Wednesday, June 29, 2005

One Year and Counting

It's my blogivesary! I have now officially been blogging for a year. Raise your hand if you've been reading since Day 1......crap, do I hear crickets chirping? Yes, I do.

I've never managed to post daily, but I try to keep the posts coming at least weekly. My readership is pretty small, but I have managed to breach 10,000 hits. Really, that's good enough for me.

And now, in this special anniversary edition, I'm going to list my all-time favorite posts. Click on one, when you get a chance, and have yourself a sit. If you're reading this, then you're guaranteed to like these posts. I'm a big fan myself.

Here's to another year!

TOP TEN All-Time favorite Posts:

1. Why, Dex, Why? The trauma of receiving too many phone books.

2. Champagne and Big Macs How I became a French stereotype.

3. Walmart Banshee Walmart induces uncontrollable hysteria.

4. Holy Sandwich, Batman! The Virgin Mary: mother of God AND a tasty snack.

5. Punch, Punch, Punch Voting time is fun time.

6. Please Pass the Adipose My frustrations with not being able to gain weight (which, unfortunately, is no longer a problem for me).

7. What the Scrap? The Great Scrapbook Crash of 2011.

8. Obsess Me Why I need an obsession.

9. Tamped On The magical world of feminine hygeine.

10. I, Cellphone Robots, technology dependence, and the horrors of losing my cellphone.

11. Marriage-a-Thon My very first post! Two wedding receptions in one night, stuck in the car with my mother. What could go wrong?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Dear Judge Judy

Why you gots to be so effin mean all the time? You is always screamin and bitchin and gettin all mad and I'm all like, that is so unneccessary. You is like some kind of female madman.


Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Downward Spiral

What could be better than a 1,500-foot-long spiral made up of earth and rocks? Everything, that's what.

I went to go see the Spiral Jetty on Friday and I was sorely disappointed. The newspaper made it sound so much cooler. Also, the website made is sound much easier to find. Why do we live in a world of lies?

I invited a couple friends to go with me, but when we all met up on Friday, seven more people showed up and we had to take two cars. This was a bad idea and contributed to us getting lost on more than one occasion. The Spiral Jetty is somewhere on the northern tip of the Great Salt Lake, accessible only by rocky dirt roads that seem to go on forever.

Although the website told us to take the "main gravel road" from the Golden Spike Historical Site (where the eastern and western railroads met up way back when), there were several main gravel roads. And of course we went down the wrong one, made the wrong turns, and ended up staring at cows way out in who knows where. By the time we figured out the correct path, the light was failing and the other car wussed out and left.

This is where my stubbornness kicked in. You don't drive around for three hours, only to turn around and go home without seeing the gigantic pile of rocks you came to see. My car pressed on until the road narrowed and we had to drive slowly over boulder-strewn paths, trying to find a big abandoned trailer so we'd know where to turn next. These are the times when I wish I had an 4-wheel drive instead of my tiny, micromachine of a car. It's great in the city, but it's not supposed to go off-roading. Why haven't I learned this?

We kept driving, despite all common sense, dodging rabbits who kept jumping in front of the car and large owls that would wait until the very last second to flap away from my oncoming headlights. Finally, after passing all the designated cattle guards, finding the rotting old boat and trailer, and turning onto the final stretch of dirt road, we had to stop. My car could no longer traverse the terrain without getting butchered. We got out and hiked the rest of the way, fighting the setting sun. I wasn't about to miss getting some photos after all this trouble.

We happened upon two ladies who were relieved to find other people. "We're not the only crazy ones," they laughed when we caught glimpse of them. They explained that they had just came from the jetty but were upset they had forgotten their cameras. We decided I would email them some shots if I could. The light was almost gone at this point, and we ran the rest of the way. Finally we reached the jetty and I was able to squeeze out a few pictures.

Seeing the twisted piece of 70s concept art was not as cool as it should have been. Recent rains had washed away the encrusted salt covering and darkening skies made it hard to see the pinkish hue of the algae-ridden saltwater around it. But the point was that we had made it there, despite the bad directions and the bad roads and the suicidal bunnies.

It's one of those things where you're all pissed off but then it's suddenly all over and you think, "wow, that didn't suck so bad after all." The Spiral Jetty turned out to be just a bunch of rocks, yes, but the craziness of getting there was really the entertaining part. Good laughs, good friends, good memories. You know, the kind you'd talk about if you lived in one of those coffee commercials where you reminisce, perched over steaming mugs.

But none of us live in a coffee commercial. Let us never speak of it again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

What Blogger Am I?

So I'm participating in a little blog swap game. The information is all on Mike's blog. The list of the participants is one post up. One of them was assigned to me at random. Basically you have to guess which blogger on that list I'm imitating. I'm using their style but writing about my own life. So without further ado....


there’s this woman at work who’s way too fucking friendly. she’s always saying “hello” and shit ... several times a day. plus, she keeps coming by and wants to engage me in long conversations about her life and about her kids who keep screwing her over. what the fuck? do i look like a fucking therapist to you lady?

and why can’t i get up to go to the restroom without someone already being in it??? the restrooms at work are single rooms so only one person can be in it at a time. i fucking HATE how i have to walk WAY THE FUCK over there just to have to walk way the fuck back. i mean FUCK! my cube is all the way out in bumblefuck...that’s way too far for my lazy ass. why can’t they put the restrooms closer?? and then whenever it’s finally free it smells like the nastiest shit ever. what the fuck do these people EAT?

i’m really not that pissed off right now but i’m annoyed as hell. it’s only tuesday and already i want to get the fuck out of here.

.:What I'm Listening To:.

Electric Skychurch: Together. relaxing electronica, all downtempo. it’s really just the same song over and over again but with some variation. decent album but nothing too special here.

R.Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders: Singing in the Bathtub. old time nostalgia type music from the twenties era. r.crumb is a famous comic book artist from the sixties who does this as his hobby but he never performs anymore. this shit isn’t for anyone who doesn’t know the genre but i like it.

Death Cab for Cutie: The Photo Album. this is some good shit. i admit that ben gibbard can sound whiney at times but he writes good hooks. plus, most the time i think his voice is soothing. some of the songs of this album just do it for know?

.:What I'm Reading:.

Stiff. this is some funny shit. it’s all about cadavers and what happens to them. i’m only a few chapters into it but i’ve already learned about decapitated cadavers used to practice face lifts, the history of nineteenth century body snatching, and exactly how the body decomposes. it’s sounds like some nasty shit but mary roach somehow makes it all light-hearted. i don’t want to donate my body to science now...fuck.


tonight i’m going to go see a concert in the park. WOOT! WOOT! i *HEART* concerts in the park...especially when the weather is nice like this. i think i’m going to wear this shirt i got with a monkey on it. it’s soooooo cute. cute as all fuck. uhm. yeah. anyway, i have to get back to work now.


is it friday yet?

[i won't join in the procession that's speaking their peace.
using five dollar words while praising his integrity..]

Monday, June 13, 2005

Friendly Neighborhood Moment

I’ve been in my house for about a year and up until recently, contact with my neighbors had been extremely minimal. I had waved to them, said “hello” in passing, and even nodded in their direction while mowing my lawn. That’s really all I felt was required of me. It’s a lot of work to stop and get to know a complete stranger. Sure it starts all innocent but next thing you know they’re expecting you to pick up their mail while on vacation or to notify the police if you see them being shot at. Bah! Who do they think I am, some kind of magical helper monkey?

But in all actuality, it pays to have good neighbors. Last week, one of my neighbors saw me struggling with my sprinkler system and decided to trot on over to help me fix it. Despite the fact I hadn’t spoken more than three words to him ever before, he seemed very eager to help me. When neither of us could figure out the problem, I told him that I’d just call a friend and not to worry about it. I moved on to another project (changing the pads on my swamp cooler). Next thing I know, my neighbor is yelling up at me while I’m on the roof. I walk to the edge, peer down and see that he has invited yet another neighbor to work on the problem. Suddenly they’re suctioning debris out of my pipe and fixing the valve. Boom, my sprinklers come on. Problem solved. How nice is that? So now I’m going to help one of them install some software on his computer. We figure it’s a good exchange of favors, since he’s computer illiterate and I’m pretty much house-maintenance illiterate.

Plus, I found out all kinds of interesting things about my block: how three houses had recently been repossessed; how our former neighbors across the street were busted for having a meth lab in the basement and carted off to prison. Suddenly the neighborhood became a lot more interesting.

Mr. Rogers was right, all along.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Two Wonderful Things

This post is nothing but links.

#1. Radiohead performed by a bluegrass band. A friend (wilkesyachtingco) sent me this. I'm a big fan of Radiohead and also like the occasional bluegrass song. But mixed together? Pure comedic bliss.

#2. The Ad Guy Starter Kit. I bet I wouldn't have ignored my advertising degree and pursued graphic design if I had heard about this. I'm so going to order one.

Have you found anything wonderful on the internet lately? If so, please post it in the comments section.

Monday, June 06, 2005

House Guest

Months and months ago I wrote about freaks and how I missed their company. My reasoning was their weirdness adds a little spice to life, that they provide instant entertainment and a welcome diversion from the normalcy of everyday living. I am a big dumb idiot.

Ladies and gentlemen, a freak is living in my house and I want him to go away. This unhappy situation didn’t come about by me wandering the streets in search of some weirdo to entertain me, like I had previously planned. If that was the case, I could easily get rid of said freak with little or no guilt. No, this is situation is a product of my own idealism. If I didn’t care a spit about helping people in need, then I wouldn’t have this problem.

I know this guy from church. Lets just call him “Shmames.” Shmames sits in the back of Sunday School and provides long answers to simple questions that usually end in him reminding us all about how he knows more about everything than anyone else. On a few occasions he’s cornered me and began recounting his life story. The problem is, Shmames doesn’t understand the concept of transitions. People with regular social skills might began a conversation like this:

“Hey Jeremy. How’s it going?” Banter ensues, then: “...Speaking of people with credit card debt, I’ve had a hard time with that myself....”

Instead, James...err.. I mean Shmames, would approach the conversation like this:

“Hi Jeremy. I’m going through bankruptcy. I used to have a 60k a year job and now I have nothing and I can’t hold a decent job and I work at McDonalds despite having three Bachelor’s degrees. I’m now living in my car.”

“Good afternoon to you as well,” I would say.

Shmames gets to the root of what he wants to say and doesn’t bother with transitions or pleasantries. And the root of what he wants to say is usually an incredibly long monologue about the unfortunate and often too-intimate circumstances of his life.

But I admit I feel sorry the guy. He just can’t seem to get things together. I mean who wants to live out of a car? That’s just so sad to me. So when he asked if he could stay at my house for a few days until he got his pay check, I agreed.

Now Shmames and I are going on day four and if he doesn’t leave today I think I’m going to lose it. Shmames likes to approach me and immediately begin babbling on about horribly inane things that make me wish I had Alzheimer’s. For the first few minutes, I’ll feign interest. He’ll blather away and I’ll nod and say “mmm, okay, uh-huh,” etc. Then, when I can no longer stand it, I’ll try to interject and with phrases like, “How interesting. Well, I’ve got to take care of this thing, so...” and then he says, “Oh okay. But you know...blah blah blah” and keeps at it. So I look away and stop paying attention and he still doesn’t take the hint. Then I get up and leave, and he FOLLOWS ME. He’ll be at me heels, yakking away as I take out the garbage, do the dishes, watch television. Once he even followed me into my bedroom and kept talking as I began to change my clothes. I had to shoo him out and close the door before he finally got the hint.

What I really want to say to him is: “Shmames, shut the f*** up!”

But I suffer from my own social malady of sorts. I have “nice guy” syndrome. I’d rather put up with his banter than to have him stare at me like an injured puppy. The best solution is for him to leave, go away, never return! And it better happen today, or at the very least tomorrow. He’ll be back to living in his car, for sure, since he figured out his McDonald’s paycheck won’t cover his living expenses. I wish I could do more for him, but everyone has their limits.

Perhaps it isn’t very charitable to be selective in who we choose to help. For instance, if Shmames was a cool guy and a good conversationalists, I wouldn’t have a problem at all with him crashing for weeks at a time. But Shmames is what he is: a nut job. So he’s getting the boot. I can take no more. I’m wiping my hands.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Nevada Road Trip

Photos from my business trip to Nevada

Some highlights:

The colors are sublime -- oranges and greens and browns, hot, glittering pools. Nothing has been done to sharpen/brighten the colors in these photos. This is the actual color. Looks painted, no? It's in the black rock desert in the middle of nowhere; privately owned so we had to track down the caretaker in a diner in this tiny tiny, po-dunk town. He was an interesting guy: part-time cattle driver, part-time pilot. He jokingly told us he wouldn't let us in unless we were Republican. I lied to him. The geyser is always on -- shooting out streams of water constantly, like a little fountain. The water spills off pocky sides into little pools, glittering all pretty-like against the sunlight. It was "discovered" in the 60s when some people hit a geothermic pocket drilling for water. Then it just formed on its own.

Ah, the basque. They settled Nevada way back when and have a big presence in cities like Elko. They're big sheep herders, those basque, so there was a lot of sheep on the menu. My opinion of them as a people considerably improved, having met Basques before that were mostly grumpy and irritable. I figured it had something to do with them not being able to figure out if they are Spanish or French.

There were Indians. EVERYWHERE.

Oooh, pretty. The kind of place that makes you think, am I still in Nevada? We didn't see any wild horses though. Just deer, and cows, and lizards. Also we saw a bald eagle up close. I was so going to murder it and mount it on my wall.

This place was cool. Unlike most of the state, there is no vegetation, just flat, salty ground stretching white into the horizon. The Burning Man festival takes place there in the know, that bizarre, naked gathering of neo-hippies up to no good. It's a good location for it, seeing as they can't possibly be bothering anybody, out there in the middle of nowhere. Still, the caretaker for Fly Geyser loathes the whole thing -- says they're messy and loud. Plus, I doubt many are Republican.

They found a 10,000 year-old skeleton in these caves. Sparked a huge controversy between the local Indians and scientists. Some wanted to study the bones, some wanted to bury them again. Plus, some crazy people have come up with a few interesting theories based on the fact there is evidence the bones have a Caucasian origin. Google it.

Crazy, freaky people live there. I was secretly hoping I would run into the cast of RENO 911. No luck.

Hours of meetings with the state historian. Lots of trees. Didn't make it to Lake Tahoe, thanks to blabbing archivists. Cried myself to sleep.

We took this road on the way back. It's called the "Lonliest Highway in America," but in truth it really isn't that lonely. I've seen lonlier roads. MUCH lonlier. This one, eh, a little backwards maybe but still has its fair share of visitors. All the stopping along the way caused us to miss the Great Basin National Park. Damn those delicious smoothies.

Oh my gosh, WTF? We're driving down the lonely highway and all of a sudden there's this big tree covered in hundreds and hundreds of shoes! (see photos). I was tempted to leave mine there but then I realized I needed them for wearing.

Overall a great trip. Lots and lots of driving and and work but mostly a lot of great sight-seeing. Also, I ran over a bunny. I was going 90 mph and it just appeared in the middle of the road, blinded by my headlights. It would not move and then CLUNK-CLUNK, I squished its little head. Sorry Grace, I'm a bunny killer.

The End.