Thursday, July 29, 2010

A mass of incandescent gas, a giant nuclear furnace

I gave an exam this week. I usually make them a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions. The problem with that is that I then have to grade the short answer questions. It's not bad when I'm grading the good students' exams. Or the really bad students who just leave everything blank (it's quite easy to write a big X and a zero on the page). But the students who haven't studied AND write a lot? Sometimes they make me want to jam ice picks into my temple.

For example, one of the short answer questions asked them to list three adaptations that birds have for flight. Simple enough right? After all, pretty much any four year old who has ever seen a bird could get two of the three: feathers and wings. Sadly, that would be one or two more than some of my students got. One answer said this: wings are involved, and the fight or flight response allowed them to evolve flight. Okay, fine, you get one out of three, but the fight or flight response? Really? Especially when the example I used is what might happen to you physiologically if you almost stepped on a rattlesnake? Because that's happened to me plenty of times, and I've never taken to the air.

(In contrast, some of the incorrect answers make me laugh. For example, I also asked them what a circadian rhythm was. One student put that it had something to do with funky beats. Awesome. Still no points, but awesome.)

Luckily, as the instructor, I have the power to make the TAs help me grade. So I did. Usually bribery with pizza does the trick, but this time we were grading a little later, and one of the TAs had a migraine, so I excused her from the additional pain of reading. I told the other TA that I'd buy dinner after we finished. She saved me about three hours worth of time, so it was well worth it from my end.

We went to dinner, had a very good meal, but the story that I really want to tell occurred right after. We had agreed to meet some other friends for pub trivia that night, so we both figured it'd be good to visit the restrooms (that were clean) before going to the pub.

While I was in the bathroom, I heard a couple of little kids talking to each other from separate stalls. Brothers I assume. One of them called the other one to help him with something (buttoning his pants, I think - neither of them could've been older than five) as I was walking to the sink to wash my hands. Thinking the coast was clear, I felt the need to pass some gas while I was washing my hands. So I did. Unfortunately for one of the little kids, he'd chosen that exact time to walk directly behind me (unbeknownst to me until after I farted directly on his head).

I saw him in the mirror as his reflection emerged from its hiding place directly behind mine not two seconds after the deadly gas blasted him. The look on his face just said, "Why would you do that to me? WHY?"

Sorry kid.

But it could've been worse. I could've sharted.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This is a match to a ball of lies

Today I am giving my students an exam. I told them that yesterday's lecture would not be covered on it, but that I'd put that material on the final instead. Not surprisingly, very few of them showed up to class yesterday so before I started lecturing I told the ones who were there to take out a sheet of paper, write their name on it, then hand it in to me and I'd give them some sort of extra credit for it.

When the last student handed me their paper I said to the class, "There. Now aren't you glad you decided to come to class today?"

My new favorite student called out, "We're glad we come to class every day."

Who says flattery gets you nowhere?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

This is the mountain, this is the lightning, this is the man pulling on his iron chain

Me: The manager was cute.

Friend: Yeah she was.

Me: She also had a big old wedding ring on her finger.

Friend: She did? I didn't notice that. Too bad for her. She's missing out on all of this. [Motions to self with hands]

Me: Not necessarily. Rings come off.

Friend: She can leave it on for all I care. She didn't get it from me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hush hush we both can't fight it

Last weekend I met a girl* at a concert. We were talking about something between the opening band and the headliners, and I said something that my friend misheard.

He turned around and asked, "Did you just ask her to touch your dick?"

Before I could answer, she told him, "Yeah, as a matter of fact I was just getting ready to touch his dick when you turned around. You ruined the moment, cockblocker."

He looked mildly offended at being called that, and said, "Are you kidding? I'd never cockblock this guy. If there's one person in this world who needs his cock touched, it's this guy."

Thanks dude.

*Not one that I was interested in by any means, but still.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I could be with anyone just while the honeymoon burns bright

The other night:

Friend: Not it.

Me (turning around to see who I was "it" on): Wow. That girl is large. She's like a hippo.

Friend: 'Like' nothing. I saw her fighting off a warthog and a wildebeest. And those were just the other girls at her table. I got not it on them too.

I hate losing at 'not it.'

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm drinkin' wine in the mornin', I just can't seem to stop snortin' blue collared gack off a black hooker's ass, the mirror ball's startin' to rock

Friend (after I read him an excerpt from the book Perishable): That's sort of like your blog.

Me: Except my blog isn't anywhere near that well written. Or that funny.

Friend: No, I just meant the part about drunk retarded midget strippers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

He jumped out right after seeing the very sight of me

Me: Hey man, what's new? It's been forever since I last saw you.

Friend: I know. It's been nice.

Me: Tell me about it. Asshole.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Emma, get me a lemon

A contradictory statement if I ever saw one:

Also, this lemonade may or may not contain strawberry.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

But you will not recognize how I might die inside unless I ride

One more post about California, then I'll move on. I swear.

When we were at the beach and saw dolphins, I joked to my friends that I was going to swim out there so I could ride one. Later, I said something about how I wanted to see a shark, so I could swim out there and ride it.

The next day we had just finished dinner and my friend asked what we wanted to do with the rest of the evening. She suggested we walk down to the Santa Monica pier.

I told her I thought that would be a good idea, and that maybe while we were there we could ride the ferris wheel.

She said, "You've been wanting to ride stuff since you got here. First it was the dolphins, then the sharks, then the waitress at breakfast, and now this."

I replied, "I am on vacation you know."

Friday, July 09, 2010

I see a red door and I want to paint it black

Here is the painting that captures my "essence" as envisioned by my friend:

Here is the painting that captures my friend's "essence" as envisioned by her husband:

And here is the painting that captures my friend's husband's "essence" as envisioned by me:

Did I mention that we painted these in the children's area of the art museum in L.A.?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

When I put myself in the picture of success

As promised, here are a few pics from my long holiday weekend.

Beach in Malibu

La Brea Tar Pits

Wall of Dire Wolf skulls:

A very dramatic scene:

(Trumpet all you want Little Mastodon, but your mother is screwed.)

LA County Museum of Art

Ancient sculptures from Mexico:


Lamp posts out front:

Venice Beach

My friend's favorite part about Muscle Beach:

My favorite part about Muscle Beach:

A suicidal cat:

And of course, FIREWORKS:

Mission San Gabriel

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

We've got California in our eyes come on and catch us if you can

Has it really been a week since I last posted? Don't worry, I didn't drop off the face of the earth. Almost, but not quite. I went to California for the long holiday weekend.

Here's a little bit of what I've been up to since I last posted:

Thursday 7/1
Drove to California from Vegas - Saw Sloan perform at House of Blues in Los Angeles.

Friday 7/2
Hit the beach in Malibu - saw my first dolphins in the wild. Perhaps more importantly, saw many babes in bikinis. Spent the evening walking around a shopping area near my friend's apartment, bought some cool fish mugs, and tried some of the best Indian food I've had in quite some time.

Saturday 7/3
Visited the La Brea tar pits and the L.A. County Museum of Art. While there, my friend painted a picture of my "essence", and I did the same for her husband. I'll scan those later. I'm not going to lie, they're pretty amazing pieces of art. Also saw an Andy Warhol exhibit, and a lot of other cool things. Had dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant (apparently ranked top 10 for L.A., but we didn't know that until we were already seated), and even proposed to a piece of chocolate cake with a diamond ring and all. The cake said no. Still we had an amazing night together, but in the morning she was gone. Later we walked back down to the beach at Santa Monica, and saw a pretty cool fireworks display that was going on near Malibu. I'm now convinced that nothing beats sitting alone on a beach watching fireworks. It turned out to be much more enjoyable than the fireworks display we "saw" on Independence Day.

Sunday 7/4
Walked along Venice Beach and saw all of the associated madness. I wanted to get my picture taken with the "Kush Doctor" but didn't want to have to explain that I didn't actually want a prescription for medical marijuana. There was a muscleman competition going on at muscle beach, which I found hilarious for some reason. (Probably just jealousy.) Later we went back to the beach near my friend's apartment, then tried to go south to see a fireworks show at Marina Del Ray. It was a madhouse, and by the time we found a spot to sit, we quickly realized that we couldn't see any fireworks, so we just left before it was done. Luckily we'd seen a better fireworks display the night before so didn't feel too sorry for ourselves.

Monday 7/5
Toured Mission San Gabriel. It was pretty cool to see a little about the history of colonization of Southern California. I also saw a little bit of the UCLA campus and then drove home to Vegas.

In other words, it was not a bad way to spend a few days. I'll post pictures later. (I got some pretty cool ones.)