21 December 2007

I do love a good end of the year top 100 list


Has anyone else been watching VH1's Top 100 Songs of the 1990's? That shit is an addictive trip down memory lane. It's also weird because I tend to get the late 80's and early 90's jumbled together in my head, musically speaking. So for a number of these songs, I'm like "dude, that came out in the 90's?" Like I'm Too Sexy. And Ice Ice Baby? And Gonna Make You Sweat? They just have such an 80's feel about them. Ditto Jump Jump. That is wiggity wiggity wiggit wack. (Although I prefer Warm it Up.) {an aside, what on earth did we do before youtube?}

Also, we've made it all the way to the top 20 and...no Nirvana songs? However you feel about them, that was the band of the 90's. I'm assuming Smells Like Teen Spirit will be #1 (the episode counting down numbers 20-1 airs tonight), but nothing else? Also, no Brittney yet. 1998 brought us Baby One More Time. You know that is in there somewhere...top 5 for sure. Alas, 100 songs is not very many when you're talking about 10 years.

Anyway, it's a fun countdown, and entertaining to have all the above mixed in with Dr. Dre and Christina Aguilera and Eminem and *nsync. Quite a random assortment we had in the 90's.

17 December 2007

Hey Hey Tampa Bay

"It took 32 seasons and 1,865 tries, but the Bucs finally returned a kickoff for a touchdown Sunday."

That's right, ya'll. We've won a Superbowl since the dark days of...say all of the 1980's and 1/2 of the 1990's, but we've never run a kick-off back for a touchdown. That seems so incredible, I mean other teams have done that several times in a season. Alas, the Bucs were never able to until yesterday.

How about a rousing chorus of "Hey Hey Tampa Bay"? The Bucs know how to shine, indeed. (Or, if you prefer a more modern ditty, here is the updated version. Or perhaps you would fancy the hip hop classic (although somewhat dated) "Welcome to Ray Jay"?

Also, how random is it that the same guy who owns the Bucs also owns Manchester United?

13 December 2007

an open letter to Jason Lee

Dear Jason,

The Chipmunks? Really?


Sigh.

Look Jason, I've been right there with you for a while. Loved Brodie Bruce...to a disturbing degree, come to think of it, considering he was actually kind of a dick. Ditto Banky, a veritable Prince Charming compared to that tool Affleck's Holden. Loved Skip Skipperton in the little known Mumford (love that Loren Dean as well)...kind of creepy but adorable. Also Puggy in Big Trouble (very odd character, and the hair was disturbing, but he had a good heart). You were the charming guy we were rooting for to get the girl in Kissing a Fool and Heartbreakers (allowing me to ignore the presence of David Schwimmer and Jennifer Love Hewitt respectively). Then you score a big break out role in Almost Famous and ultimately end up as the endlessly charming Earl Hickey. Fine work there, skater boy.


These things engendered a warm feeling and built you a solid base with me, even allowing me to overlook the following: You are a Scientologist.


But now I see you are involved in (nay, starring in) Alvin and the Chipmunks, yet another holiday nightmare that is being inflicted upon us. So much about this whole endeavor is just plain wrongheaded. To wit:
  • The Chipmunks were annoying in the 60's (I cannot change the station fast enough when I hear that Chipmunk Christmas song) and remain so to this day. Why bring that back? What is enjoyable about those super annoying high singing voices? I don't get it.
  • Do we really need another entry into the "frustrated parent figure dealing with mischievous rapscallion-like children" film genre. I know I'm supposed to find the little scamps charming, but I usually just want to smack them.
  • I take the same stand I have taken with Scooby-doo, the Grinch, Garfield, and countless others: Cartoons do not need to be remade into live action movies.
Leaving aside all that, Jason, I had just hoped you were better than this. You are the star of a network TV show now, do you really need to do the Chipmunks? And while it is nice to see you all clean-shaven and minus that ubiquitous Burt Reynolds-esque Earl mustache, that's not enough to get me to see this flick.

A paycheck is a paycheck I guess, and you do have an oddly named child to feed. I just hope little Pilot Inspektor
appreciates it...


11 December 2007

America is big, ya'll


So apparently there are huge dramatic ice storms hitting the midwest. I am unable to comprehend that fact, as it is currently 65 degrees outside (at 9 in the morning, the high is going to be damn near 80). It doesn't really seem like there should be such divergent weather conditions is the same country.

Although, Florida often feels like part of a completely different nation. More like one in the southern hemisphere, where Christmas is supposed to be warm. We are having our holiday luncheon here at work today...not really feeling the Xmas spirit, weather wise. Hopefully there is some cool headed our way.

06 December 2007

sing it, ladies

So I was only in the bagel place this morning long enough to order up and pay for a bagel and fill my cup with beverage, but it was long enough to hear 2 songs playing on the restaurant sound system. Those 2 songs? 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton and Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton. I don't know if I happened in while they were playing their Hits of the '80's, the Ladies Edition or what, but it was odd.

Also, I haven't heard either of those songs in years (although I have seen the movie 9 to 5 somewhat recently. I tend to watch at least a bit of it every time I stumble across it on cable, which is fairly often since it is always on. I love that movie. Plus, I never get tired of everyone calling Dabney Coleman a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.) But, I still knew all the words to both of these songs. Every. Single. Word.

Just more stuff taking up the space in my brain where things like algebra used to be.

29 November 2007

The proper method for dealing with bad grammar

So I finally watched the "Lois kills Stewie" episode of Family Guy (not to be confused with the "Stewie Kills Lois" episode that came before it.) I watch Family Guy sporadically, usually on Cartoon Network rather than Fox. That show kind of grows on you, I like it much more now than I did before.

Anyway, in this ep, Stewie becomes President of the World. One of the laws he passes is that "anyone using the words 'irregardless,' 'a whole nother,' or 'all of the sudden' will be taken to work camps." I am down with this, except for "a whole nother", which I say alarmingly often. I also agree that work camps are generally a fair punishment for bad grammar.

Is it wrong that I would prefer Stewie as president to the majority of the republican candidates?

Also, every time I see the clip of Chris saying "I'm so hungry, I could ride a horse", I laugh uncontrollably. Every. Single. Time.

27 November 2007

Slimy, but good


Potential band name: Gross Okra

Origin: an unpleasant discovery made while cleaning out the fridge.

On a related note, this recipe rocks. Mmmm...okra.

26 November 2007

Where did this name come from?

Black Friday? I ask you all...have you ever heard that term before 2 years ago? I mean, it's like it sprang up out of nowhere. The same goes for "Cyber Monday" (which is today, by the way, so I wish you all the best in this, the traditional Cyber Monday season). That one I can forgive, because online shopping and merchants caring about it is a relatively new phenomenon, but people shopping on the day after Thanksgiving is a longstanding tradition. But, it was always called "the day after Thanksgiving" not "Black Friday". My issues with the term are twofold:

  1. It's like giving yourself a nickname. (i.e. Micheal Jackson, he's not called "The King of Pop" as he decided he should be. He's called "the self-proclaimed King of Pop" or by the more honestly come by nicknames like Wacko Jacko...) I realize that these sobriquets have to start somewhere. I'm not opposed to coining new terms, per se. What I object to is everyone acting like this is not a new term. It's like someone using the term "bling" back in the late 90's, then being all like, "what, that's been a thing forever. You've never heard that term before? That's totally how Marie Antoinette referred to her jewelry..."
  2. You can't just take something that has historically meant something bad and change that meaning to the exact opposite. Black Monday has already staked out this territory, and that is known far and wide as an extremely bad day. (I was just thinking of the stock market thing, but there are also all of these...who knew? Also, please note...all bad) Yet we're supposed to infer that while Black Monday is bad, Black Friday is somehow good? (Also note in this list, one good...many bad).
This rant actually has no purpose other than I've been hearing the term relentlessly for days now and it's been bugging the crap out of me. It's at least out of my system for another year I guess.

21 November 2007

It's got a nice ring to it

You know how you read something or someone says something or you just hear a word or a phrase and you think "that would be a great band name"? Happens to me all the time. Thought I would keep track of some. So, if you have a band you're looking to name, feel free to help yourself. All I ask is you eternal gratitude and and mention in your liner notes (or the online equivalent) and a few casual mentions in your Rolling Stone interviews or Behind the Music.

Our first contender: Unilateral Neglect

Origin: Listening to an interview on NPR with some scientist discussing how our brains work and how they can compensate for injuries and such. Unilateral Neglect is when you have a stroke or something in one side of your brain, and it causes you to to behave as if one side of your sensory space is nonexistent. From our friends at Wikipedia:

In an extreme case, a patient with neglect might fail to eat the food on the left half of their plate, even though they complain of being hungry. If someone with neglect is asked to draw a clock, their drawing might show only the numbers 12 and 1 to 6, the other side being distorted or left blank. Neglect patients may also ignore the contralesional side of their body, shaving or adding make-up only to the non-neglected side.
Very cool concept and also cool sounding, especially if you band is from the "I'm a tortured artist" school.

19 November 2007

Scariest baby shower ever

Is it wrong that when I saw this headline: Friends throw Richie ‘Oz’-themed baby shower

I wanted the theme to be this Oz:
rather than this one?
I guess they didn't want all the "Now there's a shower where you really don't want to drop the soap" jokes...


Also, Nicole Richie is annoying. As is her babydaddy.

16 November 2007

He's indicted, and it feels so good...

Barry Bonds...indicted.
Woo-hoo!

Every time I see or hear about the dude, I'm reminded of something my friend Rakes once said about him (which of course, he won't remember he said, but I do and trust me, he said it)

"I'd really like the opportunity to kick that guy off of my front porch"

Word.

14 November 2007

Strike

So, I'm finally getting around to commenting about the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) strike. It's now day 10, and I hope more progress is being made behind the scenes that what I'm hearing, but I doubt it.

First, I feel eminently qualified to comment on the matter. Not because I have any real knowledge of the subject or anything, but just because I love me some TV. I am a huge consumer of their product and it pains me that soon there will be nothing but news, reruns, and crappy reality shows available for my viewing pleasure. (Thank God for Project Runway. And there is my guilty pleasure of America's Next Top Model...although the reality shows (especially that one) actually screwed over the writers early on.

Anyway, my position on the strike can be summarized as follows: Go writers. It seems undeniably clear that the studios are trying to completely cheat the writers out of fair revenue from the new media formats...much the same way they did with video rights back in the day. This video offers up the clearest description of the issues that I've found, all in a concise 4 minute package:



It's also interesting that the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or the Darth Vader of this piece) is using the lame argument that the full episodes of shows that are available online are simply "promotional" materials. This is complete bullshit. Aside from the fact that they sell ads for these online versions, the web has clearly become a legitimate outlet for television shows. I know lots of people who watch certain shows exclusively online. Whether it's because all their watching/recording slots for a particular time are filled with higher priority shows, because their Tivo or DVR malfunctioned, or simply because they're looking for a way to kill some time at work is immaterial...shows are being watched and writers are not being paid. Same deal with iTunes, people are paying for those shows. It's no different that buying a DVD (another market in which the writers make almost nothing). The irony is that the people who watch shows on the net or buy them from iTunes are exactly the people that the networks want watching their shows...young, early adopters with free time and disposable income.

The actors/writers from The Office (many of the people on that show wear both hats) make some excellent points here:



There are also countless writers blogging about their strike experiences. I've been enjoying this one (and not just because he uses the same blogger template as me...). You can also check out the WGA's site or the unofficial United Hollywood one, where you can sign a petition.

As I've said, I have no vested interest in the strike, other than that of any other average TV viewer. I can't imagine being on strike. Basically, you quit your job and take on a new job that offers no pay, is physically demanding, and can be totally demoralizing as the situation wears on. That has got to be tough. So, I offer my moral support. Good luck to you.

01 November 2007

Dare to enter the bermuda wang...


Doctor
: What you need is a good, long rest. I suggest Florida.
Homer: Florida? But that's America's wang!
Doctor: They prefer, "The Sunshine State."

So I'm in Orlando for a work meeting. I don't really care for Orlando much. Happiest place on earth my ass. The main thing I hate is my sudden and complete inability to navigate when I arrive. I have a good sense of direction. I'm generally able to get where I'm going without incident and with minimal effort. Not in Orlando. It's like everything in the place is protected by some sort of cloaking technology that prevents you from locating it. I think whatever it is that causes all the confusion in the Bermuda Triangle can also been found in abundance in the greater Orlando metropolitan area.

One of the main problems is a complete disregard for the highway naming conventions observed by the rest of the U.S. To wit, odd numbered highways go north and south, even numbers run east and west. I-4...not so much.

As you can see here, the road does go nominally east/west:

It's the red line going from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf coast (or vice versa)

But notice that it is also moving decidedly north/south.



Let's observe I-4 more closely as it meanders through O-town:

I-4 is that big red line running vertically through the map...does that say "east/west" to you?








Or how about this one. Note how I-4 runs perpendicular to the East-West Expressway.





Anyway, this complete disregard for the accepted norms is but one of Orlando's problems. It is full of tons of annoying stuff like:
  • Toll roads. Everything is a toll road. Drive 50 yards, pay a toll
  • The tourists. The mouse draws so many tourists
  • The Conventioneers. I think Orlando hosts more conferences than anywhere in the world. The Conference Center is enormous
In general, Orlando is a frightening place. It's a mysterious spawning ground that gives rise to boy bands and mousketeers. It's the home of Celebration. It has a Christian theme park. It's a weird place.

Also, I love staying in hotels, but we are in this complete shithole which features doors that open onto the parking lot (which I think technically makes it a motel), rooms that reek of mildew, and sheets that don't fit properly on the bed so if you toss and turn a bit (like I do) you will awaken (as I did) to find the fitted sheet pulled loose from the mattress corners, said sheet and mattress pad bunched up underneath you, and your face dangerously close the the bare mattress. Also: unsatisfying pillows (although in fairness, I am fussy about pillows), an air-conditioner with settings that are limited to "freezing" or "off", bad lighting, poorly located outlets, and a decidedly sketchy clientele. I'm so ready to check out and head northward on the Turnpike.

Of course, I have to come back down here again on Wednesday for a conference. Maybe there really is no escape.

26 October 2007

7 unrelated things

  1. Finally, it's starting to act like fall. The real one. We had the traditional false start a couple weeks ago. Every year we get the fake-out fall for a couple of days, then it warms up again. Now I think we might actually be beginning the slow decline into the under 70 degree high.
  2. Are all credit card companies evil, or just mine? They are currently trying to screw me out of a late fee, because of goddamn Columbus Day. I will not yield.
  3. Old moustaches are funny.
  4. I want to buy a new mountain bike, but there are too many choices
  5. All my camellias are getting ready to bloom. I love a flower that blooms in the fall and winter. The Pink Perfection (pictured) is my favorite. I don't have one in my yard, but there is one in my neighbor's yard, just on the other side of the fence. The blooms are well within easy stealing distance. I also learned this today: "Elizabeth, the Queen Mother grew Camellia in all of her gardens. As her body was taken from Royal Lodge, Windsor to lie in state at Westminster Hall of the Palace of Westminster, a Camellia from her gardens was placed on top of the flag-draped coffin."
  6. I have to go to Orlando twice in the next two weeks. Orlando is stupid. I always get lost there.
  7. All ya'll should be watching Pushing Daisies. Ned is my new TV boyfriend.

18 October 2007

Did I mention I went to Colorado?

Um, yeah...cause I went to Colorado. Like a month ago at this point, but I finally get around to bringing it up. Never been to the CO before. Nice place. Big Mountains. Here they are from afar:

As compared to the mountains in North Carolina:
.
Some what similar, but the NC mountains are about 5000 ft and the CO ones can get up around 15000 ft, so...not quite the same. Also, I seem to take a lot of photos out the car window.

Anyway, we went up to
Rocky Mountain National Park which was lovely but also kind of scary. The road you drive on is quite twisty and there are cliffs that you drive right next to and there is like no guard rail between you and a big drop off a cliff. I'm glad I wasn't driving...it was nerve wracking enough in the passenger seat.

At any rate, it was raining when we first got there, but it stopped pretty quickly, which enabled us to encounter this ridiculous sight (click on the photo for enlargement):


Yeah, we're actually looking sort of down at the rainbow. Like we are so high, we're above the rainbow, or at least on the same level. Here it is in motion:




Also entertaining was the fact that there are elk. Lot's of elk. Like everywhere. And they pretty much get to go wherever they want. Here they are on a golf course in the middle of downtown Estes Park:


Please note the golfers just casually putting on the green and continuing their round (click on the photo for an enlarged view). Which is noteworthy because just out of the frame of that photo you will find this guy:


Who does not look like he should be trifled with. Nor should his ginormous antlers, for that matter

12 October 2007

I heart fall

Fall is here, as all my Yankee and internationally based friends have been telling me for a month (Lady Byron...I'm looking in your direction) But up until now, no evidence of said season was to be seen here in the FLA. Until yesterday. Yes, mark your calendars, October 11 finally brought a chill into our humid and temperately hostile land.

Oh first sign of fall, how I love you. Oh day of days, you bring me such happiness. Don't get me wrong, the Florida summer is not without it's charms. Excellent swimming weather and all that...it's just so long. So very long. I remember that as a kid I would get so annoyed in August, when all the back to school clothes would show up in the magazines and stores. Sweaters and scarves and corduroy pants galore...none of which could be worn by me for at least 2 more months. September is shorts weather, as is October and often much of November. An outdoor Thanksgiving is not unheard of.

As August trudges toward it's sweaty conclusion, I always find myself eagerly waiting for that first cool-ish day. A day when you wake up and go outside and suddenly the air is crisp and the breeze is chilly and all is right with the world.

The signs of fall have been appearing for sometime now, the kids are back in school, football season has begun, the new television season has launched...I'm glad the weather finally decided to get on board. Changing leaves can't be far behind....

08 October 2007

It's Columbus Day here in the good old U.S. of A. A day in which we celebrate the "discovery" of America (much to the surprise of those already living here. It's not like they were an aspiring starlet or an unsigned band, just hanging out, waiting to be discovered...)

Apparently, the holiday was created in 1892 (400 years after Columbus sailed the ocean blue in the famously rhymed 1492) by President Benjamin Harrison. (Benjamin Harrison of course being otherwise known, at least to me, as "that dude who was president between the 2 Grover Cleavlands". Also, he's a handy answer to trivia questions about related presidents.)

Anyway, I mostly think of Columbus Day as "that day we used to get off work/school but don't anymore." State offices in Florida don't care to let us stay home and rest on this day (ditto President's Day). Federal employees do get the day off, as my friend Rakes is always quick to point out.

I did just discover that the day is celebrated in places other than the U.S., which I didn't know (in Spain and throughout Latin America, to name a few). I also learned that it is now called Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela. Sometimes I love that crazy-ass Hugo Chávez. (Mostly for this..."it smells of sulfur still...")

For me, Columbus day always brings back the same memory. I was at a Public Enemy concert and Chuck D took the opportunity to address the issue between songs. His words were to the effect of "today we celebrate Columbus Day. Columbus was trying to find a way to India and landed in America instead. Do you know what Christopher Columbus was? Christopher Columbus was a lost motherfucker..."

04 October 2007

An open letter to Ben Stiller

Dear Ben,

I want to like you. I've always kind of liked you. I enjoyed the Ben Stiller Show back in the day (even if you are partially responsible for launching Andy Dick upon an unsuspecting world). I loved Tony Wonder (I miss you still, Arrested Development). I very much liked Zoolander, Dodgeball, and of course the sublime The Royal Tenenbaums (although, truth be told, I fear my enjoyment of the latter two may have been in spite of rather than because of you.) So I say this from a place not of hatred or malice, but from one of wanting the best for you...It's time to make another movie.

And I know you have a new movie coming out. Tomorrow in fact.
The Heartbreak Kid. A Farrelly Brothers vehicle, with all that implies (don't even get me started on on those two.) I speak not of an actual new movie, but a metaphoric new movie. A different movie. Not the same movie you have now made more than ten times (a generous estimation, it's actually probably many more).

I speak of the movie in which you play a long suffering, neurotic, ineffectual man with a severe anger problem. Hey Ben...why so angry?

You were angry at Vince Vaughn in
Dodgeball and Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums. You were angry at Jack Black in Envy and at an old lady in Duplex. You've been angry in big hits (There's Something About Mary) and Frat Pack films (Anchorman). You always seem to be mad at Owen Wilson (Starsky & Hutch, Night at the Museum, Meet the Parents). You were really mad at that monkey (Night at the Museum). You were even mad as a guest star (Friends, the whole plot of the episode was "man, that guy Rachel is dating is really angry") You actually played a superhero who's superpower was getting angry (Mystery Men, he was called Mr. Furious for goodness sake).

Ever here of a thing called "typecasting," Ben? Here's what
Wikipedia tells us:
"Central casting often exhibits a pattern of placing an actor in subsequent similar character roles after his or her first success, especially if an actor is particularly well-received in that role by the audience or by critics. Typecasting happens to actors of both great and modest ability: an actor may become typecast either because of a strong identification with a particular role or because he or she lacks the versatility or talent to move on to other roles. Some actors welcome the steady work that typecasting brings, but in general it is seen as undesirable."
I'm pretty sure you're doing o.k. financially, Ben. In addition to this acting gig, you also direct and produce. You don't need to fret over the need for "steady work"
.

Perhaps your repeated performance of the same, actually quite-annoying-and-unpleasant-to-watch character is largely responsible for this dubious distinction (a trivia fact from your IMDB profile):
Holds a distinct Razzie Award record - nominated for most titles in one year. He was nominated in 2004 for Worst Actor in five of the six films in which he appeared: Along Came Polly (2004), Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Envy (2004), and Starsky & Hutch (2004). The only film he was not nominated in for that year was Meet the Fockers (2004).
I know you are yelling and fuming all the way to the bank, but you could do more. Branch out, dude. I'm not say you have to go all Your Friends & Neighbors or Permanent Midnight, but branch out a little. Stick with the Frat Boys or Apatow or McKay or whoever, just ask to play the nice guy, or the funny guy, or the happy-go-lucky neighbor guy. Eschew the angry guy, just once. See how it goes.

26 September 2007

What rhymes with orange?

So I learned today that the term for words that have no rhyme is "refractory rhyme", which I kind of like because the definition of "refractory" is: stubbornly disobedient; unmanageable. Anyway, I always heard "orange" used as the classic example of a word without a rhyme, but there are actually a lot of others. Among the words listed, I find it interesting that silver and purple are also on the list...what's up with the non-rhyming colors? That seems odd.

I also particularly like the following sentence, used to illustrate that although there is no perfect rhyme for the word "engine", there are a number of near rhymes: "To my chagrin I said to my conjoined twin: 'the tin engine caused quite a din as the wheels did spin, screeching like a violin.'"

On another, tangentially related note...when writing the above I was once again annoyed by the issues raised when using quotation marks and commas/periods. In the first sentence above, for example, should it be "refractory rhyme", or "refractory rhyme," ? The answer seems to be that in the US, it should be the later, but the UK advocates the former. Since I have always thought that the comma/period inside the quotation marks 1) makes no sense and 2) disturbs by sense of symmetry, I am going with the other side of the pond on this one. It was their language first, you know...

04 September 2007

google is weird

Ok, I have extolled the virtues of the Urban Dictionary Word of the Day here before. I was checking it out the other day and the word of the day was:

Undie

An abbreviation for underground hip-hop. Originally conceived as a soundalike alternative to "indie," which signifies fey boys with jangly guitars.

Undie is the straight shit, brah. The radio is wack.

basically it means "underground indie" (underground + diminutive of independent).to designate a band which works under the "diy" (do it yourself) theory."


(Please note that the random punctuation in the above is pasted straight from the site. They are not so much for the proof reading over there...)

Anyway, whatever. Not a particularly interesting entry...some days are better than others for the word of the day. I bring it up for this reason: I was viewing the entry via my gmail account. You know how uncle google is constantly montering your messages and providing you with those targeted ads (on the right side of the page) based on the subject of your messages? (and if you didn't know that, you should because that is totally what's happening.) Well, these are a couple of the ads it selected based on the message containing the above definition:

Gay Underwear-Today's Top Choices for Gay Underwear
Men's Modern Underwear

Ok, several things:
  1. What makes underwear gay?
  2. Modern underwear? As opposed to like union suits or something?
  3. Why only men's underwear ads? Nothing for the ladies?
Anyway, I find the whole magically appearing topically related ads disturbing anyway. You have a password so people can't read your email, but google seems to be just kicking back browsing through everybody's business. And I realize that it's a computer recognizing words in the text, not an actual little google minion sitting in a back room hunched over a computer chain smoking and reading emails 20 hours a day, but still. Eyes on your own papers, people.

31 August 2007

What's in a name?

So, here in the blogosphere (as the kids are calling it these days. Or maybe it's just the wannabe hipster media people that call it that) it seems like the thing to do is to refer to everyone by an alias. Sensible enough...keeps the cyberstalkers at bay and the cyber-ax-murderers at arms length. Also, if you're airing not only your own but other peoples business, pseudonyms keep it all nice and anonymous-like. But then you need clever nicknames for all the characters in your little bloggy dramas.

Fortunately, many of my friends and acquaintances come ready made with such monikers. This stems largely from the fact that a) a lot of them used to work at our college radio station and therefore have self-selected DJ names and b) we are a goofy bunch and like to make up random nicknames for no apparent reason. In fact, for every person for whom I had to make up a new interweb name, there was one that already had at least 3 or 4 aliases I could have selected.

Anyway here a little list of my potential cast of characters:

Chrome
Disco Dan
DJ Evol Eno
Hurricane Cyn
The Lady
Lady Byron, her husband The Wanderer, and daughter BiSH (which would be the CHiPs version of her given name.)
Lucy and her husband, Ricky
The LabRat
Rakes
Queen Mab


If you spot yourself and would like alternate identification, let me know.

29 August 2007

Get ready to rock

So, I was listening to Fresh Air on the way home tonight and they seem to be doing some sort of Rock Week with archive interviews. Anyway, the episode I heard was Rob Halford from Judas Priest and James Hetfield from Metallica. I have always found Halford's role as "out gay metal dude" fascinating, and Hetfield is my favorite member of Metallica (if there is such a thing). Although Metallica is sort of dead to me after the whole Napster thing ...Lars Ulrich is such a tool. Anyway, I encourage you to check out the rockers on Fresh Air if only for the introduction, which is absolutely hilarious.

23 August 2007

These damn kids...

Ok, here's the part where I sound like a crotchety old lady. I love fall. In fact, I think tomorrow I may pontificate and enumerate the many reasons why fall in Tally is tops. But, there is one aspect of fall that totally blows...the students. All the damn students. They are everywhere. Classes start on Monday at the 3, count 'em THREE institutions of higher ed here in our fair city. Two universities and a community college totaling a population of almost 65,000 students. Which doesn't seem that bad, until you take into account that you are adding that many folks into a city population of only 270,000 or so (of which only 175,000-ish live in the city, the rest dwell in unincorporated Leon County) The point is...that's a lot of new bodies crammed into my personal space. Again, they are everywhere. Standing in line in restaurants, buying giant things of toilet paper and plastic milk crates and poster frames with their parents at Target and Wal Mart, shopping at Publix for beer and ramen and mac and cheese, and just driving, driving, driving (causing noticeably increased and annoying traffic) all over the place. Sigh. Like I said...crotchety.

22 August 2007

I look good in yellow

So in conjunction with the Simpson's Movie Burger King is doing this "Simpsonize Me" promotion. You upload your picture and it turns you into a Simpson's character. Here's how I look in Springfield:


And here's how I look all pissed off at the Kwik-e-Mart:


Try it. It's Fun.

21 August 2007

Painlessly Reading the Classics


So I discovered this really cool thing the other day...reading books via email. Daily Lit will send an easily consumable chunk of a book to your email at an interval of your choosing. Check out some info from thier website:

Why read books by email?
Because if you are like us, you spend hours each day reading email but don't find the time to read books. DailyLit brings books right into your inbox in convenient small messages that take less than 5 minutes to read. This works incredibly well not just on your computer but also on a Treo, Blackberry, Sidekick or whatever the PDA of your choice.

How long does it take to read a book? That depends on three factors. First, on how many installments are in the book (shown when you browse for books). Second, on how frequently you choose to receive emails. Third, on how often you read more than one installment (by using the "send me the next installment immediately" feature). So here is a typical example. I am currently reading Dracula, which has 187 installments and I am receiving installments on weekdays, i.e. 5 days/week. So at most it will take me 187/5 = 37 weeks. But when I am on the train or waiting, I often read more than one installment, so I usually wind up reading about 10 installments/week. This means I will finish Dracula in about 19 weeks or 5 months. If that seems long to you, try something shorter!

It's really quite a cool concept. You don't even have to register or anything. Most of their available selections are of the classic Lit variety, many of which fall into the category of "I have a degree in English Lit and am alleged to be a well read person and I can't believe I haven't ever read Moby Dick or whatever so don't tell anyone and blow my cover." Now I can tackle a great work in tasty bite-sized morsels consumed right at my desk (while on a break, of course). I started out easy with authors I already like: F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise and Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Anyway, thought I would spread the word to the 2 people who read this blog. Enjoy.

10 August 2007

decline and fall of civilized society (chapter 2)

So we had a hellacious storm yesterday and the power was knocked out here and there. When this happens, I am sometimes forced to once again face my old nemesis, the 4-way stop. Actually, that's not right. The 4-way stop is not my nemesis. I love the 4-way stop. It's so civilized, everyone takes turns, it's lovely. I think it should be all 4-way stops and roundabouts all the time. No, my actual nemesis is all those damn people who don't know what do when a traffic light is out. Morons.

When a traffic light is not functioning, it is supposed to be treated as if it were a 4-way stop. Everyone approaches the intersection, stops, and then proceeds according to turn. Usually, this seems to go ok when the intersection looks like this:


But not so much when the intersection looks like this:


I encountered this little scenario recently. The light was out at an intersection just like this one, where lanes 1- 13 comprise a major thoroughfare through town, while lanes 14-17 are side roads that lead to popular shopping centers and off-the-main-road-shortcuts. Obviously, there is quite a bit of traffic in both directions. Actually, it's really a bigger intersection that the picture shows. I just got bored with drawing it. I think there are actually 5 lanes on the bottom right, so that would be 11, 12, 13, 13a, and 13b.

But, I digress. My point is...it's still a 4-way stop people. Just because normally more than one car gets to go through the intersection in the 1-13 direction doesn't mean that is still the case when the light is out. You still treat it like a 4-way stop. Approach the intersection. Stop. Let the cars from the other direction go. Then you go. Not rocket science people...

08 August 2007

7 unrelated things

  1. It is hot as blazes outside. An actual temp of like 100 plus the "heat index" is like 110 or something just ridiculous. My old pal Chrome used to say "cold weather is stupid" I think the corollary is that hot weather is unnecessary.
  2. Barry Bonds SUCKS!
  3. I think they finally got new hand soap in the bathroom at work. The old soap smelled all disinfectant-y and that smell stayed on my hands and annoyed the crap out of me to the point that I had to put lotion on my hands immediately after returning to my desk from the bathroom just so that my hands would smell like lotion instead of the irritating soap. But, I just washed my hands in the bathroom, and I notice no lingering bad soap smell. Hooray.
  4. I wish I could shake it like those kids on So, You Think You Can Dance. I watch this show unashamedly cause those youngsters are good. And, unlike American Idol, it's all different styles of dancing...whereas Idol only feature that horrendous Mariah Carrey style singing that makes me want to rip my ears from my head.
  5. I bought this book on making origami boxes, and it is addictive. Anybody need a pretty little box?
  6. Pilates is hard, ya'll.
  7. Is it fall yet? August blows.

06 August 2007

Yay Tommy

It seems to be the season for sports related posts. Tom Glavine was always my favorite Brave...he was just so dreamy. I still have a soft spot for him, even thought he's a Met now and I no longer really follow the baseball. I was happy to hear he got his 300th win (and apparently he may be the last to do so)

02 August 2007

Sometimes, I'm not very nice

Is it wrong that I really want someone to go all Tonya Harding upside Barry Bonds' knee so that he can't break Hank Aaron's home run record? Because I really, really do.

Also, Michael Vick should be set upon by a pack of wild dogs.


30 July 2007

Musical Deja Vu

So what’s up with the music the kids are listening to these days? I've noticed three extremely popular songs on the radio right now that really don’t seem like they belong. It's like they come from a different era or genre and don't blend in with what you normally hear on the radio today. They are as follows:

1. RehabAmy Winehouse. This sounds like what the Supremes would sing if they were still performing and if Diana Ross hadn’t gone all bat-shit crazy. Actually, it might have been better suited to the Shangri-Las, they were more the bad girls of girl groups. Their song Remember (Walking in the Sand) is one of my very favorites [although, I must now digress into an lengthy and ranting aside—why do bands insist on putting parenthesis into song titles? It really bugs me. A lot. Like a lot. To an unnaturally disturbing degree, in fact. Like, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. I mean, what is that? Either call it “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” or just “Satisfaction” Make up your damn mind already. Or The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy). Or I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). People don’t need to have the entire chorus of the song included in the title. Or Buy U a Drank (Shawty Snappin). Again, just pick a name and go with it. I always kind of liked New Order song titles because they didn’t actually seem to have anything to do with the song. OK, end digression]

{wait, secondary digression. I highly recommend clicking on the "Buy U a Drank" link above. So stupid, yet so funny. I also like the debate at the bottom of the page over whether this is racist or not by the always well informed YouTube community. It's an old gag, people, the uptight white dudes talking like black dudes, and vice versa. I mostly just like that the guy's delivery comes off like Chevy Chase doing Weekend Update.}

2. Beautiful Girls - Sean Kingston The description of this song says that it “samples heavily from Stand by Me by Ben E. King” Actually, it sounds exactly like Stand by Me, just with different lyrics. I mean, sampling usually indicates that the music or beats from an old song is played with like rapping or something over it. The old and new stuff is mixed together in an interesting way so that you recognize the old tune, but still identify the work as a new song. But this just seems so similar to the sound and style of the original song. It's like this could actually have been on the radio in 1961. There is also a remake of the song by someone named JoJo, which really sounds like a straight up 60’s girl group number. Is this the influence of Dreamgirls? Damn, that Beyoncé is powerful.

3. Thanks for the Memories—Fall Out Boy. This one, especially the first part, really sounds like a Broadway show tune. The verse anyway, more so than the chorus. It’s like what you would get if the guy who wrote Rent was still alive and started a rock band. [Oh another aside, one of my guilty secrets is that I love Fall Out Boy. I know, just…shut up.]

So what's the deal? I'm not complaining, mind you. Any digression from the normal radio fare of crappy slow jams and boastful raps about shortys, rims, Cristal, and bling (or some combination thereof) is OK by me. And actually, I really kind of like all three of these songs. I don't change the station when they come on. And catchy is catchy, you can't fight that.

28 July 2007

Arts and Crafts

So, I often have stuff around the house that I think is cool, but that I'm not sure what to do with it. Such was the case with these really pretty glass balls. Actually they are glass floats that used to be used by fishermen to hold up their nets and crab traps and such. Anyway, I had 6 of them that were given to be by a friend when he moved. I recently bought one more at an antique store (the orange one, I was just so taken by the color. It's like I'm a house cat or something...ooh look...sparkly!)

Anyway, the recent addition of a new member to the glass ball family made me think I should do something with them. I had long ago cut them out of the rope net things that they had been in... while that may be practical for use in the fishing trade, I'm not going to be out angling with these things. And the thick-ish ropes make it hard to see the pretty colors. They had been sitting in a bowl on the dinning room table, looking like perfectly round multicolored fruit. But, they really needed to be somewhere where they get some light. Then a brainstorm...not on the dining room table, over it. A dowel, some fishing line, and a couple of hooks later...voilà!

Chandelier. Or at least, chandelier-esque.

Here it is the context of the dinning room as a whole:


Like it? I do.


21 July 2007

My best feature

Man, I practically just started this thing and already I am completely slacking. Alas, we can't fight our natures. I will once more resolve to do better.

In my defense, I've been busy at work, which is traditionally prime blogging time. Not to me, of course, as I am dedicated and diligent and doggedly on task, but you know I've heard that people blog at work. And that is all I will say, lest I get dooced. (actually, I don't even really do it at work, but being busy at work means additional thinking and typing is the last thing I want to do when I get home)

Anyway, I got a pedicure the other day...wanna see>>>>
(one of the few portions of my anatomy suitable for internet consumption)

I do love a good pedicure. It's always nice to have someone give you a lengthy foot massage, even if you're paying for it. And the polish colors are so entertaining. This one is called Maui Mango, which is not actually a particularly good name, but I couldn't find my new fave (the actually quite similar shade, 20 Candles on My Cake) and I wanted a change from my usual summer standby (I'm Not Really a Waitress, which looks similar in the website picture, but is actually really, really, red) Love that OPI polish. Pedicures are also good because even if you are heinously unattractive, pretty toes make you feel pretty.

Oh, and taking that photo of my feet (I'm lying on the floor of my home office with my feet up against the wall, in case you were curious. Note the painted paneling) made me realize this...I don't use my digital camera nearly enough. So you know what I'm going to do more of? Yeah, that's right...

11 July 2007

mmmm...bagel

Here is how little it takes to make me happy.

On my way to work this morning, I stopped for a bagel. So, the problem I usually have with the people in the bagel service industry is this—uneven bagel halves. I believe that the bagel people slice so many bagels in a day, they don’t really pay that much attention anymore. Plus, it’s really early in the morning and no one really functions that well in the bright shiny new day. The bagel people are just alert enough to not slice off a digit with the big knife, but not so alert that they don’t leave me a bagel featuring one super fat side and one pathetically skinny side.

This is particularly problematic if like me, you plan to toast your bagel upon arrival at the office. When I place my mismatched bagel halves in the toaster, the skinny side gets extra crunchy and dark, while the fat side remains all bready and not so much with the toasty. Alas.

But not today. Today, not only was there a very cute new boy working behind the counter at the bagel shop, but he cheerfully presented me with a perfectly sliced, two-halves-of-equal-size, tasty whole wheat bagel.

Good morning to me.

08 July 2007

The decline and fall of civilized society

Sometimes I’m not too sure about people. I mean in general they seem ok, but I also sense a distinct and prevailing...impoliteness I guess you would call it, permeating the species. Basically, I don’t understand why people act the way they do. And I'm not talking about the big issues like, "why is there war and bigotry when we should all just be able to get along?" or "why do boys act that way?" I'm talking about little day to day choices that people make without considering how it might affect another person.

Case in point: the grocery store. So there's one register open and a number of people standing in line. Noticing this, the store opens another register. What should happen in this situation is that the person who is next in the original line should move over to become the first person in the newly opened line. Person number 3 can then decide whether to remain in the old line or switch to the new—based on which they think will move faster. Then the rest of the people can divide themselves accordingly. But what actually happens is this: the new line opens, the people in the back of the line see their chance to get ahead a make a break for it, and they end up ahead of the people who had been waiting patiently to pay for their purchases long before those back of the line people even got there.




Again, it’s a small thing, but it’s also an illustration of how people seem to look out only for themselves. As long as they don’t have to wait in a long line, it doesn’t matter how it impacts others. It's like the people who don't recycle because it's too much trouble for them to rinse out their yogurt container or break down their cardboard boxes or whatever. "It's just one soda can, how much damage can it do? Besides, other people are recycling, so that should take care of it, right?"

I know I sound like a grumpy 98 year old talking about how “these kids today got no respect” but to that 98 year old I say "word" Common courtesy people...get with the program.