This Blog Brought to You by The Letters U,P, and S

Last week I kept getting those "Sorry we missed you" slips from FedEx. (It turns out, by the way, that those notices mean that they came when I wasn't home--not that they actually missed me in a loving way. Or with a rifle.) Well after three missed attempts to deliver, they swore not to deliver it anymore and I had to go pick it up--over 30 minutes away. The irony? The place the package was coming from wasn't that far away. I could have just gone to pick it up.

More irony? When I got home from my journey to retrieve said package, there was a "Sorry we missed you" slip from UPS. (I miss them too!) Yes, another package trying to be delivered during the workday. The nice thing is that UPS has a very easy online function to change the address of delivery. So it will just come to the office today. Yes, that is what Brown can do for me. (Dear UPS: This endorsement may lead you to want to sponsor my blog. I am interested in that. I think "Putting the Odd in Todd Via UPS" has a nice ring to it...)

Friday Special Feature: Quotes of the Week!

"Among other things, the legislation would make it a crime to be in this country illegally." --CNN, in very perceptive and clear story about U.S. immigration laws.

"I wouldn't normally say this to anyone--but I know I am among friends: I just have to say I've become dissillusioned by monkeys." --The Ladyfriend's grandma.

"You gotta love that America's best band is back in the studio." --Sports radio host Jim Rome about... The Romantics. Yah, The Romantics ... Whaa? Look, there's like 500 American bands ahead of them in line.

"I prefer singing over killing." --my friend Camerin when discussing the merits of theatrical pirates over real pirates.

"Celebrate life with ketchup!" -- A homemade wallhanging for sale at a charity auction.


Children, Do Not Err Like Me

I am a cautionary tale. Tell young children about me so that they may know right from wrong. My mistakes shall stand as warning signs for those who follow. Peasants will sing sad ballads about the poor decisions I've made. There may even be brooding verse written by sad Irish poets about how I've now reaped what I've sown.

I am like a Shakespearan character who makes a fateful decision meant to benefit himself and it becomes his ruin. Yes, I am the King Lear of Oral Hygiene. You see, 7 years ago, I decided that it would be less painful and comfortable to just stop going to the dentist. And now, I've returned to pay the piper. I've been to the dentist three times in the month of March. I've sat in the chair for about 6 hours total. It turns out that 7 years takes its toll on teeth. Who'd of thunk that?

Yesterday, I got 6 cavities filled. This meant that they had to pump so much anesthetic into my face that my children will feel numb. Seriously. When the dentist was done, she pulled out of my mouth this big metal brace, three bales of cotton, a suction tube, a little step stool, and this tiny man with a hatchet. I was like, "Holy cow, I had no idea that stuff was all sitting in my mouth."

So the moral of the story is this: Go to the dentist. If not for the oral health, than go for the boost in self-esteem. Seriously. As the dentist and her assistant were doing surgery to my face yesterday with all these complicated instruments and procedures, all they kept saying was how good of a job I was doing. I'm like, "Yah, I rock. I can lay here with the best of them."

Springfield Spectacular!

This past weekend, The Ladyfriend and I traveled to Springfield, Illinois, to see her dad. The Ladyfriend has always said that you really cannot explain her dad, but must experience him. I had that experience.

My favorite part of the weekend was when The Ladyfriend was busy doing something and her father called me into his room. "Do you shoot?" he asked. The question surprised me and didn't really make sense to my brain. I am not sure I ever answered. But before I knew it, he was showing me his gun collection. Now, we all have hobbies and interests. And that's cool. But never have I had a girlfriend's dad show me his gun collection. I had actually wondered if this kind of thing really happened--or just in sitcoms. After we looked at his guns, he said, "I really hope I never have to use them for anything other than target practice."

Springfield had many other fun experiences as well. (No, I did not see the Springfield Monorail.) We went to the Dana-Thomas House, a Frank Lloyd Wright building right downtown. It was awesome. It is the most complete Wright site still existing--with 90% of Wright's furniture still intact. The man was a genius. Although that was cool, it was trumped by the brand new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. Whoa. I cannot even believe how cool this was. Now, other musuems may have better collections. But this is easily the best museum I have seen in terms of imparting information, pulling the visitor into the learning, and implementing new technology. It is laid out in the coolest way. I highly recommend taking the trip. And if you do go, see "The Ghosts of the Library." It is a media event that is better than most Hollywood movies today. (Oh, and they have lifesize figures you can do fun poses with--see above!)

The saddest thing we saw in Springfield was the amount of damage done by the March 12 tornado that ripped through the city. There was more damage done than I thought. Many people lost their homes and businesses. And this poor guy (left), lost his head. Giant roadside attractions always delight me. But headless ones? Priceless.

PTOIT Sports Bulletin: I cannot believe who made the NCAA Final Four!


The e-Past

Yesterday, my work e-mail went down. And I had to go through and delete old e-mails. The server was moving so slow, I practically had to delete them one at a time. While this wasn't exactly my ideal workday, there was something cool: Going back and reading the past.

Now granted, I'm talking a year ago "past" and not 15 years ago "past," but still it was cool to see how life changes--good and bad. I read through e-mails setting up first dates that would go well. Conversations with people who have moved out of my life. Plans for friend events that are now legendary (in our minds at least). I saw myself wrestling with comments made and feelings felt that now seem so trivial and forgotten. It was a neat journey through how life changes.

But I am glad my dang e-mail is working again.

PTOIT Quotes of the Week

"I get three hours of sleep a night. Screw Wellness." --My friend Doug F. while discussing the option of a wellness exam through work. And obviously affected by a new baby.

"There's not enough sex in it." --Lost's Sawyer on why is not enjoying the book Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret.

"Santa!" --Hippy BJ on Amazing Race after meeting a German man with a long white beard.

"Lydia is pooping...just thought you like to know that." --My friend Esther over IM (regarding her infant daughter).

"He's the most gentle man around. His hands are his instruments." -- Orlando Gonzalez, attorney for Yanni--explaining why his client surely isn't guilty of domestic abuse.

The Smell of Corporate America

I am glad that one of the most serious issues in my life right now is the weird smell compromising my workday. Every other day at appox. 3:30, I smell a combination of odors that can only be described as Melon Baby Powder. This has been happening for a long time. On Tuesday I started to figure it out.

It turns out that the one smell is the women's bathroom about 5 feet from my door. There's an automatic air freshner that I think is malfunctioning in the afternoons and spraying what must be a solid cloud of powder. One day it was so bad and heavy in the air that I swear I got a rash.

The Melon smell is what I discovered on Tuesday. A woman down the hall is burning a scented candle. At work. By the end of the day, the candle must be so warm that the Meloness is escaping down the hall.

I have to figure out how to combat these issues.


Trying to Watch 24

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to rent a DVD of 24. I am being paid to write a Bible study on the character of Jack Bauer (sweet gig, right?). I needed epsiodes 13-16 of Season 2 so I went to Blockbuster and to the TV section. I see Seasons 3 and 4 of the show, but no Season 2.

I say to the man at the counter, "I see you have seasons 3 and 4 of 24. Do you have season 2?". He doesn't answer my question, he just walks away. (This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Say something. Say, "Sure, follow me." Instead, he silently walks off. One of these days I will have the gall to just stand there and make the guy come back and get me.) I follow him to--not the TV section, but the Anime section. And there is Season 2 of 24. Perfect sense.

Well, the fun continues. They don't have the disc I need. So I thank the man but add that they don't have the episodes I need--and I turn to go. Blockbuster Guy (BG) says, "Well, you know, Season 5 of the show is on TV right now." I am not sure what this has to do with anything. I answer: "Well, thanks. But I am only in Season 2--and wanted to watch something right now."

BG goes silent. I am about to leave the store when he says, "Hey. We have Season 4 of 24. You could watch that." What can you say to that? I just laughed and left.