My Bitter Exotic Travel

My favorite yoga pose.

My favorite yoga pose.

Judging by all the things I’ve been talking about doing lately, you probably think I’ve been working really hard. You know, like sitting in the stands watching football, or sitting in class pretending to pay attention with my eyes closed. Or sitting in a study area, pretending to type papers, or sitting in our van driving our kids to do stuff, or sitting on the train pretending that I’m working on an Instagram data analysis assignment, or sitting in the grocery cart while my wife tries to find a space in there for actual groceries.

If you just read all of those things, without falling asleep you probably noticed I sit a lot. All the time. Or so you would think. What you don’t know is that I have been doing a lot of traveling. All over the place. It isn’t the kind of vacation you would enjoy. But then again, would you enjoy any kind of vacation I did?

They've never met my life.

They’ve never met my life.

No, I haven’t been going to South Dakota and visiting all the flat, smelly, dirty farmlands. I haven’t been to Arkansas to visit some boring forest, or the long stretch of highway between El Paso and San Antonio. I haven’t been to any boring forests, or deserts or lost in any mountains. Nope.

I’ve been traveling in between tabs on my computer. Normally getting someplace far away is super slow. Even if you are taking a supersonic jet, it’s going to take 3.4 hours to get from NYC to London. Even if you take the take the bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto it is going to take you 2 hours and 49 minutes. And that is in a country the size of California. And do you know how long it takes to get from my mailbox to the front door? Like an hour! Well, less if you are an ant.

Look how fast I travel. Faster than a speeding locomotive.

Look how fast I travel. Faster than a speeding locomotive.

So when I can travel between tabs on my computer in less than a second, I bet you are pretty jealous. You shouldn’t be, because while I can travel pretty fast, it’s mostly so I can get confused at almost the speed of light. I can go from doing a paper that I couldn’t find any sources for, to a spreadsheet that has so much data, I could go swimming in it until it ended and swim around the universe four times and still just be Michael Phelps just landing in the pool for the 8 million meter race. (I’m guessing it would be hard to find water in Jupiter, because they are so stupider.) It’s really awesome because I can partially complete, but never finish things really fast.

You think swimming in data is fun? Just wait until you get to take a flight over to the Facebook Blueprint Land. It’s like traveling around the world to different locations only to see the same exact landmarks in every single locations. It was super fun learning about Ad Sets, Instagram Carousel ads, and Facebook Pixels, the first time, but after the 20th time I think they might have made their point. It’s like that annoying friend that asks you if you’ve ever heard their boring story about their dog and you say yes, and they tell you about it again anyways.

Me swimming in data. I'm the one in the raft.

Me swimming in data. I’m the one in the raft.

And the reading. Like I thought since I proved in third grade, I wouldn’t have to keep doing it. And why are we learning about how social media helps companies? I thought I was just learning the best things to tweet and the best angles for having my wife take selfies of me. Why do I care how social media helps companies?

Anyways, I would tell you that surfing tabs was as fun as surfing the internet, but I would be lying to you. And while I do like lying to you about all kinds of things, this is one of the few I’m good with the truth on. You know, because the truth actually helps you understand how dumb this stupid tab traveling vacation is.


Bitter Tab Travel Ben

Bitter Rivalry of the Week – Nephew vs. Nephew

I’ve talked a lot about football lately, which is kind of crazy to me, because I only have a passing interest in it.  I enjoy watching the long pass plays, but you know the thing about football? Pro football is owned by billionaires, played my millionaires, and fantasy played by thousandaires. I get them wanting to do it, because holy cow can you make a living for a few years by playing in the NFL.

But the amateur football players I don’t get.  My son is in third grade, and from September until middle of October, he practiced two hours a day 3 times a week, and had to show up an hour early on Saturdays for practice before his games. We drove miles sometimes to watch a team that didn’t win once.

Also, I have two nephews, one on each side that played every year until this year, as seniors, they got to sit on the bench. Both spent years of their lives practicing, running plays, attending team meetings, dinners and sometimes didn’t get home until midnight, where they were supposed to do their “first priority” homework. And guess what they got for all their hard work? The chance to sit on the bench of mediocre teams as seniors.

On the positive side (for me) they both were on teams that were on teams that were up in air on this Wednesday night. They had to win in order to tie the teams in their divisions. So it all came to a coin flip to see who was in, and who had to play each other.

If you are smart(or read the title of the post), you probably figured out that the coin flip had landed right on the side of the coin and my nephews are playing each other this coming Tuesday. Nephew vs. Nephew. Mediocre teams vs. Mediocre team. Bench player vs. Bench player. My side of the family vs. My wife’s side of the family. Time to choose. You know which side I’m going for. You know what side my wife is going for. This isn’t just a parent that has two kids, one at Duke and one at North Carolina. This is a family that could be ripped apart by a game that none of us care about, except for two lovable bench warmers.

So who is going to win? The one on MY side, or that other side of the family?

And just to give you a little extra motivation, view the emotional video above of one from my side of the family, and the none video I made of the other side.


Bitter Family Rivalry Ben

Scary Season Friday Giftures


According to my daughter, we are in spooky season. It’s kind of funny that she seems to like it so much considering that she is afraid of just about everything. But hey, aren’t we all? Afraid of rejection, and fear itself and hair in our food? If it wasn’t for all of the stuff we were afraid of, how would this season be so popular? How would scary movies attract so many people? Why would the debates be the most watched TV since the last debates? It’s because it’s scary season and for some reason people love to be scared. Some sort of adrenaline rush I guess. All I know is that I’m going to have some truly scary giftures for you this week. Be prepared….to be scared.



…black cat in the hat gets swallowed on the sack.



…signs lead to things getting scary around here.

Holy cow…


…there’s another car on the road!

Watch as…



Don’t get scared…

…out of your skin.

Watch out for all…



Watch out…



All right…


…don’t get carried away.

Just don’t…


…get down in the dumps…

We can…


…climb out of here somehow,

This is what happens when TV’s…


…get possessed.

Come and join…

...ha ha see I told you I would scare you.

…the garage of horrors.

Alright, don’t come to me when you get scared out of your wits. I can’t help you with all the nightmares you are going to have with these gifs.


Bitter Scared of Your Skin Ben

Humans are not meant to work in groups

Watch out for vicious lions.

Watch out for vicious lions.

Let’s say you are on an African safari. You know, when you can scrape together $5000 for a trip. Let’s say you actually remembered your binoculars too. So you pull out those new $200 pair of binoculars on your Safari and you see a pack of lions far enough away that they can’t reasonably catch you and eat you. But you get to observe them. They are happily walking along(at least you think so, because you aren’t sure that you know when a lion is smiling) hunting the newest pack of zebra’s that just moved into town, because they didn’t get the email that lions hunt zebra’s.

I'm a little hungry for some help too, Lion.

I’m a little hungry for some help too, Lion.

The lion crew rolls up in their Cadillac’s and the race is on. One lion chases the zebra in his Caddy, while the other liars (the lions crew) split up and chase him along on the other street’s, one to the left, one to the right and one coming straight at the zebra so they can trap them.  Later, one of them cooks the zebra in the Crock-Pot all day and grabs some tree leaves to garnish, and they all eat. Perfect right? They all have a purpose, they get things done, organized and they get an “A+” in Eating 101, right?

Well, guess what? Those are animals. They may be savage and violent, but a pack of lion’s gotta eat right? So why can’t us super smart, super evolved humans figure out how to work together as a pack? I have no idea, but I do know this. Humans are not meant to work together.

Don’t believe me? Try this simple task. Start an online course on anything. English, Finance, or Underwater Basketball Weaving. In the first week, tell everyone that you are going to be in groups for the semester.  So, how do you set them up? Do you assign groups? Or do you tell people to make their own? Either way you are going to cause major anxiety. If you tell them they are assigned, the popular crowd that has a good clique or two in the class is going to grumble because they wanted to be with their friends. On the other hand, if you let them choose groups, there will be those that are super introverted and will somehow get left out and be assigned by the teacher (this one would be me).

Now assign group projects and look how fast people become the opposite of those lions. Even if the task was as simple as finding three things that rhyme with a word starting with letter A, B and C, some dingleberries will find a way to screw it up. One group member will take control of it all, one will start texting, Facebooking, Instagramming, or whatever else they do on their phone and will disappear into Not doing a thing for this group land, and you will lose them forever. Then you will get everyone else doing just enough to skate by, so they can get a C.

Last Monday, I got together with my group on a group project and emailed them. The assignment was simple. Three competitors of your business, analyze them. We each do one, send them to me by Friday to compile them, I’ll put them together, send them back to each member. Thursday comes along, I send a reminder, they say, “Grunt, I’ll do something, grunt by Gruntday.” Great.

Friday comes, one of them sends me his part of the report I think he copied from that little sticker on a banana peel he ate from being a gorilla all day. I have to edit his to the point that I almost do his whole part all over again so it looks like I didn’t write it as I was falling off a building.

At least you can laugh at a banana.

At least you can laugh at a banana.

The second doesn’t get it to me, so I send a reminder, because I don’t want to spend all day Saturday chasing him because it is due Saturday at midnight. All day, I’m sending reminders, “hey remember this is due at Midnight. That means I need it Thursday so I can edit your crap too,” or “hey just checking in to see if you can figure out how to attach a word file to an email” or “hey, not sweating or anything here, but I have a serial killer at your door ready to push send if you forgot how to do so”.

So 8 o’clock comes, I finally get an email from him, saying “alright I’m gonna send it soon” and I’m actively and passively aggressively saying, “okay then just send it, before I give your whole network a virus!” Still nothing. So, at this point I’m just writing up his part with another competitor, but am so ready to go play video games. So I bring my computer down and while playing I’m monitoring whether this nimrod’s email comes in. At 11:15 pm, I’m turning into Jack Bauer, so I write him. “Where is the file? If I don’t get it by 11:30 pm, I’m sending in that you aren’t an American and you will be in prison for treason…of this project. Nothing. So I frantically type up another in his place and at 11:50:35 send it in.

Wake up the next morning, an email comes from the dude. “You didn’t get my email? I sent it at 8:00 pm.”

Oh, and how did you send it? To my Google +?


Bitter Groupon Ben

Birthday Bitterness Friday Giftures


Once again another birthday came and went and I got nothing. I don’t know what everyone’s problem is, but I’m getting a little sick of my son having a birthday and no one getting me any presents. It’s kind of selfish that everyone pays attention to him and not me all day. I mean they drew pictures of him at school, they showered him with praise and adoration and my folks call MY cell phone and didn’t even want to talk to ME. What kind of prideful, self centered person wants to have a whole day centered on them? What kind of person wants to take the attention off me, even for one second, to celebrate how humble and great I am? Talk about a spoiled brat. I should send him to his room right now, but he selfishly went to school, just to avoid punishment I guess. While he leaves me at home to play video games and watch Netflix all day. Some people I swear. All I have to say is he better not hijack Christmas or I’m not going to let him go to my work again and do my job again.



…no more autographs.

Alright, seriously…

…if you want to throw down, we can go. 

Alright you know…


…I’m kind of phoning it in today. 

Alright, now I’m getting a little sick of…


…your chariot cases.

Okay, you dudes over there…


…need to make up your minds and stop teetering around. 

And if you don’t quit fooling around…


…I will bury you. 

Alright, this birthday is turning out…


…to be a big waste…basket. 

Before it gets to be too big of a disaster…


…let’s make sure it doesn’t jump the dolphin. 

If you do end up jumping the shark…


…make sure you do it with s-tile.

Just stop being such a party pooper…


…because you are so off balance…



…you need to start stepping UP your game…

Or you are going…

...get smoked.

…get smoked.

Alright, well, I’m going to go pout in the corner and be bitterly upset all day because of the lack of gifts and non attention I got all day yesterday and you all can go to your rooms and think about how sorry you should be and what you are going to do to make up for your clear misunderstanding about how much you should be paying attention to me on other people’s attention. Or at least paying me. Geesh.


Bitter Bad Birthday Celebration Ben

Bitter Viral Post

This is how things go viral!

This is how things go viral!

I’m not sure why so many people are going to share this post, because the content is just terrible. It’s not funny or inspirational or worth anyone’s time, but for some reason you want to share it with your friends. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am hypnotizing you, because I kind of flunked my hypnotizing class, or using subliminal advertising to make you do something against your own will. It isn’t some teacher trying to do a social experiment or a really good cause. It is simply because you want to, need to, have to share something that will make no sense.

They say you can’t plan on something becoming viral. So let’s be the first. Let’s just decide that this post is going to foul up your Facebook feed, tangle up your Twitter feed, ruin your morning news, and have everyone at your office talking about this because they simply must…avoid doing work, so they might as well do something else, anything else but do what they are paid to do. It will give the Kardashian’s something to do in between getting robbed and the Pitt’s some distraction from consciously uncoupling.

Drake is sad that he missed his concerts too.

Drake is sad that he missed his concerts too.

It will give you something else to talk besides debates and creepy clowns terrorizing schools. It will make you more bitter than Drake cancelling his concert tour because he hurt his ankle, or your fantasy football league being plagued by Adrian Peterson’s ankle. It will help you feel a little more depressed than Suicide Squad and Batman vs. Superman being subpar.

Watch out for creepy clowns out there stalking.

Watch out for creepy clowns out there stalking people.

When you are feeling down about who you are going to vote for, remember that you can be even more depressed that this sad, pathetic, poorly written piece of blog that got published not only in your WordPress feed, by cluttering up the rest of your life. All you wanted to do was get home and not think about all the depressing things in the news and all of a sudden you have to read about this post that you never wanted to see again. And how in a few days, no one will remember what this whole thing was about.

Besides, why do things go viral these days anyways? Because they are infectious. Like a weed, they keep growing. Like a disease they keep spreading. And what is better at spreading than bitterness? If you don’t believe me, watch the news. Tell me that they write incredible stories of bravery. Or all about the bitter weather, the bitter traffic, the bitter beatings, and the bitter feuds between political candidates.

Do your part and make this thing spread. Be the bitter in the world.


Bitter Viral Ben

The Prodigal Son Returns Friday Giftures


They say absence makes the heart grows fonder and most of the time that totally isn’t true. Think about it, when you leave your co-workers, do you miss them so bad that you forgo any of your weekend plans to be with them? If you do, you should probably get another job, because you aren’t supposed to like your co-workers that much.

There is a situation where absence does make your heart grow fonder though. Several years ago, we decided to quit Netflix because we thought it was expensive and repetitive. We had cable and the only person that was watching it was my son and he was watching Rugrats, which if you don’t have kids is the THE most annoying show in the world. It has babies that can talk, but in only annoying nasally sounding voices. Ones that make Lloyd Christmas’s “most annoying sound in the world” sound like a child’s lullaby.

Fast forward to our time with no cable, and only limited offerings on Amazon Prime and all of a sudden, we welcome back Netflix into our lives. We welcome him back after 15 years of Netflix being off in the big city, and chilling. Amazon was pretty upset when Netflix came back, because Amazon had been the good son the whole time. But when Netflix arrived in our arms penniless and messy, we brought him in and had a party. Just like we are not going to do with the rest of you this fine Bitter Friday Giftures day.

The first thing we need to do is…

Let's start

…set up some breakfast.

And if success comes with skim milk…


…I’d rather be a failure.



…not really.



…it’s time to jump into the day. 

Try to get…


…get moving a little bit. 


...a little stretching.

…a little stretching.

Get into your… your commuting vehicle of choice.

…commuting vehicle of choice.

And get to work…


…whatever way you can.

Try to climb…


…the corporate ladder…

Try to get some…

...lunch with the co-workers.

…lunch with the co-workers.

Come back for the… 

...for the afternoon grind...

…afternoon grind…

And then…

...driver home 

…drive home.

Then when you finally make it home you realize that your Netflix free trial was over and he decided to leave where there was more money. Uggh.

Bitter Netflixing it Up Ben

The Bitter 800th Post Club

While Saturday Night Live might have a dozen 5 time hosts, there may be only one in the 800 Bitter Post Club.

While Saturday Night Live might have a dozen 5 time hosts, there may be only one in the 800 Bitter Post Club.

Math. Mathematics. Adding. Subtracting. Multiplying. Dividing. I just did a collective yawn for all of you just now, just to show you how boring that was. Yeah, maybe I did that from my couch or between doing my homework(yawn again!), but any way you slice it, math is sooo boring. And only useful if you are doing just about anything. Thankfully, it doesn’t impact my life at all. Except when I am adding up all the purchases my kids make at the grocery store. Or all the ones on zero’s and pixels that add up to the amazing picture I am seeing in all my favorite video games and movies on my TV. Thank goodness, I don’t have to use it when I am writing my boring posts.

Anyways, you saw some number(8000 followers) about 3 posts ago (dang it math, quit trying to make to use subtraction again!) about how I just gained follower number 8000, and now I’m doing post number 800. I’m sure some of you math nerds that make tons of money calculating stuff for people like me who are too lazy to figure out stuff, have probably done some math correlation between the amount of followers and amount of posts and are going to send me the statistics about what I’m doing wrong and what I should be improving, but I will ignore them all. Because numbers are the worst.

Math isn’t always right like it says it is. Sure the universe was created by numbers, and according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the answer to all life’s questions is 42. Of course, we all know that isn’t true, because I was 42 last year and I didn’t learn a thing. Neither did any of my fellow 42 year olds. So clearly, math is wrong once again.

Math ruins lives. Maybe you remember this moment in your life, or maybe you don’t. But there was an exhilarating feeling in your heart, when in college, you completed your last math class. Maybe you celebrated your D- like I did by walking through the football field like your were what’s her name from the Sound of Music and sang Hip Hop Hooray by Naughty by Nature or some era appropriate song(this happened in 1991 for me), but you were probably on Cloud 19 celebrating.

Then you probably had kids and now 10-20 years later you are having life crushing discussions about the same dang math problems when helping them with homework. When they say “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?” the answer is, “That depends. Do you mean like a D- in math fifth grader?” Cause the answer is barely. I could barely pass 5th Grade math, and probably get an F in gym too, especially if we have to run the 50 feet between the couch and the fridge because I get winded for that too. Like I’ve said time and time again, the bitterness never ends.

The point is, I’ve now had to do two posts in the last four about milestones and that is making me bitter. I hope next time there is just some weird post about Giftures or something, because these math posts are bumming me out.


Bitter 800 Posters Club Ben

Bitter Ben Branding

I've been killing it in paying attention in class.

I’ve been killing it in paying attention in class.

I’ve been paying way too much attention in class which is kind of disappointing because I thought I would come to this school and just slide right into my old freshman year habits, which was sleep in all the time, play pranks on the other dorm hall and flunk classes with my sunglasses on. Apparently things have changed in the last oh, I don’t know, 18 years, and all of a sudden I’m the one that’s supposed to make all the adjusting? I don’t think so.

What has been super disappointing is that I’ve listened to teachers, participated in class, finished assignments and turned in homework on time. These terrible new habits have lead to growth, which I’ve learned, kind of hurts your head. I don’t know how you people do it. Changing habits is the worst, and has definitely built my Great Wall of Bitterness one bitter brick at a time.

While building the Great Wall of Bitterness has been a lot of hard work(do you know how hard it is to make my kids do stuff for me so I can relax and watch the television?), I’ve learned about something that hasn’t taken a lot of work to build. My personal brand. I laugh loudly(is that what the kids mean by LOLing?) at companies that spend all kinds of dollars, cents, hammers, nails, buzzsaws, chainsaws and jackhammers and this thing called research to build and publish their brand.

They have to pay for logos, and publish things on Facebook and Twitter, write these new things called blogs, pin things to this thing called Pinstagram, post photos to this other thing called Instaface swapping; it’s all very exhausting. All they really need to do is follow me on this blog and I will show them very easily how to brand.

Have a name like Ben, and a face like this.

Have a name like Ben, and a face not even a mother could love.

1.Have the name Ben. 

I understand this is kind of hard, because they make have been born with the name Phillis or Nike, or Bill Gates. I understand how rough that can be. I would hate to be named one of those things too. It’s a good thing I was named this, because I would be too lazy to change my name to Ben. There are like court costs, and appearing in public and those things just aren’t worth it. But it might be worth it to get the name, because it is short and easily brandible (brandable?)

2. Be Bitter. 

I understand this one can be kind of hard too. Some of you were just born with those sunny dispositions, or with…what are those things called? oh yeah, smiles on your faces. I feel for you people. I really do. To be born with the resting bitter face is a gift. No random people wanting to talk to you, no getting invited to exciting things like parties, no getting jobs automatically because you might be a person that someone would actually enjoying work with. Being born bitter is a gift, because of your automatic ability to detract people.

Type away for your most boring thoughts bloggster!

Type away for your most boring thoughts bloggster!

3. Get a blog. 

This is both the easiest thing and the hardest. I could start several blogs in several minutes and I could start posting things and the whole world would start following and sharing and wanting to be my friend in real life. But you need to take the hard route on this one and post dumb stuff that no one would ever want to read. You want your diary yawing with boredom. The best way to get a yawn? Talk about boring you as much as possible. We want grass growing to be interesting in comparison. We want paint drying to be something we look forward to. We want school textbooks about accounting to feel rich and exciting compared to your life.

The Face of your Brand.

The Face of your Brand.

4. Get branded – I guess you could just skip all that stuff above and just do it the old fashioned way. Get a tattoo with your face on it. Or better yet, get a face tattoo of your face, so they will not be able to ignore your brand.

Well, let’s hope that these things bored the death out of you, so you will want to focus on ANYTHING else besides this post. Mission accomplished.


Bitter Branded Ben

Screw it up Friday Giftures


Mercury must have been covered up by Neptune, and Saturn must have put a ring on Pluto on the day I was doing my school schedule, because somehow I found a way to get a Friday completely free on my class schedule. This opportunity only comes around once in a lifetime, so I have to find a way to totally screw this up right? Like you know, audition for a new soap commercial to show how boring it is, or go to a soccer game to show how boring soccer is. Everyone screws up things up every once in a while, but I do it on a regular basis. You know, like everyday. Let’s take a look at how others share my talent of screwing things up.

Like this guy…


…doesn’t he know he’s supposed to hit things in front of his back?

Or this guy…


…who thinks there is an invisible ball that he’s trying to catch. 

And this guy…


…who think’s it’s daytime.

And this car…


…that can’t seem to parallel park. 



…this guy is right. 

And well…


…this guy didn’t really screw up either.

This guy just loves the camera…


…too bad it doesn’t love him back. 

And what is wrong with this baby…


…doesn’t he(or she, can’t tell) know how to swallow Cheerios for goodness sakes? 

You are so right Pearl…


…I excel at wasting time.

And who hasn’t had the pleasure…


…of thinking someone actually wanted to wave at them?

I guess this girl…


…was just asked about the debate? 

And this guy probably needs to learn his lesson…


…to look before he leapt. 

And…it looks like I screwed things up yet again. I was supposed to sleep in until noon and get pizza delivered and here I am waking up at the crack of when my kids woke up cause they make a lot of racket. Remember to sleep in your soundproof chamber.


Bitter Screw Up Ben

8000 Bitter Followers, A Prize and a Demand of all my Followers

Yeah, it's time to get wrecked.

Yeah, it’s time to get wrecked.

It’s been a long time coming, but the 8000th lunatic has finally followed my blog. Congratulations to you, The Secret Shopper blog for becoming the 8000th follower. Because you are the 8000th, you have won a new car. It should be arriving in your parking lot in a few days. The only problem is that because you are a secret shopper finding all the best customer service in the island of Ireland, my team of prize hander outer’s can’t seem to find out your real identity, because alas, you are a secret. I guess that’ll teach you to start a blog, become a secret shopper, follow me for some reason, then never post anything again.

You could have had the guy from TV showing up at your Irish door, asking, “Do you remember signing up for a bitter blog in American? Cause we have a bunch of balloons, a huge check and a car we just stole from a used call lot that we are going to park in your driveway.  We do have a few stipulations though. First, you will have to pay all the taxes and licensing on this $100,000 car. Second, you need to find the keys for this, because we don’t have them. And third, the owner of the site that gave this car to you doesn’t have any money, so you will need to pay for the car right now. And if you can’t our security guys, Arnold S. and Sylvester S. have something they want to show you out in your shed.”

“Oh, and also you need to pay for these balloons that we got at Party City. We will need your credit card info because we reserved the tank in your name. So congrats on your win, The Secret Shopper Blog, you have some luck (what kind, I’m not really sure of).”

This is what I expect my Instagram to do.

This is what I expect my Instagram to do.

On to more bitter matters. You know how I now have to go to school and do stuff? Like on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, and Pinterest and stuff? Well, I’m going to need all of you to do favors for me from time to time. Because I know how bitter you all are, and I will probably have to do stuff for you someday.

First thing I’m going to need you all to do is follow my new Instagram account called The Sports Emotionalist. It is for a class and I am supposed to get followers for it and if I don’t I will be not only fired from the class, but from life. And you all know how much you don’t want me to incur my bitter wrath on you. You’ve seen how posts I’ve done in the past have ruined lives and horrified people. So just do it, or I will find you all, just like Liam Neeson did in Taken. And also Taken 2, The More Taken. And Taken 3, I Can’t Believe She Was Taken Again, if I recall correctly. Get my Tokyo Drift, The Fast and the Furious? And if I recall correctly, I now have 8000 followers, so I expect that in a matter of 24 hours, I will be having 8000 followers on my new Instagram account, The Sports Emotionalist.

So recap. The Secret Shopper Blog won the car, as well as the bill for the tax, title and licensing as well as the whole bill for the car. Congrats!

And you all won the opportunity to follow my new Instagram account, suckers, or incur the wrath of the Neeson where I find you and make you push a button. Got it? And if you don’t have an Insta account, you have my permission to sign up for one just for this project. Kapish?

Alright so The Sports Emotionalist.

Bitter Better Do What I say Ben

Tornado Friday Giftures


I am so far behind on the news, that I just found out that not far from here, north of Salt Lake, there was a tornado that caused a quite a stir. Doesn’t surprise me in the least because there has been a tornado of activity around here, which sucks because I am a huge fan of not doing stuff. On one day this week, I left for school at 6 am and didn’t get back until 7:45 pm. Then when I got home no one was there, because the girl was at church with an activity, the boy was at football and mom was running around picking them up. Then we got started on dinner, and had to tell the boy to do his homework. Finally, I nestled right into my comfort zone, the couch at 10 pm and just stared blankly at the TV. This whole week has been a tornado, so the giftures will be too.

The week got off…


…to an explosive start. 

Then things kind of…

...whatever you do

…fell off from there.

Then someone grabbed a Red Bull…


…and sure enough, it gave them wings. 

Then someone finally tried to…


…give me a shot, but then decided to stop. 

Then they couldn’t decide…


…weather they wanted to go through with it. 

Thankfully, we were able to…


…scrounge around for a dolla bill yall, for lunch. 

But, riding the train…


…was a little frustrating. 

Thankfully, I was able to get my frustrations…


…and did a little exercise. 

But didn’t really…


…finish up. 

After that…


…I did a little paperwork. 

Then I was going along…


…and something just hit me. 

Then when I was driving home…


…I got a little tired. 

So despite me just wanting to sit on the couch and pretend I didn’t have homework or kids or responsibilities, despite the fact that we didn’t want a tornado lurking nearby, it happened. I’m kind of tired of all these things happening without my permission. Just know that next time they try something without my permission, tornadoes are just going to wait at the front door until I’m done with my TV program.


Bitter Tornad-no Ben

My Bitter Expendable Life


In all the craziness, I found a way to watch The Expendables 3.

In the midst of all of it, the craziness, the new classes, the new schedule, the getting up at 5:30 am in the morning again, to the going to bed at midnight, to the projects, the football practice and homework times 3, I found time to watch of all movies, The Expendables 3.

Let’s go back to the beginning though.  When we left Seattle, we left a lot of dumb things behind. The trees, the traffic, the weather, the roads, the taxpayers that like to vote for every new tax increase, bills, etc. But we left behind two very important, very hard to stomach things behind. 1) Our amazing 60 inch marvel of HD wonder. The TV that we created so many memories with. From the first shot of 1080P pixels showing Doc Rivers talking about the Celtics road victory to the final shot of some random Olympic event before Skynet came back to claim it so they could destroy the world (either that or the people we sold it to), this television weaved every pixel inside my bitter heart.

No thanks.

No thanks. I’m good with my 60 inch marvel of HD wonder. 

The second thing I clung to until the final hour was the cable service. Though the bill was really good at following inflation and good at rising at the same rate as my paycheck declined, I miss the sheer vastness and endless options of entertainment the old  Xfinity or Comcast or whatever you want to call the greatest show on earth. It even had a remote that would listen to you. It listened to me more in the few months we had it than my kids have ever listened to me. It was heartbreaking to leave the TV/Cable combo behind. Way more than any so-called “friends” I had, Facebook or face to face, or otherwise.

Anyways, now that we are here, we don’t have my best friend Cable. We have a TV, but not nearly the machine that old friend 60 was. And Roku and Apple TV are okay, but since we only have Amazon Prime, the television options are limited. Don’t even get me started on the 4 channels (2 in English and 2 in Espanol).

So back to present. I was trying to find something that wasn’t black and white colored or a 10 year old indy film on Amazon Prime, when out of nowhere, Expendables 3 appeared on the screen. I like action movies, and this one pretty much promised that, so I bit. A little too late in the evening, and I hadn’t seen Expendables 1 or 2, but I started it and thought I would just catch the beginning.

What started as a just a desperate attempt to find anything to lift the bitter weighty weight on my shoulders, turned into an obsession. How was it that so many people that I remember from the 80’s and 90’s could appear in one movie? How was it that we could have so many inside jokes, for instance, the names like Stallone’s name being Barney(Rubble? The Dinosaur?), Statham’s name being Christmas(how many lame jokes came from that one), or Dolph Lundgren’s name being Gunner Jensen(was his middle name Magnum?).  Or when Wesley Snipe’s character was asked what he did to get himself in jail and he reply’s to the camera sarcastically, “Tax evasion.” (for those of you that don’t know, Wesley Snipes has tax evasion problems in real life). Or Arnold Swarzenegger continually telling people to, “Get to the Choppa”.

Yes, sir I will.

I’ll do it now.

The best part of the whole movie was the dialogue. Not that action movies need compelling dialogue, but this one really didn’t need it. Because even if you had the volume up to 50 and you had it on Surround Sound 7.1, you couldn’t understand a word these guys said. Statham’s UK accent, Arnold with Austrian-California Governer accent, Dolph Lundgren with his Swedish-Russian accent, Jet Li with his Chinese accent, but worst of all Sylvester Stallone with his New York-Philadelphian Rocky accent. I haven’t understood a word of his since he was born.

Yet I couldn’t take my eyes off this movie. Possibly because I love unrealistic action, maybe because I couldn’t believe Mel Gibson as a bad guy(cough, cough) or because I would have understood a foreign film without subtitles better than I could understand any of the dialogue. But isn’t that what we all love about movies? They way they challenge us to be better at something (even if it is trying to understand what the heck people are saying?)


Bitter Expendable Bendable

Rolling the Dice Friday Giftures


I feel like I failed you this week. Not only have I done almost no posting, but I also did a super serious one that hardly contained any bitterness other than to be bitter about younger people than me, trying to teach me something. I don’t know if it was opposite day, or I was just having some sort of crazy dream that caused me to go a little mad, but I apologize for the seriously terrible post that was. I hope it never happens again. I took a huge gamble doing that, and it failed in spades. That’s what happens when you roll the dice, or make a decision. Remind me never to make any decisions ever again. And don’t ever believe what Vegas tells you. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay there, it comes back to haunt you. Like these giftures that rolled the dice way too hard.

Sometimes when you are dog tired…


…you have to hope it isn’t a cat-astrophe.

When you kickoff the weekend…


…hope things don’t explode in your face.

You better hope…


…that lightening strikes in the same place twice.

No matter what…


…when you are hungry, there is never enough…

But when you are stuffed…

...there is way too much.

…someone invites you over for a small meal.

Do you…


…see what I mean?

If you can’t see what I mean…


…don’t jump to any conclusions.

Just turn around…


…and don’t let your mind race too fast.

Or you mind might become…


…a train wreck. 

But don’t be afraid…


…it’s Friday night and you just got paid. And you’re a good old boy, that doesn’t mean any harm.

So before you…


…take off too early…

Make sure you find a nice place…

...make sure you have

…where you can party like a rock star…or a former NFL quarterback.

Clearly, this will not make up for the sheer lack of bitter content this week, but then again, I was plenty bitter about a lot of stuff this week and you should have read my mind, Monica the Medium’s. You’re supposed to know all this stuff. Why is it that I have to spell it out for all of you all the time? Does it look like I’m a blogger or something? Why can’t I be the lazy one for once?


Bitter Roll the Dice Ben

From the Young Padawan’s

Dare to nightmare.

Dare to nightmare.

Recently, I have had several series of dreams that have had continuous plot lines that have gone to two or three parter’s. The common thread through all of them is that they are things I’ve done before. It was places I’ve previously worked, places I’ve already visited and things I’ve already experienced. The twist on all of them, is that I’m experiencing these things with someone from a different environment.

I think I finally figured out why I’m having these dreams. It’s because today I’m going to experience something I’ve done before, but with different people. At 43 years of age, I’m going to go back to school. I’m going to get my back to school picture that my wife will post on Facebook and I’m going back to school to learn something relatively new (Social Media) with an entirely new set of people. It’s strange to go back to something when you think you’ve already been there. It’s strange to think that when you are 43, you can learn new things, from people way younger than you. At my age, you’d think you are the one that knows everything. But really, aren’t you learning or re-learning things from young people all the time?

Please show me stuff.

Please show me stuff.

Like when you are trying to figure out this new fangled phone you were given at work that you give to your pre-teen and she takes it and shows you how to do everything on it in 5 minutes. Or when you were a lifelong basketball player/fan and your third grader decides to try football, and teaches you all about football and can tell you plays called motion or wedge?

How is it that when I’ve have been a blogger for four and a half years, and I can come upon a blogger that has only been doing it for two weeks and they can give me an insight into widget, or some social media site, or some promotional site that can teach me how to get more followers? How is it that I can learn something from someone so much more inexperienced than me?

In my dream I was super frustrated that someone that was so much younger than me was showing ME the ropes. How dare they? I was the one who had done this for so long. I was the one that knew all the techniques. But, really how could I dare think that the way I had done it was the only way? How could I think I knew it all? I haven’t lived a lifetime. I haven’t done it all. There are a thousand ways that something like this could be done.

Today I start my journey, a short one, but a journey nonetheless to learn something that is somewhat foreign to me, Social Media. Sure I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube and the like. But I barely know anything about how they can benefit companies. Not really. I need training from people that know more than me on the subject, before I go begging to work for a company.

A lot of us think we know so much about something. But, even math and science, that stuff that holds the keys to the universe and how it works, the stuff that must be proved, and the answers are always the same, (IE 1+1 always equals 2) is still growing and learning and new formula’s are still being figured out.

Today, I go learn from some young Padawan’s. I learn way more about a subject than I already know. I grab an ever growing bull by the horn’s and try to tackle it and make it my calf. I bring it to my farm, brand it with my knowledge, drink its milk and then put it out on the job market, with its combination of experience and the new knowledge learned from both younger and older teachers.

And hopefully wake up from the dream having learned a trick or two about things I thought I knew.


Bitter Learning from Young Ones Ben

My observations at the Football Game as People Watcher(I mean judger)

What I like to do when observing others.

What I like to do when observing others.

As a bachelor degree holding, magna cum laude student of the introversion arts, I major in people watching. From malls to museums, from forests to forts, I love to observe people in their natural or unnatural habitats. Not only am I good at it, but it requires little effort to see people do whatever it takes to make complete idiots out of themselves. While I do that on a regular basis, it is nice to see that other people do it just as much as me, maybe even more, because I keep my mouth shut when observing people.

What is even more satisfying than people watching, is people judging.  I especially love taking what people say and do when they think I’m not paying attention and extending those actions to what I judge they do and are like in the rest of their lives. I did a lot of sitting today while waiting for my son’s game and then watching his game and this was prime people judging material.

Here are just a few of my observations of people at a football game.

"There's no way he's a third grader, right?"

“There’s no way he’s a third grader, right?”

“Wow, that kid on the other team is even bigger than our son (who is essentially a foot taller and 50 lbs heavier than anyone on his team). Clearly, he is a fifth grader. Should we check his papers?”

“Wow, this field has four sprinkler drains right on the field that could cause sprained ankles. Do you think I could use the cameras filming the game for footage in my law suit against the city if I “accidentally” trip over one of those during the game when I’m protesting a call?”

“I think this ref is trying really hard to be an NFL ref. Do you see how well he is blowing these calls and trying to make himself the star of the game?”

See if you recognize any of these parents on the sidelines of your games.

It takes skill to get that through the right quadrant.

It takes skill to get that through the right quadrant.

The Gatorade Bottle Squirter’s through the Helmet parents: They are constantly trying to keep their kid hydrated, because if they don’t, the kid will evaporate into sand before the game ends.

The Trainwreck that shows up halfway through the First Quarter: She forgot to give her kid his socks, so is helping him put them on. His kid’s name is being called, so she is frantically trying to put them on him, while yelling to the coaches that he is almost ready to go in. Then later, she is on the sidelines telling the kids to stand up right after the coach told them to take a knee. Starts calling plays for her kid and telling him to go in when none of the coaches have told him to go in. Etc.

The so many accessories you would think they would preparing to summit Mt. Everest: They have their chairs, their hats, their tent, their couch, their long lens camera, their big screen TV to see replays, their sleeping bags, their hiking gear, their king size bed….

The Wanna Be NFL Parent: They yell instructions to their kid from the sidelines about missing their assignment on  “Brown Right Over 73 Chicago F arrow X curl” or their footwork was off when they ran the side curl route, fulling insisting that their kid not only know all that, but that they can hear every instruction they just barked out through the massive helmet that is half their body weight.

Did you spend enough time on the sign?

Did you spend enough time on the sign?

The ones that are so worried about the paper halftime sign that they haven’t watched one minute of the game: They spent half the week planning, preparing, making the artwork just right on the 40 foot paper sign that the kids will run through at halftime, that they didn’t have any time to make their kids lunch or help them with their homework, which would have been good for them because they misspelled Cougar’s.

The “No wonder they call me the team mom”: Because I brought a speaker that blasts an 80’s rap song from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to get my little guys all pumped for this third grade debacle.

The silent judgers: The ones that sit there the whole game judging all the other parents of their misdeeds while not recognizing that they are committing a bunch of the things above or worse, but not seeing it because they think they are so perfect.


Bitter Observationer from The Sideline Ben

Fry em up in a pan Bitter Fry-day Giftures


Frying things up in a pan is not a good idea for a person like me because the results are usually disastrous. Probably because smoke bellows to warn the neighbors, fire alarms go off and a new color of burnt black is invented between charcoal and crow. It’s usually best to find a Red Robin or even a Burger King if you ever hear I’m cooking. On the other hand, I’m quite an expert at cooking up giftures that will fill your bitter little heart up full and make it want to take a Tum’s right afterward. So let’s fill up your little tum tums with some Bitter Fry-day Giftures.

First up let’s start with something light…


…like some see ya later alligator. 

Next up we’ll whet your appetite with…

...we'll have some

…some knuckle sandwiches. 

Next we will have some…


…apple turnover and over agains.

Speaking of apples…


…how do you like these apples?

And don’t flip out…


…but you’ll love this meat with a little freezer burn. 

Speaking of Canadians…


…we will slice you up some Canadian Bacon.

Next up we have…


…some Chicken’s crying. 

Sorry we haven’t drinks yet…

...water you doing?

…how about a nice cool glass of water you doing?

For the soup of the day…


…we could have chicken broth with some bullion cubes…

I know you are tired of watching people fight over things…


…but that shouldn’t stop you from eating a burger.

After dinner, we can go out…


…to the pool.

And finally we can…


…finish up with chocolate moose. 

Now that you are way overstuffed with my giftures, and have way overstayed your welcome, it’s time to leave and go home. I mean it is almost 2 o clock in morning and I would like to go to bed. And by all means, make sure you come again anytime (gritted teeth).

Bitter Fry Em Up in a Ben

Bitter House on the Prairie

Epic Prairie fail.

Epic Prairie fail.

Every time I have to go outside to do some manual labor, ie work on my pizza garden, cut down a tree, or mow a lawn, I feel like I’m one of those freaking kids in Little House on the Prairie. Goodness gracious, it’s 2016. Isn’t there an app for this yet?

I think the days of us having to do anything manually should be past us now. I know it is good for jobs and blah, blah, blah, but really should people be left to do customer service or pushing McDonald’s on us? Machines would be way better at upgrading us to a large Value Meal than us humans ever would. And finding one of the four responses that customer service agents give us drolly could easily be programmed into a computer. And I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard for a computer to throw in a little small talk, or awkward conversation if a person requested that.

Robot doing what they should have a long time ago.

Robots doing what they should have a long time ago.

I should be able to see the lawn being mowed by RoboBen and the GardnerBot 2000 could really mess up the tomatoes just as good as Bitter Ben. I could sit by watching all this from my video monitor if I wanted (I don’t), and watch TV or play video games that the robots programmed for us. And as far as TV shows go, even a low grade robot could write better movies than the Hallmark Channel, but if you crave those, they could dumb it down for us if we really need them to.

Chillin like a Wall-E villian.

Chillin like a Wall-E villian.

Many may argue that we would end up in the shape of the people in Wall-E, but I disagree. Computers are fully capable of making exercise equipment work on us while we are sleeping. “Oh no, it wouldn’t be the same if the computers did it for us,” you are probably saying.  “Uh, yeah it would,” says me. We would feel the same amount of sweat and our legs would be just as tired, but some of us would still need to just not exercise, because how could we be bitter if we weren’t always out of shape when we were chasing after our RoboDog on his walk?

Collecting achievements for sitting in traffic.

Collecting achievements for sitting in traffic.

And if you still really want to have your commute be a bitter part of your day, the CommuterBot of Bitterness(or CBB for short) would always be glad to stick you in traffic with all the other bitter people that need that anger to feel alive. They will even throw in points for hitting metal pedestrians, and you can level up for getting better at it over time. This might actually give you an incentive to sit in traffic. You could earn patience achievements for sitting 5 minutes at a light, or not honking when another person almost killed you. Heck, this can be your full time job, turned into a game, if you were missing all that time you had at work. Or you could make catching Pokemon in real life your job. Just be careful with Pikachu, cause he can be quite shocking.

And if you have the need to sit in a cubicle for 8 hours a day, that can be arranged. Annoying robo-workers can be programmed to annoy your every need. They can talk too much at meetings, chew on their food too loudly or talk about their favorite sports team long after you wanted them to stop. There can even be annoying boss sending you multiple emails about your TPS reports, or come up behind you unexpectedly while you are updating your fantasy football league or blogging.

And if you are one of those people that crave ditching work/school/responsibilities there could be weather app for every occasion. They can even help you make up a new excuse at the drop of a hat while giving you the necessary alibi for your Ferris Bueller’s Day off. Sing on a float, drive your dad’s Porsche, or be totally scared that you are going to get suspended for missing one more day. It’s all up to you.

Let’s stop living in the Bitter House on the Prairie, where all the boring stuff like churning the butter has to be done by hand. It’s time for the robots to take over. And even if you do like living on the Prairie, there’s an app for that. There is no reason we should be doing anything manually unless we want to.


Bitter House on the Prairie Ben

Bitter Rivalry of the Week: College Football vs. 3rd Grade Football


I was an odd duckling growing up. I guess that makes sense when I was born in California and lived there until I was 6, then moved to New York and lived there until I was 8. Then moved to South Dakota until I was 18. That kind of cultural yanking can make a person kind of strange. My high school was terrible at football and semi-decent at basketball. And I was tall. So I never really got into football. Like the rest of the country (I mean Texas and the rest of the south). And on top of that both of the college/universities I went to didn’t have football teams.  So why am I writing about football at all?

Because I just got accepted to be on the local 3rd grade team. I mean my son did. And last night I was invited to watch a college football game. So, which one of these amazing institutions are better? Let’s have them meet at the 50 yard line, shake hands, and present their cases.

Big time college hit.

Big time college hit.

College football: There are 100,000 capacity stadiums, crazy dedicated fans, and highly trained athletes that don’t get paid for their work. They do however, get a scholarship to go to 4 years of school mostly for free. And access to some pretty good facilities.

3rd Grade Football: There are 100 capacity sidelines, crazy dedicated parents, and poorly coached, highly fundamentally flawed, little chicken legged, pads that are bigger than most of their whole bodies, 8 and 9 years old running around like chickens with their heads cut off, whose parents get to pay for $200, plus uniforms, and a documentary film fee to get a filmmaker to film their every play so they can someday be featured on NFL films? And they have access to some pretty good junior high fields for practice.

Big time 3rd Grade drill. (I'm a big fan of the lay down drill.)

Big time 3rd Grade drill. (I’m a big fan of the lay down drill.)

College football: Entertainment is through the roof (because they have a retractable one) and drama because they have close games, intense rivalries and some pretty big incentives (bowl games, chance at the NFL) at stake.

3rd Grade Football: Entertainment is through the roof (because they have the big roof called the sky) and drama because they have really close games (like that one time the score was 36-7) some intense rivalries with other schools (and some rivalries between which parents can be most intense about their kids missing a block or tackle) and some pretty big incentives (like the oranges at halftime or the Gatorade at the end of the game).

College football: 3 hours of big hits, great passes, amazing catches, fine tuned execution, quick cuts, and powerful runs.

3rd Grade football: 1 and 1/2 hours of pattycake hits, overthrown passes, demazingly missed catches, fine tuned deexecution, slow cuts, 40 yard runs with multiple missed tackles, and overwhelmingly sized helmets and pads.

So who wins the intense rivalry between the college athlete and the 3rd grader? Who finds the way into the bitter hearts of America and maybe even a few other people in the world? Who is worthy of our taking up all that time on Saturday to get off our couches?


Bitter Football Saturday Ben

Standing No-vation Bitter Friday Giftures


I think we give out way too many standing ovations.  Why aren’t we more picky when it comes to doing them? And once one person stands because they kind of liked something, now the rest of us are forced to stand too, even if we didn’t like it? And what if only one person was pretty good and the rest of the cast were pretty terrible? How does that justify a standing O? And why are there certain times that standing O’s are absolutely mandatory? Why can’t there just be half standing ovations? Or sitting ovations? Or laying on the couch ovations? That would would be way more comfortable for me. And how about we show our distaste for a performance or really bad movie by doing a standing no-vation? Or better yet a sitting or laying no-vation, just to show our utter distaste. That would almost make sitting through a terrible experience worth it. Kind of like how you have to miserably read my blog all the time.

Let’s start the performances so we can do our sitting no-vations….

Give it up for…


…number 5! He really knows how to stumble and bumble.

And these guys who dove right in…


…they should get half scores for jumping into the tiny cup shaped pool.

And this guy…


…I’d give him a hand, because it looks like he is going to need one.

And I would applaud Big Willy Smith…


…but he seems to be floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee.

This pup is on the up and up…


…until he gets dog tired and gets bushwacked.

Just make sure you applaud Farley’s efforts…


…or he’ll go Super, you know what I’m Saiyan?

Let’s try to get things under control…


…before there is a Stock Market crash.

I applaud this guy for doing his best…


…to do a standing NO.  Too bad he could only do a flying NO.

She started trying to do a standing NO…


…but ended up doing a falling NO.

This guy was crushing on a girl…


…and fell head over heals for her.

This guy was trying to win first place…


…I think he got what he was gunning for.

And I think the only people left to do a standing No…


…for these guys, is the citizens of Jupiter, because they are stupider.

And that is our pathetic performance of the week. Now that it is all finished, let’s show our dispreciation for a job horribly done. Standing no-vation for everyone!


Bitter No-vation Ben