Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things I Learned About Places That Are In Other Places Besides Here

So, I just got home from my trip to Washington D.C. (the coldest place on EARTH right now.  Seriously) and I saw some new things that you just don't see down south and they are stuck in my brain.  I am sure there are answers to these things but please don't ruin my good time by being an arrogant douche by being all like, "Pff, well that's because..." and treating me like an idiot.  Not cool.  Anyways, here we go.

1.  Speed Limit Enforced By Air Craft
     So, while traveling to D.C. I noticed these road signs that said Speed Limit Enforced by Air Craft and I gotta know...how does that work, exactly? Are Virginia drivers really so badass that air support is needed to keep their reign of terror in check? I almost wanted to see what that looked like but my friend who was driving didn't think that hurtling along the interstate at break neck speed in the snow was such a grand idea (and neither did I, truth be told as there are now permanent finger nail marks in her armrest).  Do they use helicopters or jets? The former seems more practical but the latter is definitely more awesome and if I were in control of the state budget we would be tracking down those nasty speeders in jets, bitches.  We'll assume, for logic's sake though that they use helicopters.  I mean, as much as we can.  Using a helicopter to catch a speeding violation seems a little extreme, but whatever.  Do they land right on the interstate? This would also be cool.  It's gotta take some time to land that thing, you could just keep going and then what? Seems silly.  Unless they are equipped with some missiles.

Pilot:  Attention you in the Honda Accord.  You are exceeding the speed limit.  Pull over immediately.
Driver:  Wtf...seriously? (come on, that is exactly what I would say).
Pilot:  Bob, fire a warning shot across their hood.
Other Guy:  Roger.
Driver:  Holy shit! Seriously?!

2.  Hungry Mother State Park
     There is a park in Virginia (or maybe it's Tennessee) called Hungry Mother State Park and I'm thinking, who thought up the name for that? That's my first thought.  My second thought is, why? There must be a reason and when I think of the possible implications of this name it causes me a small amount of distress.  Are we talking about a Donner party level of hunger here? Is it possible that it's just referring to bears? If so, that seems like a good reason to stay away from said park.  Mother bears are dangerous.  Hungry mother bears more so, I would imagine.  As distressing as this is, wouldn't it be kind of a disappointment to learn that it's only talking about hungry pigeons? Or hungry anteaters? I kind of like the thought (in a weird, "Fargo" kind of way) of a park somewhere in Virginia (or Tennessee, who knows) where there is a pack of wild Mothers who are very hungry.  Bears or humans.  Or both. 

3.  Mutant D.C. Squirrels
     This was my first trip to D.C. ever and so I felt a little self-conscious with my friend and her family who actually live there.  I was taking pictures of everything.  I felt even more stupid when I started taking pictures of squirrels.  Granted, these were mutant squirrels, but still.  Who takes a picture of a squirrel? I do.  You should have seen these things.  They were the size of small dogs.  They might have been small dogs.  Small dogs that climb trees.  They eat right out of your hand! This makes most people go "Aww! That's awesome!" but because when I was 11 my friend had a pet squirrel that attacked me (it jumped out of its cage onto my face.  Scarred me for life) I was not thrilled with the audacity of these abnormal woodland animals.  It was Fallout 3 come to life!  One of them started following me.  I didn't even have any food but it didn't care.  It stalked me.  I was scared of it, seriously.  Not only because I have a bad history with squirrels but because this squirrel was huge.  I can't stress that enough.  It could have easily bitten off one of my limbs and tied it to a tree as a warning to other tourists who come into its territory without the proper offerings. 

4.  The Dude on Top of the White House
     Ok, so before I talk about this guy I have to talk about how ridiculously cold it is in D.C.  I mean, it is not the same kind of cold as it is here in Georgia.  Here it is cold.  There it is damn cold and the wind is basically a huge asshole that mocks you.  By the end of the day, I was experiencing a level of numbness like I had never felt before.  I could not feel any part of my face.  With that said, I noticed (or rather, it was pointed out to me) that there was a dude on top of the White House.  No doubt his job was to shoot people.  How would you like to put that on your resume?

Prior Work Experience:  Fry cook at Hooters; Sniper on top of the White House.

What I was really wondering was how much he gets paid to just stand up there. Because let's face it, you probably don't get to see much action up there.  You don't really hear much of that on the news.  You're probably not allowed to take potshots at the mutant squirrels, either.  Even though most of those squirrels were around the reflection pool, it would still be fun to try.  He has to have a pretty powerful rifle, I figure.  And it's cold.  Not just cold, but damn cold.  And the wind has to be an even bigger asshole if you're on a roof.  I wanted to wave at him but I didn't just in case his boredom got the best of him.

5.  Snow!
      I'm not a complete rube, I know what snow is.  I've seen snow before.  But not this kind of snow.  In Georgia we don't get snow often but when we do everything shuts down.  It could be less than an inch and the whole state just stops operating.  That's because what we call snow is actually just ice.  Driving on ice is bad.  This is why I was terrified in the car during our trip because it was snowing and in my southern mind snow = ice.  To my surprise I learned that snow is not, in fact the equivalent of ice but is actually...well...snow.  Whatever.  It's not the same! You make a snowball there and you throw it and it hits your friend and it busts apart and you run around and generally act like Rain Man and it's awesome.  You make a "snowball" in Georgia, someone is going to the emergency room eventually with a concussion and maybe some slight internal bleeding.  It took a few awkward moments of walking on this new snow like I was trying to perform some sort of complex dance maneuver before I realized that hey, this isn't ice.  It's...snow! Still, I didn't want to be too excited due to my fear of looking like an imbecile.  On the inside, though I felt like I was five years old.

Monday, December 20, 2010

5 Things That Suck (BIG TIME) About Love-Sickness

So, I've been thinking lately about what I want to waste everyone's time with and this is what I came up with.  Why? NO REASON! WHY DO YOU ASK? WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT?

1.  It makes you stupid
     Not many people realize this, but love actually makes you stupid.  I don't mean like you know, you're goofy or mushy and all that but literally stupid.  You may not have ever really considered yourself to be a stupid person, but you notice lately the dumbest shit comes out of your mouth.  Stuff that you would make fun of other people for saying.  Like the following (actual) conversation:

YOU:  This stuffed animal is cute...
OTHER PERSON:  Thanks.  Why are you looking at it like that?
YOU:  Because I can't figure out what kind of creature it is.  Is it a deer?
OTHER PERSON:  ....It's a dog...
YOU:  Oh.  I'm sorry.  But it's cute!

Now, normally you would be able to tell the difference between a deer and a dog.  Even in the stuffed animal world, there are several distinct differences between the two.  This is what I mean by stupid.  The long floppy ears should have been a huge clue but you completely missed it because all that is in your head right now is basically the equivalent of scrambled eggs.

2.  Insomnia
     This is by far the worst symptom of love-sickness, especially for people who love to sleep.  You try but you just can't.  Because you want to recount every word that was spoken and in the case of one-sided or unrequited love, you want to search for the smallest clue that will give your pathetic obsession substance and then you can reassure yourself that you are not insane.  You are, though.  You are now a crazy person. 

3.  Stupid love songs
     This comes in very close behind insomnia under the major suckage department because you now find that every stupid love song that comes on the radio now has some sort of hidden meaning and you're like, "Omg! Exactly!"  These songs weren't written for you.  Don't be an imbecile.  But still you find yourself belting out at the top of your voice:  "THE WAY YOU CUT A RUG, WATCHING YOU IS THE ONLY DRUG I NEED...SON OF A BITCH, I HATE THIS SONG! WTF?!"  I am actually kind of fond of that song.  See what I mean? I hope all of you are now popping in your Train cd's to listen to Soul Sister.  Welcome to hell.  I saved a seat for you.

4.  Inability to Focus
     On anything at all.  You need to study for your test? Too bad! You need to focus on your job.  Denied! You need to hang out with your friends? Well, you can do that but your conversation will be completely hijacked by the topic of OTHER PERSON.  And this brings us to number five, which is:

5.  You are so freakin' obvious
     It is embarrassing but because you can't seem to maintain presence of mind long enough to realize that you have been talking about OTHER PERSON non-stop, everyone knows.  To make things worse, when you realize this you try to overcompensate by pretending that you have never even heard of OTHER PERSON.

YOU:  Haha.  And then OTHER PERSON said...
TOTALLY AWARE FRIEND:  You know, you talk about OTHER PERSON a lot.
YOU:  Who? I don't who you mean.

So, these are just my observations and this has absolutely nothing to do with me.  Stop looking at me like that!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alice's Close Encounter (WITH DEATH!!!!)

So, I have two dogs as most of you already know.  Zoe, my main dog and Alice, my emergency back up dog (fyi, I wish I could claim the use of "main dog" and "emergency back up dog" as my own, but I cannot.  That particular privilege belongs to one Mr. Dave Barry.  Curse him for being so damn clever! Still, he is a very, very funny man and if you haven't read any of his works, I strongly encourage you to do so).  Now, Zoe is the "good" dog.  I say "good" because she very rarely does anything wrong but she's a little on the stupid side.  Alice rarely does anything right at all.  Not because she's stupid but because she doesn't care to behave.  She just does whatever the hell she wants to do.  I am entering into the acceptance phase of dog-raising with Alice.  I've taught her how to sit, lie down and do this other cute little trick where I say "Hut, hut!" and she runs between my legs and I give her a treat.  Incidentally, my friend James showed me this trick after he and his wife taught their 2 ton rottweiler how to do it.

Anyways, Alice is very smart.  She also has this way of making me forget how naughty she is by doing various cute things.  Like looking pitiful by shivering (probably fake) with cold.  So, instead of saying "Tough! Look at all the crap you've destroyed! Like the window in my bedroom!" (true story.  She broke the window in my bedroom by trying to jump out of it.  Not to mention what she did to the blinds! Here's a photo, though because of the ridiculous cold weather I had to ghettofy it until I can get it fixed.  You should have seen the blinds before I cut the bottom off) I say, "You're lucky you're cute".  

This is all that remains of Zoe's tennis ball.
She also does stuff like tear up Zoe's toys.  I buy both of them toys.  Alice likes toys she can destroy,  while Zoe is content with tennis balls or anything she can chase down.  So, I but tennis balls for Zoe and destructible toys for Alice.  But is Alice content with tearing up her own toys? Well, hell no.  She has to tear up Zoe's toys as well.  Here is what is left of Zoe's tennis ball.  Also, here is a toy I bought for Alice that is supposed to be indestructible.  Still looks intact, doesn't it? That's because Alice never plays with it.  Why? Because she can't destroy it and this doesn't interest her at all. 

As I've said, I'm entering the acceptance phase of this relationship.  Alice is just a bad dog.  I'm going to buy toys and Alice is going to destroy them.  But what happens next is where I still am in need of some serious anger management therapy.  What you see in my hand here is a copy of a brand new video game.  I want to stress the "brand new" part of this.  Meaning, this game cost $60.  And the best part is, it doesn't even belong to me.  It belongs to a friend of mine who very graciously let me borrow it because I do not have $60 extra dollars just lying around but I really wanted to play Fable III (p.s. it is fantastic).  Alice usually reserves her destruction for things she finds lying on the floor.  Like my underwear or my shoes or Zoe's toys or the dustpan (I no longer have a dustpan).  This she took off the table along with a memory card for my xbox and a small (but beloved) plastic transformer (EJECTOR! A decepticon toaster) and proceeded to eat them.  Not just destroy them but eat them.  As in, I found parts of these things but the other parts of these things I never found because she ate them. 

Why? I don't know because dogs can't talk but that did not stop me from asking her in a very firm (i.e. loud) voice.  "WHY?!" Then I had to retreat to the bathroom which is the only room in the house where I can be alone and the dogs can be safe from me.  I was in the bathroom for a very long time saying over and over again "I can't take this anymore.  I can't.  She's driving me insane.  I should just give her actual money to tear up because that would skip the middle man altogether and we could just get it over with!" And then I came up with the perfect plan.  I flung the bathroom door open and said:

"I AM GOING TO KILL YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" And she ran because if I'm in the bathroom and I'm talking to her that means I might intend to bathe her.  I storm into the living room and she comes out from under the coffee table, pleased that I'm not in the bathroom anymore and so impending doom by bath isn't going to happen today.  And she looks at me and I look at her and she wags her little tail and then she shivers and I am filled with RAGE and I say, "GET IN THE CAR! WE'RE GOING TO GO BUY YOU A SWEATER!!!!!!! AND PROBABLY SOME NEW TOYS, DAMNIT!!!!!!"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Was a Young Jedi

Christmastime with my family always makes me reminisce because we are a reminiscing bunch, we are.  We eat and eat and eat and eat until we can't move and we're all groaning because we ate too much and yet, we still pick up a piece of ham or turkey as we hobble through the kitchen and eat that, too.  Then we all sit around the table and tell funny stories of relatives who are no longer with us so that the little kids will know how awesome they were.  Or we say things like, "Doesn't he look just like his daddy? The spitting image!" That is my favorite part of Christmas, to be honest.  We have our family Christmas at my late grandparent's house where my cousin now lives with his family and I watch all the kids now do the same things I used to do when I was their age, like jump off the porch (which was much higher when I was a kid.  I frowned in disappointment yesterday as I stood at the edge and realized it only comes up to my thighs), or swing on that old wrought iron swing that has been there for...who knows how long, or climb on top of the old well while my cousins (who, I would like to point out were just as guilty of it when they were kids!) yell at them to get down right now!

My favorite Christmas story by far, though is the day that my parents realized that I was either Damien, the Omen or a young jedi.  I like to believe the latter, myself.  When I was little, Santa never wrapped our presents.  He just left them under the tree so we could marvel in all their sparkly Christmastime glory. It was  toy overload! There is not enough candy or sugar in the world to rival the excitement that Christmas morning brought.  When I was about five I decided that I just could not wait until Christmas morning to see what Santa had left for me.  I crept down the hall while my parents were sleeping soundly, completely unaware of the devious and criminal actions taking place right under their own roof!

Now, at the end of the hallway was the door to the living room which was kept shut to discourage peeping eyes.  I was old enough to know that that door might make a sound, so I went around through the kitchen and the dining room and holy cow! Presents everywhere! I was so happy but I was very careful not to actually touch anything.  I was so excited that I went out the living room door and scampered back to my room, congratulating myself on being so clever.  My curiosity well-fed, I fell asleep immediately.  It didn't even seem that long until my brother was telling me to wake up! Santa had been to our house! Little did he know, I already had access to his outdated and now worthless information.

Nevertheless, I joined him in the hallway where my parents stood at the living room door looking very displeased.  I had left the door standing wide open!  Inwardly, I panicked.  I couldn't blame it on my brother because of course, he would deny it and that would put Christmas on hold indefinitely.  I needed to come up with something.  I needed someone to blame.  Someone who could not refute my claim but would still be plausible to my parents.  My little mind worked furiously as I put forth my best effort to remain an innocent (lol) five year old girl on the outside.

"Someone went into the living room and peeked at the presents," my mother said with a very serious expression.  Things could not have been more serious if I had robbed a bank or kicked a puppy or streaked through the neighborhood singing "Jingle Bells" at the top of my lungs.

"It wasn't me," my brother and I chimed in unison.  Years of doing things like setting the living room carpet on fire and drawing smiley faces on the furniture with permanent marker had honed our ability to deny things to the point where we could do it almost before they accused us of doing anything at all.  It was a talent.  A gift, really.

"Well, it didn't open by itself," she countered.  Curse my mother and her logic!

"One of you better confess or we'll all just go back to bed!" my dad said in a much "firmer" voice.  My brother looked at me and I could feel hate oozing from him.  If I confessed I might not get any of my presents! If I didn't come up with something soon, it would be the same as confessing.  It seemed as though years went by as the wheels in my head turned then suddenly, I had it! I looked up at my parents and in my sweetest, most innocent voice I said:

"Maybe Santa left it open."  Silence.  I was still a little unsure.  What if they called Santa and asked him?  I knew they had his number because my mother was always threatening to call him.  If that happened I was looking at coal in my stocking next Christmas and possibly the Christmas after that.  It was risky.  Mostly, however I was confident that Santa was a kind old soul (and merry!) and that he would understand the overwhelming curiosity that belongs only to the very young.  I maintained my outward appearance of innocence and ignorance while mentally willing my parents to believe it.  After a bit, my parents seemed to buy this story and I breathed an inward sigh of relief.  Christmas resumed as normal and I had no clue how clever and air-tight my alibi had been until years later when I realized that there was no feasible way that my parents could have called my bluff.  To do so, they would have had to explain how it couldn't have been Santa.  I wonder if my parents realized at that moment that my gift for bullshitting was already at jedi proportions and my power would only grow from there.  Were they afraid?

As it turns out, Santa is a very forgiving old man and has been good to me ever since.  Thanks, Santa.  ^_^

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


So, here is a program dedicated to helping people do things that I could never do.  Like rock climbing.  I went rock climbing once.  And I really want to stress the "once" part because me and heights do not go well together even if I am standing on a rock.  I really don't do much of anything but fiddle around on my computer and play the Sims (as discussed in a previous post), but I can click a button like a champ!  I think people who are not tempted to vomit and/or faint when way up high are pretty impressive.  I think people who do anything active are impressive, actually and that is why I am rooting for Summit Quest Adventures to win this Pepsi Refresh Everything...thing.   I'm not really a "plugger" but it would be awesome if this group got this support because they help people and helping is good good.

So, in lieu of rambling on about my sad life which I'm sure you all were highly looking forward to...go HERE and vote for Summit Quest Adventures.

Here is a picture of storm troopers on wiener dogs for your enjoyment and as a "thanks" for going to vote.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holy $#%*! Read this $*#*&^! Blog!

So, I was looking at my stats today because I like to look at the map on there.  Some person in Russia read my blog and I find this amusing because I think he (or she!) probably thinks I'm on some sort of drug which is illegal here but definitely legal in Sweden.  Incidentally, no one from Sweden reads my blog.  Yet.  Anyways! That has nothing to do whatsoever with what I'm going to write about today! The title is catchy, right? People want to read it because it may contain foul language.  Even people who don't like foul language will want to read it because they will want a reason to feel angry and self-righteous.  DISCLAIMER:  NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE BAD LANGUAGE FEEL THIS WAY.  But most do.  No, I'm kidding.  Not really.  No, I am.  Moving on.

I love having the bad language conversation with people because I use very bad language and yet my grammar is pretty spot on most of the time.  I like the term "conversation enhancers" which I'm pretty sure came from an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.  Anyways, my good grammar is always peppered (cajun style) with pretty foul words.  I try to limit myself according to the situation, of course.  This conversation has never happened in church, for example:

ME:  Ok, so let me tell you guys this story.
(YOU)GUYS:  Sure! Let's hear it!
ME:  So, I was going to meet some of my friends and I walked in carrying my bible and shit...

Actually, this conversation did happen in church but I wasn't the one telling the story.  I was a bystander.  A very amused bystander because the other bystanders missed the point of the story completely because they were horrified by the word "shit".  I missed the point, too because I was too busy laughing which is why I can't reproduce the rest of it above.  However, I have been told on occasion (and these occasions happen frequently) that I find humor in inappropriate things.  But I want to know why.  I mean, why is "shit" a bad word? Who decided this? Is there a bad word committee? Can I be part of it? I'm asking because that would be the best job ever.  Can the bad word committee just pick any word to be a bad word? Can Lady Gaga be a bad word? Not just a bad word just a bad everything.  All around badness there.  Actually, here is a fun and educational fact.  "Bad" language is really just "vulgar" language because back when those words were classified as "vulgar" they were words used by poor people or commoners.  So, basically the rich people decided which words were considered "vulgar".  There's a neat little piece of knowledge that none of us will ever need to draw upon but it's still fun to know things.

Now, though "vulgar" words are bad because they symbolize things that are vulgar (I guess?) and I did learn in communications class that words are symbols.  I think.  I could be wrong.  I'm sure if my communications professor ever reads this she will say, "You learned nothing!".  Anyways, "shit" means "poo".  Why isn't poo a bad word? Because it's funny.  It is also fun to say! Also, saying "excrement" makes you sound like a douche.  But think about "every day" phrases that incorporate these "bad" words.  Can you help but wonder where they come from? "I don't give a shit".  "That guy is an asshole".  "You, sir, are a huge dick."  "She is such a bitch!"  And the most mystifying phrase of all, "F*** you." (see, even I have this invisible line I feel uncomfortable crossing and this is all academic! sort of).  Really? F*** you? Why is that even an insult? Why is it even a phrase that you would say to anyone?  I mean other than someone you find irresistibly attractive.  These are the things I think about and it worries me sometimes that I occupy my time with stuff like this but usually I just end up thinking "F*** it" and continue.  There is no meaning to this madness if you take the meaning literally.  Try taking these phrases literally the next time you hear them.  You will experience hours of entertainment.  I promise. 

And! what about words that used to be considered bad but aren't really considered bad anymore? Like "Piss" or "Pissed".  "That pisses me off."  It just sounds more serious if you say that instead of saying "That makes me very angry.  More angry than other stuff.  It makes me soooo angry that my anger at other things looks like mild irritation."  Dude, just say "I'm pissed off!"  Or you can say, "I'm really f***ing pissed!"  See? Conversation enhancement in action.  When I was a kid the word "pissed" was a very dirty word.  I did not know the rules of bad words when I was four.  My brother taught me that one.  I was excited that I had learned a new word! Not only had I learned a new word, I knew what it meant.  I had to share my discovery with the one person who would be super excited that I had learned something new! So, I ran into the kitchen where my mother was cooking dinner and I shouted at the top of my lungs, "MOMMY! I GOTTA GO TAKE A PISS!" And so, I learned two new things that day.  A new word and what happens when we say those words in front of our parents.  But now, "pissed" isn't really considered that bad of a word.  Granted, some people may consider it bad but it just isn't.  And I say, "Who cares?"  I don't really say that because I wouldn't go to a job interview and say, "Can you excuse me a moment? I need to go take a piss".

People will say (and I mean stupid people who obviously don't spend enough time thinking about this stuff) "It isn't the word, it's the emotion behind the word".  If that's the case then wouldn't any word you used in that situation be "bad"? If you fall asleep in the shower and hit your head on that little built-in soap dish (true story), and you say "Holy crap! That hurt a lot!" (and I say a lot because I learned from my favorite blog over there, hyperboleandahalf that "a lot" is much different than "alot") anyways, where was I? In the shower.  Hit your head, you say "Gosh darnit! That hurt!".  Your emotion is still the same whether you say that or say "Mother f****er!".  So, wouldn't saying "crap" or "darnit" be just as bad as saying anything else? If you opt to call someone a "jerk" as opposed to "asshole" isn't the connotation still just as negative? And before you ask me, "If that's the case why not just say jerk? Why say the bad word?" Well, that is simple.  "Asshole" gets the point across much better than "jerk".  "Jerk" is just a little more passive than "asshole", isn't it? I mean, you should always make sure your audience gets your full meaning.  And there's a distinction that should be made between jerks and assholes.  The guy that let's his dog "poo" on your lawn is a jerk.  The guy who says things like "the holocaust never happened" is an "asshole".  Be sure you recognize the difference.

The point is...well, there isn't one really.  I was just sitting here thinking about all this shit and decided to share it with you.  I'm glad we could waste all of our time together. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Blog about Blogging (aka I feel like I need to write something this week but I have nothing to write about)

This post might actually change course as I am writing because I have nothing to actually write about and this makes me sad.  It makes me sad because I feel that this is a direct result of my having no life.  If I blogged right now at this minute about what is going on in my life I would blog about sitting in front of my computer while The George Lopez show plays on Nick at Nite and I play the Sims and sometimes say (to myself) "Omg, my sims dogs are so cuuuute while my real dogs give me the mental doggie finger.  In other words, my life is very dull and uneventful.  So, what is actually going on in my life:

School:  The semester is coming to a close.  Thank God because I don't think I could stay awake for one more class of anything.  Unfortunately, all of my professors have decided to go for one last hoorah and assign "projects".  They look different for every class.  Economics:  power point presentation on Fiscal Policy.  Statistics:  a "tech" assignment.  A tech assignment is a ridiculously difficult project which must be done on "minitab", a slightly more confusing version of Excel.  Yay.  Spanish:  Ok, I don't really have a project to do for Spanish but seriously, what would that even be like? And for P.E. (yes.  I am taking p.e. this semester) I have to do a paper on syphilis.  This is probably going to be my favorite project just because when I announce what my project was over I get to say, "I have syphilis".  I apologize to any readers who actually have syphilis.  I realize that it is not a laughing matter.  But in my defense it is kind of your fault that you have it.  Anyways, it could be worse.  Joe has to get up and list all the negative effects of marijuana.  I would have a difficult time with this sort of project so I feel a little sorry for Joe.  Unless I could say, "Marijuana is most likely going to make me not give a damn for failing this project", I got nothin'.

Work:  Work is fun because I got laid off from the Video-Rental-Store-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named-In-So-Much-That-My-Severance-Contract-Forbids-Me-From-Speaking-Badly-About-Said-Chain (I honestly feel they should rethink the name) and have since then landed a job at the Bookstore-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Just-In-Case.  I go to work.  I shelve books.  While I'm shelving books I get asked questions like "Do you work here?" and then I look at them like they're retarded for just a split second before smiling and saying "Yes.  How may I help you?" I mean, I've never gone into a random store and just started stocking shelves.  Who does that? Well the people who work there, of course.  When my boss feels I need to be punished, she puts me in the music department where there are no customers.  But I'm not allowed to do anything else but stand there for however many hours, counting the lights in the ceiling.  There are well over 20.

Home:  I come home where I clean up the trash that my main dog, Zoe has dragged out of either the kitchen garbage can or the bathroom garbage can and, depending on which it was I clean up the vomit of my emergency back up dog, Alice which resulted from whatever trash she ate before I got home.  I then sit in front of my computer contemplating starting one of my projects and play the Sims, instead.  Playing the Sims is like directing a soap opera.  For me, anyways because there are always cheating Sims.  The husband cheats on the pregnant wife and my reaction to this (even though I am in complete control over all of it to begin with) is:  "Gasp! Bastard! She is totally divorcing you, buddy."  And then they get divorced.  Or I drown him in the pool.  Take that, cheater! Sometimes I have company.  This motivates me to clean, but only a little bit.  Honestly, we only need to use one couch for sitting so the clean laundry can stay on the other couch.  Who's going to use it? No one.  They should probably eat before they get here so there is not really a need to do any dishes as long as I have clean glasses for drinks.

This is my life in a nutshell.  It's depressing but still slightly intriguing that I can write this much about such a sad subject.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Changing of the Guard

I have noticed an interesting (and slightly worrisome) development in the lives of my dogs recently.  Zoe, my main dog is deferring to Alice, my emergency back-up dog and this bothers me.  When Alice first arrived in our household she was so cute and little and Zoe just...absolutely hated her.  Alice is stubborn and headstrong and never learns, or rather doesn't care to learn.  Zoe had no problem putting her in her place.  I was proud of her.  Zoe is afraid of everything (including her new water bowl.  You know, the kind that look like those office water coolers? Zoe drinks a lot of water so I bought her this water cooler type bowl to keep from having to fill it up every five seconds.  The first time Zoe drank out of it, it bubbled and now she's terrified of it) but when it came to Alice, she was queen.  Any time Alice challenged her, Zoe would beat her ass and then life would resume and Alice would stay out of her way for a few weeks.

When I would play with Alice, Zoe would intervene by pushing Alice out of the way.  Now, Zoe kind of lingers in the corner with a dejected, broken-hearted look on her face, whimpering pitifully until I call her over.  Even then she hesitates.  It makes me a little sad.  Alice couldn't be happier with the current situation.

I didn't actually notice anything until this morning (afternoon) when Alice woke me up by standing on my face.  After some yelling and convulsing, I noticed that Zoe was not on the bed.  She wasn't even in the room.  So, I called her.  She comes into the room, looking anxious and excited as though summoned by God.  What happened next can only be described as some sort of doggie King of the Hill game wherein the bed was the hill and I was simply part of the terrain.  Zoe would approach the left side of the bed and Alice would pounce (not "go".  Alice never simply "goes" anywhere) to that side of the bed and stand right at the edge, daring Zoe to try and advance further.  Zoe is kind of stupid, but she's bright enough to understand that there is another side to the bed.  So, she walks around to the other side (which would be the side I'm laying on) and Alice would pounce on that side of the bed (or more accurately, on me).  This goes on for a several minutes until Zoe entreats me for intervention via pitiful whimpering at which point I shoo Alice off the bed and Zoe creeps over to me and lays down for some consolation and snuggles.

So, there is a shift of power in my household right now.  Out with the old, in with the new I guess.  Poor Zoe.  I wonder if getting a cat would put things in perspective for Alice...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Optimism vs. Pessimism vs. Realism - NOW WITH (unrelated) ILLUSTRATIONS!

I learned in journalism class that people don't like to read.  Well, they don't like to read huge blocks of text.  You people apparently need pictures for stimulation purposes, so in this post I'm going to throw in some pictures here and there to try and keep your attention.  No, there will be no nudie pictures.  I'm not talking about that kind of stimulation, you sickos.  These pictures may or may not be related to what I'm actually writing but that is just because I'm lazy and I don't feel like finding/creating pictures to go along with what I'm saying.

So, I've been told that I am a very pessimistic person and I resent that because I like to think of my pessimism as realism.  And realism often gets labeled as pessimism which is hardly fair.  Though honestly I tend to take my realism with a chaser of pessimism from time to time. 

Everyone's favorite way to figure out if someone is a pessimist or an optimist is to ask them if the glass is "half empty" or "half full".  But doesn't that really just depend on the situation? Suppose you're pouring beer into the glass and you stop half way.  Wouldn't the glass be half full? As in, "Bartender, what the hell? My glass is only half full.  I know it's $1 mug night but come on."  If you are drinking the beer and you stop at the half way point, wouldn't the glass be half empty? And couldn't half empty be a good thing some times? "Well, it's true I've had 15 mugs of beer but look...my 16th mug is only half empty."  You still have half a mug left! Awesome!

Aren't some of these "optimistic" people pessimistic, too? If little Johnny is playing in the street they would say "Get out of the street!" and little Johnny says, "Why?" And they say, "Because you'll get hit by a car!" Well! That is a pretty pessimistic thing to say! It is horrible to think of little Johnny getting hit by a car! Why would you even think like that, all negative? It is possible that little Johnny wouldn't get hit by a car and by the optimists standards shouldn't we be focused on the positive and hope for the best? I find it slightly hypocritical because I think most people would say little Johnny shouldn't play in the street because he might get hit by a car.  With that said, a true optimist would let little Johnny play in the street and believe that everything is going to work out fine.  And so, optimism is irresponsible.  And you should be ashamed, letting young children play in the road like that.

Now, pessimism can actually be healthy unlike the deadly optimism which we have just discussed.  Good surprises are good and bad surprises are not good.  I think we can all agree on that.  BUT! If you are expecting a bad surprise then it isn't a surprise because you were already expecting it.  If you expect the worst then when the worst happens you are hardly even phased.  But if you expect the best and get the worst then you are all sad and depressed.  If you expect the worst and get the best YAY! It's like Christmas! If you expect the best and get the best, how is that even fun at all? You say "I knew it was going to work out that way" therefore making you sound like a huge douche.

So, remember kids - Optimism is irresponsible and hates children and probably puppies and kittens, too.  Realism is logical.  Pessimism is mostly used to piss off optimists and that is why it is so much fun. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Philosophy of Ritz

So, here is a common misconception born of false advertising:  "Everything Tastes Better on a Ritz".  Think about that.  There is no way that can be true.  Now, there are some things which you should never put in your mouth (much less on a Ritz) but that is not mentioned as a stipulation.  Take poo for example.  Despite the delicious butter flavor of the Ritz, poo would still taste horrible on a Ritz cracker.  But, would it taste better, you may ask.  Well, no.  The Ritz could do nothing to ever improve the taste of poo.  I think that Nabisco is really setting themselves up for litigation here because what if some idiot (and there are a lot of those about) decides to take that advertisement literally and says to himself, "Excellent! This broken glass will taste excellent on this Ritz!" and then he sues Nabisco because he has some slight internal bleeding? Would he lose his case given the high probability of scientifically proving that broken glass might not taste good (or even be edible) but it does taste better on a Ritz.  After further thought, I confess that if I had to eat poo, I would rather eat it on a Ritz than not. 

And there is also the condition of the Ritz to consider.  What if it is a moldy Ritz (assuming that Ritz can grow mold)? Wouldn't cheese on a moldy Ritz actually taste worse? Is Nabisco assuming you are going to always have a good Ritz on hand? Cheese is a mold anyways, so does that factor in at all?

Speaking of which (not the cheese being a mold but the part just before that), what about those things that would actually taste worse with a Ritz? What about ice cream? Does ice cream taste better on a Ritz? Beer? Gummi Bears? What if the ice cream, beer, and gummi bears were all Ritz flavored? Would the most delicious meal ever taste even better on a Ritz? And if it is the "most delicious meal ever" is it not possible that it is already on a Ritz? It would have to be.  Considering that, wouldn't the "most delicious meal ever" be a Ritz on a Ritz?

What if you put a Ritz on a Ritz? Would that Ritz taste better because it was on another Ritz? Is that even possible? If you had a huge pile of Ritz and just ate the top one would you be able to discern the difference in the quality of taste of the Ritz on the top and the Ritz on the bottom? If everything tastes better on a Ritz then it stands to reason that if you put a Ritz on a Ritz the Ritz on the Ritz must taste better than it did before it was put on the Ritz.  What if you put a Ritz on a Ritz but then, right before you eat them, you flip them over?! Then what? If you eat two Ritz (Ritzes?) together do they appreciate in flavor equally or does one taste better than the other? What if you take the Ritz off the other Ritz? Does it immediately devolve to the level of taste it was at before it was put on the Ritz or is the status affect permanent?

Like so many deep philosophical questions out there, we may never learn the answer to the mystery of the Ritz.  And so, to make sure that this post is the absolute best it can be, I am putting it on a Ritz.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quest for the Perfect Steak

When I was a kid my dad would cook steak for dinner almost every weekend.  My mom would always get her steak well done and then I would eat part of hers.  I will never forget the day  that my dad gave me part of his rare steak.  My steak eating days were changed forever! It was like...going from Hershey to Godiva, from Wal-mart to Bloomingdales, from...from...from Star Trek to STAR WARS! It was fabulous.  I picked it up with my little fingers and juice ran down my hand and wrist and it all but melted in my mouth and it was absolutely the best thing I had ever eaten in my life.  I never shared a steak with my mother again. 

It was an important rite of passage in my life, this transition of well done to rare and I have to confess since then I have become something of a steak "snob".  When the waitress asks if I need steak sauce my response is always "I hope not" because a good steak shouldn't need sauce.  A steak cooked beyond medium is a ruined steak.  Although there are less than a dozen good things I can say about my dad, the one thing I can say is that he could make the perfect steak.  Unfortunately, my dad has since become something of an...how should I put it...ass? Yes, that seems appropriate and so I am always on the journey to find the perfect steak seeing as how I can't really ask him how he does it.

I have recently given up on marinades because all the ones I have used make the steak taste like, well...marinade and not like actual steak.  I've tried Dale's (ugh, I know.  Who farted, right?), worstershire(?), and once I even tried Jack Daniels, which was horrible since I like my steak rare and it tasted like a glass of Jack Daniels with some meat thrown in it.  Today I went with just plain old salt and some fresh ground pepper.  This was not actually bad, especially the pepper so on my next attempt I'm going to stick with that but it was still missing something.  I'm starting to think that the thing I'm missing can't actually be replicated and that thing is one of the very few fond memories I have of my childhood.  It's the same reason why my biscuits never taste like my mother's (that and haha, you should see me trying to make homemade biscuits.  My kitchen always ends up looking like the set of The Day After Tomorrow.  I try to ask my aunt for the particulars of making biscuits and she always says, "You just add buttermilk until it looks right."  How is that even close to instructions?).  I also have very unhelpful friends (who shall remain NAMErobinLESS) have the following conversations with me:

Me:  I think I'm going to cook steak for dinner tomorrow.  I'm still trying to figure out a way to make them   really good.
 Friend:  My dad just gave me the recipe to his super secret steak marinade recipe.  It's fantastic.
 Me:  Ooo! What is it?
 Friend:  I can't tell you.  It's a secret.
 Me:  Ok, really? You can't just jump in the conversation and say something like that and then not tell.  What is it? 
Friend:  No.  It's super secret.

So, I'm going to start preparing for next month's steak adventure.  The adventures only happen once a month because I'm poor.  I might switch from ribeyes to NY strips, though I haven't decided on this part yet.  I'm going to take suggestions, too assuming that anyone out there thinks they can make the perfect steak.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Alice, The Ninja Dog

So, I have two dogs.  Zoe, who is my main dog and then Alice who is my emergency back-up dog.  Alice is still in training because she likes to do things like eat my underwear and take entire loaves of bread off the kitchen counter and eat that, too.  True story.  An entire loaf of bread.  Needless to say, at bedtime Alice gets locked away in a crate.  Lately, though Alice has been getting better so I decided I would try out new sleeping arrangements for her.  Instead of sleeping in her crate, I decided to see how Alice would do with a little freedom.  She's actually doing quite well, though she hasn't learned the rules of sleeping in the bed.  Zoe has her sleeping "spot".  It's at the foot of the bed on the opposite side of where I sleep.  I designated the other half of that side of the bed for Alice.  She is having trouble comprehending that this is her place.

Unfortunately, Alice takes every advantage to lay on me.  Whether I'm in the bed or on the couch or even in a chair, she has this need to be on me.  And she's not really a small dog so this can get a little aggravating.  When she's not doing that she's bounding after you like a possessed bulldozer intent on death and destruction.  Unlike other dogs, Alice doesn't come up to you and jump on you.  Oh, no.  That's no fun at all.  Alice likes to leap at you from at least two feet away, plowing into your stomach.  She need structure and discipline but she is completely uninterested in either of these things.

After making sure that she understands that I am serious about these new sleeping arrangements, it is time to turn the lights out and go to sleep.  All is quiet for about five minutes, and then I feel her move and then it gets still.  I figure she's just getting comfortable.  Then I feel her move again.  Then it is still again.  Then again.  I can't help but become a little suspicious.

After another pause I feel a slow, gradual shift and then WHAM! She's on top of me again.  At this point, I'm very tired and I really want to get some sleep so I decide I need to be very firm.

There it is.  She is going to understand now and since I am the master of this household (or mistress, if you will) she is going to obey me because she is my dog and I am her master.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Ten Levels of Nerdness

I remember being labeled as a nerd at a very young age because I liked to read.  It was difficult back then, you know, before being a nerd was what all the cool kids were doing.  Now I feel like I've been part of some important movement to have all Nerdness recognized and given its rightful place near the middle of the grand ladder of society.  I mean, look at all the nerds who are super cool now (and also super rich.  I'm hoping to break into that circle at some point).  Bill Gates, George Lucas, Steve Jobs, that guy who created Facebook.  These are the Super Nerds.  They rank maybe a 7 or 8 on the nerd rating scale because let's face it, Nerdness is like an aggregate model in that once you reach the Nerdness equilibrium and continue further up the scale, you cease to be awesome and become sort of creepy.

I made this scale by polling people (1 person at work, actually) and asking them (her) which things she considered more nerdy than the others.  The scale goes in ascending order so 1 is the least nerdy and 10 is David Schwimmer.  Haha, who? It does not include foregone conclusions such as, you drink obscene amounts of Mountain Dew.  So, a lot of work and thought went into this soon-to-be definitive measuring tool of Nerdness.

1.  At this level of Nerdness you are hardly even recognizable as a nerd.  You may do a few "nerdy" things like read books and make good grades but aside from that, you are pretty much a failure at being a nerd.  You are very extroverted and you have an active social life and girls speak to you without laughing at you.  You also bathe on a regular basis. 

 2.  The second tier on the Nerdness scale is not a whole lot different from the first one except we throw in a few video games and maybe some saturday morning cartoons.  You like to watch The Transformers because it "takes you back to the good old days".  Now, when I say video games I do not mean that you are a "gamer".  If the only games on your shelf are NCAA Football, any Madden game, Halo, and/or any Call of Duty game you do not qualify as a gamer.  Sorry.

3.  You are really into video games at this point.  You like to play Halo and Call of Duty, yes but you also love games like Little Big Planet, Rock Band, and God of War and you're pretty damn good at them if you do say so yourself.  However, you prefer Rock Band over God of War because you like to play with other people and that is what keeps you at level 3.  Aside from video games, you have heard of some show called Star Trek and you've seen Star Wars once when you were little.

4.  The level 4 nerd enjoys a variety of video games and can spend hours playing them.  Especially games like Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, and Mass Effect.  The longer it takes to beat a game the better! You enjoy cartoons on Adult Swim like Bleach and Naruto, even though your nerdier friends call this "anime", whatever that means.  You might pick up a comic book every now and then if it's something with lots of violence and blood in it, like the Watchmen.

5.  The middle-tier nerd is an interesting creature because even though you are at the halfway mark, this is not the mark of descent, or the equilibrium.  Oh no.  This is merely the threshold of awesomeness.  You have risen above the masses of wannabe nerds and you may make it with a little work.  You can name the major characters in Star Trek and Star Wars and you are emotionally involved in at least one comic book.  You know who Leroy Jenkins is and appreciate the humor in this meme.  You also know what "meme" means.

6.  World of Warcraft defines the 6th tier of Nerdness.  It may seem confusing at first as to why WoW is so low on the list.  Simply, it is because Blizzard has lowered the bar on the game so that even a monkey can play it and we all know that primates have no concept of Nerdness.  There is no role-playing involved in WoW and so people can feel a little more at ease while playing it.  You can install most software on your computer without the desire to put your fist through your monitor.

7.  At the seventh tier, you have made a conscientious decision that Star Wars is far better than Star Trek and you can site 100 reasons why off the top of your head.  You are capable of having lengthy debates over the fact that Han did shoot first and you are deeply disappointed in George Lucas over the prequel trilogy.  You watch anime in Japanese because you know that dubbed anime is horrible.  You've attended some sort of convention once but you didn't dress up like those other weirdos.

8.  Level 8 is the pinnacle of Nerdness.  WARNING:  ADVANCING PAST LEVEL 8 MAY BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR SOCIAL LIFE.  Level 8 nerds are not only good at math, they actually enjoy it.  As a level 8 nerd, you understand concepts such as RAM and static IPs and you can use Linux without setting your computer on fire.  You debate frequently with your other nerd friends over PC vs. Mac.  You can name most of the characters in the X-Men comic and you can "transform" a Transformer without inadvertently breaking off one or more of its limbs.

9.  Level 9 begins the decline from Super Nerd to weirdo but you're not quite weird yet.  You play D&D with your friends occasionally and you spend a vast amount of money on Magic:  The Gathering cards.  You know what manga is and you scoff at people who don't know that you're supposed to read it backwards, duh.  Conventions are your thing and you wouldn't dream of going to one without cosplaying as something.  "Mainstream anime" is like drinking cheap wine and is completely beneath you.  You take pride in the fact that you are not one of those wannabe losers who is totally engrossed in Bleach and Naruto.  Your tastes are far too sophisticated for trash like that! You have read several Star Wars novels and you can name minor characters that no one else in the world has ever heard of and you were totally stoked that Jacen Solo :SPOILER:  became the next LORD OF THE SITH.

10.  Level 10.  You are creepy.  Your tastes have devolved and you believe firmly that Star Trek is superior to Star Wars in every way and William Shatner is a GOD.  You rarely shower because that would take precious time away from text gaming.  Who needs graphics? The only time you leave your house is to do some LARPing with the few friends you have who are also more than a little creepy.  No one understands your obsession with animated girls (and really, should they?) but you can't seem to find a real woman as delicious as Faye Valentine so why try? You don't just play D&D, you are a freakin' GAMEMASTER, bitches! You love boobs, but not as much as you love your computer games, cartoons, and anime.