Wednesday, April 29, 2009

deficit spending

Deficit spending is what politicians do when they want to be popular. It's like the kid at lunch who used to steal your ho-ho and promise you something tomorrow...every day of the week...* I guess that analogy breaks down because he wasn't popular because he stole the ho-ho, he stole the ho-ho because he was popular. But I think you get the idea.

Growing up, it always really bothered me when I heard people talking on the news about how we were spending more than we were making in tax collections, and thus saddling our children with debt. I mean, that really chapped my hide. Here I was, an innocent (and supremely nerdy--have you ever met a ten year old concerned about the national debt?) child, and my parents were spending my inheritance! How dare they!

Just the other day I read a line saying something along the same vein, about how we're spending too much and our children will have to pay for it, yadda yadda yadda. My anger started boiling up until I realized--hey, I'm old enough to have children! THEY'RE going to have to pay for all of this!

I don't feel bad about that at all. Not one bit. I mean, they're getting the flying cars, the trips to the moon, the iPhone head implants, and the jars with pre-mixed peanut butter, honey, and bread, and here I am slogging around with a laptop that weighs three pounds. THREE pounds people. My back is starting to consider possibly hurting sometime in my eighties just thinking about it. But when my back does start hurting, you bet I'm going to be voting that national debt up to saddle me in that anti-gravity chair.

So bring on the pork people (just not the pork pandemic). There's only so much time I have left before I possibly maybe have children, and then saddle them with debt. And if not, I'm saddling YOUR children with debt!! Even better!!

Universal healthcare? Bring it! Healthcare for the universe? Better! Star wars missile defense systems? Yes! Bridges to nowhere? Sure! Just make 'em wide enough so I can drive my fat ol' hummer** across.

This is how I learned to stop worrying and love the deficit.

*Just kidding, did you really think I got ho-hos for lunch? I got peanut butter and honey and bread. Every. Day. Of. Elementary. School.
**Don't get the wrong impression. MY hummer isn't a dirty polluting machine. It's green. Literally. That and it uses a sustainable power source--squirrels. Or any small cuddly animal. Feed them on in there, it chomps them up, and away you go.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

mosquitoes

As my good friend Julie says, mosquitoes are the devil's minions. And this is a true fact.

As the good book says, God
created the world in six days. And when He was resting on the seventh, the devil sent his minions to suck the blood of the poor Edenians. To continue with our biblical history, Noah, for some inexplicable reason, must have let mosquitoes on the ark. Should I ever get a chance to speak to Noah, that is the first item of discussion. I expect it to become quite violent.

People hate vampires because they suck blood. People hate rats because they transfer diseases*. Mosquitoes do both. They should be doubly hated, doubly cursed above any vampire rat.

Unfortunately, that's not all mosquitoes do. Not content with making us miserable through biting us and making us itch, they spend their evenings looking for ears to buzz around. There is no greater frustration than hearing that buzzing sound as you're trying to sleep, and you flap your arms around you in useless throes of agony. My blood is cu
rdling right now at just the thought.**

However, sometimes fortune smiles on the violent. Just the other day I had a mosquito buzz me in the evening, causing much temptation for adultish words to escape my mouth, which temptation I avoided. I swore (as in, swore an oath, not a word) I would find and kill said mosquito. Well, I want every mosquito in the world to behold THIS!


What is that, you ask? THAT'S YOUR BROTHER, DEAD ON MY WALL. BUZZ ME NOW SUCKERS!

So, let's review the lessons we've learned today:
  • Mosquitoes transfer diseases.
  • Mosquitoes bite us and make us itch.
  • Mosquitoes are the devil's minions.
  • Noah is going down.
And one last note to any mosquito out there reading: If you even think about buzzing my ear at night, I will smash your puny body on my wall. And though I'm not a particularly violent person, I will laugh at your corpse. And maybe spit on it.

*Okay, that's a myth, but I couldn't think of any better animal.
**Including the blood that was wrongfully sucked and stolen from me.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

buttons

Buttons are an amazing invention. Humans for centuries draped themselves in loin cloths and robes, but after the advent of buttons we can enjoy wearing pants, shirts, onesie-pajamas, and suits. Buttons also give people an easy way to figure out who is fashionably incompetent.

You wouldn't know it from the guy who sold you your suit, but he's actually peddling rat traps, and you just stuck yourself in one. You, sir, are in deep trouble. How, you ask? Well, take a look at that suit coat. What exactly are you to do with those buttons?

Well, on most articles of clothing, buttons are meant to be buttoned. Suit coats don't follow these archaic norms, though*. There are functional buttons and stylistic buttons and buttons which appear functional but are completely stylistic. Don't ever ever ever ever buy a double-breasted suit. You'll die of confusion**.

But on single-breasted suits, which buttons do you button? I spent a long time discussing this subject with a feminine acquaintance who sells upscale clothing for a living, and the rule is as follows:
  1. Let the buttons be numbered 1 through n.
  2. Let x represent the number of any given button.
  3. Button x if a girl tells you to.
Actually, that's not the only way you can tell. For example, if the suit coat has three buttons, you can button the middle button on Sunday, but not after 3:00. You are allowed to button the top button if the room you are in has a ratio of male to female exceeding 2:1. And you can button the bottom button if you are being chased by a seething gelatinous monster.

If you disobey a button rule, you are in deep trouble. It's sort of like neglecting the prominent mucus currently emerging from your nose. Everyone sees it and registers your undesirability, but nobody tells you about it until after you've spoken to every attractive woman you know.

Buttons are also devious little devils. They'll often infect perfectly good pants, overpower the zipper, and place themselves as the release mechanism. Except, in that situation they ensure the button holes are half their size, causing immediate panic when you realize you need to use the facilities and it's going to take several drill presses to get out of your straight jacket pants. Curse the lousy designer who thought that was a good idea. I mean, seriously. Did you ever try those pants on yourself? There is no greater feeling of disappointment than coming home from shopping, and discovering you inadvertently purchased the button-clad pants. The worst.

*If you think suit coats are bad, just be glad you're not wearing a vest as well. What combination of four vest buttons can you button? It's like playing codebreaker without the helpful feedback mechanism.
**That, and they're ugly (sorry, but they are). Unless you're Cornelius from Hello Dolly!, don't even think about it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

you vs. you're

Apparently, judging by recent internet activity (YouTube comments*, blog posts, official statements made by heads of state), the entirety of humanity has lost the ability to distinguish between the two words your and you're. I'm completely confident that we are now in the midst of a your revolution, and will soon see one of those two words** succumb to the texting masses, and become an archaic expression like "forsooth", or "descant", or "abstinence".

So, in order to educate my esteemed friends of the younger generation***, I thought I'd take a few minutes to explain the difference, in the unlikely event you take history and are confronted by these two words.

Your explains possession. Example phrases would be:
  • Your mom.
  • Your dog bit my ankle and now I would like to have it killed and investigated for rabies, not because I fear rabies, but more because I dislike dogs.
  • Your a dummy.
Actually, the last sentence is incorrect. In the event you use that sentence, the reverse is true: you're a dummy. Seeing the sentence "your a dummy" should be like nails on a chalkboard to your pompous soul.

You're is used when you are combining the concepts of "you", and "are". That is, you are explaining a quality someone else possesses. Examples are as follows:
  • You're a dummy.
  • You're never going to be able to jump over that ditch containing rancid sewage.****
  • Your mom thinks you're never going to understand this concept because your brain has been turned to mush by your bad habits, but don't feel bad, she doesn't think you're a dummy like I do.
I realize your head may be spinning from that last one, but I'm going to push through to the crux of the lesson. The you/you're paradox allows for a very important test.

Do you believe you're genetically superior to people who incorrectly use your/you're?

If the answer is yes, you're pretentious. If the answer is no, you most likely use the pair incorrectly, and thus, as discussed above, your a dummy.

I'm not entirely certain which is worse.

*YouTube comments are the very lowest form of communication known to man, and for that reason, probably the most read. I could spend hours sifting through that drivel, chuckling all the way.
**So, let's pretend I'm not that smart for a minute. Talk to me like I'm a third grader. Is you're technically a word? Do contractions count as words? I'm humming conjunction junction to myself, but that doesn't mention anything about contractions...
***HAH! I barely have friends in MY generation, let alone the younger one.
****This was half true when it escaped my lips. He managed to clear it on all occasions but one.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

group projects

The last group project I ever did was in Junior High.  My group consisted of Bob* the crack addict, Jim the crack addict, and Bill the crack addict.  Due to that pleasant experience**, I've hated group projects ever since.

However, group projects, I've discovered, get an undeserved bad rap.  After over ten years of no group projects, I find myself enrolled in three classes which require group projects.  Group projects are pleasant experiences*** under the following conditions:
  1. Your group consists of ridiculous over-achievers.
  2. You care the least about your grade.
Thus, I'd encourage you to not seek to avoid group projects if you have given up on school.  They aren't that bad.

Though, this does not necessarily remove my main contention with group projects.  Professors will try and claim that they are making you do a group project to prepare you for the "real world" because this is how work gets done in the "real world".  My two points of contention are as follows****:
  1. Professors are lazy, and don't want to grade that many assignments, which is why they assign group projects.
  2. In what non-clam-baked world are group projects like reality in any possible way?
Professors commonly use the phrase "real world" to describe a reality with which they are unfamiliar.  The "real world" as they refer to it is a figment of their tenured imaginations.  Consider it: professors almost never exist in the real world.  So how are they capable of describing its features?

For the students and professors among you, let me explain how work gets done in the real world*****:
  1. You do not actually form groups based on who has what are commonly referred to as "friends".
  2. You are assigned a group based on where you get a job.
  3. You get a job based on where you apply.
  4. You apply to positions and companies based on how desperate you are and how much money you no longer have.
  5. Oh, that group thing is more appropriately referred to as a group of slaves assigned to an overlord, a slave driver, or an individual called "the boss"******.
  6. The boss whips you until you get something right.
  7. Your group members laugh at you until they are whipped as well.
Group projects in school are lacking a key characteristic which separates reality from the "real world": tyrannical despots.

So the next time you're assigned a group project, be sure to be the least academic of your group, and roll your eyes every time the professor tries to claim this is how the world works.

*Names have been changed as those giving them to me were too high to give their actual name.
**This comment was sarcastic, even if the act of becoming clam baked could be considered pleasant by some.
***Even minus the clam baking.
****Deep apologies, as I normally restrict myself to one list per post (lpp), but in this case I could not avoid two lpp.  This should not, however, hurt my average lpp ranking.
*****Okay, this is starting to hurt my lpp average.  And my fpp average (footnotes per post, not to be confused with fp, which is a different thing entirely).
******I put that in quotation marks to up my qmpp ranking.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

math class

For the majority of my life, math class has been a chance to flaunt my numerical prowess. Upon entering the class, a sly grin would cross the face of the head containing my superior intellect, and I would begin to exact revenge on my less-mathematically inclined classmates, especially those less-mathematically inclined classmates who were more physically inclined than I could ever dream of being. The latter segmentation isn't really a segmentation, as pretty much all of society, including 89 year old men with walkers are more physically inclined than I am*.

I would flaunt my supposed superiority in a variety of ways. Speaking with a pirate accent during tests (dyargh, number three shall walk the plank!), or drawing elaborate pirate ships on my tests after finishing. My classmate in crime, Dan Chan, was a valuable pirate-mate in these adventures. Oh, how we were despised. Oh, how the teacher would threaten to string us up by our thumbs.

My days of superiority have come to an abrupt end.

In a distressing about-face, I have fallen from grace. No more do I strut into math classes with the confidence of a man who is so terrible at basketball that not even the teams comprised entirely of non-basketball-playing women will pick him. I mean, the confidence of that same man who is now entering his own briarpatch. No, now I enter as one of the mortals (as I used to refer to them), shifty-eyed and scared.

With this recent turn of events, I've come to understand what most people go through in math class, and I wanted to document this experience for posterity, especially that posterity that never attends math class because the music and English crowd get their way:

The height of your stomach is inversely proportional to the distance from the class you are approaching. Arriving at the door, you note expressions of Pi to hundreds of digits displayed on the crossbeam; this is mathese for "abandon hope, all ye who enter here". Sitting down on the last row, you avoid making eye contact with your captor, and refrain from making any facial expression, lest you be called on to say something. Anything.

The tormentor begins his speech. Your damndedness is determined by the ratio of symbols to numbers: the higher the ratio, the deeper in trouble you are. A ratio of infinity means you will fail. No questions asked.

Panic builds as you realize you understand every individual word, but the combination of words sounds something akin to Jabberwocky. Master math continues with his cursing spell, "The Heine-Borel Theorem states that a subset E of R
k is compact if and only if it is closed and bounded." Huh? I drive a compact...and what was that about a heiny?

But this isn't the worst of it. After thirty minutes of panic and confusion, the real terror has not yet begun. No, you're not fully doomed until a classmate raises his/her hand and asks a relevant question. ALL IS LOST! If you were all confused, at least you could count on the curve to save you. But ice forms in your innards as you finally realize: you're the only one in here that doesn't have a clue what's going on.

Lowering your head, you exit to the sound of the bell. Your classmates are having lively discussions about the course material, and you mumble an incoherent reply as you shuffle out, a broken man.

Luckily, by the grace of God, you see one of your classmates in the gym later that day, and realize a very important fact: he is definitely sissier than you**. The last shred of decency you possess restrains you from pounding him mercilessly to the floor for his numerical superiority.

*I'm not even going to mention my experience at P.E., but suffice it to say that it was sufficiently painful and embarrassing.
**Except on the basketball court, of course.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are excellent animals to study and love for the guilt-ridden human. This is due to two very important qualities of dinosaurs:
  1. Dinosaurs are extinct, which means we can't feel guilty for taking over their habitat or disrupting their food supply or subjecting them to torture by sadistic scouts.
  2. We did not extinguish them.
Dinosaurs are also convenient animals to emulate. In the (Calvin and) Hobbesian view of the world, dinosaurs are helpful in intimidating and dispatching of enemies.

No other animal or groups of animals fits these criteria. If they are currently alive, humans are in the process of exploiting and killing them. If they are extinct, it's because we killed them off. And if they're extinct, and we didn't kill them off, they're trilobites, and BORING*.

So if you're in the mood for reading about animals without any guilt, or you're looking to live out your wildest fantasies involving eating your first grade teacher, I'd suggest picking up some books in the dinosaurs section. This will help take your mind off the fact that the very act of driving to the library and reading has killed five acres of rainforest, sixteen squirrels, and five thousand four hundred and sixty two bright pink koala bears**.

*Thousands of Utah school teachers do not understand this. They make constant reference to the number of trilobite fossils in Utah, and how amazing this is and adfljaljasdl. Oh sorry, I fell asleep just writing about them. They are stupid creatures. Barely worthy of mention. If they were alive today, I'd kill them all myself, just as punishment for their boringness.
**They're bright pink from the chemicals that leach into their water supply from rubber-ducky producing factories.