Friday, February 26, 2010

In Which I'm No Olympian

I don't know about you, but watching the Olympics makes me feel really bad about how little I've accomplished with my life. I sit there on the couch, eating chips from a pile on my chest, watching these people who have worked out and trained and practiced for a majority of their lives for these Olympic events, and what have I done? Nothing, short of gaining a bunch of weight and developing a guilt complex. 

I tried my hand in a couple of different sports as a kid, but I was never really cut out for it. I played flag football for a couple seasons, and I was pretty good at it, too... but when you're a stocky overweight kid playing defense, how hard can it really be? I was not so great at baseball despite my best efforts, but I still played on a team for a season. That came as a major surprise to me, considering the first fly ball that was hit to me during try-outs went right between my glove and my other hand and hit me square in the nose. 

After that, I sort of came to the conclusion that I was more suited to be a spectator. 

Every time the Olympics are on, there always seems to be some new weird sport or competition that I've never seen before. Sports that make me think, There are people who actually train for this? And there are sponsors for these athletes? It's times like those where I think that I should develop my own special breed of Olympic games, where I can showcase my unique set of skills in the following competitions:
It probably wouldn't be all that much fun to watch, but I think it'd be a blast to be a part of. Especially competitive fridge raiding. How much fun is that? It must be a guy thing, but I get this weird, perverse pleasure out of secretly eating leftovers The Boss has staked claim to just because she hasn't gotten there in time. Spousal embarrassment competitions would be fun, too, but The Boss would most definitely win the Gold medal over me. She has way too many embarrassing things to tell about me, as clearly this blog is evidence of.

What would be your original Olympic sport?

Have a good weekend, everyone. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In Which I Shouldn't Even Bother

In March of last year, I bought a new laptop. I bought it through Dell, and in the interest of saving a few bucks, I opted for a more beefed-up netbook. I don't regret my decision at all, although it took a while to get used to the drastically smaller screen size (I went from a 15-inch to a 10-inch) (also, that's what she said). 

Because I bought a netbook, that meant that there was no disk drive built in. Not having an external CD drive already, I bought one straight from Dell because they said it was directly compatible. Even though I purchase most of my software through the internet (thus no CD to install), having an external drive to rip CD's onto my computer or play DVDs was important enough for me to shell out the extra money for it. 

Looking back on it now, I laugh at the fact that Dell said this drive was "directly compatible". In the year since I bought it, the disk drive hasn't worked correctly a single time. For the purpose of being specific (and in hopes of getting the attention of the company who manufactured it), I bought an I/O Magic IDVD8P DVD-RW/CD-RW. Quite simply, it's a piece of junk.

From Day One, it hasn't worked right. Every time I try to burn a disk, it spits it out halfway through (that's what she said), saying some sort of error had occurred. This happens no matter what program I use to burn the disk. Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTunes, nothing. Even burning a data CD or trying to run a program off of a disk doesn't work. I've wasted so many CD-Rs in trying to get this damn thing to perform its one and only function, but it always, always fails.. 

I spent some time researching the error messages I was getting, and tried to update the device drivers on my own. I tried plugging it into different USB ports (that's what she said) to see if I would get any better results, but no dice. I even tried switching out the cable that runs from the device to the computer, and still nothing. Frustrated beyond the point of concern for my ego, I finally threw in the towel last week and contacted Tech Support.

I foolishly expected results. 

Through a series of e-mails from a guy who calls himself Ronny, I have gotten exactly zero steps closer to resolving the problem. Instead, I've had to download two diagnostic programs and provide him with the basic information about my system setup that I provided already when I sent my initial request for help. I've tried pushing him for some actual suggestions on how to resolve the problem, but I'm beginning to think that "Ronny" is no more than some guy copy/pasting tips out of the online product manual. 

What is it going to take to get some actual help here? Do I need to sacrifice a virgin? Shave my head and make a sacred potion with the trimmings? Sell my soul to Simon Cowell so he knows how it feels to have one? Do I need to do a little dance, make a little love, and get down tonight? Please, for the love of all that is good in this world, Ronny, just help a brother out.

I'm beginning to think I shouldn't have even bothered. I probably should just write this off and go buy a new drive. Sure, I'll feel bad about the eighty bucks I pissed away on the one I have currently, but at least I'll finally be able to burn a fucking CD. 

Misery loves company, so in the comments, share with me your tech support horror stories.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Which I'm Not Sure What To Think

Something weird keeps happening in the bathroom at work.

No, I'm not getting propositioned by George Michaels while reliving myself at the urinals. And no, I didn't piss on myself again or bruise my shoulder (not to mention my ego) by breaking another toilet seat

Just about every single time I enter the Men's Room at work, the little automated air freshener tacked to the wall above the paper towel dispensers will go off. I hear a small motor whirring followed by a moist "Pfft" sound, and soon the air carries the sickly-sweet aroma of radioactive lemon zest. 

It's like this thing thinks I stink, and it's adding some lemon scent to the air to compensate.

My feelings are starting to get hurt by this malevolent piece of plastic. I mean, it's not like I'm waltzing into the handicap stall, grabbing hold of the handlebars on each side of the toilet for leverage, and unleashing a new colony of Intestinites. No. I'm just taking a leisurely piss before my break is over. I've tried doubling up on my deodorant, and actually using soap in the shower instead of just hot water, even applying a few spritzes of cologne, but still that fucking thing sprays that nasty smelling lemon scent into the air as soon as I walk in. 

I've wondered on more than a few occasions if this particular automatic air freshener has some secret high-tech component built in that senses the odor of the person walking into the bathroom, and if the person smells offensive, it'll activate. I know it's probably just a coincidence, but I'm starting to develop a complex about it.

I can't help but wonder... Do I offend?*

Happy Monday, folks.

P.S. Today is Day One of The Boss' vacation, and also Day One of Operation: Temporary Badass Bachelorhood. Tonight's objective: Watching internet porn... with the sound unmuted!

--

EDIT: It appears I forgot to include my thoughts about there being a motion sensor built into air freshener device. I have examined it as closely as I can and there seems to be no sensor, as far as I can tell. I've always thought that they run on timers anyways, but they also seem to possess some ulterior motives.

*100 Bonus Points and a virtual high five to the first person who can tell me what movie I referenced in that last sentence.

Friday, February 19, 2010

In Which I Have Some Time Alone

The Boss is going on vacation next week. 

I'm driving her to the airport early in the morning on Monday for a flight out to Arizona, where she'll be spending the week reconnecting with her best friend. This vacation has been in the works for quite a while, and she is very excited about going. Having lived in either Maine, Massachusetts, or New Hampshire her entire life, this will be the furthest away from home she's ever traveled. This will also be her first time flying, and with all the things she has planned out on her itinerary, I know she's going to have a blast.

Me, though? I'll be staying home with the house to myself for the week, and working a shitload of overtime. 

Since The Boss is going to be away having fun, I've tried to think of things that I want to do while I have all of this time to myself. I don't often do things just for me, and what better time to do that when the wife is away for a few days, right? There'll be no guilt, no compromise, no consideration for what the other person wants to do. Quite frankly (and I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying this), it has all the potential to be an awesome week. 

I can watch all the movies that The Boss refuses to watch with me (can you say Star Wars marathon?) and have the volume set at a level that I feel is appropriate. I can eat junk food and whatever else I want, regardless if the particular item is normally meant for dinner and I'm eating it for breakfast, or vice versa. I can watch internet porn without having the sound muted or using headphones, and freely masturbate in any room of my choosing. When going to bed, I can stretch out as much as I want, not being confined to my "half" of the mattress (normally about eight inches worth). I can take a shower and not have to worry about not having enough hot water. I can finally reenact the scene from "Risky Business" in my boxer briefs. I can burp and fart with abandon and not be chastised for the smell.

For one week, the world will be my oyster. 

I have all these dreams of grandeur, but I probably won't do anything too special with all of my time alone. I'll most likely wind up sitting at my desk on the computer and finally catching up on all your blogs, or in my easy chair reading a book. I'm sure I'll do a couple of the things that I mentioned just now, but for the most part it will be life as usual. Get up, go to work, come home, go to bed. Lather, rinse, and repeat. The week will pass by like it always does, and I know I'll find myself missing The Boss and counting down the time until she comes home, at least so she can help me figure out what shirt matches with my work pants. It'll be a rare day when I can manage to do that on my own.

In all seriousness, despite how much I will enjoy having some alone time, I will miss having The Boss around. She is to me what a straight-jacket is to the skitzophrenic, after all, but I know it's going to be good for us to have some time apart. For her to reconnect with her best friend, and for me to stretch my legs and spend some time on me

Part of me thinks I should feel selfish for saying that, but other parts of me, the ones with louder voices that resonate in that deep inner part of my soul, know otherwise.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

In Which It's Kind Of Obvious

Whenever I'm waiting in the checkout line, I like to scan the various magazine covers for interesting article titles. Normally there isn't anything noteworthy, but I recently came across this gem on the cover of Cosmo this month:




Really. 

Like there really needs to be a How-To on how to touch a naked man? There are few things in life less obvious than that. I understand Cosmopolitan has been around for a while and it's got to be difficult to keep coming up with new and exciting sex tips, but come on. In case you are curious, I'll save you the five bucks from buying the latest Cosmo and tell you how to touch a naked man. 

Look for the Exclamation Point, and go from there. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

In Which It's Time, Again

Last week, the "embarrass yourself" contest winners were announced. There were six remaining pins to give away, and as I promised, today I'm going to announce the lucky six commenters whose comments were picked by Random.org.

Excluding double comments from readers and those who had already won, there were 28 comments eligible for this random giveaway. I numbered them from top to bottom in descending order and, using Random.org,  entered a range from 1 to 28. The only thing left to do was click Generate six times. Here are the results:






Please join me in congratulating commenter number 7, I'm Still Here, commenter number 17, Sus, commenter number 5, Moonspun, commenter number 27, Snotty McSnotterson, commenter number 8, Lily Ruth's Mama, and commenter number 14, Everyday Goddess

To the winners, please e-mail me your address and I'll send out your pins ASAP. To everyone else, thanks for participating. I'll be hosting another giveaway in the future, so stay tuned.

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, February 12, 2010

In Which It's Time

Remember the contest I wrote about a little while back? The one where I was giving away some limited edition Badass Geek pins in exchange for an embarrassing story about yourself? 

The deadline was Wednesday, and it's time to announce the winners!

Please help me congratulate TechnoBabe for her awesome story about an extremely awkward-sounding workout session, Kael Hunt for sharing with us her top 25-played songs on iTunes (which has some pretty great songs on it), Mepsipax for being well... Mepsipax, and Linda at The Random Memorandum for telling quite possibly the best awkward date story I've heard in a long, long time.

Congratulations, all of you! Shoot me an e-mail with your address and I'll send out your pins next week.

Now, only four people submitted entries for the contest, so that leaves six pins up for grabs. Thus, I'm going to let Random.org help me choose who the remaining pins will go to. To enter, just leave a comment on this post. On Sunday evening, I'll tally up the comments and let the randomizer pick six lucky people to get one of the remaining pins. Commenting more than once won't increase your odds; I'll only count one comment per reader.

Good luck, and I'll announce the lucky six on Monday!

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In Which You'll Thank Me Later

Want to see quite possibly the creepiest thing ever?

Allow me to introduce you something The Boss found while looking for craft patterns over the weekend:




Now, if that doesn't give you nightmares, I don't know what will. 

P.S. The deadline for my most recent contest is tonight at 9pm. Don't forget to post your entries!

Monday, February 8, 2010

In Which I Stare

Does it ever seem like there are some days where all the weird people in the town you live in come out from hiding and mingle with the rest of the common folk? I know that there are weird people everywhere normally, but these people are the ones that stop you in your tracks, the ones where you actually turn your head to keep watching them because there is just something morbidly fascinating about their blatant weirdness?

For me, yesterday was one of those days.

While out running a few errands about town yesterday, I witnessed the following:
  • An 85-year-old man with a tattered and stained (with what could have been blood) t-shirt tied around his forehead,
  • A woman wearing neon green sweatpants with a massive wedgie seemingly deeper than the Grand Canyon,
  • A man who, while waiting in line at the grocery store checkout, took out his dentures and put them in his coat pocket,
  • A person (gender unknown) dressed in an authentic ninja costume walking down the sidewalk, and
  • A man walking on the shoulder of the road wearing a ripped denim jacket and carrying a baseball bat.
Did we have a full moon recently, or did it get warm enough for a few days where these people came out of hibernation? What is the weirdest thing you've seen around town lately?

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, February 5, 2010

In Which I Rewind

My allergy situation, to say the least, isn't improving. I woke up yesterday with some severe lip swelling and pretty bad hives in a couple places. It's clear that something else is going on that isn't being controlled by my normal regimen of medications like I previously thought. I got a chance to see my allergist yesterday, and while he suspects he has an idea as to what I have going on, I'll have to wait through the weekend for the results from some recent blood-work to come in.

I don't want to speculate here what he thinks I may have until the results come back, because I just don't want to stir anything up further in my mind. I'm having a hard enough time pushing all the worry and the obsessive thoughts to the back of my mind as it is. To give you some idea as to what I have to look forward to, the prospects aren't the greatest. The possibilities range from life-changing to potentially life-shortening.

I'm not a religious person by any means, but if I may be so bold as to ask for your thoughts or prayers to whatever God you pray to, I would greatly appreciate it. I'll be sure to fill you in as I come across any definitive information.

As for something positive to end the week, I don't have it in me for something new. Instead, here's a re-post of a favorite post of mine from a couple months ago...

---

This past weekend, The Boss and I went up to my parents house. We had promised them a game night a couple months ago, and were finally making good on our promise. We arrived in the middle of the afternoon with the plans to stay the night after watching the Patriots game (don't even get me started on the outcome of the game. It's still a sore subject).

After we played a few rounds of Uno and before dinner was to be cooked, my mother decided to make some muffins for breakfast the next morning. She is a master baker after all, and often takes any excuse she can get to bake something. She has been on this kick lately of trying out new recipes, and I thought nothing of it until the muffins came out of the oven. They smelled good, but different than I expected them to. I wandered into the kitchen to investigate.

"Something smells good," I commented.

My mother set a tray of muffins on the counter. They were a light golden brown and speckled with what appeared to be cinnamon.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah," I said. "What kind of muffins are they?"

"They're donut muffins," she said, as if such a thing was commonplace. I had never heard of donut muffins.

"Really?" Perhaps I sounded a little too excited. The prospect of a donut-muffin hybrid was exciting, though.

"Yeah, they're supposed to have the consistency and flavor of a plain donut. It's a new recipe."

"Interesting! I'll have to try one when they cool down a bit."

"They're awesome," my dad chimed in as he entered the room. "They taste just like a donut."

The kitchen fell silent for a moment, and my mother worked to remove the muffins from the tray and put them on a cooling rack. They really did smell wonderful, more like a donut than a muffin.

"So is 'Donut Muffins' their official name?" I asked.

"No, we like to call them Muffnuts," my dad said. There was pure innocence in his voice.

"Yeah, Dunkin' Muffnuts," my mother added.

It was all I could do to not burst out laughing. I bit my lower lip and stared at the floor for a while. The name itself is funny enough, but what really sealed it is the fact that my parents have no idea what they're saying. Their complete and utter innocence about it just makes it hilarious. The Boss and I laughed pretty hard over it later that evening, giggling in the dark as we tried to go to sleep.

It's like when a little kid swears or performs a rude gesture in public. It's funny because they have no idea what it means or what they are doing. Like the time my 93-year-old great-grandmother talked in length about how she spent the afternoon petting the neighborhood pussy, mentioning how scruffy and smelly it was. "Pussy" to her meant cat, of course, but that word has an entirely new meaning in this day and age.

I just hope my parents don't share that name with the general public or try to market them for their business with that name. I'd hate to have to be the one to break it to them what their clever name really denotes in today's generation.

And for the record, yes, I tried one. Muffnuts are fucking tasty.

---

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In Which I Make A Mean Breakfast

As what often happens around here when both The Boss and I lack the desire to make anything else, we had breakfast for dinner the other night. The particular meal we had goes by a few different names, with The Boss calling it "Egg In A Hole", and I grew up calling it "Toad In A Hole". Whatever you may call it, it's a slice of grilled toast with the center cut out of it, and you cook an egg in the middle. It's easy enough to make and it's pretty tasty, so it wins major points in my book. It's not fancy or gourmet by any stretch of the word, but that's alright with me.

That night, I was in charge of the griddle and thus the turning of the egg/toast combo when they were done cooking on one side. I don't normally get entrusted to do such things because The Boss has major control issues whenever it comes to someone else cooking in the kitchen, but there I was nonetheless. I was reveling in all the control I had, all the power I had!... and then The Boss reminded me to flip 'em already because it smelled like they were burning.

The Boss' portion had cooked to her liking, so I removed her two slices of Egg-In-A-Hole from the griddle. I flipped mine one last time to make sure it was completely cooked (I very much dislike runny eggs), and this is what I saw:




I guess I make a mean breakfast.

Literally.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Which I Get My Way

A lot of the good stories I have had to share recently have involved visits to the grocery store. I'm not sure what that means, or if it means anything at all, but I am thankful for the blogging material nonetheless. The story I have to share with you today is something that happened this past Saturday at the local Walmart. 

The Boss and I had already gathered up into our cart the things we needed, and despite it being past 8:30 on a Saturday night, all the registers had massive lines. We picked one close to the entrance where we parked, and resigned ourselves to wait. Shortly after we got in line, another couple joined in behind us... a little too close behind us.

Being a person who requires a standard amount of personal space, I inched forward with our cart. No sooner had I stopped moving when the couple behind us moved right up close again. This went on a few more times, and with each passing minute I felt my anxiety level rise. They were so close that I could feel the breath of the guy standing behind me each time he sighed impatiently. 

For the record, I don't mind sharing close quarters with those I know and are comfortable with, but when it comes to complete strangers, I prefer to keep a polite distance. Not wanting to be rude, I continued to move as far forward as I could without being right on the heels of the person in front of me. The couple behind me moved in closer still. A quick glance over my shoulder showed that there was no one in line behind them, so there was no real reason for them to be so incredibly close to me. 

At the time, I was dealing with a considerable amount of congestion from this most recent allergy situation, and having no tissues or anything around to blow my nose into, I was forced to keep sniffing it all back up. Just as I was reaching the end of my patience with the close-quarters couple behind me, I got an idea.  An awful, evil idea, but knowing that my congestion is not from a cold, thus no sickness-causing germs to spread, I decided to go for it. 

The next time I had to sniff, I exaggerated it greatly and wiped the side of my hand vigorously against my nose. I then coughed violently into my hands. The Boss turned to me, concerned.

"Are you alright?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm fine." There was a perfect amount of thick congestion blurriness in my voice. I worked up another massive sniff and hacked on the fake phlegm for a minute. "Just this damn flu is all."

The quiet conversation between the couple behind us stopped suddenly. It was then our turn to unload our items onto the conveyor belt, and just before I did, I decided to act out the last phase of my idea.

I coughed again, being sure to make it sound as juicy and gross as I possibly could. I didn't cough into my hands this time, instead choosing to aim into the corner of my left elbow... which I had angled directly at the close-quarters couple. 

"I just hope that I'm not contagious anymore. This whole Swine flu thing is really kicking my ass."

The couple exchanged a quick worried glance, and immediately took a few steps backwards. I smiled at them and coughed one last time. A nice hearty, phlegm-y one.

Success. 

Happy Monday, folks.