Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Springtime For Richard and Allergies

I know when it's springtime when my nose starts saying "Yo biyotch! Blow me!"

I'm miserable. I hate Spring. I hate this time of renewed life. And it's all because of my allergies. This incessant buzzing in my nose. This uncontrollable urge to sneeze. These blasted watery eyes.

Last year I was egging Spring to come because I was finally going to try Claritin. But it doesn't help me! I take the small pill and it does crap!

This season reminds me of when I wrote reports during college. I would sit at the computer, typing a six-page research paper at 3:00 am and think to myself, "After I finally finish this paper, some burglar better not come in here and murder me. If he wants to murder me, do it before I finish my paper!" The same goes for Spring. I'd better not get through this miserable season only to not make it shortly after.

Hmmm, this blog got a little dark.

All this week, Mother Routes and I have been taking care of the Oblong family pets because they are on a cruise in Mexico. Their dog, Sparky, is awfully lonely there, so I took the liberty of unofficially adopting him. Yes, I'll try to care for him and pet him and make him less lonely regularly, but like Quasimodo, he will have sanctuary with the Oblongs. Today I bought him some chicken snacks and a bone that cleans his teeth. Sparky really liked them and it made me feel great giving him some treats and attention, even if it did cost me $10+.

Lost tonight was simply amazing. The ending of the last episode ("Numbers") gave me chills because it was creepy. Tonight's episode ("Deus Ex Machina") gave me chills because it was, well, magical. I'm thinking aliens on the island, but not really. I can't wait to own it on DVD!

And in the news today, one of the plastinated joyesus fetuses was stolen from the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. I learned from a news article that many people protest the exhibit in other countries. I read that one protester even put a blanket over the plastinated pregnant lady's body to cover her up. So I'm not the only one not completely accepting of this disturbing display.

Donating my kidney to my father, not some scary German plastinators,


Saturday, March 26, 2005

Show Some Skin!

Just got back from the California Science Center and the infamous Body Worlds exhibit. It's a real butt buster! Well, not really, but I did see a lot of bare butts. It's a real eye-opener is what it is (and nothing like the picture I drew for you last time).

When I first walked in and saw that first specimen, I thought it was pretty outrageous. Then I saw the skeleton of a child and thought it was totally sick (in a troubling way)! It's a really disturbing show and not one that I would go to again, but I am glad that I went. And I'm thankful that I wasn't allowed to take pictures because it's not really something I'd like to remember too vividly.

The exhibit featured about a dozen or so bodies donated to science and displayed to show exhibitors the inner workings of our human anatomy. Most of the bodies were skinned entirely. There were some that were chopped up and displayed in cases; others cut up in cubes and the flesh and bone pulled out like a desk drawer; some just displayed specific parts of the body (such as only the muscle tissues or only the nervous system or only the blood vessels, etc); and some were chopped up vertically and spread apart ala the horse in the movie The Cell.

After the initial shock, it got easier to view the specimens as educational tools. The exhibit creators found creative ways to open up the cadavers (i.e. folding their skin and flesh away so you can see all the layers). One specimen that I found particular interesting, not because I was looking at the guy's inners, but because he had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. That was pretty wild.

The fact that they deskinned the specimens made it easier to stomach and stare at. There was one, however, that really creeped me out moreso than the others. It was of a man sliced up vertically into 6 or 8 pieces. Two of the segments showed his face and the look on it was horrific! The man had his eyes winced, shut tight, and his face was scrunched up as if he were in pain when they sent him through the buzzsaw. That was pretty jarring. They also had the body of a fat man cut the same way, but laid out across a table. I found it more sick and twisted rather than educational. Can you imagine if you went to one of these and you recognized someone you knew all chopped up? I think that'd just about make anyone have a heart attack. Throughout the exhibit, I found myself not okay with what was being done. But I guess that's science for you.

Another display showed a pregnant woman with the fetus still inside. You could count the little toes on the baby that were forming. That, albeit shocking, was actually pretty interesting.

All in all, this experience made it clear to me that I could never get into the medical field. Ellvin Kelvin has told me that he's had to deal with plenty of cadavers in his schooling. I'm just not cut out (pardon the pun) for that kind of stuff. And I don't understand really how anyone would want to donate their bodies to something like this. It seems like they're never in a position to rest in eternal piece. How do you know you won't need your body after you die? Maybe in the after life, we need them to be in a restful state; not hardened into plastic and propped up like a freak show. But hey, if you want to be the center of attention after death, they had a booth set up with information on how, yes, you, yourself can donate your body to be sliced and diced and deboned and put on display for all to gaze at your gonads.

So my question is, was this about science or more of a perverse art? I sure as hell prefer the kind that goes on a canvas. Spare me the creepy glass eyes and fingernails, thanks.

Turning vegan,


Monday, March 21, 2005

Routes Hits a Road Block

Well, it looks like I won't be jump-starting my website this weekend. Lee Leman pointed out to me that the California Science Center does not allow pictures for personal use in the Body Worlds 2 exhibit.

I also wrote to them a few days ago asking if pictures were allowed and this is what I got back:

"I'm sorry but no personal photography is allowed in the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. Only credentialed working media who have signed user agreements prior to entering are allowed to use cameras in the exhibit."

Okay, so I vehemently believe that my website is a reputable media source. What other site reviews both Proactiv and Chicken McNuggets? Where do I get credentialized, dammit!

Oh well. I'm pretty sure everything in the exhibit will look like this:

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There, I just saved you twelve bucks.

I don't even really want to go any more. Why go somewhere if you can't get a picture to prove you were there or prove you picked a corpse's nose? I guess I could learn something. I'd still rather just skin my own hobo...

Disappointed and pissed-off, or pissadointed,


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Slow Motion

Can you believe how much things have slowed down as of late?

I don't know about you, but I'm bored as cancer on a cucumber salad with chives. And you know how much those chives stink.

But to bring you up to date on this very boring Saturday, I am currently typing a blog. Not just any blog, but a doobie of a blog; one that should entertain and excite throughout the night. Yup. Yup. I like beans. Well, sometimes. When they're cooked right and not too dry and pastelike.

Boy, this is going well, ain't it?

I do have some news to report. I recently reserved some tickets to Wicked when the tour comes to Los Angeles at the Pantages. I've heard that it'll be really hard to get tickets the normal way when they go on sale to the public on April 3, so I got together a group and bought group tickets (which went on sale sometime last month). So basically, I'm rounding up over $2,000 for a show I've seen twice already! Well, it's a damn good show, so I don't mind. I'm happy that my family will get to see the show. Some of them have been dying to see it.

And in other news, I'll be going to that Body Worlds 2 exhibit at the California Science Center next Saturday. I've heard a lot about it and am really interested in seeing all the specimens. It's really rather creepy. They take a bunch of dead bodies and remove the skin. Then they place the cadavers in everyday poses so you can view how muscles and tissue move and stretch and stuff. I'm wondering if there will be a weird smell of rotting flesh or formaldehyde. We'll see though. And I freakin' promise that if I'm allowed to take pictures, I will put up a formal route on this visit. Mark my words.



Monday, March 14, 2005

Ev'wryone Wittle Bit Lacist

So I was on the bus recently and I sat in front of two African American chaps who were engaging in a stimulating conversation.

Being the nosy eavesdropper I am, I was very shocked by what I rudely overheard. In the following description, the word "Tigger" will be used in place of a word that I dare not repeat.

Here's what I heard:

"Yo tigger, that tigger was so f***in' tigger that when she ate tigger food tigger man, I was tigger like hatin' and I told the tigger that tigga sh** tigger. Tigger man tigger food tigga."

Yeah, I'm not overexaggerating here. I don't know why they have to use that word so much. They were using it so much that even I was offended.

This world can be so retarded, I swear.

Clinkin' clink motha clink clink,


Saturday, March 12, 2005

"Work and Play Are Never Okay to Mix the Way You Do" - Jimmy Eat World

Vacation's over. Back to reality. Oh, there goes gravity. Defying gravity. Wicked. I miss New York!

Sure, with all the snow and weather problems and rudish people, one would wonder why anyone would want to live in New York. I, on the other hand, really love the city life. I like the quick pace of the rush rushiness. I like being able to take the subway virtually anywhere. I love the fact that everyone is out on the street walking places! I think I'm ready to live in New York...

Well, that's not going to happen in the next year or so because I've been extended at my job for another year! Yeah, not just one month, or two months, or three months, or four months, or five months, or six months, or seven months, or eight months, or nine months, or ten months, or eleven months, or twelve months, but one whole year! How sweet it is to have some sort of job security. In addition, I got a very tiny raise. One buck more an hour! Yes!

So, a pointless happy buy has been a long time coming. I'm thinking of getting a Nintendo DS. I was kind of interested in it when it first came out, but I wasn't so sure about the game selection. There are some new games coming out and free Wi-Fi connectivity that have pushed me to buy one just for the hell of it. You know? Just because I'm that kind of gimmicky gadget buying guy.

And yesterday, I took Lind-z and her friend to Disneyland for the night. And to keep me company, Cat volunteered to be my ride buddy, but flaked out to invite some friends of her own over. So I ended up hanging out with Rionheart. We did pretty well for only 4 hours in the park. We rode California Screamin' (where we almost sat on a giant loogey and Rionheart added to the saliva count), Matterhorn, and the yet-to-open Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (twice)!

Riders use laser guns to help Buzz Lightyear defeat Emperor Zurg. As you go through the ride, you shoot at many targets that hold different point values. At the end of the ride, you are ranked by the number of points you have. I believe both times, I ended up as a Space Cadet.

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Too bad I'm still working. Disneyland is supposedly going to remain open for a straight 50 hours starting May 5th to kick off the 50th anniversary celebration. Oh well, you know what they say: Work and play don't mix... Or is it, all work and no play makes... Damn. What was it? Screw it. It's the weekend and I'm not supposed to be thinking.

Toasting to the good times, good lives,


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rest & Recreation & Frustration

New York. What a freakin' ride!

Many things happened that seemed for the worse, but ended up well in the end.

We begin with our subway trip (3 transfers) from the airport. Well, actually, with the heavy luggage and all, that just plain sucked. So let's skip down to Wicked.

Before the trip, I ordered tickets from Ticketmaster to ensure that we'd get to see Wicked (because it's the hottest thing on Broadway right now). The tickets I got were "partial view" seats for $55; second row (CC) seats 6, 8, and 10 (far right). In an attempt to save Erico Suave and MacArthur money for other shows, we entered in the lottery (2 hours before the show), which draws for the first two rows. If we were to win lottery tickets, I would then give my tickets to Ellvin Kelvin and his girlfriend. Ten minutes before the lottery was to take place, Ellvin Kelvin called me and told me to enter his name into the lottery and that he'd get there just in time. But I was afraid they wouldn't let me do it or something, I was chicken crap, so I didn't. And sure enough, Ellvin Kelvin came right when the lottery started. So he was disappointed in me. So the lottery started, and name by name, none of us were called (there were a lot of people). So after the last name called wasn't us, Erico Suave and MacArthur went to sit down while I went outside to apologize to Ellvin Kelvin. Then, I saw the lottery drawer calling out another name and I saw Erico Suave jump up. HE WON! Turns out that some people didn't need the original requested number of tickets, so two were left. And after Erico Suave bought the tickets, his seats read row CC, seats 2 and 4. Right next to my seats! So we all got to sit together anyway.

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We got to see a show every night during this trip. The next show we saw was Beauty & the Beast, which was okay. We bought tickets at TKTS for half off; all the way in the back center. The next day we tried for Avenue Q lottery tickets, but lost, so I bought RUSH tickets for Brooklyn (front row, far right), which was also okay. Actually I enjoyed it for its powerhouse performances and creativity. But the story was a little hard to get into and overly dramatic at times; See CORNY. But Eden Espinosa, of Disneyland fame, was freakin' amazing and she's smokin' hot! (She has better hair in person.) After the show, I told her to come 'home' for Disneyland's 50th anniversary.

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Then came Avenue Q day. At first, Erico Suave and MacArthur weren't keen on paying $97 (full price) for the show (probably any show unless it's a Cirque show). So, since I really wanted to see it, and since I was willing to pay whatever, I got a ticket early in the morning (sixth row, far left). Then, when showtime came around, and we lost the lottery for a second time, they lined up in the cancellation line and hoped to buy tickets for $97. Right up to showtime, tickets opened up and they got in (sixth row, far right). So we all enjoyed the show and I bought myself a T-shirt.

Then on the last night, they wanted to see Phantom of the Opera, but I didn't. So they went to the box office and bought $20 tickets for rear mezzanine, far right. I wanted to see Rent instead. I've heard that the lottery for Rent is very easy to win because they give away 34 seats and the show's old, so no one really goes. But being a Monday (when most shows are dark), Rent, Phantom, and one other show were the only ones playing. So of course there was a huge turnout for the lottery and the show was almost sold out. Well, we three entered and didn't win. So as Erico Suave and MacArthur went to Sketchers to shop, I ran to the opposite end of Times Square to get half priced TKTS seats. When I got there, the tickets were sold out! So I ran back and dreaded paying full price for a show I'd seen 3 times already, but I wasn't about to do nothing that night, so I decided I'd just pay. When I got to the box office, all sweatylike, I asked the ticketman if he had any seats left.

The ticketman said, "Yeah, I got some left."
I replied, "What's the cheapest you have?"
"How many do you need?" he asked.
"Just one."
"Let's see," he said while typing into his computer. Then he stopped. "Oh! Just one? I have an extra $20 lottery seat here."

I was freakin' ecstatic! I gave him $20 and I got a front row, far right ticket. And being the 4th time watching that show, I can honestly say that that cast was the BEST cast I've ever seen do it. The Mark was great. The Roger looked the part and sang exactly like the soundtrack and even played his own guitar! And the Mimi had the most energy I've seen. It was an incredible way to end the trip.

It just goes to show that when things look their darkest, a light will shine through in the end. Yeah, I stole that from Kingdom Hearts.

Of course, we did do other New Yorkian things than watch a bunch of shows. We visited Central Park, the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty, Rockafeller center, 5th Avenue, The Natural History Museum, and other places.

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Oh and there were some plumbing problems that wouldn't leave us alone. For instance, the third day, we found the bath tub/shower was flooded. Then on the last day, the toilet wouldn't stop flushing. But it all was resolved in the end.

Oh yeah, and then on the last day, it snowed. It was pretty harsh by California standards. And when we reached the terminal, some New York ladies were making fun of us because to them, this storm is a "flurry." So we conceded that we were wimps when it came to snow storms, but when we reach the check in counter, we found our flight cancelled! Some freakin' FLURRY!!! But for some reason, we had decided to leave for the airport 4 hours early and they were able to get us on a flight to Long Beach. The flight left at 7pm (we got to the airport at around 6pm), but that flight had originally been scheduled to depart at 3pm. So I guess it was delayed for us!

It was a weird vacation, but fun. It had its stresses and messes, but fun. And that's it.

Staying on the west coast where toilets and showers WORK,


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

On the SunNY Side

Here we go again!

It's off to New York again for me tonight. I'm very excitamated! I'm also a little scared. This trip is going to be so spontaneous. We've got really nothing planned.

All's I know is that we're seeing Wicked tomorrow night and it's going to snow like crazy. Well, I guess we'll just follow wherever the almighty subway takes us.

I still have to pack. Can't add anything more because I don't know anything more!

I will be back next week! Or if something cancels our flight again, I'll be sure to bitch about it later tonight.

Slacking at packing,