Thursday, November 30, 2006

Remodeled Cafeteria

The company I work for (which I will affectionately refer to as "my company" from here on out when I see that my roommate and I have received our electric and gas bills. I will say out loud, "Roomie, we've received the pleasure of my company," at which point he will likely look at me with disdain and a little bit of confusion, and consider locking his door when he sleeps at night) has just remodeled its cafeteria. One of the main bonuses now is that it features a salad bar.

At first, I was excited at the prospect of a salad bar, because I thought that opting for salad would be a healthier alternative to whatever greasy food I would normally have chosen, until I remembered how much salad dressing I put on my salad. After quickly doing the math (all right, I didn't really do the math, but I understand that English has these things called "subordinate clauses" that give your readers "clues" as to "where your writing is going to go next" because they "help form coherent thoughts", so I thought that I would include one, even if it was/were [subjunctive case, anyone?] fictitious. Unfortunately, I believe my grammar textbook also said that an "excessive wordiness" in parentheses will quickly "lose your reader's attention" and make them "consider suicide" because you've effectively changed the topic in your writing for something frequently tangential, oftentimes just dropping them back into what they call your "independent clause" without so much as a heads up), I realized that the number of calories likely exceeds the caloric quantity of a delicious honey baked ham.

My conclusion? I will write a book called Honey Baked Ham and You: How I Found Happiness and New Clothes by not Eating Salad, and market it to people who are looking to lose weight. I know that many of you will object and say that what I've done is just effectively re-invented the Atkins Diet, but if you tell me that in person, I'll claim that I've never heard of this "At-kuns?" diet you speak of.

Wow. Two million dollar ideas in one week. I'll just have to be sure not to use so many parentheses in the book, and it's sure to be a success (unless the Atkins people break my knee-caps with their bony fists, but that's a risk that I'm willing to let future AC take).

UPDATE: In my salad today, I added something that I thought was cheese but most certainly is not cheese. I am offended that this death-tasting-like, cheese-impostering substance is offered at the salad bar. OFFENDED!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Man Versus the Elements AKA Deep Thoughts with AC

When I awaken in my warm bed in my cold room in the morning, I realize that this will be one of the happier moments of my day.

I then hit snooze, roll over, and go back to sleep until my morning isn't so full of ennui.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Just Another Manic Monday

Behold, my next million dollar idea, or, at least, the formulation thereof. This last sentence is what you call "inserting an introduction that doesn't really tie into your major theme, but you want your post to tie itself up at the end, even at the riskof dropping the reader abruptly into a second paragraph that is only tangentially related to the first."

Lots of people like to read, right? Or at least, many people, like me, enjoy telling people that they've read important books. Unfortunately, many people also have this little commitment called "having to work in order to earn money." This "money" is then exchanged for goods and services, like "being able to live inside," and "eating everyday." Because of the huge commitment from work, many people just don't have the time or mental capacity left at the end of the day to really pore into a porous work of fiction.


what if there were some way to get through books at a decent pace without having to invest long periods of time into it? Further, what if there were some way to market this?

Now, I know that many of you will say, "What about speedreading and/or books on tape? Would those methods not effortlessly help the precocious, pretentious reader to read without more effort?"

My rebuttal? Yes with a but. While both of those methods would help the reader get through books, they have flaws. Speed reading is, based on my understanding of it, more effortful than effortless, and, if you are truly trying to appreciate the beauty of the language of the classics, it seems that reading quickly would not help you achieve that fact. Books on tape might help you appreciate the language, but I find that it's difficult and expensive to find the titles that I want.

So what is the solution? I don't know, but if somebody could figure out a way to teach people to read every word with understanding , AND teach the reader to get through a book quickly so that it didn't seem quite so overwhelming, I think that that person would make a million bucks.

I haven't quite figured out the method, but when I do, I'm sure that you'll see me hawking it on late night infomercials. And by "me," I mean some celebrity who's down on his luck and is looking to earn a chalupa.

Monday, November 20, 2006

An Ode to a Fantasy Football Season Going Down the Toilet

I think that I shall never see,
A thing as lovely as week three,
When I beat my oppenent by twice his score,
And I thought to myself, "Why didn't I play more before?"

The weeks that I spent in first place,
Were the happiest for me of the race,
But now that I'm in place number four,
I find myself praying, "Lord, help Jacobs score!"

With only four weeks until playoff time,
I hope that my team can turn on a dime,
And remember how to score some fast,
So that I'm not left out on my ... butt.

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Elevators

My company has spent the last six months paying people to redo our elevators. They have just finished the first half, and now we get to use the newly refurbished elevators whilst they redo the other half.

The new elevators are pretty cool. The insides are a beautiful combination of steel and wood, as if the elevator were trying to say, "I am the best of both outside and inside, here to shuttle you between floors at your leisure."

However, there is something kind of ... off about the new elevators, and it has to do with the voice. You see, the elevator now has a female's electronic voice telling us what floor we're stopping at, presumably to keep us from the incredibly tiring and trying task of having to look at the digital display of the floor number. But, the way the voice says it is questionable. It comes out, "Eighth floor," where "Eighth" is equal to a very normal way of saying the word, and "floor" comes out as it the elevator were saying, "Though you're a human and I'm a device, I'm almost positive that we could make attractive offspring if we tried."

This is disconcerting for several reasons, and one of the big ones is that due to the fact that I'm in a relationship, I don't find myself getting hit on very much, and so this machine is pushing me much further past my alotted number of "being hit ons" for the month. I can only assume that this will end in the unspeakable battle between my girlfriend and the elevator, which, frankly, sounds more like a title of a children's book than the climactic battle for my companionship, but I'll take what I can get.

Disclaimer: I don't know if she were going to write about this, and if she were, she should just tell me and I will delete this insipid post and allow all of you to marvel at her beautifully structured prose.

Disclaimer 2: If the "were"s in the previous sentence were incorrect grammatically, I would very much like to be advised of this, as I think that they are the subjunctive tense, which is supposed to be used specifically for hypothetical situations. That sentence is as confusing as poo with them, but I can't bring myself to change them to "was" because I think it would be incorrect grammatically. Mandy?

Disclaimer 3: Disclaimer 1 was written because I was going to include a conversation that I had with Red in this post, but later opted out of it. I should, then, therefore, remove all three of these disclaimers, but I will leave them as a monument to my own futility.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Quote by Me While Shopping for Clothes

"There comes a time in every man's life when his 'fat pants' just become his 'pants.' I am there."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Hypothetical

Let's say that I theoretically work for an energy company. Now, let's theoretically say that my boss gave everyone in the department tiny fridges for their cubicles last Christmas.

Now let's say that higher ups are making us take home any "extraneous electrical devices" for fear of running out of electricity on our floors. Theoretical electricity, that is.

Now, is this, in and of itself, theoretically funny to anyone else, or am I just a weirdo?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

This Is Not Thought Provoking

My roommate is the best barbecuer ever to barbecue. The only possible exception is my father, who also cooks a mean tri-tip. For any of you who have not eaten tri-tip, please accept my condolences for your loss. Tri-tip is a big deal in the city that I grew up in, with our particular brand of seasoning having the name of the city in its title. Santa Maria Seasoning, mm-mm good.

For the last few weeks, my roommate have had a date on Monday night that includes sale priced beef, Monday Night Football, and the eventual meat sweats. It is absolutely delicious. I nearly cried one time, until I realized that crying over food in conjunction with drinking a wine cooler (What? If you're going to drink, you may as well drink something delicious.) and calling a barbecue with my roommate a date may just call for the revocation of my man card as well as all of the rights and priviledges thereunto assigned. You know, like heart disease.

Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing to give up that card...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Facial Hair

In an effort to start the effort of effortfully exerting effort to grow a beard, last week I spent some time trimming back my goatee with the eventual goal of achieving a happy medium between beard length and goatee length. It was important to me that I not just cut the goatee to the exact same length as the beard hair due to the fact that I have, perhaps, the weakest chin on record. It's kind of like in that Chuck Palahniuk book Invisible Monsters where the main character has no lower jaw because it got shot off before the book started. In fact, other than the facts I still have my jaw, my jaw hasn't been shot off, and I'm not a girl, this story is almost exactly like that book. My advice to you is to go read that book right now, because you will be regaled by Mr. Palahniuk's grotesque, yet refined, sense of sardonic timing in his prose, unless of course you like to read stories about things that aren't horrible, in which case I cannot recommend this book.

(Now THAT's a tangent).

Where was I ... Oh yes, my beard, longer around the mouth, shorter on the cheeks, right.

Anyways, I was just playing with my beard while giving some serious thought to some of the things that I needed to accomplish today, and I realized that in my trimming, I left my left hand side of the mustache much longer than the mustache on the right hand side. I surmise that this leaves me looking like some kind of bizarrely mentally handicapped half-handlebarred mustache cowboy looking creature.

Oh, the press is going to have a field day with this one.

Friday, November 10, 2006

An Email

I just got an email regarding a spreadsheet that I and several coworkers were supposed to have worked on and have completed by this afternoon. The initiator of the spreadsheet sent out an email asking all of the people who do what I do and a few others, including my boss, if we were all finished with it.

I, being a good boy, as soon as I received the email, clicked "reply all," and quickly typed "I'm Done!"

Well, I thought that that was what I had typed.

You see, my fingers got the best of me for a moment, and, although I thought that what I had typed indicated to others that I had completed the task, what my fingers actually typed was, "I'm Dong!" which I think would have indicated something else about myself entirely.

Fortunately I caught my error in time, but how bad would that have been, huh? A lot worse than singing the wrong word at a funeral, I'll tell you that much right now!

This Is Why I Don't Get Invited Places

This morning I had the honor of singing a couple of songs at a funeral. While I didn't know the woman who had passed away, based upon the recollections presented of her by friends and family members, she seemed like she was a nice enough person, one whose memory makes people smile absent smiles.

I sang two hymns, one of which I fairly well, and one that I knew really well. The first song went off without a hitch, but for some reason, partway through the last verse of the second song, I started singing an entirely wrong word which I quickly corrected. Nobody said anything about it, and people even told me that I sang well, but you just don't want to mess somebody's funeral up, you know?

In retrosect, it probably wasn't a huge deal, but at the time, I felt that it was on par with asking a larger but not pregnant woman if she were pregnant or like Ross claiming time and time again that he and Rachel were on a break. It's just something that you don't do.

Sigh. Oh well. So it goes.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Why I Love California

Yesterday, the girlfriend and I opted to take a drive to go get something to eat for lunch, as opposed to our normal routine of walking to the cafeteria at work. Well, I suppose that that would be true if instead of opted, you put "had," and if you added nearly anywhere in that sentence that the reason was "because I'm a moron who forgot something at my apartment."

Go ahead. Add it anywhere. It's hours of fun.

In any case, the little shopping center we went to in La Jolla was jam packed, which I thought was odd at first, until I remembered that everyone who lives in La Jolla is independently wealthy/kings or queens of small European countries.

Obviously, because of the number of people, parking was horrible. When I finally saw that a car was backing up, I stopped a safe distance away, and waited for him to leave. When the car left, I allowed a few cars to pass, because, although I had a straight shot at the spot, I was technically on the other side of a little intersection in parking lot. However, in my act of generosity, I allowed another vehicle to notice the spot, and he started towards the spot. However, when he started to speed up to get the spot, I also sped up, as if to send the message, "If you think you're getting this spot, you've got another think coming. Also, I suspect you have relations with barnyard animals." Our mutual speeding up caused us both to slam on the brakes, thus halting our mutually assured destructions.

As I sat there wondering just how this dispute would work itself out, I noticed the other driver stick his fist out of the window, and started to shake it. While in some cultures, this might be regarded as a hostile act, I nearly immediately realized that he meant to play rock, paper, scissors for the spot.

The sweat poured down my brow as we shook our hands in unison. I tried to gather information about the man to help me in my battle. Was he cold, like a rock? Or skinny, like paper? Or was he sharp to the touch, like scissors? I somehow thought that he'd choose paper, and so I went with scissors. Unfortunately for our hero, I was soundly defeated when his bold and unexpected play of rock crushed my scissors.

I didn't get the spot that day. But I did get a smile.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Embarrassing Childhood Stories, Part One

I, like many of you, grew up as a small child. However, likely unlike many of you, I had a terrible fear of germs. I can trace this back to a time when my mother, in an effort to encourage my brother and I to wash our hands, told us that she had heard news reports that little children were dying in my hometown because of infections caused from germs, and this would apparently have been a non-issue had these children washed their hands after using the restroom.

Therefore, my childish intellect reasoned that germs live in the bathroom, and, could I avoid the restroom as much as possible, I could avoid the germs that were threatening the very sanctity of my well-being.

So, as a child of 5, I made the executive decision to stop going. Well, technically, I still went number 1, but not number 2. Peeing, I reasoned, was safer because I could, theoretically, not have to touch anything that was infected with germs. Heaven help me should the toilet seat cover be shut, because I would then just be forced to wait.

In any case, I made it nearly a week before I foolishly gave the game away by revealing to my grandmother (who I suspect asked why I was walking funny) the length of time that I had lasted without going. She, understandably, was distraught. I explained my dilemma that I needed to avoid germs because otherwise I would die from them, mom said. She countered with the fact that should I never use the bathroom again, I would likely burst and would then have much worse problems than germs.

With the thought of spontaneous combustion not at all that appealing, that evening I was given a laxative (I believe it was given to me orally; if this is not the case, I must have blocked out that experience, because I certainly don't have any real recollection of that portion of the event). I was told that this would help me go to the bathroom.

For about ten minutes, nothing happened. I laid down on the couch and watched a bit of whatever was on tv. I began to think that I was doomed to explosion, that my best days were behind me, and why, why couldn't I have a second chance.

Then. It. Happened.

All of a sudden, I felt like Santa and his reindeer had somehow ended up inside of me, and that they were looking for the nearest way out; I felt like everyone imprisoned in the French Revolution were in my stomach, and they were looking for a way to escape from the Bastille that was my lower intestine.

As I ran to that culture of cultures, I believe my parents and grandparents followed me. So I, always a private boy, now had an audience in this most private of places. I found this a little awkward, but being as I still wasn't wiping my bottom, and I had what can only accurately be described as a loaf of bread trying to exit my body, I didn't really care.

About the experience itself, I remember precious little other than the crying and the fact that it was over fairly quickly.

After all was said and done, I was obviously happy and relieved at defeating what had been my biggest conquest to date. In a sense, I had heard, responded to, and conquered this particular challenge. I had scaled my Everest. In retrospect, it was a shame that I conquered my Everest so early in life, but I will always take something important from this experience, something that money just can't buy: though I'm still wary of bathrooms and still scared of germs, I know now, deep down, that everything will work out ... in the end.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You Know Something?

Do you know what I hate more than actually being ill? I hate being on the fringes of it.

With that first statement in mind, I'll give you three guesses as to what my physical state is currently, and the first two don't count. And if you get your last guess wrong, you get shot in the face. No pressure.

But seriously, I feel like I'm straddling the fence between wellness and illness. And since I'm not sick enough to stay home nor well enough to function with all cylinders, I feel like my straddling is just giving me a white pointed board in the tookus.

Therefore, body, start working, I implore you. Otherwise, I may have to start asking scientists if they have the technology to rebuild me.

In other news, the city of San Diego came and tested one of the elevators in our building today, and by tested, I mean that they let one of the carriages go into a freefall. What I didn't know is that elevators apparently have an emergency brake that shoots out from the cart in the event of a freefall. I did not know that.

Something else that I didn't know comes from the fact that our company didn't really feel the need to tell employees that this would be going on, and so several people gathered at the elevators when we heard what sounded like one of the elevators falling. However, we, in our intrepid fearlessness, could only manage to muster a "That didn't sound very good" before resuming our normal activities.

That's the bravado of working in an office building. Inspiring, no?

The Denouement

The only catch that I was waiting on to fully celebrate the part that I got that I announced last week was talking with my boss about it. Because some of the shows are matinees, I needed to make sure that he would be okay with my working a slightly different than average schedule.

I spoke with him yesterday, and, despite any misgivings I might have had prior to the conversation, he said that it was all right so long as I kept my customers happy.

So, customers, if you're reading this, be happy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Some Things I Learned This Weekend

1) If you ever wake up at 730 in the morning on a Saturday in San Diego, your first thought is, "Vegas?", and you have to go to church Sunday morning, you should probably do your very best to just roll over and go back to sleep.

2) Should you decide to throw caution to the wind and drive, you should probably take your roommate, both because it would be a lot of fun to have him with you and because it's a lot of driving for one person to try to pull off in one day.

3) Should you fail to observe step number two, you should probably leave no later than 7 at night, because leaving then will get you home at midnight, which is a reasonable time to go to bed.

4) Should you find yourself still in Vegas at 7, you should almost definitely leave by 9, because getting home at 2, while not ideal, still provides a reasonable amount of sleep.

5) Should you look at your watch, and should it, by chance, say that it's 10 o'clock, it is imperative that you run, RUN to your car to get the dickens out of Dodge, or in the case, the Mirage.

6) When you're driving home, and you are that tired, rest assured that two tail lights in front of a sweeping left turn ahead of you will almost definitely look like a giant octopus that is ready to attack you. This news will not distress you, however, and you will think to yourself, "Hmm. A giant sea creature. How odd. Hopefully he can't move as quickly on land as he can under the sea."

Friday, November 03, 2006

An Open Letter to Travel Agents

Dear Sir or Madam:

If your client asks to leave on a Friday, and you set your client up with a flight on Thursday and do not tell your client that this is the case, your client will become very unhappy when she gets to the airport only to find out that her flight left yesterday.

Just an FYI.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

My New Cubicle

My new cubicle is right next to the big conference room on our floor. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It is a good thing in that the conference room has huge windows that are on the west side of the building, so I kind of have a view of the ocean if I turn around in my seat at my desk and look around the huge tvs that are kind of in the way. It is a bad thing in that the conference room is often used for, well, conferences, which really puts a cramp in my style of napping underneath my desk and my recently implemented policy of "no-pants" Thursday.

One of those last two items were true; I'll leave it to you to decide which one.

In any case, something puzzles me about the conference room. As most of the conference rooms in our building do, this conference room has a posted schedule of meetings that will go on during the given day. For the last two Wednesdays, there has been a three hour meeting posted that claims to be some kind of Spanish language class. However, when the time comes for that particular meeting to meet, no one is in there.

This leads me to two possible conclusions:

1) People scheduled the meeting and then it's been cancelled twice in successive weeks, or
2) The meeting is actually going on, but I can't comprehend it for some reason.

My possible explanations for why I can't understand it are either that the people learning are very small, or the people using the conference room are operating in some other dimension.

I, myself, lean towards the latter explanation, but if any of you find me tied down under my desk with tiny ropes a la Gulliver's Travels, I think that we'll know the answer.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy November 1!

I can only imagine that little children everywhere are running around in celebration of All Saints' Day, or as I like to call it, Wednesday.

I, however, have been celebrating it by laboring tirelessly over the following timeline, which I submit for your approval.

Key: A = Two days ago, B = Received a part at the Welk, and C = Worldwide fame and domination (hopefully me dominating the world, and not the other way around, but I'll take what I can get).

But seriously, thanks to those of you who left words of congratulations. It means a lot.