Sunday, April 22, 2007

Back To Work

There's a new post over at YATOPNRTB's sister site, Now Is The Time For All Good Antelopes To Come To The Aid Of Their Banana. Check it out.

Meanwhile, I have gone back to work.

Gone are the days of sleeping till 3 in the afternoon, intermittent showering, and endless time to correspond with the far-flung Matt Hoobans of the world. Man, do I miss those days. It's been one week, and I think I'm ready for retirement already.

My new job is with a great big French company that makes books. (I've removed the name in the interest of my own safety. Thanks for the tip.)

Bookmaking (not making book) is right up my alley, although I was surprised to discover that my alley is located on 50th Street in New York City, and I live in New Brunswick, New Jersey. And despite the fact that the company is populated by hordes of fascinating people with a keen interest in what they're doing (most of whom are female too, which doesn't hurt a bit), they still adopt the relatively conventional stance that it's easier to do business from 9 to 5 than overnight. So instead of going to sleep at sunrise, I'm getting up then. There are now trains involved in my day.

On the bright side, it does mark the first time since I started writing my book that I'll have access to health benefits. (My mom is already sleeping easier.) Be warned, computer keyboards of the world: I'm done taking it easy on you now! Remember those years when you basked under the lightest, most delicate pressure from my fingers, when you luxuriated to be little more than caressed or brushed? Say goodbye. It's eighteen pounds of pressure per keystroke from now on, bitches!

I'm sincerely hoping this job turns out to be amusing too, unlike my last job which was in food service. Working in a restaurant seemed like a great place for comedy - not to mention temper tantrums, broken dishes, and creamy garlic dressing poured down customers' blouses every now and again. But there was always so much pressure there. Servers would end up in tears after customers yelled at them for not getting a salad order right. (Seriously though, how hard is it to get a salad order right?)

I've never known another industry that turned so many good people to smoking, alcohol abuse, and hardcore drugs - not counting American higher education in the last 30 or 40 years, that is. Maybe restaurants should stop hiring college students, or waiters and waitresses should quit going to college. It's kind of a chicken-egg thing. (Speaking of which, I once heard a customer tell a server, "uh, I'm pretty sure I ordered chicken salad and this is egg salad." The server's response: "you want some advice? Give it a little while and see if the egg salad hatches into chicken salad." I had to fire that server on the spot. But I was proud of him.)

Anyway, so far, my new company isn't that funny, but it's only been a week. Give it time.

In the meantime, it's now close to 9:15 PM, which means I need to start packing it in for the night. My god, what have I become? It's like I'm a totally different person. Maybe I'll go break my leg, just to try out my new benefit package. That'll show 'em.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Other White Matt

I have known of the existence of another Matt Hooban for some time now.

It's a strange sensation, going through the day-to-day business of your life with the knowledge that somewhere else in the world, someone else is going through the day-to-day business of his life being called the same name as you. Just the fact of Matt Hooban's existence used to sit there in my brain like a splinter. "What am I up to today?" I used to wonder, and "could the other Matt Hooban be having more fun being me than I'm having?"

But it wasn't until my obsessive need to take control of my identity hit a fever pitch after my 31st birthday that I decided to track him down and find out.

Now, when I say "take control of my identity," I'm talking about being the first Matt Hooban that comes up when you search for "Matt Hooban" on Google. For years, the other Matt Hooban had that honor, thanks to a stage production called "Soiled" for which he apparently designed all the way back in '03, when I was busy writing online tours of the flora in my backyard.

But it's not exactly like I've been slouching here. My highly acclaimed website, Now Is The Time For All Good Antelopes To Come To The Aid Of Their Banana has been up, running, and updated on a completely irregular basis for four years now. So why was the imposter Matt Hooban still beating me in the Google listings?

Part of the problem was the name of my website itself. Notice that it makes no mention of "Matt Hooban" anywhere in there. As it turns out, this was a critical mistake. Live and learn, I guess.

Anyway, Matt and I jockeyed for years as the top Matt Hooban in the Google results, and my frustration continued to grow. Who was this masked Matt? Why had he made no attempt to contact me when I had clearly gone out of my way to make myself both popular and accessible? Was he really so secure or just not vain enough to even bother Google'ing himself? "What," I asked myself, "is going on in America?"

But Matt Hooban - and by Matt Hooban, I mean the other Matt Hooban - doesn't live in America. He lives in Leeds. I'm pretty sure that's in England, but I only have an American public school education, so it could be anywhere. And I know he lives there because he told me.

See, Matt made a fatal error in judgment, and decided to post some Hooban-related information on a genealogy website, where he left his e-mail address as well. The genealogy site appeared on page 2 of the Matt Hooban Google results listing - territory into which I had previously been shy about venturing. But turning 31 will do some weird things to your brain. It'll make you go insane. Just to relieve the pain.

So I e-mailed him.

And as it turns out, he seems like a nice guy. Doesn't that just figure, though? Before I met Matt Hooban, I can safely say that all the Matt Hoobans I knew were right on the top of my list of the nicest guys in the whole wide world. So far, I think we're 2-for-2.

Matt's response e-mail to me was also laden with this very interesting fact: bananas, according to Matt Hooban, can walk up to six feet every year. It may sound hard to believe, but I have no problem assuming that Matt Hooban is a credible source. Frankly, I believe just about anything Matt Hooban tells me.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

This Is Not An April Fool's Day Joke

This is an actual video on YouTube. I'm not kidding.

So basically, this particular creationist is making a case that evolution is false because spontaneous life doesn't ever erupt in a jar of peanut butter. Apparently, the lesson here is that primordial earth was made of peanut butter. Yup. Makes perfect sense.

What makes even more sense is that a magical man in the sky snapped his fingers and made a great big world for us to play on, then got mad at us for violating his rules (which he must surely have anticipated, since it was all part of his plan after all), and gave us the rest of the universe basically as a nighttime light show.

And then a few thousand years later, our mysterious creator blessed us with factories that mass produce lifeless plastic jars of peanut butter, just to prove he was behind everything in the first place. How did I not see the logic before?

I'm pretty sure the peanut butter isn't the only thing around here that's made from nuts. God, do I wish this was a joke.