Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Superficiality Revisited

My "friend" C.W.T. (he's the wildly tactless one who thinks I'm incredibly superficial) sent me an email this week (well, me and a few of his other local friends) advising that he may be in town this weekend.

Would it be petty of me to completely ignore his email? A more interesting question: Would it be staggeringly superficial of me to do so? (I lean toward no, but apparently C.W.T. and I have differing definitions of the word "superficial.")

The merits of his accusation aside, I think I'd rather spare him the formality of hanging out with me, O Superficial One, just out of some perceived duty to do so.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Today was Memorial Day. Typically a day for remembering our armed services in their service to our country.

I know it's pretty much sacriligious to mention it on this day, but someone has to say it:

W. spent part of his day at a Memorial Day ceremony in Arlington, VA. As well he should, seeing as he's the Commander in Chief.

But hey, just because this day is meant to honor our veterans, that doesn't mean that we have to tiptoe around the fact that this war remains the biggest lie of generations. It's great that W. is supportive of our troops, but let's not forget that he's the one who sent them in there on completely phony allegations of imminent mushroom clouds. More than 1,650 Americans have died for this questionable-at-best war; the number of Iraqi citizens killed is way higher.

(It's ironic that right-wing freaks are demanding Michael Isikoff's head for screwing up reports of Qu'ran desecration -- never mind that it's been widely reported before Isikoff and no one has alleged or proven that his allegations were false, just that his one source recanted -- but none of them seem to take the White House to task for leading us into a WAR on faulty information.)

On the way downtown earlier this afternoon, I saw a large sign in a van that read "Vietnam Veteran Against John Kerry." Although everyone has a right to their opinion, geez Louise, my opinion is that this guy is a woefully misguided. W. has led us into a war with no rational basis and no exit strategy. In a whole host of ways, Iraq is indeed the Vietnam of this generation. What, you like having a whole new generation of our best and brightest marching off to a foreign country fighting and dying for undefined principles?

It's Memorial Day. I like to think that by expressing my thoughts about the fraudulent nature of this way, I'm doing my patriotic duty -- and honoring those men and women who have fallen in the line of duty, however misguided the leadership is in sending them there in the first instance.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Money Changes Everything

I just got into the most random fight ever with my officemate, T. As I type this, I feel like I should be whispering, because it's one of these situations that's so retarded that you would never have expected it to get big at all, and you're worried that if she overhears you it'll blow up even further, even though this entire time you're just thinking what a completely fucked-up argument this is.

So the Powerball jackpot this time around is $215 million. That MILLION -- a LOT of money. Usually I don't buy lottery tickets, but when the jackpot climbs high enough, I figure I give it a shot. I figure it's a Big Mac I can live without for that week or something. It's not like I'm some 75-year-old decrepit old man who's blowing his entire social security check on it -- I'm budgeting some of my "mad money" toward this extremely long shot.

Anyway, I'm digressing.

Having purchased my lottery tickets, I joke about it from time to time: "So I'm going to win the lottery tonight, by the way." Or I make notes to myself out loud as we walk to find lunch: "D'oh, the jackpot increased again, meaning I didn't win... guess I'll have to buy more tickets for the next drawing...."

Well, the other day on the way to get lunch I made one such comment to T., that the jackpot was huge and I was going to win it.

"So if you win," she asked, "would you give me a million dollars?"

"I'll think about it," I told her.

I guess she didn't quite take to the fact that I was being sarcastic; after all, the odds of winning are really extremely remote, so promising to gift the money over to someone else seems quite premature.

"How selfish!" she cried. "Well at the very least, what about the firm? Would you give some of that money to our office?" (Frankly, after a string of really bad decisions coming down on us, the firm could totally use a financial shot in the arm.)

"Probably not," I responded, which was probably a mistake, seeing how the first sarcastic mode was lost on her.

Today, at lunch, she brought the subject up again, with our other colleague, C.

"So Dennis! says that if he wins the lottery he won't even give me ONE of the TWO HUNDRED MILLION dollars," she tells C.

I just shrugged.

"AND," she continues, but this time addressing me, "you wouldn't even give this firm any of it. This firm, that does civil rights work, that serves a noble goal in society."

"Well, I had some plans to give some of it to my high school," I say.

Now this was probably a stupid thing to say, but by this point I was getting pissed. Money does this to people, I guess. Why is it that if I were to win the lottery, I would suddenly be obligated, upon pain of loss of friendship, to give away any part of it.

"So you'd rather give the money to some snotty private prep school than to a civil rights firm!" she charged.

"Hey! I liked my high school! They train the future leaders of America!" I defended. Again, not the best response, but it's getting to the point where nothing except backtracking and supplication will appease her, and I refuse to do somehow acknowledge that if I were to suddenly come into a large sum of money I owe it to someone or another to give it to certain people.

"This firm," she reiterated. "Which gave you a job when you were unemployed and you probably wouldn't have...." Then apparently her emotions took over and she just gave up. "Never mind. Now I'm pissed."

And she stormed out of the break room.

I looked at C. quizzically just to convey that "What the fuck was that?" look. C. shrugged.

T. later came back into the break room for the purpose of pointedly asking me: "Just tell me this: Do you respect our boss? Do you respect what this firm does?"

"Uh.... yeah?" I responded. This was just getting too bizarre.

"Okay. That's what I needed to know." And she walked back out again.

I looked at C. again. "I was tempted to give a sarcastic response there, but I didn't think it would go over well," I whispered.

"I don't think anything you've said has gone over well," she responded.

"That was just too weird," I whispered.

"I'm just trying to pretend it didn't happen," she whispered back.

I'm still shaking my head about this entire dust-up. Not only is the entire situation completely hypothetical, not only were my "I ain't giving you jack shit" responses at least partially sarcastic, but I still don't understand why anyone would feel like they were entitled to tell me what to do with money that would be mine.

Would it be "selfish" of me to want to keep all of it for myself? Maybe, but it would be no less selfish than T. thinking that she deserved a million-dollar windfall just because of my good fortune.

Come to think of it, a conversation similar to this one took place when I was selected to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Unfortunately -- or perhaps fortunately -- I walked away from there with only $1,000. Hey, I should blog about that some day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Random Thoughts (not by Jack Handy)

I've had blogstipation lately. But in the meantime, here are some random thoughts that don't seem to justify their own blog entry:

. They have indicted the Runaway Bride. They're issuing an arrest warrant, but they're confident that "arrangements could be made for Wilbanks to turn herself in." Uh, fellas, I think this woman is a little experienced in running far, far away.

. The "compromise" on this nuclear option is a crock of shit. The three worst judges are getting their up-or-downs and will likely be confirmed, and civil liberties will suffer further in three different judicial circuits. Fuck the Supreme Court, these appeals court judges are doing just fine messing up the country on their own.

. I hate those Verizon commercials where the kids fake having cell phones as a hint hint to their father. Spoiled-ass brats. You want a cell phone, get a freaking job and pay for it yourself.

. I also hate those commercials on TNT lately where they feature an otherwise cute little black boy talking about the NBA on TNT. I don't like his tone of voice. I don't think it's cute that a kid of that age is busy spitting out his words as if it's cool. It's disrespectful and not cute at all.

. Netflix really should tell you when the movie you're getting is dubbed or subtitled. When I rent a Chinese movie, I want to actually hear the Chinese, not some horribly-dubbed Chinese-accented English version of it. Also, sometimes I like to practice my vocabulary by turning on the subtitles and listening/reading along in Chinese. So tell me if the movie is no longer in Chinese! (But "My Left Eye Sees Ghosts" is in Chinese, and is quite entertaining so far.)

. Why is "French in Action" so freaking popular? I used the book and lecture series in college, and I want a copy now to brush up my French skills since I still have the book. New, the set costs $450. Although I've bid up to $300, I still keep getting outbid on eBay! What the heck?

. I'm toying with the idea of putting my amazon.com wishlist on public display. But I fear it may only further magnify my total weirdness.

Finally, if you're reading this line, you have far too much time on your hands.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Red, Red Wine

I finally got around to watching Sideways recently. I gotta say, overall, I didn't enjoy the movie. I'm not a big fan of movies where one character is a complete idiot, doing and saying ridiculous things, and manages with very little effort to convince some silly lackey to go along with every hare-brained (and sometimes even amoral) idea he has.

The most memorable line of the movie, of course, was "I'm not drinking any fucking merlot!" The guy was such a wine snob. Of course, that throwaway line appears to have had some consequences; I recently read in an article in the Washington Post that merlot sales suffered following the success of the movie.

At which point I thought about my own wine choices. I do generally like to order merlot at restaurants, just because I'm too lazy to really think about and weigh the merits of the various other reds out there. (Once, I told my table companions (within earshot of the waiter) that I liked merlots "just because I dig the silent 'T'." The waiter stifled a giggle, as did one of my companions.) Should I give it some more thought? I mean, I do like merlots...

But then I also sure as heck didn't want to find myself basing my wine choices on some stupid character in a movie. I'm an independent thinker, dammit, and the fact that some guy in some movie passionately hates merlot should not be a reason for me to abandon merlots in some anti-merlot conspiracy.

Then, however, I was invited to a dinner party where, as per my usual, I decided to take a bottle of wine. Looking through my (meager) wine collection -- consisting of four or five bottles, mostly from Whole Foods -- I came to realize that I didn't even have a bottle of merlot among them. They were, instead, two bottles of claret, a bottle of shiraz, a bottle of meritage (yummy!), and a bottle of pinot noir.

Turns out I had been gradually moving away from merlots even before I saw Sideways. Whew.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Whose Leg Do I Have to Hump?

Via Eric:

Which Family Guy character are you?

I'm just glad I'm not Meg. I was starting to fear that I would be.

Friday, May 20, 2005

The Power of Commercial Images

I recently decided to switch cell phone service providers. My service was getting expensive in relation to what I got out of it. Basically, the economics of it boiled down to: did I want to pay the same amount for (1) the potential for rollover minutes, or (2) earlier night & weekend hours?

After doing a little bit of investigating, I went with Cingular and its rollover minutes. (This was due in part because I could find no advertised plan at Sprint regarding its 7:00 night hours. Apparently it costs extra. And Cingular also offers 7:00 night hours, at an extra cost as well, which I declined for pricing reasons.)

While the economics of it was pretty much determinative, I am happy that I ended up with Cingular for at least one other reason: I wanted to support Cingular because they are among the lone businesses out there willing to put a non-stereotypical Asian face to its product. The lastest round of Cingular commercials features a guy with distinctly Asian features schooling a hapless white guy who hasn't adequately budgeted his minutes and thus fears overage charges. The Asian guy has no accent, speaks grammatically correct English, doesn't sell fish or dim sum, and evidences no skill in a martial art. I'm glad for that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some knee-jerk sucker who will go out and buy stuff just because they get Asians to help hawk it. That said, though, it certainly does catch my eye (in a good way) to see more Asian faces on television.

T-Mobile features at least one Asian guy in its "prepaid phone" commercials... but that Asian guy (and his little "posse") are just plain weird. I'm talking about that silly crew that shows up while someone's talking about their prepaid minutes and acts all hip-hop. It's stupid. And after they finish their rant about hidden charges and stuff, they launch into complete non-sequiturs. ("You guys are posers, aren't you?" -- "Jicka-jicka BOOM cha BOOM BOOM.") What the heck?

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Cingular also has the Karshner triplets.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Doctor is ... Confused

I got a bill from my (new) doctor today. "New" because I had to can my old one for being remarkably non-receptive to my telephone calls for refill prescriptions and requests for appointments. So I gave up, scoped out a new doctor, and made an appointment. "New" even though I saw him over a month ago now. Went in, talked to a guy, left, end of story... or so I thought.

The bill I received purports to bill me (and my insurance company) for a "New Patient Extended Office Visit," as well as the following lab tests: amylase, hepatitis A, hepatitis C, and lipase, and gives me a balance due (after insurance) of just under $60.

The problem? I never got blood drawn on the day I went in. These were tests that were most certainly not performed on me.

I called the office and explained that so far, the sum total of my relationship to the office was me going in, sitting down and talking with a guy who asked me all kinds of personal questions (from whether I had a family history of high blood pressure and what medications I was on to how sexually active I was including what positions I prefer), and leaving. No blood drawn means no blood work done. And, because I am an immense wuss, I would have remembered having blood drawn.

The staff of the office is quite nice. One woman called back later and explained some mix-up to me and told me it had been taken care of. She's very nice, the doctor I met with was very nice, the guy I spoke with seemed very knowledgeable and accessible, and all in all I like the practice so far as I know of it... but it just slightly concerns me that they have managed to accidentally bill me for services that clearly were not performed on me.

I'm wondering just how worried I should be.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Important Post! Read Immediately!

Do credit card companies actually believe that putting "IMPORTANT INFORMATION - OPEN IMMEDIATELY" on the envelope of useless balance transfer offers actually makes people open their mail any faster? Unless you've had your credit card for a grand total of, oh, a month, you know what it is, and you know that there's nothing urgent in there. Do they really think we get these envelopes and think, "Oh no! Are they cancelling my account?" or "Damn, did I miss that payment?"

Of course, this technique is self-defeating because on those rare occasions when the companies really do need you to look at an "important" piece of mail, you probably won't do it at all, because by now you've been trained that you don't really need to "open" anything "immediately," despite their exhortations.

Similarly, how stupid do spammers think we are? Do they really think I'm going to get excited about an opportunity to "earn" a take on a $22.4 million jackpot just by forking over my checking account information? Or that some hot lonely housewives want to fuck me? (Little do they know.) And does anyone really think that purchasing "hot small-cap stocks" based on an online tip (one in which zeros and O's are deemed interchangeable) is a good idea?

That's the same logic as popup ads: Let's annoy them into buying our product!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Welcome to San Francisco

[Note: This post reminds me of, and therefore is an accidental homage to, Brandon's writing style, though of course, I am a far less talented writer. And this post is far more ironic in its selection of music.]

If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there.

In 1999, I visited San Francisco to see some good friends of mine. It was the first time I had gone there without the express purpose of seeing relatives. (In fact, I made a conscious effort to avoid calling my uncle who lives in the area.)

As Ross and I were walking out of the gate area (this was before 9/11, after all, when guests could be met at the gates), a man in a suit, obviously in a hurry, came running past me. His running looked out of place because he seemed a bit bogged down by his carry-ons.

As he brushed past me, a cell phone fell to the floor.

All across the nation
Such a strange vibration
People in motion
There's a whole generation
With a new explanation
People in motion
People in motion

My immediate reaction kicked in, which was to pick up the phone and start going after the guy who ran past. After all, it was logical to believe that the phone belonged to him, and it had been jarred loose from a belt clip when he bumped me on his way past.

I did that quick goose-step you take when you first launch from a leisurely walking pace to a faster pace, at which point a man just behind me and to my left called out, "Hey, that's actually my phone."

"Oh," I responded, halting my intended acceleration. "Sorry. Here you go." I handed him his phone back.

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there.

In the meantime, two old ladies who were also in the immediate vicinity had already drawn their own conclusions about me. "Did you see that?" one of them haughtily commented, loudly enough that I could hear her. (In fact, I think she intended that I hear her.) "He tried to steal that cell phone!"

"Uh, no," I politely told her. "I thought it belonged to that man who ran by."

"A likely story," she spat back, dismissively.

She wasn't about to listen to logic, so I didn't bother trying to further convince her of the sheer idiocy of her assessment. I guess in her world, all it takes to stop a guy from snatching her purse is to say to would-be snatcher, "That's mine," because people who try to STEAL other people's belongings naturally terminate that endeavor in face of a claim of, I dunno, ACTUAL OWNERSHIP. "Whatever," I told her. "Oh... and fuck you." And I walked away.

She's lucky I didn't actually articulate the other four-letter word I had come up with to describe her. Let's just say it rhymed with runt.

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there.

[Song lyrics: San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair), performed by Scott McKenzie]

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Sunday Afternoon

I decided I needed to come into the office today to catch up on a little bit of work that I hadn't finished over the course of last week.

So far today, I have:

. Slept until well past noon.
. Watched (simultaneously) two godawful movies on television: Salem's Lot and some other movie whose title I didn't even bother to find out (it starred Christopher Reeve and Kathleen Turner, among other notable faces)
. Taken a long shower
. Eaten some Popeye's just to get some food in my stomach
. Checked out some cute boys at aforementioned Popeye's, only to realize after closer examination that they weren't as cute as I originally thought
. Read the district court's order on an issue I'm appealing
. Checked on a few of my favorite links on my blogroll
. Logged into Lexis and run a search of federal cases which has resulted in 100 hits, after refining my first search which would have yielded over 3,000 hits
. Contemplated, then discarded, the idea of surfing for porn as long as no one else is here in the office
. Read some of the comments submitted to other blogs on interesting topics
. Started drafting my own comments on interesting posts
. Scrapped the afrementioned comments mid-thought
. Skimmed two cases from the Lexis search result
. Checked my work and home emails
. Grabbed and eaten a stick of string cheese from the fridge
. Checked my boss's emails for anything of importance (like emails about my imminent termination, at this rate)
. Revisted the idea of surfing for porn as long as no one else is here in the office, and again discarded the idea (for now)
. Gone on dcbloggers.com -- which has yet to add a link to me even though I submitted a request over 1.5 months ago -- and surfed through a few random sites
. Composed and posted this entry

I am so wildly ADD. Heaven help me.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On Alternate Realities

[This post inspired by this one from This Place is Dead Anyway.]

Here in DC, everyone and their brother is a lawyer. (Or at least it seems like this is the case.) It's insanely dull that way. Party conversations inevitably end up something like this:

Person 1: So what do you do?
Person 2: I'm a lawyer.
Person 1: Oh, another one of those, huh?
Person 2: Yeah.... What about you? What do you do?
Person 1: I'm a lawyer too.
Person 2: Ah.
Person 1: Ah.
Both: ....

And because everyone has preconceived notions about lawyers anyway, it ends up being a conversation killer on the off chance that the person you're talking to actually isn't a lawyer.

[Yes yes yes, there are better things to talk about than your occupation, and yes yes yes, Washington is notoriously pretentious for elevating "What do you do?" to the make-or-break point in a conversation, blah blah blah... that's not the thrust of this post.]

Therefore, from time to time, I like to make up professions for me to adopt at parties. I usually reserve this game for parties where I'm relatively sure that either (a) I'll never ever see these people again (parties out of town or with a social group I know I won't have contact with again), or (b) the crowd is cool enough that if I do see them again and 'fess up to lying, it'll be okay.

It's a delicate balance; you have to make sure your "chosen profession" is obscure enough that no one really knows what it entails, but you have to know enough about it to bullshit your way through normal conversation about your job, at least to some extent (before politely moving on with "Oh, but my job is so boring. Let's talk about something else, like [you/the delightful food spread/the hideousness of that guy's clothes/the smokin' hotness of that guy over there]").

[Yes yes yes, this is the conversation we should move into right after the "oh we're both lawyers" exchange described above.]

So far, the nonlawyer positions I've come up with for myself include:

Freelance Writer. But, of course, nothing you've read, because they're usually in smaller, crappier magazines, like Genre, Golf Digest (but not a strictly golf-based story, since I know nothing about golf), or Noodle.

Assistant Zookeeper. It worked once or twice, but after the spate of random deaths at the National Zoo, I abandoned this idea.

Math teacher. It's kind of stereotypical for an Asian man to be a math teacher, but I think it really is what I would like to do if I weren't actually a lawyer. And I'm reasonably decent at high school math. Or at least I used to be.

Food and Health Inspector. You know, those guys who go around inspecting restaurants and stuff making sure they're up to code. Of course, I don't really know "the Code" to which these restaurants have to be "up," but I've found that people tend not to delve into the details of that: they really just want to know which places are the filthiest while still passing inspection. I like to regal them with fake stories of the restaurants I either like or hate. If I like the place, I'll tell them how much it sucks so that it doesn't get too popular, preventing me from getting a table. If I hate it... well, I just discourage people from going.

Seamster. (Is that even a word?) It just seems so out of place in this town that's totally full of itself and its white-collarness. No one knows enough about sewing to ask me details about this profession.

Bookstore Manager. At one of the more obscure branches of Barnes & Noble or Borders.

College Admissions Officer. Like at Georgetown, George Washington, Catholic, or American. I have to be careful with this one, though, because I think I actually have met Georgetown admissions officers at previous parties.

OB/GYN. This works particularly well at gay venues/parties. Gay men are revulsed by the thought that I spend my professional work day looking up coochies. And they certainly don't know enough about them to ask about it. I look a little young for a doctor, though, so perhaps I should start by being a resident or something.

Legal Assistant. Once when I was out with some lawyer friends, I told one stranger that I was my friend's secretary. I then told her (my friend) that the interrogatories she left on my desk would go out first thing Monday morning. (My friend wasn't particularly amused for some reason. I find her boring now.)

I have rejected the following as possible professions:

Financial Advisor. While I've lately been reading a lot of Suze Orman, as well as watching her show, and talking to my own financial planner (who is probably sick of my calls), such that I feel like I'm decently versed now on money matters (at least my own), I'm afraid of people asking me for advice. Then I'd sound too incompetent to be doing that for a living.

Bartender. Although I'd love to be one (I'd need to have some training), I'm afraid that (1) someone would ask where I worked so they could come by for comped booze, or (2) they would expect me to know a lot about mixed drinks and various liquors, which I do not.

Advertising Executive. I'm just not creative enough to wing this one.

Aspiring Actor. It could work just because there's so much under-the-radar theater here in DC that I could fake my credentials... but then people would tend to ask me where I waited tables to make ends meet, and I wouldn't be able to fake that as well. That's two levels of faking it, and I simply don't have the mental strength for that.

If you have any suggestions for fake professions for the next time I go out, feel free to leave them for me in the comments.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Vegas, Baby, Vegas! Vegassssss!

I'm the kind of guy who likes having things to look forward to. (Preferably if they don't involve any work.) Many times, this will mean vacations/trips which are months away can serve as my focal point -- my raison d'ĂȘtre, if you will -- sustaining my "just hold on thaaaaat much longer" mindset for a surprisingly long period of time.

My friend Elizabeth, who has recently given her notice at her high-powered law firm, so now she's basically a lame duck with tons o' cash lying around, has been spending her time looking for things to occupy her during her no-longer-billing-300-hours-a-month time. Thankfully, despite the fact that she has (I presume) oodles of cash, she still likes to bargain hunt.

She settled on Las Vegas for the Fourth of July weekend.

She pointed me to the cheap fares.

I'm so there. (Now I just need to find reasonably priced accommodations.)

Vegas here I come!... in a few months, of course.

The Misanthrope, aka Me

Recent text message conversation with my friend Ross:

Me: I am in mixer hell. I'm really just waiting for them to do the drawing. Blah.
Ross: Drawing? Sounds like that short story The Lottery. I hope your drawing isn't as tragic. But then maybe it is.
Me: Yah I have no idea why I subject myself to this torture. I should just resign myself to the fact that I'm wildly antisocial.
Ross: You must adapt to your environment or adapt it to you, grasshopper.
Me: [several minutes later] I bailed. Now I'm grocery shopping. This is infinitely preferable. Even though I still have no idea what's for dinner tonight.

I don't even know what the drawing prizes were. I only mildly regret leaving before even giving myself the chance to win them.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Further Paranoia

This post gets a lot of hits from the search term: "Paranoia paranoia everybody's coming to get me." (It's surprising the number of people who are running that particular search lately. That song is just so old.)

Lately I've been realizing I'm slipping into that strange paranoia mode as well. Still not to the same extent as Mark, but somewhat.

My paper shredder is in my office. Out of fear of identity theft, I bring all my cash advance checks and credit card offers into the office from home for the purpose of shredding them...

... but then lately I've taken to reaching into the trash can to take out two or three slivers of the shredded checks, and taking them to a different trash can in the office, just so that no one who actually does go through those pieces of paper will be able to find a complete document in one can.

I know, I know. [hangs head in shame]

Monday, May 09, 2005

Flying Fridges

Apparently I am one of a very rarefied few who find this joke funny:

Q: Why did the little girl fall off the bike?
A: Someone threw a fridge at her.

I can't even explain why the image causes me to burst out in hysterical laughter, but it does. My brother, his wife, most of their friends, and my cousins don't find it amusing at all.

Clearly I'm just weird.


Related joke (found on the internet while researching this post):

Q: Why did the little boy fall of the swing?
A: He had no arms.


Yet another related series of jokes:

Q: Why did the elephant fall out of the tree?
A: Because it was dead.

Q: Why did the second elephant fall out of the tree?
A: It was tied to the first elephant.

Q: Why did the third elephant fall out of the tree?
A: It thought they were playing a game.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

"Don't Forget to Play with Your Balls!"

This is the funniest children's show ever. Well, an episode. Thanks to my friend Rob for forwarding this to me.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Leeeeeet the Sun Shine! Let the Sun Shine In! The Suuuuun Shine In!

I'm having hair issues lately. Not "I hate my hair so much" issues, but I have strange obsessions with my hair.

It started when I noticed the grossest thing ever on (in?) my body: A gray nose hair. Like, ew. That started the obsession. I had to get rid of it. At first I tried to pull it with my fingers, but even though my nostrils are rather sizeable (another ew, by the way) and my nose hair rather overextended (I'm starting to overdo the ew thing), I still couldn't quite get this to work.

Which is when I purchased (drum roll please) -- the tweezers.

These things are great. The grip is excellent. You wouldn't expect such grip from such a simple device. But they work well.

Perhaps too well.

When trying to pluck gray nose hairs, for example, there's no way to accurately aim the tweezers to grab the gray hair and gray hair alone. Yeah. The first few forays into my cavernous nostril resulted not only in the yanking of several strands of perfectly fine black nose hair, but oftentimes it resulted in the yanking of several black nose hairs at a time. Yanking one nose hair: Owwie. Yanking more than one a time: Definite involuntary tear production. Oy.

Finally, I got it. Along with a few black ones, but I finally managed to pull the thing out.

Then I decided it was kind of fun to yank at hairs. So I did it all over my face. After my not-absolutely-great electric shaver leaves some longer-than-I'd-like hairs on my face, out come the tweezers. Yank. Yank. Yank. Those strange wayward hairs on my neck where hairs don't usually grow so where I don't usually shave? Plucked. Those odd, fine little hairs on my upper cheek (closer to my nose than to my sideburns)? Violently ripped from the roots.

I think I'm a little masochistic this way: I kind of enjoy those tiny little sparks of pain. And I get a strange happiness when I see the results of my plucking, especially if the little prominent bulbs, so recently deeply embedded in my epidermis, are still there. Complete with that little semi-transparent sheath that covers them. I get a strange thrill. Yeah, I'm such a dork.

On a somewhat related note (but not really):
How much does ass waxing hurt? How much does it cost? How much maintenance after the fact is required? And most importantly, Should I, or should I not??

More questions:
If I decided not to use a professional, can one of those do-it-yourself wax-at-home kits do the job? Relatively pain-free? And can I use it on the lame tufts of chest hair I have?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Paul Walker and Steve Zahn, They Were Not

The day my mother told me my grandmother passed away, I had a motion to file at the courthouse. (Thankfully, I had finished writing it before I got the call.) I decided to go file it myself instead of using a messenger, just because I needed some time anyway -- I didn't want to go home and wallow, lest I just sit there and sob. So I walked from my office to the courthouse and back.

On the way back home, I stood at a street corner and waited for the light to change, my mind still somewhat heavy with the sad news. At around this point, a big white van pulled up to where I was standing.

"Hey!" the driver yelled. Evidently, he was addressing me. "How ya doin'?" His passenger also looked out the window and smiled.

I don't know why he singled me out, because I'm sure I looked somewhat forlorn. Or maybe he singled me out because I looked forlorn.

His passenger then turned around in his chair and reached behind the seat to the cab section of the van.

"Hop on in!" the driver yelled, as his passenger successfully opened the van door. There was no back seat to this vehicle, but there was a young-looking woman (maybe early 20s) sitting there, also smiling and laughing.

"Naw," I responded.

"Come on!" the passenger encouraged me.

"I'm okay," I persisted. "Thanks."

"Oh, why not?" the driver started. At around this time, though, cars behind him started honking. "Oh well!" he called. The woman in the back of the van reached over and closed the van door.

"Later!" someone yelled as the car turned in front of me and went along its way.

The stupid thing is, if I weren't so completely chaotically immersed in thoughts of my grandmother's death, I might have actually considered getting into the van. Just for some adventure.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Is That a Banana in Your Pants?

T. walked into my office recently:

T.: Here you go.... [Handing me papers] Hm, smells like bananas in here.
Me: That's probably because there's a bunch of rapidly-ripening bananas sitting right there to your left.
T.: Smartass.

I have to say, I can't disagree with her assessment there.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Inside Jokes, Part II

Several friends and I were at Six Flags last summer. Jonathan, who was maybe seven years old at the time, was with us. He's the son of a good friend and colleague of mine.

Jonathan had won a little stuffed chimp at one of the carnival games. It had velcro in its hands which allowed it to hug its owner. It was cute. It didn't have a banana, but it was cute if only because it could be made to permanently hug you, and who can say that's a bad thing?

While standing in line for one of the rides, I took the chimp from Jonathan. I started messing around with it generally, when the inspiration hit me.

I turned it around, and started slapping its backside.

"What are you doing?" Jonathan asked, a little upset that I was abusing his stuffed animal.

"I'm spanking the monkey!" I responded as I broke out into hysterical laughter. All my friends joined me, as did several of the high school kids in the near vicinity waiting for the ride to come back around.

Jonathan, thankfully, didn't get it. He laughed, halfheartedly, but I think he knew there was a joke in there that he just wasn't getting. He snatched his chimp back to keep me from further inflicting punishment upon it. I, on the other hand, was starting to tear up from my own joke and the fact that it received such a great response. (Attention whore, much?)

Once, when I was discussing that stupid "Milkshake" song with his parents (without being too explicit, of course), Jonathan piped up with, "It's a milkshake! Like, you drink it! Duh!"

Yep, Jonathan, so it is. Your youthful charm and innocence, which will soon enough be lost to maturity and adulthood, is one of the many reasons we love you so.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Don't Forget Your Logical Skills

What's up with the latest commercials for travelocity.com?

So there's this gnome guy. Okay, he's got a cute accent and all. (I find "Gaaaah!... Am I going to die?" particularly amusing.)

But the logic of these commercials makes no sense to me. The series is called "The Travelling Gnome: Denouncer of Travel Myths." They come two myths to a commercial.

The first myth is, invariably, about some misconception which can be cured by using travelocity, like "Myth: It's cheaper to book your airfare and hotel separately. Untrue! Book them both on travelocity and save money!"

But then the second myth is always something stupid, like the American-hair-dryers-in-European-outlets thing, which the Gnome obstinately declares to be "Bullhonkery!" (another cute word). Never mind that American appliances generally don't even have the same number or size prongs as any European country I've ever visited.

So, when this Gnome has advises us that it's cheaper to use travelocity, we're supposed to take his word for it even though the idiot doesn't know not to plug force American devices into European sockets? That's like having someone say "I'm an expert. Sink all your life savings in ABC. Trust me on this one. Oh, and Enron is a rock-solid company." Doesn't the rampant incorrectness of the second proposition completely kill all credibility in the first?

I don't get it.