Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Overheard Conversation "...cause you're from India"

This morning I stopped in the gas station to by a big-ass Pepsi, since tired Matt was tired and only got about five hours sleep last night.

When I went into the gas station there was a gruny looking 20-something guy talking to the clerk. The conversation went like this.

Grungy guy: ...I recycle this stuff, steel, old stuff, whatever. There's all this stuff that was our fathers' and grandfathers' and people are just throwing it out. Like this *grabs something on the counter* imagine this was something from the 20s and people are just throwing it out. I take it and recycle it.

Clerk: How do you recycle it?

Grungy guy: I hold onto it for a week and then I try to sell it on Craigslist or in the newspaper. Or I'll go to a flea market, a swap meet. You know what a swap meet is cause you're from India.

Me: *jaw drop*

The guy went on to talk about how he also collects stuff from hoarders "You know, those people that have shit stacked up 25 feet high."

The clerk, as near as I could tell didn't bat an eye. I'm sure they get a lot of people saying strange, or obnoxious, or offensive things all the time. Still, it was not at all what I was expecting to hear on my way into work this morning.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dear Library User, How Hard is it to Follow the Fucking Rules?

This rant brought to you by the asshole with the bagel.

Specifically, I'm talking about the rules that have been established for users at the library I work at. It's not hard. Really, there are only a few rules that one must be aware of and abide by, and even those aren't really that hard.

The rules that I'm talking about are:
1. Lidded beverages are okay, non-lidded beverages, not so much.
2. No food allowed. Period. If you want to eat, take it outside (meaning outside outside), or take it to the brand new, shiny and wonderful cafe that was built for you unappreciative assholes and just opened a couple weeks ago.
3. This is a quite zone, which means no group work and no talking on your cell.

In case you are unclear about any of these things, there are signs posted all over that repeat these rules and indicate if maybe rule three doesn't apply because of the area you're in.

Of the above rules, I've never had a problem with the first one. A few times a week we have to talk to people about 2 and 3. Usually it's not a big deal.

You may not realize that I can see pretty much everything going on in the library from the counter. It is a big open space after all. You also may not realize that because of the way this building was designed and the way the acoustics are, I can hear just about everything that goes on, especially when there are less than a dozen people in here, as there were this morning.

So when you sit down about 20 feet from the desk and start unwrapping the wax paper bag that holds your bagel, what do you think the most likely outcome is going to be? I'll tell you what it is. I'm going to roll my eyes, look for where the sound came from, come out from behind the counter and tell you that food is not allowed. Your options at this point are either to 1. put it away until you leave or 2. take your food to the above mentioned cafe and eat it there.

Of course you took the high road, what with your frustrated sigh, and jamming your bagel back into the bag, getting up in a huff before I was done talking, and storming out to the other end of the hall to stare into the library (from the other library where food still isn't allowed) and eat your bagel in silent fury. Oh, and saying "Thanks bro" to me as you walked in was total class. I hope you choked on that bagel just a little bit.

I understand that it's finals next week and you're probably pretty stressed about that. And hey, it's early-ish in the morning and you're probably hungry. Maybe you should have eaten your bagel before coming into the big building full of books where food isn't allowed.

Now I've been dwelling on this for far too long, and it's starting to color my Friday poorly. I wasn't looking forward to today anyway, but you've really put the icing on the cake.

I should really get back to work, because there are a couple guys that have been whispering this whole time and I should probably say something to them. Maybe one of them will give me a big 'ol thank you like you did.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


That subject line pretty much describes my mental state at the moment. So here, have some music about transvestites.

Why do transvestites make such good subject matter for songs?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Out of the Hole

This was written as a writing exorcize for the February 8, 2012 meeting of the Vernon Area Writers' Support Group. It has been transcribed here with only spelling mistakes being fixed.

The description for the exorcize read: "It's spring. Your character is walking out of doors and sees the burgeoning trees and flowers, hears the birdsong. But the character's reaction to all this newness and freshness is not what you would expect..."

It had seemed like such a long time being stuck in that pit, the darkness, the closeness, the press of the other miners, of the rough rock walls. To emerge into this picturesque spring day was exactly what they had all talked about as hours became days, as the canteens ran dry and their throats became coated in dust and grit. Hadn't David talked about walking out into the sun and praising any deity that would listen? And Tony wouldn't shut up about the first thing he was going to eat when they were finally dug free.

Clarence had gone along with all of it, had his dream of dunking his head into a barrel full of icy water. And then there was that jar of shine he'd been saving for a special occasion.

But as they emerged into the light and openness it was all wrong. The birds were too loud. The media people with their cameras and shouted questions. It was too much. Clarence drifted back toward the hole.

Monday, January 30, 2012

St. Jude Trike-A-Thon!

It's that time of year again, Logan is participating in the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon at preschool! He is hoping to make his fundraising goal for the second year in a row and needs your help! If you are able to make a donation, any amount, no matter how small will help this worthy cause. All proceeds go to St. Jude Research Hospital.

St. Jude is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay.

Click on the link below to donate to Logan's fundraising page!

Thank you for your time!
Matt, Brandi & Logan

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Connect Four, The Most Dangerous Game

Monday night I was playing Connect Four with the kids. With a five-year-old you can play by rules and have an actual game. With a five-year-old and a two-year-old, it quickly devolves into a contest to see who can shove as many red and black checkers into the slots as possible to fill up the board. When the checkers are spilled, it also becomes a bare-knuckled, scratching, screaming fight to see who can drag the most checkers into their laps. (I could have gotten the most if I really wanted to.) There was also a little bit of sticking one of the black checkers in my eye and pretending to be a pirate, which the kids then tried to imitate.

That’s not the most dangerous part, though. The most dangerous part comes in the disassembly. Our version of Connect Four is a little different from the version in the above video. As a kid I had the version in that old commercial and that think would fall apart if you breathed on it too hard. The newer version snaps together so it’s sturdier, and has a ring around the base that not only makes it more stable, but makes sure that checkers don’t go rolling all over the place when you slide open the bottom of the board.

I had it all taken apart except for the last side. It didn’t want to come free, but I had to get it off to store it back in the box. I applied a little more pressure (I didn’t want to break anything so I was trying to be careful) and the support leg came away from the board in a sudden jerk. My thumb was in the way and the dull bit of plastic that was sticking out dug in.

I tell you people, watch out for Connect Four, otherwise, this could happen to you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Last year, Brandi decided she wanted to make a huge change in her life and go back to school to ultimately go back to work. She had wanted to stay home with the kids during the early years, and we were able to make it work, so that’s what she did.

Ever since she’d had Logan, the exceptional care she’d received from the nurses and nursing assistants made her want to enter into that field. She waited until the right time, and then after some discussion, she went back to school to become a certified nursing assistant.

It meant some changes in our house, but we adjusted. She threw herself into the coursework and passed with one of the highest grades in her class. I had no doubt that she would do well, despite her own worries, and I was proud of her for going after what she wanted and being so dedicated to her goals.

After a relatively short job hunt, she successfully landed a job at a hospital nearby that is, from everything we’ve heard, hard to get a job at unless you know someone. She’s been working there evenings and overnights and although it’s been a big transition (and we’ve both lost a lot of sleep) she’s helping people get better and building a career for herself.

She might not always be happy to be leaving the house at night to start a shift where she’ll be on her feet all night and then have to deal with the kids the next day, but she goes out there and provides the best service she can helps people in the healing process. (She gets some pretty good stories out of it too.) I’m proud of all the work that she’s done and the way she sticks with it, and I’m proud of the fact that she’s followed her dreams and made a big change in her life.