2 July 2009 — Cat Drifting (2)

So hilarious. I snort-laugh every time I watch this:

Tags: Cats · Funny · YouTube  → 2 Comments

16 June 2009 — Neighborhood Watch (4)

There’s a little white house that lives up the street. It’s a small house on a small lot, but otherwise I think it’s kind of cute. I’m not sure that anyone lives there right now — the yard certainly isn’t maintained.

For the past couple of weeks, there’s been a manual reel mower sitting in the front yard. It was sitting upright, as if somebody had stopped in mid-mow, but eventually it fell to the ground. The grass has been growing up around it: the hunter has become the hunted!

Yesterday, however, I noticed that the mower had been moved. It was ditched at the top of the hill in somebody else’s yard. Someone — probably a kid — had wheeled it a few hundred feet and then discarded it. “I ought to put it back where it belongs,” I thought. But I didn’t do it.

That’s okay, though. This afternoon as I was walking home, I noticed that the mower had been returned to the exact position from which it had been taken. That, my friends, is neighborliness!

Lonesome Mower

Tags: Funny · Portland · Rosings Park  → 4 Comments

8 May 2009 — Sunroof (2)

As a life-long Oregonian, you’d think I would have learned by now: you don’t leave the windows down on your car in spring-time — not matter how clear the sky is. And if you have a brand-new (used) Mini Cooper, you most definitely don’t leave the sunroof open while you run into the comic book store for a few minutes.

But no.

Apparently I’ve learned none of this.

So, yesterday afternoon I made a quick stop to pick up some Star Trek comics (unsuccessful). I didn’t close the sunroof. During the five minutes I was inside, the heavens opened and the sky fell in. I came out to find pools of water in the bucket seats.

I went back into the store to bum some paper towels.

Lesson learned — I hope.

Tags: Daily Life · Funny  → 2 Comments

26 February 2009 — The Lovecats (11)

“You know what?” I told Kris last night as we were getting ready for bed. “I finally have an idea for a long foldedspace post. Like in the olden days.”

“Ha!” she said. She didn’t believe me.

“It’s a story from when we were boys,” I said. “But there are a lot of different threads to tie together. It’s going to take some time.”

This isn’t that post. This post ties together threads of a different sort: YouTube, LOLcats, the music of my youth. Here, my friends, is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. Some of you will laugh (Will K.?), some of you will cry. But most of you will just scratch your heads in bewilderment:

So funny it hurts!

I suppose some context would help many of you. “The Lovecats” is a 25-year-old song from The Cure. It’s a song I loved when I was in high school and college (and even today). And, of course, LOLcats are those (mostly) funny captioned cat photos. This video combines the two.

[Via Gina Trapani, of all people.]

Tags: Cats · Funny · YouTube  → 11 Comments

Apparently this is not new, but it’s new to me!

Tags: Funny · YouTube  → 4 Comments

26 November 2008 — The Reluctant Wardrobe (4)

We’ve gradually been purging the clothes from my closet. I have a tendency to never throw away (or give away) any garment, especially those I love. If a shirt becomes a favorite, I keep it for years, no matter how tattered it becomes.

One of my favorite pieces of clothing is a tattered old blue FILA hooded sweatshirt. It’s cottony soft, has a zip-up front, has an ample hood with drawstrings, and feels comfy on a chilly autumn day. But the thing is a rag. The cuffs are frayed and falling apart. The hood is tearing away from the body of the sweatshirt. Kris is embarrassed for me to wear it in public.

I’ve spent the past year trying to find a replacement, but I’ve never found anything suitable. No sweatshirt possesses the same qualities. Some have hoods, some are made of cotton, some feel comfy, but none combine all of these things in one. I check Costco every time I’m there, but no luck. (Costco’s where I bought the sweatshirt originally.)

Last night, Tiffany came over for dinner. Every time she comes over, she returns things she’s borrowed, or offers things she no longer wants. Last night was no different. But at the end of the list, she held out a piece of black clothing. “Do you want this?” she asked.

“What is it?” I said, and I unfolded it. It was a hooded sweatshirt. A FILA hooded sweatshirt with a zip-up front. “Huh?” I said, like a character from a Japanese cartoon. I ran upstairs to fetch my precious blue hooded sweatshirt, which Kris and just that morning put in the “throw away forever” pile.

I compared the two sweatshirts. They were both from FILA. They were both the same size. They both had the exact same tags. They were the same sweatshirt, but the old one was blue and the new one was black.

“Where’d you get this?” I asked Tiffany.

“Costco,” she said. “A few years ago, we were driving back from [some place in California], and I was cold, so we stopped at Costco. This was the only thing I could find.”

“It’s the exact same as my old sweatshirt, except that it’s black,” I said. “Thank you.”

“Yes, thank you,” Kris said. “Now maybe we can throw that old one away.”

Tiffany, as always, just laughed at us. I think that for her, visiting the Roth-Gates household is like visiting a foreign country, where the people are just a little strange. But the people in this country are happy now, though. They have a precious new sweatshirt.

Tags: Daily Life · Funny · Personal History  → 4 Comments

24 November 2008 — Those Sorts of Movies (8)

After watching Michael Clayton and re-watching Casino Royale for the fourth time, I told Kris I “like those sorts of movies”, though I couldn’t really put my finger on what “those sorts of movies” were. I decided that the Bourne films probably fit the bill, so I put them on the our Netflix queue.

I waited patiently for The Bourne Identity to crawl to the top of the list. Kris was in the midst of her Foyle’s War obsession, so it took a couple of months. Eventually, however, Netflix shipped my movie.

The other night we sat down to watch Matt Damon in an action role. We grabbed some dinner, plopped in the disc, and sat down on the futon. The disc didn’t work. “Crap,” I said, pulling the disc from the player. It was damaged. We sent the disc back and waited for a replacement.

In the meantime, I joined Paul J. for a trip to the new Bond film, Quantum of Solace. As you’ll recall, I recently watched all 22 previous Bond films back-to-back-to-back, and thought the previous film (the afore-mentioned Casino Royale) was the best Bond film to date. It effectively reset the films’ continuity, starting from day one. The new film picks up immediately where that one left off: it’s as if its part two to the story, and this story exists in a parallel universe to the other 21 Bond films.

The problem is that while the new movie has the same writers as Casino Royale, it has a different director. I don’t like him. And for the first half hour, I didn’t like Quantum of Solace. It was a flurry of quick-cut chases that were impossible to follow. No, I’m serious. They were impossible to follow. With cuts twice every second, the film becomes disorienting, and that’s not fun. Toss in bad acting and terrible dialogue, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Fortunately, the film eventually changes tempo. It never truly becomes good, but it does become enjoyable in its own way, with one truly great chase scene (in airplanes!).

Anyhow — a couple of days later, the replacement Bourne Identity disc arrived in our mailbox. On Saturday night, we watched the film. It was okay — almost good. I have trouble buying Matt Damon in this role, but that’s a personal problem. The story was interesting. I like “this sort of movie”.

As the film was ending, I said to Kris, “You know, I think we own this DVD.”

“What?” she said, dumb-founded. I stood up, dug in the stack of DVDs on the TV, and sure enough: there was a copy of The Bourne Identity.

“When did you buy that?” Kris asked.

“I didn’t,” I said. “I got it in a white elephant gift exchange last year or the year before. I forgot about it until just now. See? It’s still in the wrapper.”

All she could do was shake her head, and I don’t blame her. I was shaking my head, too.

Tags: Daily Life · Funny · Movies · Stories  → 8 Comments

5 October 2008 — Half Full or Half Empty? (2)

Kris and I are taking a short vacation to Washington State’s San Juan Islands.

“What time does the ferry leave from Anacortes?” I asked last night before bed. We were planning our agenda.

“5:25,” Kris said. “And if we miss that, the last ferry is at 6:00. What time do you think we should leave?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “How about ten? Then I can go to the gym first.”

“How about nine?” Kris said.

I went to the gym when it opened this morning at eight. I lifted weights. I ran on the treadmill. When I got home at 9:15, Kris asked, “How long until you’re ready to leave?”

“About half an hour,” I said. “I still need to pack. What’s the rush?”

“I don’t want to miss the ferry,” she said.

In true J.D. fashion, I dragged my feet. I answered some e-mail. I made a post at Get Fit Slowly. I debated which sweater to bring. “Come on,” Kris said.

We finally left the house at around ten. On our drive north, we listened to This American Life. We listened to The Decemberists. We chatted. We made good time.

“We’re making good time,” I said. “But we still have to make it through Seattle.” Seattle’s traffic is a nightmare.

But this time, we only had a five-minute patch of stop-and-go in the city, and then it was smooth sailing. We left Seattle at about 1:30.

“Huh,” I said. “Is there a ferry before the 5:25?”

Kris checked. “There’s a 2:45,” she said. “Do you think we can make it?”

“It’s going to be very very close,” I said, and I stepped on the gas. We flew through Everett. We flew through Mount Vernon. We tried to fly to Anacortes, but our progress was slowed by a minivan from Pennsylvania and a pumpkin festival.

“I don’t think we’re going to make it,” I said, as we marched through the lights in downtown Anacortes. “I guess we’ll have to settle for being 2-1/2 hours early.”

As we crested a bluff, we saw the 2:45 ferry pulling away. Kris gave me a look.

The good news is:

  • We’re first in line for the 5:25 ferry to San Juan island.
  • There’s a picnic table we can sit at while we wait.
  • For $3.95, I was able to purchase two hours of wireless so that I could share this funny story with you.

As a footnote for the Ice Queens in the audience, Kris has decided it’s too cold at the picnic table, and she’s gone to sit in the car. I bet she’ll be back to join me sometime in the next two hours!

Tags: Daily Life · Friends and Family · Funny · Stories  → 2 Comments

3 September 2008 — My Wife Is Sometimes Wrong (3)

Toto vomited on the bed again today. She does this all the time.

It’s not so bad if we discover the hairball midday, but it’s kind of a pain if we don’t notice it until we’re ready for bed. This time was sort of in between. Kris happened to wander into the bedroom just after dinner, and from her loud cursing, I could tell what had happened.

Sometimes Toto manages to get the outermost layer of bedclothes, which is fine. But often — like tonight — she pukes all over the fitted sheet.

“Can you help me take the covers off?” Kris hollered down to me. I was writing at the kitchen table.

“In a few minutes,” I called back. “I’m in the middle of something.” I had spent all day trying to craft a rare personal-finance article about credit cards. I couldn’t find the right tone. I was frustrated.

I continued to write while Kris watched the Republican National Convention. Half an hour later, she came downstairs.

“Do you need help with the bed?” I asked.

“It’s too late,” she muttered. “I’ve already done it.” Out of the corner of my eye, I could see she was carrying something in her arms. Oops.

Later, when it was time for bed, I went to the laundry room to fetch the sheet. It was dark, but I didn’t bother to turn on the light. The sheet was easy to spot amidst the socks and t-shirts. I also found a pillowcase. “Toto must have vomited on that, too,” I thought.

“Just one sheet and one pillowcase?” I asked Kris just to be certain.

“Yes,” she said. I went upstairs to make the bed.

When I got there, however, I noticed that both of my pillowcases were missing. (I sleep with two pillows, and have done so for most of my life: one for my head and one for my side.) I sighed and walked back to the laundry room to fetch the other one. I couldn’t complain, of course. If I’d helped Kris in the first place, I would have known how many pillowcases were in the dryer.

We made the bed. Kris fed the cats their bedtime treats. (Each cat gets three “greenies”, a sort of organic treat they love. Then they’re kicked out of the bedroom. Except on Cat Night. Cat Night occurs once or twice a week, and is a cause for much feline celebration. On that night, they’re allowed to sleep in the bedroom. Of course, during the summer it’s rare that all four cats are even ever in the house at the same time, even over night. Tonight, for example, Simon is outside and refuses to come when called.)

The bed made and the cats indulged, I went to my office to write.

“Aren’t you coming to bed?” Kris asked.

“I’m not done with tomorrow’s post,” I said. And I’m not. I can’t find the right tone, and I’m not sure if I should list specific credit cards. Hell — I’m not even sure I should cover credit cards at all. I’ve given them a wide berth so far.

“Oh,” Kris said sadly. Then she said, “Where’s my pillowcase?”

“What?” I asked.

“Where’s my pillowcase?” she said.

I got up from my desk and walked to the bedroom to gave her my best look of incredulity. Then I said, “When I asked you if there was just one sheet and one pillowcase, you told me yes.”

“I know,” she said.

“But then I came up here and I put that one pillowcase on my pillow, and I realized that you were wrong. My other pillow needed a pillowcase, too. So I walked back downstairs to fetch it.”

Kris realized what I was getting at. She started to laugh. I continued my lament: “And now you tell me there were actually three pillowcases in the laundry?” I let out a long, dramatic sigh and trudged downstairs.

“See how it is to live with you?” Kris called behind me as she continued to laugh. I confess that I laughed a little, too. Our roles in this sort of situation are usually reversed.

Now if only Kris could see how it is to live with her.

Disclaimer: I love my wife, and would not share these stories if I didn’t think they were fun.

Tags: Cats · Daily Life · Friends and Family · Fun · Funny  → 3 Comments

6 August 2008 — Caffeine is Not My Friend (7)

This has sort of turned into the “dumb things J.D. does” blog. Here’s yesterday’s dumb thing.

I drove to Eugene to participate in a neuroeconomics study. I spent an hour inside an MRI scanner answering questions about personal finance. For this, I was paid $120.

Because I knew I might fall asleep, I had a diet soda for lunch. Lying on my back for an hour (or more) is a recipe for slumber, even if I’m supposedly taking a survey for money. Sure enough, even with the diet soda, I was very, very groggy.

After the study, Paul and I spent more than an hour working out at the gym, and then went out for Thai food. (I could splurge — I had an extra $120!) I was still groggy, though, even though I had exercised. The sun was warm, and I had a long drive ahead, so I ordered diet soda. Three times.

“You know what I do when I’m groggy and have to drive?” Paul said. “I stop at a minimart and pick up an energy drink.”

“Like a Red Bull?” I asked.

“Sort of,” he said. “Only bigger. And with more caffeine.”

So, about half an hour north of Eugene, I pulled over to pick up an energy drink. There was an enormous selection. I had no way of knowing which one was “best”, so I just grabbed a can of something that boasted 344mg of caffeine. I drank it. I drove home.

“Are you coming to bed with me?” Kris asked at ten o’clock. I wasn’t tired.

“Uh,” I said. “It’s too hot. Plus I had too much caffeine.”

“How much caffeine did you have?” she asked, but I didn’t really have an answer. Now, a few hours later, I do have an answer. Twelve ounces of Diet Pepsi have 36mg of caffeine. By my calculations, I had four such servings yesterday, plus the energy drink, which contained the equivalent of ten similar drinks. In other words, I had a much caffeine as if I’d had fourteen Diet Pepsis.

No wonder I couldn’t fall asleep until 3 am. I probably won’t be able to sleep again until next week.

Tags: Daily Life · Food & Drink · Funny  → 7 Comments