Posts filed under ‘life’

on coffee, the army, and 2012

i do enjoy a cup of good coffee. in fact, i’m sipping on a cup right now as i write this and it is absolutely sublime. coffee lubricates my mind like oil in an engine and without it, i am just a hollow shell of myself.

some people take their love of coffee to the extreme. their coffee comes in fancy bags promising that no baby polar bears were clubbed to death during manufacture, they weigh their coffee beans on digital scales to the tenth of a gram, and they monitor their water temperature to ensure the “optimal brew.” most of us coffee drinkers laugh or even scorn these coffee geeks. after all, part of coffee’s appeal is its humility as it quietly does its job, day after day, without fuss or complaining.

but in this new year, i’ve come to understand the coffee geek. they seek the obscure, hidden knowledge that most people can’t be bothered with. their pursuit makes them, for a few minutes in a day, experts in something, however trivial that something may be. when everyone on average is average (by definition of the word), being an expert is a good feeling.

coffee geeks are just one manifestation of how people long to stand out and be special. how many of our daily struggles arise from our quests to differentiate ourselves from the pack? hunting that next promotion, tedious exercise, obsessively chasing knowledge, education and suffixes to names – people no longer subscribe to the u.s. army’s slogan of “be all you can be”…people now want to be even more.

so what does that mean for the new year? i think i’ll let the the over-achievers achieve their achievements. i’ll smile and wave to them as they hunt their elusive prey. i hope that they find what they are looking for and that it makes them happy. i suspect that it will not. as for me, i’ll immerse myself in the present, which at the present, is a cup of coffee.

drat, it’s gone cold.


January 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm 4 comments

nobody ever suspects…

i took this photograph at the university of florida museum of natural history:

it was my first time in gainesville, FL and i had a great time visiting my fiancée’s alma mater. on campus, there is a bat house where bats roost. i’m not sure if “roost” is the right word here. at dusk, they all wake up at the same time and leave the house to go hunting. hunting for jokers maybe.

all in all, quite the incredible weekend.

May 1, 2011 at 3:29 am 1 comment

hot with a chance of chastity

the weatherman announced record breaking temperatures so i went to the mall.

i usually avoid malls like the plague. i see them as opulent shrines to capitalism where teenagers go to share venereal diseases and where pensioners go very early in the morning to eat bran muffins. however, the recent heatwave here in NC forced me to begrudgingly drive to the mall to buy a pair of shorts.

i’ve complained before about how buying toothpaste overwhelms me with too many choices, but it is nothing compared to buying a pair of shorts. you can get them in a million different shades of grey, khaki, and blue. they can be very short and tight, if you’re thin and stylish, or very baggy and long, if you’re a murderer concealing guns and knives. they can have extra pockets on the side to carry extra cargo, have a belt sewn  into the waistline, or if you’re feeling macguyver-ish, you can even buy shorts that have snap on attachments to convert them regular pants when it is nippy outside. inundated with options, i consulted my fashion-savvy sister who told me to stay away from poorly made pants with many pockets that showed a nasty logo – the sort scalawags wear. thus began my pursuit for a pair of shorts.

the first store i went to, and i kid you not, was actually selling shorts that not only contained numerous holes in them but also were splattered with paint. i assume the clothing company distributed a bunch of shorts to painters and builders in the area and told them to wear them on the job and return them once the shorts were completely ruined. what’s next – stores selling used hemorrhoid cream?

i went into to the next store. actually, i’m rather sure that it wasn’t so much a store as it was a male pornography studio. every wall had a ceiling-to-floor photographs of nearly naked men with tanned bodies of sinew and reps. i am not sure why a store that presumably sold clothing would choose not to put clothing on their models. doubting the business competence of this establishment, i left and continued on.

i saw a shop with a respectable looking store front and a very conservative anglo-saxon name and went in, hoping to find traditional, normal clothing. instead, i stepped into some sort of odd rave night club. it was about as dark as a coal mine and loud repetitive-sounding music blasted from gigantic speakers. the entire shop smelled of bad cologne which i assumed was caused by a customer knocking over the cologne display as a result of the darkness. not being able to shout loudly enough to the store attendant to ask where the shorts were kept because of the music and wanting to rid my nose of the terrible smells, i hurried onto the next store.

by then, my patience was waning and i had decided that any pair of shorts that adequately covered my genitals would suffice. the ones i ended up with are actually pretty normal – un-ruined, khaki shorts with normal pockets, and reasonably priced as well. my only issue with them is that instead of a zip, they have four extremely unwieldy buttons. so what i really bought was a chastity belt camouflaged as a pair of shorts.

however, i am already foreseeing situations in which these four buttons will be not undone quickly enough to meet the needs of a very full bladder. i will therefore eventually ruin these shorts with my own urine and will need a replacement pair.

after all my trouble, maybe i should have purchased a spare?

June 23, 2010 at 11:17 am 6 comments

things i have learned in the past week

this past week, i moved from philadelphia, PA to durham, NC. i start my new job on monday where i’m sure i’ll learn a lot but even the moving process itself has taught me a lot:

1) respect for truckers. i used to think that all they did was murder prostitutes and bully drivers of smaller vehicles. driving a long truck is tough; my 16 foot moving truck had serious issues making tight right turns in the city. on the highway, it had no acceleration,  no rear view mirror, and no comforts inside the cabin.

2) baltimore has no decent radio stations. NONE. washington d.c., on the other hand has a ton of radio stations, many of which are good. too bad d.c. traffic is a chaotic hive of crazy drivers, road-works, and confusing highway signs.

3) shredded paper  makes for good packing material. cheaper than bubble wrap but just as good. not a single thing broke on the 400 mile journey in the moon castle bounce truck.

4) i have great friends. thanks nancy, darrick, darleen, and tom who helped me move!

February 20, 2010 at 3:26 pm 3 comments

let’s be jolly, ok?

nancy and i put up christmas lights today. check it out!

nancy and roxy!

December 7, 2009 at 2:51 am Leave a comment


my commute to work has changed gradually and slowly (a la darwin) over the last three years. my start point has remained the same – philadephia, and my destination is also unchanged – dante’s 4th circle. but all the bits in between have changed.

ive found quicker roads that have replaced congested roads. ive learned which roads are the ones used by school buses which stop at every house for miles at a time.

there are portions of my commute that i cannot find alternatives for which have transformed into stretches of potholes. driving on these roads is about as comfortable as falling down the stairs wearing leg calipers. or contracting anthrax.

and in many ways, my commute to work has been a metaphor for my life. i am certain that i am where i am now because, simply, i have gotten here. certain parts of the journey have gone quicker than expected, such as living alone with a cat as beige pensioners do, and owning a home, as a responsible adults do. other portions of my life have been frought with more peril and discomfort than i had originally anticipated.

and to complete my analogy, i will liken my commuting vehicle – a nimble and enthusiastic but slightly dodgy volkswagen hatchback – to myself;  i have the foresight to detect and avoid upcoming obstacles in the road and to overtake (on the left, mind you) slow moving traffic, but in the end it will be my inherent shortcomings, the nature of who i am, that will envelope me in a cloud of burning oil and steam and make me late to wherever it is i want need to go.

but as they say, better late than never.

March 26, 2009 at 3:05 am Leave a comment

At the dinner table:

Dad: You know, I was thinking today about all my accomplishments. I have two kids, two cars, two houses… but only one wife! (hearty laughter)
Mom: (no laughter, raises an eyebrow.)

January 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm 3 comments

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