Monday, April 30, 2007

Monday Morning YouTube Plus Bonus Vacation Footage

If you are not singing along with this, I'm not sure we can be friends.

And you know who else is gonna make it after all?

With each glance and every little movement, I show it.

Post 100!

Happy Centennial Post to Me.

Post 100 will be a teaser post, sadly. I'm wanting to write more about my awesome, awesome Minnesotan excursion, but I feel a little overwhelmed right now. Instead, I'll put it off another day, and instead, to further pique my occasional reader's interest, I'll say that the wrap up will include but not be limited to:

*Hair Product reviews!
*Public Access Television!
*Sexy Words about Sexy Women!
*A Cameo by Walker, Texas Ranger!
*The Minnesota Nice in all its snooty glory!
*A prostitution/baby-sitting service in Wisconsin!
*Hilarious accents!
*A Romantic Drama In Which My Blog Ruins My Best Friend's Life!
*And Much More! Or maybe just a little bit more!

But as it is, I've had a hard time getting the blog back off the ground. You see, I had a serious sleep debt to make up when I got home at 7 am on Saturday morning that was compounded when my mom called, and then came knocking on my door, early on to tell me that she needed me to help her move a one zillion pound organ. As in the musical instrument, not some gigantic whale heart or anything like that. Then I had to go to work. Then I had to go to Clara's with my coworkers to catch up on the previous week's episodes of Work: The Soap Opera. Then today at work, the shit was flying. And by "the shit was flying" I mean "one of our clients was throwing her fecal matter at us," and thus I don't feel like doing anything other than nothing right now.

In an unrelated note, I found another position at the hospital I'm going to apply for. This happened approximately 2 hours before the shit started flying.

Oh, and after missing a week of soap opera comic strips, I find out that the current plot in Rex Morgan, MD is about Rex delaying some dude from getting to an important meeting. This amazes me. Soap opera strips move slow enough as it is, as the first panel usually has to sum up what happened yesterday, delaying the action by 1/3 speed by default. To actually make a plot where Rex has to delay the bad guy, who has his own people trying to delay Rex's friend, well, my mind is boggled. It's so hard to find anything at all happening in any soap opera strip. At this rate, it could be a few years before this meeting actually happens, which would be really awesome in its own terrible way.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Vacation Update #1

(Pictures may be added to this post later on, depending on if I get a camera/access to faster internets/scanner.)

Monday: First, we got a late start. Jeff didn't wake up. Despite our late start, we did manage to get to Indy in plenty of time for the first official item on the itinerary: Dinner with a friend of ours from high school. In the meantime, we thought we'd drop in on our mutual friend Mario. Mario, however, apparently does not know how to get to his own apartment, as he sent us looking for an exit that was on a completely different highway.

Then, as we were driving all the way across Indy looking for an exit that didn't exist, I spy with my little eye an object in the road ahead of us. My astute vision tells me that it's a piece of rubber from a semi tire that you always see on the highway, and my brilliant inner monologue tells me it won't do damage to my vehicle, and besides, there's a semi in the lane next to me blocking any merging opportunity I might have had. Then I get closer, and note with rising alarm that rather than a soft, harmless tire, I'm approaching something that looks large and heavy. The following conversation ensues:

Andy: Uh, I think we're about to hit something.
Jeff: What is that?!
Andy: Um, a ladder?
Jeff: We just hit a ladder?!
Andy: Well, we definitely hit something.
Jeff: We hit a ladder!! That can't be good.
Andy: We've still got power though. All systems feel normal.
Jeff: That's it. I'm calling Mario.

At Plainfield, well outside of Indy, we stop and check the car. No damage. Whatsoever. None. We go in, buy me a Diet Coke and Jeff some form of drink concoction that I couldn't readily identify, and have the following conversation with the clerk:

Andy: What's this?
Clerk: Oh, you can donate a dollar to Riley Hospital.
Andy: Righteous. That's a good idea. I think I've used up all my good karma.
Jeff: And all of mine.
Clerk: What happened?
Andy: I hit a gigantic wooden ladder on the interstate. The usual.
Customer in line beside us: Whoa, you guys almost hit that ladder too?
Andy: No almost about it, my friend. The ladder menace has been destroyed.

Mario, of course, was given hell for this, to which he replied, "Well, it's a good thing you guys got here, because I've got a business meeting to attend and having two white guys with me will make me look more legitimate." Mario's other great quote of the night was "I want some goddamned calamari, and I know that's a weird-as-fuck thing to say, but I just wanted some bad for like two weeks."

There were other events of the night, headlined by dinner with our friend Orilla (Mario had the goddamned calamari, and flirted with our waittress incessantly to the point that she put cheese on my soup approximately 2 seconds after I told her not to), but honestly, it's hard to top the sheer adrenaline rush of crushing a ladder on the interstate at speeds in excess of 65 with your indestructible land yacht. In fact, the rest of the night, every time a driver did something dumb that irked me, I just said "Somebody throw a ladder in front of them." It's my new catchphrase.

Odd facts about Minneapolis coming soon!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Silent Treatment

This space will probably go dead for most of a week.

Shorter Ballpoint Banana: I'm a slob, I can't get a date, bitter sarcasm is my defining social skill, I have bad taste but still make fun of songs I hear on the radio, oddly placed speech balloons induce laughter, and on Mondays we'll watch a video that's more entertaining than what I write.

Have fun, everybody!

Monday Morning YouTube

As I'm making my exodus to Minneapolis this week, here's Fargo in 5 seconds.

Cleaning, Comedy, Comics, Conversation, Candy

Here's an update into the always exciting life of me:

1. Spring cleaning: Is going to take all spring at this rate. However, there is good news to report. The areas that have been cleaned, have stayed clean. This has never happened before. I just might, might, be on the verge of a breakthrough.

2. work: A conversation with one of my clients:

Client: Andy, y-y-you shaved your goatee!
Andy: Yeah, thanks for noticing.
Client: W-w-w-why'd you d-d-do that?
Andy: Because you told me to.
Client: I did?
Andy: Remember what you told me last week?
Client: To shave so you'd be handsomer like me.
Andy: Right.
Client: (Pause) I'm still handsomer than you.
Andy: Go away, [client].

3. Mark Trail: I'm going to have to start a Mark Trail themed blog. I read it every day and involuntarily laugh at all the inadvertant hilarity. It's a gold mine of awesome, and I feel obligated to point it out to the masses. Only I'm too busy this week, because...

4. Vacation! I'm going up to Minneapolis this week to visit my third college roommate, Nando! It will be awesome. And I won't be able to blog, I imagine. In stark contrast to every other week, when this blog is so productive and all.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I Forgot to Name This Post

I have a very peculiar habit of singing whatever song happens to get stuck in my head. Most people just sort of hum it, sort of sway to the beat that is going on inside their brain, or just whistle. I sing, and I generally don't merely sing, but I tend to belt. For the most part, this isn't a problem, and people tend to respond in a few predictable ways:

1. Ignore me.

2. Give me a smile or a nod, as if to say, "I think it's pretty cool that you sing in public."

3. Compliment me on my voice, which I will confess, is awesome when I keep it within its sadly limited range.

4. Give me a weird look and move away, as if to say "What's this? Mirth and merriment in public? Leave me to my silent, sullen misery."

Usually the song will be whatever song happened to be on the radio lately. For example, "Touch Me" by the Doors has been getting considerable airplay lately on the oldies station I listen to, and if you can resist yelling out "C'MON, C'MON, C'MON, C'MON, C'MON, now-----TOUCH me baby..." after the opening chords in synchronized rhythms rise to their peak, well, you have more willpower than me. Which isn't really hard, as I will continue failing to resist that for the rest of the day, to the amusement of my coworkers and the residents we take care of.

However, sometimes random and wholly inappropriate songs enter my head and demand to be sung, and these cause result number 4 to occur in much higher numbers. The unspoken statement becomes "You frighten me, and I think it best we keep our distance."

Such was the case at Meijer tonight while I was shopping for the cleaning supplies I neglected to pick up yesterday. Night shift people are a pretty tolerant lot; only the biggest oddballs are out during the vampire hours, so a little acceptance is in order. However, I could tell I was disturbing even this usually unflappable clientele with my impromptu concert's playlist tonight.

What was this song? Well, it's catchy. It promotes social awareness. It has many passionate, emotional lines that demand the singer to harness the soul. It advocates a radical redistribution of income on a global scale. And if you loudly belt it out while doing grocery shopping in the middle of an April night, people give you weird looks and move away from you.

And if you dare, you can listen to it yourself here. And then imagine me singing it loudly in Meijer in the middle of the night, and not just singing the song, but changing the inflection of my voice when the singer changes.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Monday Morning YouTube

In honor of the keyboard I am going to buy soon that will most assuredly be awesome.


I cleaned my kitchen for 2 hours today. There's a noticeable difference. There's also more work to be done, but progress has been made.


I went to buy more trash bags, laundry soap, and other useful cleaning agents, but I forgot my check card and couldn't pay. Drat!

Tune in tomorrow for more epic domestic adventures.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Extreme Makeover

My situation is hopeless. Hopeless, I tell you.

I have been cleaning my apartment for half an hour a night for the past three nights, and it still hasn't made a dent in the mess. I think the disgusting clutter has reached a critical mass and can only be stopped by the cleansing fire of, well, fire. I'm really sad that it has come to this.

Well, perhaps I need a new plan of attack before I use the final contingency. Perhaps I'm just going about this "cleaning" activity all wrong due to my pathetic inexperience with the matter. Perhaps I need to spend more time sitting around thinking about cleaning instead of actually cleaning, and if I could draw up some nifty diagrams on MS Paint, to scale, while I do that, I'm sure it will prove effective AND entertaining.

Oooh! Or maybe I could call HGTV or TLC and go on one of their "Can you believe nimrods like this guy who can't take care of himself actually exist? Watch us turn his life around from dud to stud for under forty bucks!" At this point, I'm not too proud.

Or, if someone I haven't seen in a few years happened to come in from out of town, I might be externally motivated enough to actually clean something up. I don't know. Something has to be done soon.

More Misused Speech Balloons

Somedays, it's very tempting to turn this space into a Mark Trail-themed blog, as I read it everyday and find it extremely hilarious. Currently, Mark continues to stalk Sally, girlfriend of Dan who faked his death on Mark's property in an insurance scam, presumably so he can punch him in the face, since he has yet to notify any authorities about the situation. Anyways, it culuminates in this scene today:

Note in the second panel, Mark's speech balloon is so obtrusive that it actually covers up part of NotDan's head, as it he's trying to put his words physically between the couple during their embrace. Mark Trail must assume that Sally does not realize that the man she is hugging is not Dan, so he feels the need to SHOUT at her and blow his stalking cover. Either that, or he's firmly rebuking her for wasting his time by leading him to the wrong guy. In the midst of all of this, I didn't notice until the third time I checked it that I don't have a clue who is delivering the other line of dialogue in the panel.

Also, pulling your car right up to the door is not exactly the most covert thing you can do while stalking someone. Not that I have any experience with such a thing. Just doesn't strike me as a good idea. Right. Moving on.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Drugs abuse me, but I deserve it.

Today I had a brilliant idea. I waste 45 minutes in Richmond with nothing to do every day that I work, and call it a "break." Why don't I clean my car for the first time since October during that 45 minutes and live in slightly less filth for a change. So I did. Or rather, I spent 15 minutes cleaning the front seat, then said, "That's enough for today. I'll get the rest tomorrow."

Also, I have no hot water again, and it's happening with enough frequency that I feel I should contact my absentee landlord. The problem is that my apartment is so disgusting that I really don't want anyone to enter it, including myself. So, will cold showers and shame be enough to finally, finally get me to clean my apartment? I have my doubts, sadly.

On the other hand, I'm thisclose to having a clean bathroom, and if I can just not to do nothing for an entire week, I might claim a rare victory against the second law of thermodynamics. And, I plan on buying a snazzy keyboard of some kind next week to begin my inevitable rise to rockstardom, so I'll obviously need to clean some room.

On the drug front: My Worthless Inhaler gives me a terrible, terrible headache every time I use it. It's really bad for about five minutes, then just lingers for about an hour. It's most unpleasant. Also, I have no freaking clue about how often I'm supposed to be using it. A book at work said every 6 hours. My doctor said once a day and as needed. The paper that came with it says one or two puffs once or twice a day plus as needed. I'm confused. I'd be less confused if I could notice any effects outside of wicked headache, but I sadly do not.

Also, add Clearasil to the list of drugs that affects me too drastically to be useful. Clearasil not only gets rid of any pimples on my face, but then takes all skin nearby with it. Also, it's absolutely essential that I shield my face not only from the awesome power of the sun, but also from the awesome power of the 40 watt incandescent light bulb, as any exposure will fry my poor face to a crisp. None of this does wonders for my self-image, and I frequently wonder why I bother with it at all.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Easter: The Untold True Story

Another Music Post

Yes, I'm stuck in a rut.

Today I realized that I can quickly and easily determine how much I like a band. I've been judging artists on a song by song basis for some time, accepting that artists have hits and misses, and then assessing how much I like the band based on how many songs I like as opposed to how many songs I dislike. This approach proved economical until I realized that comparing one artist to another suddenly involves a complicated calculus of positive songs to negative songs and failed to take into account the quality of the songs themselves by distilling them to mere +'s and -'s.

I have since come up with a much simpler system: now, to determine exactly how much I like a band, I just name my favorite song by them, and the more obscure the song is, the more I like the artist. There are those who say that picking a favorite isn't easy, but it is. It should be a quick, knee jerk, first song to enter your head. Watch as the system works with ten random bands/songs that come to mind:

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: "Rhino Skin"

Elton John: "Levon"

The Cars: "You Might Think"

Nirvana: "Heart Shaped Box"

Dave Matthews Band: "Ants Marching"

They Might Be Giants: "Ana Ng"

Billy Joel: "Don't Ask Me Why"

Neil Diamond: "Solitary Man"

Simon and Garfunkel: "Keep the Customer Satisfied"

The Ventures: "Walk, Don't Run"

So, rearranging these in order of obscurity, we get:

1. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
2. Simon and Garfunkel
3. They Might Be Giants
4. Elton John
5. The Cars
6. Billy Joel
7. Neil Diamond
8. The Ventures
9. Nirvana
10. Dave Matthews Band

which is an agreeable order, with a few problems:

1. It is difficult to rank They Might Be Giants, as they're a relatively obscure band as opposed to the others, and thus have a leg up in obscurity. Basically, I figured that I could name at least two dozen TP and S&G songs that are better known than my two favorites, while Ana Ng is one of TMBG's better known songs. However, since it takes more effort to follow a lesser known band, perhaps the extra effort suggests I like them more.

2. I'm unhappy about The Ventures' free fall to 8, below both Neil Diamond and Billy Joel, because I'm pretty sure I like The Ventures better than either of those. It's just that "Walk, Don't Run" is really, really catchy. This system may penalize bands that have a singular masterpiece backed with a solid repertoire.

3. 4 and 5 are practically interchangeable, while there is a chasm between 5 and 6. I'll routinely list Elton John and The Cars among my favorite artists. Billy Joel, meanwhile, is just an artist I appreciate. There is also a chasm between 9 and 10, which leads to...

4. Would this work in ranking bands I don't like who managed to provide a song I thought was good? Or would I have to rank my least favorite songs by those artists? It's a good thing I don't have a girlfriend, otherwise I wouldn't have time to think all this through.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

It Didn't Feel Like the First Time the Second Time

Today, I heard Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" not once, but twice. Both times, pretty much the only thing I thought was this.

Wait, I also thought that if I were to write a parody of the song using the dumbest lyrics imaginable, I would not be able to top "It feels like the first time/like it never felt before."

Thursday, April 5, 2007

More Thoughts on Songs I Heard On the Radio Today

"Small Town", John Mellencamp: I take issue with the line "I can be myself living in a small town, where people let me be just what I want to be." Perhaps Seymour is more enlightened and laid back than most small towns in Indiana, but my experience has been quite the opposite. People do not let you be just who you want to be if you want to be somewhat quirky. If you want to be a constantly conforming tool, however, then I guess you're in the right place.

"Uptown Girl", Billy Joel: Somehow, I just don't buy into the notion that Billy Joel was ever keeping it real in the ghetto, ( the ghet-TO!), unable to draw the attention of the pretentious, pampered girl from uptown. I find it much more likely that Billy Joel was a smarmy, upwardly mobile yuppie in his youth, probably oozing disdain for everyone around him. In fact, I'm almost positive. Just listen to "Piano Man" with its thesis of "I'm better than all you losers, so I'm getting out of here."

"Cruel To Be Kind", Nick Lowe: It's a good thing I don't hear this song frequently enough to know the words to it, because if I did I would probably quote it multiple times a day and get considerably more weird looks from my coworkers. Also, this, along with the Bay City Rollers post a couple spots down, shows that I may have a strange weakness for short, snappy, pop songs, which I think might be a dying art form. See also "The Letter" by The Box Tops, "Paperback Writer" by The Beatles, and "There She Goes" by The La's.

Mustache Kind of Feeling

I have not posted lately, but it's not for lack of ideas. It's not really for lack of time, either. It's been lack of effort. I apologize for this. I have a few posts floating around in my skull that haven't quite materialized the way I want, and rather than rewrite them, I just give up and do something else. To placate the MILLIONS of loyal readers this blog undoubtedly has lurking in the dark corners of the internets, I have decided to write one to fruition. Sadly, it'll be the one where I obsess about my looks.

Remember back in February when I confessed to feeling a little bit down? Well, one side effect of that down-feeling was that I stopped shaving. I have not shaved since early February. One might wonder what sort of monstrous, Wookieean visage I currently bear as a result of this shaving fast. Wonder no longer, mythical literary device person:

A mustache. And a goatee. With no connecting facial hair. I call this facial hair style the Musketeer, and it happens to be the only style I can actually grow. I kept it for much longer this time because a few women complimented my mustache. These were not women I have any desire to date or sleep with, but when it comes to my admittedly quirky looks, I take whatever friendliness I can find.

There is no point to this post other than to point out the weird facial hair I have, but I will provide a glimpse of mustache insight for the mostly female readership of this space. See how my mustache easily hangs over my freakishly tiny upper lip? This allows me to taste my mustache, and it tastes like a sweaty kiss. I would work out with my first girlfriend while she was getting in shape for hockey season, and frequently went hiking with my second. Many a pleasantly sweaty kiss were exchanged in these times, and it appears the exact flavor is preserved in mustache hair. Who knew?

Monday, April 2, 2007

M-O-N! D-A-Y! NIGHT! YouTube

Some songs simply demand audience participation, and they cannot be resisted. This is one of them.

...Sss-Sss-Sss-Saturday Ni-IGHT....