21 December 2011

My Fish

I went to a Yankee Swap (affectionately and bewilderingly called a 'White Elephant' in some Southern states) on Friday. I arrived with a box of Saltines and left with a fish. Why the Saltines, you ask? I had five minutes to get a gift at Harris Teeter and Saltines are super easy to wrap- and they look deceptively awesome when concealed in holiday paper.  When they were unwrapped the beholder looked at them with a cock-eyed glance and someone in the audience hollered out, "Maybe there's something inside the box besides Saltines?" There wasn't, but I could have told him that. I was quite surprised to see that no one traded for them the whole game, and then the receiver was kind enough to donate them to the snack table before leaving. I felt a little bad that he had purchased round-trip first-class airfare for two from DC to Auckland as his Yankee Swap gift, and then he didn't even get to take home any leftover Saltines because they were all eaten at the party. (I knew the sea salt flavor ones would be a hit!) I suppose that's the gamble of the Yankee Swap.
When it was my turn I traded my present opportunity for a past one- the fish that had been revealed one turn earlier. It's a Beta and she's pretty cool. I consider it a two-fer because the fish came with fish food as well. I thought for sure the fish would be taken from me but she never did... So now I have a pet Beta named Indie, and I'm dying to know what happened to Alpha. I'm trying to prevent a Charlie so I'm keeping Indie by herself. I'm hoping that by continually overfeeding her she will grow to be an alligator. Alligators are so much easier to take care of than fish. Speaking of fish, does anyone want to pet sit Indie for a week while I am gone for Christmas?
Of all the presents at the Yankee Swap, the overdue library books were the funniest. Indeed, someone wrapped up all their overdue library books and put them in the pile. They were children's books, which made everyone else wonder if this particular was harboring a child in his house. We never got to the bottom of that.

12 December 2011

Laundry Woes

Last week I ho hummed down the stairs joyfully to wash my whites- only to find the washing machine inoperable. As a 17 year veteran it finally succumbed to its war wounds and decided to kick the bucket. Alas for me, for I had no white clothing. In my extra wallowing time I wrote the following poem about First World Problems:

When you want to wash your clothes and the machine will not clean,
You must be like the Indians and try to be more lean,
Not only is it more fun to wash in a river or stream,
but you feel good knowing that you are being environmentally green,
When all else fails and you need to blow off steam,
Try all you can to be friendly and avoid being mean,
Sooner or later you'll have clothes to wear, whether or not they are clean.

I ended up with the wearing of clothes that were not clean, and compensating for it by adding in extra cologne. The cologne does a good job of masking the scent but is less effective against the stains. (I think I put on enough cologne to produce some stains as well...) To cover up the grease spots on my white shirt (from cooking bacon in bed- see last post) I decided to make the whole shirt polka-dotted. To match the color exactly I sprinkled grease on my shirt sleeves, collar, and chest. I was actually quite impressed with how it all looked, but it did require that I put on more 'Fierce' to compensate for the new-found smell of bacon emanating from from neck. (Can anyone name the maker of 'Fierce'?) So there I was, walking through the hall smelling like an ferocious pig but looking like a cheetah when I passed the heating vent. Immediately my entire shirt blew up in greasy flames and necessitated an entire evacuation of the... shirt. The only thing more embarrassing then having your shirt tucked into your underwear is having your shirt burn off your body as you pass a vent. Whoo boy. Next time I'm just going to follow the advice of the aforementioned poem and wash my white clothes in a stream.

06 December 2011

The Chapstick, Batteries, and the Desk

I have a nice desk at my home. It's grand and monogamous (or is the word mahogany? I can never remember). What I do not have, however, is a chair with wheels. In fact, the chair is a dining room chair- very uncomfortable and best at cutting the circulation out of your legs where the cushioning meets the wood frame. As such, I don't roll in it much. It stays static- stuck in my room like the sixteen legged bug under the cup I trapped last April and have been to chicken to clean up. I can't open my desk drawers very much because my torso gets in the way of a full opening (this would all be solved with a throne on wheels). But today, in my boredom, I decided to suck in and open up the main drawer a little more. Boy, what a surprise! Within the caverns of my desk I found the following:
  • 2 unopened AA batteries- just the kind I need for my electric umbrella. 
  • Three fun sized Snickers bars. I ate them whole- wrapper included. It wasn't as fun as I thought it would be.
  • A brand new cylinder of Burt's Bees chapstick. The only lips it has touched are Burt's, and I am okay with that.
There was a whole lot of other junk in there, such as a sealed envelope for a dead man named Will (I just tossed that) and a really old copy of  Chaucer's Short Stories- First Edition. I have the most recent edition so I tossed that as well. Actually, come to think of it, I believe that book fell in the shredder on accident. The shredded remains then got burned when I put some hot bacon grease in my trashcan and started a small bedroom fire. Note to self- do not cook bacon on a frier in bed. Or on a Friar for that matter; they are good for lighting spiritual fires, less so for physical fires.
And to think that all this goodness came from opening just one drawer. I have been too overwhelmed by the batteries and too busy applying chapstick to venture into the other drawers. Who knows what treasures will be found therein?
PS- I think Gnarls Barkely and Cee Lo Green are the same person. Has anyone ever seen them together? Probably not!

02 December 2011

No Shave Movembeard

No Shave Movembeard: A compilation of all things manly, or in other words, a clash between No Shave November, Movember (Mustache November) and NobemBeard. November is a month to remember those who have suffered through cancers more prone to men, such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. As such, I decided to join the party this year- not by getting cancer- but by growing out my beard. I went the whole month without shaving and was quite pleased with the outcome. It's been a lot of fun, and I think the shaving off will be just as artistic. I have many ideas for how to shape my face next. ;0 (Did I really just produce an emoticon on my blog?)
One of the great blessings of having a beard is that I am now a doppleganger to hordes more people. Last week some skaters stopped my on the street in Princeton, NJ (no joke here) to take their picture with me because they thought I was the professional skater Chris Cole.------------->
 I have also been compared to 'the guy on the Dairy Queen commercials' and the guy from 'Covert Affairs.' My most common doppleganger by far, however, is Ashton Kutcher. My students refer to me as "Mr. Kutcher" and ask me how I'm dealing with my divorce from Demi. Speaking of my students, I had one child tell me he wanted to do some research into what kind of beard I had. He came back the next day and said "Mr. Bennett, what's a dirty Sanchez?' I ended the conversation right there.
There are many more reasons I love a beard, such as the following:
  • I get to rub shampoo into my face and feel clean about it.
  • I get to look down and see hair. Sometimes it even creeps onto my lip.
  • At school an adult told me I looked 'professorial' with my facial hair.
  • I can stroke my beard when I want to look intelligent, and put a skull cap on when I want <-------- to look like a thug.
  • I feel wintery and mammalian because I have fur on my face.
Yes, there are many reasons I am grateful for facial hair on men. I would just encourage the women to think of a better way to support men's cancers then by abstaining from shaving for a month.