Daredevil Memorial
Monday, November 28, 2005
While driving home today, I took notice of a highway standard: the roadside floral arrangement. I mean no offense to the people that place these, but I really have to acknowledge their bravery and/or stupidity.

I am not comfortable standing within ten feet of a large concrete path intended to provide a flat surface on which to roll half-ton metal machines filled with combustible fuel at breakneck speeds. Yes, that's one sentence.

The people that place these roadside floral arrangements are not only willing to park their expensive half-ton metal machine on the side of the road and get out, but to do this in a location with a history of being an innoportune exit. If I were the ghost of someone they were remembering, I'd probably be shaking my head and wincing while they were standing out there.

If I do ever happen to leave this mortal coil near a highway, please place any flowers on your table, porch, or garden instead. There's less chance that you will be crushed in those locations and I will be just as happy.
Giving Thanks
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup. -Sam Lefkowitz

The cows get a temporary pardon in the United States this weekend; It's the turkey's turn to shine.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday if you're observing or enjoy the normal weekend if you're not.
Subtle Irony
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Just thought I'd share a clever quote I saw tonight. It gives me license to be wrong and look smart at the same time. Hesketh Pearson said:
Only educated people have the right to misquote things. Someone who reads a lot never quotes correctly, obviously because they read too much.
Delayed Eureka
Friday, November 18, 2005
Sorry, I posted that last thought as I was leaving work and wasn't on top of my game. Just realized I missed a prime opportunity.

I've just coined a new phrase.

Its popularity may hinge on my dog-heater idea's usage, but I think it's catchy all the same. I may even start using it.

Let's say your friend is going to get married tomorrow. He's extremely nervous and thinking about backing out. What advice should you give?

"Slip them under the dog, man."

It's a little phrase that you can use when someone has figurative cold feet: "Slip them under the dog."

I'm not sure exactly what you're suggesting, though, in a literal sense. Might be more helpful if you could tie your advice to something the worrier could actually use.

Regardless, I believe I'll start using it. At the least it may calm someone down enough that they don't cry and make you uncomfortable.
Canis lupus familiaris calefacio
People that live in colder climates and own large dogs should train their dogs from an early age to sleep at the foot of their bed. That way, if their feet are cold, they can just slip them under the dog.

I developed this amazing idea while lying in bed waiting for my feet to dethaw while a furry bundle of evil heated my shoulder. My shoulders typically don't need heating. Unfortunately he is far too small to place my feet under and far too stubborn to sleep where I instruct.

I guess what I'm saying is this: Don't buy an evil Yorkshire Terrier if you intend to implement my foot-warming technique.
Do You Like ______? Part II
Monday, November 14, 2005
I didn't realize when I was writing Bueno Paja that I would be able to do a sequel. Doesn't have anything to do with straws or tex-mex, but the question I was posed: Do you like skeletons?

Just last week, as I was letting out the cutest little hell-spawn, I had a conversation with a neighbor. I don't see him or his truck often, so I don't know him at all. I give a polite, "How're ya doin'" as I walk to the mailbox. On my return, he calls me over to ask a question:

"Do you like mistletoe?"

Again, I was somewhat speechless as to how to answer this question. I thought to myself, "Surely he's talking about a local band or something." Before I could thoroughly think that line of reasoning through, I lamely responded, "Never heard of them."

"You don't know the story behind mistletoe?"

"Oh, the plant? Yeah, for like Christmas."

"Well, you can hang it over a door and get kisses. I've got some in the back of my truck if you want to break off a piece."

I really should have dropped it at this point, but I tried to redeem any possible normalcy in the conversation. I decided he must have removed the mistletoe from a tree because he is in some form of landscaping. Faking curiousity in his profession, I asked, "Isn't mistletoe a parasite?"

He responded, "Well yeah, but most people just like it for gettin' kisses." I correctly nodded and went my own way, unsure who he desired to "get kisses" from.

There are a lot of things that sound fine in the "Do you like ____" blank. Rap, coffee, trees, babies, the McRib, Ike, etc. Skeletons and mistletoe do not.

How appropriate would it be if I started a band named "Skeletons and Mistletoe"?
S&M Fan 1: Do you like "Skeletons and Mistletoe"?
S&M Fan 2: Yeah, dude, they rock!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I'm a relatively picky eater. Texture and appearance are almost as important as taste to me. However, when it comes to cowish foods, I am easier to please.

Case in point: I will eat almost any microwaved burger out there. In fact, I don't recall a time when I have purchased a nukeable solo-burger and been dissatisfied enough to discard it before it has been devoured. I don't really have to explain this to anyone who has read Moo Please. I give the Chick-Fil-A cows nightmares.

Having said that, I have never tried a McRib. The idea scares me. They're fashioning a meat product into the form of an animal's ribcage and hoping it looks tasty. Does it really need to have artificially sculpted "bones" that are also made of meat? As far as I know, when people crave ribs, they're not hungering for the bumps in-between the slats of meat.

Perhaps I should order a McRib without the sandwich-qualifying parts, just the meat, and proceed to eat it like a real rack of ribs. I could separate the individual "ribs" and leave the meat-bones behind. Granted, my fellow McDonald's occupants will likely file me under crazy rather than witty.

If anyone out there is a die-hard McRib fan and dares challenge me to try one, I'll certainly give it a thought.
Presidential Scheduling
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
A Glimpse into the Life of President George Walker Bush
Republican Version

5:00am President wakes and goes for a morning jog, to stay healthy. This keeps him physically and mentally fit. President Bush rescues a small kitten from a tree during his run.

6:00am President eats a sensible breakfast and prepares for a long day making important decisions. President briefly pauses in front of a mirror and contemplates his own existence and the weight of responsibility he carries.

7:00am President Bush meets with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to discuss current threats to freedom. The President explains to Condi which ones he believe pose the greatest risk and why. Condi thanks President Bush for his wisdom and insight.

8:00am President Bush speaks with foreign allies via telephone conference call. He calms the worries of the other leaders and confidently asserts that justice will be done. The call ends with a telephone ovation for the President's consistent and powerful leadership.

10:00am The President sits down with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss upcoming legislation. He serves as a masterful guide, both explaining his opinions and accepting compromise when needed. At the end of the meeting, the senators are invigorated and eager to work together.

12:00pm President breaks for lunch with his wife, First Lady Laura Bush.

1:00pm President takes some time out of his long and busy day to reflect, meditate, and rest. This will help him keep up his furious pace and stay alert for those who count on him.

A Glimpse into the Life of President George Walker Bush
Democrat Version

5:00am Mr. Bush drags out of bed and runs outside. The Secret Service corral him and bring him back to the White House.

6:00am George eats a bowl of Fruity Pebbles and laughs at the jokes on the box. He makes a mental note to remember those for the conference call later today. He sees a mirror and takes the opportunity to make funny faces and call himself "Mr. President" repeatedly.

7:00am Condoleezza Rice cannot find George. He is hiding because he thinks these morning talks are "boring". Condi finds Mr. Bush hiding behind the shrubs outside his office. Condi reads through the list of current threats and explains again how it can be the "middle" and "east".

8:00am George W. listens in on a conference call with foreign allies. He makes "talky" hands and silently mocks the leaders when they disagree with him. The call ends after George's Fruity Pebble jokes bomb.

10:00am Mr. Bush calls in leaders from Exxon and congratulates them on their recent profit announcements. He asks Exxon which country they want next.

12:00pm George refuses to work until he has his PB&J sandwich, with crust removed. Mr. Bush tries the Fruity Pebble jokes on his wife as she opens his Capri Sun for him. She smiles and nods.

1:00pm His hunger satisfied, George decides to take a nap instead of actually working like the rest of us.

Somewhere there's bound to be a happy medium-- between George the Chimp and President Bush the Freedom Fighter. I'm somewhere in right field when it comes to politics, but I'm not afraid to accept flaws and shortcomings of elected officials. I'm also not convinced that every liberal is commie pinko.

...and honestly, who designed the Capri Sun packaging?
Gray Matters
Friday, November 04, 2005
All of this talk about memory has had me contemplating the stuff inside my head. I realized something while doing this, and am prepared to share my epiphany with you. Brace yourself friend.

Think about your brain for a few seconds. Now picture what it looks like: a big gray lumpy thing.

Isn't it intriguing that you're thinking about your own brain with your own brain? When you visualize it, you're extracting that image from an actual big gray lumpy thing. It's like flipping through your wallet to find a picture of your wallet! Well, not exactly like that unless your brain is visible, but you get the gist. Recognize that you're now thinking about retrieving an image of a brain from your brain with your brain. Trippy, huh?

The only people still interested are stoned or hungry zombies, so that's enough brain-talk for now.

Feel free to carry a picture of a wallet in your wallet as a brain conversation-starter, though. Eventually people will start thinking you're smart and captivatingly odd, like that scientist guy from Jurassic Park with the dark hair and glasses.
Neuron Pink Slips
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I have a problem remembering Jeff Goldblum's name. I had to go to imdb.com and do a search for "The Fly" just for the first sentence. What is it about Mr. Goldblum's name that makes it so hard to remember? Any time I try to recall his name, I dig through the pile of everything else I know about him: trademark stuttered delivery, propensity for playing the eccentrically hip scientist, turned into a large insect, etc. What I can never pin down is his name.

If my head were an office complex, and the various parts of my brain were the employees, the neuron in charge of remembering celebrity names would be worthless. I'd intercom him and ask him the name of that scientist guy in Independence Day and he wouldn't answer. I'd walk up to his cubicle and notice that he was playing Tetris. As usual. Being polite, I'd give a 'just-walking-up-and-haven't-seen-anything-yet' warning with, "Hey Neuron-342". Neuron-342 would fumble for his mouse and minimize everything but his email client. "You have the name of that actor I was needing yet?"

"Oh, no... I was, uh... well, I'm almost done, just need to tweak it a bit," he awkwardly replies. In reality, he's hoping that I'll walk away soon, because he's on level 10 and isn't sure if he paused it or just minimized. His well-placed blocks are in serious jeopardy.

At this point I typically give up and ask someone else (non-Neuron) or search for it. Why do I consistently struggle with a specific actor's name? You'd think my brain would have a headshot of Goldblum above the water cooler with his name in Sharpie by now.