Monday, September 13, 2010


The US national basketball team won the FIBA world championship last night, proving yet again that black people are way better at basketball than anyone else. Particularly Kevin Durant. The guy is a complete freak. And he's not a freak the way LeBron is a freak. LeBron uses once-in-a-generation athleticism and strength to overpower and overwhelm his opponents. Kevin Durant is something else entirely. Kevin Durant is skill personified. He's more like Larry Bird than LeBron James, and I know that sounds ridiculous but think about it. Larry Bird was one of the whitest guys to ever play professional basketball (Chris Mullin was #1 of course) and I mean that in the best way possible. Larry Bird made his physical shortcomings absolutely irrelevant. It didn't matter that at 6'9" he could barely dunk the ball. It didn't matter that he was about as quick as the Tin Man. It didn't even matter that for years he sported the worst mustache Western society had seen in a century.

Bird's intelligence, court vision, skill and hand-eye coordination were off the charts. Sure, he was extremely talented but he never relied entirely on his natural abilities. He was a student and scholar of the game. His fundamentals were airtight. He saw everything before anyone else. Every night he played he was the smartest and savviest player on the floor. He had ice water in his veins. He was comparable and intimidated by absolutely nobody. He smiled while he torched you. He was the one player of whom the also-incomparable Magic Johnson said "Of all the people I play against, the only one I truly fear is Larry Bird." He had supreme self-confidence and could take over a game from the tip-off but loved nothing more than making his teammates better. And he had the sweetest jump shot the NBA had ever seen before, or since. Kevin Durant is becoming that kind of player, and he already has a jump shot that would have placated Mark Whalberg during his racist phase. Kevin Durant is not big, nor is he particularly strong, but he doesn't need to be. He finds the space, the gaps and if he can't, he'll rise up in your face and shoot the purest shot you'll ever have the privilege of not blocking. His teammates love him. His fans love him. If his passing, handling and defense catch up with his scoring ability, he'll likely be the best player in the NBA and he'll be that player for years and years.

I don't want to say KD carried Team USA during this past tournament, but he was the primary scorer almost every night and, most amazingly, I don't think he had a single off night. In nine straight games. He went off for 38 points at 56% shooting against the Lithuania Jean Claude Van Dammes. And he did that all with teammates he hasn't played with before extensively and with FIBA rules instead of NBA rules (and believe me, subtle rule changes can really mess with your game). He was more than impressive. And yes, he was also playing with the "B" team, since the team consisted of very few of the NBA's very top players at each position so that gave him more room to perform, but it doesn't matter. He showed signs of being the force to reckon with for the next ten plus years. He's talented, humble and a team player. I really wish he didn't have to play in Oklahoma City.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This is the MWTOTY.

I love this time of year. The weather cools off, the leaves change and everyone starts getting ready to hibernate for the winter. The real reason this is the best time of year is because of sports. The rest of it isn't so great. I'm not huge into skiing and I don't sled because I'm not twelve years old. I no longer feel obligated to spend time outdoors if I don't want to, and that's because just about everyone can get behind cold-weather excuses for apathy and laziness. Don't feel like going hiking? Who would? It's freaking miserable outside. Nobody wants to walk around in snowy weather. Stepping in a slushy puddle would make Nelson Mandela kick Lou Ferrigno in the balls. Don't want to go to a movie? Neither does anyone else, just get Netflix and wait out the chill. But I can't stand those people who brag about all the winter stuff they do and make you feel like a worthless turd because you spent the last seven days pretending to hate watching Fear Factor reruns. "Oh yes last week I skiied, then I snowboarded for thirty hours straight. The powder was un-be-liev-a-ble. Two days ago I went snowmobiling. O M G it was so beautiful, so amazing. So what have you done lately?" Hey screw you. Screw you right in the pants.

You're not obligated to do anything outside of work and the holidays once it starts getting cold. This means I get a roughly 4 month break from my mother asking me why I don't have a girlfriend. It's too cold for a girlfriend, Mom.

Anyway, back to the sports part. We have college football, the NBA, the NFL and even the MLS, and for a few magical weeks in November, they all four overlap. (But not baseball. Baseball can suck hobo toes.) College football is the crown jewel. It's like a rare and beautiful animal. A mammal, of course, warm-blooded but full of cold rage and cheerleaders. College football is perhaps only tainted by the aristocracy of the BCS, but the magic is still ineffable and permeates the institution from the stadiums to the TV broadcasts and floats down upon the fans like a pre-warmed blanket that smells of Jessica Biel's neck and forearms. If college football were a woman I would have long ago taken wise Beyoncé's advice and put a ring on it. What it is, girl.

Ah, the spectacle, the intrigue. Will Boise State crash the NC game? When will BYU's QB situation be settled? When will Frank Beamer cut off his goiter and raise it as his son? Will Mark Mangino be fat? Yes, yes he will.
He was actually fired after last season, but I suspect his fat will remain employed. On his body.
The NFL is interesting and I follow a few teams with players I like, but doesn't capture me like college football. No, the next best thing is the NBA, which I follow pretty obsessively. It has its flaws, but it's a wonder of skill, talent and athleticism that is not duplicated in any other sport or league in the world. Then, of course, there's the MLS. The MLS is like women's basketball, only way way better and with men playing soccer. People like to dump on it because it's a second rate league and doesn't compare to the EPL or Superliga or whatever. That is so stupid. We have smaller fan base, far less history and tradition, more popular sports to compete with and salary caps. It's like your buddy shared a band with you that he has loved for years, you start to like them and then his other friends get mad at you because you're just discovering this band. And then they all pee on you. It doesn't make sense.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Praying for the wave to come now. (Australia pt. 3)

Thursday dawned warm and sunny. The previous days had been sunny but a little cooler. Now, one of my many flaws is that I occasionally lock my siblings out on the porch when they annoy me. Another one of my flaws is that I don't plan ahead well, and I'll often forget important things that I need. Crucial things. And I don't mean important like I forgot and left my bagel in the freezer. I mean important like survival, like the time earlier this year I forgot to bring the food with me on a camping/fishing trip and my brother, brother-in-law and I were forced to eat the fish we caught there. We were lucky my brother caught the two fish he did or we probably would have eaten each other or bugs.

So one thing you think of when you go to Australia, particularly Sydney, is the beach. Specifically Bondi beach. Even if you don't know the name of it, you've seen it. Every postcard of Sydney is either the Opera House with the Harbour Bridge, or Bondi beach.

Well, Thursday was beach and cliff walk day. The plan was to head a bit east of Sydney (which is located in a large inlet so the water is north of downtown) and walk, starting a bit south of Bronte beach and heading all the way up north to the inlet of the inlet, as it were. There's a bunch of stuff to see along the way. You'd think that, headed to the beaches on the very day the weather turns unbelievably nice, one of us would have thought to bring a swimming suit. But nope. We didn't. Already I'd been hauling my backpack around everywhere. I had to. We had stuff we needed in it. And Sean had brought his own bag along every day except the first. So it's not like we didn't have where to put extra stuff. It was really kind of tragic. A once in a lifetime opportunity to swim at one of the most beautiful, famous beaches in the world and we couldn't be intelligent enough to bring something to swim in. I blame myself. And Sean.

The day ultimately involved just a lot of walking. We started at Waverley Cemetery and went north. I don't really have any photos of this day, but Sean does and I'll post them here soon. You can follow our route from that link: Waverley Cemetery, Bronte, Bondi, up through all the reserves and parks to the lighthouses, then to Signal Hill, The Gap, cut to Camp Cove, up to Lady Bay, around the lighthouse at the tip and then took a ferry from Watson's Bay back to Circular Quay. The walk took virtually all day:

At Waverley Cemetery, I upset the dead by chasing lizards around the graves. At Bondi, we saw a couple topless women just chilling out by the beach. We tried to get a closer look but.. wait, nevermind. We ate lunch at a little place a ways inland from Bondi and instead of going back to the beach and then north, went sort of northeast expecting to hit the coast again without realizing the cliffs rise up rapidly just past Bondi and there are neighborhoods and houses built right up against the cliffs. We wandered around, lost, for around an hour and somehow, by sheer luck, we took a guess at a side street and ended up exactly where we were trying to get to (if you're looking at the map, check the corner of Raleigh Street and Lola Road). That place was an open area along the cliffs that we could walk. There Sean stepped on dog poop while warning me not to step on dog poop ("Adam, watch out f--DAMMIT") and spent about 10 minutes then and intermittent periods throughout much of the rest of the day trying to clean it off his shoe. Every time I turned around he was pawing at the ground like a bull. With OCD. At The Gap Park, Sean took a photo of a spider. At Lady Bay Beach (and, I admit, at my urging) he tried to take a photo of some nude men. Yeah, it was a tiny nude beach, called Lady Bay Beach, and the only people on it were like three middle aged dudes. Nice, right? At the lighthouse north of that, Sean chased a bird around and almost fell off a cliff. Those last two events didn't happen in sequence, but it's funnier that way.

After that we went to this bar that we had heard was having all you can eat pizzas for like $21. We came to discover, however, that the pizzas were of sufficient size that three of them ($7 each) was more than we wanted to eat anyway, so we just bought two. The bartender looked like a younger, prettier Drew Barrymore. I may or may not have mentioned it to her.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This is the past that's mine. (Australia pt. 2)

The next day, we set off west to the Blue Mountains near the town of Katoomba. We'd read about the area online and it seemed like most people weren't terribly impressed, but we went anyway. Listening to people on the internet is a stupid idea. It was awesome. Katoomba is a park town along the lines of Jackson Hole or Park City, with that nice outdoorsy atmosphere and shops and restaurants leading up to the park.

The park itself (Kanangra-Boyd) is beautiful and there are some amazing trails that run through the place. At the top of the valley, overlooking the dense forest, it's dry and temperate. At the bottom it's like a cold rainforest, kind of like you'd see in southern Alaska (no pine trees, though), dense and green and wildlife everywhere. It's really cool.

Above the valley.

We went down the Giant Staircase, which is a 900-step, super steep stone (and metal) staircase literally cut out of a vertical cliff, into Jamison Valley. It's tough enough just getting down, my legs were shaky and unstable by the end, we weren't about to try it going up (and from the looks of things, not many other people did either). At the bottom, we happily marched along the foot of the cliff for an hour or two to Katoomba falls, and then up we went.

It wasn't the Giant Staircase, but it was a tough climb up, especially after the descent and hike along the bottom. The climb back up took us at least an hour, at which point we found ourselves about a mile or so--across a deep chasm cut by the falls--from the road back to town. So we paid about $9 for a tram that took us over the falls--something like a 6 second fall to the bottom of the valley.

I ate the second half of my lunch on the tram. This excursion may very well have been the thing I loved the most about the entire trip. It was scenic, fun and exhausting. I'd do it again in an instant. Next time I think I'd like to take a crack at going up the Staircase.

The next day, Wednesday, was Darling Harbour day. We got on a ferry that took us from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour and then hit every place we could. We first went to this wildlife place. I can't remember what it's called--it's like an aquarium but for bugs and lizards and stuff. They also had some bigger animals there, various marsupials (kangaroos, koalas, etc), birds and a huge crocodile. Nice place, I liked it. I got to pet a stag beetle.
Ha! Who sleeps in a tree, am I right?
Then we went to the aquarium. That was pretty neat. Lots of fish.

And this turtle, who appeared to have fatally collided with the floor.
After the aquarium we went to what I think was the biggest IMAX screen in the world and watched a movie about the Hubble telescope. I really liked it. Very educational, and also: space.

By that time it was late afternoon. We'd wanted to go to two more places but both were closing at 5 pm, so we did a quick half-hour tour of the Maritime Museum and decided to save the Powerhouse Museum for another day. So there we were enjoying ourselves in the Maritime Museum with about 10 minutes left before it closed and some guy in a jumpsuit starts following us around like some kind of a jerk. He was trying to herd us out of the museum, like we were freakin' sheep or something. And I was like, no way I'm leaving an instant before I see the South Pole exhibit. So there we were leaving without seeing the South Pole exhibit, passing the gift shop. We considered buying some souvenirs but screw those guys. We left and headed around the harbor, looking at the menus of the restaurants along the way. Expensive, but not prohibitively. We went to McDonald's, though. Usually I love McD's but this time it was crap. It was this piddly little three-sided joint with an army of aggressive gulls and pigeons squawking at you, trying to steal your food and poop on your table. And the food was pretty terrible. The best part was when some kookaburra swooped in and landed on a lamp above this family and squawked so loudly that all the other birds flew away in a panic and the poor family thought surely Armageddon had begun.

From there we headed off to the "golden bucket" tower to see the city from above at dark. I forget the exact name of the place, but the views were beautiful. They would have been better if we could have gone outside ($50 extra to do so), but we made do with the inside.

Then we ate some ice cream and that was that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sleep for a while and speak no words. (Australia pt. 1)

At about 1 am Monday morning I got off a plane from LAX to SLC. As I got off the plane, I struck up a conversation with a beautiful Latina girl who looked just like Eva Mendes. It was a nice ending to my trip. We'd arrived in Sydney, Australia just over a week before. At 6 am local time. The first thing we did after we got off the plane was take a train to Sydney's Central rail station. From there, we walked out onto the street with all our stuff. The weather was nice for 6 am in spring. We guessed a reasonable route to our hotel and set off. We got to the hotel about 30 minutes later (only got a little lost). We couldn't check in yet, so we used the lobby and lobby bathroom as a hotel room, changing and trying to wash off the fancy smell of 24 hours on planes and in airports. At about 10 am we left our stuff with the desk and went to church. Before we left for Australia, Sean had located a singles ward right down the road from where we were staying. It was mighty convenient and we didn't have anything else planned, so off we went. It was fun. Besides a few missionaries and a small family of other American tourists, there were no white people there. White people don't seem to like church very much these days. Anyway, it was fun, we met a bunch of people and made friends with a couple local girls who gave us their numbers/emails so we could get in contact with them later in the week if we wanted.

After church, we shot off down the streets at random trajectories. We finally came across a restaurant that was recommended in one of our two travel books. It was a Korean place, and we were feeling adventurous so we were trying to decide between eel and octopus. Fortunately the menu had photos of the food and I saw that the eel came with what appeared to be three different kinds of mushrooms and nothing else. So we ordered octopus. It was crunchy. We found our way back to the hotel, checked in and fell asleep for 16 straight hours. We woke up the next morning ready to go. We'd decided to roughly follow some of the recommended itineraries in one of our books. Seemed like a decent outline for a plan. We took a train to Circular Quay ("key") and started looking for our first stop, Customs House. We wandered around for like 40 minutes before someone showed us where it was, right where we'd been wandering but not well-marked. As we came back out, we noticed a free city tour starting up and as they started to walk away we were right behind them and the guide asked us if we would be joining them. There were a couple cute girls in the group, so we said yes. The tour lasted about 3-4 hours. It was actually a really nice way to spend our first full day, getting to know the city itself. The tour was free because they were also trying to sell pay-for pub tours and drinky ferry tours. That was sort of a common theme in Australia. Everything was about drinking. The whole social scene was about drinking. Being that my travel companion is married and that neither of us drink, it made it a little tough to meet girls. Had we been so inclined. And I'm not saying we were. Truthfully, we didn't see very many cute girls at all. I talked to the cutest girl in the tour group and she wasn't even Australian, she was German. It was a sad moment for me.

This is the tour group. Jumping. That's me in the back. I wasn't real excited about the jumping part. Or the photo part. This is also the only photo we have with both me and Sean in it.
After the tour ended, we used the bathroom for number ones at the Sydney Opera House and went to the Harbour Bridge. We walked across it, walked around Luna Park and then ate at a restaurant called Ripples, right on the water. We were starving. We got fish and chips, but they gave us a TON of food and we couldn't eat it all. Oh well.

This is the exact meal. Ours seemed bigger, though. I stole this from another blog since I refuse to photograph food.
This is the view from Ripples. I also stole this image.
Our waitress was very nice and had a beautiful accent. She gave us a newspaper. Then we caught a train back across the bridge and went back to the hotel.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My generation.

When I was a kid I thought I was Generation X. I didn't really understand what it meant, I just knew it sounded cool and my cool uncle, eight years older than me, was Gen X so naturally, I was too. It wasn't until I actually mentioned our supposed mutual membership to my uncle in a moment of comradeship that I became aware of my misperception.

I'm not really sure even today what I am. Gen Y? Is there a Gen Z? What will they call my kids' generation? Will they just wrap around and go to Gen AA? These are questions I'd like answered before I procreate.

Whatever generation I am, what I really don't understand is the type of people I'm supposed to be identifying with at my age. I feel like they're 90% liberal. Which isn't really a problem for me, except when they get all militant about it--and many do--and act like anyone who doesn't vote Democrat has an IQ of 12 and webbed feet. I hate that. And like half of them, at least, are atheists. I can respect atheism in principle. What I can't respect is treating non-atheists like crap for not agreeing with your point of view. Or acting like someone believing in something you can't see is reason to recommend their abstinence for the sake of the children. People believe in things they can't see all the time. And yes, I understand that the difference is consistency in the predicted results of the consequences and behavior of experiments blah blah, doesn't matter. Have some respect for people you don't agree with. Practically nothing bothers me more than undeserved disrespect.

My generation also voted almost exclusively for Obama. That's fine, but now that all their misguided messianic hopes and dreams are crumbling before their eyes, they still have the nerve to pass the blame onto everyone but Obama. Nothing is his fault. He inherited every problem. He's a victim. Geez I get sick of hearing that. Own up, take some responsibility and for heaven's sake, force your president to take some responsibility.

This post wasn't to get into politics. That's actually entirely beside the point. The point is I feel like my generation is a bunch of self-congratulatory, smug jackasses who've been spoiled into thinking the world "should be" a certain way without examining how or why they came to such a conclusion or what it really means. And a little rational self-examination goes a long way. And I hate hipsters. F-ing hipsters, man.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I want to fly and run till it hurts.

It's as good a time as any.

There's a cat that lives at my apartment complex. It doesn't belong to anyone, it just hangs around outside. Even during the winter, it apparently refuses to take refuge in the homes of would-be caretakers. I respect its independence and give it a wide berth. In recent months, I would see neighbor girls trying to feed it or coax it through their doors, and I wondered why they wouldn't just leave it be. It was clearly doing just fine on its own. It sat under the overhang of the apartment stair façade, occasionally scratching on the screen of the window of my bedroom in my basement apartment. It did, but now that it's warmer I don't see it, or hear it.

The other day I was contemplating, as I sometimes do, the extent to which I have not done certain things that I want or intend to do. For example, sometimes I wonder why, at 28 and being Mormon, I find myself insistently single. Why, my mother wants to know, haven't I gotten married? Other times I wonder why I haven't written a book yet. I know a lot of words, and I'm pretty good at putting them together in small groups when talking. Why no book? I wonder why, after ten years of playing, I'm not as good at the guitar as Eric Clapton. Okay well, that one's easy, he made a deal with the ghost of Robert Johnson.

I'm sitting there thinking, and I asked myself why I've never been to Australia. It's a normal question, one which every guy asks himself at one time or another. I tried to figure out what was stopping me. Clearly not familial responsibilities, as I mentioned I'm not married and all my illegitimate children can fly and don't need my help. Not money, not really. I mean, it costs money, but I did some math and figured out that I have more money than it would cost. Not time. I have enough time off saved up. Just. So I decided there was no reason not to go, and lack of obstacles is always a good enough reason to do something. I told my folks I was going to Australia. With who? I dunno. By yourself? Sure. Is that safe? It might be. When? Tomorrow, if I can. (I couldn't).

The next day I informed my co-workers I would be going to Australia within the next couple months, since flights were cheap because the weather sucks. I also told my cousin about it. I lamented the fact that he was married with two children and couldn't accompany me on my spontaneous vagrancy. He was likewise appropriately mournful. So appropriately, in fact, that that night he mentioned it to his wife. The timing couldn't have been better, as his wife was in a very wonderful mood. I imagine she asked a question like, if he weren't married, what would he do? Well, he'd go to Australia with Adam (that's me, I'm Adam). And that was that, and the two of us bought tickets and go in about three weeks.

And suddenly I realized two things: that it's a lot easier not to be married, and that I should get married for precisely that reason. But it's not that I'm hiding from it because it's difficult, no, that's not me. I'm terrified of the prospect of choosing the wrong person. That fear is legitimate because I've dated several of the wrong people and I've seen how quickly emotion twists from exhilaration to disgust and disdain and it's so, so ugly, and I have nightmares of spending eternity with a shapeless, shrieking harridan. That makes the decision difficult, because people can and do change, and often not for the better. Sometimes they don't change at all, they just reveal who they were all along. I'm not phobic about commitment. The thought of being tied down is frightening, sure, but if someone makes you happy then you're not sacrificing anything by doing what's necessary to make them happy and to be with them. And I realize that going to Australia is a poor substitute for the happiness that, I assume, you can feel in sharing yourself completely with someone you love.

But I'm still going.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Of distracted everything.

We want everything to be about us. I mean, we like to say we don't, and a lot of us actually truly believe it, but in the end, we want everything to be about us. We're flattered when people we're not interested in are clearly interested in us. We might complain that "it's so hard" to let them down easy or avoid spending awkward time with them, but underneath it you'd rather be flattered and have to reject someone than them not be interested in you at all. That twinge of pride, that a-ha moment when you know you have that power over another human being, that in some way they're interested in you, we can't get enough of that. It's empowering and even addictive.

A while back, I was reading a blog and the author was talking about the psychology of pornography, but his comments apply universally. He was making a generalization about any attention-seeking behavior, any "about me" type of behavior, or behavior which forces closeness without base. We're all guilty of it. He said "attention is not attraction which is not intimacy which is not love." I think this is incredibly perceptive. Even when the attention you receive is out of attraction, it is not intimacy and it is not love. The point is perfect. We seek attention, we want things to be about us because we crave intimacy and we crave love. I'm voraciously independent but I crave those things like crazy. Unfortunately, it's misguided. Receiving attention from people who don't actually care about us is meaningless. It's hollow. It creates false perceptions, implants false ideals. We do it because we're not getting what we need from the places we should be getting it, for whatever reason. That's why the happiest people are the ones who have found a source for what they need, or have figured out how to manage their appetites. Most people are missing something. Like a vitamin deficiency. And we often look to satisfy our cravings in the wrong places or in the wrong ways.

Perhaps this is why porn stars and the Kardashians have dead eyes and no souls.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Disabuse the misuse.

People are always misusing expressions. And it's really only a matter of observation. People say "I could care less" when they really mean "I couldn't care less." I discovered this distinction when I was about ten. The reason they say it is because they aren't actually paying attention to what they're saying. They're just copying what they heard someone else say in a similar situation. It's the same with "PIN number" and "VIN number." Ugh. I must hear someone say "PIN number" at least eighty thousand times a month and it makes me shudder every time. And then there are some expressions that make no sense to me. Like when someone says "she was saggy in all the wrong places." Can you be saggy in the right places? Hey ladies, I'm saggy in all the right places. Shit!

Don't get me started on "literally." If the word "literally" were human and female, it would have taken out a mortgage at a battered women's shelter. It's obscene how abused this word is. People use it to mean everything from "seriously" to "nearly" and everything in between. "She literally jumped down his throat." No, she didn't. He would be dead with an exploded neck and she would be awaiting trial on charges of gymnastic manslaughter. Something else that secretly bothers me is "impact." It has no figurative meaning as a verb. Same with contact. What am I even arguing about? As a linguistics major I once argued that usage determines standard. I give up. I move we start using the word mustache as a verb. I'm going to mustache my face! Then you'll be sorry!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lament of the future cat man.

I hate that conversation that starts with "I've been really getting into ... lately." It drives me nuts. It's someone's way of telling you how interesting they think they are and that they'd like it if you could both talk about them for a while. There's no more self-serving thing to say. And I hate it when you're talking to someone and you can tell they're barely listening and just waiting for you to finish so they can say something. I'm such a giant hypocrite because I do this all the time. I'll be happily jabbering away with someone and then I'll get something in my head that I want to say really badly, but inevitably the other person has just launched into explaining the peculiar reproductive habits of the Italian frog swan and I'll sit there trying to half listen so if they ask me a question I can respond intelligently but also trying to hang onto the brilliant thought I've just had. It's almost always a lose-lose situation, though. Half the time, by the time they're done you've forgotten what you wanted to say and you're sitting there with your mouth hanging open with nothing further to contribute. Or they've craftily changed the subject entirely somewhere along the line and when you start talking they see right through you. And they get that look on their face like "This selfish jackass was clearly just waiting for me to stop talking so he could say that." Then they never want to converse with you again, because you're clearly a selfish jackass.

And it's the worst when you're in class or something, and someone is droning away and suddenly something amazing or funny occurs to you and you're like OH I MUST SHARE THIS WITH THE WORLD, and you secretly hope the one cute girl in the class will pay attention and she'll think to herself, "My, what an astute yet humorous observation from this fine gentleman, and now that I look he is rather handsome in his way" and after class she'll come by and tell you she appreciated your comments and you'll sense that she wishes ice cream upon her belly and you will banter the night through and end it with your mouth on her mouth and you will marry and have three bright children all named for New Yorker columnists and wearing tiny white sweaters around their necks like their debonair father. And you're sitting there with your hand in the air for the next three minutes. And those three minutes are a freaking eternity because you start thinking of how best to share your thoughts, what would be most meaningful, or funniest, and then you realize you're trapped! Either you won't ever be called on and you have to lower your hand with the taste of shame in your mouth while everyone around feels sorry for you, or you will be called on but by now you've overthought it so much that you start talking too quickly and start laughing at your own comments before you've actually reached the funny part. And the cute girl wakes up five minutes later and goes home to her charmingly oafish boyfriend.

The point I'm trying to make is: don't talk to people.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Grocery shopping is hard.

I hate it. I go to the grocery store and the only thing I want to do is leave immediately. I wander the aisles and think about how much work it's going to take to prepare and cook the food I see. The first week out of my parents' house, I bought virtually nothing but Oreos, candy bars and mac and cheese. Speaking of which, am I the only person who thinks that the theme-shaped Kraft Macaroni & Cheese tastes way better than the normal kind? I've always thought this. I used to insist on grocery shopping with my mother when I was younger (16) just so that I could ensure she bought the "wheels" kind. That and butterscotch chips, like for cookies. I'd just eat them out of the bag. I should have weighed 400 lbs. That first day doing my own shopping I scoured the shelf for my beloved wheels but found nothing, and I returned to my apartment sadly with a box of Spongebob Macaroni & Cheese. Fortunately for me, Spongebob noodles are a savory cheesy delight. I returned the next week for more Spongebob and of course they were out, so I left the store with a Spiderman box. Also good. This led me to decide I would rank the most delicious kinds of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese:

1. Wheels
2. Spongebob
3. ??? (I know there was a kind I had as a kid, not as good as Spongebob but better than Spiderman)
4. Spiderman
6. Regular

I put regular at number 6 because it's mostly gross and not worthy of 5th. Does this imply I would eat nothing before I would eat regular? No, it does not. I would just be angry and stir the noodles very hard.

Oreos were easier. There's never any shortage of them. Even now that I've cut back on copious sugary treats on my shopping visits, I always like to have a package of Oreos on hand. I used to dip them in the milk, and I'd sit there and wait until the part around my fingers started to dissolve before slopping them into my mouth. I spilled everywhere, and sometimes I'd wait a second too long and the Oreo would disintegrate into my milk. I always panicked, cause disintegrated Oreos float right to the bottom and soggy things are disgusting. So I usually drank the whole thing right there quickly and got more milk. This became such a problem that now I put the Oreo in my mouth and drink some milk and let the whole thing melt right there on my tongue. It's delicious and in no way conducive to tooth decay. Some people prefer Double Stuf Oreos, though I'm not sure I understand why. I mean, you get more of the white stuff, but the entire Oreo concept is predicated on the balance of white stuff to black stuff, and Double Stuf just completely upends this balance. It's madness. And I've seen those green-fringed "diet" Oreos lurking in the shadows. Horrifying. I bet they taste like fish.

Anyway, now I'm on a budget. I found out that my monthly food costs for myself was as much as my cousin's, which includes him, his wife and two small children. I'm eating for four people! I'm the reason the Arabs hate America! And now that I'm facing some very hefty upcoming expenses, I've got to cut my food costs by at least half. That means rice and beans. That's right, I'm going full third world. I've done it before, I swear I can do it again. But I'm still going to buy Spongebob and Oreos.