Thursday, August 28, 2008

Embed Alert

If you don't live near Kansas City, you may not have experienced the pleasure of a Brown & Crouppen ad.

"Cells phones off." Gadgetry awareness -- that's what I look for in an insurance lawyer. That, and for all three members of my defense team to enter the VERY BRIGHT courtroom at the same time. (Like when Michael, Micheal, and David of "Stella" would all try to walk through their apartment door at once. Four people know what I'm referring to.)

I'll be at hillbilly lake this weekend, then in Wichita next week for a conference. I was just in Wichita a month ago. Not much new there, except they were finally working to improve the intersection where this happened:

Internet videos. Web 2.0. Blog. Meta. Building a bridge to the 21st century. So on. See you in a week or so.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mylanta Experience Redux

I am back from Atlanta. Again. Catching up on the internet. I watched this entire video, all 5 and a half minutes, and it's as good or better than seeing the Arcade Fire in person:

To reiterate one last time, that's the kind of entertainment I link to here. Bookmark it, chumps.

I had a lot of quiet time on my trip. I find myself talking out loud a lot more when I travel alone -- swearing out loud, to be precise -- to make up for the silence. For example, I checked into yet another Atlanta Marriott north of downtown Atlanta, and after I turned on the heat to counteract the freezing air conditioning, I tried to close both sets of curtains. The sheer curtains closed easily, but the thick, blocks-out-all-light curtain wouldn't come together. I looked up and saw that the track they hung on only framed the window, so the curtains could not close. So I swore. I said bad words, out loud. Directed toward the curtains, and toward the Marriott management. "Weary travelers will never need to block the sunlight coming from this window." Assholes.

Quiet time. Sitting in a hotel conference room, watching poorly assembled Powerpoint presentations. Slides full of text, with no visual component. Default color schemes. In one case, all the text was in CAPITAL LETTERS. I sat still and looked ahead.

When my brother and I were little, our parents would take us to church, usually on Saturday nights. I guess Mom and Dad knew it was too much to ask for us to pay attention and pray along, so they stressed one thing instead: don't look behind you. Don't turn around and look up toward the balcony, at the clock.

That's what my conference felt like.

And you may not believe this, but I have some complaints about travel.

First: bluetooth earpieces. They were designed to help you talk when your hands aren't free. That's why they're called "hands-free devices". When you're chopping vegetables or driving, you can and should use your bluetooth device. When you're only carrying one laptop bag, and that's slung over your shoulder, you shouldn't use your earpiece. Your hands are free. You can lift on hand to your ear to use the telephone. You may as well. BECAUSE YOU'VE ALREADY GOT THE FUCKING THING IN YOUR HAND. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PUT IT TO YOUR EAR AND YOU'RE USING THE GODDAMN PHONE. WHY ARE YOU USING AN EARPIECE TO ACTIVATE THE DEVICE IN YOUR FUCKING HAND???

Second: ambient music. I used to board a quiet plane. Now I get in the cabin, secure my useless seatbelt, and hear "soothing" tunes from Sarah McLachlan et al. Then I exit the jetway and enter the airport terminal, where tunes are BLASTING from the speakers above. Schlepping my bags toward the MARTA is bad enough; being subjected to "Midnight Blue", isn't making my experience more pleasant. I didn't even like that song in 1987! And I liked Whitesnake back then! Why are you guys playing shit like this in the airport? Even if the music didn't suck, it's unnecessary. Airports are already loud. Gate agents are shouting unintelligibly into the PA system, the airport voice is reminding me that the terrorism threat is still orange for some reason, the little cart is beep beep beeping, carting old folks around. All we want is a little quiet. We need it to relax before being trapped next to a crying infant on our upcoming flight. We need it to make phone calls. We need it. So stop blaring "St. Elmo's Fire" so loud I can't even hear Wolf Blitzer on the screen directly above me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mylanta Experience


I almost forgot to show you guys this little cemetery I stumbled on while in Atlanta.

It's approximately 40 square yards, tucked idyllically between a huge strip mall and an insurance headquarters. You can see the insurance building clearly in this snapshot.

Rest in peace, Spruill family! I hope the money your ancestors got for selling your land was worth disturbing your eternal slumber with the incessant beep-beep-beeping of tractor trailers full of ringer tees, backing into Old Navy's loading dock.

* * *

I'm back! I actually had this thought while walking around just north of the Atlanta city limits: "I would like to kill every Atlanta city planner not named William Tecumseh Sherman."

It wasn't all bad. I got a free dinner at a mediocre Italian restaurant. You know the type -- where they serve their dishes "family style"? You know, because it's fun! It's just like when you used to eat ravioli back in the old country, with your mom and dad and your kooky Nana Maggiano! But seriously folks, here's my thought on family-style dining: "You're eating all my mashed potatoes, dick."

I came back to this stunning news from Gavin:
I usually go to google news to check and see what's going on in the world. Tonight, I scrolled to the bottom and saw the health section. Needless to say, these were unexpected images and I didn't particularly like the last one.
(click to enlarge)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Voter Turnout

[NOTE: Well, no one commented on the incredibly rich subject matter in the previous post, so either no one else laughs at abused cats and dogs, or no one reads this anymore. And does anyone not named Nick keep an eye on my shared items? Should I just abandon that thing? Moving on...]

I went to see Pineapple Express last night. I give it a B. Kim gives it a B+. It was funny, but nowhere near as funny as my experience earlier in the evening at the theater box office.

This middle-aged guy walked up to the ticket lady and said, "I need three for Swing Vote."

"Three adults?" she asked.

"Yes," the man replied.


Get it? Do you get the joke? Three adults paid to see Swing Vote! They dropped, like, $30 bucks for that! Oh SHIT that's funny!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Laughing Out Lachlan

I spent last Thursday reviewing hospital charts, considering how nice the word "cesarean" sounds and how the phrase "bladder flap" is not.

I sat there at my tiny workstation inside the medical records department, searching searching searching, typing typing typing. When the harpie secretary wasn't screeching about her house or her husband or her job, the office was perfectly silent -- her half-dozen coworkers rarely even whispered to one another.

And then, in the silence, I heard a man's soulful humming. But hark! It wasn't a mere hum -- the man was softly singing. After a few bars, I had no problem identifying the song my African-American peer couldn't keep inside. It was Sarah McLachlan's "Angel".

What normally would have been simply funny was upgraded to hilarious, because I've been seeing this laugh riot on TV a lot lately:

I can't stress this enough: I'm not being sarcastic when I call that clip a laugh riot. I laugh every time it comes on TV. I just played it twice and laughed each time. That cat with one eye! He gets me every time!

Maybe you think I'm an asshole for laughing at one-eyed cats, but hear me out. I don't want cats to get an eye poked out. I like cats. Just because I once wrote a note to Heather's cat Olive that said, "You think you're so cool but you're not -- this isn't over," doesn't mean I don't love our furry friends. I want them to live nine happy and full lives. But, should bad fortune befall Whiskers, I say tough shit. And I say Sarah McLachlan takes back whatever scratch she gives to the ASPCA and reinvests it in a charity that will help a human fucking being. After we solve Darfur and we heal lepers in Calcutta and we fix our schools and all that jazz, THEN we can worry about a kennels of underfed dogs and THEN we can pay for feline cosmetic surgery.

(Mostly unrelated: why is cockfighting illegal? Seriously, they're chickens. We eat those guys. We can eat them, but we can't watch them box? Is it so different than watching two beetles wrestle, or watching two bees have a sting-off? Legalize cockfighting. Vote yes on prop 513.)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bogus Journey

I dropped in Best Buy to purchase TV Funhouse on Friday. A young college couple were there, looking at bargain DVDs.

GIRL: Have you ever seen "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"?

MY BRAIN: What a stupid question. Everyone has seen that magnificent achievement.

BOY: No.

MY BRAIN: Oops! I'm 29 years old. I'm carrying the digital copy of a TV show that no one has ever heard of, because I was the only person watching it during its original Fall 2000 airing.

GIRL: Look! (Points to DVD cover) That's Keanu Reeves!

BOY: Wow. He's really young.

MY HEART: Oops! I think I just died.