Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Is My Favourite Holiday

Happy New Year's, Monpeeps.

This will be my last post of 2016. It will also only be my third post of 2016, but that's not what is important here.

I've got a few things set to come out in the next week or so wrapping up what was a perfectly yearly year filled with death, broken bones and disappointing films.

Your a dick, Batman vs. Superman.

I just wanted to quickly drop in and express something I don't think I've ever mentioned on the blog before: I love New Year's. It is my favourite holiday.

I woke up today on New Year's Eve and was super excited. Ridiculously excited. I get this way every New Year's Eve. It's like Christmas Eve to me. In fact, I will declare it the superior "Eve" in the month of December.


It's pretty basic and simple actually. Much like people bitch about the over-commercialization of Chrstimas, I hate the over-hypifcation and over-boozification of New Year's Eve. The holiday is about a lot of things, but it's generally looked at as an epic, all night boozefest where all your dreams come true.

Fuck. That.

I'm pretty sure those people in the crowd aren't allowed to leave to piss or shit.

I love New Year's because it is the one time a year where the vast majority of people are looking to better themselves and their situations. It a time of reflection, when people take stock of the year that was. Good and bad. No year is perfect. It's insane to think that they will be, but that doesn't stop people from hoping and trying. I dig that.

Had a tough year? Well it's over now. Acknowledge what happened and keep moving forward.
Had a great year? Awesome. Good for you. Acknowledge what happened and keep moving forward.

This is the one time of year where most everyone is focused on making positive choices in the next 365 days and bettering themselves as a person. Dicks are still out there, so that's why I say most everyone, but it's inspiring to know that for a lot of people, it's another shot at having it be "their year".

It's not about resolutions either. Not really. People might not stick to them, people may fail by January 2nd. That doesn't matter. What matters is that this is the time of year when people are at least TRYING to institute positive change. Hopeful change. The promise of a supposed "Blank Slate" is enough to excite anyone and inspire them to action.

That's what I love. It's naive, but it helps me. In a year that saw a lot of bullshit and nonsense, what value is there in looking forward to another year of doom and gloom?

And every year is like that. Guess what, although 2016 might have been extra shitty, there was a lot of 2015 that sucked as well. And 2014. 2013? Buncha horseshit! And so it goes, back and back and back through time.

1993 was the last truly great year and it was primarily because of "Demolition Man" and "Jurassic Park".

So whatever you choose to do tonight, just enjoy yourself and make some decisions that will make your next year good.

Not great. Not amazing. Not epic.

Just good. With all the hardships that we cannot prepare for, the ones that sneak up on us on a random Tuesday in mid-July or a late evening in October, having a good year is the best we can hope for.

And hope is why I love this day. It's a lot easier to see.

Happy New Year!

Thanks for Reading

- jB

Friday, November 4, 2016

Should Me And The Guy At Subway Be Friends By Now?

Monpeeps, I'm just gonna come right out and say it:

I like to eat fresh.

(Perhaps not the best place to do that, but within proximity to work it... still isn't)

I work near a bunch of restaurants in downtown Vancouver. At least that's what I'm told by my co-workers who are more inclined towards variety than I am. Instead of the wide array of sushi places, Indian food places, Thai food places and the two nearby 7-11's, I usually wind up at ol' reliable: Subway.

Now, Subway has gone through some tough times in the last few years. It seems like ages ago Happy Gilmore was pounding those things into people's mouths with a golf club and their spokesdude kept showing off his giant pants to showcase his weight loss. Obviously, in the years since they have suffered a lot due to some extremely questionable decisions and a swift fall from grace of one of their previous pitch men...

(This will never not be "a thing that happened". It will exist until the Earth explodes)

(NOTE: The Sandler joke was RIGHT there. We all know what that other asshole did so I'm not gonna sully the good mediocre name of this blog by talking about it. Let's just all take a deep breath, say aloud "Fuck that Jared guy." and move on)

The main reason I'm writing this post is because, as usual, I am at a loss regarding a social situation and I'm not sure what my course of action should be. Also as per usual... it's pretty dumb. And for the "per usual" hat trick: I'm overthinking it.

But I'm honestly wondering if me and the guy who works at my nearest Subway should be friends by now.

For a little more background, I eat at the Subway near my work a lot. We've established that already. I'm food-lazy and I have disposable income. I've made my peace with that. I'm also not a creature of variety when it comes to food, particularly what I eat for lunch. I'm purely in it for sustenance.

(I would eat these things if I felt I ran enough to feel confident buying them. I will never run that much)

Foodwise, routine is fine. However, when it comes to human interaction and conversation, repetitiveness is as uncomfortable and annoying as....

( I can literally do this all day. Which saddens me as I loved a handful of his movies. My five are probably the same as yours)

Where was I? Right!

There is a dude who works at the nearby Subway, has to be full-time, and we see each other a lot. We make eye contact and engage in the EXACT SAME CONVERSATION every single time I go in there. I can recount it right now, verbatim, purely from memory. Much like the lyrics to at least 100 songs from the 90s, I feel like it will be burned into my brain for the rest of my life.

(Decades later and I still remember everything this guy wished for. Everything)

So what do I go through every time I walk through the door at Subway? This:

 Guy At Subway (GAS): What can I get for ya?

jBow: Footlong turkey breast on honey oat please.

GAS: Cheese and toasted?

j.Bow: Yes please.

(after much cheesing and toasting)

GAS: Alright. Veggies for you?

j.Bow: I'll get a little bit of lettuce. Onions. Olives. Black pepper. Honey Mustard sauce. And Southwest sauce on half of it, please.

GAS: Meal for you?

j.Bow: Yep I'll get a regular drink and a bag of Baked Lays please.

GAS: Okay, that'll be $11.50.

j.Bow: Debit please.

GAS: Go ahead when you're ready.

(after much debiting)

GAS: Would you like a receipt?

j.Bow: No thank you, I'm good. 

GAS: Have a nice day.

j.Bow: You too.


(The internet doesn't have a picture of that exact sub, so here is the closes thing with some bullshit peppers and cucumber on there)

There is a lot to dissect up there, so I would kindly ask you to ignore the following things about my regular Subway order:

1) I only prefer a little bit of lettuce, but want a healthy amount of onions. Sometimes the people making my sandwich assume I want a "little bit" of all my toppings. Having to ask for more onions specifically drives me nuts. I shouldn't have to order like I'm a telegram from the 1940s.

"I'd like a little bit of lettuce (stop). Onions (stop) Olives (stop)...."

2) I like getting Southwest sauce on only half of it. Honestly, I like the anticipation and surprise of not knowing which half I'm about to bite into when I start eating it. Whatever. I like me.

3) I'm fucking polite as shit.

Moving on from that, it may not seem out of the ordinary on the surface. I'm sure that is how a lot of your interactions with people in customer service go. The main issue I have is that the conversation is the exact same every single time word for word. It's like I'm in Groundhog Day.

(Ahh a good movie reference. Also the Cubs won the World Series. It's nice knowing that Bill Murray is happy somewhere)

I feel like after all this time me and that dude's customer/sandwich artist relationship should have evolved to the banter stage. He says something different, like... asks me about my day, or something. Perhaps he is thinking the same thing about me and we are locked in this game of conversational chicken.

If that's the case, he has NO IDEA who he is dealing with here (because he clearly hasn't made the effort). I'm petty and stubborn. There is no way I'm gonna blink first in a game of conversational chicken.

But I do find myself wondering if I should. I dread going in there and seeing him, because I know it's just going to be the same thing. There was this one wild time they were out of Baked Lays, but I didn't say anything and bought Sun Chips instead. A few days later I took the plunge and added something new to the conversation when THIS SHIT HAPPENED:

j.Bow: Are you still out of Baked Lays?

GAS: Yeah.

j.Bow: Oh....okay then. I'll get Sun Chips instead

GAS: Okay. 

Shit blew my mind. However, that was our best chance to get some sort of rapport going. To bond over the fact that someone dropped the ball, BIG TIME on the Baked Lays re-order.

But no. Nothing happened outside of that little conversational hitch. We don't make small talk about sports teams, or the weather (and it rained A LOT in October). Even being on a first name basis is a real tricky thing to manage here. I already know his name. It's on his name tag. I'm not wearing a name tag so that is a huge committal leap for me to share my name. Why would somebody do that? That's a weird thing for a customer to just offer up out of nowhere.

Although it would be equally weird to prefix it with:

"Hey man, I'm in here everyday and we have the same conversation and I order the same thing. I just wanted you to know my name is j*****. I don't know why I need you to know that".

That's another thing: It shouldn't have to be me. Why doesn't he make some sort of comment or attempt to bond in some minor way? I have a moderately interesting sub order (half Southwest sauce? Whaaaaaat??) or the fact that it is exactly the same every time is also something that I imagine would warrant a comment.  Or my manners. Pleases and thank yous droppin all over the place!

Point is, I'm an affable chap. I'm never cold, impersonal, rude or giving off the "fuck off and make my sandwich" vibe. I order with a positive, downright friendly inflection in my voice. You'd know I'm up for some banter, so what's this guy's problem?

By the way, I'm well aware that this is a weird thing to be writing about. Fully aware of it. I'm listening to "Jumper" by Third Eye Blind at this very moment. I don't know why... but it feels so right

Side note: I was having a similar crisis with the delivery guy from Papa Johns, although we did recently bond over the fact that the couch in my lobby had it's cushions stolen and is basically useless. Me and that guy are cool now.

(The deliciousness of their pizza is matched only by the simplicity of their slogan. And the truth of it!)

Some of what I'm going through here could be residual feelings of regret over what happened with Bethany from Quiznos in 10th grade.

Who is Bethany from Quiznos? Good question, glad you asked.

Bethany Whateverthefuckherlastnamewas (it's origin is Dutch I believe) worked at a nearby Quiznos I went to lunch for every day when I was in 10th grade. She was really cute and I had a crush on her (omitting the fact that she was at work during my High School lunch hour, thus immediately putting her several years older, out of my league and potentially in jail should anything AWESOME happen).

She'd steal a glance, I'd steal a glance. I'd see her smile or laugh at something I said to my friends, but I never said anything to her outside of the order I placed (which, yes, was the same thing every time I went there). Who knows what could have grown out of extending that olive branch beyond the normal customer service interaction we've been through countless times?

I could have ended up marrying that girl.

(Catering? DONE!)

I'm not asking for the Guy At Subway to hang out with me. Perhaps I was a bit overzealous with the title of this post. But you never know where one friendly comment can lead to. Life is funny that way. Funny to the point where I find myself wondering if the Guy At Subway could potentially end up being Best Man at my wedding...

Actually, scratch that. That position is already filled...

(To be fair, he IS the BEST MAN.  It does the role a disservice to select anyone else. Look at him no-sell those spiders!)

I just can't help shake the feeling that I should either

A) Make some sort of friendly comment next time I'm in
B) Just order something different and see if HE makes a comment or
C) I should just stop going there so much. The social expectation for even the smallest shred of small talk is unbearable.

And that's why I've decided to stop eating at Subway so much. Or eating out in general. I would save not only money, but social awkwardness (which speaks to me a lot more). Plus it's a bit more grown up to make my own meals and be a bit more careful with what I eat. Like The Rock would.

That's what I've landed on. Whatever it took to get me there, doesn't matter. It's a good thing to do.

So thank you, Guy At Subway. You've shown me the better way. The fresher way. And in this moment, you've made an impact that only someone I would call a friend could have made.

All this time it felt like this was a post about one thing, but it turns out to be about something else entirely. Like how we thought the movie Funny People would be funny.

(One more for the road)

Thanks for reading

- jB

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Most Heartfelt Dunkaroos Review In History


How's it going?

That's awesome. Happy to hear it. I am well also.

This is kind of awkward after all this time but.... I missed you.

In case those words don't send the message enough, please let this solemn looking Bulldog puppy contemplating it's own existence do it for me...

("Majestic" doesn't even do it justice. "Fucking Majestic" is a bit closer)

It's been a long time, Monpeeps. You know that, I know that. Clearly blogger knows that as they tried to lock me (j.Bowman) out of j.Bowman Can't Sleep due to inactivity. The amount of dice I give to that is severely low, however, so here I am. 

How I have been? I've been well, I suppose. I sleep a lot more now. The usual marathon 9pm-4am writing sessions I used to undertake on this blog are a thing of the past. Got a regular job, a regular girlfriend and a regular way of life. It's pretty sweet, but there is something.... missing.


But what should I write about? It's been a long time, and A LOT has happened. I had an awesome writing gig, which I still can't believe I got to do for 3 weeks, let alone 3 years. I hosted a series of instructional forklift safety videos (which is too random to make up). I gained a bunch of weight, then lost a bunch of weight, and repeated that dance for several years, thanks in no small part to the excellence of Papa John's pizza.

Seriously, expect a lot of Papa John's references in the future.

(I don't even mind that he creeps me out as much as he does. The pizza is amazing)

Oh! I've also got a long-term relationship I've managed to keep going amidst years of asking her random questions like "How do they build bridges?" and "How do hammerhead sharks know what they are swimming towards?" and  having her patiently explain to me that Ponies aren't actually baby horses.

That is a real thing she needed to teach me. I now know what a Foal is... although I still think I'm kinda right.

(Not Pictured: A baby horse... apparently)

So what topic is it that gets me back in the game? What gets the Sleepless Knight in a tizzy? Why is tizzy such a fun word? So many damn questions to address.

I wish it was something significant or something earth shattering, but what I have to say on this blog isn't that important and is never meant to be. It is just as it was years ago when I started this: Me, you, and unimportant nonsense. The one thing I have chosen to unburden my soul about after all this time is....


Yeah. Dunkaroos.

It's been ages since I've eaten Dunkaroos, and they used to be a staple of my lunches when I was "but a wee lad".  Although if you are looking for my all-time favourite, watch this shit!

(Note: I also love Sodalicious because I respect tasty treats that keep their pun game strong).

But have one of the all-time classics, Dunkaroos, held up? And what led me to ask such a question and embark on my journey to find the answer?

To be perfectly honest, I had the idea for this post last year. I was out drinking in copious amounts and I went to the supermarket after the bar, which, y'know, is always a strong idea (and the main reason for every 2 or $x chocolate bar deal in the history of ever). I had 3 items in my basket, and the random combination of them was unsettling to me so I needed a 4th.

(I can't go up to the register like this. It's too weird!)

I drunkely took to Twitter to ask Monpeeps for suggestions on a 4th item, and someone suggested Dunkaroos. It was perfect. But I had no idea where Dunkaroos were located in the supermarket. Not a clue. Even sober I wouldn't know where to look. I checked the cookie aisle; nothing. I checked the snack aisle; nada.

It got to the point where I approached a kid who worked there and clumsily asked him where the Dunkaroos were sold. He was unclear as to what Dunkaroos were (this generation, I tell ya *shakes head*), so I proceeded to act out and explain the very simple lunchtime snack I used to love.

"Well... they got this like... cookie... com-com- compartment! And there is a separate bit for your frosting. And, and you take-- cookie and dip in frosting and...and... it's great!"

From what I can recall, that is exactly how the conversation went. I acted it out and everything. If I was playing charades, EVERY SINGLE PLAYER would have known I was looking for Dunkaroos.

Except that one person in charades that is terrible. We all know one.

(Turns out Bradley Cooper = one of those guys)

The clerk WAS ALSO THAT GUY, and clearly had no idea what I was talking about. He politely told me to "Check aisle 8" which I actually interpreted as "Get the fuck away from me". I was disappointed but continued my search.

(Sadly, the sign did not say "Dunkaroos", so I was not optimistic)

I then got sad because I couldn't find them. I kept trying aisle after aisle and got more desperate as the night went on. I also had to pee. It was dramatic.


I don't remember what song was playing at the time, but I'm fairly certain it was "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. That song has been playing for every significant moment in my life since 2002.


As I took that picture, I looked down the aisle and saw the clerk I was speaking to earlier. I excitedly showed him the Dunkaroos and he nodded and gave a thumbs up. In a different world, we could've been friends I think. But in that world he probably wouldn't have sent me on a wild goose chase to Aisle 8 just to get rid of me. That world is a nicer place.

But for now, I had what I required. The 4th item that... actually made my basket seem even weirder.

(The purpose of that endeavor was widely missed)

I took them home, ate them, started writing this post and then was distracted by Youtube videos or something so I didn't finish writing it. I eventually crashed, woke up and kept living my life, this Dunkaroos review sitting dormant for no real reason other than I got sidetracked.

Been happening a lot, lately. Getting sidetracked. Makes me sad occasionally. This blog was started in difficult times, and turned a lot of rough nights into something someone could enjoy or get a laugh out of. It was supported by a lot of people and then... I don't know. I fell asleep, I guess. Lived a dream that I got to write professionally for a couple years and then just... sleepwalked for a bit.

But in an effort to get a little Bowmentum going, hopefully write a little more and leave nothing I've started go unfinished, I'm back a year later to finish this post and let you know how Dunkaroos are in 2016.

I bought some earlier today and am excited to let you know...

(the "D" stands for "Drumroll"... or "Dunkaroos". Honestly could be either)


They're a bit shit, actually.

The cookie is much bigger than I remember. And I feel like the frosting section got smaller. Both those things are heading in the wrong direction.

I also found the cookie to be pretty stale. Dunkaroos come in a 5 pack and I ate them all, so there was AMPLE opportunity for just one of those cookies to have the cookie crunch required for maximum enjoyment. Instead it was several packages of strikeouts.

6/10 (which is 2/10 factoring in nostalgia inflation)

As you can see above, the cookie also has weird pictures on it, like a hot air balloon and a motorcycle. Some cookies had a plane and what appeared to be the Kracken sea monster on them. Why? No fucking clue. The only thing that's constant is the "D", which would be a great slogan for a sperm bank... if they had slogans.

They may not have slogans, but they have cornered the market on uncomfortably staring at your phone or your feet as you wait to do what you are trying to pretend you are not about to do.

(I feel like the guy on the right is there for recreational reasons).

And yeah, that's pretty much all I have to say about Dunkaroos.

A little bit of realness mixed in with some pointless jokes, observations and a meandering tale from my personal history.

Picking right back up from where I left off. Not any wiser, just older.

I don't know how frequently I'll be writing here again. I hope to get some work done and update those tabs up there and clean this place up a bit. It's got the stench of 2011 ALL OVER IT! But for now, just know it's satisfying for me to see "2016" in that column on the top right of the page that lists the posts by year.

And to the nearly half a million people represented in the number above that, to old readers, new readers and speed readers,

Thanks for reading.

- jB

Actually, fuck speed readers. All running their hands across the page while reading words like they're trying to impress somebody with their speed. What a bunch of assholes.