Thursday, February 26, 2009

New Blog Location: alexpomer.com


Hello readers,

In a(n almost definitely futile) attempt to look more legit, this blog has been officially moved to...

alexpomer.com

There's a brand new look, a brand new post, and the same writing that you've been forced to read for the last 6 months.

If you haven't hated reading that much, please subscribe through email or by RSS on the new site.


Since the site is new and I had to manually move over a bunch of the content. Feel free to let me know (either through email or publicly in the comments) that I'm an idiot and misspelled something or linked to an incorrect site.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you on the new site!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bookstore Date


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 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:


Page 1:

Dearest Amy,

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,
Alex



P.S. No, I’ve never done this before. You’re the first.



Page 2:

THE BOOKSTORE GAMES


Round 1:
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

Round 2:
Find a book that reminds you of your childhood.

Time: 4 minutes


Round 3:
Find a biography of one of your idols.

Time: 4 minutes


Round 4:
Find the book whose author would have the highest point total in Scrabble

Time: 3 minutes


Final Round:
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



End letter.



All (both) the female readers, would you enjoy something like this or would you think it was way over the top?

'Contrary-dundancy'


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?


Introducing: Contrary-dundancy.



Contrary-dundancy
[kahn-trayr-ee-dun-dance-ee]
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.

Examples:
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


End definition.


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.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Plans (Gender Equality Part 2)


This is the Part 2 of the Gender Equality blog posts. You can view Part 1 here and Part Zero here.


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)

Amy: "Um...sure?"
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."


End dialogue.


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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We're not that different after all (Gender Equality Part 1)


I've written before and will again about being a big proponent of women's 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..."
Pomer: "Okay..."
G F: "I made an 88 on the test."
Pomer: (erupting in laughter) "I knew it!"


(Pomer - 1, G F - 0)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I love charity, yes I do...


...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.

You can give by either clicking the very obvious widget to the right of my homepage, or by going to my main giving site here.



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?
a) Yes
b) No
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.

Competitive Juice


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, and long 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.

Everywhere.

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...

...then smiled.

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.

Hard.

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.


I win.

(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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Friendship (at least for guys)


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.

You can find some famous ones, here, here and here.

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):

Subject:
If you're not doing anything...


Message:
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.

Thanks,
Alex

End Message.


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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Surprised?


For those of you keeping track...

My mom called me this afternoon to ask me why there was a huge bag of Snuggies on our front door.

I know, I didn't see it coming either.

But they're finally here!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Watermelon Story 2.0


Do you remember the story your parents told you about what would happen if you swallowed a watermelon seed?

For those of you who don't remember, first of all you're an idiot and secondly, a watermelon supposedly grows in your stomach.


This afternoon, an alumnus of our fraternity (John) came by to check up on the progress of the fraternity, upkeep of the building, etc.


Here's a brief snippet of the conversation:

John: "How's everything going?"
Me: "Fine."
John: "Any problems with the building itself?
Me: "Nope."
John: "Any more bug problems?"

(We had a bug infestation last year.)

Me: "Not really, I woke up this morning to a ladybug crawling out of my nose."
John: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yeah, it scared me at first but ladybugs are pretty harmless, right?"
John: "You'd better hope she didn't lay any eggs up there."
Me: "Haha yeah, wouldn't that suck..."


End snippet.


After initially laughing off the matter, I've become increasingly concerned about the actual possibility of a ladybug nest resting peacefully in my nose.

I've had visions of waking up in a week with a cold and sneezing out hundreds of ladybugs...

Thoughts of having to join the circus as The Insect Sniffler...

Dreams of fighting crime at night in a ladybug outfit (see below) with my many mini female friends by my (in)side...




Scary. I know.


Odds are nothing will happen.

But I think either way, I've just discovered the next big old wives' tale.


If you have any other possible uses for my potential future superpower, please let me know in the comments.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cocktale


I'm not naive. I know I'm living in a fantasy world.

I live with 40 of my best friends, I have zero responsibilities before 11:00am, and any time I want to ask a girl on a date, I have the perfect excuse...

...a cocktail.

For those of you who don't know, here's a quick definition of a fraternity cocktail:

Main Entry: fra·ter·ni·ty cock·tail
Function: noun
: a social event where friends, sometimes referred to as 'brothers', take dates out to a nice dinner usually followed by dancing and debauchery.


I had one such cocktail last Friday and had such a good time that my evening warranted a second date.

Unfortunately, I've been classically conditioned over the last three years and now have no idea how to ask a girl on a date unless there's a cocktail scheduled for the upcoming week.


Realizing that there's no 'cocktail excuse' in the real world, I decided it was time to get some practice...


After two hours of deliberation, a half-hour of Facebook, and 15 minutes of crying, I panicked and sent the following text message to my potential date:

"I had a really good time at the cocktail and I want to ask you to come to another cocktail this Friday. Unfortunately we don't have a cocktail on Friday. What do I do?"


At the time of publication, she has yet to respond.

And if you remember correctly, this scenario isn't exactly my cup of tea.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who doesn't like a good adventure?


I got a lot of positive feedback from my last post.

Apparently you all like reading about the (sometimes non-conventional) ways with which I try to use Facebook to initiate conversations, especially when the initiation is so outlandish that there is almost zero chance of actually having a reasonable conversation.

Today, I sent a Facebook message that I immediately regretted. Naturally, I thought I share it with you...

But first, a little background:

- Last night, I met a girl (Katie) for the less-than-10th time.
- She's friends with one of my close childhood friends (Lacie).
- Katie and I talked for 30-ish minutes.

I tried to look her up on Facebook today by going through all of Lacie's friends named Katie but there were five Katies with very small, hard to see pictures so I couldn't be sure which one she was.

So today, I sent the following Facebook message to five girls named Katie.

(For reading purposes, I suggest you play along as if it were sent to you.)


Subject:
A picture is worth a thousand words...

Message:
...most of the time.

In the case of your Facebook picture though, I'm not sure it is.

It's really small and I'm actually not even sure if you're the friend of Lacie's named Katie that I've met a couple of times including last night. If you're not, feel free to calmly dismiss this message and ignore the Facebook invitation. I won't be offended at all.

In fact, I sent this same exact message to five other of Lacie's friends who are also named Katie.

So if you're not the one, please stop reading now.



...........................




Hey Katie!

Looks like you're the one. That's great news. I'm glad I found you.

I feel like I went through a lot (arguably too much) trouble to find you. But I'll let you determine that...

...via a little game.


1. Do you think that I went to too much trouble to find you?
a) Yes (go to #2)
b) No (go to #3)


2. Do you regret reading a Facebook message that's this long?
a) Yes (go to #4)
b) No (go to #5)


3. Have you ever gone through this much trouble to find someone on Facebook before?
a) Yes (go to #6)
b) No (go to #7)


4. That's completely reasonable. I wouldn't even consider reading this much if I were you. Thanks for playing along, you really shouldn't have. I'll see you around.


5. Wow, that's impressive. What were you doing that was so miserable that you'd waste your time reading something like this?
a) I was in class (go to #8)
b) I was doing homework and needed a break (go to #9)
c) I love Facebook and wouldn't dream of not reading every word of a message (go to #10)


6. You must have really needed to find that person. Why did you need to find him/her?
a) I needed help with a homework assignment (go to #11)
b) I fell in love at first sight and had to find the guy (go to #12)


7. Thank god, it's a complete waste of time. If I didn't have an hour to kill between my two classes on Wednesday, I wouldn't dream of doing something like this. Surprisingly though, it's been pretty fun. I hope you (at least marginally) enjoyed this. Have a good one.


8. Wow, class must have been incredibly boring. I hope this made it a little more entertaining. Hey, at least you didn't fall asleep. If class hasn't ended yet or you're bored later on in the semester, go to #13.


9. I promise you, you should have spent your break doing something (anything) else. If for some reason you found this in the slightest way entertaining, go to #13.


10. I too love Facebook (ex. this absurdly unnecessary message). Have you ever written anything like this before?
a) No (go to #14)
b) Yes (go to #16)


11. Well I hope you got the help you needed. I still think there was probably an easier way to get it but I admire your resolve. I hope you're not furious with me for wasting your time and maybe I'll see you around.


12. Did it work out?
a) Yes (go to #15)
b) No (go to #16)


13. I keep a blog and while it's not going to enlighten you in any way, you might find it interesting particularly since you're the main topic in a recent post. Feel free to check it out. (alexpomer.blogspot.com)


14. That's incredible news. No one in his/her right mind would ever write something like this. It's good to hear that you're a reasonable person. Hopefully, I'll see you soon.


15. That's amazing. I'm so happy for you and wish you the best of luck. See you around.


16. Will you marry me?
a) No (go to #17)
b) Yes (go to #18)


17. Good choice. I wouldn't marry me either. Maybe I'll see you around.


18. To confirm, please reply to this message with the subject line, "I do".



Let me know where you ended,
Alex


P.S. No, I wasn't lying in the first paragraph. Your picture was only worth 687 words.


End message.



You're probably thinking, Why?

Well I'll tell you Why...

(Go to #7)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If at first you don't succeed...


In my experience, then you probably weren't meant to.

A few days ago, I created Facebook event entitled I know this sucks but I lost my phone and I need people's numbers.

Sounds innocent enough, right?

Wrong.

There are two factors that you are unaware of:
1. I did not lose my phone.
2. I only invited one person to the event, a girl that I will refer to as JT.

For those of you who don't know me, getting a cute girl's number is not really my cup of tea.

So I figured I'd use a little trickery and then six months later, while we were merrily strolling down the beach holding hands, I'd tell her how I got hew phone number and we'd laugh the day away...

Well guess what, figuring isn't really my cup of tea either.

Two days and thousands of Facebook-checks later, I was still number-less.

So yesterday, I got bold and decided to try try again.

I thought, maybe she just skimmed over the event invite and I need to take a more direct approach.

So I sent her a long confessing Facebook message explaining what I'd done, hoping that she would find it remotely entertaining. I also gave her some raw incentive (detailed in the snippet below) in case she was the bribe-able type.

Snippet below:
"In exchange for your phone number, I will tell you...

1) The movie that I'm most embarrassed for crying in.
2) My favorite Pokemon.
3) My PID number and permission to use it for up to $10 worth of Alpine (I have a ton of extra expense dollars).
4) Which 'NSync song I'm currently listening to.
5) One demand of your choice."

End Snippet.

You'd think that nobody could resist such a tempting proposal.

Well JT isn't a nobody, she's a somebody. And a much more elusive somebody than I initially imagined.

More than 36 hours since clicking that dark blue send button, there's still no response.

I'd tell myself she's playing hard to get but I passed out midway through hour 14 from holding my breath.

Sometimes life throws you a curveball. My advice, don't try throwing one at a girl.