The Five Stages of Loving a Black Eyed Peas Song

Some of you may not realize this, but I hate pop music.  Well maybe not hate, I mean, I’ll sing along to Katy Perry in the car, and I’ve been known to do a mean Hit Me Baby One More Time at karaoke.  But no matter how hard I try, I just can’t get into Black Eyed Peas music.  And I mean ok, maybe I have a couple of their songs on my phone from long ago when I was young and naive, but lately their music is just terrible.


But here is the kicker.  Given enough time, even I being incredibly curmudgeon and snarky, will eventually find myself danicng and singing the latest BEP song.  At first I was worried about how I managed to let that acoustic anarchy into my mind, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there is a process to enjoying what they call “music”.  And so I give to you my 5 step process for coming to terms with enjoying the Black Eyed Peas.

1. Denial.  

Lets face it, we’ve all been there.  Driving in our cars, and you start to hear a cover of Time of my Life and you are so overcome with shock and disgust that you almost ram the Carolla driving in front of you (and if you know my opinions on Corollas you’d know that I consider this an upgrade for the Corolla).  And so the only recourse you have is to immediately change the station to something more calming and just keep telling yourself  that those songs from your childhood are still pure and Baby still isn’t in a corner.

2. Anger

Sadly, you can’t keep changing the stations because lets face it, even though I live in the Live Music Capital of the World, the radio choices are few and far between.  At some point every other radio station is going to be at commercial and the only musical choice is McArthur Park on the local BoB FM station or the pop station playing BEP.  There is no winning in this situation.  And so you sit there listening to the music, cursing the traffic on Mopac for moving at 10 mph because people can’t figure out how to merge.

3. Bargaining 

So there you are, having come to terms with the fact that the BEP have in fact ruined a song from your childhood and you are no longer really angry about it.  But now you face a new problem.  The song is played all the time.  There is no escaping it.  In the car.  At the gym. At the grocery store.  In the waiting room of your therapist.  No matter where you go, the siren call of Fergie follows you.  And so I find myself begging and pleading for something, anything to take this song off the top forty list.  I’ve even asked for a new Ke$ha song just to escaping the beat boxing of apl. de. app.

4. Depression

So there I am in my car on a hot Friday afternoon, my only music choice after a long day at work (doing important rocket scientist things) invariably is BEP.  Every other station is on a commercial break.  There is no hope.  My life is in despair.

5. Acceptance

And then one day, there I am and a BEP song comes on the radio.  I don’t try to change the station.  I don’t get angry.  I don’t wish for anything else and I don’t feel sad for my situation.  Rather I find myself singing along and maybe even dancing a bit (more like rhythmically flailing about).  And this is how I come to enjoy hits such as 


It works every time.


Modern living…

I just got a Samsung Captivate which lets me blog from anywhere.  I wish this meant I would update more, but I’m pretty sure I won’t.

Here’s a space filler….

I haven’t posted in a while, mostly due to being very busy at work, and the fact that having a girlfriend severely reduces my ability to snark.  So I thought I would just throw up some stuff I’ve done in photoshop.  Mind you I’m not a graphic designer or anything so most of these are just practice images.  Click on the thumbnails below the slideshow for a bigger image.

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Why nerds should be in charge of casting…

I love comic books.  There I said it.  I’ve loved them since I was a kid.  I grew up on a steady diet of Batman, Superman, and Spiderman.  (And just so you know, Superman lets Batman beat him)  Anyways, because these characters have been a part of my life for so long, I always feel a sense of apprehension whenever a new comic book movie comes out.  There have been some really good ones that really take the genre up a notch: Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, Superman II, Spiderman 2, Iron Man 2, and X-Men 2.  Maybe it’s a sequel thing.  Of course there have been terrible comic book movies: Joel Schumacher’s Batman, X-Men 3, The Spirit, anything after Superman II (I mean Supes went from fighting Kryptonian criminals on par his level of power to going up against Richard Pryor and a cheap knock off of HAL 9000).

So, you could say I was a little nervous to hear about all the Marvel Comics being made into movies, with the ultimate goal being an Avengers movie.  Now this is pretty ambitious since it requires locking in talent from the beginning and also creating a shared universe takes a lot of overseeing to make sure all the pieces line up just right.  Thankfully, my fears have been relieved when I heard Joss Whedon was going to direct the movie.  If there is anyone who can master all the subtle nuances of superheroics, it is Mr. Whedon.

Of course, this got the inner Whedon-verse nerd in me all excited as well.  The thing about Joss Whedon is that once you work with him, you are pretty much on his speed dial whenever he has a new part come up.  Don’t believe me?  Watch Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse, and Dr. Horrible and see how many of the same people he uses.  (By the way, I’m thinking about making a big interconnected diagram of all the actors and actresses who worked with him and seeing how convoluted the web grows)

Now I know that the big three have been cast (Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America), but lets remember the Avengers are a huge team who greatness stems from the secondary characters.  This is where my brain goes into casting couch mode (yeah I know these roles have already been cast, but dammit, it’s my blog I’ll do what I want to).  Here are who I’d like to see as the various Avengers:

First off, Let’s start with the Hulk.  So far they’ve gone through two big name actors trying to make the character work.  I suggest that Joss Whedon call up David Boreanaz.  After all the Hulk is a character full of brooding and inner conflict, always afraid to show his full power because he might lose control.  Come on, you mean to tell me that someone who played the character of Angel for eight years couldn’t pull this off?

Next, Hawkeye.  This is a character who is good with weapons and always has a quick pun at his command.  This would be the perfect role for Nathan Fillion.

For the Vision, I think the best choice would be Adam Baldwin.  He’s tall and imposing, and doesn’t talk to much.

Ms. Marvel needs a strong blonde who looks good in a black bathing suit.  And that should be Sarah Michelle Gellar.  Besides, she hasn’t done anything lately.

Quicksilver needs to have someone who is thin and has bleach blonde hair.  James Marsters fills the role perfectly.

And who wouldn’t love to see Eliza Dushku in the Spiderwoman uniform.

The hardest part of the movie is who will play the Husband and wife team of Ant-Man and Wasp.  You need two people who can pull off smart and slightly dorky while still pulling off a touch of the Thin Man routine.  I’d say give it to Neal Patrick Harris and Jewel Staite.

And finally, you can’t have Quicksilver without throwing in his sister, the Scarlet Witch.  I think the only person left in Joss’s reservoir who could pull off that role would be Christina Hendricks.  Because everyone would love to see Christina Hendricks dressed like this.:

Me and my coworkers…

This took place today on our way back from Chilis (of which I am now the mayor of according to foursquare, go me).  This conversation started out with my male colleague stating how these long days kind of freak him out and that his parents are taking an Alaskan cruise where the sun wouldn’t set until 11pm.  From there it just kind of went askew…

Female Coworker: I would think that having the sun up until 11 would really mess you up.

Me: I dunno, I think it’s kind of like in Vegas where the casinos don’t have any windows and they keep the lights on bright all the time.

Male coworker: “Hey Honey, remember that time we took the kids to Vegas and let them stay up all night?”

Me: I bet it’d be pretty easy to get a babysitter in Vegas, you could hire a hooker.

Female Coworker: You can’t hire a hooker to watch your kids in Vegas.

Me: Why not?  I’m sure some of them have plenty of experience with kids.

Female Coworker: Yeah, but when the second hooker shows up to go out with you, won’t the first hooker’s feelings get hurt?

Me: Hookers don’t have feelings.  They’re dead inside because their fathers didn’t love them.

Definitely not one of man’s better ideas…

I’ll be there first to say that I don’t know much about women, however clichéd it sounds.  Okay that’s not true, I know plenty about women, but I still can’t explain their behavior, again it sounds clichéd but it’s true.  There have been many times where I’ve said something or done something to piss off a member of the fairer sex and I’ll have no idea what I did.  But there is one thing that I know, and I know well, and that is that a guy should never, never, never attempt to be a smart-ass during that time of the month.

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s now an app called ‘Red Alert’ that lets guys track a woman’s period.  Let’s discuss this for a second shall we, ok guys huddle up.

Look, I know that as men, we are known to be tough and rugged and able to do all sorts of manly things like chop down trees or kill small woodland creatures.  We can install new plumbing and easily smash any spiders that happen to wander into our general area.  And yet we turn squeamish whenever a woman tries to even mention what naturally occurs in her body once a month.  It’s like we’re a bunch of elephants and menstruation is a little mouse.  We will run up the nearest tree just to get away from it.

Yeah, this is pretty much how guys see it.

I know as men we want to try to fix things, it’s in our nature.  Whether it’s a computer, a tv, or a toaster, we’ll fiddle with it till we find a solution.  But guys, women aren’t broken, we don’t need to fix it.  Especially if your idea of fixing it involves having a freaking app that will alert you when to leave town.

Did no one try to think this through?  What happens if your girlfriend maybe had a bad day at work and while you’re holding her to console her you check your iphone and say something idiotic along the lines of, “Honey, you’re only acting like this because your period’s about to start.”  I’m pretty sure no jury in the country would convict your girlfriend for murdering you for that one.  (Well, maybe Texas.)

Or, if you’re having an argument with your girlfriend and you take a second to check your phone to see if that little devilish feminine symbol is on your home screen.  I’m sorry I won’t help you, you dug your own grave.  Look, I’m not saying you need to walk around on egg shells or give your girl a steady supply of dark chocolate for 5 days (but I’ve been told that’s still not a bad idea) from my limited interaction with women all they want is maybe for just do a few extra chores, maybe give them an unsolicited back rub, or in my own experience be handy with a blender and some margarita mix.  Just for the love of all that is holy, don’t just go blaming everything she does on her hormones!

So women, I would just like to apologize on behalf of all men out there.  We are idiots and don’t really understand female anatomy.  And to make amends I made an app that women can use to let them know whenever their boyfriend is being a dumbass.

only $1.99 at the app store!

But I’m pretty sure your phone would die because this app would always be running.

At this point dealing with the TSA will be the relaxing part…

On Thursday I leave for San Diego for a family wedding which means that at some point I will have to pack for this trip.  Unlike my work trips, I’ll actually be checking a bag so I’m not under the usual stress of figuring out how to maximize a wardrobe with limited articles of clothing.  However, this sadly doesn’t remove the fact that I am probably one of the most neurotic packers on the face of the planet.

I just spent about half an hour writing a packing list in my phone to make sure that I pack everything that I will need.  This also includes making sure that I have the necessary articles of clothing to meet any unforseen situation that may occur.  This is my packing list in all its glory as it appears in my phone:

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Hair stuff
  • Face wash
  • Deodorant
  • Razor/Electric Shaver
  • Tweezers
  • Suit
  • Socks (black, brown, blue, running, white)
  • Boxers (4)
  • Jeans (3) (Not to include the pair I wear on the flight)
  • Undershirts (5)
  • Shirts (3 button down, 4 t-shirts, 1 polo)
  • Shoes (black, brown, sandals) (Running shoes worn on the flight)
  • Sleepwear
Carry on:
  • mp3 player
  • Books (2)
  • Sunglasses
  • Charger
  • Camera (with charger)

Here’s the thing that is really bugging me.  I know that I have accounted for all scenarios that will most likely take place.  I know what I’ll wear on the flight there.  I know what I’ll wear for the family lunch and for when we do the touristy things.  I know I’ve got something in there for going out on the town.  I have analyzed, re-analyzed, and over-analyzed my entire packing list.  I can see every item in my head perfectly.  And yet somehow I just know that I am forgetting something.

Tales from the Army…

So, I’ve been back from the Army for a while now and if there is one thing I’ve learned during my time in the Army it is that you will get some good stories.  These stories range from me telling a drill sergeant to fuck off to one of my battlebuddies getting a new toy and almost falling out of formation because of it (she’ll really hate me when I tell that one).  But I thought I would share some stories about one of the NCOs I encountered at AIT.  He’s not in the Army anymore, but for his sake I’ll just call him SGT I (mostly because I can’t remember how to spell his name).

SGT I was from Puerto Rico.  He reminded me of a muppet who sounded like Ricky Ricardo.  All SGT I wanted to do was become a drill sergeant, however he had an injury that prevented him from ever becoming one.  So lucky us, he got stuck in Middle of Nowhere, Alabama, bitter, and with a chip on his shoulder.  He was the strictest sergeant there.  Mind you we were training to work in the Aviation branch of the Army which is the closest we could get to being in the Air Force.  Lets just say that Aviation is known for being the most Hooah of Army branches.

On the morning after my first night there after I had made my bed and had gone to morning chow I came back to find that my bed had been trashed by SGT I.  And what pray tell was my grave infraction I committed to deserve this.  Apparently my hospital corners were wrong.  Now I tried to tell him that was how I was told to make my bed in Basic, but apparently SGT I knew more about how soldiers are trained than my own drill sergeants.  But since I was new he let me off with just a warning.

SGT I was always going on about how we needed make sure we (and I’m going be using a lot of his quotes here, just imagine Desi Arnez saying it) “do the right thing” otherwise “there could be a dark cloud coming” and then we could expect “to get an Article 15”.  Now an Article 15 is also known as disrespecting a noncommissioned officer.  It’s pretty much a catch all that can be used whenever an NCO want to make you his bitch, but generally speaking most NCOs don’t want to deal with the paper work involved with it.  Not SGT I, he loved it.  He would hand them out for wearing the wrong socks or not yelling loud enough during PT.  He was in short, a complete dick.

SGT I loved to tell us that there was a dark cloud coming.  Whenever we didn’t measure up to his standards there would be a dark cloud coming.  His inability to call cadence during a march, it was our fault and there would be a dark cloud coming.  Always a dark cloud coming, blah, blah, blah…

As I said earlier, we were in the middle of nowhere in Alabama on a pretty tiny base so there wasn’t a whole lot to do but on Saturdays there was a local “church” that would take some of us down to Destin, Fl to hang out at the beach.  So a large group of us decided that we wanted to get away from Ft Rucker for the day.  I’ll fast forward through what happened at the beach because that’s a completely different story.  What I will tell you is that none of us put sunscreen on that day.  We were completely burned.  Well I was mostly burned.  Somehow my chest hair managed to provide a protected shield and blocked some of the sun from burning my entire chest.  The only way to describe it would be as if I were a superhero whose costume was bright red but my chest symbol was entirely white and covered in dark black chest hair.

Anyways, on the way home from the beach I made sure to get some aloe from Walgreens.  That night I made sure to slather on a healthy dose of aloe all over my sunburned body (except for the giant white spot on my chest).  My roommates and our next door neighbors also used some of my aloe (we were all on the trip together).  So the next morning we got up and went to chow.  One nice thing was that since we had been there for a while we didn’t have formations on Sunday mornings and since we had to sleep in our PT clothes, it meant we could roll out of bed and then go grab food without much effort.  So after breakfast I go back to my room to slather on more aloe and the rest of my friends join me.

Here is the scene, 6 guys in their mid 20s all with their shirts off rubbing aloe on each other’s backs.  It was pretty much a full on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell violation.  So while we were slathering and rubbing each other and giggling (it tickled), SGT I walks in to do a room inspection.  Luckily my buddy Capt America had the wherewithal to call At Ease when SGT I walked in.  Capt America, mind you walked right past a full bird colonel without saluting, only acknowledging him by saying “How’s it going Sir?” (again it’s a story for another time)

I can only imagine what was going through SGT I’s mind when he walked in on our little Turkish bath house that Sunday morning.  Judging by his face it was equal parts revulsion and titillation.  But he quickly covered up whatever he was feeling and threatened to give us Article 15s for getting sunburns.  The guy was a dick.

I realize this is starting to get long, so I end this by telling you how the saga of SGT I ends.  After we got back from our 3 day field training, we had started hearing rumors about SGT I being involved with one of the other AIT students (a big no-no) and actually assaulting her.  Added to that was when our company commander told SGT I to call his wife and tell her why he was in trouble with the UCMJ he refused and tried to run out.  None of the command staff would discuss the issue but we did have a formation where our company commander talked to us about discipline and doing what is right.  And all I could think about was that a storm was blowing in at the time and that indeed there was a dark cloud coming.

Truth in advertising…

So, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.  Sadly my life has been busy and it’s hard trying to think of funny stories to write up.  So I thought I’d just throw this one out there.

I’ve had a bout of bad luck dating lately, so I thought I’d give online dating a try and see what would happen.  Take a look at my profile (click on the thumbnail).

For some reason I haven’t gotten too many responses.

Hug an engineer, we don’t smell (mostly)…

Engineers haven’t had the best PR as of late.  the nut job who flew his private plane into a building here in Austin and this new guy who shot two Pentagon security guards were both engineers.  Also, it seems that many terrorists we capture or kill have backgrounds in engineering.  And lets be honest here engineers aren’t exactly known for being all warm and fuzzy to begin with.

Sadly we tend to be gruff, manic, obsessive compulsive types given to extremes in personality.  We can be a group that would forgo interpersonal interaction if it meant we could solve a challenging puzzle.  And we can be kind of scary looking seeing as how we avoid sunlight like a vampire (I’m talking about actual scary vampires not that whole sparkly Twighlight BS).  a a class of people no one ever really wishes they were us.  No one ever looks at an electrical engineer and says “That’s what I want to be when I grow up.”

Sure you might know some engineers who have a nice house and a family, but have you ever said that you wanted their life.  No of course not.  Normal people pity engineers for their poor social skills and inability to grasp concepts such as art and beauty (to which I mean not studying the design of the Enterprise to understand how the ship’s plumbing system operates).

But of course, we engineers provide a valuable service  for society at large.  We keep machines running, we design new computers.  We make new chemicals.  We design the airplanes that shorten the amount to time you have to spend with your siblings on family trips.  We keep society function.

For this I think we need a hug.  I’m not asking for much, just give us a hug, maybe thank us for helping you with that math problem you had years ago or for fixing your computer when it was acting all weird.  If you really want to thank us, you can buy us a beer (Lord knows we could use one), but a hug is always nice.

After the engineers have been thanked, we’ll work on making sure the lawyers get hugs as well (you know, once engineers figure out how to remove that slimy feeling you get after touching a lawyer).