unattainable love interest

4. While the status quo is changing, the woman will be, through various life experiences,  forced into close proximity with the best-friend/ random guy and a relationship will develop. There will be some drunken-singing involved. Probably “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John. Random guy or best friend will come to see how just how great the woman actually is and how much fun her quirky personality flaw can be. At some point one of them will see somebody naked, but this is a PG-13 movie so don’t get too worked up.

5. All this scheming and romancing will develop into 3 possible scenarios

a. Woman will continue to only have eyes for the previously unattainable love interest, only to find that the love interest is still apathetic, despite her lack of a unibrow.

b.  Woman’s personality quirk will begin to distance herself from best friend/ random guy.

c. Previously unattainable love interest  now notices how great the woman’s body is (since she no longer has a unibrow),  and in a twist of fate (unless you read this) asks the woman to marry him, to which she says yes.

6. Then, depending on the scenario of #5,  the characters will face two possible epiphanies.

a. All underhanded plots will be revealed.

b. Woman will realize what a fool she’s been because best friend/ random guy loved her even when she had a unibrow. But now, because she has been in blind pursuit of previously unattainable love interest,  she finds best friend/ random guy is now unattainable.

7.  No matter what the outcome of #6 is, everyone will separate and everyone will be sad (Except for the previously unattainable love interest who continues to be apathetic despite the woman’s continual lack of unibrow). A Sad musical montage will ensue.

8. Woman and best friend/ random guy will realize that they have loved each other from the beginning. Then, in some very romantic, but highly unlikely way, they will come back together and get married. Pachelbel’s “Cannon in D” will be played at some point. The previously unattainable love interest will either be royally screwed or we’ll find out that he has secretly had a crush on the gay best friend since the beginning.

9. Ending credits will begin with footage of everyone dancing at the wedding reception to “This Will Be” as performed by Natalie Cole . Useless information about what happened to each of the characters after the events of the movie will be displayed or talked about. If  the movie starred Sandra Bullock then you will get to see various “wild takes” as there will be a considerable number of them.

So here you go, the plot to every romantic comedy ever conceived.

PRO#4 Surviving the Vday Invasion

Ahhh Valentines Day!!! The day of luv!!! (use your best Barry White voice when reading the preceding). How long has this holiday been around and how did a martyred saint get involved in this anyway? Well, no one is quite sure. In fact, no one is quite sure which St. Valentine the holiday refers to. (There are several possibilities). The feast day was around for centuries until 1965 when the Roman Catholic Church removed it from the liturgical calendar. However the holiday has been celebrated as we know it for many hundreds of years. The first literary account of the holiday appears in the year 1385 in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules  (that’s Parliament of Fools) for those not familiar middle English

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make.” (Hence the term “love birds”)

Sometime during the 14th century the St. Valentine’s Day became associated with a celebration of courtly love. For the medieval man the idea of courtly love was the stuff of fantasy, particularly for nobility, whose marriages were usually arranged for political gain. Thus the court bards of the middle ages would compose these fanciful tales of knights battling for the love of the fair maiden, or sexy shepherds and other peasants pining for each other on the hillside. In these romances, rules were made as to how to go about “wooing” the courtly lover. Now that courtly love is the way to find one’s mate  these “rules” which have persisted to this day are as much a part of our cultural dogma as any scripture. For this reason there are usually high expectations coming into a Valentine’s season that often cause more stress than they do fun. It is no surprise that more relationships end on Valentine’s day than most any other day of the year.

This stress often manifests itself in two ways. If you are single then Valentine’s day only further reminds you that you are single (bummer). Nowadays you will hear single people refer to Valentines as SAD or Single Awareness Day. Or, if you (like me) have been in a relationship for some time and you either are feverishly planning a perfect night with your spouse/ partner, procrastinating the planning of that perfect night with your spouse/partner, or have completely forgotten about planning that perfect night with your spouse/partner*. In any case, let me assure you that if, at least, an acknowledgement of the fact that it is Valentine’s Day and and you love your spouse/partner is NOT made clear there could be serious repercussions. Hence, I have come to call Valentine’s Day Romance Assessment Day. (This term was coined by myself one year after watching my dad botch a Valentine’s Day). Are you as romantic as the next guy? Well, after sitting around bored at work today I came up with a few things would plan to do if I were single, and actually feverishly plan my Romance Assessment Day.

Single Awareness Day Plans (Yes I know I’m married, but I used to be single so there).

1. Whitney Houston said it best when she said that the greatest love of all was to love yourself, so I would spend a night of pure narcissism taking my self to a nice restaurant and a movie. (A date with myself, Yay!) (Maybe not).

2. Plan a guys or girls night out. Nothing like a night playing *insert video game title here* with the guys to forget your singleness. Or, better yet if you’re a guy if you can happen to get in on those girl’s night out activities…. (Who knows, that might solve the singleness issue).

3. Stimulate the economy by buying yourself a nice gift. (Don’t do this if you’re broke).

4. Ask someone out! (What a concept).

5. Relax and have fun!

Romance Assessment Day (What I’m might be planning if I weren’t procrastinating by writing this blog)

1. Go pick out a card that says what you really feel for your spouse/partner, but are too “moose-like” to come up with yourself

2. Pick out some pretty roses. (Red roses are fine, there is no need to go into what different color flowers are supposed to mean. Also a single beautiful rose tells your significant other that they are solitary beautiful gift, and she’ll love it, so there’s no need to pay 50 bucks for the whole dozen, unless you really want to).

3. Do something nice that is unexpected, or not usually required of you. (Use your imagination).

4. Leave the kids and go on an actual date (Unless you don’t have a babysitter, then go ahead and take the kids it’ll be fine. The kids, especially your daughters, need to know you love them too).

5. Bow chicka wow wow!!!! (after all it’s really hard to be mad at someone if you’re doing that).

5. Relax and have fun!

6. The key to passing Romance Assessment Day is to practice the above steps on other days  than Romance Assessment Day. This is probably the point that I fail the most because, like so many other guys, I get too wrapped up in my daily life to take the time to do these things. C’est la vie.  So my main poin in  all this, I suppose, is to follow my own advice. Anyway I hope this entry helps. If you have any nifty Valentine’s Day plans feel free to comment.

*I use the term spouse/partner because it was easier to type than spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse/significant-other.

PRO#3 ADELE

Adele, Adele, Adele, there’s no escaping Adele these days. Listen to your local pop or adult contemporary stations these days and you will hear one of Adele”s songs at least once every thirty minutes. Steven Tyler of American idol has stated that he was “freaking sick” of people poorly singing Adele’s songs in their auditions. My daily dose of Adele comes courtesy of the lady next to me at work who continues to softly hum two of Adele’s songs for hours at a time.

I first became aware of the British siren in the March 2011 issue of Rolling Stone, when they described her music as something that “could have been recorded in Muscle Shoals.” Having grown up with classic rock I decided to go check her out. I listened to “Rolling in the Deep” and found this huge soulful voice to this music that reminded me a lot of The Rollings Stones meets Diana Ross and the Supremes. To say I loved would be a huge understatement, but the rampant overplay of her music has recently caused her music to cloy a bit for my taste. Our culture’s gravitation to Adele and her music is indicative of the current state of popular culture. In a world of plastic look-a-likes, Adele is different
One way that Adele differs in is her image. Adele is one of the first examples, in a long time, of a woman who is known simply for her music. Back when I was in high school, Sarah McGlaughlin, Natalie Merchant, Paula Cole, and those women of the Lilith Fair  ilk, were extremely popular. While these women were beautiful in their own right they were known primarily for their beautiful music and less for their beautiful bodies. One of the huge tragedies of aritists like Brittney Spears, Christina Aguliera, and Katy Perry becoming so popular, is that it in a culture that is constantly striving for continued equality for everyone, it is harder than ever for a women to be recognized purely for her talent rather than her sex appeal. Adele with her plus- sized figure and slenderizing black turtleneck, provides hope that we will one day hear more highly talented, yet otherwise ordinary women on our radio dials.

Secondly, I think Adele’s music itself is so much different from anything else you find on top 40 radio stations these days. Again, when I was growing up in the 90s, (Wow I sound like an old man!) there seemed  to be more variety on any given radio station. Your mainstream radio station would play some of the Lilith fair people, some rap, some club music, some alternative rock, and then just to shake things up they played 80’s music for awhile. Nowadays, to me, pop music equals club music with techno- disco beats and autotuners. And while that’s okay for awhile, I think people are longing for something real. Adele provides that reality. In her music you will find no autotuners, just this huge melancholy voice over a nostalgic soundtrack.

The sad thing is is that their are plenty of great artist making great music out there, but you have to get on Pandora, You Tube, or Itunes to find them. The mainstream media just does embrace these artist like they do Adele, for whatever reason. My fear is that Adele is going to be so overplayed that people, like me, are going to be so sick of hearing “Rolling in the Deep” and “Someone Like You” that she will never enjoy the same success that she has with these first two hits. Also the only emotions we’ve gotten from her is rage and melancholy. It will be interesting to see if she can diversify her sound without ruining her quality.

PRO #2 Our First Obsessed guest, Shawn Watson, talks about his obsession with Jenna Rose

Most people who know me, know that I’m obsessed with music. I have my preferences, but I enjoy just about any style of music there is. I’ m always talking about some kind of song that’s stuck in my head or may even post what’s stuck in my head on Facebook. And most of the time it is music that I actually like. But here recently a good buddy of mine has been repeatedly posting things related to a ridiculous song called, “My Jeans” by exploited teen…. I mean, teen star, Jenna Rose.  And, like an idiot clicked the link….. Four minutes and one second, I will never get back. And now every time he and his friends say something related to “Jack My Swag”  or lil’ Triggy’s Blackberry I get part of this tune stuck in my head. So earlier this week, PRO sat down with our first Obsessed Guest, Shawn Watson to discuss his apparent obsession with Jenna Rose

For the sake of context I will post a link to the song.  I repeat, this is four minutes and one second of something so wonderfully terrible it’s actually entertaining.

PRO: Hey Shawn, thanks for taking time with us today and congratulations on being our first Obsessed Guest here on Pre Registered Obsessions.

SW:Thanks for having me. It means a lot to be asked to discuss my obsession with you today.

PRO Shawn, your facebook posts take up about 85 to 90% of my news feed. Is sitting around posting on facebook all you do these days?

SW:No, indeed it is not. I also use Twitter as well, and tweet about twice as much as I post on Facebook.

PRO:  So Tell us a little about yourself. What other things do you obsess over?

SW: Well, I go to school at Jonesboro High School, and I’m about to enter my senior year. After I graduate, I plan to attend college at Arkansas State University, where I plan to major in English and teach at a High School level. I am also an absolute music junkie. I’m a huge fan of hard rock and heavy metal music; my favorite band of all time being KISS. I’ve seen them in concert three times and met many members, both current and former, on several occasions. I own over 30 KISS shirts, so I suppose you could say that Gene Simmons is my other obsession.

PRO: Who, would you say are your biggest musical influences?

SW:My biggest musical influence of all time, as you can imagine, is KISS. Outside of that, I’m a big fan of bands such as Pantera, Metallica, Motley Crue, Poison, AC/DC, and pretty much any other bands classified as “Classic Rock” or “Heavy Metal.” And, of course, the love of my life, Jenna Rose.

PRO: I couldn’t help but notice you seem to have an obsession with Jenna Rose and the “My Jeans” song. Where did you find this song? And why are you subjugating us to it?

SW: I actually found  “My Jeans” through a friend of mine who posted the Brock’s Dub of it on Facebook.  Upon hearing the dub, I decided that I must hear the original song, and discovered just how catchy it is. I post quotes and pictures of Jenna rampantly mostly to express my love for her. She is a wonderful person and artist, and I feel as if everybody in the world should acknowledge her talent and song-writing ability. She writes music that anybody can relate to. We’ve all had moments where we see another person wearing our jeans in an effort to jack our swag. She wrote that song for anybody who has ever been heartbroken, depressed, or swag-jacked. It’s deep lyrics and fantastic singing by Jenna, in addition to the wonderful rap part by Baby Triggy, make the song virtually perfect in every way.

PRO: As, hopefully, one of our pop-culture experts on PRO, could you give us a little background information on Jenna Rose?

Why, yes. Jenna has been a rising star since the age of four. She has written countless other tunes but, sadly, only has one other single entitled “O.M.G.” She loves Mini Coopers and her rich parents.

PRO: Why do you think a song about Jeans  is so relevant to today’s society?

SW:  A song such as “My Jeans” is relevant today because, as I’ve said, everybody has had the problem of multiple people wearing their jeans. However, I do believe that, at times, Jenna was attempting to send a message to the public about how unhealthy hero-worship and greed are. The entire song centers around wanting a pair of jeans that celebrities wear, which speaks about how badly Jenna wishes to be like her heroes; and how all of America wishes to behave as the rich and famous do.

PRO:  What do you think that says about us?

SW: I think that this song shows that, while hero worship is normal, it can also consume you. When Jenna sees another girl wearing her jeans, she feels as if somebody has betrayed her by wearing the jeans that she would never have worn if Hannah Montana, Ashley Tisdale, and Keke Palmer had not been wearing them. Jenna is trying to display how vain and useless Americans can be these days, and how we build ourselves up to be something we’re not.

PRO: You mentioned the phrase “jack my swag”  and one of its other forms, “swag-jacked.” I think I know what that means, but I must say that wasn’t what I was thinking when I first saw it. ( Let’s just say on the life transformation groups accountability question #2, it was an epic fail) Could, you enlighten us on this phrase. Did Jenna Rose coin the phrase? And, do you think this phrase is still going to be around 20 years from now?

SW: “Jack My Swag” is actually a term made famous by Jenna Rose, however, she did borrow the terms “jack” and “swag,” in order to create the phrase. The term “jack” has been used in slum communities for years as a colloquial equivalent for “steal.” “Swag,” short for “swagger,” has emerged in rap music recently as a word to mean “personal style” or “coolness.” While slang terms do change, I believe that Americans will remember this term for many years because, while people do make fun of it constantly, it is a memorable phrase that can be used in any situation in which a person behaves as you would. I think it’ll stick around.

PRO: Perez Hilton said of Jenna Rose.”Since her parents are so rich, you’d think they would spend the money to fix her teeth instead of padding other things.” Do you agree with his asessment? Or is Jenna Rose’ teeth the Persian flaw in the rug rat that is Jenna Rose?

SW:I honestly don’t that that Perez Hilton has room to talk about anybody else’s appearance. Jenna’s teeth are fine the way they are. She simply accepts the way that she looks and doesn’t have to make caddy insults about other people to make her feel secure about the way she looks.

PRO: Let’s talk about Lil Triggy. Do you think his” new blackberry” is going to launch his career to great heights?  What do you see him doing five years from now?

SW: Baby Triggy’s new Blackberry is metaphorical for the greed which consumes people. His constant repetition of the phrase “Triggy got a new Blackberry,” was meant to be a challenge to Americans to become less vain and to quit indulging in material possessions. I believe that Triggy will, in fact, be the next John Lennon. He is, in a way, starting a revolution of his own.

PRO:  Do you think pink, rhinestone- adorned jeans like Jenna Rose will become a new trend in Hip- Hop fashion? And, will this finally spell the end of sagging?

SW: Jenna’s rhinestone jeans have already made appearances by famous people. In fact, not only were Hannah Montana, Ashley Tisdale, and Keke Palmer wearing them at the Golden Globes this year; Jay-Z, the Black Eyed Peas, Lil Wayne, Edward Norton, Johnny Depp, and Alan Rickman were as well. I don’t think that her jeans will become a simple Hip-Hop trending; I think they will become a worldwide trend.

PRO: Well that’s about all the time I can stomach for this interview. We’ve got time for  some closing remarks and then we’ll wrap this up.

SW: I’d just like to say thanks for inviting me to talk about Jenna! Keep the revolution going! Don’t indulge in material possessions and, above all, don’t jack someone’s swag!

PRO: Well hopefully we’ll be hearing a lot more from you since PRO would like to make you our new obsessed experts on KISS /Heavy Metal. (If you accept the job that is).  Maybe we’ll hear about some things you really obsess over.

Pre Registered Obsession #1: Pounding the Pavement in 2011

I hate my job! I know it’s probably bad to start a blog on a negative note, but it’s just the truth. I have the worst job… well, I’ve ever had and I’ve had lots of different ones. The pay is good, really good, but it seems that the company delights in sucking every drop of my personal life away from me.  I work seven days a week and often work 12 hour shifts.  So, in the meantime I have been using what little free time I have to find a better job or, at least, one that will let me have a day or two off.

Which brings me to something I hate almost, more than I hate my job… Finding a job.  Gone are the days when one could just walk up to the manager and say, “sir I’d sure like to have a job,” and the deal was struck with handshake. No, you have to sign your life away, tell about every single detail of your life, and answer the same question posed differently five different ways. “What is your ethnicity”? “White- not Hispanic.” “ Are you Latino”? “No” “Are you from Mexico”? “NO.” “Are you sure, under penalty of perjury, that you are not Latino and not from Mexico”?”YES”!

Then there’s the unemployment office. No sorry, the workforce services. We must use the proper p.c. euphemism. To paraphrase Strongbad, it’s a good thing they don’t allow bazookas into these places or most of my experience at the workforce services would end in smoldering-crater fashion.  The person behind the counter is my biggest peeve. This person thinks that since I am coming to them looking for a job, that I must be a complete idiot, else I wouldn’t be looking for a job, so they, very rudely, point me to the nearest computer, give me a number that will give permission to look for jobs on their website, and then go back to reading their vampire drivel.  I leave the office, after hours of waiting to realize, that I just wasted three hours that I could have spent in the comfort of my own couch. And, indeed I could have because everything else is online.

Swiftly leaving are the days when you can even go to manager, fill out a paper application, and then hopefully talk to the manager about the job. Everything is online now. Will the internet totally destroy our ability to make quality, face to face contact with society? That is another post for another day.  That being said, there are a lot of job-finding sites out there. There is monster.com, jobs online, snagajob, and myriad of other similar sites. What you will find is that they are all in cahoots. Before you can apply for a job you must set up an online profile, much like setting up an email account.  What this does is give the company permission to send you job alerts, which you do want, and spam, lots of spam, which you don’t want. You really should set up a separate email account for these things if you don’t want to filter through them to get to other personal emails. You’ll get emails like, “join the army,” “get a degree in four weeks,”  “enlarge things,” and “hottie555 wants to get down with you tonight”!  Often, when you click on a desired job to fill out an application, it will direct you to another job directory, where you must set up yet another profile and get , yet, more spam.

After signing up for the all the directories you finally get to the actual application process. Here are few useful tips.  First of all, go ahead and type up a résumé.  It does not have to be a great one, though that helps. It just needs to have all the pertinent information about you and your employment history. Many of online applications will allow you to post that and then go ahead and fill in that information for you, saving you minutes of filling our your name , phone, et cetera.  You will still have to carefully explain to them that you are or are not Latino, but it saves a moment or two. Second, make sure you have time to fill out the application. These things can take up to two hours to complete. Why? You ask. The answer is that there are so many people who are now graduating from our schools systems without fundamental reading, math, and social skills that many employers feel the need to test you to see if you can function in their environment.

After Jumping these hoops, will I get a response from the employer?  Likely not.  Likely they didn’t even read it.  The experience is so exasperating. I hate to see what it’s going to be like when Anna has to try and find a job.  Just makes me want to go to bed and take a nap. But wait! No!  Filling out that application has almost made me late for work so I’m off for another eight hours of tort…. I mean work. Let’s hope that I’m soon successful.

Pre registered, because a man named "Register" obsesses over it!