AKA Abraham Bacoln

Just one of those days
April 28, 2008, 4:06 pm
Filed under: tidbit

I had two final exams today, Spanish lit and business statistics. I had my alarm set so I could wake up nice and early and go over Spanish and maybe stats again before it was time to go suffer.

I was awokenated at about 45 minutes before my Spanish final by a text message. Turns out somehow I slept through my alarm. Oh well, no cram time. Got to campus with about five minutes to spare, but since my professor is a nice guy he had already handed out the exams and I walked into a room of dead silence with heads bowed and hands writing furiously. Got through two grueling hours of literary analysis and finally I had a break. My calendar said my stats final was at 1:30, which gave me about an hour. After walking to the office to check my email and spending a few minutes just spacing out, I then decided to go to the business building to sit around and look over stats.

Of course as I got to the door I saw people running in, and that gave me the impression my calendar might have been wrong. Sure enough, I got to the classroom to see the professor handing out the exams. Stats didn’t take me the full two hours but it felt like it.

So yeah. I’m just wondering if there’s any other way to screw up my schedule today or to fail to be on time for something.

I’m pretty sure I made As on both my exams, though, so that’s good.

Presentations are finally over
April 24, 2008, 7:14 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Presentations are finally over

Cargado originalmente por Brother O’Mara

No more dressing up this semester.

So something happened somewhere and I have no idea what it was or why it happened. I became good at public speaking. I know, those of you who know me in real life are probably laughing and shaking your heads because you know I’m never afraid to make noise or talk too much about a subject, or just generally keep rattling on until I’m a pain in the ass when I’m hanging out with you.

But I did used to be afraid (did used to – that doesn’t sound like gooder English) to speak in front of a group of strangers. Stage fright. Anxeity. I always hated to do it in high school. When I finally got to college (the first time) I had to take a speech class, which I wasn’t really looking forward to. The instructor, intending to make us more comfortable, started the class out by making us sit in a circle and the conversation went around and everyone had to tell the group something about talking in public. Most everyone there just said they were nervous, or hesitant. Of course there were a few that weren’t. Then when it became my turn I said, “My name is Kevin, and I’m pretty sure I’m blushing right now …” and of course it was totally true and everyone laughed a whole lot. For the rest of the semester I would get up to deliver my speech, say, “Hold on a second, let me get the blushing out of the way” and of course everyone would laugh then too, and afterwards I knew it was going to be okay.

But that was just one class. I was comfortable with those people, but not anyone else. They didn’t know about my automatic blushing, my reluctance to have all the eyes of all those strangers on me. Presentations in any other classes were, while not hellish per se, certainly something I dreaded.

And then I left college and moved about for a while, and lived life, etc. Somewhere in those intervening years I just kind of forgot about being nervous. I know that in part I have developed more of a “I don’t care what you think” attitude, both in the sense of “it’s okay for you to have an opinion, and if your opinion is that I’m a dork or a jackass that’s fine, it won’t change who I feel I am” and also in the sense of, “No, REALLY, I DO NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK.”

I have to do that, because deep down I really do care what everyone thinks, far far too much. S’why I’m always asking my friends, “ZOMG do you think I should shave my beard or not? What about the food? Was it okay? Do you mind if we do this or that or the other?” But I’ve come to realize that those are my friends’ opinions, and those people are my friends for a reason (or for multiple reasons), and their opinions matter. But everyone else? I’m working on it.

Wow, look how far off-topic I got there! I can almost see the original thread from here!

Aaaaaaaanyway so when I got back to college in 2006 I had to give presentations of course – by the way, the whole ‘presentations’ thing is a result of being in the school of business. We can’t just write papers, nooooo, we have to stand up and TALK about the papers after they’re written. So yeah, I gave a presentation a year or so ago and practiced the hell out of it and stood up and did it, and I probably didn’t even blush. It didn’t feel like I blushed. I was still nervous, though.

Now for the present day. I just got done with two presentations this week. For both of them I maybe practiced a little bit. Some. Maybe. Forget notecards, though. I just somewhere along the line developed the attitude of, “Eh, I know the subject material enough. I’ll wing it.” And wing it I did. And get fantastic grades I did. And actually have random classmates come up to me afterwards and say, “Man, nice job” I did. I even had one girl say (and no, she wasn’t flirting with me) “these presentations have been so boring, but as soon as you started talking I was like WHOA hold on something interesting is happening!” I feel like I know how to get people’s attention. I look them in the eye, not in that way in which people just kind of scan the room, but I find someone and I get their attention, and sometimes you can see them sit up a little and have that look on their face like, “Oh, he’s talking to ME.” I feel like I can connect with my listeners. I can make them smile, I can make them laugh. I can even make them care about the demographic breakdown of potential market share for the coastal region of Nigeria with regards to sales of anti-dandruff shampoo.

And I honestly have no idea where it came from. I don’t know whatever happened to being afraid, but it’s long gone.

So I feel good. This semester’s presentations are over, and I have lost my fear of public speaking. If you need me to get up and make words at your next club meeting you just let me know. I have low rates.

April 24, 2008, 11:36 am
Filed under: tidbit

Al principio de primavera
todos los arboles cansados
empiezan a brotar
lágrimas de hojas,
y mis ojos de invierno
ven todos las calles
como cuevas
lleno de verde.

Possibly the best photograph ever
April 22, 2008, 11:26 am
Filed under: tidbit

Conan O’Brien and E.T

Cargado originalmente por mrhollygolightly

I only wish it were mine.

You wish you were here
April 22, 2008, 11:20 am
Filed under: tidbit

Today is Kidlunch. I’m having lightly grilled peanut butter and honey sandwiches, celery sticks, a banana, and a glass of milk.

This means something
April 21, 2008, 12:19 am
Filed under: tidbit

It’s about time I continued the list of reasons Why I Shouldn’t Be Allowed To [X], right?
April 16, 2008, 11:50 pm
Filed under: tidbit

Okay, let me preface this by saying this is all the fault of Gabe and Tycho over at Penny-Arcade. They brought the knowledge of this monstrosity to me (comic, associated newspost) whereas if they had not I might never have heard of it, as I try not to watch the teevees and therefore missed whatever commercials may be associated with this.

I am, of course, speaking of Burger King’s Loaded Steakhouse Burger (as mentioned in my last blog post). Let me quote to you directly from their insidious marketing: “The New Loaded Steakhouse Burger from BK is just that, loaded up with crispy onions, baked potato topping, A.1. Thick & Hearty Steak Sauce and a slice of American Cheese on top of a 100% Angus beef patty.” They will tell you it looks like this:

Now of COURSE we know it doesn’t look like that. It can’t look like that. Nature won’t allow it. There is at least one other blog fully dedicated to comparing the visual nature of products as advertised versus as delivered, and that’s not my goal here.

Though there is, later on, my picture of the beast.

But back to the story.

I went to Burger King, my heart heavy in my chest, with the knowledge that I must vanquish this leaden foe. There had been some discussion in the office regarding “baked potato topping” and what truly that entailed. Eventually we decided that it must be basically mashed potatoes. Couldn’t think of anything else it could be. Not topping for potatoes but topping of potatoes.

I walked up to the counter with no wait. A late teenage girl stepped up and said hi. She had a moderate Southern accent and was tall and thin, and looked like she’d just gracefully transitioned from that gawky adolescent state into the woman that she would become.

“May I take your order?” or somesuch pleasantry, and delivered with a mostly genuine smile even.

“I can’t believe I’m going to do this,” I sighed.

“What’s that?”

“Tell me, have you had this Loaded Steakhouse Burger?” I inquired, already knowing the answer.

“Um … no. No, I’ve had the regular Steakhouse Burger and it was good. But that one? No.” She looked perhaps simultaneously conspiratorial and taken aback, as if she had been instructed by her dark masters not to reveal her consumption habits, yet she never thought she would actually be interrogated.

A young man of moderate height stepped into view. He looked as if he had been taken fresh from the pages of some lower-rent catalog that was trying to look like a good alternative to Abercrombie & Fitch, price-wise. Perhaps that was just the effect of him having to wear a BK uniform.

“I’ve had both and it’s better without,” he opined, unasked, and with a quite genuine smile.

“Are you sure?”

“Oh, yeah, the regular Steakhouse Burger is great. The other one …” his voice trailed off.

“Well, damn. I told my friends I would eat the Loaded Steakhouse Burger,” I sighed.

With great glee the young lady said, “Okay! One Loaded Steakhouse Burger! You want to make that a meal?”

Yes. Yes I did. But I wanted it small, ’cause I knew that this was a bad idea.

“What … what is the ‘baked potato topping’ anyway?” I inquired, a futile gesture as I was already condemned.

“Oh, it’s like a loaded baked potato – sour cream, cheese, bacon, you know, all that. And the potato.”

Good lord.

In short time I received my order and walked that long slow walk of the damned back across the restaurant, to the farthest darkest corner.

I will torture you no longer and now reveal the horrifying image of what was given to me.

It's ...

Like any Lovecraftian protagonist I can hardly tell you what transpired past this point, as if the journey past the apex and the ensuing descent into madness left my eyes clouded and my memories clean, my inability to truly process the horror transforming me a dry useless husk.

Except that’s not really true, as I can remember much of the short story I was reading for Spanish Lit class, but very little about the burger itself. I can verify that it does hang over the edge of the bun, as pictured. It did have all the listed ingredients. The barbeque sauce was a bit too strong for the sandwich.

I wanted to stop halfway through.

I ended up stopping at three-quarters. It was just … something in my brain overrode my arms. I found this out when I tried to turn the page and nothing happened. There was a tiny coup d’etat and until my arms and hands agreed to a declaration of cease-fire there was to be no more physical activity.

I feel a worse man for having undergone this.

But you, my friends, are better off, for you may live vicariously through me, and you may learn from my mistake.

Or should you not, then may God have mercy on your soul.

eyes wide
April 16, 2008, 1:07 pm
Filed under: tidbit

I have seen the end of the world, the hard face of the King and his terrible power.

I must do this. I must vanquish this foe.

Fine, fine, I give in.
April 3, 2008, 4:37 pm
Filed under: tidbit

So like you and everyone else in the world I like Youtube because there’s always something odd to watch.

Wait, that’s the wrong way to go about starting this entry.

Some of my friends have been pressuring me to get a tumblr account, which up until this point I have resisted. I don’t (or didn’t) really care for tumblr because it’s like some miniblog where the viewer can’t even post comments. It’s one-way communication. But last night or the night before or … whatever, some time recently Jason said something about posting Youtube videos on Tumblr and then it kind of made sense. I always add videos to my favorites and then forget to show people (yes, I’m looking at you, Heather).

I don’t like posting too many Youtube videos to this blog because I think it should be for words, regardless of how few I actually write here, plus video entries rarely require any sort of discussion. So, with a heavy heart I gave in and joined the ranks of Jason, Trey, Stacie, Jason C, I CERTAINLY DID NOT FORGET MAIG!, and others.

So if you want something else to add to your RSS feed you can add my tumblr page and then be bored with the videos I post. And if you don’t care about videos, well, you don’t have to go look. I think it’s a good solution, right?