Friday, October 29, 2010

Lazy Fridays

I really hate going two weekdays in a row without blogging.  So does this count?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If Real Life Was Like Facebook...

... my wife would be able prove that she has more friends than me.

... people from high school could hide their shock at my 75-pound weight gain since graduation.

... most of my friends would only talk to me on my birthday.

... I could conveniently sort my friends into groups and categorically ignore the annoying ones.

... the awkwardness of ending a friendship would be gone.

... I could control what I look like or avoid being seen altogether.

... my stalker would never have been caught and imprisoned.

... I could be part of a group without attending a meeting, paying dues, or caring the least bit about their "cause".

... I would know instantly when one of my friends made a new friend.

... I could say, "I like this," and leave it at that. No questions asked.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Man's Trash... Another Person's Problem

The office I work in is diligent about recycling paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. And because I'm susceptible to peer pressure (even the good kind), I now recycle too. It's really mostly because I don't want to be labeled as some kind of heartless punk.  And they all think it's so important to recycle.  So I don't want to rock the boat (and I mean figuratively rock the boat... we work in an office building, not a boat).

So now I don't throw many things away. I don't have water bottles or soda cans to trash anymore. And most everything else is paper. The problem with that is that 90% of my trash is now Kleenex and candy wrappers. And my trash can is difficult to hide due to a lack of space under my desk. So anyone walking past will think I have a ridiculously runny nose and a chocolate addiction. I've tried to remedy that by finding other things to throw away, but there's not much garbage around here.

So what I started doing yesterday was throwing my wrappers away at the new intern's desk. And she wears headphones most of the day, so she doesn't know I'm doing it. So now people think she's the chocolate addict, and I can avoid suspicion completely. It's perfect.  The only problem will be explaining this if she ever catches me tip-toeing to her trash can.  But it's worth the risk.  I can tip-toe very quietly.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I must go eat sixteen 3 Musketeers Minis and sneak them into my unsuspecting neighbor's trash can.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Headset Humility

When I play video games online, I don't wear my headset unless I'm playing with people I know. Because there are few things more embarrassing than realizing that you're playing a 12-year old kid… and losing to him. So I only don the headset if I have friends to talk to. And because I hate spending money, I have a wired headset that attaches to my controller. I'm too cheap to spend the 40 or 50 dollars on a wireless one. Plus, I feel that purchasing video game accessories is slightly more depressing than buying video games themselves. It's one thing to buy Rock Band. It's an entirely different thing to buy a guitar case for your Rock Band guitar controller.

Using that headset has actually provided me a new weight-loss goal. Because at least three times during each of my gaming sessions, my belly falls onto the wire. And then when I move, the wire detaches from the controller. So I made a new weight-loss goal to have so little belly that I don't pull my headset wire from its port.

The saddest part about this is that I'm not the only one of my friends who does this. It's common now for me to hear a friend get interrupted by static and then come back 15 seconds later and say, "Sorry, my stomach unplugged my headset again." We don't even laugh about it anymore. It's just normal for our fat to unplug the cord.  But I guess it makes sense that my gamer friends are overweight too. I've seen the studies. It's no surprise.

The real reason I told this story is because I used a $25 Amazon Video Game credit I had to buy a wireless headset for just $18. So I can cancel that weight-loss goal now. And I can finally look like a complete geek when I play video games online.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fun Size Fits All?

My boss put out a bowl of "fun size" candy bars. And it's made me realize that guilt is easier to deal with in smaller doses. I don't feel all that bad if I eat 13 mini-Twixes a day. But if I buy a Twix at the store and eat it in one sitting, I feel like a fatty. So it's good because I don't think my body has realized the total amount of chocolate I've been eating. It's like it says, "Oh! He's eating chocolate! But, wait… it's only one bite. Okay, false alarm guys. Go back to losing weight." My body seems to have a short attention span and a poor memory. Because I've actually lost weight since she put out the bowl of sweets. And while I'm sure the working out and smaller meals have helped, I think the "fun size" candy bars are also helping.

And you might be wondering why I keep putting "fun size" in quotations. But I think that should be pretty obvious. If I were to invent a fun size of something, it wouldn't be a miniature. A fun-sized pair of glasses would be gigantic. And a fun-sized TV would be huge. And fun-sized candy should weigh roughly six pounds. So they should stick to "bite size" for those.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Honoring Them, Really

I'm just going to assume that anyone coming to our Halloween party doesn't read my blog. Or if they do, I'll assume they know how to keep a secret. But this year for Halloween I'm gonna be a Chilean miner. Isn't that awesome?

And let me go ahead and run through the defense I have to use on most people when I tell them that:
Yes, I really am gonna be a Chilean miner. No, I don't think that's insensitive or mean. Why? Because it's not a tragic story now that they've all been rescued. I'm dressing up as one of the 33 guys on TV last week. If one of them had died, I wouldn't be making light of it. So what I'm doing is commemorating a triumph of human determination. By dressing up like them, I'm honoring their resolve and their… whatever, it's gonna be cool.

Anyway I've got a hardhat, a jumpsuit (thanks for being an engineer who visits refineries, Dad), a pair of nice sunglasses (if you don't get that one then go watch the video of their rescue), and some charcoal to rub on my face. It's gonna be awesome. And even though they were all clean-shaven when they were rescued, I'm gonna keep my beard. That's what they looked like in their webcam videos, so I think that still works (plus, I'm not ready to shave).

So now I'm really excited. It fits the three main things I go for in a costume; it's free, it's topical, and it's not offensive to anyone. And as long as there isn't another mine collapse in Chile, I won't have to buy a costume this year.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Don't Know What You're Talking About

There's a guy I work with who likes to talk about football. But he doesn't talk about football that I watch. He barely mentions the NFL, he skips over the limited amount of college football I follow, and then he talks about high school football coaches and the mistakes they've made in the past few weeks. I've never heard of any of these people. And sometimes I've never heard of the school he's talking about. But he goes on and on about Coach Smith and Coach Anderson and how much the Wildcats' running game would improve if they'd watch the game tape from last week's loss to the Stallions.

And he always wants to talk when I'm in the middle of watching Survivor during my lunch break. So just when I'm about to find out which team won immunity, he comes waltzing in and asks me if I caught the untelevised game between two unranked high school teams. I really want to just ignore him and pretend I can't hear him over my headphones, but that's rude. And I don't want to be mean.  But I'm pretty sure that the next step is gonna be the football prodigy he saw in the 7-year old's league. And I can't even pretend to care about that.

And now I have to make sure never to mention my blog to him. Because I've now complained about him specifically, and he'll know for sure I was referring to him.

Monday, October 18, 2010

In Case You're New Here

Over a year ago (right after I started this blog) I posted "25 Things That I Should Be Ashamed Of".  And because I've gained about 70 followers since then, and there are updates on a few of these, I figured I'd repost the list.  So here it is:

1. At one point in my life, I knew every line from Jim Carrey's smash-hit comedy, "The Mask."

2. I have blamed my gas on my sleeping son.

3. I owned Lou Bega's album, "A Little Bit of Mambo."  It was stolen from my locker in high school, and I still miss it sometimes.

4. I'm horrible at guessing movie plot twists. I didn't guess the ending to "The Sixth Sense", "The Usual Suspects", or "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."

5. I don't know who my congressman is.

6. Even though I shouldn't like them, I like Eminem, Kid Rock, and the smell of gasoline.

7. I fell for the "updog" joke in eighth grade... twice.

8. I am 6'3" and weigh 260 pounds, but I am an excellent dancer. I can even do "The Worm." I will never prove this to anyone.

9. I have an extensive collection of sports cards.

10. I've gotten 12 traffic tickets and two warnings.

11. I have no idea what the difference is between mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. But I will argue with people about which is better just for fun. I do the same with butter and margarine.

12. I have used the same kind of deodorant for 10 years. (This one isn't true anymore.  I tried Old Spice once since then and realized it's my dad's cologne.  But I only realized it after I put it on.  So I smelled like my dad for a full 24 hours.)

13. I had a favorite elevator at my last job.

14. I think fireworks are stupid, boring, and pointless.

15. When I see someone fall down, my first instinct is to laugh. My second is to look for a fellow onlooker to laugh with. My third is to wonder if the person is alright.

16. I lost my bowling ball. I have no idea where it is. How do you lose a 14-lb. black stone with your name on it?  (Update: I went back to the one place I ever bowled with that ball and they said they didn't have it.  And they never throw away a lost ball.  So now I know it was stolen.)

17. I have cried while watching a reality TV show.  I won't say what show it was, but the name started with a "B". (And it ended with an "iggest Loser".)

18. I saw Destiny's Child in concert.

19. I saw New Kids on the Block in concert.

20. I have an English degree, but I can't name any books I finished in college besides the Harry Potter series.

21. I have never beaten Super Mario Brothers from the original Nintendo.

22. I have an English degree because the day I had to decide on a major, I was three blocks away from the Political Science office and one floor away from the English office.

23. Taco Bell is one of my favorite places to eat.

24. I don't trust short people who are really quiet.

25. I've been blogging for over a year.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm Not Bragging, I Promise

I always hate when people brag about things they had nothing to do with. Like the people who brag about how tall they are or how close their parking space is (or how good they are at Yahtzee). So I try not to be one of those people. If I know I didn't have a hand in how something turned out, I try not to talk about it too much. But sometimes that's really hard to do.

My daughter will be two next month. And she seems to have a gift for speech. She doesn't just say two syllable words like most kids her age. She forms complicated sentences with contractions and conjunctions (I had to look that up). She can pronounce the word "ridiculous" better than her older brother. And just yesterday she said to me, "Daddy, can I have some of the candy in the kitchen?" What kid that age can say that?  (And when did we get candy?)

Well the problem is that it's really hard not to brag about that. In fact, I just did it in the last paragraph without even meaning to. I just wanted to mention that she's developed her speech skills quickly. But I couldn't just stop there. I'm just too impressed with her to leave it at that.  And I know this sounds cliché, but we're really just happy that we've had healthy, happy kids so far. We're very blessed not to have to deal with any major issues.  I feel like I have to say that in case people think I'm shallow or something.

But I'm really afraid of becoming that annoying parent who gets excited about normal stuff. So I'm trying not to talk about it too much. Especially since we've had nothing to do with her progress. It's not like we've been training her on it. We didn't buy any toddler teaching software or Your Baby Can Read products. In fact, I'm kinda stumped as to why she's so good at it. We're not exactly good with the words. Maybe she's just an evil genius that hasn't turned evil yet.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Long Story Short

My son asked for a story last night when it was bedtime. And I've found that I'm a pretty good storyteller for toddlers (they don't expect a lot). I usually start with, "Once upon a time, there was a little [insert animal] named [insert silly name]." And that animal usually has a friend, and they go to some location (zoo, store, school, etc.) and have various silly adventures. But last night, my son wanted a story about golf. He's been playing golf on Wii Sports recently, and I think it was still on his mind.

And for the life of me, I couldn't think of a golf story. Animals don't really play golf. But then I had an idea. I told him the story of Happy Gilmore, the boy who had to beat Shooter McGavin at golf. I told him how there was a boy named Happy who played hockey and loved it very much. And how Happy found out he was good at golf and he had a teacher who helped him. And since my son is only 3, he had no idea that I stole the entire plot from an actual movie called Happy Gilmore. I even made him laugh with lines from the movie ("Are you too good for your home?!"). Adam Sandler impressions apparently only make little children laugh.

So now I have a new strategy. I'll ask my son what he wants the story to be about, and then I'll think of a movie that references that subject. Then I'll just make the plot kid-friendly. The only problem I see is that he might actually watch these movies some day. And I will have ruined them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Probably Post Things Like This Too Much

Quizno's disappointed me today. They have a sandwich size known as a Bullet. And nowhere in the store did they have a sign that said "Bite the Bullet!" That's very disappointing and borderline unacceptable. They've probably lost a lot of business because of that missed opportunity.

When I played junior high football (for three weeks), the sign of a good workout was when I had to struggle not to puke. And I thought that's what it was this morning. But it turns out that almost puking is also a side effect of working out on five hours of sleep after having a big bowl of Wolf brand chili for dinner the night before. Sit-ups were a very bad idea.

I have to admit, while the main reason I'm keeping a beard right now is to solidify my nickname ("Grizz"), a secondary reason is for a Biggest Loser-type makeover reveal after the holidays when I've (hopefully) lost about 20 or 25 pounds. I think it would be awesome to come in to work after New Year's without a beard. If I've learned anything from Biggest Loser, it's that your weight loss is way more impressive when you shave.

I've started referring to my raisins as "grape jerky." And now I don't have to share.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yay Lists!

My birthday is in December. So I make my birthday and Christmas list together, and I do it in October. Having both occasions in one month is a blessing and a curse. Because I load up on gifts at the end of the year, but if I think of something I want on December 26th, I'm out of luck for 11 more months if I don't want to buy it myself. And I thought maybe as I got older, my list would start to get shorter. But I've found that thoughts like that are stupid. Because now I just want more expensive toys that have become available only since I've become a grown-up (I use that term loosely). Now I ask for wireless electronics and Blu-ray copies of movies and video game accessories. In fact, I find myself manipulating my son's Christmas list to fill my own wants ("But he doesn't have A Bug's Life on Blu-ray yet!").

The main problem is that I'm a list person. And list people are the mental equivalent of hoarders. We collect sortable, listable things in our brains. And I can't stop making lists. I make lists of stuff I need to get done, stuff I want to do before I turn 30, places I've been, movies I've seen, and people I've killed met. I've even sat down and made a list of all my teachers' last names from the 12 years of school before college (I can't remember my 7th grade Art teacher's name to save my life and it bugs me). So the idea of making a list of a bunch of cool stuff I want that I don't have to buy is a listmaker's dream. That's one of the reasons I get so excited when October comes around. The other reasons are the much-anticipated end of Daylights Savings Time (the stupidest idea in the history of ideas), the beginning of cooler weather, and an excuse to drink pumpkin spice-flavored beverages.

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Open Letter To Barack Obama

Just kidding with the title. I'm not gonna talk about politics in a blog post. That's silly.

What I would like to talk about is something very serious… NBC's Thursday night lineup. Community is outstanding, 30Rock is hilarious, The Office is still hanging on. But Outsourced? I'm not sure how I feel about Outsourced, honestly. It's not hysterically funny. But it's also not mind-numbingly boring (like that one sitcom I can't think of right now). It has pretty funny parts here and there. But in between those decently funny moments are pretty bland moments that don't really interest me. But my problem is that it follows my three favorite comedies. And there's nothing else in that time slot that's remotely interesting to me. If I had a DVR or anything but network television programming to choose from, I might think differently. But I don't. I have to watch everything live. And my choices in that time slot are Outsourced or the second half of some drama/thriller/crime type show (CSI, Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds rerun, Fringe). So for the time being, I'll have to continue watching Outsourced.

And yes, I could turn off the TV completely. We could stand 30 minutes of quiet time. But after an hour an a half of watching the same channel, there's no way we'll find the remote quick enough to justify looking for it. So for the time being, Outsourced is still in.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Do You Call A Camel That's Missing Its Hump?

For three months I've been bothered by this painting in our office. It's in the hallway outside the bathroom, so I see it everyday. And it's a painting of a cowboy being bucked off a horse. It was painted by some junior high school student back in 1994, and it won some kind of contest. But the thing that bothers me so much about it is that the name of the painting is "Buckin' the Camel's Back."

The horse has no resemblance to a camel. And I would think that a junior high student with talent enough to paint a realistic-looking horse would know what a horse is. So that got me wondering if maybe it was labeled wrong. Maybe some teacher didn't know the difference between the two. But that makes me even more upset.

My Google searches didn't help, and I couldn't stop thinking about how stupid it was that it said it was a camel. But then yesterday, the painting disappeared. The only evidence that it was even there is a small nail hole in the wall and my own memory of it. And now it's bothering me that a painting that's 4 feet long and 3 feet wide just disappeared. Who could have taken it? And why? My theory is that it bothered somebody else in the office so much that they couldn't take it anymore. Or I have a devious alter-ego that snuck in after dark and did it while my current consciousness was asleep. And that actually makes sense. Because I've been extra tired lately. I wonder what else my alter-ego has done.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"You Can Go WIth This, Or You Can Go With That"

If I don't think of something to blog about in the next ten minutes, I won't blog today. Because once I get home, I won't be able to concentrate on funny stuff. My kids will crawl on me like a portable playground and my wife won't stop making out with me (one of those things is not true). So this is it. I have to think of something funny right now.

Okay, I got nothing.

Although, today I rewatched the music video to "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim. It's the one where Christopher Walken dances around an empty hotel. And I thought of a funny comment I'm gonna use at some point in the future. The next time someone mentions dancing of any kind, I'm gonna say, "I don't know, man. I learned all my dance moves from Christopher Walken." And then I'll sing the song while performing his moves.

Okay, so that's not that funny. But it doesn't matter, because my time's up.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Running For Your Life

Last year at some point I decided it was time to start getting into shape. So I started with a jog in my neighborhood. And since my neighborhood is not an upscale neighborhood and my neighbors are not upscale neighbors, I got chased by a pit bull that wasn't on a leash. I jogged about 200 feet from my house, and then had to sprint all the way back. So that was the last time I went jogging in my neighborhood. And I didn't want to join a gym for three reasons: 1) I don't want to pay for it, 2) I'm not as strong as the guys there who are in shape, and 3) I'm terrified of getting in one of the machines wrong.

So I didn't really do any kind of exercise since the pit bull encounter. But then my wife got a free treadmill from her dad. So I've been trying to get up early a few times (okay, once) a week to run (okay, jog) for about half an hour (okay, 18 minutes). And what I've found is that it is absolutely necessary for me to look at my feet when I'm on a treadmill. Otherwise I find myself losing my footing.

This morning I decided the best way to pass the time was to watch an episode of Community (Thursdays on NBC). I just got the DVDs of season 1, so I watched an episode while I jogged. The problem with that is I wasn't watching my feet. And when you combine a 6-foot-3, out-of-shape man who's not paying attention at 6 in the morning with a cheap, hand-me-down treadmill with the tendency to slip on its track, it's a bad combination. I lost my footing completely while laughing at the hilarious character of Abed, and I nearly died.

Lucky for me, I was able to react pretty quickly. My left foot, which had randomly deviated a good 12 inches off the track found solid ground and I turned my would-be fall into what I'm sure was a hilarious-looking spin move. But I avoided tearing the skin off my legs by falling on the carpet instead of the conveyor belt of death. And no one was around to see me make a fool of myself.

So I've decided to take my chances with the free range pit bulls. My pride couldn't handle explaining a treadmill injury to people. But a dog attack makes for a really good story.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Put The 'Bear' In 'Beard'

Well, I can't shave any more this year. But it's for good reason. No, it's not because I'm donating my beard to Locks of Love in January (their standards are too high). It's because I finally got a good nickname! The guys I work with said I look like a grizzly bear with my newly-grown beard. So one of them called me "Grizz." And if you watch 30Rock on Thursdays on NBC like I do, then you know that they have a pair of characters named Grizz and Dotcom. And the guy who called me Grizz happens to be a website developer on the side (you can find him here if you're interested in getting your own website). So calling him "Dotcom" works perfectly! So now we're Grizz and Dotcom! It's awesome.

But now I have to keep the beard for a while to ensure that the nickname sticks. And I figure I need it for a good three months before it's guaranteed to stick. So I can't shave until the end of this year.

And if you're wondering about the third guy in our department (it's weird that you know we have three guys) and whether he has a nickname, don't worry. We call him "The Beast" because he told a radio station last month that he wears raccoon thongs. So now we have The Beast, Grizz, and Dotcom. We already modified our name badges.