"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman
Thursday, December 30, 2004
why the food network shudders at the mention of my name
my office has been a bit drafty lately, and the weather has been a bit wintry. at lunch yesterday i went to the supermarket, where it occurred to me that a box of oatmeal or cream of wheat or some similar hearty and hot breakfast food might be both warming and comforting. a bit of homey-ness right there at my desk. because i'm always up for new gustatory experiences, i selected a box of Wheatena, after ensuring that the stuff was microwaveable. then i purchased a jar of applesauce, to add flavor to the breakfaststuff.
back to the office, and off to the lunchroom. i followed the microwave directions on the side of the box, pouring the indicated amounts of water and wheatena into a plastic bowl. wheatena, i decided, was an italian word for "brown flakes that look like microscopic hamster shavings." bowl went into microwave, buttons were pushed, and microwaves went to work.
about halfway through the recommended cooking time, there was a noise from inside the microwave, which prompted me to stop the nuking process and open the oven door.
i believe that knowledge is a good and powerful thing, and the pursuit of knowledge has always been a driving force in my life. it is always satisfying when i can retire at the end of the day having learned something since i last awoke.
new knowledge awaited me inside the microwave. i learned that (1) my company does not provide microwave-safe bowls, and (2) wheatena explodes when sufficiently stimulated.
i cleaned the microwave, thoroughly, and decided to try a slight variation on a theme: nuking the water in the non-nukey bowl for about half the recommended time, then adding the wheatena (italian for "detonating hamster bedding") and stirring. then back into the micro for about 30 seconds.
this proved to be about 10 seconds too long.
i cleaned the microwave again.
this is the point where obstinacy turns to foolhardiness. fetching my microwave-safe coffee mug from my office, i added water from the clearly labeled hot water spigot on the coffee urn, then added wheatena (italian for "not intended for human consumption") to the mug and stirred. and stirred. and stirred. leaving me with a mug of hot water in which floated a repulsive clod of floor sweepings cleverly marketed as "wheatena".
after adding applesauce and the contents of a trail-mix baggie from the vending machine to the slurry, it bordered on edible. but it wasn't tasty enough to keep me from dumping the remainder of the wheatena box into the trash.
today i'm having pizza.
Wednesday, December 29, 2004
you can do something
do it for the victims. do it for yourself. it takes less than 90 seconds.
doctors without borders. 1-888-392-0392.
Monday, December 27, 2004
tell me again
what on tv is justifying the $67+ monthly cable bill?
Friday, December 17, 2004
it's a pyrrhic victory . . .
. . . but i'm so happy i could wet myself and three people around me: i am finally, legally, officially, stamped-by-the-judge-and-close-the-books, completely divorced.
Monday, December 13, 2004
shit i hope you never have to go through: having the doctors use the phrase "less than ten percent chance of survival" right before your loved one goes under the knife. having to call relatives so they can make unexpected travel arrangements. wondering if, above the sound of your heart beating in relief hours later, that was some god saying "just teasing."
as far as i know, i'm in okay health. but i wish the people i care about would stop fucking around like this.
just so you know, you guys are kinda important to me.
stop getting sick
stop succumbing to your diseases
stop walking up to death's door to play ring and run
stop fucking dying on me
it might be romantically dramatic if i were a sixteen year old girl. or if i were robert smith.
now, it's just getting old
and you wonder why i'm not funny anymore.
what i wanted to say to the beautiful young woman on the next stool, while i sipped my glenlivet: i am impressed. since you entered my life, merely an hour ago, three people have come to you for advice. one by your own admission; the second, our mutual barmaid, the third a caller on your cell phone. i'd tell you that i was impressed, simply as a compliment, but i doubt you'd understand the intent. more likely, you would think i was hitting on you. but that would not be the case. for one thing, you may be beautiful, but you are not anything i would be interested in. but more relevantly, i am not part of your world.
i will never be part of your world, and you will never even know me. i'm not even your gardener, your poolboy. i'm not even your interior designer, or the man who taught her everything she knew. i'm not the doctor who'll save your daddy's life when he has a heart attack. i'm the guy who made sure the machine that kept his heart beating worked correctly. i'm the guy who ensured his drugs were as good as they should be. i'm the guy that kept him from being accidently poisoned by a bad batch of antibiotics. you will never know me.
and that's okay. because i will never know the woman who ran the die to build the fuel injector in my honda. who was beaten to death by her husband in ohio, for not making enough to support both their children and his heroin addiction.
but i know you. you rose above stereotype of 90210, trying to help a friend over the phone while she cried so loudly i could hear her above the din of the bar.
it's hard to be self-righteous at times like that. you'd probably like to know that. it would likely bring a smile to your perfect features.
whilst i admit defeat.