Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday Morning YouTube

Housekeeping Note: There may be a new feature in the works here, to be implemented on Sundays. I like blogging, but I'm very bad at coming up with titles for my posts, so I'm thinking every week, I should have a theme, and all post titles have to fit in that theme. This week, I decree that theme to be... Billy Joel lyrics. Have you heard Billy Joel's lyrics? I think his favorite lyrical device is to state the obvious like it's something profound, as in "She steals like a thief but she's always a woman to me." He's somewhat like a lyrical version of the Sphinx from Mystery Men.

So yes, Billy Joel Lyric Week is upon us, assuming I can write the posts without going into long tangents about how goofy the lyrics are. If anyone is brave enough to join in, well, more power to you.

Now, on to today's video.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's Too Bad Procrastination Doesn't Start With M

Nadine at In Blue Ink offered this meme to me sometime on Monday, and I thought I should probably do it before the week was out.

10 Things I Like That Start With... M

1. Memes. They almost write themselves, and they often reveal way too much about the person writing them. A veritable blogging gold mine, right up there with self-deprecation and hilarious injuries.

2. Motown: The music, not the city. Does anyone like the city, filled with crime and hate-filled sports fans? I don't think so. But Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, and co., yeah. I dig it.

3. More: I'm a pack rat. I never get rid of anything.

4. Muppets: I crack up every time I watch The Muppet Movie. If I were a Muppet, I would easily be Kermit the Frog: I'm just a happy, laidback dude who helps rein in his absurd friends and is attracted to abusive relationships.

5. Mark Trail: At first, I just liked laughing at the oddly-placed word balloons. Then I liked laughing at the oddly stilted dialogue. Then I liked making up funny back stories based on the way the characters are drawn. Then I came full circle, and like actually reading the ridiculous plots and figuring out where they'll go. That's entertainment on at least 4 levels from a comic strip that isn't even intended to be funny. I don't really understand how people dislike Mark Trail.

6. Me. I have very high, very unjustified self-esteem. I'm amazed I didn't think of this one sooner.

7. Mentally Ill/Developmentally Delayed clients I take care of: My job requires me to care for them and help take care of them. And I love it, although considerably less on the days when they attempt to beat the ever loving crap out of me. Usually, though, it's a good time, and a very rewarding job when you finally make that breakthrough with a client. Plus, they can be really, really funny:

Andy: Hey, [female client], please take a shower today.
Client: I'm not [female client]. I'm the Devil.
Andy: Ok, The Devil, take a shower.
Client: No.
Andy: When did you become the Devil?
Client: Well, I used to be the most beautiful angel in Heaven, but then I wanted to be above the Lord, so he cast me down into a pit of fire and I turned into the Devil.
Andy: Well, ask a stupid question...
Client: Huh?
Andy: Nevermind. Take a shower.

8. Minnesota: I like it so much that one day next week I will finish my Minnesotan excursion wrap-up.

9. My Mom. I was a pretty good kid and didn't really put her through much grief, but considering the fact that I look like my dad, talk like my dad, and act like my dad, I'm guessing my presence didn't really make living through 12 years of divorce any easier. Plus, she lets me do my laundry for free at her house.

10. Moon Pies. Marshmallow and chocolate: a combination that will never fail you.

Now, looking through the history of this one, it appears that I don't actually get to say "Hey you! Fill this out on the letter X! Muhuhahahahaha." Instead, I have to ask, "Uh, if you want to play, then I can give you a letter in comments or something." So let me know if this one hasn't hit you yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Puppy Might Represent Loyalty Too.

"That's not fair!" Throughout life, one can hear these three small words railing against an offense foisted upon them by an uncaring world. However, seldom does one ask "What is fair?" In Steven Seagal's Out For Justice, NYPD detective Gino Felino spends a night pursuing Richie Madano, a criminal who shot his partner and best friend Bobby Lupo, while contemplating the nature of justice, loyalty, and social responsibility.

As the title suggests, Felino spends much of his evening considering what the most just course of action should be. Through his care for the abandoned puppy, his dealings with the Brooklyn mob, and his level playing field approach toward Madano and his henchmen, Felino demonstrates that true justice should involve a consensus-based approach that gives the accused a chance to defend themselves but places highest priority on protecting the innocent. Before he begins his search for Madano, Felino checks in with the Brooklyn mob to find out their take on Madano's actions. Felino does not make the error of assuming that Madano's actions were sanctioned by the mob, and thus spares the neighborhood a gruesome all-out gang war. Instead, Felino and Don Vittorio come to an uneasy truce that they will work together to bring Madano to justice, be it at the hands of the police or the mob. Felino's actions show that justice is a concept that we are all devoted to, and that no matter how unorthodox the source, all opinions must be accounted for to form a consensus on the proper action.

In the early phase of his search, Felino observes a driver in front of him drop a trash bag out of his car window while driving down the street. Felino stops and opens the bag to find a puppy and immediately decides to adopt it. Felino's new puppy accompanies him for the rest of his manhunt and symbolizes justice's mission to protect the innocent and helpless.

When Felino confronts Madano's men, the criminals often resort to violence. During these scenes, Felino only goes for a deathblow if an innocent is at risk, and, whenever possible, avoids using his hand gun. If the criminal is unarmed, Felino frequently unloads his gun and throws it away, using only as much force as necessary to apprehend the suspect. Felino's approach toward enforcement shows his belief that Justice should not use excessive force, regardless of how personally involved one is in the crime.

In addition to his external conflict with Madano, Felino undergoes an intense internal conflict regarding his personal loyalties. Through the night, Felino must balance his often contradictory loyalties in order to take the correct action. Felino's loyalty to his family is immediately called into question, as his only visitation weekend with his son for months is interrupted by his superior's call. Felino, Lupo, and Madano are all from the same neighborhood, which is run by Don Vittorio. Loyalty to the 'hood runs high, and Felino walks a fine line between protecting his neighbors and persecuting anyone involved with Madano, a group that includes most of his friends. Felino's father died when he was young, and we learn that Madano's father took Felino under his wing to help raise him. By dealing with the mob, Felino's dedication to the police force and proper investigative techniques is called into question. When Felino learns that Lupo was dirty and having an affair, he must question whether his friend's killing was in itself an act of justice, throwing him deeper into his existential crisis.

Finally, Out For Justice explores and shakes up the very foundation of the concept of social responsibility. Felino's neighborhood is an urban Grover's Corners: everyone knows everyone else's affairs, and the audience is led to believe that few people leave the area after entering adulthood. In this community, it is the mob, not the police, church, or any civic organization, that most serves the community. All of the businesses are mob businesses. Males are expected to join the Family upon adulthood similar to how generals' sons are expected to join the military. Felino remarks to a childhood friend who is now a mob lieutenant, "Who woulda thought, huh? Me, becoming a cop?" commenting on the singular oddity of his career choice. Italian is the language of choice on the streets. Felino, acutely aware that his actions are outside the accepted support structure of the community, tailors his actions to fit his surroundings, thus blending the traditional role of law enforcement with the local expectations of law enforcement. By contrasting the effectiveness of the mob and the apathy of the non-Felino police, Out For Justice suggests the radical notion that the public would be better served by a private, localized force than a city-wide bureaucracy.

In conclusion, through his night-long manhunt, Felino provides the audience insight into the application and meaning of justice by examing and centering his own biases and loyalties. Like Felino, all of us are out for justice, and from his experience we can learn that True Justice can only be accomplished through a thoughtful consensus and a means that all involved parties are comfortable with.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Morning YouTube

"The more money we come across, the more Mullin we see."

Sunday, May 20, 2007

OWWW My Self-Respect!

So, I'm not exactly tired, despite the fact that I usually try to go to bed at 5 am. As a result of this, I decided to do some form of exercises to tire myself out so I can go to sleep soon enough to get a decent amount of rest.

Rather than waste my time with strength exercises, I skip straight to aerobic stuff. This involves mostly turning on some 70s funk* and grooving enthusiastically until I get tired of getting down. I start out pretty calmly, then proceed to get wilder, doing jumps, and spins, while attempting a few rudimentary breakdancing maneuvers.

Now, I have a very strangely laid out apartment. It consists of two bedrooms, a kitchen, a random room, a bathroom, and a living room that are nearly completely unconnected that independently branch off from a very long hallway. The hallway is long enough that a long-legged 6'4"ian like myself can take 25 full steps. My workout soon required me to dance up and down the hall, very quickly, until I was nigh-on sprinting with my leaps and bounds until...




It turns out that some careless individual left his 20 lb hand weights against the wall in the hallway rather than their assigned place in the random room, and in the midst of getting my groove on, I tripped over them while moving at a very high speed and hit the door at the end of the hall, picking up a couple of rug burns on my knees for good measure. Worse, I did not clip my toenails this morning as I had planned due to me running late from sleeping in, and so they were a little too long for safety in a head on collision. One broke off and cut one of my toes. And all of my toes are bruising quite quickly.

And I appear to be out of ibuprofen. Luckily I've got an ice pack to keep the swelling down. In the meantime, my aerobic workout has been changed from "full body funk groove" to "white man's overbite".

This is easily the dumbest, most humiliating injury I have ever incurred, and stupidity of this magnitude demands to be shared with anyone who will listen.

*The particular song? "Strawberry Letter #23" by the Brothers Johnson.

Well, It Was Part Right

Your results:
You are Lando Calrissian

Tall, dark, and handsome.
Not much seems to bother you.
Maybe because you're so smooth.
You truly belong with us here
in the clouds.

(Qui-Gon Jinn was a very, very distant second.)

Click here to take the Star Wars Personality Quiz

Friday, May 18, 2007

How To Strut

I have been told that I have a distinctive natural swagger to my walk that oozes pure awesome to all who see it, so I feel it's my public duty to teach those with simpler gaits how to access the opportunities that only a good strut can provide.

Step One: Purchase an iPod or a Portable CD Player.

Step Two: Purchase a copy of "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder.

Step Three: Walk while listening to it.

If this doesn't work, I just don't think there's hope for you.

And Don't Even Get Me Started On Avril Lavigne

(Note to my legions of readers: I'm going to take a break from my usual nonsense and frivolity to tackle something serious that seriously irks me. This serious something involves gender issues, which I admit, based on my single-sex college education, is not really my forte even though I do take a layperson's interest in it. I'll probably say a few stupid things along the way that might offend you. This will be inadvertent, and I ask you in advance to forgive it. I'm on your side. Really. Tomorrow, I'll probably go back to laughing at the oddly placed quote balloons in Mark Trail.)

So I open my web browser tonight, and it goes automatically to Yahoo!, where the front page news item that greets me is "Is sexiness a must for today's female singers?" This question addresses a few issues that interest me, namely pop music, societal expectations, and sexy women, so I decide to click through and read the article. It took me exactly two paragraphs to be angered:
She was an "amazing talent," a young singer with a wonderful voice who wrote beautiful songs. But she was no beauty, plus flat-chested and overweight to boot.

Remembering the aspiring star, music executive Jody Gerson still feels terrible about thinking: "She's never going to get signed, even though she's fabulous."

Yes, Jody Gerson, that is a terrible injustice. Talented women making good music that don't make it because some people might not think they're hot enough. If only we knew of someone who felt the same way, who believed that the public really does know the difference between good music and crap with pretty plastic packaging, and were in a position to do something about it. Oh well, I guess we can dream.

The next two paragraphs simply state the author's inspiration for this article: her favorite singer on American Idol was voted off. We really don't need to visit them. The two after that, however, are plenty disturbing:
A quick check of the Billboard Top 40 turns up a list of candidates for "America's Top Model": Avril Lavigne, blonde stunner Carrie Underwood; tomboyish but sexy Ciara, fashionista Gwen Stefani and hip-swiveling Shakira (on a song featuring bootylicious Beyonce).

The only two in the Top 40 who might not be considered perfect 10s: Pink, who is still svelte and appealing; and multiplatinum Grammy-winner Kelly Clarkson, who got her break only through winning the democratically elected "American Idol."

I have admittedly quirky tastes when it comes to beauty. That said, Gwen Stefani is not really very attractive. In fact, I would say that if she weren't a famous singer, she would not be particularly noticeable. Also, Carrie Underwood looks like every other blonde girl on the planet, which is not particularly stunning. But they're both still good-looking, so I'll let it slide, because I don't want to overlook the "Let's pick two attractive female singers off of the list, tell our readers that they are in actuality NOT attractive, and use that as evidence that even the unattractive female singers are still attractive" argument. That's a bit of logical genius, right there. Also, why is it worth mentioning that the apparent hideous freakshow that is Kelly Clarkson only got her start through American Idol, but the fact that the stunning Carrie Underwood also only got her start through American Idol irrelevant?

But what is not said is that the real common thread of these singers is that they suck a lot of bootylicious ass (except for maybe that sexy tomboy Ciara, who still might suck. I've never actually heard of her before this article), and all of them are marketed solely because of their looks and not because of their sound. Hillary Duff, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan all have music albums, and while I haven't heard any of them, I'm 100% sure that they did not get them based on their musical ability.

About 8 zillion paragraphs later, during which we talk about the good old days when only MOST female singers were required to be hot, we finally get to the point of the article:
Gerson also agrees with Wilson about the marketing factor. With dwindling profits and budgets, record labels try to maximize artist exposure with clothing deals, cosmetic contracts, movie roles and modeling gigs.

"How many endorsements does Beyonce have? Do you think it's because she's the most talented person on earth or do you think it's because she's gorgeous? I think she's talented but she's also gorgeous," Gerson says. "I think you need the whole package."

Now then, I was a foolish grasshopper liberal arts major in college rather than a practical ant business major, but I'm thinking the music industry might not be facing such dwindling profits and budgets if they focused on signing good artists rather than clothing deals, cosmetic contracts, movie roles, and modeling gigs. Because when I buy a CD, I don't really care what sort of clothes the singer is wearing on the cover. I don't care about the make-up. In fact, I don't really care what the singer looks like at all, because if I really feel the need to be aroused, I get about 50 emails a day that promise me free pornography that would probably work better than a pretty headshot on a CD cover. As for the movie roles, I can safely say that my enjoyment of Full Moon Fever didn't substantially increase after I saw Tom Petty's appearance in The Postman. Perhaps if the industry would work more on producing music and less on producing clothing endorsements, I might buy more recent cds rather than sifting through the used CD bin for "The Best of Motown" or the likes.

Also, while I was reflecting on the current female singers I tentatively like, I realized that I don't even know what KT Tunstall or Anna Nalick look like. And, while I find Sarah McLachlan attractive, I really don't remember ever hearing that she was. Then I made a quick laundry list of singers I heard a lot about how attractive they were: Madonna, Brittany Spears, Christina Aguilera, the aforementioned actor/socialite/singers, and quickly realized that "sexy" is another word for "sucks" when it comes to singers.

And thus, my deep-rooted prejudice against stereotypically "sexy" women comes into focus. Any time I see a mainstream sexy woman, I automatically assume she is incompetent and got where she is by her looks. And I blame the music industry for that. Thanks a lot, jerks.

Now, I'd like to leave this article at that, but we can't without one more bit of condescension...
So how would Gerson advise the flat-chested, overweight, amazingly talented singer to chase her dream? Put out her own music and promote herself on the Web.

(Translation: "Live in poverty, blow all of your meager savings, and squander your life striving for a goal we'll never let you reach! That way, no one ever has to look upon your hideous visage. I mean, we can't have TWO singers that are as unsightly as Kelly Clarkson.")

...and a bit of soulful self-reflection:
"As far as we've come as women," Gerson asked, "where are we really?"

Well, I can't speak for Women in general, but I think Ms. Gerson specifically is squarely in service of The Man.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How To Coach In the NBA Playoffs

Every NBA coach knows that in the playoffs, you always pare down your rotation to your 8 best guys, max. Because every game is critical, the playoffs are not the time to develop that promising rookie you took in the second round.

However, every NBA playoff roster also has 12 players. Any first grader could tell you that means you have 4 players who are never going to play under any circumstances.

Now then, suppose there's just a minute left in the game and you're losing without much of a chance for a comeback. What's a coach to do? Obviously, if it's close enough that the other team still has its starters out, you bring in those 4 losers and have them physically attack the other team's stars so they're out for the next game. The NBA, in its infinite wisdom, will suspend everyone involved in the incident, which means your opponent will be without all of their best players, while you just have to suffer the loss of Sucko McBenchwarmer. As a bonus, the other team's subs, seeing that their friends and teammates are getting attacked, might come on the court to try to put a stop to it. Bam! Any player that leaves the bench during an altercation is automatically suspended one game, so you could conceivably take out their star and all of their subs. Suppose nothing bad happens at all. Well, then you got a free chance to injure the other team with no risk whatsoever. And if anyone says bad things about you or about how the whole thing reeks of bad sportsmanship, you can just say something along the lines of "It was just an end-of-game foul and Steve fell down. I didn't think it was such a big deal." Forget that the video clearly shows your player hip checking the other team's star, who was laid out flat with his head smashing against the scorer's table. I'm sure no one will notice.

This message has been brought to you by Robert Horry and the San Antonio Spurs. Stay classy, San Antonio.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Vacation Part 2: The Trek

When we last left off, our hero (me) and his trusty sidekick (Jeff) had just obliterated the evil Agent Ladder and, with the help of their loyal informant Mario, dispatched the sinister Calamari after dinner with femme-fatale Orilla. Needless to say, things were getting a little too hot in Nap Town for our own good, so we left shortly after dawn to the frozen northlands of Minnesota.

It is a long drive from Indy to Minneapolis, and you can rest assured that we ran into any number of shady elements to overcome and useful information to aid us in our quest along the way.

Before leaving Indianapolis, we felt it necessary to stop at a gas station to purchase energy drinks, snacks, and a pop refill, as it had been a late night the night before and would require some added caffeine. Then, we took off on the carefree highway, up I-65 to Chicago.

To pass the early morning hours, Jeff and I turned our attention to business concerns. Using Jeff's special Portable Computer Tech-no-logy, we were able to devise a business plan that would give us a controlling interest in a shady real estate cartel. By setting up HQ in a hotel on New York Avenue, we were able to run Elisabeth out of the market. This gave us previously forbidden access to Illinois Avenue, and it was only a matter of time until our other rival, whose name eludes me, fell.

Feeling proud of ourselves and rather overhydrated from the morning's caffeine binge, we stopped at a Rest Area somewhere in the vicinity of Crown Point, IN. After making use of the facilities, we found a marker that let us know that we were treading on hallowed ground. This, it seems, was no mere Rest Area, but actually a shrine to Casimir Pulaski. Gen. Pulaski was a Polish Cavalry Commander who fought on the side of the rebels in the Revolutionary War. He was more teacher than commander, and left the Americans with a font of knowledge on how cavalry tactics before he was killed in the Battle of Savannah. It seems that Big Poland's special interest group had finally lobbied the Indiana House to name this stretch of I-65 the "Casimir Pulaski Memorial Highway" to honor Polish-Americans everywhere, despite the fact that Gen. Pulaski was not a Polish-American himself and never set foot anywhere near northwest Indiana. Nevertheless, there is a high percentage of people in that area with names like Macsymczak, Grziewoski, and, uh, Jurgis Rudkus, that they got the highway. We pressed on, comforted by the fact that the spirit of Casimir Pulaski would guide us on our trip and keep us safe, so long as we avoided any stray regiments of British regulars.

Chicago was next. We didn't go near it. Instead, we took the pricey and long toll road around it. It was a drag. We stopped for lunch at Wendy's. There were a couple of attractive women lounging around outside, but we didn't talk to them, because they appeared to be some form of meth whore.

Somewhere between Chicago and the Wisconsin border, we began surfing for a radio station, and found a bizarre comedy sketch entitled "Arlen Specter Gadget." It featured the Inspector Gadget theme sung but replaced with Arlen Specter Gadget. The episode revolved around Arlen Specter Gadget's attempts to get Alberto Gonzalez to testify. My favorite part, which is also the only part I remember, went like this:

Arlen Specter Gadget: Attorney General Gonzalez is refusing to testify? Go, Go, Gadget Subpoena! Not so 'speedy' now, are you, Gonzalez?
Penny: Arlen Specter Gadget, you are racist.

I have found no other proof of existence of this clip. But we were saying "Go Go Gadget Subpoena!" for the entire course of the trip.

On to Wisconsin! We stop again shortly after crossing into the Cheesehead State, once we see a town called Milton. Milton is a very small redneck town right between the hick towns that Jeff and I are from, so we felt the need to stop. In the bathroom, on the wall, was the following message:

"Zionist Support Kanites!"

Jeff and I deduced that any place called Milton has to have some form of illiterate redneck white supremecists. The convenience store also sold nightcrawlers, apparently by the ton, as there was a gigantic and huge backroom filled with what appeared to be spawning pools for them. I purchased a Diet Coke Plus. The cashier informed me that the total was "Wahhne Ohhh Fohhrrr," and I felt for the first time, that we were way up north.

We didn't stop for a long time after that, for fear of being accused of being either a Zionist, or a Kanite, whatever the hell that is. We finally did stop, much much later, in a town called New Lisbon, which is also the name of a hick town near the hick town where I live. The people seemed much friendlier here. And when I say friendlier, I mean friendlier, as evidenced by this tag from a flier on the filling station's bulletin board:

"Jasmine's Fun Care: One hour free with 4 hours paid"

Believe you me, had we 5 hours to spare, we most assuredly would've called the number on the back of this tag and asked for Jasmine herself. Sure, the flier said it was a baby-sitting service, but that's surely a code to assure you that someone will watch your kids while receiving your fun care.

But hookers aside, we continue our journey. For much of this leg, Jeff is knee deep in fun-filled text-messaged drama, drama I will not get into in this space, since I deal solely in my own. And the only part I played in this drama was that a blog post I wrote in my old diaryland journal spawned a good deal of it, since an interested party assumed I was pretty much awesome by my writing style. Which is understandable, since that particular entry included the phrase "estrogenic incursion," which I cannot utter without giggling to myself.

After a few more hours, we arrive in Minnesohhhta, and face a traffic jam. The twin cities are roughly the size of Indianapolis, and has a much better mass transit system, but somehow congestion is much, much worse than anything Nap Town commuters experience. Regardless, we arrive soon enough, and new plots began to unfurl.

Next: Truckies, The Canadian Mall in America, Androgyny, Quality Hair Care, The Adventures of Chair, The Magna Carta, sexy snooty women, and possibly more!

Coming Really Soon: My Vacation Tales

Here's the deal. I've got a few loads of laundry to do. In between loads, I will work on the epic tale of Andy and Jeff's Minnesotan Excursion. Sometime tomorrow night, I will probably finish with the laundry and hopefully, God and Casimir Pulaski willing, the vacation update.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday, May 7, 2007

But if they called them Sad Meals, the kids wouldn't buy 'em.

One of the residents on my unit loves toys. When he gets a new toy, he always asks, "Is that for me?" followed by "Is it all mine?" followed by "So I better not break it?" and will then carry the toy around for a week and show everyone he sees.

This resident was having a particularly lousy day, so on my break, I went to McDonald's and purchased a Happy Meal. It took the army of employees they had a good 10 minutes to provide me with the Happy Meal, and I kept thinking "If I were an angry 7 year old, this would be a recipe for disaster." Then I sat down to eat my Happy Meal, and found that the fools had neglected to add a toy to my Happy Meal. Worse, there was still a line back almost to the door, so I couldn't very well get my Happy Meal toy without pushing my way to the front of the line.

Now, the whole time I'm waiting in line, I keep trying to convince myself that there are plenty of reasons why someone like me would be buying a Happy Meal. Perhaps I have a child and will give him a toy when I get home. Perhaps I'm a toy collector, as I have known people with pretty sweet collections of old Happy Meal toys. Perhaps I'm a Psychiatric Attendant attempting to do something nice for a resident. But I still get a lot of weird looks from everyone when I order the Happy Meal, and then a whole lot more when I come back up to the counter to complain about how I did not get a toy with my Happy Meal.

Then they give me a toy. It's a toy American Idol iPod. And it doesn't work. It's supposed to play music, but it doesn't, so instead of a toy iPod, I now have a small white plastic rectangle with a clip on it. This was, without a doubt, the saddest Happy Meal in history.

Also, I would write about my trip tonight, but I have a date, with Jeff. We're going to watch Fargo since he has never seen it and loves The Big Lebowski. I'll write some on it tomorrow night.

Monday Morning YouTube

Before we get to this week's video, I have a sad announcement. I was reviewing the archives to see if I had used this one before, and I discovered that the video of Celine Dion singing "You Shook Me All Night Long" has been removed. At least we'll always have the memory of it.

Also of note, I'm sick of the way my blog looks. Specifically, I'm sick of those huge gray wastes of space on the sides of the blog proper. I think widening the post space will make my long entries look less terrifying, and it should theoretically be easier than learning how to write more concisely. Also, I want to revamp my labels. I'll probably get to this shortly after I finish my spring cleaning. Sometime around October.

And now, this week's video. Even my YouTube posts are getting too wordy.

Spider-Man 3

I saw it today. There is one ultra-serious problem with it.

When you see a comic book movie, you walk in knowing that your suspension of disbelief is going to take a beating. Radioactive (or genetically-altered) spiders can give super powers to people when they bite. Sure. Crazy super soldier serum can make people regenerate wounds quickly. No problem. I'm prepared to buy into all of that to enjoy the movie.

But the trade-off is that you can't just randomly abuse suspension of disbelief to compensate for lazy or nonsensical writing. Radioactive spiders cause me no problems, but very, very early on, a villain fleeing from the cops enters an "Experimental Particle Physics Test Site." Except that it's the middle of the night, and the place is still fully staffed and doing their experiments. No attempts to explain what exactly they were working on is made, nor do the writers ever deem to tell us why there is apparently a 24 hour demand for particle physics. Aren't these things usually 9-5 operations? Or done at large research universities? Also, the scientists and lab techs detect the prisoner's presence in their big scary science apparatus, and the response is "Oh, it's probably just a bird and it'll fly away." Right. Not like advanced particle physics experiments of the experimental variety need to be done in controlled environments or anything. I keep forgetting that the first rule of science is "The Show Must Go On." Every bit of the villain was vaporized and reduced to sand, but somehow that cheap locket he was carrying survived the onslaught of particle physics.

That was in the first 15 minutes or so, and I was already done.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

On Guacamole

Yesterday, I ventured down to Connersville to hang out with Jeff for a couple hours, get some Mexican food and inadvertently celebrate Cinco de mayo. It was a good time. Here are some snippets of wisdom shared over some chimichangas:

Jeff: I don't like guacamole, so I didn't eat it.
Andy: You don't like guacamole? That's really weird.
Jeff: Well, I can eat it, but I'm not all "I LOVE guacamole!"
Andy: Yeah, I'm the same way with The Matrix. It was all right, but everyone else seems to think it's the best movie ever made, so I like it less.
Jeff: Exactly.
Andy: And the Rolling Stones are the same.
Jeff: I HATE the Rolling Stones.
Andy: I always think I do, but I think I might just like the Stones much much less than everyone else, because I always sing along with their songs on the radio. Although they never play the Stones songs I really like, like "Under My Thumb" and, uh, well, "Under My Thumb".
Jeff: They're just not as good as everyone says. That's what bothers me.
Andy: Yeah, if they were treated more like Tommy James and the Shondells, I'd have no problems with them. ...well, except for "Start Me Up."
Jeff: and "Satisfaction" too.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Answering Pop Music's Most Trying Questions

Q: When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies, don't you want somebody to love?

A: No. Not at all. When all the joy within me dies, as it has on a few occasions, I want to disappear. I want to pack up all my belongings that I can, and go somewhere cold where I will not be found or hassled ever again. I do not think, "You know, I could really go for a quick screw right now. That will make everything better."