Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pack Up teh Internets; the Tubes Are Full

The Daily Kansan's website went down last week, and it's still not back up yet. This is frustrating to me because part of what I did to pass the time at work was check on my stories to see who had commented on them.

I get to go home soon.

"It's Like Letting Your Best Friend Sleep in a Silk Hammock"

We watched John Tucker Must Die last night. It was all right. Much better than I had been led to believe by Wikipedia. And I cracked up when the main character (the dreamy Jesse Metcalfe) described wearing a thong as "letting your best friend sleep in a silk hammock." Towards the end of the movie, I said to Persephone, "His eyebrows are luxurious." That cracked Persephone up.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bagels in 16!

Hey, there are bagels in 16 today. Hurry and come get them!

Just kidding, there's no need to hurry. Most of the people who work in 16 aren't here today. Now when those rat bastards in 14 bring food, they don't send out an e-mail, they hide it in their desk drawers, and they only offer it to their friends. But that is why everyone hates the idiots who work in 14.

Dear People Who Work in 14:

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I'm only kidding. We all seriously hate you.

Wishing You Would Die in a Fire,

People Who Work in 16

So here's my question for no one in particular: schmere is basically still just cream cheese, right? You can't let it sit out all day before eating it and not expect to die or something, right? Or have they processed it so much (it IS double-whipped) that it is now indestructible? I'm confused.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"You Are My Fave"

So what are some of my favorite foods? Foods that, no matter what, will ALWAYS taste good?


PECAN PIE: If they sold pecan pie filling in cans like they do for pumpkin pies, I would eat that crap until my heart stopped.

SWEDISH FISH: At any given moment, there might be another candy that I would like more, but Swedish Fish is always in second place. Rotating first-place candies include Reese's Fast Break bars, York Peppermint Patties, Valomilks, those minty chocolate chips you get at weddings, and even Boost bars.

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: The beverage of choice atop Mount Olympus. Here's the thing about Hawaiian Punch: I've never tried any flavor but the red one. Are the other ones any good? They're hard to find, usually, and I never want to take a chance of something I don't know, when there's always good old reliable red flavor there, too.

VELVETTA SHELLS AND CHEESE: Not only is it easier to make than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (no butter, no milk), but just in terms of taste it whoops Kraft's ass like a rented mule.

SPRANGO: A beverage invented by someone else, but I can't remember his name. It's a concoction of Sprite and mango juice. About one part mango juice to five parts Sprite. PUT THE MANGO JUICE IN FIRST! That's very important. Otherwise it won't taste the same.

CRAB RANGOON: Just a quick review of the list so far gives me an indication why I am fat man trapped in a sort-of-skinny man's body. Crab Rangoon will never make a menu at a health food place, but it is tasty nonetheless.

SHRIMP WITH WALNUTS: I know it's risky business ordering shrimp at a Chinese place, but this is worth the risk.

CHICKEN SOFT TACO AT SALTY IGUANA: The best part of the Big Iguana combo.

ZANGO: A deep-fried cheesecake type of thing they used to sell at Rubio's in California. Then for a while they had something similar to it at Applebee's, but it had apple chunks in it.

MEAT ME CALZONE AT OLD CHICAGO: Almost tasty enough to make you ignore the high prices.

EMPA√ĎADAS: With honey on them.

I'll probably get in all kinds of trouble for not including anything that my wife makes at home, but if I had done that, I wouldn't be able to link to any pictures on the Internet. But just to cover myself: I like Persephone's chicken bundles, tortellini casserole, another type of casserole thing with bread crumbs on top, a chicken recipe she got from Mary Stout, and many of the desserts she makes, like one she made the last time we had the missionaries over (it involved a brownie mix somehow).

Title from The Rentals' song "Please Let That Be You."

Website That Made Me Laugh

[Editor's Note: also written two days ago. Also lost by New Blogger. Google is fast becoming what Microsoft already is.]

An exemplary coworker of mine just sent me this link: Hot Chicks With Douche Bags.

Now, at first I was hesitant to click on it, since seeing a woman with a feminine hygiene product is not my idea of teh hawtness. But then I thought, "It must be something else or he wouldn't have sent it to my work account," so I opened it. (That's some pretty tight Internet security right there. "He has to be a Nigerian prince or he wouldn't claim to be!")

The "hot chick" part is what you think it is, but they are using "douche bag" in its secondary sense, meaning, "An idiot guy who thinks he's totally awesome." So basically it's a website for posting pictures of good-looking women with idiot men. And it made me laugh. So now you, too, can laugh.

Heat Wave!

[Editor's Note: wrote this on Monday. E-mailed it in with no response. Sent it again today with no response. New Blogger sucks.]

Holy geez, it's like a billion degrees in Kansas! (Actual temperature may vary by up to a billion degrees.) But seriously, it's over fifty today. I'm beginning to think about getting some ice cream later on. And my wait for the bus this morning was actually quite balmy.

Last night driving back from Saint Louis to Lawrence, we stopped for gas in Columbia, Missouri. Crazy Jane had to take a leak, but she is scared to death of the automatically flushing toilets because they go off while she is sitting on them. So Persephone took her in the ladies' room and Crazy Jane wouldn't go, so I took her in the men's room to see if the toilet in there was any different. And of course it wasn't. But what they DID have was a urinal with an extremely low lip. It was an automatic flusher, too, but Crazy Jane, when seated on the thing, would be too short to set it off. So I laid some toilet paper across the lip of the urinal and had Crazy Jane sit down and take a leak. She is the second member of our family to use a urinal, beating Articulate Joe by a few years.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Three Steps to World Domination

So when I became a columnist for the University Daily Kansan this semester, I had three goals.

  1. Receive fan mail/hate mail.
  2. Write one of the "five most e-mailed stories of the day."
  3. Be the subject of a "Free-For-All" call. (Free-For-All is an answering machine maintained by the paper. Anyone can call and leave a message about anything, and the next day they publish the calls from the previous day. It is the most popular segment of the paper. Before I was affiliated with the paper I got published in Free-For-All once. It was pretty exciting.)

Anyway, after my second article, I got fan mail. So that was one goal accomplished. And then yesterday's article was one of the five most e-mailed stories of the day. I don't know if it is ranked or not, so it might not be too significant that it spent a lot of the day at the top of that list.

So that's goal two accomplished. And I hope that, come Monday, I'll be the topic of a Free-For-All call when people call in their reaction to the story.

The UDK maintains a comment section for each story, where readers can discuss and whatnot. Yesterday's column had quite a few comments, which was exciting to me. And for the reader who speculated that I'm "just frustrated that [I] can't get laid," rest assured that I get laid like a sailor on shore leave. By which I mean "repeatedly." Just in case it wasn't clear.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Last Twenty Minutes of the Work Day

I don't really have anything new to say, but I've got twenty minutes and I so don't want to be here anymore.

I made a pretty sweet picture at work today. I'll try to learn enough computer skillz to post it on my blog, because it's just that sweet. I could describe it here, but then it wouldn't be nearly as world-rocking as it will be when you see it for the first time. And world-rocking it will be.

So today is Valentine's Day. I didn't really get anything for my wife. Here's hoping she didn't really get anything for me, or else I will look foolish when it comes time to exchange presents. All I'm really hoping for this year is an exchange of bodily fluids instead.

Speaking of "exchanging bodily fluids," I've only got a ten more months to get that out of my system, and then I will be 30 and my penis won't work anymore. He's already showing signs of slowing. That rat bastard. It's not like I've worn him out from overuse. He's just getting lazy.

I have to go to New Mexico for work next month. It won't be with Tito, but I'm still not really looking forward to it. I will fly down on the last flight Sunday night for a meeting I don't want to attend on Monday, and then (if I'm lucky) make my flight back late Monday night so I can take a midterm at eight on Tuesday morning.

I still have fifteen minutes to go. If this post is going to see me through to the end of the work day, it's going to end up being as long as...some really long book. I don't know of any, personally, because I don't read much.

Reading is for squares. Seriously. Only jackasses and retards read. The cool kids are busy smoking pot behind the bus barn. And beating up tourists, like on "CSI." Persephone's down with "CSI." Because she's not pushing 30 yet. When she hits 29 like me, she'll watch reruns of "Murder She Wrote" and "Matlock."

My grandma, who died last year at some sort of advanced age [after some thinking about it, I'll say she was 97] used to watch "Beverly Hills 90210." That's a pretty hip show for a 97-year-old.

I did voiceover work for that show once. My brother somehow got a job providing the background hallway chatter for scenes that happened at school. In one of the episodes, they needed younger kids because Brandon Walsh and Ian Ziering were going to be Little League coaches. My brother took me down to do it. I think the guys at the sound studio hated me. I was trying to say something unique so my voice would be recognizable when the episode aired. They didn't like that very much.

Guaranteed Persephone reaction when she reads that: "You think EVERYBODY hates you."

Guaranteed rebuttal: that's because everybody does.

I'm Not So Much a Man of Few Words As I Am a Man of Few Meaningful Words

It's pretty cold this morning. I walked to the bus and the bank temperature sign said it was five degrees. You know the temperature is low when writing style rules dictate you spell out the number instead of using actual numbers. What's more, weather.com says the wind chill makes it feel like -10. (Another sign that it's cold: when style rules lead you to use numbers instead of spelling out a negative temperature.)

Yesterday I went in a restroom on campus and there was a guy at the sink. As soon as I came in her ripped an enormous fart and said theatrically, "Oh, excuse me!" I ignored him. Then he said, "Oh man, do you smell that?" I was the only other person in the restroom, but I continued to ignore him. I'm not going to discuss the pungency of a stranger's gas with him. But after a little bit he said more loudly, "Do you SMELL that?" I said no. He said something about it smelling like salty garbage, and then he left.

What the hell is wrong with people? I'm supposed to believe that this guy is smart enough to get into school? Every Thursday the student newspaper has a section where they eavesdrop on conversations and then publish the stupidest parts of them (Wescoe Wit). Last week they had two girls talking about a friend of theirs who has multiple personalities. We have people with multiple personalities at our school? And, from the sound of it, she can have two at once, and they call this her Gemini persona. Aside from the esoteric nature of picking the name Gemini (as opposed to something low-brow like Two-Head), I can't believe that this girl is somewhere at my school and could possibly be in a group project with me.

Speaking of group projects: give it a rest. We're not in fifth grade anymore. And you the professor are getting paid enough to not phone it in. Group projects are what apathetic teachers who no longer care use to make the smart kids teach the dumb kids while the teachers sleep off their hangovers. But just about every college class I've had in the past year has involved a group project. It's just one more inconvenience for me. Thanks, KU, for treating me like a ten-year-old.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Triage!

We fired someone else today.

When I got hired, I was the 26th employee. Since then we've hired three more, parted ways with ten (three quits, three lay offs, four fires), and are now down to 19.

I never would have thought I was at least number eleven on the firing list. I thought I was more like a three or four. But ten people later, here I still am. The last two firings came within days of the president of the company telling us that "personnel changes were over."

Today I decided that I wished I had named my blog "The Rub," as in, "Aye, there's the rub." That would be a cool name. Unlike "ARS", which is a pile of puke.

Speaking of piles of puke, my UDK column is fast descending into mediocrity and pointlessness. My second column was my zenith; last week's was off the mark, and I don't even want to begin to imagine what my editor has recommended I change about next week's.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Quagmire

I just like that word. According to the Beastie Boys, it's worth eleven points in the game Boggle.

But here's a word I don't like: tear. I just wanted to use it in an e-mail, to signify weeping, but I realized that, unless I was there to read it for the recipient, she might think I meant it like "tear out a sheet of paper," and it would make no sense. So I had to use a different word.

Most of the time "TARE" is a verb and "TEER" is a noun, but not in "to tear up," which was what I wanted to write. Does it mean "to get weepy" or does it mean "to shread paper"?

But seriously, why do we have two words that are pronounced differently but spelled the same? Read and read. Tear and tear. Why not reid or teer? There are other ways to spell the long E sound. Beer and bear aren't pronounced the same, so why would they be spelled the same? Deed and dead have different spellings.

I'm not really looking forward to spending eight more hours at work today.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Vocabulary Forevah!

Persephone came up with another word that has multiple pronunciations: ASSOCIATE (n.) and ASSOCIATE (v.). The stress is on the second syllable in both words, but the final syllable is pronounced with a schwa if it's a noun, and with a long A if it's a verb.

Mad props to Persephone! [Arsenio's Dog Pound whooping goes here.] In the words of The Bloodhound Gang, "Givin' props to my ho 'cuz she fly."

Cornucopia!

So many things, and none of them related:

Firstly, when I stepped outside to walk to the bus this morning, I said to myself, "I'd say it's 17 degrees, but when I get to work, weather.com is going to say it feels like six." Well, when I got to the bus stop the bank sign next door said 17 degrees. Then, when I got to work, I forgot to check weather.com for about twenty minutes. When I finally remembered, it said the temperature was 18 and it felt like seven. So since I forgot and the temperature had gone up a degree, can I also take a degree off the wind chill and say that I was right on that prediction, too? Either way, I'm a freaking weather genius.

Secondly, what the hell is with restaurants closing when I want to go there? In December I asked everyone at work what the best Chinese restaurant in town is and they told me to go to Imperial Garden. When I got to said Imperial Garden that night, it was closed. Not just temporarily, but for good. Then, when we were in California, we wanted to eat at our favorite restaurant there, Richard's Shanghai Restaurant. But when we got there, it was closed down, too. And last night Persephone picked me up from school and we went downtown to eat at Qdoba, and it was closed, also. It's not like I'm just out of the loop or something; each time we've had this happen, all our friends and relations have expressed shock and dismay.

Thirdly, the prices have gone up at Jimmy John's. Everything is now 26 cents more expensive than it was. If I'm going to pay more than five dollars for a sandwich, it had better come to me hot. But thanks to relaxed capital gains tax rules, everyone in America has cash to spend on worthless crap. Oh, everyone except for those who didn't own homes by the mid nineties, but those people aren't really Americans, are they? Fanny Mae's website will tell you that more Americans own homes than ever before, and so everyone is rolling in his own crapulence, spending seven dollars on designer bread and complaining about the effect that apartment dwellers have on property values. Here's the thing, Einstein: people don't live in apartments because they can afford houses and don't want them.

Anyway, I told two of my friends here at work that I was writing for the Kansan this semester, and evidently they told a lot of other people, because when I came in last Friday, about eight people told me they liked my article. (I run on Thursdays.) Well, I already know what is going to run tomorrow, and I know that most of my coworkers aren't going to like it, so it's a little fun looking about me today and thinking, "I've offended you and you don't know it yet."

Sometime today I expect to get bored with work enough to come up with a new edition of the enemies list. Tito promises to move up several places, since his brother just sent all of us a mass e-mail regarding his band's MySpace page.

One more thing, since I'm kind of bored today: I wore my Boston Red Sox shirt today. I have one because my wife's father has been a life-long Red Sox fan for a long and convoluted reason. But he is nonetheless, and when they won the World Series in 2004 he bought tee shirts for all of us. Well, I wore mine in today and two of the guys just started being nearly angry with me. I didn't respond and they kept going. They know I'm a Pirates fan. They don't even follow American League baseball. So why the hatred? And it's not the first time I've ever worn this shirt here. Idiots.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Pain

My right ear is about to explode and I am NOT happy about it. Like sitting here for ten hours a day isn't bad enough; now I have to have acute ear pain, too. This place sucks.

Wikipedia Makes Work Go By Faster

I just found out that professional wrestler Bill Goldberg and I have the same birthday. So happy belated birthday, Goldberg!

Nut-Freezing Cold

So I walked to the bus stop today and it was 15 degrees when I got there, according to the bank sign next door. Friday morning when I got there, it was only 5 degrees.

What's the difference? There is a big difference between 95 and 85. There is a big difference between 75 and 65. When it's 75, you can go out in a tee shirt, but when it's 65, you need a jacket. Ten degrees is a big deal, to a certain point. But once the temperature gets below about 20, the thermometer should just read, "Do you really care anymore?" When I got to the bus stop this morning, I certainly wasn't feeling ten degrees warmer than I was on Friday.

For a second year in a row, I did not watch the Super Bowl. Last year my parents taped it for me and I watched it the next week. Yesterday my in-laws DVRed it for me, and they are supposed to send it to me on a DVD. This is because I decided about three years ago that I needed to stop watching TV on Sundays. Then we moved to Kansas and we haven't gotten cable or satellite. So I watch my Super Bowls with a week's delay.

Speaking of football, I mentioned a couple weeks ago on this very blog that Scott Fujita wanted to beat me up in fifth grade. Well, a couple days ago, Scott Fujita commented on my blog, apologizing for it. (For the wanting to beat me up, not for the blog. There are not enough apologies in the world to make up for the blog.)

The key thing was when he said he didn't remember it. Because, had he remembered it, he would remember that I was probably asking for it. It wasn't like he was the only kid who wanted to beat me up in fifth grade. I was sort of what behavioral scientists would call a "smart ass." At no time in fifth grade did I think, "I don't deserve this." I knew I deserved it; I just didn't want it. (Which was why I never showed up on the hill at the community center after school, which was the de facto fighting arena for our school. Isn't it great that kids finally found a use for a community center?)

So now that we've consolidated the kids into one room and made the other room a play room-slash-office, I was reading in there yesterday afternoon when Articulate Joe came in to play. I told him, "You need to go play in your bedroom today. I'm reading in here." He said, "Hey, it's our room, too, not just yours." Maybe we were better off back when he was Grunty Joe.

POST SCRIPT: taking wagers on whether or not Persephone's knocked up right now. She thinks there's one in there; I say two. (My nuts have always been overachievers. Not even 15-degree temperatures can stop them.)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fan Mail

I got my first piece of fan mail today. It was an e-mail from a guy named Dan who had read my piece in yesterday's University Daily Kansan and told me he liked it. So, naturally, in my new-found celebrity, I told him to stop invading my personal life, and I slapped an injunction against him. Or whatever they would call it on "Law and Order."

Craziness

I've got this professor this semester who is completely insane. I found myself sitting in class yesterday thinking, "Only fifteen more weeks of this." It's kind of early in the semester to be having such thoughts.

Speaking of crazy, I'd like to give a shout out to my kids. What up, kids? But seriously, my kids are pretty crazy. They got back from California this week and I surprised them with bunk beds. Now we put them to bed and they have a little party every night for a couple hours. I've threatened to unstack the bunk beds and put them in separate rooms, to return the bunk beds to the store, to sell the bunk beds at a garage sale, and to send the bunk beds back to Vietnam, but none of these threats frighten them. Crazy Jane hangs a jump rope off the top bunk like it's a fishing line and Articulate Joe tugs on it like he's a fish, and then they crack up giggling.

And by the way, can I just give you this public service announcement: don't call California "Cali." No one from California calls it "Cali." We call it "California." Someone who calls it "Cali" is trying to sound cool and failing spectacularly. And while we're at it, don't call ESRI "ezree." It's pronounced "ee ess are eye."

Well, we're about to have a two-hour office meeting about "appropriate professional behavior." Chances are they will NOT address the unprofessional way in which they are running their company into the ground.