Stupid is as Stupid … Um …

Let’s face it, sometimes stupid is funny. It’s fun to laugh at yourself or friends when smart people do dumb things – contradiction is the soul of humor, right? There’s sort of a sliding scale on what is entertaining, though, running the gamut (for my, anyway) all the way from hilarious to irritating to downright stunning.

Come to think of it, it really comes down to how much the stupidity in question inconveniences me. Continue reading

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Now THIS is Useful Advice

It’s time to be fair. I posted a little bit ago when Real Simple treated us like idiots with the revelation that microwaves can heat or melt things. I’ve also repeatedly referred to a prominent opinion outlet as Faux News. When I’m a loudmouth about all the stupid things being foisted on us through the Internets, it only seems right to give proper respect when someone like Cris Carl shows us something truly useful. Continue reading

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AD&D for Big Boys

That’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons for you neophytes. Everyone who actually rolled a die knows that the Basic D&D was too simple and quickly got boring. But at my age, it’s not “cool” to make up back story to a dark elf and slog through labyrinths slaying hobgoblins anymore. At one point, I had personalities I created, and tracked their experience level and hit points and magical weapons.

No more. Now we cool guys play fantasy football. Continue reading

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Crawl Across the Finish Line

My old rowing coach used to tell us that we should “leave everything” on the river. The idea was that win or lose, you never had to wonder whether you could have done a little more, because you’d be sprawled just the other side of the finish line and simply doing everything you could not to puke. That concept has crossed my mind on occasion when I’ve worked out over the last couple of years, but seldom has it applied to work the way it did last week. Continue reading

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (& Chips)

After three and a half months in a place, you tend to stop thinking of it as a business trip – you have favorite routes, favorite pubs, you stop to help confused tourists find the landmarks. I don’t think it would be unfair to tell people that I lived in London for a while. And while I’m going to be very glad to be home, there’s a part of me that is going to be sorry to leave. Yesterday, London was practicing a little tough love to help that last part. Continue reading

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Review: Laughable Loves

I should say up front that I haven’t read The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and it sounds like I’m probably the only one. Books read differently, though – I’ve read several by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and they are such separate animals that it felt like reading whole new authors. In any case, for a quick and exceptionally thought-provoking read, I’d heartily recommend that people try Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera. Continue reading

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Really, Really, Really Simple

I love to cook, and I don’t think it’s any secret that I’d really enjoy writing for a living if the opportunity ever presented itself. It’s daunting to think of transitioning to something an industry with such low barriers to entry and such a high level of competition, though, and I’m not in a position to try it and just eke out a poor artist’s level of compensation.

That said, I think I’ve encountered an article that gives me encouragement beyond my wildest hopes that magazines will buy anything. I can’t remember exactly how I found this, but I’m thinking about proposing that this particular publication rename themselves to “Real Obvious.” Real Simple published an article called “Cooking Uses for Your Microwave,” and I’m not linking to it because 1) it’s stupid, and 2) it’s a top-whatever-style list where every item is on a separate page so they can jam fresh advertising pageviews into your eyeballs. The point is, someone wrote this and then someone bought it and published it. Continue reading

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God Bless the Tea Party

With 2 August looming, and The End of the World As We Know It, I’m going to go against several general mores this morning.

First, I decided that I was only going to post about London things while I was here … then this duty assignment stretched for more than three months, and while I’m not out of things to say about this great city, the timeliness of what’s happening prompts me to stop waiting on this post.

Second, I decided that I wasn’t going to talk a lot of politics on this blog … not because I don’t enjoy it, but because my intention is to amuse and interest, not cause conflict.

Finally, by nature and inclination, I try to write essays more than emotional or vitriolic posts. It’s less funny sometimes, but I’d like to be thought-provoking on occasion. I’m not sure this is going to come out sounding normal. I’m not going to throw dozens of facts and figures into my argument, because there’s just something I have to get off my chest.

To Hell with the Tea Party. Continue reading

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The Unpack Rat

I won’t prevaricate on this one – there’s far too much stuff in my 2BR condo for the amount of space I have mortgaged. Closets, shelves, drawers … they’re all filled with disorganized, unnecessary stuff.

All this crap lying around is basically the product of two stages in my adult life. When I graduated from law school and bought a house, my parents started showing up to visit and “help” around the house, but every time they arrived, they had two or three boxes of things I’d collected and never let go of. Those boxes had gravitated to the attic or deep within closets where I naively hoped they’d be forgotten forever. My parents didn’t forget. They slowly dropped on me all the accumulated junk of my childhood.

The second stage was after I separated from my wife, seven years ago, almost to the day. After we’d decided which things were going to be hers from the marriage and which things were going to be mine … well, there were interstices. There were boxes and bags and piles of crap that build up over seven years of living together. Every time I showed up to visit my kids, she shoved another box of “my stuff” into my arms on the way out. Continue reading

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Kanga — Oh, No You Didn’t

Work demands are at lightspeed and my network is practically running on dialup. I just watched my data transfer countdown go from 51 to 48 minutes … that took 15 minutes, and inspired in me all the sexiness and enthusiasm of listening to paint dry. That’s right, sports fans – it’s not even as good as watching paint dry.

For a moment of levity, I went to one of my happy places. A place I like to call, “Crouching Kanga, Hidden Ass-Kicking.” And while I have half a dozen posts in progress dealing with everything from politics to today’s version of Newspeak to secret messages in children’s books, I wanted to take a moment to share with you an animated .gif that numbers among my most favorites. Continue reading

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