A random collection of events and thughts from the past couple of days:
- Driving across Nebraska the other night was surreal. The snowstorm that had crossed through there in the previous days had made the highways especially treacherous. The interstate was littered with cars buried in the snow and the shoulders and median. I saw nearly a dozen overturned tractor-trailers along the way, too - one of which had apparently caught fire and completely burned up. It is what I always imagined driving across Europe during/after World War II might have looked like - the shells of abandoned vehicles like gravestones on the landscape. It was eerie.
- My stay in Omaha was a protracted affair, lasting nearly 24 hours. After getting my truck serviced early on Tuesday morning I proceeded to leave when the guard at the gate informs me that I need to go see the good folks in the safety department. Turns out they need to do my annual review and they also want to do a random drug test. There's one problem, I just went to the bathroom, so all-in-all, this took about 4 hours. Completed, I proceed to leave again when the guard informs that my truck is flagged to have tires. What?!?! Why didn't they tell me this before so that it could be done while I was wrangling with the good folks in the safety department? So I go to the tire shop, they had been looking for me for a while and intended to put me in the shop after they completed the truck they were working on. I park the tractor across from the shop and sure enough, about 30 minutes later they come out to get me. I go to pull out of the parking space and it won't budge - the tires are just spinning in the snow. I make a feeble attempt to dig out the tires to no avail and seek assitance in the truck shop to have someone come pull me out. They guy adds me to "the list", heh. Turns out, there are quite a few tractors stuck in parking spaces around the lot. I decide to take a nap and four hours later they wake me up so they can pull me out. Out of my snowy confines a find more suitable parking and tell the tire shop I'm out and ready. They get to me about 30 minutes later and have the new tires on the truck in about 30 more minutes. A 30 minute job that could've been done that morning had it been told to me ended up taking nearly 10 hours due to their lack of my communication and my misfortune with the snowy parking spot. Of course, now this means I have to drive all night and finally make it to Benton Harbor, Michigan - about 30 miles from my first delivery - at 7am in the morning with only 2 hours to spare. I shut down and sleep til about noon and manage to get 4 stop off today. Not too shabby. Tomorrow, I get to drive the wonderful, rut-worn streets of Detroit. Weeeeee.
- I finished playing Ghost Recon the other day. Turned out to be a much more enjoyable game than I was anticipating. They worked out a lot of the annoying problems you encountered in earlier versions of the Tom Clancy games like Rainbow Six so that you just didn't get frustrated with it and say "fuck it". So now I'm gameless and probably will be until I do a computer upgrade sometime this spring with my tax return. There are a ton of titles that I want to get to. Splinter Cell, the new Medal of Honor installment, Deus Ex 2... and something I saw in the stores the other day, available for "reserve your copy today", Doom 3! Hell yeah! The original first person shooter has a new installment. Hopefully, it won't suck.
- Interesting oxymorons: "Press release", "Turned-up missing", "Recorded live"
- The Bob Newhart bits I had were great. Most of his comedy is not your standard joke/observation fare, but more conversational, situation stand-up. He'll setup a situation for the audience, for instance "Ben Franklin In Analysis" or "Abraham Lincoln's Press Agent" then carries one side of the conversation. One makes them so entertaining and funny is his brilliance sense of timing, which if you've ever watched any of his television programs, you know what I'm talking about: his stammering and pauses.
Mitch Hedberg is a trip. I don't know anything about him, but the album of his that I listened to was a blast. He's in the vein of Steven Wright with out-there, stoner sort of observations. A classic Steven Wright bit was to start a joke with "The other day..." then pause and say "..oh wait, that wasn't me." Mitch pulled a similar stunt as an homage I'm guessing, because he started with "I like to play sports..." paused then said "No, I don't... what the fuck?" But for a glimpse of the madness of Mitch, here's a few of his more thought-out jokes.
"Last week I helped my friend stay put. It's a lot easier than helping someone move. I went over to his house to make sure he didn't start loading shit into a truck."
"I got my hair highlighted because I thought some strands were more important than others."
"I think Bigfoot is blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer's fault. Bigfoot is bluury and that's extra scary to me. Cause there's a large, out of focus monster roaming the countryside. Run, he's fuzzy, get out of here! I gotta go."
"One time a guy handed me a picture of him and said 'Here's a picture of me when I was younger'. Every picture is a picture of you when you were younger."
"In traffic green means go and yellow mean yield but on a banana it's the exact opposite: green means hold on, yellow means go ahead, and red means where the fuck you'd get that banana at?"
"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it."
"It's a two-in-one shampoo. Two-in-one is a bullshit term because one is not big enough to hold two. That's why two was created. If it was two-in-one it would be overflowing. The bottle would be all sticky and shit."
"As a comedian you have to start the show strong and end the show strong, those are the two key elements. You can't be like pancakes: all exciting at first but by the end you're fucking sick of them."
"I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly.. which way it's going."
"I opened up a yogurt and underneath the lid it said 'Please Try Again' because they were having a contest I was unaware of. But I thought I might have opened the yogurt wrong. Or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me? 'C'mon Mitchell, don't give up, please try again! A message of inspiration from your friends at Yoplait.' Fruit on the bottom, hope on top."
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get I'll never be as good as the wall. I played the wall once, big fucker was relentless."
"I used to be a hot tar roofer. Yeah I remember that... day."