Zombies are People Too!

Today’s righteous indignation is brought to you by @jwlucasnc who was kind enough to forward me the very best of her spam messages.

At first, I was pleased when I saw the title of the email in my inbox, “Zombies Make Over $5 Billion in the US.” I thought it was nice that zombies can be financially successful. I am not sure how many zombies there are in the United States, but even if there were a billion, that would pencil out nicely. I was a little surprised the luxury car market wasn’t targeting them more.

Then, my pride in Zombie accomplishment fell quickly into distain. This was not a message about helping zombies, or rejoicing in their success. This was a marketing ploy implemented by GoGo Training, taking advantage of zombies to sell Android Programming Classes. Calling zombies stupid and brainless, the GoGo Training specialists encourage you to become a Master Android Programmer solely for the purpose of deteriorating fragile zombie-human relations. The ad links to games showing zombies slouching across the screens of various phone platforms with vacant eyes. Do you know how hard it must be to walk around craving brains all the time with your limbs falling off? Zombism is a real issue, NOT a marketing tool.

A shirt to help Zombies keep up with their limbs… because I’m altruistic.

We should be promoting zombie tolerance rather than hatred. I encourage you, this Halloween, to rejoice in our diversity. Do NOT take advantage of the “Zombie Eating Halloween Special” at GoGo Training. Why would you want to save $100 off Android Programming classes when you will end up stuck in a room with a bunch of dickheads waiting to kill you if your arm happens to fall off? You wouldn’t.

I am sure you now all recognize there absolutely no need to make lives of the local zombies more difficult by pummeling them with bullets, grenades, and buckshot. However, I must admit that I did stop being indignant enough to consider calling the GoGo Training “Zombie Hot Line.” Not to sign up for a course catalog, as recommended, but to report zombie sightings. My guess is the people running that phone line have had a hell of a day.

Halloween Costume Series: Robot Zombie Killer

This costume is based on my new Pulitzer prize-winning novel about the future and robot zombies.  I’ve been the future you see, and the phones that we created to drive our cars have turned against us.  They are now zombies that must be taken out by any means necessary.  This book will probably win for the best non-fiction since it is about facts in the future and I don’t think anyone has written a book yet about facts in the future.  Therefore, being the one and only book in the category, it HAS to win.

Actually, I am writing the book in the future as we speak.  The best thing about this method is that I am not procrastinating. I am waiting for future self to deliver the book via time machine, or by UPS.  I am not exactly sure how these things work.

Everyone who wears this shirt will be promoting my future book and you will be well compensated when I hit the bestseller list any day now.  I will also be famous, so bonus points to you for knowing someone famous.

Special Orders

Fine. Here are your special orders. Just remember, I’m not made of imaginary t-shirts, people!

This one is for Joshua of Vive Le Nerd. I would have actually put the fake vest and bow-tie on here, but I didn’t feel like drawing stuff. Apparently, I am too lazy to draw on these shirts… or even change fonts, apparently. No one is ever going to buy these.

This one is for Debihen of So… I’ve Been Thinking. Congratulations! You are now King of the World.

This is for those of you who might be a little more goal oriented than Debbie. I had to cover my bases because I can’t stay up all night making these things.

This is for those of you who are LESS goal oriented than Debbie.

Just kidding, this shirt is dedicated to @zippy219. May we ALL be lucky enough to get fake books on Oprah’s Show. Wait… is Oprah even doing a show anymore??? Why am I writing a fake book? Damn.

Halloween Costume Series: Pulitzer Prize Winner

I heard someone say once, and this has always stuck with me, “Most people don’t want to write. Most people want to have written.” The truth about writing is that unless you are writing some ridiculous blog about non-existent t-shirts, it is a lot of hard work. You pretty much have to do all of this hard work whether or not the crap you generate wins a Pulitzer prize. A lot of people just aren’t cut out for that. I’m not cut out for it. Why would I do all that work and NOT get a prize?

This costume is your chance to enjoy the fame and admiration of winning a Pulitzer for your best-selling novel, without the time and energy it would take to actually write a Pulitzer prize-winning, best-selling novel. The beauty of this plan is that you won’t even have to sacrifice the time and energy it would take to create a non-Pulitzer prize-winning crappy novel.

You will still need to think of a fake name and part of a plot for the book that won you this celebrated prize, but that is small price to pay. I would help you think of a name and plot, but it sounds like a lot of work. If I were going to do all that, I would just go ahead and write the damn thing and win my own Pulitzer.

I will, however, be willing to give you some tips based on my own extensive experience of not writing books. One tip is that your plot should be about zombies. They are hot right now. Oh wait, better yet, robot zombies… from the future. Get to work.

How to be Normal

When @eldergeek sent me a link to the AQ-Test, I thought, “What now, a test?” So you can imagine my relief to find it is only a 50 question online quiz to see if you have Aspergers. I know, right? Again with the syndromes.

I realize this is the second time I’ve posted this t-shirt, but you probably need an extra in case the first one is dirty.

If I have to take this Asperger test, you are coming with me. Ready? Here’s the link: http://aq.server8.org/ I am including all the answers below in case you need to take it for work or something to prove you are normal. You can thank me later.

Notice that the disclaimer before you even take the test reads, “If you’re concerned about your score, you should consult a doctor.”

So, based on my concern for my social disorder, I should call someone up on the phone, arrange for an appointment, then go over there and TALK about it? There is no way in hell I am ever doing all of that. See… there is nothing wrong with me already.

Let’s get started…

“1. I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own.” I always do things with others. That is what Twitter is all about. And people read my blog sometimes. At least three people have told me they read my blog, so that is doing things with others.
–Definitely Agree

I’m winning at this test already.

“2. I prefer to do things the same way over and over again.” Yes. Because that is how you should do things. Otherwise, you spend a lot of time trying to figure stuff out that you have already done. I could do things totally differently each time if I wanted to, but that would be stupid.
–Definitely Agree

Winning! I am going to be so normal.

“3. If I try to imagine something, I find it very easy to create a picture in my mind.” Imagining things, yep. Good that that. Winning.
–Definitely Agree

“4. I frequently get so strongly absorbed in one thing that I lose sight of other things.” Yeah, all the time. There is too much crap to keep up with. Like remembering to eat, for instance. Did I eat? I can’t be bothered with that right now. I’m in the middle of something.
–Definitely Agree

“5. I often notice small things when others do not.” Yep. I found a penny on the ground just the other day. Win.
–Definitely Agree

“6. I usually notice car number plates or similar strings of information.” Man. This is a tough one. I don’t even know what this means. I am going to pick what seems the most normal.
–Definitely Disagree

Is it me, or does this test seem long? Forty-four more questions to go.

“7. Other people frequently tell me that what I’ve said is impolite, even though I think it is polite.” People shouldn’t be so freaking sensitive. That is what I think.
–Definitely Agree

God, this test will NEVER END.

“8. When I’m reading a story, I can easily imagine what the characters might look like.” Another tricky one. Sure, I can imagine what they look like, but then when the movie comes out, I am always wrong. I guess all the movies can’t be starring Johnny Depp. He would be way too busy.
–Slightly Agree

“9. I’m fascinated by dates.” Definite ‘no’ on that one. Dates are the stupidest fruit ever. Are they really out there growing like little dried up squares in the wild? I can go my whole life and never see another damn date.
–Definitely Disagree

“10. In a social group, I can easily keep track of different people’s conversations.” If they were talking about stuff that was interesting, then sure, I would be right on top of it. But are they talking about what sports their kids are playing? I don’t really care so much about that. Maybe if they are talking about how much they like bacon. I really like bacon.
–Slightly Agree

“11. I find social situations easy. “ I was pretty good at having lunch at that conference. Yeah, never mind. That was hard as hell.
–Definitely Disagree

“12. I tend to notice details while others do not.” What kind of details are we talking about here? Like stuff people are wearing? Did you just get a haircut or is your face a little off center today? I would notice that. I guess. Wait… I noticed that my cubicle mate had on shiny shoes today. Win for me.
–Definitely Agree

“13. I would rather go to a library than a party.”
–Definitely Agree

Did you see how I didn’t even need to think about that last one? I must be getting EXCELLENT at this!

“14. I find making up stories easy.” I make up stories all the time. Remember that whole bit in my blog about time traveling and the cars driven by phones? That NEVER happened! Yep. I made the whole thing up. I guess that wasn’t really making up a story though. It was more like rambling on about crap.
–Slightly agree

“15. I find myself drawn more to people than things.” I talked to people in the elevator today about their commute. That was sort of fun. Things, on the other hand, can be fun too. Like a stapler. Staplers would actually be more fun than people talking about a commute. But sometimes people have food. If someone is sharing Chinese food, I would definitely rather be with that person than a stapler.
–Definitely Agree

“16. I tend to have very strong interests which I get upset about if I can’t pursue.” I will have you know that me typing into my blog is JUST as important as you and your stupid football game you are watching. So yeah, don’t interrupt me.
–Definitely Agree

“17. I enjoy social chit-chat.” Social chit-chat? That is the most ridiculous phrase I have ever heard. If you hear anyone speak the words, ‘social chit-chat,’ you are completely absolved for hitting them.
–Definitely Disagree

“18. When I talk, it isn’t always easy for others to get a word in edgewise.” Why would anyone want to interrupt me while I am talking? I am freaking brilliant.
–Definitely Agree

“19. I am fascinated by numbers.” Are these numbers on a lottery ticket that I am winning? I would be enthralled by those numbers. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket. Would it be cool having tons of money? Or would it be a pain in the ass? Maybe I should get some secret money, like a pirate. I don’t need numbers for that.
–Definitely Disagree

“20. When I am reading a story, it is hard for me to work out the characters intentions.” The characters in that Zombie Field Guide I was reading were all running from zombies because they did not want their brains to be eaten. I was able to work out their intentions fairly well.
–Definitely Disagree

“21. I don’t particularly enjoy reading fiction.” I really don’t. But it isn’t my fault. If people would write some interesting fiction books, I would totally read them. Quit writing about whiny vampires and maybe I’ll read your damn book.
–Definitely Agree

“22. I find it hard to make new friends.” I have 792 Twitter friends. I find it easy to make new friends. Of course, I used to have 804 Twitter friends. I wonder what happened to the other twelve. Maybe I said something impolite that I thought was polite. Damn, this test is getting to me.
–Slightly agree

“23. I notice patterns in things all the time.” Patterns, like what? Plaid? I guess so.
–Slightly agree

“24. I would rather go to a theatre than a museum.” What kind of theatre? Like a live performance? Will there be singing in the theatre? I hate it when people sing. I’ll choose museum just to be safe.
–Definitely Disagree

“25. It does not upset me if my daily routine is disturbed.” That routine is in place for a reason. I have important shit that needs to get done. I don’t have these routines in place just for a whim, people! Jeez.
–Definitely Disagree

“26. I frequently find that I don’t know how to keep a conversation going.” Wow… I am usually trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. I guess that would have to agree.
–Definitely Agree

I can’t tell anymore if I am winning.

“27. I find it easy to ‘read between the lines’ when someone is talking to me.” People should just say what they mean. I can’t be held responsible for whatever interpretive dance you have going on here.
–Definitely Disagree

“28. I usually concentrate more on the whole picture, rather than the small details.” This is a tricky one. I can usually see both the picture and the details. There is no way to select both though. I have to agree to this or not. What if the picture is really far away? If the picture was far away, then I wouldn’t be able to make out all the details without squinting.
–Slightly Agree

“29. I am not very good at remembering phone numbers.” I don’t have to. They are in my phone. Win.
–Definitely Agree

“30. I don’t usually notice small changes in a situation or a person’s appearance.” I noticed a co-worker wearing shiny shoes today. They were really shiny though. But it still counts. Also, if someone is on crutches, I know that you are supposed to ask them what happened. Even though I never do because I figure they are probably getting tired of explaining it. But I do notice and that is what counts here. I still get points.
– Definitely Disagree

“31. I know how to tell if someone listening to me is getting bored.” Why would anyone listening to me get bored? I’m freaking brilliant.
–Definitely Disagree

“32. I find it easy to do more than one thing at once. “ What does this mean? Like juggling? I’m terrible at juggling. I can’t think of any example now other than juggling.
–Definitely Disagree

“33. When I talk on the phone, I’m not sure when it’s my turn to speak.” I shouldn’t even have to answer this one. Everyone who has my number knows NOT to call and try to chat with me on the phone. Call me, state your concern or situation, then hang up. Also, you could probably just send a text. That would be preferable. As you can tell, I have the phone thing completely covered. Win.
–Definitely Disagree

“34. I enjoy doing things spontaneously.” Yes, I do enjoy spontaneous things. But only if you tell me about them first and give me a lot of time to pack. And also, I may need to bring some things in case I get bored. Are we going to be near water? I don’t want to bring a lot of electronic equipment if it might get wet. Should I bring a book? I don’t want it to get lost. If I bring a book, what percentage chance will there be of the book getting lost? Are we going camping? If so, is it possible that I might need to run from a bear? Also, I like to bring toilet paper when I go camping. I should probably take toilet paper anyway, even if we are not camping, just in case. You know what… just forget the whole thing. I’m not going.
–Definitely Disagree

“35. I am often the last to understand the point of a joke.” It must have been a pretty dumb joke then. I really don’t see how I can answer some of these without a proper example.
–Slightly Disagree

“36. I find it easy to work out what someone is thinking or feeling just by looking at their face.” If you want to tell me what you are feeling, then just tell me. Or maybe don’t tell me. Unless your face is telling me you feel like bringing me Chinese food. Of course, I would be able to gather that much from the Chinese food without even looking at your face. This is a stupid question.
–Definitely Disagree

“37. If there is an interruption, I can switch back to what I was doing very quickly.” I suppose so. However, it really depends on what was I doing. Was I making a vase on one of those potter’s wheels? I have done that before and that shit will collapse at a moment’s notice. You have to really focus on what you are doing with a potter’s wheel. Also, the guy I share a cubicle with has a squeaky chair. Sometimes I am trying to concentrate and when the chair squeaks, I can never tell if he is about lean over and start looking at me or talking to me. It is a little distracting, but not really an interruption. Just don’t interrupt me, okay? I definitely agree that I do NOT like being interrupted. That seems normal.
–Definitely Agree

“38. I am good at social chit-chat.” Didn’t you already ask me that? At least change these up a bit. Also, I should hit you now.
–Definitely Disagree

“39. People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing.” No one has EVER told me that. Except for my husband, but what does he know? That shouldn’t even count. Okay… fine.
–Definitely Agree

“40. When I was young, I used to enjoy playing games involving pretending with other children.” What the hell does THIS have to do with anything? I “slightly agree” that your question is stupid.
–Slightly Agree

“41. I like to collect information about categories of things (types of car, types of bird, types of plant, etc.)” Like you thought I was just going to fall right into that one.
–Definitely Disagree

“42. I find it difficult to imagine what it would be like to be someone else.” I just imagined being a pirate earlier in this test.
–Definitely Disagree

“43. I like to plan any activities I participate in carefully.” Well, of course! You have to know what kind of shoes to wear. This one’s a no brainer.
–Definitely Agree

“44. I enjoy social occasions.” Just because I already have a feeling of dread thinking about having to sit through dinner at Thanksgiving does NOT mean there is something wrong with me. That happens to everyone. I also really hate those parties where girls invite you over and want you to look at jewelry with them. Those suck. And I hate party food. If I wanted to stand around eating carrot sticks and stuffed olives, I would do it in my kitchen.
–Definitely Disagree

“45. I find it difficult to work out people’s intentions.” I think we have established that people should just say what they want. I don’t have time to sit around guessing if you went to the kitchen because you love waffles.
–Definitely Agree

“46. New situations make me anxious.” Yeah, that conference I went to really sucked. I am better at being in a cubicle where everything is controlled.
–Definitely Agree

“47. I enjoy meeting new people.” Where are these new people coming from, and what do they want from me? Do we have to do that whole bit where we shake hands and tell each other where we are from? I hate that.
–Definitely Disagree

“48. I am a good diplomat.” I am not a diplomat. I don’t even really know what it is they do, but I get the feeling I would be terrible at it. Don’t they have cars with flags on them? I might want to be one so I can get a car with flags on it.
–Slightly Agree

“49. I am not very good at remembering people’s dates of birth.” I am not good at that at all. Sorry everyone, for forgetting your birthday. I suck.
–Definitely Agree

“50. I find it very easy to play games with children that involve pretending.” That sounds hard as hell. Have you ever played with children? It is exhausting.
–Definitely Disagree

Score: 34- One point away from high functioning autism. That’s good, right? I’m winning! Just in under the wire people… I am officially normal. Someone send me a plaque. Yea me!!!!

Halloween Costume Series: Time Traveler

I’ve seen the future. It’s pretty much like the past only later in the day.

The beauty of this costume is that no one can prove you are NOT a time traveler.  To prove that you are not a time traveler, the person would first have to become a time traveler, then travel to the future to find that you are not actually in the future.  Then the person would have to travel back to the past, which is now the present, in order to actually prove you wrong.  Even if they do all of these steps, you can always nullify their efforts by saying you had that day off.  If you can tell that someone is about to go through all of this effort just to publicly invalidate your costume, you should tell them not to bother.

However foolproof this costume may be, it does require a bit of preparation.  People will be asking you what the future is like, so you will need to know how to describe it.  Don’t tell go around telling everyone there are floating cars, it is an amateur mistake and @heinakroon has already rejected that idea. Besides, people are terrible drivers now that they are one the ground, you wouldn’t want them up flying in the air.

In the future, our phones will be driving. They already have navigational systems, it is only one extra step to just plug them into the car and take off.  However, the driving phone really doesn’t solve my problem that I want to be able to text and drive. I would hate to distract my phone while it is driving by using it to text. Maybe in the future, we will all have multiple phones.

But having multiple phones isn’t really ideal either, because the whole point of having the phone combined with your music playing device and your Twitter machine is so you don’t have to keep up with so many things. No one is going to want to carry around two phones so they can text and drive. That would be ridiculous. Don’t worry. I’m positive I’ll have this worked out by Halloween. Be sure to check back later.

How NOT to go to a Tea Shop

So, I finally went to a tea shop.  More specifically, I went to a tea shop at the Galleria.  Even more specifically, I went to a tea shop at the Galleria after helping a friend put up outdoor Halloween decorations.  Also, I spent a lot of time petting my friend’s giant enormous horse of a Great Dane while I was over there. But Scooter is so lovable, what can you do? Plus, he folds one leg up in your lap and kind of sits on you like a chair. I almost got a picture of it but… oh wait… yeah… we were on our way to the Galleria, sorry.

For those of you unaware, a Galleria is like a mall on steroids… or maybe Botox. It is filled with people walking around looking purposefully indifferent in clothes you know must be stylish because they are completely and utterly odd.  Today, there was a girl with cutoff shorts and knee length black boots. I can only assume the boots were Jimmy Couture or Juicy Choo or whatever.

My friend in need of Halloween decorating assistance happens to live near the Galleria.  In the Galleria happens to be a tea shop.  Brilliant plan, right?  So this is how I find myself at the Galleria in the same t-shirt I was wearing to hang some kind of black outdoor Christmas lights from Satan.  Also, my hair is completely windblown and I smell like dog.  While I am in the bathroom trying to fix my hair, I happen to notice there is black glitter all over my face.  However, we had just passed a store selling “hand-made” make-up.  One could only hope the black crap all over my face would pass as stylish.

I’ve been reading tea blogs lately, so I was bound and determined to get to a damn tea shop, even if I had to get through the Galleria smelling like dog to accomplish it.  After going past the Banana Republic, Brookstone, Abercrombie & Fitch, Brighton Collectibles (people collect purses now???), the ice skaters,  and a store completely devoted to selling sweaters for poodles, we finally arrive at Teavana.

As if getting through the Galleria itself wasn’t bad enough, the entryway to Teavana is a total bombardment of the senses. Hippies with long hair and goatees impose tiny cups of sample tea at us left and right, all the while yelling about antioxidants. Undaunted, we push our way into the store.

Inside, sits a very calm looking gentleman who encourages us try the store’s most rare tea, Monkey Picked Oolong. He asks us, in a dramatic voice, “Do you know about the Oolong?” I am so excited, because yes! I have read about Oolong!  I was about to say: “Simply put, green tea is not oxidized and black tea is fully-oxidized. Oolong falls somewhere in the middle between the two. Some Oolong is lightly oxidized, some is allowed to oxidize much more but not fully.”

Okay, fine… I DID just cut and paste that entire speech from Lahikmajoe Drinks Tea

No matter, it turns out the question was rhetorical anyway. Immediately after asking, Oolong man launches right into the spiel about antioxidants. Apparently, we are all dying from lack of tea. Then he shows us a cast iron teapot, the best way to brew the tea. He does mention in the course of demonstrating the cast iron teapot, how the tea got its name because Buddhists trained monkeys to pick the tea leaves.

I tell him that I will not be purchasing a cast iron teapot, but if they have one of those trained monkeys in the back, I would totally buy one of those immediately.  He doesn’t laugh, or offer to bring out a monkey. Now I am uncertain where I stand with the Oolong man. Plus, I don’t even really need a monkey.

Finally, I decide what tea I want to buy. I want to buy caffeinated tea, really caffeinated – with or without antioxidants. I am more worried about how to stay awake right now than how to stay alive.

A guy behind the counter, complete with the requisite goatee and long hair, brings out two rather large bins of tea, wafting the metal lids of each towards us so we can smell the leaves. I desperately want to lean forward slightly, intentionally causing this gentle and soft spoken hippie to hit me in the head with a giant metal tea lid. However, I fight the urge. I am trying to be nice to the tea people. Especially after the monkey comment was such a major fail.

One bucket of tea, White Ayurvedic Chai, has a weird name and 1% the caffeine of coffee. The other bucket of tea, Samurai Chai Mate, is apparently named after Samurais and has 100% the caffeine of coffee. Now THAT is my kind of tea. So I tell long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy that I want the tea with the caffeine. Long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy says, “But you HAVE to get the 50/50 mix of the two teas or it WON’T taste like the sample.” So I tell long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy, “I don’t CARE about the sample. I want the tea with caffeine.” Then he starts describing how the caffeine in tea is metabolized and also something about the antioxidants. I think he is just trying to distract me so he can sell me the odd tea later. So I tell him to just give me six ounces of the Caffeine Samurai Tea, thank you very much.

Then he asks if I want the German rock cane sugar crystals. I tell him I do not, in fact, require German rock cane sugar crystals at this time. Then he says, “But you HAVE to get the German rock cane sugar crystals, or it WON’T taste like the sample.”  So I calmly tell long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy to give me my damn antioxidants and my monkey so I can get out of this freak show.

But I didn’t really say that. Actually, I think I said something about how he was way too attached to those samples. The end result was that long-hair-hippy-lid-waving guy looked just as offended as if I had yelled at him about the monkey. The lesson here is to always go with your first instinct, even if it involves yelling to people about Oolong monkeys.

So, long story short, that is how I got my tea…. and my antioxidants. I will be living forever now, all the while writing completely ridiculous and useless blog material about non-existent t-shirts. The hippies should have probably saved the antioxidants for someone else.

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