Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sugar Cereal

My last post on epidurals generated much controversy. Today I will tackle something even more controversial: the definition of "sugar cereal".

Indeed, this is more controversial, because unlike epidurals where my wife and I agree, my wife and I have widely different views on our definitions of "sugar cereal". In fact, they are polar opposites.

My wife takes the view that anything with sugar in it is a "sugar cereal". This means that everything is a sugar cereal except things like Grape Nuts, Weetabix, and Fiber One. These, of course, are three of the narstiest cereals known to man (not a coincidence).

On the other hand, I take a far more liberal approach in my definition: anything that contains an ingredient other than sugar is not a sugar cereal. That pretty much means that the only sugar cereal on this planet is Capn Crunch. It is also the crunchiest. I know this because the Soggies are never able to get to the Capn, no matter how hard they try.

So my wife and I are at odds on this issue. She will ask me not to eat half the box of a sugar cereal in one sitting. Due to my definition though, this only applies to Capn Crunch. So I will eat half a box of, say, Lucky Charms, and, in addition to really horrible tasting after-burps, I will get an evil look from my wife.

Maybe if she grew up with seven siblings, she would be a little more competitive when it came to getting her share of the "sugar cereal".1

1.This post was written while my daughter slept and my son was nursing. Who says men can't multitask?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bless you, Epidural

From early childhood, the fact that labor is painful gets beaten into our minds over and over. Rhythmic breathing, terribly contorted facial expressions, screaming: these are the images we acquire of labor. It is, we surmise, an exceedingly painful experience.

Then one day we find out that some blessed individual in some blessed land came up with a blessed procedure whereby all that pain can be blocked. And lo, this individual called it an epidural. And the women of the world saw that it was good, and used it.

And then, like hearing that people don't like dessert, we find out that there exist women in this world who have access to this procedure, and yet turn it down. Ponder that for one moment. They can be saved from hours of horrible pain, but they refuse. Why? Why, I ask you, why?!?!

I really have no idea, so the best I could do was put my personal whims and biases aside and analyze this objectively. I came up with the following comparison of the two methods.

Reasons to have an epidural
  1. You experience no pain.
  2. You can joke with the nurses during contractions and pushes.
  3. You can catch a few z's.
  4. Zero pain!
  5. You can watch Toy Story 3 while you labor, and enjoy it.
  6. You can treat your husband like a husband instead of a doormat.
  7. Your husband can treat you like a woman instead of a woman in labor.
  8. And the best reason, no pain.
Reasons to go natural
  1. You can brag to your friends.
Your friends will probably think you are "strong", however this is at least partially offset by the fact that they will also think you are "crazy". Now let's consider the final results as well.

If you have an epidural: you get a baby at the end.
If you go natural: you get a baby at the end.

As you can see, a slight edge to going natural there, but not enough to outweigh the positives of an epidural. I am forced to conclude that everyone should be having epidurals during labor.

sabbatical

Every summer during my college1 years I spent on a sabbatical from dating. Summer Sabbatical, if you will. Those were days of endless mirth and zero wo-misery spent with Mr. Davis and Mr. Sundberg.

In hindsight, that wasn't the most intelligent way to spend my time in Utah.2 I mean, sure, fine, it worked out great for Mr. I Married a Ballerina and I Own a Home and Mr. I Got Married and I Own My Own Business, but not necessarily so well for Mr. I Blog About Getting Rejected by Women.

In that grand tradition, I will be taking a sabbatical from The Complete Guide to Everything. I anticipate resuming in several weeks, or as soon as I feel funny again, whichever comes first. In the interim, I suspect Jeremiah will post if he feels like posting.

Also, it would appear I live close enough to hear the screaming crowds of Emirates stadium cheering for Arsenal. That or there is a really big mob outside coming to lynch me.

Since I'm in a introspective mood, I'll admit that I've contemplating shelving the guide completely for some time for a variety of reasons: I'm too formulaic, my style grows old, my own perceived quality is decreasing, etc., but every time I ponder it, I realize that I really only write here for myself. Well, my primary goal in life is to make the world laugh, but, even when I can't do that, I still find myself unable to live quietly. As a child, I was known as screamer for my decibellic abilities, and this has carried on to adulthood.

For those reasons, I will still be writing, but I will not be posting until I can feel the glee of hitting submit and knowing that I have composed a piece of art, instead of hitting submit and feeling I didn't do as good as my post on belts, calling women, fifty milers, goals, high school reunions, hotels in Kensington, job titles, killer machines, locker rooms, management, meeting women, productivity, queues, summer jobs, or towel etiquette (maybe that will keep you company during the sabbatical).

Also, I have a number of other writing projects that I have been delaying; namely the book (any suggestions on publishers? Does one just randomly submit manuscripts? Or should I just go straight-up eBook route? I totally fell out of love with that idea because the footnotes are really hard to figure out. Also, I hate parentheticals with multiple sentences. How do you even end these things?) and my miscellaneous poetry and literature of other genres.

When I do come back, I will not follow a set schedule, except I will shoot for weekly at minimum.

To summarize, I have just spent an entire page boring you all to tears.3 Luckily, most of you don't speak to me that often, so consider this part of a conversation, one we can continue in the medium of your choice. I miss all of you, my good friends, even if I neglected to create the Perry Family Christmas Card this year.

1. In the UK they refer to it as University, or Uni. I'm sorry, but Uni sounds way too close to eunuch. This is why I instinctively flinch every time I meet a student.
2. I would like to take this time to encourage my younger friends to not wile away their time in the land of milk and honeys, because, when it comes to sheer likelihood of finding a companion, Utah is anything but the desert. Math doesn't lie.
3. I never said it would be worth it, I only said it would be cheesy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

characteristics to look for in a future spouse

Given the absolutely stunning success of The Complete Guide to Everything,1 lately, people have been flocking to my superior intellect, asking me to bequeath upon them some advice on any number of things, and, in particular, I have been asked what characteristics they should be looking for in a spouse.2

Naturally, I am always flattered to have the opportunity to expose some of my many opinions to the mortals.3 Besides telling women to look for someone exactly like me, except with more hair, and fewer known disorders, I also point them to the essentiality of marrying someone who understands the basics of human transport.

Humans are on the go for 43.2%4 of their waking minutes, be it walking, cycling, or driving. I think it's of the utmost importance, when choosing a spouse, to ensure said spouse produces the most globally suboptimal outcome in any travel scenario.

For example, when walking towards an individual, does your beloved mimic their every move? Does he skip frenetically to the right and left, intentionally shrouding the true direction he intends to move? How much awkwardness does he elicit in this interaction? Does he try to make a "witty" remark? Chuckle? Or perhaps blame me for frantically jumping every which way, painfully trying to avoid any human contact, trying to preserve the small amount of dignity I still have after that whole restroom post of some weeks past?

Furthermore, does your beloved drag a wheelie suitcase everywhere he goes? Does he insist on following me down long corridors with the creepy wheelie suitcase rolling, rolling, rolling behind me? Does he and every other person on this planet who follows me with wheelie suitcases deserve to be waterboarded with swamp scum for the anxiety attacks they've given me?

If he does none of this, investigate his cycling skills. When cycling on a two-lane road with a gigantic bike lane, set aside specifically for the sole and exclusive purpose of biking, does he let you take the bike lane, and then ride next to you, chugging along, backing up traffic for miles because he refuses to ride tandem? Does his brain insist that nobody else in the world exists, and that the street which he is biking on, which contains a bike lane, which he is currently riding next to, is for his own personal amusement?

Lastly, when driving, does he make sure to go the unimaginable speed of 55 MPH through the wasteland of California's Central Valley, then speed up to 80 should anyone think about passing him? Does he do this repeatedly for miles and miles? Does he make the man driving the white truck behind him wish his immediate and painful death?

These are important characteristics when choosing a spouse, because these individuals should procreate and promulgate their suboptimality-finding genes among the people on our sidewalks, streets, and freeways.

1. And by stunning success, I mean I now have three (paid) family members reading it.
2. This is the moral equivalent of asking my brother Nathan what life is like without music. He cannot even conceive the premise of the question, let alone provide you an answer. This is the man that I blame for the long-running rule at the Perry house: No Singing at the Dinner Table. I want you to take a few moments and ponder the sequence of events that might have led to that being established as a rule. Which reminds me, have I already mentioned the word goose was all-out banned as well? Good times.
3. Though, as my coworker once informed me, I am a man of many opinions, and yet, "they are all the wrong opinions". So you are here warned.
4. Finding the actual number was too much work, so I made a few guesses and took the median. The statistical term for that is imputation.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ode to Syrup

It's Saturday morning;
For sugar I'm aching.
I've had none since last night,
My fast I'll be breaking.

But how shall I do it?
With donuts? Or Froot Loops?
Some narsty Bran Raisin
That's famous for two scoops?

But lo in the fridge we've
Something more efficient
For vast sugar intake,
and very delicient.

Its two parts of sugar
And one part of water
Keep addicts returning
Like me and my daughter.

It should not dissolve but,
While in the Creation,
A process was made called
Supersaturation.

I pour you all over
My pancakes with care;
With waffles, I ask that
You fill every square.

Sometimes I will cheat and
Pour you on my sausage,
Eggs, bacon, and toast; and
My heart will then stoppage.

We get our fix early
At the breakfast table
We eat the whole bottle
Then lick off the label.

Americas North and
South, Asia and Europe,
All over the world we
Shall reach for the syrup.

Friday, February 4, 2011

earnings reports

One thing I love about when large successful tech companies report earnings is seeing all of my friends discussing how their company made a lot of money.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my wealthy friends and their millions of green friends that money isn't everything in the world. Sure, your company revolutionized the way people compute, listen to music, use the phone, and look like weenies by carrying around Star Trek toys, but my company made a lot of happiness today. What do you think about that? Do you see me online bragging about it? No you don't, because I'm happy.

I'm happy because I don't have my sleep interrupted by the calls and solicitations of the dozens of beautiful women who pursue the people who were intelligent enough to listen to their roommate when he told them to buy all the Apple stock they could back in 2005 when it was $55. Thank you, but I sleep pretty well by myself in my Ikea-furnished flat. Because that's what happiness feels like. Ikea. Sleeping on an Ikea bed with palpable springs lightly caressing your back, under Ikea covers, eating on Ikea dishes, and listening to your neighbors screaming at four in the morning as they head off to Ikea. Probably.

Happiness is one of the happiest feelings in the world, and, to paraphrase the venerable Mr. Grinch, it cannot be bought at a store. Perhaps happiness is a little bit more.

Happiness is more than going over to my old roommate's house, that is, the one he bought with the profits from following his own advice to buy all the Apple stock he could, which is now trading around $345, I might add, and seeing the wife and children he supports with said profits, and eating apples off of the trees he bought with those very same profits.

Happiness is more than that, or even more than having relationships with people who can invest money without causing a stock market crash1 every time they put money into the market. So please desist from carrying out your victory parades with your gold watches and your magic phones and your paper-thin computers and your salaciously shallow supermodels, because underneath that sheen of wealth that you are hoarding away in your Scrooge McDuckian vaults, I want to ask you if you are really happy. Does the fact that you are able to establish homes and support beautiful wives and children really, truly, make you happy? Wouldn't you rather work for a company that makes happiness? I thought so.

I'm also happy because I didn't accept the job offer that would have given me options with a current estimated worth of several hundred thousand dollars, and an IPO in the near future. I'll remind my wealthy friends that I don't have to pay taxes on options I never acquired, and thus I have no AMT to worry about tonight when I do my taxes on my Ikea table. Think about all of that money you guys are giving to the tax man: that's going to pay for food stamps for my children, should anyone ever be dumb enough to procreate with me. Because that's what happiness feels like. Seeing your kids eat food that rich people who work for tech magnates paid for.2

1. I wish to solicit thanks from every single investor in the world at this precise moment, as I am limiting my allocation to stocks. Every other time in my life when I have invested significant amounts of money into the stock market, it has immediately crashed. As evidence, I present to you the year 2000, and the year 2007. When I do start re-allocating, I will warn you all to flee, so that you will not carry the burden, as I do, of having destroyed over half your net worth by poor timing.
2. Before I am fired, let me remind my readers that these posts are written in jest, and I am perfectly happy with my employment and the conditions of my employment, which are nice, and I am happy with the path I have chosen, which has many benefits I choose not relate here. I do, however, take some guilty pleasure in noting my opportunity costs from time to time.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

bing

Surprising the three people who have never looked at a Mac and PC side-by-side, Microsoft was accused of copying a competitor this week.

Of course, this time the competitor was Google, and this time Microsoft copied search results, because, as Bob Jones, Senior Microsoft Search Engineer, blogged, "most of us here just sit around on the pile of money the Windows and Office business spins off. We don't even know how to code. They mainly hired us to massage Steve Ballmer's fee...oh, that's my whistle. Gotta run."

They were discovered when Google engineers noticed Bing was returning screenshots of Google's results, photoshopped to look like the results screen and logo were not designed by a color-blind hippopotamus.

"We were able to catch them with their hands in the cookie jar," said Jimmy "Boy" Newton, Google Engineer, "by using a technique first pioneered by Winnie the Poo: the honeypot. We displayed fictional results for terms nobody would ever search for, like 'balanced news coverage', and 'I want to date a statistician', and 'larry king swimsuit pics', and within a half hour, we found Bing had replicated those results entirely, complete with those freaky ads that follow you wherever you go on the internet for days and get people who see your screen asking you awkward questio...oh, you guys did NOT just search for manzier on my laptop! That'll be ruined for a month!"

Eric Schmidt, Google's Chief I Just Made A Crapload of Money Doing Nothing Except Creeping People Out, made the accusations public by emailing journalists from their own personal gmail accounts, as well as commenting on their recent browsing history, asking them if they, "really should be doing those types of things online."

Incensed by the accusations, Steve Ballmer spent several minutes yelling at his army of orange-shaded yes men, before diving back into his cryogenic chamber.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reasons to believe you are sleep deprived

  1. Your son has a respectable showing in his diaper but you let him sleep in it because he finally fell asleep.

  2. You sit and wonder why the pacifier won't go into the baby's mouth until you realize you have been trying to insert it in the nose, or the chin, or sometimes the ear.

  3. You realize it is now useless to set your alarm because, no matter how early you set it, you will probably be up anyway.

  4. You and your spouse have a substantial argument at two in the morning, and neither of you remember what it is about the next day. Actually, you and your wife never fight. You just...disagree. Heatedly.

  5. You fall asleep constantly in class. Oh wait. You always fall asleep in class. Especially MBA classes.

  6. Your son spits up all over his outfit and wets through his Onsie, but you let him stay that way because he finally fell asleep.

  7. When he won't fall asleep due to a messy diaper, instead of moving yourself two feet to the changing table, you change the poopy diaper right there in the bed, throwing caution to the wind.

  8. Your mother-in-law comes to visit AND you enjoy it. Just kidding! You always enjoy a visit from your mother-in-law. You just enjoy it even more when she is there to help with new children.

  9. Your son falls asleep on his tummy, which is frowned upon by 99% of pediatricians, and those pediatricians obviously never had kids like yours that hate sleeping on their back, or they just don't have kids, but you let your son stay that way because he finally fell asleep.

  10. You realize you would be willing to sell your birthright for a six hour block of uninterrupted time at night.