Sunday, February 26, 2006

About ready to give up

As a couple of you know, my ex-girlfriend was in town a few weekends ago to visit with her friends and her father. She'd told me she would be here, and that she'd give me a call if she got some time to see me. It was the first time I'd seen her since before our break up, and I was very nervous because I wasn't really sure what to expect. Luckily, everything went well and we ended up spending a little bit of time together. It was nice being around her again. I realized that I wasn't as over her as I thought I was, and she had a similar reaction. Unfortunately, I only got to spend two evenings with her before she had to go back home, but all things considered, they were two very good evenings.

We've been in contact a lot more regularly over the past few weeks. I don't want to complain about that, because we agreed to still be friends after we broke up, but it's been good enough to have me seriously thinking about whether it would be worth it to get back together with her. Long distance relationships suck, but at the same time, when you find someone that you're compatible with it can still be worth it. After all, good matches are hard to find. I decided that I was going to tell her that I thought we should give it another try, but when I brought it up, she told me that she had just decided not to. She's tired of long distance relationships, and would prefer a boyfriend she could actually spend some time with. She'd been trying to get the nerve to tell me that for about a week, but didn't know how to bring it up because she didn't want to hurt me. Of course, being the retard that I am, I took the fact that she was calling me more regularly as a sign that she was thinking along the same lines as I was. Boy was I mistaken.

Needless to say, I'm in a horrible mood today. I don't know if I'll ever be able to read a woman correctly because I obviously haven't figured it out yet. I can't hold it against her, she didn't do or say anything to lead me on, I just have a tendency to read the wrong things into what other people say and do. As pessimistic as I am about most things in life, you'd think I'd save a little of that for love.

(note: before you leave a comment with encouragement telling me how it will all be o.k., and that she's not worth it, you should know that I don't want to hear it. She's still a good friend, and we're not going to stop talking to each other because of this. At least once I stop my moping around)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Are you trying to tell me something?

I seem to be receiving far too many emails every day telling me how I can obtain this little blue pill for very reasonable prices. At least I assume they are reasonable prices, because I can't imagine anyone responding to such emails unless the prices were too good to be true (I have no idea how much viagra actually costs - really, I don't). Having said that, surely people must respond, or else there wouldn't be so many of these emails filling up my inbox.

(Ok, a quick Google search shows that it's about $10 a pill. It is rumored to be selling in China for as much as $40 per pill. These emails are advertising it for $3.80. Maybe I should start buying it here and selling it in China. Back to the point.)

This pill is a perfect example of doing the best you can with what you've got. Most people already know this, but the pill was originally intended to help with coronary artery disease, but obtaining an erection was one of the side effects. Rather than fight with that and figure out how to make it stop producing erections, the creators saw an opportunity to rake in some serious cash, and instead, developed it into the boner pill that we all know and love. I'd have to say it worked for them. I'd settle for a small fraction of the money they must have made by now.

I have to admit, I wonder whether people are sending me these emails because they know something about me that I don't. I got real concerned that erectyl dysfunction might be in my genes when I did the Google image search to obtain the picture I've posted and saw one of my brother, Psycho Intern (ok, so I made that up). More likely it's just that my university's email system sucks at filtering spam. It's hard to believe (no pun intended - ok fine, pun intended) that I'd get ten times more junk sent to my professional account than I do to my hotmail account.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Breaking News

I'm not creative enough to come up with something good for my 100th post, but the timing just happened to be right for this news, which just happens to be pretty big. I got a call from my ex-wife the other day, and her boyfriend gave her a ring. She seems a little nervous about taking such a big step again, but she also seems happy. I'm happy for her. I hope she makes this one work (I told her when I first got a chance to see what he was like that she needed to make sure she didn't screw this one up).

I've mentioned on here before about how much I actually like the guy. He's the kind of person you hope an ex can find. That is, as long as you are still friends with your ex - if you're vindictive you probably like to see them with jerks, but there's more at stake here than my ex's happiness. There is also the happiness of my children to be concerned about. She's had several boyfriends since the two of us split up, but as far as I know, this is the only one that my kids have felt comfortable around and actually liked. How many guys do you know that wouldn't absolutely freak out when a 3 year old scribbles on the big screen HDTV with a marker, or puts a wood chip into the dvd player? His reaction to both those things was to drive my son to his mom's work so that she could talk to him about it - pretty cool. I don't know if I could have kept my cool like that given the situation. He also helps the older ones with their homework, and does a lot of the things I can't do for them since I live so far away. I'm grateful for that.

I haven't talked to my kids yet to see how they feel about their mom getting married, but they've mentioned to me before that they like this guy a lot, and that they don't ever want him and their mom to break up. Here's hoping that they don't.

Monday, February 20, 2006

5 secrets to a good relationship

1. It's important to have a woman who helps at home, who cooks from time to time, cleans up and has a job.
2. It's important to have a woman who can make you laugh.
3. It's important to have a woman who you can trust and who doesn't lie to you.
4. It's important to have a woman who is great in bed and who likes to be with you.
5. It's very, very important that these four women don't know each other.

Ok, so I really only believe the first four (and maybe not even number 1 completely), but it made me laugh when I saw it, and I didn't have any other ideas to post. So there.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Something Special?

I just noticed that I'm coming up on my 100th post. It looks like I have another day or two to come up with something special. It probably won't be as special as this though, so don't get your hopes up.

Andre was robbed

I know that I'm much too old to care about this sort of thing, but I did watch the contests associated with the NBA's all-star weekend last night and think that they crowned the wrong guy as the slam dunk champion. The judges gave it to Nate Robinson, but anyone who was watching knows that Andre Iguodala had the best dunk of the night by far. It isn't often that you see someone do something new in this contest, so when it happens I think it ought to count for more. I'm also not as impressed when someone pulls off a dunk that looks spectacular, but only after failing to do it ten times beforehand. I think in future dunk contests they ought to limit the number of missed dunks a contestant can have. That would keep it more interesting. And I'm sure the NBA cares what I think.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

New Words

I was really tired today. I don't know why. I got plenty of sleep last night, and spent all day studying (ok, maybe that's the reason). I'm hoping that it's just a result of my tired state, and not that I'm just losing brain cells, but I misspoke a couple of times today. I think I must have rubbed off a little on my friend, because he ended up doing so as well. Throughout the course of the day we came up with some new words that I'm going to define here.
  • Literically - a descriptive term used in the rare occasions when a person is speaking both literally and metaphorically at the same time.
  • Embertainment - what it is called when someone passes the time by staring at the flames of a fire.
  • Misabbreviate - this happens when someone tries to shorten a word by abbreviating it, but shorten it to an abbreviation that actually means something completely different (e.g. if you try to shorten the word misters to mrs.).

Yes, we actually spoke these words in conversation. And yes, we're both Ph D students.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Second Blog

I've been inspired by Psycho Intern and Yin-Yang to start up a second blog where I can showcase some of the best digital photos I've taken. I'm not promising that they'll all be good, they're just my personal favorites. I take a lot of photos, but only get ones that I think are really good a small percentage of the time. Naturally, I have a few backlogged, but I'm not going to post them all at once. You'll just have to keep coming back every now and again for a look to see if there's anything you like.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Is it any wonder?

I was talking to a girl on the phone last night and we had the following exchange:

Me: I should probably get off the phone now.
Her: Why?
Me: Because I just poured a bowl of Reese's Puffs and I can't eat them while I talk to you. If I let them sit they're just going to get soggy.

As soon as I got off the phone I commented to my roommate that it might not be the best way to keep a girl's interest.

But they were delicious.

Don't worry, I called her back.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Procrastination and Poor Planning

I was driving down the street yesterday and saw about ten different places where people had their mini vans pulled off to the side of the road and were selling flowers or teddy bears out of them for Valentine's Day. I might not be the most thoughtful guy in the world, but I've never put off buying a present for someone until I was on my way home from work the day I'm supposed to give it to them. I think if I was that bad I'd probably just suck it up and take the brunt of what was coming to me for forgetting. I would like to be smooth enough to pull that kind of thing off though.

I think the closest I ever came to smoothly making up for poor planning was the day I proposed to my ex-wife. We lived in the middle of nowhere, and I had to go to a city about 4 hours away to take care of a few things, so I took her along with me. We hiked to a waterfall that was on the way, and that's where I proposed (it wasn't nearly as romantic as it might sound, but then again, few things are). Then we went on in to the city to take care of things. As we were gassing up for the return trip, she went in to get some snacks and a drink. As soon as she went into the gas station a guy walked up to me and asked if I wanted to buy a dozen roses off him for $5. I did, and gave them to her when she came back out to the car. She was surprised that I had been able to hide them all day, since she had been with me the entire time and knew that I hadn't had a chance to buy them anywhere along the way (and we had no florist, so I couldn't have picked them up beforehand). I told her the truth, that I had bought them from some guy on the street, but she didn't believe me.

The subject came up a few years later when we were visiting some friends, and she said she'd never been able to figure out when I'd bought the flowers. When I still stuck to my original story, she finally believed me. I think she must have been disappointed with that.

Hey, at least she thought I was considerate for a few years.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Side Effects

A friend of mine had to go to the doctor yesterday due to a cold that's beginning to develop into bronchitis. The doctor ended up prescribing a few different medications, and we were looking at some of the possible side effects:
  • Mood changes
  • Swollen legs and/or feet
  • Muscle aches
  • Vomiting that looks like coffee grounds
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Changes in menstrual cycle

The last one prompted my friend to say, "Now if I get my period tomorrow I'm going to be more than a little freaked out."

I don't blame him, I would be too.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Am I really such a wimp?

It's bad enough that I wonder about my emotional stability at times, but apparently I'm not the only one. My roommate's 15 year old son took it upon himself to break my balls yesterday(to use a Sopranos term - hey, the new season starts in a month).

Him: "What's the worst pain you've ever felt?"
Me: "The worst pain I've ever felt? Hmmmm, let me think."
Him: "And I'm not talking about emotional pain. I don't want you to break down or anything."

For the record, he's only seen me cry twice. Once when I got dumped, and once when I found out my ex-mother-in-law was going to die.

I eventually decided it would probably be the two months leading up to my back surgery - when I could hardly walk.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Darwin Day

Charles Darwin was born on this day in 1809. His birthday is celebrated in circles where his discoveries still have a heavy influence on research (but most of you already know this). Sometimes I wonder how guys like him did it. If you've ever read The Voyage of the Beagle (or any of his books really) you have an appreciation for the breadth of Darwin's knowledge. The man was an expert on many things.

I've been studying biology almost half my life, yet I still don't feel like I have what it takes to become an expert. I know there are those who will disagree with that, but I think that is part of what drives me. I'm afraid of looking like an idiot, so I try to learn more in order to prevent my peers from thinking that. Is that healthy? Not really.

I once heard that in order to be a leader of this field you have to be willing (and able) to put in 120 hours a week. This was from E. O. Wilson who most certainly understands what it takes to succeed. The man is one of the greatest thinkers of our time, and when I met him at a meeting a little over a year ago, he spoke about having 5 books at some stage of publishing within a single year. I have my name on three publications so far (once my latest one comes out that is), with a fourth being prepared for submission. However, I have yet to successfully apply for a grant larger than $750. Do I ever expect to get to such a high level in my career? No. But I would like to get to where I'm competetive enough to actually get a job, and be successful enough to get tenure once I do.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My life and the movies

Every once in a while, I’ll watch a movie and feel as if a part of the script has been taken from a segment of my life. Incidentally, these often become some of my favorite movies. Some of the more recent ones include The Royal Tenenbaums, Garden State, Closer, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. If you haven’t seen these movies yet, I highly recommend them (with the exception of Closer. If you’ve ever been cheated on it will probably bring out feelings that you’d rather forget).

I just finished watching We Don’t Live Here Anymore for the fifth time. I saw it for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival a few years ago and immediately fell in love with it. This one is along the same lines as Closer, in that it is also not an easy one to watch if you’ve been cheated on, but that is probably why it gripped me the way it did. I just wish that I could have dealt with situations in my life with some of the same attitudes as the characters in this movie. Of course, in real life you only get one take.

I find myself enamored with trying to determine what causes a relationship to fall apart. I’m not sure exactly why, because it’s not like I recognize when it’s happening in one of mine. Maybe I’m just hoping to catch some of these things so I don’t make those mistakes in my next one. Although sometimes if feels futile, since there are a million different things that can cause the deterioration of a good relationship.

The thing that scares me is that while I despise infidelity (just have the guts to leave if you’re no longer in love), I find myself sympathizing with some of the jerks in these movies, and I’m not sure what that says about me. I’m just glad that I recognize this because maybe that means there’s hope for me to fix it. Here’s hoping that this introspection eventually pays off.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Another Seminar

I went to today's seminar, and if I have to suffer through that stuff, I'm making the rest of you suffer with me. I knew it was going to be boring from the title of the talk, but this part of the introduction of the speaker cemented that point in my mind:

". . . worked at the salinity laboratory, the world's foremost leading laboratory . . ."

Which prompted my friend to say "The world's foremost boring laboratory."

She also had the following to say about his outfit: part biogeochemist, part urban cowboy (but you probably had to actually see it for that to be funny - he was wearing a bolo tie).

Halfway through the talk I commented that it was so boring that I couldn't even make fun of it to keep myself interested.

Her response: "Au contraire. It is such a solid presentation, you can't find holes."

My favorite part was the end. Not only because it was the end, but also because he said "I went a little fast. Sorry about that. I was excited."

If I only had a nickle for every time those words had been uttered.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

After Dark

The other night I was getting ready to leave work and offered to give my friend a ride to her car. I usually offer to walk my female friends out if we're leaving after dark, just as a safety precaution.

Her: "I don't think I'll ever be staying at the office until 2 a.m. I don't like to leave here after dark."
Me: "I don't blame you, there are a lot of weirdos here."
Her: "I know. And it's not like I'm [girl we know] where a rapist would just pass me up either."

And I thought only guys could be that cold.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Divine Thing?

I was burning a candle in my room while I was reading. As luck would have it, just as I was going to blow it out, one of the sides collapsed and opened up a hole for all the hot wax to run out. It got all over my shelves, and everything that was sitting on them.

This morning I was scraping some of the wax off of one of the picture frames that was on the shelf with a razor blade. In the frame is the last family photo I have with my kids and my ex-wife. We were separated at the time, but were actually talking about reconciling when the picture was taken. It was the first time I had looked at this photograph in a long time.

The Soup Dragons were playing in the background while I was doing this.

I could have sworn that you were an angel,
'cause you're a sweet, sweet, sweet, divine thing.
But I should have known that you were the devil
dressed like a sweet, sweet, sweet divine thing.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Open mouth, insert foot

I have a tendency to say things at the wrong time, or at least when I'm in the presence of the wrong people. For instance, I once made fun of a friend of mine for participating in a handicap awareness program just so that he could get a free t-shirt. There's nothing wrong with making people more aware of what the handicapped are faced with every day, but there was definitely something wrong with his motivation for participating. Of course, as I was making fun of him for it I said something along the lines of "so it was kind of like the time you participated in that stupid handicap awareness thing," then turned around to see a girl in a wheelchair glaring at me. Oops! I couldn't take the time to explain that I was trying to make fun of my friend, I just sat there and felt like a complete ass.

This weekend I put my foot in my mouth not once, but twice! The first was when I was sitting at a table with some friends. A friend of theirs (who I didn't know) came and joined us. They all began talking about this girl, and my friend leaned over and told me I knew her.

Me: "Oh yeah, someone told me to stay away from her because she has a boyfriend but she always cheats on him."
My friend's friend: "Yeah, that's me. There's a reason we don't live together."

The next night I was with the same friend, but a different group of people overall. I was describing where a girl we know lived and said "she lives over in those slummy apartments."

The girl I was talking to looked at another member of the group and said "oh, she lives right over by you then."

Just when I thought it was safe for me to start opening up my mouth.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Kid Art

My daughter drew this picture and left it in my car a while ago.

It cracked me up when I read it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Alrighty then

Friday night at a convenience store I was getting ready to pay for my stuff when a store employee came in the front door. She looked at the other employees and said, "Don't make my butt vibrate as I'm pulling up to the front of the store." I can only assume that meant she was late for her shift.

Is it magic, or smoke and mirrors?

My post from yesterday pulled a Houdini. I don't know what happened, but it was on my blog when I showed it to someone yesterday morning, but it's gone now. Not only from the page, but from the dashboard as well. It's really too bad - it was my most insightful post ever.

Ok, not really. It was some stupid link that would allow you to turn your name into a 'pimp' name. Unfortunately, since it all disappeared I don't have the link anymore. I also listed a couple of the names it gave to me, but the only one I can remember is Professor Truth D. Rockefeller. I guess that's what I'll go by next time I visit the Strip.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

For Shooting Star

I took this picture as a testament to how man has alterred the world. The mile marker speaks for itself by marring the view, but the reservoir may be less obvious. Both alter the landscape, and neither would be there without man's help.

My brother looked at me like I was a weirdo when I took this picture.

I remember responding to him with "Now that's f**king art!"

(Note to Shooting Star and Flies Without Wings (I'm boycotting the acronyms for now): Does this help with the homesickness?)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

However, I don't want to be a dentist

I need a haircut. I normally don't let it get as bad as it is now, but the times I do I remember how wavy my hair gets. The other day I was talking to my friend and she asked me what the deal was with my wave. I had no explanation other than that I'd been putting off my haircut for way too long, but we joked about how it looked like Hermey's hair. I thought I'd post some pics and you can let me know if you agree.

By the way, it's not the worst it's ever been by any means. It was about twice as long in high school. Flies without wings used to refer to it as 'the cowlick canal.'