Thursday, July 23, 2009

Internet-1, My Garbage Can-0

I had never seen a maggot in real life. Until two nights ago, when I opened the outside garbage can only to find hundreds of the little buggers crawling all over my shit. Truly, the creepiest, non-threatening things put on this earth.

My father always used the expression, "that (something he had just scarfed down) could gag a maggot," the sound of which always caused me to gag slightly, myself, but made me think a lot about what a maggot eats.

And there was that scene in Poltergeist, where the dude reaches for the piece of steak and maggots scurry out, which scared the crap out of me. So I went searching for the clip online. I didn't find it. Instead, I found something far more horrible. In fact, what I saw in my trash can, were just adorable, little, organic, prepubescent flies, by comparison.

I urge you not to watch this.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Chemicals May Just Kill You - A Love Story (Part 2)

Now that the character of my wife has been firmly established, we'll just pick up where we left off, only to say again, the woman has some intense sensitivities to the world in which we live.

One sensitivity that's been rearing it ugly rear lately, is her aversion to the WIFI waves that are passing around us, specifically when we use or get close to the laptop. Here's the first article that comes up in google on the matter.

This rules out all sharing of funny youtube videos, or picking out new house furnishings online. There will be no quick looking up of movie times. And if you want to stream in some music, you best be doing that on the desktop computer upstairs - the same desktop that gives off the signal my laptop receives. Shhh, don't tell her.

Last night we were discussing ways to save money and the topic of cancelling cable came up. I was all for it. We could get Apple TV (can anyone recommend?), kaibosh cable and netflix, and only buy the shows and movies we want to watch.
This would force us to choose our television viewing wisely, not just grow numb to the nightly channel surf, hoping tonight we land on something, anything other than House Hunters International and the 11 pm Chelsea Lately or Jon Stewart debate. We might even start reading and listening to music more. We were giddy with the possibilities. So much so, that my wife leaned over my shoulder to read about Apple TV on the evil laptop.

And then she saw it. Big, bold lettering. "Wireless to the Extreme."

The waves! The waves would be all around us everytime we watched tv.

Bye, bye Apple TV. The moment was fleeting but the love was real.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suck one, Twitter

In past posts, I've bemoaned the popularity of twitter. Like here, here and here.

I've since tried to open my mind to the social network and learn to use it for the good of my career. I've tried to find the insightful and the relevant among all those shameless tweets.

And then this showed up in my email.

I'd like to thank my coworker for passing this along, and reminding me why I was right all along.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Coffee Shop Saga, Part 5

If you've been paying any attention at all, you'd know that I'm forever searching for a proper coffee shop.

Somewhere in between my house and my office, where I can sit down with a decent Americano and write.

Somewhere that won't tack on an extra dime to my $2 drink, forcing me to bust up another bill, or worse yet, go into debit.

Somewhere without an owner that calls attention to my doody time whenever I ask for the bathroom key. Actually, fuck that. Somewhere that doesn't require a bathroom key at all.

(Ed. Note: Playing attached video provides recommended soundtrack for the remainder of this post and is referenced below - the music is incredible but watching people dance to it, not so incredible).

I thought the last place was it. And while I haven't completely given up on them, they are a block and a half off my direct route to work and they tack on the extra dime to my Americano. I've also grown increasingly unhappy with my co-clientelle there. But without a viable substitute, my move was all talk.

Last night, some friends in the neighborhood told me about Cartola Coffeehouse on NE 7th. The same block as the neighborhood dry cleaners that no one actually uses and right next door to ghetto quickie mart, where 40-oz bottles of Old English outsell all other items combined, 10-1. The same block where my wife and I witnessed two old friends greet each other with a hug and the motto "once a 7th street gang member, always a 7th street gang member."

I couldn't imagine it. Trendy, bourgeois coffeeshop? There? Nah-ah.

And here I am. Sitting on a plush, cushioned bench, working on a white marble-topped table, under cool, low lighting, listening to my newly heavily rotated, Menahan Street Band on the cafe speakers and drinking a $2 Americano, made with Stumptown coffee. And I haven't
strayed one foot off of my direct route to work.

If I had any complaint at all, it would be that the place is a bit intimate for me to sit down and work comfortably. But the Americano is only $2.

For now, this will do.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Panic at the Dentist's Office

I pried my sweaty body off the pleather recliner and bolted upright. The hygienist stood behind me making copious notes in my permanent file.

"Do you really have to write all that down?," I asked pathetically, the color just now returning to my face. "I'm fine, now. Seriously. Let's just do the cleaning."

"Oh, this? It's nothing," she told me with that bullshit cheeriness that all dental
hygienists have mastered. "I'll be done in just a second, here."

What she was writing, in that permanent file of mine, was how I had just completely lost my marbles, right there in her chair. Not because I'm scared of dental work, mind you. I've had root canals and gum grafts and really had no problem with it. I just lost my fucking shit. And while she chalked it up to a possible heart condition, which really isn't any better on my permanent record if I were to ever apply for new insurance policies, the truth is, I just lost my fucking shit.

It all began with a set of lost keys, which caused me to run late for my appointment.

Then came my ride in. The route to my dentist's office combined with the ornery behavior of that morning's motorists, made for an absolutely harrowing commute. I spent the last few minutes before locking up the bike, reflecting on how close I came to becoming road kill.

That had me all freaked out, and then I began to worry about my blood pressure. A few weeks ago, I saw a new doctor who told me my blood pressure was a little high. That makes perfect sense given my make-up, but remarkably, I typically test low. I knew I was going to the dentist soon, and I know they test my blood pressure before every cleaning, so I figured I'd just check in again, once I got there. But now
I was heading into this test with a heart rate that could jump-start a Boeing 727.

As I entered the office, I asked the receptionist for a glass of water. It was cold. Delicious. I was about to blow a blood vessel.

They led me back to my room, sat me down in the reclining pleather chair and took my arm.

"So, I just had a pretty gnarly bike ride in and I'm afraid my blood pressure is gonna be high."

"Oh, you'll be fine," she said all bullshitty as she slid the sleeve over my bicep. "Let's just see here."

Pwsshh, pwsshh, pwsshh.

"Oh my! You are high."

My heart hammered away at the inside of my chest. "Like how high?" I stuttered.

"Oh, about twice as high as last time. It's fine." All bullshitty. "We'll test it again in a few minutes. What'd you eat last night? Or for breakfast this morning? Something salty?"

"I eat super healthy," I pleaded with this woman, hoping she would give me a better prognosis. "My wife's a food nazi. We eat kale and whole grains and shit. And everything's organic." But then I started thinking, if I am having a heart attack, this may be the last woman I speak to before I'm unconscious, so I better 'fess up, now.

"I love cheese!" I blurted out, full of shame. "It's my only weakness. "I love cheese and I like butter, too, but I rarely indulge in butter." My dental
hygienist nodded. "What's high blood pressure mean exactly, anyway?," I wimpered.

hygienist, a former emergency medical technician, felt it her job to tell me all the gory details about what happens to the human blood stream when all systems are not go. I would share them here, but that was the part where everything went out of focus.

The color had completely left my skin.
I could tell from the tip of my now grey nose. Sweat poured in a steady stream down either side of my face and into my ears. And my heart was fucking killing me. I kind of thought I was about to pass out, but my mind raced to think of anything else I might want to tell my dental hygienist before I went into in a coma.

I jumped out of the pleather dentist chair and moved to a more upright seat facing the
hygienist. "Could I get another cup of water?" Wait no! She had just told me that the water in your body puts pressure on the outside of your veins and capillaries making it hard for them to push the blood stream along.

The bullshitty
hygienist finally went and did me a solid. She got a wet towel for me to cool myself off. And that was all I needed. She tested my blood pressure again. I was making my way down. Things were sharpening up. I had a sip of water - just a sip - and gathered my composure that had spewed across the room.

"Thanks for the towel. I think I just had a bit of a panic attack. You started telling me all about blood vessels and I just got a little wooz-"

"Well, it's important to know those things," she barked back.

"Ok, ok. Whatever. Can we just clean my teeth, now."

"Sure," she said. "I just need to make a little note."

In that cheery, bullshitty voice.