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Dizzying Intellect » Surreal

Category: Surreal

WordPress Title (italics)

Awesome. I actually checked the date, instinctively, to see if it was April 1st already.

From yesterday’s LA Times:

(Click for full size)

Go look at the close-up, at the site linked above.

The DJs on my semi-regular morning radio station spent a good 20 minutes last week trying to convince their listeners to pick up a subscription to the ubercrappy Post-Dispatch, because GOSH! the newspapers are failing. And newspapers are GOOD!

Tell me again.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I went to get groceries yesterday, and as I was going back for the second armload (*sigh*), I was chatting with a woman who lives in my building. She has a crazy little puppy that’s growing into a pretty decent little dog, and we were talking about her growth and stuff.

She knows my dog is pretty old, and she always asks how he’s doing. I said he was fine, and that he loves the freakishly cold weather we’ve been having this winter. She goes “I’m sure, with all that hair.”

Then we’re both quiet for thirty seconds or so, and I’m playing with her dog, and she goes “I bet he dies in the summer.”

I was completely dumbstruck. I just stared at her, going “Blink blink. Blink.” I knew she couldn’t be blithely predicting my dog’s death, but her inflection said exactly that. And she finally goes, “Because it’s so hot.”

Blink. *head tilt*

“Doesn’t he just melt? Or do you give him a haircut?”

And of course that’s all she was saying, but jeez. Inflection, lady. I’ve had a rough week, and a Canine Cassandra I don’t need.

Heart of Gold (Digger)

There have been soooo many articles in the past few months about gold-digging women, and college students who are brazenly unashamed of their “Sugar Daddies” (until they’re labeled as sluts, at which point it immediately becomes “twue wuv.”)

In the comments of these articles, men always insist that they’d never behave so shabbily, and that women are all simply evil bitches from hell who are only looking for money (and yes, some of them certainly are). They say that men are honest, and looking for love (as long as love puts out by the third date), and they’re sick of being used.

So I got a kick out of this counterpoint. The Sugar Mama:

Ricardo is a tall, handsome and suave 28-year-old Italian. Even though I’m 14 years older than him, he seems completely smitten with me. He texts me several times a day to tell me that I am gorgeous - my skin is like porcelain, my eyes are like deep pools and my hair is like golden sand. He wants to spend Christmas with me, so that he can make me feel ‘delicious all over’.

There’s just one small hitch that may prevent this beautiful budding romance from blossoming - Ricardo thinks I’m worth £20million and that I am going to rescue him from his life of drudgery working at a call centre. He wants me to be his sugar mummy - someone to dress him, pamper him and travel the world with, all at my expense, of course.

Both sides are the exceptions to the rule, of course — I really believe that — and both are equally as skeezy and disgusting, and make my upper lip twitch in an involuntary sneer. But it’s still funny, especially since the joke’s on the gigolos.

Purely in the name of investigative journalism, you understand, I set about finding out by attempting to net myself a fortune-hunting toyboy.

I receive a simply hilarious message from Giles, an Englishman based in Sydney, Australia, who wants me to fly him (first class, of course) to London and to put him up at the Dorchester. In return, he will help me run my business and, he says, boost my turnover massively.

When I fail to respond, he writes increasingly desperate emails, claiming that it was he who invented the iPod - not Apple - and Daniel Craig’s portrayal of Bond is based on him.

Then there is Kevin, a toothless roofer from Pontefract, who writes: ‘I knows how to treet a lady rite and if you pick me you wont be disserpointed.’ Oh, Kevin, I think I will.

Alex arrives ten minutes early at the Italian restaurant I’ve chosen, bringing with him a rather wilted rose. It is wrapped in brown paper, rather than cellophane, which makes me wonder whether he’s just stolen it from someone’s garden.

Unlike the previous two gold-digging men I’ve met, Ricardo isn’t subtle when it comes to the subject of my money. ‘My last lady is worth $10million, can you beat that?’ he asks bluntly.

When the men fill out their online profile, they can declare how much of a monthly allowance they would expect from their sugar mummy. Most leave this open to negotiation, but John has said that he is looking for up to £20,000 a month, so at least that’s clear.


Actually, through the giggles, maybe it is a little bit fabulous. I’m not sure whether to retch or start writing a screenplay. That pretty kid from High School Musical could pull off the role of Ricardo in two years or so, right?


Huh. I still have a job.

They cut 1/3 of our IT department today. Why I’m staying and not some others, I have no idea. And I have to admit, I’ve got a little “survivor’s guilt” already, but I’m also glad.

They initially told us that the impending cuts really didn’t have much to do with productivity or talent, but who could maintain the existing systems more cheaply than they could be replaced by outsourcing. But the guy who just called me said that, on the contrary, they ranked the people on each team, and the highest ranked get to stay. I have no idea which is true, but I’ll go with the compliment, I think.

(Before anyone nags, I have been looking for a new job, but I’m not going to take a massive cut in pay until I absolutely have to, and that’s all anyone’s offering right now.)

Ok, so back to blogging. But maybe not right this second. If anyone needs me, I’ll be breathing. For the first time in a month.


Look! Two cute baby moose (mooses? meese?) playing in a sprinkler!

I know, banal. (But cute!) When I do start writing what’s in my head right now, it’s going to be depressing and grim, so enjoy the cute while it lasts.

These Are Not The Mechanics You’re Looking For

Seen on the back of a professional heating and cooling truck this morning:

Do You Have a Mold-Free Basement?

Ask How We Can Help!

They import that fancy black mold from Italy, and install it cheap!


Take one of the best violinists in the world, put a 300-year old Stradivarius in his hands, and… drop him in a Washington DC metro station to busk for an hour during the morning commute.

Sure, it’s a stunt, but it’s also a pretty interesting personality test, both for the commuters and for the violinist.

I could see this working better in Europe, for multiple reasons (less pressure to be to work on time, bigger train stations, more appreciation for classical music, etc) — or in the evening rush hour, when one is hurried but not risking one’s job. It’s also, in my experience, better for both acoustics and a captive audience, to play at the bottom of an escalator, not the top.

But I still didn’t expect these results. This quote particularly got me:

The poet Billy Collins once laughingly observed that all babies are born with a knowledge of poetry, because the lub-dub of the mother’s heart is in iambic meter. Then, Collins said, life slowly starts to choke the poetry out of us. It may be true with music, too.

The interviews with the passers-by are fascinating, especially the shoeshine woman, and Picarello and Olu, the only ones who get it.

Sensitive subject

Today’s license plate of the day was seen walking back to work from Crazy Bowl.


Yep. I almost stuck around to ask. Maybe it’s someone’s name? But since it was on the local kids’ charity plate, maybe not. Maybe it’s advertising? I wonder if he gets any flack? I mean, ask any new mom, and she’ll tell you that people can get awfully snippy… er, testy… um… It’s a subject on which people have very, very strong opinions.

Not English, exactly

I pick up random new profanity all the time, as a rule. It’s not so much that I purposely incorporate it into my vocabulary, as it spontaneously appears in times of stress.

Thursday was very hectic. I spent half of the day doing nothing, waiting for testing results and answers to business logic questions, and twiddling my thumbs. Then about six things fell apart between 1:30 and 4pm.

I used the phrase “double-you tee eff?” twice in that period. Those exact sounds, not the phrase to which it translates.

I have no idea where that came from. I’ve never heard anyone say it aloud before. But I like it.

“I liked this one, but she said it was too blurry”

Today’s apparently Chat In The Bathroom Day, and no one told me.

After too much water and cherry coke, I’ve been to the office restrooms (I know, TMI. Hunker down, it’s gonna get worse.) twice today, and there have been women yakking in there both times. The first two just bumped into each other and were discussing work. I can understand that for a maximum of two minutes, but come on. If you’re still talking when I leave, you need to hand over whatever you’re smoking.

The second time, they were chatting when I got there, and by the time I left, one of the women had taken out pictures of her house, and was discussing which one to give to her realtor.



I know the accoustics are really good in there, but nothing in a public restroom should invoke the sharing of photographs.