Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who is this irresistable creature who has an insatiable love for the dead?

Well, if you hadn't noticed, today is Halloween. Here's a pile of YouTube videos. See if you can guess the theme.

Band of Horses: Is there a ghost

Tegan and Sara: Walking with a ghost

Spoon: The Ghost of You Lingers

Ok Go: Oh lately it's so quiet

Oingo Boingo: Insanity

Rob Zombie: Living Dead Girl

The White Stripes: Little Ghost:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

No matter how it ends, no matter how it starts

There's a deli near campus where the food is good, and there are complimentary mini muffins to go along with your meal, and complimentary ice cream for dessert. Free food is always a good thing for poor graduate students, so my friends and I eat there frequently. We have a system where the first person through the line is responsible for picking a table and getting a small plate full of mini muffins. Of course, since we are regulars, most of the employees recognize us, and there are a few that usually engage us in idle chit-chat when we're placing an order or paying at the register.

One lady in particular likes to talk to me. My friend swears that she's flirting with me, but I don't like to hear that. It's not that she's ugly, it's just that, well, ok, she's ugly. When my friend jokes about she and I getting it on, I usually try to deny that she flirts with me. However, he says that she never acts like she even recognizes him, let alone talks to him, even though the two of us are together pretty much every time we go there.

Yesterday I got the impression that he might be right.

Her: Hey you, I haven't seen you in a LONG time!
Me: We've been coming in, but haven't seen you around at all.
Her: I've been working different shifts lately.
Me: I guess that would explain it then, wouldn't it?

(Now seems like a pertinent time to point out that I was wearing a They Might Be Giants t-shirt)

Her (looking at my shirt): So, what's your favorite song of theirs?
Me (thinking funny you should ask that since I just blogged about it the other day, but not saying that): I'm going to have to go with Ana Ng.
Her: Mine is Particle Man. I just love the . . .

(She goes on to mumble something but I wasn't paying attention because all I could think about was my friend standing behind me in line laughing his head off)

Her: Well, can I get anything else for you, Troublemaker?
Me: Just the potato.

I went and sat down in a booth while my friend paid. He sat down and said, "Do I need to go get some muffins, or did you already take care of that, Troublemaker."

Me: All I know is that if she keeps that shit up, we're going to have to start eating elsewhere.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

Even though Halloween is my second favorite holiday (behind Christmas), I haven't carved a pumpkin since the last Halloween I spent living with my kids six years ago. The reason is that I'm never home on the night of Halloween, and jack 'o lanterns seem like something you only do if you're going to be handing out candy.

Well, this year is different. I couldn't resist picking up a couple of pumpkins to carve last night with a friend of mine. However, I need some help deciding whose pumpkin turned out better.

Pumpkin A:

Pumpkin B:

Bragging rights are on the line.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ana Ng and I are getting old and we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestic presence

If you there was going to be a television program about you, what band would you want to write and perform the theme song?

I'm asking you, but I also posed this question to one of the guys that I work with.

Him: I'd probably go with They Might Be Giants.
Me: That's who I'd want too. Although, Ween would probably come up with a pretty good one too.
Him: Yeah, Ween's got some weird stuff.
Me: But They Might Be Giants is one of my two favorite bands, so I'd definitely choose them over Ween.
Him: Good point. So tell me, what's your favorite They Might Be Giants' song?
Me: I can't just pick one. That's like asking me to pick my favorite child*.

However, after some deliberation, I tentatively settled on one.

Me: If I have to pick one right now, I guess I'll have to go with Ana Ng.
Him: Oh, that's a good one. It also explains a lot. That's why you're so attracted to Asian girls.
Me: Well, I'm not going to deny that I'm attracted to Asian girls, but I wouldn't way that's the reason why.
Him: I was starting to think it was some weird childhood fetish.
Me: No, it's just because so many of them are hot!

Ana Ng is an older song from Lincoln (one of their early albums), but it's definitely got staying power. Here's the music video followed by the lyrics.

Make a hole with a gun perpendicular
To the name of this town in a desktop globe
Exit wound in a foreign nation
Showing the home of the one this was written for
My apartment looks upside down from there
Water spirals the wrong way out the sink
And her voice is a backwards record
It's like a whirlpool and it never ends

Ana Ng and I are getting old
And we still haven't walked in the glow of each other's majestic presence
Listen Ana hear my words
They're the ones you would think I would say if there was a me for you

All alone at the '64 world fair
Eighty dolls yelling small girl after all
Who was at the DuPont Pavilion?
Why was the bench still warm?
Who had been there?

Or the time when the storm tangled up the wire
To the horn on the pole at the bus depot
And in back at the edge of hearing
These were the words that the voice was repeating


When I was driving once I saw this painted on a bridge:
"I don't want the world, I just want your half."

They don't need me here and I know you're there
Where the world goes by like the humid air
And it sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks like a broken record
Everything sticks until it goes away
And the truth is we don't know anything


* Well, it would be if I'd fathered multiple songs over the past few decades, which I haven't, but you get the point.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Colonel's kernels and chicken and corn

It's been a while since I've given a pop-quiz. Plus, today's a Nevada state holiday, so you can count this as kind of a roll call to see who the diligent readers are. Answer the following question:

Q: Which of the methods listed below is the correct way to eat corn?

A) Random bites taken from around the cob:

B) Going around the cob all the way first before moving to either side (the phonograph cylinder method):

C) Finishing an entire row of kernels on a cob before moving up or down (the typewriter method):

D) Canned and creamed:

E) Candied:

(And yes, there is only one right answer.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

'Cause you cannot fight the television

I don't feel like writing anything today, so instead take a look at the only video clip where you're going to want to watch Richard Simmons.

I'm thinking of taking up Jet-Skiing, although, I'd need a better model.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So you say I've got a dirty mind, I'm a mean go getter

A list of seemingly innocent things you could Google, but might not get the results you were expecting:

- Easy-OffTM
- Tang
- Trimmed hedges
- Lords
- Fruit
- Manholes (or manhole covers)
- Dangling participle

(And yes, I really am lazy enough to count this as a post)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Mister can you please help my pony? He's over there behind the tree.

Friend: So are you immature* or just emotionally retarded?

Me: Both

Friend: Or neither?

Me: Hello? Have you met me?

* There's a story behind this, which I really wish I could tell, but I can't.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Helplessly fucked in the ass by a legion of forty ex-cons*

I went to an emo bar with two of my friends Friday night (before the DUI incident). One of my friends used to go there regularly, so he knew a few people and introduced us.

Shortly after our introduction:

Girl: How do you guys know [Friend 1]?
Friend 1: Internet chat room.
Girl: Really?
Me: Yeah -
Girl: No. Seriously, how did you meet him?
Me: Ok, so it wasn't that one, but it really was a chat room.
Girl: Are you serious?
Me: Yeah, it was through meet an inmate. He was my pen pal while I was in prison.
Girl: Really?

Meeting new people can be so much fun.

Later in the evening:

Friend 1: Man, I'm feeling real negative. All I want to do is talk shit about everyone. It must be because I'm around [Minnow].
Friend 2 (to me): Do you talk a lot of shit?
Me: Who, me? Well, not about everybody. Well, ok, almost everybody.
Friend 2: What do you say about me?
Me: I can't tell you that.
Friend 2: No, I'm serious.
Me: You really want to know?
Friend 2: Yeah.
Me: Ok. I think the only thing I've ever said about you is that I'm glad you like to show off your cleavage because it's so nice.
Friend 2 (blushing): Really?
Friend 1: Yeah. Especially in that green dress you had on the other day. The first time I saw you wear it I wanted to bang you.
Friend 2: . . .

At the beginning of the evening Friend 1 mentioned that his goal for the night was to do or say something that would make it onto my blog. Mission Accomplished.

* I've wanted to work this Oingo Boingo lyric into a title for a long time. You have no idea how delighted I am to finally have a post that kind of fit.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

That accident left everyone a little shook up

Friday night I was driving home at about 3 a.m. after a night out with a couple of friends. The beltway onramp that I use to go home has a long slow curve, and as I rounded that I saw a giant cloud of dust, and red tail lights where no red tail lights ought to be. The car just in front of me had run off the road and was lying on its side.

I stopped, and as I was getting out of my car, a girl climbed out the sun roof and yelled for me to call 911. I did, and told them where the accident was. While I was on the phone, a second girl climbed out the sunroof and told me not to call, that everything was fine. I handed the phone to her so that she could talk to the dispatcher (they asked me if anyone was hurt, but I didn't know because I didn't know how many people were in the vehicle). She hung up, and handed the phone back to me, and I asked her if she was alright. When she said that she was fine it became apparent why she didn't want anyone to come out. She was drunk. They both were. Luckily they were both wearing seatbelts, or else it probably would have been a whole lot worse, but as it was, it was just the car that was totalled.

By this time another guy had stopped to see if everyone was fine. I told him that I'd already called the police, and he asked the girls if they needed anything. One girl needed a bandage for her elbow, but neither of us had one of those.

Him: I can't help you with that, but I have some Red Bull in the truck. Does either of you want one of those?
Driver: I'll take one.

So, there you have it. Red Bull fixes everything.

One of the girls called her friend to come out, and I talked to her friend to tell her where we were. The friend asked if she should come out, and I told her there was no way they were going to be able to drive the car home, so maybe she ought to. Of course, I'm sure the driver spent the night in jail, but the passenger would have needed a lift.

I hung around long enough for the paramedics to arrive. The ambulance parked in a way that completely blocked off traffic, so I asked if I should move my car so that people could get by.

Paramedic: Yeah, you should. Were you involved?
Me: No, I just came around the bend right after it happened.
Paramedic: Did you see it?
Me: No.
Paramedic: Well, there's really no reason for you to stay, so why don't you go ahead and go home.
Me: You sure?
Paramedic: Yeah. Thanks Bro.

So there you have it. I was able to do a bit of a good deed. I don't know what ended up happening, but I'm really glad that no-one was seriously hurt. I'm also glad that I wasn't a few seconds earlier, otherwise she may have hit me. Driving in Vegas can be scary. Especially at 3 a.m. on a weekend. Maybe I should make it a point to get home earlier.

Friday, October 19, 2007

But the Devil's Awaitin'

I've told you before about a little game called not it that I play with my friends. Well, the other night I was sitting with some friends, and called "not it" on a girl that was sitting directly behind one of them.

Me: Not it on the girl at your six.
Friend (after turning around to see who I was talking about): Aaaaagh. I feel like I just stared into Satan's asshole.

Now that, my friends, is the sign of an ugly girl.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

She drags his body to the edge of the swollen river wrapped in a red velvet curtain stolen from the movie theater where she works

As you well know, Halloween is just around the corner, and anybody who has ever seen a horror movie knows that this is the time of year when friends and loved ones become possessed by evil spirits and become homicidal. When this happens, you will have no other choice but to kill your friends and/or loved ones who become possessed. Of course, we live in a time when the police generally don't buy the excuse that you had to commit murder because the victim was possessed (after all, this is 2007, and that excuse is sooo 1692), so, you're going to have to dispose of the body yourself in order to avoid a life in prison.

You could try dumping the body by the roadside, but really that's the lazy man's way of disposal. Plus, it's very likely that the body will be found within a very short period of time. Once the body's been found, the police are going to start investigating things and will eventually find their way back to you. Especially since it's real easy for someone to see you push the body out of your car. You really should be more careful.

You'd probably be better off weighting the body down and throwing it into the deepest body of water within driving distance. On second thought, that didn't seem to work out so well for Scott Peterson, so maybe you should try other options.

You could always place the body in your bathtub and then fill the tub with acid. The only problem with this is that it's going to take a while for everything to dissolve. You most certainly couldn't have anyone over to the house for a while. This is obviously a bad move if you don't live alone, or if you only have one bathroom. If you go that long without bathing yourself then people are going to talk. They may even send a plumber to your house if you get smelling too bad, so you really ought to think this out more.

Burning the body in your back yard is probably not going to be a good choice because surely the putrid stench of burning flesh and hair is going to give the neighbors cause for concern. They may even call the fire department, and the last thing you want is a bunch of nosy firemen snooping around.

A good way to dispose of the body is to feed it to the hogs. Of course, in order to do this, you have to own some hogs. This in and of itself would give people reason to suspect you of foul play. Also, hogs can't digest teeth or human hair, so you'd need to either get rid of those before, or sift through the pig shit so that nobody else finds them. Last I checked, the police could still use dental records and/or DNA to ID the victim.

Alternatively, you could bury the body in your basement. That would most certainly cut down on the risk of being seen by someone and getting turned in. However, that bag of lyme you bought at the hardware store will only help with the smell of decomposition so much. Not only that, but you can also never, ever sell your house, because if you do, sure enough the new owners will start poking around when they notice the dirt floor in the basement, and then the police will be knocking on the door of your new house.

Yup, if you find it necessary to bury the body, you're better off burying it somewhere in the forest (or desert - whichever is most convenient). This way you can still sell the house if you ever get the urge to move (which you probably will because you'll be haunted by the ghost of your recently deceased friend or loved one). Of course, you'll need to make sure that you dig a deep enough grave that wild animals won't dig it up. Unless you own some heavy farm equipment, that's going to be a lot of manual labor. I'll leave that one up to you. After all, it's your back.

On second thought, maybe you should just call a priest to come and perform an exorcism.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Everything skips like a broken record

I'm sitting here getting ready to watch a new South Park episode. I don't know if you're a fan, but in last week's episode Randy Marsh briefly held a world record for taking the world's biggest dump. Well, I might be alone in this, but that's not something for which I'd want to hold a world record. Here are a few other things that I wouldn't want to hold a world record for:

- Largest ingrown toenail
- Longest nostril hair
- Most crayons inserted into any orifice in the body
- Pussiest scab
- Most consecutive days being sprayed in the face by a skunk
- Longest bout of explosive diarrhea
- Largest colony of head lice
- Fewest chest hairs for a 32 year old man*
- Most tooth decay
- Highest amount of injested air with poor people smell
- Most genital warts burned off in one sitting

* I'm pretty sure I already hold this one

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Smarter than me but then so is wood

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy it when my students know how to have fun with an exam. Last week my students took a practical midterm. One of my students gave an alternate answer in addition to the correct one for a few of the questions. Some of these may not make sense, but I thought I'd list them anyway.

Q: What important biological process occurs within this structure?
A: Meiosis
Alternate Answer: That and karaoke night

Q: How does this organism reproduce?
A: Sexually (by conjugation)
Alternate Answer: Listening to Barry White tunes.

Q: What is the primary ecological function of this organism (a mushroom)?
A: Decomposition
Alternate Answer: Giving Mario a 1-up

Q: What plant organ are you seeing a cross section of?
A: Leaf
Alternate Answer: Gives Mario a raccoon tail and ears.

Q: What is the term used to describe this organism's ability to survive both as an autotroph in light environments and as a heterotroph in dark environments?
A: Mixotrophic
Alternate Answer: A Papi Chulo!

Q: What is one of the main functions of roots?
A: Anchorage, absorption, storage, etc.
Alternate Answer: Increase self esteem? Rah-rah! root. Get it? Ah, nevermind!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Like a rickshaw gettin' pulled around by another rickshaw

Me: So, did you ask her out yet?
Friend: No, not yet.
Me: What are you waiting for? That girl's hot.
Friend: Rogue Wave is playing here on Friday. Maybe I'll ask her if she wants to go to that with me.
Me: What's this maybe? Do it. If you don't, I'm going to have to fly out there and take away your man card.
Friend: You'll come out here and cockblock me? Is that what you're saying?
Me: Yes. I'll do it too. My mojo's been working lately.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I'm so tired of acting tough and I'm gonna' do as I please, let's get married

Last night I went to a wedding. I've known the couple for as long as I've lived in Vegas, and they're two of the grooviest people I've ever met. As such, their wedding was unconventional, and a LOT of fun. This couple has fully embraced the ridiculousness of Las Vegas, and worked that into the wedding ceremony. As guests arrived, they were asked to pick some costume items off a table to dress in long enough for someone to snap a polaroid picture (items included a feather boa, handcuffs, light sabres, clown noses, fake glasses, fake sideburns, dunce caps, etc.). Right next to the "costume" table was perhaps the best ice sculpture I have ever seen at a wedding.

They were married by the bride's brother-in-law, who happened to be dressed as Elvis. He even sang a few Elvis songs. There was also a little Elvis in attendance. I believe he was part of the bride's family, but am not completely sure about that. It wouldn't really be a Vegas wedding if Elvis wasn't involved somehow, and normally I would think that was tacky, but it was perfect for these two. I heard a rumor that they went to the junkyard with all the old neon signs from casinos to take some of their wedding pictures. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see that. They also gave out decks of used playing cards. A few of us played blackjack at the beginning of the reception.

Since the couple has been living together for quite some time, they said that they didn't need any gifts. In lieu of bringing a gift for them, they asked people to make a charitable donation in the amount that they would have spent. I thought that was a fantastic idea. Keeping this in mind, take a look at the center piece that was on my table at the reception:

The happy couple's first dance was to Dr. Bernice by Cracker. It's a great song, but the lyrics aren't exactly what you'd call "first dance" material:

Baby don't you drive around with Dr. Bernice
She's not a lady doctor at all
She's got hands like a man
With hair on the back
She'll crush you in her embrace

Though the wind may whisper and moan sometimes
We all need a kind place to live
Though the wind may whisper and howl at your door
We all need the comfort of friends

Baby don't you drive around with Dr. Bernice
That ain't a real Cadillac
It's a Delta 88 spray painted black
With fake leather seats from Juarez

Though the wind may whisper and moan sometimes
On a hot desert night it is still
Though the world may whisper and howl at your door
You're not obliged to let them all in

Baby don't you ride in that faux Cadillac
If you must please ride in the back
If you sing while you ride you'll be a siren tonight
Spare this poor sailor's life from the rocks

Though the wind may whisper a melody now
We can't find a tune of our own
Though the world may whisper and blow in your face
And tangle the hair on your head

On a hot desert night we can drive down the road
And the stars will spell out your name
On a hot desert night with the windows down wide
The sirens will sing me their song

And the ghost of the sailors who died on the rocks
Feel not a twinge of regret
Though the wind may tangle the hair on your head
You sing like a siren to me

On a hot desert night the caravan stops
At the oasis next to your heart
The soundtrack is played by some aged British Queen
On BBC radio world

Though the wind may whisper an epic sometime
The cast must include Karen Black
Though the symphony strings shift with the sands
You sing like a siren to me
You sing like a siren to me
You sing like a siren . . . to me.

However, it fit them perfectly. I honestly don't know if they could have picked a better song.

Here's wishing them all the happiness in the world in their life together.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Waiting for the dinner bell to do the bell thing, dinner bell dinner bell ring

Last night I went to dinner with a couple of friends. The meal was delicious, and when we finished with our entrees, one of my friends and I decided to take a look at the dessert menu.

Him: I'm going to get the key lime pie. Are you getting anything?
Me: I think I'm going to have to get the warm chocolate pineapple upside down cake.
Him: Does that sound good?
Me: You tell me. According to the menu, it's a warm, rich, chocolate cake with a chocolate molten center, topped with caramalized pineapple raspberry sauce, butterscotch brandy sauce, and fresh whipped cream. Does that sound good?
Him: That depends on what Brandy looks like.

When the server came back, we both ordered desserts. By that time, a few other people had joined us. One of them heard my order and said, "That sounds good. Bring some extra forks."

Me: No extra forks!!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

I met my wife at a party where I drank too much

It's been a while since I've listed any pick up lines. I'm not feeling very original these days so I didn't come up with these, but have listed from whence they came. You can see that they're pretty much guaranteed to work.

One of my former students (not to me): You have 206 bones in your body. Would you like one more?

Captain Zap Brannigan: I like your style. I find it somewhat erotic.

Grampa: You have beautiful eyes, now bend over.

My Navajo Friend: Say baby, you ever had your asshole licked by a fat man in an overcoat?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's a dead man's party

Friend: I don't know if it happened here or if it happened somewhere else, but I saw on the news last night that some guy took his wife to a haunted house and then tried to kill her.

Me: That's crazy! Did it happen here?

Friend: I don't know if it happened here or somewhere else.

Me: Oh. I suppose that's why you prefaced that with "I don't know if it happened here or if it happened somewhere else . . ."

Friend: Yeah, probably.

I'm such a good listener.

This one goes out to all you hipsters who dropped acid just before the show, it ought to be kicking in right about now

I went and did it. I joined the legions of hipsters who own an Apple computer. I'm the proud owner of a new Macbook. I'm experiencing loads of buyer's remorse. I hope it goes away soon. After all, what's a little more debt, right?

In other news, wait, I have no other news. Later.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Great balls of fire

It may be time to think about giving up racquetball altogether if you end up getting hit by the ball four times in one game. Especially if two of those times the ball hits you square in the nuts.

I need someone to kiss it better. Any volunteers?

Monday, October 08, 2007

All wrapped up in my garage

I don't know if it's the same everywhere, but here in Vegas there are a plethora of vehicles with vanity plates on them. After seeing so many of these vanity plates, some which are intelligible and others which aren't, I've come up with a few that you probably wouldn't want on your vehicle because you probably don't want their message displayed to the world.

Then there are the ones that you definitely wouldn't want to display, especially if you're on the lam, since they would give the police a reason to pull you over.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

We were d-d-done with all the fu-fu-fuckin' around

Last night I was hanging out with some friends. One friend in particular had been talking with another friend of his about plans for the evening. He'd told his friend where he was going, and the other guy didn't want to go there. Instead he went to a different place with two girls. At one point he texted my friend to try and get him to come be his wing man. I think his words were something like, "I need you to come run interference on this other chick so that I can score tonight."

My friend didn't go. A little while later he got another text from this guy saying: You suck.

My friend messaged him back saying: You suck more.

We were all laughing and joking about what a douchebag his friend can be. Honestly, he's the kind of guy whose number one goal in life is to score with the ladies, and it doesn't matter how he treats his friends in the time that he's trying to accomplish that goal. For example, my friend is throwing a party, and this guy will only come if there are going to be single girls for him to hit on. It's not enough to just come and hang out with his friend for an evening. He even went so far as to ask my friend if the girl he's been spending a lot of time with is fair game. According to my friend, the conversation went something like this:

Douchebag: Is [Girl] going to be at your party?
My Friend: Yeah.
Douchebag: So, what's the deal with you and her? Is she your girlfriend?
My Friend: I wouldn't call her that. We just hang out a lot.
Douchebag: So is she available? Would you be ok if she hooked up with other people?
My Friend: No. I'd honestly be a little upset if she were to do that.
Douchebag: But you said she's not your girlfriend*.

You get the point.

Anyway, since my friend declined to ditch us to go be Douchebag's wing man, Douchebag sent him another text message**: It's best that you didn't come. This girl's way too hot for you. You'd have to roofie her up.

Since that was a pretty douchebag-ey thing to say, one of my other friends decided to start messing around with the guy. He asked my first friend for the guy's phone number, and a text message conversation ensued:

Friend 2: I have a guy in my trunk with his pants down around his boots. I need your help. I need you to bring a bottle of calomine lotion and a Bjork cd.
Douchebag: Who is this?
Friend 2: Baby, don't play with me.
Douchebag: Who the fuck is this?
Friend 2: I need your help. He's waking up.
Douchebag: Look, I don't know who you are. If you need help disposing of the body call me. Otherwise piss off!
Friend 2: Close your eyes and tell me you don't know who I am.
Douchebag: I don't know who you are fucko!
Friend 2: Nevermind. I'll see you at the game tomorrow.

And that was it. I can't imagine what must have been going through Douchebag's mind as he was getting these texts. Especially the very last one, because he really did have a game today, so someone he didn't know obviously had personal information about him. I thought the whole thing was hilarious. I doubt Douchebag felt the same way.

*I don't know if he actually said this last part, but I put it in anyway for the benefit of the story.

** Since I don't have the actual texts I'm writing this from memory so some of the wording might be a little off, but if so, not by much.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Forever yesterday (breathe slowly and deeply)

I don't know why kids think that they need to spend their time growing up, but no matter how many times I tell my kids to knock it off, they just keep getting older. Yesterday I found out that my daughter has a BOYFRIEND! Dun, dun, dun. Okay, so I've suspected for a while, she is thirteen after all, but she confirmed it yesterday. Apparently she was very afraid* that I'd find out and be mad at her, so she kept it secret for a while, but had "I heart [Kid's Name]" as her myspace profile quote about a week ago. Of course, I didn't know she was on myspace until I saw it about a week ago, so that was a relatively safe place, but it just goes to show that you never really know who's reading.

I talked to a friend about it yesterday afternoon, shortly after I talked to her.

Me: I don't know what to think about the fact that my daughter's got a boyfriend already.
Him: Well, you had to know it was coming sooner or later.
Me: Yeah, but I was hoping for later.
Him: Just think, in another three years or so she'll be . . .
Me: Don't say it!
Him: Don't say what?
Me: I know what you're about to say. Don't say it.
Him: How old was [Ex-Wife] when you got her pregnant? Seventeen?
Me: See, I knew that's what you were going to say.
Him: Well, you could always take her down to Tijuana and get her tubes tied.
Me: Yeah, I'm sure her mom would let me do that.
Him: It'd be easy. Just say, "Kids, get in the car. I'm going to show you Mexico."
Me: They already saw Mexico when their mom remarried.
Him: Oh yeah.
Me: I'll have to sell it as showing them a completely different part of Mexico.
Him: I'll say.
Me: I'd have to be like, "Here boys, take this twenty dollars and go catch a donkey show while I take your sister into this back alley. We'll meet you out front in an hour."
Him: You could get [Next Oldest] a vasectomy while you're there.
Me: Or get one for myself! I've been thinking about it anyway. I mentioned it to my brother, and he said that I should wait because I might get married again and want to have kids. Even if I do remarry, I'm done having kids. I figure if I get snipped now then it's out of the question.
Him: Well, you can always have it reversed.
Me: Yeah, but I wouldn't. I'd just have to make sure that anyone I started dating knew about it up front (no pun intended).
Him: Well, it could even be a selling point. You could say, "No, don't worry baby, you can't get pregnant."

* So afraid that her friend told my ex that she threw up a few times because she was afraid I'd find out.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Parting of the sensory

This week's lab covers primary and secondary growth in plants. The students are supposed to be able to identify the different types of cells and tissues in the non-reproductive plant organs. A lot of that comes from looking at prepared slides. Yesterday I had a student who was struggling with how to tell the difference between xylem and phloem on this slide:

Me: The xylem is stained purple, and the phloem is stained blue.
Him: I can't differentiate between those colors. I'm colorblind.
Me: In that case, the xylem consists of those big cells in the middle that kind of make an X. The phloem are the smaller cells surrounding that.
Him: Ok, that helps.

A little while later:

Him: So, am I pointing at the phloem here on this stem cross section?

Me: No. You're pointing at the fiber bundle cap. The phloem's blue.
Him: That doesn't help. Remember?
Me: Oh yeah. Sorry.

A little while later:

Him: I can't see that either.
Me: You know, this would be so much easier to explain to you if you weren't colorblind.
Him: Are you making fun of my disability?
Me: Only a little, and only because I know you can take it.
Him: That's it! I'm going to go on ratemyprofessor and tell people to avoid you. I'm going to write: He likes to make fun of people with disabilities. Do not take this guy if you are in a wheelchair.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

We know everything

Yesterday we had to grade the first midterm of the semester. While these grading sessions are time consuming, and nobody really wants to be there, we always end up having a good time. This is mostly because of all the funny things that students write in their answers. I'm sure that I enjoy it more than most people would, but that's because I'm an asshole and feel better about myself when I make fun of other people's stupidity. For example, here are a few of the new words I learned about yesterday: Fitist, conceps, flud, prodided. Yes, I understand that these are just misspellings, and that would be understandable if they were typos, but these answers were hand written.

One of the questions was about a paper the students were assigned to read, and it asked them to list three influences that Darwin had on contemporary thinking. One student began their essay with this: Darwin's writings and recordings . . .

I chuckled and read it aloud to the other people who were grading. My friend laughed and said, "What did he use to record on? A parrot?"

Another student took issue with the paper that he was assigned to read, and instead of answering the question just railed on about how it was a waste of time. This was because he doesn't believe in organic evolution. I'd like to ask him what exactly he hopes to accomplish with a degree in biology if that's the case. The professor commented that he didn't necessarily care if his students left the class believing in evolution, because really he has no control over that, but that they had better at least leave the class understanding it. If it were me, I wouldn't be willing to sacrifice my grade by not answering the question that was asked, but that's just me.

I also get a laugh from the students who admit defeat without even trying, but still take time to write down answers such as this one: I have no clue. This sucks.

My very favorite answer to the question, however, was this one (written exactly as it was on the exam): Reject all the spourtial of pheoneon refute trypologit Production of variation is matter chermose. Reject typological thinking interduce concept now populale thineom. Theor of natural select invociation theleology unnecessary.

The sad thing is, I had to give partial credit for it, even though the person is obviously incapable of stringing together any kind of coherent thought.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

We kissed on the subway in the middle of the night

It seems as though I can't get enough of Zion National Park. I already told you about the previous weekend when I hiked Angels Landing on the way back from Brian Head. Well, while I was at Brian Head, my Spanish friend mentioned that he would be going there the following weekend to hike The Subway. Access to The Subway is limited, and you have to get permits hike it. The hike is quite popular, so permits can be difficult to obtain. It definitely takes a lot of planning ahead (something I'm generally not very good at). I told him I was jealous and that I wanted to go, but they only had permits for seven people, and seven people were going. As luck would have it, I received a call from him on Thursday night saying that one member of his party wasn't going to be able to make it after all, and that I could go if I was still interested. Since I've had a casual interest in doing that hike for about ten years (but have been too lazy to organize a trip) I jumped at the chance.

I didn't join them for the entire weekend, since they were hiking Angels Landing and I'd done that the week before, so I was told to meet them at a Mexican restaurant in Springdale at 7 p.m. on Saturday. My friend was hiking in the canyon, but had called and given me another member of the group's cell phone number in case I arrived early and wanted to meet up sooner. I called her when I was close to town, but she didn't answer, so I just left a message. I had about an hour to kill, so did that by looking through a few of the local shops, then drove to the restaurant. I was sitting out front, waiting for my friend, when I heard the girl sitting next to me say, "Oh, I have a missed call. I wonder if that was [Spanish Friend's] friend." I turned to her and asked, "Did you just say [Spanish Friend's] friend? That could be me." It was. Later I realized that it would have been funny to just let her call me back and then answered the phone right next to her. Too bad I didn't think of it quick enough.

We ate, then drove to a campsite. It was cold, and the moon was bright. Since my sleeping bag sucks, and I felt like I had a spotlight shining on my face all night, I didn't sleep well, but I was still happy to be there. We got up early and drove to the trail head. The hike was awesome. It started out going through some pretty cool forest, and then we came out onto some weathered sandstone.

After following that for a while, we got to a steep descent that took us into the canyon. Here's a view of the top half of the canyon we went into:

The canyon was amazing. It was very narrow (as you can see), and there were a few places where we had to wade through some water that was chest deep. In one spot we actually had to swim to get through. The water was freezing! Ok, maybe not freezing, but it was definitely in the 40s temperature wise. I'm pretty sure that immediately following the swim I had icicles on my nipples. Too bad my camera was in the dry bag for that part, or I could have shown you what it looked like. Let's just say that I understand what the field guide meant when it said that water temperatures were dangerously cold in the spring and fall. There was one spot that was even too narrow for my pack to make it through, so I had to tread water while I turned the pack sideways to fit through the slot. Usually that wouldn't be a problem, but like I said, the water was cold, so it took me longer to do that than it should have. It was still totally worth it though, since we got to see stuff like this:

In addition to the swimming, there were a few places where we had to use ropes to get down the rock walls, but it wasn't bad enough that we had to use harnesses or anything like that. Here's the descent into the part that they call The Subway:

The Subway gets its name because it looks like a subway tunnel:

The rest of the hike was a bit more open, and as a result, the water warmed up a little, which was good because we still had to spend a fair amount in it. It was still amazing.

We even saw some dinosaur tracks:

If you ever get the chance to do the hike, I suggest you take it as I can assure you these pictures do not do it justice. However, it's a bit technical, so make sure you know what you're doing. I was lucky enough to be with people who did.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Go ahead and mess with me, you'll find out what'll hap'm

Over the weekend I got into it with a spiny desert plant.

I think I lost.