Thursday, October 30, 2008

Unforgettable and Non rememberable

I’m 24 years old. I have a steady job. And I have no known mental conditions.

Still, my actions over the next few days, in preparation for the Georgia-Florida football game, won’t support the above statements.

The following will take place:

  • I’ll leave no later than 6:30 a.m., over an hour before I leave for my paying job.

  • Several dozen student athletes, whom I have little in common with, will become the focus of my existence.

  • I’ll be drinking beer before 9 a.m. Not because I want to, but because I feel like I should be.

  • I’ll share drinks with teenagers, and idolize intoxicated grandparents.

Certainly nothing that takes place this weekend will make logical sense, and to be honest I didn’t really plan on going this year. I toyed with the idea, but in my heart I thought I had moved on.

Not necessarily moved on from the trip, but the environment. I pictured my next trip to Jacksonville taking place in a nice hotel room with adequate space and possibly including a planned meal.

Instead, I’ll get nineteen people relentlessly drinking. In the end I really couldn’t miss out.

This weekend will be unforgettable and non rememberable

I can’t wait, but when does it stop?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Car Stereo – not standard anymore

Due to theft, my car has been without a stereo for 11 of the last 15 months.

I’m in the car a lot – I commute 50 miles a day, my parents live about an hour away, and the University of Georgia plays its home games in Athens.

I’ve spent over 10,000 miles in silence.

For less than $100, I could get a new cd player. And it isn’t that I don’t have the money. I’ve had bar tabs, single bets in Vegas and gas station stops that have cost more.

I’ve genuinely asked my friends to trade cars with me for the week dozens of times.

I’ve avoided driving on countless encounters with girls I’m interested in. When this isn’t an option, my go-to joke is delivered without thought, “I had the cd player removed so we would be able to have uninterrupted conversation.”

I leave a little bit of shattered glass in the back seat so the break-ins seem fresh.

My brown 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, which is certainly flashy, has been assaulted on three separate occasions.

3 a.m. July 12th, 2007 – Lenny’s Corndog-O-rama
The perpetrator broke my rear passenger vent window with a rock. The best deal I could find to replace the window was $850, instead I bought a used door for $275. Add $100 for a new paint job, and I was pleased with my $475 savings. (They were unable to match the eight years of fading on the paint job, resulting dual colored paint job.)

12:30 a.m. November 8th, 2007 – Midtown Atlanta
This was the best break-in I’ve ever experienced. In the midst of a busy parking lot, the intruder entered without any significant damage and kindly removed my cd player.

9:30 p.m. March 15th, 2008 – Screvin Drive
The rear passenger window once again fell victim to a nearby rock. I’ve realized, when it’s not raining, this is a great window to lose. I choose not to replace it for about four months, enjoying the thoughtless thermostat and white noise that the missing window provided. Eventually I found a replacement window in a junkyard.

I used to tell myself, and others, that the quiet gave me time to think. This is a lie – I miss Atlanta sports coverage, useless morning talk shows and the latest in pop music.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My First Date Rules

There is no logical path to becoming a first date expert. If you’re good at them, you wouldn’t need to go on very many. If you’ve been on a lot, you’re probably doing something wrong. Still, a quick search reveals hundreds of websites with lists written by self-anointed first date specialists.

For example, Don Diebel (pictured), who drops pearls of wisdom like, “Don't pick your nose or scratch or readjust your crotch,” and “If you are taking medication, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom and take your pills. Don't take them in front of her.”

With intense concentration, I was able to follow Don’s advice. I haven’t gone on a second date yet, but she has referred to me as ‘babe’ in several text messages. I think this makes the date a success, plus I had fun.

Below is a list of rules I found on the internet, and a quick post-date assessment:

1. If you’re meeting somewhere, give good directions.

My date called when she was getting close to make sure that she was heading the right way, and I told her “If you get to the big brick building, you’ve gone to far.” Needless to say after seeing a dozen brick buildings she turned around prematurely, thinking she’d missed my street.
2. Don't act desperate.

I asked her on dates consistently for three weeks, is this what you call “desperate?"
3. Keep it light-hearted and don't act as if you are auditioning for a lifetime commitment.

On the way to dinner, ten minutes into the date, we discussed our deceased grandparents.
4. Don't pretend to be funny or humorous. If you are putting on an act, it will come across to her as phony.

This tip is worded incorrectly. It’s a statement saying that I’m not funny. Direct quote from my date, “Has anyone ever told you you’re funny?”
EAT IT Don Diebel!
5. Don't go to the movies (Even if suggested, the movies is a TERRIBLE first date it's just not personal enough, unless your 18 and trying to grab a tit in the theater)

We rented, but this rule must have been written before the release of the all-time great date movie, Ironman. An egotistical weapon-producing genius turns good and creates a nearly indestructible iron suit to stop terrorism – this movie screams first date.

6. On a first date, dress conservatively. This is no time to wear any provocative or sleazy clothes
Conservative? Please, I was rocking my Club Monaco pullover with a Westerner underneath.

7. Don't bitch about your previous girlfriends or ex-wives on how they mistreated you, dumped you, cheated on you, took you to the cleaners on child support, etc.

We both failed miserably in this regard. I did manage to avoid talking about getting taken to the cleaners, and child support, though.
8. Don't get drunk! This really turns women off and makes a bad impression. Don't drink at all or limit your drinking to a couple of drinks.
I win this one – no thanks to me. I drank the entire time. I had Margaritas at dinner and a rum and coke when we got home. But I never got drunk, didn’t have time.
9. Keep it upbeat.

I was in and out of sleep for the last hour of the movie. I woke up comfortably confused with a beautiful woman resting her head on my chest. I’m confident she was sleeping too, but I stand by Ironman as the greatest first date movie of all time.
10. Never, never end the night by asking for a second date like this: "I'm not doing anything on Saturday, are you?"
I would never do that. I waited until we were chatting on Facebook the next day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Week's Work






Thursday, October 16, 2008

Inter-urinal Difficulties

One of my company's Vice Presidents was urinating in the space next to me today. I have no problem when a stranger or a peer is standing next to me, but I've noticed I generally have a hard time going to the bathroom when a superior is next to me. It's a mental block. In an instant my confidence is shaken, and I'm made to look like unsure little boy.

I'm aware of this limitation, and oftentimes I challenge myself. It's true, I've managed a weak stream while conversating with the CEO. My sporatic piddle was a big step, but didn't merit celebration. I'm sure that my manhood has been questioned throughout upper-management because of this very issue.

Today I had my chance for redemption. Today I was destroyed. It was the sports equivalent of getting blown out by the third string in the Super Bowl, but instead of going home, being forced to go with the team to Disneyland.

First of all, I really had to go. This wasn't a time wasting move. My mid-morning water binge had just ended, and I had between 72 and 84 ounces ready to roll. I walked in to the empty bathroom, and chose the taller of the two urinals.

Just as I unclasped my belt, I heard the door swing open and the confident steps of a man that had flanked someone in the men's room hundreds, if not thousands of times. I'd been here before, I'd overcome bigger demons, but I never could have prepared for what came next.

My stare was fixated on the grout between the off white tiles, but it was clear that both of his hands were busy doing something, and it was above the belt. I had been standing above the urinal for thirty seconds now, and nothing was coming.

My embarrassment would have been worse, but it was clouded by astonishment. He was writing an email on his blackberry, while peeing. I was looking, but I wasn't. I'd already pushed bathroom etiquete far enough, I was standing idly next to another man while he used the restroom.

He finished - I hadn't started.

I knew the second he walked away I would be back to normal, but he didn't walk away. He glanced at me, and then back to his blackberry. If I were to smile at this point, out of the absurdity of the situation, I'm certain I would have been escorted out of the building for sexual harassment. He had finished using the restroom, with no hands, but he hadn't finished his email.

I waited, shifting my focus to the recently polished stainless steel plumbing, but it didn't matter. I was devastated. I sensed the cold sweat of embarassment coming, and I had to leave. He was fully aware that I'd stood next to him, urineless, for probably two minutes. I turned around, washed my hands and returned to my cubicle.

I'm all for career advancement, but if this is what it takes to become a Vice President - I'll pass.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Finding balance at AIG

True, this blog is supposed to be about happenings outside of my cubicle, but I'm too proud of my magical push pins to keep them to myself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

MJQ - Sparks were flying

Imagine this … you sit down at your favorite local restaurant, but before you’re able to make your typical meat loaf order, the same familiar waitress informs you that they are serving Filet Mignon (which normally isn’t on the menu), and it’s free.

This happened to me Saturday – only it was better.

I was ordering a round of beers at MJQ, a club that is literally underground, when I was informed that Sparks, an alcoholic energy drink, was free. This drink is legendary in my circle of friends. I’m not sure why, but it is always greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Sometimes, in an effort to maintain an above average alcohol content and decrease the cost, we mix a Sparks with a Miller High Life, a drink that has been dubbed a ‘Low Life.’ On this day, that wouldn’t be necessary.

It wasn’t like there was a lone cooler off in the corner, with crowds swarming. Sparks, Sparks Light, and Sparks Plus were available at the bar, and I was treated like an actual customer. Naturally, I ordered four and left an ∞% tip.

The Sparks marketing department really has their shit together. For example, they also sponsor the 2007 U.S. Air Guitar National Champion, William Ocean ( Still, I assumed that their supplies would be depleted by the time I’d finished one.

I hustled through my first, and approached the bar with some reluctance, half expecting to be disappointed. I was already having a good night. My beer pong team, The Hurricane Dieselz, had left the party with the best record (5-2) and I was within walking distance of my bed. However, on this night, it was the Steel Brewing Company, makers of Sparks, that took my night to the next level. They refused to let me down. I went back to the bar countless times, and was pleasantly greeted with one of their products.

For such a great night, I make this pledge to the Steel Brewing Company:

“Whenever I’m bordering blackout drunk, and in the market for an alcoholic energy drink, I will buy a Sparks.”