Tuesday, December 20, 2005

5 weird habits of mine

The original topic for this ongoing meme is "Your Five Weirdest Habits," but since I'm positive that I've overlooked some (and don't wish to mention some of the more embarrassing ones online), I've modified it slightly here.

Thanks to Donna for tagging me.

1. Ever since I was young, I've been in the habit of getting into bed before turning out the light. I guess this comes from a youthful fear of creatures under the bed, which would emerge and crawl around on the floor once the lights went out. I recall a time when there was no light next to my bed, and I actually practiced a technique by which I would jump, hit the switch on the way up, and sail toward the bed. I missed more than once before getting the bright idea to move the bed.

2. Unless it's completely unfeasible, I try to be at least fifteen or twenty minutes early for wherever I'm going. No matter whether I'm heading to work, a movie, or just a meeting with a friend, I can't stand the thought of being late. Even now that I have a cellular phone, I'd rather work my schedule around so I'll be early than have to call the person I'm meeting to tell them I'm running late.

3. Even at the height of summer when it's ninety-some degrees out, I insist on wearing long pants whenever I leave the house. Maybe this has something to do with my less-than-friendly relationship with sunlight.

4. I've saved every notebook I've used since I first started college over nine years ago. I can't explain why. What do I think I'll need them for?

5. Every time I use the bathroom, I turn on the fan (yes, there's a separate switch). I'll turn on the fan even when I'm just washing my hands or combing my hair.

I hereby pass the mantle on to... um... Jason, Tosh, Jay, Mark, and Lee.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


- Thanks for your thoughts a few weeks back, when my dad had bypass surgery. He's recovering now- still not allowed to drive or lift heavy objects or sleep in any position besides on his back, on account of the doctors having to cut through the breastbone to do the procedure- but he's doing what he can. For the time being, he can eat pretty much anything he wants, until such time as his appetite returns, so maybe I ought to bring home a burger or something for him to enjoy before the doctors say no more. He's not 100% yet or anything, but we're happy with how he's recovering.

- A strange and kind of welcome unforseen by-product of my dad's brush with the Reaper is that he has gotten less and less tolerant of bullshit. This is especially nice when he's talking to my brother, meaning he's much less inclined to indulge my brother than he was in the past. Not that it matters much anymore, since my brother officially moved out yesterday. Three months after we had originally planned, but better late than never, I suppose.

- One thing I hate about the holiday season is the omnipresent Christmas music in stores and such. Not that I am categorically against carols or anything- it's just the ones they play are so schmaltzy and shitty. We've all heard "The Christmas Song" thousands of times, so why is it necessary to hear the slowest, most overorchestrated version wherever we go (I'm glancing in your direction, Perry Como)? Even worse is that they subject callers on hold to the songs as well. Gee, just what I need- I'm sitting around the house, just trying to see if the bookstore has a copy of UGETSU, and I have to sit through a double dose of Mannheim Steamroller-fied holiday junk. Blech. Also, how did the chestnuts roasting song get to be "The Christmas Song?" Ask people to name one Christmas song and I'm guessing very few will name that one. I guess it's sort of like the div kid being named milk monitor or something. God, THE OFFICE is awesome.

- Chinese takeout is a lot like a relationship- when it's good it's awesome, and when it's bad watch the fuck out. This pearl of wisdom was inspired by a trip to a local Chinese takeout joint. I should have cut and run as soon as I walked in- what kind of restaurant is almost empty at 12:15 PM?- but feeling adventurous I stuck around. Hoo boy. I guess the wonton soup wasn't awful, though the wonton itself was little more than a layered ball of dough. The eggroll, on the other hand... the cabbage was really stringy, and there seemed to be a powdery substance inside. It might have been soy or something, but it was pretty off-putting. For the main course, I ordered what I usually order when I go to a Chinese place for the first time- chicken with broccoli. It's not my favorite or anything, but it's pretty much a gimme- chicken, broccoli, and brown sauce. It's only a gimme in theory, as it turns out- the single server on duty brings me out a plate covered in all kinds of unwelcome veggies, including (retch) mushrooms. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but there are quite a few people out there who don't eat mushrooms, either due to allergy (in my case) or simple dislike for them. So if you're going to put mushrooms on a dish, it would probably be a wise idea to advertise, to keep the fungophobes away. But noooooooooooooooooo, here's what the menu read: "Chicken and Broccoli." I asked the server to take it back to the kitchen, since I can't eat mushrooms, and she looked at me oddly, like I told her I don't breathe oxygen or something. But she obliged, bringing me back a new plate a minute or so later that was obviously the same one only with the mushrooms removed. I tried to choke down a few bites, but it tasted like someone cut up my work shoes, threw them in a wok, and served them over rice. Which may sound good if you're Werner Herzog, but doesn't appeal to me. Being nice/wussy, I paid for the meal, but I would have been better off driving by the restaurant, wiping my ass with a ten-dollar bill, and throwing it out the driver's side window. At least that would have been entertaining and left me without a terrible aftertaste.

- Brilliant idea du jour: reflex tests for the elderly when they renew their licenses. I suppose this was brought on by the idea that all of my grandparents are upwards of 85 years old, and three of them (including the oldest, 90 years old) are still behind the wheel. Nothing against them or the elderly in general, but I feel uneasy every time they mention driving somewhere. I feel particularly uneasy about my paternal grandparents, who are 90 and 88 and have a lot of trouble walking. Now, I understand that one needs to be mobile. Being stuck in one place can be tough- just ask my dad. But when you're driving, especially if you're on the highway, you need to be able to react quickly to avoid accidents. And I fear that many old people may be endangering themselves and others simply because the PC police don't want to offend their elders. Come to think of it, let's test everyone's reaction time. If you're still able-bodied, what could you possibly fear?