Cheese Graters Suck

I think that I’ve always been afraid of  cheese graters. Frankly, any rational person should be. A cheese grater’s potential for inflicting fucked up amounts of damage to human flesh far outweighs its utility in the kitchen.

Granted, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably missing something when it comes to cheese grater technique. Taking a new block of cheddar and shredding it with a grater is pretty straightforward, but when I get down to the last quarter of the block, shit gets a little too real. Every downward swipe becomes exponentially more frightening, yet I feel compelled to keep at it due to the voice in my head telling me that I shouldn’t waste a perfectly good ounce of cheese. Swap the voice in my head with that of Tobin Bell and you’ve got yourself a scene right out of a Saw film.

“The key to your shackles is hidden inside that block of cheese.”

Needless to say I now purchase my cheese pre-shredded. It’s well worth the inflated price so that I can sleep at night without having nightmares about losing chunks of my finger tips the next time that I want tacos for dinner. That rule also applies to anything else that one could imagine using a cheese grater for, because no matter what I do  it always turns into some kind of shit show. I tried making hash browns from scratch the other day by grating whole potatoes, but by the time I finished the job the potato shreds had turned purple. Purple.

It occurs to me that if I ever find myself in captivity being tortured for information by some nefarious government, they’re likely going to Google this blog post and whip out the grater. It goes without saying that I’ll sing like a bird, so anyone thinking about sharing the nuclear launch codes with me should consider themselves warned. On the bright side, there would be little need for cheese graters after a nuclear holocaust.


The girl who had my cell phone number before me

A couple years ago when I first moved to Los Angeles I changed my cell phone over to a local number. Long story short, I apparently wasn’t the first person to have owned that number. Meet Asha:

This is a composite sketch that I’ve drawn with MS Paint based upon everything that I’ve learned about her in the past two years. That’s right, after two years I’m still getting calls for this girl.

Let’s go over the facts:

  • Asha is some sort of model (or told people that she was).
  • She drives a BMW that she decided to never make the payments on
  • She likes credit cards as well, but decided not to pay for those either.
  • Asha is lonely (hence the tears). She apparently neglected to tell any of her friends that she changed her cell phone number two years ago.
  • About her friends: When they call, they’re stupid enough to leave a message for her even after hearing my “You’ve reached Ben Mallahan” voicemail blurb.

But why is she naked in the above composite sketch, you ask? Because with all of the “booty call” voicemails and text messages I’ve received for this girl over the years, I doubt that she ever gets much of a chance to wear clothing. You haven’t lived until as a 20-something male you’re woken up at 1:42 AM by a text message that reads “hey grl wat u doin 2nite?”.

I’ve always wanted to respond to those text messages with something like this:

Either reply would suffice

As annoying as the occasional phone calls are, Asha serves as a nice reminder of one of the many reasons why I got the heck out of Los Angeles. A slutty girl who says that she’s a model and drives an expensive car that she can’t afford is one of about 5 different horrible types of people who inhabit that city. Not having to share the same crowded streets or breathe the same smog filled air as they do anymore is a miracle.

My Pancake Problem

A few months ago my wife Becca and I renewed our Costco membership and went on a shopping spree. When you’re at Costco you lose not only your sense of scale, but your sense of right and wrong. I’ll be the first to admit that a 10 pound bag of Krusteaz pancake mix really has no business existing in the first place… but we bought one anyway. Enter the monstrosity you see pictured here to the right.

Flash forward three weeks later and Becca suddenly declares that she hates Krusteaz pancakes. We hadn’t gone and gorged ourselves on pancakes, so it wasn’t like she was just temporarily sick of them. Oh no, it was much worse than that – she just up and decided that she could no longer eat pancakes made using Krusteaz mix ever again.

To put this madness in perspective: I’ve been buying the small boxes of Krusteaz mix from the grocery store since before Becca and I even met. She’s been eating these pancakes for the past seven years – AMPLE TIME to decide that she didn’t like them before we bought a bag of the mix large enough to feed a small African village for a month. It was already ludicrous to buy that bag to feed just two people, and I don’t think that I can fly this mission solo.

I’m scared.

I could try to give some of the pancake mix away, but I don’t think that dropping off ziplock bags full of white powder at my local food bank is going to go over too well. Instead, my current plan is to dump half the bag on Becca while she’s taking a shower (the beauty of this mix is that you only have to add water), and then to slowly consume the other half by myself over the course of the next 19 months.

That’s right, the “use by” date printed on the bag is September 2012. Becca and I could theoretically conceive a child, give birth to it, and teach it to say the word “pancake” in the time it will take for this mix to expire. If I have to eat all of these pancakes alone, however, I’ll be expiring long before then.

The problem I have with Twitter

A few days ago I begrudgingly started using my twitter account in order to help promote the new site… and I’ve found that actually bringing myself to post a tweet is a struggle.

My problem is not that I have a lack of interesting thoughts or experiences to tweet about throughout the day – the issue is that I can’t picture anyone else actually giving a damn about them. Why? Because of my own perspective on other people’s tweets:

There isn’t a single person on this planet whom I’d like to hear from on a daily basis.

…Much less every hour or two. I don’t want to know what you had for lunch, I have no interest in your political opinions, and I certainly don’t care about your crappy puns and/or cliche ridden observations on life.

Heck, even if my wonderful wife had a twitter feed, I wouldn’t read it. The only tweets I’d care about from her would be things like:

Becca Tweets

For me the final nail in the Twitter coffin is that I hate people who are obsessed with celebrities; Twitter is a breeding ground for them. The celebrities themselves are often huge douchebags, but their millions of brainless followers are the real plague on humanity.

The only type of celebrity tweet that I’d ever give a crap about:

Mayer Tweet

But I relent. The success of Twitter obviously indicates that I’m in the minority with this point of view. If the average person really enjoys reading about other people’s  lives 10 times a day, 140 characters at a time, then so be it.

Start following me on twitter and I’ll do my best to bore you to death with witty anecdotes about life and tales of how awesome my lunch was… just as soon as I can convince myself to force them upon you.

Posted in My Life (etc)

Dear Week’s Growth Beard

It's just getting to be too much.

Dear Week’s Growth Beard,

Well, here we are again. Our relationships always end like this. It seems like it was only 5 days ago that everything in the world was right… I didn’t have to wake up and shave, and you made me feel laid back and carefree.

It wasn’t very long after that before we started having problems again. We’re both to blame: you started chafing my neck, and I wasn’t taking you out in public anymore. I knew that I should have ended it sooner. Call me apathetic or lazy if you want to – sometimes it’s just easier to stay in a bad relationship than to stand up and do something about it.

…But now it’s time for me to shave.

It’s not you, it’s me. Being with you is just a constant reminder of my own shortcomings; every time I look in the mirror I’m reminded that I just don’t have what it takes to grow proper facial hair. Maybe it’s bad genes, or maybe we were just never meant to be. Both of us knew that this couldn’t last forever. Truth be told, I’ve never even wanted a beard.

So, this is it. Nothing you can say will change my mind – I’ve already promised myself that from this point forward I’m going to start shaving more regularly. I’m not going to put myself in this position again. I’m 27 years old and I can’t keep repeating this endless cycle with you.

I’m sorry to have lead you on like this. Let’s just try to remember the good times.



P.S. – My wife found out about you. It may take awhile for her to stop looking at me with disgust, but we’re going to try to make it work. I’ve sworn to her that I’m never going to let my facial hair get out of control like that again. Please don’t call me.

Welcome to the new Ben Makes Movies

o hai tharLong time no see.

It’s been a hectic couple of years – a period of time that I’m sure I’ll be talking about quite often on this shiny new blog. While I haven’t released any YouTube shorts since the summer of ’09, I’ve still been hard at work writing and producing stuff in the professional world. After spending two years in hell Los Angeles I’m happy to report that I’m finally back home in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m ready to resume my favorite hobby: making web videos.

I’ve redesigned Ben Makes Movies  to be the new home for my personal blog on top of being the hub for my YouTube shorts. I’ve actually been blogging for years on different site related to my other hobby, designing independent online games. It’s been a lot of fun, but it’s time to graduate from writing a blog under an online alias that I’ve had since high school.

I’ve got several new web shorts in the works, including one that I intend to release later this week. Hold onto your cornbread Grandma – there is a ton of cool stuff on the way!