July 28, 2006

Your Name Is What?!: Some helpful hints on naming, from Doc Smartypants

I was chatting with a friend of mine today who really wants to have a kid and it reminded me again that I am just not in that same place in my own life. In any case, I’ve compiled a list of ten first names that would probably get her kid’s ass kicked at school, you know, so she can avoid them. Or so she can be evil and use them anyway. Pretending for a moment, just to give you a better idea of the full effect, that her last name is Smith:

Doctor Smith (If twins the other one could be Professor!)

Psmith Smythe Smith

Gunga Din Smith

Rhubarb Smith

Cochituate Smith

Pepsi Smith

Hippobelly Smith

Kickme Smith

Mongo Smith

Gaylord Smith

I’m not saying she would have picked any of these names. Still, better safe than sorry don’t you think? ]

July 26, 2006

Making Myself Look Stupid: We have the technology

This afternoon as I was faxing the magazine to our pre-press people, receiving error messages, and refaxing, I thought about some of the great faxing mishaps of my life–and hoped I wasn’t making a new one.

Like the time back at the theater when I accidentally faxed the day’s enormously long and detailed closing paperwork to the local newspaper’s ad department instead of our home office.

Or at the collectible store, when I was trying to fax the closing paperwork to the owner and it wouldn’t go through. So I just kept trying and trying until he called to let me know I’d been using his house number, not the fax number, and that I’d woken his very ill wife while doing so.

Or one of my personal favourites, the time I repeatedly tried to fax an office supply order (forgetting the all-important 1 at the start of the number) until I finally received a message from a guy asking me to please, please stop trying to fax to his cell phone.

Ah technology, every day and in every way finding new and improved ways for me to embarrass myself. ]

October 1, 2005

Just like a fairytale: Except not at all

In a bizarre parallel with Disney’s so-charming-it-could-be-lethal “Princess
Diaries,” I discovered to my great surprise this morning that I am a bona fide princess. Who knew? Babette Cole it would seem as she’s written a book about it: Princess Smartypants.

Now if I’d known that I would someday rule a country (one, apparently, where they ride around on motorcycles with crocodiles) I might not have spent the better part of my 20s getting my doctorate in Snarkology and Lobotomology at Spankytown University, my alma mater. But be that as it may, I know now, and I intend to rule my realm with an iron fist.

Among my first proclamations:

1. Henceforth, all crocodiles must wear protective helmets when riding motorcycles.

2. As Dr Pepper does make the world taste better, it shall be available in all establishments that offer beverages. Pibb Xtra is not an acceptable substitute.

3. Jon Stewart shall be my prince–no arguments.

4. The new national anthem shall be the theme song from “The Jeffersons” because if I have to have it stuck in my head all the time then so should everyone else.

5. To hell with the natural balance; I want armadillos, wombats, badgers, and platypuses to run wild in my country. And I want citrus trees. And no spiders.

6. Ultra-low-rise pants will not be sold or worn in my country. In fact, better just ban Abercrombie & Fitch altogether.

7. New holidays: John Cusack Day, Marshmallow Fluff Day, and all Wednesdays (so people will be sure to be home in time to watch “Lost”).

8. As our first act of aggression, Smartypantslandia will declare war on George W. Bush. Not America—just Bush. The entire military force of Smartypantslandia (which I’m guessing is just me and a bunch of Harley-riding crocodiles) will descend on the White House, stick George’s head in the toilet, and give him swirlies until he agrees to stop being an idiot.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I was really nervous about being royalty at first, but now I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’ll be sure to invite you all to my coronation.

June 19, 2005

Merciful cheese curds of Cher!: Perhaps I have too much free time

I was sitting at work on Friday getting very frustrated with things and muttering an exotic variety of swear words when I decided that what my site really needed was a Random Exclamation Generator. Just the thought improved my mood 100 percent for the rest of the afternoon. So anyhoo, Friday night Larry did the programming and I did the list making and next thing you know, hey goody, we have random exclamations!

It wouldn’t be worth a post except that Larry pointed out that some of you
may not go to the home page because you’re using a bookmark or something,
so…it’s on the home page. Here.

A few of my favorites so far:

Flaming honey pots of depravity!

Great festering pork rinds of Hades!

Oh, malodorous narwhal of Zanzibar!

If nothing else I expect this will keep Erin amused at work for some time.  Enjoy! ]

June 10, 2005

Matt 101: An introduction to the Matts

After some recent confusion among my friends about which Matt was posting on my blog (Pavik), I thought it might be a good idea to give you all a crash course on the many and varied Matts of the Doc Smartypants world. Don’t worry, you won’t be tested on this.

Matt the Hobbit

1 2 3 4 5

Matt Fields

aka: Chef Matt, Matt the Hobbit, Mattymoo

How I met him: Matt came into CC&G while I worked

there and I recruited him to play cards with Larry. Later we worked there together and amused the ladies of Regis Hair Salon by doing the “mall dance” to the Ramones.

Currently living in: Bellingham, Wash. (with Perrycuda)

How to tell him from the others: He’s the shortest; likes to cook; fancies boys.

I once saw: him wrap his entire hand in cellophane and tape so he could shower (to protect his stitched-up thumb, which he almost cut off while cooking).

Quote: “Oh my gawd, it’s like butta’!”


1 2 3 4

Matt Perry

aka: Perry, Perrycuda

How I met him: Perry knew Fields from Port Townsend and they lived next door to each other when they first moved to Bellingham.

Currently living in: Bellingham, Wash. (with Mattymoo)

How to tell him from the others: Single and looking for a lady; likes a spankin’; plays online games.

I once saw: Larry break a boat oar over his ass.

Quote: “You bastard!

Matt of the Broken Monkey Glass

1 2

Matt Pavik

aka: Matt of the Broken Monkey Glass, Matttty, Kinko’s Matt

How I met him: Worked at Kinko’s in Boston with Larry. While he was on an out-of-town trip we were at his place to feed his fish and I broke his monkey glass. The gravity was much stronger in his kitchen than on the rest of the planet.

How to tell him from the others: Lives in Oregon; in a long-term relationship; is the only Matt so far to post a comment on my blog (as “Mattttty”).

Currently living in: Portland, Ore. (with Librarianna of the Broken Monkey Glass)

I once saw: him sing “YMCA” at a karaoke bar.

Quote: “It was wicked pissa’.”

June 7, 2005

Doc Smartypants vs. the Infamous Meme!: It’s about books, OK?

My buddy over at homefries.org tagged me for this book meme. You’ve probably seen it around. Below are the four questions and my answers to them:

What is the total number of books I’ve owned?
I spent an absurd amount of time trying to come up with an answer to
this. I was tempted to just lie and say 15,657 or something, but where’s
the fun in that? The trouble is that I started buying books when I was in elementary school and I never stopped, but multiple moves have really thinned the herd.

I’m going to make the educated estimate that the total is somewhere in
the 2,000-2,500 range. Give or take several hundred.

What was the last book I bought?
This, I believe, was a used copy of Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi, which I purchased in a used bookstore in Bellingham on my last visit home and read in my book club. It was good, but I found the ending disappointing. (I’m sure there’s a deep symbolic message about life in that last sentence if you care to ponder it long enough.)

What was the last book I read?
Fluke, Or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore. (I’m reading another of his now, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal)

Five books that mean a lot to me:
I went with the homefries interpretation here and focused on importance rather than just making a list of my favorite reads. What I love is not necessarily what is most important, but the things I think are important are certainly loved.

Don’t laugh.:

The AP Stylebook Even though I am now expected to use Chicago Style, AP was what I originally learned and what I know best. My poor old stylebook has been almost everywhere and is pretty thrashed now. As part of a college class I went on this hike that almost killed me and when I got to the top
and was pulling my lunch out of my backpack a friend sitting nearby looked over and said, “What the…? You brought your AP style guide?!” Which, for the record, was mostly for the drive there, but you never know when you might need to know the proper style for “yo-yo” (formerly a trademark, now a generic term).

Glory Lane OK, so my first impulse here was to say Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because I’ve read it a gazillion times and it was
my intro into the sci-fi/fantasy genre (at least as far as grown-up books). But then I remembered that the Guide actually doesn’t hold that honor—Glory Lane does. I read Glory Lane at least two years before I ever touched the Hitchhiker’s Guide.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (Unabridged) A constant feature in my life
since childhood. I was delighted when I realized we have the exact same edition at work that I grew up with. I used to love looking up weird words, studying the flags of the world, and trying to make useful phrases (such as “rattle the hedgehog”) out of the English-to-French, or English-to-German sections. One of my absolute favorite bits was the page in back with the solar system.

The Last Tycoon and the World of MGM
A benchmark on two fronts, this book sparked a lasting love of both film history and biographies. I have not moved anywhere without it (even brought it to Boston for my summer internship).

And last but probably least…

Which Witch? OK, go ahead and laugh if you want, but hear me out first. This is the only book from my childhood that is still in my possession and that made the trip to Boston. I’m not sure exactly when I first read it, but it was probably third or fourth grade I guess. It is important because I say it is.

So that’s all. Took me long enough! I would encourage those of you who read
this to answer this meme yourself, either here or on your own blog/LJ. H-Bob and Miss Erin, you do not get a choice in this matter. Just do it!]

Update: H-Bob has responded on her LJ. Matt of the Broken Monkey Glass and Librarianna of the Broken Monkey Glass have responded, too.

April 6, 2005

100 Things You May Not Know About Me: A little something to get me back in the blogging mood

I’ve been suffering from a wicked case of writer’s block since the
passing of my kitty, so in an effort to jump start my brain I decided to make
this list of 100 things you might not know about me (an idea I got from someone else’s Live Journal a while back). Now go forth and learn 99 more things about me than you ever wanted to know!

1. I got my first pair of Converse the summer after 9th grade.

2. I think bathrooms are scary.

3. I learned the Greek alphabet in junior high just for the hell of it.

4. I have a piece of graphite permanently embedded in my left middle finger
as the result of an accident involving a Capri Sun and a pencil in elementary

5. I like the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer but am kind of ashamed to admit

6. I didn’t know what passive voice was until my junior year of college.

7. I still get tripped up on my 6, 7 and 8 times tables.

8. I can write upside down and backwards about as well as I can write normally.

9. I’m excellent at word puzzles, particularly cryptograms and unscrambling.

10. I do exactly as many things left-handed as I do right-handed.

11. I still feel badly about not writing to someone I promised to write to in
8th grade.

12. I have always thought elephants should come in a convenient guinea pig size.

13. I can sing all of the songs from Singin’ in the Rain and know all
the dance routines.

14. Filling in the bubbles on Scantron tests makes me uncomfortable.

15. I have left the room when a favorite character on a TV show does something
so embarrassing I can’t bare to watch.

16. I don’t really like babies but I like to buy things for them.

17. The first “modern music” cassette tape I bought was Stacey Q
“Better than Heaven” in elementary school.

18. I had a supervisor whose middle name was Tarzan.

19. I wear my socks inside out and I always put the left one on first.

20. I hate licorice and banana chips but will still try them if someone offers
me some.

21. One of my feet is a half size bigger than the other.

22. I have worn the same watch since the summer after 5th grade.

23. I didn’t learn to ride a bike until the summer before 7th grade.

24. I can’t swim.

25. For a while in high school I used to pretend to go to sleep but would secretly
stay awake until an hour or two before I had to be up.

26. I went to my senior prom two hours late and without a date.

27. The only drink I ever order at Starbucks is a grande hazelnut mocha.

28. I have never had a beer (though I did taste one or two).

29. My favorite comic strip is Get Fuzzy.

30. I once dressed up as a stick of dynamite for Halloween.

31. I love to take pictures and hate to be photographed.

32. I am uncomfortable having my name on anything I write.

33. I don’t like to touch paper towel dispensers if they are wet or my
hands are wet.

34. I have seen the world’s largest frying pan, the world’s largest
ball of twine, the world’s largest easel and the world’s largest
prairie dog.

35. The grossest indoor bathroom I was ever in was in Lawrence, Kansas.

36. I have never been to the South.

37. One of my eyes is slightly nearsighted, the other is slightly farsighted.

38. I don’t like vanilla scented things.

39. I like to collect postcards, lunchboxes and squished pennies.

40. The first CD I ever bought was a Roy Orbison Best Of.

41. I am terrified of needles.

42. I can listen to the same song on repeat for hours.

43. I am uncomfortable in red rooms.

44. I was once bitten on the toe by a ferret.

45. I really enjoy shopping for office supplies.

46. For a while when I was a kid my favorite animal was the squid.

47. I have never smoked pot or taken a “recreational” drug.

48. I was refused entrance to Canada on two separate occasions.

49. I scratch my head when I am nervous or stressed.

50. I get altitude sickness.

51. I have trouble reading road maps quickly enough to help navigate.

52. I almost always have a song stuck in my head.

53. A nurse once told me if my blood pressure was any lower I’d be unconscious.

54. My favorite hobbits are Merry and Pippin.

55. I was a movie extra in This Boy’s Life.

56. I won a major award for a Native American wolf mask I made in 7th grade
art class.

57. I always watch The Hunt for Red October when I’m sick.

58. I prefer white or yellow cake to chocolate.

59. Despite numerous keyboarding classes, I don’t type with my hands on
the home row, instead favoring a semi-conscious seek-and-hit method.

60. I often write letters or postcards and forget to send them.

61. I was a lost boy in Peter Pan and a hedgehog in Alice in Wonderland when
I was in ballet.

62. I can curl my tongue.

63. I don’t know my blood type.

64. When I was a kid I tried to teach my dog to sing Bing Crosby’s Mele
Kalikimaka (the Hawaiian Christmas song) by playing the record over and over

65. I never eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

66. My favorite Star Wars character is that blue elephant guy who plays in the

67. My frogs are named Dill and Pickle and my snail is named Panasonic.

68. I used to listen to records on the faster speed all the time.

69. I like to walk to and from work with a portable CD player because it’s
like having my own personal soundtrack.

70. My car was once rear ended by a fire engine.

71. I like to make lists.

72. I once read the first part of the Bible while sitting in a doctor’s
office, but never finished it.

73. I saw The Nightmare Before Christmas four times in the theater.

74. The only movie I’ve ever walked out of was Six Days, Seven Nights
and I was being paid to watch it.

75. I have difficulty remembering exactly where certain states in the Midwest
and Southwest are.

76. I first fell in love with John Cusack when we watched The Journey of Natty
Gann in my 1st/2nd grade class.

77. Black cherry soda always makes me think of camping.

78. I’ve always wanted to be British.

79. I’ve seen the band Megadeth perform live twice (Larry’s a fan).

80. I think dark hallways are very scary.

81. I’ve watched the movie Outbreak in the waiting room of an ER.

82. I’m a big fan of refrigerator magnets.

83. I’ve been to Chicago, Phoenix and Las Vegas but never left the airports.

84. I was once in a talent show singing Pablo the Reindeer from Mexico with
my friends.

85. I learned that you can’t beat Death after I watched The Seventh Seal
as a child.

86. In elementary school my friend found a coffee stirrer in the shape of a
naked woman in her dad’s usually locked liquor cabinet. We called it Ms.
Noo (code I believe for Ms. Nude) and were so afraid of getting in trouble if
found with it that we eventually broke it in two and buried the pieces in her

87. My friends and I once performed a sleep-deprivation experiment during which
we watched Twin Peaks and recorded an hourly check-in on my mini tape recorder.

88. I still get embarrassed by stupid or impolite things I did as a child.

89. When it first came out I thought the Madonna song Papa Don’t Preach
was about a girl whose father was a minister.

90. I hate talk radio because I can’t stand listening to people argue.

91. I don’t mind being wrong but I hate feeling stupid.

92. One time in junior high I called someone back to apologize after my friend
prank called him.

93. I like gay bars better than other bars.

94. I used to think Candy was a great name for a girl (it was the 80s and I
was young).

95. I can fold notes in the shape of a throwing star or a folded shirt.

96. I occasionally lie to telemarketers.

97. I was a Bluebird (the younger version of Camp Fire Girls).

98. I have no idea what my brother’s phone number is.

99. When I was little I liked to keep potato bugs (pill bugs) as pets.

100. My favorite planet is Pluto. (Shut up, Larry, it is too a planet!) ]

January 24, 2005

SNOW DAY!: In which some good finally comes of Boston weather

Well it finally happened. I finally got a snow day from work, which is about as easy as pulling a sled full of solid gold elephants up Beacon Hill. Sunday Larry had a snow day, which was nice, though we couldn’t really go anywhere due to blizzard-madness. But today he had to work, so I spent the day alone doing not much of anything. I napped a lot and watched some old X-Files. I checked out that new show Numb3rs, which looks like it could be OK. I also got a strange cell phone call from a guy named Jake. Jake, if you ever read this, Otis (I’m fairly certain) is always spelled with an “i”.

In any case, looks like I have to be back at work tomorrow, which means trudging through the freezing tundra that is our fair city. I wish I had a snowmobile. One of these days I’m going to buy a warmer coat. Or find my gloves. Or, y’know, move somewhere where I don’t have to deal with this crap. ]

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