Sunday, September 30, 2007

Not Alarmed, Very Surprised

Don't bother asking how or why I found this, but...

You probably don't HAVE to watch the whole thing, but you SHOULD.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Not Alarmed

I woke up a few minutes before my alarm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday morning.

I coined a term for this phenomenon: Oh God Fucking Damn Fucking Shit.

Immediately after attaining consciousness, I recite it as a mantra.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Agape Over A Gap

I bought some new boxers a while back, noting the main selling point on the packaging.

"Improved design prevents gapping!"

I'd never read or heard the term "gapping" before -- not as it applied to underwear, at least. Still, I immediately understood what "gapping" must be, and immediately wished to eliminate "gapping" from my life, via these new boxers.

So, given the effectiveness of this marketing, is it possible that the term "gapping" was actually coined by advertising wizards? Perhaps these executives chose this word after rejecting others, such as "flopping"?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Chessy LaRue

For reasons I cannot recall, my seventh grade classmates competed against one another in a chess tournament.

(We wasted a lot of time that year. For example, 80% of the 7th and 8th grades was on the track team. When there was a track meet, the remaining 20% of students would remain in school, but couldn't be taught. ("You don't want to run sprints? Then you have to double up on American History." That strategy would have crippled our track team or caused a riot in the classroom.) Instead of learning, the blessed, blessed teachers somehow convinced the school to allow us to go for "nature walks". The two teachers and their remaining students would just up and leave the school. We'd wander down the local, rural roads, talking and singing. I have a distinct memory of a few older girls, including my only neighbor, singing Ugly Kid Joe's "Everything About You", even humming the music to the ending -- but they got it wrong, because "Everything About You" fakes a traditional, jazzy ending, and instead ends totally punk! -- while we strolled along the dirt road. Everyone behaved, because everyone was happy to be out of the classroom for hours at a time. The most notable rebellion came from Bobby, who attempted a Tarzan swing, presumably to impress the girls. Running toward a large, low-hanging branch, Bobby jumped forward and grabbed on; the branch snapped and the pendulum fell to the ditch. He was fine. Everyone laughed. The teachers had to love it, too, because Bobby was a spaz.)

I won the chess tournament. This was likely less a function of my chess talent than a credit to my experience -- my brother and I had been playing chess ever since my parents, in a brilliant move, bought a board and convinced us that it was fun. (Rereading that sentence, I can see that it gives you little clue when I first learned chess. I guess I don't know, but it must have been before the other kids.)

After my victory, I refused to play another game. I didn't want to lose. I didn't want to tarnish my legacy. I quit while I was on top, before Barry Sanders or Jerry Seinfeld or Kurt Cobain made it fashionable.

One day the 7th grade teacher, Mrs. Brown, a remarkable human being, noticed that I refused to accept a challenge from Ryan, whose ability had risen exponentially since he first began to focus on chess instead of the amazing pile of NES cartridges in his home. Mrs. Brown asked to see me outside the classroom for a moment.

"You can't refuse to play anyone just because you are afraid you'll be beaten. You have to keep trying."

Actually, I can't remember her exact words, or even her approximate words. It's a tragedy, because I do remember that conversation meaning a lot to me. Her counselling, however phrased, was excellent. She didn't have to take me aside -- I was a good student, and I wasn't breaking any rules. But I was her student, and I wasn't working to my potential. She expected more.

And that's how I lost the title of Chess Champion to Ryan.

Years later, Ryan and I found ourselves at the same college, on the same rec center basketball court. We fell on different teams, and decided to guard each other. I dominated the first few possessions. Ryan became so frustrated that he punched the padded wall beneath the south basket. The padding was too thin, however, and Ryan broke his hand. I was the Count of Monte Cristo crossed with Thunder Dan Majerle. My revenge was complete.

These days I've been playing online against Nathan. As in grade school, I could have retired a winner after the first triad of matches. But now we're in game 4, and ol' Porkchop seems to have the upper hand.

I will break his hand soon enough.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

After Mirth

Fun times in Wichita last night:

ME: I can't believe I have to type "afterbirth" in a text message.

MATT: See if T9 will pick it up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sad Woman, Take It Slow

I'm out of town for a few days. It gets worse: when I get back, I'll probably just write about chess.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Life On A Chang

The subject of the "upscale" Chinese restaurant chain P.F. Chang's came up at work yesterday.

Whenever P.F. Chang's is mentioned, I think about two things.

First, I think about eating at the P.F. Chang's in a casino in Atlantic City, and how utterly terrible the food was.

Second, I think about this South Park clip:

I was so disappointed when I sat down in P.F. Chang's and discovered that the waiter didn't ask me about Chang sauce, it probably wouldn't have mattered how the food tasted -- the experience had already been ruined.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Remember, Remember, The 5th Of September

[The title of this post comes from the subject line of the email I received from Matt this morning. Nearly all of that email is pasted below.]

The following story is true. I have written out what happened so all feelings and emotions (anger, grief, sense of nothingness, fuck it, let's call in what it is, utter despair) would not be lost to that inevitable ebbing of pain that time brings...

... on Wed Sep. 5th... I got on a bus headed for Vilnius, Lithuania. The events that occurred on this bus have forever changed my life.

My specified seat number, 51, was occupied by a stinky asshole and his band of equally stinky pals. Well, through a series of grunts and hand gestures, the stinky asshole appeared to say, "Look, there are many seats available, please choose another." So I, in my own unique grunting and sign language, said "Fine, fuck you. I didn't want to sit next to you anyway." I selected a seat closer to the front of the bus and for some time it seemed I would have the two seats to myself, for which I was extremely thankful. Until a blonde haired Lithuanian woman, who seemed to be in her late forties said what could only be "Is this seat taken?" "Goddamnit, no." And she sat. She kept getting into her bag and I kept to myself, minding my own business.

At this point in the story it is important to remind the reader that every time I travel, something ridiculous happens. Whether it is arguing with a Mongolian cab driver, accidentally eating seahorse or meeting the girl of my dreams, it happens. So the woman starts poking me in the arm and saying things in Russian or something. She finally gets out her passport and points to her name, Natalja. Why she didn't just say her name and point to herself is beyond me. I would like to think I would have caught on to that.

So, in an act of diplomacy, I showed her my passport. She edged closer and kept saying her name until I repeated it. She handed me her passport. Not knowing what the fuck was going on I perused her various stamps and visas. I looked at her picture. She used to be kind of hot. Upon closer inspection I realized her birthdate. 1974. She is only four years older than I. "Why the hell does she look so old?" I thought. I looked over at her and it hit me. I saw her take a four second tug on a bottle of vodka. She said, "Ahh!" As in "Yummy."

She tried to hand me the bottle. "No thanks. You can keep the hepatitis Q." I heard a chuckle from the seat in front of me. An Australian woman found humor in my plight. I didn't.

After a few more tugs, Natalja started getting handsy. Rubbing my arm and leg. So now I'm nervous. She leans in for a kiss and I quickly turn my head. I feel her hot, stinky drunk breath on my cheek and neck. She then violently grabs my face and turns it towards her own, showing me how she is unzipping her shirt. "Oh this is so gnarly!" I said (understandable if you've seen Grandma's Boy). Followed by, "No thank you". She took this as "Please, grab my crotch". Which she did. It took about five seconds to pry her fingers from my schmack.

Afterwards, she said something and pointed her finger at me. I took it as "Your loss". Again I hear giggles from in front.

"Hey Chuckles, I'm glad you think this is funny."
"I'm sorry. Need any help?"
"I think we're done."

We were not done. The woman started laughing and banging her head on the seat in front of her. I watched in horror. She finally rested her head on the seat and let out a belch and laughed. I was on pins and needles. One more belch and she puked all over the seat in front of her and on the floor. I gagged and said "Oh motherfucker." She looked at me, covered in vomit, and smiled.

"This is fucked up," I said. She opened a new bottle and took a few sips, puked on the floor and passed out.

"At least that is over." said Chuckles (who turned out to be Sarah). "You don't have to sit by her".

She remained in her self-induced coma for about two hours. When we crossed into Latvia, she would not wake for passport control. Because I was sitting next to her, PC thought I was with her and removed me for questioning. They checked my passport on their computers and asked me about the woman. I told them what happened and they laughed. I began to think I was the only one who did not think it was funny.

I got back on the bus and tried to get some sleep. I kept my bag on my lap, not wanting any unexpected hand jobs.

I got maybe thirty minutes of sleep before I heard a thud. The woman had fallen out of her seat and into the aisle and her own vomit. This woke her and she stumbled to the bathroom. I watched the clock. She was gone for over an hour. I feel no shame in telling you this, but I was hoping she was dead. Dead in a pool of her own piss and vomit. It is a bad thing to say, but it is the truth.

She came back and handed me her passport, apparently to hand to PC when we crossed the Lithuanian border. Then she drank some more and sang a little song. Probably about waiting in line for potatoes and bread or some shit.

Shortly after Lithuanian PC we stopped and half the bus left. I jumped over Natalja and her sick piles and into two seats that were open. I noticed Mr. Stinky Asshole stretched out across the four seats that made up the back row, one of which was 51. "What a fucking dickhead" I thought.

[Come home safe, Matt.]

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Retarded Quote Night In America

"When you can give a body part to a teammate, you're a real teammate."
--John Madden, commenting on a kidney transplant between former teammates before the start of the 3rd Quarter of tonight's Cowboys/Giants game

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Parking Lot Girl

I was upgraded from the far lot to the near lot in the spring, reducing my already low daily exercise output by 50%. The promotion also signaled the end of the Parking Lot Girl era.

I was intrigued by Parking Lot Girl because I might have been attracted to her. I say "might" because I never really got a good look at her. I would see the red Subaru Forester every day, but I would rarely see its driver. When we did cross paths, she was obscured by heavy winter coats or oversized sunglasses.

It became a little spying mission that I assigned myself to spark the workday: how was I going to figure out what she really looked like? And if I she was attractive without her accessories, what the hell could I do about it? Was I really going to approach a woman in a mostly-empty parking lot? What do you say to a woman in a parking lot? "Hey there. Now, I know that men that usually approach women like this are trying stuff them into their trunk before stealing their car, but I'm different! I saw your Douglas County plates and that impeccably clean interior and I thought, 'This is a lady that I'd like to get to know!' What do you say we hit the 'Bees and grab some chicken fingers?"

So nothing happened. Fast forward to last week, where I see her walking toward the near lot. She's finally been upgraded, and she's parked directly next to me -- but she's still wearing those huge goddamn glasses, so her attractiveness has yet to be verified.

Places you can't hit on a woman (because she will fear for her life):

NOTE: To qualify, each setting must be inappropriate despite the time of day and the size of the city. For example, picking up a woman at an urban gas station is possible during the day, but not at night; pressing the issue at any time of day at a rural gas station is not feasible. All settings are considered sparsely populated.
  • Alley
  • Parking lot / Parking garage
  • Motel hallway
  • From a front porch (as she walks by on the sidewalk)
  • Cemetery
  • Dock / Pier
  • Hiking trail
  • Cornfield

Sunday, September 02, 2007