Wednesday, April 27, 2011

This and That

Here's some random shit I bothered to write down.

What's with the saying "I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy's dog"?
Well of fucking course you wouldn't. What does the dog have to do with anything? Just because the dog is in close proximity to your enemy doesn't mean shitty traits are rubbing off on the dog. Anyone that hates a person so much that even their dog's misfortune is enough to make them think "Close enough!" is a fucking shitty person. 

You'll have to do.

Mystery Hair
Occasionally we'll all notice a stray hair on our clothes or something. Sometimes this hair is much longer than any of our own, so we'll wonder, where did it come from?

"I'm around chicks so much it's only natural for some of their hair to end up on my clothes" - Douchebag.

"This could actually be from a dude with long it's probably from a hot chick" - Slightly more rational douchebag.

"Did someone put this here on purpose?" - Paranoid asshole.

"This smells really good." - Creep.

"I'm going to include this in a blog post." - Loser.

I wonder when I'll drive a car again.
I don't own a car anymore, and I don't need one where I live, so here's how I imagine the next time I get behind the wheel:

Dear people behind the announcers at sporting events that suddenly realize they're on TV: 
Fuck you. Can't you just sit still? If you have to be an attention craving asshole, at least do something creative, don't just wave incessantly for five minutes. I'm sure one or two people watching are saying "oh look it's Dave!" but most are probably thinking "Fuck that guy and his goofy grin."

Why are there two locked doors in the entrances of some buildings? 
Nobody's going to bust through one door, see a second door and think "Shucks! Guess I'll go home!" If they possess the tools or strength to get past the first door without a key, the second door will only slow them down, and this will probably just make them more angry by the time they get to your apartment and start stealing your things.

You know what? I guess if someone forgets to lock one door, they'll hopefully remember to lock the second, which cuts a burglar's chance in half. God dammit. It makes perfect sense. Fuck it, I'm leaving my rant on here.

Sometimes in life, you just won't know how to act.
Like how not to feel a little awkward when you:

Try to do something suave and injure yourself really badly. 

Buy toilet paper.

These folks have to do it far less often.

Say "what?" more than twice.

Send more than two un-reciprocated texts.

Make eye contact with a mother whose child just backed into your crotch.

Over the years, this is how I've felt while in church:

0-8: Enthralled

8-12: Bored

12-16: Bored

14-20: Bored


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cross Country

Previously I wrote an article about athletic feats and how I tend to regret them. Within this article, I mentioned cross country practice in high school. This reminded me of all kinds of awful things to write about.

First off however, I admit I wasn't entirely fair to running earlier. In a non-competitive context, it can be pleasant. Ever take a nice jog free of distractions and full of nice scenery? It's very therapeutic providing you pace yourself properly, and thinking back, I have experienced this rewarding sensation approximately once. The running gods felt like telling me "Hey check it out, this can be fun, by the way you'll never experience it again." 

If I had just gone on leisurely runs now and again, I could've experienced running's positive effects more often, but after joining Cross Country, and practicing every day, the competitive part of me took over. This was no place for leisurely jogs. I was running to get faster god dammit. I'm gonna end up in the fucking olympics. And oh sure, I got faster, but only after I sacrificed my general well being.

So God Damn Much
I think when starting out any exercise regimen, it's better to do it about 3 days a week so you get ample rest between workouts. So much for that! When the season started I went from running about 0 miles per week to more than 30. Probably not recommended. And this is high school we're talking about, so I was probably running more miles per day than I was getting hours of sleep per night. If I had collapsed at any point, doctors probably would've thought "yeah that looks about right." 

Each practice we'd warm up with a couple miles. After those couple of miles, I was ready to go home. Then we'd run maybe five more miles. Then we'd "cool off" with a couple more. What better way to wind down after a long run than to go on another run? Thankfully though, some days weren't full of long runs. We'd do sprints and hill training instead!


I wasn't used to that kind of shit. 

After a couple weeks, running went from "face-meltingly exhausting" to just "tiring" but it was never easy because practice was all about pushing yourself. Those first couple weeks of adjustment were fraught with discomfort, namely:  

We've all experienced cramps while exercising. How to get rid of them? Well you can take it easier for awhile, swing your arms around, try some breathing exercises, or throw yourself under a bus. I would routinely get painful cramps down my left side and occasionally in my neck. They were definitely uncomfortable, but never crippling. Then a week or so into practice I got a new kind of cramp. A "stitch" if you will. It was the mothership from which all other feeble cramps were dispersed. It was on my right side, just under my ribs and it felt like being stabbed. Within seconds I went from this:

to this:

There was no running through it or stretching. Even walking was painful. I just had to stop and wait for the horror to subside. It even happened in the first race of the season. I ended up with a total time about five minutes higher than it should've been. But eventually, I got in better shape, learned to breathe in a more regular rhythm, and ate more bananas, so these cramps went away, but they were soon taken over by:

Shin Splints
Shin splints felt like this:

Left untreated they can turn into stress fractures, but luckily it never got to that point for me. It would flare up during runs and hang around after practices to the point where if I didn't ice my shins for an hour or so I would have a dull ache in my legs all the time. 

After a few more weeks, the cramps weren't a problem, the shin splint pain was miserable but manageable, and I was even getting a little faster! So practices had become tolerable, and since I was hanging out with friends, they could even be fun sometimes. But then came:

The Races
The races should've been called the "watch several people run way faster than you's". After a healthy couple hours of performance anxiety, we'd gather at the starting line and psyche ourselves up. Ignoring the urge to blurt out "Hey guys I'd be just as happy not doing this" we'd all take off at a near sprint. The idea was to run almost as fast as you could for the first few hundred yards, because a strong start is important, and also because the less time the crowd saw you in the compression shorts the better. 

Behold, the sports bra for your balls.

Ah compressions shorts...Perhaps the tendency for parts to flap around while running is evidence that we just weren't meant to run that much. Let me just pause right there and give your sexual fantasies some room to run around for a bit. Oh, and we also had tiny purple shorts. Besides sharing the school colors, they served basically no other purpose than to hide the bulge. 

So there I am in the woods thinking "I can't wait until this is over" for pretty much the whole race, when suddenly the end would be in sight! Seeing it would provide us all with hope, and most everyone would run the final fifty yards or so in a dead sprint. Start strong and end strong right? 

Have you ever sprinted after running three miles? I'm not quite sure why it seems like such a good idea at the time to kill yourself and shave a few seconds off your time, rather than to just take it easy and not end up in the hospital. There was no catching your breath after these sprints. The relief that normally accompanies the end of physical exertion was always late to the meeting.

You would stop running, and still feel just as tired. After that horrible phase was over with, you'd feel ready to puke for a little while, and plenty of people did. I was jealous of those people. As much as a good vomit would have made me feel better, I managed to be no better than a rat, with seemingly no ability to do so. I guess it makes sense, for what would I vomit up after becoming so empty inside?

The Payoff
There was a bit of redeeming value to these runs though. After all the pain and misery subsided, the remaining endorphin surge, mixed with the realization that we didn't have to do it again for another week made us all feel pretty invincible.

I don't regret the experience at all. Getting in better shape, and some healthy competition was good for me. Plus we all know how fun it is to share misery with friends. 

So would I recommend running? Yeah, just stay off the fucking pavement. Jesus Christ shin splints were awful. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Journey To England Part X

We awoke early the next morning, surprisingly un-hungover. Now here's an interesting fact. The room had ten beds. When we went to bed the previous night, the remaining eight beds were all occupied by sleeping people. Since we woke up early, they were all still asleep. So despite sharing a room with eight people, neither mike nor I ever met any of them. 

We started off the day by going to some gift shops. Once again, every single one looked the same. We each got a tartan scarf, which probably wasn't made by a real Scottish person at all. I'd be surprised if there was even a Scottish person in the same room at the time, or even within shouting distance. Then we headed off to the bus station. We had to take the bus back into London, where we planned to catch a connecting bus to Norwich, where Mike's grandfather would pick us up. 

And so began the worst day of the trip. 

It started out fine. We pulled into a service station maybe halfway through the nine hour bus ride for a ten minute break. Snacks were had by all. If the remainder of the trip was to be anything like those snacks, we were looking at some smooth sailing. Everyone piled back on the bus, ready for London...but the bus wouldn't start. Assuming the drivers (two for such a long trip) would know that passengers had things to do, like "catch other fucking buses" I figured there was a company protocol in place in case for such a scenario, and we'd be back on the road shortly. 

An hour passed. We were told virtually nothing.


Suddenly the bus started!

Excellent! Let's get going! 

C'mon then!

Why aren't we leaving?


The drivers were spectacularly good at leaving us in the dark, so only after enough people asked what the fuck we were waiting for did they tell us they were waiting for another bus to arrive. Huh? 

Well, It wasn't a direct route to London. There were scheduled stops beforehand, and anybody getting off before London could take this soon to arrive bus, leaving this bus free to go straight to London, in order to make up for lost time. Oh! Perfect! 

Another hour passed. 


Surely by then all the time they'd spent doing fuck-all had rendered their whole time saving strategy worthless. 

Finally we got word we'd meet the other bus about fifteen minutes away, and we got moving. Mike and I were panicking at this point, because this bus had been scheduled to get us to London with just over an hour to spare to make our connection. Now that we'd wasted two hours, we hoped to hell that by shuffling passengers around, we'd make up enough time to still catch the connecting bus. 

Everything eventually got sorted out, and both buses took off. A few minutes later, the driver got call on his radio that one of the moved passengers had left something on this bus, and we had to turn around. 


I was about ready to murder puppies at this point with no remorse, so when the driver got a second call several minutes later that said "Whoops! Sorry, the passenger's bag was here the whole time!" my rage was mind boggling. An extra fifteen minutes wasted. Remember that.

Back on the road! The driver tried to get everyone to the station as quickly as possible, but of course traffic in London was pretty thick, so even though we were on the outskirts of town with a solid half an hour before our next bus was scheduled to leave, the infuriating stop and go traffic lasted forty five minutes, and we missed our bus by, yup: 

Fifteen. Fucking. Minutes.

Hours of delays and fuck ups, and if it hadn't been for some stupid asshole on the other bus thinking they'd left their bag behind when they hadn't, and we probably would've made it.

It was about 10pm, and the next bus to Norwich wasn't until 10am the next morning. So what the fuck were we supposed to do? Mike called his grandfather for tips, who mentioned the last train to Norwich left Liverpool station at 11pm. The station stop was about 45 minutes away by subway, so we had to book it. Keep in mind we're racing around town with all of our heavy ass luggage still. We got to the subway platform for the yellow line and hoped to see a train shortly, but we noticed the platform was suspiciously empty. Oh what's this? A sign! 

Yellow line under construction this weekend. 


So it was about 10:30. By then we didn't have any chance of making it to the train station before 11, even by cab, so we were staying in London that night, but where? 

Back to the bus station to complain to megabus for fucking up our lives! 

We didn't get any help regarding whether Megabus would give us any refunds or pay for lodging that night, only that we'd have to call customer service the next day and file a complaint and then wait awhile for them to maybe refund us part of the money. So fuck that stupid ass company right in the face! 

We were both short on funds and too exhausted to walk who knows how far to find a hostel that probably wouldn't have any space on such short notice on a Saturday night, so we asked someone working at the bus station if there was a waiting room we could hang out in that night. He said "No, the station closes at midnight." 


At this point it was just after 11pm, so before figuring out where exactly we'd stay that night we thought "this sucks, let's get utterly wasted." This shined a ray of happiness onto our awful situation. We were so exhausted that we thought it was a perfectly fine plan to get a giant bottle of booze, then drink it in a park until we passed out. 

We found a store that said they sold booze, but it wasn't in an immediately obvious spot, so we grew concerned. Then we noticed giant trash bags covering one section of the store. Not kidding, trash bags taped to the walls. Fearing the worst, we asked the clerk if they weren't selling booze anymore.

"No alcohol after 11!"

Oh god no. We tried to explain to them the misery of our situation, and since it was only 11:20, surely they could make an exception.

"No alcohol after 11!"


So we walked out, yet another awful defeat added to the pile. The bus station opened back up at 6am, so we thought "how hard could it be to kill six hours? Let's just hang out in a park and fall asleep or something."

It started raining. 

We scurried back to a corner near the bus station, where there was some protection from the rain. We didn't know what else to do but just sit there for hours until the station opened back up. It was getting awfully cold too.

Soon a security guard came by and told us to leave. 

Too angry for coherent thought.

We were at the end of our ropes, so we calmly explained our situation, when what we really felt like doing was beating him to death with clubs. He repeated that we couldn't stay there so we said "...ok we'll leave soon." He apparently had an ounce of humanity left in him, because even though it was blatantly obvious we had no plans to actually leave, he said "Ok, that's fine." He left, and thankfully didn't return, so we were able to get a couple miserable hours of sleep. We both knew what it felt like to be homeless that night.

After the longest night of our lives, we headed back to the bus station before 6am so we could get inside as soon as it opened. Then we could at least be inside a heated building for the last few hours before our bus.  

And It was already fucking open. 


Several people were asleep inside.

If any of you out there know me as a fairly laid back person, this is why. After experiencing the rage I felt at that moment, I knew that any anger I felt for the rest of my life would feel like sunshine compared to this.

We nodded off for a bit and finally 10am came around. That bus ride was one of the most relieving experiences I had ever felt. We had been through hell, and were still alive! Now it was time to relax on the English countryside for a week. Thank fuck for that.

Mike tried to get in touch with Megabus several times to see about getting a refund for the shitty trip, a refund for the bus we missed, or a refund for the extra ticket we had to buy. Multiple phone calls later customer service said "you can file a complaint online." And that was that. We did. 

MONTHS LATER, Mike got a response. They were happy to give a refund for one of the tickets, provided he still had the Bus ticket info, and confirmation # from the original purchase. Needless to say, he didn't have the info readily available. 

Fuck you megabus. I'm not even gonna fucking capitalize you anymore. 

(Just kidding about the puppies thing by the way.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Analysis of More Strange Facts

I'm drinking beer out of a giant goblet as I write this. Just wanted to share that.

Since the last one of these was fun, let's do it again! And probably some more after this one! You know what? Let's just keep doing this til it's not fun anymore.

Until we are but clinging to the shattered remnants of our former lives.

Take a Room with 100 American Women, 4 of them Probably Aren't Wearing Underwear
No I didn't read this in a penthouse. How could I read that with all the pages stuck together?

So I have to wonder, who gathered this data? And how? Is this just a roundabout way of saying 4 percent of women don't wear underwear? Or did the author of this study repeatedly fill a room with 100 women and start asking personal questions? And finally, how I can search for this study without mostly finding porn?

Well, this was pretty much impossible to find out more about. Certain sites would give a figure of 3.9%, while others said 53%, which while awesome, probably isn't true. The most definitive thing I could find was this page that showed 2% of men and 4% of women prefer "other styles" than those listed, which I suppose could include commando. That 4% conveniently matches up with the original fact, but I think I need to do some further research. I'm completely willing to check, but I just gotta warn everyone that an accident I had a few years back prevents me from checking with anything but my face.

In 1983 a Japanese Artist Made a Copy of the Mona Lisa Entirely with Toast
It's so rare that art and toast mix, so I was excited to look this one up. Assuming this one's true, I wonder how inspiration hit? Was it as simple as he was eating some toast while reading about the Mona Lisa, when he suddenly thought "I have no friends"?

Well, This site displays the same fact, only it says it was 1982. His name was (and probably still is) Tadahiko Ogawa. So you know, case closed, or is it? Check this shit out:

This is also a mona lisa made from toast, but it was made by a different guy. That's right, multiple Toasta Lisas. And as you can see, this guy took a few creative liberties. If you're at all interested, this link shows the process in a bit more detail, and proves that if you put your mind to it, you can create some pretty pointless shit. 

But wait. If this guy was a toast art purist, he wouldn't have resorted to mere copies of other famous works right? Sounds like a sellout to me. Nope, here's an entire fucking gallery of toast art. 

Before I get any more upset about that existing, let's just abandon this one.

Flamingoes Hold Their Heads Upside Down Because it's the Only Way They Can Eat
This sounds like a huge drag. Imagine what our dinner tables would look like if we had a similar problem? Well, I guess they'd look the same actually. 

I thought evolution was in place to prevent inconvenient traits like this from persevering. Wouldn't it be more advantageous to not have to awkwardly position yourself to eat? Suppose you get hungry and start doing your upside down thing and a bear comes lumbering out of the woods. You're fucking oblivious because all of your brainpower is focused on trying not to look so stupid while eating in such a dumb way, and then *chomp* you're dead. And you know what? The bear doesn't have to awkwardly bend it's neck around to eat you. 

Hey look at me! I'm fucking STUPID.

Well it's true. Here's a site that explains it. Apparently it involves mouth boners.

The First Known Contraceptive was Crocodile Dung, Used by Egyptians in 2000 BC
Before I get to the whole "looking this up" part, that sentence implies that other contraceptives were possibly used before that, but kept a secret. I also have to wonder how the Egyptians conveyed that crocodile dung was used in this way. Why would they bother to write about it? Just the insatiable human need to catalog things I guess.

Or maybe they drew a picture:

Spot on knowledge of hieroglyphics.

Wow. Egyptians sucked at drawing/math. 

Ok, so let's get some background. See, I originally assumed this worked as a contraceptive only in that nobody would want to have sex with a girl if her vag was smeared with shit. Then I wondered if maybe it was actually a condom fashioned out of crocodile shit, so used because of it's elastic properties? Then I wondered, maybe they had to eat it, and it somehow caused a chemical reaction that made them temporarily infertile? But that's not very scientific either, because it's no mystery why the guy that's eating shit isn't getting laid. Then I realized I'd been thinking about crocodile shit for too long, and got depressed.

Here is a site that explains it in a bit more detail, if you're interested. Turns out the dung was mixed with a few things to make a sort of shit cocktail tampon, and wouldn't you know it? No babies! Isn't learning fun?