"The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep"
Adventures in Television
I think I've watched more TV in the last week than I have in the last year, but that isn't really saying much. It was the first time I had seen 24, and I was pretty impressed. It was the only serial show I'd like to watch regularly. Watched the Saints' offensive line and Aaron Brooks allow Cincinnati to hand them their pride in a little baggie. (I didn't see don't even want to talk about the Carolina game yesterday.) Of course I had to watch It's A Wonderful Life.
I also saw an old movie called The Yearling with Gregory Peck. Like a lot of movies during that time, it's engulfed with a nauseous overdramatic orchestral soundtrack. It wasn't exactly the best thing I've ever seen, but there was a moment where Jody's friend turns to him and says in all seriousness something like, "I don't walk so good since I tried to fly." I missed the part where he tried to fly, but that line has to be about the funniest damn thing I've heard in awhile.
(Should be back around the 29th)
Prizes & Schtuff
I think I've decided on the prize for the contest. As unimaginative as it may be, the prize will be a book or CD of my choice from your wishlist. If you don't have a wishlist, then just make a list of 5 books and 5 CD's from Amazon or somewhere, and include them with your definition/explanation, and email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comments section. Contest ends, like sometime in January, or something.
Dinner with my friends is never just dinner. The excellent quesadilla or fried calamari always becomes more than just something to salivate over. Somewhere during the course of the meal, the food all morphs into visual aids for the conversation. That plate of fried calamari becomes China, and the spoon becomes the Yellow River. A quesadilla becomes a 2D political spectrum. (Can a spectrum be two dimensional, or would that be considered a political plane?)
BTW, have you ever tried to explain pool to someone from another country that literally has no concept of the game?
Eric Olsen announced today that Blogcritics
"have been asked to help spread the word in the blog community about the Lawmeme and EFF DMCA exemption requests regarding the copying of DVD clips for review purposes, now turned in to the Librarian of Congress. Blogcritics Phillip Wynn, Ed Driscoll, Lester Norton, Michael Croft, Jay Caruso, Travis Lee (in the Lawmeme request), and Jim Carruthers (in the EFF's) all were quoted and have contributed to history. Congrats and special thanks to them. The story and all of the links can be found here."
Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm searching for Doogs!
The search for the ever elusive "sex doog" led someone to this here site. So, I'm wondering exactly what is a sex doog, and would this person be considered a doogophile (not to be confused with a dogpile)? If I wasn't so broke I'd hold a contest for the most creative reader definitions. Maybe I will have one anyway, since it is Christmas and all. Let me ponder some prize options.
Fast Times at Political High
Somebody explain this to me.
Penn, who left Baghdad later Sunday, is among scores of celebrities who have spoken out, but the first to travel to Iraq to express his concerns. Earlier this month, Martin Sheen and Academy Award winners Kim Basinger, Helen Hunt, Olympia Dukakis, Susan Sarandon and director Jonathan Demme were among more than 100 entertainers who signed a letter urging President Bush to avoid a war on Iraq.
I understand signing a letter to President Bush. I mean, I wouldn't mind sending him a letter about my own concerns, and the freedom of open dissention is arguably one of the greatest aspects of living in America. What I don't understand is why this is newsworthy. Why is it necessary to publish the names of the actors and actresses? Do people really care about the nature of Sean Penn, Kim Basinger, or Susan Sarandon's political opinions? Does the average person really take these opinions for their own, just because these people are famous? Why should their views be any more valid than any other citizen? I mean, what are their qualifications? Does playing a role like Jeff Spicoli (even though he did a killer job) substantiate your political views?
It is interesting that a guy who hit an extra, and was quoted as saying"
I had a house burn down once, and everything in life burned, except my family, and it was so liberating. I didn't have a bad moment about it. It sort of reinvigorated my interest in a lot of things. I wonder if there should be some kind of anarchy,
is suddenly so gung-ho about maintaining peace.
What's the deal with DJ's names? DJ Lewis, DJ Liason, DJ Don, DJ Shurik, DJ Freaky, DJ Funky, DJ Spooky, DJ Kooky, DJ Buttmonkey, DJ Crackhead Bob. What is all that? Are they afraid people will mistake them for the bouncer? The bartender? The janitor? Are the headphones and turntables not a giveaway? Talk about insecurity. They are the only member of the band (and I use that term loosely) who's job is fused to their name. You never hear, "Hi I'm Drummer Brown," or "Nice to meet you, I'm Keyboardist Willis," or even "Hey, I'm Songwriter (not a bassist) Dusty."
Actually, they might have something there. Maybe we should all start incorporating our jobs/hobbies into our first names.
Electrical Engineer Carla
Mary Kay Representative Mable
Window Washer Phil
Jr. Quality Control Engineer Brian
Crack Dealer Eric
Little Boy Loving/Plastic Surgeon Guinea Pig Michael
Yes, animated GIFs can be annoying, but I just a new toy and I'm playing.
World's simplest yule log
Gonna take one of these into work on Friday, and thought I'd share the recipe.
1 box of graham crackers
1 box of chocolate pudding
Prepare pudding as per directions. Lay two graham crackers side-by-side on a cookie sheet lengthways. Place another cracker crossways at the end of these two like this:
Smear chocolate pudding over the graham crackers.
Add another layer of crackers on top of the pudding.
Repeat with remaining crackers and pudding, ending with a layer of graham crackers.
Throw the whole thing into the freezer for about an hour.
Remove from freezer and coat the entire thing in a thin layer of Cool Whip.
Arrange a couple maraschino cherries and some green gummi candy to look like holly in the center and refrigerate overnight. The pudding softens the grahams and just slice it like a cake.
Final B Gone
Three down, one to go.
Ya gotta love living in the city.
All of these happened within a block or so of my humble refrigerator box in the sky.
On Dec. 3 in the late afternoon, the video store at 1516 W. Taylor was the scene of an armed robbery. No customers were inside at the time.
That same day an armed offender robbed the valet parking attendant at Bar Louie, 1348 W. Taylor. Saturday evening a UIC student was robbed at gunpoint on the sidewalk in the 1200 block of West Flournoy. The victim stated that the offenders approached from behind, displayed a chrome handgun, searched his pockets and took a cell phone.
Later Saturday, two UIC students living in the 1100 block of South Laflin were victims of a home invasion robbery by three armed offenders who forced their way into the apartment. Chicago Police think the same three men were responsible for a residential armed robbery in the 1600 block of West Ogden on Sunday.
Chicago's citywide ban on all guns works so well.
After completion of my last final (on Friday the 13th, no less) I'm think I'm going to celebrate 80's style. Dig out my old ripped up acid washed Levi's, Guns -n- Roses T, and wear my high tops untied, or maybe find a pair of slouch boots with chains . . . and a wig to cover my shorn head. Forgotten stuff from The Cult or maybe L.A. Guns pummeling the ears. Later, everyone will end up in the bathroom with a nice fat eight-ball. Wait. Did I say that aloud just now?
Hmmm . . . What else do we need for a righteous 80's bash?
What do I want for Christmas?
& other stuff
These Mill Showreels are everything that's cool about visual effects
Incidentally, the first one reminds me . . . If your imagination generally scares you more than movies or books, then never, ever, listen to Radiohead's Street Spirit while walking down what appears to be a deserted Chicago street late at night. As we all know, there is no such thing as a truly deserted street in a major city.
Utter and Overhyped B.S.
"Since they claim to believe that their products don't influence audiences, then it must be true that no movie or TV show ever had an impact on fashion or caused millions of people to recite catch phrases."
To compare the decision to kill another human being with the decision to change your shoes or to recite a catch phrase is absolutely absurd. I think it's relatively safe to say that the decision to kill someone would weigh on the average person's mind more than choosing between plaids and stripes. (I'm not being overly optimistic here, am I?)
For those of you who don't sit around reading literary theory on Saturday nights (ahem), there is a device first formulated by a Russian dude named Shklovsky around 1916, called defamiliarization. Which is, essentially a technique of making the familiar unfamiliar. Shklovsky argued that we cannot continually experience objects or events in the same way we did the first time.
Example: We all know that people get robbed, raped, and murdered in places like East St. Louis and Cabrini Greens. So how does an author, script writer, director, etc. present these situations so that the audience feels the impact? How does s/he keep them from yawning, "Yeah, so?"? S/he keeps the audience's attention by breaking the event down, and taking the audience through it detail by minute detail. In essence, the artist is re-sensitizing the audience to the gruesome realities of these acts.
If you still believe that the script writer or director of The Matrix, or Reservoir Dogs, or whatever should be held responsible when somebody twists off and starts offing people, then what about the Bible? What about the Koran (Qur'an)? What about all the Sacred Texts that various individuals have cited to justify their violent actions? Can we really blame these texts?
Obviously there are differences between the majority of those who follow the Qur'an or the Bible, and the fundamentalist, cowardly asshole terrorists.
Why? Because of interpretation. Something people have been studying (hermeneutics) since the origin of the sacred texts. So, if we do not blame the Qur'an for 9/11 how can we possibly blame Stephen King's Rage or Apt Pupil for events like Columbine?
My parents moved to Ohio several months before I decided to go to college. Since then, I sold my house in Southern IL and moved to this refrigerator box in the sky in Chicago, and essentially left myself homeless. Which brings about the most frequently asked question by friends, family, and strangers alike: Where are you going to go after you graduate? It is a good question, and one I can't seem to find an answer for. I have family in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. My friends are scattered from Chicago to Central-Southern Illinois to Kentucky. I spent a couple good years in and around Nashville, TN. I will effectively be able to move anywhere I want. No mortgages, jobs, or other ties holding me to a specific area. Can there be such a thing as too much freedom?
Where would you go if you were suddenly cut free from all dependents, bills, etc. If you could move anywhere in the United States without worry of children, and/or significant others - where would you go?
Booze & Stuff
The Hotel Illness now has a full bar. Unfortunately, it remains self-serve. Madcrazy props to the Dustman for the recipes.
Signs your getting old:
1) The highlight of your day is finding a better weather website.
2) History books now cover events you remember vividly.
MSNBC has an article on the new $20 bill to be introduced in the spring. The revisions are further attempts to thwart counterfeiters. What I find amusing is the Office Depot just to the right of the article for green tinted "multipurpose" paper.
It's a good thing I'm not drowning in dead Presidents. If I were, I'd probably indulge myself with things like this, and wouldn't survive the first day. All carbon fiber body with a total weight of less that 2,800 lbs, 525 ft/lbs. of torque, and 550 HP. Good God. This thing makes the Spyder look like a friggin' Pinto.