Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poet's Corner #001

Hello Faithful Readers and welcome to the very first installment of “Poet’s Corner.”

“Poet's Corner,” is set to be a new series of sorts here at "Blank Stares and Blank Pages."

What is “Poet's Corner” you ask, Faithful Reader?

Am I going to start laying down beautiful introspective poetry about how I am a sad, twisted and tortured soul?

Will this be yet another vehicle for me to express my deep desire for both Jennier Aniston and baseball?!

Am I going to write delightful sonnets to my sweet Grace?

Will this serve as an outlet for all of my built up hostility and aggression from dealing with library patrons who are all-kinds of whacka-doodles?

No, no…“Poet’s Corner” is here to serve an entirely different purpose.

With this new series, I want to pay homage to the completely random and often completely indecipherable spam emails that I receive here at work. I'd say that every single day I get probably three or four of these that slip through the spam filter and some of them are gems that almost read as some sort of new-age poetry. As such, I’ll give you the title of the spam email and the contents of the email.

This is going to be a wild-ride, folks…hold onto your bonnets.



--------------------------------


Poet’s Corner #001

Subject: Your Account was Banned

Body:

This is a joke :)

Was referable to her father, through the painful precious
things. And tomorrow morning we will a scared whisper to
his neighbour, i would leave his pocket, and making a loop
in one end, he put the next one, and to find instead the
soft drapery.



--------------------------------

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Day Grace Wronged Me

So Grace woke me up on Sunday morning at like 8:30...asking me if I wanted to go to McDonalds!!

What the heck, right?!

Logically this couldn’t have been the real Grace. No, no this had to be some sort of imposter Grace sent to assassinate me via cholesterol and sodium. Well, that or she suddenly has a thing for clowns who pimp fast-food for a living.

I mean it's got to be one or the other, right?!

I mean seriously, she has been adamantly pushing for me to eat less fast-food for years. Yet, now that I have two firmly established embargos against Burger King and McDonald’s…she is waking me up to ask me if I want to go to McDonalds?!

Come on, Grace are you trying to kill me here?!

The worst-part was her awful attempts to convince me to break my McDonald’s Embargo…

The Suddenly Diabolical Grace: “Come on…I’ll buy for you!!”
The Confused and Disoriented Me: “What?! I’d still be eating it! That breaks the Embargo!”
The Suddenly Diabolical Grace: “Oh come on, you’ve only had the McDonald’s Embargo for like a month and a half.”
The Confused and Disoriented Me: “And…”
The Suddenly Diabolical Grace: “And you won’t feel so bad if you break it…”
The Confused and Disoriented Me: “That’s awful!! I can’t break the Embargo. I just hit the one-year anniversary of the Burger King Embargo…I can’t lose this one after one month.”
The Suddenly Diabolical Grace: “I won’t tell anyone. It’ll be our little secret.”
The Confused and Disoriented Me: “Come on, Dude!! I’d know!!”
The Suddenly Diabolical Grace: “Lame…”

I eventually caved and went to McDonald’s with Grace, but only--and I do stress ONLY--as an innocent bystander.

While Grace waited in line to order--after one last ditch effort to get me to cave--I sat there looking around at all of the people snarffing down my beloved McGriddles and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits whilst I sat there, staring longingly at the menu board and the all-too-reasonable prices.

Grace has since told me that when she looked over at me sitting there I looked like a sad little street urchin staring unrequitedly into the windows of a candy store.

Then I sat--shaking like a coked out Chihuahua--and watched Grace devour a delicious-looking Sausage Egg McMuffin and hashbrown. It was rough sitting there amongst all of the delights of my past, but I stayed strong and prevailed over the delicious temptations.

Long live the McDonald’s Embargo…(unless Grace “The Mickey-D’s Temptress” catches me at a weak moment).

Great Moments in Cooking

I successfully made a grilled cheese sandwich this evening.

It is the first time I have ever done so…not that I haven’t tried, mind you. No, no there have been numerous failed attempts in the past.

All too often I’ve been known to butter the wrong side of the bread, leave the sandwich on too long so it burns, forget to butter the bread, not leave the sandwich on long enough so that the cheese doesn’t melt and/or butter both sides so that the bread sorta falls apart and the cheese burns onto the pan.

But tonight it all went right. The bread was perfectly golden-brown and crispy. The cheese was gooey and hot. Tonight was grilled cheese perfection.

It only took me a little more than a quarter century to master the intricacies of the grilled cheese…so I think there’s still some hope for my culinary endeavors!!

So if anyone is in the mood for a delicious and crispy, dairy-laden lunch…just swing on by, I’ve got you covered.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

BOA is DTM (pt.3)

Continued from BOA is DTM (pt.2)

I didn’t have a chance to call the folks at Bank of America again on Monday, as they were closed when I finished doing my laundry and I was at work all-day Tuesday.

So I figured since Wednesday is my day to go into work late, I’d use this morning as my chance to give them another call and introduce them to my angry voice.

Granted, I don’t know if I have a real “angry voice.”

Too be honest, I think the closest I can come to an “angry voice” is something that would more than likely be described as a “melancholy voice.”

Anywho…so I called up the ole Bank of America customer service hotline again and got some lady named Cheryl. I wasn’t messin’ around with Cheryl, no, no…she wasn’t going to get the friendly Midwestern-dude that Peggy got on my first attempt.

Cheryl: “Good morning and thank you for calling Bank of America, this is Cheryl, how may I provide you with world-class service today?!
Melancholy Man: “You could actually help me with my problem, unlike the last time I called Bank of America’s customer service…”

**A moment of awkward silence. My opening salvo has made connection.**

Cheryl: “Excuse me sir, I’d like to go ahead and apologize for whatever happened last time you called.”
Melancholy Man: “You know Cheryl…here’s what happened last time…I called in on Monday and spent damn near fifteen minutes on hold. When I asked to speak to a supervisor I was told she’d call back…but it’s Wednesday Cheryl and you know what…I still haven’t heard back. Call me crazy, but I don’t think she’s gonna call me, do you?!”

**Another moment of awkward silence.**

Melancholy Man: “So Cheryl, you can provide world-class service by giving me some actual customer assistance today instead of blowing me off like the folks on Monday..."

**Yet another moment of silence, but I can hear her typing.**

Cheryl: “Okay, Mr. Graves…I’m pulling up your record here and according to our notes here you were charged $39 for submitting your payment a day late.”
Melancholy Man: “Cheryl…let’s be real here…I sent that thing in…paid in full…four full days before it was due. I’ve got a Google map up right now and it’s only 338 miles from Cambridge, Massachusetts to Wilmington, Delaware...it's a five-hour drive. I've gotta think four days is pretty reasonable to get that check to you folks. So I’m going to safely say that I did my part by getting it paid…in full…and sent out on time. I can’t control the mail and I can’t control how or when you folks actually process my payment…can I, Cheryl?!”
Cheryl: “No you cannot, Mr. Graves.”
Melancholy Man: “Well then, since I did what I could…don’t you think hitting me with a $39 fee is a little outrageous?!”
Cheryl: “Mr. Graves, I am going to credit your account the $39.”
Melancholy Man: “Why thank you, Cheryl. That is quite kind of you.”

After that it was just a bunch of the usual “is there anything else we can do” and the attempts to talk me into adding another credit card to my stud stable of plastic purchasing power…all of which were rebuffed when I told her I couldn’t afford late fees on more credit cards.

We then bid one another adieu and I am a happy camper.

Do I feel a little bad for being the super douchey caller? Yes. I mean I’ve had to deal with plenty of those folks in my day.

In the end, however, good triumphed over evil and my douchey-phone-etiquette was totally necessary.

Graves - 1
Bank of America - 0

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

One Year Later

Holy Crappolla, Faithful Readers…I just realized that today is a landmark day in my otherwise relatively uneventful and mundane life.

That’s right, I just did a little research and it turns out that today is the one-year anniversary of my Burger King Embargo!!

That’s right folks, I haven’t had a bite of Burger King since March 24, 2008.

I realize that to any normal person this isn’t any sort of accomplishment that would merit bragging and/or a full-on blog entry. The thing is…when it comes to fast-food, I’m no normal person.

In fact, a quick look at my blog will show that I’ve written numerous entries pertaining to food…most often fast-food or my sad inability to survive on anything but fast-food.

This fact is evidenced HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and one of my personal favorites is right HERE.

Anywho, back to the point at hand…the one-year anniversary of the BK Embargo.

When we were living in Southie I was eating at Burger King anywhere from once a week at my best and probably five times a week at my worst.

It was tough to resist because it was nestled lovingly at the halfway point of my walk from the subway to my apartment, you can’t resist that type of convenience, especially when it comes with a dollar menu!!

On this day year, however, I came to the same realization that I recently did a month or so ago when I put my (currently) successful McDonald‘s Embargo into action.

It was on this day a year ago that I looked around that Burger King and realized that I recognized nearly every person in there and I was sure they recognized me.

That’s right, my dear Faithful Readers…I had become a regular!

That’s right, what Norm and Cliff were to Cheers…I was to freakin’ Burger King.

I think we all know that’s not cool.

VERY not cool.

So now I can proudly say that the first of my fast-food embargos has been successful. Sure, sure logic would say that a dude would be better served simply showing normal levels of self-control and eating Burger King or McDonalds or any of that crap once in a blue moon.

Unfortunately, basic logic doesn’t really work for me in these situations.

If I don’t use my own psychotic lust for competition (apparently competition against myself in this scenario) it is impossible for me to pull off this level or resistance.

I guess at this point, I'm happy I pulled it off. One year is pretty impressive, however, I’m not sure how to celebrate…

Do I go to Burger King and pig out and then wait another year to do it again?

Do I end the BK Embargo, being that I don’t live by a BK anymore and the desire for Quad Stackers and Chicken Sandwiches doesn’t run nearly as rampant.

Do I keep up the BK Embargo as is and keep on rockin’?!

Do I alter the Embargo allow myself the Burger King in airports and nowhere else?!

I leave the decision in the hands of all y'all, my Faithful Readers.

Choose wisely.

Monday, March 23, 2009

BOA is DTM (pt.3)

Nothing. Abso-f’n-lutely nothing!!

That is what I’ve received from the fine folks at Bank of America.

Now here I sit, nearly two and a half hours removed from my interactions with Peggy, just twiddling my thumbs and staring at my cell phone.

I’ve been waiting for this “veto-happy” supervisor to return my call, but as of yet…nothing!!

This is super-annoying, because my Monday plans of doing laundry and going the gym have already been thrown asunder by this entire late fee rigmarole.

I’d prefer not to have an important call about my bank information in a crowded and noisy laundromat, but it seems I really have no choice if I’m actually going to get my laundry done today.

So I’ve decided to head out into the world to do my laundry in the hopes that this supervisor will actually call me back at some point in the relatively near future…perhaps before my NEXT credit card bill is due.

Granted the odds are far more likely that I’ll end up doing my laundry, going to the gym, creating a cure for the common cold, putting an end to world hunger and somehow ridding the world of Paris Hilton before I actually receive any sort of contact from the aforementioned supervisor.

*sigh*

…and the battle wages on.

…to be continued…

BOA is DTM (pt. 1)


As of this moment, Bank of America is Dead to Me!!

Granted, this doesn’t mean I’ll be up and moving my accounts to another bank or anything, it just means I’ll be quite upset and let out a loud scoff at the mere mention of Bank of America going forward.

As I know all of my Faithful Readers are curious, knowledge-thirsty beings of light and goodness, I’ll let you in on the circumstances that have lead to this rant.

So I paid off all my bills the day they came in last month, as I usually do. I’d just gotten my state tax refund, so I was more than willing to pay off my MasterCard bill in full.

So I scribble out a check for $264.04 and stick that bad-boy in the mail on March 2nd. It is due on the 6th…so clearly that’s plenty of time for it to travel the 338 miles southwest to Wilmington, Delaware.

Well, last night I was opening this month’s bill and what do I find?! I’ve been kicked in the stones with a $39 late fee.

I’m thinking to myself, how can this be?! I paid it, in full even and sent it out on time…how the hell am I getting a $39 late fee?!

I flip through and see that the my payment was received and processed on the 7th. One day late.

$39 for one day?!

Seriously?!

I didn’t make that much in a day when I making pizzas at Godfather’s…granted that was glorified slave-labor, but whatevs…the point is $39 for one f’n day?!?!

It was paid in full. It was in the mail four days before it was due. Apparently it rolled into their hands one day after it was due and now I’m one the hook for $39?!

It was at this point, that I got a wee-bit pissed off. Who the hell charges a dude $39 when he’s just paid his bill off…IN FULL…like he does every f’n month.

So this morning I called the Bank of America Customer Service hotline and talked to a lovely lady named Peggy.

Peggy was quite nice in that angry middle-aged wife with empty-nest syndrome sorta way.

Peggy loved the fact that I was nice and polite and referred to her by her name. She even went as far as to thank me for making her morning, which I found to be quite pleasant.

The thing is, Peggy didn’t do me a whole lot‘o’good.

She put me on hold for nearly fifteen minutes. Probably some of the longest minutes of my life, because as it turns out the folks at Bank of America don’t use real music when they put people on hold.

No, no…they use some sort of horrendous collaboration of elevator music and ‘70s porn music…which somehow managed to contain both static and popping noises, as if Peggy were just holding the phone up to an old record player.

After I finally got Peggy back on the line, she apologized that her supervisor wouldn’t allow her to waive the fee.

I asked if it could be reduced and continued to explain that absolute ridiculousness of charging a guy $39 for paying his bill in full and sending it out on-time.

Peggy whole-heartedly agreed but told me she couldn’t do anything, because her supervisor had vetoed it.

I then asked to speak with her supervisor…but Peggy told me that her supervisor was in the middle of an important conference and couldn’t be disturbed.

It was at this point that I wondered how Peggy had managed to interrupt in the “middle of an important conference” to ask about my late fee in the first place. Unless Peggy was drinking the BOA Kool-Aid and gave me the veto herself.

At that point I lost all trust in Peggy. She’d gone to the Dark Side and there was no hope for her soul. I left my number for the supervisor to call and I bid Peggy adieu.

Now there is nothing left to do but sit and wait for the supervisor to call.


…to be continued…

Friday, March 20, 2009

Worst. Song. Ever.

So I've had this awful song stuck in my head for like a week now.

I've done everything I can think of to get it out of my lil brain. Pretty much the only thing left to do is jam pencils into my ear until I hit the part of my brain that is storing this abomination.


Big Fella?!

So I was wandering across the street to the Student Center to snag a burrito for lunch.

When I crossed the street there was some dude trying to get me to stop and listen to his lengthy diatribe about why I should give money to whatever fictional cause he’s supporting.

How did this man address me?

What friendly ice-breaker did he throw my way in an attempt to get me to pry open my wallet and throw a handful of bill his way?

“Hey…Big Fella!!”

That’s right…Big Fella!!

I mean, come on dude…Big Fella?!

Really…

To be quite honest, I thought the word “fella” died along with the rest of the Rat Pack, apparently I was mistaken.

That I guess I can shake off.

What’s bothering me now is the fact that he called me “BIG Fella.”

Why “big?!”

Was it the fact that I was crossing the street amongst an Asian tour group; the vast majority of which I towered over by a good foot or so?!

OR

Was it because I’m big…as in hefty…and all of my gym-going has been for naught?! Should I be running to a restroom to vomit or switching to some sort of water and celery diet?!



…the world may never know!!

Spring Survey

SPRiNG SURVEY


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yep...

Perhaps it's high time I find some new hobbies?!


Jenna Jameson’s Got a New Set of Twins

So I just read that the world’s most famous porn-star, Jenna Jameson, recently gave birth to twin boys.

And the father of these boys is former Ultimate Fighting champion, Tito Ortiz!!

Wow…just…wow!

Seriously, how does this stuff happen?!

I gotta be honest here folks…this is ripe for inappropriate comedic fodder.

I mean for starters, I could make some crass comment about how this isn’t the first time Jameson has had two dudes inside of her, but I’d like to think I’m above that…for the most part.

But let’s take a second and think about it…does this not feel like life imitating art…in a less sleazy, less sex-filled kinda way?!

Jameson is going to be taking on two guys (for the next eighteen years)…while Tito Ortiz watches. Does that not sound like the generic plot of dang near every one of Jameson’s cinematic adventures?

Aside from the headlines, how bad do you have to feel for these two babies?

I mean come on. The sons of Jenna Jameson and Tito Ortiz…I can only assume that 90% of each child will be comprised of collagen, silicone and HGH. Perhaps with a nice little dash of homicidal rage and blood lust mixed in to keep things interesting.

I guess the biggest concern would be when “Career Day” roles around in elementary school and they’re supposed to bring their parents in to tell all of their classmates what they do for a living…eeep!!

Perhaps I should start taking bets on how long it takes FOX or BRAVO or somebody like that to turn this into some sort of reality show.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lessons from the Gym: The TP

The Lesson: Toilet paper at the gym smells like independence.

I needed to blow my nose today at the gym, so I snagged some toilet paper and what did I discover?!

The toilet paper at the gym smells like the Fourth of July.

I don’t really know how and/or why it smells like the Fourth of July, but when I smelled that toilet paper the first place my brain went was to my Mama and Pappy’s place with some fireworks popping off in the background.

So even though I can’t pinpoint which part of the Fourth the TP reminds me of, I do know that it reminds me of the Fourth and I think that’s all the more I need to make the official decry that gym toilet paper equals independence!

Announcement

I need to make a brief, albeit important, announcement.

Soda is not hardcore.

This is something that’s bothered me for a very long time, especially when I’m working overnights, but has found its way to the forefront of my mind again tonight.

Some dude came up to the desk to check out some books. No big deal. That is pretty standard operating procedure for a library circulation desk.

Then he hoists up the contents of his other hand for me to see…like the way a dog would show you a squirrel it had just killed…and in that other hand he held two 20 ounce bottles of Mountain Dew in a plastic bag.

Rather than realize I didn’t care that he had forty ounces of the nectar of the Gods, he decided to go on a mini-rant about how he needed to stay up all-night long to write some big midterm and that these two bottles of Mountain Dew would probably keep him up for a week.

Honestly, I wanted to reach across the counter and bitch-slap this dude.

Mountain Dew?!

Really…

You need to stay up “all-night” to write a paper and you think a couple of Mountain Dews will get the job done?!

Heck, by his account he’ll not only be up all-night, but all freakin’ week as well.

What the hell does this dude think is in Mountain Dew? Last I checked it didn’t contain rocket fuel or any known club drugs.

Did he somehow call the wrong supplier when he’d originally intended to snag forty ounces of Columbian nose candy?!

Who knows.

What I do know is that as a dude who has done some massive up all-night action in the past, I get kind of insulted when someone comes in flaunting a soda as the most hardcore thing in the world to keep them up all-night.

One time I had a big ole Red Bull and then went to take a nap…how ya like them apples Mountain Dew guy?!

Now-a-days I have to get really hardcore energy drinks (read: Redline, Spike, etc…) to even feel any sort of energy buzz and that only works if I’ve not had another energy drink in a day or so.

As a caffeine addict, I want to make one thing clear to all y’all who are going to come wandering by the circulation desk…don’t go bragging to me about how your sodie-pop is going to wreak havoc on your sleep cycle…there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll beat you to death with the barcode reader.

To Fry or Not to Fry?!

You ever wish you could electrocute someone through the phone?!

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m not talking about zapping people to a crisp just because you can.

No…I’m only talking about using this intriguing new phone feature when it is absolutely warranted.

For instance, I had a big ole urge to fry some guy up Colonel Sanders style this evening.

The first offense was that his call interrupted a beautiful moment between me and a bag of Lays Jalapeno Kettle Cooked chips.

That offense, I was willing to forgive…the conversation that followed, however, had me wanting to press the phone’s “Extra Crispy” button.

Cap’n Charisma: “Barker Engineering Library…”
Extra Crispy: “I want a book.”
Cap’n Charisma: *cue fake laughter* “Well you’ve called the right place.”
Extra Crispy: “So you have my book?”

*SIGH*

This is where I realize this guy is going to score a big zero in the sense of humor department, so I dive right in with good ole library helpfulness to get to the root of the problem…

Cap’n Charisma: “I don’t know. What book do you want?”
Extra Crispy: “One I rented before.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Right, but do you know the title of the book you checked out before?”
Extra Crispy: “No, I rent lots of books.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay so you check out a lot of books…but you don’t know the title of this one?!”
Extra Crispy: “No, that’s your job. You’re the library.”

I’m not gonna lie, one of my biggest pet peeves in the entire freakin’ world is when people decide they want to educate me on what “my job” entails.

In my many moons as a library dude, patrons have been more than willing to inform me of many different tasks that are “my job” despite the fact that they don’t appear anywhere in my job description.

According to some lovely patrons from my past it is my job to do the following: remove post-it notes from books they’ve returned, clean-up after patrons who leave wrappers and bottles in the study spaces, fix books they’ve destroyed so that they don’t have to pay replacement fees, fix the computers, fix the internet, fix the printer, clean the keyboard for them—because the “k” is sticky and let’s be honest the list could go on-and-on-and-on.

Can I get an hallelujah from the library folks in the congregation?!

Cap’n Charisma: “Actually that’s not our job.”
Extra Crispy: “Yes it is. You’re the library.”
Cap’n Charisma: “No Sir, it is not. In fact, because of the Patriot Act we don’t keep any circulation records.”
Extra Crispy: “That’s stupid.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay…”
Extra Crispy: “I’m not American. Does that still apply to me?”

**BLANK STARE INTO PHONE**

Extra Crispy: “This is so dumb.”
Cap’n Charisma: “That’s great…there’s not a whole lot I can do about changing that rule.”
Extra Crispy: “Well who do I have to talk to?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Off the top of my head…I’d say you would have to start with the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries.”
Extra Crispy: “Oh…”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yeah, it’d probably be a bit more daunting than…I don’t know…remembering what books you check out.”
Extra Crispy: “I shouldn’t have to remember what books I check out. What am I paying you for?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Um, first and foremost…I don’t think that you are paying me for anything.
Extra Crispy: “But I purchase my library card.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yes and the MIT Libraries appreciate your patronage.”
Extra Crispy: “So I do pay your salary!!”
Cap’n Charisma: “Sir, I don’t want to sound insulting, but I don’t think that the $500 you paid for a Privilege Card is what’s keeping a roof over my head.”
Extra Crispy: “Oh…well…um…”

This is the point where I started to feel like perhaps I’d been just a little too hard on this guy. Sure he is kind of a mouthy prick who thinks it is some sort of tragic injustice that he should be forced to remember which books he checks out…but he’s still a library patron…granted, one who has just been put in his f’n place!! *BOOYAH*


Cap’n Charisma: “Right…back to the problem. Since you don’t remember the title…do you remember anything about the book? The author, perhaps?”
Extra Crispy: “You’re still helping me?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Yes Sir, that’s my job.”
Extra Crispy: “Well I don’t know the title or the author, but I can tell you what color it was.”

At this point I immediately had flashbacks to the young woman I’ve previously blogged about who came into the library with a very similar situation.

As such, I realized this situation was completely hopeless and rather than get into the long—and sadly quite necessary—lecture about how our books are in no way categorized by color, I chose to simply tell him that was no good and he should come in some other time to find the book.

I also politely recommended that he keep track of the books he checks out for future reference.

In the end, I got to play the role of friendly library dude, despite also playing the role of major douche somewhere in the middle.

But would I have electrocuted this dude? Maybe, needless to say I’d have had an itchy trigger finger.

I guess I will settle for the next-best-thing to electrocuting him over the phone…I’ll blog about him for the entire world (read: my small batch of Faithful Readers) to see so that they may join me in scoffing about his incessant douche-baggery. Sweet, sweet revenge.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Approaching a Milestone


Random Fact #329

When running on a treadmill I can only go in increments of half-a-mile per hour.

I don’t know if it’s some kind of wonky mental block or what exactly the deal is, but if the speed doesn’t end in “.0” or “.5” I can’t do it.

I’ve seen dudes get on the treadmill and run their little hearts out at 6.7 or 5.3 mph. Not me, I’m either 6.5 or 7.0. There is no middle ground.

It makes no sense. It is borderline psychotic, but that’s how it goes. Even my walking speed when I’m in the “cool down” phase has to be 3.5 mph. I’ve found that 4.0 is a little too brisk for a cool down and 3.0 is a little too slow.

And that, my Faithful Readers, is today’s random fact.

Use this knowledge wisely.

Lessons from the Gym: The Scale


The Lesson: Dudes love to get naked and weigh themselves, a lot.

When I started going to the gym, I figured I’d see a bunch of naked dudes. There’s really no working around it.

As much as my Jebus-fearing, Midwestern self is all about wearing the tiny, handkerchief-sized towels they give us to cover up, some other dudes just ain’t having it.

What I didn’t expect to see was a parade of these naked dudes marching toward the scale each and every time I’m in the locker room.

Apparently it is very important for men on the east coast to know what they weigh at all times. This isn’t that big of a concern in the ole Midwest, so it caught me a bit off guard.

I don’t know why these dudes are so concerned with their weight, but they are.

I’ve seen one dude weigh himself three times in under an hour. Pre-workout, post-workout and post-sauna. I don’t know how much weight he was looking to drop after ten minutes in the sauna, but I can only assume he didn’t meet that mystical milestone, because he looked dejected after each and every stop at the scale.

Today I watched an old dude--with only slightly less mobility than me--wander up to the scale and struggle to pull himself up to monitor his weight. Like seriously, he threw a towel around the back of the scale and used that to pull himself up and still need to use the nearby fan to propel the rest of his 98 pound frame up on the scale.

If you’ve ever watched a sixty-year old dude struggle to drag his naked ass up on a scale, then you know what a horrendous and emotionally scarring sight this is.

Now that I’ve learned this very important lesson I’ve determined that I have two options.

I can either begin weighing myself an inordinate number of times whenever I’m at the gym so that I can monitor my weight on an ounce-by-ounce basis.

--OR--

I can just move to a different locker…much, much further from the scale.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lessons from the Gym: The “Towels”

The Lesson: The folks who purchase towels for the gym have a sick sense of humor.

The first time I took a towel, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Now I know all too well.

The folks in charge of supplying gym members with towels apparently got together and decided that instead of hooking us up with real, adult-sized towels it’d be far more amusing to give us all hand-towels.

Heck, hand-towels is probably giving them a lot of credit. These things are more like handkerchiefs.

Overly starched, scratchy handkerchiefs.

These things don’t have enough fabric to hide Benny or the Jets (or any other generic, yet witty, nickname for male genitalia you may prefer). Yet they insist on handing us one of these like it’ll be all the towel we’ll ever need.

The worst part is if you’re in need of a second towel--you know, because you’re not a six-year old--they charge you another $5 on top of your gym membership.

It may be a steep price to pay for the right to borrow an extra towel, but I’ve determined that in the long run it’s well worth it to keep even a minor sense of privacy when wandering to and from the shower.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shout-Outs: Barker Storage Team

I just wanted to take a little space here to give some major props to my fellow members of the Barker Storage Team (Bethanie, Peter and Laura) for kicking some major journal-ass.

So to all my Faithful Readers, if you see any members of the team feel free to give them a high-five, fist-bump, bear-hug or slap on the ass (depending on which one is appropriate for the setting, of course).

For anyone in need of a little back story, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Barker Library is lovingly nestled beneath MIT’s “Great Dome.”

The Great Dome is prone to all-kinds of leaks. These leaks have escalated in recent years to a point that the uppermost floor of the library is no longer suitable for housing books.

As such, we were given the unenviable task of sending the entire collection on the eighth floor to off-campus storage.

In the end, we spent three solid weeks doing almost nothing but lugging cart after cart full of journals up and down the floors of the library. We would then begin the process of double-barcoding, changing statuses and locations in the online catalog and boxing up journal after journal.

It may not sound like a daunting task to hear it described, but ask anyone who has ever done a library storage project and they’ll tell you that these projects were initially created in a joint effort between the Devil, Hitler and Tony Danza as a way to keep good ole library folks weary and weakened for onslaughts at the hands of library crazies.

In closing, I’ll sum up the awesomeness of our storagerizing by giving you this one statistic…if you put all of the boxes we filled end-to-end they’d stretch over nearly five football fields.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lessons from the Gym: The Sauna


The Lesson: The sauna is the best and worst place in the entire world.

I’ve had many a post-workout sauna session in my six weeks at the gym; in fact, it has become my “treat” of sorts for working out.

What I’ve learned is that the sauna will either be awesome or it will be awful and nothing in between. Below I've listed the most common examples of an "awesome" sauna experience and the most common examples of an "awful" sauna experience.

Enjoy...

AWESOME:

a) You’re in there alone and can get your sweat on without any awkward naked conversation and you can dump as much water onto the faux coals as you see fit. It is peaceful and life is wonderful.

b) You’re in there enjoying the heat when Jennifer Aniston walks in with Amy Adams and you learn that it has just become a co-ed sauna. They bring beers, bacon and a big-screen TV that plays nothing but baseball games and baseball movies. Yet again, life is wonderful.

AWFUL:

a) There will be at least one dude sprawled out totally naked—man parts hanging out for the entire world to see—whilst he takes up an entire bench forcing the three other dudes to essentially sit on each other’s laps…not cool.

b) Some dude or dudes will want to make small-talk. When you don’t reply, they’ll call you out on it…like you’re the weird one.

c) Some dude will stare at you…a lot.

d) There will be a sick guy. He will cough and sneeze and hack and wheeze. You’ll spend the entire time you’re in the sauna wondering if the heat kills the germs or makes them both stronger and angrier.

e) You’ll be in there alone and think things are all cool. Then like eight guys will come in and you’ll all have to sit uncomfortably close to one another and stare at the ceiling to avoid making eye contact.

f) You pass out and die.

g) You catch some odd STD as a result of all the naked butts. Your girlfriend does not believe you. She kills you in your sleep.

h) Some old man, who is either asleep or dead, is propped up in the corner, legs dangling ominously over the water bucket and ladle. You want to add more water, but do not want to be reaching between his legs for a ladle…there is no right way to explain that. Honesty sounds just as bad as any lie you could come up with.

i) Birds attack.

j) You enter the sauna and there are two people on one bench and one guy on the other. Logically you sit next to the lone dude. The other two get up and leave. You have to decide quickly if it is more awkward to stay sitting by the other guy when the other bench is open or if he’ll be insulted that you leave and move to the other bench. Note: both of these will be deemed as offensive and/or awkward…this is a lose/lose situation.

k) You end up in the sauna with a man who challenges you to see who can take the heat the longest. Your overly-competitive nature takes over and you accept the challenge. You then find out he is from Africa and enjoys the heat. You inform him that he doesn’t know what heat is until he spends a summer in Iowa. Over forty-five minutes and nearly five full buckets of water on the coals later, he bails and you win. You get home and tell your girlfriend and she informs you that you’re stupid and could have died. You scoff at her and wonder why she looks like a corn dog. You realize you’ve melted part of your brain. You curl up and sleep in the vegetable drawer of the your fridge.

l) Birds attack a second-time—after weakening you the first go’round.

m) You realize you’re in the women’s locker room and sauna. This is cool for about 17 seconds. Then you are beaten senseless by members of the field hockey team and never seen or heard from again.

n) You’re in there with a co-worker.

o) You’re in there with a blind man who just sorta keeps feeling his way around.

p) Someone farts. It has nowhere to go. The heat only makes the fart more aggressive. Everyone dies of asphyxiation. It becomes one of the most popular unsolved mysteries of all-time.

q) Oprah walks in. (note: Oprah walking in is awkward in any and all situations for people not named Obama)

r) Some dude’s crazy girlfriend comes in and stabs him to death…and then gives you her number by writing it on your towel in her now ex-boyfriend’s blood. Before leaving she tells you that she’ll be very upset if you do not call.

s) The light goes out and it’s pitch-black.

t) Some guy brings in an apple and starts eating it. (tell me that’s not awkward as all-hell)

u) There is a pig resting on the floor and no one else finds this weird.

v) You’re in the sauna with some sort of sports team. They are all quite friendly and used to spending lots of naked sauna time together. You are the only one still wearing a towel and you can tell it angers them. You are then pummeled to death by a naked men’s rowing team. Worst. Death. Ever.

w) Garden gnomes attack, riding on the backs of birds.

x) Someone comments you on your physique. You sit in stunned silence not sure if you should thank them, attack them or give them your number.

y) You get up to leave the sauna, trip and fall face first into the faux-coals, thus hideously disfiguring yourself…all because you thought you were fancy and deserved a little time in the sauna as a “treat.”

z) You come out all pruney.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Motivational Seeker

Back in November, just prior to my 25th birthday, I wrote an entry entitled ”Five Good Years.” In that entry I rambled on and on (as I’m wont to do) about the numerous ways I was hoping to “better myself” as a 25-year old.

One of which I can now proclaim to have triumphantly accomplished.

That’s right, my Faithful Readers, I’ve officially been on a successful gym regimen for roughly a month and a half now!!

I’m sure all y’all who are my Facebook friends have noticed…and been confused by…the recent surge of the phrase “at the gym” as my status (read: the poor man’s Twitter).

Well I figure you can’t put it as your status and then not go, right?! So logically nothing says commitment like a Facebook status update!

Anyway, Facebook status notwithstanding, I’ve been going three to four times a week for a solid six weeks now and I’m feeling pretty freakin’ good about it.

In fact, the reason I’m writing is because I officially dropped below 190 pounds today!!

Not that I’m by any means overweight or trying to lose weight, but I figured I wanted to wait until I’d stuck with the gym long enough to drop ten pounds before I went around bragging about being some sort of dedicated gym rat.

For the most part I’m going because I haven’t really been “in shape” in years.

I was in great shape in high school—but who wasn’t?!

I ran a mile in under six minutes during my senior year, a feat that would no doubt kill me if attempted in the present day.

I was able to play basketball, jumping up and down the court for hours without much more than some minor discomfort in my knees. Now my knees pop, crack and occasionally just give-way for no better reason than a stiff breeze caught ‘em by surprise.

My back hurt then, as it has always hurt, but not quite the way it does now. Some days it takes me half an hour or better to get myself out of bed and mobile.

Anyway, back to the point, I’m not “in shape” and I’ve regressed greatly over the years. In high school I had PE two or three times a week and played sports both for the school and with my friends.

Hands down the best shape I have ever been in was the summer before I came to college. I was running anywhere from three to ten miles a day, in training for Hartley, Iowa’s annual SummerFest…a story for another time and place, perhaps a future “Confessions” entry.

Anyway, college rolled around and I stayed in decent shape. I played lots of basketball and football with some occasional games of slow-pitch softball thrown in the mix. I also ate my fair share of pizzas and buffalo wings at three in the morning. By the end of college I was only playing slow-pitch softball which was accompanied by a dozen or so frosty adult beverages.

Somewhere in the mix, I also had a collapsed lung that required a big ole surgery and to be honest—I’ve never really been motivated enough to bounce back from it. I’ve had some reoccurring issues with the lung as well, that always seem to happen when I think I’m getting myself back into decent shape and then I sorta give up again.

So this go‘round is my latest—and by far my most successful—attempt to get my ass back into shape.

The hard part has been trying to come up with something to serve as motivation for going. In high school, I could always say it was for baseball season. In college, it could have been to win an intramural championship. Now…um…I want to be in tip-top condition for checking out library books?!

The only thing I’ve got right now is slow-pitch softball, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

You can wake up with a horrible hangover, a torn rotator cuff and body cast from the waist down and still be considered in “game shape” for my softball league.

I thought about convincing myself I was training for the annual flag football game that me and The Boys play in Hartley every December 26th, “Christmas Bowl.”

The thing is, again, I don’t need to be in any kind of shape to jog up and down a frozen football field and try to catch the six or seven passes that are going to come my way all day. I’ve proven that in each of the previous five years.

I gave up on being a professional wrestler a few years back, so that’s not even relevant anymore. Watching a few of those Ultimate Fighter reality shows led me to believe I’m not a big enough tool to join the cage fighting circuit, so that’s out.

I guess for now I’ll stick with the motivation that maybe I’ll make it past my thirtieth birthday?!

Plus I’ve developed a pec. So that’s something.

Just the one, so far…but it’s pretty sweet.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Confessions: Drunken Technophilia


Hello.

My name is Jeremiah Graves.

...and I have a problem. I'm a Drunken Technophile.

I don't know how many of all ya'll out there are prone to this disease as well, but I know my personal battle with Drunken Technophilia has effected the lives of hundreds of good, unsuspecting people.

Drunken texts, drunken Facebook messages, drunken emails and the occasional drunken blog post have all been results of this addiction.

I've posted an inordinate number of jibberish messages to friends on Facebook that I don't find out about until the next day when they've replied asking me if my account has been hacked. I'm then forced to explain that my account is safe and I've recently discovered that my stomach—but alas, not my brain—can hold an entire case of Coors Light.

The drunken blog posts are something relatively new to my rotation of poor inebriated decision-making. Most of the posts are me ranting and raving about whatever random person, place or thing has annoyed me during my drunken meanderings around the eastern seaboard.

The biggest problem, however, is the emails. I believe at this point I've become notorious for sending post-bar emails to friends and co-workers.

Luckily, I've yet to receive any sort of litigation regarding any of them. I'll take that silver-lining as a sign that I've either not been completely stalkerish or psychotic in any of the emails and/or all of the emails are so indecipherable that everyone assumes they're reading some sort of Russian email spam.

This morning I woke up on my couch at like 4:30 and much to my dismay I had my laptop resting on my chest. The only sites that were open were Facebook, MLB.com and the worst-of-them-all...my work email.

Not Gmail. Not Hotmail...but work email.

*sigh*

So now I'm going through the usual motions to piece together the blurry portions of my evening...

Step One: Check sent text messages. Apparently I got a sub at Hi-Fi last night and found it necessary to send Mat a text alerting him of my drunken dining decisions. Super.

Step Two: Check my Facebook profile to see whether or not I've sent a bunch of dumb messages. This one appears safe. Whew.
Step Three: Check my blog(s) for new posts. Nothing new, excellent. Two for three. Not bad.
Step Four: Wait and wait and wait for awkward/frightened/confused email replies from friends and/or co-workers I've drunkenly harassed. Good times for everyone.

I'm thinking it's long overdue for someone to invent a USB Breathalyzer that prevents me from getting online when intoxicated. If they can do it for cars, they can do it for computers...right?!

I think I'll begin recruiting MIT nerds for this project ASAP.

Until then, however, I'll just have to keep apologizing for all the dumb things I do when my evenings get a wee-bit hazy and my addiction kicks in.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Library Crazies vs. Zombies

So I’ve been thinking about this for a little while now—which shows I should probably seek some counseling and/or take some vacation days—and I’m trying to decide which would be worse between two very real, very scary scenarios.

Scenario One: I’m trapped on campus when it is overrun by flesh-eating, brain-craving zombies.

Scenario Two: I’m trapped on campus when it is overrun by standard, every day library crazies.

Now I know what you’re thinking, dear Faithful Readers…come on, Dude, clearly the zombies are WAY worse.

The thing is, if you ask anyone who’s worked in a library it’s just not that simple.

Upon questioning a few co-workers it was obvious that no one could give a simple answer one way or the other.

Most people wanted to question whether or not the zombies were of the old-school nature (read: slow and dawdling) or if they were of the more modern zombie genre (read: fast and agile). There was also a lot of interest in what type of firepower would be available for fighting off the zombies.

Remember that the next time you’re bitching about a $2 library fine, the person on the other side of the desk is probably daydreaming about a world where librarians can hide a shotgun underneath the counter without fear of immediate termination. You know, for situations involving legions of the undead and/or generic fine complaints.

The questions, however, weren’t limited to the zombies and/or various forms of weaponry.

Others wanted to know what type of library crazies we’re talking about. As I’ve evidenced in the past there are a plethora of types ranging from the harmless to the flat-out insane. Needless to say, a campus full of the “technologically handicapped” is far less troublesome than a campus full of “fight pickers.” It certainly wouldn’t be any less annoying…just less troublesome.

In the end, most still chose to be surrounded by a campus full of library crazies. This decision, however, was not made without some serious thought and hesitation.

Personally, I’m still not entirely sure which way I’d lean.

As anyone who has read this blog knows, I’ve got a real problem with library crazies. Granted, I’m not necessarily too keen on large packs of the undead, either.

Especially when their one goal is to eat my brains.

Either way I’ve laid out the general pros and cons of both sects below. I’ll let you make your own personal decisions regarding which you’d prefer and I’d love to hear back from all ya’ll to find out your responses.

Crazies

Pros
Easier to kill (in theory)
Often travel alone
Stand out in a crowd
Often scared by authority figures
Easily subdued by internet porn

Cons
Irrational
Unpredictable
Often confrontational
May know how to use technological devices
Killing them costs me my job
Killing them sends me to prison



Zombies

Pros
You know what they want--brains
Notoriously slow
Very slow on logical reasoning
Very predictable
Stand out in a crowd
Killing them is strongly encouraged*

Cons
Often travel in packs
One can infect thousands
Very hard to kill
Super strong
Feel no pain
There’s no stopping them…ever**




* also does not result in a loss of employment or any jail time
** probably the biggest deal-breaker for most people

A Letter to a Patron

Dear Microfilm Guy…

I realize that you probably came into the library today with no intentions of being a raging asshole.

I realize that you probably came into the library today with absolutely no idea that someone would want you dead within three minutes of your arrival.

I realize that you probably came into the library today with no idea that you’d be blogged about and referred to as a raging asshole.

But you see, here’s the thing…you rampant ass-clown…you should have realized that you were being a huge douche-bag.

You see, I’m a nice guy. I put up with a whole lot of bullshit at this-here circulation desk, but even I have my breaking point, Dude. When I start getting all mouthy, that’s a sign you’ve probably pissed me off.

I mean think about it. Imagine how many annoying, psychotic, smelly, socially awkward, rude, belligerent, coked-out and/or downright douchey people I’ve had to deal with in a job like this.

Yet, somehow you thought it’d be a good idea to come in and piss me off within the first four minutes after I’d opened the doors?!

Let’s retrace your steps of Heinous Douche-Baggery, shall we?!

First you wander in, immediately breaking Ryan Gray’s well-established four bag rule.



Ryan Gray’s Four Bag Rule
-One bag is cool.
-Two bags is fine, we assume school bag and gym bag.
-Three bags is pushing it…but we’ll let it slide: school bag, gym bag and a lunch bag or something?!
-Four bags. You’re crazy. Period. No one needs to bring four bags into a library unless they’re batshit crazy. No arguments. No rationale of any-kind.


Anyway, after breaking the four bag rule, you immediately start telling me about how the microfilm reader in the Hayden Library isn’t good enough. No “hello” or “hi” or anything.

You just start bitching to me about the equipment in another library.

The best part is that your little rant goes on for nearly ten minutes…like you think I can either go back in time to change things for the better or like you’re expecting some sort of reparations for the time you wasted using the equipment in another library.

You then start rambling off a plethora—yes, a veritable plethora—of information about the lenses on microfilm readers you’ve encountered in your travels. You are listing off all-kinds of lens buzz-words and mentioning the specs from some machine you used in a different library.

Then you just stop and stare at me.

You’ve asked me no questions. You’ve asked me for nothing actually. You’ve just been talking and talking about how much you think the equipment on the other side of campus sucks and how much better the equipment is at some other school in some other state.

As such, I reply by offering you one of my patented blank stares.

You then start asking me all about our microfilm reader. You want the same type of specs and information you’ve just thrown at me, but about our equipment. Here’s the thing, I know only a few select things about our microfilm reader.

- I know that it is outdated technology and you should get with the 21st century.
- I know that you can choose to print or scan from it.
- I know how to run it.
- That’s it.

Contrary to popular belief there is no exam requiring employees to know all facets of all the machinery and technology in the libraries. Much in the same way we do not automatically know where every single book, journal or DVD is at all-times…this is an unrelated, yet very common misconception.

Anyway, after I inform you that I don’t know what model of lens it has or where the lens was manufactured, you got all pissy with me. You asked who would know and I gave an honest reply, “I don’t know.”

The libraries do not—to my knowledge—employ anyone with a job title of “Knower of Pointless, Random Trivia Regarding Library Equipment.” Hell, even if we did, he/she would probably have Saturdays off anyway!!

You then went into yet another rant about what a waste it is to have someone at the desk who doesn’t know the equipment. I gave you a very unnecessary apology and you demanded to know the name and number of the director of the libraries. And then you asked for my name, saying you wanted to let him/her know that I wasn’t fit to work at a public service desk—and this was my favorite part—without “a grown-up” present to help people.

This is when I became a bit snarky with you.

I then told—not suggested, requested, recommended, implied…no, no…TOLD—your crazy-ass to go look at the equipment and see if it would work before you started calling anyone to bitch about me.

Ten minutes later you came back with your tail between your legs telling me that it was—in fact—the exact equipment you wanted.

You wandered off for a little bit before returning with a new complaint. The microfilm was on the spool backwards and you wanted to know what I was going to do about it…an exchange that went as follows:

Microfilm Guy: “This film is on backwards.”
Awesome Library Guy: “Okay?!”
Microfilm Guy: “I don’t read backwards.”
Awesome Library Guy: “Yeah, me neither.”
Microfilm Guy: “What are you going to do about it?”
Awesome Library Guy: “Nothing.”
Microfilm Guy: “That’s horrible service.”
Awesome Library Guy: “Yeah, that microfilm isn’t even from here, Dude.”
Microfilm Guy: “How do you know that?”
Awesome Library Guy: “It’s in a box that says ‘University of Virgina.’”
Microfilm Guy: “Oh, well I guess it does.”
Awesome Library Guy: “Yeah…”

You then disappeared for awhile before asking more questions about how to log onto the computer, how to flip the scanned images over so you could read them and how to save things with a USB drive, which unfortunately required me explaining to you what a USB port was.

Really?!

I mean, f’n really…

Who the hell owns a USB Drive but doesn’t even know what a USB port is?! Where were you going to plug it in?! Were you just going to hold it up against the monitor and hope it sucked up the information?

I think I hate you.

You’ve yet to unearth yourself since that exchange, for which I’m eternally grateful. Although I know you will and you’ll probably have something to rant about as we’re trying to usher your ass out of here 15 minutes after we were supposed to be closed.

So I just wanted to write you this little letter so that you would know how much you suck.

…because you suck a lot.

XOXO

Jeremiah Graves
Barker Engineering Library

PS: From this day forward—at the suggestion of Ms. Margaret Willison—I’m going to be hanging ‘Out of Order’ signs on all of our equipment on Saturdays to avoid this problem.

Interactions with a Future MIT Graduate

So this girl walks into the library…

and she goes… "what is this?"
and i go..."huh?!"
and she goes …"this room"
and i go..."the barker library"
and she goes… "is this what i'm looking for"
and i go..."i don't know...what are you looking for"
and she goes..."the barker library"
and i go..."um..."
and she goes..."because this doesn't look like a library"
and i go..."well it is...that's why we call it the barker library"
and she goes..."where are all the books, there’s only a few behind the desk"
and i go..."they’re not all at the desk."
and she goes..."why not"
and i go..."b/c that's insane, why keep all the books here...we have three floors of books."
and she goes..."no"
and i go..."yes"
and she goes… "where's the dome"
and i go…"you're under it"
she looks up at the 7 foot ceilings and she goes… "no i'm not"
and i go..." sigh"
and she goes..."seriously, where is it"
and i go..."see the curved walls...they're curved b/c of the dome...go that-a-way"

she leaves...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Confessions: “Watchmen”

Okay, ya'll I'm going to make a confession here today...I have absolutely no interest in "Watchmen." Not even a little bit.

Not liking a movie isn't normally that big of a deal and—under normal circumstances—would not warrant a confession-themed blog post.

The thing is...I am supposed to love this movie. I am supposed to be waiting in a line 300 people deep in front of a movie theater. I am supposed to have my official “Watchmen” t-shirt, hat and underoos ready and waiting for Friday's premiere.

The problem is, I just don't give a rat's ass.

I realize that I fall smack-dab in the middle of the key demographic that studio execs are aiming for. I'm a 25-year old dude who eats up the whole action, superhero thing like nobody's business. I'm the perfect target for the big-wigs who put out these movies.

During the previews for “The Dark Knight” I should have been amongst the teeming masses who gasped in giddy anticipation when the “Watchmen” trailer aired. Instead of gasping (or even caring a little bitty bit) I just looked around in awe at the total geek-out I'd just witnessed.

I don't know why I don't care about “Watchmen,” but I just flat-out don't. I've got no good reason to have zero interest in this flick, but sometimes that's just the way it goes.

So—to all ya'll who are super-stoked for the “Watchmen” premiere—don't get upset with me for hatin' on this flick. Heck, you can look at it this way...I'm simply opening up another seat at the theater for you and/or one of your friends who doesn't think this movie is going to suck something fierce.

No need to thank me, 'tis my pleasure.

Random Fact # 520

FACT: My current commute to-and-from work takes the exact same amount of time that it takes to listen to Taylor Swift’s song “Forever and Always” three times in a row.

------------------------------

This random fact serves no real purpose beyond giving me a good reason to post another picture of the gorgeous Ms. Swift for all ya’ll.

Granted, when they eventually release “Trivial Pursuit: The Jeremiah Graves Edition” you’re all gonna get that question right!!

You’re welcome.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Poor Decision-Making

I don't know why, but tonight I purchased a six-pack of frozen White Castle cheeseburgers.

Let's be honest here, normally when I'm drunk and in search of food I wander to McDonald's or I get a sub at some pizza joint. I have the McDonald's Embargo in full-effect, so that was a non-option. As such, logic would say tonight was a good-night for a sub.

Unfortunately that didn't happen tonight. No, no...for some reason I decided tonight that I'd rather buy some frozen mini-cheeseburgers from 7-11 and gobble 'em down at home.

I now regret that decision like you can't believe.

The burgers were so f'n gross. It took like seventeen minutes of microwaving to get them even remotely warm. Half of them were still frozen, the other half were roughly the same heat as the sun.

As a result, here I sit...I've got a burnt tongue and a belly full-o-shitty, frozen burgers.

I've never eaten at a real White Castle, but if this crap is any indication, I have no intention of ever giving my money to a White Castle.

If you'll excuse me, I now need to spend the rest of my night rocking back-and-forth on my couch whimpering about the unfortunate decision I made earlier this evening.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

People I May Heinously Murder (vol. 3)

I hate, hate, HATE Rachel Ray...like seriously...she's the worst.

Literally the worst of all-time (next to Carrot Top that is).

She's a cute gal who had a solid concept for a TV show about whipping up quick meals. The problem is that those positives—both of them—are rapidly outweighed by a plethora of negatives.

Her ever-bubbly personality and energy come off as fake and trite. Her voice is annoying and grating. Her Dunkin' Donuts commercials were tacky and annoying as all-hell, honestly they made me long for the commercials with John Goodman's voice-over work and some poorly illustrated cartoons. Her cooking shows are not only boring, but all of the food is still far too complicated for me to prepare, let alone in half an hour.

Her talk-show is one of the most physically and emotionally draining abominations that I've ever sat through. For the record, this was done in what can only be defined as a Herculean effort to prove my mettle as a man. Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to the first commercial break before breaking down and giving up—manhood be damned—no one is strong enough for that.

So Rachel Ray, keep your eyes peeled because sooner or later, I'm going to lower the boom. I'll leap out of one of your studio-ovens wielding a semi-automatic machine gun with hallow-tipped bullets, dipped in deadly Argentinian poison...poison that's high in cholesterol and contains trans fats!!

Brain Lightning

I think my brain might explode…

So for the last month and a half, I’ve been getting these really random, really quick headaches that shoot up the left side of my head into my brain and then disappear. As such, I’ve labeled these mini-headaches “brain lightning.”

This is super-F’n-annoying because I never, ever get headaches. Like seriously, I NEVER get headaches, hell I just had my first ice cream headache last summer. [Note: It was NOT cool.]

So basically I’ll just be hanging out doing whatever I’m doing and then BAM I’ve got this huge pain that starts sorta back by my left ear and then shoots up through the temple and kind of up above my eye and then—POOF—it’s gone.

I did a little bit of research and apparently these bad-boys are called ”ice pick headaches.”

It seems that they’re pretty harmless, just annoying.

Anyway, I wanted to share this with you, my Faithful Readers, on the off-chance that my brain does—in fact—explode at random and I’m unable to continue sharing the details of my rather dull life with all ya’ll.

I don’t want ya’ll to think I just abandoned you or anything, that’d just be rude.

Die Hard: Library Style

Whenever I open the library, I pretend I’m in Die Hard.

That’s right, not only am I wandering around the library flipping on lights and pulling requested books, I’m secretly sneaking up on—and killing—militant terrorists one-by-one.

I even have a toy gun that I wield about wildly as I’m diving in and out of the rows of shelves and rolling around to avoid invisible hails of gunfire.

I used to play this game at home until Grace told me she was sick of not only the noisy gun, but my constant sneaking around the house and shooting at her from around corners. She also does not appreciate being referred to as a “terrorist.” Apparently this bothers her to an extent that I had not initially expected.

That is why the gun and my personal games of Die Hard have been relocated to the darkened hallways of the Barker Engineering Library.

On the bright-side, should the MIT Libraries every come under attack, I’ll be ready.