Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Lot of Angina

Random Dialog:

MIDDLE AGED MAN and FEMALE DOCTOR, in office.

DOCTOR: How are you feeling?

MAN: My heart?

DOCTOR: Well, sure, I guess.

MAN: It's been okay.

DOCTOR: And besides that? How are you feeling about your heart?

MAN: What, you mean am I nervous?

DOCTOR: Sure. Anxiety would be perfectly normal.

MAN: Well, I am nervous.

DOCTOR: Anything else?

MAN: I just, I have conflicting emotions, you know what I mean?

DOCTOR: [sympathetic noise]

MAN: I mean, on one hand I'm scared of what it can mean, you know? I mean, I'm a pretty young guy. But on the other hand, I'm kind of excited, because I can tell people I've got angina, and if I say it just fast enough, they'll be, like, "Wait, what did you say?"

DOCTOR: The word "vagina" is not a funny word.

MAN: Then why am I laughing?

Monday, May 15, 2006

Amateur Laboratory Testing

So that woman I work with, the one who laid her boobs all over me, turns out to be--sit down for this one!--a freak.

"How so?" you ask. She's one of those people who favors animals to humans every chance she gets. One co-worker was recently expressing concern for a friend of hers who was reentering an abusive relationship. The boob wack-job, though, upon hearing the story, was concerned for the battered woman's dog. At no point in the story was the dog threatened, but a woman being beaten in fact hinted at the specter of an animal being beaten in theory, and that was truly horrifying.

A couple of weeks ago, I sent her an e-mail that said I wouldn't be able to make a meeting time because I had a previous commitment to beat my dog. She came over to my desk to berate me, then left fuming. Others warned me that she did not tolerate jokes of this nature. So a few weeks later, when talk turned to "what would you do if you had a million dollars," I said I would buy abused animal shelters and turn the animals out into the streets. She came over to me and grabbed my face, a hand on each cheek. I said, "You're invading my personal space!" She backed off, but ever since then, her attitude towards me has been decidedly cooler.

So today I was taking a leak in the bathroom, and right in front of me was some sort of cleaning agent, and the back read, "Harmful to humans and domestic animals." I took the bottle over to this woman's desk and showed it to her, saying, "Your domesticating your dog has weakened it. If it were wild, it would be able to withstand this chemical." She said the wording was probably the result of some law that required them to not mention wild animals unless they tested it on wild animals. I said, "Well, I could do them a favor and take it home with me and conduct some tests on wild animals in my backyard."

She failed to laugh. Which just goes to show, some people are completely crazy, because that was funny.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Temptation, Frustration/So Bad It Makes Him Cry"

Okay, that might be overdoing it. I'm not frustrated to the point of crying, but I'm frustrated nonetheless.

First of all, I'm a horrible person for using the word "frustrated," when I decided over a year ago to replace that word in my vocabulary with the word "challenged." So forget everything you've read and let's start over: I'm challenged.

Firstly, I'm challenged by my apparent inability to, in the words of P.G. Wodehouse, keep the wolves away from the door. It doesn't help any that every single piece of machinery or electronic equipment we own breaks more easily than Lindsay Lohan's rehab promises. It has gotten to the point where I actually dream of becoming rich solely for the purpose of taking my Ford Taurus station wagon to the mechanic and telling him, "Fix it all; money's no object."

Secondly, I'm challenged by my work environment, but since they are probably monitoring this e-mail, let me just say this: you guys are the best! Keep it up!

Thirdly, I'm challenged by my non-talking son, Grunty Joe. He turned two last week but he still doesn't talk. He's even started the preliminary steps of potty-training, but he has only put together ONE two-word phrase in his entire LIFE when he told my brother, "Hi, Brett."

Fourthly, I am challenged by the state of the world today. Particularly our federal government, vis-à-vis how much it sucks. The most challenging part of it is the thought, "What can I do about it?" Nothing. I'm one guy, pissed off and alone. Meanwhile, millions more Americans vote each week for "American Idol" than will ever vote in a congressional election. How do you convince people to care about something that, as far as they can tell, has no bearing on their lives? Congress tells us it's Big Oil's fault we can't afford gas, it's Big Tobacco's fault we get sick, it's Big
Healthcare's fault we can't get better, and it's Big French-Fry's fault we're so fat. Curiously, though, they are silent when the subject becomes which of life's ails we can blame on Big Government.

YOUR CONGRESS ACTUALLY THINKS YOU'RE STUPID ENOUGH TO TAKE A ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR CHECK AND STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT GAS PRICES. And why not? They've already proved that you'll sell yourself for money. All they have to do is propose a new entitlement program and you'll crap your pants trying to wrestle your way into the hand-out line. Like the joke attributed to Winston Churchill, they've already established what type of girl you are; now they're just bargaining over the price.

Well, I can't decide if it will alleviate or exacerbate my challenge if I were to try to do anything about it, but I've tried ignoring it and that doesn't make the challenge go away. So I'm going to expand my blog here with the simple purpose of changing the state of the world today. If I have to be challenged by life, I might as well pick my own challenges.


Title from The Police's "Don't Stand So Close To Me."

Monday, May 01, 2006

"Yackity-Yak Is Back Again"

Okay, first order of bidniz: I recently changed the format of my outgoing e-mails from work and now anything I post on my blog via e-mail comes out looking lame. Until I have the time and/or inclination to log on from home and fix it, along with all my numerous typos, it's just going to have to stay that way.

But here is the point of this post: the people at work are so annoyingly loud! Talking all the time, without saying anything. And since Tito is the worst offender, and I sit right outside his office, I have to hear it all the time.

Last week, I was away form my desk and returned to find Tito regaling my cube neighbor with some story about who-knows-what. I sat at my desk and started typing something or other. The telephone rang and the woman to whom Tito was speaking answered it. He kept going. A friend of mine in the next cube over sent me an IM that said, "Who's he talking to now?" The answer was no one, but he had started a story and was going to see it through to the end. I kept on typing, never turning around or giving any indication that I was listening. The woman on the phone had a conversation, then transferred the call, then hung up just as the story was ending. "That's funny," she said. She was right; it was funny.

A couple days before that, it was too loud even for my headphones. Two of the people from the office were in New Mexico for the week, but instead of making the place quieter, it actually made it louder, since the worst noise offenders were left behind and they thought, "There are fewer people now so I can talk louder without any implications." A spirited four-party conversation broke out right in the opening of my cube. I put on my headphones, but not even that could help me. These are the same people who get mad when I play basketball with my friend on the mini Nerf hoops in the office. Why have mini Nerf hoops if we can't use them?

Upon further genuflection, this is a pretty weak post. Most of my posts are pretty weak posts. So, let's shift gears and talk about the Clippers.

Clippers, baby! Yeah! I have been a Clippers fan since I moved to Los Angeles. I watched every game of their two playoff series against the Utah Jazz, and I was irate both times the Jazz won. The Lakers are broke and busted; the Clippers are the new hotness. (Those Clippers, they're so hot right now!)

Now that I have moved out of Los Angeles and have not hooked my television up to the outside world, the Clippers are hot again. This is in keeping with the Steelers, my team since birth, winning the Super Bowl the year that I can't see it. If this pattern holds, the Pirates (currently the worst team in baseball) will win this year's World Series, and the Penguins will somehow win the Stanley Cup, even though the playoffs have already begun and the Penguins are not participants. Actually, I'm quite surprised the Pisces did not reconstitute themselves and storm through professional basketball, just like in that movie The Fish That Ate Pittsburgh, which movie I watched as a kid, more than once, because it was about sports and about Pittsburgh.

In conclusion, nothing can stop my teams, baby. Nothing.


Title from Frank Black's "White Noise Maker."