Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Work Stories

I mostly got along with everyone at a place I used to work at. There were a few people that kinda got on my nerves. One of them was your typical aloof and socially awkward IT geek*.

I give everyone a chance, but then I had a conversation with him in the bathroom and then I knew I no longer liked him.

(we both walk into the men's room at the same time and I take the only urinal)
Foo: (joking) "look's like you are going to have to sit down to pee"
IT guy: "I always sit down to pee"
Foo: (confused smirk) …….
IT guy: "My wife makes me"
Foo: (silent giggle) " wha? why?"
IT guy: " I don't know… but she puts food on the table, so I do what she says."
--At this point he is in the stall next to mine. I don't know if he was sitting or not.
Foo: (trying not to laugh) "That reminds me of that movie, About Schmitt. You ever seen it?"
IT guy: (snooty tone) "Oh, I don't watch movies."
Foo: ......

After him telling me that he doesn't watch movies, I had this guy figured out, and there really wasn't much need for any more idle chatter between the two of us. He is one of those guys who has such a boring life that he has to broadcast his wacky quirks and knowledge to anyone that will listen just so he will seem interesting. Kinda like Dwight Schrute on The Office, except not funny.

Later on that month I overheard a conversation with that he had with someone just like him. It was funny because they were trying to out-do one another on how much trivial information they knew about Thailand.

1: “Thai food is spicy.”
2: “The spice is used as a preservative.”
1: “It comes from the habanera chili.”
--- long pause---
2: “Thailand is ruled by a King, not a democracy”
--- long pause---
1: “I rains a lot over there. They have alot of monsoons.”
--- long pause---
2: “Yeah, it really affects their tourism.”
--- really long pause-----
1: “Thai people eat a lot of eggs.”
--- long pause-----
2:"They have a lot of chickens in Thailand."

The last statement was my favorite.

It was like he ran out of information about Thailand from all the TV shows he had seen and he just inferred that there was alot of chickens because there was a lot of eggs.

When I worked there, there was a trend of eating lunch at Indian and Thai restaurants that were near. Every-single-time we ordered 3 of the same guys would get in some kind of contest about how hot they liked their food. When I would admit I wanted a 3/5 on the hot scale, they would say things like:

"Oh, you don't want that. You want a 5!" or: " I am getting mine much more hot that that!".

And while we ate, I might start sweating or make exclamations about the spiciness of the food, which they would all take as a queue to remind me how mild my food was compared to theirs.

I think they thought of spicy tolerance as a sign of their manhood. I would mostly admit that I am a spice weakling and they have far superior taste buds. On several occasions in the break room I would mock them about how little sugar they put in their coffee. I think one caught on, but the others didn’t.

Another funny story is when I was talking to my boss in the hallway, he was walking toward the bathroom. So i followed him in, because it was really important to talk to him. We continued the conversation through his entire bathroom visit, which included a very audible bowel movement. He didn't ask for privacy or ask if we could talk later or anything! I really admired him after that.

Another classic is a woman that I used to work with who lived in the country. Not on the outskirts of town, IN THE COUNTRY. Hours from civilization. Anyway, She always referred to her husband as "precious". She wasn’t describing him as precious; she actually called him precious, and didn’t mind calling him that when she talked to us about him. For some reason she expected us to know who he was.

“I need to pick up precious from the doctor’s today.”
“Me and precious are going to the lake this weekend.”
“I bought precious a new belt at the Walmart”

She also ate hot dogs hand-over-fist. She grilled those fuckers on a George Foreman Grill every day in our break room. So there was a stink of hot dogs 50% of the time I was working. Sometimes she gave me one, so at least I got a hot dog out of it.

This is the end of my stories about people I used to work with.

* I am not saying that all IT geeks are aloof and socially awkward. I know plenty who are not, and real nice guys. However, there is a special persona that seems to go along with IT people. I think most of us know what I am talking about.

Monday, September 18, 2006

sociopathic cable layers

Let me preface this blog by saying that I am not trying to be immature or distasteful due to the topic. I want to discuss an important topic and it just-so-happens to involve poop. Because I don’t want to seem crass, and the fact that I am eating lunch right now, I will refer to poop as “cable” and the act of defecation as “layin’ cable”.

Last week I was at work and I remembered back into the 1st-3rd grade time frame. Back then, there was an awful lot of cable lying around in places it shouldn’t be. I remember more than one occasion I would walk into the school bathroom and there would be some cable in the urinal or in the sink. At the time, I remember it being a little gross, but I would mostly just avoid it and go about my business. It seemed out of place, but nothing to get alarmed about. I was a kid, and I guess I didn’t know any better not to freak-out or start psycho-analyzing the type of kid that would lay cable in the sink.

However, when looking back, Holy Jesus! Why was there cable in the sink?!! My mind swims when I think of any reason why a 1-3 grade kid would lay cable in the sink or urinal.

Last week when I was thinking of it, I had a lot of questions. Was it just one kid? Is this common, does it happen in other schools? Do girls do it too? Do many young children go through a stage where they lay cable in the sink? Are they doing it to be bad, or just because they are confused? Do they lay their cable in a conventional manner, and then move it to the sink? Or do they actually put their butt in the sink or urinal and lay it there? Is this some kind of behavior that stems from an obsession, abuse, or stress from home? Where these kids little sociopaths? Where are these people now, are they still doing socially unacceptable and unhygenic things?

I was going to blog about this last week, and ask everyone if they remember spotting any cable in their bathrooms at that age. And if so, why they think it was there... but....

Ironically, over the weekend, I was at a party and I met a person who laid cable in a urinal when he was a kid! I don’t know how it came up, but once I realized he wasn’t kidding, I started hitting him with the questions. I asked him if he knew it was “bad”. He said yes, he did, but he also acted like he was a little confused back then. He went on to say that he lived in Malaysia as a little kid, and over there people have different toilet etiquette.

Then he came back to America and shit in a urinal.

He is most likely the exception to the rule. So again, I really wonder about this. Anyone remember this kind of thing going on? Anyone have any insight?

Thursday, September 14, 2006


My brother is in the process of adding another house onto his current house. Although it could house a family of four by today's standards, he insists on calling it a "garage". He even put garage doors on the front!

He doesn't have me fooled.

Most of the framing is done, and it looks pretty good.


I am so proud that I was telling my co-worker about it. I wanted a picture to show him. I emailed my brother (Gooie) :

Foo: Send me a single picture of your garage. I want to show somebody at work.

Goo: (sends picture without any message)

Foo: It would have been a better picture with cooper in it.

Goo: photoshop him in.

So here is the progress of my brother's garage, with Cooper in it, which I think really gives the picture some personality.

Today one of our secretaries turned 50. There were alot of posters around with grim reapers, "over the hill", and basic warnings about the futility of life and the person's impending demise.

The cake had a grim reaper on it!

Although I am certain it was in good fun, I generally believe that it is bad form to remind people of their old age on their birthday. After all, birthdays are about celebrations and fun! I am serious. I really have a problem with this. I hope no one does this to me at any point in my life.

Along that note, my wife's birthday is this Sunday. Be nice and wish her happy birthday.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 remember that?

Five years since 9/11. I think that was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. I imagine it is similar to previous generations when John Kennedy was shot, or when Pearl Harbor was attacked.

I was in college at IU, getting ready for class in my studio apartment. I turned on the news right after the first plane hit, and I think like most people, thought (or hoped!) it was an accident. I happened to be watching as the second plane hit and then I realized how serious it was. I was horrified and confused that a group of people would conspire to do something so destructive and kill so many innocent people. Then the towers came down, and I really got scared. I naively thought (or hoped) that everyone escaped the towers coming down, or that people could ride down the collapsing towers and still survive.

Even though I have skipped class for much less important things (Ages of Empire LAN game, episode of Dr. Katz I hadn’t seen), I decided that I should go to class that day. I got on the bus to go to campus and the bus was even more silent then usual for a Monday morning. Luckily, I got to sit next to Ms. Chatterbox, who went on non-stop about some party over the weekend and some guy she met. She clearly didn't know what happened. Her flippant rant was a stark contrast to everyone else's somber mood. I was shooting daggers with my eyes at her, as if I envied her ignorance.

Then I went to class, and the students talked about it before class started. The prof talked about it some, and then we went on with class. Then I watched the news 24/7 even though they mostly repeated themselves. For some reason, I thought it was important to get gas. That night I gassed up my car, and my girlfriend’s car. There were long lines. I guess everyone agreed with me that there was a chance that the evil-doers would fly planes into Bloomington, and we would have to flee.

I didn't buy any duct-tape, although it seemed like an okay idea at the time.

Remember the terrorism-alert system? What ever happened to that? are we in red, orange, yellow, cyan, or lilac now? Oh, yellow you say? What a relief. No need to duck-and-cover until we are at least in orangish-red.

Anyway, I think we all have these stories of what happened that day. Anyone want to share their story? please leave a comment.

If this email is too depressing or serious here is a cute little baby chick to make you happy again.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

baby humor

Alex, my pride and joy, has a pretty good sense of humor. Over the weekend, she was laughing (very hard) at my wife prancing around and singing a silly song. This made me ponder what in the world babies think is so damn funny.

So far, I have seen Alex (10 mo) laugh at being tickled, and people doing silly things, like me dancing, my wife singing and frolicing, and grandpa putting a pillow on his head as though it was his hat. It is really striking that someone who cannot yet comprehend language can laugh, not just at something tactile, like tickling, but at situations, like her parents acting silly.

When we see her laughing now and then, we say "she has a good sense of humor". This lead me to then wonder how a sense of humor is developed. Although I don't know, I would reason that a sense of humor is learned (nurture as opposed to nature). If that is so, how could she be laughing already at 10 months?

Maybe at this stage, she is just extremely "entertained", and that makes her laugh. I mean, she can't "get" absurd jokes. She can't comprehend those kind of things. For instance, if I wore my clothes backwards and talking backwards one day, she wouldn't think that was funny. she probably wouldn't notice.

My wife and I, and for that matter my family and friends, all have tremendous senses of humor. In fact, that is basically what I have in common with all my friends, is that we like to get together and say clever things. So, I think she will have a pretty good sense of humor when she gets older.

What is humor anyhow? Is it our way of keeping ourselves happy, and dealing with stress? I would guess that non-primates don't laugh. I suppose that humor is a bi-product of being able to think abstractly. Most humor I have found is absurd or ironic situations. Do dolphins laugh? Is that chattering thing they do laughing? They are smug, those dolphins.

There are so many unanswered questions. Thoughts? Below is a bonus picture of that little cherub looking very un-humerous.

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