Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Five o'clock shadow

Another Good Frickin’ Picture Wednesday shot, courtesy of Rob of the Broken Arse.

That's his girlfriend, Natalie. You might recognize her from her appearances on Scrubs and That Seventies Show. Yup, that explains why she looks so familiar. Now that I'm looking, is she that girl from the iPod commercial, too?

Oh yeah! See more of Rob's stuff here!

You know, Blogger just isn't doing this shot justice -- looks a little dark. But it's a frickin' good picture. If you check it out on Rob's site, you can see it better.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

I’m just not working out

My sister Amy often accuses me of stealing her height; she is exactly five inches shorter than both of our parents, and I am exactly five inches taller. I don’t really see what all the whining is about, especially since she totally stole any ovaries I might have had coming my way.

When my wife Kara and I were visiting her in San Francisco last week, Amy actually brought up the height thing again. She only complains because she doesn’t know what it’s like to spend the better part of one’s life banging one’s head into light fixtures. I have to wear a bike helmet to go to casual dining restaurants. Besides, being shorter gives her a natural advantage at many things, such as The Limbo, and spotting loose change on the ground.

Height is a pretty insignificant thing to get upset about, anyway – she’s the one who stole all the motivation. I’d rather have that. Amy has run two marathons in the past few years, and is training for a third. The only thing I run is stoplights.

I hate running. If I die and come back as a gerbil, and you buy me, save yourself a couple bucks and don’t even bother with the little running wheel. It would do about as much good as that internet petition you just sent to those fifty people who like you a little bit less now.

I prefer to think that exercising is for the unimaginative. Here’s how I work out: I set the cookies in the dining room, and then watch TV on the couch in the living room. I pretend the cookies weigh two hundred pounds each, and that I can only carry one to the couch with me at a time. After a couple reps, I sit there on the couch and stare mournfully at the cookies in the other room, too lazy to stand all the way up for one more.

This little game pits my gluttony and my sloth squarely against each other; I’m always curious to see which one will win. I inevitably can’t help but feel bad for the loser, though, so I just bring the whole plate into the living room and we have ourselves some cookies.

Sometimes at work, I catch myself thinking, “Hey, if I get up and take a little stroll, that’ll help keep me in shape.” Then I realize that if the only exercise I get is walking around the hallways at work, after a while, I’ll probably look like a guy who’s only exercise is walking around the hallways at work.

If I really cared to learn about healthy living, I’d have picked up some reading material from Amy’s bookshelves; they were packed with titles like “Eight Easy Exercises that Nobody has Ever Actually Done, Except Maybe Amy.” Kara flipped through one of those books and found this interesting tidbit: healthy people should eat six meals per day. There was no mention of whether or not these meals should be super-sized, but for only forty cents extra, I’ve been playing it safe.

Anyway, from Amy’s apartment in the city, you can see a long way out. At the beginning of our visit, she pointed to a hill far off in the distance and said, “I jog to the top of that every day. Do you guys want to join me?”

We both respectfully declined. Had Amy needed something out of the top cupboard, I would have been glad to help her out. When you drive, the world rides with you. When you jog, you jog alone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Good Frickin' Picture Wednesday -- The Money Shot

This week's good frickin' picture is one I took in New Zealand last year when Kara and I were on our honeymoon. I was trying to take a picture of an orc, but then this sheep jumped in the way.

I still haven't slept right since I saw a sheep with a tail on that same day. Did you know sheep have tails? I mean long frickin' tails that flap around when they run. Farmers snip 'em or something when they're born, but we saw a few sheep with big long honkin' tails. It was like seeing a golden retriever with horns.

Anyway, the first person to make a joke about me, sheep, and our honeymoon wins the big prize, since I know it's coming anyway. But in order for the joke to count, you must also mention Kentucky Fried Chicken, American Samoa, and the Pope. Let's see what you've got, baaaah-dass.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Hyundai! Hyundai! Hyundai!

I gave my column this title because I learned from morning radio that people really like it when you shout “Hyundai!” repeatedly. If a radio ad isn’t loud enough to replicate the experience of putting your head inside a blast furnace, it just doesn’t sound sincere.

When you saw this title, you probably thought, “Oh, I hope this column’s about America’s best warranty.” But I’m afraid that despite indications I may have previously given to the contrary, I don’t really have anything to say about Hyundai today. I did just realize, though, that the radio plays so many car commercials in the morning because that’s when people are driving to work, sitting in their Pintos, thinking, “Why hasn’t this dang thing exploded yet?”

Plus, everyone’s all grumpy in the morning because everyone is the only good driver in the world, and everyone else is doing those things that everyone would never do -- drinking coffee, talking on their cell phones, running into phone poles, and making everyone late to work. Everyone else is always getting in everyone’s way.

So that’s when car commercials hit you, when you’re all groggy and grumpy and feeling as if your life would be better if only you had something that could get you away from everyone else – hence the popularity of off-road vehicles, because even though most forests now have Walmarts or oil derricks on them, we’d like to think that we could just tear off into the woods, even though we would never actually do that, because that might scratch the paint.

What better time to try to sell you a new car than when you’re half-conscious and unhappy in the car you’ve got? That’s when car companies dangle shiny objects in front of you, because they know that we’re all really just salmon, swimming around, looking for new ways to reach our credit limits. Or perhaps raccoons would be a more apt analogy for us, because raccoons also like shiny objects, and we all have mammary glands. Well, some of us have mammary glands. I mean, I don’t. You might, though. No, I was not looking.

Okay, I just looked it up online. It seems men do have mammary glands, but they’re vestigial and therefore totally useless, like the wings of an ostrich, or the outdoors to a child with a PlayStation 2.

And while we’re on the topic of mammals, have you seen any of the ads for CareerBuilder.com? They show a normal guy in an ordinary office, and all of his co-workers are chimpanzees. The guy wants to get work done, but the chimps are hopping around, playing with whoopee cushions, and laughing crazy laughs, like Eddie Murphy’s laugh from when he used to be funny, but much higher-pitched.

Sure, those ads are humorous, but I don’t really care for the attitude. Everyone else is not that bad of a driver, and the folks you work with are not chimpanzees, unless of course you are a zookeeper, and even then there’s a good chance that you work with polar bears or aardvarks instead.

Perhaps it’s because I spend much of an average day at work sucking my toes, but I don’t really feel like those CareerBuilder ads are saying nice things about most of us. There are about a dozen chimps in those ads, and only one human. If your workplace was portrayed, are your odds better of being the person or the ape? I’ll give you some time to think about that one, Koko.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

¡Feliz Bueno Frickin' Picture Miercoles!

Here's another good frickin' picture from Jeff Hofer, who's back in Guatemala:

Seriously, I have no idea why National Geographic isn't beating down his puerta.

And yes, I am proud of myself for getting that upside-down exclamation point in there.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Tar Heels, sticky fingers

My wife Kara and I recently took a road trip down to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to visit her youngest sister Sarah at the University of Guys Who Wear Pink Shirts with the Collars Turned Up. Perhaps I just haven’t been paying attention, but I’m pretty sure I have never witnessed this sort of fashion behavior north of the Mason-Dixon Line. As we drove through campus for the first time, I felt like we were on a Six Flags safari.

“Ooh, look how pink those shirts are,” Kara said. “Wow, those are males, too. They must be trying to lure females with their bright plumage and crested collars.”

“Roll up your window! I think you’re attracting them,” I said.

“Look how close that one is. Oh, do we have any iPods we can feed it?” she asked.

“He’s getting too close -- he’s gonna scratch the paint!” I shrieked (a manly shriek, of course), and we zoomed off to find Sarah’s dorm.

When we were hanging out with Sarah later, I realized how quickly any coolness I might have gained in college has permanently faded away. Thursday is a weekend night for her. Friday isn’t even a weekend night for me anymore. I’m too tired after work to do anything but reminisce about how cool I used to be, then clip my toenails onto the carpet and go to bed at ten o’clock.

Sarah briefly left me and Kara alone in her dorm room, which was a grave tactical error. Kara went straight to her closet. There was a shelf in there devoted entirely to purses, some of which had the letters “DB” written all over them, which I can only assume stands for “Don’t give me any money, or I’ll spend it all on purses. But aren’t they cute?”

Kara and Sarah have a little unspoken agreement that can best be described as an involuntary clothing exchange. Whenever they are in the same place, they discreetly rummage through each others’ clothes, and just take whatever isn’t ripped, stained, or reeking of Eau de Ferret (our ferret likes to sleep in Kara’s sweaters, which is the only reason they still belong to her).

Luckily for Sarah, she came back into the room before Kara had a chance to try anything on. I suggested that we head down to the bookstore so that I could buy a sweatshirt.

“I already have one,” Kara said.

“Is it white with a hood and powder blue writing on the front?” Sarah asked.

“Maybe,” Kara replied.

“I thought I lost that one. You took it!” Sarah said, making a motion to kick Kara.

“Hey, those are my shoes!” Kara replied.

And so it goes. I’m glad my older sister Amy is much smaller than me. I can barely keep myself clothed as it is. If it weren’t for Christmas and my birthday, I’d still be wearing my Hypercolor t-shirts from seventh grade. I don’t think I could handle somebody stealing my clothes, and Amy’s tank tops wouldn’t be a flattering look for me, anyway.

Regardless, Chapel Hill is a nice town. I wasn’t there long enough to tell if it’s my-McDonalds-has-a-wooden-sign nice, but if it’s not, it’s a contender for sure. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, say hi to Sarah for me. But keep an eye on your shoes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Friends with benefits

My buddy Rob took the shot for this week's Good Frickin' Picture Wednesday. Rob used to be all cool, but then he got a job with, like, health insurance benefits and stuff. Nobody cool has health insurance. Booooor-iiiiiing.

Rob lives in Venice Beach, where he is one of three non-panhandlers. He takes some mean pictures -- he's got one of those old-fangled cameras with F-stops and stuff, like the pilgrims used.

Rob just fractured two vertebrae in his lower back while skiing in a Big Air contest. At least he's putting that insurance to good use. Good luck with your broken arse, man.

You can check out more of Rob's pics here.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Scuba snacks

This week's Just Humor Me column has just gotten a promotion -- now it's next week's Just Humor Me column! Which leaves me with no semi-coherent ramblings to put out here today, except for the ones I'm coming up with just now.

This week is the first week that I'll be putting the web address for this site at the end of my print column. Does that make me sound cool to say, "my print column?" Of course, if you've read any of them, you know the horrible truth.

Anyway, in fairness to both of the people who read this column on actual paper, I'm going to start trailing the Recorder by a few days, instead of putting my stuff out here a few days early. You down? Word. I knew you would be.

In the meantime, check out this picture I took when Kara and I were visiting my sister Amy out in San Francisco last year:

Isn't that awesome? That's our pet shark, Snappy. He's fetching Scuba Steve for us. Good, Snappy. Yeth, you're good. Dood wittle Snappy.

If you have a friend that forwards you stuff like this (I'm looking at you, Iball), and you don't already know about snopes.com, you should check it out. You can find good stuff on snopes, like, for instance, that this picture is a bunch of hooey.

Okay, that's my public service for the day. Next week, I'll be back on schedule with my usual pointlessness.

Here's a trailer -- In my next column, I'll finally reveal whether Data and Counselor Troi consummated their relationship on their romantic Holodeck cruise. Wait a minute, are we talking about my Star Trek fan fiction? Oh. Never mind then.