Dang it All
Trials and Travails of a 20-something
Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The copy editing department here at The Eagle puts out its own monthly newsletter, exposing common grammar and usage mistakes, humorous headline foibles and the like. A recent feature was a list of corrections printed by other newspapers as an example of how everybody makes mistakes. My favorite:

"We apologize to our readers who received, through an unfortunate computer error, the chest measurements of the Female Wrestlers Association instead of the figures on the sales of soybeans to foreign countries."

Monday, December 27, 2004

If God hadn't wanted fat people to wear thongs, he wouldn't have invented shoehorns.


I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream.
- Heywood Broun

My keyboard is sticky. I've been sitting here for the past hour, reading business stories about Raytheon's new plane and bribed bankers, and eating some of Gary D. Schlaegel's Homegrown Popped Popcorn to keep me awake. Now that I'm done with my 4 oz. (113g) of TOFFEE flavored corn, I've taken a glance at what was actually in it.

Ingredients: Selected popcorn, dehydrated vegetable oil, sugar, white syrup, margarine, sodium bicarbonate, sodium, and basic corn treat flavors.

Most of those I can understand. The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a little strange, but harmless enough. What I'm a bit fuzzy on however, is the "basic corn treat flavors." Somehow, in the midst of my college education, I never managed to learn what a basic corn treat flavor is. Who knows what I could be eating?

So I decide to do a bit of detective work. It's not like I'm really doing anything important here anyway. A quick Google search reveals there are no matches for "basic corn treat flavors." Undeterred, I try again. Perhaps there are corn treat flavors which aren't basic. The complicated corn treat flavors. The complex corn treat flavors. The elaborate corn treat flavors. So I search again, this time for just "corn treat flavors," encompassing any and all of the flavors which might exist in the world.

Bingo. Enter Home Theater Express, where you can buy your very own Gold Medal Corn Treat Flavors. No longer do you have to suffer through boring old buttered popcorn. Now you can "transform ordinary popcorn into kernels with a kick!" and eat "popcorn with a punch." Oh joy. Unfortunately, if you want your Nacho Cheese or Savory Pizza flavored popcorn, you have to buy the giant 5 lb. container. At least you'll have enough to kick, punch, and knock out an entire wrestling team.

Who knew popcorn could be so complicated?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Santa's a physicist. It all makes sense now.

We're all hookers. What matters is dignity.
- Mike Farren
Music I'm listening to right now: Nada

The trip to Longview was great. A lot of fun. Got to hang out a bit with Dave, looking forward to doing it a bit more when he's in my wedding in July. Also saw Corey and learned the joke that he learned at age 10 and thinks of whenever he sees somebody with a moustache:
"Why do gay guys have moustaches?"
"To cover the stretch marks."
Incredibly inappropriate and politically incorrect, I know, but who can regulate the associations a mind makes during childhood?

On my return to the fair city of Wichita, I started a two week internship at the Wichita Eagle. As I write, I am firmly ensconced in a cubicle, waiting for something to do. It seems that the job of a copy editor consists of surfing the internet, writing emails, goofing off and generally wasting time until a few stories finally trickle in. Then there's the mad dash towards the deadline, three or four hours of uninterrupted reading and editing. Actually, not that shabby of a job.

The only thing killing me right now is the schedule. I'm working 8:00 - 3:15 delivering TVs, followed by 3:30 - midnight at The Eagle. That leaves me a grand total of 8 hours for sleep, leisure, quality family time, reading, hanging out with Kelsey, and other pursuits. It's handy that this internship is mainly wasting time. I can get that out of the way. At least this'll look good on my resume. I hope.

Slowly getting grades back from last semester. All A's so far. I kick scholastic ass.

Since I'm not interesting or amusing today, go read this instead.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The universe is simmering down, like a giant stew left to cook for four billion years. Sooner or later we won't be able to tell the carrots from the onions.
- Arthur Bloch
Music I'm listening to right now: The Polyphonic Spree - Reach For the Sun

I've been driving around for the past two weeks with a fat tan rubber band around my rearview mirror. Not the one on the inside of my car, but the one that attaches to my driver's side door (Is there a technical term for that mirror?). I have no idea how it got there. One afternoon as I left Newman and headed for work I noticed there was a rubber band around the mirror. I keep thinking I should take it off or see if there's something underneath that it's holding on, but I always forget. So instead I just leave it there and wonder why I have a rubber band on my mirror whenever I glance in it to see if the person behind me is talking to someone or just singing to himself. I'm sure the whole thing is a metaphor for something.

At 5:00 tonight Kelsey and I are leaving to make the 7 1/2 hour drive down to Longview, TX to see dave walk across that stage and get a piece of paper that says he slogged through 4 1/2 years of college. It should be fun. If you happen to be in the area in the next couple of days, give us a call.

One more semester down. One to go. I don't think I'm going to miss school.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may deride it; malice may distort it; but there it is.
- Winston Churchill
Music playing right now: Squad Five-O - Don't Look Back

I got an email today from the boyfriend of a girl I happened to mention on this blog a while back. He requested that I remove the post in which she was mentioned because of the pain it caused her to see her name sullied. Accordingly, I re-read the post and found nothing which specifically said that she was an awful girl. To this day, I still don't believe she is awful or bad or evil. I simply think she and I were not quite compatible and had our differences. I think I elucidated that rather well in my description. Nevertheless, I'm faced with a moral quandary.

I have always maintained the position that whatever I write and post to this blog is staying. I find it both amusing and useful to be able to look back at what I was like months or years ago. To that end, I feel it's almost tantamount to revising my history to strike this particular entry from the record. And yet apparently this girl cannot get over the words written about her a year and a half ago. Which leaves me conflicted. Should I sacrifice the integrity of this diary and pander to the whims of my (apparently) not-so-adoring audience? Or keep my history intact as it is? Such an ethical question for a thursday night. *

John Stuart Mill would say that I must consider the relative happiness involved in each outcome. Would the small amount of happiness gained by this girl and her boyfriend justify the loss of my writing? Or is my happiness in being able to look back upon my former self and thoughts greater than the sum of their unhappiness? Mill's hedonistic calculus leaves me in doubt. If I abandon Mill and follow the teachings of Kant instead, I would be forced to consider what the consequence would be if everybody did as I would do. If everybody revised their histories and personal stories simply because they might cause someone discomfort, there would be no history. We would live in a culture of the here and now, forced to repeat our mistakes because we could not remember them.

In other news, I just finished a paper on the poetry inherent in "Pink Floyd The Wall," one on the archetypal nature of King Kong and I'm about to start a longer one on whether or not Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock" can be counted as a true epic. I love being an English major. Until next time, adios for now.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Show me a thoroughly satisfied man, and I will show you a failure.
- Thomas Edison
Music playing right now: AC/DC - Back in Black

It was May of 2003 when I ignobly left the confines of LeTourneau University to make my way back home to Wichita. I had run out of money, run out of options, and badly needed at least one A on my transcript. So I moved back in at home and enrolled at Newman University, a college almost as good as LU, but much easier academically. Life was falling together. But I did have one lingering problem.

During my tenure at LU and my long losing battle to stay there, I managed to rack up quite a credit card bill. Not having had a decent job in Texas and failing in my attempt to live on pbj and tuna sandwiches, that little total at the end of my bill continued to rise every month. By the time I finally gave up and came home, it was at about $2000. It continued to grow in stature and in strength.

It wasn't until August of 2003 that I finally found a job in Wichita. But that doesn't mean I did nothing for the 4 months I was unemployed. Far from it. I went out to eat, I saw movies, I spent my non-existent money with the free and easy manner of a klepto monkey. I didn't really care. I knew I'd pay it back someday.

So when I started this year back in January, I still had about $2200 racked up in credit card bills, leftovers from texas, christmas, and tattoos I couldn't really afford. I made it my new years resolution to get myself back in the black. With a job that pays $7.50 an hour, a new car I had to purchase, and all those other dang expenses that kept popping up, it took me a while. But I'm happy to report that as of last Tuesday, I am now no longer in debt to Bank One. I dragged myself out of the financial grave just in time to get married. Now I can actually start saving money instead of using it to pay off the seven-layer burrito I bought 8 months ago.

Life is working out. Hooray for me.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Music playing right now: They Might Be Giants - (She's An) Angel
People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up.
- Ogden Nash

I was driving home at 11:00 last night and realized that I'd been up and doing some sort of work, homework, or class since 6:30 that morning. It seems that I have somehow become a laborer in some sort of college sweatshop, a once-shiny cog in the grimy machinations of higher education. My leisure time has gone the way of Presidential integrity.

Sometimes I think I should just take Martha Stewart's example and get a cushy little 15 month vacation in minimum security. Get me away from the daily grind for a bit. Well, maybe. There's probably a lot of daily grinds going on in the inside.

I'm getting married in 240 days. That's 8 months exactly. Hopefully by then I'll actually have a bit of time I can use to spend with my beautiful new wife.

I need an egg-nog milkshake.

About Me

My wife thinks I'm awesome. Counter

Days since Dan entered into wedded bliss:

::Required Reading::
My beautiful wife
The Slot
A Capital Idea
eegah, eliot!
Practicing Myrtle
Obscure Store
The Plug


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