Monday, April 30, 2007

Great Simpsons quote

Last night had a great quote from Bart. He walks into the kitchen to see Marge looking forlornly out the window. He asks her, "What's wrong?... Thinking about your marriage?" Classic.

Well over the weekend a friend of ours who we play Mah Jong with was in California and found a beautiful Mah Jong set for us. I'm excited to see it, as I made the mistake of buying one off eBay from China. You know, when something is too good to be true, it has a 99.999% probability of being not quite what you're expecting. I found a beautiful Mah Jong set (at least from the pictures) and no one had bid on it. I vacillated over whether or not to buy it and when there was only a couple hours left on the bidding, I decided to go for it, as there were STILL no bids (talk about a warning flag!) Anyway, when the auction closed, I was the only bidder, and so got the set for 99¢! Unfortunately, I had to pay $100 shipping from Shanghai! Still, I thought $100.99 was pretty good for such a beautiful set. Well, a couple of days later, I got the set in the mail and it was a brand new "antiqued" reproduction that we ended up having to take Sharpies to to make the markings and details show up. To top it off, the box has to be laid flat... if you try to pick it up by the handle, all the tiles fall into a jumbled mess at the bottom of the box.

Needless to say, I've got high hopes for this set that is coming, but I'm going to wait until I see it with my own two eyes before I pass judgement. I've become so jaded!

Friday, April 27, 2007

One, two, three, four. I declare a flame war!

Gee, who would have thought that "oy" could elicit the most comments on my blog since I wrote that post condemming the Iran-Contra affair. Who would have thought? Two little letters, so much trouble (and Don Imus would probably say the same thing!) And in my defense, I think that "oy" belongs to the world now. If suburban Utah wives can use the phrase "bling bling" then I feel comfortable embracing my Yiddish vocabulary. Well, at least that ONE word. (Although schlep comes in handy on occassion.)

On to another controversial topic: Hello Kitty! Last week, Margaret got tired of wearing the provided life jackets at her dragon boat practices. (They smelled like they'd been doused in sweat and toxic waste, then allowed to fester in an enclosed space for days at a time... oh wait, that's because they HAD BEEN! They truly did smell terrible; Margaret came home from practice smelling like she was a homeless person or a Kentuckian. Anyway, she bought her own life jacket and proceeded to make it her own by designing a Hello Kitty patch for it where Hello Kitty was dressed in a leopard-print dress (Margaret's signature pattern) and holding a dragon boat paddle. When she unveiled it at Monday's practice, she was flooded with compliments... most of which came from the high school team that practices at the same time. To top it off, she replaced the brand patch on the front with a Jem and the Holograms logo. Too cool! By the way, when I was looking for a picture of Hello Kitty for this post, I came across this one and couldn't help but post it. It's a scene from the new movie "Sweet Carnage: The Bloodening."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Censorship

Much like Don Imus, I'm being silnced because I'm in the wrong demographic to use a term... only the one I used wasn't offensive (as far as I know). I've been forbidden to use the Yiddish word "oy" on future postings by a friend who's Jewish. I hate it when people throw the race card back in my face. Usually I get away with quite a bit, being from an oppressed segment of society but I guess the conjunction between the two just cancelled the system out.

And here I was thinking that "oy" was an ancient Nez Perce tribal word! (Actually, there is ONE similarity between Nez Perce and Yiddish that I know of. The Nez Perce word "tookis" means a handled root-digging stick and the Yiddish word "tuckus," I'm sure you all know, means a rear end. Well, we always got a laugh whenever we heard people talked about sitting on their tuckus, which made us think of the uncomfortable situation of sitting on a sharp metal point. I don't think there were many Nez Perce who ever sat on THEIR tookis.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Stupid American cars

Oy! I had to drive somewhere yesterday for work and so they got me a rental car. I told them I wanted a Cadillac Escalade, but instead they got me a Ford Focus! Talk about uncomfortable, personality-less, and poor radio reception! Anyway, I ended up having to drive several hundred miles in it during the course of the day. Well, this morning when I woke up, I couldn't hardly move as my back was so out of whack. That happens almost every time I ride in an American car... it's the cushy La-Z-Boy recliner-like seats that are comfortable for a two-block drive to the drive-thru window but not for any serious driving. Give me a Japanese or European seat any day. (I'll end my snobbish rant now.)

Speaking of questionable automobiles, I remember one time in Norway when my companion backed into a cement mixer (the little ones you plug in, not the big trucks) and damaged the rear end of our VW. Well, the loaner we got while ours was getting repaired was a Sk├┤da. We'd never heard of that car brand before. It turned out to be Czechoslovakian. It didn't have any carpeting or noise reduction, the posture-perfect chairs were just bolted to the metal floor, and you could look at the moving road through the gap in the gear shift. It was all the amenities we'd imagined from behind the Iron Curtain. Fortunately we only had to drive it for a couple of days before we were back in the German-engineered splendor of our VW Golf.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Zooom!

Well, I finally got to try the new Diet Coke Plus. Wow! I had my first dose can for breakfast and already I feel the rush of potential and possibilities opening up to me this morning. Like I'm on top of the world and that nothing can get in my way. Like my heart is pumping 220 beats per minute. Like sweat is pouring off my red face. Gee, what's going on here? Just kidding... although any energy gain benefits I might have experienced will soon be stiffled when I have to attend our weekly managers' meeting this morning. That'd be enough to drain even Richard Simmons of energy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ahhh, Portland!

Walking back from the gym today, there were two skateboarders walking in front of us. As we approached them (they were walking pretty slow... like an amble, or even a mosey... we could smell that they weren't smoking a cigarette but a marijuana joint! Right on the streets of Portland! In broad daylight! We were getting a laugh out of it, but an older guy in a suit was getting out of his car just as they walked by and smelled it, too, to which he just harrumphed (or maybe it was more of a disparaging snort) either way, you could tell the guy just got confirmed everything he'd heard about Portland.

Employment perks

I just saw an ad in this morning's paper that should have people lining up to apply. It was in the employment section and a 1/4 page ad read: "Learn How [I don't know why they capitalized How... maybe to hearken back to Thurston Howell the Third, as in you'll become as rich as he was with this job] you can earn $50k per year While eating Mounds of Delicious Pancakes! Wha? Nothing says a classy job like luring people to carb-load.

The job is for an ad sales job for the local newspaper (which makes their egregious capitalization mistakes even more maddening). I guess they know the demographic and what would lure them to apply. To lure my demographic, they'd have to offer something a bit more significant... like A NEW CAR! That or a huge bag of peanut M&Ms.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Vitamin overdose

Oh my gosh! I'm going to be able to get 278% of my USRDA doses of a number of essential vitamins and minerals pretty soon. And it's not by eating my usual 6 Flintstone's chewable vitamins or gnawing on iron ore either. (Although I'll still keep taking the vitamins... I just love the orange Betty's. I'll be happy to give up the iron ore, though-- my teeth are turning red!) No, I'm talking about a product from The Future©! As Nostradamus fortold, the three things that will herald in the next stage of human development are: personal flying cars, warp engines, and soft drinks that are good for you. Well Coca-Cola recently announced the release of the last one: Diet Coke Plus! Yes, that simple "plus" translates into a good source of vitamins B3, B6, and B12 and the minerals zinc and magnesium! It's the official drink of George Jetson! With only 15% of the USRDA per serving, I'll totally have an excuse to drink a six-pack... you know, for the nutrients.

Now if they'd make kettle corn full of all the other vitamins and minerals, I'd be all set.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Drawbacks of germaphobia

Last night I had a late meeting for work. We'd invited a group of people and plied them to attend with the promise of food (something that almost NEVER fails to work). Well, the last time we met at that location, the only thing I could eat was the dinner salad as all the other items had MSG and being rushed to the emergency room isn't my idea of a good time, nor is it conducive to a productive meeting. Well, the food we offered last night LOOKED good, but since it was potentially poisonous to me, I decided to graze on the cheese and fruit plate. I didn't commit to a plate, but instead would grab a piece at a time. Well, one of the attendees brought her little girl... who was 4 or 5 years old... who made a beeline to the food table and started pawing through the cheese. That by itself wouldn't have been THAT bad, but as she was finishing up loading her plate to capacity, she SNEEZED all over the food... and not a dainty little sneeze, but a juicy, runny nose sneeze! That halted my grazing for the evening. Fortunately they had lots of Diet Pepsi, so that completed my dinner for the evening. Of course I didn't want to ruin everyone else's dinner, so I just kept quiet about it.

Which reminds me of a story my aunt told me. She had made some punch that took some elaborate preparation. It was sitting out in the kitchen and so at some point in the family get-together, she went to the kitchen to serve the guests. When she got to the kitchen, she let out a gasp as she saw that one of her nephews had put a FLYSWATTER in the punch bowl!!! When queried by the people in the living room as to why she'd gasped, she said, "Uh, nothing," and proceeded to serve the punch. When they noticed that she wasn't having any, she just told them that she really didn't want any. I guess what people don't know really doesn't hurt them... unless of course its me...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Perfect Election Storm

Did you see today's numbers for the presidential candidate's campaign funds? The Democratic leader is Hillary at $26 million and the Republican leader is MItt Romney at $24 million. If the American democratic system has taught us anything it's that the winner is the one with the most money, so this could be a showdown between these two. I hope it comes to that, just because I would love to see what happens to all the fundamentalist Southerners when they're confronted with a choice of Hillary or a Mormon. One of two things could happen: they could implode (dang... there goes the South); or they could secede (dang... there goes the South).

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Nightmares

Don't you love that feeling of being startled awake from a nightmare and the relief that it was only a dream? That you've escaped the monster or knife-wielding maniac or aggressive Mormon missionary? Well I had such an experience this morning. When I woke up, it was with such a relief that my sigh of reassurance woke up Margaret and so she asked me what had gotten me so aggitated. She was thinking that I'd had a dream that there was an intruder in the house or that the Constitution had been altered to allow W to run for a third term or something. Well those scenarios PALE in comparison to the horror of this nightmare. I dreamt that I was with my family at some sporting exhibition and the next event was figure roller skating. As they were prepping the arena, an announcement came over the PA system, listing ME as the first competitor in the men's figure roller skating competition, with the musical accompaniment being Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy!" I looked back at my brother Jarrod, who admitted to signing me up. I can't describe the feeling of dread I experienced in the eternity between trying to come up with the choreography for a skating routine and when my brain mercifully woke me up. What a nightmare! My brain should have known that my skating routine is set to "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Wrong side of the bed

I am constantly amazed at some people's ability to view any interaction with another human being as an opportunity for conflict. This morning on the train to work, a guy was standing in the bike rack area, which isn't a problem, since there weren't any bikes on at that point. Well, when a bicyclist got on at a later stop and asked the guy if he could move over so the bike could be placed in the rack, the standing guy completely threw a fit and couldn't believe that the bicyclist would have the NERVE to ask him to move. Words were exchanged and the guy standing beneath the bike rack just told the bicyclist that there were other bike racks on the train and to use one of them. Like it would have incovenienced the guy to move 6"!

Although that reminds me of an incident at Fred Meyer. When they'd just installed those self-service check-outs, we decided to give it a try. We didn't notice that the limit was supposed to be 10 items and we probably had more like 20. (I know, don't you just HATE those people!) Well the machine was giving us grief, not scanning correctly, or we didn't have the stock number for the produce, or whatever. Needless to say, we were getting anxious, as we could tell the overseer clerk was giving us the evil eye. Well finally the clerk came over to give us some help and pointed out that the machines were for 10 items or less and a completely exasperated, yet nonplussed Margaret looked at her and said, "Well there's TWO of us!" The clerk didn't have a retort, so left us in peace while we checked out. Score one against the machine!