I have a weird, techy quirk that I caught myself doing again today and thought I’d spread. As an IT Guy (I capitalize b/c that’s my official title), I’m often called upon to “fix the Internet”. Of course I start by pinging around, making sure DNS servers are available, etc; but, as with most things in my line of work, the problem is often fixed by simply closing the browser and trying again. Once the browser reloads and your homepage pops up, it seems like you’re in the clear. But, as any seasoned IT Guy knows, browsers often load your homepage from cache, thus giving you a false sense of “having Internets”. The solution is to simply try some other webpage that you know won’t be sitting in cache. That’s where cheese comes in handy. I’m pretty sure I picked up this habit from my old IT mentor, Walton. I say I picked it up from him, but I don’t think it was actually a habit until it was passed on to me. One day we were troubleshooting a computer having connection issues. We finally got it to pull up the homepage (Google), but to make sure it wasn’t just showing a cached page, Walton searched the first thing that came to mind: cheese. That stuck with me for absolutely no reason. Since then, googling “cheese” has been part of my troubleshooting arsenal. I’m sure plenty friends and coworkers have been curious when the come back to their desks and find cheese.
Archive for IRL
so I’m at home diggin on one of the best plates of liver n onions I’ve ever tasted, fork just dropping through them like butter. I give part of the credit to the fact that I’m eating with my favorite fork. It’s one that got handed handed off to me when I went to college or moved into my first apartment or something. In fact I like my fork so much that I start thinking about naming it excalibur or something. But then wait…it’s a fork. It’s quite plausible that more than one of this exact fork was manufactured. There’s possibly a whole drawer of excaliburs out there. Fast forward five minutes and I’m searching vintage allegheney flatware on ebay and reading collectibles forums. Apparently it’s everyone else’s favorite fork too. Similar yet inferior forks sell for $10 each and are never found in sets larger than four. Turns out my fork truly is excalibur. Maybe I really can blame the fork for making me fat.
So I’ve got a lot of stuff swimming through my head this morning and I think it’s best if I just get it out on paper so I can see how silly it is.
It starts with a dream; one of those long, intricate dreams that seem to span a lifetime…or a week in this case. I’m on vacation; the nerdiest vacation imaginable. I’ve set a week aside to fly out of state and participate in what’s billed to be “the largest LARP event ever.” LARP guilds from all over the country have convened in America’s heartland donning elaborate costumes and wielding foam swords and axes, all to act out a week long adventure fighting dragons and battling dark wizards bent on resurrecting ancient evils from Earth’s past. The whole thing culminating with one giant final battle for those adventurers hardcore enough to survive all the quests and mobs the GMs throw at them. Seems like a normal enough dream so far (for me at least), but then comes the twist. I meet a girl. Being a dream and all, I couldn’t even tell you her name, but suffice it to say she’s the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid eyes upon. She an elven ranger and I a dwarven warrior, we wind up questing together. With the other members of our party, we’re an unstoppable force making quick work of any obstacles the GMs put forth. Over the next several days of adventuring, her and I have plenty of time to share our RL stories. As we get to know each other out of costume, it becomes apparent to both of us that we’re quickly falling in love. This realization comes, however, as the week is drawing to a close. The day of the final battle has finally come. She has a place in the raid, but I’ve been eliminated due to a slow priest. As I help her prep for battle, we’re talking about our schedules and we realize that between this final quest and my early departure the next morning, these will be our last moments together. We say our disheartened goodbyes as she joins the raid party. A bit misty, I walk back toward the spectators area. Out of nowhere, she comes bounding across the field and jumps onto my back, hugging me tightly around the neck. We share a long, deep kiss; both of us caught somewhere between laughing and crying. We spend our final hours together in each other’s arms. As dawn draws near, we make plans for the rest of our lives together. We share a teary goodbye outside the airport, neither of us wanting to leave the other’s side, but sanguine in our plans to meet again soon.
Then I wake up, ready to quit my job and move out of state to start my life with the literal girl of my dreams. As the day progresses, I can’t get her smile out of my head. I still feel her breath against my neck as I wrap my arms around her tightly. I can’t shake these emotions very real, for a girl who isn’t.
So today I ate lunch at Panda Express. I’m a fan, but it’s not my favorite. The food’s ok and all, but it has other perks. For one, as soon as you walk through the door you’re greeted with, “Herrooo, wercome to paaandaaaa!”. No matter how shitty my day is going, that always cheers me right up. As I said, the food’s ok. I much prefer Chopsticks, and I’d rather support a local business. When you eat at Chopsticks, you see where your money is going; to that dude holding the wok. When you eat at Panda, it’s all going to some corporate office in southern California. Besides, Panda is owned by Ming-tsai’s son or some shit. What does that dude need more money for? But, Panda is faster. Chopsticks is nice, but I’d rather not add 15 minutes to my lunch break. Speaking of chopsticks, that’s another reason I like eating at Panda. I really enjoy eating with chopsticks. I first started using them because it made me eat slower, but that was short-lived. I have mad chopstick skills. I like their tactile nature. There’s something more elegant about picking up your food rather than stabbing and shoveling it. idk, maybe I’m just a snob and they make me feel like I’m better than you. Anyway, I like Panda’s selection. For some reason I feel compelled to mix beef and chicken entrees. I’m sure the world would keep ticking if I ordered two chicken dishes, but I dare not test that theory. I rotate through most of the menu items. The two things I won’t order are also their most popular dishes. I swear, half the people that eat at Panda are only there for chow mein and orange chicken. Bleh. I personally can’t stand it. It’s just not appealing when there are so many more appetizing choices. I almost always get an eggroll to accompany my meal. I used to dip it in sweet and sour, but I’ve grown past that phase. I’m all about the spicy mustard now. If you’ve known me for any period of time, you’ve probably heard me rant about mustard. If not, I’m sure I’ll blog it to you one day. If you take nothing else from my mustard rant, remember this: yellow mustard is shit. Who the fuck eats that stuff? It would take some major vitamin deficiency to make that stuff palatable. The same kind of deficiency that causes your dog to graze on the lawn and chew up charcoal briquettes. I can’t imagine a flavor so horrid that I would prefer to smother it in mustard. There are, however, numerous exceptions. Brown mustard is pretty damn awesome; sausages wouldn’t be the same without it. Dijon has it’s applications; there are many a sauce and vinaigrette spawned from that jar of Grey Poupon. And relevant to this story, hot chinese mustard; an eggroll’s best friend. Every time I ask for mustard at Panda, they hand me three packs and ask if that’s enough. I shake my head and say ‘yes’ when in reality I’m thinking, “Holy hell, for what could I possibly need this much mustard?” Mind you, these mustard packs are about time and a half the size of your standard packet portion. If you really eat that much mustard, your eggroll is more of a mustard transportation device than a food item. At that point you might as well save the money and just ask for a spoon instead. Needless to say, I have leftover packets of mustard at the end of my meal. So what do you do with the leftover packets when you’re done eating? I’m not about to throw it away. That’d be a slap in the face to all those starving children in Detroit. I would leave it on the table, but then someone else will probably just come along and throw it away. So I do the only rational thing and stick it in my pocket. I’ll just throw it in my glovebox or something. One day when I’m trapped in a snowbank, I might survive a couple extra days off the sauce packs and fortune cookies stashed in my seats. This mustard packet, however, never made it to the glovebox. It was forgotten in my pocket. I didn’t think anything of it until several hours later when I reached for my phone and *squish* Now that’s an interesting sensation. You should really try it sometime. You wouldn’t believe how many paper towels it takes to clean a packet’s worth of mustard out of your pocket. I also found several new crevices to my phone. It’s still kinda sticky and smells delicious. When I started writing this, I’m pretty sure I had a point. I guess the obvious lesson is “don’t stash mustard in your pocket”. If I learned anything deeper from spending half a day smelling like spicy mustard, it’s this: Pockets are pretty cool. They hold on to all your shit. Sometimes they hold important things like keys and wallets, and sometimes they hold a handful of loose mustard. Let go of the unimportant shit while you can, or you’ll wind up cleaning metaphorical mustard out of your phone. Because even with all our futuristic cargo pant technology, pockets are numbered. You can only carry so much shit around with you before it becomes a burden, so leave room for the important things.
I swear it was you; sitting at the tables outside my apartment. As I started my car I saw you round the corner as if you were looking for me, but you quickly gave up and went back to whatever you were doing. I should’ve stopped. I should’ve gotten out of my car and said hello. But i didn’t. You looked great. You always look great. Maybe it wasn’t you. It wouldn’t be the first time I thought I saw you. I swear it was real though. I swear it was you.
I’ve been opening at work a couple days this week. This means I wake up way to early, but it also means I have time for breakfast. This morning I decided to stop at the gas station for a sausage biscuit and some chocolate moo. Much too my chagrin, there were no sausage-egg-cheese-biscuits warming away under the heat lamps. I settled instead for a bacon-egg-cheese-english muffin, which is a huge compromise on my part. So I get to my office and begin unwrapping my morning meal when, much to my surprise, I find that it had been mislabeled. It’s actually a cleverly disguised sausage-egg-cheese-biscuit. This is just one more example that I am, in fact, the center of the known universe.
As you may know, the festing season is upon us yet again. On the second Saturday in September, the second most alliterative day of the year (after the first Friday of February but before the third Thursday of Throctober), the quaint townfolk of Cranfills Gap, TX take to the streets. Donning wolf t-shirts and Dale Earnhardt (Jr) caps and fueled by cheap, domestic beer; this town of barely 300 is transformed into a party of 350 or so. You start the day off with a parade. Have you ever wanted to be in a parade? Well, you could probably be in this one. Seriously, just pay a friend to push you through in a wheelbarrow. So long as you throw lots of candy to the children, you’ll be a hit. Just make sure you’re not behind the horses; There’s another guy with a wheelbarrow for that. The parade is usually an amusing blend of antique cars, antique tractors, antique horses, kids on bikes, Miss BlahBlahBlah, and cheerleaders by the trailer load. Once the parade has run its course, most people will amble down to the park. There you can peruse the various crafts and home made jams, dissuade your children from wasting money on novelty items from a wholesale catalog, and try on a flattering bandanna or two. Eventually you’ll make your way into the cook-off area where you’ll be pressured into eating animals you’ve only ever encountered on the highway. Did you know grizzly bear tastes an awful lot like vomit? People vote for their favorites with little raffle ticket thingies. These go toward the “people’s choice” winner. Later, some sort of electoral college gets together to decide who gets the big trophy. Having sat in on these proceedings in years past, I can tell you it’s kind of funny to watch people apply wine tasting formality to a grilled hunk of raccoon. If you’re not into mystery protein, there are other options for sustenance. The park offers various other delectables usually served on either a bun or a stick. While you eat, a chorus of debonair old crooners will regale you with both kinds of music: country AND western. If you didn’t get enough to eat (or weren’t appetized by stick meat), now’s about the time to hit up The Toad. It’s right on main street; You were probably standing in front of it during the parade. On your way back, go check out the car show. If you’re a gearhead, this is a definite must. New and old, restored and rat; I promise you’ll see something you like. I know shiny things can be distracting, but you were on a mission. The Horny Toad is the town watering hole. It’s a great place to get a quesadilla before you start drinking too heavily. If you think the place looks less like a bar and more like a feed store, then you should’ve seen it back when it WAS a feed store. There’s probably a line of Harley’s out front at this point, but don’t worry; It’s family friendly. Have a few drinks and BS with the locals. If you’re from the area, you’re sure to see someone you know. If you’re a foreigner, now’s a good time to make some friends so you’ll know someone next year. Pace yourself, this is a marathon. The official festivities may be dwindling down, but the fun’s just getting started. You should probably take a nap. Honestly, it’s hot as hell and that beer’s not really helping. Go, rest, get showered up, put on some spiffy duds and meet me back here when it gets good and dark. Leave the kids with a sitter, but bring your girlfriend. Oh, and tell her to bring her girlfriends too. Me and my friends are all single…and handsome….and charming…and rich. Yeah, tell them that; Whatever gets them to The Toad. I’m sure you can find your way around from here. There’s the bar, there’s the bathrooms, you met all these people earlier today. Just relax and have fun. I’m gonna step out on the patio. There’s a chick out there that looks like she digs dudes like me. I’ll catch ya later
So…today felt normal enough. I did take the day off work. That’s a little unusual, but I’ve been trying to actually use some of my vacation time. I didn’t have anything planned; nothing special to do. For me, taking a vacation day has less to do with a day off and more to do with heavy drinking the night before. So I’ve mostly just been ambling about the apartment, picking up some of the computer parts and such that have been piling up on the floor, and doing a couple loads of laundry so I’ll actually have pants to wear to work tomorrow. While I’m waiting for my clothes to dry, I get a serious urge for a Cherry Lime Pepsi. While staring at the soda fountain I’m reading the sign with the refill prices and decide that maybe I should invest in a giant, 100oz insulated mug. Granted I’ve been trying to ween myself of high fructose corn syrup, but I also realize that I break down often enough to make this deal worth while. Plus, I’m saving the world from styrofoam cups. I grab a mug and fill it up, which is kinda tricky since it doesn’t really fit under the nozzle. Luckily the Pepsi spout is right at the end so I’m able to tactically tilt the mug to allow for maximum fillage (yes i realize “fillage” isn’t a word). I’m at the cashier trying to pay for my sweet mug of ambrosia, but the cashier is having trouble ringing it up since there are no UPCs on these giant mugs. I’m in no hurry, so I stand and wait as he calls the manager to ask for advice on the apparently rare situation. As I’m waiting, in walks a spicy little latin number. She walks straight up to the counter, presumably to buy a pack of smokes. She’s a bit giggly as she says hello to me and nervously begins playing with all the various energy shots and minithins that line the counter. Though the store is wide open, she’s practically rubbing against me as we stand in line. I remind you, I’m in the middle of doing laundry. That means I’m dressed like a total mook which only adds to the fact that I’m holding this gargantuan mug of soda. Yet, this girl is still giving me eyes that usually translate to something like “close your tab, and let’s get out of here.” The cashier finally figures out how to work the register, so I swipe my card and gather my provisions. I give the girl one last smile before I turn to leave. Walking in at the same moment, I meet the boyfriend. The only reason I know it’s her boyfriend is because he seems pissed at me for no apparent reason. He tries to gather some bass in his voice as he gives me the typical “sup brah” and stands chest-to-chest with me. Unintimidated by his totally sick Affliction shirt, I manage to choke my laughter to a mere snicker as I roll my eyes and proceed out the door. Still a little taken back, I make my way across the parking lot to my Rolla. I set my mug atop the car as I unlock the door, when I hear a “hey baby” from the car behind me. I ignore it at first assuming it’s just someone talking on the phone, but when I hear it the second time I turn to investigate. In the car just behind me is a moderately attractive girl, leaning out of her window staring intently at me. I say moderately attractive because the bags under her eyes told me that she was working on at least a 3-day meth binge, but she was otherwise “doable”. I gave her a nod, still unsure why she was making small talk with me. Without hesitation she asked, “How much?” Having nothing to sell but my giant mug of soda (which I wasn’t about to part with); I reply, “For what?” still a bit confused. Sensing my obvious naivety for this situation she responds with a smile on her face, “for me!” I’m not terribly attracted to the crack-head look, so I have to decline; but also being the sweet guy that I am, I don’t want to break a hooker’s heart. During my hesitation to answer; she again smiles and asks, “are you really that surprised?” In fact, I was at least that surprised. I try to think of a gentle excuse not to solicit this prostitute. I’m in the middle of washing clothes, but that sounds too much like an invitation to come over. I only have five dollars cash on me, but I’m afraid that might be enough. Just as I’m running out of ideas she chimes in, “it’s your wife, isn’t it?” DING! I guess it hadn’t occurred to me that it’s ok to lie to a whore, so I just nod and try my best to look disappointed. So, on what was supposed to be a relatively uneventful day: I met an attractive girl that was obviously digging me, had a brief run-in with her boyfriend, and then was solicited for sex in the parking lot. To make a long story short, I should have cut my hair a long time ago.
my nipples are incredibly sensitive right now. It all started while I was doing laundry. I had just moved a couple loads to the dryer, when I realized I felt a might bit peckish. So I set out about town in the rolla, unsure where my appetite may take me. I drove up and down valley, hit the circle and went down lasalle, and finally cruised university before I settled on Taco Cabana. I really wanted to get something at the drive thru since I was in the middle of laundry and barely dressed, but the salsa bar and margaritas are tough to pass up. So I went in and ordered my usual (3 enchilada dinner with a large mararita). After receiving my order and loading up on sauces, cilantro, pico, etc; I decided to sit on the patio. I’m really not sure why. I guess since most places don’t have a patio I try to utilize them when available. So there I am, T-shirt, shorts, shoes with no socks, on the windy-ass patio drinking a frozen margarita. I made it through my meal with no problems, but as I was finishing my margarita I became a bit chilled. I gulped down what was left in my glass and hopped into my warm, sunny car. Here it is thirty minutes later, and my nipples have finally come down from painfully erect to overly-sensitive. Just blow on them and they stand right back up.
I’m not sure why I felt like telling you about them.