Normbrero

We make holes in teeth!

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Debate Week

You were never on the debate team in high school. You don't, in fact, know if there was a debate team in high school. You don't mind a good debate but you don't like drama, and abrasive debates. You like to think you avoid them but you also like to think you could take out Jordan in a game of one-on-one. You always thought it was a joke that Larry Bird had any chance in that game.


You get on the path and a guy runs the length of the path to get a specific seat. If it's that important you better let him have it. There end up being 50 people on your car and 2 have white coast, 2 green, and 1 red. The rest have black, including yourself. You consider making sheep noises but then that would be uncharacteristic of a sheep.

Yesterday you had an explosive disagreement with someone. It was not fun. But life, sometimes, deals you an Uno hand of green 2s. You wonder how many green 2s are in an Uno deck. You also think of the Super Mario Uno deck you just got at the house.

The video screen on the Path shows you Oscar updates. When you think of the word Oscar, the first 2 things that come up are Oscar the Grouch and The Odd Couple. You don't think of Ellen nor the Hollywood flubber than has flooded Facebook for the last day or 2. You don't care, but you also don't hold it against people who do. It always puzzles you when people feel the need to point out that they hate whatever is being discussed today.



A girl gets on the train and has enough makeup to make you think that Homer's makeup gun has finally made it to market. People just puzzle you.

The video screen also tells you everyone's horoscope. Today yours says something especially stupid, but you instantly forget what. You are reading a book on magical realism that is more real than magic, and 70 pages into it seems quite well done. You did not ride this morning but your back hurts nonetheless. You will ride tonight. Your coat seems to fit a hair less snug today.

This is your horoscope for the rest of the world: Today you will experience the last real cold day of winter. After today you're home free. Bet the house on RED.

You get in another debate at work. You eat a salad with tuna that is packed in oil. You have to admit that it tastes better. You drain the oil, and in the end oil is better for you than mayo.

Some people claim pigs can smile. You're not so sure about that.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Not the Onion: Study Finds that Those with Hammers Own More Nails

Not the Onion: Study Finds that Those with Hammers Own More Nails 



In a recent Stanford study, researches have found that those people who typically own hammers, tend to more often own nails. This results verifies what many have believed for a long time, but science has been unable to finally nail down until now. In an elusive series of double blind experiments, researchers were able to pinpoint a direct correlation between the owning of hammers and the subsequent possession of nails.

Sue Brighton, lead researcher for the project explained, "We've been trying to expose this trickle down effect for years, and finally we were able to pin it down recently by introducing the double blind aspect. We never had any idea how much the experimenters were affecting the outcomes, so we extracted them from the direct knowledge stream in order to get a clear indication of the hammer-nail process flow & correlation. Needless to say we're smitten with the results."

Previous projects tended to suggest that not only was there no correlation, but there may have been a negative correlation, in that those with hammers often denied owning any nails at all. "We're not sure why that was the case, but very often people would flat out lie. Even when presented with their toolbox that contained both hammer AND nails, they would claim their kids put them there or the neighbor had borrowed the toolbox."

At the local Home Depot, Aisle 8 expert Mack Brown was able to shed some light on the subject.

"What kind of stupid question is that?" he angrily retorted, when questioned about the correlation between the 2. "Of course they do. I hope they hell you're not wasting my tax dollars on this gibberish. Do you people get paid for this?" After several minutes the visibly irate Brown calmed down and explained, "Look, people don't come in here and just buy nails, only to come back 20 minutes later to get a hammer. It's the other way around. Usually they buy a hammer, then some time after that, they sheepishly return and buy a box of nails. I'd say 9 times out of 10 they'll pay for the nails at a different register than they bought the hammer."

Brighton suggested that the "9 of 10" phenomenon might be her group's next research project.

But the correlation isn't always a hammer-to-nails cause & effect. Researchers found several cases where the nails preceded the hammers. Scientists believe that an overabundance of nails typically beg the question of where they go. And the answer almost always leads to the purchasing of hammers.

"Some people who only own nails and not a hammer can sometimes improvise, like using a rock or even a coffee cup," Brighton said. "But have you ever tried to build a deck with a Starbucks mug? That's just bananas."

A specific case was cited by Brighton of a pair of granddaughters who were left with just 1 hammer and several boxes of nails. The older, who refuses interview requests, got the hammer. Her younger sister Sylvia got the nails. Says Sylvia, "Well I had all these nails laying around from pappy's inheritance, and I really had no idea what to do with them. My boyfriend suggested I throw them out but this is a piece of my heritage. I couldn't do that to pappy."

"So I went and bought a hammer," she continued. "[sister's name removed] suggested we split the nails and time-share the hammer. But I know how she is. She would have gotten half the nails then refused to lend me the hammer. Because she's always been like that. Selfish. So I told her to enjoy the hammer."

When asked if her older sister later purchased nails, Sylvia did not know. "I have no idea. There are a lot of things you can do with a hammer other than pound nails in all day."


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Drive Off a Cliff, I Want Out

It is snowing, this is a drag. But you get up and ride the bike anyway. You've had enough. But you are absolutely sure you, among others, will be complaining about the heat in 6 months. It's bound to be a warm summer but the heat can't move in fast enough. You want to ride your bike outside. You could, but you can't. At the end of the commute, the walk to the office is miserable. Cold, snow pelts your face. You think of warm things but they do you no good.

Apparently the new WTC, also known as the Freedom Tower, a name you simply don't care for given that the mass of people march on to their daily solitary confinement in their own personal veal fattening pens, is already 55% rented. You cannot imagine when this thing will be done. You also wonder about the sewage systems inside this behemoth. It's a shame that they not only need to design big buildings now to be airplane crash-resistant, but they need to advertise the fact.

If you got a job offer in the WTC, you don't know if you could take it. How can anyone move into the upper half of that building and not be a little jumpy? Will the people working on the 73rd floor feel like they are free? It makes you cringe to think about. Maybe you could handle working on the 3rd floor.

You currently work on the 11th floor downtown. Everything down here is average, and overpriced. Coffee is mundane, or homogenized Starbucks. You cannot find a good bakery to save your life. Pizza is the only saving grace. There is a good pizza place but if you get there after 12 you might wait in line for 20 minutes just to order, and who knows how long to get your pizza. It's as if the whistle blows and everyone runs for the lunch door at exactly the same time.

Everything else is ok but expensive. You can make your own salad, and it's always good, but it always costs $13. That's an expensive salad.

Winter is moving in on drive time. Like, drive off a goddamn cliff already, because I want out.




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Real Middle Earth

I wrote this last month, left it in draft, never hit submit. It's as good a day as any to post it....

The older boy pisses all over the toilet seat in the morning. The younger ones dumps his food all over the floor. You are too tired to care. You make the best espresso you've had all week. It's been a long week. You like espresso. 

It's Thursday, close to the weekend but still 2 days of work left. Your boss's boss suddenly shows up to the office today. You are indifferent. You are lint on his jacket. Grains of sand on his beach. Whatever, it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. You are a cog in the great machine of life. A pawn, like Mongo. Mungo. Mango?

You randomly stare at this picture on & off all day, wishing you were here, thinking of what this sounds like, and what life would be like to live here. You wonder if this is where the Elves really live. You wonder if you would get sick of climbing up the steps on the side of the hill to get home every day. Probably you would. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

You Made the Internet

Today, I offer you something mundane and yet pertinent to your daily routine, and the incessant need to get yourself distracted from it. This is your blog post. Because you made the internet. Enjoy it.

On the train this morning a late-middle aged man reads a manual in Chinese printed on homemade paper. He is learning something which you try to surmise from the numbers and images. Nothing makes sense. They use the expression "it's all Greek to me" but they've clearly never taken a long look at this script. The man looks confused. Perhaps it's Thermal Physics.

It's not Thermal Physics.

A young man in a North Face jacket reads a Financial Markets book. He has a dazed look that speaks to his longing to be in bed. The words jump from the page and hit his eyes but go no further. He is thinking about his breakfast when he gets to work. He will not learn anything from this book. In the end, he will never be good at Wall Street. This will save him from being a greedy prick. He will eventually become a school teacher and his kids will love him. The money will not be good but he will die happy.

There is a woman on the train that is wearing a white coat and enough makeup for 23 people. She is not unattractive, but you wonder what would cause her to wear so much makeup that she could press her face into another person and give them an instant Halloween mask. She wears red lipstick, perhaps to contrast the overly light makeup and white jacket. She looks almost like a caricature of herself. If she were older she would look like a comic strip. She barrels off the subway, perhaps in search of a hose to rinse off.

In the office, a very old Jewish coworker talks on the phone all day and complains about someone who came to his house to read the meter. You don't care that he's Jewish, but he does wear a little hat, the name of which you can say but you don't know how to spell. The image is better for the reader to explain that he's 5-5, 250 pounds, and possible a child of Moses. He has a slight nasal whine to his voice. He makes at least 12 phone calls to the utility company asking whey they knocked on his door this weekend to read the meter. You hear all this because you forgot your headphones today.

When you get to the office you have a coffee, which is supplied by the company. It does not taste good.


Thursday, February 06, 2014

You May Mindfully Eat Me

One of the problems I have, as many of you already well know, is that I am a remorseless eating machine. Not at all unlike Homer Simpson. I can eat a whole pizza, a complete leg of lamb, or 2 pounds of mediocre and possibly rotten cheese. If left to my own devices, the entire bag of cookies will be gone. The OJ will go from a half gallon to no gallons in 10 minutes. The hummus will be eradicated. You name it, it will go away. Many people will say that oh, you can eat a whole pizza, or gallon of ice cream, or entire tub of hummus. I get it, some people can do ONE of those things. I can do them all. I can eat all of something I mildly like. Not just 1 or 2 things. All of them. Always.

Over the years I've worked on ways to address this. Riding bikes, starving myself, keeping especially bad foods away from me, electroshock therapy to my groin. Some of these are ways to curb the effect. But nothing really works. I mean, WORKS. Things work for a little while, then stop working. There is no long-term anything.

This whole mindful eating thing is a great idea, at least at first glance. For those of you who don't know, mindful eating goes like this. You get a bowl of peas. You look at each pea lovingly, inspect it, eat it, savor it's life as it passes into your mouth and down to your stomach. And then you ruminate on the awesomeness of the pea. You zen the pea. Can I use "zen" as a word? If not, who cares. You get the idea.

That's in practice. As reality goes, this is generally what happens. You get a bowl of peas, dump 20,000 calories of pesto on it, and eat the whole thing in 19 seconds flat. Mindful of absolutely nothing at all. Maybe you belch and re-taste the pesto. Or maybe you get more pesto.

Theories are great. Again, quoting Homer Simpson, Communism is great. In theory. But in practice it sucks and the images from the dog-shooting Olympics this week will show you how put together everything is over there. So scratch Communism. And scratch mindful eating. Because as well as it might work in theory, one that says to put down your fork between bites, it's somewhat useless in practice. So as much as I'd like to do it, I can't practice it. I don't even think to practice it, which is probably the basis of the problem.

Take this morning, when you have about 200 seconds to make lunches for the kids, shovel out the foot of ice plow that the trucks made for you overnight, and then scrape the turtle shell of crust off the car. How the hell do you mindfully eat? The answer is, you don't. You dump some amount of cereal in the bowl, then some milk, grab the biggest spoon, and shovel it in like a Chinese railroad worker in the Midwest.

So until I retire and have 2 hours to eat my bowl of cereal, I'll need to resort to riding 12+ hours a week in the hopes that my medium shirts and size 32 pants start to fit again. Or maybe I'll give up and buy 34 jeans, large shirts, and a few mu-mus with decorative colors on them. In the end, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tin Cans Suck


 

Accommodation in aviemore