Monday, June 29, 2009

Yeah, I'm a Dummy

I've been working on a long term project called Spring Cleaning. I say long term because I actually started this particular project back in winter. And given that Chicago had exactly 2 hours and 35 minutes of actual spring this year, I will take that to mean that it is Spring only in name and I can start/finish it at my leisure.

One of the things I'm doing is getting rid of a lot of stuff I keep carrying around. Part of that stuff is a lot of books. I'd forgotten how many of these I had and I noticed this weekend that I had a large number of the "_______ for Dummies" books. My first one was back in 1999 when I first moved to California and it was Investing for Dummies. I must have either been a real dummy or lost interest pretty quickly as I don't remember finishing the book. However, I did find that the premise and layout of the books were very favorable and were an easy read...unless it was about investing apparently.

Over the years whenever my interest in something peaked enough to go beyond the initial "Hmmmm... that's interesting" I found myself going to the book store and the first level of research would begin with one of the Dummies books.

They are a great source of general information. You may not learn every little detail about a subject, but you'll learn a very good, general overview of the subject. The authors are always very conversational, but never talk down to the reader. They do treat the topic as if you don't know anything about it to start, but they also say that (in most topics) you can skip around the book and not lose anything for not reading straight through.

The Dummies website even has online 'how-to' information like today's top topics, "How to Zest citrus fruit" and "How to play music on your iPod" These may sound simplistic and stupid, but I didn't know how to zest citrus and if my Mom were alive, she'd have watched that iPod video about 5 times before she tried it. (Never was one to just dive in, she actually read the owner's manuals.... go figure)

So if you're curious about something, go look into the Dummies books. While I'm no expert, I can safely say I know far more about Investing, Creating a Business Plan, Starting a Not-for-Profit organization, Judaism, Law School, the LSAT and Writing a Novel than I did before I admitted that Yeah, I'm a Dummy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 Monkey Stories

Kids say the darnedest things....

Once I was finished with college (the first time) it was about the time that many of my friends were getting married and having their first children. It was also the age where you're responsible... but still young enough to be goofy and get away with it. When the time would come and my friend's kids were being shown around I used to get a kick out of taking those that were just on the verge of saying their first words and all I would say to them was "monkeybutt" It became a running joke with my friends. Until one time it took....

I got a call from one friend who, let's be truthful, all the guys were afraid of her because she was no nonsense. Even though the names are changed to protect the innocent (me) the call went like this:

"Chris, this is Susan"

"Hey! How are..."

"Shut up" she said cutting me off, "I wanted to call you and let you know David just said his first word. I wanted YOU to know what his first word was because I am coming over so I can hear your LAST word... and it better fucking not be MONKEYBUTT!"
I don't know at what point she actually hung up because I could never have heard the click of the line for my guffawing out loud! Sadly I've only ever seen pictures of David and his younger brother. I'd like to think that it's because of distance and time that puts friends in different locations, but still in each other's hearts. However I have a distinct feeling that Susan doesn't want me around until all her offspring have uttered their first words....

A Scientific Breakthrough

With the exception of my brother, everyone in my immediate family was in Health care. I remember growing up with my parents talking medicine at the dinner table. Then my sister joined the fray discussing blood, urine and stool at the table like it was as common as the recipe for the casserole we were eating. My brother and I would just hunker down and eat hoping to get through dinner before color and consistency became more graphic than it already was.

When I announced I was heading into nursing my brother threw up his hands "You were my last hold out! Will I be able to eat with you all anymore?"

Once in the early to mid 90's I lived in Charleston, SC and it was the period where they were finally starting to make big steps forward in HIV/AIDS research. It was found that a certain species of baboon was immune to the HIV virus. I was home in Clemson visiting my mother and we were discussing the physiological aspects of HIV and how this type of monkey could be immune. Perhaps it was the hemoglobin that was different from ours, perhaps they had a natural immunity much like dogs have in their saliva that allows them to eat... anything. It was then, in the middle of this educated, scientific discussion that my mom offered this hypothesis:

I think I know why they can't get HIV... their butts are just so ugly!

It took me a minute to actually get that she'd just made a funny gay joke. It was that moment that I remembered forever and was useful in a discussion of ours much later... but we weren't curing HIV then.

Only in the animal kingdom....

This isn't so much a story as it is a video I found from a friend on Facebook. Lucky Monkey... 3

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Cheeeeez!

As a possible lead in to a new Fiesty Friday.... I ran across this video today. Been one of those days where I'm just getting pissed off left and right so cheese and a catchy slogan can keep me going.

This is a shout out for Lea in SC....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I feel like someone has Hucka'd my Bejeepers

Wha wha WHAT????

you may ask in your best Sheila Broflovski voice from South Park. But if you know me you know that the tracks of my train of thought from one topic to another can look as convoluted as a capillary diagram of the brain or Dubya Bush's plan for the War on Terrorism.

I still read my favorite blogs nearly every day, but since my anniversary post on June 3 I've just not had time or creative umphda to post. So you're still wondering about where the hell, or how in the hell I came up with saying someone's Hucka'd my Bejeepers. I think at least one of my tens of fans will catch the connection.

1. I was looking at my calendar sighing over how half of June is gone already and I've been going 100mph since day one.
2. I saw that the rest of June is just as bad and only getting worse.
3. June is just Busting at the seams with stuff and I'm anxious about catching up
4. June is busting out all over! (showtune or iconic movie references always make for a good thought tangent)
6. "and they Hucka the Bejeepers"

And with that 6-step track change I landed back in one of my favorite blog posts from Are You There Blog? It's Me, Stephen.

Some things I could watch a million times and they'd still make me laugh on the worst of days. So I hope Ms. Uggams doesn't get the words right any time soon.

And if you know me... especially recently... you know that a new way of finding a laugh when most needed is the "Texts From Last Night" website. Today's favorite

(815): I woke up naked this morning and I found out that I thought I was Adam last night and Eve was my wife so I ran naked saying I was in the Garden of Eden and I could shit wherever I wanted.....too bad the garden was in my friends apt.......I spent the morning cleaning and have reached a new low

(addition post-blog production)
Talking about Texts From Last Night made me think of a certain time texting came back to haunt... someone we all know and love when he texted someone just at the time when the Apple store employee powered up the customer's iPhone:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Me!

Today is my 9th anniversary of moving to Chicago!

At that time I made the mistake of thinking you could just walk up to Chicago and find an apartment. That may be so if you're looking in the $2,000 per month range, but not for me.
And while I'd love to post a nice long blog about my time (which I will soon) I can't as I'm scurrying around getting ready for a conference that begins Friday. So let me offer this little amusing piece.

This shows that while I'm happy and proud to have grown up in South Carolina, I think I'll make sure that I don't die in South Carolina. This is from The Red Eye today:

6'7" - Tall Order
The South Carolina funeral board has revoked the licenses of a funeral home and its director for cutting the legs of a 6 foot 7 man so his corpse would fit in a casket.

Good thing he didn't die with a stiffy huh??

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Even God gets annoyed with you!!!

I received a text from Just Kevin last night asking if I'd sworn off blogging these days. You know Just Kevin... his last blog was May 10.... (kidding JK)

It's been an odd past 2 months. The economy (and I detest that word now) has made my work life overtly stressful as most of my conference attendees are government employees of some level and when the economy goes in the crapper, travel is the first thing cut so I'm on the run trying to either fill hotel space or get rid of it. In both cases it would be easier for me to get George Dubya to have sex with Palin and then get an abortion. But I digress.

So aside from constantly running the "UP" preview in my head SQUIRREL!............. Hi there...

I try to find something to make me laugh until the economy turns around. Thanks to Troy from LACVB for sending this jewel this morning.