Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Patience is something that I don't have a lot of today. There are those that would say that I don't have a lot of patience a lot of days. But I disagree. I happen to think I'm a fairly patient person.

Just not today.

I don't know what it is. I've only been at work for a little over an hour. I accidentally slept late, so the stress of school isn't getting to me. But it seems like the smallest things are getting under my skin. I feel that at any moment I could snap and regrettably do something that would get me fired.

I say regrettably, but really I wouldn't have a lot of regret about that. I'm not happy with the job. I'm not happy with school. Maybe I'm not getting impatient with people around me. Maybe I'm getting impatient with myself.

I've decided to make some changes in my life. And I'm ready for those changes to begin. I don't to be in school anymore working toward a degree that I really don't plan to use. I don't want to be in this job anymore, knowing that it's not what I want to do with the rest of my life.

But I need another dose of patience. Because time is still a factor in bringing these changes about. Until the semester ends, I'm stuck in this rut, trying desperately to claw my way out while pretending to care about the responsibilities I've taken on for the time being.

Every time a moronic customer comes to my window I just want to slam my head into the bullet resistant glass so I won't have to deal with it anymore. I need out! Now!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Legends of the Bank Teller - Episode XXXIII

Thursday evening I was sitting at the Greenehouse, minding my own business, when out of nowhere I received a phone call from the bank. It was my assistant manager calling to ask a favor. She asked if I would be willing to work the next day at a different branch that was short-handed.

She made it clear that I could say no, that it was strictly voluntary. But I said yes, 'cause believe it or not, I'm a nice guy. But you may be asking yourselves, why would they even give him the option?

Apparently, the branch where I worked on Friday is in a "rough" part of town. When I mentioned to Nicole where I would be working, I thought she was going to flip out. I thought she was going to go so far as to suggest I take a kevlar vest with me. Thursday night, I went to bed thinking the worst would happen. Friday morning I woke up feeling really nervous.

I wasn't really nervous about the bank being robbed while I just happened to be there. I just get nervous about being placed in new situations in unfamiliar locales. Luckily there was one familiar face there. Shalana is a floating teller that works at that particular branch on Fridays. She also works the occasional Saturday with me at my home branch. So at least I had someone to talk to.

Not that I had a lot of time to talk to anyone. We were busy all day. My branch is dead in comparison to the business that this place sees on a regular basis. And Shalana said that this Friday was nothing compared to what they usually get. I'm almost envious. Being that crazy sure made the day fly by.

And now that I think about it, I would not mind being sent to different branches on a regular basis. At least then I wouldn't be hounded by the manager about how many referrals I wasn't getting each week.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Telling Time

I have a clock hanging on the wall in my living room. It's a clock that has been in my home since I was a little kid. The only thing I know about its origin is that Dad gave it to Mom at some point early in their marriage. Mom, if you're reading this, you might be able to clarify. Anniversary gift? Birthday? I really don't know.

All I know for sure is that it's a very loud clock. It ticks and tocks, as many clocks do. But it's so much louder than you would expect a wall clock to be. And I haven't even mentioned the chime. At the top of the hour, it rings out the number of the hour. And it chimes once on the half hour. And the chime is louder than the ticking.

As a kid I remember watching Dad wind the clock every few weeks when it would slow and inevitably wind down. And I remember feeling so privileged when I was old enough to finally be able to wind it myself. Of course I had to stand on a chair to reach. Toward the end of the winding, my hand would be cramping up because the gears were getting so tight. Then I'd tip the pendulum and it would start ticking once again.

During college, I went without that sound. Of course I went without. It was hanging in the living room back at home. When I returned to live with Dad in 2004, that sound welcomed me back. But at this point in my life, it wasn't actually the sound that bothered me. It was the absence of that sound that got under my skin. Whenever someone new would enter our house, they would comment on just how loud the ticking was. But to me, it was background noise that I never paid attention to. The only time I noticed it was when it was gone, when the clock had wound down.

After Dad passed away, I got the clock. I know, technically it belonged to Mom, but she left it behind when she moved out. And possession is nine-tenths, whatever that means. So when I moved to North Carolina, the clock came with me. And I diligently wound the clock every few weeks, making sure it would continue its soothing ticking.

But today, the clock isn't ticking. It hasn't been ticking for several months. See, not long after I moved in here, I noticed that the clock was running slow. Not because the gears weren't tightly wound, I kept up my part. It would just seem to lose 15 minutes every day. Obviously there is something wrong with this clock that I am unable to fix. So rather than continuing to wind the clock, and have the time be wrong anyway, I chose to let it run down.

I know that some day I should take the clock to a repair shop, but it's just not something I've gotten around to yet. But I really need to get it done. I really miss that noise in the background. It's loud and abrasive, but somehow it really helps me sleep at night.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eagle Eye

All summer I've been seeing previews for this new movie. Shia LeBeouf plays this guy that gets arrested and accused of terrorism. Then, he gets a phone call at the FBI office telling him to duck and a crane knocks in the side of the building, allowing him to escape. And that's pretty much all you get from the trailer. And you're left with all these burning questions: Who is Jerry Shaw? Who is pulling his strings? Why is it always so awesome to watch a crane crash into a building?

The following blog post contains spoilers from the new film Eagle Eye. You have been warned.

Jerry Shaw is your typical twenty-something slacker who just lacks the motivation to do anything with his life. We find out that he's a twin. And his brother happened to be pretty much the best at everything he ever attempted to do. Sadly, he was killed in an accident.

About this time we also meet Rachel Holloman, a single mom who has just put her musically gifted son on a train to Washington D.C. where his school band will play at the Kennedy Center.

From here on out, it pretty much hits the fan and the action doesn't stop until about five minutes before the credits roll.

Jerry returns to his apartment after attending his brother's funeral to find all kinds of incriminating evidence that would lead anyone with half a brain to believe that he was single-handedly trying to take down the United States. Needless to say he is arrested. But as I mentioned earlier, the mysterious woman who keeps calling him set him free by destroying a building. That's some kind of power there.

Rachel, while enjoying a night out with the girls, receives a phone call from her son. But it's not her son. It's the same woman who's calling Jerry. Her son's life is threatened if Rachel refuses to follow the orders given. So she gets a car and picks up Jerry from the train station. Now they're forced to work together.

I've left out some pretty important characters though. Billy Bob Thronton does a great job as FBI Agent Thomas Morgan. He's got some pretty good lines throughout the movie as he's chasing Shaw and Holloman. Working alongside him is Zoe Perez, played by Rosario Dawson. She's an official with the Air Force who is investigating the death of Jerry's brother Ethan.

After jumping through numerous fiery hoops, Jerry and Rachel demand to know who's pulling their strings. They are directed to Circuit City's home theater room and discover that it's an artificially intelligent computer that pretty much runs the Defense Department. The computer is called Aria and she monitors everything: social networking sites, instant messaging, text messaging, video rentals, blogs...

I guess I should be careful what I say now. I love Aria. I think she's the best thing that ever happened to the world. Hooray for artificial intelligence.

Actually, it's kind of scary. I know that such a thing doesn't exist yet. Well, I assume that such a thing doesn't exist yet. But what if it did? I know the technology already exists where the powers that be can monitor every keystroke we make on our computers. They have the ability to monitor our phone calls and tap into security feeds wherever a camera is connected to the network. Big Brother is watching. And here I thought I was watching Big Brother.

Overall I thought the movie was pretty good. I didn't much care for the ending, thought it was kind of cheesy. But I'm sure it made a lot of people happy. But if I had written it, things would have been different. And I bet real money that there will be an alternate ending on the DVD that shows what would have happened if it had gone the way I wanted it to. Mark my words.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Question of the Week: Ugly Years

Would you be willing to become extremely ugly physically if it meant you would live 1,000 years at any physical age you chose?

You think I'd give up this face just to live 1,000 years? Doubtful. Really I wouldn't want to live for a thousand years. That's far too long. I have a hard enough time making friends as it is. After the first hundred years or so, when all my friends have died off, where does that leave me? Do I hang out with their kids and grandkids? That's just weird.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Life Story: Chapter Four

After a rough start to the labor pains, I was finally born at 7:43 on March 6, 1980. It was a cold and windy day as early March often is. And like the month of March, I came in like a lion. Just screaming and attacking every gazelle in sight. Okay, not so much with the attacking gazelles. But I'm sure there was screaming. Birth is a very traumatic process. Especially for me. I had a thing ripped out of my had for cryin' out loud. You'd be screaming too.

I don't remember much of that first year of life. In fact, I don't remember any of it. All I can tell you is that I was adorable. Scroll down for proof.
Here I am at one month. Okay, I'll admit, not that cute. I mean, yeah, there's a babyish kind of charm there, but honestly, I've seen cuter babies. But I'm not one to automatically think that babies are cute. When you think about it, newborns are kind of gross looking. Then again, this is one month later. I should have had time to mature.

Now this is more like it. I guess for me it took three months to hit adorable. Just look at that smile. Not something you'll often see these days, but there's proof that I can do it and have in the past.

At six months I looked a little like Churchill.

And at nine months I looked like a dork. What's this? A Christmas outfit of some kind? With a bow tie? Really? Please note that at this age I was not dressing myself. This could have all been part of my mother's ongoing plot of revenge for missing Eight is Enough. It's one TV show woman, get over it already.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Return

The Greenes are coming home today. I'm trying to contain my excitement, but it's pretty difficult to do so. They've been gone for a week and a half. That's a week and a half too long as far as I'm concerned.

New rule: they're not allowed to leave anymore. One or two at a time is okay I suppose. Unavoidable when Kevin goes out of town for business or Nicole drives into Roanoke. But the entire clan? From now on they must have my written permission to leave town. And I need at least a year's notice. I have to prepare myself. Rebuild some of those emotional barriers so I won't miss them so much.

That, or I could just convince them to take me along next time. Maybe if I play my cards right...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Greene Day Ten

And here we have Queen Battle, formerly known as Chloe. Don't let her size fool you. She's quite powerful and ferocious. According to approximate measurements taken by
Jen and Nicole, QB is a mere five doughnuts long.

I suppose by that reckoning, I'm roughly 18 doughnuts tall. I feel like a giant among domesticated pets.

But I don't go around bragging about my size to the Queen. I fear her wrath.

And she's a slippery little thing. She is generally kept contained in a small cage that resides in Kevin and Nicole's room. It is my contention that she merely allows this to be so. Maggie is there to keep her company, and I daresay, to entertain her.

There has been one occasion, after a trip into nature, that I was returning Queen Battle to her holding area and she seemingly vanished. It was clear she did not wish to return to the cage with her cellmate. Who was I to argue?

Within minutes she returned, as if from nowhere, and allowed me to place her back in her would-be home.

I have yet to experience the full depth of Queen Battle's abilities, and I'm sad to say, I may never see such things come to fruition. You see, in October, Jen will be flying to this very place to snatch the Queen away and take her to the west coast. Godspeed Queen Battle.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Greene Day Nine

And here we have Maggie. The slowest dog ever.

Okay, I don't mean she can't move quickly. Because when she wants to, she can run like the wind blows. She'll run to the door when it's time to go outside. She'll run to her food dish when it's time for her to eat.

But when it comes time for her to... uh... how do I put this delicately? ...Drop the deuce, she's all kinds of slow. Especially when I'm here on my lunch break trying to get her to do the deed in the twenty or so minutes I have to get everything done. Including taking care of everyone else. And also feeding myself.

But while she is stubborn, she does listen better than Bailey. But Bailey's a cat, so I shouldn't expect too much there.

And tomorrow you'll get a look at the one you've been waiting for. That's right.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Greene Day Eight

This is Bailey. Her behavior is somewhat unpredictable.

She is generally skittish around people, especially those she doesn't know. Some have described her as evil. Despite the glowing eyes and look of hatred in the picture to the right, I wouldn't necessarily call her evil.

She has her moments. We usually get along fine. But there are times when she makes it known she doesn't want me around. Little signs like bolting away from me or hissing at me.

Also, she tends to not get along with the dogs.

I'd like to say more about her, but she keeps to herself. She doesn't hang out with me too much when I'm here. I'm okay with that. I'm not what you'd call a cat person.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Greene Day Seven

This is Onya. She's the oldest of the Legion of Super Pets. While she has no actual super powers, she is a very sweet dog.

It has only taken her a year to get used to my car. For a long time, whenever I would pull into the Greenes' driveway, she would come out of the garage and bark at me. Now that I've stayed here enough and taken care of her when her people are out of town, she's gotten to know me a little better.

Sadly, Onya is just about blind. She's all the time bumping into things and people. She gets excited when I get back to the house after work. I open the garage door and out she comes. She makes her way over to my car and walks with me as I go into the house. She usually runs into the back of my legs twice before I make it all the way through the garage.

Sometimes she runs into the kids' bikes. Sometimes she runs into the lawnmower. Sometimes when I go out to feed her, she flips over her food dish or spills her water bowl. She is easily excitable.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Legends of the Bank Teller - Episode XXXII

So a lot of times people will come to the drive through and ask if they can have a deposit slip.

Do you think I'd get in trouble if I kidded around with them and said, "Nope, I'm sorry, we're all out."

Of course, I'd just immediately say I was just kidding and let them know, to their relief, that we had plenty to spare. But I think it'd be a pretty funny joke.

Question of the Week: Career Day

If at birth you could select the profession your child would pursue, would you do so?

Not only would I, but... uh... yes, I would. My son would be a fighter pilot, much like Iceman from Top Gun. I'd say like Maverick, but Ice was the best of the best. Also, Tom Cruise is a nutjob. And my daughter would be an international spy. But she would have integrity and be good at what she does. She wouldn't be like one of those sluts that sleeps with James Bond then gets killed in the third act. If I were to have a third child, whether it was a boy or a girl, would be a contractor/electrician/plumber/mechanic. It would be nice to have someone who could come over and fix stuff at my house in my old age. See, after we've retired, me and the Mrs. just won't feel like installing the new doorbell or changing the oil in our car.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life Story: Chapter Three

I'll call this chapter "The Bald Spot."

It's another tale of life before I was born. Remember in chapter two how Mom went into labor and was forced to miss one of her favorite TV programs? Well, she was quickly able to get some sense of revenge. She says it was all an accident, but we know the truth.

She's in labor and the doctors are having a difficult time reading my heart rate. So they inserted what is known as a fetal monitor. Maybe it's just because I'm a guy, but knowing how this is done just seems pretty invasive. 'Cause I was still in the womb when they screwed this thing into the top of my head. Are we all equally freaked out? Okay good.

Well, the time came for delivery. And back in those days, you had your labor room, and you had your delivery room. Mom had to move from one to the other. In order to do this, she had to get herself off her bed and onto a gurney. When she stepped down, she hit the floor, but caught the fetal monitor cord in the process. The force of which yanked the thing out of my head.

Ladies and gentlemen of the interweb, I have a permanent bald spot where the fetal monitor was once attached. I'm not sure that I've ever actually seen it since it's at the top of my head, and my eyes cannot be removed from their sockets. But, throughout my life, the parents, the sister, and others, have freely pointed it out and mocked me for it.

So I caused Mom to miss her very special Eight is Enough, but she caused me to never have a full head of hair. Can we just call it even now?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sick and Tired

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I used to hear my Dad say that every now and then. I'm pretty sure someone said it before him. Well I'm saying it now.

I've had this cold since Saturday and I'm done with it. No, I'm not really over it. I'm still sick. But I'm sick of it.

It's like this never-ending barrage of sneezes and coughs and headaches and bruised ribs. That's right, I said bruised ribs. When you cough ceaselessly with enough force, you can cause some pretty substantial damage to your ribcage. It's not fun. Once I had bronchitis and cracked a rib. The doctor said ribs are about as sturdy as an aluminum can. True story.

In other true stories, today is Nicole's birthday. Being the gentleman that I am, I will not publish her age. I'm sure she's having a swell time celebrating in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot or somewhere else equally lame. Meanwhile I'm celebrating her birthday with overcast skies, chest congestion, and clogged sinuses. Good times had by all.

Seriously though, happy birthday to Nicole. Say hey to Mickey.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still Sick; Feeling Lazy

So, since I'm still not feeling well, I don't really feel like writing anything. So instead you'll get a Brak story. It's one of my favorites.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008


So I'm sick. Came out of nowhere too. I felt just fine yesterday afternoon.

And then, just about the time I decided to go to bed, my throat starting hurting. I mean, it wasn't just a little sore throat. It was a raging burn and ache, as if it had swollen to nearly three times normal size. Every time I swallowed the saliva that my mouth inevitably kept producing was like a new definition of pain.

And you know how normal people will occasionally sneeze? I don't think the word "sneeze" will cover what it is I'm doing. I like to think of them as tiny head explosions.

Needless to say, I didn't sleep at all last night. Okay, that's kind of a lie. I slept off and on throughout the night. Mostly off. I would wake up about every hour or so. At one point I thought it had to be nearly morning, I looked at the clock and it was only 12:45. All I could think was you've gotta be kidding me!

Morning has finally arrived. I will not be attending church today. I was debating going anyway, since my people aren't here to sit with. But the fact that I feel like death warmed over helped me to make that final decision. So I'll be staying here at the Greenehouse for most of the day. And I'll be confining myself to the back bedroom, so as not to spread my germs throughout the home of five small children.

Though, I will need to go home and get some NyQuil. There's no way I'm gonna try to get through another night of this crud without being drugged up.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Missing the Family

What's wrong with me? Seriously. I don't get attached to people. I don't get emotional.

The Greenes have been gone for approximately four hours now and I'm going out of my mind missing that family. What's the deal?

When I graduated from college, I had an attack of missing my friends. But that didn't hit until the day after everyone left town. And I blame most of that emotional outburst on the missing friends as well as the huge life change. But you see what I'm saying, it took a little more than 24 hours for all of that to really kick in.

And I've house sat for the Greenes when they've left town before. Remember back in July when they went to the beach for 10 days? Yeah, I stayed at the house that whole time. And I was fine. What makes this so different? Is it because they're in Florida, which, theoretically, is further away. But really, both times they're only as far away as a phone call or a text message or even an e-mail.

Have I become that much more attached to them over the last couple months? I should not be having this kind of seperation anxiety at 28 years of age. I guess this means that I won't be able to move away from this area now. I mean, I wasn't planning on leaving any time soon. But I figured, you know, a few years from now, sure, I'd move on. What if I can't? What if I'm stuck here because I won't be able to bear being away from Kevin, Nicole, and their five or so kids?

Could it be that I'm growing emotions? Is there an organ that holds them all? I know we toss around expressions like "with all my heart." But really, the heart pumps blood. It doesn't make you happy or sad. Well, I think be an emotion gland or something. Maybe it's growing in next to the awesome gland. That's the part that makes people awesome.

So now, I count the days, the minutes, the seconds...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Legends of the Bank Teller: Episode XXXI

Today, a woman came to the drive through and sent in a wad of bills. When I greeted her she responded by saying, "All I want is a book of stamps."

I'm sorry, does this look like a post office?

That's what I wanted to say. What I really did was just apologized and said that we don't sell stamps here, then directed her to the post office across the street.

She looked at me like I was crazy. "I've never heard of a bank that didn't sell stamps."

Really? 'Cause I've never heard of a bank that did sell stamps. Gail's been here for 20 years. She's never had anyone ask her for stamps.

On an unrelated note: If I hear someone else complain about how gas prices shot up today because of speculation of Ike shutting down refineries, I'm probably going to actually not do anything. But I'm gonna feel like screaming because my head might just explode. Gas prices are what they are. We the people can do nothing to change them. The powers that be are still in charge of that. So, my advice, either stop using gas or stop complaining about it. If we, as a nation, are dumb enough to keep pumping gas into our vehicles, then we really have no right to complain.

Question of the Week: Admiration

Whom do you admire most? In what way does that person inspire you?

I've got to think about this. There are a lot of people that I know whom I admire in a lot of different ways. And for my answer, I can't just say one person. I've got to say two.

Kevin and Nicole Greene. And it's not because they feed me or let me do laundry or let me stay at their house whenever a tropical storm threatens the Triangle. It's because they don't put up a front when it comes to their lives. Maybe it's because I've grown close to the family and I see them through different eyes than other people. But as far as I can tell, they're real with everyone. They're not perfect by any means, but they don't pretend to be either.

Growing up, I've known a lot of families that sort of wear a mask to hide the turmoil going on behind the scenes. Even my own family was that way. Scratch the surface of most families in our churches and you'll see a lot of pain that folks try their best to hide. To me, the Greenes just aren't that way.

It's not as if they air their dirty laundry for all the world to see. But they do make it clear that marriage, family, and just life, is a lot of hard work. They're the kind of people who realize that marriage and family aren't just about love, but they're about commitment. They don't live under the illusion that one day they'll achieve a perfect life, because that's something that's unattainable. But they do strive for Christ-likeness in their home.

It's possible that someday, I'll be married. And, theoretically I'll have a family at some point. And when it's all over, if I can look back and say that I tried to do it with that much integrity, then I'll be pleased.

*Question of the Week comes from The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.


I don't know what's wrong with me. My usual activity is to get up on Friday mornings and post the question of the week before I head off to the bank. But this week and last, I just completely forgot about it. So don't worry, those of you who actually check this thing on Friday mornings. The question of the week will be here today. I'll post it when I'm at home for lunch.

I don't see what the big deal is if I forget anyway. Most of the time no one ever answers. Maybe my question of the week should be should I continue doing the question of the week?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I'm Tivoing This Season, 2008 Edition

It's that time of year again. Time to set up the DVR to record all of the must see TV. Some of the network shows have already begun, some are yet to air their new episodes. Like I did last year, I'll be making note of the TV shows I'll be catching this time around. It will be interesting to see which ones last and which ones go the way of Viva Laughlin! or Journeyman.

The Big Bang Theory - I started watching this last year when it first premiered. Mostly because it shares the hour with How I Met Your Mother. It turned out to be okay, but not great. Yet, I'll still continue watching it because it still shares the hour with HIMYM.

How I Met Your Mother - Season 4 looks like it will be pretty good. I was less than thrilled with the use of Britney Spears last year, so I'm honestly hoping she won't be around this season. But she brought ratings, and that's all that matters. I still think this is one of the funniest shows around these days. The chemistry of the main cast is almost as good as the cast of Friends once was. And I love a good mystery. Each episode, whether it's true or not, feels like I'm one step closer to finding out who the title character really is.

Chuck - This is one that premiered last season that I absolutely love. However, due to the writers' strike, the first season was cut tragically short. Thankfully, NBC has given it another chance to sprout legs and find an audience. You should check it out if you didn't see it last year. Basically, this nobody kind of guy working at a Best Buy kind of store finds himself drawn into a world of espionage and intrigue. How can you go wrong with this mix of action, laughter, and drama?

Heroes - I don't even think I need to explain myself on that one. It's like someone found a way to take pure awesomeness and make a show out of it. Sure, season 2 was a little rough. I like to blame the writers' strike looming overhead. But with the upcoming season focusing on villains, there promises to be more conflict than Sylar alone could dish out in the first two years.

Prison Break - This is a pretty good show that just keeps finding ways to reinvent itself. By the time the fourth season arrives, you can't help but ask, how many different times can these guys break out of prison? Well, this year isn't so much about breaking out as it's about breaking in. The first three years were filled with conspiracies that will seemingly be brought to light this year.

My Own Worst Enemy - This is a new show that I'm going to give a chance for at least the first couple episodes. From what I can gather from ads, Christian Slater stars as a man with a split personality. One is a mild-mannered family man and the other is some sort of secret agent. Not sure if it will last, but it's worth a shot.

House - This guy cracks me up. Last year was great with the constant competition of who would be Dr. House's new medical team. By the end of the season House had picked the best of the best (or at least the ones he felt he could control the best) and this year they should be off and running.

90210 - I know, I know. It's another one that I'm going to give a chance. We'll see how long I last with it. I watched the pilot. It wasn't horrible. But this isn't the 90210 that I knew from the 90s. Not that I ever watched that regularly. Chances are I'll quit watching this one after the first few episodes.

Fringe - There's been a lot of hype behind this show, just because it's a J. J. Abrams show. Everyone expects that since he created Alias and Lost, everything he touches will turn to gold. Anyone remember What About Bryan? Okay, I do, and I enjoyed it, but it just didn't catch on. But I watched the Fringe pilot and, I'll admit, I'm hooked.

Privileged - Okay, this might not be something I watch on a regular basis. I watched the pilot the other night and thought it was cute, but not exactly the best new show of the season. It's the kind of thing that's been done before. Odds are it won't last past the first month.

The Mentalist - Now, this comes on at the same time as Fringe and Privileged. But it looks much better than Privileged. So I'll probably make switch over to this show when it starts later this month. Those pesky DVRs only record two things at once. Tough choices.

Knight Rider - I saw the TV movie that came on in the spring. It was okay. How will the show do? I think I read somewhere that you have to go into it pretending that the movie didn't happen. What was the point of making the movie then? The Bionic Woman reimagining didn't work out. I'm not so sure that this will fare much better.

Bones - I like it better when this and House came on back to back. Oh well, I guess Fox will get me for two nights in a row. Oh yeah, three nights. Anyway, the relationship between Booth and Bones makes this show worth watching by itself. For a murder-mystery type show, it's actually a lot of fun to watch.

Private Practice - Okay, I still kind of have a thing for Kate Walsh. This is another show that was cut short due to the writers' strike last year. The episodes that aired were pretty good. Not as good as the Grey's Anatomy of the past, but still interesting enough to watch for awhile.

Smallville - I hang my head in shame as I continue to watch this show. Lex is gone. Lana is gone. Clark is the only Kent left on the show. And they're bringing in some guy named Doomsday this year. But it's not the enormous monster that killed Superman in the comics 15 years ago. No, it's some mixologist with anger management issues. Yet I keep coming back again and again. At first I watched the show because I've been a life long Superman fan. Now I watch because I want it to end, but I'm too curious to see how they'll wrap everything up. How can you explain it all when you've made as many mistakes as the writers on this show have made.

The Office - I am looking forward to this show almost more than anything else this season. There's nothing about this show that I don't like. It's awesome and hilarious and keeps me hanging on every week. It's another one of those funny shows that I'll watch over and over again. And when I see the reruns, I laugh just as hard as the first time.

Life - Once again, this is a show that was cut short by the strike. And, like Journeyman, I was afraid this wouldn't get the second chance that Chuck got. The lead, whose name escapes me at the moment, is a very interesting character. He was framed for a brutal murder which he didn't committ. After spending 15 years of a life sentance in prison, the ruling was overturned and he rejoined the police force in LA. His perspective is unique to say the least.

The Amazing Race - The Greenes got me addicted to this one towards the end of last year's race. I figure this time I'll catch it from the starting line.

Desperate Housewives - Two words: Teri Hatcher.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No More Mr. Nice Single Guy

There have been those who have accused me of being mean. I believe that is a matter of opinion. What follows, however, will only further lend credence to that opinion.

If you've been following the saga of the anonymous commenters then you know it's something that I have addressed here and here. I'm through being nice about it.

I have repeatedly asked that comments be signed. Not with pseudonyms, but with true identities. Yet, there are people who have repeatedly gone against that request. If you are unable to respect me enough to admit who you truly are on your own, then I can no longer respect your anonymity.

Months ago, Nicole and I put our heads together, and using various information gathered by each of our blogs, we were able to determine exactly who these anonymous culprits were.

We've both played along as best we could. We've even both made the request to end the anonymity. However, for the sake of the Greenes, I have refrained from doing anything more than that.

Nicole may not say anything about the childish behavior of the cyber equivalent of leaving graffiti on a wall, but she's a lot nicer than I am. As I said above, I'm done being nice about this.

To the two people to whom this post is aimed, I ask this: how stupid do you actually think I am? I've made mention several times that I can see your IP address. I can see what time you click over to my page. I can see where you're coming from. I can see where you go next. I can even see just how long you spent on my site. It doesn't take a genius to know that the comments left by "Amy" and "Mickey Mouse" earlier today on this post were in fact left by the same person. I would be wasting a lot of time in citing all the examples, but trust me when I say that I can.

From this moment on, I will not be approving any comments left by either of you, unless you are grown-up enough to sign your real name. And consider this your final opportunity to come clean. If I find one more anonymous or fake signature on a comment on this blog, just one, I will publish your names for any of my readers to see. You, however, can avoid such embarrassment by commenting on this post and admitting who you really are. Ask yourselves, do you really want to be called on out something like this? For something as trivial as a blog comment?

This isn't about receiving inappropriate comments at this point. It's the principle of the matter. It's an issue of respect. And I'm really not one to harp on getting respect from people. But when I've asked numerous times to respect my wishes on my blog and you have repeatedly refused to do so, it makes me angry.

If you think I'm bluffing, that I won't call you out the very next time that you leave your anonymous comment, just try me. I would love nothing more than to reveal your identity to everyone who follows this blog on a daily basis. The ball is in your court.

To everyone else out there who has commented in the past or will comment in the future, thank you for your honesty and for being forthright with me about who you are. Please do not let this discourage you from continuing to share your opinions with me.

Life Story: Chapter Two

Here's another story of life before I was born. I'm not exactly sure when I was due to be born, but I almost came early.

1980 was a Leap Year. That meant that February 29th came only a week prior to my actual birth. Funny thing though, Mom went into labor on Leap Day. Turns out it was a false labor. But the whole day, she was scared that I would be born on the 29th.

I don't see what the big deal is. So I would have only had a real birthday once every four years. I wouldn't be as spoiled as those kids who have birthdays every year. And then, every February 29th, think of how special that day would be. You could have four years' worth of birthday parties all at once. Crazy fun.

The next time labor pains it, it was the real deal. The evening of March 5th was when it all began. And again, it was all wrong for Mom. Apparently, all week long, the television had been advertising a very special Eight is Enough. I guess one of the main characters was supposed to have some kind of encounter with Vietnam or something. I don't know, I've never seen it.

This was before Tivo. This was even before every home had VCRs attached to every TV. So it's not as if she could hit record then hop in the car and go to the hospital. She had to miss it. One of her favorite shows with a "very special" episode. And it was all my fault.

And thus, I began life with my mother resenting me for causing her to miss her program. Would it be a sign of things to come? Only time would tell.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Exclusive Club

It should be said that my adopted family is taking a trip to Orlando, Florida next week. They're going to spend a week and a half in Walt Disney World. They're taking Jen and Coach Gordon. They are not taking me.

I am not bitter, nor am I heartbroken. You know what? I don't even like Disney World anyway. "Happiest place on Earth?" More like crappiest place on Earth. Yeah. Mickey Mouse is stupid. And he talks like a girl. Donald Duck never wears any pants, but when he gets out of the shower he wraps a towel around his waist. What's that all about?

What the heck is up with taking Jen anyway? I get taking Gordon. He's from Scotland. They don't have a Disney park there. The closest one is in France and I'm pretty sure Disney can't even pay people to go to that park. Jen lives in LA. She's right next door to Disneyland. She could have brunch with Disney princesses any time she wants. I never realized they rebuilt the Mickey Mouse Club and included a new rule. No Aaron allowed.

I guess I shouldn't complain. Disney World is so lame awesome. Last time I went, I was there with my college choir while we were on tour in Florida. We got stuck on It's a Small World in South America for half an hour. A friend threw up on my shoes after riding the Tea Cups. Pirates of the Caribbean broke down and the pirates started attacking all the tourists. Luckily the animatronics shorted out whenever we knocked them into the water. But it was touch and go for awhile. They were just looting and pillaging all over the place. And lets not even talk about what happened to Cassie in the Haunted Mansion. I still have nightmares to this day.

So go on. Take your trip to Disney World. I'll stay here and take care of your pets. Me and Bailey and Maggie and Onya and Queen Battle, we're gonna have a grand old time. And I'll drive Nicole's car all over town. We'll see who has more fun. Oh yes, we will see.

Really I'm just trying to talk myself out of being disappointed that I can't go. I tell myself that it's not because they don't want me there. It's because there's just not enough room. Plus I've got my education to consider (PSSSH). And then there's also the importance of my job to think of (double PSSSH). I'm just deluding myself. Disney World is awesome. And lame. So very lame.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I realize that in the world we live in there are a great number of social injustices. You have your homeless people living on the streets or in subway tunnels. You have starving children around the world and even in your own neighborhoods. You have underdeveloped nations tearing each other apart through civil wars.

I'm not going to address any of those global issues though. This one hits real close to home. Today I'm gonna take a look a bullies.

Everyone at some point in their life has been exposed to bullying. Whether you were on the giving or receiving end, it's a playground phenomenon that's inescapable. For the most part, it seems that adults turn a blind eye. Maybe we think that it builds character in our kids to deal with that sort of conflict.

Oftentimes, however, when parents get involved it becomes an impossible situation. The parents of the bullied children are placed in a difficult position. They may not witness the act of bullying, but they witness the results. Crying, broken-hearted kids who are victimized by the kid on the playground. But they don't want to talk about what happened. If a parent is fortunate enough to drag it out of their child, they still have no actual proof of what happened. They have their child's word against another's.

The parents of the bully are in an equally awkward position. Most of the time they don't have a clue how their child acts outside of their home. They have no idea that their son or daughter may be belittling their classmates or, more often, kids who are younger or smaller than they are. So when another parent approaches them to discuss the problem at hand, they are extremely offended. There's no way their little angel would ever mistreat others.

And so the cycle continues.

Eventually, the kid being bullied will take all he or she can stand and then fight back. Most of the time. But at that point, the rage inside is so strong that it's unleashed in a maelstrom of emotion (See A Christmas Story for a perfect example).

Or, they allow it to continue happening. They repress what's really going on and they spend the rest of their lives battling a damaged self-esteem and lack the confidence to push themselves.

I think Daniel Stern said it best in City Slickers when he said (and I'm paraphrasing) that a bully isn't just mean, they rob you of your dignity. What makes a bully act the way that they do? Why do they feel the need to make others feel horrible about themselves?

Most psychologists will say it's so they can make themselves feel better. They're lashing out and exposing weaker kids' insecurities in order to compensate for their own. What's wrong? Did daddy not hug you enough? Did mommy hug you too much?

And I'm not saying that bullying is limited to only childhood. We have bullies in the real world too. Managers who think that just because they're your superior on the job, they can step on you as long as it accomplishes their personal goals. Cops who bend the rules simply because they're in a small position of power. There are others as well. And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that all police officers or bosses are bad people. I'm just saying that power can corrupt.

And these adult bullies could be anyone. They could have been bullies as kids that no one ever had the guts to stand up to. More often though, those kids grew up feeling guilty about the way they treated others as a kid. The adult bullies might have been the kids that got kicked around. Now that they're older and in positions of authority, they feel vindicated and think they're well within their rights to push others around.

As with most of my posts, I've done pretty much no research to back up anything I'm saying. This blog has and always will be based solely on my opinion and how I see things. If you disagree, as always, I invite you to comment below.

And I'm sure that there won't be any "bullies" reading this, but if you are a kid reading this blog, I encourage you not to pick on the ones who are little or different than you. If you're one of the bigger kids in your class or in your neighborhood, then you have a responsibility to stand up for those who are incapable of standing up for themselves. When you do the right thing, you'll feel much better about yourself as a person than you would if you were kicking someone while they were down.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Another Haircut

I've needed one for so very long. I put it off much longer than I normally would. The reason was explained back in The Highlighting Job. The short version is that I was told that I should let it grow long so I could get it highlighted. Pretty self explanatory.

Well, over the last few days I've been dealing with shaggy hair growing over my ears and covering the back of my neck. It was very uncomfortable. So I finally went to get it cut yesterday.

I went to Sport Clips, as I usually have since moving to Wake Forest. This place is great. Not only do they cut your hair, but they shampoo it. I know they do that anywhere. But this isn't just a shampoo. They massage your scalp. I'm really hoping that having your scalp massaged is an option in Heaven. They also wrap a hot towel around your face.

No one has ever explained the purpose of the hot towel on the face to me. If you know, feel free to comment. So I don't know the reason, but I like it. Maybe that's the only explanation I need. It feels good.

It's a little shorter on top than I would have liked. I'm pretty sure the highlighting job is still visible, but the swoopty in the front is almost gone. The scalp massage more than made up for that though.

Plus, the girl running the cashier... wicked hot. She's what you'd call statuesque. And then there's the possibility that she was flirting with me. See, with the scalp massage/face towel package, it costs $18. She only charged me $15. Of course, it's also a possibility that she just hit the wrong button.

There would be no future there anyway. She's probably too young. Plus, there was a promise ring or something equally lame. Promise rings are stupid. They're given to naive young ladies as their boyfriends go off to college in another town. The girls get them and get all giddy, 'cause they think it's the next step toward marriage. She stays at home and lives her faithful life. Meanwhile, the boyfriend is off at Appalachian State doing whatever with whomever he wants. Promise rings are a joke. Guys (and by guys I mean lame pseudo-romantic high school guys), don't give those things out before you go to college. Just break up with her and let her live her life. You know it's never gonna work out anyway. Those long-distance things never work. If you don't break up before the semester starts, I can almost guarantee it'll be over by Thanksgiving. Seen it a hundred times.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Waiting for Hanna

I've been told that I don't need an excuse to stay the night at the Greenes. But usually, when I do stay, I'm able to come up with one. Last night, I used the threat of a tropical storm. I know, lame excuse.

Pretty much because Hanna turned out to be a lame storm.

I shouldn't say that. I'm sure that there are people in eastern Carolina who are dealing with Hanna's wrath in a different way than we did. The storm blew through and didn't even wake me up last night. I'm sure we got some wind and a great deal of rain, but everything is still functioning here at the Greenehouse.

According to the news, there are about 600 homes in Raleigh that are without power due to trees hitting power lines. Of course, people to the east had it much worse. A report on Yahoo says that more than 55,000 customers are without electricity now. So, overall, Hanna hasn't been too horrible.

On deck is Ike. At this point it's hard to tell where he'll be heading. At the moment they're predicting that Ike will gain strength and become a category 4 hurricane, hit Cuba, then turn up to hit western Florida. I guess the only thing we can really be sure about is that Ike is much more of a threat than Hanna.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Question of the Week: Kids' Version

I forgot to do the question of the week this morning. And I'm currently over at the Greenehouse and do not have my copy of the Book of Questions. So I googled the Book of Questions hoping to find this week's question, but instead had a little fun with it. I found The Kids' Book of Questions and asked the following question to Brett and Makenna.

If you could have a round trip ride in a time machine and travel any distance into the past or future, where would you want to go?

Brett's response was the old days. Makenna agreed. I asked them what they meant by the "old days." There are a lot of "old days" in the past, I wanted something specific.

Brett specifically said "1998."

Seriously? That's the "old days?" That's not old man. That's when I graduated high school. We had the internet. We had cell phones. We even had satellite television. Sure, the satellites back then were enormous and would pull a house over if you tried to attach them to your roof like they do nowadays, but they existed. You know what else we had? We had these new-fangled horseless carriages to carry us around. We had transparent cola. Old days? I think not.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Almost Forgot

Wow, I'm at the end of the day and I nearly forgot to write something on this here blog. I look at the clock and it's 10:30pm as I begin these sentences. And what's my excuse for putting it off this long? I have none.

My final class of the day was canceled this morning. So between 11:30am and around 5:30 this afternoon, I sat here doing next to nothing. I think tonight I'm just gonna post some random thoughts as they pop into my head. We'll see how this goes. I can probably promise something better tomorrow...

- I'm watching John McCain's speech at the Republican National Convention, and can't help but feel sorry for him. He's gotta know he's not as dynamic a speaker as his opponent. And I also feel like a lot of the audience is clapping and cheering out of pity or because some Applause light is flashing.
- And did I just see Britney Spears in the audience?
- I took a Baptist History quiz today. Was really psyched to get a 68. And that's not sarcasm.
- You know, for a group of malnourished, depression-era orphans, the girls from Annie have a whole lot of energy.
- Sporks are just inconvenient. There was a time when I thought the spork was the greatest invention of the 20th century. I was wrong. Could be that I just liked saying the word spork.
- I've been having some weird dreams lately. I'm thinking of turning them into short stories.
- There are times when I think I could live on Frosted Flakes.
- For my birthday (back in March) Mom got me a framed Superman collectible. I still haven't hung it on the wall.
- There's a clock that is hanging on the wall that ran down about six months ago and I just haven't wound it back up. It runs slow anyway.
- Every day that I go to the bank for work, I dread it a little more than the one before.
- Tomorrow I have to work all day. Ask me how much I dread it.
- I've never ridden out a hurricane before. Hanna looks like she's coming our way. If I get real freaked out I'm going to the Greenehouse.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Promises You Don't Intend to Keep

Nothing gets under my skin more than when someone says they're going to do something and then they don't do it. Let's use an example from my past. Remember Mark? Back in the Bluefield days, when he and I were roommates, there would be times that he would tell me he'd do the dishes, and then they'd sit there for a week 'til I finally realized he wasn't going to do them and I broke down and cleaned up. Eventually we had a discussion about the issue and as you can see, we are still friends. My problem wasn't that he didn't do the dishes. I don't care about that. My problem was that he told me he would do the chore, and then didn't.

I say all that to introduce my own shortcomings. Some weeks ago I said on here that I would be going through my life in blog posts. So far I've had one of those. And then I haven't done anymore. I don't mean to be a liar. I still have every intention of getting around to those introspective posts. I even intend to include old pictures. You'll get to see how cute I used to be as a kid. And you'll see me evolve into the embodiment of awesomeness that I have now become. So stay tuned. School may slow down some of my creativity, but I'll get around to it all eventually. You'll see.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I got a text message in between classes from Nicole. "We have had no power since 8 this morning. A tractor trailer ran through the middle of Johnson's Market and took down power lines. Not good."

This story was expanded upon a bit when I got to work. Apparently, a customer this morning was an eye witness to the event and said the truck was just parked in the middle of the building. That's just crazy. And not in a cute little old lady who flings macaroni salad across the dinner table kind of way.

I can't help but wonder what was going on with that driver. Why did he run through the place? Was he angry that they weren't yet open? Was he under the influence of some sort of judgment inhibiting chemical? Was he swatting at a bug? There's a good chance that I'll never know the answer to these questions.

Update: The Greenes just happened to come through my drive through at the bank. Kevin said that it looked like only about 3 feet of the back of the trailer was visible. The rest of it was firmly inside the restaurant. Luckily, no one was injured inside. Still not sure about the driver.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Over the last few years, there's been a trend that kind of annoys me. It gets under my skin a little. It's not as bad as when people refuse to use a turn signal on the road, but it's got potential.

It's the trend of combining people's names when they suddenly become a couple. As soon as I list some examples you'll know exactly what I'm talking about...

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie - Brangelina
Ben Affleck & Jennifer Lopez - Bennifer
Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner - Bennifer II
Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes - TomKat

Okay, I actually thought TomKat was kind of clever. 'Cause tomcat is a real word. But really, it gets more annoying than that. This amalgamation of names carries over into the world of fictional television. I watch Smallville, and whenever TV Guide or Entertainment Weekly covers the show, they have to talk about who Clark Kent is with by calling the couple "Clana" or "Clois." Those stand for Lana and Lois, respectively.

Another show I've noticed this happening on is The Office. People use the term "Jam" to describe one of the couples. The question then becomes, which couple. It's fitting for two. Of course you have Jim and Pam, which is probably the most obvious. But what if it's meant to be JAM (Jan And Michael). It gets so confusing.

I think people just get lazy and don't want to write out the entire word or phrase or whatever it is they're writing. Text messages and internet lingo have spoiled us. Our crazy English language has become far too complicated and apparently takes too long to say or write. I observed this laziness in a textbook I'm reading for school. It's a book focusing on the Baptist Faith and Message 2000. On the first page of the first chapter, the author takes time to explain that instead of writing out phrases like "the record of" he would replace that with (R) every time. Seriously? You can't just say "the record of" whatever, you have to put (R)? Man, I thought I was lazy.

So maybe I should have just titled this post "Abbreviations," but that word is too long.