February 2002 Blog Posts

The [Previously] Unwritten Rules of Bathroom Etiquette

I went to the Winter Hawks hockey game last night (we won) and as I was going about my business in the restroom after the game, an interesting thing happened.

Let me set the scene: There are five urinals in a row. There are people using the ones on each end. I decide to use the one in the middle, leaving an empty urinal between myself and each of the other two folks there.

Okay, so a fourth guy comes in and chooses the urinal to my left. Now there are (from left to right) two guys, me, an empty urinal, and another guy. Here's where the interesting thing happens.

The guy to my immediate left (we'll call him "Bob") starts talking to the guy to the far left (we'll call him "Jim"). It went something like this...

Bob: Some game, wasn't it?
Jim: Yup. Glad we won.
Bob (gesturing at the Jim's beer cup sitting on top of Jim's urinal): You piss in that cup yet?
Jim: Nope.
Bob: Good.

Now, Bob is doing his business with his wang in his left hand. He proceeds to cross over with his right hand, grab Jim's beer, and drink it, while he's peeing.

This prompted me to feel as though there are a few unwritten rules of bathroom etiquette (and general sanitary conduct) that probably need to be written down for the people in the cheap seats. I can't claim this list to be comprehensive, but here are some of the major ones:

  1. Don't talk to other people in the bathroom unless it's an emergency, like if you've caught yourself on fire.
  2. Don't bring food or drink in the bathroom. The reason it smells like piss is that there are little piss particles floating around in the air.
  3. If you absolutely must bring food and/or drink into the bathroom, by all means, feel free to leave them on the counter. Don't set it on top of the urinal unless you're trying to play a dirty prank on the owner of the food/drink.
  4. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom. This sounds fairly obvious, doesn't it? You'd be surprised. I think the "best" reason I've heard someone use for not washing their hands was: "If you keep your dick clean, you don't have to wash your hands." As if I trust the cleanliness level of someone else's dick. I think not.
  5. If you wipe and somehow miss the toilet when you try to throw the TP in, clean up after yourself. Maybe that'll teach you to aim a little better. (Don't forget to wash your hands!!!)
  6. Flush. Please, by all that is holy, especially after a particularly foul crap, flush the sonofabitch down. As entertaining as you find it, please believe you'll be eating that turd if I find you leaving it there and I'm the next to use the toilet.
  7. Aim. For the male population, this does require the use of your hand. Maybe both hands. Playing a handheld video game, reading a newspaper, or doing something else that might require you to remove your hand from the aiming position is not an option. I don't care how "under control" you might think you have things.
  8. Don't touch other people. Even if you've washed your hands. If you just took a leak and then stick your hand out to me to shake it, you're gonna be left hanging. This sort of goes hand in hand with the "no talking" rule. Wait until you're outside the hallowed hall.
  9. Try to minimize the noise level. Sure, sometimes that little extra "grunt" is needed to push the big guy out, but a constant, low-level moaning or other such unnecessary sound is, well, unnecessary. I don't want to be involved with your business any more than you want to be involved with mine.

I think that pretty much covers it. I'm sure there are others, and I may have to revise this post and add to the list, but for the most part, them's the rules.


Cirque du Soleil is bringing their Dralion show to Portland and I've got my tickets! Come June 14, I'll be sitting right up front (three rows back from center stage) taking in some of the most wonderful entertainment I've ever encountered.

I've seen the Mystere show at the Treasure Island, Las Vegas like three times now and it just gets better every time. I've also seen the Saltimbanco show, last time it was in Portland. I'm totally excited to see this latest arrival. When the big top goes up, I'll probably be chomping at the bit.

Barry, Buffy, Britney, and Bob

So I'll admit that I got the Barry Manilow greatest hits compilation, Ultimate Manilow. I bring that to light right here at the beginning because it implies immediately what you think it does - that I do, in fact, enjoy listening to Barry Manilow.

So do you. Admit it. The guy is, like, a total pop music icon. He's like Burt Bacharach - the guy has written songs you probably didn't even know were his. I learned a new one yesterday - Barry Manilow wrote the theme to American Bandstand. I didn't even know there were words to that song, other than just "Bandstaaaaand."

A friend of mine at work gave me the pish-tosh when I showed him the album. He was all, "I bet you listen to John Denver, too."

Hell, yes, I listen to John Denver. I have some very positive childhood memories associated with that guy. So do you. Who hasn't wanted a bed that was nine feet high and six feet wide? Saying John Denver sucks is like saying "I hate America and all it stands for." You just can't do it.

Moving on.

Buffy last night, as an episode, kinda sucked. Hang on before you bitch-slap me for that. Lots happened - we get some closure on the whole "Riley" issue, we get to see Buffy deal with the Spike affair, we see Xander and Anya come closer together, we witness the rebirth of the Buffy/Dawn sisterhood. As a series of events, it was great. I've been waiting for resolution on some of those issues. But as an episode... Suck City. It felt like a bunch of random events strung together like a cheap pearl necklace.

The Self-Made Critic has written a great review of the Britney Spears movie, Crossroads. Yeah, it's making money, but it sounds about as lame as we all thought it was going to be. The review isn't on his web site yet (I got it via the mailing list), but keep checking for it. It's great. (I love the Self-Made Critic. He's the first critic I've found that I almost always agree with.)

Finally, I got my copy of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. It's a 2-DVD set with loads of extras. I can hardly wait. I think I'm going to watch it at work today. That movie rocks.


So I joined this sort of ad-trading network to maybe get some traffic in here. It seemed like a keen thing. It's called BlogSnob. Basically, you just put a little Javascript dealie in your page (mine's in the column on the right) and you get a random text link to someone else's blog. In return, your blog will get advertised on other peoples' sites.

Hey, I figure it can't hurt. If anything, it's something fun and different.

Big Trouble in Little China *Action Figures*!

For those interested in such things, I found that N2 Toys is going to make Big Trouble in Little China action figures. That's pretty cool. Now if they'd just hurry up on their line of Fifth Element action figures...

Conversion Complete

Well, I've finally finished the conversion of my web site from the old "MHS Vortex" style to the new, improved "paraesthesia" weblog style. The Gen13 section has pretty much gone the way of the dodo, though I've left the last version of the links and collector's info pages up there so folks coming in can still refer to them if they really want to. The "tributes" sections are gone, too, since they really never got updated or anything. Hopefully you can just read about what I'm into or whatever in the blog.

Oh, and "AssKick!", as awesome of an idea as it was, is also gone.

I'm also pleased to announce that, in related news, I have MUCH more free space on my account now that all of that stuff is gone. Maybe now I can post some more interesting and changing items in the coming times.

"Party" on the Weekend

I'm sure others have experienced it, but it's always an event: The birthday "party" for a child.

I use quotes around "party" because it's really not a party so much as a "gathering," especially when the child is under, say, 15. In this case, I got the opportunity to hit the happenin' scene of the four-year-old birthday.

Now, let me be clear: The four-year-old in question (my girlfriend's niece) is actually quite cool (except for the fact that every time I see her she runs up and tags me in the nuts). She's a lot of fun to play with and when she visits I chase her around the apartment with a blanket over my head. (We like to call this "The Blanket Monster.")

However, much as I like the kid and my girlfriend Jenn's family, I've never been one for large gatherings, especially large gatherings of people I don't know where the primary function is a "potluck." That's exactly what we had this weekend.

Whoever came up with the idea of "potluck" was either a genius or a damn idiot. I don't even think I have to elaborate on that - if you've been to a potluck, you know what I'm talking about; if you haven't, there's no way I can possibly describe to you the interesting assortment of dishes that always seem to appear at these things.

Anyway, the "party" this weekend consisted of me eating sort of a potato-cheese concotion and some garlic bread (I've never been much for meatloaf, Vienna sausages, or salmon sandwiches in pita bread), watching the kid open gifts, and listening to people I don't know talk about other people I don't know in a way that makes me think that I should know what they're talking about even if I don't.

It was not quite as entertaining as the wedding reception I once went to that had the clown making balloon animals and the room full of handicapped kids doing the hokey-pokey. Maybe I'll have to write about that sometime, though I'll probably go to Hell for it.

FYI, that potato-cheese concotion stayed with me all the way through the hockey game I went to that night. Yowza.

And Jenn's dad didn't even wear his Shriner's fez. What the hell kind of fun is it without the fez?

Greymatter Templates Hacked!

I realize this probably is of interest to no one but me, but I was able to successfully hack the Greymatter back end and create a little script that will allow me to dynamically include the templates from Greymatter directly into my other HTML pages (provided, of course, SSI is enabled). Which means it'll be much easier to create my other pages and give them all a standard look. I added my resume and updated it to be current... looks pretty good. Now I just need to add back in some of the "about" pages and a fix-up of the Gen13 section and I'll be good to go.

There's Some Scary Stuff Out There

Of course, I see a lot of weird, funny, and (sometimes) disturbing stuff out there on the 'net, but WTF People has it all. Not all of it is that messed up; some of it is really funny. Give it a look. But not at work, if you get, like, tracked and stuff. :)

So Far, So Good...

Well, it seems thus far that the move to blogging has been fairly well accepted by the populace. I'm pretty stoked with it myself. Look, ma! I'm updating my site! Regularly!

As far as the major Amazon pimping that's taking place here... hey, it never hurts to make a little money on the side. Besides, if I'm diligent enough to keep up with it, you may see a link to something cool that you may just "have to have." I buy everything from Amazon, you may as well give in and do it, too.

Tricky Music and PS2 Mods

I have to admit an addiction to the game SSX: Tricky for the PS2. It is what is commonly referred to as the bomb.

That said, not only does the game have addictive play, but also the music kicks a lot of ass. So I went to the local Wherehouse and picked up a copy of the soundtrack. It rocks, but I have to say, I'm a little irritated that it's not, like, a two-disc set with all the music on it. Further, I particularly wanted to hear the music that plays during the little movie of the "Eddie" character dancing. Unfortunately, it's not on that CD. I guess I'll have to do a little research.

I discovered a PS2 mod chip that doesn't require soldering, but it still requires that I take the machine apart. I'm reluctant to do that, but I'm still considering it since you don't have to actually permanently modify the PS2 itself.

paraesthesia unleashed!

You've no doubt noticed the vast site overhaul that has rendered the content change seen here.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

After fighting with time and resource issues maintaining my old site, I decided it was time to take a different approach to web publishing.

The problem stems from the fact that updating my site in the standard "create an HTML page, upload it through FTP, then keep changing and updating the content" fashion wasn't working. For one thing, the very idea there requires FTP, which also, therefore, requires that my employer allow FTP through the firewall. Not gonna happen.

"Well, why didn't you update it from home, then?" you might ask. Because I'm online all day long at work, and the last thing I really want to do when I get home is dial in at 56-stupid-kbps and drag through HTML updates. Not fun.

But even beyond the ability/time issue, I noticed that my interests were changing. Gen13 became, well, fairly lame. It was a long, slow downhill path, but the people who were in from the beginning have got to admit that it doesn't have the edge it once did. They're slowly recouping the humor but humor alone just doesn't cut it.

So I decided to move from the manual HTML way of life into the now. The "blog."
Now, before you jump on my back like a rabid monkey, let me first say that I was [initially] reluctant to go this route. I mean, after all, it would pretty much mean the end to the Gen13 page and search engine. It would definitely mean the end to the fan art gallery. (There was some great art, there, by the way, but it ate so much space. I only get, like, five or ten megs on this account.)

Quite the downside, right? Then consider the upside: I can post stuff more often, with much less pain, now. Not that you all want to read my meaningless ramblings, but it is more fulfilling to post something that means something to me. And now that I can do it relatively painlessly, I can do it more often. Which means that you get more of me, more often.

Not only that, but I can set up other authors on the site, so eventually you may hear from the rest of my utterly tiny circle of friends.

And if you know me, or even if you don't, you have to understand one key thing about me: everything in my life is an ordeal. Going to the store and getting a candy bar can turn into an epic saga of good over evil. Hopefully I'll be getting some of that out to you all so you can see what excitement you're missing out on. I got lots to say about stuff. :)

I'll also try to put in some cool links to various interesting places so if you get bored while you're out surfing, maybe I can steer you to some of the less travelled (or, at least, more entertaining) corners of the web.

As of this writing, I've posted the blog, I've replaced the home page, and I've got my new domain - paraesthesia.com pointing to my home page. If you haven't seen the home page, check it out - I'm pretty pleased with it. Especially after not having done any Flash or graphics work for, oh, ever.

So, for better or worse, here it is. Hope you like it. So far, I do.