Archive for May, 2006



Dammit, Jim!

11:13 am · category: Embracing My Inner Geek

I find it bewildering that in the Star Trek universe there exist both a Khan Noonien Singh and a Noonien Soong, both of whom are prominent, recurring characters.

Why yes, I have been reading The Star Trek Encyclopedia again.



Is the Pope Catholic?

11:52 am · category: Embracing My Inner Geek

I have had enough of Charmin‘s latest advertising campaign, which involves animated bears overusing cheap toilet paper until they “discover” Charmin. (It’s been going on for six years. Six very, very long years.)

Look, Procter and Gamble, we get it: Does a bear shit in the woods? Yes. Does a bear use toilet paper? Hell, no.

It’s at times like these that I really miss Mr. Whipple.



“Levelized,” My Ass

12:50 pm · category: House Calls

When I moved into my breadbox, the electric company (Entergy) offered me levelized billing, which is calculated by taking “1/12 of the last 12 month’s actual bill amounts plus 1/12 of the accumulated difference between the last 12 month’s actual bill amounts and the levelized bill amounts.” The clerk told me it would average about $88 a month. I found this hard to swallow because my last house was almost three times the size of my current breadbox, and the (non-levelized) electric bill was usually between $60 and $70. Besides, my current breadbox has been sitting empty for two years, and, well, how do you figure the last 12 months of anything if it’s been empty for 24 months? Because I think that would make my bill $0. But I’m not so good with the maths, so I was afraid I might have screwed myself by foregoing the levelized billing option.

Guess how much my Entergy bill was for the first full month in residence. No, seriously. Go ahead and guess. Do you have a figure in your head? Okay. Let’s compare that to the actual bill, which was for — Are you ready for this? — $20.01


That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Two sawbucks and one shiny Lincoln penny. This is what happens when you live in a breadbox with a mini-fridge, a hot plate, a toaster oven, and a gas hot water heater. (FYI: My gas bill was $20.85.)

If I had any rhythm, I’d be doing my dance of electricity conservation superiority.

I may be a sucker, but I’m not your sucker, Entergy!



I KNEW This Was Going to Happen

7:32 pm · category: Embracing My Inner Geek

This is evidence that my belief that Buffy is reality pretending to be fiction pretending to be reality is correct. All you have to do is change a few minor details (Cincinnati for Cleveland, for instance.) and you can get away with anything.

And if you actually had to click on the second and third links to see where I was going with this… Well, you and I have some television to watch together.



Production-Duction, What’s Your Function?

4:40 pm · category: Uncategorized

Pleasing me. That’s what.

I accomplished the following things today:

  • Had an electrician come to my house to figure out why two of my outlets don’t work. One of them is in the bathroom, so I have to blow dry my hair in the bedroom sans mirror. The other one is in the living room directly below the outlet the new air conditioner needs to go in. He said he’d have it fixed on Monday!
  • Got one of the windows opened in my bedroom and moved the other window AC unit into it — a much better location.
  • Replaced the hot water faucet in my bathroom sink. The old one was stripped, and it leaked and had mold growing from the lip. Guh-ross.
  • Had someone help me move my ginormously heavy TV to the top of the bar in the living room. And then he showed me how the antenna ears extend. (Yes, I am a moron.) Now I’m getting four channels instead of two! It’s like moving from Russell to Bald Knob — a small step up, but nothing compared to moving to Searcy.
  • Got Freon put in my car. Blessed Freon! How I’ve missed you so!

I also did a bunch of important stuff at work today: solicited bids for a new extermination contract, started training a new GSM, finished up my weekly bill packet, saved a few lives.

All in all, a good day.



Father to Daughter

10:51 am · category: Embracing My Inner Geek

My father is the one who introduced me to Buffy. (Yes, you can blame him for that obsession.) This is a conversation we had while watching “Graduation Day, Part II” in the scene where Buffy is running through the high school while being chased by the MayorSnake:

Daddy: She runs like… like…
Me: Like what? A girl?
Daddy: No. Worse than a girl.

You know what? He’s right.



Not Cool

12:21 pm · category: Hotel Hell

Word to the wise: do not be the kind of employee who does the following things.

  • Nods your head and says “I understand” when your boss (That would be me.) says, “I am having many beers tonight. Do not call me. The GSM is on call tonight (Saturday).”
  • Ask your boss (Again, me.) to spot you $20 until payday and pick up a bottle of vodka when your boss drives 22 miles to the nearest liquor store without air conditioning in her car on a day when the temperature is 96.
  • Come to your boss’s house on two different occasions on Saturday evening to use her restroom because you’re afraid to use the restrooms at the baseball complex.
  • Mention to your boss that the baseball games you are watching will not be over until 3:00 a.m.
  • Call your boss (Me, dammit!) at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning after she has had many beers to tell her you’re sick, so you can’t be at work at 7:00 a.m. on the busiest check-out day of the year.

I am so angry that I could cry. But I can’t because I’m too dehydrated.



5 Things

(Stolen from Callie and Bally)

5 Snacks You Enjoy

  • Chex Mix (homemade, sans peanuts, Cheerios added) (Pop a handful of this stuff into your mouth with a bite of good chocolate, and you might convulse in pleasure.)
  • Maple Nut Goodies
  • Baked Lays
  • Grapples (I don’t care if they’re genetically engineered and might give me cancer. I love those things.)
  • Munchos

5 Songs (you think) You Know By Heart

  • Something to Sing About
  • Seven Bridges Road
  • Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
  • Amazing Grace
  • Anything from The Sound of Music

5 Things You Would Do With a Lot of Money

  • Pay off my student loans
  • Buy a car that’s more environmentally friendly
  • Stay on Necker Island
  • Build an environmentally friendly house
  • Hire a personal trainer

5 Things You Would Never Wear

  • Stiletto heels (They just look stupid if you’re only 4’11″ to start with.)
  • Tube top
  • Anything that bears my midriff
  • False eyelashes
  • Black lipstick

5 Things You Should Never Have Worn

  • Double socks (I used to wear a pair of fluorescent orange socks with a pain of fluorescent green ones rolled down on top of them. It was the 80s and therefore actually quite stylish for a junior high kid, but I’m mortified by it now.)
  • Yellow eyeglasses in the Sally Jessy Raphael style
  • Any swim suit that didn’t involve boy-short bottoms if I hadn’t bikini shaved first
  • Straight leg jeans with the cuffs rolled up

5 Things You Enjoy Doing

  • Reading
  • Crosswords
  • Crocheting
  • Researching (!)
  • Roadside attractions

5 Bad Habits You Have

  • Smoking
  • Mismanaging my money
  • Mismanaging my time
  • Overeating
  • Picking my nose (But only in private!)

5 People You Would Like To Do This

  • Justin
  • Skeep
  • Bailey
  • Jessica
  • Renie (I can’t wait for this one.)


Of Course, There’s No Hazard County, Either

12:35 pm · category: Embracing My Inner Geek

There are 75 counties in Arkansas. Here is a list of 10 of those counties: Benton, Conway, Desha, Garland, Hot Springs, Lincoln, Madison, Marion, Searcy and Van Buren. There are also 10 towns in Arkansas that share the names of the aforementioned counties. Weirdly, none of those towns are in the counties with which they share names. In fact, the only towns within counties within which they share names are Lonoke and Bradley.

If you ask me, that’s just piss poor planning.

On a related note, I need some new reading material. The Rand McNally Road Atlas 2004 just isn’t cutting it anymore.



My Uncle Killed Tiny Tim

12:39 pm · category: The Whole Fam Damnly

But I might have killed Miss Bettye.

Backstory: On November 29, 1996, my uncle, aunt and I were playing Twenty Questions. My aunt and I failed to correctly identify the person, Tiny Tim, because he told us the person was dead. Of course, he wasn’t. Yet, anyway. The very next day Tiny Tim died. We have blamed my uncle for Tiny Tim’s demise ever since.

Fast forward almost ten years, and it appears that I have killed a beloved teacher.

Yesterday I was lamenting the fact that there’s a big festival in town this weekend, and we are severely overbooked. I jokingly told one of my employees that I was “hoping for a death in the family so I’ll have an excuse to be out of town.”

This morning Miss Bettye died.

Miss Bettye was, quite possibly, the best teacher on the planet. She was one of those teachers who was incredibly hard on you in the classroom, but then ten years later even the worst of students would drop by to tell her how much they appreciated all she had taught them. She was my English teacher for three years, and when I began teaching English she was still in the same classroom, sharing her experience and knowledge as the “honorary” department chair because she had retired and then taught only one class.

I don’t know a lot of specifics about Miss Bettye. There were a lot of stories about her, though, because she was truly a legend in her own time. She began teaching before she had even graduated from college, and she taught in the same school district for more than 40 years.

There were rumors about a romance with a coach on staff who either (a) died in a tragic accident or (b) ran off with a student he was having a fling with, depending on which version you preferred. Either way, it was supposed to have broken Miss Bettye’s heart, thereby explaining (!) why she never married. (I think a more plausible story is that Miss Bettye was actually lamenting the suicide of Ernest Hemingway — a man on whom Miss Bettye clearly had a crush — as she would rhapsodize about what a romantic he was, even though her students knew that The Old Man and the Sea was the most boring book ever written.)

Miss Bettye once called my class a bunch of “hooligans” for misbehaving with a substitute, and we thought the word “hooligans” was hilarious and laughed at her. I feel really guilty about that now.

Miss Bettye loved cats. Tragically, she once accidentally trapped one of her cats in the washing machine or the dryer — I can’t remember which. She mourned that loss for a long time.

Miss Bettye was the president of the Elvis Presley Fan Club in Bald Knob. She was the single best newspaper and yearbook adviser that ever worked in scholastic journalism. She had the most measured, even voice you’ve ever heard, which made her one of the best ministers because her sermons seemed to have extra authority.

Once a student pulled a prank and put Miss Bettye’s obituary in the paper. That hurt Miss Bettye’s feelings a lot, and the staff and students were so outraged that they didn’t let the guy walk at graduation.

Tomorrow there’s going to be an obituary in the paper for Miss Bettye. And this time it’s going to be real.