There are so many intelligent and articulate people covering the hard-hitting
issues in our country these days, that I felt it was my duty to cover the
rather inconsequential bullshit that tends to make up the vast majority of
our lives. Actually, I'll just be griping a lot which, if you weren't aware,
doubles as a synonym for complaining, and as a descriptor for
a sharp pain in the bowels.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bloggin' on the Train

In the interest of time and because I am not too into Everything is Illuminated so far I've resorted to blogging on the train. That, and I just like how it sounds just enough like that classic Milli Vanilli jam.

This past weekend I attended graduation at my alma mater where the big story was Barack Obama, or Oback Barama as I've become fond of referring to him, replacing Ted Kennedy as keynote speaker. The speech I would give a "B," but turnout an A+ or so. Not surprisingly, after Obama spoke, shit cleared out in a hurry, which I actually thought was a little offensive to the graduates, but they probably didn't give a shit since they all shook hands with the Senator and presidential hopeful.

I honestly was expecting to drop some stuff here, but as I tend to get nappy on the train ride home, I'm already getting pretty close to my stop. I will say that on my ride in this morning I had a fairly fulfilling experience. Despite the fact that the train is packed because it's rush hour, many a commuter insists on not simply placing some item on the seat next to them to discourage a passenger joining them, but also looking ahead so as not to have to make eye contact with a potential seat sharer or, better yet, pretend to be asleep. Normally I just think quietly to myself what dicks these people are, but this morning I decided to assert my rights a little. A spotted an Indian gentleman in a fairly nice suit, covering the adjoining seat with a light folder, a seriously weak effort. In spite of this, his look away tactic had thus far been successful until I inserted a gruff "excuse me." He still kept his legs spread wide so as to give me less than my entitled allotment of seat.

Boring story I know, except that when he thought I had nodded off to sleep in the tunnel I observed him digging ferociously in his right nostril and then examine the spoils before placing it on the floor. I admit I was hoping he would eat it, but not every commute can be this action packed.

On a less boring note for the time being, I suggest you check out my buddy Blake's blog. A lot of funny shit happens to Blake, plus he has a gift, I feel, for placing it on the page. Whenever I get around to taking an extra three seconds to change my layout, I'll post a permanent link.

Finally, before I am likely without interweb for a few days I must post a link to the first episode of my current obsession,
Sir Digby Chicken Caesar, a recurring bit on the BBC sketch comedy show That Mitchell and Webb Look.

You must dine at my club sometime.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Poorscription Belts

The other day I scheduled myself an eye exam in the hopes of once again being able to wear contacts. I have glasses, I just rarely wear them. Reasons for this include, in no particular order: worry that they will fall off my face, that feeling and indentation they leave on the bridge of your nose, lack of peripheral vision, and vanity/attempts to not look too nerdly.

The reason I had stopped wearing contacts hearkens back to my days as a camp counselor, when some campers decided it would be a great idea to put hay all over my head. As it happens, this was not a great idea and instead resulted in my eyes becoming violently inflamed. An exam at that juncture noted the presence of bumps on my eyelids. I took some prescription anti-histamine eyedrops, resumed wearing contacts, and resumed having big-ass problems for a year or so before I just decided to call it quits.

So the guy I went to see the other day, and I must preface this by saying that I liked him and he seemed knowledgeable, prescribed some eyedrops to use for a week before retrying contacts, and to continue use of ever after. They turned out to be motherfucking expensive so I went and had a read of the pamphlet that comes with the prescription. Here it is, verbatim:

Uses: This medication is an anti-histamine used to treat itching and redness in the eyes due to allergies. This medication is not recommended for the treatment of eye irritation due to contacts.

And since I was discussing medication side effects only just last week, here is a prime example:

Side Effects: Headache, blurred vision, burning/stinging/redness/dryness of the eye, eyelid swelling, or a feeling as if something is in your eye may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist

Considering I have no current eye irritation symptoms, I've decided to go ahead and veto this prescribed course of action.

In much more important news, I was sitting at a meeting yesterday when I realized something I may have been doing incorrectly my entire life, namely belt direction. I have always fed the tail of the belt through the right front belt loop, so that the buckle is on the right and, when the tail of the belt is tucked, it's to the right. What I noted in this meeting, however, was quite the opposite. I am fairly certain every single other belt wearer in there had the tail fed through the opposite loop and thus ended with it tucked to the left. Feeling that this could be some sort of salad fork/dinner fork etiquette question, I tried buckling my belt the reverse and, perhaps, correct way today. Needless to say, this did not work. It was like trying to throw a ball or write with your non-dominant hand (assuming you aren't ambidextrous). When I went to the bathroom I found it so annoying to undo my belt, that I ultimately returned it to my usual set-up. It got me thinking it might be something like button up shirts, where men's and women's have opposite sides, and that I was perhaps belting my pants in a feminine manner. Anyone with any insight, feel free to chime in on this one.

What's with the cold-ish weather these days?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to Work...Slave

Having recovered in large part from leg surgery, I jumped on a 6:30am train and made my way into the office for the first time in precisely five weeks. One can get used to working from home, let me tell you. There is a certain solitude on the 6:30am train as opposed to my more rotuine 7:47am. Certainly the train was less crowded, and it was also one of those relatively spankin' new double-deckers. As it was, at Secaucus, the last stop before New York, an oafish fellow sat down next to me, despite many other open seats. Brief disclaimer: I expect to sit next to people on a commuter train during peak hours, I just ask that you not be a jerk or, in this case, smell like baby food vomit and old diapers. Maybe it wasn't this guy giving off the scent, but circumstantial evidence points in (draws stench lines emanating from) his direction. Man sits down next to me, bad smell ensues. Perhaps not causal, but certainly corollary.

Ridiculously cute bunny for pretty much no reason. Photo credit: The GF.

I was in the freezer section of my local grocer the other day and I always have to see if there is ice cream on sale. My brand of choice is Edy's or Dreyer's, depending on your coast. And while they are my favorite ice cream from the freezer section, they have gone the way of Dannon yogurt, and decreased their package size and kept prices the same. Ice cream drop-off was from 1.75 to 1.5 quarts (~14%), not as significant as the the yogurt drop from 8 to 6 oz (25%). I don't know if companies think this is clever and people don't notice but I NOTICE. In this case it's actually just as well, as I tend to eat containers in one-to-four sittings, so my arteries are probably thankful to not be flowing with as much ice cream, but still. The cost of everything is going up, and while that is a bummer for those of us without boatloads of expendable income, all I'm saying is, don't try to lie to me about it. You can't pull the wool over my eyes, unless it's cashmere, because otherwise that shit is just so itchy.

In medical irony news, you know how at the end of commercials they always give those disclaimers about the possible side effects of the medication and how you should ask your doctor? With the pleasant female or male voice, meant to be soothing, probably so that you're not like, "oh shit, this might cure my diarrhea but cause internal bleeding and memory loss? Oh man, and maybe rectal bleeding? Not again..." This is where I should insert a great link to one of said commercials, but a prime example is escaping me. The point is, the potential side effects always strike me as way worse than whatever it is they're supposed to be curing. Maybe it's not perfectly ironic in every case, but this Elidel bit fits the bill. After all, Elidel is a prescription cream meant to deal with eczema but, according to that case, is being linked to skin cancer. Tough call, but I might choose eczema.

Also, I'm thinking I should learn Krav Maga. Sure I've been in pretty much zero fights in my life, but you never know.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Keep On Rockin' In the Free World?

Neil Young just popped up on my playlist, and it got me wondering why exactly Keep On Rockin' in the Free World is the only song of his I ever seem to hear on the radio, with perhaps an occasional Harvest Moon. I used to revile Keep on Rockin' for whatever reason and due to it being my only Neil association, I pretty much wrote him off. I liken it to how I gave up PB&J at about age eight on account of over-consumption. Then one day, aged nineteen or so, I rekindled my love for the sandwich classic and it's been smooth sailing ever since. I guess this isn't quite the same as my Neil experience as I didn't love him to begin with, but I was overexposed, at least to said track. My dad actually played Horse With No Name a fair amount, but I think I thought it was by The Doors because they had that song Riders on the Storm and my mind operated under the assumption that riding on a storm and going through the desert on a horse with no name were fairly synonymous and thus must be written by the same folks. Collectively I associated them with Dune. Funny how the mind works.

Anyway, short story long, after living with some chums in Vermont for about a year, one of whom breathed Neil Young, I became fond of Neil, especially this song and for semi-comedic reasons this one . With respect to the latter, the echoed chorus of a deep, throaty, off-key "piece of crap!" just works for me.

Before I forget, I have to show some love to The Daily Mail, which I generally find to be about as tasteful as gossip can be. Take for instance their coverage of Putin and that gymnast. And where else was I going to read so in-depth a synopsis of Patricia Cornwell's lesbian affair?

Lastly, before I forget, a quick shout out to chum Bridget Palardy, videographer (man I hope this is the right word) of this fine piece for Nylon Mag on emerging musical stars MGMT. This is the part where I say we all went to school together, back when they were "The Management" and Kids wasn't as jazzed up. While I used to get wrapped up in that "I knew about them first" bullshit, the fact is, I probably was not remotely as into these guys as most other people on campus. I do like Kids though, and Destrokk. And despite Kids being played at many a college party, I will always have the image of one dopey hipster in particular dancing in a shitty manner. I had to get one little gripe in there. After all, it's in my blog description.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Suckway: Eat Shit

Man, Jared and the rest of the Subway crew have foiled me again. As many that know me know, I am no fan of Subway. I am sure, in fact, that I have routinely stated that several past Subway excursions would be "my last." I sure hope I come through on that after today's experience.

Maybe most people don't have reliable local sandwich shops in their area, but I can't help but wonder why anyone would ever go to Subway. I continue to feel that maybe I just have bad luck with the place, but here are a few of my problems: 1) fresh-baked bread is none so fresh; 2) quality of ingredients at or below medium; 3) small quantity of said ingredients. It's true, I should really have just learned my lesson by now, and I'm sure the large order of fries from Five Guys didn't help, but damnit, I'm feeling too ill at the moment to simply ignore it.

To point number one, there isn't much to elaborate on: maybe Subway bread is good when fresh, but it never seems to be fresh when I order it. To the second point, I simply don't find the punch in the ingredients hiding inside my less-than-fresh bread. To top it off, I don't even get a lot of said ingredients. It reminds me of an episode of Tiny Toons where they were making fun of Roseanne Barr and she utters the line, "this food is so bad, and such small portions." I am dangerously skirting that here, but my feeling is that, at $7+ for a sandwich, I should either a) enjoy the food, b) get a lot of food, or ideally c) both. The thing is, since I keep succumbing to Subway, albeit about bi-annually, I can't even fault anyone else for going there. Dear Diary, I pledge no more Subway as I feel like vomiting after eating a Chicken Parm sandwich that was lukewarm and had marinara sauce siphoned from the meatball bath. My choice of sandwich could have been my downfall, but illness has befallen me at the hands of plain turkey and sweet onion teriyaki as well (I have an unadventurous Subway palette).

On the plus side it reminded me of Tiny Toons and brought to mind this video for They Might Be Giants' "Istanbul." Also, I was reminded of this Indian movie I was an extra in a few years back, which starred Ahsaas Chana, a young girl portraying a young boy. Apparently things with this child actor are not peachy keen (first story on link).

Anyway, I'm going to go continue feeling sick. Take care.
Thanks for stopping by…you stay classy Planet Earth.