Monday, August 27, 2007

Remember when I used to have a blog?

Well, now I have something that I've heard of, but never experienced firsthand. It's called a "social life." Apparently, it involves having people known as "friends" who invite you over to "hang out."

And it's the bane of bloggers everywhere. I hang out with people all night, then come home and sleep all morning, then get up in the afternoon and work. I used to be a bloging wunderkind, but these friends have turned me into just another person with better things to do than write dumb crap on the internets. Like talking about dumb crap with my friends.

So, posts might be a bit more sporadic in the near future. Until this new-fangled friendship thing loses some of its luster.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Original Favorite Band

The year was 1990. I was in second grade. The world was in love again. We were marching hand in hand. The ocean levels were rising up. Then there was a brand new record: They Might Be Giants' brand new album, Flood.

And my sister Jessica bought it, and played it for me for some reason. I'm not sure if she ever got to listen to it again, because I remember playing it for myself, pulling out the tape liner notes, reading the lyrics, and wondering what the crap they meant. Little did I realize that even if I knew what the actual words meant, I still would be fairly clueless about the song's true meaning. Nonetheless, I pressed on, and soon I became the only second grader to know what an Argonaut was.

Flood supposedly hasn't gone platinum, but I find this difficult to believe, considering I have bought 4 copies of it over the years, as copies got lost, destroyed, or never returned. The last part didn't bother me; how could I begrudge someone for liking They Might Be Giants so much that they never could bring themselves to return it?

My interest in TMBG would wax and wane, but every couple of years I come back to them and find them just as awesome as they were when I left them. In high school, I expanded my collection to Apollo 18, Factory Showroom, and John Henry. I'm certain I bought their debut album too, but it has been lost. I bought A User's Guide and The Spine when they were released. When my nephew Simon, Jess's son, turned three, I bought him the DVD version of Here Comes the ABCs. I pointed out a conifer to him last Labor Day, and he was able to sing "C is for Conifers" to me, although he said that he didn't like it, he liked Pirates of the Berry Bean, but mom always makes him watch ABCs.

Now, They Might Be Giants has a new album out. It's called The Else. How did this happen without me knowing about it? I must be off my game.

I nearly purchased it, but then I realized the time commitment required to buy a They Might Be Giants CD. Odds are good that I haven't heard any of the songs from it. It takes hours and hours and hours of listening to fully absorb it, to entangle one's self in the lyrics and work one's way out, to catch all the subtle instrumental effects. I bought Factory Showroom at the same time I bought John Henry, and never put the time in that it required until I started working at Shell, seven years later, when I bought The Spine. Instead, I'm going to spend a couple weeks listening to all their CDs again, and probably insert their lyrics in everyday conversation to subtly show how awesome I am.

They also have a really cool wiki that I'm going to read, Every song they released is rated and ranked by users. I correctly guessed the consensual favorite. My personal favorite is surprisingly ranked #2.

Friday, August 24, 2007



Description: Ash 2001 Indiana Key Club Convention shirt. Slogan is Channel Surfing for Service. I was too tired to get a decent picture of it.

Origin: This was after I left Key Club due to graduation, but my sister was the Governor, so I went to the convention to hear her speech, I think. Either that, or it was Aaron's.

Decision: This one can go.


Description: Dark blue, with light blue collar. No picture.

Origin: Presumably a Birthmas gift.

Decision: I wore this to work one day and immediately a patient realized that he was wearing the exact same shirt. Lots of hilarious jokes were made at my expense. That bit of serendipity is enough to get me to keep it.


Description: Wabash College Blood Tour 2001

Origin: There was a blood drive.

Decision: Probable keeper. I like my blood drive shirts, plus it also has Wally Wabash, who does not look anything like Purdue Pete, on it, which is a plus.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I should've mentioned this a couple days ago

SuperBad is awesome. Really really funny. I laughed very loudly. Everyone else in the theater, which was nearly full, did too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Dental Hygiene Tag has been neglected for too long

So I have purchased a new kind of toothpaste after spending a few tubes in the safety and comfort of Tarter Control Crest Whitening. However, this new product was such a high achievement of marketing that I couldn't resist trying it out.

It is Crest Whitening Expressions Extreme Herbal Mint, a new flavor in the same product line as the aforementioned Lemon Ice toothpaste I bought. It came in some really slick packaging, green and sparkly, with those cool mirror prismatic effects going on. The box even had a scratch and sniff sticker on it, just like the lemon kind, to let me know exactly what the stuff smelled like. As I said in the last post, if there's a person who can resist scratch and sniff stickers, I haven't met them.

Anyways, this is one of the best named toothpastes I've ever heard of. First, we have "Crest Whitening." Trusted brand name plus whitening. I am the type of person who will not buy toothpaste that does not call itself 'whitening.' One of the main benefits of having good dental hygiene is that you don't look like a gross yellow mess when you smile, and while I'm pretty sure adding "whitening" to a toothpaste box does not require approval from the FDA, it still makes me feel good, so I need it. Next, "Expressions." Now we've entered unheard of new territory for toothpaste. I'm no longer just brushing my teeth, see, I'm now expressing myself. And what exactly does my toothpaste say about me? Let's finish it out: "Extreme Herbal Mint." I am extreme. I certainly do not compromise when it comes to plaque, no sir. But, the "Herbal Mint" says I'm concerned about what goes into my body, and about the environment. No toxic, synthetic, factory mass produced mint for me. Just the regular herbal kind. It's like brushing my teeth with leaves. And, uh, not to bely my botanical ignorance or anything, but, mint is an herb by definition, right?

However, I still was not convinced I should try this kind. It was only after a moment's reflection that I decided to try it, when I realized that Proctor and Gamble's marketing stooges put all of this effort in an attempt to make me think that mint flavored toothpaste was a radical new concept. Job well done, everyone.

Today's Shirt

Description: "Tulsa Hurricane Futball Club" Soccer jersey

Origin: Purchased at a thrift store next to our motel in Tulsa on the Glee Club Trip to Hell. It was $2. I got a good deal.

Decision: I really love everything about this shirt. The internets have told me that the Golden Hurricane is the mascot for the University of Tulsa, a city known solely for its devastating hurricanes. I admit to being confused by the singular form of the nickname (Does the entire team make up one hurricane? How do you refer to individual players? Winds, maybe?), while the totally made up word "Futball," which I like to pronounce "Fuhht Ball," is such delightful Spanglish that I laugh a little every time I see it. However, without looking closely, it looks like I'm just wearing a soccer jersey, and soccer jerseys just make me feel about 60% cooler. Plus, I'm lucky number 7. If only I had a cool nickname on the back, this shirt would be absolutely perfect. You could say this is a keeper, I guess.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's Shirt

Description: Indianapolis Colts shirt.

Origin: I think it's a rule that when your favorite team goes to the Super Bowl, you have to buy one of their shirts. Plus, when you consider that God Himself guided the Colts there, not buying it is tantamount to sacrilege.

Decision: I don't own any other Colts shirts, so I guess this will be the one.

Monday Night YouTube

I feel as if I'm in sort of a mini-funk. I lost all my momentum when my computer went down, and then I got stood up, which doesn't help matters at all. So, here's a video that'll cheer me up.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This weekend's Shirt

Description: Red Glee Club, with city names and dates on the back.

Origin: I got one of these every year before going on Glee Club tour. Although I didn't actually make it to this one because I had a class trip to Central America that spring break.

Decision: Even though I didn't actually go on this one, this is a keep, because it's the best looking out of the 4.

Oh, and I've been crashing with Jeff for the past couple of days, hence the lack of shirt updates. I've just been bumming around in what I had on. Also, since I returned, JJ the cat has not left my side. But he will now. Because I really, really need a shower.

DVD Reviews

1. The Tick vs. Season Two: Is awesome. Most of the episodes on here I remembered, with "Evil Sits Down For A Moment" being a personal favorite. All of them are funnier than I remembered, which is pretty impressive considering I bought it as soon as I saw it because I remembered it being one of the funniest things ever.

2. The Tick: The Entire Series: I was extremely hesitant about watching the live action series. The cartoon was one of my favorite pieces of pop culture of all time, so I was very concerned about my love for The Tick being diminished by a less funny series. Plus, Die Fledermaus and American Maid were the subject of copyright disputes and changed to BatManuel and Captain Liberty respectively, making me all the more wary. My unease was misplaced. The live action series is at least as hilarious as the cartoon was. Watching the complete series resulted in me being angry about its premature and completely incomprehensible cancellation after only being on the air for a month. The Drew Carey Show got terrible reviews in its first year, and the ratings sagged so much they had Tim Allen guest-starring to boost them. But, thanks to the patience and commitment of the execs, the show caught on and now Drew Carey is poised to take over the entire game show world. Meanwhile, FOX, instead of delivering us The Tick, Season 6, is now heavily invested in selling us American Dad, which appears to be a more offensive version of Family Guy without the occasional attempts at humor, even though Family Guy is on right before it. Or it was last time I checked, which was awhile ago, since it failed to entertain me and I don't have television.

So, in summary, The Tick vs. Season 2 = Really good.
The Tick: The Complete Series = Really good, but will leave you shaking your fists at the sky screaming "Why, God? Why?"

Friday, August 17, 2007

My New Dating Plan

In the last post's comments, Casey and Lindzy seem to suggest that I need to meet cooler people. This is not entirely true. I know plenty of cool people. However, come with me on this rare trip into my mind as I reveal my criteria for a romantic interest.

For me to date someone, she has to be

A. Cute, and

B. Awesome.

That's really all I've got. Now, some may say that this is a little too vague, but it's really not. When I say "awesome," I mean that she must inspire some form of awe in people, and particularly in me. A sort of larger-than-life personality, a presence that people can't help but notice, a unique perspective, a polarizing trait or two, a rare talent at something out of the ordinary, or just an interesting job. I know lots of cool people, people whose company I enjoy that I would hang out with on a regular basis. I know very, very few awesome people. I think I'm allowed to use this filter, because people are regularly awed, for good or for bad, when they meet me. They may think I'm strange, or offbeat (I prefer 'quirky' myself), but they do notice me, and they generally seem amused on some level by my presence.

However, this whole experience has just proven to me that my method of getting dates does not work, so I think I need to streamline the process a bit for quicker, clearer results. My new plan is to go up to cute women and just ask them if they are awesome or not, and if they are, then I'll go ahead and ask them out. I really don't see how this can go wrong. In fact, here's how I envision it going:

Andy: Excuse me, but are you awesome?
Random Cute Chick: Huh?
Andy: Are you awesome?
RCC: Why?
Andy: See, I only date women who are both cute and awesome. Cute I can figure out on my own, immediately, so I just have to find out about the awesome part.
RCC: Ok, I'm going to stand over there now.
Andy: I'll take that as a 'no', then. Better luck on being more awesome in the future.

Of course, then there's the problem of what happens when a cute woman says she's awesome, but turns out to not be awesome at all. I don't really know how to politely tell someone that I've been hanging out with them for a few hours and have not been awed even once.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Today's Shirt

Description: White with red lettering that says "This is what Awesome looks like!"

Origin: Rachel gave it to me for my date tonight.

Decision: Keep.

Oh, and how did the date go? It didn't. I was stood up.

Today's Shirt

Description: Black Michigan District Key Club Convention shirt. Slogan "Hooty hoo and a bag of bling bling"

Origin: Abby gave it to me. She got it at the convention, as she was the Indiana Key Club governor and made appearances everywhere at the time. She said it was too big for her.

Decision: I have very few black T-shirts, mainly because my mom was ideologically opposed to them. ("They're too hot to wear in the summer!") Plus, it has the slogan "Hooty Hoo and a bag of bling bling" written on it. However, if I keep one Key Club convention shirt, it'll probably be "New Jersey will blow you away," so I think this is a giveaway.

Mysteries abound.

Upon checking my email, I noticed I had a larger than usual abundance of SPAM. However, this SPAM seems to be tailored to my personality. The SPAMmers of the world must realize that I know there are no hot horny single women in Webster, IN, a town I'm relatively sure is just an intersection of two country roads where all spammers seem to think I live. They know that I know that I am not going to receive a free XBox 360. They realize that I don't have a mortgage to refinance. They must know that I'm not going to invest any money in their plot to smuggle oil out of Nigeria. Instead, based on the awesome subject lines of the SPAM I'm getting, they've realized that bizarre, inexplicable surrealism is the best subject writing technique for getting my attention. Here's a sample:

1. For example, a leaf with the function set to "Leave Voice Message" and the mail.

2. In gratitude, I want to make you a present of a knife.

3. Each struct sparse contains two 12-character strings which represent an offset.

4. The same concept can probably work with a lighter-weight synchronization object such as a critical section or a mutex.

5. A reddish-haired, green-eyed, modestly-dressed man.

Now, I've heard that opening spam just causes you to get more spam. I don't want that. However, I simply have to know what the hell these emails are about. But, what if the text of the spam is equally incomprehensible? Would I have to follow the link? Should I reward spammers by giving them traffic? But these are no ordinary spammers. Perhaps the author of the mystery of the lighter-weight synchronization object deserves my attention.

These are the types of conundrums that keep me up at night.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Downtime Recap

Shirts-related program activities: I wore another blood donation shirt (All-American Blood Donor! Because we don't want that dirty furrner blood. Discard), a Space Ghost Coast to Coast "All Hail Brak!" Shirt (purchased while in Atlanta for a Key Club Convention, regrettably too small for me... so a probably discard, despite the fact that it's one of my favorites, sigh.), and another blue shirt from the Gap almost identical to the blue shirt last featured (left in a locker at Carmel High School after the 1999 school year, and subsequently purloined by me, probably should discard, but it's so freaking comfortable that it pains me to part with it).

Computer-related Program Activities: Computer is patched up. Things are working well. It turns out the video card was in cahoots with Neverwinter Nights to destroy my computer. Dad was able to fix it. I brought Jeff along, and he witnessed the nerdly power of the Lab, and was instantly sucked in. It was love at first sight. I think he's moving in with Dad sometime next week, after Dad gets back from his GenCon nerd convention. Jeff exchanged war stories from his Million Man LAN nerd convention. I rolled my eyes derisively. Jeff noticed.

Mark Trail-related Program Activities: Mark Trail just finished up a storyline. It was pretty much awesome the whole time, and had my computer been up, I might have taken the time to find my favorite panels and add them. But it wasn't, and even if it was, I probably wouldn't. This is just so you know that if you've ever read my opining on Mark Trail and wondered what all the fuss was about, there's no better time to start reading it.

YouTube-related Program Activities: So far, I think Jeff is the only person who appreciated Klaus the Forklift Driver. Since I'm behind, I'll just post this video of Dick Cheney that you've probably already seen in those annoying emails that I keep getting to remind myself what I'm mad about these days and what I can do about it (I've heard online petitions work wonders!). I've watched it three times now, and I'm still stupefied.

Dammit, Cheney, didn't you ever learn that your first answer is usually the right one?

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Today's Shirt

Description: It's blue.

Origin: One day a resident at the hospital decided he didn't want to take a shower after he got in, and the end result was me getting soaked head to toe. I went to the store at the first opportunity and got a very cheap shirt. It was blue.

Decision: It's new, so it's still really comfy. Plus, some days I really don't want to make a statement about my life story. And, it's blue.

Possible delay in shirt blogging, as I have to take my computer to the Lab for some repairs.

Today's Shirt

Description: White, with three blue squares with cool looking symbols whose significance has been lost on me for the past 15 years or so.

Origin: Nothing special. I think I got it for Christmas one year. Or a birthday. I can't really remember for sure. Really, Christmas and my birthday run together into one big holiday, called Birthmas. Anyways, I got it a long time ago. This is possibly the oldest shirt I own.

Decision: I think it's time to retire this one. I still think the blue squares look pretty cool, but it's feeling a little small, especially around the armpits. It's very billowy these days too, when there's a breeze it poofs way out from my body. It'll be painful to part with such a staple of my life over the past two decades, but I think I'll manage somehow.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Cat Came Back

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internets, Mr. JJ Flash:

Three things to notice about this picture:

1. JJ is unimpressed with you. You and your lame-o, boring symmetrical face. I think this might be the friendliest he's ever looked though. Disdain and condescension are really his only two expressions.

2. Check that look of steely determination on what's visible of my face. I think that might be the hardest I've concentrated in a long time. I was going to get the perfect picture of this cat, dammit, if it took all night!

3. And while we're there, is that not the suavest mustache anyone has ever seen? No wonder the ladies are now lining up to go out with yours truly. Possible updates to this situation as the week goes on.

Today's Shirt + Rare JJ Cameo

Description: "It's all good. Donate Blood."

Origin: It turns out you get one of these after you donate blood.

Decision: Keep. I have about a zillion of these things, but most of them have suffered some unfortunate stain. This one appears to be still good, and since I have so many bizarre and inexplicable t-shirts, I figure I am honor bound to keep the one that has a positive social message. Plus, I can put some fake blood all over it, get some fake fangs, and presto! Instant vampire costume for Halloween.

I tried to include a picture of the elusive Mr. JJ Flash, but just as I went to capture the image, he decided it was time to sneak up and pounce on his mortal enemy, namely everything on my computer desk. Next time, maybe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Today's Shirt

Description: Victory Field Triple-A All-Star Game signed by Bob Hackett.

Origin: Because I was an "at-risk" student, I had to report to college a few weeks early for a special program called ALPS. We spent the time getting to know the campus earlier than the others, and then did some pretty cool charity projects in Indianapolis. One night, we went to an Indianapolis Indians baseball game, and, using my friend Bob's personal information, I applied for a credit card and received this T-Shirt free. This would not be the last time I performed such a feat. Bob, for some reason, had a sharpie on him, and wanted to autograph my free t-shirt, unaware that it was actually his free t-shirt. His autograph has mostly faded, but it's still visible over the right shoulder.

Decision: Probable discard. This is a good shirt, actually. Very comfortable, and signed by my friend Bob. People ask me all the time who signed my shirt when I wear it, and they look really disappointed when I tell them my friend Bob, even though they probably couldn't name any minor league baseball players anyway. But I think it can be spared.


I saw the Book Quiz at Nadine's, and of course couldn't resist it like chicks can't resist my mustache. And lo and behold, I'm my favorite friggin' book in the history of books!

You're Catch-22!

by Joseph Heller

Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of people.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

There is a copy of this book in arm's length. I'm very happy for me. Let's open it to a page, shall we?

"What happened to him?" Milo asked in a voice deadened with awe.
"He got killed."
"That's terrible," Milo grieved, and his large brown eyes filled with tears. "That poor kid. It really is terrible." He bit his trembling lip hard, and his voice rose with emotion when he continued. "And it will get even worse if the mess halls don't agree to buy my cotton. Yossarian, what's the matter with them? Don't they realize it's their syndicate? Don't they know they've all got a share?"

"I wish you'd put your uniform on instead of going around naked that way," he confided pensively before he climbed back down again and hurried away. "You might start a trend, and then I'll never get rid of this goldarned cotton."

Today's Shirt

Description: Hard Rock Cafe Beijing Shirt

Origin: Dad got one for each of us when he went to China. I somehow have two. I think the other is Aaron's.

Decision: Keep. It's a conversation starter. Granted, the conversation is usually lame ("You went to Beijing?" "No, my dad did." "Oh.") but still, how am I going to get another one?

Monday, August 6, 2007

I'm also Peace and Victory

You Are Scissors

Sharp and brilliant, you can solve almost any problem with that big brain of yours.
People fear your cutting comments - and your wit is famous for being both funny and cruel.
Deep down, you tend to be in the middle of an emotional storm. Your own complexity disturbs you.
You are too smart for your own good. Slow down a little - or you're likely to hurt yourself.

You can cut a paper person down to pieces.

The only person who can ruin you is a rock person.

When you fight: You find your enemy's weak point and exploit it.

If someone makes you mad: You'll do everything you can to destroy their life

Seen at Kathy's

Today's Shirt

Description: 2004 Levi Coffin Days 10K Run

Origin: Got it when I ran in the 2004 Levi Coffin Days 10K Run. Not much of a backstory on this one, really.

Decision: Discard. This one will be difficult to get rid of, since it heavily features green, which is my favorite color, and because I had to run a 10K race on country roads with no shade in sight on a frickin hot day in September. However, it's not as long as I like, and seems too prone to shrinking, so I don't think it cuts it as far as comfort goes. A resident at the hospital will love it, I'm sure.

Also, I don't think I understand the appeal of this blog feature.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Monday Morning YouTube

My new, happily deranged coworker Rachel tried to show me this at work, but for some unknown reason, it was blocked. I'm sure she'll get in trouble just for mentioning it. Trouble follows that one, but it's cool, because it deflects attention away from all of my hijinx.

But anyways, this appears to be a forklift safety video as directed by Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. In German. It's not for the faint of heart.

The Birth Date Meme

Nadine at In Blue Ink tagged me with this one, and being a history major, I can't resist it. Go to Wiki, type in your birthday (month and day), choose 3 events, 2 birthdays, and a holiday, and then tag 5 folks.

December 17:


1862 - American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order No. 11, expelling Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

1969 - Project Blue Book: The USAF closes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of 'A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, Psychopathological persons, and Misidentification of various conventional objects'.

1989 - The first episode of The Simpsons aired on Fox in the USA.

Birthdays (slim pickins here):

1953 - Bill Pullman, American actor

1967 - Chris Mason (darts player), PDC Darts player (I have no idea who he is, I'm just entertained that his name is listed as "Chris Mason, Darts Player")


Roman festivals – Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn, began. (Cool, but not as cool as Pi Approximation Day.)

Today's Shirt

Description: This is an odd one. The back says "Cyber bullets cause no pain." The logo features a peace sign superimposed on a crosshair. Or maybe a peace sign in a cross hair.

Origin: Jeff gave this shirt. He got it at the Million Man LAN nerd convention he goes to every summer. He said that, the site it advertises, is a game site, which, according to its homepage, allows gamers to play the latest hits, such as Links LS '99 and High Heat Baseball 2000.

Decision: This shirt utterly puzzles me. I can't quite wrap my brain around the slogan and logo. Is it the premier game server for Quaker First Person Shooter gamers? Or is it suggesting that the cyber bullets are just training for real bullets, and that shooting peace squarely in its three-pronged sign the next objective? I don't know, but I do know that I'm a little antsy about walking around with a crosshair on my back, let alone walking around with a crosshair on my back while sending out mixed messages. This one is probably on its way out.

Also, I tossed a simple ash shirt that had an American flag surrounded by "USA Washington, DC" in the corner. It was a gift from Mom in the summer of 2001, when she, Abby, and Aaron went to Washington for vacation while I stayed home and worked at a gas station and ate Ramen noodles. Not really a cherished memory.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Today's Shirt

Description: Teal "New Jersey Will Blow You Away!" Key Club International Convention Shirt.

Origin: A gift from the New Jersey District Key Club Governor received at the International Convention.

Decision: Probable keeper. I don't much care for teal, but the shirt features an evil cloud blowing a parade of stick people down the side of the shirt. If that's not cool, I'm not sure what is.

Oh, and to clarify my methods, as I come across shirts that I know I have no intention of ever wearing again, such as my ugly high school after prom shirt, I'll put them in the Goodwill pile immediately rather than dirty them up first. I suppose I'll start mentioning that when I do it, otherwise it won't look like I'm getting rid of things. There won't be enough shirts in that category to effectively trim down my wardrobe, however, so I'll have to filter the remaining shirts down even further.

Today's Shirt

Description: White "Monopoly" Shirt.

Origin: Swag from the Hoosier Lottery I received while working at One & 70 Shell to promote their "Monopoly" themed scratch-off tickets.

Decision: Preliminary Keeper. I remembered this shirt was somewhat uncomfortable around the collar, and it's almost paper thin. However, a few washes seems to have helped it out. Plus, all my clients at work thought it was cool, and the damnable Hoosier Lottery logo is exiled to the base of the left sleeve, for easy concealment. Whether it will survive the second purge remains to be seen.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Stuart Smalley Meme

A lot of people read this blog and say to me, "Andy, as much as I love your blog, I really wish you would spend more time obsessing about yourself and how flipping awesome you are. So far, I remain unconvinced." Well, thanks to BerryBird over at Lake Loop, I'm about to tell you a whole lot more.

The idea of this meme is to write 10 things you truly like about yourself. So here goes.

1. My self-esteem. I understand this this meme would be helpful and therapeutic to people with generally low levels of self-esteem, and most people in polite society who tend to downplay their strengths and accomplishments.

I fall into neither of these categories. Even during my annual depressive episode in February, I still feel as though I belong somewhere in the 95th percentile of humanity, and express my depression through disgust at those who can't crack the 50th. And when someone compliments me on something I've done that I worked on, I'm as completely incapable of false modesty as Albus Dumbledore. Usually I just smile and look the other way to avoid saying something smug and smarmy. This attitude lost me plenty of friends in middle school, but now I think I've gotten it to work for me. Also, I'm not convinced I should continue this meme, as it might be akin to giving an alcoholic a drink, but if there's one rule of life I live by, it's that I'll do anything that people on the Internets tell me to do.

2. My rock 'n' roll band frontmanness. I think I would make an excellent lead singer of a rock band. I've got a pretty good voice, and my high baritone range would be pretty easy to sing along with, which helps for karaoke and radio play. Plus, I'm tall and I have striking blue eyes and awesome hair, which I think would help. Factor in that I also can sorta play an instrument, and then pair me with someone who can write good lyrics, and I think I could do it. Plus, I'd get all sorts of babes, albeit the really scary, trashy babes that frequent the bars around here that I could probably get anyway. Moving on.

3. My intelligence and my memory. Despite my tendency to document the many stupid things I've done over the years, I'm actually one smart hombre. My job forces me to appreciate this all the more. Anyways, something related that I'm simultaneously proud of and ashamed of is the fact that I graduated valedictorian of my high school class, and I don't remember actually working hard to do it. More on this next.

4. My Sense of Humor. I think I'm hilarious. Truly. I crack myself quite frequently. I laugh at my own jokes.

True Story: In the last month of my senior year, some Dayton area television station wrote a letter to our guidance counselor saying they wanted to honor the area valedictorians in 30 second spots between shows, and that they wanted me to go to Dayton one day to have it filmed. I got permission to get out of class, and drove that way. I arrived in the giant valedictorian milling room in time to wait 30 minutes for someone to divide us into trios. None of the valedictorians spoke to another, and we were somewhere in the vicinity of 75% female. So I get trioed off with two girls, and it's our turn to film our spot, which featured us walking toward the camera confidently and smartly, in sort of an inverted peace sign formation. We did it wrong the first time (I walked too fast, and the two girls joined up with me way too late to be on camera) so the guy regave us our instructions. I said, "Apparently we're not the sharpest knives in the drawer," and the two girls looked at me in confusion, as if to say "ERROR! ERROR! DOES NOT COMPUTE! STRANGE MALE'S STATEMENTS CONFLICT WITH GIVEN KNOWNS!" We refilmed our spot, and I hightailed it out of there, vowing to never reveal to anyone that I was a valedictorian. It is my secret shame. I never saw the spot on TV.

5. My people skills. For awhile, Erica and I were given the impossible task to train a coworker who was just not mentally capable of understanding her job. It was frustrating, and it really did not help that every time she did something wrong, which was at least 3 times a day, she blamed someone else, usually me, Erica, or one of the residents. I grew tired of this soon, and some other coworkers were complaining about her, and I overheard Claudia say, "Even Andy can't stand her, and he likes everyone." She meant it derisively, as if to say that I tolerate more crap and incompetence than I should, but I took it as a compliment. I can work with almost anybody.

6. My patience. I've had other psych attendants marvel at my patience in dealing with our clients, who are most often difficult. My de-escalation and redirection skills have gotten rather refined. I'm pretty sure that if I should ever decide to reproduce, I'll be a good parent. But I don't see that happening within the next decade.

7. My competitive streak. I like playing games and sports, and whenever possible I play to win. However, I'm not one of those ubertools who starts intentionally fouling everyone when his team starts losing a game of pickup basketball. No, I can enjoy myself even in a losing effort. I think I got my competitiveness from my dad, who used to play my siblings and me at Risk, and utterly mop the floor with us. Then, after unceremoniously sweeping all of our armies off the board, he would shout, "I WIN!!!! YAAAAARRRRRRGH!!!!" Last Labor Day, my dad started cheating at a game of Extreme Croquet because he was so far behind me. The learner has become the master.

8. My general contentedness. I can drink cheap pop. I can watch old movies. I can play old video games. I can get books at the half price bookstore. I have very few needs.

9. My energy level. I never realized how frenetic I am before I started working at the hospital, but I really keep active. I pace a whole lot, I jump around a lot, and I have a pair of hand grips that I squeeze near constantly. I rarely feel sluggish for long periods at a time. Unless it's too friggin hot out, of course.

10. I'm going to leave this spot blank, so that when I get my apartment cleaned, I can add, "My ability to keep a clean apartment and throw away crap I don't need." That will be something I'm truly proud of.

Today's Shirt

Description: Bright Orange "Digger's Cafe, Crawfordsville, IN"

Origin: Purchased on the last day I lived in Crawfordsville. Digger's was the local 24 hour diner preferred by the Wabash College students. The food was really good there. And plenty cheap.

Decision: Keeper, because I don't think I own any other orange t-shirts, and Digger's was almost a weekly institution for those 4 years. However, it's only got a few good years left, as it has those gross logos that stick and peel after they get washed a few times.

Urge to clean falling

Unbelievable news. I actually cleaned last night. A lot. Lots of clothes were sorted, laundry was done, dishes were done. I was a cleanin machine.

Tonight, while I was buying some shampoo and necessary groceries like cereal, Rock Star, candy bars, and chips, I found Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword.

Civ 4 sucks my life away from me. I am completely unable to walk away from it. I want to install the beautiful thing and play it for 30 straight hours.

Must do more laundry. Must clean the bathroom.

Must invite Jeff over. Must play 30 hours of Civ.

Oh, and I've also decided to keep a running tally of the shirts I'm wearing and the shirts I'm giving to Goodwill on this blog. Liveblogging my wardrobe. This will be thrilling, I'm sure.

Today's installment: an ash-gray T-shirt that says "Enjoy Coca-Cola".
Origin: I think I got it when I was 15, at my first job as an abused slave laborer at the local grocery store. I had the meanest bosses in the history of mean bosses, and I was a fragile 15 year old. I didn't last long at all.
Decision: Keeper. I enjoy Coca-Cola, and I want the whole world to know. If only all of them were this easy.

Plus, it inspired this fun-filled conversation:

Client: Andy! Y-y-y-you like Coca-Cola?
Andy: Heck yeah I do!
Client: I l-l-l-like P-p-p-pepsi better.
Andy: No way!
Client: P-p-p-pepsi is good.
Andy: No! You can't beat the real thing!
Client: Y-y-y-y-you should try P-p-p-pepsi.
Andy: No! You should drink Coke!
Client: I do!
Andy: And it's the best!
Client: N-n-n-n-no. P-p-p-pepsi.
Andy: Coke! Coke! Coke!
Client: Pepsi. goes on quite a while like that. Rest assured, I don't take it lightly when people dis my colors. Respect.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Finally, a schedule that works for me.

On days when I work, I'm always physically and emotionally exhausted when I get home, and therefore never want to do any work.

On days off, I relish the rare occurence of free time during the hours that everyone else on the planet is awake, and therefore never want to do any work.

There is far too much work in my apartment for one person to accomplish.

My apartment is far too embarrassing for anyone else to see.

HOWEVER, tonight, I plan to change things. And by "plan to change things," I mean, "Write a blog entry and promptly forget about it."

A schedule! They do wonders for the mentally retarded residents at work. Surely they could work for the barely functional staff that attend to them as well.

Here's my schedule:

Today, 2 am - 3 am: Dump all of my dirty laundry into a big pile in the middle of the room, sort the laundry, start a load of laundry.
Tomorrow, same bat time: Do another load of laundry, clean the bathroom.
Thursday: Day off. Probably won't do anything.
Friday: Do another load of laundry, take massive amounts of pop cans to the recycling drop off place.
Saturday: Do another load of laundry, see about getting some dishes done in the useless sink.
Sunday: Donate several loads of laundry to Goodwill, begin cleaning out my closet by finding even more laundry and lots of textbooks I should've sold when I was still in college.
Monday: Bemoan the fact that I haven't actually done anything, write on my blog, try to ignore the massive pile of dirty laundry in my living room.

It should be a good time.

Phew. Writing a blog post is hard work. I can put this off until tomorrow, at least.