Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I had big plans for today, but now I just don't feel like it. Maybe I'll go in my room, close the blinds, turn off the lights, and spend the afternoon playing Goldeneye.
Today's episode of "did he really just say that?" comes from former attorney general John Ashcroft. In a speech last night on national security at the University of Colorado, Ashcroft appeared to claim that he would be willing to be waterboarded. My head is still spinning around this, so just go ahead and click the link, okay?
I just got "Live Free or Die Hard" on Netflix, so I think I'm actually going to have a marathon in my pajamas - including all four Die Hard movies, all three bonus discs from the original trilogy, and a copious amount of "Yippee-ki-yay!"s. I'm just kidding, really...I'm not THAT big of a loser - but these guys are (warning: includes some possibly not safe for work language):
Catchy song, though.
I read an interesting column in Esquire the other day (Chuck Klosterman, pp. 94-96, Dec. 07 issue) which postulates that the common ice-breaking question "What music do you like?" doesn't really say much about who that person is.
Klosterman writes, "...I'm starting to suspect this seemingly innocuous inquiry...might be weirder and more complex than I originally assumed...But here's the problem: This premise is founded on the belief that the person you're talking with consciously knows why he appreciates those specific things or harbors those specific feelings. It's also predicated on the principle that you know why you like certain sounds or certain images, because that self-awareness is how we establish the internal relationship between a) what someone loves and b) who someone is. But this process is complicated and (usually) unconsidered. It's incredibly easy for me to grasp that I love the first fourteen seconds of "I Don't Need No Doctor." A harder task is figuring out why exactly I feel that way...I can isolate and answer the question more specifically than anyone I've ever met. Yet not only does my answer fail to reflect anything meaningful about my personality, it doesn't even reflect what I fundamentally like about music..."
At the very least, it's an interesting theory. Personally, I grew up listening to a diverse range of styles of music, and therefore have a greater appreciation for the classical/opera/jazz genres than most people my age. But while I could stereotype endlessly about what one's preferences say about them (I'm a dork because I like myself some Beethoven, the 35 year old who still identifies with punk rock lyrics needs to grow up, people who cry at Celine Dion concerts have unresolved emotional issues), it doesn't really say anything. I guess I identify with the author as the whole "what kind of music are you into" question has vexed me for years. (By the way, Klosterman suggests that instead of that tired question, one should ask "What kind of music do you think you like?") I'm into anything that strikes me, which is far less tangible than an aisle at the local record store.
And no, I can't explain it either. What kind of music am I into? I'd probably say, "Um, you know...pretty much everything." (blank stare) "You know... (trails off)." A quick sort by genre in iTunes reveals that I'm a fan of rock, rap, classical, old-school country, punk rock, hip-hop, grunge, folk, hair metal...but this says nothing.
Klosterman's list includes both of the spectrum, from "The closing 1:02 of AC/DC's 'It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)' when Angus Young's playing devolves into an inverted riff-o-rama in response to the bagpipes" to "The vocal sequence from Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone' where she sings and talks to herself at the same time." But I bet Chuck Klosterman wouldn't identify himself as a Kelly Clarkson fan.
Music is so visceral, so intangible, that in my opinion, it's hard to sneer at someone for their preferences. So what are mine? Another quick glance through my iTunes....
- the chorus of Dave Matthews Band's "Warehouse."
- the end of Less than Jake's "All My Best Friends are Metalheads," in which the end of the chorus is repeated ("paranoid of every sound...") with the horn overlay
- the opening guitar riff to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" - let's call it the first fifty seconds - in which every single piece of that band, from guitar to bass to drums to vocals, begins to come together and crescendo. No matter where I am, I'll stop what I'm doing and air-guitar. I'm just that big of a nerd.
- the first thirty seconds of Chopin's "Nocturne in E Flat, Op. 9, No. 2"
-"I make my money, man, without the coca, livin' la vida without the loca..."
- 0:19 - 0:40 of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Tuesday's Gone"
- the drum part of American Hi-Fi's "The Art of Losing"
- ditto for the Dropkick Murphys' "I'm Shipping Off to Boston"
So, draw your own conclusions.
"No one dies harder than John McClane, even when his wife's stuck on a plane..."
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Lu just dragged me to the gym. We ran a mile, and surprisingly, I didn't collapse on the treadmill. And yes, I'm joining, only on a month-to-month basis so we can see how it goes. Not that I feel like I want to bulk up, or anything - even if I wanted to, I don't think I have that in me - but I'd forgotten what a great stress reliever running can be.
And now, of course, we're off to IHOP to unburn (?) all those calories.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
So, Happy Thanksgiving, loyal readers. Hope yours is a good one.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I've been getting a feeling lately (I don't know where it's coming from) that I should start collecting something. But I don't know what. Any ideas? (And no, "dust" is not an answer. I've got plenty of that already.)
Real life Mario Kart!
Oh, and here's the Mike Huckabee/Chuck Norris video which I mentioned in my last post. It's absolutely surreal. Remember, folks, this is an actual campaign commercial.
So anyways, kids, I apologize for the lack of updates. Really, Daddy wishes he could be around more and not miss your t-ball games, but with work and friends and the goings-on of everyday life, the blog will have to make some sacrifices.
So, as usual, I don't have much to say, so we're going to discuss some interesting things running around the internet as well as what's happening in that thing called...um...oh yeah, real life.
I'm attempting to post this picture, but either Photobucket or Blogspot hates me, so it's not showing up in its full size, so I'll have to link to it. I can't decide who's actually in charge of this, but Nike and Major League Baseball have teamed up to create this map (which in turn sells more t-shirts, but such is the nature of capitalism). But, it is really cool. It basically breaks down a map of the United States into its support of each major league baseball team. It's actually very well done, so you can take a minute and check that out here.
The apathy of the Democratic party is really starting to worry me. We voted last November for change. I'm not sure if anyone was honestly expecting such measures as a Bush/Cheney impeachment hearing to actually come to fruition, but there was a sense after the votes were tallied that things would finally start to change.
Instead, sadly enough, what we've gotten hasn't been much better than "Republicans Part Two." On Saturday night, members of the California Democratic Party put forth a motion to censure Sen. Dianne Feinstein for, among other things, voting to confirm Mukasey as attorney general (despite his unwillingness to clearly define waterboarding as torture). Kudos to the grassroots movement who hoped to place on official record their disappointment in the Senator "for ignoring Democratic principles and falling so far below the standard of what we expect of our elected officials." Unfortunately, this measure was struck down Saturday night without even a vote as it was doomed from the beginning on procedural grounds. However, maybe this'll finally be a sign to all the Democrats who unfairly used our anger to gain votes, and then chose to do nothing once elected to office. Fair warning: we've put you there for a reason, and if you don't do your job, we'll fire you, too.
Headline today on the New York Times' politics blog The Caucus : McCain, Giuliani vie for 9/11 Brand.
I'd recommend that you read this article, but it's sickening that one of our nation's biggest tragedies needs to be used for political gain.
Mike Huckabee is slowly going insane.
In an interview yesterday on Fox News Sunday, his new campaign ad was previewed, slated to run in Iowa beginning today. I'll just quote the story (written by the Associated Press, by the way, not the Onion) and let you decide for yourself:
"Huckabee also previewed his first television ad of the campaign on the program. The 60-second spot, which features actor , was to begin running in Iowa on Monday.
"My plan to secure the border. Two words: Chuck. Norris," says Huckabee, who stares into the camera before it cuts away to show Norris standing beside him.
"is a lifelong hunter who'll protect our Second Amendment rights" on gun ownership, says the tough-guy actor, who takes turns addressing viewers.
"There's no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard, only another fist," Huckabee says.
"Mike Huckabee wants to put the IRS out of business," Norris adds.
"When Chuck Norris does a push-up, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the earth down," Huckabee says.
"Mike's a principled, authentic conservative," says Norris.
In closing, Huckabee says: "Chuck Norris doesn't endorse. He tells America how it's going to be. I'm Mike Huckabee and I approved this message. So did Chuck."
Huckabee acknowledged that the ad probably will not change many minds.
"But what it does do is exactly what it's doing this morning," he said. "Getting a lot of attention, driving people to our Web site, giving them an opportunity to find out who is this guy that would come out with Chuck Norris in a commercial."
Thompson's campaign said the ad shows Huckabee is not serious about immigration, an issue in Iowa.
"With his new campaign ad featuring Chuck Norris, Mike Huckabee has confused celebrity endorsement with serious policy. What would Huckabee do to secure America's border against millions of illegal immigrants pouring into our country? According to his ad, 'Two words: Chuck Norris,'" said Thompson campaign spokesman Todd Harris."WHAT.
Anyways, I feel an aneurysm coming on, so enough politics for one day. How about some videos?
"How We Met" : You've just got to watch it.
"(My iPhone) is quite possibly the only thing that keeps me sane these days. Well, that, and the meth." - unaired, from SNL.
And finally, the best prank ever.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I say this every year, but Christmas shouldn't be allowed to start before Thanksgiving.
I've got half an eye on the Bears game, and I really don't care what happens. Call me a fair-weather fan, but as far as I'm concerned, their season is over and I'm just watching for the sake of not really having anything better to do.
So I have to admit that I've become somewhat of a couch potato lately. The second season of "Prison Break" is just so good. But we've discussed that before.
According to two separate polls taken in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton's lead in the national polls has shrunk by nine or ten points, depending on which poll you believe. There is such a thing as peaking too soon. (What are Howard Dean and John McCain doing nowadays? Certainly not running the country.) It gives us all a reminder that the election doesn't happen for another year, and as of right now, it's probably smart to support the candidate in whom you believe, not whomever's leading the polls.
Thanks, Blogspot, for opening my eyes to The To-Do List Blog. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like. I personally find this whole thing fascinating and hilarious. You can find a blog about absolutely anything on the internet, whether it's a collection of passive-aggressive notes , an assortment of photos taken of "Creepy, Abandoned Chi-Chis", or the classic viral internet cliche, Captioned Cats (known throughout the internet community as "lolcats." It's all incredibly funny and mindless.
So if you'd excuse me, I've got some To Do notes to read.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
"This country should never stoop to torturing people, and we need to put the government on record saying that. This is an important legislation to close loopholes and stop the double-talk and obfuscations from the Bush Administration. Torture doesn't work, the information you get is unreliable, and it's a black mark on the honor of any country that condones it.
Please add your voice to the chorus of Americans standing up and saying, "Not in our name!" We won't have torture committed in our name by any branch of our government. We believe in the rights and dignity of individuals, and our country is too great to be lowered to the level of torturing people. This will be a big fight, and I'll keep you updated with any further ways you can help win this fight for the soul of America. And, when you sign the petition, if you'd like, leave a comment in your own words explaining why you think this is important.
Underneath the petition I'll include the text of the legislation. Thank you so much for your help. This is an important fight for the dignity of all of us.
Thank you so much,
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post reported yesterday on the Bush administration's inability to grasp this simple concept . (Mr. President, Alanis Morrissette is holding on line 1 for you...)
Democrats may have thought Christmas came early this year, when White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was asked "Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?', the response was "In our opinion, no."
Are we repealing the Patriot Act? Closing Guantanamo? Ending unconstitutional wiretapping of private citizens?
Uh, not so fast. Ms. Perino was talking about Pakistan.
Oh. Uh, that makes sense.
For those of you out of the news loop, President/General Musharraf has declared a state of emergency and suspended the Pakistani constitution. And apparently, the appropriate response is to worry about curttailing of civil liberties...in Pakistan.
Click on that link above ("Bush administration's ability to grasp that simple concept."). The professional writers'll be able to explain the situation and the irony a lot better than I will.
I don't want to even get into the fake FEMA press conference, which, to be fair, I have no idea whether or not the Bush administration privately embraced and publicly scorned. Real journalists everywhere should be angry, that's all I'll say.
And we'll round out today's segment by wishing a happy birthday to The Kit-Cat Clock.
Must be a slow news day at the Seattle Times, who reported that Company President Woody Young credits lifetime sales of "well over 10 million" clocks to the feline's "disarming smile. I've had people say they talk to Kit-Cat because with its eyes and tail moving, it gives the sense of being alive; you feel like it's got a heart beating. This is something you don't get from a regular clock."
Monday, November 5, 2007
Speaking of that fit of boredom, don't ever Google your own name if you find yourself caught in one. You'll be sorry. (And NO, I did not write that.)
Yawn. Here it comes. And since I have nothing else relevant to say (do I ever?), that's it from me.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Apparently, Nike's ad people have decided that the best way to market their new golf ball, Juice, is to make a bunch of short films showing the ball being fired from a high-powered cannon into various every day objects. So if you've ever wondered what happens when a golf ball with a 312-dimple pattern (how this is a great improvement over the standard pattern, I couldn't tell you), here's your shot. Waste some time and watch some slow motion video of the Juice ball being shot into a gumball machine, a jar of mayonnaise, a gingerbread house, a lava lamp, whatever. And since I'm not much of a golf player (I've only played mini-golf, actually...I think on the small scale), if you get me these golf balls for Christmas, I promise to invite you over so you can see me recreate some of these videos for myself. Objects being considered now are a bottle of fish sauce, the next door neighbor's picture window, and a pile of the upstairs neighbors' newly harvested tomatoes.
*Note: Author claims no responsibility for arrests, subsequent prosecutions, or any other negative consequences resulting from reader's actions, regardless of whether or not said reader was "totally encouraged", by author or any other participant, into blasting a "Juice" ball through the front window of an oncoming Blue Line train. This is a stupid thing to do and you should've known that. Have fun in jail.
I desperately need new clothes for winter. I'm not much of a shopper, but I opened my closet today to find polo after polo, with a hoodie or two mixed in. Most of the nicer clothes I own have been stolen from my brother (who made the fatal mistake of leaving them behind on his way to Canada), but it's about time I start getting my own things. So if anyone wants to dress me - preferably before it gets too cold - I'm too skinny to not own sweaters - give me a holler. Apparently this year's theme is stripes. I've been looking on all of the usual suspects' websites, and that's all I can find. "Prison chic," I think they call it. Or maybe I just made that up.
I've decided that in the interest of not collapsing from an aneurysm as I angrily pound the keyboard, today's posts will be politics free. Unless something big happens. No, today will be spent on the couch with the football game.
Lukewarm coffee is still the worst. (Again, still drinking it.)
So...uh...waste of a post.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
For the “Political Players” series, CBS News’ Brian Goldsmith talked with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
CBSNews.com: “Do you believe that Mormonism is a legitimate form of Christianity?”
Gov. Huckabee: “You know, Mormonism is a faith that people adhere to. And I think people ought to respect anybody’s faith. I am not all that familiar with the intricate details. I have enough trouble keeping up with my own faith. So, I do not spend lots of time trying to evaluate somebody else’s.”
CBSNews.com: “But do you think they’re real Christians?”
Gov. Huckabee: “Once again, I am not going to try to judge. That is for them to determine whether they accept Jesus Christ as the only revelation of God on Earth. And, if they do, then that is how a person is a Christian, not by the label they wear, but by the position they take on the role and the personhood of Christ.”
Huh. Didn't really answer the question, did you, Mikey? Now, I know I should waste my breath (typing fingers?) on someone who's at the very best considered a fringe candidate, but to me, this example illustrates two huge issues with politics today.
1. Gov. Huckabee hides nothing of his Baptist-preacher-turned-politician background. In fact, it's a focal point of his campaign. His slogan is "Faith. Family. Freedom." So he HAS to know something about the LDS church. What would happen if a parishioner came to him and said, "You know, I was thinking about joining the Mormons...is that pretty much the same thing as being Baptist?" Do you really think he'd say, "Uh...I dunno."? If he's worth his salt as a Baptist preacher, he'd know the difference. He's avoiding the question because to answer, regardless of which way, would be political suicide. If Gov. Huckabee said "yes," he'd probably alienate all of the "values voters" (the "Christian mainstream" - meaning anyone but the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, or any other denomination commonly looked upon by other sects as "way out there" )on whom he so desperately depends. If he said, "no," he'd alienate the Mormon crowd and could pretty much forget about Utah's five electoral votes, assuming, of course, it came to that point. Instead of telling us what he really believes in, he thinks that the proper response is to avoid the question altogether, therefore avoiding a controversy, therefore avoiding widespread criticism, therefore (in his mind, at least), having a better shot at the Republican nomination. (
In a sense, he has a point. But if you ask me, this country is a bit tired of all of the posturing and politics. Trust is a huge issue now. We've spent the last seven years being lied to after twice electing the candidate with whom we'd most like to have a beer instead of the one who could properly run the most powerful country in the world, and now, hopefully we'll be a bit more careful and demand answers. The challenge for every candidate is to find a proper balance between the two - this country as a whole seems like it wants someone who isn't too wooden (Gore) or elitist (Kerry), but really seems like it wants to move ahead of that and (gasp!) elect someone who can actually do the job. Gov. Huckabee, tell us where you stand. We'll appreciate your honesty more than anything. To the mainstream media, stop suckering the candidates into questions which can't possibly be answered simply to stir up controversy. Which brings me to my next point...
2. Where exactly is this relevant? We're choosing a PRESIDENT here, not the new minister of our local church. Call me old fashioned, but I'm of the opinion that in such a diverse country, we shouldn't need to know whether or not a candidate is religious. A large percentage of voters are put off by Romney's Mormon faith. Early in the campaign, Obama was swift-boated by people who made a huge deal out of the possibility that he attended a Muslim school as a child. And now, what do we have in office? A "compassionate" conservative whose actions have led the nation to understand that he's anything but, who has destroyed the lives of countless innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, who mocked Karla Faye Tucker on her way to the execution chamber, who believes that lining the pockets of his friends at Halliburton and Blackwater is the proper way to run any civilized society. Congratulations America, you've wet the bed on this one, and now you have to lie in it. I'd vote for a Scientologist if he (or she, don't want to offend anyone here, do we?) could hand me a comprehensive plan to balance the budget, get us out of Iraq, provide health insurance to every citizen, and fix immigration. Let's stay away from religion when we discuss politics, and maybe we'll get answers to the politically relevant questions at hand.
But that's enough politics for one day. Now we go on to a series called, "Nate watches it so you don't have to." I was bored out of my skull last night, home after finishing a stretch of eight consecutive work days and a back-to-back from the previous night. I was flipping channels, and found out my roommate had recorded a marathon of "The Restaurant." I remember being asked about this show when it was actually on the air, and had never seen it - so I said, "Hey, I'll give it a shot until I fall asleep." (7:00 on a Friday night - yes, I am that pathetic.)
I don't think I've ever seen a worse show in my entire life. The "real-life restaurant," Rocco's in New York City, was obviously an invite-only crowd - from the customers to the "this is my big break!" actors playing Rocco's employees. (Give it up, NBC, we're well aware that this show was a sham.)
I could've sworn I saw this guy in the kitchen.
"You seen my gun...now I wanna see yours."
I could just see the producers on the set of this one. "Hey! You look Mexican. Be on this show!"
"Whatever, you look Mexican enough, get to makeup!"
The funny thing is about this guy (which I just learned, by the way, his name is Noel Gugliemi), is that although he's half Italian, he plays "stereotypical Hispanic" in EVERYTHING. Here's a quick bio - I would've gotten the official one from IMDB, but this one from Wikipedia is so much more funny (and makes my point a bit better):
The Fast and the Furious: Hector
National Security: Latino Convict
SWAT: Latino Convict
Hotel California: Chino
Four episodes of The Young and the Restless - as two different characters! (Two as "drug dealer," two as "Satchel." No one ever said, "Hey, wasn't Satchel dealing drugs a while back?")
It reads on and on like this. "Latino Thug." "Cesar." "Warehouse Rooftop Hood."
So...uh...I guess my point was that they just grabbed a whole lot of people a lot less famous than this guy to play the Hispanic kitchen crew.
So anyways, "The Restaurant" is terrible. Don't waste your time. I'd rather make out with Britney Spears (and it would take a lot for me to do that at this point, trust me) than watch ten more minutes of this show.
Catch y'all on the flip side.