Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Last night my metro train arrived early and I missed it. Sometimes the train is like 3 or 4 minutes late, and that's kinda annoying when it's 30 degrees out. But yesterday it arrived 2 minutes early, which I didn't realize before is so much worse than arriving a little late. If I had seen it coming sooner I might have been able to sprint to the station to catch it., but when I saw it coming I thought it must have been the other train so I didn't run. It should have sat at the station for 2 minutes just to get on schedule. You can't just go flaunting the official webpage like that. I should have complained.

Also last night I skype-chatted with Whitney. She seems to think the skype will work in Africa when she won't have a phone, so I bought a webcam and we spent about an hour making funny faces at each other. She's going to see Flogging Molly with her boytoy doctor date later this week. I haven't been to a concert in a long time, and to a good mosh pit in even longer.

Tonight I'm getting Riconcito with Rav and Dave. And I still haven't finished this stupid case...

(the call's picture and sound dies while Whitney is making funny faces)
me: You killed the video feed!
Whitney: My face killed it.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I drove up to nyc with Dave this weekend. It was pretty fun. We went bowling and I bowled terribly. I'm not sure if it was because of the loud dance music, the lack of a comfortable bowling ball, the disco lighting, or the pressure of having $10 on the line, but for some reason I scored like 75, then 105 and then 110. I can't remember the last time before then that I didn't break 100. Something clearly wasn't right. Maybe I snapped under the pressure, but I don't think that's very likely. Oh well.

Then after bowling we went to a diner for food, and afterwards I wandered off on my own and got lost of the subway system. Not really lost, but I forgot I had to transfer, and I was very tired (and a little drunk) so I sat on the train and waited for my stop to come, but it never did. After maybe and hour on the train I went over to the map and discovered I had waaay overshot my transfer stop. I got off the train, waited like 30 minutes for the train going the opposite direction, and then road that back to my transfer point. Then I took a taxi because I didn't feel like waiting another 30 minutes. Only about 2 hours wasted wandering the subway in the middle of the night. We didn't even see Teeth, though I tried to convince Dave to go (Lauren hadn't heard of the movie and I didn't feel like describing it to her).

(trying to convince Dave to see Teeth with me)
dave: I don't want to see that!
me: It's gotten good reviews! Just read an online review of the movie before you say no.
dave: I don't even want that in my internet stream!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

some future-officemate gossip and musings about having nothing in common with girls

Saw my future officemate's profile on facebook. He sure has his shirt off in a lot of photos, I hope he's not some frat-type guy. And he's an electrical engineer working in GUIs, which seems strange. Hopefully he knows about GUIs because I won't be much help in that. Someone was just in here setting up the computer he'll be using. I asked if the ergonomic keyboard he was getting is standard issue now, and the guy said "I dunno, it's all I could find so I'm installing it." I guess he'll get used to it. I thought about taking his computer's speakers but I think I actually like mine more. Well, according to our online system, he's moving in tomorrow.

The metro driver this morning wouldn't stop babbling. He carefully explained all how to transfer to the different lines, what important stops we'd be making on the way to Huntington, what the current time ways, all sorts of extra stuff. I was a litle irritated.

Yesterday I talked to Kate about how little we have in common. We don't really have all that much in common (we like the same cereals), but it doesn't bother me. I mean, today I like Star Trek and I could go out and try to find a trekkie girl. I mean she sounds kinda cool now, but tomorrow I might like Star Wars instead, and I'm certainly not going to be dating any trekkie girl when I'm a Star Wars fan! She'd be such a hopeless nerd! I suppose what I'm saying is that people change, and liking someone because they happen to agree with all your tastes is a sure route to disliking someone (or just being bored) in the future.

Besides, it's best not to have too much in common with girls, then you're not tempted to try to understand their strange ways. Like it says in the Bible: "When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations." Yep, it's talking about the women-folk.

(Spittle sees a photo of me wearing a "Go Vegan or Die" shirt)
Spittle: You're not a vegan joe.
me: I know I'm not.
Spittle: Are you going around lying to girls?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweeny Todd in the mountains

I had a very fun MLK weekend out in the mountains. It's freezing cold out there but pretty quiet, sort of like living in a ski resort town. And nobody up there has heard of the movie Tron. My shirt got blank look responses. Kids these days have no respect for history.

I saw Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It started a little slow, but then picked up speed about 20 minutes in. The unusual combination of Johnny Depp's cheerful song and the the montage of him systematically cutting people's throats and dropping the bodies down a shoot so they fall on their heads made the scene pretty funny in a morbid way. Kate was pretty disturbed and I probably wouldn't sit through it again, but we all thought it was very well done movie. I'm getting the soundtrack.

My new officemate's name is on the door. Grant Johnson. He sounds like a president... I guess it's a very caucasian name. He doesn't have a computer or supplies in here yet, so he probably won't show up until late this week. Maybe Friday. Then I'll have to be a role model. No more naps. I'm planning on laying out some ground rules as soon as we meet. I'll let you know how it goes. He works in GUIs, which sounds like a stupid thing to have a patent on, but whatever.

In other news, Eric got punched in the side of the face while walking to a party near Potomac Avenue metro this weekend. He told me about it last night. A bunch of guys were going to rob him or worse, but he managed to run away after getting hit. I'm not sure what factors are to blame, but generally I'd say don't walk around SE at night, don't walk around sketchy places while wearing your headphones listening to music, and keep an eye out. But any number of things, including bad luck, probably contributed to Eric's incident. My coworker Spittle would say this is why we all need to carry guns. He's a moron about some things.

(about the nicer local restaurants and their dress codes)
Kate: They're not really fancy. Just fancier than you can get into wearing your ringer.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

because someone has to think about it

I don't really mind sitting next to fat people on the metro. They always sit on the ends of my coat because they overflow their seat, but that's alright. I can accept that some people just don't like standing and it doesn't bother me when people sit next to me.

What does kinda bother me is when fat women sit next to me and we're going over the bridge over the Potomac. I always think, "What if there's some kind of accident and the train derails into the water?" Julie probably started me worrying about that, because I never did until she suggested it. If my train does derail, I tend to think that I'll be okay. The bridge is probably only like 20 feet above the water and the fact that it can't all derail at once means that it won't be a straight drop. In fact, we'd probably hit the water relatively softly. Then it'd be every man for himself, and I can hold my breath and swim pretty well, and chances are decent that I'd be alright.

Now put an overweight older lady next to me. It's a well studied fact (I know from seeing many movies) that in an emergency she's either going to pass out and trap me against the wall, or latch onto me and start wailing in panic. When your vehicle goes into the water pretty much ever second counts, you want to get out before you sink too deep. I bet the time spent trying to either detach the wailing old lady ("You're never going to make it, Granny!") or else lever her unconscious mass out of the seat enough for me to squeeze out, those wasted seconds at least halve my odds of surviving.

Just something to keep in mind.

me: You haven't seen many movies. But that's okay, nobody's perfect.
Kate: I don't have as much free time as you.
me: You usually get out of work around like 5:30. Where does all your free time go? Do you have a hobby I don't know about?
Kate: A hobby? Yeah, my hobby is another man.
(that would be both hilarious and sad if it was Kate's break up technique. But I don't think it is.)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Townsville, Australia

My newest hobby for spare time at work is to look for cities with the best weather. The problem with most places is that it's either too cold in the winter (getting below the 50 is problematic) or too warm in the summer (above the mid-80's is uncomfortable). The only exceptions I've found so far are in Hawaii and Southern California. Hawaii is probably too isolated for me though, and Southern California is so crowded and expensive and I'm not sure if I approve of that whole OC culture. Today I was examining a weathermap of Australia. Most of it looks too warm, and the south-east is too cold, but Townsville looks promising. It's on the coast in the north-east . It only gets down to the mid 50's and up to the mid-80's. Maybe I'll retire there. Though I'd have to start thinking in celsius... and learn to get along with a bunch of descendents of criminals. People for whom crime is in the blood. Hopefully they'll give me a permit to own a gun. It's a good thing I can look like a thug when I need to.

(Yesterday I called my dad)
me: Hi Dad.
dad: Hi Joseph.
me: Happy Birthday!
dad: Hahahaha. Okay, we'll write you back into the will.
me: Yeah. Wait, what?
dad: You know when my birthday really is, right?
me: Shoot, is it tomorrow? I thought it was today.
dad: Haha. It's January 3rd.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

napping in an office chair

Not that I ever nap in the office, but I've independently discovered that napping on an office chair that's similar to my office chair leads to very strange dreams. When you lean my office chair back, it tilts back somewhat awkwardly such that your head and shoulders are leaning a little further back than is comfortable and it takes a lot of effort to lift yourself out of the chair. It's probably harder to pick yourself up when you're lying down flat and napping, but at least when you're lying down you can roll onto one side. You can't really move at all in my chair. Anyway, often in my napping dreams, in this chair very similar to my office chair, I dream that I'm lying in a chair and am either paralyzed or heavily medicated and can't lift myself out of the chair. It's a very strange experience. It's not frightening or anything, but a little distressing at the time and later on I always wonder if I was really half-awake and trying to rock myself out of my chair. You all should try it sometime.

Nice weather today, and again I'm leaving early. I've worked 7 hours so far this week.

Charlie: So how did you meet her?
(Charlie was asking me, but Spittle jumps in as though the question was addressd to him)
Spittle: He met her on World of Warcraft! Joe saw her riding on a bearded dragon mount and told her "Wouldn't you rather be riding a Joe Schell?"

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bad movies and a white elephant party

Watching the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It's alright, I guess. Not as good as the first two. I never thought I'd say this but Kiera Knightly is really getting on my nerves. There's something not right about playing the tough pirate girl when you're under 100 pounds. The first two had more a whimsical atmosphere; this one is all doom and gloom. And the voodoo lady with the bad teeth won't stop babbling prophecies in broken English. Can't understand a word she's saying.

Ugh, this movie is way too long.

Other than doing a fair amount of work, I went to a housewarming party at Noelle and Rob's last weekend. I drove down with Dave, Eric and Jamie, and first we got some Afghan food at a somewhat nice restaurant. I had just eaten a full cup of chili and cornbread from wholefoods that afternoon so the Afghan (or is the adjective "Afghani" as in "Afghanistanimation"? We discussed that in the car a bit) really stuffed me. Not a great state to be in for partying, but I did my best. It was a white elephant gift exchange party. I'd rather not say what I brought, because who knows who reads this thing, but I ended up getting a light that says "last call" and "happy hour" on it. Supposedly the light heats up super hot if you leave it on for more than 10 seconds. We'll see, I still haven't tried it out. Dave scored bigtime with a Hillary Clinton nutcracker.

Noelle and Rob's house is pretty cool. It's one of those moderately small 3-floor houses with an old stairway in the middle that sorta spirals up and is so steep at parts that you need to hold the rail. I think it had a whole lot of character and was very home-y. I'm still not sure about Baltimore in general though.

(Shoot, I had a great quote to put here that made Kate sound really mean and nasty, but now I can't remember it. Instead you get something from Whitney. Her blog, linked on the left, now finally has an entry or two on it.)
whitney: he doesnt care
whitney: he wasnt that into me
joe: of course he cared
whitney: no, he said he didnt feel more than my friend
whitney: except he liked to make out

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Apparently this blog is not as well-hidden as I once thought it was. Hello, to all you who found this page back when I had it linked from Facebook. Maybe I should get a tracker like Rachel and Puja have.

Hope all your holidays were mediocre, because then mine were better and I like feeling superior. (I'm not sure if being superior is actually required.) Christmas was quiet, though I was busy with a bunch of non-family things. New Year's was a lot of fun, though my date drank a little too much champagne and the only competition (of the advertised plural "competitions") turned out to be this completely skill-less game where you toss plastic pigs and hope they fall one on top of the other. At the end of the night Eric mixed up a special New Years drink that was a combination of all different kinds of regular alcohol, and some Bolivian Chicha mixed in. Probably the foulest stuff I'd ever smelled, and even though I was slightly drunk I didn't want to even try it. Kate was surprised that even though she was looking beautiful, I still got more compliments on my funny looking, informal tie than she did on her outfit. I had forgotten that this group of friends hadn't before seen my skinny tie in action.

This year I still don't have a resolution yet. Last year's was to be able to touch my toes... something I still can't do. Maybe this year I'll finish that program I've been sporadically working on. Or (and this is doubtful) maybe this year I'll accomplish both!

(2AM New Year's Day, an asian kid wearing a suit and tie crosses the street not far in front of us)
kate: Oh my God, he's going to puke!
(I look closer. The kid is walking kinda hunched over and doesn't look too well, but I'm optimistic by nature.)
me: Nah, he'll be fine. He's a trooper.
(In the middle of the street the kid stumbles and his pants fall down to his knees before he manages to catch them, yank them up, and keep walking)