Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Will Blog For Christmas Money

My wife and I agreed from the onset that we don't keep stuff from each other. There are no secrets. And the only exception to that rule is speeding tickets... I mean Christmas and birthday gifts. We're allowed to keep gifts and gift plans secret. So I'm selling some stuff on eBay and doing surveys online and selling my blood to vampires to raise some secret money for her Christmas gift. Okay, only two of those are true (because online surveys are lame). The problem is, I only have random stuff to sell on eBay and I only have so much blood... I mean I only have so much time to do surveys. So I've hit the point now where I'm taking donations via PayPal. And if you'd like to contribute, just hit "Donate" on the right side of the screen.

And please be assured, this is definitely a scam. You won't get anything out of this. You'll lose money and someone you don't even know (who is a lovely person, by the way) will get a better gift this year. So at least I'm up front about it.

So, if you know my wife, please don't tell her about this post. You know who you are, so I don't have to name people specifically (but I will - Jill, Landry, Amy, Eva). And to make sure she never finds out about it, I'm hiding the information in the last place she'll ever look - my blog!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I Give Up

Fine, I'll admit it... the last post was about me. I hate looking stupid, okay? Is that really such a crime? And once again I failed. And once again it was in an elevator. I had an unopened Rockstar energy drink in my hand and reached to hit the button for my floor. And on any other day I would probably be alone on the elevator. But today it had four other people in it. So I reached for the button and my gripped loosened. The Rockstar slid from my fingers in slow motion and gravity took it. And in hindsight, I realize I should have just let it drop. It was unopened, so the worse thing that could have happened was a dented can and a loud noise. But I didn't just let it drop. I tried to save it.

And in the next 4 seconds I went from the guy who dropped something in the elevator to the idiot who lost his mind in the elevator. I started by throwing my other hand under the can. And I managed to get underneath it, and then tried to grip again, only to fail again. But I'd at least changed the direction it was going. So as it flipped back up through the air, I tried to cradle it with both hands as I leaned against the side wall. But it was wet and I was nervous in front of my suddenly-captivated audience. So it bounced off my hands and hit the buttons, lighting up a floor that nobody needed. Then I grabbed at it again and tried to pin it against the wall. But I still couldn't grip it, so it bounced loudly off the wall and cascaded to the floor. At which point a slightly embarrassed, normal person would have let it go. But not me. I stuck my foot out, trying to slow it down. Only to have it smash my toe and hit the ground anyway as I winced in pain and lost my balance. So I almost fell down, then I had to bend down and pick up my destroyed can.

The guy behind me suggested (without so much as a smile) that I should probably wait to open the can. Then we all stood staring into an empty hallway when the doors opened on the third floor (thanks to my Rockstar hitting the button), and I felt like an even bigger idiot. So on the way out today, I'm gonna see if that's the floor where I left my dignity. Because I can't seem to find it anywhere.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dumb And Dumber

My older brother's main goal in life is not to look stupid. Unattractive is fine. Unfunny is okay. And slightly smelly is manageable. But being thought stupid is too much to handle. So getting through life without looking like a complete moron is his main objective. Unfortunately, when you focus so hard on that, you set yourself up to look even more stupid.

For example, he's usually afraid to ask people for help with stuff. I guess he thinks people will laugh at him if he doesn't know what he's talking about. That's how he spent two weeks in the wrong class in college because he never bothered to ask anyone why his American History professor was talking about Pre-Cambrian organisms. I guess he figured the professor wanted to give a really thorough background for his lectures on the Revolutionary War.

That's also how he ended up in the wrong state because he figured he could guess which way to go on the highway for an hour rather than call someone or stop and ask a local. We still joke with him that he can't drive anyone anywhere because they'll end up in Georgia.

But the funniest stuff is when he thinks he knows what he's talking about. He'd rather make something up than admit he doesn't know. So if you ask him about hockey, he won't admit that he doesn't watch hockey. He'll attempt feebly to stay with the conversation and throw out whatever information he can recall from the deep recesses of his memory. So I do what any brother should do... I mess with him. I talk about stuff that he's never heard of (because I make it up on the spot) and then try to get him to admit he doesn't know what it is. And if you could have heard him trying to stay with a conversation about a new species of monkey scientists recently discovered in the Adirondacks, you'd laugh as hard as I did. But I have to admit, he almost convinced me that he'd played a game called Sninkerwintz, even though I'd invented it 30 seconds earlier. So much for not looking stupid.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Laughter Is The Best Defense

My son (who is 3) just got a haircut from his mom (who is... awesome). And he has what the barber called a "double crown." It's supposed to have something to do with where the hair starts moving in a different direction on his scalp. It really just means that he's got hair on the back of his head that naturally forms a pyramid shape. So when we cut it, we have to put gel or mousse in it. So my wife noticed how quiet he was being (a little too quiet) and walked slowly (a little too slowly) into the bathroom looking for Andrew (a little too Andrew)*.

He was sitting on the bathroom counter, applying copious amounts of hair gel to the top of his head (and the back of his neck). My wife asked him what he was doing, and he just raised his eyebrows and looked back at his reflection. So my wife asked again what he was doing. And he looked at her, then looked back at his reflection and said, "Helloooooo Gorgeous!" And she laughed so hard that he didn't even get in trouble.

And he's getting really good at making us laugh when he's supposed to be in trouble. Last week, I told him to put up his toys and he said, "I can't right now. I need to dance." Then he did the toddler robot to a Black-Eyed Peas song that was on. I couldn't help but be impressed. And the other day, I told him to do something and he disobeyed. So I asked him, "You didn't do what I asked you to do. Do you know what happens now?" He said, "Chocolate?" And we laughed about it over a Snickers.

*Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze reference!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Arbitrary Post Title

Here are my random thoughts for today:

- I have red Wal-Mart knockoff cough drops and the guy at the end of my row has blue Halls cough drops. And he's away from his desk right now. So I think I'm gonna sneak a red one into his bag of blues and see if he notices. He doesn't know me very well, so he probably won't suspect me.

- I got a donut from the next department. They don't know I got one, but I think 10:00am is the cutoff for hording breakfast foods. At that point, if they haven't been eaten, they should be in the common area for everybody else. So I don't feel bad for stealing one (except I do feel bad).

- My older brother broke the back of his office chair yesterday. He leaned back too far and SNAP! So now I'm going to make fun of him. I'm already calling him "Brokeback" and getting others to do the same.

- It's eggnog season! I'm buying eggnog today and going to Starbucks for an eggnog latte and going to Jack-In-the-Box for an eggnog milkshake and buying eggnog creamer for my coffee! I just wish I wasn't horribly allergic to milk products. That way I wouldn't have to be deathly ill.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Park And Walk In

Shipley's, believe or not (see what I did there?), doesn't have a menu on it's drive-thru wall. Shouldn't it be required that any donut shop with a drive-thru have a list of the donuts they offer? Because that seems to make sense to me. Even a piece of paper tacked to the wall would help. Or a chalkboard with a list of all the fillings they offer. Because I totally panicked. I pulled up to the window and the lady asked me what I wanted. And I did a big clockwise circle with my head, trying to find the stupid menu. And she looked at me like I was crazy. So I blurted out, "Uh, I need a dozen donuts!" And she just stared at me. Then I'm pretty sure she hit one of those hidden buttons under the counter like a silent alarm to alert all the other workers that they had a weirdo at the window to stare at.

So with 15 people staring at me, 20 minutes after I woke up, I had to try to remember as many types of donuts I could besides glazed. And all I could remember were the ones I don't like that much. So I got two cherry-filled, two cream-filled (I couldn't think of the word "custard"!) and two chocolate (without sprinkles!!!!!!). Which means I managed to get six plain glazed and six donuts that nobody wanted. So I sat alone in a dark conference room and wept while I choked down the cherry (cough syrup) donut. But at least I didn't completely lose my head and order that pink icing with peanuts Frankenstein-donut that always ends up by itself in the box.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I Just Have Something In My Eye, That's All

I think women get a bad wrap for not being in control of their emotions. I think they're just less adept at hiding it. Because I get upset about some pretty stupid stuff. And I freak out (albeit internally) when something really petty gets to me. I mean, I don't cry during sunsets or Oprah, but my internal monologue includes phrases like "not fair" and "I can't believe she said that."

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. In my senior year of high school, all my CDs were stolen from a cabinet in the newspaper staff room. Putting aside the dorkiness of my being a member of the high school newspaper staff, this was a sad day for me. And I can still remember which CDs I'm missing. But the one that stings most is my Lou Bega CD. Because I can go to a store and replace my Wallflowers CD and my Tim McGraw Greatest Hits CD if I really wanted to. But I will never walk into a store and look for Lou Bega (wait, is there still a 'Mambo' section?). I'm pretty sure no one would have it and I wouldn't want anyone to hear me ask for it or see me purchase it. Anyway, it still makes me sad to this day that I don't have closure with that album, as outdated and ridiculous as it would be now. And I feel a little pang in my heart (half nostalgia, half embarrassment, half sadness... half misunderstanding of halves) every time I think about it.

Here's one more example. I have to fight back tears when I watch those fatties on The Biggest Loser. There's something about watching somebody change their life through diet and exercise. And then to see when they reunite with their family and their brother or sister can hug them and make it all the way around for the first time in years... I get a little choked up.

So maybe I should be easier on my wife the next time she gets upset. I'll just think about Mambo Number 5 and those slightly overweight people holding the giant pants in front of them like Jared from Subway.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Hangin' Out

My older brother went to the dry cleaners last week to drop off a few shirts. And when he walked in, the lady working there was reading a book in a hammock... inside the store... in the middle of the work day. But he didn't take a picture with his cell phone! So I have two problems with that situation.

First, it's shocking to me that he didn't take this lady's picture. I mean, if someone is willing to install an outdoor hammock inside a building and use it in full view, I don't think they'd mind if you took a picture of them using it. In fact, if they happened to be slightly self-conscious about using the hammock, a person taking their picture would probably make them feel better about the whole situation. So why my brother didn't take a picture is beyond me. That would be my first instinct.

Second, and probably more obvious, why would someone install a hammock in their store? Maybe it's because of my size, but I've never found hammocks to be so much more comfortable than a chair that I resent not owning one. And it's hard for me to imagine that if you're a business owner, you can't budget for an eight dollar metal folding chair. Did she bring the hammock from home? Did she buy it at Sam's with her businessperson discount? Is it possibly a tax write-off? Is she selling homemade hammocks? Okay, that actually sounds reasonable. She probably makes hand-woven hammocks and that's her sales technique. How better to get the word out on your merchandise than to display and use them in public. It works for those toy helicopter salesmen in the mall.

But I do know one thing for sure. I'm purposely staining my shirt with some coffee today just so I can go in that store with my camera phone ready.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top Ten Quotes I Wish I Could Use In Real Life Situations

10. "You rush a miracle, you get rotten miracles."

9. "You can't handle the truth!"

8. "I believe in fairies!"

7. "It's an honor just to be nominated."

6. "That's what she said."

5. "You're not thinking fourth dimensionally!"

4. "The call is coming from inside the house!"

3. "Get behind me, Satan."

2. "Your mom goes to college!" -or- "You're bruisin' my neckmeat!"

1. "No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Sticks And Stones, Love"

The last time I got my hair cut, the lady cutting my hair told me that I needed to come in more often. She said, "You know, you won't lose so much hair if you get it cut more." But I hadn't mentioned the fact that my hair was thinning. So she forced me to take that awkward jump from denial into acceptance. Because usually I set up camp on denial until I can make some kind of joke about hair loss. But I didn't get to make that usual stop at self-deprecating break-the-ice humor ("I don't think of it as a receding hairline. I think of it as a retractable roof.") And it was totally unintentional, so I didn't even get an apology to work with. Because I can usually spin that into something funny. So I just sat there awkwardly because she basically told me that I was balding and it was my fault. So I felt like a complete loser.

And that kind of stuff seems to happen a lot. I feel like a loser because someone said something unintentionally mean. I can think of one example in particular from when my wife was pregnant with our first child (Well, my first child. We're still not sure if she's the mother.) I said something about how cool it would be to see how the baby looked when he was born. So here's our conversation:

My lovely wife: "Yeah, you know we're gonna be upset when he comes out with all our worst qualities. I bet he comes out pale, fat, and hairy."
Me: "Hey, wait a minute! Those are only my worst qualities!"
My domestic partner: "Oh no. I'm sorry! I didn't mean it like that! I'm sure he'll be... um... well, he'll have... a weird-shaped big toe like me!
Me: "That's the best you can come up with? A weird big toe?"
The pregnant lady in my house: "Well, what do you want me to say? You have to admit that you're... it's just that I'm a little bit more... oh, never mind. I'm gonna offend you no matter how I finish this sentence."
Me: "Shhh! Lost is coming on!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"They Say Taupe Is Soothing"

Yesterday, I threw a little tantrum. It wasn't visible or anything, but it happened. Because I'm not so good with change, and my entire job was moved to a different building... at a different desk... in a different chair! And the bathrooms are on the wrong side of the hall, and the walls are a different color. And I have a different chair!

I threw a little hissy-fit/pity-party for myself yesterday when I sat down in my stupid chair. It leans too far back and it's really wobbly. And everything is different. I felt like Woody in Toy Story when Buzz has his "suddenly-I'm-the-coolest-toy-in-Andy's-room" montage. I actually found "Strange Things Are Happening To Me" from the Toy Story soundtrack on my iPod and played it on repeat. Then I read the book Who Moved My Cheese seven times. Then I watched Pleasantville and identified with the mayor. Then I read Green Eggs and Ham. Then I ran out of examples of media that demonstrate how upset I was that my routine had changed. And now I just want my old chair back.

Friday, November 6, 2009

"I Wondered Where That Went!"

It's moving day here at our office. Our entire group is moving next door to another building. I've packed all my supplies and personal items and tagged them accordingly. But here's the weird stuff I found:

-A basketball (fully inflated)
-An Iron Man cake topper
-An expired coupon for Ballpark Franks (I've been looking for that for months)
-A Michael Scott mousepad (that I totally forgot to mail to AFWingMom for winning the caption contest!)
-A grocery sack full of Coca-Cola product bottle caps and box tops (redeemed for 4500 Coke Reward points and then redeemed for my first pair of Nike Shox)
-A Garfield piggy bank
-A printout of this.
-One nickel and 3 wheat pennies

That's all the interesting stuff. I've already put my 8 cents in my Garfield bank and ripped the expiration date off my hot dog coupon so I can try it this week at the grocery store.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sharing Your Special Day

I share a birthday with my brother and my mom. I know, I know. That's weird. And we're not twins, and it wasn't on purpose, but that's the way it is. And my brother always told me happy birthday first because he knew I had to say it back to him. It was his favorite way of reminding me that I didn't have my own day. And because my parents didn't want my sister feeling left out, she would usually get a gift too. So it was like a less-awesome version of Christmas. Except we didn't get to sleep in, and we didn't get as many presents.

But the funniest part about sharing a birthday was that every year, without fail, my father would say the same thing to us. "Kids, this year I want to make it about your mom." What that meant is that he didn't have a clue what Mom got us, but he was gonna make sure he got her everything she ever wanted. Wait... let me rephrase that. He was gonna make sure he got her the most random stuff he could think of. So he got her appliances and stuffed animals and stereo systems. He got her furniture and shoes and clothes (as if he knew her size). It was really funny because my mom seemed to like everything she got. Whether she was pretending to like the gifts or she genuinely liked them, I'll never know. But it was fun to watch her open such random things (like a phone charger). If she was pretending to like them, then kudos to her for being so convincing.

Although, now that I think about it, I don't think I've seen that stereo system since she opened it. Or the toaster. Or the singing jewelry box. Or the 5-foot tall stuffed teddy bear. So either someone at Goodwill gets new stuff every December, or she found the receipts.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Every Two Years

My wife and I started dating 7 years ago today. And I proposed 5 years ago today. And our son was born 3 years ago this Saturday. And our daughter was born 1 year ago next Thursday. It seems like we're having some kind of big event every other November. So I guess that means something really cool and life-changing will happen next year at this time.

I hope that means we'll finally get to be on Wheel of Fortune together. Because we would totally win. I once got the puzzle "Thomas Jefferson" with just the "T". And my wife rocks at the toss-ups and the final puzzle. And we would never buy a vowel right before solving the puzzle. And we'd never yell, "Big money!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sick Days Can Be Fun Days

I called in sick yesterday. And I felt bad for doing it. I wasn't lying. I emailed my boss and explained that I was feeling better, but thought it best to take one more day to fully recover and make sure I didn't get anyone at work sick. So I wasn't lying or pretending. But I still felt bad. I felt like "being sick" should mean having a fever and staying in bed all day. Or maybe throwing up and not changing out of my pajamas. But I got up at a decent time and took a shower. I straightened up a few messes I'd made over the weekend. And then I played video games all day while my wife was out with the kids. (On a sidenote, she met some other moms at a ranch and my son got to ride a horse and play in a haystack. So I was jealous. I love horses and hay!)

And now I'm grappling with myself on how much information to share with my boss. Do I admit that I felt okay, but I was worried about getting coworkers sick? Or do I just not say anything? Because if I don't say anything, I'm implying that I was deathly ill. Either way I feel like I was dishonest, even though I wasn't.

I'm really having trouble with the fact that I had fun on a day when I called in sick. I feel like I broke the law or something.