Monday, January 19, 2009

My Grandma

I love my grandma. Who doesn't, right? But grandma can be a bit of a bully sometimes. It's like she does things sometimes just to see how much of a rile she can get out of somebody. I'd say it annoys me, but I do the same thing. I just now know where I get it. But grandma's hit a rough streak lately.

New Year's Day, she comes over for dinner with the rest of my family. Meekly, she lets out that she got a ticket earlier that day. My mom, cousin and I tried to get out of her what kind of ticket it was:

mom: Mom, what happened?
grandma: I was just driving down the road and I saw the lights behind me.
cousin: Were you speeding, Grandma?
gram: The officer walked up and I said, 'Oh, hello officer. I saw your pretty lights in the mirror. What can I do for you?
me: Seriously?
gram: He asked me for all my papers. I didn't know where to find them. Honey, I don't know these things.
me: Your license and registration?
gram: Yeah. I Showed him these (pulls out a stack of papers). But he said my insurance wasn't in there.
mom: Do you have insurance?
gram: Of course I do! I, well, yeah, I think I do. I paid it last month.
me: Where's your card?
gram: Huh?
me: Your insurance card. Isn't it with your registration?
gram: I don't know. I gave him these.
me: (shuffling through the papers) Gram, these are all old receipts.
gram: Huh?
me: Kohl's receipts. And a Taco Bell receipt, from...2006.

So we finally get out of her that she got a fix-it ticket for no proof of insurance, though he could see that her car was insured. Then this last Thursday, I got a call about 5:45 p.m.

gram: Honey, I've been in an accident.
me: Are you alright?
gram: I'm fine [brief pause] but Ernestine, they're taking her away on a stretcher.

At that point I grabbed the mom and headed down the road. Of course, it had to happen at a busy time of day. And of course, it had to happen at one of the most congested intersections in town. We arrive to quite the scene - two ambulances, four police cars and a fire engine. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured, but we took her to the ER, just in case.

me: [in the ER, waiting for the doc to come back with CAT scan results] What happened gram?
gram: I don't know. We were just going down the road and all of a sudden a big boat of a car stopped right in front of us!
me: Was it moving, or was it already stopped?
gram: I don't know, sweetie. Me and Ernie, we were just so high on Jesus. Singing his praises, then that BOAT appeared. Did you see how large it was? We should have slid underneath it.

I saw the other car. It was a Toyota Prius. Not a big car by any means, and certainly no bigger than grandma's car.

So grandma has been staying with us for the past week. You can have a conversation with her, talking right to her face and she will always reply with, "what?" or "Who?" or, my favorite, "eh?" But when she's 30 feet away, in a different room, and you whisper something about her, she can sure hear that. Silly grandma.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fat chance, wise guy

I got the following diddy from I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing my degree in English doooooesn't weigh in very heavily. Check it out.

I only read the first five paragraphs. Then I beat myself up for not applying. English degrees are totally useful. I can decipher hidden codes in foreign and historical documents. I could do all types of fantastic things, but maybe I was meant to serve my country in the 2012 reelection. By then, the admin will be a little more established, hopefully some sanctity will resume in the'll be the perfect time for me to jump in with a life-changing idea like, I don't know, legalizing stereotypes or reading our funny, sometimes underrated humor blogs, or something great like that. Just you wait, fellow bloggers. Just you wait. Until then...

From Kate Bolduan and Larry Lazo

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- When George W. Bush became president eight years ago, about 90,000 people applied for jobs in his administration. That's about a quarter, however, of the people who are looking for a way into President-elect Barack Obama's administration.

The count: Over 350,000 resumes have been submitted online, according to the Obama transition team. The problem is there are only an estimated three to four thousand jobs available.

Some federal employment specialists say the record number of applicants can be attributed in part to the current state of the economy.

"A lot of people want to work in a stable environment" says Kathryn Troutman, founder of The Resume Place. "They really don't know where else to go to look for a job that's stable and steady and would have potential -- so I think the economy is one thing."

But many experts say the record number of applicants is primarily a reflection of Obama's overwhelming appeal.

That's why Loryn Wilson uploaded her resume to

"I definitely feel the call to serve and to do something that is directly related to causes I care about," she said.

Wilson is a recent graduate of The George Washington University in Washington. She has a bachelors degree in English, and speaks enthusiastically of working for the new president.
Video Watch more on the Obama application process.

"I would actually like to work for the press secretary or the communications director. Ideally I'd be working on the White House side or maybe working for Michelle Obama in her communications shop," she said.

The flood of applicants aren't just college graduates. People at various stages of their professional lives are taking a long hard look at federal jobs.

"I think my understanding of the United States as a society, as a culture, as a government, as an interest -- the national interest of America, as well as my understanding of the Arab world and the Muslim world -- I think I can be a bridge that will help," said Fadel Lamen, a seasoned professional who specializes in Middle East affairs.

Lamen envisions himself working at the State Department or at the White House.

Though Lamen and Wilson have yet to been called by the Obama team, they say they are hopeful.

An Obama transition team spokesman said a team of 50 people is dealing with the applications. The resumes are put into a database, allowing the team to search by specific experience, expertise and qualifications for a particular position.

Troutman says people interested in finding work with the Obama team should apply on, but she suggests broadening their search.

"I do think you should focus the resume toward an agency or a position that you're interested in so that it's easier for the [transition] team. But then as soon as you're finished with that I'd go to USAJobs and look for the competitive positions so you can begin the campaign," Troutman added.

As America prepares to enter a new era with a new president, people like Lamen say they want to be part of it.

"We're opening a new page. What we write in this new page is going to be very important. And I think the American people want to be participants in the new chapter," Lamen said.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I'll karate chop your face hole

It's Friday, and like most working-class Americans, I've had a long week. It wasn't bad or terribly difficult, but I get to hear a lot of complaints, and that will drip-drop-drain a man - not to mention working roughly 16-hour days. But I compensated by drinking a lot of coffee (my whiskey substitute). Now I'm Jazzy McHyperpants. I just just keep running around the office. I have the tune of "Final Countdown" blaring in my head, and for the past hour I have sung it out loud. There is a strange urge to karate chop everything I see.

Some people drink to cure their problems, some people eat to blow off steam, but I karate chop shit. I'm perfecting the form of my [not-yet]patented ThunderPunch. My coworkers admire me and can't bear to make eye contact when I'm in the zone. And now, I'm certainly in the zone. With anxiety-induced fervor, I rant my weekly dislikes. Here it goes...I am tired of hearing three things. It's like these three phrases have crept their way into every conversation I've had in the past two months. And it sickens me.

1. The economy is down. Times are rough right now. Really, who the flip doesn't know that by now? And what I hate is the fact that it's become an excuse for everything. Sorry, I can't go to dinner. Times are rough right now. Sorry, I have to fire you. Times are rough. Sorry, I can't sleep with you because you don't have enough money...because, you know, times are hard. The condition of the economy is stealing thunder from (raspy movie trailer voice) GLOBAL WARMING (end voice.) But it is the perfect excuse to drink. "Hey, why are you drinking a Big Gulp of whiskey on a Tuesday morning?" "Oh, haven't you heard? The economy is in the slumps."

2.We're engaged!. Piss. Right. Off. It's one of those things where you always feel opposite what everybody else around is. Like now, I've come across a great number of people who are getting engaged/married. But I know if I went out and found me a lady type, put some rufies in her drink and asked her to marry me, everybody else would find some reason to break up. Then I'd have to marry the girl and watch all my single friends live the controversial good life, and that's not a commitment I'm willing to make. Grab that butt, guy in the picture. It's the last you'll get.

3.We're having a baby! Really? You're working at In-n-Out, your wife/girlfriend is working split shifts at Kmart, and like everybody says, the economy is in the dumps, yet you find it reasonable and excitable to bring another life form into pathetic, depressing existence. Good for you. I applaud you. Keep popping those little buggers out. What's that? You found out you get money from the government to support your kids because your girlfriend is deaf? Wow! FANTASTIC! Instead of finding a job to support yourself, you make money off your children. Why sell children for a one-time profit when you can keep them checks-a-rollin' in? Kudos, I say. Kudos. You and your lady need to be karate chopped in the baby makers. And I'm just the guy to do it.