Posts from 05/2006
Last Thursday night, I had nothing to do, because the Internet had gone out in my house, and if it's not on the Internet, it's not worth doing. I took the opportunity to organize my CD collection, a behemoth of a task that I'd been putting off since I graduated from college in '01. I'm the kind of guy that carries all of his CDs in those big black cases that are halfway between a Trapper Keeper and a scrapbook, but I also tend to forget some CDs in their jewel cases, or in the car, or maybe the shower. My old CD cases were reasonably well organized by genre, except that the last half of each case had random CDs thrown in, in the order that I'd bought them.
Two hours later, I discovered that I own four hundred and forty-nine CDs from all walks of music, including a small cache of CDs from the 1980's that probably belongs to my sister because I never listen to UB40, INXS, or the Bangles. To give you an idea of what types of music I have in my collection, here is a handy-dandy key. You can tell how into each genre or artist I am (or used to be in days of yore) by the length of the stack:
Altogether, I have more jazz than anything else, followed by classical, then pop/rock, then musicals, then comedy. This is probably skewed a bit towards the past, since I buy a lot of music online nowadays. After I got my jollies off of organizing all my CDs, I ended the weekend by finishing up my basement storage room, which now sports a new paint job and a new carpet, laid with the help of my dad. I then organized the bottles of cleaning solution on the shelves, organized the scrap wood in order of length, and organized the crawlspace under the house to store all the remnants of the new carpet (since the Home Depot Carpet Guy somehow managed to give me an extra three feet for free).
Next, I tried organizing my cats from smallest to largest, but they kept effing up the rotation.
Happy May Day! A new month means a fresh start so do something fresh today.Porn stars tested on acting skills
I should have known going into it that I'd never make it as a great composer, because I could never compete with the pure talent which is evident in this song: (2.12MB MP3). Whoever wrote this song deserves to be in Chapter One of every History of Western Music book on the face of the planet.
Goo Goo Gaa Gaa is a representative track from an 80s audio cassette called Are We There Yet?: Songs for the Car published by Rand McNally. I no longer have the book full of car games, but I rediscovered the tape just last week and relived the memories of being strapped into hot leather seats in a Chevrolet being driven to just one more battleground every weekend. Here are some other samples from this groundbreaking tape:
I'm not exactly sure why the last song counts as a song for the car, but I imagine they were scraping the bottom of the barrel by that point -- the tape even ends with a lullaby as if to tell listening children to go to sleep and stop bothering the parents. I'm sure the tape couldn't have been that great for trips since it's only twenty-five minutes in its entirety, front and back.Movie promotion confused with a bomb
Our company name was finally posted on the front of the building over the weekend, so it can now be seen from the Dulles Toll Road (you could already see the sign on the back of the building, but only from Reston). This is great PR, because we'll now get all the government officials in charge of defense spending who happen to be tooling down the road, fresh from the airport and their taxpayer-covered European vacations. They'll see FGM on the side of the building, think "That sounds like a great place to develop defense software. I could use some defense software today. And maybe a Big Gulp" and then pull into our parking lot and give us a multi-million dollar contract.
This translates directly into a higher salary for me, which means that eventually I can put my own name on the side of a building. I'll start in a simple manner, maybe adding an exclamation point to the official letterhead of the University of Rhode Island, before working my way up through a Music building, a golf course, and a dormitory. Hopefully it'll be a dormitory with a particularly exciting reputation, where college kids not even born yet will say, "All the slutty girls live in URI! tower!" or something similar.
I would much rather get a man-made edifice named after me than any natural phenomena -- it must be exceedingly depressing for scientists to hear that their named insect has become extinct, and I'd never want there to be a URI! Glacier, because who knows whether that'll be around in a hundred years. However, when it comes to buildings, there's always a big fuss when the building is about to be torn down, so hopefully by then people will want to retain my name for posterity's sake and my building will get a brand new renovation out of it.
The remainder of the money not spent on naming buildings will go towards my custom-designed house which will have a secret passage, a two lane bowling alley with a pinsetter, and an indoor miniature golf course with 36 holes.
New LOST tonight!When bugs fly
The rules are simple: Correctly guess the song title and artist of each excerpt below and send your responses to my e-mail address (there's an e-mail link at the bottom of this page). The person who gets the most correct will win a $5 gift certificate to Amazon.com which should cover the shipping costs on one item since you are obviously not in a high enough social caste to have an Amazon Prime free trial membership like me. If I get multiple correct entries, the first five to get all of them correct will each get a gift certificate.
On the bright side, these songs are all from well-known, recognizable tunes (unlike my last contest). The downside is that the excerpts are only one second long, so hopefully you've heard the songs a million times before. I'm hoping that everyone out there can at least guess a couple. Deadline for entry is next Wednesday, May 10th at Noon EST. I reserve the right to change any rules to suit my fancy, but the prize is quite real*!Song #1
*Disclaimer: I don't know if the gift certificates work at Amazon.ca or Amazon.kangaroo, but I will gladly mail you a fiver if you are a low-class foreigner, which you can then take to the local money changer / medicine man.Self-medicating sheep
Fast acting relief for your urge to do any work today
There has not been enough foreign exchange of democracy and ideas between my site and others recently, most likely because of the recent discovery that some of them are un-American, so I want to rectify this situation by making up a tag. To effectively achieve geographical diversity and the diaspora of BU-related themes and paraphernalia across the World Wide Web, I will be tagging the following four kids: Kim , Anna , Mark , and Brianne . Notice that today's tag is brought to you by the number four.
Four Things I Know
Four Things I Used to Know
Four Things I Want to Know
Four Things I Don't Know and Don't Care About
We shall build a utopian society where students will voluntarily come to take advantage of free Macintosh computers loaded with math software. Students will regularly revel in the bursting joy of mathematics.
This could have been the mission statement for the Virginia Tech Math Emporium, that ridiculous pork barrel project nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains that continues to harass students to this very day. Maybe it looked good on paper, or maybe they just had a bit of spare change they needed to spend before the next budget, but either way it just didn't work. I would like to meet the building planner who thought that this concept was a good idea and strongly suggest to him the medical benefits of testicular radiation therapy.
After a couple months of construction and liberal dipping into the Music Department's budget to cover overruns (despite news reports that it was done quickly and under budget), the doors to the Math Emporim opened with great fanfare in 1997. Administrators patted themselves on the back and waited for those math-hungry students to make their appearances. For some reason, they never showed. Perhaps it was the many paradoxes that made up the Emporium. It was billed as a campus building, yet you had to take a bus or walk a mile away to a shopping mall that made the malls in Newport News look urban. It sat next to a Pizza Hut, yet you couldn't have food inside. Its industrial warehouse look made it feel like a Costco or a Target, but the only thing you could find in bulk on the inside were the little red cups of doom.
Beer pong was frowned upon, but by placing the red cup on top of your workstation, you were supposed to gain access to smart graduate assistants who could help you solve problems or figure out how to use Mathmatica. Generally though, this was a bad idea, because the assistants rarely spoke English, often crashed your program while trying to fix Mathmatica, and would fall back on "Well, we can't do the work for you" if they hit any situation where they were clueless.
With the dearth of students, the Math Emporium was really just a big cold black hole full of user-friendly operating systems. You could have sat the entire football team in front of computers (after showing them which side the front was) and still had enough computers left over for all the children Britney Spears intends to have in the next decade. The mandate came down from someone up high to make it a more popular place to be. I was personally backing the plan to install the exotic dancing booths with the open bar, but unfortunately the staid Math Department chose to make visits mandatory instead. From 1998 on, almost every 1000 - 3000 level math class had problems that could only be done with Mathmatica. And to prevent the inevitable pirating of said software, they also decreed that every student had to spend at least two hours per week in the Math Emporium. This required you to punch in and out like you were working in a Mac Factory and present your signed timesheet in hard copy to your professor every week. Apparently they were smart enough to have a timekeeping system, but not smart enough to just look up all the student timings online.
So now the place was packed, but just as useless as before. Photographers were quickly called to the scene to get pictures of the filled up Emporium so the moment could be preserved as the "normal state of things". On some afternoons there was actually a line to use the computers.
Being a math minor by default, I had more than my share of Math Emporium time -- hours spent sitting in front of dysfunctional computers, crowding around a table with antisocial majors who never bathed and always smelled of curry, or waiting for lab partners who never showed up, but I finally found a great solution by the time my third year rolled around. I'd simply wake up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning when the entirety of the campus was sprawled in an alcohol-induced stupor and mosey into the empty Emporium where I would lie back and take a nice two hour nap before going home to do my laundry.
Happy Birthday Emily Spellerberg and Christy Kull!Police recover $16 from greedy bastards
The Tin Princess by Philip Pullman:
This is a spinoff book from the Lockhart Trilogy that uses a couple well-known characters, but otherwise has nothing at all to do with the original stories. It's a definite page-turner, but doesn't have a lot of internal logic to the plot. Pullman needs to work on his endings, because this book just seems to peter out unsatisfactorily, like Ruby in the Smoke did. However, it only takes a few hours to read, and it's fun while it lasts -- just don't expect to get any life lessons from it or plan on reading it again.
Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 5000:
I was always one of those computer-using fools that stuck with the original Microsoft mouse that comes bundled with every computer. For years, I used the right-handed mouse shaped like a cul-de-sac and had no problems at all. Recently though, my last mouse started getting squeaky parts which were not fixed after cleaning and such. I went online to look for a new mouse, only to discover that Microsoft no longer makes the mouse style that I was accustomed to. I decided to be adventuresome and try a Microsoft wireless optical mouse (even though I hate replacing batteries). This mouse looks retarded, but fits very comfortably in my hand and reduces a lot of the carpally pain that I normally get from using a mouse. The middle mouse wheel is nearly impossible to click unless you've been exercising your middle finger religiously (so northern Virginian drivers should be just fine), but this negative is balanced by the fact that it scrolls as smoothly as a baby's bottom on vellum. The middle wheel can also be clicked left and right, which you can tie to Forward and Back in your web browser. Finally, there are two tiny buttons between the thumb and forefinger resting points. One button toggles a magnifying mode which enlarges a portion of your screen for detail work. The other I have bound to a middle-button-click, since I am too weak to regularly click the wheel button.
The magnifying button is especially annoying when you're playing a game with lots of frantic mouse clicking (Twice so far, I have clicked it by accident, allowing me to see my character die in close-up), but otherwise the mouse is excellent. Tracking is very nice and the battery shows no signs of premature kaputting. I would recommend this mouse for its comfort and accuracy, even though it looks like a ridiculous space-age trinket from the 80s. All it needs is neon stripes.
Life by The Cardigans:
This is the first major CD from the Cardigans, released in 1995 in the U.S. I picked it up because I enjoy their current works, and I like to hear the evolution of bands. The music pure unapologetic retro pop, but I really like the sound of the arrangements. One of the band members has a background in jazz arranging and theory (although he was also in a heavy metal band) and the selection of chords really feels like a jazz chart. I'd peg this CD as sounding like the Trashcan Sinatras, but with better harmonies.
Many composers like Prokofiev are labelled by listeners as "whimsical" whether the term works or not, but this is one CD that really fits that term to a T. All of the songs are either happy-go-lucky, or slightly melancholy. If you like pop music, buy it for the lead singer's mellifluous voice. Here are a couple samples of the tunes I like:Celia Inside (483KB MP3)
Chad Darnell's 12 of 12 is coming up this Friday if you're interested in doing it. I'm not sure if I will yet, since most of my weekdays are homogenous, like 2% milk or the population of Falls Church. There's also a new LOST on tonight. Finally, turn in your Name that Tune entries by noon today! The prize is still up for grabs! Loud exclamation points!The JJ Abrams Pop Machine -- who wants to see MI:3 with me?
Congratulations to Anna and Dan, who will each get a $5 gift certificate from Amazon.com sent to their e-mail addresses!
Anna A. got 8 correct. She got the artist but not the song correct on #8, and got #10 totally wrong.
Dan S. got 8 correct. He missed #4 completely and got just the artist for #9.
Joe C. got 7 correct. He completely missed #3 and #10, and got just the artist on #7.
Mike C. got 6 correct. He missed #3, #4, and #10, and got just the artist for #9.
Kathy B. got 5 correct, #1, #2, #4, #5, #6.
Rob K. got 3 correct: #1, #7, #8, and got the correct group for #9.
Brianne A. got 2 correct: #1 and #8.
Because there were a couple that some people thought were insanely difficult, I have made ridiculously easy versions of the same clips below, so you can retry the ones you got wrong as a musical cripple before you give up and look at the answers. Highlight the hidden text in the last column to see what the artist and groups were for each clip.
|1||A Day in the Life - Beatles|
|2||Sweet Child O Mine - Guns n' Roses|
|3||Walk This Way - Aerosmith|
|4||Living on a Prayer - Bon Jovi|
|5||Ants Marching - Dave Matthews|
|6||Long Train Runnin' - Doobie Brothers|
|7||Surfer Girl - Beach Boys|
|8||Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix|
|9||Don't Stand So Close To Me - Police|
|10||Paint It Black - Rolling Stones|
This was fun -- maybe I'll have another contest again in the Fall!Teen asks pal to run him over
What do you get when you cross a cinchilla with a molerat?
Flexibility is what lets gymnasts do front walkovers and back handsprings, but this post has nothing to do with the Oscar-deserving gynmastics flick, Stick It (subtitled for foreign markets as An Excuse to Slowly Pan The Camera Over Teenage Ass in Leotards for Two Hours). I'm merely using the pictures to attract new readers. Since yesterday was Mother's Day, every other article in the Washington Post was arguing for increased flexibility for parents in the workforce. Growing up in a family full of U.S. government workers who had more leave time than there are days in the year, and working at a private tech company that provides this flexibility without a second thought really makes me take it for granted.
Here is a typical work day in my life: I get to work at six in the morning, give or take fifteen minutes depending on whether Booty was being particularly obnoxious to get breakfast or whether I put my trust in the Snooze button without realizing that I don't have a Snooze button. I eat a small lunch snack while I work, generally around 10:30, and continue working as the later shifts start rolling into the office. My work day is done at two, but often times (maybe three days out of the week) I'll just head out at noon or one. Sometimes I'll run some errands, get a real lunch, or ride a tractor through a herd of gymnasts in the wild before I head home for good, where I'll pick up my work where I left off for another hour or so. If I really don't feel like working, I'll do my own thing throughout the afternoon and then work for a couple hours in the evening after dinner. During weeks where I feel particularly slackassed, I'll take off the entire afternoon, and then make up the time over the weekend where I can work in peace with no one else around and crank the volume on my horrible tastes in music all the way up.
This system works for me because the company can trust that I'll get things done on time (and possibly even more efficiently than if I worked a 9-to-5 day) and knows that they can contact me by phone or e-mail even if I don't happen to be at my desk. And though I use that extra time during the day for my own selfish slacker purposes, I could just as easily be tending to those orphans I bought for pennies a day or picking up little Jimmy from preschool where he got mono from kissing all the girls on the playground. (He could also have gotten pregnant, depending on whether or not he was diagnosed at the Virginia Tech health clinic).
I'd have to say that flexibility is one of the major selling points of my job, even if I would normally consider other things like the salary or the challenge of the work. It's the same reason that I probably wouldn't take public transportation to work, even if there were a bus stop right in my living room: I like to have the empowerment to create my own schedule and not be tied down by things outside of my control. With a car, I can decide to pick up some Popeyes on the way home or purchase the new New Super Mario Brothers game at Best Buy after work.
And should I decide that I want to wear spandex and slowly rise out of a bathtub filled with ice cubes, well then that's my perogative too.Wasting dogs on DVDs
As a public service today, I would like to present to you my Perfect Egg Drop Soup? recipe which results in a soup that's just as good as what you can get from Chinese take-out, without that foul corn taste that so many restaurants often add in that tends to give me horrible flashbacks to the time my dad bought corn on sale in bulk but it turned out to be creamed corn. I am giving you this secret recipe out of the goodness of my heart, and not because the judge agreed to drop the "obscene dancing in the Chinese restaurant" charges in exchange for community service.
This recipe makes about 3 servings. I'm not sure what soup I'll learn how to cook next -- but at least at dinner parties I can always be "the soup guy".BBC interviews the wrong Guy
The latest buzz in entertainment non-news news is the observation that seven long-running shows are finally calling it quits this season. I think it's interesting that shows which would once have gotten lavish two hour finale specials with retrospectives and balloons now creep timidly into oblivion, their stars set to appear in 1-800-COLLECT commercials in which Alf gets top billing.
Alias: Of course, I'm sad to see this one go because its first two years were ridiculously good. This was one of the first shows I ever planned my week around seeing (which was probably aided by the fact that it came out when I was a reclusive grad student in Florida for the first time). Sydney Bristow's "bursting into tears" shtick got a little old after awhile and they really overexposed Marshall, but the solid acting of Bradley Cooper, Ron Rifkin, Victor Garber, and Carl Lumbly was Sopranos-caliber and kept me coming back. I haven't seen any episodes in the fifth season except for the first one, and I'm anxiously awaiting them on DVD while remaining spoiler-free. This is hard, because LOST comes on immediately after Alias, so I have to turn on the TV late enough to miss the twist ending but early enough to not miss a LOST twist beginning. That, my friend, is called skill with the remote.
7th Heaven: I never watched a single episode of this show, and I had to look it up online to see that it was on the WB. Was it any good? From promos, it looks like your typical WB family drama without teeth, fun for the whole family, and offensive to none. I could be wrong though.
That 70s Show: This started out as a dumb but funny show, but outlived its humour by about five years. I haven't seen a new episode since I was in college -- apparently some of the cast members aren't even on it anymore? This show also gets the official BU award for Absolute Worst Musical Episode in the history of primetime TV. It's a neat little novelty when you can make a musical version of your show -- but it would really help if one or more of your actors could sing. Even just a couple notes. Even just the same note over and over. I cringe when I think of Red "I was in Robocop working for Dick Jones" Foreman singing "So Happy Together".
West Wing: Another show I never saw a single episode of. Politics and legal dramas never were my thing, and I'm almost ashamed to say that I'm one of the few Americans that's NOT a Law & Order / CSI junkie. Then again, I never got into ER or police shows either, so there must be something un-American about me.
Charmed: Alyssa Milano is a hot witch with sisters who casts spells with really bad special effects -- what's not to like about this concept? They could just shorten the conceit to "Alyssa Milano is." and it would still be worth watching. I never saw a full episode of this, but I used to flip through it when it aired before Alias on Sundays. You know a show has outstayed its welcome when one season ends with "All three main characters die, but come back to life, played by three different actresses". This is forgivable though, know why? That's right, Alyssa Milano.
Will & Grace: I never really kept up with this show, but saw it a lot in syndication. In Virginia, they air hours and hours of Friends in the evenings. In Tallahassee, it's Will & Grace. The thing I liked about this show was the quick and witty banter -- I'm a big fan of verbal repartée, shows where the dialogue is two times more clever than anything you'd hear on the street.
Malcolm in the Middle: This show had a lot of promise, and I was even willing to overlook the fact that the boys hit puberty immediately after the first season, but it just kept going and going until I lost interest. I hope I'm not around whe we first hear that the actor playing Dewey was picked up for drug trafficking or something. I would get this show on DVD, but licensing issues with the music from each episode prevented them from releasing anything but Season One.
Joey got cancelled too, what a big surprise. Its a shock that it even managed to limp along for two whole seasons.No really, I'm a close family friend
Title: This game easily has the most uninventive, boring title in the history of titles, but I guess none of the Mario games excels in this area. Does it have a plumber playing tennis? Call it MARIO TENNIS! Even so, they could have just called it Super Mario DS or something equally as functional. What are they going to do when the next game comes out? The New New Brothers? It sounds like a dance troupe on Vaudeville.
Music: Catchy, with a mix of new tunes, remixed old tunes, and old tunes exactly as they were in the older games. You can only do so much with nostalgia before it gets tiresome, and they walk the line pretty well.
Graphics: The game is a standard side-scroller so you never have to worry about stupid camera angles, but all the characters in the game have 3D models, so their animations are quite nice. Worlds are colourful and have style.
Cartridge Size: Smaller than a cat's paw. If I ever end up spying for the U.S. Government in some enemy country where I blend in with the natives, like Iran or Libya, I'll bring along my Nintendo DS and then encode the spy pictures on one of these cartridges. Customs will never notice a thing.
Controls: The game only uses two buttons: run/grab/shoot, and jump. There are two predefined mappings you can use to customize your controls. I found that my thumb was too weirdly positioned to feel comfortable in the default scheme -- it must be genetic. Mario jumps and skids exactly as he did in the original games, which may take some getting used to if you haven't taken a course in Mario Inertia recently.
It's Like X meets Y: This game is a combination of Super Mario Brothers 3 and Super Mario World. You progress through levels on an overhead map, often stopping to pick up items at Toad's Hut or unlocking secret paths. It really pulls the best from both of those games, so if you liked those, you'll like this.
Annoyance Factor: Most recent Mario games annoyed me because you had to replay every level multiple times to collect nine thousand doohickeys -- a horrible design decision to give the game some supposed replay value (don't even get me started on Zelda's golden skulltulas). This game retreats to the very basics from the good old days -- 100 coins gets you an extra life, 8 red coins gets you an extra life, or 5 star coins to open up a secret passage. It's not annoying in the least bit.
Difficulty: I breezed through to World 2 pretty quickly. It seems to be about as hard as Super Mario Brothers 3 was (which I thought was harder than Super Mario World), but rewards exploration and risk by giving you millions of extra lives. I already have 30 or so.
Power-Ups and Moves: All the original power-ups are here along with three gimmicky ones: Tiny Mario, Fatty Mario, and Shell Mario. Mario can also do a few later era moves like wall-jumping and that Mario Party favourite: the Ground Pound.
Price: $35. Not bad at all.
Worth It?: Yes, go buy it. Unless you don't own a Gameboy DS. Then it's only worth it if you enjoy carrying around tiny cartridges and pretending you're a giant.
Below you can watch a short video of how the game looks and sounds. If you have absolutely zero interest in video games, you can also check out our wide selection of movies on other topics, such as cats, and/or cats.New Super Mario Brothers Gameplay (922KB WMV)
where the Internet elite mingle with the ragtag dregs of society
People will say that I blatantly stole this post from Sam or Kim but history proves that I actually invented this game in October 2005 and history is mostly infallible. I say "mostly" because I invented the Latin alphabet itself too, but being a minority, the Man took credit away from me for that. This is also the reason no modern pianos have the note, J-flat, even though it's featured prominently in many of my compositions.
Accent: I would love to claim that I have a pure unadulterated Northern Virginian yuppy accent, except that yesterday the phrase "Nuttin' wrong wi' that." popped up in conversation, out of the blue, like the hidden prize in my Cracker Jack vocabulary.
Booze: Dark beers and white wines. Mixed drinks are dumb, although appletinis are tasty when no one is looking.
Chore I Hate: Folding and putting away clothes.
Dogs/Cats: Cats. The only reason to get a dog would be to build a little kitty wagon that the dog pulls, so you could take smarmy pictures and sell them to calendar companies.
Essential Electronics: The computer. And the toaster oven.
Favorite Perfume/Cologne: As long as you don't smell like the Indian guy on the dorm hall who apparently doesn't know the shower code, I don't care what you smell like.
Gold/Silver: I think silver is a much cooler metal than gold, which could just as easily be brass. When I get my eyebrows and nipples pierced (purely for that undercover spy job), I will wear all silver.
Hometown: Alexandria, VA. The place where you can end incomplete sentences with periods all the time.
Insomnia: I never have trouble sleeping unless I'm going on a long drive the next day. This happened twice in Florida when I wanted to make the trip back to VA in a single day. Both times, I had to give up around midnight and just start my trip early, pausing around 5 AM in a Days Inn parking lot in Georgia.
Job Title: Software Engineer for my day job, Superhero Without Tights for my night job.
Kids: I have no kids of my own, but if I did, I'd want them to be like Anna's nephews and nieces.
Living Arrangements: Detached, split-level, single-family, five-bedroom mansion on a 0.1 acre lot next to some trees that you can creatively call a forest.
Most Admired Trait: People say I get things done. They should see the list of things I don't get done.
Number of Sexual Partners: This depends on whether triplets count three times if you didn't know she had two identical sisters.
Overnight Hospital Stays: Zero. I am the paragon of health and prosperity.
Phobia: None. But I don't like ventriloquist dolls.
Quote: "I was determined to know beans." - Henry Thoreau
Religion: Practicing Greek mythologist. Pan is my homie.
Siblings: One sister with five kids: three cats and two dogs.
Time I usually wake up: 5:26 AM, to the melodious sounds of DEHT DEHT DEHT DEHT DEHT....
Unusual Talent: I used to read all of my books while standing on my head on a flight of stairs.
Vegetable I refuse to eat: Amen.
Worst Habit: When Anna's on the phone driving by an accident and says "Oh he must not be dead because they're loading him onto a stretcher", the first reply that comes into my head is, "So he's just a little bit longer?"
Yummy Foods I Make: Cheddar Cheese Soup, Beef Stroganoff, Egg Drop Soup, Velveeta Shells and Cheese.
Zodiac Sign: Virgo.Maryland cops hate Virginians
The Post had an article on Sunday about the giant hoops that today's high school seniors have to jump through to ask the girl of their choice to prom . From the guy who added a slide to the senior slideshow to the guy who wrote PROM? in chocolate chips on some pancakes, kids today supposedly have to make their request like a marriage proposal lest the girl deem their question too unromantic and turn them down. Says one girl, "The romance is gone from everything else. All we do is go to parties and hook up. Prom is like a real date."
In MY day, we did not spend our entire high school careers going to parties and hooking up (or maybe I just went to the wrong high school, or the wrong parties). If you wanted to take someone to prom, you either called them up, or spread word through the neighbourhood gossip. The person replied with either yes or no, and that was that. If you had a steady boyfriend/girlfriend that was obviously the love of your life and destined to be a husband/wife, then going to prom was an implicit part of the package. In fact, that was one major reason people dated at all -- so they wouldn't have to stress over who they'd take to the prom! When you blow a few hundred bucks on a new VCR, they make sure to include batteries to run the remote. Prom is supposed to be the cheap double-A battery of high school relationships.
The bonus of this approach was that getting shut down remained a kind of private embarassment, like groggy mornings when you brush your teeth with hair gel, or the time you fell asleep on the toilet and fell in. If guys have to ask in front of the entire school and then the girl says no, they will most likely implode on the spot, or transfer to a private school.
Just wait for the day that all people who were asked to prom on the deck of the Love Boat and then spent thousands of dollars on one night of entertainment are ready for marriage. Because marriage obviously has to outdo prom, the proposal will have to include at least two of the following elements, or the girl won't take it seriously: space travel, sky writing, erupting volcanos, or herds of wild horses.
The two-hour LOST season finale is tonight! I'm guessing that Desmond will make an appearance for some reason, but I have no idea what they've been building up to these past eight weeks. That's the problem with trying to stretch a 22 show series over 40 weeks -- you lose the story's momentum and forget all of the clues amidst the absurd number of reruns. I also ordered the second season of The 4400 which came out yesterday.I am going to get your balls.
High school was a blatant waste of time and money, using up hours in the day better spent playing video games, going to the library and reading, or going out back to smoke crack with Zulfan Bakri. However, you could always count on a few peaks to brighten the year and prevent mass suicides.
Field Hockey Home Games
As a sign of solidarity, the field hockey team always wore their skirts on days when they were playing at home. Mix in a gaggle of goggling hormonal teenage boys, and you'll find that those boys will learn absolutely nothing during those school days, and remember very little other than a lot of leg by the time they leave for the day. We always tried to convince the swim team to have a similar practice, but were mostly unsuccessful.
Apparently substitute teachers did not get paid enough to care, so they were always fair game for any tricks the students could pull. The best type of substitute was the career-substitute: recently retired, living on Social Security, and already broken by years of rude and retarded kids, because they'd generally let you do anything you wanted. The more challenging subs were those having mid-life career changes after layoffs who felt the need to assert their authority in the classroom. In 12th grade, we had one of these types for Mrs. Buckbee's English class. He was aptly named Mr. Spindle Fibers, since he had exactly three thick hairs combed over an otherwise bald pate, and somehow we managed to convince him that we were supposed to be having a party to celebrate some assignment (maybe it was passing the AP exams or something) -- to the point where he wrote a permission slip to let one student leave campus to get soda and cake. When our teacher came back the next day, we used the leftover cake to have a "Welcome Back Teacher" party, successfully putting off whatever essay assignment was looming for another two days.
Half days were the days when the period scheduler with the digital watch fetish decided that all classes would be exactly 27 minutes long, with a 4 minute window to move between classes. Combine this with a bell system that never worked and you breed a confusing day where every student could pretend to pack up their bags in the middle of class and the teachers would think it was time to quit. In the summer months, a half day also meant I could go over to Jack's house and go swimming.
The Month of May
May is when all the Crew races occur, from Regionals on the Occuquan River to Stotesbury in Philadelphia, to that race in Canada that us colloquial types always called "Canadas". Because Crew is a rich inbred yuppy sport, it would be unthinkable to have races over the weekend, so they generally started on Thursdays and ran through Saturday. This meant that everyone who did Crew generally spent a grand total of 10 days at school in the month of May, spending the rest of the time on buses and eating fast food three meals a day (and then vomiting it all up if they were on the Lightweight boat). I remember volunteering to sleep on the half-chair-half-bed luggage chaise in the motel rooms so the bigger guys could have the beds in a non-homophobic setting, which was just fine by me since I was only about nine inches tall. They'd always feel bad about it though and buy me extra fries for dinner or give me my own bus seat for my sacrifice. It was kind of like the way prison probably is.
I also remember the time our band concert coincided with the Nationals trip. The director refused to budge on the date so the three band-crew kids (myself, Mike Polson, and Kim) literally rolled off the stage and into some parents' van for a madcap midnight trip to New Jersey. Though we were all band geeks, we came from vastly different social castes, and probably did not say much to one another on the way up.Get a surgeon that plays Super Monkey Ball
I have decided that most of the population of the world is completely incapable of understanding the concept of spoilers, and even those that do are sometimes unable to effectively talk about the endings of books or movies in a non-spoilerish way. If you are unhip to the world of entertainment lingo like "jump the shark" and "frost up a smoothie", a "spoiler" is simply any detail about the plot of a movie, book, or show, that isn't common knowledge. It can be the big reveal about the murderer, or just a tiny detail about LOST that suddenly puts everything in a whole new light. Now that the Internet is here it's become even more difficult to read stories about other shows and movies without seeing pop references to spoilers from older shows, as if the writer has to prove that he's seen more TV than you have. And it's not that people are trying to be mean-spirited, like the guy that drove past the bookstore on opening night of Harry Potter 6 and shouted out the ending to hundreds of crying twelve-year-olds -- it's just that people don't think twice about where they discuss it.
Here are a few spoiler incidents I've come across in my day:
This weekend, I devoured the entire second season of The 4400, that part X-Files part LOST show that airs on USA, the network no one even remembers anymore. Even though the writing is occasionally over the top and reaches WB-levels of melodrama, it's a very smart, well-written show. One of the main reasons I'm so engrossed in the plot is that I have yet to accidentally stumble across any spoilers anywhere. Since it's a show that no one watches, no one ever talks about it in passing, or writes about it in newspapers and so forth -- this makes the twists and turns and all the character development that much more entertaining.
The third season starts on TV on June 11. I'm not sure yet if I'll watch it with commercials -- I'm dying to see what happens next, but not so much so that I want to commit my Sunday nights to sitting in front of the television.These T-Shirts were brought to you by the letters M and S, and the number 13.
Happy Birthday Maureen Fish!It's only news because there are pictures
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