Monday, December 16, 2013

Wish it was a snow day

If only we'd gotten the storm today... ah well, I can't complain since I only had to shovel a path to the car and a little bit behind it.

Baby is still asleep - she fell asleep in My Lovely Wife's arms last night, but wouldn't stay asleep when put down, so today is a late morning for her.

Speaking of RG, what the heck?  First, she will only poop every two to three days so we worry if that's normal (which it is).  Now she's pooping every day, so we worry if that's normal (which it still is).  What is it about becoming a parent that suddenly makes you deeply interested in poop?  I mean, I figured that I would be concerned about poop later on, but I thought it would be more of a "is this poop?  Did she poop on this?  Again?" variety of concern.  Now, it's almost like we're at a wine tasting every time where we examine the bouquet, the texture, the colour...  

Okay, that was a terrible comparison, and I'd like to take it back, but not as much as I like a good joke.  So I hope you weren't drinking hot chocolate or something when you read that.

Have you seen the movie "Babies"?  It's pretty good.  Most memorable part for me was the baby in Africa whose mother cleaned his bum by wiping him on her knee, then using what looked like a corn cob to wipe off her knee.  I have to go to work now to pay the bills so we can continue buying diapers so we can move the poop from Ruby to the Diaper Genie with minimal intervention and interaction with corn cobs in between.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snowed in

There's a lot of snow out there.  It feels like a good day to be inside, which is good, because there's no way I'm going out there right now.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Working out!

The In an effort to live longer for my daughter (I have to increase the number of years I have to embarrass her in front of her friends), I joined a gym.

And then I didn't go.

I mean I still might. I probably should, really. But it's cold. Or raining. Or means I have to go outside. Also, I did pay for the month.

But in the meantime, Kijiji! Found an exercise bike, an elliptical machine, and some other piece of equipment that's a weird combination sit-up/rowing simulator. Got two of the three pieces home in the Chorolla (need a van or truck for the elliptical).

Got the bike set up in the basement right now. In fact, you could say that I have it set up and am riding it right now (because I am). The elliptical machine is going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Feeling pretty good about this. It turns out that there comes a time in every man's life when he has to say that it's time to cut out the sugar and get the cholesterol down and maybe not be winded walking up the stairs.  And my time was like 5 years ago, so I got some catching up to do.

So going to do a little longer on the bike, kind of sweating a lot already, then take a shower, then hang out with My Lovely Wife before we both fall asleep.

In the meantime, enjoy this picture of me testing out my new Dad Outfit!  Yes, that's me wearing a wife beater, swimming trunks (cause I couldn't find my bike shorts), black socks and shoes on an exercise bike.

I call this picture "Embarrassing Ruby in Public for the First Time".  I'm rather proud of it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Vacation to Montreal - Recap

Part of what's really making us smile is that the train station is a block from our respective places of work.
This was us on the start of our trip to Montreal on October 6, 2013.  We haven't even left Moncton when I took this picture.  Look at us.  So young.  So naive about what life in the big city will be like.  So full of excitement about eating a meal on the train.  

This was what our first night looked like in Montreal:

Did you know you can buy wine at the grocery stores in Quebec?!  That wine may look fancy, but it came from a juice box.  I, of course, am having a Coke (chilled, no ice).

Boom, we are wild and crazy.  For those of you who might be counting, that is the same glass of wine.  It's my second Coke though.  Shortly after this picture was taken, we opened up a bag of Doritos.

If you could pan down, you'd see a woman in her housecoat and a shower cap standing on a plastic chair on her balcony, cleaning her windows.  It was less exciting than I'm making it out to be.
This was the picture I took about an hour before I wrote my last post.  I was going to upload it when I started my second post of our trip, which was tentatively titled "Montreal - Day Two".  I am not always an imaginative man.

About thirty minutes after I hit submit on my previous post, we got a phone call that has changed our lives.

My Lovely Wife and I have been on the adoption waiting list for a while - years in fact.  We have waited for that call for so long... it's really hard to describe what it's like when it finally happens.  Relief, excitement, joy, panic.  I imagine everything that everyone who has ever had a child feels when they hold their baby for the first time, only without the months of prior knowledge to get ready for that moment.

At 9:35 AM, we got the call from our social worker that we had been chosen by the birth parents to adopt their beautiful baby girl.  That call lasted 4 minutes and 3 seconds.  It was followed by about twenty minutes of just full out crying and cheering (cheerying?).  I had enough presence of mind to take the following picture:

You can barely see my other arm holding the camera.

Because we had taken the train to Montreal, and thanks to the budget cuts from VIA, the next train home wasn't until the next day.  We were not going to wait that long.  So we bought tickets on the first available flight back to Moncton, which didn't leave for another 6 hours.  We spent the intervening time calling family and friends.  If you didn't hear the news from us directly, don't take it personally - we had 2 years to put together a phone tree for just this situation and we didn't get to it.  Then, when we couldn't stand to stay in the hotel room any longer for fear that we might burst, we went for a walk.

When we finished walking and buying the few souvenirs that we would end up purchasing at the paper store, we high tailed it for the airport.

Ironically, since we were now leaving Montreal, the weather improved dramatically.
Nothing against the airport in Montreal, but there was nothing there that was as exciting as the news that we kept repeating to each other. This was the view from our gate as we waited for our flight.  We talked to a couple of nice ladies who were both returning from Alberta, but I don't really remember anything about either of them.  Come to think of it, one of them might have been a guy.  No, wait, they were both women.  I'm 50% sure.  They were both nice though.  If I could pan the camera to the left, you'd see them both.  But I can't, so you won't.

I don't have any pictures of Wednesday, because that was full of running around trying to find things for an infant.  Things like a car seat/stroller combo unit.  Who would have thought that there'd be so many options?  Who would have known that every option that we wanted was out of stock, not available, or discontinued due to safety issues?  We did get one, and we're happy with it, and I'm only a little disappointed that it didn't come with an MP3 player, shock absorbers or satellite radio.

But then the most important part of all was actually meeting our baby girl.  It's a picture that has made it's way around Facebook, so you may have seen it already, but I like it enough that I'm using it again.

She's pretty incredible.
I managed to get almost all of this written while she was down for a nap.  Right up to this last picture.  But now I have to go entertain a no-year-old with funny faces and weird noises.  I'll also be making funny faces and weird noises.  (See what I did there?)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Montreal - Day One

For our anniversary, My Lovely Wife and I took a trip to Montreal.  For those of you that have never been here before, Montreal is like the Canadian version of Paris.  It's just foreign enough that you'll be in awe of why everything is different - but not so different that it gets weird, you know what I mean?  Also, there's a lot of old stuff around here and chicks love old stuff.

To make it doubly romantic, we took the train to get here.  My Lovely Wife had some VIA rail points from a previous trip she'd made that allowed us to get her ticket for basically half price, so that made it cheaper than flying.  We had done the train before, and it was super nice and way romantic.

I'm going to go on record as saying that the romance of the train is in direct proportion to your position relative to the sleeper cars.  More specifically, cabin in a sleeper car = super ultra mega romantic; economy seat = not romantic at all.

And thus we spent our anniversary on the train.  For some reason, My Lovely Wife found it easier to sleep with the sound of other people snoring and farting in her general vicinity.  I asked how she could possibly have slept through all of that.  She said she was "just lucky, I guess."  I think there may be more to the story, but twelve years of marriage suggest I will be happier leaving it alone.

We got a taxi to our hotel, and wow, are we ever happy we found this place!  We're staying at L'Appartement Hotel, which if my high school French is correct translates to Hotel Apartment, so chalk one up for the Language Laws there.  We have a suite with a bedroom, kitchen, and living room that is not significantly smaller than our first apartment, and is in many ways, much much nicer.  First of all, there is a cleaning staff.  Come to think of it, there doesn't have to be anything else on that particular list.

We did a little bit of a walk around the two or three blocks of our maison away from maison (that would totally count as bilingual in Moncton, by the way).  We found a stationary store that My Lovely Wife fell in love with immediately (from across the street even - it was like watching the first thirty seconds of a romantic comedy, stars in her eyes and everything).  The owner/manager was pretty awesome too.  We had a really interesting ten minute conversation about pens.  I'm not even being sarcastic here.  If you get a chance to visit the Papeterie Nota Bene on Parc Ave in Montreal, do so.

At this point in our day, it started to pour so we bought a few groceries and ran back to our l'Appartement.  We elected to spend the rest of the day inside and out of the rain.

Looks like a great day today!

I am aware that there is nothing that incredible about this picture... but you know what?  It's not the view of the grass that I left unmowed or the leaves that needed to be raked up, so that makes it pretty damn romantic to me.
Still to come - the Biodome (just like France loves Jerry Lewis, the Quebecois feel the same about Pauly Shore - I'm reasonably sure that I'm the first person to ever make that joke), the Planetarium, a subway ride or two, and possibly I learn some more ways that talking in French leads to conversations in English.

EDIT:  9:35 EST - Montreal, you've been great.  It's not you, it's us.  Moncton, see you tonight.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Coming Soon to a Reality Near You

One of the big topics in the news today has been regarding the bankruptcy of Detroit.  It's a pretty sad state of affairs that this once mighty city has come to, and there are some three quarters of a million people that are affected by it.  On the one side, it would seem that the slide toward the inevitable has finally come to an end and they can really get on with the business of the day and move toward the future.

And by future, I mean, of course, Robocop.

How has this not been the headline around the world?  Does nobody remember the plot for one of my favourite action movies of all time?  

The movie is set in a Detroit of the future that has been forced to sell itself to the Omni Consumer Products Corporation due to a financial meltdown.  Mind you, this is a future in which vehicles get really terrible gas mileage, weird reality game shows with catch phrases are incredibly popular, and corporations are stronger than governments.  Pretty unbelievable, yeah?  But remember, it was 1987, so it was a simpler time.  They didn't even know what Y2K was back then!  HaHaHAHA, the fools.

Sadly, while there is progress being made in artificial body parts and computer-brain interfaces we're nowhere near where we need to be to get Robocop up and running.  But in the meantime, maybe this big guy can help out?

On the OTHER hand...

Maybe this is all just a giant publicity stunt?  After all, the Robocop remake comes out in 6 months.  I mean, you can't buy this kind of coverage, am I right?  Unless, of course, you are paying the city of Detroit to pretend to file bankruptcy so they can use that money to actually pay some of their bills.  In case it turns out that this actually happened, I just want to say that I totally called it and I'm not just a crazy conspiracy theorist.  Or maybe that's what they want you to think?  Maybe I'm on the payroll for Columbia and MGM and the city of Detroit and the Miami Dolphins?

What do you mean "What do the Miami Dolphins have to do with this?"

OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Am Not a Handy Man

At the back corner of the second shelf in Mr. Hanes Grade 7 Shop Class, there is a model CO2 rocket car. You might be hard pressed to identify it as such on first look, as it mostly just looks like a block of wood. But there is a hole drilled in the back where the cartridge goes.  And there are two holes drilled clear through at either end of it where the axles holding the wheels will be.  There are some clean lines drawn in pencil, showing the outline of what will be a sleek contour of what will prove to be a sure winner.  

Barring any industrious cleaning that may have happened over the last twenty-five or so years, it may still be there.  Because that's where I left it.

I am not a handy man.

I do not use tools well.  I do not have a very good relationship with physical things that could break in some spectacular manner causing no small amount of embarrassment and injury to myself and my loved ones.  If I was to make something with the intent of injuring or embarrassing, it would probably malfunction and turn into a delicious though confused apple pie.

Our house is not exactly littered with half finished construction projects or items sitting on a workbench in various states of repair.  For starters, I don't have a workbench.  And I don't do construction.  In that way, I am unlike many husbands of my vintage.

So when our washing machine started making a noise, I can fully understand My Lovely Wife's reaction when I said that I was going to fix it.

"Really?"  She said.  "Okay." 

"I can do this," I said.  "The parts and the instructions are right here on this website."  I was looking at a website called partselect.ca.  If you have a broken appliance and don't want to hire someone to repair it, or can't afford to hire someone to repair it, it probably has the pieces you're looking for and the instructions to do it yourself.  

Using the website, I identified the make and model of our washing machine.  The first thing that popped up was "Noise during final spin cycle".  It was as though I had written it myself.  That was exactly what was happening to us.  Most common cause of this noise was broken shocks - which I could buy for just $50 and would fix the problem 88% of the time.  There were directions and a video. 

"This is going to be easy," I thought.  

I started taking the washing machine apart that day.

"Maybe we should get someone to come in and look at it," My Lovely Wife said.

"I'm not going to break it," I said, which I immediately realized was probably not going to be true.  "I'm not going to break it any more than it's already broken."  I felt better about that.

"Are you sure?"  She asked.

"Yes," I said, lying on the concrete floor of the basement with a flashlight.  "I can see the shock absorbers that it talked about on the website."

"You're sure," she said.

"Even if it doesn't turn out to be the shock absorbers, I will only have spent $50 on them.  It's not like I'd be adding that much more to the cost if we have someone else look at it.  And if it works, we'll have saved a ton of money!"  I was feeling very confident with my justifications.

The parts didn't arrive the next day, so I spent the time reviewing the instructions on how to quickly and easily remove the pins holding the shock absorbers in place.  "Just use a hammer and tap them out," the kindly repairman said, kneeling down in front of the demonstration washing machine on a pedestal and doing just that.  It was as if the pins were held in by wishes and dreams, they popped right out.  If a kindly old repairman on an internet video can do this, I can do this. 

I eventually worked out that if I laid down on my left side with a towel over the sharp bottom edge of the access panel, I could just about move the hammer to tap out the pins.  This pin had obviously been inserted with some sort of substance that to the touch appeared to be grease but was in fact superglue.  In case I haven't successfully painted a word picture in your mind with the difficulty of this task, imagine trying to separate LEGO pieces inside a shoebox using only one hand.  

"Look at this!"  I said two hours later, holding a pin up to show My Lovely Wife.

"Is that it?"  She asked.

"Yep, that's the pin that holds the shock on the bottom."

"So there's another?"  She asked.

"Yes, there's one at the top."

"And how many shocks are there?"

"Just two," I said.  "Once I get the top one out on this one, I'll get to the ones on the other side."

"Okay," she said.

After another hour of twisting and turning I realized that perhaps the problem I was having was that the repair guy had a pedestal and I was working on the floor.  He had room to maneuver and could get leverage.  I had neither, but I knew what I needed:  tools.    

The next day found us at Canadian Tire.  My problem was twofold.  I needed something to hold a locking tab on the pin down and I needed something to tap the pin out.  The first issue was resolved with a phone call to a friend who was going to be visiting us on the weekend.  He, unlike me, is the very definition of handy and agreed to bring his tools down.

But I was at Canadian Tire and I wasn't leaving without a tool.  And I found it in the form of a tiny hammer.  I call it Tiny Hammer (and no, I have not successfully made parody lyrics to "Tiny Dancer", but not for not trying), but it's really a regular hammer with a small handle.  It's just big enough for my hand.  I think it's my new favorite hammer.  But I won't say that out loud around my other hammer that I've had for years or My Lovely Wife.  I don't want either of them thinking that I'll trade them in for newer, more portable models.

Tiny Hammer worked perfectly for the job.  With that, and some ingenious use of zip ties (they're like duct tape, only better, and I feel perfectly fine saying that out loud because we don't have any duct tape but we have lots and lots of zip ties), I was able to get the shock absorber out.  And just to prove how much better I was getting at it, the other one only took about three quarters of the time it took to get the first one out. 

Well, not really, because our washing machine was different than the stupid washing machine that the actor that was hired to portray someone who knew something about repairing washing machines.  There were metal boxes that prevented the pins from coming all the way out.  I re-watched the video again to see if there was a step that I missed, but of course they use computer special effects and mirrors and trick photography to make it look like it just comes right out. By this point, I'm not even sure that the guy in the video was even in the same room as a real washing machine.  

Our friends arrived, and I didn't force the issue that night at all because it wouldn't be polite.  But the next morning found both of us arm deep in it.

"How's it going down here?"  My Lovely Wife asked from the basement stairs.

"Good, we're almost there," I said.  I almost added "don't come down", but she was already down and it probably wouldn't have had the desired affect anyway.  It didn't work on my mom, I don't know why my first instinct was that it would work on My Lovely Wife.

"If it's going to take a long time, we should get somebody in-"

"It's going to be fine," I snapped as visions of kindly old repair guys that turned out to be jerkbags and possibly the kind of person that would hand out fruit and dental floss at Halloween went through my head.  I wasn't going to give him the satisfaction of it.  "It's already broken and out of warranty," I said. "It's not like we can do any worse to it."

"We're almost done here," My Handy Friend said, smoothing things out.  "We've just about got it."

And we did.  Working together, we were able to get the shocks replaced in about two or three hours, which isn't that much longer than the video said it would take (as long as you don't take into account the five or six hours I had worked on it already).

I am not going to lie - I was pretty damn pleased with myself.  I mean, yes, it took a lot of help, but I had figured out how to repair my washing machine.  And, looking back on it, it wasn't really that difficult or expensive to do.  Yes, it took a little longer than I expected, but considering that I'd never done anything like it before, I think it balances.

We hooked everything back up and balanced the machine and started it up. 

There are moments in my life that I have been less devastated, but I'd have to sit down and think about it before I could pick one.  Maybe the first time a girl turned me down.  Maybe the first time I had Christmas away from home.  The day that I worked out for myself that I probably was never going to be a Cowboy/Policeman/Fireman/Scientist/Writer would be right up there.  

The noise was worse than ever.

My Handy Friend and I picked away at it, looking for what might have gone wrong or what might have been missed. We ruled out springs, screws, metal bits caught on other metal bits.  Instructions were reviewed.  Some things were tapped on and other things were not tapped on on purpose.  Pieces were counted and no extras showed up.

"It's the bearings," My Handy Friend said. He wiggled the drum of the washing machine knowingly.

"Oh?" I put my hand in the washing machine and wiggled it too.  It wiggled. I was pretty sure that it always wiggled.  If I recall, being able to wiggle was one of the reasons that I replaced the shock absorbers.  I wiggled it some more and then it didn't wiggle in a way that it was pretty obvious it should.

We did some more research on partselect.ca, who may actually not employ war criminals to star in their videos, and it turns out that if you are not in the 88%-$50-shocks-replacement bucket, you are in the 12%-$400-replace-everything-and-make-sure-you-have-a-couple-of-big-friends-to-help-you bucket.

Two days later, after our friends had departed and with our washing machine sitting forlorn with bits and pieces sticking out of it (but with brand new shocks), I looked up a repair guy online and called him.

"Hi," I said, as you do at the start of a call.  "Hi, I have a ten year old Frigidaire front load -"

"I know what the problem is," he said.

"-washing machine, and it started making a noise during the final spin cycle-" I continued.

"I know what the problem is," he said again.

"-and I thought it was the shock absorbers-" I said, thinking that I'd catch him with how intelligent I was.  How I, a mere mortal could transcend to become as knowledgeable about washing machine repair as he was with all his years of experience.

"But it wasn't that, was it."  He said.  Not asked, said.

"-but that wasn't it."  I finished.

"Nope, it's your bearings."

"Aha!" I thought.  "Yeah, we figured it was probably the bearings."

"Not worth it.  Get a new one."  He said.

"Sorry, what?"

"It's about a three or four hundred dollar job.  You said you had it for ten years?"

"Yes, almost ten years."

"You lucked out. Those machines don't last more than three or four."

"So it's really not worth it?"

"You'd be throwing good money after bad."
I only sat there in a dull ache for a little while, no more than half an hour probably. I wondered about where it all went wrong, and how bad things have to be when the guy that gets paid to fix things tells you to not bother fixing something.  

Our new washing machine is being delivered on Thursday.  It's a spiffy new model, and it has features that our old one could only dream about.  Not that it will make much difference because like most people we'll probably just figure out which setting is the easiest to use and just use it for everything.  But it's shiny and new and it will have a warranty.  

And I bought the pedestal.  Just in case.

Hold it tightly, Tiny Hammer
You fit into such small spaces
Lay me down on the concrete floor
You work great in awkward places.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Wilson Pro Tour Badminton Kit

I put this up last week when the rain finally stopped, got it up just before the rain started again. I think that may have hurt the sale. Also, it turns out that the market for badminton sets is low in Moncton right now.

Oh, and I also learned that Kijiji doesn't like the word "shuttlecocks". [snicker]

Text of the ad below in case you can't read the image. I know I can't.

Friends not included.
Quick! It stopped raining! You've got about an hour before it starts again, but with so many outdoor activities to choose from, how do you decide?

Easy! It's time to play badminton! 

The Wilson Pro Tour Badminton Kit comes with all the equipment you need to play badminton outside: 

- 4 racquets/air guitars/face mashers
- 3 birdies (we both know that these have another name, and we will laugh together when you buy it)
- 1 net with poles
- 1 carrying case that holds everything perfectly (BONUS: Immediately becomes a real-life game of Tetris when you put it away! Tetris music not included.)

For just $25, you could be having a great time with all your friends that like badminton! Imagine how jealous your neighbours will be when they see how popular you are! Picture the looks of surprise and delight on your family's faces when you pull this out at the next family reunion! And though you'll have me to thank for your new-found celebrity status, all I want is your money.

Here are some actual quotes that I made up!

"When he asked if I wanted to play some badminton outside, I thought I'd have to bring all my stuff over. But he had everything we needed! Thanks Wilson Pro Tour Badminton Kit!"

"I work hard for my money, so when I want to play badminton outside I demand quality and a fair price. The Wilson Pro Tour Badminton Kit has it all!"

"If you play badminton outside just once in your life, play it with the Wilson Pro Tour Badminton Kit."

"I don't like you. Go away."

Three out of four imaginary quotes agree, and that fourth one usually lies all the time anyway. 

Buy my Wilson Pro Tour Badminton Kit and be awesome today!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It Doesn't Happen Often, And When It Does I Don't Usually Understand It

Last night, My Lovely Wife and I watched the near hit movie "The Five-Year Engagement".  I say near hit because it didn't exactly make blockbuster status, but it did make its money back plus some, so it won't garner a sequel (excluding a direct to video knock off starring one of the C-list supporting actors, reprising their role for an unknown reason) but it won't exactly be forgotten.

Anyway.

There is an Asian character in the movie.  His name is Ming.  You may have an idea of where this is going, but stay with me.

Ming is kind of a useless character.  I'm not entirely sure why he's in the movie as everything that he says and/or does could have been done by someone else.  I'm not sure why it was necessary to add a character for comedy relief into a comedy, but I don't make movies I just watch them all the time.  As near as I can figure, he's only in it for the one meta-joke that is never mentioned but is pretty funny when you think about it.  If you haven't seen the movie, I spoil nothing by telling you that the entirety of the Psychology Department at the University of Michigan is so multicultural, there is nobody from Michigan in it.

Oh, and he also doesn't know Kung Fu, which isn't relevant, but I feel the need to point out any time anybody vaguely Asian shows up that doesn't know martial arts.

Mindy Kaling (of The Office fame) is also in this group.  So why do we need Ming the Asian when we already have Mindy?  Mindy and Ming have a sort of semi-rivalry going, which is good for two jokes, but also isn't important.  What is important is what happens during one interaction between the two of them, about 20 minutes before the end.

He says something that I don't remember and couldn't be bothered to rewind to rewatch.

She says "No way, Ming."

That got the biggest laugh out of me of the entire movie, but full disclosure - if it had been said in Schindler's List I would have laughed then too.

It's not like I'm a Doug, or a Bob, or a Jack, or an Ethan, or a Spike, or a Sebastian, or one of hundreds of other names that have been used in a show before.  The closest I've gotten yet was "Cho" on The Mentalist, but I have to share that with all the other Chos.  And yes, I know she only accidentally said it.  But it counts.

While I was still enthusiastic about it this morning, My Lovely Wife had lost a bit of the glow of the event.

"You know," she said, "your name probably gets said a lot in movies in Asia."

"Well, yeah," I replied, "But I don't understand what they're saying so it doesn't count."


Saturday, May 18, 2013

What Could Possibly Have Brought Me Back?

True story: I've been neglecting this place.  No, not just neglecting.  Actively neglecting.

I used to drink a lot of apple juice back in my university days.  And by a lot, I mean I had it at every meal.  Side note: I also had two glasses of milk (one 2% and one chocolate) and ice cream for dessert at every meal for two years before I made the shocking connection between how I felt after eating and lactose... those were a couple of loooong years.

One day, I reached for my glass of apple juice and realized that I didn't just not want it, I wanted absolutely nothing to do with it.  The very thought of all the apple juice that I had drank made me dizzy.  It was years before I could drink it again.

Such was the situation with my online presence. It's not just my blog that I've been neglecting.  I haven't looked at Facebook in months (though I did do one update weeks ago that said something like "Is this thing still on?" or something like that.  I haven't worked my way up to logging back into it yet).  I haven't looked at my email in that long either.  I'm sure it's probably mostly spam anyway, but if you've written to me and I haven't responded it's not because I don't like you.  Though it might be.  So you should maybe do some reflection on that.

But, just like apple juice, I couldn't stay away forever.  I drink the AJ in much saner quantities now, even if it's only because I have to pay for it now.  So I'm back.  I hope you missed me.  I'm sure you did.  I'm sure that when I open up my email, there will be so many messages there from people saying "hey, what happened to you?" and the like.  And if there aren't, it's probably because you thought I was going through something and didn't want to bother me.  Thanks for that.  I appreciate the space.

So what was it that brought me back?

What brings anyone to the internet?  Pictures of cats.

This is one of our cats, Mordecai.

He works hard for the money, so we don't complain too loudly when he takes the occasional nap on the couch.
You may be surprised to hear this, but My Lovely Wife and I are generally covered in cat hair.  We'd been talking about the state of cat hair in our home, trying to identify the source and how it came to be that we are wearing the equivalent of a third of a cat at any time.  After much sleuth work, we narrowed it down to one of two culprits.  Neither of them would buckle under interrogation, so we went with our guts and determined that it was probably this guy.

I took steps yesterday, and this happened.

It's a little fuzzy, but if you look closely you can see our horrible deaths reflected in his eyes.
As we suspected, there was a much smaller cat underneath it all.  I mean, he's still a large cat, but he's not nearly as big as he used to be.

That glint in his eyes is the light that we expect to see at the end of the tunnel.
In all honesty, he does seem to really love it.  Considering it was his first time getting groomed, he was super docile the whole time.  The groomer even put a good note and a smiley face on his card.  I was so proud of him.  He's adapting pretty well to it.  I thought that he was being super snuggly because he loved me so much for helping him out of his fur coat, but it turns out that it has more to do with the fact that it's been a little chilly and he's used to a certain level of warmth.  I'm a cat person, so I'm totally cool with being used as a heat source; it means I'm not just Thing That Puts Out the Food, and I like being useful.

It also catches him by surprise when he cleans himself.  I watched him lick his shoulder twice without making any contact at all.  By the third time he figured out that he needed to lean into it a little more and all was right in the world.

Well, almost all was right in the world.

Our other cat, Callaghan, has never been, how do you say it what's the word I'm looking for how can I say this gently... adaptable.  When I let Mordecai out of the carrier, Callaghan got one look at him and then fled the scene.  Lest you think that he was worried that he'd be next, let me assure you that it was because he didn't recognize the cat that he's lived with for his entire life.

I managed to get this picture just before he ran away and hid in the basement for the rest of the day.
There you have it. Further evidence that cats run the Internet.

Talk to you later.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Lovely Mother

There are only two women on this planet that have been willing to put up with the shenanigans, temper tantrums, goofy faces, oddness, smell and overall weirdness that I have subjected them to on a daily basis and not leave:  My Lovely Wife and My Lovely Mother.

Today is My Lovely Mother's birthday.  She turns 42.  You may ask how the mother of a 36 year old man can be turning 42 on her birthday.  The answer is "you're very rude, that's not the sort of question you should ask".  More truthfully, it was because I once asked my mother how old she was and she said 42, so that's where it stuck.  Over the years, I think it's gone as high as 46 and usually hovers around 44, but 42 is a nice number.

I remember her telling me that she has the same birthday as Abraham Lincoln. I asked her if she ever went to his birthday party.  Apparently, they just missed each other.

She also told me that the sheriff never came to her birthday party, which as a child was awfully disappointing news because the sheriff has a badge and a gun and rides a horse.  As a teenager/university student, not having the sheriff drop in on your birthday meant that you chose your neighbours well.  As an adult, it meant that you didn't get woken up by the sheriff because you went to bed around 9:30.

So, My Lovely Mother (who I know is reading this because she's my mom and reading this is one of her jobs) Happy 42nd Birthday and I love you!

Monday, February 11, 2013

I Am Amused

In light of the sadness of my previous post, I'd like to direct you to something that will hopefully bring a smile to your face.

Mike is just this guy that I've happened to be BFF's with since I was about three.  If you know me personally, then there's a 99% chance that you know or know of Mike.  We've been amusing each other for over thirty years (whoa, I got a little chest pain when I wrote that), and now he's entered the world of the Internet with his site vitruvianmanifesto.blogspot.ca.

Let's face it, none of us are getting any younger.  Thanks to a miracle that I call "him being born before me", Mike faces milestone birthdays sooner than I do.  To celebrate/anticipate/draw attention away from his 40th birthday, he has started a project dubbed The Vitruvian Manifesto (I added the emphasis so you know what an awe inspiring title that is in comparison to, say, the blognostifier).  His goal - to complete one hundred projects in one thousand days, which coincides nicely with his two-score birthday.

He promises to document his efforts on his site, and so far the entries have been amusing and insightful.  It's not a blog though.  It's a bjournal.  Which is a word that makes me laugh like we would laugh when we were kids staying up too late and saying all the words that we were pretty sure were the dirty ones that everyone was talking about.

I invite you to take a few moments of your day and check it out.  He's only just started, so there are only about twelve posts right now, so it won't take you long to start feeling an emotional attachment and general feelings of encouragement about this guy that you may or may not have met before.  He's a good guy, trust me on that one.

Also, his wife has a rather nifty site if you like books.

And their daughter is darned cute.  She once sang "Eye of the Tiger" to us.  The entire thing.  Not just the one part of the chorus that you know.  The. Whole.  Thing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

...


There's a guy that I know that isn't going to read this.

Back in my days as a Theatre Studies Major (by adding the capital letters, I also add credibility), I met a guy named Wes.  Now, you might be thinking a guy named Wes and a guy named Weh, we had to be best of friends.  We weren't.  We were friends, and I liked him a lot, but I was too busy enjoying my newfound status in my second year in the program to really get to know the next batch of recruits that well.

Over the next three years, our circles crossed paths in that way that only people who are in a department that has less than fifty people in it and forces them to work together constantly every day can.  We worked on a couple of crews together, we joked about the classes, we lived it up at the cast parties - but never really together.  He was kind of this really cool, really funny guy that was always just outside of the periphery of my group.  He was really good friends with people that I was really good friends with, but we never really got to be really good friends ourselves.

When I graduated, I went on to the wonderful world of corporate culture.  I chased money instead of sticking it out, and while I don’t have any regrets about where I am today, I’ve always wondered where I’d be if I’d stuck it out.

Wes stuck it out.  He continued to work in the theatre, travelled from coast to coast and overseas. He kept living the life that I ultimately decided wasn't the one that I wanted.  That may be one of the reasons why we didn't keep in touch, I don't know.  

Another thing about Wes was that he had Cystic Fibrosis.  It was something he lived with, and from what I've gathered, something that he had made peace with.  I don't have memories of him being sick, that may be a testament to how well he was doing when we were together.  I knew he wasn't well, but I don't think I ever saw it stop him.  

Wes passed away on Saturday, February 2, 2013.  There's a memorial service being held for him tomorrow, one that I wish I could be there for.  This is as close as I'll be able to get.  

So Wes, Geoff and Pete: I'm thinking of you guys.  And though some might say it's a little weird that my fondest memory is the three of you kicking a corpse's head at a wall all night, we all know it needed doing.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Waaaait, How Long?

Hey everybody,

It has come to my attention that my site is pretty darn basic.  This is for two reasons.

First, I am using a template from Blogger.  It's easy to use and means I don't have to learn anything (because I fear learning).

Second, I find it very inoffensive.  I like basic colours, I like easy to read fonts, and it's not full of animated gifs and garbage.  Yes, there are ads (and eventually those will pay off, so you have to live with them), but it really shouldn't matter how you view the site, it should look pretty much the same.

Next month marks the fifth anniversary of when I started this little endeavour and I feel that there should be something to mark the occasion.  I feel that a milestone like that deserves a bit of attention, or something to commemorate the event at least.  As I've only just realized how long ago that was, I haven't given this a great deal of thought yet so I don't know what it will be.  But expect it to be huge! And by huge, I mean that I'll probably write something.  Maybe take a picture.  Of me.  At our kitchen table.  Like most of my pictures seem to be.

"Hey," you might say, "five years ago?  Where are all those posts?  I only see going back to 2009!  You're a liar and a fibber and I shan't stand for it!  You wait till the Senate hears about this!"

The problem is that when I started this blog in 2008, it wasn't exactly like it was today.  It was an experiment that grew into something of a mouthpiece for me.

The grand experiment (for those of you that don't remember) was sports predictions.  Since I only had about five regular readers back then, I wouldn't be surprised that you don't recall it.

Where did those posts go?  I took them down a long time ago.  Don't remember when exactly... but it was a while ago.  Here's what it came down to - writing sports predictions was funny (it was) and it paid the bills (that's a lie) but I got bored with writing the same stuff over and over again.  Plus, I started getting email and spam about sports related things.  I barely have enough time for all the local lesbians that want to meet me, let alone try to figure out what the heck point spreads are (I think it's dirty too, but not in a way that made me want to continue research).

But I digress.

February 17, 2008 was the first post here (even though it's not here right now). I'm thinking a contest would be interesting... Thoughts?

PS - for those of you that were paying attention, I did change the colour scheme on the site.  It used to be a light blue background and title text.  Now it's a slightly darker blue!  Good on you for noticing.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This Week in Highs and Lows

HIGH
I went to work on my day off this week and got cake again! Yay!

LOW
I did not get paid for this time I spent at work.  But it was only an hour and I still got cake, so it balances.

HIGH
I had some very definitive plans this weekend that involved going to Halifax for two days of fun with Kevin Smith.

I am not a huge fan of Kevin Smith - by no means am I foaming at the mouth for every movie that he has ever brought out, nor do I believe that everything that he touches turns to gold.  But I do find him funny, and I respect what he's done, and I think he's a great story teller.  He's also done a great job of surrounding himself with interesting and funny people.

I was super excited with the news that he was going to bring many of his podcast shows (and there are many) to Halifax for the sixth anniversary of his podcast network.  Sure it was a little pricey at a hundred bucks a day, but the chance to see all of this crazy cast at work was too much to pass up.  Note that at least half of his crazy cast is in the form of Ralph Garmain (cause he does impressions you see).

LOW
The shows have been cancelled.

Weekend plans are in near ruin, but stuff happens and I will ease my disappointment somehow.  Probably by spending the refunded ticket money on something else super fun.  Like candy.

LOW
Bed, Bath & Beyond opened in Moncton.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the store, the "Bed" and "Bath" portions of the store are things that you would find in those rooms in your home.  Towels, sheets, things that do things that I didn't realize needed doing but could be done at least once for $39.99 until you put it away in the basement until the yard sale you're going to be forced to have five years hence.

The "Beyond" of the store are the rest of your rooms, though mostly just the kitchen.  I think a better name for the store would be "More Stuff For Your Rooms", but it doesn't flow off the tongue as nicely and also might cause shoppers to think a little bit about whether they really need another garlic press (nobody uses these - they only exist to make you feel bad about using garlic powder or pre-minced garlic from a jar).

I had to go.

HIGH
Five minutes into our walkabout, My Lovely Wife asked me if I saw anything I liked.  I know that she does this out of a sense of politeness and in an effort to make a shopping trip with me a little more enjoyable (Hint: I am not a browser, and this store is built for people who like to create a little story about what it would be like to own everything in that store).  Since we were standing in one of the aisles with kitchen gadgets I said "no, but if we find that thing that lets you make your own pop I'm buying it."

Moments later, we turned the corner and there it was.  I want that thing so bad.

LOW
I did not buy it.

HIGH
My Lovely Wife said "Well, you could buy it now, but it will ruin your birthday present."

So cheers to me!  I may know what I'm going to be getting for my birthday, but it turns out it's something I really really want - more than I expected.

SodaStream, you will be mine.  Oh yes, you will be mine.

LOW
It is darn cold out there.  Today is going to be -38 with the wind chill.  That is too cold.  I know living where I do and complaining about the cold is a little like living in a place that's really cold and complaining about it (yes, I realize how lazy that was, but I'm getting hungry and I want to finish this before I have lunch).

HIGH
We're going on a trip!  In a random, spur of the moment kind of thing, we're going to be taking a trip this year.  Tickets have been purchased, vacation days are scheduled, it's all falling into place.  More details on that to come, but it should be a good time.

And that's all I got for now.  Time for leftover lasagne!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Things That I Will Do...

I was lucky enough to have a long weekend this week.

For those of you that aren't in the know, I work a 4 days on / 4 days off shift.  They are fairly long days, but it's not so bad, and the 4 day weekends are boss.  I ended up with a 5-day weekend (well, Monday-Friday weekend) this week because of a change to the schedule.  What would you do with five days off?

I'll tell you what I did.  I went to work.

I mean, honestly, what am I going to do with a 5-day weekend?  I waste the four days off I get now anyway.  It turns out that they needed a little extra help so I went in for the day yesterday just to help balance the load.

Best. Decision. Ever.

First:  There were some people I work with that I've never met before (cause my company is way huge man, you just don't even know), and they were in town for meetings.  Now, I could have come in on my day off just to meet them face to face and say hello.  I could have done that, but I wasn't going to.  Because even though they had travelled a long distance and they are very lovely people, I am doing my best to not be that guy that goes into work on his days off because he has nothing else to do.

I have lots to do.  Or at least that is the impression that I want everyone to have.  Truth is that I'm still sitting here in my bathrobe and its 2 in the afternoon.

I swear to you, I was stone cold sober when I took this picture.  I did get totally wasted enough to post it.
Nah, just kidding, I have no self respect.
Upshot of the first thing, I got to meet some folks that I've been working with and only knew as a voice and an email address.  It was nice.  Though I did miss out on the meet and greet that they did earlier in the week, but that's okay because...

Second:  When my company has big meetings like the ones that were going on that everyone had travelled here for, there is usually catering involved.  And when there is catering involved there are usually leftovers.  And this was no exception.

In standard office hierarchy, leftover food from catering goes like this:
  1. The people involved with the meeting. The brave ones get a second helping (they know they're going to be in this meeting for the rest of the day, but free food is free food and they're willing to risk it).  Then there are the people that will grab a second dessert or another beverage to have on the side, just to snack on during the meeting, but they've taken a suspicious number of napkins and five will get you ten that it's getting wrapped up and taken home.
  2. The people who weren't involved with the meeting, but are on the same team as the meeting attendees.  This is basically the way that the people having the meeting apologize to the rest of the group for picking up their slack while they're off getting catered meals and wishing on rainbows and drawing butterflies on the mist of their imaginations.  The invitation usually comes in the form of an email or an instant message: "There's still some left if you're hungry." or "We're about to start again, do you want to grab a plate before they clean it up?"  That sort of thing.  It's always written as though the person writing it doesn't know that everybody has foregone eating lunch in the expectation that there will be leftovers.
    I have levels of hunger that I'm willing to deal with.  Waiting for over-priced appetizers in a really slow restaurant that I don't like that is at the bottom.  Christmas dinner is at the top.  Waiting for that message to come and get it is up there with starving myself before going to a buffet.  It doesn't matter what the food is, I'm taking it and I'm laughing to myself that I didn't have to sit in a mind numbing meeting to get it. Suckers!
  3. People that sit in the vicinity of where the food is being served.  Once the attendees and the team-mates have gotten their invites, the group of people that are lucky enough to have been sitting in the cubicles or office space immediately surrounding the catering area get their "Oh, hey, did you want to grab some of this too?" invitation.  They are truly the least lucky of them all, because when there's not enough leftovers they end up with nothing after having watched wave after wave of people stuffing themselves.
    This group is sort of like the servants in a medieval castle - they can eat all the scraps they want, after the hunting dogs have had their fill.  Also, they are usually covered in sores and are afraid to make eye-contact with you.  I don't know why this is so, but it is.
  4. Random people that happened to come across the meal just before it's about to be tossed out.  Sometimes, there's more than any of the first three groups can eat.  It's rare, but it happens, usually after some mix up in when the catering was supposed to arrive so people in groups 2 and 3 got tired of waiting and just gave in and ate something (it's sad when people lose their faith like that), so they're too full to eat anything else.
    This is the luckiest of all groups because they don't have an expectations whatsoever.  It's like the food fairy came down from his pasta mountain and wants to bless you with a plate of lasagne and maybe a bit of caesar salad.
Just to make sure you're keeping up, the reasons why it was a good day to go into work so far are: 1) meet co-workers from the Land of Far, Far Away and 2) Got fed lunch.

Third: every month, the department that I am in gets a cake and a fruit tray to celebrate all the birthdays on the team that month.  Sometimes, you're even lucky enough that you're at work on the day that it happens they are celebrating your birthday.  Most of the time you're not.  But it's nice to know that people celebrated, yes?

This month, it just happened that it was cake day at work.  The invitation hit my inbox and a small cheer rose  from me to the heavens above: "Cake @ 3:00 by pod 105"  Such magical words.

I met new people, I got fed lunch, and then a couple of hours later I got cake. Could going into work on my day off have gotten any better?

Yes.  It was about to get a lot better.

Fourth:  It wasn't such a bad day.  It was partly because I was able to pick up a little bit of the slack, but it was mostly because it wasn't as busy as we had expected it to be. Normally, Wednesdays are heavy, but for some reason it wasn't this time.  I was able to get some special project work done that had been eluding me for a few weeks, and I learned a few things that will make my first day back on a little bit easier.

Which of course leads to the best reason why it was a good day.

Fifth: I got paid overtime to do it all. 

And the reason why the overtime is awesome is because I want to the movies last night with a friend.  We saw "Django Unchained".  It was very good, and I don't begrudge a single moment of the 8 hours I spent at work to pay for it. Seriously, tickets and concession were crazy expensive.  I almost felt guilty not going to the movie with My Lovely Wife.

For those of you that might be interested, this is my impression of what it would be like watching "Django Unchained" with My Lovely Wife.

Opening credits play:  "Pass me the M&M's."
Approximately 8 minutes into the movie: "We have to leave."

Monday, January 14, 2013

It Must Work Because I Felt Better Just Watching It

Long story short, bad day.  Not so much bad, really, as just plain miserable.  Which I think may be the reason why when we saw this come on the television I looked at My Lovely Wife and we both lost it.  I mean, truly lost it.  Laughter so hard that I was snorting trying to hold it back.

What could cause such merriment?  Why, nothing short of the YumaLite.

I don't often put commercials on my blog, but I feel this one is deserving.  I dare you to watch this commercial and not smile.  Double dare.



There are so many great moments in this film, it's hard to choose my favourites...But I'll try.

  • The Mom, using her YumaLite while she makes lunch for her kid.  And then trying hard not to hit her husband in the face with it.
  • The lady wearing hers while she applies her make up.  In the space of a few moments, her face says "Oh! I can't believe I ever tried to put on make up without the benefit of light shining into my eyes and this OH SO attractive visor on my noggin!"
  • The elderly couple who are surprised when they're able to turn the television on.
  • The guy suffering from SAD walking down the sidewalk and kicking at some snow.  He needs some friends, and I bet he'd find some if he was wearing his YumaLite!
  • And then there's that elderly lady again, who is so comfortable at using the telephone with her YumaLite!
  • The best part though, is at the end when the woman turns her YumaLite on...while apparently outside on a sunny day.

Oh, YumaLite. I know nothing about you, but your commercial really cheered me up.  And you're Canadian too!  I think I'm proud of that.

Yes.  I think I am.

The gang from the Dragons' Den all like the company too.

So YumaLite, I salute you.  Even without me buying your product, you improved our day.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

You Know What I Don't Get? Humour.

Many of you who know me know that there is some very popular comedy that I just... don't get.  Specifically, the magic of Seinfeld.  Note that I am referring to not understanding Seinfeld: The Show, and not Seinfeld: The Person.

Here's the FAQ:
Q:  How can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  I just don't find it very funny.

Q:  How can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  Um, I guess I just don't feel anything for any of the characters?

Q:  How can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  I-I just... look, I don't need specific reasons not to like-

Q:  But how can you not like Seinfeld?
A:  No further comment.

For those of you that were paying attention, each of those questions was written as though asked by each of the characters from the show.  Have fun figuring out which was which!

Seinfeld was a creation of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David, both of whom are fabulously wealthy from the proceeds of not making me laugh.  Larry David has another hit comedy show called Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Why on earth am I bringing this up?  Because the other day, I had a conversation with my good friend Scott that somehow morphed into me writing a description of what it would be like if I met Larry David.  Anyway, I took time out of my life to write it up just so I could impress upon Scott how serious I was about wanting to take a break at that time (because I totally wouldn't have written this up while I was on the clock, that would be dishonest.)

Without further ado, here is the original script for "Meeting Larry David".  I hope you enjoy it as much as I didn't.


MEETING LARRY DAVID
by
Weh-Ming Cho

CAST OF CHARACTERS
ME – Me
LARRY – Larry David
BOB – Our mutual friend


INT Restaurant. It’s a Mexican restaurant, with lots of South of the Border flare. BOB and ME are sitting
at a table.

BOB
I can’t wait for you to meet Larry! We should have done this years ago.

ME
You’ve told me so much about him, I feel like I know him already.

BOB
He’s a lot like you. He’s got a really different sense of humour. Man, when he gets going at a party
WATCH OUT!

ME
Does he know how to get here?

BOB
Oh yeah, this is his favorite place, we eat here all the time. Here he is! Larry! Over here!

LARRY
Hey Bob.

BOB
Larry, this is my friend Weh. Weh, this is Larry.

ME
Nice to meet you, Larry. Bob’s talked about you so much that I feel like I already know you!

LARRY
That’s nice.

(BOB looks back and forth between LARRY and ME. He has a huge stupid smile on his face and is
practically vibrating from excitement.)

ME
Yeah…so.

BOB
Larry lives in LA! Right Larry?

LARRY
Yes, Los Angeles. But I’m not from there. I’m just of there.

ME
I’ve only been there once, but we had a great time.

LARRY
Good, good.

(BOB laughs maniacally.)

BOB
You guys!

ME
Yeah…

CUT TO: The three of them are eating appetizers. LARRY is telling a story and BOB is laughing so hard
that he is crying.

LARRY
…and that’s when I said this is the worst airline I’ve ever not flown on.

BOB
(Breathless) I…can’t-hahaha-believe-hahahaha-they’d do that!

ME
That’s pretty funny.

LARRY
Well, 50 million people thought so.

BOB
Fifty million people! HA ha ha! I can’t believe it!

CUT TO: Entrées are being eaten. ME is telling a story and BOB is laughing so hard that his meal is
practically untouched and his head is resting on the table.

ME
…And that’s how we spent our vacation. It was a lot of fun.

BOB
hahahaha-vacation-hahaha-fun-hahahaha.

LARRY
That’s nice.

ME
We thought so.

CUT TO: Dessert. BOB is nowhere to be seen. LARRY and ME are focused intently on our desserts.

ME
Is he okay?

LARRY
(Looks at floor by table) Yes, I think he’s okay. He’s stopped twitching at least.

ME
Good. That’s good.

LARRY
Sure.

ME
How’s your pie?

LARRY
Eeeeh, it’s fine.

ME
Yeah, I guess that’s the best you can hope for in ordering pie in a Mexican restaurant, right?

(BOB’s hand appears)

BOB
PIE! MEXICAN PIE! HHAHAaargh.

CUT TO: Paying the bill

LARRY
I’ve got to run, but it was good seeing you again Bob. Weh, it was nice meeting you too.

ME
Likewise. I’ll talk to you later, Bob.

BOB
You guys! You guys! You have to... you guys!

WAITRESS
That was awful.

Fade to Black

Post script:

1.  For those of you that read through that entire mess, I'd like to extend my sincere apologies.  Sometimes, I write things for the sake of having written something.
2.  Everything I know about Larry David, I made up.  I have no idea if he is "from" or "of" LA, if he likes Mexican restaurants, has ever had any interaction with an airline whatsoever, or if he enjoys pie.
3.  The events in this script were entirely made up and oh my god, I think I just wrote a fanfic...
4.  If you are Larry David, please do not be angry with me just because your life's work doesn't do anything for me.  I mean, you don't see Michaelangelo getting worked up because I don't care that much for his statue of David.  Hmm... maybe I just have something against Davids in general?
5.  If you decide to perform my script, please do not harm Larry David.
6.  Scott might notice that this version of the script varies ever so slightly from the one that he read earlier.  This version contains one corrected typo.  I would have corrected more, but I was having fun writing this bit at the end and just didn't go back to it.  See if you can find the correction Scott!
7.  If you didn't laugh reading this, you have some idea of how I feel.
8.  I've made it as far as 7 on this list, so now I have to push for an even 10.
10.  Nah.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Anyone Else Do This?

Like most people, I have thoughts.  

I know that sounds obvious, but when was the last time that you thought about the fact that practically everyone around you is thinking about something?

Anyway.

At four in the morning, I had another one of my "hey, you know what would have been awesome? If you had maybe paid a little more attention to your personal hygiene and grooming in middle school and high school."  That, of course, sent me on a downward spiral.  Now all I can think of are the "wow, did you really say that to someone that time at that party?" and "maybe if you cleaned your dorm room a little more often it wouldn't have smelled quite so much like farts and Magic: The Gathering cards."

Nothing else to do about it but get up and tell you all about it.

Anxiety sucks. 

When I was a kid, my mom gave me a string of plastic beads that she called my "worry beads". When I started getting anxious, I was supposed to get them out and, you know, just kind of feel them and meditate on what was good and all.  I think I still have them.  I'm pretty sure she gave them to me because I was driving them nuts with my pre-pubescent anxiety attacks on my place in the world.  And also because it was what could be described as one ugly-ass necklace, so hey, two birds one stone, right?

I've since graduated to other modes of grounding myself, almost none of which include fashion accessories.  It works for me, but I gotta catch it when it starts or I lose any chance at productivity or relaxation.  Like this morning.  If I'd just gotten up when it started, I might have been able to pull off another hour of sleep.  

Sigh.

In case you're wondering, my room no longer smells like farts and Magic: The Gathering cards.  I haven't played M:TG in years.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Would Be Your Epitaph?

I was surfing Reddit and one of the conversations that popped up was the following:

Reddit, you just died. The epitaph on your tombstone is the last words you said aloud. What are they?

So yes, it's a little depressing, but there is some gold in there too.  It doesn't have a huge number of responses yet, but here are a few of my favorites:

In the You Had It Coming Category...
"What are you going to do, shoot me?" -vball23
"Are you feeling lucky punk?"  -TY4788
"Does he still work here?" -sirlongfoot
"Well, honey your feet... they ain't as pretty as you think." -machinekillsfascists

In the Innocent Bystander Category...
"Fine, I'll have the milk." -bonnielassie
"No, it's not my natural hair color." -rawrheppe
"I'm gonna go watch Forrest Gump." -elwray1989
"Yeah, cheese fries." -friedricekid

In the They Were Probably High When It Happened Category...
"Am I doin' the moonwalk?" -xWeasel
"AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUUUUUUUU" -isthatafish
"Where's my Dunkin' Donuts. I thought that I was sexual, not fat." -SEXUAL_OSTRICH
"It sounds like your ray gun could use more farts." -munkeybutt

I could go on and on.  I actually did, but then I went back and cut out all the ones with swearing and stuff.  There could be kids reading this or something, and I'd hate to be responsible for introducing swears to small children.  That's what school is for.

My epitaph kind of fits in all three of the above categories, depending on the situation:

"The eggrolls are ready, but the pizza isn't."

Now I just have to ensure that I live long enough to have "Is my eggroll ready yet?" carved on the monument to My Lovely Wife...

So what's on your tombstone folks?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Sorry No Post Yesterday

I had something amusing planned, and then life stepped in and gave us a swift kick in the feelings.

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

If You Don't Knit, You Can Probably Skip This. If You Do, You Probably Know This Feeling

I'm knitting a new project, probably the most complicated pattern that I've ever done.

I started it on December 22, and it was going pretty well.  I got about 18 rows into it, and on Christmas morning I discovered a mistake.  On Row 12.  I started to pull it back and in the process realized that I'd also dropped a stitch.

On Row 5.  

As a point of reference, that was over 2000 stitches and probably 5 hours of work that I'd messed up.  

I pulled it apart and restarted it from scratch.  Because I was already familiar with the pattern at this point, it only took me until December 30 to get caught back up.

This morning, I found another mistake.  Thankfully, it only ended up being a couple of rows back, so it only took a few hours to work it back and start forward (and no dropped stitches anywhere to be found).  But dang if my heart didn't drop a little when I realized that I'd messed up the pattern.  But I tell ya, I felt like a pro when I was able to fix it!

There was supposed to be some sort of life lesson here, and I'm pretty sure I was going somewhere with a punchline, but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was.  I wrote this at about 5 AM, so my memory is a little hazy.  But it was going to be great, I'm sure.

Oh well, enjoy this picture of the vending machine at my work. (No, that's not my hand.)


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 - Another Year the World Didn't End In

You know, I'm beginning to think that there might not be any actual evidence or proof that the world is going to end.  It's almost disheartening.  Y2K fizzled out without so much as a single satellite lobbing nuclear missiles at us.  The Mayan's just needed a new desk calendar.  And don't even get me started on the rapture.  

In fact, the only thing that really seems to succeed is the money to be made on the end of the world.  Armageddon made over $500 million and 2012 made over $700 million!  If ever there was a sign that people like the idea of an apocalypse more than they believe in one, the fact that these movies continue to be made and make huge cash is it.

Here's my New Year's Resolution:  I'm going to jump on the next big end of world scenario.  I don't know what it is, and frankly I don't care because it doesn't really matter.  And if I can't find one that I like then I'll make one up of my own.  It doesn't seem to be very difficult.  Maybe something like if you look at The Sphinx through some Spanx you can see the date of the end of the world written in the stars.

Whatever it is, I'm going find it and I'm going to cash in on it.  So watch out for my line of doomsday scenario branded tea cozies and pens.

Why should the end of the world be such a downer?

Happy New Year everyone, and a Merry Pre-Next-Big-Apocalypse-Prediction!