Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sharing the Shower

I used to be terrified of spiders. If I saw a spider anywhere near me, I would immediately begin to sweat. My skin would feel two sizes too small and my heart would seemingly try to eat its way out of my chest. I once jumped out of a moving car because there was a tiny green spider on the seat next to me.

I've come a long way since then. One day, when I was nineteen, I saw a spider and decided that I was going to pick it up. For about ten seconds I committed every aspect of my concentration to telling myself that I wasn't afraid of spiders. It worked. I picked the spider up; I put the spider down. I didn't die.

A couple of weeks ago a spider showed up on the ceiling of our bathroom. He was a chunky little guy - fat, brown and, from toe to toe, about the size of a nickel. Since I had made a commitment to not be scared of these guys anymore, I decided that I wouldn't mind sharing the bathroom with spidey.

I told myself that he probably wouldn't stick around for very long anyway - a day or two at most.

As it turns out, though, however determined I was to not be afraid of spiders, this spider was even more determined to never leave the bathroom. I would be lying if I said I didn't begin to sweat a little every time I needed to pee.

One day I walked into the bathroom to brush my teeth and I noticed that there was a second spider on the ceiling, merely a foot away from the old spider. Old Spidey began walking toward New Spidey. Awesome, I thought, they're going to have an epic spiderfight to the death, kill each other and solve my problem.

That's not what happened, though.

Old Spidey just breezed right by New Spidey. They might as well have high-fived each other.

Then the inevitable happened. I hopped into the shower one night and found that it was already occupied. Spidey was there, on the far wall opposite the shower head, chilling out and possibly contemplating whether or not he should magically tranform and multiply into a swarming army of soul-devouring, poison-spitting demon spiders that would attack me and lay eggs behind my eyeballs and underneath my fingernails.

As I stood there, trembling and fighting off the urge to mimic Janet Leigh in Psycho, I realized that it was a good time to remind myself that I'm not afraid of spiders.

Ultimately, I was able to get through the ordeal. I found that as long as I kept my eyes on Spidey the entire time I could stay calm enough to quickly shower.

Here is the very valuable lesson I learned that day:

Don't try to wash your hair without closing your eyes. Shampoo stings.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm So Glad You're Undead

Today is my big sister's birthday. Here is one of my favorite photos of the two of us:

Yes, I know - we look awesome. The most intriguing detail of this picture, however, is not visible in the image above. I recently examined the back of the photograph for the first time and discovered that the date written there was not quite what I had expected...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lazy Sunday Hasty Photo

Me and my dad's mustache, having breakfast. I'm rocking my Urkel t-shirt and possibly eating directly from a large tub of butter.

My dad has his eyes lowered - in shame perhaps? I wonder why?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quoth the Tiger...

I spent some time tonight fooling around with a drawing app for the iPad. I drew a sabertooth tiger.

He has a simple but powerful message to share with you:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Human Face

Last night I watched all four parts of The Human Face, a BBC documentary that examines the science behind both the physical and sociological anatomy of human faces.

The key trait, it turns out, in the most attractive faces is symmetry. The more symmetrical a face is, the more pleasing it is to the viewer. This factoid made me curious. I decided to play around with the special effects in the Photo Booth program on Jason's computer...

This is my face:

Believe it or not, I am not raising my eyebrow in the above photo. My left eyebrow is higher and more expressive than my right.

Now here's what I would look like if my face was  perfectly symmetrical:

Pretty cool, huh?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lazy Sunday Hasty Photo

I have heard it said that all babies are cute.


If you can find cuteness in a bloated, hairy, cross-eyed loaf of  baby flesh dressed in a yellow sack then, yes, I suppose even I was a cute infant.

Please feel free to take a second look before you make up your mind, though.

Thanks for keeping me, Mom and Dad.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I got home last Tuesday night to find that my mother-in-law had left a present for me in the fridge.

Yes. That is a lettuce and butter sandwich.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Lettuce and Butter Sandwiches

I am a fairly adventurous eater. I love foreign cuisine and I will enthusiastically agree to try just about anything once. I have eaten fried alligator and I have tried jellyfish salad. I have bowed to a number of food-related dares and, as a result, I have sampled things ranging from a day-old breakfast sandwich that was meant for display only (I won a dollar for that one) to a fish eyeball.

I've come a long way.

It would be an understatement to say simply that I was a picky eater as a child. I was bizarrely, irrationally and stubbornly picky. The list of foods I was willing to eat was so exclusive that it rivaled the guest lists of the most fashionable private clubs on earth. The staples of my diet included the following:

- Jell-O
- Applesauce
- Instant Cream of Wheat
- Celery
- Carrot sticks
- Lettuce and butter sandwiches

Yes. Lettuce and butter sandwiches. My favorite nourishment consisted of thinly spread butter and a few leaves of iceberg lettuce between two slices of white bread. It boasted the perfect texture - a combination of creamy, crunchy and soft - and avoided troublesome distractions such as flavor and nutritional value.


My mom was a pretty good sport about the whole thing. I'm sure it embarassed her to send me to grade school every day with those sandwiches - she must have imagined my teachers whispering about that poor Hensel girl whose family could only afford to feed her lettuce and butter. The fact that I snacked on carrots and celery, had rabbit teeth, and rejected walking in favor of hopping everywhere did not improve my image, I'm sure.

Lettuce and butter: the stuff that dreams are made of.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lazy Sunday Hasty Photo

Here's a snapshot of my sister, me and my dad's mustache at Roy Carpenter's Beach in Matunuck, Rhode Island:

My sister is averting her gaze and my dad has moved to the far side of the blanket, both of them engaged in a feeble attempt to pretend they don't know me.

Well, tough luck you two... there's no escaping the fact that you are both genealogically bound to THIS FACE RIGHT HERE:

Ah hahahahahaha...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting Mugged - Great For a Laugh!

Earlier this week a good friend of mine was mugged while waiting for the T at Downtown Crossing in Boston. The dude ripped her iPhone right out of her hand. A crowd of about seventy people - including an MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) employee - just stood and watched while she struggled with the creep and was dragged fifteen feet before he ran off.

Later, the MBTA worker explained his failure to intervene by claiming that he thought my friend was just joking around.

My anger with this MBTA employee's disturbingly apathetic negligence led me to fantasize about him getting fired.  I imagined him, his head hung in shame, mournfully dragging his feet as he joined the unemployment line. It was a pretty good fantasy. The dream was spoiled, though, when my imagination kept churning and I visualized him getting a new job as a security guard at a zoo...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Woman and Serverwoman

I like it when animals tell you exactly what they are right there in their name. This is a courtesy most often extended by fish (swordfish, bluefish, catfish), bears (polar bear, grizzly bear, brown bear) and birds (bluebird, mockingbird, Big Bird).

You never have to go up to a blackbird and ask, "Excuse me sir, but which animal group do you belong to?" You don't have to ask, because it's clear that he is a bird: It's right there in his name. In a perfect world, we would never have to think twice about how to categorize creatures such as lioncats, marmoset monkeys and coyotedogs.

On a more personal note, my fear of an impending robot apocolypse has inspired me to add a human touch to all job titles. Political correctness be darned; I like terms like "mailman" and "policewoman" - they let you know that a real living, breathing person is doing the job. Thus, from now on, I would like to be referred to as a serverwoman and a baristalady.

Doesn't that sound comforting?

A serverwoman is fallible, and may be brought down with relative ease if she malfunctions and goes on a savage rampage. A server, however, could just as easily be either a human or a mimetic poly-alloy cyborg assassin - there's nothing in the name to tell you either way, so you're really taking a gamble.

Cyborgs, in case you didn't know, are not so easily brought down in the event of  a rampage.

Monday, September 6, 2010

To Snooze or Lose...

I've been posting a lot of the reasons why I love my new cell phone. Here is one thing that I hate about it:

The twisted sicko who designed the alarm on my phone put the "snooze" and "off" buttons right next to each other; they're as close together as they could possibly be. So, when my alarm is waking me from a deep sleep, often well before the sun has risen, it's infuriatingly easy for my sleep-clumsy fingers to fumble on the touchscreen and press the button that dismisses the alarm rather than pressing the button that resets the alarm to go off again in another five minutes.

I've been oversleeping a lot.

Here's what the alarm program looks like:

Here are some other, equally disturbing, images of alarm prototypes by the same program designer:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Pity the Fool Who Still Uses Mr. T9

One of my favorite features about my new phone? The full QWERTY keyboard. With my old phone, I only had the traditional old numeral pad. Thus, I had to rely on the phone's T9 predictive text setting for sending speedy text messages.

Admittedly, when I first discovered T9, I was fully enthralled by how much easier it made texting. More recently, though, I'd found the program's limited vocabulary to be frustrating. If I wasn't careful about proofreading my messages, texts would sometimes go through with bizarre (albeit hilarious) misspellings.

For instance, a week ago I tried to send a message that said, "Mayhap I will visit you." For some reason (probably because T9 was created in the 1990's and not the 1490's), the word "mayhap" wasn't in my cell phone's lexicon. So, crafty Mr. T9 inserted what he decided I must have meant  based on my pushing of keys 6, 2, 9, 4, 2 and 7.