Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sh*ts and Shirts

Today was the day of "We're taking away your freedoms" at Wachovia. First we are told that there will be no more scheduled breaks in the morning. Then we were told that there's a chance the afternoon break could be capoot too.

Then our boss brought us into a conference room.

Boss:"Just wanted to warn everyone that there are people looking closely at numbers right now and people will get fired if they aren't behaving."
Me: "So what are the chances of us getting hired on full time?"
Boss: "Beyond the five slots they've opened... there are no talks of hiring."
Me: "Awesome!"

Came back to find my inbox filled with an email that said we are no longer going to get paid time off as a reward. Wells Fargo doesn't believe in it.

Basically they are taking the things that both companies don't believe in and throwing them our way. I fully expect Monday my chair will be missing because A.G. Edwards doesn't believe in sitting.

Beyond that "The Brotherhood of the Traveling Shirt" spoke too soon. Today, shoved through my tiny mail slot, was a gift. The member/founder of the Brotherhood called me only 18 hours too early. It would've been a good surprise.

Anyone that doesn't know what I'm talking about. GOOOD! I'll tell you about it when you're older.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Past

I've never come up with a New Years Resolution. At least not and officially sanctioned one. If I were inclined to improve myself it was always several days afterwards. I think I got that from my dad. He always has had a distaste for the commercialization of holidays and would find anything any reason to celebrate them days before or afterwards.

I've more or less done the same every year.

This year though I will have several resolutions. I've become a 45 year old man 20 years before I should.

Who am I? I've got rings under my eyes, my keyboard is only used to enter cook books recipes, my gut is larger than my wasteline, and I never have energy anymore.

This hit me hard this Christmas. Its the only holiday I enjoy celebrating with family. All of the rest of them I could do without. But Christmas was always the time of year I would ask off for a couple days. This Christmas, being low on The Man's totem pole, I couldn't get off. For the first time in 24 years I missed Christmas Eve at my grandmas. I didn't even get to spend more than 45 minutes with my family the Saturday before Christmas. This used to be a five day block of seeing everyone I cared about, having meals, laughing, and exhanging gifts. This year I only spent a few hours the Saturday before and Christmas with any family at all and on both occasions I was so tired and stressed out that I couldn't truly enjoy 'em.

It was a pretty good Christmas, what I did get of it though. Its a hell of a lot better than it probably would've been in Myrtle Beach. (Where they enjoyed 70 degree weather)

This is why I need to make resolutions. I have to schedule activities that used to be fun. I'm going to come up with an intense writing schedule. I'm going to get into shape before summer this year, so summer isn't an uphill battle, its normal routine.

It's sad that I have to do schedule these sort of events, but life has been so chaotic and busy that its necessary. I will have official goals and resolutions by New Years. It will be your job to keep me in check.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spinning Past the Needle

Attention Everyone:

If anyone has an extra turn table, speakers, and amp laying around they want to get rid of please pass it my way. One night alone and I rediscovered my love for music, writing, lonliness, yearning... I want nothing more than to hear the needle scratch again a record right now and "Kiss Me Deadly" (Generation X) starts spewing from the speakers like in SLC Punk. Or maybe "Across the Universe" (The Beatles) calms me down. Perhaps "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" gives me chills all over again, like the first time I heard the CD.

I want to feel inspired and I think the lack of music in my life is a large cause of lack of inspiration. I'm becoming the stereotypical, boring husband. It shows. I'm often cranky, tired, and irritable. I was never like this before. Before I had two hour long runs with mixed tapes. I had a CD collection of over 600 constantly rotating around in the CD player. I was excited about the next concert I was going to attend.

Here are the top 10 Albums I would like to hear on Vinyl: (Not my top 10 albums)
1. Nirvana- Live in New York
2. The Clash- London Calling
3. Weezer- Pinkerton
4. Radiohead- The Bends
5. Social Distortion- Social Distortion
6. Against Me!- As the Eternal Cowboy
7.Elliott Smith- Elliott Smith
8.The Buzzcocks- Love Bites
9.Smashing Pumpkins- Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
10. Hole- Live Through This

This is just what came to my head with current mood inspired by surroundings. Subject to change, but more than likely wouldn't.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Small Bursts of Happiness

I woke up early to go to the grocery store. It was 25 degrees outside, but I didn't notice because I was covered in a thick coat and hat. I felt like listening to Death Cab for Cutie and turned my Ipod up.

There was something familiar about where I was walking. I swear to God I heard Ryan, Jake, and I laughing in the background. It made me so happy I thought I could cry.

The alleyway I was in melted away and immediately I was in the woods behind Grandma's house. All three of us were soldiering through vines and thorns trying to find the end to the seemingly infinite forest ruining our nice clothes with reckless abandon.

We threw rocks and branches at a frozen little pond, testing the thickness. Soon we were skating back and forth until Ryan felt in. Without thinking Jake and I were to his rescue pulling him out. That's how it was, we always had each other's back.

The immediate threat of frostbite wasn't nearly as scary as the thought of showing his parents his mud covered Dockers. We did our best to wipe him off with leaves and such, but there was no denying that our adventure went too far. We took a mental picture of that pond and decided that next year we would venture further.

That next year came and a few more houses had pushed their way into the infinite woods. We no longer entered our own Narnia when we went into the woods. We entered the latest development. Frozen, treeless mud mocked our childhood.
When I came back to the world I felt more aware. I yearned to be back in those woods, but I'm happy that forever I will have that memory.

I felt like fixing the world after this memory was done.

I wanted to give money to the bell ringer as a small but charitable step in saving the world, but only had cards. So my charitable ecstasy instead was spent on a guy trying to get a giant gate open for his car lot, but having issues keeping it on its track. I dropped the groceries and hopped on the scene like a super hero. His cheap cologne burning my nose. We got the gate open and the man with the mustache looked surprised to see someone stop and said, "Hey, thanks buddy."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Journey to the Center of the Mall

Today we tried to finish up some Christmas shopping that needed to be done. The malls were nowhere near as bad as they were a few years ago, but it was still humanity at its worst.

"Welcome to West County Mall" sign might as well have said "When There's No Room Left in Hell, the Dead will Roam the Mall."

The parking lot was a no man's land of people driving around for an hour looking for that parking spot that's just a little bit closer. Some shelling out the $5 for Valet parking. People that didn't have the war-worn brain that comes from holiday shopping, moved to the top of the parking garage and walked a few extra feet. That was the option I took.

We walked into the heavy Dillards doors (mostly because the parking lot is always half empty at Dillards.) that are much heavier than the doors leading into Jurassic Park. JP had to keep the dinosaurs in, what's Dillards' excuse? Are they trying to keep their few customers confined?

It was an odd population. No one really thinking, stopping in the middle of aisles. Cursing without realizing it. Christmas spirit was in full swing as people swiped cards that had no money attached to them.

Anyway, we moved next into Victoria's Secret because Sallie had a little bit of gift card left. I stood in the background while she manuevered the crowd.

Fifty or so ravenous women ripped apart the drawers at Victoria's Secret hoping to find a steal. Men followed around like dogs on chains. Staring at the lacy lingerie imagining their women in them. Inevitably the women pick up the plain, unsexy pajama pants. They elbow husbands to show them what they come to Victoria's secrets for. The men are always dissapointed when they offer up the almost non-existant thong, and the girlfriend instead hands them the $120 towel robe.

Victoria's Secret is so diabolically genius it hurts. Women love their lotions and overpriced pajamas. Men's brains seizure with the amount of pink on the walls. The manikins appear real for brief seconds in the extremely see-through two piece with leggings. I was smart. I stood just outside of the confusion zone and witnessed this disturbance firsthand. We lost many men this weekend... let us pray for their wallets

We scour the crowds looking for an EB Games with a microphone, a Sprint Store where we could change our numbers to St. Louis area codes, and a Delia's to grab a few items. The EB Games didn't have a microphone, the Sprint store was non-existant, and Delia's wasn't in this mall.

This was like the allies fighting their way to Germany, and then deciding it wasn't hard enough and fighting their way back to French beaches.

With HWY 40 being closed and not wanting to deal with Manchester, we had to drive 270, to 44, to Kingshighway, to 40, to Hanley, to Clayton road to get to the Galleria. A giant loop only to be tossed into an even larger parking lot with holiday shoppers.

The lesson I've learned... next year 100% of my holiday shopping will be done online.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Living the Bible Literally

I must warn that this blog will probably be a long one. Perhaps I’ll split this into multiple parts if I feel its gone on too long.

I just read “The Year of Living Biblically” by A.J. Jacobs. I’ll admit, my original attraction to this book was A) I needed a good book to read in the bathroom. (This means the chapters are somewhat short and entertaining.) B) I’ve been craving an essay collection written in the form of a comedy.

This book quickly moved from the bathroom to my workspace. It started out silly enough. Agnostic New Yorker, tries to get in touch with his spiritual side by following the bible as literally as he can. (Over 700 rules in the bible) It started out with a crazy man named Mr. Berkowitz that came over to A.J.’s house to check for clothing with mixed fibers.

The eccentric Berkowitz proves to be a sort of Mr. Miyagi, off putting to most, but those that want to listen will collect wisdom beyond the most scholastic college professor or learned religious leader.

A.J. discusses the meaning of Bible passages, rules, and traditions with several sects of Judaism and Christianity from Jerry Falwell, to snake handling Christians, to a gay Christian psychiatrists that runs a Friday night bible study, to the extreme right wing eccentric Jew like Mr. Berkowitz.

Every religious leader and sect brought some wisdom or explanation or tradition to the table (I told Amanda, my good friend and local Jewish expert that I want to celebrate Simchas Torah with her.)

This only helped confirm my belief that there is no one religion. There is no way everyone has gotten everything right and there is no way anyone has gotten everything wrong. The fighting that goes on within religious sects and because of religion is maddening to me when the one thing just about every major religion in the world promotes is peace and goodwill.

I want to pray with my friend Islamic friend Adnan, celebrate Simchas with Amanda, attend a Baptist potluck, go to temple with Alann and Becca (but since I’m locked out of the temple, I’ll settle for having intense talking with’s), and invite outsiders to a Catholic fish fry. There is something very divinely human about celebrating our likenesses and differences. How can we truly know what we believe until we experience what others have to bring to the feast? It’s vain and egotistical to think that “my religious beliefs are the right ones!” Religion is just the structure, faith and growth as a human being is where god truly is.

Ecclesiastes 6:12 says “For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?”

A.J. Jacobs soon finds that his life runs parallel to where his spiritual journey brings him. Often finding comfort in bible passages when his wife becomes pregnant, or his lust takes the best of him, or his constant stream of lies that he finds come from his mouth. There is some answer in the bible for him.

The heartbreaking part of the book is a friend of the authors is promised help from A.J. Without ruining the plot, he makes the promise and sort of puts it in the back of his mind. This friend ends up dead before A.J. can come through on his promise. It’s a heartbreaking lesson that all of us will learn at some point in our life. It’s one that even people that have learned it need a reminder. This book provided that reminder to me. I instantly flashed back to the death of my best friend Jake, and the immediate guilt and loneliness I felt.

This sort of lesson is relevant to the Storys’ life as of late. Sallie and I have spent so much time working that we only have on average 10 hours a week of free time. Every weekend we have obligations, usually with people we don’t really want to see. Does this happen to everyone? Do we have obligations to people we only marginally care for to take up our free time?

Basically free time or “personal development time” as I like to think of it, is in short demand. Overtime, commutes, chores, bills, obligations… these are all things that keep us from reaching that “nirvanic” state where we feel whole. Striving for something more is just human, but can we not get there because there is too much interrupting the journey?

Take a couple hours this weekend just to lay in the grass and think, and make sure you leave a weekend or two blank in your daily planner.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A novel complete

This week I finally put an ending on that novel I've been working on for 5 years. I now need to go back through, make sure it all makes sense, and get someone to buy it.

When I first started my novel, I had an ending, but not the actual story. Over the five year period I kept that ending at the bottom of the document, assuming I was going to connect it to the rest of the story eventually. Strange that a story loosely based on your love life could change so drastically in a few years. My original ending was one that offered the option of hope, but didn't show a glimmer of it. The newer ending is much more hopeful.

Anyway I didn't think the old ending was a bad one, but like I said it doesn't fit anymore. And as I was reading it I thought, this almost works as a blog... obviously if you remove the character names that none of you know. I figured it deserves to see the light of day. So here it is, the original ending for my novel:

The Epilogue

...That’s the funny thing about memories and love, you always seem to exaggerate a little bit in your favor. You always want to be as much of the hero as you possibly can, so you tell a little lie here and there and you exaggerate how much you got screwed and how much you loved her. Time passes and eventually you start believing your little lies and they seem to grow more and more until you have this memory that glows with the most magnificent illumination. It will always be the most pure feelings you can ever feel and nothing will ever compare to them again.
I have this sunken feeling that I will never meet someone that I love as much as Sarah. This hole in me I wish to fill with something, cement maybe. Sometimes I feel like I’ve met the girl of my dreams, but she is in my dreams. A fantasy world that is so much less cruel than the real one. She is unattainable, at least right now. Maybe my fairytale will work out and my angel will finally choose the obvious choice that has been in front of her all along. Maybe I’m completely wrong and I will continue to sabotage my relationships hoping she will eventually love me like I love her. I might continue trying to make love to this memory. Maybe I just like the comfort of a crush gone on too long. I found someone that made me forget about her, just for what seems to be a moment, and I needed it emotionally. Is that how I know when I’ve found true love? The one that makes me forget my crushing crush, my unattractive attraction, is the woman I’m meant to be with.

Love like a memory seems to blur the reality. Can I really know what love is or when I’m feeling it? Does it just come down to the moments of feeling you get every time you see that person? Or is it that person you think about even when they aren’t there? Is love perhaps just a continued lust and a fear of being alone? I don’t know these answers and probably never will. Everyone’s definition of love is different. It comes down to the personal experiences. To me, Sarah was my definition of love, but to Sarah it was Tom, the asshole frat boy. Maybe he isn’t so bad. I did meet him with an extreme bias against him. It probably has something to do with my obsession with Sarah and my innate hatred of frat boys. Either way, I didn’t give the guy a fair chance. He will forever be in my memories as the man that made Sarah cry, not the guy that made Sarah happy enough to be with him. And then a funny thing happened, she married someone like me. Someone I actually thought was deserving of her.

Was my ending a sad one? I tend to think of it as growing up. Sure I’m still single, and the sting of heartbreak is still fresh, but another Sarah will come along, and I’ll move on. I know one thing, I’m getting too old to pick up freshman girls that sneak into bars. I need to meet someone that can keep me entertained.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quick Update

I haven't been blogging lately mostly because I've just been so busy. I went from having all the free time in the world when I was unemployed (where you all had about 5 blogs a week to read) to having an hour and a half before bedtime every night. I now understand why people have never blogged as much as me.

I've also been so tired I haven't had much to say. This posting will be no different. It literally will just be a quick update on life.

Sallie and I are going to finally start having a little teetering of money here and there. Her paychecks are coming in, in full force. Granted, we still have a couple weeks of paying off our moving/unemployment debt, but we'll be able to struggle along a bit more comfortably.

We aren't getting to spend time together still. I work from 7a.m.-4:30 p.m. most days and she works from 10:45 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. Essentially we spend the car ride to my work, and the hour and half after Sallie gets home hanging out. Which is why we've turtled up on the weekends again. We often opt to have a good dinner and some wine by ourselves than going out and having a drink with friends. Is this horrible?

I finally spent the rest of my birthday gift certificates to Best Buy today. I got Scrubs season 7 on DVD, Fifa 09 for the Xbox, and Left 4 Dead for Xbox. For those of you who don't know, Left 4 Dead is the ultimate zombie apocalypse survival game I've always wanted. Those gift certificates have really gone far.

The website has been going fairly well. Neil and I keep new content up constantly. I recently did an essay on Windows 3.1 and a review on the movie Smart People. After a two week hiatus, Matt, Neil, and I recorded a podcast. I don't think that'll be posted until Monday.

Check out that content at

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some stuff and things about the election

So my mind is spinning with a hurricane of thousands of thoughts and emotions and excitement and pity, not helped by an election and seeing Henry Rollins.

Let’s start with the election outcome. Obama wins, and for the first time in American history, a black man will assume the role of president. I didn’t get to vote, (stupid not having a car always getting in the way) but I would’ve voted for Obama, and my reasons why don’t have much to do with Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives.

I’ve already explained briefly in the past that the vice presidential candidates had/have a good chance of becoming president. If McCain won, he would probably have a heart attack while in office, and although Sarah Palin is adorable, tax payers would’ve been flying her five children around the world with Gucci bags and Versacchi clothes. (In case you don’t know, Palin has a world of trouble waiting for her back in Alaska.)

Part of McCain’s campaign strategy was to paint Obama as a terrorist. The moment it was common knowledge that Obama’s middle name was Hussein, my email inbox was flooded with emails saying Obama is part of Al-Qaeda. (Although Saddam Hussein was never officially linked to them, making the author of this chain letter even more ignorant.) So not only are there already tons of gun wielding racists in America, but now they have to be even angrier that a black man is president. I hope it doesn’t happen, but I think the secret service will have their hands full protecting our president.

Other than the likelihood of the vice president becoming president, Obama just seems like a better man. Ten years ago, McCain would’ve had my full support, but now he is just a wrinkled version of what the Republicans wanted him to be. Both candidates were somewhat spoon-fed what to say along party lines like any politician, but Obama handled it better.

I read an article on BBC News stating reasons why McCain lost. Of course there was his link to Bush, Palin as VP, and his age. The author of this article also noticed that during the debates and various speeches, McCain seemed to be holding back some serious anger issues. When I started looking at You Tube clips of the debates, I noticed this too. Anything McCain throws at Obama, Obama coolly destroys and throws it back at McCain. This happens over and over again. Its not that McCain didn’t have valid points, it’s just that Obama knew how to handle them.

I would also have voted for Obama because of foreign politics. Its not that Obama has more experience with foreign politics, it’s the fact that world leaders are excited about working with Obama. The fact that Obama wants to talk to our “enemies” to try and peacefully resolve tension between us and them, shows his character. McCain simple said, “We’re staying in Iraq and anyone else that wants to mess with us will have to deal with us too.” (Paraphrased from a much longer, more eloquent speech.)

We’re already at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the current administration has brought us on the brink of war with Russia, Pakistan, and Iran as well as isolated us from most of Western Europe and the U.N. Bush’s administration still has a couple days to ruin the world and kill thousands more people.

Like I said before: My “what if I could’ve voted” decision had nothing to do with issues because besides a few changed details, neither candidate had anything particularly new to say. They followed party lines, much to the demise of the American election system. It had more to do with the person. McCain I think does more good in the Senate than he could as president.

That is a brief version of what I thought about this election, for more information give me a call or have a sit down with me.

I saw Henry Rollins again a few days ago. Like always he entertained, inspired, energized, and educated a couple thousand people. If you’ve never seen him or heard of him, let me know. I have a few CDs and DVDs.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Christmas List: For Those That Care

I've been approached by several parties now for a Christmas list... incidentally I found a new purpose of this blog. So, published, the 2009 Edition of Dan's Christmas List. I suggest anyone using this list post that they are using it so as not to get me repeat gifts. You can all talk to each other.

Xbox 360 Games
Call of Duty: World at War****
Fable 2****
Dead Space*****
Darkstalker ***
Alone in the Dark V ***
Lego Indiana Jones ****
The Bourne Conspiracy ***

Playstation 2 Games
The Punisher ****
Fatal Frame ***
Silent Hill 3 *****
Silent Hill 4: The Room ***

Playstation 1 Games
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis ****
Final Fantasy VII ***
Silent Hill *****
Ape Escape ****

Xbox Games
Doom 3 ****

Computer Games
Age of Empires 3 *****
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic ****
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 ****

Nintendo DS Games
Chrono Trigger***
Advance Wars: Days of Ruin****

The Know-It-All- A.J. Jacobs
The Bourne Supremacy- Robert Ludlam
The Bourne Ultimatum- Robert Ludlam
The Last Watch-Sergei Lukyanenko
Dearly Devoted Dexter- Jeff Lindsay
Dexter in the Dark- Jeff Lindsay

Gift Certificates:
Game Crazy *****
Best Buy ****
EB Games/Gamestop ****
Barnes and Noble ****
Ebay *****

Friday, October 24, 2008

Excuses and Updates

It's been about two and a half weeks since my last posting and I half expected someone to nag me since I'm constantly nagging others about their infrequent updates. Well this blog will be titled "Excuses and Updates" because that will be the main content.

It's been close to a month since Sallie and I have had a weekend where nothing is planned, we aren't driving anywhere, and no one is coming to visit. This weekend isn't much different. I wouldn't mind so much, but I've been pulling 10 hour days and Sallie essentially has with her boring job and driving. Next weekend we're locking ourselves inside and not talking to anyone.

Two weekends ago I moved my dad out. He's now in Arizona skipping this whole Missouri nastiness that is the "am I autumn or summer" season. The dogs love it and he seems to have high hopes about getting his business going.

Last weekend Sallie and I moved 95% of our stuff from 6pm on Friday until 6pm on Saturday. It took about 2 cargo vans, 3 pickup truck, and 3 car loads worth of booty to get all of our stuff here. Nothing broke. Very little was lost. And our apartment is amazing. We are proud of where we live. It's different from our Myrtle Beach apartment which felt very temporary the entire time we were there. This one feels like somewhere we could be for a couple years.

Our cats are in ridiculously great moods. It's been so long since either of them has had sunshine hitting their flea ridden coats. Crash actually allows us to pet her. She plays with us. Its a cat we haven't seen since we first left Columbia almost a year ago.

Slider is still a little sh*t. However, he's a little sh*t like when we first got him. You're mad at him, but then he's cute and kisses your nose so he gets away with it. He's actually been snuggling between Sallie and I in bed and sleeping the entire night through.

My job is still going pretty well. I'm learning a ton about computers. I'm making new friends. And yesterday I talked to a broker from New York who called everyone that set up his computer before "coconuts." Who does that anymore? It worked for this guy. I'm switching strictly to the home office side of my job. Essentially I'm going to be several steps ahead of the rest of the help desk which is good for job security.

Today I walked home from work for the first time. It wasn't a horrible walk. Took about an hour and 20 minutes. The sucky thing about the walk was the freezing rain and hail I was hit with the first 20 minutes. Then the hour of walking in heavy cold winds. Not fun. I still feel cold. The podcasts I loaded on my Ipod last night didn't take. Everytime I started one, it went back to the menu. Lameville.

Solution: I listened to my own podcast (go to to download them) for the entire walk. And smiled the entire way.

Currently I'm reading a book called "Year of Living Biblically." This book is awesome. Essentially the author reads several versions of the bible, makes a list of rules from the bible, and for a year tries to live according to the bibles rule literally. It's a humorous take on some of the more ridiculous... and some of the less ridiculous rules of the bible in modern society. It's a good bathroom read to say the least.

Other than what I've written I've literally been working and sleeping all the time. Even though I've cut all the driving out of my life, I haven't gained any extra time yet. Hopefully things will clear up in the coming weeks.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Word of the day is... Intriguing

Well we finally did it. Matt joined our Podcast and besides the 1 hour of troubling sound issues and Neil's sound being really low compared to the rest of us, it came out really well.

If you want to listen/download go to our website (

The site is coming together really well. It's something I would frequent the site often even if I weren't one of the authors.

Anyway, Sallie and I are counting down the day when we have our own place. Being able to get to work so quickly will be key in my future happiness. Assuming we get approved, the place we will be living is quite awesome. You will all have to come and see it.

My dad is moving to Phoenix this weekend. He's nervous and excited at the same time. I honestly don't think he knows what he's feeling right now. I don't think he'll know until he gets there. I'm glad he's doing something for himself though.

Work has been crazy. Obviously the stock market has been crashing day after day. Brokers are not happy. There's a fairly plausible rumor going around that if the deal for Wachovia goes the way it looks like it will, Wells Fargo will buy us. This is good for the Brokers, bad for the help desk. Apparently Wells Fargo has a home office help desk here in St. Louis already. More than likely they would cut us Wachovia folk before their own. So pray that I don't once again lose my job.

Sallie is finally getting some feedback from some of these places. It's been seemingly months since she's last heard from one of them. It just doesn't seem professional to keep a person waiting 6 weeks for a second interview. She's actually more excited about two other interviews she had this week, so screw them slackers... unless they're going to pay her mucho dinero. Then they are my best friends and I will invite them over for dinner.

On the gaming front... Sallie has been begging me to play this game Castle Crashers. We're going to break our month long "Him VS Her" silence with this one I think. I've been playing this game called Silent Hill. It's destroyed my life because its so freakin' hard. I actually started the game over on easy.

We're currently watching a movie called "Winter Passing." It's pretty good so far. Basically its about this coke-head girl is approached by a publishing company. They want to buy her father's memoirs. (He's a famous author) She goes back home to get them and finds that he has two new room mates. (Both strange, but one of them is Will Ferrell so you know they are awesome.)I'm a bit more than half way through the movie and I can't help but remain intrigued.

Today I got a random Wikipedia article about the radical left-wing group called "The Weathermen." Its an intriguing article with a lot of even more intriguing links. I suggest if you have time to burn and want to read about the radical anti-war movement of the late 60s, read it.

So basically I've got two fun filled moving weekends ahead of me. Hopefully work doesn't destroy me in between. Once we have our place, we are considering having some sort of housewarming party.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

New apartment and old toys

Sallie and I have decided its time to move out. So in two-three weeks, we are moving out of my mom's basement and into a sweet 1,000 square foot apartment a block from Tower Grove Park.

Really we just want some space of our own. We haven't had it in a while. Honestly, I just want to be able to play videogames while Sallie sleeps. I can't do that right now because our TV is only three feet from the bed in our sheet fort.

I was gathering all of our belongings today so we could see about how many car loads it might take to get everything from point A to B. Doing this I came across my two GIANT Star Wars toy boxes.

I don't remember the last time I was as excited as I was going through my boxes of happiness. (Apparently a mouse thought it was his personal box of happiness too and left do-do all over my toys in one of the boxes.)

I had entire card collections, all the micromachines, about two dozen of the action figures, and about two hundred dollars worth of toys I never took out of the packaging. That's right, no matter how much 1999 Dan wanted to play with Luke in his Dagobah Fatigues, he left the figure in there. 1999 Dan knew that the Hasbro figures with the orange lightsaber backing were the original rerelease run and are much rarer than the green lightsaber backed figures.

I have every intention of selling this one day for a ton of profit, but for right now 2008 Dan wants to play Boba Fett vs Darth Vader with 1999 Dan.

On top of all the rearranging I put about 20 items up on Ebay hoping to scrap together some "pay off debt" cash before we move. I'm trying to get my guitar amp up on Craigslist, but apparently my pictures made my ad too large... so instead of letting me delete one picture, it deleted everything I had written. Tomorrow I will get that up there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


So basically yesterday the stock market took a plummet into hell and brokers everywhere freaked out. As of right now, this won't affect me. Down the line... who knows. Managers are freaking out, seasoned vets are sending off their resumes, and I'm just thinking, "I hope I get a couple more paychecks."

Understandably today many of the brokers were on edge and not so pleasant to deal with.

The one thing keeping my spirit up was one of my favorite video game franchises released the newest episode in the saga.

My favorite game franchises in order:
1. Resident Evil
2. Metal Gear Solid
3. Silent Hill

Silent Hill Homecoming was supposed to come out today. I asked my wife if she could accept the mission of getting this game whilst I slaved away on the battlefield known as The Stock Market.

Best Buy hadn't received their shipment. EB Games (the jerks that they are) said they were clean out/didn't have any, even though I'm sure the bastards had 30 copies in the back. (EB Games is known for selling games earlier than release date, holding extra copies only because you didn't pre-order, and not holding the game when you do pre-order. Yes I'm bitter, only because I've been screwed by them before)

Basically I came home after a long day wanting to regress into the scariest nightmare (in video game form), kill some people/creatures (in video game form), and shoot guns. (Both video game form and real life) None of this happened.

I'm not going to say I had a not so great night because in all actuality it was a good night. It just wasn't a Silent Hill night. Now I'm reading reviews, some of them good, some of them mediocre, and I'm jealous that I'm not one of the people playing this game and thinking, "Ehh, it could be better, but its still Silent Hill and I love this."

So for the sake of my sanity, please pray and hope, that Sallie can take my birthday gift cards to any of the above retailers and score me a copy.

Also she's looking for apartments and jobs in the coming days, hope and pray about that too.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debates: A Schoolyard Name Calling Game

So last night apparently there was this little thing that happens every four years in America called the presidential debate. I didn't watch this so called debate because I was at The Taste of St. Louis, but from what I've read, I didn't miss anything.

The last round of debates in 2004 got people all riled up. The first round was almost uncontested taken by John Kerry catapulting his approval rating among voters into a sure-fire win. Then after two more rounds... well voters got bored, and much to the surprise of everyone in Columbia Missouri, John Kerry lost, Bush won, and the world was going to end.

From what I've read, last night was far from the epic event the debates were last year. McCain desperately tried to distance himself from Bush. (Probably because now the Bush administration might be bringing on the end of the world) Obama tried to play that up.

No publication declared a clear victor. You had FOX news saying McCain was on the offense all night. CNN said something along the lines of McCain needing a clear victory, but didn't achieve it.

Essentially, this debate turned into a "You're no better than George Bush" "Oh yeah, well your an out of touch liberal" name calling match.

Honestly I think this is one of the first elections where the Vice Presidential nominee matters more than the Presidential.

McCain is something like 72 years old. If elected, he would be going into the White House when he's 73. Looking at past presidents (Bush SR., Clinton, Bush Jr.) you see them go in looking like an attractive 40-50 year old, and they come out looking like 80 year olds. Basically you age dog years when your president. That would mean coming out of the White House, McCain would be 103 year old. More than likely, no matter how fit the man is, he's not going to make it.

Obama is a black man that has an unfortunate middle name (Hussein) that countless forwarded emails grab a hold of calling him a terrorist. 50+ years after the end of segregation, a large portion of the American population sadly can't accept an intelligent, thoughtful black man as their leader. I believe there have already been attempts on Obama's life, and those probably won't stop once he's in the White House. The secret service will have their work cut out protecting him. Its unfortunate, but look at other strong black leaders of the past. (Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X)

I'm not going to get into what I think about the VP candidates, but I think for the most part Americans like one over the other by a fairly large population. I can kind of already see what the outcome would be if the election were next week. However, this is American politics. The Bush administration isn't done bringing us into debt, Wall Street isn't done shooting themselves in the foot, terrorists pop out of the woodwork every week, and we start stuff with a new country every month. So many things can change from now to then.

I'm still registered in South Carolina, and I might stay registered there just so I have an excuse not to vote.

Monday, September 22, 2008

6.9 billion Lonely People

There are an estimated 6.9 billion people in the world today. Over crowding and over population run rampant. Why does it seem that everyone of those people are lonely?

My guess is my beloved technology has a lot to do with it. Instead of meeting people out at clubs or bars, people hide behind miles of cable and firewalls. Instead of giving a smile and head nod to a stranger people furiously dial the five or six numbers in their cell phone that they actually talk to.

Even businesses rely on computers to do everything from hiring to firing. People like my wife patiently wait two months for a guaranteed second interview because the companies computers went down. Hundreds of horrible employees remain on because bosses are too scared to properly terminate or are too lazy to hand the pink slip to the horrible employee.

People deal with the loneliness in different ways.
Some drink four or five too many drinks to forget they are going home alone.
Some sit in a dark place, whether literal or figurative, crying.
Some hide behind technology.
Some accept being around people they don't really care for, only to have faces in proximity.
Some replace relationships with drugs, sex with porn, and talking with television.

Its obvious that this digital world doesn't allow the same rules that applied to our grandparents for social enjoyment. Largely my parent's generation started proving this. Millions of couples stay together in silence and contempt, while millions of others realize they made a mistake years ago.

So how do you make friends and loved ones when everything else can be downloaded and delivered?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Podcasts and Demo Derbys

So we've purchased a domain for our little website thing. Neil is working on that right now, hopefully we have some beta version up soon. Matt actually came up with the clever if not somewhat vulgar name, Circuit Jerk. If you don't know what that means then I'll tell you when you're older... and only if children and grandparents aren't around.

Neil and I did our dry run of the first Media Whore podcast last night. It went pretty well. There's a link over at the Media Whore blog. Just click the link to the right if you want to listen. We had a blast doing it. Talked about Metallica, Dead Rising, zombies, fan boys, and old videogame collections. I think it turned out really well. There were a couple of sound issues, but largely I think we have that under control. Let us know what you think.

So work is still going great. I'm getting on the phone a little next week to strictly do password resets. Then the week after I go live. I'm ready to get it done with.

Yesterday we did printer training and we were working with a 25 year old printer that apparently very important to these branches. The thing didn't have a menu on it. Instead there were blinking lights and to see what they meant the printer chewed out a listing of the menus and you had to push buttons in certain sequences hoping to god you didn't just set the printer into German mode. It was like reading Spanish hieroglyphics... seriously.

Tomorrow Sallie and I are hitting up the demolition derby. That's right... demolition derby. A good friend of mine and a person or two from work are going. So put on your NASCAR hats, get that Busch camo-can out, and let's go to the race.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

Things have still been extremely busy.

My review blog has been a success thus far. I seem to be getting as much if not more traffic and currently have three other reviewers working on it. (Matt, Neil, and Joe) Neil and I are going to do a test run podcast on Thursday night and will hopefully have it up by Friday. If it works out well, and our schedules permit, everyone will hopefully be on the cast soon.

We are also working on a low key site to post our reviews, podcasts, news, and profiles. So far the only issue keeping this dream dead is... well we can't figure out a good name. Media Whore and Fell in Love with Tech are both taken domains. If anyone has a good name idea, we will give you front page credits.

Work is still going great. I'm learning a lot, but can't wait to be done with training. It's time for me to go live SON!

Next weekend is the Taste of St. Louis which Sallie and I are both extremely excited about. Food is such a great thing. Supposedly Everclear is playing on Friday night. Yes, somehow they are still around and rocking hard. I saw them at the Blue Note two years ago and it was like seeing depression on stage.

At the time the lead singer's band had quit, his label dropped him, he was getting a divorce, and most in attendance were only there to see the freak show. The singer later got into a fight at a local diner with a frat boy hours after the show because he was so drunk. Here's to hoping we get a repeat show!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Assassinating my heart

Why is it that pretty much every movie about assassins is amazing?

Tonight Sallie and I were watching "In Bruges" (per suggestions by Matt and Netflix) which is about two assassins that have to go into hiding because one of them kills someone he's not supposed to. The movie was awesome and hilarious and has further proved movies about assassins are awesome.

You also have "The Matador" starring Pierce Brosnan.Its the only other film besides "Golden Eye" that he is awesome in.

Then everyone's favorite "The Professional." Men everywhere had a strange attraction to a then pre-teen Natalie Portman. Little did we all know in a few years she'd be the only person in the Star Wars universe that could briefly make us forget Leia in the slave costume. The movie is just awesome. There's no other way to describe the two hours of crooked cops, cut-throat assassins, and tween assassins in training.

"Mr. and Mrs. Smith" surprised us all when Angelina Jolie actually chose a great movie role. It's clever, thousands of bullets are fired, and endless streams of nameless assassins get slaughtered in a department store. What more can you really ask for?

Lastly one of my favorite movies of all time (possibly top 5) "Gross Pointe Blank" starring the man, John Cusack. Not only is this movie in the same category as comedies like "Ghostbusters," but the fights are all really awesome. I know I've said awesome about 14,000 times in this blog, but they really are cool. Where else can you see Dan Ackroid shoot it out with Cusack?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Bermuda Triangle and Rocking Out

It seems my new review site is fairly popular thus far. If you haven't checked it out yet I've already posted two reviews. (Itunes and Smodcast) I believe my brother-in-law (or rather brother-in-soul) will be joining my staff and together we will determine what all of you should or shouldn't like. If you haven't check it out yet, click the link to the right, Mediawhore.

I've been given a nickname at work, Danimal. I like it and am actually surprised no one has ever called me that before. I got the name becuase last week when I was so wedding-lagged I didn't talk much. When I started talking though, things got crazy. (Or so that's how the legend goes)

I've also discovered that one $40 tie can look like 5-6 different ties depending on the background its against. I only own one tie until I get paid and I've been wearing it with different shirts. It was only today that one of the girls I was working with asked if it was the same tie. She said she barely noticed except I'm constantly playing with it. (That tie is a noose to me)

I also dealt with one of my first pre-angered customers. We put the phone on mute while we were fixing his computer and I guess he thought he was on hold. He started calling us help-desk guys useless, stupid, and used a lot of four letters words to express his feelings. He then sighed deeply into the phone for three minutes until he finally made his secretary come over and listen for us while he did other things. She then sighed deeply for three minutes.

The guy I was training with waited for the angry guy to come back and call us more names, and in the middle of him saying we were pieces of trash, my trainer clicked back and said "Alright sir, I've fixed your computer. Is there anything else I can do for you?" The broker was caught off gaurd and then mumbled "no, thank you" and hung up. I can't wait to have angry customers of my own.

Today was I was stuck in traffic on the way home. When there is an accident that causes traffic you get worked up until you see what happened and then you pray no one got hurt. When you spend 25 minutes in traffic and find nothing at the other end, that rage grows.

Luckily, before I hit a person with my brother's car, Weezer's "Tired of Sex" came on the Ipod. I don't care what you think, "Tired of Sex" rocks harder than almost any other song created. I sang at the top of my lungs, listened to it twice, and yes I was caught by the car next to me rocking out hard on the air drums.

And the last thought I leave you with: "Why doesn't anyone get lost in the Bermuda Triangle anymore?" Is it because my generations sense of adventure isn't there? Is it because we got smarter and realized we should stay away from an area of ocean where hundreds of people have gone missing?" Or is it pure laziness?

Monday, September 8, 2008

A quick Update

So I officially have finished the first work week worth of work at Wachovia. (That's a lot of W's) Its going really well. I love my co-workers as they are all A) Indie/punk rock kids with tattoos or B) Super nerds that get pure enjoyment out of trying to get past security so they can install Google Chrome. I tend to think I fall right in the middle of those catagories and therefore fit in with more than half the staff.

I've already learned a ton of things, but some areas I need to brush up on are: run commands, command prompt commands (such as pinging), and some active directory. Hopefully all of this will sort of come to me as I awkwardly stumble my way through my first couple weeks of being on my own.

I recently got contacts because for the first time in my life I need glasses full time. My glasses have been bent beyond use (thanks Sallie) and scratched for months now and I figured its time I just accept it and take the plunge to contacts. I went to Wal Mart because I don't have insurance and the extremely nice doctor (who always has hard salami breath) prescribed some for me before the wedding. Unfortunately (and like always) I presented something he has never seen before and had some sort of negative reaction to the first kind of contacts, but not the second. He's baffled because they are made from the same material. Anyway, I'm wearing my second pair right now and they are comfortable and I can see better usually, but right now my right eye is blurry as can be. So if there are a lot of typos in this you know why.

And lastly, I think I'm going to start a third blog now. This blog is going to be reviews of movies, games, applications, or CDs I feel are worthy to discuss. I'm doing this mostly becuase I want to talk about some sort of media on here, but know not everyone on my email list wants to get hit with those. So I'm going to put them in a separate entity and put a link to it on my blog page. If you really want to be set up for email alerts I can hook that up too. Just let me know.

PS There will be a new "Pop Culture for the Inexperienced" up either later tonight or tomorrow. I've finally got Sallie writing some again and for once its just waiting on my added comments. Thanks for your patience, faithful fans.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First day of being a big person

Today was my first day and I want to go to sleep.

It takes an hour and twenty minutes to get to work in the morning. Going an alternate route home it takes an hour. All in all, this makes my work day longer than 10 hours. I just don't have that many podcasts to fill my life.

The four other people I'm training with are very cool. One guy is an electrical engineer with no computer experience, another guy knows people there and probably knows a little more than I do, and a forth girl probably knows equal amounts as me and is a little alternative punk chick. The fifth guy is more or less the more handsome doppelganger of me.

He has tattoos on his knuckles, rockstar hair, and it just that guy you want to know. Why are we the same person? Here is a list.
-Both fairly recently married
-Both hate wearing our rings and want to just get them tattooed
-Both into the music scene
-Both worked similar IT jobs before
-Both wore the EXACT same shirt today
-Both parked right next to each other in the giant parking lot.

Tomorrow I will see if he brings the same thing for lunch.

As for the job, I think its going to be pretty laid back and cool. The managers are saying our dress code might turn to bluejeans and polo shirts. Right now we have brokers coming in from all over the country training on new software, so the appearance of us has to be a little better. They also said there's a chance it could swing the other way and we might end up business professional. In which case I need to get more ties. (Three Stooges and Keyboard ties probably)

Tattoos are alright if visible. One guy even has a mohawk. So I can wear short-sleeves with is a plus.

We did the normal customer service thing i.e. don't call the customers idiots for two hours.

Then we took an hour tour of this massive building. I've been in airports smaller than this place. It has three cafeterias, a Kaldis coffee, 24 gym, learning center, multiple balconies, floors, and buildings. For the rest of the day, my group of five never left each others sites for fear of disappearing into the abyss.

We had an hour and fifteen minute lunch, during which we ate for 15 minutes and started getting extremely sleepy.

After lunch we sat with someone while they answered phone calls. I got someone that is technically two positions higher than I will be once I'm trained. He barely remembers most the stuff I will be doing, and tried his best at training me. I didn't get to listen to any phone calls or really see how things work.

I will have my own huge desk which will be awesome. I guess I really just want to be a month into the job (technically 2 months away) and not needing massive amounts of help.

I'm freaking tired. I've realized that I will not be able to accomplish anything during the week since my day is so long with commute. So for the next month, don't expect much out of me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Billy Idol would've been proud

The wedding went wonderful. Even though I absolutely hate that kind of attention on me (just look at any blog written on July 26th) I got through it with no nervousness. I guess the most awkward thing was having to hug and kiss people I didn't know. I met 120 people, I remember 50 of them.

Even though there was some shadiness with the staff, the ceremony looked great, the bridal party looked better, and then of course the bride looked the best.

The food was great, the drinks were sub-par until we bothered the bartenders, and the music was exactly what we asked for... sorta.

All in all though, it was fun. I loved hanging out with everyone again and smoking cigars with just about every man on the premise. (And a few ladies) I actually danced and once enough shots were in me tried to bust open a pirate pinata. (It took four tries and I almost cracked my head open on the flower bed)

Thanks to Zak, Eric, Cory, and Matt for not screwing up and looking damn good in those tuxes. I would drive to any city in Missouri to be in any of your weddings. (Probably Kentucky too)

Thanks to Beth, Beth II, Mary, and Lacy for looking oh so hot in those dresses.

Cory and Matt for pulling off two very obviously impromtu speeches. They were hilarious.

Thanks to the parents to pulling this thing off.

Allan and Becca for flying across the country for this. I wish we got to hang out more, but Sallie wants to come to Salt Lake someday. I think I sold her on the brine flies.

Zak and Lindsay for traveling across several boring parts of the country. It was great to see you again.

Amanda for getting out of Mississippi and seeing me for the first time since October.

Everyone that used up their Labor Day weekend to drive to Cape. It was the most fun I've ever had at a wedding.

The guy that drove by in the alleyway blaring Nickleback during our ceremony. Its just not love without Chad Kroger.

Our drunken D.J. that taught us that you can be 45 and still do the same job you did in highschool.

No one had a hangover afterwords... everyone had allergies. Go figure.

Wedding Awards:
Most dedication- Rob Brown for coming across the pond from Britain to be an usher
Best dancing (Male)- Eric, for proving that some white boys can dance.
Best dancing (Female)- The Marler women, for tearing up the dance floor instead of taking shots.
Best formal-wear knowledge- Rob Brown for explaining everything to us and Lindsay Baish for making sure that we had our ties on right.
Least prepared to drive afterwords- Jake Foster for getting in, pulling forward, and getting out. "I need a ride."
Most Drunk- The wedding party+ Matt's friends. We almost drank for the 100 people Papa Hickle paid for.
Song of the Night- Queen "Don't Stop Me Now," Madonna "Like a Prayer," and Weezer "Buddy Holly."
Quickest Beer to go- The 24 Boulevard drinks

There you have it, until we decide to get married a third time. Be looking for those invites come December.

BTW, I start my job tomorrow. I'll update all of you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cats are too much work... when they slash someone's face open

I'm sure most of you by now have heard about the Slider attack that happened last week. By request, I will give a summarized story right now.

Essentially I wanted to see how Slider reacted to dogs and my dad wanted to see how dogs reacted to a cat. We ignored a hundred years of cartoons telling us this would end badly, and mixed the two. Slider more or less just hid and hissed. This is the only time I've ever seen Slider hiss at anything.

At one point my dad picked Slider up and held him close to his chest. There were towels on the floor and he briefly thought about wrapping the cat in, but before he could make up his mind, his overly excited dogs entered the room and Slider used his face as a ladder. I wasn't in the room at this point, but I started hearing a string of curse words and "I don't know what happened" being screamed.

I walked in the room where my dad was holding his eyes and I thought, great my dad is now blind. Blood was everywhere, more curse words filled the apartment, and lack of communication followed.

See, I'm not a doctor. I see blood running down someones face I think "ohmyfreakinggodsomeonegetsomeadhesivestrips!"

He couldn't tell me what he needed because he had a brace wire tearing into his cheek. Eventually I gave him paper towels, wire cutters, and he Rambo cut his brace out and went to the hospital. Oh, and my dad is allergic to cats, so his wounds started swelling up almost immediately.

All in all, three stitches, a missing brace, and a lifetime of memories later I get a call from an animal control person. He essentially tells me he will have to take Slider into animal control for 10 days, there's no way out of it, its law. He also told my dad the same thing. I can only imagine how crappy the holding cells at animal control are. Slider would probably become a different cat. The best part is that we would've had to pay $150-200 for costs, even though my dad wasn't pressing charges and the cat obviously is a domestic cat with all of his shots.

The guy shows up, I show him all the papers on Slider's shots, and he says, alright I'll be back in ten days. That would've been the 25th of the month.

Sallie and I sat around and made sure people were here all day on the 25th and no one showed up. We figured since we had all the rabies paperwork, they probably didn't want to waste time and tax payers money on coming out here.

Well, once we got back from the baseball game last night we had a notice on the door saying they had been there all day. Essentially animal control is worse than the cable company. Where the cable company says they will be at your house between 7a.m. and 7p.m., animal control is more of a, we'll be there... eventually. Clear you schedule.

Now we get a call this morning from animal control. Slider has to have a chip put in him if he doesn't already. That's $10. It's the law. Luckily he has one.

However animal control still manages to slap some money on this whole ordeal. We have to get the rabies information and tag information updated within the next fifteen days. Essentially, pay them $10, and they change the tag from Myrtle Beach to St. Charles. Yes, its only $10, but its needless time and money for something so extremely pointless.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mall Rat

Today Sallie and I headed out in the dreary Missouri humid rain to run some last minute wedding errands. (Like trying to find a ring for me that A) Doesn't cause my finger to swell up and B) I can stand having on my finger for more than 20 seconds) We started our journey at West County Mall, one I've never been to, and probably won't return. Its not a bad mall, but it definitely is set up more for the female crowd. Normal malls throw guys a couple of bones like having several book stores, CD stores, or video game stores, but this mall had one Walden's Books and nothing else.

We started at a store that specialized in purses and some jewelry. Sallie informed me that the cheapest purse at this store was probably $300. We quickly left, for I was wearing a seven year old T-shirt and obviously didn't belong here. However, the crowd that was in the store fit perfectly. All older ladies, dressed up way too much for the mall .

Then Sallie found the Mecca of girly-girl women's shops, Sephora, and I high-tailed it to the Walden's I saw on the way in. I knew that Sallie's eyes were going to constantly be falling out of her head, and her tongue would be dragging on the floor for at least twenty minutes, so I took my time in Walden's and played on of my favorite games: try to guess what book this person is looking at.

First off, two very stereotypical IT guys were taking up a large portion of the magazine section. They were both probably in their mid-40s, with IBM logo-ed polo shirts, and were both mildly overweight. My first guess was some sort of consumer electronics magazine, but I was dead wrong. They were discussing their fantasy football draft picks and holding a magazine dedicated to fantasy sports. I almost feel this is more nerdy than if they were reading a consumer electronic magazine.

I started perusing the fiction section, finding that whomever managed this particular Walden's liked to play it safe and filled shelves with the likes of Stephen King, Tom Clancy, and Dean Koontz novels. There was very little of interest in the fiction section so I moved to the next row where humor section was.

A thirteen year old boy was reading a book called "I Hope they have Beer in Hell." It's a collection of stories this alcoholic wrote about his awesome college drunk experiences. I thumbed through a few pages only to find anecdote after anecdote about his friend that peed in a parking lot or barfed in the cab. Something I can't imagine anyone, except someone who isn't old enough to drink, would want to read about.

The rest of the section was essentially filled with pop-culture essay collections. If I ever become famous enough for people to care enough about my opinions pop-culture, I would love to put out these books several times a year. I basically already do that with my blog, but force people to reading them.

I then climbed around to my favorite sections: Sci-fi, Graphic Novels (comic books), and hobbies.

The sci-fi section was particularly pathetic. For instance, Star Wars novels are an obvious shelf filler in this genre. Yes, they did have a couple of novels, but if you bother stocking Star Wars novels, you better have a couple by Timothy Zahn. He more or less is the most loved fan fiction writer of the series. Most of the shelf was filled with Halo and Warcraft fan fiction. I haven't read any of these, but I have to imagine they are probably not great as the games they are based on are somewhat mediocre.

Anyway, the hobby section backed up to the sci-fi section and some lady was reading a photography book. I decided to try a little experiment to help pass the time. Experiment title: How much personal space does a person need?

I stepped a foot or so closer to the subject about every thirty seconds to see how long it was before this lady moved down. Once I entered her two and a half foot safety bubble, she moved down about a foot. I continued to push her further down the aisle until eventually I was pretending to be interested in the "Young Adult" and eventually the "Read with Me" toddler section. It wasn't until I pushed her into the corner that she finally walked the long way around the shelf back to her original position.

If I've done anything today, its to immortalize myself in her life. Right now, she is probably talking to her girlfriends about the creepy sci-fi, immature reading, guy that kept getting closer to her.

Lastly, I moved toward the comic section. A beer-gutted, backwards pre-frayed hat, college kid was looking at an X-men graphic novel. (Which already tells me that this guy probably doesn't really read many comics) As soon as I started thumbing through old Batman comics (they had a good collection I'm assuming because of the movie) the college guy moved to the other side of the shelf and started reading body-building books. Comics and body building just don't go together. This kid is obviously confused about who his is. He wants so bad to be a nerd, but he knows his "bros" just wouldn't accept him because that life style goes against the beer god.

I had already made my rounds at Walden's, and after thumbing through a coffee table book on the most famous assassinations, I decided to go pull Sallie out of the make-up superstore before the money I haven't earned yet was spent. As I showed up I saw her getting handed a membership card, and a bag filled with goodies. She assures me that everything in the bag is for the wedding, and that I can even use this creamy stuff to keep my face from being so shiny in the heat. (And then she laughed and said we'd have to rub it all over my head. Ouch!)

We wandered in and out of about five more clothing stores and jewelry depositories but found nothing of interest. I was desperately hoping to find an EB Games of some sort because I've had technology lust lately. (That's my next blogs topic) Alas we found no clothes, no ring, and no entertainment. I've decided that I'm officially done with jewelry stores. (Mostly because I feel uncomfortable stepping into a place I know nothing about. Like when you get your car fixed and you know nothing about it. You only know the mechanic is going to screw you.)

Where do you go when you can't find what you're looking for?
Wal-Mart! Within ten minutes, I had a ring in hand for cheap, with no hassle whatsoever. As much trash as I talk on Wal Mart, today I loved them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Job Job Job

Just wanted to let everyone know that I've been hired at Wachovia Securities. I blew the interviewer away and was hired less than two hours after my interview ended. Things are finally looking up after a two month storm cloud of things going wrong.

Stay tuned:

Wedding Next Weekend (August 30th)
Job after that
Many parties in between
Pants optional for most of it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Post Number 100- Shhh! It's a secret

Yes, I finally hit post number 100 for this blog. I've gained a couple fans along the way, and probably lost a few daily readers with the sheer volume of thoughts streaming from my head to the internet. Anyway, todays topic is clubs and secret societies.

I met with a recruiting office the other day because of a potential job opportunity with Monsanto. Even though I swore that I wouldn't use a recruiter, I'm now figuratively in bed with two. Why then did I go from 0 to 2? It all starts with a handshake as far as I can figure. Desperate recruiters bark like hungry dogs at the food source, also known as Big Company America. (BCA)

These recruiters promise to fill any open position with many qualified applicants as long as BCA won't hire outside of recruiters. Its like a secret fraternity of desperate dogs.

Speaking of fraternities, when I told the recruiter I was never in one, there was a face of disappointment. Like perhaps the doggie couldn't make the master happy enough with me. Like somehow spending my college life in a building with 50 other guys somehow made me more qualified. (Which they kept repeating that I didn't have enough experience or qualifications for anything until I ran the IT guantlet and repeatedly told them I was in fact qualified enough)

I've never seen the appeal of these exclusive clubs. I suppose sometimes you make great friends there. Sometimes there are benefits such as clubhouses or free drinks and parties. But I always like going my own way. As I grew older and learned my history, it became apparent to me that these exclusive clubs have always ran society in one way or another, and this country is especially fond of the secret society.

The Stone Masons practically ran the country in its birthing years with members like George Washington, James Monroe, and Ben Franklin. Who's to say they still aren't in power? Smiling George and Happy Go Lucky Bill might drop their party affilliations and enjoy a beer together once a month to have a laugh about the current state of the world and plan out the next 10 years.

Colleges prep young men (and women) to join these secret societies with such emphasis put on the benefits of fraternities. Members aren't allowed to talk about their initiation, what they do, and on the weekends they put on the I'm completely drunk front. Maybe I underestimated the hundred of drunk frat boys surrounding "the Place." Perhaps they were deciding which construction projects were next on campus and how much to pay the new dean.

That's the thing about secret societies, if they are really doing their job right, you won't even know they exist.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Exorcist... the True New Beginning

Yesterday while waiting for Sallie to get out of her interview, I picked up St. Louis' favorite free publication, "The Riverfront Times." After flipping past the pages of strippers and escort advertisements I found an interesting article on demonology.

RFT interviewed William Bradshaw, former pastor and college president (for four decades) and an expert on demonology. He never wanted to be a demonologist. He was more of an Old Testament scholar. His dissertation board in Scotland assigned Demons in the Old Testament as Dr. Bradshaws area of study. He was upset because he had hoped to study the dead sea scrolls, but now he was chasing ghosts. (He did eventaully get to study the scrolls as part of his research. Very interesting)

He talked about exorcisms, and how even though he knows more about demons than most, he doesn't feel he is prepared to perform one, although he says demons are among us, and exorcisms are sometimes necessary. Something that he reveals that I didn't know about Catholics, is every archdiosy is required to have at least one certified exorcist on hand. (St. Louis has two) Dr. Bradshaw goes on to say that the Catholics are the most prepared to perform this ritual because they have intense training. Even though this is interesting to me, this seems like 15th century vampire hunter stuff.

Anyway, the reason for this blog is because yesterday, briefly, I thought I needed an exorcism. You see, somehow Jimmy Buffett's "If you like Pina Coloda" was stuck in my head. Sallie and I just kept passing it back and forth between us. IT was hell! I thought about calling up St. Louis archbishop Raymond Burke, and having him send both exorcism performing priests immediately, but I was afraid of passing the curse to the church. Demons working from the inside is no good for the Vatican. Eventually it went away on its own, but I know it will resurface in the form of "Hit Me Baby One More Time" or "We're not Going to Take it" someday.

I had an interview with a recruiting firm yesterday. I was originally promised an interview with Monsanto, but left with potential interviews at about 15 other places. I have a feeling I've made a horrible mistake. I was drilled on IT related questions (while having explosive diarrhea incase you wanted to know) but I think I did pretty well. My knowledge only lacked with Office '07. We'll see what happens.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Parents most Concerned about Videogames

A poll conducted by What they Play recently found that parents are more concerned with their children playing videogames than drinking alcohol, watching pornography, or doing drugs.

The main reason found for this is parents don't understand videogames, controls, or understand what goes on in videogames. They do however know the risks of alcohol abuse and pronography. Classic case of "fear of the unknown."

I can understand parents being concerned about videogames, especially for younger kids, but more-so than pornography and underage drinking?

There are games like Grand Theft Auto where if the gamer so chooses you can kill police, steal cars, or deal drugs. I personally think that videogames give the ultimate test of morals. They take outside influences like prison, blood stains, squishy flesh piercing noises, and generally making the public hate you for being a seriel killer. So when you need to go save your brother in GTA, do you steal a car with someone in it, or do you steal the car on the side of the street where no one will get hurt? I pick the one on the side of the road. (This is also because it has a cool animation of you smashing the window with your elbow, and I don't have to chase a moving vehical.)

Some games like Fable and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR) have a morality counter: Good Vs Evil. Sometimes it changes your outward appearance, how other characters react to you, or even the storyline. I always found myself going toward the good side first time through. I just get a rush being a hero and helping everyone I can.

On the flip side, maybe we can find the psychopaths or sociopaths early this way. Now that everything is connected to the internet, keep tabs on people that always go toward the evil side. Pull their cell phone records, set up cameras outside their house, and just know where they are at all times. I can already see the newspaper articles "Videogames cause 'Game Over' to Crime."

Anyway, I think in 15 years this poll will have a dramaticly different outcome. The major gamer market went from 8-22 year olds twenty years ago to 12-32 year olds today. Pretty soon parents will be punishing their children with virtual round house kicks to the face. If I ever have kids, I will definitly teach them to play games before how to ride a bike. If for nothing else, so I always have a gaming partner in house.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Official Blog of the Olympic Games

Yes ladies and gents, we are in the midst of yet another two weeks of international sports relations. This has been one of the most interesting Olympic games in recent history.

Is this because we've seen sportsmanship and record breaking performances? No... well kind of. But every Olympic games produces both. I think the last time the five multicolored rings didn't mean total sportsmanship was World War II. And with the new controversial Speedo technology that has everyone's... well Speedo in a bind, guaranteed we would see swimming like we've never seen it before.

Is this an interesting Olympic games because of the millions of sponsors that are all official "insert product here" of the 2008 Olympic games? Not really. I knew what was the official tampon of the 2004 games and what the official fastfood of the 2006 winter games were. This isn't new. Everyone is officially spending too much money to be official sponsors of the Olympics. McDonalds feeding the thousands of Olympians is highly ironic seeing as how most of the atheletes probably haven't had McDonald's since their parents threw them to some angry Russian coach when they were four.

It is interesting because China is trying to look buddy-buddy to the rest of the world, while Russia starts bombing the crap out of Georgia. (The country, not state. Otherwise this wouldn't be a big enough deal for me to write about)

China has attempted to control the weather by seeding the clouds with chemicals. In the five or six years these scientists have been at work, they once had success. Last year, apparently they made it snow. Communist propaghanda perhaps? Or did they seed clouds over a mountain peek in the middle of winter. Either way, China is taking on God, and I think its entertainment at its best.

Then you have the four U.S. atheletes that came off the plane with face masks on to protect themselves from the smog. China tried to ease the thickness of the smog by outlawing driving your car, and getting those wonderful scientists to try to make it rain, but it just wasn't enough to appease these American atheletes. These people that have spent their entire lives prepping their body for these games, are shunned for trying to protect themselves further. I couldn't have apologized. I would've told everyone to shut up, and get a life. If people accept Prince dressing in solid velvet, than I should be able to wear a mask.

Then of course there were the government beatings to the 30,000 trying to buy tickets. The stabbing of a former U.S. Olympians father. The denied Visa of the Darfur protestor at Beijing airport. Michael Phelps winning and breaking records and not showing a sign of emotion. And "Smiling" George W. waving his cheap plastic American flag in the stands.

Russia has started systematically bombing oil lines that supply western countries (I.E. us and our allies) with oil in Georgia. Georgia tried to call for a cease-fire, but the Russian officials said they won't recognize it because they think the Georgian troops are regrouping and not retreating. What does this mean to us? Possible higher gas prices, but also if this doesn't stop, a possible conflict. You see, little Georgia is an ally of the United States. And Russia hasn't exactly been friendly with the U.S. in recent years. Therefore, if this continues to escalate, we could end up sending our own troops in to interject. Cold War number II?

Putin was on a plane going to the Olympics when the assault started, (which was started by Georgia I should point out.) but I have a feeling he was on his cell phone saying, "You know. We haven't pulled the trigger on someone in a while. Do it!"

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I realized how old I'm getting the past two nights waiting for Sallie to get off work. I found myself extremely bored and tried to figure out what I used to do when I waited for her to get off work. Then I realized I used to catch up with people via the cell phone. During college I had anywhere from 7-10 A-list friends and 10-15 B-list friends I could call after Midnight. Now everyone has big people jobs and have to wake up in the morning. I even found myself missing when I called someone that had been drinking all night and didn't make an ounce of sense.

Tomorrow we are going to visit the In-law grandparents and I'm excited. Thus far, every visit we've had, 400 people have been surrounding everyone and I haven't really had a chance to get to know them.

Sallie and I often argue about this in party form. I hate going to parties where I don't know anybody. Sallie's argument is "you meet people there."That's true, but you're not really meeting that person. You're normally meeting the drunker incoherent alter-ego of this person. Then the next morning you both wake up on some beer and puke covered floor and just feel awkward, like you had done something dirty. In fact, it was just two drunk people talking like they were best friends.

I guess I understand why pot heads don't like to be surrounded by strangers when they are smoking. (You know, besides the whole what if they're a cop thing) You aren't yourself, they aren't themself, so why would you want to get to know an entity?

Anyway, that's going on tomorrow. I still haven't heard back from any potential places of employment. Hopefully we hear something soon. A recent study of how much different popular degrees make on average just came out. Guess what was on the bottom: English. Turns out not only did I pick a useless degree, but one of the MOST useless degrees.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Where I've been

I've been neglecting both blogs the past week after bombarding everyone with one a day for a week. I've also been neglecting the phone a little. There are reasons for this.
The reasons for this neglect (at least for the phone) are A) even though we keep telling people that we don't have many daytime minutes, we are still getting too many calls everyday. Since there are some things that we have to answer more than others, I've refused to pick up calls unless I think they are an emergency. (That is until 7 oclock) Call twice in a row or text message if it is an emergency. But beware, don't cry wolf. I will stop answering completely.

B) Since Sallie and I are both unemployed we're getting to spend much needed time together. Since we were working opposite shifts, we had to spend the first six months of our marriage just missing each other. I was afraid that we would find out spending a ton of time together would ignite more arguments, but I don't think there's been many times where we have given each other problems since we've both had all day. So I mostly ignore my phone after 7 too because who knows if we will continue to be on the same schedule.

C) I've for the past day and tomorrow have been playing Metal Gear Solid 4. This is the only game (besides Resident Evil and Silent Hill) that I'm emotionally invested in the characters enough to drop everything to experience the story. The director and writer of Metal Gear wanted to get into movies originally, so its mostly a movie experience rather than a game. Therefore there aren't many places to pause or break. So if you call during a 45 minutes cutscene, I'm not going to answer, and will probably forget you called by the end of it. I'm sorry, that's just the skinny.

D) I just really don't like talking on the phone honestly. Its nothing against anyone, but I feel like I should be able to get more done while I'm on the phone. Next thing I know, I'm only saying "yeah, uh huh" and I'm cleaning the house or playing videogames not paying attention to anything you're saying. Thats just not fair to you or me.

If you really want to get ahold of me, call from a Sprint phone during the day, call my after 7 pm on Tuesday, or email me. I will answer your emails sooner than your calls. We will have up another joint blog in a day or two. We have a couple finished, but the other person has to add comments still. So get on our butts and we'll get one up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fat Princess

So apparently Sony announced a videogame that essentially is capture the flag, except the flag is a princess. The catch is, you can feed the flag cake to make her extremely obese so the other team has a tougher time carrying her away.

Feminist gamers are in an uproar.

They essentially say that this perpetuates the stereotype that men must rescue the damsel in distress, but also adds making fun of fat people.

Now, before I anger any feminist that might read my blog, let me point out that making fun of fat people has been going on for years. Since about the time of kings and queens and princesses where being fat was a sign of social hierarchy. Nowadays however, those that make themselves fat by underexcercising and eating like slobs, I feel, somewhat deserve the tough love of getting made fun of. It all goes with my thought that America is a wussified, baby eared nation.

Back to the feminists at hand. I took a gender studies class because I thought it would be interesting. I'm all about seeing things from another person's point of view, and not having the female genitalia, I couldn't see thing from a pure female p.o.v. I could only empathize with how females felt.

I didn't however get to expand my horizon. I found that most the people in the class (most not all) hated me merely for being male. There was no discussion. I was either a male pig or sitting in silence and being talked about like I wasn't there. I remember spending an entire class period arguing that Brokeback Mountain was a horrible love story, not because it involves two homosexual males, but because it was boring and horribly written. The people in this class saw it as an attack on homosexuals.

Basically what I'm saying is, how are you going to argue a point or try to fight for your rights, when there is no discussion. It seems that you're either with extreme feminist (this is only for the extreme feminist because I've had many great discussions with many feminist) or they call you names until you give up and leave.

Monday, July 28, 2008

It's kinda like Boonie and Clyde... only more redneck... and today

So I went to one of Columbia's prestigious grocery stores (Gerbes if you were wondering) and I witnessed one of those moments that you see in movies and wonder if it actually happens. I was hanging out in the liquor section (because that's where they keep the pre-cooled Redbull. Come on now, I'm not a lush.) and this 13-14 year old kid is hanging out looking really shady.

He has an oversized red and black basketball jersey and cargo pants on. I make my selection, and as I'm doing it a manager screams, "HEY!" and scares the bejesus out of me. I turn to look and the shop keeper is pointing to the kid who has shoved a bottle of Evan Williams whiskey and a cheap vodka I've never seen before in his cargo pockets, and takes off running toward the back of the store. My only thought was, if you're going to steal liquour at least steal good liquour.

Customers are already forming little groups to talk about their little bit of excitement for the day. About three customer service reps, a produce guy, and a cart guy take off after the little shoplifter in the back of the store.

I checkout and leave the store. As I get into the car, I see the shirtless shoplifter running across the street with the bottles wrapped in his shirt. I notice his destination, a beat up blue car, with two redneck parents in the driver and passenger seat. The dad has his shirt off, long flowing mullet hair, faded tattoos covering his body, and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The mom had ratty hair and lack of makeup and she was looking in the one rearview mirror on the car (like I have room to talk) for her son.

The kid jumped in the car and the unpleasantly still sober family drove off.

I briefly considered going Batman on them and boxing the car in, waiting for authorities to show up. Then the faces of the kids I taught at Lighthouse Care Center popped into my head and I started thinking about the stories in their files. Parents mercilessly beating them with belts, pots, pans, chains, fists, and baseball bats. I knew that this kid getting into that car with that cheap alcohol might help him escape a beating for a night. I know that parents that would send their children to shoplift for them, don't take kindly to kids that fail. I let them go, and didn't even call into the store to tell them where the shoplifter was. I thought perhaps I saved this kid for a night.

If I was Batman, and had a costume I could've chased the kid down an alleyway and explained to him why it was wrong. Perhaps give him an option of safety with D.S.S. and the authorities. Twenty years down the line, if this fantasy follows normal comic book progression, this kid would grow up to be a superhero too because I gave him a second chance.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"I Don't Cheer for Whores!"

That's what one of Beth's young friends said about the opening act, Demi Lovato, at tonight's show, and I couldn't agree more. I guess she really wasn't slutty looking, but she is apparently Disney Channel star, which isn't far off nowadays.

The first thing I noticed was the entire crowd at Riverport (or UMB Bank Pavilion/Verizon Wireless Amphetheater) was pretty much composed of tweens and their parents that think tie-died shirts are still cool concert-wear.

The next thing I noticed was a large amount of obese young children. Its disgusting honestly. There's a reason why America is the fattest country in the world, because parents let it happen. Sallie noticed that the line to Papa Johns pizza within the amphitheater was filled with this fat people all buying their own personal pizza. Not only were a large number of these girls overweight, but an even larger number were dressed like... well whores. They had tons of make-up on, tween cleavage hanging out, and baby Gap thongs sticking out of their pants. What has surburbia done to parenting?

I think beer sales for the night were higher than that of Ozzfest. Every parent stuck at this concert from 5:30 until 11 slammed beer after beer. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the kids won't live to see their next Jonas Brothers show.

Since Verizon Wireless now sponsors the venue, you could pay several dollars and get a text message put up on the 8 or so giant televisions. 95% of them was some variation of "Emily, Abby, Kaytie, and Jilly LOV (Insert first name of Jonas bro) Jonas. Scream if you love (Insert name again) Jonas <333" Then all of the girls in the stadium would scream. Out of the 200 text messages displayed, 150 of them all commanded the crowd scream or holla'. All 150 times the crowd erupted into eardrum piercing shrills. It never got old for them.

The first act, Demi Lovato wasn't bad, but I didn't want to see her. Her being there meant the show was going to be 30 minutes longer than I wanted. Then the surprise of the night, Avril Lavigne wasn't the headliner. She opened for the Jonas Brothers and you can tell she didn't like it. She had this disgustingly fake smile, showed very little energy. She even toned down her songs for the PG crowd... I guess to the happiness of baby eared tweens everywhere. This is Avril Lavigne. She doesn't use enough cursing to get a Parental Advisory sticker, but she skipped songs with adult messages and instead went for the "girl power" show.

Lastly was the Jonas Brothers. For those of you who don't know, these guys are the newest sensation in the tween market. They're clean, they're Christian, and they're gorgeous. They kept showing videos of the brothers talking about what its like being on the road and being brothers, and I'm sure it was interesting, but anytime one of their smiling faces appeared on screen, 20,000 girls screamed at the top of their lungs.

The three brothers came out on stage, but disappointingly only one brother, little Nick Jonas, wore a tie. (And what a tie it was, burnt orange with black, gray, and white stripes.) How long does it take a Jonas Brother to lose a tie? According to the text messages I was sending to people about 37 minutes. Ole Nicky loosened the tie when he sang a song on the piano about his diabetes. Yes, the Jonas Brothers take up causes.

At one point studmuffin Joe pulled a little four year old girl on stage to sing a song with him. She flipped out, and only managed to sing about 75% of the words. Then when Joe would touch her, excitement would take over her hands and she would wave them wildly in front of her face. ADORABLE!

They actually put on a pretty entertaining show. (Even the ugly one, Kevin.) They had fireworks, pyrotechnics, raising platforms, 15 person backup band, acrobatics, and their 10 minute diabetes documentary. (Little Nick is type 1, for those of you quickly becoming fans)

Overall I was fairly entertained. People watching was at its best, and if it wasn't for the Shania Twain song the brothers covered, I might have gained some respect for the band. Apparently, for the moment, these guys are like Elvis or the Beatles. Girls were actually crying during the concert, and from what I can tell, they weren't tears of pain like one would believe. And until the next big tween sensation pops up (I'm guessing its going to be Megadeath or Slipknot) the Jonas Brothers will reign supreme. Then they will join the ranks of Debbie Gibson, New Kids on the Block (yep their back on tour), N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, 98 Degrees, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Vanilla Ice, Menudo... just look at the cassette tapes you've owned. Most of them are prime examples. At least we know VH1 will have a nice rebirth waiting for them on the Surreal Life or Behind the Music.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Greeting Card: Condolences on Spending $5 on me

Greeting cards are something I've never wrapped my head around. I guess cards in general. Maybe this is just my uber-guyness not understanding, but I'd much rather have the $5 you spent on the card, than a lame joke about how old I'm getting with a picture of an old lady on the front of it.

Besides the writing on greeting cards being mostly atrocious, I don't see the sense in people giving them because most of the time people simply write "Happy Birthday" or "Happy Anniversary" and sign their name. It's almost a selfish jester. Maybe three years from when you get it, you find it hiding in a box, you can open it and see... oh Uncle Joe was at my birthday. What a nice guy? People want it to stick in your head that yes, you cared enough about them to give them a card.

Cards also remove the need of being at events. Yes, people that show up at events usually bring cards too, but Aunt Susie that doesn't want to come can mail it. It takes the intimacy out of seeing relatives you don't care to see in the first place. Where's the uncomfortable small talk?

Greeting cards own at least two or three aisles of every Wal Mart because there is a greeting card for every occasion. According to Wikipedia, Hallmark started out making cards just for Valentine's Day (a fake holiday... but we'll discuss more come February 14) and Christmas. Then Mr. Hall got greedy. Fast forward 90 years and you can buy greeting cards for birthdays, thank yous, birth announcements, birth congrats, wedding congrats, generic congrats, get well wishes, and condolences. Yes, for one of the most depressing and horrible moments of a person's life, you can spend $5 on a flower print card, just to remind people how sorry you truly are.

Technology has even spilled into the greeting card industry, and with new technology, my annoyance with the greeting card company has grown. Hallmarks new line of cards speaks to you. These $7 treasures weigh about 10 ounces too much and in the worst sound quality will scream or sing phrases that were already annoying in print.

The other technology of the greeting card company, and probably the thing saving the industry disgusting amounts of money are Ecards. These lovely flash programed cards can be sent via email to assault your monitor and speakers at the same time. I dont' normally open these when sent to me because of the recent rash of phising schemes and viruses being hidden in the links, but I do know many people like sending these. (Cough cough... grandma...cough... Aunt Lisa) And I do open them and enjoy them... but I only open them on my birthday. All other holidays I just don't trust it. (Unless someone specifically tells me to look out for one)

Before I leave you all hating me I will say two validating things about greeting cards. In my hate, I do find myself picking up dozens and reading them anytime Sallie is looking for one to send off. Every now and then I'm surprised and impressed by what I come across, and it passes the time. (I'm going to be sexiest here, but it takes women twenty minutes to find the perfect greeting card. Then the one they want almost never has any envelopes left. Am I right guys?) Second, when someone actually does write something in the card, I keep them. I have a box that has every worthwhile greeting card from the past 10 years shoved in it. So if you truly want me to keep your card for longer than it takes me to walk to the trashcan once you leave, write something in it.

When is being P.C. too P.C.?

I'm not talking about computers. I'm talking about the seemingly millions of baby eared people in the world today. This comes to mind because I just read an article that says Isaiah Washington, of former Grey's Anatomy fame, gave a ton of money to an organization that fights for gay's rights in California.

There's nothing wrong with that. Giving money to something you believe in is important, but I have to ask, is Mr. Washington giving money because he actually supports this or is he attempting to get back the career that one comment made in private and later in public cost him? Isaiah said the word "faggot" on at least two accounts. This isn't a proper word to throw around once you graduate eight grade, but did Washington deserve to get kick off of Grey's Anatomy and essentially blackballed throughout Hollywood? This jobless man is throwing what money he has left trying to get people to feel alright around him. I thought homosexuals reclaimed that word in the mid-90s. I thought it was now considered a term of power.

Should we give words that much power? It is us that give those words power. I think that's something people forget. Everytime someone drops the "n" word, they feel they have to apologize to Al Sharpton, because sometime in the last ten years he was voted official diplomat to all black people.

I think this is just a by-product of a wussyfied and lawsuit happy America. It all started in 1994, when Stella Liebeck bought a 49cent cup of coffee from McDonalds, burned herself, sued, and won $640,000. Since then, anyone with money or anyone in the public eye has to worry about everything they say and do. This is because instead of just settling for a lottery ticket a day and not winning for years, America found a quicker and somewhat more realistic way of getting a butt load of money.

Stop being such wussies. If someone says something offensive to you, calm down. Calmly tell them that it offends you. Don't hold it inside, only to let it explode later. Don't tell everyone that this person is a racist. Perhaps you misheard or misunderstood what was being said. All I know is Isaiah Washington messed up, and now his dream of being an actor might be ruined. Something seems disgustingly wrong with that picture.