Monday, December 28, 2009

A Christmas Un-miracle!

My computer has been having trouble for the past couple of months. I never had any problems, and then suddenly, it started to struggle. Then one day...it wouldn't start up. The computer would power up, start opening Mac OSX Tiger and stay that way, potentially forever. A friend of mine managed to treat the computer like an external drive, and get my entire drive onto his external. My files are all in tact.

I found my reboot disks, and used them to restore my computer to factory settings. And it worked wonderfully for a day. A Christmas Miracle!

The second day it worked, I decided to join a new dating site. I can't do eharmony (they wouldn't know how to match us!); I don't think I'm Match.com ready- bitches are ready to get married and junk. So I elected for OkCupid! It actually asks questions and you get matched up to people, instead of waiting for people to say "Your cute" and then be upset by their terrible spelling. If they do select the correct "you're" it's usually because they were educated in the 60s.

In the middle of updating my profile, the computer shut down. It won't turn back on. I now have messages from guys on the website. I can't check them from work- it's blocked. I can't check them from home.

That seems more like my life.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Posts I can't seem to finish (The Tech Edition)

We pretty much suck at updating this blog now that NaBloPoMo is over and Tim's computer apparently exploded, or a ghost took it, or whatever happened there of that I can't keep track. I have about 15 blog topics I am working on right now.... none of them are finished. But, if you'd like a little taste of the good stuff, here are the ones I probably will never finish. I kept it thematic, they all have a technology-ish theme going on:

-Since I've gotten my iPhone, I've paid more attention to the ads for the competition... you know, so I can say to myself, "you made the right choice" by selecting to drop Verizon like it's hot and join the ranks of people who have AT&T only because they have the best smart phone out there. I said it. What makes me laugh is how all of the other phones keep name dropping Google. Powered by Google. With Google. I get that Google is awesome and probably the most popular search engine/email service/ etc etc etc, but must we all brag about how Google can be accessed or is somehow powering a phone? How does Google "power" a phone or 3G network anyway? Is T-mobile's myTouch on a 3Google network? (That's a serious question). Here's what I have to say about the Googley-eyed smart phones out there. Google is a floozy. It will hop on any bandwagon because Google likes to be popular. Google doesn't care if you are a Droid, a MyTouch, a Whoosiewhatsit or an iPhone. To find google, you can just type in www.google.com. Okay, so when you click on the internet on the iPhone, Google's main page doesn't show up.... but, wait for it, wait for it, there's an app for that. OR, you can type in www.google.com. Or you can bookmark it. Just like any old computer with the internets. I would give more credit to the other guys out there if they said "with Yahoo" or "Decisions provided by Bing!" because then at least they are offering something different and unusual even if it is something subpar to Google. Let's be honest, Droid, Googs is just using you, like he's using everyone else. Bragging about having Google on your phone that connects to the world wide web is like patting yourself on the back because the 7th grade prospective class president wants to be your friend. Yes, you, four-eyes McGeek with the bad habit of wearing oversized sweatshirts that have tigers screenprinted on them and who hasn't discovered Proactiv. Do you really think Mr. Popular wants to be your friend? He just wants you to vote during 5th period elections and then he won't remember your name until he has to copy your test answers in History class.

-I have a lot of great ideas. No really, I do. Once my friend Heidi agreed with me on that and she said she'd keep a list for me. Where's that list, Heidi? Thanks for nothing. Anyway, my point is, I could be sitting at dinner with my parents and come up with a great idea for a site that connected people with things that they want and all the people who have those things. I'd call it "Wishlist." The next day, I am eating lunch with one of my friends who is a bitter bridesmaid, and that's when I come up with my idea for a gift registry for single people called "Pity Party". Later, I am driving to Boston with my dad, wishing there was an App for people who forget their EZPass or Fastlanes, and wishing even more I could be the person to develop it and sell it. Or, I am drinking (a lot) with friends and decide to make an alternative to facebook called "Earbook"... So you can "hear" what's up. Get it? Get it? HA HA HA HA HA HA . So, basically, I just think I am on the wrong career path. I wish I had "done something with computers" like a grandmother might say. I could be rich. I could be famous. I could be everything I wanted to be. Instead I'll just go travel somewhere....Sigh.

-I never used to be a big cell phone person. I got my first one when I studied abroad in Italy and then when I got home I got my permanent one (senior year of college, I suppose I was a late bloomer, as per usual). Up until a few weeks ago, when the iPhone joined my family of one, I was known to keep my phone on silent even after getting home from work, forgetting it at home, leaving it upstairs (out of sight, out of mind) while hanging out downstairs, etc. I just never thought about it. My theory, there is voicemail for a reason. Leave a message and I will check it in 3 weeks when my mailbox gets full. Your better bet would be just to hang up. Curiosity would get the best of me (7 hours later when I notice the missed call) and I'd get back to you with a "I saw you called....?" I was no stranger to voicemail tag and I sometimes looked forward to it; in fact, on more than one occassion I didn't want voice on voice action. I have nightmares about calling people and having them answer and me hanging up on them in horror. Point of this ramble: Now that I have a better phone that deserves more than a life on a dusty end table in between the bed and the bookcase, I wonder if I will become one of those people who is obsessed with their phones? These people really irk me and I think I should write a book about proper phone etiquette in the age of cell phones. I'm not the only one that has noticed all of these newfangled contraptions are ruining the way we socialize. On another note, could you imagine if the Fax machine really caught on in the way cell phones did? Could you imagine faxing your friends at 2am: "Just made out with my boss at the holiday party. LOL." What if there were mini-wireless-portable fax machines. HA HA HA. Whenever I think about fax machines I think about Back to the Future 2 when there are the fax machines in everyroom spitting out "YOU'RE FIRED." Okay, now I don't even remember the point of this mini post. End scene.

-Whoever came up with the idea of Online Dating I'd like to smack. If it wasn't bad enough that my generation was already socially inept in terms of dating, some whiz kid had to go and add internet into the mix, making things even more complicated. It probably started with the idea of a chat room (remember those virtual rooms you could stumble into at the age of 13, pretending to be 25, and then your neighbor ends up on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator" special) and then when on AOL there was no such thing as privacy so you could search everyone and anyone who had set up a profile with their screenname and chat them up until 2am at sleepovers. Somehow, all of this evolved into people setting up websites like Match and eHarmony, to "make things easier" for those of us who couldn't seem to snag a significant other the normal way. Well, you know what I'd like to say.... I bet things would be easier if these alternatives didn't exist. I'm not against Facebook or Match or anything, but what if we couldn't Google our high school boyfriend to find out what time he ran in the Manchester Road Race, or log into a website that supposedly evaluates you on 30 plus different levels in order to find your soulmate? Since when did we become so passive and scared? I feel like the best love stories are the ones where the protagonist seizes the day and jumps into love... it usually isn't a tale of someone going online to scope out this new person he/she met in a bar the night before via Facebook. (Well, aside from You've Got Mail, but that had Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan so it worked). Before I get all bitter betty on dating and the internet and bla di bla bla, I'm going to stop ranting. And yes, I know internet dating works for many many people. I say, power to you, for figuring out how to make the system work and for taking chances. In the end, love is love, no matter how you slice it.

*Sorry about any spelling mistakes. I am too lazy to re-read this with a fine tooth comb, and my spell check is apparently busted. Did I just prove one of my points by even saying that? Totally unintentional. I'm a jerk.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fall-ing apart

The Fall semester is winding down. Actually, it's falling apart, melting down, whatever you want to call it. Everyone is sick. Students are run down and ready to go home. Staff want them to go home even more. We normally have weird situations and conversations in here, but we are operating at a Friday level by Wednesday.

I called someone a smartass earlier and I defended the professionalism of doing so by claiming that if a swear is part of a larger word, it's not a swear; like smartass, or jackass. The staff and several tutors then discussed whether or not you could do this by combining two swears, like "Fuckass." I'm not sure.

There is a bell and a crazy handclapper that we ring and clap when getting students to register. I have the bell under my close watch because it drives me crazy. One time I threw it. I hid the handclapper between my cubicle and the wall. My boss asked me where it was to which I responded "I have NO idea!" I may have to dig it out, because apparently she bought it and now she's threatening to buy more.

Our student worker slept for 20 minutes last night, so she is fitting in just fine with the staff today. I had her working on a project in Photoshop. She forgot to save. It crashed. Whoops. So she yelled at the computer.

"You have learned the lesson of yelling things out loud."

A student came in and was talking to the student worker about working in restaurants. He then said to Jenny, in front of another student "I should just go to the gym and become a stripper" and then flicked one of his shirt buttons open. Lost it. Weird, he has my same career goals. I didn't think I had anything in common with the students.

Then the flying monkey came out. I flung it at Jenny.
"Was that really necessary?"
"Is any interaction we ever have REALLY necessary?"

I missed hitting a student coming in to test by seconds. Oh well, next time. Between the monkey sound, the giggling, the yelling, and the running around, I'm not sure she wanted to be dropped off with us.

I have decided that our office is like the class in Finding Nemo.

We work. We just don't function well.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Report card

This blog is almost 1 year old. It is still pretty cruddy, but I think it's going...somewhere.

My computer is dying. I am currently on my work computer. My ibook, which has stuck by me for 5 years, has been going through some hard times. Last night it just...stopped. Now when I turn it on it says "Starting Mac OSX" for-ev-er. I will be pissed if it dies, but I'll get over it. My music I can get back with or deal with it. My sketches I have printed out so I can retype them. I will take this time to realize I need an external drive and to get organized.

I was going to update from my ipod last night. Because I walked to work in the pouring rain last week, it got water logged and now the backlight doesn't work. This is the trend with my technological devices as of late. Because my phone charger was literally spit out of the wall (I think we have a ghost) while my phone was charging, the phone only works when in the open position (it's an Envy 2- that flips open to text). So to call people or pick up calls I have to open it, press the correct button, and then re-close it if I want to look like a normal boy.

Last night I decided to plug in my humidifier, because I need noise to sleep and it's getting too cold to have a fan going. I plugged it in. It does not work. Yup.

I have no money right now. I work 40 hours a week, and yet I am going to need a part time job. Granted, I go out too often, which I am going to stop doing...as much. Even if I stop doing that, I just need more money to save, oh and buy a new computer, and maybe ipod and phone. Perhaps part time job adventures await this blog.

Take a mental picture. December 1, 2009. Things are not the best. They will probably continue to get comically worse for a bit. Things breaking. Mini explosions. Perhaps I'll get hives. But then, they only have to get better at some point. I'll try to hold off-the explosions and hives are more entertaining.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Snugg-diculous

I have long had issues with The Snuggie. I won't even get into them here and there is no argument. They are stupid. The ads are worse than the product, and this one made me particularly agitated. It's possible that my male PMS was in overdrive and that is why I actually yelled at the TV throughout the commercial, but I think its stupidity stands for itself.





Am I to believe these people like their Snuggies so much they are raising the roof because of them? Do people still do that? What are you so excited about? Your lives are so sad and the romance in your relationship is clearly dead since you wear separate, thick, blankets while you snuggle. No double snuggie?



Dick...heads...dick....heads...DICKHEADS!!



Your clue was snuggie? You picked the thing of which there are four in the room for your clue? You love it that much that you will forfeit points so that there is one more mention of the wonderful, magical blanket with sleeves?



Your dog reads? Your dog reads about his own breed? You dress your dog in a matching snuggie and glasses? This dog looks like he wants to kill himself. In reality, he would probably be taking advantage of the book.



Is grandma knitting herself something less ridiculous than a Snuggie or a noose to hang herself? Who is she waving to? Goodbye everyone, I'm offing myself in my Snuggie. At least my corpse will be warm for a bit.



No, seriously, stop raising the damn roof!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Karma's a bitch...a bigger bitch than you

I was at Dunkin' Donuts today. I have a love/hate relationship with Dunkin' Donuts. I love their coffee, but I don't like that I am addicted to it and it's expensive. Sometimes their service is not the best. In fact, there are certain Dunkin' Donuts where the service is consistently terrible. You have to know the good ones and the bad ones. I know the good and bad ones near anyplace I have ever lived, worked, or frequented.

Even so, I am always polite if there has been some kind of mistake with what I have ordered. And I don't act like my time is TOO important if the service is slow. If you're that important, go to Starbucks with the other wealthier, more uppety people.

There was a complete douche of a woman in Dunks today while I was there. They didn't have the bagel she wanted. So she demanded her money back, which is fine, but she did it very bitchily. Then her 3 fat daughters/daughters friends needed to use the bathroom. They harassed the woman to buzz the door open. They missed it because they are slow, fat, and stupid. Then while she was waiting on me, they kept harassing her to buzz the door. Then the fat woman's husband came in with the dog, who immediately went for her ankles, because dogs sense evil. She continuously kept complaining, asked for more ice and commented that she had to "make her own coffee." No, you had to put in 12 more sugars because you are a tubby, bitch and you need artificial sweetness. I think when I was leaving she was asking for a manager.

I left wanting her to be punished by karma. I actually have a desire to BE karma. Like a hero, or a force of nature, I want to be in charge of doling out karma both good and bad. Is it bad for me to wish something on her? I just want her to get what's coming to her for being a miserable bitch. Maybe she already got it. Maybe everywhere she goes, the poppy seed bagels will already be sold out and her coffee won't be sweet enough. Sure, she'll take it out on some poor girl behind the counter, but maybe they'll be rewarded by the next customer who leaves a decent tip, and she'll never get the bagel she wants. She's obviously not short on starchy food to keep her unpleasantly plump.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mr Squiggles

In response to Tim's post about Black Friday, I thought I should make all of you aware of what this year's top toy is: Zhu Zhu Hamster. The one pictured below is "Mr. Squiggles." They also come in different colors with names like Pipsqueak, Num Nums, and Chunk. It's a toy only Courtney could dream up and the rest of us could make fun of. On Amazon, they are between $50 and $60 bucks and you can buy toy accessories (like a wheel, those plastic tubes, etc) for extra. All of the fun of a real hamster without all of the fuss of a real hamster. Wait, wait..... is a real hamster that fussy? I mean, sure you have to clean the cage and feed it, but why would you drop $60 on a toy that is sure to lose its luster the day after Christmas/ Hannakuh when you could spend $10 on the real thing and then when you get sick of taking care of it, just accidently let it free in the yard or secretly poison its water so it dies of "natural causes" in its cage. Too much? Did I cross a line?As the product description on Amazon says: "Each Zhu Zhu Hamter has its own unique personality & whimsical sounds. Loving Mode: Pet them, love them, hear them chatter. Explore Mode: Let them scoot, scamper, across the floor. Provide them with their Hamster Habitat. " Need I say more?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday

Thanksgiving, perhaps my favorite holiday, is over. It was okay- more on that at a later point. My former favorite holiday was Christmas. I almost wrote old favorite holiday, which makes me realize that the French word "ancien" meaning both old or former makes more sense than I always thought.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, the huge shopping day that officially segues into the Christmas season, and is actually the reason I don't like Christmas as much anymore. In just a few hours, people will be knocking down doors and walking over other floors made up of tile, clothing, and spines, to get fight over sale items.

I worked in a toy store for five Christmas seasons. I have survived five Black Fridays, or as we called it in the industry "Green Fridays." To this day, I can handle a lot of pressure at work and can think on my toes because I worked in one of the top five toy stores in our chain, in the entire country, on the biggest shopping day of the year, five times. It was actually usually fun- they gave us food, drinks, we got an extra dollar as a bonus with our check. It was intended for us to get a refreshment, which was cute, since a bottle of Coke was already $1.05 at that point. We also occasionally received tips (there goes the $5 bucks you saved).

Tomorrow will be the 7th year I have not worked at the toy store on Black Friday, yet still it makes me anxious. While it was fun, I saw the lowest of the low in humanity during these times as well. Fighting, stealing, swearing, pushing, yelling, accusing, threatening, verbally assaulting. The police had to be called on several occasions. There was always a new "hot" toy. I didn't see the Furby until after Christmas, and I WORKED in a toy store. I remember them being returned a lot because they were stupid. And I remember them ending up on a sale endcap for $5 and no one wanted them.

But, everyone had to get up at 4 a.m. to get one because they heard they were supposed to. There weren't even really ads for the toys all that often, so kids didn't know about them, just their parents. Your 1-year-old doesn't know what a Tickle Me Elmo or a Sleep and Snore Ernie is, even though the people on the news told you to get her one. When she does meet them, she's going to think they are frightening and run away. If she could speak and knew the word "demon" she'd be sure to scream it.

When people tell me they are getting up for the sales, I try to tell them not to. Some people think it's fun; I think it sounds terrible. To each his own I guess. While trying to find a Youtube video of a stampede into a store on Black Friday, I instead came across something much more disturbing. I found a video someone had posted, taken from their camera phone, of a Walmart employee receiving CPR from an EMT crew. He died. He had been trampled by everyone rushing into the store.

I hate a lot of things, irrationally, and will admit that I have no reason to hate them. The memory of Black Fridays still stick with me, and don't think I'm crazy to hate them. Good luck and Godspeed to all of you who think it's worth it. You are probably already getting into your car to camp out to save a bunch of money on some overpriced item that you think someone should want.

I, on the other hand, can't sleep. I never slept before working a 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift. The past few years I have had trouble sleeping because I want to completely miss the insanity. I want to go to sleep when it begins and wake up when it's over. I am celebrating Blackout Friday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful



I am thankful for the Muppets. I am thankful they are still active in pop culture. I am thankful that Electric Mayhem still rock after over 30 years. I am thankful that someone worthy of covering Queen did so and not some chumps.

Note: Beaker definitely says Me-me-me and never ever meep. Jus' sayin'.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home is where the fart is

I am living in my second apartment since moving into the city. The first, I found on Craigslist and made my decision over the course of a week. While it worked out all right, and my roommates were cool, it was never home. Actually, 3 out of the 5 people I lived with were cool. One was okay, but left in the middle of November and the rest of us were scrambling before the holidays to find a replacement or find $200 extra each to cover the rent. Her replacement constantly smoked pot and said it was just incense (who burns incense besides potheads?), left her dyed red hair in the shower drain, and being rude to all of us, including me, and all I did was ignore her because when she first moved in, I thought she was the cleaning lady.

In my second apartment, I am home. As a trio, we searched apartments, sometimes in pairs, in every combination of two possible. We had nachos and a drink over our decision to sign the lease on the place we loved. Then, we rallied the next day when we found out that apartment wasn't available. We even worked as a unit creeping out one of the realty agents on a hot July 3rd morning with mentions of baby chambers, bacon chambers, Buddha statues, and a life history of Bubbles the chimp. No, I don't know what a bacon chambers is, but I think the baby chambers was a room full of babies.

My first apartment mirrors the first room I had in college. No one really ever saw my room freshman year of college. I would prop the door open when people came, and then close it, and reopen it only to join them wherever we were going. Very few people saw my apartment last year. Being a huge dork for metaphors and television, I decided it was as if there was no money in the production budget (if my life was a TV show) to build a set for the dorm room or the apartment.

I always thought that it was because of the stuff. Freshman year, I didn't have my own computer at first. I had a lofted bed. No fridge. Few belongings, besides a Buffy poster. Sophomore year, I had a futon, fridge, posters and personal effects everywhere. But I also had a roommate I could be myself around.

I can remember the moment it felt like home. He farted. So, I farted. From then on, we could fart. That's disgusting, I know, but can you really ever be at home if you don't fart? Since I live with girls now, I don't run around farting, but I can be myself. I can do the weird things that I couldn't have done around my old roommates, without feeling all eyes on me, or feeling weird. Usually, they join in. We are all a little off, which is why we often say to each other "What are we?"

Now I can buy a tacky wreath and put swords from my Halloween costume through it as a decoration, because my roommate suggested it. While I do the dishes, and pick up several butter knives, it's okay if I start singing "I-look-like-Freddy Krueger/ when I was the dish-eeessss!" When I start humming a tune, and my roommate starts doing the Pee Wee Herman "Tequila" dance, I look at her, puzzled, because that's not the tune I was humming. But I like where her head's at, and that she is a weirdo just like me.

Back to the Future

This past season I have been completely addicted to Dancing with the Stars. I wish I knew I would be so hooked, in which case I would have done weekly recaps here in this blog so you would know what was going on, too. Unfortunately for you, I missed that boat.

As the season draws to a close, to quote Donny Osmond, it is bittersweet. For the stars, they are sad to see their journey through the world of dance come to a end. For me, I am sad that Joanna and Derek didn't make it to the finals.

Last night, the stars did their final dances. One was a typical ballroom or Latin routine, the other was a medley where they all did the same choreography of three dances side by side, and the last was the most anticipated dance of the entire season: the freestyle. In past seasons, it is during the freestyle where people either flop or shine. This is usually the dance that separates the winners from the losers. In last night's case, none of them really stood out to me.

Over the course of the season Kelly Osbourne may have become a lady, but that didn't prevent her from falling all over the floor in her final dance. As Bruno put it (too nicely), she definitely captured the disco era with her freestyle decked out in silver sparkles. And yes, he was there so he knows. And yes, even back then people sometimes fell on the floor! I thought this was a professional dance competition? I thought falling was bad? I've noticed throughout the season that the judges seem to be sparing Kelly's feelings quite a bit, leaving the blunt criticism for other contestants. I do think she is slightly more sensitive than the rest and we probably don't want to see her cry every episode, but I think someone should have told her how disappointed we were to see her FALL ON THE FLOOR in the final episode during the final dance.

Then Mya came out and did a little ditty from Hairspray. We see in the video montage of their practice from the week before that Mya didn't want to do Hairspray. She wanted to move away from Broadway, throw in a little Vegas, and really do something risky and edgy. Dimitry, bless his heart, is really pushing for the Hairspray routine. Mya finally agrees. The end result includes an overwhelmingly colorful costume and a super saccharine performance. I specifically used the word saccharine because it was definitely fake sugar. The problem I have always had with Mya is that she is such a professional, I just always feel like she is acting. When she says that she had "so much fun with that dance," I can't help but think she has "fun" in the same way it is "fun" to get a cavity filled. She may be smiling, but I don't believe it.

Then out comes Donny with his "show stopping" performance. Yeah, I think it was the best freestyle this season (he didn't fall and it wasn't a snoozefest), but it was only show stopping because he literally stopped the show. And that's just because he went last. I have to say, I really like Donny. I think he is in a good place to win it because he is only 2 points behind Mya and is definitely the crowd favorite.

Who will win? To be honest, I don't know or really care. I wanted Joanna to win and she was eliminated last week. This was a real shame, because I am more than confident that Derek would have knocked our socks off with his choreography of the freestyle dance in the same way he did during their Paso Doble of the future. Instead, the last episode of Dancing just didn't meet my expectations. I'm so bummed out, I prefer to live in the previous episodes. The winners of this competition (in my head) are Joanna and Derek. I will give second place to Aaron Carter only because one of his routines was to the Muppet Show theme. Their "winning" dances are posted below.

First place in my book, Joanna and Derek's Paso:


Second place, Aaron Carter's Quick Step:

Monday, November 23, 2009

I believe the children are our future...I don't want to go to there

On any given day, I receive a lot of dumb phone calls. Today I received a down-right frightening phone call. It was the 1,987th thing that has happened since I started working at the school that I makes me fear the future.

We sent out letters last week to all the students receiving an F at midterm. Out of about 1500 students, there are 500 students. There could be 1,500 actual Fs. Included with this letter are all of the resources that students should have been using all semester, but have not.

A father called in today to ask if he could speak to someone about the letter that came to his house about his son's failing grade. His wife opened it, even though it was addressed to his son. This man somehow made that sound like it was the school's fault. I had to explain to him three times that we sent the letter to the most recent address his son left with the school, and to his name. In some cases, students leave their parents addresses even though they live in the dorms or in apartments because that is a more permanent address. This student, however, still lived at home. Sooooo what is the issue?

The issue did not seem to be that the student is failing. His father asked why he was failing and I told him I don't know and until someone checks his FERPA, I couldn't tell him if I did know. No, the big question that this man had for me was, "How do I show him the letter without him know my wife open it?" That was not poor grammar on my part; that's how he asked, in a thick accent.

Why are you asking me, a single 27-year-old, how to run your household? I almost said "Just put it in another envelope" but that wasn't really the issue, and I'm not getting involved. I could tell you that it seems like you married an overbearing, intruding, distrusting woman back in the '80s, but that is not really helpful. I could tell you to stop paying for your son to go to school if he's wasting your money and everyone's time.

The thing that puts fear in me is the lack of fear for this kid. His father is concerned that he will be mad about the letter being opened. Understood, we used to get pissed if my mom opened mail, particularly admissions letters and report cards. Admissions letters should be opened by the children because it is their life and their dream. Usually, our report cards were given to us to bring home. Why? Because we could be trusted. And if our parents found out we were hiding anything, they would kill us.

This kid should be afraid that his mom is going to kill him and his dad is going to call him an idiot, and threaten to send him to the army. Instead his dad is afraid of him. Who is afraid of their kids? They were afraid of Macaulay Culkin in "The Good Son." His mom dropped him off a cliff.

No wonder kids today do whatever they want, go wherever they want, and talk to everyone however they want. They're not afraid of anyone. A lot of our students seem to be a little afraid of me. Why? Because I don't make idle threats, or buy into their excuses, or let them blame other people when they are the one with the problem.

All these parents need to say is "I brought you in this world, and I'll take you out!"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What up with that?

When did Kenan become funny on SNL? I have always enjoyed him as French comedian Jean K. Jean, but that was mostly because I love bad French. I found him hilarious in these sketches.

Reba!

Political wiiilll!


Kristen Wiig is still my favorite, followed by Fred Armisen, Jason Sudekis, Bill Heder, and Andy Samberg.

If even Kenan is going to be funny, I'm going to start watching SNL a lot again this season.

Not cute

I've only been dating for shortly over a year. For the most part, it has been good. So far I've had only one real nightmare date, and that was my fault for not going with my gut and instead, agreeing to a second date when one was enough. I have a pretty decent screening process in place, and for the most part it isn't that hard. In 9 out of 10 cases, I am done as of the first message.

Here are the some social networking site message qualities that will get you nowhere:

1. Too young. I have gotten messages from 19-year-olds. 18-year-olds. And 17-year-olds. Um, hi, I work at a college. Do you want homework help? I make about 105 TV and movie references everyday. Have you ever even seen The Facts of Life? Do you know that "That's what she said" dates back to at least Wayne's World, not The Office? I look fairly young- I know this because a 92-year-old told me I look like a kid and an 18-year-old, upon finding out how I old I was said "Twenty-" and only mouthed "seven." I look young, but you'll make me feel old.

2. Too old. On the flipside, I don't want to make anyone feel ancient. I also just think that old people are...gross. 30, still in my age range. 35, for the right person. I have been messaged by a 58-year-old, who tried to give me some sagely, condescending advice. Thanks, Yoda, I have a dad, and I don't listen to his advice.

3. Poor grammar. I'm not perfect. And in this blog, I don't really worry excessively over proper punctuation. If you're going to compliment my looks, though, you should be able to pull that off without coming off as stupid. I don't know how often I need to hear "Your cute." My cute what? It's "You're cute" and I know. Are you just into looks? Because I'm not.

4. Overly persistent. Two or three times, I have been messaged by the same individual 3 times. Did you forget you messaged me? How flattering! I love being forgotten! If not, desperation isn't cute.

5. Too bold. Someone sent me a message that read "I think I'm due for a Boston trip soon. U down?" Really? Whatever you heard about me, it isn't true.


Despite the awkwardness I have read, this one was my favorite.

"Hell no, Tim! I'd not make you sleep on the couch and just watch me. That'd be so like, rude.
My profile is referring to sitting on the couch, watching a movie. Not watching someone. Where did this come from, perv?
And you gotta be kidding me! 1984 is MY favorite book (along with Lord of the Flies). And Queen is MY favorite band (along with Yes). Too much! Look at my profile. See?
So you have decent, but not all THAT unique taste. 1984 is a phenomenal book, but a lot of people like it. If you don't like at least a Queen song, then you are useless. Too much? Not enough! And, how do I know you didn't add them your profile just now?

AND, I write ... comedy sketches! And I taught a workshop in comedy writing. So just what are you tryin to do here, Tim? Be me? You can't. That position's already filled, by me. But if you'd like to talk about different positions, now that might be cool.
So far you're not funny, so your sketches probably suck and you're a creep so you shouldn't be allowed to teach anything. Be you? I am pretty sure I'm better than you, and I don't feel bad saying it. Other positions? You're 40. Can you even get in that many positions? And also, gross.

I also play piano professionally (umm, yea, as opposed to unprofessionally).
Within this context...not at all cool or sexy.

Hope to hear from you, runner-boy!
Nice nickname, douche.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Three words: Nice Little Saturday

Frank: I told my wife I wouldn't drink tonight. Besides, I got a big day tomorrow. You guys have a great time.
College Student: A big day? Doing what?
Frank: Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know, I don't know if we'll have enough time.
-Old School


I like to think sometimes that I am young, and fairly hip. Actually, no I don't. I don't like to be too serious and I would hate it if I couldn't let loose, so in that way, I'm young at heart. On the other hand, I've been an old man since I was about 4. So at 27, I am ancient. Friday nights I feel more ancient than any other time.

Earlier in the evening, around 6, I went out for dinner and then afterward, for some drinks. That's right, 6, almost early bird time. I was in by 10. I am happy about that.

Tomorrow, I have big plans. The roommates and I are going to The Dollar Tree store and getting Christmas decorations. We will do this after taking a stroll and getting some breakfast together. Later I plan to meet up with a friend. Maybe chat; a light dinner. I am very excited about a relaxing day, without any crazy plans or places to run off to, or parties to attend.

Saturday night could go either way. On Saturday nights, I could be content sitting in, but usually I want to get out and have fun. Part of me is slowing down. I still have the energy in me for one big weekend night. This should work out nicely, so that I still have a night to meet people, but I will already be ready to settle down. Because, well...I'm old as fuck.

I love my nice little Saturdays.

My December Forecast

You probably have no idea how much I believe in things like horoscopes, palm readings, tea leaves, feng shui, superstitions, fortune cookies and the like. Freshman year of college, I captured my feelings about hopes and dreams in a box that was decorated to represent all of the opportunities one has to make wishes come true. The result of this art assignment was so moving that a professor walking by opened up the top (which revealed an array of feathers and beads and bells and magic) and said, “I want to blow” [That’s what she said].

I won’t deny that I hung words of wisdom on my wall that quoted Disney movies and Winnie the Pooh. As a birthday gift, some of my home friends gave me books on how to read palms and tarot cards. Why, because they thought I’d appreciate it. Oh and I did. I read the shiznit out of all of their palms that birthday, while wearing a headscarf and consulting my crystal ball. When meeting someone for the first time, I immediately consult the Birthday Book to determine if we are compatible as friends or lovers. I take fortune cookies seriously, cherishing the tiny scraps of paper as they hide in my wallet or stick tacked on a bulletin board until they come true.

Over the years, this passion of mine has become slightly more subdued. Or maybe people are just used to it by now; no one has really noted it as odd when I yell at people for stepping on the cracks (lest they break their mothers’ backs) or remind them to make a wish at 11:11am. The thing is, I take this stuff seriously. I am not about to ruin my luck and mess with the fates due to some careless error like opening an umbrella indoors (the horror! Even thinking about that makes me cringe).

Now that you know this about me, it should come to no surprise to you that I recently got a fortune that told me come winter success would rain down on me and I believed it. Then, just this morning I read my December horoscope and it so completely applies to my life. To prove it, I am going to outline it here (with my comments in green) and you can be the judge.

TAURUS (Apr 20- May 20) [My birthday totally falls between those dates!]

The full moon on the 2nd could bring good news about a hefty bundle of cash. [I should hear about a job by then. I think this means I am going to get it. Watch that success rain down on me this winter, my friends! This could also apply to my field hockey check that I should get no later than Awards night, which is on, you guessed it, Dec 2.]

Still, continue to watch yourself. By mid-month, your spending may have exceeded your estimates. [Just last night, I totally made a spending estimate spreadsheet for December in the case I were to get the job and needed to move back to Boston relatively speedily. But I didn’t take into account the holidays and gifts and parties and drinking and all that. Maybe I need to recalculate. As we learned from Flash Forward, you can change the future].

Your enthusiasm for finding the perfect solution to a home-related matter will be strong in December, but with Mars going retrograde on the 20th, it would be best to hurry this project along. Once Mars is out of orbit, your progress will slow. [This must mean that provided I get this job, I should try to find a place to live before the 20th. Totally makes sense. If I were to wait til after, we’d hit the holidays and that’s the time of year I sit around and avoid undecorating the Christmas tree].

Romantically, you’ll be at your best from the 25th until Mid-January. Travel is coming on strong late in the month, so take a distant trip abroad with someone you love. [I’m losing steam on proof here, but the job I applied for is travel related, so maybe that’s what is coming on strong at the end of the month. I can never predict my love life, so I am going to stay out of that one. It seems like bad luck.]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

the weirdest of the weird

So, for a long while I've been wondering about the source of my weirdness. I don't try to deny it- that would be pointless, and anyways I'm not ashamed of it. But I would like to know where it came from. I've always known I was a bit odd, I'm pretty sure most people are, but I just don't know enough to keep it under wraps.

I know there are some quirks I got straight from my parents. Take my love of sock monkeys, for example. (Thanks, Mom!). Or, my aversion to wristwatches and dogs. (Wow, Dad, you too?). The roots of some (most) quirks are harder to pinpoint. Like my obsession with DJs and my refusal to get a "real" job. But, seriously, I wanted to know where exactly I strayed off the path towards a normal existence.

The other day, when visiting my mom after a delightful trip to the dentist (no cavities!) I think I got my answer. I marched upstairs (past my childhood clown collection) and started rooting through my sister's closet. Something was calling to me but I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for. Then I found it:



My Gizmo pillowcase!!!!! More specifically, the root of all my weirdness. The moment I saw it, childhood memories came flooding back. I couldn't believe how much it reminded me of being young.

And then I started thinking about it. I had those sheets from approximately ages 2 to 8. Who in their right mind gives a small child a gremlin to sleep on? "Here baby, we know you have problems sleeping. We know you are a small child with a room full of clowns smiling down on you waiting to kill you in your sleep. So to make it all ok we will surround you in your bed with gremlins waiting to attack you from all sides. Sweet dreams!" There's no way I could be a normal human being after that experience.

So of course I had to bring it back with me and put it on my bed. Because as a 2 year old, it's just creepy. But as a 27 year old, it's ironic. But no matter what age, it's super weird. And that's what I like to be.

Facilitate!

We have a student worker who can't be trusted to do even the simplest tasks in my office. Today I had a brainstorm and thought of something that needed to be done, would get her out of our hair for a while, and would give her something to do. This task was shredding old files, that are unnecessary and take up space we could use for other things. I'm kind of on a cleaning streak at work, in light of being twice restructured, and hopefully expanding my job scope and responsibilities.

On top of it getting things done, keeping her occupied, and taking a long time so I don't have to be bothered giving her something else to do, she wanted to do it. She was excited to use the shredder. I'll admit, it is kind of fun. I sent her off on her merry little way. She was happy. I was happy. My boss was happy. And brownie points for me for thinking of something so simple but that needs to be done.

About 20 minutes later, the student came back because there was a problem. The bin for the paper at the bottom of the shredder was full. In the past, facilities would come and empty the bins, because they make a ridiculous amount of mess, and dust, and we can't just throw them in with the regular recycling or trash. I knew before calling facilities that they were going to say this isn't their job.

I disagree. Facilities wears jeans and old raggedy clothing. Why? Because as the cleaning lady in my freshman dorm said, "You are here to clean, not for the social aspects of life!" I don't really ask much of them, but we wear different clothes to work for a reason. I have to follow a dress code because I work in an office. I must look neat, professional, and presentable. There are days when I get a little lax and wear sneakers. Sometimes on Wednesdays I wear jeans, just for scuz. Today, however, I was dressed particularly nice. And in my nice clothes, there are often times where I have to run up and down the stairs, climb under desks to move computers, rearrange furniture, sharpen pencils, and several times completely clean and overhaul an office or room.

Today, in my charcoal slacks and black button down, I emptied the bin into a plastic bag, so as to minimize the dust, even though it still caused the student worker to cough. This is probably not proper, but then, I'm not facilities.

What is my point? If I am supposed to dress pretty but do facilities-type jobs, then why do the people who don't do facilities type jobs get to dress like slobs and not speak English? I would love to do that. Someone could come in looking for a tutor and I could just say "No comprendo, bitches and then lift my paint-stained jean leg up and put my sneakers on the desk." Either they start dressing real pretty like me, or start doing the things that might actually make them messy. Otherwise, it's jeans and a ripped tee for me from now on.

Because I am an expert

Holy mashed potatoes, batman, two posts in one day from me. Normally if I posted earlier in the day, I purposely wait at least a day to post again. Mainly to keep you guys coming back for more. Today is a horse of a different color.

Just the other day I picked up a copy of Elle magazine to read while taking the bus back to CT. Normally I don't read Elle. But Sarah Jessica Parker was on the cover and inside was an interview with Alec Baldwin. Plus, I love the December issues of even the most mediocre of magazines. There is something about seeing sparkly jewelry and expensive gifts that get me into the holiday spirit. After getting through 10 pages of ads before even hitting an article or editor's letter or even the table of contents, I wanted to throw the magazine out the bus emergency exit window. But I powered on, convinced that this mag would surprise me since obviously they knew what the people wanted (SJP and Alec Baldwin).

By the time I got to the articles I had purchased the magazine for, I was wishing I had read them standing up at the magazine kiosk in the bus station. Because that's all the time these poorly written excuses for journalism were worth. And that's saying a lot. The charm of Sarah Jessica Parker was completely lost on the reader and the comedic likeability of Alec Baldwin didn't even exist. In my head, I said, "Who is Elle hiring these days?" Then I remembered. Elle is too busy hiring people like Olivia Palermo and shooting episodes of the City, to possibly get real writers to do their jobs. Since I am unemployed and a wish-I-could-be-a-writer-but-make-no-real-effort-aside-from-this-blog, I take real offense to this. Put me in a room with Sarah Jessica Parker, Alec Baldwin, and a laptop and I will give you one hell of an entertaining and well written story. I promise.

I thought I got over this and have been trying to make it through the rest of the magazine over the course of the past couple of days. I spent money on that pile of pages and I will read every last one. Then I read Tim's post and got fired up all over again. Did someone really get paid to write an article about alleged photo-shopping of Demi Moore's thigh?

Since I am an expert on aesthetics, here is my opinion on the subject. Since Demi Moore is extremely fit and is clearly standing in contrapposto, there was no chunk of thigh removed from this photo. Do you need more proof? Excellent, I love to put my knowledge of Art History to good use.

Take a look at this photo of Michelangelo's David:
Now compare it to the pose that Demi Moore is striking on her W cover:

You can see how she is standing just like the David, her weight on one foot. Since I don't have Illustrator on my computer, you will have to use your sparkling imagination to draw (in your head) a sarong on the David just like Demi's. Can you picture it? If you leave that little scrap of leg showing, it is going to look as though there is a discrepency between the top of the leg and the rest of the thigh. Why? Because of the way the weight is distributed throughout the body. Because of things we like to call 'muscles.' Because our legs don't just go straight down. That's what we call a peg leg, and only pirates have those.

Because Demi has killer thigh muscles, which you can see above, the way the sarong cuts across makes it look like there has been some photo-editing at first glance. However, after looking at it again and understanding the human body in the way Michelangelo did (although he only really understood men), I am going to say there was no editing (aside from the normal airbrushing), and you are going to believe me, because I have 4 years of Art History under my belt, and I used Michelangelo's David as an example. I'm an expert.

Itsy bitsy spider

I woke up this morning thinking about spiders.

This was largely due to the fact that I had a run in with one of the creepy little creatures last night in my bedroom. After a failed attempt at expunging it from my life, I suffered through fits of nightmares about spiders crawling up my legs and into my mouth.

If you asked me, I wouldn't say I am scared of spiders. They wouldn't even make my top 10 list of things of which I am scared. But, if a spider happened to appear on my arm in the next 10 seconds, I would likely start shrieking uncontrollably, paralyzed by dormant fear. Spiders aren't a blip on my radar, otherwise.

Last night, as I scooped the spider off the wall with ease and professionalism and flung it into the hallway only later to realize now I had no idea where the spider was but at least it was no longer in close proximity to my face, I realized how silly it was to be afraid of spiders.

My reasoning? I can outrun a spider.

Think about it--- sure, spiders are creepy. Normally, when I see a spider, I freeze. A chill runs down my spine. I contemplate stepping on it while slowly backing myself into a corner as it sneaks closer and closer. The one thing I never think to do is run. And why not? I just did a little research and this is what I found:

The fastest spider in the world (Giant House Spider Tegenaria Duellica) moves at a rate of 1.73 ft/sec. This is about 104 ft/min. If an average human can run a mile in 12 min, that human is going at a rate of 440 ft/min. So, in one minute, the human will get 4 times as far as even the fastest spider.

Although a spider has as many legs as Octo-Mom has infants, that doesn't make it any faster than a 2 legged human. If you take a giant step over the spider and run, it won't catch up with you. In fact, when you get back to the scene of the spider spotting, I guarantee you it will still be there, in its own little spider daydream.

So, if anyone out there is afraid of spiders, problem solved... you can thank me later.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's hip to be square

It annoys me sometimes what can be called news, or journalism, or interesting, or gossip. I will write about it here, because I promise to be none of those things.

The Yahoo! front page had this as their feature story:

Demi Demi Moore Demi Moore Demi Demi Moore...


Basically, the article is saying that W photoshopped a huge chunk of Demi Moore's thigh off and then shows a closeup picture. I have taken the closeup and with my excellent Illustrator skills, have shown that there would be a clear path beneath the sarong from her thigh to her hip.


Demi is old, and very pointy. At the same time, she is kind of hot. I think it's stupid and irresponsible for someone to try to create controversy- insinuating that W is trying to pull a fast one on everyone- without thinking about it. And also, someone got paid to put this on Yahoo! It is pointless for me to comment, but I ain't gettin' paid squat.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My new boooyfriend

This product, the Boyfriend Pillow, is not new; but, I had forgotten of its existence. It will be the first in a new feature called "Products We Hate."
It is probably the only time that having a boyfriend seems lamer than having a husband, as in the husband pillow:

This one features the delightful young cast of High School Musical. What a fun hubby!



The boyfriend pillow is creepy. Does it really need a hand on it? If you feel the need to have fake hands covered in fabric touching you, you should probably kill yourself. Who are you pretending is touching you wearing gloves? A scarecrow? Michael Jackson? Michael Jackson as a scarecrow? Straw aside, it would probably be more comfortable snuggling up with this scarecrow and his weird bizarro Garfield appendages.

Is the arm of the chair this sad woman is sitting in not enough support? Sadder and weirder still are the ads that show the women in bed with the "boyfriend." The name is appropriate, because any man that enters your life and sees this thing is quickly leaving, and you'll need your pillow to support you and hold you in its gloved embrace. Sadly it isn't easily hidden away in a drawer like other boyfriends.


Perhaps men and women who grew up in the '80s remember fondly their Pillow People friends. Come to think of it, I haven't seen ads featuring men. The makers of the Boyfriend Pillow are not very progressive. Anyways, I wish I still had my Pillow Person- I had the Pillow Fighter. I don't recall him having such a sad face. And even though I recall him having smooth, silky gloves, I wouldn't cuddle with him. The bruise on his face showed that he wasn't much of a fighter, but that doesn't mean he's a lover either. I wouldn't cuddle with him because, well, that's just sad. I wouldn't personally do this, but if you want to cuddle, at least get a dog. Because as they say, "It's YOUR dog."

Oh and ladies, check out that fabbo turquoise shirt on the boyfriend. Your boyfriend pillow probably has a boyfriend pillow of his own- maybe a Slanket.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Life as a TV show

Obviously, TV shows are an example of art imitating life. Sometimes, though, life imitates this art form right back.

I'm not just talking about the ridiculous things that happen that make you feel like the butt of life's scripted jokes. Do you ever have those things happen to you that make you feel like you're a TV character, because no one would really appreciate it except for an audience that knows your character? I point to the classic example of myself in college, walking to class, when suddenly, my underwear fell out of my pants. No one witnessed this. At the time I was so confused that my first response was to grab the elastic around my waist to make sure they hadn't somehow shimmied down my leg to the pavement. This was not the case; the pair on the ground had clung to the inside of my jeans and loosened during the walk. My pants were much baggier then, which was the style at the time. Oh, I also weighed 2-hundo.

There are hundreds of these classic moments, and sometimes life finds a way of bring them together like the best TV writers. Last fall, rushing on my way to a date, I was splashed by a car going through a puddle left from the rain earlier in the day. No, not puddle- small pond. Not car- giant SUV. Not splashed- hit by a 6 foot wall of water that left me looking like I sat in the front row at a Sea World killer whale show. I ran uphill, in Chucks mind you, because I was going to a concert, so I had to look real cool, back to my apartment, and changed the jeans and hoodie. The tee shirt stayed unharmed. A short while later, my friend, who happens to be fond of DJs invited me out for drinks. Her and her friends discussed their crush on one in particular. Later, I told her I had gone on three dates with him. I was complimented on not doing a "Saved By The Bell" spit take earlier in the night.

*Flashback: she often flirted or spoke with DJs at college events and bars. We her laughed this was when the following dialogue was exchanged: "I just like DJs." "We know."*

At some point in every TV show, and in life, we become caricatures of ourselves. In the later seasons of TV shows, characters are so well known, we just "get" them. The writers don't have to try as hard as they did writing them.

Jerry Seinfeld was always portrayed as a neatfreak and obsessive. In one of the later episodes, we see him throwing out shoelaces because they touched the floor of a men's room.

My friends from college and I had our sixth "Geeks Thanksgiving" yesterday. This is a tradition we started right after graduation, and have not skipped one since. It's nice to know that some things change, but some things stay the same.

Erin tells us how she tells her kindergartners "That's ridiculous, go away" when they're bothering her.
Liz makes weird noises and when we make fun of her defends herself in a high pitched squeal.
Courtney drinks a 20 oz. bottle of Coke at dinner because she doesn't like anything healthy, and doesn't like "grownup drinks." Twisted Tea does not count.
Keith has a new hobby, making jewelry.
Those of us at justforscuz volunteer to sit at the kids table, which is fitting since we refuse to take part in adult relationships or proper adult behavior.

With life moving forward-people getting engaged, married, soon having kids- it's good that we can count on our friends to stay who they are when that's what we need. That's why we loved them in the first place.

Our TV show ended. We don't see each other often enough for there to be a series based around our interconnected lives. It's sad, but all good things must come to an end. As I said when "FRIENDS" had its finale, which we all watched together, "I'm glad we're ending when we are." My roommate looked at me and said "We're ENDING?" like I was an idiot. And I love that somewhere across the ocean in Spain, he's probably rolling his eyes at something I've done that he can just sense.

We have all moved on to spinoffs. Some survived and some did not. I like to think that mine is still going, because fortunately it's based on hating my job and being awkward at dating. That won't change anytime soon.

It's nice to know that once a year we can have our TV Reunion Special: Geeks Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

One for me, one for you

In 2009, I had 2 big personal accomplishments, about which you are probably sick of reading. The first was enrolling in Sketch writing classes at ImprovBoston. The second was running the Providence Marathon.

The former, writing class, had a clear outcome from the beginning: Level 1 to begin writing and getting my ideas on paper; Level 2 to hone my skills, explore different types of sketches; Level 3, work with classmates to write, cast, and produce a show. The latter, the marathon, was much more open-ended: I could run the Providence Marathon again; I could run the Boston Marathon; I could focus on improving my speed on shorter races.

I did both of these things for me. They were personal accomplishments. I began writing class alone, and though I have made new friends in the class, it will remain a personal accomplishment when all is said and done, and has hopefully gone well. I began training for the marathon because I was inspired by my friends who were mentoring a group of high school students. Although I trained with them a couple times, and ran the race alongside them, I ran my own race and finished before the rest of the group.

I am definitely taking Level 3 this winter, on Saturday afternoons. I want to run with team Dreamfar in Providence in 2010, which involves early morning runs on Saturdays. The first roadblock in my mind is that runs may interfere with class. I realized that this will probably only happen a few times, if ever. The second roadblock was the thought that if I do run, I will be running as a pace group leader. I won't be running the race for me. I won't be trying to improve on my time from last year. It won't be my own race. I thought to myself if I would be all right with that.

Quickly, I figured it out. Was I any less proud of my friends who finished after me? Was I less proud of the students who finished after me, including one who had lost his mother just days before? Was I less proud of the kid who was told to stop trying because his body seized, but he wanted to finish, even if walking? Was I less proud of the girl who was the very last person to finish the race, after the finish line had been deconstructed and whose finish line was composed of her family, friends, and fellow runners?

No. That is what I remember most, more than my own run. I was proud of myself, but I was more proud of each one of those people. I can't imagine the pride my friends felt after mentoring those students for months. I want to be part of that, more than I was this year.

In 2010, I will be writing for and acting in my first comedy show. That is for me. I will also be training for a marathon. That will be for others. It won't be for personal gain or accomplishment, but somehow I think it will be more than worth it. I can't help if it still leads to personal growth.

March 19, 2010 SketchHaus
May 2, 2010 Providence Marathon

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Let's slap bet on that

I love Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving mainly because I love pumpkin pie (and Thanksgiving is the only holiday where you are guaranteed a pumpkin pie, except if you are a brat and request it on your birthday--which is in May-- out of spite because no one will make you a strawberry dream cake), but also because I love the movie Home for the Holidays. If I could eat pumpkin pie and watch Home for the Holidays every day of the year, I would probably do it and it would never get old.

Aside from those superficial reasons, I do also like the special events that surround this glorious day. One such event is our annual Geeks' Thanksgiving, where all of my close college friends gather around the turkey to enjoy each others' company (and of course, watch Home for the Holidays). Our "family" thanksgiving is happening this Sunday and I have been looking forward to it all week. Thinking of my friends' version of the beloved holiday reminded me of the Thanksgiving episode of How I Met Your Mother entitled,"Slapsgiving."

I love How I Met Your Mother almost as much as I love pumpkin pie. I am not going to go so far as to say How I Met Your Mother is the new Friends, but it is a very funny show. What's great about this program is that the things they do remind me of things that my friends would do.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the show or the Slapsgiving episode, here is the basic recap: Barney and Marshall make a slap bet that is worth 5 slaps. Barney loses. Lily is assigned the role as the Slap Bet Commissioner. Instead of slapping Barney immediately (as is normally the process as soon as a slap bet is over), Marshall opts to slap Barney at random over the course of the next few months/years. By the time the days prior to Thanksgiving roll around, Marshall has already given Barney 2 slaps. He had set up a website with a countdown to the next slap, which is to happen on Thanksgiving day. Barney is freaked out. Lily gets mad her Thanksgiving will be ruined and declares that there will be no slaps on Thanksgiving. But, within the last 10 seconds of the slap countdown, Lily changes her mind about the no slap rule, Marshall slaps Barney, then Marshall sings a song. It's amazing. [I can't wait for slaps 4 and 5; they haven't happened yet].

An excerpt from "Slapsgiving":


Anyway, I had forgotten about this episode until I was watching HIMYM this past week, and Ted and Marshall made a quick slap bet at the bar. Once Ted won, he slapped Marshall. A very minor detail in the entire episode, but it's the continuity in this show that makes it great.

Thus, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I have a proposal to make. Now, starting now, let's resolve all disagreements by Slap Bets.

I might seem like I am kidding, but I am not. Let's take a regular bet, for example. The standard way to deal with a bet is to use money as terms. If I win, you give me $20. If you win, I give you $20. But, money isn't really fair unless both parties involved have the exact same amount of money. $20 to me might be like $1,000 to you based on what you have in your bank account. Percents would be better, but when's the last time you heard a high roller say, "I'll take you for 10% of your net worth"? The answer to that question is never. Never.

A slap bet is the world's equalizer. No one likes to be slapped. Everyone likes to slap. Everyone has the ability to be slapped and to slap.* Think about how much closer we'd be to World Peace, if it was only one slap away.....And I rest my case.

*I know what you are about to say: What about people who are paralyzed, don't have arms, are missing half their face, etc? In those cases, I think we all could agree on a slap proxy. Someone to give or receive slaps on behalf of the affected party as needed.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What the meep?

I saw a blip about this on the news, and then researched further on the interweb.

Meep banned in schools


In essence, students at Danvers High School, have been saying "Meep" too much. According to the article, and the 7 News teaser, "Meep" is the catchphrase of Beaker from the Muppets.

I don't think so. Beaker, if anything, says Mee-mee-mee. He also speaks and repeats what Bunsen Honeydew is saying, but with more Ms and Es. Rarely does he add a P. His drawbridge mouth might not even be capable of it.



None of these beakers say Meep. Yet, Muppet marketing has coined his phrase as meep. This proves that kids will just buy into anything, even if not true. Kid are dumb.

You know who says "Meep?" The Roadrunner. He thinks it's so nice, he says it twice. Are these kids trying to be the roadrunner? No, because the Looney Tunes are kind of lame.

How dare anyone try to ban something that's annoying because the Muppets say it? Muppets are people too! This is a slippery slope and soon we'll be living in a Orwellian 1984 where we don't have enough words to express our feelings or thoughts. Next will be ban the gays' "Hey, girl, hey"? What if in 2001 we banned the mostly-black "Holla" and its white cousin "Holler"?

In conclusion, there is so much ignorance in this world, even in a liberal state like Massachusetts. These ignorant children are confusing the adorable attempts of a puppet-mad-scientists assistant to express his feelings despite his debilitating speech impediment with the cackle of some jerk cartoon bird who's always attempting to kill a coyote, when he could just run away and leave it at that. And trying to ban something that the Muppets say? That's just straight up racist.

Lazy

Sometimes I am quite possibly the laziest person in the universe. I am not embarrassed to admit this here, because laziness at home usually translates into efficiency in the workplace. When I worked at The Company, if I needed to go see someone about a mistake in a document while simultaneously craving a diet coke, I made sure to put the correct change in my pocket before heading over. No need for two trips if the convenience machine was located along the route to my co-workers desk. I'm also a big fan of the 'Let's get everyone in the room' meeting, so you can brainstorm and come up with a plan in one fell swoop, instead of doing it bit by bit. This usually condenses what could end up a months-long futile project into a one-day quickly rejected plan.

Now that I don't have a job and the closest thing I have to co-workers are the cast of The Office (I can't wait to check in tonight to see what shenanigans have arisen at work this past week), I've realized my brilliance at doing the least possible amount of work to complete a task is quickly fading. Simply put, I am so out of practice I don't even think we can call what I am doing as efficient anymore. It's just laziness. I can't even be bothered to come up with a clever title. What am I saying when I say 'Lazy'? I'm lazy? You're lazy? We all scream for lazy? You'll be lucky if I even spell-check this bad boy.

The problem with my laziness is that I am also oddly anal about certain things. One of these such things is my gmail inbox. I HATE with a capital H-A-T-E unread emails. I don't understand how some people can constantly have unread mail hanging out for an eternity. At the same time, there are certain emails I don't ever plan on reading. If I let them, they'd lurk in my inbox, bold and unweilding, forever haunting me and begging me to please open them to find out how much I can save at Sephora this week. As much as I hate these messages (usually coupons or updates from some charity I donated to once because someone I knew was roller skating down Newbury Street wearing a santa hat and a bikini), I also refuse to unsubscribe to the mailing because I am a packrat. I just might need that email one day when I want to save on MegaWatt MegaLash Dramatic Length Sparkly-Ho Mascara.

These unread emails test my laziness. I am WAY too lazy to open up the email. That would involve a click on the mouse, waiting for it to load, then clicking on 'back to inbox' (2 clicks per email). For a while, I was clicking on 'select unread' then clicking on 'mark as read' then clicking on 'select none' because I also hate when things are randomly selected (3 clicks per group of emails). I quickly realized (today)that that method was only useful if I had more than one unread email that qualified as too useless to read but not useless enough to permanently delete.

Meanwhile, I am on gmail all the time so there is a constant war between my natural inclination to be lazy (let the unread emails sit there) to my obsession with what I like to call a 'clean' inbox (doing something about it).

Recently, I had a breakthrough (this was partly because my 'clean' inbox was littered with 'marked as read' junk mail). I don't have to do anything at all. I've delegated this OCD responsibility to gmail itself. I've now set up over 15 filters on my account that automatically label, mark as read, and archive my coupons, charity emails, facebook messages, etc. When I am in the mood, I click on my labels to see what's new in the world of Sephora, DSW, and Autism Speaks.

All of that said, since I don't have an inbox to meticulously maintain, I'm bored. I guess I will spell check this post.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Van Gogh on girl!

"What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?"- Vincent Van Gogh

I had dinner with a very good friend tonight, to wish him well on an upcoming endeavor. I gave him a card with this quote from Vincent Van Gogh. He didn't read it until after dinner, and after we made a failed attempt at Stump Trivia. I think most of our points were earned because of my excessive television viewing for most of my childhood.

He gave me something too. He gave me some news that put things in perspective for me. This news made me realize I need to be more of a complete person. I need to move forward. I need to go on. Every once in a while, we deserve to take a break and sit tight in our lives. The longer we rest, the less we live. I have been resting on this one for a while.

I have attempted a few things Since last September: living on my own, comedy writing class, a 10K, half marathon, a full marathon, zumba, cardio funk, this blog, dating. These all stemmed from being comfortable with myself. Maybe I'll never be entirely comfortable with myself. All of these things were a long time coming. Since last September I have made some progress. Then I rested.

Tonight I need to stop resting, and keep living, no matter the outcome. First I'll need some courage. And by that, I mean wine.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Costco

"I'm sort of like Costco. I'm big, I'm not fancy and I dare you to not like me."- Cam, Modern Family. If you don't watch Modern Family, you should.

I have signed up for a Cosco membership today. It's closer than BJ's, although I still sort of feel like I'm cheating. I feel like I'm drinking Pepsi and not Coke. It's not quite as bad as going to Starbucks when there's a Dunkin' Donuts within 5 miles.

This is a new adventure for me. I had a BJ's membership before, but that was because I was buying things for the school store in Walpole. It was $40. I bought enough things during the course of the year to save $40, so it was worth it, on top of it being necessary. Now begins my challenge of saving at least $50 at Costco this year to make it worth it.

The thing about Costco is, it's overwhelming. I don't have room in my freezer for the amount of frozen pizzas I can buy together; I would spill the huge bags of Dunkin' Donuts coffee everywhere, and I like mayonnaise but I don't need to swim in a vat of it. Oatmeal was a good deal, but I really only want the Maple Brown Sugar. Once I plow through those, I'll have 36 bags of oatmeal I don't want to eat.

Tonight I decided it was enough to get the membership and a couple of items. Earlier tonight, I had a hankering for Sushi. Sushi, I got. $5.49 for 16 pieces. If I went to Mr. Sushi down the street, I would have paid $13.33 for the same amount. I also got string cheese- 48 of them for $7.99. I think that is about what you pay for 24 at Stop&Shop. Finally, the thing I buy most often- peanut butter. I got two 48 oz. jars for $8.39. Usually it's $3.29 for 16.3 oz.

Mr. Sushi 16 pieces of California roll- $13.33
Stop and Shop 48 pieces of string cheese $15.98
Stop and Shop peanut butter- 96 oz.- $19.38
Total: $48.69
Costco total: $21.87

Savings: $26.82

I've saved the price of half a year's membership on 3 items. I think I'm gonna like Costco. I can't wait till my coupons are valid starting on the 12th. Time to start clipping.

That's a deal breaker, ladies!

Pretty much every day I have a series of pointless skype conversations with a friend of mine who lives out in Denver (we will call her B). In every conversation, B has a new guy that we need to discuss. It's my job as her friend to tell her that they are losers. If she likes him, he's probably a loser (a tattooed, slacker, commitment-phobe loser). If she doesn't like him, he's definitely a loser (a potentially homeless, clingy loser) and she needs to get rid of him and quickly. Because I consider myself a Liz Lemon-type expert on loser guys, I get to make the call on whether or not he is worth giving a shot. I mean, since I have never met these guys and I only hear her one-sided version of every story, this makes perfect sense. But, it's what we do. And it is fun. And I never get tired of using the phrase "deal breaker." Because B is constantly meeting these loser guys, I can't help but wonder.... Do these guys even know that the things they are doing are deal breakers? Do they care?

As a public service to the dating world, I am going to outline some deal breakers here. Please don't hate me if I mention something you do. Learn from it.

Doesn't have a job, a cell phone, or a dollar bill for dollar drinks during happy hour-- DEAL BREAKER
I've been writing this mini-article in my head about how the economy is the number 1 reason why I am single. Everyone has blamed the economy for everything else that is going wrong in their lives, why can't I apply it to my love life? My reasoning behind this is that guys are no longer out there spending their disposable income on drinks for me. They just don't have the disposable income anymore and they need all the money they have to drown their own sorrows, mine not included. What I am saying is, I totally understand being unemployed. Half of my friends don't have jobs right now, and the other half are underemployed. Okay, you lost your job and bills are too much to handle. Then, your phone bill goes by the wayside and it gets turned off. I get it. You've had some bad luck and it is a real bummer. And yes, we appreciate you were able to call multiple times despite the fact you don't have a phone. But one question remains: why did you ask to meet up with a girl for Happy Hour if you can't afford the dollar drinks? I'm not saying the guy needs to buy all of the drinks (although he should offer--- dating etiquette says that the one who does the asking does the paying), but at the very least he should be able to contribute to the tab. Also, if he doesn't have a lot of money, and he picks a particularly inexpensive venue that offers dollar drafts, he definitely shouldn't be ordering Bourbon and then asking his date to cover the cost. I don't care about the calorie count, man. Nut up and drink a cheap beer if that's all you can afford. Don't you have any pride?

Wants to see and be near you all the time, and you've only known each other for just over a week-- DEAL BREAKER
Since I've only really lived in Boston, it's hard for me to know what kinds of guys live out in the rest of the world. I am used to being picked up in a bar and then just as quickly dropped when the next pretty girl walks by. Finding a boyfriend in Boston is like winning the lottery. You play the numbers game (he collects all the numbers), and once in a million your number is chosen and you win. Yay! In other places, guys seem to latch on a little more, try a little harder. If they take your number, they sometimes call you the very next day. In some ways, I find this charming and sweet. I am not one for the "wait 3 days before you call" rule. I think that's stupid. If a guy wants to call, he should call. The problem arises when he calls multiple times before getting a response, wonders why you didn't call him when you were going to a party on the weekend (yes, I know the fact it was free works for your empty wallet), and insists on cuddling on the couch before you are really ready for cuddling on couches. I guess part of my issue with this one is I am (what's the word for selfish that's nice?) a very independent person and I don't like anyone cramping my style. I'm also very suspicious. If someone wants to come over to my apartment on a Sunday night just to hang out, I know what they really want: my leftovers from dinner. I'm sure this sort of tactic might work on some girls. For me.... it's a deal breaker, ladies.

Gives out backhanded compliments instead of real ones-- DEAL BREAKER
If someone tells you are pretty because even that horrible haircut you just got doesn't prevent you from being cute, I only have three words: Shut. It. Down.

Makes you feel like a unicorn--- DEAL BREAKER
Everyone wants to feel special and unique. No one wants to feel so special and unique that they are a mythical creature with a horn jutting out of his or her forehead that needs to be observed overnight. I once went out with a guy who acquired two strikes before dinner (STRIKE 1: didn't buy my pre-dinner beer and STRIKE 2: wore a faded, old sweater), and throughout the meal he proceeded to tell me just what a unicorn I was. I am sure he thought he was paying me compliment after compliment, but by the end of the night, I felt like I was some sort of a weirdo that was being studied, or that he had never actually talked to a real live girl before. [It's hard to really explain the unicorn comments. In my case, he said things like: "Wow, I can't believe you like barbeque pulled pork! I've never gone out with a girl who didn't order a salad, a girl that wasn't constantly counting calories. Wow! You even ordered a beer. I've never seen a girl order a beer before. WOAH! It's not even a light beer! Can we hang out again so I can learn more about your unique species?...]

Has a goatee-- DEAL BREAKER
Okay, so this one is all me. I just don't like goatees. You could be the nicest, most handsome, most amazing person in the world and I wouldn't date you unless you shaved off your goatee. Almost every other form of facial hair is fine by me. I love a nice 5 o'clock shadow (who doesn't?), I'd probably even go for someone with a beard. A moustache would be pushing it, but would still be better than a goatee. I don't get their appeal, I don't get why so many guys have them. If anyone wants to explain the goatee to me, I will hear it, but I probably won't change my mind.

There are countless of other things out there lurking in the shadows of your dates waiting to break deals. My theory is, if it is a deal breaker for you just end it. Don't give second chances. To those of you who are out there saying, "No, maybe it was just an off day! Maybe my guy will stop being a loser when we go out again. I really liked him when I met him in the bar that first time, my judgement wasn't at all clouded by alcohol or loneliness." To those nay-sayers, I will leave you with this. From my second-hand experience through B, the losers never get better. If they start out a potential relationship by telling you the dress you are wearing makes you look less chubby while simultaneously asking you to pick up the tab for dinner, it's only going to get worse. First dates are for good impressions, not d-bag behavior.

Honorary November 8th post

Today I had my second to last class of Sketch Writing Level II. We have had a few weeks off, which is not a good thing for me. When given too much time, I tend to do nothing with it. I wrote a sketch, and some ideas for a classmate's sketch from the last class. During most of the editing critique, we were all telling each other "It's good." There weren't a lot of critiques to make. Our instructor Dave commented on that as well. He said he felt bad just telling us "I like it" since that isn't really necessarily constructive criticism.

My Level I teacher stressed the importance of finding writing partners, because it can just be great to bounce ideas off of someone else. I feel like I do this in real life. Most of my friends are hilarious, and when we talk and joke, there is an energy there that just makes everything funnier. Today felt like that. We started Level II as two halves of Level I classes coming together, like two junior high schools learning to coincide as one in high school. We still give feedback, but we've all become much better at the craft, so the comments are "Here's how to make this funny part even funnier!" and not "Here are the jokes you should cut!"

We did a brainstorming activity today, as we always do. Today, we were supposed to just shout out ideas on what's funny about: Negotiation, babies, and religious ceremonies. At first there was silence. Then an idea or two. Then a joke. Then a ridiculous story. By the end when the list was read back to us, we were all laughing hysterically. Earlier in the class, there was even a real life spit take. My classmate Megan and I weren't even angry that we had coffee spit on us. As I told the spit-taker "You just became a real life 'Saved by the Bell' character!" Nothing wrong with that.

As writers, we all have more work to do. Our sketches are not perfect, but one of the things we have been saying more and more is that new ideas will come from acting it out and rehearsing the sketches. We are talking about staging the sketches, which is what we will actually be doing after the next course. My classmate Ciaran said "We HAVE to be in the sketches when they do it!" I am frightened to actually be in the sketches, or to have something I've written performed; I am more excited than I am frightened. I have one more week of Level II left and then I will be signing up for Level III. I am considering taking some improv classes too, to make me less of a stiff for my big debut.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Writer's Block Support

I am avoiding writing by writing. I have two sketches to write for class, which is tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. I am not really much further behind than normal, because I am a professional procrastinator. My usual formula involves staying up late the night before, occasionally even taking time to go out for a drink or two, and finishing the sketches in the morning.

Last term, my class was at 10 a.m. on Saturday mornings and this was how I operated. This term, the class is later in the weekend AND the day. So that means...I push back doing the work even more. It actually is still beneficial that the class is later in the day. The extra day, however, doesn't help. I don't know how that works mathematically.

Right now, I have writer's block. Or, do I? Most of the week, I think of ideas, and throw most of them out before they even reach paper. 9 times out of 10, I settle on an idea the night before and begin writing. I'm not sure if I actually get writer's block, or if I just need the pressure. I always waited until the last minute for assignments in school and I did pretty well.

I should be a better role model, considering the news I got on Friday at work. I was actually kind of waiting to hear that I got fired. A few unrelated clues led me to believe I was being "restructured" as I was in October, more thoroughly. Instead, I found out that I am being restructured, but it involves adding something to my job responsibilities in which I'm actually interested.

As of Monday, I will be helping students who need writing support. The details don't exist yet; we will have to figure out the logistics starting Monday. I won't be able to give the students any tips on getting work done on time. I probably will, I'll just be giving them advice I don't follow. I am happy that the students are going to have more support for writing. I am thrilled to be doing this, as far as it will help my career and filling out my resume.

After getting a little rusty, I will be refreshing all of my writing skills while helping these students. Hopefully, it will also help me write something of value here and give me the ability to bust out a sketch without trying.