Archive for August, 2008

How does Miss Manners suggest one deals with coworkers that don’t shut up? In my little 9-to-5 world, I do not get paid after 5. So why, at 5:10, am I still standing there? Because for the past ten minutes, one of my coworkers has been regaling me with tales of their sister/cousin/vague relative of some sort. Someone that she knows, that I most definitely do not. And this is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. So there I stand, bag in hand, sunglasses perched on forehead for split-second ease into the ‘ready’ position at the bridge of my nose, rattling my keys and looking, to anyone with eyes, like someone who has clocked out and wants to go home. Except my coworker does not have eyes, and I’m stuck there, studying her every sentence for a definitive end where I can cut out and I can make a graceful exit. “Oh, your sister’s ex-boyfriend’s neighbor’s cat has liver cancer? Yes, that is a shame. Well, I should run. Wouldn’t want to catch it myself.”

But really, how is one expected to counter these attacks? Should I keep a plethora of small and shiny objects at my desk to distract her with? Rig up an elaborate system of lights and mirrors to bream pretty lights every time she drops by? The worst part is, on particularly boring and seemingly endless days, I embrace her ability to chat forever on completely unrelated topics as to distract myself from tedium for a half-hour or so. It’s like saying, “Well, I hate money, except for when it’s buying me stuff.”

By the time all these thoughts are done dancing about this Brain’s brain, it’s already 5:20 and I’m already thinking about lying on my time sheet and saying I worked for those extra twenty minutes. This should count as overtime.


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Dear Tom Petty,

Don’t ever stop being awesome.  I recognize that in a lot of ways, it’s like asking a dolphin to stop swimming or a tree to stop undergoing photosynthesis.  It’s pure science, baby, pure chemistry.

Tp +  Gu + 5Hb +2Hb → Aw

(Tom Petty + Guitar + various Heartbreakers over the years → Awesome.  Can you tell it’s been a long time since I’ve taken any science classes?  My chemistry teacher is rolling in his grave right now.  If he were dead.  He might just be retired, now that I think of it.)

Anyway, I was having a conversation with a gentleman friend earlier about Tom Petty’s ability to write incredibly sad songs, to the point that even his happier songs have a faint trace of melancholy.  And yet, they never particularly go out of their way to make the listener unhappy.  It’s remarkable.  That, and the guitar on ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’ still makes me shiver.  But maybe I’m just a big ol’ softie.

What was my point, again?  Oh, right.

Thank you for being awesome, Mr. Petty, for being the common musical thread between all the people I hold dear, whether they love inoffensive white boy rap or eighties synth pop, whether their CD collection includes Donovan or Death Cab for Cutie.  It’s a beautiful thing.  Please don’t ever change, and please don’t ever stop runnin’ down your dream.


the Brain

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I like to think of myself as relatively easy-going. (Stop laughing.) Still, there’s a part of me, some might say my patience, that comes to a grinding, screeching halt, like a cat getting caught in an engine, when certain scenarios come to light.

For example, the associate who does not know the words ellipsis/ellipses, and refers to them as “a dot dot dot.” You know, that one, even, I’ll let slide. Punctuation has a lot of big, elaborate names for what is essentially a handful of dots. And it’s not as though I don’t know what is meant by the phrase (all right, maybe sometimes it takes me a minute, but I’m a Brain, after all, and therefore terribly elitist, and expecting the same from my compatriots).

Or there is the individual I know with the absolutely abysmal grammar, the don’ts instead of the doesn’ts, and the frustrating ability to drop vowel sounds at random (and in a non-ironic way. I cut a lot of slack for poor spoken language skills when used for intentionally comedic effect).

And then there’s the person who likes to send emails such as the following,


The second-line indentations, the misspelled verbs, and the unforgivable capslock sin. Rest assured, that one is committed every time. My skin, how it crawls. My only consolation is that the way this body is arranged, it might be the sender’s misguided attempt at poetry. (Aren’t all attempts at poetry by definition misguided? Ignore previous posts.)

How can I ever achieve a Zen state when faced with these situations?

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Is it just me, or is spam mail getting more inventive? (And, subsequently, vastly more entertaining?) It used to just be claims that I could increase the size of my male organ, while simultaneously lowering my credit rating and paying off my student loan bills. (I would take any pill that would do that for me, incidentally.) Then for awhile there was an influx of mail claiming that the sender had “secret hidden webcam footage” of me. (The universe needed yet more video footage of a person typing for hours while yelling at the television, no?) Yawn.

But then they realized they needed to be creative to really get my attention and not just have me mass-delete the contents of my spambox. And needless to say, it’s working. Some examples:

Good iago suggestion (Perhaps they mean to imply I’m a struggling director attempting to cast my Shakespeare in the Park production of Othello?)

22 Things You Can Do To Satisfy Your GF7 (My what? It sounds like a fancy car. Or a fancy computer. Or a fancy television. To be fair, however, these are all things I would want to keep satisfied. The spammer was correct in assuming my fear of robot uprisings.)

And these ones I just can’t improve upon:

  • John Edwards Admits Fathering Clay Aiken’s Baby
  • Scientific Evidence Proves Hillary Full of Crap
  • Spongebob Denies Reports That He’s Gay
  • School Board Adopts Gay-Ass Uniform Policy
  • How To Break Up With Your Girl, Then Get Some Bootie Time!
  • 8-Foot Python Becomes Laundry
  • Man found humping mannequin

In short, I award points for creativity.

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Actual conversation overheard between some of the Next Door Jrs.

“Does anyone even live there?”

Some people live there…”

You heard it here first. That crotchety old man, who never answers the door on Halloween, whose beady eyes can be seen peering from just behind the tattered curtains, who’s rumored to have been dead for ten years? That’s me.

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I recently received a letter from an associate, addressed to T.S. Eliot from Dr. Seuss. Little did she know how right she is, for I am quite the poet. Observe.

[untitled #1]
The main sign of your masculinity must be bigger
Big dick can feel multiple orgazms
Huge rod is what all girls dream about
Huge male machine is the fact that all chick like
Don’t you think it’s time you stopped being a loser with a tiny penis

[untitled #2]
Try this and you’re welcome in the world of sexual giants
New world of sensual delights is open to you
Take just a candy and become ready for 36 hours of love osmosis

[untitled #3]
With bigger penis you’ll experience more sweet moments
Women acknowledge that big phalli are more attractive
You’ll spend much more pleasurable time with your girlfriend
Satisfy her!

[untitled #4]
Wanna pass an unforgettable night?
Hear her scream your name in passion
She will always be hungry for your new big sausage
Best prices for impotence cutlet

[untitled #5]
Bang your way through the party!
Be Apollo in bed
For you and your lady-love
For you and your mistress
Wives like big male organ
Hot wild nights of pleasure await you.

[untitled #6]

Blast your way through the opposition with your giant gun!
Women will fall at your feet once you have this!
Blow them all away with your GIANT cannon.
Change from dagger to BROADSWORD!
Viaaaagrrrraaaa is your magic weapon

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