Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Man, my superpowers are lame

I discovered I have a new superpower yesterday. I already knew of this one and this one, but I guess I'm not done yet. Again, though, it's a skill that really isn't the sort of thing that would get comic books written about you or attract women. Really, is there any other reason to want superpowers? Helping people, I guess, but regular people can do that, so who cares. Maybe to do tricks to win bets. I could see the Flash getting really drunk and betting people that he could do things like grab all the jacks before the jack ball hits the ground and then when people start to believe he can do anything start making things up like saying he can vibrate a chair into a harmonica.

My newest one is that I can smell ammonia way better than everyone else in my lab. Isn't that spectacular? I'll be sitting around, minding my own business doing math and wishing I was somewhere more interesting like a box factory and then I will be overwhelmed with horrible ammonia smell. I'll make some disgusted sound, like "Hushhgah," and then everyone will look at me as if I just told them that a gnome pooped on my shoe. I normally wear flip-flops this time of year so that would be particularly troubling. The others can't figure out how I am able to detect the smell when either a) I am very far away or b) there is no ammonia being vented. One of the guys even enlisted me to smell around his apparatus to find a leak because he couldn't detect the smell. Really. So far, my powers have let me not sleep in when I'm tired, avoid stinking in warm weather and be used as if I were a trained animal to detect a leak. Call Stan Lee.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Scratch, scratch me back

I wonder how sharp the forks are on the Devil's tongue. Like can he stab people, or does "fork" only refer to the shape, and it's only like having two of our tongues and not sharp at all? I kind of hope it's actually sharp, because really, what a let down it would be if it was just a tongue that was two tongues. Sometimes I'm also jealous of cats, because they sleep all day, only give you attention if they feel like it, and have rough tongues. You can probably guess the tongue part is the relevant part, but I can't understate the value of sleeping and ignoring people.

There is no itch worse than the roof of your mouth. Arguments can be made for the sole of your foot, but I have to be true to my conscience. Here is why: you can't scratch the roof of your mouth. There are times when it's very hard to reach the bottom of your feet, really, if it's bad enough you can just take off your shoe. Even in the middle of Wal-Mart with 150 people around, you can sit down in the middle of sporting goods, take off your shoe (sock is optional) and scratch your arch for relief. Your mouth, though, has no such accommodation. You can rub your tongue on it, but unless you're a cat, no dice. You can stick your finger in there, I guess. But really, whatever that roof part is, it's way too sensitive for a successful itch scratching. If you try to just use the pad of your fingertip, it's not that different than just using your tongue and you get that weird skin taste in your mouth.

I guess you could try to eat something pokey, like a pointy cracker. Or a sharp bread. I hate it when I eat sharp bread, because there's likely to be a cut in my mouth for days. Days. It makes orange juice hurt. And I really like orange juice. I'm from Florida; it's bred into me, like sweet tea and Southern people. Except orange juice is good and sweet tea is just too much. Although I've never tried it conjunction with a mouth itch or as a remedy for a bread cut. Or an accidental forked tongue stab.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Zaxby's ztole from Zima, Reeze'z Piecez; nobody noticez

There is a new batch of commercials that showcase Zaxby's zalad zensations and in what manner the people like to eat them. So far, nobody has said on a plane or in a train that I have seen. The thing about this, though, is that it combines the add campaigns from two others. Anybody remember Zima, which offered zomething different? I sure do. After checking Wikipedia, it is apparently still made. Which is shocking. Evidently, it was part of the transparent drink craze, which honestly, I kind of miss. I would drink clear anything. But the point is, Zima renamed s words as z words which was pretty obnoxious ten years ago, and hasn't gotten cool since.

I know every single one of you remembers "There's no wrong way to eat a Reese's", which was actually a pretty good campaign. I remember the one with Dracula, and he sucked the peanut butter out, vampire style. I wish I could do that. I'd do it to all sorts of things, like oranges and eclairs. Wouldn't it suck to bite into an eclair that had all the custard sucked out?

The thing I don't understand is why would anyone steal someone else's ad campaign, especially if it was a bad one? Tag ripping off Axe is a little more understandable, because it's basically just hot chicks wanting to bone guys who use the product. That's pretty universal. Hot chicks sell stuff. They used to sell beer, but the beer folks have been pretty quiet lately. They need to step up their game a little.

I do have a question, though. How may of you really think that Zaxby's zalads would really be zensational? And how come they don't go ahead and say zenzational? That seems like an arbitrary time to be a stickler for correct spelling, don't you think? Also, do they still make Zima? If so, why?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Part of a complete breakfast

I used to be skeptical of cereal. I mean that in more recent times; before that I used to think that cereal could do no wrong. Cocoa Puffs, Lucky Charms, Froot Loops, you name it. If there would have been a civil suit between Sonny the Cocoa Puffs bird and some other non-cereal related cartoon character when I was 8, I probably would have sided with Sonny because he was involved with such a delicious cereal, even if part of the evidence provided by the other cartoon was a tape recording of "I'm cuckoo for tortious interference!" That is, assuming that's what the lawsuit was about and the other cartoon character was not a Ninja Turtle. I'm pretty sure they would have trumped everybody when I was 8.

That all changed, though, when I started buying my own food. Cereal is expensive, particularly the ones I mentioned. And if you have big bowls, they don't last for very long. It's also so easy to skip breakfast, so paying $5 a box for chocolate favored grains that are mostly air anyway is an easy excuse. It's a shame, really, because all we keep hearing about is how important breakfast is. I'm really a little surprised that the FDA or whoever else is responsible for PSAs hasn't tried this sort of ad campaign with Law & Order. That would reach a lot of people. The Saturday morning angle is nice, but that's only half the puzzle. The kids are key, yes, but half the time you tell an adult that you want something that has a childish name and they screw it up. Like, for example, my dad made reference to "MyTube" the other day. He meant Facebook. Adults need to be bombarded with terminology, and Law & Order is the way to do it. Dun dun.

But I've had a cereal renaissance lately. It started when I just got tired of not eating breakfast. I also found that Crispix, probably one of my Top 5 cereals is considerably cheaper than Lucky Charms, which is a natural top choice since I share a cultural heritage with that particular cereal. Crispix also seems like it's a good choice health-wise, since the it's ingredients are boring things like corn and rice and the sugar content isn't measured in pounds. Although at this point I don't really know exactly how to determine if a given food is all that good for you anymore, since one of my friends is a doctor and occasionally laughs at me for suggesting that something might be good for you. The reaction was akin to somebody suggesting to me that they did their own calculations for the buildings in their house by the statics formula F=ma^2. (Which is fundamentally false.)

At any rate, I'm going to keep eating Crispix as long as it's cheap enough to not offend my sensibilities. Also, Shrek is on the front of the box and he's almost as good as Sonny.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jeopardy! is strange sometimes

I am watching Jeopardy! right now. I like to include the exclamation point when I write it, because it makes me chuckle. If you happen to be watching it, or saw it last night, the winner might be the creepiest kid I've ever seen on television. And really, Jeopardy! often has it's share of folks with whom you probably wouldn't want to share a conversation and an ice cream. I have mixed opinions about this, because I never want to see this person again, but I also want everyone I know to get the chance to see this train wreck.

I was trying to convince somebody to turn on the program in order to look at this kid. The problem, though, is that Jeopardy! isn't always on at the same time, depending on where you live. Some places it's on at 7, others at 7:30. But that's pretty much it. Why do you suppose that is? Interestingly enough, my apartment gets the show at both times because we get the HD feed of ABC from New York. My roommate and I got to watch the political ads in the NJ race that re-elected a senator who was implied to be connected to the mafia. I hope that's couched in enough legalese that in case this blog ever gets popular, I don't want to be sued -- I don't know if he actually was, but the ad implied it, and really, he's in New Jersey, so come on.

None of this explains why local ABC affiliates haven't been able to coordinate and settle on a universal time for Jeopardy! and its bastard cousin, Wheel of Fortune. Really, I'd think that a show named after a Tarot card would be pretty cool. Wouldn't you watch a show called the Hanged Man? I know I would. This does allow for the possibility of a Jeopardy! racket where you can bet your friends and take their money. I could see a scene like in the movie Rounders where the protagonist walks into a darkened and seedy suburban media room and has to prove that he has an envelope full of cash and agrees to the house rules as to whether they have to say "What is" before calling out the answer.

*Good news, everybody -- Andrew won again. I encourage all of you to tune in tomorrow night, whether it's 7 or 7:30, and see this guy. I'm not sure if I can explain what it is exactly that makes me so uneasy to watch him on tv, but I am confident that you'll recognize it immediately when you see him. Also, somebody get him a suit that fits right.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The most important question ever

The other day was my roommate's birthday, and his girlfriend made him a cake. I haven't had a piece yet, but I plan on having a piece of that tasty confection later this evening. With a big glass of milk and possibly some chocolate/vanilla ice cream. The presence of cake in my apartment, though, did raise a serious question that probably will never be solved: Cake or pie?

Now, both have their upsides. For example, cake -> frosting and pie -> crust. Cakes have all sorts of variations like from extremes like devil's food to angel food. It's really too bad that the Irish haven't provided us with their variant -- the banshee food -- but it would probably just be Guinness poured over soda bread. That doesn't really sound all that great, actually. Pies also come in all shapes and sizes, but are typically dominated by fruit, which is probably for the best.

Here is a list of the three best pies, in order: key lime, pecan, and apple. All others are inferior. I know somebody's going to say "You are committing a sin leaving out pumpkin!" I did it on purpose, because I think it is unnatural to make a pie out of a squash. Is there a zucchini pie? There's a zucchini bread, and there's a pumpkin bread, too. No summer squash pie, either. Mostly, though, I don't like pumpkin pies. And if you take a bite out of a pumpkin pie and a key lime pie and you prefer the pumpkin, honestly, you can keep your pie opinions to yourself. Graham cracker crust + key lime pie = scrumtralescent.

Cake, though, also has some pretty nice qualities. When it's fluffy and moist, it's pretty good. Also, a glass of milk complements the taste of cake so much, that's definitely a plus. Milk is so good that anything that makes it better is pretty good in my book. Most pies don't have that quality. The frosting is really the linchpin of the whole thing. I have to say that if the frosting is good, the cake probably wins. However, if the frosting is weak, the whole thing falls apart. It's like a really good defensive baseball team with crappy pitching, which I guess is the New York Yankees. The pitching is so critical that it doesn't work out right without it. That's the answer to the question.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I speak sometimes

I think the coolest political title is probably speaker. There's only one in a particular government: the Speaker of the House. We have one, and Britain has one, which leads me to believe that most parliamentary governments probably have one too. Sure, it would be nice to be a king or emperor or even duke, but there have been a lot of bad guys to hold those titles. Ivan the Terrible was an emperor. Herod was a king. Richelieu was a duke, in addition to being a cardinal, and he was kind of a bastard. Have you ever heard of a Speaker of the House be styled "the terrible?" Well, I suppose an argument could be made for both Gingrich and Pelosi, but I doubt they will be called that in history books. It's a little early to tell with Nancy, though.

But it's such an ordinary word, for example, my computer has two speakers, that it seems so interesting that the second person in succession to the presidency has that title. The speaker is the voice for essentially 1/2 of 1/3 of the government. It also just sounds funny to be called Mr(s). Speaker. In my case, it would be Mr., but the current one is a woman, hence the (s). According to Wikipedia, there is a speaker of the House of Lords that gets to be called Lord Speaker. The House of Lords gets some pretty cool titles, but I like the incongruity of how pedestrian Mr. Speaker sounds compared to the importance of the office. Although the Lord Speaker gets a ceremonial mace. That might make up for the novelty of Mr.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We're all screaming

I can't remember if I've posted about ice cream before and what that tells me is that I'm not posting about ice cream enough. When I eat ice cream in, I typically like to go for something that reflects my personality: smart, simple, classy and delicious. So, naturally, it's something like vanilla with chocolate chips. Breyer's, in particular, is one chocolate chip variety of which I am particularly fond. Their chips are bigger, and I like that texture. The crunchiness amuses me.

When I go out, I insist on either M&Ms or peanut butter be in my ice cream in some form. I prefer full sized M&Ms to minis, but if that's all they've got I'll have to manage. I think that peanut butter is wildly underrated as a dessert flavoring. I feel like I'm doing my part now to tell you that next time you go to your local creamery establishment, you should say to the worker there, "Good sir, if you would please include some paste of the peanut in my frozen treat, I should be happy to leave you a generous gratuity." You can replace sir with madam if your server is a girl. Also, Kellogg, the cereal guy, invented peanut butter. Isn't that unusual?

Right now, though, I eating some Mayfield ice cream that is a brilliant variation on Neapolitan: chocolate and vanilla. Notice there is no strawberry. I know some of you are going to leave comments (please?) saying, "Strawberry ice cream is like being touched by the hand of God!" Strawberry ice cream is definitely good, and there is a time and a place for it. The thing is, that time is not right now and the place is not next to chocolate and vanilla. The best part about having a bowl of ice cream that has both chocolate and vanilla is there is no flavor remorse. You know how sometimes when you go to Steak 'n Shake or Stuckey's or where ever and you get a chocolate shake, but after you get it, you see the guy across the place with a vanilla one and wonder if you'd be happier with that? Well, you can do that between bites with this bowl of ice cream. It's monumental. It'd be like having a girlfriend who could alternate between Southern and Irish accents at will. It's almost enough to make me want to go back for a second bowl, but I don't want to weigh 300 pounds.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A baby fox is called a "kit." I hope that's accurate.

A friend of mine challenged me to write an entry that includes the mumps and something else, which would be kind of a difficult piece to write. However, I can't remember what that other thing is. I promise that I'll write that, as soon as she reminds me what that other thing is. I'm not going to say anything more about the mumps in this post. But expect more mumps in the future. I do like the word mumps, and I apologize for lying to you guys about not mentioning the mumps again. Y'all deserve better.

I have to give credit to early man for domesticating the animals that we all know and love. Dogs, cats, horses, livestock, etc. Dogs protect homes, cats are hilarious and sometimes adorable, horses are good for riding and racing, and livestock is delicious. On the other hand, I have to wonder why other awesome animals got passed over by the domestication train, like the fox, raccoon and toucan. There are a few others, too: a tiny elephant, house cat sized jaguars, and zebras for riding. I really have to wonder why knights in Medieval France didn't go to Africa and bring them back and take the Saracens to school. On zebraback.

The first three, though, are the ones I think I'm pissed most about. Foxes and raccoons are kind of nuisance animals in their wild states, but it seems like foxes could use their guile and cunning to do something beneficial to people, and raccoons could clean up garbage by eating it. Toucans are a little more understandable, since they're rain forest dwelling birds. And I think they can be kept as pets already. Actually, to tell the truth, I'm not really sure I get the idea of birds as pets. Put them in a cage and their not going anywhere, so what really separates a pet bird from one you just happen to catch and lock in your house? Less squawking? Because I could definitely see the advantages to quieter birds.

The others, I understand, are a little bit more difficult. Dog sized elephants would be hard to beat as far as household animals go. Unless it's by a kitten sized jungle cat. I think an ocelot would be a serviceable stand in for an actual jaguar, and they are pretty small. I'm pretty sure, though, that the crushing power of the jaws would probably break hands or arms or something when they're playing. It'd be totally worth it, though.

On an unrelated note, I think I am more deserving of a television program than Carlos Mencia.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Who decided what alphabetical order was, anyway

Everybody everywhere in America knows the ABC song. Isn't that weird? Everybody learned the alphabet by singing the letters to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. There isn't regional variation, there aren't political preferences, and the only dispute is whether to end with "now I know my ABCs" or "next won't you sing with me?" We can't even agree what to call soda (you Northern people with your "pop" are ludicrous), but everybody sings the alphabet the same way.

I was thinking about this when I was listening to Lord's Prayer, actually, and how everybody divides it the same way when they lead it in church. I know, I probably wasn't focused on the most appropriate thing at the time, but Our father,/ hallowed be thy name,/ thy kingdom come,/ thy will be done/ on earth/ as it is in heaven/ etc is always paused like that. Some of them make sense, like the first two, since they are offset by commas. Not all of them have to be that way. The Pledge of Allegiance is another one. I pledge allegiance/ to the flag/ of the United States of America,/ and to the republic/ for which it stands./ etc Again, some of them make sense. But, really, is "I pledge allegiance to the flag" so hard to remember or say that they need to be divided up? I submit that they are not. Although I do sometimes forget where I put my cell phone.

I want to see somebody take a risk with this. I want to hear about a church somewhere in Louisiana or something where a guy changes the rhythm and throws everybody off, resulting in a mutiny. Or a school where the leader changes things up a bit with the Pledge. It might make you think about what you're saying a little bit more, no? I always thought that saying the Pledge everyday was kind of cheap, since really, it's a Pledge of Allegiance. My allegiance doesn't change daily; otherwise it's kind of a useless pledge, isn't it? And really, for a while I kind of thought withlibertyandjusticeforall was one word when we started saying it when we were younger. I wouldn't mind seeing pauses that say with liberty/ and justice/ for/ all. To emphasize the good parts, you know.

Maybe somebody could do a dance remix of the alphabet song with different cadence to test my theory. I think it has some pretty serious market potential, really.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The last line only works if you know I'm a boy.

I started this post when I saw a commercial with Elvis Costello in it. In fact, this is as far as I got before I saw a way better commercial: I just saw a commercial with Elvis Costello sitting in a Lexus. I like a few Elvis Costello songs, I don't think I know what they mean, but I like a few of them anyway. He seems like an interesting fellow.

The commercial was for Good Morning America, and Dina McGreevey is going to appear on it in an interview. If you don't remember, she was the wife of that governor from New Jersey who publicly announced that he was gay and having an affair with a man, but wouldn't resign just yet. He eventually did, but well, that's not the important part. The important part is that his wife is on Good Morning America.

I know what you're asking yourself. It's going to be some variation, "In this day and age, where homosexuals are making such progress entering the mainstream, would I give a damn what this woman has to say?" The answer, of course, is because she wants you to buy her book. Now I haven't read it, but I'm pretty sure the ending is that her husband is gay.

The best part of the commercial, though, was the voice over narration, you know the one -- it makes things like "kitten caught in tree, firemen narrowly escape injury" sound like the Doolittle Raid. In this particular case, though, the intense voice over was, "Could your husband be gay?" Honestly, I don't know how that could be funnier. Because, if you think about it, it's really kind of a trap question for have the population already. "Do your parents know you're a pedophile?" Well, gee, I don't know, I don't think so? I'm pretty sure my husband is straight... or is he?