Monday, June 30, 2008

'Cause everything beautiful is far away

Driving across the Great Plains gets a little boring. Not only is the landscape the same, but there's not even much to look at in terms of girls riding in vehicles that you pass.

After several hours of driving on the way to Minneapolis, my friend said, "That girl was pretty cute."

So I did what any red blooded American male would do: I looked in the rear view mirror. I just shook my head.

Friend: What? You don't think she's cute?
Me: Not at all.
Friend: Really?
Me: Really! You have to remember, this isn't Vegas. We're in the mid-west. There aren't any cute girls here. I think you were looking at her through mid-west goggles.
Friend: Mid-west goggles?
Me: You know. Like beer goggles. Except you're not drinking. I'm just looking out for you man. I'd hate to see you end up with an ugly chick who's only slightly less ugly than all the other chicks out here.

A little while later, we passed another girl.

Me: Was she cute?
Friend: Well, I thought so. But now you've got me second guessing everything.
Me: It's for the best. That way you're careful to make sure you're not getting into something you're going to regret.

Mid-west goggles: Not quite the same as PoonocularsTM. You need to be aware of their existence. Especially if you'll be driving through that part of the U.S.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Goin' your way anyway

You can tell you're driving across South Dakota when . . .

. . . every convenience store is either a Loaf-n-Jug or Kum 'n Go.
. . . you see a couple hundred signs advertising Wall Drug.
. . . you drive past the Corn Palace.
. . . the scenery doesn't change for hundreds of miles.
. . . seriously, the scenery doesn't change for hundreds of miles.
. . . the highlight of your day is crossing the Missouri River.
. . . you start wondering what's so great about those plains anyway.
. . . you come to the realization that Black Hills gold actually comes from the Black Hills.
. . . out of boredom, you start reporting on every insect you hit (e.g., *Splat* "That was a dragonfly.").
. . . your traveling companion doesn't get upset when you start reporting on every insect you hit (e.g., *Splat* "What was that one?" "A bumblebee.").

Friday, June 27, 2008

You've just gotta smile and hang out with intelligent people

I'm back. Did you miss me?



Well, that's a bit awkward, isn't it?

Anyhoo, the meeting was pretty cool. I got to leave the heat of Las Vegas, see some old friends, hear some smart people talk about smart things, etc.

A few thoughts from the meeting:

- Generally speaking, biologists are not a particularly attractive group of people (present company excluded, of course).

- Whoever suggested it would be a good idea to drive to Minneapolis from Las Vegas in order to save money is an idiot.

- I am an idiot.

- After driving for twenty-seven hours over a three day period one relishes the chance to walk everywhere, even if it takes 30 minutes to reach the destination.

- It's a little scary crossing bridges in Minnesota.

- Even with talks going in nine concurrent sessions, there are still times when there's nothing worth listening to.

- Really smart people make everything sound so easy.

- I am incapable of walking on a footbridge across the Mississippi River without singing "1814 took a little trip . . ." in my head.

- I need a better way of dealing with stress.

- When presenting your research at a national meeting it is best to meet the expectations of your audience rather than presenting a talk that is too elementary.

- I'll try to remember that for next time.

- Sometimes when you don't know what you're talking about it's best to take the entire time allotted without leaving any time for questions, especially when the audience includes a few of the leaders of your field of study.

- It's not good to joke about how you're glad you didn't allow time for questions from certain "big named" scientists in the audience to ask you about something you wouldn't know the answer to when one of the "big names" you specifically mention is standing ten feet behind you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Touch the puppet head

I'm leaving first thing tomorrow morning for a conference. Needless to say, it's not likely that I'll have time for blogging while I'm gone. Also, there isn't enough time for me to finish up everything on the 'To Do List' (you do remember the 'To Do List' don't you?). Anyway, since I don't have time to take care of all these things, I'm leaving it up to you all to finish them for me.

- Reduce fuel load in the Valley of the Ents
- Resurrect the Mongolian horde
- Hide the snake skin
- Beringia or bust
- Garrison the Valley of Kings
- Do-ah-diddy
- Join the hillbilly cartel
- Barcode Sherwood Forest
- Look like you care or something
- Find the creepy kid
- Juggle kittens
- Jam on the frying pan
- Yodel with the Swiss Miss and Abominable Snowman
- Play air hockey with the lepers

I'll be back in about ten days to check on your progress.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

They keep calling me, keep on calling me

Friend: How do you feel about that?

Me: There's a part of me that doesn't like it, and another part that's ok with it. So I don't really know.

Friend: In that case, you should let the universe figure it out for you.

Me: But the universe hates me.

Friend: What? No. The universe loves you.

Me: Actually, you're right. It won't stop calling.

First thing tomorrow morning I'm going to go get a restraining order on The Universe.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

We can control the context of presentation

Everything you need to know about the level of classiness of a place you're about to enter can be gleaned from a quick glance at the dress code.

In other words, dress codes in the ghetto are a little different than dress codes elsewhere.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Who will go down to the shady groves and summon the shadows there?

At a barbecue a couple weekends ago:

Guy: Did you see the Cornhenge I built?
Guy's Wife: You didn't build that - it was already there.
Guy: I built it.
Guy's Friend: It's true. I saw him do it.
Guy (to his wife): Keep disagreeing with me and I'll turn it into a burial site.
Guy's Wife: Then who's going to pay the bills?
Guy: Ain't no mortgage on Cornhenge.

Just so you don't feel left out I give you: Cornhenge!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hey daddy ho daddy hey daddy hi hey daddy ho daddy never will die

Me: Believe it or not, I used to have a really good tan.

Friend: Why? What was different then?

Me: Well, I worked outside all summer, but even with sun block I got really dark. I looked like I was Native American.

Friend: Because of the tan?

Me: That and I wore a feathered headdress, a loin cloth, and rode an Appaloosa everywhere I went.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When you're so young you wanna be older, and when you're older you want the body you have now

Friend: How do two fat people have the sex?
Me: How?
Friend: I'm asking. I don't know how it works. Do they both just start at opposite ends of the room and run at each other and hope things go where they're supposed to?
Me: Oh, I thought it was a joke. But I think the way you just described it might work for them.
Friend: I just saw two really fat people in the parking lot downstairs and they had their young daughter with them.
Me: Ha!
Friend: They both were huge, bellies and all. Just made me wonder.
Me: Ew. You should go down there and ask 'em.
Friend: I just looked and they disappeared, like a case of twinkies from a cupboard
Me: Wow, that is fast. But just to make sure that I never have to find out how that happens, I'm going to go to the gym now.
Friend: : Me too. Want me to pick you up on the way by?
Me: When are you leaving?
Friend: Now. Meet me at the corner in ten minutes ready to jump.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

All hail the dirt bike, philosopher dirt bike

On the way back to the office after lunch, my friend asked if I minded taking him to the Hard Rock Casino to pick up some concert tickets at the box office. I obliged.

As we walked in, he looked at a guy in one of the shops and once we passed said, "That's Carey Hart."

I thought he was being sarcastic, and making fun of some random guy who was all tatted up, but as we continued walking he said, "No. That really was Carey Hart."

I looked back but couldn't see him. It would've been my first celebrity sighting in Vegas, not counting seeing celebrities in places where you're supposed to see them (i.e., seeing Jack Black or Eddie Vedder on stage at a concert, Dr. J. at a Team U.S.A. basketball game, etc.). I figured we wouldn't be long, and I could see him on the way back to the car.

As we neared the shop where he'd been, a group of people passed us going the other way. Among the group was a gorgeous blonde. After they passed I turned to my friend and said, "Did you see that? Those may have been the most perfect boobs I've ever seen."

He said, "That was Carey Hart."

"The guy she was with?"


"I still didn't see him. I was too busy looking at her boobs."

So, I still haven't had a celebrity sighting. Oh well, at least I know my head is in the right place and I'm not looking at dudes when there are perfect breasts to be seen, even if the dudes are among the best in the world at what they do.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Life is for the livin' you've got to be willin', a song ain't a song until someone starts singin'

Saturday night I was watching a movie with a friend when another friend texted to see if I wanted to come hang out with him and two of the guys I handed ice cream out at the Joshua Tree music festival. They'd decided to get together for an impromptu jam session (two of them are very talented musicians as evidenced by the writing of Blue Bear Blues - a song they made up in Joshua Tree to make fun of a debate we'd had earlier in the weekend regarding whether or not grizzly bears are the same species as brown bears - they're not). I told him I'd finish the movie and give him a call to see if they were still at it.

We finished the movie and I headed home a little after midnight. I called my friend to let him know that I was probably just going to go home.

Him: Are you coming over?
Me: Well, I wasn't planning on it because it's late. I didn't know how much longer you'd be 'jamming.'
Him: Ain't no bedtime in Jam Town. Get over here.
Me: Alright. I guess I'll be there in a few.

(See how easy it is to convince me to do things?)

When I got there, they were trying to learn how to play Love Cats by The Cure. The friend who called me was playing percussion (on the congos). The guy whose house we were at was playing the guitar, and the third guy was playing the piano. I figured I could just come in, hang out and listen to them play. Not so.

Friend 2: Do you play any instruments [Minnow]?
Me: No. I was just going to listen to you guys.
Friend 1: Ain't no free rides in Jam Town. Get your ass over there and learn the lyrics.
Me: Ok.

I walked over and started looking at the lyrics on his computer screen.

Friend 2 (as he was figuring out the chords): So what movie were you watching earlier?
Me: It was kind of a weird one. It was about a French guy with superior olfactory abilities. He could smell the beauty of the world, and he used that to learn how to make really good perfume. Then he started killing girls to try and capture their essence and put it into a perfume.
Friend 1: That movie sounds gay. There's a 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy here in Jam Town.
Friend 3: What was the name of the movie? All holes filled with cock? I think I saw that one.
Me: So much for 'Don't ask, don't tell.'
Friend 1: Ain't no gayness in Jam Town. Now get over there and sing Love Cats.

I didn't even bother pointing out the irony of that statement.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Twenty-three ki's just sittin' in the back seat I can make the best man weak

Me: [Friend 1] and I are checking out the new [Irish Pub] if you're interested in joining us tonight.

Friend 2: Thank you for the invitation but I'm working until 4 a.m. You get stuck with these shifts once in a while.

Me: [Friend 1] wants to know if you've got any hook-ups. You know, like an eight ball or something.

Friend 2: Ha! I can hook you up with clubs, not drugs.

Me: He says to work some magic.

Friend 2: Drive up and down Trop . . . Oh no, wait, that's for hookers. Hit up a limo or taxi driver. They've got the goods.

Me: I'm sure they do. I wouldn't know what to do with any of that stuff anyway. Neither would [Friend 1]

Friend 2: Duh! You put it in your ass.

Me: I think you're mistaking me for your ex-girlfriend.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I admit it now I could not give any more

Last night I was too lazy to fix anything for dinner. Unfortunately, the only left-overs had in the fridge were over a week old. But I didn't feel like going out for dinner either. So, what did I do? I reheated the left-overs anyway (punching the time on the microwave to 1:11 of course).

As I was eating, I was too lazy to chew a mouthful properly, and ended up nearly choking on a chunk of rice. But I didn't choke. Of course, I was too lazy to cough or make any other effort to get it out of the back of my throat, so it just sat there and eventually slid into my esophagus. That, my friends, truly is the height of laziness.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'm only happy when it rains

Yesterday I walked outside my office and felt myself cheer up a little when I looked at the sky and saw that things were about to get miserable. Once it started raining I felt even better knowing that others were probably upset about it.

How's that for altruism?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I'm gonna hit you on your face I'm gonna punch you in your glasses

I'm going to copy Bill Maher today. I'm giving you my list of things that must go. Without further ado:

-People who almost come to a complete stop before making a right turn out of traffic and into a parking lot (or driveway). Learn how to drive before you take your car out on the road.

- People who have to do a three point (or more) turn to get into, or out of, a parking space. Again, learn how to drive your vehicle.

- People who talk on their cell phones while at the gym. Know when to unplug people.

- LA Lakers fans who chant M-V-P every time Kobe goes to the free throw line. It's annoying. And so is Kobe, so, while we're at it . . .

- Kobe Bryant.

- Fat chicks who dress like they're not. Cover that fat up. Nobody needs to see that shit.

- Couples who share email accounts, myspace pages, etc. It's not cute. It makes you look like you have control issues, or don't trust each other. And, if you don't, break up.

- The 9/10 of a cent placed on the end of gas prices. Gas isn't $4.039/gallon, it's $4.04. Quit treating us like we're stupid. We all round up anyway.

- American Idol. Because it sucks.

- Jared from Subway. Ditto.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

From the bottom of my heart comes a cold dark feeling

In lieu of a real post, go here to download the music mix that suits my mood today. (The zip file will be up for seven days or a hundred downloads, whichever comes first.)

It's called 'A Little Left Behind' and some of you who actually know me already have a copy, in which case you can save yourself the trouble of clicking over. Those who don't should be warned that it's a little depressing.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight on a bed of California stars

Me: Too bad. That lady's sitting with her back to us. I was hoping she'd sit down facing us so I could stare at her boobs.

Friend: Were they nice?

Me: Yeah. Fake, but nice.

Friend: But her face wasn't all that great, was it?

Me: No, but that's ok. I wasn't planning on looking at her face.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

What you've been told is what you're told is the disco infiltrator gone cold

When I was at the music festival a couple weekends ago, I bought some neon trinkets for my kids. A necklace for Tortellini, and some light wands for Togers and Mr. M. I'll freely admit that I had no self-control and played around with the light wands the night I bought them. They were really cool. You could set them to a specific color, or could have it flash through the spectrum of colors. Luckily, I didn't drain the batteries before I sent them off.

My ex-wife called me to tell me how much the kids liked their trinkets. She said Tortellini loved the necklace (which was a little surprising to both me and my ex. After all, teenagers aren't exactly easy to please - there was a good chance Tortellini would've thought the necklace was lame. I'm glad she didn't).

Luckily, the light wands are resilient in the face of abuse. The woman that sold them to me showed me how hard you could hit it on the table and still have it work. She didn't say anything about water resistance, but that came in handy too as Mr. M. immediately filled his up with water to see what that looked like.

The boys turned off all the lights in the house and were swinging them around and my ex cracked a joke about how it looked like something you could take to a rave.

Togers: Yeah, I know. Dad bought them for us at a rave.

Ex-Wife: No, your dad wasn't at a rave. He bought them at a music festival. There's a big difference. Your dad doesn't go to raves.

I'm glad she set him straight. The last thing I need is Togers going around to his friends and telling them (and their parents) that his dad lives in Vegas, goes to raves and buys him cool hippie trinkets there.