Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Does Whatever a Spider Can

Of course the big news of the week is that the Spider-man 3 trailer debuted yesterday. I admit that I was neglecting my geeky duties and wasn’t aware of this until I read about it last night. But believe youz me, I was eagerly anticipating it for the 3 minutes it took me to find and download it. And I wasn’t disappointed.

In case you’ve missed it, Spider-man is my favorite superhero. Although I probably haven’t purchased a comic in over a decade, the vast majority of those that I did own were Spider-man titles. I was greatly distressed that Spider-man 1 came out on my mission. I couldn’t care less that I missed a Star Wars movie, and was only minorly peeved that I missed a Lord of the Rings. But I watched Spider-man the first night I got home. I hadn’t even unpacked yet. Of course it was a bit of a bittersweet experience in that Spider-man suddenly became cool and I had to share him with the rest of the world. Not that he was ever a minor hero, but at least my Spider-man shirt from nearly a decade ago was novel when I bought it. Now it can be found at any Wal-Mart and thus I can no longer wear it. But now my wise-cracking hero is also the world’s favorite. But I do get to see awesome Spider-man movies, so it’s not all bad.

Back to the trailer; it was very good. When my brother saw it (I watched it a couple times and yelled at him to come watch it) he stated an obvious point: how are they going to fit this all in one movie? The preview shows Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, who eventually becomes Venom. It shows Thomas Haden Church as Sandman. It shows that Franco does get on his father’s glider and become another Green Goblin. It shows both Mary Jane and her competition, Gwen Stacey. Three villains and two love interests in 2 hours? Just to make things complicated lets add the black costume. Spider-man’s black symbiote costume is one of the biggest events in his history. We should also mention that the Harry Osborn becoming the new Green Goblin is another of the top 10 events, and the death of Gwen Stacey (in the comics she’s Peter Parker’s first girlfriend and is killed by the Green Goblin before he ever meets Mary Jane) is definitely in the top three Spider-man events. That’s a TON of material.

The new costume is ok, but not as cool as the comic version. I’ve included both pictures below. Hopefully you can figure out which is which. In any case, go watch the trailer. You can see it before Superman Returns, but that would require you to watch a Superman movie. I may go see it just so I can see my 2 minutes of Spider-man on the big screen. And I certainly know where I’ll be May 4th.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Not Dead Yet

Oh what a sad thing to see a blog lie fallow. Unfortunately for all of you, writing in my blog is relatively low on my daily priority list. So many things need to be done, and this is not one of them. Here’s a bit of an update.

Of course the biggest event of the last week has been my new job. The life of a pharmacy technician is not the most exciting, but I suppose it’s a way to live. It’s actually quite tiring. Not so much physically, though I am standing in front of a window and sorting through drugs and files for 8 hours a day. But dealing with people all day can be quite exhausting. And not just people: sick, old, non-English-speaking people. I realize of course that doctors must deal with this exact set of people, especially since they very often come straight from the doctor’s office to my window, but I hope it will be easier then. This may be wishful thinking. In any case I arrive home around 6 and usually need an hour or two to recuperate. This means that my YMCA attendance has dropped quite dramatically in the last week. But I’m progressively getting more and more done in my evening hours.

I went car shopping on Saturday for about 6 hours, which was not the best experience of my life. I found many vehicles that I would like to own, and many that I was financially capable of buying, but none that matched both criteria. The activity would probably have been more productive if I actually knew what car I wanted. I’ve currently narrowed my list down to about a dozen, which means I only have to visit ¾ of the car dealerships in town. Here are my current “top” choices:

Honda Accord or Civic
Toyota Carolla, Camry, Echo or Matrix
Mazda Protégé, 6 or 3
Subaru Imprezza or Outback Sport

To add to my fun evenings I’m also trying to find a place to live in Columbus so I can go down there this weekend and check out my different options. I’m starting to look forward to a couple months from now when all I have to do is study.

Song of the moment: “It Ain’t Me Babe” Johnny Cash

Monday, June 19, 2006

Working Stiff

It had to happen eventually: today was my first day of work.  Driving into work I thought to myself that I should just go immediately to Columbus and acquaint myself with all the local customs before the school year begins.  Wouldn’t this be a better use of my time?  Sadly the more rational side of my mind knows that it wouldn’t be.

As a temp my job is basically to learn jobs quickly.  You don’t really have to master the job, but you need to be able to do most everything within a day or two.  Luckily I’m pretty good at this.  I may not get the fine details right immediately, but I pick up 80% after a try or two.  So my first day at the job went pretty well.  Of course I wasn’t learning most of the job, but relearning it since I held the same position for nearly two months last summer.  Enough has changed at the pharmacy (computer programs, procedures etc) to keep me on my toes, but I was able to stay busy for 8 hours with no supervision and only a couple questions.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow likewise brings no overdoses or lawsuits.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Just the Facts Mam

I don’t have much time at the moment, but here are the highlights:

I chose Ohio State.  This really wasn’t that hard of a decision.  Rochester definitely would have had some benefits, but Ohio was one of my top two schools and Rochester was probably my 4th pick.  So I guess I’m a Buckeye, which is perhaps the dumbest of all mascots.

More importantly, I bought the Captain Awesome shirt, along with the Loch Ness Imposter one.  

I made my first culinary purchase ever: a George Forman Grill.  Admittedly I bought it because it was on sale, but I’m still pretty sure this indicates I’m an adult.

I taught my first full-fledged Sunday school lesson (I’m not counting my lessons in China, which were of dubious accuracy.)  No one threw anything and people actually volunteered to answer questions to I count it as a success.

Song of the moment: “Origin of Love” Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Saturday, June 17, 2006

I may seriously have brain damage

This is how bad my facial recognition is: I didn’t realize that Hugh Laurie played both House and George from Blackadder until yesterday. Although I only recently started watching House, it’s probably in my top 30 TV shows, as is Blackadder. Or it could just be that Hugh is a darn fine actor.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Debating, deliberating, deciding and denaturing

Ok, here’s the battle: Ohio v Rochester.  Let’s break it down.

Produces best doctors: Rochester is ranked 21st for Primary Care.  Ohio is ranked 32nd for the same.  So Rochester wins this one.

Produces best researchers: Here Ohio wins, 32nd versus 36th.  

Reputation: About the same.  Rochester is more snooty because it’s a private school, but I think others look at the schools as being about the same.

Debt: Rochester students leave the school with 128 thousand dollars of debt.  Ohio students leave with 109 thousand.  Ohio wins.  

Tuition: Rochester is a whopping 37 thousand per year.  But Ohio’s first year is 48 thousand.  48 thousand!  Luckily I gain residency after that and the next three years are 22 thousand, averaging out to 28.5 thousand per year.  Ohio wins.

Mormon factor: Columbus has 2 singles wards.  Rochester has one branch.  Ohio wins.

The city scene: Columbus is nice, but Rochester is probably a touch nicer.  Another point for Rochester.

Convenience: Rochester would provide free food, free storage and countless other amenities resulting from having family nearby.  Rochester clearly wins.

Climate: Neither are fantastic, but a slight edge for Columbus.

Sports: Ohio State wins about 300:1 over Rochester.  Sadly I don’t care about sports.

Other: At Ohio I can do independent study and never go to class once anatomy is over.  How sweet would that be?  I almost certainly won’t do this since I’d be irritated to have to pay 48 thousand dollars to homeschool myself.  

Rochester 4ish, Ohio 6ish.  I have another 24 hours to decide.

Song of the moment: “Push the little daisies” Ween

Renewing Deliberation

I got into Ohio State this morning.  Now the Ohio State v University of Rochester debate begins.  

Perhaps more importantly, I’m ordering my shirts this afternoon, so you have to vote soon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Useless Fun


Mac's are great for some things, but why in the world do they all need cameras on them? How many people really video conference? I was messing around on my parens' G4 and ended up taking this picture. Chances are they'll never use the dumb thing. Fun, but pointless. Posted by Picasa

Democratic Fashion

It’s 10 Dollar Shirt Days again at Threadless.  Vote for your favorite and I just may buy it.  How exciting!  The top contenders are currently:

Impossible Love          
Strangers With Candy          
Operation Needed     
Loch ness Imposter     
My Pet Human     
Mourning Girl          
Captain Awesome

Song of the moment: “Infinity” by Inara George

Monday, June 12, 2006

Movies a gogo

Honestly I’m not sure what a gogo means.  But I’ve watched a great many movies in the last month or so, and am going to give some micro-reviews below.

The Da Vinci Code

Blah.  It was fine, but was certainly not monumental.  It was no deeper than National Treasure and had fewer explosions (I count them.)  I didn’t find it controversial or blasphemous, just boring at times.  I don’t know if I would’ve liked it better or worse if I’d read the book, but now have zero intention of doing so.

Silent Hill

I saw this one at the dollar theater out of loyalty to the video-game-to-film genre.  Ever since the Super Mario movie from the early 90s we’ve known that there will never be a good movie based on a video game.  All we can hope for is entertaining.  Silent Hill was entertaining.  To all the people who didn’t get it: you’re morons.  You’re probably the same people that thought The Matrix was confusing.  Just because it’s a horror movie doesn’t mean you can turn your brain off.  It’s true that I could name a dozen things to make this movie better, but it still did many things right.  The main criticism I’ve heard was that it was a scary movie with no scares.  This is somewhat true.  It was a movie that was designed to be creepy, not scary.  And trust me, it’s creepy.  Wondrously creepy.  

Kill Bill I

I quite liked this film.  I think that Tarantino is a giant nerd and is only a fifth as talented as he thinks he is.  But he certainly has flare.  This movie had some really cool visuals, great music and enough action to sate any appetite for mayhem.  Seriously, the amount of blood completely removed the story from reality.  Which is fine with me; just sit back and enjoy the bloody bloody ride.

Kill Bill II

I didn’t like this nearly as well.  He seemed to give up on the visual elements that were the main attraction (for me at least) of the first film.  I never really cared about The Bride’s revenge scheme, so it wasn’t really satisfying.  The first movie was silly and cool, this one was just silly.


This is the first movie that I liked Hoffman in, and one of the only ones I’ve seen Tom Cruise act in.  Overall I liked it.  But there were times when I got bored, and I’m not positive what conclusion I was supposed to draw from the end of the movie.  The frog rain was just plain strange.  But the music was great (provided by Aimee Mann) and the vast ensemble cast kept me interested through the vast majority of the film.  


I saw this the day after Magnolia and the two had a great deal in common.  I thought Crash did a much better job of connecting the characters and sticking to the unifying theme.  In fact they went a bit too far and bludgeoned the audience with the racism issue.  And although the racial interplay was a bit interesting, I thought the individual character development was much more intriguing.  The Hispanic locksmith was the only character who started out good and ended up good.  Everyone else is grey.  I only saw two of the best movie nominations (this and Munich) but I think there’s a good chance that this deserved its Oscar.  

The New World

I was hoping for much more in this movie.  It was ok, but not great.  It might’ve helped if they had some DIALOUGE!  The entire movie seemed like monologues.  One character would mumble through his lines and the others would stand around, just looking at the beautiful scenery.  And yes, the scenery was beautiful.  They did a great job of making it feel like the virginal forests of the new world.  But without more character interaction I found myself looking at my watch over and over and over.  

Tokyo Godfathers

This movie was great.  I admit, I’m biased towards anime.  But I really like it when I find one like this that I can recommend to everyone.  The story is pretty simple: three homeless people find an abandoned baby and have to find the mother.  But it’s a great little Christmas story with some fun banter, whacky antics and good animation.  This beats Disney (or Pixar, who I don’t care for either) any day.    

Song of the moment: “Demons” Guster

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Weekend Update

Here are some recent goings on:

I am still looking for an apartment.  I thoroughly hate looking for housing, but such is life.  I do have the nice backup that if I find absolutely nothing I find acceptable I can live at home.  I really don’t want to spend an hour a day during med school commuting, but it would certainly save me some money.  But I seem to have some pretty good prospects very near the medical school.

In addition to looking for an apartment, I now get to add on looking for a car.  I hate looking for housing, but have some experience doing so.  I have zero experience looking for a car and so am having even less fun with that.

I’ve been a generally good person as of late.  I helped a friend of mine pack up and get ready to move on Friday, then worked on some lady’s flooring for a good portion of Saturday.  Neither were very noteworthy experiences, but the lady whose floor I worked on was watching the World Cup the whole time.  If you’re going to have people working on your house for you, you should at least pretend to be otherwise occupied.

I lost my mane of black hair.  In preparation for work next week I got a hair cut.  I don’t like my short brown hair nearly as well, but I suppose it is more acceptable for customer relations.  

Friday, June 09, 2006

Doting on Doughty

With nothing else occupying my schedule for the evening, I decided to go to a concert last night.  This is fairly out of character for me.  Although I’m an avid music listener, I’m not a regular concert-goer.  I think live music can be great, but only if you’re familiar with it beforehand.  Its hard to hear exactly what the singer is saying and there are lots of distractions, so if you aren’t at least passingly familiar with the music beforehand it would seem to be of little value.  Luckily this was Mike Doughty playing, who’s in my top ten favorite acts.

The show was in Buffalo, which was a downer.  In addition to being over an hour away, it required actually going to Buffalo, which I avoid.  I have no actual grievance against Buffalo, it’s just one of those rivalries I adhere to without reason (Canada, France, the South, dentists et al.)  But I made it there and back without any incident, which was somewhat impressive considering I had no map and didn’t know the actual address of the venue.  Although the concert was free I did end up paying for parking, which took a small degree of the pleasure away from potentially cost-free entertainment.  

Attending a concert is a rather difficult thing; there are so many different elements to avoid.  You want to stay equally far away from the smokers and the pot-smokers, as well as the angry drunks and the happy drunks.  You can’t stand too close to the speakers or your head will explode before the end of the evening.  There weren’t any mosh pits to avoid, but there were groups of both giggling high school girls and bikers, both of which are to be avoided.  But eventually I found a spot that I liked and greatly enjoyed the show.

Mike didn’t do anything terribly noteworthy during the performance.  He did throw in a Guns N’ Roses cover, as well as one by Kenny Rogers.  But otherwise it was all his original stuff, mostly from his most recent album.  I was hoping he’d bust out some of his old stuff from Soul Coughing, but no such luck.  But I like his newer stuff as well so it was still a good show.  

For those of you that haven’t heard Mike Doughty, which I assume is the vast majority, you should definitely check him out.  He’s got a very distinctive voice and interesting lyrics.  His solo work that he’s currently working on is very melodic and has more of a rock beat to it than his Soul Coughing strangeness.  I, of course, like the strangeness, but both are good.  I particularly noticed last night the repetitive nature of his music.  It’s not really repetitive in a bad way, but it comes across like chanting.  For instance his chorus in a particular song is “All these tremendous brunettes around, all these tremendous brunettes” repeated several times.  It makes the songs easy to sing along with, and would certainly cut down on time writing lyrics.

Due to impending rain he only ended up playing for about an hour.  It irks me greatly to spend more time traveling than actually being entertained, but it just a sacrifice I had to make.  He did however have time to do an encore, which I HATE.  Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to get another couple songs out of him, but I hate the very idea of encores.  They’re an incredibly stupid tradition.  Imagine being at a dinner party and having the host tell you the meal is over.  They then refused to provide dessert unless everyone told them how wonderful the meal was.  You’d think they were an arrogant self-centered jerk.  If the musician wants to play another couple songs, then do it.  If they feel this is due to a good audience, then fine.  But don’t do this stupid walking off the stage just to come right back on crap.  It’s dumb so don’t do it.  

But do go listen to some Mike Doughty.

Suggested songs from Soul Coughing: Circles, Super Bon Bon, Janine, Supra Genius.
Suggested songs from Mike Doughty: American Car, 27 Jennifers, Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well, Grey Ghost, Busting Up a Starbucks.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Don't Turn That Dial

Here’s a note for any of you that happen to run a public radio station.  

My local alternative station recently had its first ever fund drive.  I’ve never quite figured out why we have an alternative public radio station, but we do.  I’m also not quite sure how they’ve been funded for all the years I’ve been listening to them, other than playing Jewish music Sunday mornings.  I don’t know why some Jewish contributor paid them to play music on Sundays, but they did.

If you’ve ever listened to NPR, their fund drives are long painful events.  There’s tons of chatter, stupid mugs that no one wants and every so often some actual music or other programming.  Instead of doing such a horrendous thing to us, WBER had a music marathon as their fundraiser.  They started at six in the morning playing songs from 1985, the year they started broadcasting.  For every thousand dollars donated they would move onto the next year, eventually making it to 2005 and reaching their goal of 20 thousand dollars for the year.  They set aside about a week to raise this money.

It took less than 12 hours for them to raise the twenty thousand dollars.  By the end of the day they had over 24 thousand.  How often does public radio surpass their goals?  I attribute part of this success to the fact that WBER is an awesome radio station.  They have very loyal listeners who proudly proclaim their slogan “WBER: the only station that matters.”  Despite the fact that their listeners are several decades younger than those of the classical/talk stations, they were still willing to put their money in.  I think another reason for their success is that this was a fundraiser that people actually WANTED to listen to.  I sometimes listen to other public stations, but completely avoid them while they’re raising money.  But it was really fun to find out what was cutting-edge alternative music in 1985.  The only downer was that by the time they were in the late nineties and early 2000s they were raising money so fast that they only got to play a song or two per year.  

So do yourself a favor and listen to the only station that matters.

Station of the moment:


Monday, June 05, 2006

Facilitated Inspiration

A cynic’s guide on how to get a calling.

Step 1: Bear your testimony during Sacrament Meeting to establish that you have one and consider yourself an active member of the branch.
Step 1b (optional): Incorporate the balance of intellectual and practical pursuit of gospel knowledge into your testimony.
Step 2: Mention to your Sunday School President that you wouldn’t mind subbing when a teacher’s out of town.
Step 3: Wait approximately ten minutes.
Step 4: Hand your tithing to the Branch President, again showing that you’re active and providing an opportunity for him to pull you into his office.
Step 5: You’re a Gospel Doctrine Teacher.

Song of the moment: “Take Your Momma Out” Scissor Sisters

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Life is funny.  That sentence was completely meaningless, so let me explain one way in which life is funny.  You can easily summarize years of your life in a sentence, or even a sentence fragment.  What have I been doing for the last three years?  School, work, watching Homestarrunner.  That pretty accurately describes over a thousand days.  Alternatively I can spend page after page describing a single day.  I won’t exemplify this to the full extent, but here is an idea of what went on yesterday:

Earlier in the week I finally decided that I should go to the U of R instead of Stony Brook for medical school (this should warrant an entry in my blog, but honestly I don’t feel like writing it.  I thought, I prayed, I decided) This decision resulted in a bunch of extra paperwork and phone calls, all of which seemed highly unnecessary.  But the most immediate requirement was getting a physical.  It’s a bit odd that you must be examined by a doctor before going to train as one, but this seems to be standard procedure.  I had already filled out all my medical forms for Stony Brook and schedule a physical, then changed my plans.  Unfortunately this meant that I needed a whole new set of forms, and my physical was scheduled for Friday.  So I had to drive to the medical school to pick up the forms so I would have them in hand for my physical that afternoon.  I have yet to find the guest parking at the medical school, so brought my brother with me so I could just pull up to the curb, run in and get the forms without finding an actual parking place.  Of course to do this I needed incentive for him to come with me to Rochester, so we stopped at the new anime store on the way home.  My cunning plan went off without a hitch.

The anime store was a fun diversion.  I haven’t bought any anime merchandise in years, but still enjoy seeing what’s out there.  There were several items that were almost cool enough for me to spend money on, but not quite.  I nearly bought a couple movies, nearly bought a poster and nearly bought a t-shirt.  But miserliness beat out nerdiness yet again and I left empty handed.  The storekeeper probably wasn’t terribly happy with us since we were in there for at least thirty minutes and he had nothing to show for it.

I hate making multiple trips, so always bundle my errands together.  To accomplish this I often make up errands that don’t really need to be done, simply because I refuse to drive half an hour away to do just one task.  So I successfully combined the anime store with the med school trip, and tagged the YMCA on the end of the trip.  We weren’t able to stay at the Y for our usual length of time, but got a decent enough workout before returning home.

I was in a hurry because I had my doctor’s appointment to get to.  By far the worst news of the trip was that I was that the nurse recorded me as being 5’8”.  It’s a well known fact that I am in fact 5’9.3” so this was a grievous insult, and an indication that I need to watch my posture more closely.  My physical went fine and they gave me a couple new immunizations which have since made my arm quite sore.  Again I refused to simply return home after driving to Fairport, so decided to do some creative driving.

I have proven countless times over that my navigation skills are quite lacking.  Evidently the fact that I earned the orienteering merit badge doesn’t really mean much in the real world.  Without a map or any directions I attempted to drive from an area I’m not really familiar with to another area I’m not terribly familiar with (the dollar theater.)  In order to further challenge myself I spent most of the trip on the phone, only later remembering that this was illegal in New York.  Sadly I didn’t make it to the theater, so may never see Silent Hill.  But I enjoyed driving around the greater Rochester area and learning some new areas.

This much description only brings me up to 3 o’clock.  I could go on for another couple pages about music marathons, getting a job and losing it the same day, eating squid, risking meningitis (this has nothing to do with the squid) and cats eating éclairs.

The point is that A LOT of stuff happens every day of your life.  When pressed you can go on and on about all that you did in a 24 hour period.  When you add in everything you thought and felt during that period you could write whole novels.  Some of it is mundane, but a good portion of it is interesting and amusing, at least to those close to you.  I think it’s nice to be able to unload at least a portion of this massive quantity of information that you come across each day.  You can certainly survive keeping it all to yourself, but in the end I think it makes the day itself less enjoyable.  

Song of the moment: “A Little More Time” The Beautiful South

Friday, June 02, 2006

Necare Tempum

Need some random websites to go visit?  I thought so.  Here’s some random stuff I’ve located relatively recently.

This video makes me feel bad about how I use my free time.  Perhaps these guys made this clip as part of their livelihood, but I imagine it as a side project that ate away a year worth of weekends.

Watch the Secret-War Reenactment Society.  This is funnier if you know what the Secret War was, but I think anyone should be entertained.

All the webnerds have seen this already, but if my blog is as nerdy as you get, go check it out.  By far the best juggling I’ve ever seen.

There a bajillion videos on this site, about a third of which are funny.

This site is really fun.  Just type in your favorite band and it will find a bunch of groups that are similar.  

Good luck wasting time.

Song of the moment: “For What It’s Worth” Buffalo Springfield.