About rashadstevens

Partner at law firm Stevens & Cohen, Harvard Grad, loving husband and father. Kick ass foosball player, and king of your face! Bring it on, haha... awesome.

I’m Great at Pretending to Listen to You

I went to a party last night. A simple little cocktail party for a bunch of my wife’s friends. Seems fun, right? No. My wife’s friends are boring. All they do is talk about their kids and families and what the next season of Modern Family is going to be about and what’s in this dip that they just can’t stop eating and wow, you’ve lost weight what spin class have you been going to is it Greg’s class because he’s the best yadda yadda yadda and the whole time I’m just standing there with a drink in my hand that’s not nearly strong enough imagining what it would feel like to bury a screwdriver in my own forehead.

So many people to be bored by, so little time.

But you wouldn’t know that’s what’s going through my head when you look at me. No sir. Because even though on the inside I’m tearing the skin off my own face, on the outside I’m cool as a cucumber. I make eye contact, I nod, I cock my head slightly to the left while saying “Hmm” to indicate to you that I find what you just said to be extremely interesting. But I don’t find what you’re saying to be extremely interesting. I am actually going over my head a new flanking strategy for my next online multiplayer bout of Modern Warfare 3.

How do I do it? I’m great at pretending to listen. I’ve been married for a while now, and although by she’s caught on to my tricks and strategies at this point, I’ve had plenty of practice to use those skills on other people who don’t live with me and won’t box my ears when they figure out that I’m not actually paying attention.

Oh, here it is, the most boring cocktail party in the universe.

For example, next time you’re thinking about whether or not to start Mark Sanchez on your Fantasy Football roster this week while some weird-looking finance guy with the most boring job in the world jabbers on and on about the benefits of fixed indexed annuities and how good my wife’s three-cheese dip is and the sad state of things in the middle east, here are some tips on how to get through it. Just look into his eyes, nod occasionally, squint your eyes now and then to show him how interesting his comments are, and say noncommittal, broad things that won’t tip him off, like, “Really?”, “Interesting,” or “I think I read about that in the New York Times.” Shift your weight back and forth to keep your legs from falling asleep, widen your eyes in shock to keep your eyes from getting droopy, and if you’re brave, you can even scratch your head with a slight confused look, giving them the satisfaction of thinking they are more intellectual than you, and giving you the satisfaction of getting them to wrap it up sooner to search for someone who is more on their intellectual level. Win win.

Pretending to listen is a subtle art. Don’t clasp the other person’s face. That’s trying to hard.

If at any point the boredom is just getting too much and the man in the suit that’s four sizes too big for him won’t shut his fat face-hole, just interrupt him gently by saying something like, “Wow, what you just said made my day, can I get you another drink to celebrate your intellect?” or “Wow, let me go get my wife, she has got to hear this,” or simply “You just blew my mind, and I need to sit down so I can think about the purpose of life and the universe,” then proceed to sit down directly in front of your own TV where a TiVo’ed episode of “The Walking Dead” is waiting for you. Killing Zombies with crossbows > talking about tax deferred retirement savings.

So there you go, just a few of my many tips on how to survive a horribly boring conversation. Maybe in my next post I’ll talk about how to look like you’re busy at work without actually doing any work, how to look like you mean it when you tell your wife that you’re “Sorry,” and how to get a doctor to diagnose you as a sleepwalker so you can get away with late night snacking and TV watching.


What Part of the Grieving Process Do I Get to Become a Masked Superhero?

There was recently a death in my family. My younger brother choked on a Glade Plug-in. What it was doing in his mouth, nobody knows. He wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. But it was sad nonetheless.

It’s my turn now.

When I found out last month, I went through all the stages of grief: shock, sadness, denial, anger, indifference, anger again, hilarity (come on, the way he died is really funny), acceptance, then back to denial, and now acceptance again. So after going through all of this, at what part of the grieving process do I get to become a crime fighting, masked superhero?

All the superheroes have lost someone close to them before devoting their life to super-heroity. Spiderman lost his Uncle, Batman lost his parents, Superman lost his parents and his planet, Wolverine lost his dad, and later his girlfriend, and then later the girl he had a crush on, and then later some mutants he barely knew (it got progressively easier to piss him off), Thor thought he lost his dad but he was just in that God-Coma thingy, James Bond lost basically all of his girlfriends, and Ironman lost that one dude in the cave he was being held prisoner with during the first movie.

Who did you lose, real life superhero Citizen Prime from Phoenix?

My brother was the closest person to me that I’ve ever lost. Except my father, but I didn’t really like him that much. Especially just before he died. He was just old and cranky all of the time. My brother was stupid but at least he was funny. So after all the sadness and shock and all that, I finally get to become a caped crusader, right?

Now I don’t have any natural superpowers, so I’ll have to go the route of Batman and Ironman and MAKE my powers from my best natural talents. But that shouldn’t be hard. I’ve got a garage full of tools, a collection of samurai swords and nunchucks in my “Man Room,” a toy crossbow I retooled to be a REAL crossbow, and a Hybrid car, so I should be able to make something cool and terrifying out of all that. And I’ve played enough video games that I should be pretty good at capturing bad guys and rescuing good people by now. Heaven knows I have the best zombie apocalypse escape plan ever. OH! And my wife has a taser. I’ll swipe that too.

But there is this one thing that annoys me. In all of these superhero movies, there’s always some old, wise person or annoying ex-girlfriend that tries to tell the hero that fighting will not bring them peace. That’s bologna. This one time I was at a monster truck rally and the dude behind us kept screaming and bumping us with his knees and spilling beer on me and my son, so I finally stood up and knocked him straight in the teeth. I can tell you I felt very peaceful all the way to the police station.

I feel your pain, too, real life superhero Angle Grinder Man from London.

So I guess that’s it. I’m officially at the “Become a Masked Superhero” stage of the grieving process. I guess I should thank my idiot brother up in heaven for giving me this chance. Without his stupidity, thousands upon millions may not have known sweet, pure, nunchuck-y justice.

Oh, and I’m NOT telling you what kind of superhero I decided to be. I’m not giving away my secret identity that easily, so stop asking. If you really want to know, commit a crime that you think you’re sure to get away with. Then you’ll find out first hand. Justice will find you. And this time, he’s driving a Prius.

Did I just make the world’s biggest taco?

I ain't got time for your sissy taco.

I ain't got time for your sissy taco.

I need the number to Guinness Book of World Records, quick. I may have just made the world’s biggest taco.

I woke up this morning craving beef. Yea, beef, leave me alone. I can have beef for breakfast if I want. I’m a grown man.

I checked the freezer: no beef. I checked the freezer in the garage: a half-pound of ground beef and some tortilla shells. Tacos for breakfast? Oh yea.

So I’m frying the beef, and at this point I’m starving, and I’m thinking this isn’t going to be enough beef. I could eat the world’s largest taco right now and still have enough room left over for a few handfuls of those little red radish thingies they give you with your tacos at fancy Mexican restaurants, and I don’t even like those. And that’s when I got my brilliant idea.

I ran to the store and bought all the beef, lettuce, and shredded Mexican-style cheese they had. I bought a couple of tomatoes because I like to keep things healthy. And I figured the best way to make the shell was by gluing tons of tortilla shells together with nacho cheese, so I bought a ton of that stuff, too. I ran home, pulled the kids out of school so they could help, and five and a half hours later, we had the world’s biggest taco. Totally worth missing work. Oh shoot, I should have called my secretary or something…

So I need to get Guinness over here pronto, because now that I’ve made the world’s biggest taco, the last thing I want to do is eat it, at least not until they record keepers get here to weigh this bad boy. So I’m still starving. Maybe I’ll make a sandwich while I’m waiting. Peanut Butter and Jelly. Hmmm, that’s not nearly enough bread…

My bathtub full of cheesy ground beef. We had to keep it somewhere until the giant tortilla was ready.

I Want to Be Crazy Rich

I’ve been reading up about Mitt Romney, and people are upset because they are saying he’s too rich. There’s no such thing. We ALL want to be “too rich.” I know I do. I want to be crazy rich. I’m not just talking adopt-malasian-babies and wear-my-sunglasses-indoors crazy. I’m talking Howard Hughes, Marc Cuban, Oprah Winfrey crazy.

If I were as rich as Mitt Romney, I wouldn’t run for president. I would use my millions not only to build a laser tag arena with laser-shooting eagles in my home, but I’d use my millions to freak people out. Here’s my plan:

I’d build a huge mansion in the middle of an average American suburb. I’d bulldoze all of their stupid houses and put mine right in the middle.

Once I moved in, I’d board up all windows from the outside except for one, and each night I’d stand in front of that window, never moving, just watching, and never come out.

This would go on for years.

The only sign of life they’d see would be once per week, when the trash gets picked up, I’d have crazy stuff set out on the corner for the trash: A pelt of an extinct animal, an ant farm with miniature human skeletons, fingerless dishwashing gloves, newspapers for years that haven’t happened yet, a garbage bag stuffed with empty Mr. Pibb cans and a giant Mr. Pibb can stuffed with garbage bags, Crocs in the shape of the foot of an actual croc,  undiet coke bottles, a BlackBerry PlayBook…you know, weird stuff.

Oh yea. That's it, baby.

People would talk.

At night when it would rain, my house would change colors. Instead of dogs going missing in the neighborhood, people would suddenly find a cloned version of their dog in their yard, identical in every way, except one eye would be a different color.

The neighbors would constantly be on edge.

I’d stand in front of that window every night. Until one night I won’t be in front of that window.

And that’s the night everyone in the neighborhood would get a flaming bad of poo on their doorsteps.

The angry neighbors would come to mansion the next morning, angrily blaming me for the burning poo.

But when they got to my house, it would be completely burned to the ground. With nothing left behind besides a diorama of the neighborhood with miniature models of everyone in the neighborhood, surrounding and bowing down to a pedestal with an elephant skull on top.

The source of all that poo? No one will ever know.

Turtle Doves: Not Mutant Flying Turtles

On the first day of Christmas, my true love wanted a very traditional christmas, so she got me a very “traditional” gift. It was not the leather massage recliner I asked for, nor the mini-helicopter. Nope. Instead of getting what you ask for, girls like to “surprise” you. And I have to admit, I was surprised. She got me two Turtle Doves.

I got HER a really nice watch. One of those watches with diamonds on them that costs WAY more than it should. And I got two Turtle Doves. At first I was like, “Cool! Flying Turtles! It’s like my boyhood fantasy of hanging out with the teenage mutant ninjas come true!” Not so. Turns out that Turtle Doves are just regular doves that have nothing to do with turtles. And they crap everywhere. Here’s a question to all of the scientists in charge of naming things: Why would you call one species by the name of a completely different species? How about Penguin Dogs? Sheep Monkeys? Sasquatch Unicorns? It makes no sense. It’s as though you just put the names of all the world’s animals into a big bag and the first name you pulled out, you tacked onto the front of “dove.” Here, let me help you rename the Turtle Dove to something more appropriate: Sucky Doves. Much better. Now I know exactly what kind of animal it is.

Blame it on scientists with all left brain and no right. At least Turtle Doves aren’t as annoying as four calling-birds she got me last year. The four eating-snakes at the community college seemed to like them better.

– Rashad

P.S. I’ve heard of something called the Turgarine (Turtle-Allagator-Wolverine). Not sure if it’s myth or real. Anyone know?

I will not apologize for getting drunk and calling everyone in town “sucky.”

The Autumn Enjoyable Trot, as we all know, was a resounding success. The kids had fun, we adults got to socialize, and no one was accidentally shot by hunters like last year. So why muddy the whole experience by forcing me to give a public apology for getting drunk and calling everyone in the town “sucky”?

I mean, it could have been much worse. I could have called everyone in the town terrorists, or communists, or racists, or feminists, or mexicans, or a bunch of other horrible thoughts that ran through my head at the time, so we should all be happy that I said what I said instead of those other things.

See? This is what I was going for.

I will also not apologize for dumping the bobbing for apples barrel on top of Mayor Chuck while chanting “We’re number 1! We’re number 1!” I did it in a celebratory spirit showing my pride in Byron City, and there was no malice behind my intentions.

I will also not apologize for hitting on Stephanie Banks-Dickson after mistaking her for my wife. The two look similar after a few drinks (no really, they do!), and had I simply grabbed my OWN wife’s buttcheeks while making honking noises, there would have been no need to call the police.

I will also not apologize for drooling on my wife’s expensive couch pillows. She should have thought of that before she made me sleep there. She should apologize to ME for also taking away the Xbox when I could have used it during my banishment from the bedroom.

I WILL apologize, however, to the other partners and associates at my law firm for the spanking my fantasy football team gave them all this past weekend. Looks like the $1000 pool is going to be all mine again this year. Booya!

Rashad Stevens