Dang it All
Trials and Travails of a 20-something
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Kudos to my brother for finding this treasure in a huge pile of junk:

 


Just one more reason why you should never throw anything away.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
- Albert Einstein

Music playing right now:  Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue

So much for my handyman skills.

I spent today putting together entertainment centers at work.  The people we sell them to are too lazy to get them in the box and follow the simple assembly instructions themselves so it falls to me to wield screwdriver, hammer, and allen wrench with death defying speed and accuracy.  With all of the practice I get, I have become the ninja master of screwing and nailing (hehe.  that sounds dirty). 

Unfortunately, today was not to be my day.  It started out fine.  I was using my handy-dandy black & decker cordless drill and hammer with the easiest of ease.  Then my battery died.  And I was faced with the bone-jarring prospect of using a handheld phillips for the next five hours.  When I got home I felt like I'd been jerking off for four and a half months straight.  My wrist fell off as soon as I walked in the door.  It took me 45 minutes before I could reattach it and feel normal again.

Whilst in between screwings, I got to nail the cardboard backings onto the units.  Usually kind of fun.  Like most men, I've always kind of enjoyed mindless smashing of objects.  Nailing could become a fun and fulfilling hobby of mine.  Nevertheless, it needed a bit of sprucing up.  Not satisfied with the normal nailing technique (a few tentative taps followed by two or three firm blows), I hit upon the great idea of using the famed Karate Kid technique (tap the nail in just enough to hold it and then attempt to smash the body of the nail all the way in with one forceful flail of the hammer). 

I succeeded in my first Karate Kid nailing experiment.  Enboldened by my success and feeling very macchio-like, I quickly set up three more nails and whack! whack! whack!  I smacked them all in in quick succession.  By this time I was feeling very proud of myself.  Probably a bit too much, considering the relative simplicity of my accomplishments.  I took the 15 or so nails I had left to put in and set them all up, one right after the other, sitting in their respective seats like hot dogs waiting to be sucked down a vacuum cleaner.  I started at the top and worked my way down the right side.  Bang!  Bang!  Bang!  Bang!  Flump!  I missed the fifth nail completely and put my hammer straight through the flimsy cardboard. 

A replacement piece is now in the mail.  Just have to wait 10-12 business days and I can try again.  Aren't menial jobs fun?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

People are only normal until you get to know them.
- heard it on NPR the other day.
Music playing right now:  Die Toten Hosen - Disneyland (Stays the Same)
 
I've been reading this collection of George Bernard Shaw's plays lately.  Really good stuff.  Shaw's extensive and amazingly detailed stage directions make it almost like reading a novel.  And besides that, he's just a great satirist.  Another author who managed to machete his own path through the cultural jungle instead of ambling down the asphalt highway of convention (how's that for a metaphor?). 
 
Anyway, I glanced at the short little biography of Shaw they have at the beginning of the book.  It has all the pertinent facts: date of birth, major jobs, influences, most famous works and their dates of publication, etc.  There was just one sentence thrown in right in the middle that disturbed me.  "In 1876, Shaw joined his mother and sister in London, where he spent the next nine years in unrecognized struggle and genteel poverty."  End paragraph.  Flash forward to the 'important' stuff. 
 
nuh-uh.  nope.  back up a bit.  That's nine years of his life.  Nine years.  3,287 days (assuming there were two leap years).  Personally, I don't really care about his famous life.  Social events, fame and fortune, I've heard about these.  I want to hear more about his three thousand days of struggle before finally being rescued from literary drowning.  That's a lot of perserverance right there.  Maybe when I become successful and rich myself I'll be more interested in how he was "besieged by offers to film his plays."  But right now I think I'd better relate to his wallowing in generic nobodyness. 
 
They should start writing biographies of absolutely "normal" people.


Saturday, July 17, 2004

We have art to save ourselves from the truth.
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Music playing right now:  Ashfordaisyak - Leper in a Tumbledryer
 
Strange as it may seem, I do have the capacity to do relatively simple wiring, plumbing, carpentry, etc.  I'm not a total loss as a male.  So faced with a Friday afternoon with nothing to do yesterday, I put some of my meagre knowledge to use.  The idea?  Make a useful lamp out of an not-so-useful blender.
 
My virgin material:
 

A blender bought a year and a half ago for the amazingly cheap price of $19.99 (Thanks Wal-mart) and used for the express purpose of furnishing Dave and I with Pina Coladas, Hurricanes, etc.  I think it may have actually been in operation for a month before I abandoned Dave's voodoo lounge and headed back here to Kansas where it has sat in my basement for the past 14 months. 
 
Step 1:

 

This is the church, and here is the steeple.  Open it up and remove the motor and extra wiring.
 
Step 2:
 

Strip the power cord and wire it to the brand new light socket purchased at Lowe's for a grand total of $2.18
 
Step 3:
 

The moment of truth.  Put everything back together and find out how many english majors it takes to screw in a lightbulb.  Cross your fingers and hope for the best.
 
Final Step:
 

Eureka!  Hallelujah!  Jumpin' Jiminy!  Let there be light!  Put your brand new lamp in a prominent spot so you can brag about it to any and all passerby. 


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I don't want the world, I just want your half.
Music playing right now: They Might Be Giants - Exquisite Dead Guy


For the purposes of variety, this entire post will be written in the style of a 16 year old blonde girl talking on her cell phone in abercrombie and fitch.

So I went to Columbia, MO, you know. Oh my God! I just totally said M.O.! Like it was two words. That is soooo funny. But anyway, I went to that concert. The one I was telling you about, you remember. They Might Be Giants. They were soooo Awesome!! I almost peed my pants when they came on, I was so excited. Oooh! Flip Flops!

The opening bands were, like, so good too. You know, I never would have thought a long-haired accordion player in a white jumpsuit would be hot, but Corn Mo was enough to make me melt the glitter off my cheeks. Yeah? She did what? No freakin' way! With a carrot? No way! In the car? I am sooo jealous!

Oh! You're gonna die at this. It's so hilarious! We were on the way home and we got hungry, you know. So we like stopped at some little restaurant in the middle of nowhere Kansas. I think the biggest thing in their town was like Wal-mart. But anyway, we were eating and it was like a buffet thing, which always scares me because who knows what kind of dirty people have been touching my food already, but I was like dying of hunger. I was seriously like Calista Flockhart on a hunger strike, I was that starved. So we were sitting there eating and this lady was walking past in front of me and she had this strip of toilet paper hanging out of the back of her shorts. Seriously, I almost died! I almost blew iced tea out of my nose I laughed so hard. You should have seen Nikki. She was bright red. The lady actually turned around to see why we were laughing. It was soooo freakin' funny! I would have died of embarassment!

Oh crap. My battery's about to freakin' die. I'll talk to you later at the pool. Ooh! Cute belts!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Road trips are fun. Even miniscule short two day ones. An update for ya after I come back from seeing They Might Be Giants and living it up in sunny Columbia, MO. We'll see if it's really the show-me state.

Friday, July 09, 2004

My excuse for being silent lately:

"A story must be exceptional enough to justify its telling. We storytellers are all ancient mariners, and none of us is justified in stopping wedding guests, unless he has something more unusual to relate than the ordinary experiences of every average man and woman."
- Thomas Hardy

Sunday, July 04, 2004

There's a mormom church located just down the street from me. Whenever I pass by, I look to see if I can spot any men coming out surrounded by their harem of wives. So far I've been dissapointed in that regard. But the other night, whilst driving past, I spied a boy of about 16-18, with his hands clasped in front of him, directing a yellow-ish looking stream onto the bushes that line the front walkway. Being that it was only about 8:00, I was pretty certain he wasn't drunk, just had himself an emergency of some sort. Perhaps those bicycle-helmet-clad, prozac addicted, cleanly starched recruiters from hell had visited him one too many times.


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