When Diva returned from her latest grooming appointment, it’s clear that she missed her little brother, Vedder. She just has a funny way of showing it.
The Nest is probably one of the coolest gadgets in our house at the moment. I no longer have to get out of bed at night when my wife reminds me that we forgot to turn the temperature down to 72. It does cool things by itself. Like a resourceful cat while you’re on vacation.
But Kevin Bacon (yes, the Kevin Bacon) apparently – or, well, just according to my dreams – does not approve of this device.
For some unexplainable reason, I have had a very strange recurring dream for the past few weeks. I approach my Nest and expect, as I always do, for the screen to turn on. But when it does, Kevin Bacon’s face appears within the circular display. And so he begins explaining his disapproval for the device. A lot of reasons I just can’t recall, but I can never forget two interesting points he yells at me. First, he explains to me that because this thing “learns” so easily, how can I be sure that it’s not going to eventually evolve into some sort of killing machine? Maybe it will grow legs and brandish machine gun arms, he says. “It’s happened before.” WHA?!?!
It gets worse – or better, depending on how you look at it. He tells me that I cannot rely on this “piece of shit” to protect me from the Tremors (yes, those Tremors). I tell him, “But you killed the tremors just fine!” To which he replies in his Philly accent, “I’m fuckin’ Kevin Bacon.” He then masterfully fades from the Nest’s display, and I abruptly awaken from my strange slumber.
The point is clearly lost on me, but it seems rather ominous. Either the Nest itself or the Tremors (which the Nest apparently can’t kill) are coming for me. Or maybe an army of Nests. With legs and arms serving as machine guns and cannons. But I’m not scared. After all, it’s a tough pill to swallow coming from a guy who is apparently still living in 1985 when it comes to HVAC control.
Rewind to my sophomore year at Temple University.
Philosophy Intellectual Heritage class.
This was probably one of my most memorable classes throughout my seventeen years of schooling. The professor was one of the strangest individuals I’d ever met, and every single class was an adventure into the weird. My high school and college sweetheart even sat directly behind me. To start each class, in order to “take attendance”, we played an oddball sort of name game where the subject would change each time. The theme I most easily recall is “Choose your favorite way to die.” Bizarre as it sounds, as our names were called, we would let the class know what our preferred method of expiration would be. Mine involved Viagra and is entirely inappropriate for this forum.
We even spent an entire class dissecting Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. There were even scribblings on the whiteboard to illustrate how poor of a film it was. He seemed to have a particularly fiery hatred for it on that day. I suppose we should have been discussing Sartre instead.
But this is all besides the point.
The class that truly stands out in my mind is when he assigned me a much higher calling. It was the last class before Spring Break, and the topic of our funky roll call game was “What are your plans for Spring Break?” Back then, this answer was easy as pie – play Halo (Halo 2 to be exact), lots of it. Of course, all of the rich kids in the class thought this was ridiculous; you’re supposed to have your parents send you to Miami or Cabo, right? Well, I was poor, and Halo made me happy.
Upon my answer, he sat in his chair with a strange upward and contemplative stare as if a philosophical bomb was about to drop. He began explaining that he’s surprised nobody else planned to spend their free time as Master Chief and went on to discuss whether or not my passion for playing Halo could be directly attributed to a predetermined role in a potential alien attack on planet Earth. A 10-minute monologue analyzing my potential ensued.
I never thought about it like that. Perhaps, if Earth is ambushed by some form of alien race, such as the Covenant from Halo, I will end up serving as a John Connor type – the one who will lead the people of Earth on an ultimate defensive against invading bastards. And win.
It could happen.
Sure, I’ll need more than my Springfield XD-M 9mm 5.25″ pistol and Savage .223 bolt action rifle. But if stuff goes down, looting an armory and loading my Honda CR-V to capacity with ACRs and SCARs while Springsteen’s ‘Death To My Hometown’ plays from roof-mounted speakers is clearly the first thing on my list. Anyway, it’s not all about calibers and twist rates. My intangibles would most likely be the real pudding of this saga – leadership among fearful folks, willingness to sacrifice, negotiation skills, etc. (really, I can’t prove any of these things yet). If Will Smith can punch an alien square in the face, so can I.
And so, teachers are awesome, and that strange professor can ride in my anti-alien Honda CR-V any time.
This post actually got fact-checked via Twitter, and the class was “Intellectual Heritage”. It was a Temple thing.
High school was fun. Girls in plaid skirts (hey, it was the required attire in a Catholic school), the TV club, suicide sprints in ice hockey, that foxy Ms. Poliwoda who taught me the value of words, and those crazy lunch ladies who took pride in serving me chicken fingers from the ninth ring of hell. Every time I pass a fire station, however, I’m reminded of my favorite part – the morning commute. Here’s my story.
It wasn’t all that exciting at first. I was one of two students (the other being a great guy – we’ll call him Slick Rick) in a certain region of Montgomery county, and so, was forced to take a school bus chock full of rich and snobby elementary school kids. We were actually bullied by the little punks quite often – hey, they understood the law of numbers. But whatever – Slick Rick and I would just listen away on our CD players, on which we’d frequently play the same album. Incubus’ “Make Yourself” comes to mind. And our bus driver was a character, always telling those “no-good punks” to “sit down and shut up”. Little bastards.
Then, Slick Rick got his driver’s license, and things started getting really interesting. Slick Rick began picking me up in his totally awesome white 1988 Cadillac DeVille. Primus and Dream Theater would absolutely blare out of its speakers as we made the 20-minute trek to our school every morning. The other students would regularly stare at us as we found our parking spot. Sure, they probably thought we were weird, but in our head, they thought we were simply awesome. And we were, dammit.
As time went on, the DeVille started having strange, though comical, problems. On a particularly hilarious day, when Slick Rick honked the horn at a driver waiting for a certain shade of green (another random Incubus reference for the smart ones in the crowd), the horn got jammed and stayed that way all the way to school. Another day, we were “racing” another group of students out of the school’s parking lot when the accelerator became stuck. Slick Rick went to fix the problem while I held the wheel from the passenger seat (yeah, don’t try that at home). This kind of stuff eventually became par for the course, and we came to love every minute of it.
But, listen. One day stand out among all the rest.
Remember that classic Mentos commercial where that sleazy businessman blocked in that girl’s really tiny car? And this group of large men randomly emerge from the street and simply pick up her car to move it? With that amazing jingle? Sure you do.
We were driving home from school when we pulled into the parking lot of a local train station (this was part of a shortcut we used to take). The DeVille – bless its heart – started dying on us. So, we pulled into an empty area of the lot on an incline and let it finally fizz out. We cursed for a while, thought out loud, and tried laughing it off. Suddenly, the car began slowly rolling down the incline. We jumped out to spring into some sort of confused and misguided action. Quite frankly, I was an asshole; I burst out into a furious flurry of laughter with absolutely no chance of controlling myself. Slick Rick – bless his heart – started wailing for help while he stood in front of the car trying to push it back up the incline to no avail. But don’t let that fool you; he was laughing too.
Into the parking lot pulls a giant fire truck with about six brawny firemen hanging off the sides (mind out of the gutter). The truck pulls up behind Slick Rick, who’s essentially about to be crushed by his own Cadillac, as the firemen jump off and take control of the car. They easily push it up back up the hill to stable ground, wave, and hop directly back on the truck as it pulls away. Slick Rick and I just stare at each other for a few minutes trying to make sense of what just transpired. Eventually, he calmly states, “Dude, it’s like we’re in a fuckin’ Mentos commercial!”. I couldn’t have agreed more.
I’m not entirely sure what the point here is, but I like to think that everyone has a “Mentos Moment”. I hope so, anyway. They’re quite awesome.
When you work from home, your wife cant get very little mailed shopping items passed you (especially when your dog guards the front door with her life and hates big brown trucks). Like this interesting package I found today by the front door. Now, let’s see how long it takes her to find it when she gets home.
We all have a “catnip” – something that makes us crazy happy to be alive. Whatever it is for you, go ahead and have an excessive amount today (as long as an excessive amount of this stuff doesn’t kill you or impair your judgment). Because it’s Friday. And Bailey here generally gives sound advice (even when under the influence).
I found another love kit in my hotel room! This one only costs $12! Settle down, St. Louis.
I’m pretty sure the Arch and the Needle are not in the same city. Regardless of the giant mutant panda crushing it.