Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Minivans Are Tangible Evidence of Evil

Well, I've got some time to kill so let's make a blog entry, shall we?  I am having my CPAP machine adjusted (a task that I am not trusted to do on my own) and the respiratory therapist is slated to arrive here between 11 and 1 to do this 30 second task.  I really wish I could remember if I chose 11 to 1 over some other time slot because if I did I need to go give myself a swirly or something because this is crap (vs cpap - ha!).  I'm hungry and I want to leave my house.  So, back to blogging:

The title to this entry is a bumper sticker that I saw many years ago and may or may not have purchased.  The car that I covered in stickers is now living out its golden years in New Orleans with Andy so I can't go outside and confirm if that one is on there or not.  Regardless, at the time I thought it was perfect and I kind of still do.  I have no doubt that there are people reading this who drive a minivan so let's just say I'm not talking about you.  (I might be but let's just say I'm not)  Here are some things that I don't understand about my fellow drivers:

1.  I have driven many minivans over the years.  I will admit that they are not the easiest to back up and be fully confident that you are seeing everything behind you.  Still, other than that, they are no harder or easier to drive than any other vehicle commonly found on the roads.  So why is it that so many people drive them as if they have no freaking idea how to do it.  They change lanes too soon after passing because the minivan is longer than they expect, they park like ass clowns because the minivan is wider than they expect, and they drive like frickin' Dale Jr. because apparently the engine is more powerful then they expect.  Is there too much shit happening inside the van to be paying full attention to what's going on outside?  I'm aware that some people in SUV's have this same difficulty but what makes it so galling in minivans is what happens after they just ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of you.  You know what happens.  They give you the look like you are some kind of assassin sent from the future to single-mindedly try to kill their precious children.  SUV people will also pull out in front of you or cut you off but the difference is that at no point will they even acknowledge that something bad almost just happened.

2.  What is up with people's obsession with backing into parking spaces?  I feel like this is getting more prevalent lately.  I can't figure out the benefit of doing this.  They're trading the process of backing out of a parking space for backing into one so there's no less driving in reverse.  In fact, it's easier to back out into a whole parking lot lane than it is to back into a single parking space so overall it's more work.  For the same reason it's not saving time because it's quicker to back out then to back in.  So...I don't get it.  There's only one reasonable explanation in my mind:  they're planning on robbing the place because that's how getaway drivers park.

3.  Truck nuts.  Not OK.  Ever.  They actually make me sad for the driver who is clearly so profoundly insecure and worried that someone somewhere might think that his lifted diesel Dodge Ram is a female truck that he had to attach male genitalia to it.  I'm not even going to get into the insanity of assigning a gender to your vehicle (mostly because I do it).  I wonder if there is some sort of analogous feminizing car accessory out boobs that go on the grill.  I'd look it up but I'm resolving to try to learn at least a few new wholesome things before I add to my already considerable repertoire of inappropriate knowledge.

4.  Am I the only one who pays attention when moving from an offramp to a new highway to whether or not there is a merge lane?  There's one like this near the mall here and almost every time I take the exit when I get to the bottom of the ramp there is a car stopped at the bottom watching the other cars go by.  The problem here is that there is a merge lane so the idea is to keep going, use that blinker and merge into the traffic.  Easy peasey.  I'm pretty sure it's a standard thing in road design.  I've seen it before lots of times, I swear.  If you're one of those people be sure to look in your rear view mirror.  If you see a person in an orange Jeep waving their arms and yelling, that's me.  If you don't read lips, I'm saying "You get your own lane, you funky idiom!"

I want to share one thing with you all before I go.  I've come up with an expression to describe when people are operating their vehicles in an unsafe or obnoxious manner.  Feel free to use it but if it gains worldwide popularity be sure to remember you heard it here first.  Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you....

Drivin' Douche

Monday, December 28, 2009

How The Mai-ty Have Fallen

I hope everyone had a nice holiday (or just a nice last week of December if that's what it was to you).  Mine has been, until about 30 minutes ago, full of personal triumph.  Let me start with the ways in which I have been kicking ass lately:

1.  I went to Maine for Christmas with Jenn Hupp (hereafter to be referred to as Huppy because, really, how can you not?) to hang out with her brother's family.  In an unusual plot twist,  I did not get a cold while I was there nor have a I gotten sick since I returned.  My joy is tempered by the fact that Huppy got sick instead.  Still, woot!

2.  I actually spent all day today working on lesson plans and syllabi for my Spring 2010 classes.  I know, right?  This sudden ability to focus prior to the last minute comes from the fact that I have agreed to teach six classes in the spring (full time is 3 or 4 classes).

3.  For years I have made something called peanut butter popcorn (an awesome treat I learned from my Grandma Kelley).  It tastes so good but I tend to make a mess when I make it.  Today, however, the fog parted and I had the epiphany that I could do everything I needed to do in the microwave eliminating a  lot of the mess.  Yes, I am 38 and it is late 2009 and I just frickin' figured out how useful my microwave can be.

These things have made me feel like I'm doing all right, navigating through the world, kicking ass, taking names.

Then a little while ago I stood up from the couch to go check out a cat-related noise and I somehow managed to get my right foot tangled up inside my left pajama pant leg while in mid-stride.  This had the effect of hogtying my feet together and I pitched forward sprawling on the floor missing a doorway by inches.  I mean seriously, I've been doing so well and suddenly I can't trust myself to walk and wear pants at the same time?  For frick's sake!

Huppy witnessed this incident in its entirety and once I was vertical again we had this conversation:

Huppy:  "You weren't actually that close to hitting the doorframe.  You did some traveling while you were writhing around."
Me:  "Oh, that's good.  I mean, it would have been fine either way.  I would have used my catlike reflexes to keep from getting brained."
Huppy:  "Really.  And where were those catlike reflexes when you were trying to walk across the room?"
Me:  "Uh..."

Tomorrow my goals are to do more lesson plans, wear my clothes right-side out, and to not fall down.  And no fires!

Update:  It's now been 24 hours and one of my toes is purple.  Again, how is it that I can't successfully walk and wear pants at the same time.  I've had a TON of practice!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Menace II Society

I hope that someday I can make this blog into a place where I weigh in on deep issues, make astute observations, perhaps give my readers a new perspective on something...

Today is not that day. Instead I'm going to tell you (for not the first and certainly not the last time) a story about how I made an ass of myself today. Ready?

This is finals week where I work. This means I have a ton of grading to do. Unfortunately I am almost incapable of grading at home. Home has too many things to do other than grading so I typically go to a restaurant, park myself there, and tip heavily. Tonight I decided to try a local Thai restaurant. It's a pretty small place and a little family was at the only four-top so I sat at a little two-top, placed my order and started to get organized. While I was separating the finals into a stack for each of the three versions, I got a whiff of someone toasting marshmallows. Despite the fact that I hadn't gotten my dinner I immediately started fantasizing about ordering whatever it was that smelled like roasted marshmallows. Here's a neat tidbit: If you put your napkin on top of a candle it ignites and smells like smores. Yup, in the midst of all of my organizing I had set stuff on top of the burning candle at my table. By the time I realized what was going on the napkin was pretty well engulfed so I picked it up and walked toward the bar to ask for a glass of water. One of the other customers was nice enough to let me extinguish it in her ice water.

Take a moment and imagine how mortifying it was to set my napkin on fire and have to douse it in someone else's water.

I'll wait.

OK, now try to imagine how extra mortifying it is, after the napkin fire/dousing experience, to return to the table and discover that the final exams were now on fire. Seriously. I'm not sure it's possible for me to be a bigger horse's ass. Fortunately, copier type paper doesn't burn nearly as fast as a paper napkin so I was able to bat this one out with my hand. At this point I blew out the candle, put all my grading stuff away, ate my food, and left.

I don't think I'm going to do any more grading tonight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So You Think You Can Function

I was watching the season finale of So You Can Think You Can Dance this evening and needed to go to another room to grab some paper.  As I stood up the showed a clip from a Bollywood performance and since those are my favorites I stopped for a moment to do a little dance.  Naturally, I was asked what on earth I was doing so I said I was dancing and that if I wanted to I could do what they were doing on the TV.  Considering the amount of flipping and leaping that was going on I had to say this with a hefty amount of confidence and bravado.  Sure, I can do that I just don't feel like it.  After making this pronouncement I turned and walked right into door.

If anyone asks how I got the bruise I'm going to tell them I was dancing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mmmm...that's some good foot!

So I called my friend Maureen Friday afternoon to make plans to get together that evening.  Before we could get very far, though, the person she was meeting showed up and she told me she'd call me back in a few minutes.  No problemo.  I'll pause here and let people know that when I'm home alone for a while I tend to get a little squirrelly.  About ten minutes later my phone rang and it said "Private Caller" on the caller ID.  Based on Maureen's profession, having a blocked number is very reasonable.  So I answered the phone singing a variation of Tina Turner's "Private Dancer" (You're my private caller, a caller who's money, you'll call who wa-ant to...) and I got this:  "Um, is Maia Kelley there?"  Craaaaaaaaap!  It was my doctor's office calling to confirm an appointment for next Tuesday.  When I get there I fully expect to be handed a referral for mental health services.

I might take it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Open Letter to Students Everywhere

Dear Students,

I have a very simple message for all of you from your teachers.  We can see you.  Based on my years of teaching experience, I can only conclude that you don’t realize we can see you.  Is it TV?  Do you think there’s a piece of one-way glass between us like on the detective shows.  In that case, you must think us deranged as we roam the front of the room happily nattering away at what we think is a big ass mirror.  No, that’s not it?  OK, then perhaps you think we’re just not that swift.  We’re too dim to notice the things you do while we teach.  I don’t know if I’d hang my hat on that theory either, students, because if that’s how slow you think your teachers are, what does it say about you?  I know, I know, get to the point, you gas bag.  Fine.  Here’s what students need to know:
  1. When you sit in the back of the classroom and stealthily mine for nose gold, I can see you.  Yes, you’re very clever sitting in the back row so the other students have their backs to you and can’t see this activity.  But I can.  Every time.  You don’t realize I can see you because you’re too busy sliding your eyes sideways to make sure no one near you can catch you in their peripheral vision.  Please stop.  Please.
  2. Those desks at which you sit?  They don’t have any fronts or sides, just tops.  So while YOU might not be able to see your own hand digging around to get at that persistent itch you so very clearly have, I can see it just fine.  Hey, everybody has had to do the shimmy a few times in their life when struck by a wedgie or some other personal discomfort while in public.  But seriously, some of you folks have this happen waaaay too often.  I’d like to refer you to my blog on odors and its related suggestions on hygiene.  And by “folks” I mean boys and men.  Despite the fact that we are subjected to commercials on the topic of feminine itch I have never seen a female student do this. 
  3. Guess what!  I have a phone too.  I even know how to send text messages!  I know!  And I'm so OLD!  This means I know what it looks like when you do it while I’m teaching.  When a person is bent over using both hands to fiddle in their laps with something just out of sight they are either texting or about to get arrested for public indecency.  It's cool , though, I can respect your decision to place text messaging above paying attention in my class.  I’ll assume that you will in turn respect my decision to rank sleeping in tomorrow morning above meeting with you in my office to help you learn the material that I was teaching while you were texting.
  4. Finally, here’s one of the ways I know you’re trying to cheat on a test.  No one takes a test and only looks at their own paper and nowhere else.  Sometimes people stare ahead vacantly and sometimes they look up at the ceiling or down at the floor.  Want to know where they don’t look?  They don’t look at me.  The only reason a student will repeatedly look at me during a test is to see if I’m looking at them.  And I am.  Sure, eventually I might not be looking somewhere else when they check but by that point I’m already aware of their intentions.  So, be my guest and copy that answer from your neighbor.  This is not my first rodeo, boys and girls, and I never give people who sit next to each other the same version of the test.

I know this seems like a lot of information but it really does all boil down to this simple message:  I.  Can.  See.  You.  Thank you for your attention in this matter, students.  It feels good to get this information out there.

Your Math Prof

P.S.  Yes, this will be on the test.  Duh.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Por Favor

I spent some time on the treadmill today trying to counteract some of the bad choices I've made over this very delicious Thanksgiving weekend.  While doing so I noticed a sharp pain in my right big toe.  It seems that I might be developing a bunion.  Yes, a bunion.  What.  The.  Hell.

I need a favor from anyone reading this.  If at any time I start to refer to my pants as slacks or my couch as a davenport I freely give any and all of you permission to stage an intervention.  Please.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Your Facebook

I'm on Facebook a lot, I admit it.  I'm on my computer a lot in the evenings and therefore it is pretty easy to keep a Facebook tab open and periodically go there and click Home to see what's what.  I love watching TV with my laptop on so that I can look people up on IMDB and figure out where I've seen them before.

Back to Facebook, though.  Here are some comments based on my Facebook journey thus far:

1.  I don't friend request people lightly.  Because of this, I tend to deliberate before pushing that button.  Sometimes I deliberate for a while.  I've realized, though, that the downside to this is that there are two situations where that Add As A Friend button appears.  The first (and most obvious) is when you have never requested the person as a friend.  The second (and more insidious) is when you have requested them to be your friend and they ignored your request.  So now I find myself wondering if I request so-and-so as a friend will they be logging in next time and thinking that I'm some kind of psycho who can't take a hint.  I would love to respect their decision if I could be sure that a decision has been made.  I'm tempted to start keeping a log of which requests are pending but that in itself sounds like a totally psycho thing to do.  I seriously do not want to think this much about this.

2.  Does anyone else have a FB friend who uses their account solely to recruit others to their pyramid scheme?  (Call it what you want but if you recruit me to recruit others and the more we recruit the more money we make without lifting a finger, as a professional mathematician I can say definitively that that ain't a rectangle.)  Now I don't mind if people put little blurbs up about their home business or request help for a charity drive (I've done the latter) because to do so is a smart use of social networking.  However, if you friend people under the guise of being long lost pals and then inundate their new feed with exhortations of the the wonderful business opportunity you have for them, you are sleezy.

3.  I play Scrabble and Wordscraper (a Scrabble knockoff) on FB.  I understand how these games work. I don't understand the Mafia Wars/Farmville/Fish Tank style games.  I tried Mafia Wars and from what I could tell you don't actually need skills you just need to be logged in all the time.  Perhaps there were subtleties that I missed but it seemed like all I had to do to advance was to log in and click a button a bunch of times and convince others that this is fun so they'll do it too.  Come to think of it, this sounds a whole lot like a pyramid scheme too.  One where you don't actually make any real world money which makes it all the more unfathomable.  Like patchouli there has got to be an appeal that I am fundamentally incapable of appreciating.  If you enjoy it, though, I wish you the best of luck with your wise guys/crops/fish.

4.  I also don't understand the snowball fight style game.  Is it even a game?  I'm not sure what it is.  There are several for every holiday and season.  Are they cute?  They must be.  I don't really get cute.  OK, that's not entirely true.  Baby animals are cute and make me make noises like "Awwww" and "Ooooh".  (Oddly, I don't find baby people anywhere near as cute as baby animals but that's a WHOLE other blog).  Anyway, if you send me a request for any of these things, I thank you.  First I thank you because you thought of me (or clicked the boxes that chooses your whole friend list) and second I thank you because it gives me the chance to block the application which saves me some time later.

5.  I'd like to pause here and say I have very smart, funny, insightful FB friends and I'm glad you guys are out there because you're way more interesting than the TV shows that I have on when I'm lurking on FB.  Except for Glee.  You guys are going to have to really up your game to top Glee.

6.  I don't have any students as friends.  It's not that I am worried about what they would learn about me because I'm pretty careful about what I put out there.  It's more that I've learned the absolutely most horrifying things about my students through FB.  Mark my words, some of these kids or going to have problems if they ever have an employer who bothers to do an internet search (and a lot of them do).  What they seem to not understand is that it's not just what they post that's seen it's what their friends post also.  Considering how prevalent this is, though, I almost wonder if there will come a time when it no longer matters because  it will be so hard to find someone who doesn't have compromising information out there.

OK, that's it for now.  I have to go see what's up on Facebook.

Monday, November 23, 2009

What's That Mean?

In my last post I mentioned the Always Clean Wipes and quoted a little bit of marketing text for them.  This got me thinking about some of the euphemisms that have been created by marketing departments for (usually) horrifying things so they can been talked about without without actually talking about them.  Some cases in point:

Massengil came up with the concept of feeling "not so fresh down there".  Of course, those old enough to remember the commercial also know that this was used as part of a mother-daughter conversation about swamp crotch.  Has anyone out there actually had a conversation with their mother or daughter about this topic?  No, they have not.  Do you know how I know?   Because if they did both parties would have died of acute embarrassment and they would not be reading this blog.

How about "erectile dysfuntion" or "natural male enhancement" instead of "no boner" and "boner pills".  Erectile dysfunction sounds dignified and natural male enhancement sounds like something that should make you run faster.  (In reality, I imagine it probably impedes running).

Charmin has put cartoon bears to excellent use in order to sell us their toilet paper.  Somehow they've managed to tell us on how it will prevent you from actually touching your own waste and how it doesn't leave pieces of TP stuck to your bum.

There are others but my all time favorite is from the Alli literature.  Alli is a pill that allegedly promotes weight loss by blocking the absorption of fat in foods.  Since the fat isn't being absorbed it stays in the pipeline, if you will, until it reaches the other end of its journey.  As such, the makers of Alli want to make sure people are aware of what they call "treatment effects".  Know what this is a euphemism for?  You'll never guess.  It sounds so innocuous, doesn't it?  Well, if you're taking Alli and you're happily getting thorough your day and you suddenly realize that you just crapped your pants you, my friend, have just experienced a treatment effect.  Don't worry, though, if you've read your literature before popping these pills then you know the makers of Alli have got your back.  They suggest that new Alli users wear dark pants.  See?  No problem.

On that note, I leave you with a classic SNL moment.

Bus Bus Magic Bus

I know it's been a while.  I won't flatter myself into thinking that anyone is paying attention but if you are, I'm sorry.

Where to start?  I'll start with the bus.  Part of my commute to and from work involves a ride on a Boston city bus.  Since Boston is a fairly heavily populated place the busses are usually crowded enough that all the seats are taken and I have to ride standing.  Well, I was waiting at my usual bus stop at my usual time and flagged down a bus in my usual way.  When I got on the bus realized that I was absolutely positively the only passenger.  Since I have an active interior life (I play pretend in my head a lot) I immediately started mentally shuffling through scenarios as to how this could have happened.  The idea that the bus driver had just come on duty was discarded as being too boring.  I imagined reading in the paper about how a Boston city bus driver had been killed and was being lauded postmortem as one of the most dedicated drivers they'd ever had and then seeing the picture and realizing that it was my driver and he'd been killed YESTERDAY.  Then I moved on to how I'm being secretly filmed and the driver was about to start going off his route and how politely and respectfully I handle the situation would later be dissected on some evening news program.  I finally settled on pretending that I was being chauffeured in my own personal big ass bus and relaxed ready to enjoy the ride.  Then I saw this:

For those of you in the know this is a wrapper from something called Always Clean.  It's a wipe that comes with a certain brand of feminine product (and I'm quoting the website here) "restore that shower clean feeling with every change".  Now I don't want to get into a discussion on this wipe's raison d'etre. I do want to point out, though, that the intersection of the set of uses for this wipe and the set of things one does on a city bus in EMPTY.  There is no overlap.  None.

So, it turns out, the real reason I was alone on what should have been a crowded city bus was that somebody violated an unspoken rule of decorum and everyone fled the bus in horror.  That, or it was a ghost-driven bus.  I haven't given up on that one either.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

She (Didn't) Bop

I had to drive in to work today (normally I take the train) so I was able to have some much needed sing-a-long time in the car. The first 40 minutes of the trip are all highway and then last 10 are on Boston streets. What this means is that by the time I was close to work I was one with the music. So much so that I realized at a red light that the state trooper next to me was actually laughing at me. This was embarrassing enough until I realized that I'd been singing along to Prince's "Kiss". Take a moment and imagine yourself singing along to that song.

Go on, picture it. I'll wait.

OK. What kind of faces were you making? Exactly. I think I might be very lucky that this guy didn't pull me over for having Bluetooth sex or something.

Also, I learned on the drive home that the answer to the question WWJD is apparently "cut people off and then give them the finger". I would not have guessed that.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pour Some Shook Up Ramen

I bought some candy the other day for the purpose of smuggling it into the movies. (I'm not a millionaire, people! I can't afford those high flyin' movie candy prices.) I didn't eat all my candy that night (I'm obviously not well) and as a result discovered a full box of Sugar Babies in my backpack today while I was running errands.

Sugar Babies.

Holy crap, how the hell did I forget about how AWESOME Sugar Babies are? Needless to say I ate the whole box while driving from place to place today. I think it's possible that I might have dropped two of them in the car. I can't find them because it's a cosmic rule that they will remain invisible until at least one summer has passed and they have become one with the carpet in my car. Still. TOTALLY WORTH IT. I wish I had more. Right now. I want to be chewing on their teeth-pulling gritty caramelly goodness while I type. I want to put them on my cereal. I want to shove my hands into a vat of them and then throw them into the air while laughing giddily. I want to marry them but we won't reproduce because then it would be Babies having babies and this has gotten weird enough already.

Ahem. So yeah, lots of sugar today.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Insane In The Membrane

Since I have already used this forum to complain about my fellow humans and their peccadillos and will definitely do so again in the future, I thought it only fair that I focus on my own shortcomings at least once.

I'm pretty sure that I might end up being crazy someday. Possibly soon. If I'm lucky I might be able to get away with being merely eccentric. Here's why:

1. I listen to my iPod a lot when I'm going to and from work. If the weather is nice I'll walk to the train station rather than taking the bus. Provided, of course, that I don't have a full bladder, haven't left my office too late, and am not wearing unfriendly pants. (The topic of unfriendly pants is a whole other blog post, I assure you.) Anyway, I have a really hard time not dancing to the music when I'm walking down the street or standing around waiting for a train. I'm not talking head bobbing, toe tapping, or even that weird thing where people put their hand to the side of their head and wince like the music is making them simultaneously deaf and incontinent. No, I mean dance. Things like that hop to the side thing that Vanilla Ice does in the "Ice Ice Baby" video or dancing down the street waving my arms like they do in Hairspray. You may be thinking I'm silly because music makes lots of people want to dance. Duh, it's music. My problem is that I'm not sure I'm always going to refrain from busting out some moves. I've caught myself several times now aaaalmost letting loose and it worries me. The hardest song to walk normally to is "Stayin' Alive" (ah ah ah ah stayin' aliiiiiiiiiiive). That song puts me on auto-strut. So someday I might give in to my compulsions and reenact the "If I Were A Rich Man" scene from Fiddler and I guess we'll see what happens.

2. I have three cats. No one who voluntarily shares space with these aloof yet needy barf machines is completely sane. That said, I'm still very fond of them. Dogs are fine, but I don't trust unconditional love. The love of a cat makes more sense to me as it is based more on the barter system. You feed me, I let you pet me. You give me water, I purr for you. You scratch me under the chin, I barf on the carpet (never the hard floors). I never said it was a perfect system.

3. Twice this summer I came back from running errands and discovered that my shirt was on inside out. This wouldn't be so disconcerting if the shirts in both cases weren't button-up collared shirts. Accidentally wearing your t-shirt inside out is for rookies. The closest I came to realizing what I'd done was when I tried to stow a pen and thought, "Huh, I thought this shirt had a pocket." And then, like the mercury from a busted thermometer, that thought went slithering out of my fingers and I continued to roam the word looking like a crazy person.

4. I am 38 years old and if someone plays peek-a-boo with me I still laugh like I'm a a toddler. Belly laughs. That can't be OK.

5. One of my celebrity crushes is Gene Wilder. Case closed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Nose Knows

Two posts in one day! Aren't you lucky?

This is a topic that has already been touched on by Librarian Lyssa in her excellent blog but it's one near and dear to my heart (nose) so I'll say my piece too.

I never really thought about it before but after almost 40 years on the planet I just have to wonder if not everyone smells things to the degree that I do. As a consequence, I have a couple of things to say:

1. For the love of all that is holy, please, please, please do not use patchouli. Anywhere. Ever. It smells like dead things in an attic. Dead things filled with hate. Patchouli is like a Stephen King book for my nose. I have a 45 minute train ride to work in the morning and I like to listen to my iPod, close my eyes, and doze. Thanks to the patchouli wearer on this morning's ride every time I closed my eyes I imagined a mummy was shambling down the aisle to get me. If someone who likes patchouli can explain to me what it smells like to them, I would love to know.

2. I work at a college. In addition to buildings and grass we have some trees. Thanks to all the construction that has happened on campus some trees have been moved or removed altogether. One tree in particular, however, has survived all the changes. What is notable about this tree is that every fall it grows balls and suddenly starts emitting this...odor. Imagine feet made out of cheese left in a hot car on a summer day. Then someone gets in the car, is so grossed out by the smell that they vomit in the car, and then they leave the car in the sun for a while longer. Thanks to Google, I'm pretty sure that the tree is a ginko. Here's my beef: who on earth chose to plant this tree in the middle of an urban college campus? This one isn't just me - watching the transformation take place on students' faces as the enter the Stink Zone is priceless. Anyway, next time I'm interviewing for a job and they ask me if I have any questions I think I'll ask them if there are any ginko trees nearby.

3. I think by the time people are old enough to go to college they should also understand the importance of washing their hair. College boys, I am talking to you. Unwashed hair is unsightly (YES, the rest of the world can tell even if you can't) and smelly. These folks have access to showers, I know it. It makes no sense to me that someone would sabotage their prime hooking-up years like this.

OK, I'm done. At ease.

From Me To You

I like learning new things. Sometimes I learn things that are awesome. Sometimes I learn things that are horrifying. I want to share with you the one thing that I have learned that is simultaneously fantastic and horrible to an equal and high degree.


In 2004 the NY Times had an article about NYC sanitation workers and their surprisingly large pool of sanitation-related slang. The article can be found here. From this article I learned what they call "disco rice". Think about what that might be and then go here to find out.

See what I mean? Awesome and horrifying. At the same time.

P.S. If you read the article, my other favorite expression from it is "urban whitefish".

And now you know it too. This is my gift to you. You. Are. Welcome.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Monday!

On my train ride in to work today I saw a kid (probably between 16 - 20) who had the neck of his shirt (possibly a turtleneck) pulled up over his nose and mouth. He was holding it there by pinching the shirt to his nose. I figured at first that the guy next to him was smelly but the nose and mouth stayed covered after Possibly Smelly Guy got up. So then I figured he was fearful of germs. You know, swine flu and all that. When I got up to leave the train I saw that the part of his black shirt that he's been using as a germ filter was covered in shiny snot trails presumably from spending an hour pinching his nose with it.

As unpleasant a way that was to start my day, I have a feeling that kid's day got a lot worse when he showed up to school covered in nostril juice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Memories

I remember one Halloween where I dressed up as a murder victim. A swarthy stocking cap wearing murder victim. I'm not sure why I wanted a beard and a stocking cap but I apparently did. Anyway, my mom helped me make it so that the handle of a plastic knife was sticking out of my chest and the rest of the knife came out of my back. There was blood everywhere. It was awesome. I was so proud of that costume and couldn't wait to get out on the streets to wow the neighbors with my gory goodness. What a charming childhood memory, right? Well...
Does any one out there have a younger sibling that is preternaturally cute? Yeah, me too and I had to take her with me trick or treating. So here's how it went:

Neighbor Lady: "Well, hello! What have we got here?"
Maia & Liv: "Trick or treat!"
Neighbor Lady: "
What an adorable mouse! Oh, and a hobo."
Liv: " Thank you."
Maia: "I'm not a hobo. I've been stabbed."
Neighbor Lady: "Honey, come to the door! You have to see this mouse!"
Neighbor Lady's Husband: "Well, ha ha! Isn't that something! I bet you'd rather have cheese instead of candy!"
Liv: (laughs. cutely
, of course)
Neighbor Lady: "Don't let the hobo steal your candy!"
Maia: "I'm not a...thank you for the candy."

Also, I'd like to make a few comments about adult costumes. First, pimp and ho costumes are played out
. Next, why is it that as far as I can tell the only pre-made adult costume for women that is not a whore costume with devil/angel/maid/doctor accessories is the cow costume. You know the one I'm talking about it. How do those design meetings go?

Designer 1: "How about a firefighter costume for women?"
Designer 2:
"Great idea, Designer 1! How should it look?"
Designer 1: "I'm thinking a form-fitting, low cut fire coat, a short skirt, some fishnets - red - and um, ... some high heel rubber boots."
Designer 2: "Dude, I think you nailed it. That totally sounds like a firefighter"
Designer 1: "Yeah, chicks are gonna love it."
Designer 2: "What about the fat chicks?"
Designer 1: "I dunno, I guess we could make a cow costume."

That's all for now. At ease.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Northwest Nap

Over the course of this day I have thought about several things upon which I could pontificate in this blog. Now that I'm home and have a few minutes to write, I can't remember a damned thing. So, for inspiration, I went to and picked one of the newest words added. A Northwest Nap is a sleep deep enough where you aren't disturbed by irritations like the phone, your kids, the doorbell, air traffic control, the Air Force, stuff like that.

OK, I've been flying on planes since I was a wee slip of a thing. I had no fear of flying
until I was studying overseas in college and flew several times on domestic Chinese airlines. Why would this instill a fear of flying? Imagine a church bus. You know, the kind that has wheels that kind of wobble and trails a sickly cloud of greasy smoke? The kind that has been used to the point of exhaustion by the school systems before being sold at auction to Our Lady of Perpetual Incontinence? Well, slap some wings on it and pipe some jangly Chinese music through the speakers and you have yourself an example of Air China's planes. I actually saw smoke coming off the wing on one of our flights. I swear. No one else cared! I felt like William Shatner (and later John Lithgow) in the Twilight Zone. When I got home from Asia I joined the ranks of those who need to get completely blistered in order to fly. Eventually I got smart and asked by doctor for some chill pills instead of getting bombed every time I walk into an airport.

My point? Of all the horrible images that my brain will throw up
onto my interior movie screen AT NO POINT did I imagine that BOTH pilots are asleep or drunk or having sex or wha
tever the hell was going on with that Northwest flight. What the hell? That shit would not ha
ve happened before 9/11 and the advent of those bank vault style cockpit doors. Remember when you could see the pilots? You know what? The terrorists have won. Assholes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Check Baby Check Baby 1 2 3...

I'm starting this blog because I would rather create a blog that only ever had one entry, thus clogging up the internets with more useless crap, then get off the couch and grade papers. I've always said I'd do anything (once) for a t-shirt and I guess I'll also do anything to avoid grading Applied Math projects. They have to write things. I don't mind grading math. It hurts me deep inside to have to grade something written. I don't know if they phone in their writing skills because the project is for a math class or if they really do have that much trouble stringing a few paragraphs together. Either way, I do not look forward to grading these projects.

Also, the name of the blog comes from a session of brainstorming cool band names. I think it came from a real life experience from when I lived in SC or VA.

So, how do people get rid of their old porn? Like the internet, are our landfills 95% porn? There are only so many younger brothers around to inherit so it has to go somewhere. This is going to bother me now.