Friday, December 30, 2005

no mas taco bell, no mas

i should have known that the removal of the '1/2 pound bean burrito especial' from the value menu would mark the begining of the end of my taco bell patronage.

i have tried the '1/2 pound cheesy bean and rice burrito' but it is too late. in my stomach as i type are the last burritos that taco bell will sell me for at least a week. i quit taco bell. consider yourself dumped.

...unless i call back and leave a message next week. then could you please answer me back?

...or leave me a text?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

how i made the teller girl cry

she's a nice enough girl, always initiating the awkward teller-to-guy-that-just-wants-to-turn-in-the-work-deposit conversation with a smile. we share annecdotes mainly. which is why i know that she spent thanksgiving in the hospital because her husband split his head open in a turkey-bowl football mishap. in turn, she knows that i spend half of my workday working with kids, and the other half i spend teaching sixth grade. she will even jokingly complain when i end up in "another teller's" stall.

so why would i make her cry? i'm not even sure myself and things happened so fast. it all started with another one of our short teller-to-customer conversations (she likes to ask questions like, "so what have you done that's exciting today?"). it went somethink like this:

girl: going for a new look? (she noticed that there were 6-7 unshaved hairs lining my chin)

me: not really, i'm just lazy and on vacation.

girl: oh that's right. you teachers get all of the great breaks!

me: ...well i am still working the other job...

girl: (i don't think that she heard the last thing i said) Of course you don't get paid that well.

me: it's alright.

girl: there are more important things than money.

me: i think they're called intrinsic rewards.

girls: besides the good paying jobs are usually not rewarding at all. kind of like this job.

me: uh, ummm... i think they're called intrinsic rewards?

girl: at least you do something that has an impact on someone else's life. all i do is take people's money. and they're usually the people with the meaningless high-paying jobs. maybe someday i'll do something with my life that's worthwhile.

me: ... ... ...

i'm not sure what to type to represent the total silence on my end. i seriously need to talk to the maker because i think i'm missing the empathy chip that should have allowed for me to say something comforting. at any rate, she closed her teller door, threw herself onto the ground and began wailing. all i could make out was "why God?" and "i'll never be worth anything" the other tellers shoo'd me away and told me to "just leave"

so it's more clear now than ever ...i've still got it with the ladies!

guilty pleasure of the moment

... has to be pearl jam's 'no code.' i know, i know, grunge right? i also know all of the reasons why i'm not supposed to like eddie vedder & crew, but is "good guitar tone" enough rationale to forgive this sin?

perhaps i'm digging on it because i followed PJ from 10 to 5 Against One and then turned to Quicksand and Morrissey, so later pearl jam albums are like hidden treasures in my ipod. either way i don't care what you may think because the guitar tone rules.

quote of the day

yes, i love football way too much and my allegience to the Seattle Seahawksleads me to ridiculous habits such as watching streaming video of Mike Holmgren's bi-weekly press conferences. this is all way too geeky i admit, but at least this year my loyalty is paying off (for those of you that don't follow sports Seattle is tied for the best record in the NFL).

watching Holmgren in compressed, streaming format i can't help but feel as if i could recite his responses before he even opens his mouth. most of this is due to sports cliches and the fact that coaches and players (with the exception of chad johnson--sorry non-sports people i probably just lost you...) never say anything new. ever. not in press conferences, not in after-the-game-on-the-field interviews, not in the post-game lockerroom interview, not even on the nfl network (which i watch for about an hour a day). so why do i keep streaming 57 minutes of stuff i have heard before? because every now and again, the color-by-number responses produce something you never hear. today, mike holmgren rewarded my loyal listening with his comments on the probability of walter jones playing on sunday. holmgren simply stated:

"Probable will mean probable. Probably."

this may have been a long setup for a lame quote but in the predictable world of sports talk, this absurd quote had me laughing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


so at the aforementioned doctor's visit (i have not been in about 9 months due to a 'lapse' in medical insurance) i was asked to disrobe "anything that i did not want to count against my weight" and hop on the scale. i was severly conflicted as i pondered walking into the hall in my god-givens, i did not want to seem too vain. i pondered, "do i strip top down or bottom up?" i could hear the nurse in the hall tapping her clipboard. "maybe i'll strip down to the new comfort waistband boxer-briefs that reese bought me..." At this point, the nurse is clearing her throat and i'm fairly sure it's in relation to my delay. "okay, too assuming, i'll just take off my sweatshirt. that way i'm safe and don't seem self-absorbed," however, by taking 15 minutes to decide what level of nudity i was comfortable with, i'm sure i made it clear to the nurse. so off went the sweatshirt and purse and i was weighed with my jeans, socks, shoes, belt, t-shirt, and what was left of my dignity. i even remembered a 6th grade lesson on how air has weight and began to exhale, but i was too late as the nurse ended my ride on the scale with a curt, "thank you."

sadly enough, it wasn't until i read the discharge papers at home that i realized my blunder... my weight with all of my accessories was 192 lbs. holy crap! i could have sworn that i only had clothes on and that i hadn't inadvertantly worn a small child onto the scale with me. "kazu? did you follow me into the doctor's office?" it would be just like her. she weighs 55 lbs and that would explain some things. alas, she was with reese and free from any blame i could try and pass on.

needless to say, as eye opening as the casual drop of the c-word was, seeing my weight as 8 lbs away from a pair of c-notes, i had to do something.

so yesterday, i went for a run. it actually felt good. sure, i needed my inhaler and i only ran a mile-and-a-half, but at least i can say i'm doing something. when i got home i prolonged my shower by making the most detailed list of goals i have made this side of high school (yes, i wrote out goals in high school--i was that kid). i divided them into three main categories and made several short-term goals under each of the main goals. before you dismiss these as new year's resolutions, keep in mind that by beginning yesterday they are technically just goals. we are not in the new year yet, so i am just a man of vision. besides i want to drop a few lbs. before they weigh me again.

...and if i don't get any lighter, at least next time i could take off more clothes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

the c-word

no not that c-word, but the one that you never want to hear from a doctor. she even referred to it as the 'c-word' in an attempt to reassure me that all was going to be okay. the problem is, even for the sake of reassurance, you never want to hear the word cancer during a medical exam. so you can understand that even though she said, "you know it really doesn't feel like cancer normally does," i seemed to stop listening at cancer. my mind actually lost most of the words and focused on "you" and "cancer."

perhaps i should backtrack and explain that last friday i had an appointment to have the no-longer-so-smallish growth in my right leg examined. i had (and still have) no idea as to what the lump was (or is), so i was figuring that the c-word would come up at least in passing. unfortunately, no matter how prepped you are to hear it, it's unnerving to hear the doctor say cancer when referring to a growth in your leg. so i'm on the referral list to have my lump biopsied and possibly removed.

at least this time around the c-word won't be so awkward.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

john vs. paul

perhaps the longest standing difference of opinion in my 6-and-a-half-year marriage has been which beatle is better, john or paul. "that's a subjective argument," you say, and you are correct. however, running in the deposit at work the other day, i realized how simply this argument could be solved.

all this time, reese and i would fire back and forth 'i'm only sleeping' vs. 'getting better' or 'polythene pam' vs. 'michelle.' how foolish of us. to truly compare paul and john, you have to delve into their work outside the beatles.

and what part of the catalog is better than their respective holiday songs? so to settle the score once and for all, i present john vs. paul in the form of two holiday classics.

'a wonderful christmas time' by paul


'so this is Christmas (war is over)' by john

to help you decide, i'll feature a line from each song.

from Paul, "The word is out, About the town/To lift a glass, Ahhh don’t look down"

whereas, John offers, "And so Happy Christmas, For black and for white/For yellow and red ones, Let's stop all the fight"

still not certain? here's another line from each song:

John, "And so this is Christmas, And what have we done/Another year over, And a new one just begun"

Paul, "The moon is right,The spirits up/We’re here tonight,And that’s enough"

i agree, Paul, that is enough. John wins in a landslide. Minor keys and introspection will always trump major keys and the substitution of ding dong ding dong for real song lyrics.

Monday, December 19, 2005

click wheel

i am tempted to click
it taunts me with the

this song i know for it is
but the next song represents

this song is 4:54 of what i
while 'next' offers me the beauty of

will it be the syrupy sweet, cutesy schmaltz that is
fiest's 'gatekeeper'

dj shadow's 'mutual slump'
will surely put my head into club nod approval

or will i feel the melancholy introspection of
iron & wine's 'passing afternoon'

the only way to know is to press
to deny the sure thing that is
to imagine the next song that is

i will be tempted no more...


jackson five's 'never can say goodbye'


back to work

Christmas break marks two weeks away from the kiddies and my full-time return to the world of telephony, service calls, a desk, the Internet, voicemail, and working with my buddy-old-pal Daniel.

Working with Daniel is awesome in that my boss is my friend and the job is one that I have dutifully performed for the last 6 years (READ: I know what I'm doing and don't need to think too hard). The one downside is that my name sounding somewhat similar to Dan, coupled with my propensity to mumble and speak without annunciating means that I have the following conversation with customers about 45 times a day.

phone rings (the customer is calling for Daniel, not Dan or Ben but Daniel).

me: Teledigit this is Ben (keep in mind I am mumbling and the following probably sounds like "Tele-mumble this mumble mumble...")

customer: hey Dan I wanted to ask you about that bid...

me: this is Ben, were you looking for Daniel?

customer: yeah Dan right? anyways, I wanted to ask you...

me: I'm sorry, there is no Dan, this is Ben (by now I am making an effort to emphasize the consonants), were you looking for Daniel?

customer: this is who?!

me: this is Ben.

customer: oh I'm sorry Bam is Dan there?

me: I can put you in DanIEL's voicemail if you'd like.

customer: that would be great Jan.

so needless to say I love the full time work even if it means that I am now a woman working for some guy named Ban. Well off to check Jan's email.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

candy for the ears and eyes

it's rather odd playing in a band that is garnering positive press these days. it seems that the willamette week is rather fond of boy eats drum machine in both pre-recorded and live formats. playing has been a joy, and i'm glad to be part of something so rewarding. i just never imagined that it would earn critical acclaim (not that i'm there yet).

im especially excited about BR in SW's astute assessment that "The synth player (that's me) kept the music lively alternating keys, guitar, tambourine and cowbell. The drummer kept the beats phat. It was candy for the ears and eyes."

you read it, i'm candy.