Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Deal And A Duh

During one of my regular trips to the local Goodwill store I found two pieces of furniture which I picked up for about fifteen dollars. Both pieces are actually made from repurposed or reclaimed materials which is an idea I really like and something I've been thinking about trying myself. The first piece is a shelf which by all appearances has always been a shelf but which at some point in its life aquired a set of wrought iron brackets and a new face which was an old window frame.

The second is a bulletin board made from yet another old window. With a pair of coat hooks one on either side. The cork is cracked but that's an easy and inexpensive fix.

I'm actually thinking about replacing the cork with a thin board painted with chalk board paint but I'll decide that later. In the short term both pieces have suffered the same fate as my armoire. They've been commandeered, ok I volunteered them, to serve as decoration for my sister's wedding. That gives me about three weeks to get a replacement board and some paint. Both pieces are a cream color which I don't hate but I don't love it either and it doesn't match anything else I have so they will probably end up an antique white.

And finally; I saw this gem on the tv guide yesterday and since we have a theme of sharing those moments where the powers that be feel it necessary to state the blindingly obvious I leave you with this.

That's right folks no amputee octopi on this show. I'm pretty sure that's discrimination and a possible ADA violation. Shame on them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For:

Ha ha.....yep you guessed it......and as promised, I'm here to discuss "coning."
No item on the Dairy Queen menu is quite as mundane as the soft-serve ice cream cone.
……and yet it seems there is a movement to make this humble item far more entertaining.
I received my education on the fine art of “coning” last Tuesday via YouTube from an 11 year old.  … activity, which I was certain would quickly spark up my otherwise mundane day of babysitting said 11 year old and her two younger siblings, ages 9 & 7.
We selected the local shopping mall as our “coning” location of choice.  This prevented my car from turning into a sugary-sticky mess and allowed me to man (….or woman in my case) the camera instead of driving.
The kids were excited!
Here is the ensuing madness:

In the out-briefing for “coning,” the kids decided the ice cream was too “cold” to handle (spoken from the mouths of babes) and it was more fun to watch Justin Beiber “cone” on YouTube.
Have you “coned” yet?

Something, Something, Words

Lepidopteron, alapa, bitchy, trilinear, cauline, cryptovolcanic, perilous, ancient, significative, skulled, speculate, rum-dum, gula, propone, khoums, beeville, usward, idiograph, shipowner, loving, middletone, stamen, scraggly, hemin, litteratim, sinuosity, full-service, lime, audacity, tenuity, parenthesis, dertrum, rocket-propelled, kvass, newton, argumentative, iconoscope, selenite, assimilable, heptameter, shadowy, nontarget, nonfeasance, cameo, designed, tabletop, meatheaded, megajoule, shingon, feminism, appro, distingue, basaltware, genoa, biocontrol, forename, shank, bridging, pyrography, closefisted, accordatura, chuffle, junco, parishioner.

That is all. Well; until next time anyway. And yes there is a method to this madness. You might not think it but this is research for an art project. More on that to come. Next time I'll produce a less random and more intelligible selection of words for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Here's The Story Of The Hurricane

So quick post before the power dies. The first bands of hurricane Irene are beginning to enter the area and power has already begun to flicker so we'll try to get this out before it goes down completely. Spent the morning at work, I don't need to tell You how mundane that was, then spent the afternoon preparing for the storm. Helped get the church storm ready then headed home to finish doing the same there. At church prepping for the storm meant covering electronics and instruments with plastic, unplugging computers and getting anything that might be damaged up off the floor. At home hurricane prep looks more like this:

Key to the prep was selecting reading materials from my backlog which would provide both adequate entertainment and intellectual stimulation to keep the mind distracted from the proposition of being house bound for the next 24 hours thanks to the curfew Onslow county has placed in effect until Sunday at 0900. The PS3 controller is admittedly optimistic given the power fluctuation we've already seen but I can hope. A comfortable sweater because that's always a great addition to curling up with a good book. The food needs no explanation nor will I give one. And finally the iPod with a hurricane play list which looks something like this:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mint & Other Things that Could Survive a Nuclear Holocaust

After Tuesday’s post and a brief consideration (30seconds-ish) I was considering beginning at the beginning of my list of potential topics and working through them systematically in alphabetical order.  This appealed strongly to my need to remain organized (I’d alphabetize my socks if I could), yet I was unable to think of anything mundane (or otherwise) to say about airplanes at the particular moment.  In which case, I’ve decided to skip directly to “Apocalyptic Survivability of Various Substances and Organisms”…..which has been on my mind…..and should also explain the subject line to those of you who have either intentionally or unintentionally ever planted/grown mint.
The bottom line is that delicate things such as intricate French lace, mental stability, and oak trees, would undoubtedly disintegrate instantly in the event of a Nuclear Holocaust, whilst others, such as cockroaches, mint, Twinkies, and dandelions (not to be confused with daffodils, which has happened and is the fastest way to get yourself laughed out of a home and garden show) will most certainly survive.  This leads me to believe that while the situation would be bleak, it may not be entirely unbearable when spruced up with bright yellow flowers, a mojito, and dessert.  The cockroaches, even after a four year stint in Florida where they call them “Palmetto Bugs” still seem undesirable.  I’m certain the “Palmetto Bug” title was an attempt (although in vain) by the “Politically Correct Movement” to remove the overly negative stigmatism associated with “cockroaches.”  As Shakespeare once said, “A roach by any other name is still a roach.”  I agree……and I digress….
Yet my consideration here and true reason for this post is *how* might one harness the indestructible properties of above mentioned substances?  Could planting mint be an act of aggression?  …..don’t think so?  …..plant some in your own yard….and wait.
.....just sayin'.....
Stay tuned as I will be discussing the *art* (term used loosely) of "coning" on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

You Are Here

And there you are; isn't that nice. You looked a little lost but now you know where you are and we can get back to the business at hand. And please don't try to leave until the the end. You may be aware that we've recently added a Monk(e) to the crew here and yes she does fly. Please don't make me release her. As promised there have been some changes around the blog. A new face, so to speak, to familiarize yourself with but we promise not to let the changes lead to anything out of the ordinary. We would find that an anathema. We take our commitment to the ordinary, mundane, silly, and absurd very seriously. And while there may be no added fiber I assure you that all changes will help keep things regular. In addition to clarifying your spatial relationship with the rest of the universe, both known and unknown, the title of today's post is also the tentative title for a new piece of art I'm planning; tentatively. I'm actually considering a small scale attempt at the idea within the next 24 hours so you might actually get to see something of this piece next time I write. I'm afraid I've also been thinking, a dangerous pastime I know, of another photo project which I plan to begin tonight though I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to lay the ground work and complete the project. Today I took a little time to get out of here and head down there to do a little shopping. I'm trying to locate a decent pair of suspenders and a black bow-tie for my sister's wedding and unfortunately I didn't have any luck. An outcome I find disheartening considering that the shopping there is orders of magnitude better than the shopping here. I'm beginning to think that my interest in suspenders and bow-ties may have come several decades to late for this event. But I have not abandoned all hope. I still have nearly a month and it is the patient hunter who succeeds in bringing down his prey. Or they starve that happens too. Next time we'll be discussing a topic I haven't even revealed to myself. 'Cause I enjoy the suspense as much as anyone. So make sure that wherever you are you come from there; to here and see what's going down; or up depending on the topic.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

0% More Fiber & 100% More Author

Let me guess… showed up today to delve into the delightfulness of Brian celebrating his mundane life? 
I suppose this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise from the reader of a blog entitled “The Extraordinarily Mundane Life of Brian.”  …..but alas, Brian….err….”we” have a surprise for you! 
Although Brian once claimed (and still does) on the sidebar of this very blog that 99% of life is made up of otherwise mundane moments, it seems only natural to assume based on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only blogging that he may have been slightly over zealous in his initial calculations. …..based on my less than scientific calculations and his 3 out of 7 day blogging it may be closer to 43%……or maybe he’s just busy *living* life instead of writing about which may realistically be the case. 
Yet regardless of explanation, Brian has agreed to allow me to share 29% of my mundane life on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
To which you respond:
“….but your name isn’t even Brian!”
“Why don’t you just get your own blog?”
To which I respond:
  …..and whilst there is little I can do about the whole “name issue”, I *did* once have my own blog.  The ideas for mine and Brian’s blogs were hatched around the same time (over a Red Bull on a Saturday morning), yet in a momentary lapse of forward thinking, I failed to realize that wearing my Vibram Five Finger shoes for an entire year and blogging about it led to a finite time-line for my blog.  This rendered my blog named WhereTheToesGo better entitled WhereTheToesWent as of April 2011.  So alas, Brian has indulged my desire to flex my literary skills on his blog & join him in celebrating the “everyday-ness” of life…… least until I start my own new blog or my life becomes less mundane, whichever comes first. ; - )
That being said, let me introduce myself:
 I’m Erin.
Below is a photograph of me, Brian, and our former colleague Justin (in that order).    Justin’s blog (also hatched over a can of Red Bull) is still in the pre-pre-planning stages (aka: hasn’t been started yet). 

…..and now to the topic of topics which I am most likely to be covering.  
Here is a list in alphabetical order:
Airplanes, Alliterations, Apocalyptic Survivability of Various Substances and Organisms, Art (loosely interpreted), Baked Goods, Barefoot Running, Cleaning Products, Common Adages, Fruit, Gardening, Hearts, Inexplicable Signage, Meteorological Conditions, Obscure Bible Quotes, Other, Paint (all types), Semantics, Shoes (or lack thereof), Snail Mail, Soup, Squares, The Letter “e”, Things Lost & Found, Various Photographic Adventures, and Vegetables.
*Disclaimer: Please note, whilst posts by Brian are recommended to be read using a fake British accent, posts by me are recommended to be read using a French accent (not to be confused with reading posts in French……which is impossible as they are written in English).  For enhanced blog enjoyment you may consider reading posts while vacationing in France.  …..wait, scratch that!!  While vacation anywhere, DO NOT read this blog!  You are responsible for enjoying your vacation and engaging in exciting activities.  Instead, read this blog upon your return in an effort to shirk the mundane, such as laundry and lawn mowing, which are certain to be waiting for you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Post in Three Acts

Act 1:
Home Again, Home Again Jiggity-Jig:

As the title of act one might suggest I have in the past read the rhymes of Mother Goose. Also I'm back home in North Carolina having recently escaped the black hole that is Georgia. It's a well established fact that I am fond of the ordinary and mundane things in life and near the top of that list is sleeping in my own bed. I much as a like having an excuse to use my camping gear I much prefer said excuse to actually involve camping. Being home also means the return of a well established and entirely mundane routine which should result in a return to our regular schedule for mundane posts. I say should because if two days before the day after tomorrow Illegal Alien Vampire Nazi Zombie Robot Dinosaurs from the future invade all bets are off.

Act 2:
About Me:

I had mentioned previously that I might post the bio I wrote for my sisters wedding website if I didn't have anything more munde to discuss and while I do have much mundaneness to share with you I know how disappointed you would be if you didn't get the carrot I dangled before you. So here it is; the bio not a carrot. I don't have any carrots. But if you're hungry I do have cookies; delicious cookies. And I'm willing to share. Oh yeah the bio.

Where to begin? That's always the question I find hardest to answer when writing. Especially when I don't care for the subject. Which is not to say that I don't like me but rather that I don't like talking about me. I like to talk about what I do; what I enjoy; but not about me personally. So where to begin? The beginning seems like a logical place to start but that's a long story and simple linear progression in storytelling is so passé. We could start at the end and work our way back but where we are now isn't entirely relevant to the story we really want to tell. I could simply give you the statistics: Brian D. Parran, born April, 7 1984 in Bethesda, MD to James D. and Maureen G. Parran, 5'11 and 3/4", 175lbs, B.A. in Economics and Commerce, etc but that stuff is boring and really doesn't capture who I am and why we're here. I suppose we could start with when I was two and found out my parents were having a baby and I knew I was going to have a sister long before any test would say the same. Or how about one of my favorite adventures; where one of my best friends got lost flying us to the beach and then flew us through a thunderstorm. Or maybe the time when said friend clearly had a thing for said sister, and vice versa, but he took forever to finally ask her out and nearly drove me crazy in the interim when no one could say anything since neither party was admitting there was anything about which to talk. Well look at that. Here we are right where we wanted to arrive. At the part of the story where my friend not only worked up the nerve to ask my sister out but too marry him. And where she said yes. And where I get to participate in the ceremony marking a beautiful and blessed union that will bring two stories together into one.

Act 3:
Those Other Weekdays:

That's right I'm talking about Tuesday and Thursday. The most neglected days of the week here on the blog. Long ignored in favor of they're siblings Monday, Wednesday and Friday; Tuesday and Thursday were beginning to feel left out and that just didn't seem right. After all they have just as much mundane to offer as any other day so why should they suffer in ignominy. And so. Doers of deeds, champions of stuff, and stalwart defenders of something worth defending that we are; we decided to right this mostly harmless but not cool injustice. But just what journey to justice will we judiciously pursue? Tune in Tuesday to find out. New Bat time same Bat blog.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Free Donuts And Other Things That Make My Day

Last night after a long and less than thrilling day I decided to sit down and watch the season finale of one of my favorite shows; USA's White Collar. I had missed the first showing but fortunately there was a rerun of the episode at a time when I could use the television at the apartment without having to worry about anyone else in the apartment. That time was 11pm which was late enough to deconflict viewing preferences by virtue of my being the only person still awake. Since this was the season finale and I really don't have much, as in nothing, going on down here I decided to make it something of an event or as much of an event as it could be with only one person and a volume level that wouldn't wake the rest of the crowd. To this end I made a quick run to the 24/7 gas station just up the street for a Starbucks frappuccino drink and one of the Krispy Kreme donuts delivered early that morning. Excuse me a moment. Muggle. No I do not have typing tourette syndrome just running a little spell check experiment. Apparently Apple's spell check does not recognize Krispy Kreme or frapaccinno as words. It also has no idea what tourette syndrome is but it's pretty sure muggle is a word. Now I know can write about Harry Potter without fear of little red lines. Ahem; where was I? Ah yes. While coffee in a can and day old donuts aren't the greatest party snacks they do okay in a pinch; especially since the only other option was a Monster energy drink and beef jerky. When I got to the counter the cashier asked a question I wasn't expecting. Was there anything else in the donut case I wanted. This seemed a strange question since if I had wanted anything else I would have chosen it when I got the donut I had brought to the counter to purchase. But then something magical happened. The cashier explained that next delivery of donuts would soon be arriving and at that time any donuts currently left from that mornings delivery would be thrown out and as such not only was she not going to charge me for the donut I had but I was welcome to take as many additional donuts as I liked for the same low price. The end result being that instead of buying one donut I ended up with five free donuts. I could have taken more but I'm trying to at least pretend I care about my arteries. Upon returning to the apartment with my bounty I was able to relax; eat way to much junk and enjoy my show, next season is gonna be awesome, in peace. When the day began I didn't have much hope for it being anything but mediocre but any day with free donuts is a good day. Unless you're diabetic. Speaking of diabetics. After the show I wrote a short personal bio for my sister's wedding website. Apparently that's something that they do now. They being people getting married and that being inflicting 8th grade English flashbacks on members of the wedding party. If things are slow between now and my next post I may throw the bio up here, go ahead and just plan on seeing the bio, because I'm pretty happy with how it turned out and I'm pretty excited for my sister. I suppose a wedding isn't really all that little or mundane but I'm gonna go ahead and just brag on my sister anyway.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer PSA

In light of the recent airing of Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week I thought I'd take this opportunity to warn you of other little known hazards of common summer activities.
Let's begin with ever popular picnic. While most think that getting rained out on a picnic is an inconvenience and at worst an annoyance the truth is that it can be so much worse as indicated by this story. A rain of bullets dipped in poison isn't what most people worry about when they plan their picnics which is exactly why these sudden showers are so dangerous.
During the so called lazy days of summer many people like to take a midday nap to escape the sweltering midday heat. But even in the comfort of your own bed danger lurks just beyond the edge. It sounds preposterous but take a look at this preview for Conan O'Brien's upcoming Falling Out Of Bed Week and you'll begin to understand just how real a danger you face. As Mr. O'Brien points out this comfortable killer is a much greater threat than any shark and thanks to the efforts of Mr. O'Brien and his staff the public can now be educated about this little known threat.
And last but certainly not least is the ever present threat of the fat guy in a Speedo. This particular horror poses little threat to the body but the psychological trauma can leave even the strongest mind scarred beyond recovery. The potential for such scarring is so great that we can't risk showing you an example of this phenomenon here, and who'd want to see it anyway, for fear of the harm we might do to our viewers. If you're planning on hitting the beach this summer pack your sunscreen and keep a good shrink on speed dial.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Day At The Movies

Had the day off today which of course meant that I got a call to come into the shop and put out a minor fire; as Kevin, who is the shop manager, was out of town for the for the day. Despite the disturbance in my plans I still managed to accomplish my primary goal which was to simply relax and watch a few movies. Something I managed to accomplish for less than the price of popcorn at the theatre thanks to Redbox. On tap today were Sucker Punch, Unknown, and The Adjustment Bureau. All told an entertaining line up and more thought provoking than one might think; were one provoked to think about the thought provoking potential films might possess. Sucker Punch was by far the biggest surprise of the three if only due to the lack of major expectations. While input from friends had indicated that the movie might contain more than simply Zack Snyder's now signature special effects extravaganza and overly stylized everything I was surprised and pleased, it's always nice to know your friends aren't lying to you, at just how much there actually was beneath the surface. While I don't think everyone will be willing to attempt the task of peeling back the layers of special effects and style, a trial to rival those of Hercules, to discover the substance buried beneath; it is a worthy endeavor. This film may be worth revisiting as I suspect still more plot is buried in there somewhere waiting to be uncovered. Unknown was a fairly standard action thriller, a la Bourne, with a better than average twist and after watching this and Taken I've determined that Liam Neeson makes a much better action star than most of his younger colleagues and is well worth watching in these roles. And speaking of Bourne brings us to our final film of the the day The Adjustment Bureau starring none other than Mr. Bourne himself; Matt Damon. Out of the lot this movie was the one I had the highest hopes for as it is based on a short story by one Philip K Dick an influential science fiction author whose works and previous films based on those works I have enjoyed. Other films adapted from Dick's stories include: Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, and Minority Report. All of which are what I consider "thinking" movies, yes even the one starring Arnold, in that they require a level of consideration greater than that of most films which could be understood even if one were in a persistent vegetative state. These are always among my favorite types of films because I rarely feel as though they have wasted the time I invest in them. One of the things I find interesting in the works of Philip K. Dick is his repeated theme of the conflicting nature of free will and fate. The conflict inherent in these ideas being something which was a frequent topic of discussion in my religion classes during college and in conversation with many of my college friends. My history with these ideas leads me to find interesting most works, be they written or film, which intelligently and entertainingly explores this topic. Something I feel The Adjustment Bureau does quite well. The story also has a fairly compelling romance and probes the issues of what love is and what we are willing to sacrifice in it's pursuit. And deeper issues aside I'll admit to being something of a romantic, possibly of the hopeless variety though I really prefer hopefulness where such matters are concerned, and as such I do enjoy seeing an ending where (Spoiler Alert) the characters live happily ever after. So for me this movie delivered on all fronts and will certainly be making it's way into my collection. It's been some time since I sat down and spent a day enjoying films so even with the work related interruptions today gets two thumbs up as do the films.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

eBay For The Win; The US Not So Much

In news that makes me happy eBay has once again turned up bargain priced treasure in the form of 6 volumes of The Spectacular Spider-Man which should be arriving on the doorstep in Jacksonville at very close to the same time that I will once again be crossing that threshold. Which is the days other good news; soon I'll be bidding Georgia a less than fond farewell and returning to the familiar streets of eastern NC. Looking forward to being home even if J-action-ville is in actuality almost completely devoid of anything resembling action. In other eBay related news I picked up a few things on the clearance racks at which will soon grace the virtual aisles of that Mecca of resale. I've had great success with this in the past and hopefully we'll continue the trend. I'll let you know how that works out. Garlic and lime chicken tacos with a side of my special refried beans were the order of the day; for dinner. Sadly I once again failed to take any pictures and since the food was delicious if I do say so myself, and I do, there were no leftovers to photograph after the initial attack by the ravenous hordes. The ravenous hordes being my coworker Kevin and I as the apartment is unusually free of peoples; with the aforementioned Kevin and myself being the only current residents. And now for today's news which sucks. I know this is the happy, funny, feel good blog and we don't do news that sucks but this one is a bit bog for me to just ignore and as I do possess a B.A. In Economics it would be remiss of me not to address the topic. That's right I'm talking about the fact that the IRS still exists. Its mind boggling really; the government wants to cut spending but can't decide where to cut the funds and no one even suggests getting rid of the one government agency that no one, and I do mean no one, likes. I mean no offense to those who work for the IRS but let's be honest CIA operatives would be more likely to admit to the nature of their work than an IRS agent. But all kidding aside the news that S&P has downgraded it's credit rating for the US is really not funny. I generally find the incompetence of the political types in Washington as amusing as the next guy; ok so maybe slightly more than the next guy but that's only because the guy next to me has no sense of humor. I mean really who doesn't think The Princess Bride is hilarious; that's just inconceivable. But this time the level of stupid in our capital has really just gotten ridiculous. And not in the kind of funny but of creepy way that fifteen clowns in a tiny car is ridiculous; but more like the horrifying, nauseating, makes you weep for the fate of humanity way that MTV's Jersey Shore is ridiculous. And after this news it would appear that the cast of Jersey Shore might not be the dimmest segment of the American population after all. Good job politicians. If the rates on my student loans start to spike I'll send you the bill. Which brings us to my newest project which was suggested by a friend from my college days by way of the Facebook. I'll be learning Chinese. I figure with the way the economy is looking now I should get a jump start on acquiring a skill set that will make me useful to our future Chinese masters. After all they're much less likely to beat the really useful slaves. Ok so I couldn't put the kidding aside. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day Off, Nerd Style

Being in Georgia makes days off only slightly more fun than days spent in the shop. Not having friends, familiar territory, or most of my books, games, movies, etc makes finding something to pass the day a bit of a challenge. My last few days off before coming to Georgia were occupied with art projects and prep for said projects all of which is now on hold as bringing them with me wasn't really feasible. So much of today, as with most off days here, was spent in the gym. According to the bike machine I spent approximately two hours pedaling and burned more than 1000 calories. An otherwise mind numbing feat made possible by the video playback capabilities of my iPad (Goodplayer is my favorite app). But sadly today saw the end of the series which had been carrying me through my absurdly long pedaling sessions. Those who know me, or who have read any of my blog, are likely aware that I am what is known in the vernacular as a "nerd" or "geek". And as such I am prone to enjoy the occasional anime. The recently completed series was one Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood which came highly recommended by a friend who apparently just wanted me to watch the show so that he could talk about it with someone. I had already seen the original Fullmetal Alchemist but I much preferred this second version of the story as it was much more faithful to the manga which inspired both series. Plus the ending in the second version was closer to what I had hoped for as the story unfolded. Not that the original versions ending was bad but more that it seemed to take a much darker and more serious tone that the rest of the series which was fairly lighthearted throughout most of the story. Whereas the ending to the second series is a ray of hope at the end of a longer and darker struggle than that portrayed in the original series. Both series definitely worth a viewing if you can get over the fact that it's a cartoon long enough to realize that not all cartoons are for kids. Not sure what I'll watch next but I have several other shows lined up to help me through the monotony of stationary cardio workouts. It'd be nice if there was a good place to run around here but there aren't any trails and running on the roads near the apartment would most likely prove an interesting form of suicide; my thoughts on Georgia drivers can be viewed in the Dear Georgia post. So to make a a long story slightly longer as much as I enjoy having 24/7 access to a free gym I much prefer to pass my days back home in NC and am looking forward to heading back that way soon.