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:
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


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


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 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?)


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 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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Things I learned from NPR recently

1.> Che Guevara did not bathe often - he did not believe in it.

2.> 3% of the human genome is devoted to our sense of smell.

3.> "Satire" comedy pieces should contain either good satire or good comedy.

I mean, seriously, I expect this kind of shoddy attempt at humor from a paleozoic beefcake like Daniel Schorr, but what kind of "satirists" spend this kind of energy for an All Things Considered piece? What the hell do these two do with their time when they're not writing/producing awful sketches? AHHHHHHHH DAMN DAMN DAMN I'm so angry I've got to google them...

...and there you have it. Per their one-line bios following a Salon piece (also not funny), David Slavin is an actor and voice-over artist; Bruce Kluger is a columnist for Us Weekly magazine...

But MY GOD! That Salon bit was written in 2001! These two assholes have been "writing" "satire" for at least 3 years and they can't create anything worthwhile? Even with all of Bruce's experience at Us Weekly? Sad.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Gunplay vs. Play

You don't have to be aware of this incident at my old haunt to know that confusion often follows gunshots. "What was that? Is someone shooting off some Black Cats?"

So what's stopping the gun industry from clearing up the confusion? I say, let's make guns sound like something besides firecrackers. I suggest a piercing, high-pitched noise -- a sound that would force you into a reflexive fetal position.

And while we're at it, can we make switchblades louder? Like, if some hood pulls a knife on me, can we make it sound like he's brandishing a 3 foot saber? Like the sound effect in the movies? Shhhhhing!