Thursday, October 28, 2004


I bombed my finance mid-term the other night. I don't know what I was thinking, but it sure wasn't bond yield. I was asked a question where the answer should have been in terms of percent, and I gave an answer in terms of dollars. My head was COMPLETELY up my ass, and I didn't get any of the ancillary benefits of such an arrangement. You know, the "look what I can do with my head" effect. I'm not a straight-A student, so I don't usually lose sleep over that sort of thing, but I was really embarassed. I sent an email to the prof, not asking for special consideration, but apologizing. She said I should be able to make it up on the final and that I should go ahead and pull my head out.

While on the subject of school, I had exam #2 in statistics tonight. The test was no big deal, but I knew there was something wrong the second I walked into the room. The unmistakable scent of human funk: BO. This was more than one person could have done by himself so I imagine there had been a bunch of guys over at the gym working out who then came across the street and rubbed their armpits over every surface in the room. Honestly, there's no other explanation. It was gag-reflex bad. B-Odious, B-Offensive, B-Opprobrious, B-Obloquious, B-Overwhelming, B-Obscene, B-Objectionable, B-Outrageous, and of course, B-Off-putting.

Update on the dining room: It's almost Halloween, so Christmas lights FINALLY went on sale. I've been waiting since Labor Day. I bought a couple of strings and put one up, though I want to put some clear ones on the inside. Hope you like it.

[Note: The umbrella is octagonal, it just looks screwed from this floor-level photo.]

Finally, I hope the lack of reply from the squirrels indicates their agreement to my demands. Either that, or they're trying to retain counsel. Still, I would have appreciated some acknowledgement.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


To: Neighborhood squirrels
From: Tinyhands
Re: Your nuts

It has come to my attention that one or more of you has been digging in the potted plants on my patio. Please stop. I have only lived here a short time and I am quite confident that due to the timing of my move-in with respect to the seasons that there are no nuts or other edibles buried within. Although I am puzzled by the interest in my plants considering the enormous pecan tree next door (in which I often see you) I am willing to tolerate your digging in the in-ground beds containing the yaupon, viburnum, or especially the overgrown boxwood. Continue digging in the potted plants and I assure you that "looking for your nuts" will take on additional meaning. Thank you.

cc: Next-door neighbor's cat.

Friday, October 22, 2004


I'm listening to Los Lonely Boys right now. I like the whole album pretty much, it's got a generally upbeat energy (for lack of a better word) that makes me dance (for lack of a better word) in my chair tilting my head from left to right kinda the way the Beatles did in their old videos (for lack of a better example). I'm really tempted to type out the lyrics to one of the mas groovy songs and have that suffice for a blog entry, but I won't. You'll have to suffer my stream of consciousness for another day.

I promised you the story of my friend having an affair, so I'll get on with the gossip. To preserve his undeserved anonimity, let's call this friend 'T-Bone'. I picked the nickname T-Bone because his real name is Tom (both start with T) and he recently became vegetarian, so the cut of beef is doubly-appropriate. (aside: I have another friend with a bovine nickname, Porterhouse - He's just like T-Bone, just much thicker.) I've known T-Bone for about 6 years now, and we worked together for 3 years, so I'd say I know him pretty well. I always thought he was a great guy, he just never aspired to much as far as I could tell. He still works for the same company, the company that has treated him like shit for approaching 5 years now. He just never aspired to anything better. He never took it upon himself to do better, work harder, learn more, or generally do what is required to either move up in the company or get hired away by a bigger & better firm. But hey, there's something to be said for contentment in life. How many of us can say we're truly satisfied? Not me, and maybe that's why I'm a grumpy, bitter person blogging away in the dark. But I digress. So I left the company last year and we kept up almost daily, either via email, IM, or telephone. Met for lunch a lot. I don't remember exactly when it stopped, but it stopped cold. No matter what mode of conversation I tried, the only response I could get from him was, "Too busy, gotta go." So we drifted apart as ex-coworkers often do. As I said before, I'm not going to be the only one holding onto a relationship. Your world doesn't have to revolve around me (aside: but it's so much easier for you if it does) but I deserve a little effort. Well, T-Bone and I have other mutual friends who aren't too busy to send me an email once a month, and one mutual friend told me that the gossip was that he was having an affair with a woman at work. Mutual friend #2 confirmed additional suspicious activity, including the existence of a credit card that Mrs. T-Bone doesn't know about because it's delivered to the office instead of home. Texas is a community-property state, so that's automatically her debt too.

I'm an adult, so I get that affairs happen everyday. It's not ok, but I'm not so fragile that I can't handle it. I'm judgemental, but not so much that it gets in the way of friendship. What really gets me is that this is going on with a guy who just doesn't seem to care about upgrading anything in his life. As I said before, he doesn't aspire to the corner office, a Mercedes-Benz, or a 50' yacht. He isn't the kind of guy who aspires to a trophy wife. (aside: I knew the woman he's cheating with. She's no trophy, but she is hotter than his wife.) He's just not a bigger, better deal kinda guy, and that bugs me the most. I don't think I'm explaining this well enough. I don't think mutual friends 1 & 2 really get what bothers me most about it either. They just point to the fact that he met his wife while they were both cheating on their respective boyfriend/girlfriend, so they say "once a cheater, always a cheater."

I prefer not to subscribe to that philosophy, so rather than figure this guy out I'll end with a quote from Emily Dickinson (aside: whom I always confuse with Angie Dickinson) that describes me better than him- "Futile the winds to a heart at port."

Thursday, October 21, 2004


On the whole I'm pretty good at spelling things right when I either write or type, but when it comes to sounds I have trouble figuring out the right letters to use that someone else would use to correctly recreate that sound. That first sentence was way too long, but I think if you go back and read it again you'll understand. The other thing I'm not very good at is being succinct and as I mentioned previously, I need to work on it. I know why I'm not succinct- it's because when I actually speak I get interrupted. I speak slowly. Not short-bus slowly, so maybe carefully is a better word. In doing so, most people perceive a break in the conversation that allows them to jump in and express their point of view. It doesn't make me feel very good when people do this, because it signals to me that they aren't really listening. I may not be a great speaker, but if you're talking to me I will do you the courtesy of listening. Case in point, let's say I tell a story that begins, "So I drove down to Galveston last weekend" and I pause looking for the best turn of phrase to describe what a shithole Galveston usually is. At this point someone else jumps in to tell what he or she did last weekend. In case you don't know me, my stories rarely consist of one sentence, so the fact that someone would jump in at that point tells me they missed everything past "So." I think I need to start adding "The End" at the end of my stories so that people will know when I'm done. I'll have to tell people about this ahead of time so that they know to wait for "The End." Of course, I'm closet-OCD so I'd need to put a preface at the beginning like, "My Weekend, by tinyhands. Cast of characters, me. My story begins..." The other thing I could do is to talk like Ye Olde telegraph operator and say "stop" after every major point. Telegraph operators use "stop" after every sentence so that might just encourage people to jump in more often. Therefore when I type, usually in email, I am extraordinarily verbose because I finally have the opportunity to express my entire thought before you get to jump in and fuck up my story.

That isn't what I wanted to write about today though. Oh, one more thing, the dinner with my "best" friend turned out to be me as the third wheel listening to all of her stories, his stories, and their stories. A few of my stories were partially told, including my trip to China which is a pretty good story if I do say so. But noone was really listening, so I gave up. I went to FUCKING CHINA, and neither one of them asked about the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, or the terracotta warriors, all of which I saw and are as life-altering as anything I've ever experienced. After all the hugging and kissing and generally ignoring me they did at dinner the other night, it may be a long time before I call her again. But I guess the rule is that she retains best friend ranking until a challenger comes along. It turns out he goes to my school in the evenings one day a week, so now that I know what he looks like I can nod.

What I really wanted to tell you about was my sound. It's not gross, or at least I don't think it's gross, so don't worry. Whenever I see a pretty girl I absolutely CANNOT help making this sound. I guess it's kind of like the way a child says "O-o-Oh" when mom says they can't have something they want. It's followed very closely by a small sigh. The O starts at one tone, lowers in pitch, then returns to the original tone. It's not stuttered Os as though the child is in trouble. I don't open my mouth to make this noise, so I guess it kinda comes out my nose more like a "U-u-nh" including the sigh. A nasal sigh, if you can imagine. See? I can't describe sounds for shit.

But I know I make this sound a lot. Not so much because I want to bed all these pretty girls, but because I just want to be WITH them. Holding her hand, running my fingers through her hair, even massaging her feet at the end of long day would suffice. It's more intimate than sex anyway. I found another blog I'm obsessed with, read the whole thing. She's got a couple of pictures up that definitely induce the noise. This woman is funny and smart (though she doesn't think so). She's well-read and -travelled. Her politics are complete polar opposites of mine, but I can tell that she believes what she believes so much that she could convince me to change my mind. She's lonely too, so when I read about her wishing she had someone to be with the noise is both louder and more drawn out. And when I think about how far away she is and we'll never really meet I make the noise again, an octave or so lower.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


No blog yesterday- Too much wine.
No blog today - Too far behind studying for Finance mid-term.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


Funny how a single phone call can turn the whole day around. A while back I had to stalk my "best" friend to send her a birthday card. She got involved with a guy and it started getting serious and soon her whole world revolved around him. Not pleasant for those of us outside that little world, since we were accustomed to having phone calls returned, emails, or the occasional lunch. But she chose to exclude everyone else from her life for a while, or so it seemed.

I hadn't spoken to her in months when she called today, to thank me for the birthday card from last month. It was a nice surprise, but strange to catch up on things like my divorce (which she didn't help me through) or her quitting working for the devil (which I would have helped her through). Kinda weird to talk about major stuff that the other wasn't involved in. She's getting ready to jump on a plane to meet the new guy's parents for the first time, since they're now talking about getting married. Not that I'm critical to the process or anything, but I haven't met the guy yet and they live together. How is this woman still my best friend?

It really made my day that she called. Don't get any ideas- I'm not in love with her. Sure I lusted after her when I first met her, but once I got to know her that all changed. Besides, I was married then and faithful to a fault. Totally platonic now. I spent the first half of the day running errands (errants, for those of you who live in Texas) and was in a foul mood. Sunday afternoon traffic jams are really off-putting, when all I really needed was a damn financial calculator for Wednesday's mid-term finance exam. But I survived day 12054, so 12055 couldn't be any worse. She invited me to go eat sushi with her and the man tomorrow, so at least I'll get to meet him. I'm glad it was her idea. I have this new policy of not chasing after my friends. I've never really been THAT guy, but if you're my friend and you can't return my phone calls or emails, I'm going to stop calling and emailing. It's that simple. And most of the time it means that I'll be sitting at home in front of the bigscreen watching the game by myself. Well, not the game, since I hate most pro sports. I'll be watching the fight, since I love boxing. Or I'll be watching one of my favorite shows. My favorite shows are usually there when I turn on the TV and, more importantly, they're there when I don't turn on the TV. You won't understand this, but I am comforted by the fact that the light comes on when I open the refrigerator door.

Tomorrow: My other friend is having an affair.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Two commercials I like: Kiwi Carpet Cleaning and Singulair (allergy medicine). I like the Kiwi commercial because it starts "Carpet Stain, SHMARPET stain" and that reminds me of my buddy Joe who does that with everything. "Dead hooker, SHMED hooker" he's been known to say. As for Singulair, I just like the chick...that's some shiny red lipgloss she's sporting and I just can't get enough. I want her to dump the farm guy and come eat sushi in the big city with me. We'll share our hopes and dreams. She'll tell me stories about her childhood. We'll laugh and then do a lot of kissing.

Two commercials I hate: Cadillac and Mercedes-Benz. Odd that they're both car-commercials, and I have a genetic predisposition to like cars (read: y-chromosome). The Caddy commercial shows a bunch of sophisticated European luxury cars "dancing" to classical music. The loud, brash, American car crashes the party and scares all the other cars by turning doughnuts on the dance floor. Naturally, the American car is inappropriately attired (it's silver, the Europeans are in black). The rest of the world hates Americans because of our luxury cars! The Mercedes commercial is a slideshow of people posing with their cars, then ends with the caption, "No one ever poses with their toaster." Oh, yeah? Chew me Mr. Daimler. I love my Cuisinart, wide-slot, model CPT-45, white.

Today's blog tally- 1:30:1

Monday, October 11, 2004


There was something I wanted to tell you today, but I plopped in front of the tube and now there's nothing left in either lobe. How about a blog report instead?

Today's score- 1:34:6 - That's one good one, 34 bad ones, 6 neutral.
Among the bad ones were the usual collection of crap and one exceptional piece of crap that I found offensive. It seems that one of the multitude of Singaporeans that blogs has as his primary website a get rich scheme for investing in the Asian stock markets. The blog was not commentary on success or failure, strategy discussions, or anything remotely redeemable. The blog was entirely about how to get his primary website to show up first in a Yahoo search. It wasn't like this was just one aberrant post either, it was day after day of "I was #1 last week, now I'm #19- What happened!?" As a comparatively decent human being trying to get an actual business degree, I found this guy utterly repellent. I also had to mark the ones written in languages other than English as crap. I know, it's terribly ethnocentric of me, but the odds are really in my favor that they suck in their own language too.

There were 6, however, that I just couldn't force myself to mark as bad. I don't remember all of them, but one was a decent kid with a good head on his shoulders, and one of the others was a gay Navajo indian, raised on a reservation now living in the city. I know, I couldn't believe that I just randomly hit that one either. (aside: I swear I'm not searching for blogs- I only hit the next button.) The content was too tedious for my tastes, so I won't go back, but I also couldn't bring myself to say that it sucked.

The good one though might not stand out on your radar, but there was something about it I definitely liked. Engineers might call it a "sympathetic vibration." Hopefully she'll post a comment then you can stalk her yourself. Oh yeah, it broke today's Rule for Blogs that Suck, but I'm a sucker for wimmens who write personal stuff, so I'll let it slide.

Today's Rule for Blogs that Suck:
- If, in the descriptive paragraph of your blog, you use the words rantings, ramblings, scribblings, drivel, madness, or their synonyms, your blog sucks.

Today's Corollary for Blogs that Suck:
-If, in the descriptive paragraph of your blog, you describe yourself as insane, demented, deranged, a lunatic, mental, psychotic, or their synonyms, your blog sucks.

Last thing: I need a name for blog surfing, since I don't like calling it blog surfing. Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Your blog sucks

I'm trying to get back into the swing of blogging. I had to take a break for personal reasons, but I'll be back more or less regularly from now on.

Tonight's topic: Your blog sucks.
Don't take this personally, in fact, if you're one of the dozen or so people whose blog I have commented on don't take this at all. I promise I don't comment on lame blogs. I'm making a comment ABOUT lame blogs now, which sounds the same as commenting on lame blogs, but when I say that I don't comment on lame blogs I mean that I don't comment AT lame blogs. That's crystal clear, right? Where was I?

Oh yeah, your blog sucks. You might have noticed that I have a lot of free time on my hands and that I browse blogs, looking for good stuff. I don't have any particular pattern to it, I just click the next blog button at the top right-hand corner repeatedly until something strikes my fancy. I really should count how many times I do this and what my success/sucks-to-excess ratio is. Occassionally I have to click the back button and click next again because your blog sucks SO much that you've removed the next button. I've found a couple of rules for determining if your blog sucks (by no means comprehensive):
  • If your blog has transitions on it, like where it fades in then fades out when I click next because your blog sucks, your blog sucks.
  • Likewise, if your blog has a soundtrack, your blog sucks.
  • If the colors on your blog are so loud that my retinae detach, your blog sucks.
  • If your blog tries to set a cookie on my computer, your blog sucks.
  • If your blog only has one entry that says "test", your blog sucks.
  • If you have a plug-in that tells me the current time & temperature where you live, your blog sucks.
  • If your blog is about nothing but mesothelioma, I'm sorry you're going to die but your blog sucks.
  • If your blog is obviously corporate and says something like Maryland Life Insurance a hundred times so that you show up on Google, your blog sucks.
  • If you use your when you mean you are, then you suck and your blog sucks too.
  • Likewise with their, there, and they're.
  • If your blog is about how dreadful your life is and you can't find a single funny, romantic, or otherwise clever thing to say, your blog sucks.
  • If the only thing you write about is politics, your blog sucks.
  • If your blog is a collection of links to news stories with a one-liner you may or may not have written, your blog sucks.

So, to the VAST majority of bloggers I have encountered so far, your blog sucks.
I welcome suggestions for additional rules.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Letter to a Loved One

It's funny how a lonesome feeling- a feeling of utter boredom and futility- comes over me when I am away from her. It seems as though a part of me was actually somewhere else. And it's always the part that has a good time and enjoys life. The only remaining part is that which sees things as being rather gloomy and ill-tempered. This feeling certainly is one of the mysteries of life to me. I cannot see it, touch it, smell it, or hear it, but I feel it inside of me as surely as though it were something I could lay my hand on. When I'm alone, a new morning, the sun coming up, white clouds, a rested feeling following a good night's sleep, are all just the beginning of another day that must be hurried through so I can get on to something else. With her, a new day is something to enjoy together and a new opportunity to appreciate all the good things in life. The sun coming up starts the day with a radiance of color that shames a Michelangelo and makes any man-made attempt at beauty a mere insignificance. Can we hurry on and ignore such a thing? Too often we do. It's a wonderful thing to enjoy such beauties with one whose love means more than life itself.

Friday, October 08, 2004

I Believe In Love

I made a promise to myself /
Locked it away deep down inside /
Told my heart we'd wait it out /
Swore we'd never compromise /
Oh I'd rather be alone /
Like I am tonight /
Than settle for the kind of love /
That fades before the morning light.

Silence stared me in the face /
And I finally heard it's voice /
It seemed to softly say /
That in love you have a choice /
Today I got the answer /
And there's a world of truth behind it /
Love is out there waiting somewhere /
You just have to go and find it.

I believe in love, I believe in love /
Love that's real, love that's strong /
Love that lives on and on /
Yes I believe in love.

[© 2002- Maguire, Maines, & Stewart]