Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

There's a new fad on Facebook called "25 Random Things About Me." It involves a person posting 25 random things about themselves. Shocking, I know. That person then tags other people in their note, then those people are supposed to write 25 random things about themselves, then tag other people, on and on until we all know 25 random facts about each other.

I was tagged, so I set off to make a list of 25 random things... I just didn't know which random things to write about. To even out the playing field amongst all of my random experiences, I wrote down 100 things that I consider random, threw them all in a hat, picked 25 of them, threw those away, and then made up a completely different list. And here is the fruit of my labor.

25 Random Things About Me

1. I own two Jon Secada CDs, "Jon Secada" and "Heart, Soul & A Voice" - and I love them.

2. I met Carrot Top at Red's gym in Lafayette when I was 14-ish. Red's is run by Red Lerille, a former Mr. Universe, and his gym is incredible. Check it out if you're ever in Lafayette.

3. When I was in high school I convinced a girlfriend that pasta grew in the sea. I told her that it was a type of polyp that floated around before attaching to a rock, like a sponge, and that there were whole fleets of ships whose sole purpose was to net large clusters of pasta polyps to sell to Italian food restaurants. I kept this up until she ran to tell her mom, "Hey mom, did you know that pasta grows in the sea?" and her mom started laughing.

4. My Aunt Barbara was the choreographer for Rosalynn Sumners and Tonya Harding - the "old" Tonya Harding, not the "I'm going to bust your knee caps, box you to death, then gain 50 pounds" Tonya Harding that we all know and love today.

5. When I was in Kindergarten I played "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" with a girl named Carly. I was 6, she was 5. I didn't know what we were doing at the time... it just seemed like a natural thing to do after nap time.

Oh, by the way, it was her idea. I would have never initiated that game because when I was 6 I thought girls had cooties.

Incidentally, that girl later became a lesbian. I guess my 6 year old wiener really freaked her out.

6. I first started wearing my cow outfit at a Delta Zeta event. Betty's sorority had a party but there was no theme, and Betty and I decided that not having a theme was boring. So I dressed up as a cow (we bought the cow outfit at Wal-Mart for 15 bucks - possibly the best 15 dollars I've ever spent), Betty dressed up as the milk maid, and our good friends Matt and Nicolvin dressed up too. We rocked!

We were the only people dressed up at the party, and we had a blast. The next year, the party had a theme... a cowboy theme. They stole our cowboy theme! So we dressed up as something else, just to be different.

7. For several years I played an online game called "Clandestine" - which is like World of Warcraft, but with text instead of graphics - where I created area maps and did a little bit of coding. My screen name was Vighnaraja. "Vighnaraja" is a name of one of the incarnations of the Hindu god Ganesha, and my aunt and cousin brought me a Ganesha statue home from their mission trip to India. So now I have a statue of Vighnaraja at my desk.

By the way, any game like World of Warcraft or Clandestine is like crack - just stay away from them! They're fun until you emerge from the darkness years later, shriveled and blind, only to realize that you've wasted the last years of your life on something that has no value or purpose.

8. I wanted to be a video game developer when I grew up. But LSU only had two graphics courses, and you couldn't take the second one until you took the first. LSU also only offered the first graphics course once a year, and you couldn't take that course until you took all your Junior-level courses. LSU did not offer the first graphics class in my senior year, and the administration wouldn't let me sit in on the second course. To this day I still despise the LSU Computer Science department for gypping me of the only computer courses I really cared to take.

9. My mom can kick my family's collective ass in basketball. She always wins when we play "HORSE" although I haven't played her in a while. Hey Mom, up for a rematch?

10. I was one of the captains of my high school soccer team. Not to brag or anything (yes I'm bragging) but we won the State Championship (twice). Nowadays I can't briskly walk to the bathroom without breaking a sweat. I've become a total puss.

11. If there are three stalls in the men's restroom, and if all are empty, I always choose the middle stall. This doesn't have anything to do with me being a middle child, but instead it has to do with predictive patterns of human behavior.

People who "really have to go" will always choose the closest stall. I always ignore the first stall for this reason - there's no telling what the first stall is going to look like on any given day. The third stall is usually the handicap-accessible stall. Given the choice of using this one or the middle stall, most people choose the third stall because it has more leg room. That leaves the middle stall.

12. My first professional job was in Breaux Bridge. I didn't have a desk, a chair or a computer - my dad bought a laptop for me - but I was required to work for 8 hours a day at the office. So I stood up in the server room for 8 hours a day. My in-laws gave me a fold-out chair to bring to work.

Nowadays when I hear people complain about their jobs, I tell them my "chair story" and make them pity me.

13. The first concert I ever went to was to see Paula Abdul at the Cajun Dome. We had floor seats. It was actually pretty good - the animated cat from one of her videos made an appearance.

14. I'm obsessive-compulsive about certain things at certain times. If I'm alone and drinking a Coke, I can't put the can down once - I have to pick it up and put it down several times, holding my breath while I do it. But if I'm with anyone else then it's not a problem. I also don't like the way some things feel on my skin, and if something rubs me a certain way then I have to have it rub me in the opposite direction before I can focus on anything else.

25. I can only count to 14.

Tag, you're it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Your Song

LSU Baseball starts up again on February 20th. And even though the season hasn't started, things are already looking good for the ol' Tigahs. The Tigers are the #1 team on the preseason poll, the new Alex Box stadium should be ready for the game, and there already tons of rabid fans tailgating outside the new stadium. I think I even saw someone burn an effigy of Villanova's coach out on the parade grounds.

Go Tigers!

So now that we know that our team is going to kick the ever-lovin' crap out of every team on our schedule, let's get down to the most important question:

What will be every player's song when they go up to bat?

For those of you who've never been to a game, ten seconds of a song is played right as batter goes up to the plate. The song is the player's choice, of course, but I've always wondered how each player makes the decision of which song to play.

I mean, how do you know which song to use? You only get ten seconds - TEN SECONDS - to sum up your entire life's meaning... ten seconds to either make the crowd dance around, make the crowd reflect on their lives, or to make people wonder what kind of crappy music you listen to. And believe me, LSU fans can either be the greatest fans in the world or the absolute worst - if they hate your song, they'll let you know every time you go up to bat.

Your song might even get its own effigy. Oh yeah, I've seen it several times.

The song selection was always my favorite part of going to the baseball games. In fact, I like the songs at the baseball games so much that I've decided to start playing ten seconds of a song every time I walk in the front door at work. I'm thinking of using the first few riffs of Guns 'N Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle."

But it doesn't stop there. When I finish a big project, I'll stand up in my cubicle, the lights will dim (except the light above me will shine brightly down upon me), and "Another One Bites the Dust" will blare out over the loud speakers.

And whenever I get overwhelmed by a ton of work that gets plopped down on my desk, ten seconds of "Selling the Drama" by Live will play somewhere to remind me to stop being so dramatic.

Basically, I'll rock all day, every day. Just like my Tigahs!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Natural Male Enhancement

I've been trying to be more manly lately. My main goals are to have bigger muscles, a flourishing mustache and an encyclopedic memory for car parts.

But instead of hitting the gym, researching cars or not shaving, I decided to take a shortcut and get some of those "natural male enhancement" pills that are always advertised on Comedy Central.

Unfortunately, natural male enhancement pills do not build stronger muscles. They also do not encourage the growth of facial hair - or any kind of hair, for that matter. And my knowledge of car parts is still limited to whatever the guy at Midas tells me is broken with my car this week.

It turns out that natural male enhancement pills are only good for increasing the size of one's penis.

I know... I was shocked to find this out, too.

Well, that's actually not fully correct. The way these pills work is they make your entire body, with the exception of your penis, shrink. As you get smaller and smaller, withering away into a wrinkly gnome, your penis remains at the same pre-pill length. Thus, when you don your birthday suit, your penis - in relation to the rest of your body - looks enormous.

I was 5'7" before I started taking these pills. Now I'm only 3'6". And I have to say, my wiener has never looked better.

Unfortunately, having a huge wiener has its disadvantages. For starters, because my body shrunk so much, if I get an erection then it's like having a third leg - a third leg with no kneecap, which basically makes me immobile. And the weight of the thing throws me off balance. So basically, if I get aroused for any reason, I'm completely useless - which is my normal state, anyway.

Basically, if you're a man who is trying to become more manly without having to actually work at it, take my advice and just start using steroids. They worked for Mark McGuire, Barry Bonds and every other pro athlete - they can work for you as well.

Don't take Viagra, or Levitra, or Dr. Porkenheimer's Boner Juice. It's not worth it. Unless, of course, you're extremely tall and want to shed some of your height while simultaneously gaining comparative size in your loins.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Obama's Inauguration

I've gotta admit, I'm pretty excited for Obama to take office.

It's not that I'm overly excited for Obama himself or for the fact that his inauguration will be a historic day. That's all well and good, but that's not the reason for my excitement.

I'm excited because now we all get to witness the collective orgasmic spasms of the mass media.

Today I saw Demi Moore almost shed tears of joy on Oprah. Demi Moore - you know, the chick who pretended to give Michael Douglas a blow job in Disclosure, prostituted herself with Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal, clung upside down to a pole with her bare legs in Striptease and had sex with a deceased Patrick Swayze in Ghost... yeah, well apparently she's been dreaming of this day since she was a kid. She literally choked up on Oprah while talking about Obama.

Faith Hill was on Oprah, too, and said that the election meant the world to her. Yes, Faith Hill - the whitest white girl in all of country music. The same one who's had the world handed to her because she's white, she's blonde, she's rich, and one time she wore a short skirt at a televised concert and we could all see up her hoo-hoo. Screw her husband Tim McGraw, Obama means the world to her.

I hope that Obama succeeds, because we need a good leader to get us out of our various messes. And I hope that the mass media and all of the Hollywood celebrities keep acting like fools, because I need more fodder for the blog.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lexicon Tantrum

I'm reading three books which are best described as being dictionaries. Yeah, I'm nerdy like that.

It started all by accident.

My brother gave me "The Year of Living Biblically" by A.J. Jacobs for Christmas, and I liked it so much that I picked up his other book, "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World."

In "The Know-It-All," Jacobs recounts his time spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica from start to finish. Each chapter is broken out into a different letter, and each page has a handful of words, their definitions, and a short paragraph on how the word relates to Jacobs' life. It's entertaining, educational, well-written... it's everything you'd expect from someone who read the entire Encyclopedia.

Next, my favorite author, Gene Wolfe, wrote a series of books that use archaic words instead of making up his own language. Making up one's own words is an annoying trait of many Science Fiction authors, and Wolfe figured that there's already a bunch of words that we no longer use but already meaning, and using them in a book will make the culture within the book seem alien.

A dictionary of these archaic words named "Lexicon Urthus" was recently published, so I've been reading a few pages each day and reflecting on how much easier Wolfe's books would have been to read had I had this resource earlier.

Finally, my brother-in-law Danny gave me "The Deeper Meaning of Liff," by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, which has the subtitle "A Dictionary of Things There Aren't Any Words for Yet - But There Ought to Be." For the actual terms, the authors use the names of towns from the UK, and for the definitions, the subtitle is right on the money.

For example, "Abinger" is defined as "One who washes up everything except the frying pan, the cheese grater and the saucepan which the chocolate sauce has been made in," and "Ranfurly" is defined as "Fashion of tying ties so that the long thin end underneath dangles below the short fat upper end."

Hopefully reading all of these dictionaries will make me a little smarter. If not, then lucky for me that my hobby of blogging doesn't require much thought.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

From the Mouth of a Child

My daughter is not able to fully understand an object until she attempts to eat it.

She's like an old-timey banker biting into a coin to verify that it's made of pure gold, or like a blind person using her hands to "see" another person's face.

If you ask my daughter to "bring me the blue ring," she'll mosey on over to various objects, stick them in her mouth, chew on them for a bit, then move onto the next item. When she gets to the blue ring, she'll keep it in her mouth for a few seconds longer, verifying that the flavor of the plastic indicates that the object is in fact blue, then she'll bring the wet ring to you.

It's pretty incredible, really.

[Picture: Anne gumming a toy]

I've started requesting that Anne bring me all sorts of things, like my magazines or the remote. It doesn't matter that the object is soaked with her slobber by the time it gets to me. The fun of watching her brain work outweighs a soggy magazine any day!

Yesterday I asked her to bring me "Mommy." And by the hickey left on Mommy's shoulder, it looked like she found her.

Basically, my daughter is a genius. Harvard and Yale, you'd better get your scholarship offers ready, because Princeton might beat you to the punch.

Frankenturtle

Tragedy has struck the Tanory household. Our beloved Chia turtle has lost its head.

[Picture: Chia turtle]

I was so sad to come home and find my turtle's head lying besides its body. As I knelt beside its Chia corpse, wondering how this could have happened, I noticed that his sad little eyes were still looking up at me....

[Picture: Chia head]

I couldn't bear to be without my little Chia turtle, so drawing inspiration from Frankenstein, I did some light surgery on my turtle to reattach its head. I also attached the head of one of my neighbor's kid's dolls, so that my turtle could use the doll's mouth to talk to me. To reanimate its body I used my tennis racket bug zapper since I had no other way to pump electricity into it.

The end result: Frankenturtle!

[Picture: Frankenturtle!]

It's alive! Aliiiiive! (It actually is alive - it's really a plant shaped like a turtle.)

Now we just need to find a replacement head for my neighbor's kid's doll, because the kid has been crying outside our back door for two hours, and her constant sobbing is really annoying.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sick of my Sickness

I've been coughing for six months. I'm driving my coworkers crazy, and my wife has had just about enough of me. Worst of all, I can't play on the computer at night because every time I cough the baby wakes up.

So that's why I haven't been blogging as much as usual. My apologies to anyone who regularly reads the blogs (all four of you!).

I decided that if I'm going to have any hope of appeasing my wife, baby or coworkers then I'm going to have to kill whatever is making me cough. But then I thought... am I infested with bacteria, or have I been attacked by viruses? This is important, because I know for a fact that I can kill bacteria, but I'm not too sure about viruses.

You see, scientists can't agree on whether or not viruses are alive, because they "straddle the definition of life." If a virus isn't alive then I can't kill it.

So I set out to find the answer to my question about life. I needed to know for sure if viruses are alive, or if they're just some sub-microscopic infectious agents floating around with random strands of RNA trapped inside them.

All I knew about life before I started my research was that it could possibly be one of three things:

1. A highway
2. A dream
3. A breakfast cereal.

After months of research and not finding any answers, Betty finally made me a doctor's appointment. He said that the cause of my constant coughing is caused by neither bacteria nor viruses, but instead is caused by allergies. He said I have "Allergic Rhinitis," which is a more expensive way of saying "hay fever."

(For those of you who don't know, "hay fever" isn't caused by hay and it doesn't cause fever. It's caused by one's genitals being overly huge and one's muscles being toned and cut to perfection. It's a common disease with us Tanorys.)

I'm not sure what I'm allergic to, but later this month I plan on getting some blood work done to determine the exact cause. My guess is that I'm allergic to being sick.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American Idol Returns with a Bitchslap

American Idol is back on, and I'll be honest, I hate the new judge Kara DioGuardi.

For one thing, Kara called a contestant a bitch. That was totally inappropriate. So what if the contestant was a slutty girl in a string bikini? Everyone knows that the first round is not about how one looks but should instead be focused on how one sings. So that's strike one against the new judge.

(By the way, if you want to get to the next round of American Idol, and if you are a girl who has no talent but is kind of hot in a slutty way, be sure to wear a bikini.)

The second strike against Kara is that she's not as talented as she would like everyone to believe. Sure, she's written hit songs which appear on over 100 million albums sold worldwide. But what exactly are those hits? Here is a sampling:

"Lala" performed by Ashlee Simpson. This song made me want to dig out my eardrums.

"First" by Lindsday Lohan. The "first" what? Video of Lindsay snorting coke off her lesbian lover? (If so, do we have that video anywhere?)

"Escape" by Enrique Iglesias. Enough said.

"Beep" by Pussycat Dolls. This was, quite possibly, the worst song that the Pussycat Dolls have ever put out, and that's saying a lot.

Finally, the third strike against Kara is that she's famous and I'm not. Plus she's rich, and worst of all, she's rich because of all of her shitty songs. None of her songs have made the world a better place, unless you want to count that one time when we all laughed when Ashlee Simpson walked off of SNL after trying to lip sync one of Kara DioGuardi's craptastic songs. Laughing is good for you, after all.

Actually, now that I think about it, it was the terrible songs written by people like Kara DioGuardi that inspired me to get Sirius Satellite Radio. And Sirius has changed my life for the better. Now I can listen to anything I want without having to settle for the 12 crappy songs that the regular-ass radio plays on rotation.

So I guess I should thank Kara. Thank you, Kara, for sharing your lack of talent with the world. I look forward to seeing you on American Idol. Just don't discourage girls from wearing bikinis ever again, or we'll sick William Hung on you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Frankenstein's Monster: Jew or Not Jew?

Santa brought me a Sony eBook reader for Christmas. It's been great, not only because I love to read, but also because Santa included a cover for the reader that has a light on it. The light is bright enough for me to see at night, but not bright enough to wake up my daughter when I'm rocking her to sleep. Rock 'n read!

Thanks, Santa! I feel bad that all I got you was cookies and milk (again). I'll get you back next year!

Because Santa purchased my Sony eBook reader between September '08 and March '09, I get to download 100 free classics from Sony's site. And one of the books I've downloaded is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Mary Shelley is considered the mother of Science Fiction because she gave birth to a boy named "Science Fiction." Actually, Frankenstein is one of the first science fiction novels ever written. And while pondering my purchase, I started thinking:

Was Frankenstein Jewish?

I turned to the only reputable source on Jewish characters, Adam Sandler. But after listening to all of his Hanakkuh songs and not finding Frankenstein in any of them, I turned to JewOrNotJew.com. This website has a nice little article on Frankenstein, and comes to the conclusion that he was not Jewish but probably just German.

JewOrNotJew also has articles on Gargamel from the Smurfs, Daffy Duck, Fievel from "An American Tail," and the Grinch.

In conclusion, there are websites out there that do in-depth analysis on the racial make-up of fictional characters. Isn't the Intarweb a wonderful place?

Friday, January 09, 2009

Faking It

My wife just told me that, on the latest episode of Oprah, they were talking about sex and how important it is for a couple to have a good sex life.

As I started taking off my clothes, she calmly kept talking and told me that the reason she was telling me this was because one of Oprah's guests said she had faked orgasms for over twenty years.

Twenty years of faked orgasms?! Oh my god! Oh yes! Oh, oh, oh my god! Wooooo!



Sorry, I couldn't contain myself just now.

How would you like to be the guy that has to hear on Oprah, in front of a national audience, that your wife has been faking it for 20 years? Talk about a taking a sledge hammer to one's ego! That poor guy thought that he was the Ron Jeremy of his neighborhood, but now everyone knows that he was unable to satisfy his wife. What a pathetic loser.

I'm glad that I don't have that problem. My wife can't fake it if we never have it. Ha! Take that, Oprah Guy!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Humiliating Defeat

I did two degrading things this week: I went to the dentist and I got a haircut.

I only go to the dentist and the hair salon when I have no other choice. It's not that I particularly dislike the people who poke my teeth and gums with sharp pointy objects, or that I don't like to chat with the ladies or gay men who cut my hair. It just comes down to laziness on my part.

And that is why it's degrading.

By the time I actually go to the dentist, it's too late. My teeth have already been a wreck for several months, sometimes even years. Although my teeth generally feel OK, the dentist and his minions of assistants always seem to find at least one tiny cavity happily pillaging away at my enamel. I always want to hide my teeth, but there is no hiding from the dentist.

I blame my cavities on the guy that dressed like a giant tooth and visited my elementary school during "Healthy Teeth Week." If he had only had a sidekick dressed like a giant roll of floss, maybe I'd be a better flosser.

As for the hair salon, I always procrastinate getting my hair cut until the point where I have an afro. Betty calls it a helmet, because on several occasions I've been hit in the head by pine cones or other aerial missiles and have not felt a thing. Sometimes I even find pens and other objects in my hair. After I get my hair cut, I look like a fluffy dog who has just had all its fur shaved off.

I could go to the dentist and hair salon more often, but that would require me to not be so lazy. The health of my teeth and the length of my hair are not as high on my priority list as my lounging.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

English as a Second Language

In the software development world it's very common to work with people from India, China, the Middle East and Africa. All of the people I've met from these areas of the world have been smart, pleasant to work with, and very nice.

Maybe even too nice.

They say things like, "Please give your family my kind regards," and "I hope your holidays are full of merriment and amazement." They even say such antiquated things like, "Good morning," "hello," and "how are you doing today?"

I've decided that people who teach ESL, or English as a Second Language, have a tough time. The English language is bizarre. Some of our words are spelled the same but mean different things, some don't sound like they are spelled, etc. And worst of all, people in America don't speak English.

Foreigners speak English better than we Americans do.

Maybe those people in California who tried to get an Ebonics class going had a good point. We need something to teach foreigners and old people our slang. And maybe we need to send our youth through the ESL courses.

I decided to mentor a young Indian guy named Shrikantha on how to speak like a normal American male. I came to this decision after Shrikantha, or Shri for short, passed me in the hallway and said, "Hello!"

"No, no!" I said, "nobody says 'Hello' anymore! You need to say something more current!"

"Like what, Mr. Robert?" Everyone at work calls me Robert. It's more professional than "Master of the Universe," which is what I make my family call me.

I instructed my young pupil, "Say 'What's up?'"

"What is up?" he says. "What does this mean, Mr. Robert, this 'What is up?'"

I roll my eyes as I tell him, "Don't worry about what it means. It doesn't mean anything, that's the whole point."

Another Indian guy, incidentally also named Shrikantha, walks by us in the hall. Shrikantha 1 says, "What is up?"

Shrikantha 2 stops, turns to us and says, "Pardon me?"

Shrikantha 1 repeats: "What is up?"

Shrikantha 2 is really confused, but he looks straight up and says, "It appears that the ceiling, some lights and a sign pointing to the restrooms are all currently in the air. Can I do anything else to assist you?"

They're just so nice! I decide that this is a good lesson for both of them. They not only need to learn how to speak in American English but also to understand it.

I decided to mentor both of the Shrikanthas. I motion them towards me and we huddle up.

"I'm going to teach you how to speak American English," I tell them, "and then I want you to go and teach the others."

Their eyes were wide with merriment and amazement.

Later in the day, while sitting in my cubicle, I heard one of the Shrikanthas walk by the Quality Assurance group and ask, "What's crack-a-lacking?" while the other Shrikantha asked our VP of IT, "How's it hanging, dawg?"

I've never been so proud.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Old Fogie's New Year

Betty and I used to stay up on New Year's Eve and give each other a smooch at midnight, but we're just too old and tired to do that anymore. Instead, we now find something else to count down earlier in the day, usually around 7 pm.

We call it the "Old Fogie's New Year."

Last year in San Antonio we found a street light that counted down the seconds until the light changed color, and we shouted in joy as the street light ticked down from 10 til 1. This year we counted down the timer on the microwave while heating up some hot chocolate.

In our glory days we tap danced in downtown Fort Worth while asking people to drop change in our tiny party hats, danced in the French Quarter after bringing in the New Year at Antoine's, and most daringly, we watched some guy jump a football field on a moped on TV.

Maybe we'll do something cool when we bring in 2010. But I gotta tell you, staying home and snuggling on the couch was just as much fun as anything else we've done in a long time.

Happy New Year!

[Picture: Bob bringing in the new year (last year)