This blog is purely the (oft-wrong) opinion of the author and in no way represents the views of his employment, family or friends. Well, maybe his friends a little.
Lent started Wednesday.
In high school I gave up sodas. As a freshmen I gave up Facebook.
This year, a friend and I decided to give up not having a fish.
I know, at first glance (read), it doesn’t make any sense. But I figured it would be a mediocre way to practice being responsible (which I need), make for a decent story and if I’m lucky, maybe even a sub-par blog post.
So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you all to Walt, my Siamese fighting fish.
“Why’d you name him Walt?”
No, he’s not named after Walt Disney, Walt Whitman or Walt Mart.
Are any of you giving up something cool for lent? Anybody giving up reading this blog for lent? It might be worth a try…
This past weekend, I was one of almost 2,000 UNC students to participate in Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for the UNC Children’s Hospital where participants dance (stand) for 24 straight hours.
Quick summary: it was an incredibly exhausting yet amazing experience. I collapsed once, cried twice, and would do it again next year if I could.
There are many things that stand out when I think of the weekend but one thing stands taller than the rest…
…the bathroom lines.
Or lack of them.
One beautiful thing about being a guy is that we are incredibly efficient at using the bathroom.
So, for the first 12 hours of the marathon, I thoroughly enjoyed walking past the long line of girls waiting to go to the bathroom humming (just loud enought to be overheard) the Beyoncé song, If I were a boy.
I got a few dirty looks but not quite as many as I expected and I couldn’t figure out why.
Then, 16 hours into it, feet tired, legs cramping, I realized one of the beautiful things about being a girl when you have to stand for 24 hours…
Girls get to sit down when they go to the bathroom.
That’s when I realized that half the girls probably didn’t even have to go to the bathroom, they just wanted a break from all the standing.
My suspicions were confirmed when I confronted a friend of mine…Pomer: “You just need a break don’t you.”Bathroom Girl: (smiling slyly) “Maybe…”Pomer: “That’s crap!”
(Bathroom girl turns and walks away humming Beyoncé’s Survivor…)
I guess sometimes things aren’t always what they seem.
(Girls – 1, Boys – 0)
Tonight I have date #2 with Valentine’s Girl.
I should start by saying that, as you may have guessed, I’m not very practiced at 2nd dates…
…especially ones where I promised the girl to do something that’s not your standard date.
Naturally, two nights ago I started freaking out when I realized that I had no idea what the hell I was going to do with this girl. I asked some friends of mine who were sitting in the room if they had any ideas.
My friend Eugene mentioned, “You should walk around a bookstore with her.”
I immediately told him that was a horrible idea.
10 minutes later, I realized that he may be onto something and decided to try it…
…with a little twist of course.
So tonight, I’ll be picking up Valentine’s Girl for what she thinks is a coffee date at Barnes and Nobles. When we sit down at a table, I’ll hand her an envelope with the following letter in it:
You’re probably thinking that ‘getting coffee’ isn’t much of an excursion. And you’re right. But this is more than just a coffee date as you’ll find out. In fact, it’s not even really about coffee. I like to think of it as a bookstore date.
When you read this line, look up at me as if you’re angry I tricked you into going here with me.
That’s my cue to excuse myself to go to the bathroom so you can read the rest of this and think about strategy.
Here’s what’s going on:
I’ve come up with a few ‘games’ that we’ll be playing to get to know each other better and make this a little more fun. Each game will involve finding a book (or two) in a given amount of time. We will then return to the table and compare/discuss our choices.
The details of the games are on the next page.
I hope you enjoy this half as much as I’m going to,
P.S. No, I’ve never done this before. You’re the first.
THE BOOKSTORE GAMES
Find the book that you’ve most recently read (not for school). Find the book that you’ve read the most number of times (not less than 200 pages).
Time: 5 minutes
Find a book that reminds you of your childhood.
Time: 4 minutes
Find a biography of one of your idols.
Time: 4 minutes
Find the book whose author would have the highest point total in Scrabble
Time: 3 minutes
Find the book that has the most absurd (content-wise) first page (the first page of the actual book, not the worthless publishing information, table of contents, etc.).
Time: 6 minutes
All (both) the female readers, would you enjoy something like this or would you think it was way over the top?
In the business world, they say “time is money” so you should be as efficient as possible. When writing a paper, you’re not supposed to repeat yourself.
So why should speaking be any different?
noun (pl. -cies)
Inspired by French contractions and Jeopardy’s Before and After category, it is a new way of speaking where one eliminates repeating the same sound twice in row when pronouncing words. It is both contrary to what is taught in school and also very efficient.
1. The phrase “my iPod” is pronounced “myPod”
2. A UNC basketball fan who is (understandably) upset by Deon Thompson’s defense might yell, “Play D, Deon!” when he should have said, “Play D-on!”
3. A female told blogger Alex Pomer that she “didn’t want to go on a Valentine’s Day date” with him. She should have said, “I don’t want to go on a Valentine’s Dayte” with you.
4. Loyal readers of Alex Pomer’s blog should pronounce their names as indicated:
- Rob Broadhurst = Raw Broadhurst
- Weird Doyle = Weird Oil
- Sarah Rutledge = SaRutledge
Whether or not you decide to embrace this amendment to appropriate speech, listen for contrary-dundancies.
You’ll find that most people aren’t as to-the-point as they think they are.
Last night I met a girl. Let’s call her Amy for now…
…mostly because that’s her name.
Background: Pomer and Amy are discussing the cons and cons of online date sites when Pomer makes a very predictable move…
…or does he? (queue music).
Pomer: “So, do you have any Valentine’s Day plans with your boyfriend?
Amy: “…I don’t have a boyfriend.”
Pomer: (nice) “Do you have any Valentine’s Day plans at all?
(3 seconds pass as she considers the question)
Amy: “Um… I’m going to The Vagina Monologues.”
Pomer: (…nice?) “Oh, so you’re a feminist?”
Amy: “I guess…”
Pomer: “Great. Do you want to be my Valentine’s Date?”
(5 seconds pass as she considers the question)
Pomer: “Perfect. How about this, I’ll cook a meal and you pay for it all.”
Amy: “Why would I pay for it?”
Pomer: “Because you want women’s equality and so do I. We’re just switching roles for the night.”
(Amy looks confused)
Amy: “But wouldn’t it be more equal if we split it?”
Pomer: “Fine. Let’s have our date, I’ll see how it goes, maybe call you back, wait two hours after you text me to respond, and if we make it to a second date, I’ll consider paying… but probably won’t.”
Amy: “That sounds horrible.”
Pomer: “Doesn’t it?”
(Amy is visibly frustrated)
Amy: “I see what you’re doing. Fine. Here’s my number. Call me tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”
Dinner will be waiting for her when she gets back from The VMs tomorrow night.
I hope she likes Mexican because I used to work at Qdoba and that’s the only thing I can cook.
This is going to be the best Valentine’s Day ever.
Thank you equality.
And I think part of that is realizing that men and women aren’t that different after all.
A few days ago I had lunch with a girl friend (note the space… again).
She was talking about an exam she took where she thought she did really well. The conversation went something like this:
Pomer: “What did you get?”
G F: “92″
Pomer: “What was the class average?”
G F: “93″
(Thirty seconds pass as we eat.)
Pomer: “You know if it were me, I would have lied about the class average.”
G F: “What do you mean?”
Pomer: “I would have said it was a 91… and not even felt bad about it.”
G F: “Haha, why would I lie to you?”
Pomer: “I don’t know, I guess it doesn’t really matter.”
(The conversation shifts to your standard what are you doing this weekend.)
G F: “Blah Blah Blog”
Pomer: “Yada Yada Yoda”
(Five minutes later)
G F: “I have a confession to make…”
G F: “I made an 88 on the test.”
Pomer: (erupting in laughter) “I knew it!”
(Pomer – 1, G F – 0)
…I love charity, god-I-hope-you-like-it-at-least-a-little-bit too!
That’s the cheer I made up for my fundraising campaign for Dance Marathon.
What the hell is Dance Marathon?
I thought you’d never ask.
In short, Dance Marathon is a charity event for The North Carolina Children’s Hospital where you have to dance (or at least stand) for 24 straight hours.
In long, it’s a great opportunity to meet some new people (something I love doing). You put a bunch of people in a room where they have to stand for a whole day, there’s going to be a chance to do some talking.
And if you can’t tell from this blog, I also love talking.
Um… why are you telling me this?
I thought you might ask.
I need to collect at least $100 by Friday, February 20th.
Right now, I have $2. One for giving a friend a ride to the grocery store and the other for whining to a girl at the bar that not only am I never going to be able to raise enough money but my dog died today.
She felt bad and gave me a dollar.
No, my dog didn’t die. (Hi Lottie)
But the whining-dog excuse is only going to work two, maybe three more times in the next week-and-a half so I need your help.
Even if it’s only a dollar, take a second and give some spare change, show some passion.
I don’t care if it’s because you feel bad for me or want to feel good about yourself. Either way, we all win.
(You – 1, Me – 1, Children – 1)
Fine, you got me, how do I give?
Thank god you asked.
In order to figure out whether you should keep reading, please answer the following multiple choice question:
Do you owe me a dollar because I lent you one in the past?
c) No, but how many people could possibly owe you a dollar?
If you answered either a or c, read on. If not, see you next post.
For the c-folk out there:
I’ve posted before about the opportunity cost of a dollar. Well here’s another example…
Last semester I realized that it was worth more than $1 to me for someone to owe me $1.
What are you talking about Alex?
I’m saying, I’d rather be able to point out to someone every time I see that person that he/she owes me a dollar than to actually have that dollar sitting idly in my wallet.
So for the past few months, every so often, I’d hand someone a dollar only to point out the next time I see that person that “you owe me dollar.”
If that person tried to return the dollar to me, I would politely refuse.
If you don’t believe me, try it out. I’m telling you, it’s a lot of fun. Way more than a dollar’s worth of fun.
For the a-folk out there:
Here is your chance to finally return that dollar you owe me. And I’m not even getting the dollar.
The children are.
So if you’re reading this and you’re tired of hearing about that dollar you owe me, click here (yes, it’s the same link as the one earlier in the post) and you never have to be tired again.
To those of you who gave, thanks.
To those of you who didn’t, I hate you… But thanks for at least reading.
UPDATE: $100 goal has been achieved. Thanks again to everyone who gave.
Note: if you about to eat a meal, I suggest you put this post on hold and read it later.
Yesterday, I ran in the Krispy Kreme Challenge.
For those of you who don’t know, it’s a race for charity where you run two miles, eat a dozen donuts and then run the two miles back.
It was one of the worst experiences of my life so I thought I’d give you all a play-by-play of my miserable marathon.
Let’s begin at the beginning why don’t we…
A few days ago, while discussing strategy for the event, a friend suggested, “You know, your stomach is biggest about five hours since your last meal.”
I have no idea whether or not that’s true.
But taking my friend for his word, at 3:30am the night before the race, I put on my jacket and made the trek to Time Out to eat some Mac and Cheese.
Less than four hours later, my alarm went off and I nearly started crying.
Eyes red and legs tired, I got out of bed, put on some wake-you-up music, and faced the morning ahead.
15 friends and I carpooled (in angry silence) to Raleigh, waited in a few lines, andlong after we knew it, were standing with thousands of other runners ready to make ourselves sick.
The race began surprisingly well. I came out of the gates with my head held high and my feet down low.
I don’t know how it happened, some call it adrenaline, others call it luck, I call it my competitive juice, but I finished the first two miles in under 15 minutes.
Breathing (painfully) heavily, I strutted over to the donut line ready to take on phase two.
I scarfed down the first cold, glazed donut, realized I was already full and almost started crying (again).
Manning up, I grabbed six donuts, smashed them together, dipped them in a cup of water and began nibbling away.
10 minutes later, after watching most of my friends finish their entire dozen and running off, I finished the smashed six.
Knowing what was ahead, I changed venues to the BP parking lot across from Krispy Kreme. I then smashed the remaining five donuts together, dipped them in water, took two bites…
…and immediately threw up.
From there, I sort of fell into the rhythm of bite, bite, splap… bite, bite, splap…
I actually overheard a bystander remark to his friend, “Hey, that guy sounds like the drum line in that Queen song, We Will Rock You.”
They went on for a few minutes, maybe even mentioning “the glaze on my face” and “how big a disgrace I was,” but I didn’t care and eventually downed the last donut-bite.
A friend of mine (Chris) just happened to finish his donuts at the same time as me and we decided to jog back together…
…nice and slowly.
We lumbered along, getting passed by children on the left and old people on the right.
Embarrassed but determined, we kept our heads down and kept moving forward, slowing down only twice to throw up in a passing bush.
Finally, we rounded the last corner and the finish line came into view.
And that’s when the competitive juice kicked in again.
Leaving Chris behind, I began running faster, determined to beat a few of the runners ahead of me. But after passing four or five people, I started getting tired again and thought about slowing down…
Until I saw her.
A fourteen year-old girl who was quickly gaining ground on me from behind.
If I had to guess, I’d say her name was Kelli.
And with 50 yards to go, Kelli caught me.
Terrified, I looked at her.
And she looked at me…
And that’s when I decided that there was no way that this cocky, self-righteous, non-sleep-deprived, joke-of-a-runner, girl was going to beat me in this race.
So I looked back at her with a grimace and choked out, “Good try.”
Then I ran.
Harder than I should have been able to, harder than most people’s body’s would let them.
But hard enough to pass her.
And pass her I did. Just as the finish line approached, head down, arms behind me,using my last burst of energy, I passed her.
Once through the finish line, I headed straight to the closest trashcan and returned to the snare line of We Will Rock You.
After a few verses, I looked up and saw Kelli looking at me, confused, thinking, How could he possibly justify doing that to his body just to beat me in a meaningless race for charity?
And I thought back, You may be standing tall, breathing steadily and I may have thrown up every last bit of food and liquid in my body…
…but I didn’t throw up my competitive juice.
(Alex – 1, Kelli -0)
Note: Yes, I know the aforelinked T.I. featuring Young Jeezy song is about beats and not feet(s) but it just felt so natural.
The internet has brought about a new era of communication and action.
For those of you who don’t know…
When a large group of people assemble suddenly and perform an unusual action for a brief time then quickly disperse, it’s called a Flash Mob.
This afternoon, I organized my first Flash Mob…
At 2:15pm, a good friend of mine named Garrett and I were studying in our Fraternity’s library (the ‘Brary). He finished his work and I still had half a paper to write.
Bragging, he announced to everyone in the ‘Brary that he was “going to take a nap.”
Furious that I still had to write a paper and Garrett was going to sleep, I decided to organize a flash mob.
I immediately sent the following email to my Fraternity listserv (90 people):
If you’re not doing anything…
Garrett just informed me that he’s going to “Take a nap.”
I would like to prevent him from doing this.
If you’re not doing anything between 2:28pm and 3:30pm, please call Garrett at 336-###-#### and ask him a worthless question.
In the next hour, Garrett got 40 calls and 16 text messages.
Needless to say, he did not fall asleep.
Pomer – 1, Garrett – 0
Note: Thanks to those of you who participated.
For those of you keeping track…
My mom called me this afternoon to ask me why there was a huge bag of Snuggieson our front door.
I know, I didn’t see it coming either.
But they’re finally here!