Friday, July 28, 2006

Somebody light a match

Today was a milestone day for me. For the first time I can remember, and maybe ever, I lathered, rinsed and repeated. I did this because I needed to shower to wash lake off of me after a quick trip to Lake Hartwell. The lake didn't all come out after one rinse, so I followed the directions on my shampoo.

It was quite nice this morning. But the Carolina clay/mud at the bottom is a little bit gross. I imagine it's what a bug feels like when it accidentally flies into your nose and lands in a pool of snot. At least, that's what I'm thinking about as my feet disgustingly sink into the waiting lake bottom. It was warm, but the sun was low enough that the trees shaded my water and keys so the water wouldn't taste like the lake and the keys wouldn't burn my hands when I pick them up to unlock my car.

I also noticed that the lake, much like all other bodies of water, is not above making humorous pockets of air get trapped within my bathing suit. In fact, as I was getting ready to leave, there was such a pocket trapped in my left pant leg behind my left thigh that expelled itself as I bent down to collect my book, keys and water, sounding suspiciously like an expulsion of gas that would ordinarily come from a region not terribly far away from that left thigh. Fortunately, no one was around to hear it, so I didn't have to explain anything to anybody. I'm pretty sure I did hear the lake giggle a little bit, though.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Can you make cool shapes with your fingernails?

They have laser hair removal so people don't have to shave ever again. It's usually for women who get tired of shaving their ladyparts or mustaches. I don't think it's as popular with men because they, like me, always have that nagging question about possibly shaping their sideburns into lightning bolts one day.

I wonder why they don't have a similar procedure for fingernails and toenails. This is one of my least favorite hygiene tasks, because it's so hard to schedule and remember. You don't do it everyday like teeth and contacts. Something has to draw my attention to my fingers, because I don't really think about them much. And they don't always grow at the same rate, so sometimes my ring finger needs it, but middle and index are rocking out just fine.

The toes are a whole different ballgame, because they go even slower. How often to you think about your toenails? About as often as you think about as often as you think about the obnoxious singer from Rush, which is not very often. Toenails are a bit more trouble, too, because the big toe's nail is thicker than the others and requires a heavier duty clipper, unless you want to spend 10 minutes per big toe. Not me, I'm no sucker.

The worst part of the whole ordeal is that somewhere, on some finger, there is an edge that isn't quite cut smooth, so it scratches its neighbor finger or catches on stuff, but you don't realize it until the next day or so. (The worst is a toe that gets caught on the inside of your sock, making the inside of your shoe fraught with peril -- just another reason to hate wearing shoes.) Then you have to go back and get the clippers out for one little piece. This really makes me feel like I live in the Middle Ages, because surely we can do better than this.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Does anyone really know the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne?

I am returning to South Carolina tomorrow. Actually, I guess, it's really later today. But, in my mind, the day isn't actually over until you go to sleep for the night. No, naps don't count, so my little system won't let you get a few winks at noon on Christmas Eve and wake up an hour later ready to open presents. This is only sleep that takes place after the sun goes down.

It's just one of those things in my head that doesn't really belong there. Midnight is so... absolute. Like right now, the events that are taking place in my life, notably writing this entry, should be cataloged in my memory with the things that happened in the past 14 hours, not the ones that will happen after I wake up, because this is an extension of them, not a precursor to the ones that will happen tomorrow.

New Year's Eve is a weird case, though. Partly because of the ball tradition (that is really kind of stupid, actually) and partly because my birthday is the next day (which is kickass, because whenever I do subtraction from the current year to my birthyear, there is never a time that it's not correct). When you stay up and watch horrible television while drinking things in anticipation of ringing in the new year (which is a retarded expression, not unlike "not for nothing"), that immediately starts a new year, but not the new day. Don't you wish you could rent space in my head?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I am an heterochromatic. Are you a homo?

I've written on this subject before, but the last few days when I wake up at home home (in Florida) I realize I'm probably not going to see anyone other than my parents or high school friends, so my motivation for removing my facial hair is not particularly strong. The weirdest thing I notice when I let my facial hair grow out is that my head hair, my facial hair, eyebrows and my leg/arm hair are all different colors. As far as hair goes, I am heterochromatic. So I think that whenever I see someone who has all those kinds of hairs the same color, I can call them a homo and mean it, irrespective of their sexual orientation.

My head hair is hard to describe, but it's like a light brown, not quite reddish color. My eyebrows are very dark, my facial hair is like the orange/red color typical of your standard redhead, and my arms/legs sport hair that one would accurately describe as blonde. I realize as I write this that people who don't know what I look like are picturing some sort of hideous cartoon drawing made by a kindergartener, but it's not any worse than the ridiculous look that you're wearing right now.

I still have the pangs of desire, particular on days like these when I'm really lazy about shaving, that I should try to do something cool with my potential beard/mustache. But again, I'm still not sure what I'd do with it that wouldn't make me end up looking like a hardcore douchebag. So, until something happens where I go to a restaurant or interact with family members who don't live here, I will keep growing copper wire out of my face, and then shave it off like I should have done four or five days ago.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Splish Splash

You know what bothers me way more than it probably should? Well, those of you who know me would probably have trouble answering that question because that is a rather lengthy list that includes (but is not limited to) Taco Bell commercials and people who drive a Mercedes in college. But what I'm talking about right now is when the soap falls into the water at your feet when your taking a shower.

It gives me grief because when it falls in, it usually happens just after I soap up my hands in preparation to wash myself, when plop, down the bar of Irish Spring goes. (Irish Spring has been my favorite soap since I was a little kid because it is green. Are the Irish really known for being a clean people?) And, do I risk the time to lather myself up or plunge into the inch of water that has submerged my bar of soap and threatens to turn it into a lump of mush, especially when once I rescue it and re-lather, the whole scene could very easily play out again? It's a dilemma every morning it happens. Also, the mush lump of soap is unacceptable. If I find a bar like that in my shower, I immediately throw it away, even if it is large enough to support another month of showers. I have very strict quality control demands in my hygiene.

So here's what I think should happen: in every shower, there the should be surface angled in such a way that the soap slides away from the shower towards the wall, trapping it so that it won't fall into the mushifying standing shower water. You can be damned sure my house will have one; along with a water fountain. Water from a very cold water fountain (or for those of you in Wisconsin, a "bubbler") seems to be very excellent tasting. So if you ever visit my house in ten years, when I'm a rich engineer and/or writer, you'll see a water fountain, probably in the kitchen, or bathroom. And if you wash your hands after, you can rest assured that there will be no mushy soap to be had.

Friday, July 14, 2006

No-bake? No thanks.

I went to the grocery store today to get food. I guess I could've just said I went to the grocery store today, since, really, food is typically the items purchased at that sort of store. I saw a number of things that caught my attention, like buy one get one free half-dozen bagels, but I had to pass on because I will be returning to my native land of Florida on Tuesday. I really wanted twelve bagels, but I don't think I could eat them all before I left, and didn't really care to test it.

I also noticed no-bake cookies in the bakery. I was stunned, because I also happened to notice what the first four letter is bakery are. I almost bought them, so I could bitch about them, but then I remembered, "Hey! This is the internet! I don't have to actually know what I'm talking about!" So I'm going to bitch anyway. The biggest advantage of no-bake is that you don't have to bake them. You know what? That's also the advantage of going to a bakery to buy the cookies. You don't have to bake those either. So really, they're just advertising that with this particular dessert, they were just as lazy as you are. So why should I buy those no-bake oatmeal cookies instead of real oatmeal cookies?

I also wanted to write a post about how bowling was invented by terrorists, but really, I don't have much more to say about the activity than that. I think invented by terrorists may be a recurring title. Also, I decided to turn off comment moderation and managed to fix the time zone.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It's less intense

I have used Listerine every time I brush my teeth for a while now. However, when my last bottle was used up, I opted to give a competitor a try, because I was given, Charlie's golden ticket style, a coupon for Crest's mouthwash for $3 off, making it cost something like $1.50. Compared to the outrageous $5 that Listerine costs, I'd buy it even if the only available flavor was mayonnaise.

It's some blue color, like some sort of goo you'd expect to see in a Ghostbusters movie. Or that fictitious blue raspberry flavor. Show me an actual blue raspberry and I'll take this color/flavor combination seriously. (Wikipedia has one, but I don't trust it. I couldn't find a second picture in my three minutes of Google searching.) But I swished it around in my mouth, and did the requisite gargle before making my sink turn vaguely blue. It does not make your mouth feel like the inner layer of cells is being burned off your face. And you know, as awful as that is in Listerine (one time while gargling a bubble landed in my eye), it makes me feel like it's working. I can't say for sure that it is, because while my knowledge of elementary chemistry is relatively solid, translating that into biology is very hard for me. Unless it's talking about chemicals that will kill you. But alcohol -> oxidation -> burning -> dead bacteria makes sense to me.

So, I have a medium bottle of Crest mouthwash, that I can't be sure if it's actually accomplishing anything. I could be swishing with orange juice and get the same dental effect, as far as I can tell. Except it wouldn't be blue.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

He won't leave me alone

I decided to change my cell phone ring after having the same one for what seemed like 27 years. I decided to change it from something called Island, I think, after discovering that I ran into a number of people who had my exact phone (people who were also not interested in the latest trends, since it was 27 years old) had also selected the same Island ring tone and all of those people were teenage girls. After cycling through my myriad choices of midi music – I think I had eight to choose from – I decided on something will probably be equally as fruity because, let’s face it, the technology 27 years ago isn’t what it is today. My phone cannot play something manly and hip like Gold Digger because it isn’t sophisticated enough. Although Guns n' Roses’ Mr. Brownstone would be badass.

I can’t say I understand the cell phone ring obsession completely, because a ringing phone is inherently obnoxious. It’s a sound to alert you that someone is trying to contact you, so it is loud and shrill to get your attention away from whatever your doing, like eating Cheetos and playing Dead or Alive Extreme Beach Volleyball, so that you will answer the phone rather than continue to look at Kasumi’s bounces as she kills the volleyball. So, rather than pick something that you are sure is just shrill enough to get your attention and unique enough to know it’s yours, you pay a dollar to download twenty five seconds of the same hip-hop song that everyone else has. Do you enjoy the ring more than the phone call? Do you sing along? Do you get upset that you only have one verse? I would. Then again, I had that gay Island tone for a very long time, so what do I know.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

This abuse of a preposition shall not stand

You may not know this about me, but I speak Spanish. Actually, most of you who read this have met me, so you probably did already know that. To give you an idea of how well I speak, I will say this: My accent is better than the President's but not as good as Salma Hayek's. I am also an amateur writer, but I take it seriously enough that I usually leave of the adjective and just say "writer," but I didn't want to mislead anybody. I haven't gotten paid yet, so I haven't turned pro. I can still compete in the NCAAs of writing. Which, I guess, is just regular college. I will write as if you have no knowledge of the Spanish language, so if this offends you, no me importa.

All of us have probably enjoyed (or at least eaten) chili con queso or carne con queso. Those translate to "chili with cheese" or "meat with cheese." (Chili is the same.) However, I have recently seen in two different places, the use of "con queso" without a noun with which the cheese is. Moe's Southwest Grill uses in their ads that are read repeatedly during Clemson baseball games the expression "the best con queso dip..." there is something at the end of that, but Moe's is a fast food restaurant, so whatever follows is probably a lie. Jason Whitlock, a writer for, also made a reference to con queso dip. (If you really want, I can try to figure out where, but after two weeks, you need to be an espn insider to read it, and I'm pretty sure it's been two weeks.) You can't have con queso dip. You have to have something con queso. If not, it's just queso. ¡Díos mio! How hard is that?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Invented by Terrorists: Spray Deodorant

I was going to say communists, but I think they have lost some of their evilness lately. I have been reduced to using a spray deodorant because I have exhausted my stick deodorant and haven't made a trip to Bi-Lo specifically for deodorant yet. I like to get more efficiency out of a trip to the grocery store than one item.

But I might make an exception soon. I have not had good luck with spray deodorants. They make my underarms (I won't use a word as classless as "pits") sticky. They don't cover up the stank as well as a stick deodorant, even though most of my days revolve spending time in front of a computer at the lab, so there's not a lot of time to build up stank, fortunately for everyone involved. It also strikes me more of a mask than an actual deodorant, but I don't know if that's true or not. The engineer in me wants to test that somehow, but after I've written that out, that sounds just a little psychotic. And gross.

Also, the white chalky sticks are disastrous because they become residents of your shirt later in the day. The clear, stick deodorants are the way to go for my money. Also, no support for terrorists, so that's also a plus.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A True Patriot?

I kind of feel bad for posting on July 4th and not talking about something really American. Although, compared to some European countries (which shall remain nameless, excuse me sans nom) showering is pretty American.

I will say this, though: I watched the shuttle launch (in person, not on tv) while eating a hot dog, singing God Bless America, drinking Coca-Cola, while talking about how much I hate soccer. That's pretty American, right?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Three knobs is just excessive

I have spent the last five days in Florida. I will be traveling back to South Carolina tomorrow. I drove down on Friday, left on Saturday for Miami, returned to Daytona on Monday, drove to St. Augustine an hour later, back to Daytona on Tuesday, and will leave for Clemson on Wednesday. It was a jampacked weekend. The biggest revelation that I want to share from my travels is how dastardly a new shower can be.

I know you have felt the terror I am about to describe. If you haven't, you've never slept over at a friend's house or stayed a hotel and you should go do something to meet someone. Because, really, everyone should have done these things unless you're four.

This is the scene: you get up in a hotel room in a strange city (Miami is a strange city even if you live there) and you groggily shamble over to the bathroom, use the bathroom, then get kind of freaked out because the mirror is gigantic and watching yourself on the potty is not the ideal way to wake up. You roll into the shower, then see some number of knobs, typically numbering somewhere between one and three, but more or less is not out of the question. Hot's usually on the left, but what if it isn't? What if they do things backwards in Miami? They speak a lot of Spanish here, and derecha does come before izquierda in the alphabet. What does the middle one do? Can you dial it halfway, so that both the shower and the bath are running? And how sensitive are the faucets, so if it's a little too cold, do I dare touch the dial and risk scalding my face? And what if the pipes are backwards? I know a guy who had that. Those are some of the things I wonder when I go to a hotel room.

Usually, a lot less drama actually transpires, but I definitely go through a checklist like that. And this doesn't even begin to bring up the concerns with detachable showerheads and water pressure woes. Sometimes it's just too much, especially if there are people who can hear the shower nearby, like the person you're visiting or people sharing your hotel room. It would be weird to run the bath for like ten minutes then switch over to shower, because they can hear the difference. It's even weirder to turn off the water and just start over. Sometimes I psych myself out and just accept that I don't want this kind of stress and take a bath. Fortunately, in a hotel, they usually provide complimentary bubble bath, so it's definitely a good way to relieve some of it.