This Blog Will Change Your Life

My year-long adventure following the daily instructions presented in This Book Will Change Your Life by Benrik Limited as closely as possible without getting arrested or dying...

20 February 2007

New Project

The ShelfThe Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf
The Shelf

14 August 2006


Fan's of me--who isn't--will be happy to know that in a fit of weirdness and boredome I decided to bring my old blog back to life. In a minute, you will be prompted to visit it. Keep in mind that there is no new content yet, but there will be soon. Bookmark it! And if you are new to here, read the archives. So go here now.

12 August 2006

Long Overdue Eulogy...

If you ever read this with any regularity, you knew this was coming. Really, most of you probably didn't think I would even bother to sign off. This blog became something like an old neighbor: you don't see them out in the yard for a while, so you assume something must have happened. Then one day, you hear that your neighbor is dead, and it's not really a surprise. "Oh, I guess that makes sense," you might say to yourself, or, if you're me, you would say something like, "Oh, he's dead now."

So anyway, those of you who are bitter, don't blame my new job for the end of this blog. If anything, I have more time in front of a computer than I did at my old job. I just don't feel like doing this "thing" anymore. It got to the point where it was more of a chore than fun. "Oh, I've got to go find the book and read the task and then make something up ridiculous to pretend that I did because I'm not stupid/ballsy enough to actually do most of the things I said I did," I can recall thinking on several occasions.

But, it was pretty fun. We had some laughs, didn't we? Anyway, since it is 10 pm on a Saturday night and the extent of my social life is watching the Little League Regional Finals--not even the World Series--and I still get the itch to spread my opinion to the masses, I may go back to my old blog and get that going again. So if you were a reader here, and helped me reach almost 15,000 hits in under a year, which is pretty good for a nobody amateur blogger who doesn't go out of his way to read and/or comment on other blogs, at least I think it's pretty good, stay tuned for a notice to go read about what I think somewhere else. Adios for now...

16 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Three

Today buy your Xmas presents and approach the Xmas season in total serenity.

But I like the chaos...

Everbody will probably wonder why they received beach towells and sun screen. And all the cards are bargain leftovers from Father's Day. But oh well. Tis the season.

15 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Thirty-Two

Saunas are good for you, so today turn your heating up to the max and indulge in some healthy sweating.

Fortunately today in Chicagoland the thermometer pushed 95 degrees Fahrenheit--something else, Celsius--and I got the sauna effect by laying out at a friend's pool. I do enjoy a good steam, however, mostly in the winter. I really don't have anything clever to say about this...

14 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Thirty-One

Today the members of this book are issuing Personal International ID Numbers.

MDC abstains, courteously. That is, really, the main downfall of the global economy and the "internet" and the E-ing of everything: it's far more difficult to just disappear. Oh for the days when you could check into a hotel without a credit card by signing the register with any damned name you wanted, or so I understand from watching old movies.

13 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Thirty

Today deny yourself something.

Coffee. How did I get to this point, when it is a big deal to not drink coffee for a day? I'm healthy. I sleep at least 7.5 hours a night. I'm not overly bored with my job--most of the time. But I end up drinking coffee every day. It doesn't help that they brew Starbucks at the office, and it's free. Or that I enjoy a cup of home brewed Lavazza with my weekend newspapers and crossword puzzles. I guess it could be worse, but today I didn't indulge.

12 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Nine

Today is blue sky day. Forget the practicalities; decide what you really want out of life.

I want...


...To publish a collection of short stories

...To own a restaurant called At Both Ends that only serves breakfast food and milkshakes. Hours: 6 a.m.-12 p.m.; 9 p.m.-2:30a.m.

...To slam dunk a basketball on a regulation hoop

...To visit every major league ballpark over the course of a single summer

...To appear on Late Nite with Conan O'Brien

...To hang out with Chuck Klosterman and discuss pop culture

...A carnitas burrito from Chipotle

11 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Eight

Phrenology Day. Today have your head examined.

Head examined? I though phrenologists feel and interpret the size of Walt's ass-hole...

But all Sheen-Estivez collaborations aside, I carry curious bumps in these regions:

2: Language Faculty
12: Sense of Ruse
14: Metaphysical Perspicuity
16: Caustic Wit

I think the main thing to take away from this exercise is the idea that I should never shave my head because apparently my skull is far from smooth. And why the hell am I not on World Series of Pop Culture? As far as I can tell, my skills are far superior to anyone on that show. Curse them.

10 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Seven

Today go to a supermarket and enter all the competitions.

I was at Dominick's, see. And I thought I was entering a contest, see. And this guy talked to me for almost 10 minutes, see. Like he was some barker on the midway at the county fair. But when he was done, it turned out to be this long pitch to sign me up for a newspaper subscription. That took up too much of my time, so I ran to the cereal aisle and bought five boxes of Frosted Mini Wheats so I could send in the tokens for a free, personalized license plate as part of a promotion for that Cars movie. What a terrible title for a movie, by the way.

09 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Six

Today do something radical with your hair.

I sported a Faux Hawk all day long. "What's so radical about a faux hawk?" you ask. Well, for your information, the faux hawk is soooo 2003. Get with the times and recognize the risk I took today.

Example Faux Hawks, as seen on men slightly less handsome than me:

08 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Five

No electricity day. Our proud ancestors survived for years without electricity. See if you can survive the day without using any electrically powered devices.

Thank goodness for semi-efficient--my car is Japanese, but not that small or that new--gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. But alas, there are electrically powered components of my car as well. Actually, this task would have required sitting in my house all day with the lights off. Which normally wouldn't be a problem. But I had a lot to do today. Realistically, we could all live without electric power, but why would we want to? You've been sitting in a chair, drooling all day in anticipation of this post, and the computer I'm using to type this--and the one you'll use to read it--requires electricity. Enough said. Not to mention the coffee maker and the basket of sex toys you've been alternately using to pass the time up until this post goes live. Come on people, life's not worth living without electricity. Our ancestors were stupid for not realizing that sooner. So power up some electric flashlights and go spit on their graves. Then drape yourself in Christmas lights and fire up the hi-fi system and polka the night away. Yippeee!

07 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Four

Today cut in line.

Excellent. I did this on my lunch break at the nearby Target. My basic strategy was to find a small item, such as gum or a bottle of soda or a single cookie, then lurk by the checkout lines. When I saw someone approaching the lines (with, no doubt, far more items than me), surveying the situation, I focused on getting in his or her head to determine which line he or she would choose. After the apparent choice, I would zoom in and dart ahead, pretending not to have noticed the person and feigning remorse. I did this about four or five times. Nobody said anything, but you could see the annoyance in their eyes.

06 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Three

Today, feel the passage of time. Tick every precious minute as it goes by and appreciate the true meaning of time.

Today I had a little extra "time" to count down the "time". Without going into the tedious details of my job, I had a day in which I sat around waiting for an email with feedback on some work I did, for several hours. Upon receiving that email, I would make some quick revisions, send some email, and then go back to waiting around. The counting activity gave me something to do to pass the "time".

I am hyper-worried about the passage of time. A couple of years ago, about 2-3 into my professional life after college, I became extremely sensitive to the idea that I needed to use as much of my non-work time as possible doing things I enjoy. This meant doing many things, including streamlining household chores (I don't consider cooking dinner a chore, it is a hobby and gets filed under "leisure time". I am quite a good cook) to make them as efficient as possible and drinking caffeine to avoid pesky naps. Currently, with the job I just started, I loose approximately 1.5-2 hours of time in the evening (I have managed to keep my morning schedule almost identical). Instead of starting my "real life" at about 3:15 most days, it starts between 4:45 and 5:00. It has made me more efficient. I spend less time watching TV and laying around. I fill as many minutes as I can and then crash at bedtime. It actually feels great.

05 July 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-Two

Find a way of including the word "Vortex" in all your conversations today.

At work: Could you get this graphic that's supposed to be a DNS server to look more like a Vortex?

At lunch: Can I get Vortex with that? No, not mayonnaise, Vortex!

Road Rage: Get your goddamned Vortex out of my Vortex!

At home: You forgot to close the Vortex when you left today.

At home (2): I'll take the dog for a Vortex.

Yeah, so...

So, after a heartfelt comment left by HS Commons, I have decided to come out from behind the shroud of inactivity. Much like Jimmy Chitwood says in Hoosiers, "I don't know if it'll make a difference, but I figure it's time for me to start playing ball."

This blog had gotten to be more of a burden than anything else, for a while, and as I responded in the comment, I've been quite busy since June 14, when I last posted. At the start of June I was rounding out the school year, giving finals, cleaning up, and getting closure. Just as that was ending, I finalized training and prep for the sprint triathlon (400m swim, 15.2 mile bike, 4.2 mile run) and then completed the race. Then, I had to finalize everything for my buddy's bachelor party weekend, which I had been planning since January (it kicked ass, by the way) and go to that. And what should await me when I returned, but a new job, which I in the third week of doing. But things are settling down, and I'm pretty much adjusted to my new schedule, so hopefully tonight I will remember to post about today's task and this entry will not end up a brutal cock-tease for all of you rabid fans.

14 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty-One

Today decide which organs to donate in case of death and let your family know.

All of them. But I don't plan on ever being dead, so this is kind of moot. But, if somehow something goes wrong with my plans, all of them. As you may or may not know, my funeral plans are very specific. Which is odd, since I don't ever plan on needing a funeral, but my plans are so awesomely outrageous that they need to be planned whether I turn out to be immortal or not. Take out all my organs, donate 'em, the replace them with explosives and sew me back up. Then, at the end of the service, "TNT" by AC/DC will be played and I will be detonated. So yeah, take all my organs and let someone else benefit from my superior awesomeness.

13 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Twenty

Confidential: A huge meteorite is about to hit the earth, blasting it into smithereens. The world's main governments left weeks ago for a secret base on Pluto, leaving their lookalikes to keep the populace placid. Only owners of the book are allowed to be in the know, so please keep this information to your self.

I feel obligated to tell all of you. According to the book, there are four ways to react: Go on the Rampage, Have Sex with Everyone, Prepare for the Afterlife, or Sit in front of the TV in Numbed Disbelief.

I am going to be doing a little of each of the first two. Feel free to join. I've also just opened several new credit card accounts, and in a few minutes I going to drop some Acid and go to work on a keg of PBR. Tomorrow, when I come down, I think I'll run around Wal-Mart wielding a sledge hammer then hit the bars and proposition every woman I see. I haven't planned out the last two days, but I intend to make Jim Morrison's wild years look like nursery school. See you on the other side...

11 June 2006

The Latest in a Series of Interruptions

For those of you worried--millions out there, I'm sure--about the status of the last four life-changing days, they will come. I was in the final days of prepping for a triathlon--just finished a couple hours ago--and sorting out a job offer. Patience, my children...

06 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Nineteen

Volume test your neighbors. Find out what point your neighbors begin to feel the base by adjusting the volume on your stereo until they start complaining.

A test for my 6.1 channel--100 watts per channel plus 200 additional watts from the sub-woofer--home theater system, and an opportunity to alienate myself from the townhome community!

I chose the rolling bass line of LL Cool J's "Going Back to Cali" for the first wave. No response.

Next I moved the dial and went with a little Led Zeppelin "Immigrant Song" for a quick burst. Still nothing.

Finally, I brought out the big guns, one of the loudest songs I can think of, Public Enemy and Anthrax combining on "Bring the Noise". The woman to my south pounded on the wall a little. The two guys to my north started playing Sublime's 40oz. to Freedom in response. I countered with some select tracks from Strung Out's Twisted by Design until the Sublime quieted and declared myself victor.

05 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Eighteen

Today your task is to start a collection, any collection.

Enemies? Shrunken heads? Souls? The personal contact information of people who like Bjork?

Exciting, all those collections would be, but not for me.

Today I officially started my "Old Newspaper Collection". I subscribe to two, the Chicago Tribune and a local suburban rag, and they are starting to pile up directly. You see, I feel this is very important for my posthumous image. When I become a well-known, semi-iconic cranky recluse in old age, if I eventually die--right now this is still up in the air--and people have to break down my doors and get into my massive recluse compound, I want them to find piles and piles of random stuff. Newspaper is a good place to start because it is pretty standard for "stuff discovered when people finally open up the home of a famous recluse after they die". I don't think I could actually tolerate living with all this paper, however, so I'll have to buy a second home, one that everyone thinks I live in as a recluse but actually don't, to store the piles of random stuff. Then I can live a relatively neat existence and still achieve the posthumous image of weirdness I desire.

04 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Seventeen

VIP-Day. These are the people we'd like to buy and read the book. If your name is not on the list, please use the exclusive form to tell us what you think. If your name isn't on the list, please turn the page and move along.

I'm not on the list, but I call on you, the reader, to leave your endorsement in my comments. Please, if you visit this site and read this particular post, leave a comment. Even if you are just passing through hitting the "Next Blog" button. Even if you hate me. Even if you have to decide between leaving a comment and swinging on a tattered rope to save a maiden in distress. Even if you are driving. Even if you can't read or write. Even if you...well, you get the idea.

03 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Sixteen

Today live for the moment: that moment is 21:32:22 to 21:31:23. Plan your entire day around that single second of absolute choking nirvana. First, purchase the necessary accessories: one rare Belgian white truffle sugar dusted chocolate, silk pajamas, the sleekest hi-fi system available, and a cd or Maria Callas. Retire to your home where after a restorative siesta, you are to bathe in champagne for an hour or so, before receiving a massage from some gorgeous Swedish creature. As the blissful second nears, pop the chocolate in your mouth, kiss the love of your life, and bring yourself to orgasm at 21:31:22 precisely the moment when Maria Callas hits the high note in Tosca's "Vissi D'Arte" aria. Truly, now, you many say you'll die having lived.

I had everything at my house except the truffle and the cd--yes, I keep a Swedish massage therapist on call at all times, don't you?--so despite the excruciating detail of these directions, it was fairly convenient. I recommend trying this some Saturday night when you're bored. Just plan. It's a lot like taking Ambien--or LSD, I guess--you can't really do anything that requires you to be productive or coherent for about eight hours after doing this.

02 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Fifteen

Today, welcome new life. Every day, an average of 202176 babies are born worldwide. Go to your nearest maternity ward and welcome one of the little guys.

The security at a maternity ward is surprisingly stiff. I didn't get much past the waiting room, where things have changed because I was violently accosted for smoking the congratulatory cigar I had brought along as a festive touch. It was probably for the best as babies make me extremely uncomfortable anyway. They are very fragile and their owners are very uptight about this, which irritates me. Why get all excited about your baby and make a big deal about me "seeing it" and offering to let me hold it if you are going to freak out about what I feed it or how I hold it or where I leave it so I don't have to try to carry a plate of food and a beer in the same hand? I mean, come on!

01 June 2006

Day Two Hundred Fourteen

Today measure your IQ.

The book provided a handy 10-minute, 10-question test.

I scored a 136, which the book classifies as "Very Bright".

It was not my best effort; I only used about 6 minutes and I had a phone conversation about the upcoming release of The Omen, running red lights, my summer employment prospects, and slipping up by talking about a fun wedding with people who aren't invited. For the record, I didn't slip up, I was talking to another person who is invited about talking to people who aren't. So, if I had spent a little more time and concentration on the number sequencing stuff--my weak area--, my score may have been higher, in what the book classifies as the "liar" range.

Perhaps someone with a higher IQ can answer this question: Why is it that "Mirror in the Bathroom" is such a great track but I find most other English Beat songs somewhat less than compelling?

31 May 2006

Day Two Hundred Thirteen

Surveillance Special: Today state a crime in front of a back alley security camera and see if anyone comes to the rescue.

Finding a back alley in suburbia is a difficult task. There really aren't many alleys at all that aren't in residential areas. I managed to find one behind a bank in the downtown business district area of my burb , where I assume surveillance to be heaviest. My partner in crime and I set out to stage a mugging.

This wouldn't have been much of a social experiment if we didn't "mix things up" a little bit, so we acted out a bit of female-on-male violence and I had my partner mug me. I walked around the corner in the alley counting a wad of money I had just withdrawn from the ATM. She hopped out from behind a dumpster with her fist in a brown paper lunch bag. I held my hands in the air and backed against the brick wall of the bank as she advanced. She fake pistol-whipped me, punched me in the stomach--for real, I have abs of steel so it didn't hurt--and I dropped the cash and fell to the ground. She picked it up, kicked me in the thigh for good measure--also for real--and took off. No one came to my rescue, but a few female on-lookers applauded.