Tuesday, February 24, 2009


No other household appliance inspires so much contention as does the simple dishwasher.

That is, the machine kind. The father of a buddy of mine used to brag about how he had four dishwashers...

There are several different strategies in placing items in a dishwasher. Some people go to great pains to keep things organized, and some people go to great pains to keep things random, as if entropy were somehow helpful in the cleansing process.

It is a general rule, however, that your roommates will fill the dishwasher full of items which have shards of food chemically fused to the ceramics of the dish, and expect the dishwasher gods to magically unbind the food through a combination of chemistry, nuclear physics, and devil worshipping.

Pre-cleaning a dish is generally unfamiliar to the male community.

All of this can be overcome. Dishes can be cycled through endless numbers of washes until the offending bits of food have been removed (I have bowls which have spent the better portion of my adulthood in the dishwasher). The amount of entropy probably won't hurt that much, especially after repeated washings. Annoying, yes, but these things are not a big deal in the long run.

However, there is one crucial, cruel practice which DOES matter.

Which direction are your knives?

The dishwasher is a sanctuary, a holy place where cleansing happens. Peace and love surrounds it. It is not to be confused with a common butcher shop. Why have we taken this asylum, and sullied its immaculate image? Please, please, I beg of all of you, stop facing the knives up. My blood has stained the faces of a thousand dishes, my fingers marked from endless unfriendly pokes, my tears lay on the sad stained hardwood of a dozen floors.

Let us choose non-violence. Let the suffering end.

Monday, February 16, 2009

leaf blowers

Around the start of the space age, non-nerds realized they were soon to be relegated to less desirable jobs, as nerds vaulted ahead in such wonderful fields as nuclear physics, rocket science, and computer programming. Cognizant of the difficulties they would soon face, non-nerds fought tooth and nail to hold on to their status, and you'll still find non-nerds occupying fiefdoms here and there, but the ascension of people such as Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, and Larry Page sounded the death knell for non-nerds.

Therefore, in a parting shot at nerds, non-nerds invented the one true torture device: the leaf blower.

You non-nerds will probably be confused, as you had little idea that your superiors had created that device with your benefit in mind. But let me remind you that nerds typically have poor eyesight, and people with poor eyesight will typically wear contacts, and leaf blowers were invented SPECIFICALLY TO SHOOT PARTICLES IN OUR EYES.

Walking by a leaf blower while wearing contacts is a bit like laying down on nice soft grass, and keeping your eyes open during a hailstorm comprised entirely of pins and rabid porcupines. I am utterly incapable of describing the pain. The words do not exist*. I'm crying just thinking about it.

With that in mind, you'll note that I have a very large hatred towards leaf blowers, and need to restrain myself from shouting obscenities, should I ever pass someone using one. Of course, I have some level of security, knowing that the large person operating said leaf blower most likely cannot hear me. But still, I am a nerd, and fear physical confrontation above leaf blowers, and thus remain sissily silent.

The only saving grace of leaf blowers is that they can be used as a device to wake up my non-nerd neighbors early on Saturday morning, in retaliation for all of the scratches on my cornea.

* adfs;#$Q%#$%al;kl is the only one to come to mind.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

bluetooth headsets

Thank goodness for bluetooth* headsets.

There used to be a time in which people couldn't walk around and talk out loud to themselves. People would cruelly call us "strange" or "weird" or "crazy". But no longer. Now we pretend to have bluetooth headsets.

I'm completely at leisure to talk wherever I go. I can mumble, I can hum, I can suddenly start screaming, and avoid all of the social stigma by directing any noise into a fictional headset. Should it become apparent that I don't actually own a bluetooth headset (I'm wayyyy too cheap for that), I pull my hoodie over my head and jabber away.

Today I caught a girl doing just that. She was on campus, walking around, talking away into thin air, with her hood pulled, assuming everyone would know that she was on her bluetooth headset. Right. She can't get me to fall for that trick. I MADE that trick.

Bluetooth headests are also useful for talking to people, without pressing your cell phone to your head--your cell phone which was specifically designed to produce pain when pressed against an ear. I mean, phone designers back in the fifties understood that people put these things against their ear, and designed appropriately. What do we have today? Spikey metal things. Jerks.

*Every single time I typed 'bluetooth', I first typed 'blootu...', and deleted and started over.

Friday, February 6, 2009

water bottle fountain hoggers

I dare you to try saying the title of this post five times quickly. If any indication of the difficulty, I originally titled it "wattle bottle fountain hoggers". This I changed, thankfully. I understand that "hogs" is probably more correct than "hoggers", but "hoggers" sounds so much better, and even more descriptive of my inner feelings on the subject.

In an increasingly violent world, I find myself in something of a bind. On one hand, I would love for the world to be at complete peace, and for paradise to consume humanity. On the other hand, whenever I get stuck at a water fountain behind someone filling up their gargantuan water bottle (or wattle bottle, as it were), I have a strong undeniable desire to punch them in the back of the head.

Mind you, I understand that they are just being efficient, and reusing containers to a good purpose, and just trying to drink water which is a noble goal in all, but for reasons unknown to me, I have an evolutionary reaction to having to wait three minutes to get a drink. In the wild I would most likely revert to the behavior of large crocodiles as they devour drinking zebras whole, except I would probably make it a far more painful experience should the zebra be carrying a water bottle. Thankfully, societal norms keep me in check.

In closing, without herein admitting guilt, I would like to apologize to the woman in front of me today filling her water bottle. I still maintain that the rock was flung by a passing jogger.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

facial hair

Men are obsessed with facial hair.

Put two men in a room, where one has more facial hair than the other, and invariably the subject will come up during the conversation. Men won't discuss anything of a personal nature with a stranger, and usually subjects revolve around sports or the weather or women, but if there's a facial hair discrepancy, they will delve into their history of hair, how long, how much, how fast it grows, why they grow it, their mother's reaction, etc. They will discuss facial hair longer than they are capable of debating energy policies.

Men are so open about their facial hair most likely because it's the last and only area in which they are undeniably better than women. Thus, discussing their ability to get a fuzzy face validates their masculinity (i.e., betterness than women). Previously, they were able to feel superior by shooting ducks or building fires, or cooking meat, but it turns out that there's no innate reason as to why they should be better at those activities than women. It was a sad realization when they had to retreat to their last palace of dominance: facial hair.

Should any woman attempt to prove me her inferior, I will likely run away crying and yelling about how I can grow a better beard. That being said, there are women who give men a run for their money, which is frightening for multiple reasons, not least because they are encroaching on our last sacred domain.

Among all men, the superiority of the man with the fastest-growing facial hair is a universally known and undisputed fact.