Thursday, December 31, 2009

On Being Witty

I was in a mad rush to finish up my Christmas shopping last Monday. Every year, mid-November I think, "I'll just buy a few things for the family and call it done" and every year, by December 20th, I've gotten gifts for tons of people, and spent way too much money. The thing is that I get an idea in my head, and then it's a mini-project that I have to finish.

I was still missing a few items, but I had a moment to stop in to Best Buy and pick them up. It was probably my fourth trip in as many days. At Best Buy, there is one long line, and when you get to the front, the next available person takes you. I approached the front of the line, items in hand and gave the various lines the once over.

There was the kid who's so weird, standing next to him would make me Steve Urkel look like George Clooney. I remember once reading that the key to women was to always hang with a friend who is uglier than you are. I considered asking him if he'd like to go to a Christmas party, or just hang sometime. He'd be my ringer.

Next to him was overly enthusiastic girl. She seems nice, but I can only be asked so many times if I found everything okay. Come on lady, you know me. I practically have your website memorized. My visits to Best Buy are more regular than a 26 year who eats well and takes Metamucil.

Next to her... Next to her was the cute short girl who I find intimidating despite the fact that she can't possibly be taller than 4'11 and is probably no older than 25. She'd been my cashier at least twice before, and somehow it was always very friendly, but not to the point of being weird. For me, a conversation with a stranger that isn't a complete train wreck comes around about as often as the Cardinals going to the Superbowl, but somehow it always manages to happen with her.

Naturally her line opened up first. I dumped my arm full of items on to the counter and began awkwardly digging through my pants for my "rewards card". As I did we discussed our holidays, the shopping, and how things had been. As she scanned the last item she said with a surprise, "Oh. It says here you get a 10 dollar gift card."

30 seconds later I would realize that a fun reply would be, "Oh. Wow... Um... How embarrassing. I didn't get you anything."

Unfortunately for me, I didn't wait 30 seconds to reply, I waited 2. What came out was closer to, "Oh. Um... Cool?"

After I left, I went straight home and mailed Santa a new letter with a brief description of the girl and a request for one, "Ability to think on my feet". While either of those items would have been fantastic, Santa instead brought me a new pair of jeans. I'm sure those will work out just as well.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Now Accepting Applications

One of my personal rules is to not blog about video games if possible. It just doesn't seem that the general population would have any clue what I'm talking about, but I think this is a special occasion. This isn't just any video game.

Grab your biggest red marker and throw a circle around next Sunday on your calendar. On November 15th, 2009, it is on. If you're someone who has bladder control issues I suggest you go grab a spare pair of chonies right now because the news I'm about to drop on you is pee-your-pants exciting.

That's right, New Super Mario Wii comes out next Sunday.

So what's the big deal you ask? "New Super Mario" is a new line of Mario games designed in the image of the original Mario game(s). You know, the one from your childhood(Assuming your childhood encompassed 1986). There's a run button, a jump button, and not much else. This is the closest you can get to reliving your past without a Delorean, a crazy doctor, and one point twenty one jiggowatts of power. In this iteration of the beloved series, creator Miyamoto is giving the game multiplayer action: Four nerds simultaneously galumphing Gombas, kicking Koopas, bouncing off Bob-ombs and hating on Hammer Bros.

For that reason I've decided to open the floor and accept applications for my Mario Team. I'm currently looking for 3 people skilled in the arts of Bowser bashing and Peach protecting to form one Mario super group(pun intended). Please see the following job posting. If you feel you are qualified for the position, please respond in the comments, or send your resume and cover letter to Sesquipedalis.



Sesquipedalis is currently seeking a highly motivated individual well versed in the workings of the Mushroom Kingdom. The ideal candidate will be familiar with traversing pipes and navigating treacherous castles. Must enjoy mushrooms and have an ability to rise to the occasion. Calloused thumbs, strong jumping skills, knowledge of botany, and a desire to play with fire all considered a plus.

Please indicate the following in your submission:
1) What is your favorite Mario game?
2) How many Mario games have you personally played through?
3) Daisy or Peach?
4) If you were a Yoshi, what color would you be, and why?
5) What's your favorite Mario power up, and why?

Feel free to add any personal information that the recruiter should know to assist in ensuring the right candidate gets the job.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Spare Some Change?

I handle change about as well as a fingerless bum with a hole in his cup, but lately it seems like I haven't had much choice in the matter. There have been changes with work, personal life and my friends.

The biggest change of all though has been in my status. No, not that status. I've been a brother and a son forever, but today, for the first time, I became an uncle. Let the Stamos/Dukes of Hazard jokes begin.

My sister Anna went through 26 hours of labor, but eventually Adrian relented and came out to meet the world.

Adrian


What's the appropriate amount of time to wait before I start training him to help pick up on cute girls?

Congrats to Josh and Anna.

I promise to return to blogging some day soon. It's not that I haven't been writing, it just hasn't really been Sesquipedalis type material. Maybe A can be my new inspiration.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Step In the Right Direction

Crap, I need water.

This was supposed to be a rush trip to the grocery store, but it suddenly occurred to me that the basket I was holding in my right hand would be insufficient. I was out of bottled water.
Now now, before you start writing one of the following responses, hear me out.
1. Bottled water?!?! What about the earth? Plastic waste is responsible for blah blah blah. Al Gore said blah blah.
2. Bottled water?!?! You pay money for water, tool?

I had never paid for water until I moved in to the Landmark 3 years ago. It's a neat building, but it's also 40 years old and has very bad plumbing. If the faucet has been off for a while, then the water comes out with a rather orange tint that I learned the hard way doesn't have a matching orange flavor. I switched to a Brita filter and a few water bottles, but for guests I try to keep some bottled water stocked.

It had been a pretty crappy week in general which, in my small circle of friends, included: a break up, a break down, a sixty hour work week, a case of the swine flu, and an odd request from an old friend. Oh yeah... the company had also scheduled an all hands meeting for the day after our third quarter results were announced. It wasn't the Worst Week Ever, but were there a list, it probably would have made the top ten.

I had a few items in my basket and the karts are kept outside, so I stashed my groceries and hurried for the exit. As I came out, a woman who had just dislodged a kart from the group noticed me heading her way. Normally the sight of me moving hurriedly towards her is cause for a woman to reach for the pepper spray in her purse.

"You need one too?" She said with a surprising smile, "Here, take this one."

It was a pretty small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but in the moment it hit with an unexpected weight.

"Thank you"
"No problem"

Twenty minutes later I was on B2 of my building's parking garage. The trip from my parking spot to my apartment is a flight of stairs up to a door that unlocks with my building fob. The door leads to a long hallway that goes to the laundry mat and an elevator which requires the fob yet again. The elevator takes you to the eleventh floor. One more long hallway leads to my door. I was making the trip with two cases of water, a bunch of groceries and a backpack. Needless to say my hands were full.

I managed to get the keys out to open the first door, and down the hallway I could see an extremely cute building resident doing her laundry. The cute blond also spotted me from down the hallway and rushed out to get the elevator.

"You look like you've got your hands full" she said with a smile.

Cute and considerate? I think I'm in love.

Had I a ring on my person, it surely would have been hers. Instead I opted for a simple, "Thank You"

Saturday, October 03, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 6: The Thousandth Day

Two weeks passed without a word from Rachael. I was already planning a formal apology to the whole family and a blog entry about how I had, "Scared off Mandi's sister" It had only taken me six months too!

Day 999(July 5th) -

The IM window popped up. Rachael explained that life had gotten crazy, and she had retreated from certain social aspects.

She needed her own special alone time? She's prefect!

Rachael and I spent a few hours IMing back and forth, and then another two hours on the phone. I felt like a 15 year old talking to his first girl on the phone. It was fun. It was funny. It was exciting. An enjoyment of phone conversation wasn't something that I had felt in a very very long time.

Up until this point in our relationship, everything had been very nice and cordial, but for whatever reason, the gloves had finally come off. The girl I knew as always being the polite sweet girl from Kansas threw me a few zingers. She made a few off color jokes. I went from being interested in meeting this Internet friend to being interested in Rachael.

We agreed to get everything out of the way and just meet for lunch the next day. There would be no backing out this time.

Day 1000(July 6th) -

The phone rang at my office at ten as if on cue. It was Rachael and she began rather slowly.

"Here's the thing..."
"You have got to be kidding me" I interrupted.
"I am. I just wanted to freak you out. And, I wanted to change the location"

An hour later I was waiting outside of Pei Wei. As the moments passed I grew more and more nervous.

What if I don't recognize her?
What if she thinks I'm weird?
What if....


Rachael hopped out of her car wearing the biggest smile I'd ever seen.

"You're not that short" she said as we approached each other.

It was at this moment that I realized I had no idea what was appropriate. Was this a hug situation? Was it a hand shake situation? Was it neither.

Before I had a chance to screw it up Rachael threw her arms around me and told me that it was great to finally meet me.

We took our seats, and before I knew it two hours had passed! I hadn't even finished eating because I was so entranced by the girl sitting across from me. One more hug, and we went our separate ways.

I wasn't completely sure if she had had as good a time as I had, but for my part I couldn't wait to see her again.

Stay tuned for the exciting epilogue, "2000 days in the making!" coming to Sesquipedalis 4/1/2012!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 5: Rachael Returns the Favor

In April/May I was going through one of my special alone time phases. When I'm in one of these phases, the first thing to drop off the map is my ability to respond to emails. The inbox was piling up at a steady rate, and every glance at it prompted a begrudging thought of, "Wow. I really need to reply to some of these."

Day 939(May 6th, 2009) -

I was at home avoiding the world when the little mail icon popped up on my computer. It was a Facebook friend invite from Rachael, the girl I had been meaning to write back for the past 3 weeks. I accepted the invitation and opened up the chat window to apologize.

"I thought I had scared you off with my last email" she began.

Her? Scare me off? What had that email said?

I quickly switched back to my email and began reading.
Joke about me being silly.
Work talk
Blog talk
More jokes.

Invitation for coffee

Shit

I went about cleaning up my mess as well as I could by apologizing profusely and simultaneously trying not to sound like a complete tool. It probably wasn't working, but eventually we agreed that we should meet up sometime.

Unfortunately both of our schedules were busy, and we spent the next few weeks unable to agree on a date until our schedule's aligned and we decided to meet on June 2nd.

Day 965(June 1st) -

Rachael called to let me know that work had gotten extremely busy, and she just couldn't make it. We rescheduled for the following Monday(The 8th).

Day 968(June 4th) -

Rachael called again to let me know that she had book club on Monday, and needed to reschedule for Tuesday(The 9th).

I got ditched for books?

Day 973(June 9th) -

Rachael and I had spent the past week with a flurry of emails, but the day had finally come. By this time I was really excited to meet my new virtual friend. I had gotten to know her over email and blogs, and the idea of meeting her in person was a little intimidating.

As our six o'clock meet up time grew closer, I started to get nervous. Sean was the only person at work that I had told, and he was taking this opportunity to turn my seed of doubt in to a full blown issue.

"Man. What if you fart or say something stupid? You'd better not screw this up. That girl is way out of your league."
"It's not like that. It's just friendly."
"She's too good for that too."

At 4 I got an email with a huge apology explaining that Arlene, a coworker of Rachael's had fallen and been injured. We would have to reschedule again.

Rachael and I had a few more emails, but they soon faded and I stopped hearing from her. I had assumed that something had "Red Flagged" me and that she had decided to get rid of me in a polite manner.

Day 987(June 23rd) -

I sent one last email in an attempt to make sure everything was okay. I had made a joke about being an e-stalker in my last email, and felt like a total creepo.

Had I scared her away?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nerd Word(s): Special Alone Time

Special Alone Time
- Noun

1. My semi-annual need for a lot of alone time.

[ Origin: A few times a year I become a hermit and shun the outside world. Erik has been known to refer to this as my "Special Alone Time" ]

- examples
1. December '08
2. October '07
3. Summer '04

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nerd Rule(s): Female Naming Conventions

When discussing any female, whether there is a possibility of romance or not, she should be referred to by a geographical location until such a time that her real name is suitable, or an alternative nickname has been set in place and is agreed upon by all parties.

[ Origin: My good friend Adam is currently living in Germany. Through the miracles of modern technology(Instant Messaging), we've been able to keep in touch and talk on a near daily basis. One popular topic is women, and due to my bad memory, it was necessary to develop an alternative naming scheme that was easy to remember. ]

- examples
1. Ana - Chile
2. Jo - Chicago
3. Ruth - Ohio
4. Mandi - Montana
5. Rachael - Kansas

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 4: Jesse Delivers the Triple No No

I know, I know. I'm a bit behind on all this. No excuses, I've been busy. We're finally getting to the meat of the story though. If you've followed the blog for a while we're introducing a new Rachael in this story. Fortunately, she spells it differently than the "other" Rachel.

Also, I should point out that I took the link to her blog out because it's now private. And before you ask, yes it's because she didn't want you reading it(Kidding).


Day 828(January 16th, 2009) -

My phone buzzed around lunchtime to let me know that I had an email. Oddly enough it wasn't work related, or even a personal message. It was an email to my Sesquipedalis account. Before the Shaq piece, that account got about as much email as Isaiah Washington gets gay fan mail. Even more odd was that it was from a girl, identified in the From field of the message as Rachael.

Hi there,
I found your blog in a round about way through my sister Mandi's. She convinced me to start one at Christmas and I did. Not sure that it is so fabulous, but it entertains her and my mom so I guess it serves a purpose. Anyways, I thought yours was pretty funny. When I have some time I will read more of it. If you're interested mine is removed. I live in Phoenix too oddly enough. Happy blogging :) Rachael

I immediately went and spent some time reading through her blog. One of the first entries I came across pertained to her penchant for giving pet names to the peeps in her life. Oddly enough, the first comment her sister Mandi ever made was about my tendency to do the same. I was pretty amused by the whole thing, and since it had relatively few entries at the time, I breezed through it.

In the upper right hand corner of the blog was a picture of Rachael. I throw words like "Cute" and "Pretty" around on this blog like Steve Nash dishing assists, but I find them insufficient in regards to describing this girl. She was gorgeous. And for my part I was having none of it.

I once wrote that after the twins, I was tired of pretty people. You need to be a 6 or less to hang out with me, and Rachael had missed the cut by about 4 points. I sent her a very polite response and thanked her for reading, but when I received a response the following Monday, I just let it go. In my mind, no girl that attractive was out on the Internet interested in talking to me. She probably didn't care if I wrote back or not.

Day 890(March 9th, 2009) -

I was surprised when Rachael left a comment on one of my blog entries, and even sent me an email to let me know how amused she was. I had assumed that her initial letter was just an attempt to gain more readers, or just a friendly hello. Even more surprising was that within 30 minutes of her leaving the comment Liang was in my office.

"Who's Rachael?"
"Huh? Uh... Ruth's sister? The twin? You've met h..."
"No... the one who left a comment on your blog. The super cute one in the beanie."

Leaving a comment on my blog had lead him back to hers.

"Oh... her. That's Mandi's sister."
"Who the hell's Mandi?"

An hour later I got an IM from J.R.
"Who the hell is this Rachael?"

I was doing my best to keep expectations low, but by the end of the day Rachael was the talk of the office. The common question became, "What are you going to do?"

My plan remained the same. I was going to do nothing.

"Have you seen that girl?" I'd ask, "I'm not taking my whiffle ball bat and trying to hit in the National League. I'm not doing anything."

Most of the nerds let it go fairly quickly. Most of the nerds except for Sean. Sean has been happily married for a while, which somehow gives him carte blanche to screw with the rest of us when it comes to women. Had he not metaphorically won the lottery by meeting his wife, he'd be just as spineless and lame as the rest of us, but since fate had dealt him a royal flush he took this opportunity to mess with me while we planned his annual St. Patty's day party.

"You should invite Kansas."
"Let me get this straight... Some girl who I only know because I know her sister, in fact, I don't really even know here sister, I should ask her to a party with a bunch of you dorks? Yeah, that won't be creepy. Pass."
"Do it. If you don't, I'll write a comment on her blog and ask her for you."
Fine

Day 892(March 11th, 2009) -

I sent Rachael a long email, and tried to casually work it in that she could come to our party.

Day 893(March 12th, 2009) -

Rachael sent me a long email and casually worked it in that my invitation to a party with a bunch of people she didn't know was sort of weird, and that she would not be attending.

Rachael and I continued to correspond for the next month. The letters were always quite lengthy and amusing, but eventually I decided that she was most likely just being nice. Pretty, funny, smart girls probably have better things to do with their time than email me. Right?

Day 926(April 14th, 2009) -

Rachael sent me a lengthy email that I had thought was quite typical. The email sat in my inbox for quite some time. I had intended to respond, but never got around to it. I would later find that I should have read the email more carefully...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NerdMory Word(s): My List

My List
- Noun

1. The list of people(normally five) that you can have sex with and not be considered a cheater. The list is usually comprised of celebrities or famous people.

[ Origin: I think there was an episode of Friends about it, but the idea has been around forever. ]

- example
1. Shirley Manson
2. Felicia Day
3. Tina Fey
4. Rue Mcclanahan
5. Steve Nash

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 3: Geremy Saves the Blog

The second half of 2008 was a rough one for the blog. After two and a half years of writing, I had completely run out of ideas. I was repeating jokes and stories, and nothing felt new. I decided to branch out and try some different things. I wrote fiction stories based in reality, or posts with a comedic slant. Some of it worked, and some of it didn't, but after really trying for a few months, I was kind of tired of it. As the year drew to a close, it again felt like the blog was dying.

Day 823 (January 10th, 2009) -

The Cardinals were playing the Panthers in the second round of the playoffs, and the gang had decided to meet up at our typical watering hole to watch the game. The Cards doing well happens once, maybe twice in a lifetime, so we were all fairly excited. My sister even decided that Fitz was on her list. Her boyfriend Andrew decided that Fitz might be on his list too.

"A friend of mine that I haven't seen in a while is coming up to meet us", Todd Geremy said nonchalantley during the first quarter.

Either I hadn't been spending enough time with Geremy, or I was too enthralled with the game, but I didn't immediately question who this friend was. As the second quarter started, a girl who was far too pretty to be hanging out in our dive bar walked in the door. Geremy waived his hand to get her attention.

"There's Anna-Jeanne."

Of course.

I'm not sure why it surprised me, cute girls flock to Geremy like fat kids to a half off donut sale.

Anna-Jeanne took a seat between me and Geremy and did her best to keep up with the game. While Miranda was practicing writing "Mrs. Larry Fitzgerald" and everyone else was completely focused on the Cards, I was now sitting next to a cute girl, and slightly nervous. What made it worse was that she kept talking to me.

I attempted to calm my nerves and actually carry on a conversation. I explained a few things about the game and made a few jokes which she actually laughed at. This would have been a very normal night for me, had it included an introduction from Rod Serling, but it hadn't. And it was about to get weirder.

After one joke she laughed loudly before stopping and saying, "Wait, what was your name again?"
"Uh... Jesse?"
"OH. MY. GOD! You're the one with the blog, right? I remember reading a story about you hiking. You're hilarious!"

I honestly thought for a moment that maybe Geremy had hired her to come in and lift my spirits.

January 10th also happens to be my good friend Rose's birthday. There was a party at Heidi's house which I was already late too. I stalled for a little while longer, but I figured it was best that I leave before I had a chance to say anything stupid.

Rose's birthday party is a grand tradition. Even though Rose was in Iowa, Heidi wasn't about to let something as minor as 1700 miles spoil her day. The plan was a webcam based party with all of the Phoenix residents meeting at Heidi's.

Day 824 (January 11th, 2009) -

Miranda called me early in the morning to discuss the game, how awesome Fitzgerald is, and the previous night.

"I think that girl was in love with you. You shouldn't have left so early."
"Yeah. I thought maybe that was just all in my head, but she actually seemed to find me amusing."
"You blew it."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Supplementary Writings

This is the story I told at my Grandmother, Dean Martin's funeral:
My Grandmother was a pretty great woman, but anyone who's here probably already knew that. She always wanted the best for her grandkids, and did a lot to look out for us. I'm sure if she was here right now she'd be straightening my tie, and licking her thumb and trying to get the little spiky part in the front of my hair to "lay down".

Grandma obviously influenced the three of us in a lot of ways, both directly and indirectly, and I'd like to share one story of how she changed who I am today. She made me promise that I'd never tell anyone this, but I think it's probably alright if I share this with everyone now.

When I was about 12 years old I decided that what I really needed was a computer. I also decided that I needed one by the time I went to High School. I saved almost every penny I could for 3 years, but as the summer before High School came, I still didn't have the money saved that the computer cost.

Most of my immediate family here knows that I did get that computer. What they don't know is where the rest of that money came from. One day when everyone else was out, my Grandmother pulled me aside, put her hand in mine and said:
"I don't really understand this computer thing you keep going on about, but it seems really important to you"

She pulled her hand away but left in my hand a substantial sum of money.
She then leaned in close and gave me that serious Dean Martin look to let me know she wasn't fooling around and she said, "Don't tell Leon."

In High School I took every computer class I could, and at night I spent my time learning all I could. I eventually went off to college to study Computer Science, and today I make my living as a computer programmer.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 2: Mary Saves the Blog

Pop Quiz. Jesse has been absent from blogging because:
A) He was commissioned by the state of AZ to paint a mural in the courtroom of downtown Phoenix.
B) He's been sick.
C) His mathlete team advanced to the finals and he had to go on tour.
D) He's been busy with various peeps.
E) He's lazy.

No matter the answer, I apologize for the delay. This story is long enough as it is(Somewhere between 23 and 27 parts), and the last thing we need is a long break in the middle. So, back to blogging.

This part of the story hits a bit of a downturn, but I think it's important to fill in some of the gaps for anyone who's been reading for a while. It's important to note why the blog needed saving. Despite the language used here, no need to worry about me. Things only get written about once I'm okay with them.


My condo was one of the few in the building that wasn't remodeled, and as such I had moved in much earlier than anyone else. I'd spent months a bit worried that I'd end up with some pain-in-the-ass person next door and we'd fight forever. This wasn't like renting an apartment and having a bad neighbor. I was here indefinitely. For better or worse, this place was mine.

In early October, I could hear my new neighbors moving in next door. I really wanted, all day, to peek out and introduce myself, but I wasn't sure how awkward it would be, so I spent most of the day cleaning and running errands. On my final trip home for the day I would finally run in to the two girls who would end up changing my life forever.

The encounter was nothing more than a brief passing in the hall, but even then I knew it was something more. The next day I would sit down and write about it. At the time I even started a new series of blog entries called "Nerd Word(s)" in an attempt to help document and explain the stupid crap that comes out of my mouth.

Day 31 (November 10th, 2006) -

In one of the boldest moves of my life, I walked across the hall and knocked on the pink door of 11-L. I had hoped to invite Ruth and Rachel hiking with me, but I ended up with a lot more than a simple hiking trip.

An hour later I had been whisked away, and found myself on a balcony talking to Ruth, who I was immediately enamored with. While I joked that it was hard to tell them apart, it wasn't. Not really. Rachel was an instant best friend who could make me laugh or smile without effort, but when Ruth looked at me, my little nerd heart lept out of my chest.

The feeling never made sense to me. It couldn't be a physical attraction difference. They're identical, and Rachel was the twin that seemed best matched to me. She is the loud, crazy, obnoxiously funny one. I spent some time trying to figure out why I felt the way that I did about Ruth. I asked their friends what they thought the differences were between the two. I paid attention to the way they acted. I looked for anything that could be the cause of these feelings, but eventually I relented and just gave in to it.

It didn't matter if the connection made sense. It was there, and it was obvious to me.

When I was sad, she was there with a hug.
When she was cold, I was already taking off my hoodie and putting it on her.
When I needed reassurance in a social situation, her hand would slide towards mine under the table.
When she was hungry, I was already making dinner.

There was no need to verbalize a want, it was already done. The connection was so strong for me that for the first time in my life I was confident with a woman. I didn't need to rush anything with her. It all seemed so inevitable. That confidence would prove to be my undoing.

Day 45 (November 24th, 2006) -

My Grandmother passed away on her 88th birthday, which also happened to be the day after Thanksgiving. She had long been fighting dementia, so her passing was a bittersweet ending to an exceptional life. My mother spent the week making the arrangements for her mother's funeral, and I told her that I wanted to say something. Public speaking ranks as one of the last things that I ever care to do, but in this case, I had a story to share.

Ruth's boyfriend was in town for Thanksgiving, and they spent a good portion of the week arguing and fighting. It was a relationship they both seemed to know was over, but neither had yet verbalized it. His trip seemed, in my eyes, a goodbye (for both).

Day 54 (December 3rd, 2006) -

I found myself in Arkansas for the funeral. We visited with relatives, and stopped by Grandma's school. She had been the principal for her small town for many years, and when they built a new elementary school, it was named after her (Dean Martin Elementary).

I made up my mind on that trip. It was time to tell Ruth exactly how I felt. It was time to make something happen. I returned and entered their condo with my newfound confidence.

I was greeted with a hug and an excited statement, "I met some guy at Sheri's party on Saturday!"

Well, shit.

"That's... great"

Day 74 (December 23rd, 2006) -

The rest of December passed by without major event. Living next to Ruth and Rachel was like living next to the Spice Girls. What once would be described as a "major event" had become quite common place. There were models, singers, ballet dancers, blue men, and actors stopping by on a regular basis, and I quickly learned to take it all in stride. It was quite the departure from my friends who's diversity ended at a Canadian, and that one guy with two level seventy characters in WoW.

Two days before Christmas, Kendall had what she named "The Urban Family Christmas". It was a dinner with friends, and I was had been invited! It was at this party that Ruth would meet the man who would win her heart. He was a pre-med student,, and like most men, he was enthralled by the twins. More specifically, my twin.

At this point in time, Ruthie had numerous suitors, and her main objection to me seemed to be the fact that I was not a member of the Jewish faith. He had that on me, and for that reason I actually encouraged her to go out with him. I was still ridiculously overconfident in my relationship with Ruth, so a small delay couldn't matter.

Day 115 (February 2nd, 2007) -

For my thirtieth birthday, the twins threw me the biggest party of my life. I usually shy away from crowds, but I actually found myself having a good time. At the end of the night, after most people had left, I found myself alone in my room with my neighbor crush. Despite the fact that she lived 5 feet away, we never found ourselves alone. It was time to make my move. It was time to tell her everything.

And then there was a knock at my door. It was him, and he was looking for Ruth. I would soon realize that aggressiveness has it's advantages, and that I had no aggressiveness.

Day 308 (August 14th, 2007) -

Ruth's boyfriend was accepted to medical school in Ohio, and she informed me that she was considering moving with him. The last six months had been a whirlwind romance for her, and she told me that she would spend the next two months deciding.

Maybe it was selfish, maybe it was foolish, but I couldn't bear the thought of her leaving. For the first time, I decided to take action. For the next sixty days I wrote a reason every day for her to stay and posted them in a private blog for her and her alone.

Day 341 (September 16th 2007) -

The new blog ended on Day #34 when Ruthie told me she was moving.

Day ~417 (December 2007) -

As 2007 came to a close, I was broken. I wasn't sure where to go next, but the last thing I wanted to do was write positive, humorous things on a blog. My writing limped along for a while, but eventually I decided it was over. The story I had convinced myself that I was writing had gone the other way. Like a spoiled brat who hadn't gotten his way, I was tired of writing it.

Screw you guys, I'm going home

When I had convinced myself that I didn't care if I quit writing, I got an unexpected letter from Mandi. It was a brief message to let me know that she was still reading and enjoying my blog. It ended with an surprising remark, "My mom reads it too and really likes it!"

Somebody else's mom reads my blog?

It was the mother's guilt trip that I needed. I couldn't possibly quit now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

Part 1: My New Blog Buddy

Day 1 (October 10th, 2006) -

After a few weeks of working my nerdy little ass off, I had finished a very major project at work in the eleventh hour. This project had kept me at my desk until midnight more often than not, and I found myself suddenly relaxed and free of stress. On this particular day, the clock struck three and I was done. I had given the company my time, and while it was best that I stay till five, all work stopped and my attention drifted to my new writing project.

It occurred to me that I hadn't actually read other blogs. It was time to look out and see what the rest of the world was writing about, and to do that I started clicking the "Next Blog" button at the top of the page.

I was more disappointed than the guy who financed The Adventures of Pluto Nash. I constantly joke about being a bad writer, but the average blog makes me look like William Shakespeare.

Spanish Blog - Next Blog
Picture Blog - Next Blog
Spanish Blog - Next Blog
Advertisements - Next Blog
What was supposed to be English, but failed to achieve anything close - Next Blog
Portuguese Blog - Next Blog
Someone that I don't know's baby blog - Next Blog
Some girl in Montana with a nerdy glasses, Tina Fey sorta thing going on who's studying to be a nurse. - Solid grammar. Decent number of posts. Let's see what she has to say.

Over the next few days I would read Mandi's entire blog from start to finish. In some ways it was simple. She wasn't necessarily trying to tell a giant story, or cover a specific topic. It was just a keyhole view of someone else's life. It was well written and engaging, and in the end I had some new ideas on blogging. It was just what I had been looking for.

Day 4 (October 14, 2006) -

I sent Mandi a message on Myspace which in retrospect probably read like a letter from a creepy dude on the Internet. Where a simple, "Hey, I read your blog and really liked it, thanks." would have most likely been sufficient, I wrote a page long email. Jesse 2009 realizes that reading an entire blog gives one a false sense of relationship with the writer because that relationship is inherently one sided. Jesse 2006 did not.

Day 6 (October 16, 2006) -

Luckily for me, Mandi wasn't too creeped out. She wrote back to thank me for reading her blog. She quickly became my first official "blog buddy" and her's would become the first blog linked on the side of mine. In her email she also mentioned the odd coincidence of having a sister who lived in Phoenix.

Had I known Mandi better, my first question would have been, "Is she in to short nerds?", but since I had probably already over stepped my bounds I let it go.

She even left a comment on one of my blog entries about a hiking trip with Geremy and a girl whom I had nicknamed, "Harold".

I like the name game. It's fun! Geremy is Todd, and Amy is Harold... can I be someone else? (Not that you particularly know me, or that there is any foreseeable reason I should turn up in your blog. I just want to be part of the party...)

It's been almost three years, but I'm finally prepared to answer this question. The in office nicknaming scheme for all females is to call them by a geographical location. In this case you'd probably be "Montana", but I think we're just going to have to go with Mandi until a more suitable nickname can be found. I'll have my people call your people. We'll work on it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Thousand Days in the Making

The Prologue

The plan was to write this entry later on, but since it ties well in to my last one, and I find it interesting, I've decided to push some other ones back.

Time wise this story takes place over a 1000 day period of time. Yes, I did the math, and that's accurate give or take about 5 days. A few of the emails that had the exact dates are gone because myspace is lame. If you're involved in this story, and can correct me, feel free.

Since this story is rather lengthy, and completely related to the blog itself, I decided to start with a little history of Sesquipedalis and how it came to be. I hope you enjoy it.


One of the very best parts about writing an autobiographical story blog is to see the butterfly effect in motion, and how the smallest things in your past affect your present. You get to see snapshots in time of your life, emotions and opinions. You get to see how those things change with the gift of hindsight. In this particular story, the part of the butterfly is played by a small button on this web page that looks like this:

Next Blog

The summer of 2006 was an important one for me. I was finally coming out of my post-break up malaise, and I was just starting to become a functioning member of society again. One important step in the recovery process was writing a blog.

Of course I didn't start off writing a blog. I wrote two or three posts on myspace, and never planned on writing more. Then one day, Sean's friend J.R. left a comment on an entry. It was pretty cool that someone I didn't know all that well (at the time anyhow) had taken a moment to read something that I had written. It was even more astounding that he actually enjoyed it.

Around that time I started hanging out with my sister and her friends on a regular basis, which normally consisted of trips out to bars. Miranda and I were always good friends, but since she is seven years younger, and way cooler than I, we didn't hang out too often in a social setting. That changed in 2006 when she took me under her wing and gave me a social personality makeover.

One night Miranda's friend Geremy came out with us. I had known of Geremy for quite some time, but didn't really know him. While Geremy would later become the Robin to my Batman, at the time I saw him as my polar opposite. He was tall, fun and charismatic. We couldn't possibly have anything in common.

"Oh my god! I love your blog!" he shouted one night above the bar noise.
Really? What's this guy know about screwing up with women?

And just like that I had my second blog reader. The problem was that I didn't really have a blog, anything to write about, or any idea how to write. Since somebody seemed to care, and I needed a creative outlet, I decided to put some effort in to it. I moved the few stories I had over to Google's Blogger. Unlike myspace, Blogger required a unique name for the blog. By this point in time Geremy was introducing me as, "Jesse - The guy with the blog. You know, the one I had you read." The response was quite often, "Oh, that was funny... and long. Really long."

Sesquipedalian means "long and ponderous". The word was originally used by Homer to make fun of another writer saying that he used "foot and a half long words", so the connotation is a bit insulting. Sesqui - One and a half. Ped - Foot. Unfortunately that name was taken. I switched it to Sesquipedalis and was officially a blogger.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Three

I apologize that this post is a little serious and self serving. I allow myself one every now and again, hopefully you will too. I promise, we'll get back to stories of me being an idiot soon enough.

Three years ago Saturday, I posted a poorly written story on my myspace blog about my mother trying to set me up with a lesbian. Somehow that story snowballed, and while the myspace profile is all but abandoned, I've now published over 200 stories that mostly deal with me striking out with women. At least that's what it is on the surface. Behind the scenes, at least for me, the blog is a little bit of therapy. It's a lesson in not taking myself too seriously. It's a chance to be creative for someone who's completely uncreative. Most importantly, it's a reminder that life is fantastic.

I actually kept a private journal for about a year's time. That was 6 or 7 years ago. I keep it around as a remind of just how lame I truly can be, but I haven't looked at it in a long while because, quite frankly, it's embarrassing. It's a lot of whining and bitching from a kid who had a pretty good life.

When I started this blog, I decided to make it very public. I knew if nobody else read it, my good friends Adam and Rose would, and they'd give me a solid nut check every time I turned in to a whiny ass. Rule number one of the blog was to always keep things light hearted and happy. At the time I was a little down, and while I didn't look at everything with rose colored glasses, it was easy enough to write it that way.

But something happened that I didn't see coming. Over the last three years the way I live my life has changed because of the blog I've been writing. I started taking risks where I wouldn't before. I started being social where I wouldn't have before. I started being positive where before I'd have been negative. While I've always written myself as a happy-go-lucky, laugh in the face of embarrassment kind of nerd, over time I've slowly become that guy, at least to some extent.

So, to everyone who's given me a little encouragement, sent an email, or even left a comment, thanks for keeping me at it. It's been a solid few years, and hopefully there's more to come.

I realize that I now have at least a reader or two who doesn't know me in real life. If you've got any questions or comments, feel free to comment or email.

"What ever happened between you and so-and-so?"
"Did you really...?"
"Learn to use a comma properly, jackass"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

When a Celebrity Asks if you Want a Picture, You Say Yes

My #1 Pretend Girlfriend Sarah sent me a text this afternoon asking if I wanted to go to the Improv tonight. My schedule was relatively free, and a quick check of the calendar showed that Iliza Shlesinger was headlining. I don't remember watching much of the last season of Last Comic Standing, but I do remember Iliza from the show.

A quick Google search revealed that she was actually the winner.

Good for her. I remember her being funny.

Tickets were purchased, and a few hours later Sarah and I found ourselves waiting in line to enter. As we approached the door, Iliza walked by.

"There's your girlfriend" Sarah said, slightly snickering.

"Huh? Oh." I turned and saw the comedian coming up the steps.

"She's kind of tiny." Sarah pointed out, "You're so in love with her."

Sarah was probably right. Short, cute, energetic, and funny? If that sounds familiar, you've either been reading my dream journal, or you peeked at last year's letter to Santa.

Iliza Shlesinger

The show was fairly amusing, but in a bit of an odd way. It was more like hanging out with your really funny friend than it was a comedy show. It was somehow a little more accessible I guess.

As the show wrapped up, much like a 70 year old man with diabetes, Sarah rushed to the bathroom for trip #2 while I stood in the entry way. There were a few members of the wait staff there and one or two other people, but it was still relatively empty when Iliza walked by and headed for a little place from which to greet the fans. In a minute or two, the small area would be flooded with people, but for now it was just me, two other dudes, and one super cute comedian.

"You want a picture or something?" she asked, to nobody in particular.

And for once I actually had something to say.

"I don't know... If I take a picture with you, I'm going to have to upload it to my facebook. That's all fine, but that also means my mom is going to see, and that means she's going to be calling me at 8:30 tomorrow morning asking me who you are, how we met, and if you want to have children or not. And I gotta be honest Iliza, I like to sleep in on my Saturdays. But what the hell, let's be dangerous and just go for it, shall we?"

At least that's what I thought would be amusing, in my head.

In reality I decided to go with a different tactic. If you remember, I had the balls to ask an ultra famous 325 lbs. man if he'd mind posing for a picture with me, but the hundred pound white girl was just way too intimidating. I stood for a moment actively not making eye contact before retreating a few steps and hoping Sarah would finish up quickly.

Like all good nerds, my confidence rose when I was back behind the safety of the Internet. She mentioned twitter a few times during her act, and she's doing two more shows, so I sent her a tweet asking if she wants to have lunch tomorrow. I'll keep you posted, but if it works out, you're all invited to the wedding.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Elevator Humor.... part 3?

This evening I had a pretend girlfriend date with my friend Sarah. We hit up the CPK, did a little shopping, grabbed some fro-yo, and watched a little Tivo back at my place. It was a solid evening, and at the end of the night we found ourselves in my elevator heading towards the parking lot.

Sarah and I regularly trade long winded stories, and on this particular evening I had interrupted her a few times. As we descended in the elevator she pretended to be upset with me.

"You never let me finish!"

At this point the elevator reached the first floor and the doors began to open. Sarah and I had been play fighting all night, and we know each other well enough to take things a bit far at times.

"I don't care if the ladies finish. It's all about me. That's my move," I responded.

As the last word came out of my mouth I exited the elevator and noticed a blond girl standing to the left waiting to get on. I believe it was the Cardinal's cheerleader that I've bumped in to a few times who lives in the building. I say "believe" because I of course was too embarrassed to look her in the eye.

When we were just out of ear shot Sarah burst out laughing and started on me.

"Just so you know, you've got no chance with that one now."
"Now? She was out of my league already right?"
"Oh, totally."

My Recent Trip to Court

We're going to completely shift gears for a second and I'm going to post something completely serious about my recent jury duty. I wrote this out for someone else, but I've decided to post it for now. It's by no means polished or amusing. I may edit it as I see fit, or remove it all together.

I had to serve on a jury this week. A lot of people seem to be interested in the case and how it turned out. It's odd how something this serious can affect you emotionally for a few days. It's the same feeling I had when my work was raided by ICE and the ATF a few years back (for those who know that story). Maybe it only affects me in this way because being completely serious for two days straight is almost impossible for me.

The Prosecution story started off like this:

Back in 2006 an officer sees a car driving around 9 at night with its headlights off, doing about 10 miles an hour as it approaches a light. At the last minute it jerks suddenly in to the left hand turn lane. He finds this suspicious, pulls up behind it, and after the left hand turn, pulls the lady over.

As he's asking for license and registration, etc. the officer notices that she's a bit flush, and has a faint odor of alcohol, so he asks her to step out of the vehicle and performs the horizontal gaze nystagmus test(The, "Follow this pen/light with your eyes" deal).

Apparently the officers look for 6 specific cues in this test. 3 or more indicate neurological impairment(Most often from consumption of alcohol). She had all six. The officer asks her to submit to some field sobriety tests and she says that she has arthritis and some long time physical injuries that may give inaccurate results. He asks her to take a Breathalyzer and she readily agrees.

He was on a motorcycle. They transport her to a van where they can do the test, and she blows a .126. In AZ it's .08 or higher and you're not supposed to be driving.


At this point I was thinking, "Wrap this one up and we can all go home early. This broad is guilty." The defense hopped up and broke it down like this:

The lady had just left a restaurant where she had sampled a glass of wine, but ultimately decided not to order it. Her car had been valeted here. She has the automatic headlights, and isn't really sure how they got to the off position.  She didn't notice until the cop pulled her over.

The section of town she was driving through had a tremendous amount of confusing construction at that time. (I personally know that to be true because it's about 2 miles from where I live). They were also working at night, so they had a bunch of huge lights out there. The area is next to one of the bigger shopping centers in Phoenix, so it's already very well lit.

She explained that she wasn't sure if it was "this left" or "the next one" to get to the Fry's grocery store she intended to go to. (Again, I know the area, makes sense to me. It's confusing) That's the explanation for the sudden jerking to the left hand turn lane. She also doesn't normally drive at night because of a previous injury, and therefore was a little overly cautious.

Thirty years ago she was in a really serious car accident where her car was "run over" by a semi truck. She spent a decent amount of time in a coma, and months in physical therapy. She has some lingering physical issues and nerve damage. Both sides seemed to agree that this could possibly cause failure of the eye test, although the prosecution obviously thought it was much less likely than the defense.

One of the cues that officers use to test if you're drunk is to ask you questions while you get your license and registration. Apparently the ability to multi-task is one of the first things to go normally. She passed this just fine. She never slurred any speech, or had a loss of balance, or any other visual indications of being drunk. During the time the officer was following her, he noted nothing other than perfect driving.

He then went on for about 4 hours challenging the breathalyzer test itself. Apparently this particular machine had exceptions starting one week after the incident. Within a month it was sent back to the manufacturer for two months of repair. A few months after that, the head of the company that makes the machine came out to perform repairs on the machine and did something that neither side knew to the machine. Six months after the DUI arrest, that machine was decommissioned.

The defense also called as an expert witness, a toxicologist. This guy also happens to be the man who worked for the city of Phoenix in the crime lab in 2006, and he quit because he was upset with the department, and their records keeping. He said that he felt the results in this case were "Scientifically Questionable". The company that made the breathalyzer has never agreed to testify in a case, and has constantly refused requests to view the source code to the machine.

The lady asked for a blood test. The officer, even though qualified to give one, refused. Apparently it wasn't police policy to give one unless the case was serious. If it was "serious" then a blood test was always given. Since 2006, city of Phoenix has switched to only using blood tests. The police told her that she can go somewhere like a hospital and get an independent test.

She said she had a friend take her to 3 different hospitals, but the soonest any would see her is 5 hours. She gives up at that point.


There are, obviously, a lot of other facts to the case, and I'm sure I've forgotten to mention a few. In the end, my gut feeling was that she had done it. She was most likely a wealthy lady. She got a really good lawyer, and was trying to get out of it.

That being said, I still had reasonable doubt. I work on software. The chances of there being a bug seem possible. The breathalyzer was done an hour and a half after the pull over and she blew a .126. .1 is when the average person is supposed to lose fine motor skills. .15 is where you lose major motor skills.

It seemed odd to me that she had no other visible signs of being drunk. No stumbling, no bad driving, no issue retrieving her license/registration.

The other 5 jurors didn't see it that way. The most vocal was a 60 year old republican looking dude whose basic argument was, "Test says she did it. She did it". I remained firm with, "If there was something else to back up a 'scientifically questionable' test result, then I might be inclined to agree."

There was one Indian dude who was most upset that the "Expert in toxicology only had a masters degree." It was his feeling that to be an expert on anything required a Phd. That seemed to be his strongest argument that the test was in fact valid.

The other 3 jurors seemed to have sort of succumbed to mob mentality, and just went along with the pack.

In the end I stuck to my guns and we wound up with a hung jury. The old dude seemed really pissed off at me, bordering on yelling towards the end. The more upset he got, the more calm and logical I got. This seemed to piss him off even more.

He basically told me that I was calling the police officers liars, and discrediting them and their many years of experience. Oddly enough, that's part of what sold me on the not-guilty. All 3 officers who testified were specifically trained in DUI, and not a single one noticed anything else to indicate she was drunk? It just seemed odd. I held everything they said to be true.

As we walked out he mumbled under his breath something like, "I don't even want to think about the amount of tax payer money you've just wasted on this"

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Nerd Word(s): The Tuck and Roll

The Tuck and Roll
- technique

1. Literally: A method of egress from a moving vehicle.
2. Figuratively: Dropping a friend off without turning the car off, and using a very quick stop.

[ Origin: Unknown. ]

- usage
1. I need to drop him off at his girlfriend's house. That woman scares me though, so I'm just giving him the tuck and roll.
2. That's a busy street. I can't just stop in the middle.
No worries man. I'll just tuck and roll.

My Partner in Crime

Part Four: The Heist

This is part four of a multi-part story. If you'd like to read the whole thing, click here and read from the bottom up.

Saturday morning Jo and I woke up and quickly set out in search of adventure. There was much to do, and the Jo-cathalon 2009 was already half over! The day would include the following activites(both planned and unplanned):
  • A trip to the Tempe Center for the Arts
  • Lunch at the Fatburger
  • Discussion of designer jeans with a store clerk(Jo discussed. I mostly just stood there looking like a lump on a log)
  • A walk by Tempe Town Lake
  • A picture(Or two) with a cactus for Jo
  • A Harley Davidson store visit for dad gifts
  • Scooter shopping
  • Dinner with Jo's friend Christine and my sister
Dinner finished up, and by nine we were back on the road to my house feeling both full and extremely tired from the day's events. I was out of planned events, and beginning to worry.

Is this the moment she finally figures out how lame I really am?

Just as the panic began to set in, it was Jo to the rescue.

"You know," she began with a bit of mischief in her voice, "We could go steal Dave's trophy and take pictures with it all over town."

If I had a ring with me, I might have considered proposing on the spot.

"You can print out the pictures and decorate Dave's office with them after I leave."

We grabbed the trophy and took a few pictures before calling it a night. Back at my house we took turns making each other laugh with ridiculous stories and even played a couple of games of wii bowling. The very first email I had ever sent Jo included a wii bowling challenge, so despite the fact that we were quite tired, at least one game had to be played.

The following morning Jo and I walked through downtown Phoenix taking pictures of Jo with the trophy in front of anything that seemed even remotely interesting. As we did, people would stare and ask questions.

"What's your trophy for?"

"Oh this?" Jo would say cooly and motion to the boxer on top of the trophy, "Boxing."

She's got a trophy. That means it has to be true, right?

"She's a feather weight" I'd add. "Best in her class."

After breakfast and a ton of photos, I reluctantly took Jo to catch her flight. When dropping people off at the airport, I normally give them the tuck-and-roll, but this was sort of a special occasion so I parked and walked her to the gate where we shared a goodbye hug and parted ways.

The next week Dave(AKA "The Safety Dance Developer") came to work to find his office very Jo-tastic. I even made a little slide show out of it so he'd never forget. I recommend pressing the "Full Screen" button for the full effect.

Special note for mom: If the video is all jittery, hit the pause button and wait for it to fully load. You can tell by the little red bar at the bottom.

My Partner in Crime

The Epilogue

Part four was supposed to be the ending to this story, but last week Jo and I had the following conversation via text(Because I'm afraid to talk to girls on the phone). I thought this made a fitting ending to the story.

For those wondering, yeah, I'm wordy in text messages too.


Me: I've had like 10 people ask me about me and you now. I didn't even know 10 people read my blog. Everyone wants to know how this story ends. I think you're the Sesquipedalis ringer

Jo: We need a better ending. Something with jazz hands.

Me: Next time I see you, I'll get drunk for the first time ever and hit on you. You can throw a drink in my face, plant a big kiss on my sister, and then I "Never heard from her again"
Either that, or we could drive to Vegas and get Married. I'm good either way.

Jo: You're on to something there. She's totally my type

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nerd Games: Hide and Go Trophy

If you've been keeping up with the blog for a while, you'll remember that back in March Sean and I threw the St. Patty's day party to end all St. Patty's day parties. If you don't remember, feel free to click here and read all about it.

The party was a huge success. There was beer pong, rock band, and boxing. I even took a little time out for some Photo-Bombing:

n27705770_33610460_5619494


I myself had no intention of participating in the boxing, but once I was challenged by a few women, my hands were tied. I'm pretty sure that I ended the night with the best record, but when it came down to it, everyone had been beaten by the most unlikely person.

My co-worker Dave(AKA "Valley D", AKA "The Safety Dance Developer") destroyed everyone in the ring. It's odd because Dave is basically the real life version of Shaggy from the Scooby-Doo cartoons. He's a peace loving hippie who's famous quote is, "It's cool man". Unfortunately for the rest of us, after he had downed a few beers and crawled in to the ring, it was not cool. It was very not cool, man.

DSC00428


The next day Valley D brought his trophy in to the office, and set it out for all to see. Sean and I decided that this was unacceptable and when Dave's back was turned, we stole it and hid it. Dave eventually found it, it mysteriously disappeared again. This soon turned in to a new way to pass the time at work, and I'd guess that at this point the trophy has spent more time lost than it has found.

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Partner in Crime

Part Three: The Arrival

This is part three of a multi-part story. If you'd like to read the whole thing, go here and read from the bottom up.

They say you don't get a second chance to make a first impression, and with that in mind I planned a little something extra for Jo's arrival. She had once given a very accurate description on her blog of what kind of man she was after(click here to read). I'm about as close to the description of starting center for the Phoenix Suns as I am to Jo's description of the perfect man, but a quick trip to Easley's costume shop would fix that.

Beard


While I found the costume amusing and knew that Jo would get the reference, what didn't occur to me until I arrived at the airport was that security wouldn't be in on the joke. At first the stares and pointing were amusing, but my mind quickly started imagining scenarios where I end up in a windowless room explaining why I'm dressed in a disguise as a South American. The last thing I needed was to be detained, so I wussed out and took the hat and beard off.

I still had about 10 minutes before Jo arrived, and the nerves quickly spiked to an all time high.

Would I recognize her? What if she was just kidding and isn't actually coming? What if she's actually a 300 pound dude? What was I thinking? Did I have the right time? Was I at the right terminal? What if...

And then she came out of the gate...

I'm really only afraid of three things in this world: Smart Girls, Funny Girls, and Pretty Girls. Jo happens to be all three. While my first instinct was to run and hide, I decided to stick it out.

I called out to her, and after a brief hello we were soon on the road to my house.

Jo had previously joked that after months of talking on the Internet, we'd find ourselves in person with nothing but uncomfortable silence, but fortunately that wasn't the case. In fact, it was almost dissapointing how not weird it was.

How can I blog normal? I can't do anything with "good"

We had dinner, and then stayed up late, talking and gossiping like two girls at a slumber party.

The next day we went to see my one true love in the world: Steve Nash. Despite not being an NBA fan, Jo was a good sport. She even wore the Nash jersey I had bought for her and cheered for the Suns.

IMG_1661


After the game we met Mory and her boyfriend Anew on the West side for a late night snack. Miranda is always a good judge of character, so I often find myself deferring to her opinions. She has a way of pointing out things that I never would have noticed. I also figured that after hanging out with me for a day straight it was time to call in some backup to keep Jo entertained. It had only been 24 hours, I couldn't let her figure out how lame I really am. Not yet anyhow. With a little help from my sis, I could keep the illusion up a little longer.

Jo and Mory immediately hit it off. Jo even invited Mo out on Saturday for our dinner plans. We got home late, and stayed up even later gabbing again. Later in the night I would receive a text message from Miranda.

I like her. She's fun


Monday, June 08, 2009

My Partner in Crime

Part Two: The Realization

When we last left our hero, he was happier than Kirstie Alley after Luby's opened an all you can eat buffet near her house. His current e-crush Jo had recently agreed not just to meet him, but to stay with him for an entire weekend. It was like Christmas in April, and his mind was naturally racing. We now return to this week's episode already in progress

"Wait wait wait. The redhead? The one you showed me the picture of?" my sister attempted to make sense of my ramblings from the other side of the phone.

It was too early in the morning for a real explanation, but I had to talk about it with someone. The only person in the office at this hour was Liang, and I just wasn't ready for that yet.

"Yes, that one. Jo."

"Oh. No, she's too hot to even be talking to you. You sure this isn't just some elaborate set up to steal your crap?"

"Well. I mean... no. But it seems like a lot of effort for a couple of video game consoles and a bean bag."

"I tell you what. If I don't hear from you by Sunday I'll head on over, untie you from the bed, and take the ball gag out of your mouth."

In my family, we show we care by making fun of each other. Right now Miranda was caring a lot.

She continued her support, "Let's assume for a second that this turns out to be legit, and this girl actually wants to hang out with you. What the hell are you going to do with a cute, smart, funny girl for four days?"

Shit

I hadn't really thought this through. Much like a one handed Luke hanging from cloud city, I quickly realized that a little more planning was in order. Luckily for me, I realized it before it was too late.

I figured if I hadn't scared the girl off yet, it was time to up the ante. I soon had a to do list of considerable size that included the following:
1. Purchase two Sun's tickets.
2. Clean the car.
3. Get a fake, grey beard.
4. Make a dinner reservation for that Saturday at a place in north Scottsdale.
5. Clean the house.
6. Purchase one sombrero.
7. Purchase one child's large size Steve Nash jersey.

Two weeks later the date had arrived. I found myself driving towards the airport to pick Jo up. Internally I was a wreck, but on the outside I did my best to keep it cool.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Chair Building

Back in August of last year I made a silly video about a chair. That story can be found here.

Well, last night my friend Adam suggested I submit it to iReport. They were looking for Tetris related content for the 25th anniversary of Tetris. I followed Adam's advice, and awoke to an email from someone at turner.com.

My video was tagged with an "On CNN" mark, and I later found it here on the cnn video site:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/ireports/2009/06/04/irpt.tetris.chair.build.cnn

I haven't gotten any other feedback from them, so I don't know if it's airing on TV or not. I find the whole thing fairly amusing, because without any explanation the video makes no sense. Hell, it makes no sense even with explanation.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The results are in!

You'll have to forgive me a bit for dragging my feet on determining a winner to the free lunch contest. The past few weeks have been a bit hectic, and just as I went to finish this off, my laptop died. For me that's a kick in the junk the size of which you wouldn't believe.

Just like last year, we'll take a look at the guesses before we get to the answer:

$41.38 - Exzavier
$65.87 - Anna
$68.43 - Servant
$83.17 - Dave
$87.53 - Ghedoicy
$95.96 - TR
$104.00 - Matt
$110.50 - Liang
$111.38 - Motz
$111.69 - Nikki
$122.12 - Miranda
$136.00 - Jo
$141.67 - Adam
$152.37 - Jesse
$158.00 - Megan
$169.69 - Beadle
$191.43 - Rose
$202.00 - Andrew
$212.00 - Stacy

And the grand total was....
$140.13

Just like I predicted, a cute girl who is in to short nerds won it all. Everyone congratulate Adam on his win. I'll get with you later on how we manage to get you a free lunch from 5600 miles away(That's 9100 Kilometers for you Adam).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Please make this product

I was about 12 when it first hit. And it hit in a big way. I was watching a Sun's game with the family. We were set to play the Portland Trail Blazers that night.

Mom walked in to the TV room in the back of the house and asked, "Who are we playing? Oh... Porkland"

Porkland?

I brushed it off. We all make mistakes, and my family is from Arkansas. The fact that we can speak and know how to read puts us a cut above the rest.

In the first half she would scream, "AJ threw the ball away!" after then point guard Kevin Johnson made a bad pass.

I think they call him KJ mom...

Later in the evening mom would announce, "Chamberland is having a good night, but the Sun's really need to find a way to stop Drixoral."

She was of course referring to then Power Forward/Center Tom Chambers and Portland star Clyde "The Glide" Drexler.

At this point the gloves came off, and the entire family started giving mom some good natured ribbing that has continued to this day. I realize the following is a joke by SNL, but if Sony, or some other electronics manufacturer could make this product, I'm not sure there's a price that I wouldn't pay for it.

Please.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

At Least I'm Not the Only One

Greetings from lovely, slightly overcast, San Diego. I'm currently midway through packing things up for the return trip home tomorrow, but thought I'd duck out to sit on the patio overlooking the ocean for a minute with my best friend in the whole world, the laptop. While you're here, don't forget to enter the free lunch contest here.

I was walking through Carlsbad Village today enjoying two of my favorite vacation sports: food and people watching. I was exiting a local restaurant, sandwich in hand, when a girl with bright blue hair walked by.

Wow, that's cool.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who noticed. A guy sitting at an outside table commented, "I like your hair"

"Thanks" she said without really turning, and continued on her way.

She was almost out of earshot when the guy, undaunted tried again, "Where'd you get it done?"

"My husband's a hairdresser. We do each other's hair."

Ouch...

"Um... well... uh... where do you guys cut hair? Do you have a card?"

Wow, not taking no for an answer.

He continued, "Because I'm a hairdresser too"

Sure you are, buddy

"No" she ended the conversation and finally walked off. I felt like going and giving him a pat on the shoulder, but instead found a seat and ate my sandwich.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nerd Games: The Free Lunch

Year Two

Me going on vacation is about as frequent as a Halley's Comet visit, but I'm going to be out in Cali for almost a week coming up. With that in mind I figured it was time to toss up the Free Lunch contest for this year. I don't think change accumulated as fast this year as it normally does, but then the contest ran a little long. That means this year it's anyone's game. Good luck, and see you in a week or two!

Just like last year I'm inviting everyone to guess how much money is in my change jar. The closest to the exact dollar amount gets a free lunch from/with me.

Feel free to comment, email, IM, or even tweet your guess to me. A winner will be picked in roughly 10 days.

Rules:
1. The location of the dinner must be mutually decided upon, and the value per meal not to exceed 25 dollars. If the winner lives out of state, then some alternative prize will be awarded.
2. I reserve the right to kick anyone out of the competition for any reason.
3. Results may be modified to ensure the winner is a cute girl who is single and in to short nerds.
4. Non-US currency in the jar will not count towards the total.


This year, for comparison's sake, we'll use a standard sized Coke can and a half built Lego Minstorms NXT Robot, since everyone should know the exact size of that. Feel free to click on the images for a bigger picture.  

DSC00510

DSC00511


I'll give you a hint. Guess more than twenty bucks.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

My Partner in Crime

Part One: The Invitation

In early 2009, as they are wont do, plans changed. At first Jo's move to Phoenix was delayed for a month, but soon that delay was put on indefinite status. It was Episode One all over again. Huge excitement. Big let down.

I had other things going on though, so I took the disappointment in stride. Jo and I kept up with our online back and forth, and somehow it just worked. It was odd to have someone who got all my jokes and weirdness without much effort, and I enjoyed the long distance pen pal. She quickly became my go to girl for all things Internet.

One night in March I picked her brain about all of the attention my blog had been receiving and how I should go about handling it. We cracked jokes and swapped stories while each preparing our dinners. I mused over the fact that we were eating dinner together from a thousand miles away. Out of my last few meals with a member of the opposite sex, this had by far been the best.

Does that say something about me?

Jo went to bed, but the feeling stuck and I decided it was time to put a face to the ten point Times New Roman font that had been making me laugh for the past four months. The clock read 9:54pm, but I threw caution to the wind and began typing out an email novel.

An hour later it was done. It was done, and long. It included bad jokes, predictions of the future, wussy moments, stupid stories, and most importantly an invitation to stay at my house. I even went so far as to offer to pay for the air fare.

The goal for 2009 is to be a little more forward in all aspects of life.

I mulled it over once more before clicking the send button. It was time to be assertive.

The next morning I awoke and could see the light on my phone flashing in the mirror next to the bed. I had yet to shake off my early morning grogginess, and assumed that someone from work had emailed me. As I clumsily clicked through the menus the previous night's online adventures came rushing back.

The email was from Jo.

Ugh... what did I do? Why did I send that email? At least she responded. That means she's still talking to me. Right?

I hesitated for a moment, but finally clicked to open it.

A simple, "You should come hang out," would have worked.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is Not the Post You Were Looking For

  • Yesterday the swine flu hit the Internet. No, I don't mean the actual flu. I mean the general pandemonium of it. Twitter was on fire with messages about it. News sites were running reports. At the end of the day, what good did it all do?

    Let's keep in mind that roughly 155,000 people die each day for various reasons. It's really not time to freak out yet. That being said, I find it amusing that while the whole world was in an uproar, someone at the U.S. Department of Health was finding my blog by searching for Shaq:

Dept of Health

  • Today I went to the Podiatrist. Apparently I have a very mild case of Plantar Fasciitis if anyone really cared. The fantastic part is the location of the doctor's office. It resides right here on the second floor of this building. Anyone see the problem? Two points if you do.

Podiatrist

  • Alexis Gentry, the new Twitter voice of the Suns, and head coach Alvin Gentry's daughter recently asked the fans for nicknames for Goran Dragic. I posted a reply, which she actually mentioned.

    My family's nickname for Dragic comes from both his resemblance to my man-crush Steve Nash, and from my mother's tendency to mix up basketball players. Many a night we would walk in to the living room to hear Mom screaming, "Nash you fool!" A quick glance at the court would reveal that Nash was actually on the bench. Dragic's nickname soon became "Not Nash".

    "Oh man. Not Nash is on fire tonight."


Nash Dragic

  • Searching Google for: Best Story on Blogger has me as the #1 or #2 hit right now.
    Searching Google for: Babe of the Day puts me on the first three pages.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Blog Serves a Purpose

I feel like I've been taking more crap than a Dutch porn star about my blog lately. People aren't happy with this post or that post, or they're not happy with the frequency of posts. Well, there's a lot going on, and it's sort of hard to distill it all down to a manageable story for the blog. I realize in retrospect that I posted the last "Nerd Words" a bit early, since this entry doesn't use the term. I just double checked though, and it turns out that I don't care too much.

I'd like to take the time to write out this entire story before posting it as this story sets up the base for a few more, but I feel the need to post something. So, let's just wing it and see how it goes, shall we?

In the mean time, if anyone out there would like a job ghost writing for Sesquipedalis feel free to email me.


In 2007 I somehow ended up on a "Social Networking" site. I believe I was lured in by a test that promised to either tell me which light saber color I am, or which Firefly character I would be. A few months later I figured, "What the hell?" and filled out my profile. .

After the initial rush of talking to a few girls online, I mostly forgot about the account. The thing with these online sites is that single, sane women are jumped on like the last Miller Lite at a frat party about two seconds after they sign up. As a guy, you have to do something to set yourself apart from the crowed and selling "Jesse" isn't exactly my strong suit. With that in mind, I threw up a brief description of myself and a link to the blog. I figured if anyone had a genuine interest in me, a glance at the stories here would relieve them of the ailment.

Back in November I took a glance around to see if there was anyone new and interesting in the area, and to my surprise there was. Near the top of my match list was a girl named Jo. She was short, redheaded, slightly nerdy, and funny. Really funny. She even mentioned playing Wii in her profile. For a short kid with big feet this was like finding a ring in a cave that makes you invisible.

Despite the fact that I had only viewed an online profile, I was already too intimidated to talk to her. I spent a week working up the sack to send an email. I read and reread her profile thinking of witty things to say. A few self affirmation speeches, a prayer service, and a pep talk from Mory later and I finally landed on something resembling, "Will you marry me?". I immediately regretted sending the email and cried myself to sleep assuming I'd blown my chance with the girl.

The expectations were low, and the e-crush at a manageable four until a few days later when I received a rather lengthy response including the statements, "Wii bowling is rad" and "The other day I applied for a job with the Obama administration, saying that I should be the Secretary of the Internets."

The e-crush was now climbing at an alarming rate.

It turned out that Jo had not only viewed my profile, but also spent a decent portion of an afternoon reading through the blog. Even more surprising is that she still chose to respond.

Jo was living in Chicago, but had plans to move to Phoenix. She explained that she had changed her profile to say "Phoenix" in hopes of meeting some decent peeps to hang out with after the move. I read through her blog(Which you can now find linked on the side of mine), and we were soon exchanging emails on a semi-regular basis. To say that I was excited for her "early 2009" move to Phoenix would be an understatement.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Nerd Word(s): The Ten PM Rule

The Ten PM Rule
- words to live by

1. No writing personal emails after Ten at night.

[ Origin: I used to go visit Ana a lot, and it was a long drive back to my house from Chandler. I had a major crush on her, so the drive home was usually spent thinking about her and how the evening had gone. When I got home I'd generally have a whole new set of things that I wanted to talk to her about so I'd write an email that was usually overly wussy and emo.

After a while I had to make a rule: "No more emails after 10 pm". ]


- usage
1. Yeah, I almost wrote you a reply, but I had a lot to say and it was after 10 so I figured it could wait till the morning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Call Me Sweet Pea

One of the more interesting parts of high rise living is the diversity of the neighbors.  At first I took it upon myself to get to know everyone I could, but with over 200 units in the building, I quickly found that my efforts were futile.  In the down economy, the residents rotate on a regular basis, and by the time you've learned a person's name, they're gone.

To combat this phenomenon the twins and I devised a simple "Friends" like naming scheme to facilitate in the necessity of passing building gossip.

"So, I ran in to Psycho Blond Chick today"
"Wait... Is she the one across from Scary Racist Dude?"
"No no no.  That's Angry Fighting Couple.  Psycho Blond chick is one unit over"

The interesting thing about Scary Racist Dude's unit is that it's always occupied by someone who is just off.

After Scary Racist Dude it was Pot Smoker Pete.  PSP was then replaced by the most recent occupant, Crazy Witch Lady. I'm not saying that CWL practices black magic, but if this was 1692 I'd be dunking her in the pool to see if she could escape with her hands tied.


As I opened my door a few days ago I was surprised to find a small dog running up to greet me. I looked down the hall and a moment later a door off in the distance opened. CWL would emerge, covered in henna, her hair in that oh so trendy Albert Einstein do, and a general look that said, "I'm somewhere else right now."

She didn't even glance in my direction as she shouted, "Let's go Sweet Pea."
Without hesitation I responded, "Be right there Sugalump" and it was then that she finally reacted to my presence.

"Oh. She's the ambassador of the floor" she explained the dog greeting me.
"Oh.  The dog.  I thought you were talking to me" I feigned ignorance, explaining my joke.
"You're the ambassador for the floor?" she asked, somewhat confused.

Huh?

The eleven floor elevator ride was taken in complete silence save a few socially awkward whimpers from Sweet Pea.