Sunday, July 29, 2012


Me:  I’m trying to do heavier weights this time.  So I was pretty worn out by the time I got to the last set on the close-grip bench press after doing 30 reps each of the incline bench press and dumbbell flies.
Scott:  Weight lifting nerd.


While standing in front of the hotel smoking a cigarette in Austin, I saw an expensive car – I don’t remember what kind – pull up, and out of the passenger side stepped a young, hot blonde in heels and a skintight, satiny little black dress.
She noticed me noticing her, and, I assume because she likes being noticed and not because of anything about me personally, she smiled.
Out of the driver side stepped a much older, short, schlubby, fat guy in a baggy Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts with a thick New York accent.
Ah, I thought.  I see.
I was curious as to whether she was local talent, or if she had actually been his travelling companion – travelling as his “niece,” I should think – and as they approached so that the man could smoke a cigarette, I caught snatches of their conversation which seemed to be centered around the foolish excess of some time of especially expensive car.
While they stood there, another “uncle and his niece” approached – though this one was slightly less mismatched, as neither the man nor the woman were as far towards the extreme ends of relative attractiveness as the first two – the schlubby guy said to the less-schlubby guy, “This girl is telling me that the guy who’s takin’ her to the Hamptons wants to pick her up in a McLaren.”
At that point, as I finished my cigarette, I thought, “I kind of want to be rich.”


In Austin, we stayed at a Westin, and while I was on a lower floor than my VP, and the Director accompanying us, I was on the “Executive Level.”

It was a very nice hotel.
In Syracuse, we stayed at a Hilton, and I have to say that, while nice, it was kind of a letdown after the Westin.  (“Really?  Only one queen-size bed in my room?”)
(See Also:  Rich, I kind of want to be)


One of the cool/nerdy features of my room at the Westin was this little media panel on the desk that featured HDMI inputs for the TV, power outlets, and a USB power outlet.


Much like the man’s “niece” noticed me noticing her, throughout the course of the trip at the various dinners and “nightcap” sessions we had, I couldn’t help noticing that my VP and the Director were noticing that I consistently abstained from drinking.
They didn’t say anything, but I could see the wheels spinning, and I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking.
I’m not ashamed of being a recovering alcoholic, and it’s not something I hide, but I don’t exactly announce it either, but I do, on occasions such as that, find myself curious as to what people make of my teetotaler ways.


(While having lunch)
Boss:  Jon…what is your IQ?
Me:  I have no idea.
Boss:  It has to be way up there.  Like, the 160s, at least.
Me:  (Shrug)  I’ve never seen any kind of records or anything, so I have no clue.

While it’s not an actual measure of IQ, I know that, in most subjects, in standardized aptitude tests I pretty consistently scored at levels several grades higher than whatever grade I was in at the time.  I remember scoring at a 12th grade level in several subjects on some test I took when I was in 7th grade.
What does any of that mean?  I don’t know.  Nothing, I suppose, all things considered, but it’s really the only gauge I have to go by.
The only other thing that really comes to mind about my IQ was that there was some person who worked for the state who came to our house to assess my developmental progress a few times before I started kindergarten, and he was less than impressed by my cognitive abilities.
So…yeah.  Like I said, I have no idea.
If I had to guess – and, really, it doesn’t matter enough, if it matters at all, that I’m required to guess – I would place it lower than the 160s  Probably 140s, at best.
When I was in college, I took a Psychology class that had a lab component (to fulfill the lab requirement), and in one of our lab sessions we had to take a mock IQ test.
I forget the details of the experiment, but the whole point of it had something to do with designing a test that’s more or less guaranteed to provide the results you’re hoping to achieve.  In this case, the hoped-for results were scores that followed the standard bell curve, thus there was a built-in bias in the test to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that the scores would be distributed in such a fashion.
That did, in fact, end up being the case, with the one outlier being an IQ score that was far outside the expected range.
I don’t remember what my score was – and, again, the test’s methodology was flawed – but I was the outlier, and my score was much, much higher than anyone else’s.  I don’t remember what it was, however, and, once again, it wouldn’t have been a reliable indicator anyway.  I just remember being amused by the professor’s surprise that there was a score that fell so far outside of the predicted range.


The reason my IQ came up – it wasn’t just completely out of the blue – is that I was telling her about the time I had eye surgery when I was four (I was born with excess tissue on my eye that caused it to turn in towards my nose; the surgery was to remove that) and how I remembered being prepped for surgery and the snarky comments* the people in the room were making about the surgeon prior to his arrival.  They didn’t seem to realize that I understood their sarcasm.
That I remembered the events** – and understood the snarkiness – at such a young age, was what prompted the question.


I kind of want to write a semi-detailed review of The Dark Knight Rises, but I’d also like to take in another viewing of it before doing so.  I meant to over the past week, but never had the time.
I will say that, in short, I enjoyed it a great deal, and that it did manage to live up to expectations.
Better than The Dark Knight?  Well…certainly it was lacking the stellar performances of Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart, which can’t help but detract from the film slightly, but…I’m not sure.  Most people would probably say that no, it’s not, and personally I’m leaning in that direction, but I haven’t fully decided yet.
I will say this much:  I was very, very pleasantly surprised by Anne Hathaway.  I like her in general, but I wasn’t thrilled when she was cast as Selina Kyle/Catwoman, but, appropriately enough, given the nature of her character, she managed to steal the movie.  Excellent job, and one that actually makes up for the godawful Halle Berry movie, and the regrettable version portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer in Button’s piece of crap.


If nothing else, the Nolan movies have managed to really shift the public’s image of Batman away from the 1960s’ TV show in a pretty dramatic fashion and to a much greater extent than anything that came before, which, in my mind, would make them worthwhile even if they weren’t also excellent films.
That being said, prior to TDKR there was a teaser trailer for next year’s Superman movie, The Man of Steel.  From what little of it we actually got to see, there are elements that look promising, but I’m not especially hopeful for a Superman movie (or movie franchise) that can have a similar effect on the public’s conception of the character.
It just annoys me – Superman has been around for 75 years, has been adapted into every other form of media imaginable, is one of the most recognized and well-known fictional characters in history, and yet, despite that, all anyone can seem to focus on are those two hours from 1978.


…and I actually meant to post this nearly a week ago, so I guess I’ll finally get around to it now.

*They kept referring to him as “Dr. Savior,” which was a play on his similar-sounding last name, and his apparent – in their view, at least – God Complex.  This did not exactly fill me with confidence, despite the fact that, prior to going in, as my mother is so fond of telling and re-telling me, I had said, “Don’t cry, momma; Jesus won’t let anything bad happen to me.”

**I also remember the experience of being put under; everything around me seemed to be moving in slow motion, and the voices of the people talking sounded like a 78 being played at 45 speed, then everything just went black.  The next thing I remember is waking up in my hospital bed and having to pee, and being offered a bedpan, which I refused, and then my dad helped me walk to the bathroom.


lbugsh2 said...

Your boss is right to ask Jon. Very few people remember back that well.I vote you tell the boss to make up a random reason for your iq to be tested and get the company to pay for it. Or if you would like I will tell her.

Jon-Paul Maki said...

I don't think she actually wants to know. I suspect she's holding out hope that hers is higher than mine, but would be bothered to have it confirmed that mine is, as she suspects, higher.

frog said...

Tell your boss a different # every time. See how long until she notices.