Archive for January, 2009

Morning Stress

I want English Muffin insurance, for those times when you tear the thing all wrong and one side is basically not there and the thing toasts completely unevenly because of the difference in girth. And the pressure's on then, because the damn things come in six-packs, which makes no sense. It doesn't correlate with anything: there are five weekdays, seven days in a week if you're eating them every day (and it's 10/14 if there's two of you in the house). Every once in a while I'll come upon a four-pack and think, "Two of those might work better", but then I get up close and realize it's one of those massive "SANDWICH SIZE!" affairs and I can't do it. Sure I've eaten sandwiches made from English Muffins, even hamburgers when we ran out of buns, but there's something depressing about intentionally buying those. And if you try to eat one for breakfast, you're going to feel like a real fatty. So that doubles the pressure and I wind up in front of the toaster like some bomb disposal technician whose decided on which wire to cut and now it's just a question of death or glory. This is why there are Eggos.

Nothing's Coming Out!

You want to know why recycling isn't keeping pace, why the universe is going to suffer heat death and run out of energy a few billion years from now? I just opened a new container of bay leaves-- if you don't know what those are, they're pretty much what you thought they were. The salient point is their size; go ahead and look, I'll wait.

The container had a shaker top on it. You know, the kind of thing you'd expect if the contents were ground up seeds and not say, vegetation off a tree. So I have to break a goddamn thumbnail because some halfwit in Sandusky, Ohio can't figure out whether or not to slap a shaker lid (with two options, not that either one would work) on top without calling someone back at HQ. Can't you see him starting to take out that 25' yellow Stanley tape he's carried around all his life for no good reason, thinking, "This is finally it" when he realizes everyone's staring a little more than normal? Isn't there something on the shop wall next to the OSHA posters, some suggested guideline on when not to include the shaker cap? "If it's bigger than the tip of your pinkie," with a red crossout circle.

Of course not, because the job's long since been turned over to the one reliable employee, some robot who happily slaps caps all day. When Skylab comes on line and the Terminators get rid of us, it won't be because of world wars or violence or inhumanity, it'll be because some computer figured out it just spent the last 10 years making the world worse off.

Anatomy of a Late Night

New Year's Eve has totally thrown us off schedule. For some time (the formula for which is: NOW - # of years we've had a dog) we've been consistently in bed by 11, 12 on weekend nights, with 1am being a notably late night. Head hit the pillow at 3 again last night and I'm delineating Why for myself so I can find the error

  • 8pm: Watched Tropic Thunder which turned out to be exactly what I thought it was, a decent three-and-a-half star comedy, something that's not so easy to find nowadays. Perhaps the comedy palate has grown more sophisticated since the days of Meatballs, though the trailer we caught beforehand, Van Wilder: Freshman Year, suggests otherwise. Amazing the amount of work shitty comedy writers ("And then her tits pop out!") can still get while more talented writers ("It was a surprise for all when her breasts sprang free of the bespoke bustier she was wearing.") go hungry. Movie opens well with fake trailers, then nose dives for a bit until it sets up the story. Would be worth sitting through for Robert Downey, Jr. alone. Tom Cruise was better than I want to admit.
  • 10pm: Rock Band. As my poor X-Box can attest, I'd jumped off the Rock Band train last fall. I'd gotten good enough to play some on Expert but was still way overmatched by certain songs on Hard (and always songs like "Foreplay/ Longtime" that take half a goddamn hour to point out you're going to fail for the fiftieth time, never some Ramones ditty that's over in 1:58). A light clicked on and I realized "playing" a "game" doesn't involve nearly popping a vessel in your head and throwing things after the age of 5 or so. I was fine with no more Rock Band, there was no hole in my life.

    Then I heard The Gaslight Anthem's new album. After playing it non-stop for a week, the damn drummer(1) hooked me back into Rock Band. Thankfully things have gone a lot better since. Even managed to skid through "Don't Fear the Reaper" last night, failing just late enough to make it to the end.
  • 1am: Bill Burr, Why Do I Do This? via Netflix. Discovered him last week on Comedy Central, causing another late night. The set was so good I was ready to sit through the repeat airing until smarter heads prevailed. I've been obsessivley listening to his old podcast episodes this week. Can't believe he can spitball an hour worth of funny on a weekly basis.
  • 2:30am: This is where things really fell off the track. It started to go wrong in the 1am hour when we re-watched something we'd seen a week before and wound up cracking the emergency PBR 12 pack in the frige, but I could have just shut down the X-Box, finished the beer and gone to bed. Instead I have to page through the Netflix Instant Queue, even though if anything in there was worthy of watching at 3am I'd have watched it already. Nope, a half hour later it's 3am, we're only halfway through the pilot episode of Macgyver, the beer's all gone and I realize the level of tension wasn't high enough to keep anyone but me awake. The possible rocket explosion will have to wait until we have more beer. Actually, to honor the spirit of the show, I should really brew some Pruno in the toilet. How Richard Dean Anderson isn't starring in anything more than my dreams nowadays is a mystery.

Postscript, 8am: dog gets up in bed, throws an absolute shitfit, leaving me wide awake with the better part of 12 beers still coursing through my veins. I think it's some sort of Temperance thing with her, trying to get us off the Devil's Brew.

1. Brush with fame: the drummer went to elementary school with a friend of mine. The amazing part is my friend went to elementary school in New Jersey and still wound up bright.