Wednesday, December 28, 2005

57. Some Holiday Thoughts

As I was relaxing this holiday and pondering the mysteries of the universe, I started thinking, “I should blog more. My fan is probably wondering what’s going on in my life.” Then I came to my senses and realized that most of my reader(s) are probably doing exactly what I am doing—figure skating—or eating hummus.

Regardless of your desire to read about my holidays, I will let you know about a few things that happened:

  • I highly recommend getting sick just before the holidays because you can avoid the guilt associated with holiday overeating. I mean, you NEED to recover nutrients you missed while you weren’t eating, right? As you well may know I got real sick on the 19th. I believe I had a bad case of the scurvy on account o’ I haven’t eaten any vegetables since 1993. The illness was great for my physique, however—I started of the holiday break by losing 15 pounds in 2 days.
  • Bowl games are fun. My wife Limpy bought me tickets to the Las Vegas Bowl in sunny (viva Las) Vegas, Nevada. So, illness or no, I fired up the Honda and drove to Vegas with my wife Limpy. While we were there, I started feeling better—and then the hunger hit. I was hungry from sunup to sundown, but Vegas is full of buffet and fast food, so things were okay.
  • Buy the right gift. Most of my Christmas joy this last couple of years has come from buying the right gift for the right person. Example: 1) my wife Limpy and I got the nephews a racecar set (of the slotcar variety.) 2) We got the niece a My Little Pony megaset. 3) My wife Limpy bought me a Barbecue grill. I bought her a leather jacket and a digital camera. ALL of these presents were very well received and I got more satisfaction from the giving than the receiving (though I do recommend the receiving part.)
  • Chocolate is not a bad thing. Okay strictly speaking, it could be better for you. On the whole and scientifically speaking, it’s disgusting—brown plastic solid that creates a phegm film in the back of your throat. Regardless of its components though, chocolate is a glorious substance especially when combined with hazelnuts and hazelnut derivatives. It also has mind-numbing, sedative qualities for hyperactive pre-teens.

Things I learned I do not like about the holidays:

  • Twenty five (25) people + one (1) bathroom + people recovering from illnesses = bad.
  • Leftovers=good. Quantity of leftovers = bad.
  • Electronic-noises + board books, action figures or caterpillars = bad
  • Kneeling + cement floor + racecar set setup + loops + 2 hours + one instruction sheet + said instruction sheet having no specifics, pictures or details = bad.
  • Disney = Devil.
  • Pony + fluorescent + styleable hair + “do you want to help me make this pony pretty?” = bad.
  • Finally, children’s choirs + Christmas carols in spanish + volume + six (6) hours=bad.

A couple of photos taken with the digital camera that I bought my wife Limpy:
1) Sunset over Enoch, Utah, 12/23/05.
2) My wife Limpy and me at the Wynn casino in Las Vegas.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

56. Weight Loss--Sweet Weight Loss

I am still sick, although I'm feeling much better today. Yesterday was more like Oxycontin-addiction withdrawals and today is like *fast Sunday on hour 3.

Negatives: I can't stand up straight. I can't lie down because my back is so stiff. I couldn't keep any meds down yesterday so the back pain is non-bearable.

Positives: None. Well, unless you count the 10 pounds I have lost since Saturday.

Yes the new, svelt Stupid is just around the corner.

*Fast Sunday is a monthly self denial ritual in my church. You refrain from food for two (2) meals--twenty-four (24) hours--and then you give offerings for the needy. The offering is supposed to be at least the cost-savings for the food you didn't eat, but one is encouraged to be generous.

Monday, December 19, 2005

55. Illing Here With A Bucket

I am sick.

I don’t want your sympathy; I want your scorn and derision. Why? Because that would actually feel better than how I feel right now. So bring it on folks, make me feel better.

I’ll give you a head start if you want.

Dear Stupid:

I can’t believe you are skipping work for a little bug. You are a colossal pansy. You ought to feel guilty; many people go to work sick every day. Some of them are single parents who work two jobs and STILL find a way to get the kids to soccer practice.

You, Stupid, are a reprehensible human being who has no fortitude. I wouldn’t spit on you if you were on fire. [Add your OWN creative insults here.]

Sincerely:

[Sign your name.]

If you want, you can post comments that include your best insults. Otherwise, don’t bother me with pleasantries; I’m too sick to read it.

Friday, December 16, 2005

54. Searching for Stupidity

The following are keywords used recently that have landed people on my blogs, Ask Stupid and Stupidramblings:

• Girls who fight guys
• Stupid advice
• Stupid questions to ask people
• Stupid is as stupid does.
• Up her skirt
• “Kirk Cameron” crying
• Raven Symone(Is she pregnant)

Most of these searches came through MSN.

I was perplexed and somewhat alarmed initially at the words “up her skirt.” Then I remembered I talked about a five-year-old girl who was pulling up her tights and hiking ‘up her skirt’ in front of my church’s full congregation. Read the story here.

There it is then.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

53. One-Eight-Hundred twotwotwo ONE twotwotwo.

I was driving in middle-o-nowhere Kansas the other day. Choices on the radio: country music and conservative talk radio. I asked myself why I didn’t bring my sawed-off (not for the locals, but for my temples.)

Anyhoo, not having anything to listen to, I decided to try the Laura Ingraham show. As far as I could tell, Laura Ingraham is a conservative woman who has exactly zero (0) friends who will listen to her. But—BUT—there are literally hundreds of people nationwide who will call in to a nationally syndicated radio show. They’re sheep who will agree with anyone who will let them put their voice on the radio.

The show was better than silence, but I was not very impressed with her logic streams or ideology. I was impressed with the production value of the PSA’s (public service announcements) she played on her show.

I heard a song during one of the commercial breaks. It was one of those songs that sounded like it should be a part of children’s videos or Schoolhouse Rock. It was happy, repetitive; words written by the government, music written by monkeys, etc.

I usually tune out the music, but this one started to peak my interest. Sure enough after a couple of seconds listening to the PSA I realized it wasn’t happy at all. This is NOT the transcript, but its close:

(And keep in mind the music was happy like a restaurant birthday song.)

If you’ve drunk some potion
And your ulcers are in motion
If you ingested a mixture
And you feel like licking a light fixture

You MIGHT-a GOTT-en
POIIIIIII-soned
That’s RIGHT ya GOT
POI-OI-OI-OI-soned

When your kids ate the roundup
And their legs were found up
In the air all wound up

You’ll know what to DOOOOOOoooooooo!
Call one-eight-hundred
Two two two
ONE two two TWOOOOOO!

This particular PSA lasted about two two TWOOOOO minutes and I was laughing harder than I have ever laughed by myself.

Link to the Poison Control Center here.
I also emailed the ad to a new Yahoo! account. Go here to login to that generic email account. Yahoo! ID: stupidblog. Password: 18002221222. If you log on and open the ‘poison control’ email, you will be able to hear the song. Also, you can email it to all your friends.

Monday, December 12, 2005

52. Random, Unconnected Funnies.

1) Recently, while a group of friends was over to the house, topic turned to our gaudy table.

First, to describe the beast that is our table, it measures 4’x8’ before you add the leaves. With ALL THREE (3) leaves inserted, it measures 4’x12 ½ ‘, which is approximately the size of your grandma’s car.

Back to the friends, one of them muttered during the course of the conversation, “That’s not a table; it’s a rameumptom.”

2) At a trade show recently, the woman whose booth was next to mine kept stealing my potential contacts. Bear in mind that my business is in no way a competitor to hers. (A couple of hours into the show, I kindly asked her to leave people at my booth alone until they left my booth. After that she was fine—except for:)

A couple of hours after I asked her not to cannibalize my booth, she tried one more time. A client, assuming the ‘Cannibalady’ was a rep. for my company, asked her to explain the program. I was about to step in, but ‘Cannibalady’ proceeded to make a flawless, generic presentation. Her words were ambiguous and could have been valid for either my company’s business OR hers. I let her continue to ambiguously explain her program, because I was aware that the client was asking questions about my booth. The best part: after a minute-long conversation, the client asked if she could take some pamphlets. ‘Cannibalady’ said, “Of course!”

The client took various pamphlets and freebies from my booth and walked away. ‘Cannibalady’ looked scandalized and looked over at me. I just smiled. She didn’t talk to me OR any of my clients for the next day and a half of the rest of the show.

3) My wife Limpy’s home country of Trinidad and Tobago qualified for the World Cup in soccer for the first time ever. My mother-in-law Limpymom reports that the whole island nation got the day off for a state holiday. All the locals were supposed to go to Port of Spain, the capitol city, to see the team in from the airport. I wish WE all got the day off when an American team won a world championship in sports—say football, baseball, or basketball.

4) At the same trade show mentioned in point #2, they served snacks in the afternoon for the attendees and vendors. The potato chips they served were regular-old flat potato chips. They set a pair of salad tongs in the potato chips so we could serve ourselves. It was impossible to pick up more than one chip with the tongs without breaking the chips. Picking up the chips one at a time was poor, because everyone wanted to get some snacks and the line was very, very slow.

I waited until the end of the line because the snacking people were all filing past my booth and I wanted to be there to talk to them. When I got to the chips, another vendor and I were laughing at the precarious social situation the tongs ‘n’ chips brought about. When I got to the chips, all that were left were crushed. I said to the other vendor, “Now don’t break those.” This is funny because they were already broken AND because it was impossible NOT to continue to break them more. At this point, a large woman across the table (not the other vendor) looked up and said, “I won’t,” all defensive-like. I couldn’t stop giggling with the other vendor long enough to explain that I was joking. They might as well have served the chips with a mortar and pestle.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

51. One and One are Two…

Last week my sales calls took me into schools to make presentations to high school counselors. Here are a few funny things that happened to me during my school visits:

1. When I arrived at one of the schools, a radio station van was parked in front of the school and all of the kids were milling aimlessly in the halls. There was a buzz in the air and all the students looked excited. I asked the administrator there what was going on and he told me Fifi was coming to school to do a concert assembly. Yeah I’ve never heard of Fifi, nor can I find her on the internet, but if any of you alert types can give me any information on her, I’d love to know how good she could possibly be to be doing assembly concerts in high schools—midweek.

2. Another administrator (f) at a school and I were talking and she seemed very non committal. She had no excitement or spunk, she just wanted the info. She asked a very informed question (and better yet—one I had the answer to) so I proceeded to answer her question. I had not been speaking for more than 10 seconds when she got a glazed-over look and her eyes started to roll back.

She seemed to come back for a second and then her eyes rolled back and she fell asleep. I smirked because I didn’t know what to do, and I kept talking just in case she was still listening. When I finished the sentence, I sat there looking at her, laughing, and wondering what to do. She came to almost immediately and explained that her best friend whose husband was in Iraq had just had a baby the night before and she (the school person) had been up all night helping. She felt bad, but I thought it was very, very funny.

3. Finally, my last good experience happened oddly. When I got to the school, all the students were outside. I parked the car, approached a teacher and asked what was going on and if I could reach my contact at that school. She told me she wouldn’t know where the contact was, but after the ‘unannounced fire drill’ was over, she would take me to the contact’s office. Then, in the distance I heard a faint siren. And THEN, one of the students pointed up and said, “Look!” Sure enough, smoke was rising from the top of the building and then, MASS HYSTERIA! Not really, but the students were stirring quite a bit to get a better look. I gave my card and a note to the teacher and asked her to give it to the contact. As I was driving away, the fire engines and police were arriving. Read the story here.

So that’s what happened last week. Could anyone shed any light on the Fifi Question?

Monday, December 05, 2005

50. I-Can-Love-You-Like-Nobody-Can Christmas letter.

The following is a rough draft of the text I am sending out to family and friends in the annual Christmas letter:

The year 2005 has come and gone and Limpy and I write to you to tell you what we have done this year.

In the year 2005:

• Limpy turned 31 years old. Quote, “I don’t feel a day over 37.”
• Stupid was on a business trip for Valentine’s Day bringing much dismay to Stupid who felt like he was somehow letting Limpy down. Quote Limpy, “Valentine’s Day was this year?”
• Limpy and Stupid Celebrated five (5) years of wedded bliss by Stupid’s return from yet another business trip. Fortunately his return sent him to Las Vegas where they were able to celebrate for free by listening to a time-share presentation.
• For the first time ever, Limpy and Stupid were able to watch General conference in their own home. In a related story, for the first time ever, Stupid was able to sleep through General Conference on his own living room floor. Quote, “Sleeping through conference on your own floor is more satisfying somehow—and a bit more spiritual too.”
• With tax return funds, Stupid and Limpy planted grass. The result was beautiful—by fall, they had ½ of a copious green lawn. The oddest thing happened: the copious green lawn was interspersed with a duller browner one in zebra-stripes.
• The first Ramblings Garden was planted a little late. Crops planted: plants: 6 potato, 2 yellow squash, 4 bell pepper; 1 row carrots and 2 rows purple and yellow onions.
• Limpy and Stupid Celebrated the 4th of July by going a day late to watch the fireworks. Apparently the 4th is celebrated on the 2nd when the 4th falls on a Monday. In a related story, President’s Day, Columbus Day and Halloween were all observed on the wrong day. The 24th of July, however was properly celebrated on Sunday—go figure.
• Limpy made a 3½ week trip to Trinidad to have a vacation and be with her family. For the first time in three years, she was able to go home and stay for longer than a couple of days. Stupid used the free time to concentrate on the upcoming football season. Quote, “Was she really gone three weeks?”
• Limpy started another school year immediately on her return from Trinidad. As Gang-Prevention Specialist at Home School District. Quote, “They don’t even give me one day off after the vacation to rest before work.”
• October brought harvest days. All the food planted earlier came in nicely. Crop yield: 4 bell peppers, 10-15 yellow squash, 20-30 4” carrots 30-40 small onions and 22 potatoes ranging in size from gumball to golf ball size. We ate all the potatoes in one meal.
• Stupid was in town for 2 working days in November. Limpy and Stupid hosted the family for the simplest and best Thanksgiving ever.
• Limpy’s Car turned over 100,000 miles. Unfortunately for her, the old car may just last forever.
• Limpy picked up extra work running group sessions for troubled youth at a state-run youth program.
• Stupid visited 26 states, 600 sales calls, and attended 5 major professional conferences as an exhibitor in the course of his job. He also drove 15,000 miles and earned 75, 000 sky miles on 5 different airlines. Quote, “As a collective of 26 states, we were happy to have Stupid go home after each visit. Our citizens are safer and our air is cleaner. Pity be upon Utah for having to put up with him.”
• Stupid’s hobby job—coaching college a cappella groups—took him to 6 states to work with 12 singing groups. The workshops went well—quote: “When Stupid came to work with our group, he didn’t smell as bad as they say.”
• Stupid turns 32 in December taking him to the halfway point.
• In December, Limpy and Stupid look forward to spending Christmas at home. Blah, blah, blah pleasantries 'n' whatnot.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

49: Dating Suck-Sess

A weekend story:

So I was reading Panini’s post about her less-than-ideal date, and I was reminded of every date I ever went on. (Come to think of it, maybe it was ME who cause all the stupidity. I mean if EVERY SINGLE DATE I went on was awkward, maybe it’s me.)

Anyway, now that I realize what a social moron I am, I will recount the experience of my junior prom:

First of all, my best friend had a girlfriend. I had been on numerous dates with them, and I knew them quite well. Also, I had double dated with them a lot in high school, but I knew them a lot better than I ever knew any of my dates. Keep that in mind throughout this story.

My friend, who was driving, picked me up at my house. Let’s call him Jackie Chan. His girlfriend—who we will call Shania Twain—was already in the car and we went over to my date’s house. For convenience and privacy purposes we’ll call her Saxy Phony. (She and I knew each other from sitting on the LAST CHAIRS in the saxophone row in band class.

At her house:

Her parents insisted on taking a million (1,000,000) pictures of us. This was especially awkward because she was wearing a strapless dress. Her straplessness was only enhanced by her hair, which is usually waist-length, but was styled in a beautiful stacked-on-her-head coif. I’m told that in every picture her parents took, I am staring at her Guinevere-like glorious display of ample, pale bosom. I have not seen the pictures Saxymom and Saxydad took, but I don’t doubt the story, even though I had tried to avoid making eye contact with anything but the floor.

The ride to the restaurant was uneventful, unless you consider the coo-cooing, hand holding and general disgustingness of Jackie and Shania of whom I was very jealous.

At the Restaurant:

We got to the restaurant after a 20 minute silence-on-the-part-of-Saxy-and-me drive. The restaurant was called The Underground. It was a gangster-theme restaurant set—get this—underground. The way to get to the door was down a flight of 30-40 stairs into a brick-lined stairwell.

Well, that’s when Saxy tripped on her unfamiliar high-heeled shoes and proceeded to roll all the way down said stairs. She didn’t even pause at the landing in the middle. Like a true gentleman, I just stood there at the top of the stairs, mouth agape, staring at what could only have been the most petrifying thing I had ever seen. I mean, Saxy knew how to make things special. Shania gave me a sharp elbow in the ribs and told me to go help Saxy up, which I promptly did. Saxy swore up and down that she was fine and since there were no visible marks, there was nothing left to do but chow down.

Because of the gangster theme, The Underground had a couple of tables that were built into the back of old, 20’s style sedans. Jackie, Shania and Saxy are all a bit shorter than me, and I don’t know if they were uncomfortable in there, but I was squashed. The salad came. First bite—Saxy dropped a crouton down her dress. I saw it out of the corner of my eye, and I think Shania saw it too, but nobody pointed it out, so I didn’t think it was a good idea to mention it. Besides Saxy and Shania not eating anything, I don’t remember much else that happened there, which means nothing happened.

At the dance:

Saxy and Shania went to the bathroom for forty-five minutes to freshen up. Translation: they had to get that crouton out of the dress, check for any spine trauma from the fall and eat at the women’s-room buffet to make up for not eating at The Underground.

That left Jackie and me time to sit in the chairs on the edge of the dance floor and make fun of people—especially the popular girl who bought a $500 dress and had to come with her cousin because no one asked her. I also got a chance to gape while professional-ballet-dancer girl made out with her older, Brad-Pitt-look-alike boyfriend.

Saxy and Shania finally appeared from the bathroom and were in awfully good spirits, so we went to get our pictures taken before their smiles could fade. The picture taking went well, meaning no one got croup or lost any fingers. Then it was back to the dance for more hilarity. The only time I truly felt comfortable was during the electric slide because I didn’t have to worry about conversing with Saxy. The dance ended with Garth Brooks’ The Dance even though Bryan Adams’ (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. As a country music hater, I was busy hating the song and wishing they had played the prom theme. That’s when I found out Saxy was a big country music fan. Who knew.

After the dance:

We went out for ice cream and the conversation loosened up a bit. Translation: Jackie and Shania asked my date the questions I should have been asking her, but was not smart enough to. We had a relatively good time at the ice cream shop considering we had just spent the most awkward four (4) hours ever and we took the ladies home.

Jackie dropped himself off at Shania’s house and asked me to drive his mom’s car to take Saxy home. We had a strained conversation and when I pulled into her circular driveway right by her front door, she got out and ran up the steps. I didn’t even get the car into ‘park’ and she was gone. Too bad too, because I think she was ready to give me my first kiss that night. She was probably just hungry.

Anyway, I drove around for a while then went to Shania’s house and jealously watched her and Jackie make out for about fifteen (15) more minutes. Saxy and I had a decent friendship our senior year, but we never talked about prom night.

Saxy, if by strange chance you are reading this and recognize the story, that’s because it’s about you. One day, you’ll look back and forgive me for being such a heel. I’ll never forget that one fateful night when you were mine and I think we connected, but we never did finish the evening. Now it’s too late. I got married six years ago…So how are ya?...I haven’t seen you forever…I’m still doing good…It’s good that we can laugh about it now…remember when I taught you how to run on the track team?...

Next time I’ll tell about a BAD date…

48. It Takes A Village

I have noticed some of you gradually finding your way to Ask Stupid, my advice blog. One of my (two) astute readers has asked a question about what I do in my free time. Since the rest of you are probably wondering the same thing, I refer you to my latest post there: Ask Stupid...