Saturday, August 30, 2008

Love you soft and love you sweet

Friend: What're your plans for tonight?

Me: I have to go to the opening social because I promised that I would, but I don't have anything going on after that. Why?

Friend: Want to go ogle some women with me? I have an extra ticket to a concert at the Hard Rock tonight if you want to go.

Me: Sure, why not?

And wouldn't you know it? Sure enough there was some ogling of some women going on. But that wasn't all, and we weren't the only ones doing the ogling.

Midway through the concert:

Me: Ha! You just got checked out by a gay dude.

Friend: Really?

Me: Yeah, he's right back there if you want to look.

Friend: I don't want to look and run the risk of making eye contact. But, how do you know he was checking me out and not you?

Me: Because I turned around and he was staring at your butt. Then he looked you up and down a couple of times.

Friend: Are you sure?

Me: I'm sure. I know that look. I've given that look. So have you. It's unmistakeable.

Friend: Well, was he at least good looking?

Friday, August 29, 2008

At least as old as you are as you walk away

Mr M started Kindergarten yesterday. My ex-wife called after she dropped him off. She said that he normally likes to hold her hand when they're walking together, but wouldn't when they got out of the car. Until the walked into the building. He got a little nervous and reached up to grab her hand. Once they were in the classroom, the teacher told him he could go play with the other kids on the playground, he ran off without even saying goodbye to his mom or step-dad, and that was that. His mom cried. He had fun.

His step-dad told me yesterday afternoon that when Mr M was getting ready in the morning, he commented that he didn't want to wear a shirt to school because he wanted the kids in his class to be able to see his muscles (pronounced musk-ulls). I think we may have a young jock on our hands.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sheep Go To Heaven, Goats Go To Hell

A few weeks ago one of my friends and I drove to a nearby concert venue to pick up some tickets. Once we got the tickets, she asked if I'd mind driving her somewhere else before going back to campus.

Her: Would you mind taking me to [cross streets].

Me: That's fine. What do you need to go there for?

Her: I'll tell you when we get there. Otherwise you won't take me.

Me: Do you have an OB/GYN appointment?

Her: No. You'll see when we get there.

A few minutes later I pulled into the parking lot.

Me: Oh, it's that knitting store over there, isn't it?

Her: Yes.

Me (laughing hysterically): Seriously? Woolly Wonders?

Her: Is that you?

Me: No. It's trimmed, so it's really not that woolly.

Her: Or that wondrous?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

School's out forever

Me: I always get so bored teaching this lab because nobody ever asks me any questions. So, even if you don't have questions, could you guys ask some anyway?

Student: Don't you have something else you could do?

Me: Yeah, but I want to make sure that I'm not neglecting anybody.

None of them had questions, so I started downloading DNA sequences.

Five minutes later:

Same Student As Before: I have a question for you.

Me: I'm sorry. I'm busy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The ghost of you lingers

My graduating class recently had the 15 year reunion. I didn't go because the brilliant minds who organized it held it on a Wednesday night. (Seriously, who holds something like that on a weekday?) In the weeks leading up to the reunion, one of my old friends from high school took the lead at setting up a web site for our class. I grew up in a small town, so there are only around 70 people to list, so it's not unmanageable.

The guy who set up the site is a prime example of why I hate politicians though. I'm not sure exactly what he does, but he lives in Washington D.C. and works for one of the senators or congressmen for the state of Utah. I can't remember which. I just remember being annoyed at our 10 year reunion when he asked if I was a "good biologist or a bad biologist." When I asked what he meant by that he responded, "Well, do you think the endangered species act is a good thing?" Knowing that he was conservative, I just said, "I guess that makes me a bad biologist in your eyes because I do think it's a good thing."

One of our former classmates died about a year after we graduated, or maybe it was that summer. I didn't know him all that well, I just remember hearing that he had drowned and thinking that it was sad that he was so young. Someone else from my class alerted Politics Guy to the fact that this guy had passed, so Politics Guy put this on the site he set up for the class:

His death was reported by another classmate. If you have details on his passing, please e-mail [Politics Guy] ASAP -- especially if he's still alive. But then knowing [The Deceased] (if he's alive), he might find it humorous to read about his own death. Thanks!

That last part really annoyed me. Yeah, [Politics Guy], you obviously knew [The Deceased] quite well. You know, since he's been dead nearly FIFTEEN YEARS and you didn't even know.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy hours, golden showers

Yesterday the power went out and our side of campus was affected. Luckily, the back up generator kicked on and all the necessary equipment was still powered, as were the emergency lights in the halls. However, it was still quite dark. As I walked through a dimly lit hallway, one of the post-docs saw me and asked, "What did you do?"

"I flexed."

As luck would have it, I really needed to pee, but apparently bathrooms are not considered to be emergency areas. It was pitch black with a sign on the door saying the bathroom was out of order. I ignored the sign and went in anyway. The door was propped open, so a little bit of light came in from the hallway, which was nice, but presented me with a problem. Should I pee in a urinal I could see, knowing full well that anyone could see me from the hallway? Or should I pee in a urinal I couldn't see, knowing that I'd be safely out of view, but would also be running the risk of missing the urinal?

I suppose now would be an appropriate (?) time to let you in on a little secret. I have stage fright. I'm unable to pee if there is someone standing near me. I don't know why this is, but I blame one of my brother's old college roommates (the red-headed guy in this story). I figured my stage fright might manifest itself in this situation, knowing the door behind me was open might prevent me from accomplishing the task at hand, so I opted for peeing in the dark.

You'll be happy to know that I emerged from the darkened bathroom with dry feet.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hey Pretty, don't you wanna take a ride with me?

Friend: You've got to get a rear suspension bike. It's so much better.

Me: I'd like one, but can't afford it right now.

Friend: It makes such a big difference when you're riding though. You'd go down parts of the trail that you don't dare do now without even thinking twice about it.

Me: I don't know about that, but I'm sure it makes a difference.

Friend: Seriously, it's like the difference between getting your first hand job and getting your first blow job.

I have got to get myself a rear suspension bike.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

We gonna crash into the sun

Lately I've been getting a lot more sun than normal. I also haven't been as good about putting on sun block as I normally am. I didn't think it was anything to be concerned about because I haven't been getting sunburned. However, today I looked at my arm and noticed several new freckles. I instantly doubted my cavalier attitude toward sunblock application. After all, isn't the appearance of new spots on your skin one of the first signs of melanoma?

Upon further inspection (read: I licked my finger and rubbed the spots), I realized they were not freckles at all, but soy sauce that apparently splashed on my arm when I dropped my nigiri at lunch today.

Whew! Crisis averted.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How was I supposed to know?

Mr M: [Togers], we got the U-Haul today, and it is BIG.

Togers: I bet it is.

Mr M: It is really, really big.

Togers: I know, but what else did you do today?

Mr M: No, [Togers], it's bigger than a snake.

So there you have it. A moving truck is officially bigger than a snake. Who knew?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My only offer, stifle copies of myself

These are a little late, but they always say better late than never, right? Well, here are the highlights of my evaluations from spring semester. As always, these are actual student responses to the questions they were asked on the evaluation form.

Laboratory Activities
What was your favorite exercise? Why?
- Dissections, because cutting up stuff is fun.
- Field Trip. Not too much gross stuff, interesting and different.
- Yoga; da bomb for real!
- Dissecting Mr. Johnson's* Johnson.

What was your least favorite lab exercise? Why?
- Bacteria phylums was sooooooooo borrring.
- Cutting open the grasshopper. They are gross.
- Pig dissections. I like pigs and would rather have a live one than a dead one.
- Dissection of the grasshopper. It's the most disgusting thing. I may never eat rice again.
- Fetal pig, stinks really really bad - actually made me cry with chemicals in my eye.

What is the major weakness of the lab?
- Have [Other TA] as TA. She is rude, racist, have bad languages** in lab. Horrible.

Laboratory Instructor
How would you rate your instructor's ability in making things understandable and their willingness to help?
- Always available and helps butcher the pig.

How could he/she improve?
- Listen to Death Cab For Cutie!
- Don't be a jerk to girls who cry on exams, ok?
- No more quizzes of DEATH.
- Make a clone of himself***
- More cowbell, better molecules.

*I always make my students name their pigs.

**Really? You're going to use that language to criticize someone who "have bad languages in lab"? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

***Looks like that DNA technology is going to be put to another practical use after all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

In the future, cloners won't make much money

Once again, I give you an example of why it's good to be the guy writing the tests rather than the person who's taking it. Here is the last question on my final exam.

Which of the following is not a practical use of gene technology? (Yet!)

a) Gene therapy
b) Forensics
c) Diagnosis of disease
d) Environmental clean up
e) Formation of a clone army so that [Native Minnow] can someday rule the world.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Coddle some men they'll remember you bitterly

Last night at my friend's going away party:

Her Gay Roommate (Male): See? That's why I'm single. Relationships are too messed up.

Her Straight Guy Friend: Same here. I don't have a girlfriend because they're such a pain in the ass.

Gay Roommate: Boyfriends are too. Literally.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Flat ass broke with no hope for loans, unable to feed me or let alone my clones

Me: Guess what I finally bought.

Girl: I don't know. What?

Me: You have to guess. But here's a hint: It's something that I've wanted for a really, really long time.

Girl: Bunny slippers?

Me: Nope. Guess again.

Girl: A Ouija board?

Me: Seriously? Those are the first two things that come to mind? Guess one more time, then I'll tell you if you don't get it.

Girl: An unabridged dictionary?

Me: You know, none of those can be classified as things I've wanted for a really, really long time.

Girl: What did you buy then?

Me: An ipod*.

Girl: Ooh. You have wanted one of those for a long time.

*I got an ipod touch for $100 off the regular price. At a price so low, I couldn't afford not to buy it**. Mom, Dad, I might need you to pay some of my bills*** later in the month ;-)

**And finally join the modern age.

***Not really.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Never think twice before you kiss me goodbye

Finally, having this blog has paid off in terms of it getting me free stuff. Here's an email I received from a band that's trying to get their name out: Community Gun.

----------------Begin Message----------------

Hello Native Minnow. If you like, our rock/blues/indie/folk/punk EP is up for free at or you can also listen/download it off Garageband at
Sorry for any inconvenience and thanks for your time. Peace, Community Gun

"Tom Waits meets The Mats." For the Sake of the Song
"Like Beck with a blues riff." The Scott Fuller Show
"Wicked, bad-ass...not signed to any label but really should be." The Dust Congress

-----------------End Message-----------------

How they happened to stumble upon my blog I have no idea, but I'm glad they did.
I've downloaded the free mp3 files they have posted, and their music is pretty good. I particularly like the song Before She Goes. There's definitely a Tom Waits influence over their music. But don't take my word for it, go to either of the addresses they provided and check it out for yourself. It's free. After all, who doesn't like free stuff?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

You're the firestarter, twisted firestarter

A friend came over to watch the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics last night. He picked up some Thai food on the way over. (We thought it might be more appropriate to get Chinese take out, but couldn't think of a good Chinese restaurant near my house.) My friend is vegan, so I told him just to get veggie or tofu dishes and if Togers didn't like it he could heat something else up. Of course, I didn't tell Togers he was eating tofu because I didn't want to give him any reason not to try it. He liked it. I told him that automatically made him a hippy. It's a slippery slope.

When I told Togers why we got tofu, and asked him if he knew what it meant to be vegan, he said he didn't. So, I explained it to him: Being vegan means you're not allowed to eat anything that doesn't have chopped up babies in it.

Later, during the parade of athletes, my friend and I had this brief exchange:

Friend: Holy crap! How many athletes did Brazil send?
Me: Looks like there's a Brazillion* of them.

As the parade continued, we began to speculate about the lighting of the torch.

Friend: How do you think they'll light it this time?
Me: Well, they're going to try to top the archer shooting a flaming arrow to light it. My guess is that they'll set a Tibetan monk on fire and throw him into the cauldron.

Togers laughed hard. A little too hard. I might be raising a homicidal maniac. I have no idea where he gets it.

*That joke never gets old.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Boy you look like someone I used to know

Here's an email exchange I had yesterday with one of my best friends from high school:

Him: What are you doing today? Wanna go drag main?

Me: I'd love to drag main, but not at these gas prices, and only if I can meet up with [our high school crushes].

Him: We can peddle ourselves around if you want, like real old school days.

Me: I call handlebars.

Him: How are you gonna get the handlebars when we are on a unicycle?

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My life is totally boring without you around

Togers is staying with me for the next week or two. It's nice having him around, although, I don't feel like a very good dad when I'm leaving him home all day while I'm at work. His mom called me yesterday to see what he was up to. I said, "I don't know, I'm at work, but there's a 30% chance he's reading, a 30% chance he's watching TV, a 30% chance he's playing Halo, and a 10% chance he's sleeping."

I try to make up for it when I'm home. Like last night when I took him to the grocery store with me. Tell me that's not fun and exciting for a twelve year old. Wait, it's not? Fine, how about taking him to see The Dark Knight at an IMAX theater? Is that better?

As we were waiting in line, my friend and I told Togers that he was going to have to start earning his keep while he stays with me. His job? When we go out in public, we'll point out an attractive woman, then he has to go stand by them, let his lower lip quiver and say, "H-h-have you seen my d-d-d-d-dad?"

Granted, twelve might be a little old for that to work, but Mr M isn't down here right now, so I have to work with what I've got.

Monday, August 04, 2008

If you're down with P, well then you're down with me

Well, since everybody seems to want to hear that one story about that one time that one guy ate that one perch and then went to that one hospital to get that one stomach pumped, I s'pose I'll tell it.

I took a biology class my freshman year of high school. My seat was at one of the tables in the back of the room (which really has no bearing on this story at all other than to let you know how the 'planning stages' of the incident got as far as they did before the teacher found out). One of the kids at the very back table, we'll call him PerchEater, was constantly trying to do things so that people would think he was cool. You know the type: He came from a broken home, his family was poor, his mom worked a lot so he was attention starved*, so basically just like my kids.

Fridays were dissection days. Or maybe Mondays were dissection days. Or Tuesdays. Who cares? The only point of relevance is that one of those days of the week we dissected things, and one of those weeks of the school year the thing we dissected was a yellow perch. Midway through the class period, PerchEater went around asking those of us who were seated around him how much we'd give him if he ate the perch. Of course, none of us were thinking about the possible ramifications of what injesting something that had been fixed in formalin and preserved in carosafe were, We just thought it'd be gross to watch him do it, so of course we all offered to pitch in. I told him I'd give him $10, some kids said $5 and others as much as $20 - adding up to a grand total somewhere around $200.

Once the total he had coming to him for his performance had reached the max (i.e., nobody else was willing to add to the pot), PerchEater decided it was time to deliver. However, our teacher began to suspect that something was up and started asking what was going on. Somebody told him and he put the kaibosh on it right then and there. Noone was going to eat a perch in his classroom. We were all disappointed, and justifiably so. We'd just had what would probably be the grossest thing we'd ever see anyone do throughout the course of the entire year yanked away from us. What a Quaker.

Well, then, imagine our surprise when the bell rang and we all filed out in the hallway only to see PerchEater procure the specimen from the pocket of his blue jeans. It seemed that there might be a show after all. After briefly asking around to make sure the deal still stood, PerchEater tipped his head back and lowered the fish into his mouth headfirst. I don't know exactly how he thought it would go down, maybe he'd seen to many movies with bachelors swallowing goldfish**, but I guess he thought it would slide right down his esophagus. It didn't. It just got stuck. Then he gagged, and the whole fish came flying up out of his mouth. PerchEater must have had very good reflexes, because he caught the perch mid-air, looked at it and then bit its head off and began chewing. About three bites in, our biology teacher came out of the classroom to see what all the fuss was about, found out that he'd eaten about half a perch, and grabbed him and ran down the hall. Later we found out that he went and called an ambulance and had PerchEater taken to the hospital to get his stomach pumped.

PerchEater missed the next couple days of school. Presumably because he was recovering from either the procedure at the hospital, the beating his mom gave him when he got home, or both. When he came back to class, there was no mention of the money we all owed him. I figured I'd wait until my next paycheck (my paychecks were very small in those days, so $10 was a lot of scratch) and then pay up, but by the end of the month had pretty much forgotten about it. PerchEater moved a month or two after that, so I never gave him the money I owed. If I had a current address I'd mail him the money today.

*I really have no idea if any of the background information I gave you about PerchEater is true. I barely knew him - I don't even remember his last name.

**Not the crackers.