Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Stark Raving Thought(s) of the Day

Thought 1:
In regards to my previous posting about German luxury cars and their malfunctioning turn signals -- I have since discovered that the epidemic is not limited to luxury cars of the German variety, but also those of the rest of Europe, Japan, and North America. This means the data actually suggests that the price one pays for a motor vehicle is inversely proportional to the motor vehicle operator's ability to use that motor vehicle's turn signal. My hypothesis is that the ability to use a turn signal in any given motor vehicle must require some form of unspoken financial commitment from its operator, which may be why those operators who commit more financial resources to the motor vehicle itself lack the financial resources required to use that particular motor vehicle's turn signal.

Thought 2:
It's ironic (and somewhat silly) that the week leading up to a wedding, which is supposed to celebrate the relationship between a man and a woman, is often packed with so many things that "must" be done that the man and woman in question are not afforded opportunity to actually relate to one another. Whatever.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

O True Apothecary! Thy Drugs Are Quick

So I've been meaning to go get something I've needed from the pharmacy for a while, but can't get past the awkwardness of actually going there to pick it up. First off, the display is in the back corner of the store, right across from the pharmacy counter. That means there's no discreet way of perusing this particular shelf (and peruse I must seeing as there are maybe a hundred different varieties of this particular product.) (OK, maybe not that many, but still quite a few), and thus the simple act of searching for the right type of this product virtually shouts to everyone in the store, "Hey, look what condition I've got!" At the very least, the in-store pharmacist can pretty much see how long I've been standing there, looking for the right one. Thankfully, he didn't ask if I needed any help choosing one, which would have also shouted, "Yep, I've got this condition and I don't really know what to do about it!" Add to that the already awkward prospect of going to the cashier to pay for it, thus announcing my condition once again to the cashier, as well as anyone else in line behind me.

Today I finally muster up the resolve to go get this item (which for your sake, I will not divulge). I walk past the area twice because there are people in front of it the first time, and wander around the store looking for other things I need (so that I would not only have the one offending item with me at the checkout stand, and would perhaps be able to slide it past the cashier as just another generic item). Turns out the people in line at the pharmacy aren't leaving anytime soon, so I just figure, "Ah what the heck" and just head for the display, look for a short while, and pick out the right type of product, all the while avoiding eye contact with anyone nearby. Satisfied now that I have the item in my hand, as well as some camouflage items, I head to the checkout stand to complete my transaction.

... and promptly run into an old friend from college ...

Now I'm genuinely happy to see my friend because I hadn't seen him in a couple years, and am genuinely happy to discover that he works just a couple blocks away from my office. But the entire time we're talking, I'm trying to nonchalantly hide this item behind my back. Of course, we're standing at the head of an aisle, so everyone walking past the aisle can pretty much see what I've got in my hand. After talking for a while, and doing a decent job at hiding my item whilst talking to my friend, he asks for my business card, so I dig my wallet out of my other pocket and, since I need both hands to do this, try to get the card out while trying to cover the product with my wallet (which I'm pretty sure I did unsuccessfully...).

My friend and I finish our conversation and I head over to the checkout stand, hoping to get out quick. In front of me is an elderly couple, who are taking a looooong while processing their transaction. Meanwhile, more people are getting in line behind me, so I try to hide my item with my other items. Finally the people in front of me finish their transaction and the cashier asks me for my items. Unfortunately one of my elderly co-shoppers decides she doesn't want to leave the counter just yet, and is standing right where I need to put down my items for the cashier. At this point, I just figure there's no point in trying to be discreet and simply plunk my item on the counter right in front of granny there, do my business with the cashier and walk out.

... Ordinarily, for such a small item, I try to be eco-friendly and tell the cashier I don't need a bag. This time, I took the bag ...

Monday, June 29, 2009


Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to yoooou!
Happy biiiiirthday dear Mariaaaaaanne!
Haaaappy Biiiiirthdaaaay toooo yoooooooou!

Happy Birthday Marianne! I love you :)

Friday, June 26, 2009


...that I've been geographically closer to Michael Jackson in the past 24 hours than I ever was in the past 28 years... He passed away at a hospital scarcely 3 miles away from where I work -- a hospital campus that I literally drive through several times each month for work -- and is now at the coroner's office scarcely 3 miles away from where I live -- a coroner's office whose door I literally drive past every day on my way to work. Mind you, the hospital and coroner's office are more than 20 miles apart, so it's rather ironic that in his life, someone of my means probably couldn't get within 20 miles of the man, but in death, I can't seem to get very far away from him...

While my parents never allowed me to listen to Michael Jackson's music when I was growing up, Bad was probably the first music video I ever watched (in 3rd grade, during class...), and Thriller and Moonwalker are two of the best music videos (or music movie in the case of Moonwalker?) I will probably ever watch. A surreal end to a surreal life, but man could that guy sing...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Letter...

Dear BMW and Mercedes Benz,

I'm writing in order to bring a very serious engineering flaw to your attention -- namely that the turning signals in your vehicles do not appear to function as they do in most other automobile manufacturers' vehicles. I don't mean to alarm you, but I do spend extended periods of time each day traversing Southern California's highway system, and regularly observe your vehicles merging between lanes without the benefit of that essential safety feature that allows the drivers of your vehicles to alert other motorist of their intent to do so. Why just today I was nearly struck by one of your larger model sedans because the turning signal was simply not working when its driver attempted to merge in very close proximity to my vehicle, and I was nearly unable to suddenly and forcefully brake so that I could allow this vehicle to complete its merge.

You may also want to verify that there is not a problem with the acceleration systems and wheel alignment in your vehicles, as I observed that the aforementioned vehicle appeared to accelerate to an unsafe velocity despite the fact that traffic around it had slowed, and to travel across several lanes before the driver was able to stop merging (with its turning signal again not functioning).

Your commitment to quality manufacturing is evident, and I know the drivers of your vehicles recognize this quality because they often operate your vehicles in such a manner that encourages other motorists to celebrate them for owning your product. I trust that you will continue to uphold this high standard of care as you address these present concerns.

Respectfully yours,

PS: While you're at it, perhaps you could also study the curvature of your vehicles' front and rear windshields -- they appear to alter the depth perception of drivers attempting to park your vehicles and create the illusion of one (1) parking space when there are in actuality two (2) spaces, resulting in the stopped vehicle occupying both spaces. Thanks again.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Steve Zissou is My Hero

Well, not really...

But since today is Jacques Cousteau's birthday, I figured I should at least make some passing mention of the fictional character who parodies him... I mean, Mssr. Cousteau would never have had this conversation:

Oseary Drakoulias: You must swear, legally swear that you will not kill that shark, or whatever it is, if it actually exists.
Steve Zissou: I'm going to fight it, but I'll let it live. Now what about my dynamite?

Which is perhaps why he's not being quoted here now. Sorry, Jacques...

Anyways, I was going somewhere with all that...

Well, not really...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Me, Esq.

I'm back (dun, dun, duuuuuun)...!

At the risk of disappointing everyone reading this blog (which, if I was really honest about who was actually reading this hogwash, I should emphasize the "one" part over the "every" part...)(you know who you are)(::snort::), I need to come clean and confess that, no, I am neither a guinea pig nor a hermit crab, nor is my name actually Beto. Beto (God rest his soul) was indeed once the name of a hermit crab, and is very likely still the name of some fortunate hermit crab somewhere in the world, but the aforementioned Beto is now less hermit crab and more fertilizer. Thus my dearly departed friend is completing the circle of life under the stairs of my old apartment, inside a rainbow colored box, which by now my former landlord has undoubtedly discovered tucked in the soils of her prized bougainvilleas.

You'll also no doubt already have been relieved to discover that, although I am neither pig nor crab nor Beto, I am still in love with run-on sentences and somewhat questionable syntax. Though this is contrary to one of my stated goals in starting this blog (i.e. to improve my writing skills...), it is nevertheless true. See -- run on sentences and passive voice. Yeah, I'm a rebel. Keep reading; I might soon start splitting infinitives (OHH!! Take that!).

So I was going somewhere with all this when I started...

Oh yes, it was to say that I am now once again receiving visitors to my little corner of the institution. Why? Because I can. Because I POWER BLOGGER. It's true. It says so right there on the left (as opposed to being left there on the right). Go ahead and look -- I'll wait until you're done. I'll even keep your seat warm for you. Anyways, no need to repeat that point (too late...) since we already established that part many moons ago when I first started this drivel (http://starkravingblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/day-2.html)(textual evidence, yo).

But back to my original point (wait, was there one to begin with...?): it's because sometimes all I desire to do (passive voice!!) is share some drivel with the world, and it's just not appropriate to do so on my other blog, which is supposed to be all serious and stuff.

With that, I give you Things That Make Me Say, "I Don't Get It" #6: Men who wear tank tops in public. There are appropriate exceptions to this fashion travesty of course, like say if you're at the beach, or say you're a professional athlete and it's part of your uniform, or say you're Ahnald and you're carrying a rocket launcher because you're fighting for your life against a vicious extraterrestrial game hunter. But for the most part, it looks like you forgot something because maybe you were talking on your cell phone when you walked out the door this morning or something. Maybe I'm just out of touch with what the cool kids think is stylish these days. I don't get it.

OK, peace out.