Thursday, March 20, 2008

Post #100: It's A Celebration, Bitches!

In a similar manner to the 100th episode of television shows, I've decided to make my 100th post a walk down memory lane. Keeping this blog has been enjoyable and now going back and rereading what I had written has been amusing as well. When this blog started I was just a young lad, not quite 29 years old. Now I feel old and battle hardened. It seems as though decades have gone by, even though only seven months have passed. During that time frame so much has changed around me and in my life but I don't feel terribly different.

In looking back through the blog though, there was one event that had a major effect in the style and overall attitude (as evidenced by the quality of writing and advancement in creativity) and that was my budding relationship with Megan. She has had quite an impact on how I think about everything and has gotten me to begin to anxiously await the future (yes, the sappiness is back, apparently). Megan has made writing this blog immensely more enjoyable. I would also like to single out and thank my sister-in-law, Kim, for encouraging me to continue writing. I likely would have never started this without following her lead. Finally, I'd like to thank everyone for reading and commenting at any point during this experiment. It is very encouraging to see what people are thinking while reading this nonsensical rambling I call my blog. Thank you!

Without further ado, here are my top five favorite posts, in a particular order. All of you readers will have to imagine the wavy screen as everything fades into the flashback - I have yet to delve deep enough into programing to understand how to do that within the website... if that's even possible.

#5 The State Of... The Kansas City Royals - This was my attempt at starting a regular weekend series of posts that I abandoned after just one "article". The series was a grand idea and an attempt at legitimacy as a "writer" that I no longer feel the necessity to achieve. I enjoyed writing this post and I will always have soft spot for the Kansas City Royals - no matter how painful they have been to watch.

#4 Fortune - My recollection of the funniest thing I have witnessed in my lifetime - my brother eating Kim's fortune cookie fortune. Just thinking of the story makes me laugh out loud now... years later.

#3 Revelation - Although the post was pretty sappy, it was a major turning point in my attitude towards a great many things. Plus, I believe that it was Megan's favorite post, so that helped boost it in my mind as well.

#2 Resolutions - This was the first post with the aid of Megan's creativity that has helped make this blog a whole lot more interesting. It also didn't hurt that this post was part of a competition with Kim's blog that ended up being a total beat-down. Eat it Kim! Are you done licking your wounds and ready for Round 2?

#1 Anatomy Of An Eat-Off: Part I and Part II - I have to admit, I had more fun writing this post than anything else I have ever written. It should be appreciated for its historical accuracy.

A special Honorable Mention goes to the post entitled: Sometimes the Comments Are Better Than the Posts. Had this been intended to be a post, it would have made the Top 5 list. This "argument," that appeared in the comments section of the previous post still makes me chuckle and the ending is simply a work of pure genius.

I won't get in to the worst posts list, because there aren't any bad posts (right...), but I do feel the need to mention one other category. I found it interesting that a few posts I have written have been found and viewed by random people via internet searches (Google, Yahoo!) from all over the globe. Strangely enough, the most viewed post was Blurg v. Blerg - The Decisive Answer. The proper spelling of a fictional word has evidently been a burning question on the minds of citizens in many different (even non-English speaking) countries. Behind that was my explanation of the differences between industry and academic routes for scientists.

Special Note: All will be returning to normalcy soon and the erratic nature of my posting will cease. I had been caught up in several different activities that required so much thought, that I had been unable to focus on writing. However, I believe that I have sorted through everything and I am feeling much more "normal." Well, normal for me, is probably completely bizarre for everyone else, but it's all relative. Anyway - regular postings will return!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fine, I'll Just Do This Too

Yes, yes. It's been a long time since I've written anything here. I've been busy with work... and therefore unable to spare much time during the day. My evenings have been consumed with either spending time with the fabulously gorgeous, Megan, or playing the new Major League Baseball 2K8 on the Xbox360. Neither of those options place me in front of my laptop for conversing with the world. Today, I am slightly less busy... so I'm back, baby! Well sort of... instead of finishing the pieces of several different posts that have been initiated, but not completed, I am going to follow in the footsteps of many others (Kim, Megan) and participate in the movie quote meme that is sweeping the globe.

So, without further ado, here are 15 quotes, from some of my favorite films. Feel free to guess away and I will post the results correct answers roll in. SPECIAL NOTE: Please excuse the foul language. Remember, since I'm quoting these movies, it's not me using it. That makes it OK, right? Like I don't swear. Ha!

Fuck, nigga, what did you do to his towel?
I was dryin' my hands.
You're supposed to wash 'em first.
You watched me wash 'em.
I watched you get 'em wet.
I was washing 'em. But this shit's hard to get off. Maybe if I had Lava or something, I coulda done a better job.
I used the same fuckin' soap you did and when I got finished, the towel didn't look like no god-damn Maxi-Pad.

Pulp Fiction - Megan

Fuckin' Dante... God damn poetry-writing faggot, piece of shit, motherfucker!

Se7en - Megan

If I don't come back, tell mother I love her.
Your mother's dead, Llewelyn.
Well then I'll tell her myself.

No Country For Old Men - Kim

"V" is good. Some good words in "V."
Like what?
Valiant. Vulnerable. Very beautiful.

The Fifth Element - Megan

So where do you know Alan from?
We play tennis at the club.
Really? California Racquet Club?
That's my club too. I don't remember seeing you there.
Well, I haven't been playing in a while because of these kidney pains.
Right. Now, how long have you had these pains, Mr. Barber?
No, that's "Babar".
Two B's?
One B. B-A-B-A-R.
That's two.
Yeah, but not right next to each other. I thought that's what you meant.
Arnold Babar. Isn't there a children's book about an elephant named Babar?
I don't know. I don't have any.
No children?
No elephant books.

Fletch - Megan

I believe in a God that doesn't require heavy financing.

Fletch Lives - Steven/Mike Wehrman

There's the limo from the mansion.
Yeah, and that's Emil Muzz.
Let's check Enid Bordon's description.
[Opens his notebook and reads from it] Big, bad, stupid-looking.
An exact match.

Dragnet - Steven/Mike Werhman/Jim

Do you have anything here besides Mexican food?

Three Amigos - Steven/Mike Wehrman

I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it.

The Matrix - Megan

I'm from Miami-fuckin'-Beach and you wanna show me the ocean, huh? And what about sun, does it ever shine around here, or is this smog around all the time?
They say the smog is the reason we have such beautiful sunsets.
That's what they say, huh? What a bunch of fuckin bullshit.

Get Shorty - Megan

Well, I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' motherfucker, motherfucker! Every time my fingers touch brain, I'm Superfly T.N.T., I'm the Guns of the Navarone!

Pulp Fiction - Megan Note: I couldn't resist the second Pulp Fiction quote. I actually considered using all 15 from that movie.

That's my brand. Oh, this is damn good! Say, this is the best beer I've ever had. Actually, I'm just glad to be alive right now. I was up a few towns away... you know Saragosa? I was visiting a bar there, not unlike this one. They serve beer... not quite as good as this, but close. And I saw something you wouldn't believe. I'm sitting there see, small table all by myself at this bar. It's full of real low-lives. I mean, not like this place here. No, I mean bad. Like they were up to no good. Anyway, I'm by myself... I like it that way. Meanwhile, things are going on... under the table kinds of things. Not too obvious but, not too secret either. So, I'm sitting there. And in walks the biggest Mexican I have ever seen. Big as shit. Just walks right in like he owns the place. And nobody knew quite what to make of him... or quite what to think. There he was and in he walked. He was dark too. I don't mean dark-skinned. No, this was different. It was if he was always walking in a shadow. I mean every step he took toward the light, just when you thought his face was about to be revealed... it wasn't. It was as if the lights dimmed, just for him.

Desperado - Steven/Jim

You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see thangs, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.

O Brother Where Art Thou? - Jim (via Lori)

I don't like your jerk-off name. I don't like your jerk-off face. I don't like your jerk-off behavior, and I don't like you, jerk-off. Do I make myself clear?
[after a pause] I'm sorry, I wasn't listening.

The Big Lebowski - Megan

Uh-huh. In the eighteenth century, no such thing, nada, nothing. No one ever imagined such a thing. No sane person, anyway. Ah! Ah! Along comes this doctor, uh, uh, uh, Semmelweis, Semmelweis. Semmelweis comes along. He's trying to convince people, well, other doctors mainly, that's there's these teeny tiny invisible bad things called germs that get into your body and make you sick. Ah? He's trying to get doctors to wash their hands. What is this guy? Crazy? Teeny, tiny, invisible? What do you call it? Uh-uh, germs? Huh? What? Now, cut to the 20th century. Last week, as a matter of fact, before I got dragged into this hellhole. I go in to order a burger in this fast food joint, and the guy drops it on the floor. Jim, he picks it up, he wipes it off, he hands it to me like it's all OK. "What about the germs?" I say. He says, "I don't believe in germs. Germs is just a plot they made up so they can sell you disinfectants and soaps." Now he's crazy, right? See? Ah! Ah! There's no right, there's no wrong, there's only popular opinion.

12 Monkeys - Megan

Later this week: Post #100: It's A Celebration, Bitches!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I've Finally Chosen A Rapper Name

Finally... after many years of careful contemplation and being painstakingly selective the right name presented itself. I have known people that can use truncations of their own names (like Nate G. or J-Dub) or simple permutations of their names (JQ or Danny "Big D." bizNILkowski). And of course Megan has the perfect name (albeit somewhat inappropriate), MoHotShit. Any of those names would be ideal monikers to appear on a CD case. Personally, I have given other people names, but had never chosen, or been given, a name for myself. Today, should I choose to abandon my career as a biochemist to become a rapper, I now have my artist name... Corpulent PhD. Oh yeah, I'm totally psyched.

SIDE NOTE: I'm certain that JQ most likely has a preferred name, but since I am unaware of his choice, I have called him JQ for years - much to his dismay. If he doesn't like being called JQ, then he can call me out and we can have some kind of Extreme Northern Midwest/Central Midwest turf war that can only end in the destruction of the entire region. Bring it on!

Friday, March 7, 2008

More Randomness

I'm still not feeling all that creative and I've been extremely busy at work, so I'm just going to write small bursts about some random topics that aren't really worth an entire post alone.

Final KU Trip - Wednesday was my seventeenth and final trip to KU for my project from work. And today, I got the bundle of data back from the facility, and it is unusable in the format they sent. So, now, I have (probably) 2-4 days of solid computer work to fix something that could have been done correctly the first time. Realistically, I could be a jackass and send it back and tell them to do it right. However, if I choose to do it myself, it gives me an excuse to hang around my laptop at work for an undefined number of hours when I should be normally spending that time standing (chained) to my bench. Since the KU visits are now complete, I don't have lost the potential of having guaranteed days out of my usual lab. I will now be forced to spend my existence inside of this gray, poorly lit, disgusting building for eternity. I may have to start taking random vacation days to give some prospect of not being here to keep my sanity. In honesty, I (somewhat) like my position and work, but the setting is so undesirable that it drags down the mood - and this isn't just my opinion - it's pretty universal among the denizens of the building.

The Royals - As of right now, the Royals are 5-0 against teams that aren't the Texas Rangers (5-3 overall) in spring training. They've won two of their games in the ninth inning including yesterday's walkoff homerun by Ryan Shealy. Maybe this season there will be a reason to watch entire games instead of knowing that once they get behind it's as good as over. There is a brewing excitement in KC because the team may prove to possess the ability to achieve mediocrity this season!

The Economy - The post I wrote earlier this week about the economy may have been overly optimistic. New jobs data came in today and was far worse than expected. The number analysts was projecting was a build of 25,000 jobs and instead there was a cut of 63,000 jobs during the month of January. That's not very promising. Additionally, it was recently brought to my attention to check out a company called Ambac (thanks J-Dub for the suggestion) to point out what could happen in the near future. To make an extremely long story short, our banking industry is relying on bond insurers, such as Ambac, lending their AAA credit ratings to other entities to keep the system operational. This week Ambac had to raise $1.5 billion (which I find worrisome because the company only has a $1 billion market cap) to insure that they themselves maintain the AAA rating. Should they lose the AAA rating - then term being tossed around is - Armageddon - i.e. collapse of the country's banking system. That's a lot of faith in a company that has lost 92% of it's value in the last one year. Oh yeah, and oil just closed at $105.50 today.

Hilarious Commercial - I couldn't bear to end the post on such a sour note, so here's the type of thing that perks me up... the new Old Spice Hair and Body Wash advertisement. I saw this commercial a couple weeks ago with Megan and we actually skipped back to watch it over because it caught us both off guard. My favorite parts are the talking anatomical dummy with the accent, the "Yes, idiot" line to the male model and the almost unnoticeable last second of the spot where the person showering has one hairy leg and one hairless leg. Who thinks of this stuff? I'm shocked that such an amusing commercial was debuted at some time other than during the Super Bowl. Congrats Old Spice on making me laugh. I will consider using your Hair and Body Wash product because it should be right for me, since I have hair here and here, but not here. You'll have to use your imagination as to where I was pointing. On second thought... don't.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I had been expecting some news on two entirely different fronts this week.

The first was a rather simple thing - the potential of having the opportunity to purchase Royals opening day tickets. I have not yet had the chance to see the most important game of the year for Kansas City baseball fans in my 18 years of life in this city. It's the one game that every team is on equal ground, everyone's record is 0-0 and it's the first chance to catch a glimpse of what could be in store for the rest of the season.

The home opener is the only game guaranteed to be a sellout every season. The game is played during the day and people gladly skip work to head out to Kaufman no matter what the weather is like. Tickets to the game are not available to the general public, however, if you are a member of the online ticket site, you can register for a chance to have the rights to buy a pair of tickets. I am a member of this site, so I registered.

The second piece of news I was expecting was on a much grander scale. A few weeks ago, I had applied for what would essentially be my dream job. Shockingly, not long after I submitted my resume, I landed a phone interview. Shortly after that, I went in for an all-day, in person interview that seemed to go rather well (I could be wrong on this topic, but perception is relative). I made sure to keep my expectations low because I don't actually need the position at this point in my career.

This morning, unexpectedly, I got the news on both topics within 90 minutes of each other. First was the job - a form letter from the HR department saying that they "have identified other individuals whose qualifications are more suitable for our particular needs at this time. Regrettably, we are unable to consider you further." This, while disappointing, was not particularly unexpected to me. However, the letter does not help me in any fashion going into the next interview for whatever position that I may find interesting in the future. Was my interview decent? Was I really being considered - or just a token to fill out a list of candidates? What could I do to improve my chances for the future? Now, by having taken that interview and receiving this response, I have not improved myself in any way whatsoever for the future because I have no feedback of any consequence.

Ninety minutes later, I find out that I was not selected for the rights to opening day tickets. Another dream gets crushed - again not entirely surprising. With the sudden 30 degree drop in temp from yesterday to today and the prospect of another week of the freezing cold, this week has gotten off to a pretty poor start. I'm pretty much not looking forward to anything right now. Why did I have to get so much bad news right at the beginning of the work week?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Delusions of Adequacy

"I'm concerned about the economy. I don't think we're headed to recession. But no question, we're in a slowdown." - President Bush from a speech on the economy Thursday.

The fact may be that the U.S. is not heading for recession, but already there. The definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction. We are still in what could be the first quarter of negative growth (data is not available until after the quarter is completed), but it is possible that the recession has already begun. Of course we won't know if we are living under a shrinking economy until after it has already occurred (and when we are aware of it, we may already be pulling out of it - an interesting situation, is it not?). But with all the information available, what reasoning besides wishing really hard, would make the quote above sound reasonable?

The third quarter of 2007 the U.S. had a GDP growth rate of 4.9%. The fourth quarter 2007 the U.S. had a GDP growth rate of 0.6%. Clearly, this is a dramatic drop in the quarter that includes the Christmas season which is when the largest amount of spending done by the American people occurs. Since then, the price of oil/gasoline has increased which will lead to an increase in the price of other goods and services which makes the case for increased inflation. At the same time, consumer confidence is declining, the housing market continues to be difficult and credit concerns are still present. On top of this, money is flowing out of the stock market and into precious metals (the price of silver has increased almost 25% in the last six weeks) - another indicator that investors are concerned that the market is not a safe place to keep their money. Oh yeah, and the dollar is falling in value against every other major world currency and the number of jobless claims are increasing.

Nearly every single indicator is pointing to recession. What is going to keep us from sliding into one? What about the economic stimulus package that Congress rushed through passing on to be signed by our glorious leader? That package, that may or may not prove helpful, is scheduled to hit the tax payers in May. Assuming that the current quarter is headed for a GDP contraction (which is not necessarily true), the second quarter would also have to see GDP decline for the recession to be official. The second quarter ends with the month of June, so there will be less than half of a quarter for the money to be collected and spent for the chance at a GDP boost to push the second quarter of 2008 into positive territory. That is not much time for a plan that may or may not work - of course, we won't know if it worked until after it has succeeded or failed. I do not envy economists.

I am aware of the president's thoughts on issues like, global warming/the environment, the handling of the war in Iraq, tax cuts during war times and the definition of the word "mandate" (winning the electoral college but losing the popular vote is not a mandate of the people). In retrospect, why should I be surprised of his perception of the economy when my opinion differs entirely on nearly every other subject? Maybe he is trying to keep the public perception positive, or maybe he really believes the stimulus package can work... or maybe he is just delusional. Only time will tell.