Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Regression is a wonderful thing

Now that I have a one to two hour commute to work each day and I can't make it home for my lunch break, I've been packing up my lunches at the beginning of the week and stockpiling food in my desk and in the company fridge. Pretty smart idea, right?

Yeah, well, except for the part where I'm turning back into an eight-year-old.

It started with the juice boxes, and I will admit, they were my idea. Hey, a guy gets thirsty, and juice boxes, they have the straw attached and everything. Convenient, no? Plus, it's not like I'm carting the Ecto-coolers to work. I've been getting those Vruit juice boxes, the fruit juice mixed with veggie juice. Veggie juice is pretty grown up. I mean, I would have gotten my ass kicked if I tried pawning off carrot juice on the other kids on the playground when I was in third grade.

Still, juice boxes are just one of those inherently funny things in life. Drink a fine Bordeaux out of an 8 ounce juice box, and it will still look like your mother should be dressing you up in Garanimals.

So the juice boxes are one thing, but I did not realize how far I had fallen until the other day when I opened up my snack drawer at work (technically, I now have more drawers for snacks than I do for work) to get a package of Cheez-Its.

Now, lets back up to the weekend, when the missus, BB EC, and I went grocery shopping. The missus has control of the carriage while I'm making sure BB EC remains napping by keeping his stroller in constant motion. The missus likes very detailed grocery lists, while my needs are usually broken down into Breakfast, Lunch, and Snacks on the list, giving a lot of leeway for potential purchases. So I'm pushing the stroller back and forth while the missus heads down the snack aisle. She comes back with a package of nutter butters and a package of Cheez its. Decent choices both, but honestly, once something is in the cart, I'm ready to move on. She could have bought me jellied octopus rings and sugar free pork rinds and I would have been - sure, sure, that's great, honey - lets get the bread and get out of here.

Which brings me back to the Cheez-its. Or should I say, the Fun Shrek Shapes! Cheez-its. Oh lord, first the juice boxes, now this. Before I know it, I'll be reading Spiderman comic books and eating SpongeBob Jello pops in the break room while wearing striped tube socks hiked up to my knees. And I wonder why the missus is convinced I'm going to end up being a crazy old man.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Kicking computers

The loud humming sound you hear coming from next to my desk at work? Glad you asked. I believe it is my work computer vainly battling its imminent demise.

Now, I was out of work most of last week as Baby Boy EC was in the hospital and had various doctors' appointments (he's doing just fine right now, by the way),but I did come in for a few hours on Friday morning, figuring I could catch up on what I've missed and get ahead a little bit for the coming week. Instead, I spend three hours staring at a blank monitor (which isn't always the most unpleasant activity, but more appropriate for a week when I'm in everyday) and crossing my fingers that the 87th time I unplug and reboot my computer will be the one that does the trick and kicks it back into gear.

Long story short, computer gets taken away to the repair shop for misfit electronics. I go home and forget about my computer for the weekend. I come in Monday morning, and have no computer at my desk. There is some work I can do without using a computer, but ultimately, using pencil and a pad of yellow legal paper is not a longterm solution. I am told that computer will be back later in the day, and I am given my choice of even creakier, crankier, more misfittier computers to use for the day.

Which is fine for about two hours, long enough for me to type about 1,200 words of a report into the computer before I get the bright idea of restarting the computer to see if it will help it run faster. It does not help. In fact, computer does not reboot again. As I did on Friday, I dutifully unplug and replug the older computer multiple times, all to no avail. I am now convinced that my desk sits on top of an old Indian Computer Burial Ground.

Next day, still no computer, but I'm told my computer will be back from the body shop later in the morning. In a rare moment of good thinking, I had brought my laptop into work, giving the ability to get some stuff done while waiting for work computer. As an added bonus, a detached cubicle wall falls on my head. In a rare fit of work rage, I toss the 6-foot cubicle wall into my coworkers area (he isn't in yet) and yell some profanities. But eventually, I get computer back, work gets done, and all is well.

Until today. Computer starts up fine, and I leave it on when I go out to lunch. I get back from lunch, and computer now sounds like a Sherman tank chasing Rommel through the desert and my screen is once again blank. Today, I have moved beyond the unplugging and replugging and proceeded directly to kicking the computer. That doesn't work either, but it at least makes me feel a little better.

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Monday, June 18, 2007


...too many.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Creature Double Feature II

Okay, this is mostly a shameless attempt to direct more traffic to Endangered Coffee, but I hope you will find it to be a noble shameless attempt.

Through the wonders of sitemeter, which I finally added to the site last month after nearly two years of blogging, I've found that, far and away, the most hits I get through Google are from people looking up Creature Double Feature and pulling up an entry I did about a year ago. I won't rehash that entry now, other than to note that there are still a lot of people of a certain age in this part of the country who still have a remarkable fondness for vegging out in front of the television on Saturday afternoon and watching Gamera and Godzilla.

So let's use this as an opportunity to share our favorite Creature memories in the comments section. As I think I've mentioned before, the Japanese monster movies get top billing in my book, followed by the American flying saucer movies of the 1950s, with the Hammer films bringing up the rear in the mind of an oversugared ten-year-old.

I also think there's a fondness for Creature2Feature because it was offered up free from the ironic subtext that later popped up with Elvira and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Sure, even a 10 year old knew these movies weren't Hitchcock or Citizen Kane, but we were able to appreciate them on their own merits, bad dubbing and all.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Rasta baby

I know it's only a matter of time before Baby Boy EC falls under the hypnotic sway of the Wiggles, Barney, or some other parent-grating musical entertainment act. For the time being, we can take solace in the fact that BB EC seems to dig the reggae. The missus is convinced its because she listened to lots of reggae in the car while she was pregnant. I'm hoping its because BB EC was born with a fully functioning good taste gene.

We've actually been trying to play BB EC a good mix of music, from jazz and classical to reggae. We tried, we really tried to expose him to a CD of baby lullabyes, but it sounded like folk music with what little energy that type of music might have sucked out, and then mixed with a heavy-duty valium cocktail. I know the point is probably to relax babies and get them to sleep, but I would feel bad if he was nodding off not because he was relaxed, but because the songs were boring him to pieces.

When it comes to reggae, BB EC is especially fond of Toots and the Maytals, and he likes dancing around his room with his mom to Funky Kingston and Reggae Got Soul. Reggae also soothes the little guy. One of the last nights before we moved out of our apartment, the college kids next door had a party with a live band that specialized in hippy-dippy type of music. BB EC was starting to get a little fussy, until the hippy-dippy band broke into a pretty decent cover of Stir it Up, causing BB EC to immediately calmly sigh and fall asleep.

Now, we will play BB EC the Toots and the Marley and the Jimmy Cliff, but I draw the line at dressing him up in little tie-dye onesies or getting him a little baby rasta cap. We've got enough to do as new parents without trying to be hip and cool by dressing our baby up like a little hipster. Plus, the dinosaurs and little trucks are just so darn cute...

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