Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Martyrs Win Yahoo Public League #688652!

Martyrs win despite losing Priest Holmes!
Trade of R. Droughns for D. Driver toasted from coast to coast!
Championship week:

MotorCityMaulers (11-2-0)
Pos Player Opp Status Pts
QB P. Manning (Ind - QB) SD W, 34-31 17
WR J. Walker (GB - WR) @Min W, 34-31 10
WR Ro. Smith (Den - WR) @Ten W, 37-16 8
WR K. McCardell (SD - WR) @Ind L, 34-31 0
RB L. Tomlinson (SD - RB) @Ind L, 34-31 20
RB N. Goings (Car - RB) @TB W, 37-20 7
TE J. Shockey (NYG - TE) @Cin L, 23-22 3
K J. Brown (Sea - K) Ari W, 24-21 6
DEF Indianapolis (Ind - DEF)SD W, 34-31 2
Total 73

The Martyrs (8-4-1)
Pos Player Opp Status Pts
QB D. Culpepper (Min - QB) GB L, 34-31 24
WR B. Stokley (Ind - WR) SD W, 34-31 12
WR D. Driver (GB - WR) @Min W, 34-31 14
WR E. Kennison (KC - WR) Oak W, 31-30 3
RB C. Dillon (NE - RB) @NYJ W, 23-7 4
RB La. Johnson (KC - RB) Oak W, 31-30 17
TE D. Graham (NE - TE) @NYJ W, 23-7 7
K M. Stover (Bal - K) @Pit L, 20-7 1
DEF Atlanta (Atl - DEF) @NO L, 26-13 8
Total 90

The Other Archives - Prison Rodeo

I'm cleaning out my old university account - this beauty was written by Albert, then a student at Tulane, to his brother Zach - Zach then forwarded it to me in October 2001:
Oh, the rodeo. Angola State Pen every Sunday in October. Come see the
rodeo and stay for the prison craft show. Oh, the rodeo.

You should look into the possibility of a Missouri prison rodeo. Apparently they're spreading to states other than Louisiana now. The concept is solid. Take a sport in which highly skilled riders compete in competitions involving the murderous force of wild animals and then remove any element of skill. I don't see any problem with that.

As you may guess, today's prisoners are not very capable on horseback. Even simple rodeo tasks like rounding a barrel in a race become difficult when you have only a cursory understanding of livestock. When these same individuals are asked to ride a bull for eight seconds hilarity ensues. There were something like 20 riders in the bull-riding competition without one competing a qualifying 8 second ride. Since no winners can be declared in events where no one qualifies prisons have developed competitions where skill is less important than luck and brute strength.

The first prison-only event Angola offered was the 8-man simultaneous bull ride. Eight men, eight gates, one starting pistol. After you fall off the bull other bulls (with riders still attached) attack you. In this situation you have to stay on the bull just to avoid the wrathful fury of a stampede. Prisoners stay on bulls substantially longer during this event than during the normal bull ride.

Later, after several other events which prove the crappiness of prisoners at real rodeo, the second prison-only event occurs. Once again eight gates are simultaneously opened, but this time there are no riders. Instead eight unbroken horses with ropes tied around their necks run out. Then, teams of three prisoners grab the ropes and try to get one member onto the beast. Disaster. Horses can kick with their front legs. I'd never seen it till the rodeo but trust me, they can. The prisoners were exceptionally strong(weightrooms) and easily stopped the horses from running away, but every time one of them got close the horse would unleash a flurry of kicks. The winners appeared to pull the rope so hard that the horse needed the front legs for balance so it could not kick when the prisoner neared. I'm glad those guys are in prison and not near me. Any three men who can pull a horse off balance are scary.

Other rodeo events ensue, then an event where prisoners try to milk a wild cow using three-man teams and ropes like the horse-breaking competition. This was better than the horses to start since cows are stronger than horses and most of the teams were dragged around the arena. However it ended sooner when a team of particularly strong prisoners first pulled the cow to a stop, then got one prisoner alongside. I figured this would end like other such attempts with the scared cow suddenly pulling the two remaining rope-holders over, but the designated milker had another plan. Rather than risk a cow kick to the head this future parolee pushed the cow over and milked it while it lay in the mud. Well played.

The final event was the most conceptually simple event any rodeo could have. The prisoners who wish to participate are released into the ring, then a bull with a poker chip tied between its horns is released. All you have to do to win is grab the poker chip.

So much pain.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Gifted

Asked and shall received:

Nirvana box set - B
Scrabble dictionary - A
Guernica print - A (will have to pay $jillion to get it framed)

Unprovoked:

Metal flamingoish lookin' statue thingy - A+
Simpsons talking ornament - B
Cash - A
Pint glasses w/ poker design - C
Chocolate covered peanuts from Nifty Nut House - B+
Dish towel thingies that you can attach to drawer handles (clearly regifted) - F

Superhunks - Matt and Ben

How the superhunks stole your high school girlfriend

[NOTE: In addition to naming Jude Law 2004's Sexiest Man Alive, People magazine picked nine "off the charts" sexy superstars: Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Usher, Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.]

Matt Damon distracted your girlfriend with small talk about men's fashion.

"Yeah, I just feel more comfortable in a sweater vest. Sleeves are too scratchy."

Your girlfriend giggled, trying not to stare at Matt's dimples.

"You're so weird! ...But that's okay," your girlfriend said as Ben Affleck discretely slipped rohypnol into the red plastic cup she had placed on the bookcase.

"Here's to sweater vests!" Matt said, hoisting his own red plastic cup toward the ceiling.

"Cheers!"

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Seek and You Shall Find

Recent visitors to my site have arrived after searching for:
"all i wanna do is race daddy" (Google)
TORNADO IN SESAME STREET (MSN)
superhunks (MSN.co.uk)
modest mouse uptown theater (Yahoo!)
I'm sure you found what you were looking for.

Dear Only Handicapped Guy On My Floor

You seem like a nice and reasonable man, so how's about we come to an understanding?

As you may know, there are only 3 stalls in the men's bathroom, and one of them is handicap-accessible. As you also may know, one of the normal stalls is usually unusable (I mean, poop on the seat? HOW DO YOU GET HIRED TO WORK HERE IF YOU CAN'T PREVENT YOUR POOP FROM LANDING ON THE TOILET SEAT? How do you LIVE?!). During high-volume periods, myself and others find ourselves with little other recourse than to utilize "your" stall.

Mind you, I don't feel all that comfortable when I use it. Physically, everything's fine - more than fine. But I'm a tad anxious in there, hoping you won't come in the restroom and find your stall occupied. That would be awful - I don't want you waiting for a spot that is rightfully yours. I were you, and someone was in my spot, I would be seriously pissed.

So, I'm happy to leave you what is rightfully yours whenever you need it; however, I have no way to know when you need it. Let's fix that.

We'll just put up a little sheet - tape it on the stall door, put a little golf-pencil next to it - and you can record the time when you use the stall. If I notice that you haven't visited for a while, I'll use one of the other stalls or even go to the restroom upstairs. Cool? Cool.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Sex and the Shitty

No new Gilmore Girls tonight. No new Scrubs. No new Real World. My options were so limited, I decided that I would try to watch an entire episode of Sex and the City.

I shuddered a bit when the 2nd or 3rd line of the show was Carrie's voiceover saying:
"Nothing is more frightening than running into your ex before your morning coffee."
What? Nothing? Stomach cancer, global warming, haunted houses. That's 3 more frightening things right off the top of my head. Running into your ex when you've got a booger, running into your ex when your hair is a mess, running into your ex with your car. That's 3 more.

Cut to a scene of Kim Catrall's character with her lesbian girlfriend at a bar. KC knows the bartender a little too well, it seems. And some other guy at the club. Oh, I get it - she has sex with a lot of men.
In the city.

Sigh.

Frown.

I give up and switch it to Who's Line reruns.

Work Spam


Some dolt decided to send an e-mail to every employee in the entire organization today featuring this cute little elf (I can't post a .gif file, so you don't get to see the cute little elf wave at you or the colorful banner that switches back and forth from "Happy Holidays" to "Season's Greetings").

Thanks, fellow employee! It's not like I already delete 30 e-mails a day or anything!

(I also like how the message featured non-denominational greetings, yet featured an elf waving from a box of presents.)

Monday, December 20, 2004

Sit On It

I got a new office chair at work today - a hand-me-down from the office director. It was probably the biggest thrill I've had at work since the summer, which is incredibly sad.

I also had time today to reflect on the lyrics of Elvis' "Return to Sender". Lots of problems if you think about it:
I gave a letter to the postman,
He put it his sack.
Bright in early next morning,
He brought my letter back.
Mail in the morning?
This time I’m gonna take it myself
And put it right in her hand.
And if it comes back the very next day
Then I’ll understand - the writing on it
What's not to understand, King? She's mad at you! She doesn't want to read your letter! Remember the quarrel you were just singing about? That's why!

Sunday, December 19, 2004

More Dirty Stuff

Since Zach and I didn't take a trip to historic Lecompton today, I've washed my sheets, got screwed over in a game of Heisman-level NCAA Football on the PS2, and browsed the internet. Ubersite has provided me with the funniest link so far, "Bert and Ernie's Guide To Eroticism". Here's an excerpt:
6) Roleplay! Once Bert and I decided to roleplay that we were Luis and Maria from down the block on Sesame Street. Soooo, I stuffed up my ears with cotton and let him beat me.

We'll All Float On

Modest Mouse
Uptown Theater
KC
Tuesday, Feb 22nd.
GA seats are $22 + Ticketmaster rape/surcharge

See you there?

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Nicknames of Naughty Bits

I'm told some ladies name it. These are a few (true) examples of nicknames for it:
B.A.P. (Bomb Ass Pxssy)
The Fun
Mein Cxnt
The Creamery
Cream Castle
Veggie Delight
My Precious
(braces himself for the comments)

Friday, December 17, 2004

Superhunks - Usher

How the superhunks stole your high school girlfriend

[NOTE: In addition to naming Jude Law 2004's Sexiest Man Alive, People magazine picked nine "off the charts" sexy superstars: Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Usher, Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.]

The rims were unforgiving, and there were no nets. Still, the 4th street court was the best place to go if you wanted a pick-up game of hoops.

You were well into the second contest when you buried an eight-foot turnaround jumper. As you jogged backwards and began your defense, you noticed your girlfriend. She was sitting at the bottom of the lone set of bleachers, exhausted from her run around the adjoining park.

Kicked ball. Carry. Foul on the lay-up. The demands of the game kept your attention, and you couldn’t decipher what was happening on the bleachers. Defender’s hands in your face, someone seated next to your girlfriend on the bench, ball bouncing on rim, a notebook pulled removed from a backpack at the bleachers, “No, it’s 10-10. Bull#$^%, it’s 10-9!” from half court, “I really like the way this one is shaded!” from the bleachers. The park was a flipbook with most of the pages missing.

“His name is Usher – he’s a really great artist,” your girlfriend told you on the walk home.

“His name is Usher?”

“It’s not nice to make fun. And you wouldn’t be so judgmental if you just would have looked at his sketches.”

“But wouldn’t I have judged the sketches, making me ‘judgmental’?”

“God...”

The remaining distance to home was silent, save for the bounce of your orange ball on the pavement. You held it to your ear and listened to trapped air reverberate.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Tone Loc's Legacy

Sorry this is all just links, but fuck it, I've got Apprentice to watch tonight. Check out this Chuck Klosterman article, where he examines bands that were neither overrated nor underrated. This is an excerpt from his paragraph on Tone Loc:
Those two songs were actually cowritten with Young MC, whose single “Bust a Move” is con-fusing for the following reason: Its last verse states, “Your best friend Harry / Has a brother Larry / In five days from now he’s gonna marry / He’s hopin’ you can make it there if you can / Cuz in the ceremony you’ll be the best man.” Now, why would anybody possibly be the best man in a wedding where the groom is their best friend’s brother? Why isn’t your best friend the best man in this ceremony? And who asks someone to be their best man a scant five days before they get married? This song is flawed.
(Found via Jeff Johnson's blog - see permanent link at right.)

Holiday Health

Sometimes it pays to read the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Case in point, the most recent issue's cover article is entitled "Fall-Related Injuries During the Holiday Season --- United States, 2000--2003". Here's my favorite parts:
A fall-related injury was defined as one received when a person descended because of the force of gravity and struck a surface at the same or lower level.
The majority of falls were from ladders (e.g., while hanging holiday lights), followed by roofs (e.g., while mounting an artificial Christmas tree on the roof), furniture (e.g., while standing on a table decorating a Christmas tree, standing on a chair hanging holiday decorations, or standing on a step stool when hanging a tree topper), stairs, and porches. Other falls were caused by tripping over or slipping on holiday-related objects (e.g., tree skirts or ornaments). Among 46% of injured persons, injuries occurred to the extremities (i.e., arm/hand and leg/foot); most persons (88%) examined in EDs were treated and released, and 12% were hospitalized. Fractures were the most commonly reported injury (34%); approximately half (51%) of the fractures were caused by falls from ladders. Of those who fell from ladders, nearly half (47%) were hospitalized.
That fascinating report is followed by "Fatal and Nonfatal Occupational Injuries Involving Wood Chippers --- United States, 1992--2002", which unveils non-Fargo related data such as:
Societal costs of all chipper-related fatalities...for 1992--2001 are estimated at $28.5 million in 2003 dollars.
Stay safe, kids!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Creationism Crap

Once, while I pursued my Master's, a professor made an offhand comment about how Kansas doesn't believe in evolution. I took it in stride, as evidenced by the e-mail I sent to the professor immediately after class (formatting issues below are not entirely my fault):

On August 11, 1999, the Kansas Board of Education voted 6-4 to drop
evolution-based questions from standardized tests taken by Kansas students.
The decision to exclude evolution from the new science standards was a
result what the board thought to be logical reasoning. In their own words:
The proposed draft of the standards presented to the board elevated
evolution to one of the five unifying concepts of science. This was the
only theory given such status, thus suggesting evolution was above
investigation or question. This seemed to contradict a statement in the
document that said students should '...use critical and logical thinking
and consider alternative explanations.' Such a process would not have been
possible in the area of evolution, given the manner in which it was
presented.

The vote had nothing to do with what children were taught within local
schools. Indeed, the very same adopted standards stated, As a result of
their activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an
understanding ofbiological evolution (p. 79). At no time was there any
mandate from the state board of education to stop teaching evolutionary
theory.

Interestingly, Kansas was not the first state to consider revisions of
evolutionary theory in state science standards. In the three years before
the vote made by the Kansas Board of Education, Illinois, Arizona and New
Mexico experienced similar debates, according to the National Center for
Science Education. Those states did not receive national media attention,
while major national newspapers wrote front page stories concerning the
situation in Kansas. The coverage signaled the beginning of an ambush
against the state's population, with many media personalities -- assuming
that the actions of six men and women in Topeka spoke volumes about the
citizens they were elected to represent -- used the opportunity to get in a
seemingly endless number of jabs against the Sunflower State.

Kansas was not amused. Governor Bill Graves called the board's decision
"terrible, tragic, embarrassing" and his constituents fervently agreed.
Nearly 15 months after the science standards were restructured, four of the
six that voted to drop evolution were incumbents in the fall election.
Only one was re-elected.

(Interestingly, the victorious incumbent was the same man, Steve Abrams,
who was primarily responsible for drafting the 1999 standards. He was
supported by a creationist group based in Missouri, the Creation Science
Association for Mid-America. It would not surprise many Kansans with
knowledge of their state's history that Missouri had a hand in this debacle
-- since the Missouri Compromise of 1821, Missouri has been nothing but a
bad news for its neighbor to the west. That bill indicated that future
states above the southern boundary of Missouri (36030') would be free of
slavery. This idea held until the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of
1854. The new bill, along with the Compromise of 1850, introduced the
notion of popular sovereignty -- territorial settlers themselves would
decide if their state's stance on slavery. Kansas entered the Union in
1861 as a free state, amidst conflict between pro-slavery forces in
Missouri and the population of Kansas -- all means necessary were employed
to influence the new state's stance. Missouri's efforts to influence
Kansas culminated in Quantrill's Raid on the town of Lawrence, Kansas, one
of the few cities in America founded for a purely political reason: the
abolition of slavery. The following is taken from Lawrence's Visitors
Bureau website, just a few clicks away from information on the University
of Kansas and its first basketball coach, Dr. James Naismith, who invented
the game:

"On August 21, 1863, Lawrence suffered what some historians have called the
greatest atrocity of the Civil War: Quantrill's Raid.

While Lawrence slept, pro-slavery guerrilla William Clarke Quantrill and
approximately 400 men from Missouri prepared their attack. Shortly after
five in the morning, they rode into the city. One witness recounted: "The
attack was perfectly planned. Every man knew his place. They flowed into
every street... The order was to burn every house and kill every man." They
killed only men and young boys; women and children were robbed but not
harmed. The raiders killed approximately 200 men that day, leaving slews of
widows and fatherless children. Fires devastated Lawrence's commercial
district; only few buildings remained. As many as 185 homes were burned
during the four-hour raid.

The resilient citizens of Lawrence buried the dead and banded together on
the road to recovery. Within days, makeshift stores re-opened and
rebuilding began. By the following spring, new stores, two newspapers and
telegraph wires were established. The first bridge across the Kansas River
at Lawrence was also finished. Only months later, the railroad came
through. Lawrence had survived and would adopt the city motto: 'From Ashes
To Immortality.'")

The new Kansas Board of Education acted swiftly and purposefully, with a
resiliency similar to those that settled in Lawrence more than 150 years
ago. New standards were adopted in February 2001. Now, teaching
evolution is practically required, and Kansas among the leading states in
preventing religious theory from being taught in science classrooms.
Unfortunately, less media attention was given to this reversal, prompting
the need for essays like this every now and then.

***

Now it all might happen again. As (I'm told) the director of KU's Natural History Museum puts it, "If there's such a thing as intelligent design, why do men have nipples?"

Curses, Yankee! Revisited

Just passing on an ESPN.com Page 3 article that discusses Jeter's previous romances. I recommend reading it, unless you wish to maintain your belief in a fair, just, and benevolent God.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Dear White Blood Cells

I don't mean to be totally unappreciative. I know that you've helped me out a lot in the past, and I know it's tough to work at a job when no one notices your good work, only your failures.

For the most part, you and I have had some really good times. There was a rough patch back in 7th grade when I had pneumonia - knocked me out of school for a couple days and kept me on the bench at the start of my first basketball season (8 and 1/2 foot goals!). There was a period in high school where I couldn't really leave the hide-a-bed, and while I was ill my friends drove around and stole corn for some reason. That's only 2 significant illnesses I can recall in 25 years. Nice work.

You know the part of the job interview when they ask about your weaknesses? And you try to think of something that's only sort of bad, like, "I'm an overachiever"? Well, in your case, your stubborn desire to defeat invading viruses or bacteria or whatnot really is your flaw. Too much of a good thing, in this case, really is a bad thing.

White blood cells, you're producing entirely too much Tumor Necrosis Factor - Alpha (TNFa). TNFa is pretty good stuff, and I have definitely appreciated your liberal production of it over the years. However, and this is key, you're so in love with your own TNFa that you haven't stopped to realize that it's hurting me. It's hurting my colon.

When my parents separated, my mother gave me a book I wish I had now - if it were handy I could show you the chapter about Hobson's Choice. The way the book explained it, you were this guy in the old west, and you needed a horse to go prospect for gold or something. But the stable guy, he just had this one horse left, and he had gout or horse leukemia or something -- bottom line, the beast wasn't going to be a reliable steed. But you're a prospector! You want to get down the road and mine some gold, pronto! So you've got a choice to make: bad horse, or no horse at all? (I guess I should have mentioned - my human mother married an equine. What can I say? It was the '60s!)

White Blood Cells, I've got a serious case of Hobson's Choice. On the one hand, I really, really am anxious to make my fortune as a '49er. No, no -- I mean, on one hand, I like having a competent immune system. Do I like it enough so that I'm willing to let you secrete TNFa all willy-nilly, creating Crohn's complications for me?

My immune system is a team, White Blood Cells, and you're not a team player. You're about to see your role strictly limited.

You may have noticed that, around 9:30 this morning, chimeric antibodies - part mouse, part man - entered my bloodstream. These little guys are going to try to clean up the mess you made, binding up your excess TNFa, preventing it from irritating my lower bowel. Hey, we've had some good times - let's remember that, and try not to dwell on the fact that you've played your way into my doghouse. You're out of control; I'd rather take my chances without you than risk you screwing things up even more.

I don't really know what to say now. Try not to worry about all that TNFa that you produced for naught - I mean, if they've got to die, at least they're being killed by something with a murine component. You've got to admit, that's quite a way to go. I hope you'll respect my wishes and cool it on the TNFa - it's really important to me.

Oh, and if you happen to bump into any of your teammates, you might ask them to take it easy on the chimeric antibodies. Sure, technically they are foreign substances that are trying to invade my body, but make an exception this time and don't attack them. I know it's confusing; I know it's a lot to ask of somebody that I just basically told to fuck off - but you'd really be doing me a solid if you let them know. OK, great. Thanks. Now fuck off.

Curses, Yankee!

When reading People's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue, I was shocked to learn that Scarlett Johannson was dating Jared Leto. ("Unjust" and "gross" are two words that came to mind.) Now I read that she's kicked his slacker ass to the side only to replace him with another ass, Derek Jeter. (And no, I don't read the Post on a daily basis; I found the link to the story via Lindsayism.com) Beyond the Jeter thing, a few more dumbfounding snippets from that Post article:

1. Microsoft has a Xmas party?
2. Stars of sport and screen attend a software company's holiday affair?
3. Someone decided to call their new restaurant "Geisha House"?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Candy Cane Moratorium

Every year, you buy more candy canes. You never finish them all. You put them away. They sit on a shelf. A year goes by. You put another unfinished box on the same shelf.

Stop buying candy canes. They never go bad. Let's take a year or three and catch up on eating the old ones. Then we can eat new ones again.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Dry Guy

I just finished a load of whites. My dryer has a few notches to choose from when drying cottons - More Dry, Less Dry, and Optimum Dry. I frequently defy the machine's wisdom by selecting a cycle somewhere between "less" and "optimum".

I play by my own rules.

Gypsies are Indigenous to Pants

A southern co-worker suggested my relaxed fit khakis "looked like a band of gypsies moved out of the back of them". What? A Google search reveals one - only one - use of her phrase online, at an "Active Low-Carber Forum":
I know what you mean now about the inches thing. Today I put on a pair of jeans I haven't had on in a week, and I swear it looks like a band of gypsies moved out of the back end of them. I hadn't thought to measure, but I sure will now. Thing is though, I love getting on the scale and seeing another pound gone. Oh well, I can definately live without the inches!
Those poor gypsies. Always the subject of ridicule.
ME: "I didn't know that Nichole's family was part Gypsy."
PHIL: "You didn't know that? Yeah, that's why she always stole my stuff and moved around a lot."

Saturday, December 11, 2004

All I Wanna Do is Race, Daddy!

"3", the Dale Earnhardt, Sr. biopic, airs tonight on ESPN at 9:00 CST. The over-under on straight-on shots (from the windshield's POV) of actor Barry Pepper's head -- grimacing, turning, holding the wheel steady, just staring at the racetrack, etc. -- is 35.

Happy betting. Should be an inspiring movie. Except for the ending. That might be less than inspiring.

Hand Me That TPS Report...and a Baby Wipe

My place of business recently approved a policy to allow infants in the workplace. Here's a snippet of the policy:
The employee must designate within the care plan, two alternate care providers in the workplace. The care providers must agree to care for the infant in the event the parent is attending a meeting, participating in a telephone conference, etc. Authorization from the alternate care provider's supervisor to participate is required. The parent is required to make his or her workstation suitable for the new infant and shall provide the necessary equipment or furniture.

Sick infants are not permitted at work. Infants who become ill at work or become fussy for a prolonged period of time causing distraction or preventing the parent from working, must be taken home...
I understand the reason behind this policy - I know there's only so much maternity leave you're allowed. Still, I'm more than a little apprehensive. To my knowledge, infants are like my roommate - they only have two moods: "sleeping" and "fussy". Neither state is especially work-friendly. Maybe we should have a trial run with a sack of flour before this policy is fully implemented.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Office Decor


People post a lot of strange, cutesy pictures in their offices/cubicles at work. This one caught my eye this week. Terrifying.

I mean, it's one thing to see a picture of an angel above a phrase about grandchildren or a Bible quote accompanying a field of flowers. Pictures of cats are about as common as it gets. But this image? It's another thing entirely. Does that kitten look happy to you? It's incredibly sad! All that's missing is a noose around the feline's neck.

Why would you want to see this dejected kitten every time you look up at your cubicle wall? You may as well put up a photo of your dog being kicked or a deer with chronic wasting disease.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Superhunks - Bruce Willis

How the superhunks stole your high school girlfriend

[NOTE: In addition to naming Jude Law 2004's Sexiest Man Alive, People magazine picked nine "off the charts" sexy superstars: Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Usher, Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.]

ha ha ha ha

Homeroom had never been so boisterous. Bruce Willis' new haircut was so unbelievably goofy that it was met with a wave of mocking laughter. This was even funnier than when that Chuck kid peed himself while solving an algebra equation at the front chalkboard.

ha ha ha ha

Everyone was laughing at Bruce, even the societal castaways that knew how much it hurt to be in his position. The trumpet player that was always tripping over his shoelaces was laughing. The fat kid that never washed his clothes was laughing. The acne-riddled kid that pulled his wheel-equipped backpack everywhere he went was laughing AND pointing. The acne-riddled kid!

ha ha ha ha

Two students were not laughing. You were one of them. Your girlfriend was the other. The Friday prior, you sat hand-in-hand and watched as Bruce delivered a punishing, fumble-inducing tackle to the crosstown rival's halfback.

"That was SICK!" you shouted, releasing your girlfriend's hand to form and raise a triumphant fist of school spirit.

"He's so strong!" your girlfriend agreed. "He's built a like a tank!"

ha ha ha ha

You looked over at your girlfriend. She was silent, watching as Bruce shuffled toward his seat. As he slumped into his desk, his newly shaved head swiveled toward your girlfriend. She smiled and crossed her legs.

Only you were aware that, ever since her Army Ranger father deserted her family when she was 13, she craved attention from men - especially chiseled men with hair cropped close to their scalps so as to prevent infestation whilst living in filthy barracks. Two more people were about to discover this truth - one was your high school girlfriend. The other was Bruce Willis.

The laughter subsided.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Lind-say It Ain't So!

The NY Post reported that superstar double threat Lindsay Lohan pulled an Ashley Simpson during her Good Morning America performance, prompting this response from a disillusioned fan:
"It was embarrassing," one formerly devoted follower told us.
"It hurt my heart."
If you're looking for a site that will report Lohan-related events much, much more frequently than myself, try Thighs Wide Shut. (Not as dirty as you may assume - good clean fun for all.)

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Monster and Motley Quotes

Everyone is talking about the new Hardee's Monster Burger. I especially liked this quote from the Yahoo news story:
Edwin Depke, 80, a retired box company worker who has long loved the Thickburgers, was won over by the Monster at a St. Louis Hardee's.

Calories schmalories, he said.

"They're big and thick, with all the trimmings," Depke said. "You
don't have to worry about all bun and no meat."
All the trimmings? Is bacon a trimming now? Or is Ed referring to the mayo they slap on the Monster? The sesame seeds on the bun? The 2nd 1/3 pound angus beef patty? The 2nd and/or 3rd slice of cheese?

But I'll take it easy on ol' Edwin today, because the quote of the day goes to former Motley Crue (sorry for the lack of umlaut...damn English language keyboard) frontman Vince Neil. Oh, snap! Did I say "former frontman"? What I meant to say was "frontman, now and forever", because the Crue is totally getting back together! Tommy and Vince appear to have healed their differences, Nikki Six is off the junk, and the guitarist whose name I don't remember is recovered from his hip replacement surgery (seriously). Sound kind of lame? Sound like a gimmick to sell their upcoming greatest hits album, "Red, White and Crue" (again, seriously)? Well, allow Vince to put your fears to rest with a quote that doesn't overcompensate in the least bit:
"We're just ready to go out and rock," Neil said at the news conference. "We're still Motley. We still rock."

Monday, December 06, 2004

From the (Other) Archives - Urine-barrassed

Occasionally I will have nothing to say; sometimes I will even lack the simple ambition to post a link. When this happens, I will post an entry from my non-online (I guess you could even call it "offline" or "a MS Word document") journal. This one dates back to November 23, 2002 at 8:55 p.m.:
When Steph and I were dating, we'd go to Ciatti's Italian restaurant on Larpenteur Avenue every now and then. On one such occasion, I went to the restroom and took my place in front of a urinal. A middle-aged man then came in and stood beside me. The urinal billboard in front of him was an advertisement for "Friends" reruns on Channel 45, and featured a shot of the three men and three women smiling, walking along a street, thinking about how rich they are and what a boring sitcom "Friends" has become. The man said one sentence that I didn't reply to, but I probably chuckled: "I feel kind of bad pissing in front of these ladies."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Livestrong How Long?

As far as plastic bracelets go, the Lance Armstrong-(inspired? designed? commissioned?) "Livestrong" bracelets are pretty good. Simple, yellow, waterproof...it's everything you need in an accessory. What's more, they support a great cause, promoting cancer awareness and raising money for research.

There's only one problem -- when are we going to stop wearing them?

Because I must assume that this is not a fashion trend. People aren't wearing them to be fashionable, right? It's completely crass to even suggest such a thing, right? I'd be some kind of cancer-loving jerk if I drew that conclusion, yes? So where does that leave Livestrong? Will everyone wear them until we have a cure for cancer? Until everyone is sufficiently aware of cancer? Until Armstrong wins another Tour? Until he weds Sheryl Crow?

It will be interesting to see how it plays out; I'm certain it will be nothing like the red ribbons celebrites wore for AIDS awareness until, uh...until they got tired of wearing red ribbons.

Upon Further U2 Review

Between sips of vanilla Smirnoff and coke last night (THREE DOLLARS!! I LOVE YOU HENRY'S!! I LOVE YOU, SATURDAY NIGHT!!!), Floyd and I discussed our growing appreciation for How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Turns out Phil was right about this one all along. Phil has been wrong in the past, though:
He incorrectly assumed that throwing a rock through my window would only break a small square of glass, rather than the entire pane.

He thought the walnut chicken was the finest menu item at the Chinese buffet off Fort Riley Blvd.

He thought smashing a spider against the interior of his windshield would not cause said windshield to break.

He thought the sound of cops chasing him was just the car stereo.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Searching for Meaning

Songmeanings.net is a place for people to gather and discuss lyrical significance. The only problem is they're not very good at it. To illustrate this point, check out these thoughts regarding The Kelis' hit "Milkshake":
by msanabear on 04-12-2004 @ 01:27:45 PM
this song has no comments? it must be newly added.

by usernameistaken on 04-16-2004 @ 06:06:33 AM
It has no comments because it has no meaning. this song blows, haha.

by darkgamer on 04-18-2004 @ 01:23:07 PM
in my opinion she is talking about sex or her boobs

by Matty on 04-19-2004 @ 04:55:05 AM
If youve seen the Video clip she makes it pretty obvious its her boobs lol..

Not the most inspiring song, but its got a semi cool beat...

by Bubbley69 on 04-19-2004 @ 05:40:56 AM
I saw an interview with her about the meaning of this song and she stated that its about confidence. She's got attitude that is appealing and the boys like it and the girls who don't have it want it. Milkshake is another word for sex appeal.

by LostProphets417 on 04-23-2004 @ 08:31:32 PM
It doesn't really take a genious to figure this one out...

by funshine on 05-01-2004 @ 03:40:32 PM
my pokemon brings all the boys to the yard
and they're like, let's trade cards
damn right, but not charizard
i can trade you this energy card

by CASSIE ROX YOU on 05-09-2004 @ 04:32:39 AM
its about giving head ((blowjobs)).... if u didnt kno that, i hate to tell u but.... you are stupid and obviously dont get out much!

by Freak A Leak 009 on 05-12-2004 @ 09:30:22 PM
its about what youre good at... what brings all the boys to you

by teacode on 07-06-2004 @ 08:13:30 AM
my friends and i always laughed that it was prostituting prostitution.

by music4thesoul79 on 09-30-2004 @ 10:26:32 PM
Bubbly69 is closer. I heard the interview too. On the online urban dictionary, it's about tittyfuckin, to be blunt and honest. Of course reading that definition and watching the video, make ya wonder...

by angeleyes07 on 10-03-2004 @ 09:50:37 PM
i think its either about gettin eaten out or givin head, something bout what u do wuth your mouth n the southern region of the body on someone.

by omgliekitzlauryl on 10-12-2004 @ 09:20:43 PM
haha. this is the most annoying song EVER in my opinion

by Lici on 10-13-2004 @ 04:00:58 AM
It's obviously very sexual in some way. I'm not sure exactly what Kelis is trying to say, but no doubt it's all about sex and how she's superior and wonderful and sexy compared to everyone else...that's her usual style right? I am not a Kelis fan but i must say, it's catchy to an extent. It's also very annoying. 'My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...' etc. is said in the most irritating voice! Yeah, i'm not really a fan of this.

by clairebaby on 10-15-2004 @ 03:04:23 AM
this song was her one and only comeback. good while it lasted ...not.

by Perfect Wh()re on 11-20-2004 @ 08:03:29 PM
Lighten up kids fantastic song. Makes me wanna dance its truly sad Kelis got bottled of at V festival. Milkshake and trick me are both wicked tunes.

by sfgirl82 on 11-23-2004 @ 04:18:46 PM
I don't know if this is true but my friend told me she has a dirty version which substitutes "milkshake" with "deep throat." What a crass thing to sing about.

Friday, December 03, 2004

November Statistics

Spider Solitaire during work hours. Difficulty level = 4 suits.

Week Ending 11/5
1 win
12 losses

Weed Ending 11/12
1 win
5 losses

Week Ending 11/19
2 wins
15 losses

Week Ending 11/26 (holiday-shortened week)
2 wins
12 losses

Week Ending 12/3 (out sick one day)
1 win
5 losses

November Total
7 wins
49 losses
(13%)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Giamboobs

Excellent post over at Chris' site (see also permanent link at right) regarding Giambi and BALCO. Looks like medical school is really starting to pay dividends for Chris.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Iron-On

I'm taking daily iron supplements now -- I'll be on them for the foreseeable future. This means I'll hear one or both of these Simpsons' quotes in my head every morning:
"More testicles means more iron."
--Lunchlady Doris, referring to a new formulation of the Assorted Horse Parts used at Springfield Elementary
and
"Iron helps us play!"
--Rod Flanders, upon hearing liver is for dinner

Fat Free American Cheese-Like Food

These are fine you melt the slice, like on a hot ham 'n' cheese or a grilled cheese sandwich. If you do not melt the slice, you are in for some unpleasantness.

Today is World AIDS Day!

I wore a red ribbon pin today.

Nearly 5 million humans are infected with HIV every year.

This planet harbors 38 million people living with HIV.

Think about that the next time you bitch about Bono or Wyclef getting too involved in these kind of issues.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

It's a Pun! Bam!

I bought five fluid ounces of Emeril's "Kick It Up!" Green Pepper Sauce today -- it was cheaper than the Tabasco brand product by more than a dollar, plus it featured this little snippet from Emeril himself on the packaging:
Down where I live in Louisiana, people keep a bottle of pepper sauce on the table, and use it to spice up just about everything. We make this one here in the Bayou State. You'll like what this does for pork and chicken. It'll even make your turkey sandwich something special. Kick It Up! Green so full of ripe Jalapenos, it's "Emeril" Green. Ouch!
Please note -- I didn't screw up the formatting, it really says "Ouch!" in the quote. Also note this product is made in Roseland, New Jersey, not the Bayou State.

XO

Elliott Smith tried killing himself through prescription drugs, heroin, crack, booze, and by jumping off a cliff. In all likelihood -- the autopsy left homicide as a possibility -- he died from self-inflicted stab wounds to his heart. So I guess this story about Elliott, taken from this month's Spin magazine, shouldn't surprise or depress me:
He was fed up with the current state of his life. A lot of people from the label were telling him he needed to get it together. He was so sick of people talking about the future. So he carved the word "now" into his arm with a knife. And he sat down at the piano and wrote "Everything Means Nothing to Me" as the blood was dripping down his arm.
The entire article was scanned by someone over at the benfolds.org message board if you care to learn about Elliott's life and death.

Must...Destroy...Boston...

I've got today off, so I have the rare pleasure of watching an entire Sportscenter (or two or three) this morning. A special extended article about the Yankee's Steinbrenner and Cashman was just on, and I was treated to my favorite scene from 2004 several times -- Cashman, up in his ivory tower, staring down at the field as the Red Sox celebrate the greatest comeback in the history of life. Just a great mixture of body language and facial expression -- not quite sheer contempt, not at all dumbfounded, somewhat deflated -- you'd have to invent a new emotion to describe Cashman at that moment. And we could use that new emotion to also describe what a kid feels like when some bully just beat the shit out of his dad, but the kid knows that he can't do anything about it (if his dad couldn't beat up the bully, then neither can he, so he can't even challenge the bully or call him names or anything), plus the kid's dad is going to be in a shitty mood for a month or so, which means no candy, in bed exactly at 8 p.m., and occasional physical abuse.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

New U2 Review For You

*extends arm forward, palm down, fingers spread, tilts hand left, then right, repeats*

It's fine. It's alright. It's about 20x better than my Thanksgiving break. I felt a slight bit disappointed after my first couple listens to "All You Can't Leave Behind", too, and it grew on me. We'll see if this album is the same way.

Favorite tracks thus far:

#4 - "Love and Peace or Else" - I shuddered when I saw the title. Then I threw up. Then I saw my puke and threw up again. Then some splattered on my shoe and I screamed in agony. Then I threw the awful shoe as hard as I could down the sidewalk. It landed on a toddler, but the kid was O.K., just a little bump, and the cycle of pain and anguish was broken. So, yeah - the song is pretty good. Kind of reminds me of their BB King collaboration "When Love Comes to Town". No BB King this time around, though - he and his stupid diabetes are nowhere to be found.

#6 - "All Because of You" - Very solid track, save for the unbearable shriek of feedback The Edge inserts before the song begins in earnest. (What if the song began IN Earnest? How would that even happen? What a mindjob!) Hey, The Edge - no need to shock us with the sudden swell! Who do you think you are, Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn? Is this "All Because of You" or the infamous "Surprise Symphony"?

Monday, November 22, 2004

Superhunks - Jake Gyllenhaal

How the Superhunks Stole Your High School Girlfriend

[NOTE: In addition to naming Jude Law 2004's Sexiest Man Alive, People magazine picked nine "off the charts" sexy superstars: Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Usher, Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.]

"I remember back when I would have to look this up in the huge card catalog," your girlfriend thought as she walked toward the public library's bank of computer terminals. She prayed that she would find the book she needed quickly; the downtown library always made her uncomfortable - too big, too confusing, too sad - the city's homeless were often forced inside during periods of inhospitable weather.

She sat before an available station and began her search. She grew tired of her research subject and allowed herself to relax. Across the table and to her right sat Jake Gyllenhaal. Their eyes met as he looked up from his leather-bound journal.

Your girlfriend quickly looked away - her head swung left, only to find a group of homeless gentlemen playing cards at the corner table. Rattled, she turned away, only to once again meet the calm stare of Jake Gyllenhaal. She looked down at her keyboard. After a moment, she heard a muffled chuckle.

"C'mon, don't make fun of me," your girlfriend pleaded softly, eyes still focused on the home row.

"No. It's just...I used to get nervous, too," Jake offered. "Homeless people would kind of freak me out - I didn't really know how to act around them."

"How did you get over it?"

"You just adapt," he whispered. "You just get used to it."

"God. I don't think I ever will."

"Sure you will...and I'll help you, if you want."

Your girlfriend looked up and their eyes locked for the third time. Jake was hunched forward in his chair, italic. Your girlfriend smiled. She leaned toward him, Hebrew italic.

"I want."

Pride (In the Name of Glove)

This would be what I would title a post if I were to write about Doug Mientkiewicz' demotion from starter to defensive replacement.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Back Under the Covers

The Lawrence Journal-World's music critic had so much to say about A Perfect Circle's "Imagine" cover that he devoted an entire column to it last week. You might say we have differing opinions on the subject. So this is what it feels like to have a nemesis.

And as if "Imagine" isn't bad enough, even more iconic songs are being rehashed. Paul e-mailed me news regarding the latest travesty - he heard a butchered version of "In The Air Tonight" on the radio:
yeah, i'm not sure who it is. all i know is that the song was on a station similar to 93x in minneapolis. so, yes, it is a hard rock version of it, which makes it even worse. as much as i love hard rock and phil, they should never be paired. my guess is that it's some band like alien ant farm who butchered "smooth criminal" and then fell off the face of the planet. we can only hope this band follows suit.
More research than I'd care to admit revealed the source was a band named Nonpoint. The cover is among the tracks on their album "Recoil", and you can hear a clip at amazon. Before you listen, make sure you have a good internet connection, the latest version of Media Player, and plenty of gauze handy for when your ears begin to bleed.

And, as you ask your God how this could have happened, take a gander at the various groups that have covered "In the Air Tonight" before this latest instance. This is at least the seventh attempt to cover it! SEVEN!! That's like a new version every other year since its original release!

So I guess if New Year's 2006 rolls around and you think to yourself, "I could really use a jazzed up version of 'In the Air Tonight' right about now," you may be in luck.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Superhunks - Orlando Bloom

How the Superhunks Stole Your High School Girlfriend

[NOTE: In addition to naming Jude Law 2004's Sexiest Man Alive, People magazine picked nine "off the charts" sexy superstars: Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Usher, Colin Farrell, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis and Johnny Depp.]

She was at the mall with two of her friends. They finished their onion rings and left the food court enclosure; Orlando was sitting, arms crossed, on a wooden bench outside of Supercuts. His skateboard was tucked away beneath him; the deck's image -- a pitchfork-wielding devil before a fiery cityscape -- stared out from the darkened recess.

"Is that a moustache?" Tammy asked your girlfriend in amazement.

"My God, I think it is," Angel responded, attempting not to stare at the thin, dark line. "He can grow a moustache already! No one else in 10th grade can even come close!"

Your girlfriend agreed and approached Orlando.

"I like your facial hair," she told him in her most cordial, over-the-phone voice.

"Whatever," he spat. "My old man won't leave it alone. I'm supposed to shave it off by Monday - and he says if my hair isn't off my shoulders, too, then I'm grounded for a month. He's such a dick."

"Yeah, that sucks," your girlfriend sympathized, "I hate my dad, too."

Orlando stood up and pulled his board from its nook.

"Fuck him. I'm going out to the parking lot to smoke. You coming?"

Tammy and Angel whispered to one another, weak in the knees as your girlfriend followed Orlando down the tile path to the bank of glass doors that separates indoors from out.

"No one else in the 10th grade smokes Reds," Angel said.

Tammy sighed.

"Yeah, I know."

"Wow."

"Yeah. Wow."

I Want U2

Phil once wrote a review of a U2 album in the Kansas State Collegian. I'm printing the text of said review in hopes it will inspire him to review the new record, due out this Tuesday. Phil, if you're up to topping the whopper below, e-mail me your thoughts on "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb":

U2 unleashes part 1 of greatest hits

With the release of "The Best of U2 1980-1990," the Irish megagroup charges back into the mainstream of rock music with a collection of songs from its first sever studio recordings.

The various songs on the album range from fan favorites such as "New Year's Day" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)" to more obscure songs such as the title track from the band's 1984 release, "The Unforgettable Fire".

Lyrically, the band has progressed consistently through the years.

From "A boy tries hard to be a man/ his mother takes him by the hand/ he starts to cry, oh why," the opening lines of 1980's "I Will Follow," to "My hands are tied/ my body bruised/ I got nothing to win/ I got nothing to lose," from 1987's heartfelt sentiment of "With or Without You," lead singer Bono and company have displayed brilliantly the continuous maturing process their music has gone through.

Musically, U2 is all over the place.

Their style varies from the heavily Irish folk-influenced "Sunday Bloody Sunday" to "When Love Comes to Town," a duet with blues legend B.B. King.

[NOTE: B.B. King didn't have diabetes then, but he does now, and he hates it when you prick his fingers to determine his blood sugar. --dn]

U2 adds a touch of religion with "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," which Bono describes as a gospel song.

Some things have remained constant for the quartet. The innovative guitar work and trademark riffs of lead guitarist The Edge not only influenced many young guitar players in the 1980s, but also has produced a sound that is distinctively U2.

Fans who bought the album within the first week of its release received the "b-sides" compact disc to accompany "The Best of U2 1980-1990".

Included on this collection are "Sweetest Thing," which has been released as a current single, and "Unchained Melody," a remix of the signature Righteous Brothers' song.

"Sweetest Thing," although recorded in 1998, orginally was written and recorded during the making of "The Joshua Tree" in 1986. The song, currently premiering as a video on MTV, was written by Bono to his wife, Ali, as a way to relay his apologies for being on the road during her birthday.

B-side "Unchained Melody" has all the power and emotion of the original song, along with the addition of the signature guitar sound of The Edge.

Collectively, "The Best of U2 1980-1990" is a must for people who consider themselves true music fans.

The album is a definitive collection of a band that has stood the test of time and has managed to keep its music alive, despite the constant shifts in the volatile world of popular music.

5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Let Me Give the World to You

She came by the office yesterday, bearing edible gifts and peddling her wares. To maintain privacy, we'll call her "Helen" -- I call her my Moon Goddess. All this talk of antigens and rates -- why can't we just so somewhere quiet and talk about us? I fear that husband and child or yours back in the suburbs don't appreciate you the way I do. You're the best drug rep in the world! You're a hotter version of Rebecca from The Real World: Seattle! You know, normally when the ladies wear those shawl/tablecloth looking things over their shoulders, I don't go for it -- but you, Helen, you're absolutely wearing that shawl! Do you see this assortment of delectibles you've spread out before me? If you gave me the chance, this is how you'd eat every day of the rest of your life! Look how thin and tan and athletic you are! Those piercing blue eyes! Why don't you come around more often? And maybe don't wear the wedding ring next time?

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Positively 10th Street

I walked several feet past the bakery and was several additional feet away from the Indian restaurant's entrance, stepping through a light mist seemingly frozen in place -- permanent fixtures waiting to be brushed aside and tunnelled through. At that spot on the sidewalk, for precisely three moments, everything smelled like my high school girlfriend. I moved back to the point my momentum had already carried me past and attempted to recapture the scent; I failed. Everything was not okay again.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Back Again

A few nights ago I woke to something shocking - for once, it wasn't an unfamiliar yet unparalleled lover. Turns out I fell asleep on my back, which is shocking because I've slept on my stomach every night for the last 10 years or so. I was just going to stare at the ceiling for a few moments before I shifted and fell into a deep sleep, but I was so tuckered out I fell asleep first. Thanks, booze!

Fornicating in France

Continuing our rounds in the local papers, here's an excerpt from today's Topeka Capital-Journal. The Topeka city council heard arguments against adding "sexual orientation" to the list of things city employees can't be discriminated because of. (No comments, please, about my grammar in the previous sentence.) Here's a killer excerpt from the town that brought you "God hates fags" placards:
The Rev. Stan Johnson used the term "sodomites" to describe homosexuals, while acknowledging others often are uncomfortable with that term. Johnson echoed the comments of others who said homosexual behavior is morally wrong, then took that one step further by saying homosexual behavior is unwelcome in Topeka.

"If somebody wants to be a sodomite, then they should move to France," he said.
Want another reason to move to France? YOU LIVE IN TOPEKA.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Stroke 'Em If You Got 'Em

This summer, my city government voted to ban smoking in public places, including bars, forcing smokers to sidewalks and outdoor patios. Now, it's November - a few bars have shut down, faulting the smoking ban, and the weather has become less favorable for the smokers. It seems the sky is falling; at least, that's the impression you get if you listen to the pessimistic bar owners or the news-desperate rag known as the Lawrence Journal-World. Let's examine their latest profile, "As cold weather creeps closer, veteran questions smoking ban":
Cigarette by cigarette, Speedy -- himself a veteran of wars in Korea and Vietnam -- is getting more ticked off at the City Commission, which passed the ban.

"What the hell did I fight for?" he'd asked earlier that day, sitting with a pink electric blanket on his lap at his home on Haskell Avenue a few blocks from the bar. "If they want to dictate, go over to Iraq. I ain't kidding you ... I'm 72 years old, by God, and I'll die where I want to. And it ain't going to be out smoking in a (expletive deleted) snowdrift."

...

After his stroke 16 years ago this month, a nurse told him he'd be dead in four months if he didn't stop smoking. Today his brand of choice is Gunsmokes, which he buys in bulk on an Indian reservation.

He smokes up to two packs a day, depending on whether it's a day he goes to the bar.

"I ain't dead yet," he said.

Okay, Speedy - fair enough. It's certainly a pain in the ass for you to get wheelchaired outside the bar so you can use your one functioning limb to lift a cigarette to your mouth. It's a big hassle that was forced upon you by the city commission, and forcing these things upon you is certainly not something that would have happened in your day. And you've been to war, which means I can't mock you for some reason. And you frequent the Crosstown Tavern, a place that I'm too terrified to step foot into. Speedy, you are a hard motherfucker.

Speedy, I hate to tell you this, but it wouldn't be such a pain in the ass for you to go outside to smoke if you weren't in that wheelchair. And you may not need that wheelchair if you didn't have that stroke. Speedy, can you guess a major risk factor for stroke? Whoa! Easy on the expletives, there, Speedy! But yes, you're correct, smoking is a major cause of strokes. Actually, passive (aka "second hand") smoke can also increase your risk for stroke. So, I'm sorry that things are tougher for you now, but not really, because the extra trouble for you means there's less chance I'll end up like you (the paralyzed part, not the hard motherfucker part).

And you bar owners? I understand your commerce-oriented complaints, and I even sympathize with you when you bring it up in the back room at Henry's and speak about how you're going to get it on the ballot and hopefully overturn it in 2005, but inside I really think you're full of shit and atherosclerosis, because I've read things like this. And that $5 a year I had to spend on Febreze when indoor smoking was legal? I promise I'll spend it on your booze.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Catholicious


Disturbing? Awesome? A photo featuring the most authentically clad attendees from Saturday night's catholic school-themed gala.

Thanks to the cameraman for providing the digital photo and for choosing an out-of-the-way location to pass out. No thanks to the (reportedly) ugly chick that broke the beer cooler.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Pictures of Who

The Google Image Quiz game.

(If you use dial-up, don't bother.)

I Like the Way you Eat

An interesting message from Steph regarding her friend's boyfriend, who puts his foot down on one aspect of the relationship:
He thinks hamburgers are gross and it's gross to see people eat big greasy hamburgers, and she can't eat a hamburger around him. Particularly not a juicy lucy.
Maybe an extreme measure, but I think anyone who witnessed Mark McGwire eat a thickburger in a recent Hardee's/Carl's Jr commercial would agree: watching people eat gigantic burgers is somewhat offputting. The ad wizards hawking thickburgers keep trying to change that perception - their latest ad features a mechanical bull-riding vixen chowing down. In the end, it's just a hot chick eating something you'd rather she didn't - it ruins effect of the bullriding gyrations.

The act of eating is pretty gross if you overanalyze it, so you could throw quite a few dishes alongside hamburgers on the "I'd rather not see an old ballplayer or a cowgirl devour it" pile.

This brings us to the burning query of the day: is there a food you can eat while still appearing attractive?

I would argue that fresh fruits and vegetables are the only possible answer. If you really want to put me on the spot, I'll bypass the obvious male choice of "banana" and go with an apple. It's not too juicy, you can eat it with one hand, and it's just a little naughty (see Book of Genesis - I almost just wrote "Genesis", but I didn't want to imply that Phil Collins and co. were the bad boys of late '80s British rock).

Thursday, November 11, 2004

And Speaking of Links

I've added a new permanent link at the right - Bob Powers publishes "Girls Are Pretty", which is more humourous than it sounds. I started reading his regular site after seeing his well-written review of a Shins concert.

You should check every one of my permanent links every day, as they are updated with new material (at least) every weekday. Except Floyd's site, for now, as he is currently in the throws of an existential crisis which prevents him from his webmaster duties. Let's hope he gets through this without killing an Arab.

See No Evil

This is a humorous rant about the election that democrats will find funnier than republicans. It is provided for entertainment only. Repeat: I do not want this to turn into The Rattler (also see the permanent link at right: "bag"), which is a very good site that links to me, but gets a little heated politically, and I can't have people arguing about politics on my site, because if they do I'll read it and I'll get depressed thinking about social justice and oil and air and so on, and I don't need that stuff brought up because already I think about it frequently.

Hell, I've Got the Day Off...

2. WHAT COLOR PANTS ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans
3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Le Tigre songs I downloaded. Almost bought their album last Sunday and I think I'm glad I didn't. Not sure yet.
4. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? 12-grain toast with red raspberry preserves.
5. DO YOU WISH ON STARS? No. Do people actually do this? How? Do talk to the star out loud?
6. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHICH COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Anything but the flesh color...probably one of the metallic colors that were oh so popular in 2nd grade, but I didn't have, as my parents would only get me the box of 16 colors.
7. HOW IS THE WEATHER RIGHT NOW? Turned on the furnace today.
8. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A nurse at my GI doc's office.
9. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON THAT SENT THIS TO YOU? Heather did this to me - she's a good shit I suppose. Salt of the earth, backbone of England.
10. HOW ARE YOU? A little hungry.
11. FAVORITE DRINK? On a Snapple kick lately
12. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? I asked my mom this once and she said "anything with whiskey in it." Mildly disturbing. Probably vodka tonics for me.
13. FAVORITE SPORT? watch=baseball play=basketball
14. HAIR COLOR? Brown.
15. EYE COLOR? A girl once told me I had "very soft brown eyes" as we payed little attention to the street performers of Santa Monica. Then we went into the bookstore and looked up phrases in the slang dictionary.
16. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no need
17. # OF SIBLINGS? one
18. FAVORITE MONTH? June. Maybe.
19. FAVORITE FOOD? Cookies.
20. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Theater=I Heart Huckabees DVD=Lost in Translation
21. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? Probably Xmas, just because everyone seems to be in good spirits that day.
22. WHAT DO YOU DO TO VENT ANGER? at work=recklessly slam my phone repeatedly into itself. at home=lay down
23. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? I had some rubber dart guns once that were pretty cool. Hot Wheels were good. Legos (the space kind)
24. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. Never met a hot chick named winter, by the way.
25. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on the execution and the executor.
26. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Vanilla is for chumps.
27. DO YOU WANT YOUR FRIENDS TO EMAIL YOU BACK? n/a
30. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? townhome on the interstate
31. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? A few months ago after my aunt died.
32. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? Shoeboxes containing items of a personal and public nature.
33. WHAT FRIENDS HAVE YOU HAD THE LONGEST? Brian would be the singular longest friend.
34. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Had a mojito at Henry's on 8th, listened to debates on stem cell research and who would win a fight between a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla.
35. FAVORITE SMELLS? Uh, the beach?
36. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? The Polyphonic Spree
37. WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? I used to be concerned that all the people I knew were really ghosts, and they just pretended to be real when I was around, and then when I left they'd laugh about how I had no idea everyone I loved was a ghost. But now I guess I'm more afraid that I'm going to wake up one day and be 40 years old and driving the SUV down to Wal-Mart to pick up a head of lettuce, a gallon of milk, and the large package of cheap diapers.
38. PLAIN, BUTTERED OR SALTED POPCORN? buttered is best
39. FAVORITE CAR? Any hybrid
40. FAVORITE FLOWER? the sunflower?
41. NUMBER OF KEYS ON YOUR KEY RING? 3 house keys, 1 bike lock key, 1 car key, and one little screwdriver thingy that I cannot take with me on an aeroplane for some reason (if that's a weapon, then all keys are weapons, no?)
42. CAN YOU JUGGLE? negative
43. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Saturday
44. WHAT DID YOU DO ON YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? Ate a burrito, had some drinks, and spouted Bono's speeches from Rattle and Hum.
45. WOULD YOU RATHER READ OR WATCH T.V.? TV if something's on
46. WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES? nothing too special
47. MOUNTAINS OR BEACHES: mountains make me slightly claustrophobic
48. AS A HOMEMAKER, WHAT JOB DO YOU HATE THE MOST? I prefer "homeowner". Sweeping.
49. PETS? negative

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Once More With Feeling

How many takes did Nick Cage have to do before he said, "This dollar bill is trying to tell me something," in precisely the right manner? Did he have any reservations about saying such a stupid line? Did the producers think twice before they included this ridiculous phrase in the trailer and the commercials? How much money could the founding fathers have hidden in this National Treasure? Weren't they hemp farmers and shit? I guess they had slaves and built Monticello and went to France all the time...but still, these people had wooden teeth and powdered wigs - not exactly the mark of the fabulously wealthy. What could have caused them to bury the treasure -- or, better yet -- why would they make a treasure map on the back of the declaration of independence? Is the map in invisible ink or something? Did they have invisible ink back then? When does this movie come out so I can GET IN LINE????

Unexpected Utterance

Phrase I did not expect to hear during the Q&A following a presentation at work today:
"Rough Sex"

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Highway to Holstein

Hey LANDON. Maybe you could stop wearing the blue T-shirt with cows on it.

How to Post Comments

Click on the link below the post that reads "0 Comments".
Click "Post a Comment".
Type a comment.
(Phil, there you go.)

Make Your Mother Sigh

I was able to help some people at work today; one woman was so grateful that she cried. She started crying immediately after my good news left my lips; the gentle tears were noticeable even over the phone. I don't know how women do that so fast -- seems like they should have to get a little warmed up before they lunge into the full-on sprint.

The burning query of the day: Does her emotion prove she is dedicated to our line of work? Does my lack of emotion mean I am not dedicated? Am I like one of those teachers that mock their students' intelligence in the teacher's lounge?

Or does this woman just a whiny little bitch that cries when the rice gets sticky?

Monday, November 08, 2004

News Travelling as Swift as the Light Rail

Hey. Minneapolis people. Yeah, you. What's going on? You guys pretty busy nowadays? You busy wondering if Randy Moss is going to start next week? Busy avoiding being hit by his car as you trudge downtown? Hey, maybe if you guys find a spare moment you could bother to tell me that First Ave is closing down. I mean, I like hearing about it by chance as I read a New Yorker's (Jeff Johnson) site -- don't get me wrong -- but it would be nice to hear a local's perspective on this issue. So, if you get a minute, maybe you could let me know where the ladies with salsa in their souls are going to go to dance on a Saturday night, or if we're going to pretend that Purple Rain was actually filmed at The Quest or 400 Bar. If you have a spare moment.

Terrifying Blog of the Week

This week's selection comes from Mandy's Blog. Amanda appears to be a 15 year-old from Illinois, and you appear to be concerned that I'm reading an underage teen's weblog. Well fuck you because this girl is wise beyond her years:

mmk so todays saturday and i just woke up but thursday i loved the O.C, but i thought it could have been better..oh well.. then last night was so fun..ok besides 8th period..like my gym teacher came up to me and hes like..do u have a pass from last wed.? and i was like..what? so he sent me down to the office and the ladies like..yeah it says that u were absent and i was like..actually i was here and shes like well ur gonna have to prove that and i was like are u fucking kidding me(i didnt really say that) lol then shes like..yeah ur gonna have to go to your dean and if u cant prove that u were here then we'll have to write u up or something i was like what the f*ck so yeah i was like really pissed b/c i didnt ditch..and those people are full of shit! lol but w/e ..after school we went to eat with kait and her sis tina and lyss and her sis amanda and yeah that was fun then we went to the mall to get RYAN a present its really cute hes gonna love it kait! ok then amanda drove us to the movies and chris came..him and alyssa are sooo cute together seriously ..he brought her roses cutest thing ever! he hasnt asked her out yet?? but thats ok b/c he will .. and we let them two sit by themselves lol wow that was funnay. We saw napolean dynamite..hmm... lol WOW that was pretty gay but it was like really funny. Didnt see any one hot there either..what the heck..lol mmk thennnn i got home like 10 and just went online and chat with some people and got really mad at something but w/e lol thennnn went in my room and listened to music..but today i dont know what im gonna do yet maybe chill w/ someone? yeah ok well i'll write tonight..l8er

Sunday, November 07, 2004

October Statistics

Spider solitaire
During work
Difficulty level = four suits

Week ending 10/1 - 53 losses
Week ending 10/7 - 24 losses - 2 wins
Week ending 10/15 - 22 losses - 1 win
Week ending 10/22 - 27 losses
Week ending 10/29 - 15 losses - 1 win

Total: 141 losses - 4 wins (2.8%)

Hazard County

You may remember a Dell press release back in early October - they issued a recall of some laptop AC adapters sold between September 1998 and February 2002. Funny story - they're a fire hazard.

Seeing as how I've been living with a fire hazard for the last four years, I applied for a replacement. Curious as to why I had not yet received said replacement, I shot an inquiry to Dell's customer service department. They responded today:

Dell is currently working with the supplier to provide a replacement adapter as soon as possible to everyone affected by the recall. At this time we do not have an estimated ship date; however you will be notified via e-mail when your adapter is shipped.

Pretty cool, Dell. Take your time. Oh, and could you maybe work with a DIFFERENT supplier? Like, one that doesn't make defective AC adapters that put me at risk for electrical shock and homelessness?

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Secret is Out

A few weeks before Labor Day I fielded an enthusiastic e-mail from Shawn (this was back when Shawn could afford internet access). He referred to a "groin-grabbingly good" album from The Secret Machines - "Now Here is Nowhere"

I was a bit apprehensive, seeing as how their guitarist gave this quote to Spin when asked about the band's move from Dallas to New York:

"We were our own best friends, just sitting on our beds, out of our minds on mushrooms together."

On the other hand, there was this exchange among Spin staff in the same issue, regarding performances at the 2004 South by Southwest Music Conference & Festival:

Caryn Ganz (asst. editor): I will plug The Secret Machines. They played Thursday night at some warehouse and they had this massive sound that seemed to hand in the air. It was really visceral.

Charles Aaron (music editor): I was standing in line to get into that show when Chuck comes up, saying, "Oh, my God, they're like Pink Floyd with Alex Van Halen on drums!"

Chuck Klosterman (senior writer): What I said was, "These guys are what would happen if Pink Floyd merged with Queens of the Stone Age, assuming they also added Alex Van Halen on drums." And I stand behind that statement. They're fucking awesome."

Aaron: I was like, "I don't know whether I should push my way in or run screaming in the other direction." But then I got in there, and they were pretty awesome.

As you know, you can't knock it until you rock it, so I bought the debut album. It rocked me.

And that brings us up to early last week, as I chewed a bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran and cursed The Today Show, I clicked over to MTV. MTV had inexplicably ceased airing bullshit in exchange for The Secret Machine's first video.

So, long story short, it's time to go pick up that album. Get your TSM stock before it splits, before every asshole has it, early enough that you can claim superiority over the bastards that will buy it much later.

(Sorry - no free mp3s this time, but there is streaming audio at TSM's website and at Amazon.)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Cave is Collapsing!



Sorry...I'm really showing great restraint here...I have 11 more of these pictures that I could post...

But doesn't this shot of my sigmoid remind you of that scene in Empire where the Millenium Falcon escapes from the belly of the asteroid worm?

"This ground sure feels strange. It doesn't feel like rock at all..."

There




Now you can't say that I never showed you my proximal transverse colon.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

What a Colonoscopy is Like

First, there's the prep; you have to drink only clear liquids for at least 24 hours. That's not so bad. Then you have to take the phospho-soda to clear your bowels. The bad news about that stuff is the taste - it tastes like flavored nausea. The worse news is that it cleans your bowels very thoroughly, and that cuts into your sleeping time.

Once you've made it to the doctor's office, it's time for a few more preparatory steps. Your blood pressure is taken, as is your temperature. Look! It's time for the IV to go in your right hand, because you'll be laying on your left side soon. Of course, even though your veins are normally very responsive to needles, they're not today, as you're dehydrated from the oral saline laxative. After a few painful minutes attempting to stick one vein, another is chosen, and you've got saline coming into your body for a change.

Now all that's left is for you is remove your pants - done and done! Anything to hasten the arrival of the valium/demerol drug combo that's pumped into your system so as to make you forget all of your troubles...or at least that one trouble that's about to be threaded through your large intestine.

So that's the bright side of the procedure - you are so heavily sedated, you don't recall any of the actual colonoscopy (and because you won't remember it, the kindly doctor takes pictures of your innards for you) when you wake up at home a couple hours later. No, you don't remember the scope weaving through you, but you do recall a few moments in the recovery room when the doctor and your ride home show you the evidence of Crohn's Disease in the snapshots of your colon.

(If you're lucky, I'll post said photos in a few days.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

How to Despise Election Day

6:45 a.m. - Wake. Hurriedly consume 2 imitation Pop Tarts so you can get to the high school to vote.

7:15 a.m. - Stand in line for one hour. Darken ovals for candidates knowing that your vote might matter in one (or possibly two... TWO!!) races.

9:00 a.m. - Go to stupid work.

12:30 p.m. - Have 20 ounces of Sprite for lunch. The bottlecap says you win a rental at Blockbuster... BLOCKBUSTER!!!

5:00 p.m. - Finally leave stupid work.

6:00 p.m. - Take 1.5 ounces of oral saline laxative.

7:00 p.m. - Gilmore Girls makes you forget about your troubles for exactly one hour. Then the oral saline laxative brings said troubles back to the forefront.

9:00 p.m. - Another 1.5 ounces of oral saline laxative.

9:30 p.m. - Make lame joke connecting "taking it up the ass" at tomorrow's colonoscopy to election results.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Spooktacular Saturday

Thanks to The Rattler (see permanent link at right) for the photo below - a higher res photo may be found there.

Supreme Court


Just a little photo of last night's AWARD WINNING group costume. Good pic except that my Ruth Bader-Ginsberg hair blends in with the clipper ship painting above the mantel. And yes, we realize there are only 8 of us - our 9th justice had to cancel due to a family emergency - so we had to tell people that Chief Rehnquist was still in the hospital.

Last night's best costumes:
Stormtrooper
Samuel Adams
Lil' John (although he loses some points for throwing up on the dance floor)

The worst costume award is shared by the multitude of females that slapped fairy wings on their backs and called it good. This contingent represented 40% of all women in costume.

Most confusing costume of the night goes to the gentleman that looked kind of like a clown, but called himself a manic depressive. That guy made no sense.

The most hilarious overheard comment goes to some chicks in a fabric store on Mass. Street Saturday afternoon (we were looking for Justice O'Connor's doily):

CHICK #1: "I think I'll just wear, like, a really cool vintage dress, and one of those masks. I don't really know what I'd be, but I think it would look really good."

CHICK #2: "You'd be, like, a classic masquerade ball person."

The most unfortunate comment of the night goes to me - when a schoolgirl asked me if I was "feeling judgemental" (Get it? I get jokes.) and asked me to judge her, I paused for a beat, looked her over and replied:

"You're common street trash."

...and after that it got awkward.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Frightmare!

Prior to my high school years, I would have a recurring dream at this time of year:

I'm sitting in my elementary school classroom on Halloween when the teacher announces it's time for the class costume party. Everyone is excused to change into whatever outfit their mom's made them. When the class reassembles for the party, I'm completely naked. No one seems to care, even Andy, who's dressed up like a scary old lady.

The End.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Pardon?

I see a lot of faxes in a given workday. One caught my eye this afternoon - the cover sheet featured the following phrase alongside a clip art faxmachine:
We're just a faxin'!
Is this a pun of some sort? Some reference to a phrase I've never heard? A-facts-in? Affecting? Alflatoxin?

Reading Material

Here's something to do while you try not to think about the election, its enormous/disasterous consequences, etc.

The Kansas Collection features "History of the State of Kansas", a book written by some dude named Cutler and published in 1883. It pretty much rules, whether you're reading about Murders and Tragical Events in early Sedgwick County (brief - hilarity whether or not you know or even want to know anything about Kansas) or The Lawrence Massacre (long - highly recommended if you've ever heard of a little something called Bleeding Kansas or wondered why we call the MU/KU rivalry "The Border War).

Or don't read it. See if I give a fuck.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

These People Also Pick our Elected Leaders

Why talk about anything new and different? Let's discuss Yahoo! News again. If you focus only on the day's top headlines, but you miss out on a treasure trove known as the most popular -- the most e-mailed stories and photos are collected in this one place. The material is all over the place, but among the most e-mailed national news and the latest Ann Coulter diatribe you're pretty much guaranteed to see:
Some story about sex - man sues wife for lack of it, couple caught in an odd public place, etc.

Something about a penis - for example, I thought this story would never leave the most e-mailed rankings.

Some new study or trial - usually dealing with booze and its effects on the body.
The most e-mailed photos are even easier to predict:
A cute animal.

A scenic landscape.

A physical oddity.

Hot chicks.
Keep this in mind when you visit Yahoo's most popular: someone took the time to e-mail this article (or photo).

New Day, New Quote

"If I were a 300 pound black man, and lived in California, that would be a pretty sweet ride."


--My roommate Gavin's indifferent reaction to an episode of Pimp My Ride

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Not Quite Bartlett's (the book, not the pear)

I trust we all love Yahoo! News. One of my favorite features is "Notable Quotes", which is usually under the "Oddly Enough" section. They're never notable. They're usually not even odd. And they always begin with the line, "They really said it-" like I'm going to FREAK OUT when I see the quote. Then it's lameville. For example:

"She seems like she's always seemed. This is one of the hardest-working women you're ever going to meet. She doesn't mind working and doing prison stuff, like regular chores."

--"Survivor" producer MARK BURNETT after visiting MARTHA STEWART in prison, quoted in the New York Daily News.


Better quote:

"Hi, We're the St. Louis Cardinals. We thought we'd make it to the World Series, then play like an old lady's wig that was once used as part of a poodle's Halloween costume then wound up under six hundred pounds of runny, spoilt cole slaw at the city dump."

--Jeff Johnson's website (see link at right)


Quote that an old pal (and fellow Lisa Loeb aficionado) would put on her website if she had one:

"My teacher asked us to describe what chaos meant. I said "my life"...he meant as it referred to dynamic mathematical systems. He should have been more specific."

--Sarah C.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

New Look

Thanks to Jeff Johnson and his blogspot (see links at right) for unknowingly supplying me with good html code. Thanks to Nicko T for teaching me how to steal html code. Thanks to Melanie of Real World: Philadelphia for saying more than 3 sentences tonight. Good to know you have an opinion on bulemia. Fucking Mel. You had me at hello; you lost me during the "I hate the idea of self-induced vomiting" spiel. Thanks to Tim McCarver for just using the phrase "wiley as a wolverine" to describe Pedro's pitching style when he has a 4 run lead. Thanks to the good folks at Apple for airing the U2 "Vertigo" promo 57 times tonight. U2's album will be here soon. It's titled "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb". My friend Phil thinks he knows how. "Love," Phil says.

Phil owes me money.

Rockin' in the Free (and Legal) World

Tilly and the Wall's entire album, "Wild Like Children", may be downloaded legally and absolutely free from the Team Love site. Opinions and facts about Tilly and the Wall:

From Omaha
Saddle Creek label
Music less Bright Eyes-ish than you'd expect
Feature a tapdancing percussionist
Said tapdancer is less annoying than you'd assume


Sounds like: The Mamas and The Papas, at the height of their fame, are flying to a gig when their aeroplane suddenly crashes in the Alps. They survive the crash, but are unable to leave the mountainous region, and are frozen alive. Nearly 40 years later, a mountaineering tapdancer finds, thaws, and introduces the rock legends to modern music. The resulting sound is stolen by 5 Nebraskans after they murder The Mamas, The Papas, and that adventurous tapdancer.

I especially enjoy: "Fell Down the Stairs", "You and I Misbehaving"

...And if you're wondering what a tapdancing solo would sound like, be sure to listen to "Reckless".

Monday, October 25, 2004

It's Official

Colonoscopy. First week of November.

On the bright side, there can't be many more procedures left to do in/near my bowels.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Burning Query

Taking off the USPS shirt to support a more heartless organization, drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lance Armstrong informs me that winning his battle against cancer was his greatest victory.

Well, Lance, if I may play devil's advocate here...how many people to I know that have successfully fought off cancer? I'll give you a hint - it's many, many more than the number of people I know that have won 6 consecutive Tour de France titles.

So, the burning query - if some of the great athletes in our time also beat cancer, which wins would be considered a greater triumph? For example, if Curt Schilling got a case of prostate cancer in the offseason and underwent a successful treatment regimen, would his cure be more miraculous than his performance in game 6 of the ALCS?

(Do I smell a new bar game?)

Ausgezeitnet!

I think that means "outstanding" in German. I really can't remember - but those German dudes we met at the bar last night acted like I said it in context, so I guess I'm correct. What do you talk about with a bunch of German engineers you meet at the bar? Well, first, you say words like "ausgezeitnet" and "gemutlichkeit"*, the latter of which kind of means "warm feelings", but doesn't truly have an English translation. You can try to remember that one bar in north Minneapolis when talking about gemutlichkeit with the Germans, but you're kind of buzzed so you can't remember. You ask them about typical German stereotypes and learn that Kraftwerk isn't really pronounced "CRAFT-work", it's "KKKRRRRRRRRRRRRAFT-WEERRRRRRRRKKKK!!!". You learn that David Hasselhoff is not so popular - not now, at least. You sympathize somewhat with how they find baseball boring, because you feel the exact same way when you watch a soccer match. You learn that Germany hasn't won a world cup since, like, 1992. "Drunk" is "Hacke" in German. "Shitfaced drunk" is "Fulhacke"* in German. You try to remember other things from your 4 years of high school German classes, but all you come up with is "Immer mit der Ruhe!" (Always in a hurry? Something like that.) You go home at bar close and wonder why you can't get the phrase "efficient German sex" out of your head.

*I think these words contain umlauts, but didn't want to put forth the effort to research or publish this accordingly.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

I Heart I Heart Huckabees

Let's cut the bullshit with movie reviews. Can we please cut the bullshit? Nothing's worse than reading a 300 word critique and still not knowing whether the reviewer enjoyed it. Fuck those fuckers. Here's a better way.

Before you head to the theater, you're in one of 3 groups:

PRO - You're excited to see the movie. Maybe you like the cast, the director, the writer, the concept - whatever. Example: Virtually everyone going into Star Wars Episode 1.

UNDECIDED - It looks okay, but not great, and maybe not even good. Example: Me after seeing the trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

CON - You seriously doubt you will like this movie; you may not hate it, but you don't want to spend hard-earned cash on a ticket. Example: You're a dude, and the star of the movie is Kate Hudson.

Let's apply these classifications to I Heart Huckabees:

PRO - You're aware that IHH is promoted as "An Existential Comedy" and you still want to see it? You, my bookish friend, are going to love this film.

UNDECIDED - Fair warning - when they say it's "An Existential Comedy", they mean it; it is exactly that. The good news is you don't have to know a lot about that branch of philosophy to enjoy IHH. Are you concerned IHH will be too nerdy? Good news - the movie is funnier than I expected from its promotion. More good news - Mark Wahlberg has a significant role, and he's really funny. A scene-stealer, as they say. If you can trade the odd/unique features of the film in exchange for some hearty chuckles, go ahead and see the movie.

CON - You think this movie looks really odd? You don't know who Jason Schwartzman is? You've never heard the word "existentialism"? Sit this one out.

Quick notes:
The plot starts moving right away, and as a result, the middle third of the movie may seem slow. Stick with it.

I read a brief primer/refresher on existential philosophy before seeing the film, and I think it enhanced my enjoyment. My source was this site.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Take Cover

Last week I discovered A Perfect Circle's cover of "Imagine". As in, the one by John Lennon. As in, one of the most beloved songs EVER. As in, a GOD's everlasting anthem. As in, our world's most effective and affective plea for peace.

A visit to Amazon.com revealed that it's a part of their new album, "Emotive". This album appears to feature other covers, such as:

Elvis Costello's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding"
Led Zep's "When the Levee Breaks"
Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On"

All this raises an excellent question: why the fuck are they covering awesome, meaningful pieces of rock history? These songs are honored; people don't like it when you mess with songs they hold dear. When you cover "Imagine", no one's going to hear it and say, "Oh, I like that better than the original!" At best, they'll say, "Well, I guess that was O.K." Why set yourself up for a failure like that?

And BY THE WAY, after hearing that horrendous piece of crap last week, let me assure you A Perfect Circle has definitely failed.

Cover songs are becoming more and more prevalent. This is largely thanks to the new marketing tactic where an established band throws together a cover song to place on their greatest hits album, suckering die hard fans into buying a CD that has only one new song. Someone should take control of this madness.

My suggestions:

The cover should sound different than the first. Slow should be fast, fast should be slow, or fast should be faster. Female vocal can switch to male and vice versa.

Cover enjoyed or underenjoyed songs, but NOT beloved songs, and ESPECIALLY not beloved songs with strong political or philosophical meaning. "Imagine" would fall into this latter category, you Perfect Circle fucksticks.