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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Scrabulous and Scramble

I have found my newest source of entertainment during class and it's on facebook (not myspace because myspace sucks). I should be paying attention in class, but it just drags. It's awful. So anyways I do other things to keep my simple brain occupied. If I don’t, then I would fall asleep. Take your pick: playing games or sound asleep.

Scrabulous and Scramble are my newest internet game addictions. They're bigger addictions than Zuma, Caramba, or Cubis. Granted they are stimulating games and they force your mind to work and work quickly, but I probably should focus on drugs and doses and diseases….since the health of the public depends on me learning. Eh…

I hit 2,000 in feedback a few weeks back. I really never thought I'd get over 1,000 when I started my eBay account back on November 15 of 2004. As of right now, it's already at 2,063 (99.9% positive). Not much else to say on this topic, other than the fact that I have spent countless hours pursuing eBay endeavors when I probably could have been doing something more constructive. But what the hell…'s fun.

Distinctive Odors…

So I have been eating a lot of veggies and fruits lately in an effort to lose some fat and get ripped. Among my dietary choices has been a lot of asparagus dishes. And much to my dismay, I am among the population of people that has smelly urine after eating asparagus. And since I am naturally inquisitive like the little kid about to stick a fork in the electric socket, I wanted to find out why asparagus makes my sterile golden filtrate smell like ammonia.
So according to wikianswers (I wouldn't dare source this in a formal paper or presentation, thank you very much):

"Apparantly, asparagus contains a sulphurous amino acid called methyl mercaptan, although there seems to be debate among scientists if there are other chemicals involved.

Serious scientific research in this field dates back to 1891, when M. Nencki tentatively identified a compound known as methanethiol as the culprit. The odor appears within an hour after eating just a few spears of the offending vegetable.

According to Allison and McWhirter (1956), the ability to produce the odor is controlled by a single autosomal (i.e., non-sex-related) dominant gene. In a sample of 115 persons, 46 were rendered fragrant by asparagus and 63 were not. (This leaves 6 mysteriously unaccounted for. Urology is an inexact science, I guess.)

In 1975 one Robert H. White, then with the chemistry department at the University of California at San Diego, found that the odor-causing chemical was not methanethiol after all. Instead, using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Bob was obviously not one to screw around), he found that the aroma was in fact caused by several S-methyl thioesters, specifically S-methyl thioacrylate and S-methyl 3-(methylthio)thiopropionate.

(Thioesters are compounds that result from the reaction of an acid with a sulfur-containing alcohol. They tend to be smelly.)

The thioacrylate recipe is:

The thiopropionate is:

Wikipedia also states that:

"The effect of eating asparagus on one's urine has long been known. Marcel Proust claimed that asparagus "...transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume." Certain constituents of asparagus are metabolized giving urine a distinctive smell due to various sulfur-containing degradation products, including various thiols, thioesters, and ammonia. Derivatives of asparagusic acid are also found in urine. The speed of onset of urine smell has been estimated to occur within 15-30 minutes of ingestion. All individuals produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but that only about 40% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell them."

So there you go. If you ever feed me asparagus and don't notice the funk after I leave the restroom, then you don't belong to that 40% of the population that is autosomal for the gene for smelling asparagus-tainted tinkly-pee.

My Current Fitness Addiction

I've been running at least 4 times a week (a couple miles at a time) since I got my personalized Nikes. They certainly have helped with the knee pain (placebo effect possibly, but whatever……no knee pain now). And I don't feel so tired after running now (not sure whether to attribute that to building endurance or the shoes).

I trimmed my toenails sometime about a week ago. Well, apparently I introduced some kind of foreign body or pathogen down there when I clipped them.
Shit, I hope we don't have to amputate that sucker. That thing hurts like the dickens. I haven't been able to run properly for a few days now. I look like a special kid when I run with a hurt toe….as opposed to usual….which probably just looks like a guy trying to outrun a wedgie.

Movie Reviews
The Exorcist: I had already read the book for this one, so I pretty much expected the movie fall far short of the book. I was pleasantly surprised. This is one case where the movie was actually as good as the book. The novel was more graphic and explicit about certain portions, but I didn't really care to see those portions in the movie anyways. I mean, who wants to see a pre-pubescent girl shove a crucifix where the sun don't shine? I don't, but I guess that's why I am not a perverted pedophile. 4.5 stars out of 5.

Resident Evil- Extinction: I think the originality of the series has worn off. I enjoyed the first couple, but this one just seemed repetitive and predictable. I felt like I knew the punchlines, the action sequences, and the plot turns before they happened. I mean, I can appreciate the effort that went into the movie, but it just didn't bring anything new to the table. 2.5 stars out of 5.

American Psycho: I almost feel like I missed something in this movie. I felt confused and wondering "WTF?" at the end. It kinda reminded me of the way you feel after you watch Donnie Darko or Memento the first time. Now I want to see this movie again and see what all I missed the first time. Christian Bale is intense. 4 stars out of 5.

Cars: I am not a huge Owen Wilson fan, either seeing his ugly crooked nose or hearing his annoying voice. But I gotta say, this was still a good movie. Funny stuff and good music/ good musicians. 4 stars out of 5.

Ratatouille: This one started off pretty slowly. I think it would have lost my interest if I were a little kid. I managed to tough it out and it did get better as it went on. I can't see my little cousin Christine making it through this flick though. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Horton Hears A Who: I like both Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, so I had high expectations for this movie….and for the most part, they were met. There are some pretty funny moments and pretty much anything the little blue rat/mouse thing says is hi-larious. 4 stars out of 5.

Elektra: It was on TV and I was bored….so I figured why not. I should not have wasted my time on it. Just awful….no plot, poor action scenes, and pathetic acting. ½ star out of 5.
One Size Fits All My Ass (And It Wouldn't Fit That Either, Since I Have No Ass)

Two weeks ago, I pretty much hit critical mass on socks. I had a few pairs of dark socks for work, but I utterly lacked any normal white socks for day-to-day wear. So I bought some socks at Mervyn's.

I wear shoe size 7 or 8 or somewhere in between (depending on each company). Socks unfortunately only come in one size for men: fucking huge. Seriously, they make socks that "fit sizes 7-13." Bullshit, I say!

You cannot have a sock that would fit me and fit Uncle Kenny. I am 5'9" and he is 6'4". There is no way in hell we could wear the same sock. It's just not physically possible. There needs to be a little bit more diversification in sock size. I mean, we don't make shoes that fit sizes 7-13. So why the hell do we make socks that are supposed to fit elves and Shaq without making distinct sizes? Damn.

The only reason I really bitch is because I look like a homo when I wear socks that look like this:
Yeah. Homoerotic. I can't help the fact that I have baby feet. My mom is 5'10" or 5'11" and wears size 6 in women's (which is about 4.5 in mens…..or boys, I should say). I wish clothing manufacturers could cater a little more to the pedal challenged folks such as myself.

Why I Can Never Have A Beard (Permanently)
I have tried to grow out a beard a few times now and I've pretty much decided that facial hair is not for me for a few reasons:

1. It itches as bad as I remember chicken pox itching. I can't stand it. I have tried exfoliating and moisturizing daily and I've even tried Benadryl along with hydrocortisone. It's a no-go. I end up scratching my face until it's raw. And if I were to do anything which might produce perspiration (say like change the channel or peel an orange), then it just itches like crazy.

2. It's mainly red. For some reason, I grow brown or black hair everywhere else except my face. And there, for no apparent rhyme or reason at all, it's red. Thanks Mom. It's your side of the family that contributed that little gem. We all know red hair is evil (damn gingers). Damn Irish and Scottish showing through the Italian. Boo.
3. I kinda look like a child molester. I like the 2 day no shave look (except for the mustache….that HAS to be shaven daily), but if I let it go for more than that, it just turns into Chester the Molester.

I even tried to do some research online to find out why beards itch so badly, but I've come up empty-handed. I guess my face is just meant to be bare.

But for those people out there that think they can handle the beard and the itching, here's a website for you:

I Didn’t Know It Was An Actual Condition…

Since I have been trying to make healthier culinary choices, I have noticed something that occurs nearly every night. During the day, I eat healthy stuff (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, spinach, spinach, and more spinach). But at night, right about 10 or 11 PM each night, I get a huge craving for fried or fatty foods. I want fat and carbs galore.

I started wondering if I was the only one out there that experienced this. So I googled some stuff and here’s what I came up with:

Night Eating Syndrome per MSN health-
“The fact that you mention you eat foods at night that you would “never eat during the day” indicates that you may, indeed, not be eating enough, and your body goes to bed craving calories to restock energy supplies. Many of the foods you avoid are OK, and even necessary, for you to eat. In fact, you seem to be chopping most carbs from your diet. A highly active person needs EXTRA carbs, so going low-carb is a bad move. Avoiding dairy may mean that you are not taking in enough calcium, unless you are making a concerted attempt to supplement or eat calcium-rich veggies like kale and nuts such as almonds. But chances are, if you are not eating enough calories, you are low in many essential vitamins and minerals. At the very least, you are likely to feel chronically fatigued and be at a higher risk of injuries.”

Or go to and read all about it too. Kind of interesting. I do like falling asleep with food in my stomach…it helps me sleep. I cannot sleep if I’m hungry. I know it’s not good for you to eat right before bed, but I seriously fall asleep better and sleep deeper if I have food in there. Perhaps it’s due to serotonin and its effects or perhaps I am now just a creature of habit.

I don’t eat fish or really any seafood but shrimp. I like beef just fine and chicken is good. Pork is tasty and so is turkey. But lamb, well, it’s kinda in a category by itself. That stuff must have been sent down by the gods themselves. It tastes similar to beef, but better. It’s very lean and the fat is even edible. I highly encourage you to get some lamb chops and grill them. Seriously. That stuff is great.

Chapstick Dependence And Addiction

I know that I have touched on my problems with Chapstick before (losing them and/or putting them through the wash). And I've written about how I can never finish a stick before it vanishes.
I don't think I've covered the physiological dependence that develops from using Chapstick. Once you start using, you can't stop. It's like crack for your lips. Seriously. One use and you're hooked. Without it, your lips feel dry and unprotected. Then you lick them to try to keep them from drying out, which of course makes them dry out even faster. It's just a vicious cycle that can be relieved by one thing and one thing only: Chapstick/ crack.

But it's much deeper than just a physical dependence: there is a certain psychological component as well. I do get pleasure from having nice, moisturized lips and I disdain having dry, unprotected lips. In fact, if I forget to throw a Chapstick in my pocket before heading out the door in the morning, it's going to be a bad day. I'll be chapped and thinking about it all day long until I get home (at which point I slather that stuff on like it's going out of style).

Hopelessly addicted.

Jimmy Eat World And Paramore

Katie and I went to Pocatello (April 11th thru 13th) to see Paramore and Jimmy Eat World play at Holt Arena. Not the most acoustically enhanced arena, but it got the job done. We stood pretty close to the stage, but stayed clear of the mosh pits. And yes, the lily white kids from Pocatello got their mosh on to the sounds of J.E.W. and Paramore.

Both bands sounded just like their respective CDs. It was neat to see them in person. The lead singer for Paramore is short… maybe 5 feet tall. The lead guitarist for Paramore did a backflip while playing. The dudes for Jimmy Eat World are all pretty much seasoned veterans. They played a nice mix of old stuff and new stuff. And of course, they saved "The Middle" for the last song.

"Mowing grass in the hot heat sucks ass."
-poetry by Katie on the drive home
Current music:

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