Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Window Seat (Or: Why Old People Should Not Be Allowed to Fly)

[This is a visual approximation of the old couple in question. Except mine weren't as attractive or pleasant looking.]

I’m a big fan of the window seat. When travelling alone, I pretty much require it. Everyone knows the middle seat sucks and I don’t like the aisle. I usually book my tickets online and aside from the convenience, online booking is great because you can pick your seats. I always choose the window because I like to sleep on planes, and it is easiest to do in the window seat, and also because when I’m not sleeping, I like to look out the window at the pretty clouds and shit.

Yesterday I board the plane from Portland towards Chicago and I see that there is an old couple sitting in my aisle, and the old lady is sitting in the windows seat. My seat. At this point I could choose one of three options: 1) say nothing and just sit in the available seat, which is the aisle; 2) inform the Biddy that she’s in my seat and demand that she sit in her assigned seat; or 3) point out to the couple that one of them is sitting in the wrong seat, but offer to take the aisle anyway.

In the spirit of educating the couple of their faux-pas so they don’t get into other potentially uncomfortable situations later (people aren’t generally as nice as I am* and next time they may get some belligerent jerk yelling at them), I choose option #3, even though I am tired and want to sleep and everyone knows that trying to sleep in the aisle seat is a losing proposition since you always get clipped by people walking by, and you always have to get out of the seat when the person at the window or middle seat has to use the washroom. Plus, we’ve all seen these situations before where someone is sitting in the wrong seat and the person that calls them on it ends up looking like a big jerk and I didn’t want to be that guy.

What I want to say is, “Excuse me, but this ain’t Southwest Airlines and you can’t just sit anywhere you want – I don’t care how old you are – but all is cool and I’ll take the aisle.” But instead the conversation goes like this:

Me: “Excuse me, I believe you may be sitting in my seat, but I’ll just take the aisle.”
The two of them just look at me and then Biddy says to her husband: “What?”
Me: “I think you are in my seat. But that’s OK – I will just take the aisle.”
One again the two of them look at each other (not me) and she once again asks her husband (again, not me as if I’m not really there): “What?”
Me (directly to the grandma, who has that deer-in-the-headlights look, disturbingly similar to the look
the woman who practically ran me over in her car**): “Is that your seat?”
Grandma: “B’idunno.”

In case you weren't aware, “B’idunno” is a substitute for the phrase “I don’t know” and is commonly used by indifferent teenagers. It is rarely spoken by anyone over the age of 22, let alone an old lady. When it became clear that I wasn’t going to get any other answers or response out of the old bird (frankly, I was expecting a “My goodness! I am sorry for sitting in your seat!”), I just settled into the aisle seat and no further words were exchanged.

And of course I tried to sleep during the flight but was continually woken by the banging of the snack cart, fat people walking down the aisle, and the icing on the cake - the old couple next to me having to evacuate their bowels not just once but TWICE during the 4 hour flight. Moving forward, I do believe that I will no longer be nice to old people (that I'm not related to) - they try to kill me or deprive me of much-needed sleep.

I suppose this point is debatable.
** Just be warned that as time goes on that whole biking incident story is going to get more dramatic – by next month I will be referring to this story as “the time I was almost killed.”

Monday, November 19, 2007


The last two years I've used dedicated a Thanksgiving post to all the things that I'm thankful for that year. Which, besides eating my body weight in a variety of carbohydrates is the point of Thanksgiving, right?

This year I am getting out of town early (tomorrow) to Portland to visit friends, hike Forest Park, snowshoe, eat deep-fried turkey and quite possibly hit Mary's Club. Most of my local friends are getting out of town this year, which is cool- the weather here is shitty. Not that Portland will be much better, but I'd rather be in shitty weather near the mountains and ocean than in Chicago.

It has been a tough year for me and some of the people I'm close to, and it's hard to look back and feel good about a lot of it. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty that I'm thankful for (Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Capes, and the people who wear them; Crowded House reunion; The fact that I got off my ass and went back to school) but mostly I'm just going to focus on the fact that all the people in my life are healthy and strong, and that we're alive to experience another Holiday season. I also want to thank all the people I've met- and become friends with- through this blog.



I get a(nother) hangover just looking at these pictures.

There was good food. And lots of drinks. A panda. And cape wearing.

I forget - is it a true sign of a successful evening if you end up passed out hugging the toliet bowl? Or is that an unsuccessful evening?

If nothing else, the Twinkie Cake turned out really well.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Twinkie Cake

The Second Coming of Loaf is happening this weekend. On the agenda:

  1. Twinkie Cake
  2. Tiki Bowl Drinks
  3. Interpretive Dance
  4. Lots of Drinking
Has anyone made a Twinkie Cake? I'm a little scared.

Mine will look less like this:

And more like this:

Anyone made tiki bowl drinks? I'm less scared of that one, since as long as it has lots of different alcohols and pretty blue, green, pink or orange colors it is bound to be good. Plus, my last foray into mixology was a success.
Sort of.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brain Dead

For the past three months I've been juggling, rather successfully I think, the management between working full-time and going to school. At times it has been a struggle being able to do both but so far it has been OK. Sometimes I've had to run (literally) from my office to class in order to turn in an assignment on time. There was this one instance where I had to miss class due to a big announcement at work (and because of that almost missed out on some needed extra credit), but that was only one time. Also, switching the gears in your brain from work topics like: ERP, SaaS, unified communications and VoIP to school topics like: phagocytes, telophase, osteoclasts and red bone marrow can be a challenge, but still manageable.

That's all changed today. Today I am rather screwed. I have just finished a huge work report (the biggest one of my entire contract) that took many many hours to complete. I tried to finish it this weekend but of course some situations I could control and some that I couldn't kept me from it. I spent much of last week on it. I spent most all of yesterday on it. My alarm went off at 5:05 this morning so I could get up and finish it.

The Good news is that I just turned in my draft and for the most part is that I'm done. The Bad news is that I'm brain dead and useless for the rest of the day.

The Worst news is that now I have to cram 7 hours of studying into the next 5 hours because I have a Bio Exam at 5:30. An exam that I pretty much have not had time to study for since I've been focused on this work report. Fuck.

Yeah, so I guess I should be studying instead of blogging.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yer Momma: [Cherry]-1 Recken-0

One of the reasons I love Recken is our shared belief that Yer Momma jokes are not only ripe for a comeback, but also appropriate for any occasion. When she and Kate came for a visit a few weeks ago, pretty much every conversation ended with Recken saying, "Yer Momma."

For example, I might share a deep personal revelation like the fact that I'm deeply concerned about the strange mole that's formed on my shoulder, and she'd reply with "Yer Momma."

It was very endearing.

The problem is that when the going gets tough, I'm not sure she's capable of bringing her A Game. Case in point, the following is a text message interaction we had this weekend:

Recken: "These are the best pants you've ever seen." (Ed. note: inside joke)
Me: "Yer momma."
Recken: "Yer momma's so fat she needs her own zip code."
Me: "Yer momma's so fat she heard it was chilly outside she ran and got herself a bowl."

As of this writing (a good 24 hours later), still no response from Recken.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I'm Not Going to Make Too Much of a Big Deal About This, But ...

... My prayers have been answered. (Thanks, Classy, for the tip.)

In other news: On my bike ride into the Loop today, I was actually hit/sideswiped by a car. As in, my body actually came into contact with the car. I was riding in the bike lane, and the driver came up next to me and tried to make a right-hand turn, pushing me to the curb.

Luckily she was going slow, but I wasn't. She didn't hear the initial "thud" sound of me coming into contact with her rightside back door, but she did hear the "thud" created as I kicked - hard - at her back bumper.

She stopped the car and I swung around to the drivers side window and the hilarious* conversation that ensued went like this:

Me: "You hit me!"
Her: "...."
Me: "You HIT me. With YOUR CAR!"
Her: "Sorry?"
Me: (Sensing that she did not speak English, I made hand gestures showing her car [left hand] running into me [right hand]): YOU HIT ME WITH YOUR CAR. YOUR CAR HIT ME. ON MY BIKE."
Her: "Oh... Sorry. I sorry."
(At this point a few people on the sidewalk had stopped, but I didn't care if I was making a spectacle - I was fucking pissed.)
Me: "You need to pay attention to where you're going! This here is a bike lane. For bikers!"
Her: "I sorry."

I'm reasonably confident, based on my interaction with her and the general condition of her vehicle, that she didn't have insurance and had something happened, my own insurance would have been picking up the whole fucking tab. This woman made no attempt to ask if I was OK; she was more concerend about trying to get away. Fucking people.

* And by "hilarious" I of course mean "so help me, if I had a knife I'd gut you like a grouper."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Armageddon Day Is Approaching

No sooner have I posted about a return to happier days, then the arrival of news from Google confirming the long-brewing rumors that it is developing the Google Phone.
People are creaming like this is the best news ever. [Well, at least since the Ace of Base reunion news.] This is not good news, people.

Remember in the movie Terminator when they talk about "Judgement Day" and the guy who designs a learning computer that goes online on August 4, 1997, and how this computer begins learning at a geometric rate, and becomes self-aware at 2:14 am on August 29, 1997 and launches nuclear missiles that destroy most of humanity?

Yeah, well take the above paragraph and substitute the word "computer" with Google, and substitute the "August 29, 1997" day with "whatever day the Google phone debuts" and well, there you have it. You may be laughing now, but nobody believes me when I say Google is the Devil and in a decade we'll all have little Google bar codes in our scull so they can (even better than they do already today) keep track of us all.

Better get your Scandanavian pop singer fix in now boys and girls while you still can.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Happy Days Ahead

Remember a time in the not-so-distant past when life was simpler, and pop music offered a cure to all of society's ills?

Me neither. But two recent reunion announcements have me thinking I'm in for some juicy sweet, aurally satisfying and blissful musical moments over the next several months.

Spice Girls Reunion

They've teased us before, but this time it is really happening. New single, new greatest hits album and a reunion tour.

Despite the full page ad in the Chicago Reader (huh?!?) a few weeks ago for it, they will not be coming to the Windy City. I suspect this is largely due to the fact the Girls couldn't locate Chicago on a map (except maybe Mel C, who everyone knows is, like, the best Spice Girl).

Ace of Base Reunion

Apparently, things are so bad for Ace of Base that they've agreed to reunite, tour Russia (is that really such a sound business decision?) and possibly perform Eurovision 2008.
But their bad luck can be my gain - I'm hoping they book some studio time to churn out some more quality songs on par with "Beautiful Life" and "The Sign." PS - this is their official website. Have you ever seen anything so lame?

I guess Aqua is also reuniting, but who gives a shit. Now, if the stars would align to get Hanson and Roxette back together, I'd be set.*

* Wait, you say that neither Hanson nor Roxette have never really broken up? Oh.