Archive

Archive for October, 2009

Good Job!

October 28, 2009 2 comments

In my recent musings to myself, I mused intensely about jobs and their relative pay.  “Surely,” I mused, “there must be some empirical indicators of job pay relating to another variable.”  What were these standards, and why were they consuming my every waking moment until my family held an intervention?

My current research (that is to say, that which I am making up off the top of my head) shows an undeniable relation between salary and another factor.  You must, of course, control for lesser variables, such as:

–Education
–Religious Background
–Hard Work
–Wind
–The GDP of Bangladesh
–Miley Cyrus
–Convection
–The sound of a tree falling in the forest when no one is there to hear it

All those considered, it leaves us with the only indicator that, without fail, holds an inverse relationship with a job’s salary: How tan you will get doing the job.  Think about it.  Let it soak in.  I’ll wait.

<Intermission>

For those of you who are mathematically inclined (read: men), we can sum up this relationship using a simple formula:

Σ – π ≠ (√½∞) ≤ Δ ÷ 0

Those of you who caught my little math joke noticed right away I didn’t take into account the coefficient of drag (how efficiently 2 men can wear women’s clothing).  Simplified even further, and a bit dumbed-down if you ask me, the formula means:

The more you get paid to do a job, the less tan you will get doing it.

–Another way of saying that is–

The more tan you get at your job, the less you get paid to do it.

For the simplest evidence, just look at the picture below.

Bill Gates

The opposite rings true for lifeguards, who see plenty of the sun, but not much else in their paychecks.  They use their tan, even-toned bodies to regularly rummage through dumpsters looking for apple cores to suck on for sustenance.

I work in an office-type environment, surrounded by fluorescent lighting.  I can literally see sunlight, but none of the sun’s nourishing rays ever reach my pasty skin.  If I were any more pale, I’d be clear.  God help you if you could see through my skin and view what lurks inside.  I have the hardest-working colon is showbiz, folks.

I think my dream job would be the guy who stands next to the road construction and holds the sign that says, “SLOW”.  Oh, the power you wield doing that job!  People have to do what you say AND you don’t have to work as hard as anyone else.  Win-win, baby!

The only job more enjoyable than that would be the guy who has the two-sided sign that has “SLOW” on one side, and “STOP” on the other.  It’s a matter of national security that I never get to hold that sign.  I would be on the highway turning traffic into my own grown-up game of “Red Light, Green Light”.

Probably the most shining example of being simultaneously sickeningly tan and outlandishly underpaid is the girl behind the counter at the tanning salon.  She only gets paid $3.00 an hour, but she gets to tan as much as she wants.  If a tan could be cashed out, she’d be a gazillionaire.  Instead, she’ll look like a snakeskin suitcase by age 20.

I rest my case.  Either that, or I ran out of things to say.  It doesn’t really matter which.

I Have the Worst Musical Taste Ever (And I Love It!)

October 11, 2009 1 comment

Throughout my day, I receive a lot of feedback from many people.  Most of it is positive, like “Your breath smells less bad today.  Congratulations,” or, “I can see you’ve washed your hair in the last month.  That’s quite the improvement.”  It really builds my self esteem.  Just when I get to this high point of “Your shoes match today.  Good job,” someone has to come along and mock me relentlessly for my taste in music.  Mostly, that someone is my wife, but that’s beside the point.  I do hear it from others as well.

I do not see any problem with my choice of music, but that is mainly because I am tone-deaf and have suspect oral hygiene.  (I’m not sure exactly what my rotting teeth and puffy gums have to do with poor musical taste, but I’ve never been shy about how I let my body fall into neglected, diseased pieces.)  I have complied a short list of bands I like.  You will probably tease me to no end also, but I risk being vulnerable because I love you, my readers, so gosh-darn much.  Here goes:

U2 (I am, apparently, 40 years old at heart)
-Live (and I appreciate men who sing way too high)
Linkin Park (I don’t know why, either)
Good Charlotte (because there’s a little teen angst in all of us)
Tokio Hotel (strange, because I haven’t worn black nail polish in years. I’m trying to jump on the bandwagon before they get talented)
-God help me, I still don’t mind listening to Creed (everyone needs a little convoluted, watered-down spirituality)

There is a whole host of other musicians I could put on this list, but I believe it’s diverse enough that I can poke fun at them (and myself) for a reasonable amount of time.  Plus, if you don’t understand my criticism of one band, you should be able to for another and be able to laugh along.  I’d like to tackle these bands one at a time, to help you (and me, actually) figure out why in the world I would listen to such drivel when other great bands exist and make relevant, competent music.

U2– Many people can’t figure out why I would listen to a band whose biggest album came out when I was 3, but I can’t help it.  In 2001, I got hooked on the classics U2 put out, and have learned to tolerate the passable garbage they have put out since. Bono, either go to every foreign dignitary in a vain attempt to save the world or sing.  And the world would prefer you do the latter.  Thank you.

Live– Again, this band’s heyday was well before I was of music-appreciating age.  A distinct blend of Eastern symbolism American spirituality (menthol, of course), Live embodied the confused youth of the early 90s (who, coincidentally, wore oversized plaid shirts with torn-up jeans).  Since then, they have put out a string of feel-good, “love everybody” tunes that have not done well anywhere in the world except Australia.  No one likes Australia.  Not even Australia.  They’re like the France of the Southern Hemisphere.

Linkin Park– No one has perfected the “sing quiet, then the other guy raps, then I scream like a pinched toddler” formula quite like LP.  Kudos to them for making so much money that they can take baths in gold doubloons.  You will never find a band that uses the words “pain” and “shut up” in such a formidable way.  Sure, we can mock them, but they laugh all the way to the bank to cash a solid gold check.

Good Charlotte– Yes, we understand, you were picked on in high school.  It’s time to move on and become a member of the tax-paying adult community.  You have a receding hairline and are still writing songs about not getting picked for the junior varsity baseball team, we get it.  That’s all I can say.  They’re really that one-dimensional.

Tokio Hotel– I realize they’re not any good.  Don’t even point that out.  My point is, they will be good. Five years from now, when you’re all wearing their t-shirts, let this serve as a reminder that I posted this on October 11th, 2009.  I just bought the new album, and it’s mostly bad.  Still, it’s ten times better than the previous offering that was vomited from the dregs of “Record Companyland”.  What can you expect?  They’re German.  (No offense to the Germans, though I don’t know why it wouldn’t be offensive.)

Creed– I could never figure out if Creed was singing about God or psychedelic mushrooms.  “Can you take me higher?”  It was always so shrouded in mystery that I had no clue.  I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder, assuming the beholder is stupid and 14.  I heard they are putting out a new album.  I just (as I am writing this) watched a video of the new single, and I must admit I am ashamed to witness the shameless cashing-in of past glory.  Good for them, ha!

If you loved this, let me know.  If it made no sense and flew completely over your head, let me know in that case as well.  I WILL post something very soon in which I will be writing my own songs.  Plus, I will be needing your input.  Did somebody say “exciting“?  No?  Did anybody at least say, “marginally thought-producing“?  Not that either?  Forget it, then.

Paulyball

October 6, 2009 4 comments

Over the last 8 weeks, I had the distinct pleasure of being part of a recreational volleyball team.  Let’s back up a bit.  Near the beginning of training at my new job, some co-workers and I decided we should get together weekly to exercise, burn off some steam, and gossip intensely about our workplace.  This plan worked swimmingly until we realized the fatal flaw: I am no good at volleyball.  The only weak areas of my game are that I am physically unable to serve, set, spike, block, or go an entire game without pulling a muscle.  I can jump, though.  I can even jump pretty high.  The opposing team would be intimidated by my mad net rush, then quickly realize it was all a ruse to disguise my utter lack of every other talent.  By the games’ end, the other team would be purposely hitting the ball in my direction, just to see me faceplant into the sand while launching the ball into adjacent courts.

Oh, and I am an incredible dancer.  When they put 90’s slow jams over the loudspeakers, I sent opponents into utter confusion with my flawless steps, shakes, and the all-important “raising the roof”.

I single-handedly cost my team several matches and countless more measures of morale.  They are very kind not to have stuffed me into trash cans post-game or slashed my tires at work on game days.  Well, they never admitted to the time my tires mysteriously were slashed, at least.

Lessons I learned from volleyball:

1. There are very few things I am good at.

2. The few things I am good at do not help me at volleyball.

3. If you face off against a team called “Team Awesome”, you will lose, no matter how valiantly you struggle to upset them.

I could write volumes about our epic battles with “Team Awesome”, but this is neither the time nor the place.  (That would be a side project I’m working on.  I’m on “Team Awesome Volume VI: Ea-Es” at the moment.  Look for the boxed set of the exhaustive account in stores soon.  It makes a lovely Christmas gift.)  The most frustrating part about Team Awesome is that they were so darn nice.  Their overwhelming graciousness lit a fire in me quicker than a stray spark on a Wal-Mart crib mattress.  I’m trying to move on and forgive them for their outlandish benevolence, but I’m only human.  They, of course, went undefeated.  24-0.  Ridiculous.  They didn’t even have matching team t-shirts like we did.  Some say that I’m just being childish, but people who say that are a big bunch of poo-poo heads.

I purposely do not have any video from my performance on the volleyball court, as it would tarnish my reputation even further.  If it became even more tarnished, you’d have to clean it with a jack hammer.  I would come home every night covered in a sandy dust, with several ounces of sand nestled deeply in unspeakable places.  If my bathtub ever backs up, I know it’s because the water cannot get past the 50 pounds of sand in the pipes after 8 weeks of v-ball.

I would like to personally thank my teammates: José, Megan, Katherine, Al, and Sara(h).  I would also like to thank our subs who stepped in when there were scheduling conflicts and when José sprained his ankle: Alicia and Kate.  My friends, it was a glorious season, and I measure it a complete success, because we did not finish last in the standings.  Second-to-last, yes.  But last?  I don’t think so!

UPDATE: Just as I was preparing to post this, I was scratching my head, and I found a piece of sand still attached to my scalp.  It may have been a termite egg, but if I say it was sand, it’s more relevant to the story.