Cynical Thought of the Day

What are you going to do with your upcoming tax credit? I'll fill up my gas tank (not all the way, of course, unless I get that extra $600 for filing a joint return).

Don't Pick at It!

The three most apt food names:

1 Odeng (It’s a Korean food; basically, it’s a fish hot dog. Whenever I had to eat one, I said, “O dang…”)

2. Watermelon (That pretty much tells you everything you need to know.)

3. Leg of lamb (It’s nice that nobody tried to soften this up by calling it “an L-bone steak” or something.)

The three least apt food names:

1. Tiger shrimp (These, I imagine, aren’t exactly dangerous to handle.)

2. Cranberries (They definitely don’t evoke the exclamation, “Yummy! Berries!”)

3. Mr. Goodbar (Mr. So-So Bar didn’t do it for the marketing guys.)

Dough Nut

You can tell a lot about a person by what they put on their pizza. Okay, you really can’t (except for people who use corn as a topping, which is an unforgivable sin). But I can tell you that pizza holds the key to world peace. Yes, you read that right (unless you thought it said “wormy peas,” in which case you should go lie down for a while). Allow me to ’splain.

It all boils down to the fact that 99.9% of pizza places use canned pineapple (even in Hawaii, the land of pineapple! What a travesty!). While eating canned pineapple is better than being run over by a truck, it brings the delicious fruit down to the level of “normal food” rather than leaving it at the “manna” level where it belongs. Fresh pineapple on pizza, like the music of Bill and Ted, can, um, end hunger, bring world peace, and bring the planets into alignment.

You’re probably wondering about those who don’t like pineapple to being with. Don’t worry. All they need to do is repent in sackcloth and ashes and embrace this holy food. Then we’ll all be too busy savoring the deliciousness to kill each other. Have you ever seen someone harm another living thing while taking a bite of ham and pineapple pizza? I rest my case.

(By the way, #2 on the list of underrated pizza toppings is ground beef. It sounds so boring but it’s really great. And for those of you who simply must know, #3 is bacon, which is on the rise up from obscurity.)

Electric Slide

In a Todd-like move, I’ve been thinking lately about alternative energy sources, especially when it comes to powering a car. There are a lot of technologies out there which could make cars more efficient and eventually eliminate our dependence on oil. But none of these technological advances is yet ready for mass production, except for hybrid cars and, to a lesser extent, ethanol. So let’s brainstorm a bit and think of some other ways to get your car from point A to point B.

We could go back to animal power, only instead of having a horse pull you along you could have a hamster running in a wheel, which would then generate electricity. Then your fuel cost is basically feeding the hamster. Of course, there are two downsides: first, the animal-rights people; and second, the hamster would probably have to run for six months straight in order to give you the power to drive out to your mailbox and back. (What? You don’t drive out to your mailbox and back?)

What if we figured out a way to benefit from the stupid people all around us? We could trick them into running in a giant hamster wheel in our house to charge a battery, and plug the car in and charge it that way. You could just give them video games to play while they run. The bonus is that they also wouldn’t go out and vote.

I suppose another option would be to just improve virtual reality technology to the point that you no longer need to go anywhere. If you could step into a holodeck-like room in your house that is linked to the outside world, and even interact with other people who were doing the same thing, wouldn’t that be the same as really being there? You could go to work the same way. Then there would b no need to create a more efficient car. Everything you need could be shipped to you through a series of tubes like they use at the bank.

I’m thinking that last idea is a winner, but I’m open to suggestions. Go on, solve the world’s energy crisis. I dare you.

Finding Fault

I’m having a crisis of logic, and it’s Pixar’s fault. My son likes to watch Finding Nemo, so I’ve seen it many, many times. The one thing about it that bugs me is (spoiler alert!) the part where they’re in the whale. They are swallowed and then blown out the blowhole. For some reason it bothers me that they do so much research into making the characters look and move just like their real-life counterparts, and then they make a serious error in terms of anatomy.

A whale’s blowhole is connected to its lungs. Its throat connects to its stomach. That’s it. There’s no chance of a whale choking, because its airway and esophagus are completely separate. The water that spurts up when whales breach is just the water hanging around the blowhole and water vapor from the moist air.

Now, the more serious question is this: Why am I freaking out about that instead of the fact that fish are talking in the movie?

As Long as I'm Being Ridiculous...

This is my prediction for the presidential election in 8 years.
Photobucket

Blame My Dad for the Idea

I suppose it really only makes sense if you speak French, but in a way that makes it funnier.

Breakfast of Champignons

Tiiiiiiimber!

Yesterday was Earth Day, and I decided to celebrate it by really finding something unique I could do for the planet. I thought about it for a while, and I decided to cut down a few trees. I mean, trees have got to be like warts or zits on the face of the planet. Sure trees are good for us, but Earth Day isn't about people. It's about the planet. And I just wanted to show my gratitude for everything the Earth has done for me.

Memo to Hollywood, Number 2

Some time ago I noted that the whole movie review system needs to be overhauled, but now I realize that that's not enough. We need two fundamentally distinct categories to unserstand what exactly we are watching.

First of all, there are movies. Movies are shows like Transformers and Three Amigos. These aren't necessarily trying to make some overbearing statement about the futility of life; they're just meant to be enjoyed.

The second category is, of course, films. These are the shows that are about people "coming to terms with things." They tend to be heavier in thematic elements and more somber in tone, but they can be action-oriented shows like The Lord of the Rings. Most French films fall into this category.

So when I see somebody whining that Nacho Libre doesn't have a deep enough theme and blah blah blah weltanschauung, I think, "Whoa! Were you expecting Citizen Kane? It's a movie, not a film. Get over it.

"Wow! A Perfectly Preserved George Foreman Grill!"

Sometimes we tend to idealize the past. For example, we get this romantic idea of ancient Greece when we look at the ruins on the Acropolis. So imagine that 2,000 years from now some advanced civilization looks back on our society. I personally find it hard to imagine that they would romanticize daytime television and Pop Tarts, but it would be funny if they did. I mean, the Greeks would probably laugh at us for being so impressed with their plumbing and togas and such. So I guess it’s good to remember that tastes change with time. Who am I to judge the actions of a future civilization?

Elevated Anxiety

Here's a little question for you. Should I be worried if, every 60 seconds or so, there's a noise coming from our elevator shaft that sounds like an elephant blowing its nose? I mean, we're in a two-story office, so it's not like I ever take the elevator anyway. But it's still a little unsettling.

A New Accomplishment

I was thinking about the whole thing with American Airlines this week. For those of you who are able to avoid the news (which I recommend, by the way), AA basically didn’t feel like making sure their wings weren’t going to fall off, until the government had to step in and force them to evict that family of possums living in the cargo area, so to speak. (“I call the big one Bitey!”)

So now they’re having to pay millions in vouchers to passengers, in addition to the cost of making repairs. Meanwhile, we’re all thinking, “How can they be so irresponsible?!” But how many times do you make all the repairs your car needs to keep running? I don’t know about you, but every time I even get my oil changed they “recommend” about $2,000 worth of repairs. I figure as long as the wheels stay on, I’m good (although last time they said I need to replace the wheel bearings, which actually do keep the wheels from falling off…).

Anyway, this led me to the most cynical thought I’ve had in my entire life, which many of you know is really saying something. What if the airline figured they’d just cruise along ignoring those squeaks and rattles, and if there was a crash the settlement paid to the victims’ families would cost less than inspecting and repairing all those planes? I have no idea of the cost involved, but it was an interesting thought.

And now, with your faith in humanity destroyed, enjoy your day.

Don't Read This, Unless You Have Insomnia

Jer* is making me answer the questions on this less-than-enthralling quiz. Most of the answers will make no sense to anyone who did not attend high school with me; and those who did are not likely to find it any more interesting. So I advise you to move along; I'll try to post something more entertaining by the end of the day.

*Sorry, Jer, I just think it's not an interesting quiz, but I'll do what I can to spice it up.

1. Did you date someone from your school?
I didn't know anyone outside of my school, so everyone I dated was from my school.

2. Did you win anything in Senior's Who's Who?
I don't even know what that is, so apparently not. Maybe I won the "most ignorant of school traditions" award.

3. What kind of car did you drive?
A green 1985 Chevy Celebrity named Kermit.

4. It's Friday night...where r u?
Probably in Adam's basement... or working at Rite Aid. But wherever I am, I'm making fun of people who use single letters as whole words.

5. Were you a party animal?
Definitely. Unless that involves actually attending parties...

6. Were you considered a flirt?
Oh, sure. In fact, the school was so concerned about the girls fighting over me that they had to ask all of them not to talk to me. At least, that's what my mom said...

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
No, but I did spend a lot of time making fun of them...

8. Were you a nerd?
Hang on, let me re-tape my glasses so I can read these questions better.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled?
No, but I probably would have gotten more dates if I had.

10. Can you sing the fight song?
I didn't know we even had one. I didn't get into any fights, and the kids I did see fighting were too out of breath to sing.

11. Who were your favorite teachers?
Definitely the French and German teachers. Between our French teacher bringing his guitar to class and the German teacher bringing Leberkase, we were set.

12. Where did you sit during lunch?
In the Commons (See, here's one that won't make any sense to anyone who didn't attend the same school.)

13.What was your school's full name?
In a "burst of creative nomenclature," it was Taylorsville High School.

14. School mascot?
The Warriors (actually a guy in a skirt, which is pretty socially progressive, if you think about it)

15. Did you go to Homecoming and who with?
Yes, I went with dates. Duh.

16. If you could go back and do it again, would you?
Surprisingly, yes. After a few days I might change my mind, though.

17.What do you remember most about graduation?
That it was really long and boring.

18. Where did you go senior skip day?
I have no idea. I probably went to class, actually.

19 Were you in any clubs?
I remember being in the French club and the German club, which got a little awkward in the annual boules competition. I mean, which side would I bowl for?

20. Have you gained some weight since then?
I have progressed from "starving refugee" to "skinny."

21. Who was your Senior prom date?
See, we had Junior Prom and Senior Ball every year, so I don't know how to answer that.

22. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion?
I'm mostly curious about whether or not there will be a reunion. We didn't have a 5 year reunion, so we'll see this summer if there's a 10 year one. Our student body president apparently has more important things to do than watch people who haven't seen each other for years brag about how successful and happy they are.

23. Who was your home room teacher?
I have no idea. Wouldn't it have been different every year anyway? What a dumb question.

24. Do you still talk to people from school?
Almost exclusively. In fact, I think everyone I know went to school.

Oh yeah, now for the obligatory tag. John and Krista, I demand that you share in my suffering. And I might as well throw Nathan and Kevin in there for good measure. Todd, I'll give you the freedom to choose. And Jen, you just did one recently, so I don't expect you to bring upon yourself more inanity, but if you want to go for it, be my guest.

Happy Blogday

I forgot to mark the occasion, but my blog turned one year old on April 6. In that time I have published 260 entries (including this one), made a surprisingly small number of people really angry (despite my best efforts), and been thrilled by the witty and articulate comments I have received from all of you (and amused by the less-articulate ones, although most of those were from me). So thank you to all of you who have visited because you had nothing better to do during school, work, or your Saturday afternoon.

Now, it would really make me happy if every single person who stumbles on this entry leaves some form of comment below, whether it's telling me how much you hate me, punching random keys on the keyboard, or even trying to sell me something. Go.

Stupid Story #1

I guess for no particular reason I will reveal the dumbest thing I have ever done (aside, perhaps, from revealing the dumbest thing…). My only defense is that I was probably about 10 years old. But on the other hand I should have had more common sense by that age.

A neighbor kid and I decided that he would tie a rope to his bike, and I would run along behind it, holding the rope. It’s like we had the basic idea right, but we forgot that it would only work if I was on wheels too.

You know how in the movies someone will be holding on to a rope attached to something running or flying or driving away, and instead of sensibly letting go they hang on tight, with a series of hilarious injuries resulting as you yell at the TV for them to just let go? Well, not a lot of people know this, but every instance of that in the last 20 or so years or so is a direct reference to this episode from my life.

So I ended up with stitches and a cool scar on my hip, as well as a story my friends and family can remind me of if I ever act like I’m smarter than they are.

Now, if you’re really good, sometime soon I’ll relate the “steamed vegetables” story.

Maxim-um Discomfort

The old saying goes that you’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Well, the other day I added some vinegar to what I was cooking, and as I was putting the cap back on I noticed a mosquito or something inside. I have no idea how long it was there, but this was a big bottle that I had been using for over a year. Yerg.

So , if that saying is true, how many insects have I overlooked in honey over the years?

Social Progress

It's a little disturbing when I discover that I still hold some prejudice or other. The other day I saw a lowrider pickup truck parked down the road and was surprised that the kid driving it turned out to be white instead of hispanic. Oh, well. At least I didn't expect him to be wearing handcuffs.

Quack

I heard some ducks flying overhead this morning, quacking. I imagine their conversation went something like this:

"Are you sure it's spring?"

"Well, my calendar said April."

"Your calendar stinks. Let's go back to Mexico."

It Must Be Spring

Question: Do all women with shoulder-length or longer hair suffer from an intense desire to cut their hair short every spring? I'm curious.

Slip and Slide

One day when I was in junior high, we were talking about earthquakes in science class. Our teacher was talking about how the force builds up between tectonic plates and is suddenly relieved. I raised my hand and asked him if there was a way to reduce friction by lubricating the plates so they could move without the jarring of an earthquake. He told me there was research going on to do that. Now, of course, I realize that was a silly suggestion, and I can't find any sources that discuss the idea in detail (although water has apparently been suggested for performing such a role). So I guess he just wanted me to stop talking, which I certainly can't blame him for.

Word Search

I need some help in coining a new word. I need to create a word defined as “the things I carry around in my pockets, such as keys, wallet, cell phone, gum, and a pen.” Then I can use it in such sentences as “Hang on, let me get my _____ and we’ll get in the car.” So it should convey a sense of a dynamic collection of items.

There’s the word swag, which meant something along the lines of loot, and according to the dictionary it has an additional sense of “a personal pack of belongings,” at least in Australia. That’s kind of a cool possibility.

I’m kind of leaning toward a completely new word, though. Something like stocket, meaning stuff I put in my pocket, but not so lame. Any ideas?

They're Creepy and They're Kooky

There are all kinds of ways to pigeonhole people by using a sentence that begins “There are two kinds of people in the world…” (Personally, my favorite example of this is “…those who like Neil Diamond and those who don’t” from What About Bob?”)

Anyway, I think I’ve found another wedge to drive between people. There are people who watched The Munsters growing up, and there are people who watched The Addams Family. I am firmly in the camp of the Addams, myself. How can Herman Munster compete with the grinning, sadistic charm of Gomez Addams? I mean, Lurch alone makes the show worth watching, not to mention Cousin Itt and Thing. Pure genius.