Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Which I Take Responsibility

In our household, certain responsibilities fall to certain people. The Boss, for example, knows that it is always going to be her responsibility to clean the bathroom. If she puts it off for a while and the soap scum starts getting a bit frisky with her in the shower, she knows it's her job to clean things up. Likewise, if I put off doing the dishes long enough for things to grow hair worthy of Donald Trump, I know I've got no one to blame but myself. In addition to being responsible for the dishes, I've also got to make sure that the trash doesn't overflow, and occasionally I'm asked to clean out the fridge. There are definitely worse things to have to take care of around the house (like cleaning the bathroom), so I do these things with no complaints.

One thing that always fall to me to take care of that I don't always enjoy doing is being the one person in our household responsible for eating the leftovers.

Neither The Boss or I know how to cook for just two people, so there always is remnants of meals chilling out in Tupperware in our fridge. For some reason The Boss doesn't like to eat leftovers (unless it's Chinese food), so for all the years we've been together, that responsibility has been left up to me. With certain foods, the leftovers aren't so bad. I mean, I could eat leftover pizza or spaghetti until the end of time. It's just those damn casseroles that I have a hard time with. The Boss will eat her one portion for dinner the night we make it, and the rest... Well... 

I'll have it for lunch the next day, and for dinner that night. I'll pack some more for lunch the day after that, and by now I'm about two-thirds the way through it. The night before the third day that I'm having it for lunch again, I'll have nightmares about it and every time I burp I'm afraid mixed vegetables or globs of mashed potatoes are going to come up. I always reach my breaking point on the third day and say "Fuck it," pack the rest for lunch, and on my lunch break I'll shovel it down as fast as I can so that I'm barely tasting it.

I hate to waste food, but I'm not sure how much more of this I can take. 

Freezing it isn't an option. Our freezer is where things go to die a miserable, cold, frostbitten, freezer burned death. If it goes in the freezer (unless it's ice cream, of course), I can guarantee you that it'll be forgotten about within seconds of closing the door. Given the wasteful alternative, I'd rather just suffer through it and eat it all myself as opposed to just throwing it out. 

Earlier this week, on the third day of eating leftovers (beef stroganoff sans beef, avec peas), I had an idea. Why can't the government use force-feeding of leftovers as a form of coercion? Forget about water-boarding or solitary confinement or making the terrorists listen to Celine Dion tapes cranked to eleven. It doesn't matter if it's Shepherd's Pie, Green Bean Casserole, or whatever other concoction there is out there. Just feed them nothing but the same heated and reheated and reheated again casseroles. 

Bet you five bucks they'd start talking by day four.

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Which I Make You Feel Better

Have you ever been around someone when they said or did something stupid that made you feel instantly smarter just by being in their presence? If not, today is your lucky day.

Prepare to feel like a genius.

While taking notes of things I wanted to include in my memoir, I stumbled upon this gem of a memory that I had all but forgotten. It dates way back to the year 1994, when I was just nine years old, when Bill Clinton was still president, and when Woodstock celebrated it's 25th anniversary. This particular day was nothing special, though. I was out grocery shopping with my mother, picking up a few things for my great-grandfather. We were nearing the end of the list, and being as bored out of my mind as I was, I offered to grab a couple of the items that were a few aisles away to help speed things up.

"Sure!" my mother agreed. "That'd be great!"

"Awesome," I said, thrilled at the concept of getting this trip over with. "What should I go get?"

"Why don't you get.... these two things?" she said, pointing at the list. "I'll pick up your grandfather's prescriptions, and we'll be on our way."

"Okay!" I recited a few times over in my head the items she had pointed to, turned around, and headed off down the aisle. I hadn't made it more than five steps before my mother stopped me. 

"Mike?"

I stopped and turned around, trying not to appear frustrated. "Yeah?"

"Where are you going?"

"I'm going to the Dairy section."

She cocked her head to one side a bit, confused. "What for?"

Now I was confused. "The stuff on the list you wanted me to get?" I said in halting tones, not meaning for it to sound like a question but the inflection happened anyway.

My mother looked at me, still with the confused look on her face.

"You know," I said. "The milk of magnesia?"

A smile instantly broke over her face. She struggled to keep the smirk under control, her face turning red in effort, and finally gave up. She started laughing, her shoulders bouncing up and down. I had no idea what was so funny. She waved at me to come back, and I did so hesitantly. I asked her what she was laughing about, and she only shook her head, the aftershocks of laughter still rumbling through her.

As it turns out, I learned that day, milk of magnesia is a laxative. No wonder why I had never seen it in the dairy case before. 

See what I mean? Instant IQ boost!

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, June 25, 2010

In Which I Try To Fit In

I've been thinking a lot lately of trying to write a memoir. I'm not sure how it'd turn out, though, because I haven't had a whole lot of interesting things happen to me in my life thus far. I have lead a pretty boring life, but what keeps pulling me back to the idea of writing a memoir is that I think it'd do me some good. It'd force me to really think about all that has happened to get me to where I am today, and all of that soul-searching might put some things that have been lurking around in the back of my mind to rest.

After giving it some serious thought, I've decided to get off the fence and just do it. Today, I thought I'd share with you the introductory section to my memoir, tentatively titled "Fitting In, and Failing Miserably: A Memoir of Inadequacy, and Becoming a Badass Geek."

Enjoy.

---

All I can say was that it sounded like a good idea at the time.

I couldn't have been more than three or four years old, and as I was lying on my bed trying to fall asleep, looking at my Fozzie Bear night light, the idea that I should try to fit myself into my standard-sized pillowcase popped into my head. I'm not sure why I wanted to do this, but then again, the concept of logic and reason to a child who hasn't been fully potty trained yet is but a speck on the horizon. I thought about it for a few moments, and decided that I was going to go for it. I'd have to be quiet so as to not wake my two sisters or alert my parents, but otherwise it was game on.

As is the case with most things I've done in my past that I look upon with regret, I went in head first. I had removed my pillow from the case, which was printed with the likeness of Mickey Mouse and Friends, and pulled it over my head. It went around my shoulders next, and soon I was pulling my knees up to my chest to fit my legs inside. When I had worked the pillowcase down past my shins and to my ankles, I had to bend my head down to my chest to get it all to fit. Only my feet were hanging out from the bottom of the pillowcase, but I had done it.

I only had a moment to revel in my success of this feat before I realized I couldn't breathe very well. With my arms wrapped around my legs, my legs folded up against my chest, and the pillowcase stretched tight around me, there was little room for my lungs to expand when breathing in. I suppose the panic set in when I found that my legs were pinned and I couldn't free myself. 

Suddenly it was getting very hot inside that pillowcase, and all I wanted was out. The lack of oxygen probably explains why I don't remember much after that point, but since I'm not typing this from inside a Mickey Mouse pillowcase, I obviously was able to escape. I'm proud to say that I learned my lesson and haven't tried cramming myself into a pillowcase since. It's all about the small achievements.

Thinking back about this memory now, I see a correlation from this to many other memories I have of growing up where I tried so desperately to fit in. As with the pillowcase incident, when I finally managed to squeeze and contort myself into a place where I had no business being in the first place, I found that I really didn't want to be there after all. Take that, and you could draw a straight line to my constant want of acceptance by my peers. While different in a literal sense, they are still enough the same in concept to prove my point.

This is a part of who I am, a thread that has woven itself deep into the fabric of my psyche, and I know that is never going to change. I've given up trying to fit in, and I know better than to give into it, too (although I'm not always successful). I didn't always know that, though, and in the pages to follow I will document my life (at least what I remember, and how I remember it), and my constant struggle with wanting to fit in, and failing miserably.

---

It's a rough draft, but it's a start.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

In Which It's Not That Difficult

Dear Fast Food Drive-Thru Employee,

I get it. Your job sucks because you're working for a major fast food franchise. Not the most glamorous job out there, sure, but there are definitely worse jobs to be had (a Porta-Potty cleaner after a Chili Cook-Off comes to mind). The hatred you have for your job is clearly apparent as you greet me in your monotonous voice through the intercom. Way to make me feel welcome, considering I'm the guy who is helping to pay your wages.

As I'm placing the first part of my order, you cut me off mid-sentence to ask me what I want to drink. I ask for a Sprite, and you ask me if there is anything else. Since I'm ordering for my wife as well, I say yes and continue. After every single item, you proceed ask me again if there is anything else. After the cheeseburger, no tomato. After the chicken nuggets. After the small fry. After the medium root beer. How about next time you wait until the patron sounds like he is done ordering, so you don't aggravate him to the brink of an aneurysm? Odds are we'll tell you when we're done ordering, and likely feel less like throttling you through the car window when we drive up to pay.

As a guy who is a picky eater, I always special order my fast food burgers. I am always careful to make sure I put a strong emphasis on the things I would like on my burger. So, when I say "ketchup and pickles only", that should mean that I get ketchup and pickles only. No onion, no mustard. Just ketchup... and pickles.  When you think about it, it's actually easier to make my order because it involves putting less things on it than normal. I'm all for getting what I'm paying for, and since I saw on the order confirmation screen that you didn't enter my order with the specifics I requested, I asked you about it. You snapped back at me saying that you heard me the first time. I guess that it's not your fault, then, that my burger, upon unwrapping it, had not only ketchup and pickles, but mustard and onions as well. Surprise, surprise. This is why I always check my order before leaving. See why I asked you about it now? To help your company waste less food because of incompetence.

I know your job is menial, and it must get tedious as hell after a while. The important thing to remember here is that you have a fucking job. Consider yourself lucky that you have what you have, when there are so many people out there struggling on what they get from unemployment, if they're fortunate to have even that. Try to keep that in mind when you go to work next. Try not to make every customer feel like he's inconveniencing you by giving you an opportunity to do your job.

Sincerely,

Mike

---

I mean no disrespect for those who work in the fast-food industry. As with every business, I expect to be treated decently and get what I'm paying for the first time. I shouldn't have to justify it and let mistakes off the hook by saying, "Well, what did you expect from a fast food place?" That shouldn't matter.


Oh, well. I don't rant or vent very often. Feels good to let it out (that's what she said).

Monday, June 21, 2010

In Which I Should Be Thanked

After too many weeks of looking like an unkempt homeless man, The Boss put her foot down and sent me to get a haircut. Even after a year of living where we are now, I still haven't found a place where I feel comfortable going to get my haircut. Short of barber shops (which, around here, are more like butcher shops), most salons are geared towards women, thus uncomfortable for men. Well... straight men at least. So as I have done the past couple times I've needed to get my ears lowered, I headed for the local Walmart. 

Getting a haircut at Walmart is an experience all to itself. There's nothing quite like a distracted woman with razor sharp scissors snipping away and getting dangerously close to your ears, snapping her chewing gum and carrying on a conversation with her co-worker about the latest office drama and gossip. It's best to pretend that you're invisible and hope that you'll climb out of the chair with the tops of your ears unscathed. 

Haircuts there never are perfect, but the main idea was to remove the nine pounds of hair from my head to help make the warmer months a bit more bearable. The woman who cut my hair this time was nice enough, although she kept pressing her boobs against me. If she was hoping that'd get her a better tip, she hoped wrong. It just made it all the more awkward. After I was done and made sure the tops of my ears weren't flapping more than normal, I headed to the bathroom to wipe off all the little snippets of hair on my forehead, ears, and neck. 

Standing at the sink was a young boy, probably age five or six. I assumed he was waiting while his dad finished up in one of the stalls, and didn't think much of it. I grabbed a few paper towels, wet them, and started cleaning up. The boy watched with interest, and when he saw all the hair coming off in the towel, his eyes got wide. 

I turned around, still wiping my face, and looked at the kid. His eyes were as wide as dinner plates. "What?" I asked.

His mouth dropped open, but he was silent for a moment. "Your hair..." he said, astounded. "What's wrong with your hair?"

"Oh, my hair?" I said, looking down at the damp paper towel in my hand that was covered in little clippings. "Huh. I'm not really sure what's wrong. It just sorta happened." I tossed the towel in the trash and got another one to wipe my neck down. The boy continued to look at me, either in fascination or in fear.

"Guess I didn't eat enough vegetables when I was your age."

The boy's mouth closed with a snap. I turned back to look at him, and he swallowed hard. Just then a toilet flushed in one of the stalls, and I, figuring it was the kid's dad, finished up hurriedly. I crumpled up the paper towel and threw it in the trash. Turning to leave, I waved at the kid. He raised his hand slowly, his eyes still wide, clearly still stunned about what he had just seen.

If his parents suddenly don't have a problem getting him to eat his veggies, they'll have me to thank.

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

In Which I'd Rather Not Think About It

Editor's Note: If you are not a fan of bathroom humor, you might want to skip today's post. It's not going to be graphic or anything, but if you don't much care for jokes about bodily functions it might be wise to check out this post instead.

---

There has been this commercial on TV lately that begs just one simple question: Why?

Take a look:




A catchy tune, no? 

So let's recap. According to this commercial, Dixie paper plates can handle the following types of foods without folding under pressure: Your Butteriest, Twirliest, Beefiest (yeah, yeah), Sturdiest, Sauciest, Gooeyest, Drippiest (hey, hey!), Messiest, Juiciest, Chunkiest, Steamiest, and your Heaviest. That's a lot to live up to, and quite frankly, it's a claim that should be thoroughly tested.

The last time I saw this commercial, I thought about how tragic it'd be if this ad was for a different kind of paper product other than paper plates. Let's say that this commercial was for toilet paper, for example. If all of the aforementioned adjectives were describing the kinds of... messes one could clean up with Dixie Ultra Toilet Paper, the song wouldn't be so clever and catchy now would it? No. Although a truly durable toilet paper has yet to be put on the market, a commercial making all of those claims for toilet paper would be quite nauseating.

And before you say it, you're welcome. Enjoy having that commercial stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In Which I Grin and Bear It

Just about everyone has seen the movie Office Space, right?

Remember in the beginning of the movie, the scene where Peter Gibbons drags himself to his cubicle and is subjected to the repeating script of Nina, the receptionist in Corporate Accounts Payable (click the link for a sound clip)? Her high-pitched voice and never-changing vocal inflection grates on our nerves, and it's hilarious because it's happing to poor Peter Gibbons.

Oh, yes. It's hilarious... until it happens to you.

I've been sharing the same space with my cubicle neighbor for the better part of six months now. She's a nice older woman, pleasant enough to deal with and work around, and since she's stopped painting her fingernails at her desk, I've got no complaints. Except for the fact that she annoys the fuck out of me.

She was born and raised in Brazil, so she's got a thick accent. It's not the accent I have a problem with, because she enunciates her words clearly enough to understand what she's saying. It's what she says when she wraps up each and every call that she takes that I have a problem with.  

"Ees dere anyting else I can assist you?"

Can you see what is missing? Maybe a particular preposition, perhaps? The above sentence is not complete as it stands right there, but that's how my cubicle neighbor says it, call after call.

"Ees dere anyting else I can assist you?"

"Ees dere anyting else I can assist you?"

"Ees dere anyting else I can assist you?"

"Ees dere anyting else I can assist you?"

The worst thing about it? She sort of trails off her voice at the end, so it kind of sounds like she's going to say the word "with" to make the sentence complete... but she never does. NEVER does. She gets my hopes up each time I hear it, and it's such a let down and so unbelievably and irrationally frustrating. 

To avoid being the pot calling the kettle black, I'll admit that I say the same things over and over with the calls I take. I'm guilty of that just as much as she is, and so is anyone else who works in a call center environment. You fall into these script-routines when you spend all day on the phones because it makes things easier. It's one less thing you have to consciously think about saying. The difference between her and I is that one of us speaks in complete sentences, and that's ME.

Such is life in the call center. 

Misery loves company, so please share in the comments the annoying traits your co-workers have.

Monday, June 14, 2010

In Which I Rock Out

As I sit here writing this, it is almost 2:30 AM. The Boss and I just got back from the best rock concert I've seen in years, at the Meadowbrook Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire. Who did we see, you ask?

Styx, Foreigner, and Kansas.

It was an amazing show. I was blown away by the sheer talent all three groups displayed, Foreigner and Styx especially. To perform the songs that made you famous twenty or thirty years ago with such gusto and energy as I saw last night... it really was great to see.

Kansas opened the show, and while they were good, they didn't really look like they were getting into their music too much. It was still neat to hear what few songs I knew of theirs live, at least. 

I managed to snag a few decent pictures from my camera (not my good camera; they don't allow zoom lenses in the arena) from where we sat, forty-one rows back from the stage and just about dead center. Here's Foreigner first:









Their show was unstoppable. It had such energy, and holy shit, can Mick Jones shred. At 65 years old, he could put to shame many guitarists decades younger.

Styx was the headlining group for the night, and they sure as hell didn't disappoint. Here are some pictures from their show:









The only thing that their show lacked was one song: Mr Roboto. I can't believe they didn't play it, but I'm sure they had their reasons. That one missing song on their set list is a minor blemish, though. They were spot on. I have a renewed sense of respect for them all, and a greater appreciation for their music.

Going to the concert made for a heck of a long day (as it is nearing 3:00 AM by this point), but I'm glad we got to go to the show. It was a bit of a splurge for us to do (the tickets were $70 each), but we did it as an anniversary gift to each other. If this show is coming anywhere near you, I'd highly recommend it. It was a blast.

Happy Monday, Folks.

Friday, June 11, 2010

In Which I Shake It

Late the other night, The Boss and I were watching TV. There was nothing but reruns on, and as people without cable television often do when they are left with no other choice, we tuned into one of the local access channels. One of the larger networks in the area does a ten o’clock news program, and with no other recourse, we watched that for a while.

Once the last recap of the weather was done and the anchors signed off, a title card came up announcing that the following program was a paid advertisement. Not wanting to fry my brain cells any further, I got up from the couch and started to walk away. Just as I was about to leave the room, an attractive woman appeared on the screen. I stopped and took a quick appraisal. 

I’m not sure what she’s selling, I thought to myself, but I’m watching, at least for a minute.

The infomercial was for this supposedly "revolutionary" arm workout product called The Shake Weight. I'm sure most of you have heard of this before, but for the uninitiated, well... for the rest of this post to make sense, check out this video, and this video.

Okay, so you've got a two-pound dumbbell on springs, and you use it to tone up your arms by shaking it back and forth in a particular motion. This motion allegedly works out all of the muscles in the arm that women find troublesome to tone up otherwise, and in just Six Minutes A Day! you can transform your flabby arms. 

There's just one problem. The particular motion one makes when using the Shake Weight? It looks an awful lot like you're administering a handjob. 

All throughout the commercial there are shots of different women using their Shake Weights in different ways. Two handed, one handed, extended out to one side, one in each hand, behind the head... These women are definitely well experienced. I'm standing there, watching these women smiling on camera using their Shake Weights in different positions and thinking to myself, Man. Substitute the sound stage for a porno living room and the shake weights for... well... the anatomical equivalent of an Exclamation Point, and I'm pretty sure you'd have to shell out $7.99 a month to see this online.

I know I'm not the first one to point out the sexual undertones of this infomercial, but I still felt it was worth bringing up. I came across many videos on YouTube about it, so many that it took me a bit of searching to find the official videos. It's almost become viral, and I don't know why I'm just hearing about this now. Must be that rock I'm living under.

Don't get me started on the male version of the Shake Weight. That's an entirely different genre that I am going to steer far clear of.

Have a good weekend, everyone. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In Which I Might Be A Pessimist

I've been reading a lot lately. It's no secret that I'm on a Stephen King kick right now, having read nothing but King since late 2007. I've read over thirty books of his, a majority of them within the past year, and I'm a little over halfway through completing his entire library. I'm not sure when I'll be finished with everything he's written, but I know that it'll be both a momentous and bittersweet moment. 

Having read what I've read over the past two and a half years, there is something to be said about how it's affecting my outlook on life. Perhaps with all of the horror and mystery and fantasy I've been greedily pouring into my mind as of late, it's starting to rub off on me. I'm not saying that I've gone from being an eternal optimist to viewing the glass as half empty, but I have noticed some warning signs.

Namely the fact that sometimes, when reading something other than King, I switch out words in generally positive sentences that make them take on a less positive or gloomy feel. 

I noticed that I was doing this a few weeks ago. I'd read a sentence and think to myself, that didn't fit at all with the rest of this. I'd go back over the sentence again a few more times before I'd realize my mistake, and suddenly the sentence would fit with the rest of the piece. Take, for example, the following.

What I read: 

@PostSecret: Only 32,000 people have come together online in two days to prevent a suicide. 

When I first read this, I was confused. As if 32,000 complete strangers coming together from around the country to help prevent a suicide wasn't enough? It wasn't until I reread the Twitter update a few more times that I realized I had switched in the word "Only" to replace "Over." Which, in context, works much better and makes it a positive statement. 

Of course, now that I have noticed I'm doing this, it's happening with more frequency. It's sort of like a Freudian slip, but darker. I'm not worried that I'm becoming a pessimist; Being an optimist all the time can get exhausting. I just find it odd that my brain finds in necessary at times to swap out words at random. It's a good thing I don't speak in public for a living. 

So long as I don't take up an unhealthy obsession with my car, start controlling things with my mind, and start seeing clowns hiding out in sewer grates, I think I'll be okay. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

In Which I Talk In Code

Editor's Note: Even though I know that a majority of my readers are women, this post is for the guys. 

Guys, have you ever offered to take your wife/girlfriend to the movies, hoping that this time she might be in the mood for something more up your alley in terms of genre of movie? You know that the theater in town is playing the newest gory action flick/comic book adaptation/spy thriller that's been getting rave reviews. You think, in what can only be considered Man's Logic, since you went to see that lame chick flick with her a few weeks back, that asking her to see this movie with you would only be fair.

So you wait for her to call when she's on her way home from work. You ask if she'd be up for going to the movies tonight, and she practically squeals with delight, saying yes, she'd love to go to the movies. In your mind, you're thinking, Sweet. I've got this all locked up. You're just about to mention the movie you want to see, and the rationality behind why you think the both of you should go together to see it.... But you've reacted too slowly. She cuts you off.

"I've really, really, really been wanting to see that new movie where the tragically single girl meets the hot guy who says he loves kittens and shopping, but she's still attached to her ex, and he's all angst-y and they almost breakup when they start arguing in the rain but then he kisses her and they live happily ever after."

You drop your head, defeated. You give no response.

"Can we see that one?" she'll ask, and you, being the nice guy that you are, will say yes.

So there you are, waiting in line at the theater to buy your tickets. The marquee for the movie you wanted to see is on the wall to your left, and you look at it longingly. That movie looks so kick-ass, you think to yourself, and just as you're thinking that it couldn't get any worse, your wife/girlfriend looks up at you.

"I have to go pee. Can you get the tickets?" she asks, all smiles and glittering eyes.

"Sure," you reply. 

It just got worse.

Not only are you going to see some mushy, sappy, romantic comedy instead of that awesome action movie, you now have to stand there by yourself and tell the cashier that you'd like two tickets to that mushy, sappy, romantic comedy. You say the name of the movie quickly so to be done with the pain and indignity of it sooner than later, like ripping off a band-aid.

Ladies, you might think I'm exaggerating things a bit here. Normally I'd say, yes, you're right. Except this time, I'm really not. It's bad enough that we have to sit through two hours of predictable, corny dialogue and sappy-sweet "aww" moments, but now we have to tell the stoic male cashier that "I'd like two tickets for He's Just Not That Into You, please." Yes, going to chick flicks or romantic comedies with the wife/girlfriend does usually result in some sexual favors afterwards, and honestly, thats usually all that is getting us through the movie. We're sitting there, repeating over and over in our minds, She's gonna play with my balls when we get homeShe's gonna play with my balls when we get home.

To help lessen the blow for us men-folk who have to endure this experience, I'd like to make a suggestion to the movie production companies: Come up with alternate titles for their Chick Flick/Romantic Comedy/Love Story movies. Titles that are geared towards men who are in the situation as described above.

For example, instead of He's Just Not That Into You, you could ask to see You Gave Away The Milk But Now He Doesn't Want The Cow.

Instead of Killers, you could ask for The Latest Lame Ashton Kutcher Movie.

Instead of The Notebook, you could ask for The Movie That Will Get Nicholas Sparks Laid For Life.

Instead of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, you could ask for How To Lose Respect For Matthew McConaughey In 10 Seconds.

Instead of Sex And The City 2, you could ask for SJP Makes Me Queasy, Too.

I think you get where I'm going with this.

Having Code Names for those genre of movies would make going to see them a little less painful*. And before you mention it, I know you can buy movie tickets online these days. You still have to go up to the cashier to get your tickets, though (at least around here). 

What other Code Names for chick flicks can you think of?

Happy Monday, folks.

*I mean this post in fun. If I hated going to girly movies so much, I wouldn't go, and I'm not saying I've ever been forced to go. Yeah, we don't like going to see girly movies, but if you ask any guy who truly loves his woman, he'll tell you that we endure those movies (just like you endure the action flicks we like) because we like making you happy. The sexual favors afterwards are just a bonus.

Friday, June 4, 2010

In Which I Put Myself In Their Shoes

I was going to write today about some of the people in my office. There are so many people that work around me that are worthy of being mentioned here that it's not funny any more. The place I work at must be like a warm lamp to a moth, attracting all of the weirdos and freakoids in the area. 

Having said that, though, what does that say for me?

After having that little lightbulb of realization blink on in my mind, I sat back for a moment and put myself in the shoes of the people I was going to describe in this post. If I think so oddly of them, what must they think of me?

Like the guy who always talks to me at the urinal and often jokes about killing his wife... does he think that I'm standoffish or anti-social because I don't respond? I am not either of those things, but when I'm holding my junk and pissing, and your holding your junk and pissing, I don't exactly want to start chatting about the weather. The jokes about eighty-sixing his spouse are kind of off-putting, though, because he looks like the kind of guy you'd see on the news after being arrested for murder. 

Or the guy who, when he laughs, sounds like a gay billy goat. I cannot stand this guy, and it's solely because of the way he laughs, and he laughs at everything. Does he think I don't like him because he's gay? I've got nothing against gay men nor him in particular, it's just that laugh. That nerve-grating, volume-cranked-to-eleven laugh. He always looks at me like he thinks I dislike him, and that's just not the case. He just annoys the shit out of me. 

Or the lady who dresses sort of like Mimi from The Drew Carey show. I don't want her to think I'm judging her or the way she dresses when I squint or look away when she walks by. It's just that all of the conflicting colors are much too loud. I really could care less what people wear (so long as it covers the no-no zones), but I just can't look at her and keep a straight face. She probably thinks I'm a prick, but it's not my fault that it looks like the eighties and nineties threw up in her closet

The chronically insecure part of me does wonder what the people in the office think about me, but the sensible part of me doesn't allow myself to become overly concerned with it. I know they probably think I'm just the quiet dude who has a rotating wardrobe of the same six shirts, who reads nothing but Stephen King, and who has eaten the same thing for lunch for the past five months.

Do you ever wonder what the weird people in the office think about you?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In Which I Tell A Tale

Once upon a time, there was a man who lived by himself. Being the kind of man who didn't believe in shaving and didn't take much stock in general hygiene, he was content with being alone. This was a very good thing, as women didn't much care for him or the odoriferous cloud that clung to him like a wet shirt. The last time he was close to a woman was when he took his cousin to his senior prom, but even she needed to apply a bit of Vick's VapoRub under her nose before the slow dances. He was a quiet man, and didn't require much.

He worked part-time at a local convenience store, and while it wasn't a very fulfilling job, he told anyone who would care to listen that it was enough for him. Besides, it was close enough to walk to. The fact that he didn't have a car (or a license) was never mentioned. He put in his thirty hours a week selling cigarettes and gasoline and beer to the locals, and spent the rest of his time at home in front of the computer, eating cheese curls from the bag and drinking Red Bull.

By nature, this man was very curious. Despite his thirst for knowledge he didn't do too well in school, dropping out by the time he was in the 10th grade. One doesn't need a diploma to run a cash register, he often says, and dropping out of school gave him more time to focus on his career. He worked his way up to Assistant Shift Manager at the convenience store, a pretty lofty title in his mind, and that gave him the pay raise he needed to be able to afford internet service for his tiny efficiency apartment.

He satisfied his thirst for knowledge by searching the internet for answers to his most pressing questions. At work he often writes notes down on scraps of receipt paper so he can remember to search for things when he gets home. Like a "timeline for all the hurricanes, storms, hell, floods, and thunder that has happened from August 2009 until present". Or "badass names for his air conditioner". Or if "miniature dachshunds are considered chick magnets, or if it'd make him seem gay". Google was his best friend and confidant, allowing him to ask the hard questions without feeling like he was being judged.

One night, when he was feeling uncharacteristically lonely, he tried searching for other people who participated in his favorite pastime. He thought if maybe, just maybe he could find at least one other person who liked to "dance the Macarena with a homeless guy in an elevator", he wouldn't feel so alone in the world. He stayed up way late past his bedtime that night, searching through page after page of results. 

Just as he was about to give up, he finally happened upon this one blog where this guy talked about being a badass and a geek. He felt an instant kinship with this person, and while he never professed to enjoy dancing the Macarena in an elevator with homeless men, he thought that he could look past that. The guy was sometimes funny, and he found he could use a bit more humor in his life. Satisfied, he bookmarked the page to return to later, turned off his computer and went to bed.

The next morning, he woke up feeling fulfilled. Something stirred in his heart, something he hadn't felt in a long time. He took a razor to his scrappy, ill-formed beard, and showered for the first time in a week, using actual soap this time. He liberally applied deodorant instead of his usual one-scrape-per-armpit, and remembered to brush his teeth. After putting on fresh socks and Velcro-ing his shoes nice and snug, he stepped out of his apartment. With the sun shining warm on his face, he felt good. Most importantly, he felt good about himself (something he hadn't felt since the time he reached second base on prom night).

He walked to work with a skip in his step, and lived happily ever after for the rest of his days.

---

At least that's how I picture it. Some weird guy in a dingy apartment somewhere, thinking up the oddest and strangest things to search for that happen to bring traffic to my blog. The things my fictional bachelor searched for are actual search terms that have brought visitors here recently. It never ceases to amaze (and sometimes scare) me. 

About the moral of this "story", I'm not suggesting that my blog is the key to happiness and fulfillment in one's life, as was the case with my fictional bachelor here, but you never know. Sometimes all you need to turn your day or week around is something to laugh at.