Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Da Club

It's my birthday, I'm gonna party like it's my birthday.
I'm not posting this week cuz it's my birthday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Probably one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast is a plain bagel with lox. And the lox needs to have capers on top. Lots and lots of capers. Or it tastes like it's missing something. The problem with having lots and lots of capers on top of your lox on top of your plain bagel happens when you bite into it. The flat surface the capers were resting on experiences a mini-earthquake sending capers rolling down the loxscape and landing on the floor. The result is "lots and lots of capers" reduced to "a few scattered capers". Not as tasty for sure.

For years now I've tried to think of a way to keep the capers on the lox, and therefore on the bagel. Scotch tape? Pushpins? Glue? Not as tasty as the capers on their own. I've tried to push the capers down into the lox to keep them in place. I've tried taking gentler bites. But it always ended with capers on the floor instead of on my bagel where they can be gobbled up. I thought I'd surely be a rich man if I could invent a way to keep the capers in place. Or maybe not a rich man, because nobody cares enough to pay for something like a caper-on-lox adhesive. At least I'd be a happy man with a belly full of lots and lots of capers.

And because necessity is the mother of invention, I've finally discovered the trick to the caper caper. And it won't be sold in stores, because I'm so stoked to have found the answer that I'm giving it away for free. It's also free because there's nothing to pay for.

I pack a lunch every workday. One day last week we ran out of deli meats, but we had bagels and lox, so I decided to pack the ingredients for lunch at work. I sliced the bagel in half and put it in a tupperware container. I selected just the right amount of lox and put it in a tupperware container. I spooned out a hunk of cream cheese and put it in a tupperware container. I grabbed the skinny jar of capers and was about to put it into another tupperware container, but I remembered that I hate washing that pile of tupperware containers every night, so I thought I'd save one tupperware container and just put the capers in with the cream cheese.

Lunchtime rolled around, and I unpacked all the tupperware and began to assemble my lunch. When the bagel popped out of the toaster I put it on a plate and opened the tupperware container with the cream cheese and the capers. They were mixed to the point that it was no use trying to separate them, so I spread the cream cheese on the bagel with dots of capers here and there and everywhere. And I put the lox on top. Bingo! The capers were now held in place with cream cheese under a blanket of lox, so instead of capers rolling on the floor, they'd be in my belly where they belonged. Try it sometime. Bon appetit!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

If Assholes Could Fly, This Place Would Be an Airport

I came home from work the other night and Lily told me that her car wasn't in tip-top shape. As in the car was idling so low that she was worried that she and the kiddies wouldn't make it home. Can't have that. The Passat was due for a maintenance visit anyway, so I made an online appointment with the shop to give them a bunch of money. And to hopefully fix the problem.

The next morning I re-configured the kiddie seat contraptions between her car and mine, and I loaded Judah into the Passat to drive him to school. We had fun listening to Baba O'Riley three times, and I prayed that we'd arrive without a hitch. The school drop was quick, and I soon found myself waiting outside my car at the shop. I instructed the service guy to not only fix the problem, but also to perform the routine maintenance as well. I signed my name on the much-cheaper-than-final estimate and put the paperwork in my pocket.

This being a fancy shmancy dealership, they have the luxury of a shuttle that will take customers within a five mile radius of the shop. Shortly after the shuttle driver announced his departure, I piled into the back row of the minivan-sized shuttle. Two other passengers, a man and a woman - not connected in any way - sat in the middle row.

The driver asked each of us where we were headed, and we were on our way. He dropped the man in the middle row off first. "You can just pull over there by the FedEx truck in front of that parking structure on the left" the man told the driver. The FedEx truck was still maneuvering into a parking space, so the driver had to wait a bit before pulling into the parking entryway. I wondered why the guy didn't just get out on this side of the street, as it wasn't busy at all, and it forced the driver to make an awkward stop in front of a parking structure where other cars had to wait to get in. A few moments later, the driver was doing as instructed, blocking the entryway for several cars.

The man pulled open the sliding door and got out. He attempted to pull the door shut, but it was in some sort of open/stationary mode. The driver said "you have to pull it OUT". The man walked away backwards looking stunned, as if he were completely dumbfounded by the workings of doors in general. He kept walking and made no attempt to return to close the door. The three of us in the van all motioned toward the sliding door, only to be restrained by our seat belts.

"Thanks dude!" I yelled out the door as he walked away. "What a jerk!" the woman said loudly. "What a douche!" I retorted. "Douche. That's a good word" said the woman. I couldn't tell if she meant that was a good descriptor for him, or if I had in some way offended her. I opted for the former. I released myself from the bounds of my seat belt and closed the door.

The driver chose me to be the next dropoff, I assume because I was the loudest in my berating of the douche guy. Or maybe it was because the woman's stop was way further away. "You can just pull over next to that stop sign" I told him. He did, and I grabbed my backpack and the bag that contained at least six tupperware containers which collectively made up one of the most pathetic lunches in the history of the world, and I slid open the door. I hopped out.

I was determined not to pull the same bullshit as the douche guy, so I didn't let the door slide all the way to open/stationary mode. But the door started sliding back on me before I could get my backpack and lunch bag out. The door hit my arm, knocking my arm into my backpack and the backpack into the lunch bag, spilling three mini-sized tupperware containers onto the floor of the van. Maybe that douche guy knew something about sliding doors that I didn't. I quickly grabbed the containers, put them back in the bag, got my things out and slid the door closed. As I walked away, I can only imagine what the woman probably said: "What a douche."

Thursday, June 04, 2009


I have a bad habit of taking off my wedding ring and playing with it. Nothing fancy, just twirling it on my desk, spinning it around pens, pencils and the stylus for my tablet. Sometimes I take it off just because wearing it doesn't allow my fingers to fly when I'm working. I suppose I don't wear it all the time like some other married men do, mainly because of the composition of the ring. It's made out of platinum, which, if you've ever held a platinum ring, you understand how heavy it is. I now realize that was probably not the best idea for something I'm hoping to wear the rest of my life. At least it reminds me of the weight of my wedding vows.

The year that Lily and I got hitched, we traveled up to Seattle for Xmas. We went to the local mall to do some last minute Xmas shopping with my then-7-year-old nephew Josh. The three of us dashed in and out of many stores hunting for last-minute bargains. Josh and I horsed around wrestling and playing tag whilst finishing our shopping. Near the end of our trip, I realized that I didn't have my wedding ring on. Like I didn't leave it at home, I lost it in one of the stores we passed through in the mall.

I had to tell Lily, and thus receive the wrath of a newlywed woman whose eternal love represented in a platinum ring was now lost in a shopping mall. After transforming my head to a cartoon horse's ass, we backtracked through the mall. I retraced my steps in a near panic, fearing what further wrath there may be left inside of Lily if I didn't find the ring. I even went so far as to ask one of the teenage clerks at the Disney store if they had found a man's wedding ring. "You lost your WEDDING RING?!?!??!!!" he asked, clearly more informed about the gravity of the matter than I was. What a dumb question to ask of a horse's ass. Okay, I felt stupid. Yes, I lost it on purpose. Carry on.

Defeated and ready to take my lashings, we headed back to the car. I decided to look in one last place, the slot in the driver's side door where you put maps, chewing gum wrappers, etc. Bingo! It seemed the ring had fallen off when I removed my gloves and put them in that door slot. The ring was now back on my finger but it didn't matter. I got the tongue lashing anway.

Did I learn my lesson? Hell no. I still play with the ring like that never happened, although now I have tiny paranoias about dropping the ring down an elevator shaft, or down a grate on the sidewalk. So I make sure not to play with the ring while walking into or out of elevators, or while strolling by sidewalk grates, or in places such as those. But my desk at work seems like a perfectly safe place to spin the ring to my heart's content. That is, safe until yesterday.

I was seated at my desk doing the old "take the ring off and place it on the end of my nose" routine, when I dropped the ring. Strangely, I didn't hear the thud of platinum hitting rug. I thought it must have landed in my lap. I stood up. Nope. I looked in the crevices of my chair. No dice. I got that sinking feeling again. I felt around in my inside jacket pocket, the fold of my shirt where it hits my expanding beltline, and my pants pockets. No ring to be found. I turned the lights up all the way. Not a ring in sight.

I moved my chair out of its place, looked under the desk, turned over my keyboard, moved my laptop computer. No ring. I felt around in my pockets again and again. I briefly considered taking my clothes off, but then I had an inkling that my producer would walk in at the moment I was taking my pants off, and I reconsidered. I stood in the center of the room, lights blaring, and I knew the ring couldn't have just disappeared. But it didn't matter. I was gonna be in serious trouble if I didn't find that ring. Plus, what if I left for the evening and the janitors vacuumed it up? Then I'd never find it.

Unfortunately this was one of the days I didn't bring my pocket-sized Maglite with me. But luckily enough I have a little firewire drive that has a flashing blue light on the end of it. So I used the drive and its light to shine around under the desk where the overhead lights didn't reach. And in the darkest corner under the desk, behind the battery backup unit, laid my ring. I slid it on and went back to work. Did I learn my lesson? Probably not. You can't expect a guy to stop playing "take the ring off and place it on the end of my nose" can you?