Thursday, December 31, 2009

Final Weekly Office of 2009

December 21 - GPS Voice: "Proceed to the highlighted route. Then route guidance will begin." Dwight: "Why do you use that thing? It lets them know where you are, at all times." Michael: "Who?" Dwight: "The government. Spy satellites. Private detectives. Ex-girlfriends."

December 22 - "So, what do you think? Think these guys are nice? The ones I didn't bring are even better. Justin, I'm willing to commit right now. Would you do me the honor of spending the summer with us at Dunder Mifflin? I think you are very special." (Michael)

December 23 - "I like you. What's not to like. But you need to access your un-crazy side. Otherwise maybe this thing has run its course." (Darryl, to Kelly)

December 25 - "Yes, it would have been nice to do well at the first presentation that he had given me. But you know what else would be nice? Winning the lottery." (Michael)

December 26 - Holly: "Andy proposed to one of your accountants." Michael: "Oh wow." Holly: "Yeah. That's as specific as I can be on my first day." Michael: "Well, I could see Andy proposing to Angela. I could also see him proposing to Oscar."

December 28 - Michael: "Come 'ere. I would never say this to her [Pam's] face, but she is a wonderful person and a gifted artist." Oscar: "What? Why wouldn't you say that to her face?"

December 29 - Andy: "You need to set me up with her [Angela]. I know she told you that she was looking and she's totally not responding to my moves." Pam: "What moves?" Andy: "I have moonwalked past accounting like ten times." Pam: "I can't believe that's not working."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Danger of Little White Lies

I was waiting for my wife just outside the dressing room of a big department store when an overweight young woman emerged from one of the stalls wearing a tight dress at least two sizes too small. Posing in front of a mirror, she asked the salesperson, "How does it look?"

"Perfect," the salesperson replied, "it's just right."

I couldn't restrain myself. "Are you kidding?" I said helpfully. "She looks like a three-pound kielbasa stuffed into a hot-dog skin."

The customer burst into tears and retreated to the dressing room. The salesperson eyed me sternly. "Why did you do that? It was just a little white lie. It didn't hurt anybody."

"Oh, but that's where you're wrong," I corrected her, "White lies can be very dangerous." And then I told her the sad story of Andy Smith, the man who told little white lies.

"Just like you," I began, "Andy Smith thought little white lies didn't hurt anybody. One day, for example, he was standing in the street next to a very big dog when a woman asked him, 'Does your dog bite?'
"'No,' he said. But when she tried to pet this dog, it bit down hard on her hand, drawing blood.
"'I thought you said your dog didn't bite!' she screamed.
"'He doesn't,' Andy replied with a big smile, 'but this isn't my dog!'
"Another time Andy was in the theater when the leading man suddenly clutched his heart and fell over. One of the actors came to the front of the stage and pleaded, 'Is there a doctor in the house?'
"Andy stood up and shouted, 'Yes!' then moved to the front of the theater. And when he got to the stage and saw the stricken actor, he smiled and said, 'Unfortunately, I'm not him.'
"Finally, one day Andy was flying to California when there was a commotion in the front of the plane. Emerging from the cockpit, a panicked flight attendant shouted, 'Can anybody fly an extremely complicated 757 jumbo jet?'
"Andy couldn't help himself. He had told so many little white lies that it had become second nature to him. He immediately stood up. 'Yes!' he shouted with his usual smile and started making his way to the front of the plane. And when he got there and looked at the complicated controls...Well, I'm sure you can imagine what happened after that."

The salesperson looked at me with new found appreciation. "I see. So what you're saying is--"

"That's right," I interrupted, "in the wrong hands, a little white lie can be fatal!"

"Thank you for sharing that with me, thank you so much. Now I understand why you did that." Then she walked away. But moments later, from somewhere deep inside the dressing room, I heard her voice as she proudly told an unseen customer, "How do you look in that? Are you kidding? You look like an elephant wearing a bikini."

And I smiled contentedly.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Weekly Office

December 7 - "He has a killer job. He's rich. He smells like what I think Pierce Brosnan probably smells like. He wears really cool rich guy clothes." (Andy, on Ryan)

December 9 - "All of these jobs suck. I would rather live jobless, on a beach somewhere, off the money from a large inheritance, than have to work in any one of these crapholes. They suck." (Michael)

December 10 - "It's so competitive here. What's the dollar worth in your land? Medical school probably costs like forty bucks, or a donkey or something." (Michael, to Vikram, at his telemarketing job)

December 12 - "Justin is the ugly girl in the movie who takes off her glasses and she's hot. And you realize she was always hot, she was just wearing glasses, and that you were the blind one. He's the most important thing in my life right now." (Michael)

December 14 - Andy: "What about cash? Cash you can buy anything you want, including a gift basket. So, it's kinda the best gift ever." Jim: "What about a gift basket full of cash?" Andy: "Yes! Cash baskets! Nice work, Tuna."

December 17 - "This is Darryl Philbin. Isn't he big? And you already met her, Pam Beesly, office hottie. She will do you. No, no, but she has already dated two guys in the office that we know if. So this could be number three." (Michael)

December 18 - Jim: "I just thought I heard crying or moaning or something in here." Dwight: "Hmm. Well, I'll look into that in the morning. Thank you for bringing that to the attention of the staff."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Am an Urban Teacher

-I am an urban teacher.
-I will follow the universal code of urban teachers: Cover me.
-I believe that sexual education is a subject, not an after-school activity.
-I believe that all calibers are to be treated equally.
-I am confident that someday the ringing in my ears will disappear.
-I will never accept bribes when giving report-card grades; though, I will take all threats into consideration.
-I will not consider "The Effects of Drug on Students" an acceptable science project.
-I will always honor the memory of the Vice Principal for Disciplinary Affairs.
-I will never judge students by their race, creed, gender, or religion; only by the quality of their weapon.
-I will never carry cash during school hours.
-I will refuse to allow my chemistry students to make pipe bombs.
-I will never testify against a student.
-I will actively participate in the Parole Officers-Teachers Association.
-I will not permit students to throw food in the cafeteria while the food is still in the can.
-I will happily sell raffle books to raise funds for new batteries for the metal detector.
-I will never reply to a student's demands, no matter how outrageous, with the phrase "Over my dead body."
-I will fight fire with fire...but I will never fire first!
-I will never require my students to conjugate the verbs to confess, to squeal, or to lay.
-I will never enter the boys' room without first saying loudly, "Wait right here, Killer. I'll be right out."
-I will require all students who are absent to bring me a note from their gang leader.
-I am an urban teacher, hear my song: "Help" by the Beatles.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekly Office

November 25 - Dwight: "I'll put you down for irrigating. Now then, do you have any special needs or dietary restrictions?" Jim: "Yes, we will be requiring a bedtime story."

November 28 - "...many cultures revere old people, because of their story-telling ability--like the old lady from Titanic. Or, for the funny things they can do, like 'Where's the beef?'" (Michael)

November 30 - "I don't care what they say about me, I just want to eat. Which I realize is a lot to ask for. At a dinner party." (Pam)

December 1 - "So. Hey, come on. Don't be sad. She's in a better place...Actually the place that she's in is the freezer, because of the odor." (Dwight, about Angela's cat, Sprinkles)

December 2 - (At Dwight's beet farm) Jim: "I'd say one in six." Pam: "What?" Jim: "I thought you asked me what our chances were of being murdered here tonight."

December 3 - Michael: "Pam. Pam! Pam! Pam! Pam! Pam! Pam! We're dying here! I want you to go back to the office and I want you to get the real stuff. I want you to get the ultra white card stock." Pam: "Are you serious?" Michael: "Yes. And don't call me Shirley."

December 5 - Angela: "Dwight. You have to listen to me. We are not seeing each other anymore. Can you accept that?" Dwight: "Fine. Then I just want to be friends. Plus a little extra. Also, I love you."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Struck by Luck

No one can explain luck. Luck either lays its golden hand on your shoulder or coldly passes by. Paul "Buck" Fisher was not a lucky person. Never once in his entire life had he gotten something for nothing. He'd never won a single prize or met the girl of his dreams. He even had great difficulty finding an empty space in a large parking lot. Good fortune always seemed to be just beyond his grasp.

Life for Buck Fisher became a constant struggle. He had difficulty holding a job, and he was forced to live in dilapidated housing. Finally, desperate, he turned to a life of petty crime. He began by shoplifting, then moved on to stealing handbags and after several years graduated to armed robbery. But even then, luck evaded him. In his very first attempt at armed robbery, he tried to hold up a doughnut shop frequented by police officers. When Buck pulled his toy gun from his belt and announced, "This is a stickup," the five police officers in the shop drew their weapons. In a brief burst of gunfire, Buck Fisher was shot three times in the chest.

An ambulance raced him to the hospital, where surgeons labored six hours to save his life. And there, lying in a hospital operating room, Buck Fisher's luck finally changed!

One bullet had missed his heart by less than a millimeter. Had it been the width of a fingernail closer to his heart, he would have died instantly. While the surgeon was removing that bullet, he happened to notice a bulging aneurysm--a miniature balloon ready to burst--in the aorta leading from Fisher's heart. The surgeon performed a delicate resection, inserting a synthetic graft and eliminating the danger from the aneurysm.

Had Fisher not been shot in the failed robbery attempt, within a few days at most that aneurysm would have burst, killing him. Instead, the bypass saved his life, enabling Paul "Buck" Fisher to serve every single day of his twenty-five-year sentence. Luck had found Buck Fisher in the nick of time.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Enjoyment of Things

Time is moving crazy fast, and I've just been trying to soak up small chunks of fun stuff lately, and wanted to share what can only be described as a random assortment of lists...hope you can track all this, and feel free to chime in where you agree/disagree/have an opinion. I'm gonna try and rank them in order of enjoyment. Peace.

Movies I've Recently Seen
1. A Christmas Carol (in IMAX 3-D)
2. Where the Wild Things Are
3. The Box
4a. District 9 (2nd time around)
4b. Zombieland
5. My Sister's Keeper (sob-fest, beware my friends)
6. Twilight: New Moon
7. Year One (what exactly were they thinking?)

Books Swirling Around My Brain
1. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
2. The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne
3. You Have What it Takes (what every father needs to hear) by John Eldredge
4. Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn

TV Shows from THIS FALL
1. Modern Family
2. The Office
3. V
4. Glee
5. 30 Rock (only because it started so slowly out of the gate)
6. Heroes
7. Community
8. Scrubs

Next Up for my Viewing Pleasure
1. The Blind Side
2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
3. The Princess and the Frog
4. 2012
5. Law Abiding Citizen
6. Precious

The Anticipation is Brewing
2. Sherlock Holmes
3. Robin Hood
4. Invictus
5. 24
6. Avatar (in IMAX 3-D only)
7. Wall Street 2

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weekly Office

November 13 - "There's no such thing as playful hazing. Dwight, I want you to look at Holly right now. Everybody, I want you to look at Holly right now. And maybe if you look at her deeply enough, you will see what I see in her. And that is that we are all very lucky to have her here. Holly is the best thing that has happened to this company since...World War II. Fifty years, she is the best." (Michael)

November 15 - "Michael, '5K' means five kilometers, not five thousand miles..." (Pam)

November 17 - "Hey, Ryan. It's Jim. You know what? Totally disregard that last voicemail because you obviously have your hands tied. Good luck." (Jim, upon watching Ryan get arrested on YouTube)

November 18 - "Hey, bro. Been meaning to ask you--can we get some Red Bull for these things [vending machines]? Sometimes a guy's gotta ride the bull, am I right? Later skater." (Creed, to Ryan)

November 20 - "Dunder--that, okay, see, security is coming, so I just want to say come to Dunder Mifflin. Dunder Mifflin--a great place to work. Anybody? Show of hands? Anybody want to intern at Dunder Mifflin? We do not offer college credit. We cannot give you any sort of pay. But it is a really fun work environment. Anybody? Show of hands? Damn it. Okay, I'm gonna wrap it up here. Thank you for your time. And drive safe!" (Michael)

November 23 - Ryan: "Let me say something. I know I used to be a temp here, but now everything is different. I'd like your respect, I am your boss now; you're going to have to treat me the same way you treated Jan." Michael: "Oh, wow. Mmm--that's a little kinky."

November 24 - "My whole life I have known two things--I love sex, and I wanna have kids. And I always thought that those two things would go hand in hand. But now I think it might be one or the other." (Michael)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Most Incredible Life!

He was born in darkest Africa when rare Siamese-twin weak-beaked pigeons collided with the propeller of the single-engine biplane in which his pregnant mother was flying. Incredibly, the propeller perfectly separated the two birds, who had been joined at the beak, allowing both of them to survive! The plane crashed, but his mother was thrown 265.5 feet, setting a new world record for airplane-crash survivors, miraculously landing safely in the thick down nest of the Eekie ostrich, a bird that cannot fly but runs as fast as thirty-four miles per hour, when pursued, and is the only known mammal to have no offspring!

She was found there by an albino round nose gorilla, who often grow to be more than eight feet tall and survive on the sap of the beer tree--which yields a liquid remarkably similar in taste and alcoholic content to malt liquor--and carried to the gorilla's den, where her child was born with a large birthmark on his chest in the exact shape of the continent of Africa!

Within a year mother and child were rescued by a party of ten explorers searching for the fabled Lost Tribe of Jungman, who according to legend are born and survive without a sense of humor! In a most amazing coincidence, each member of this rescue party had been born on the twelfth of March, a 2,333,768,343-to-1 chance! On the voyage home, their ship was about to sail into a field of giant icebergs, one of which had been carved by the hand of God as an exact ice portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but they were miraculously saved when a pod of great green whales appeared and nudged the ship to safety, only to disappear never to be seen again!

The ship arrived in New York on the same day that the world's largest venetian blind, consisting of 52,132 slats, was unfurled from the top of the Empire State Building! In New York his mother rented the apartment that had once been the home of Indian fakir Bebe Beebesh, who for the last thirty-five years of his life never spoke a single word that did not begin with the letter B, ending on his deathbed with his last words: "Bye bye."

As a seven-year-old boy he learned to play the piano and startled the world of music by composing the Symphony in C-flat, consisting of the note C-flat repeated eighteen thousand times, making it the longest song with only one note ever written! He was enrolled by his mother in the prestigious Wickshire school, where one of his classmates, Andrew Fox, astonished his friends by simultaneously smoking twenty-four cigarettes before collapsing!

Although he was not born into the Jewish faith, at age thirteen he was bar mitzvahed in a service in which he dumbfounded his relatives by reading a portion of the Torah in ancient Latin, a language in which he had never taken a single lesson, which turned out to be the highlight of this unorthodox bar mitzvah!

Forsaking college, he tried many careers. His first great success was the invention of the game Anti-Monopoly, although he made no money because he gave away all his rights! Eventually, though, he had another idea, and this crazy notion would eventually make him world famous. For this young man's name was Robert Ripley, the creator of Ripley's Believe It or Not!

Believe it or not.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Weekly Office

November 1 - Michael: "Hey, what the hell is going in here? Who thought it would be hysterical to give Toby a rock for his going away gift?" Dwight: "You did." Michael: "No!" Dwight: "You made me wrap it."

November 5 - "Holly is sweet and simple. Like a lady baker. I would not be surprised to find out that she had worked in a bakery before coming here. She has that kind of warmth--I'm pretty sure she's baked on a professional level." (Michael)

November 6 - "If I was twenty-two and I had lots of time to have lots of children, sure, then let Michael have a shot at one of them. But honestly, I need to make this one count." (Jan)

November 7 - "I stole your diary and gave it to my lawyer; you e-mailed a topless photo of me to everyone in our company. Let's call it even." (Jan)

November 9 - Holly: "It was a pretty good company but I just couldn't see a future there. They kept hiring from the outside. It was easy to get in but impossible to rise up." Michael: "That's what she--! A lot of places are like that."

November 10 - "Hey, there he us! There he is--he's back and he's with a beard! He has facial hair! Look at him. All grown up and no place to go. Hello Mr. Sonny Crockett. I'm Tubbs." (Michael, to Ryan)

November 11 - "Michael, do you remember you specifically told me to only bring one sheet of paper? You said, 'It only takes one sheet to make a difference.' And I said, 'Are you sure, Michael?' And you said, 'Pam! Pam! Pam!' And then you sneezed in my tea and then you said, 'Don't worry, it's just allergies.' Do you remember that?" (Pam)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Random Acts

Brian McLane had read with fascination about the random-acts-of-kindness movement that had spread across the nation. For absolutely no reason, people were doing nice things for strangers. According to these stories, committing random acts of kindness made them feel good about themselves. Brian McLane was not a happy person, so he decided to try it: One night, for example, he was in a bar and he bought a drink for a complete stranger, a woman he had never seen before. But within in a few minutes, she left alone. A few days later a store cashier gave him too much change, and rather than risk embarrassing her in front of the store manager, he kept the money. In a restaurant the woman sitting behind him left her pocketbook hanging wide open on the back of her chair and he didn't take her wallet.

But none of these things made him feel better about himself. Deep inside, he still felt angry and alienated. He still yelled at his family and friends for no reason. One day, though, as he walked down a New York street, he suddenly felt a strong urge to kick over a garbage pail. With one strong kick he sent it careening down the block. And as he watched the garbage being strewn all over the sidewalk, he felt a wave of satisfaction flow through his entire body. For the first time in months, he felt good about himself. In fact, he felt strong and powerful.

Brian McLane had committed his very first random act of hostility.

The next day, as he strolled down the same New York street, for absolutely no reason he snapped in half the antennas on five different cars! And doing so without taking credit made him feel wonderful. A few hours later he knocked over a pile of newspapers in front of a candy store, and the warm glow he felt as he watched the wind blow papers all over the street convinced him he'd discovered something quite special. And this was the beginning of the random-acts-of-hostility movement.

Once Brian McLane discovered how good being bad made him feel, he couldn't stop. On trains he would forcibly squeeze into a space between two people that was much too small, then play his radio as loud as possible. In movie theaters he would shout out the identity of the killer in the middle of the film. In restaurants he'd spill drinks on people, and he just loved calling up strangers in the middle of the night. These random acts made him feel like a different person. Even his family and friends noticed the difference in him. He had become so nice they wondered what was wrong. Eventually, Brian McLane shared the secret of his happiness. Initially many people objected. It wasn't nice, they pointed out.

That was exactly the point, Brian McLane said. Reluctantly, people tried it. At first it was difficult; most people had spent so long following the laws they had forgotten how to be bad. But it quickly came back. And after their first few random acts of hostility, many people found themselves enjoying a sensation they hadn't experienced in years; they were free to be bad! And it felt just great. The simple act of kicking over a garbage pail was the most liberating thing many people had experienced in years. It changed their lives, giving them an outlet for all their frustrations, making them happier with themselves and easier to be with at home and at work.

Brian McLane hadn't set out to the change the world when committed that first simple random act of hostility. But from that small piece of garbage, his movement has spread across the world!