Friday, November 21, 2008

Blogging Is Hard

I really have no explanation for why I'm suddenly the Worst. Blogger. Ever.

It might be the fact that maybe one in five blog posts I write somehow come back to haunt me for months and months after I write them.

It might be that my crippling doubt about how other people see me has been all but destroyed in the past while, and since that was the creative fuel for most of my self-deprecating posts, it leaves only the kinda pretentious posts where I bitch about how much I hate what's on the radio.

It might be that Kelli's car radio sucks, and I don't listen to the radio as much.

It might be that I have lots of entertaining, funny conversations with Kelli now on a daily basis, and so the one interesting conversation I had a week is no longer noteworthy enough to get its own blog post.

It might be that I'm a little bitter about my job and don't feel like I make any kind of impact.

On the other hand, my mind still runs at about eight zillion unrelated and mostly ridiculous thoughts per hour, so I could probably document some of them.

For example, I recently added a deck of cards to my collection. They are Halloween seasonal cards called "Tragic Royalty" and all the face cards have angry or twisted in anguish expressions. Many of them are clever, like the King of Hearts being a skeleton since there's a sword sticking in his head, and the Jack of Hearts turned toward the player with a patch over his usually hidden in profile eye.

Then, while at the liquor store, I found a pack of Jack Daniels cards which were just regular playing cards with Jack Daniels advertisments on the backs. I didn't buy them, but they did give me an idea: Drunken Royalty Cards. The face cards can all be in various states of debauchery, even organized by themes. The Hearts can be Horny Drunks, the Spades can be Violent Drunks, the Clubs can be Depressed Drunks, and the Diamonds can be Fun Drunks. I think this is a can't-miss idea, and since it took me all of two seconds to think of it, why hasn't anyone at the US Playing Card Co. figured it out yet?

In completely unrelated news, Kelli and I went to Wal-Mart a few nights ago after work and found ourselves surrounded by an elite squadron of lesbian employees putting stock on the shelves. I think at least 2 out of 3 employees we saw appeared to be a lesbian. Is this a corporate wide movement? I urge everyone to check out their local Wal-Mart during the night shift hours to find out if it is also a complete Lesbinanza.

Also Wal-Mart related: there is a night shift cashier at our Wal-Mart with mutton chops. Big, thick, Civil War-era Cavalry Commander mutton chops. The problem is that the cashier is a female. With mutton chops. Long, scraggly, impossible to ignore mutton chops. I hate being completely superficial, but shouldn't someone tell her that she should do something about those? I mean, my mom never hesitated to tell me when I looked unpresentable. And shouldn't Wal-Mart have some form of anti-mutton chop policy in its Cashier Dress Code?

Ok. That's all the wisdom I've got to offer for now. Hopefully I'll think of something else soon and get back in the habit of updating this thing.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Awesome Things I've Done Lately

1. Saw the Guess Who in concert. Technically, I suppose it was only two original members of the Guess Who, but all the newer people had either been playing with them for decades or had some connection with the group. Anyway, they sounded really, really good. Exceptionally. And my tickets were flat-out great. The whole experience was so exceptional that I have decided that the Guess Who are unjustly shafted in the Best Band of All Time competition. I'm not saying they are, but I think they deserve to be in the same conversation with The Beatles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and The Rolling Stones, if that sort of thing is your bag. The point is, they couldn't write a not-awesome song if they tried. Even their simple, just rockin' along, no-big-deal songs like Bus Rider are really really good.

2. Went to see the Indiana Fever. I think the Fever might be the best time I've had at any professional sporting event, ever, and that's some strong stuff coming from a guy who was at WrestleMania VIII and saw the Ultimate Warrior's triumphant return to the ring. Our tickets cost $10, and we were somewhere around 14 rows up, and then were able to move down after halftime. The game was really fast-paced, intense, and extremely physical for three quarters. At that point, the Fever were up by 23 and just coasted through the end. After the game, Tamika Catchings stayed for awhile to sign autographs, then came out of her way to give Kelli a high-five and thank us for coming. It's a really cool experience. If there's a WNBA franchise near you, I can't recommend supporting them enough.

3. Went back to work after having a week off. This, in actuality, was not awesome at all. In fact, it was entirely not awesome, to the point that I might have sufficient motivation to get a good job that might actually require a college diploma sometime soon. Hopefully one in Indianapolis, so I can get season tickets to the Fever.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fit is really a terrible name for it.

Yesterday, I went on an epic trek to Richmond in search of Mario Kart Wii. I had it on good authority that a shipment was coming in at my favorite video game store, and that it would be there between 11:00 and 12:00, and that I could get one held for me if I showed up. Naturally, I had to take advantage of such an offer, considering the degree of difficulty I've had in locating the game.

Well, to make a long story short, the shipment was short a game, and the other two people they were holding games for stayed in the store while I did shopping elsewhere, so my two hour wait in Richmond was for naught... or was it? The shopkeeper informed me that he did have one copy of the equally impossible to find Wii Fit. Rather than go home empty handed, I decided to give the odd little exercise program thing a try.

First, Wii Fit is decidedly much less exciting than Mario Kart. In fact, there is no racing or turtle shell flinging to be seen, so really, if you've got a hankerin to play some Mario Kart, you don't really want Wii Fit. It's just not going to cut it.

Second, seeing as how I've only had it one day, I'm not really sure I can judge how effective it is at getting people in shape. However, after playing a few of the games, it occurred to me that it was a beautiful day outside and that I might actually enjoy going outside and getting some for real exercise. So that's a plus.

Third, I'm more convinced than ever that the Wii is Japan's twisted vengeance against tall Americans. I first got the clue when I played "Wii Boxing" and my combatant was unable to punch below the chin and threw most of his punches over his opponent's head. Keeping in mind that the first rule of video games is "If you're losing, the controller must be broken," I decided my height worked against me and started spreading my legs way out to make me shorter. Kelli still gave me a solid beatdown though, so I'm still apparently not short enough.

Wii Fit, meanwhile, doesn't fit in my apartment. In order to play, I donned my running shoes and stood up on the three inch balance board and started doing some yoga, specifically the "Half Moon Pose". As soon as I stretched my arms up, my hands hit the ceiling, and I'm now trying to adjust my position so I fit on the board and the little red dot that shows my center of balance is flying all over the place and I end up with a final score of 13/200, and my trainer insulted me. And the strength training where you have to stretch your legs out or do pushups will require some serious furniture moving. Now, I know from watching enough HGTV and The Amazing Race with my dad that there isn't a ton of room in Japanese housing, so I'm assuming that your typical living room gives you plenty of room provided you are not over six feet tall.

So, now I'll have to talk to Kelli about rearranging the living room so that the I will fit in it while using the Wii Fit and try not to think about how perfect my living room set up is for Mario Kart.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hey! Look! A Blog Post!

So I recently just stumbled upon some blog. It's called "The Ballpoint Banana." The tone seems to be largely sarcastic and condescending, but I think it's a style I might be able to mimic, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

I suppose now would be a perfect time to write about why I write a blog and, even more appropriately, why I do not write a blog.

1. Video Games. When I have a host of fun games at my disposal to play, it dominates my time. Always has. I've been playing video games since before I could read, and I do not see this trend slowing at any point. Recently I discovered I have a Grand Theft Auto addiction, and I have finished Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas since my previous blog post. I am also halfway through Liberty City Stories on my PSP, playing it only when I am on break at work or when Kelli is shopping for shoes or purses and I am bored.

Speaking of Kelli, the Video Game playing has only increased because I purchased a Wii which we now play all the time. Kelli has enjoyed scant few video games, but she loves the Wii. The prospect of playing video games with a girlfriend is simply to awesome to ignore, so many hours have been played in front of the Wii.

On top of all this, I have The Sims Complete Collection that Kelli and I played for a few weeks before we got the Wii (see, finding a video game to play with the significant other has always been a high priority for me), so I have a whole slew of games that I could lavish my attention on. Or I can write boring blog posts, try for a while to make them interesting, fail, and then go play fun video games.

2. Kelli: Kelli, in case you haven't caught on, is my girlfriend, and she represents a dramatic shift in my dating patterns. I have this whole "fear of commitment" issue going on, largely based on the fact that my life is in no way stable, I'm not settled in what I want to be doing long-term, and I can't say where I'll be this time next year. The uncertainty is not conducive for relationships. However, I still enjoy going out with people, so what I would always do was find girlfriends whose company I enjoyed but couldn't see myself being with longterm due to complete psychosis or general dumbness. My coworker Claudia referred to them as "floozies," and I think that's a rather apt description. Kelli, however, is smart, and funny, and sane. She's also accommodating and friendly and good to me. So my mindset has switched from it's default "This will do for now" setting to "Dear God Let's Not Screw This One Up" setting. This new setting takes quite a bit more attention.

3. Lack of conflict: Life is going well right now. I'm rarely, if ever, bored at home. I spend a good chunk of time with my girlfriend. My car has actually been performing as it is supposed to. I'm even lacking on hilariously embarrassing injuries of late, although the massive sunburn on the top of my knee that I incurred while driving home from Cousin Camp this weekend is up there. The only real conflict is from work, and it is mostly alleged, and it would also be most unwise to talk about it on the internets, so I'm not writing about that. Without conflict, there's not much of a story arc, and the blog turns into "The Journal of the Most Boring Person On the Planet". As such, I will probably spend most future entries taking something completely trivial and treating it as the most important problem facing society today, hoping that the disparity between tone and subject matter causes some comedic material. Look for "Wii Boxing: The Japanese Conspiracy Against the Vertically Gifted" in a future entry.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bullets Within Bullets

1. Chicks have lots of stuff, as it turns out. My apartment is now part warehouse.

2. I have lots of boardgames. I went to Goodwill today to drop off some furniture and look for shelves to put my board games on. I succeeded in buying more board games.

3. But they were really, really cheap! C'mon. I had to.

4. I then went to Wal-Mart and bought shelves because I didn't feel like driving all the way across town to Meijer. Also, I'm unsure of what selection Meijer has in furniture.

5. I haven't even gotten around to clothing, cd, and book sorting yet.

6. But, let's kill the suspense and get to the question everyone has surely been contemplating for over a week now: How awesome is Kelli? Let's go over the checklist:

A. Not too impressed with The Tick. This, of course, is a terrible start to any awesomeness checklist, but it's not a dealbreaker yet. As it turns out, she's never been a big fantasy/sci-fi/comic person, so a lot of the humor may be lost on her. I don't know.

B. Loves board games. This is a big one. I've already hooked her on Backgammon, played a couple other strategic two player games like Mancala (ok, but overrated in both of our estimations), and Roundabouts, which is fun and exciting. She has yet to beat me at any of these, but I'm sure her day will come. We've also played games with friends, such as Trivial Pursuit, Life, and a trivia game I bought for five bucks called Mental Floss. She tends to be good at Life, even though it always appeared to me as the sort of game you couldn't actually be good at. She's not a fan of Monopoly on accounta it takes too long, and she's never played Risk, so there's room for improvement on this front too, but this just means we're at Severely Awesome levels with the potential for Completely Awesome levels in the future.

C. Plays a quality game of Euchre. Also important, as mocking my brother-in-laws after shellacking them at Euchre every year is a tradition I don't plan on breaking.

D. Understands most of my allusions. I don't feel like I have to throttle down my intelligence when I talk to her, and she catches most of my references. If she doesn't, then I can just explain it without anyone feeling inadequate. Plus, she talks all smart and shit too, and makes references I don't understand frequently. It works.

E. Loves movies, but does not share my quest to see all the best pictures. This is because, like me, she is resistant to seeing really really long movies. I keep telling her that I always thought the same thing but I keep loving these movies I thought I wouldn't, but she hasn't budged yet. Instead, we each pick out a movie from the 2/$1 section of Family Video, either something we think the other one will like, or something we've always wanted to see.

F. Loved Gil Thorp and Judge Parker from the moment she saw them. The fact that she instantly saw the vast potential for humor in the soap opera strips negates the lack of love for The Tick, I think.

So, she's passing the awesome quotient so far.

8. Where was I? Oh, speaking of Judge Parker, why are we bouncing around from story to story here? We go from Sam's new law partner search/sandwich order to Legless Steve getting threats from the Taliban to Abbey Spencer wandering around the abandoned Dickens compound. C'mon, Judge Parker, it takes you 8 months to wrap up one storyline; you cannot handle three at a time. And speaking of the Dickens, am I supposed to believe that the kindly elderly woman who gives pot brownies to her neighbors while her loony husband buzzes around in his biplane all day is the villain of this story? On the plus side, this is better than having absentee Taliban villains, and I can now refer to her as Evil Elvira and her Brownies of Doom. Also, since practically nothing bad ever happens to the villains in this strip outside of the Paris punks, I suppose there is no cause for concern.

9. I take my soap opera comics very seriously.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


There's a lot of craziness going on these days. LOTS of it. Where to start?

First, my car needs a new transmission, so I have to take out a loan to buy it. On the plus side, I think this will fix my car for good, hopefully for the full three years of the warranty I'm getting.

Second, I applied for a job sometime around November, and this week, the Bobs finally decided to get around to conducting their interviews. After waiting 4 months for an answer, during which I made several jokes that the job didn't really exist and was just an urban legend, I got less than 24 hours of advance notice for my interview.

So, let's go into my job interviewing philosophy. With a whole year's worth of experience in mental health care, I'm not exactly the most experienced candidate. My program-crafting experience is nil and my degree is in the wrong social science, so I'm not exactly the most qualified either. My best hope, as far as I can reckon, is to be the best looking candidate who also is competent. So, I had to dust off the best suit I had, and show up for the interview ready to impress. I suppose the strategy has worked, as both the RN and the Nursing Supervisor had to interrupt their own sentences to say, "Wow, Andy, you look really nice!" At that point, I figure all I have to do is show that I bring skills in addition to eye candy, which I did with some impressive and mind-bogglingly simple computer work.

So, that took up a day.

Third, and here's a blog-shaking announcement: I have a girlfriend now. Yes, it's a coworker. It's Kelli, who I've had a small crush on for quite some time.  That's all nice and fun except for the obligatory bits of neurosis I always get when I'm in a relationship. That's not so much fun. And even though I'm dating a coworker again, I'm pretty sure it'll turn out right this time.

Also, Kelli applied for that same job I did back in November, and used the same tactic as me. Since she's got a bit more experience, I think I have to concede her the edge. Most independent observers are guessing it's between the two of us.

Fourth: Kelli's lease on her house just expired, so she's moving in here. This was already in discussion before the whole dating thing started, and since we both could use the money, we're going to split some expenses on my already very affordable apartment. The downside is that I have to make room for her, which consists of getting rid of a lot of my junk.

Also, this is a big step for me. I didn't get to have my own room until I was 20, and since obtaining one, I've been fiercely territorial. My space is my space, and I prefer to keep it that way. Inviting someone to move in with me is a bit of a leap for me, but after 3 years of having no one over ever, I think maybe it's time for a change of pace. The way I see it, it'll either work, or it won't.

And through all of these fast-paced shenanigans, I haven't even had time to observe that it's February and I'm late for my annual depressive episode.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Solution

Blah blah blah haven't written in awhile blah blah blah keeping busy blah blah blah.

Ok, to the post.

This happens every year. It's February. We get down. The weather sucks. Christmas has been forgotten, the Super Bowl is just a memory, we're not baseball fans, and there's nothing slated until Easter rolls around.

We've had "Oh, let's just have a family reunion in the middle of February for timing reasons" before, but it never sticks. We need a premise, even if it's a premise as flimsy as "Labor Day." It's still a premise, and it's more than we have for Made-Up Holiday in February Reunion.

Well, I have a premise. And it's awesome. I think we need to have an inaugural Andy's Family February Backgammon Invitational in 2009. I'm conceding 2008, as there are only 11 days left in the month, but this we should get this started next year.

"But Andy," the whinier members of my family might say if there were any, "I don't know how to play Backgammon."

Well, the February Backgammon Invitational would give you the perfect opportunity to learn. I assure you it will be worth it. I have taught 3 girlfriends to play Backgammon now, and all of them loved it. For awhile, my long-distance relationship with AJ was held together with nothing but Internet Backgammon.

"But Andy," the more insecure members of my family might say if there were any, "didn't you win a Backgammon Tournament once in 1994? How ever will we avoid a merciless shellacking at your skilled hands?"

Why, yes, I did win the Backgammon tournament at the Big M Math Camp For Extremely Nerdy and Socially Awkward Tweeners in the summer of 1994, thanks for remembering. (It should be added that I was a legitimate qualifier for Big M Math Camp, and not a mere alternate who snuck in the backdoor, unlike certain older siblings who have secret blogs they never post on.) Bear in mind, however, that before Big M, I had never played a game of Backgammon in my life, and upset a lifelong player in the finals. There's a lot of strategy in Backgammon, but there's a lot of luck as well. The better player will usually, but not always win, and the underdog always has a puncher's chance.

Plus, all of you are either married or attached to someone long-term. You'll have plenty of time to practice your backgammon skills.

"But Andy," my more complaining family members could say, "why couldn't we play something we already play, like Euchre?"

Because we already play Euchre at Christmas. No one would drive up for a family reunion that's just a crappy sequel to Christmas without the pageantry. No, it has to be something special.

Plus, Backgammon is one-on-one, and nearly equal parts skill and luck. Plus, it's easy, so the kids can enter the tournament sooner rather than later. I'm already dreading drawing Phoebe in the first round of the 2012 tournament. Not only that, but backgammon is crazy-cheap (if you pay $5 for a backgammon set, it better be a super-deluxe one), and very fast to play. We could make the tournament a double-elimination and still get it over with in an hour and a half, which leaves plenty of time for drinking or sobering up. Hell, we throw in a traveling trophy, or better yet, some sweet WWE replica championship belts, and the whole thing will be irresistibly awesome. Seriously. Can you see yourself resisting the lure of Backgammon championship belts? I cannot.

But, mostly, I just love playing backgammon, and I hate the fact that most people just know it as that weird looking game on the back of the checkerboard.

So, anyone else up for this, or is my backgammevangelism falling on deaf ears?

Thursday, February 7, 2008

One Week Later...

...and Sam still hasn't gotten his damn sandwich.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Now you realize the power of the Dark Side*

I've learned something about myself this week. I enjoy hating things much more than I enjoy loving them.

I know this because I enjoyed this year's Super Bowl, when my least favorite sports team this side of the 2004 Lakers lost, much more than last year's Super Bowl, when my favorite team won the championship for the first time ever.

Now, there may be some extenuating circumstances. First, last year, the big game was the AFC championship against the Patriots, which I enjoyed more than either of the Super Bowls, obviously. The Super Bowl was sort of a let down after that.

Second, the Colts' Super Bowl opponent was the Chicago Bears. I have a small collection of friends who are Bears fans. They're nice and friendly. The Bears were a respectable enough team without any major personality flaws, and I sort of commisserated with the agony of following Rex Grossman every week. And they posed no threat to the Colts outside of Devin Hester, so the win was pretty much expected, unlike in the Pats game two weeks earlier that was totally in the air. That takes a lot out of the celebration.

This year, I had pretty much written the Giants off along with the rest of the world. There is no way possible they can stop the steady stream of 7 yard passes that the Pats would call and cover Randy Moss at the same time, I reasoned, so the Pats should win in a blowout, and I will hate the NFL just a little bit more. I did not foresee Tom Brady utterly sucking for four quarters, with Wes Welker being his first, second, and only option. The surprise factor added to my joy at seeing the Pats lose. Furthermore, the Giants were without their more toolish elements, Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber, and the thought of the Pats losing to a Manning two years straight made me happy.

But, in retrospect, the fact remains that I like watching teams I hate lose more than I like watching my team win. During my senior year at Wabash College, I got a column for the school paper. I covered DePauw University football for the Entertainment section. Since most of my knowlege of football comes from years of playing Tecmo Super Bowl, my column consisted of a third of a page making fun of them and laughing at their ineptitude, even though they were a legitimate team. And a lot of people complimented me on it, even to the point that people would complain when I would skip their away games because I didn't feel like driving to Hope, Michigan or suffering through their student-run webcast. It was simply more fun for me to hate DePauw than it was to cheer for Wabash more often than not.

That was 2004. I spent the NBA season inexplicably watching every Lakers game with Nando and making jokes about Kobe Bryant being a rapist, Karl Malone and Gary Payton being tools, and Shaq being an obnoxious jerk. I think they had a fifth starter that I also hated (Rick Fox, maybe?), but I can't remember what we said about him. Oh, we also made fun of the TV announcers that spent every second of every game, whether or not the Lakers were playing, talking about how the Lakers were one of the best teams of all time, even though the Minnesota Timberwolves sported a better record and the best player in the league. This was while the Pacers were still title contenders, but I was really looking forward to the Lakers losing more than anything else.

So, yes. I'm hate filled, as it turns out, which probably explains my recent obsession with the Judge Parker sandwich watch. In my defense, it's at least a very quiet hatred most of the time. Anyone surprised?

*and while I'm on Star Wars quotes, "Oh Ani, hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo," was chosen as one of the worst lines ever in a Yahoo! front page feature. I have a difficult time not clicking on those things, even when I'm not interested in the subject matter. Whoever designs them deserves a raise.

Monday, February 4, 2008




Thursday, January 31, 2008

This Might Only Interest Me

Hey, you know the serial/soap opera comics in the newspaper? I'm a big fan of them, because they're so, well, I don't know what. Bizarre, I guess is the word. I realize that practically everyone else on the planet finds them boring and dumb, but somehow I find them to be really funny more often than not. Plus, if you have a few willing friends, you can try to act them out and discover exactly how ludicrous the dialogue and body language are in actual, real-life settings. Or, they're ludicrous unless you frequently eschew pronouns and do a lot of pointing into the air whenever you make a point.

So, in the slow-paced, often-boring world of soap opera comic strips, one strip, Judge Parker, stands out for being exceptionally slow-paced and boring. To get an idea of how slow the strip is, it took six months from last January to June to cover one day in the strip. Usually, the strip's artist conceals the boredom by offering massive cleavage shots, which then double as a justification for repeating the exact same information the next day with the classic "I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said because I was staring at your boobs" defense. Also, I've been reading it for a year, and Judge Parker himself has never appeared outside of the logo on the Sunday title panel.

But the point of all this is to post the Judge's offering for 1/30/08, which is the most boring edition of Judge Parker ever, which puts it on the short list for Most Boring Comic Strip in the History of the Entire Universe.

"Someone will start a job! Someone will go for lunch! Someone will order a sandwich! You'll pay for the whole seat, but you'll only need the edge!"

Actually, I'm kind of hoping this conversation continues for the next two weeks. "Any condiments?" "Mayo." "Regular or fat free?" "Regular. Forget it if it's fat free." "What about sides?" etc. I'm wondering how long they could do it without anyone noticing.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bulleted List of Song Lyrics

"She's got one magic trick:" Hey, I now weigh 163 pounds, down from 175 a week ago, and pretty much nowhere near the 190 or so I probably should weigh as a 6'4"ian. This is slightly alarming to me, because gaining weight has never really been my forte, and it really makes me wish I had some form of appetite about now. I'm just going to assume that my body will reset itself to 175 as it always does whenever it meanders away from it.

"She wasn't too bright, but from the way she kissed me, I knew she knew how to get her kicks:" Ok, eHarmony, I officially hate you. "Oh look at us. We've got 8 cajillion elements we match to hook you up with someone who is perfect for you!" Well, eHarmony, I think you're missing one of the most important elements: someone who can write a sentence with correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Really, is that too much to ask for? Because if I wanted to date people who can't spell, there are about 8 dozen within a stone's throw. Just sayin.

"And we talked about some old times, and drank ourselves some beers:" My first girlfriend, AJ, contacted me recently. She's doing well. Also, it's good timing, because I could sort of use her insight and advice to deal with some situations going on. I really shouldn't get into it here. And it's really not entertaining. Probably shouldn't be on a blog. Where's my editor?

"Well it's the same old story: Everywhere I go I get slandered. Libeled. I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm oh so tired, but I'm trying to keep my customer satisfied:" There was a story here once.  I wised up and deleted it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some Random Day Of the Week YouTube

Sorry. I had no clue what to post for this week's YouTube post. I'm afraid the well might be running dry, and I'll have to actually search for stuff again, which is dangerous because of all the "Here's me talking" videos which seem to be dominating the dang site lately. Anyway, after much searching, I think I've found something you'll enjoy. No promises for next week, though.

Peer Pressure

Scene: Andy is clearing all the trash out of his apartment. baby wrote me a letter BOW! BOW! BOW, BA BOW BOW!

Hey! There's Jeff's dumb girly alcohol that everyone always makes fun of.

Yeah, I should probably throw that out. It's probably three years old by now.

Dude, you can't throw that out. It's not yours.

Plus it'd be wasteful. You can't waste stuff. It's not right.

Not at all.

Can't throw it out.

Oh c'mon now. Seriously. I don't drink, and even if I did, I'm pretty sure I couldn't even stoop to that level. And Jeff isn't coming back for it. I'm throwing it out.

Ha ha, look, it's even got a raspberry print on the inside label. How precious.

Seriously, does this even count as alcohol? I say no.

Agreed. Not alcohol. Let's drink it and find out why everyone makes fun of it.

Oooh! Good idea.

No. Not a good idea at all. Every time I drink, I get pissed off for no good reason and end up miserable.

Well, has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason you live in a grossly disgusting apartment is that you aren't pissed off enough?

Definitely. Plus, if you throw it away, the bag will get heavy. I'm not going to carry that heavy bag down the stairs.

Good call. Let's just drink it, laugh at Jeff's horrible taste from three years ago, and then get back to cleaning.

No no no. It's three years old. It's got to be bad by now.

Oh, I'm sure it was bad to begin with.

Plus, it's in a bottle. A sealed bottle! It'll probably be good forever.

Yeah, just like when you freeze or jar things, they stay good forever. Same with bottling. I'm sure of it.

No no no. I'm relatively sure that's not true. I think you just made it up.

Makes sense though. And let's not fool ourselves: if it were a Diet Coke, you would have drank it already, so I don't think you've got a leg to stand on regarding the freshness issue.

Mmmm. Diet Coke. Now I'm thirsty. Lucky thing we've got a drink in our hand.

Time to take a break.

NO. I've got work to do.

And I'm sure this will get you in the right mindset. All right. Bottoms up.

Ick. I'm not too impressed.

Ha ha! It tastes like a frickin' burning Dum Dum.

You've got to be kidding me. This isn't anything like alcohol. Drink some more.

I don't want to.

Neither do I, but the sink is full of dirty dishes, and the bathroom is clogged, so we don't have a place to pour it out.

That is dumb.

Just drink it.

Fine. God, why am I drinking this?

It'll motivate you. You know, somehow I don't think this is meant to be drank at room temperature.

It just adds to the appeal, really.

Ugh. Let's just finish the damn thing and get back to work.

And put the rest in the fridge since we're not throwing them out.

**Roughly 30 minutes later, while putting a load of jeans in the dryer**

Ugh. That drink didn't really agree with the stomach one bit.

In hindsight, drinking a three year old semi-alcoholic beverage after recovering from a gastric illness might not have been the best idea we've ever had.

Really, someone probably should've talked us out of that one.

Seems to be helping with the head injury though. The headaches all but gone.

Yeah, but that's only because the other side is pounding too now. Why do I listen to you two?

Beats me. You're the smart one here. Why don't you ever talk us out these idea?

Wait, check out that lock on the dryer! I bet we could jimmy that lock with the restraint key and open it up!

No, that's theft.

Well, then we'll only take the money we put in. That way, we're not stealing from any of our neighbors.

Just the landlord who refuses to fix the pipes which ensure that there are always dirty dishes in the sink.

And he's got it coming.

Who charges their residents to do laundry, anyway? That's pretty rude.


Tune in next time, as Andy breaks his restraint key in a dryer lock, then steals a ceiling tile to replace the ruined one in his apartment.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

I hate movies that last too long. Yes, Mr. Filmmaker, I realize that all of your ideas were just pure brilliance, but they're not all relevant to this movie, so please just stick them in the bin for next time, and hire a freaking editor. This practice most often infuriates me when a movie decides to give you details of everything that happened to everybody and everything in the movie after the action and development has stopped instead of just ending the friggin movie. For a particularly awful example of this, see Casino Royale, or just a few more years and see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Lawrence of Arabia is 3 hours and 40 minutes long, and it didn't remotely seem too long to me. There was enough good plot and character development happening the whole time that I was intrigued until the end. It took me a long time to talk myself into seeing it. Over a month, actually, but it's a good one if you've got four hours that you'd rather not spend doing anything constructive. Steven Spielberg cites this as his favorite movie of all time, and even has a little spiel about it on the bonus features disc. I think the most telling thing about how much I liked this movie is that after spending 220 minutes watching it, I took the time to peruse the special features. Anyway, if there's one thing I'm not going to do, it's argue with the creator of Animaniacs about what is and is not awesome.

My favorite dialogue:

Tafas: Truly now, you are a British officer?
Lawrence: Yes.
Tafas: From Cairo?
Lawrence: Yes.
Tafas: You did not ride from Cairo?
Lawrence: No, thank heavens. It's 900 miles. I came by boat.
Tafas: And before? From Britain?
Lawrence: Yes.
Tafas: Truly?
Lawrence: From Oxfordshire.
Tafas: Is that a desert country?
Lawrence: No. A fat country. Fat people.
Tafas: You are not fat?
Lawrence: No. I'm different.

So, yeah, David Lean is quickly climbing the ranks of "Directors whose movies I'll see just because they directed it," and is now ranked just behind The Coen Brothers and Clint Eastwood.

Oh, and speaking of the Coen Brothers, I watched a TOTALLY ilLEGAL COPY of No Country For Old Men last week too. After the Oscars, I presume I'll be writing an exasperated post about how the Coens were shafted again.

Ok, so time to update the sadly neglected Board.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Guys, I'm just not feeling so well these days. I appear to be suffering from some sort of gross intestinal illness. It's, as I said, gross. I'm pretty sure I got it from work, as over half our residents have been placed on a clear liquid diet for digestion problems in the past week. It's not fun. Not one bit fun.

So, January continues to be not a banner month for this blog. And since February annually sucks, I'll probably get back to my usual awesome posting sometime around mid-March.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Things I've Learned This Week

1. If you say, "I've always wanted to be able to draw a perfect heptagon," people will look at you like you're crazy.

2. If you ever get a quesadilla maker, find out if it prefers certain sized tortillas prior to buying two packs of tortillas.

3. Seriously, can you draw a perfect heptagon? It's hard.

4. If you stop blogging for awhile, people might think you have a social life, when in fact you're just addicted to a video game.

5. Really, the topmost point almost always sticks out funny.

6. If someone spends their "break" sitting in the nurse's station of their assigned unit yelling at patients, and then yelling at patients for arguing with them while they're on their break, no one should ever take that person seriously on how to build a therapeutic environment or establish a good rapport with the clients.

7. Drawing perfect nonagons has no appeal for me whatsoever. Heptagons are the thing, I tell you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Other Things I Hear on Oldies Radio

I believe it was Friday when I heard a promo for 103.5's website which told me of a poll where I could vote for which presidential candidate has the hottest wife.

This has disturbed me greatly. It's the frickin' oldies station. They don't have shock jocks. I'm reasonably sure I'm one of only three males from the 18-30 demographic who listens to it. Why is this necessary, and who is it being directed toward?

Well, I've mulled it over, and here's the Only Possible Explanation: Spousal hotness is really the only issue oldies radio listeners care about, and are dependent upon their radio station's web site to inform them of the options. Thus, this is actually a public service provided to their consumers, and not a misguided and inexplicable promotional stunt.

And so, despite my initial revulsion and confusion over the idea, I have decided it is in fact a good thing, because really, is there even a debate here? It's like asking, "Who is the hottest cartoon character ever?" People might think for a second until one person says, "Jessica Rabbit" and everyone else says, "oh yeah." Hopefully, the "First Hottie" method of voting will catch fire, and in a year, we can all celebrate the first day of the Kucinich Administration.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Morning YouTube

Ah, this video never fails to amuse me. I mean, really, everything, the song, the fake instrument playing, the lip-syncing, the mustaches, it's all perfect. Just bask in its glory.

Still Feeling Good

1. Thursday: At work, I got invited to go to a bar. With a chick. That isn't dating anyone else. Felt pretty awesome.

2. Friday: Nobody asked how it went. I'm assuming it's because everyone knows how irresistible I am, and so there's only one way such an evening could go.

3. Well, actually, we stayed for awhile, yakked, spent a few bucks playing a touch screen game, and then she went home to make spaghetti. I went home and made a pizza.

4. Saturday: An old resident who had been discharged called me up and asked me to come hang out with him at his assisted living house so he could tell me what an awesome staff I was. I happily obliged. Then watched football and Live Free or Die Hard with my dad.

5. Sunday: Watched the Colts be stupid with Dad. Sorta watched the Cowboys/Giants tilt as well, but found it epically boring at times. Then we watched the Amazing Race and the premier of a miniseries called Comanche something-or-other. I don't know. I wouldn't have chosen it based on its premise or title, but it did feature Steve Zahn, and Steve Zahn is pretty much always entertaining.

So, I'm keeping busy by keeping myself not busy with other people. It's a good strategy so far, but it does not make for exciting blog posts. Hopefully, I'll start feeling creative sometime soon.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Well I've been smiling lately

...thinking about the good things to come.

In my life, that is. My blog will be as lame as ever. Sorry.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Cultural Contributions of the Bush Administration

Seeing as how it's election time, I thought this would be an ideal time to reflect on some of the more positive contributions of George Bush's time in office. Yes, the entire presidency has been an unmitigated disaster, but that doesn't mean we can't remember the good times:

1. "I hear there's rumors on the internets." What did we do before we called the internets the internets? Does anyone not call the internets the internets at this point? Plus, I still don't know if the internets is singular or plural. Is it "The internets is abuzz with rumors," or "The internets are abuzz with rumors?" I don't know.

2. Talking like Donald Rumsfeld. Is it fun? Most certainly. Will it get on people's nerves? Without a doubt. Is it an effective way to get out of any argument, ever? Well, golly, yes. And while we're in the neighborhood...

3. The 1000 Styles of Donald Rumsfeld. In a somewhat related topic, the next time you read a serial/soap opera comic strip, preferably one that just features two people talking with no action going on, go find a friend or coworker and try to act it out. Crazy, hilariously awkward body language ensues almost every time. Mary Worth is particularly good for this. I think Donald Rumsfeld is the only person who actually gestures like that.

4. Weapons of Mass Destruction-related Program Activities: No one seems to love this one as much as I do, but I find it to be an extremely useful phrase to have around. For instance, right now I'm engaged in some Awesome Blog Posting-related Program Activities. Tomorrow night calls for some Blue Jean Washing-related Program Activities, as well as some Quesadilla Making-related Program Activities. I think it's the ridiculous phraseology combined with the desperation and refusal to admit he was wrong that really makes this so much fun.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Two-Fer

First, The Godfather Part II (1974)

There are people who say that The Godfather is the best movie ever made. These people are wrong. Even if you mob movies are your favorite thing in the world, The Godfather Part II is pretty much superior to its predecessor in all ways, including the vital realization that Michael Coreleone is really a jerk and that nobody in his family, or in any other for that matter, likes him.

Of course, it could be the fact that it wasn't based on the book, and thus I didn't really know what was going to happen, unlike with the first movie. Ah well.

Moving on, In the Heat Of the Night (1967):

You know what's nice? When things are exactly as awesome as you expect them to be. Since my exposure to this film consisted of reading the blurb about it on the back of the DVD case in Family Video and hearing that Sydney Poitier is an amazingly good actor, I had pretty high hopes for it. And it was great.

Part of the appeal for me probably came from simply relating to the plight of Virgil Tibbs. While being a victim of racial prejudice isn't a problem I have to deal with, I do have plenty of experience with being the smartest person in the room and not being able to hide my contempt for some of the incompetent people I'm working with. I understand the hatred Virgil has for close-minded small towns. I feel his frustration when he cannot leave when he wants. While I haven't been chased by a lynch mob in recent years, I've been regarded suspiciously by my peers ever since 6th grade, when it was no longer cool or acceptable to be smarter than them. And I understand the feeling of being resigned to a rather solitary existence both of the main characters express.

Also, Tibbs is able to solve the mystery without the modern conveniences of slow motion close-ups of the relevant evidence while techno music plays in the background, which should be impressive to everyone. He has to make due with some early funk instead.

So there we go. Let's update the sadly neglected Board.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is there any lamer feeling

...than realizing that you haven't been updating your blog much, feeling like you should, but then realizing that you haven't really been turning your life experiences into amusing anecdotes for the consumption of the entire world, so you just sort of sit and stare at a screen, thinking of possible topics that could strike people's interest, only to read something along the lines of "...and work has been a little rough lately, and I'm always tired when I get home" and realize that you're even boring yourself with your boring, boring life?

Seriously, is there a lamer feeling than realizing you are no longer cool enough to be a blogger, a subset of the population known for not being cool enough to have active normal social lives? I think not.

Do you know how this happens? Long-term storylines have anti-climactic endings that are boring to report. The super cool dayshift position job I applied for two months ago? No one has heard anything about it. We think it's really an urban legend to keep us overqualifieds around.

The cute girls at Hardee's that always flirt with me? One quit, one was moved to the back, and their replacements aren't particularly interesting or fun to flirt with. I still get free stuff though.

Mark Trail? The villain confessed everything to Mark with little to no detective work on the part of our inexplicably present hero, and absolutely no face-punching. No one is even destroying or saving the environment this time. What's the point of a Mark Trail Storyline that can't incorporate these sound elements?

My plan to make stuff with a Quesadilla Maker? I left all my cheese at a friend's house, and haven't gotten any more yet.

My car troubles? Still existing unabated. Not going to stop anytime soon, as far as I can tell.

Everywhere I look, there's the potential for excitement, and everytime, nothing resembling excitement or action takes place. Do you know what the most exciting post topic I've come up with in the past week is? Probably not, since I live my life in complete isolation from the rest of the world, so I'll tell you: The Police's "Every Breath You Take": Does it belong on Oldies Radio?

Hell, I might as well write that post, and save it for another rainy week. Which will probably be next week. Until then, you can all decide on your own, and then check your answers with mine sometime next week. It's like an interactive blog game, except without that "fun" element that most games require.

Sheesh. I think I should end this one. I think I should not click publish while I'm at it.

Monday YouTube

"You see... the bear doesn't know it's a competition."

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Quick Update Before I Sleep

1. Fiction suggestions: good call. I haven't read anything in a while, so I'm open to suggestions.

2. I have a friend! Woo WOO! It's my friend Satya from high school. She's maybe the only person I know besides myself who can pull off wearing the "This is what AWESOME Looks Like!" shirt. Today is her birthday, which gave me a great excuse to call her up and hang out with her tonight.

3. I attempted to set a serious cockblock on a coworker tonight. He's bragged about his mastery of patient abuse to me before, and is generally full of shit at all times, so I don't feel remotely bad about it. In fact, I'm going to be disappointed with myself if I failed in this task.

4. Furthermore, the whole episode revealed something to me. Contrary to everything I've ever been told about myself, I have a hard time getting women because I'm not cocky, condescending, and conceited enough. It turns out my coworkers full of shititude and ridiculously inflated and unchecked ego is part of the appeal. This is sad, because there's simply no way I can detach myself that far from reality. My greatness is more understated, you see. And only intelligent women can see it, I think. Regrettably, intelligent women appear to be in short supply.

5. I've broken two automobiles since my last post.

6. I've also gotten a shiny new Quesadilla Maker. I bought cheese tonight, but unfortunately I left it at Satya's, so it'll be a couple nights before I get it back and try it. I'm hoping this experience goes so well that I can develop a new feature for this space in addition to "Monday YouTube," "Best Movie Reviews," and the excessively verbiose "Thoughts on Songs I Heard on the Radio Today." The new one: "Things you can make with a Quesadilla Maker."

7. I got the Quesadilla in a white elephant gift exchange. There were a variety of interesting gifts, with "unused appliances received as gifts in years past" being the favorite. Counter space in young married couples is apparently at a premium. A sandwich maker, a milkshake maker, a quesadilla maker, and a bread maker all showed up. I brought two gifts: a travel size magnetic "Nine Men's Morris" game, and Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. Simon and Garfunkel were not well-received at first, mainly because I'm quite sure everyone in my family already owns it. However, it's value rose later, when all of my siblings realized they had merely succeeded in trading their unused appliances for equally unused appliances, and the goal of "trading down" in order to get something much smaller appeared. Thus, when my sister Abby threw the Simon and Garfunkel back to grab a holiday mug and bowl set, Paul threw in the Quesadilla Maker to get it off his hands for the smaller CD, and I valiantly grabbed it in exchange for the candy dishes I won. The Nine Men's Morris game went to Joe, who was a pioneer in the "Grab the smallest gift and make a run for it" strategy.

Other gifts of note in the exchange: My little brother Aaron brought a cup. I cheap plastic cup from a pizza place in Muncie. It was easily the lamest White Elephant gift in history, or would be, if it weren't for the fact that Casey and Joe brought an exploding coffee maker that is almost guaranteed to spray scalding water all over the kitchen.

8. I've watched The Godfather Part II. I should do a review of it. Also, I fell asleep three times watching The Godfather Part III.