Jeff Loves: no really, it’s true!

People ask me all the time, “Jeff, you’re so full of hate, is there anything you actually love?” The answer is, a firm, resounding “NO!”

I kid, I kid. Of course there are things I love.

Most readers of the Voice have never seen me in person (I’m always available to sign autographs!), but I’m kind of a big guy, so it’s quite apparent that I love food. I’m not Italian, but I’m crazy for a good lasagna.

I adore Stouffer’s original lasagna, and might well be willing to consider violence if they ever change the recipe. Chef Boyardee changed the recipe for their canned lasagna a few years ago, and my life has never been the same.

I, like many others, also have an unhealthy relationship with Oreo cookies. I finally came to the realization that they were also single-handedly the worst thing a person can put into their body via the ham-hole, so I quit them. Haven’t eaten an actual Oreo in over five years. Those things are basically a liposuction in reverse.

I also love Diet Dr. Pepper. It’s kind of a half-assed attempt at curbing the calories, but really it just means that instead of being a 35-year-old man, I’m actually a 65-year-old woman. Oh well, with the amount of sodium benzoate I’ve consumed, I’ll at least live to triple digits.

I’m also a huge animal lover. Not to the extent of joining PETA, mind you, but definitely to the extent of filling my house with things that basically just eat money and excrete nightmares.

For starters, we have three cats. I do like cats, but I’m not exactly a cat person. I like the idea of having a cat, but three has been a new experience for me.

The oldest is a grey mix named Sparklebug. Short version is we thought she was a male at first and named “him” Sparkplug. It didn’t take long for us to discover our mistake, though, and rather than give her a new name, my nutty mom decided to just “girlie” the name up, and now she sounds like a reject from “My Little Pony.” Bug is bulimic, and reacts to anything she doesn’t like with regurgitation. She’s ralphed on everything from brand new clothes, all the way up to a perfectly good Xbox.

Then there’s the twins, Nathan Explosion and William Murderface. For simplicity, we call Nathan “Binky,” because he’s the runt of his litter and very small, and William goes by either “Yum-Yum,” as in Will-YUM, or “Shrimpkins,” because of his extremely long tail which curls under like a shrimp.

All three cats were born to one of the 27 million strays living under my mom’s house in the country, and it shows. They’re like something out of “Deliverance.” William even has a Southern drawl when he speaks, and it sounds something like “me-y’all.” Nathan, on the other hand, has this surprisingly deep voice, and it’s startling to hear something resembling Barry White coming out of a cat the size of a field mouse.

It’s a good thing we rescued them, because none of them retained anything remotely close to a hunting instinct. Nathan accidentally killed a lizard that had somehow snuck into the house, and required therapy for months.
I’ve always been a dog person. Over the years I’ve had numerous dogs, mostly border collies and German shepherds, but for some reason, I’ve always been a sucker for the “underdog,” so to speak.

We’ve recently added a new addition to our household. We had been planning on getting a dog for some time now, and finally adopted one from A New Beginning in Altamonte Springs. They had so many wonderful animals needing homes, from Labradors to a charming little dachshund/mini-pinscher. So what did we pick? The 6-month-old beagle with a skin disorder… and we named him Dr. Egon Spengler.

Contrary to popular belief, I also do love movies. I’m a movie snob, though. If I’m going to pay to see a film, I want to know that at least some talent and effort went into it. For example, I’ll watch anything the Coen Brothers release without even seeing a trailer. At the very least, it needs to feel like someone had fun making the movie. I’m one of a small percentage that liked “Cloverfield,” and it may be because they went to great lengths to make the audience physically uncomfortable to the point of yakking all over the theater.

I’m also a sucker for “cult classic” films, almost to the point of annoyance. I love everything from “Rocky Horror,” to blaxploitation films like “Foxy Brown,” to campy weirdness like Roger Waters’ films, even down to pure cinematic feces like Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room.” The annoyance comes in when I pretty much force most of my friends to sit through these films. Hell, I’ve lived in Orlando for a couple of years now, and I still haven’t been to “Rocky Horror” at CityWalk.
I love gory horror films, the more gross-out, the better. I’m the kind of guy that can eat a big bowl of spaghetti while watching a grotesque ax murderer slowly eviscerate some hapless co-ed. The talent, effort and fun rules still apply, though, because I thought the “Hostel” movies were garbage.

Hollywood has kind of neutered the horror film these days, to the point where many studios are releasing PG-13 rated “scary” movies, which are, of course, all bad. But luckily, there’s still a huge back catalog of great horror classics, like Lucio Fulci’s 1979 movie, “Zombie,” in which a zombie actually fights a gee-dee shark! Or Dario Argento’s 1977 movie, “Susperia,” which is basically “Black Swan” with better acting and Satanists.

So it’s plain to see that I do have plenty of capacity for love, and I do love many things. It’s just that all of the things that you like are crap.