Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm Not Funny Lately

I haven't been writing in this blog because I haven't been very funny lately. Oh sure. I'm funny at work, where I delight my coworkers with my near constant prattle about all things goofy and ridiculous. I'm funny with my friends, where we communicate constantly via running gags and inside jokes. I suppose I could relate various conversations with those people, but they always strike me as saying, "This is what it's like to be my friend! Don't you think it'd be fun?" when in reality it probably isn't a ton of fun to be my friend because I don't do much but stay in and make fun of everyone I know. Most people don't have that tolerance, or love for, abuse.

But I'm not particularly funny by myself right now. I'm not making my typical sarcasm-tinged mental notes about things I notice people I talk to.

Some people may say that I shouldn't censor myself on my own blog, that I shouldn't have to be funny, witty, or just tragically amusing to have an online presence. The principal problem is that I learned at a very young age that when I'm not funny, I'm an obnoxious elitist that has no friends, as opposed to the amusing, self-deprecating guy that has no friends that I am right now. I spent some time in college being depressed, and that wasn't as good as being funny either.

So I'm not posting on my blog. Except for this post, which also isn't particularly funny, but does explain why no funny blog posts have greeted the MILLIONS of people who read my blog.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Today is a very special day

July 22nd just so happens to be Pi Approximation Day!

It also happens to be my sister Casey's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Casey. I got you a heaping helping of guilt.

Friday, July 20, 2007

One Inappropriate Post

Mark Trail: If you don't pay any attention to the dialogue this week, it appears the plot has taken a turn toward phone sex.

Harry Potter: I repurchased Book 6, since my lame younger brother never returned my copy. Hey Aaron, I still want it back. I'll let you have this paperback copy as a birthday present. Ya tool.

Also, I think the greatest testament to the awesomeness of JK Rowlings is that 5 years ago, when I got into Harry Potter, I would find myself defending my enjoyment of the books to some of my non-Potter friends in college. Now, people who don't read them have to defend their disinterest, as if you'd have to be a freak to not enjoy Harry Potter.

Radio: "Dance With Me" came on the radio again today, and solely because Lindzy said she liked it, I listened to it again, and am now prepared to revise my opinion on it. Previously, I simply said, "This song sucks." Now, I mostly stand by that one. However, I do like the bass line pretty well, and the instrumental arrangement gets pretty cool in the middle, although you wouldn't tell from the boring beginning. However, I maintain that it's still a song that does not make me remotely feel like dancing. This is just to show that I value the opinions of my commenters highly enough to challenge my beliefs.

And now I should stop typing, lest I add something inappropriate to this otherwise happy ending.

Dear the Internets

I'm sorry I've been so bad about blogging this week. Not sure what the problem is. If I find out, I'll let you know.

If this continues, I might be forced to finally finish the thrilling trilogy of my trip to Minnesota a few months back.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Monday YouTube

Heh heh heh. I'm immature.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Gospel of Ice

So what's your favorite lyric from "Ice Ice Baby"? There are many good ones to choose from, but I think I have to go with "To the extreme, I rock a mic like a vandal/Light up the stage and wax a chump like a candle."

I asked Kelli at work for hers, and she instantly replied "Cookin' MCs like a pound of bacon."

If, for some reason, you don't know the lyrics to this one, you can find them here. Also, if for whatever disturbing reason you want to watch the video, well, have at it, and do note that the user who posted this on YouTube uses the handle "myfocusisongod", which amuses me greatly. God and Vanilla Ice. Who is the third member of this holy trinity?

So then. Let's stop, collaborate, and listen.

When Jon Arbuckle Completely Loses His Mind

...he will resemble me. This is a post about human/feline interaction, since I'm grateful that I still have the bugger.

JJ loves catnip, and it now occurs to me that JJ is rather intelligent, as far as cats go. He just came into the room where I was busy wasting time and let out a loud meow saying, "Hey, you. Pay attention to me or I'll scratch up your chair. Oh? You're just going to say 'Hi JJ' and not come pet me? Well, don't think I won't make good on my threat." ::scratch scratch scratch:: "Got your attention now, don't I?"

As I felt rather bad for not spending ample time with my beloved pet, I took some time out of my busy time-wasting schedule and petted him, cuddled with him, and generally showed him some affection. Then I applied some catnip to his scratch mat, and he was grateful.

Five minutes later, JJ comes in and meows at me again, and then starts pawing the ajar closet door where I got the catnip from. I shut the door completely and told him to get a job if he wants to support his catnip addiction. No freeloaders in my apartment.

Oh, and I don't really keep catnip in the closet. Usually it's in the pantry, next to the cat food. It was moved in case the repairman had to get at some pipes through the pantry, which is just two tiles away from the busted tile. I didn't feel like making up some excuse about drinking catnip tea or smoking catnip cigarettes in case he found it, although I've heard stories of people doing such things. And I don't really blame them. Catnip smells delightful.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Victory!

The landlord's repair guy came in to fix the leak over my kitchen while I was sleeping. As far as I can tell, Mr. JJ Flash remains undetected. My brilliant plan of isolating my bedroom and leaving the fan on high all day and all night to soundproof the room was apparently successful.

Oh, and the leak did collapse the ceiling tile before it was fixed. Made quite the mess.

Quick Thoughts On the HP5 Movie

1. The movie is 2.5 hours long, and I didn't notice it. This is because there's practically no time to regroup, as the movie tries to fit as much of the book in as possible. I'm pretty sure there are a few things I wouldn't have understood if I hadn't already read the book.

2. The Order of the Phoenix is my second favorite of the series, behind only The Prisoner of Azkaban. As such, I probably knew somewhere in my brain that I'd be a little bit disappointed. And I was. The book is so dark, from beginning to end. Harry is losing it and lashing out at everyone around him, and pretty much being a prototypical self-absorbed 15 year old jerk, while everyone else is grim and depressed because instead of fighting Voldemort, they have to fight the Ministry. The movie didn't even come close to conveying the total feeling of despair that pervaded the book, and didn't really explore the more adult themes. Which is somewhat understandable, seeing as how they were on a mission to cram as much stuff into 2.5 hours as possible and wanted to keep it appealing to smaller children, but I still missed it.

3. The entire time, I was holding on to the very, very slim hope that my favorite scene from the book would make it into the movie. Since the scene is almost entirely superfluous, I was pretty sure it wouldn't. I was right. That scene: When Harry, Hermione, and Ron visit Arthur in the hospital and run into Neville visiting his parents, and an addled Gilderoy Lockhart. Gilderoy Lockhart is easily my favorite character in the series. Only Dobby the House Elf and Severus Snape come close. This is odd, because The Chamber of Secrets is easily my least favorite book of the series.

4. Speaking of Severus Snape, I'd like to say that Alan Rickman is awesome. Also, I hate to spoil the last book for everyone, but Snape is undoubtedly a good guy. Why? His hair. It's dark. Every male character with blond hair is a villain, and, to my knowledge, there is only one dark-haired villain. Gilderoy Lockhart: Blond. Lucius and Draco Malfoy: Blonds. Peter Pettigrew: Officially "Thin and colorless," but portrayed as a dirty blond in the movie. Technically, Ian Hart, the actor who portrayed Professor Quirrell, is dark-haired, but Quirrell wore a turban at all times and had Voldemort sticking out of his scalp, so I think his case should be thrown out. (Update: Barty Crouch was blond too.) Personally, I thought Lupin was the only exception to the "Blond hair = Evil" rule, but Rowlings specifies his hair as "graying light brown."

The dark-haired villain is Tom Riddle. Note that when he becomes Lord Voldemort, he loses all his hair. His hatred of dark-haired peoples, even though he himself is dark-haired, mirrors his hatred of all halfbreed wizards, even though he himself is a halfbreed. Thus, there can be room for no other dark-haired male villains. Snape is a good guy.

If I had the time, then I would research a corresponding theory that black haired women are evil, which suggests that Narcissa Malfoy is actually going to be a heroine as well.

One more week, everyone. One more week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Crap!

My kitchen ceiling is leaking. The ceiling tile is soaking wet and dripping onto the floor. It seriously looks as if it could break any minute.

I have an illegal cat in my apartment that my landlord will be excessively pissed about if he finds. I also have no plumbing skills to speak of to try and fix the problem myself. I don't even know what the problem could be.

This would result in some hilarious hijinx if my life were a sitcom.

Luckily for me, the bank is closed and I don't have the landlord's number handy. That will give me plenty of time to hide my daysleeping cat in my room tonight after I see Harry Potter.

Of course, it'll only be lucky for me if the tile doesn't collapse and flood my apartment between now and tomorrow morning.

Wait, what about cat hair? It's everywhere. They'll see it. Hiding an illegal cat was much more fun when it was easy. Ideas?

New Adventures In Loserdom

Sometimes, I like to imagine that people sit around and think, "I know Andy doesn't sleep at night. I wonder what sorts of thoughts he thinks during the solitary hours while the rest of us are snoozing. Besides writing freaking awesome blog posts, of course."

Well, mythical people that exist only in my imagination, this post is for you.

10:45 pm, leaving the MRDD: Time to go home! Works over! Good-bye, my lovely colleagues. I wonder what fun-filled route I'll take home tonight?

11:00 pm, either College Corner Rd., Gaar-Jackson Rd., or I-70: Hells bells, I forgot to go to the store... should I turn around? Nah. I'll be in Richmond tomorrow. I can go another night without a proper dinner.

11:30 pm, in front of the computer: Crap. No new email. No comments either. Perhaps I should start comment fishing during my blog posts.

12:10 am, still in front of computer: You know, I should probably clean this place up. At least get some laundry done.

12:15 am, in the bedroom: Why do I have so many clothes? What the hell is the point of this? I'm never going to get all this done. I friggin give up.

12:20 am, the front room: Ooh, Dynasty Warriors 5!
Hey Andy!
Yes?
Remember when you said you were only going to play Dynasty Warriors until you beat it with all 48 characters?
Yeah...
And then you said you were only going to play it until you found all the hidden weapons?
Right...
And then you said you were only going to play it until you found all the hidden items?
Uh huh...
And then you said you'd play it until you lucked into a maxed out version of every item?
It took some time...
And now you're saying you'll play it until you max out every character so they're equally powerful?
That's very Roosevelt of me...
And yet you always complain about how the game is mind-numbingly repetitive?
Uh, what's your point, inner voice of nagging guilt?
You're a loser.
Oh.
A loser who will totally buy an XBox 360 just so he can play Dynasty Warriors 6: This Time, It's Exactly the Same As Dynasty Warriors 5 when it's released.
Guilty As Charged.

1:30 am: Well, time to scratch Zhuge Liang off the list. Welcome to the Maxed Out Club, O Sleeping Dragon. I'm freaking starving. I'll have to remember to go to the store after work tomorrow night.

1:40 am: Ok, I'm bored. Let's write a blog post or something.

2:30 am: You know, despite all the time I put in these things, they still sound half-assed and sucky. That's the essence of blogging, right there. Um, Laundry, I guess? Sure.

2:45 am: What are all of these "Hot/Cold" "Cold/Cold" "Warm/Cold" options good for? Someday, I shall learn. Today is not that day. Let's try "Cold/Cold" this time.

3:15 am: Crap, where are my quarters?

3:20 am: Here they are.

3:30 am: Why is it so hot in here? The sun is not out. There is no excuse for this. I need another pop. I'm still freaking starving.

3:45 am: Wasabi Trail Mix. That's good eats, but I sorely miss my frozen pizza. I must remember to go to the store tomorrow after work. Time to check out the internets again while I wait for my clothes to finish.

4:15 am: I've got another 45 minutes to kill before my clothes are done. Time to put on some music and sprint up and down my hall for awhile, jumping around like a moron in the process.

4:45 am: Why is it so hot in here? And now, inexplicably, I'm thirsty again.

5:00 am: I'm tired. I don't want to fold my clothes. I'll do it tomorrow when I get home from work.

...holy crap, I've depressed myself.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Monday Morning YouTube

Since Jeff Lynne has been the subject of some controversy in the comments of the last post, I'm using this week's space to allow Randy Newman to give us his take on him.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Because I don't feel like typing, writing, or thinking

I feel like ranking the Traveling Wilburys.

1. Tom Petty
2. Roy Orbison
3. Jeff Lynne
4. Bob Dylan
5. George Harrison

That's how I'd rank them. Any disagreements?

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Resolved: That The Mamas and the Papas sold their souls to the devil in exchange for happiness.

***Mandatory Music Post Disclaimer: I have admittedly questionable tastes in music. If you find yourself disagreeing with my musical pronouncements, know that your position is probably much more eminently defensible than my own.***

I purchased a very affordable copy of California Dreamin' a couple weeks ago, and since I don't feel like blogging about anything else and don't really feel like cleaning my apartment, I'm going to review it, track by track. After the next introductory paragraph. This paragraph is the intriguing backstory to the blog post that's usually pushed to the commentary tracks on the special edition DVD.

Prior to this purchase, I could name three songs by The Mamas and the Papas: "California Dreamin'," "Monday, Monday," and "I Saw Her Again Last Night." I love all three of these songs, so I've pretty much assumed that I'm a fan of The Mamas and the Papas. It turns out I'm both much more and much less a fan of the band than I thought. Contrary to what I believed, the delicately handled angsty lyric material and NOT the band's unique sound was the key to their success. When the lyrics are moody or sad, the band is on and delivers a catchy hit. When the lyrics are happy and carefree, the band suddenly becomes unlistenable. Observe:

1. "California Dreamin'" -- Song's premise: "I'm completely miserable in my current life, and feel I would benefit greatly by relocating to a place I've idealized in my mind, to the point that I would go without even telling my significant other." Song becomes radio staple, to the point that I doubt there's a single person reading this post thinking "I should probably listen to 'California Dreamin'' sometime to hear what he's talking about."

2. "Spanish Harlem" -- Song's premise: "I really love a girl who lives in Spanish Harlem." Song's sound: Completely 4-square rhythm, completely not fitting with the exotic sound of "Spanish Harlem." Harmonies are lame, and mostly consigned to "la's". No conviction to be found in vocalist.

3. "Glad To Be Unhappy" -- Song's premise: "An abusive relationship is better than no relationship at all." A complete oddity. Like the title, this song can't decide if it's a happy song or not. As such, the band decides to vary the level of suck frequently and without warning throughout the course of the song.

4. "Go Where You Wanna Go" -- Song's premise: "I don't want to share you, and I'm giving up on waiting for you to settle down." Really clever harmony parts. For instance, the back-up singers harmonize the words to "Go where you wanna go" but then switch to doots for "Do what you wanna do," except you don't realize it until halfway through the line. Then towards the end, they get more contrapuntal. One of the better songs on the album.

5. "Monday, Monday" -- Song's premise: Ok, actually, I'm at a loss as to exactly what this song is about. I know somebody may be getting dumped. On a Monday. Or maybe the girl's name is Monday. I don't know. Either way, it's not happy, and it's possibly an unhappy double-entendre, something I'm not really sure has ever existed. A groundbreaking song all around, I guess.

6. "My Girl" -- Hey, ever wonder what The Temptations would've sounded like if they were white and with no groove or soul whatsoever? Wonder no longer. I'd never heard of this cover before buying the album, but unlike the poor Hot House Flowers, I truly understand why this one has been buried in pop music history.

7. "No Salt On Her Tail" -- Song's premise: "The girl I love doesn't love me, so I'm going to get over it." This song sounds pretty cool, but the lyrics are terrible and pompous. Dude, you're not noble because you're going to allow her to "fly away," because she's allowed to do that with or without your permission. The alternative choice here is stalking and rape. Please get over yourself. That said, it's still moody, so still a decent sounding tune.

8. "Sing For Your Supper" -- Song's premise: "Hello my lovely avian friends. I would love to give you seed if you spread your cheery song outside my window." AHHH! Make it stop! I confess! It was me! I did it! I acted on my own too! Put me out of my misery! No more, please!

9. "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" -- Song's premise: I don't really know what this one is about either. I think it's about a woman coming to terms with the fact that she's a lesbian and the uneasy yet exciting effect such an admission has on the self-image, but again, I'm not entirely sure. The song's sound fits the theme though. It sounds very much like you're being led somewhere. This is possibly my favorite song on the album, although it could be because it's new while I've heard "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday" a million times or so.

10. "Words of Love" -- Premise: "It takes actions, not words, to show love." This song is also cringe-worthy. Boring rhythms and a weird, disjunct melodic line that features a singer telling her man to show her more love in a very unintended irony. Goofy accompaniment. Not particularly catchy.

So, as you can see from my review, the happier The Mamas and the Papas were, the more empty, boring, and rhythmless their songs became. Like Vincent Van Gogh, future uninformed blowhards will use them as a case study for why major depression, especially in those artistic types, should go untreated so all of society can be vicariously depressed through them without any of the nasty effects of real depression. Because that's fair and all.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

YouTube-sday

Aren't I clever.

Delays

So the YouTube post is delayed this week. I bet you're all on pins and needles wondering why, when you logged onto theballpointbanana.blogspot.com yesterday morning, no new post awaited you with a ridiculous or awesome video embedded.

Well, the evil cable guy decided to turn off my internets while I was at work on Sunday. You recall that I was a little short of cash last week. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to put off paying the cable until my next paycheck came. Had the cable company waited one more day, they would've received their payment in full.

Instead, I had to go to my mom's yesterday morning prior to 10 am to call and make a payment that I just barely had in my account. My phone is broadband powered, you see, so losing my internets also turned my phone off. The cable guy decided to make me his absolute last stop on the day as well, so it took awhile. In the meantime, I spent part of my day at Mom's entertaining Hannah and Oscar, my niece and nephew.

For the most part, typical playing with small children-program related activities were involved. What I would like to address is the bizarre children's program entitled Go, Diego, Go! I find it difficult to critique media that does not target my demographic, but whoo, did Diego look like a crapfest. The script went something like this:

Diego: OH NO!!!! ANA THE ANACONDA IS IN DANGER!!! WE MUST SAVE HER!!!
Ana the Anaconda: Ayudame, Diego! (this was my favorite part, easily)
Diego: I FOUND SOME TRACKS!!! BUT WHICH ONES ARE ANACONDA TRACKS??? HELP ME DECIDE!!! (points to two sets of tracks, one being a straight line, and the other clearly depicting feet. Neither the 3 year old nor 6 year old were even slightly stumped by this one.)
Diego: THAT'S RIGHT!!! LET'S HURRY!!! THERE'S ANA, BUT WHERE ARE ALL HER FRIENDS???

...and so on. and so on. and so on. Now, considering asking me to be awake at 10 am is akin to asking normal 9 to 5ers to be awake around 3 am, and considering I had no caffeine in me at all, my poor brain could not withstand being yelled at by Diego. I went home to sleep, hoping to avoid any creepy, Diego-induced dreams, to come back later.

Now, some belated video action. You'd think with the extra day I had, I would've thought of something ahead of time, but you'd be wrong. I will now search YouTube and put something up in the last minute.