Hypothetically Speaking . . .

. . . . . . . . Because Humor Matters

What Do You Mean I Look Sick?!?!?

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Oct• 21•12

I don’t look pale. I was born this way!!!

In my opinion, there is nothing worse than being sick. Then again, now that I think about it, arriving at a Starbucks five minutes after it has closed for the day is pretty bad. Oh, and cold fries from McDonald’s certainly ranks up there on the list of horrible things too. And I guess I should mention that having your rent check bounce isn’t too good—especially when it happens twice within the same week, and the only thing that keeps your landlord from tossing you and your fish out into the street is a last-minute presidential pardon.

But even worse than all of those things is returning to work after being out sick for a few days. I may feel well enough to do the Electric Slide or the Boot Scootin’ Boogie in my seat at each traffic light during the drive to work, but there is just something about taking that first step back into my cube that instantly makes me feel a little feverish and gives me hives. First and foremost, because of all your awesome awesomeness, your work has been left there for you to tackle just to let you know that it couldn’t possibly have been done as efficiently without you. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for being so special. You deserve it!

In addition to that mound of responsibility that built up on your desk over the two or three days you were out that suddenly has to be done within a single 8-hour shift, you then have to maneuver through the gauntlet of questions to justify the reason for your absence. It’s as if people think you were in the middle of working on a spreadsheet on a Tuesday morning but then decided to gas up the private jet for a quick, 2-day trip to Paris. Granted, I used to do that type of thing, but now that I’m in my thirties and I have a blog, I’ve decided to use the jet more wisely—like when I’m headed out of state to meet up with foreign diplomats to talk about blog policy.

No lie, answering the follow-up questions when you return to work is like attempting to win the “Hunger Games” when your only weapon is a safety pin. If you had a fever of 104.6, then someone has to trump that by telling you about the one time they had a fever of 210.2 and lost an arm but still made it to work on time. Making matters even worse, they typically attribute that amazing accomplishment to the one cold and cough medicine that you weren’t smart enough to take. Silly you for not knowing that Robitussin with a shot of whiskey cures all. How foolish of you to have only taken three Tylenols, five Excedrins, twelve Advils, and a bottle of Dayquil before heading in to work that morning.

And if you’re truly lucky, you’ll have made some great friends and associates that will be more than happy to let you know whether your decision to come back to work was a good one or not. Like the person(s) who insists on letting you know that you still look horrible, and, if you were a dog, they’d recommend putting you out of your misery. Somehow, they can tell that you’re still sick just by looking at your eyes or your navel—don’t ask! In my opinion, this is one of the few times where honesty may not be the best policy unless you think that it will somehow boost a person’s confidence by telling them that they look like something out of a zombie movie. I don’t know about you, but that revelation has certainly not helped my self-esteem—ever. Thanks for trying, though.

Then, just as you’re starting to get into the grove of things, you hear a cough somewhere in the office and at least five people make claims that you’re the reason their throats hurt or that they sneezed two weeks ago. When this happens, apparently, it’s because the CIA has confirmed that you were the only person in the world to have had a cold on October 11th, so that is the only way your coworkers could have possibly been exposed to swine flu with a hint of chicken pox. Of course, this betrayal will make you want to pack your things and go right back home. However, once you’re at work, you’re kind of stuck—unless you force yourself to sneeze so hard that you pass out and roll around on the floor until you’re escorted out of the building and left on the curb to wait for the ambulance to arrive. If I were you, I wouldn’t do this more than twice within a one-year period because it becomes less effective with each use.

On the other hand, being sick allowed me to do some things during the weekday that I hadn’t done in years, like sleeping and washing the dishes. Oh, and did you know that there are television shows that come on during the day while everyone is at work? I didn’t even know that my TV worked between the hours of 8:30 and 5:30, much less that I’d find something on that was actually worth watching. Imagine my surprise when I was flipping through the channels and landed on these totally new shows called “The Price Is Right” and “The News.” I was totally astonished. I caught up on so many missed TV shows that I totally thought about calling out sick for just one more day so that I could rest from all the TV watching. If I had’ve been smart, I would have managed to squeeze in some homework in there, but I’m not, so I didn’t.

While we’re on the subject of things that make you sick, if you’re like me, realizing that you have a birthday in a few days is certainly enough to bring on a few coughs and a choke or two. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but at some point this year I fell asleep and woke up to find that we were in the middle of October, which is the same month that my birth mother claims I was born—as if she would know! It’s not like she was there or anything! And although some of my friends have been saying that I turned thirty-three a few years ago, the encyclopedia my source says that I’ll be turning thirty-three this year. I’m hoping this birthday will be a lucky since it falls in the 10th month on the 23rd day, and I’ll be turning 33 (get it 10 + 23 = 33). Look at me using math!!! I’m getting so smart in my old age. Well anyway, this year, as opposed to wishing for the winning lottery numbers again, which I’ve been doing since I was a toddler, I’m just going to hope and pray that I won’t be sick. And if I do get sick, I hope this isn’t the time that my veterinarian decides to put me down—again. It was such a pain making it into work after the last time.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

The One Where Michael Gets A Promotion

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Aug• 22•12

More Money, More Starbucks

Ladies and gentlemen, I have big news. Super big. Bigger than Michael Phelps winning his 99th gold medal in synchronized pole vaulting in London. Bigger than Mariah Carey beating me out by two and a half votes to become the next judge on “American Idol.” And even bigger than that “Fifty Shades of Grey” book. What? You haven’t heard of it? Oh, me neither. Anyway, I am happy to report that a few weeks ago, I, Michael Rochelle, was promoted to the role of staff accountant!!! (Insert applause here) … (Insert more applause here with a dash of someone fainting from all the excitement) … (Add a tad bit more applause here) … (I sure hope you are still applauding.)

Of course, there are a ton of people that I’d like to thank for helping to make this moment possible, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t start with one of the most important individuals in the entire process: me. That’s right. I went there. I mean, without me, none of this would’ve been possible, right? Just kidding. If there is anything that you should’ve learned about me over the past few years, it’s that I’m full of humility. However, if for some reason you want to pass on my story of success as a testament to all those people out there who have ever had a dream, by all means, be my guest. In fact, here’s a quote directly from me: If you believe it, you can achieve it. Dare to dream. Dream big. And Rome wasn’t built in a day. (I made those up just for you. Use accordingly.)

While I would like to think that the promotion was due to my hard work, dedication, and my ability to use a stapler correctly, I have to admit that I actually won the new role after drawing the longest straw during the 2012 Office Olympics. It was a good thing that they added that event this year because my manager totally kicked my butt on the balance beam, and his floor routine was simply flawless. Tens across the board. You should have seen him. But none of that matters, because in the end, it was the sport that I’d prepared for all my life that put me in 1st place. If there is anything that I’m proud to say I’ve mastered in my thirty-two years of life, it’s the art of drawing straws. I’m just glad they didn’t raffle off the new title like they typically do.

Now, while you may think that my super big promotion came with my very own assistant and a corner office with a view overlooking the local landfill, but that’s not exactly true—at least not yet. With the exception of the new duties, everything is pretty much the same. I sit in the same cube, with the same chair, and use the same hole puncher. In fact, I’m still the same exact height, although I could have sworn I requested a raise with my promotion. Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe my manager thought I meant a monetary raise instead of an increase in height. I guess that would explain why I had the extra funds to pay my rent AND keep the lights on without having to pull a bank heist last week.

Speaking of extra funds, I guess I should be honest and note that the ink was barely dry on the paperwork before I decided that it was time for me to accidentally renew my most-valuable-customer status at Kohl’s. I mean, if I’m going to be a staff accountant, I have to at least dress the part. That’s just Logic 101. And even though the staff welcomed me back with open arms, I set limits before stepping one foot into the store. No more than 15 new shirts. Anything more than that would have just been unreasonable. I’m no fool. After all, we’re still trying to recover from the recession. It would have been silly for me to have purchased a single shirt more than fifteen. Really, who needs sixteen new shirts all at once? The thought alone is just purely ridiculous.

Anyway, along with the new shirts, I’ve decided that it’s probably time to clear my head and adopt a whole new outlook on life as well. I mean, I’m a professional now, and I must act accordingly. If there was any form of pressure to sound smart before, that pressure has now been multiplied by 136. That noted, my new answer for everything is “yes” even when I have absolutely no idea what the other person is talking about. I’ve also found that starting any response with, “Well, according to the Emancipation Proclamation . . .” lends credibility to whatever topic you’re discussing—even if someone is simply asking you if they can borrow a pen. And if you can somehow manage to do it while using a British accent, that’s even better. You’ve basically passed go and collected $200.

Receiving the promotion has also caused me to take a closer look at my health and eating habits. I mean, have you ever heard of a staff accountant with high cholesterol? Because of this, I went to the gym the other day and used the elliptical machine for three whole minutes. I could have shot for four, but there was no need to overdo it, especially since no one else was there to witness my efforts. Besides, the three minutes did wonders. It was as if I could feel the cholesterol decreasing within my veins. What a great feeling!!! I may not go for the full four minutes next time, but I think I will step it up to at least three and a half.

In closing, because I believe in giving back to the community who helped make me the staff accountant that I am today, I will soon be embarking on a 58-city promotional tour to share my story of success with the world. I’ll probably do it one day knock out the whole tour while I’m on my lunch break one day next week. If things go well, I’ll probably be invited to be an opening act for the European leg of Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk” tour. I haven’t really worked out what I’ll say when I walk on stage to share my big news with a group of people who are solely there to hear music, but I’m thinking about starting with a knock-knock joke. Have you heard the one about the staff accountant who had a humor blog? No? Me neither.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

I’ve Never Been So Slightly Offended!!!

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jul• 16•12

So, the other day I’m sitting there, minding my own business, looking for something to watch on Netflix when I stumbled across a list of recommended movies and TV shows that were “popular with members like me.” Intrigued, I found myself scrolling through the suggestions to see what Netflix thought it had learned about me based on my past viewings. I laughed at the thought of there actually being other members like me. Who are these people that I’ve been grouped in with? Do these people have a fish bowl that they gently move to the coffee table so that the fish can watch movies, too? More importantly, do they have a humor blog that gets tens of readers from all across the world? I wondered.

I wasn’t exactly offended when the first recommendation was “Charmed.” I didn’t even let it bother me when I saw that the second and third recommendations were “Lipstick Jungle” and “Cashmere Mafia.” I excused the recommendation for “Hot in Cleveland” because everyone loves Betty White. However, when I saw that the next recommendation for members like me was “Say Yes to the Dress,” that’s when I began to feel insulted. I mean, what was Netflix trying to imply? Do I really look like the type of guy that would say yes to a polka dot wedding dress with puffy embroidered sleeves? Of course not.

I guess I can’t exactly blame Netflix for this. It is possible that I’m partially responsible because I watched one too many episodes of “Desperate Housewives” or “Drop Dead Diva.” Maybe I should have thrown in a few sports programs or psychological thrillers for good measure. I mean, I wouldn’t have to actually watch the whole show. All I’d really have to do is start the episode, or maybe just rate a few of them before my recommendations would hit puberty and become more masculine. That was the goal.

I must admit that I’ve learned a lot due to my experiment with some of the more manly Netflix shows. Did you know that there is this totally new sport where two men get into a ring and they punch each other until one gets knocked unconscious? They call it boxing. Legend has it that some manager invented it as a way to keep his staff motivated and to boost productivity by legally issuing a right hook when an employee got out of line. That makes sense. I certainly can’t wait to have a staff of my own one day. I’ve always said that a black eye gives you character. It would be an awesome lesson for me to demonstrate on my staff.

If you’re not into boxing, you can watch a show called the “Deadliest Catch,” which I haven’t really gotten into just yet, but I think it gives out cautionary tales about deadly sexual transmitted diseases that can get caught in your lobster traps. In any case, after allegedly watching a few more manly shows, I’m proud to announce that, in addition to the recommendation of “My Little Pony,” the list for members like me also includes “Prison Break” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.” Although I have no plans to watch either, I’m ecstatic just to see them there. My father would be so proud.

While we’re on the subject of being offended, I have a few small teeny weeny confessions to make. After a four or five month hiatus from Kohl’s, I recently made an appearance to celebrate some new developments in my life. Of course, because I’d given myself the OK to shop, I didn’t find as much stuff as I thought I would. However, I did find enough items to need to show the cashier my ID so that I could use my well-worn Kohl’s MVP card. As she punched in my information, she said, “You look like a William.” Everything faded to black.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but I’ve had many sit downs with Barack and the members of Congress in effort to ban the use of “William” as it relates to me. I’ve never been a fan of the name for myself. Though it’s my first name, my parents don’t even call me that. By the way, if YOUR name is William, I think it’s absolutely lovely—thanks for reading. Anyway, apparently this cashier hadn’t gotten the executive memo. Luckily for her, I fought the urge to reach out and deliver a few quick jabs to her left chin like I’d seen some of the toddlers do on one of the boxing shows. Instead, I groaned and asked to speak to her manager to report the incident. She should be happy that my power to have people beheaded was revoked by the queen the last time I requested someone be taught a lesson because they’d given me cold fries.

Lastly, I have one more slight confession to make before I bring this entry to a close. Now, before I share this one, I need you to promise that you won’t judge me or report me to the feds. I mean, what I have to share isn’t something that Netflix members like me should probably say out loud or post on their blogs. It’s the sort of thing that should be written down on paper that self destructs after it is read by a recipient who is crouching down behind a dumpster in a dark alley after midnight. That noted, are you ducking behind your couch? Cover your children’s ears. I’m trusting you. Ok, here we go.

I like a few Justin Bieber songs. There, I admitted it.

Ok, I know some of you are ashamed of me. However, I know many of you are giving me “Jersey Shore” fist pumps because you were just waiting for someone else to admit it first. Granted, I know that I’m too old for this, and I’m probably way outside of his target fan base, but the other day his TV special came on and I heard one or two seconds too many of his music before I could find the remote to change the channel. Due to the power of pop music, the rest is history. Now, I don’t think that I’ll ever get his face tattooed on my left bicep or anything, and I probably won’t be seated in the front row of any of his concerts. However, I may accidentally listen to a few of his songs while safely hidden within the confines of my closet where it’s safe for Netflix members like me and all the dresses that they’ve said yes to.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

Apparently, I Get Around

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jun• 19•12

You’ll never guess what I did the other day. No, I didn’t win the National Senior Citizen Wet T-shirt contest again, but I did come in second place. Personally, I think I was robbed. I was the only one who didn’t require being hosed down with a mixture of water and Ben Gay to get things started. It was so hot outside that I had already sweated through my t-shirt before I even hit the stage. To me, that should have counted for something, but the judges were haters, which was truly surprising since the event was organized by my mother. But that’s another story for another day.

Though that was a great guess, I was referring to my taking the DC metro for like the third time ever so that I could participate in the annual walk supporting Crohn’s disease and colitis. Because I’m severely allergic to exercise in all forms, I’m just as shocked as you are that I walked for anything other than to get the remote, but it was for a good cause and there were Subway sandwiches at the finish line, which made it all worth it in my opinion. And despite my prediction that I would die shortly after taking my first few steps, my legs and heart had only given out just a little bit before I flagged down a yellow cab and caught a ride to the end point. As they say, it’s not the journey, it’s the destination. Don’t judge me.

Because my legs haven’t tanned just yet, I wore jeans because I figured that would be less distracting than having everyone stop the walk to debate how I managed to be African American up top and Caucasian at the bottom. I should probably be studied, and when whatever I have is determined, we should all walk for that cause too. Maybe they’ll call it Michael’s disease, or just Michael’s. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Imagine 500 years from now when people will be holding their heads high and saying “It’s tough, but I’m taking one day at a time. I’ve come down with a case of the Michael’s.”

Anyway, I don’t know if there is a metro system where you live, but the one here in DC is pretty intimidating. I think there should be some form of mandatory training course or something before anyone is allowed to use it. First, there are several different routes and each one has a color and there’s a map with a legend and a key and you really have to make some serious life choices before picking which train to get on. I mean, one wrong decision and you could end up in Utah like I did a few weeks ago. I was sooooooooo late for work that morning.

Another issue is that you have to be really aggressive if you want to get wherever you’re going. At first I was trying to be nice and let the women, children, and old people over twenty-five go first, but then everyone would just bump me out of the way and I’d end up missing the train. No lie, one time I let someone’s grandma get on in front of me, and she knocked me down, gave me the finger, and then yelled out “SUCKER!!!!” as the train doors closed. Ashamed, I slowly picked myself up off the ground and wondered if the gum in my mouth was there before I fell, or if I had somehow acquired it when I landed tongue-first on the concrete. In any case, I truly learned my lesson that day. Now, even if a granny is using a walker, she’s just going to have to wait because I’m going first—and I’m not afraid to use an elbow or issue a few karate chops to someone’s neck if I have to.

In other travel news, I recently took an extended weekend trip to North Carolina for the first of like 600 weddings that I’ve been invited to attend over the next few months. Personally, I think there must be something in the water causing everyone to decide to take the plunge all of a sudden. Maybe it’s because of the potential tax discounts. Maybe it’s the mouth-watering opportunity to wear matching “I’m With Him” or “I’m With Her” t-shirts. Or, maybe it’s just easier to know who’ll be making the bed or paying for dinner at the end of the evening—I always wonder that, even when I’m by myself.

In any case, a marriage epidemic is definitely taking over the country, and my wallet isn’t too happy about it. When you take a step back and really think about it, people are getting married that have never gotten married before. It’s really alarming. Believe it or not, I’ve already had to refinance my apartment twice to cover all the gift cards I’ve had to purchase to celebrate the various nuptial milestones such as we-found-each-other parties, we-lost-each-other-and-then-found-each-other-again parties, and the classic you-ticked-me-off-so-I-sold-all-of-your-crap-on-eBay-but-I’ll-still-marry-you-anyway-because-we’ll-get-a-lot-of-good-gifts parties. At this rate, I’m going to have to start looking around the house for future gift ideas. Since they say it’s the thought that counts, one lucky couple is going to be getting a half roll of toilet paper very soon.

Because the DC metro doesn’t have any stops in North Carolina, I drove. You should have seen me flying down the highway with the music blaring, trying to avoid “the man.” Though some people don’t understand how I could spend six or seven hours in the car by myself when there are opportunities to ride with other people, I absolutely love the “me” time. I like being able to choose the song on the radio and the temperature in the car. And if I want to play the same Usher or Lady Gaga song fifty-eleven times until I know all the words and can recite them backwards on command, no one can stop me. I’ve got the power. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.

Unfortunately, as luck would have it, although I made the journey specifically for the wedding, I kind of missed the exchanging of the vows, but I was able to attend the reception. It wasn’t my fault, though. First of all, I accidentally hit the road four hours later than I planned. I mean, if you’re going to go to a wedding, you have to invest a proper amount of time into making sure you’re wearing the right socks. You aren’t supposed to just show up wearing any old thing. It’s someone’s big day, for crying out loud. There are no do-overs. If the bride or groom is walking down the aisle and your fraudulent socks catch their eye, it could be catastrophic. Really, who wants that?

Because the wedding took place outside, when I drove by 15 minutes after it was scheduled to start, I could see that things had already begun, which I thought was pretty rude considering I obviously hadn’t arrived yet. I mean, I know I wasn’t actually in the wedding, but how could they start without me? Just because I was late and wrong, didn’t mean that they had to be equally inappropriate by starting on time. Don’t they know I have a blog???

Well, as opposed to causing a huge commotion by walking down the aisle and pretending to be one of the flower girls until I could make it to an empty seat, I ended up going to a nearby Barnes & Noble and wasting an hour or so until I could go back and sneak in later during the reception after everyone was too liquored up to notice that I had missed the best part. When I did finally arrive, everyone was too busy trying to remember the moves to the Electric Slide to notice that I was late—or that I was still wearing a flower girl dress.

All in all, the part of the ceremony (the remains?) that I did witness was beautiful. It’s so awesome to think that one day you could be minding your own business when some homeless person walks up to you asking for change and your phone number (that’s how this particular couple met). And when that happens, you have absolutely no idea that he, she, or it will one day be your next husband after you’re done with your current one. Hmmm.

Since I don’t know what’s in the cards for me with all that mushy stuff, I’ve decided to treat everyone a little bit better—even grandmas—because you really just never know. Grandmas need love too. The next dollar you give to the person holding the sign could be that exact same dollar used to by his-and-her happy meals later on that day when you’re on your first date. I’ll give you a few moments to ponder that. I know it was kind of deep and philosophical. You’re probably not used to finding that level of insight here. Don’t worry, the pain will subside. Just put some Ben Gay on it.

P.S. Before you start handing out ones to every Tom, Dick and Mary on the street or at the office based on my suggestion, because of my current financial situation, I must politely ask that you hold off on any marital bliss and consummation until further notice. I will not be able to afford or celebrate any further engagements, housewarmings, birthdays, baby makings, or other activities prior to August of 2039. At that point, you can return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wait a minute!!! You, sir, in the pink pajamas! Didn’t you just read that I requested you and your wife not do that until further notice??? Fine! Go ahead! Don’t listen to me! Nine months from now, you’re on your own!!!

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

My Blog Be an Old Lady

Written By: Michael Rochelle - May• 23•12

Before I get into all the usual shenanigans that you’ve come to love and expect from me, I have an announcement: Four score and seven years ago (which after doing a ton of statistical research, I found out was really just the equivalent of three years—apparently Lincoln had a flare for the dramatic), on May 16th, 2012, my blog turned three years old. That’s right. My blog is a toddler! I couldn’t be any more proud. I’m guessing that the only other person in the world who would really understand how I feel right now would be that Mark Zuckerberg guy who created Facebook. Of course, Facebook is nowhere near as popular as my blog is, but give it a couple more years. You’ll see.

Yes, folks, it’s been three years. Time is really flying. When I first began this blog, I was just a bumbling young man with eyes so full of hope and innocent wonder. I was still in my twenties and working on an undergraduate degree. Well, fast-forward a few years and I’m now middle aged and working on an MBA from a partially accredited university that holds night classes out of the break room of a local KFC. Just look how far I’ve come.

It still surprises me when some random person that I’ve casually mentioned my blog to three hundred times says that they’ve actually read an article of two. Of course, I always respond with, “Really? You read my blog? That thing sure does get around.” I’m just glad that what happens on the internet, stays on the internet.
Seriously, though, I still get excited when I learn of a new reader, and I love the follow up questions that inevitably come when someone stumbles across the blog:

New Reader: Are the stories you write true?

Me: Yes, all of them are 100% true unless I’ve completely made them up.

New Reader: What makes you write that stuff?

Me: Well, New Reader, I’m glad you asked that question. It’s just my calling. Like, when you know, you just know, and I know. You know?

New Reader: No.

Me: Well, I understood it. And my momma says that’s all that matters. Would you like to take a picture?

New Reader: Oh my gosh! I’d be so honored to take a picture with you, Michael.

Me: Yes, it is a pleasure to meet me, isn’t it? Oh yeah, that will be $29.95 for the picture. Add an additional $20 if you want me to sign it. I take Visa. No checks.

Anyway, even though I may only get one or two comments here and there, trust me, more people are reading and taking notice than I ever would have expected. Although I love feedback, I completely understand why you, the reader, would want to disassociate yourself from the blog. I mean, if I have to sneak into the closet and double bolt the door just to write it, who knows what lengths you’re going through to maintain anonymity. It’s ok. Just know that when you read, you are not alone. I put my blog in the same category as Kim Kardashian, weed, and that “Glee” show: Everybody’s doing it, but nobody’s telling.

Matter of fact, one day I was standing at the urinal in the restroom, minding my own business, when this lady taps me on my shoulder and says, “We know what you did.” After I finished (yeah, I know it’s TMI, but I didn’t want you to think that I was the type of person who would just start a conversation mid-stream), I said, “I know why you’re here, lady. You must want my autograph.” I was then served with some legal papers alleging that I’d pilfered a picture of a chicken wing from her company’s website and used it for one of my blog posts.

Instead of my being concerned about potentially being hauled off to jail—AGAIN, I did a somersault right there in the men’s room. I couldn’t believe that a company actually cared that I’d allegedly stolen a picture of a chicken wing from their site. Granted, the picture was probably encrypted with something that allowed it to “phone home,” but I’d like to think that one of the executives was getting his or her daily Michael fix when he or she just happened to stumble upon it. And though I cannot confirm nor deny the theft allegation, I will acknowledge that the picture now links to the company’s site. I always knew my downfall would be chicken-wing related.

Now, as we embark on season three of Hypothetically Speaking, I just want to thank you again for taking the time from your busy day to check in every once in a while. You could be doing anything in the world, like watching TV or beating your children, but you’ve decided to spend quality time with me and I truly appreciate that. I feel like breaking out into my own rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” but Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson just recently did that, and I don’t want to outshine either of them. Just hug yourself and pretend it’s from me. See, now isn’t that nice? Oh, you want another? OK, but I do charge $39.95 for each subsequent hug.

Before I bring this entry to a close, I have one more surprise. Although I would like to say that it’s due to the three-year anniversary of my blog, it’s completely coincidental that I’ve been asked to do my very first guest blog post ever for the All Fooked Up blog which can be found at http://allfookedup.com/go-ahead-amuse-me-michael/ . Oh, and by my use of “asked to do my very first guest blog post,” I mean that I campaigned, begged, and offered my left arm for the opportunity. If all goes as planned, extra content from me that you won’t find here will be posted at some point on Thursday, May 24th, as part of the site’s “Go Ahead, Amuse Me” series. After you’re all done here, head over there and check out Lynn’s blog. She just posted an entry where she ponders other places fish could use the restroom instead of crapping where they live. How could you not be intrigued? Personally, I’d like my fish to crap somewhere else too. If only I could put them on a leash. Hmmm.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

It’s Raining Pink Slips

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Apr• 26•12

Life is funny. If someone had tapped me on the shoulder a week ago and told me that I’d soon be back out on the job market again, I probably would have called the cops and then pressed charges. I would have more quickly believed that I’d won the Mega Millions jackpot even though I didn’t play. Or, I would have more easily been convinced that I’d landed the role of Katniss Everdeen in one of the “Hunger Games” sequels than believe that I’d soon be without a job. Nope, not possible. Not me. I’m allergic to unemployment.

But then it happened—kind of.

The day started out just like any other. The sun was shining. Birds were chirping. And only three pedestrians had ventured out into oncoming traffic, forcing me to slam on the brakes and spill my coffee during my five minute commute to work that morning. One of them gave me the finger. He was probably five.

Because I’d just renewed my lease that morning, I’d come up with a plan. May 2nd would be a year since I’d been with the company, and I was ready to grow. The week before, a higher-level position had opened up, and I had my sights clearly set on it. For once, the management team and I were on the same page. It was time to take on additional responsibility. I had earned it. My mind raced as I envisioned my new name tag: Michael Rochelle, Assistant Janitor. My mother would have been so proud.

When I got to my desk that morning, I’d barely taken a sip of my coffee—not Starbucks—before I saw the word that would completely throw off any thoughts or ideas I’d had about growth and stability: merger. But this wasn’t just any ole type of merger. No. This was more like a marriage where my company would clearly be the wife, losing our name and taking on new ownership. Yeah, I went there. Shout out to my friends getting married over the next few months. Hope you enjoy your new leashes…uh…I mean leases on life.

Although the outlook isn’t exactly good, I’m keeping a positive attitude. I mean, realistically, McDonald’s is always hiring—although they did reject my application for a cashier position a few years ago because I was highly underqualified. The problem is, as mentioned, I just started this job a year ago, so I clearly remember the months of sending out resumes and filling out applications before this opportunity came through. Oh, and I won’t even mention all the interviews where I was forced to sit there and talk about myself for an hour or two. And if you know anything about me, you know that talking about myself is the one thing I rarely ever do. Nope. I’m humble.

My favorite fish, Kim Kardashian, took the news the worst. I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: he’s a little high maintenance. I’m not exactly sure where he gets it from, but I hear he’s been associating with one of my other fish, Kanye West, a lot recently. In any case, Kim pulled me to the side the other day and told me that if I thought he was going to settle for some generic brand of fish flakes, I had another thing coming. So, I wasn’t surprised when I found him dead later that evening. Apparently, fish get depressed and suicidal too.

It was then that I began thinking about my options. Of course, I could always break my newly signed lease and move back in with my mother. I don’t how long that would work out, though. She’s very strict. And not just motherly strict, she’s military-boot-camp-sergeant strict. One time I visited her one afternoon and accidentally stayed past 9 PM and she sent me to my old room because it was past my bedtime. I was 32. When I complained and said I wanted to go home, she responded, “My house my rules. I brought you in this world, and I can take you out!!!” I don’t really see that arrangement working out too well.

Honestly, I won’t really know the status of my employment until sometime this summer, but if worst comes to worst and I find myself without a job, I could always devote some of the downtime to my alleged novel or to posting on my blog more frequently while I can still afford the electricity and internet access to do so. Based on how much I’ve saved over the past few years, I’d say I can keep up this lifestyle comfortably for about two whole days before I have to start posting items like my remaining fish or my used boxer shorts on eBay. Because I really want to connect and feel close to the new owners, I won’t even bother washing them before shipping them out. I’ll Febreze them upon request, though. I’ll even let the buyer choose the scent.

Speaking of cutting back, being unemployed will definitely cut into my Kohl’s and Starbucks budget. I may even have to drop down to only three or four visits a week. Oh the humanity!!! On the flip side, because food may soon become scarce, I probably won’t have to worry about my weight or cholesterol level in a few months. That’s a good thing. Hey, I’m just trying to stay positive. Remember, you have to look at the glass as being half full even when it is really half empty.

Maybe some downtime would give me the opportunity to throw myself more into my schoolwork. I could finally turn in that research paper that was due two semesters ago. Or, maybe this is the push that I need to finally figure out what it is that I want to do with my life. We all know that I write, but what’s next for me in terms of a career? Everything up until now has definitely been a job—unless you count that rough patch a few years back when I had to resort to stripping to make ends meet. Maybe I could bring my old stripper alter ego, Caramel Macchiato Thunder, back to the stage for a few more performances. I made some good money back then. Five whole dollars a night! Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to dust off those stripper boots.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

You Know You’ve Had A Good Night When…

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Mar• 23•12

So, have you ever woke up in the bathroom of a strange home, in nothing but your boxer briefs, so that you could throw up in front of an unidentified and slightly judgmental dog? No? Me either. But let’s just pretend I did for a quick moment, shall we? But remember, this is all hypothetical and only partially 100% true. To protect the identity of the individual that this actually happened to, I’ll just say it happened to me. As opposed to writing, “David woke up to find someone else’s gym sock in his mouth,” I’ll instead use, “I woke up to find someone else’s gym sock in my mouth.” Don’t forget that this is only partially, kind of, 100% true, in an alleged sort of way. Understand?

Last Friday, my job had a team-building function where they rented out a private portion of the local bowling alley just for the finance team. It was awesome. First of all, there was free food and drinks, and you know my motto: If it’s free, it’s for me. Now, some people may raise an eyebrow at the idea of having drinks at 2 o’clock in the afternoon, but not me, of course. Unlike the dog that would witness me puking up a week’s worth of meals later on that night, I’m not judgmental. It has always been my belief that a man should have a gin and tonic first thing in the morning if he chooses. Preferably before work like other people. Trust me, more people are doing it than you know. Most people who say they are drinking coffee first thing in the morning should be using air quotes as they say “coffee.”

That noted, I thought nothing of starting off the bowling outing with a Blue Motorcycle, which is a mixture of gin, tequila, vodka, rum, and some other cool stuff that make the drink blue. Hey, don’t judge me. At least it was 2 in the afternoon. It wasn’t like it was 1 o’clock. And this is all hypothetical, remember? After scoring 101 points during my first game, I decided to treat myself to a second drink and several shots before starting the next game. For some reason, I didn’t do as well that time. I only scored 80 points, which was due to the massive number of gutter balls I rolled and certainly NOT because I’d had about five drinks by then. Scientists will one day read this and blame it on the alcohol because the number of gutter balls increased with each drink I had, but I refuse to believe it. If there are two things that we Michaels do well, they are blogging at infrequent rates, and holding our liquor.

After we were done bowling, I was all prepared to go home like a good person should have such an event. It was already 4 PM on a Friday, way past my bed time. But before I could make it to my car, a few of my coworkers came up with the idea that we should go to a local bar for a few hours to wind down. Because I had nothing else planned but to watch Netflix with my fish for the rest of the evening, I reluctantly agreed. That was the beginning of the end. If only my mother had’ve let me watch some of those after school specials on TV, I wouldn’t have succumb to peer pressure and spent the night clutching someone’s toilet bowl.

From what I remember about the bar, I believe I enjoyed myself in the beginning. There were about five us in attendance when someone—I swear it wasn’t me—brought up the idea of having a few more shots. After confirming that I could still count to 10 and someone else was paying for the shots, I agreed. Three or four hours and just as many shots later, an assortment of drinks were brought to our table and a warm Jose Cuervo shot landed in front of me. I should have known by the way my coworkers quickly grabbed all the other more user-friendly drinks, that I’d suffer for having slower hands later. As soon as Jose and Cuervo began doing the Mexican Hat Dance in my tummy, darkness began to take over me.

I woke up in the restroom. Not the bathroom that I’d end up in later on that night, but the one at the bar. I’d locked myself in the one stall they had available. Someone was calling my name and asking if I was ok. I had no idea how I got there. After assuring the person that I was ok and that I would be out in “2 minutes,” I went back to sleep. I’d later learn that I’d been in there for over an hour, which left people pretty pissed. And since I was holding up the only stall in the men’s room, I mean that literally.

When I woke up again, I was in an unfamiliar bed. I had no idea how I had made it out of the stall and into someone’s car, bus, or plane, and then ended up in that person’s bed. I could tell the person was lying beside me and I wondered who it was. Had Oprah heard one of her lost children calling out for help and she came and saved me from the bathroom of a bar in Gaithersburg, MD? Had I somehow managed to send Barack a drunken text in the middle of the night and he sent the Secret Service to ensure I’d made it to the White House safely? I hadn’t had time to figure out who my guardian angel was before I realized why I had woken up: I was puking—in Oprah’s or Barack’s bed.

Somehow I found my way to the restroom where the puke-ation continued. After what seemed like an eternity, I removed my head from the toilet bowl to notice that I hadn’t shut the door completely. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I then realized that I was being watched. It was Loki, my cowoker’s dog, and he wasn’t too happy about the mess I was making. I could tell by the way he tilted his head in a manner that let me know he was wondering if I were crazy. After petting him for a bit and making him promise not to tell, I started to feel better about the evening’s events. I was safe. I was with friends. But then I realized I wasn’t wearing socks. You may not know this about me, but I don’t like feet—not even my own. If I could trade them in for two more hands and attach them to my ankles, I would. I never take off my socks. Not even in the shower. And definitely not at the pool. Never!

After pondering what happened to my socks, I learned that they weren’t the only articles of clothing that I was missing. I had on no shirt. I had on no pants. I had on no undershirt. Too scared to look, I slowly reached down to see if there was at least a piece of fabric or a loin cloth covering my who-who. I’d never been so happy in my life to feel the cotton of my boxer briefs that kept me from being completely naked while hugging the porcelain throne of my coworker’s bathroom. That’s when I learned that cotton really is the fabric of our lives. However, my happiness was only temporary as I wondered whether I’d taken off my clothes at my coworker’s house, or whether I’d relieved myself of them at the bar. Immediately, I threw up again.

When I woke up the following morning still hugging the toilet, I surveyed the damage and tried to clean up as quickly as I could. Unfortunately, the shower curtain could not be saved. It would have to be burned. I would later learn that my coworker replaced many of the items that didn’t survive my wrath that night. The plunger. The trash can. The scale. The tub. And the washbowl. All of it had to go. She calls her new bathroom the Michael Renovation. I’m embarrassed and flattered.

Before I realized what was happening, I found myself having a conversation with my coworkers in the middle of the living room while I was still in my boxer briefs as if it were normal. What had happened was, I hadn’t yet mustered the courage to ask where my clothes were, so I just tried to pretend that I was not naked—even though everyone else was fully clothed. I thought that maybe if I kept the conversation interesting enough, they wouldn’t notice that I hadn’t put on lotion the previous day or done any form of man-scaping, which I believe should be a prerequisite to that level of exposure. I also hoped they wouldn’t notice that I hadn’t been to the gym in a few weeks. Unfortunately, my boxer briefs left nothing to the imagination. If they’d ever wondered, they were now certain that I didn’t have abs or buns of steel.

After one of my male coworkers had suffered enough of seeing me in my underwear, I was shown to the bedroom where my clothes were lying on the floor. As I quickly dressed, I can’t tell you how relieved I was that I hadn’t done an awkward strip tease at the bar—AGAIN. It was nice to know that I hadn’t tried to sexily pour liquid down my bare chest and then scream because that liquid was someone’s hot coffee. I was also happy to know that I didn’t pull my pants down while asking for tips before realizing that I needed to do laundry and hadn’t worn any underwear that day. Hey, it has happened to the best of us, right? No?

One of my coworkers was nice enough to drive me to my car, and I made it home safely. After I parked, I remembered that I lived on the fourth floor, so I opted to sleep in the car for a few hours before trying to tackle the steps. I mean, it was a beautiful day. Why not lie out and enjoy it? I just wish I had rolled the windows down beforehand. Maybe that would have saved me from waking up around noon not being able to breathe and sweating profusely from being so hot.

When I finally made it into my apartment, I collapsed on my couch and stayed there for the rest of the day. Later that night, I tried to drink a little Coke to put something on my stomach and I found myself right back in the bathroom spewing like a faucet—24 hours after taking the Jose Cuervo shot! That noted, the moral of this story is that if you’re going to have 10 shots in a single setting, make sure you’re wearing underwear in case you decide to give folks a strip tease. And if you’re going to do a strip tease, make sure you aren’t at a work function—or a family function. And if you do manage to drink and do a strip tease at a family or work function, you don’t have to worry about checking IDs. You already know those people, so chances are, their money is good. However, to make things less awkward, I would start thinking now about how you’re going to explain to your grandma where she should swipe her credit card.

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

State Of The Michael Address

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Feb• 24•12

The New Me

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor for my annual oil change and engine tune-up. I’m never thrilled about those visits, but once you reach my age—32—your primary care physician becomes such a regular and important part of your life that it is totally possible that you may see him, her, or it more than you see your spouse or your kids. I’ve seen my doctor so many times this year that I’m thinking about listing her as the beneficiary on my life insurance policies instead of my fish. My mother used to be listed, but she got bumped a few years ago after we had a heated disagreement about whether or not oatmeal tasted better than cream of wheat. I mean, anyone who doesn’t know that cream of wheat is better certainly doesn’t deserve to receive the $50 payout when my final day comes.

Anyway, so I sat there on the bed, kicking my feet like a two year old, confident that everything would turn out ok. After all, I worked out twice in January. That certainly had to help lower my blood pressure and whatever else exercising allegedly helps with. There was nothing to worry about. Basically, I was there to have the doctor hand me a lollipop and draw a smiley face on a Popsicle stick—one of the many benefits of still going to a pediatrician even when you’re middle-aged. I bet your doctor doesn’t offer that service! Well, imagine my surprise when the doctor looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Your cholesterol sucks.” That wasn’t such a huge shock. They’ve been saying that since I was four. However, what she said next made my head spin as if I were that girl in “The Exorcist”: “If you don’t make some changes now, I’d say you have about ten to fifteen years before you have a stroke or something.”

A stroke or something!!!

Honestly, as I sit here buttering my bagel while frying chicken and drinking whole milk, I can’t even begin to explain how this may have happened. I mean, could it have been the bacon double cheeseburgers with the extra mayo? Was it the weekly Meat Lovers pizza with extra meat and extra cheese? Or was it the scrambled eggs that I eat every morning with the extra side of eggs? Please don’t tell me that it was the deep fried lettuce or my daily assortment of cakes and pies. Of course not! I refuse to believe it. My favorite foods would never betray me. I asked my doctor for her credentials because I was sure there had to have been some form of mistake. She’d obviously gotten it wrong. I wanted to speak to a manager. After finding out that she was the manager, I asked to speak to her mom. Someone was going to pay!!!

After the guilty-of-high-cholesterol verdict set in, my mind began to race. I mean, I’m only 32 in human years. Why has my body forsaken me? I always thought high cholesterol wouldn’t be something I’d have to worry about until I was old and decrepit—you know, like when I turn 33. Although my doctor’s mother explained that my doctor is still a few credits shy of her bachelor’s degree from a partially accredited medical school called Super Walmart, I decided to take her warning seriously. I mean, if something happened to me, who would pay off my student loans? Who would feed my fish? Who would finally vacuum my floors? And, most importantly, who would write my blog? Now that Stephenie Meyer and J. K. Rowling are done with their little “Twilight” and “Harry Potter” projects, I’m sure they’re just waiting in the wings for my demise so that they can take over my blog. Never!

And then I shared the news with my mother.

Honestly, I don’t think anyone was happier to hear about my pending demise than she was. Because she dropped the phone when I told her about my crisis, I assumed that she had become overwhelmed with the idea of losing the only child she had fully paid for with her credit card. Instead, I heard her and my father in the background giving each other high fives. Before I fully realized what was going on, there was the sound of a champagne cork being popped. Apparently my mother had been expecting this news for a while now and she’d finally won the bet over my father who had believed my eating habits weren’t really that bad. When she eventually made it back to the phone, she said, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that, Mikey” before yelling to my father that he had two weeks to come up with the money, or else.

If that wasn’t bad enough, I made the mistake of sharing the news with some of my coworkers. Why on earth did I do that? Now, whenever I try to eat anything, at least twelve people remind me of how whatever I’m eating isn’t good for me. You should hear them. “Michael, is that a raisin? You know that’s bad for your cholesterol,” or “Are you drinking water again? You know that’s just going to raise your cholesterol,” they say. Have you ever had a whole department shake their heads in disapproval and wag their fingers at you because you ate two strawberries for lunch knowing that you already had bad cholesterol? So far, the only things they’ve allowed me to eat without giving me a lecture are used Post-it Notes and an occasional staple. Everything else is absolutely off limits.

In order to try to live for at least another few years or so until my book comes out, I’ve began looking at the nutrition label on everything—even my clothes. What this has taught me is that there is basically nothing you can eat other than grass that isn’t bad for you in some way, shape or form. If it’s low in cholesterol, then it is high in sodium. If it’s low in sodium, then it is high in sugar. If it’s low in sugar, then it’s high in trans fats. If it is low in cholesterol, sugar, sodium, and trans fats, then it tastes so bad that you’ll want to fling yourself off the nearest tall building in effort to put yourself out of your misery.

So, here’s the plan, instead of sentencing myself to a life of eating nothing but cardboard and tree bark, I’m going to try to replace some of my bad eating habits for better ones. For example, at lunch, instead of eating a cheesesteak, I’ve been eating a bowl of cream of wheat or soup. Sometimes, instead of having something fried for dinner, I’ll have a bowl of cereal. And when I do decide to splurge and eat a donut or piece of cake, I’m trying to only eat half, or a portion smaller than I would normally eat. Another tactic that works for me is taking two bites of something and then throwing the rest in the trash really quickly before I throw it down my throat instead. So far, I’ve only gone in the trash one time to retrieve a piece of cake that was so good that I was ok with the puddle of soda it had landed in and the few pieces of gum that had gotten stuck to it. I don’t know who those pieces of gum originally belonged to, but I can confirm that those individuals and I are now forever connected. I mean, when you think about it, how cool is that? Do you chew gum? Have you ever had a red piece that you discarded after it removed the smell of garlic and onions from your breath? Really? Then maybe we’re connected!!!

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

Let’s Get Physical…Kind Of

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jan• 30•12

Ok, so we’re five weeks into the new year and I’ve already betrayed all of my resolutions. For one, I’m eating like I’m 51 months pregnant. Just yesterday I went to both Popeye’s and Panda Express for dinner. Oh, and did I mention that I also went to Mrs. Fields for cookies afterward? And no, I didn’t just get one cookie. I got six!!! Definitely not my finest hour in terms of calorie content. On top of that, I didn’t work out at all last week or the week before. Then again, maybe I can count that one afternoon when I found that stale piece of gum that had been hiding in my glove compartment for a year or two. It gave my jaws a real work out. Hmmm. In that case, I guess I haven’t gotten too far off track.

Despite the temporary setback, I can honestly report that I worked out twice during the first week of the year—I think. You should have seen me. I even broke a sweat while trying to figure out how to use the treadmill. After I finished, I thought I had really done something. I walked around the office ripping off my shirt as if I were Arnold Schwarzenegger every chance I could. Most of my coworkers just laughed and strongly encouraged me to put my shirt back on. However, my human resources manager wasn’t so fond of me standing on top of her desk and beating my chest as if I were Tarzan. She promptly wrote me up—AGAIN. I think she’s just jealous because she doesn’t have abs of steel like the ones I will one day have when my order comes in off eBay.

One reason I haven’t worked out is because I haven’t really been feeling like myself lately. Well, I haven’t exactly felt like Brad Pitt or Meryl Streep either, but I definitely haven’t been feeling like the Michael Rochelle you’ve all come to know and love. Last week I had a cold, so there was no need to run on the treadmill because I’d already burned plenty of calories running back and forth to the restroom. But even before that, for some reason, all I’ve wanted to do is go to work and then go back home and sleep. I’ve logged so much time on my couch recently that I think I’m up for some kind of world record. But before you start calling the authorities to report me as being depressed or off my medications again, that’s not it. I think I’m just a little burned out.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying, “Michael, you haven’t done a blog post in four weeks, you haven’t had any homework since Christmas, and your reality show, “For the Love of Michael,” is on hiatus. Why are you so tired?” Well, for your information, I’ve had to put in a lot of extra time at the office recently. And because I’m a salaried employee, all those extra hours fall under a category of volunteerism that doesn’t count toward the community service hours I was sentenced to due to that one unfortunate incident I got into with someone’s grandmother over the last red scarf at that K-mart blue-light sale. I’m still embarrassed that I let that granny get the best of me. If only I had used my walker as a weapon like she did.

Anyway, another reason I may be feeling a little out of it is because school started back up last Wednesday, and I’m dreading this semester. A full 15 weeks of nothing but economics and statistics. How does one say “yuck” in English? I know I should have a more positive attitude like Oprah suggested when I spoke to her last night, but as I explained to Big Mama O, she’s not the one taking the classes. There are like a million other things that I would enjoy more than 15 weeks of studying those two subjects. For example, I would rather wash the feet of 100 strangers with nothing but my navel and a toothbrush. Or, I would rather run a marathon with nothing on but a handful of strategically placed gift bows to hide all twelve of my private parts. I thought about including a diagram here, but then thought it would be unnecessary. I mean, we all have the same 12 or 13 private parts, unless you’re from Germany where you’re born with an extra three.

Speaking of being from Germany, I think I’m going to come up with a new and exotic place for me to be from instead of Baltimore. I have a few coworkers from Vietnam, a few from Africa, a few from India, etc., and those places all seem far and foreign. Nobody gets excited when I say I’m from Baltimore. For some reason, they always ask if I can show them my bullet wounds and whether or not I know how to read. When I tell them that I placed 2nd in a dramatic reading contest of “Jack and Jill” during my senior year of high school, they then ask if I was on “The Wire.” No, I wasn’t. But my mother was. I don’t remember the exact role she played, but it was either that really mean character, or she played that guy that walked up and down the street with a shot gun because it wasn’t too far of a stretch from what she does in real life. I always get confused, but I’m afraid to confirm because it’s not advisable to ask a person with a shotgun a silly question—even if that person is your mother.

If I could be from anywhere, I think I would be from Family Dollar or PetSmart. Why? Because no one else ever says they’re from there. When was the last time you’ve heard someone tell a story about their hometown which is on aisle 5 of the men’s department? Never. But I’m just being silly. I know that Family Dollar is not a country. I’m pretty sure Walmart is though. It’s bigger. And the cost of living there isn’t too expensive. They have everyday low prices. But if for some reason that doesn’t work out, I think I’ll be from Asia. I mean, people already compliment me on my Asian features anyway. They’re actually quite surprised when I explain that the lady who adopted and raised me in the basement of her home says that my birth mother told her I was either African American or European right before she signed over the documents to rent-to-own me. Who knew?

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
Access my website: http://www.mikeyllo.com
Add me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michael.rochelle1

Goodbye 2011, Hello Chicken Wings

Written By: Michael Rochelle - Jan• 02•12

So, it’s 2012. A new beginning. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was sharing my resolutions for 2011 with you. Apparently, the older you get, the faster time flies. At my age, if you blink twice, you’re likely to miss the whole month of March. But I digress. A quick review of my 2011 resolutions makes me feel kind of like a failure. The fried chicken wings I had for breakfast this morning certainly prove that I’m not eating healthier. Making matters worse, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to the gym over the past 12 months—and most of those visits were only due to my need to use the restroom. Despite that, there is at least one good thing that I did accomplish during 2011: I was nominated “Sexiest Man Alive.” Although I didn’t top People Magazine’s list, my four fish unanimously voted me “The Sexiest Man Alive That Lives In My Apartment.” I couldn’t have been more proud.

Now that I think about it, it’s probably a good time for me to decide who and what I want to be in 2012. Obviously, the roles of Ryan Gosling, Adele, and Bradley Cooper are taken, but what’s left for me? What do I want my legacy to be this year? When people see me out and about, what descriptions should come to their mind? writer? student? Kohl’s shopper? Of course, I’m a major celebrity that receives worldwide recognition comparable to that of Justin Bieber. No one would ever argue that fact. But at the end of the day—or in other words, at night—who is this grand enigma that is Michael Rochelle? What plans does he have for 2012? And can he convince the cashier at Popeye’s to do home deliveries? I could really use a biscuit right about now.

First, I definitely HAVE to write more and search for new opportunities to do so. My articles haven’t appeared in a magazine or newspaper in quite some time, and I really miss the excitement of seeing my work in a print form outside of my blog. I may have mentioned this before, but I want to be a writer who happens to work in accounting to keep the lights on and the fish fed as opposed to being a worker in accounting that happens to write. Like myself, I’m sure there are many others spending more hours to ensure that the bills are paid than they are pursuing their true passion. Who knows? Maybe Beyoncé is putting out music solely because it was the only job she could get, but secretly she just wants to be a stocker at Walmart. Should we deny her the one thing that would truly make her happy? Of course not!

Second, I’d like to read more. When I was doing my undergrad, it was easy to rattle off the last book I’d read because reading was a part of the curriculum. Now that I’m in grad school and focused on business, besides textbooks and newspapers, I couldn’t begin to tell you the last book I’ve read from cover to cover. Of course, I sneak into Barnes and Noble every now and then to read a chapter or two of Ellen DeGeneres’ “Seriously I’m Kidding,” or Tina Fey’s “Bossypants” so I can pull chapters from them to post on my weekly blog as if I’d written them myself, but that’s not reading for pleasure. That’s just me searching for new content. And if there is anyone who knows the importance of putting out new and original material, it’s me, Ellen DeGeneres.

In addition to reading more books, I need to read more blogs. I know this will probably be just as much of a shock to you as it was to me, but, allegedly, there are a whole slew of other blogs out there besides mine. Who knew? Hopefully, I’ll be able to use my findings to help me become a better writer and make your experience as a reader even greater. I know it’s hard to imagine enjoying my blog any more than you already do now, but apparently it’s possible for me to refine my craft as a slightly best-selling author and blogger. Believe it or not, some bloggers post every single day. Could you imagine having a dose of Michael with your coffee and bagel every morning? Well, kind reader, if you dream it, I, Tina Fey, can achieve it.

Another goal of mine this year is to trust my instincts a little more. For example, the other day I was at Starbucks, looking over the menu for something that would excite me when my eyes landed on a Caramel Apple Cider. Immediately, I frowned at the thought of an apple cider and coffee mixture, but I decided to take a chance and try something new. I mean, without taking risks, I would have never discovered the magical wonder of the McDonald’s French fry last week. As it turns out the drink doesn’t have coffee in it, but the barista (look at me using big, new words) encouraged me to try it mixed with the Cinnamon Dolce latte. I took his advice. He’s the barista after all. If I can trust him with my financial planning and future dog grooming needs, the least I can do is let him recommend a drink.

As soon as the warm liquid hit my tongue, I pondered suing Starbucks for assault with a deadly drink. I’d never been so wrong about a choice since that one time I lost my Toyota to Taylor Swift and Lil’ Wayne over a game of Spades—they both cheated if you ask me. I expected as much from Taylor, but Lil’ Wayne being anything less than a gentleman completely shocked me. I’m thinking about calling his mother. Anyway, my less-than-great Starbucks experience taught me that when I take risks, the outcome may not go exactly as I expected, but I’ll still gain helpful experience that will be awesome for me to pass on to my great grandchildren one day—or to my future Pomeranian, whichever comes first.

Lastly, before the year ends, I’d like to get rid of some of the random stuff I’m holding onto but will never use. Honestly, I’m probably just one napkin away from being placed on the national hoarder registry. I have books, gadgets, shoes, and clothes that I haven’t worn or used in years; why am I still holding on to all that stuff? There has to be better use for all that space—I could get new stuff!!! But really, how many microwaves and irons does one person need? I could probably make due with having just three of each and get rid of the rest of them, right? With that in mind, does anyone need a “How to Read Harry Potter in Arabic Braille” book? I’ve got twelve of them!!!

Michael Rochelle
Access my full blog: http://www.justmichael.net/blog
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