The Speckled Mind

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Give a Man a Fish and He'll Deprive the Starving Street Kids of India...

...or, "How the Irony Was Not Lost on Me During Lunch Today."

The Bethel dining center is my eating establishment of choice for lunches every weekday. It is convenient, the price is low and the food is relatively good (said as one who ate 3 squares a day at the U of M dorm cafeterias for two years). But my taste in cuisine is hardly the point of this episode.

As I waded through the private school masses during lunch today I saw a sign that caught my attention: "FISH SANDWICH." Due to my wife's general distaste for seafood, I almost never make fish at home. Thus, even a lackluster piece of sea fare sets my mouth to watering like an overeager gardener in a greenhouse. I promptly got in line and was soon face to face with one of the kind-faced Sodexho employees.

"Could I just get a piece of fish without the bun?"

"No," she replied.

"Are you serious?"

At this point she directed my attention to the sign which (in her defense) clearly read FISH SANDWICH.

Never one to shy away from an argument, I persisted.

"I'm not going to eat the bun. Seriously, I'm just going to set it aside when I get to the table."

At this point, she gave me the finger. And by 'gave me the finger', I mean 'pointed once more at the sign' which, if you recall, clearly read FISH SANDWICH.

"I would seriously rather not throw the bun away. It seems wasteful. Can I just have a piece of fish"

"Here's your fish," she said as she handed me a plate which contained a bun-intact fish sandwich.

Puzzled and bewildered I took my tray to the table, dislodged the fish and set the bun aside. The fish was actually pretty good, if you were wondering. As I chewed though, I couldn't help but think of how wasteful my eating enterprise would be today. After negotiating with myself about how many carrots I had to endure before I could eat dessert, eating those carrots (12, if you were wondering) and eating the dessert, I got up to put my tray away. At the dish washing area I once again lamented wasting a quarter loaf of French bread, but then put the thought out of my mind.

Quickly (because, how else would I work off that dessert) I trotted down the stairs back to my office. Right after I exited the stairs, a well-designed display caught my eye. I walked over and silently read the bold print at the top of the sign, "WANT TO HELP FEED THE STARVING STREET KIDS OF INDIA?" A kind-faced sophomore audibly posed the same question as I stood there confused as to why someone else's voice had invaded my inner monologue. She repeated the question as I snapped out of my daze:

"Do you want to help feed the starving street kids of India?"

" Sure," I said as I dislodged a dollar bill from my pocket and brushed away the lint.

I placed the dollar in the donation box and walked away as the kind young undergrad continued to smile, looking for the her program's next benefactor. On the way back to my office I couldn't help but wonder if at any point in the near future Bethel's right hand will figure out what its left hand is doing.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

To the University of Minnesota Garbage Truck Driver...

I'm sorry that it took me one extra millisecond to hit the gas when that light turned green this morning. Your honking was perfectly understandable given your relative busy-ness and my complete obliviousness. In fact, I'd like to thank you for honking. I was wasting my life there for a, less than a second, and you saved me from futility.

Thanks for reinforcing the overworked, overstressed, under-rested economy that we have all grown to know and love in America. I <3 you. Ten points for your team.


I don't suppose you have a clean pair of boxers in that truck of yours...cause you scared the expletive out of me. Thank you.


Tim Johnson

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Good Music Thursday: Volume 6

I didn't go to see them.

They were an afterthought. I had heard the name before, but never seen them play live. Never heard any of their records. A couple of my friends had mentioned the name before--friends with great musical taste, no less. But did I listen? Nooooo...

The band, ladies and gentlemen, is called Fitzgerald. Anathallo was the main event and the reason I went to the the Varsity Theatre last Sunday, but Fitzgerald was a pleasant surprise; they proved to be a lifeboat in a sea of otherwise sketchy opening bands. Fitzgerald is composed of the husband and wife duo Nathan and Mandy Tensen-Woolery...and whatever other musicians happen to be joining them on stage or in the studio. If only all high school relationships could result in the kind of beautiful music these two produce....

It's a very rare occurrence that a live show so impresses me that I run over to the merch table acting all awkward and puberty-ish. But I did with Fitzgerald. I was like, "You guys are really good and stuff." Fortunately Nathan saw that I had cash in hand and diffused the situation by putting 'Raised by Wolves' in my hand and relieving me of my $10. Then, before I could say "sweet" I was walking away. I hope it was as special for them as it was for me.

The short version: These guys are a local indie band, so all you Minneapolis-ites go see them next time they play 'round these parts. They play a great live show (check out the video). As always, if you need to see (and by see, I mean 'hear') before believing, let me help your unbelief. You can download a couple of tracks from 'Raised by Wolves' free. Also, to get more information on the band, check here.

Happy Thursday, Speckled Mind readers. And remember--life is too short to listen to bad music.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just Close Your Eyes and Point

Ok, I know today is election day. Controversy is just under the surface everywhere you go. Let's face it, politics is just one of those things you shouldn't talk about in polite conversation. So, I thought as a reprieve from all the controversy, we could all discuss something more pleasant...something a bit less contentious.

How about Religion?

Ok, maybe just a little politics. It is election day, after all. I'll play my hand.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Me and Pauly Shore Are Like This (*crosses fingers*)

If you aren't annoyed yet, you haven't looked closely enough at the picture directly to the left of these words. Why, you ask, would I do something so heartless as to put a picture of Pauly Shore on my blog?


Pauly and I have been brethren of sorts for the last week. No, I haven't been watching Biodome or Son in Law incessantly. I've actually been serving Jury Duty in Hennepin County. OK, I know that's a pretty random (and lame) reference. But seriously, how often do you get a decent excuse to put Pauly Shore on your blog?

Anyway, it's the only reason I've got for the pathetic lack of blogging in the past week. My apologies about the lapse in 'Good Music Thursday'. I've got some great ideas in the hopper; hopefully I'll be able to get back at it next week.

In case you're wondering, I am currently serving on a criminal case...and I can't tell you any more information about it, otherwise I'd have to kill you. In which case I would be the defendant in a criminal case. Then there would be a SERIOUS lack of blogging....

I was going to leave you alll with a Pauly Shore quote, but the picture is annoying enough...buuuddy!