Friday, November 30, 2007

Gross Anatomy

Story 1: So I'm in the men's room stall enjoying my afternoon constitutional after a hellacious day (yes, dealing with the Minneapolis office again) when this happens. Keep in mind I never see the guy as he was at the urinal.

Door barges open after he has trouble with the key. The restrooms are locked, since my floor is shared by multiple companies and the building management doesn't want the general public to just waltz in off the street and shoot up. That wouldn't be respectable. Anyway, guy comes in grumbling to himself. I catch 'Come ON!......stupid....'

I hear his fly zip down then this:

'Oh....OH....ARGGGHHHHH....MOTHERFUUUUU!!!!' as he is urinating. This is followed by several deep sighs of pain and more illegible grumbling. Then more grunting.

He zips up and walks out WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS!!!

Now, I've witnessed a lot of guys not washing their hands and, while it still irks me, this guy obviously has a major health problem (either urinary tract infection or kidney stones being passed) that probably deserves a more sanitary approach. What really got me, was after I was done I washed and dried my hands and grabbed the door handle. You know...that same handle dirty, sickly, possibly crazy guy just opened after not washing up.


I let go and go back to rewash my hands when another dude walks in. No idea who he is, but as I'm washing my hands he takes a leak. On my way out I grab another paper towel to open the door with and the guy who just took a leak follows me out WITHOUT WASHING HIS HANDS!!!

What the fuck is going on here? A men's room is one of the nastiest places on earth - even for upscale places - and there is an alarming number of guys that exit without washing and seem to have no problem with it. This guy said 'How's it going?' as we exited, then went and punched in a code on the front door of his office. Not only is he not washing his hands, but he's using those same hands on something a whole bunch of other people use multiple times a day. Does he not see a problem with this?

Story 2: My nightly commute makes it necessary for me to navigate the seedy Downtown Crossing terminal that runs underneath Macy's. Since it's open to the public, there are usually a number of homeless, indigent people huddling inside, trying to keep warm or get some sleep on the benches.

Tuesday night, I do my usual route down the stairs. Maybe a third of the way down a stench literally smacks me in the face. It was so nasty and brutal I actually stopped in my tracks and had to breath through my mouth to keep from gagging. These particular stairs go down halfway, take a right turn, go down a few more then take a left turn before you get to the main hallway. When I take the first right turn I nearly run over two police officers who were standing with their backs to me.

I step around them and see another at the bottom of the stairs. Sprawled on the stairs between the three officers is a homeless man with no pants on. Lying between the man and the cop at the bottom of the stairs is massive amounts of human shit. Logic dictates these cops would much rather be involved in a hostage negotiation or a shoot out in a narrow back alley than dealing with this.

As I quickly step by, the man looks at me, drunkenly says 'I've had better days' and smiles. Someone's missing the shame gene. I also notice that one of the officers has taken his winter coat and covered up the guy from the waist down. While I mentally thanked him for sparing me more trauma than I've already experienced, I can't help but wonder what happened to that coat. If it were me it would be incinerated, since that was without doubt the nastiest thing I had ever smelled or seen in my life. I felt like I was infected with something and showered as soon as I got home.

Michael Jackson walking around in a surgical mask doesn't seem so crazy any more. I'm ready to slap on surgical gloves whenever I leave the house. As Megatron says in Transformers, 'Humans, how disgusting!' That's right, I just quoted a toy.

Onto more positive things

I was texting a friend of mine who lives in enemy territory yesterday and he passed on some highly interesting information. I noticed an ESPN story about the Sox and Twins talking Santana trade. I forward the link to my Sox friend who is living in New York City and he immediately texts me with 'Is that for real?' and we go back and forth about how potent the rotation would be even without Lester or Buchholz.

Which leads us to this exchange.

Him: Dude, completely forgot to tell you this, but my wife just got a job with the CFO of Major League Baseball.

Me: WHAT????!!!

Him: Yeah, she met Bud Selig yesterday and he had to introduce himself with 'I'm not as bad as everyone says I am'. Imagine having to introduce yourself like that.

Me: I usually have to say something like that. What are her perks?

Him: Check this. She has a card she takes everywhere. If we are at a ballpark and decide to go to a game, we get in free as long as it's not a sellout. Oh, and she gets free passes to all the World Series games. Too bad she didn't have this job last fall.

It went on from there, but my point is this guy is going to get one hell of a Christmas gift from me this year. And maybe his wife, too. Can never be too careful.

Today's distraction: Some cool backmasking. That means songs you can play forward and backwards. John Lennon seemed to be the master at it. The Britney Spears one is kinda creepy, but looking back it was probably foreshadowing. Really liked the Pink Floyd one, too. Nice to know someone had a sense of humor in that band.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Happy Zone

I've been pissed off since my ugly trip to Minneapolis and it's time to snap out of it. Therefore today's entry I am only allowing happy thoughts to be expressed. Enjoy my new attitude for it won't last long. In fact, I'll be surprised if it lasts until the end of this entry.

- My seven year old has requested the Wii for Christmas this year and since wifey and I are apparently in the business of spoiling him rotten, we've been on the lookout since October. Surprisingly, there are few to be found. We kept checking Targets, GameStops,, etc. No luck. Well, during my trip to Minnesota we were in the mall next door when I see a GameStop (imagine the odds of one being there, too!). I pop in and ask if they have a Wii. Guy says 'Yup, got one left.' He barely finished his statement when I said 'I'll take it. And an extra controller, too'. I FedExed it back to Boston and it's sitting in my office right now. Silver linings in every cloud, right?

- Truth be told, I can't wait to play this thing. I really should set it up before hand just to make sure it works. I'm all for spoiling my kid if I benefit from it.

- Since we worked our asses off, one of our frequent haunts was a Friday's at the mall next door to the Minnesota office. It was the only place still serving food in the area when we finished for the night. We made fast friends with Jan (who, for reasons unknown, insisted on being called Mama Jan), the assistant manager. This led to many informal conversations, free drinks and desert recommendations. Plus we're now welcome back anytime.

- Since we're here, one of the highlights of my trip was ordering a Stella from the waitress and her asking 'Would you like the 22 ounce glass?'. Yeeee fucking hawww!! 88 ounces of Stella later, all was well with the world.

- Remember my post about BrickBreaker and how I was in direct competition with my boss? Well, we struck up a conversation about how the game cheats and he says 'My high score is now 13,250!' What? I pull out my Blackberry and open up the game. My high score is also 13,250. 'What level you get to?' he asks. Level 24. 'Me too!!' That's right, me and my boss have the exact same high score at the exact same level. Wonder what the odds of that are?

- In case I haven't shared this before. I just hope he doesn't become the next Eddie Van Halen and blaze his way through 4 lead singers, alienate his fans and wife while abusing alcohol and needing a hip replacement by the time he's 40. Nobody wants that.

- Since I'm spreading good will today, just press the red button.

- I'm still clinging to one of my dreams: Celebrating Christmas on the beach.

- Finally, it all makes sense.

- If you're looking for a gift for me this holiday season (I'm not picky what you celebrate if it gets me something), here is my suggestion. I try to make shopping for me easy on everyone. Now there is a happy thought.

Enjoy your day! Happy, happy!!

Today's distraction: How well do you know your world? Quickness counts and the best I did, unsurprisingly, is nailing Fenway Park within 18 miles. Trinity College in Ireland was second best, but I think that's because I just stabbed at Ireland. Not much space to spare there.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Movie Reviews

I've been on a movie watching rampage. Here are some of my impressions. As always, these aren't new releases as I hate going to the theaters.

Blood Diamond: This movie sucked me in during it's first half. An unflinching, unrelentingly depressing view of an unnamed African nation trading in illegal diamonds. Leonardo DiCarprio is quietly becoming a great actor. Between this and 'The Departed' he's on a nice run. That said, when the plot kicks in (after about 45 minutes) the movie falls apart. The last half hour defies logic and if you're going to waste Jennifer Connelly in a throw away role, at least toss in some gratitous nudity and/or sex for us.

Ratatouille: Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant) has done it again. A stunningly gorgeous, heart warming, hysterical, family movie that I can't even do justice. It's about a rat - yeah, rat - who has a talent for cooking. It can be disturbing for those of you that don't like rodents, but the animation, voice work and story are fantastic. The rats are cuter than real life, which helps, but it's the dynamic personalities and sparking visuals - including one which follows a rat on it's journey for food - that enthrall. Is it an indictment for live action movies that an animated director is the most innovative, entertaining and detail oriented working today? I doubt it.

Side note here: I've been hearing a lot about Blue Ray and HD DVD and how great the picture is, but watching Ratatouille I could see the individual hairs on the rats ears. My set is HD, but I have a standard DVD player. However, the picture right now when watching DVDs is nearly flawless. How much better can the HD or Blue Rays disks be? Do I really need to spend another $400 on a new player, then another $10 - $15 per disk to get a picture that's marginally better than what I have now?

The Boys: I had never heard of this movie before catching it on Starz last week. It's about a writer and fire captain who spend the day writing eulogies for the men he lost on 9/11. It just so happens that it's the week after the disaster and most of the men are still missing. Families aren't holding out much hope and want to hold memorial services. It's basically a two character story which means the entire film hinges on how good the acting is. Happy to say both Sigourney Weaver as the writer and Anthony Lapuglia as the gruff, haunted fire captain nail both parts. In a movie like this, the quiet moments are what stick. Lapuglia, exhausted and despairing, simply staring out the window while Weaver types away on a laptop behind him. Weaver riding a subway with a victim's loved one, loaded down with missing posters, sitting across from her, fighting off tears. Not a pleasant movie, but a quiet, great one that shines a light on how New York has been changed forever.

Breach: Besides being the first movie I watched completely on my iPod (picture quality was much better than I expected) this is another movie that I hadn't heard much about. Believe the standard critic response was good to fair. They're wrong. This is one of those movies that sneaks up on you and before you realize it you're fully involved in all the characters - absorbed in how things turn out. The trick is this is an ending we already know as it's based on the biggest espionage scandal in American history. Ryan Phillipe and Laura Linney both do good work, but it's Chris Cooper who mesmerizes as an arrogant, sexually creepy, religious nut who is surprisingly human enough to care about.

Cooper, by the way, is one of the unheralded great actors of our generation. Most will know him from the first Bourne movie or as Kevin Spacey's next door neighbor in 'American Beauty'. Check him out in 'Lone Star', too. Everyone talks about twist endings, but no movie has a better revelation that changes the perspective of everything we were watching than 'Lone Star'. Check it out when you have time.

28 Weeks Later: I'm always leery when they make a sequel to a movie that was original, disturbing and ground breaking at the same time. I was a huge fan of the first one and started watching this one convinced it was fighting a losing battle. There was no way it could live up to the original. Man was I wrong. They pulled this one off to perfection - or near perfection anyway. It's still bloody as hell, but the film dares to challenge our perception of what is 'the right thing to do'. I don't want to give away too much, but what we all consider to be the decent, human course of action can have dire consequences. In many ways, this is more haunting than the first. And that's saying something.

300: All my guy friends kept telling me I had to see this movie. This, of course, meant I wasn't really looking forward to it. Surprise, surprise there is much more to this than the cool visuals and gory fight scenes (although those are worth seeing themselves). What surprised me was how human this story was and how they explained the different fighting styles and cultures. You could believe how 300 specially trained Spartans could hold off multiple armies.

Shrek The Third: A completely unnecessary, scattered, and occasionally amusing continuation of the ogre's adventures. What was frustrating was how they would hit upon a great idea (King Arthur in high school; Shrek performing the duties of the King) before abandoning it too quickly. Some serious laughs in both situations that they didn't get enough out of. Love the first one and second was better then expected, but now they're beating a dead horse. Best that can be said about this one is it doesn't tarnish the image of the first two. Time to move on.

Today's distraction: Some amusing movie mistakes. Honestly, how could they screw up Dorothy's shoes? Someone dropped the ball on that one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Thoughts

Man alive, something kicked my ass this past weekend. That trip to Minneapolis quite possibly took a year off my life. Besides my beautiful cold sore (now gone, but having left a red mark on my ruggedly handsome face - if you knew me, you would know how funny that is) I had zero energy. I would drag my ass out of bed around 8, when the boys would get up. Wifey would get up about an hour later at which point I would crawl back to bed and sleep for another 3 hours. It was brutal.

Sunday was the first day I woke up feeling like myself since I got back. I was definitely worn down. Or infected by the Minnesota attitude or something. On the bright side, I felt so good Sunday morning that operation 'Get Ass Back In Gear' was kicked off at approximately 10:51 AM. Got back to the gym and surprised myself by running over a mile and half. For some reason, I run better when I first get back to the gym after a long layoff than I do if I have been running for a week. Not sure why that is, but I'll bet I'll barely be able to do a mile tomorrow. Stupid legs.

Operation GABIG has the following outline:

Next two to three weeks - get wind and legs back. Want to be back up to two miles a day

Three to five weeks - weights reintroduced to atrophied body

Six to eight weeks - back in full workout rotation. Chest and triceps one day; Biceps and shoulders the next, back and legs the next. Cardio every day. Sundays off to drink massive amounts of beer and watch football.

Sounds like a plan.

Anyway, some thoughts from the long and needed break that just was.

Celtics: I caught the last quarter of the Charlotte game and was beside myself that they were going to lose to the Bobcats. Then the ball pops lose, Ray Allen swishes a game winning three and the Celts pull one out of their asses. Smelt like shit, but they'll take it. What amazed me was the absolute devastation the Bobcats experienced. They were three seconds from toppling the best team in the NBA, only to have it fall apart. If I wasn't so excited about the shot I would have felt bad for them.

Two things to add here. First, I owe Doc Rivers an apology. He not only has the Garnett, Pierce and Allen playing unselfishly together, but everyone - and I mean everyone - is busting their asses. That steal tipped ball that setup the final shot was pure hustle. It's one thing to have the talent and another to have them playing hard to the final second.

Second: That said, a trait of Doc Rivers' team is they play streaky. Even with the roster full of crap last year, they would win 5 in a row then lose 8 in a row then win 6 in a row. Still waiting to see how this team responds when they lose 2-3 in a row before I pass judgement. Still, impressive to see the team pull out a win when they played like crap the entire game.

Patriots: What else is there to say at this point? We are witnessing history here. Let's just sit back and enjoy the ride. I find it odd the sports casters and so called experts are saying that the Eagles gave 'the rest of the league hope'. They lost! Sure they didn't lose by 70 points, but even the Pats can't do that every week. Every team goes through a bad spell during the long season. The Pats just did it against the Eagles and still won. Somehow losing by only 3 points constitutes a moral victory. If anything this should make the rest of the league even more worried. This Patriot team can win in any fashion. No running game? No problem. Shut down our major weapon - Moss - they'll still win. Losing on the road in the fourth quarter to the undefeated defending Super Bowl champs? Again, no problem. The question remains the same: How do you beat this team?

Yankees: I can't help but wonder how the Yankee fans feel about the team signing ARod. Are they excited? Depressed? Ambivalent? Angry? Does ARod now feel like the Yankees are his team? Prediction: Unless the Yankees sign some big name pitching or make a mega trade, they are a .500 team with ARod hitting 45-50 home runs next year. Everyone is older and that new contract will still be an albatross. Plus, if they don't make the playoffs nobody can complain about his lack of production in the post season. Problem solved.

Minnesota Fans: Wow, and I mean wow do they have an inferiority complex around anyone from Boston. Not only are they still reeling from KG coming here, but they're still sensitive about Ortiz becoming a superstar with the Red Sox. One guy - who was a class A douchebag - even brought up Randy Moss! If the people in the office I worked in weren't such high maintenance, ungrateful, primma donnas, I would feel bad. Actually, no I wouldn't.

Wes Welker: I need to reiterate how I picked up Mr. Welker in the final round of my fantasy football league and was roundly and thoroughly ridiculed for it. Another killer night last night (although missing that TD at the four yard line was painful to watch) and who's laughing now? Tied for first with two weeks until the playoffs start and I'm sitting pretty. Did I mention there is over $1200 in play here? No? Well there is!

Eagles: Is it time to consider dumping Donovan McNabb? During the last two seasons the Eagles have played their best ball when someone else was at quarterback. Last year it was Jeff Garcia, last night was pretty boy Feeley. Considering he will be earning over $12 million next season, this might be it for McNabb and Philly.

Devin Hester: Only one question: Why do teams still kick to him? WHY? Kick it out of bounds. With that Bears offense you're better off having them start at the 45 every time than chancing yet another Hester run back. For crying out loud, it's not brain surgery. Just keep the ball away from their best weapon. DUH!!

OK, I'm done. Need to get in paperwork and expenses and pick up a BAMF coffee.

Today's distraction: An extremely difficult and frustrating car football game. It's actually European football - what we call soccer - but it can be fun if you line up the cars correctly. That isn't often.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Home Sleet Home

I was going to rehash my dreadful Minnesota trip, but there isn't much to say. Spent most of the time working for people who really didn't want to be part of our company (we just bought them out) and we took the brunt of their anger. Ironically, if they had been more pleasant we would have been more accommodating to their needs. By the time day four ended we had this attitude: 'Yeah, you used to do it that way, but now you're in our company. If you don't like it, there's the door'. But in a nice way, of course.

As a friend of mine who has a birthday arriving very soon says so eloquently: WhatEVER!

I've been on bad projects before, but never one as thankless as this one. We busted our asses (hello 70 hour week!), overcame issues we never saw coming and resolved them before any of the people knew what was happening (always a plus). What do we get? Bitch, bitch, bitch, and goodbye.

Yeah, fuck you, too.

I've never been so glad to be home. Boston, I take you for granted at times; I complain about you often; but you really are a great city. Thanks for being you! Plus you have better looking women then Minneapolis.

On the plus side, I wound up getting my second cold sore ever. If you've never had them before it's an odd feeling. Like a burn on your skin that slowly bubbles up, then hardens. They never really hurt (at least for me), but tingle and itch constantly. I hate Minnesota. I told my boss yesterday that if he ever wants me to go back there he needs to fly to Boston, shoot me in the head, and send me in a coffin. He said he may take me up on that offer.

I arrived home Monday night, slept for a grand total of six hours and had to head down to Hartford on Tuesday morning. See, while I was in Minnesota, our Hartford office had major problems. As in they were offline the entire day. Since I was more than 2,000 miles away, there wasn't much I could do.

In fact, this little tidbit should tell you how bad the Minnesota trip was: When I got the call about the Hartford office, I actually smiled. Why? Because it meant I could not stay another night, even if I had to. 'Sorry, boss, Hartford is down. I need to be there first thing tomorrow morning. Actually, I should leave now. Bye!'

So I head down to Hartford Tuesday morning and guess what greets me halfway? A snowstorm. Not just a little one, either. For a solid 10 minutes I couldn't see past the car ahead of me. Slush built up between the lanes so every time you wanted to switch, you could feel you car hydroplane until you got through the build up. Good times.

I'll try not to complain too much. I'm glad to be back. I'm glad to be out of Minnefuckya. And I'm glad to be in my own bed.

And to everyone in that Minneapolis office - BITE ME!

Today's distraction: Some rice field art. It's actually cooler than it sounds.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chatty Cathy?

Two studies have been released recently that have challenged the notion that women talk more than men.

The first comes to us from the University of Arizona where Matthias Mehl, an assistant professor in UA's psychology department and a bunch of his students eavesdropped on hundreds of conversations from both the U.S. and Mexico over the course of six years. They even invented an 'electronically activated recorder' (EAR! Get it?) that they placed on nearly 400 students to record their conversations. No mention on whether the students knew about the device, but let's give Mehl the benefit of the doubt.

The results? Women talk more than men, but not nearly as much as we thought. The girls averaged 16,215 words, while the men averaged 15,669 words per day.

I've decided to debunk both these studies one at a time. First of all, even Mehl admits that this study is questionable in that it only constitutes college students. College boys will always talk more than adult, married, working men. You know why? Cause they're trying to get laid. That's why. They'll bullshit any and every girl they come in contact. Just the way it is.

But there is another aspect to college aged males. They are still learning the female habits. Women are strange, beautiful, wondrous beings. But they are also highly unstable, which is THE main lesson guys learn in college. It is therefore during the course of post college life we learn to say as little as possible to the fairer sex. Saying little provides fewer opportunities to make women angry at us for saying the wrong thing. My quantitative life study indicates that the older men get, the less they speak for fear they may be castrated and/or disemboweled in their sleep. Plus, let's face it, when you've been married for a long time, what else is there to say?

Study number two comes to us from Sage Publications (which I can't link to because they want $150 for it. What the holy fuck?) which actually says men talk more than women. The two authors, Campbell Leaper and Melanie Ayres, claim to have collected 'all of the available evidence from decades of scientific study and systematically combine the findings into an overall picture of the differences between men and women regarding talkativeness'. No idea what that means or what 'scientific study' they're referring to, but I'll let that slide.

Leaper and Ayres claim that men tend to be more talkative overall, but especially when talking to their wives, friends, or strangers. Women talk more to their children and college classmates (??). When conversing with immediate family, there was no difference. The authors sum things up: 'The notion that the female brain is built to systematically out-talk men is hard to square with the finding that gender differences appear and disappear, depending on the interaction context. The results of the meta-analyses bolster arguments for social rather than strong biological influences of gender differences in language use'.

Look, I agree that each social interaction is different. Obviously I will talk more than my wife if we both go to one of my work functions. I know more people than she does, thus I'm more comfortable. Just as she would talk more at one of her work parties with all her friends. But overall women talk more than men. It's just the way it is. They are more social than men and have little problem striking up conversations with people they have just met. I don't claim to know why this is, but I see it all the time. Women are just more socially adaptable and more graceful, more tactful than men. Men gather at bars and stare at whatever is playing on the television set (hopefully a sporting event) and will speak only when spoken to.

As always, I have a definitive way of proving this. Compare phone bills. When you are walking down the street or waiting in line for coffee, which gender is more likely to have a cell phone pressed against her ear? Sorry, did I just give away the answer?

Obviously, privacy concerns would prevent this kind of information gathering (unless you work for Homeland Security) but I would guess women - in general - use more minutes per month than men. I know, I know, it could be the guy on the other end doing the talking. So study who makes more calls, spends more time on a call and uses more minutes. There must be a way to gather this kind of information without knowing the actual identities.

Right? So get on it, research people. I'm just the idea man. Terrible at executing any of my brilliant plans.

Today's distraction: Bathroom strategies for both men and women.

Quick note - heading to Minnesota tonight, so may not be posting until next week. Try not to miss me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Minnesota Fats

The BeachBum goodwill tour - which had recently ground to a spiritless, cheerless, ugly halt - is picking up steam again. When I mean steam, I'm referring to the sight of my own breath leaving my lungs. My next destination? Minneapolis and Eden Prairie, MN.

Ah, Minnesota in November. Brrrrrr....

Seriously, what the fuck? My company sends me to Phoenix in the middle of the longest heat wave in history, Baltimore during a snowstorm, Tampa a few years ago when it had record breaking cold weather and I wound up getting sick as a dog, Chicago...well...OK, that weather was actually perfect.

But Minnesota? Why not send me in June or July? Hell, I'd take September over November. Plus I'm there throughout the weekend. This means there is a possibility of a snowstorm rolling in from Canada the Monday I'm supposed to leave, me getting stuck there for a day or two then having to travel with the Thanksgiving crowd. This scenario has me so paranoid, I'm researching backup travel options. Like trains, rental cars and hot air balloons.

Someone really needs to invent instant travel. Call it a teleport or time warp or fold in the time/space continuum or whatever, but I want to be able to walk through a door in Boston and come out in Grand Cayman. Is this too much to ask?

Anyway, since I'm heading there I wanted to familiarize myself with our country's 32nd state. Here are some fun facts about The Gopher State, which is only one of many nicknames, as you will see below:

- Minnesota was named by the Dakota Sioux for the Minnesota River's cloudy water. 'mnishota' is the Sioux word for 'milky water'. Great. A state named after dirty water. The native americans even named it to keep people away.

- Known for being 'Land of 10,000 Lakes' Minnesota actually has 11,842 official lakes, which either means Minnesotans are great at rounding off or just got tired of counting. For the record each of those 11,842 are 10 acres or more.

- Minnesota has 90,000 miles of shoreline, more than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. I know, I found this amazing too. Until I remembered they had 11,842 lakes with Superior towering over them all. Still, I think we can all agree that fresh water shoreline is not nearly as great as ocean shoreline.

- Minneapolis’ famed skyway system connecting 52 blocks (nearly five miles) of downtown makes it possible to live, eat, work and shop without going outside. Hmmm, they may be onto something here. Boston could use something like this between December and April.

- On a related note, the snowmobile was invented in Minnesota by Polaris. Necessity breeds invention or something like that.

- Hey, guess what else was invented in Minnesota? Masking tape, scotch tape, Wheaties, Green Giant vegetables and the stapler. No word on where the staple remover was invented. I'm guessing Iowa.

- Minneapolis has more golfers per capita than any other city in the country which is odd considering how many balls they must lose during the winter months.

- Minnesotan baseball commentator Halsey Hal was the first to say 'Holy Cow' during a baseball broadcast. And here I thought Phil Rizzuto was being original. What a ripoff.

- Hibbing, MN - beside spawning Bob Dylan and Kevin McHale - was the birthplace of the bus industry. One bus ran between Hibbing and Alice and eventually grew to become Greyhound.

- The Mall of America in Bloomington is the size of 78 football fields --- 9.5 million square feet. Just think how many Gaps are in that place. Gotta be 55, minimum.

Lest you think I'm making fun of the North Star State, I give you some impressive contributions none of us could live without.

- The first college basketball game was played on February 9, 1895

- The Mars company introduced the Milky Way candy bar in 1923. Snickers was introduced in 1930 with Three Musketeers arriving in 1937. Did you know original Three Musketeers contained three different candy bars? It's true!!

- Control Data Corp. of Chippewa Falls designed the first Super Computer. The military used it to simulate nuclear explosions, crack Soviet codes and try and figure out why anyone would want to live in Minnesota.

- Hormel introduced canned ham in 1926, followed by Spam in 1937 and the first botulism fatality in 1938.

- Tonka trucks are still manufactured in Minnetonka. Not sure which is named after which.

- The first water skis were invented in 1922 and were taken out on a lake in Lake City for their maiden voyage. The first water enema was invented shortly thereafter.

I could go on by noting that the largest ball of twine (17,400 pounds) resides in Darwin and that the very first children's library section was created in that state, but you've probably stopped reading by now and could care less.

I'm still stuck going there and the above items don't make me feel any better about that.

Today's distraction: Play Name That State. Both more fun and difficult than I would have thought.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Black Sheep

Last month, my friend gave his groomsmen tickets to a Celtics game as his traditional gift. I personally thought it was a great idea. It was the first chance to see the new, improved, still undefeated Celtics in person. I was pumped for this. I figured we could go out and hit the Boston bar scene after the game and have a grand old time.

What do they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

See, best friend has a younger brother who is nothing but trouble. I don't usually hang out with him, but when we do come in contact he will disappear for long periods of time and probably never be heard from until weeks later. He's a quick, sloppy drunk who has a unique knack of ruining everyone's night. Whether inadvertent or not, this is his legacy.

When I heard he was coming I immediately called my buddy to tell him I wanted no responsibility for him. I didn't want to be his ride or in any way be associated with his well being. Black sheep brother doesn't drive any longer since he has multiple DUIs and has had his license revoked; hopefully for the rest of his life. He needs rides anywhere and everywhere. I had the pleasure of picking him up and dropping him off for the bachelor party and didn't want a repeat episode.

'Already taken care of', so said buddy. Fair enough. I pick up my friend and we cruise into Boston and are at the Greatest Bar before 6. Plenty of time to relax, have a few drinks and share some apps. So far, so good. Bar is roomy with huge TVs everywhere, not too expensive with a good selection and pretty bartenders. Although they were strangely showing a Larry Bird tribute that was so romantic and sappy we both thought Bird had died. Not even kidding. I had to check ESPN on my phone just to make sure.

Anyway, brothers finally arrive towing along their cousin's husband who runs our fantasy football league and is someone I instantly took to. Guy that is down to earth, funny and can give and take shit with the best. One of those fun guys to have around. Anyway, little brother is already buzzed, you can tell as soon as he walks in the door. Glassy eyed, way to happy to see everyone and keeps shaking every one's hand multiple times.

We hang out for a bit and go to head to the game when little bro decides everyone should do a shot of Jagermeister. Yeah, thanks anyway. I take Southern Comfort instead. As we head out the door, two of Steve's brothers have to 'stop at the car', which I learned is code for 'I have weed on me and don't want to get arrested going into the arena'. Good call.

Problem was black sheep went for the walk with him. By the end of the first quarter (in which Garnett just took control with 13 points, a bunch of rebounds and a mammoth block) we realized both brothers had yet to arrive. Quote my buddy, 'I fucking knew it. Should have made him come with us'. So, we head down to concessions to get two more beers and call older brother. Turns out they were already in their seats. Great!

Well, not so great. By the time we got back to our seats for the start of the second quarter, black sheep bro was gone again. Said older brother: 'He wanted to stop at a bar and do another shot. I told him I would go with him, but he would have to come to the game for 5 minutes. He sat down and when five minutes past he got up and walked out. Fuck 'im!'

That is the general sentiment during the second quarter. KG is kicking ass, Pierce is constantly cutting to the basket now waiting for KG to hit him for an easy layup, Ray Allen looks healthy and explosive. Things are looking good until the conversation turns back to the little brother. Including this priceless line: 'You know, not right now because this is a good game, but we should probably go look for him at some point'. This gets my buddy all anxious. Despite being pissed off he still looks out for little brother. He excuses himself and disappears. For, like, the rest of the game. Jim, his cousin's husband, then goes out and looks for both of them. And he's gone for the rest of the game. This leaves 3 of the original 6 for the second half of the game.

Cell calls and texts get nothing back. We have no idea where these guys went, but we'll be damned if we're going to miss the rest of the game. So, the final three enjoy the game and as things are winding up, my friend calls. At this point he is so drunk I can't understand what he's saying. All I get is 'Bell in Hand', which I assume is where he is or where he's going.

We all head over and I'm getting pissed as I realize any further recreation on my part is over. I can't bar hop with a sloppy, six foot eight, dead weight holding me down. We get to the Bell in Hand and the first thing I see is a line waiting to get in. The second thing I see is a Marine in full formal uniform holding black sheep brother against the wall and screaming at him. Marine keeps taking him by the lapels of his jacket and slamming him against the brick wall to emphasize his anger.

My buddy is standing close by and just watching the scene. When he sees us approaching he decides it's time to step in and hauls away little brother from the grasp of the Marine. I catch the apologies from my buddy to the Marine, turns to me and says, 'Motherfucker just spit on a Marine! What the fuck!' He's slurring, of course, and little bro is just looking around like he doesn't know where he is. I ask, 'On purpose?'. This draws a bunch of blank looks. My buddy looks at his little brother and decides to punch him in the face.

Time to go. Strangely, little brother barely reacts. He says 'What the fuck was that for?' and my buddy answers 'That's for spitting onamarine...oroahfno..arheorn...IRAQ!' Got me. I managed the first part, but he was too far gone to get the rest. I grab my buddy, say quick goodbyes to the others and drag him back to my truck. As we're waiting for the parking garage to empty, he falls asleep; snoring loudly as I realize my night is officially over.

It was 10:15.

What a bust!

Today's distraction: Barcode yourself. Just enter in your basic stats and it creates a barcode you can wear around the city. Not sure what happens if you actually get scanned. I'm nearly certain my buddy's little brother's barcode would have a tiny Jim Beam icon in it.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Anyone Seen My...

...Bacteria? In my ongoing rampage against antibacterial gels and soaps, I come armed with new ammunition. Dr. Gerald Callahan, an immunology professor from Colorado State University, has published an article that argues all living things need bacteria not just to survive, but to thrive. In fact, his research suggests that not only are these antibacterial products effecting how our immune system develops and functions, but these changes may be one of the causes for the increase in mental illness.

Says Dr. Callahan, 'infection may also play a significant role in many chronic aliments, including some that may surprise you such as schizophrenia, ulcers and obsessive compulsive disorder'. Considering I just watched '28 Weeks Later' last night, my sole response is YIKES!

Wait, that's not all. Other research has shown that children sheltered from common bacteria during infancy are more likely to develop allergies and asthma. Callahan suggests we need to start educating people on the difference between good and bad bacteria. Says the good doctor, 'We understand that part of becoming an adult is learning to interact with people and recognize both bad and good in those people. The same is true for bacteria and other infectious microorganisms'.

...Universe? Researchers at the University of Alabama have lost part of the galaxy. They've looked everywhere and could have sworn they left it on the coffee table in the student lounge, but it's nowhere to be found. While they point to new calculations as the culprit in the missing 10-20 percent of the galaxy thought to be discovered 5 years ago, I'm convinced a bong is prominently involved.

...Black Hole? Why, YES! What? Not that black hole? Oh, well, it's yes anyway as astronomers in Pasadena have discovered hundreds of black holes in different galaxies billions of light years away. No idea how far that is, but it can't be far enough. Apparently these black holes are growing and multiplying. Below is a cool picture taken by the Spitzer space telescope. All the black holes are circled.

The above two items pretty much conclude we know jack shit about the universe. Keep trying, though.

...Genius Boss? Apparently I have one. Psychologists from Grenada (yeah, I know, but I'm giving them leeway here) have concluded that intelligent, competent bosses tend to surround themselves with competent, intelligent subordinates and delegate accordingly. Whereas, the idiotic, incompetent bosses surround themselves with equally stupid workers. Unsurprisingly, this explains the corporate headquarters of my current company perfectly.

...Loss? Since game 4 of the Cleveland Indians series, no professional Boston sports team has lost. This does not include the Bruins. When your league is two weeks into your regular season before I even realize it, you are no longer a professional sport.

...Joint? Two studies have suggested that teens who smoke marijuana are both better and worse off then those who smoke cigarettes. The first comes to you courtesy of those wild and crazy Swiss. Their study suggests that teens who smoke just weed and not tobacco are 'more socially driven and have no more psychosocial problems than those who abstain from both substances'. It also found that more Mary Jane suitors tended to be male, engage in sports, live with both parents (which explains why they want to escape reality), and get good grades. They also eat more Doritos, laugh at nothing and think their neighbor is a serial killer. That's not mentioned in the survey, but I'm fairly certain it's true.

The other survey concluded that a single joint causes as much damage to the lungs as five cigarettes.

Bottom line: Teens who smoke marijuana and not tobacco are smarter, cooler, more well adjusted and will die a premature and horrible death. Choose well, young ones.

Today's distraction: Some cool, completely irrelevant white board animation.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Reality Bites

I'm fortunate enough that my line and place of work brings me in direct contact with many young, beautiful, fun, smart women. Not every one of them possess all of those traits, mind you, but any combination makes my work day more bearable.

I'm not out to sleep with any of them, so get your mind out of the gutter. I just get along better with people who don't take themselves too seriously, who I can give shit to and them not take it personally. For whatever reason, girls are better equipped to handle it than guys. Egos and some form of inferiority complex make it difficult for men to take a good ribbing without taking offense.

The guys in the office I do get along with can give and take with the best, laugh it off and continue on their way. In my office there are five of those guys. That's out of 50 or more, I should add. It might just be my office as I tend to work with uptight, strangely wound, straight laced, white, Republican drones. But I doubt it. My guess is women, in general, are predisposed to laughing at themselves.

I, therefore, consider myself an expert on girls. Not that I understand them, that's just crazy talk. I mean what they act like and their behavior patterns. I can tell when a girl is acting ignorant because she doesn't want to do something or is actually, legitimately stupid. I can tell when a girl is flirting or when she's just being friendly. Not with me, but with other guys. I can tell when a woman is annoyed, but being polite because I see that look all the time.

It is with this expertise that I declare a fundamental change being displayed in the latest generation of girls - yes, girls - that I've met recently. I'm referring to the girls between the ages of 21-24. I'm not even sure if I can put this into words properly, but I'm going to try.

To be clear, I'm not referring to all of the young ladies that fall into this age bracket; just an alarming number of them. It's a trend I've noticed during the last year or so. At first I thought it was because I had suddenly become old. I hit 40 last March, so it could be construed I've just become a grumpy, old man. But that doesn't take into account the women aged 25-35 I've become friends with over the same time period. Is there really a difference between a 22 year old and a 25 year old? Apparently so. Allow me to explain.

First and foremost, the lovely, young ladies below the age of 24 are coming off as acutely and painfully stupid. It's just low intelligence, though. They are scatterbrained to the nth degree of infinity . The catch is they aren't as stupid as they are portraying themselves. Sure, some are, but most are making it an act. I've caught two of the girls here playing stupid with other guys in the office.

Example: I was IMing with one girl here about the new IT policies being implemented in our office. I joked that our office is becoming communist Russia and she instantly came back with a Lenin joke. That same girl was pretending she didn't know how Dick Cheney was when another guy in the office was talking with a group of us. 'Who's that? I don't pay attention to the news'. Right. She knows who Lenin is, but not our Vice President (for those who really didn't know who Cheney was). It's possible, but not bloody likely.

Now, this raises two questions for me. One - does she think playing stupid is more attractive to guys in general? Speaking for myself, I find the dumb routine tiresome and boring. Maybe younger guys do not. I can't say for sure. Two - are guys today so insecure that it threatens them if girls are smarter than they are? I find women to be particularly intuitive when it comes to men (in this case boys). Did she pick up on something in her conversations with this guy that made her act that way? Again, I have no answer, just raising the questions. I have a theory on all this I'll share below, but it's just guesswork.

The other aspect I've noticed with the gentler species is they are lacking do I put this...they have no filters. Nothing is off limits. Example: A girl, 23, who just started working here and I were talking about work stuff when she somehow launched into a completely inappropriate rant about how she has nobody to make out with and that her ex boyfriend used to have a weird way of French kissing. Her exact word was 'funky'. I'm no prude, but I had known this girl for less than a week and we were at work. You know, where charges could be filed or you could be fired in the first 30 days for next to no reason. I would think that would be when even the youngest would be on their best behavior.

Here's another: My wife and I went out with a few of her work friends, one of which included a 22 year old first year teacher. During the course of dinner the conversation somehow turned to sex and 22 year old launched into an explicit description of the positions she prefers and whether they were more effective with a male or female partner. I enjoyed that conversation enormously, but the fact remains I had known the girl for less than two hours when she decided to share her tastes with us. For the record, her favorite position is the reverse cowgirl with female partners. I had to have clarified how this could work with a girl and was met with a 'duh' look while she answered 'a strap on'. Of course. How silly of me.

So what gives? Why are our lovely little ladies becoming stupid, explicit, and vapid? My theory is we are witnessing the first generation of girls who have spent their formative teenage years watching reality television enter the work force. Bear with me for a minute. Let's take a small age sample. Figure 21 - 24 years of age. Let's go back 5 years, when they were 16 - 19 and look at what reality shows were hits at the time. We can enter in 'Survivor', 'The Osbournes' (this may have had it's run by this time), 'Big Brother', 'Newlyweds' and 'The Simple Life'.

Which of those two shows do you think teenage girls would watch over the others? My bet is 'Newlyweds' and 'The Simple Life' - both of which glamorized the dumb blonde cliche. 'Newlyweds' and in particular Jessica Simpson set beautiful women back 20 years with her absent headed escapades while the nation watched Nick Lachey realize beauty really isn't everything. There's a reason Lachey comes off looking good in this show. We all felt bad for him having to put up with her. They both parlayed her dumb act (which really wasn't an act) into an atrocious variety show, millions of dollars and an inevitable divorce.

'The Simple Life' not only played up the dumb angle, but the dumb, rich and sheltered by throwing Paris Hilton (the poster girl for dumb, rich and sheltered) and Nicole Richie into every day 'blue collar' lives and watching them flounder, whine, and create misery for everyone around them. Just like their every day lives only there was a camera following them around and they were getting paid for it.

The question is whether the teenage girls watching somehow thought acting like a stupid airhead was attractive and funny. The key to the success of these shows wasn't how funny Hilton, Richie and Simpson were, but how stupid and idiotic they were. We weren't laughing with them, but at them. Did young girls realize that?

Where my theory holds water (for me anyway) is in comparison I made friends with three gals aged 23, 24, and 26 about three years ago. From the moment I met them, they were funny, smart, charming and down to earth. All three were very good looking - one in particular. They didn't pretend to be anything they weren't, they didn't act stupid or timid, they didn't back down when questioned or challenged. They are 26, 27, and 29 right now, but they haven't changed a bit since the first day I met them.

Considering the most recent 22, 23 and 24 year olds I have met, there seems to be a drastic change in attitude. Maybe it's just the individual personalities I've met. It is an admittedly small sample from which I am doing my research. But, the trend is there.

Hopefully these girls grow out of it. That they'll mature and realize they can be themselves and still have attention paid to them. I don't think they yet know that playing dumb leads to one thing - not being taken seriously. And who wants to be a walking joke?

Today's distraction: The Urban Dictionary's definition for 'dumb blonde'. If I were the girl in the picture I would be highly offended.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Go Figure

It's not often a sporting event lives up to all the preceding hype, but yesterday's Pats - Colts game was one of them. Holy shit, what a game. It was double the fun for me since I have Addai in my fantasy football league. Nice to watch him put up 200+ yards combined and still watch the Pats stay undefeated. That I was playing against my best friend made it all the more satisfying.

If you're wondering, I had Addai (31 pts), Drew Brees (a whopping 52 pts), Colston (20 pts), Portis (25 pts), and Welker (a below par 12 pts) kick my friend's ass. I still have Baltimore's defense playing tonight and I've already beat him by 48 points. Love when a fantasy team comes together all at once. I've had my doubts about Brees this year, but he's been lighting it up.

The fantasy team was just icing on the cake, however. Watching two undefeated and determined teams slug it out was as exciting as it gets. That one of them (the winning one at that) is the team I root for makes it nearly perfect. Sure Tom (he never loses, Dad!) Brady came from behind in the fourth quarter to pull out the win, but it was the game plan that got the table set.

For the first three quarters the Pats kept running draw plays to SF Maroney. The plays wouldn't get much as SF Maroney needs to learn to run straight ahead instead of dancing around. There were multiple times he had a wide open field to his left or right try to juke around someone in his area rather than running to the opening. It was kind of frustrating watching him do his dance moves while on the other side Addai was running straight ahead for huge gains.

Wifey, who actually watched with me because she's in love with Wes Welker (she keeps calling him Walker - told her if she's going to fantasize about another man at least get his name straight) finally yells 'Why do they keep running it? It's not working!!'. I told her to relax, this is all part of the plan.

Sure enough, fourth quarter arrives the fake draws are keeping the Colts' defense on their heels. Brady throws a 50 yard bomb to Moss (right after the announcers say the Colts haven't given up a play over 25 yards all year) and proceeds to pick apart the defense in typical Brady fashion. After Manning's bizarre interception/fumble (it sure looked like he was trying to get rid of it while he was being sacked) only one question remains: Can the Patriots go undefeated? Let's take a quick look. Here is the rest of the schedule.

Nov 11th - BYE
Nov 18th - At Buffalo
Nov 25th - Philly
Dec 3rd - At Baltimore
Dec 9th - Pittsburgh
Dec 16th - Jets
Dec 23rd - Miami
Dec 29th - At Giants

The games that stand out are at Baltimore, Pittsburgh and at the Giants. None of them easy, but I don't think Baltimore is as good as they have been recently. The Giants could cause massive problems with their pass rushing and rowdy home crowd hoping to see their team hang a loss on the only undefeated team left. Pittsburgh is a tough team, but the game is in Foxboro and I can't see the Pats losing at home.

The game that really concerns me, however, is the Buffalo game. That team isn't nearly as bad as they looked against the Pats a few weeks ago. They'll be looking for payback against a Pats team that basically experienced a playoff game against the Colts and has been home relaxing for two weeks. I'm not saying it will happen - Belichick has these guys focused on the current game and nothing more - but the possibility is there. Don't be shocked if the Bills knock off the Pats in one of those 20-17, last second field goal games. Despite the evidence, the Pats are human. I think.

Some other random sporting notes:

Forget that the Patriots just came back from 10 points down with less than 10 minutes remaining, on the road, against the defending Super Bowl champs who also happened to be undefeated. What should really worry the rest of the league is the Patriots did this while accumulating a record number of penalty yards and Brady not being at the top of his game. That is scary!

Adrian Peterson is an absolute monster. Watched this game before the Patriots and San Diego had no answer for him. None. Nearly 300 yards? Are you fucking kidding?

Hey, these Celtics are looking pretty good. Did I tell you I'm going to the game this Friday night? No? Well I am. My first look at Garnett and company and am completely pumped about it.

Despite everything going on, I really miss baseball. How long until spring training?

A friend and I had a quick chat about ARod and his asking the Yankees for a package in the range of $350 million. I said, 'how great would it be if ARod goes unsigned because no team can afford him?' Her response 'To awesome to ever actually happen'. While she's absolutely right, I can't help but wonder what would happen to Scott Boras and his credibility if ARod has to sign a one year deal because the price is too high. He basically refused an extension from the Yankees that would have totalled more than $230 million for the rest of the contract. That's not enough? Really? If ARod gets less than $230 million for his next contract, should he fire Boras? Who, in their right mind, would refuse $230 million to play a game? In what world is that not enough?

I'm disgusted now.

Today's distraction: Some baseball stories to follow this off season. My interest is piqued by the Johan Santana possibilities. I just hope the Red Sox don't sell out their young guns for this guy. Actually, I kind of do. Imagine the three headed monster of Beckett, Santana, Matsuzaka. Yeesh! If they can keep Buchholz, I say go for it.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Two and One

Three conversations I wanted to share. Two I participated and one I overheard.

Conversation 1: A work friend of mine had just returned from a half day of jury duty when we chatted about the type of people that make up our judicial system. She passed along a story of her passing a rather rough looking gentleman who had a complicated and extreme tattoo around his neck. As she passed his girlfriend said to him, 'Well, if they don't agree to the plea it will go to trial'. Tattoo dude replied 'Well then why the fuck should I wait? I should just take him out now!'

Criminals. They're so cute when they're angry. And stupid. Let's face it, 90% of the people in jail are there because they weren't smart enough to get real jobs. Probably 8% are there because of some horrendous addiction they have and the rest have been framed by a one armed man for a crime they didn't commit. Stupid one armed men.

Stupid criminals don't concern me, however. What concerns me are the nimrods and imbeciles that make up the jury pool. Even friend said she was alarmed about the makeup of the people around her. Direct quote from friend - 'Are these really the people that the state considers my peers? If so, I am extremely offended'.

I suggested the biggest deterrent for anyone committing a crime would be to sit in on jury selection. Once you realize the type of people that are deciding your fate, you'll do anything to avoid getting arrested.

Conversation 2: This was actually texting between myself and a buddy of mine. We're facing off this week in fantasy football. Here's the exact transcript where we come up with a great nickname for Lawrence Maroney of the Patriots.

Me: Dude! It's me and you this weekend in FF. You're going down!

Him: It doesn't matter. My team sucks.

Me: You suck

Him: My QBs are hurt, Plaxico has a bye week, and suck fuck Maroney still hasn't scored a touchdown!

There you have it. Maroney will henceforth be called SF Maroney. SFM for short. By the way, this can be used for nearly anybody. For example, you have a boss you can't stand, he instantly becomes SFB for short. JD Drew would have had this moniker up until his Game 6 Granny. SFJD.

Overheard: I got in the elevator last night with two cute girls. Both were toting gym - not diaper - bags.

Girl #1: I really don't want to go to the gym tonight.

Girl #2: Then don't go.

Girl #1: You're supposed to motivate me. C'mon, I don't want to go. Convince me to go. I need motivation. Please, get me moti.....

Girl #2: You're fat!

Today's distraction: Some incredible storm pictures. Since I have nothing else to add, everyone enjoy their weekends. Clash of the Titans Sunday at 4:15pm.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Crash Cart

Is everyone coming off their sugar high this morning?

The general crankiness - rudeness - inconsiderate nature of people seems to be at it's zenith today. This is just my general impression from the commute in, mind you. It's not even 10 am and I'm ready to brawl.

It started on my walk to the train. I pass by an apartment building where people sit on a bench waiting for the bus. One older woman with poorly applied lipstick asked if I had a cigarette as I approached. When I replied, 'Sorry, don't smoke', she mumbled what I assumed was a curse (it sounded like 'fuckin') but I distinctly heard 'piece of shit'. Now, I may be a piece of shit, but she doesn't know me well enough to classify me as such. It usually takes an hour before people realize I'm a piece of shit. This leaves two possibilities:

1: She is clairvoyant. I dismiss this because if she had such powers she would have known I didn't have a cigarette.

2: She is insane.

I wound up having an internal conversation with myself the rest of my walk regarding using 'Sorry' as part of my response. What was I sorry about? I'm not sorry that I don't smoke. I'm definitely not sorry I had nothing to give crazy woman. I should have just said 'Don't smoke'. What's weird is if my iPod had not been in between songs I wouldn't have even heard her request or response. Perfect timing, I guess.

Whatever, one crazy, nicotine addicted hag isn't going to ruin my day. I get to the train and as it pulls up, there is an Asian woman who keeps squirming her way past the people that always bunch together at the doors. I always get on last since I don't care about getting a seat and am flexible about where I stand. Plus, by allowing the pretty women on first, I can check out their asses on the way in. It's a nice way to start off my mornings.

Where was I? Oh, Asian woman. The doors open and I let everyone in. Asian woman gets caught in the crowd and after all her zigging and zagging she gets on just in front of me. And stops. Fakes right, stops, goes left, stops. All the time I'm trying to guess what her plan is. She takes three quick steps to the left, obviously spotting a seat she wants, then abruptly spins and heads in the opposite direction. Well, opposite direction happened to be where I was. She slammed into me so hard she lost her balance and was heading for the floor. Since I'm a nice guy...AHAHAHAHAHAHA....ok not really, but since I didn't want to be responsible for a broken arm, I grabbed her and kept her upright. Her response was to give me a dirty, filthy, angry glare, get herself upright, and yank her arm away from me like I was a leper. Not a word as she stormed off. I said 'You're welcome' loudly, which got some laughs. Just not from Asian woman.

Off the train goes and I'm wondering if there is full moon tonight. We stop at Wellington and this short girl in her mid 20s gets on with the Metro newspaper and stands facing me; so close in fact, the newspaper she is reading's brushing against a sensitive, rather personal part of mine. I adjust my stance so the paper is no longer touching me and she crowds in again and starts angrily flipping the paper. She's not reading it, but turning the pages as if she's looking for a particular article. All the while it's treating my personal property like a scratching post. When she passed page three I put my hand down and pushed the paper away. Even then she didn't get the hint. Or didn't care.

The kicker was the train wasn't even that crowded. She could have easily rubbed her paper against someone else's dick. Plus, she never moved when the train would stop, so people had to push their way past her to get on and off. She just stood there defiantly. Someone had a bad night, I'm guessing.

Finally, I get to my stop and proceed to step off the train. I stand by the door so I should be the first one off. I say should, because a Grade A dildo disguised as a middle aged man in a business suit decided he should be the first one off. I step out and this douchebag runs - literally runs - to get out first. Unfortunately for him, there is only so much room to fit in those Orange Line doors and we bump shoulders. Since he had the momentum for running like a little girl (and I gave him a bit of an elbow when I realized what he was trying to do) he gets propelled into another guy waiting to get on the train. The guy waiting then pushes dildo back so quickly and roughly he looked like a pinball. Dildo finally gets his balance and proceeds to dodge and plow his way through the roughly 300 other people heading in the same direction. At the end of it, he wound up exactly one person in front of me heading up the stairs. And, by the way, never said a word to me or the guy on the platform.

I'm sure all that was worth getting .03 seconds ahead of me.

I'm hunkering down in my office for the rest of the day. If the world is acting like the people I encountered today, I'm better off staying clear. Nobody wants a bloodbath on All Saints Day.

Today's distraction: How to deal with rude people. They left out my favorite tactic of giving the person a blank, somewhat angry stare, then continuing whatever I was going and ignoring the rude person. This has the added bonus of angering the offender tremendously, which makes me happy.