Sunday, April 29, 2007

Things that keep me up at night…

Everyone has fears. Things they don’t like to talk or even think about. These unmentionable fears never stray far from the consciousness of the people they inflict. They are constantly circling in the background, waiting to pop up on a moments notice and ruin the day. I have such a fear.

I fear that there will come a day when I will encounter an individual who will turn down free cake in the workplace.

I know. It’s chilling.

It’s hard for most people to even imagine a world in which a person might not want a piece of cake, let alone turn down a direct offer for said cake. What kind of horrific childhood must an individual endure that would make them decline a piece of free cake? Did a birthday party go wrong? Was there a tragic, cake mishap? And most importantly, was there a clown with running make-up involved? These are questions that I could never begin to answer or even contemplate for that matter. There is no doubt that the human mind is capable of many a wonderful thing, but my imagination simply does not stretch far enough to fathom such an utterly ridiculous concept. It’s cake and it’s free. How could that ever be a bad thing?

This post is not about fears becoming reality. No, this post is about the strengthening of the human spirit. It is an uplifting tale that I have chosen to share on the internet for all the world to see. I won’t be the least bit surprised to see my stat counter go up approximately one billion hits within 24 hours of posting this. I imagine there are countless numbers of individuals currently performing google searches, looking for a reason to go on living. I’ve got that right here. I’ve got a reason for everyone to hold on for one more day so that things can go their way.

In my department, there are 10 employees, myself included. In this month of April, 6 of those employees had birthdays. An unusually high number I would say. The powers that be decided we wouldn’t waste too much valuable company time and would devote just one day to cake for all of them. I’m sure they all felt very special. It must have been really cool to stand there with five other people while four non-birthday people serenade you with a mostly out of tune version of “Happy Birthday.” I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it.

After the awkward singing, it was cake time. I had just come back from picking up my lunch and was about to eat when the cake and singing was thrust upon me. I was happy to join in on the singing, but once that was taken care of, I set about eating my lunch. The next one minute and 13 seconds boosted my spirit and strengthened my hope for all mankind. Not one, not two, but all nine of my fellow department employees made it their immediate goal to make sure that I had a piece of cake. I know now what kind of people I am surrounded by, and that makes my life a little easier.

For somewhere around nine hours a day, I can rest easy knowing that there are nine other people around me that come hell or high water will make sure that no one in our immediate vicinity will go cake-less. No matter what the circumstances are, you can bet that if there’s cake in the area, it will be thrust upon everyone, willing or not. Peer pressure has never been this positive.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

For less than the price of a cup of coffee… at starbucks…

It’s time for some sharing. I’m talking about some deep, inner soul sharing. The kind of stuff that usually comes out at 3 am at the end of a long, impromptu, philosophical conversation about life, jelly beans and VHS vs. Beta. I had a few of those in college. They are great memories for me, but there is something that I never shared. It is a secret so deep, that I’ve probably only told a few dozen people about it and I may have mentioned it here on the blog, although I’m not entirely sure. Can I google my blog and find out? I’m positive that I can. Will I? I’m not done with this post yet, but the odds are stacked heavily against it. As all Shuck N’ Jive related bets have recently been banned in all Las Vegas casinos due to their highly unpredictable nature, I can’t tell you what the line is exactly, but if you were to bet one dollar that I’m going to google to see if I’ve mention this particularly deep guarded secret, well, you could potentially win yourself a cool $600+ million. And that is a very significant number. More so than you may actually realize. Allow me to explain.

It’s deeply guarded secret reveal time. Always a fun time here at TSNJ.

Ever since I was in my early 20’s, I’ve wanted to own a professional baseball team. More specifically, I’ve wanted to own a team in the Major Leagues. I could have purchased a “professional” team in Sri Lanka for $12.58 and a pack of gum, but the Sri Lankan squad has yet to win an international game in 4,526 attempts. I like an underdog as much as anyone, but I didn’t see a lot of promise there. Their farms system was literally a bunch of rubber tree farms. Yes, the price was right, but I didn’t really feel like that was the dream fulfilling stuff I was looking for.

Then, yesterday, the Tribune company announced that at the end of the 2007 season, the Chicago Cubs will be put up for sale. I smelled an opportunity. It’s not often that you get this much notice that a team is going to be put up for sale. That means I’ve got nearly 6 months to get my funds together for a bid to purchase the team. The estimated value of the Chicago Cubs is $600 million (see the Vegas ban tie in?).

I’m currently living at home with my parents, rent free. So yeah, I’m saving a little bit of money, but probably not quite enough for me to buy the team. I’m going to need some help. I’ve never had a problem asking for help though, so there’s nothing new that I’m going to attempt here. All I’m asking is that every man, woman and child in the United States of America donate $2.50 to me so that I can buy the Cubs. The last estimated population of the US was 298,444,215 people. That was in July of 2006. I can’t imagine that there’s any less than 350,000,000 now. That means if everyone donates, I’ll have approximately 875 million dollars to work with. I think that should cover the cost of buying the team, as well as relocating myself to the city of Chicago. I don’t think that’s asking too much. I mean, if I own the team, I ought to live in the city, right?

Am I qualified to own a baseball team? Well, I can tell you that in my life I’ve owned many things. Many, many things. So yeah, I think I’m qualified to own a baseball team. But if that doesn’t convince you (and I can’t imagine a world in which that doesn’t) but just to humor those that I don’t believe exist, let me tell you a story. This particular story took place last night. I was playing second base for my company softball team, of which I am also the manager (seriously, should I just stop here? I think I’m starting to be so unbelievably over qualified it’s getting a little ridiculous), and the man at the plate hit a scalding, eye-level ball RIGHT AT ME. Of course I caught it, but that’s not where this story ends, no, that would be too easy, and also not very convincing. The story, since it didn’t end there, continues like this: Having caught the ball, I saw out of the corner of my eye that the runner on third had taken several steps towards home. Since I just caught the ball, that meant that he had to get back to third base before I threw the ball over there or he would be out. He was jogging rather nonchalantly, so I reached back and fired kind of a weak rainbow somewhere halfway between third and home. Needless to say, the runner was safe, but I proved my baseball savvy to pretty much anyone watching the play. That included the wife and two kids (ages 4 and 6) of one of our players. It did not however, include our third baseman. None of that really matters though except to show that I’m clearly, amazingly qualified to own and operate a Major League franchise.

I’ll be setting up a paypal link for donations later on this week just to make things easy for everyone. I’ll also be accepting direct cash donations by random strangers on the street. Don’t be a jerk, just do your part so that I can live a dream. I’ll make a plaque or something to commemorate all those that donated. Word to the wise, the more you donate, the more legible your name will be on the plaque…