Monday, September 29, 2008

2 Life Changing Occurences

1 ) HD Revolution. I have previously written about my magical television which receives pirated TV shows that I suspect my neighbors are watching. Since moving back to Detroit, this has ceased, but for a while I was still receiving the local channels (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and whatever the CW is calling themselves thisd week) in HD. I also was receiving HD-theatre and ESPN in HD. However, this week, the ESPN HD signal was lost. I cannot begin to explain the monumental crisis this caused me. To understand the crisis, I need to first explain the transformation that occured.
When I purchased my television, and realized the wonder that was in HD I began by flipping back and forth between the HD signal and normal signal and marvelling and the powder flakes that the news anchor's makeup left. However, soon there was no switching back-and-forth: I was solely in HD. To this day, I do not know my channel lineup, but I do know which stations I get in HD. For a while, I received Tigers games in HD without sound, and it was a serious dilemna whether the lack of audio was worth the amelioration of video. Needless to say, I watched sports without announcers for months. However, this weekend, I was forced to watch the Michigan State Spartans play Indiana University in traditional, analog quality.
The issue isn't really that the picture is that bad, its just that on my 13" LCD screen, the extra size that HD offers is monumental.

2) Perhaps not-uncoincidentally (hows that for an ambigious double negative), I also have developed a strong affinity for golf. Watching golf that is (and yes, I just aged thirty years before your eyes). Maybe its the clarity with which I can now read greens, but I can't get enough of the PGA tour. To the point where when I flip to the golf tournament on Sundays while the NFL games are on commercials, I actually know when there has been a change in the leaderboard (because I started watching the tournament at 7 am on Thursday via the Golf channel . . .go ahead, tack on another fifteen years to my age right there). I also have developed the embarrasing tendancy to yell "oooh" after a close-miss and have people look at me as if I just reacted emphatically to watching paint dry (which I might, if it were presented in HD). Anyways, the expansion of my sporting viewership to golf (and I even more sheepishly admit, that I can name at least four NASCAR drivers), I am no never without a sport to watch on TV.

Alas, I should get going because its after 8 and I should be in bed. Does anyone know where I can get some Centrum Silver?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Top 4 things that made me angry today

Today, was an angry day. I'm not sure why I woke up angry, but frankly, delving into the cause may cause me to be something other than angry, which is not near as fun. So without further adieu, ado, or whatever word correctly goes there (see, I'm even too angry to use google to look up the right word and pretend I know what's going on) here are the top 5 things, that didn't cause my anger, but surely fanned the proverbial flames.

4) Waking up on the wrong side of the bed. No, seriously. Well, not really, I actually may be one of the few people that wake up and then decide which way to roll out of bed. Its a nice luxury to have. However, when thinking about my anger, the cliche "I guess I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed" resonated through my head countless times. Really, Doyle? You couldn't just say you had a case of the Wednesdays and be done with it? You had to talk to yourself like a third grader and then continue to do so on your blog post. Speaking of which, I spent an hour today in a third grade classroom, and luckily, nothing there angered me. I mean, who can get angry at hilarious youths even with morning directional disorientation (much better).

3) The guy who cut in front of me to get lab gloves today. This one is just a universal pet peeve. Seriosuly, you didn't notice the fifteen kids lining up to get gloves so we don't catch streptococcus (I must be less angry now, I just spell-checked streptococcus). Not that I was going to call you out, because honestly, I really don't care if it takes me ten extra seconds to get my gloves . . . wait a second, obviously I do, or I wouldn't be writing about it on a blog post.

2) Whoever invented the concept that meat thaws in the refrigerator overnight. Seriously, not once have I put something in the fridge the night before and gone to make dinner the next day to find anything but a solid chunk of ice, with some soft edges where it has began to thaw. I swear someone once told me that you should thaw meat overnight and be fine. I don't care if experience has proved me wrong here countless times, I will still continue to try this and get angry when it doesn't work. I better wrap this up, because my four-pound pork tenderloin may actually be at room temp now.

1) The amount of detail in my viral meningitis lecture notes. Seriously? I am not one to whine incessantly about medical school (just medical students), but come on. I don't ever think it will be useful for me as a clinician to know what family of genus of virus of kingdom of phylum of species of . . .of (okay, so obviously, I'm not big on knowing the classification system of things biological). And as such, I take out my frustration by deciding, I'll show Prof X, I'm not going to learn his crap. To which, the lovely world of karma responds with, fine by me, enjoy your next year of life repeating Microbiology.

Anyways, I feel much better. Really, I'm not that angry, I just wanted some fodder for a blog post and this worked out well.

Besides, who could be angry on the day Matt Millen* got fired
*Agreed to be the worst GM in football who happened to make personell decisions for my beloved Detroit Lions for the last few years.

Also, my pork tenderloin is done thawing and I'm about to enjoy deliciousness. Hunger 1, Anger 0.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The five best things about grocery shopping

In an attempt to stay consistent (that is start a new series for a couple posts to abandon it later), I thought I'd post on one domestic-esque activity that I cannot get enough of: The grocery run.

5) Probably the best thing about being a medical student is that I can choose when to do my grocery shopping. Today, after a leisurely lunch, I set out for suburbia (because Detroit has no real grocery stores, just liquor stores boasting a "full line of groceries" consisting of a shelf of easy-mac) in search of groceries. I strolled through the isles younger than my fellow shoppers by at least thirty years (and when I say strolled, I mean waited eternally behind a series of rascal scooters each taking copious amounts of time dissecting the nuances of Worcestershire sauce brands). On a side note, how the heck is "Worcestershire sauce" pronounced the way it is. However, it is very pleasant to spend the day amongst the elderly.

4) The impulse buys. I usually go grocery shopping for the sole reason that I have run out of eggs, milk, butter, yogurt, and anything besides dry lentils for like two weeks. However, instead of purchasing only those things which I consume regularly, in the grocery store, I decide to broaden my horizons. Which is to say, that the advice "never go shopping hungry" should be extended to "never go shopping when you have had nothing to eat but long grain rice and black beans for two weeks" because the most preposterous items look good. For example, today I came home with four different packages of bacon and sausage (yeah, the kind that comes in the tube that you push out like you would cookie dough).

3) The non-impulse buys, that are equally as ridiculous. Inevitably, once I run out of milk and eggs for the week, I decide to see if I can spice up the remnants of my cabinets into something edible. So I look for niche recipes involving beans and rice that do not taste like beans and rice. And the delicious sounding recipes are abundant. The problem is, they all involve ingredients that I do not posses, such as: Worchestershurshursire sauce, red wine vinegar, oregano, molasses, etc. And instead of writing the recipes off as a lost cause, instead, I think to my self "dang it, Brian, if only you had apple cider vinegar, you wouldn't be eating a plate of some dry good covered in ketchup." So, when I arrive at the grocery store, I have a list filled with niche spices that Rachel Ray hasn't even heard of. And I buy them for the sole reason that I never, ever want to be caught without dark corn syrup ever again.

2) The looks from other shoppers. So, I'd be lying if I led you to believe that my cart was filled with cooking spices and niche ingredients. No, my cart may have those as a baselayer, before I give in and start searching for crap I can turn into delicious sustinence* (maybe my favorite phrase ever) nearly instantaneously. In other words, I fill the rest of my cart with meat. I begin very selectively only buying the chicken parts that are on sale for a reasonable price, before giving in and openning the gauntlet. The end result being, I currently have four bags of chicken, two "tubes" of sausage," two pounds of ground beef, three frozen pizzas (guilty pleasure. Scratch that, innocent pleasure), one package lean cut bacon, one package thick-cut-full-slab-heart-attack-in-shrink-wrap-bacon-deliciousness, two bags of talapia (they were on sale), various other odds and ends frozen, as well as a delicious three-pound pork tenderloin thawing in my refridgerator next two twenty-four eggs(I recently read a study that vegetarians have smaller brains. No joke, they are missing B12). Sorry, I got side tracked recounting my deliciousness. Point being, I have to fit all that into my tiny cart that was made for single mom's cooking for themselves. By the end of my trip, I have usually lost a wheel from the corner of my cart and have resorted to dragging the cart along, carefully ensuring nothing from the mound atop my cart slides out and into the abyss of isle twelve.

1) Without a doubt, the best part about grocery shopping, is the thirty minutes following the complete unloading of the trunk. That is, the point at which I sit down to enjoy a deliciously prepared meal of delicacies I haven't seen in close to a month. Today I enjoyed a peach, yogurt, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs (with milk), and green tea upon my return. And I haven't even started preparing for dinner. The only problem is, in the same way that I foolishly waste laundry detergent and shampoo when I have a full bottle, I will use far too much of my delicacies in the first week leaving myself with rice, beans, paprika, and cumin for the next three weeks until I finally break down and repeat the delightful cycle again. God Bless Supermarkets.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Top 10 reasons why doing laundry is "not as good*"

*'Not as good' is a phrase used amongst one of my groups of friends because it was the way a prior gym instructor advised using constructive criticism. For example, an airball wouldn't be a bad shot, it would be rendered "not as good." Don't worry, after using the phrase for months, I have eliminated the desire to finish the sentence " . . . not as good" with "as (insert generic item here)" I'm content to just leave "not as good" hanging in the air. Its almost more insulting. Anyways, here's why doing laundry sucks:

10) currently, piles of clothing sorted by colors (white and everything else) and temp (cold/stuff I like and hot/stuff I don't care about or is swaeaty) are taking up my entire bedroom floor and severely impairing my ability to practice swinging a golf club while studying. Guess I'll have to finish the laundry before I can get back to studying

9) Seriously, if I have to go looking for quarters one more time (note: I do not have to do this because I have in unit washer/dryer. Which is even huger than I expected. Not large, just emotionally huge)

8) On a related note that I no longer have to deal with - Hanging insufficiently dried clothes all over my room because I will not "give in to the man" and pay 75 cents twice to dry my socks.

7) I have to ask my self, "when the heck did I wear this T-shirt?" before answering, "you didn't jack-ass, you just threw it in the hamper because you didn't want to fold it." That tactic worked waaaay better when my mom did my laundry

6) Seriously, do you know how long it takes to do six loads of laundry? The down side of having my own unit is that I unesseciarily sort items into color/temp instead of just cramming everything I could into the washer to save on precious quarters. The result: It literally takes me like eight hours to do laundry. The bonus: I have enough socks that I only do laundry like once every two months. God bless sandals.

5) Can they invent a dryer that does not shut-off right when my clothes are "almost dry." The difference between almost dry and dry is the differences between smelling slightly moldy and smelling like spring breeze or whatever flavor bounce sheet was on sale.

4) Okay, this may really be a reason why doing laundry is good, but seriously, is there anything better than putting on a item of freshly dried warm clothing. If someone could event the equivalent of a toaster, so that I could simultaneously prepare a delicious crusty morning apetite stimulator and a wonderful slightly warmed, but still soft, cottony body warmer, I would be in heaven. Now if we could only find the laundry equivalent of coffee, I may be rich.

3) How is it that I perpetually seem to be "almost out" of laundry detergent. Do they just fill the bottom eighth of those bottles, forcing me to swear I can eek out "just one more load" time and time again? Answer: No, you jack-ass, you just buy a new bottle, and fill the cup up to the "heavily-soild, massive laundry load composed of metallic substances" line, until you realize you are almost out and then fill it to the "I hope you are doing a load of laundry consisting of one sock, crew length" line for the rest of the month.

2) I am forced to question my manhood everytime I do laundry and realize I have waaaaaay more clothes than I realized. In fact, the only reason I am ever made aware of the truth that I have more than five shirts is on laundry day.

1) The only thing worse than doing laundry, is the folding of the laundry. Seriously, if you can find me a dryer to fold my clothes, I swear I would pay big money. Not that I fold my clothes now, it would just be nice to wake up one day and put on a shirt that did not make me look like I assembled the interior wrappings of a gift bag (read: tissue paper) into a garment.

On that note, I'm impressed that I actually came up with ten reasons, and will give myself the day off until I have cleared my golf playing surface for studying.

Mmmmm warm sweatpants . . .

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Slave to our passions - A confession (no not like that)

Note: The following is unfortunately not a discourse on Paul's letter to the Romans, or anything like that, its much more superficial but I found it interesting enough to post here, eh?

So, I have a confession to make. You know that guy responding with wit and humor to your textual queries (and if you haven't yet used ChaCha, you need to)? Yeah, that may or may not have been me. For about a month now I have been answering questions for ChaCha, for minuscule pay, for no other reason than I wanted to figure out how it worked.

However, last night, I had a realization. I could answer a limited number of ChaCha questions a day, every day, every month, and thus pay-off my cable AND internet bills. So starting last night and today I have dutifully logged time answering questions (including "who will be president" twice), giving various weather reports, suicide counseling (that's always scary), and responding to the ever quizzical "is your [insert slang for female genitalia here] shaven?"

More interesting than the querries, is the realization that I was in fact living out the irony of the American Dream. That is, in order to afford internet, I needed to sacrifice about a half hour a day to earn enough to pay for it. And since I now need the internet for school and work, of course it has become indespensible.

On a related note, I have further combined business with pleasure in my new studying method. That is, for correctly memorizing three facts and reciting them aloud, alone, to myself, in my apartment, I reward myself with the privelage of smoking a foam golf ball with any iron (or fairway wood if I'm feeling frisky) of my choosing.

Anyways, I should probably get back to either answering questions from random strangers or hitting my pitching wedge. Now what can I reward myself with for a sucessfull blog post . . .