Friday, February 26, 2010

That's Just Sick

Being sick will make you do some crazy things. I've slept on the tile of a bathroom floor, duct-taped an ice pack to my forehead, and taken those "only-psychotic-people-would-do-this" cold showers when I have a terrible fever. But I've never done anything crazy cool when I'm ill. I've never scored 38 points in an NBA playoff game like Michael Jordan did with the flu. And I've never been able to feel earthquakes and move things with my mind like John Travolta did with that weird brain tumor in Phenomenon.

In fact, most of the time, I swing the other direction. I just do really stupid stuff. I can't tell you how many times I've put my shirt on inside out or backwards when I'm sick. And last week I did something else kinda stupid. My wife was running errands around town, and (because I'm a typical man) I decided I was well enough to go along. So at Wal-Mart, I needed to go potty (the real term escapes me because all we ever say at my house is "go potty"). In a sick-induced haze, I walked into the bathroom while ignoring the "Closed for Cleaning" sign. And in my defense, my past experiences with Wal-Mart bathrooms have trained me to believe that they are never actually cleaned. So maybe subconscious me was partially to blame for this, too. Anyway, I went potty and when I was washing my hands, I noticed someone lurking in the largest stall. And he was wearing women's shoes! My obvious reaction was to get my camera phone ready so I could get a good shot of him once he came out. But he just stood there, right out of sight with the stall door open.

So I chanced a glance as I exited and saw a very shocked-looking older woman with yellow gloves on, her eyes wide from having stood in the bathroom while a man went potty. So I had to try to reason in my head why that man had so suddenly turned into a cleaning lady. Then I loudly tripped over the "Closed for Cleaning" sign on my way out. Then I told my wife I had to go home and get in bed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blah Blah Blog

So I made the mistake of telling people at work that I don't have a nickname. And I complained about not having one. That was very stupid. In the past three days I've been called Butch, Chunk, Sloth, Big Magic, and Tinkerbell. So two women's nicknames, the fat kid from Goonies, the deformed giant from Goonies, and whatever "Big Magic" is from.

The mistake started when a guy called me "Slick." I thought he was talking about how I'm slick with computers and how I use a website called slickdeals to find really good online shopping deals. So I told someone else that he gave me a nickname. But he apparently calls everyone that. And that's when I complained about never getting a nickname.

But I promise you, if one person calls me "Tay-Tay" then I'll lose it. That's my snapping point. I'd rather go by Tinkerbell. Why won't they just call me by my name? I sent them the link to my blog. But I guess "Bonecrusher Scorpion, Texas Ranger" is a mouthful.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Majored In Patience In College

I consider myself to be a patient person. I've dealt with more than my fair share of morons (I used to be a phone support representative) and they don't bother me so much anymore. So idiocy and grammar mistakes don't get to me like they do most people. But there is one group of people who always test my patience. And that's people who think they know what they're doing when they obviously don't have a clue.

You probably know some people like this. They're the ones that say the words "don't worry" right before they do something very stupid. They get your Civic stuck in the mud when they back it out of the driveway for you, they break your computer when they "fix" it, they get everyone lost because "this map is outdated," and they never lose an ounce of confidence in themselves. And I guess that should be a little admirable; the fact that they never lose their confidence. But the problem is that their mistakes rarely affect them. Their mistakes only affect the people they're "helping." So I can't admire such misguided confidence.

And I met another one of these people last night when we went to upgrade our cell phones. And it's not like the warning signs were missing. His second sentence was, "Don't worry; I've been doing this a long time," even though he looked like he was about 16. And my first question about data plans sent him straight to a coworker. So I should have vetoed him on the spot. I should have told him, "Look, you seem like a nice kid. But I don't think this is gonna work out. Don't take it personal, but you're obviously an idiot." I'm sure that would have gone over really well. But I'm a chicken and that pesky conscience of mine told me not to do it.

So instead, we watched in quiet disbelief as he put the wrong phones on the wrong lines, gave me a purple phone when I asked for a black one, asked for the last four of my social security number 167 times, asked for help from a coworker six times, and took an hour and fifteen minutes to do something that I could be trained to do in twenty. And the fact that I didn't once roll my eyes at him, yell at him, call him an idiot, or kick him in his stupid little shins (yes, shins can be stupid) is my greatest accomplishment this week. My patience was tested and I'm proud to say I passed the test. And we are the proud new owners of some pretty cool upgrade phones. But sometimes it's hard to be a patient person. Especially considering how freakishly stupid his little shins were.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

That's Just Wrong... Dead Wrong

Having attended two funerals in the past week, I feel like I learned a lot of life lessons. And seeing as I'm not really the type to dwell on sad stuff, these life lessons aren't gonna be all that helpful to most people. Really, I just feel the need to cover a few basic rules for funeral behavior. My older brothers, through their funeral antics, enlightened me to all the things that someone can do wrong at a memorial service. And if you think I'm making any of this stuff up, then I've got some tragic news for you. So let's get started.

Rule# 1 - Don't do impressions of the deceased to the grieving family... or if you're asked to speak at the gravesite service.
It is never acceptable to make fun of someone who just died. It is especially unacceptable to mock their voice and hand gestures at the funeral. Your main hint should have been the person next to you (a.k.a. me) whispering "Too soon."

Rule# 2 - Don't hug someone who is crying if you don't know them personally.
I actually witnessed my older brother walk up and hug a random woman and then break from the embrace and say, "It's nice to meet you." That look that she gave him was not because of her grief. It was from sheer surprise. And if this is a way you're gonna try to pick up women, it goes in two rulebooks.

Rule# 3 - When people introduce themselves to you, it is not polite to point at the open casket and say, "This guy is my brother-in-law." (with emphasis on the first two words) It is both shocking and weird.
In fact, as a general rule, maybe you shouldn't refer to a body as "this guy." It's a little tacky. I'm actually assuming that if my older brothers are at my funeral, they'll probably give my body bro hugs and high fives.

Rule# 4 - Don't say anything about "putting the 'fun' back in funeral."
It was never in there to begin with. Your suggestion of a slip-n-slide to get the casket down the aisle of the church didn't go over too well with the widow.

Rule# 5 - If you work for a company called "Graves Excavating" then please don't wear your company jacket to the burial. It creeps people out.
I guess this rule is kinda specific to the employees of that company in Missouri. But if your clothing has any kind of writing on it, maybe have a proofreader take a look before you put it on.

Rule# 6 - Don't try breaking the tension at the gravesite by breaking wind at the gravesite.
No explanation here. It should have been common sense.

Again, let me emphasize that all of these things happened for real. I'm not embellishing as I sometimes do. And I'm not making anything up. If you need to go back and read the rules again with that perspective, maybe you'll understand a little better why I hope to outlive all of my older brothers.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Doctor Is In

Sorry (to the three of you who read my blog regularly) about the lack of posts for a few days now. The past ten days has consisted of two funerals, two sick kids, one sick me, 40 hours in the car, and zero time in front of a computer with time to spare. The only silver lining is that my amazing wife used her amazing wifey powers to avoid getting sick so she could take care of all the whining, sniffling, crying, and temper tantrums that came her way (and the kids were hard to deal with too).

I'm no doctor, but I've come to the conclusion that I have a rare form of throat leprosy. That's the only thing that could explain the scraping pain that I feel when I swallow. It's not strep throat, because that's scary and contagious. Throat leprosy isn't scary (because I say the word "leprosy" with a British accent) and it's definitely not contagious (because I made it up).

Being sick has helped me come to the conclusion that I would make a horrible doctor. Because the only thing I want right now is a medically-induced coma. I want to be conked out until I can swallow without tears welling up in my eyes. And as a doctor, that would be my prescription for almost anything. Broken leg... medically-induced coma. Insomnia... medically-induced coma. Headache... medically-induced coma. And I'd especially over-use it for whiny patients. Sore throat with a side of self-pity... medically-induced coma. Stubbed toe with an attitude... medically-induced coma. But that would be more for my benefit than theirs.

I think the main problem would be that I'd want to use it outside of my medical practice too. Ate the last slice of pizza... medically-induced coma. Copied my boss on a mean email to me... medically-induced coma. Texting while driving... fist-induced coma.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Darndest Things (Is "Darndest" A Word?)

There are things I'm starting to get sick of hearing. Like my one year-old daughter saying, "I want DAT!" every three seconds. Or that host on The Bachelor saying, "Ladies, this is the last rose of the evening." As if the idiot girls can't count to one! (Which, now that I think about it, wouldn't be all that surprising.) Well, my son is probably sick of hearing us say certain things to him too. In fact, I know he's sick of it (you're right, that's a pretty good lead-in for a cute kid story).

Yesterday, my son got frustrated with his little sister because she was spilling something. And instead of saying something normal for a three year-old, he said, "Madeleine, it's stuff like this that I'm talking about!" And I'll give you two guesses where he heard that from (Hint: her name rhymes with "Smommy").

And last week, we went out to eat at a restaurant. My son knocked his chocolate milk to the ground. It leaked a little, but the lid stayed on. But he threw his napkin down on the table as hard as he could and yelled, "Are you KIDDING me?!" It was very loud and very embarrassing and very hilarious. And I'll give you another two guesses where he heard that one (Hint: she's married to a Dan Aykroyd look-alike).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Simple Procedure

I got to thinking the other day while I was packing for a 10-hour car ride the next morning. And I realized that long drives and outpatient surgery are very similar. Yes, I'm absolutely aware of how random and insane that comparison seems, but try and stick with me here.

First of all, both long drives and outpatient surgeries are unpleasant things. But part of you gets a little excited about it. So while you may be stuck in one place for hours upon hours, at least you're not at work. And maybe you can pass the time doing something you never get to make time for. Like read a book, or watch all three Ocean's movies in one sitting, or maybe just take a mid-morning nap when you aren't even tired.

Second of all, they're both a little nerve-racking. No matter how well you plan, you don't know how bad the next day is gonna be. You could be required to share a tiny space with a sniffler or a farter. Or your Ocean's marathon may be constantly interrupted by the person who just has to talk every four and a half minutes. Not that I'm naming names or anything (Landry), but sometimes it's okay just to sit quietly!

And the thing that really got me thinking about the connection between road trips and surgeries was something more specific to me. You see, I have a bladder the size of a partially-hollowed out walnut. Which means that if I drink half a can of Diet Coke, I will need to stop for a potty break six minutes after lunch and six more times before dinner. And even just thinking about having to go to the bathroom makes me feel like I have to go to the bathroom. So I become the king of the "false alarm" pit stop. As you can imagine, that really annoys the people I ride with. So I have to plan ahead the day before. I don't allow myself to eat or drink anything after midnight on the eve of a big trip. And the only liquids I consume whilst on the trip are the ones necessary to prevent me from choking.

So there you have it. That's how I think long drives and outpatient surgeries are similar. Now if you'll excuse me, all this talk about potty breaks has set off my urge to pee.

Monday, February 15, 2010

That Familiar Buzz

I went three days without caffeine. It wasn't on purpose. I'm out of town, there's no coffee-maker here, and I didn't have a moment to spare for a trip to the convenience store for a blue Rockstar energy drink. Until about two hours ago. So now I feel alive again. My heart is racing like it's supposed to, I have to use the bathroom every 15 minutes like normal, and I'm just jittery enough to help me type faster. Man, it feels good to be back.

I realize that it's sad that my body needs caffeine this bad. Addictions are generally frowned upon. But if I'm gonna be addicted to something, I'm glad I picked something that's a) legal, b) available, and c) cheap. The thing that's actually sad to me is that I was able to go through all the withdrawals of going cold turkey in just 72 hours. I had the headaches, the mood swings, and the sensitivity to light. I've never had a hangover, but I assume it's a lot like quitting caffeine.

But again, I feel brand new now. I hear a gentle buzzing in my ears and I'm contemplating doing a push up (no, just the girl kind). I think Kenneth from 30Rock said it best... "It feels like my heart is trying to hug my brain!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

No Funny Story Today

My son has been sick lately. He's had a sore throat and a horrible-sounding cough, and he's especially sick in the morning. So when he wakes up each day, we give him Children's Motrin and a glass of water for his throat. He takes both gratefully and then goes back to sleep.

Well, my uncle passed away last night because of cancer, and my son asked us why we were all so upset. I think his exact words were, "I'm sorry you're crying. What happened?" And this is the first time we've had to try to explain death to him without actually explaining it. So we told him that my uncle got really sick and then he didn't ever get any better. And my wonderful, innocent son said, "They didn't give him enough medicine and water?" It was the sweetest and saddest thing I've ever heard. Some things just give you such a great perspective. And I'm so thankful for the family I have.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Best Laid Plans Of Moms And Men

My children never cease to amaze me. From the good ("I didn't know you could juggle!") to the bad ("Why are there movies in the fridge and yogurt in the TV console?"). But one of the good things that I've been amazed by is their capacity for remembering things. It's been one of those unforeseen perks of parenthood to find out that if I mention something once, my son will remember it forever. And since I'm not a liar or someone who uses foul language, I don't have to worry that he'll embarrass me. So it really is a perk.

Well, we bought some Christmas gifts really early last year because we found them on clearance. We picked up a sit-and-spin thing and an Astros chair for Andrew. And he was with us. He even expressed his excitement about the toys. But we figured he'd forget about the stuff before the holidays came around. We figured wrong.

My son didn't mention the stuff for months. And we wrapped the gifts and put them in the closet (of course when I say "we" I obviously mean "my ridiculously-organized wife"). Then when December came around, we started talking to Andrew about Christmas. We told him that he was going to get presents like he did on his birthday. And I'm not joking when I tell you that he said, "Can I get the spin thing and the baseball chair now?" It was like getting slapped in the face. I don't even remember what we said to him. Part of me was shocked and disappointed that he knew what he was getting. But another part of me was really impressed that he remembered something from that long ago.

But the more I think about it, the more I think he knew what he was doing. He probably plotted for months so he could ruin our little scheme. He must have figured that if he kept talking about it over and over again, we might return the toys for other stuff just to throw him off. So he waited until the 90-day return policy period was over and until December was upon us and it was a little too late to get new gifts. And then he told us. It was like someone knowing about their surprise party after weeks of secretive planning. So I guess this year we'll have to get a babysitter when it's time to shop for the kids' gifts.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hit Or Miss

After I post this entry, one of two things will happen. Either I'll get hit by a big red truck in the parking lot this afternoon... or nothing. But I'm gonna take my chances.

This guy that worked in the cubicle next to me until recently was the most obnoxious-sounding person ever. He did a number of things that made it necessary for me to wear noise-canceling headphones (I actually refer to them as Bryan-canceling headphones). He just did weird stuff. For example, he whistled really loudly, all of a sudden, for no apparent reason. He didn't whistle a song or a tune. It was one of those "I'm-trying-to-get-your-attention" whistles that people do. So he'd whistle like that, and half the time someone would come around the corner to see what was going on.

He also brushed his teeth at his desk and spit it in his trash can. He didn't go to the bathroom (which I suppose would be the least strange place for a person to brush their teeth at work). He didn't go to the break room. He brushed them loudly at his desk for like 10 minutes. And then spit loudly into the trash can when he was done. Disgusting.

He was also the only person in the world who could snore while being completely awake. It's quite a feat. You have to have a few things to do this: a) a complete lack of self-awareness when it comes to noise, b) a habit of breathing through your mouth, and c) an apparent chronic congestion that modern medicine can't cure. If you have those things, you're sure to destroy the ears of your neighbors.

Now the reason I might get hit by a truck today is that the guy I'm talking about got laid off yesterday. And I think it's safe to say he'll never visit my blog, even though I gave him the link one time. But on the off chance that he visits my blog regularly and reads this, he'll probably want to run me over since I insulted him right after he lost his job. So if nobody hears from me for a few days, then put out an APB on a red Dodge Ram with a sizeable dent in the front, driven by a mouth-breather with very clean teeth.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Face The Music

I'm always looking for stuff. I'm always looking for good deals, I'm always looking for ways to earn more money, and I'm always looking for the six-fingered man who killed my father. But my older brother is always looking for music. He likes to find it "on his own" instead of hearing it on the radio. It's all about discovery and "not letting other people tell you what you like." So if he hears a song for the first time on the radio, he won't like it. He refuses to even listen to the radio. And while that bugs me, I guess I can kinda understand it. I don't think it's really a nonconformist thing. It's a "proud of your music tastes" thing.

But what's funny to me is that he looks for specific music. Not so much specific artists or genres or songs. More like specific music to fit impossible scenarios in his life. He's picked out his "intro song" for when he plays professional baseball ("Kashmir" - Led Zeppelin). He's picked his "I appreciate life" song for when he catches his big break and walks down the streets of a major city, smiling at strangers and buying something from a market ("New Shoes" - Paolo Nutini). He's picked out his "I-bet-you-didn't-know-I-could-dance" song when he woos his potential wife at a party ("Weapon of Choice" - Fatboy Slim). And he's picked out his "slo-mo walk" song for when he's in an action movie with Chuck Norris, busting in the door getting ready to beat up every punk in the room ("Cochise" - Audioslave).

If you know those songs, you know he's chosen them very wisely. And I really hope I can join him for the last one. We perfected a slow-motion walk back in the day, and we've been dying for a chance to use it. It's pretty amazing. Maybe one day I'll put it on a video and post it on here. But probably not.

Monday, February 8, 2010

You're 10 Points Cooler Now!

I have developed a point system for how much I tolerate/like a person. The more points they have, the better I like them. In reality, I've had the system in place for a long time, but I've never made it official. For example, every time I hear someone say "exspecially," they lose points. And every time someone makes a reference to The Princess Bride, they gain points.

So here's the way it works. Everyone starts at a flat zero. And zero means either a) I don't know the person very well yet, b) they annoy me sometimes but also have some redeeming qualities, or c) they're in a coma. Then it's a point here or a point there, with categories changing at 10-point intervals. So if you say something cool in ten straight conversations, you bump up a level.

And to keep in simple, I won't let anyone gain or lose more than 10 points in a single sitting. So you'd only lose 10 points for saying, "Irregardless of the special effects, I could care less about Star Wars. I hate stupid movies like that, exspecially when I could spend my time helping the environment." Although I would probably never talk to you again because you're obviously an idiot. But if it was the first time I met you, you would only drop to negative ten, or "Mildly Annoying." I like giving people chances. So I've come up with a tentative scale for the system I've implemented. It goes all the way up to "Long Lost Twin" at plus 100. And it goes all the way down to "It Would Be Worth The Jail Time To Stab You" at negative 100. You can see the chart below (which took forever to come up with, so don't diss it).

-100 = It Would Be Worth The Jail Time To Stab You
-90 = Andy Dick/Kathy Griffin/Heidi & Spencer
-80 = Restraining Order Is In Order
-70 = Time To Tell You I Don't Like You
-60 = Defriend You On Facebook
-50 = Your Voice Hurts My Brain Now
-40 = On My Last Reserve Nerve
-30 = Detect My Sarcasm!
-20 = You Should Shut Up More
-10 = Mildly Annoying
0 = Stranger/Flip-Flopper/Coma
+10 = You Seem Like A Nice Person
+20 = Facebook Friend Request
+30 = What's Your Email Address?
+40 = Invited To Our Next Get-together
+50 = Coolest Person I Know
+60 = New Best Friend
+70 = I Would Donate A Kidney To You
+80 = Writing You Into The Will
+90 = Matching Tattoos
+100 = Long Lost Twin

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Classic Post: Movie Mayhem

I went with one of my older brothers last year to see the latest Batman movie. I really enjoyed the movie, but I especially enjoyed sitting next to my insane older brother. The anonymity granted by the pitch black theater allowed me to finally see some of his antics without the stigma of relation weighing me down. And I have to admit, it was fun to watch.

He broke just about every rule of movie theater etiquette I've ever known. The only one missing was the crying baby. He answered his cell phone ("No, I'm in a movie. Hang on; I can't hear you over these idiots shushing me.") He responded with his take on every preview ("Pass! I'll pass on that one!") And he answered questions that characters posed in the film with lame answers ("Why so serious? Because you scare me!") He even made shadow puppets on the screen during the opening credits. He was quite the disaster. But I sat two seats away "to give us some extra room," so he just looked like the loser who came to the movie by himself. It was really enjoyable to see other people hate him so quickly without my usual guilt-by-association.

But there was one thing that just befuddled me. (I was gonna say confused, but my thesaurus helped me there.) He put his jacket on his seat and went during the last preview and got the largest size of popcorn he could buy. You know, the one that is roughly the size of an oil drum. He offered to share with me, but I didn't want anyone realizing we were there together. I really wanted to continue the illusion of disassociation, but I also really wanted some buttery goodness. So I told him to eat what he wanted, and I’d take the rest of the bag when he finished. And to my great astonishment, he handed me a half-empty bag within 3 minutes of my suggestion. For a wild moment, I thought he had silently eaten 4 pounds of popcorn without me noticing. But I realized that instead of scarfing it down, he had zipped his jacket halfway up and filled the space between the jacket and shirt with popcorn. That's right, he poured half a bag of hot, buttered popcorn directly on his shirt and under his jacket.

So I sat dumbfounded for a few minutes while trying to ignore the "I-can't-believe-I-thought-of-this-wonderful-idea" look on his face. He kept finding little pieces of popcorn on his shirt throughout the movie, and he got excited every time. It was very entertaining. On the way out I walked about 10 paces behind him because of the enormous, greasy butter stain on the left side of his torso. It was really fun watching all the other moviegoers staring at him and wondering how he did that. It was worth the price of admission.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Donut Thief

When is it appropriate to steal leftover donuts at work? I assume I'm good if I wait until 3:00pm. And I don't mind eating donuts in the afternoon. But then they'll think I'm the weirdo who wants stale donuts. Which I realize is a strange thing to say I'm ashamed of since I'm openly admitting it on this blog post. But anyone who reads this blog already knows I'm a weirdo because I write untrue stories online for the enjoyment of complete strangers.

So anyway, the problem is that I don't know when the donuts become free-for-all community donuts. I obviously want one before lunch because that's when they're still fresh. So if I arrive at 7:00, the donuts arrive at 7:30, and lunch is at 11:00, then my window is 7:30 to 11:00 (clearly, I have a dizzying intellect - but wait til I get going!). You'd think two and a half hours would be enough time. But the people who bring the donuts work on the other side of a cubicle wall. And they're all really short. So I can't really do any covert reconnaissance from my area. And that's why the window of opportunity is not large enough. It's all about timing, not time. I have to fully commit and go down their aisle in order to snag one. So once I start the walk, there's no turning back. And I can't be labeled as the donut thief again. That's what made my last job so horrible.

So to avoid being perceived as a weirdo or creep, I've decided to set up a hidden camera on their row when they're not there. Then I'll carry around a portable TV with a live feed, so I can monitor the box until the coast is clear. I think the presence of surveillance equipment turns creepy donut-stalking into an official citizen's stakeout. And that's not weird or creepy. Right?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Knowing Your Surroundings: A Cautionary Tale

I went into the bathroom the other day... for obvious reasons (to psyche myself up in the mirror). And as I walked in, I made a subconscious note to myself that the bathroom was empty. No feet under the stalls, nobody else at the urinal. Not that this affects how I act in the bathroom (unless I'm going there to cry, of course). It's just good to know that kind of stuff. So after about 15 seconds in the bathroom, I heard what I determined to be the opening of a soda bottle. I don't know how you spell that, so I'll give it my best shot. It sounded like, "PSSHHT!"

Given the fact that I had already decided I was alone, and add the fact that someone was apparently opening a bottle of Coke after dead silence for 15 seconds, I thought I was being pranked. But then I smelled a very strong cinnamon odor. Like someone had just shoved a large piece of fermented Big Red up my nose. And I thought, "Great, I'm being drugged like someone in the movies." But I wasn't going out like some punk. So I counted to three in my head and on "Three!" I turned around as fast as I could on the spot and yelled, "Aha!" with my arms in the kung fu position (it's a good thing I'd already psyched myself up in the mirror). But no one was there. It was just an innocent-looking empty corner of the bathroom.

And I know what you're thinking... invisible ninjas. But you're wrong (because that's redundant - there's no such thing as a visible ninja). What it turned out to be was the automatic air freshener. Which I can assume is either set on a timer or only goes off when someone smelly walks by. Let's hope it was a timer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All That And A Bag Of Chips

I usually bring my lunch in a plastic grocery bag. And because my wallet is about 2 inches thick and makes me sit at an angle, I throw that in the bag too. I also toss in my iPod, headphones, and any other paperwork I might be transporting from home. So it gets pretty full. And I don't necessarily want to carry a Wal-Mart sack, but I kinda have to.

My dilemma is that I'm not important enough at my job to carry a briefcase, so people would think I'm weird if I did that. And I'm way too old to be wearing a backpack (if you're not in school, stop kidding yourself). Plus, I'm not quite crazy enough for a fanny pack or "secure" enough for a man-purse. I would bring one of the two insulated lunch bags we have at the house, but one is anagrammed with my son's name, and the other is actually an insulated breast pump case. So people would either think I'm stealing a coworker's lunch or stealing a single mother's breast pump. Which is why I'm stuck with the grocery bag.

Some days my lunch is really big (which is why I'm overweight). This morning I brought a few leftovers, a roll, a bag of chips (yes, an entire bag), and a jar of homemade salsa (yes, an entire jar). So a plastic bag wasn't gonna cut it. And if I carry two bags into work, it looks like I went to the store on the way there, which is weird.

Okay, so flashback to a few months ago... my wife bought some of those reusable grocery bags at the store. Not because we particularly care about the environment. It's just that they don't rip as easily if the 16 year-old grocery sacker puts 48 cans of soup in one bag. But every time we go to the store, we forget we have them. So they've sat in the Stow-N-Go in our minivan Corvette since then. Well, this morning I remembered them. So I grabbed one to put my massive lunch in. Pure genius, right? The only problem is that it makes it look like I'm one of those "green" hippie Al Gore people who are always trying to "do their part" by driving a Prius and making their own compost for their backyard vegetable gardens. And the last thing I want is people thinking I believe in global warming or that I care about anything but myself. So I think the part of the bag that says "earth sound: doing our part" will soon be covered by camouflage duct tape. Or maybe a rebel flag. That'll show 'em.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Double Fish

I consider myself to be a young person, but the internet still scares me sometimes. Not like it scares old people. I know how to use a mouse, and I know all the basic terminology. What scares me are the people lurking around in it. I hate that there are people out there who's only uses for the internet are to infect computers, swindle unwitting consumers, and creep me out.

In the past couple of months I've had two random comments on my blog that scared the daylights out of me. The first was from someone named "VikiASig," and all it said was "no pains, no gains." And that had nothing to do with the post that day. But it had a link, too. I didn't dare click on it because it was really suspicious-looking. It just looked like this: ................... So, being the careful (terrified) internet user I am, I simply deleted the comment and didn't worry about it anymore.

But then I got another comment on yesterday's post. This time, it was from someone named "雙魚" which according to, translates to "double fish." And the comment was in Chinese too! So I translated that and it said, "The temperament and the mouth are not good, even if the heart is again good, also does not calculate the good person." That looks to me like some kind of ancient riddle. And ancient riddles are scary. And it had a similar link at the end. So it was double scary.

And I'll be the first to admit, seeing a link without text is tempting. My first reaction is just to click on it and see what it is. But I've heard enough horror stories about people seeing things they can't unsee for me to start doing that. And I tried the "hover" trick where you just put your cursor over the link and see what pops up on the bottom-left part of your window. And all it said there was "................" So I played it safe and deleted that comment too. I will also admit that I'm bragging a little bit here because I didn't click that link either.

And now I'm gonna test you guys. Do not click on the link below. I repeat, do not click on it. I really mean it. Don't click on it. I know it's tempting but don't do it. Seriously. Don't. No... seriously.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Wanna Bet?

I don't gamble. I don't bet. I don't wager. I don't put money on stuff. (However, I do own a thesaurus.) I won't go into all the reasons why I don't gamble. That's boring stuff for a blog post. But sometimes I'm a little fuzzy on what is considered gambling.

Well, today I was arguing with my older brother about how much water a person is supposed to drink. I said that the rule of eight glasses a day is fine for everyone. But apparently, my brother's friend said that you divide your weight by 2 and that's how many ounces you have to drink. So, that means I'd have to drink 138 ounces of water in a day. (And for those of you who didn't already do the math, that means I weigh 276 pounds.) And that's roughly nine bottles of water (eight more than I have ever drank in one day).

So my brother claims that the only reason I disagree is because I hate water. That I prefer coffee, Diet Coke, or any other beverage that has a taste to it. And while this is true, it's not the reason I disagree with the body weight water consumption formula. So he said he'd give me 5 dollars if I drank 5 bottles of water today. And he's providing the water. So that's not gambling, in my opinion. I don't stand to lose anything, and it all depends on my activity, not the roll of a dice. Plus, I really like free stuff, like money and water. So I'm gonna do it. And I'm probably gonna wet my pants.

And here are two quotes about gambling that I remembered that I think are hilarious:

Pam (on The Office): "I suggest we flip a coin. But Angela said she doesn't like to gamble. Of course by saying that, she was gambling that I wouldn't smack her."

Mitch Hedburg: "I love Blackjack. But I'm not addicted to gambling. I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle."