30 May 2005

The Move

Today I got the keys to my new home (the search for which has been a process undocumented in my blog). Because I'm renting, I don't think those actual words are as exciting as they otherwise sound. But it's still pretty cool, and has given me an excuse to spend a ridiculous amount of money, and browse constantly through various Home stores.

This, of course, includes a shopping trip to Ikea.

This might not sound shocking at first, particularly if you're not aware that I would rather get a root canal than go to Ikea. In fact, I was considering selling my right kidney to pay for a dresser at Room Store, but then I decided I was rather attached..

If you've gone to an Ikea before, you'll understand me, particularly on a weekend. If not, here's an excerpt from a New York Press article (which was coincidentally ranting about a new Ikea eliminated jobs and tearing down civil-war era architecture in a NYC neighborhood)

"In Western Europe, it is estimated that one in 10 inhabitants today were conceived in Ikea beds, brand passion that has helped vault company founder Ingmar Kamprad to pole position in the race among the world's richest men. In England, 33 million customers during 2003 visited an Ikea outlet, producing road traffic in "epic" and "horrendous" volumes, authorities across the British Isles report. The volumes have led to at least one Ikea sale-day riot in which 27 people were injured." (hyperlinks added)
Out of control.

The first time I went to Ikea, I was not prepared. Upon entering, I was handed a map.

A map.

There should have been a sign instructing me to carry SOS flares, pack a week's supply of food and water, and
notify my loved ones to send a search party if I wasn't heard from in three days. It was horrible. I couldn't find anything, I made the mistake of trying to follow the signs (This way to Exit.... what the hell am I doing in Children's Furniture), and the salespeople were rude.

But I needed a dresser. So I sucked it up and drove out there.

It wasn't that bad. It still took me two hours to get through the store and the crowds, navigate my way through the signs (this isn't the exit... tricked again!), and make it to the self-serve area where I realized I written down the location of every peice of furniture I liked EXCEPT the dresser. Fortunately I found it, because if I had to backtrack through Ikea again, I would not be sitting here writing this post...

The dresser I found I actually liked ok. It might even last the whole year, and it's bigger than the one that would have cost me 250 from target.com (shipping....). It came in two boxes, each of which weighed approximately two hundred pounds. After the first box made it onto the cart, a guy wandered past and decided to keep me from injuring myself, which was obviously going to happen anyway when I tried to get the boxes into my tiny little Dodge. Instead of waiting for me lift with him, he just hauled the box onto the cart himself.

I hope his back is ok. He was a pretty nice guy.

So what did I learn from my experience?
    •I still hate going into Ikea.
    •They do have some cool stuff for very reasonable prices.
    •People who shop at Ikea are a unique crowd.
    •Someone stole my shopping cart.
    •Those boxes are staying in the back seat of my car until I can get some sucke nice guy to help me. :)



So it's been a while since my last post. Ok, a week. That's because I was off on vacation, staying out late, sleeping in, and converting my liver into the second hardest substance known to man. Next week I'm off for round two, spending six days in Sin City itself, Las Vegas. Pictures from both to come. :)


23 May 2005

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

well, maybe not. But this has always been a busy time, because somehow everything I need to take care of or pay attention to occurs within a two week window at the end of May. The last few years, I've had to deal with finishing school, and then immediately running to get ready for a summer job outdoors.

So don't be surprised if you're surfing through this blog and there's a gap in the posts. Some of it has to do with the fact that I'm getting a vacation at the end of the week. I promise, there will be pictures of drunken fun -- how else will I remember the week? :)

See you all when I get back!


A moment of zen...

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Late Night thoughts

It's almost two in the morning, and I'm sitting here awake. It's one of those evenings where my head just feels full, and I'm not sure how to quiet my thoughts down so I can get some rest. Probably related to the cup of coffee I drank earlier.

I'm still getting used to the idea of a blog as a live journal -- I guess it doesn't have to be. The best place for most of the thoughts that go on in our heads is where no one else can read them, probably. The last few days when I haven't had anything to do, or was ignoring what I was supposed to be doing, I spent a lot of time surfing through other people's blogs, and some of the things they bare just.. amazes me. Of course, there's some degree of anonymity. And there's a good chance some of it isn't true. But maybe it's just good for them to get it all out to a crowd of readers without faces. Maybe this is the same reason why I'm so intrigued with the post secrets blog (previous post) -- if a blog is a release for the writer, the postcards are amputations. Ways to get rid of the things they carry around.

The last couple of days I've been giving a lot of thought to relationships. I'm still close enough to my roots that this is the time of year when I run into people I haven't seen in six or twelve months, and spend a little time playing catchup. Every year it gets a little stranger, just because we're all getting to be so different. And even though you keep meaning to send a card or pick up the phone, it's almost scary how months can pass by before you talk to someone who you once saw once a day/week/etc. A few months ago I found out a girl I went to school with (we were lunch-table friends) died of a heartattack two years ago, age 20. I had absolutely no idea.

I stopped making New Year's resolutions years ago, for the reason that I never kept them. Randomly, now, at the end of May, I'm thinking all these years I maybe missed the point. It's not that I should be resolving to drink less, eat better, exercise more, or anything like that. Maybe I shouldn't be trying to give anything up. But there should be time set aside to sit and think, and consider what's really important. What are my priorities. Who do I care about, and who cares about me. Am I really happy with where I am and who I've become. What can I do to change it.

It's a frightening thing, to look back like that, because at some point you (ok, I) fear the answers to the questions. If I, looking back, realize I'm incredibly unhappy, or don't like what I'm doing, or don't like who I am... where do I go from there? How do I begin to change me, when the only person I've ever been is myself? What if I can't change, will I be unhappy forever?

Someone once told me unhappiness is the result of a collision of reality with a person's illusion. Their concept of what reality should be is different than what is, and this creates unhappiness. I used to think that what one needed to do then was destroy his or her illusions, and I still believe this would be true. But it's not a one-sided statement. We're not a victim of our reality, and we can shape it, actively, ourselves. It just takes the ability to stand up, shake it off, and change those aspects of our lives that go against what we actually want for outselves. Maybe this is something close to courage.

< /rambling>


22 May 2005

Things you don't think about...

You never escape homeowner's association rules...


18 May 2005

It's that time...

I will be so glad when exams are done.


17 May 2005

Fragrance-free Farting, only 39.95...?

I found this the other afternoon while blog-surfing, on a Gadgets Blog.

Flatulence Filter

The Flatulence Filter is a breath of fresh air for you and your fellow passengers! Flying can cause many travelers to experience uncomfortable intestinal gas, which in turn can lead to embarrassing flatulence. And at 30,000 feet, it's difficult to blame the dog! The Flatulence Filter looks like an ordinary seat cushion but contains an activated carbon air filter that absorbs odors immediately and lasts up to 12 months. Ideal for airplane, train, or car travel, it has a handy carrying handle. Favorably reviewed in Business Week and Prevention Magazine. (17 x 15 x 1"; 11 oz)

One gaseous customer commented...
"WOW! Never in my life have I farted for so long and with such complete comfort. Really, flying used to cause terrible problems for me and I had to visit the bathroom multiple times even on short flights to lessen the discomfiture of my passengers. With Flatulence Filter, my troubles were gone ! It looks like an ordinary seat cushion, so it's not conspicuous, and it works beautifully. There is absolutely no odor emitted whatsoever, regardless of the state of your stomach. Highly recommended to all travelers." - Flatulence Farter, New York, NY

I guess this is a bigger problem than I was aware of. I just hope, when I fly in a week, that Flatulence Farter from New York isn't sitting next to me.


16 May 2005

Worst Case Scenario

Lessons in Survival

Saturday evening I had the chance to play "The Worst Case Scenario" survival game, which I'd seen in shops before but never really was into it enough to purchase it. It was actually fun, and consisted of obvious, helpful, not so obvious, and just plain confusing tips. The best part was sitting around and actually trying to figure out what the best option might be. Some of them were actually helpful. For example...

What's the best way to avoid a shark attack?
A) Swim only when the water is calm.
B) Avoid wearing shiny or reflective objects such as jewelry.
C) Swim only in large groups of people.

We pretty much decided B was the best option, maybe because the jewelry attracts fish, and those attract sharks. C is also perfectly acceptable if at least one swimmer in the group is slower than yourself. Other questions were less logical..

Question: How do you survive a volcano?
A) Stay in your home, moving to the highest point.
B) Get in your car and drive away from the area as quickly as possible.
C) Climb a tree.

While the obvious instinct is to get the hell out of there, for some reason the game tells you to go hide in your attic. None of us could figure that one out. Finally, some were just... wierd.

Question: What is the best way to keep yourself hydrated with undrinkable water?
A) Urinate in the water and leave it out in the sun. Let the waste settle and drink the clear part.
B) Soak yourself in the water.
C) Use the water to give yourself an enema. At least your intestine will be hydrated.

I'll give you a clue.. A and B are wrong. See? Wierd. If for nothing else, the fact that they expect you to be lost in the wilderness with an enema bag -- what kind of camping trip was that??

In honor of the game, I decided to contribute my own how to...

How To Survive Your Daily Commute.

1) Eat a good breakfast, it's necessary to fuel you throughout the day, and it helps put you in the proper mindset for your drive. The definition of 'good' extends to eggs, toast, whole grain cereal, three-day-old chinese food, and the blowpop you found under your dresser the other week.

2) Make sure you leave in plenty of time. This is all relative to your driving style. If you drive like your grandmother, or my friend Steve, you should be starting your commute at about the time you get home the previous evening. If you drive like the Duke boys, hit that snooze one more time.

3) Plan your route. Listen to the traffic reports -- or better yet, ignore them, and increase your sense of adventure. Or, watch the news and find that most major routes toward your destination are blocked by accidents, construction, and the asses that have to slow down and watch accidents and construction.

4) Listen to the radio. It gives you a beat to match when you start banging your head against the steering wheel.

5) Use your turn signal responsibly. To most people who commute (at least in my area), flashing yellow lights are a clear universal sign to speed up and cut off/run off the road/sideswipe/etc. the person trying to get over. Under no circumstances should you use this signal. Somewhat acceptable is what's known as the 'DC turn signal', which involves rapidly turning your head to look over your shoulder in the direction in which you want to move.

6) Use your horn sparingly. Honk at the assholes that don't use their turn signals.

7) Have an effective stress relief method. This can include stressballs, a song, counting to ten, or gin.

8) Respect the speed limit. This inevitably varies anywhere between five and eighty-five miles per hour, a figure completely independent of the actual set speed of the roadway. Count on people braking to a stop anytime a police officer comes into distance, even if they've already pulled someone over.

9) Avoid distractions while driving. Cell phones are the big ones. There's no potential legislation against eating, drinking, applying makeup, or preparing fugu while driving are perfectly ok.

10) Arrive home safely. Your work day is done -- relax, eat dinner, finish off the gin, and go to sleep. Repeat in ten hours.


12 May 2005


So it's been a busy few days. The end of the semester is approaching, and all the assignments and responsibilities I've been avoiding for the last few months have come back to haunt me. At some point, I'll lock myself in a room and not come out until everything's done.

But not yet.


10 May 2005

Dave Chappelle, where are you?

So I was distracted by National Orgasm Day. Buy yesterday, another important issue came to my attention. E! (still a more reliable news source than Fox) confirmed that Dave Chappelle has stopped production of Season 3, which was scheduled to come out around the end of May.

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Comedy Central said that the highly anticipated third season of Dave Chappelle's show will not make its May 31 premiere date.

"Comedy Central has suspended production on the third season of Chappelle's Show until further notice," network spokesman Tony Fox said in a brief statement. "All parties are optimistic that production will resume in the near future."

Why has Chappelle backed off after signing a fifty-million dollar contract, with more than three million people tuning into his show each night?

"I saw him start trippin' when the buzz started to get real loud," one unnamed friend tells Newsweek. "I think he was in shock after the first season. Then during the second season, it hit him that he was the Man. That freaked him."

"And then came the pressure of living up to expectations for the third season. He's never been there--where something's so good and you got to come even stronger the next time. It was too much."
The reactions from fans on Dave's message board have been mixed, ranging from "Well that sucks!" to things more supportive "I love you Dave!" One fan seemed to think this would be helpful (comments added):
Dave, I'm 50. (you're old) I've been a jazz musician most of my life. (Who cares?) There are only a few television shows that have ever intentionally made me laugh out loud- Seinfeld, Strangers With Candy, Richard Jeni specials, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fat Actress and your show. I know $50 million is a lot of pressure but come on, relax. (you're an independent musician, so you're also poor. How would you know?) You're a funny guy. There's nothing to have to live up to- nobody even remembers the last season anymore; the public has the attention span of a housefly. (Fair enough) If anything, Dave, you would have to dumb the show down quite a bit to get to today's common denominator. (Which is why his current work drew millions of viewers? To see my opinion of this assumption, read on)
No one seems to know why, citing everything from stress to addiction to the fact that he just can't think of anything funny anymore. I just hope Dave works through whatever he needs to get through, whether he goes on with the show or not. If it is a case that he's not sure he wants to write anymore, is it so bad he's stopping? Would we really all be happier with a not-funny Chappelle Show?


09 May 2005

Happy Orgasm Day

And you thought today was just another normal day....

Brazilian city approves annual Orgasm Day

A city in Brazil has approved an annual Orgasm Day.

The 35,000 people in Esperantina will be asked to work harder to achieve sexual satisfaction each May 9.

The new law was passed by the council despite the objections of the city's Mayor, who says it is pornographic.

It is the idea of Councillor Arimateia Dantas, who says he has personal motivation after losing out in love because of premature ejaculation.

He said: "My ex-partner was very hot, but she took such a time to reach the orgasm that I couldn't wait for her."

He undertook a research survey among Esperantina's sexually active women and found only 28% enjoyed orgasms every time they have sex.

The Mayor, Jose Inaldo Franco, is against Orgasm Day. He told the Jornal do Brasil newspaper: "I am ashamed of this pornographic project."

If you're wondering exactly how you should observe such an important holiday, then this is the wrong webpage for you. BUT thanks to the people at madblast.com you can send your friends an orgasm ! In addition, you can calculatehow many calories are burned during sex.

So Happy Orgasm day! Now get out there and celebrate. :-O


08 May 2005

Really good.

I watched it in the dark, all by myself.

I never saw the end coming.

Now I'm all creeped out.


06 May 2005

For the more health-conscious


05 May 2005

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Another excuse to party, it almost makes me wish I could still stand to be near tequila (future blog entry...) In another pointless foray into trivia simply designed to avoid my actual responsibilities, I chose to explore...

The History Of The Pinata

Who would have thought it would be so nebulous?

The origin of the pinata is shrouded in mystery, which can only be attributed to loss of oral tradition, adaptation of customs between cultures, and far too many missed swings that resulted in concussions.

According to one source, Busta Pinata, the origin of the pinata is attributed to native Mexicans. Another site describes the pinata as an invention of the Italian Renaissance.
"In the 16th century during the Renaissance, Italians were beginning to break away from the traditions handed down from Rome. The pinata was once called a pignatta and it was filled with trinkets, jewelry, or candies....The Italian custom of breaking the pignatta spread throughout Europe and to Spain. Spaniards then began to design the crude pot in order to cover the rough unglazed surface. The pinata was brought to America by the Spanish explorers and conquistadors along with traditions, customs, and religion of their homeland. Mexicans adopted these traditions and the pinata soon became one of their own."
Yet another writer describes the pinata as Chinese in origin, where it was used as a means for celebrating the advent of spring.
"As a result of Marco Polo's adventures into China, he introduced this Chinese custom which was adopted by the Spainish as well as by the French and Italians. The Spanish brought this custom to the new world when they conquered Mexico. The pinata became part of the Posada in the Catholic culture."
And for those of you into symbology...
"The original & traditional pinata has seven points symbolizing the seven deadly sins: envy, sloth, gluttony, greed, lust, anger/wrath, and pride. The ten pointed pinata symbolizes the sins that come from breaking the ten commandments. The stick which is used to break the pinata represents and symbolizes love. It is suppose to destroy the sins by hitting and breaking the pinata into pieces. The candies and treats that come pouring out from the broken pinata symbolize the forgiveness of sins and a new beginning. . . . Before attempting to hit the pinata, the person must cover his eyes, symbolically to protect himself from being enticed by the pinata. After hitting the pinata, the person must make a resolution or resolutions."

Other sources suggest combinations of these theories might be true...
"At the beginning of the 16th century the Spanish missionaries to North America used the piƱata to attract converts to their ceremonies. However indigenous peoples already had a similar tradition. To celebrate the birthday of the Aztec god of war, Huitzilopochtli, priests placed a clay pot on a pole in the temple at year's end. Colorful feathers adorned the richly decorated pot, filled with tiny treasures.. When broken with a stick or club, the treasures fell to the feet of the god's image as an offering. The Mayans, great lovers of sport played a game where the player’s eyes were covered while hitting a clay pot suspended by string. The missionaries ingeniously transformed these games for religious instruction. They covered the traditional pot with colored paper, giving it an extraordinary, perhaps fearful appearance."

Though the history may be unclear, pinatas are a fun way to introduce violence to your social events with minimal risk of bloodshed. You can celebrate your chinese/italian/mexican/spanish heritage by busting into...

Something slightly more traditional...

Half of spiderman?

...Tony Hawk?

Or even get some release from everyday frustrations..

Happy Cinco de Mayo!


04 May 2005

What paper?

A little avoiding-the-paper-I-have-to-have-done-by-Friday humor.. God these are funny..


Share a Secret

Post secret is an interesting blog where people send in their secrets on the back of a postcard they've made themselves. Some of them are funny, like the one I'm posting now. Some of them are sexy.

Some made me very sad.

It's an incredible idea though -- how many of us walk around with secrets every day? Ones that we remember, or ones that we forget. And what makes us remember them? And how many do we read and think... 'oh, shit.. I understand that.' ..even if it never happened to us.

Happy Wednesday!


02 May 2005

Monday, Monday

Mondays are always difficult, whether you're restarting your sleep schedule to normal from the weekend (which was not normal), or just dealing with the fact that there's another five days lying between yourself and irresponsibility. This one started out well, when I made it out twenty minutes early and pulled my car out of the spot.

And then realized the tire was flat (an age-old problem immortalized in cinema and jokes).

After taking a moment to thank the person who'd slashed my tire at school the year before I got down to work -- but it occurred to me that some people might not have the benefit of knowing exactly what to do in such a situation. I therefore compiled a guide.

How To Change A Tire.

1) Park the car, and spend a few minutes rooting through all the crap in your trunk until you can locate the donut.

2) Place the donut on the ground near the tire. Now look for the jack. Mine comes in two pieces, conveniently labeled below for the purposes of this 'how to' segment.

3) Look for a good place to position the jack. You could reference your owner's manual, or just simply poke around down there til you find a spot that looks sturdy. Take a moment to marvel at all the rust that's built up under your car after the protective coat was scraped away when you bottomed out in the snow a winter or two ago.

4) Fit the wrench into the jack and rotate to elevate the jack just enough to secure it. At this point, you should remember that it's easiest to remove the hubcap and loosen the nuts while the tire still has the weight of the car on it, and stop.

5) Using the wrench, loosen the hubcap bolt-cover-things. Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty!

6) Pry the hubcap off.

7) Loosen the bolts holding the tire in place. You will never be able to do this by hand. Instead, position the wrench so the handle is parallel to the ground. Jump on the handle. Jump again. Wait for the cheap jack wrench to break and lodge in your flesh, since you just had to wear those heeled sandals today. Curse at it. Move to the next one. Repeat for each nut until each is loosened just a little bit.

8) Thank the neighbor who's stopped for offering to help, but tell him you're ok. Not because you're a woman and can do this on your own, but because you accomplished the hardest part two-point-four seconds before he walked over to help, which was loosening the nuts.

9) Jack the car up until the tire is just off the ground. At this point, loosen the rest of the nuts and put them in a place where they won't roll away.

10) Chase down the nut that rolled away. It's right over there.

11) Remove the tire. Toss it in your trunk, leave it in your garage, it doesn't matter. Just be sure to get dirt, rust, and grease stains on your hands and clothing at some point during the process.

12) Put the donut on and tighten the nuts by hand. Lower the car, and once it's on the ground, repeat the jumping process to make sure they're really on. Remove the jack and throw it in your trunk.

13) Realize your donut is flat also.

Happy Monday! :)