Vibrating Phones, Armadillos, and Signs

May 7th, 2008

Just a few quick things.

I was out at the Green Mesquite BBQ, original Austin BBQ for a hundred years or so, eating dinner with some friends. The outside patio is a patio with a number of green picnic tables with benches, classic style, so this is where we needed to eat. It was a dark and windy night, with a live band playing, so try to image it being pretty noisy. I was seated on an end, with a girl I wasn’t interested in next to me, and an engaged girl next to her. Obviously I wasn’t going to be ruining my chances at anything, so I was fairly relaxed. I needed to fart. Glancing around, I realized the wind would quickly carry any evidence from me, and all of the noise would mask any inappropriate sounds, so I let rip.

It’s funny, at that point, I wasn’t even paying attention, I mean, what could possibly happen? The girls next to me were twisting around and making some noise, which is what got my attention initially. They were digging through their purses, trying to figure out whose phone was ringing. Apparently, while they hadn’t “heard” a ring, they’d felt a vibration through the picnic bench, a vibration whose source shall forever remain a mystery. Neither of their phones had a missed call, so they asked me if my phone had rung.

I distractedly pulled my phone from my pocket and glanced at it, mumbling something non-committal, until they appeared satisfied. Girls.

A while ago I passed a dead armadillo on the road. I’ve heard they they die on the road because, while they are too short to be hit by a car, when they get scared they jump, placing them at a high enough elevation to come into contact with a quickly moving car bumper. I don’t know if it’s true, but I like repeating it. A week later I was riding with someone, and we saw a live armadillo scuttle off the road in front of us. These two events excited me quite a bit as it’d been a number of years since I’d last seen one, dead or alive, and it appears that their population is making a something of a comeback. Two armadillos is statistically significant enough to me to make this assumption.

In one of the University of Texas museums, they have an armadillo dinosaur fossil about three feet high. I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to have one of those wandering around in the streets. It’s possible these giant monstrosities could one day be bred back into existence, a wandering armored army with claws and a cute demeanor. Combine this with the fact that armadillos are one of the few non-human animals that can carry leprosy (this is just one of the reasons why those that value their skin and fingers do not cuddle armadillos), and I could see a serious world domination in the works. Titillating. Is it any wonder they are the official state mammal of Texas?

Meh, it probably has something to do with having similar drinking habits. To quote Bernard, “Only and armadillo could get hit by a truck and still look cute.”

This paragraph will interest absolutely no one that reads it as it’s existence is merely a matter of completeness. A week ago I was driving home from the gym (where one would exercise, a word that took four attempts to spell correctly). I passed one of those large, super bright LED signs advertising something, and the bottom right quarter was off. A few blocks later I passed an even larger super bright LED sign whose bottom right quarter was also not working. I’d never seen either broken, and a few days later they were both working. I’ve come to suspect an LED repairman scam where some simple method is used to “break” the bottom right quarter of a sign, and then a repair service offered for some exorbitant rate.

Please be on the lookout for the scoundrels and report them immediately to your local authorities. I believe they can be identified by contracted pupils and large rolls of money stuffed in their pockets.

By Text? Is that all you’ve got?

April 5th, 2008

I was dating this girl for a little while, a very little while. So short a time, in fact, that the moon did not complete a unit of time as measured by itself, which is to say “one lunar cycle”. In fact, it got out of bed in the middle of the night to pee and tripped over a box it had left out, slamming headlong into the wall that it had skillfully miscalculated as being a few feet to the left. One tends to do that in the dark with barely the presence of mind to form coherent thought, and spending what little of that you have attempting to figure out why bladders weren’t made just a little bit bigger or more stretchy.

So the moon, or rather the month.  Let’s just say the relationship was some period of time within said time frame (time for moon to get from bed to door in the middle of the night is “X”). Maybe you wouldn’t even say we were “dating”, but I sure as heck will. I’d made a conscious decision a week or so before that I needed to date someone, and having fulfilled at least some basic requirements I am prepared to declare success. Or at least success for getting in to a relationship. That was until I was meeting up with some friends on a Friday morning at 7:18 AM while eating a birthday breakfast (my breakfast, not my birthday) I received a text message declaring the following:

I want to break up. I don’t viol i can do this in person.

So not only was I not worth the time to see in person or even call, but I wasn’t even worth a few seconds spelling check on what would probably be the most important text message of the day. That last bit is what really miffed me off about the whole thing. Grammar and at least an attempt at spelling. Yes, I realize that it makes me a sad, sad man that the thing I would focus on most here was a misspelled word.

What makes this all really sad is that on this past New Year’s Eve I was dumped by email… by someone I wasn’t even dating. Do people really not want to see me that bad?

Boobies From Behind

March 21st, 2008

If you go to San Antonio to meet up with a friend and the weather is absolutely perfect, it is not a good idea to go down to the riverwalk. In fact, not only is it not a good idea, it’s a downright bad idea.  You will spend an hour trying to drive a block and $15 to park, just to walk around a dirty man made river dyed green for St. Patricks Day.

Still, I was fortunate to have one little enjoyable experience.

We stopped by the mall on our way back to the car, so my friend could pick up something for a birthday party they were headed to.  As we were walking down aisles of clothes, I hear a voice call out from behind me. It was louder than a regular speaking voice, but not quite a yelling voice.  This somewhat overactive voice said, “Boobies! Boobies everywhere!”. It caught me so off gaurd, I actually snorted. I kept walking though without turning around as I didn’t want to make a scene.  As we walked, the person behind us repeated this rather entertaining thought another five or six times.

When we finally took a turn, I managed to subtly steal a glance back at our followers.  It appeared to be a father and son walking together. I assume it was the son speaking, but truly I could not say for sure.  You have to wonder though. Is that a sign of a father and son that feel free and happy together, or is it parenting gone terribly, terribly wrong?

The Measure of a Weight

February 21st, 2008

I had a very nice little scale that I bought a few years back while experimenting with carrots and the color orange. The scale was for weighing me, not the carrots. I wasn’t experimenting to lose or gain weight, but I was interested in my weight as a side effect. I have to say that I like the scale quite a bit. It was probably as accurate as any other consumer scale, and the solid glass top was visually nice and nice to step on (assuming your feet weren’t wet, in which case it was pretty much a death trap). But what I liked most about it is the backlit display. You stepped on it, and the LCD was clearly visible in everything from the noon day sun to the pitch black of my soul (which is about the same as my house with the power out). Apparently I’m the only person on Earth that liked this subtle combination of features because I was unable to find it in any other scales recently, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

At the beginning of this year (January 3rd) I began dieting using the low-carb method. It’s not specifically Atkins or South Beach, or some such, it’s just the general guidelines as described by the venerable Wikipedia, and various other internet sources. Last year I spent ten months faithfully working out at least three times per week for at least an hour to two hours each time. One hour of cardio plus various cabled weights. (I did miss a few scattered weeks due to work and vacation, but it was pretty negligible.) I was eating relatively healthy, and trying to maintain a high amount of fiber (due to an unnatural fear of colon cancer). Other than a little more muscle, a little better endurance, and about ten extra pounds, I didn’t lose any weight. I more or less spent the year at around 260 lbs (118Kg), which is at least 60 pounds more than I should be. I’m “blessed” with a really long body, so I carry the weight better than others would, but it still makes me pretty fat.

After 10 months, I was hit with a veritable perfect storm of factors that broke my work out schedule, namely: getting sick for over a month, working excessive hours, being unexpectedly dumped by the girlfriend I was preparing to propose to, and the realization that working out was apparently a waste of time anyway. That said, it was convenient as it gave me time to fully indulge in terrible delicacies involved in Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, indulgences and added probably close to ten pounds in those two months. I decided that after such a spectacular failure for the year, more drastic measures were going to be needed. These probably would have included various diet drugs of dubious legal standing, except that paranoid of anything more complex than an Ibuprofen. So, some proven dieting methods (potentially damaged heart and liver be damned) and a regular exercise. Incidentally, after an hour of cardio I can’t actually do any weights now as I’m almost on the verge of illness.

Looking back, I probably should have been more careful about recording my starting weight, but suffice it to say it was most likely somewhere between 260 and 270 pounds. I didn’t recall ever changing the the battery in the scale, so when it started saying “Lo” intermittently, I changed out the 9-volt battery. It still did it randomly, so I just thought it was one of those mysterious random errors electronics devices are so oft perplexing society with. (I’m looking at you “PC LOAD LETTER“.) On February 1st, I woke up and measured my weight with my lovable scale. This was carefully calculated as I’d made a sizable defecation the night before, I know that right in the morning your body is rather low on water. This was perfect for the deceptively lowest possible weight I could pull off. I came in at an amazing 244 pounds. Awesome. That would be somewhere between 16 and 26 pounds in January. Granted a lot of that would be water, but it’s still good for the ego.

Somehow one of my roommates last year spilled something such that a bunch of gunk got on the bottom of the scale. I didn’t notice for some time and it had already dried. After my supreme February victory over several pounds, I decided I should finally get around to cleaning the scale I was spending so much time looking at. A word to the wise, if you are cleaning an electronic scale, use a damp rag, not running water. Water got all over inside of the scale and it ceased to work. I let it sit outside of a few days, but the measurements it was giving were varying by 10 more more pounds. So, I opened it up to better dry it and discovered that it has a second round lithium battery that is was it used to measure weight (the 9-volt apparently only being used for the backlight), which is what “Lo” was apparently attempting to refer me to. Poor thing probably felt like Harold Crick’s watch. This battery was obviously leaking, and corrosion was rampant in this area, probably worsened by it’s recent flooding. Replacing the battery and cleaning the contacts did not help. And I also discovered that a low battery can cause a scale to register a lower weight than it should. Crap.

Tanita BC573 Scale

Thus began my pursuit of a new scale, which combined the features I liked most about my current scale. Being unable to find one, I went to the manufacturer of my broken scale in the hope that they still produced it and I could simply purchase another. This was not the case. However, I did fall in love with this little number, the Tanita BC573. It’s a new model, so undoubtedly uses that latest in 2003 cheap consumer weight measuring electronics. Very exciting to be on the cutting edge. It also has those clear electrodes on the glass that let them try to measure body fat, water, and other things in your body. I’ve read the manual twice, and there unfortunately doesn’t appear to be a way to deliver an electric shock to unsuspecting individuals, however I will be investigating such modifications in the future with an engineer friend of mine. I’ve never been very interested in measuring all of the extra stuff, but I figure I’d better make sure I’m losing body fat and not just muscle.

I’ll probably write later on how accurate I think all of the numbers are.

So, after finally getting the scale, I was excited to see my weight, which was much less exciting after seeing it. I can say this, it’s February the 20th, and the best unrealistic early morning measurement I’ve been able to get is about 239 lbs. Given that I don’t, in fact, know a number that I could with any certainty say represented my weight at the beginning of the month, it’s difficult to say if I’m still on track. I can say that I’m fairly certain I can’t lose 25 lbs per month without using a sharp instrument to remove all of those extra bits of my body I’m not very attached to (or don’t want to be attached to). Gone are my dreams of getting below 200 lbs in three months.

If anyone is wondering what I do eat, I eat a lot of sugar free Jello, strawberry flavored. My blood isn’t red from iron anymore, it now flows with Red 40.

Moving Weights

February 20th, 2008

There are two things I want to mention, and I’ve been waiting a bit to mention why. I’ll get to why I’ve been waiting in a bit, but first I’m going to talk about moving. Specifically, moving other people.  Well, one specific other person, but I think it’s applies directly to other people moving, or at least other people that I move.

Recently my father asked me to help him move an old friend of the family. A rather elderly woman who was moving to an assisted living facility near one of her children. Two of her sons, one daughter in law, and a few grandsons around the age of 20. (It’s not very important, but I do want to mention that the grandsons all looked like body builders. They were huge.) These would have made for a decent moving crew for someone that’d lived in the same house for 40 years, that wasn’t moving everything anyway. And my dad had somehow managed to recruit a number of other folks to help for a couple of hours.  Apparently the family members had shown up the day before to help pack, though I couldn’t see any evidence of packing into boxes.  So the issues:

1. First of all, we weren’t just moving everything.  Some stuff was being left to be thrown away, some stuff was going to given to a neighbor to put in a garage sell, some stuff was being put in the moving truck for the old lady, and some stuff was being in put in the moving truck to be transported to one of the kid’s house. And what was being picked for what was being decided seemingly at random by the daughter in law. Fine. Great. Whatever. Look, if you have ten people standing around with no idea what to move out, and you’re the only person that knows, make it your priority to tell people what needs to be moved. Heck, use colored stickers as indicators, or something, anything. I’m not getting up early on a Saturday so I can spend the whole thing standing around because you can’t get your act together.

2. I don’t know what you call “packing”, but in my experience if you spend a day doing it then you should have a giant stack of boxes that need to be “moved”. I don’t expect to show up and start carefully putting stuff carefully in boxes. It’s not what I do, and I’m pretty sure everyone else showing up is pissed if they have to do it. If you want your precious items packed in such a way that they are not magically turned into a box of tiny shards holding up little metal bits by the time it reaches it’s destination, do it yourself.

3. There were probably 100 drawers in the house, each filled with such an eclectic collection of items that each individual drawer should have been labeled miscellaneous. (There was one drawer with probably sixty or so different packs of cards. I was completely unaware up until discovering this drawer that the little old lady had spent a portion of her life as a card shark. This was the only drawer with an actual theme.)  Some of the stuff in the drawers they wanted to keep, other stuff not so much.  I understand that you may not want to move stuff and then throw some of it away at the other end, but if you have a lot of people that need to leave soon, you don’t have time to sort through a million knick-knacks first.  Just move the dressers and deal with the crap later.

4. If there is some old, cheap kitchen implement in an unopened package that you don’t want, and your mother in law obviously hasn’t needed, and couldn’t use in her new location, then give it to the guy that says he could use it. I want my cheese grater, damn it. I mean, someone could probably have used that kitchen implement. After several hours of volunteer labor, giving someone something nobody wants anyway is sort of a nice gesture. Think of it as a tip. Or insurance against improper packing. That wasn’t a threat, just a suggestion.

I could go on, but I believe I’ve gone on a bit longer than I intended as it is. I’ve considered putting together a guide for people that are asking others to help them move, and this recent experience has strengthened my resolve. People need to know when what they’re doing is just plain dumb, and letting them know how to prepare to move will help me, help the world, help people from doing dumb stuff, at least in moving.

I’ll have to talk about weights in a little bit.

Sadness Versus Anger

December 9th, 2007

It seems like it’s a bit cliche to write about breaking up with someone, however I’m just going to do it anyway. It’s not like I’m whining to anyone except myself anyway.

I haven’t been screwed over by a lot of women, but I’ve “love and lost” enough times that it’s left perhaps a bit jaded to the whole relationship thing. Maybe jaded is the wrong word, I just feel rather hesitant towards it all. I can still flirt with the best of them, but that’s all instinct. Heck, I flirt even now without being able to feel the slightest bit of want for any woman that should happen to pass me. I can’t help it, I’m just that sadly entrenched in my actions.

Anyway, the point is that I’m very hesitant about the prospect of marriage, especially when it involves elements that I’m opposed to which ultimately shouldn’t matter that much. For instance, this girl wanted to continue to live in Canada, which is where I would realistically been required to live had we been married. Did I mention she lives in Canada? Yeah. I’m also very much a physical contact kind of person, so a long distance relationship is pretty difficult for me. I also don’t like traveling, so across town is a long distance relationship in my book. Canada is like crossing the Andes crab style on my back. On a path covered in broken glass. With small children throwing grapes at me. I also don’t like talking on the phone. I haven’t liked having to do it since I was around 18 doing my first job in phone support.

It was a huge step to even decide to put effort into giving at least a little try, let alone taking it up a few steps. But, she really seemed to like me, and I liked her. A lot. I would go so far as to say that we connected on a certain level, and I told her a lot of things I’ve never told anyone. I honestly believe that her life changed for the better from what we talked about, and she made changes in her life for the better that who knows if she ever would have made without my encouragement.

Make no mistake, I have sensitivity of a block of granite, and the words which manage to eject themselves from my mouth is sporadic masses are unintentionally crushing as often as they cause laughter. I intend none of it, not that it would matter, as no process I’ve ever imagined involving people has ever played out along any path I’ve seen. I mostly just want to laugh. But very rarely I connect with people, things happen, and they change; and I firmly believe there was some great net positive in both our lives when our time was spent together. Don’t tell me I’m naive, I already know that.

She, herself, was really encouraging with the whole idea of getting married, saying that it could happen at such and such a time. It took me a long time and a lot of thinking, but I finally made peace in my mind with moving and getting married. I set in my mind how amazing it would be to be married to this woman, and whatever silly concerns I had about sacrifices meant nothing to me now. I am ready to get married now, but she is still not 100% certain and wants to wait until she is before making that crucial step forward.

After about eight months after meeting in person for the first time and deciding that we really needed to give this relationship a shot, she tells me on the phone that we should break up. The excuse I hear is that she just can’t make up her mind, so we should spend some time apart and see how we feel afterwards. Yep, I’m floored. I mean, what the heck? You aren’t sure if you want to get married, but you love me tons, so lets stop dating for a while? Yep, makes tons of sense. Oh, and you still want to be friends and talk all the time? What in the world is the difference between dating and being friends if you live thousands of miles apart and talk on the phone? Whatever. Honestly, I’m pretty broken up, but I’m willing to try this with the hope that maybe she will decide that she just can’t stand being apart from me… or something. I usually have a strict policy of not dating people that I’ve already broken up with, but I figure this isn’t breaking up, we’re just taking a break. Besides, I’m desperate not to lose the love that is quickly slipping through my fingers like water. (Fine sand would have been a cinch compared to this.)

She said, “If I had to decide right now if we’re getting married, I would have to say no.” But then she went on to comment how that might not be the case after some more time to think.

About four weeks pass of talking once per week on the phone for a few hours. I still love her and think of her through much of every day. I’ve had to work a lot recently, which has been great for keeping my mind off the fact that I could very possibly lose the biggest dream I’ve ever had. (And interesting note: I rewrote part of that sentence four times, and each time I accidentally spelled “lose” as “loser”, a word I never write. I’m pretty sure my subconcious hates me.) Really, I’m pretty grateful for work. And somehow, I still manage to stumble on something that feels right to send her as a Christmas gift. Pretty much everyone thinks my gifts suck, but for some reason I still will occasionally see or think of something down to my very core is the gift for them and I get it for them.

Anyway, four weeks pass, and my frustrations must have slipped through my exhaustion at three in the morning before work because I make the comment about how she didn’t decide if we should get married. Instead she couldn’t decide so broke up instead. She contested that this wasn’t the case and that breaking up was a decision. Right. Then she tells me, and I forget the details which are lost in a haze of sleepiness, that we aren’t going to get back together as if it’s something that I’d known all along. That sobered me up. It’d come up in conversation several times that I still very much hoped to be with her some day, so my feelings aren’t exactly a secret. She says that she thought she was clear in be beginning, and maybe she was and I was too thick headed to get it, but maybe when I’m talking about getting married she could drop some sort of comment about not getting my hopes up?

She said, “If I had to decide right now if I thought we would ever date again, I would say probably not.” But then she went on to say that maybe that could change in time.

Okay, what the hell? Are you trying to play mind games with me? You don’t dump someone and then throw out little hopeful comments that maybe someday, if the planets line up perfectly strait, I’ve been a good boy, and a perfectly sequential series of numbers are picked in the New Zealand lottery, we will date again. “Probably not” to me means that it’s over; that continuing to hold out will not only be fruitless, but will likely result in one more attempting to catch imaginary fireflies in a padded room reserved for those special few whose perception of reality is so far removed from the rest of the world’s that locking them away is easier than rewriting psychology textbooks. Why would you ever be so cruel as to try and suggest hope to someone in that position?

I am left feeling rather confused about what I’m feeling, if that even makes sense. I keep getting washed over with a despair that threatens sweep me away and dash me into rocks. And yet at the same time there is this anger that fluctuates inside of me at… something. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something I’m angry at. I never really get angry so I might just be confused, or I might be angry that I’ve lost almost a year of precious time in a relationship that ended when it felt most hopeful. Or angry at feeling like I’ve been led to believe there was hope when there was none, losing even more time in a baseless hope. Who knows.

And yet I would still happily roll over and wipe her feet clean with my tears if she motioned with the end of her finger for me to return. I am not a free man.

Weekend Sanity Check

February 11th, 2007

This weekend two things happened to me to really question the overall integrity of my mind.

This first was related to events from earlier in the week. Sometime during the week, I’m guessing Thursday or Friday, I downloaded an MP3 from a website.  On Saturday, I noticed the icon on my overpopulated desktop, and tried to think of it’s origins.  I have a vague recollection of clicking a link and downloading to my desktop, but I cannot for the life of me recall what website I was on or why I would want to download it.  The name of the file is probably German or Dutch, neither of which I can read or speak any amount of.  (In truth, I can say “Ich bin ein Berliner”, which translates to roughly “I am a jelly doughnut” in German.) So faced with the text “Kuikentjes – Ik ben een kuiken – Mix 2.mp3″ I did was anyone would do finding random music on their desktop, I played it back.  That convinced me I must not have been thinking strait.  You can grab it from here.

I wonder if it is related at all to this, where “this” is the country techno song “Cotton Eye Joe” translated into German, sung by Smurfs (yes, the little blue people with white hats), and used as the background to a Limp Bizkit music video.  You may be thinking this is a little strange, but that is only because it is. What is even more strange is that not only was this a popular album in Germany, it was the number one CD in Holland in 1995.  Congratulations Netherlanders, you just managed to beat out Germany in the Euro-weirdness award.

The second thing that happened to me was after stopping to watch the newer Willie Wonka movie with my housemates. I mostly enjoy the movie, though I prefer the older Willie Wonka’s secretly knowing smile to the newer one’s creepy grin.  At one point I was trying to decide which unfortunate event to happen to the children was least realistic.  I mean, what’s more more realistic, a girl turning into a giant blueberry after eating a piece of gum and then having the juice squeezed out of her, or a boy being transported through the air into a tiny version of himself inside of a TV where he has to be stretched back out with taffy pullers? I actually thought about this for a while before realizing what I was doing.  Obviously neither one should ever have thoughts dwelt upon them, and doing so is the sure sign of a madman.

Computer Pirate

January 6th, 2007

I ran across this picture from my cell phone that I took at work on Halloween. Originally I had planned to go as a simple pirate, using a beard, hat, and sword. However, after viewing myself in my natural work surroundings of cables and high powered silicon working at frequencies that would cause children to cry, a more appropriate phrase came to mind. “Computer Pirate.” Arrrrrrr!

I still don’t know how I feel about my housemate’s costume. He was a ninja, and pirates and ninjas are natural enemies, fighting at every intersection. But a computer pirate and a ninja? Maybe if he were a computer ninja it would be more clear. As it is, I’m forced to just look at him warily.

Furry Suggestions

December 27th, 2006

I was searching for “unisex pajamas” and it came back and asked me if I meant “unisex pandas”. Is there something about pandas I don’t know?

Strong Men Brag

December 10th, 2006

Last night as I was coming out of a party, I stumbled a bit as I noticed a car sitting not quite right. Or rather, it was sitting some place it should not be, namely, hanging off of a rock edge. Someone had apparently completely missed the drive, and driven from asphalt to strait off of an unprotected ledge.The car was sitting, stuck with it’s frame sitting on rock ledge and it’s front wheels lightly touching the ground beneath it. This was a mess.

I asked how they had missed the drive. One fellow responded that he had run into the sign next to the car, so he couldn’t really comment. Another fellow said that Andrew, the driver, hadn’t been wearing his glasses so he couldn’t see very well. Let that be a lesson to all who would drive around unmarked dangers with impaired vision.

A tow truck driver showed up and tried, unsuccessfully to drag the car back up the ledge, but it wasn’t working. Apparently the engine, or some such, was catching on the rock and he didn’t want to damage it. I can feel for the man, however a car that is left sitting on a ledge is just as undriveable as one that has had it’s engine shoved about by circumstance. Fortunately, we had the wisdom of men who were both tired, and looking for some way to entertain themselves.

We decided that we would simply lift the front of the car so the tow truck could pull it back. I would have done it by myself, using one hand, while reciting the Constitution, but other guys also wanted to join in the experience. Showing off our manliest muscles, we gathered about and flexed our manliest muscles while gripping the least flimsy pieces of the front of the car. With a single mighty grunt, we lifted forth the front of that metal beast to place it upon the softened soil ground it sought for. I think the tow truck may have helped too, I can’t be to sure. I do recall the frantic calls for someone to secure the emergency brake so that we would not soon be crushed by the car that we were holding in place with our combined weight.

I’ve always heard of groups of sizable football players moving tiny cars about in parking lots, but this was the first time I had ever had the opportunity to perform a feat like this myself. I’m pretty sure my pride grew an inch that night. I’m also pretty sure that my back shrunk an inch. A good night.