Tuesday, March 27, 2007

My accent is really boring

I was on my way to my car this afternoon, and a bug flew into my ear. This doesn't really have anything to do with what I'd like to write about in this post, but I feel that this event ought not be forgotten. To be clear, when I say it flew into my ear, I mean it nearly landed on my brain. It was in the entrance to the canal, and it sounded like a bee does in a cartoon. If it was an actual bee, I think I might have died. Has anyone ever heard of a documented case of a person stung by a bee in the ear canal and surviving? I sure haven't heard one.

I know I've touched on this subject before, but I am jealous of everyone (except New Yorkers, Bostonians and Chicagoans) who has a regional accent. I was watching the news, and one of the reporters was a Scotsman. That accent is awesome. There are a number of great accents, notably, all of them but those three I already mentioned. I am very aware of this, as a native Floridian, since I don't sound like I'm from anywhere. This is even more pronounced in South Carolina, where most folks talk like they are from South Carolina. It is a delightful accent to listen to, but I am marked as a foreigner immediately. Florida counts as foreign is some parts round here. Also, I don't drink sweet tea. There are connoisseurs of sweet tea around here like there are of wine and liquor other places. It's really quite something.

My roommate is from Wisconsin, and when he apologizes he sounds like he could sing for the Barenaked Ladies. My mom is from Michigan, but her northern affectations have been extinguished long ago. Her dad and some of her siblings, though, say things like ruuf and ruut instead of rewf and rewt for roof and root. They don't like it when I tell them they're doing it wrong.

I like to do voices every once in a while, and I think I do a couple of accents sufficiently for something like a comedy sketch, but if I were a spy that had to pass off as a German, I might be found out. Even though I'm in the land of the Southern folk, the South Carolina accent differs a little bit from region to region, so I don't think I could do a passably authentic Southern accent. It's a little troubling, because I think I'd like to be able to. I want to be like a lingual chameleon.

I decided to take a job that will keep me in South Carolina for a while, so maybe I'll get the chance to work on it. And hopefully I'll get to befriend an Australian so I can work on that too. So, until then, cheers, mate. And watch out for bees in your ear.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

You/That Yellow Bastard

My eyes were killing me today. Apparently, two days ago, every tree in South Carolina decided to start vomiting pollen on everything. This is the first time I've ever really been given any trouble at all by spring time pollen and what not, but it feels like my contacts are covered in pollen dust and I don't even know how to describe what my eyes feel like. Then again, I rarely know how to describe sensations that take place in my eyes, because stuff isn't supposed to touch them. So trips to the eye doctor are crazy because he sticks things into them and drops numb them and sometimes when I blink I'm lucky there's a bottom lid there to stop it because otherwise I'd just keep lowering the top one and who knows where it would end up. My lips? Gross.

The pollen isn't really that big of a deal, otherwise, I don't think. It does make everybody's car look like somebody spilled yellow cake mix on it, though. The weirdest thing, though, is to think that it's like plants are having sex all over us all the time when we go outside. That's a little bit troubling. Are there plant STDs? Can we catch them? Is that what's going on in my eyes right now? Some sort of flower gonorrhea? Not cool, flowers. If flower gonorrhea in my eyes is the price I have to pay for flowers smelling good, I think it might not be worth it.

The upside is that the weather is awesome. It's like mid- to upper-seventies and sunny, so it's that brief period where it's very nice right before it gets oppressively hot. Fortunately for me, that brief period is much longer than in Florida, what I'm used to. It could be three weeks, at that's like five times longer than at home. Then again, it's like 60ish in the winter, so it's really a matter of perspective I guess. The warmer weather does make limeade a more appropriate drink, though, and that's always cause for celebration.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's the polite way to say "I don't care and leave me alone"?

You have to know people like this. I know I'm not alone on this one. I have more than one, and I can only expect to collect more as my life progresses. A relative, a family friend, an acquaintance you don't really like, or whatever who sends you e-mail forwards and videos or pictures that you have no interest in reading or watching. The good ones are the ones that just assume you read them (or don't) and leave their e-mail universe separate from the real one. The people I am talking about, though, are the ones who insist on following up by asking, "Did you see the _____ I sent you?"

I hate those people. Even though they are my family, I don't think I'm being unfair. I'm not a picture person, and anything that you guarantee is hilarious probably isn't. If it was, I'd have heard of it by now. I don't really care that your nephew dressed up as an Irish Abe Lincoln for St. Patrick's Day. I don't want you to send me inspirational forwards. I don't want to read internet jokes in my e-mail. If the jokes were good, they would be told by comedians for money not passed around by jerks like you for free on the internet.

The tricky part is that it's hard to tell them to stop sending them to me. They're relatives or friends who think they're doing me a favor by sharing something great with me. But, the sad thing is, it's not great and it's more an inconvenience than a favor for me. I don't want to be a jerk about it, but really, I think somebody needs to be a jerk to these people. Don't get me wrong, I think pictures involving cats are hilarious, but kittens hugging puppies doesn't do it for me. I'm a dude. I want to see a kitten removing some chick's bra. That'd hilarious.

I think that's really the problem with generally nice people. They want to be helpful, so it's not like they're being obnoxious on purpose. Or maybe it's a problem with people who have bad senses of humor; it doesn't matter. I still hate it. The moral of the story is stop sending me forwards.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Television strategizes poorly

There are only two nights of television that I care to actually watch, and I usually end up missing both of them. And, evidently, I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't have a TiVo at my beck and call. When I'm a rich engineer, I guess I'm going to need to get one; but I'm going to be in a strange place so I'll probably end up (at least for a while) not knowing anybody and having plenty of time on my hands to watch it in real time. It's a Catch-22.

Anyway, tonight, I am going to miss the Monday night programming I enjoy (and the rematch of the first ever three way tie on Jeopardy!), notably, How I Met Your Mother since I they took Studio 60 off the air. Apparently, I was the only person who actually watched it. I am missing tv tonight because Clemson is playing in the second NIT game tonight against Ole Miss. It'll be on ESPN tonight at 7, and you'll probably be able to see me, since if it's anything like the last game, I'll be able to practically sit on the bench with the team. For those of you who don't know, the NIT is like a consolation bracket for the teams who don't make the Big Dance; it's so meaningless that people don't even gamble on it.

Thursday's the other night that I miss. I'm usually busy on Thursday nights, and every good show is on that night. All of them. I guess people are afraid of Lost and CSI and Grey's Anatomy, so everything else lands on Thursday. Ridiculous. Is Desperate Housewives still around? I still can't figure out how Teri Hatcher looks better now than she did 10 years ago. Regardless, go Tigers!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cheddarwursts -- So delicious, but so fraught with peril

I think I burnt my tongue on my dinner. I made cheddarwursts, which really is a testament to the brilliance of American cuisine. I can just picture how the decision to make this for the first time went down: "You know, German bratwurst is pretty good, but it's missing something. No, not sauerkraut, something more American. You know, I like where those cheeseburger guys' heads were at. Let's try that; put some cheese on this bitch and let's try that! No wait, not on it, in it! Yesssss! This will be the greatest invention since individually packaged pudding." This story assumes that individually packaged pudding was invented before cheddarwurst, which I cannot guarantee. So if you're doing a report on either sausage or pudding, please do not cite this blog as a source.

As you are probably aware with cheese filled things, when you cook them the cheese stuffing gets way hotter than the thing that is stuffed. So, when I bit into my wurst, there were times when my tongue was showered with an unfortunately hot flow of melty cheese. It makes me wonder, though, if those damaged taste buds recover. Is taste like vision, where it only gets worse with age? If I continue to be careless with the temperature of my food, will my discrimination towards quality of food decline? That's kind of scary, don't you think? If I develop a taste for expensive wines 10 years from now, I don't want to have that put in jeopardy because I was impatient with chicken fingers in college. But don't misunderstand this entry to be critical of cheddarwurst; I could eat them like once every other day.

Friday, March 09, 2007

We'll have a sleepy time time

I'm pretty sure I'm a little bit defective. I have been for as long as I can remember. You know how on Saturdays you love to sleep in till like 1:30, wake up and have pop tarts for breakfast at 2, and then maybe even roll back into bed for another hour or so of sleep? I can't do that. It has nothing to do with pop tarts, I just can't sleep in very late. It's not for lack of trying or want, though, I can assure you that.

I usually get up during the week at around 8-8:30, unaided. On the weekends, if I stay out late, I can push it out to 9:30 or so, usually. I'm pretty sure this makes me a mutant. Except not a cool one, like Wolverine, but a dumb one with stupid powers, like Toad. I don't really know what I can do about it. Although I would have enjoyed sleeping in an extra or so this morning, I can't really say that I feel like I'm missing out on all that much. Except when I'm staying at a friend's place and I get up like an hour and a half earlier than they do I never know if it'd be rude to wake them up and make them go get lunch. Usually I'm hungry and it's noon by the time I get tired of waiting, so I want a hamburger and they want pop tarts.

I've never been able to get back to sleep once I'm awake, unless it's something like a mid-morning pee break. That's different, but I try not to turn on any bright lights because that does make getting back to sleep harder. Naps, though, were something that I had to learn how to take in college. I'm pretty sure I never took naps as a little kid and definitely not during high school. I also typically wake up in a confused stupor, especially when it's a long nap. So, really, if I am woken up from a nap by a phone call, they get theirs because I am pretty much incoherent. I imagine the way I act in that situation is a lot like a drunken bear would. Curious, confused and not yet angry enough to be aggressive. Also, I like to eat a lot of honey.

Anyway, this morning was a prime time to sleep in a little more than usual, but no. My body decided that 8:15 was the time to get up and it'd be damned if there was anything I could do to stop it. So instead of waking up right now (I'm not even asking for much!), I am awake and showered now. I'll have to figure out some way to get my body back later. Maybe I'll use roller coasters.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

One of the few professions that are called brokers

I have a question. If I wanted to open a pawn shop, how do I enter that profession? It seems like an odd thing to just up and start, because it requires a large sum of money (to offer in exchange for the pawned items) and an almost reckless desire to keep it (since the folks who enter into arrangements with pawnbrokers are frequently of questionable scruples). And anyway, why would I want to buy stolen stereo equipment, copies of Boston LPs, crappy guitars and cheap firearms anyway? If I were trying to put on a stage adaptation of Joe Dirt, maybe.

There are all sorts of professions of comparable integrity that I think sound much more appealing if I have a lot of unused money lying around. Bookmaking, loansharking and futures speculator all seem to be about as risky and profitable. I don't have any hired muscle, though, and that could be a problem with some of those. When a Wall Street stockbroker is all coked up he'd be hard to bring down. Maybe one of those guitars or firearms would be handy after all.

Of those, I think, I would personally like bookmaking the best. I'd post odds on all sorts of crazy things. While I was a tutor in college, I wanted to do it with class averages for the tough engineering courses. I didn't, though, because I liked being a tutor. Wait, that's not completely accurate; I liked getting paid to be a tutor. If I were a bookie now, though, I think I'd post odds on things like the over/under on the number of people who almost get in a fight at one of the bars downtown (2 a night), the next presidential candidate to say something really stupid (6:1 Romney, 5:1 Obama, 3:1 Clinton, 3:2 Biden) and the over/under on how many glasses of milk I drink in a day (2).

The only problem is I wouldn't be able to do things like which household item is more awesome when dunked in liquid nitrogen, since that's kind of subjective. We're working on a quantification, though. And not just for liquid nitrogen, either; quantifying awesome in every context. Please let me know if you are interested in sponsoring this research project. I also accept objects for pawn.