Friday, July 31, 2009

"Hi there. How are you doing today?"

It's true what people say about the word "hate". It's a strong word. It should be reserved for only the very worst things in life, if anything at all. The following are what I consider to be appropriate uses for the word "hate":

  • I hate the Devil.
  • "I really hate the way you sometimes choose to be" - Micheal Scott
  • I hate ear infections.
  • I hate sales.
No matter how much I try and try to convince myself that I'm a very social person and have people skills and such, I have to finally be honest with myself and come to grips with reality. Of the few things that I can honestly say that I really truly hate with all my heart and soul, all of which are listed above, I hate sales the very most.

You heard me. I hate sales more than I hate the Devil.

For some reason it doesn't bother me at all when someone comes up to me and tries to sell me something. Or even calls me on my cell phone. In fact sometimes I even like it because they're always super nice to me. I know some nice people in this world but not like salesmen. Doesn't change the fact that I never buy anything from anyone. I just like to talk to them.

Unfortunately, not everyone in world is exactly like me (you can quote me on that).

The one thing that I despise most in the universe is trying to approach someone who I know doesn't want to be bothered, try to pretend like we're best friends and that I'm always excessively nice to everyone I meet, everywhere, and then try to convince them that they should buy something that they don't really need.

And every time someone who ultimately has no tact, or respect, or intelligence, and no soul, responds by being ruthlessly mean to me, it makes me feel like I've committed some unpardonable sin against all of humanity.

Missionary work in Oaxaca was different. I mean, aside from the fact that I had nothing to gain at all, meaning I wasn't selling anything, and it was for the best purpose in the world, and it was something that everyone actually needs, there was the added benefit that Mexicans are the most non-intimidating human beings on Earth.

I made a little sketch to illustrate this(it's a little rough, but basically about as good as I would have drawn it if I had a pen instead of a mouse):
They're all fantastic people... they're just a lot smaller. Plus they were nice to me.

It was after the mission that I discovered my refined hatred for bothering people. I did telemarketing sales for 1.5 months. Only commissions. Miserable job. My self-esteem dropped 18 notches. I'm still recovering from it. I would go to work, pick up a phone, and start making people mad. And it's impressive how mad they will get. You can't even understand it until you try it for yourself.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Me + God's little creatures = Death

Last night I walked outside my apartment at about midnight, and much to my surprise there was an abnormally large pigeon sitting on the balcony rail. In Utah. At midnight. A pigeon. Our balcony rail.

What really surprised me is that although he was wide awake, I've never seen any wild animal care any less about having a human right next to it, looking at it and flashing lights in its eyes.

As you can see, I got very close and flashed my camera at it, and the most it did was look up for a second and be like, "dude. seriously? I'm a pigeon."

I can only assume that he's been tamed in some way or another because of the tag on his right leg.

I typically try to avoid moderately small animals as I have a habit of killing them on accident. To date, I've ran over three animals with my car:

  • My dog Molly, who developed a habit of sleeping behind the car while I was away at college, unbeknown'st to me. I still feel bad about that...
  • A suicidal cat that jumped out of the bushes into my headlights one night when I was the only car on the road for miles. He had to have seen me coming.
  • A little bird that flew in front of my car a couple weeks ago on Center Street, as birds often do, but he timed it horribly wrong and went under my tire instead.
I also managed to kill a small bird while in Oaxaca. I was in an area where the birds would pack themselves onto these telephone wires at night. We were walking to the bus station at about 5:30am, and I was carrying a small lemon that I picked from our lemon tree. Here is a picture that I took a couple hours before sunset. By night time, there was never a single space in between these birds.

So what would you do? Better question: what would you do as a 19-year-old, carrying a small lemon? Naturally I threw it, thinking that they would all see it coming and scatter, then quickly forget the experience and return to their business.

Well I forgot to take into account that birds sleep at night, just like the rest of life on this planet. My lemon throw was a remarkably nice shot, which clipped off a single, innocent, slumbering bird, silently, and the rest of them didn't move a single feather.

The bird fell to the ground and died. I felt bad about it for the rest of the week. In fact I still feel bad looking back on it, which is why I now try to avoid small animals.


Sunday, July 26, 2009


I think that one of my favorite things is when you find a game that you would naturally expect to be incredibly lame, or at best mildly entertaining, and it turns out to be remarkably fun. What am I referring to here? You guessed it: Frolf.

Or for you inexperienced newbies out there, "frisbee golf".

I went on a triple date last night with my boss, Aaron, and coworker, Adam, and our dates, and I was pleasantly surprised to have an wonderfully fun time.

It's a simple game that is exactly what it sounds like. You throw frisbees at baskets on a golf course, some of them as much as 400 or 500 feet away, with different obstacles, streams, ponds, woods, etc, to work around.

I think the highlight of my evening was when I accidentally threw my cheap flimsy black frisbee into the woods to be lost forever, and in searching for it, we happened upon a real, legitimate, bonified, professional frolf disc.

It's green and is named "Tom". I can only assume that the previous owner expects me to sift through the phone book calling every Tom in Utah until I can finally restore rightful ownership to this family heirloom and free myself from its burden. My preciousssss.

I also attempted to retrieve another lost disc by wading out into the nastiest, muckiest, leach-infest algae pit I've ever seen in my life, only to have it sink right when I almost had it. Evidently it was very precariously perched on a thin layer of slimey vegetation. I was very dissappointed, not so much that I made myself all dirty and smelly for nothing, but that I was just so darn close.

Good times.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

My evening as a hippy.

Well, I made a whole wheat pizza last night as part of a double date. Appropriately enough, the people that were with me were pretty much hippies, minus the drugs, alcohol, free love, etc. But we spent most of the evening talking about the dangers of American massive consumption, oil mining and how we need to stop using gasoline, pollution, poor villages in Africa, debt, etc.

I can't tell if I now feel smarter because of it, or dumber. The other guy on the date even stated that he is against air conditioning because it's bad for the environment or something, even though I had the AC running full blast... I don't know. I like to preserve the environment and such, but I really like air conditioning. A lot.

Anyways here are some pictures I took of the whole wheat pizza that we made. You might notice my beautiful new rolling pin, a birthday present from my mum. So now I don't have to use my big red plastic bat from Walmart anymore.
The crust is a lot thicker than flour, and I had to add twice as much water because it absorbs more.

Before cooking it:
Our finished masterpiece. It was delicious, though I don't really feel like it was all that healthy... I mean we still loaded it up with cheese and ranch dressing, etc. It's a psychological thing I suppose.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

History in the making.

Ladies and gentlemen. Tomorrow night I am going to attempt to do what we have only read about in the story books. All my years of training and study will culminate in what will soon become history, nay, legend. I'm going to make a whole wheat pizza.

Here is a pizza that I made recently, using boring old flour:

I figure that all my pizza making that I've been doing lately is nice, but it's not really that special since you can just go out and buy a pizza for almost the same price anyway. But can you go out and buy a whole wheat pizza?

Yes. Unfortunately you can, so as usual there's nothing special about me. But they are hard to find. The only large pizza chain that sells them is Papa John's. I would like to be like "ha, and their pizza has rat poison in it." But it doesn't. It's actually pretty good.

Still though, I'm doing a double date tomorrow and one of the people involved is the world's healthiest human, who regularly runs like 10 miles and then will eat some carrots and an apple for dinner, and some cracked wheat for dessert. So in an effort to not alienate her from the rest of us mortals, we're making a whole wheat pizza.

I like to eat healthy too, but I tend to cancel out my healthy habits by binging periodically on melted cheese and deep fried cooking lard. So the healthy eating tends to be more of a psychological thing. Like when people go to Wendy's to get a quadruple stack and extra large fries, and then drink Diet Coke. I'll usually drink water at restaurants but it's really just because I love water. And I love saving money.

And I think that when it comes right down to it, after you finish eating a big greesy burger with super salty fries, what on earth could possibly quench your thirst more than water? It actually tastes good. All the research and invention in the history of the world has not been able to create a drink more healthy and quenching than good old fashion water.

Unless of course you are in the middle of Idaho somewhere on a road trip home and you get the water at Jack in the Box. Not good. Not at all. I did that last summer and it was the worst experience of my entire existence. It was yellow and tasted like centipedes.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wait.... What are these for?

I am constantly amazed at how difficult it is for checkers and baggers at the grocery store to figure out what to do when I hand them my reusable grocery bags. More than once I have set them down in front of my groceries and have received nothing but wide-eyed stares and the most obvious question in the galaxy:

"Do you want us to put your groceries in these?"

Every single time I fight the incessant temptation to be like "No no no, my dear boy, don't be silly... I just wanted you to see how pretty they are! Hand them back now."

The really perplexing thing is that it's usually at the store where I bought them. No one working there seems to have caught on.
Or the best thing is at Macey's where they give you 5 cents for each reusable bag you use, and the checker and bagger will stand there and spend a minute debating about how many bags to credit me, since I always have more than I actually need.

"Well, he brought in five, but technically we only used three... but I suppose we could put an item or two into the two remaining bags, but then it wouldn't really be right... I mean..."

It's ten cents! Between the two of them they have to get paid at least 25 cents per minute.

In the later years of my life I've become very passionate about reusable grocery bags. I am now to the point that I can't even understand why anyone doesn't use them. It just makes sense. It's like using reusable dishes at home.

Why do I use them, or better yet, why should you use them?

  • They're sturdy
  • They hold literally 5 times as many groceries as plastic bags.
  • They look nicer.
  • You won't have an obnoxious amount of plastic bags sitting under your sink.
  • You'll help save the Earth. It's a great feeling.

Props to Seattle, the greenest city in the US, for trying to pioneer the Plas-tax, a law that would impose a tax on each plastic bag that you use, as much as 25 cents! The store gets to keep 25% of the earnings from it, and the other 75% go to the production of reusable bags. I'm voting for it. I mean the US alone produces 100 BILLION plastic bags every year, and each one of them takes up to 1,000 years to decompose.

Ireland was the first country to do it and guess what? They reduced plastic bag consumption by 90%!

Think about it. Years from now, plastic will be just a history lesson that they teach in school with great disdain, and they'll take field trips to the land fills to show the kids how wasteful and dumb we were. Don't you want to be one of the great heroes of our time, decorated with all the fame and glory that only reusable bags can earn you?

Don't you?

Don't you?...



Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Threat On My Life!

Well, friends, I now officially have a death threat. I can check that off my to-do-before-I-die list.

Oh, it's real. But why don't I care?

Every single time I post something on Craigslist I get some moron who can scarcely speak English writing me from Nigeria with all sorts of B.S. Which of course I normally just ignore. But this time I decided I would see how far it goes. Evidently, they'll take it pretty far.

Be warned: though messing with scammers is infinitely entertaining, if you give them any personal info at all, you're screwed. They have no soul.

The U.S. loses about 2 billion dollars per year to online scammers, and a lot of that comes from that wretched little country known as Nigeria. Why? Why Nigeria, of all places? It's insulting that our country is dumb enough to lose so much money every year to people that can't not even grammar speaking words correct.

Long story short, I decided to pretend like I was actually going to accept their ridiculous offer to pay me $200 more than my item was worth, and ship it to Nigeria, and of course give them all my personal bank account numbers. After all, it was a birthday gift for their neice who has cancer. How sweet.

After about 30 emails they started to get really angry and threatened to tell the FBI about me. And then later they said that they would come here and kill me themselves.

Seems a little extreme. BUT, I can now say that someone in this world genuinely wants me dead. And that, my friends, has made it all worthwhile.

For more fun on the subject, check out these professional scambaiters.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Murder for a jar of red rum.

Some sort of Stephen-esque thought train led me to wonder who on earth spends their time sitting around coming up with palindromes. You might think, "Well, no one does. That's why there's only two or three, like 'Madam, I'm Adam'."

Think again.

A simple Google search yields 941,000 results. Try it. Some of them are quite funny. Here's a few of my favorites:

-No, Mel Gibson is a casino's big lemon.

-Too bad I hid a boot.

-No sir -- away! A papaya war is on.

-Eva, can I stab bats in a cave?

And then of course they start to make less sense the longer they get, like this one:

Do good? I? No! Evil anon I deliver. I maim nine more hero-men in Saginaw, sanitary sword a-tuck, Carol, I -- lo! -- rack, cut a drowsy rat in Aswan. I gas nine more hero-men in Miami. Reviled, I (Nona) live on. I do, O God!

And then there are ones like these that make no sense at all but are quite funny:

Doctor Reubenstein was shocked and dismayed when he answered the ringing telephone, only to hear a strange, metallic, alien voice say, "Yasec iovn eilacilla temeg! Nartsa raehoty lnoenoh pelet gnig, nirehtde rewsnaehn ehw. Deya! Msid! Dnadek cohssaw nietsne buerro, tcod?"

And what's the world record for the longest, legitimate palindrome?

17,826 words.

I just wish I could have been there to watch that guy finally finish his palindromic masterpiece, sit back and let out an enormous sigh of accomplishment... and then go upstairs and make a sandwich.


Monday, July 13, 2009

I could completely decay before they found me.

The other night I went to go lock my front door before going to bed, as I always do, only to find that it was already locked... from the night before.

Yes, that's right. I neither left the apartment nor communicated with another soul the entire day. Most of this can be attributed to the following:

1. The fact that my only friend is currently out of town.
2. For some reason I didn't go running that day.
3. I had no need for groceries.

It's very awakening to realize that the whole reason you basically don't exist can be summed up into three main points, but I guess that's what happens when you're single and the simplicity of your life is like a big nasty hairy monster standing behind you, drooling on your shoulder, making disgusting noises with its mouth and scaring away little children.

Also worth noting is that I have no roommates, still, and everyone asks me how that is. The reply is simple:

1. Not as fun as having cool roommates.
2. Way better than having messy annoying roommates that eat your food.

So what WAS I doing? Making my new web page and writing music. Someday I'm going to be that creepy old man on the block who lives alone and is only seen peering from between the blinds, until one day I come up with a way to destroy the whole world.

Then EVERYONE will want to be my friend. bwa ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fruit is the fruit of life.

I've recently discovered that one of the greatest things that you can experience in this lifetime is the combination of fresh strawberries and strawberry flavored yogurt. Especially right now since strawberries seem to be in season... not that I really have any idea when the seasons are for various fruits... But I was at the Sunflower Market the other day and they were selling 4 pounds of strawberries for 3 dollars. That means that they're in season, right?

Also a fine little treat is the combination of lemon cookies and lemon yogurt, though not quite as healthy...

But if you live near Orem or Murray and haven't checked that place out, you should. It's almost amusing how they'll sell whole pineapples for a dollar, nectarines for about 20 cents each, grapes are currently 77 cents per pound, but the cheapest loaf of bread they have there is about 4 dollars. Everything non-produce there is way expensive.

Eating fruit reminds me of my glory days spent pacing the sandy streets of Oaxaca Mexico, as a young man, and at least once a day we would stop at a mango tree and eat a couple of them. Or sometimes we would even just pick up a mango off the ground and eat it without thinking twice. The church building we used had so many gigantic mango trees in the yard that every Saturday night, the members would come and sweep up the fallen mangos into a big pile and burn them so they wouldn't be in the way for church on Sunday.
I decided to post this picture of one of my Oaxaquen bro-dawgs eating a mango in a rain storm, because you'll notice that it was taken exactly five years ago, yesterday. Time flies.

Anyway, try eating some strawberries with strawberry yogurt today and try to tell me that it's not the greatest thing that this earth has every produced. Go ahead and try. I triple-dog dare you.


Friday, July 10, 2009

A Giant Step Backwards

I remember the good old days, even before the advent of cellular telephones, when you would call someone and they weren't home, so you left a message. The typical answering machine would sound something like this:

"Hey you've reached Sally and Bob. Leave your name and number at the beep and we'll get right back to you!"

I don't think that there was a single soul on this planet that didn't know what to do after the beep.
"....wait a second... what do I do now? I just heard the long lost voice of the one I love, only to be mercilessly interrupted by this unearthly beep! What is this? Where am I? Somebody DO SOMETHING!!!"

No. Everything was fine. And then one day some backwards-thinking, PC-minded idiot decided to ruin it for us all.

Who was it that disgraced our species by thinking that anyone on earth actually needs a detailed description of what to do once the answering message is over, every single time?

There are a couple companies out there that have had the good sense to let you go straight to the beep by pressing 1. But not many. Even still, should we have to press an extra button?

This is what I hear every time I call my friend Kate(there is no option to skip it):

"If you'd like to leave a message please wait for the tone.When you are finished recording you may hang up or press one for more options. If you'd like to send a fax, press four now. To leave a call-back number, press five."

Yes I want to send a fax!!! That's why I'm calling Kate's cell phone... using my cell phone. Are you serious? Who does that?

"Mr President! We've got 2 minutes before that dastardly meteor destroys us all, and our only hope is to get this crucial document to Washington now! If we can transfer it at the typical T-Mobile bandwidth speed, we just might make it! What can we do! "

"Never fear... I brought my cell phone!! We can use it to send a FAX!"

I have yet to meet a single person that sits there and takes copious notes on what to do once the message is done. And who ever worries about leaving a call-back number? It's 2009!

Honestly I think that the government is hiding something from us. I don't think anyone has ever pressed 'one' for more options after they finished saying what they had to say. I'll bet that's where all the money is going. Try it sometime and you'll probably hear this:

"Thank you for leaving a message. To have the government deposit 8 billion U.S. dollars into your bank account, press 3. For 80 billion, press 4. For 8 trillion, press 5. For another amount, please enter it now, followed by the pound key. Thank you."

Let me know how it goes. Write it down and fax it to my phone.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

A billboard made me do this.

Driving home today I committed to read each and every billboard on my stretch of the freeway. It's my solemn duty as an American, and even after living in Provo for 4 years I'm still amused at how all those sneaky marketers try to target Utah residents so differently than the rest of the country. We're like a different species.

But what really got my attention was a McDonald's advertisement. The biggest fast food corporation in the known universe still pays good money to have a presence on freeway billboards all over the world, I would assume, to advertise what? Coke.

It's true. The entire billboard was dedicated to the fact that at McDonald's for one dollar you can buy a cool refreshing fountain pop. Or "soda", for the rest of you.

Not only that but it's on the internet, radio and probably the T.V. but I don't have one. We're talking about a lot of money here. I mean I saw advertisements from them when I was in the most obscure little villages in Oaxaca, Mexico. Granted it is Mexico, not --[insert random 3rd world country here]--, but still, where there was no McDonald's store for about 50 miles, everyone still knew what it was.

So I suppose my real question is, why on earth would they waste their advertising dollars on sending this message to 20-somethings driving home from work:

"Come on in to McDonald's where you can buy exactly what you can also buy at the nearest gas station, or grocery store, or every other fast food restaurant in the state. And it even tastes exactly the same because we didn't make it! Coke did!"

And then of course I felt like I simply had to tell someone about this, as if no one else ever sees the same billboards that I do, and that, my friends, is why I decided on a whim to start this blog today. Welcome to the world of Ginko Dew and Universe Juice. If you don't where that title comes from, we're not friends.

To conclude I would like to take a moment to tell all 2 or 3 of you that read this that today I drank an entire 3 liters of pure fresh all natural Utah tap water from my boss's (bosses'?) sink, and I'm feeling very hydrated. Granted, it's no Washington water, but then again, it's not Mexico water either.

Have a lovely day.