UFO

My friend Johnny claims he once saw a plane land on the road behind our junior high school and then take off again immediately. So for the past 15 years, I’ve been making fun of him for seeing things, since to my knowledge nobody else saw it.

But to tell the truth, I have technically seen a UFO, which probably rates much higher on the insanity scale. It was a summer evening and I was probably about 12. I think I was doing the dishes or something when my older brother came and told me to check out something outside. So we went out, and off in the distance by the mountains we could see something. It looked like a giant inflated tire on its side, and it was slowly moving along to the north. I suppose we lost sight of it after a while, and then never really gave it much thought after that.

Do I think it was little green men? No, of course not (everyone knows little green men prefer trapezoidal craft). It’s far more likely to have been an escaped balloon from a tire shop or something. But it was technically unidentified, so there you have it.

Memories

I love it when I retrieve a long-lost memory from my childhood. It feels like I’ve unearthed a treasure, even when it’s something trivial. For example, this morning I was trying to recall the name of a soft drink from when I was a kid. Suddenly I remembered.

Squeezit! Those were the greatest. And, even though the memory is unlikely to ever do me any real good, it feels satisfying to turn the light on in that far distant corner of my brain again.

Topper

Here's a new game. I'll tell you something about myself, and you see if you can top it in terms of ridiculousness or awesomeness, as the topic dictates. Here's today's fact:

The house I grew up in is on Rocky Road.


Has anyone lived on a better-named street?

Splurge

I'm all for getting a good deal, and I believe most items potentially have a longer life than we give them, so shopping for second-hand items is often a great idea.

There are, however, certain items that it's probably better to get new:

fire extinguisher

underwear

airbag

dentures

casket

Anything else?

Post Pet Post

Last night I dreamed that I got a pet duck, which reminds me how I always wanted a pet duck. Specifically, I wanted a white duck, and I planned to name him Arbogast.

Pets

I am totally an animal person. I love watching nature shows, and I’m always interested in the things creeping and crawling around outside. I grew up having cats as pets, as well as the occasional hamster (and a venus fly trap once as well, if plants can count as pets). And when I decided to keep the snake we found in our backyard, it sort of opened the floodgates as far as the pet possibilities go. For some reason I’m interested in less common pets. Over the past year I’ve been considering hedgehogs, sugar gliders, skinks, giant insects of some sort, and other kinds of snakes.

If I were to get another pet sometime in the near future, what should it be?

Sunday Afternoon

(Knock, knock)

I open the door.

"Hey, I'm your neighbor's sister. He's got a leak in his ceiling. Can I use your phone?"

"Sure, come on in."

She uses the phone, thanks me, and leaves. A few minutes later, out water is shut off. Then she leaves.

...for over twenty-four hours.

Luckily, our landlord knew how to get our water back on. Our valve is in the neighbor's garage (which he fortunately leaves unlocked), and there was absolutely no need for her to shut our water off as well.

Things I Won't Do Willingly

Watch a musical

Eat onions

Watch, discuss, or otherwise participate in any activity relating to American Idol

Repeat myself

Pay for a gym membership

Wear blue slacks

Repeat myself

Go grocery shopping

Play an actual game of basketball

Read any book with a pink cover

Tuna Casserole

Yea or nay?

Dishy-Washy

When I was growing up, the kids took turns doing the dishes every night. But we had a dishwasher, so it really wasn't that much work. Then in college I didn't have one, so of course I did them by hand. Now I have a dishwasher again, but I still prefer to do them by hand. The funny thing is my wife grew up without a dishwasher, and now prefers to use one since we have it. What do you prefer?

That Bathroom Smell

At work I have the incredible good fortune to be seated next to the restrooms (as well as the copy and fax machines). I suppose it’s convenient in case of bathroom-related emergencies, but mostly it’s annoying to hear the doors constantly opening and closing.

Anyway, the bathrooms have automated air fresheners that spray at regular intervals. And this week there is a particular scent that is extra strong. Every time someone enters or exits the bathroom, a puff of that scent escapes and wafts over to my cubicle, where I start to gag. I can’t really describe the smell (it's called Vanilla Twist), but I’d almost prefer to deal with the scents the air freshener is covering.

Tomorrow's Trash

I sometimes see a piece of trash on the street and think, "That actually used to be something new at one time, sitting on a shelf at the store." I think this about cars, too (minus the shelf), and clothing as well. It's just interesting to see the different things that can happen to an item once it is purchased.
I'm sure I could liken this to that old video segment about the old violin being auctioned, but somehow that would seem weird and pretentious.

Hello, Radio

I didn't listen to the radio as a kid. I would put on Dr. Demento on occasion, which was always enjoyable, but I had no knowledge of popular music until my ninth grade year. I started listening to Q99 which, if any of you remember, was the best radio station ever. They played just the right mix of music. And then a year or so later they underwent a format change, and something inside me died. Oh, there were still other stations that played a good amount of what I enjoyed, but it was never the same.
I pictured myself keeping up with the music scene throughout my adult life. Then, when I actually got a CD player in my car, I suddenly realized I could listen to music I knew I liked without all the annoying commercials (eventually I realized that even the funny morning show guys are incredibly annoying). And then of course came iPods.
So it's been 5 or 6 years since I've really listened to the radio. I turn on the shower radio in the morning right when I know there will be a traffic and weather update on the news station, and then I turn it off. I actually decided to leave it on for a while the other day, and when their third commercial break within a ten-minute span came on, I remembered why I don't listen anymore.
So, am I the only one who feels this way?
(By the way, anyone who gets the reference from the post title gets a gigantic gold star.)

A Glimpse at the Male Mentality

Here's a conversation I had with my friend Nathan this morning.

me: Maybe I could catch leprosy before Saturday and miss the whole thing

nathan: I could come break your legs.
Or send someone to do it for me. I know a guy.

me: You're a true friend

nathan: Excellent

me: Am I supposed to tip him?

nathan: Well he does like souvenirs but he usually only collects those from bigger jobs.

me: So I should probably just offer him a glass of water


(By the way, this is post #500, for anyone who's counting. Yippee!)

Isn't It about... Time?

If someone asks you what time it is, and you look at your watch/cell phone/sundial, do you give an exact minute? If it's 7:23, do you say it's 7:23, or do you say, "It's about 7:20"? I find I tend to round everything to 5 minutes. I don't really know what that says about me. What do you do?

Categorical Denial

I have a feeling that however much we deny it, we all have secret prejudices. It might be gender or race, or it might just be short people or balding men with combovers. Consider your opinions of people, and see if there might be a pattern based on an identifiable characteristic. Whether you think women are bad drivers or people with southern accents are stupid, there's probably some unjustified opinion you have of someone. And I think identifying it is the first step toward eliminating it (or at least harnessing it for your own amusement).

Olfactory Update

The smell in my car has finally disappeared. I never figured out what caused it, but apparently it's all rotted away now. Somehow I think I'm better off never having known.