Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Best Part of Waking Up Is A Six-Legged Creature in My Cup

In further proof that Mother Nature hates me, a bug just crawled on my ceiling, perfectly positioned itself over my coffee cup, and suicide plunged his way into my cup of joe. I guess that's retribution for me flushing three of his family members down the toilet this week...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Lo Siento...

I honestly don't know why Blogspot creates such funky spacing whenever I paste text from another site.

Bad Blogspot. Bad bad Blogspot...

Stedman's Gonna Open a Can of Whoopass on Some Frenchmen...

From the AP...

Whether Oprah Winfrey was turned away from a bit of after-hours shopping in Paris because of a racist employee or a special event, news of the confrontation outside a luxury store has evoked empathy and anger from many American minorities who say they are routinely treated poorly — and sometimes with outright suspicion — by sales staffs in this country.

The incident occurred when Winfrey stopped by Hermes on June 14 to buy a watch minutes after the boutique closed. Though she and three friends said they saw shoppers inside, neither a sales clerk nor manager would let them in.

Winfrey believes the store’s staff had identified her, according to a spokeswoman from Harpo Production Inc., her company. Winfrey’s friend, Gayle King, who was there, told Entertainment Tonight, “Oprah describes it as ’one of the most humiliating moments of her life.”’ Harpo says Winfrey plans to discuss the incident in the context of race relations on her show this fall.

Hermes said in a statement it “regrets not having been able to welcome” Winfrey to the store, but that “a private public relations event was being prepared inside.”

Winfrey has often plugged Hermes products — a $135 tea cup and saucer was featured in her magazine in 2001 and was still on her Web site Tuesday, along with the company’s phone number. But she has said she will no longer be shopping in its stores.

So let me get this straight...Oprah tries to go into a store a few minutes after it has closed. There are customers already inside. (Have you ever tried to kick customers out right at closing? Yeah, not fun.) But because the store didn't let her in after the store closed, it is automatically a racist act?

Now I am not saying she's right or wrong, because, well, I wasn't there. But if you go strictly by what the article says, it is somewhat of a stretch to throw the race card around so loosely. So this is either really shoddy journalism, or Oprah's making quite the judgmental quantum leap here.

Besides, the sympathy factor is rather nil for someone who is making ten blagillion dollars more than me. Yes, blagillion is really a number*.

Until next time...

*Blagillion is not really a number.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Not a Good Week in Pooh-Land

So the voices of Piglet and Tigger die within days of each other. Considering his "woe-is-me" manic depressive demeanor, I'm guessing Eeyore is on suicide watch right now. Get that donkey some Paxil post-haste.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Double the Learning, Double the Fun

Well, this was quite the eventful week. For those who I didn't tell (and for the one guy in India who reads this...I know you're out there), we moved into a new office this week. Well, "new" is a figurative term, since the maintenance crew apparently decided that:
  • Dan doesn't need something silly like a doorknob on his door.
  • Dan doesn't need something silly like both ends of the toilet paper holder in his bathroom.
  • Dan doesn't need something silly like having his printer in his actual office. We'll just put his printer in a more inconvenient the kitchen.
Yeah, I have a feeling I'll be scheduling my trips to the printer around my coffee breaks.

Student: Sir, can I please have my Immigration documents that you just printed?
Dan: Sorry Generic Unnamed Student, I still half a cup left.
I also learned a valuable lesson this week (in addition to the bulleted learning points coming up in a paragraph or two): being without a computer sucks. I don't know how office employees kept themselves amused pre-Bill Gates, but I'm assuming they didn't entertain themselves with office supplies like I did:

I'm not normally this pathetic. Honest.

Well, we've already learned than I am a Pushpin Artiste. So what other nuggets of wisdom do I wish to impart upon you?

What Dan Learned
  • As I said in my comments earlier this week, there actually is a worse name in the world than an unhyphenated (I Am) Fuching. So if you ever run into an Indian male with the last name of Dikshit, you have my permission to tell him that looking through his file amused me for hours the other day.
  • There are fewer pleasures in life than seeing the phrases "Organized Living" and "Out of Business" used in the same sentence.
  • When you clean off your bedroom desk and find statements with dates that end in "04", you know you're a lazy bastard.
  • He-Man. DVD. August. I just might cry.
  • Whoever said, "There is no such thing as a free lunch" never worked in my office.
  • Never underestimate the tear-inducing hotness of a sandwich called "The Firehouse."
  • I have a strange craving for a Scrumdiddlyumptious bar.
That is all...or is it?

I'll answer my own rhetorical question. No, that is not quite all. As a special bonus, I now divulge...

What Dan Learned in Atlantic City (Part 4,197,381.333 repeating)
  • Game show-based nickel slots have officially lost "my bitch" status.
  • Only one person in the world will know what I mean by this, but The Algorithm (tm) did not work. :(
  • There is no larger group of butters-in-line than old people.
  • I thought that leaving my backup comp card in a machine while someone else plays on it was an ingenious way to earn more comp credits. AC must have some uber-scientific way of determining who is at a machine, because my plan failed miserably. And I forgot to pick the card back up...
  • Foreign chicks at boardwalk pizza places have the looks of a supermodel and the disposition of the Soup Nazi.
  • The vision of this woman dancing will haunt me for the rest of my natural-born life...

(If you're thinking, "C'mon, it's not THAT bad", I dare you to click the picture for a "better" view)

That is all. And good luck trying to get that visual out of your head...

Until next time...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

¡Que Docto Dan Esta Semana!

I have no idea if the above translation for "What Dan Learned This Week" is right. If not, blame Babelfish...

What Dan Learned This Week

  • I was the victim of Last Name Discrimination at an improv show. You know...I've heard every horrible pun in the world regarding my last name. But until last night, I never had anyone jump out of their seat when I told them what my surname was. It was a tad surreal...
  • Friendly's waitresses never live up to their employer's namesake...
  • Nothing stirs up debate like the phrase, "Coldplay is a poor man's Radiohead..."
  • My bowling skills have greatly deteriorated over time...
  • My PartyPoker retirement match is looming...
  • I'm going to need mace and a bodyguard if i leave my new office location after hours...
  • Everything in life can somehow be traced back to Rocky IV...
  • Asking Arby's employees for "no mayo" on a sandwich is apparently too mind-numbing of a request to make...
  • Many Asian students alternately choose to either hyphenate or not hyphenate their first name. So imagine my initial gasped reaction when I got an email from a student named "Fu-Ching" with the subject line "i am fuching..."
  • Now, I finally found the Airport Economy Parking. Could have helped me (and my company) two weeks ago...
Until next time...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

My Name Is Dan, And Blogging Is My Anti-drug

I know, it's been a few days since I last ventured into the dark, cold world known as "blogging." It's too early for "What Dan Learned This Week" since the possibility of capturing stupidity on a Saturday is still highly probable. So instead, I'll just share my scatterbrained randomness with my loyal reading audience. You know, all four of you...

If He's Dead, L. Ron Hubbard Is Turning In His Grave

I'm not usually one to give two shits about celebrity gossip, break-ups, barmitzvahs, etc. But let's be honest; this Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes fiasco is gripping stuff, if for no other reason than it being the official beginning of Cruise's downward spiral. The media has even gone as far to bestow an ingenious nickname upon them, TomKat. (Before I get comments questioning my sanity, remember folks...italics = sarcasm) Seriously, why is every celebrity couple getting a nickname these days? You have TomKat, Bennifer, Bennifer II...yet no one could come up with a good name for David Arquette and Courtney Cox?

But I digress...

I will say that in all honesty, I really don't think this is a publicity stunt. Because seriously, who out there is saying, "I want to see that movie starring Katie Holmes about that guy who dresses like a bat." And seriously, who out there is saying, "I want to see War of the Worlds."

Ok, I'm sure many people want to see the movie. But for the sake of my joke, we'll just stay in my sheltered little world.

As a final thought on a subject I've already devoted way too much webspace to, I sincerely hope that someone (whose name rhymes with Crook Fields) slips a Prozac in Tom's apple sauce. It's not that I'm a big fan of Crook Fields or antidepressants; I'm just a big sucker for karmic irony.

Say It Ain't So, Bo

From the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) - Three weeks after being defeated by Carrie Underwood in the finals of American Idol, Bo Bice says he's happy he lost.

"People ask me, 'What were you thinking while you stood there waiting for them to announce the winner?"' Bice says in the issue of Rolling Stone magazine on newsstands Friday.

The answer?

"Please, God, don't let me win this thing."

Bice claims he never wanted the Idol crown to tarnish his southern rock rep.

If it makes you feel any better Bo, I didn't want you to win either. It's nothing personal; it was just an "I would want Carrie Underwood to be the mother of my children and/or a one night stand" type thing, that's all.


My one good neighbor moved out this week, which means that it's just me and Mimi the Wonderbitch next door for right now. So if you hear a story of a diminuitive 25-year-old getting eaten by a 400-pound pot smoker in Chadds Ford, I kindly ask that you make sure my fish is taken care of...

Well, if she hasn't eaten him too...

Until next time...

Monday, June 13, 2005

The (Jesus) Juice is Loose

I can't say I'm shocked by the Michael Jackson verdict. Now that he'll have this extra free time on his hands, hopefully he'll use his resources to find the REAL molester.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

What Dan Learned This Hot-As-All-Hell Week

As I listen to Coldplay's beyond uber-kickass new album, I ponder the past week and what newly discovered information entered my cranium. Why?

Because that's the title of my blog. And "What Dan Forgot" would look something like this...

What Dan Forgot This Week...
  • Um...
  • Uh...
  • It'll come to me...
Yeah, it doesn't quite have the same enlightenment value. So I'll just stick with what works...

What Dan Learned This Week

  • Waiters with barcode tattoos will forever come back to haunt you...
  • If you continually leave crappy tips in the same restaurant, they might start to catch on...
  • I have fed my fish more than what I got in Bertucci's "salad"...
  • Apparently, Japanese restaurants that cook in 5-foot flames in your direct presence don't want something like air conditioning to ruin the ambience...
  • Cookie stand cashiers suck at math...
  • My students still get this funny impression that I am willing to break the law for them...
  • I actually went into Best Buy and left without a story of some employee's stupidity. I won't lie; I felt cheated...
  • PartyPoker can kiss my ass...
  • I expect the Christmas music to start any day now...
  • Moving your lawn chairs to a shaded area can do absolute wonders for your comfort level...
  • Hopefully, it won't take you two years at the same barbeque to figure out the above fact like it did for some of us...
  • Epiphanies rule...
  • Holy mother of crap, I'm actually 25 years old...
*sigh* That is all.

Until next time...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Going All-In on the Poker Game of Life

The title of today's blog sums up the metaphorical and literal happenings of my life in recent days. It is also sponsored by the letter R, the number 3, and by viewers like you...

My Biggest Accomplishment Since I Won Back-to-Back Participation Trophies in Little League

As I've talked about several times lately, I've been playing online poker. A lot. I play in tournaments on, usually only with a dollar or two buy-in. These tournaments generally cap out at 2000 people, most of whom love hurling the "stupid noob" insults around.

As a side note, to anyone who has ever used the word "newb", "noob", or "newbie," just once fell under that category as well. So for the love of God, get out of your mother's basement, earn a decent living, and stop justifying your inferiority complex in an online poker game.

Wow, I feel a lot better.

So anyway, I played in one of those tournaments last night and actually managed to place 45th out of 2000. I'm a happy addic...uh...gambling afficionado, as the higher ranking pocketed me $7.fitty (the word "fifty" has forever been eradicated from my vocabulary).

I can't think of a witty transition, so let's just go to the next topic, shall we?

Decisions, Decisions

I have been in a very introspective state lately. Simply put, I've had no idea what the hell I want to do with my life. Well, in a very sudden and strange string of epiphanies, I came to two conclusions last night:

1.) Outside of wrestling and improv, I'm putting acting on-hold right now.
2.) I'm definitely going for my Masters, hopefully in the Fall.

I really can't pinpoint one specific event yesterday that drove me to these conclusions. Within a two-hour span, everything just became very clear in my head, for the first time in awhile.

The acting epiphany was very strange. I was going to audition for a play in Wilmington this Friday, only to find out yesterday afternoon that the audition was actually last night. All of the sudden, my mind started going 733.78 miles per minutes (yup, I counted). It hit me that the greatest personal satisfaction as a performer has stemmed from wrestling and improv; in both of those worlds, I essentially have the control over my character(s). With the number of auditions I've been to in the past few years for films and what not, I'm just not hitting as strong a chord with other people's visions as I would like. Being someone who values personal creativity and who totally respects the creativity of others, I feel that right now, my direction in performing is better suited for avenues in which I have more creative freedom for myself.

I am not all saying I am quitting pursuing film or stage acting. I just feel that I'm going to gain the most growth as a performer by going down the path that has garnered the most personal satisfaction for me.

Oh, and I decided to can the play audition. So there's Epiphany #1.

In terms of the Masters, I know I've been saying for a while that I want to do it, but I just never fully committed myself to going for it. Now, I really have no doubt in mind that this is the direction where I need to head. My top choice is to pursue a Master in Liberal Studies. I love the course selection and I'm a liberal...a perfect match. I emailed the Dean yesterday to see if it is too late to apply for the Fall. If it is, I'm going to go full-speed ahead with it in the Spring.

So we'll see how it all goes. I definitely have a renewed excitement for what lies ahead...probably because I'm no longer so freaking confused about the direction of my life. ;)

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What Dan Learned Over the Past 25 Years

Yesterday, I celebrated the 25th anniversary of my birthday (if you want to get technical about it). It's a milestone, but only because my age ends in either a 0 or a 5. It's not like when you turn 18 or 21 and your birthday becomes a rite of passage. Let's put it this way...I don't expect blow-out celebrations for my 28th or 31st birthdays.

So with 25 years and one day under my belt, I thought I would do a life-retrospective edition of What Dan Learned.


Because it's a slow day at work...

What Dan Learned Over the Past 25 Years

  • Strained carrots are SO much better than strained string beans...
  • My lifelong dream of playing Plinko on The Price is Right has yet to come to fruition...
  • Hong Kong Phooey could kick Spongebob's ass any day of the week...
  • Some of the truly great inventions/innovations of my time: Castle Grayskull, snap bracelets, the Game Genie (from Galoob), TiVo, the Hulkamania Workout Set...
  • Some of the truly horrible inventions/innovations of my time: the Over the Top arm wrestling ring, Trapper Keepers, kelly green school uniforms...
  • My defining moment in life: the first time I ever dropped an f-bomb. It's been all downhill in the 13 years since that moment (do the math)...
  • My most embarassing moment: saying hi to a girl I liked in the mall with a Kit-Kat vertically bridged in my mouth. Unfortunately, that story has become legend in my small inner circle...
  • Catholic schools - The antidote to practicing Catholicism...
  • There is advantage to being short; I get my own politically correct classification ("I'm not short; I'm vertically challenged.")...
  • I have yet to fulfill my other lifelong dream of having a Million Short Person's March with the tagline, "A Million of Us Are Taller Than One of You..."
  • The next generation will never know the "joy" of having a dot-matrix printer...
  • Take out the zeroes, and you'll see why I'm fearful of the biblical ramifications of my birthday next year (06/06/06)...
  • Most people are fearful of the leaking of home videos of them in compromising positions. I'm fearful of the leaking of the home video where I got a Super Nintendo for Christmas...
  • To finally clear up the confusion: no, I did not audition for Child's Play...I was asked to audition for Child's Play, but never did. To clear up further confusion: no, I would not have auditioned for Chucky. Chucky is made of wood; last I checked, I got this fleshy stuff on me called skin...
  • With the proper marketing vehicle behind it, the game of Foil Ball (tm) could have become America's new favorite pastime...
  • How the hell am I going to explain Vanilla Ice to my kids?
  • Greatest movie quote of all time: "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father...prepare to die."
  • You know you're a bad artist when your former 8th grade teacher continues to show her students your "artwork" as an example of what not to do. Last I heard, my piece was shown as recently as two years ago. I was a straight A student, never had a disciplinary problem, and was involved in all kinds of extracurricular activities. Yet my grade school legacy is defined by one poorly-drawn scarecrow...
  • That goddamn picture of me in a toga still haunts me to this day...
  • I've grown rather fond of ellipses...
That is all.

Until the next 25 years...

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Super Double Mocha Espresso Blog of Ultra-Caffeinated Fun (ie, My Week in Seattle)

Warning: This blog contains excess amounts of paragraphs. In other words, it's freaking long. Viewer discretion is advised.

Last Sunday, I embarked on my journey to Seattle, Washington.

"But why," you may ask.

Well my inquisitive invisible friend, I attended the NAFSA Conference, which is for administrators, advisors, etc. in my field of working for and with international education. So as I sip on my non-Starbucks coffee, let's delve into the week that was easily the best week I ever spent in Seattle*.


Look Kids! Big Ben...Parliament

For some inane reason, despite the fact that work was footing the bill for the whole trip, I thought I'd save them some money by looking for the Economy Parking Lot at Philadelphia International Airport (airport code PHL to be used from here on in so I can delay the onset of Carpel Tunnel by a week or two). I'm not a big fan of the non-Airport lots, because:

A.) I'm always afraid the shuttle will take too long to get to the airport
B.) I don't care if said parking lot uses country names for parking lot sections; being told I'm parking in Zimbabwe is a little unsettling.

So according to PHL's website, the lot was "slightly" past gate F, which is the last gate of the airport. I really should have known from the outset that my definition of slightly was going to differ from theirs. First off, the "sign" for economy parking was so barely noticeable that, well, I didn't notice it at first. When I finally did take note of the sign, I found I had to make a left almost immediately. I thought the next left was the parking lot, until I saw Enterprise Rent-a-Car's giant ass "This Is Not a Parking Lot" sign. Since this is the end of the airport, I hopped back onto I-95 to play this game all over again. But of course, I hopped back onto I-95 to play this game all over again in the "Bus Only" lane. At this point, the same word kept coming out of my mouth over and over again. Hint: it rhymes with duck.

I made it back to the airport, probably to the dismay of every bus driver in the lane that I invaded. I look
very closely for the signs this time; upon closer inspection, it seemed that I had to get back onto 95 anyway to find the damn place. So I go back onto I-95 a second time, this time driving in lanes specifically designed for vehicles without a tip jar. I still couldn't find the damn place. I said to myself, "I'm doing this one more time. If I don't find it, work is just paying the extra."

Somehow, I don't think my company will be happy with the $110 parking fee...

Off We Go...

Nothing of note really happened on the flight to Seattle, except for the fact I broke my vow of never peeing in an airplane restroom. Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

I finally arrived in Seattle (Airport Code: WTF). Now I have always heard that Seattle is a very laid-back place. This must be true, because I'm sure Seattle residents wouldn't want something like signage to rattle their nature. Seriously, Seattle has the most confusing airport I have ever been to, bar none. There was not one sign telling you where transportation was. Luckily, I ran into a colleague from the Philadelphia area who is much more talented at asking people for directions than I am. Once we solved the mystery of the Labyrinth, we shared a taxi and went on our merry way.

Now anyone who knows me well knows my hatred of taxis (if you ever want to hear my harrowing Portsmouth experience, just ask). Well, this taxi ride was no better, extending my Streak of Lifetime Bad Taxi Experiences
(tm) to four. Let me put it this way; either this guy's turn signal was in desperate need of repair, or he just sucked. I lean towards the latter.

I Arrive

To preface everything else, my Mom was actually at the conference at well with her school, as was my friend Candice (who also now works with another University). So I met up with them as soon as Jose the Wonder Driver dropped me off at the hotel. I dropped my bags off in my hotel room, and off we went to the city.

"I Paint in Broad Strokes"
- Anonymous

Within a half hour of walking through Seattle, every stereotype about this place was proven true. On every block was a Starbucks or three (total Starbucks count to be divulged later). Walking the streets was what I imagine walking through Woodstock must have been like without the car fires and gratuitous nudity. Oh, it also rained. If there any other stereotypes of Seattle I'm missing, let me know, because I'm pretty sure I was witness to them in some fashion.

Culinary Caste Systems

For dinner, we went to Ipanema's (as in "The Girl Of") for dinner. The Brazilian hostess sat us down in one section of the restaurant. After she indirectly divulged that she was likely working illegally, we noticed the menu had a limited selection; there was one section for Appetizers, while another section simply said, "Buffet - $35.95." Not wanting to pay that much for a buffet, we asked if we could simply order appetizers. We were told we could...but only if we sat in a different part of the restaurant. I'm not making any of this up.

Now bear in mind...this restaurant is roughly the size of a Burger King, so this "other section" was in clear view from where we were already sitting. We sat at this new section, looking longingly at the "privileged" section about 20 feet away. To rub our lower status in our faces, they took away our large glasses of water and gave us new glasses that were roughly the size of a small Sippie Cup. In retrospect, I should have used my knowledge of Immigration regulations to blackmail their illegal employing asses into giving us a free buffet and a larger glass of water. I should have told them Pele sucked too. But that's hindsight for you.

My body was still on Eastern Standard Time, so I was whooped by this point. We called it a night and prepared for...

Monday (nice segway, huh?)

As An Aside...

For breakfast, my mom and I went to an English pub called Elephant & Castle. The only real thing of note is that our waitress spoke in a foreign accent that, even five days later, I still can't figure out where the hell it was from. We'll just err on the side of caution and say it's Jersey.

A Festival of Peace, Love, and Shitloads of Foreign Food

We later went to some festival right by the Space Needle. Remember what I said earlier about Seattle being like Woodstock? This festival wasn't like was freaking Woodstock.

Ok, again without the aforementioned burning cars and naked people.

To top it off, I think this place was the United Nations of food. I don't quite know what Estonian food tastes like, but I wasn't feeling daring enough to find out either. So with such a multitude of culinary options to choose from, I opted to go to the indoor mall to get a caesar salad at a pub.

And I just realized I've probably said the word "pub" more in this blog than I collectively have in my entire life. If I start longing for fish and chips and asking if I can borrow your "tele", you have full permission to slap me.

Fit to be Thai'd

We went to a Thai restaurant for dinner. I'm guessing they mistook my short stature for someone with a Kid's Meal appetite (or age), as the "portion" they served of beef wouldn't have satisfied my fish. I'm also guessing they don't see the necessity for beverages with a spicy meal, as they didn't serve my Mom's or Candice's drink until well after they got their dinner. For their sake, I hope the low tip translates well in Thai currency.


This was scheduled to be my first day of work. I had a choice:

A.) Go to the day's sole scheduled conference session.
B.) Eat an expensive meal at the Space Needle on work's tab.

Ultimately, I had to think about what was the most responsible thing to do, as my company was paying me to work, not just eat at their expense. I was at this conference to network and learn new information that could benefit myself, my colleagues, and the greater community.

So if you're ever in the Space Needle, I highly recommend the salmon. It's divine.

I Hate Clowns

That night, we went to NAFSA's opening Street Reception. We were on the fence on whether or not to clown in stilts was all it took for me to know that I needed to be elsewhere. ANYWHERE. I have always lived by a credo that I will avoid clowns at all costs. And dammit, I plan on sticking to it.


I Guess I Should Actually *sigh* Work

I finally went to sessions on Wednesday. All I really got out of it was that our government was inept, but then again, it usually only takes one Bush Press Conference to confirm that fact.

I did, however, go to one session that was run by Immigration attorneys. It was very well done, though if I heard the phrase, "But my interpretation..." one more time, I was going to hold them in contempt of court. I don't know if I really have the power to do that, since we weren't in a court room and I have no legal degree, but this is my story/fantasy.

So there.

As the Stomach Turns

Candice invited us to go out to lunch with some colleagues of hers. We went to this sushi place. One problem...I hate sushi. Luckily, it was an open buffet, so there was plenty of other greasy food for me to dig my fork into.

Now I'm the first to admit...when it comes to meeting new people, I tend to be on the introverted side. So while I try my best not to be aloof, I wasn't saying much to the new people I met. Well, one guy at the table was talking briefly to me, and mentioned that a similar position to mine was opening up in his University. He asked, "How long have you been working in your position?" Before I finished the words, "Two-and-a-half years," he was on the phone to his boss at his University. Despite knowing nothing about me other than I'm short and don't use chopsticks to eat, he started recommending me to his boss for this new job. At this point, my stomach started doing things normally reserved for the flu or food poisoning. It was just such a whirlwind moment; I didn't know what the hell was going on. He told me was going to email me the job description; true to his word, I got the description a few hours later.

I mulled (some would say obsessed) over the decision for the next few days. Ultimately, I decided that, for the time being, I'm going to stay put. I know some people reading this may be saying, "You have to jump on this opportunity," and I totally see that viewpoint as valid. But from my perspective, I've just started to gain momentum in getting respect on-campus. I got into the position very young, so it's been an uphill climb to get to the point I'm at. I just see a lot of exciting possibilities with where I'm at right now. I'm not saying I'm never going to move on or move outside of the area; I can pretty much guarantee I will. But after weighing all of the options (including salary, which is another consideration), I feel pretty comfortable with staying where I'm at right now.

I feel like the past few paragraphs have been too devoid of humor, so purple monkey dishwasher.


My mom and I went to the Mariners game that night. First, came number five in my Streak of Lifetime Bad Taxi Experiences
(tm). As we entered the car, the driver was playing a rap song that, for the sake of political correctness, we'll call "Female Dog N-Word." It took him about 2 miles to realize that maybe this wasn't the most appropriate song to be playing with customers in the car, so he goes the polar opposite and turns on NPR...where they go into graphic detail about some Shingles epidemic.

I was better off with Gangsta Rap.

So with our newfound medical knowledge, we got to the game and we had absolutely kickass seats. We were 8th row on the field, right alongside the first baseline. This also meant we got to see the famed Ichiro up-close in right field. I think half of Tokyo sat behind me, as they went absolutely nuts every time Ichiro did as much as scratch his nose (which my Mom actually got a picture of).

Because of the *shocker* rain, I also bore witness to the magic of the retractable roof. Like I said earlier, it takes little to amaze me. What can I say...I'm an impressionable lad.

Now for those unfamiliar to having work pay for everything on a business trip, you need receipts for
everything. It becomes a labor of organization after awhile, but you do what you have to do. Well, after paying 12 bucks for a foot-long and a Fosters, I asked the vendor for a receipt. Not having a cash register, he tore out a piece of loose-leaf from a notebook and handwrote my "receipt." Somehow, I don't think work would accept this; if they did, I'd be buying stock in Mead right now.

Oh, and the Mariners won. They're not my home team or even my home league, so the "I care" factor is pretty low. It was a very cool experience, nonetheless.

Of course, we had to take a taxi back to the hotel, leading to numero sixo of Streak of Lifetime Bad Taxi Experiences
(tm). I ignorantly assumed there was a "Taxi Code of Driving Ethics", including such minute by-laws as "Don't run red lights" and "Don't swerve." But alas, I assumed wrong.


Food Glorious Food

Thursday revolved around one word and one word I met a colleague for lunch at Nordstrom's. Now you're probably saying what I did, "Nordstrom's has a restaurant?" You're also probably saying what I did, "I bet it's freaking expensive." The answers to our communal questions are "Yes" and "Uh-huh." But he paid, so it didn't make a lick of difference to me.

For dinner, my Mom and I ate at Benihana's to celebrate my birthday early *cough June 6*. Benihana's is very similar to Hibachi, though there was no Onion Volcano. However, unlike Hibachi's as of late, this cook actually showed discernable signs of a personality, so it was a fair trade-off.

After dinner, we went reception hopping to mooch free food at other's expense. Suffice to say, I felt very fat after the day was done.

Oh, and I skipped all the day's sessions. Some might say, "You really didn't go for the intended purpose," to which I'd bow.


Back to the Maze...err...Airport

Yup, the conference was all done at this point. I took a shuttle back to WTF; the shuttle was uber-late, so I really started worrying that I wouldn't catch my flight. Luckily, I still made it to the airport with a little bit of time to spare.

As I was using the electronic check-in, I started digging through my bag to figure out what the hell my flight number was. Before I could even pull out my itinerary, the US Airways worker said, "You are Flight 76, sir." Now either US Airways only had one flight going out for the rest of the day, or this guy had some clairvoyant abilities that would probably be better served in another telling me the correct Powerball numbers.


So I'm home now (obviously). Overall, it was a fabulous trip. I would do a "What Dan Learned," but I think the near-novel you just read covers my cranial intake pretty well. So with that, I bid adieu.

Oh, and the final Starbucks count: 12.

Until next time...

* This was the only week I've ever spent in Seattle. If you actually saw the asterik and came to this point, more power to you, because I damn near forgot I even put it there to begin with.

Seattle Recap Coming Soon

I just got home from Seattle a few hours ago. I'll have the bloggy goodness (possibly) this weekend. Until then, dream of Starbucks, because I sure as hell can't get the vision of that damn logo out of my head...

Until next time...