Archive for January, 2006


Batter my heart, three-person’d God ; for you
As yet but knock ; breathe, shine, and seek to mend ;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town, to another due,
Labour to admit you, but O, to no end.
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy ;
Divorce me, untie, or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

– John Donne


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This was my website o’ the day:  http://tbshumorstudy.com/main.html

I highly encourage utilization of the “Funny Movie Maker” tool as well as the “Wallpaper Generator,” if you’re like me and the only means you have of making your drab, claustrophobic, office existence bearable is by creating a desktop that looks like something Napoleon Dynamite vomited after eating too many tots.

Now in to-go sizes!

On a loosely-related topic, I took a few of my work-friends (isn’t it kind of shameful that I call them that instead of just “friends”? you decide.) to one of my favorite restaurants today, Blue Nile (www.bluenilehouston.com).  Blue Nile serves the most delicious Ethiopian food this side of Addis Ababa.  I am such a dork.  And yes, I’ve heard the joke about “How many ways can you cook a grain of rice?” or the one about “It’ll be a quick meal; we’ll order two empty plates and leave,” both courtesy of my boss.  Quick visual of my boss, while we’re on topic:

He usually wears sleeves, but the accent is still Da Bears.

Ethiopian food is pretty much the same food we eat over here – chicken, beef, potatoes, lentils, greens, etc – just prepared differently and with very distinct, unique spices and lots of clarified butter.  It’s also eaten without the use of utensils; you use pieces of injera bread to pick up your food.  Injera is a slightly sour-tasting flatbread made from teff flour, which is very nutrient-rich and does a good job of balancing out the spicy nature of most Ethiopian dishes.

Now that we have that out of the way, I’d just like to say that I’ve learned a lesson today.  Don’t force Ethiopian food on good friends.  It will only make them fear and resent you.  Also, when you’re driving back to work, sheepishly, let them listen to the radio and don’t force them to listen to your Coheed and Cambria CD, which also – clearly – is not for everyone.

Within five minutes of returning to the office, everyone had heard about the fearsome meal.  I’m not going to say that Ethiopian food is an aquired taste, because I instantly liked it from the first time that spicy, rich, earthy doro wot first passed my lips.  I just think that maybe it isn’t for everyone.  As my friend Aurora pointed out, it’s hard to get past that first visceral reaction to food that looks as if it were a challenge on Fear Factor.

Okay, I admit that the injera does look a little like a Dr. Scholl’s insert.

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Lordy, it’s been a busy week.  I’m finally all moved into my new townhouse.  It’s pretty swank.  I like it a whole lot.  I said that I like it; I’m not in like with it…

In other news, my father was recently laid off after 26 years with his company (which shall remain nameless…BASTARDS).  Just for perspective, that’s longer than I’ve been on this little planet.  BASTARDS.  Anyway, I don’t think that he’s coping with unemployment well, despite the 26 months of severance pay he’ll be receiving.  I sense that he’s laying around the house quite a bit, by the pool if it’s nice out, and entertaining himself with existentialist poultry philosophy.  To wit, he sent me this little ditty at work today:

You might argue that the lives of chickens have intrinsic value, regardless of whether the chickens realize it. However, chickens have such simple minds that chicken consciousness is pretty much interchangeable. If you kill one chicken and replace it with a new one that wouldn’t otherwise have been born, the sum total of chicken consciousness stays the same. (Farming produces many more chicken life-years than there otherwise would have been.) There’s not enough difference between one chicken’s experiences and another’s to worry about how chicken consciousness gets divided up between chickens. I think it’s morally equivalent for eight chickens have two good months vs. one chicken having 16 good months.

And people wonder where I get it from…  So, I forwarded the treatise (soon to become a full-length philsophy text titled The Philosophy of Logical Chickenism*) to my dear Richard, who responded with this:

Are these free-range chickens, or factory-bred chickens?  The implied intrinsic consciousness of a chicken may be affected – those that may roam where they want may have a better “life” experience than those whose life revolves around a small box with a conveyer belt running underneath to catch eggs.  If that is the case, then if you kill 8 chickens living on the range and replace then with 8 forced to live in captivity, then you have lost something in the total conscious experience.

I loves my boys. 

Oh my GOD, could I have found a better picture than this???????

Well, maybe this one, but I still like the first one better.

* On a side note, I couldn’t remember the name of the Bertrand Russell lectures (The Philosophy of Logical Atomism), so I went to the ever-handy Wikipedia to look it up.  To my great surprise, they had listed Russell’s The Problems of Philosophy as a beginner’s text.  My faith in you has been shaken, random contributors to Wikipedia.  Faith!  Shaken!

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Took one of those “personality tests” tonight, a device into which I normally don’t place a lot of stock, but…  Well, read for yourself:

messy, tough, disorganized, fearless, not rule-conscious, likes the unknown, rarely worries, rash, attracted to the counter culture, rarely irritated, positive, resilient, abstract, not a perfectionist, risk taker, strange, weird, self-reliant, leisurely, anti-authority, trusting, optimistic, positive, thrill-seeker, likes bizarre things, sarcastic

I take no issue with the results; they’re actually pretty accurate.  It’s just…”strange”?  And “weird”?  Those are pretty arbitrary.  I guess it could be worse; I could have been “callow” and “weak-willed.”

As David Lynch says, “This whole world is wild at heart and weird on top.”

Ten million David Lynches can’t be wrong.

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Today, one of my field reps e-mailed me to ask me…(wait for it)…what my e-mail address is.  In my mind, that rep looks like this*:

Or possibly this:

But, more likely, like this:

*having never met most of my field reps, I get to spend endless hours imagining what muppets they look like

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One of the few things that you look forward to when you’re at work for twelve hours straight is going into the office kitchen area and rooting around for leftovers from lunch.  Okay, maybe that’s just me.  Don’t judge me!

Anyway, I waddled into the kitchen tonight and there on one of the counters was a goodie basket from one of our vendors.  Jackpot!  These things are usually laden with all manner of chocolates and biscuits and tiny unidentifiable candies that are probably only manufactured at little goodie basket places and aren’t available for general sale but with good reason.  So, there on top was a small box of what looked exactly like Thin Mints.  Double jackpot!  Usually I have to wait until Girl Scout cookie time to satisfy my crunchy mint/dark chocolate craving, but tonight was going to be a bonanza.  I grabbed the box like the greedy little Jawa that I am and scurried back to my office.

Once safely ensconced in my office, I opened the box and popped one of the delectable little cookies into my waiting mouth.  It was watering, I tell you.  I really like food, okay?  Don’t judge me!  My teeth met the delicate shell of the cookie and broke through.  The soft center flowed across my tongue…wait a second.  Thin Mints don’t have soft centers.  And Thin Mints do NOT taste like Pepto-Bismol.

What the fuck?  What asshole decided it would be a good idea to create Pepto-Bismol flavored cookies?  And then disguise them as Thin Mints!  Not only did they taste JUST LIKE Pepto, the gooey center was EXACTLY the same consistency and COLOR (COLOR, PEOPLE!!!) of Pepto!!!!!!

For reference:

Can you tell this totally ruined my night?  Yeah.  Fuck you, vendors who gave us Pepto cookies and Fuck you, goodie basket creators who committed the ultimate travesty of even creating such foul and unnatural cookies.

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