Some Thoughts on a Tuesday

There is no extra space in New York apartments.  A fact I seemed to forget recently when I bought a 12-pack of paper towels.  I took one out and put it on the counter.  Then I walked around the apartment with the rest of the 12-pack for like six full minutes, looking for a place to put them, before I gave up and just sat on the couch with 11 paper towel rolls in my lap. "I guess I'll just hold them," I thought, resigned.  Eventually I got a second wind and walked around the apartment a second time, opening the same cabinets, before remembering that there was nowhere that came close to fitting them the first time.  I ended up leaving my apartment with them and brought them back to the store.
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According to the internet, 106.5 billion humans have lived in the history of human existence.  I find this fact boggling.  Part of me is boggled that 100 billion people have lived and died on this earth so far.  But a bigger part of me is boggled that 6.7 billion of those 106.5 billion are currently alive, which means that 1 out of 16 humans that have ever existed is alive today.

While we're here, a friend pointed out to me today that by being 28 years old, I've been alive for 1/8 of US history.  Odd.
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I didn't used to like grapefruits or dark chocolate but both have grown on me over the years.  I still don't like milk.
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It's pretty weird that there are still feather pillows.  It seems like one of those things you'd hear they used in the 1700's.  But in 2010?  Really?  The best we can do for a pillow filling is actual bird feathers?  We haven't figured out some synthetic substitute yet?
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I see very few movies, but in the last week, I've seen Despicable Me and Inception, both of which were deeply enjoyable.  My two favorite movie genres are probably animated movies and sci-fi thrillers.
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A friend sent me this yesterday.  It may have been better than both of the above movies.
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When I was a camp counselor in 2000, I asked one of my campers what his father's job was, and he said, "He's a boss."  What a dick.
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I feel like a d-bag writing "yup," and if I write "yep" then I look like an idiot because it's wrong, so I just avoid it in writing altogether, and only use it verbally.
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I was waiting for a friend on a street corner the other day and ended up watching this group of pigeons interact for like 10 full minutes, during which I noticed all of this social dynamic I had never noticed before when looking at pigeons.  There are blatant alpha males in the group who alternate between being intimidating dicks to the other dudes and trying to get laid by thrusting their bosom at the chicks.  The girls are totally uninterested and act very standoffish and bitchy.

Then some kid walked by and ran at the whole group to scare them and they all flew away and I came incredibly close to hitting him.
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 I have an iPhone 4 and all the critics are dumb.  It's a wonderful device.
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The one Mandarin phrase I retained from my time in China is "duo chao chiennnnnnn," or "how much does it cost?"  The problem is that if I don't pronounce it right, Chinese people have no idea what I'm saying.  But I like trying when I'm in a Chinatown Chinese restaurant, because it surprises the waiter that I know how to say anything at all.  It's a big gamble though—if it clicks with the waiter, he looks surprised, laughs, and says something back to me in Chinese.  I laugh, as if I understand what he said, and everyone I'm with thinks I'm funny and charming and worldly.  But if it doesn't click with the waiter, he looks at me like, "What's this dude's angle?" and everyone I'm with thinks I'm really embarrassing to be in public with, offensive, and dumb.  The stakes are high.

Further, I was in Chinatown with my 88-year-old grandfather for lunch the other day, and at the end of the meal he asked the waiter where the pineapple cubes were.  The waiter had no idea what he was talking about since they only serve pineapple cubes in made-for-Americans Chinese restaurants, which this certainly was not.  My grandfather had a minor tantrum, but he was partially appeased by the fortune cookie.
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I was bored in the airport recently, and to entertain myself, I decided to imagine that the little kids around me weren't actually kids, but rather miniature retarded adults.  I highly recommend trying it.
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I recently slipped into one of my trademark Wikipedia procrastination death spirals (the cousin of the YouTube procrastination death spiral), during which I read the full Wikipedia page of every one of the random presidents that no one knows anything about (Tyler, Arthur, etc.).  One thing that they have on each of the pages is the president's last words before his death.  I took note of these as I went along:

William Henry Harrison: "Sir, I wish you to understand the true principles of the government. I wish them carried out. I ask nothing more."

John Tyler: "I am going now, perhaps it is for the best."

James Polk: "I love you, Sarah. For all eternity, I love you."

Zachary Taylor: "I have always done my duty, I am ready to die. My only regret is for the friends I leave behind me."

Millard Fillmore: "The nourishment is palatable."

I stopped.  The nourishment is palatable?  For god's sake, Fillmore.  And this is what he looked like:


Not impressed.

I also noted that at the very end of James Buchanan's life, he proclaimed, "History will vindicate my memory" (referring to people thinking he sucked for failing to prevent the Civil War).  He was deeply wrong, as 150 years later, he's considered to be one of the three worst presidents ever.  

12 comments:

Eric S. said...

1/8 of US history! I'm 36 so my life is closer to 1/6 - Amazing. It really makes you realize how short a time the US has actually existed. I've always thought that Europeans visiting the US must laugh at our "historical" landmarks from the 17th and 18th century, when there are Midieval forts all over in Europe. Not to mention the Parthenon.

Mary said...

How can you not be impressed by Fillmore's hairstyle? I challenge you to affect such a coif . . .

Anonymous said...

that goat video is wondrously incredible and probably the funniest thing on the internet and also ever.

i knew about millard fillmore because i've recently read a book called looking for alaska, an otherwise unremarkable young-adult fiction book, in which the main character was obsessed with famous last words.
on a related note, oscar wilde, dying in a hotel room, said "either the wallpaper goes, or i do." which is awesome.

on a different note, what about toy story 3?

Anonymous said...

Do you think presidents plan their last words? They must be in a pretty bad place when they're saying their last sentence, and it's probably not the best time to be thinking up something eloquent. They have to plan them ahead, right?

Anonymous said...

Your blog is great because it's funny and makes me think.

Anonymous said...

the goat video..hahaha. the ibex reminds me of a cranky old man like clint eastwood in gran torino.

Anonymous said...

I'm infatuated with this blog.

Kurt Kuden said...

I laughed my ass off watching the high-larious minions.. bakpoi!bakpoi! haha

You never fail to amuse me haha good thoughts indeed!

Have a nice day tim!

Anonymous said...

go to part one of sports guy's mega-mailbag and read brandon's question (12th) and simmons' answer. do it right now.

stupid american idol/world cup. not the same thing and not even close to the same scale, but the principle applies.

Anonymous said...

No way you opened a 12-pack of paper towels, then went back to the store with the ripped plastic bag and returned the other 11.

Would be hilarious, though.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Tim.

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