Sunday, October 31, 2010

New and Improved

My wife had a little intervention with me the other day. She decided the time had come to tell me my blog looks like crap. I’m kind of a sloppy guy and have reverse OCD. Where normal people have a desire for uniformity, I don’t. When I was a kid, I wore socks that didn’t match sometimes, and I never thought much of it. I also wore them wrong. You’re probably wondering how one wears socks wrong. Three words: heel on top. The problem fixed itself when I discovered girls, and apparently, girls don’t like guys whose clothes don’t match, have a shirt wiener sticking out of their pants, or wear their shirt inside out.

Well, my blog was starting to drive her crazy because of all the incongruities (i.e. different font styles, different spacing, and different break lengths between paragraphs). She even volunteered to fix these issues herself. What a sweetheart! Well, I worked my tail off, and hopefully, you noticed all of those improvements I made.

She also told me it was ugly and hard to read. Whoa, whoa, whoa lady! Ugly is a bit harsh! After pouting for a bit, I started working on making my blog more appealing. I spent about 6 hours making all the changes you see before you. I’m a man of the people, and if 50% of my viewership wants change, it shall be done.

I thought it was hilarious that my tags were all nonsense. While The and Man are fantastic tags, they don’t really help. I actually made real tags so my entries are easily accessible. Who would have thought that a user friendly site was an attainable goal? Not me! Well, mission accomplished.

I did this for the loyal readers. You people in Russia looking at my site this is for you. My peeps coming from Life’s Highway and Fetch My Flying Monkeys I did this for you. To the Brits and Canadians who are reading, I was thinking of you when I painstakingly fixed every tag. No, no, no, I’m not a hero – just a lazy guy who put in a small amount of effort and is acting like he singlehandedly carved Mt. Rushmore.

P.S. She doesn’t want me to write about fast food anymore. I tried to tell her that fast food is a cherished part of American culture and I’d be turning my back on my people, but she didn’t buy it. She’s hard to outwit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Feelin’ Stupid Part IV

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I am quite the fast food connoisseur. Being as experienced as I am, I have noticed quite an annoying trend at these establishments over the years. There is no standard size variation. There is no longer just a small, medium, and large. Some places have extra large now, while some use their special name to indicate the size (i.e. Whatasize or a Biggie Drink). This is annoying because I have to look at the menu to figure out what size I want. I can’t just say large because that might not be the largest. I just point like an infant who can’t read and indicate the one I want. The problem isn’t feeling like the name of the size is arbitrary like Paul Rudd’s character rants about in Role Models; the problem is the extra hidden size (or medium is the smallest or large isn’t the largest). It’s frustrating and I hope Bill Wendy’s, Juan T. Bell, and Dick Whataburger are reading this!

So here’s what makes me feel stupid. When I get my drink, I have trouble figuring out the accurate sized lid to put on my drink. I always stand there carefully trying to figure out which one matches the top of my container. I feel like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade trying to pick Jesus’ cup, hoping I won’t wither and die in a matter of seconds for choosing incorrectly. I really think hard before I select. Don’t blow it. Don’t blow it. Don’t blow it. Bam, blew it! This ALWAYS happens. I get a lid, see that it doesn’t fit, and throw it away. Who wants a lid with someone else’s Coke residue already on it?
This reminds me of the toys that involve putting a peg through a hole. I guess I was the kid who put the square peg in the round hole.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ultra Paranoia II

As previously mentioned in Ultra Paranoia, I believe people are planning on storming my house and pillaging my goods. The past couple of nights have been even worse than usual because I saw Paranormal Activity 2. I haven’t seen a scary movie in a long time. In fact, the last two scary movies I’ve seen are Saw and Signs. Yes, the fact that I list Signs as a scary movie shows how wussy I truly am. Saw wasn’t that scary because I watched it on a TV that wasn’t that loud and in a room that wasn’t that dark. Also, the acting was subpar at best; I expect Shakespearean actors in my slasher flicks! My friend, Mike, and I went to the movies on Sunday to see PA 2, and I’ve been sort of a wreck since (Mike said he almost pooped himself when his cat jumped in the bed in the middle of the night).

The movie isn’t really that scary; it should be called Things Jumping Out 2. That was enough to make me extremely uneasy. When I left, I was a jittery mess. I kept looking over my shoulder when I was walking to my car – I even did that IN my car. When I got home, I asked my wife to stay up later than me so I would be able to fall asleep. She promptly fell asleep just minutes later. She wasn’t up to protect me. I was alone, so I didn’t sleep all night. It was uncharacteristically windy in Houston and things were going bump in the night. Also, our redneck neighbors work in their garage almost every night, which is right next to our bedroom. They are professional go-carts drivers or shoe fixer gnomes like in Tom and Jerry – something that requires late night work. They were bonking around that night, of course.

I eventually fell asleep. After sleeping what seemed like a minute, I woke up drenched in sweat – not normal night sweat, scary movie sweat. I thought about demons and ghosts on the way to work, at work, and after work. I don’t know how I’ve gotten over it but you’ll be glad to know that I have. Luckily, the amount of reality TV I’ve been subjected to over the years has scrambled my brain. I can’t remember what happened an hour ago much less in a movie three days ago. It’s like Men in Black and the mind eraser things they use. My wife is the man in black and Real Housewives of Washington D.C. is the mind eraser. Thanks wife!
 P.S. The secret of Prof. Wienerton is revealed on my About Me page. It's pretty lame actually.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weight Control Problem III

When I was a kid, I used to watch Dr. Phil with my mom when I got home from school. The main thing I learned about losing weight was that a lifestyle change was a key component.

When I go to get fast food, I usually buy my meal and an additional item or two off the value menu. I eat said value meal on the way home because I can't wait and then try to conceal the empty container at the bottom of the bag for fear my wife will tease me. So, I eat a little meal on the way home before I go to eat my real meal at home (like a 5 piece order of nuggets on the road before a hamburger at home). Is this an example of a lifestyle change that needs to be made?

P.S. She always finds out I did this.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Feelin’ Stupid Part III

I drive a school bus. Well, actually, I coach swimming and we’re told to learn to drive a bus because it saves money. So I coach and driving the school bus is a byproduct of that. Truth be told, it’s actually much more convenient having me drive us around instead of another person. Anyways, getting my Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) was an overall horrifying experience. I think most people would agree that going to the DPS is one of the worst things in life. You are forced to wallow with the troglodytes, to bump elbows with the unwashed masses. That might sound harsh but it’s true. For example, in Texas, sex offenders have blue IDs that are different from everyone else’s. I’ve seen two different people with them at the DPS. I have sat in a room where I know I am with SEX OFFENDERS.
Well, here’s the feelin’ stupid part. To get a CDL, people are required to take 6 tests. I think I’m a pretty smart guy, so I didn’t study at all; I very arrogantly thought, I’m smarter than a bus driver. I learned quickly that I am not smarter than a bus driver. In fact, I am much dumber – probably. I walked into the DPS for the first time and was relegated to the unwritten rule that the DPS will takes no less than 3 hours. I specifically remember doodling all over (never reading) the bus driver study packed the entire time as I inched forward to show these people a thing or two about test taking. When I finally got to the front, they showed me to this little room with computers where I would be taking these tests. They explained that I could only take three tests a day (by the way, what the hell kind of torture is that? We are making you come here twice! Mwa.. mwa.. mwahahahahahah!) I can’t remember the exact amount of questions per test, but I do know that if you miss a certain amount it would fail you before you even finished. Oh how I know that.
The first test: failed. Second test: failed. Third test: failed. They are apparently hard tests. Like, I needed to know the inner workings of the brake system. For some reason, the state doesn’t want unqualified idiots driving their children around. Huh. Eventually, the evil DPS lady (because she makes the rules I’m sure) waddled in and told me to come back tomorrow. The weight of this hit me. I would have to come back no less than two times. I remember feeling like I was going to cry. I’ve never felt like that as an adult. I would have to walk out of this building whimpering and teary eyed in front of these... people. If the sex offenders saw me crying, they'd take that as a weakness and pounce. I had to be strong. I walked through the parking lot in a daze with the thought of punching holes in every car window in the parking lot. Luckily, I didn’t do that, but I did feel a lot of self-pity; I think I got ice cream instead.

Ultimately, I had to go back two more times, and I passed the tests. The day that I finished all of the work for this (it also required about 20 hours of driving and 20 hours of class work) I remember feeling like it was one of the best days of my life. 1. Getting married. 2. Buying a house. 3. Passing the bus driving test. 4. Graduating college.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feelin' Stupid Part II

Do you ever experience small, kind of dumb things that if someone else noticed what you did you’d feel really silly? Here are two examples from my daily life:
1. When I’m driving in my car in the morning to work, I usually listen to loud music. I go to work before 6:00 am most days, so I need that extra boost to wake me up. It’s usually something hard, dancy, or really stupid (i.e. Pantera, Daft Punk, or Backstreet Boys, respectively). I’m getting old so I, of course, get to the point where I have to turn it down. Without fault, I turn the air conditioner knob down. The sensations slowly filter through my skull and I notice how my ears are still hurting and I’m getting hot. Even by myself, I just let it be as if I did it on purpose.

2. My key ring is quite full. Along with all of my house keys and car clicker key, I have keys to several rooms and offices at my school. I almost always have my keys in my hand because I’m always moving around from room to room at work. I would say at least half the time I click my car clicker for room entrance. It doesn’t work I guess.

P.S. If you read my blog, become a follower! I'd just love it. More importantly, I'd love you.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Not Funny Part I

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always tried to make people laugh. I’m not like a clownish, slapstick type person because I’m cool, too. The hundreds of comic books and graphics novel in my closest would strongly disagree with that completely though, and the characters in Starcraft would second that notion. Delusion is a hell of thing! The issue of whether or not I’m a nerd or I’m cool is not up for debate – it’s not the point of this particular posting. I’m mainly expressing that the type of humor that best fits my personality is of the dry sort. I’ve had a pretty dry sense of humor since – well, as far back as I can remember.  For humor to be dry, it must be delivered with a serious tone that hides the extremely absurd content. I THINK I’m pretty good at this, but I’m not great with the extremely part. I have a history of delivering dry humor sans the extreme absurdity part.
For example, in elementary school, my fellow students and I were all sitting around the teacher discussing personal hygiene as a lesson. The teacher would ask questions like “how long should we brush our teeth?” or “is it okay to have dirt under our nails?” Well, maybe not the second one, I couldn’t think of another question about personal hygiene she would ask a group of 4th graders – “how often should you shave?” or “which directions should little boys and girls wipe from?”
She did ask, “How often should people take showers?” I raised my hand thinking I would get a few cheap laughs and said, “Once every two weeks.” Now, I have great parents and I’m pretty certain I bathed at least once a day, but I thought this would be funny. I don’t know if it wasn’t absurd enough (because there is no way that isn’t funny to 8 year olds) but no one laughed (in fact, I think the other kids started inching away from me). The teacher’s response was an awkward, “Yeah, but maybe it should be a little more often than that.” She also made a weird face like she could smell something stinky – me! I bet in that lady’s mind I was the little stinky white trash kid in her class. I could see her sitting at home with her cats, eating a dinner for one, staring through the window pondering what to do about old Stinky in her class. I bet she even thought about calling Child Protection Services. Luckily, it never really came up again. Aside from the periodic lice tests and getting deodorant instead of candy in my Halloween box (also in my Valentine’s box), things just went back to normal.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Can I Have Comfort and Style?

I just finished sorting, folding, and putting away our laundry, and while I mentally zoned out doing this, I couldn’t help but think about all of the clothing options my wife has for work. Oh, how I envy her. She can wear skirts, dresses, pants, and even short pants like Capri pants and culottes. Well, probably not those but she has stuff. I’ve seen it!
I have four pairs of chinos from Banana Republic that I just bought because of the seat splitting epidemic that’s been going on with me. I have khaki, dark khaki, light green, and black. That might as well read: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Luckily, I can wear jeans on Fridays and thank God for that because my Friday pair’s mending thread is holding on for dear life. They look like a bunch of tiny rickety bridges from The Temple of Doom just daring to be tested.
Regardless of having to buy new clothes, I wish I had more options. Every day, it’s just chinos and a button up shirt. I think some macho men designers (oxymoron?) need to come up with some new clothes for men to wear. I don’t mean completely new; I’m sure everything has been tried, but at least, bring back some old styles that would work. We also need someone tough and rugged to wear them so other men will think its okay. Where’s John Wayne when you need him? Sorry, Tom Cruise.
The idea that flashes in my head like a neon sign would be to bring back robes – robes of all kinds. Men could wear robes for all occasions. Going to a fancy dinner? Judicial robes. High school wanting to look different than the man? Graduation robes. Cult? Religious robes. Going to play a little Dungeons and Dragons with the crew? Wizard robe. I can’t even imagine how comfortable this would be! Also, no more embarrassing split pants. I can see it right now: get home from a long day’s work, unzip the old wizard robe and relax in the tighty whities with a cold beer. Xanadu. Xan-a-du.

P.S. Whoever is reading my blog from Europe, give me shout out on the comment section! I just finished teaching Beowulf to my students, so… you know… go Danes and Geats!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Things My Wife Won’t Let Me Do Part IV

See that picture? Know what it’s missing? A freaking toaster! For some reason, my wife thinks it’s tacky to leave the toaster out. The toaster is directly one foot below that area in the cabinet. When I was a kid, we left it out. In other people’s houses, they leave their toaster out. Why are we the only ones? It’s insane. If I want to eat a piece of toast, I have to slightly bend my knees, open the cabinet door, pull out the toaster (it’s heavy, too!), straighten my knees, put it on the counter and plug it in (not to mention going through the process of cooking that toast afterwards – I mean it’s, like, come on). My Eggo and toast eating have curtailed quite a bit since I moved in with this lady. What is she thinking?

I tried to protest by always leaving it out. The whole summer I left it out every day, and she put it back every day. She won this battle because she has much stronger resolve than I do. I tried whining about it. I whine about it constantly, but, again, she has stronger resolve. She just tells me “no” every time. I’m running out of ideas. I’ve tried two things and I have no other options. Am I supposed to eat something else for breakfast? I don’t think so. There are no other logical choices. Cereal is harder to make. Eggs are way harder to make. Microwaving stuff is harder. What the hell!

To top it all off, she gets to put her coffee maker on the counter! She gets to freely make coffee every morning without having to be subjected to the same ordeal as me. When I see that coffee maker mocking me every morning, I’m just filled with self-pity. I thought about putting the coffee maker away just like she does with the toaster, but she’d just win that battle, too. She’d be like, Stop! What can I do then? She told me to stop. Some things in life aren’t fair. L
P.S. The University of Texas beat Nebraska yesterday, so at least one thing is fair and right in this universe.
P.S.S. When my wife bought that shampoo for me, she bought the soap that goes along with it. I’ve been using them for a week, and I have freaking BO now. I was eating at Whataburger, and when I started sweating, I noticed a stench. I figured it couldn’t be me. I was at the gym yesterday and I smelled it again. I was 100% sure I put deodorant on earlier, too. I even rubbed my finger across my armpit to see if it was viscous from deodorant. It was.
 I bet she laughs about this with her girl buddies.
P.S.S.S. If you’re reading my blog, you should check out the blogs on my blog roll. The Yard Art Game=bad ass. Fetch My Flying Monkeys=bad ass. The Picky Apple=bad ass. Hyperbole and a Half=bad ass. Happy berfday to me=bad ass. Passive Aggressive Notes=bad ass.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things My Wife Won’t Let Me Do Part III

The other day I go into bed with a mini ice cream sandwich. In Texas, we have a brand of ice cream called Blue Bell. It’s a pretty big staple down here; almost all the kids who grow up in Houston take at least one field trip to the Blue Bell factory in Brenham, TX, at minimum of one time in their life. The sandwiches are creamy, little bricks of deliciousness and are relatively small – about 2” x 4”. They aren’t terribly messy but the cookie part is sticky and leaves some residue. I ate one in bed and she let it slide. When I got up to get the second one, there was a mounting frustration building in her that I could sense, but I passed it off as annoyance towards something on the television. When I got up to get a third one, she asked me quite politely to stop eating them in bed. All of our bed ware (?) is white, so I guess she was worried about me leaving chocolate smudges on the bed. I tend to wipe my fingers on the nearest bit of cloth. He he. The question is what kind of world is this where I can’t eat three ice cream sandwiches in bed? There are some injustices that will never be rectified.
Oh yeah, I ate two of them before she got in bed and the wrappers were resting, empty on the night stand. I guess this could also be Weight Control Problem Part III.

Note: I mentioned before that I had the bad shampoo, and I wanted to use my wife’s nice shampoo. She bought me some nice shampoo! It’s minty and REALLY tingly. Like, I get out of the shower and it tingles for 10 more minutes. Crazy. Thanks benevolent wife!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feelin' Stupid Part I

Obviously, no one likes feeling stupid; well, maybe clowns do. I’m sure they don’t feel stupid as much as are acting stupid. Maybe they feel stupid for acting stupid, like a what-have-I-done-with-my-life stupid feeling. That’s not the point though. I have this reoccurring problem when I purchase things using my debit/credit card.
First off, I’m referring to the self-swipe debit card pads at grocery stores and gas stations. I always assume that the part that reads the magnetic strip is on the big side of the pad, which it is sometimes. Doesn’t it just seem like common sense that the part of the pad with more – stuff – would read the card? Here are the two examples of card swipers in case you don’t get what I’m writing about:

My problem is that I never guess right. I’m always wrong, but being wrong isn’t that big of a deal. The big deal for me is trying to understand the example picture of the credit card. I can never tell which way it’s facing or which way it wants me to orient my card. Combine that problem with the normal problem of the strip just not scanning properly, and it’s just a mess of stupidity. The cherry on top is the high school kid who, frustrated by my perceived ignorance, asks for the card so he can do it for this old timer. I refuse to allow them to work it for me; quietly and annoyed, I laugh into my chest and keep trying. After failing again, I dejectedly give up and hand over my card. The rest of my day involves looking into the mirror with self-doubt wondering if I can tie my shoes or turn on the lights. If I can’t scan a card, what other things can’t I do? It takes a couple of days of teasing my dogs by hiding treats and sneaking up on them (I’m smarter than them!) but I get my self-esteem back.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

ACL 2010 Day Two

This is going to be short and I might come back and edit it. The second day was much better in every way. We went with some of my sister-in-law's friends and met some others there. One of which was a guy. That was nice. What up, Evan! Also, one of the friends' boyfriend drove us and picked us up. That makes a huge difference because we didn't have to walk as far or wait for cabs.

First Show: Gaslight Anthem -- they are a band from New Jersey who plays rock in the style of Bruce Springsteen with more of a punk rock feel. They were fantastic live and put on an excellent show. It was a great way to start the day.

Here is one of their songs:

Second Show: Broken Bells. We didn't see this whole show because we wanted to get a good seat for the next show. They sounded good but I'm not a huge fan, so I don't really know their songs. Danger Mouse + Shins lead singer = good.

Third Show: The XX. The only way I can describe this band is smoldering, gothy Brits. Actually, they are more like Morrissey. They were awesome. They basically played the whole album from beginning to end. This is the point were SIL's friend started taking all of the pictures. She was a fine arts major focusing in photography. You can't really tell here, but some of her pictures looked like they were from a crazy, stalker fan. Extreme close ups.

Fourth Show: Deadmau5. This was the best show. Deadmau5 is just straight up dancy, techno. The stage lit up and put on an amazing light show plus he wears a mouse mask that lights up. He did his DJing in the top corner of a cube. Try to figure it out with this video. If the jostling bothers you, move to the 4th minute. Here is a pic too. Pictures were really tough because of all of the movement and dancing, etc.

Fifth Show: Muse. We didn't really watch this one. As usual by the end of the day, we are exhausted and ready to go. We saw a few songs but Muse sucks anyway.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ACL '10

This post won't be very funny; it'll mostly tell you about our great time at ACL. Our group is a small one: my wife, my sister-in-law and me. We are somewhat seasoned festival goers at this point, but we learn something new every time. We learned long ago that personal toilet paper is key because for some reason they end up all wet in the port-o-potties. Who knew that drunken college kids couldn't keep toilet paper clean? We also learned long ago that they won't give you Advil at the medical tent, so we bring that. I learned that a festival like this requires A LOT of walking. There isn't a close drop off, so attendees must walk several miles down the road to get there. I'd prefer to wear flip-flops but tennies are the only way. Yesterday, I learned that I need another guy to go with me. Don't get me wrong, I obviously love my wife and am extremely close to my SIL, but it's like, come on. They talk about girl stuff like make-up and stickers and ponies or whatever. Mental note for next year: bring a guy.

Here is a quick run down of our first day. First off, we are staying with my sister and brother-in-law, which is awesome because hotel rates are through the roof during this event. We woke up around 9:00 am and started our packing. Since my wife and I came from out of town, we had our stuff already mostly packed. After we did this, we set off for the type of food that makes the most sense for an all day, outside affair: Mexican food. We got back and everyone had tummy aches. Nice. As far as I know, no one had any issues though. My brother-in-law dropped us all off a close to the entrance as possible -- still about 3 miles away. My BIL doesn't go because he has really bad allergies and Zilker part ends up being a dust field after 80,000 people kick the grass around. We made our walk and it was pleasant enough. The weather in Austin is low 70's in the morning and mid 80's in the afternoon. Not bad for Texas in October -- in fact, unseasonably cool.

We made it in and I bought some t-shirts. I mean, how would anyone know that I went if I didn't have a t-shirt that says so? We bought some beers and laid our blanket out at a spot near the stage where Blues Traveler was playing. I'm not a huge Blues Traveler fan but John Popper is pretty awesome at the lost art of harmonica playing. He didn't disappoint. They played their hits and a few covers (Radiohead's "Creep" and Sublime's "What I Got"). Here is the picture of the stage. As you can tell, we were pretty far back.

We just hung out at that stage for the next show: The Black Keys. They are a two-man band that plays blues heavy rock. We moved up quite a bit to where we could actually see the performers. It got super crowded up there. Normally, this isn't too big of a concern but none of us are big fans of this band. I wondered why we were subjecting ourselves to this for a band no one wanted to see. Needless to say, this was probably the low point of the day.

Our next show was Slightly Stoopid -- they're a ska-ish type band that my SIL likes. We sat near the back for this so we'd be able to get out easily for Ryan Bingham (the main person we wanted to see that day). This show was pretty good, but I didn't know any of their songs.

We left Slightly Stoopid early to get a good spot for Ryan Bingham. He is a Texas country singer with a gravelly voice. I don't like country at all but this guy is awesome (Note: if you saw the movie Crazy Heart, the song "The Weary Kind" is his song). We were successful and got a spot right in the middle and  pretty close up. His show was the best of the day. He ended it with "Bread and Water" and it was awesome.

The last show we saw was The Strokes. They were great, too. They played hit after hit. I guess that's the beauty as a fan of the band having not released an album in 10 years -- no sucky new songs. We left this a little early so we could get a cab home. Quite a few more beers were consumed after that first one. Did I forget to mention that? In the cab line, people were being allowed to cut in line because they wet themselves. Interesting. This creates a whole series of problems; mainly, the idea that someone will be getting in that cab after them. I'm sure our cab was clean. Our African driver seemed to be of the meticulous sort I assumed.

We got home at 9:50 and went to bed at 10:30. Does that mean I'm getting old?

Oh yeah, we ran into this famous Austinite homeless person named Leslie. He usually gets like 3% of the mayoral vote. You can't tell in the picture but he's a semi-cross dresser. He's wearing a skirt and a bra. Here is our picture with him.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Things My Wife Won't Let Me Do Part II

In our shower, we have two different bottles of shampoo. There is her shampoo, which is super fancy and apparently more expensive and my shampoo, which is common, inexpensive, and labeled "Shampoo." I ran out of my shampoo and started using her shampoo. I guess this is a no-no. She noticed that her bottle was lighter after a while and gave me a stern lecture about using her shampoo.  She told me since I have a shaved head that I was wasting her fancy shampoo. This seems unfair to me. I need soft, 1 cm length hair! In protest, I plan on using the Irish Spring bar soap for my hair. When she rubs her fingers over my shaved head and feels my dry scalp, she’ll get it. This plan’s too perfect to fail. 

Sorry no drawing. I'm in Austin for the Austin City Limits music festival. I'll try to post about it while I'm here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cardio Sucks Vol. 1 - Running

This is the worst one – for several reasons. First off, it’s just hard to do. If you’re already fat, this is hard because of the stress your fat adds to your knees by bouncing up and down as you run. It’s like running with a Hefty bag filled with cookie dough on your back, but for me, it’s more like a smaller Wal-Mart bag.

Running also sucks because I get into this mathematical mind game with myself. I usually run on the treadmill because it’s 100 degrees most of the time in Houston or 100% humidity – pick your poison. When I run on the treadmill, I start counting how many steps I take every 10 seconds, every 30 seconds, every minute, and so on. After doing this and getting a good bead on how many steps I take in a minute, I figure out how many steps I’ll need to take to run for 30 minutes. After that, running becomes counting. Obsessively counting, losing track of my number, starting over. I mainly lose track because I’m listening to music. I listen to horrible yet catchy music when I run. It goes like this: I'm a get your heart racing… 3… 4… 5… In my skin tight jeans… 10… 11… 12…Be your teenage dream tonight… 15… 16… 17… Let you put your hands on me… 20… 21… 22…In my skin tight jeans… 11… 12… 13… Be your teenage dream tonight. By the end of my run, all my brain can associate with running is frustration. Why would I want to feel my belly being tossed around and my brain frustrated all in the name of exercise?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Things My Wife Won't Let Me Do Part I

My wife and I were discussing what to have for dinner the other day, and I made the suggestion that we have baked chicken (trying to be healthy and no so fat), rice and macaroni and cheese. She laughed at that! She said, "That's one too many carb based sides." I've never heard this before. You can't have two carb based sides? That's ridiculous. We ended up having broccoli instead of rice. I pouted.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Antisocial Behavior

I’m a pretty social guy. I’d like to think I have quite a few friends, and I feel like people generally like me. With that being said, I don’t like chit-chatting with people. I feel like if I’m talking to someone that I am close to then I’m not chit-chatting; I’m having a normal conversation. Like, I generally want to know how those people are doing and what’s up in their life. With that being said, I’ll go to great lengths not to have to talk to acquaintances. There is a reason we’re acquaintances. We should just say our one word pleasantries and call it a day. If you’ve read my previous posts, you know that I have trouble maintaining conversations – even with friends. When I was on campus in college, I’d walk the same way to class everyday and quickly learned that I saw the same guy I went to high school with everyday. I promptly changed that route. It was worth it even though it took me by the people with pamphlets, pro-choicers, pro-lifers, keen on Jesus-ites, and the credit card peddlers. It was completely worth it to not have to make chit-chat with this guy. I'd even walk through an aggressive group of Scientologists!
*Note: At the University of Texas, there is a Scientology building slightly off campus, and under said building, there was a Chinese food buffet place. Believe you me, I had to make that daring run many times!
Here is the point of that set-up; there is a guy at work who is an acquaintance who makes small talk with me every day. Every… single… day. To make it worse, I borderline don’t like him. He’s not a bad guy or anything; I just don’t like his personality. Does that ever happen to you? Someone isn’t a bad person but you find yourself not liking them for small yet legit reasons. The main reason for not liking this guy is he thinks he’s funny – that doesn’t mesh with MY “I think I’m funny personality.” Don’t get me wrong, I like funny people but he’s the antithesis of my brand of humor. Well, I don’t know what my style really entails, but his is Blue-Collar-Comedy-Tour-esque. In fact, at lunch the other day, I heard him tell a Ron White joke and play it off as if it were his own. Everyone laughed, and I wanted to slap his wrist and say, “Hey, I heard that crappy joke on Comedy Central last night too. Don’t pass it off as your own. No! Bad colleague! Bad colleague!” This was a growing concern to say the least -- people laughing at this charlatan. Here is a representation of it:

Moving on, when I walk in to the building in the morning, I walk down a pretty lengthy hallway, and every day, I see him standing in the middle of it off to the side. I shutter every single time. He's like an ogre guarding a bridge, and he's about to eat my bones. I tell myself to look down and weave between the students, but I know I’m going to have to talk to him. Here are some snippets of our conversations:
Him: “Hey, how’s the baseball team going?”
Me: “I don’t coach baseball.”
Him: “Hey, Bill, do we have a meeting after school today?”
Me: “My name isn’t Bill.”
Him: “You’re a math teacher, right? I have a question for you.”
Me: “I don’t teach math.”
This is painful for me because not only do I have to talk to him, but he obviously doesn’t really know who I am. I’m just the guy with the gut who’s his chatting buddy. By the way, I forgot to mention that he’s also unaware of social cues. I am the master if inching away when I talk to someone. With every second of unwanted conversation I have to endure, I physically slip an inch away. Now that I think about it, I've never seen anyone else do this. Maybe It's just me and my social awkwardness.
For the past year, I have been walking around the outside of the school so I can avoid him. I’ve found it works quite well. I can enjoy the weather for a little longer everyday and not get my figurative bones eaten! Sure, sometimes it’s a little rainy outside, but I’m only SLIGHTLY uncomfortable then. I feel like I have a nice solution to this problem. Checkmate, acquaintance.