Friday, January 30, 2009


I think it has been well-established that I will seriously consider buying things that I don't really need. I am a sucker for bargain finding sites. I love checking the daily deal from Amazon. I love checking ebay and And I really love, where it just shows random stuff that someone online is selling on the cheap.

You can only imagine the joy and rapture I felt when I was at slick deals and I found this:

Five pounds of pens for under $20.

I think what drew me to this is the fact that the volume of pens is measured in, well, volume. While the listing does say that this is about 265 pens, the selling point is obviously that five pounds is stupidly large amount of pens. So stupidly large, in fact, that I could, presumably, become king of the pens. I will rule over my minions with a iron fist (that is, a hand that, according to my elementary school principal, was holding the pencil incorrectly, but I kept writing that way anyways [at least when he wasn't looking]. I guess I showed him, huh? All the way to the bank. Wait, what?).

The second selling point for me, at least, is this:

"Here's the scoop on this deal. Each pen is a brand new click pen. Most pens would sell for $0.40 or more each if you bought them in bulk blank. but these aren't blank. They have logos, addresses, phone numbers and more from various businesses. They're misprints and overruns from companies looking to promote themselves."

I'm sorry? Are you telling me that I could have pens that give non-useful information? I could have a pen promoting Little Darlin's BBQ @ 858-264-864, or another pen promoting The American Dream as found on Route 65? Sign me up! Oh wait! I'll do that myself with the weight of FIVE POUNDS OF PENS to back me up!

Finally, the last point on the page says this:

"You will be pleased with the quality."

Will I? I think this selling point is actually detrimental, because it reminds me of this Mexican food restaurant in my home town where the owners didn't have a great grasp on English, and so their advertisements billed this restaurant's foods as "OK MEXICAN FOOD!" Or, at least I thought they didn't have a good grasp up until a friend ate some nachos from there and found it topped with non-melted slices of American cheese sliced in half. Her response was, of course, that the sign was correct; it was just okay Mexican food.

Nevertheless, I can't see any way out of buying these pens. Please share methods for how I should deal with this unreasonable aspect of my personality (other than handing all my money over to my adorable wifey: she'll just try to spend the money on obvious things like food and shelter, which is all well and good, but I just have one little question: how do you sign the rent check without a pen? Check and mate).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Can It Be So Awkward?

I have a lot of respect for folks who write software, particularly for people who write applications in a business environment. I certainly wouldn't want to comb through hundreds of lines of code in order to find why something isn't working, and there is something to be said for those who are willing to do that. Nevertheless, I can't seem to help getting into weird, unreasonable conversations whenever I'm asked to do something by them.

Setting: My Desk

They: So, I need you to QA this application I've written for you.

Me: Okay, so should I look at the data we already submitted for the third quarter and compare it to what the report is spitting out now?

They: (With a pained look) Actually, we already did that.

Me: (Not sure what to check in that case) Uh. So what should I look at then?

They: Well, you could look at fourth quarter data.

Me: (Not out loud) But...But...we only have the new data for the fourth quarter. How can I double-check it without having something to compare it to?

They: (Awkward glance)

Me: (Tears)

Lights out.

I ask you, gentle readers, how is anyone supposed to get out of that conversation without crying?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This Is My Pretension

Really? This was the top grossing movie in theatres for the last two weeks? When there are, you know, good movies to be seen, like Gran Torino, The Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, and, to a lesser extent, Bride Wars*?

I suppose I should be happy for Kevin James in that, if he, a man of size, is finding successful leading roles, then I might just have a shot myself down the line. Nevertheless, I can't help being a little disappointed that more people for two weeks in a row have flocked to that movie at the expense of better quality fare. I mean, at least wait a few months and rent it on Netflix, people! Have a little discretion! Aren't you ashamed when you walk up to the box office, fish $11 out of your velcro-fastening wallet, and mutter "One for Paul Blart, please?"

That's why I'll be going to the matinee. Suckers.

*You have to root for somebody who wears this dress.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grad School and, Inconveniently to the Post, Football

I want to go to grad school for acting the same way that the Philadelphia Eagles play in the NFC Championship game: that is to say, badly. As a means to that end, I will be attending the U/RTA auditions in Las Vegas next week, and as, I hope, a direct result of that, I will get to achieve my goal. What this group does is it gets representatives for thirty to forty different grad schools for acting together, and then I, the auditionee, get to audition for them all at once. This is about a billion times more awesome than going from school to school individually, or, in layman's terms, it is inversely proportional to how awesome it would be if the Chargers moved out of San Diego: that is to say, the opposite of not very.

To get into acting shape, I auditioned for a musical here in San Diego last weekend, and my ego was stroked when I got a callback for this upcoming weekend. I got to sing the song that I will be singing, so that was definitely good practice; relatedly, good practice is what the Cardinals should be doing this week to have a chance against the Steelers: that is to say, though I would like the Steelers to lose, I suspect that won't be the case.

All that to say, if I can be successful next week at my audition, it will be as great as if the Chargers decide not to move to Los Angeles: which is to say, I think it would be great if the Chargers decide not to move to Los Angeles.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

They Had My Number

I recently went through the application process to become a notary public (please note that I am explicitly not advertising notary services here, as I am not supposed to do so until I go through a few more steps). It wasn't very difficult; I mostly just had to go to a class and pass a test. After that it's just waiting to see if I pass the test (which I did) and then waiting to see if the Secretary of State decides to give me a commission. Once I receive my commission, I need to purchase a bond (to protect consumers in case I notarize something incorrectly [with a nod to a friend with a side business]) and then go take an oath with the county clerk.

I took the test on December tenth.

When I checked my mail yesterday, I received four offers from different bond companies congratulating me on my recent appointment as a notary. This came as quite a surprise to me as I still had not received anything from the Secretary of State, you know, telling me that I had received my commission.

Today, I came home and received my commission.

What this tells me is that, as soon as the Secretary of State announces that a person is getting commissioned, immediately the bond companies send out advertisements which are, in turn, faster at informing people of their notary status than the state of California is.

P.s.: When I tell people about this in real life, they don't think it's very funny or amusing, so if you didn't think it was funny, rest assured that you are in good company. I still think it's funny though.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Way with Words

At my job, there are a number of flat screen tvs that are set to, primarily, different news stations. This is ostensibly so that folks can keep an eye on the stock market, but that's not what I watch.

You see, on CNN, in addition to running whatever news story that they are running, they have a little ticker on the bottom that gives brief news stories in 5 or 6 words. Due to how little space there is, this can get a little dicey, as I realized when I saw the following headline:

"Headline: Obama becomes our 44th, 1st black President."

Our 44th, 1st black President? Ie, our 44th black President? I'm pretty sure that that's what should be the news on the main screen, as I'm certain most of the country thinks that the 43 preceeding Presidents have been white men.

The way they worded it reminds me of that Panther cologne from Anchorman, that had the tag line "60% of the time it works every time." That's good work, CNN. Keep up the roundabout Anchorman references.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beating a Dead Horse

In light of my recent infatuation with a certain dead President, I have been doing some searches for a certain Mr. Buchanan on various internet sites. I was searching on Ebay the other day, and I believe I may have found something that no one could ever possibly want:

A James Buchanan Mousepad

Now it could just be that I am vastly underestimating the demand there is for mousepads (after all, "Build a better mousepad, and the world will beat a path to your door" as the old saying goes), but I have to think that the demand for mousepads featuring obscure 19th century Presidents approaches zero, right alongside consumer desire for mouse pads with serial killers and New Kids on the Block.

At least, the above were my original thoughts. I then got to thinking that perhaps I am the demand-side of this little economics 101 example. After all, if there is exactly one mouse pad in existence featuring James Buchanan, and I am exactly one person who has more than a passing interest in him, maybe I should buy it. The world economy is in such a poor state as it is, I would be doing a disservice to the populace of earth by not doing my part as a good consumer and purchasing it.

And so I shall (because, in truth, I do need a new mouse pad; the one I have at work is getting grimy and disgusting). My only real concern is that, upon viewing my new desk fixture, conversations such as the following will occur:

Hmm. Maybe it's not such a good idea to buy it after all.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Surprise of Inauguration Day

Currently on CNN, they are running the following fact:

"Mr. Obama & Mr. Biden [are] receiving inscribed, engraved crystal bowls as gifts from the American people."

I'm sorry, what? I didn't know I was pitching in to give the new President and Vice-President a gift! Shouldn't they have at least sent around a card to sign?

Now, I am not begrudging these fine folks their presents. What says "Presidential Inauguration" like receiving a punch bowl after all? All I am saying is that if a gift was going to be made in my name, then I wish I would have had some say in it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Miseducation of AC

Here are some facts that I'm pretty sure only I find interesting, as I, for entirely no reason, completed my needlessly unexhaustive research into the life of President James Buchanan:

1) Buchanan is generally regarding as one of the worst Presidents due to his lack of action in the years leading up to the Civil War. Huh, nowadays historians think George W. will be remembered as a horrible President for getting into a war, and (out of the other side of their mouths) they claim that Buchanan was one of the worst for staying out of a war. It looks like the historians and the liberal media elite are in bed together, so to speak. Probably having tea, I'd say.

2) Buchanan was considered a "doughface," which at the time meant a northerner who was sympathetic with the south. Nowadays, calling someone a doughface would probably be misinterpreted as calling them a doughboy, though I think some similarities could be argued about between James and Mr. Pillsbury.

3) Due to the facts that he never married and that he lived for many years with a man named William Rufus DeVane King (whom Andrew Jackson referred to alternately as "Miss Nancy" or "Aunt Fancy" [I'm not sure why he didn't choose one nickname and stick with it; I presume he broke out different slurs based on the occasion]), many have speculated that James Buchanan was our first gay President. Nevertheless, due to some investigative journalism on the part of this writer (ie, assuming the domain "" would be about the 15th president, and not, as it is, about a ranching couple), I may have found someone who may be trying to close the gap in this regard. You see, in referencing himself and his wife on his webpage, the latter day James Buchanan says "Jim and Barb are both horsemen who enjoy the back country." I think you see my point. The only other possible reading I can come up with is that these people are centaurs, which seems to gain credence when I consider that their picture only shows them from the waist up.

4) There is a President Buchanan fan club online, which is located at Here you can find fun facts and videos, though the videos are likely not of Buchanan (as he was dead at the time of the invention of moving pictures).

5) He wrote the first Presidential memoir, which was the awesomely titled Mr Buchanan's Administration on the Eve of the Rebellion. If that book is halfway as interesting as the title is long, well brother, that's probably a mighty fine book.

P.S.: Entirely unrelatedly, we can now know for certain that cats are jerks (with thanks to The Modern Gal).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Six Month Check In

My doctor has had me come in every six months just to check in to see how I'm doing for the last couple years, which I think is pretty nice of him, except for the following inevitable conversation (paraphrased, of course).

Doctor:'re pretty fat, huh?

AC: Yeah, I guess so.

Doctor: Hmm. Well, your blood pressure is somewhere between fire hose and viagra user, so I think that's okay. It's 128/82.

AC: Well, that's good.

Doctor: Yeah, well, maybe, uhm, have I given you any info about the various weight loss classes that are available through our offices?

AC: Yeah, I think so.

Doctor: Well, here is some info about a 12 week class that we have. You should consider it.

AC: Will do.

Doctor: See you in six months. Try to lose some weight.

In all fairness, my doctor is a pretty friendly guy in general, but I am growing to dislike this conversation (accurate though it may be). Part of the problem is that six months always seems like a long time, and I keep saying that I'll start dieting after that next rack of lamb. Unfortunately for me, my time management skills are not so good, and so I easily lose track of when it is that I need to schedule a new appointment. Fortunately, I receive a reminder call before my appointment. Unfortunately, that call is two days prior to the appointment, and, as has been well documented, it is almost impossible to lose the requisite 200 pounds in 2 days.*

Incidentally, my brother has taken up running half marathons. This is easy for him as he is swift as a gazelle and twice a virile. He has encouraged me to try to run one with him later this year. In fact, he wants me, my older brother, and my dad to all run one with him in September. In an effort to get the ball rolling, my wife and I have started going for jogs. It is my hope to get into shape enough to take part with my family.

And, hey, the doctor wants to see me in three months this time, so I hope to have made some progress by then. Wouldn't he be surprised? Hopefully I can get my blood pressure down to the most interesting man in the world levels.

*I am not 200 pounds over weight; however, the doctor's office doesn't have a livestock scale, so it is difficult to say with certainty how much I need to lose.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sign Seen While Getting Bloodwork

"We strive to provide you with very good service."

Very good service? You're really reaching for the stars aren't you?

In addition, when I walked outside afterwards, I saw a little park that was only for employees. There was a sign that said, "Posted No Trespassing Keep Out."

What was odd to me is that "Posted" was in the largest size font, as if the actual, you know, posting, of a sign wasn't enough. No, not only did the sign have to be posted, but the sign itself had to claim that it was posted. Not to belabor the point, but THAT'S SO REDUNDANT! It's like wearing a name tag to a dinner with your wife.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Top Three Worst Lyrics of 2008

One of the bright sides to having a degree in music (which I humbly submit that I do) is that I can more acutely appreciate when something is flawless than someone who doesn't have as trained of an ear. The big glaring down-side to having a degree in music is that just about everything is not flawless, and so nearly everytime I hear something musical, I am disappointed to the point of either seeking out talk radio or shooting myself in the face (and I can only take so many stories from KPBS about how bad it is to not be me, so a good face-shooting is sounding real good about now).

Even so, I find myself shuffling between the five or six presets I have in my car in the hopes of finding that will encourage my to choose life. Instead, I have found these three songs whose music, admittedly, is catchy, but whose lyrics leave much to be desired.

#3 Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield

There's a place that I go that nobody knows
When the rivers flow and I call it home
And there's no more lies in the darkness there's light
And nobody cries, there's only butterflies.

It's that last line that really gets to me. The way the first half is written, it implies that the second half will be the opposite of the first (ie, "And nobody cries, there's only not crying). Instead, we are told that instead of crying, there are butterflies. THESE THINGS ARE NOT COMPARABLE!

To illustrate how bad a comparison this is, let's say that my boss catches me goofing around online, and I respond, "I wasn't slacking off, there was a unicorn."

At that point, I'm pretty sure getting fired would be about the least of my concerns.

#2 So What - Pink

Check my flow (uhh)
The waiter just took my table
And gave it to Jessica Sim...(S***)
I guess I'll go sit with the drum boy
At least he knows how to hit (Whoops)
What if this song's on the radio?
Somebody's gonna die
I'm gonna get in trouble
My ex will start a fight
He's gonna start a fight
We're are gonna get in a fight.

What I will give this song is that it is incredibly catchy. In fact, the melody has been catchy ever since first grade when kids used to taunt each other with it (pictured below, the child who sold the song rights for a lollipop).

Secondly, why is Pink recording the aural equivalence of that video tape from the movie The Ring? If the song is on the radio, why must someone die? Do they at least get the seven days that Hairy McHairinhereyes gave the tape viewers? Or is Pink expecting that people who hear this song on the radio to get so angry that they start swerving wildly in the hopes that a gracious God will send them into a lamp post so they never have to listen again?

#1 Human - The Killers

Are we human, or are we dancers?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I'm on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human, or are we dancers?

Wow. There is so much that doesn't make sense about those lyrics that I almost don't know where to begin. Actually, first off, how about the fact that HUMANS AND DANCERS ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE EVENTS. I will allow that other creatures can dance (and apparently hold ballet poses).

I can only assume that the person who wrote those lyrics saw the above picture, and came to the following incorrect logical thinking:

Some humans are dancers
Some bears are dancers
Therefore, some humans are bear dancers.

Wait, I think I understand the lyrics now.

Friday, January 09, 2009

They Are Who We Thought They Were!!!

Because my wife and I both work all day, we feel badly that we have to leave our little puppy (named Scrabble) at home because by the end of the day he is absolutely crazy (not unlike rabbits wearing pants). We feel so badly that we figured some good ways to get him to calm down would include (and we had to rhyme, not actually say them for fear of him getting upset): "Coing for a calk", "Shmaking him to the shmound", and "iving him a burby."

So, in the interest of not spending our golden years in prison for animal cruelty, we decided that he needed to start going to a doggy day care. The one that we chose even has a webcam to see what the little pups are up to. Mostly it's cute things, like you would find on a greeting card, such as:

While this is cute and all, I didn't truly understand why a webcam would be necessary to capture such lolmoments. However, just a few moments ago, I came to understand the real value of the webcam. At first, he appeared to just be sitting and posing for me in front of the camera. It was only when he stepped aside that I realized, well, please see the pictures below.

What a good boy!

It Trips Me Up

Whenever I see someone who is in trouble with the law for whatever reason, I generally can't help but think "Sure, he's a louse, but what a fine head of hair."

Congrats Governor!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

State of my State

While it is a frustrating thing for me to show up here and say something along the lines of "OMG!!! It's been a long time since I wrote anything here. LOL!!!JK!!!ROTFL!!!LMNOP!!!," I feel that I must say something just along those lines.

I recently checked the email address that I have associated with this account (which is not my personal email, because heaven forbid that I should lose my anonymity associated with this account [though, let's face it, if the only people who were consistantly reading this thing were my mother, people I have met face to face, and people who have friended me on social networking sites, it's not very anonymous anyways]), and some nice man whom I don't believe I know offered me over two figures to buy this thing under the assumption that I don't want it anymore. In the words of this immortal poet, c'you believ' that?

In short, I was reminded that this site has personal value to me and that it has been a lot of fun to work on over the last couple of years. When I log in and see that I have over 400 posts, I think of all the blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention keyboards) I've gone through working on this site.

So, I'm not saying it's going to be consistant, and I'm saying it's a new year's resolution, and I'm not saying that it's going to be "good" or "worthwhile" or "a better expenditure of time than not breathing," but I am going to say that I think I can do a little better than the 14 posts I got out all of last year. Aim for the stars, I always say.

Oh yeah, baby, it's on.