Dumb Things I Have Done Lately

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Dad Mooned Me on Skype for Mothers Day

For Mothers Day, I had a nice, long Skype video chat with my family.

I was even able to show my mom the card I forgot to mail to her. (She said to save it for next year. )

Also, apparently Dad has been having some intermittent pain in his sacroiliac joints (on the pelvis, to the left and right of the spine, just above the buttocks). Being a doctor, he felt the need to show the location, so he basically mooned me via webcam. Well, half-mooned.

Other than that, today was very damp. I went to a matinee showing of Iron Man, which besides living up to high expectations (save for the post-credits cameo bonus scene, which was kind of a letdown after the big buildup), was also the first movie I'd seen in a theater since I saw Children of Men last January.

I'm at a point in my life where, if a movie is good enough for me to see in a movie theater, it's a movie I'll most likely want to own. In which case, why not just wait a couple of months instead of paying for it twice?

And I don't even have a killer home theater setup. I guess I'm getting pragmatic. Or cheap. Or I need to go out on more dinner-and-a-movie dates.

(And while we're on the topic: Why dinner first, and then the movie? Shouldn't it be movie first, and then dinner? That way, you can at least talk about the movie at dinner. And you don't have to worry about having to duck out to the restroom halfway through because you drank too much water during dinner.)

I also stopped by the neighborhood Giant on the way home. Besides getting thoroughly moistened by the rain, I was also somewhat disconcerted; they're renovating the place and using a new floor plan, so everything is all moved around.

That was pretty much my weekend right there.

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

I'm at home right now. We got back from dinner (Chinese, of course) a little while ago.

Instead of the usual full-sized tree, we've got a mini-tree up in the living room, which saved Mom & Dad (mostly Mom) some trouble.

I may have done something monumentally stupid that's unrelated to anything else, so I've been somewhat preoccupied, but Mom had a little health scare yesterday (everything's fine, thankfully -- Mom thinks the sister worries too much) that put things back into perspective.

So we'll see what happens with the stupid thing later on.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Stranded in the Land of the Chinese Hair Women

As tends to happen, my parents and I went in to Chinatown today for lunch and the usual rounds. My Mom also needed a haircut, so I accompanied her to one of the many hair salons on Pell Street.

This was more than me being a dutiful son, as I, too, needed highlights and a haircut, because my roots were longer than my not-roots, and I'd already achieved my "mistaken for a woman" quota after that night at Whitlow's and an earnest "want to make friendship" e-mail from what I gather to be a Pakistani computer science student.

Why go to Chinatown to get your hair done? Try $55 (plus tip) for full highlights and a haircut, which is basically half-price. Why so cheap? Lower labor costs and extra-carcinogenic hair dyes (we pass the savings to you!).

Anyway, I wasn't the only non-local trying to catch a deal -- a few non-Asian heads passed through while I was there.

My dad wants me to get a crew cut. It looks like a better idea all the time.

Now, even though I'm well into my 30s, there are still a few times when I feel like a complete mama's boy -- and this was one of those times. This is because I was a triply-alienating environment:

1. I was in a hair salon, which is still more or less the exclusive domain of women (no matter how many male customers there are, or even if there is a more barber-ish side of the room)
2. While I'm in the chair, I don't have my glasses on, and thus can't see. When I can't see, I don't like to talk.
3. I'm surrounded by Chinese-speaking ladies. I don't speak Chinese.

Because of #1 and #2, getting my hair colored is, to me, more like a necessary medical procedure, rather than a cosmetic enhancement with social benefit. Add #3 and I'm completely out of my element.

I spent the next 3 hours in the chair. It's never taken that long before -- I guess it was a combination of: 1). Not sitting under the hair dryer to speed things up (net loss: 15 min.) and 2). Having to spend extra time painting all the gray hairs out (net loss: an hour or so. Dammit.)

The resulting haircut is pretty good; I probably went a shade too light (it looked darker in the book) and too short (my fault -- overreaction to the whole gender thing).

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Things I Learned This Thanksgiving

* Our family has pretty much always carved the turkey as if we were butchers (NYT video, via Metafilter).

* ICBM silo launch crews ("Turn your key, sir!") have had Internet connections since August. (One hopes they don't confuse the "really nuking people" computers with the "hackable/playing DEFCON" computers.)

* Lest we forget: Viral video marketing people are really evil. ("Shilling, friend-spamming, sockpuppets: We guarantee 100K views on YouTube or your campaign is free!")

This is not to be confused with record company viral video marketing people, who are also really evil, only in a different way.

* That Haier-built MP3 player that AOL announced at CES earlier this year? (You know, the industrial steel-looking one that looked kind of ugly in the few press photos, the one we all scratched our heads and asked "Why are we doing an MP3 player?" -- AOL never really did hardware very well.) Silicon Alley Insider looked at it, and made it sound like it... doesn't suck. (Former CTO John McKinley also popped up in the comments.)

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Dumb Things I'm Not Going to Blog About for Christmas

I had a few Christmas-themed entries lined up, with high-minded titles like "What My Christmas Lights Taught Me About Mortality" -- a tempus fugit entry, how not taking down my weak-ass Christmas lights from last year demonstrated the fleetingness of time or some shit.

I also had cautionary tale about possibly falling for a newspaper delivery Christmas tipping scam a few years ago (it's pretty brazen -- you take a card with a holiday tip appeal and PO Box address and slip it into some other newspaper carrier's deliveries).

Finally, I had some thoughts on my general disconnectedness from this particular holiday season -- I didn't, for example, send any care packages to deployed soldiers, or donate to any Christmas charities; I didn't even send out any Christmas cards, or even do anything particularly holiday-like.

However, being at home, together with my family, I find all that really doesn't matter. (Even if they are all crazy. Well, my sister isn't crazy, she just lives in New York City. And I'm completely normal. "Eccentric," tops.)

So, I will just shut up and wish everyone a Merry Christmas:


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Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Mom Subscribes to Stuff Magazine

It's true: My mom subscribes to Stuff Magazine:

My Mom Subscribes to Stuff Magazine

Apparently, she had some expiring credit card points to burn on magazine subscriptions, so she picked Businessweek, Fortune, and then a few other random titles.

At least, that what she says.

It must run in the family, since that's how my uncle in California ended up with a subscription to Essence. At least, I think it's Essence. I was just told a Black-interest magazine, so it could possibly be King.

I got a late start home, leaving Virginia a little before 3pm. I hit some traffic on the Beltway, then lost 40 minutes sitting in traffic on I-95.

Everything else was fine, excepting the usual slowdown at the Delaware tolls, so I made it home in just under 5 hours.

Also, there are now 4 open wireless connections available to us, though the parents now have DSL (which is primarly used by the sister and me when we visit, though we're working on that).

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