Sunday, December 28, 2008

Karaoke is the New Black

So, I got Lips for my Xbox a while back, and while it may not be a great game for solo playing, it's absolutely great for a party. I brought it to the Christmas gathering, and it was hilarious (in a good way). Sister, brother-in-law, brother, sister-in-law and I each sang and even 2/3 of the niece-ing crew did a bang-up rendering of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.

Lessons learned:
  • It's possible that Simon LeBon wasn't exactly a talented poet.
  • Each song that you think you know really well has lyrics that you've never heard.
  • There are way too many words in Bust a Move
  • The old videos are so much funier than you remember. Walk like an Egyptian? Painfully funny
  • I know no new music.
It ended up being a fairly video-game-centric holiday. Other winning party games:
  • Burnout Paradise - I learned its fun to crash as long as it is a pretty crash
  • Boom Blox - The neices loved telling us where to throw and counting the points
  • American Idol - better pitch mechanism the Lips, and you get to build your own singer
  • Portal - very very trippy. Puzzles need multiple brains to solve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

100 Things

Hello? hello? This thing on?

I've been a bit twitter-bound lately. It's kind of nice not being anonymous. Actually being able to say things about what I do and all. Anywhoo, I haven't completely abandoned this poor neglected blog. As a kind of half-assed proof, I give you a meme, which came from luckybuzz:

Bolded the things I've done.
1. Started my own blog - umm... yeah.
2. Slept under the stars - Camping happily and army unhappily
3. Played in a band - When I was very young I played the trumpet, that counts, right?
4. Visited Hawaii - lived there for 2 years even
5. Watched a meteor shower -
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world - and I'll go back, too
8. Climbed a mountain- wandering aimless in Switzerland
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo - A musical theatre... what a misspent childhood.
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris - it's both better and worse that reported
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning - Oh, the Hungarian goulash that brought me low was truly evil...
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - And I even lived in NYC - Oh, the shame of it all
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - would I have seen it elsewhere?
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort - ours always got destroyed by Jayfish and the other neighbor kid. Grrr...
25. Held a lamb - we had one, but I never think I picked it up. What an odd question.
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon - twice!
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse - well, I didn't look right at it...
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - or?
31. Hit a home run - on a video game - hey it didn't specify!
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language - what I know, I did with a whole lot o' help
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - Satisfaction don't come from money
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - Yay karaoke!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - blasted driver didn't see me on my bike. grrr...
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - I agree with Luckybuzz, these are very Franco-centric. Where are the questions about visiting Machu Pichu or the Great Barrier Reef?
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - I think I saw part of a movie from the side of the road where the car broke down, does that count?
55. Been in a movie - Yeah, Powder. I was barely even an extra.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class - hehe - Tai Kwan Do at a library when I was a kid
59. Visited Russia - right after the fall 'o the USSR - spooky.
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - certainly ate enough of them though
62. Gone whale watching - hooray for Hawaii!
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma. - even got my gallon reward mug. I need to start that up again.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check - ugh I swear it was financial aid's fault!
68. Flown in a helicopter - thanks to the US taxpayer and the US Army
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - define speeding
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person -
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper - well, a newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - hehe - Jeff Goldbloom on the set of Powder! hehe
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Well now, that was fun, wasn't it? :O

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is that A Peacock Feather in Your Pocket?

It's really interesting to me how people peacock. Git your brain out of the gutter. What I mean is this - I'm in a public library that looks like it's a bit of a funny little silent meat market (I wish I had known, I would have dressed more snazzily). So anything, what's interesting is the way that people are arranging their various goodies on the tables and posturing themselves.

I give you example A: This guy sat down at my table just a little while ago. He didn't take anything out of his bag at all, he just kind of sat down and abided. He is resplendent in his flannel shirt, black Mac and hipster beard-stubble. By the way, how do these guys always have just stubble. I wondered about that Miami Vice guy too. Is it that they can't actually grow a beard, or do they get one of those flowbie things and set it on 'hipster?'

Anyway, he did slowly bring out the stuff - the aforementioned Mac, the blackberry and a couple of books. All the while, he slowly scans the room, and I kid you not, nods with a silent 'how you doin?' to a more than a couple cliques of cuties. Does he know them? Who knows? It is funny though.

It seems that everyone in the place is posing or posturing somehow. Where's a sociologist when I need one.

Oh, and I should mentioned that I very vainly placed my Gruub books (which are exciting-looking and in an exciting-looking language) very visibly next to my cooler-than-yours laptop. And my blackberry. And my Zune. I think the zune probably make me lose cool-points though.

Heh! As I'm typing this up a woman sat down at the table and he just started chatting her up! Then he adjusted his books (Basics of Statistics - see gals, I'm smart and sax-ay) and blackberry.

Ok, I think this post is proof I need to get out of here.

I'm thinking of taking the 365 photos/day challenge again next year, but I may do it under my real name. If you are interested in following, shoot me an email and if I do, I'll set up a site and invite you. Oh, I'm also twittering now, under my real name too, so if you know my xbox handle, that's my twittername. If not, email me and we can be twitterfriends! ('casue you know, Obama's my twitterfriend already, that's how cool I am :P)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Imitating Art

If the internet hasn't already informed you by other means, let me help you to find a massive wonderful source of procrastination and joy:

Google is now indexing the entire Life Magazine photo archive.

So go. Go and love it. If you aren't completely sure what to do, let me start you off with a couple options:

VJ Day
Dorothea Lange

So, yeah, good luck getting out of there in the next few hours.

I've got wallpapers for the rest of my life :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

More Information Than You Require*

Alright, so the seminar of doom this time around is a theory class in another department. Now, I'm trying to be open-minded about all this theory nonsense, but this sentence probably tells you how effective that 'trying' is. The thing is that I really do see the use of the theory, I really do. I even - heaven forfend!- use it in some of my work! But here's the rub, theory is not what I do. I do Gruub Studies, and theory is a tool - and only one tool - that I use to study, er... Gruubs.

So anyway, I'm trying to address my fear of theory by tackling it head on with this class, and actually, it's going well. I'm learning heaps and gaining a lot of respect for the prof that teaches the class (less so for some of the students). He actually seems to be alright with the idea that I'm only wanting to cherry-pick the stuff that I think is useful to me. All to the good, even though I still have to do all the work for all the theories.

What this means in practical terms is that I'm reading a metric boatload of reeeally dense stuff. This weekend was one of the roughest for reading, but I made it through, took notes, wrote a handfull of thoughtful questions to ask and dutifully headed to class.

It was cancelled.

I now feel like a piece of furniture with a coat of stain but no sealant. How am I possibly going to remember all this junk well enough to be coherant next week. Luckily, I'm not sure I'm ever cohearant. Maybe no one will notice. I'm exhausted and disappointed and happy all at once.

I'm adrift.

Also, tomorrow's a holiday.

I've got more work I could/should be doing, but I'm going to go home and maybe watch some football.

*title is from John Hodgman's book of the same name. I haven't read this one, but I read the last one, or well, listened to it on audiobook and loved it immensely. That is all.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Bruces Know

Have I mentioned that theory gives me a headache?


You know what I love? I love that there are salt and pepper packets at Taco Bell. I love the idea that there is some gourmand out there tucking in to his Mexican pizza, and he's thinking, "Man, this is really good, but what it really needs is just a pinch of pepper. Oh, yeah, now that's what I call a Mexican pizza!"

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Do I attract consumptives? There is a woman in front of me in the starbucks who is seriously coughing up a lung. Yeesh. Maybe that means it's time to go home to read.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Library Notes

  • Note to the person who is coughing loudly and obviously with illness: Dude. At least I hope you are a dude. If you are a dudette, then you've got to be the rockingest sub-contralto that ever contralto'ed. So, anyway, seriously. Go home. You need to be resting and watching home improvement shows and taking in soup or something. If you really have to, check out your books and then go home and read in bed. You are getting your nasty germs all over the place. Also you scare the ever-living bajezus out of me every time you cough. Thanks.
  • Note to the person who wrote in the book I'm reading. First off, I'm fairly anti-library book in writing. You are less evil because you wrote in pencil, so thanks for that. But the thing that's killing me is that you wrote really really tiny with a big blunt pencil. Was it like a carpenter's pencil that you sharpened months ago with a rasp? The result is that I can't read your notes and that's distracting. What's this? "issue garble garble and also not true?" is that what you wrote? Rather than blame myself for being easily distracted, I'll blame you for not writing more clearly. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes We Did!


All We Are Is Just Another Brick in Wolf Blitzer's Wall-Screen

The hologram interview? Pretty pathetic. As was the holographic capital building. And this is coming from a guy who loves almost all technology.

I also love how Family Guy is playing on top of Mr. Blitzer's big wall-screen.

Go Florida Go! I may even forgive you :)

Edit: They have a channel showing the cartoon network on now. Incisive political insight by the Powerpuff Girls, I believe.

Like A Baby Stoat

(title from here)

Wow - it took an hour to get through the line, but I voted. This is a new polling place for me since I moved this summer. It was in an 'assisted living center,' and the weirdest thing was that the line snaked around a window that looked into the cafeteria. So at one point we were there all looking through a window at folks eating their breakfasts. It really felt like we were at a zoo or something. Very freaky. Luckily no one tapped the glass.

Ya know, I still really hate those little ink-puncher thingies we use to mark the ballots. I guess their better than other options (I'm looking at you, chads), but still, eh. I really really want reliable paper-trailing computer terminals. By I guess that's just 'cause I'm a geek.

Also, I live in a state where the presidential choice is very much not in contention, so we haven't been getting the presidential ads on TV. Until yesterday. We got hammered by all sorts of really ugly anti-Obama ads. Gah, thank goodness I don't live in Pennsylvania. I'm not sure I could handle that.

Also, I'm taking today off. I'm going to celebrate voting with a bit of cleaning, and then some reading, then I'm going to follow it all with some obsessive voting returns watching.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Big Mouth Bass, Without the Guitar

I think I mentioned a long time ago that we've got a Gruub Studies Colloquium. The way it works is that every week we invite a professor from a related field - sometimes only tangentially related - to come and present some state of the field stuff. We get to find out what the hot issues are in a whole lot of areas that ordinarily we would have to dig through a heap of 'other' people's journals to get to. So yea! All for the good.

So, I've got a bit of a problem. Those of you who know me already know about this. No, it's not that my hair sticks up all the time. That is a problem but it's not the one I'm thinking of right now. Keep on topic!

I've got a big mouth.

I love talk about all sorts of anything. Especially if it's something someone else is really passionate about. Especially if I know nothing about it. You can see how this colloquium works well for me. Even though I don't always finish all the readings, I'm almost always game to ask questions.

So, since we've got a new clutch of gradfolk this fall, we're trying to get them interested in the colloquium and the whole community that we're trying to nurture. Having a big blabbermouth at the table doesn't really help in getting them involved in the discussion, so last week I decided to sit away from the big table against the wall and force the newer folks to sit up at the adult's table.

I tried so hard to not talk as much, but... but... the topic was really cool! and there were serious problems. Problems that oooonly I could bring up (insert Underdog theme here). Well, obviously that isn't true, but the effect was as one might expect. I talked nearly as much as I always did, but I had to talk over the shoulder of one of the new folks.

Karma bit me in the tuckus, too because they assigned me to lead the discussion this week. Our visiting scholar just happens to be a certifiable gen-i-us (that's better than a regular genius). He's also very exacting. And he's from a field that I know even less than usual about.

I just finished reading all but a couple of pages of the reading.

I've got about maybe 20-30 minutes of questions.

I need to fill two hours.

Here's hoping for a rousing rowdy colloquium! (and a few more questions before we meet tomorrow)

Monday, October 27, 2008

When They Came For Coffee, I Did Nothing

Note to dude on the bus trying to be all sneaky in drinking his forbidden coffee by going all ninja and ducking under the back of the seat to sip:

Smooth. Very smooth. And hilarious too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Handwriting, Wringing

Sorry if the size of those things break your browser. This might warrant a click over to flickr for a more readable size.
This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Blogstyle writing doesn't seem to enjoy being put into script.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Cooking With A Little BAM!

You know what's appetizing? What's appetizing is when you are making a nice big mug o' smoothie goodness - ya know? With a nice vanilla yogurt base, and yummy farmer's market strawberries, blueberries, grapes and some pineapple for a bit of zing - Oh, it was going to be delicious.

Was going to be, see. 'Cause when I started the blending on with my little smoothie blender, everything was fine, but a couple of minutes into it, I tried to shake it around a bit to chop up that last clump of recalcitrant strawberry, something started to smell, well, electrical-y. And as my dear personal friend Alton Brown might say, that ain't good eats.

Zap pop! and a quick unpluging later, I had a partially smooth smoothie and a mildly aromatic mini-blender. I guess that's what I get for buying cheap, eh?

I have to admit though, it was still pretty yummy. The smoothie, not the blender.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Allez Distraction!

Is it endearing, or simply sad that I still think I can read a couple hundred pages while Iron Chef America plays in the background?

Why didn't I turn it off? It was Battle BEER. I mean seriously, I'm only human.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Ugly Silly and Antogonistic

I don't get the U-S-A chants at the McCain/Palin rallies. He was talking about Obama wanting to raise taxes, and the crowd started shouting U-S-A. What is that supposed to mean? Did they just get their wires crossed? Did someone accidentally light up the U-S-A sign instead of the 'Boo!' sign?

The real pity is that I really like McCain, or at least I liked Senator McCain. I really don't think I like Candidate McCain.

This is what I do when I should be working. I just wish there were a better channel to watch than CNN. Ugh.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Post Office "Express" doesn't mean what I think they want it to mean.

The 'express' bit I mean.

Because it was slow.

And thus, not fast.

I sent off a rebate. Any bets as to when/if I see anything back?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I'm Relieved

to discover that I am Senator McCain's friend. It seems that we all are.

Monday, October 06, 2008


I'm sorry, is Bud Light advertising it's 'Drinkability?'
Really? Are they saying that the other beers aren't drinkable, or, as I might suggest, there is confusion in the marketplace about whether or not Bud Light is drinkable?

Ok, googling for that clip, I discovered that many other people are puzzling over this campaign, so I guess there not anything more to say but maybe those really bad beer companies should save a bit of money by not hiring ad guys. They are obviously as bad as your beer.

So, have I played into their hands by talking about their ads?
Memo to dude in the main campus cafe bathroom:

I'm sure I could spend a long time trying to figure out why you were standing in the middle of the urinal area with you shirt off. I mean, ok, I could see that you were casually texting away, but, well, why? I guess that's my question.

To make this shorter than it could be, I'll simply add: WTF?


As dictated, with full knowledge of the joyous juxtiposition, on my new Blackberry. With all my clothes on. As far as you know.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Abs Workout

Hiccups suck.

They suck so bad I want to spell it hiccough like back in the old-timey days.

Also, why isn't my oed subscription letting me sign in so I can see if there are any other cool spellings of hiccup?

That is all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Famer in the Dell

You simply have no idea how delicious these taste. Sorry to tease you about that, but it's true. I've started doing a lot of blended fruit drinks, and today it was time to hit the farmer's market to get all sorts of yummy stuff. So far the biggest winners have been the peaches and the pineapple. I've got high hope for the berries and grapes I got today though.

Also, the bed got delivered tonight. It's big and beautiful. I nearly feel like an adult.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't Give It To The Bradys

Been playing around a little bit with carving, and here's the result so far:


Let me tell ya, symmetry is just evil.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Should I Go With The Princess and the Pea Reference, or the Bedbugs Biting One?

Just a quick note to say that I really hate mattress salesfolk. They're pretty much of the same ilk as car salesfolk.

But even more of my ire is reserved for the mattress retailers on a larger scale. Why? Well, I didn't know, until I really looked into buying a nice mattress, that there is a different name for each mattress at each mattress store. How evil is that?

Grr... No real reason for it but to make it harder for me to comparison shop. And the sad thing is that it's not that I didn't comparison shop, it just made me angry at the people selling the product.

I seriously considered building a chart to make sense of the equivalent mattresses because I couldn't really find one online.

Oh, I'm going the latex one. It sounds weird, right? a latex bed? But it's not the kind of latex that you see on those websites you visit at night (I know you go there, don't claim you don't). It's more of a foam thing. Weird, I know, but it's supposed to breathe well and not be as warm, and it certainly seemed comfy enough.

Only time will tell.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Your Early Morning Recommendation

I was wandering around the campus bookstore, looking at the required reading for classes that I wish I could take, and I ran across this:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

It's a graphic novel about a young Iranian girl coming of age during the revolution. She was old enough to start in a French school before the crackdown began, so she tries to figure out who she is right as others begin enforcing the religious laws.

Anyway, it's just wonderful. I ended up buying it and reading it last night (and the second volume, which is just as good).

There is supposed to be a movie out too, and it looks pretty wonderful. I think that's going to go on the old netflix queue

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Thanks Tivo, Thivo

Alright, So I got a Tivo not so long ago, and let me just say that yes, I love it. Yes, it's wonderful, and yes, I don't think I'll ever had a TV without one. Right? Right. Ok. Now then.

What is the hell are all these ads doing all over my Tivo? Most of them are just menu items like the stupid Land Rover one that's been there on my main menu forever (If Tivo knows so much about me that it can record things I like, it should not that there's no way in the world I'd buy a Land Rover even if I could afford one).

Then there's the 'would you like to participate in marketing surveys for our commercial partners' one. Well, no. no, I wouldn't.

But those, as awful as they are, are pretty ignorable. Nothing too egregious. This morning, I wake up and look through to see if any of the AFI top 100 movies were added overnight (very cool service that), and the little antanaed black box decided that I needed to watch an infomercial. I thought for sure it was a mistake. Maybe I accidently hit the record button before I went to bed. Nope, there was even a title to the infomercial saying that this infomercial was specially prepared for Tivo watchers.

Thanks Tivo, Thivo
. (You really need to watch that clip, and perhaps many more from the "Look Around You" series, like I did, wasting an entire morning.)

Tivo forums info

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All I Want For Christmas

So here we go with an attempt at stream of consciousness blogging. Only got a few minutes before I need to be on the bike headed to campus though, so let's all gather together and let our bars low.

I did finally get the last bit of my dental maintenance work yesterday. I discovered that since I am actually in town over the summer and I do actually have insurance (The guy in the commercial has it right - it's not really insurance, it's more like a coupon for X% off - and my X was pretty low. Can someone explain why we still don't have a national health plan again?), and since I actually do have enough cash to pay for it, I might as well go in to the dentist and get things taken care of. A root canal, two crowns and a replacement of all my old fillings later, I'm a new man. Or at least an old man with some new teeth.

I'm pretty happy with the results really. I think I prefer my fake teeth. I'm not sure what the benefits are to real live teeth. Why not get them all knocked out and get new ones put in? Anyway, I no longer have those metal fillings, so my teeth are actually a kind of uniform shade of yellow. Hooray for modern science. Also, I never understood that dental work really is supposed to be without pain. My new dentist actually made sure I didn't feel any of the work. wow, eh?

hmm... dental work. Not a very thrilling post, but a post is a post, and hopefully I'm back on my way to being a functioning blogger.

Monday, September 08, 2008

I Am Here

I hear everyone asking whether I'm still around. I am, I am, I'm trying to put together some posts.

I need to get back in the habit, so I'm going to try to just post some random garbage here (you are saying the earlier stuff wasn't garbage?) until the words start flowing again.

I don't have anything right now, so I'll give you a freakishly realistic spider that will walk around your browser page.

Press space to feed him insects.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Can you guess all these movies from just these letters?

gah - I only got fifteen

Long Live the Fuwa!

Man oh man do I loves me some Olympics.

Regardless of what you think of the Chinese government or the rise of nationalism among Chinese youth, or any number of other disturbing trends, I can't imagine many would say that that wasn't an incredible opening ceremony.

No content here, just a hooray for the games!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Maximum Odd

What's weird?

No... I mean... that is weird, but it's not the weird thing I was thinking of... dang, that was really weird. How do you think of those things?

Ok, so the weird thing is that I just got a copy of Maxim in the mail. Like addressed to me personally. They got the apartment number slightly wrong, but still. Maybe I accidentally signed up for it by not checking a box somewhere online? Is there going to be a payment due card sometime soon.

I don't even like Maxim. The photos are like soft-core porn for those who are afraid to buy Playboy, and it's all wrapped up with a 'hipper-than-thou' tone that's just condescending and really annoying.

Let's look at it in more detail:

62/141 - advertisements (not counting halfpages or quarterpage ads)per page. Now I know that's standard or maybe even a bit low for a glossy magazine with lots of photographers and models and writers to pay, but still, at that rate, you need to be paying me to read it. I won't wear your trademark on my shirts, and I'm sure as heck not going to suffer through Calvin Klein emo-with-a-trust-fund overload to get to what content may lurk inside.

That being said, let's look at the 'content.'

Editor's letter:
First paragraph -17 lines, gist: Maxim editors leave the office during lunch to eat. Look at all the big words I use! It reads like the blog of an unemployed English grad student. Hmmm...

First 'Article:'
(starts on page 20)
5 paragraphs on Autumn Reeser. She was apparently on the O.C. and now she's doing the sequel to the Lost Boys? Are there supposed to be stars here? She's pretty hot and all, but not very bright or interesting. Sample quote, "Sleeping or coma scenes are always great."

Sex article:
How to tell she's into you. Here's a good cut from that. It's a woman talking about how she let a guy she was attracted to know she was interested. "I once told a group of people at a bar that I was turned on by anal sex." Wonder of all wonders, it worked. "When I got up to leave, he ran after me and started making out with me in the street." Ah, young love. Firstly, holy crap. Secondly, maybe that's one of those things that's sexier when it actually happens than in print, but I'm pretty sure if I were either of those people, I'd be running to the clinic after that. And finally, this is the cue that we need to know about? I've been hearing about eye dilation and different body language, and hair brushing, when apparently all I needed to do was wait until the woman I'm into announces her fondness for anal sex?

Yeah. I'm not going to read this anymore.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Notes From A Coffee Shop - Revived


Bike helmet.

Take it off when you come in to read your paper.

You look pathetic enough wearing your spandex and waaaaay too skin-tight bike jersey.

Tour De France is over.

You lost.


Friday, July 25, 2008

The Consensus of Genre: Postcultural dematerialism in the works of Gaiman

I'm sure I'm the last person in acedemia to see this website, but I absolutely love it. And on the off-chance you haven't seen it either, here ya go.

Communications From Elsewhere - The Postmodernism Generator

A special note at the end:

If you enjoy this, you might also enjoy reading about the Social Text Affair, where NYU Physics Professor Alan Sokal’s brilliant(ly meaningless) hoax article was accepted by a cultural criticism publication.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tin Chef

Well, it may not look like much, but daaaaang it was tasty. Also, I errrr... made way too much. Anyone want to drop by and help me finish it off? I think I'm going to be eating this for the next two weeks.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot Hot or Spicy Hot?

Looks kinda fun, but will the spices go bad? These things aren't completely airtight.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ever Dance With the Devil in the Pale Moonlight?



Is it good? Yes.

Were there problems? Oh my dear yes. Plot holes and magical technology and deus ex machina, but nothing you might not expect. Well, the fingerprint thing was absurd to to the point of laughter, but nothing too hilarious.

Is it the best Batman movie yet? Maybe. It certainly could be argued.

Did Heath Ledger do well? Yes certainly.

Oscar-worthy well? No. Nowhere near.

Which is Why I Disappear When Someone Says Let's Start a Choir

I know many of you are wondering where you might find a musical blog starring Neil Patrick Harris as a wannabe evil genius that happens to be directed by Joss Whedon.

Well, here you go. Never say I didn't give you nothing.

Also, keeping with the theme, this looks like great fun.

Edited to add: Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog is only going to be up online for free until the 20th (that's tomorrow, friends and neighbors). After that it'll be available for download/purchase. Here's the info.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Reheatables for the Week


My first attempt at a curry. What do you guys think?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Awkward Moving Blues

Oh, UPS, why couldn't you have come just half an hour later? I would have been here. No you've got to lug that big box around all day again today.

Please take an extra long lunch today. I'll be here as quickly as I can.

Also: Morning song today - "Night Moves." Shouldn't I be singing morning songs? I think I need to listen to song more Cat Stevens.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Line! Line?

One of the coolest things happened this weekend.

I ran off to Trader Joe's to get some stuff for the tortilla soup. I only had a few items, so I got into the 15-items or less line, but right before I got there a very heavily made-up very plastic-looking woman (I'm shallow - sue me) wheeled her heavily-laden cart into the line ahead of me. Ah, crap. Oh, well, no worries, I'm in no hurry. When she gets to the front of the line, she asks the cashier to grab her a bottle of some vodka and she walks off to peruse the bottled water options. Cashier guy was distracted helping another cashier and didn't notice her.

She finally returns with her two cute boxes of Fiji Propaganda, er I mean Fiji Water, and the cashier takes one look at her, takes a look at her basket, and tells her, "This is a 15-item or less line."

She kind of flounced, and batted her eyes, and I swear she shook her saline at him. She said, "oh, really? I didn't even see a sign." (read in a cutsie bubblehead voice) and stayed in line.


awkward silence.

Cashier guy walks around her to get my basket, which finally convinces her that she's not going to get her way.


Seriously, it wasn't such a big deal. I really wasn't in a hurry, and I certainly wouldn't have made a scene, but I wanted to give cashier guy a tip.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Now Where Did I Put That...

Halfway through a recipe is not a good time to realize that the can-opener did not make it in the move.

On the other hand, the tortilla soup turned out alright, I think.

Other apartment and moving joy:

  • Bookshelves are installed and happily carrying their load. Well, I assume they are happy. It's kind of like their life goal to carry books, right? The downside is that they are now pretty prominently featured instead of in boxes, and I get to look at them and be reminded of how many of them I need to be reading.
  • There are still a lot of boxes that need to go away, but they are stubbornly refusing to go of their own accord.
  • I think I've finally nailed down my route to campus. It's 4.3 miles each way according to Google. It's really not that bad though. Uphill in the morning and downhill in the evening. Fun Fun!
  • My Zune went and bricked on me. I should say this is the last time I try to support a product out of spite. It's really isn't a bad product at all, I just wished it worked still. I have been podcast-less for the entire weekend. I've got an old Zen around here in a box somewhere. Why am I so dangerous for my mp3 players?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Overheard by Overread

Dafthead in the breakfast line:

"Can I get a muffin without any meat in it? I just want the bacon."

Ah, bacon. It truly is a miracle product.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Quick Review

Not much time for a full review, but dang. Wall-e is simply one of Pixar's best so far. It's right up there with Nemo and Toy Story.

Go see it. Now.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Where will I Eat?

Ok, it must be clear that I started this 'what song was going through my head when I woke up' thing to try to force myself into blogging more, but this morning's song was really disturbing:

Bonnie Tyler - Holding out for a Hero (Hil-arious video, by the way)

I'm pretty sure I haven't actually heard that song in at least months, maybe years. What in the world is going on in that little peabrain of mine?

Completely unrelated and uninteresting: The place that I planned on stopping at for breakfast when I bike in to campus is apparently not doing the mix you own omelets for the summer. Booo!

Class is trundling along nicely. I have to say I'm pretty impressed by the dedication of the students so far. Taking a year's worth of this class in 9 weeks, four hours/day is really tough. I think I may lose a few of them, but most seem pretty game.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Songs in my Head

Today and yesterday were both from the Squirrel Nut Zippers. At least that makes sense because I found their CD while I was moving. Now it's happily nestled in my zune. For those playing at home, yesterday was Got My Own Thing Now, and Today it seems to be Hell.

So there you are.

I think I've found a decent route to campus on the bike that only hits a couple of major roads - the rest are nice residential roads. Only trouble is that there are two monster hills right at the beginning. Well, that'll wake me up, right?

Today it was a 35 minute ride. That's about 10-15 minutes faster than the bus, not counting time waiting at the bus stop. Woot! Now I can be even more pretentious and snobby than I already am! Should I get those clicky (spell-check wants that to be coliky) bike shoes and conspicuously carry around my helmet or something? I know the standard rule of prtentiousness is that I have to ask people constantly how much money they pay for gas and insurance, and then get overly astonished that they have to pay for parking. hehe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Don't Believe in Peter Pan, Frankenstien or Superman...

I might have mentioned that I almost always wake up with a song in my head. That sounds a bit more poetic than it is in actuality. Today's song? No, it wasn't the one that inspired the title, it was Motley Crue's Dr. Feelgood. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Ok song and all, but not a real tooth-bruthing anthem.

I wonder if these songs are predictive of the way my day will go. So far (admittedly 7:30ish), so good. I biked to campus today to test how long it will take. Bike handled really well, although I way need to think about another seat. It's been a long time since I rode every day. As for the commute, I think I'm ok if I get out early - that way it's still coolish and the traffic isn't too bad. It took me about thirty minutes, and it wasn't nearly as bad as a feared. I tried a less busy side-street than the one I planned on (ok, I admit it, I took a wrong turn, but it was a fortuitous one), and the scenery was actually pretty pleasant.

Let's hope class goes as smoothly.

And the way home is downhill, so there's that.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One More Thing

I have a serious crush on Anne Hathaway.

Moving Update

Well, there I was saying nasty things about Time Warner and they go and turn all efficient and helpful on me. Originally, the website said I needed to go down to their office and yadda yadda, but I called them up and they scheduled an install the next day, so hey presto, I've got cable and the internet. Hooray!

Other developments. My old bike was in really bad shape, so it found a new home and I got a new one. Hooray again! I haven't been riding to school in about a year now - ever since I came back from Japan, I guess. Anywhoo, I rode around a bit yesterday and today, and it feels so good to be riding again. I live a ways away from school, but one of my friends bikes in every day from about the same area, so I might give it a shot, too.

That's because I'm teaching summer school, starting tomorrow. I'm always a bit nervous before a new class, but I've already taught this particular class two times here, so hopefully it'll go well.

Oh, I promised photos of the new pad, so here we go with a couple pre-move in shots:

Living room:


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stealth Blogging


Time Warner wins the first round. No internet for at least weeks.

Borrowing some internet from an anonymous neighbor(?) with a silly network name.

very tired.


Ya know, I was really happy to actually buy a real bed a couple of years ago when I moved in to this place. It was almost like I was a grown-up or something. So, I really shouldn't have bought that Ikea Malm. It looked really nice, but it pretty much fell apart after about a year. That's what I get for trying to be cheap, I guess. It was awkward and heavy, but it felt nice to throw it away.

'course now I don't have a bed again. Should I go for a futon, or actually get a bed bed? Ya know, box springs and such? hmmm... choices choices...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Moving

Woot! The moving begins! I should be in the new apartment by the end of the week.

I'm looking forward to new and exotic cable channels.

That's sad, right?

Yeah, that's sad.

Moving, ya know, it's a funny thing. One of the boxes that I always moved without opening for the past 3 or 4 moves fell apart when I was organizing things, so I had to rebox it. It was full of old pre-digital photos from about 2000 when I was teaching abroad and right when I met the woman I would date for the next 5 years. There were so many other people in those photos too. I'm not in contact with any of them anymore. I guess I'm just kind of like that. That's a part of me that I'm not particularly happy about.

Monday, June 16, 2008

There is a Point, but It's at the Very End

There's something really frustrating about begging for the opportunity to spend money. I listen to a podcast called Buzz Out Loud, and one of the hosts is always talking about how this is working with electronic media and internet services.

Examples - I needed a piece of software, but it's published elsewhere in the world and not sold on our shores. It's a really common program, but the only way to buy it is either to pay some random person on eBay for a most assuredly pirated copy, pirate a copy myself, or - oh holy of holies - the company's website has a pay for download service. But, it only works if you use a bank card from the country of origin. No international cards are allowed. I wonder if they ever considered that if I their customers had such a card, They might probably be living there and wouldn't need to buy online. Here, I want to give you my money. I want you to have my money. Please please pretty please let me give you my money. I want to make sure you are compensated for the good work you have done, and you are making it very difficult.

I really liked that Chelsea Dagger song and one or two of the others on that album. Pretty fun, but I don't buy DRMed music anymore. I'm not sure I want the whole CD though. Picky picky, I know. (Insert old codger here saying, "In my day, you couldn't even listen to the music beforehand. You bought your stack of victrolla records, and you listened to them all, and you liked it! Uphill! Both ways!) Anyway, I've been checking Amazon every month or so since it was popular (on an iTunes commercial? Maybe I should reinstall iTunes and check there. They do DRM-free now, too, right?) to see when it'll be available for download. Nope. Still not there. It would be really easy to get a pirated copy, but I really do want them to have my money. Really. Please let me pay you!

So, the point of all this is that I've been worried all weekend about whether or not I would be so graced by the credit score gods and the whims of the management company that I might be selected for the great honor and privilidge of paying an metric dumpster-load of cash every month to live in their apartment. There's a little more reason behind this, I know. Buying a CD ain't exactly the same as signing a contract to pay all that money every month for a year.

Still, I got the apartment. I sign the lease tomorrow. I'll get some pictures for you guys.

Anyone want to help me move? :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wherever I Hang My Hat

So between apartment #1 and apartment #2, I put in an application on apartment #3. Actually, it's about apartment #12, if you go by how many I looked through. The one I put in for is pretty nice. It's a little bigger than I probably need, but one I get all my books and crap in there, it might seem small. It's in a good location for buses, but slightly bad for noise (window toward big street). Another lesson learned was that, like refrigerators, A/C units are as rare as well-written final papers. This unit has a refrigerator, but no A/C. We'll see how that goes if I can get the place.

So anyway, that's that for now. Oh, and since I deferred a couple of months ago, yesterday I got a new jury summons.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Swing and a Miss

Well the one I wanted got rented yesterday while I went hunting proof of my salary. Feh. Looks like I get to start over again.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You're Packed, Right?

Things you may have missed while I've been incommunicado:
  • I was hired to teach this summer -yeah!
  • They gave us raises for the summer session - yeah!
  • Because of the raise, the class size has been doubled - Boo!
  • That '2 years' that the university said that I could stay in the University housing? Yeah, well, they meant 2 academic years, not two calendar years. So, they just sent me an email reminding me that I need to be out of the apartment by the end of the month, thanks. Boo!
  • So, um. That means I need to find an apartment and move in the next couple of weeks. I guess the pressure will at least get me off my lazy tukus, right? Boo?
  • I spent all day today looking for apartments and hunting down managers to open doors. Don’t they want me to look at their apartments? Boo!
  • Things I’ve learned today:
  • There’s no way I can afford to live in a place anywhere near as nice as the place I live now. I’m going to have to live much further away and pay a whole lot more for a much worse place. Everyone I’ve talked to has told me this, but I really didn’t want to believe. Boo.
  • Apartments don’t come with refrigerators anymore. Really? When did this happen? I’ve got to rent a regrigerator now? Boo?
  • When they say that they want proof I make three times the monthly rent in salary, it’s hard to explain to management companies where my money comes from exactly: “Well, there’s a little bit from a fellowship, then I’ve got a TAing job, and of course, that pays my tuition, so that’s money, but I don’t see any of it because it goes directly to the university. And of course that varies from term to term, and it’ll be completely different over the summer. Then there’s those side jobs that I do, right? Um. A paycheck stub? Errr… Let me get back to you on that one.”
  • After today, there are two possibilities:
  • Apartment #1
  • Closer to grocery stores and on several big bus lines
  • Cheap(er): about the same as what I’m paying now for about half the space.
  • Small – basically a studio with a kind of attached kitchenette thing, oh, and a miniature shower/bath seemingly made for a chihuahua.
  • Lots of shelves and cabinets
  • Old, partially refurbished
  • No A/C (very bad for me, as my sweat point is about 77 degrees)
  • Apartment #2
  • Slightly far away from most major bus lines, but on one good line that goes directly to campus
  • Very Pricey – more than I planned of spending, but still doable
  • Good size, kitchen, main room and a bedroom
  • Really gorgeous view out of the main window.
  • A/C, dishwasher, laundry room
  • Newer, more refurbished
  • Nicer building, keypad lock enterance thingie.
I guess it’s clear which one I like better. I’ve got a couple more places I’m going to look at tomorrow, but I think if they’ll accept my application, I’ll take #2 and try to cut back of other things. Thank goodness I don’t have a car.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Look There's a Gold Medal in My Orange Chicken!

I know that Panda Express is bad. It's a chain fast-food place. It's mass-produced dreck. It's very unhealthy. Heck, it's not even really Chinese food. And I know from Chinese food! At best you can call it Chinese food for white Americans who think going out for Mexican food is culinarily adventuresome.

I could say that I go there 'cause it's the only place thats close and open near campus on a Sunday.

I could say that it's a last resort.

But the horrible truth is... I kinda like it.

Jakie O Does Not Know You

Another in my efforts to force out a post or two by posting videos.

Almost makes me wish I had Showtime:

The funny thing is that I do this too. I can completely see myself co-opting someone else's memory.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!

The bestest blog evar had the bestest video evar. So I took it:

Oh, and yes, I'm aware that this is the epitome of an empty post that makes other people make fun of pathetic bloggers - the funny cat post. yadda yadda, I like cats. :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Excuse Me, I'm Going to Need to See Your Fashion License

Ok, folks, now, as your TA*, I feel that I should let you in on some news you can use. I'm speaking in particular to the double-chromosomed among you. I realize that as the weather gets warmer, many of you are deciding to wear less clothing. I completely agree that this is a good idea and I support your choice as far as that goes. Now, as I am a heterosexual man, you might think that I am particularly in favor of the women among you wearing much less clothing. While I am a great admirer of the female form, there are some issues here. First, you are in a classroom situation, this might suggest a slight need for a little bit of decorum. Also, there is a difference between comfortable and cool clothing and oh, so very trashy. Finally, what the fuck? Did you really choose to wear that? With that in mind, I offer some warning signs that you may want to rethink your wardrobe:

  • The neck of your blouse/shirt/top ends at your belly button
    • even moreso if you are wearing a granny bra
    • Also, go get your bra size checked. You aren't the size you were when you were 15. Seriously, folks, that looks painful.
  • If you are wearing a micro-mini skirt, go ahead a put a sweatshirt or bag or something in your lap when you sit down, and go ahead and keep your knees together or legs crossed.
  • I don't care what fashion says, I still really really really don't want to see half-way down your crack. really. I don't.
  • Your heels are so high that you can't actually walk
    • Although I have to admit it is hilarious to see you running to classes in flip-flops.
  • Remember that when you are walking up stairs there will be people behind you that are eye-level with your butt. Perhaps the very thin white pants are not the best choice to pair with your teddy-bear undies.
    • Admittedly, they were cute.

* Note that your TA is particularly fashion-challenged, and no one who should be listened to when it comes to clothing suggestions. Go here for better fashion advice.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hooray for funding!

I just found out that I have a real live source of funding for next year! I actually won a competitive fellowship! Woot! It's even enough that I might not have to teach at all next year - just take classes and research. What a novel idea!

Now, the question is, do I want to keep my name in the hat for teaching anyway? I do love teaching and this fellowship allows for some teaching, but these past two years, teaching has been a huge drain on my research time.

If I don't teach, it would be the first time in - jeeze, about 4 years that I haven't taught. Will I remember how life works without it?

Also, on a completely related note, does going to Taco Bell count as celebrating Cinco de Mayo?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Notes From Iron Man

Trailer for "The Happening" - oh no. This looks nearly as bad as that motel swimming alien movie. It's a really bad sign when your trailer's main selling point is a repeated earsplitting jarring 'uh-oh something dramatic happened' thump.

Trailer for the Hulk. There cannot be anything in the full movie that wasn't shown in the trailer. Meh.

Trailer (for some reason not online yet? Only could find the shorter trailer) for Indiana Jones - ok, I'll bite. looks fun. looks better that the second, but probably not as good as the first or third.

A TV remake of the Andromeda Strain? Ok, cool. Might be interesting.

Ah, the movie. I've read a whole lot of geekgasm about how this is the best geek movie evar, yadda yadda, and I guess it's probably one of the best comic book adaptations, but that's really not saying much. When your historical competition includes "Howard the Duck," well, it's not hard to excel. That's not to say that it's a bad movie - it does really well as a fun popcorn movie, but don't go in thinking you're going to see a really great flick.

  • So, explosions - check
  • cool suit - check
  • cool fight sequences - check
  • Reminding me of my serious crush on Gwyneth Paltrow -check (where is my copy of "Shakespeare in Love?"
  • Black Sabbath - check, but maybe not enough.
  • predictable villain/plot/dead friend/etc... etc... - check
If I remember, wasn't Tony Stark supposed to be an alcoholic? Wouldn't have been funny to see Mr. Downey Jr. play up the whole addiction thing? hmm?

All in all, it's good especially if you're just looking for a boom-boom flick or you are a fan of comicy-geeky goodness.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Best overheard: From a female student looking at her neighbor's laptop in the back row of an undergrad class I'm taking: "Oh my god! It's like three tranny hookers!"

I tried so hard to eavesdrop for the rest of the conversation, but no luck

Runner up, walking back to the office, "No, the first testament was like so cool! Everyone went around smiting each other!"

Saturday, April 26, 2008

What a Cruel Cruel World!

Ok, seriously. I'm melting. I haven't put on the pointy hat yet though. There's also a sad lack of flying monkeys here, but that's probably much further than that poor joke was ever meant to be ridden.

So. It's well over 90 degrees at 5pm. That's just wrong. It got into the upper 90s today. I don't know how in the world I survived growing up where it was often over 100 during the summer. Well, I do remember hating life a lot. I also remember lying in a pool of my own sweat on the floor (floor's cooler, still way too hot, but cooler) at 3 in the morning trying to sleep. I do remember that.

It is really embarrassing in a way. I'm sure it sounds awfully pathetic and all, but I'm ok with that. I'm a wuss when it comes to heat.

On the plus side, I went to a festival ("the kings festival?" err... no) today, and I'll probably go back. It's pretty place-specific, so no real details, but it's very very cool (and by that I mean freakin' hot). I also ran into an old professor that I had no idea would be there. Chatted for a bit and even got his new book, signed and everythin' Hooray!

Oh, also, I'm back in my dungeon office. It has AC, but only in the way that Fox News has credibility - that is, there are people who claim it to be true, but I'm dubious.

Good thing I'm underground.

Monday, April 21, 2008

FYI, Jackalopes are a No-Go

Now, I ain't Jewish, but this list of mythological animals and their Kosherness is a handy guide.

Also, it's nice to know that if a mermaid is Jewish and you are too that you could probably find a Rabbi who would marry the two of you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Domo Arigato, Mr. Jury Robato

I really prefer dealing with automated systems when calling in to big faceless services. I know, I know, I'm probably the only person who has ever said that, but hear me out. They're open every day, 24 hours a day. They can handle almost everything you need to deal with. They free up humans to deal with uncommon situations, and hey, let's face it, the humans mostly aren't very reliable in their answers anyway.

So tonight I had to call in to the evil jury service robot to see if it required my presence this week. The robot politely told me that I was a problem and then hung up on me.

Soooooo, maybe it would have been better if I could have called a human.


We have many 'issues' about the bathroom that is nearest to my office. It's a pretty low-traffic area, and if you know about the side door, well, you can get in and out with relative anonymity. So then, we've always had trouble with folks coming in, especially on the weekends or late at night, and enjoying themselves and/or others in there. There've been police reports and supposed increased patrolling and such, too.

I do think it's gotten a lot better. I've never actually found someone in there doing anything that folks normally don't do in bathrooms, but I've come in a few times and found people that seemed overly startled. Then there was the time that I was washing my hands and heard something muffled from one of the stalls. I looked under the barrier and saw no legs.

So ick, right? really really ick, right?

This morning I found a giant clump of hair in the sink.

Why does that gross me out as much as the other activities?

Hmm... I wonder where the next-nearest bathroom is?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

From the Link Dump Truck

I'm hoping that by posting a couple regular posts with no real content, I can get back into the swing of things, so here ya go.

  • Jonathan Coulter sings funny songs. I suggest his cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back", and "Code Monkey"
  • This is perhaps the coolest robot t-shirt. Can you name them all?
  • There's a town in China that produces most of the classic painting reproductions in the world. Someone asked the artists to paint self-portraits. The result is wonderful. I especially love the one by Xu Zanpeng
  • National Geographic rocks - this is well-known. They've got a cool article with typically wonderful photos about the 'instant cities' that are popping up in China.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nice Miter

Do we really need the entirety of the pope's mass televised on CNN?

No. The answer is no. We do not.

Surely there is news out there they could be covering.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Errr... Ok.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Wedding

Well, it's been a week, so I really should have blogged this already, but I'm doing it now, so there you go.

Most of the bloggy folks who come here are likely aware of the ever-so-sweet romance between Jayfish and Zerodoll. So, last Sunday was the big day - they got hitched! I was there, so you get a rather rambling play-by-play! Yea you!

I wasn't able to spend much time in town, but I managed to get in on Friday night despite the best efforts of the driver of the airport shuttle and its 'exact change only' policy to thwart me. Friday night I got to see their new house, which is huge and beautiful. The house is a great non-cookie-cutter place, with very fun nooks and crannies and switches that most probably turn on dark and mysterious machines, but for now only seem to make click noises. They've got a ginormous orange tree in the back yard, along with many other curious plants and shrubs and such.

On Saturday, the Fish side of the family got to meet up with the Doll side of the family. For the Dolls, this weekend also served as a sort of reunion, too. Folks flew in from everywhere, adding that much more to the festivities. It was a very happy gathering with a creche-full of babies and toddlers and also my eldest niece who is (how in the world did this happen?) five years old. She has also apparently learned to speak Chinese by watching TV. There was banjo playing, and some singing (alas, no karaoke), and even some attempts on the piano by niece the second. Not to leave any niece out, niece the third is only few months old, so she played that card and giggled and cooed and charmed us all.

Conversations of all manner of everything flowed well with wine and beer and various snackies to complement the pizza. Soap bubbles floated about, reflecting the paparazzi-worth of flashes going off as we all tried to catch good shots of the happy couple, or the babies, or any number of other shiny objects. A very good time was had by all.

The day of the wedding came, and as one of the folks with a big camera, I headed over to Casa Dollfish to document the hair and clothes and nerves and general happiness. If you don't know, Zerodoll is gorgeous, and Jayfish is a sharp, sharp-looking guy. When you dress 'em up in a tux and gown, damn. They're a great looking pair. I should note that Jayfish wore the tux and Zerodoll wore the gown. They could have gone the other way, but I'll stand by their choice.

The park where they had the ceremony is really nice. There's a wonderful view - water, sky city, trees, it's all really pretty. It was a touch chilly, and there was a good stiff breeze coming over, but everyone held together in good cheer. Scarves were playfully batted back down and the infectious happiness spread to all. The ceremony was purposefully short, but very moving. A few well-chosen words, a recitation, vows they wrote themselves, a kiss, and done.

Another Hollywood opening's worth of photography, and we all hopped into cars to head to the reception.

The reception restaurant was the one where they had their first date, well, the end of it anyway, sort of. If you want that story, you'll have to ask them. We got there a little early to arrange the namecards and such. The cake came with a slightly unexpected accent-color, but was more than beautiful anyway (Yummy too, but that's later). The guests began arriving, and the mood of friendly joy kept everyone up.

As brother of the groom, I had been given the first speech, which was long-winded and slightly garbled by my voice breaking near the end, but no one seemed to mind much. Jayfish and Zerodoll, stood and welcomed us kindly and sweetly with a much better control of voice and length, and then Zerodoll's mother also stood and said a few very nice words, nicely put.

Then the meal began. J&Z really went all out. It was simply wonderful. I can see why the first date went so well. 4 courses and 7 or eight dishes later, they got up and cut the cake together, and we all had our pieces.

It's kind of funny, when I look over that, it seems almost like it's just a standard wedding. Maybe that's the impression you'll get too, but I can't help but be so happy just recounting it. J&Z and my family mean so much to me, it's anything but standard to me.

Cheers to you both!


Anonnymous to the very very very young girl in front of me in line buying an E.P.T. kit this morning: Good luck.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CNN Gets Worse Daily

I really do agree that autism is an important topic worth investigation in the news, but why has CNN suddenly become the Autism Channel? There was just a tease asking "What do the presidential candidates say about autism?"


Surely we need to ask Bernanke about it. I've no doubt that Mugabe would have some insight, too. "President Hu, do you think that the Tibetan people understand the dangers of autism?"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Up Close And Personal With A Light Saber

Fair warning - another long, rambly post follows :)

So when they say it doesn't hurt, they aren't exactly lying. They also say it might be uncomfortable, too. That's a little closer to the truth.

Let me step back a bit.

I've wanted to get Lasik for a couple of years now. I dug around looking at the safety issues and dangers and all that jazz for quite a long time. I'd pretty much decided to do it, but maybe some day in the indefinite future.

A little over a month ago, I ran out of contact lenses. I called the 1800contacts folks to get a couple of new boxes, but they said my prescription was too old and I had to go and get checked again. Ah, well, I figured, that's probably a good idea anyway.

I called the Kampus Kwack Klinic, and they said that they couldn't even give me an appointment because they were booked well beyond their ability to make appointments. That seems odd to me. Did their appointment book run out of pages? Are they dealing with a strange version of the Y2K issue (the Y3.2008 problem?). Anyway, they said my best bet was to call at the beginning of summer and pray to the minor gods of appointment-books, or I could call every morning at 8 until doomsday and see if anyone canceled (I'm exaggerating, but I'm also being more polite than the person on the phone was).

The final option was to go out and see an outside optometrist. Well, that sounded better in a lot of ways. After talking to some folks and checking reviews on Yelp!, I found a well-respected and quality guy fairly near where I live who even took my pathetic little grad-insurance. I called up and got an an appointment that day (through a cancellation - thanks minor gods of appointment-books!).

I showed up and brought up to the Doctor that at some time I might be interested in Lasik and asked his opinion about the whole thing. Turns out he works regularly with a really good lasarium (laser-drome? laserapolosa?) which is also very local, and he'd be happy to look at my eyes with lasers in mind. Cool.

Everything went fine, and the Doctor turned out to be really great. We talked a lot about the zapping, and by the end of the visit, I had decided to go for a full checkup at the laser-B-Q. Because you aren't supposed to wear contacts for awhile before getting zapped, I didn't even get a new set of contacts, out the door with my old beat up glasses.

To make an already long story slightly less tedious, after the second checkup, I decided to get zapped at the earliest convenience. We're on spring break here, and if I needed a couple of extra days to recoop, I had 'em. So, I asked when they had an opening to zap me. They said tomorrow. I said ok.

The next day, everything went hunky-dory. Like I said, it was uncomfortable though. They pull open your eyes, Clockwork Orange-style and the laser machinery sits directly on your eyeball (I'm guessing here - they numbed up my eyes pretty good, but the evidence is in what they say is eyeball bruising. Seriously. ick.). Zip-zop, they slice your eye open and Zap-Zip it's all done. For me it took about maybe 10 minutes, tops.

I sat around for a few minutes in a dark room with a glass of juice (they also offered me a power bar, which seemed... odd.), and the doctor came by and took a look at my eyes. All looked good, so they sent me home (wearing some very snazzy goggles).

No lie, the next day I woke up and I could see. Wizz-bang-poof. I mean, I could see a whole lot better already immediately after, but it was still very hazy. The next day, it seriously felt like I had brand new contact lenses in. This is going from -6.5 in both eyes to, well, I went in for the follow-up exam and tested 20/20 the day after the operation. It's been a little over a week now, and everything is healing the way it should. I went in for another follow-up a couple of days ago and it looks like I wont need any glasses until I need reading glasses. Hooray!

Random pieces of info:
  • Yes, I do have slight haloing around lights at night, but that was expected and is getting better as my eyes heal. It should go back to the same as pre-operation.
  • One of the people at the laser clinic had some of the worst facial plastic surgery I've seen ever.
  • It really is very freaky waking up in the middle of the night and being able to read the clock. It seems that a lot of the places use that as a selling point, but seriously, I don't ever remember being able to do that.
  • I'm still a bit freaked out that they sliced open my eyeball with a laser. Ew.

Into the Uncanny Valley Of Death

Uncanny Valley: Definition
Uncanny Valley: Staring at you out of the monitor


Friday, March 28, 2008

Hit The Links

  • Some genres get no respect
  • It's a little overly wonky, but this video making fun of Clinton is pretty good if you've kept up with your internet memes:

  • Very funny take on Ethic food. It's really really hard for me not to go all academic on this and try to analyze it. Would you like to go out for an English tonight?
  • and finally a sex scandal cheat sheet

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pardon Me, Where Do You Keep The Microfiche?

I'm fairly certain that I never could have even attempted to get a degree of any kind before technology ruled the world. Evidence? The Inter Library Loan is perhaps the coolest thing ever. I am now happily in the possession of a book that really ought not to exist. Technically, it might not be technology, but I never would have even known the book even existed without another reason I couldn't hack it earlier: Online library databases. Remember card catalogs? hehe Card Catalogs!

Ok, maybe we're loosing the ability to do, ya know, actual research, but still, card catalogs?

Also, scans? PDFs? online searchable journals? digital photographs? digital number crunching? And I'm in the humanities!

Ok, I'm off to read my secret shouldn't-still-exist book

Sunday, March 23, 2008

TV Tonight

What does it say about me that I am flipping back and forth between Emma and Tomb Raider? I'm pretty sure it must be a diagnosable illness, a chemical imbalance to be sure.

By the way, what are the odds that I'll be able to use those two tags again?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Commercials That I Hate

So I'm watching some basketball today, and although I actually love good ads, boy are they craptacular. Even when I'm right in their target market. I'm sure this list will grow.

Coke vs. Coke Zero Taste Infringement series
- Inspires loathing. What a horrible useless campaign. Did they think it was funny? Why is it that idiocy is now considered a positive point? This has been around forever, and I just can't figure out why.

Degree Antiperspirant in the Future
- Ok, so you had a robot apply your antiperspirant in the morning and were nearly late for your meeting - especially after having to deal with that robotic dog who wanted to bit your butt. Should I just try not to think about why a robot would want to chase or bite you? Luckily there was a jet-pack thing there that got you to the meeting - with your holographic boss? And the hologram analyzes you for sweat? What. The. Hell?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Name That Film

Perhaps you might know how much I enjoy a quiz. Well now, some folks started a flickr pool called "Name That Film." The game is easy enough, upload a screengrab from a film and let the other folks try and figure out what film it came from. Fun! I will say though, that some folks are using this as an opportunity to go as obscure as possible. feh. Most of 'em are a lot of fun though. I'm almost regretting not having a decent film collection :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Twenty-Six Point Two, Expanded

I hope you folks have this thing on bloglines or reader or something, 'cause hey, if it were me, I probably would have deleted the bookmark long ago. Just sayin'

So, I never did write about the marathon. I guess I'm sufficiently recovered to elaborate now :)

It really was fine, if a little disappointing. I had been sick for the week leading up to the run, so not only did I not do any nice maintenance running, but I was also a bit dehydrated. In any case, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I really did expect to do better, but I beat my last time (from '98? '99?) so that's something I guess.

I did pretty fine actually, well, up to about mile 18. Then things started getting ugly. My ankle (oddly enough, not the one that had bothered me a while back) started complaining, which wasn't bad, but then my thigh started to cramp up. The really rough thing is that you can pretty much run through mild pain - endorphines and bull-headedness, I guess, but boy howdy, a cramp will really sit you down and give you a stern talking to about what an idiot you are.

There's a really weird thing about the decision to start walking for me. For me, walking equals failure. That's overstating it a bit, but not by much. Also, there's the idea (true enough) that once you start to walk, it becomes so much harder to start running again. So I ended up nearly dropping into a walk several times, and then pushing on and congratulating myself only to find a few minutes later trying to stave off the walkies again. It really is a huge mind-game.

I was pretty happy with the run up to that point, but once the cramping started to really settle in, I lost (or won?) the arguement with myself and started walking. Every so often, I tried to start running again, but it's funny how it seemed like my body bought into the idea that we were done doing that pain-thing for the day, and it didn't want to have anything to do with this whole jogging bit anymore.

So, I walked. and walked. I felt pretty pathetic walking by the crowds of people cheering the runners on. Some of the people actually yelled out "Go runners!" hmm... Guess they weren't talking about me :) I should also say that there were heaps of walkers and the ex-runners like myself, but still. Feh.

Anyway, about mile 21, I was able to pick up something that might be charitably called a jog again, and started to trundle off. As I ran further, the aches and pains gradually fell away and by about mile 24, I was almost running at speed again. Well, ok, maybe not speed, but noticeably no longer shuffle-jogging.

I was able to run out the rest of the marathon, and got my little finishers medal and a whole crapload of free cookies and bananas and gels and chocolate and sport drinks etc etc.

Probably the coolest thing was on the bus back to where I was staying, there was a itty bitty kid and his mom. The mom pointed over at me (still wearing medal and bib) and said, "See? He ran the marathon!" and the little kid said, "cool."


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pros and Cons

Bonus effect of getting a cold:

Deeper voice - can now sing bass


Running a marathon with a cold this weekend.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Comics 'n' Charts

Maybe you like Garfield. Maybe you don't. But take him out of the comic and you've got something truly bizarre.

Sometimes, music is hard to understand.

Be It Resolved

  • "Mid-Term" Exams
    • You can not have more than one per term, otherwise it is not a mid-term.
    • If you want to use the phrase to scare students, it doesn't work. And your loyal TAs are the ones that take the brunt of the anger.
    • Unless it takes place in the middle(ish) of the term, and there is only one, just call it a 'test.'
  • Advertising on campus
    • Litering /= marketing.
    • You cannot convince me in any more effective way that your product is not worth my time than by covering the campus with your pathetic 'guerrilla' marketing.

That is all.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Change on Main Street

There's a movie rental chain store that's going out of business near me. It opened last November, maybe. I don't really have any sympathy, 'cause hey, first off, it's a huge chain monstrosity, and second, who in their right mind thinks that expanding a movie rental business now? Well, that and I'm heartless. Surely there's a huge contraction going on right now and without a fundamental change in the business, it's got no shot, right?

That's not what this post was supposed to be about though. The store is running a sale on all their stock. Right now it's 25% off their used price - anyway it ends up being about 7 bucks per DVD. Now, to be honest, I really don't care that much for owning disks - music or movies, but hey, I'd take a look. I ended up picking up four funky foreign flicks (not entirely because of the alliterative possibilities). One of which was Lagaan - a very fun Bollywood song and dance movie about cricket. I mean, seriously, how could I not, right?

The odd thing was you could see the horror that is the film industry on display. There were uncountable numbers of movies I'd never even heard of. The main studio films were about as bad. There were stacks and stacks of Showgirls and Taledada Nights. I guess it makes sense for the rental biz, but I was wondering if they could find a home for all of those. The "Special Interest" section was scarier. There were a whole lot of copies of "Chickfight."

Am I too pessimistic to think that Chickfight will sell out before Showgirls?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tonight We Watch Movies in HELL!

Watched 300.

I do enjoy a good popcorn boom boom movie. I like explosions and cheesecake and all that jazz. I understand that people enjoyed the visuals. It was striking, and movies that actually have a unique visual vision are rare, so I guess that's something. I can't really form a coherent paragraph, so bullet points will serve.

  • Why oh why oh why must every 'historically inspired' group of people go off on the importance of their 'country' and the eternal value of 'freedom' regardless of any historical basis?
  • Seriously, even if it was a comment on the modern world, it was incoherent.
  • Those heroic and noble light skinned people surely showed it to those dark skinned evil foreigners, didn't they?
  • Now I ain't no Greek scholar or nothin' but the swipe at Athenians being 'boy lovers?' Umm... Pot or kettle?
  • The entire queen's speech - utter crap. Seriously, I speak to you not as your queen but as a mother? What the hell?
  • Did Sparta even have the position of queen? Also, didn't they have two kings?
Ugh, I've got to stop now.

I understand that it was supposed to be a melodrama, but still...

I'm over-thinking this, aren't I?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Mrs. Robinson, You AreTrying To Quiz Me.

Ah! Now you folks are back in the swing of things! Including a late catch by the Quarterflashing Corndog. Now there's an image. Which quarter, I wonder?

Anywhoo - numbers 2 and 8 were through the holes in the net last time- #2 was Rod Stewart's "Infatuation" and well, hey, I never thought I'd catch you guys with a Madonna, but there ya go - "Who's That Girl?" for #8.

Let's do this again, shall we? I'm still stuck on the 80s channel, so bear with me:

Gave you my heart, gave you my soul
You left me alone here
With nothing to hold
Yesterday's gone
Now all I want is a smile

It's gotta be night and say
Just a matter of time
And we got nothing to be guilty of
Our love will climb any mountain near or far , we are
And we never let it end
We are devotion

The problem's plain to see:
too much technology
Machines to save our lives.
Machines dehumanize

you know,ain't no plans with a man,
this is the 80s and
I'm down the ladies

You ask if I love you, well what can I say?
You know that I do and if this is just one of those games that we play
So I'll sing you a new song, please don't cry anymore
and then I'll ask your forgiveness, though I don't know just what I'm
asking it for

Won't some sweet mama come and take a chance with me
'Cause I ain't so bad

I'm so in love with you
Ill be forever blue
That you give me no reason
You know you're making me work so hard

I want to love you, feel you, wrap myself around you
I want to squeeze you, please you, I just can't get enough
And if you move real slow I let it go

I call, you're not at home
You're home, but you're not alone
If you wanna leave
Then why don't you say
Your love has gone anyway

Could you like just picture me in like a leather teddy
Yeah right, hurt me, hurt me...
I'm sure! no way!

I'm Very Excited To Have The Opportunity

Any guesses how very much sick of writing letters trying to convince people to give me money so I can keep doing my research I am?

The answer is very.

I like talking about my topics, but I really really hate pimping myself like this.


Watch Two, Play One

A couple of movies and a game from teh intertubes:

Star Trek plus Jefferson Airplane? Joy!

Um, I'm really not sure what to do with this one, especially the last part, but I thought you might need to see it.

And finally, a tower defense-style game. It's got wizards and zombies. That's got to be good, right?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Quizzing Like it’s Much Earlier Than 1999

So, now, in honor of this Day of Presidents, I present to you, a quiz. Of lyrics!

There's things that you guess
And things that you know
There's boys you can trust
And girls that you don't
Spirits soar when I'm by her side
She put a little love in this heart of mine
Maybe I'm lucky, maybe I'm freed
Maybe this woman's just all I need
She's right here behind the glass
and you're gonna like her,
'cause she's got class.
Although I want you bad I could let you go
'Cause there's a lot of girls out there that won't say no
But due to fact that I want you, Jackie
I want you more than human eyes can see
Now who's this Don Juan I've been hearing of
Love hurts when only one's in love
Did ya fall first sight
Or did you need a shove?
With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue
Dissolve the nerves that have just begun
Listening to Marvin all night long
This is the sound of my soul
I told you
That we could fly
'Cause we all have wings
But some of us don't know why
When you see her, say a prayer and kiss your heart goodbye
She's trouble, in a word get closer to the fire
Run faster, her laughter burns you up inside
You're spinning round and round
You can't get up, you try but you can't
Crying on the corner, waiting in the rain
I swear I'll never, ever wait again
You gave me your word, but words for you are lies
Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling
Do you feel my heart beating, do you understand?
Do you feel the same, am I only dreaming?