Dead Animal Rescue

I got a call this week at work from an old friend of mine ("Old" as in we've been friends a long time. Not that she is old). She sounded shaken. She said, "Todd, I need help." I asked her what was wrong. "I need to be somewhere," she said. "But I heard a noise outside and I thought, 'That sounded like a bird flying into my screen door. But that can't be what it was.'"

It was. And the bird was dead right outside her door--and on her path out of her apartment. "I tried to get past it," she said. "But I just can't do it. I just can't walk past it. Can you come get the bird?"

I've never recieved a call like this before. I've never had any "dead animal pickup" calls before. Luckily, her apartment is not far from my work. So I went over-armed with a garbage bag and an umbrella. It wasn't raining. But I thought I'd use the umbrella to prod the bird into the bag.

When I got there, my friend was still trapped in her home by this lifeless winged threat. And I found a broom outside another apartment. So I took it. No use in contaminating a good umbrella. Luckily, the bird was in a spot where he was easily swept into the bag. However, on the first try he just sat on the lip of the bag so I had to do a lot of jiggling to get him in. Rest In Peace, little guy. Rest In Peace.

With that act, my friend was liberated.

And now for something completely different:
I saw the ad below in a Christian magazine. The site sells Christian-themed shirts, but also this: A Christian energy drink...I guess because us believers can't just drink the regular stuff. Actually, I went to the site because I thought it might be a really clever parody to draw you to their website. But it wasn't.

You may not be able to make out the can's slogan, but it actually says, "Fused with the fruit of the spirit." Whaa? How'd they combine that with ginseng?


"Yes, Kate is like the British Navy. She sneaks up on you, surprises you, and then all the sudden you find yourself on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean." --Chris, a co-teacher of The Intended, responding to the observation that The Intended is "silently aggressive" in recruiting kids for school activities.

"You know what's a good show? That 24 with Keith Sutherland fighting all those crazy terrorists. You know, they gave that Keith Sutherland or whatever his name is an Academy Award for that show. It took them a long time because they didn't think it was a good show and then they realized it was a good show and gave him the Academy Award. He is good--always getting those crazy terrorists." --Some guy in a resturant Doug and I were patronizing.

"Terrell has 25 million reasons why he should be alive" --Kim Etheredge, Terrell Owens' publicist addressing rumors of T.O.'s attempted-suicide--and ridiculously alluding to his three-year, $25 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys. With that line of thinking, I have about 800 reasons to be alive.

Never Too Early

Here he is, future starting pitcher of the Chicago White Sox Landon William. I got to visit with my new little nephew two nights ago. We even did a little working out of his left arm. They say that with the proper work and strengthening you can help determine which hand a child uses. I figure we need to encourage him to throw left handed because major league ball teams are always in need of left handed pitchers.

Landon was less than 24 hours old when I saw him. I've only gotten to see two other babies that young. They are all adorable, but there was something different with Landon. Before I tell you that, I need to flashback about 27 years ago. The night my brother was born, my dad was watching him in the nursery. He was shocked to see his barely-born child pick his head up and look around the room. I was almost three at the time and I barely picked my head up. Chad was then walking at 9 months, climbing ladders at 2 and driving tractors at 3. (I estimate I'll be climbing ladders in two or three months. ) As I saw Landon the other night, sure enough, the little guy was holding his head up and looking around the room.

Chad has hopes that Landon will be mowing the yard in two to three weeks. I fear that may interfere with infield practice.


So Many Emotions

Last night I became an uncle for the first time. Landon William is 8 lbs, 10 ounces and 21 inches long. I am so excited to go see him tonight. I am so happy. And so proud of Chad and Michelle. There were some tough moments in the delivery and so I know God really provided. Landon is with us because of God's strength.

While I am on a high for Landon's birth, I am also sad. Landon was born on the same day the White Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention. I am wearing black today in mourning. It's a sad day...but not unexpected. Did you realize that the White Sox have a worse second half record than the Cubs? Yah. And the Twins are 68-30 since June 5. Ridiculous. I have more White Sox thoughts to share as the season peters out over the next week...


Giants Need To Go, Too

On Friday, I saw Fearless. Seeing marital arts movies like this always make me want to kick people on my way out of the theatre. After seeing The Matrix, for instance, Jeff and I did whole routines of slo-mo fighting and running up on walls. And after this, I wanted to compete in to-the-death Wushu battles. Another reason for wanting to kick people on my way out of the auditorium was that I had to use the restroom.

I made it to the restroom before the rush, but only one urinal was open. Regular PTOIT readers will remember another time this happened and I choose to use the low-set kiddie urinal. Well this time, it was the opposite, the urinal was set very high on the wall. I realized (while trying to look around too much) that this restroom had three urinal heights: one kiddie, one normal size and one about 3 inches higher than that. I'm not kidding. I am 5’ 10" and my waist was under the bottom of the urinal. Who is this for?

When I got out of the bathroom I discovered that while I was enjoying my film, the world was being destroyed. Well almost. A major storm passed through and I guess there were funnel clouds above the theatre. But I was more concerned about all the kicking.

(Dated: September 9, 2006)
I was at some school or institution of some kind. I walk out back and there's this stream. A janitor leads me to this busted up, half-sunken wooden row boat in the stream. We get in and it floats. I can't believe how well it works despite being all broken.

When we reach shore, we are in a lush beautiful land of tall grass, forest and brilliant, giant waterfalls. It's kind of like Jurassic Park. The janitor is now my friend Josh. We get out of the boat. I say, "Where are we?" He says, "We're just outside of Nashville."

There are all kinds of animals running here and there. It's untainted and wild nature. But yet, it also like a very busy and popular park. Humans are all over the place--hiking, playing frisbee, etc. At one point, a rhino charges out of the woods and nearly hits a jogger running by. But the runner doesn't seem startled. He just keeps going. And then stops to get a drink at a fountain.

Josh leads me to where I will be staying, a tiny but nice little cabin. Next to it is a huge pavillion. The pavillion has bathrooms in the rear and the lines for them are long. Josh says he needs to go and disappears into the crowd. I walk around the front of the building. There, I see this massive statue enclosed in glass. The bottom is this cluster of bronze hands reaching upward. Above them about 20 feet above are these golden faces wrapped around a globe and looking down. I hear someone mention that this monument is meant to represent a verse from Revelation.


Movie Roulette

So, Josh and I went to see The Illusionist last night. Before he got there, I was in the lobby with these three old women. They had free tickets somehow--and no idea what movies were out. For more than 15 minutes (really), they stood at the ticket counter asking the lip-peirced emo i-hate-my-life cashier what movie they should see. She was obviously thrilled to help them.

I like going to the movies whenever I have a spare couple of hours and just seeing what's playing at that time. Just last week I found out that Charissa and Emily call it "Movie Roullette." I used to do it ever Sunday when I'd return from a youth group trip. Before even going home, I'd see a movie. I'd often do it between church and youth group on Sundays too. I'd often end up seeing hidden gems that I normally wouldn't have seen. But the difference is that I'd look at the marquee and have some idea of what movies were playing. These women last night acted as if they never have heard of a movie before. I wanted to help them, but I really didn't know what to recommend to them. I did tell them tho that The Last Kiss, which they thought sounded like a good romantic epic, probably wasn't for them. So several more minutes ensued as they debated. I thought Emo girl was going to walk into traffic.

Anway, I recommend The Illusionist. Good stuff. I could tell where the mystery was going...but it was told so well I just sat back and enjoyed it. It feels like an old short story written in the early 1900's that you'd read in English class. And it kind of is. It's based on a book, but a more recent one. Anyway, Ed Norton and Paul Giamati are fantastic. But what else is new?

While I'm wearing my Reviewing Shoes, I thought I'd point out a few things. I got to see the new show Jericho. The premise is interesting: A guy comes home to his small town after a mysterious 5-year absence. As he's leaving, nuclear explosions strike at least Denver and Atlanta. Uh-oh. What's happening? What does this small town do? It's been billed as Lost meets Little House on the Prairie. And oddly, that fits. And it should stick to the Lost end. It gets awfully schmaltzy. There's this one scene where all the town's eccentric personalities are confronting the mayor about what to do. And it feels like The Gilmore Girls with nuclear explosions. The tone is just off. It almost feels like a high school production of "Our Town" at points. If the tone was less sentimental and just pitched straight with more mystery, this could be a good show. But as of now, I give it a shaky thumbs kind-of-up.

Meanwhile, if you are confronted in a dark alley by the new comedy The Class, run. Just sprint away. It's horrible.

PTOIT Quotes of the Week

"A koala and a pooh bear? How can one guy be so lucky!" -Becki when discovering that I now have managed to get two free animal costumes. That right, I have a koala costume and a pooh bear costume. Oh yah.

"On the day after a game, you think about a game and how things could have gone differently. I thought this morning about our 84-66 record. Paul hit a grand slam to tie a game here last October. Scott Podsednik won another with a homerun. The point is: We went 11-1 in the playoffs and lost a total of 64 games last year." -Ed Farmer, talking gibberish during a Sox broadcast. With Ed, you always feel like what he's thinking must have a connection in his head. It must make sense...but then it comes out and is non-sensical.

"As a fan, you don't want your team to lose. You want them to win. When they don't win, they lose. And you don't want that." -Ed Farmer again.


It's Finally Here!

All Hands Hoay! Avast ye, mateys, it's finally Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrgh! Shiver me timbers, I never thought the blimey day would come when we'd go on account as pirates. So swab the deck and hoist the main sail, ya Powder Monkey.

PTOIT editor's note: I am so happy that International Talk Like a Pirate Day falls on the day of our quarterly luncheon. I am sure our VPs will throw out some "Arrghs." Update: No one talked like a pirate...

PTOIT Special Feature: Fun with Google

In honor of this most blessed of holidays, we will search Google Images for a Pirate's favorite words!

Search Terms: "Arrgh" and "Matey"

The results:

Photo #1: While at first this appears to have nothing to do with pirates, I've decided that real-life modern-day pirates would indeed drink PBR. They'd definitely get a Hogshead full of this Grog.

Photo #2: Again, no pirates. But I guess he is walking the plank. Or Uni-biking the plank.

Photo #3: No Pirates! And no self-respecting pirate would be seen in this hat.

Photo #4: Finally, pirates. Arrgh.


I Am The Jersey Jinx, or Sorry S-Pods

An Open Letter to Scott Podsednik:

Dear Scotty,

Well, it looks like the White Sox playoff chances are now about as likely as you reaching your stolen base stats of last year. Even the Sox's biggest optimist (me) admits it's over. We're on the outside looking in. Four games behind with thirteen games to go, we'd have to come up nearly perfect in order to win the wild card. The chances of that are not good. As much as coming up big in the important moments was last year's credo, being unable to grasp open opportinites is this year's. We just haven't played well and we've backed ourselves in a corner.

Speaking of not playing well, Scotty, you are the target of much criticism. Most Sox fans are itching to run you out of town. And yes, you won't be back. You just haven't produced. Your base running abilities have disappeared, you're a lead off man who can't get on base, and you've missed plays in the outfield that should be made. Sure, you had a great game yesterday (except for another caught-stealing), but it's just too little too late. You were my favorite player. You still have a place in my heart. But even I must admit that you're not consistently helping the team. You're not the S-Pods you were last year in leading us to that World Series Championship.

And this, Scotty, is where I have to take the blame. I know, I know. You're thinking, But Todd, how could it be your fault? I am the one striking out four times in one game. But let me tell you what I did. Over the off-season, I got your jersey. This seems innocent. But it's not. Let me explain.

I've owned three players' jerseys in my life. When I was in high school, I started following the Buffalo Bills. I just loved quarterback Jim Kelly. I bought his jersey. I wore it all the time. But just a few months after I bought it, the Bills went to the Super Bowl for the first time. And we know what happened. They preceded to lose 4 Super Bowls in a row.

A few years ago, I was again a fan of a quarterback who wore the number 12. Rich Gannon of the Raiders. He was a gun-slinging quarterback who lent huge numbers to my fantasy team. As the Raiders entered the playoffs, I showed my support by buying a Rich Gannon jersey. They were massacred in the Super Bowl and Gannon's career, for all intents and purposes, ended there.

And then I got a #22 Scott Podsednik jersey. Luckily I didn't get it until last Christmas--after you helped us when the World Series or else the Astros really would have had a championship season. But still, damage was done to your career. And I am sorry.

But now, enjoy your last few days as a White Sox. And maybe, just maybe, this admission will be an exorcism that will bring you back to life. And magic can happen again. But yah, probably not. At least I'll always have your bobblehead to remind me of the good times we had.


PTOIT Special Feature: Dream Log
(Dated: 9/18/2000)
My sister is getting married to a kid she grew up with. They aren't dating (in or out of the dream) but just decided to get married. They are 16. When I ask her why she wants to marry him, she says, "I just wanted someone to sit with at lunch."

The ceremony is at my parent's church. For the reception, we all go to a small pond nearby. And fish. I catch a giant lizard. It won't come off the hook, so I cut it in half. The front half runs all the way back to the church. I chase it and watch it regenerate it's back half as it runs into the church. I go in to find it.

Inside, my grandparents are still in the church pew. They are wearing St. Louis Cardinal uniforms. When I ask them why, they say, "Because your Aunt Donna gave them to us."


The Roy Willaims Promise

You may have heard that Detroit Lions WR Roy Williams has guaranteed the win Sunday against the Chicago Bears. This is a man on an 0-1 team that scored 6 points in their first game. Yet, he said, "there's not a defense in the NFL that is going to stop us." Hmmm. What is wrong with people in Detroit?

So, Mark and I took a look at what else Roy Williams has guaranteed:

-Chicken dinners for the poor
-Jessica Simpson, PhD
-Weapons of mass destruction
-Peace on Earth
-Nice French people
-The oceans will dry up by October
-No more ugly people
- Osama Bin Laden's hidden location
-Subs so fast you'll freak
- Jfk's killer
-President Jess Ventura, Vice-President Arnold Schwarzenegger
-2007 World Series Champs: The Royals
-A replenishable fuel source
-No more Pauly Shore movies
-Pizza in 30 minutes or it's free
-Barry Bonds used no steroids
-There were no dinosaurs
-A Cubs championship
-Middle East group hugs

A virtual gushing current in my pocket

One day when I worked at CT, I was down in the lunchroom heating up my TV dinner. When it was done, I realized that the TV Dinner was so large and hot that I needed two hands to carry it. But I had a can of Sprite too. Easy enough. I slipped the soda can in my front pants pocket. (It was unopened.)

I walked up the stairs, through the door onto the first floor and then around a tight corner where a short metal filing cabinet jutted out. I took the corner too sharply and I heard a "Tink" and then a "SSSSSSSSSSS." I didn't really realize what had happened. I kept walking. And then, I felt a cold sensation against my leg. My brain suddenly reliazed that the metal corner had pierced the can in my pocket. It started as a trickle. And became a spray. Soon, I had a virtual gushing current streaming out of my pocket. The dark circle grew along my right hip and then rushed down the outside of my leg.

It all happened very quickly. One minute I am a guy with a TV dinner walking along the hallway. The next, I am a guy still holding a TV dinner but with a soaked leg of Khakis now weighing about 80 pounds. I set the TV dinner down and pulled the can out of my pants. Sprite shot down the hall. I put my hand over the hall and rushed it to the bathroom. I threw the can into the sink. The sweet sugary smell became intoxicating.

After throwing the drained can away, I retrieved my TV dinner. My sock was now wet and made that squishy sound when I walked. The entire pant leg was dark brown, sticking to my leg and dripping. Who knew a can of pop holds that much soda?

I grabbed my truck keys from my office and popped my head into my boss Ted's office. "Hey, I am running home," I said. "I need new pants."

When I got back, my TV Dinner was cold. And I had no Sprite to drink.

PTOIT Quotes of the Week

"So today at work everyone thought it was my birthday for some reason, and there was even brownies...so I went with it." - My sister.

"I have an idea for a movie discussion guide and would like your permission to pursue it. It is based on the film Snakes On a Plane and is centered around getting a better understanding of God's Judgment." -A real e-mail recieved by our company.

"The only juicing Ryan has ever done is apple or orange." --Ryan Howard's brother Chris in a discussion of steroids.



I had a close call yesterday. And a near-HR disaster. All in one incident.

I went into my boss Chris' office to discuss some pertinent matters of magazine publishing. Or to talk about sci-fi. One of the two. I sat in the little chair across from his desk under the bulletin board. When we ran out of things to talk about, I stood up and left. Nothing strange yet.

But then, Chris began to yell and chase me out of the office. That's not all that unusual actually. Then it got weird. "Stop moving," he urgently ordered. "Don't move!" Always obeying my boss' orders, I stopped and stood still against the file cabinet. This is when it got really weird. He began doing something behind my back. To the back of my pants.

"I am uncomfortable right now, " I said.

"Don't move," my boss repeated.

I am sure the two of us created a very odd picture there in the hall. And I am so glad no bigwigs happened to be strolling by. After about 15 seconds, Chris held up what he'd perceptively seen: A thumbtack stuck in the seat of my pants. Somehow, it got stuck in there when I sat in his office without me feeling it. But had I re-sat on that, I'd probably have an injury in a bad, bad place.

That is Christlike love right there -- Love knows no better than this: a man who will pull a tack out of the seat of another man's pants.


Step Aside, Tyra

I am very happy to announce that, finally, my career as a model is taking off. I know, we've all been waiting. Well, a while back, the editor of one of our sister publications, Today's Christian, asked me to stand in for a photo shoot and I did.

It turns out the shoot was the day I got into the car accident. I was late and a bit shaken, but I don't think it hurt my work at all. You do get a little feel of frustration and weariness from my expressions and pose. But I was mainly going for confused and aloof. I think you'll agree that I pulled it off.

Without further ado, here's my modeling debut in the Today's Christian Sept/Oct issue:

PTOIT Special Feature: Wedding Wednesday!

I'm kicking off something new today to give reader's a peek into the planning of a wedding--from the groom's perspective. In Wedding Wednesday today, I begin what I assume will be a long glossary of new words I am learning.

Ramekin -- I thought this word was either: 1) A baby goat, 2) a scaley villain from He-Man or 3) A mythical Lord of the Rings character smaller and more delicate than a Hobbit. It's actually some sort of fancy bowl that we're registering for.

Petit four -- Seeing it spelled out isn't as scandalous, but when I first heard The Intended say she wanted to have "Peddifores" at our wedding, I was nervous. I mean, people who cruelly mistreat children have no place at our nuptials. Then she explained she meant this.


The Reviews Are In!

Here's what is being said about me:

"My chosen profession is made worthwhile when I meet people like you, who actually listen to what I say and show such improvement."

"This is just outstanding. Fabulous. I am stunned. I just can't believe it. You deserve a pat on the back!"

What's everyone raving about? My dental care! My dental hygienist and dentist--perhaps the most encouraging, affirming people on Earth--were over-the-top complimentary and celebratory at my sixth month cleaning yesterday. They talked so much about how great I did at brushing and flossing, I thought I'd leave with a trophey. Or at least a gold star sticker. But nada.

Still, the comments on my good "home care" are huge. As longtime readers know, I haven't been the "best" at oral health. I didn't go to the dentist for 7 years. When I went early this year, it was a bad bad scene. But no longer! I am now the model of dental hygiene. My dentist said so.

I am sad to report that I have one tiny cavity. But my dental team says the cavity is from the damge done in the 7 years of negect--not the last 6 months of stellar home care. So I will return next week to fill that cavity in and make it 5 dental visits in one year.

PTOIT Special Feature: Fun with Google

This weekly feature again finds us searching Google with two random search words to see what comes up.

Today's Search Terms: "Car" and "Toilet"

The Results:

Photo #1: Look, it's gas-powered. haha.

Photo #2: This is apparentely a two-seater in a mine somewhere. Can you imagine two burly miners needing to both sit down and use the pot? "Hey, pass the TP would ya?" And what's that huge crank for?

Photo #3: I thought this was a prank photo at first. But it's apparently an actual product you can get for camping. I'm not sure really how it works. But if you are going to use it, I recommend seizing the car keys.

Photo #4: There's nothing that can be said to add to that.


That Suckey Thing

So, babies hate me. It's a trend. Or a conspiracy.

I was at lunch with my friend Laura, her two daughters and one of the high school youth group kids, Mike. Laura's oldest had to go to the bathroom so she asked me and Mike to watch Jenna. I love when more than one guy tries to watch babies together. I find it hilarious. And this was no exception.

I continued feeding Jenna her baby food. Everything was fine at first. And then the uncontrollable weeping and screaming began. Mike, ever helpful, suggested we try to find "that sucky thing." Holding the wailing, violently-thrashing child in one hand, I handed Mike the baby bag in the other to find the pacifier. After a few seconds of searching, he said, "Oh! and pulled something out. I thought he'd found the solution to all our troubles. And then I saw a small bottle in his hand and he said, "Look, sunscreen. Maybe that's what she wants." We didn't lather her up, but I am pretty sure that's not what she wanted.

Mike then found a rattle. He began shaking it loudly. "Mike, that will do no good," I said. And then, Jenna stopped crying. She was fixated on the rattle. "Keep shaking, Mike!" After 1.3 seconds of fascination, Jenna decided the rattle wasn't entertianing after all and the crying commenced.

Luckily, Laura returned and instantly, Jenna stopped crying. I did too.

Fantasy Football Update: It may be a long season for Papa Bear Malice. I have one more player going tonight but I am down 73-40 so the odds aren't too good. I didn't think I drafted that poorly until the holes became evident yesterday. Quarterback Drew Brees may have not been the "best" choice. I need more than 1 TD from you, Drew. Heck, I should have taken Rex Grossman over him. One thing I am bitter about is that I'd never heard of Reuben Droughns of Cleveland until the draft. My draft sheet said he was the next highly rated runningback to take. So I took him. The reality: He blows. Cleveland only gave him the ball 11 times. 27 yards, Reuben? No thanks. Of course, there is hope. My receiving corp (Harrison, Coles, Shockey and Ward) is strong. We may still pull together a decent season. And at least I have no Packers.

PTOIT Special Feature: Dream Log!
(Dated April 5, 2005)
I'm in a large banquet room and there's a room full of formally-dressed old men. We are all eating at round tables. It's a memorial service for the Pope. An old priest asks me to do a reading in the service. I agree to. When the time comes in the service, I go to the lecturn and start the reading. That's when I realize it is in Polish. And I don't know Polish. I wish I would have prepared more. Instead, I begin to just sound out the words. I pretend like I know what I am saying. As I go, I begin to actually understand it. In fact, the words begin to physically turn into English on the page.


Singed Baby Hair

I think the blog is going to suffer a lack of updates because Fantasy Football time is here. I have spent so much time in the last two days juggling my roster and figuring out who to play. It's an illness really. I tend to over-manage. I already dropped a guy on a whim--and now it looks like I should have kept him afterall. I am not even sure why I got rid of him. I just got it in my head that he was no good. D'oh.

Anyway, I thought I'd introdouce a quick new feature this week. All the blasts form the pasts this week made me realize that when I have no new fun stories, I have lots of old ones! So here it goes:

One day in junior high, I was at my friend Jason's house. Three or four of us were over hanging in the basement and no parents. We were hungry. We wanted pizza. But we were lazy. So we hit the small kitchenette in the basement's bar. There was a freezer. In it we found frozen pizzas. Score. So we popped them int he downstairs oven because then we had to do no walking up stairs.

Jason pre-heated the oven. And waited. And Waited. It wouldn't get hot. The oven was still stone cold. But yet, something smelled hot. Then we smelled the burning.

We looked everywhere. What could be burning? What is hot? The oven isn't even warm! Then I checked the broiler under the oven. Smoke billowed out. Jason had turned on the broiler insted of the oven. All would be fine but Jason's sister used the broiler to play house and it had been full of plastic dishes, glasses and baby dolls. Oops. The broiler was now coated in melted plastic and simmering hair.

Being stupid junior high boys, we decided to jump to action to clean it up so that we would get in no trouble--even tho it was an accident. We used my pocket knife to scrape plastic off the broiler racks. We doused doll baby hair to put out the redhot embers. And Joey put the glasses under cold water to cool them off. And we all know what that did. Yah, they shattered. That was kinda exciting actually.

PTOIT Quotes of the Week

"Attack, Attack, Attack." --What Doug V thinks he heard his 8-month-old daughter whispering this week.

"[The lead actors of The Covenant] hope to unravel the mystery of this new impending doom as they strike actor poses in sleeveless shirts and relaxed fit jeans. Sons of Shatner, UNITE FOR JUSTICE!! At any given moment the movie could have dissolved into an overdub of a narrator from Project Runway saying, "Caleb is fighting evil today in distressed denim and a tight basic black t-shirt, proving that simple themes can battle back bad fashion anyday! (Caleb strikes a pose and broods)." --A review for the movie The Covenant which is undoubtedly more fun than the movie.

"Meanwhile, back at the dorms, [the female characters] ponder the motivations of their men while finding reasons to disrobe or just sit around in their underwear." -That same Covenant review.

"You know it's fall when the UPS man starts wearing pants." -Doug F.


Free Massage Ettiquette

I had breakfast with Doug this morning at our normal little diner and it made me think of a story that I never told anyone. One morning, I got to this little greasy spoon before Doug. As I sat there, I began to think maybe I had crossed over into some kind of bizarro world.

There were three other customers in the restaurant. And starting with the booth furthest from me, our regular waitress started going from person to person with something that sounded like a tiny motor. I wasn't sure what what happening but I could hear the soft "whirrrrrrrrr" sound as she stood next to their table and each customer seemed to be appreciative. After about two minutes, the waitress would move to the next customer.
When she got to the third person, I saw that she was giving everyone hand massages with some kind of little electronic massager. Now, there's nothing wrong with getting electronic hand massages from a stranger. But it's just weird. Especially when your waitress is methodically moving through the patrons of the establishment in this way. The third guy asked her to use the little massager on his neck. And it just creeped me out. It seemed so random and out of place.

After the neck guy, my booth was next. I was trying to figure out what the proper ettiquette is when a waitress offers you a free hand massage instead of, you know, bringing you your orange juice in due time. I wanted to find an uninsulting way to decline. I rehearsed a few lines in my head: "No thanks" or "No thanks, I just had a hand massage at the last diner" or "No thanks, my hands are properly loose" or " No thanks, I'm not that kind of guy." As I thought about it, my hands started to feel stiff and cramped. I caught myself thinking, Boy, I could use a hand massage right now...crap. Nevermind.

Just as the massage in front of me was ending, Doug walked in and the waitress realized that she had to go get another menu. After that, she just took people's orders.

As Doug sat down, I so wanted to tell him what had just occurred. Instead, I just sat there with a weird smirk on my face. Which really isn't that out of the normal.


A Blast From the Past, Part II

Today's blast from the past is a little non-fiction essay I like to call, "I Feed the Dog." I am not sure how old I was during the writing of this peice but we're guessing 2nd or 3rd grade. It is from the "Fox and Rabbit Take a Walk" era.

I've kept all the original capitalization and spelling:

I feed the Dog
I feed my dog.
I do it in her pin.
I do it Tusday, thusday and Saturday.
My brother dos it the ohoer day's.
I do it Becuse I don't what my dog to Die.

I think the best part of this finding (besides my reasoning for feeding the dog) is the illustration with it. I loved to draw. In another school project we found, I wrote that I was going to grow up to be an artist. And you know, I wasn't bad. But I think my talent plateaued because this picture of a dog is better than I could do now at 29.

My dad takes issue with "I Feed the Dog." He claims it is not actually non-fiction, because he doesn't recall anyone but him ever feeding the dog.

A Blast From the Past

I took a trip down memory lane this weekend when my mom got out some of my old grade school papers and drawings. (This is a continuation of our efforts to clean out of my old bedroom closet.) I was quite the artist. I tended to draw Santa a lot. And dogs.

But the best findings were my writings. I thought I'd share a story today. (Tomorrow, I will share an excellent piece of nonfiction titled, "I Feed the Dog.") In today's story, I kept all the spelling and capitalization of the original. Note in this story my very early distrust of bears. And my love for dramatic fight scenes. And meat.

I wrote this in 2nd grade, we believe:

Fox and Rabbit Take a Walk

Once upon a time there was a Rabbit who Loved carrits. And there was a fox who Loved meat. The Rabbit and the fox were frends. One day the fox and the Rabbit were walking through the forest. And a bear attacked the fox and the Rabbit. And the bides Rapped vinees aRound the bear. And tock him to a cave with a rock by it. They had a tiggr put the rock by the hole of the cave. And I forgot to say that the Rabbit was a girl. And the fox was a boy. And the fox and Rabbit got marryed.

PTOIT Special Feature: Fun with Google!It is back! America's favorite sensation where I search Google Images with two random words to see what I get.

Today's Search Terms: "Garbage" and "Monster"

The Results:

Photo #1: Finally, a monster truck is featured on PTOIT. Can we all say Amen?

Photo #2: This is an odd photo. Everyone knows that no self-respecting Green Garbage Monster would be seen in public in blue denim.

Photo #3: No garbage. No monster.

Photo #4: This image sums up exactly why Fun with Google exists. Whoo. This is nice. I like to imagine this guy's name is Hank. And he's playing "Tip Toe Through the Tulips." Or some New Wave hit.


Not a Rookie, Not Quite a Vet

I've had one of those age revelations this week that I think we all encounter at some point. I'm not facing any sort of mid-life crisis (whew, since that'd mean my 60th birthday would be a real bummer). And no, I'm not freaking out over my age. I'm only 29. But instead, it's just hit me that I'm an adult in a new way. I've gained a new gauge upon which to weigh my age.

And, being a guy, of course it would come to me through professional sports.

I remember being a kid and looking up to my parents or teachers or other adults and assuming that they somehow had it together. It was almost as if I assumed that at some point you passed an "Adult" test and then knew what to do, what to say, and how to have it together. You were something GREATER. You were an ADULT. As I got older, I realized that really isn't the case at all. You never really have it together. And maybe you never really feel like an adult. You're just you, but around for longer. I made that revelation first when I got to be the age my parents were when I was born. I couldn't believe they could hand out infants to people like me: so young, so immature, so unprepared. Then, shortly out of college I had to pay all my bills, and then I had a mortgage and was the only person with a set of keys to my residence. It all made me think about this thing we call "adult."

But this new thought is a bit different. When I was a kid, I looked at professional athletes as these men who could take on all obstacles. These guys had it together. Maybe even I rationalized why they were so good and could think so quickly and do what they do by reminding myself they were adults. They were older than I, and maybe someday I could achieve what they have. But this week I've heard a lot of talk aobut players' ages. And I realized that if I were a professional athlete, I'd no longer a rookie sensation. They'd be starting to call me a veteran.

It's sobering to look at your favorite team and realize that most of them are younger than you. And the team veterans--the old guys--aren't much older than you. Paul Konerko is a year older than I. Jermaine Dye three years.

I guess the consolation is that if I were a coach, I'd be considered really young.

Best of the Spam
Best Recent Addresses: Daintily K. Impunity, Twiddle M. Workaday, Gloomier E. Muesli, Ruler V. Forgettable

Best Recent Subject Line: "Rigorous Minivan"

Quote of the Week
"[Coach Bill Parcels] doesn't know my groin." -Mike Vanderjagt, Dallas Cowboys kicker, about who should decide whether he is healthy to play or not.

"Ahhh, your shirt is really blue!" -Emily, explaining why she was so frightened as I entered her office.