Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm running for Governor

I had another post prepared for today about the price of gasoline, but I'll use it tomorrow. Instead, I just HAVE to comment on something I heard on the Today show this morning. In an interview with Matt Lauer, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco announced that she's declared today a "Day of Prayer" in her state. From the press release:

"I have declared August 31, 2005, a Day of Prayer in the State of Louisiana. I am asking that all of Louisiana take some time Wednesday to pray. Pray for the victims and the rescuers. Please pray that God give us all the physical and spiritual strength to work through this crisis and rebuild. Please pray for patience for those anxiously waiting to hear from family members or to get word about their homes. Pray for the safety of our hard-working rescuers and those they are bringing to safety. I know, by praying together on Wednesday, that we can pull together and draw strength we need; strength, that only God can give us. In my prayers, I will also thank God for the strong and resilient people of this state and how they are working to meet this challenge."

OK, I'm a bit confused. First, she didn't tell us exactly to which God we should pray. I see that as a major omission. The Islamic, Hindu, American Indian and Jewish population of Louisiana could be sending mixed prayer signals, and I think that's just going to add to the confusion. And forget about those Confucians, and Shintos and Taoists out there--let's hope they moved to Mississippi. I guess, even though the U.S. constitution tells us otherwise, she's assuming there's one God that takes all prayer requests. Oh well, at least she told us what to pray FOR. That should help.

The other thing I'm a bit concerned about is the efficacy of prayer in general. Although she clearly said in her interview "We know that prayer works" I've scoured the internet this morning for reputable scientific journals that have documented where one or more people "thinking really hard about something" actually influenced said thing's outcome. I'm sure, though, that David Duke probably has some proof somewhere.

See, if *I* were Governor of Louisiana (which I'd never be, the pay sucks), I would have at least said something more secular, like "We ask that you focus your collective thoughts or prayers so that our rescue workers will find the strength it will take to do all this work by themselves since the President in on fucking VACATION."

OR, better yet, how about this:

Louisiana Governor declares August 31, 2005 "National Send Us $20 Day." See, even if 1% of the estimated 297 million Americans donated, the Governor would have an extra $597 million bucks to pump the water from the streets of one of my favorite cities. Now if we could only pump the water out from between her ears...

For me, I'm going to send my collective thoughts and prayers for Governor Blanco to quit wasting time and taxpayer money on press releases about prayer and start spending her time finding my dear friend Steven about whom I am terribly worried and have not heard a peep. Hope you're OK SF!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Crush, Actually

Now I'll admit, I'm not dying of cancer or some other rare disease that would make me eligible, but in the unlikely event that I find myself in that terrible situation, I want to formally submit my "Make a Wish" request: I want ONE date with the handsome young man on whom I've got a secret crush. No Disney World, or African safari, or a evening chugging Jesus juice with MJ. Nope, all I want is a little ME time with the cutest guy on the planet.

I don't frequently get "crushes." My narcissistic personality disorder prevents me from liking anyone more than myself. And given my acute self-loathing, a crush usually just isn't in the cards. But lately I've developed one on an unlikely victim subject. I don't want to spill the beans, nor do I want to embarass him or cause the paparazzi to dig through his trash due to my infatuation. I also wouldn't want to ruin his perfect relationship with his HOT boyfriend (or [doubtfully] girlfriend), or make him uproot his budding career in CA to move to Kansas City just to be my lover. I also don't want to throw off his otherwise fantastic taste--I don't think shrubs in the shape of my torso, or painting murals of my backside is really what the Jones' are chasing these days.

All I CAN tell you that he's a regular on an HGTV show and that I get a bit flustered at the sight of his smile. But that's it. OK, and that his red hair makes me swoon. And that he's as adorable as the day is long. Oh and did I mention he's incredibly soft-spoken, has a very gentle way about him, and best of all, knows his way around the outside of a house (although that copper water-thingy was just a bit outside my comfort zone--but like all good relationships, I talked myself through it and eventually came to terms with it). And regardless of what anyone might tell you, I have NOT kissed the TV while he was on. Seriously. I didn't.

So Make a Wish Foundation--I'll expect that you study this post hard so that if I DO need an emergency wish granted, you'll be able to figure out who this young man is and you can have him prepared for me. And make sure he showers and doesn't bring that dorky sidekick Rick along. Or, better yet, you may want to go ahead and help him get the restraining order.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The "eye" of 1983

With hurricane Katrina hitting New Orleans and the Louisiana/Mississippi/Alabama coastline, I've been thinking about the time the eye of hurricane Alicia passed directly over my house in Baytown, TX. It was 1983. August the 18th to be precise. I'll set the stage for you:

  1. Terms of Endearment, Risky Business and Flashdance were on the big screen.
  2. The Supreme Court just declared abortion restrictions unconstitutional.
  3. Sally Ride was the first woman in space aboard the Challenger.
  4. These cool things called Compact Disks [sic] were just being released.
  5. Crack cocaine was invented in Columbia.
  6. Torch Song Trilogy won a Tony.
  7. Parker Stevenson married Kirstie Alley.
  8. And I was 13. A freshmen at Ross S. Sterling High School.

I remember the day quite clearly. The hurricane hit in the late evening and I slept through most of it. I was awakened by my mother in the early morning who thought for sure that the large pine tree next to my window would fall directly on my head and kill me. The area where we lived wasn't considered "coastal" by any means, but our proximity to the bayou that was fed by the Gulf of Mexico was always a flood concern. Alicia had a 10.5 foot tidal surge, and we happened to be exactly 9 feet above sea level. This meant that roughly, there'd be about a foot and a half of water in our house if predictions were correct.

In Texas, almost all homes are "ranch" style, which means that there is only one level in the entire home. No basement. So in order to save our appliances and electronics (especially that 8-track!), we resorted to milk crates. My father, who owned a restaurant, always had a HUGE supply of the perfectly square, industrial strength plastic crates in which our milk supplier shipped its goods. Freezer, TVs, refrigerator, couches, washer/dryer, etc. were all given the 12-inch 'Lift de Leche'. I'm sure the remaining five inches were left to the hurricane god(s). Though we got nearly a foot of water all around the exterior of our house, it only seeped through the brick and sandbags we had in the door frames. Our furniture was spared.

Aside from high water and blowing trees, the thing that I remember most about Alicia is that the eye passed directly over our house. In a span of about 15-20 minutes, the conditions went from nearly black clouds with blinding lightening, torrential rain and flying debris to absolute silence. No wind. No rain. Then, almost miraculously, blue sky. It was as if someone had turned the storm off with a switch. Neighbors slowly waded (yes waded) out of their houses into the flooded front yards of the neighborhood. For whatever reason (I'm assuming something related to barometric pressure), I could hear neighbors talking clearly from 10-12 houses down the street. It was quite bizarre to witness such turmoil under such conditions. We were allowed to examine a hurricane's devastation while it was happening. Soon, the families creeped back inside, the sky darkened, and the South East side (always the worst) of Alicia gave us her wrath.

Our family was well-sheltered, and we suffered only minor damages. Trees were broken and twisted in unnatural ways, things floated in the pool that shouldn't have, and lost little creatures crawled and slithered in places they weren't normally found. I hope that everyone in New Orleans and elsewhere are soon surveying their damages as we did shortly after the storm--bruised, but still alive to be thankful.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Weekend, Wasted at Laguna Beach

And no, not the good kind of wasted... This would be the kind where I slept 13-14 hours every night, then proceeded to watch movies and binge on Nutter Butters. Other than sticking steadfastly to Casey's feeding, excersizing, walking, playing and pooping regime, I pretty much sat on my ass. I did do a little bit of laundry folding, and while doing so, I got stuck on MTV. Specifically, Laguna Beach ("The REAL OC"). I'm not exactly sure why I'm so fascinated by these spoiled teenaged idiots, but I decidedly am. In one 4 hour marathon, I learned all about the kids of LB:

Kristin - the gorgeous blond that treats boys like boys treat girls (and knows it)
Jason - the hot-but-hairy cherub with a fantastic smile (and knows it) who treats girls like shit
Jessica - the codependent that obesses over Jason
Stephen - the confident and totally adorable college freshman that swoops back into town to revitalize his manhood
Talan - pimple-faced hotty with a good heart and a big libido

And then there was Alex, several Laurens', and a variety of other wanna-bes who were just not quite cute enough or funny enough or interesting enough or rich enough to be the main characters of the show. These kids really do have amazing lives in an MTV, surreal-life kind of way. They don't work. They don't go to school. Their parents are never around. They have unlimited access to cash, cars and parties. They have absolutely no worries execpt which blond bimbo is going to hook up with the next barely pubescent hot surfer boy. I think the reason I stuck to watching it--aside from the interesting eye candy--is that it's like [legally] peering into a totally and completely fabricatred, made-up, glamourized fantasy world I never knew as a teenager. I'm certain that this show's primary demographic is 30-something males that were never popular, were never good-looking, and had a boring if not downright pathetic teenage existence. The sad thing is that they got me hook, line and sinker.

Having said that, though... ohmygod, I SO want to live in Laguna Beach, I could just like, DIE.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Anatomy of a Walk

First, we walk:

Then we do our business:

Then we find objects that look anything remotely like a penis:

Then we sniff things, and sniff things, and sniff things, and sniff things...

Satisfied, we rest.

It's a dog's life, I tell ya.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday PTO

If you're lucky enough to be unfamiliar with corporate jargon, PTO stands for "Paid Time Off." It's the company's way of not distinguishing whether you're sick, tired, bored, frustrated or just need some rest. You get x amount of days off and that's it. Today, Friday, I took a PTO day, for all of the above reasons, except sick. Mostly, I just needed to get the second half of my new Fabric Care System delivered and a full 8-hours away from the office. After two wet (and smelly) delivery guys tracked mud in my house during the pouring rain (who then proceeded to destroy my otherwise carefully jury-rigged--and duct-taped--dryer exhaust system), I did laundry all day long.

Here's a pic of my new babies. Sorry for the blur.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Rain, rain go away

I am absolutely SICK of rain. It has rained 13 of the last 15 days here in Kansas City, and it's supposed to rain through the end of the week. Aside from giving a refreshing splash of life to our environment and maybe something nice to fall asleep to, rain poses significant hardship on my lifestyle. These are some of the things I can't do when it's raining:

Mow the lawn.
Take the dog to the park.
Take the dog for a walk.
Get the dog to pee (easily).
Get the dog to poop (easily).
Keep my car clean.
Get dressed without sweating profusely from the humidity.
Sit out on my deck.
Open the sunroof.
Run around naked in the back yard.
Run around naked in the front yard.
Keep from killing someone who says "We sure do need this rain."
Wear sandals (comfortably).
Go to the pool.
Stay awake for long periods of time (I get sleepy when it rains).

Alas, I'll put up with it since I have no other choice. But I'm SICK of holding an umbrella over a finnicky Beagle at 6am just so he doesn't pee in the house. Damn you, mother nature! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


This morning on the way to work I witnessed a terrible car accident. It happened barely 20 feet from my face (and I guess the rest of my body, too.). I was sitting at a red light that had just turned green when a brand new Lexus Soccer-Mom SUV came barreling through the left turn lane. I'm assuming that either she thought she was going to get a protected arrow, or just simply figured that she could turn faster than the oncoming traffic could start moving from a dead stop. What she didn't see was the bright red Jeep Wrangler that was approaching the intersection from the outside lane at about 40 miles an hour.


They always say wrecks happen so fast that you really can't see what happened. This wasn't the case for me. I watched that Jeep plow directly into that car as if it were in slow-motion. The impact was an incredible site. The Jeep, being about as aerodynamic as a brick, rammed the Lexus' rear quarter section of the passenger side. The impact sent the Lexus into a near 360 degree spin, tail first. It bounced off the curb, pieces of it's door and side-molding flying high in the air, and came to a rest in the middle of the intersection. For a second, all four tires were off the ground. The Jeep went straight up in the air and landed facing oncoming traffic--two tires on the road, two tires on the median.

Since it was rush-hour and there was a police-officer about 10 cars back in the intersection, I didn't stop or call 911. But I certainly tightened my seatbelt and slowed down a bit. I hope no one was hurt. Ouch.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Letter to

If you're a gay man (or woman I suppose), you're well aware of the Web site "Gay.Com." It has become somewhat of a staple in the online gay community for live chat with other likeminded souls (this is a fancy way of saying an easy place to hook up). If you haven't been to the site, the way it works is that you create a profile with your stats, likes/dislikes, pictures of yourself/pets/family, etc. The premise is that users can log on and chat with anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world. And it works quite well, actually. Except for one thing: Fake Profiles.

Rather than go into details, I'm including a recent e-mail I sent to to see if I could create any kind of stir about this (I will be unrelenting, I promise).

Dear staff,

I'm writing for two reasons: first, to express my dissatisfaction with the number of fraudulent profiles that are currently littering our chat rooms; and second, to offer a suggestion on how this might be curtailed, if not eliminated altogether.

Fake profiles are toxic to your customers and to your business. Their presence significantly undermines my online experience, and ultimately devalues the services for which I'm paying. I am repeatedly barraged by the constant intrusion of private messages clearly programmed to auto-message me (and I'm sure everyone else). These profiles occupy prime space in the chat rooms and reduce the ability for real customers to enter, and subsequently connect with others. They are frequently vulgar and offensive. They are inherently deceitful and underhanded, and foster mistrust and animosity amongst your users. In my opinion, these profiles are ruining

Your customers deserve some basic protections against such hassles. And it's insulting that you have let this get so out of hand. I could find no mention of fraudulent profiles anywhere in your supporting documentation, or any overt effort to acknowledge the problem or discuss the desire to curtail such activities. Frankly, the absence of such acknowledgment could lead one to believe that is actually BEHIND these profiles. It would be easy to come to this conclusion based on the circumstances: 1) in most cases, these profiles do not promote or advertise anything; 2) they are always young, good-looking and overtly sexual; 3) there is absolutely no protections in place to prevent them; 4) they clearly have automated functions within the java code set that would difficult for 3rd parties to hack; and 5) Motive: To fill the chat rooms with hot guys to increase the allure of the service? Beef up their numbers for advertisers? To flood the rooms with adult pictures not visible by non-paying members so as to increase subscriber revenue? As a long-time member and subscriber to your services I sincerely hope none of this is true.

I'd like to suggest a two-pronged approach to reducing or eliminating this problem. First would be incorporating a registration process that prevents automated profile creation (i.e., a visually distorted validation code keyed by the user). Second would be a member-based notification process where if a specific number of users reported a profile as fraudulent, it would be suspended until further verification was obtained. Member-based policing would be extremely empowering to your users and could be extremely effective. Based on comments I see repeatedly in the chat rooms, members would love to eliminate this problem--they only lack a tool with which to do so.

I am in Product Management as a profession (health care IT) and I fully appreciate the services you provide and understand the effort that goes into facilitating such a large operation used by so many. I also understand the budget constraints around product enhancements and development. But I am also a huge fan, and as a product manager, it's hard not to offer unsolicited advice from the trenches of your chat rooms. I sincerely hope that you'll take this feedback constructively and use it to promote positive change for your users and your company. If there is anything I could do to help with this effort, I would gladly volunteer some of my time.

I have no expectation whatsoever that this will be effective at eliminating this problem. But at least I tried!

Friday, August 19, 2005

BBC and Rice DNA

During lunch, I sometimes listen to "BBC News" on NPR. I enjoy it for a couple of reasons: one, I like the way the female announcer says "It's 18:42 GMT." And it's not like I'm fascinated by a 24-hour clock, I actually like her breathy voice and the way she elongates the "T." I also like the way they read stock quotes. In stead of saying stock ABC is "up point four percent," it's "stock ABC is up naught point four percent." It's a little annoying if all 10-15 stocks about which they're reporting have a preceding zero; however, an occasional 'naught' makes me giggle.

Today's show featured a segment about how scientists have "finally" unscrambled the genetic code for rice. Yes, that all-too-tricky carbohydrate well all know and love, stripped of it's genetic mystique. Apparently it took them seven years to do this, and it's considered "the most important breakthrough genetic science has achieved." Now at first, I have to admit, I chuckled at this. I fantasized about how we'll be able to genetically alter rice so that when refrigerated, Chinese food could be enjoyed a second time, or how perhaps we could go from "Minute Rice" to "Second Rice." But then I drifted back to seriousness... Did you know:

  • Rice is a type of grass that grows 2-6 feet tall
  • Its edible grain is the primary food for over half the world's population
  • Rice was first cultivated in Thailand at least 6,000 years ago
  • Each rice cell contains somewhere in the region of 40,000 to 60,000 genes
  • Each human cell has only about 30,000 to 40,000 genes
So how's THAT for a blow to the ego? Technically, we're less complex than rice. And apparently, at 16 billion genomes (humans have 3 billion), we're also getting our arses kicked by wheat. Who knew grass could be so complicated.

Anywho, I genuinely hope these scientists don't waste too much time trying to use this code to improve the health/diets of starving third-world children, or do something ridiculous like make it resistant to disease or spoilage (those farmers need SOMETHING to do). The real opportunity here is to pander directly to the American consumer by developing a lush green lawn grass that would never change color, never grow and never need watering/fertilizing. This way, I'd never, ever, have to mow the lawn again. Now THAT'S science!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Things on my mind today

I realize that so far my posts have been rather lengthy and generally stick to one topic; however, today will be different. I was thinking that I'd do a "Things on my mind today" post to give you a general feel for where my head is today.

General mood: Mello, but optimistic.

1. I have no food at home--must go grocery shopping tonight.
2. I have a late meeting today and am worried about the pup holding it.
3. I'm really starting to hate
4. If I was a Jew in the Gaza Strip, I'd be friggin PISSED.
5. Oh shit, my AMEX bill was due yesterday. I hate when I do that.
6. Edwin didn't come clean yesterday. I need to call him.
7. MUST do more laundry tonight.
8. Need to get M. his watch.
9. Need to have Blondie over for dinner soon.
10. I hope it stops raining soon so I can mow the yard. It looks like crap.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Money, Laundered

For about the past month, my washing machine has been growning and howling like an ox in heat. I can hear it moaning in agony from the basement all the way up to the second floor. Since I got it in 1994, I figured I would just let it die a slow death. This weekend, she croaked (and I know that it's female b/c our relationship lasted so long).

I'll confess to being somewhat out of touch with the progress in laundry appliances in the last ten years. I just assumed that I could go to Best Buy or Sears and pick up a new one for a few hundred bucks and call it a day. Oooooh, no. While I wasn't looking, someone started to make washing machines "fabric care systems." Apparently, like the one I bought, these things are "constantly capturing data and adapting the washing and drying cycles to optimize cleaning performance." Instead of the previous cleaning formula (water+soap+agitate), they now have an intricate combination of data points like Pressure Switches, Tachometers, Flow Meters and the nifty-sounding AccuWash Sensor. Unfortunately, unlike the prices of other electronics where innovation drives DOWN costs (like $49 DVD players, etc.), the price for a new fabric care system has skyrocketed. So much so that I actually considered a metal bucket and a washboard.

On Sunday, my new "friend" M. and I traveled to Sears to take a look at replacing the old washer (god rest her soul). The lady who helped us proceeded to show us about 20 different brands and models, each with a completely different set of complicated specifications and benefits. The only real differentiator I could latch on to was that some can wash a Queen-size comforter, and others, a King-size comforter. Since I've never in my life washed a comforter, I asked her to stop using that as a reference point. Sadly, she was unable to tell me how many pairs of sweaty jock straps they could hold, so I just let it slide. I'll be sure to let her know so she can further her already extremely unnatural knowledge of laundry.

Now M. was certainly no help in this process. In fact, I think he may have teamed up with the sales lady and split the commission. Paraphrasing...

"I think the front loading ones are cool."

"Yes, but they're three times as expensive."

"Well, I'm just saying. They're cool."

"I don't need cool laundry appliances."

"That's OK, I just like them better, though."

"Quit saying that."

"What? You can buy the other ones, I'm sure they'll be just fine."

This was a bit like trying on clothes and having a friend say "Eh" or "What about that other one?" "Maybe a different size." Subconsciously, I felt pressure to consider the front loaders. And then something magical started to happen. I began to rationalize, er, appreciate the value of the front loading fabric care systems. I can wash 22 full-size bath towels in one load. Instead of 45 gallons of water, these only use 15. And while my current dryer takes about an hour to dry a small load, I can do a extra large load in only 25. Hmmm.

So now I'm the proud new owner of a Whirlpool Duet Fabric Care System. I'm hoping what Whirlpool told me was the truth and that I'll actually do fewer loads of laundry, spend more time with family and friends and even realize a 68% energy savings. And even all of those things don't work out, I'll still have a really cool fabric care system. Now, where can I buy 22 bath towels...?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Addiction to Balls

Casey, my about-to-be 11-month old Beagle has a fixation with balls. Anything that is round, makes a noise, and/or otherwise flies from my hand in a playful way is subject to attack. Since he was a winter puppy, we spent most of our play time indoors. Instead of long walks in the freezing cold with snow over his little puppy ears, we played ball in the house. This is where I apparently enabled said fixation.

Thankfully, I have a carpeted hallway in my upstairs bedroom than spans about 30 feet or so--ample room to get up to full speed, and just enough time to slide to a soft crash into the leather recliner. For about 30 minutes in the morning, and sometimes more in the afternoon after work, we play ball. Fetching the ball while playing rough-house with Daddy (that's me) is the absolute joy of his life. And to be honest, I kind of like doing it too. It's been amazing to watch his skills develop from a clumsy little oaf to a full-fledged major league shortstop. The boy can CATCH I'm telling you...

Lately, though, I'm beginning to worry that his fixation is edging towards addiction. Conventional wisdom says that you've got an addiction when it begins to disrupt other areas of your life. This is true for the boy. When it's not play time, I put the balls on top of my chest of drawers. While this is out of sight and out of reach, it is not even close to being out of smell (he is, after all, a scent hound). This causes the boy to sit at the bottom of the dresser and jump straight up in the air, whimper and occasionally bark. He's been ignoring his other chew toys (ropes, cow hooves, bones) in favor of bird-dogging the dresser. This morning, he brought his ball down with him to eat breakfast, but instead of eating, he stood at the baby gate with ball in mouth, waiting for me to take him upstairs to play. Have you ever heard of dog that passed up food for a ball? ADDICT.

As I think about it, I probably should somehow try to break him of this so he's not a total ball junkie. The last thing I need is to pay for a stint in the Betty Balls clinic. My ex and I used to have a Wiemaraner with pretty serious separation anxiety (she was adopted), and we took her to a behavioralist to see if it would help. Several hundred dollars later, and explicit instructions to look Maddie directly in the eye and say things like "You're a strong dog, Maddie," "You're a good dog, Maddie," we decided therapy wasn't such a good idea.

Hopefully, the balls aren't a precursor to other, more dangerous addictions like shoe chewing, digging or general destruction. I think maybe I'll start tapering off the hallway ball-fests and replace it with other games or park time. Note to self: think of new games (make sure they don't require an ounce of effort on my part).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Potty Pathologies

I have issues with public bathrooms. I'm not exactly sure where I formed my freaky little hygiene pathologies, but they frequently plague me when I have the urge to go. When these sensibilities are stressed, generally by others, I have one of two reactions: 1) an immediate need to leave the bathroom (a.k.a. panic); and 2) giggling. And while people routinely come in and out of the bathroom, I'm pretty sure no one likes a giggler in the john.

Issue 1: I am completely unable to do #2 in a public restroom when others are present. Thankfully, the second floor of my office building is occupied by an internet-based academic institution that employs mostly female administrative types. This leaves the men's room on this floor generally unoccupied. One of my co-workers, with whom I have shared this secret, refers to this as my "office." As in, I think I better swing by the office on the way up the stairs. If it were not for this little second floor sanctuary, I'd probably have ruptured my colon by now.

Issue 2: Even as a mature adult that has studied human behavior in a clinical setting, I think bathroom noises are funny. I am often amazed (and envious) of those that can simply sit down in a stall and make horrendous sounds and smells without an ounce of shame. A couple weeks ago I was standing next to a co-worker at the urinal, when he proceeded to expel what was at minimum a 20-second fart. That might not seem like a whole lot, but if you're standing inches from the said farter, it's an enternity. I vibrated. Shamefully, I was only able to mutter one word, "Goodness!" before I teared up and burst out laughing. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to look at him again in the same way, and I hope like hell my chuckling didn't encourage this kind of behavior in the future. If he ever traps me in the bathroom again, I'm going to have a double reaction--running, while laughing.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

100 Things About Me

Seems like this is obligatory for bloggers, so here it goes...

  1. I can put both feet behind my head.
  2. My eyes are green.
  3. My middle name is Wayne.
  4. I was born in Baytown, TX
  5. I lived in the same house from birth to the time I drove out of the driveway for college.
  6. Throughout my life my pets names were/are: Prissy, Happy, Toby, Kitty, Isabelle and now Casey.
  7. I have broken one bone in my lifetime--a stress fracture to my talus (ankle) bone. It still hurts me.
  8. I was selected to the All-American Water Polo team for 3 of the 4 years I played in high school.
  9. Famous hands I’ve shaken: Bill Clinton (twice), Willy Nelson
  10. I have a BBS from Iona College and a Master’s degree from Columbia University.
  11. My first car was a gold, 1985 Ford Tempo.
  12. I have had one significant relationship, about 5 years. Two others over one year.
  13. I absolutely HATE to vomit.
  14. My favorite sport to watch is tennis. Unless Michael Phelps is swimming, then it's swimming.
  15. Magazines I subscribe to: Vanity Fair, Metropolitan Home, Discover, Texas Monthly, Out, The Advocate.
  16. I never had braces for my teeth as a child, but recently straightened them with Invisalign.
  17. I wear a size 11 shoe.
  18. I have 5 nephews and one niece.
  19. I have played water polo at all of the military academies: West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force
  20. I can (or used to be able to) play all of the woodwind instruments.
  21. I do not have one single lesbian friend (at least that I know of).
  22. I have a foot fetish.
  23. I sleep mostly on my stomach.
  24. I have never been in a fist fight.
  25. Favorite places to shop: Home Depot, Target, Best Buy.
  26. I own five business suits, but hate to wear them.
  27. I have a Treo 650 PDA/cell phone/MP3 player/movie theater/GPS/video camera/etc.
  28. I dropped my Treo 650 off my motorcycle at about 90mph. It still worked.
  29. I watch the “Today Show” on NBC every morning.
  30. I do not play the lottery.
  31. I hate gambling.
  32. I wear contacts.
  33. Always briefs, never boxers.
  34. I have no tattoos.
  35. I have no piercings.
  36. I shave in the shower.
  37. I am seriously contemplating cosmetic dentistry.
  38. Cars I’ve owned: Ford Tempo, Acura Integra, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Jeep Cherokee Sport, Volvo S60, Volvo XC90
  39. I like to cook, but hate cooking just for me.
  40. I am lactose intolerant.
  41. I enjoy being alone.
  42. My favorite soft drink is Diet. Dr. Pepper. I drink enough of it every day to kill a small animal.
  43. I want to be cremated (after I die, of course).
  44. I have a will, and no, you're not getting a dime.
  45. I bought a laptop with Windows Vista. I promptly wiped it and reinstalled XP.
  46. My least favorite household chore: Folding Laundry.
  47. My favorite household chore: Cleaning the Kitchen.
  48. I do not believe in the existence of a supreme being (or even a moderately supreme being).
  49. I do not like to sing in front of other people, though I’m told I have a very good voice.
  50. I believe the likelihood of me having another long term relationship is about 50%.
  51. My signature dish: Lasagna.
  52. I would define my decorating style as Contemporary Comfortable.
  53. My idea of perfect happiness: being in a room with all my friends and family, talking about anything, with a extra-dirty Ketel One martini in hand.
  54. Person I most admire: my father.
  55. Person I most despise: Kathy Lee Gifford, followed closely by George W. Bush.
  56. I have emptied a full clip from a SIG Sauer 9mm pistol without missing the target.
  57. Whenever I can, I take a nap on the weekends.
  58. States I’ve never visited: Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota, Indiana, Montana, Idaho, Maine, Vermont, Wisconsin
  59. I almost never have nightmares.
  60. If I could have any talent, it would be: The ability to draw.
  61. I cut my own hair.
  62. I have never plucked my eyebrows.
  63. I let my dog sleep in the bed with me.
  64. Besides the dining room, there is a TV in every room of my house (including my bathroom).
  65. I have an older half-brother (9 years) and an older half-sister (7 years).
  66. All of my grandparents are deceased.
  67. The only foreign country I have visited: Mexico.
  68. Where I’d go if I did visit a foreign country: Greece, London, Paris, South Africa
  69. I think it’s funny when I fart.
  70. I think it’s disgusting when other people fart.
  71. My favorite pastimes are: working on my house, playing with my dog, watching movies, having friends over for a BBQ, chatting online, reading
  72. I have written two articles that were published in national healthcare magazines.
  73. Most important physical attribute(s) in a partner: teeth and hands.
  74. States in which I’ve been cited for speeding: Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Missouri, Oklahoma, Delaware, Massachusetts
  75. I enjoy public speaking.
  76. I once hiked/camped for five nights on the Appalachian Trail.
  77. I own my own bowling ball and shoes but haven't used them in over 10 years.
  78. I hate to iron.
  79. Word I most overuse: “actually”
  80. In college, I taught over 200 American Red Cross classes.
  81. I love snow.
  82. My favorite late night personality: Conan O’Brien
  83. I spend most of my working day in front of a computer or on the phone.
  84. I like the majority of my co-workers.
  85. My biggest pet peeve: double negatives
  86. I am a fairly decent water skier.
  87. Favorite bad-for-you snack: My mother’s homemade chocolate chip cookies.
  88. I have never eaten at Long John Silver’s. And never will, just to keep my streak alive.
  89. I have played ball with my dog, Casey, every day, twice a day for 3 1/2 years without interruption. Not once.
  90. I have never had a close friend die.
  91. I hate driving my car.
  92. I have absolutely no interest in anime, video games or fantasy role playing.
  93. My favorite author is Augusten Burroughs.
  94. I’ve been told I’m a good listener.
  95. I don’t like beer.
  96. Favorite childhood memory: My Dad surprising me with a new go-cart.
  97. I am the last (and only) male that carries my family’s name (my brother has a different father).
  98. I love to fish.
  99. I know the words to almost all of Jimmy Buffett’s songs.
  100. If I could do it all over again, I’d be a: network news anchor. Back to you, Katie…

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sharon, Sharon, Sharon

I have an arch-nemesis at work. Her name is Sharon. Sharon is a maniacal, egotistical, self-promoting bitch. I don't like her. Plus, she's old and fat and lives in Kentucky. Today, when I came into the office, I was greeted by an e-mail from Sharon that left me (and the rest of my colleagues) speechless. Did I mention that she copied just about the entire company??

Over the past few weeks, I've been having one of my Product Managers (only with the company for about 3 months) do an inventory of our marketing and sales materials. We had literally hundreds of outdated documents with varying information, formats, etc. It was a huge mess. We weren't concerned all that much with content at the first stage of the game--just getting key documents in a central location, with a central owner and central access was a major step forward. So late Friday, Jeff, the Product Manager, sends an e-mail announcing the site on our sharepoint portal. This is what I read when I sat down this morning:

"Oh my stars, I could find nothing on this site that relates to credentialing that was without critical errors. We do not do standard pricing anymore. Each client/product is customized to PSV, I've just updated Nathan Harris on the process; the descriptions on alliances are inaccurate we no longer have a behavioral alliance and we must require CAQH participation to join/belong to an alliance. The description of Luci should be changed to Networks Pro. Please have operations or PSV implementation review these materials before they are posted. In the meantime, please remove these from the site until they are corrected."
OK, so let's break this down:

1. Who the HELL says "Oh my stars?"

2. This woman is a seasoned executive. Has she not learned "praise in public, criticize in private?" The correct thing to do would have been to thank Jeff for his hard work, and ask for a quick telephone chat to go over a few suggestions for improvement. Why is that so friggin hard to do?

3. Everything she said is of course, correct, but she apparently does not comprehend the value of historical documents for reference purposes. Imagine if we had to update every book in the public library when something becomes outdated! It took Jeff almost 6 weeks to sort through all of the crap we had before. We'll get to reviewing content once everyone learns the URL to the portal. This should take Sales about 8 months.

Ultimately, I didn't respond to her for fear I would say something that might get me fired. Instead, I opted for the high road, letting her inappropriate message speak for itself. Everyone who will use the portal knows it is a work in progress, and 1,000 times better than what we had before. Sometimes I wonder why I put up with this kind of crap. Oh wait, they pay me a lot of money. Thank God. Otherwise, I'd be forced to kick her square in the cooter.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Weekend Pride

This weekend I decided to suck it up and go out to our annual "block party." For those not in the know, a block party consists of sectioning off several square city blocks (generally near bars) where people can roam the streets in the open air, buy overpriced, over-liquored drinks and listen to the local DJs spin dance music. Generally the block party is held during Pride weekend (early June), but this year's event was rained out and rescheduled for this Friday evening. I hadn't been out in a while, so I figured I give it a whirl. I sported a new black shirt from Banana, one size too small, of course.

After a few calls, friends David, Doug, Lucas, Jeremey, Phil, Corey and Bill came over to the house for a few cocktails before heading out. We spent most of the time on the patio smoking cigarettes and pounding cocktails. We did get to enjoy my new Bose outdoor surround speakers--they sound great! I wonder what the neighbors think of them.

The actual event was fairly tame. I saw lots of familiar faces, several new cuties and a few unsavory characters worthy of the cold-shoulder. The larger group ultimately went their separate ways and I spent most of the late evening rounding everyone up. Two individuals, who will remain nameless, disappeared without telling a soul where they went, and for this have been placed on the shit list until further notice. Once everyone was safely home (and passed out), I fell asleep wondering if I actually derived any Gay Pride from attending the event. I decided that the thing I was most proud of was my little black shirt and getting everyone home in one piece. And I'll take a little pride anywhere I can get it...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Top Five Favorite Posts

A lot of my blog is just inconsistent babble about my daily life, my childhood and my former life as a transsexual. Oh wait, I haven't written about that last one yet. At any rate, if you were going to waste any time here, I'd pick these five posts. They've gotten the most attention, and are the ones about which I'm most proud of.

Burrito Bitch

Drinking Problem

Rental Cars

That Day

Recruiting 101

Want to nominate one? Send me an email.