Thursday, July 24, 2008

Things I don't understand #55


You heard me…or read me, I guess it would be. If you don’t know what a bluetool is, even with the assistance of the illustration, we should probably first make sure you aren’t one. If you own a handy, dandy wireless earpiece(aka, Bluetooth headset) for your handy, dandy wireless phone you are well on your way. But you’re not necessarily all the way there. Consider these questions seriously.
Do you ever, while wearing your HDWE(Handy, Dandy Wireless Earpiece), talk on it in public with neither hand occupied by anything? Or really either hand still free?

Do you ever wear your HDWE when not making or taking a phone call? You know, just in case. Wondering around the mall, the office, the ballpark with a little metal/plastic blinky thing hanging on your ear?

Do you ever miss calls because you were unable to properly affix your HDWE before it stopped ringing? Because why talk on the phone if you’re not talking on your HDWE?

Do you ever covet other people’s HDWE’s and long to have their superior technology/style adorning your lobes?

If you answered yes… if you even had to think about whether answering in the negative would be dishonest to God and yourself, then you are probably a bluetool.

I don’t know how to say this, but I don’t get you. You do realize that a piece of shiny metal/plastic dangling off the side of your head looks ridiculous, don’t you? Especially if it blinks. Please tell me it doesn’t blink. And you do realize that walking around in public and appearing to talk out loud to yourself or no one in particular makes you look crazy, don’t you? Especially if you talk with your hands, and they’re both empty. I just don’t get the need to be double wirelessly connected whether my hands are full of irreplaceable things/small humans or not. Maybe I’m just not important enough. Maybe if I was constantly inundated with such consequential communiqué, I too would recognize the need to eschew manual phone manipulation to ensure I was always available to those who need me. But I can barely justify having a cell phone half the time, much less the need to be able to participate in a jujitsu match while simultaneously starting a prayer chain. But as in most cases, that’s just me.

Oh, and if you have so become one with your HDWE that you either refuse or completely forget to remove it for an engagement photo that could be widely dispersed, then you my friend are a Bluetool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things I don't understand #54

...How people usually look how they sound.

Really, how is it that somehow our vocal cords tend to find a way to match up with our faces? I’m not saying that you can distinguish the eye color of the guy taking your order in the drive-thru or the shapeliness of the girl’s legs who took your reservation, but you can get a general idea of attractiveness. This struck me recently as I began working in this new locale(Birmingham…keep up, already). I walked into an office where cubicles were in use, and after a while I heard a female voice. I was horrified. I almost made a face, but my superior ability to appear emotionless under any circumstance kicked in. I was sure I did not want to see the face (or body) whose voice that belonged to. I later found out I was absolutely right. Not to be mean(which is exactly what I’m being, sorry Mom) but the word ogre was the only thing that came to mind. Yeesh.

“But Farky,” you might be saying, “I sometimes hear someone’s voice and imagine them attractive and later meet them only to find them…well, ogre-ish. How do you explain that?” Well, I think this is exactly one of those cases where the exception proves the rule. (Yes, I know most of the time that phrase makes absolutely no sense, but stick with me. What else do you have to do, really?) I would submit that on those occasions where you physically encounter someone after verbally meeting them and find their voice to be incongruent with their visage, you’re surprised. And why would you be surprised if not for the lifetime of previous experience which affirmed your ability to rate attractiveness by sound? You see, we only notice the ones that don’t match, and take the ones that do as status quo…the order of things…normative…expected(really, how can you expect to argue with that many synonyms?).

In any case, it just seems odd that it could be so. And I begin to wonder if our voices start out matching our face or if we somehow affect our voice by our beliefs on how attractive we are. If, unconsciously, we allow our self-image to revise the way we sound? Hmm, I don’t know. You figure it out. I’ve got to go figure out how to sound like Johnny Depp (except when he’s a pirate…ok, maybe when he’s a pirate, too).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Things I don't understand #53...

...that guy.
Are you kidding me? I know I’m probably violating all that we’ve grown to know and love about “Things I don’t understand...”© by having the same subject in two out of three entries, but good grief. Last night Josh Hamilton put on a show… the greatest show in the history of the Home Run Derby. Sure, you’re saying, but who cares about the home run derby? Honestly, most of the time, not even me, bona fide baseball fan. That’s what’s so amazing about it. Not only did I make a point to try to catch the event, but after Hamilton’s first “at bat” I received not one, but two phone calls asking me if I had seen it.

I did. If you didn’t, Hamilton hit a record 28 home runs in the first round. And they just weren’t your garden variety out of the parker. Three went over 500ft. I have no idea how many reached the 3rd deck of Yankee Stadium. It had every person in the stands and all 23 announcers ESPN enlisted for the event oohing and ahhing. Karl Ravich become so drunk over his performance that he predicted Josh would hit one out of the stadium before the night was over. (BTW, that’s never happened before.) But once again, what makes it so amazing is his story. I won’t rehash the whole thing. But if you ignore the whole almost dying because of a drug addiction thing, he was out of the game for over three years. When he left he was minor league single-A ballplayer. He returned from not hitting a pitch for all that time to hitting major league pitching, skipping both double and triple A. That’s just not done. But neither are most of the things that Josh Hamilton ends up doing.

What was remarkable about last night was that Josh Hamilton was able to take a meaningless, fake sporting event and turn it into one those “great moments” in so-and-so history. He made me lean towards the tv to get a better look at his monster shots. He gave me chills. He made me remember what I love about sports, especially baseball.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Things I don't understand #52

…How Birmingham (yes the one in Alabama) became known as “The Magic City”.

Oh yeah. Hi, how’s it going? Yes, I’m sorry. It’s been a while. But I have good reasons...well, reasons anyway. I’ve been away. I’ll run to the bathroom while you guess where... ... ... ...uh, yeah. Alabama. Very near if not completely in Birmingham. It’s lovely here. Almost magical. Yes, it is really called that. Google it or something. I actually didn’t discover this fair burgh’s moniker until my first flight out of here when I happened upon a table full of t-shirts making such a proclamation in a gift shop near my gate. I stared at the table and then took a quick glance around to make sure there weren’t any hidden cameras to catch my reaction. There weren’t.

But here I am, in Birmingham, blogging for you...because I love you that much. Like the good book says:
“...but Jason showed his own love for us in that while we were yet lazy, Jason blogged for us.”

Admittedly, I’m using a very loose paraphrase.

So I’ve been here about a month and I’ve learned some things about Birmingham that might or might not involve magic. It’s not as big as they think it is. Travel time from the airport to my office near downtown is about 8 minutes...from rental lot to parking lot...even taking side streets and never getting on the freeway. As far as traffic goes, they have some, but that’s mainly because if it’s not an interstate it’s probably just two lanes...and all the traffic lights require you to wait 2-5 minutes whether there’s a chance of a car crossing the intersection or not(this will make you scream certain words while in your car). Also, they are not the most adept at merging. I learned after almost inserting my rental car into the trunk of the preceding vehicle twice the first week to assume they will stop inches from the highway (because they will) looking for the all clear before proceeding. Other fun facts...Birmingham has one of, if not the highest murder rates in the country. Random watching of the local news has confirmed this. Let’s see...the choice of restaurants seems limited, and if you do find one, hurry, it’s probably about to close. I found this one I wanted to try, unfortunately I got there at 8:05. It closed at 8. I had another place turn off the lights as I sat in the drive-thru at 8:55. Not exactly a town of night owls, apparently.

So, despite the fact that my search for the magical part of Birmingham is limited and thus inconclusive, I going to actually suggest that some other nicknames might be more apt. Here are some of my suggestions:
Birmingham, the city that sleeps.
Birmingham, not the one in England.
Birmingham, death awaits you.
Birmingham, Bull Connor was probably wrong, our bad.