Friday, November 30, 2012

Top Five Theories On How THAT Got There

It's not often my real workday feels like an episode of "The Office," but...

Yesterday, at some point between the hours of 9 and 10 AM, the following appeared at the cross section of two of the most highly trafficked hallways in my office building


And it stayed there for a good 25 minutes before anyone really did anything about it.  Everyone pretty much went through the same process:  1) briefly inspecting it out of shock, 2) looking around aimlessly 3) "What the fuck?" 4) asking anyone and everyone, "Is that what I think it is?" 5)  peeking around the corner like it might get up and walk away, 6) ask more co-workers about it, 7) laugh, 8) "Holy fuck," 9) "Is anyone gonna clean that?" 10) Not actually doing anything about it because....what's really the proper reaction to finding shit on the office floor?

Personally, I was all

Ready to tape off the area, throw on a CSI jacket, and have my co-workers call me "Chief."  Then I'd bring a desk lamp into the conference room and start interrogating everyone on what they all ate for dinner the night before.  But instead I just took the above photo (for posterity), called security to see if that hallway had a camera (they didn't), and then realized how absurd and pathetic the entire thing was (it really was), and that I should probably get back to work (I did).

But the damage was done, and "Poopgate" was upon us. 

"But it didn't have a smell!" one claimed.

"Does all poop smell?" another asked.

"Maybe we should download the Everybody Poops book and find out!" yet another offered. 

And each half hour, another co-worker would stop by my desk armed with a request to see the picture and a theory.  Yes, seriously.


5) The Diaper Theory

Co-Worker #1 postulated that a parent did an emergency change in the bathroom, carried the dirty diaper out of said bathroom, and somehow the poop slipped out before they could properly dispose of it.  "Have you ever seen a baby poop?" the co-worker asked.  "Monsters."  But considering I don't work in a daycare center, why would a baby be visiting the floor?  But let's just say one was, why would the parent carry a dirty diaper, concealed by nothing, out of the bathroom to a different garbage?  What would be wrong with the one in the rest room?  Also, do babies eat corn?


4) The Odwalla Bar Theory

A certain high level executive studied the picture and deduced that it wasn't what everyone assumed it was and, instead, was sure it was a chocolate peanut butter Odwalla bar.

Upon first glance, I thought he might have a point.  The chips could be the "corn" and the chocolate had a resemblance.  But upon a careful comparison, we noticed the coloring was different, and that the Odwalla bar was unable to leave a stain trail like the above picture. A different consistency. It was close, but not a match.  I offered to heat it up in the microwave to see if it changed the composition of the bar, but he got really grossed out and kicked me out of his office.  Hey, he started it.

By the way, who's hungry for a chocolate peanut Odwalla bar!

3) The "It Got Caught On A Person's Pants" Theory

Ah...just....gross.  Though it was only a few yards from the restrooms.  But...  Moving along...

2) The "Office Dog Did It" Theory

Except, of course, there is no office dog.

I suppose it's possible that a dog may have wandered through the office.  Perhaps the yellow in the poop was a Crayola crayon it had eaten the night before.  But 1) I've never seen a dog in the office, 2) what are the chances the owner of the dog would do nothing about it, and 3) I think someone in the office would have discovered that a dog had been visiting at some point throughout the day. The jig would have been up.  The mystery solved. 

I suppose it's possible that a seeing eye dog visited and the owner never saw the "mistake," but what the hell are the chances of this happening?

1) The Disgruntled Employee Makes His/Her Mark Theory

My personal favorite.  I wish I'd thought of the tactic when I made this list.  But my co-worker who suggested this brought up several good points.  1) They picked the absolute perfect location at the perfect time of day (when most would be arriving to work) 2) It's the closest thing to a terror attack on your co-workers. 3) It's the ultimate fuck you.  Diabolical! 

It'd take a ballsy person to pull that off, but I suppose it is possible, though I think most people are pretty content at my workplace.  Unfortunately, I doubt we'll ever discover the culprit, though I expect jokes will be made about it until after the New Year.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Austria

As mentioned in the previous post, I recently returned from an all-too-short trip to Austria and loved every second of it, despite the fact that Los Angeles weather has completely ruined my ability to handle anything colder than 50 degrees. Yes, I'm totally one of "those people" that New Yorkers loathe when they mention Angelenos. So, I was basically rolling around Vienna like the Michelin Man, constantly complaining about stiff breezes and a numb nose.  Annoying, I know. 

Have you ever gone on a vacation to a nice, yet boring place, but you easily convince yourself it's prettier or more fun than it actually is?  Vienna is not one of those cities.  While tourist attractions may be low (and not very eventful, unless you like horses,art museums, and classical music to which I'm personally indifferent..but actually, that's a lot), the city is warm and beautiful; easily one of the most walkable in my Euro experience. 

But anyway, lets get to the top five.  Now, I would have loved to have taken more pictures, things like the Hapsburg Palace, which is pretty unreal, but my hands were generally cold and under the cover of mittens, so I didn't often reach for my phone. So, yes, I suck.

But's the TOP FIVE THINGS I ENJOYED ABOUT AUSTRIA  (by the way, if you actually want good advice about what to do in Austria, might I recommend Google?)

Honorable Mention: Mr. Lee's

OK, I never once ate at this fast food, Asian inspired chain, but I got lulz everytime I saw their tagline, "Quicklee."  I have no clue why I found it to be so clever.  But I enjoyed it each time I saw it.  And I saw it often.  By the end of the trip, my friend was pretty much all, "God, would you just eat it already? It won't take long, it'll come quicklee."  But no, it looked totally nasty.  Plus, I didn't want to be that guy that traveled all the way to Austria to eat fast food sesame chicken. 

5) The Ferris Wheel

I don't like Ferris Wheels.  Generally, they terrify me...with all that stopping and swaying several stories above the ground.  One of the scariest rides in the world, to me, is that dumb ass Ferris Wheel at Disneyland (yeah), the one that rolls to the edge with each stop and swings haplessly in the air as you look down towards your death.  It's awful.

But the Ferris Wheel in Vienna seems to be some sort of institution, and the cars are completely enclosed, which eliminated that pain in my stomach that generally accompanies heights.  Also, did you know, for a measly 400 euro you can have a three course meal in one of the cars?  Probably not, why would you know this? BUT WHAT A DEAL.  They set up a nice table for two and bring you different courses each time your car returns to the starting point.  How cool...though I can imagine it getting old pretty quickly.  Especially if the food is anything like the kind they serve in the cafe below the wheel.  Anyway, I didn't partake in the dinner option, and instead shared a car with numerous other tourists, including one guy who kept speaking to me in quick Spanish even though I kept answering in English, but hey...look at the view!

OK, so the Vienna skyline isn't all that exciting, but whatever.  Good enough for a scene in Before Sunrise, good enough for Brett.

4) This Church

Not sure who had the idea to bathe this Stephansplatz cathedral in color at night, but bravo.

3) This Picture

WTF?   I suppose Germans/Austrians have a history of not being sensitive to other racial/cultural groups.  Thanks Mammy!

2) Christmas Markets

Markets, markets, everywhere!   Seriously.  Everywhere.  And they are all generally the same.  A large group of festively decorated green stalls that sell various Christmas related goods you may or may not want/need.  All the markets are, more or less, identical, and you know what? My friend and I loved each one more than the last.  They are exactly what you think when you picture what a European Christmas should be.  And if you want some hot wine or coffee, they actually serve it to you in a real mug. No paper shit here!  Never got tired of these markets, never bought a thing aside from a drink.

1) Salzburg, Austria

"You should visit the other side of the city, that way you can tell friends you've seen both sides of Salzburg."  That's what the girl behind the hotel front desk told us when we asked for advice at check in.  She overestimated my friends; I'd be surprised if 30 percent of them have actually heard of Salzburg, let alone know that it has two sides.

But that's a shame because the mountainside city is beautiful, with its thin cobblestone corridors and the enormous old fortress that overlooks the entire town. It's perfect for that "step back in time" feeling that many travel to Europe for (even if some of the streets are filled with high end boutiques).  And, of course, Mozart enthusiasts can visit his birthplace (if the locals can give you proper directions on how to find wouldn't expect this to be a problem, but ummm).  Though I wasn't there during a snowfall, I can imagine Salzburg blanketed in white is near perfect, and would be an ideal place to spend your Christmas.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Five Things I Love About This Random Family

I just got back from spending an awesome week in Austria, and, on the return leg, had the pleasure of a six hour layover at London's Heathrow airport.  Those that know me best (or even not well at all), understand there's no sarcasm there.  I love airports. I love layovers.  I love malls.  I love eating. I love singing the "I like to stop at the duty free shop" song from Seinfeld.  It's all perfect.  But, during the 4th hour, after what seemed like my seventh trip to Starbucks, I sat on a bench and stared aimlessly into nothing (boredom can happen anywhere, after all).  That is...until I noticed the seemingly normal family of four sitting in front of me. 

And oh how they amused me for the next 30 minutes. 

Oh, and yes, the following post contains pictures.  Which means the following post proves I can be an effective stalker.  Though I'm sure I'm not alone.  Haven't we all pretended to write a text while actually snapping a pic of what's in front of us?  My general method of choice is to pretend my phone isn't getting a signal, furrowing my brow like there's some sort of problem (because who takes a picture when they look frustrated) and then pretend to hit some buttons after I actually take the picture, followed by the lowering of the phone like the problem has been rectified.  Ya know, all perfectly normal. 


Here's the TOP FIVE THINGS ABOUT THAT FAMILY SITTING IN FRONT OF ME.  Or maybe...Top Five Reasons This Family Is Great Birth Control. 

5) Playing Games

I know that picture seems innocent enough, and at the time it was, but my sixth sense told me something interesting would soon happen.  Well, that and the fact he had just shook the red and blue "lines" of the simple toy like he was holding the bars of a jail cell and desperately wanted to be released.  I didn't even know it was possible to break those toys, they seem so secure in the wood, but well, he managed.  Then went on his merry way to terrorize anything else he could.

4) Yes, Child, Go Play In Traffic.

Normally, when a young child sprints into a throng of strangers, much like a dog dashes across a park when it sees a squirrel, a parent's reaction is to run after the child or, at least, call after them (you know, in that tired way parents do).  The Dad of my favorite family's reaction after his daughter pointed at something in the distance and ran towards it, far out of sight?  Well, a simple glance in her direction and then....

Ain't no thing.

3) This Seems Like A Nice Place To Sit

Two things about this picture: 1) excuse my finger, I was laughing while taking this one.  I'm not exactly the worlds best spy.  2) Notice where the daughter is sitting, and the legs coming out from behind her.  See em? Yes, she's sitting on her brother's head. 

Now, look at Mom. 

I love this picture.  And, unfortunately, this blog doesn't come with sound effects, otherwise you would have heard him SCREAMING.

2) Eventually...

The mother finally intervened with a light "stop it," to which the kids natural reaction wasn't just to remain silent and sit politely.  No, that would be easy and would make far too much sense.  Their reaction?  To stand in front of their mother, simulate farting noises, annoy the shit out of her, and give Brett some lulz.  It involved a little dance, lots of fart sounds, and a few childish giggles (from both me and them). 

The greatest regret of my entire vacation was not getting the camera out of my pocket in time to snap photo evidence of this display.  But you can more or less imagine how it went.  I did, however, capture a picture of Mom after the children dispersed.

By the way, notice the person in the upper right hand corner of the pic.  That just struck me as funny.  I have no clue what she was doing. 

1) And finally...

Just when I noticed that my gate was posted and open, and I was ready to leave, I saw Mom and Dad give a cursory glance to the flight board.  The kind of glance that suggests they know the news can't be good.  Then they looked at each other as the father glumly said, "only two more hours" in the most resigned tone you can imagine. The mother sighed and nodded. It was all she could do.  And off I went.

Thanks for the entertainment, family of four.  Children are gifts, aren't they?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top Five Thoughts On The Weekend

Just a quick five thoughts...

5) Hey Microsoft, no matter how hard you try, you probably won't ever be "hip"

Have you seen these new Microsoft commercials for that half tablet/half laptop thing? Where they accentuate the clicking sound it makes when you attach the keyboard to the tablet? Then, using the sound, they form a beat, and then all the cool kids spill all their cool on the entire world?  It just feels like Microsoft is trying too hard.  Keep it simple.  I can picture a bunch of older white guys in a board room, sitting with their serious faces, saying "we need more cool.  The kids like the dancing and the hip hop.  Lets do that." 

Honorable mention for most annoying commercial also goes to that "Bud Light" spot, where a group of guys hold their bottles with the labels facing out because it will help the kicker kick the winning field goal.  They cite "scientific research," and this is supposed to be funny.  Few things:  1)It's not. 2) If you're going to make a commercial about how their stupid superstition causes the improbable, then maybe a game winning field goal (a common occurrence) shouldn't be the subject, and 3) They are at an Oakland Raiders game, and come on, they never win :D.

4) Sports Bars are annoying

Because I'm a fan of an out of town team, I'm subjected to these hellholes a few times a year when my favorite team isn't on national TV.  This is actually worthy of a post itself, but loud places full of obnoxious drunkards are never ideal.

3) Veterans Day

It's Veterans Day in America, but I'm about to raise an un-popular opinion.  I was watching a lot of football this weekend, and of course, there were many ceremonies in honor of the military and our troops (and, of course, veterans deserve to be commended for their service.  They do the dirty work, after all), but the way this country praises and lionizes our military is a bit unsettling.  And if I were from another country, and knew little of America, I'd find it bordering on disturbing. We just stop short of praying to it. My case in point?  You're probably reading this in horror and thinking "How can he criticize the military!  He's not supporting the troops!" But this has nothing to do with the troops (and I hate when people take any criticism of the military as a sign that I'm not "supporting the troops"), but it makes it hard to think open minded about both our military spending and the military's place in our society when we hold it up on this tall pedestal no one can reach.  That said, Veterans Day is a day for veterans and your service is appreciated.

2) Lincoln. 

The New Spielberg Movie.  Saw it.  Liked it, didn't adore it.  Great performances, too many soliloquies.  Also, its essentially a movie about how Lincoln manipulated congress into voting for slavery emancipation.  An incredibly interesting and worthy story, but not one that involves Lincoln's death, and the quick "death" scene felt out of place.

Also, on a side note, a number of years ago, when GAP rolled out their (RED) campaign, there were a serious of billboards featuring Spielberg in a red leather jacket.  Below, it said "Hono(red)."  Now when you look at their inspi(red) ads, you immediately think "inspired."  But when you look at hono(red), you immediately think Hono Red. And I don't even know what Hono Red would mean, but it's funny.  As a result, since these ads were released, my friends and I just call him Hono Red. By the way, you can't find that ad anywhere now. Try googling it.  I can picture Hono Red being all "Why the fuck does it say Hono Red?  TAKE THESE DOWN NOW."

1) One week till vacation.

Thank the heavens. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top Five Election Day Thoughts!

Just a quick five thoughts on this Election Day.

5) This Election Is Important

Yeah, yeah, I know it's en vogue to say "Well, both parties are awful, they are the same, blah blah, I'm lazy and wanna stay home with my thumb up my butt."

This may be true to a point, but the future of healthcare and the Supreme Court will be directly affected by this election.  One guy wants to continue to implement a new healthcare plan that will change the course of America, and the other guy wants to get rid of it.  Pending on which side of the fence you're on, you might care who is in office because this will directly affect your future.  Yes, government is broken and all that, but these are two candidates with much different viewpoints. 

4) I'm Glad I Got To The Polls Early.

When I arrived, I was fourth in line.  And just as I said to the person in front of me, "Whats with the shit turnout this year," I turned around to see...

Not exactly that, well actually...kinda.  Once the mob settled, there was a fight over line placement. Yeah, a fight.  Screaming and yelling.  I don't understand why it mattered, voting doesn't take very long, it's not like we're in line for free blowjobs and the people providing the goods are getting tired.  Why do we always have to be such assholes to eachother?   America, ladies and gentlemen!

On another note, two people in line had 7-11 coffee cups with Obama's name on it. Apparently, when you buy coffee at 7-11 today, you can show your pride by drinking coffee out of your candidate of choice.  For something that's supposed to be a somewhat private selection, I was kind of surprised by this.  Plus, in LA, I can't imagine I'll see too many Ward Cleaver  Romney cups. 

3) Election Day Should Be A Holiday

Want to get people to vote?  Make it a fucking event.  Americans are lazy, and don't have much sense of civic duty.  But you know what they love? Days off and free donuts.  They like sales.  So make Election Day a holiday, give the people a free donut with every ballot, and, with proof of your vote, you can get 3-5 percent off some bullshit purchase at any store.  Then, lets have election results parties with more donuts.  I don't know the answer exactly, but people love to feel a part of something bigger than them.  So, lets give them that.

2) Did you know that if you DON'T vote in Australia, you get FINED?

Yes, FINED! Can you imagine if this law were suddenly implemented in America?  Egads, oh how the moronic would riot instead of just, ya know, voting.  Then again, when I see the reasons why some people vote for the candidate they do,I have to shake my head.  It's amazing how we just accept the misinformation out there.  Then again, maybe I shouldn't judge others considering I didn't realize I was wearing my t-shirt inside out until I got to work, which was a couple of hours after I originally put it on. 

1) I love Election Day

Once every 2 years (4 really, lots of people dont give a shit about the midterms), we actually get to stand in line and feel like we have a loud voice among 300 million people.  And not in the unimportant form of a Facebook status update or tweet.  And, yes, your vote does matter.  Even if your presidential vote gets swallowed by sheer numbers (and, with the electoral college, it's easy to think your vote doesn't really count), you're still voting for state representatives and senators.  And by doing so, you're giving local people a real voice, not only in your community, not only in the country, but on the world stage.  It's these people  who often become presidents, speakers of the house, senate majority leaders, and what not...So take your localized elections (whether federal or state) seriously, because if you don't...we end up with people like... our government. And that's just not good for anyone.