Saturday, February 28, 2009

In Which I Try To Get Something for (Almost) Nothing

Anyone who has been on the Internet for at least 15 minutes has seen advertisements for "free" high-priced electronics. You know the type. The annoying, brightly colored and often epilepsy-inducing flashing graphics, yelling at you to CLICK HERE to claim your "Free Plasma Television!" or "Free XBox 360!". These ads are often ignored by a lot of people, including myself... until today.

While doing a Google search, I saw an advertisement on the right side of the page that caught my eye. It said, in not so many words, that I could get my very own iPod Touch for only $20.00. 

Intrigued, I clicked on it.

I got directed to this website where it carefully explained how to get an 8GB iPod Touch for $20. I read through the easily explained how-to page, and it seems very simple, and if it works, it's an amazingly cheap way to get a pretty cool iPod.

Call me delusional, but I want to put this program to the test. I want to see if it actually works. I've always wondered if these "Free" ads actually work, so I figured if all I'd be risking is $20, why not go for it?

I'm all set to try it out, but I need help doing it. According to the website I linked to above, after completing one promotional offer (where you'd spend the $20) you have to get five friends to do the same. Once all five friends complete the promotional offer, the advertising company sends out the iPod. 

Would anyone else be willing to wager $20 bucks to see if this program works? I know that not everyone has $20 to just throw away if this doesn't work, but I'm willing to make your $20 investment risk-free. 

How? 

If you agree to help me out with this, you of course have the option to refer five friends to do the same for you to get your free iPod. If you don't want to, though, and just want to help me get mine, I'll send you a matted 5x7 print from my photography collection (I'll let you pick between a few different prints), which is valued at $20.00. 

This may be all for naught, but I'm willing to put some of my money (and my inventory) on the line to see once and for all if these "Free" ads truly work. 

This may be crazy, and I may live to regret it, but I think I'm going to go for it. 

So... How about it?

EDIT: I'm going to be away from my computer until Tuesday, so if you're interested, please wait for me to get back to you before you do anything. 

Friday, February 27, 2009

In Which I Covet

I have a problem.

As much as I try not to, I tend to covet certain things.

These things are most often items I have a need for, but I'll be damned if I don't want them anyway. A Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard? Sure. Eyeglasses with a video screen that connects to your iPod? Yes, please. A discreet foot switch that enables you to hide what you're doing that is non-work related when your boss suddenly walks by? Hell, yeah. These things would be neat to have, but do I truly need them to function in my day-to-day life? Sadly, no.

Unfortunately, knowing that doesn't stop me from wanting just about every techy, geeky gadget out there that I see. Okay, every techy, geeky gadget.

The thing I have been coveting most recently, though, is something I could actually use. 

Most of you know that I am something of a photographer. The camera I am using currently is great and I treasure it dearly, but it is kind of bulky and cumbersome. It's not the easiest thing to carry around if you are going somewhere and want to bring your camera along for kicks. Because of this, I have been wanting a smaller, more compact camera that I can stick in my pocket and take with me everywhere so I don't miss capturing something truly unique. 

There are plenty of different cameras out there that would do the trick, but the one I'm really drooling over is the Samsung NV4. It's ultra-compact, which is the biggest concern for me, and while it's mega-pixel quality is a little low, I trust I'd still be able to take good pictures with it. After all, most of the pictures I have in my catalog now were taken with a dumpy old digicam to begin with. That camera was a Samsung, too, actually. I loved that thing, and I still have it (somewhere) to use as a backup camera. 

A quick search on Google shows that the NV4 can be had for anywhere from $129-$282. On the lower end of the spectrum, it's not that bad of a price. Unfortunately, it's still outside of the range of what I can purchase. I suppose I could ask for it for my birthday, but September is a long way off. So, as with the virtual keyboard and video eyeglasses, I am left to covet. 

What kind of things do you covet?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Which Misery Loves Company

Everyone has a bad day now and then. You know the type... The kind of day where you are in a bad mood but you can't figure out why? Take what happened to me a few months ago, for example, when I had to drive into the corporate office for work one day...

---

The sun was shining, no one pissed me off on my commute, the overweight guy in the next cubicle seemed to have showered recently and brushed his teeth, and the coffee was fresh. My sister/cousin/aunt/wife wasn't being a(n) idiot/mental reject/twatsicle/bitch at the moment, my underwear fit just right, and I had packed an awesome lunch to eat later on. With all these things going my way, what is there to be angry about? Nothing, right?

Wrong.

I sat there, angry about something, and tried to figure out what it is. It consumed me, and I couldn't concentrate on my work. My co-workers avoided me, scared off by the scowl on my face. What would have been a reasonably good day has turned into a miserable one, ruined by some unknown factor. Nothing I tried to do cheered me up, not even watching that Numa Numa video.

My shift ends, and I drive home in silence because there is nothing on the radio but damn commercials. I arrive at home, slam the front door, and sulk around the house. Even the cat can sense my anger and runs to hide under the couch. I  have a couple hours to think some more about my crappy day before The Boss gets home. The fun will begin when she gets home.

"How was your day?" she asks.

I respond in a non-committal grunt, but my expression must be easy enough to read.

"That good, huh?"

"Yeah."

She sits down on the couch, and I sit in my chair. I turn on the TV to watch the news, and she picks up the book she's been reading. The house is quiet except for the news anchor droning on about the economy. Still inexplicably annoyed, I start to lightly tap the wooden armrest of my chair.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Still tapping, I turn my head to look at The Boss. She has her head down still, reading her book.

I tap harder.

TAP. TAP. TAP. TAP.

I look over at her again. Still no reaction.

I tap faster.

Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.

The Boss finally looks up at me, and I stop. She fires an annoyed glance at me, and starts reading her book again. 

Silence.

TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP.

"Will you cut that out? Please?" The Boss asks, her voice heavy with anger. 

"Sorry," I respond, inflecting my voice as if I didn't know I was annoying her.

She looks warily at me for a few moments, and returns again to her book.

TAPTAPTAPTAPTAPTAPTAPTAPTAP!

"Mike! Cut the shit!" The Boss yells. "What is your fucking problem tonight?"

"Nothing. I'm just bored. I'll stop tapping."

"Good," she says. 

She looks sufficiently pissed off now. Something evil in my heart smiles contentedly. 

Silence resumes in the living room.

TAP!

The Boss whips her head up, visibly angry and her eyes on fire, and throws her book at me. 

---

I don't know why I did it. In all of the times that I've done that since then, I still can't figure out why. Part of me must have thought that if I was in a bad mood, she should be, too. I don't think I'm the only one who does this kind of thing, either, right? 

Tell me what you do to piss off your spouse/significant other when your misery wants company.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In Which I Offer 13 Helpful Tips

I'm beginning to think that I shouldn't have written this post. Instead of posting it, I should have just saved the fake ideas I listed in that post and used them for actual posts. This is the second post I've written from that original list of fake post suggestions, the first one being the post of the varying types of penii. Any other requests for posts from those suggestions must be made in writing. 

---

13 Helpful Tips on Surviving a Ladybug Attack*

Most people like ladybugs. They think they are cute and are a natural way of pest control. When picturing a ladybug, these people probably imagine something like this:


They could not be further from the truth. Some people, myself included, view these bothersome bugs as something like this:
Don't be fooled by their cute appearance and the folklore that says they bring good luck if they land on you. They are miniature hard-shelled bringers of evil. They kill aphids by the thousands, and they don't ask permission before gathering in large groups on your windowsill in the summer. Should they attack you, follow these helpful tips to ensure your survival. 
  1. Remove any and all clothing green in color. Ladybugs eat aphids, small green insects that feed on various plants. Should they mistake you for an aphid, consider yourself a goner.
  2. Curl up in a fetal position, protecting your vital organs from their sharp mandibles.
  3. Avoid calling them names, such as "God's Little Cow" or "Mary's Hen", even though this is acceptable in some cultures. This only aggravates them. 
  4. Do not insult or degrade the masculinity of the male ladybug. The male ladybug is very sensitive. There have only been a few documented cases of homosexual male ladybugs.
  5. Try to distract the ladybug by singing the nursery rhyme "Ladybug, Ladybug", the first verse of which is as follows: 
    Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home,
    your house is on fire and your children are gone.
    All except one, and her name is Ann, 
    and she crept under the warming pan.
  6. If you are with other people, have them throw handfuls of diatomaceous earth at the insect. This is an insecticide made from fossilized algae, proven effective by scientists and landscapers at controlling ladybugs. 
  7. Have your comrades attempt to lure the ladybug away from you with promises of fresh insects or a tasty aphid salad. 
  8. Avoid warm places such as windowsills or doorjambs.
  9. Urinating on yourself might prove to be a deterrent to the hungry ladybug. The odor and bitter taste might disarm the ladybug enough to make an escape. Use defecation only if the urine is not effective.
  10. Run a quick bath with a lot of soap. The soapy water will clog the airways of the ladybug.
  11. If the diatomaceous earth did not help, have your comrades spray you with water. This would work best from a high-pressure source, such as a fire hydrant. If this is not available a regular garden hose would suffice. Place one's thumb over the open end to create a high-pressure stream.
  12. Use fly paper to trap the ladybug. If fly paper is not available, try duct tape or masking tape.
  13. If none of the above tips prove successful, hand-to-hand combat may be necessary. Ladybugs are dirty fighters, so be sure to protect your ears, eyes, nose, nipples, sensitive moles, groin, and feet.
There you have it. Should you ever be attacked by a ladybug, at least you will be armed with the knowledge on how to survive and walk away in one piece. 

P.S. Tell me truthfully: Do you like the current blog design? Either Yes or No, tell me why. Be honest. Be brutal. Be brutally honest. I just want to know your opinion.

*While some of these tips might be effective in a ladybug attack, I assume no responsibility nor will take any liability for any injury in following this advice. Use at your own risk.

Monday, February 23, 2009

In Which I Am A Grow-er

You all have too much faith in me.

I wrote this post thinking that it was a way to make a few jokes and knock down a blog post at the same time. But no, some of you want to see how I'd turn some of those fake-post ideas into an actual post. Miss Grace specifically challenged me to write about the Show-er vs. Grow-er topic.

I'm not sure exactly where I first heard about this theory, but the basic principle is that there are two different types of penii in the world: Show-ers and Grow-ers. Regardless of what type each man has, they are still, when you get down to it, your basic regular Man Muscle. They still are awkward to carry around down there and sometimes get excited for no reason at all (like when you're driving on a bumpy road), but a Love Stick nonetheless. The difference that exists enough to need a name for it is how one's Slim Jim appears in size when flaccid. 

For the Show-er type, The Bishop is pretty much the same size when at ease as when standing at attention. The Grow-er type, however, is much smaller when dormant and "grows" to it's full splendor when the draft is called. This natural phenomenon is the cause of what some call Penis Envy, which normally begins in gym locker rooms in junior high.

Personally, I am a grow-er. When my Beanstalk is not being climbed, it is rather petite in size. Should I catch a glimpse of The Boss' cleavage or wake up after a sex dream, though, it grows to a very respectable size. This claim is not my own, for those who think I exaggerate. One can read the description I wrote of my Sausage back in August 2008 by clicking here.

I'm not sure if this reveals too much about me, but I'm past the point of being shy about it. 

Hope this clears things up. Happy Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

In Which I Can't Come Up With Anything Else

Today is Friday. 

If you are anything like me, you'll be struggling to make it through today without killing anyone so you can actually enjoy the weekend for a change. My brain seems to have packed up an overnight bag and left for a long holiday already, so try as I might, nothing I've written this morning is even reasonably coherent. 

Here are some of the things I've tried writing about:
  • The health benefits and risks of injecting oneself with a Mountain Dew IV drip,
  • How 27 people clicked over to my blog from a CNN article about a negligent housekeeper,
  • The true-life story of how I replaced the wiper blades on my truck last night,
  • 13 Helpful Tips On Surviving A Ladybug Attack,
  • Alexander Hamilton: From the West Indies to the Ten-Dollar Bill,
  • Show-er vs. Grow-er,
  • 400 Micrometres A Day: A Follicular Journey
  • How I wish I was a hero on Heroes.
Somehow I don't think any of them would make a good blog post. Maybe they would. 

What about you, Internet? Any random thoughts today?

P.S. I've made a Chat Room for readers of this blog. Come join me!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In Which I Should Be Scared

Something strange happened yesterday.

I came home from running an errand, and instead of greeting me at the door like he normally does, The Boss' cat was sitting on the living room floor. I kicked off my shoes, and as I was taking off my jacket, I looked over at him.

He smiled at me. I know that sounds strange, but I swear that he did. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn't seeing things, and sure enough... there he sat, calm and complacent, with a smug smile on his face.

I felt the small hairs on the back of my neck rise up. Something wasn't right.

I walked over to where he sat, and as I approached he stood up and walked into the kitchen. I looked down at the floor, and saw this:


My stomach dropped and a shiver ran up my spine.

He had arranged his toy puppy and a piece of string in such a way that it looked like he has eviscerated it. 

I looked over to see where the cat was, and he was sitting on the kitchen floor, unusually calm.

That could be you, he seemed to say. 

I was a little disturbed by this, but I brushed it off. I fed the cat and gave him some fresh water. 

... and I watched my back the entire evening.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In Which I Drink Too Much

Emergency Protocol Review Board, Session 137

System Record Date: 02/17/2009

Cognition begins at 04:33:17.

04:33:17 
All systems activated. ALERT. Traction system employed, equilibrium sensors report Transport Vehicle is off balance. Navigation is unsteady. Control Room reports visual impairment, employs corrective lenses. Transport Vehicle stabilized. All systems normal.
04:47:41
Waste management systems void refuse compactors from previous date, and commences cleaning cycle. All systems normal.
05:01:37
WARNING. WARNING. Fluid Retention reports fluid levels are dangerously low. System administrators advise of immediate fluid replenishment. Clear fluids required to avoid system malfunction or equipment damage. 
05:04:11
System fluid levels now adequate. Threat of damage to the Contaminant Filtration System by calcification neutralized. All systems normal.
05:18:56
ALERT. Communication problems between Fluid Retention and Control Room result in excess fluid. Fluid Retention container now full. System administrators route all excess fluids to Emergency Fluid Reserve storage. Reserve storage full to capacity. All systems normal.
05:33:09
System administrators note for system record of the expulsion of excess methane gas via exhaust at the rear of facility. Due to previous incidents (marked in Sessions 97 and 103), supervisors on site verified that all proper emission standards were met. Air Quality sensors now reporting poor oxygen levels, but is stabilizing. All systems normal.
05:34:01
Transport Vehicle leaves headquarters. Ambient temperature sensors report current temperature of 19F degrees, activates Heat Conservation Vibration system. All systems normal.
05:39:18
Control Room reports uneven terrain ahead. Transport Vehicle motion becomes unsteady. Emergency Fluid Reserve room reports concern over possible fluid leak from Vehicle's erratic motion. All systems normal.
05:40:15
Waste Management routes waste water from Contaminant Filtration Services to Fluid Retention. ALERT. Fluid Retention container full to capacity. Emergency Fluid Reserve storage full to capacity. System administrators place all systems on a Level 1 Alert. 
05:43:17 
ALERT. Due to continued uneven terrain, Level 1 Alert upgraded to Level 3 Alert. System administrators report to Control Room the need for a suitable place to dispense all waste fluids and empty the Emergency Fluid Reserve to avoid a massive fluid leak. Plumbing facility reports concern over the durability of the pipeline for such large amounts of liquid waste. Control Room responds, increases speed of Transport Vehicle towards destination.
05:47:53
WARNING. WARNING. Level 3 Alert upgraded to Level 5 Alert. All system facilities are in CODE RED lock down. All available personnel routed to Fluid Retention to help retain fluids until a proper waste site can be located. System administrators receive reports of minor leaking from the liquid waste pipeline. ALERT. ALERT. Air Quality reports build-up of methane gas; expulsion prohibited until liquid waste can be dispensed.
05:49:30
Transport Vehicle arrives at destination. Ambient temperature sensors report a sudden drop in temperature. WARNING. WARNING. Level 6 Alert enacted.CODE YELLOW. System administrators route all cognitive services to Fluid Retention and Emergency Fluid Reserve facilities. Control Room reports a waste disposal site in close proximity. Plumbing personnel alerted.
05:50:03
WARNING. WARNING. Plumbing personnel report the pressure lock on liquid waste pipeline is failing. Control Room increases speed of Transport Vehicle, alerts of arrival at waste disposal site. System administrators approve External Services to lower protective covering. Liquid waste pipeline extended.
05:50:05
Plumbing personnel release pressure lock. System administrators open Fluid Retention and Emergency Fluid Reserve tanks, and commences liquid waste disposal. Air Quality given the approval to release methane gas via exhaust at the rear of facility. 
05:56:11
Level 6 Alert dissolved; All liquid waste dispensed without incident. Fluid Retention reporting safe levels of fluid in both regular and Emergency Reserve holding tanks. Liquid waste pipeline is retrieved, and External Services raises protective covering. System administrators receives reports from Plumbing that pressure lock is sealing properly. Control Room performs diagnostic scan of all system facilities. All systems normal.
END OF RECORD

(Review Board Note: Proper emergency protocol utilized. No need for further internal review.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Which I Live In A Small Town

When you live in a small town, as I do in Western Maine, there are certain things that you get to experience that you wouldn't have the opportunity to see otherwise. For example:
  • Where else can you see an entire family of four with the same hair style? In addition, where else can The Mullet still be considered an acceptable choice of style?
  • Where else can you see women with better, fuller mustaches than men?
  • Where else can you buy a quart of motor oil, a gallon of milk, rifle ammunition, and an Italian sandwich all in the same space?
  • Where else would only have one gas station with two pumps, one of which is always out of order?
  • Where else is new adhesive vinyl flooring and spray paint considered remodeling?
  • Where else can you find a store that stocks 37 varieties of beer, but only one cooler for water and soda combined?
  • Where else is camouflage clothing considered formal wear?
  • Where else can you see more spelling and grammatical errors on storefront signs than on a child's first-grade writing assignment?
It is definitely an experience, and despite the small town atmosphere with not even one traffic light, I love it here. It is quiet and life just seems to run slower out here.

Anyone want to come visit? 

Saturday, February 14, 2009

In Which I Have One Hell Of A Day

I haven't always disliked Valentine's Day.

In elementary school, my classmates and I would hand out perforated pieces of cardstock printed in varying shades of red and pink, with the latest popular cartoon characters with smiling faces printed on them. Each one would have some clever but ultimately redundant phrase, and below would be the scribbled name of the person who gave it out. There would be candy, too, most likely those chalk-flavored hearts with abbreviated inscriptions. All in all, it wasn't a bad day. Once home from school that day, I would eat the candy and stare lovingly at the card given to me by my crush that asked if I would be hers. I would be hers, yes, if only in my prepubescent dreams.

I had no qualms with the holiday until the events that transpired on Valentine's Day in 2004.

I had been dating this girl at college for a couple months, and earlier in the year she mentioned that she had always wanted to have an upscale and fancy Valentine's Day. She talked about getting dressed up in formal wear and going to a fancy restaurant... it seemed to me like a typical romantic fantasy. I wanted to do my best to give her what she wanted, so I started planning for this months in advance.

I rented a tuxedo and bought her an elegant red dress with jewelry and shoes. I made reservations (three months ahead of time, that's how long the waiting list was) at the fanciest restaurant in town, this upscale seafood place inside a large luxury boat down on the coast. I didn't have a car at the time, so the day before I took her car to get detailed, washed, and waxed. I went out and got a haircut, bought her flowers and a romantic card (and chocolate-covered strawberries) to give her when we got back to the dorms. I pulled out all the stops, found some more, and pulled those out, too. Everything was all arranged, and February 14th finally came.

From there, it all started to fall apart.

Confident she knew where she was going, she insisted I leave the directions to the restaurant at home. As it would happen, we got horribly lost. We ended up in a scary part of town, and while I'm not entirely sure, I think we might have been witness to 13 drug deals, 7 assaults, and 2 homicides. We eventually got to the restaurant unscathed, but by the time we arrived we had missed our reservation. We were forced to sit and wait with the other patrons without reservations. We waited for two hours before we were seated. 

Due to the nature of the restaurant, there were no prices on the items on the menu. My girlfriend ordered a glass of wine, an appetizer, and her entree. I ordered my entree with a glass of water. The meal was decent, but not being a fan of seafood, I didn't truly enjoy it. The whole night was supposed to be my girlfriends dream Valentine's Day so I didn't complain, even when she ordered dessert. 

I was scared to look at the bill when the waitress brought out the check. It wasn't as bad as I had thought it could be, but nonetheless, paying $85 for one meal for two people definitely hurt the wallet. After the meal, I tripped in the parking lot while going to get the car, and got mud all over my rented tux. We managed to get back to the dorms without getting lost, and it was considerably late by the time we arrived. 

I walked her to her room with her flowers, card, and chocolate-covered strawberries in hand. Once inside her room she looked up at me, said "Thank you", and closed the door.

I stood in the hallway, dumbfounded. 

Call me presumptuous, but after all the money and effort I put into making the day as much in line with her romantic fantasy, I expected to get a little something in return. I didn't have anything sexual in mind (sure, it would have been nice), but any kind gesture would have been appreciated. I spent over $200 giving her the fantasy Valentine's Day she had always dreamed of, and all I got was a "Thank you"? No card? No fooling around? Not even a cheap box of chocolates? 

I was pissed.

And the most ironic and painful thing about this whole ordeal? Finding out three days later that the dessert at the restaurant, that fucking $12 slice of cheesecake, caused me to overdraft my checking account. 

Happy Fucking Valentine's Day.

---

It was one hell of a day, but I try not to think about it too much. I still get a little upset when I think about how ungrateful my ex-girlfriend was, but it is in the past. She and I had our share of problems, and we broke up about a month later. 

The Boss doesn't get into Valentine's Day too much, either out of her own feelings for the holiday or out of respect for mine. As the tradition goes, I make her a card and she makes me dinner. This year, in exchange for a handmade card (with a romantic haiku), I'll enjoy some spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. 

And I don't have to wear a tux.

Friday, February 13, 2009

In Which I Have A Surprise

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.

Because of bad experience's I've had in years gone by (that you'll read about in tomorrow's post), I don't particularly enjoy this holiday. I make a point to show my love for The Boss as often as I can, not just on one specific day of the year. Sure, I do special things for The Boss for V-Day, but she knows I don't want to make it into a big affair.

This year, we'll be having a quiet dinner at home, and probably watch a movie before bed. There won't be any love-making as she is still recovering from her surgery (all is going well) and can't do The Deed until after her post-op appointment next week. That's not to say that I'm not hoping for other things, though.

I wanted to do something special for you all for the holiday, so I made you a card. All you have to do is click here to download the card, print it up, and fold it. When you're done, it should look something like this:


I made it special, just for you. Yes, you. Because I heart you.

If you'd like, take a picture of yourself with your special Badass Geek Valentine's Day card, and post it on your blog. 

I hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In Which I Share A Story

EDIT: Apparently only the first third of the story came through when this was posted earlier this morning. I apologize. Here is the full story.

---

At first, I wasn’t sure of what she had said.

It’s not that I didn’t understand the words she spoke, or that I hadn’t been paying enough attention to our conversation in the backseat of that taxi. It’s possible that I was preoccupied with the way the rain had slicked her hair down against her forehead, or how her lips trembled from the chill. Despite those things, the only thing in the world as I knew it back then worth paying attention to was sitting right next to me.

There was fragility in the air that day. The rain made the city glisten as it always had, but as the streetlamps came on, everything took on a layer of unexpected dark. We ran between the raindrops to catch a cab, hands clasped tight. I remember silently cursing a puddle that splashed up the back of my leg before her lilting voice imploring me to run faster made me forget all about it. We fell into the backseat of that cab, out of breath and soaking wet, but the happiest we were ever allowed to be.

She gave the driver our destination. Her apartment was close enough to walk to, but distances to be traveled on foot always seem to increase in bad weather. We pulled away from the curb and into traffic, and she turned to look out the window. The winking red of the brake lights from the other cars lit up the streaks of rain on the glass. She didn’t speak at first, leaving me to stare shamelessly at her. When at last she turned away from the window, she picked up the conversation we had abandoned when we walked out into the rain. I don’t remember just what made her laugh, but I remember it now in slow motion… The way her hair fell as she leaned back, the way the passing headlights caught the water still clinging from her eyelashes, the way the sound of her set my mind on fire. The slow motion continues as her smile fades away into an expression that haunts me still… her perpetual sadness.

She speaks now.

I hear the words, and suddenly I am at the end of a long tunnel. All sounds come to me from far away, save for my heart, beating heavy in my ears in time with the taxi’s wiper blades. She speaks again, but I cannot respond. I want desperately to tell her how intensely happy her words made me feel, but I am out of breath, and my expression seems to lend otherwise. The taxi stops.

Her face is broken by tears. I reach out to hold her hand; she pulls away. I finally manage a response, but the damage had been done… irrevocably so. She stepped out of the cab and into the rain, and is gone.

I searched for her that night, until my strength left me.

I never saw her again, after the night she told me she was pregnant.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Which I Cannot Resist

Does anyone remember this post

You know, the one where I (jokingly) suggested that those who couldn't pass a minimum IQ test should be quarantined and kept in a maximum security facility? And how those detained in said facility would be forced to educate themselves to the proper standards of intelligence before they would be allowed to be a member of the general public? 

That, of course, was all a joke. If such a thing were real, though, I would have the perfect candidate for imprisonment... The person who came to my blog for Googling the following phrase:

"things that make light"

The guy wasn't searching for how to make a nuclear power plant in their backyard with a 'roided-up hamster on a wheel, jumper cables, and a pile of broken smoke detectors. He was searching for what objects produce light. As in the opposite of dark. How anyone, short of those still floating inside their mothers amniotic fluids, could lack the knowledge so basic as this just astounds me. It is the year 2009, people. We're not cavemen anymore. 

Just off the top of my head, here are some things that I know make light: 
  • The Sun
  • Candles
  • Fire
  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Light bulbs (invented in 1879*, by the way)
  • Compact Florescent bulbs (for the energy-conscious)
  • Flashlights
  • LED's
  • Glow-in-the-dark stickers
  • Your cell phone
I didn't even have to go to Google to come up with that list. Unless I am mistaken, this kind of thing is common knowledge, right?

Seems to me like someone has had one too many blows to the head.

* Invented by Thomas Edison, who just happened to be born on this day in 1847. Happy Birthday, Tom!

Monday, February 9, 2009

In Which I Feel Burnt Out

I'm kinda tired today, folks.

It was a long and difficult week at work, and my brain is in need of some serious defragging

I think I'm going to take another couple days off.

In the meantime, I'm still looking for suggestions for Reader Favorites, as mentioned in my last post. Leave your suggestions in a comment on this post, or the original post.

See you Wednesday!

Friday, February 6, 2009

In Which I Pass A Stone

I passed a stone today.

A milestone, that is.

This is my 200th post.

(I had you going for a minute there, didn't I?)

339 days have passed since my very first post on March 3rd, 2008. If you do the math, that means that I have managed to scrape up enough interesting thoughts and amusing stories to merit posting something new every 1.6 days. I find that interesting because I always feel I have nothing to write about. Apparently, that has not been the case.

All week I have been planning out this post. I was excited to turn this corner, feeling as giddy as I had on the day I became a teenager. And yet, now that I am finally here, just as turning 13 lost its shiny appeal before the day was through, I can't remember what I was so excited about. After taking a moment to think about why I feel that way, I realized that having written 200 posts isn't the true accomplishment. The true accomplishment is having all that I have gained during the time I have spent writing those 200 posts: You.

You see, a lot of bloggers out there say that they don't write to please their readers. They write for themselves, to stave off the hunger for it, to make the weight of carrying all those thoughts in one's mind just a little bit lighter. There is this insatiable desire to piece together the chaos when life is turbulent, to relive a memory (either fond or painful), or to just reach out and share with others an experience. I can tell you that yes, I write for those reasons, but I also write for you.

I write here because I want to make you laugh. I want to make you cry. I want to make you think and react and imagine. I want to pull at all of the emotions that make us human, whether they are pleasant or ugly. Most of all, I want to make a connection. No matter how much I write, or what I write about, what would be the point if no one was here to read it? This blog simply would not be without you, and for that I am grateful. 

So here I am, 200 posts in. Am I any better at this then when I first started? I'd like to think so, but you are the better judge of that. Does it feel more like work than fun? At times yes, but having to work at something you enjoy doing is not a bad thing. Have I run out of things to write about yet? That remains to be seen, but it sure feels like it sometimes. How I ever made it this far without boring you all to death is nothing short of amazing.

Thanks for staying with me, and for giving me an audience.

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Before I let this post go by way of the Publish button, I'd like you all to indulge a request I have: I'd like you to browse through the archives of this blog and find your favorite entry, and post your suggestion with your comment (that includes you too, lurkers). I'll put your suggestion on the new "Reader Favorites" section over on the sidebar. Throughout the past 11 months, I've always been curious as to which ones you like best. 

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In Which I May Need An Exorcism

I don't know how to say this without sounding crazy, but I think my apartment is possessed.

There has been some strange and unexplainable events as of late that could indicate the presence of a poltergeist, involving some of the furniture in my bedroom. Specifically, the furniture designed to hold The Boss' clothes. 

It happens a couple of times a month, so I've gotten used to it by now. The first time it happened, though, I was shocked.

I had just returned home from work, and when I went upstairs to the bedroom, all of The Boss' clothes were strewn around the room. Five of the six drawers to her dresser were open, clothes hanging out of them. The contents to her plastic hamper had been dumped over in a slumping pile, and her pajamas were twisted together in a knot on the floor next to the bed. Her closet door was wide open, showing another pile of clothing that had previously been on hangers, while some of them still clung to the hanger by one shoulder. 

I paused in the doorway, mouth agape, and assessed the damage. It was as if a small hurricane had passed through the room. Stepping carefully on the patches of carpet amid the clothing, I noticed that her towel, still damp from her shower, was in a heap on my side of the bed. Oh, did I not mention the bed? The covers and sheets were in such disarray that I had no choice but to assume that the ghosts had done that too, unless The Boss had dreamt about becoming a whirling dervish

There was so much textile chaos that I knew something other-worldly must be afoot. This wasn't the first time we suspected there to be ghosts in our apartment, but this was entirely different. No human being could cause this much of a mess in the early hours of the morning. I asked The Boss about it when she came home from work that evening.

"Have you seen the mess upstairs?" I asked.

"Yeah, I know," she replied, "I'll pick it up later tonight."

"It's quite a disaster zone up there," I said. "Like Hurricane Katrina, the home game."

The Boss chuckled politely.

"I hope FEMA responds better this time around. Bush is out of office, so by all rights they should be on the scene by nightfall," I continued, hoping to get her to laugh.

She stared at me for a moment, and turned back to the magazine she had picked up.

"I mean, I don't think we need to call the National Guard or have the Red Cross come set up a shelter or anyth-"

"Alright! I was running late this morning, okay? I couldn't pick it up before I left! I said I'll take care of it!" The Boss snapped.

The harsh tone of voice and the stern expression on her face told me all I needed to know: 

She, too, was worried about the poltergeist.

I've been trying to see if there is any pattern to the incidents, but so far the only link I can make is that the incidents tend to happen on the days that The Boss is late for work. The poltergeist must be triggered by stress. At any rate, these incidents have happened so many times since that first time, it is now almost common place. I don't even notice the camisoles or jeans or dirty socks on the floor anymore, nor do I complain about the damp towel that always seems to curl up on my side of the bed. It is all just part of the routine. 

The Boss gets upset each time I mention the mess, so for the most part I let it slide. After all, it's perfectly acceptable to be afraid of ghosts. No need to make things uncomfortable. She'll get to picking up the mess eventually.

Like the ghost, she will do what she wants, when she wants. Who am I to protest?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In Which I Beat One Out

I don’t think I have to explain again that I grew up in a conservative Christian home. It wasn’t always difficult to live in that environment, and because I didn’t know any better I didn’t mind too much. That remained true for many years, until I became a teenager. Despite the iron fist of purity my parents tried to instill in me, I couldn’t help being like every teenage boy in history by being fascinated by women. More specifically, women in various stages of nakedness.

It wasn’t always easy finding visual stimuli, given the watchful eye of my parents, so I was forced to make do with what I could. The lingerie section of the annual JC Penny catalog was the best resource readily available in my home. When that became old (or when the eyes of my favorite model switched from sultry to judgmental), I would turn to the sales flyer's in the Sunday paper, or if I was really desperate, the intimates section of the Avon catalog.

I knew there was better stuff out there, but I couldn’t get my hands on it without my parents knowing. They blocked all the cable channels that might have had anything decent on them, and if any of my friends had anything good, they weren’t sharing. I had all but given up hope when the Holy Grail of masturbatory material arrived in the mail.

I remember the day well. I had just gotten off the bus after school, and I checked the mail before going inside. My sisters were taking part in some after school program, and with both of my parents at work for a few hours still, I had the house to myself. I tucked the mail under my arm and walked up the driveway, not knowing that I had just struck gold.

Once inside, I threw the mail on the counter. As I walked away, something in the pile of mail caught my eye. I paused, and focused on the hot pink cover. I pushed the rest of the mail away, and what I saw took my breath away. My backpack slumped off my shoulders, and I reached with trembling hands to pick it up.

It was a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

In that instant, my life changed. I had never seen anything like it before. Page after page of beautiful women in lingerie, swimsuits, and intimates. I slowly examined each picture, turning the pages carefully as if it was an ancient book with brittle pages. And the cleavage! Oh, the cleavage! Time slowed down, and if I had died at that moment, I couldn’t have pictured heaven to be any better.

Unsure of what to do with this newfound treasure, I left the magazine in the stack of mail. I didn’t want to let it out of my sight, but I didn’t want to risk getting caught with it in my room, either. When my mother came home that day, she hid it in the organizer they used for bills. I checked daily to make sure it was still there, and would occasionally take it out to look at when no one was home.

On those days, Victoria and I were inseparable. Our relationship was that of my wildest dreams. We would go on to make sweet hand-lovin’ for many months, until one day, the magazine was gone.

I panicked when I saw that it was missing. I searched frantically through the house in all of the usual hiding places, but it was nowhere to be found. I sat on my bed with my head in my hands, feeling my future crumbling. Suddenly, I had a thought. I raced to the kitchen, and tore the lid off the trashcan. There it was!

I grabbed it from the pile of trash. My mother must have thrown it out before she left for work, as it was resting on top of the refuse and hadn’t been covered with anything else yet. It was a glorious moment, and I ran back to my room with the magazine firmly in my grasp.

I realized then that because my mother had thrown it out, I no longer had to steal peeks at it. For all she knew, the magazine was on its way to the landfill. There was no reason to think it would have been taken from the trash, so as long as I kept it well hidden, the magazine was all mine! I thought hard for a moment, and in a moment of brilliance, I hid the magazine under my dresser. No one would ever look there, I thought.

No one ever did. I coveted that magazine, even storing it inside a plastic Ziploc bag to preserve it. It took me a very long time to exhaust the resources in that magazine, but even after it had lost its charm, I still held onto it. Just ask any guy… Old skin mags are better than no skin mags. You never know when there is going to be a drought.

After a number of years, Victoria and I parted ways the summer before I moved out for college. I didn’t want to risk my parents nor my nosy college roommate finding it, so I wrapped it in dark plastic and stuck it in the trashcans on the curb on trash day. I wasn’t worried about not having enough smut in stock while at college. I was going to have full access to the Internet in my dorm room, and what better thing is the Internet good for, if not for porn?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Which I Am Slightly Intrigued

I was commenting on Lola's blog today, and when checking the word verification to submit my comment I was presented with this:

I paused.

I blinked, and rubbed my eyes.

Usually the word verifications are just a jumble of letters that don't make any sense. But this? Am I the only one that can see it?

Scrodo? 

It sounds like the name of the lead male performer in a cos-play porno based on Lord Of The Rings. Add in the surname, and it gets even better: Scrodo Baggins. My imagination ran with that for a moment, and I began imagining what a porno with Hobbits would be like. I stopped before too long, as the mental image of naked midget-sized guys with hairy feet and swords that glow when orc's are near got to be too disturbing.

Before you go to Google and search for it, there is at least one porno I could find based upon LOTR. It's called Lord Of The G-Strings

No, I'm not kidding.

And yes, I'm slightly intrigued. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

In Which I Don't Mind It So Much

As much as we tend to complain about Winter...

... there are sometimes where it is just plain beautiful.


Happy Monday, everyone.