Thanks be to Turkey? (or Cod rather).

Hard to believe it's been a year since I had my hand up a turkey's gully-hole getting it ready for the oven. Ahh, those were good times. "We don't need to buy gravy, we can just buy flour and make it ourselves." Yeah.. that worked really well... gross. Sigh... sooo much mashed potatoes. Anyways, so another Thanksgiving has come and gone, but this time I managed to get myself invited to a vegetarian dinner. Although it was depressing to not to have a large dead bird, and a sauce made of it's guts poured over everything, I'd say I still stuffed myself quite full. One thing that the people of Boulder have taught me is that anyone who would dare harm an animal must be killed and cooked and eaten, post haste (satire). Except fish. They don't count as animals. Farm Fresh Cod. I don't know how fresh though, there aren't many cod farms around the mountains.

There was less.. death than last year.

I got away with not cooking, and my gift of Wild Oats brand Italian soda and mineral water was declared a smashing beverage success. Also we watched the hilarious Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which include a riveting two minute fight scene between Snoopy and a folding chair. I'll leave it up to you to decide how sarcastic I meant that to be. So, all and all a good Thanksgiving, but it would have been nice to have some actual time off. As Thursday is my usual day off, I still ended up with forty hours this week, which pretty much always makes me want to die. So what am I thankful for this holiday? I'm thankful that I have the will power to work for a mild psychotic who harasses me, in every derogatory sense of the word, and had the audacity to say "retail is detail" constantly.

Photo Collection III

October - November 2006


One of Life's Many Lessons.

Nigeria = Bad News

At least when someone asks you to mail a package of electronics there. Craigslist is a wonderful site, I met a number of really fun and interesting people out here through the personal section, but GOOD GOD the scams are everywhere. I can name at least three separate occasions in which I was almost fooled into having my face stolen by foreign mystics, or rather three occasions where I almost was duped out of my hard earned US dollars.

1. Almost signing up for the PayPal Pyramid Scheme. Dumb, but it made it look like the most I could lose if it was a hoax was five dollars.

2. Some crazy idea about being paid to fill out online surveys. Even dumber for me to consider, but it appeared to have a free sign up, and the guaranteed it risk-free.

3. Mark Nyugen ( offers me 150 dollars + cost of shipping for the item I was selling on craigs.

Here was his fatal mistake. When the legitimate site he was pretending to use supposedly e-mailed me, I noticed something quite odd. Read for yourself:
Your Money will be Dispatched to you within 5 hours we Received the Express Mail (USPS) shipment tracking Details from you,Please understand that this measure is taken in order to protect both seller and buyer interests and to reduce the occurrence of fraudulent activities.
"Within 5 hours we Recieved?" That violates three out of four of the CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, and Spelling). What the hell kind of English is that? Apparently it's Nigerian black market English, as that's exactly where they wanted me to send it. Here is a snippet from Mark's telling me he had made the payment in my name:
Below is my friend address you will ship it to:-

Name : Seun David
Address : 7,Fadreb Street,Apete
City : Ibadan
state : Oyo
Zip code : 23402
Country : Nigeria
Phone : 2348059246624.
Well, obvious I ran right out and purchased a box, and calculated the shipping to Nigeria. The awful part is that I've now e-mailed a foreign miscreant, so now I have to buy an evil-eye in case he sends a hex at me through the internet.

The moral of the story: Never talk to anyone, or do anything on the internet or you those apes from the movie (book) Congo will get you. Which leads me to my final point, identity theft is very real, and you should be very afraid of it. Did you know that just today seventeen million people had their identities stolen and their lives ruined? It's true. Think about it. 17,000,000 people. That's the entire population of Asia. Think about that. All those people. Dead instantly from identity theft.

So what do we do? Never ever ever ever in a trillion years do you ever ever ever want to put your signature into an electronic signing pad. They will have your entire being to use at their discretion. They will buy atom bombs in your name. They will subscribe to US weekly in your name. They will put your name on a petition. A liberal petition. Sigh... I joke, but it happens so often at work that people refuse to sign their name because their "lawyer" told them it's a terrible risk. grumble grumble grumble...

I'm so tempted to go ahead and get a box fill it with tapioca pearls and mail it to the address listed, but I wouldn't want to create an international incident.

And finally this video was sent to me twice in the last week. It's tells probably the most compelling story ever.

An In-depth Analysis of Sacks. (Among other things)

So with any luck this will be my first real post of any use. Here they are, the cultural differences I have noticed between Maryland and Boulder.

1. More crazy people - Every time I walk past Pearl Street Mall, or pretty much anywhere with people I am either confronted, or nearly escape being confronted by crazy people. Just yesterday in fact, a drunk lunatic asked me if I was a student. I responded sort of. Then he asked me if I studied, the ganj. I responded yeah, sure, I study the ganja. After this point he was distracted by someone who apparently looked like John Lennon, and I went on my merry way. This was by far the most normal human interaction I've had with strangers on the street out here. See back home, I didn't have to deal with that, since in the early 90's they rounded up all the homeless people and used them to revamp the People Tree.

2. Area code laziness - People don't write their area codes here. You still have to dial them, but everyone just assumes you have 303. Sometimes they might write 3/and then the number, but rarely the full one. This poses a problem because a common middle to the numbers here is 44X which is similar to my MD cell's area code, thus if I need to give people my number they assume I mean it's (303) 443-XXXX. This also happened yesterday.

3. Pop - Most of Boulder's population (at least those I have come into contact with) immigrated there from all around America, so we get many different regional vocabularies. So more often then not if they want a soda, they'll ask you for a pop. Pure lunacy. I refer once again to "More Crazy People" above. Clearly soda makes more sense. As everyone clearly knows soda is called soda because the main ingredient is baking soda, and more importantly soda does not pop it fizzes. None of this matters of course, since I never see soda anymore, what with environment of wellness and all that often causes me mental anguish (I am of course referring to a certain Pharmacy where I spend most of my time).

4. Sacks? - Finally, when checking a customer out I am supposed to ask if they'd like a bag for the shit they bought. Naturally I forget to ask them, or sometimes I don't like their face, or the way they slide their credit card through my delicate card reader so I don't give them a bag out of spite. In this situation they will then ask me if they could have a bag, but I'd say one out of every ten customers asks for "a large sack" or "a small sack." This, like everything else in the world, bothers me for a number of reasons. In my opinion a sack is made of burlap. A sack is durable and serves an important purpose. Keeping leprechauns out of your potatoes. Holding in your testicles. Carrying an endless supply of presents for good, god-fearing children on Christmas Eve draped on the back of a certain jolly old man. Certainly a sack is not two small plastic (or cornstarch rather) sheets seamed together to open up on the top end, and hold a meager, yet fantastically expensive amount of beauty products and herbal cold medicine. That's a bag. And yet what does your beloved Drakos ask a customer the other day, "Would you like a small sack for that?" And so begins my slow descent into madness. I'd bet you'd say I don't really have much further down I can go.

This has led me to a slightly different train of thought, that deserves it's own post.

With a Boulder on My Shoulder.

So I think that settles it. I'm going back to school. It's the only place I can get away with my nonsense and still think I'm better they everyone else because I'm "doing some graduate work." I came out here expecting a romantic experience (as in adventurous) like Italy was. It turns out that there's more to expanding your horizons then just being an absurd amount of miles from home. My point is the differences are all subtle, and for the most part it's the same out here, I just don't have as many friends. So if I'm out here, I might as well be learning instead of sluggishly waiting out the clock everyday at a job that keeps me stuck in a small box on my feet for eight hours doing nothing I find particularly interesting or in anyway consequential.

Besides, am I honestly going to past up the chance to take Apuleius at UCB? I mean come on it's the Golden Ass. Who are you to resist it?

I've had this verse from "Blinded by the Light" by Manfred Mann (lyrics by Bruce Springsteen) suck in my head for a while, for somewhat obvious reasons:

With a boulder on my shoulder,
feeling kinda older,
I tripped the merry-go-round
With this very unpleasin', sneezin' and wheezin,
the calliope crashed to the

there's a explaination for my use of a rhyme in the title, even though I clearly played that note to death.
Ride to the Top?