Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Christmas Dilemma

Here's a classic Christmas dilemma, and I've always wondered what the proper way to handle this situation is:

You bought someone a gift, and they didn't get one for you. Very simple. Very common. I almost feel worse when I'm the one who got someone a gift, when they didn't get me anything. It's like I know they feel bad, but I don't care about not getting a gift. It's not like we only give presents because we expect one in return. But I definitely feel guilty whenever someone gets me something, and I haven't gotten them anything. An awkward situation for sure.

So what do you do? Do you go out and get something for them after Christmas to make up for it? (SOMEbody I know has already done this) What do you say to the person if you didn't get them anything? What do you say if you did get them something and they feel bad for not getting you anything? Is there any way to alleviate the embarrassment on either side? Does it have to feel awkward? Is it just me? What did you do? (cause I know I'm not the only one to have witnessed this)

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Christmas was great again this year. I guess I can't think of a Christmas that wasn't great. I spent the whole day with the girlfriend, traveling from house to house. It was a bittersweet Christmas for us, because she leaves in three days. That sucks. But it was a lot of fun.

First we opened presents together, and she got me a Game Boy Advance complete with Ms. Pacman, which is the only video game I'll ever need.

It was fun to get a gaming device, because it's been so long since I've had a new one. I got her some artwork that she wanted from a shop in Nashville. They were both remakes of VanGogh paintings (I think). One was Caffe (I think, and if you know for sure, please let me know):

The other was Sunflowers (I think). Although the one I bought was more colorful than this one. It has like a blue background or something. It looks nice, and she's happy.

After a little breakfast at her house, we went out to Granny's for brunch. Granny lives in an assisted living home, and it's always pretty fun to visit. I can't wait to be an old man (well, yes I can). But old men are funny and get to do what they want. This one old guy shuffled up to us while we were eating to show off his new Christmas present. It was a mechanical Christmas Bulb that sang "Rockin Around the Christmas Tree." He had it ducktaped to the handlebar of his stroller, and played the song in its entirety for us. Yes, it is one of the most annoying songs ever, especially when sung by a mechanical toy. Only an old man and his stroller could get away with that one. And he played it for every table, even though you could hear it all the way across the room.

So after a nice brunch with Granny, we went back to her house for lunch with the family. We ate and opened presents while the Pacers got spanked by the Pistons in the background. Annika's first Christmas was a treat. We played a game of Scategories, and I definitely got screwed. The letter was "T", and the category was "things that grow." I had the ingenious idea of putting down "tree trunk," for a double score, only to be informed that tree trunks don't grow. Well, that was news to me. Jon was the only one who defended me. That's like saying necks don't grow, or fingers. I couldn't believe it. Ah well, such is the pain of the game.

After games and presents we went back over to my house for dinner and more presents. Dinner was unbelievable, and after fasting from meat for a few months, I made up for it all in one day. Mom had surprised us by stashing a few pints of Rhonda's Frozen Custard at the church, to bring out for dessert on Christmas Day. So we ate Rhonda's and watched The Santa Clause after opening gifts. It was a great day.

The only bad thing was not having my brother there. This was the first Christmas we've had without him. He's in California and couldn't make the trip. Oh well. I guess it had to happen some day.

I hope everyone had as great a Christmas as I did.

Oh, and the weirdest Christmas song of the season: "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas." Do you know which song I'm talking about? Where the heck did it come from? The first time I heard it, my head kept turning the way a dog's does when it's trying to understand you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Snowfall and Candles

We had our first real snowfall this morning.

It made everything quiet and peaceful, and I was reminded of how much I really like having everything covered in white.

Until I got on the road. Then the snow turned to a black mush, and vehicles into weapons of mass destruction. I saw some guy spin out and run into the median on Morris St., like two seconds from my house. Happy Holidays. Then the interstate was a mess. Oh well.

I wish I lived somewhere quiet during this time of year. A place where snow stayed snowy and white instead of mushy and black. And where you didn't have to drive in it. That would be great.

On a different note, I was doing a review of the blog Watermark, when I saw that there is a site that has candles for people to light. At first I was like, "Oh boy, now we have e-religion where you can worship online." I'm sure it's not that far off, but I don't think that's what this site is about. It stays pretty general as far as religious persuasion, and asks people to express their "gratefulness."

I guess there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, candles in themselves are used as reminders, and the only reason we use them is because that's what people had back in the day. So why not use modern technology as a reminder for us to pray, or to remember a loved one? Right? I'm still not sure. It's interesting to see which languages have more people lighting candles. Check it out here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

"Helly Belly?"

I forgot to mention something else we did this weekend. We were hanging out at the bachelor pad, and I think Caleb had these new Jelly Bellies. I guess they're called, "Harry Potter's Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Bean."

Now when they say they have every flavor bean, they aren't kidding. There are the traditional flavors like; cherry, blueberry, green apple, lemon drop, watermelon and buttered popcorn. Buttered popcorn flavored used to be my least favorite. It's disgusting. But as crazy as it sounds, this new release has flavors like; black pepper, spinach, grass (no not that kind), dirt, ear wax, sardine, booger, and vomit. If you don't believe me, check it out here.

I only got to try the dirt and the spinach. I've had real dirt before, you know, "God made dirt, so dirt don't hurt." This stuff comes pretty close. The worst that I tried was a spaghetti flavor. Yuck. But I never got to try sardine, booger, ear wax, or vomit. They also had a soap flavor that was kind of refreshing, like getting your mouth washed out with soap. I'm amazed that they can market and sell these things. It definitely works though, cause I want to get a box of my own and try out all the flavors.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Colts, Christmas Shopping, and Confusion

It was a good weekend. Friday was the last guys night of the year. We had Stroh's and checked out the new book for next year, then played some poker into the wee hours of the morn. Adam K. was in town, so that was fun.

Saturday I did some Christmas shopping, which I hate. I can't stand all the people. It was pretty funny though; two different times I had someone start talking to me thinking I was someone else. First, I was on the escalator and a wife got separated from her husband, but didn't know it. She started talking to me with her body half turned, then asked a question right to my face. She felt embarrassed and turned back around laughing. I wasn't sure how to act in that situation. There's nothing you can do to make it less awkward. I tried coughing out loud before she turned, so she would know I wasn't her husband. It didn't work.

Then the other time was in line at Sam Goody's. Some lady started talking to me with her back turned, thinking I was her son. This time I was just laughing, because I couldn't believe it was happening again. So by the time she turned around, I was already laughing in her face. Oh well. I'm becoming a pro at this. I've decided it's best just to laugh out loud at them. Because it is funny, and you shouldn't be ashamed to laugh at funny things, and then they can laugh too. Hopefully I don't laugh at the wrong guy some day.

And it's odd that it was two women who did it. This is because women are so focused on shopping, they can't handle anything else. You won't find a guy talking to the wrong person in a mall. In a strip club maybe, but not a mall. When I go shopping with my girlfriend, she talks to me all the time while looking at everything around her. I could seriously just put a mannequin in my place and she'd keep talking.

I guess I do the same thing for Colts and Pacer games though.

The Colts game was a lot of fun too. We all met up at the bachelor pad to watch the game. Ange was in town for the holidays, so it was good to see her too. Peyton didn't break the record, but they played an awesome game.

Anyways, that was the weekend.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Clowns are SCARIER!!!

I recently did a post about how old ladies can be scary. I have decided to go back and write a post about each of the three things that scare me most:
1) Dolls
2) Clowns
3) Pictures of dolls and clowns
4) Old ladies
5) Scariest things on the internet

Today I will talk about my fear of clowns. Apparently this fear has been given the name, "Coulrophobia." I found that out thanks to The Indexed Phobia List. Now, coulrophobia is a strong word, and I don't know if it really applies to me. I just think clowns are really scary. To find out if you actually have coulrophobia, click here.

After thinking for a while about why clowns scares me, I have came up with a few answers. First of all, I know that clowns are just people, like you and me. Except scarier. And I don't think all clowns scare me. I mean, I don't get scared of clowns in a circus, and Ronald McDonald doesn't really scare me. As long as he's peddling burgers and not taking money from a toll booth late at night.

I think what scares me, is clowns who are in places where they're not supposed to be. For instance, if I were walking down the street and a clown just popped out of the bushes with a balloon animal, that would scare me way more than some thug approaching me with a gun. Or if I could choose between having an angry Mike Tyson backing me into a corner; or this clown backing me in a corner,

I'd take Iron Mike on every time. Or if I were to wake up in the middle of the night to find three escaped mental patients leering over me while wielding butcher knives, that wouldn't scare me half as much as waking up to see these three.

Unless the mental patients were dressed up in clown suits.

And clowns that try to be scary, or are dressed up to be scary don't scare me as much as the real thing. For instance, this isn't that scary to me:

But this scares the crap out of me:

The only thing possibly scarier than clowns, would have to be dolls. I'll have to save them for another day. If I can bring myself to even talk about them.

...And finally, proof that I am not crazy:

Scariest things on the internet


Watch this idiot try to rob a convenience store. What a moron.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Feline Fanatics

In my wanderings through the incredibly inexhaustible world wide web, I came across something that was truly ridiculous. It's called The Infinite Cat Project. It is a site where they take a picture of a cat, then place that on the computer and take a picture of a cat watching that cat, and so on. It isn't exactly infinite, but for all intents and purposes, the title is fitting.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time on the site, so my information may be incorrect. As I understand it, someone took a picture of a cat looking at a flower, then someone else took a picture of their cat looking at that one. Well, Mike Stanfill decided to compound this picture into infinity. The best thing about it is that you can get your own cat in on the fun. As long as it is a picture of your cat looking at the most recent pic. So your very own cat could have it's place in the Infinite Cat Project.

There are stranger things out there, I'm sure. But this one was worth noting. The Infinite Cat project STARTS HERE, and ENDS HERE. Here is a shot of one of my favorites, although I didn't get very far along: (#23; Wookie)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I love Ping Pong

Table Tennis (or Ping Pong to the layperson) is definitely one of my favorite sports to play. We have a table here at work, and I recently found a guy willing to hit around with me a bit. Another great way for me to spend my time at work.

I wish ping pong were more popular. It's a ton of fun to watch, and if I remember, I'll put this crazy clip of a Chinese guy doing cartwheels while he plays. There should be more ping pong on TV. It's definitely more exciting to watch than say, bowling. I'm not asking for the same kind of coverage that MLB, NBA, and NFL games get. But it should be up there with tennis, bowling, pool, poker, and Suzanne Summers' age-defying cream.

Oh well, I'll still love it. Here's a video from that eBaum's World that's a mix between the Matrix and ping pong.
Matrix Ping Pong

Monday, December 13, 2004

Bloggers Beware!

I'm not sure how this happened, but I have now become an official "blog reviewer." I have volunteered to review blogs for the site, "The Weblog Review." This is a legitimate site that does blog reviews. Yes, it is legitimate. And I am one of the reviewers. Oh man, this could get ugly. So now my opinion about other people's blogs officially matters. That's cool. I am seriously pretty stoked about it. (Did I just say "stoked"?... Fudge, I did.)
Anyways, if you want your blog reviewed by people like me, check out the site. But always remember that it's just someone else's opinion, and you should always be blogging for yourself.

The Weblog Review (TWR)

You can view my reviews here.

eBaum's World

One of the most entertaining sites on the internet has to be eBaum's World. You can seriously waste hours watching funny videos, amazing videos, playing games, magic tricks, they have everything that you could possibly want to waste your time doing. You should definitely check it out. Here are a few of my favorites from the site:

Sand Sicaf--This video is an amazing piece of art. It's like 8 minutes long, but worth every minute. Play it with sound too. This is probably my favorite overall.

Cup Girl--If you've never seen people that can stack cups, check this out. It really is amazing.

Aicha--This one's a favorite for me and the fellas. This guy makes a complete tool of himself singing about a girl. Unreal.

Hand Sex--This one is just wrong, but it's very impressive. Someone is extremely talented, and must have been extremely bored.

Super Mario 3--A must see for old Mario fans. This guy beats Mario 3 in 11 minutes.

Robot Dance--This guy does an incredible robot. It's sweet, check it out.

Mario Piano--More for Mario fans, and music lovers. This guy is amazing on the piano. And yes, that is a blindfold.

Games--Big waste of time here.

Trippy and Scary--Don't play with this one if you use drugs. A crazy illusion.

Okay, so I've gone nuts with the links, but there really is a lot of neat stuff on this site. So don't forget to check out Ebaum's World.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Old Ladies are SCARY!!!

I don't care who you are, old ladies can be very scary. My list of scariest things: 1)Dolls
3)Pictures of dolls or clowns
4)Old ladies.
5) Scariest things on the internet

This post will be about number four on that list. And why is it that old women are definitely scarier than old men? Unless it's a dirty old man, but I still think the old lady wins out.

I'm going to tell a story about an old woman that we all know. She's the one who every kid on the block is afraid of. She is allergic to sunlight and fresh air. Most of her time is spent peeking through shutters and curtains. She has an annoying little dog that yips at everything that moves. She looks like the old witch from "Big Fish."

Her name was Corty.

If you had the pleasure of living on Hiatt Street, in Indianapolis, anytime from the 1800's to the present, then I'm sure you know who Corty is. She lived in one half of a double, with her little dog. The other half was occupied by her clinically insane sister, Leela. Leela was more funny for us than scary. She was often seen running her hands through her hair while saying her ABC's. I guess that is kind of scary. But it was Corty who instilled the fear of God in us.

We used to always play football in the middle of the street, and it seemed like every game came to an abrupt end when the ball would go rolling into Corty's yard. We knew she was watching us the whole time, just waiting for us to screw up. Since Ryan was always the quarterback who screwed up, it was usually Ryan who went to get it.

As we gathered on the opposite side of the street, cowering with fear and laughing at Ryan's demise, we began to see Corty's beedy eyes peeping in and out from between the shutters. As soon as Ryan crept onto the lawn, the door flew open and Corty came out screaming, "Get off of my lawn!! I'm gonna sick my dog on you!!"
Enter her annoying dog. Now this dog was one that should sound familiar as well. It would bark like crazy, and come charging at you, but as soon as you stepped on the sidewalk, it would stop and bark at you from the property. We knew that this dog would never cross that threshold, and that Ryan was safe as long as he stayed on the sidewalk.

Eventually, we would all leave and sneak back later for a quick retrieval of the ball. As we grew older, the fear was still there, but it soon became fun for us to scare each other. So we would play games that required a dare, and the dare would always be to go knock on Corty's door and then run like hell.

Since Ryan always seemed to lose these games, it was usually Ryan who had to knock and run. We called it "nigger knocking," which is an extremely racist comment, but at the time we were kids who didn't know any better, and that's just what it was called.

Corty's defensive tactics had increased with time, and she soon resorted to threats of calling the cops. After about two or three "nigger knocks," she would go to the back of the house, and all of a sudden we would hear sirens. All of us would scramble in every direction, running for our lives. Soon we noticed that the sirens never got any closer. Apparantely, Corty had some device that made siren noises. Well, that just made us want to do it even more.

That poor old woman put up with us for about five years, until we were too old to be scared, and started worrying more about younger women. That's a shame.

Cheers to all of the scary old women who make little boys young lives a little more adventurous; and thank you Corty, wherever you are, for the wonderful childhood memories.

Scariest things on the internet

Thursday, December 09, 2004

One Bright Day

"One bright day, in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight.
Back to back, they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
Came and shot those two dead boys.
If you don't believe this silly lie is true,
Go ask the blind man, he saw it too."
-Author Unknown

Can anyone tell me where this came from? It seems like everyone's heard it, but nobody knows where it's from. Has anyone not heard this before? I think I learned it in like second grade.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"It's Yo Balls!"

This story comes from my first day as a substitute teacher. Yes, it was hell. I wish I had been blogging during my time as a sub, because there were some hilarious things that happened, and now I can't remember them all. There's no way I could forget this one though.

It was my first gig as a sub for the Indianapolis Public School System. Now IPS students aren't exactly known for their academic achievement and personal hygiene. I was a product of the system, so I thought I had an idea of what to expect.

I arrived at the school pretty early, just to prepare for the day. I was teaching a group of 4th Graders. Mistake. The teacher didn't leave a very good lesson plan, and I knew I would have to BS my way through the day. As the students arrived, I noticed that things hadn't changed much since I was in IPS: I was still the only white boy. Actually, I think there was a white girl too.

Anyways, that's not the point of this story. In the afternoon, I was fortunate enough to have the privilege of hosting all of the fourth grade boys as they received some much needed sexual education. The old maid who was sent to teach these young men about sex looked like the same woman who told me about "pubic regions," and "growth spurts." I really wish they would get a black man, or at least a man, to talk to the kids, but that's another story too.

So Mother Time begins her education with a video that has a theme song: "Just Around the Corner." As in, having hair on your weiner is "just around the corner." It looked like the video was made by college students who wanted to make a mockery of every sex ed tape ever made. The "Just Around the Corner" song sounded like something they would write on Saturday Night Live. It was a joke. I was trying not to laugh just as much as the kids. In one scene they had an animation of a naked boy going through puberty. The hair under his arms and around his genitals grew out like a chia pet in a matter seconds. It was hilarious.

After the video, Miss Thusela started a question and answer session. She actually expected these boys to talk to her and answer questions about ejaculations, semen, sperm, etc. It was obvious that the boys knew what she was talking about, but of course they weren't going to say anything. The only one who did was the brainiac in the class. He had his hand up for every question. He actually knew that a wet dream was called a "nocturnal emission." I'm pretty sure he got his "gluteus maximus" kicked at recess.

Okay, so after all of that, here's the best part: She starts drawing on the chalkboard.
"Okay, who can tell me what this is?" She draws the universal squiggly line with a round head.
Brainiac answers, "Sperm!!!"
"That's right. Now, who can tell me where sperm is stored?" Brainiac raises his hand again as she draws a perfect circle on the board.
"Someone besides brainiac, please?" The rest of the class was in tears from holding in their laughter, and no one was saying anything.
"Okay, I'll give you all a hint... It starts with a "T..."" Just as she finished writing the "T" on the chalkboard, one of the kids in the back row who could control himself no longer yelled out, "It's Yo Balls!!!"

All of the class looked back at me to see if he was going to be punished. Unfortunately, I'm too immature to be teaching fourth graders, and I was just about rolling on the floor with laughter. The whole class then erupted, and it was up to grandma to calm them down.

I knew from that point on that I would never make a good teacher.

--I actually found the video here--

You're Plugging Who's Site?

I recently received this email in my inbox: "Plug For Your Site: I linked to your site this morning. Interesting stuff. -Mike" I was excited to find that there was someone out there who liked my writing, or at least found it "interesting," and was willing to tell others about it. Alas, it was too good to be true.

When I checked out the link he provided, here is the page I came to. He was plugging a post of mine where I talk about naming my mother's miscarried sons.

Apparently my post takes the theme of Roe vs. Wade "one step further." Uh..nope. Not only that, but the post was about "naming her miscarried unborn children." "Her" being me. Uh, I'm a dude. If Mike would've taken the time to read all the way through the second sentence of that post, he might not have made this mistake.

Although I appreciate anyone willing to plug this site, I would appreciate it more if you plugged it because you enjoy reading what's here. Not as a way of getting more people to your site. I probably wouldn't have cared so much, except this particular post was the only serious one I've written in this whole blog. And it wasn't very "interesting" compared to the others. In the future, please take the time to read what's here. It is interesting.

If you would like to link to this blog, let me know and I'll return the favor. Here's Mike's Blog.

[Mike has profusely and completely apologized for the minor mix up. Sorry, I didn't see your corrections before publishing this post. Ah well. And you all really should check out his blog. I just took the time to view some other posts there, and it's worthwhile stuff.]

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Crazy News

There are some crazy things happening in the world today. I don't feel like writing much, so here's some of the crazier things I read about in today's paper:

1)Grandpa's Ghost goes for $65,000 on Ebay.
???? Now that's crazy. I guess they sold Grandpa's walking stick, along with his "ghost." Reminds me of that Simpsons where Bart sells his soul. I wonder if I could sell my Grandpa's haunted dentures. What would you sell?

2)Sacred Sandwich goes on tour.

If you didn't already hear, a grilled cheese sandwich, apparently resembling the Virgin Mary, was bought on Ebay for $28,000. Well, now it's going on tour. See if it's coming to a town near you. Looks more like a cowering orphan to me.

3)Mexican Madonna saves woman?
Okay, I've heard of this happening before, but it's crazy: "A woman survived a crash that drove a 12-foot metal rod through her mouth and out the back of her head..." I just can't imagine.

Friday, December 03, 2004

"It's like wiping before you poop...It don't make no sense."

(Title quote from Larry the Cable Guy)

Once again I will tell a disturbing tale from a day in my life. Warning: The following topic may disgust some people.

I was with a few friends in college, and we got to talking (always a dangerous thing) about dumping. Well one of my friends, for whatever reason (I can't remember now), gave us a visual aid of how he wipes after he poops. He pretended to tear off a reasonable amount of toilet paper, then proceeded to stick his hand between his legs and wipe.

There was an awkward silence as a few of us tried to figure out what technique we had just witnessed. My friend started to go on with whatever story he was telling, and we were like, "Wait. Wait. Just wait a second now. How do you wipe?" He repeated his between-the-legs method, and I was shocked.

I had always assumed that all men wiped the same way: leaning to the side, and wiping from South to North. I tend to lean to the left, and wipe with the right hand. I'm not sure if that's universal, or if lefties do it differently. I had no idea that there were multiple methods.

Well, needless to say, we all started making fun of him right away. He tried to defend his method, but it just doesn't hold water. The main flaw in this method, for me, is that guys are blessed with "under clunder." It seems that "under clunder" would interfere with a clean wipe, and could get things messy. Also, I would think the hand may graze up against the rim of the bowl, which is to be avoided at all costs.

Anyways, so the whole event got me wondering if there are more methods. Another roommate of mine later said that he likes to wet some toilet paper to finish the job more thoroughly. At the risk of losing whatever integrity this blog may have had, I'm going to ask if anyone knows any other methods. What is your preferred method? Be creative, and have fun!

-Check out how this chick uses her toilet paper-

Say it Ain't So!

Well, what most of us already knew to be true is finally being released as fact: Major League Baseball, sponsored by BALCO, finally has to address the use of steroids by it's very own sluggers. But major league baseball is to blame. No drug policy until last year? Come on. The whole thing is pathetic, and it sucks that records are being broken by these juicers. Jack McDowell thinks these players should be banned, comparing what they've done to what Pete Rose did. I tend to agree with him. Anyways, I'm through talking about it. Here are some links if you want to learn more.

A Dark Time
Bonds Didn't Know?
Tainted Career
Fool's Gold: Marion Jones

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Damn the Snooze Bar!

Okay, who invented the dang snooze bar on an alarm? Seriously. That has to be the worst invention. For the third day in a row now, I've snooze barred my way into a hectic morning where I am rushing to be on time for work. I know it's my own dang fault, but I shouldn't even have that option.

So, who's the idiot who decided it was a good idea to add a snooze bar? Alarm clocks are one of the only things we buy that forces us to do something we don't really want to do. The whole purpose of an alarm clock is to wake you up! Why have an option that negates that purpose? It's bad enough that I set the clock 30 minutes early, in order to "trick" myself into being on time (come on, I know you do it too), only to wake up and say, "Oh, I've got thirty more minutes, cause I set the clock wrong."

The problem with the snooze bar is that it asks you whether or not you want five more minutes of sleep, while you're still sleeping. That's like asking an alcoholic if he wants one more drink, while he's in the middle of an all-night binge. Of course he'll say yes.

Honestly, who's going to say "no" to five more minutes, when you've just been torn from a nice slumber? If my dad were to have woken me up by saying, "Son, it's time to get up. But if you want five more minutes, just smack me upside the head and I'll come back later and repeat the process." He would've needed a medic every morning.

Does the clock think I accidentally set the wrong time on the alarm? I mean, I spent ten minutes trying to figure out how to set it right, of course that's when I want to wake up. But it takes two seconds to slap that button and just keep dreaming. They should make snooze bars just as difficult to set. By the time you figured out what you were doing, you'd be conscious and awake.

Isn't it true though, that those five minutes are worth more than a whole night's sleep combined? It's like the entire night is a warm-up for the real sleep that comes after you hit the snooze bar.

Anyways, if anyone finds out who invented it, let me know. And out of curiosity, how many other people set their clocks fast on purpose?

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Miscarriages and Abortions

This past weekend was pretty special for my family and I. While my brother was in town for Thanksgiving, we met with our priest to name my mom's two miscarriages. First we got to talk with Fr.J about when it happened, and how it affected us. It was difficult to hear my mom talk about those miscarriages. I never realized how much pain something like that can bring, and I never really thought much about it until now. I was too young to remember much of anything, but I guess it had quite an impact on my family, and my mom especially.

It is difficult to think that I have two more brothers. It's like I never really believed it until now. Patrick Hill and Daniel Jacob. What great names. Family names. I knew that my mom had two miscarriages, but it hasn't been until this weekend that it really hit me what that means.

We had a service on Sunday for my brothers. We sang "Memory Eternal." What a fitting song. Memory eternal for two brothers who I have no memory of. I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. It is good to know that they have names, there is something real about being able to call them by name.

So these events have led me to think a bit about abortion and miscarriages and all of that. It is sad to think that some couples actually try to get pregnant, have difficulty doing it, and are devasted when they miscarry. Then there are others who have sex hoping not to get pregnant, are devasted when they do, and are relieved when they can get rid of the Nuisance.

I am obviously against abortion, and find it difficult to understand the opposing view. Please feel free to enlighten me if you or someone you know is pro-"choice." Anyways, those are my thoughts for the day. Feel free to comment.

I am proud to say that Indiana received an "F" in NARAL's "state-by-state report on the Status of Women's Reproductive Rights." See How Your State Did.

Links on the topic:

Orthodox Church in America's 10th All-American Council
National Right to Life Homepage Homepage

NARAL: Pro Choice America
Pro Choice Public Education Project

Monday, November 29, 2004

Gobble Gobble

Mmmmmmm...Turkey. I was lucky enough to eat three turkeys in a 22 hour period this past weekend. And it was gooooooood.

First was Wednesday night with the guys. We had a deep fried turkey that Philioque brought to a crispy perfection. Then we chased it down with a little Wild Turkey, compliments of Rab. Then we topped the night off with some Island Texas Hold 'em. Rab took us for a ride. My brother was in town for the night, so that was fun to have him around.

Then Thursday afternoon was spent at the old lady's place. Oven roasted turkey compliments of Patricia. Randy had the great idea of going around the table spelling THANKSGIVING, each person saying something they are thankful for that begins with whatever letter we were on. I thought I was in 3rd grade again when I did that with Christmas cards and such. Jon got the "A" and was thankful for "apples and alcohol," but changed his answer when his wife Allison, while holding baby Annika, gave him a look and said, "No. Now tell us what you really mean." I was thankful for Saturdays, Sundays, and Super Salads. Then we watched the Colts win again.

Then the main event was Thursday around six. Family and friends over at the folks. Slowly smoked turkey compliments of Pops. Lots of laughs, good times. Walkers showed up for dessert and we laughed about old times. Broke out ol' Tilton for a traditional spiritual kick. Then watched the Pacers win again.

It was a great weekend and I have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Annoying Blogs: Finally, the Positive side of them

Okay, there are lots of blogs out there that are annoying, and that's understandable. I know not everyone has the same tastes as me, and if the annoying ones weren't out there, I would have nothing to post about today. So there's one good thing.

Also I realize that blogs should be primarily for the benefit of the person writing them, not for the reader. So if you find my blog annoying, I didn't write the stupid thing for you to read. That's another good thing.

Then as I was surfing through some blogs, I got so frustrated at one because it was annoying and a waste of my time, I closed the browser window and stopped surfing. Then I realized what a waste of time it is, even if I find a good blog. So I stopped wasting time reading about things that I don't care about. That's another good thing.

Then I got so bored at work again that I found myself back on the net browsing through boring blogs to pass the time. What would I do at work without them? And that's another good thing.

Steve wrote a post that describes most of the blogging things that annoy me. But the one that inspired this post came from someone who had these on their site:

Adopt your own useless blob!

That's right, you can adopt a "Useless Blob". What? Okay, that was enough for me. Although I guess they are a little fun. Kinda. I guess you could get used to them. I'm kind of attached to the Canadian one. He's a bit slower than the others. Hmm... And the site that these are found on is pretty entertaining. Especially the Stick Man Deaths. Check it out.

Monday, November 22, 2004

John Green= Indy's "Bartman"

John Green of West Bloomfield Township has been identified as the person responsible for throwing the cup at Ron Artest in the Pacers-Pistons Brawl. No doubt that he will become to Indianapolis and Pacers fans what Steve Bartman became to Chicago and Cubs fans.

Lets hope that the fans responsible for throwing crap during the game receive their just reward, just as Artest received his. Along with the Pistons and their breakdown in security.

Mark Cuban praises Pacer Fans: "Thank you to all the Pacers fans and the city of Indianapolis."

Hairy Men: Cheer it, or Shear it?

I hope you've all seen the Seinfeld episode where Jerry shaves his chest and is told by Kramer that it'll grow back twice as thick. If you haven't, it's hilarious. This is in fact a wive's tale as Jerry originally believes. Anyways, this episode is the unfortunate inspiration for this post. Reader beware: this post contains material that may upset your stomach and/or question your manhood.

I'm sure we've all had friends who have shaved their legs, or chest or back for one reason or another. I know swimmers who do it all the time. Oh, and I'm talking to the guys here. Of course we know women who shave their legs (hopefully).

This tale is my unfortunate encounter with someone who took shaving a bit too far in my opinion. It was a normal Friday afternoon in a college dorm like any other, where guys were finishing their last classes for the day, and preparing for a fun weekend to come. Myself and a few friends were in our dorm, when we heard a soft humming sound coming from the bathroom. We didn't think much of it, as there were many strange sounds that often came from this bathroom, and this particular sound seemed inoffensive in comparison.

Eventually I had to go use the little boy's room, and my life would never be the same. As I entered the bathroom, the humming noise go louder. I recognized the familiar sound of an electric shaver. Nothing wrong with that. But as I looked to my left, expecting to see a roommate cleaning up for the evening, I saw the raw backside "Steve." He was crouched in the corner with his back facing me, and he was looking over his shoulder like a little boy who's trying to hide something from his parents or something.

I said to Steve, "Steve. What in the name of all things holy are you doing?" Or something to that effect.
Steve: "Man, I'm just shaving my pubes."
Me: "Oh. Okay."
Right. So I went ahead and did my business, and left the room. As I told everyone else in the entire dorm what I had seen, we were all in agreement that this was not normal behavior. A few of us went back into the bathroom to confirm what I had seen, and to figure out why he was doing that.
Steve: "I've got a date tonight and you never know what could happen."
Oh, of course. Well, that explains everything. Okay, carry on then.
Well, we made fun of him for about a half hour or so. Then we made him sanitize the entire bathroom.

So now my question is: should Steve be considered a freak of nature? And believe me, he is, whether this instance warrants that definition or not. And also, shouldn't men just leave what God allows to grow alone? And also, what woman would Steve be doing this for? Don't answer that. Anyways, you don't have to answer any of these questions. I just thought it was a funny story. Please keep your comments as wholesome as possible.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Motown Madness

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about the Pacers-Pistons brawl. I won't bore you with details, because it's all over Sports Center, and eventually we'll hear enough of this to make us all sick. Check the links at the bottom of the post for commentary.

I am already sick. Just watching the highlights is disgusting. I can't believe people act like that. Being a HUGE Pacers fan, I realize that I am extremely biased. I'm also an Artest fan, although I admit that he often seems mentally unstable, and was not justified in his actions. He's definitely an idiot for what he did and I'm sure he'll be punished.

But I'm even more disgusted with the fans of Detroit. I mean, that is just sick what they did. What kind of sick bastard throws beer, chairs, clothing, cups, bottles, and sucker punches at the players they pay to come see? Anyways, I can't really go into it all right now. I'm pretty upset.

I don't know what the NBA is going to do. I just hate that it happened to the Pacers. Hopefully this will ignite Indianapolis fans into being the loudest and toughest crowd to play against...with class.

Next time Pacers and Pistons meet? Christmas Day, here in Indy. Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.

Articles on Pacers-Pistons Brawl:
Associated Press
Local Sportswriter: Bob Kravitz-Indianapolis
Local Sportswriter: Mark Montieth-Indianapolis
Local Sportswriters: M. M. and S. S.-Indianapolis
Mark Stein-ESPN
Local Sportswriters:M.L. Elrick and Shawn Windsor-Detroit
Local Sportswriter: Michael Rosenberg-Detroit

Friday, November 19, 2004

Boredom, Buddies, and Beer

I was bored off of my butt at work today, when the phone buzzed. An old buddy of mine called out of the blue to see if I wanted to grab a bite for brunch. Boy was I excited.

I hadn't seen him in a long time, so i was becstatic(what?). My buddy and I, we'll just call him Busty, went to Blimpies to bring home a subbbb. Then we bustled over to Busty's place and met up with his brother, BRyan.

The three of us began to bring back old memories, and bit our subs as well. After we were done, Busty brought back some home made beer. It was called Mr.Beer. It was a pale ale, and not half bad.

So then we got buzzed off of Mr.Beer and subbbbs before heading back to our boring lives. They to work, me to blog.

There's something special about drinking beer with old buddies. Especially with good subbbbs. And especially if it's homemade beer. And especially if you have to go back to work afterwards.

Learn how to make your own beer.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

ABC: "Another Booty Call?"

If you happened to miss the ABC promo aired just before Monday Night Football on, well, Monday night; then you missed the next controversial prime-time programming "affair." The promo showed a towel-clad Ms.Sheridan (Desperate Housewives) in the locker room with Terrell Owens in full uniform. She eventually lost the towel and jumped into his arms.

Yes, Disney has come a long way. (Disney owns ABC) The saddest thing about this was that I wasn't shocked at all when I saw it. That kind of thing just seems like the norm nowadays. The only reason I even blog about it now is becuase there was an interesting article in today's sports page about it. I guess good ol' Coach Dungy is pretty upset. He goes as far as to call it racism. Dungy is awesome. I'm glad I'm a Colts fan.

Needless to say, the promo was tasteless, pointless, unedifying, and stimulating. Like most television these days. Just a bunch of trash. Ah well. "Are you ready for some football?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


I forgot to mention that I saw a preview for the movie,Son of Mask. Words cannot describe how terrible this movie looks. I felt embarrassed to watch the preview. Like when someone on stage messes up and you feel sorry for them. That's how I felt. Jamie Kennedy made a big mistake. It seriously annoys me that a lot of money is spent to make movies like these. And it's even more annoying that someone will go watch it. Seriously, who sits around and is like, "I know! We'll make a sequel to the Mask called, Son of the Mask! Brilliant!" And then they get money for it. Whatever. Please don't see this movie.

The Polar Express

Yesterday I saw
The Polar Express
Now, I hate the fact that it cost dang near twenty bucks to go to a movie with a date, and personally, almost no movie is worth that price. However, if you are a frequent movie-goer and don't mind prices, then you should go see this movie.

Tom Hanks was awesome, which is weird because it's just his voice. But they make his character so much like him somehow. I can't explain. And all of the characters are so believable. I've never read the book, but I'm guessing they didn't change much.

The main characters are kids that I swear I know personally. The animation is incredible. And they do a great job with the scenes and making them feel dream-like. Whatever process that's called.

It was nice to feel like a kid again, get excited over little things, let my imagination loose for a bit, and actually believe in a train that takes you to the North Pole. I liked the music too, for whatever that's worth.

Anyways, if you have a kid, you should definitely take them to this movie. And if you want to feel like a kid again, you should definitely see this movie. I was impressed.

My favorite character? The ghost. Followed closely by the know-it-all.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Annoying Co-workers!!!

Okay, I hate to use this blog to vent, but it's my blog, and darnit I'm venting.

I'm at work right now, and I sit about six feet behind one of the most annoying people on the planet. It's like whenever I go flying, why do I always sit next to the biggest creep who wants to talk the whole time? This guy thinks he knows everything, and likes to talk about it. He gives advice to everyone, whether it's asked for or not. And he cusses all the time. I mean seriously, why waste good cuss words? They should be reserved for special moments and not wasted on day-to-day rabble.

Now all of that is very annoying, but the kicker for me is that he chews tobacco Who chews tobacco at work!? I work in an office for crying out loud! And he spits his cud out into a little styrofoam cup that just sits on his desk all day looking at me. It's disgusting. And all day long I can hear that "Squirt" from his tar filled cheeks to the bottom of that defiled cup. I feel like a cat being rubbed the wrong way. It's like nails on a chalkboard. I'm going crazy.

Anyways, please please please, leave a comment that talks about your worst co-workers. It would make me feel so much better to know there are worse. And it may make you feel better. And it's fun to make fun of people who annoy you. Please leave a comment on this one. Take the time. It'll go a long way.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Great Website

I may have found one of the best websites out there: Answer Bag.
Check it out.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Jury Duty: Woohoo!!!

A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering through our daily mail, hoping for a check from Ed McMahon and Publisher's Clearing House; when before my wandering eyes should appear a letter from the state government, and eight tiny words, "Sir, you have been summoned for jury service." Oh joy.

If you've never been summoned for jury duty, you're missing out on quite an experience. I had never been, and was looking forward to it about as much as I look forward to sticking my tongue in a meat-grinder. It was honestly not all boring.

First they crammed us all in an assembly room that didn't have enough chairs, so people were standing or sitting on the floor. Well, actually they did have enough chairs, it's just that the elected councilmen who use that room refuse to let those summoned for jury service to sit in their virtual Lay-Z-Boys.

Then a group of us went into the courtroom to see if we would be selected to serve as jurors. I liked listening to people give reasons why they couldn't serve. My favorite was the lady who had to take someone to chemo the next day:
Judge: "Please rise and state your name."
Lady: "Lady." (I don't remember, and wouldn't tell if I did.)
J: "And why wouldn't you be able to serve on this case."
L: "I have to take someone in for chemo tomorrow morning."
"Yes ma'am."
"And who is the person that you're taking in."
"Um, it's my dog ma'am."

I guess it was only funny to me becuase she was trying to avoid stating the fact that it was her dog going in. Anyways, it was funny at the time.

Then we got to hear the attorneys question all of the potential jurors. I never got to be questioned, which was very disappointing. I would have made a great juror. That part of the day was the least boring.

So after I sat and listened to them talk to everyone but me, they selected the twelve, and I was free to leave. I was proud to have been able to serve my country. And the best part is that I have been informed that I will receive 14 US Dollars as compensation for my services. So that after six dollars for parking, and the loss of a full day of work, I will actually be up about -$120 dollars or so.

I love jury duty.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Toilet Humor

I can remember at a very young age looking forward to reading clever anecdotes on the sides of the walls in bathroom stalls. Whenever we would take road trips, I would prefer to use stalls over urinals for three reasons:
1) The ability to flush without using my hands.
2) Less hairs and cigarette butts in the toilet.
3) Reading the clever anecdotes.

As a matter of fact, to this day I prefer stalls for the same reasons.

Now, like most things in a bathroom, you have to make your way through a lot of useless crap: All of the "Steve T. was here-12/25/04" and "For a good time, call Andrew Walker" or just the random "F yous" and other curse words. But for the determined stall seeker, if you look hard enough, you can find some real diamonds in the rough. Or "jewels in the turd" as a wise man once said.

Here are some of my personal favorites. Please leave a few of your own. Perhaps I'll make a top ten if I get enough responses.

1) Here I sit, all broken hearted. Tried to poop, but only farted.
2) (Placed on wall behind toilet) If you can read this sign, you should be using the urinal.
3) Here I sit in misty vapor, searching for some toilet paper. How much longer must I linger, before I have to use my finger.
4) I aim to please; you aim too please.
5) What are you looking on the wall for? The joke's in your hands.

View My Homepage

If you're here browsing through my profile, be sure to view my homepage to get a full update of my recent posts.

Life in the Shadows

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Whether you're voting for a Liberal Weiner or a Right Wing Nut Job, please vote today. That is all. Oh and check this out for an election day laugh:
Weiners and Nuts

Sunday, October 31, 2004


So today is Halloween. Dang, Halloween definitely just isn't what it used to be. That's probably a good thing, because I'm thinking of the days when I used to dress up as some sort of Skeletor
to go on a candy hunt. Not to mention the fact that it's quite a distorted holiday that's way too commercialized (like any holiday). But I still miss the good times I used to have.

I remember class parties with tons of candy and dry ice in the punch bowl. Dry ice made any party cool in those days. Then there were "spooky sounds" tapes, and the kid who got made fun of in class for not dressing up, or for dressing up as someone like Waldo. But no Halloween memory rivals the nights of trick-or-treating.

We would scour our neighborhood on a mission to fill pillowcases to the brim with glucose, dextrose, maltose, fructose, sucrose, and some sugar. We knew which houses gave the goods, and which were the biggest duds. Our neighborhood was filled with little ghosts and ghouls, witches and warlocks, gangsters and thugs, and a few trick or treaters. There was one old man who must have saved all of the change in his pocket at the end of the day, picked out all the pennies, then waited till Halloween to pass them out. He and the lady passing out apples were the worst. But then there were families who were veritable Willy Wonka factories. The trick with them was to have your face painted, then wear a mask. First, we would go down the street with the mask on. Then we would trade coats, take off the mask, and come back down the block with painted faces. Candy would roll in.

When the houses were completely pillaged, we would head back to someone's house to organize the candy with the same precision and determination that we used to organize baseball cards. I would always trade those generic caramels in the orange and black paper wrappers. I hated those things. I was a Smarties kind of guy. If we were lucky, that candy would last a week or so. There were times when I literally had two pillowcases half full of candy. I guess I could've just said one full pillowcase, but I've got to keep the facts straight.

And anyone could get candy in those days. All you had to do was put your hand in your sleeve and say you were a dismembered zombie. It was like that Adam Sandler skit. Everyone was a winner. Yeah those were the days.

So today was Halloween, and the streets were almost empty. There were a few trick-or-treaters out there. Not near as many as there used to be. And where there used to be porch lights on, and families dressed up waiting to pass out the goods, now is mostly cold doorsteps with the door shut and the shutters closed.

I went trick-or-treating until I was seventeen. It was a hard tradition to let go of. It's hard to see the way things have changed. Halloween is a messed up holiday anyway. It's probably for the best. Oh well. Maybe next year I'll break out the old Ninja Turtle suit...

Try out some entertaining E- Halloween fun.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Trying out the"Blog Explosion"

I'm trying out this whole Blog explosion, where people are supposed to sign up and check out each other's blogs. Supposedly a way to get your blog out there, and see some cool blogs in return. If you could do me a favor by just typing a quick comment to let me know whether or not you came to this blog through blog explosion, I would appreciate it. I'd like to track that traffic. If you'd like to try "Blog Explosion" for yourself, check it out here:


..or click the button on the right.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Sun Dogs, Kermit, and the Rainbow Connection

One of my favorite characters as a young lad (and I must admit, even today), was Kermit-The-Frog.

Good ol' Kermit sings one of my favorite songs: "The Rainbow Connection." I know you all know what I'm talking about. What a great song. Anyways, this post will have nothing to do with Kermit (unfortunately), but is related to rainbows. We'll save Kermit for another day...

On my way to work today I saw a Sun Dog. For those of you who don't know, a Sun Dog is one of two spots that appear parallel to the sun, and look like little rainbows:

Photo by Clay S. Turner. Used by permission.

Technically, the Sun Dogs, or "Parhelions," are part of what is called a 22° halo that encircles the sun. Anyways, I used to just call them little chunks of rainbows.

I think it was a good Canadian friend of mine who first introduced me to the term "Sun Dog." "Eh, check oooot that Sun Dawg, eh." Since then I have refrained from using the term "little chunks of rainbow," and graduated to the more generally used, "Sun Dawg."

So anyways, I saw a Sun Dawg on my way to work this morning, and man, those things are so beautiful. I started thinking about why I like them so much, and really couldn't find an answer. I've always liked rainbows, although these days you have to be careful when you say that. Why did those in the gay community have to adopt the rainbow as a sign of homosexuality? I feel like Homer J.S. when he said, "They stole all our good names, like Bruce and Karl and Stephen Trent." So now a guy can't like rainbows, Elton John, or Steve Trent without their sexual orientation coming into question. Life's just not fair. Or maybe I just need to (grow up) be more comfortable in my masculinity.

So anyways, I've always liked rainbows, and it seems that rainbows are one of those things that everyone likes to see. I've never heard anyone say, "Dang. There goes another one of those rainbows. Man, I can't stand those things. All colorful and stuff. I wish they'd all just go away." One is more likely to be awestruck by a rainbow, and like most beautiful things, feel the need to share the moment with others.

Another reason I like Sun Dawgs (the first being that they are similar to rainbows, if you missed that connection) is that they frequently (but not always) appear along with a sunrise or sunset. And just like rainbows, sunrises and sunsets are beauties of nature that everyone loves to see. There is seriously something about sunsets (and sunrises, but I just see them less frequently) that I just love. So the combination of sunrise and rainbow was just too much for me, and I could've died happy right there. And just about did, because I was too busy watching the sunrise and almost hit a mattress that someone was kind enough to leave on the highway.

So I saw a Sun Dawg on the way to work this morning, and it got me thinking about a lot of things. From sunrises to sunsets, from rainbows to Kermit The Frog, and from Stephen Trent to .... Canadians. The reason I like them so much is because of the fond images and memories they bring up. That's the thing about sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, Sun Dogs, or anything that you find beautiful: you can always go back to that moment. Not only that, but the moment compounds upon itself to bring more images and more memories, until the emotion of all those moments is brought into one. So that in the end, each of those moments was the same moment. That moment never dies. This is the true Rainbow Connection, and why Kermit can obviously be seen as a transcendentalist-romantic follower of C.S. Lewis.

So the next time you see a Sun Dawg (or Steve Trent), stop (so you don't hit the mattress) and think about the things you love.

For more info on Sun Dogs click here:

22° Halo

Thursday, October 21, 2004

"The Curse of the Bambino"

Now I have a topic of conversation for the very few readers who may be out there:

Last night while watching the game, I was frequently knocking on wood after saying things like, "Yes, that should do it" and "They'll for sure win now." And then there's all this talk about "the Curse of the Bambino." So I thought since Halloween's around the corner, and somehow that relates to the topic, we could see how many crazy superstitions we can come up with. I don't know many, but I'll get the obvious one's out of the way: black cat, walking under a ladder, the number 13 (why is that?), walking while chewing gum. If you could do some research and tell us how these superstitions came about, that would be great too. I apologize if nobody responds, I don't exactly have a following for this blog.

Baseball is Back?

I guess I wouldn't be a true American if I didn't mention something about Baseball's playoffs this year. "America's Favorite Pastime" has lived up to its title in both the AL and NL Championship Series. Last night the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS. The Yankees were three outs away from a sweep less than a week ago, and now they're done for the season. No team had ever come back from being down 3-0 in a seven game series. So that's pretty cool, and it's been fun to watch, and I'm not even close to a huge baseball fan. It's good to see baseball creating some entertainment. But that's enough of that...Go Colts!

Monday, October 18, 2004

"His Ride's Better than Ya'lls"


Amazing. Wheelchairs for dogs. I remember a dog with three legs that lived at Pine Creek. We named him "Tripod." I'll bet he would appreciate a Doggy Wheelchair.*

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, and I was driving downtown to get a passport photo taken for my upcoming trip overseas. A good friend and I were cruising through the streets with the windows down to feel a warm summer breeze. We arrived at a stoplight, and noticed a man in a wheelchair.

This guy had one of those motorized wheelchairs, and he must have somehow hooked up some type of flux capacitor, because he was flying across the intersection. He also had a kind of cargo basket on the back of the chair, which seemed to hold all of his earthly possessions. This basket made him a little back-heavy, and would soon cause problems when he reached the "on-ramp."

Well, my friend and I were speechless as we gazed in awe at the "handicapped" speedster. Our heads followed his travel across the windshield like a couple of fans at a ping-pong match. When he got to the other side of the road, he quickly wheeled around, facing his back to the sidewalk, then reversed up the ramp (so that he would not tip over), spun quickly back around, and was rapidly on his way to Sam Goody's... KIDDING!!!

As my friend and I were watching him, a local pedestrian had been watching us. He glanced at the man in the wheelchair, and then looked back at us. After a short analysis of the situation, he was insightful enough to inform us that: "His ride's better than ya'lls!"

After witnessing the wheelchair's display of speed, style, maneuverability, and class, I could not help but agree.

*For more dogs-in-wheelchairs, check out: Eddie's Wheels

Friday, October 15, 2004

When in Rome...

Have you ever traveled to a different country? If you haven't yet, and you plan to, be sure to learn the cultural taboos before you go...

I recently took a trip to London to promote my new book and soon to be released motion picture "You Get Paid to do What?" Actually, it wasn't recently, and maybe I don't have a book, I am just trying to prepare you for the sarcasm to come.

I really was in London however, and was planning on staying there for a few weeks. I was with a group of students who were studying abroad, and before we left, we were informed of the similarities and differences between America and our great neighbors across the pond. They warned us about pickpockets, and things being stolen in internet cafes. We knew that "bugger me" was not an expression to be used in polite society. And we were informed not to ask for a "napkin" in a restaurant, because apparently "napkin" refers to certain British feminine products.

Feeling well prepared, I was eager to go visit all the sites of the big city. I could tell that I fit right in. I'm sure nobody suspected that I was a tourist with my bright blue jeans, and my sparkling white sneakers. I greeted people with the traditional "G'day" and " 'ello;" and said "Cheers" for everything else. Yeah, I was one of them.

Now it comes to pass that I was staying in room number two at St.Margaret's Hotel. It was a very fine room with a large painting of a boat, and a little tv so that I could watch BBC programming in all of its glory. But in order to get to this virtual penthouse, I had to get the key from the "nice" old lady at the front desk.

The old lady appeared to be a paragon of warmth: the welcoming smile, glasses on the tip of her nose, hair up in a bun (I have no idea what a bun is). She was kind of robust, and looked like a Mrs. Clause, or the grandmother who doesn't stop feeding her kids. She was pretty much every nice old woman you've ever met. But for some reason, she seemed to give me a cold shoulder. She would chat with everyone else; laughing and carrying on, but with me she just sort of tossed the key on the counter and turned away. I figured she knew I was just some noisy American tourist and she probably hated George Bush and therefore every American, so I thought nothing of it. Until I found out one teensy weensy little aspect of British culture that I was previously oblivious to.

Before I begin, I need to cover two points: First, try to think about any time you ask for a quantity of something that is smaller than the number five. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems that most people feel the need to clarify that number by using their fingers as a visual aid. Where I come from, your index finger means "one," index + middle = "two," index+middle+ring= "three," and all four digits opposing the thumb equal four. Duh, right?

The second point that I need to make involves a little bit of a history lesson. Now, this may or may not be true, but I will explain this lesson as it was explained to me. Apparently back in medieval times, the archer was considered one of the deadliest weapons in an army. Those who mastered the long bow could take out numerous enemies before they came within striking distance. When an archer was taken prisoner, in order to humiliate them and render their skills useless, the captor would cut off two of the archer's fingers: the index and the middle. So when it came to battle, the archers who still had their all their fingers would wave two in particular (index and middle) at the enemy, as a way of taunting. One could say it was their way of saying, "Hey, look what I've got. F- you." And so that gesture and its meaning have carried on through the ages to present day London.

Well, needless to say, I discovered the reason for the nice old lady's abrasiveness towards me. I had been asking for "Room Number Two," the only way I knew how: with my index and middle finger. It would be like someone asking for room Number One by flipping the bird. Unfortunately, there was no way to make up to such a stubborn old ninny, and the best I can hope for is that maybe this little story will prevent someone else from making the same blunder.

Or perhaps maybe she just needed a "napkin"?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

"And Thirty-Four Cent"

This story is a lesson which teaches us that in order to get the things we want, we must not be afraid to ask. "Ask and ye shall receive."

It was a pleasant summer evening, and my girlfriend and I were walking off a spicy cajun dinner. As we walked through the bustling city street, I noticed a scruffy looking individual making his way toward us. Being a lifetime resident of the inner city, I was no stranger to the accosting of transients. So as this man approached, we braced ourselves for whatever story was about to ensue.

We were politely informed that this particular "street person" was not here to hurt us. That was a great relief to me, because my cans of whoop-ass had run dry (that's another story). After familiarizing himself to us by calling me his "brotha," and speaking briefly about "the Good Lord," the hobo (we'll call him "Jim") weaved an intricate tale of depression and disaster.

Apparently, poor Jim just had the wheels jacked off his car not five minutes prior to our meeting. Not only that, but he had caught "them bitches" in the middle of their thievery. In an attempt to dissuade them from stealing the tire, he hit one of the thieves. At this point Jim showed me his bloody knuckles as obvious proof to the veracity of his story. After they ran off, Jim looked around for a cop and proceeded to walk the streets for help.

Having found help in me and my girlfriend, Jim reached the obvious conclusion that we could best assist him by giving him seven dollars "and thirty-four cent."

Let me digress a moment to address the profundity of that "thirty-four cent." I may be wrong in saying this, but I believe the preciseness of this number was some sort of attempt to prove that Jim indeed needed the money for a specific purpose, and was not merely making up a lame story. He didn't need five, six, or seven dollars: he needed seven dollars "and thirty-four cent."

Well, I was in a good mood that day, and I happened to have some money in my wallet. I figured that whether Jim really needed a new tire (the reason for the $7.34) wasn't the point. Here was a fellow man ("brother" even) in need, and I had the means necessary to help him.

So I reached deep into my wallet, pulled out the seven dollars, gave my girl a little wink, and proudly laid that seven dollars into the chalky white of Jim's hands. Happy at myself for having done such a generous and philanthropic deed, I looked at Jim and said, "There you go, buddy. Seven dollars."

I looked back at my girlfriend with a smile, and then glanced back at Jim in anticipation of the praise, thanksgivings, and "God bless you's" that were sure to come.

Keep in mind, all of this happened in a split second. So, right after I had said, " dollars," Jim looked down at the veritable fortune in his hands and stammered, "and thirty-four cent?"

And thirty-four cent!! What? Debating whether or not to snatch back my money and run, I looked at Jim to make sure I heard him right. He sternly repeated: "I need seven dollars and thirty-four cent."

So what lesson did I learn in return for the eight dollars that Jim scammed from me? "Give an inch and they'll take a mile?" "Never talk to strangers?" "There's a sucker born every minute?" No, the lesson I will take from this adventure is, "Ask and ye shall receive."

To Blog, or not to Blog

Well, I've decided to give this whole blogging thing a try. I'm not sure how it'll turn out, and I"m almost positive that I won't be able to keep up with it as much as I would like. I've had journals before, and never really kept up with them either.
So, who actually comes to read these? Do I have to invite people or something? I guess it doesn't really matter though, because I'm not writing this for someone else. Which brings me to the question: why Blog?
I am sure there are many reasons to Blog. Some people may have a deep desire to be heard, others may be hoping that through their own personal Blogs they may find a deeper understanding of who they are. As for me... I'm just incredibly bored at work. So here I am, Blogging away, somehow getting paid for it, and not very happy about it all.
So now the decision is what to Blog about. Do I Blog about work? family? religion? politics? relationships? Does it matter? No, of course not. Especially if I am doing this for myself, and not for some random person who may come across this Blog.
So in the future, "Life in the Shadows" will discuss all of these things and more. If you are a random Blog-checker, feel free to comment on whatever you see. If we're lucky, we'll find some deeper meaning as to who we are. But at the least, it will help a boring day go by a little faster.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Blog what?

This first post is really just a test to see what this all looks like. I hope nobody wastes any time actually reading this, or any future blog that I may publish for that matter.