Friday, March 30, 2007

Urinal Rules

I don't think woman could ever understand the male bathroom situation. Whereas most of the time woman get their own little "private" cubby hole to do their business, a lot of times men are practically rubbing elbows when standing at the urinal. This leads to some interesting situations, of which I will take note.

The first place I really started noticing personal and societal Urinal Rules was at my fraternity. We had two bathrooms for males, one upstairs and one downstairs, each with 3 urinals and 4 stalls. There was an immediate unspoken rule that you don't take the center urinal if you are alone. That way if someone else needed to come in to drain the lizard, you both had your space. Around my junior year I had the wherewithall, or gumption if you will, to experiment with the rule. What would happen if I used the center urinal? I would only use it if no one else was using one of the three. What I found was pretty humorous... my fraternity brothers would wait for me to finish. Most were pretty clever about waiting: sifting through magazines, washing their face, checking the stalls, etc. But one brother, Karl, always made me laugh because he would stand behind me as if in line. When I was done and turned around, his head would be down, not wanting any eye contact as we dosey-doed.

The second place was at sports events, like Cardinal's ballgames. Alcohol definitely affects the Urinal Rules (this was further substantiated with adult use of alcohol at the fraternity). The Rules no longer matter. Guys talk to one another like they would anywhere else. Guys contact one another - rubbing elbows no longer matters and I have even seen a guy pat another on the back while both were facing the urinal. Back at the fraternity I noticed only with alcohol would people choose to take the middle urinal right away...whether or not someone was at the side urinals.

The third place was where I had the weirdest experiences was in law school in the "busy" bathrooms. Rhere were two urinals and two to four stalls in those bathrooms. What I noticed was that almost half the time, the guy would go to a stall rather than a urinal even if the bathroom was empty. I had one experience where I was sitting on the pot reading a newspaper (school has stacks of free ones) and I was alone in the bathroom. A guy comes in gets in the sole other stall next to me, locks it, only to pee. I really don't understand that behavior at all.

Oh, I just have to say that all these urinals don't have partitions. Partitions make such a different to Urinal Rules.

I am no sociologist, but I really believe that you can tell a lot about someone just from how where they choose to pee. I almost wish I didn't notice the other guy's choice of things, but I do. And now you might too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Morning Routine

Every morning I go to the gas station located right next to my parking lot. It's a simple Shell, about what you would expect for any gas station.

Every morning I grab a liter of Mountain Dew and some kind of breakfast. It is horrible what I eat usually. Most of the time I eat Dunkin' Sticks which are the love child between a donut and snacky cake. Sometimes I will grab a jalapeno hotdog. Or, if I am feeling particularly healthy, I will grab a cereal bar.

This morning I was a little late. Usually I like to get to the library as soon as it opens (7:30), but we had a shift in babysitters and I didn't get to Shell until 7:50.

The cute girl at the cash register blinked when she saw me come up to give my daily tithe.

"You're early," she said. Now throughout my years at law school I have become accustomed to the employees at Shell. They kind of know me. I kind of know them. But, it stays pretty "professional," mostly because I am just tired and have a 10 minute walk across campus to my building.

I was kind of taken aback because first she was rather new in comparison to the other employees, but also because I was in fact late. I checked their little wall clock to make sure.

"Actually, I am late."

She rubbed her eyes and retorted that I was messing up her body clock.

I chuckled and grabbed the heavenly chemicals that would get me to lunch, where I promised I would have a brown rice wrap or something equally healthy, "I'll try to be on time tomorrow."

It made my day. Not because she was cute or we had a playful exchange (yeah I was paraphrasing a little), but because I was noticed in a situation where notice is not required. I know many times I will walk through a shop and pray that no stupid salespeople ask me questions. If I have a goddamn question I will seek you out, but of course then I won't be able to find one. I get to a checkout line and hope that the cashier just boops me through with just a nice "hello."

But, I have to say it is nice to have more. It reminds me that we are all just people getting through the day. We are all really in the same boat.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


a.k.a. "Vacant"
Lyrics by Maynard James Keenan

"Dead as dead can be,"
the doctor tells me.
But I just can't believe him.
Ever the optimistic one, I'm sure of your ability
to become my perfect enemy.

So, wake up and face me.
Don't play dead, 'cause maybe
someday I will walk away and say,
"You disappoint me. Maybe you're better off this way."

Leaning over you here
cold and catatonic.
I catch a brief reflection of what you could and might have been.
It's your right and your ability
to become my perfect enemy.

But, maybe you're better off this way.

Go ahead and play dead.
I know that you can hear this.
Go ahead and play dead.
Why can't you turn and face me?
You fucking disappoint me.

Passive aggressive bullshit.

A Perfect Circle has two songs that are just about the most moving I've ever heard. The sentiment is powerful, supremely human, and so uniquely expressed. Only those you love the deepest can hurt you the most. How do you deal with it, when the one you love becomes atrocious?

Also the manner and method of the sins being committed. Most people can't process or explain it. They can't understand it so there's nothing left to do but suffer it under the additional pain of frustration and confusion. This song and "The Outsider" both do a phenomenal job of confronting and addressing (perhaps not effectively, but perhaps still as well as one might) such crimes of subtlety.

Recipe: Tuna Burrito

Back when I was a super-metabolized high school athlete, I used to eat nearly five meals a day. One of my constants was shredded cheese in a tortilla with green Tabasco sauce nuked for about 20 seconds. It was all good. I eventually made the recipe a little more complex with some ingredients you would never imagine.

Before I give you the recipe, I want to say... I am a food snob (according to my wife). I like to think I am a foodie. I don't think I have peculiar tastes, and this recipe is one of my favorites (last week I was fiending for one). So, please don't just discount it because of the ingredients.

Rav's Tuna Burrito
2 flour tortillas
1 can of regular tuna (not albacore!)
handfuls of shredded cheese, preferably cheddar or mexican-mix
1/4 cup of diced onion
BBQ sauce of choice, preferably spicy

1. Drain can of tuna and add BBQ sauce to can until tuna is "not dry."
2. Divide can of BBQ tuna to tortillas. Add cheese and onion.
3. Nuke for 30-40 seconds.
4. Eat.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Genesis 51

1-The LORD saw this and he was pleased.
2-Unto the brothers of Joseph He thus spake. "Your days have been difficult, yet your people have persisted."
3-"You seem to have the hang of this, more or less. I've got some other projects I've been working on so I'll be going now."
4-And the brothers lamented, "O Father! What are we do to without you?"
And in return the LORD replied, "Don't sweat it, fellas. You'll be fine. It's a big world with lots of people. You just do what you think is best with it."
5-But they feared responsibility the LORD thus endowed and so they pleaded, "Stay with us, O Father! O King and creator of all! We will build great temples to Thee and pay homage and sacrifice!"
6-The LORD found their offers endearing and did pity them. "Indeed I have created all by my will, and as king of creation I only give one command:
7-That ye be, and make use of the creation I hath wrought."
8-The command of the LORD did stir the meek men's hearts. But their minds were unresponsive to sorting it out just what they were to do about it. And so they cried again unto the LORD.
9-"We will honor your command, O Father, O Lord, and it will be law!" And the brothers murmured to themselves for a bit before asking, "Could you maybe, though, be a little more specific?"
10-Now the LORD was becoming a bit irritated. The LORD double checked the LORD's notes to make sure that he had, in fact, instilled in his creation of human kind the ingredient of free will.
11-And lo! It was so! Right there, check-marked, day 6, sure enough...
12-"I have made you in My image," endeavored the LORD, "So really... you can figure this out for yourselves. It's quite simple, as I previously stated in verse 7. I must be going now, take care!"
13-And then the LORD left the Earth, though he continued to observe His creation since it did please him ever still. But the brothers of Joseph remained vexed and frightened.
14-"What are we to do!" they cried to eachother as they gnashed their teeth and tore at their hair. "We must have the intervention of the LORD to know what is right, or else others who do not believe as we may run amok!"
15-And the brothers agreed and they took council and decided on just what they were pretty sure the laws of the LORD might well have been had he taken the time to spell every detail out.
16-And hither forth in the rest of the books of this text is an account of the fruits of their labors.