Friday, April 1, 2011

Ideas 101

1) I used to be so much more creative. Like, when I was living in Indiana, my roommate and I calculated how much extra cash we could make if we turned our apartment into a kennel. It was about 1200 square feet, and we figured that with bunk beds, we could combine our living space into the master bathroom, leaving the entire rest of the place for boarding. We were both business majors so we anticipated some of the possible pitfalls: run-ins with the apartment office...possible zoning violations etc... But we countered that by asserting that we would aggressively market ourselves to people who wanted to board exotic animals. The theory being that if you had mountain lions, rattlesnakes and grizzly bears, rare is the neighbor, super, or process server that would have the balls to knock on your door.

2) Then this other time, we tried to figure out how far we would get if we strapped solid rocket boosters onto all four corners of our building and tried to become the first "luxury apartment complex for professionals" to orbit the earth. I mean, all the good "firsts" have been accomplished in the realm of the space program. I'd have given anything to be part of a project that allowed the common man to peer down at the earth from his balcony. And of course, the constant problem they had with people having open fires on the deck would be solved.

3) Another time, Mike and I were watching the weather channel and they were explaining how severe weather forms. You know the drill..two air masses collide...warm front and a cold front meet and boom. So we attempted to see if we could make it rain indoors. He turned the air conditioner in his bedroom up to "Freeze der hiney off" and I had about three space heaters going in the living room. It was about 100 degrees out, so I cracked the window to get the necessary moisture as well. I think we got the temperature differential in the living room and his bedroom to a delta of about 60 degrees and then opened the door. We had our blast goggles on, ala "Real Genius" but nothing happened except the smoke alarm went off for a really long time.

4) Anyone who knows me knows that my dad is my best friend. He's retired now, but he worked two jobs to put me through college so I could make my dreams come true. And well, damn it. They have! I'm basking here in the glory of middle management. I got my 3% raise, just like they always knew I would. Yes folks, I have attained my kingdom. But so much for my dream. What about my dad's dream? My dad came from a very poor town on the West coast of Ireland. Most of his young life, he didn't have enough to eat. At Christmas time, the big treat was getting meat at dinner, instead of potatoes and salt.

He was born an American citizen, as my grandparents were naturalized during the Taft administration, so he came to the USA and joined the Army. He met and married my mother and worked for 28 years (the last 17 with perfect attendance) at a major pharmaceutical plant.

My dad, my best friend. He's a modern day rags to riches success story. And now that I have my dream, I really want him to have his. And, for as long as I can remember, his dream has been to replace the tires on my mother's Cadillac sedan with 8ft quarry truck tires, just to see the expression on her face when she comes out to head to 8:15 mass on Sunday. He says, of course, that he would provide a step ladder.

5) As much as it may shock some of you, I have a younger sister. (Not that my parents wanted another child after seeing how I turned out, but they're Catholic and I guess they wanted to have sex a second time) She is an excellent athlete. In fact, my sister played 3 varsity sports in college, and as a point guard, set the all time conference record for career assists. The record still stands. She credits much of her success to hooping it up with my friends and I. We were bigger and older and she was 4 years younger. We'd pick up sides on the court, and when playing people who didn't know her, we'd leave picking my sister till last. Nobody was gonna chose *the girl*. Of course what they didn't know is that she could run the point at 13 years old better than almost any of the 17 year old guys out there. But the best thing about my sister? She was probably the dirtiest basketball player who ever put on sneakers. Driving to the hoop? Oops...sorry about that vicious elbow to the groin. Go ahead, take the ball out.

6) I just noticed that back in the summer, I raised the blinds next to my desk to let in the afternoon sun. That had to be back in May or so. Those blinds are still up, in the exact same position. I wonder if I left, would those blinds ever be lowered, or would an archaeological dig in 1000 years conclude that workers of the past were able to photosynthesize instead of getting up for lunch.

7) Gas prices are apparently going to go up this summer. Don't I look like the smart one indeed for having put a sizable down payment on a hot air balloon.


  1. If I wasn't struggling with a chest full of bronchitis, I would have greatly appreciated the great big laughs I got out of this post. You're one funny dude. And how about them Phils?

  2. Thank you. You're one of my chief motivators so I appreciate the feedback. Feel better, ok? Get someone to make chocolate chip cookies.

    Love the Phils comeback although our network went down here in the 6th inning and I couldn't hear the game online and was up to my ears in the angry.

  3. Mark,
    Thanks for the laughs. I didn't think Christine was a dirty player - just good ole Big East Style "Catholic" basketball :-)

  4. HEY! Glad to have you back in my blogsphere, I missed your writings :-)