Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Apparent Storage Facility

When I got to work this morning there was a hand truck in my cubicle. I have no idea who put it there. But combine that with the box someone left in my cubicle last Thursday and I started to get a bit of an uneasy feeling. It would lead one to believe that these are not so subtle hints about my job security. If there is some sort of release form on my desk tomorrow I’m not going to be happy at all.

Of course then I started looking around and realized that there is a clipboard on my desk that is not mine. And a set of plans for a job I’ve never worked on. Basically people are just dropping their shit on my desk because it’s at the end of a row and they’re too lazy to put things where they belong. My cubicle has apparently become a storage facility, document control, and a trash can all in one. I might have to set up some surveillance, and if I catch the culprit there is going to be hell to pay. By hell obviously I mean that all my future trash and recycling is going on their desk, trust me you want no part of that*.

*It’s actually obscene how much paper I go through in a week at work. I’m personally responsible for the destruction of hundreds of old growth forests in the northwest.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Reasons Why I Might Be Moving to the Suburbs Sooner Than Expected

Here is a fun story, fortunately I wasn’t home for this encounter so I’m relaying it to you as told to me by my roommate:

While lying in bed he hears the doorknob rattling then a banging on the door. He goes downstairs to investigate and a woman, who by appearances seems to be homeless and/or a drug addict (possibly inaccurate, but sometimes you can judge a book by its cover), sees him through the stained glass window and starts pounding on the door. The following conversation ensues*:

Crazed Woman: Open the door!
Aaron: No.
CW: I’m being chased, let me in.
Aaron: I’m not opening the door.
CW: Can you give me an old pair of tennis shoes or something?
Aaron: I’m not doing that.
CW: Call the cops.
Aaron: Gladly (already on the phone with them)

Once it had been established the cops had been called she left and tried to open the doors of all the other houses on our block. A few minutes later he heard sirens and poked his head out of the door and saw 2 ambulances and paramedics attending to someone two blocks north of our house.

If the ambulances were not on the scene for the same woman then it was an amazing coincidence so I’m going to assume it was her. And if it was her there are really only two scenarios I can envision in which she would need an ambulance.

1. She was hit by a car crossing O’Donnell Street (which, for you people not familiar with Baltimore, is a two lane street but one of the more heavily traffic roads through the neighborhood).

2. She really was being chased and whoever was chasing her caught her and accomplished there goal.

Obviously this is all speculation (I couldn’t find a story about it on any local websites) either way though it makes me pretty uncomfortable for numerous reasons. You never want to see any sort of crime your neighborhood, nor do you ever want to see someone injured or killed in a tragic accident. I also find it to be a little upsetting that we live in a society so untrusting, and a city with so much crime, that when a woman seems to be in peril you can’t actually believe her enough to help. I would have done the exact same thing in my roommate’s situation. My first thought would not have been this person clearly needs help. I would have immediately thought this is some kind of scheme to get me to unlock the door so I can be bum rushed by 5 guys in the alley and have all of my stuff stolen. That seems wrong, but that’s the way it is around here. Especially considering some friends opened their door a few months ago to find a woman with a couple of bullets in her head.

Baltimore has a certain reputation for safety (or lack thereof) around the country. It’s probably a deserved reputation considering there were over 230 murders last year; and that represents a significant decrease in the murder rate. The statistics are a little deceiving though. If you look at this map you’ll notice that the murders are fairly segregated to the north and west portions of the city. If you live anywhere in the vicinity of the harbor you’re generally safe. There weren’t even many robberies or burglaries. But it seems like lately criminals have been getting wise to the fact that there is less of a police presence and no police cameras, and if you’re planning on killing someone you have a better chance of not being witnessed if you drive 10 minutes south and do it there. Two incidents hardly make a pattern but if this rate picks up it’s going to expedite my migration to the suburbs. Especially if my mom reads this post.

*I’m paraphrasing obviously, I wasn’t there.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Remember channel surfing? I do. Before the advent of digital cable, when you only had 30 or 40 channels, I would flip through all the channels endlessly until I found something to watch. I could go through all the channels 4 or 5 times before finally settling on something. My mom hated it, she would always yell at me, “just find something and leave it dammit,” but it didn’t bother me in the least. It’s a generational thing I would imagine. I mean, when she was growing up she only had 3 or 4 channels to choose from so I could see how this would drive her insane. The only other way to find something to watch back then though was to look in the TV listings that came in the Sunday paper every week and that’s sort of like reading, which ruins TV.

Thankfully we don’t have to worry about this anymore; if you have cable then you have the accompanying guide, which is less like reading because it’s reading the TV, so it’s ok. No more channel flipping. Just push a button, find something to watch and watch it, everyone’s happy. You even get a brief synopsis of every program to make the choice easier for you.

That last feature is fairly useless to me but I still appreciate their benefit. I don’t watch a ton of TV* and what I do watch I already know when and where it can be found. And if I do branch out from my comfort zone to watch a movie or something I usually have an idea of what that movie is about and if I want to bother watching it or not. Occasionally though, when I’m really bored and there’s nothing else going on, I come across a random movie summary that just seems so outrageous there’s no way I could turn away. For example, I was searching through last week and saw this:

The Number One Girl – (2005) Tony Schiena, Vinnie Jones. Carnage ensues when a gangster asks a martial artist to judge a beauty pageant

What the what? How could I not watch that? I mean I couldn’t even begin to imagine how all of those plot points could come together to make a coherent movie. And I have to tell you guys, it was terrible, and I wouldn’t give back a second of that time. There are bad movies, and then there are movies so terrible and wrought with unintentional comedy that you can’t turn away. I’m not even going to tell you about it because I don’t want to ruin for you.

Later that same week I came across this:

MVP: Most Valuable Primate – (2000) A deaf girl befriends a runaway chimp who plays hockey.

Again an amazing summary, although this one did not deliver the goods, it was just the normal kind of bad. When the best actor in a movie is a chimpanzee it’s never a good sign. That chimp could seriously emote though; he was acting his ass off.

*Technically this isn’t true, my TV is almost always on when I’m home, but more often than not it’s just background noise while I’m reading things on the internet or I’m watching sports. Neither of which count in my definition of “watching TV”.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Mustache Day!

It's the happiest day of the year: Mustache Day! Everyone go find the guy in your office in his mid to late forties or early fifties* and tell him you love his mustache and approve of his mustache lifestyle.

Also go here this afternoon and vote for your favorite mustache.

* How come if you grew up in the 60's or 70's you look totally normal with a mustache but I look like a complete idiot. It's so weird.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Brotherly Hate

I learned another pretty important life lesson this weekend, which I'll get to later, but for now I'm switching things up on the blog a little bit to complain about something. I know, I know. The reason you all come here is to read about all my positivity but please, indulge me this one time. It will just be a short rant then I can get back to puppies and rainbows.

I hate Philadelphia. I always have. My hatred is pretty irrational and based on almost nothing, but when have emotions ever been based on rational anyway? If I hate something based on sports teams, a bunch of douche bags I've met*, and the fact that certain portions of the city seem to reek of urine constantly that's just how I roll. Needless to say I was less then enthused to find out I had to head up there this week. So imagine how out felt when returning to my car to leave the city I dislike so much to find a giant dent in the drivers side door that did not exist upon my arrival in Philly. Actually you don't have to imagine because I'll tell you. I was fucking homicidal. Mere hatred has shifted to utter loathing and abhorrence. I know what you're thinking, "but Eric it's just a dent, and that could happen in any parking garage in any city in America." You're right and if it happened anywhere else I would just think, that unfortunate, I guess I have to get the fixed. But it happend in Philadamndelphia so instead of being calm I wanted to burn the whole city down. I told it was irrational.

*Some very good friends of my are also from Philly and the surrounding area but I don't let that fact cloud my decision to hate the city.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I wouldn’t exactly call myself a creature of habit, but like anyone else I do have certain routines. Things become so routine, in fact, that they are almost second nature. I do something the exact same way everyday without even realizing. It’s subconscious. For example, I don’t think I’m alone in the fact that I dry off after a shower the exact same way daily. Head, torso, arms, back, legs. I never think about it, but I always do it that way. It makes perfect sense. Water flows down, thanks to gravity and all, so I go from top to bottom. You may have a different order of operations but I’m sure you stick to that order. But every once in a while do you find yourself doing it wrong, getting out of order, and think what the f has gone wrong in my life that I’m drying off my legs before my arms?

Ok, that might be a bit of an overreaction but I’m still thrown off my game for a while afterwards.

PS: Unrelated to this subject, but thanks to DC Blogs and Washington Post Express for picking up my last post, the bump in traffic is always fun. But seriously, only 3 comments? I mean, we can’t even get like, I don’t know, 2% of the readers to leave a comment. Step up your game people. Or maybe it’s me who needs to step it up on the subject matter. I mean, this isn’t exactly riveting material. Who knows.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Brief Complaint

I saw something this weekend that sort of bothered me a little. Everywhere I went I saw people dressed in green out at the bars celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Now let’s forget that this is the national holiday of Ireland and a feast day and a holy day of obligation for Catholics there or anything of that nature. We all know that most holidays have become bastardized versions of themselves and I obviously am ok with that as much as everyone else. But do you ever see any fireworks displays in June or go trick or treating in the middle of October? No, so why is it ok to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day almost 2 weeks before the actual date? I say it’s not and I’m calling bullshit on anyone who did. People just wanted to get hammered in the afternoon and used the celebration of a holiday as an excuse to not feel like so much of a drunk. Which I think is actually insulting to the Irish. Don’t make excuses for you lifestyle; because we all know the Irish don’t need to invent a reason to drink, they just do it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Life Lessons

I am wise beyond my years. When you grow up in the hard scrabble suburban streets of Virginia Beach, come of age at a private Catholic college in DC, then spend most of your twenties in some of the whitest neighborhoods in Baltimore you see a lot, you're forced to grow up fast. I feel like it would be selfish to keep everything I've learned to myself. So from time to time I think I'll impart some of this wisdom onto to you, the reader, through the magic of storytelling. You're welcome.

On Saturday I woke up fairly early feeling a little better than usual. I've been trying out a new strategy the last few weeks called "Not Drinking a Million Beers on Friday Night and Ruining the Entire Weekend With a Hangover." It's been going well. So feeling rather sprightly, and Saturday being a beautiful springlike day I decided to really attack the day, make things happen. I always think a day is most properly attacked when started off with a workout, because even if you get super lazy afterwards and all you do is watch college basketball and eat Chic-Fil-A (the most likely scenario) at least you burned some calories beforehand. I threw on my running shoes and went out for a jog. About a mile and half in I wasn't feeling great (I mean, I might not have been hungover but I was still out late and all), my legs were a little heavy and I wasn't picking my feet up very high. Shortly after that thought a girl rode by me on a bike. Since I'm a guy it's impossible for me not to check out a girl in my vicinity, I glanced. A few steps later my low striding feet caught a small lip in the sidewalk and I ate it. Hard. In the street. As if that isn't embarrassing enough it happened directly across the street from a Starbucks on the first nice day of the year. There were at least 20 people sitting at cafe tables outside drinking pretentious coffee drinks who got to witness my act of unathleticism. As I walked back to my house, bleeding from at least 6 parts of my body, I couldn't help but think there was a life lesson in this somewhere.

Life Lesson #44: Don't bother exercising of trying hard; it's not worth the embarrassment.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

A Work of Art

Someone decided to draw a penis and balls on my car this morning:
To be honest, I can't even really get mad about it, that's just funny. I love the idea that a stranger was walking down the sidewalk and just the sudden inspiration to do a dick drawing. Plus it's pretty good, I mean, look at the pubic hair detail.