Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great Gatsby Limericks

Lookin' fly, Jay. Lookin' fly.

There once was a fellow named Jay
Who amassed a fortune his way.
He became a bootlegger,
Now he’s rich (not a beggar)
An he stares at a green light all day.

In East Egg’s a woman named Daisy
Who drives old Jay Gatsby crazy!
She loves his beautiful shirts
So much that it hurts
But she’s “old money” and lazy.

The nrrator’s a fellow named Nick
He’s nice, but a little bit thick.
He dates Jordan Baker,
(She’s really a faker;
Cheating at golf’s quite a trick.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On Volume

You have nothing to fear from loud sounds. Sure, they're big and scary, but they're also quite obvious. It's hard to miss a train whizzing by or a firecracker exploding in sky or a fire alarm yelling to get out of a building. It's the little sounds you have to watch for. They're the tricky buggers. A loud car speeding by your house might wake you up at night, but it's the tiniest noises - the buzz of a small insect, the ominous tick of clock's second hand, the eerie creak of a door, the imperceptible whistle of the wind through a tree, the low breath of your sleeping dog - that will keep you up.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Things That Are Vastly Underrated

Or, "Things We Need To See More Of." Or, "Things I Like, But Other People Don't Seem To Enjoy."
  • Cheese danishes. Everyone loves fruit danishes, but no one gives their dairy-based cousins the time of day. They're actually quite good.
  • Suspenders. People avoid them, but they're actually more comfortable than belts, and are much more effective at keeping your pants up. Just make sure you get the kind that button on to your trousers, and avoid the clip-on variety.
  • Humus. It's delicious. Especially edamame humus. Eat with pita chips, or whatever else you want.
  • Bow ties. Bow ties are cool. The look really nice, but no one wears them.
  • Thoughtful discussion. A lot of people feel like being right is more important than learning. But really, you get more done by listening to opposing viewpoints than you do by shouting at them.
  • James K. Polk. He promised to lower tariffs, get control of the Oregon territory, establish an independent treasury, and to fulfill the idea of Manifest Destiny. He did all these things in his first term, so he didn't both running for a second. What a pro.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mental Images, Part 2

Imagine a dog. She's a small, white West Highland Terrier. She's extremely old, but generally good-tempered.

Now picture this dog in a baby stroller, getting pushed throughout the neighborhood, as happy as could be.

It's certainly not as funny as a small British hedgehog, though I actually saw this go by the house earlier in the week.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mental Images

A friend of mine told me to picture a small, British hedgehog slowly waddling around a box. I envision him with a very small top hat and a very, very small monocle. Every so often, he'd bump into something and with his small, British-accented hedgehog voice, mutter "oh bother."

For whatever reason, I find this hilarious.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Movies That Should Be Made

  1. A decent adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald's novel is superb, but pretty much all the film adaptations have been epic fails. It's about time someone fixed this.
  2. An animated movie about turtles. We've had frogs, deer, cats, dogs, foxes, hounds, fish, penguins, and robots, but nothing about turtles. Turtles are cool, so a movie about them would also be. (If there actually is a movie about turtles, please let me know.)
  3. A Where's Waldo movie. Some artistic liberties would obviously be taken, but it could be done. Waldo would be some elite globe-trotting super-spy/action hero/general do-gooder. Maybe he could team up with Carmen Sandiego or something.
  4. A James Bond movie with a reasonable plot. (More Casino Royale, less Quantum of Solace)
  5. Heck, any sort of action movie with a reasonable plot would be nice. Given the plotlines of most action movies, I'd even settle for a semi-coherent one
  6. A biography of Winston Churchill. That man was so bloody hardcore. (See here, but watch for the strong language. There's quite a bit of it.)
  7. Something with Vikings.
  8. A romance film chronicling the life of the Loch Ness Monster, and it's turbulent relationship with the Sasquatch.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Culinary Adventures II: Impressionist Ice Clowns

As you know, I'm a firm believer in the idea that ice cream can be readily combined with whatever else you have in your kitchen. I've once again acted on this principle, and have come up with something pretty strange: the Impressionist Ice Clown.

Do you see the hat and the nose? Probably not. Oh well...

The Impressionist Ice Clown contains items from four out of the six major food groups, an is quite easy to prepare. To make one:
  1. Gather the following items:

    • A frozen waffle
    • Frozen yogurt (I used vanilla, but get creative)
    • A strawberry
    • A banana
    • An ice cream cone
    • Chocolate syrup
    • An ice cream scooper
    • A plate
  2. Get the waffle nice and crispy. You can do this quite quickly in a toaster oven.
  3. Put the waffle on the plate.
  4. Get two huge scoops of frozen yogurt, and stick them on top of the waffle. (Don't try to get away with small or medium scoops... they have to be HUGE.)
  5. Slice up the banana and the strawberry, and sprinkle this onto the frozen yogurt-covered waffle. (The strawberry bits are the impressionist clown nose.)
  6. Stick the ice cream cone onto the waffle. Make sure it's at a sufficiently jaunty angle. (This is the impressionist clown hat.)
  7. Eat and enjoy! You'll want a fork, knife, and spoon for this guy. (Though I'd love to see someone eat one with chopsticks.) Serves one very hungry person, or two not-very hungry people.
There's a lot of room for expansion here. Once you get the frozen yogurt onto the waffle, you can throw basically whatever on the Ice Clown. If you make one, try adding different fruits. Maybe sprinkle the whole thing with some granola or Frosted Flakes. The sky's the limit, so go wild!

Om nom nom...

EDIT: Apparently this is basically just a Belgian waffle. Good minds think alike, I suppose.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Age

 "There's no point in growing up if you can't be childish sometimes." - Tom Baker
Age may imply seriousness, but it certainly doesn't require it. So don't be afraid to do childish things. Plays the games on the back of the children's menu. Play "connect the dots"... with a crayon. Watch Toy Story with your friends. Seek out hidden stuffed animals in food stores, and get lollipops for finding them. Build sandcastles at the beach. Declare thumb wars. Eat ice cream. Drink milkshakes. Getting older is required, but growing up is optional. Just don't stop having fun.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Made-Up Idioms I Like To Use

For the record, I actually say these. Feel free to use them. Don't feel free to judge me.That's not cool
  • Mo' [NOUN], mo' problems.

    PERSON: "Gosh darnit! We have so much bloody bread in this bloody beach house!"ME: "I know, man! Mo' bread, mo' problems."
  •  If [EVENT] occurred, it would create a [VAGUELY SCI-FI SOUNDING THING] and tear a hole in the space-[SAME NOUN AS BEFORE] continuum!

    PERSON: "Clint Eastwood is so awesome."ME: "I know, right! If Clint Eastwood cloned himself, and the two clones met, it would create a positive feedback loop and tear a hole in the space-awesomeness continuum!"
  • What the monkey/frankfurter/flying flapjack?

    [A llama jumps out of your cellar]
    ME: "What the monkey* is that llama doing in my cellar!?!"
    *In this case, "frankfurter" or "flying flapjack" could be used in the place of "monkey." Which is used is left to the discretion of the speaker.
  • Don't judge me...

    [PERSON is reading this blog post]
    PERSON: You actually say this stuff?
    ME: Don't judge me...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cell Phones Are Ridiculous

Wait... How do I even dial with this?

I've already declared the not-awesomeness of the telephone. However, there's a special place in the land of not-awesomeness for cell phones. I like to think I'm good with technology; I run a blog, after all. However, I'm an idiot when it comes to cell phones. Especially the newer ones with crazy features. In my opinion, a good cell phone needs only the following:
  1. A key pad (for dialing numbers). This should have actual buttons.
  2. A contact list (so I don't have to remember the numbers I dial)
  3. A screen (to read the contact list)
  4. Voice mail (though this really isn't necessary)
Those four features are all I need in a phone. However, phone companies and I don't see eye to eye. You can't get a phone nowadays without a camera. This extra feature is unnecessary at best, but it's at least a bit practical, and there's loads of entertainment value. (I've spent many a happy hour stealing friends' cell phones, snapping candid pictures, and making said candid shots my friend's new wallpaper.)

My ability with phones decreases, however, as the number of extras increase. Mobile internet and texting befuddle the heck out of me; touch screens, full QWERTY keyboards, and pop-out buttons are the bane of my cellular existence. Many a time I've tried to borrow a friend's phone to make a call, only to find myself unable to turn the phone on, much less dial a number and make a call. It's really quite sad.

In conclusion: phones are too complicated. Either that, or I'm too old-fashioned.

It's probably a bit of both.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Things I've Learned

A few things I've noticed this week/weekend:
  1. It's important to be assertive. If you look and act like you know what you're doing, people will act accordingly. They even have a TV trope about this, as well as a few creepy real-life examples. Just use your powers for good instead of evil.
  2. Pepperoni stromboli don't have to be greasy to be delicious. (Greasy doesn't hurt, though.)
  3. The best things on life are free. The second-best things are really inexpensive.
  4. Additionally, well-made things don't have to be expensive. You can get a dynamite tweed jacket for under $5.00 if you know where to look.
  5. On another food-related note: There might be a billion varieties of ice cream available, and even more types of toppings, but sometimes you  just can't beat plain vanilla cream.
  6. There's nothing like a good cliffhanger. I mean, anyone can leave a character hanging off a cliff and flash a "To Be Continued" title onto the screen, but it takes serious skill to create a situation that seems totally awful and completely and utterly inescapable. Anyone who's seen the first half of the Doctor Who season five finale knows what I'm talking about.
  7. Sometimes you know when something about the universe is right. You can't prove it, but  you just have an inescapable feeling that you know exactly how something should be.
  8. Sometimes you have to skip brainstorming and just start writing. A good portion of the time it's the only way to get stuff done.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

In A Nutshell

Nutshells: The new standard of conciseness?

When people tell you something "in a nutshell," they're telling you the simplest, most concise version of the story that they can.

Of course, no one mentions the type of nut they're using. One would assume that smaller nuts mean a more concise statement. Therefore, a walnut is less concise than a peanut, which in turn is less concise than a pistachio.

If there's anything I love more than nuts, it's the metric system, so I'm using the "in-a-nutshell" principle to define a new unit of concision: the walnut. One walnut is the amount of concision needed to fit a story in a typical size walnut shell. I imagine the centiwalnut or the milliwalnut would be good baseline units for taking measurements of just how concise your story should be. (I imagine a reasonably compact story would be about 700 milliwalnuts.) The actual mathematics of converting story length to shell-filling volume, however, is still in development. Until that gets finished, you can use the walnut-peanut-pistachio continuum to give a rougher estimate of how to-the-point a story should be.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cartoon Oddities

Disney characters: a sartorial minefield

I've never understood the way Disney dresses their characters. Donald Duck stomps around in a sailor shirt, bow tie, and hat, but with no pants or shoes. Mickey Mouse, however, only wears pants and shoes. Adding further confusion is Goofy, who is fully covered with hat, shirt, vest, pants, and shoes. Minnie Mouse is also fully covered with a dress, hair ribbon, and shoes. Pluto only gets a collar, but that's because he's a dog. (More on that later.)

A few things worth noting: Donald Duck is the only pictured character without pants. However, his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie and his girlfriend Daisy are also pants-less. It seems that no Disney duck is required to wear pants. However, in a bizarre case of species-based discrimination, Mickey and Minnie Mouse always have pants. Is there a reason why mice need pants while ducks do not? It's possible that mice are merely more modest. This, however, does not explain Mickey Mouse's shirtless antics. It is more likely that ducks would have difficulty swimming while wearing pants. Plus, pants can't be comfortable if you're covered in feathers (although this would also be true of shirts).

More problems arise when we examine a few members of another species: Dogs. Specifically, let's take a look at Goofy and Pluto. Goofy can talk and has a fully-developed personality; he can even walk on his hind legs. Pluto, however, lacks all of these traits. For all intents and purposes, he's just a dog. A similar discrepancy is apparent in The Little Mermaid:  fish can sing and dance, but Max the Sheepdog can only bark.

This, of course, raises disturbing questions: Where is Disney's cutoff point for assigning sentience? Why can ducks, mice, and seafood talk while dogs cannot? Is Disney harboring an anti-canine agenda? Is Mickey Mouse's shirtlessness the result of exhibitionist tendencies? Your guess is as good as mine.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Words

Words aren't the only way to communicate meaning. In fact, sometimes the best words aren't words at all.

By combining various prefixes, suffixes, verb endings, and root words, you can usually come up with something that isn't quite a word, but still does the job quite nicely. You won't find "kayak-tastic" in a dictionary. However, calling a day at the beach "kayak-tastic" is much more concise than saying it was "a grand time, with lots of enjoyable kayaking for everyone."

Sometimes, you can even make do with mere sounds. With the right intonation, inflection, and accenting, a well-shouted "AUGHAMATHUBA!" (pronounced "AH-GAH-MAH-THUB-AH") can mean more than an entire thesaurusworth of synonyms for "I am frustrated." Words are merely human constructs, and can mean whatever we want them to. There's nothing to stop you from writing your own dictionary.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

On Risk

The most dangerous game...

While doing research, I discovered a few interesting rules variations for Risk games. For instance, if an attacking player rolls three of the same number, they draw a Risk card, and the nation pictured on that card gets nuked. All troops in a nuked nation get destroyed, and anyone who moves their armies through the nuked nation lose half their troops to radiation sickness. In my humble opinion, this is insanely cool.

In other news: Anyone up for a game of Risk?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On Cleaning

Cleaning is a war. A small, plastic war.

Cleaning a house is like a game of Risk. You start small, clearing off one piece of furniture in one room. Gradually, you expand your boundaries, taking the war against entropy to different territories (perhaps a desk, a bookshelf, or a dresser.) Soon, you can move your plastic armies of cleanliness to different rooms, forcing the disorganized enemy to pull back. Eventually, you will conquer the entire house! Best of all, the whole affair takes place independently of dice, alliances, or Risk cards, simplifying matters greatly.

Just avoid getting yourself stuck in Australia.

Monday, June 14, 2010

How To Make An Action Movie (In Nine Easy Steps)

  1. Get money. If you have enough money, you can do anything.
  2. Think of stunts. This is the most important part. In order to make a successful action movie, you need the biggest, craziest, most outrageous stunts possible. A few tips with this:
    1. Don't do stunts other movies have done before. A car chase? Cliche. A car being chased by five monster trucks and a helicopter? Much better.
    2. Gun fights are good. Have a lot of them, and put them in unexpected settings (on top of moving trains, in construction zones, in a chicken hatchery, etc.)
    3. If you want something a little different, play around with weapons other than guns. Swords, whips, nunchucks, they're all good.
    4. When in doubt, you need more explosions.
  3. Hire special effects technicians. They will be your best friend in making your movie look amazing. Just ask George Lucas. If you're stuntmen can't get something done, these guys will. If your special effects people are good enough, you won't even need to film on location. That's what computers are for. (Again, ask George Lucas.)
  4. Get your lead actor. You're looking for a muscular, good-looking hunk of an actor. He's going to be the draw for your female viewers, so choose him wisely. He's also going to be doing all the stunts you dreamed up in Step 2, so make sure he's fit enough to jump out of windows and such. Actual acting ability is optional; good looks and athletic abilities are your priorities.
  5. Get your lead actress. Action movies are not politically correct: your actress is going to serve largely as eye candy for your male viewers and will spend most of her time getting rescued by the lead actor. (Sorry feminists, that's just how Hollywood works.) No acting ability is necessary, so be as superficial as necessary during casting.
  6. Write a script. The least important step. No one actually cares about the plot; you just need something to link all your action sequences together. Keep dialogue to a minimum, have plenty of one-liners, and remember: it doesn't have to make sense.
  7. Film. This is self explanatory. Get all your stunts on film. Have your special effects folks edit as necessary.
  8. Make trailers. These will get your audience off their sofas and into movie theaters. Be sure to include:
    1. Clips of your best stunts. Nothing says action movie like flying bullets and cars being chased by five monster trucks.
    2. Gratuitous shots of your leading actor (for the female viewers).
    3. Gratuitous shots of your leading actress (for the male viewers).
    4. Some inkling of a plot. (If you don't actually have a plot, make something up.)
  9. Make money. Even if your movie is terrible, you'll still get a ton of viewers. There's just something satisfying about watching things explode on a gigantic screen. And if you don't make quite enough in theaters, you just need to wait until the DVD release.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rock-Dynamite-Sissors

I've recently become aware of a bizarre variation of rock-paper-scissors that includes dynamite. Players can use a thumbs-up gesture to represent the dynamite (thumbs is the fuse, the rest of the hand if the explosive.) While a rock-paper-scissors-dynamite game would never work (four moves is unbalanced), a rock-dynamite-scissors variant would make a lot of sense:
  • Rock crushes scissors
  • Dynamite blow up rock
  • Scissors cuts dynamite's fuse.
To me, this makes more sense than a system where paper beats rock. I mean, if you can stab the paper with the scissors, why can't you rip the paper with the rock? If you can cover the rock with the paper, why can't you gift-wrap the scissors?

The lesson: The pen may be mightier than the sword, but dynamite is mightier than pen and paper.

Dynamite solves problems.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Transitions

Whenever I have a birthday, people always ask if I feel any different now that I'm another year older. I never do.

You don't realize the impact of a transition while it's happening. When something changes in your life, you only realize it a good while after the change changes place. Transitions are the sort of thing that can only be appreciated in retrospect.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Things That Aren't Awesome

  1. Spinach. It's green, slimy, and often looks like it's moving. Gross.
  2. In fact, you can add most green vegetables to the list. Pickles are the exception, though. They're delicious.
  3. The realization that a good friend of yours has changed for the worse, and the awful feeling that you really don't know them anymore.
  4. Telephones. It's hard to talk to someone without seeing their facial expression and body language. It's like having a conversation with a disembodied voice. Plus, nothing ruins a beautiful moments like the ringer of a cellphone.
  5. Phone machines. All the annoyance of a telephone, but there isn't even a person on the other end.
  6. Remakes of good movies. If the film was good the first time, there's no reason to redo it. It'll just get borked up.
  7. The above is also true for songs. If the original was good, there's no reason to do a cover or make a remix.
  8. The awkward feeling you get when you want to get a soda at a restaurant, but everyone else ordered water.
  9. Waiting. Anyone who enjoys the anticipation of an event more than the event itself is wrong. Waiting is never fun.
  10. Being away from friends, family, and other loved ones. (This includes pets.)
  11. When people say they "did good" when they mean to say that they "did well." It's a grammatical pet peeve of mine.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Things That Are Awesome

  1. Bacon-cheese sandwiches. Melt cheddar cheese onto rye bread. Add four pieces of bacon, and you've got the breakfast of champions. Just watch your cholesterol.
  2. Those really good friends who you can always talk to. They're becoming a rare commodity, though, so hang on to the ones you have.
  3. The feeling you get when you're wearing crisp white shirt, a well-cut navy suit, and a classic red tie. You feel - and look - like you own the place.
  4. Patterned socks. It's a subtle and super fun way to get your quirk on. Wear them with the white shirt, navy suit, and red tie above and you can be establish authority and subvert it, all at the same time.
  5. Those beautiful moments when you're with someone you care about, and neither of you has to say anything at all. The kind you wish would last forever. It just feels right.
  6. "Africa," by Toto. There is no wrong time for this song. The Straight No Chaser a capella version is also amazing.
  7. Similarly, there is never a wrong time for Journey's "Don't Stop Believing. It's guaranteed to pump you up, or your money back. (Not the Glee version, though. Never the Glee version.)
  8. High fives. The sound of two hands coming together is also the sound of excess awesomeness being released into the atmosphere. If you do something incredible, this is how you celebrate.
  9. Bizarre, esoteric variations on the high five are also encouraged.
  10. Vespa scooters. Those things are so cool. Also, good gas mileage.
  11. Croquet. It's nearly a requirement that you dress up to play croquet. It's clearly the classiest game in the world.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Journeying On

I was in the dessert line at a party, desperately searching for a piece of cheesecake. Nothing was labeled, so I cut a small piece of  every cake on the table, checking to see if it was the elusive cheesecake. I never found the cheesecake, but I wound up with about nine tasty pieces of various other cakes. Though I couldn't find the cheesecake, I still wound up with something delicious.

Life is like that. You might be looking for one thing, and wind up finding another. You may try to accomplish something, but achieve something else instead. You go to college and study business, only to find yourself teaching kindergarten ten years later. You think you've met that special someone, but then find someone even better on the way to the dry cleaners. The path you draw isn't always the path you take.

That's okay. Really, you can only plan about a quarter of your life: the majority of it happens whether you expect it or not. The future is a painting, but you can only see a small part of it at a time. The whole picture will probably suprise you.

And that's okay, too. The carrot cake tastes just as good as the cheesecake; the chocolate cake tastes even better. It's just how world works. So journey on: Even if the destination isn't exactly where you had in mind, it's still exactly where you need to be.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Where Does The Time Go?

When you leave a house, it doesn't go away. Whether you travel across the street, across the country, or across the world, the house doesn't change. It's a permanent fixture in the world, whether you're watching it or not. It remains exactly as you left it, waiting for you to return.

Is time like that? Once a moment goes by, does it stay put? Can you somehow return to that small speck of time? Can wormholes, DeLoreans, or little blue boxes catch minutes gone by? Or is the moment gone forever, swept away by a rushing river, preserved only in photographs? Do time's houses remain as you left them, or does time burn them down after you leave? Can you collect time's raindrops in a cup, or can you only watch them drain out of a sieve's bottom?

Until someone can find an answer, we'll have to make do with memories.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Aspirations Update

Some of you might recall my desire to learn to knit. Just this weekend, a very good friend gave me a bundle of yarn, knitting needle, and a big book of knitting patterns. You know what this means: the dream just got real.

I'll give a few periodic updates as to how my knitting skills are improving. In the mean time, I have a scarf to work on. (And of course, as I fulfill other aspirations/acquire new ones I'll post on that also.)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Showdown: Rocket Men

In 1972, Elton John recorded "Rocket Man." It later became a major hit. Here's Elton singing his song in Scotland in 1976, accompanying himself on piano. It's a musical triumph.






Of course, Elton John wasn't the only person to perform this number. In 1978, William Shatner sang "Rocket Man" at the 1978 Science Fiction Awards. He doesn't really sing, nor does he play piano. He is, however, accompanied by two other version of himself. (You really can't make this stuff up.) Here's Shatner's... abstract performance.







So, who does it better? A very good question.

Musicality: Elton sings and accompanies himself. Both his vocals and his piano are utterly superb. Shatner isn't really singing at all. Instead, he's doing some sort of dramatic reading. Bizarre? Yes. Musical? Definitely not.
Winner: Elton
Artistic-ness: While his music is divine, Elton's performance is a bit lacking. He's rocking the plaid jacket, over-sized shirt collar, and huge sunglasses, but that's about it. Shatner's spending all his energy developing a mood. From the hammy acting to the cigarette to the third Shatner's undone bow tie, Shatner's performance is all about ambiance. While Elton merely sings his song, Shatner gives us a surreal (and extremely schizophrenic) profile of the rocket man.
Winner: Shatner
While Shatner's interpretation is clearly more inspired, Elton has him beat in musicality. While this is technically a tie, I'm giving the victory to Elton John. While it is true that pure music transcends spectacle, I've made this verdict mostly because Shatner's artistic interpretation freaks me out. (One Captain Kirk is more than enough for me.)
Overall Winner: Elton (Because William Shatner can be a little scary.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Overdressed Day: An Evaluation

This is not me. (Unfortunately.)

The vast majority of today was spent in a tuxedo. There isn't a terribly good reason for this occurrence. Really, I just wanted to look nice. As always, unforeseen consequence arose. The results were good, bad, and ugly. (Disclaimer: no shoot-outs took place.)

THE GOOD:
  • Everyone loves a man in a tux.
    • Well, make that mostly everyone. Even so, it's a vast majority.
  • I looked awesome. (In my totally unbiased opinion.)
THE BAD:
  • While the tuxedo is the epitome of men's style, it will win you some weird looks depending on where you wear it.
    • An older gentlemen was extremely upset that I was wearing evening clothes in the daytime.
      • He instead recommended a nice blazer and gray flannels.
    • An a capella group was performing today. Everyone asked if I was a part of it. I wasn't.
      • In the end, I just said that I was. It was easier that way.
        • It seems "I just wanted to wear a tuxedo today" just doesn't cut it for some people.
THE UGLY:
  • Black wool + really warm weather = slight discomfort + lots of sweat
  • Running across a wet floor is always a bad idea. Falling on the ground is just a reminder of this. Falling in a tuxedo doubly so.
    • However, the fall wasn't the ugly part. That was the thirty seconds of sheer terror after the fall, during which I prayed I had not dirtied, ripped, or otherwise damaged my tux.
      • Paranoia is the price of style.
    • Speaking of which, how do these falls never happen to James Bond? Also, why isn't he paranoid about his suit?
      • Jumping out of windows, chasing cars, and all that running would surely mess up his wardrobe.
        • It makes you wonder why he spends so much on clothes. His money would be much better spent on life insurance.
THE VERDICT:
  • Totally worth it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ironing

Let me be perfectly clear: I love ironing.

It's therapeutic, like entering another world. The heat relaxes both your muscles and your mind. The soothing scent of spray starch fills the air. Life's worries travel down your arm, into the iron, and dissipate with a gentle hiss and a puff of steam. Your mind becomes clear. Troubles are smoothed out, like the wrinkles in a white, French-cuffed shirt.  Ironing becomes a chance to think about your life, your problems, your world. Cognitive stars align as you crease a pair of pants; connections are made as as collars are pressed. The universe unfolds itself before you, on the warm ironing board. The fact that you get a crisp, wrinkle-free garment afterward is but an added bonus.

Just don't touch the bottom of the iron. It hurts like you wouldn't believe. Also, it'll give you a huge blister. Gross.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crispy Chicken Crispers?

During a recent visit to Chili's, I noticed the following two items on their menu: Chicken Crispers, and Crispy Chicken Crispers.

While I love crispy chicken fingers, these choices seem strange. By definition, Chicken Crispers must be crispy. Doesn't this make the idea of Crispy Chicken Crispers redundant? What is the difference between Crispy Chicken Crispers and regular Chicken Crispers (aside from the choice between black pepper gravy, BBQ sauce, honey-mustard, or ranch dressing)?

One would presume that the Crispy Chicken Crispers are crispier than their Chicken Crisper cousins. But if this is the case, how much crispier are the Crispy Chicken Crispers?

I therefore propose the Krisp scale, the SI unit for crispiness. Using the Krisp scale, we can quantify the crispiness of a food relative to other crispy foods. The Krisp scale ranges from 0 to 12, with 12 being the crispiest. Something not crispy at all (like pudding) would have a rating of 0 Krisp. Something extremely crispy (like a really fresh bag of Fritos) would have a rating of 10 to 12 Krisp. Once some baseline standards are established, we can establish a system to quantify crispiness. (Think the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, but without scratching chicken fingers with potato chips.)

Until this system is created, however, we can only ponder at the difference between Chicken Crispers and Crispy Chicken Crispers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Things I've Learned

Life teaches you lesson. Here are a few things it taught me recently:
  1. Simple pleasures are the best. The thrill of tying your necktie perfectly, the taste of warm clam chowder, the feeling you get when you hug someone you care about, stuff like that.
  2. Speaking of simple pleasures, there's something magical about dolphins. Sure, you see them all the time on TV and the internet and whatnot, but there's something incredible about seeing baby dolphins up close. It's just incredible.
  3. Remember: dolphins eat meat. Just because something is cute and magical does not automatically make it vegetarian.
  4. You can't force someone to like you. It's better to accept that fact and move on instead of trying to change their mind. If you change yourself to make someone else like you, you might wind up not liking yourself.
  5. If you buy less than half a pound of fudge, the candy store won't put it in a little box for you. Also, don't put said fudge in the refrigerator.
  6. Time is the only nonrenewable resource. Once a minute goes by, there's no getting it back. Spend the time you have doing things that matter with people you love.
  7. Clothes have personality. You can wear an incredibly stylish, well-fitting shirt, but if the shirt's personality doesn't complement your own, it'll still seem a bit off.
  8. Stupid ideas, despite their stupidity, are usually the most fun. And definitely the most memorable.
  9. Don't drink the end of the orange juice. It never goes well. If you have to tempt fate, at least make sure you leave an itty-bitty bit in the container.