Thursday, August 31, 2006
I know that things have changed in the financial world since I was a kid, but I believe I had to work for a couple of hours after school for almost an entire year in order to make $2000. Not only that, but my job was to clean up a meat packing plant after the day's slaughter. Sound like fun? Didn't think so. Looking back it was hardly worth whatever I was making, but it was a job and it put some money in my pocket, so I was glad to have it.
One of the drawbacks of my first job (aside from the fact that I was cleaning a freaking meat packing plant) was that it ruined cherry pie for me for quite some time, the reason being that when they would kill a cow they would have to let it bleed out, and the floor would be covered in what looked just like cherry pie filling, except it wasn't. Not only did it look disgusting, but it smelled disgusting. For any of you who have never smelled death (and I know you're out there from previous comments), there's a very thick metallic smell that comes along with large volumes of blood. This smell had seared itself into my brain, and every time I'd see cherry pie, the smell would come back and haunt me, at least for a while. As with all things, when you see something often enough, you become desensitized to it, and I got back to where I could enjoy all my desserts once again. Whew!
So I know what you're all thinking. You can't believe that I would slaughter an innocent little cow, just so I could take a picture of it's coagulated blood for my blog post. Don't worry. I made it into a nice tasty blood cobbler.
(Ok, fine, it's really just cherries after all)
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
As we turned into the parking lot I had to stop and let a very large man cross in front of us.
Me: "Holy crap! Talk about man-boobs."
My Friend: "Manmaries."
Now, I don't know if he coined a new term on the spot, or if he'd heard it somewhere else, but that's funny!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
While I was talking to her my three year old kept coming up and asking these questions:
- Can I use the hammer?
- Can I pee in a bucket?
- Can I say fuck?
He didn't use the hammer, or say fuck, but he did pee in a bucket in the bathroom. I guess he was just trying to get permission after the fact.
Monday, August 28, 2006
Allow me to give you a little background as to why I deemed this to be so important at this point in time. When I first moved into the house in which I now live, my roommate only had a small 13" TV/VCR combo in the living room. Since my TV was a lot bigger we decided to hook it up downstairs (call me crazy, but I actually like to be able to see the picture from across the room). I was fine with it, especially since he told me to take his smaller TV into my room because we were using mine downstairs. This worked out perfectly because it gave my kids an out of the way place to play X-Box when they came to visit, plus I could watch DVDs in my room if I wanted some privacy.
Now, therein lies the problem. It was a good set-up until his son moved in with us and I made the mistake of telling him that he could play my X-Box if he wanted to. It started off being ok, but then it evolved into him playing my games all the time, and once he passed those he started renting and even buying games of his own. It got to the point where I could hardly even go into my own bedroom without having to tell a 15 year old boy to leave so I could change my clothes or read. I'm normally pretty easy to get along with, but I think that was a bit too much.
Last week my roommate's son bought an X-Box 360, and hooked it up in my bedroom. That was kind of the last straw, so I told him to take the TV and hook it up in his room because I was going to buy a new one. He still didn't do it because "He didn't want to take the TV out of my room in case I wanted to watch some of my DVDs." Hence, I bought a TV so that could no longer be an excuse (later I found out the real reason he didn't want to move it was because he didn't want to have to rearrange his bedroom to fit a TV in there).
Needless to say, shopping for (and the hooking up of) my new TV took more of my day than I had anticipated, so I didn't get as much reading done as I would have liked. But at least I got my room back, and that's definitely worth it.
Yesterday I actually did get a lot done. I finished up a new draft of my research proposal, and I'm starting to be happy with it, but I had to go home before 6 o'clock so I could catch the season finales of Deadwood and Entourage (two of my favorite shows right now). Once those were over I went up to my room to try and get some reading done. Here's what transpired:
Maybe I should have held off on buying the TV until after my comps.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
If you're going to eliminate one of your five senses' abilities to protect you from harm, you should at least employ some of the others in an attempt to compensate in order to stay alive. You have no idea how badly I wanted to teach you a lesson about this today, but instead I took my foot off the accelerator and placed it on the brake. Consider this as your warning. You only get one.
Friday, August 25, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I must be a warmonger. How does one know if one is a warmonger you ask? Well, I think it's a telling sign when one gets attacked by a dove. That's right, when something that symbolizes peace has it out for you, it must mean that you're an enemy of peace.
It happened a few months ago when I was walking to my office, minding my own business, when all of a sudden a dove flew up behind me and tried to take me out at the neck. Luckily my ninja-like skills kicked in and I was able to duck its talons (by mere inches) and live to see another day.
At first I thought that maybe it was because it had a nest close by and it was trying to protect its young, being as it was springtime and all. But now it's August, any young should have left the nest long ago, yet it happened again the other day at lunch with a different dove. This time it wasn't such a close call, but it was coming at me straight on instead of trying a sneak attack from behind, thus giving me more time to react.
Stupid doves, they'll be sorry when I launch the nukes.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
That being said, I took Sunday completely off. I realized sometime last week that I haven't taken a full day off since July 4. There's something inherently wrong when one goes five weeks without taking a bit of a break, and feels guilty about only putting in 7 or 8 hours a day on weekends during that time. I didn't do much, just watched a few movies, spent an hour or so at the pool, then had dinner with a friend, but I think it might have worked as far as feeling rejuvenated. I came in yesterday and was able to plow my way through 230 pages of population genetics, and comprehend almost everything. Of course, I did have a headache by the end of the day, but that's to be expected. It's nothing a few Tylenol and a 10 o'clock bedtime couldn't get rid of.
But now break time is over. I suppose I should get back to working my way through some more reading.
*This post has been brought to you by The Wallflowers, 4 Hershey's kisses, 2 Rolos and a Reese's peanut butter cup.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Me: I'm having trouble finding anything healthy that sounds good.
Her: You could go with the chicken, that's healthy.
Me: Yeah, but it's still an animal product, so it's going to have cholesterol. Maybe I should just not worry about it tonight.
Her: True. After all, how many chances do you get to have a going away dinner for me?
Me: Not enough.
She said that another friend of hers gave her a card, and wrote something like "I've been waiting 7 years to say goodbye to you."
I know, we're all such nice guys around here.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Me: I guess I need to check this a little more regularly. Do you think I can take care of this at any branch, or does it have to be my own?
Him: You could do it at any branch, in fact, you could probably just call a banker and take care of it.
Me: I think I will. I'll tell them that I'd rather take my money and put it in a coffee can than pay them $10 a month to hold it for me.
I called them. I found out it was because it was a money market account and my balance had dropped below a certain level. I downgraded to a regular savings account instead. Call me crazy, but the $0.51 a month interest wasn't worth paying a $10 a month fee in order to keep getting it.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
The story is about a family that lives in Albuquerque. The father is a motivational speaker who is trying to get a book deal (9 steps to being a winner), in the meantime the mother is the breadwinner of the family, the son wants to attend the Air Force Academy (and has taken a vow of silence until he attains that goal), and the daughter wants to win a beauty pageant. The wife's brother tried to kill himself, but the insurance company won't pay for him to remain in the hospital, so he has to live with them because he can't be left alone. Throw in a grandfather who got kicked out of his retirement home because he was using heroin, along with a road trip to California in a VW bus, and let the laughs ensue.
Early in the movie, the entire family is sitting down for dinner and the daughter asks her uncle how he hurt his wrists. At first he tells her it was an accident, but the mother starts to tell her the truth because "She's going to find out anyway." The father wants to make sure that the daughter understands that he doesn't condone it and interjects with thinges like "He did it because he's a loser. A winner would never give up on himself." (quotes used liberally b/c I don't actually remember their exact words). The uncle launches into a list of the events leading up to his decision, and the girl keeps cutting him off before he can explain it all:
Him: I fell in love with someone who didn't love me back.
Her: You tried to kill yourself because of a girl, that's silly.
Him: I fell in love with a boy. One of my grad students.
And on and on it went for a couple of minutes. Good stuff.
I realize that I'm not doing the movie any justice with the way I'm trying to write about it, but if you can see the humor in what I've written here you should definitely go see this movie.
On an only somewhat related note, I had a voice message when I got out of the movie. Since I'd gone to the late showing, the call would have had to have come after 11:00.
"Cool," I thought, "the only time someone calls that late is if it's a booty call."
Then I quickly remembered that there is no booty that would be calling me.
It turned out to be my brother who was trying to keep from falling asleep while he drove the last few hours home from a work assignment. I called him back and talked for a little while until his phone cut out as he went through a patchy service area. I hope he made it home ok. I went to sleep.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Since my life is only going to get more hectic during the next five weeks I've decided to make a conscious effort to pay attention to the little things that make life beautiful. For instance, have you ever noticed how pretty the light is when it sparkles off a stream of urine while you're peeing in a urinal?
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Me: "Is this for a lasting relationship or just a roll in the hay?"
Him: "Either. No wait, just a roll in the hay."
Me: "In that case she still wins the last match up because they both have great bodies, but she has the cuter face."
Him: "I have to agree with you on that. But, the other night she said something and it sounded like she's already starting to develop that smoker's voice. It kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies." Me: "Ooooh, I hear those are the worst kind of jeebies you can get."
For the record, if it was a for a long term relationship (and a real choice) I'd go with the other girl because she has the better personality.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
One of my friends had a pool party at her house the other day, and a lot of the people I work with showed up with their families. It was fun, but as soon as I walked out and sat by the pool, one of the teenagers came up and rubbed cheese all over my back. Not cool. I told him I was going to pay him back, and the first opportunity I got, I threw him in the pool - fully dressed.
He changed clothes and put the wet ones in the dryer, then changed back when they had fully dried. Later he was standing by the pool again, and so I told a girl that was the same age as him that I'd give her $20 to go push him in. I did so thinking that she was a nice girl, and wouldn't want to do it, but I forgot how much $20 is to a 15 year old. Everyone has their price, so she went and did it.
I don't regret it. I just wonder if I could have gotten her to do it for $10.
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Me: "I don't know, it just started hurting yesterday and now I can hardly walk."
Her: "Take your shoes off and walk around for me."
Then I started limping around the room.
Her: "It looks like you can't walk very well on it. Can you stand on your tip-toes?"
Her: "Can you try?"
Then I made a feeble attempt to stand on my toes, and failed.
Her: "It doesn't look like you can do that either. Well, I can't really tell you what's wrong. It may be a fracture of one of your metatarsels, but usually that's on the top of the foot. I'll have to send you out for X-rays to make sure you haven't broken anything. Get that done and we'll go from there. Until then I'll give you an anti-inflammatory to take."
I'm glad we had to go through the motions so that I could prove to her that I really couldn't walk very well, or stand on my toes. Certainly there was a chance I didn't know what I was talking about when I told her that I couldn't do those things.
It's times like these that I'm confident that I'm at least as capable as at least 90% of the doctors out there. I could have told you that you wouldn't be able to tell anything just by looking at it, but I can't just prescribe myself an X-ray now can I? I can read a flow chart of symptoms as well an anybody, but instead I get to pay $40 to find out something I already know: there's something wrong with my foot, but we can't tell what it is.
I got X-rays the next day, but still haven't seen the results. My foot feels a little better, so I'm optimistic that it's not a fracture. A friend of mine thinks it's plantar fasciatus, but I'm hoping it's just a deep bruise instead.
One thing is certain though: I hate getting old.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
For example, there are a couple of books that I have to keep checking out from the library. They both contain a lot of information pertaining to my research, and I think I end up checking them out at least twice a year. As a grad student I'm allowed to check things out for an entire semester, so these books spend more time in my possession than they do the library's.
The other day as I was returning from the library with said books in hand I thought to myself, "Self, you ought to look into just buying these instead of checking them out all the time."
"You know what Self? That's a good idea. I think I'll go look them up online and see if I can get them for a good price."
Book #1 = $253.39
Book #2 = $153.36
I guess the 'get them for a good price' thing is out of the question.
Friday, August 11, 2006
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he offered the following take on things:
"You just tend to be on the far end of a spectrum. You're a nice guy, but you're a non-threat. Girls recognize that so they open up to you because they know you're not going to try anything and that makes them feel safe. I think that you and I can both agree that you've had a string of girls that will talk to you a lot, but that's as far as it goes, and I think that's probably the reason why."
It's a good point, and it's probably the reason why people say that nice guys finish last. It's not that girls don't like nice guys, it's that nice guys aren't as likely to make a move on a girl because they're worried about offending the girl. Of course, most girls don't want to just sit and wait around, so they're going to end up with the guys who aren't afraid to say or do anything. I probably just need to work on being one of those guys.
Maybe I should take some advice from Faith No More:
Thursday, August 10, 2006
One would think that with the onset of summer that these people would feel less inclined to carry a sign back and forth all day, but they're still there. I saw 4 or 5 people picketing the other day when it was 115 degrees outside. Even from my car I could tell that they were sweating profusely. The heat here is just brutal sometimes.
I thought it would be hilarious if I had pulled over, went to Wal-Mart and bought a case of bottled water, then driven out to the picketers and said "Wow, you guys look thirsty. Here have a drink," and then handed them the water in a Wal-Mart bag. Part of me still wants to know if they would have refused it.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
A few of the guys in my lab are from Texas, and one of them has a hitch cover on his vehicle that is an outline of the state of Texas (or The Republic as he likes to call it) that has been painted to look like the Texas flag. That's the thing about Texans, they're very proud of where they come from, and they aren't shy about letting the world know. Just like the saying goes, "You can always tell a Texan, you just can't tell him much." During our conversation I told him that I thought he should get the symbol from his hitch cover tattooed on his shoulder.
Him: "Ok. As long as you get a tattoo of the state of Utah, or maybe like a beehive or something, but you have to go first."
This is what I came up with:
I'll give $5 to anyone who gets this tattooed on their shoulder. I'll up it to $10 if you've never lived in Utah, $20 if you don't live in Utah and you aren't mormon, and $50 if you do live in Utah and aren't mormon, but I'm going to need to see the evidence before I shell out the cash.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
However, during our conversation I realized that the only times I mention her on here are times when I'm frustrated with her for some reason. That's not entirely fair to her because I think I tend to portray her in a negative light. Sure, old habits die hard, and we still end up arguing about stuff, but I do still care for her. I'm happy for the changes she's made in her life and I wish her all the best.
I don't know if she reads this blog or not. She does know about it, I'm just not sure if, or how often, she checks in, but I'd like to apologize to her for giving her a bad reputation on here. You know, just in case she does stop by.
(I'd offer her the apology in person if I knew for a fact she reads, but why admit something to someone who may not know you're guilty?)
Put the laptop down! You can't possibly be that freakin' busy. If you are then you should probably skip lunch and catch up on your work. You're not even typing or looking at the laptop anyway, you're looking at the menu. Besides, it's not like you're an important business man. How can I tell? You're dressed in business casual clothes, except it's not Friday. Well, that and the business card that you have taped to your laptop with blue electrical tape kind of gives it away. Nobody thinks you're cool. Quit trying to act like you are.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Last time I went the law was upheld, and there was a really cute girl in the produce section. Then, when I was ready to check out, there she was standing in line. I went and stood behind her in the longer line at the checkout just so I could have something nice to look at while I waited to pay (it wasn't that much longer, plus the other line was full of old men, they were bound to be slow). I know that officially makes me a creep. Don't hold it against me.
Since I was fully aware of my creepiness at this point, I didn't attempt to make conversation. In fact, I didn't even offer to swipe my card to get the discount once she realized that she didn't have hers. I didn't want her to think I was hitting on her. I was just there for the view.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
I took my camera along on the off chance that I'd be able to put the 10x zoom to good use. A few of the pictures even turned out decent. Here's one that I took right as they were about to throw up the opening tip. It could probably have been framed better, but I'm just glad you can see Team USA's starting five:
I took a few other pictures of individual players, but none of them turned out great. I also tried to get a few short video clips of some of the better plays, but I would usually end up only recording the tail end of a dunk so that was a little disappointing. I guess the cool thing is that the US team crushed Puerto Rico. The final score was 114-69.
In addition to the players on the team, there were several big names from the NBA in attendance . Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler and Pat Riley to name just a few, but the one I got most excited about was Julius Erving. That's right, Julius freakin' Erving! I took some pictures that all came out quite blurry, but figured I'd show the best one:
Shut up, I'm willing to bet that it's better than any picture you've ever taken of Dr. J., and it's hard to hold your camera still enough without a tripod when you're at max zoom.
Surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly), the picture I took of the hot girls sitting a few rows behind Dr. J. came out a little better: All I can say is that if I had realized that playing in the NBA would have meant groupies like this then I probably would have applied myself to learning the game of basketball a little better in my youth.
(I'm sorry if I'm being stereotypical here, but if I see a row of hot girls all sitting in the third row at half court at a game like this, and there are no males with them, and they don't really appear to be paying attention to the game, I'm drawing the conclusion that they are groupies).
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Another reason for this wave of nostalgia could be the fact that my ex-wife is getting remarried soon. I'm not jealous or anything, it just puts another stamp of finality on the situation. They're tying the knot in Mexico, so I won't be going, but my kids will. I've been talking to her a lot on the phone because I have to write a note, signed and notorized, that grants her permission to take my kids out of the country. She just has to provide that, along with the kids' birth certificates when she goes through customs in order to show that she's not trying to kidnap the kids and leave the country. I'm not worried about her skipping out and never coming back. If she did that she'd be walking away from the child support I pay, and there's no way she's going to do that.
Normally this would be something that could be handled with a single phone call where she calls me up, tells me she needs the note, I agree to to it and send it off. Done deal. Normal would be the key word there. The circumstances surrounding our divorce were nowhere near normal, and that is where the complications arise. She was impregnated by someone else shortly after the two of us separated, but he abandoned her and the baby while the baby was recovering from some complications he had and was in the newborn intensive care unit. I know, such a classy guy, but hey, he was more fun than me so what's a girl to do?
Our divorce had not been finalized at the time, in fact, the papers had not even been filed yet because I was still trying to convince her that I could get past everything that had happened and work things out. Looking back, I'm glad we didn't because it would have just prolonged the inevitable, and I'm much happier now, but hindsight's always 20/20, right? Anyway, since we were still married, Utah state law required that my name be put on the birth certificate even though she and I both insisted that the baby wasn't mine. The problem for me is that this would have required me to pay child support on him as well as my other two, which is not something I was willing to do. I told her I'd be his father figure, but shelling out another $250 or so a month was where I had to draw the line, so I took a paternity test. Once the state got those results back they started to go after the real biological father for child support.
Now that you have that background you can see how this little jaunt of hers to Mexico is more complicated than it's worth. She wants me to grant permission for her to take all three kids out of the country, but I'm not sure I can legally do that. She told me that her travel agent said that all they need is a signature from the person listed on the birth certificate, but I'm not going to sign off until I'm absolutely sure. It wouldn't be the first time I'd signed something on her behalf and had it come back and bite me in the ass.
I expressed my concerns to her in our last phone conversation.
Her: "Well, I'll double check. If you can't then maybe I'll just have to have my fiancee go down and see if he can get a signature from [biological father]."
Now, this highlights one of the things that used to drive me crazy about my ex-wife. She would never take care of things that had the potential to be awkward or uncomfortable for her. She always expected me to do it for her, and now apparently expects her fiancee to as well. I decided to say something to her about it.
Me: "Or, you could go down and talk to him yourself."
Her: "I know, but I've tried talking to him before. You have no idea what it's like to try and have a conversation with a child."
Me: "Oh, I know exactly what it's like to try and have a conversation with someone who acts like a child."
Her: "Shut up, you big dork."
Hey, I have to get my digs in when I can.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Yeah, I don't either.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Her: "Why don't you guys go over there and talk to those girls?"
Me: "Because there aren't any girls over there that I'd want anything to do with."
Her: "What's wrong with them?"
Me: "Nothing, it's just that none of them are hot."
Her: "What's your definition of hot?"
Me: "I'll let you know if I see it."
I wasn't the only one with this opinion. None of my other friends wanted anything to do with them either. There was one guy I work with (I'm hesitant to call him a friend) who figured it must just be that we were too shy, so when one of the girls walked by us on her way to the bathroom he started hatching a master plan for us.
Him: "I'm going to introduce myself to this girl when she comes back out of the restroom. How would you like me to introduce you guys to her? "
One friend: "Tell her that we're all hung like horses."
When she came back out he did as he said. He stopped her, introduced himself, then introduced us:
"These guys are all graduate students. They're really nice guys, they're intelligent, funny, and they're all hung like horses."
Let's just say that sometimes things that are meant to scare people away don't quite do the trick. This girl ended up sticking around and talking with us until the time when I left to go to my friend's house. At one point she left to go grab a drink, and the guy who had introduced himself to her told us that we were making him look bad because we weren't wooing her with all our best stories.
My friend: "Maybe that's because a) none of us were interested in this girl or her friends, and b) we didn't want you to bring her over here and introduce us in the first place."
My question is, how come this kind of thing would never work on a hot girl?
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I have always considered myself to be a skinny person. After all, I'm 6' 4" and weigh about 195 pounds. In fact, most people I know say that I'm too skinny. I have friend who is in the same boat as me. We are the same height, but he's always weighed about 10-15 pounds less than I have, at least for as long as I've known him.
We were talking on the phone the other day and he told me that he has finally broken the 200 pound mark, I think he said he's up to 205 right now. There was something about these clear drops and new cream he got from some guy in San Fransisco (ok, I made that up). Anyway, this is the first time that he's actually outweighed me, so I took the opportunity to call him 'Fat Ass.' Wouldn't you know it, a couple days later I sat down to spike my morning dookie and ended up cracking the toilet seat.
The surprising thing is that toilet seats are nowhere near as expensive as I thought they would be. I got one of the best ones they had at the hardware store for half as much as I thought I'd be paying for one that was bottom of the line. Now, if I would just take the time to install it, life would be good in the House of Minnow.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
She said, "Does that surprise you?"
I guess it didn't surprise her, so maybe I do fit the bill. I can be moody at times, but I don't really agree with the smothering or narcissistic part, but if it's in the stars I guess there's not much I can do about it. I'll just have to go along with my fate.
Now, dictionary.com lists four definitions for narcissism:
- Excessive love or admiration of oneself. See Synonyms at conceit.
- A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
- Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.
- The attribute of the human psyche charactized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.
I'm not sure which of these applies to me, but if one must , I cast my vote for number three (but just the first half).