4/26/06

Somebody moved my shit. I think.

How many of you married guys have ever asked your wives this question:

“Have you seen my {article of footwear, clothing, tool, car keys, mp3 player, etc.}”

I am willing to bet that a lot of you have. To a guy, this a simple yes or no question. To the woman he lives with, it is not.

Let me give you an example. Suppose that you are a guy, and you are going on an excursion to the hardware store for some guy-type stuff. As you are walking out the front door, you attempt to grab your keys from off of that little table in the foyer next to the front door where you left them. It turns out that you are unable to do this, because the keys are no longer there. This is a mystery to the guy mind. “They were there,” you think to yourself. “But….they no longer are.”

Your mind flashes to yesterday, when you came in the door and tossed your keys on the table. In your mind, you see them hit the table, and slide an inch to the rear. Your ears hear their distant, phantom jingle. You see the light reflect off the shiny new brass house key you just had made. No doubt about it. The keys were there at some point in the recent past. You can feel it. So the only conclusion is this: The keys have been moved. You are almost 23% sure of this fact. There is a reason that this percentage is so low, and we’ll get to that in a moment.

The next step, obviously, is to inquire as to the key’s whereabouts with the other co-habitants of your dwelling. If you live alone, you can stop reading this now, because it does not pertain to you. If you live with a room mate of the same sex, this also does not pertain to you. Otherwise, walk with me.

What usually happens next is that you yell something along the lines of:

HONEY?? HAVE YOU SEEN MY KEYS?”

Pay close attention, because this is where things move outside the realm of guy think. As I said -- to a guy, this is a simple yes or no question. Either the keys have been seen, or they have not been seen. There should be a 50% chance of either an answer that will help you, or an answer that will not. Either one is OK, because as a guy, you are simply employing the process of elimination to determine the possible location of your keys, and if a witness can be had, this is always helpful.

So do you get a yes or no answer? No, you do not. If you live with a woman, you will most likely get one of the following answers:

1. If you didn’t leave your keys all over the place maybe you’d be able to find them. Did you check {insert obvious place here}?

2. They are probably still right where you left them.*

3. Well, I didn’t touch them.**

4. Did you check the hook (where they are supposed to be?) Note: the part in parenthesis is usually not said out loud, but it doesn’t have to be. All guys will hear it as if it had been screamed into a megaphone. Also, “the hook” refers to an arbitrary decorative hook or group of hooks set aside by your wife specifically for keys, and as such, is the only acceptable and logical place for keys to be deposited immediately upon entering the house.
As you can plainly see, all of the previous answers could have been covered by a simple “No.” And keep in mind that a simple “No” will not aggravate. It will not annoy. It will not do anything except impart a single, valuable piece of information. To wit, whether or not the keys have been seen. Period. That’s the only answer a guy really cares about when it comes down to it, and this is precisely why a woman will never give it.

If, on the other hand, she actually has seen the keys, and has actually moved them, you will get one of the following answers:

1. If you didn’t leave your keys all over the place maybe you’d be able to find them. Did you check {insert obvious place here}?

2. They are probably still right where you left them.

3. Well, I didn’t touch them.

4. Did you check the hook (where they are supposed to be)?

You will notice that these answers are exactly the same in either case. This is not an accident.

You may also notice that in the second list of possible answers, answer #3 is a blatant lie. This is not to say your wife is a liar. Far from it. This is the literal truth – as she remembers it. She really has absolutely no recollection of moving the keys, even though she obviously did, and if there was a hidden security camera above the hallway table it would show her walking by, sighing, grabbing the keys, and hanging them on the appropriate decorative hook.

There are many reasons for this behavior, and most of them have to do with the difference between how a guy’s mind keeps track of things as compared to a woman’s mind. A guy remembers where things are by picturing where he left them last. A woman remembers where things are by picturing where they belong. I have to say that the woman’s way is much more logical, however it takes more effort than most guys will want to expend. Somehow, a woman is born with this capability, and somewhere deep in the primal reptilian portion of her brain, she has an unconscious ability to put things away without even thinking about it. And that is why a woman will swear up and down that she never touched your keys, even though we have the hidden video and, if we were so inclined, the fingerprints to prove it.

Think of it this way: A guy’s mind is like a 60” flat screen TV with post-it notes stuck all around the edges. On each note is the location of something we put down somewhere. We know exactly where those somethings are, because we have the post-it note and we can reference that at any time. A woman’s mind stores information such as this in a mental file cabinet full of file folders, each cross referenced and color coded alphabetically by item and location.

The problem occurs when the woman stumbles upon an item the guy has already written the location of on one of his mental Post-it Notes and decides to move it to where it belongs, and then add its location to her file cabinet. She will do this with much sighing and muttering, and she will also derive satisfaction from a job well done, because women are like that. Meanwhile, the guy is blithely watching his 60” mental TV (which is probably showing porn or sports or, in a perfect guy world, porn-sports) and he is completely unaware that one of his Post-It Notes has just become obsolete.

Until, that is, the time comes when he needs to find whatever it was that was written on it. He will think to himself, “Hmm…where did I leave my tape measure?” and that particular little Post-It Note will flutter down off the mental TV and he will pick it up and read it.

It will say something like, “Tape measure: placed in the little basket on the bathroom counter that holds the cotton balls and Q-Tips.” So he will go to the bathroom and find the little basket with the cotton balls and Q-Tips and the tape measure will not be there. Granted, it probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but still, he is almost 23% sure it was there at some point, because the mental post-it note in his mental hand is telling him that it was.

Invariably, what will happen next is the familiar sequence of “Have you seen my tape measure? It was right here in this basket,” and the answer of “No, I didn’t touch it,” and the hidden video camera, had it really existed, would have clearly shown her picking up the tape measure and tossing it in the kitchen junk drawer while on the way to emptying the bathroom garbage can. It is this automatic behavior that drives the guy nuts, and is completely responsible for the fact that he is, at any given time, only 23% sure of where he left any of his stuff, and has no real idea that the remaining 77% of his post-it note inventory is total crap.

Here’s a real-life for instance.

Last night, I hung the particular pair of jeans I wanted to wear to work over the railing by the stairs so I didn't have to dig them out of the closet in the morning. I did this so that in the morning I can just grab a shirt and underwear from the dresser, grab the jeans from the railing, hit the shower (sans clothes), get dressed and be in the car thirty five minutes after my alarm clock goes off. This morning, I stumbled to the stairs, grabbed my pants on the railing, and…no, actually I didn’t grab them because they were no longer there. Somehow, they had been put on top of a laundry basket of other clean clothes in the next room. I am guessing that they did not look very good hung over the railing, and had the camera crew for Better Homes and Gardens made a surprise appearance at our house at 10:30 PM, it could have been a complete and utter disaster.

Seriously, I have taken milk out of the fridge, walked to the pantry, grabbed a box of cereal and by the time I turned around again, the milk was back in the fridge. I kid you not.

She is that efficient.

Once a woman realizes she has this power, she can begin to use it toward her own ends. Say for instance her husband pissed her off. Also say he only pissed her off slightly, so she doesn’t really want to get into a full-blown fight, because that will simply upset her, which she also does not want.

So she thinks for a bit, and decides that she will clean his office. The reason she decides to clean his office is not because she wants to do something nice for him. Hardly. It's because that is where the highest concentration of mental post-it notes can be found, and she wants to screw with them. A lot. (A quick note to my wife: I'm not talking about you, of course. But now that I've thought of it, I will have to pay more attention and see if there is any correlation between my pissing you off and my office getting cleaned.)

So she will move stuff, clean stuff, stack stuff, throw out stuff, and relocate stuff to the basement. When she is done, the office will look fantastic, which makes her happy, and the guy in her life will not be able to find a single thing in there, which also makes her happy, because she just got even with him and he can’t get pissed at her. She will say “Honey, I cleaned your office for you. It looks so good, doesn’t it?” adding a silent “you bastard” to the end of the sentence, knowing full well that he can’t really complain about it because she has just done something "nice" for him. All he can do is sit, bewildered, as thousands of mental post-it notes fly off his mental TV and flutter around his ears. It’s the perfect revenge crime.

The guy cannot win this battle unless he takes the drastic step of deciding to live alone and therefore only having himself to blame for not being able to find things. This is kind of like cutting off the arm to fix the hangnail, so in reality all he can do is continue to leave shit all over the place, and hope that he can remain 23% positive that he is not losing his mind because nothing is ever where he thinks he left it.

Now where the hell did I put my car keys? Oh yeah, I think they're on the kitchen table. Hmmm. I guess not. Maybe that was yesterday or something. Ah, there they are, right on the hook (where they belong.) The funny thing is, I am pretty sure I didn’t put them there.

But I could have.

Maybe.

I’m about 77% sure I didn’t, though.


*implies that the keys are probably someplace they clearly do not belong, and have been in that particular location for way too long.

**a masterstroke of tactical genius - four words that immediately cut off any attempt by you to accuse her of moving them, and also seizes first-strike capability in any argument that may follow.

4/24/06

Once upon a time.

Lo, many years past and once upon a time, a lone Johnny didst inhabit a cube on the third floor of the wood near the enchanted window.

It was a good cube, and it had all the comforts of home, and for the most part Johnny was happy there. There was one problem however. In the next cube over, across the mystical aisle, a horrible cackling ogre didst live. She was not evil, no -- However, 'twas her nature to annoy the Johnny by virtue of her cackling ogre personality. The ogre of the aisle was the loudest, most raucous ogre in all the land. Legends were told of her laughter, which was like that of a mad demon eating the souls of the damned. Everything the cackling ogre did, she did with verve and zest and other words normally used to describe the hyperactive hard-of-hearing with no "inside" voice.

After many clashes and some harsh words, Johnny abandoned his wonderful cube by the wonderful window, and moved all his belongings to the other end of the row, in order to avoid that most distasteful of chores, the thrashing of the ogre.

Ogre assault and battery thus avoided, Johnny lived in relative harmony, until he and the other people in his village were moved to the 5th floor. The fifth floor was at first bountiful -- the restrooms were uncrowded, the air clean and silent, the villagers happy. Soon however, the interlopers came, and the fifth floor was inundated with loud talkers, whistlers, cellphone Ali-Babblers, no-hand pissers and other assorted riff raff. Still, Johnny and his close compadre Gutu Notunobu enjoyed a relatively peaceful existence in the back of the woods near the window, watching each others' backs. Other than the occasional clash with the more obnoxious interlopers, life was good.

There was a problem hiding in the wood, however, as there always seems to be in tales such as this. You see, Johnny and Gutu did not own the land they lived and worked -- it belonged to the great Margerine and her merry man Peterstone.

It came to pass that Johnny and Gutu and their brethren and sistren were again to be relocated. In an effort to appease Johnny and Gutu, The Peterstone assured Johnny and Gutu of the prime cube locations. Much sighing was sighed, muttering was muttered, and boxes were boxed, and a whole bunch of shit was tossed out. And so it was that Gutu and Johnny moved their stuff, and life was again full of adjustments and upheaval.

At first, the new forest was to Johnny's liking. He was by himself in a quiet back cube with a wide open space between his cube entrance and the vast, glittering sunshine-filled window. Gutu was less lucky -- she was placed within arms length of the subjects over which she ruled. It was not a good situation for a ruler who was used to ruling from afar -- but she made due, and made plans. Plans to move outside the village walls.

As it usually is the first day in a new wood, Friday was full of exploration and wonderment. It was a happy day, and all was well.

However, there was another evil lurking.

Waiting to spring.

At the beginning of a fair new week, Johnny arrived at his new digs to find a conference table and 4 chairs in the clearing behind his cube, nary 10 feet away as the crow flies, had there actually been a crow loose in the building, which there was not. So you will have to take my word. It was right the fuck on top of Johnny.

And that was not the horror of this tale, oh no.

No, the true horror was revealed upon closer inspection of the interloper's chairs. Each chair had a sticker on the back, and on the sticker was a name.

The name of the horrible cackling ogre, who had moved into a cube not 30 feet from Johnny after he left the forest wood on Friday afternoon!

The horror could not be contained, and thusly, a rare post about the workplace didst make its way unto Johnny's blog for all to see.

Mother fucker.

4/21/06

$ensory Overload.

I get roughly 937 catalogs in the mail every day. I would estimate that on any given day, about 314 of them are Victoria's Secret catalogs, and I'm not complaining about that because a man can never have too much Gisele. I would, however, like to complain about the other catalogs, because they are generally from companies I've never ordered from, or in most cases, even heard of.

Today I stumbled on a catalog for a place called Free People, and they are trying to be fresh and funky, along the lines of Anthropologie. Anthropologie tends to hire some "unusual looking" models -- not what you'd normally call model material.

It seems that Free People is taking a similar approach. In fact I believe they've taken it several steps farther, and actually hired homeless crack addicts as their models. From looking at some of their fashions, I am guessing that their clothing designs are inspired by this same subculture.

On the first page I turn to is this beauty:



Not terrible at first glance, right? Once you get past the toothpick-like arms, the inverted breasts and the fact that you can actually almost see her skull through her skin, she is not quite attractive in a Mischa-Barton-on-the-third-day-of-a-meth-bender sort of way.

But let's take a closer look:



Holy orthodontics, Batman! This chick has a gap between her teeth that David Letterman could crawl through sideways.

This is a full-blown case of Toofs. No question.

I have no idea what possessed the art director of the magazine to have her actually open her mouth during the photo shoot, but there it is.

I am thinking they should maybe change the name of the store to Dentist-Free People.

4/20/06

The only way to truly kill it is to love it a little.

I passed my favorite local fire house today, and I was pleased to see that the sign out front was no longer telling me that unattended candles could kill me. Instead, it was informing me that Steve Spitnick won an award for "most improved firefighter in 2006."

I'm guessing that he really sucked before.

I can just imagine Steve's performance and appraisal review for the 1st quarter of this year:

Steve has shown improvements in many areas. He is fast becoming a credit to our volunteer fire-fighting organization. Specific improvements in the last 4 months include:

No longer starts and/or spreads fires by mistake.

Has learned to point giant, high-pressure water hose at source of flame rather than at other firefighters or own face.

No longer calls the Seagrave Pumper #7 "that big one whut squirts water."

No longer runs out of buildings screaming "We're all gonna die! We're all gonna die!" when he smells smoke.

Has substantially reduced periods of unconsciousness since learning to turn on oxygen tank before placing oxygen mask on face.

No longer completely terrified of the fire house siren. (Still whimpers, but has shown marked improvement.)

Can finally watch the movie "Backdraft" without getting a semi everytime Kurt Russell is on screen. (honor system)

Has finally stopped asking when he gets to save a kitten from a tree. (Note: Has also stopped putting kittens in trees.)

Recommendation: Most Improved Fire Fighter Award.

I, for one, and proud and happy that Steve received this award. So join me in offering congratulations to Steve for his accomplishment. He clearly deserves it for all his hard work and dedication to his pyrotechnic career choice.

4/16/06

I found my thrill.....

Since I'm lazy and all the blog entries I have waiting in the wings will require effort and/or some small amount of research, I have decided to procrastinate once again and simply let Site Meter do my work for me. So without further ado, here's my favorite searches for the last week or so:

Fantastic Google Searches That Somehow Led People To My Site

muh testicles are in a death grip - Listen carefully and I will help you. Look around your immediate vicinity. You should see one or more things that look similar to this:



The color and/or size may vary, but the overall appearance should be similar. This is a hand. Now, once you find this hand, examine it closely, because it may be wrapped firmly around one or more of your testicles. If this is the case, follow the hand upward. If it is connected to your own arm, simply relax the hand and the pain in your testicles should go away momentarily. If it is connected to someone else's arm, then there is not much I can do. I suggest pleading for forgiveness and promising that you will never stray again. You could also try saying that she meant nothing to you. But be aware that this never works in movies so it probably doesn't work in real life either.

butt paste and monistat - Um, sounds like you have a big weekend planned. Don't forget to take pictures.

minute-long sex - I admire a man who aspires to greatness. Way to raise the bar, my friend.

how to puke at an amusement park - There are very few hard and fast rules here. In fact, I am willing to bet that in an amusement park, almost anything goes. That is not to say there is no vomiting etiquette at all. It goes without saying that you should attempt to avoid getting it on yourself and others near you, and making others listen to and/or smell your ex-lunch is also frowned upon. Since you asked for tips, however, I feel I must give you some sort of advice. So here you go: If you are on a rollercoaster that has a loop, do not puke while at the apex because the possibility exists that you might actually meet your own puke at the bottom. Don't ask me how I know this.

fresh smelling vagina - I am pretty sure I just saw an ad for this. I think it's the newest scent in the Glade plug-in product line. (Very popular with first year computer science majors.)

preventing odors in a travel trailer toilet - There is only one way to prevent odors in a travel trailer toilet and that is to not crap in it.

roomba female hygiene - If you are so incredibly lazy that you need a roomba to get things all spiffy down there, then you have more problems than I can solve for you on my humble blog.

ingesting monistat during oral sex - You know what? You deserve whatever happens to you. That's the problem with people today. It's all about instant gratification. Wait 3 or 4 days for chrissake.

hydrogen makes a popping noise when lit? - Yes, you could say that. The popping noise is sort of the reason why they don't use hydrogen in blimps or zeppelins anymore. Here is a picture taken in 1937 at the exact moment the popping noise was heard:



ebola virus vs leprosy - Ladies and Gentlemen...in this corner, weighing in at....well, at almost nothing...a fast moving virus that will cause massive hemorrhaging from every orifice of your body and kills 80% of infected persons within a few days......the one....the only....Ebola virus! And in this corner...weighing in at also almost nothing...a slow moving bacterial agent that takes years to kill and and mainly affects the skin and nerves of the extremities....the fearsome, and feared....Leprosy! This fight should be a doozy! Slow and Steady vs. Fast and Furious! May the best disease win!

why is all my toes numb accept for my big toe now its moved up my leg a little bit - Congratulations. You don't have Ebola. Or even the most rudimentary grasp of the english language.

Problem with Highlander and bad odor - Well it's like this: There can be only one. A little-known fact about The Gathering - not only does the cumulative power get transferred when someone's head gets chopped off, the cumulative body odor does as well. You can easily see that after a while, when you get down to just a few, the B.O. is almost unbearable. You thought Immortals could sense each other by some kind of magic? No. It's just that by now the remaining immortals reek so badly that it's pretty damn obvious when one is close at hand. So it's a constant struggle. Do I cut his head off? Sure, I'd be that much stronger, but I'll stink that much more. What good is being immortal if you can't get laid? None, I say.

after hernia surgery scrotums are blue? - If you are Papa Smurf perhaps this is a true statement. Which is to say that if they started out blue, you are probably OK. If you are not Papa Smurf, however, I would suggest getting your tidy bowl nuts to the doctor as soon as possible, because that shit ain't right.

4/13/06

I just snapped this 3 minutes ago



Nothing fancy - I held my digital camera up to the eyepiece of my telescope.

Sometimes it's hard to believe it's all up there.

Kinda puts us humans in perspective.

4/11/06

American Idle.

Around this time, I start to watch American Idol. I don't know why. Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment. In fact, I am watching it as I write this. Tonight it's Queen songs.

When it gets down to a handful, there's usually some talent there, and I find it entertaining to watch. This time, it's a bit up in the air for me. I don't really like any of them. Granted, they all sing better than I do, but they are on TV and thereby eligible for ridicule. With that in mind, here's my personal notes to the contestants and judges:

Kelly, stop smoking dope. You've heard the expression "on paper" before. I know it. And nice job with the Goth makeup. You scared the shit out of me. You looked like Daryl Hannah in BladeRunner.

Bucky, stop drooling on yourself, you goofy looking shit. Also, your jokes are not funny. Case in point: When someone says "You can say that again," repeating the last thing you said and then laughing like a hyena is not a funny thing to do.

Ace, you suck. Give it up. You carry a mirror in your back pocket. I know it.

Chris, sometimes I think you're OK, but then I can't get past this one annoying thing -- you have a very strange vibrato. You never quite sing, and you never quite make the leap into a rocking, screaming vocal. You get like three quarters of the way there, and then get that effing vibrato stuck in your throat and it makes you sound like you swallowed a car alarm.

Katherine, you are pretty cute. Stick with the Country songs and you'll do fine.

Elliot, go get your ears pinned back or something. And get rid of that Romulan hair cut. Also, as an aside, you turned "Somebody to Love" into a complete cluster fuck.

Taylor, you must never attempt to dance again. Ever. I have to say, though -- Not a bad honky-tonk version of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." It was like Gregg Allman channeling Freddy Mercury, although I am not at all sure Gregg would be OK with that.

Paris, you have the best voice of the bunch. You will be a force to reckon with in about 5 or 6 years. You even look cute tonight in a prostitot kind of way. Just be careful with the cheeseburgers so you don't go all Mandisa on your ass.

Paula, please just stop talking. Forever.

Randy, stop trying to act black. You're whiter than my Jamaican-American friend Special Dark, and that's saying something.

Simon. Ah, Simon. What can I say? I'm sorry you have sit next to Paula. The alcohol fumes must be unbearable.

4/10/06

Nudies?

My wife records Everyday Italian every day. Tonight after we watched 24, (incidentally, my adrenal glands were not made for this shit) she flipped on the dvr to check out today's episode.

Bobble-head Giada was making something out of spinach, cheese, ricotta and about a dozen eggs. She rolled them into balls and I swear she called it a nudie. I have no idea if that is the correct spelling or not, but it was worth watching it just to hear her say "You could use a spoon to mix this, but I like to use my hands, because then I can really feel the nudie."

I turned to my wife and offered to feel the nudie, but she was having none of it.

She hates when I watch this particular show with her, because I am always making comments about the size of Giada's head, the size of her boobs, and the size of her gigantic "I will eat your soul" smile. Also, whenever Giada pauses, I like supply the next word because that is not at all annoying. So, for instance, when Giada says something like, "And now, I add the secret ingredient..." I will make a sound like I am hawking up a loogie. Or when she says "And now we add..." and squeezes something from a tube, I will say "the tub and tile caulking."

Eventually, my wife just turns it off. Good times.

4/7/06

Lost and Found

Every week or so we get an e-mail from the security department that lists the stuff that people have turned in to the security desk. Jewelry, hats, scarves, pins, buttons, colon accelerator cards, you name it.

We got two in the last two weeks, and there's something I find a little odd. Tell me if you see it:


Lost & Found:

Turned in this morning: one faux pearl earring on a silver French hook.

If you wish to claim this item, please come to the Security desk.


Thank you,

Tim Smith

and this one:


Lost & Found:

Just turned in: one 14K gold threader earring w/ two twisted, dangling stems on a chain.

If you wish to claim this item, please come to the Security desk.

Thank you,

Tim Smith

OK, here's the thing. Don't those descriptions seem a little...flamboyant to you? Nothing against an accurate description, but these are creeping me out a bit.

In fact, I am willing to bet that Tim knows much more about playing dress-up than he lets on. He's never worn red pumps to work or anything, but still....lace panties aren't completely out of the question.

If I had been asked to send these emails they would have been more like "a gold earring, with some hanging thing, and some other hanging thing, and some chain....and - ah, fuck it. It's an earring. If you have one that matches this one, it's yours."

When I have time later, I will tell you all about Trident's new flavorific gums -- Tropical Twist and Watermelon Twist -- and why you should never, ever put them in your mouth under any circumstances.

4/3/06

Wrap that rascal.

If there's one thing I've learned living in the sticks, it's this:

If you've got a sweet ride, it's extremely important to have a car cover.



And if you've got a sweet car cover, it's extremely important to stack boulders on it to keep it from blowing away.