Monday, January 30, 2012

In Which I'd Buy Stock in These

So there I was, sitting at my desk at work this past Saturday. I wasn't feeling the greatest, and I was trying my best to quell the gas bubbles groaning in my stomach. There were a few close calls but I managed to keep all gas leaks under control until I was safe behind the men's room door. As I was willing myself to keep it together, inspiration struck. That shouldn't surprise you. This isn't the first post inspired by farting, and it likely won't be the last.

I'll forgo the preamble and just get right down to it. As I was promising myself that I would not let a fart slip out at my desk, I told the rogue gas bubble, "You shall not pass!"


Here are some others I came up with:

If Mordorant was real, the world would be a better place.

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In Which I Review a Book

I’m not one to write book reviews. If you ask me for my opinion of any book I’ve read, I’ll do my best to tell you how I feel about it with one caveat: I will be purposefully vague. I feel that a lot of the magic that happens from reading a book is based on how the individual interprets the words. 

If a reader turns to the first page of a book with a preconception of how it will be, they may not be open to accepting (in their own frame of mind) what the author has written. The reader’s resulting thoughts towards the book once they’ve finished it may not be truly organic. That is why I choose to be vague when asked my thoughts on a book, because I want the reader to be able to make up as much of their mind about a book with as little outside influence as possible. Disappointment is a sliding scale, and I don’t want to be responsible for tipping it in either direction. 

With all that being said, I was asked to proffer my opinion of a book, and that is what I will do. I’ve already given you the disclaimer warning you of my intentional separation from detail, so my conscience is clean. I give unto you my thoughts on “Show Me TheFunny: At the Writers’ Table with Hollywood’s Top Comedy Writers,” by Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis.

First off, I really like the idea of this book. You take one central premise for a new sitcom, spin it to some of the best comedy writers in Hollywood, and tell them to run with it. How interesting would it be to hear the different takes on the same idea? How much would the show vary with different teams of writers at the helm? What genre or subgenre of comedy would the show cater to? Right off the bat, this book had a lot of potential, and I was eager to read it. After the first six or seven interpretations of the same premise, however, I began to feel bored.

I suppose I should have had the foresight to consider the fact that hearing the same idea rehashed over and over again would get old quickly. This book would have benefitted from reducing number of interviews (there are twenty-two in total). Taken individually, the ideas these writers came up with on the fly were great. It was definitely interesting to see their process unfold, and see how their past experience helped steer them in the direction they chose. String them all together, though, with all the gratuitous tangents and anecdotes of the “back in the day” variety that were thrown in, the book was often difficult to follow and borderline tedious.

While the book was put together very well, I feel that this project would have been better suited for a video documentary. Imagine hearing the writer’s ideas, and then see some of them come to life in short sketches a la SNL? I would watch that all day long. What better way to show the creative process than to see it unfold right in front of you? Reading it on a page only goes so far with a reader’s imagination.

There clearly was a lot of time, effort, and love put into this book. I appreciate it for what it is, and I understand that I am likely not the target audience for it. For those who geek out on the “behind the scenes” stuff and like to know creative minds work would really enjoy it.


Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In Which I See Myself In Her

As my daughter ages and develops more of her personality, I'm starting to see bits and pieces of myself in her. Most notably (and most awesomely) the ability to fall asleep just about anywhere, just about anytime.

This is my daughter, succumbing to sleep by leaning her face against the edge of the table we were sitting at in a restaurant. She fell completely asleep, and stayed that way for twenty minutes as The Boss and I finished our food. The restaurant was mostly empty and very quiet, and the wait staff thought her naptime position was quite hilarious. 

What a great kid she is.

Monday, January 23, 2012

In Which I'd Get That Checked Out

One of my favorite feelings in this world is when the weather is warm, the sun is shining and I'm driving around with the windows down and the stereo up. I hang my left arm out of the window, feeling the rush of the passing air against my skin. After a few weeks of that, my left arm has gotten more color than my right arm, and I'm left sporting a Road Tan until the weather warms up and my skin returns to its normal pasty white hue.

I'm thinking the person in this picture, though, has something more serious going on. The difference in skin color between her left and right arm is flat out unnatural.

Maybe her right shirt sleeve is too tight? Maybe she had an arm transplant from an albino limb donor? Maybe she ran out of self tanning lotion after giving color to only her left arm? All I know is that the difference in the color between those arms kind of scares me.

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, January 20, 2012

In Which I Reheat It

(Originally posted here.)

When The Boss and I are on long car rides, we generally talk instead of listening to music. It keeps me more alert, and it keeps The Boss from channel surfing on the radio, trying to find a station that isn't playing a commercial. Earlier this week, while driving the hour-long trip back home from an appointment, The Boss and I got to talking again. 

By some strange evolution of subject matter, we wound up talking about how product development companies often make the strangest foods portable, and give them the strangest names. I mean, Go-Gurt? Who needs to eat yogurt on the run? Was there a large outcry from the general public requiring the need for natural digestive enhancements while commuting to work? I know the product is aimed towards kids, and that is probably the only reason it sells. A product with the consistency of snot would only be consumed by the demographic of people who still routinely excavate their noses and eat their findings, anyways. 

Throughout the rest of the car ride home, The Boss and I came up with some ideas for a new line of portable food items. After reviewing them, though, it became clear that these products probably wouldn't make it past the drawing board. Take a look: 
  • Taco Tubes
  • Chili Bites
  • Fish Mix
  • Soup Roll-Ups
  • Sloppy Go-Joe's
  • Pasta Pockets
  • Pack-A-Rack o' Ribs
  • Clam Chowder Chewies
  • Buffalo-Flavored String Wings 

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to see any of those things individually packaged and for sale as a portable food. Some foods are fine to eat on the go, but some foods shouldn't be messed with. Calling Hot Pockets a pizza product is blasphemy, pure and simple. 

As gross as some of the above items might be if actually produced, it was fun thinking them up. What kind of made-up portable food can you think of?

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In Which It's a Bit Too Specific

If you've spent a fair amount of time on the internet, odds are you've heard of the website Oddly Specific. It showcases pictures that people around the US and beyond who have seen signs posted with, as you would probably guess, oddly specific and often contradictory warnings or statements. It's good for a laugh, if you are in need of killing some time (after you're done reading my blog, of course). 

I found my own oddly specific item recently, when I was getting some lunch at the food court last week. While waiting for my order to be ready, I spied this on the front counter:

These straws are so straight, they had to say it twice. Absolutely hetero. You needn't worry about selecting a bi-curious straw, or a gay/lesbian straw. These are 100% straight. 

For the record, I did not see a box for the LGBT straw community. Maybe they were in the storage closet.

Monday, January 16, 2012

In Which I Pass a Milestone

Today is a special day. This marks my 700th post.

I never thought that I'd have enough things to write about to amass seven hundred posts, but when you've been writing a blog for almost four years, well, I guess it's not so hard to believe. I'm going to take the day and reflect on where I've been and the material I've covered. I urge you to browse through the archives (if you haven't already) and share your favorite post.

I owe a great amount of gratitude to you, my readers. Thank you for being an audience for my thoughts and musings. I couldn't have done it without you.

Happy Monday, folks.

Friday, January 13, 2012

In Which I Cannot Believe This Is Real

I'm not often stunned by something I see. Surprised that it exists, sure, but slack-jawed stunned? Very infrequently does that happen. What does it take to rock me back on my heels, you ask?


Placenta hair conditioner? PLACENTA. HAIR CONDITIONER.

People do a lot of freaky things with placenta, and honestly, what those people decide to do with the chunky carnage that is afterbirth is their own choice. Different strokes for different folks and all that. I also understand that there is a market of people with hair problems that want a more holistic remedy. But putting animal placenta in your hair? Hell, no. From what I was able to find briefly online, there are lot more uses for placenta than I care to know about. I just can't fathom putting it on your hair in attempt to bring more life back into it. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go try to find alternative uses for my toenail clippings and earwax. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In Which I Get Conflicting Advice

While at the hospital for Baby Badass last week, I saw a sign posted next to a fire extinguisher and a fire alarm. I felt that it gave some conflicting advice about something you'd typically want to be pretty clear about:

In case of fire, hot odor, or smoke, I'm supposed to stay calm and RACE? That's like asking someone to use the toilet quietly after eating an entire Taco Bell Taco Twelve Pack with an ipecac chaser.

While I didn't really understand the logic behind the hospital's fire awareness plan, I did very much appreciate the tile work in the bathroom attached to our tiny hospital room. It was like someone shook a Tetris game and some of the pieces broke up into fragments, but the object of the game hadn't changed. 

I don't know about you, but if someone were to create this version of Tetris, I'd be all over it. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

In Which I Recap

I promised a more thorough explanation as to why The Boss and I spent a few days last week in the hospital with Baby Badass, and I will give you that explanation. For obvious reasons I'm going to leave some parts out, focusing this post on the more important parts of what has come to pass. 

Long story short, The Boss and I had Baby Badass examined for some odd muscle movements she had been having sporadically. We noticed that when she was tired, she would sometimes drop her head down to her chest and her arms would lift up. This would happen even when laying flat on her back. Given my medical history with neurological dysfunction, we feared she might have inherited something.

After two days in the hospital, during which Baby Badass was subjected to a 24-hour EEG, blood testing, and a sedated MRI, her neurologist diagnosed her with Infantile Spasms (IS). There is a lot of scary information on the internet about IS, and as is often the case with medical things, a lot of it is subject to opinion and each case of IS is different. 

In the case of Baby Badass, it is thought that her case is less severe than most because of how advanced she is in reaching her milestones. Those are the doctor's words, not those of her proud parents. They were all impressed at how strong she is physically, and how further along she is compared to other babies her age. If she was less developed, the impact of whatever is wrong neurologically that causes the physical symptoms of IS would be greater. Simply put, the more advanced the child, the less life-changing a diagnosis of IS is.

She'll be on medication to control the symptoms, and how long she'll be on the medication depends upon how well she responds to it. There are some side effects, most notably peripheral vision loss. We'll be having regular checkups with her neurologist and an ophthalmologist to make sure that everything is going in the direction it should. Best case scenario is that she'd be weaned off the medication in after six or twelve months. 

It was unbelievably difficult and heartbreaking to have to sit back and watch off of this happen to my daughter. Fortunately for us, she was very well behaved and tolerant of all the poking and prodding and testing the doctors did, not fussing or acting out even once. We are so thankful to have a daughter like her, and thankful that the diagnosis for her was not anything worse.

Happy Monday, folks. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

In Which I Don't Have the Energy

What a week.

I don't have much energy to get into any detail over the events of the past few days, but I promise to have that for Monday's post. Here is what I have the energy and cognitive capacity to tell you:
  • Baby Badass started presenting symptoms that were seizure-like last Friday night. We had her evaluated at the ER, and saw her PCP on Tuesday. She was admitted to a Children's Hospital Tuesday night.
  • Through the course of a 24-hour EEG and an MRI, she was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms.
  • We have a treatment plan involving medication and regular check-ups with a neurologist and a pediatric ophthalmologist (more on that later).
We are home now, and doing our best to get rested up and back on a regular schedule. The Boss and I are so lucky to have such a great kid. She was so incredibly tolerant and well behaved at the hospital, it made the whole ordeal easier to handle. 

Thanks to all of you who offered your support on Twitter. It was comforting to know we had people rooting for us.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In Which I Think We Have Visitors

Hoarders, drug growers, and ghosts. Oh, my.

I've talked about how weird my apartment can be before. From suspecting my neighbors are hoarders or housing a grow operation, to feeling like there are ghosts in my apartment freaking my daughter out, I didn't think things could get any stranger. Then I saw this:

Footsteps leading to and from the garage attached to my house. The garage that is supposed to be locked, to which only my landlord has a key. The footsteps appeared to be fresh, as the snow had stopped falling only an hour or so before, and my landlord (who lives about 45 minutes away) had not been by in days. I saw them when I went outside to start my car and get it cleaned off.

My neighbor on the first floor (the alleged hoarder/drug kingpin) stopped me on my way upstairs maybe a few days before to ask me if I had seen anyone lurking around her private entrance near the garage. She apparently had gotten up in the middle of the night and heard something like footsteps out on the porch and on the interior hallway that leads either to her unit or the garage.

With that bug in my ear, seeing the footprints in the fresh snow made me wonder: Is there someone living in the garage? 

Maybe my neighbor has a key and used it to get a shovel and sand for the slippery driveway. Maybe my landlord stopped in quickly and didn't check in with us like he normally does. Or maybe some housing deficient individual found a way into the garage and is capitalizing on it. 

All I know is that if I see footprints again, I'll definitely be investigating. The last thing I need is a squatter in my building.

Monday, January 2, 2012

In Which I'm Playing Hooky

It's my first blog post of the new year. Coincidentally, it's also the first day of my week-long vacation. I know, burning a weeks worth of vacation time right off the bat seems a little rash, but after the past few months of work, this week off is very much needed. 

You'll probably be reading a lot of posts from people who list their resolutions for 2012, and I figured I'd throw in a few of my own. In 2012, I resolve to...
  • ... not make unattainable promises to myself.
  • ... listen to more music.
  • ... finish my first novel.
  • ... not fall asleep in my chair watching TV without proper neck support.
  • ... get back to my origins regarding my blogging.
Let's get the end of the world started, already.

Happy Monday, folks.