Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Are You Able to Feel the Love This Evening

In the gym locker room this morning they were playing an elevator music version of Can You Feel the Love Tonight? from The Lion King.  Or, rather, a perhaps-unlicensed cover—the rhythm was spot-on, but the tune wasn't right.  There were enough subtle differences that they didn't seem like mistakes or artistic license, but it was close enough that I thought at first that maybe I just didn't quite remember the original tune.  But once it got to the "wide-eyed wanderer" line (of course, it was instrumental) I was certain that it was just a bad cover.

It reminded me of something I was talking with Jason about recently: I get really annoyed when I remember song lyrics incorrectly, especially when my head's version is notably different from the real thing. Worse, rather than correct myself on future listenings, I tend to just reinforce my incorrect lyrics with every subsequent hearing.  The best example of this that comes to mind is from Somewhere Only We Know by Keane.  There's a line "...sat by the river and it made me complete" that I sing every time as "...sat by the river and admitted defeat."  My version is just about the opposite of the correct lyrics, and I know I'm wrong, and I try to sing them correctly, but despite my efforts, I get it wrong constantly, and I'm not really improving.  It's frustrating.  (I have a playlist of songs for which I want to learn the lyrics and be able to sing along, and that one is on it.  It's my driving/Segwaying playlist.)


Having a pending trip is a really good excuse to ignore bathrooms and kitchens and carpets in need of cleaning.  I mean, they're not going to get any better while I'm away; I might as well just let another week's worth of dust build up first...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Killed by an unknown attacker

Two nights ago, I dreamed that I was walking by a house in an expensive-looking neighborhood, and one man out of many people in uniform who were standing in front of the house came up to me and asked if I was Travis.  I said I was, and he somberly told me that he was sorry, but Jason was dead.  He had been shot, and was the tenth person that day to have been killed by an unknown attacker.  My first reaction was disbelief, possibly partially because I had no idea why Jason would have been at this house that I'd never seen before.  As it all started to sink in, another one of the people standing in front of the house yelled something unintelligible to the man talking to me.  He then apologized and explained that he meant to say that James was dead, not Jason.  Did I know a James?

I think the man talking to me may have been based on the doctor from Arrested Development.  I don't remember what he looked like, but I was thinking about that character the day before.  (It's not the same joke, as the doctor in that show always gives factually accurate but misleading information, whereas this was simply wrong.)

As it turns out, even in a dream, hearing that someone you care about is dead only to find out seconds later that they are not is very upsetting.

Lamest nightmare ever

Last night I had the lamest nightmare ever.  I was tracking a package on FedEx.com and saw in bold red letters "NOT DELIVERED - SIGNATURE REQUIRED."  At the sight of this I became immediately severely distraught.  For some reason or another, my package not being delivered on time was absolutely soul-crushing.  Luckily, the dream ended after fifteen seconds or so of utter despair.

(Usually I'm just really pissed off.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Very stale spam

Every time I give my email address to a company I give them a unique one so that if I ever get spam because of them, I can know exactly who's responsible, and if necessary I can block that specific address without harming my ability to get mail from other people. (I have my own email server, but you can easily do this with Gmail... at least, until the spammers catch on and look for plus signs in email addresses.) As it turns out, I very rarely get spam from any companies that I've given my email address. I can only remember one company that has ever sold my address in more than half a decade: Uproar.com, a casual games site. That is, until the past few days.

I got spam from an address I've only ever given to S&K Menswear before. I ordered my coat from them nearly five years ago, and I just started getting spam to that address this month. That is some very stale spam. As it turns out, the company has gone bankrupt. Apparently a good way to make money when you go bankrupt is to sell your customer database.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I haven't been posting much recently. I've gotten a few requests to post on some more interesting, controversial, thought-provoking topics. This, I'm afraid, is not that.

I worked at the Burger King in the university student union during my junior year in high school. During that year is when I first started growing facial hair. It came in pretty evenly, but rather blonde and fuzzy compared to what my hair looks like today. One evening, a week or two after it had started coming in, the manager on duty was my favorite one—the one I could have conversations with about technology and games and things relevant to my interests (he helped me decide on my first domain name, in fact). He walked by me, and said roughly the following to me:

Manager: Travis, tonight when you go home, I want you to shave your beard fuzz.
Me: What?
Manager: You just should.
Me: Why's that?
Manager: We're all excited for you. You have your first facial hair. You've proven that you can grow facial hair. Hooray! But it looks terrible, and if you shave it off it will grow back faster and look better. Don't worry, you'll get more. Get your dad to show you how.

I was really embarrassed for a moment, not because he was intending to embarrass or annoy me, or because he told me this around the other employees, but because he was completely right and I hadn't even realized it for myself yet. I was avoiding shaving simply because I wanted people to notice that I was all manly and stuff.

(Historical note: I didn't make facial hair a standard part of my appearance until a couple years ago or less.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


After my morning workouts I basically always get a protein shake at the club's bistro.  I get one with strawberry powder, strawberries, and peanut butter.  It ends up being rather tasty.  The price of one of these shakes is a fairly disturbing $6.60.  However, I provide my own protein powder, so they only charge me half price.  The packets of powder are available a few feet down the hall for $2.00.  By buying the packet in one location and taking it to another location I save $1.30 per shake.

It makes me wonder if this business model is intentional, or the pricing just wasn't thought through very well.  It's possible that this works so that people who are price-conscious can get a shake for a slightly more reasonable $5.30, but the majority of people won't be willing to go to the effort (or even find out that such a deal is available), so most people will still give them $6.60.  Or, maybe 50% off is a really easy thing for their system to do and they don't care or realize that there's a price discrepancy.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Scott Baio is a jerk

I just spent a whole dream being bitched out.  In this dream, I had previously sent Scott Baio a short letter informing him that some devoted fans had created an entire website full of crossword puzzles about him and his Arrested Development character Bob Loblaw.  He sent me a very lengthy letter in return through his agent, and included an advertisement for the latest stop in the tour for his book "My Real Life Is Boring," which happened to inconveniently be on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.  (Incidentally, if this letter is how he writes, he must have had a good editor for his book.)  According to his letter, my transgressions for sending this letter included:

  • Wasting the time of an important TV star
  • Wasting his precious touring time
  • Obsessing about him an unhealthy amount (these weren't my crosswords; I was just passing the information)
  • Posting very factually inaccurate information about him online
  • Failing to understand the distinction between Scott Baio the actor and Bob Loblaw the character
  • Failing to focus on other aspects of his career, such as a writer
  • Wasting his time in general

There were other complaints, but those are the ones I recall.  I was pretty annoyed at the mild irony in him writing me back with factually inaccurate information and failing to understand the distinction between me and the people writing crossword puzzles about him, but for some reason I decided to write back a curt apology and send him back a golf club as a gift.  I don't know why I was sending a golf club, or why I thought that tinfoil would be an appropriate wrapping paper for it.  Once I had wrapped my letter and the club, I realized I didn't have an address—my original letter was an email.  How did he (or his agent) get my address anyway?  And then I woke up.