Sunday, May 21, 2006

Zen of Showering

Interior design is a field in which I have never shown any skill. Take, for example, my normal shower-curtain-purchase strategy: "Give me the cheapest thing you have, in solid white." (Hey, I'm a single, straight, colorblind GUY... what do you expect?) Nonetheless, when I moved to my current apartment, I made an effort to create a pleasant living space. I thought finding the right shower curtain would be an easy place to start. Not so. Apparently the shower curtain industry does not target the "33 year old male" demographic with quite the same voracity as does the performance automobile industry. I must have looked at 100 different shower curtains in the first hour of the quest. None of them expressed "Mark's true shower curtain essence." Thankfully, I scored a bit of luck just before giving up: I found a blue world map curtain in the $5.00 bin at a local department store. I like the color blue. I like geography. And I like bargains. It was the perfect score. I bought the curtain and never looked back. Until about one month ago. As I was working up a lather one fine morning, focusing on Europe, I noticed an error. I won't give it away, but if you want to test your geography skillz, click on the map to see a bigger version of the same. Hint: Focus on Southern Europe and Northern Africa. I'm sure you are asking yourself "Why the hell did Mark just spend a few paragraphs talking about his shower curtain, of all things?" Well, here's why: Noticing this flaw, and thinking about my reaction to it, started a train of thought that hasn't stopped yet. The first thing I noticed was that the flaw was more amusing than annoying. In my younger (INTJ on the Myers-Briggs test) days, the "flawed" shower curtain would have bugged the crap out of me. Now (when I more often come up INTP), I enjoy the imperfection. I think it gives the curtain character. This thought lead to other thoughts about how I view personal relationships, or my career, or $, or [other topics]. I never imagined that a $5.00 shower curtain purchase could end up being such an effective form of psychotherapy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

It's a Jungle

Random thought: Why is "Bear Eats Monkey" news, but "Man Eats Chicken" is not? It is called "the food chain", folks. It has been around for millions of years. And you are a part of it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Thursday Evening

What is it about Thursday evenings? For years, TV networks have put their most popular shows on Thursday evenings. (Not that it matters to me, as I have become that guy who no longer watches TV... but I digress...) I'm starting to realize that if there is an activity I want to do, it is going to be scheduled for Thursday evening. Witness:
  • My Masters swim group swims Tuesday/Thursday.
  • The local Java Users Group, hosted by my employer, meets the 3rd Thursday of every month.
  • A local cycling group runs a cycling race the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month.
  • I got wind of a poker game, run by a fella at work. Apparently these games are held on... Thursday evenings.
  • I've been thinking about joining a bowling league. Guess which day is the most popular day for bowling leagues?
It's not like I want to have every single minute of every single day filled with social activities, but what's wrong with Monday evenings? Or Wednesdays? I guess what I'm saying is: Don't bother calling on the 3rd Thursday of a month. I'll be busy.

Monday, May 01, 2006

What the [censored]?

Longtime visitors to my blog know that I'm the proud caretaker of Dreyfus, a 2-year-old German Shepherd who happens to have epilepsy. So you will understand why I got all choked up when I read this story the other day. From the story:
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A couple who thought they were watching their epileptic dog being euthanized actually witnessed a simple sedation procedure concocted so the veterinary clinic could later give the canine to another owner, they claim in a lawsuit. Dana and Gary Ganyer said they cried while watching what they thought was the death of Annie, a 2-year-old German shepherd that had increasingly frequent and debilitating seizures. ... Rizzo [the 2nd owner - Ed.] said Annie had seizures every few weeks, but between them "she was perfectly normal." Annie was euthanized after Rizzo said she lapsed into a coma-like state for two days and his veterinarian told him the dog was "really suffering."
There are some details missing from the story, but one thing is clear: Annie deserved better than she got. (For the record: Dreyfus had a full checkup last month, and he is in perfect health. His medication has kept him seizure-free for six months, which is 3.5 years in doggie-years! While I know my time with him is finite, I want everyone to know that I will always do right by him.)