Monday, May 29, 2006

Leavin' on a jet plane

I'm going to Oregon for a week and won't likely have internet access during any of that. I just thought I'd let you know so you didn't have to waste all that energy by clicking the mouse once or twice to come visit my blog. I'll be back on June 5th, and maybe I'll even have something interesting to say (for once).

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?

When I'm watching t.v. I have to wonder how desperate actors have to be for work to agree to be in certain commercials. Two recent examples are the Burger King commercials where there's a whole family dressed up in hamburger suits made of rubber, and the pepto bismol commercials where the people are motioning to parts of their bodies while the symptoms that pepto treats are chanted.

I'm fairly sure that people do these because they need the money, and not because they feel like it's their 'big break' into the industry. After all, is any casting director really going to say:

"I loved your work as the 'Whopper Jr.' where you mouth off to your dad and say "I wish you'd never been broiled." I think you'd be perfect for the lead part in this new blockbuster of mine."


"We've been looking all over Hollywood for someone with the right look, and the way you grabbed your butt to simulate that you had diarrhea in that pepto commercial convinced us that you're the only one who could pull it off."

People should use more discretion when choosing their roles. If every actor turned down the roles in those stupid commercials, then maybe I wouldn't have to watch them. Maybe they could also save their dignity, but that's a secondary issue.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pleased to meet you, hope you guessed my name

I've spent the past few days at a meeting in Tempe. It was great. I got to see some old friends, meet some new people (some of whom were actually interested in my research), and get out of Vegas for a while. Meetings like this are good for me because I learn about what everyone else is doing, and see a few new things I can try which gets me more excited about my research.

Last night at the banquet I was sitting at a table with some of the big names in my field, guys who wrote some of the main computer programs that everybody uses for data analysis. The drawback is that sometimes when I'm in a situation like that I feel like I'm a mental midget surrounded by giants.

Later in the evening I was sitting at a table with four Spaniards, two Germans and a British guy explaining the concept of 'dry-humping.' At least there was something I knew more about than they did.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

You're all gonna die, could be 20 years, could be tonight

I was swimming laps in the pool today and my arms started getting tired. I wondered how long I'd be able to swim to try and stay alive if I were ever stranded in the middle of the ocean. Then I wondered how long I'd even want to if I knew that death was inevitable. That got me thinking about what it would be like to drown. I decided it would suck and I really don't want to go out that way.

Here's a list of other ways that I don't want to go:

  • Starvation
  • Cancer or any other painful, drawn out medical condition
  • Grizzly attack
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Being gut shot
  • Snake bite
  • Hypothermia
  • Gangrene
  • Buried alive - whether by a crazy person or a mudslide/avalanche

Here's a list of ways that would probably be acceptable to me:

  • Automobile accident - a fiery explosion would be an added bonus, just as long as I died quickly and didn't have to sit there on the side of the road, burned to a crisp like Anakin Skywalker at the end of Episode III.
  • Shot in the head
  • Drug overdose (highly unlikely since I don't use drugs)
  • Hanging - not to be confused with being strangled
  • Slit throat
  • Electrocution
  • Falling off a cliff
  • Plane crash
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Guillotine

I'm sure there are others that I'm not thinking of right now so it's not a complete list. If any of you are planning on killing me, please don't. But if you must, stick to the bottom list.

Smile on mighty Jesus, spinal meningitis got me down

Sometimes I can be an insensitive prick. I've cracked jokes about the homeless, mentally handicapped people, a girl in a wheelchair, a blind woman (although that was on accident, I didn't know she was blind) and kids. These jokes are never within earshot of the people I'm talking about, but that only makes it slightly better. Yesterday I had another such moment.

I was driving back to my office from lunch when I had to stop and let some pedestrians cross the parking lot. One of them had a bad leg and was using a walker so he was taking a long time. I was going to be late for a meeting (plus my windows were up), so I muttered "Hurry up gimp."

My friend (who's agnostic) said, "You can't say that. I'm not even a believer and I don't even want to be near you right now. Just in case He chooses to smite you."

Just as he said that I looked to the left and saw two mormon missionaries riding their bikes. I said, "Not a believer huh? I think I know of some people who'd like to change that. I can arrange for a meeting right now if you want."

I know, I know, I'm going to hell.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Such a crumbling beauty, nothing wrong with her that $100 won't fix

I house sat for some friends of mine while they spent the weekend in California's wine country. I didn't leave the house much, partly because I didn't want to make their dogs stay in their cages for too long and partly because most of my friends were out of town. By Saturday afternoon I was going a little stir crazy. A girl I know called me from work to see what I was doing, and I told her I was thinking about going to see a movie.

Her: "You should go see Over the Hedge. It's cute."
Me: "It looks cute, but it's one of those I probably won't see unless I take my kids or find a hot girl to go with."
Her: "I already saw it though."
Me: "I doubt you'd go with me anyway, you have too much going on."

Afterward I thought that sounded a little too much like "Oh, I wasn't talking about you."

And I wonder why I can't keep a girl's interest.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I think I need a holiday from myself

I've mentioned before that I tend to pay close attention to song lyrics. That's usually what makes a song good to me, the darker the lyrics the more I like the song. Those of you who are very perceptive (and happen to listen to the same music as me) have realized that the majority of my posts are titled with song lyrics. I'm not creative enough to come up with all these things on my own, but I usually try to find one that relates.

One of my very favorite lyrics comes from the first few lines of a Wilco song titled Via Chicago. It goes like this:

I dreamed about killing you again last night
And it felt alright to me
Dying on the banks of Embarcadero skies
I sat and watched you bleed

Buried you alive in a fireworks display
Raining down on me
Your cold, hot blood
Ran away from me to the sea

Anyway, I was listening to my newest cd (Brendan Benson - The Alternative to Love) while I was driving, and a song was playing that I'd caught bits and pieces of, but never actually listened to what it was saying until then. I liked the song before, but my opinion of it increased ten fold once I put it all together. It's gold baby, gold (well actually, it's Gold into Straw, but I digress). Here are the lyrics to the first few verses:

I'm writing the words to this song with a poison pen
I'm turning straw into gold and then back again
When you used to be my friend
Before you turned your back on me in the end

I'm building a box made of wood from a tree that I grew
I'm sewing the lining in silk that I spun just for you
And I lay you to rest
I pour flowers on your chest, on your chest

And it's happened again
Pull a fast one on me
And I've got to be dumb
If it's always in fun

I'm digging a hole with my hands six feet in the ground
I'm chiseling this epitaph on a stone that I found
Meet this friend indeed
May he rest in peace and get on with

I'm learning to live with the guilt of remembering
I'm willing to try to forgive and forget this thing
That's gone on too long
You were right, I was wrong, so wrong

Saturday, May 20, 2006

And the stains coming from my blood tell me to go back home

I heard a rumor that one of my old friends is getting a divorce. I haven't asked him about it because it's probably not something he wants to talk about and have to explain over and over again. I know I hated explaining it to people when I went through mine. If it is true I feel bad for him because he hadn't been married very long when he got sent to Iraq for a second time and had to spend a year away from his new bride.

Having been divorced, I know that it's something that scars you for life, but at least I know that mine came about from mistakes that my ex-wife and I made without an extra boost from our government. It will affect every single relationship I have from here on out, whether I like it or not, as I'm sure it does for everyone who has gone through it.

So whether this rumor about my friend is true or not, it made me think of all the sacrifices that the men and women in our military have to make on our behalf. It's not just the time they spend overseas, or the fact that they're putting their lives on the line fighting for their country, there are things they will carry with them for their entire lives. Whether those things be war wounds (even as severe as lost limbs or nerve damage), emotional trauma from things they've seen and been forced to do (seeing someone die or being put in a position where you have to take someone else's life can not be an easy thing to deal with), or just coming home to a world that has moved on in their absence, many of our service men and women never recover fully. The sad thing is that many of these sacrifices go unrecognized and unappreciated by civilians in this country.

What ever happened to the time of war heroes?

Friday, May 19, 2006

I want a girl with shoes that cut and eyes that burn like cigarettes

When I first started this blog I posted evidence that I am a sexy man here, here, here, and here . Now I have one more line of evidence to suggest that. Last night I went to my first model shoot. I have a friend who works as a model, and a few weeks ago I told her that I liked a lot of her pictures and that I thought it would be cool to get someone to do some of me, so she invited me to come along to a shoot and said that she'd ask to see if they wouldn't mind snapping a few of me while they were at it.

She sent me an email with the directions, and said that she was going to get there around 6 for makeup and hair so if I showed up around 8 she should be ready. I got there a little early, so hung out in the art gallery downstairs where a guy had a bunch of screen shots of old Nintendo and Atari 2600 games. It was a really cool idea. With all the negative stuff in the world, it was kind of refreshing to see a giant picture of Mario jumping on a turtle, or of Link obtaining the TriForce.

After talking with the guy that shot those pictures for a while I went upstairs to where the model shoot was. My friend wasn't quite finished getting her makeup done, but she looked like some kind of Japanese warrior. It was cool. She had no idea what they were doing to her, and had just seen it for the first time when I walked in. She turned away from the mirror, saw me, and about jumped out of her chair because of how unexpected it was to see her face like that, then turn around and have me see her face like that. You probably had to be there for it, but it was funny.

I stood there and talked to her while they finished her makeup and started doing her hair. There were other models getting ready for their shoots at the same time, and it was a little strange to be talking and all of a sudden turn around to see a beautiful girl changing her clothes in the middle of the room. I'm certainly not complaining, it's just not something I see every day.

There were several galleries where the models could go get their shots taken, and when my friend was ready she and the photographer went and found one. It was interesting to see her pose. It was like she flipped a switch and morphed into a different person with each pose. After a while she came up and told me it was my turn. I posed for a few shots, but felt ridiculous the whole time. I don't know how people can do that and keep a straight face the entire time, because I probably ruined every shot by moving, or smiling and laughing when I wasn't supposed to. Hopefully there were enough in there that at least one of them will turn out good.

I spent most of the night standing there talking to my friend and her fiancée, or watching her pose for more pictures. She introduced me to a bunch of the other models, but one of them came up and introduced herself to me. We only talked for a few minutes, but she was definitely the hottest one there. I'm sure she was just being nice, but hey, a guy can dream can't he?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Got a big surprise planned, in Chicago, that's my kind of town

I went out to watch one of the NBA games with a friend of mine. He was thumbing through a magazine and came upon an ad for one of the local strip clubs that was having a night with midget strippers. About that same time, our waitress came up to see if we needed anything.

Him: "What are your thoughts on midget strippers?"
Her: "I don't really think about midget strippers."
Him: "Really? Because I just saw this ad and was wondering if you'd be down."
Her: "I think I'd be down if they were stripping in creamed corn."
Him: "I don't think they like that. I think it gets places where it's not supposed to be."
Her: "Well, so does the pole."
Him: "Not if you're using it right."

I didn't add anything to the conversation. I think I was laughing too hard.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Random NBA Playoff Thoughts

Has there ever been a worse marketing idea than the Burger King commercials with the Whopper Dad and the Whopper Jr son?

I wish I could be Lebron James.

Tony Parker's girlfriend is hot! On second thought, maybe I wish I could be Tony Parker.

I never thought I'd say this, but the Pistons are a fun team to watch (ok, I've said it before in private, but now it's on the record).

Someone ought to tell McDonald's that every few years or so they might want to come up with a new commercial to play during sporting events. Believe it or not, we're the same people watching these things year after year, and we're still not buying your cheeseburgers to serve as hors d'oevres.

Steve Nash needs a haircut.

Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith seem like they'd be cool to hang out with. So long as Charles didn't throw you through a plate glass window.

I'm glad the Lakers lost, and not just because I hate Kobe either. An all L.A. series would have driven me crazy.

I'm going to go ahead and say it, Chris Kaman is the ugliest guy in the NBA right now, maybe even the world. He needs a haircut worse than Steve Nash.

It drives me crazy to watch Manu Ginobli play. He needs to learn how to be graceful from someone.

If the girls at the bar/tailgate party/beach were as hot as the girls in beer commercials I'd start drinking, and I'd be doing it all the time.

Shawn Livingston's braided hair makes it look like he has an octopus draped on his head.

I'm glad the Nets lost their series with the Heat. I hate Vince Carter ever since he intentionally played like crap just to force a trade. If I see that stupid T-Mobile commercial of his again I'm going to light myself on fire.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Walker, Texas Ranger

Since I really don't have anything to say, I'm going to send you to this site so you can find out everything you wanted to know about Chuck Norris but were too afraid to ask. A few of my favorite facts:

  • There is no theory of evolution, just a list of animals that Chuck Norris lets live.
  • Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice!
  • When Chuck Norris falls into water he doesn't get wet, the water gets Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer, except he never cries.

There are hundreds of them, so I really can't put down all my favorites, but if you have some time to kill . . .

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Now that I'm found I miss being lost

I stole this from my friend's blog, but it's ok because he stole it from someone else anyway. It does pretty much sum up the attitude of people in this country these days:

"If religion was based on scientific evidence, it would be called science and no one would believe it."--Stephen Colbert

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My mom is better than your mom

I wanted to say something nice about my mom for Mother's Day. But really, how can words describe how grateful I am for the countless sacrifices my mom had to make on my behalf? At any rate, here is a list of some of the awesome things my mom has done for me, it's not exhaustive by any means, but ought to give you a picture for what growing up with her was like.

  • Home cooked meals every single night. Need I say more?
  • Everyone knows that when she says "I'll tell you what I'm going to do" it means there's a treat in store.
  • On rainy days when we couldn't go outside and play she would break out the dyed macaroni and let us do arts and crafts, or would cut eyeholes out of paper plates and let us color on them to make ourselves a mask.
  • Came to the rescue the day when I was crying because I couldn't get my boots on. It turned out to be because a mouse had built its nest in the toe.
  • Spotted me the remaining cash I needed to buy a mountain bike, even though it went against everything she stood for with regards to going into debt.
  • Allowed me to take her car any time I wanted it, even though I'm sure the amount of gas I put in paled in comparison to the amount I burned.
  • She always put fruit in our lunches so we could have something to race down the irrigation ditch on our way to school (ok, so that might not have been her intent, but it was still a lot of fun).
  • Never said one word to me about my earring when I pierced my ear without her permission, even though I was still under age (I would have taken it out too, but too late now).
  • Babysat my daughter for free for the first 8 months of her life. She would have continued to do so if we hadn't moved away to go to school.
  • She set up her own form of summer school for us. She'd teach us things for a half hour or so every morning before letting us leave the house to go play because she didn't want our minds to go stale. Maybe that's why I'm now a perpetual student. On second thought, damn you Mother!
  • She allowed me to live on the night when she baked cookies, put us to bed, went across the street to play volleyball with her friends, then came back with her friends to enjoy some cookies only to come in and find every single one of them on the kitchen floor with a bite or two taken out and me urinating on them while my brothers cheered me on.
  • Every year there was a unique cake for us on our birthday. The one that sticks out in my mind is the year I turned 10. The Gremlins was in theaters, and I was fascinated by the Mogwai (I even believed my friend when he told me that his pet guinea pig was one, how dumb was I?). She made me a cake that looked like Gizmo.

Thanks Mom!

Sunny Day

On the way to lunch we walked past a broken sprinkler head that was shooting water up into the air. I looked around and said "I'm waiting for all the neighborhood kids to show up and have a block party."

One of my friends said, "Personally, I'd hope for some hot chicks in bikinis, but whatever your preference is, I'm cool with that."

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I went down, down, down and the flames went higher

Last night was "Guy's Night Out." At least that's what it was termed in the email I got a few weeks ago that was announcing our little trip to the desert (of course, being that I don't currently have a girlfriend one could argue that any night I go and do something could be given that same title, but I digress). A bunch of guys from the department went out to Valley of Fire to celebrate the end of the semester. Yes, professors and grad students look forward to finals being over every bit as much as undergraduates do.

We left mid-afternoon so that we could beat rush hour traffic, but in our haste to get on the road, I forgot to tell my friend to stop at a convenience store so I could pick up some snacks. Luckily, there is an Indian casino/fireworks stand right where you get off the freeway to head toward the park, so we stopped there before heading out to the camp site.

We arrived at the perfect time of day as we had a great view of the valley, and there was plenty of daylight left for climbing around on the rocks and getting stuff going on the grill. It turned out to be a total sausage fest, and not just because it was all dudes, almost everyone had bratwurst to grill. We were able to watch the moon rise while we ate dinner. That's always a good thing.

Needless to say, there was mass alcohol consumption throughout the evening (at least for everyone but me, I don't drink). Rest assured that we did not pick up any fireworks when we stopped on the way to the park. I did not throw any firecrackers onto the coals in the grill to try and startle those who were grilling and continue to do that with the fire throughout the evening. We most certainly did not light off Roman Candles after dark only to have one brightly colored, fiery ball bounce off a rock wall and almost hit a guy who was standing at the base of it. Of course we didn't do that because there are no fireworks allowed in the park so that would have been wrong.

There were some members of the group who started referring to the place as Brokeback Valley. I think that had something to do with the fact that you could overhear comments such as these throughout the night:

"I'm telling you man, after one more beer you're going to start looking pretty good to me."


"Did you bring the sleeping bag?"
"I brought a sleeping bag."
"Are you saying I can't sleep with you tonight?"
"Ok, fine, but I get to be the big spoon."


"Hey, I'm going to lie right down on that cot with you. Don't act like you don't want it."
"Is that the same sweet talk you used to bag your girlfriend?"

And to be completely honest, I ended up with fire in my pants by the end of the night. Not the figurative fire in the pants that I would have had if I were a gay guy overhearing such witty banter, but a literal fire in my pants. Some embers popped out of the fire and went up the leg of my shorts. I burned my leg, and burned my hand when I tried to get it out. Not badly, but enough to cause about a minute of discomfort.

It was a great time. It's fun to be loud and obnoxious until the wee hours of the morning. It's even better when there aren't any other campers nearby, so you don't have to feel too guilty about it. I ended up going to bed around 3 a.m., but unfortunately awoke around 7 when the sun started to cook me in my sleeping bag. Any incoherence in this post can be attributed to lack of sleep, 4 hours doesn't quite cut it for me, but I still can't wait until next time.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Some things will never be different

I found out who the girl who supposedly had a crush on me was. It turns out it was a false alarm. I suspected that would be the case, people always seem to read too much into a situation where they'd like to see something happen. In this case, he had seen me talking to this girl on a few occasions, and then she had some nice things to say about me on an evaluation, mostly that lab was fun and that I was approachable and nice. That was it, nothing more, so I'm not sure where he got the idea about her having a crush. I guess there's always next semester, right?

My parents used to do the same thing when I was in high school. I was good friends with a girl from the time I was in fifth grade until we moved away when I was a Junior (we're still in touch and she just had her second baby). She and I did a lot of things together, but romance was never one of them. It was more like she was a sister or something. In fact, I remember finding it odd when I'd hear other guys talk about how hot she was because I never looked at her that way. Of course, my parents would go around talking to all their friends about how I had a girlfriend and just wouldn't admit it to them. It got kind of annoying, although I don't know why. It's not like anything my parents friends thought about me should have affected me in any way. I guess that's high school for you though, everything is about how other people perceive you.

It was talked enough around the house that my siblings started to think that too. One night she and I were walking home from a dance and my brother and one of his friends drove by. His friend had an old muscle car that he was "fixing up," but it never seemed to get past the stage of barely running and a paint job that consisted of brown and grey primer. Being such classy guys, they had one of those PA systems installed and decided to put it to use when they drove by us that night.

My Brother: "Hey baby, you wanna ride home with a real man?"

They drove down the street a little, pulled a U-turn, came back down the street and he said "I mean a real man."

She thought that was one of the funniest things. In fact, I visited her two summers ago in North Carolina and we had another good laugh about that. I have to say that all things considered, she ended up with a much better catch than me (or my brother). Her husband is a doctor and an all around great guy.

One thing I know is that if I'd had as many girlfriends in my life as what other people have thought, I'd have been one busy guy. I'd probably also have an STD.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Memo to human resources

To the fat girl I saw today who was wearing a mini skirt, tight top and cowboy boots,

That is not a good look for you and you need to stop. This is not up for discussion.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Yet another time waster

A friend emailed this to me. It's from a website called Ph D comics which seems to describe grad school pretty well. You could substitute me for the black haired woman and not change another thing:

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Maybe I'm just damaged goods, and baby you're a babe in the woods

Given the nature of what I do, and the fact that I have little social life outside of the people I work and/or go to school with, most of the new people I meet are a bit younger than me. It's not a problem as far as just hanging out with people goes. I got over the rule that you can only hang out with people in your same age group in high school. If I only would have been able to hang out with kids in my class, I would have been going to rodeos all the time and hanging out with cowboys who had belt buckles the size of their grandma's turkey platter. Luckily I had other options. However, the age difference is getting to be big enough that it's something to think about when considering a relationship that is more than friends.

My last girlfriend was 7 years younger than me, which wasn't a big deal, but I thought it was at first. It's one of the reasons that I didn't dare ask her out once I started getting a crush on her. In fact, I probably never would have if she hadn't said something about it first. After we broke up there was another girl who was acting quite interested in me, but she was even younger, and while nothing ever developed with that, it forced me to think of where I need to make the cutoff. How young can a girl be and have me still consider getting into a relationship with her? After some deliberation I came up with the following rule: If a girl is closer to my daughter's age than she is to mine, then I couldn't do it without feeling like a creep.

I was talking to my brother about this a week or so ago and told him about my rule. He said, "That's fine for now, but at some point you should be allowed to get rid of that rule. Once your daughter gets old enough."

I said, "You're right. I think the rule should go away as soon as she turns 18. Then I can date her friends."

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Another Concert

I went and saw Imogen Heap play at the House of Blues last night. For those of you who don't know her, she's the lead singer of Frou Frou and just released a solo album late last year (there does that help?). She's an Indie artist who uses loops in her music so that she's able to put on an entire show by herself. It's pretty cool stuff. She played all my favorites including Goodnight and Go, Hide and Seek and Frou Frou's Let Go from the Garden State soundtrack.

It was an all ages show, so there were a lot of high school aged emo-kids there. Some were in large packs, others with their parents, and believe it or not I actually saw some of them smiling.

You'll also be happy to know that even excluding the people who were there as chaperones, I wasn't the oldest guy in the audience. Yes, it's a fear of mine that some day I'll be 'that guy' and just not know it. At least I'm not yet though. That's a good thing.

Unfortunately, it was more of a typical Vegas concert. Sometimes it was hard to focus on the music because of the constant chatter that was going on with the people in the back. Come on people, show some respect for the band you just paid to see, and perhaps more importantly, the other people who also paid to see them. If all you're going to do is talk to your friends, you may as well spare the rest of us the trouble and stay out in the casino and talk. Then everyone's happy (well, at least I am, and that's what is most important).

All things considered, it beat the typical Friday night in Vegas. You know, the ones that consist of snortin' crank and bangin' hos.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Gimme some sugar, Sugar

Yesterday I had to go to a sexual harrassment seminar. Not because I sexually harrassed someone mind you, but because there have been "several incidents" of it in our department so it was mandatory for all graduate students to go. I guess it's good to periodically remind people how to be professional though. Especially around here.

At one point she told us "You don't want to have sex with students." I think that you can want to, the trouble doesn't start until you actually do.

She also said that showing facial expressions of a sexual nature constitute a hostile work environment - I guess that means you can't show your 'O' face at work.

Of course, few people seemed to take it seriously. After it was over one of my friends said, "You'd think they'd at least send a hot bitch over to talk to us about that stuff."

I took some notes of a few things I never thought I'd hear someone who was talking about sexual harrassment say. Understand that these are taken out of context, but it's funnier that way, at least if you have a dirty mind.
  • Many of you are students who also teach . . . that means you get it coming and going.
  • If you want a good performance evaluation you'll have sex with me.
  • There's a transferring that must take place.
  • That's the last time I give someone an uninvited neck massage to help relieve stress.
  • Everybody can harrass everybody (doesn't that sound like permission?)
  • The person in the position of power needs to be the one who makes the move.
  • I'm going to grab you from behind and bend you over.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Nothing ever comes for free

I filled my car up with gas the other day and it cost me $40. I think it cost about half that when I first bought the car in 2001. My first response was to get upset, but the problem is that I don't really know who I should be upset at, so I've made a list:
  • George Bush - It's hard to believe that oil prices would be this high if half of the Middle East wasn't under attack. Furthermore, I just don't like the guy (can you say worst president ever?) so I'll blame him for anything I can.
  • The big oil companies - I suspect that they just use any excuse to jack their prices up, with the latest being that OPEC just can't keep up with demand. Of course, maybe this time it's real (see the first item).
  • Individual gas station owners - I used to work at a Chevron station, and our gas prices had as much to do with what the guy down the street was charging as they did with what we actually paid per gallon of gas. In other words, the prevailing view seems to be "What's the most that I can charge without losing business to the guy across the street?"
  • The auto industry - with all the technology we have today is there really any need to keep coming up with new models that only get 8-15 miles per gallon? Is it really so hard to comprehend that fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource? Once they're gone, they're gone for good, or at least for the next 200 million years or so until the earth can generate some more.
  • The American people - would the auto industry be pumping out cars that get bad gas mileage if people would actually quit buying them? My intuition says no. Not only that, but we're an extremely lazy and wasteful society. Is it necessary to drive your H2 around the parking lot at Target 50 times so you can get the closest parking space available? How about to drive a block to the store to pick up a loaf of bread, a container of milk and a stick of butter?

The truth is, we Americans have been spoiled. We're complaining about gas prices being over $3/gallon, but that's still a lot less than what other countries have to pay (excluding those in the Middle East, like Qatar were gas is only $0.49/gallon-thanks Sam). I believe that gas prices were at least this high in Europe when I was still in high school and it cost just over a dollar for a gallon of gas here in the U. S. (that's right, I could fill up my 1977 Chevrolet Caprice Classic for less than what I'm paying now to fill up my Mercury Mystique with its 14 gallon tank). Now it's up to something like $5 or $6 per gallon over there (I could actually look it up, but I'm still just as lazy as ever).

Perhaps this quote from Bill Maher puts it into perspective though "Gas prices are so high, it's enough to make you choke on your $4 latte!" I think that as long as a gallon of gas costs less than a gallon of milk (which happens to be a renewable resource), then we probably ought not to complain. Even though I just did.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


If you stuck a dime in my navel it would stick, know why? 'Cause I'm sweeeaaatttty.

It's the first week of May, and it's already 95 degrees outside. I can't wait for summer to finally get here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Something I can never have

Rumor has it that one of my students has a thing for me. I don't know which one, but she actually mentioned it to the professor in person and in writing. He sent me an email to goad me about it some, but wouldn't give me any details about who she is, or what she said. He just said she was pretty and seemed to like me A LOT.

I saw him in the hallway the next day and asked him about it. He still wouldn't tell me anything. Instead he told me to come by his office sometime so I could read it myself. That way he wouldn't spoil it for me.

Me: "Ok, let's go up there and you could show me right now."
Him: "I can't. I'll show you after you're done teaching."
Me: "But the semester ends next week. How am I supposed to ask her out on the last day of class if I don't know who she is by then?"