You Are Now Free To Hang Yourself in an Airplane Bathroom

February 26, 2009

DALLAS, Texas – Amid a large post-Mardi Gras throng of travelers fleeing the Crescent City, I found myself late for my flight and used that as an excuse to not submit my Southwest frequent flyer number.

I say excuse because if you earn a free flight on Southwest, is that supposed to be some kind of reward?

For example, let’s say I redeemed my credits for a free flight to Dallas to watch my favorite women’s basetball team. It doesn’t matter if I’m in Group A, B or C, because no matter where I sit, some rotund freak is going to come along and place himself right next to me in the middle seat.

There I am, got my aisle seat all picked out. I’m leaning towards the middle, and my right arm sticking out on the aisle, so it looks like two people are there, in an effort to protect a buffer seat between me and some seemingly normal random dude.

And the last guy on the plane is some hulking mass of humanity, who’s kinda sweaty, an majorly bulbous. And he sits down right in that empty seat.

My new stinky pal has his love-garage doors invading my personal space to the point where I have to lean over to not drown in his meaty flank. To his credit, he was gentlemanly enough to hold onto his shoulders so the full range of his girth did not suffocate me.

My back couldn’t even find the middle of the seat, it was on the edge of the seat, which is angled inward. The next 90 minutes turned the muscles in my back into a twisting coil akin to a can of worms of spasms I’ll be feeling tomorrow.

Satan runs this airline
Satan runs this airline

I lean forward, fire up the laptop and try to work. No room. I can’t type, I can’t move the cursor. I can’t comfortably sit. I hang over the armrest and spill out into the aisle and get hammered by a drink cart and sympathetic but powerless stewardess. I can’t lean my seat back — did I mention I’m in the very last row? And there’s a line forming for the bathroom, so I can’t even escape.

Finally, I realize I can lift my armrest using MacGyver-like tactics on its hinge, only to be told we’re beginning descent and I have to put the armrest down.

A free flight on Southwest (No, I didn’t redeem points for this) is no reward. It’s no-class ticket to hell. Sure, I’m getting somewhere for free, but sitting next to a rotund stranger who could suffocate me makes me think I’m better off hitchhiking if I need to go somewhere cheaply. (Sure, I might get raped or killed, but hey, at least there’s a sense of adventure!).

I do feel violated, though! This communist airline, where no person’s seat priority is beneficial, ensures the discomfort of all passengers, demeans us with a cattle-call lineup to board, and demoralizes us to flashbacks of the fifth-grade bus (assuming everyone in your fifth grade class were strangers with hyper-active pituitary glands). And that’s all before take off.

The experience reminds me of how I hate romantic comedies, where the cute quirky chick meets Jerry McGuire on a plane, or Tom Cruise sits next to Meg Ryan. Do I have a hot female stranger plop down next to me? No, I’ve had one flight ever sitting next to an attractive girl who I didn’t know before getting on the plane (she was happily married to the guy sitting on the other side of her).

The next time I fly Southwest, I better have a hot, thin, 25-29 year old, single redhead who’s attracted to witty, immature goofy-looking men, sit down next to me and say “Do you mind if I sit here?” while carrying a brown paper bag full of deli-meats and french bread. “Sorry if I take up room with all my stuff here, but I’m making sandwiches. Would you like one?” Is that too much to ask?

Probably. But after all the emotional and physical torture Southwest has inflicted upon me, they owe me an introduction to Miss Awesome and the future Mrs. Kev-Fu.

Lundi Gras Stream of Conciousness

February 22, 2009

First off, my superstition will probably become neurotic behavior now. We won again, giving us wins over the top two teams in the conference this weekend, thanks in no part to me wearing the same wardrobe ensemble for both games. Looks like my packing for next weekend is incredibly easy, since we’re in must-win mode from here on out.

My condolances to all of you reading this at work. You see, in New Orleans, we get these two days off to enjoy drunken debauchery before Lent. I’m not sure why, and quite frankly, I don’t care. The fact is, I’m sleeping in and going to a massive city-wide party this afternoon instead of sitting behind my desk and having meetings. Lather, Rinse, Repeat Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, I leave town. How about a half-day work week? Sometimes being me doesn’t suck so bad.

Why is everyone making a big deal about how the government bailed out banks like Citi, but Citi has a multi-million corporate sponsorship deal with the Mets new stadium?
What about all the other bank-sponsored sports venues? Or Ford Field, General Motors Place; or American Airlines Center, AA Arena, United Center, Delta Center, Southwest Arena. etc, etc.
Or the billions Ford and GM spend on racing every year?

Oscars: Funny how Benjamin Button wins all kinds of awards when it’s the exact same plot as Forest Gump. Funny how Heath Ledger won for Dark Knight and Jack Nicholson didn’t get crap for Batman. Amazing how you become a genius the second you die. Musicals are really bad and stupid.

Nice job by Arizona State fans storming the floor when they are ranked #14 in the country and beat an unranked Arizona team. Wake is off the hook for worst-court-storming this season.

I really have this urge to spread crappy 80s lyrics to everyone. I think I’m just going to start posting random songs on the facebook walls of people for no reason.

Superstition vs Neurotic Behavior

February 20, 2009

So my team won its last game. I was wearing a blue shirt with green tie because I couldn’t remember the last time I wore that and we’d be losing lately.

We beat the conference leader. So now, I’m thinking “wearing again Saturday.”

I’m not a superstitious person. I’m more “aware of trends” than thinking the shirt will bring us good luck. It’s more “we lost in this, and won in that, so let’s go with that.”

Neurotic behavior would be burning any shirt that I’m wearing in a loss. Or not being able to function if I don’t wear a shirt we won in.

I don’t base my wardrobe necessarily on what happened, but it’s my nature to notice trends (heck, it’s my job. We’re 12-2 when three or more players reach double-figure scoring in a game, and 3-10 when they don’t. Why wouldn’t I know that we’re 2-0 when I accidentally bring the volleyball gray sweatpants instead of my basketball gray sweatpants on the road?)

I haven’t discarded the basketball sweats because we need to win. I’m just saying, can’t hurt if I wear the volleyballs.

Some people can’t do common things like drive the easiest way to work, because there are train tracks. And if they got caught behind a train and then won the game, they’d have to stop and wait for the train every day.

That’s neurotic behavior.

I know my shirt isn’t going to influence the game Saturday. But four more hours of the blue shirt and green tie can’t hurt, can it?

Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good

February 20, 2009

I am getting way too good at helping women. I should run a business where I can at least get paid for getting my female friends out of awkward situations or parlay faux attention from me into attention from other males.

In the past month, I’ve been driver and protector of drunk girl getting hit on all night on her birthday (I set a personal-best with 11 cock-blocks); posted fraudulent flirty facebook posts to make a friend’s boy toy jealous;  had a pair of pretend conversations with someone so she could avoid talking to a creepy guy; called over multiple members of my basketball team so they could avoid a creepy, drunk and overly affectionate random Venezuelan at the airport; taken one for the team (literally) and talked to said Venezuelan for 10 minutes longer than I wanted to so they could clear security and avoid him.

One of my closest co-workers and I have discussed a system of body-language cues to display so I know “he’s okay” or “come rescue me.”

(Of course, my all-time best moment may have been when I was serving as protector/cock-blocker for a former co-worker who’s husband had not yet joined her in town after she took the job. I’m standing there helping her avoid creeps while she’s dancing and some guy comes running up and just wraps his arms around her waist suddenly from behind. I step up and cock my arm to punch the dude, and my friend grabs my arm. The dude turns to face me, and I see it’s her husband who surprised everyone by showing up at 1 a.m. He thanks me for the fact that I would punch a guy who did that to his wife.)

This could be lucrative. I think the ads on TV would be very Ghostbusters-esque and quite effective. Although my swarmy secretary may spend more time in fake conversations with me than signing up clients.

Aside from my real job, not much else has been going on in my life. So it’s basically boring.

I suppose I could do a Mardi Gras post, but I’ve been too busy with my job to actually enjoy any of Mardi Gras; as has been the case for the last two years.


February 18, 2009

I’m going to write a movie about a crazed maniac obsessed with destroying every childhood memory someone has.

The villain will go through the past of the main character (let’s call him “Kev-fu”), find out the things the “Kev-fu” loved growing up and twist them into unrecognizeable things. Desecration of his memories, if you will.

Hmmm. ‘Desecration’ might be a good name for the movie.

Naturally, I’ll name the villain “Michael Bay” because he’s destroyed Transformers (and is about to go back and do it again), and now Friday The 13th (granted, part VIII, Jason Goes To Hell, Jason X and Jason vs Freddy already ruined the series, but at least the originals were untainted).

What’s next, Bay? Gonna make a movie about my kindergarten girlfriend where someone knocks her up in the sandbox in front of me?

Well-Rounded, Timely Structure

February 17, 2009

Everyone has nuances in their life that are slightly neurotic: most of us hang our clothes facing the same way. Some people have more severe ones than others. One of mine is that I never set my morning alarm on a round number. It’s always something funky. I’m not sure why, that’s just how I’ve always done it.

My associate is the opposite, she always sets hers at something ending in 5 or 0. I thought that was typical of her. Just as my habit is typical of me: When I need to be somewhere at 9, I’m usually a couple minutes early after setting my alarm for, let’s say 8:21. Whereas most people set their alarm for a round number assuming that their 17-minute commute is “about 15 minutes” and it takes them 20 minutes to get ready.

Then it hit me: my associate is pretty responsible, well more organized and structured in her life than I am. Maybe the random ‘flying by the seat of my pants’ behind on everything chaos I’m experiencing can be tied to that.

So I decided to bring about change in my life by trying to step outside the comfort zone and set my alarm for a number ending in 5 or 0.

I decided that since I didn’t need to get coffee before a 9 am meeting, I didn’t need an extra four minutes and could sleep in until 8:25.

So far today’s been a good day. No stress, worked ahead on a couple things, etc. Of course, it’s been stress free because I dominated yesterday and got ahead on a ton of stuff, and have no meetings, no deadlines and no stupidity come up yet, so I can’t really chalk that one up to the 5.

Especially considering that this morning, I suddenly work up worried that I had overslept, and when I looked at my clock it was 8:21.

I Feel Better About Myself

February 14, 2009

I thought I had crazy thoughts and weird dreams and a hyper-active imagination. I found out today I know someone who… oh I can’t do it justice. I’ll let her explain:

“One time I dreamt a full musical. I still remember the songs and the dances. It was about giving blood:

(sings) ‘Donate Blood. Blood’s Everywhere

…and I was so scared to donate blood. Then I saw it wasn’t scary and said ‘that was fun, let’s do it again!’ In a stage voice.”

In my 10 minute conversation with her, I came up with more than enough material to launch a

Like when she was willing to do the choreography that goes with her musical (in the middle of the airport gate), I pulled out the flip camera (the sole reason for having it). And she immediately stopped saying “I don’t want posterity to find out.”

Common Sense

February 11, 2009

US Soccer moved the game vs Mexico from Los Angeles to Columbus so they could get a better pro-US crowd. Smart move. That’s common sense. (They didn’t play Chris Rolfe, that’s not common sense).

The fallout from that move was the game time changed from 10 pm ET to 7 pm, on ESPN2.

This is a problem. Dayton-Xavier were playing at 7 pm ET on ESPN2. So the World Wide Leader moved UD-X to ESPN Classic, and… as a show of good faith, re-broadcast the game tape-delay on ESPN2 at 11 pm ET.

Now, on Sunday, I watched the Tulane women’s game on tape-delay on CBS College Sports. I was at the game, so I knew who won and was watching to hear what the announcers said about us. But the ticker at the bottom showed the final score of the game dozens of times through out the broadcast. That’s not common sense.

But watching X-UD, I don’t want to know the score. I want to watch it like it’s live. Maybe ESPN2 has the common sense to take it off the ticker. I won’t know because I had the common sense put tape over the bottom of my screen at our hotel:

No spoilers
No spoilers

The 25 Things Note

February 8, 2009

Ok, people keep asking for it, here it is:

1. I don’t “care” when people I don’t know die, but I get misty-eyed at things like walk-ons score on senior day, a web-designer dresses for an NHL game, or Indira Kaljo’s performance Sunday.

2. I’m excited for Valentine’s Day this year. Not because of love, but because I can’t wait to use the phrase “A parliment of Owls” in my recap at Rice next Saturday. It will be grammatically correct usage of a collective noun.

3. People roll their eyes and call me crazy when I rant and rave about college RPIs. But I must know what I’m talking about, because the only time someone’s ever listened to me and helped me schedule, the team finished #9 in the country in RPI (I take no credit for their wins and losses; only their SOS rating).

4. I need to go grocery shopping. Badly. As in, I haven’t been to a grocery store for a cart full of food since I got back from evacuating for Gustav. Seriously. I’ve had plenty of baskets, but no cart.

5. I have a hyper-active imagination. You knew this.

6. I refuse to buy presents for people who aren’t relatives unless I’m trying to make out with that person. Or am extremely guilted into it by someone getting me presents for a few years in a row.

7. I have a friend with the same last initial, same occupation and same birthday of April 4.

8. I don’t sing in the shower. My car is another story.

9. I love the sound that spring style door stopper makes when you step on it.

10. I like my coffee like I like my women: Hot, Strong, and Slightly Bitter.

11. My amp goes to 11.

12. I need closure. I can’t handle having unresolved things that I have to wait for.

13. As most of you know, I used to watch Felicity, and I don’t feel like less of a man for it.

14. I have to sit facing the door. I still expect Dave Sliker and a water gun to come bursting through that door any second now.

15. I think that the Proust Questionnaire would be a much better facebook trend, and will switch to it now:

16. My favorite word is “pimp-slap”

17. My least favorite word is either “no,” “pimple” or “blog”

18. What turns me on creatively is caffeine; Emotionally is someone being wrong; Spiritually is praising the Lord through song.

19. What turns me off creatively is mornings; Emotionally is clinginess; Spiritually is when people who call themselves by the same name I do (Christian) do things that reflect poorly on Christ and Christians

20. I love the sound that spring style door stopper makes when you step on it.

21. I hate the sound of my neighbors arguing when I’m trying to sleep.

22. My favorite curse word begins with an F.

23. Other than my own profession, I’d like to be a guy in an action movie who says “Hey! You’re not supposed to be here!” then gets beaten/killed by the movie’s hero (like Jack Bauer). Or I just want to be Jack Bauer.

24. A profession I wouldn’t want to try is anything involving a cubicle.

25. If Heaven exists, when I arrive at the Pearly Gates, I would like to hear God “Come in, my good and faithful servant.”

Basketball Thoughts from the Couch

February 7, 2009

I need to learn how to sleep. After messing up my neck/back/shoulder sleeping a month ago, now my other side is all jacked up.

It’s made today’s college hoops smorgasbord painful to watch, even though I love watching it. Hoops from 11 a.m. CT til 1 a.m. CT. That’s how it should be. Need more A-10, but at least the Tulane men were on.

Thoughts from a day on the couch:
Who do I have to kill at CBS College Sports for listing St. Bonaventure on the ticker as “ST BON” and not “ST BONA” ? What the hell?  When some monkey in production said “hey, what’s the abbreviation for St. Bonaventure?” Someone else should have said “What was on Bob Lanier’s jersey?” Bob, find out who’s ass you need to put your size 22 up if they don’t get that fixed.

The SEC is freaking terrible. Auburn-Tennessee was awful today.

Tulane needed that game at Marshall today. Argh. They had a 16-point lead at one point and lose in OT. That smarts.

The Bonnies (12-10) won. So glad we’re a double-digit win program again. They have a tendency to take a 12-point lead with four minutes to go and make it a 3-point lead with one minute to go.

Dayton (21-2) is at Charlotte tomorrow. How Dayton isn’t ranked I have no idea.

I don’t think the Big XII is very good, either. This is ridiculous how many undeserving teams get tons of credit. (UCLA and Notre Dame are the poster boys for this season in this regard. Also, any of the 37 Big East Teams not named UConn, Pitt, Louisville or Marquette.)

Memphis vs Gonzaga on now. Go ‘Dogs!

In case anyone cares, my 65-team field as of right now would be:
Big East (8) Connecticut, Marquette, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Syracuse, West Virginia, Georgetown
ACC (7) North Carolina, Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, Florida St, Virginia Tech, Miami (FL)
Big Ten (6) Michigan St, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio State, Northwestern
Big XII (6) Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor
Pac 10 (5) UCLA, Washington, USC, Arizona St, Cal,
SEC (3) Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky
A10 (2) Xavier, Dayton
C-USA (2) Memphis, UAB
MWC (2) Utah, BYU
WCC (2) Gonzaga, St. Mary’s
MAC (2) Miami (OH), Buffalo
Am East (1) Boston U;
Atlantic Sun (1) East Tenn St;
Big Sky (1) Weber St
Big South (1) VMI
Big West (1) CS Northridge
CAA (1) George Mason
Horizon (1) Butler
Ivy (1) Princeton
MAAC (1) Siena
MEAC (1) Morgan St
MVC (1) Illinois St
NEC (1) Robert Morris
OVC (1) UT Martin
Patriot (1) American
SoCon (1) Davidson
Southland (1) Stephen F. Austin
Summit (1) North Dakota St
Sun Belt (1) Western Kentucky
SWAC (1) Alabama St
WAC (1) Utah St

The SEC deserves TWO at best, and at least one of the Big East teams don’t belong either (Syracuse, I’m looking in your direction). But the problem is no one has stepped up among the other conferences to take their place. Last season, the MVC and the A-10 had a plethora of candidates; and the CAA chipped in a couple. This year, no one stands out. I suppose if Butler, Davidson and Siena don’t win their tournaments, there’s three of the big boys to kick out.