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.

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"


14 November 2007


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...

: 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.